Authors: Shannon Dermott
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction
She laughed and all I could do was sit back and watch. I’d been doing my best to make sure I got enough sleep so she couldn’t take over my body. But everything that happened with Flynn and Luke made it impossible for me to get the rest I needed.
“Now what would the golden boy of fate want to do with little old me?” She stepped back and pranced around the room as he watched us with his eyes. She lifted my shirt to my waist with a flirty gesture. “Some say, blue is my color. What do you think?” She bit our lips and he zoned in it. Then his eyes slowly slid south and landed on the blue boy shorts I wore. She turned and gave him a view of our backside. I few seconds later, she smiled and looked out over shoulder. Shaking her hips, she said “You like what you see.”
My Luke moved like he was captured in her spell. He prowled over to us with a dark hunger in his eyes. Reaching us, he encircled our waist pressing us to his back. He kissed our shoulder and she shuddered. The kisses ended at our ear and he said, “I do like. But it’s not you I want to share this moment with.”
She scowled even though he couldn’t see with him pressed to our back. She tried to jerk away, but he was still stronger than either one of us. “Let me go.”
“Leave us,” he commanded, bringing a hand to our throat. “Let Mercy back.”
“Why should I?” she said, but I felt her panic.
His hand began to glow. We didn’t see but we felt the heat at our throat. “I could send you back to hell.”
“You wouldn’t,” she spat.
“Oh, but I would. What reason should I keep her body here if you are going to invade it?”
Leaning our head back on his shoulder releasing us from some of the tension on our neck, she said, “Oh, there will be a time when you aren’t around and I will glorify the day with offerings of this flesh to any man available.”
And I found myself pushed back to the forefront as if she really shoved me. “Luke,” I said, with his hand still at my throat. Weren’t his words threat enough?
He spun me around and his mouth was on mine. Then there was no more talking. All was thwarted by our manic kisses. Lifting me like the damsel in distress I was, he carried me up the stairs to a room I remembered all too well with its dark furnishings and pristine cleanliness. He placed me on the bed. Stroking my cheek, he studied me while I studied him. His face was relaxed and I saw my Luke again.
“I want this,” I said. “I want you.”
He closed his eyes. When he opened them again, he looked resolved. “That’s not why I brought you here.” Glancing away then back at me, he confess, “Okay, that’s bullshit. That is the reason I brought you here, but I can’t. This isn’t right.”
“Luke,” I complained. Again, he was stopping what we both wanted.
“No,” he said. “You aren’t that girl.” Wide eyed, I sputtered for words but he beat me to it. “No, Hell. I’m messing this up. You are THE girl. I mean, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. There should be a ring, a wedding, you should wear white.”
Biting back curses because he was being terribly sweet, I said, “You are starting to sound old fashioned.” I couldn’t help but tease him because he sounded so cute. Biting my lip, I looked in his earnest eyes. I knew I’d made the right decision. He was definitely
. “Besides, I’m seventeen. I’m nowhere near ready to get married.”
Furrowing his brows, he asked, “You wouldn’t marry me?”
Seeing the hurt on his face, I quickly countered with the truth, “Yes, I would marry you. Of course I would. It’s just—”
“It’s just what?” he questioned. I could see the darkness coming on.
Closing my eyes, I tried to prepare myself for the oncoming storm. “It’s just that we are so young,” I said, my voice sounding hollow.
Pushing away from me, he rolled onto his back and scrubbed his face. Looking up at the ceiling, I wonder just how I’d screwed this up. Again, I was reminded that I wasn’t good enough for him. But I held that thought. I didn’t think now was the right time to say it.
“Your virginity,” he said obliterating the silence. The phrase was so profound as to snap my head in his direction. “It’s just… I don’t think that taking it would help the situation I’m in.”
There it was. His damnation, my doing, and now the slut I was, I was dangling more forbidden fruit in his face. “You’re right. It just proves that I’m not good enough for you.” Rolling on my side and giving him my back, I didn’t know how I would give him up. But I would. I had to. There was no other choice.
“Damnit Mercy. Stop martyring yourself. It’s me who’s not good enough for you.” The bed dipped and then he curled up to my back. His fingers touched my bare thigh reminding me of how little clothing I wore. “Is this what you really want?” he asked. His fingertips started a lighting storm in my body. The demon uncoiled herself. She seemed to perk up at the idea. Gritting my teeth, I pushed her back. This was my moment.
“Yes,” I whispered when his actions cause my tee-shirt to shift north. Then his hand splayed out across my abdomen. The nervous butterflies fled the area leaving an electric charge to bounce between our skin.
A pressure in his hand pushed me back into him as he pressed himself into my backside. I felt his desire and wondered just how far it was going to go. I was a tad frightened about the pain that I’d been warned about.
“Are you sure?” he warned.
Nodding to him, we rolled so that I landed on top of him. I was greeted by his mouth with a kiss that said he wouldn’t stop this time. There was no turning back. At least that’s what I thought. He rolled away again, groaning covering his eyes with his hands.
“What?” I asked a bit breathless for he’d stopped kissing me.
“We can’t,” he said sounding out of breath too.
“Why?” I pleaded.
Shaking his head side to side, he looked at me. “I don’t have any protection.”
All my protest died. “Oh.”
“I just can’t imagine telling your mom or mine that I got you pregnant.” His sincerity ripped at me. How could one guy be so perfect?
“Oh,” I said. Yeah, that wouldn’t be good at all. If I wasn’t ready for a wedding, I certainly wasn’t ready for a baby.
A sly grin planted itself on his face as he rolled back to me. His touch on my navel nearly tickled so that my stomach muscle involuntarily dipped and a giggle escaped my mouth. “Fate has a way of making decisions for us.”
“You could always go to the store,” I mused, being the temptress
“I could but the idea of leaving you like this is likely to get me in a car accident.”
Narrowing my eyes, I placed my hands under his shirt to meet his flesh. Then I slipped my fingertips underneath the waistband of his pants.
“Mercy,” he warned.
“What,” I teased, letting my fingers dip a bit further.
His hands stilled my wrist. “Say you’ll marry me and we don’t have to stop.”
Pulling my hands out like his skin was made of flame, I watched the hurt blossom there again. But it was gone as quickly as it came. “Let’s watch a movie.”
Waking up staring into Luke’s blue eyes was one of the best ways of getting up. We faced each other on our sides. Moving my arm to tuck underneath my head, a cascade of my hair tumbled into my face. Before I could brush it away, Luke’s hand was there to take care of it. His love manifested in his touch.
“You are so beautiful,” he said. Honestly, he made me feel beautiful. It wasn’t as though I hadn’t heard that before, especially from my mom, but it always seemed like a compliment people felt the need to say. But the way he looked at me and how he treated me, I felt it. I’d never been vain. Yet, with him, I walked a little taller.
“You make me feel beautiful,” I confessed. When he moved in, I backed up. “Wait Mr. Bishop. I’m in dire need of a bathroom first.”
Chuckling he said, “All the things we’ve done and you’re acting shy.” A warm glow heated my cheeks, but it wasn’t embarrassment. After the movie we had done a number of things except seal the deal.
“Shy, no, morning breath, yes,” I said, rolling off the bed.
He sat up. “I got us breakfast while you slept, Cinderella.”
Smiling, I said, “Yeah, and I’ve turned into a pumpkin, with morning breath, bed head, and no clothes.” Rifling my hair, I exaggerated my lack of clothes by flinging my arms out wide. I still only wore my tee and underpants but that was it. “I so need a shower.”
“And yet you look hot, sexy and—,” he said and got off the bed heading to the attached bathroom.
“Hold it there,” I said, putting my hand up.
“I can help wash your back,” he teased.
I shook my head. “That’s a treat you get after scoring a home run.”
Turning, I squealed when he caught me. He smacked my butt and caged me in the doorframe. Kissing me, he tasted of mint and god only knew what I tasted like. “You taste sweet like always.” Could he read my mind? “I’ll leave you something to wear on the counter so don’t lock the door.”
“Only if you behave.” I smirked. I really didn’t want him to and he knew it.
“I always do,” he said, heading out of the room.
“Yeah, don’t I know.”
Turning back, he frowned corning me again. “Is there a problem?”
“Only the waiting,” I admitted.
His tongue grazed the bottom of his top lip. “I’ve waited for you my whole life.” And he kissed me again before trotting off mostly likely to get me something to wear.
Slowly, I made my way in the bathroom wondering how I possibly ever thought there was anyone better than Luke Bishop.
True to his word, he left me a shirt and plaid boxers. After I was showered, dressed and my breath refreshed from finger-brushing, I headed downstairs. My stomach grumbled in protest at the smell of toasted bread and something else. When I walked into the expansive kitchen, blinking against the shine from all the stainless steel appliances, Luke met me halfway and handed me a warm bagel slathered in creamy goodness.
Is this what marital bliss felt like? Here we were in this great big house, alone, me wearing his clothes and him bringing me something to eat. It wasn’t how I played house as a kid, but this felt very much like home. And it wasn’t the place as much as it was him.
Sitting at the table, I found a tall glass of orange juice waiting for me. Luke had a steaming mug of coffee. Turning up my nose, I sipped from my glass.
“Not much of a coffee drinker?”
When I shook my head, he laughed.
“So what are we doing today?” I asked.
“First order of business is getting you some real clothes.”
“Sebastian can just take me home, I guess,” I pondered before taking a bite of my bagel.
Slowly, he put his mug down. “Not if he wants to live.”
“Luke,” I said laughing a bit. “He brought me here in less.”
“I know,” he said. “And he did well by leaving when he did.”
A darkness began to swirl in his eyes. I almost said, ‘
this isn’t like you’
. But of course it wasn’t. Again, I was reminded of my failing him. “It’s fine. I don’t want him to see me either,” I quickly added.
It was as if that small assurance caused the clouds to recede. “I’m going to go out in a little while and get you some things. I just need your sizes.” It felt odd, but I rattled off the size of my shirt and pants. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” he asked. Puzzled, I looked at him before I quickly added my shoe size. I’d been barefoot and hadn’t really thought about it. “Bra size?”
Crimson, I was sure I looked like a ripe cherry. I gave him the figure he requested and added my underwear size before he could ask for that, too. I so never imagined having this conversation with my boyfriend. I closed my eyes trying to breathe through my mortification.
I tidied up the kitchen while he took a shower and got ready to go shopping. As weird as it was, I was kind of glad I didn’t have to go. I was in the library when he came in freshly dressed in jeans and a shirt that hugged his muscles. His arms looked as though they’d pop the seams. He came over, leaned down and kissed my forehead.
“One day you will marry me,” he said confidently, standing up to his full height.
Smiling, I let him walk away without answering him. His talking about it last night was surprising. But I only thought he was half serious. Today, I saw he meant every word. So I leaned back imagining a life as Mrs. Bishop.
Before I got carried away, my thoughts turned to Maggie. Unfortunately, my cellphone was still lying back home on my bedroom floor. Luke would have taken his. I looked around the room to the desk in the corner. On top stood an old fashioned phone. The bottom of which was encased in dark wood, which was the theme for the house. The handle of the phone was cradled in a metallic stand that held the phone perched in the air. The tiny metal megaphone at one end of the phone had to be the speaking end. I picked it up, not holding my breath. This wasn’t Luke’s father’s primary residence. Everyone had a cell phone these days; I doubted he would keep a landline.
Putting the flat metal disk end to my ear, I was pleasantly surprised to hear a dial tone. It had been a while since I heard one. Since we moved into David’s house, we didn’t have a landline. Dialing up Maggie, I listened to the ring while I positioned myself in the fit-for-a-king office chair. Leather like the other chairs in the room, I tossed my legs over the side and leaned into the cradle of the high back.
“Hello,” Maggie said tentatively. Until I heard her voice, I didn’t think she would answer because she wouldn’t recognize the number.
“Maggs,” I said.
“I am going to kill you. I hadn’t heard from you and I got a frantic call from your mom. Sorry, I gave her Luke’s number by the way. Not sure why she didn’t ask Flynn. Anyway, I wouldn’t have answered the phone if I’d known what you were up to. Where the heck are you?”
Giving her the short version, I left out the things that happened between me and each of the guys. I needed to tell her that later, and in more detail. And she needed to know I was okay first.
“When you get your phone back ignore the many times I called you a bitch. It was all out of love,” she teased.
Laughing, I said, “Yeah, sure.” Not wanting to monopolize the conversation about me, I asked, “So, what’s on?”
“I guess I’m a little freaked that soon I’ll find out if I’m still human or not. I don’t feel any different. Tom said that I wouldn’t. I don’t know.”
Even though she tried to hide it, I knew she was scared and I was scared for her. “If it’s any consolation, I still feel human even though I never was, I guess. We’ll get through this. I’ll be there no matter what.” Only the rustling of her moving, probably on her bed, came after my words. “Maggs.” Her name was as much as a question as it was a statement.
“Eme, it’s just that I would prefer you not be there when the time comes.” She could have slapped me and it wouldn’t have stung more. “Tom says I have to be naked,” she said. Hurrying on, she added. “I get to wear a robe until my bones start snapping. I don’t want you to see my like that.” She sounded defeated.
Who was I to be angry with her request? “Maggs, it’s fine. I’ll be there body or spirit. However you want me.”
“Thanks,” she said.
Curiosity got the better of me. “Who will be there?”
She got quiet again and it spoke volumes. Somehow, I guessed her answer. “Tom and… Luke and Doug of course.”
Luke, my Luke. Feeling a bit possessive even though I loved Maggie like a sister, I thought about how she said there would be nudity. “Why Luke?” I asked and hoped I didn’t sound as jealous as I felt.
“Since there will be two of us, Tom needed help. Brent is out of the question and no way is Flynn getting a glimpse.” I counted my breaths trying not to yell at her that my boyfriend didn’t need to see her naked either. “Luke is an angel for Christ sake. I mean, the way he hasn’t tried to get you naked shows he is trustworthy.”
“Maggs,” I groaned. There was so much I hadn’t shared. Things I was ashamed that I’d stirred in him.
“I get it Eme. I wouldn’t want your boyfriend to see me either. If I change, Tom will help me through and Luke will help Doug if that’s the case. It’s just he’s the only other one I trust. I know he won’t look just to see, you know.”
As much as I hated it, I did get it. As long as Luke was Luke, she was right. “Yeah, you’re right.”
“And, Eme, Tom said we will be wild with moon lust or something like that. I wouldn’t want to hurt you.”
“I get it,” I said. And I did.
Sighing heavily, she said, “And another thing.”
“What?” I asked. Not wanting to hear more about Luke being a saint. A saint now tainted with my stain.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
Feeling like a jerk again because honestly, this couldn’t be easy on her, I added, “There is nothing to be sorry about.”
“Yes, actually there is.” She paused and I didn’t speak because I wasn’t sure what this was about. “I understand now.”
“I get how confused you were or are about Flynn,” she said. That stopped my breath. “I made it out like it was easy not to have feelings for more than one guy. But the truth is, it’s complicated. I see that now.”
“Doug?” I questioned.
“Yes, I think I was afraid of how I felt about him before, you know.” She’d broken up with Doug when he confessed he loved her. “I left him because he was becoming so serious. And now that he’s been here for me, I feel things.” At a loss for words, I kept quiet and she continued, “And as much as I want to hate Brent for doing this me, to us, I still love him.”
“So what are you going to do?” I asked without judgment.
“I don’t know. I’ve had time to see that Brent didn’t purposefully hurt us. Tom’s told me how Brent’s mating instinct is animalistic and he hasn’t been turned long enough to control it. Still Doug has been nothing but stellar to me. I kissed him,” she confessed. “How could I tell him I’m thinking of going back to Brent after everything he did to us?”
“You know I’m the last person to give you advice. I will say that Doug’s feelings shouldn’t determine your own. I’m not suggesting you stomp on his heart, but you need to be happy too.” Then, I asked, “Have you talked to Brent?”
“Hell no,” she answered quickly. “Just because I love him and maybe I understand, doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven him yet. And maybe I never will.”
The conversation eventually moved to the topic of Paul whose status hadn’t changed when, in the background; I heard her door bang open. “Liam, you scared the crap out of me.”