The Gentiles

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Callie

This is not how I expected my morning would go.

Then again, never in my wildest dreams did I ever see myself with Abe like this. Let alone imagine allowing him to do the things… he just did to me. My core clenches as images of his hand gliding down my stomach flash before my eyes, his fingers slipping so easily in my panties, teasing me down there before coming in contact with my clitoris.

I let him do that to me and… it felt good. So good. But it wasn’t supposed to feel that way. At least, not with Abe, right? Not when he’s my cousin just like Harry is, and I’ve already decided not to let my stupid feelings get the best of me and live a normal life by forgetting about my crush on him.

Feelings, a voice in my head whispers. Deep seated, dark secret… Feelings.

No, I remind myself. It’s just a silly little crush that I have no business in fostering or even entertaining the thought of. It’s dangerous and hurtful and unbearable and I feel like I’m going to combust every time I remember I am not allowed to be feeling that way.

It’s like I’ve been given a cake and told I cannot eat it or else, I’d die. Because the cake is poison. It would slowly seep into my blood, effortlessly entering the pumping valves of my heart and gradually stop its beating. The same sweets that give me the heighten pleasure of sugar rush and which’s flavor stay in my mouth even after I’d brushed my teeth and gums raw.

A sudden wave of flavor burst in my mouth, making me salivate.

The sweet, delicious taste of chocolate, butter, and chamomile tea altogether. Add to it the sinful whirl of hot, slippery tongue raggedly pushing its way deep in my mouth as if trying to get past my throat in contrast to the hard but smooth, cool small piece of metal in the middle of that muscle.

The harsh buffing of dark stubble against my cheek, my chin, my neck.

Huge, rough, strong hands that knead my body, making it dance with measured tempo.

Hot and heavy exhales that breathe fire into me, turning my skin feverish, my heart palpitating to an impossible rate, my mind white and bright with an unexplainable and incomparable delight.

When I gaze up at Abe, it’s like he knows what I’m thinking about. A smirk is etched on his angular face making his features seem gentler if not for the heat evident in his dark eyes that are pulling me in. Like Titanic to the iceberg, I have no choice but to let the impact happen because I cannot make myself turn. With all the will and might and power that I hold, it’s impossible to avoid the disaster that is Abe.

But… do I really want to?

My hand involuntarily adjusts my glasses, though it doesn’t need to be. I feel hot all over again and Abe’s grin turn wider, the mean tease that he is. The pounding on the door continues, that same voice calling out to the two of us once more and again I have to ask myself, how did he even know we’re here?

I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for my own stupidity and carelessness. If I had only been honest and told everyone the truth. But that would mean Abe will be in trouble and for some unknown reason, I instinctively chose to protect him and the secret he refused to share with me. I could almost laugh at the realization how everything is turning to an even bigger mess than the one before. A secret for another secret. One bigger than the other. Snowball effect. Only, this is no laughing matter. I have to deal with it with caution because this time, I’m involved, and Abe and I now have our own dirty secret.

When Abe dropped me off at home last night, two police cars were in our driveway and immediately, it got me worried of what might have happened. Rushing inside, I prepared myself for the worst. Harry should be at the afterparty now, those things don’t end this early. Well, it is pretty late but not by the standards of high school teenagers/ But what if he got back home ahead of the others and somehow had an accident?

My feet hastened their steps and just as the thought that he may as well be with someone else tonight appeared in my head, it was too late for me to turn back, my fingers were already clasping knob and turning it to open the door wide.

What if he’s with Hannah, and they’re inside, and, much like the last time I’d seen him with another girl in his bedroom, they’re having -

“Callie!”

I stopped short and stared surprised at the woman who came up to me. She has almost the same features as I do, from the same shade of blonde hair to the same hue of our blue eyes. People who saw us often commented how we look alike, making it more than obvious that we are family. Some even speculated we are sisters.

Is the grass green?

Is the sky blue?

Is she really my mother?

She didn’t hug me, didn’t fuss over me. She only stood in front of me with her arms crossed on her heaving chest, the look of calculation on her face. I know that look. She had just been arguing with someone. Who the poor soul was, I didn’t know. So, my gaze went over her shoulder and I saw that it wasn’t just her in the house but my dad, too.

He was talking with who I recognized as the sheriff of our town, constantly looking back at me. There were two other police officers idling nearby. One was a tall, buffed guy who was so muscular he reminded me of Johnny Bravo, all the more so with his hair and the dark sunglasses that he’s wearing. Who turned off the sun?

The other officer looked very familiar with his cropped, thick, dark brown hair, deep brown eyes, lean muscular body, and tall physique. Quite almost the same height as Harry. He met my eyes and it immediately hit me. He’s the spitting image of Jared. I don’t think I’ve met him before. I was still in middle school when he was in high school and have already graduated to college when I stepped up as a freshman. I didn’t know he works for our police department or that he already graduated and finished his training. I’ve always thought star athletes like him would want to stay ut of our town the first chance they get after experiencing the life of another city but that’s just my opinion. Or, more specifically, my dream.

Gaze sweeping to the left, I felt myself immediately lighting up at the sight of the person I most wanted to see. After everything that had happened, I’d still wanna go back to him. To his familiar smell and comforting arms. But he was not looking at me. Harry was sitting at the foot of the stairs, arms propped on his knees fingers clasped together.. His shoulders were haunched and his eyes were cast downwards, with a deep frown on his beautiful face indicating that he’s deep in thought. Something doesn’t seem quite right. He’s still wearing his basketball jersey uniform. I don’t think he’d even showered.

I stepped aside mom to get to him but she firmly caught my shoulder with a delicate hand. I turn to her as her lips pursed in an attempt to suppress the annoyance she must be feeling. It was an expression I have come familiar with since I was a little girl and I have learned to danced along with it instead of flow against its course.

“We were just about to take a rest after a long, tedious case when we received a call from Dani - I mean, Sheriff Londale - saying a missing person report for you was filed.” Her voice sounded accusing but it hitched up high at the end trying to appear sweet and worried.

My eyes shot towards Harry and I watch him visibly tensed. He still didn’t meet my gaze but I knew that he knew that my eyes were on him. It was starting to bug me out. Why was he ignoring me? Okay, I was the one who ran out on him but that was because I was overwhelmed with my emotions. I had a reason. Plus, I’m on my freaking period and that spiked up my sensitivity to a hundred. He should know. He was the one who put my pad on for me when the day it arrived, I so clearly remember.

Somehow, I expected him to welcome me in his warm arms once I got back home. Back to him like I always do. Not avoid looking at me and sitting in a corner as my mom unleash hell on me like she always does. One would think I do drugs instead of forgetting something as trivial as the fork on the sink the way she harshly reprimands me.

“I’m not missing,” I said meekly. No matter how strong my feelings are now, I shouldn’t be too obvious in front of my mom. She has such a strong sense of smell. “I wasn’t able to make any calls because my phone died but I’m fine, mom. I was - “

“With Abe,” Harry spoke. Finally. His voice was low and although it was flat, his features were pained. I wanted to go to him and cuddle on his lap, to put my arms around him like I always do, specially when we have family game nights at our grandparents’ house and he’d always choose to be with me in the same team.

I wanted to ask him what was wrong because one look at him and I knew something was bothering him and that whatever it was, it’s wearing him down. Didn’t our team just win the game? What was he even doing home? Harry was supposed to be at the afterparty with his friends, with -

Oh my god.

His feet came into view and I sucked in an gulp of air. One of his feet was bandaged. It was from the game earlier. It was only then I noticed a pair of crutches leaning on the wall beside him.

Mom’s heavy sigh made me turn back to her. She rubbed her palm on her forehead, clearly stressing out. My dad excused himself from Sheriff Londale and went over to us.

“Hey,” he whispered to my mom, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. He pulled me in on his other side, hugging me to him. I’m sure we looked like the happy family that people supposed we are.

Daddy began kneading my upper arm. He kissed the top of my head after doing the same on mom’s temple.

“Callie’s a big girl,” he started. Mom shot her head up at him. Dad instantly looked apologetic.

“Sixteen,” she reminded him.

“Seventeen in a few weeks, Mich,” dad corrected. “She probably just forgot about the time, you know kids these days” he continued. He’s a martyr, never standing up against mom. The way I saw it, he adores her so much that he was willing to put up with her nagging most of the time. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

“She was with that kid, Ted,” mom said so low I was sure me and dad were the only ones who were able to hear it. The accusation in her voice stung me like it had been directed towards me and not at Abe.

“She was with her cousin,” daddy countered, sighing defeatedly. “And I’m sure Abe took real good care of her.”

I winced. Define taking good care of. I was pretty sure that’s not in Abe’s vocabulary or it has the exact complete opposite meaning.

My dad looked down at me, raising one thick brow. “Didn’t he, Lil?”

At forty-two, Edwards Lane looked after himself and made sure he has a healthy lifestyle. Mom does yoga but dad hits the gym and it shows in their physiques. I guess being lawyers had made them reliable to routines, meaning they kept very strict schedules and follow everything to a T, what with their busy schedules and tons of paperworks that with some cases they just couldn’t afford to go back and forth between work and home they had to stay at their high-rise near their firm. Once I get to college, I was expected to live with them, provided that I get in to one of the universities of their choice.

Parting my lips to answer daddy, I didn’t even get a word out when I was rooted to the spot by mom’s question.

“Why were you with him?”

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