Chapter 13: Ms. Sullivan
“Who?” Thorin presses on again as Lucas twists the doorknob open. He opens the door for her, “Fair warning, you can run now.”
Thorin raises her brows on him, “Why would I?” Lucas smirks at her as she entered his apartment. The moment she entered, she immediately felt comfortable. There was a somewhat cozy ambiance that his house exudes. It was minimalistic, far from her assumptions. The first thing she thought when she steps out from her car in front of his apartment would be, another bachelor’s pad. Trivial for a man of his age.
“Nice interior,” she prompts as he leads her to his living room. She felt Lucas hands at the small of her back, as they trudged side by side. “Thank--”
“Bro--woah!” They halted dead in their tracks. Lucas turned around to face the owner of the male voice. She felt Lucas loosen his grip until she felt it no more.
“Oh my, so scandalous! Mother would know of this!” The fake British accent made Thorin swivels her heels and faces the owner of such an odd accent. She hinted that it must be, Lucas’s younger brother. Judging by their almost similar genetic features. But his aura exudes a more youthful and playful personality.
“Ms. Montréal, this is my younger brother, Levi.” Thorin can’t help but twitch her eyes. She wanted to strangle Lucas for using her surname again in a casual situation.
“Levi, this is Ms. Thorin Montréal,” nonetheless she lend a hand that would initiate a friendly handshake. Levi was about to grip it when Lucas beat him to it, which causes her eyebrows to hike up, as she let down her hand, “I know what you’re going to do.”
Levi faked gasp, as he put his hand above his lips, “Why would I do such big brother?”
Lucas bug out his eyes on his brother, Levi only rolls his eyes as he let down his obvious facade. “Pleasure to formally meet you, Ms. Montréal,” offering his hands to her.
Thorin beamed at him, taking his hand, “It’s a pleasure. Thorin would be fine, Levi.”
Lucas positioned towards his body to Thorin, “I’ll leave you to him. I’ll just go and take a quick shower.” He immediately dashes of the opposite way and runs upstairs. and left her standing oddly. Levi took a precautionary step closer to her.
“Future sister in the flesh follow me!” The former words caused her to stop mid-track as she glances at Levi wiggling his eyebrows. Levi led the way towards the living room.
His wall was painted with soft cornflower blue, flat LED TV attached against the wall, pebble gray corner sofa facing it. She noticed a white single reclining chair across, with a comforter. A white carpet on the floor, a glass coffee table in the center and a monstera stands beside the window. The room was homey, clean and crisp, “What can I get for you, Ms. Montréal?”
“Please just call me by my name. Water will be fine, thank you.” She said meekly, as she places her purse in her lap, adjusting herself in a new environment.
“Big sis would be good too,” the statement made Thorin laugh. Levi jokingly did a ninety-degree bow and wave as he exited the room. She navigates the interior of the room furthermore as she sat properly on the sofa. No frames present but a painting of Van Gogh’s Starry Night was pinned against the wall that divides the living room and kitchen.
“My, my, you’re dressed up early for my funeral dear,” a soft silvery voice causes Thorin to jolt and rose up. Thorin freezes as she assessed the pale and bone to skin woman take a slow stride.
She took a step to help the woman, but the woman beams at her dismissing the action, “No. No, but thank you, ” despite her wheezy voice. Thorin heard it clearly.
She had a green bandana around her head, her eyebrows were gone, her cheekbones were visible, her aristocratic nose stood proudly on her face. Despite this, never did the woman frown at her as Thorin let her assess her, “May I have the honor to know your name?”
Thorin gape at the woman, she sounded so prim and proper. Just like Lucas. She must be his mother. This realization caused alarm to Thorin’s system. Well, this escalated quickly than she had anticipated.
Her palms started to sweat, so she pressed it again her dress. Oh how could she forget, why in the world would she wear black?! Why today of all the day that’s created? Why?
A low chuckle left the woman’s lips, “Calm down, dear. And please sit down,” Thorin puffs out air as she sits back down. Pulling her forward the hem of her black dress as she did so.
Never did she got nervous for years now, yet here she is acting like a guilty criminal in front of Lucas’s mother.
“Thor-- Thorin Montréal, Mrs. Sullivan,” she gleamed at her again. The grins that the woman gave her was so much comforting, she felt her body loosen and relaxes.
“Leilani Sullivan. Miss, dear,” Leilani snickered lightly, the corner of her eyes crinkles as she smiled once again. She’s beautiful, Thorin thought. She wondered what color of her locks is? Was it same with Lucas and Levi’s? Or a different color?
“Are you Lucas’s or Levi’s?” The question lingered in the air as Lucas prance inside the living room so casually in his wet locks, black shirt, and Nike gray sweatpants; holding a piece of cloth in his right hand. He stopped dead in his tracks as he glances between his mother and Thorin.
He approaches his mother first, Thorin observed his every move. He was about to lean in and presumably kiss his mother when he paused midway, “I almost forgot.”
Her mother glances up to him and shakes her head, “Yes, you did.”
Lucas rose up in full stance, “Mom, I’d like you to meet--”
“Yes yes. I know already. Oh so you’re Lucas’s--” Lucas titled his head as he stared down at his mother and averted his eyes towards Thorin. With a lopsided smile, Thorin shrugged playfully. The hanging statement again, “That is yet to be confirmed.” Thorin continued.
Lucas picked up the comforter and placed it atop her mother’s body. He then strides towards Thorin and kneels down.
“What are you doing?” Thorin hissed at Lucas. Lucas peeks at Thorin and shows the wet clean cloth in his hands, “I said, I’ll clean you up.”
“Your mom’s here,” she said emphasizing every word. Lucas glancing at her like she grew another head, he rolls his eyes at her. “Mom? I’m just going to clean Thorin’s feet.”
Thorin reluctantly take off her stilettos set it aside, she leaned down attempting to get the cloth from Lucas’s hand.
“No. Let me,” his coarse hands lifted her feet and thoroughly cleaned it. She was ticklish in that area. She can’t help but bit her lips, trying to surpass the silly giggles.
His masculine musk, fresh, clean and crisp assaulted her nostrils. His locks were actually dripping wet, her hands itching to touch every strand. His biceps flex as his arms move. Thorin felt her cheeks heating up. Not now, his mother is here, act matured and proper- she thought.
“Is this a proposal?!” Levi gasped indecorously, this cause Lucas to shake his head. Lucas put back Thorin’s stilettos and rose up.
“Thank you,” Thorin whispered softly, Lucas grinned at her. Thorin heard his mother groaned, “I should’ve sent you to acting school, instead of law school, dear.”
Levi playfully curls his lips at his mother, he gazes at Thorin, as if he remembered, “I totally forgot your water, sis! Bro, we need to cook.”
Their mother raiser her pale and boney hands, she leers at Thorin with a smirk, “Before you will excuse yourself out. Be our guest, and dine with us, dear.”
She wanted to say no and reason out some stupid excuse but she can’t. She just can’t, “Of course, Ma’am.”
“A great excuse for wine!” Levi hollered as he disappeared towards a corridor, maybe into the kitchen. Lucas turned his back and was about to take a step when Thorin slightly pulled the hem of his shirt. He stared down at her, his face questioning, “Do not leave me here,” she mouthed to him.
She earned a full megawatts smile from his lips. She pouted, trying to work on her charms. Lucas clears his throat, “Mom? Try to ease up the interrogation.”
She heard his mother stifle a few chuckles. Without looking back at her, Lucas left her with his mother. She tried to avert her eyes away from Leilani. She never really encountered this situation before. She was never introduced to someone’s family before. Sure, there are a few families presented themselves and sell off their sons to her, but it was never like this. “You must be wondering, why a full grown man had his mother and brother in his apartment, dear?”
“No. No, of course not Ms. Sullivan,” shaking her hands too quickly at Leilani. “Oh. My bad, I just thought you should know. So, I’m telling. You can ask me any juicy and embarrassing things from Lucas’s preteens and teen years.”
“That would be a deal then,” Thorin prompted as she ready her ears to listen to Leilani. “I had my chemotherapy session an hour ago. And every time I visited the city, I stay here. Levi would often assist and drive me to and fro.”
“Oh from which town are you, Ms. Sullivan?”
“As you probably knew, we lived in Italy then moved to Andes, dear. Just a three hours drive from here actually,” Thorin was shocked to know that they were from the same town as hers. She was thrilled to know that she and Lucas came from the same town. “Really? I’m from Andes too. My parents still live there actually.”
Leilani lit up and inspect Thorin furthermore, “Hmm. No wonder you really looked familiar. I have this feeling that I knew you from somewhere or someone that is.”
“Oh wow,” Thorin couldn’t contain her swelling joy. She tucks a strand of her locks behind her ears as she tries to suppress it. She wondered if they have gone to the same school before. She cringed at that thought. She wasn’t necessarily human back then. “How is Lucas dear?”
“I actually have no complaints,” Thorin chortle which causes Leilani to do so. “He’s really patient, kind, respectful, responsible and a loving gentleman. I kid you not.” Thorin sighs, she was not able to control her mouth from spilling out her thoughts.
“I tried my best to teach them the proper values and manners, dear.” Thorin nodded in agreement, as Leilani shown how proud mother she is to his two sons. A comfortable pregnant silence engulfed them, “But I’m sure you noticed it, dear.”
“He doesn’t really spill out in words his truth. But usually, his actions speak out his truth,” Leilani said in a matter-of-fact.
“Yes, yes! Exactly. It’s frustrating!”
“Really frustrating. Italian men and their odd ways,” Leilani said thoughtlessly as if she remembered something. Perhaps, her ex-husband. Thorin wondered if Lucas would look just like his father, “You must be wondering about his father?”
The shock would be an understatement. Why does she know? Is she that transparent? Perhaps, yes since an hour ago. Still, this lady sure knows how to read people, “Are you some kind of psychic?”
The question made Leilani laugh, “Oh no, dear. Just some Ph.D. in Psychology.” Thorin’s initial thoughts are that Leilani is totally reading her every move and every word she spills out. Would she know that she’s totally into his son? The thought of it happening would be embarrassing.
“As I was saying, their father is still in Italy. We got divorced when they were really young,” a sad smile formed on Leilani’s lips.
“Years later, Lucas changed his surname, which got me really mad at him. I didn’t actually know back then. Only Levi is using his paternal surname. ” Her story earned a few giggles from Thorin as Leilani animately tell the history. Thorin was too curious about his what was his surname is. She made a mental note that she would definitely ask him later.
“Dinner is served!”
The dinner went well than she expected. She enjoyed the food that the brothers made. Felt like she was in Italy again and came back.
The only thing that was lacking was their mother, Leilani of course. She went back to sleep, Thorin she’d been tried from the session but tried to hide it in front of them. She remembered Leilani’s word before she took her respite, ‘I hope to see your beauty soon, dear’
Thorin was hopeful that the day would come, “Levi, where should I drop you?”
Levi leaned in, between the driver seat and shotgun, looking ahead, “Just around the corner.”
He gathered his belongings and tap into Lucas’s shoulder. “Take care, you two. It was nice meeting you Ms. Montreal.”
“You too,” Thorin muttered as she glances at the rearview mirror. Lucas maneuvered the car away from the corner where they drop of Levi. It was refreshing for Thorin to watch, Lucas drives a car. Though his eyeglasses were now back, who did little to cover the sexiness of him. The way his arm muscles flexes as he grips the stirring wheel send jitters to her stomach.
He’s using his mother’s Porsche, Thorin insisted that she would call her driver but Lucas motioned that it would be impolite to let a lady go home on her own. She has a driver but still, he insisted saying that he would drop off Levi on the way to work.
It amazes Thorin that Levi is working while still in college. That would be difficult, he’s working, studying while taking care of their ailing mother. Thorin peeked at Lucas, he too is actually working hard while caring for Leilani. How tough it would be? She thought. Dealing with the treatment for his mother, as well as being emotional support from her mother and his brother.
“What are you thinking about?” Lucas’s voice brought her back from her little reverie.
Thorin turned her upper body towards him, “Porsche guy is driving me.” Thorin jests, this earned a scowl from Lucas, she snickered at him.
"Your mom is really lovely," she replied immediately hoping to replace the cringe worthy jest. Lucas takes a look at her as he beams thoughtfully, “She is.”
“And your brother is really funny and very dramatic,” Lucas snorted at her statement, keeping his eyes on the road. “He’s trying his best. Though, I don’t find it amusing not at all.”
“Why?” Thorin chuckled at him as she watches his face contorted. “I always get in trouble because of his jests,” shaking his head as if he remembers something.
Thorin perked up from her beige leather shotgun seat when she remembered something, “Speaking of jests, I almost died of a heart attack when your mom said, you’re dressed up early for my funeral, dear.”
“She said that?!” He averted his eyesight for a second to look at Thorin and groaned. “I’m so sorry about it. Those two joke a lot.”
Lucas sighs once again that bothered Thorin, “Those two were much more of a Sullivan than I am.”
“But you’re using the Sullivan instead of your father’s name right?”
Lucas gaped at her, something in his eyes flickered but wash if off immediately, “She told you about it.”
Lucas took a turn right, drove towards Thorin’s apartment building. Hitting the breaks, Lucas unhooked his seat belt and Thorin did so too. Thorin was about to open the car’s door when Lucas’s beat her to it. Lucas jumps out from the car and opens the door for her from the outside.
Gripping her purse tightly, the cool breeze of the city air hit her legs causing her to grate her teeth. Lucas opened the backseat door and retrieve another jacket, and drape it around her shoulders, “Once this jacket is on me, you may never getting it back Lucas.”
Lucas shrugged as he stood in front of her, both hands on his front jean pocket. Thorin braced and readied herself for the talk that she would initiate, “Lucas.”
Thorin puffs out cool air, “Are we now dating or not?”
Lucas trudged closer to her, his eyes roam around the lobby of the building, Thorin glance at him looking for the positive answer. A minute passes by, Lucas stares down at her, “I can’t date.”
Rejection. Another rejection from Mr. Repulsive. Thorin should have known, she wanted to run away from the embarrassing question that she spills. Thorin inhaled deeply, biting her lips as she nodded. Something in her chest tug, like a shard
She tried to think of a way that would save her face from this situation.
“I can’t just date just to date. I date with the mindset that this was an investment. Because I’m investing my time and effort. The goal is marriage.”
Thorin gaped at him. He is the commitment type, she is the thank you-next type. Thorin knew of her tendencies to date multiple guys just because she’s bored and Lucas knew of this. Hell! She needed to change herself, immediately! Not for him but for herself.
Yes, he needs him. Yes, he wanted him. Yes, she wanted to be there for him. Yes, she wanted to be wanted by him. He’s even considering marriage for crying out loud! Other women would die for a man like him. A man like him would be a rarity in this century.
“Old fashioned,” Lucas sighs as he looks above the starless night skies of the city. “I know, and I’m sorry. I would understand if you don’t want to. I’m just being honest with you.”
Her heart tugged at him being straightforward in front of her. No pretentious. No tricks and segues.
“But there are really no safe investments, Lucas,” her brittle voice almost giving out.
Lucas tucks another strand of hair behind his ears, he whispered, “I know. I want you to think about this clearly.”
“And you?” Thorin said breathlessly as she maintains eye contact with him.
“I’ve made out my mind,” Lucas traces her neck, where the actual hickey is located, that causes Thorin to freeze as her breath hitched. ” I just need your answer.”