Chapter 8 - Prank Wars
Troublemaker. Noun. A person who habitually causes difficulty or problems, especially by inciting others to defy authority.
Person: Alexander Youngblood.
Inciting: Aurora Maxwell.
Mission: Give Zach’s car a makeover.
I tiptoe down the stairs. Once I have reached the last step, I fist pump the air and do a victory dance. You know when actors knock over things when they’re trying to be quiet in movies? Yeah, that always happens to me whenever I sneak out.
However, this time I didn’t expect to bump into the side table and nearly knock a vase over. I bite my lip hard to stifle the scream that is about to escape, steadying it quickly. Sighing in relief, I hurry across the lounge room, glancing around me. I had stayed over at the Valentines place so it would be easier to meet up with Alex as he lives close by.
Apparently, Alex and his friend Zach have been pranking each other for years and now it’s Alex’s turn. He had asked me if I wanted to help him last night and I had agreed eagerly.
Of course, an occasion like this calls for complete camouflage. I’m dressed in all black and my dark hair serves to be a gigantic plus. Closing the door softly behind me, I crouch and jog lightly across the driveway. Noticing a light turn on in one of the bedroom’s, I roll behind the wall once I slip through the gates and bowl someone over. Scrambling back, I start smacking the body, a whisper-scream escaping me.
″Quit it woman! It’s me, Alex!″ The boy shoves me back, grabbing my arms.
″Holy shit, you scared the crap out of me!″ I breath as he pulls me up.
He guides me down the road, looking back at me and grinning. ″You have the stuff?″
″Yeah. Right here.″ I smile, patting the backpack on my shoulders.
He laughs and turns back, his hand gripping mine as we cross the street. I look at what he’s wearing; all black, just like me. He’s clad in a t-shirt, sweatpants and trainers whereas I’m wearing my skinny jeans, converses and a tank top with my hoodie zipped up.
I jump over a wall and run across the fields, following Alex ahead. He holds out his hand once we reach the tree line and I grab it, gasping at the spark of pain from my wrist when I pant. It’s still healing from the men who had thrown me in the cells.
I pull my hood back up and rub my wrist to alleviate the pain somehow. Alex looks back at me in concern and I nod to him reassuringly. He guides me through the woods, I don’t know how he can see through the darkness; I would surely get lost if he wasn’t here.
We soon arrive in the other part of the town that is near a river. After what seems like years, we finally reach a decent looking neighborhood. There are two story houses everywhere with the cliche white picket fences and all that jazz. Alex lets out a snicker when we halt in front of house number twenty-three. There stands the untouched car of Zach, unbeknownst to what lies in its very near future.
We make our way to it quietly, constantly checking for any sign of movement or light. When there is none, we get to work on our masterpiece. Taking the packs of colored sticky notes out of my backpack along with a few permanent markers, I throw some to Alex before ripping the packet open and sticking them on one by one to the cool metal. A different color for a different car part. We work in silence, short bursts of laughter escaping us at the hilarity of the situation. His friend is probably fast asleep in bed and here we are, giving his beloved car a temporary makeover.
Eventually, we finish and meet up at the front of the car. I look at Alex in confusion when he pulls something out of his pocket and sticks it under the windscreen wipers. He winks, showing me what exactly he’s doing making me grin maniacally. Zach is going to see rainbows if he turns them on.
I step back and take out my phone, capturing the car in all its colorful glory before catching up with Alex who is headed back to the start of the neighborhood. We’re like giddy teenagers as we laugh and talk to each other about how tomorrow morning will turn out.
This time though, Alex takes a different route and the sight of the familiar woods greets me, dark and scary. I hesitate but he pulls me along regardless, unaware that I’m freaking out inside. I remember how these woods will lead to a clearing where Vulcan lives, what I don’t get is why nobody attacks us like they did to me.
Making our way on the edge of the land with Alex supposedly having night vision, we are halfway through the mass of trees when a figure jumps out in front of us. My loud, shrill scream echoes in the quiet night, shuffling closer to Alex’s body as he slowly moves his flashlight up.
″What the hell are you doing? Just point it at the face!″ I yell, slapping his back.
He smacks my arm before pointing the flashlight up. I sigh in relief when I see the familiar person and stumble forward, holding my hand to my heart.
″Vulcan?″ I breathe, moving to stand in front of Alex who has become unusually quiet. ″What are you doing out here so late?″
″Shouldn’t I be asking you that? You’re the one trespassing on my land.″ He replies gruffly, walking over to where I stand. “Alexander.”
They both nod at each other but my attention is solely on him. His voice makes me feel all giddy inside and I scream at my brain to stop feeling this way towards him. He can have any girl he wants with that handsome face of his. Why would he ever be interested in me?
″You didn’t want me to leave the last time I was here.″ I whisper, smirking as I stand my ground.
He steps closer to me, his figure towering above as he looks down at me with dark eyes. Something sizzles between us, like flames crackling on open fire. “Была бы моя воля, ты была бы у меня дома. Где тебе и место.” He whispers in a foreign language. (If I had my way, you would be at my house. Where you belong.)
“That’s great, now could you say that again but in English?” I huff, curious to know what he had said.
My breath hitches in my throat when his hand moves to my cheek before I let it out in disappointment when he shakes his head and steps back. We stand there for what seems like hours, lost in each other’s eyes when a loud, obnoxious cough snaps us both out of it and I back away a few steps. I glare at Alex who looks at us both in confusion but wiggles his eyebrows in a teasing manner as soon as he notices my glare.
″We need to go, Rory.″ He laughs, walking up to me. With the way both men stare at each other, it’s as if they know each other well.
″Go where? Why are you two out this late?″ Vulcan asks from behind as I fall in step with Alex. His voice is serious with concern laced with it, he looks troubled about something.
I turn around and grin up at him before it falters. ″We uh...we had some business to take care of.″
Vulcan looks at me pointedly with an raised brow and I sigh in defeat. He has a look that says ‘I’m not going to let you leave until you tell me.’ Or maybe it’s ‘Tell me or else I’ll bury you on my land.’ Yeah, it’s probably the latter, I think to myself.
″WeprankedAlex’sfriend!″ I rush out, looking up at him with wide eyes.
He sighs, running a hand through his brown hair that looks almost black in the night. ″Alright. Say that again and this time slowly.″
″We pranked Alex’s friend and now we’re on our way home.″ I mumble, looking down at my shoes as if I’m a child who has been caught.
″Any legitimate reason?″ He tips my chin up, a look I can’t decipher in his eyes.
″Yes.” I nod, realizing he wants me to elaborate. “He dyed Alex’s hair bright pink so we had to get him back.”
″Моя дорогая.″ Vulcan groans, rubbing a hand down his face. ″It’s not safe to be out here at night, you shouldn’t have come with Alex just to prank someone.″ (My darling.)
″Well, I wanted to go, plus Alex is with me so I’m safe.” I reason, looking up at him.
His gaze is fixated on my lips, green eyes dark. Suddenly, he intertwines our fingers and pulls me towards his house, nodding at Alex to follow. I stare at his large hand that has completely engulfed my own, spreading heat to every nerve. I look back up in confusion to find him staring at me as we walk.
Unknowingly, I squeeze his hand tighter as I look around at the surrounding forest, an uneasy feeling settling at the pit of my stomach. The memory of being taken by the men and thrown into a cell is still fresh in mind. I had almost forgotten about it before my brain decided it would be great fun to bring it up again...right when I’m walking through those very woods.
I watch as Alex overtakes us from behind and walks ahead, weirdly knowing exactly where to go in this maze of trunks and leaves. Clutching my hoodie closer to me, I suppress the shivers that are begging to run free over my body. Vulcan looks back with an unknown expression on his face once he notices me looking around the forest in fear.
He pulls me to him and tucks me into his side. “They won’t hurt you again, Aurora. Я обещаю. (I promise.)
“I know, I know. They’re locked away but I still get paranoid sometimes, I can’t help it. I mean, I shouldn’t be -” I ramble making him shut me up by placing his hands on my hips and squeezing tightly.
Losing myself in the depth of his beautiful green eyes, I unknowingly push myself closer until my face is near his shoulder, our lips just a breath away from meeting. My heart beats loudly in my chest when Vulcan pulls my hood back and tucks my hair behind one ear.
I watch as he bites his lip before cursing under his breath, it seems like there is an internal battle raging in his dark eyes. He lowers his head and looks up at me before kissing my cheek softly, then kissing the corner of my lips making me gasp in surprise. His lips then trail a path of fire from my lips to the base of my neck before he stops and nuzzles his nose into the crook of my neck.
″What was that for?″ I whisper, my voice breathless.
He shrugs, pulling away to look at me. ″You look beautiful in the moonlight.″
I stare at him before I nod. ″Oh...well I think you’re beautiful too.″ The second I say that my eyes widen to the size of saucers. ″Wait, no! T-That’s not what I meant. Crap, I m-mean, not that you aren’t handsome, you are but what I meant was that uh...can you forget that?″ I ask softly, looking up at him through my lashes.
His body shakes as he laughs quietly. Biting on his lip again, he shakes his head before he lets chuckles escape him. My cheeks flame a hot red in embarrassment making a groan escape me.
″Stop laughing at me!″ I whine, slapping his chest.
Vulcan laughs quietly before entangling his fingers in my hair and pulling me forward. He skims his lips from my temple to the corner of my lips again and places a feather-like kiss on the curve of my neck.
“Ты чертовски милая.″ He murmurs, pulling back and tucking away a hair that has escaped. (You’re so damn cute)
We resume walking with him refusing to let go of me. Trust me, I try to escape his hold but it only results in him tightening it further. Soon, we meet up with Alex who is sitting on the steps of Vulcan’s house. I assume, Vulcan is taking us home and my suspicions are confirmed when he motions for Alex to get in and pulls me to the passenger side.
He backs up the car and drives onto the smooth tarmac that leads out of the vast land. To fully exit, it takes us quite a while but soon we reach the highway that will lead us back to home. I listen as Alex gives Vulcan the directions to his house as we near the neighborhood and finally arrive at the familiar two-story house. Alex bids us goodbye and tells me he’ll meet me at school tomorrow before sneaking around the side of his house, climbing up a tree and slipping into his bedroom with one last wave. His mother would kill him if she saw him coming back so late at night.
A yawn escapes my lips as Vulcan backs out of the driveway and onto the road. It’s quiet for a long while but it isn’t awkward. I mumble out directions to my apartment but soon realize that he already knows the way to my house, my eyes closing of their own accord as I lean my head back on the headrest.
Damon and my friends live really close to each other and are only a few streets away. It’s a major plus on weekdays when we have to wake up for school if I’m ever staying at their house, otherwise my own apartment is a twenty-minute drive away from everyone.
Vulcan parks in an available space on the side of the road, leaving the engine running. I guess that’s my cue to leave. When I move to open the door, there’s this feeling inside me, almost as if I’m sad to be away from him. What is this man doing to me? I groan mentally. Plastering on a smile, I look back at him only to find him looking straight ahead with his jaw clenched and knuckles white as he grips the steering wheel tightly. Holy shit, he’s going to be the death of me someday if I find his anger sexy.
“I’ll see you later, thanks for the ride.” I rush, hopping out of the car.
Closing the door of the car, I have just stepped up to my door and taken out my keys when I’m turned and gently pushed up against it. Surprised, I look up at Vulcan who stares down at me, dark green eyes with specks of burning gold. I marvel at the sight of them both in awe and confusion as to how his eyes are gold!
I blink when a raindrop lands on my lashes, looking up to see it starting to rain slightly. Vulcan rests his arms on either side of me, pushing in closer and invading my personal space, making his cologne overpower my senses. I almost sigh at the woodsy, masculine scent with a hint of fresh mint.
“W-what are you d-doing?” I stammer, placing my hands on his chest to push him back.
He takes my hands in his, intertwining them before resting them on the door frame behind me. “I want something from you.”
“You’re a thief?!” I gasp, raindrops landing on my face and sliding down my cheeks. “I d-don’t have any money on me so l-let me go!”
I’m lying, of course. There are ten dollars in the back pocket of my jeans and I’m sure as hell not giving it to him! Looking back up to him, I watch as he frowns at me, disbelief in his eyes.
“I don’t want your money.”
“Is it my car then, because you know that’s gone for repair. You can’t have my laptop either because I use it for assignments – actually take that, I’ll have an excuse and –”
“Can I kiss you?” Vulcan interrupts, cutting off my rambling and effectively my air supply once I hear what he asks.
I inwardly hyperventilate. He wants to kiss me...as in Aurora Maxwell? This Adonis of a man who can have any woman he wants, is asking to kiss me?
“I uh...no, you cannot.” I blink.
He steps forward, impossibly close to me now. We’re nose to nose, chest to chest, our breaths mingling in the cold air as we stare at each other. Rain pelts down on us, soaking our skin and making our clothes cling to our bodies, yet all I feel is the warmth radiating from his body. He runs a hand through his hair but that doesn’t stop the strands from hanging back down onto his forehead. My hand itches to touch them, making me steel myself.
“And why not?” He asks, almost angry.
His husky voice still manages to reach my ears through the downpour. Looking at the empty street to my right, I refuse to reply, too embarrassed at my own inexperience with boys. But he doesn’t give up, I feel him press his body fully against mine making me gasp in surprise at the sparks and tingles that dance on my skin in glee over our bodies making contact.
“Aurora,” He starts dangerously, watching my eyes meet his. “I’ll kiss you right now if you don’t answer my question.”
“Um...daddy said that boys have cooties?” I smile cheekily, hoping he will take that as a valid reason not to kiss me. Who am I kidding, I’m insane.
He presses closer to me, making me bite my lip at the heat that spreads through my body from his touch. His lashes are wet as he gazes at me, a look so intense and almost pleading that it has me wanting to throw caution to the wind and jump him. His lips are suddenly on my cheek, feather light as they trail across my skin to hover near my ear. His voice is a sinfully tempting and husky murmur in the wind when he speaks. “Then let me prove to you that daddy’s wrong, baby.”
Oh. Fuck. I’m pretty sure my ovaries just exploded and that’s just because of his voice, I don’t even want to find out what will happen to my heart if he kisses me. Regardless, I want to pull him inside my apartment when my mind registers his words.
“I think I’ll trust my dad rather than you, thanks. How about you take you and your cooties back home?” I chirp, turning around to unlock my door only to be pushed against the wall.
“How about I shut your smart mouth up?” He suggests with an underlying meaning to his words, pinning my wrists to the door above my head.
“Great! McDonald’s should still be open, order me a Big Mac with chips, will you?”
He glowers at me, green eyes flashing dangerously at my smirk. His eyes shift and already anticipating his next move, I whip my head to the right when he pushes forward to kiss me, only for his lips to land on my cheek. Growling in anger, his head dips down but I turn my head to the left just in time for his lips to meet my cheek again. I gasp when he grips my chin with one hand, holding me in place with a cocky smirk on his lips, his eyes taunting me now that I’m stuck.
“Ugh!” I push him away, successfully. “I have never been kissed before, happy? This is so embarrassing. God, you are so persistent, why can’t you just let –” I’m cut off by his lips pressing to mine, a surprised whimper escaping me as he pulls me into his arms.
I freeze for a minute before hesitantly wrapping my arms around his neck and kissing him back, hoping that I’m doing it right. He coaxes my lips, licking my bottom lip before biting down on it. The kiss is perfectly sweet and slow, the rain pouring down on us long forgotten. He bites down gently on my bottom lip and pulls, making me gasp which serves as an opportunity for him to slip his tongue into my mouth. I hear him groan which is followed by my moan when he pulls me closer, as if our bodies pressed together isn’t close enough.
The intensity that we once started off with soon dims to him pecking my lips repeatedly, as if he can’t get enough, and I find myself pulling away for breath. He doesn’t stop though, his lips continue to trail a path of fire down my neck before coming up to peck my lips once more. Our breaths escape in harsh pants, foreheads pressed against each other and our eyes closed. A soft smile paints my lips at the realization of Vulcan being my first kiss. Safe to say my heart is beating in overdrive right now.
“You sure you haven’t been kissed before?” Vulcan smirks at me, chuckling when I nod shyly before tapping my lips. “Remember, only I get to kiss these lips of yours. Understand?”
I look up at him with wide eyes before nodding in a daze, blinking away the raindrops that fall on my lashes. He groans, cursing under his breath before leaning down to peck my lips once more...and again...and again before I finally push him away, giggling. I feel the cold wind brush my lips as soon as he backs away, making me shiver at the loss of contact.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” He murmurs, tucking away a wet strand of hair behind my ear before walking back to his car.
He waits until I’m safely inside before I hear the sound of the engine fade away into the distance. Locking the door, I turn on the lights before leaning my forehead against the wood. I’m giddy inside as I raise my hand to brush my lips, they’re still tingling. The very same lips that have just been kissed by Vulcan Romanov.
Dare I say I want more?