“Tell me again: why did I have to ditch my friends?” I asked as I stomped up the steps of the front porch to my house.
I had to ditch Matt and Jesse today after school to hang with Vincent at my house, where we were supposed to have our first tutoring lesson. Why it had to be done at my house, I had no idea, and when I asked Vincent about it, he handed me out the second rule of his annoying book of rules: Stop asking questions.
“You’ve ditched your friends to be with me, of course.” He replied calmly, with a laid back attitude. It was like nothing could ever bother him.
“But why do we need to be at my house for?”
“Because I said so. This reminds me of rule number three,” he said, turning to me. “Do as I say. Remember this rule. I have a feeling we’ll be using it quite a lot.”
I rolled my eyes. “Play along, don’t ask questions, do as I say… I’m beginning to see a pattern in your rules.” I grumbled darkly.
Those stupid rules were starting to get on my nerves, to be honest.
I guess I was cranky because I had to come home without Matt. We usually came home together, but today Vincent had been waiting for me at the school’s parking lot, with a devious smile on his billionaire face, and he had directed me towards his fancy expensive car without even asking me if I was okay with it or not.
If I thought Matt looked miffed at the library, it was because I hadn’t seen the look on his face when I left that parking lot with Vincent.
“Ma, I’m home!” I yelled, as I stepped inside my house and motioned for Vincent to follow me.
My mother came from the kitchen, wrapped in a red apron and a spoon in her hand. She looked just like me, dark beautiful hair falling over flawless skin, and plump rosy lips in an angelical beautiful face.
She was so lucky to get all that from me. Lucky woman!
“Hey, Tay-Tay,” she greeted me in a cheerful mood. “Ah, and who’s your new friend? He’s so pretty!” She exclaimed, watching Vincent approvingly.
“Tay-Tay?” Vincent whispered by my side, stifling a laugh.
I hissed under my breath and shot a dirty look at my mom. What mother greets her son’s new friend with “he’s so pretty” for heaven’ sake? My mother, the Queen of Embarrassment, that’s who.
“It’s just a stupid nickname she gave me when I was little.” I grunted while dying of embarrassment. “She can’t get over the fact I’m not a one year-old anymore. This is Vincent, mother. He is helping me with a project for school.” I introduced them.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Holmes.” Vincent took her hand and kissed the back of it like a true gentleman would do.
“Oh, dear.” She fawned over the fancy treatment she was receiving. “It’s nice meeting you too, Vincent. What a gentleman.” She giggled shamelessly and turned to me. “And where’s Matty?”
“He couldn’t come today.” I muttered quietly, guilt eating me up inside. “We’re going to my room to get things started, okay?” I told her as I grabbed Vincent’s arm and pulled him up the stairs with me.
It was best not to hang around my mother for long, she could get curious and ask questions – weird, embarrassing questions.
“Okay, hon. Lunch will be ready soon, all right?” She yelled from the bottom of the stairs. “And keep the door to your room open, you hear? I don’t want any funny business in there, boys!” She warned, making my ears turn red in shame.
Geez, now Vincent was going to think that I was some horny pervert that couldn’t keep his hands off of any boys that entered my room. Thanks a lot, mom! I told you she was the Queen of Embarrassment, didn’t I?
“Sorry about my mother. I try to train her, but you know how it is... mothers are so undisciplined.” I apologized, trying to cover up my red face while we headed to my room.
I walked inside and tossed my bag over the desk, but the backpack slipped and fell on the floor, making a loud thump.
“Hey! I told you boys, no baby-making up there!” My mother yelled from downstairs. “I’m too young to be a grandma!”
I covered my face in my hands and hoped that people couldn’t actually die from acute case of embarrassment, because if they could, I was in a lot of trouble now.
“I like your mom. She has a good sense of humor,” Vincent said, sitting on my bed. “And a good sense of aesthetics too, since she thinks I’m pretty.”
“Yeah, yeah, doll face.” I kicked my bag to a corner of the room.
“You don’t need to be jealous. You’re very pretty too. We would make some pretty gorgeous babies.” He teased playfully.
I stared at him with a snort stuck on my throat. Yeah, he probably would make some gorgeous babies. He was very handsome.
Vincent had a squared jaw and sharp angled cheekbones, but the rest of his features were quite delicate. His eyes were an intense green that matched perfectly to the almond locks of his hair and his tanned skin. He looked fit and strong, but I couldn’t tell for sure because he wore clothes that concealed his body very skillfully.
But I couldn’t get over his eyes. They were amazingly beautiful, so of course, I had to babble about it because my mouth didn’t know when to shut up!
“If our babies come out with your eyes, they are set for life.”
He looked surprised for a moment there.
I felt heat creeping up my neck and the inevitable blush that followed it.
“Anyway, how about we quit discussing our future offspring appearance and focus on your amazing plan? Are you going to explain to me what the hell we’re doing here or what?” I asked, shuffling around and trying to avoid looking him directly in the eyes.
“I told you what. We are here supposedly for study purposes,” he said, crossing his legs at the ankles.
“And...?” I prompted him to continue.
“And nothing, that’s it. If you want, we can really study something. If not, you can carry on doing whatever you want and I’ll read a book.”
“That’s it? We just stay here doing nothing?”
“Wow. That is such a genius plan. I hope you didn’t strain your brain too much with all the thinking.” I mocked him. “For how long do we have to keep this up?”
“We’ll be doing this for a couple of weeks, maybe more.”
“What? I was asking for how long today, like how many hours of the afternoon!” I shrieked in shock. “A couple of frigging weeks, are you serious?! What is this going to accomplish? This plan of yours makes no sense! It just plain sucks!” I huffed exasperatedly.
“Oh, and speaking of the plan, I need your phone. Hand it over.” he ordered, extending his hand to me.
I looked at him suspiciously. “Why?”
“Rule number three, Holmes, remember? Give me the phone.”
“Man! I really hate these rules!” I groaned and tossed him my phone. “What are you going to do with it?”
“Nothing, I’m just keeping it for the day. I know the first days will be harder for you to resist him,” he said, pocketing my phone in his jeans.
“Resist your soon-to-be boyfriend Mathew, of course. Based on my calculations, he’s going to call you in a few minutes to check up on you. You can’t answer him.”
“What? Of course I can! I always do!”
“That is exactly why you can’t.”
“What the hell. Why not?” I asked.
Right then, my phone started ringing inside Vincent’s pocket. It was Matt’s ring tone. Damn that blasted psychic genius boy!
He shot me a victorious smile and crossed his arms over his chest smugly.
“Give me my phone back.” I narrowed my eyes in warning.
“No. You can’t answer that.”
“Give it back, now.”
“I’m sorry, Taylor, but I’m afraid I cannot do that. You have to trust me. It’s for your own good,” he said still with the laid back attitude.
“You can’t do that! It’s my phone! Give it back!”
“What are you going to do? Beat me up to get it?” he teased, chuckling lightly.
Blast him! I stood in front of him without knowing what to do. I was not a violent person, I would never beat anybody up for anything!
The phone kept ringing frantically, driving me insane.
“Look, I have to answer him, all right? We had a fight this weekend and I don’t want him to think that I’m mad at him.”
“What was the fight about?” he inquired curiously.
“It was nothing, really…” I said vaguely.
He quirked up an eyebrow. “If it’s really nothing, then you shouldn’t worry about it.” He check-mated me. The cheeky smart-ass.
“Vincent, give me my goddamn phone back right frigging now.” I growled.
“Ooh, a sexy groan. I like it!” he teased again.
Suddenly an idea struck me. “Hey, are you ticklish?”
“Um...no?” he answered with a smidge of uneasiness. Liar!
I tackled him on the bed, straddled and tickled him with all I had. He doubled up, laughing, squirming and trashing around spasmodically beneath me as I dug my fingers into his ribs. But my phone was still inside his pocket and it was quite hard to get it without groping him in some very inappropriate places, while he wriggled underneath me. The phone stopped ringing but I continued tickling him, until he was gasping for air.
“The phone stopped! It stopped ringing!” he squeaked, still laughing. “Stop, stop! You can stop now!”
“Not until you give my phone back!” I grunted and stuck my hand inside his pocket, but then he grabbed my arms and flipped me over.
He had me pinned down on the bed, my hands held firmly above my head so I wouldn’t escape his grip, as he caught his breath back. He was much stronger than he looked.
I could feel his minty breath brushing past my face in soft exhales. He looked kind of hot gasping like that. That’s when I realized his breathless panting was turning me on a bit. My body – more precisely the lower part beneath the waist line – responded in a very obvious way, and I think I turned into the deepest red that has ever existed beneath him.
He cocked a curious eyebrow, but then my phone started ringing again, making my mind flood instantly with guilt.
“Vincent, please. Just... let me get that?” I pleaded, my voice breaking a little.
I think he saw the despair in my face, because the beginning of a smirk turned slowly into a stern look. I was about to cry, to my upmost embarrassment. He had me powerless in that bed and there was nothing I could do to escape this situation.
“Look, Taylor, I mean it when I said this was for your own good. I’m trying to help you here,” he said as softly as he could, urging me to understand. “Listen, he needs this. He needs to miss you. You don’t let him miss you! He takes you for granted, like you’re always going to be there, to his beck and call. He needs to see that he can’t always have you whenever he wants. If he wants to be number one in your life, he needs to step up his game. He has to fight for you, okay? I know he will, he just needs a little push. I’m trying to give him this push, Taylor.” He let go of my hands, setting me free.
“That’s my plan. You have to pretend to be interested in me. The more jealous he gets, the faster he’ll crack. And he’ll realize how much he loves you. Do you understand what I’m trying to do here?” he asked in a serious tone.
I nodded silently, still fighting back some tears.
“Okay then.” He raised himself off me and sat on the bed.
Thankfully, the phone stopped ringing, ending my torture.
“So… that’s what you were doing at the library yesterday, with the inappropriate touching? You were trying to make him jealous?” I asked quietly, sitting by his side.
“Yep. I saw him arriving and looking for you. So I made sure you were being inappropriately groped when he found us. I knew he’d be jealous. That’s what I’m trying to do with the tutoring lessons. He’s probably at his place now, thinking about what we’re doing together. You have to pretend that you’re having the time of your life with me, and you can’t answer his calls when you’re having the time of your life, can you?” he asked with a smug smile.
“It’s kind of a mean plan...” I mumbled, staring at the floor. “I mean, I’m his best friend, and I’m ditching him like he doesn’t even matter. And I can’t even take his calls now? This feels wrong, Vincent.”
“You have to play a hard game to get what you want, Taylor. Playing softball isn’t getting you anywhere.” Vincent stated quite simply. “You two are in this vicious pattern and we need to break it up. If you really want him, you’ll have to make some changes.”
“Yeah, but I can end up losing everything, including his friendship.” I countered. “With the way you’re carrying out this plan, that might just happen.”
“But isn’t it worth the risk? It’s up to you, Taylor, but I promise you, if you do things my way, and do exactly as I tell you to do, you can have him. I know people, I can see how much he likes you. That’s way beyond a friend’s affection. You just have to trust me on this. Do you trust me?” he asked me, his eyes never leaving mine.
“I hardly know you! We’ve just met!”
“So what? It’s a simple question. Either you do or you do not.”
I stared at his green eyes for a long time before sighing in resignation.
“Fine, I trust you. Let’s do this.”