There’s an angel in my house.
I have to blink a few times to make sure the surreal creature isn’t part of my imagination. Maybe the long hours at work have finally taken a toll on me and messed up my head.
I wouldn’t blame it though. Since I was 19, I’ve been breaking my neck, trying to make ends meet. There has to be a limit.
When my eyes flutter open again, she’s still there in the middle of the living room.
Something twists in my chest, I have to press a hand against it to soothe the heartburn.
The ethereal creature remains there and I’m starting to believe this is not my imagination.
Slowly, I start to catalog every inch of her. Her golden hair sparks against the natural light entering through the windows and rolls down to the middle of her back in curly strands. My gaze moves down her back and the swell of her hips, lingering on her thighs which are exposed, showing her creamy skin.
The hairs on my arms rise at the sight of her. My mouth suddenly dries when her laughter rings throughout the room. It is high and melodious, something that remains ringing in my ears as though they refuse to stop hearing the sound.
Then, I realize this is not a dream when my son laughs too.
Instantly, my gaze shifts to him towering over the girl. His head is leaning forward as he grants her one of his large beams.
As though he can sense me rooted on the entrance, Emerson lifts his stare and meets my starstruck gaze.
“Hey, Dad,” He says, remaining by the living room near the sofa, disinclined from moving away from her.
The beautiful angel turns around quickly and my fucking heart stops. It’s a ridiculous reaction.
She’s even more beautiful on the front. Her red lips are stretched in a wide smile that knocks the air out of my system. And her eyes?
Something lightens in her brown eyes as she spots me by the door.
She makes a move to approach me, extending her hand for me to shake. Suddenly, my hands are starting to sweat.
I haven’t had this ridiculous reaction to any girl before. Not even back in high school when I was lusting after my son’s mother. So, it is a mystery and surprise to me when I grab her hand, and shots of energy travel up my arm, to my erratic heart, and down my spine. She leaves me speechless as I take her in.
“Hello, Mr. Spencer,” She purrs, blinking back at me and keeping her hand placed softly in mine. The urge to curl my hand is strong but I quell it. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, I’m Thalia.”
“Hi, Thalia,” I reply with a raspy tone, tasting her sinful name in my mouth. It is a struggle to let her go. I’m starting to get impatient with the reluctance of my body to cooperate today. It’s like something exploded inside me, something that connected my body with my brain. And now my body is acting on its own free will.
I manage to pull away, giving her a tight smile to hide how uncomfortable I feel. Even though I’m not touching her anymore, her warmth still envelops my hand and I feel it tingling.
I can’t keep my eyes off her.
I only manage to look away when my son speaks again. “Thalia’s new at school. She transferred a month ago.” Emerson rounds the sofa to stand beside Thalia and gives her another small smile. It’s a reassuring and comforting smile like they are already too comfortable around each other.
I manage to nod, swallowing hard, and clenching my teeth.
The girl is only 18 or younger. She’s probably Emerson’s age. I have no business looking and reacting to a girl her age this way.
It’s definitive, work has really fucked me up. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be acting this way around a girl 19 years my junior.
I inhale deeply, catching the soft scent of her perfume. I can’t decipher what it is and don’t allow my brain to ponder too much over it.
This is not okay.
Clearing my throat, I try to shake off the grip this girl has on me. When my eyes land on her again, my pulse spikes up. “How are you liking the school and town so far?”
Thalia graces me with one of her lovely and innocent smiles. “Nice, so far.”
I hum. The way she’s looking up at me with wide innocent brown eyes is causing my stomach to clench even more.
I frown, folding my arms over my chest. “Why did you transfer? Your parents had to move out because of work?”
“Uh…” She falters and I’m already hating myself for making her uncomfortable.
Shut the fuck up.
“No, my parents recently split up,” She explains, furrowing her brow. Surprisingly, she looks beautiful with that expression too. I wonder what other faces make her look stunning, maybe…
Not going there.
I shift in my stand, sensing my body heating up the longer I spend in her presence. I can’t decipher what it is about her but the more I stare down at her, the less I understand.
The girl is stunning, yet she’s pretty young and innocent. And I’m not interested in dating or anything else. I haven’t been for years and right now when I finally feel like my life is balanced again, I don’t want to disturb it.
So, again, this is entirely too ridiculous. What’s wrong with my fucking body?
“So, Mom decided to move here. She’s originally from this town, so it was a no-brainer to come and live with my grandmother too,” She finalizes, and I nod.
I tighten my crossed arms, preventing them from doing something stupid like reaching for her and comforting her. I don’t even know the girl much, but the way her eyes dim makes me want to soothe her.
“Shit, sorry about your parents,” I exclaim, pressing my lips into a tight line.
She shrugs like it is not a big deal, but I can see it still affects her. “It’s fine. It’s been a foregone conclusion for a while now. It was more of a matter of time.”
I nod, unsure of what else to say or how to comfort her.
“Besides, they are better this way.” Her lips are pressed into a small smile.
Are you better this way?
I gulp, quietening the question booming in my head.
My son can sense the tense atmosphere since he wraps his arm around her neck and over her shoulder and squeezes her to his side.
My eyes immediately zero in on his arm. Something starts to burn inside my chest the longer I remain staring at it.
Is my son into Thalia?
I swallow hard, looking away and clenching my jaw.
“Dad,” Emerson calls for my attention again. “Thalia and I are going to study now. We have some presentation and homework to prepare.”
I watch Emerson as he grabs his bag and Thalia’s and hangs it over his shoulder.
My heart sinks as I ask. “In your bedroom?”
“Uh…” Emerson seems taken off guard by the question. “Yeah.”
I inhale before answering through slightly gritted teeth. “Okay but leave the door open.”
I sigh, as my eyes flicker back to the angel. Thalia gives me a quick smile before she follows Emerson to the second floor.
I remain rooted in the same place, watching them walk away. Meanwhile, something swooshes inside my stomach as they move further away.
I don’t realize my hands are in fists until they are out of sight, and I manage to move from the entrance.
I walk to the sofa and plop down, throwing my head back and staring at the ceiling.
What the fuck?
I can’t even answer that question. But I do know something…
The idea of my son locked up in a bedroom with her? I don’t like it one bit. It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth that burns my throat whenever I swallow.