Porcelain Skin

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The Batcave

It’s Saturday evening, and I have yet to hear back from Trevor. He supposedly arrived in town about seven hours ago, and I’ve been tapping my foot to the beat of the clock, waiting to hear from him. Either he’s having way too much fun with his family, or he’s completely forgotten about his promise to call.

I hate how winters here get dark so early. It’s only five-thirty, but the sun has already decided to hide its beaming face from view. I’m not sure how much longer I can wait around before going insane. I’ve been sitting here flipping between House Hunter’s International and Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the past two hours. This is exactly how a Saturday should be spent, but I can’t help but want more. Call me needy, but I’m getting desperate.

Mom is folding laundry next to me on the couch, completely oblivious to my internal struggle.

“Turn that thing off, would ya?” she says, startling my cell phone out from between my fingers.

I glance up at her in surprise. I should learn by now that she notices more than she lets on.

“Sorry,” I mutter, picking my phone up from the couch and sticking it in my pocket, where it proceeds to burn a hole of anxiety into my thigh. Staring at the stupid thing isn’t going to telepathically inform Trevor that he needs text or call me ASAP!

I sigh as I relax into the comfort of the couch. If only I could offer my brain a pillow so that it could finally rest. It’s been on overdrive for the past few hours, and I’m about ready to scream. I guess I don’t handle curiosity very well. I’m a ‘must know right now’ kind of person.

Three more episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and my phone finally vibrates inside its little trap. I fish it out of my pocket and flip it open it haste. I can feel my mom watching me smugly from the other end of the couch.

Can you meet me near the miniature town at Lincoln Park tomorrow?

I had nearly forgotten about that place. It’s just a typical neighborhood park with slides and swings, but on the south end of it is a small town for kids to play in. It’s set up with little streets, buildings and even traffic lights. You have to pay to use it though, and it’s more of an educational center that teaches children about driving safety and historical facts of the town, but it still looks super fun.

Apparently Trevor never grew sick of being with his family, and has chosen to push off my request for meeting up until tomorrow. I’m not bothered though. I’m just happy he didn’t forget me altogether.

Our relationship, since the frostbite incident in the barn, has been pretty fragile. I think I really freaked him out that night. I don’t blame him. He hasn’t avoided me or stopped talking to me—actually everything is pretty much the same—but there’s just something off. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact reason for the slight tension, and maybe I’m the only one that feels it and I’m making a big deal about nothing, but there’s definitely something he’s not sharing with me. Strangely though, I don’t think it has anything to do with what happened that night.

I smile inwardly at the text displayed on my screen, and I hurry and send a response when I feel my mom shift closer to get a peek.

What time?

I glance at my mom, sticking my tongue out at the innocent smirk dancing on her face. She returns her gaze to the TV without a word, and I shake my head in amusement. I guess we’re similar in that way; too curious for our own good.

5pm?

My chest squeezes with giddiness and a squeal anxiously awaits release, but I hold it back. My mom doesn’t need to see that. I respond with a text agreeing to his time, and then decide that it’s time to get my mind off the boy that has been running through my head all evening.

“Lets go swimming,” I say suddenly.

My suggestion has her looking at me like I’m one of those crazy people who shoots milk from their tear ducts. “You realize it’s winter, right?” she tells me, as if she’s speaking to a brain-dead monkey.

I just smile widely back at her. Her eyes narrow in suspicion.

“There’s a motel on Lynch Rd that has an indoor pool and a hot tub,” I inform her.

The word ‘hot tub’ has her eyes lighting up; no convincing required.

“Do we have to pay to use it?” she asks as she stands and starts making her way down the hall to her room.

I laugh. “Probably.”

And that’s how we spend our evening. Jumping from the chilly pool into the simmering hot tub while laughing like teenagers, and trying to predict what Trevor has in store for me tomorrow. I’m almost positive that she’s more excited than I am.

By the time we pull ourselves out of the steaming bowl of goodness, my bones have turned to jelly, and I’m in such a state of relaxation that I, literally, fall into bed like an overcooked noodle.


The moment has finally arrived. I pull up to Lincoln Park at five o’ two and park next to the only other car in the lot. I scan my surroundings until I spot a figure sitting on a bench at the opposite end of the miniature town. The man is illuminated by a streetlight that falls directly on the park bench he’s occupying, and I’m really hoping that it’s Trevor since no one else is around.

I hop out of the car and lock the doors behind me.

As I get closer, I can tell that it’s Trevor by the slope of his back as he leans over to focus is on something in his lap. I walk forward quietly, hoping to sneak up on him, but he hears me anyway and lifts his head. He twists around in his seat and smiles up at me.

“Hey,” he greets, and I watch as he closes a notebook and sets it next to him on the bench before standing. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas.,” I respond, unable to control the upward stretch of my lips. I want to throw my arms around him and hold him tight, but when he doesn’t make any attempt to greet me with a hug, I refrain.

“You doing okay?” he asks after a moment.

“Yeah, I am actually.” I tuck a curl behind my ear and smile down at my shoes, grazing the dirt with my toe. I’ve known the guy for years, and over the past three months, I feel our relationship has blossomed; and yet, I still have moments of insecurity.

I know I’m the one that asked him to meet me, but since he’s the one that scheduled for this evening, I feel like the ball’s in his court. I stand quietly, waiting for him to initiate the conversation. Peeling my gaze from my shoes I find him smiling down at me with a mischievous grin on his face.

“Come with me,” he says suddenly, before turning to grab his notebook off the bench and leading the way to his truck. He swings the passenger door open for me first before walking over to his side and climbing in.

“Where we going?” I ask as he starts to pull out.

“You’ll see,” he sings, and I can’t help but laugh at the excitement radiating from him.

We don’t drive very far, and I find my shoulder drooping and excitement dwindling when he pulls into an old K-mart. The building has not been used in years and just sits abandoned along the town’s main street. It’s set back off the road a bit and hidden behind the privacy of trees, but overall there’s nothing here but a large parking lot and an empty building. Sadly, it has zero character compared to Merv. I’m even more concerned when he pulls around to the back so that we’re out of sight.

“Don’t judge yet,” Trevor scolds as he thrusts the gearshift into park. “And get that look off your face.” He’s joking, but I still obey.

I glance around, silently questioning his choice in venue.

He leans towards me and pops the glove compartment open; his arm grazing my knee briefly. Butterflies might have erupted in my stomach like they do in some stories; but, due to all the layers bundled around me, I don’t actually feel a thing. If I hadn’t watched it happen I never would have known.

Pulling out a flashlight, Trevor shines it in my eyes before flicking it off and grinning at me like a kid on Christmas.

“I call this the Batcave,” he informs me, motioning to the dark, sad building outside his window.

“Why?” I bend down to get a better view out of the windshield.

“Uh, I don’t know,” he says, never losing his excitement. “Maybe ’cuz it’s dark and hidden.” He shrugs before pushing open his door and glancing back at me. “Ready?” he asks.

I nod once before slipping out of the vehicle. He leads the way to the building and shines his flashlight on a metal ladder that’s attached to the side.

“Ladies first,” he smirks. I only know he’s smirking when I see the whites of his teeth glimmering in the beam of his flashlight.

“Oh!” I huff out in quiet surprise. “We’re going up?” I whisper. There’s something about the quiet, calmness of night that makes me feel like I need to speak softly. Like I don’t want to disturb nature. I might also have something to do with not wanting to get caught.

Trevor just nods at my question, and I begin the climb to the top. He follows me up once I swing my leg over the edge and peer down. I don’t even notice he has a small backpack with him until he throws it over the ledge.

Once he’s joined me on the roof, he begins digging through his bag, pulling out a mat, a blanket, and a thermos. I watch as he lays the mat out and motions for me to sit. I’m in awe. Trevor Nixon is being romantic... with me?

“Here,” he says, after pouring, what I assume is hot coffee, into a small tin cup.

I smile gratefully and hold the steaming liquid up to my face so that the steam skims over my chilled skin. My muscles melt into a puddle of relaxation. The weather is surprisingly mild tonight, and I’m so grateful. The idea of hypothermia and frostbite are still fresh fears, but having Trevor next to me eases my apprehension.

“This okay?” he asks, after settling down next to me on the mat and pulling the blanket over our legs.

I nod as I blow into my cup. I’m dying to take a sip but at this point it’s still too hot.

“It’s really nice tonight,” I mumble softly as I gaze up at the stars.

“Yeah, I’m surprised the weather is so nice tonight.” He follows my example and turns his attention to the sky. “Just let me know if you get too cold.”

“Okay,” I say, smiling into my cup.

The silence that settles between us is comfortable as we gaze upwards. I’m not really thinking about anything in particular as I take in the beauty of the hushed night. With the lack of streetlights around us, the darkness just makes each star that much more prominent. It’s so peaceful that I feel that I could bundle up and sleep under this twinkling blanket forever, but I’ve already made the mistake of passing out in the cold once, and hopefully that will never happen again. I definitely learned my lesson. At least Trevor is here this time to save me before any new damage can be done if I do fall asleep.

“How’d your appointment go?” he suddenly asks, causing me to break eye contact with the stars to face him. He’s already watching me, and my shoulders stiffen at our close proximity. I could almost stick my tongue out and lick his chin.

I nearly giggle at the image.

“I’ve lost feeling in these two fingertips,” I say quickly. It’s like ripping off a bandage. Just get it over with, and it’s less painful. I indicate the fingers by making a peace sign and flexing the injured digits like a person making air quotes would. “I can no longer play my violin.” The words come out smoothly as I force myself to keep my emotions hidden.

“Never?” His voice is tight, and I can tell he’s having trouble figuring out how to respond as he analyzes my lack of a reaction.

“I mean, anything is possible, right?” I stuff my left hand into my coat pocket and continue to sip from the warm cup in my right. “Frostbite takes months to heal, so I might regain feeling, but the doctor thinks I need to start preparing myself for the worst case scenario,” I pause, letting out a harsh laugh. “At least I can keep my fingertips.”

“Yeah,” he murmurs but he’s no longer looking at me. His brows are furrowed in thought as he gazes down at the edge of the mat beneath us.

I watch as he pulls a stick of gum from his pocket and pushes it into his mouth. He chews slowly, and I watch, mesmerized, as the muscles in his jaw tighten with each bite.

It’s quiet for a moment before his eyes lift to meet mine. “You’re okay with that?”

“Well, no.” I glance at the sky briefly as I try to really pinpoint exactly how I’m feeling. “I would love to play, but I’ve come to realize something...” My words trail off and a smile tickles the edges of my mouth.

“What’s that?” Trevor prods gently.

He’s looking at me with a mix of curiosity and concern woven into his brows. I tilt my head to the side to see him better. His jaw is clamped tight, unmoving, and I want nothing more than to run my fingers over the edge of it to release the tension building behind his clenched teeth.

“That I’m okay,” I whisper, as I unconsciously shift closer to him. “I’ve realized that I don’t need music to survive anymore. I used it as a crutch for so long, that I thought it would kill me to lose it. It sounds cheesy, but sometimes I honestly believe the rhythm of the strings dancing is what kept my heart pumping. But not anymore.” My voice quiets as I realize the truth of my own words.

“What changed?” He sets his cup down next to him, apparently finished with it, and watches me closely.

I don’t miss the quick diversion his eyes make when they dart south to land on my lips. My throat contracts, preventing oxygen from entering and flowing to my brain. That’s the only explanation for what I did next because there’s no way I was thinking straight when I suddenly lean forward and graze his lips with my own.

His back stiffens, but I barely notice. The kiss is like a whisper, just a breath fanning across his mouth, but it’s not enough. I scoot closer, hoping this will ignite something in him to take action, but when my hand slides over his shoulder I realize just how taut his muscles have grown. He’s completely still beneath me.

The kiss was no longer than a couple seconds, but before I can even pull away from him in embarrassment, he’s pushing me away and standing up all in one swift motion. He doesn’t even look at me as he runs his hand behind his neck and turns to walk away.

I’m so shocked at first that I don’t even move. Seconds tick by and my humiliation becomes so overwhelming that I eventually pull myself from the mat and stand gaping at Trevor’s retreating form, my coffee left forgotten on the ground next to me.

He doesn’t get very far before he stops and just stands there. He takes a deep breath and blows out a puff of frosty air into the sky.

“Trevor, I’m sorry,” I mutter in shame.

I drop my gaze to my shoes and stuff my hands into my pockets. My chest is throbbing to the point of nausea as my heart stumbles over itself. Something cracks inside my chest as warmth slips past my cheek to join the humiliation at my feet. I pull in a ragged breath, and I’m just about to bend down to start cleaning things up when I see him spin around to face me.

Determination glimmers in his eyes and something dangerous lurks beneath the depths. The expression flickering across his stone-like features reminds me of the expression he held in my hallucination. It has my heartbeat screaming to keep up with the speed of light.

I take a step away as he draws closer, his steps quickening slightly until he’s directly in front of me. Before I can even pull in a full breath of air, he’s already digging his fingers into my hair and pulling me so close to him that I can feel the heat of his lips brushing my own. He pauses, almost as if debating if he should really take this any further. My head is swimming, and I’m just barely able to regain my balance before his mouth is on mine—urgent, passionate, demanding. His searing lips are merciless and hungry, which is perfect because so are mine.

One hand slides around my waist and I groan into his parted lips, which just causes him to tighten his hold on me, pulling me closer. Hypothermia is scientifically impossible at this moment because I swear my veins are on fire.

I finally allow him full entrance as the animalistic nature of the kiss relaxes into something passionate and deep. This is the kiss that changes everything. It’s something more than just a lust-filled moment of passionate mistakes. It’s that kiss that signifies that you are now in complete control. Your mind is overriding the strength of your hormones. Trevor has complete authority now, and he knows it, and yet... he doesn’t stop.

I feel his fingers graze my skin as he tucks a stray hair behind my ear. I’ve had my fair share of incredible kisses, but there’s an entirely new dynamic added when you kiss the person you love. It’s not just a simple kiss, because every touch, caress, and movement means so much more.

When he pauses between kisses to look at me, I get the feeling he’s not just kissing me because of some hungry need that will be forgotten once fulfilled. He’s kissing me because he needs to know if my lips feel the same way he remembers; if my skin is as soft as he’s dreamed; and if his heart is still beating only for himself, or if each breath he takes is because of something deeper; a desire to live for someone else.

He pulls away, resting his forehead against my own as we both pant to regain our composure.

“I’m sorry,” he breathes and I peek up at him.

He’s so close, the static between us still dancing with desire, that all I’d have to do is tilt my head slightly for another brain-muddling experience. “That didn’t go as planned.”

I tear my eyes from his lips to focus on what he’s just said to me. “What? You planned for this to happen?” I ask with a mix of giddy excitement and shock lacing my words.

He brushes my hair away from my face before stepping away and shoving his hands into the front pockets of his fitted jeans. “Kinda,” he says, cocking his head sideways as he squints at me like he’s afraid of my reaction.

Does he think I’m going to lash out and start beating his face in for doing exactly what I wanted him to do? I laugh softly at the worry swirling in his eyes.

“But then you had to go and kiss me first, and it just ruined everything,” he huffs and then shoots me an apologetic smile. “Sorry for walking away. I just really wanted to initiate that one. I’m the man after all. It’s my duty to kiss you first, right?”

I laugh at his reasoning before throwing my arms around his neck and landing a quick kiss directly on his lips. I feel him grinning against my mouth before I pull away, playfully swatting his shoulder.

“You scared me,” I tell him as he laughs at my lame attempt at hurting him. “I seriously thought I was being rejected.”

“Sorry, M&M.” He ruffles my hair gently, and I pull back, batting his hand away. He grabs my hand in midair and intertwines his fingers with my own. His grip is so warm and protective that it sends a tingle up my arm.

“My dad used to call me that,” I tell him as he pulls me down onto the mat with him. He stills next to me, and I turn to offer a shy smile. “It’s fine,” I assure him as I rub his broad shoulder. The freedom to be able to touch him this way is almost deadly. The euphoria that I feel in this moment should be illegal. There’s no way my brain is able to function in a healthy way when he’s this close to me.

“I won’t call you—”

“Please,” I stop him, “I want you to call me that. It sort of reminds me of the better days with my father. I need that reminder.”

This is something completely new for me. When Trevor had first called me M&M, my heart had constricted and my mood had instantly dampened. Today, though, when the name slipped from his lips, warmth spread through my core.

I feel Trevor nod next to me before he pulls me close and wraps his arms around my shoulders. I relax, resting my head on his chest. I’m thrilled to hear the wild pounding of his heart. Just knowing I have this kind of effect on him too causes pride to engulf me. He must feel something. I smile into his shoulder before turning to find him gazing at the sky again.

“What are you thinking about?” I ask softly, not wanting to disturb his thought process.

I watch a grin spreads across his features and he glances down at me. “Just how glad I am that I stuck that piece of gum in my mouth before you got all wild on me,” he jokes.

I gasp in pretend shock. “I did not go all wild,” I protest. “It was a simple kiss. You’re the one that went wild.”

“Maybe,” he agrees. “But, you obviously liked it.”

I shoot him a challenging look.

“Don’t deny it,” he warns. “I heard that moan. You want me.”

I turn away to hide a grin before growing bold and turning back to face him. “And, do you want me?” I ask as a wave of courage washes over me.

I almost regret my blunt question when I see his expression turn serious, and his eyes narrow as they glance over my face.

When he finally does answer, his voice is gravelly and low.

“Yeah... I do.”

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