Authors: Shannon Dermott
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction
Muffled, I heard him respond, “Mom, wants you to come downstairs.” Then a second later, Maggie must have given him the stink eye, because he asked, “Who are you talking to, that Doug guy? Tell him I’ll kick his ass.”
“It’s not Doug and no you won’t or I’ll tell mom about the girl you had in your room.”
“That was like a year ago,” he said.
“Doesn’t matter. She’ll believe me.”
Next thing I heard a struggle and a giggle. “Hey, who’s this?” Liam asked, having gotten the phone from Maggie.
“It’s me, Mercy,” I said with a grin.
“Hey, how are you doing?” he said, his voice softened and made it obvious that he was now treating me like a ‘
’ and not a little sister.
“Fine, Luke should be back soon,” I said, purposefully. Liam was cute, but it was so not happening… ever.
“Oh, not you too. Ditch the boyfriend and come to my fraternity party next weekend.”
Laughing, I said, “I’m not sure that would be a good idea.”
“Luke’s like a pussy cat. I can take him.”
No, you can’t
, I wanted to say. Even in his calm state, Luke’s deceiving looks would annihilate Liam. “Can I bring him so you can say it to his face?” I teased.
With a heavy sigh, he said, “Sure, you can bring him but next time…”
“Get out,” Maggie said, getting the upper hand. He laughed and left the room. “Someone has a crush,” she sing-songed.
“Stop,” I protested.
“This is the first time he’s invited me to one of his college parties. We simply must go.”
Maggie went on and on, and I let her talk. She sounded so happy I didn’t deny her. I would have to tell Luke about going to a frat party and hoped he would go with me. I didn’t want to give the wrong message to Liam by going without him. And not going wasn’t an option. I owed Maggie that much.
I didn’t end up telling her about the prophesy. I wasn’t trying to keep another secret from her. No matter what Luke thought, I still didn’t yet believe it could be about me.
Luke walked in with several bags and set them on the ground. I warily eyed the names that graced the packages. The bags looked far too fancy, with ribbon handles not paper or plastic ones.
“What is all this?” I asked.
Grinning, he said, “Clothes.”
“You could have gone to Walmart or Target. I don’t need anything fancy to get home in. I have clothes in my closet,” I protested.
Laughing at me, he said, “Sorry, there isn’t a Walmart or Target nearby.”
Groaning, I said, “Then why so many bags? A simple shirt and jeans would do.”
He walked over to me, leaving the bags behind to cup my face with both of his hands. “I told the sales clerks what I needed and this is what I got back.”
Placing my hands on his forearms, I said, “You’ve spent too much. You can take some of it back.”
“You haven’t seen it yet.”
Sighing, I pressed my forehead to his quickly before stepping out of his embrace. Out of the first bag, I carefully pulled out folded clothes wrapped in tissue paper. Opening it, I had the feeling of Christmas coming over me. Luke had probably been taken advantage of my sales people who no doubt had been sure he had no idea what to buy.
Out popped just what I’d asked for. A pair of jeans with material so soft, it was hard to believe they were really jeans. Out of another bag came a top that was nothing more than a simple white tee with a check like pattern on the underside of the cuff of the sleeve. Unlike the jeans, the price tag on the shirt hadn’t been cut off. The sales clerk must have made an error here. The tag read with one too many numbers for a simple tee-shirt. I didn’t bother with the sweater, I was sure to find more of the same.
“Look,” I said to Luke. “This price is crazy for this top.”
He waved me off. “It’s done. I’m not taking it back.”
“What if it doesn’t fit? I asked, trying to figure a way out of this. If the tee-shirt cost that much, the jeans probably cost at least triple that.
“Try it on,” he said.
I picked up the jeans and started to head upstairs. “Wait,” he said, taking me by the elbow. “There’s no one here but us.”
His eyes simmered with forbidden things that hadn’t surfaced much when he looked at me. Licking my lips, I called his bluff. I quickly chucked the boxer shorts he gave me still covered by the shirt I wore.
“Wait,” he said again and walked over to the packages. He pulled one that was smaller than the others. Handing it to me, he said, “You might need this.”
I opened the bag. If I thought his reasons were to get me out of my clothes, I was wrong. Inside the bag were undergarments. Specifically a bra, which I wasn’t wearing. Deciding I would show him we girls had hidden talents, leaving the price tag on because I wasn’t yet sure it would fit, I clasped it closed underneath my shirt. I reached through my sleeves to get the straps over each arm. Then, I pulled the shirt off to stand in front of him in just a bra and panties when his cell phone went off.
Moving slowly, the phone rang four times before he finally answered. It didn’t take a genius to know who would be on the other end. “Hi Mrs. McCallister,” Luke said, trying to sound cheerful.
Then he handed the phone to me without another word. I could hear my mom still ranting. “Hi, Mom.”
“Mercy McKayla Moore,” she shouted in the way only moms could without actually raising their voice.
Trouble, trouble, trouble, ran through my head. “Yes,” I answered.
“Where Are You?” she demanded, enunciated each word.
No point in lying, I replied in a tone that I hoped came across as respectful because I knew I was in the wrong, “With Luke.” I was busy trying to figure a way out of the trouble I was in and not that I’d just stated the obvious.
“Of course you are,” she said sarcastically. “Were you with him all night?”
“Um,” I backpedaled because this was not going to be good. I looked up at Luke whose wide eyed stare held knowledge. “Yeah,” I said, scrunching up my face knowing the wrath that was coming.
“Of course you were,” she began. “You come home right this minute.”
“Well, um, I’m not at his house,” I said.
I swore I could hear the rumble of fire building beneath the surface. “And where are you?” she asked way too slowly.
“At his father’s house in the Hamptons.” Quickly, I added, “Sebastian brought me here.”
“Well, I suggest you get Sebastian to bring you back.”
When I hung up the phone, I was embarrassed, not because I stood mostly naked in front of my boyfriend, but that my mother had chastised me in front of him.
“Go ahead and call him,” he said. There was no judgment in his tone, only regret. I’m sure he felt responsible that I’d been irresponsible. I nodded. “Wait, get dressed first,” he said.
I looked down at myself remembering again that I was mostly naked. Awkward. Quickly, I put clothes on. Everything fit like a dream, but there was no time to really enjoy the luxury of too-expensive clothes. I called Sebastian in my head after Luke gave me an approving nod. I wasn’t sure it was about the clothes or the okay to do what I did. It didn’t seem to matter.
I looked around but there was no sign of Sebastian. He usually came right away. I still didn’t totally get our connection. He’d always been there.
Looking up to meet Luke’s eyes, I shook my head. “How do you contact him?” I asked.
Picking up his phone where I put it down, he dialed. I watched before he too shook his head. With a heavy sigh, I didn’t think my mother would accept that I couldn’t get Sebastian. She probably didn’t trust my words, which I couldn’t blame her.
“It’s okay. I’ll drive you home,” Luke said.
“Your car is here?” I asked automatically.
“No,” he said. Cocking his head to the side, he added, “My dad keeps a car here.”
It didn’t take long to gather my things considering I came with nothing. Luke went to get the keys while I got the bags so we could be on our way. Using Luke’s phone, I texted my mother about the Sebastian the situation. She didn’t call back.
The car of course wasn’t anything short of luxurious. Luke explained it was a Maybach as if that would mean anything. The only thing it meant was that it probably cost more than I wanted to know. The interior said it all. Everything was soft leather and wood trim, all materials shiny and new.
For most of the ride, Luke and I talked about everything except anything supernatural. It was actually pretty nice, normal even. I needed normal.
Too bad the good feelings didn’t last. My heart began to race when we pulled into the driveway of my house, then tripled in speed when he didn’t turn the car off.
I turned to my boyfriend who resembled a California surfer boy. Even with his faded tan that still gnawed at my gut because it was a result of his damnation, he was still gorgeous. I asked, “You’re not coming in?” Leaving me to the wolves? I wanted to add but I didn’t voice my petty concern.
Giving me a slight smile, he said, “I have to take the car back.”
Opening my mouth, I said, “You didn’t have to drive me all the way here.”
“But I did,” he said. “It’s okay. I didn’t mean to get you in trouble.”
“No, it wasn’t your fault. I didn’t think. I was just so happy to see you. I should have let her know.”
Again with a tight smile, he leaned over and kissed me on my cheek. “I should go. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”
“You’re not going to stay with me tonight?” I asked disappointment heavy in my voice.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Your mom doesn’t seem too happy with either of us.”
I nodded because he was right. But when I got out of the car, the cold wind sliced through me and felt as if things were off. He hadn’t kissed me and his cold shoulder didn’t seem to be from the frigid air. When his door car opened, I looked over at him. From the back seat, he pulled the bags of clothing I hadn’t yet tried on. Handing them to me from my side of the car, he turned. “Luke wait,” I said. I couldn’t let him go like this. “This was all my fault. She’s pissed, but I’ve never been in this much trouble before. She’ll grant me leniency.” I searched his eyes, but they still held too much regret.
I stepped out of the car, holding bags in each hand. I wanted to hug him. I let his purchases fall to the ground. Moving forward, I lifted my arms to clasp him around the neck when he stopped me. Then he looked over my shoulder. Turning, I saw my mother standing in the doorway with her arms folded over her chest. I shivered not only from the frigid air between me and Luke, but from her icy glare. The cold spring air seemed warm in comparison to the two.
“I should go,” Luke said and I whipped back around. He lifted his head and gave my mom a little nod. “Hi, Mrs. McCallister,” he said before folding himself back in the car. He didn’t kiss me goodbye. Getting out of the car had been hard. Watching him drive away was harder. He was gone so fast, the tire tracks in the freaky spring snow were the only thing that assured me he’d been here at all.
With trepidation, I followed my mom into the house, my own anger brewing with every step. Yes, I had done wrong. But she acted as though I was the worst kid ever.
She stood there holding the front door open, her eyes filled with fire as I walked into the house. As she shut the door, I kept walking toward the stairs hoping she’d let her silence be my punishment.
That was not to be the case. “Where are you going young lady?”
Spinning on my heels, I faced the reprimand that was surely coming. I’d always been the model daughter. She could count on one hand the amount of times I’d gotten in trouble over the years. I’d always done what she’d asked. Heck, I’d given up two years of dating because she said that was the only way. Yet she had secrets. She knew things I needed to know and I was done with not knowing.
“You think you can just go where you please whenever you want, sleeping overnight with Luke?” Her fury seethed. Her chest rose and fell like the weight of her anger was too much to bear.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t let you know I was gone. It…”
“Sorry isn’t enough Mercy. Do you know how worried I’ve been? You weren’t in your room or anywhere in the house. You wouldn’t answer your phone. With everything that is going on, I feared the worst. And this whole time, you were doing who knows what with Luke, without a care in the world.”
Slumping a little, she deflated. The rage turned to hurt on her pretty features. As she ran a hand through her short blonde hair, I sensed my mom was scared. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it,” I professed.
“You cannot spend the night with Luke,” she added with a steely gaze and an arched brow.
“Why?” I asked. “You’ve let him before. And you have nothing to worry about. We aren’t having sex.”
Her eyes narrowed. “That isn’t the point Mercy. You are seventeen.”
“And, I’m a succubus. Isn’t that in my job description?” I was angry. She had never wanted me to be with him and I’d had enough of people telling me that.
“Grounded.” Her voice was cold and flat. Somewhere we’d gone from angry to hurt and now back to anger. “Luke is not allowed over.”
“He’s Flynn’s best friend. You can’t stop Flynn from seeing him.”
She paused and I sensed the wheels turning in her head. “You’re right. But
aren’t allowed to see him. Let’s just say I’m judge and jury. Consider you’re self on something like house arrest. And just so you understand my meaning, pretend I’ve instituted what I’ll call a restraining order on Luke. He is not to get within a twenty feet of you.”
“And what about school?” I’m not sure why I asked. Why would I bring to her attention my own reprieve?
“Unfortunately, I can’t stop you there.” And that was the end of the conversation. I turned on my heels with bags in hand and stomped upstairs.
In my room, I folded my arms over my chest like a petulant child. As I flopped on my bed, I thought about confinement. My phone was still there where I’d inadvertently left it. I noticed several missed calls from Maggie and decided to call her. It took only a moment to get through. “You have to get over here now,” she said without greeting.