Clark and I were silently walking away from the dark mansion. I wasn’t sure why he suddenly asked me that kind of question but somehow, I managed to answer him truthfully.
I couldn’t help but wonder if Clark’s in love with someone.
If only I could ask him that.
“So…did you finish whatever it is you need to do in the mansion?” I asked the other question circling my mind.
Clark put his hands inside his pants pockets.
“Yes but it doesn’t mean the person I’m guarding is safe now,” he answered.
I stopped walking and he did as well. We both stared at each other and it was him who asked what was wrong.
I wanted to ask him who the person he’s guarding. I was feeling pretty jealous of whoever she was. I wanted Clark all to myself. I’m so into him, I wanted to confess, to tell him how attracted I am to him but there’s no way he would date me, that’s just impossible.
No matter how kind he was to someone like me, I’m sure Clark’s straight. He doesn’t seemed to be a man who’s gonna go out with a gay person.
What I thought made a painful pang in my chest.
If only I was a girl.
“Drew?” Clark called, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“S-sorry…I’m just feeling tired from this random trip,” I joked.
Clark gave me an apologetic smile.
“Sorry I dragged you into this. Don’t worry, I’ll treat you when we come back.”
I brightened at what he said.
“Treat me? What kind of treat?”
Clark laughed, amused from my reaction.
“Dinner with me?”
I clapped my hands and grinned.
True to his words, when we got back to the city, Clark had brought me to Nomer’s Diner. The place was full of people but we managed to get a vacant table.
“Thanks again for coming with me,” Clark said after we sat down on our table.
I came because I wanted to be with him.
But let’s keep that to myself. I didn’t want to sabotage my blooming friendship with Clark.
“No worries. It’s actually fun though…just a little bit.”
“Yeah, it is for me too.”
The waitress approached us and as usual, she was shamelessly flirting with Clark. I was giving her a nasty look to tell her that she should get her filthy claws off of my man but she was too busy flaunting her chest to him.
Good thing Clark wasn’t giving her attention. The waitress finally left us with a scowl and our order.
I watched Clark take his phone out to answer a call. In the middle of talking to the other person in line, his calm expression changed to annoyance.
“Damn it, fine. I’ll pick her up later.”
He put his phone down on the table with a sigh.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Clark shortly answered.
I narrowed my eyes at him. I wasn’t convinced with his answer, basing from the tone of his voice but it’s not my place to meddle with his personal life.
My attention was taken away from Clark when I noticed a group of guys sitting on the next table beside ours. After I recognized who they were, I quickly hid my face so they wouldn’t see me.
“What is it?” Clark asked.
I kept my face hid away from them.
“...t-they’re someone I know…and I don’t really get along with them.”
Because I’ve confessed to one of the guys in their group and I ended up getting beaten up. It was a long time ago, we don’t go to the same school anymore because of that but I’m still scared every time I see them.
I’m afraid they might make a scene if they see me here, especially when I’m with a guy. They might think I’m making my move on Clark and they might tell him that…and they’ll call me names and humiliate me and…
I’m scared of being hated by Clark.
I didn’t want that.
“You wanna go?”
“It’s obvious you’re not comfortable here. We can go somewhere else if you want,” Clark suggested.
I nodded. My face was pale and I could feel my body shuddering from anxiety.
“T-thanks,” I whispered.
I didn’t even hear my own voice but Clark managed to understand what I just said.
We both stood up and much to my surprise, Clark walked beside me and put his arm around my shoulder, as if he’s hiding me from the people who hurt me. He guided me out of the restaurant, briefly telling the waitress that we’re not gonna eat anymore.
I was relieved once we got back to his car.
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
Clark smiled at me.
“It’s nothing. Mind if I smoke?”
I shook my head and said, “go ahead.”
He rolled the windows open before lighting the cigarette stick tucked in between his fingers.
“I guess I’ll be the one to treat you, huh?” I said, forcing myself to laugh to ease the mood.
I looked outside the window and stared at the restaurant filled with people eating and laughing and talking as if they’ve got no problems.
I leaned my head on the window, feeling sleepy all of a sudden.
Today’s been a long day and I was exhausted. I knew I shouldn’t sleep here in Clark’s car but my eyelids were getting heavy.
And before I knew, I have fallen asleep, listening to the soft music in the radio and the smell of the cigarette from Clark.
“ -- was the visit?”
I could hear voices from afar. It sounded like Isaac and…
“It was fine. I wiped their group. We won’t be having any problems with them.”
“Figures you’ll do something about it.”
I could feel something broad and hard pressing against my chest, a sweet smell coming from somewhere close to my nose.
“Mmmmhhm,” I hummed and something tightened around my waist.
“Take him. He’s waking up.”
Someone stood behind me, tearing me away from whoever was holding me a while ago.
“Gonna go home now?”
“I still have to pick her up.”
The person holding me close chuckled.
“She just missed you. It’s been a while since you settled here.”
“It’s only been weeks since I came here,” the other guy sarcastically said.
“They’re just keeping an eye on you. You know how paranoid your parents can be when it comes to you.”
“Yeah right. Anyway, I’ll go.”
Somewhere deep inside me that was still conscious began to protest when the other guy said that he was leaving. I was half-asleep and I tried so hard to open my eyes. When I did, I could see someone standing in front of me. Everything was blurry and I couldn’t focus my sight to recognize who he was.
With my remaining strength, I reached up to stop the person from going.
Please, don’t leave me…
…don’t leave me…
I woke up to the sound of my alarm ringing. I struggled to get up, my body feeling heavy and numb for some reason I didn’t know.
What happened last night? I couldn’t remember.
I rubbed my head.
What time’s it anyway?
I checked the watch on the night table and my eyes widened after realizing that I was super late for class. I jumped out of my bed, dashing to the bathroom to wash my face and change clothes.
After my quick morning routine, I got out of my room, running down the stairs with my bag hanging on my shoulder. I saw Isaac exiting the living room and saw me rushing out of the house.
“You’re going to school today?” Isaac asked while following me outside.
“Of course I am! I already skipped yesterday!”
And besides, I wanted to see Clark again. Even though we spent the whole day together yesterday, it still wasn’t enough.
I wanted to be with him longer.
Isaac only raised a brow at me but didn’t say anything.
I arrived at school and classes were already starting. I got out of the car, bidding goodbye to Isaac. I ran inside and I almost tripped over the stairs. Good thing I managed to balance myself before I fall down.
The corridor was empty since everyone was inside the classrooms to attend the first period. I used all my strength to continue running and when I arrived at the room, I opened the door with a loud bang, earning gasps from my classmates.
The teacher stopped writing on the board, turned around with a surprised expression.
“Sorry, sir! I’m late!”
Some of my classmates gave me nasty looks but I ignored it. I was used to their stares and it doesn’t do much now.
I went to my usual seat, which was of course, away from the others. I sat on the chair, scowling when I saw Clark’s desk was empty.
Damn it. All that running was useless. The person I wanted to see wasn’t even here.
The teacher continued teaching while I contain my pants, covering my mouth to stop myself from getting any more attention that I didn’t wanted.
My heart felt like it was going to burst.
Agh, so much for my morning.
Valery found me outside the school building, eating my lunch on the grassy ground while leaning against the wall. I was enjoying the peaceful surrounding with no noise, just the sky and the trees and the sound of nature.
“Of course you’ll be here,” Valery said, playfully glaring at me. “When will you come back in the cafeteria?”
I rolled my eyes at her.
I would rather spend my time alone than hear people talking behind my back.
“I was calling you. You never answer. Why?” she asked.
“Because I was busy eating?” I sarcastically answered.
Valery sat beside me. She noticed the sandwich I was eating and made a face.
“That’s all you’re eating?” she asked.
This was all I could buy without staying too much in the cafeteria. I was still afraid of running into Georgy and his friends.
“You should eat more, Drew.”
“What are you, my mother?”
“Haha, very funny,” Valery answered in a dead voice. “Anyway, I came here because I want to talk to you about the cruise.”
My ears perked in excitement.
“What about it?”
Valery took out a folded paper inside her pocket. She gave it to me and I opened it to read the content.
“Here’s the schedule for the 3-day cruise. As you can see, we need to meet at exactly 6 am with the others. If you’re late, you’re gone,” she explained.
“Okay, got it. Thanks!”
“We’ll be stopping in an island in day 2 for the whole day, so maybe you can bond with Clark, hmmm?” Valery teased, grinning from ear to ear while nudging me with her elbow.
I flushed as I imagined Clark half-naked, wearing nothing but swimming trunks. Valery saw my reddening cheeks and teased me even more.
“Remember not to be late, okay? Tell Clark about the schedule too.”
“Okay, I will.”
Valery stood up and was about to leave but stopped as she remember something else.
“Before I forget, don’t forget to bring condoms too, you’ll never know!” she said, winking at me.
I gaped at her, cheeks getting redder than it was before from embarrassment.
“Like that’ll happen!”
It was night time when I came to his room to ask him when my dad would come back from Italy. Tomorrow was the day for the cruise and I really didn’t want my dad to know about it. He would probably lock me inside my room, telling me that I should stay safe because of the war of the heirs going on in the Mafia.
I knocked on Isaac’s room, which was located in another house near mine. Bodyguards who were hired by my dad were given rooms in the servants quarters, together with the maids that were working for the Orlov family.
The door opened and I was taken aback, seeing Isaac only in sweatpants. A towel was slung on his shoulder and I assumed that he had just finished taking a bath.
My eyes were locked in his chest and abs, staring at those hard muscles all in the right places. He got some scars on his abs and arms but it only added to the sexy charm he was emitting.
For a moment, I forgot what I was about to ask him.
I couldn’t talk.
“What is it, Drew?” he asked.
I peeled my eyes off of his chest and awkwardly smiled.
Isaac blinked, confused why I’m talking like someone stepped on my foot.
“Good everning,” he replied. “Do you need anything?”
“Y-yes, actually I do!”
“I just wanna ask when will my dad come back from Italy,” I said, trying hard to focus my eyes in Isaac’s face.
“Next week,” he answered.
I felt relieved.
Good. I could go to the cruise and he wouldn’t even know it.
But first, I needed to convince Isaac to allow me to go to the cruise. It would be much easier to convince him compared to my dad.
“Y-you see,” I started, flashing Isaac one of my bestest smiles, “do you remember why I want money so bad last time?” I asked.
“W-well…the reason for that is because…I need to go to a…cruise with my friends and I’ll be gone in 3 days.”
My lips pursed in anticipation. I was getting ready to persuade Isaac to let me go, practicing the speech I had in my mind.
My eyes widened at him, surprised that he easily let me go.
“Are you for real?! You’re allowing me to go?!”
Isaac shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s fine. We have our ways to make sure you’re safe.”
“You’ll know sooner or later.”
I stayed up all night preparing the things I needed for the cruise. I only got two hours of sleep but it was fine. I was so excited with the trip that I couldn’t even sleep.
I was feeling sluggish since I didn’t sleep well but it didn’t matter. Going to a 3-day cruise with my friends and crush was enough to keep me in my toes. Isaac drove me to the meeting place and as usual, he stayed around until the others arrived.
Valery and Oleg showed up and I approached them, with an enthusiastic smile on my face.
“Good morning!” I greeted.
“Hey, you’re early! Aren’t you too excited?” Valery teased, smirking at me.
“No, I’m not! I’m just…worried you might leave me if I’m late.”
Oleg met up with his friends loitering in front of a closed shop just across the road where the port was.
We all turned to see Alyona walking up to us, carrying her luggage.
Valery grinned at her.
“Hey, Alyona. Good morning.”
“Good morning! I’m glad you guys came! The more the merrier, right?”
“Wouldn’t miss this for the world!” Valery said, waving us her DSLR strapped around her neck.
I also had my camera ready. One of my passion was photography buy my dad doesn’t take it seriously. He would always remind me that my hobbies doesn’t mean anything, telling me that I should just focus myself in training how to become a Mafia leader. For the past year, I’ve been escaping the training he had intended for me.
All he cared was his business and I hated him for that.
I would have joined the photography club but sadly, I have already joined three clubs which was the maximum.
Although I haven’t been attending clubs. The only reason why I joined was because my crush was there.
“Hi, Drew!” Alyona called me and waved a hand. “Where’s uh, Clark? The friend you also invited to come?”
Now that she mentioned it, I haven’t seen Clark yet.
“Maybe he’s just…”
“Sorry, I’m late.”
We all gasped when Clark suddenly appeared behind me. I took a step back, jaw dropping in utter surprise.
“When did you get here?!” Valery asked, looking pale from Clark’s sudden appearance.
“I’ve been here…for a while,” Clark answered.
Some of the girls saw Clark and they began flocking him as if he was some kind of an artist. I was getting irritated, seeing how popular he was with the girls but it’s always been like that ever since he attended school.
While staring at the crowd around Clark, I noticed his knuckles were swollen.
“Hey, everyone!” Alyona called to get the groups attention. “Gather around, I’m gonna check attendance.”
Finally, the girls left Clark and I saw him sighing in relief. I made my way towards him to ask if his left hand was alright.
He faced me and I saw the dark bags under his eyes.
“Are you alright?”
Clark raised a brow at me.
“Uh, you don’t look well. Have you slept?”
Clark blinked before cracking a smile that made my heart skipped a couple of beats.
Why does he looked so freaking handsome?! So early in the morning and he’s giving me heart attacks!
“I was just excited for the cruise.”
I smiled a little.
So he was feeling the same way too.
I glanced at his hand and indeed, his knuckles were swollen.
“What happened to your hand?” I asked again.
Clark lifted it up to check it.
“Ah, I guess I went overboard punching the sandbag while working out,” he answered.
I wasn’t convinced with it though. His voice changed tone, like he’s lying.
“You were absent yesterday too,” I mumbled. “Are you sure -- ”
Clark’s eyes narrowed and I got scared seeing it looking at me like he was ready to hurt me.
Leaning closer, he whispered in my ear, “don’t ask too many questions, Drew.”
I shuddered from hearing his low voice directly in my ear. I stepped back, knees wobbling from fear.
“S-s-sorry, I didn’t mean to…”
“You two!” Alyona called, referring to Clark and me, “let’s go!”
The dangerous aura vanished from Clark and he was now smiling kindly at me.
I sat down on the bench, staring at the big blue sky above. One hour had passed since we left and everyone from the Photography club was enjoying the sight, taking pictures of the ocean and all.
I was bothered by Clark’s behavior back then.
It scared me to hear him talk like that.
It was as if he belonged to the same world as me.
I shook my head to deny what I just thought. There’s no way he’s from the Mafia too.
I held my ear. I could still feel his breath close to me and no matter how scared I was of him, I got…tingles all over my body.
I covered my face from shame. I don’t want to think anything indecent, that’s not nice.
“Not enjoying the view?”
I looked at the person who asked me and it was Clark, standing in front of me. He sat down on the bench beside me, crossing his legs while staring straight.
“It’s nice,” I said, staring down at the camera hanging in my neck. “I can get a lot of pictures for my portfolio.”
“You’re into photography too?”
I shyly nodded.
“Yes. How about you?”
“Not really. Though my dad’s a photographer.”
I snapped my head at him, smiling wide because I found another topic we could talk about.
“Yeah, my other dad’s a chemist. Weird combination, right?”
“Oh, is that so?”
Wait, did he just say, other dad?
“You have…two dads?”
Clark stared at me and smirked.