Chapter one - last weekend of summer
I am what you would call a social outcast. I liked to say it was by choice, but I was a raging bitch most of the time, to be completely honest with you. This is why I preferred the company of books to other human beings.
That wasn't to say I didn't have any friends. I had one, Storm Morganstar. She was my childhood best friend, next-door neighbour, and my opposite. Storm was what you would call a 'good girl,' shy, innocent, and warm-hearted. It was hard to believe that we could be friends, but Storm's house was more of a home to me than my own house.
Anyway, I was lying on my bed, enjoying one of my novels, when a loud bang made me jump out of bed, my book crashing to the floor. "Shit!" I groan, lost my page. My gaze instantly drawn to the window, where I could see directly into Loki's bedroom.
Loki stood with his back to me, in nothing but a towel wrapped low on his hips. My mouth fell open as I gawked shamelessly at my best friend's older brother.
Loki is what I would call sinfully sexy; he was tall, dark, and handsome with that classic 'bad boy vibe. Body of a football player, voice like an angel and tattoos snaking up both his arms.
As if sensing my gaze, Loki began to turn. Shit! Before he could see me, I dropped to the floor, landing with a thump. I cringe, hoping he hadn't seen me. He was everything I hated! I would not feed his ego. Not today, Satan.
"Hey, Scarlett," Adam interrupted, walking into my room without knocking. Despite my many, many warnings not to.
Adam and I were both adopted into the Winter's household when we were very young. It was apparent to anyone that looked at us; we were not related. Adam was six foot something, blond with icy blue eyes. In contrast, I was five foot six, with burgundy red curly hair and olive green eyes.
Yet, our bond was stronger than any blood-related brother and sister, largely because 'our parents' were never around. Adam finding me still lying in a heap on the floor. He crossed his arms over his chest, an amused smile tugging at his lips. "What are you doing?"
"I...I dropped my book," I stutter, quickly grabbing it before darting but up to my feet.
"And that required you to lie on the floor?" He grinned, raising a brow at me.
"I fell off my bed," I lied.
"Ah huh," he replied, not buying one word I was dishing out. "Anyway... I'm heading over to Morgan's. Are you coming?" Morgan being the nickname everyone gave to the Morganstar family.
"erm...yeah, I'll meet you downstairs." Not wait for a reply before heading into my bathroom.
I topped up my winged eyeliner and red lipstick before admiring myself in the floor-length mirror.
I wore fishnet tights with a velvet black hexagram skater dress, which fell halfway down my thighs—the outfit hugging my hourglass figure in all the right places. I paired it with platform ankle boots and a hoodie—Ready, I making my way downstairs.
Adam stood at the bottom, texting his girlfriend. He didn't bother to look up at me as he pushed open the front door. Not that my outfit would have fazed him, Adam was used to my wardrobe. Even if I often attracted unwanted attention or slut-shaming from girls at school, I was who I was.
I didn't bother to wait for Adam as I strode across the front yard and walked inside my best friend's house without knocking. The Morganstar's were family and had an open door policy. Often there would be the entire football team inside, including their girlfriends.
"Hey, Nerd!" I called out to my best friend as I entered the house.
"Kitchen!" She called back.
I found Storm sat at the counter. Schoolwork spread out in front of her, and a plate of cookies to her left. Mrs Morganstar, Karen, leaned over the counter next to her daughter, Dressed in her formal business wear. Her suitcase beside the kitchen counter. I taking a seat next to Storm and help myself to cookies.
"Hey, how are you, honey?" Karen asks, smiling at me.
"Super, thanks. Though I'm not looking forward to going back to school on Monday."
"It's your first year of six forms. I bet everyone has grown up a lot since last you saw them," Karen encourages. I nodded, despite the fact I was sure nothing had changed. Adam entered the kitchen, followed by a now-clothed Loki; I don't acknowledge them. Instead, I focused my attention on Karen.
"Business trip again?" I ask, changing the subject.
"Sadly, I've got to clean up some mess with a contract in the city," she rolls her eyes" I would much prefer to spend my weekend with my favourite kids."
"When are you back?" Asked Loki, his voice deep and casual. I dare a glance in his direction. He was leaning on the door frame, hands in his skinny jean pockets. His white tee doing nothing to hide his broad, muscular frame. His black eyes locked on mine, a smirk playing on his lips—egotistical arse. I quickly avert my eyes, suddenly finding the worktop fascinating.
"Not till Monday evening. Your father's trip has been extended as well till Wednesday," Karen answered. "So while I'm gone, I'm counting on you both to look after the girlies."
"We've got a gig tonight," Loki reminded her.
"Bring the girls; it would be good for them to go out for a change." Storm shot me a look of pure panic, forcing me to bite my lip to suppress a laugh. The 'Chaos Wings' was an up-and-coming local band; it would be a small gig.
"You want me to bring my little sister to a gig? At The Crescent Moon?" Loki countered, raising a brow at his mother.
"Yes! I don't see what the problem is?" Karen pouted, looking to Adam. The reasonable one.
"I don't see why not; they can sit at our booth near the stage. That way, we can keep an eye on them, and Alisa will be working the bar tonight," Adam agreed. Loki, however, looked anything but happy.
"Great! Well, I should head out. You guys have fun and behave!" Karen concluded before leaving.
Thirty minutes later, I finally find something for storm to wear that we could both agree on—high-waisted denim shorts, knee-high socks, a short-sleeved crop top, and converses. She looked cute. She, however, insisted on bringing a cardigan and her satchel, letting me add a couple of my things to her bag.
We found the boys spreading out on the sofa Pizza boxes before them.
"Mmm, Pizza!" I swoon, helping myself to Loki's box of double pepperoni and jalapenos. Loki glares at me, moving the box out of my grasp. He hated sharing food. I took a bite; a small moan escaped my lips. It tasted so good! Loki was watching me. A feral look in his eyes, nostrils flared. Jesus, he was such a caveman. I focused on the TV as I ate, watching a rerun of friends.
Despite Loki's warning growl, I took another slice, sticking out my tongue at him. He gave me the middle finger, moving the box again.
"We are going to need to set some ground rules," Adam announces.
"Okay, Dad," I teased, rolling my eyes.
"I'm serious. You are responsible for looking after Storm tonight, meaning where you go, she goes," Adam told me in his parent's voice. I hated when he used that on me. "Just stay where I can see you...and Scarlett, please don't encourage any guys."
"So little faith, brother."
"If someone touches you...either of you. I'll kill them," Loki interjected, his eyes filled with the promise of violence.
"Noted. Now, are you done with the lecture? I'm not a little kid, anyone," I remind them.
"You're still my little sister," Adam countered. I roll my eyes at him, getting to my feet.
"I'm going for a smoke," I declare, heading for the backdoor.
It was still warm out, despite the summer coming to an end. I walked over to the railing, popping a cigarette in my mouth before attempting to light it: Sparks, but no fire. "Shit," I groan out loud, shaking the lighter and trying again. Nothing.
"Need a Light?" asks a familiar deep voice from behind me. I hadn't heard him approaching, but there was Loki in all his glory. His thick arms crossed over his chest; a smirk spread across his face. I quickly looked away. Pull yourself together. I couldn't be gawking at him like every other fucking girl in this god-forsaken town.
"Please," I finally reply.
Wordlessly, he flicked open the zippo holding it out for me. I leaned in, gently brushing my fingers with his hand, the touch causing sparks to ignite over my skin.
Promptly I pulled away, inhaling deeply, look anywhere but at him. "Thank you," I mutter, smoke pooling from my mouth. He didn't say anything. A shiver ran down my spine as I felt him move beside me, leaning on the railing. I took another drag looking out at the garden.
"I saw you, by the way."
"When?" I ask, not looking at him.
"After I had gotten out of the shower. You were staring," Loki baited. I looked back at him, forcing my face to stay expressionless.
"No, I wasn't. Why would I look at you? You're practically family," I defended, pretended to be repulsed by the idea.
"Good, because I would hate to have to give you the talk. Shit, I wouldn't even know how to start," Loki remarked, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Trust me. I don't need the talk. I've had enough experiences with fuck boys," I admitted.
"I didn't know you were dating... If you need me to go kick some guys head in, let me know."
"Did Loki Morganstar just offer to do something nice for another human being?" I joked, looking up at him as if he had lost his mind. He chuckled, throwing his cigarette butt.
"You're Adam's sister. I know he would do the same for mine. Just don't tell anybody, or people will think I've gone soft" He grinned, I returned his smile. The back door burst open. Like we had been caught doing something we shouldn't, we both jumped back.
"We should head out," Adam declares, looking pointedly between up. I nodded, darting back inside before he could say more. I found Storm in the garage. Her arms crossed over her chest.
"Hey," I said, giving her a reassuring smiled.
"You smell like smoke." She cringed, wrinkling up her nose.
"I put spray in your bag." Storm rapidly fished it out before spraying me a little too excessively. The boys returning a second later, Loki clenching and unclenching his jaw. Something he only did when he was pissed off. I looked over to my brother, who too, had a hard look in his eyes. Interesting.
"Only one of you will fit in the van with me. The other can ride with Loki."
"Fine. I'll ride with you," I told Adam, walk to the passenger side.
"No!" Storm squealed in protest, "Please don't make me get on the back of that death trap! I've seen the way he drives." Loki chuckled, earning him a glare from both of us.
"Fine! I'll ride with Satan. You go with Adam," I volunteer.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" She beamed, practically jumping up and down with relief. Adam and Strom piled into the van, giving us a quick wave before driving off. I sighed, watching them disappear out of sight before reluctantly turning my gaze to Loki. He was leaning on his Harley. A tight-fitting leather jacket appeared from nowhere, a half-smile on his lips. "Satan?"
"Like I'm the first girl that's ever called you that!" I shot back. He considered, nodding his head, still smiling.
"Have you been on a bike before?" Loki asks, putting on his helmet, the visor raised.
"No," I admitted.
"I'll be gentle." Loki picked up a spare helmet from the shelf, but Instead of passing it to me, like a normal person, he pushed my hair back from my shoulders, slid it onto my head, and strapping it under my neck. The gesture felt uncomfortable, and I was glad that he could no longer see my face. He stepped back, swinging a long muscled leg over the bike and turned the key; the motorcycle roared to life. I followed suit behind him, holding down my dress as I straddle his bike.
"Hold on to me," he instructed, his voice deep and husky. Gingerly I placing my hands on his sides. Loki chuckled to himself. Guiding my hands around his waist tighter. Then the bike was lurching forward, out of the driveway and onto the main road. With a roar from the engine, we were speeding away. I held on to Loki tighter, pressing my helmet against his shoulder, squeezing my eyes shut. Everywhere my body touched his, heat flared.
After a while, I started to enjoy the feeling of the wind nipping at my skin. The freedom and feel of each corner as the bike tore through the open streets. I opened my eyes, a grin on my face from ear to ear. I felt alive.