Chapter 18: Mr. 13 Year Story
Thorin picked up her phone as it buzzed against the top of her wooden table, turning on the lamp as she frowned at the blinking screen of her phone. Lucas. The last person she wanted to talk to, the call abruptly ended. She puffs out air and throws her phone, rolling to her left side on her bed.
Her phone beep, she tried to restrain herself from picking it up again and she failed. She rose up and sat on her bed groaning. Right, she’s acting like a naive youngster here, she needs to woman up and say what’s need to be said. She picks her phone and read the notification tab before unlocking it, cold flashes run through her as she reads his text.
“Still up? I’m kind of outside your parent’s house. Hope you’re still up. Call me, I’ll be waiting.”
If she hadn’t known he’s a guy from high school and her current she’d be calling the police right now. Now that she thought about it, his house is probably just around the neighborhood. She should have asked her mother or Aly or Cassie if she knew the Sullivans.
Good lord! She could have asked anyone who obviously knew him from high school, which unfortunately everyone knew him except her of course. Stupid Thorin.
Heaving a sigh like she’s a woman in labor, she rose up from her bed, glancing up at her old wall clock. Her eye bulging at the sight, it’s almost one in the morning. Skipping into her closet, she pulled out a burgundy coat to cover up her and slipped on her white trainers. Running back to her bedside table fished out her phone and spare keys.
Turning on her phone’s torch, she walked along the empty and peach black hallway of bedrooms before reaching the staircase. Her steps echoed through the silent and dead walls of their house. She felt like a high schooler again that would escape every night to be with her boyfriend, except that she never did this before.
Landing on the last step of the staircase, she dialed Lucas and he answered at the first ring.
“What?” In a breathy voice, she asked as she places her phone between her ears and shoulder while unlocking the main doors with both hands. “Were you asleep? Did I wake you up?”
“I was scuba diving,” she said as she finally unlocked the door. She held her phone with her right hands and open the door with her left. Ending the call as she saw the silhouette of Lucas who is sitting on the hood of his car in her parent’s circular driveway. Once Thorin finally locks the doors, she jogged towards him as she slides her phone and keys into her pockets. However, she halted once she realized what she’s been acting.
“Fuck,” breathlessly as she gazes at her boyfriend. She can’t let her emotions run over her rational thought this wee hour. Keeping her emotions in check, she held her chin up and took the time to get to him.
Lucas rose to his feet and jogged towards her, abruptly grabbing her for a hug and a chaste kiss on her lips. His familiar scent hit the roof of her nose and awakened her need for him.
“I’ve missed you.” He said as he kissed her forehead and release her from his embrace.
The act caused her to have sudden jolt within her being and mildly forgot what she’s about to do. And throughout it all, she stayed rooted, unable to react to the sudden and spontaneity of the situation. Lucas held her cold hands and gazes through her green orbs, somewhat looking for clues and answers, “How’s your day?”
“I don’t know, Lucas. You tell me,” crossing her hands over her chest as she subtle glance at his car. A black Lexus ES300h. Lucas caught her eyes, he followed the direction and whines as he stepped back up and leaned on his car, shaking his head.
“I’m just going to pretend that I told you my parent’s address, Veserati.”
The tension between the two grew thicker as they sit face to face in a booth by the window an old twenty-four hours open diner. There few people around including the staffs, the vibe was pretty retro and chill opposed to their vibe ironically.
What irked Thorin was the fact that once they entered the diner, a female employee who knew Lucas immediately presented herself and took their orders. All the giggling, the snap and bending. The playing of her hair! What the hell was wrong with her hair?! She wanted to snap at her. What infuriates her more was the fact that he actually knew the employee! Thorin was a regular customer her but she never knew anyone her, they changed staffing quiet too often.
She glanced back at Lucas, who was actually sizing her up. Trying to read her, but she mastered the art of bitch face when all she wanted is to scream and throw the table napkins at him. Lucas averted his eye away from Thorin’s, she couldn’t help but grin at the situation. Yes, he’s guilty of what he’s done.
She was about to finally start her interrogation when their orders arrived. Thorin couldn’t help but inwardly laugh as she ordered the strongest coffee there is to spite Lucas. As the waitress placed the black brewed coffee and muffins for her and plain old water for him. Thorin subtlety observed Lucas as he squints his eyes and twitches his nose at the sight of the coffee in front of him.
Thorin placed her left arms on the table, tapping her nails as she waits for the waitress to excuse herself. “If you need anything Lucas just call me --”
“I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need anything. You can come back when we’re gone. Thank you for your service,” Thorin said curtly as she stared at Lucas’s placid face. He finally matches the intensity of her stare, as he lifts up his glass of water and took a sip on it without breaking the eye contact he made.
Thorin thought it was hot, too hot, for her liking in a situation like this. Placing his glass back, “Are we okay?”
She smirked, lifting her dainty index finger shaking it to left and right, “Who are you, really? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Lucas heaves a sigh as he placed his right elbow on the table and rest his chin on his palm, “Lucas? I legally dropped my father’s surname. I’m from around here. It’s not that important, Thorin.”
Thorin gaped at his answers, “It’s not important to know that I might be dating my stalker for a while now?!”
Lucas stunned at what Thorin had spilled, he leaned back and pinched his nose. Fixing his eyeglasses on his nose, he let out a dry laugh, “Wow. You got the wrong word choice, Ms. Montréal.”
“Did I now? No wonder you knew all the things I never told people about. It wasn’t on LinkedIn or Google, right? And here I thought I found a guy who’s different and all that bullshit,” she did not stutter. She knew what she was going to say once she saw him again.
Thorin gaze at Lucas who tried too hard to not leak any emotions in front of her. She was not having any of this, she wanted to see him break and torn into pieces that would satisfy her now. She felt played and cheated on by him.
“And oh let me guess?” Thorin laughs sardonically at him, “I bet you knew where I worked and worm your way in just to let me picked you from all that applicants. For what I’ve researched Mr. Sullivan or Veserati or Mr. Lexus. Your family is well-known and well-off. I don’t quite get the logic why you’d stalk and played someone innocent and naïve, little me.” Her anger intensified as Lucas stared at her with pain. What’s more surprising is that the pain he’s emulating now mirror her emotions deep-rooted with her.
Lucas pulled out his eyeglasses, nibbling his lower lip. He puffs out air as he leaned back and turned away from her, facing the glass window aimlessly facing the cold and dark parking lot. This wasn’t the reaction Thorin had expected from him.
“You should eat your muffin, it’ be a waste,” his voice was not harsh or cold, it was the same whenever he greeted her good mornings. “That’s it, Lucas? No, explanation to defend yourself? I could file a lawsuit against you.”
Lucas pivots his head back to face her, with a creased forehead, “Why would make this a big deal, Thorin?”
She dramatically placed her right hand on her chest, “Geez, I’m terribly sorry for being dramatic. I was just concern about my security, Lucas. I was played by you!”
He pulled out a couple of tissue and dabbed it on his eyes and place back his eyeglasses and stared directly at her as he smiled bitterly, “Thirteen years ago, in this booth, I saw you outside under that lamp post in a yellow dress dancing under the rain.”
Thorin bulged her eyes out on what she just heard from Lucas. She actually remembers the time she danced under the rain but what causes her to do so? That she can’t seem to remember. She casually lifted her cup of coffee and sips from it to hide from the sudden embarrassment. “The waitress knew me because I worked here during my high school years. To help my mother with extra cash, though I hate the smell of coffee. I can tolerate it.”
“I knew you because coincidentally I enrolled in the same school where you are. Apart from we had two AP classes together during our senior year and that’s just about it. I knew you but you never knew me, and who would’ve thought I’d bump into you after ten years later?”
“You are a stalker and you weren’t completely honest with me. It’s just funny to know that I knew all of this from our batchmate Cassie, your ex.”
“I’m sorry about this,” Lucas reached out for her hands but before he could she pulled it out.
“If I hadn’t known about this yesterday, Lucas. Will there ever be a chance that you’d tell me things you’ve kept?”
“Of course, I’d tell you when you’d ask. I don’t know. I’m not good at sharing my family shenanigans.”
Thorin let out a dry laugh, “Why? Because you’re royalty or aristocrats and all that?”
“What? No. I don’t know. If you’re thinking if I’m one of those privileged individuals out there then you’re wrong. I worked hard for my own money, I had student loans like any individuals out there. That car I used was bribery from my father. I happen to use it tonight because I picked the wrong key.”
“Well, aren’t you being cocky now?”
“I am not, Thorin. Okay? I was making a point here. I may have a title back in Italy--”
She shrieked at the latter part, “You are one of those!”
“You didn’t let me finish, that title would be worthless since the dissolution of the nobilities and royalties. Dished that out,” Lucas ruffled his hair as he tried to explain his lineage and background to her. Regardless, Thorin was obviously having none of it.
She rose up from her seat and point a finger on him, which causes him to raises his hands up in the air. “Oh my God. I really don’t know you! Cassie was right! Your freaking ex-girlfriend even knows that and I don’t!”
“Huh? She probably Googled it,” she took her seat again and stared at the stranger she came to know. No wonder he’s charming and all that he was groomed and well bred from an old Italian family. She felt like a peasant all of a sudden. “You still remember her? What, do you love her?” She mindlessly asked.
“What the hell are you saying? Were you drunk from that coffee?” It was obvious that Lucas kept his voice controlled, he clenched his jaw as he breathed, “No, I love you Thorin.”
She did not saw that coming. Tables have turned, she didn’t know what to react or how to react to that. Thorin rose up from her seat, Lucas did too and pulled out some cash placing it atop their table.
“Let me get you home,” Thorin nodded quietly as Lucas laced his fingers with her and drag her out from the dinner.
Once Lucas stops his car engine in the driveway, in front of her parent’s house. He opened his door and jumped out to open the door for Thorin. She climbed out from his car, Lucas was about to lean down for a kiss when Thorin dodge it. Stepping aside, two foot far from him.
Sighing, Lucas put his hands on his hoodie front pocket, ” I didn’t say I love you to save myself from your wrath, I didn’t say it because I wanted to hear it back. I said it to make sure you knew.”
“I don’t want to see you anymore.”
She hadn’t slept a wink. She did not receive any calls or texts from him since that early morning. She started out at her open window, it was such a fine day and she felt awful. She felt sick down to her stomach. She felt weak and ached around her chest area. Her brain was just playing at her that what’s she concluded.
She heard laughing and squealing from her window so she walks towards it. Thorin leaned down at their backyard, saw her brothers with their wives. She was pretty sure Laurice, Troy’s wife was holding their new baby. The older children, Tyler’s, together with Troy’s three-year-old kid were running in chaos, she cringe at the loud voice her niece made when she was tagged.
“They were early,” muttering to herself. She did not know their names, she’s never good at names and she never really tried. She’s never close with her sister in laws, her personality and attitude made them frown. Thorin wondered was got into Lucas for liking her, no, loving her.
She wasn’t obviously his type, Cassie was blonde and very bubbly. Then there’s Ria, another blonde who talks too much and always outgoing. Thorin wondered what his former girlfriend looked like.
Then there’s Thorin, who was always stuck in her ass, doesn’t care what other people’s feelings and opinions about her. An inconsiderate and disrespectful bitch there is. Thinking about this made her feel inferior and she never felt that until now.
“Thorin! Good morning, come down for breakfast! We’ve been calling you!” Troy shouted as he spotted her, he waves his hands gesturing her to come down. Thorin stepped away from her window and exited her room.
The only good thing she did today was to take the coldest shower and freshen herself up. Though inside, she felt rotten and dead. It was an odd feeling since she was new to this. She never felt this when she’d broken up with her previous relationships. She felt like half of her being was taken away somewhere else and she wanted to pull that half back in.
She stopped at the second landing of the staircase. Bracing herself to prevent a fall, she sat on the stairs. She felt her chest’s heaviness, her shoulder shook as she finally let out her burden. Her tears finally escape from its cage, her whimpers were loud in a silent and empty space. Her chest constricts as she felt foreign to the flood of emotion encircling her being.
“Do you want to add another pillow?” Lucas asked mindlessly as he checks her mother’s position on her bed. Looking for discomfort and whatnot, he was about to stand up from his seat by the large window of his mother’s room when his mother held a hand to stop him.
“For the fourth time today, no Lucas,” Leilani croaked giving him a smile of reassurance. Lucas curtly nodded and tried to focus on the book he was reading. Lifting the book to cover his face to prevent his mother’s keen eyes and analyze him.
He tried so hard to read the sentences, again, he’s been on the same page for thirty minutes. He was too distracted by the words Thorin threw at him.
He was hurt so bad. No one would want to hear and receive that kind of words from the one, whom you loved for the longest time. He felt like his heart was stomped by her mercilessly. Lucas knew that she has the tendencies to strike a dagger directly at her target, but he never knew that it was that painful. His ego was bruised. He felt worthless for feeling too much and saying the exact three words that he wanted to tell for years.
Yes, she was angry and was not in her logical self earlier this morning but it was just too much to bear. He did not expect that. He should’ve known from the moment he called her last night. However, Lucas was worried and missed her too much so without any second thought he drove back home to see her.
What a lovesick fool he is after all this time. He hated himself for feeling this way and for being honest about it to her. He didn’t hate her, she had the right to be mad about him being all secretive.
He never wanted it to be this way, he just to protect and save himself for all the embarrassment he had from those years. He wanted to keep the fact that he came from an old money family and that their father left them.
“Oh no, the killer eyes,” Lucas awakened from his reverie, he just noticed that the book he was holding was back on his lap. He gave his mother a questioning look trying to be oblivious and neutral as possible. “Did you sleep well?”
“Of course, mom,” Lucas tried to show his pearly whites to his mom. That was a wrong move since his mother shook her head, “For a liar, you suck.” With her breathy voice, she laughed, “You know it’s been a while since I have a patient.”
Lucas rose up from his seat and tried to laugh it off, “Mom, I’m totally fine.”
“Lucas, if I was strong like before I would definitely strangle you and put you down,” Leilani tried to pull off the sternness in her voice like she did years ago but failed miserably. Lucas noticed this, he couldn’t help but feel dejected at the sight he had witnessed. “That was dark”
“Pull that chair over here and face me,” she tried again but end up with a croaky voice. The sight put another wave of fear and pain inside him. He dragged his chair beside her bed and quietly sat down. His mother gave him a satisfying smirk as she studied his son’s face, “You and your father have the exact features.”
Lucas groaned and leaned back comfortably on his chair, her mother’s grin did not waver, “Levi was the combination of me and him.”
He wanted to stop his mother from talking about the man but his mother was really fond of her ex-husband so he let her be. Maybe, this was the best way to escape his mother’s plan to take the juices out of him. “I miss him terribly Lucas, and after all these years I still loved my husband.”
“Ex,” Lucas bitterly pointed out. Leilani shrugged making her skinny shoulders more framed, “Till death do we part, he’s still mine.”
He whined at the latter, “Call him then? He’s been bugging me for years.”
Leilani smiled as she looks up thoughtfully, her eyes sparkling, ” I always did when I miss him of course. I gave him your numbers. He knew you hated him and I’m not sorry by the way.”
He frowned at her mother’s villainous act, “Isn’t this surprising?” His mother gazes back at him giving him a tight-lipped smile. “Isn’t he married?”
“No. He never was, like I said till death do we part,” his mother smiled again. Her smiles never left her pale lips, he can’t imagine not seeing that anytime soon.
He cleared his throat, “What’s up with the divorce then?”
“I was selfish. I wanted him to be by my side all the time, all his love but of course, that wouldn’t be possible since he’s at the top of his game with the Empire and all the plus that’s involved with having a title.”
Lucas wanted to ask for more information about these sudden revelations but he didn’t know where to start. Sure he was surprised but his mother’s unfiltered honesty today but knowing more scared him.
“Your turn! I would guess this is about Alea,” he thought he escaped the cage when his mother opened up to him. Ruffling his hair as he sighs, remembering the conversation that has transpired hours ago. “You knew, didn’t you?”
His mother puffs out a breathy sigh, “I thought she was familiar and I happened to stumble upon your photo journals. That confirmed it.”
“She labeled me as her stalker. I might receive a restraining order and a lawsuit anytime soon. Yes, she ended it,” he was surprised at how he delivered it without a glitch. He feels awful, it would be a shame to receive a court order from the woman he truly loved and care for besides his mother. “Should I make a few calls?”
Upon the hearing her mother’s suggestion, his eyes grew in shock. “Absolutely, not!”
His mother laughs at his reaction, he was frowning at his mother for saying such. He never wanted help from anybody with power in his family, that would be the last thing he wanted.
“The killer eyes again!” His mother pointed out again, faking a scary look he tried to shake it off from his face. “Well, at least tell me you said I love you to her.”
“Yes, mother and she replied too sweetly for my liking,” he gritted his teeth as he tried his best to smile. “Oh dear, she was just shocked I hoped.”
Shock? Well, that gave him a shock indeed. A comfortable and pregnant silent loomed over them, his mother’s pale and dainty left hand found his. He leaned in and held on to it tightly, “It’s going to be fine, mom. I’m going to be okay. We should focus on your recovery.”
His mother’s beam did not reach her eyes, Lucas pretended that he did not notice the doubt inside her. Leilani heaves a troubled sigh, “I just hoped I could see you walk down the aisle, become an awesome father and meet my grandkids.”
Lucas choked back his tears as he listens and forms words to comfort his mother, “Of course, you will! Stop saying things like this mother, okay?”
Leilani snorted, “I should’ve agreed with your nonna to tie you up with that Italian heiress when you turned twenty-five. I could have a two or three-year-old grandchild running around here during weekends or holidays.”
He did not know what to actually feel, the dejection of her hope or his mother and nonna’s annoying suggestion, “The latter was uncalled for. You should rest, mom.”