The night is still young and she feels so suffocated inside her house hence the reason why she’s on the street walking to the supermarket near her apartment complex in Copse Hill.
It just a sudden act of her, one that she can count on her finger - she decided to buy liquor for the first time but the cashier holds it, telling her that they don’t let a minor buy something like that. She is about to argue that she’s old enough when someone from behind joins their conversation.
“I’ll buy it for you.”
She’s looked to see who it is and see a handsome guy with striking black eyes but he seems to be out of place for he is wearing a black formal suit with a matching black tie.
“There’s no need.” she bluntly declines.
“I insist.” and he gave his grocery with his card. The cashier accepts it without any argument. She just raises her eyebrows at the cashier and when she saw her action, the cashier looks down with a blush on her face.
She smirks, she can’t find fault in the cashier’s action for the guy in front of them is devilishly gorgeous and his aura speaks of wealth and power. The reason why he is in this place intrigues her more.
After waiting for their purchase to be finish, she faces the stranger and held her hand. He looks surprised but realization dawn on him and he gave her the drink. She gives her thanks and extended a hand with the amount that he pays to the cashier a while ago.
“But I insist. It’s your money and I don’t want to have a favor to someone that I didn’t even know.”
“I will not accept it and that’s final,” he said with finality in his voice.
‘Bossy but what do I expect from someone like him. I think he’s the kind of guy that gets everything they want with a snap of a finger.’ she talked to herself and when she looked up, he’s gone.
After thinking for a while and looking for him at the same time, she finally found him.
“Wait, ” she yells but he doesn’t even stop. She runs to him and grabs his arm.
“Can you stop for a second? ” she said, catching her breath. This guy is walking too fast to her liking. She is not a sporty person so for her to run with only a meters away, her breath came in a pant. “Instead of paying you back, why don’t you come with me and have a drink.” she boldly said, looking at him directly in the eyes.
At first, she thinks that he will decline but he astounds her by agreeing.
“If that is what you want, let’s go,” he said and motion for her to lead the way.
She knows that she is being bold to invite him like that but there is something about him that attracts her, maybe it’s his eyes. They said that eyes are a window to the soul but his eyes held such dept that she subconsciously wants to discover.
She loves analyzing people based on the gesture and facial expression and she knows that this guy will do nothing to harm her - it’s her gut instincts that are talking and every time it saves her for much worse.
“Can you wait here while I’ll go and talk to my driver? ” he asked when they emerge from the supermarket.
She nods and stops on the sideline to watch him stop beside a Mercedes Benz and knock on the driver’s side, after a minute he came back to her side.
They continue their walk until they reach her apartment door. “We’re here.” she fumbled with her key until she finds the right one.
The moment they step inside the house, it became so awkward to even start a conversation.
“Please have a seat.” ’What have you done, Dara? she silently talked to herself while going to the kitchen. Now is not the time to be nervous, she did this to herself in the first place.
After everything is settled including her thundering heart, she came back to find him looking at her photo collection that displays in a corner, some are hanging on the wall.
“You’re being reckless, little girl,” he said.
“Would you believe if I say I know? If my parents are here, I will receive an earful especially from my father,” she said affectionately. Between her parents, she is a daddy’s girl but that doesn’t mean that she loved her motherless.
“Where are they?”
“My mother died when I was 16 and two years later, my father followed.”
She just nods and directs the conversation elsewhere. Her parent’s death is still a pain-filled topic for her, so she avoided talking about it as much as possible.
She is an adopted child, her real parent died in a car accident leaving her an orphan at 8 years old with no memory of her past.
Four years have passed when her memory came back to her as she got involve in a car accident that triggers her memory loss. She remembers that tragic day so vividly as if it just happened yesterday. She cried herself out in her adoptive mother’s embrace.
She still remembers how her mother pleads her to climb out of the car before the explosion happen. Her father is already dead and her mother’s legs are trap on her seat and later on, people who see the scene unfold found her meter away from the burning car with a bruise on her body.
Her real mother is Korean and her father is an American-British. She is born and raised in Boston, her parent have no close relatives as both of them are orphaned when they meet and get married, so when the accident took place and in a foreign land and with no memory of her past, the hospital after her release place her in an orphanage. All of their belonging have been consuming by the fire that swallows their car whole, so all the important parts of her identity had vanished along with her parents. They publish her photo in papers and done everything they could hoping that somebody will claim her but months had passed and there’s no one. She is grateful for them to actually care for her that much.
The orphanage named her Iris. She is shy and timid and doesn’t want to interact with other children as she herself is confused about her identity. She prefers to be alone and children being children, everyone started to get annoyed with her so they called her names. “Nobody” is one among others and she really hated that word.
“You’re just a nobody, you don’t even remember your own name but you’re acting as if you’re so important,” Caroline said she is one of the kids the orphanage raise.
“Don’t bother yourself with her, Caroline. Let’s just go and play.” Jun said, giving her an annoyed expression.
She just remains silent and doesn’t say a thing.
Two years pass, a British couple visited the orphanage and adopted her. She didn’t know why they took a liking to her but she is really grateful deep inside.
A year later when she is 11 years old, they move to Essex as her father got a job transfer to his hometown which brings joy to both of them.
Her adoptive parent belongs to a large household and everyone welcome her with open arms. She gains herself a warm and wonderful family to cherish for the rest of her life. When her memory comes back, she wishes for her adoptive parents to get her real name back. They didn’t change her name when they adopt her, they just add one more and their last name, she goes by the name of Iris Candyd McKay.
Her name is the only real thing from her parent and she knows base on her mother stories that she and her father argue many times about the name that she will carry for the rest of her life, until one day, they came with a name that both of them really like. When she is calm enough after her outburst, she tells them everything.
Her parents keep to themselves and don’t interact with anybody, they don’t have a close friend, and the house that she grows up with is only on a rental basis. They are on their way to a city hours drive away from Boston, where they will reside when the accident took place. They don’t leave anything behind in Boston, she doesn’t have many close friends either. Being shy and timid remain on her even if her memory is erased.
They did everything to get her real name back and with the help of one of her uncles, she retains her name when she reaches the age of fifteen. Her uncle also manages to get all her documents with the same name...Dara Ross Mckay. The only thing her adoptive parents request in her is for her to use their last name.
A touch to her arm brought her back to the present.
“Are you alright?” the stranger asks.
Up until now, they didn’t introduce themselves to each other, they seem to forget that important matter.
“Yes, I’m sorry for spacing out like that.”
“That is quite alright.” he looks at her directly in the eyes as if he is reading her like a book.
She doesn’t know what happen but suddenly she found herself engaged in a kiss. They are kissing each other hungrily. His lips move expertly with her own. When he nips her lower lip, asking for an entrance, she willingly obliges and opens her mouth. His tongue swept instantly inside of her own, exploring everything within it. She can’t help the moan that escapes her when the stranger left her lips for a second to breathe and immediately return to kiss her but now with more aggressiveness.
The sadness in her eyes is too much for him and he did one thing to direct her mind to something else, he kisses her with wild abandon. The moment his lips touch her, everything in him set on fire. It is a first for him, to be affected by a mere kiss.
After she granted him an opening, he takes her hungrily like a madman who starves with water in the middle of a dessert. His attraction to her is so intense that he felt it for the first time in a woman. It’s abnormal to feel that way for someone but he wants her and he will get her, no matter what he needed to do to make it happen.
He set her back on the wall and lift her, his arms circle her hips to support her body, and her legs circle him instantly, pressing herself on him that made him groan. With hooded eyes, he looks at her and saw that her eyes are burning with needs and that is all it takes for his last grasp in reality to collapse.
He kisses her softly and presses his forehead against her. “Are you sure?” he asks gently.
With her nod, all hell breaks loose.
He kisses her hungrily and his hand starts to explore her warm skin in her waist when her shirt lifts along with her on the wall. Her sweet mouth tastes like the finest wine he ever tasted.
When he asked her for permission, all she can do is nod as her whole being is on fire that he created.
After that confirmation, everything that happens embezzled in her mind forever.
At 8 p.m., Dara finds herself walking her way home. One of her friends invites her to a dinner that she can’t refuse.
When she round in the corner leading to her apartment, somebody called her name.
When she looked behind her, she found Mari, one of her neighbors. “Mari, good evening.”
“Good evening too, Dara. I’m on my way to your house, a good thing that we run to each other. My good for nothing husband is too lazy to grant me a little favor.” Mari said but her tone is so affectionate when her husband is mentioned.
“What is it?”
“I bake some muffins and I remember that you love this, so I just want to give you some,” she said while giving her a basket with some clothes that cover the lid.
Her smile widens, she loves muffins so much even when she is still just a child. She lifts the clothes immediately and the sweet aroma penetrates the air surrounding her.
“Thank you so much.” she happily said.
“You’re welcome, I better get going. I’m sure you’re tired, goodnight.” Mari said and head back but she just took a three-step forward when she whirled to face her again. “Before I forget, my daughter said to me earlier that she saw someone on your doorstep around 5 o’clock and I think he still there because when I go to the market, I saw him too. You better hurry and check.” and she waves before she disappears from her sight.
With a frown, she walks toward her apartment‘s gate and saw him again. Her heart accelerated with the mere sight of him, she doesn’t think that she will see him again after what happened yesterday night and when she wakes up with him nowhere in sight early in the morning today.
Her hold to the basket of muffins tightens when memories of what happens flooded her mind. She is torn between running to him or running away from him. He evokes some emotion in her that she knows will swallow her whole if she is not careful.
She still remembers her first thought when she wakes up and found him nowhere and she doesn’t want to experience it again. Before she can decide what to do, he crosses the distance between them and envelops her in his arms.
“Where were you?” he whispers in her ears and buried his face in her hair, nuzzling the crook in between her shoulder blade. “I’m going crazy waiting here, thinking of all possible scenarios that involve you.” and his hold tightens even more. He wanted to bury himself in her and be engulfed in her scent that he became addicted to.
When she tried to move from him, he makes a sound like a growl. “Please, let me go.”
“No, I miss you so much that I’m losing my mind just the thought that I will never see you again.” he cupped her face with both hands and look straight into her eyes. “You don’t know how it feels like my body and mind are in different places, you occupy my thoughts all day. Instead of the paper I’m holding, all I remember is your soft skin under my touch.” and he caresses her chin with so much care. “Instead of the drink in front of me, I’m hungry with different else.” and he kisses her hungrily.
She stilled in shock and remain passive. Everything he said is every girl’s dream but she is confused about what to believe in.
“Kiss me back, please.” he pleads, lips inches away from her. His eyes show so much vulnerability in them.
The hurt in his voice wakes her up and she just keeps her eyes on him. She doesn’t want to go so deep that she knows what will happen when she kisses him back. She is so torn inside.
His jaw tightens. He will never let her go even if she insisted, holding her to him felt so right and his erratic beating heart had calm down when he hugs her. She calms him as no one else did and he is crazy if he ever let go of someone as precious as she is.
“Please, let me go.” she pleaded.
“No matter what you say...I will never let you go. You are mine, you belong to me, and damn the seventh hell if I will let someone take you away from me even yourself.” he said to her with his eyes as darkly as the night sky.
She shivered at the threat in his voice.