Chapter one - last weekend of summer
It was the last Saturday of summer. To say I wasn't looking forward to going back to school on Monday would have been a colossal understatement. But it wasn't the classes at Lake View High that I dreaded the most, oh no! I would happily sit through triple period of Math with Mr Morris, who was literally the dullest person on earth. Only if it meant I didn't have to see any of the other students ever again. Unlucky for me, that wouldn't be an option.
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 complete 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 some me time. I turned another page of my erotic novel; it was just getting into a heated scene. I bite my lip with anticipation, smiling to myself. God, I wished men like 'Alec' existed in my real life.
A loud band had me jumped to my feet, my book crashing to the floor. "Shit!" I groan, having lost my page. I look out of my window towards whatever had made me practically have a heart attack. From my window, I could see directly into the Morganstar's house; more specifically, I could see into Loki's bedroom.
I looked over to find 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's body was still dripping with water droplets, tattoos snaking up his arms. His muscles were flexing as he runs his hand through wet floppy black hair. Loki is what I would call sinfully sexy; he was tall, dark, and handsome with that classic 'bad boy' vibe. But the worst part that he knew it too.
As if feeling my gaze, Loki began to turn toward the window. Shit! Before he could see me, I drop to the floor. I Land with a loud thump. I cringe, begged the gods that he didn't see me. He was my best friend's brother, for fuck sake! Not to mention he was a royal asswhole. 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 was my kind-of older brother; we aren't related by blood but had both been adopted into the winter's household when we were very young. It was apparent to anyone that looked at the two of us that we were not related. We looked nothing alike; 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.
Not that it mattered to us, our bond was stronger than any blood-related brother and sister, mostly since our' parents' were never around, which was why Adam had also become best mates with Loki. Adam's eyes catch mine, finding me still lying in a heap on the floor. He crossed his arms over his chest, his amused smile tugging at his lips. "What are you doing?" He questioned.
"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, give me ten," I told him. I did not wait for his reply before heading into my connecting bathroom.
"You have five!" he called after me.
Picking up my comb, I start brushing it through my silky curls, falling just below my breasts. 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 the outfit with platform ankle boots and a band hoodie before making my way downstairs.
Adam stood waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs, texting, probably his girlfriend. He didn't bother to look up at me as he pushed open the front door, letting me walk ahead before locking up the house. 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 straight inside my best friend's house without knocking. The Morganstar's were family and had an open door policy. Often I would come over, and there would be the entirety football team over, including their girlfriends.
"Hey, Nerd!" I called out to my best friend as I enter the house.
"Kitchen!" She answered, her voice much quieter than my own. I make my way into the kitchen to find Storm seated at the kitchen counter. Schoolwork spread out in front of her, a plate of cookies still steaming to her left. Mrs Morganstar, Karen, was leaning over the counter next to her daughter, Dressed in her formal business wear. Her suitcase beside the kitchen counter. I walk over, taking a seat next to Storm, helping myself to her plate of cookies.
"Hey, how are you, honey?" Karen asks, smiling at me in the same way she did her own daughter.
"Super, thanks. Though I'm not looking forward to going back to school on Monday," I reply, taking a large bite of the cookie.
"It's your first year of six forms. I bet all the kids have grown up a lot since last you saw them," Karen encourages. I nod, despite the fact I was sure nothing would have 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 contact in the city," she rolls her eyes" I would much prefer to spend my weekend with my four 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 was doing nothing to hide his broad, muscular frame, more tattoos poking out the neckline. His black eyes were locked in mine, a smirk playing on his lips—egotistical arse. I quickly avert my eyes, suddenly finding the worktop fascinating, using my hair to shield my blushing cheeks.
"Not till late on Monday evening. Your father's trip has been extended as well till Wednesday," Karen answered. Everyone seems oblivious to whatever had passed between Loki and me. "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," Karen remarked. Storm shot me a look of pure panic, which almost had me bursting out with laughter. I, for one, would love to go; it wouldn't be my first concert my brother had taken me to. I loved music, dancing, and drinking. Even if I wasn't technically of age to drink yet, their band' Chaos Wings' was a small up-and-coming local band; it would be a small gig.
"You want me to bring my little sister to our gig? At The Crescent Moon?" Loki countered, raising a brow at his mother.
"Yes! I don't see what the problem is?" Karen asked, looking to Adam. The reasonable one. I shot my brother a pleading look.
"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 I can ask Alisa as well. She's working the bar tonight," Adam agreed. Loki agreeing as well, though he looked anything but pleased.
"Great! Well, I best be heading out. You guys have fun and behave!" Karen concluded before heading out for her trip. Adam and Loki wandered off probably to start sorting out their equipment for tonight. When they were out of earshot, Storm turned to me. Her eyes wide, and the panic evident on her face.
"Please tell me that we are not going with them tonight!" Storm squealed.
"Oh my god, woman, chill!" I urged, "It's just a small gig at the local. You have been in their loads of times."
"Not at night, Surrounded by loud music and drunks! It's going to be so crowded," She wined, her leg bouncing up and down nervously.
"Relax! You will have me with you the whole time. I promise you it will be so much fun," I told her, offering my pinky finger. She nodded, taking a deep breath before reaching out with her own. I grin, pleased that Storm was such a pushover.
"Now, let's find you something else to wear!" I exclaim excitedly before dragging her upstairs and into her room. I let go of Storm and walk into her closet. I Groan at the sight of her boring, bland clothes: baggy jumpers, long straight dresses, and endless amounts of trousers.
Thirty minutes later, I finally find something that we could both agree on—high-waisted denim shorts, knee-high socks, a short-sleeved crop top, and converses. Storm looked cute. She kept on her wide framed glasses; her short hair was left loose around her shoulders and a hint of makeup. Storm insisted on grabbing herself a cardigan and slung her satchel over one shoulder; I added a couple of my things to her bag before making our way downstairs.
The boys had finished loading up their equipment into the back of Adam's van. We found them Spreading out on the sofa, a couple of boxes of pizza 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, closing my eyes; a small moan escaped my lips. It tasted so good! When I open my eyes again, I could see Loki still watching me. A feral look in his eyes, nostrils flared. Jesus, he was such a caveman.
"Adam, please, can I have a slice?" Storm asks my brother sweetly, her eyelashes fluttering.
"Oh, course Hun. Unlike your brother, I know how to share," Adam grinned. Loki flipped him off before inhaling another slice. Storm grabbed a portion of BBQ chicken, sitting on the floor with her back to the sofa. I focused on the TV as I ate my slice while the others talked. The rerun of friends was the one I had seen a million times yet still was able to make me laugh. When I finish my slice, I reached over Loki for another. Despite Loki's warning growl, I took it, sticking out my tongue at him. He gave me the middle finger, moving the box once more. I let out a small giggle before taking a bite. My eyes were once again glued to the screen.
"We are gonna need to head out in a few so we can set up," Adam explained, "but before we do, I need to set some ground rules."
"Okay, Dad," I teased, rolling my eyes.
"I'm serious, Sis. 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. "It's going to be loud, crowded, and people are going to be drinking. Just stay where I can see you...and for fuck sake, don't encourage some random guy."
"So little faith, brother," I snap back.
"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.
"I don't care; you're still my little sister," Adam countered. I roll my eyes at him before getting to my feet.
"I'm going for a smoke," I declare, taking out my smokes and a lighter from Storms bag before strolling out the backdoor.
Taking a deep breath of the outside air, it was still warm out, despite the summer coming to an end. The sun was only just starting to set. I walked over to the railing, popping a cigarette in my mouth before attempting to light it: Spark, but no fire. "Shit," I groan out loud. I shook the lighter, trying once more. Nothing.
"Need a Light?" a familiar deep voice asked from behind me. I spun on my heels, startled. I hadn't heard him approaching, but there was Loki in all his glory. Despite my platforms, he was still a fair amount taller than me. His thick arms crossed over his chest, black eyes locked in mine. A smirk spread across his face. I quickly looked away. Pull yourself together for fuck sack! She is your best friend's brother and Adam's best mate. I couldn't be gawking at him like every other fucking girl in this god-forsaken town.
"Please," I finally reply.
Loki took the cigarette from behind his ear and popped it into his mouth, pulling out his Zippo from the pocket of his jeans before lighting it. Then, wordlessly, he held it out to me. I leaned in, gently brushing my fingers with his hand as I lit my own, our eyes locking. Sparks ignite over my skin at the brief touch.
I pulled away, inhaling the smoke deeply, making sure to 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. The Morganstar's garden was more extensive than our own; a trampoline, chair swing, chair set, and pool filling the space.
"I saw you, by the way," Loki teased, breaking the silence that had fallen between us.
"What?" I ask, still avoiding looking at him.
"After I had gotten out of the shower. You were staring at me with your mouth practically hitting the floor," Loki baited. I finally looked at him forcing my face to stay blank, a sexy, cocky grin on his lips.
"No, I wasn't. Why would I look at you? You're practically family for fuck sack," I defended, pretended to be repulsed by the idea. Loki's arm brushed against mine, causing sparks to fly between us. Neither of us is moving away.
"Good, because I would hate to have to give you the talk. To have to warn you about guys like me. Shit, I wouldn't even know how to start," Loki remarked, rubbing the back of his neck before taking another drag. I let out another cloud of smoke, taking another drag, biding my time before I finally answer him.
"Trust me. I don't need the talk. I've had enough experiences with fuck boys to figure it out all on my own," I admitted.
"I didn't know you were dating," he remarked thoughtfully, silence falling between us. It wasn't an awkward one, comfortable as we both smoked deep in thought. Loki breaking the silence, "If you need me to go kick some kid's head in, let me know," he offered.
"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 go round telling anybody, or people will think I've gone soft" He grinned, I returned his smile. Just then, the back door burst open, and for some reason, we both jumped back from each other guiltily. Like we had been caught doing something we shouldn't when in reality we had just been talking. It was probably the most civil conversation we had ever had. Adam looked at us, an amused look in his eyes before clearing his throat.
"We should head out," He told us, still eyeing us curiously though he didn't bother to comment on it. I nodded, walking past my brother quickly to avoid his accusing eyes, leaving the guys alone. I found Storm standing by the garage door. 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 shook my head rolling my eyes at her.
"I put spray in your bag," I told her. Storm quickly fished it out before spraying me with it, a little too excessively. The boys finally came back through the house, 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. I wondered what got them all fired up.
"Only one of you will fit in the van with me," Adam remarked, making his way through the garage and towards his van. "The other can ride with Loki."
"What, on his bike?" Storm and I both asked in sync.
"Yes," Adam said simply.
"Why can't we take Scarlett's car?" Storm proposed shyly. I nodded in agreement.
"We only have one space reserved at the pub; there's going to be nothing else nearby. I'm not having you two walk several blocks back in the dark," Adam stated.
"Fine!" I'll ride with you," I told Adam. I Walk toward the passenger side of his van.
"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. Storm looked back at me; her eyes, pleading, I rolled my eyes at her.
"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 looking back at Loki. He was leaning on his Harley, a tight-fitting leather jacket having appeared from nowhere, a half-smile on his lips. "Satan?" He asked, snickering.
"Like I'm the first girl that's ever called you that!" I shot back. He considered, nodding his head, smiling. Only six months ago, Barbie had been screaming at him in the middle of the school hallway, maraca running down her cheeks.
"Have you been on a bike before?" Loki asks me, putting on his matt black helmet the gold visor raised.
"No," I admitted.
"I'll be gentle," He teased. He took out a spare helmet from the shelf. This one was also matt black but had red trim and dark tinted visor. Instead of passing it to me, like an average person, he gently pushed my hair back from my shoulders and slid it onto my head, strapping it under my neck. The gesture felt uncomfortable, and I was glad that he could no longer see my face. He cleared his throat before swinging a long muscled leg over the bike. He turned the key; the motorcycle roared to life. I followed suit behind him, making sure to keep my dress from flashing him and my hands to myself as I straddle the bike.
"Hold on to me," he instructed, his voice deep and husky. I sucked in a breath before placing my hands gingerly on his sides. Loki chuckled to himself. Moving my hands, he guided my hands around his waist. Before I could pull away, Loki had kicked out the stand, and the bike was lurching forward. I squealed as we pulled out of the driveway and onto the main road.
Then 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 erupted off me. My heart was hammering and my breath uneven.
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. I let out a loud whoop of excitement. Loki responds by pushing the bike faster, leaning into the corners deeper. My hands were gripping low on his waist. I was sure he could feel the heat of my body seeping through the thin fabric of my clothes. We were going way over the speed limit at this point, so it didn't take long before Adam's van came into our sight. Being the competitive man he was, Loki overtook them, leaving them in the dust behind us.