I didn’t feel like opening my eyes. But as I lay sleeping, I could feel the blinding light of morning urging me to open them.
Weird. My window never let this much sunlight to enter my room.
I squeezed my eyelids together once and opened them grudgingly... to be greeted by plain gray ceiling.
This isn’t my room. My ceiling is white with lightings.
This isn’t my room.
THIS ISN’T MY ROOM!!!
My eyes shot open as if I’d taken immense dose of over reactive caffeine.
Sensing the presence of someone on my side, I whipped my head to see who it might be and found Xavier smirking at me. He was lying frontally on the bed with his muscled arms folded beneath his face.
“Morning, babe.” His hoarse morning voice groaned.
He was without a shirt; half... Wait! Oh my God! Is he naked?!
Before anything, I screamed, jerking up from the bed and pulling as many armful of blanket I could close to my chest. His hand was over my mouth immediately, muffling me.
“Are you crazy?!”
Eyeing him wide eyed, it took me more than a minute to reprogramme my senses. When I finally began to breathe he let down his hand.
“What am I doing here?!!” I whispered shouted.
He rolled his eyes and replied indolently as he rolled out of the bed, “You came with me last night.”
Grabbing a towel from the small white cabinet next to the bed, he went over to a white dresser pushed to a gray wall, which had pictures of heavy metal bands hanging above, and began drying his bronze hair. It seemed he’d already showered. He was wearing a pair of faded jeans and the Calvin Klein waist band of his underwear was peeking out above the waist line of his jeans which he was wearing lower down on his hips making him look meaninglessly dapper. From the reflection in the mirror, I got the glimpse of his perfect abdomen and my breathing stumble.
Gosh. It was so impossible to look away.
I always knew that he has a good body but I didn’t expect it to be that good. He was facing away from me, giving me full view of the dented muscles of his back. I gulped nervously as I took in the sight.
He winked at me cockily from the mirror and smirked at me saying, “Stop harassing me with your eyes.”
Blinking nervously, I tore my gaze away from him right away and looked down to my lap, chewing on my lips.
Then, heaving a frustrated sigh, I face palmed my face with both hands and gingerly peeking in between my fingers, I asked him, “What happened last night?”
He turned over, facing me in the glory of his sexily tanned and fantastically sculpted hard packs; the V lines of his abdomen slipping under the Calvin Klein waist band. He was the perfect balance of lean and muscular.
Holy cow. Is it getting hot in here?
Don’t say a nerd can’t have hormones.
I struggled not to stare at his body for too long. Maybe the right word would be ogle. Gosh. His hair was tousled in a magnificent mess, tempting me to run my fingers through them.
Is it even possible to look this good early in the morning?
“Last night,” the smug smile on his fantastic face disappeared and something warm took over the expression, “You gave me the best night of my life.”
I felt my eyes grow wide. I just stared at him wide eyed in utter shock and my mouth just hung open; wide enough to possibly fit a baby elephant in it. I couldn’t speak anymore. I felt like I had swallowed a dinosaur. My palms were beginning to sweat. The sound of my heart beat began to break my eardrums; the high pitched ringing and the metals clashing. I heard every irritating noise all at once and.. and it kept getting worst. Hot tears instantly sprung to my eyes, burning the eyeballs.
“Are you serious?” my voice cracked. I was breaking down.
“Mhmm. I am.” He nodded seriously.
My eyes stung from the freshly heated tears.
This can’t be. No. The first time was supposed to be special.. Not like this. I don’t even remember what the heck actually happened.
Pulling my knees to my chest and nervously chewing my nails, I dropped my gaze to my lap again to hide my eyes which were brimming with tears.
“Are you crying?” he asked me with a snort of suppressed laughter. I looked up at him. He was fighting back a smile, forming a thin line in between his lips.
“Why are you laughing? Are you crazy? It’s not funny!!” I shouted with tears in my eyes.
Dammit. I shouldn’t have drank.
“Stop shouting, Alana. Nothing happened,” he said, still suppressing his humor.
“What?” I blinked rapidly.
The humor on his face slowly faded and he said, “I said nothing happened.”
“What do you mean Nothing happened?” I echoed him, trying to make it crystal clear.
“It means nothing happened. Or did you want something to happen?” He teased.
“Stop messing around,” I glowered.
He sighed, ran a hand through his hair and came over crouching onto the bed, his muscles flexing as he moved in closer to me.
“Nothing happened. Nothing at all,” he cupped my chin with a hand, angling my face to meet his gaze. “Do you really think that I would do that while you were not in your right mind? What do you think of me, Alana?” His voice was soft.
He waited for me to answer. I could see it from the look in his eyes; seeking and eager to know what I was thinking about him. But I couldn’t say anything as my mind stayed captivated in the feel of his touch. I didn’t want to admit it but it’s true that he bothered me; every single thing he does bothered me. So you can’t expect me to be unhinged when he touched me.
He breathed deeply and said, pressing his forehead against mine, “Mongrel, I won’t deny that I like you, also that I WANT you. But I wouldn’t take advantage of you. You understand that?”
After hearing him say that, my body relaxed a bit. My breathing became even and I nodded in response.
“Then why did you say that we...” I couldn’t complete my sentence as annoyance, happiness and embarrassment flooded me in a mixture.
“Had sex?” He presented his trademark smirk again.
“Shut up!” I ordered and threw a pillow at him. He didn’t duck. He just let me get him. He squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced with a very cute pout as the pillow fell on his face, messing his hair even more and dazing me all over again.
He chuckled, his eyes now bright with amusement, “I was fooling around.”
“You jerk!” I shouted again and punched him on his chest thrice. I just wanted to hit him. Make him feel how bad he frightened me.
Laughing heartedly as I hit him, he grabbed both my wrists and pushed me back down on the bed making me his captive. I caught my breath as his amazing half naked body came hovering above me.
A tight knot pulled at my stomach and I swallowed a big audible lump as I watched his body come closer, looming over like a hungry lion. I wondered how he could behave this way with so much ease. He seemed nowhere near nervous while here I was almost breathless.
“You know what, Mongrel?” he said, keeping his eyes locked with mine.
“Wh... What?” My voice came out a bit shaky.
“Last night,” his fresh breath fanned my face.
I almost shivered.
“Last night,” his tempting voice repeated the words again while interlocking his fingers with mine.
Is he some sort of a heater or something?
I began to feel warmer and warmer and hotter and hotter as he moved in closer and closer, inch by inch weighing down his body on me. And now his face was almost touching my face.
How do I breathe?
“You asked me to kiss you,” he whispered over my mouth. “Shall I?” his deep brown eyes, burning with passion, asked me.
I can’t breathe.
I’ve forgotten how to.
Oh shit. I shouldn’t breathe. Morning breath, God!
“Tell me, Alana. Do you want me to?” his hot breath was now breezing over my neck teasingly.
I closed my eyes and tried not to moan as I felt him burying his face in the crook of my neck, deeply breathing in my scent and the tip of his nose brushing gently against my skin leaving small sparks everywhere he touched. My heart beat had gone wild.
God! What is he doing to me?
Stop, Xavier. Stop.
When I felt the heated touch of his lips lightly graze on my neck, I almost let out a moan. I’m sure I would’ve had if he hadn’t pulled back suddenly and exclaimed hoarsely, “God! Alana. I thought I was teasing you but I’m losing.”
His face had changed. His eyes had changed. His breathing had changed; slightly erratic now. Everything about him had changed. His eyes were now darker than they previously were. And I wondered how I was looking at that instant. Because I was sure that I was nowhere near unaffected.
I was just as losing as he was.
“I really wanna kiss you. Say yes, Alana,” his hoarse voice begged me.
I can’t do this anymore.
He need to stop.
I was determined I wouldn’t speak until I wash my mouth but I had to. Exhaling slowly and carefully so not much air would escape my mouth, I said, “Xavier. Stop. You can’t. Please.”
He pulled back a bit and looked into my eyes. His eyes were doing all the speaking. They were begging me... Craving... Longing... And yet solemn.
His chest rising and falling noticeably, “At least this,” he said and planted a long, lingering kiss on my forehead.
My eyes fluttered shut and melted to the touch of his warm lips.
When he pulled back, he whispered, keeping his forehead against mine, “Don’t let me come this close next time. I won’t be able to contain myself.”
Then he pulled away and rolled out of the bed.
He wore his shoes and walked into the walked-in closet. He came out a minute later, pushing an arm into a black jacket. He had also wore a white T-shirt underneath it (Thank God or... Not?)
“There’s breakfast on the table.” He motioned towards the white cabinet near his bed. “Drink the water. You might feel dehydrated. And the bathroom’s over there.” He pointed to the attached bathroom at one corner, “Come down when you’re done. I’ll wait for you downstairs.”
I sat up and nodded vigorously and willingly. He smiled, scratched the back of his head and exited out of the room.
“Argh,” I groaned, face palming my heated face and rolled over on the bed, burying my face in a pillow and... biting down on my lip not to let the goofy grin stretch too far.
Why am I even having this grin?
No. No. Alana. No.
You’re not falling for Narcissist!
The moment he was out, I peeled off the blanket and went over to the dresser to take a look at myself.
I shrieked and jumped away from the mirror a little.
“What’s wrong?” Xavier barged in.
I quickly shook my head, “No... Nothing,” and quickly finger combed through my hair.
He smiled and closed the door. I looked back to the mirror.
I’ve been looking like this the whole time?! Xavier surely must be crazy to want to kiss someone looking like this.
My hair was a mess, making a brown nest on top of my head unlike his magnificent tousled hair and my eyes... You won’t find anything nice to say about them even if you try searching seven times across the globe for one nice word that would fit them. I looked like a wasted girl high on drugs. I quickly finger combed through my hair again just in case Xavier barge in again.
What am I doing?
I’m not supposed to care about how I look like in front of him.
After I cleaned up and finished my morning routine, I looked around the room. Unlike how I expected it to be, the typical rock star’s room scattered with posters and pizza boxes, his room was amazing; neat and clean and just AMAZING. There was one electric guitar and an acoustic one near the head board of the master bed in the middle of the room from which I woke up some time ago and a large TV screen facing the bed with built in shelves below the screen filled with CDs. Out of the four gray walls, one wall was completely made of glass with white curtains hanging down and next to it were two grey leather couches with a small rounded glass table in the middle.
So that’s where the bright sunlight was coming in from.
I was surprised myself that I wasn’t having a hangover. He’d left the breakfast on the white cabinet near his bed. I drank the water and took a bite of the awesome nutella sandwich. After that, I exited his room pulling on my jacket.
The moment I stepped out of his room, I froze at the door flabbergasted.
This is his house?!
I felt like I woke up in the White House or the Buckingham’s Palace. Wide eyed, I slowly rolled my eyeballs from one corner to the other without moving my head. His room was amazing, I know, but I didn’t expect the other part of his house to be looking like a palace! For a while, I was glued to the spot, not wanting to move; feeling as though I would mess up the sparkling marble plates beneath my feet if I take another careless step.
I stepped down the stairs carefully. It led to the living room and I spotted Xavier at once, playing with a great brown hound, a Pharaoh Hound. Then I stopped on my track to stare at the familiar looking dog for a while.
“Isn’t he Captain Jack?” I asked as I came down.
He looked up and smiled at me. And I knew that I would trade anything to see him smile often that way. I liked it.
“Wow. Still alive.” I gasped.
“Yup. Alive and still as strong and handsome as the master himself,” he winked at me as the dog jumped into his arms.
I couldn’t believe it. It was the same dog he used to feed my starbursts to when we were in elementary school. He would feed my starburst to Captain, then he would take a picture of it and show it to me the next day. He was really irritating.
“How old is he?”
“Almost ten. He was four years old when I took him in.” Xavier held his ears and shook it fondly. Captain growled in enjoyment.
“Captain Jack, meet your old client, Alana,” he made Captain face me and taking a paw, Xavier made Captain wave at me.
With a light chuckle, I waved back.
We heard someone come down the stairs. I looked up and saw a woman stop on her track the moment she saw me. She looked breathtaking in her shoulder length chestnut brown hair and plain white dress that stopped just above her knees. It didn’t cost me a second to make out that she was Xavier’s sister.
They have the same charm. Beauty runs in their family. She looked about in her early twenties. After eyeing me well with those surprised eyes, she flicked her reserved eyes towards Xavier who was standing few steps on my side.
Xavier rolled his eyes and said, “It’s not what you think, Claire. My virginity is still hibernating inside my pants.”
Then slightly bending over, holding the railing, she laughed lightly.
I say it - She’s an angel.
Hold on a minute. Xavier is still a virgin?!
I whipped my head at him to take a look at his gorgeous virgin face. He smirked at me.
Is it bad if I say, I was actually quite happy to know that? I felt bubbles rising and popping inside my stomach.
“Okay. Okay,” Claire said, coming down the remaining of the steps still chuckling.
“Claire. Alana. Alana. Claire, my sister,” Xavier introduced us.
“Hi,” she smiled at me kindly and then raised an excited eyebrow, “Are you guys a thing? Because he’s never brought a girl home before.”
I was about to answer NO but Xavier butted in.
He said, “Soon to be.”
I looked at him and he smirked again.
“Mmhhmm,” Claire smirked too, “So my brother is into you. Don’t say yes. He’s a doucebag.”
Xavier mumbled, “I’m your brother.”
“I agree,” I smiled back to Claire.
She smiled too and then said, “I’m gonna be in the kitchen. Breakfast?”
“I already had,” I replied and looked at Xavier.
“Me too,” he answered.
“Okay. See ya.”
She was nice.
Xavier’s phone rang and I looked about the house giving him time. I couldn’t hold back my eyes from checking out every single thing. The living room was wide and spacious. In the middle, expensive leather couches were rounded around a glass table in front of a wide screen on the wall.
The walls were painted white and one was completely made off glass, just like his room, and you could see the beautiful lawn behind. It made the room bright and look more amazing if possible. Decoration was sparse, not too much, but those they displayed were expensive artifacts, like vases and paintings. The neat staircase curved its way up to the next floor where his room was.
“Here,” he handed me his phone, “It’s Kendra.”
God. I’m scared of what she’ll say because I know for a fact that she’s way excited now.
“Yeah?” I said putting the phone close to my ear, gingerly hoping she wouldn’t hear.
Then she barked back causing me to pull away the phone from my ear.
“Alana, you little devil! You slept with Xavier!! Did you hear that?! You guys slept together?!”
“No. We didn’t. Well literally yeah... But... We didn’t...” I peeked towards Xavier.
He was smiling smugly, enjoying the show. I glared and gestured a finger over my throat... Cut-throat. Throwing his head back, he turned away from me, laughing.
“I’ll tell you everything when I get home,” I told Kendra.
“Okay. I want every detail and I actually called to tell you that you left your purse at the party last night and it’s with me. Lucky you. Your dad called up last night and I answered telling him that you’re sleeping over at my place. So you don’t have to worry about anything. I know I’m a genius.”
“Oh my God. I love you, Kendra. Thanks a million.”
“Yeah. Whatever. I’m coming over to your place to get details anytime soon. I wanna see your face.”
“Okay,” I squeaked.
“Kay. See ya.”
Then we hung up and I gave the phone back to him.
Taking back the phone, he said, “We did sleep together, didn’t we?”
I rolled my eyes. He chuckled.
“Your house is amazing,” I said, looking back at the huge modern mansion as we walked to his car in the garage.
There was even a fountain in the middle of the two parting driveway.
“What does your parents do?” I swear I was curious. I wanted to know more about him and if he was that rich, his parents must be handling big money.
“He’s an entrepreneur. And I don’t know what the other does anymore. It’s just me, Claire and my grandmother living here,” he answered with a shift on his expression.
Yeah right. Kendra had once mentioned about his parents; that his father is an entrepreneur, when she said ‘That pretty ass is worth a fortune’
“I didn’t see your grandma.”
“She’s at my . . . dad’s.”
“Oh. Where are your parents?”
New York? Then why is he here? Isn’t New York a better place? I mean, seriously.
“Then why are you here? I mean, New York is New York, right?”
He halted his steps and his face hardened immediately making me regret the question. His face changed and it scared me. It showed that he didn’t like to talk about them, his parents.
“I like it here. And neither of them matters to me,” he said grimly and resumed walking. “You should never accept anything from anybody when you’re in a party. You understand that? Trust no one. Only fools would,” he said harshly.
He was scolding me. He was angry. I could see him barely hiding his frustration. I didn’t answer. I just watched him. He stopped in his way again and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Dammit. I’m sorry, Alana,” he apologised, “I have temperament issues.”
I gave him a small smile, “Not surprising.”
He slowly smiled back.
“So what happened last night? I didn’t drink that much,” I asked as we drove out of the driveway.
He laughed, “You ate hash brownies, sweetheart. You were high on marijuana,” he laughed.
My jaw dropped.
“Really? Marijuana? Oh my God!!!” I couldn’t believe myself.
He chuckled amusedly as he changed the gear.
“Why didn’t you take me back home?” I asked after sometime.
“Are you kidding me?” he frowned at me, “You refused. You said your father would be there.”
Right. He wasn’t on night shift last night. It’s better he think I slept over at Kendra’s instead of coming home wasted.
“You don’t feel dehydrated?”
He grinned, “Wow. My girl’s amazing.”
He pulled up at our driveway. I took a deep breath, praying that Dad would have already left for work, and moved out. Xavier did too.
“Shall I walk you to your door?” he asked for my permission as he came over to me.
“Maybe next time. Dad might be still there. And if he sees you... Then...” I hesitantly pulled on my words.
He smiled roguishly. “Then he’ll know that we slept together.”
I rolled my eyes and nodded smirkingly. He wouldn’t stop saying it.
“Alright then, I’ll see you at school.”
“Yeah. Thanks for everything.”
“There’s no need to say that between husband and wife,” he replied and it just cracked me up. I began to laugh. Like for real. He laughed too.
“Jerk,” I said still laughing, “Go home. I’m going in.”
“Yes ma’am.” He gave me a very cool salute.
I beamed and turned towards my house.
“Wait a minute.”
I looked back.
He came over and said, “There’s something you need to know.”
“What is it?” I asked.
He cupped my chin and tilted my face to meet his eyes. I actually expected him to tease me further but the serious look in his eyes as he gazed at me unnerved me. And my racing heart beat was not helping at all.
What is it now, Xavier?
“You’re always beautiful, Alana,” he said in softened tone and my heart skipped a beat or maybe two or maybe three. Well who cares how many. I was extremely flattered.
My airway was literally crushed. No one had ever said that to me and the fact that he called my real name instead of Mongrel was even more unnerving, because I’d noticed that he uses my real name only when he means things or when he’s angry. And I don’t think he was angry then. So he meant it?
My lips slightly parted in an attempt to say something but nothing came out. I felt nervous. Even more as I realized that it was no one else but Xavier Arquette, the most beautiful human I’d ever seen, was the one who was telling me that I am always beautiful.
“I think you should know that,” he said.
Before I could make another hopeless attempt to say something, he leaned in and placed another lingering kiss on my forehead for the second time this morning. Butterflies erupted like a volcano eruption all at once inside my stomach, my chest, my lungs, just everywhere and it felt so good. I didn’t even mind having the slightest feeling that I might faint the next moment.
Pulling away after the instant that felt too short, he smiled softly and went back to his car. I looked away as fast as possible for I knew that I was more than blushing. My heart felt like someone had mistaken it for a drum. I heard the car door close and a feeling to look back came over me out of nowhere. I could literally feel his eyes on me.
Don’t look back.
Don’t look back.
Chewing on my bottom lip, I tried to ignore the tempting feeling to look back at him. It was so awkward at the same time.
Don’t look back, you idiot.
I looked back.
And there he was still watching me through the window. He gave me that priceless smile of his the moment our eyes met. After that, he started his car. I looked away quickly with the goofy grin taking over my face immediately. Oh God! The feels of the erupting butterflies. I wrapped my arms around my ribs and braced myself not to faint.
I heard the car finally drive away and I walked towards the door, hopelessly grinning away.
I had given up. There was no hell of a way I would have been able to wipe the crazy grin off my face.
I gave in to it.