The Girl In The Candy Dress

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Chapter 17: Ruined Moment

I looked between Luke and Alberto. Back and forth.

Why was I receiving glares from Alberto and very painful looks from Luke?

Alberto turns away from me and towards Luke. He then bursts out laughing and pats Luke on the shoulder. “Geez man, why didn’t you just say so? We do anything for family”.

Luke just shrugged, “Ah, well…you know. I didn’t think it was that important”. He tries to calm himself.

Alberto then turns towards me, a wide smile on his face as he squashes me in a huge embrace. I just stood there in an Alberto burrito feeling very confused. He holds me by the shoulders and says, “Don’t worry Sally, your car will be fixed in no time. You are very welcome any time”.

He straightens his posture, “Well, I have business to get back to. Enjoy your day” and with that he begins to walk away, but not before turning to Luke and saying “Boy, don’t forget your delivery and don’t screw it up”.

There were a few breathless minutes. Luke and I were trying to process what just happened.
A potential ‘Big Boss’ just hugged me and told me I was “welcome any time”.

And I think Luke just shit his pants.

I walk towards him and grab his hands. “Are you alright?”

He just shakes his head and breathes deeply. “Come with me. I can’t tell you here”. I follow him to the car and I ask no further questions.

The car ride was silent. Luke clearly just wanted some peace time. He reached over to his phone and plugged it into the AUX cord.

J. Cole’s ‘Apparently’ played through the speakers. Damn…this boy has good taste.

That’s not the only thing he could have good taste in, Zoe.

Oh god. Someone save my mind.

Luke parked next to some trees and a lodge fence and stepped out the car. He signalled for me to get out. I had no idea where we were or what we were doing.

He leaned against the car and breathed in the fresh air while looking around, embracing the enticing nature. He tilted his head to face me and smiled.
“You know…I never realised that the most breath-taking features of this world, are right in front of your face” he says with a soft tone.

It took me a minute to realise that he was talking about me and not just the nature. Damn Hardens, you sure know how to make my heart melt. I breathed heavily and returned the smile. I slowly walked towards him, traced my fingers against his jawline and pulled his forehead against mine. I stared into those sweet, caramel eyes and I couldn’t pull myself away. I reached his plump lips with mine and endured the moment by closing my eyes and running my hands through his soft hair.
We pulled away breathless and grinning at each other. Luke held out his hand and said, “C’mon lets walk”.

We adventure through the deep green forest and I may have stumbled over some twigs. Its bucolic smell is so refreshing. I breathe the fresh air in and realise how we don’t get this beautiful atmosphere in the city. All we get is the smell of petrol and three week old McDonalds lying around on the street. I love the peace.

Luke continues going further into the forest and I stop in my tracks getting a little worried. “Ok, do you know where we are?”

“Yes, now keep going”

I sigh heavily, “Are you sure? Or is this the part where you kill me?” I say with a playful smile. He turns around and raises an eyebrow.

“Maybe” he teases. “Let’s go, we are almost there”

“There? Where is ‘there’? Can’t you just tell me?” I whine.

“Sh, no it’s a surprise”.

I sigh, “Yup, definitely being kidnapped or murdered”.

Not even five minutes pass, Luke grabs my hand and leads me out of the forest to a wide, picturesque landscape of a beautiful lake. It was breath taking, so simple yet so magical. I turn to Luke curiously. “You come here often?”
He shrugs with a small smile, “Yeah sometimes, when I want to clear my head or just get away from all the craziness. I just come here. It’s nice. Peaceful”.

“So, why bring me? It’s so calming”.
He laughs and pulls me close, “That’s exactly why…you keep me…controlled. I feel safe when I’m with you Zoe”. I turn to him and wrap my arms around his neck and smile at this vulnerable side of him.

“Wow” I decide to ruin the moment, “Didn’t know you were so cheesy” I say pinching his cheek. I walk down closer to the river and watch the ripples in the water.

Luke follows me and says, “Want to go for a swim?”
I laugh at his question but realised he wasn’t joking, “You’re not serious? Right?”

He comes up close towards me, “Well, why not? It’s a beautiful day” he says cheekily.

I step further away from him, because I know once he gets close enough he will push me in. His smirk widens and I can just see him plotting his plan. I reach my arms out preventing him to come near me, “Luke I swear to-“

The next thing I know, I’ve stepped too far back, lost my balance and splashed right into the river. Luke burst out into a fit of giggles as I appear from the water with a very unamused look on my face. “Ha-oh my…goodness, phew sweet cheeks that was golden” Luke was still erupting in laughs and stepped closer to the bank to reach out his hand. “C’mon babe”.

I reached out to grab his hand, but I wasn’t going to let him get away for laughing at me. So, as my hand made contact with his, I pulled him towards me and he just fell right in with a big splash. This time, it was my turn to burst out laughing. He emerged from the water with the biggest smile on his face. “Not so peaceful anymore, right?” I ask him while still giggling.

“Hilarious” he says whilst pushing his soaked hair back with his toned arm which gave me a beautiful sight of his chest trough his white, and now see-through shirt. Sorry not sorry. “Close your mouth sweet cheeks, you’ll catch flies” he sarcastically teases as my cheeks burned with embarrassment.
He swam towards me and wrapped his arms around my waist, but I then remembered that I had to ask him what was happening with this so called ‘business’ which Alberto had asked him to do. “Um, so…did you want to tell me about what just happened? I mean, at the mechanic?”

“Let’s not talk about it here”

“Why not? There is no one around. Plus, I want to know if you are in danger. And why the flip my car was at that crazy man’s mechanic?” I ask with frustration. Luke let go of me and turned around to face his back against me. “Hey! You can’t just ignore me when you feel like it, Luke”

He turns around and rubs his hands over his face looking very conflicted. “I…can’t” he says breathless.

My eyebrows crunched together in confusion, “What do you mean you can’t? Luke, we’ve been over this. Just tell me, it’s not like anything is going to happen to me”

“That’s exactly it Zoe, if Alberto or anyone in the group finds out that you know what I’m up to then…I just don’t know what will happen to you. I can’t let that happen Zoe!”

I sigh heavily and ask one more question, “Luke, are you in trouble?”

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