Fornever (Book 2)

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Cut The Ties

“I’m leaving in a day or two.” Marie reminded her before it slipped her mind.

“So soon?” Lily asked.

Marie shrugged. “Shawn is pretty eager about it. I have submitted the transfer papers. I’ll be off as soon as Ezra signs those.”

“Don’t forget us, little brat.”

Marie poked her tongue out and Sam snorted.

“You’re not gonna get rid of me that fast. You poor souls.”

Lily smiled and sipped her coffee. The cafe was relatively calm that day. It could also be the gentle pace of her heart after so long. Something had changed. She couldn’t pinpoint it.

“Is that...” Sam looked past her shoulder with a frown which morphed into a grin soon. “Yo, Dave. Kyne. Here!”

Lily stilled for a mili second. The last time she had seen Dave, it wasn’t pretty. Their friendship didn’t last long because she forgot to reach out even though he was proven innocent. It made her wonder if she had lost touch with herself. It wasn’t like her to leave friends behind.

“Thank the moon goddess, you’re here.” Kyne groaned and plopped on the chair beside Sam.

Dave hesitated before occupying the chair beside Lily. There was an odd, awkward air around them but they both pretended it wasn’t there. Lily shook his hand and that was it.

“Why do you sound like ripped jeans?” Marie mocked.

Kyne rolled his eyes then slumped. “How do you know how ripped jeans sound?”

“Because my fat ass rips jeans on a daily basis.”

“You call that fat?” Dave quirked a brow.

Marie waved him off. “Fat enough for me but that’s beside the point. What’s up with this genius?”

Kyne palmed his face and peeked at her through his fingers. “Stacey is driving me nuts, screws, nails and everything else.”

The others stared. Kyne sighed. “Pregnant women should have a separate asylum.”

Marie and Sam burst out laughing and high high fived.

“That’s your woman and baby you’re talking about.” Lily pointed out.

“Bruh, I know and I love them to death but mood swings, food swings, anxiety swings, panic swings, anger swings and pee swings are all new to me. At this point I feel more pregnant than she is.”

Dave clicked his tongue. “Get used to it. The rest of your army is yet to come.”

“Don’t remind me until I’ve had a strong cup of coffee.”

Lily stood up. “I’ll get you boys coffee. Anything else?”

“Two croissants, please.” Kyne made the peace sign with his fingers.

Staying immobile for a few extended seconds, Lily contemplated whether or not to talk with Dave. This was the least he deserved so she took a deep breathe and turned to him.

“Mind helping me out?”

Dave looked up in confusion. “Me?”

“Yeah.”

“...sure...”

The little distance from their table to the kitchen was awkward. Kandra already had the coffee machine running and Sabrina was about to exit with a tray in her hands when she noticed Dave and exchanged a pleasant smile with him.

“Nice seeing you here, Dave.”

Dave winked at her playfully, “Likewise.”

Sabrina chuckled and shook her head before disappearing into the cafe. Lily pulled out two mugs and placed them on the counter.

“You guys know each other?”

Dave dug his hands in his front pockets. “Yup.”

The atmosphere between them got thicker as time progressed. Lily prepared their coffee in silence, hoping he’d bring up what happened. When he stood there like a rock, she sighed.

“I’m sorry.”

He seemed like he didn’t expect an apology from her. “Uh... it’s okay.”

“I’m really... not good with trusting people.”

Dave scratched his forehead with his thumb. “I can see that. It’s fine. It’s not like we were best friends or something–”

“You were a good friend.”

Dave paused then pursed his lips. “Not good enough, I guess.”

Lily turned to face him with her sincerity on her sleeve. “There was a lot going on, Dave. Still is but I get it, the way I reacted was unfair. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not mad or upset, Lily.” Dave shrugged. “I was the one who started whatever this was not you. Expecting you to have blind trust in me was stupid. No hard feelings.”

Lily stared at him thoughtfully, “Why me?”

Curious, she scrutinized his reaction. He was the one who approached her. Perhaps it was stupid of her to assume that he had reasons other than basic friendship. Reciprocal was out of the question. She had considered him a friend. A good one at that but her romantic fantasies were, unfortunately, limited.

“Out of empathy, I would say.”

Lily frowned.

“I knew about you and Ezra. The rejection and whole drama.”

“And...?”

Dave bit his bottom lip and rubbed the back of his neck in visible discomfort. “I can relate.”

The frown on her face evaporated. “You mean–”

“Yeah. Keeping her legs close was harder than commitment. That’s why I left my pack and came here.”

Her silence that followed, Dave considered that maturity. He had too many people pitying him. It was refreshing to receive the wordless sympathy from her. As if she knew he’s not a glass doll and he’s stronge enough to live through it.

“You could’ve just told me from the beginning.” Lily teased to lighten the mood and turned back to the coffee mugs.

Dave scoffed behind her. “Imagine this. Hey, I just heard about how your mate fucked you over. You know what? Same! Let’s be besties.”

Lily giggled as she put the mugs in a tray and grabbed a plate. “Sounds nice, though.”

Dave inhaled deeply and took the tray from her. “Thanks for apologizing.”

“Why are you thanking me?”

“It means I meant something."

Lily didn’t know what to say to that. “You didn’t tell me, why me? There’s other rejected mates in the pack too.”

“You’re different.” Dave told her straightforward. “She made me feel like every girl is a selfish hoe but then I heard about you, saw you and met you. It made me realize if there are girls, there are women too.”

Her stomach tightened up. “I...I–”

“I’m not flirting.” He joked then clicked his tongue. “I like you, Lily.”

That burned her neck. The heat travelled to her face. Her mind ceased working for a good few seconds. She had never allowed herself in a situation where she had had to turn down someone.

Dave was a nice guy. She would have loved giving him a shot only if she had never gone to that temple, prayed for a mate and then crushed by her own prayers.

Her silence gave her away.

“Relax.” Dave bumped shoulders with her. “Doesn’t mean I’ll die for you or chase you to death. It’s simple compatibly. I won’t ask for it but I will never refuse either.”

She managed a nod.

“Let’s go. I’m kinda hungry.”

On the way back to the table, they grabbed the croissants for Kyne and donuts for Dave. They left shortly after. Lily stayed back at the cafe. It got busy later in the evening. The guys from gym showed up for a treat party. One of them had found their mate.

Kandra took an early leave which left Lily with a lot more work. Sabrina helped her with cleaning and restocking the pantry.

“It’s about time we hire more staff.” Lily groaned as she cracked her neck and dropped her head on the table.

“I know some girls who need a job.” Sabrina replied, taking off her work apron.

“I’ll talk to Kandra about it then let you know.” Lily picked up her head and dragged her handbag closer.

“Sure. Need anymore help?”

Lily smiled broadly at her and shook her head. “That’s it for the day. See you tomorrow.”

Sabrina gave her a side hug and left. Lily was left alone with her broken thoughts and scattered feelings. She reached for a tissue in her bag but found the broken mug instead.

It was... beautiful, with all its flaws and scars. The thick white crack lines and oyster coat of glue magnified it’s allure. Truth be told, she treasured it now. It was an irony. A reflection of herself, Ezra and their bond.

She had changed. It wasn’t lost on her. Something in her was rearranging her soul. She wouldn’t be surprised if it was him. His madness, his darkness, his touch that had seeped through her barriers like water through fingers.

You fall for a monster when you become one.

That scared her. Terrified her. That was not who she was.

But then, why does it feel like it was meant to be?

She was truly losing it.

The touch of reality.

Her sanity.

With an aching back, tingling belly and stiff limbs, she closed the cafe. The moon was high up in the sky. The cool wind blowing outside was of little help. Her heart was anxious deep down.

The two guards stationed for her safety followed her from a distance. It took some time for her to adjust to the new changes in her body but she wasn’t complaining. Her hands were getting addicted to palming her abdomen to the point where she’d subtly do it without even realizing it.

Soon enough, her destination came into view. The lights were on outside but the house inside was pitch black. She dug around in her purse thinking Ezra wasn’t home yet.

That is until she ate up the remaining distance and noticed the two vehicles in the driveway. Her pulse quickened when she saw Cole, Marie and Sam leaning by the cars.

Her heart dropped. The first thought that popped up in her mind was not pleasant.

He’s okay. He’s fine. Breathe.

“Hey...” She trailed off, anxious and confused when stepped onto the front porch.

Marie had her arms around her, Cole was sitting on his car seat with the door open and Sam beckoned her towards the house with his head.

Suspense was definitely not good for a pregnant woman. Her heart started racing. Her frantic mind took her inside. She released her breath only when she spotted the culprit of her erratic nerves sitting on the couch in the living room. The lamps on either side of his seat did little to his sharp, dark and edgy face.

Her eyes flickered to the big bottle of scotch on the table in front of him.

“I’m not drunk.” He remarked, standing up. “I thought of it but this is the least you deserve.”

Lily was about to ask why his eyes were red and so tired if he was sober but she didn’t have to. Ezra approached her deliberately slow and sighed. There was no trace of alcohol on his breath.

“What’s all this?” She gestured to the door over her shoulder, lost. “And why are you–”

His finger pressed up against her lips, stealing the words right out of her mind.

“Shushhh...” His greedy eyes swept over her face longingly.

The finger on her lips slid down her face to her neck all the way down her chest to her back. Her lungs weighed a hundred times heavier when he pulled her impossibly close and hugged her.

“Listen to me,” he peered down at her brown eyes. The eyes that were the doors of his universe. “I love you.”

Tongue tied and brain dead, that’s how she felt in that moment. There was pain in his voice, in his voice, in his vice grip. It drove a needle through her chest.

“I know, I know,” he shrugged, “I wasn’t exactly showing it the right way but...”

He worked on his swallow before touching their foreheads.

“I’m helplessly, hopelessly, utterly and madly in love with you, Lillian Avi.” He breathed, his voice rough and deep. “I never knew I’m capable of feeling this much... everything. Love, anger, pain, obsession, that sense of belonging and much more. You made me sour to new heights. You taught me so much and what did I do?”

“I–”

Her vocal cords turned into mush as he tightened his grip around her even more. Their chests were mashed, hearts threatening bursting out and clashing out in the open.

“I hurt you, baby. I hurt the person who rules my empire. I’m sorry. And I don’t want you to forgive me just now. Give it some time, yeah?”

Lily couldn’t move to pinch herself or better yet to slap herself. It felt like a hallucination. The guy hell-bent on never giving her a chance to choose anything else was not there. It wasn’t him.

Her flickering eyes jumped from left to right. His eyes were closed, breaths ragged and chest heaving.

“You are pure. My love for you is pure. I take full responsibility of being an idiot and ruining it for both of us. Before you declare my love a poison, I’ll send you far away where I won’t hear those words. Not because you’re wrong but because I’m not strong enough to digest that truth.”

He peeled his eyes open to a dumbstruck doe-eyed Lily. It was hard for him to understand what he was going through, he didn’t blame her. The sudden realization of what he was doing was a surprise for both of them.

Ezra was afraid of becoming a jar for his butterfly. She was worth much more than suffocation.

With a heavy heart, damp eyes and trembling voice, Ezra declared his true feelings to her. The rawness of it all overwhelmed her. He brushed her hair and smiled at her.

“I tried all my efforts and still couldn’t fulfill your needs. I can’t remove the desire of being your beloved. I wasn’t lying when I said I want to bring you happiness. I found that happiness for you. It lit fire in my heart, made my soul restless but I found it. Your freedom.”

“Wha–whhat about you?” Her voice cracked.

There was a lump forming in her throat. This is what she wanted. She wanted him to let go and understand why then what was that knife doing twisting in her heart? Why did her eyes sting so bad?

“Don’t worry about me. I’m not going to kill myself this time.” He chuckled lowly, trying to sound nonchalant. “Who knows? Maybe a miracle will happen. The fire inside me will die before it consumes me.”

Lily could hardly breathe. She didn’t have to say much. The gloss in her eyes had him loosen his grip around her. It was bittersweet pain. He was cautious about letting go as if he was losing her. She was surprised and delighted by this new discovery but deep down there was a void opening up in her.

“This is it.” It pained him saying that. “You’re free, Lillian. I might be hard but you can make it–...make it easy for me. Leave with Marie. I need some time to get used to this...not having you with me.”

Her numb head dropped on his chest. Her throat closed up when she felt his lips on her hairline.

She needed this. She needed a break. She needed to move on. This was toxic. He was toxic. She was toxic.

“I... I...” When the words refused to come out in the open, she gave up.

Ezra couldn’t help himself. He knew it was fucked up shit but his restraints were not yet immune to resisting her. He tilted her head up and claimed her addictive mouth.

Their tongues clashed, hearts exploded and fire roared up inside them. It consumed them for a blinding moment. She responded to him with equal ferocity. It was a kiss goodbye which made it even more wild. He bit her lips, she bruised his. Their arms clawed at each other.

“Ummmph!” Lily moaned against his vicious tongue when he pressed her up against the nearest wall.

“Oh, fuck.” Ezra gasped against the corner of her lips and ground their cores.

“Stop,” Lily breathed and bunched up his shirt. “Ezra, stop. Please...”

He bit down on her neck hard, leaving a temporary mark but stopped when her hands tugged on his shirt. They were both panting by the time he came to his senses. He didn’t want it to stop. He wanted to take her up to his room and prove to her he can fuck all the doubts out of her mind.

“I should... I need to...” Lily shyed away from his beastly eyes devouring her whole.

Ezra kissed her deep one last time before he let go of her completely and took a few steps back.

“I packed your things. Marie is waiting for you.”

If her any of her organs were functional by then, she would have responded but she was burning inside out. Relieved and in pain at the same time.

The escape route was clear. So she took. She ran but halted when her wrist was snatched. It was as if he was damned sure he just left a mark.

“If your heart felt like it’s falling apart without me, you love me too, Lillian.” He told her, his eyes piercing right through all that she was. “If you miss me, I’m a phonecall away.”

With that, he let go of her wrist. Of her. Of all that they were. Lily waited a broken heart beat then left. Marie and Sam climbed after her in silence, giving her space.

“You’re welcome back any time you want. This is for both of you. Just a few days.” Cole told her through the window.

Lily nodded and dropped her gaze to her entwined hands in her lap. “Take care of him.”

“I will.”

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