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Whisper City

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People always say you have to chose sides in a war. I think they are stupid.

Mystery / Action
Age Rating:

Role of the Merc

People always say you have to chose sides in a war. I think they are stupid. In my opinion it never helps if you are stuck to just one side of things. I mean, think about it. During war the tensions are high and everyone is scared. "Who will win?" "What if we lose?" Too fucking complicated and stressful, for me at least.

This is why I never approach a problem, instead let it approach me and take the bidder willing to give me the highest amount of money. I don't necessarily care what the job is, but to my surprise when I entered the business I found that most people wanted their targets delivered to them alive and sometimes my targets were the most fucked up things, too. Like this one time I was supposed to escort this rich guy’s new wife from the airport to the hotel and then to their mansion. It had sounded easy, but somehow that lady had even nice old ladies penning for her. But that is another story for another time.

It was rare to find people who wanted their target killed. However, when the rare opportunity came I made sure the death was quick and as painless as I possibly could. But when people order their targets killed they usually want it to be painful and slow.

Just thinking about it made me shiver, even as a warm breeze washed over me. It was currently almost night with the last of but of sun just starting to disappear and behind me was a man’s brains splattered on a roof of one of the numerous buildings in Whisper City. I took off my blood splattered gas mask and wiped my sweaty face with the back of my hand. Another breeze blew by and I closed my eyes, relishing the cool feeling and taking in the familiar stink of the city air.

Breathing out a sigh I turned around and took my cheap flip phone out of my pocket. Walking closer to the guy I removed my flashlight from my belt and shined it on the guy to make sure the shadows cast by the fading sun didn’t interfere with the picture. Sending the photo and a message to drop the money off at the place we had talked about I snapped the phone shut when I saw that the message was sent. Throwing it to the ground I smashed the phone under my heel and then let out a yawn. It had been a long day.

Shaking my head I rolled my shoulders and was about to call it a night when a shrill scream in the alley below snapped me back to high alert. Pulling my mask back over my face I walked to the edge of the building and peered over. It was dark, but enough light shone down in the alley to illuminate five figures - three men and two women - that I could surprisingly see quite clearly in the fading light.

I glared down at the scene with hatred. I wanted to sleep but my mother had taught me better than to leave women at the mercy of men. Just thinking of what a monster my father was made my jaw clench. I was about to jump down, using the fire escape to get down in one piece, when laughter floated up from the group. I looked at the teens warily, a black male had a pale girl over his shoulder, the other two boys stood around, chuckling, while another white girl leaned against the alley wall looking bored with life, a lit cigarette in her hand.

“Jesus, Tre,” a smooth female voice said loudly enough for me to hear. The black male, Tre, again shrugged his shoulders, causing her to let out another shrill scream and then slap his back with a loud SMACK. “Stop it!” She growled, hiding her nervous giggle.

A growl rose in my throat as Tre did it a third time. She told him to stop and you stop when a women says to. If there was anything that could anger me more than finding out a girl got beat by a man, it would probably be when men didn’t listen to women when they say no. “Alright, just had to do it one more time, princess,” Tre said before setting her down.

“No, you didn’t,” she replied, elbowing him hard in the chest once she was back on her feet. The hit was hard enough that he went stumbling back, but not hard enough in my opinion as he started laughing merrily and ruffled her hair while she huffed and swatted his hand away.

A boy looked up at the sky and I wondered if I should duck away, but he didn’t notice me, instead he noticed the huge moon peeking over the buildings. “Oh, shit, what time is it guys?” The boy exclaimed, looking around the group. The white female leaning against the wall took out her phone and checked the time, the light of the phone casting awkward shadows across her long thin face.

“Uh,” the girl said, blinking at the sudden blast of light from her phone stunning her for a moment, “almost seven, why?”

“Oh my god!” The boy cried, a hand going to his head as he let out a loud groan. “I’m so dead, I was supposed to be home thirty minutes ago for my dad’s dinner party. Shit! Guys I gotta go.” He hugged his two guy friends and the girl standing next to Tre before he kissed the girl leaning against the wall goodbye.

“Bye, Mark,” his friends called after him as he ran after the alley.

“His father is so gonna kill him,” the girl against the wall said.

The other girl laughed, “Shut up, Sydney.” She laughed again, “His father is just gonna give him the infuriating puppy eyes and the silent treatment, you know that.”

Sydney and the boys laughed with the girl, “Yeah, you’re right, princess.”

The girl gave Tre a look, “Dude, if you keep calling me ‘princess’, I’m gonna knock your teeth out and you know I can.”

At her words I smirk. She didn’t make it sound mean, just playful, but I could tell she was being serious. Though, her friend again just rolled his eyes and bent down so that their eyes were on the same level. “Fine,” he whined, “Sheila.”

“Shea!” Sheila snapped and cupped her hands around his neck, gently throttling him, “Ahh! You are so infuriating.”

Tre laughed with her while Sydney and the other boy gave each other looks. “Guys, if you don’t kiss right now I’m gonna smash your faces together,” the boy said, taking a threatening step closer. “Just a peck,” the boy continued, taking another small step towards the two.

I rose my eyebrows up and hummed as I watched them. Maybe this would give me a show... I folded my arms and placed them on the edge of the building. What the hell, watching these teenagers would be the closest thing to television that I would be able to get with my appearance being so... pleasant.

I chuckled at my own personal joke slid my mask off so I could better see what the teens were doing. I had nothing to do anyway. No harm just watching them, right? It would take a while for my body to get relaxed again, anyway.

Tre threw his arm around the waist of Shea and pulled her lower body to his, making her go stiff and lean away from him while Tre leaned in for a kiss she wouldn’t give him. He started to make kissy noises and slid his other hand up her back, pressing her foreword.

“Tre,” Shea giggled nervously, planting a hand over his lips as his face crashed into hers. I let out a disappointed sigh, Tre couldn’t seem to get the hint. Tre leaned back, releasing her to swipe away her hand from his mouth. “You little ho, I would never kiss you.” Shea said, hitting her shoulder into Tre’s, smiling to show she was just being playful and trying to ignore the fact he just tried to kiss her and failed.

However, their other two friends were laughing at Tre, Sydney patting Shea on the back for putting her hand up while Tre’s friend jabbing him in the side, snickering. It seemed like normal teenage thing, to me at least. But as Tre angrily shoved his friend away and spun back around to face Shea I let my eyes narrow again.

However, the group didn’t seem nervous and instead of looking doe-eyed and taking a step back, like I expected Shea to at Tre’s sudden explosion, she merely rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, head tilted slightly. “Oh, what? Did I kill your ego?”

“Why won’t you kiss me?” Tre asked, mimicking Shea as he crossed his arms and exaggerated her head tilt.

Shea couldn’t keep a straight face and smiled, shaking her head. “Because you’d brag about it and then at the end of the week I’ll find out that I apparently also had sex with you and am now pregnant because I can find that out in just one week.”

I chuckled at this, finding it highly amusing. She had a mouth.

Tre tsked and huffed, looking away from her. “It’s cause I’m black, ain’t it.”

I stared at Tre and tried to decide if he was being serious or not, he sounded serious, but his body language didn’t scream offended or defensive. I decide I don’t like Tre.

Shea throws up her hands, “Yes, yes it is Tre. You caught me, I’m racist. That is the only reason I could ever have for not wanting to kiss my best friend.”

Sydney spoke up, “Obviously, racist skank.” Sydney shook her head, a big smile on her face.

The other boy spoke up too, “I knew there was something off about you Shea, see that Tre, I was right. Shea is racist.”

Tre sniffs, “I knew it.”

What confuses me is that they are all smiling, as if they just shared some great joke. I didn’t get it and I was even more confused as they all burst out laughing. I watched them settle down and Shea lean on the wall next to Sydney.

“Yeah, like Shea could be racist,” the unnamed boy said, shaking his head. “Just think of that for a second.”

Sydney snorts, taking a long puff of her seemingly almost forgotten cigarette, “Yeah, and penguins can fly, Michael. I can’t picture it.” She reached over and pinched Shea’s cheek. “Not my goody two-shoes.”

The other boy, Michael, laughed and then hit Tre’s arm, “Dude, Mark had a good idea, look at the sky.” They all looked up and I noticed that the last of the day was gone and the moon was now up. It had been my luck that they stayed under the alley light that I could even see them. I looked back down to see Michael tug on Tre’s sleeve, “We gotta go, dude.”

“Yeah,” Tre agreed, looking back at the girls and opening his arms. “Come and get me ladies.”

The girls laughed at pushed themselves off the wall. “Yeah, yeah, the real ladies man,” Sydney chuckles as she goes in for a hug, then Shea. However, Tre doesn’t let Shea go, instead he knocks her legs from under her, causing her again to scream that shrill scream that sends my body to high alert, even though I’m looking and seeing that she isn’t in any kind of trouble, and scoops her into a bridal style hug,

She smacks his chest, clearly angry, “You’re so mean! Dude! Ugh.” She let her head fall back and I tilt my head as I watch her take in a deep breath to steady herself. I advert my gaze as I notice that the clouds that had conveniently covered the moon to keep me hidden in shadow part, washing me and the kids in the alley in a pale blue color. I look back at the girl to find that she has spotted me and I instantly remember that I don’t have my mask on.

I stiffen, expecting her to do something like scream or react to the fact that she can probably see my burned face, just like I can tell she is still blushing from Tre holding her bridal style. But she doesn’t do what I expect her to do, no, she startles me. She smiles and waves, catching the attention of her friends who follow her gaze. But they are too late as clouds cover the moon again and cast me back into the shadows.

Even so, the girl stares at where she saw me, her smile turning into a frown as Tre says something. I don’t hear it though, there is a pounding in my ears. It’s my heart. It beats hard and fast. It takes me a minute to realize that I’m scared. I release a breath I didn’t know I was holding and shake my head.

“Kids,” I mutter, turning away from the alley and the girl who smiled at me. I put my mask back on and place my flashlight back in my belt before I hastily scoop up my bag and get the hell away from this part of town.

I sighed and kicked the dude in the head. “Dude, come on. Chill out. It’ll be quick... Maybe.” I pulled him up by his hair. I growled when he kneed me in the gut. I tightened my grip on his hair and slammed his head into the wall behind him, a tad winded from the kick. “It’s just your wife,” I added coldly as I finished tying him to the wall and stepped back to gesture to him.

I moved just in time and was just a little surprised at the speed of the wife. The wife punched him hard with her tiny hands, he let out a wheezy grunt. Watching the little woman get revenge for being beaten was satisfying and I smiled a bit behind my mask.

I heard the dude whimper when his wife kneed him in the balls and rolled my eyes. This was the big bad man who beat his wife and kids. It was disgusting to hear him whimper and I was glad to leave him tied up for his wife to beat. Now he would see how it feels.

“I hope it hurts,” the wife spat at him, kneeing him again to get the same reaction. She was crying which was a little weird, but it also made the encounter seem personal and she had to stop beating him to wipe her tears. I left the room and sounds of his grunting and whimpering mixed in with the sound of her fist colliding with his body. I plopped down on their family room couch and turned on the TV. The TV was really old, still black and white, but the sound was fine and I watched the show with little interest, mostly just thinking about the disfigured face of my client.

It wasn’t often that I did pro bono jobs, but in cases like these I alway accepted. Always. An hour or two later the whimpering remained but the pounding stopped and so I made my way back to the room. The wife was sobbing and the husband was a bloody mess.

“I think he’s dead...” she whispered and I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“No,” I lifted up his head to expose his chest. She watched the slight rise and fall with a tight jaw. “He’s still whimpering, lady. I’ve never heard of a dead man breathing and whimpering. He’s fine if you want to hit him more.”

I let his head fall back down and crossed my arms, looking at her for direction.

She kept her gaze glued to the floor, “I can’t kill him.”

I narrowed my eyes, it felt like there was supposed to something there in her voice and I was missing it. What was I missing? Confused with her tone of voice I stayed silent and she took it as a need to explain herself.

“I can’t do it because I still love him,” she cried dramatically, sobbing on the floor.

I blinked a bit as I watched her sob, it was awkward. Her body jerked in a quick motion and her sobs were so loud that I wanted to cover my ears. Finding the sort of softer side within me, I crouched down to pat her head. “Love is a tricky thing,” I said wisely after a moment of careful thought. She did marry him, so there is always a connection of some sort.

“De... bara...” The man stuttered, I cocked my head to look at him and punched him in his balls. I saw her flinch when he let out a silent scream. I laughed a bit as tears fell from the guys eyes.

I don’t know how anyone could love a monster, but there was no doubt in my mind that she felt guilt for her actions. Even so, I could tell she also felt good for beating him. “Do you want to let him go? Let him beat and rape another wife? Beat another child?” I asked her, watching her sobs die down into sniffles.

“No. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.” She looked at me with watery eyes and I patted her head again. “But, I don’t know if I can...” She hiccupped and I sighed lightly.

“I can do it if you don’t want to, but I’d need to do it now.” I pointed to my wrist where my watch was. “I do have another appointment to attend to,” I told her, gesturing to her husband. “And clean up will take some time, as well as disposing of him...” I droned on, thinking about my next appointment. I had to be there in about 3 hours, so it should be enough time to clean up and then leave.

Debara looked sadly down at the floor for a moment and I stood up to go get my gun. A quick death. I handed her my gun and she shakily stood up. A kind of resolve had taken over her as she pointed the gun at her bastard husband.

The man watched her with his icy blue eyes and I watched, annoyed, as he smiled at her. That ticked her off, I guess she took it as a sign he didn’t think she would kill him, and so Debara tightened her hold on my gun and fired.

The sound wasn't as loud as I could have been, thanks to my silencer. But the sound was still kind of loud in the otherwise silent and small room. The guy was dead. I looked at Debara and saw she had a new light in her eyes and I felt kinda proud. She wouldn’t be pushed around again. I didn’t say anything as I held out my hand for my gun. She placed it back in my hand numbly before she started to help me clean up the blood.

An hour later I was leaving the scene after cleaning up and disposing of the body. My next appointment was approximately two hours, I decided to go home to freshen up. The Spanish family that lives under me gave me weary eyes as I patted their son’s head on my way up the stairs. I had my jacket in my hand and my brown t-shirt showed only a little of the burns on my arms, while my mask was hanging off my hand. You would figure that living near someone for a couple of years would make them realise that their fears are misguided, however the Spanish family ripped their son away from me and slammed their door shut. As if I would hurt him.

I stared at the door a for a moment before I sighed and continued walking up the stairs until I came to my blue door and looked at it’s smooth exterior. The deep blue paint wasn’t chipped, the number 2 in a bright gold sitting just above the silver knocker and my circular door knob matched my knocker. Around the door the walls were cracked, the paint was chipped, and the carpet under me was stained with cat pee. I loved the look of my door compared to the rest of the building.

Entering my less than perfect apartment I threw my jacket and mask on my new-ish couch. The old one having broke from me plopping down on it too hard. My mask was a tricky thing. It got hot easy and was a pain sometimes, but mostly it was great. The fresh air it provided made it seem like I was somewhere else and I appreciated that. But with my mask gone I got a good whiff of the sour smell of my dirty clothes hanging around my home. I hadn't been here in a while.

Sighing I tried to find something clean. My client was proposing a lot of money, more than the normal amount when it came to being hired to be a bodyguard. When my searching proved futile for clean clothes, I settled for finding the nicer looking ones and shoving them in my drier to at least smell nicer.

I also decided to hop in the shower to get off blood that might have been on me and to rid me of the smell of not showering since last week. When finished I used an old and ripped towel to quickly dry off and put on underwear and socks.

I always wore clean underwear, no matter what. I cleaned my house up a little bit while in my underwear, moving my dirty clothes into a hamper and shoving the hamper in a closet to deal with later, hopefully before Shea comes over.

My house was pretty much unused so it was relatively clean. The smell of my used clothes was fading and I opened a window to let it fan out. My appointment would be soon, as I looked at my wall clock I thought about how long it would take to get to the warehouse my client has suggested we meet at.

Finding that I should get there early I took my clothes from the dryer and put them on. I also grabbed my watch and put my mask in my backpack.

Then I left. After all not many people pay mercs to be bodyguards. Or to try and keep it a permanent thing.

Leaving the meeting I am more than amused and more than just excited. I’m ecstatic. “Guess what,” I want to ask Shea as I get home. Like clockwork at seven she is sitting on my couch, reading one of my books. “Guess who is going to live in your house as your bodyguard?” I want to say as I walk in and she looks over her shoulder and welcomes me home. “This guy right here,” I mentally say to her.

She sees my expression and tilts her head, “What, get a free chemistry set or something? What’s with the look?” She sets my book down and gives me her full attention, interested.

I open my mouth to tell her I just got employed by her step dad, but then I close my mouth. Shea narrows her eyes at that and scoffs. “Oh come on! You come in here really giddy and you won’t even tell me why?” I blush, and shrug stupidly. I mentally bash myself for shrugging, knowing that it bothers Shea when I don’t verbally respond to her. She mock shrugs at me before she turns back to my book in disappointment. “Fine, be that way.”

I walk around the couch and sit on the other side, sitting down slowly. “I got a semi-permenant job.” I say carefully, glancing at her with a smile still on my face. She puts the book back down and looks at me from across the couch.

“Now you want to talk?” She asks, eyebrow raised in a joking way. She puts the book down again, this time setting it on the floor. “Alright, cool. What is the job?”

“Classified.” I said, smirking at her annoyed look. “Just kidding, it is a bodyguard kind of thing for some bigshot.” I shrug, trying to hide my knowing smile.

“Oh?” Shea says leaning toward me, now more interested than ever. “That sounds fun, do you know for who?”

I shake my head, though I do know. “No, details haven’t come in yet. But I start soon, I think.” I chuckle a little and smile stupidly at her. She shares my excitement and raises her hand to high five me.

We high five and Shea says, “Congrats, Eric,” But then she frowns and sits back, leaning away from me. Though she doesn’t notice she is, but I do because I’m staring at her and for some reason I’m noticing everything about her. Like how she just shaved her legs, how her shirt is too low and slightly exposing her bra, and especially that she is wearing a skirt so short that it barely covers her. She dressed up for someone and I get a twinge of jealousy thinking about Shea having a boyfriend. “But I thought that you were a scientist?”

I laugh at her, relieved she is asking something easy to avoid answering. “In the army you have to learn things and I learned those things, so... yeah.”

She stares at me blankly. “That was a really bad answer, like you have given bad ones before but that one just sucked.” She laughs at me and I frown a bit, embarrassed that she finds my story telling to be laughable. I know it is bad, but I expected more of a chuckle, not a full blown laugh.

“Well, I don’t really know what else to say about it, I don’t like thinking about my time in the army.” I say, scratching my nose, my fingers drumming my thigh as I stare at the floor. I don’t know what else to say about the matter and so I don’t say anything. I know it is weird for me and Shea instantly picks up on my change in behavior. 'It bums me out more than I thought it would, not being able to tell her than I’m a mercenary. I just don’t want her to know that I kill people. Sure she knows that if you fight in the army you have most likely killed someone, but it is different if you are doing it for money and not for your country.'

And in a flash I’m thinking about Shea and I being in a heated discussion about the difference. Shea having a brilliant mind I know that it would be a great and interesting conversation. Though it is a conversation I never want to have because I don’t want her to know. Ever. Though a nagging feeling in my head tells me that she would still accept me and be my friend, even if she found out about what I do to make money.

She stares at my hands and I glance at her a couple of times, wondering if she is staring at my hands or at something else. She tilts her head and lets out a long hum of suspicion. I know I’ve been caught acting strangely so I look away from her, hoping she’ll drop it. “What book were you reading?” I ask, deciding to change the topic. I turn my head to look at her after a second of her not answering to ask her again, and come nose to nose with her. I gasp and jerk my head back, giving her a look. “What?”

Her suspicious face melts into one of worry and she puts a hand on my hand, stopping me from drumming my fingers. “Eric, what’s wrong?” I narrow my eyes and glance at her hand which I think is waaaaay too close to my crotch for comfort.

In an effort to make her back off I move my hand from under hers and she instead lets it rest on top of my thigh, still waaaaay too close for comfort and I want to do so many things in that moment. I want to scream in irritation, I want to shove her off of me, but I also want to kiss her, draw her close say something dirty as I drown in the fruity scent of her perfume, and I want her to touch me more because even if she is a junior in high school she is still the first girl to touch me in I don’t know how long and it feels soooo good with her hand just on my thigh. However, while my mind explodes with mixed feelings my outer exterior still had my ‘wtf’ look on it. Partly because I have never thought of Shea like that before and it was a shock to my mind, yet mostly because Shea has never been this bold to get so close to me, nor has she worried about my feelings on anything.

“My personal space bubble has been popped,” I reply too quickly, and she stupidly leans closer, practically on top of me with her lips so close I can feel her minty breath on my face. Inwardly I’m crying as I feel my self control start to dwindle. “That’s what’s wrong,” I tell her as I bite my lip to also keep from asking her who she dressed up for. It’s none of my business, but it sure as hell feels like it now that I can see down her shirt.

My cheeks hurt from blushing so much and I’m reminded of my middle school days when I couldn’t keep myself from getting boners. Though now that I’m an adult I have become much better at controlling my urges, not that many chances have come to exert self control like this in 10 years. Mainly because the situation has never came when a pretty and nice smelling girl has gotten this close to me with. Luckily for me, my little friend doesn’t make an appearance.

But with the situation in play, Shea seems to be completely unaware of just what she is doing to me, mostly because I’m not letting her see just how her proximity makes me really feel. Instead she thinks I feel uncomfortable, which is true. But also another thing she thinks is weird, because she raises an eyebrow at my red face. She is always up close and personal, but never had she ever touched me other than on the arm or shoulder. It is a wonderful and terrible experience all in one, something I could really only credit Shea for ever being able to create.

“What is wrong?” She asks again in a softer tone of voice. Her eyes bore into mine with what seems to be a look curiosity and confusion. I chuckle awkwardly and she thinks I’m gonna try to deter her again and so she squeezes my thigh, trying to keep me focused. I instantly stop chuckling and let out a heavy sigh. God, she was still making a moment terrible and wonderful all at the same time. I bite down my feelings of lust and desire for her and instead focus on the ones that want to push her away.

“Alright,” I say, giving in to the urge to shove her away. I grab her shoulders and gently push her away from me to a normal distance where I won’t be tempted to kiss her. Her hand falls away from my thigh. “I was serious with the bubble popping, can’t think straight when I have people breathing on my face.” I joke and crack a smile, but it doesn’t lighten the mood because she gets embarrassed.

“Oh,” Shea says, blushing a dark red color that makes her look gorgeous. “Heh, sorry. Didn’t know you had a thing about personal space, never occurred to me.”

I shrug as I look at her, dropping my hands from her shoulders. “Well you never got that close before.” She nods, accepting the answer because she knows that is true.

“Um, so what were you thinking about before when I wasn’t all up in your grill?” Shea asks, smiling and leaning into the couch, completely over being embarrassed.

“Just thinking of my days in the army,” I lie. “And no,” I say as she opens her mouth to ask for the thousandth time if she could hear a story. “I don’t want to tell you the stories.”

Shea pouts, a cute look from a cute girl. “Why not?” She asks in an annoyed manner. “Obviously it bothers you and if it bothers you this much I think you should talk about it. It seems like the right thing to do.” She is again leaning in close in her concerned way and she almost touches my shoulder, but she stops her hand before she did. “Sorry, force of habit.”

I chuckle at her apologetic expression and roll my eyes. “I don’t mind if you touch my shoulder, I just don’t like it when people breathe on my face.” I give her a small reassuring smile and she returns it. I note her relief as she realises that she hasn’t done another thing to upset me. Her smile is wide and she nods enthusiastically, eyes on mine.

“So, back to what we had originally been talking about, the book was just some old thing I found hidden under your encyclopedia. I didn’t really look at the cover or title.” Shea says a moment after, leaning back on the couch she reaches for the book she put on the floor. “It is named,” She says slowly, finding that the name isn’t on the front or spine she opens the book. She flips through pages until she gets to the title page. “Grendel.”

I smile widely, “I love that book.” I tell her and watch as her expression changes from informative to excited. She sits up with the book in her hand and bounces slightly where she is sitting as she asks me if I’m kidding. “No, seriously. I love that book. I’ve read it twice.”

She looks down at the book and then up at me, licking her lips nervously. “Spoilers? What happens?” I gasp and let my face contort in disbelief and mock horror. She laughs as I swipe the book away from her and hold it away. “No, I didn’t mean it like that, I just get really emotional when I read and I need to know if there are any heartbreaking moments!” She says desperately, almost diving for the book back.

“No, no, no, and no.” I tell her and give her a look, she slumps over disappointedly. “How dare you ask for spoilers on such a great book. The magic of readings is not knowing what will happen!” I say, watching her look away and shrug pitifully. “Really, a shrug is all you can provide to such blasphemy.” I tell her dramatically, petting my book. “It’s okay, book, she didn’t mean it.”

She laughs merrily and throws her hands up in mock defeat. “Okay, I’m sorry. I won’t ask again. Can I have the book back?" She reaches for it and I pull it farther away. She pouts again and tries to stop laughing as I mock her pouty face. “Please?” She snickers, reaching for it yet again. I keep it out of her reach.

“No, not until you promise to not ask for spoilers again.” I tell her. She laughs nervously and I figure that she is debating on whether or not to lie. She bites her lip in frustration and licks her lips again.

“Please?” She asks again and I tell her no. She lets out a groan of playful annoyance and leans close to me, head on my shoulder. I roll my eyes as she increases her pouty eyes. It is a really cute look, but I don’t want her to know that. I almost give in when I see her hand sneak for the book. I pull it away just in time and smirk in satisfaction as her pout turns into a look of annoyance. “Oh come on, you know I don’t like making promises I can’t keep.”

I laugh and give her a look of triumph. “Well then just promise not to get any spoilers from anyone and I’ll give you the book back.” She frowns at me and sighs. I roll my eyes at her and sigh as well. “It will only take you about an hour or two to finish the rest of the book, Shea. No need to be a drama queen about it.”

“Fine,” she mutters bitterly and I give the book back to her. She takes it and instead of moving away she snuggles closer to my shoulder. “You smell nice today, are you wearing cologne or something because,” she presses her nose to my shoulder and takes in a deep breath, “you smell like my dad. I love his cologne.” She takes in another deep breath and lets out a content sigh. “The best smell in the world.”

She looks up at me when I don’t answer immediately and I give her a confused look. “What smell?” I lean down and smell my other shoulder and like some kind of nightmare I smell her father’s cologne. It is a rich scent that has an earthly tone to it with a minty accent and I go cold, wondering how I got his cologne on me and how I didn’t notice it before. “Oh,” I say stupidly and shrug awkwardly. “Well I thought you were talking about how I took a shower, but I don’t have anything that smells like this. This smells too expensive to me, so no I’m not wearing cologne.”

Shea nods disappointedly, “Yeah, I got a bottle of it for my dad for Christmas. He has been using it a lot and my house has never smelt better.” She chuckles a little bit and I stare at her, hoping she doesn’t realize that I met up with her father today. “I guess we rich folks have the same kind of taste in cologne, huh?” She asks lightly with an amused smile. “Must have gotten on you when you met with that big shot.”

I’m glad she turns her head down to start reading, though she doesn’t move away from me, or else she would have seen the look of terrified shock on my face. 'Did she just... Does that mean that she knows? Did her dad tell her already?' I let my shock and terror melt into an expression of thoughtfulness as I turn my head to stare at a wall, not having the heart to move when she has already gotten comfortable leaning against me.

After a while of just sitting there in a peaceful silence I start to fall asleep, but am woken by the washing machine beeping. I jerk awake and scare Shea who hadn't expected me to move so violently. I stare at the washing machine, confused. I hadn't put any laundry in it.

"Oh yeah," Shea suddenly says, snapping her fingers and standing up. I almost pull her back down again from the shock of cold air hitting my once warm side, instead I shiver a little. She tosses the book into my lap and makes her way over to the machine. "I found your dirty clothes in the closet and washed them. Your welcome."

"Uh... Thanks? Why were you in my closet?" I ask, deciding that now would be a good time to go eat, because Shea wasn't cozying up to me. Another reason being that Shea is bending down in that short skirt and I can see some of her blue underwear, which isn't helping me control myself at all. I walk into the kitchen as she replys that she needed a towel and I stop walking to look at her. "Towels are in the bathroom, you know that."

Shea gave me an annoyed look. "Usually, yeah, but there were none and so I looked in the closet and found your nasty stash of clothes. Do you ever wash your outfits?"

I scoff and turn to my fridge, slightly offended. "Of course I wash my clothes. I have to or else I would smell bad all the time and that would be a problem." I say to her, reaching in for some pasta she had made yesterday. "Oh yeah, and leftovers are running a bit low so unless you feel as I can make a decent meal you need to make me more food."

I hear Shea scoff and I look at her with pasta in my mouth, tilting my head because I know she hates it when people talk with their mouths full. She gives me a dirty look and points to the stack of bills on the table. I frown instantly when I see them, their nasty red stamps teasing me. "In order for me to make food you have to pay people for water and electricity," Shea scolds, crossing her arms accusingly. "And use a plate," she snaps, taking the pasta out of my hands and getting me a plate where she shovels a little more pasta on the plate and then she takes the rest for herself.

"Hey," I whine, accepting my plate with a sad look upon my face. "I haven't eaten all day."

"There are bratwurst in there, too." Shea says as she walks over to my table and sits down with the pan of cold pasta. I stare at her in annoyance and she catches my eye. She smiles at me and pats the space next to her. "Get over yourself, I made it so I better eat most of it as well."

I sigh grumpily and plop down next to her. I watch her eat before I look back at my pasta and begin to eat. I finish so quickly it's like I didn't get any at all. Then I think of something brilliant to say to get the last of the pasta. "I don't like bratwurst, I only ate it cause you looked so happy that I felt obligated."

I try to keep my smile off my face as I watch her stop eating and take in a deep breath. Without looking at me she shoves the pan of pasta at me and makes a big deal of getting up to get the bratwurst. "Whiney. Baby."

I smile stupidly at her back, digging into the most delicious pasta ever. She takes out the bratwurst and sits back down. She sees my giddy smile and leans over my shoulder to get a forkful of my pasta. She stares at me angrily as she slowly eats it, daring me to take it away from her. I can't look her in the eyes though because she is using my fork and slowly dragging the pasta off the fork. It is awkwardly sexual and I don't think she realizes that.

I take my fork back maybe a little too quickly as she turns to the bratwursts. “You really didn’t like the bratwurst?” Shea asks while she plays with the food, staring at me quizzically, her anger temporarily subsided.

I roll my eyes at her and raise my eyebrow, “Are you seriously asking me that? I’m just yanking your chain. I like all of the food you make, but this pasta is too good to let you just eat it all. I want it and you can make more of it when it is gone.” I nudge her shoulder with mine and continue to eat the pasta, trying to ignore the fact that there is now uncertainty in her eyes as she inspects her bratwursts. ‘Way to go, Eric,’ I think to myself.

Shea shakes her head and starts to eat her food. “Whatever, just know that I’m never making that for you again.” Shea says in such a calm voice I think she’s kidding, but her face shows no sign of playful humor.

I gape at her, not sure what to say. I hadn’t expected her to be that angry about it. Deciding that joking isn’t my best policy I stare at her and then sit back in my seat, crossing my arms over my chest. “Not even on my birthday?”

Shea leans back in her seat and mocks my pose, glaring at me. “Especially not on your birthday, you’re getting a cake of dirt with worms instead of ice cream,” I make a face of disgust and she leans closer to me. “Right now your name isn’t even Eric anymore.”

I laugh and look away, a little shocked by how angry my jest makes her. She huffs and says that she is serious and finishes off the bratwursts in silence. I am amused and slightly worried with Shea’s reaction. What if she really makes me a cake of dirt and a side of worms? “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, eh?” I ask her while she is cleaning our dishes and she laughs.

“Did it really take you five minutes to think of that saying?” Shea asks, putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

I shrug, not that she can see that with her back turned to me, and respond. “I was waiting for you to calm down a little bit.”

She looks over her shoulder at me and smiles, “Eh, I was over it after I dubbed you Arse Face. Then I was too amused by my anger to really be angry so there was no need to wait it out.” She closes the dishwasher and I laugh heartily.

“Arse Face?” I ask incredulously. “I thought you had a better vocabulary than that.”

Shea wanders back over to the table and sits down next to me again, shrugging. “When I’m angry I don’t really think. I kind of just act. Remember that thing with Micheal?” My humor drains as she mentions him and I frown. The need to punch something suddenly arises within me.

“Yeah,” I mutter darkly, “I remember him.” I stare at her neck where he choked her and she pats my arm like she is trying to comfort a vicious animal. She laughs nervously when I clench my fists and so I unclench them to put her at ease.

“Calm down, he isn’t as crappy as he once was, but yeah. That incident happened because he got me so angry that I couldn’t really think about the consequences of my actions. It is a bad habit that I’ve had since I was young.” She smiles and I sigh. There hasn’t been a day that hasn’t gone by where I don't wish I had chased down that boy and beat him dead, but if I would have done that I might have never got the opportunity to become friends with Shea. “I think I got my uncontrollable anger from my biological father.” Shea continues, sitting back and smiling at a pleasant memory. “I remember one time when I was younger that I had got up from a nightmare, and my dad used to work late so he got home at midnight." She laughs as she recalls the memory and in that moment she looks truly beautiful.

The random thought strikes me hard and I internally scowl at myself because I thought that my moment of instability had passed. Apparently it hasn't. I crack a smile because her laughing makes it hard for me not to and she continues once she stops laughing.

"And so I got up to go to my mom, but I found my dad first and so I told him that I thought there was a monster under my bed." Shea pauses to let out another quick round of laughter before she goes on. "And because he was so tired he didn't quite understand that it was a nightmare that I had. So he stomped into my room, cursing mind you, and flipped my bed over." She looks at me to see if I think it was funny. I chuckle respectively and she gives me a toothy grin. "The best part about it was that there was a stuffed animal under my bed and he picked it up and ripped its head off." She giggles cutely and I give her a confused look. Seeing my confusion she elaborates, "He thought that my teddy bear was the monster and so he killed it."

I chuckle, amused. "That does sound randomly violent." I say absentmindedly, more intent on watching Shea's face than actually listening to what she is saying.

Shea keeps talking and she keeps laughing, telling me more funny stories. But I'm more focused on watching her than listening and she notices, a small blush on her face. I don't know if my staring is flattering to her or making her uncomfortable, but she doesn't tell me to stop so I don't. After another two stories she leans her head down on her shoulder and smirks at me.

"I have food on my face, don't I?" I laugh at her for guessing such a stupid thing and shake my head. Still, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand.

"No. I'm just trying to figure out what made you so happy today." I reply and I watch as she blushes a deep red color. She looks away, embarrassed and fusses with her clothes a little bit.

"I'm always happy," Shea counters, not looking at me. I laugh at her and she bites her tongue, giving me an annoyed look. "Why are you staring at me?"

I gesture to her outfit. "Because I'm trying to get used to seeing you dressed up." She pulls down on her skirt and chuckles awkwardly, avoiding my eyes. "Did you have a date today, Shea?" She stands up from the chair so quickly she almost knocks it over and lets out such a fake laugh that even she is unconvinced.

"O-of course not!" She says as she quickly leaves the kitchen. I follow her out and grab her coat before she can. Dangling it tauntingly in front of her, she reaches for it and I let her grab it, but I don't let go.

"Then why are you stuttering?" I ask and Shea jerks her coat from me, too embarrassed to be very angry.

"Why do you care?" She asks as she tries to find her shoes. I don't know why she is starting to leave, but I think it is amusing to see her literally trying to run away from the question. She finds them behind the couch and tries to walk around me but I block her from going.

"Why are you trying to dodge the question?" I ask her, smiling like an idiot as I watch her almost throw a tantrum. Either from my stupid pun that almost always drive her insane, or just because I'm being an asshole, I don't know.

"Don't answer my question with another question, Eric," Shea snaps at me, abandoning her attempt for her shoes and falling backwards on the couch with a heavy sigh. "I don't want to talk about it."

I can't help but start laughing at how miserable she looks and Shea throws a book at me. It bounces off my shoulder harmlessly and I only laugh harder. Shea groans angrily and curls up on the couch, digging her face into the pillow. My eyes rave over the exposed skin of her legs and I realize just how long they are because they just keep going until that damnable skirt appears, only barely covering her.

"That bad, huh?" I ask in a snicker, and Shea just digs her head farther into the pillow. "Well it could have been worse-"

Shea pops her head up just to interrupt me. "No, it really couldn't. He wouldn't even look at me, like come on. You asked me out and you can't even look at me?" Shea groans and sits up, bringing the pillow to her chest. "I got all dressed up, too."

Thinking she is done with her rant about her date, I move around the side of the couch and sit down next to her, ready to make jokes, but she doesn't let me say anything. Instead she turns to me with a fire in her eyes.

"You wanna know what else made it terrible?" She didn't let me say no. "He touched my legs, like, instead of looking at me or speaking. Just places his hand on my thigh and keeps it there, no reason for it. I walk into his room to wait for his mother -his freaking mother- to get home to drive us to the movies and he randomly touches my legs." I narrow my eyes at her and she rolls her eyes in frustration at the memory, slamming her face in my pillow again to let out a loud scream.

"I bet I can keep him from touching your legs again," I say angrily and Shea slaps my shoulder lightly.

"No, you won't because I'm not going out with him again," Shea growls as her anger pushes forth. "Not that we even went to the movies. Why do guys my age have to suck? Why can't they look me in the eyes or hold a decent conversation?" She throws my pillow across the room and I watch it soar and hit the window, denting the blinds.

"Hey," I say softly and wrap an arm around her shoulders to keep her from damaging anything else. "Those blinds didn't happen to date you, too, did they?" And that makes her crack a smile and calm down a little.

She leans into my side and I rub her arm soothingly. "No, but they probably would have been more interesting than Phil." I almost choke on air, I let go of her and she looks up to give me a look. My jokes fly out of the window and a fiery rage overcomes me.

"You went on a date with weird looking Phil?" I ask her and Shea lets out an angry huff of air.

"Why does everyone call him that?" Shea replies angrily, pushing away from me with a look of irritation.

"You went on a date with him?" I ask, raising my voice because the weird looking Phil I know isn't shy at all. He isn't even her age and he defiantly wasn't someone Shea should be alone with. Ever. "I told you to stay away from him!" I growl at her, grabbing her shoulders and forcing her to look me in the eyes.

"Eric, what is the big deal?!" Shea yells back, she looks hurt by my yelling but I don't care. He could have killed her and I would have never known. Obviously my kind warning hadn't worked, so maybe she would understand with a more elevated one.

"The big deal is that he could have killed you, Shea!" I see her give me a look of disbelief and she asks if I'm being serious. "He could have killed you. And you wouldn't have been the first person he's killed." Shea doesn't look at me, her face a mix of shame and denial. Hands still tight on her shoulders, I surprise her by hugging her close. She sits stiff in my arms before she relaxes and I hold her tighter when she does. Her arms are trapped between our bodies and her head rests on my shoulder. I expect her to deny me, say that I'm wrong and try to push me away to argue on Phil's behalf, but she doesn't. She trusts me and I have a feeling it is because of the way Phil acted around her tonight.

"I'm sorry, I thought you were just being, well, you." Shea whispers into my neck. "Phil never seemed like a guy who would do that to someone. He’s nice to me." I rest my head on hers and just hold her. She lets me.

I hold her until she starts to squirm. I reluctantly release her and she stays close to me. She looks up at me with tears in her beautiful eyes and she whispers that she's sorry. Her warm breath tickles my face, but I don't have the heart to push her away again. Our noses are brushing slightly and I can't help it, I lean down and kiss her gently right on her lips. She responds to the kiss just as gently, no hesitance at all. Like she wanted it.

Her arms aren't trapped anymore so she wraps them around my neck. I tangle my hands in her hair and nothing ever felt better. When we break away Shea and I both are panting and she has a dazed look in her eyes. She leans up for another kiss and I oblige, making sure to keep the kiss sweet and slow. I'm lost in the moment, we both are.

I forget that she is just in high school and I forget that I'm a man who could possibly be older than her dad. I'm not thinking and neither is she. Our sweet kisses turn to a make out session, which then progresses into a heated and steamy moment when we start kissing to other places than just each other's lips. I'm on cloud nine. The smell of her perfume and the feeling of her smooth skin is just too much for me. I want more of her. I want all of her.

I'm only knocked out of my lustful stupor when she moans, a throaty sound that is bliss to my ears. Even so I pull back, panting and everything I had just done to Shea slams into me. My mind registers that we are still on the couch, but unlike before I am between her legs and on top of her, her shirt pulled up to expose her stomach. I had grinded myself into her which was why she had moaned. Her hands are balled in my shirt and she is panting under me, saliva making a trail down her neck. Her face is flushed in a gorgeous way and I go cold. There are three hickies on her neck and I start to tremble with horror. What have I done? She tries to pull me down for more, but I don't let her.

"I'm so sorry," I say breathlessly and scamper off of her. I get off the couch and stand on the other side of the room, a hand over my lips. How dare I? "I didn't mean to do that. Or for it to... I'm so sorry." I whisper to her, horrified by my actions. ‘She is just a kid and I just violated her!’ A sickness replaces my elated feeling and I want to puke. ‘I’m disgusting, vile. I can’t believe I just did that. She’ll never look at me the same again.’

I watch Shea's reaction, her every move being noted. She lays a hand on her heart and the other one softly traces the path my lips made over her body. I hear her lightly sigh and she drops her hands by her sides as she waits for her breathing to go back to normal. When she sits up she rubs her thighs together embarrassedly, glancing at me and scratching her arm. “Did I do something wrong?” She asks in a small voice, yet it feels like the largest punch in the gut and I find myself unable to breathe.

I tighten my grip on my face and shake my head in disbelief. “Nothing that I just did is your fault. You did nothing wrong. I-I’m sorry I did that, I shouldn’t have kissed you-” Shea looks down and then she stands up and walks towards me. I try to backup more, not trusting myself to not do something so vulgar again because as she walks my eyes follow the sway of her hips. “Shea please don’t, I can’t control myself...” I grow worried that she is coming over to hit me, not that I would blame her if she did, but then she looks up and I know she is coming over here to finish what I started and again I find it hard to breathe.

“Then don’t,” Shea whispers as she softly removes my hand away from my mouth and pulls me down to kiss her again. It is all the clearance I need and I kiss her back passionately. Her lips are like heaven and my hands cup her face. Unlike on the couch I can feel her body turn to jello as she falls back into her elated daze. It doesn’t take long for us to be lost with each other and I find that I’m scooping her up and walking quickly to my bedroom. I place her on the bed and hover over her, one arm keeping me other while my other hand is holding on to her hip. I take the sight of her in, drinking up all the sounds and smells that we are making. It is beautiful.

She is blushing a dashing color and sporting a new hicky. I can smell her arousal and the scent of her turns me on even more than the sight of her. While I take in the sight of her, she is drinking me in as well, her eyes roaming over the now bare skin of my chest. I don’t remember losing my shirt, but then again most of what we were previously doing I don't remember either. She drags her hands down my bare chest and I shiver in delight. Her hands are soft and her touch is gentle, the caress of a lover. I rub my thumb over her hip bone, surprised that I could feel it on such a thick girl.

Then a thought strikes me hard. She’s grown a lot from when we first met and I understand why I have my sudden mood change toward her: she’s a woman now. Her boobs are bigger, her body is less chubby and lot more muscle. She’s not thin, but she's not thick because she’s fat, either. Her hair is longer and her face isn’t round anymore, instead it’s a pretty heart shape. Her body is also much more curvy than it had been her freshman year. She is gorgeous and I’m kind of confused why I hadn’t seen it before, but I toss the thought aside easily. I’m noticing it now and that is all that matters.

I dip back down and resume kissing her and we're just getting her shirt off when my phone rings, startling the both of us with its shrill cry. I turn to give a glare at the doorway while my phone wails a second and third time. Shea giggles merrily and pats my arm, just as buzzed from kissing me as I am her. "Go answer it," she says, sitting up and scooting back to rest against my headboard. "I'm not going anywhere."

I sigh and slide off my bed, leaving the room and walking down the short hallway to the living room to pick up the phone from the wall near the door. "What?" I ask in an irritated grumble, the pressure in my pants making my erection throb painfully.

"Uh," comes the static clouded reply of Shea's step father and I instantly feel like a child who has been caught doing something they shouldn't. "Sorry for calling so late," her father hesitantly begins, "but I was, uh, wondering if you were able to start tomorrow." I almost growl in anger at him, seeing as he had said he wanted me to start Monday, but I sigh instead.

"If I have to," I reply in a monotone. Checking behind me to make sure Shea hasn't crept up curiously. She hasn't and yet the feeling of being caught still weighs on my shoulders.

"Well my daughter is staying at her friend's house this weekend so I figured you could get a feel of your room and scope out the house and stuff while she is away." He replys and I grunt because I don't want to be talking to him right now. I want to be doing something so much more enjoyable and he just cock blocked me.

"Yeah, sure." I say and look back at the bedroom longingly. "I'll be there at six." I say and hang up halfway through his thank you.

I shuffle back to my bedroom and just chill in the doorway, watching Shea as she fusses with things on my nightstand. Of course she is on all fours leaning over my bed to play with things, her skirt still somehow managing to tease me. 'I can't believe I haven't taken off that damn skirt yet,' I think, wondering if she'd be in such a pose if she was in just her underwear. I sigh heavily to get Shea's attention and she looks at me with a knowing frown, setting down my dog tags.

"Another cock block?" She asks and I crack an apologetic smile as she lets out a frustrated sigh. "I figured." She slides off my bed and I watch her pick up her shirt and jacket from the floor.

She is smiling as she puts on her shirt because she notices me staring at her. She tilts her head and the blush starts to leave her face as she walks over to me. I watch her long long legs and she walks towards me, not even trying to hide my staring. Watching her be sexy doesn't seem forbidden to me anymore.

"Your personal space issues seem to have cleared just as quickly as they had manifested," Shea jests, wrapping her arms around my waist. I gaze down at her with longing as I uncross my arms from my chest and use my free hands to cup her face. She giggles when I rub my nose against hers, returning the action. "That was awfully cute for someone so gruff looking," she says, our noses still close together.

"Well you really don't pay attention to the words personal or space, so..." I trail off, smirking at her. She playfully hits me on the arm, calling me a smart ass. I laugh heartily, knowing that I won't be able to see her like this again for a while. 'When she finds out what I do for a living I feel like she won't be as easy around me, and thinking that she won't find out is stupid. I'm gonna be living with her, she'll know and she'll probably hate me.'

I move my hands from her face to comb them through her curly hair that I had only messed up more when we had been kissing. My humor dies as I realize that by taking this job I might have just killed a chance of any personal relationship with Shea. I sigh sadly and hug her, kissing her head.

"Eric?" She asks, her tone of voice worried. I loosen my grip on her so she can lift her head without head butting me. She puts a soft hand on my cheek, her thumb caressing my scars like it is normal skin. I lean my head into her hand and sigh, turning to give her palm a kiss. Her eyes are searching my face for a sign of something, she looks scared and I sigh again. I want to tell her, but at the same time I don't want to kill the sweetness of the moment. So I decide against it, knowing that it will come back to bite me in the ass.

"I love you," I murmur into her palm, untangling my hands from her hair. Shea looks at me in shock, apparently she hadn't been expecting that. "And I don't know if I'm gonna get another chance to say it, so sorry for it being so random." I chuckle dryly and Shea's face softens into a look of pure sadness.

"Why are you making this sound like a goodbye?" She asks, tears welling in her eyes. "Now I don't want to leave," Shea whispers, hooking her thumbs to the belt loops of my pants.

I can't help but laugh at her emotional response and I put my forehead to hers. My hands slide down her arms and I try to get her to let go. She stubbornly keeps her hands there. "Shea-"

"No! I want to stay the night," she says angrily glaring at me. "You can't just say that you love me and make it sound like a goodbye and then expect me to leave!" Her angry glare softens into a gaze of longing as a tear falls down her face. "Besides, if it is going to be a while until I see you again, I want to make it memorable." She unhooks her hands from my pants and steps back from me, taking my hands as she does.

"Shea we can't have sex tonight, I have to go to work in the morning." I say and she shrugs, falling back on the bed and dragging me on top of her. I wipe her tear off of her face with a sigh.

She caresses my face and rolls her eyes. "You can sleep in a bed as well, dork." She muses, poking my nose and I blush a bit, embarrassed I had jumped straight to sex. "Besides," she says as she drags me to the middle of the bed. "I want to know what side you sleep on."

I stare at her for a moment and tsk. "I didn't even think about that. Sides. Well I usually sleep on the right." Shea smiles so widely that I think she is going to say she sleeps on the left.

Instead she laughs, "Haha, it doesn't matter I sleep in the middle anyway. I'm not strict on sides." She pulls me down and I fall right on her, not expecting her to do that. "I like seeing you like this," Shea whispers, tracing my jaw with her finger.

"Like what," I ask, rolling off of her and on my back, landing on my side of the bed. She rolls on her side and places her head on my chest, snuggling with me.

"All cuddly and cute," she says and I look down at her.

"Cute?" I ask incredulously and she smiles widely.

Shea reaches up and pinches my cheek, "Cute."

I take her hand and kiss it. "We need to go to sleep, I have work in the morning." Shea takes the hint and I get off the bed to do my nightly routine of brushing my teeth and ditching my clothes for boxers. Halfway through brushing my teeth I pull out a spare and pop in to ask her if she wants to brush her teeth. I notice instantly that she doesn't have a bra on and her skirt is off as well. "No, put your clothes back on." I say, pointing the spare toothbrush at the skirt she just tossed to the floor.

"No, I sleep like this," Shea counters, crossing her arms in challenge before she smirks devilishly. "Unless you wanna put it back on me." I lean against the door and sigh, knowing I just lost that battle.

"Do you wanna brush your teeth? I have an extra if you do." I ask her, she declines the toothbrush.

"I have one in my purse, I'll go get it." I nod and go back to brushing my teeth, spitting when I enter my bathroom. My bathroom is small and functional. A shower / bath, toilet, and a sink all crammed in a small space. I rinse my brush off and open my mirror to put it away, taking out the mouthwash. I'm about to close the mirror when Shea pops up under my arm and grabs my toothpaste. "Thank you," she says as she squirts a bit on her toothbrush and then puts it back.

"You're welcome," I say, closing my mirror. I pop open the cap of my mouthwash as Shea starts brushing her teeth, sitting down on the toilet. I take a swig and swish it around, the mintiness of the mouthwash slightly burning.

"So what time are you going to work tomorrow?" Shea asks around her toothbrush. I spit out my mouthwash and put up a finger, telling her to hold on for a second. I rise out my mouth with water and turn to her.

"I have to be there by six," I say, switching spots with her. I sit on the toilet and she spits in the sink.

"Ew, early on a Saturday, that sounds terrible." Shea comments, leaning on the sink lazily. "Less than 12 hours of sleep." She shakes her head and I chuckle.

"You're not the one who has to go to work," I say, watching her spit again, then wash off her brush.

"Yeah, but I want to make you breakfast, so I have to get up, too." She smiles at me while she knocks the excess water off her toothbrush and I return the smile gratefully, though in my mind the only thought I can think is how long I can keep her from knowing the full extent of my job.

Waking up next to Shea has to be the one thing in life that you will never forget. She is like an octopus. When I wake up to my ringing alarm the first thing I notice other than the shrill sound is Shea’s body wrapped tightly around mine. Her arms are both around me and her leg wrapped around mine. She’s drooling on my chest and I don’t really care because I was drooling too. I think it’s cute that we both drool in our sleep.

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Jennifer Leigh Anne Ciliska: Wow!! Loved it!! Awesome read!! Thank you for sharing your story with me

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♡♤Princesa◇♧: I'd say strap on your helmet, rev up that motorcycle again, then get ready to ride for the last trip of redemption... because the wild trip of love between Dusty and Evie isn't over yet. It's just truly beginning with changes.They may not have gotten past their problems just yet, but like Gabriel...

Connie: Good story so far I like the characters and the speed of the story is good

Paula: Really good read. Loved the plot and how the characters played out.

evelyneberger: Toller Werwolfroman, einmal etwas andere Geschichte, sie ist spannend mit vielen sehr gut geschriebenen Szenen. Man kippt richtig rein in die Geschichte. Finde es auch gut von beide Seiten die Betrachtung zu sehen.

Hayley J: Shame the brother in law never got a chance to explain or meet raven.

Lizelle Nel: Absolutely love the story. The mother is quite hilarious with the innuendos. Could feel every emotion the characters went through. You wanted to cry with them. Laugh with them. Highly recommended to read. Keep it up.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.