Chapter 8 - The Trap
I slump on the ground with my back against the door of our house. My heartbeat is slowing down close to normal...somewhat.
I bang the back of my head on the door I’m leaning against over and over again. I close my eyes and remember his intense gaze that held me captive. Those eyes. How my heart slammed in my chest. He stared at me as if captivated and I couldn’t pull my own eyes away. I stood there by the door of the lecture hall, trapped. I forgot how to move or breathe. The rest of the world faded away. Just him and me. I have no idea how long we were staring at each other for but somebody slammed into me from behind and that brought me back out of my trance. That fierce hungry look on his beautiful face brought fight or flight instinct in me. I chose flight. I turned back around and ran like a bat out of hell.
I remember how I got back here. I recall running and losing myself in the crowd of students who were entering a lecture hall. I let myself to be swept away by the crowd. I went in through one door and out the other. Running. Running. Getting on the bus. Walking back here, and now here I am, trying to make sense of everything that just happened. What did just happen? Did it really happen? Why? Did he really run after me or his footsteps behind me was just my imagination? What have I got myself into? What did I do?
Oh god, I just missed my class.
I sit on the front step of the house for quite a while. Thinking. Just thinking. God knows me and thinking are not a good combination. After I got my breathing and heartbeat close to normal, I slowly get up and unlock the front door.
Isaac is home, chewing on a sandwich while watching a youtube video on his phone. “What are you doing home?” he asks in surprise when he sees me. “Don’t you have a class or something?”
“Uh...I skipped today,” I tell him.
“Why? You sick?”
“I’m not feeling too well.” Yeah, let’s go with that. I’m feeling very confused, having breathless moments and heart palpitations, excited and sorta scared. That counts as not feeling too well, does it?
“You’re not wearing that hoodie anymore,” he observes.
“Wow, you’re one of those,” I say.
“One of what?”
“Captain Obvious’s crews.”
“I am,” he replies proudly.
“Hey, Isaac? What does that hoodie do to you? What does it smell like to werewolves? Does it smell bad to you?”
“It doesn’t do anything to me. It does something for the person who’s wearing it. It’s not exactly a pleasant smell. Obviously.”
“Obviously.” I roll my eyes. “What does it do to the person who’s wearing it?”
“It changes your smell,” he explains. “It makes you smell like an Omega. An uninteresting harmless Omega and that makes us ignore you. The more powerful the werewolf is, the more insignificant whoever is wearing the hoodie seems. So, to an Alpha, you might as well be invisible.”
Wow. I have no idea. I take some time to mull over that information. Now my respect for hobo hoodie seems to grow despite the foul smell. “How did Jonah get the hoodie?”
“No idea,” he says, going back to his sandwich.
“Why are you home?” I ask him, changing the subject suddenly.
“I’m meeting a client at noon. I figure I’ll grab something to eat at home before I go.”
Wait. What? “Client? Isaac, what do you do?”
“I’m a real estate agent,” he answers. For real???
“What?” he asks me when I just gap at him in surprise.
He is dressed nicely in a crisp white dress shirt and dress pants but I would never, in a million years, peg him as a real estate agent.
“Wow! The look on your face right now? That’s insulting,” he says, taking another huge bite of his sandwich.
“Am I hurting your fragile ego and feelings?”
“Yes. Yes, you’re hurting my feelings.”
“How long have you been doing this gig?”
“Gig.” I hear him mutter under his breath between chewing. “Not too long. I am just starting out.”
“Hmmm...what does Jonah do for a living?” I ask him curiously.
“No idea. If you haven’t noticed, he’s not exactly a chatty Charlie. He’s got that scary Alpha vibe going even though I heard that his father was a Beta or something. Not many people have the guts to talk to him the way you do,” he answers. “That first day you’re here? He told me he’d bust my balls if I tried anything on you. Don’t get me wrong, you’re hot and all that but I love my balls.”
Aaahhh...I suspected Jonah had something to do with that.
"Hey, Isaac, what are you watching?” I gesture towards the youtube video on his phone.
“Cat video. Cats are funny. Wanna watch it with me? I got a few more minutes.”
“Sure,” I answer. “Umm...Wow! That’s a lot of sandwiches,” I tell him. “You know, my Nana used to say, sharing is caring.”
“Good to know.”
“Feel like sharing?”
“Not a chance. Make your own.”
Tuesday morning. Everybody, except for Lana is in the kitchen, having breakfast. Jonah looks at me with approval when he sees me enter the kitchen wearing hobo hoodie. Layla scrunches her nose in disgust while Isaac smirks, looking amused.
“Are you back to wearing that again?” complains Layla. “Girl, why are you hiding all that fabulousness behind that ugly hoodie?”
“Shut up, Layla. There’s nothing wrong with the hoodie,” snaps Jonah. Layla lowers her head to look down at her cereal bowl but I catch her rolling her eyes secretly before she does.
For the next few days, I’m back to wearing the hoodie while constantly looking around for the golden god who takes up a lot of space in my brain. Too much space. He’s taking over the reserved space for my education and I only have so much. Apparently, obsessing over a golden-haired god is not good for comprehending and retaining new information in class.
I keep remembering the look on his face when he was looking at me. It plays like a scene in a movie on repeat in my mind. My heartbeat increases and my stomach lurches every time I remember it.
At night, I dream of his fierce, gorgeous face turning to look at me and pinning me to the spot with his look. I try to run but my feet are so slow and heavy. It feels like I was running in quicksand while he’s chasing after me, closing in on me. I wake up with my heart racing fast...only partly from fear though, mostly from excitement. A part of me wants him to catch me, which is ridiculous. Right?
It’s surprising that I haven’t seen him at all during the last few days that I’m wearing hobo hoodie. On Tuesday, the day I start wearing hobo hoodie again, I thought I saw him everywhere. It doesn’t help that I can’t stop looking around for him. Every tall blond head I spot in the crowd got my heart racing. By Thursday I still haven’t seen him around campus at all and that got me very suspicious and paranoid. What if it’s a trap? By Friday, I wonder if it’s someone else that he was looking at. Saturday and Sunday, I convince myself that it didn’t really happen. He didn’t look at me like he was about to pounce on me. It was all in my head. I mean, why would he do that? There are so many beautiful girls around and they're literally throwing themselves at his feet. Why would he be paying attention to me, right? That’s just insane.
By Monday, I’m totally convinced that my mind was playing a trick on me. The whole thing didn’t really happen. However, my cowardly ass totally skipped the classes that day including the one that I shared with him, just in case. We have a 5 classes limit that we’re allowed to skip every semester and I'm cashing them in.
By Tuesday morning, I decided that enough is enough. I'm not missing any more classes and as much as I respect hobo hoodie, I'm not in love with it. At some point, we have to go our separate ways.
I step out of my room wearing a pair of denim shorts (for easy running), a light blue, pink, and white striped cotton top that reminds me of candies, and a pair of white Converse. I leave my hair down. I stuff the rolled up hobo hoodie in my bag...just in case.
Jonah frowns when he sees what I’m wearing but doesn’t say a word.
“Aren’t you going to have breakfast before you go?” asks Layla who is munching on her cereal.
“Nope, no time. I’m running a bit late this morning.” I have to catch a seven thirty bus before I miss it. I plan to stop at the library to get some books and do some research for one of my assignments before I have to go to my first class at nine this morning.
“I’ll drive you to class,” says Jonah. I just nod and follow him out. It’s really no use arguing with Jonah. If he says he’ll drive you, you better just go with it before he just picks you up and deposits you in his car like a sack of potatoes. Darn neanderthal werewolves.
I smile as I enter Club Espresso Degree, a popular cafe on campus. I love the smell of coffee and the sweet baked goodies in it. It’s after ten in the morning and the place isn’t too busy yet. I head right here after my first class ended. I try not to come here often to save money but this morning I didn’t get to eat breakfast and I’m very hungry. The help wanted sign on the front glass window makes me bounce in excitement as I stand in line for my smoothie and bagel.
It would be great if I can get a job here. Food and I get along great. We’re like BFF. This is meant to be. It’s fate. I can feel it. Well, this is me trying to psych myself out. I actually do this every time I see a job opening at a food establishment.
“Hi, good morning, what can I get you?” asks the girl behind the counter. “Quincy?”
“Where have you been, Chika? I didn’t see you in class yesterday,” exclaims Evelyn who looks happy to see me. “In fact, I didn’t see you around the whole week.” She looks briefly over her shoulder then she leans over the counter and whispers, “Travis has been looking around for you.” Her eyes gleam mischievously.
“Yeah...I was kinda busy.” Yeah, busy hiding.
“Hey, Trav! Look who’s here,” she calls out behind her before she turns back and asks me, “Anyway, what can I get you?”
“Can I get a mango smoothie and a toasted sesame seed bagel with cream cheese, please?” I tell her. “Oh, and also that job opening I saw by the window there.”
Evelyn’s smile widens. “Did you hear that Trav? She’s going to work here,” she yells as she starts to work on my order.
Travis’s face with his black-framed glasses peeks out from behind her. “Hi, Quincy,” he says, adjusting his glasses and straightening the black apron that bears the cafe logo he’s sporting.
“Hey, Travis.” I smile at him. He’s not that much taller than I am and he looks so young when he flashes his awkward, shy smile like that.
“Come back around two today. Our manager, Adam will be here. He’ll make you fill up some form and ask you a few questions. Don’t worry though, the job is yours,” Evelyn says with a wink. “Adam is Travis’s cousin.”
“Isn’t that like nepotism or something? It feels kinda wrong,” I tell her.
“Oh, honey, you’re worrying about nepotism in a high paying career as a server and smoothie maker? Haven’t you heard? It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know,” answers Evelyn unperturbed. “Besides, we’re not telling him to hire you, we’re just going to “lightly suggest” that he hires you...or else we're totally slashing his tires.”
I grin at Evelyn, hoping that she's just kidding.
“Adam likes to hire pretty girls. I don’t think he’ll pass you up...” adds Travis. Then as if he just realized what he just said, his eyes widen and the color on his cheeks flares up. “I’m not saying that you’re pretty...I mean you are but....but..”
“Oh, Travis, dude, you got no game.” Evelyn bursts out laughing. “I give up!”
I’m still smiling as I walk across the yard where some students are sitting around on the grass, reading or talking in groups. Everything is finally falling into place. I’ll be an independent, normal human girl with a job and normal human friends. Now I just need to concentrate on my study and find myself a good normal human boyfriend to breed normal human babies. Preferably two. One girl and one boy.
Suddenly, I feel that spark and heaviness in the air again. Like a storm brewing even though the weather hasn’t changed. My heart starts pounding hard and my stomach dips. My breathing comes up in fast, short puffs. My body seems to be able to sense him even before I can.
I look around wildly until I see the source of my sleepless nights and mad obsession. He’s standing across the field, about 15 yards away. Watching me. His posture seems relaxed though I sense that he’s like a predator ready to spring on its prey. His intense gaze on me feels like a laser beam, burning, branding, and marking everywhere it touches my skin.
It’s a trap. My brain decided to acknowledge. I didn’t see him around for a while and I was lulled to believe that it’s safe. That it’s okay to come out and play again. He’s been waiting for me all along.
He has his thumbs hooked into the front pockets of his dark designer jeans. His blue-grey henley stretches across his broad shoulders and chest. His golden hair glints in the sun. My golden god. Oh, no no no...he’s not mine.
He lifts his chin up finally as if challenging me to run. So I run. My thick straight black hair trailing like a banner behind me.
I have no idea where I’m going but I pump my legs as fast as I can and keep going. Usain Bolt got nothing on me.
I run between two buildings and glimpse the green forest area behind them and decide that I’m going in the right direction....until I see the chain link fence that separates the campus from the wood.
I come to a halt right in front of it and give the fence a swift frustrated kick before I turn around. He’s right there, not ten feet away from me. My breath is stuck in my throat somewhere. My heartbeat is racing so fast that I almost feel dizzy.
We’re totally alone here. A wolfish, triumphant smile is growing on his lips. I realize too late that this is exactly where he wants me.
He’s not even running. The smile melts away from his lips as he approaches me slowly. His eyes are slowly drinking me in from the top of my head, lingering on my face, then on my chest, on my legs, and down to the tip of my converse then back up again. I move backward until my back is pressing hard against the steel fence.
He stops only when his face is just a few inches away from mine. He’s so tall, he towers over me. This close, he looks even more breathtakingly beautiful. His skin is flawless. Every feature is sharp like it’s carved from granite. The tips of his thick golden eyelashes glint in the sun. His eyes are bright, vivid green, like fresh grass in early Spring. Very unusual...like mine.
The air sizzles between us. There’s fierce possessiveness in the way he looks at me and I can’t tear my eyes away even if my life depends on it. The sound of our heavy breathing is all I can hear.
“моя принцесса (Moya printsessa),” he growls before he dips his head and presses his lips into the hollow of my neck.
* моя принцесса = My princess (Russian)
My next update is next Tuesday. Wish I had more time to sit and write :( Have a wonderful week my dear friends and readers!