Chapter 12 - Roofing
Nobody is home as usual when I get back. After a shower, I put on my pajama pants and a tank top and stare at my reflection in the mirror critically. There is no way that anybody in this house would be able to miss that big hickey on my neck. I was careful at hiding it behind my hair today but even Evelyn commented on it. We were having smoothies at the cafe after my interview with Adam, the manager, when Evelyn laughed and said, “Oh, boy, poor Travis, he never had a chance, huh?” All the while her eyes were skimming the bruise on my neck. Travis had avoided his eyes, pretending he didn’t see it or heard Evelyn’s comment.
It is big and hard to miss. I don’t think Jonah would be happy to see it. He’s been way overprotective. I am over 18 but my cousin has been treating me like I was still 12.
I don’t want to be hiding away in my room from everybody until the bruise is gone. I had been doing enough of hiding when I was at the Loup Noir Pack and I hated it.
Ughh..that’s it! I wind a light, cream-colored cotton scarf around my neck. I look ridiculous, wearing a scarf with a pajama but there’s no way around it. Pajama with a scarf. Why not? I’ll rock it! I’ll own the look. Yeah!
With that in mind, I venture into the living room and try to read Of Mice and Men by John Steinback. It’s a very good book. Somehow I find myself staring at the same page for over fifteen minutes with zero clue to what’s written on it. I find my fingers slipping underneath the scarf, absently tracing the hickey on my neck. I could almost feel his warm wet mouth on me, the sharp teeth and the canines pressing on my skin. His powerful hand on my back while another gripping my hair at the back of my neck. His heated hard body pressing against mine. My breathing starts to go ragged. Goosebumps spread across my skin and I let out a small moan. Oh, God! I jump up. My eyes go wide and I slap a hand over my mouth. What the hell, Quincy?
It’s a good thing nobody is around. Isn’t it hot in here? I start to fan myself. Maybe another shower is in order, a cold one...because it’s a very hot evening. What’s with the temperature in California?
I can’t get him out of my mind, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been so obsessed with him from the first moment I laid my eyes on him. It has gotten worse after this morning. I mean, how often do you have a gorgeous non-human guy that you’ve been crushing on corner you and gave you a big hickey? I don’t even know how to describe what happened after that. He acted like he had the right to me. Like he owned me. It reminds me so much of the way the werewolves at the Loup Noir Pack behaved when they found their mate and that’s what scares me the most. It’s surprising that he left me alone after that even though I felt his burning gaze following me from time to time the whole day today.
I like looking at hot guys just like any normal straight girls. No harm in looking, right? I don’t like to think that I’m that shallow to be drawn to him just because of his looks, though.
I toss the book onto the seat beside me and reach for the remote control of the TV. Then I keep flipping the channels...just like my cousin, Jonah. I’m turning into my cousin and that’s how Jonah finds me an hour later.
The smell of pizza wharves through the air the moment he enters the house. He deposits the pizza box on the coffee table then he stands there staring at me, frowning.
“Pizza!!!” I sit up, clapping my hands. “You are the best, Jonah! Super duper awesome!” I beam up at him. For a second, his frown disappears and his eyes soften.
I get up to get us a couple of plates and something to drink. I even do my version of a happy dance and start singing while I’m at it, “Hi, friends! Are you ready? For the magic pizza song? Here we go!!! Magic, magic Pizza. Yummy Magic Pizza. What do you want on your pizzaaa??? I want cheese. I want cheese. I want pepperoni. I want pepperoni...and I want spiders!!!! Spiders? Noooo!!!!”
I even detect a slight smile on his lips as he keeps standing there with his arms crossed over his chest, watching me.
Then I switch to the pizza song Nana and I used to sing together when I was younger, “Je suis une pizza. Avec du fromage. Beaucoup de sauce. Des tomates. Des oignons. Des champignons. Épices mélangées. Je suis une pizza. Prête à manger, Oh!” Then my voice breaks a bit and something stuck in my throat and I stop singing. I miss Nana. So much. I abruptly sit on the sofa and force a big smile at Jonah. I pat a seat next to me, swallow hard and say, “Come on, sit! I’m hungry.”
“You’re so much like Nana,” he says, shaking his head. “What’s with the scarf?”
“Don’t you know? It’s a new trend these days.”
“What? Wearing a scarf in the house? With pajamas?”
“Uh huh...” I look down at the pizza and start scratching the side of my head. My scalp gets itchy sometimes when I try to lie to my friends or to the people I care about. “The Kardashians or somebody started it. It’s all the rage...” I stuff a big bite of the pizza into my mouth so I can stop talking.
“Somebody from some cafe called. He said, if you could be there at 5 tomorrow morning, then the job is yours,” says Jonah, still staring at the scarf around my neck suspiciously.
“Yes!” I make a punching motion in the air. A pizza and a job in one day. How lucky am I? “Wait! Which cafe? Is it Club Espresso Degree?”
He shrugs his massive shoulders. “You need a phone,” he says.
“Yes, I do. You’re an unreliable phone receptionist.”
Five minutes to five in the morning, I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed in front of the dimly lit cafe. A few minutes later, a girl shows up on a skateboard and unlocks the door.
“Hi,” she says with a friendly smile. “So you’re the new girl. I’m Cat.”
“Quincy,” I tell her.
Cat shows me around and quickly tells me what to do to help her get started. She’ll train me throughout the day, she says.
I like Cat immediately. She has a nose ring and several piercings on her ears. I love her short purple hair and the tattoo of a bird with its colorful wings spread open on the side of her neck. I like her black nail polish and her Grateful Dead t-shirt with skull and roses, her ripped dark jeans and black Vans.
She introduces me to a couple of other girls, Alex and Jenna, who show up half an hour later. Alex just nods her head then gets to work. Jenna sizes me up and down with her eyes then purses her lips before she saunters away.
“Alex’s cool,” says Cat. “Don’t mind Jenna, She doesn’t like girls who are prettier than she is,” she adds and winks at me before she busies herself with the brewing equipment.
I smile at her compliment. I learned earlier on when she hit on me that Cat likes both, men and women. No point of being discriminating, she told me. She also advised me to put concealer on my neck to cover the hickey even though it’s as sexy as fvck...according to her. I have no idea how a hickey could look "sexy as fvck".
I walk into the auditorium and feel the electrically charged heavy air and now I’m seriously thinking of walking out of it. Am I in the right class? I was sure this is the right class. Unfortunately, the crowd of students squeezing through the door to get inside is jostling me forward, further into the room.
Caspian, the annoying golden god is sitting in the middle row, surrounded by his adoring female crowd as usual. What’s not usual is him in this class. He’s never in this class.
He’s sitting back lazily in his chair with his long legs spread out underneath the table. His golden silky hair is slicked back as usual. His short-sleeved navy Oxford shirt stretches tight across his magnificent chest. His biceps bulge under the sleeves. A jolt of electricity travels down my spine as soon as our eyes meet and lock. A kaleidoscope of butterflies starts fluttering in my stomach and my heart and pulse start pumping and jumping rapidly. I see his lips slowly curl up into an angelic smile and I quickly tear my gaze away. That smile spells trouble. For me. I can feel him tracking my movement across the room with his eyes.
He looks beautiful and harmless now but I can feel waves of fierce energy coming off him even from here. Untamed and primitive. He’s one powerful being, whatever he is. I’m immune to my Alpha’s power, but I can’t ignore his. He’s a predator and I’m his prey. I don’t know how these people are oblivious to how much power he’s wielding.
I climb up, all the way up, bypassing my regular lone seat nearest to the exit door. There are too many empty seats around it. Instead, I make sure there are no available seats beside me by going for an empty seat next to a girl busy chatting with her friends on the other side of her.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken?” I ask her.
“Nope,” she says without looking at me and goes back to talking to her friends. I catch a snippet of their conversation, enough to know that they’re talking about him. Gag! Why can’t they talk about how to bring about world peace or something? Why didn’t I start thinking about how to make a greener world instead of thinking about him? Yeah, why didn’t I?
Once I take my seat and place my bag on my knee, I raise my head and my gaze immediately falls on him. He has his body turned back to watch me. He’s making no secret that he’s staring at me. His lips curl up into a wicked smile and his eyes light up mischievously once our eyes meet. Oh uh...
I tear my gaze away and busy myself getting ready for class. My heart is hammering away. I take my notepad and my pens out. Then I arrange everything neatly on the table.
“Moya Printsessa.” His warm breath fans the back of my neck and I swear I feel all the hair on all parts of my body stand up to the attention. I don’t know when he moved to sit behind me. “I can still see my teeth mark on you. It looks....sexy.”
Dangerous or not, he’s annoying. My hackles go up everytime he opens his mouth. I’ve brought my hair to one side of my neck just to cover his mark. I’m well aware that it doesn’t really work but does he have to be a jerk and bring that up? That’s it, I’m going to town and buy myself a concealer today!
“What are you doing here?” I hiss at him. I half turn and realize that he’s leaning forward, way too close to me. His mouth is just inches away from mine.
“Have dinner with me tonight?” His warm breath feathers against my skin.
“It’s a school night. No,” I tell him, leaning away from him. I’m trying not to look into his eyes.
“Go out with me this weekend, then?”
“I’m busy this weekend.” My head itches.
“Busy doing what?” There’s an edge to his voice now.
Doing what? “Uh...our house is leaking. I have to fix the roof.” Roof? Really now Quincy? My whole head is itchy now. Darn him!
“Are you lying to me, Princess?” I detect a smile in his voice.
“Um...no?” I clear my throat. “I mean, of course not.” I curb the urge to scratch my head and look around to see people closer to us staring. My neighbors, the girls who were ignoring me before are now clearly listening in to our conversation.
“Okay, I’ll come and help you then,” he says. “I’ve never fixed a roof before. I bet it’s going to be fun.”
“NO!” I squeak. “No,” I whisper and make a mistake of looking into his bright green eyes. “Oh no, it’s a very very boring thing to do,” I whisper back to him. So so green. How can a pair of eyes look so vividly green like that? He’s staring into my eyes. Then he gazes down at my lips. The hungry gleam in his eyes makes mouth feels dry. My own gaze falls on his sensual pink lips. They look so good. So very good. I wonder what they taste like.
I jump at the sound of our Professor’s voice. Saved by the bell or rather saved by Professor McKinley.
I turn to face the front, ducking my head down to avoid all those eyes watching, especially the girls beside me who are openly staring.
I hear his tortured, frustrated groan behind me and bite my lip to stop from laughing.
I don’t know if I’m feeling very relieved or disappointed right now. We had been leaning very close to each other. Very close. A few more seconds and...
Oh, boy. I am so screwed.
*I didn't like the chapter I originally wrote for today's update so scraped the whole thing and started again....just this morning! This one still needs work but I promised you a new chapter today and I really have to go now. I’ll update again Monday.