While the boys practiced, I stayed with Allie and the little girl whose name was Violet. She was Matt’s younger sister and she spoke in British accent. For a moment there, I thought maybe she was adopted or something but it turned out, her dream was to become the Queen of England.
“Hmm... Wow,” I said, “that’s amazing.”
She grinned prettily and spoke Britishly, “I shall be living in a castle with my Prince. When you’re married to Xavi, I’ll invite you over for a grand dinner and evening balls and lot more of royally functions.”
I nodded, smiling all the while, “Thank you so much. That would be an honor.”
“Oh, you’re welcome,” she waved a sophisticated hand over her mouth, “And by the way, call me Vai.”
She had so much style in her. The way she sat, talked and even glanced at me was so stylish and filled with the essence of sophistication. I wondered where she learned all that from.
Interesting, I thought.
She was so pretty. Her glowing blonde hair which reached few inches below her shoulders carved her face perfectly and her green eyes were so Matt. And by the way, she could sing. Like really sing. Not so much a surprise taking in account that her big brother and cousin brother already had a band that was soon to be big. Music seems to run in this family just as much as beauty. I would love to see their grocery list. Wonder what they eat.
She was playing on the piano and singing the Beauty and the Beast theme song. Her child voice was so sweet and filled with potential.
After the piano, the three of us (Allie, Vai and me) went to the kitchen and helped Elaine with the snacks. The basement was soundproof so we couldn’t even hear a nick of the bombastic music going on down there. Violet loved my hair. She played braiding and un-braiding with it. David and his gang was still warring in the backyard. They came in drenched from head to toe some time later. Their guns still in their hands.
“Boys. What have you been up to?!” Violet gasped dramatically and Britishly at the boys from the chair she was sitting behind me as she played with my hair.
I noticed that she had lost that accent for a while. I realized it was an intended accent. Around people she was comfortable with, she didn’t have the accent. But around strangers, she had an attitude too along with all the style and sophistication; like how she was when we first conversed.
“You’re British?” David asked.
Vai cleared her throat and replied, “Well, it doesn’t matter (no R sound there). What matters is what have you been up to?! Would you mind taking a look at your clothes!”
All three of them pulled up faces and stared at her dumbfoundedly.
“You’re so weird,” Harry said.
I shook my head at him with a face that signalled ′don’t say that. Be nice’.
“Excuse me?” Vai gasped again.
“I said...” Harry began and I cut him off before this go any further and spoil a very elite girl’s mood.
“Hey, David, Harry, Jayden. This is Violet, Xavier’s cousin. Violet. Meet David, Harry and Jayden!” I smiled to all of them brightly like a sunflower.
Vai looked away from them and said, “I’m not talking to them.”
“Why do you speak in British accent?” David asked as he slipped into a chair.
Of course, he hadn’t gotten the answer to the question he asked earlier. I internally groaned. Why don’t you just forget it?
“One day, I’m going to become the Queen of England, that’s why. Thank you,” she answered and looked away to somewhere off again.
David looked confused. Actually, all the boys looked confused. They glanced at one another.
“But you’re not British,” Jayden countered.
“That’s what,” Harry said, “My brother told me...”
“Okay. Okay. Guys, drop the topic. We’re having cupcakes,” I stopped them before they start the whole citizenship thing and spoil Vai’s dream.
She was just a kid. What would she know. It was not the right time to break the news.
“But,” Harry began.
“Nope,” I said.
David turned to Harry and shook his head, telling him not to continue. David knows and understands what I don’t like and when. Even though he was a kid, he could study my moods and expressions. He’s very much my brother.
While having Elaine’s magnificent cupcakes, I sat between Vai and Allie and Allie was watching David the whole time with loving and longing look in her eyes. She was reminded of Kevin with the striking resemblance.
“Did Xavi ever tell you about Kevin?” Allie turned to me, speaking softly while the others chattered among themselves.
“Yeah,” I answered, “He told me the day I came here with him.”
“Ahh,” she nodded, “Your brother resembles Kevin so much,” she smiled with a tinge of nostalgia in her voice, “Did Xavi tell you that?”
“He did,” I smiled back.
“Bring him and his friends here often to play. It’s nice to have them around. They’re so lovely.”
“Sure,” I nodded and smiled back.
Allie took one of my hand and said, her eyes glimmering smoothly, “I’m glad that Xavi’s with you, dear. I’ve haven’t seen him happier. He can spend hours talking ’bout you,” she chuckled softly and I did too.
Xavier came out of the basement the next minute, glistening in sweat. Captain padded quietly behind him.
“Hey,” he smiled at us.
“Xavier! Xavier! Xavier!!” The boys screamed and then began plundering him with the stories of their water fight all at once in full throttle.
Allie and Elaine laughed.
“Alright. Alright! Peace be still. Are you guys starting a riot or what?” Xavier chuckled.
He went over to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. He listened, grinned and laughed at the boys story for a while as he drank the water. Then he came over to me. Holding the back of my chair, he leaned down and took a bite of the cupcake I was eating. Dazed at the gesture, I stared up at him and swallowed as I watched him chew. He looked so good even when covered in sweat. Even the way he was smelling was amazing; so raw and masculine and HOT. A small smirk cracked on his lips. I cleared my throat and grabbed a tissue from the table.
“You’re dripping,” I said as I wiped the sweat off from his forehead.
He smiled back at me.
Vai cleared her throat and Xavier looked back at her.
Xavier grinned at her, “Well, hello there, Princess. How have you been?”
“I probably should say I’ve been doing quite well.”
Xavier raised an eyebrow at her, “You haven’t been so good.”
“Never mind,” she sighed, glancing at the boys.
Xavier chuckled. He went down towards basement again with two bottles of water. Captain loyally following him like a Squire to his Knight. After about half an hour, they decided it was done for the day and came out from their music Bunker. Xavier acknowledged me with a kiss on my forehead. We were in front of the TV in the living room. Vai was beside me and she blushed at the gesture. Xavier smiled and pinched her cheek.
“Where’s David and his gang?” Xavier asked.
“They’re out near the fountain,” Allie answered, she had been standing near the main door, watching them play. She couldn’t quite get enough of the resemblance David had with Kevin.
I could get her feelings. It must be like watching Kevin play. Xavier went over and stood beside her. He grinned and then laughed at the way they were playing.
“You okay, buddy?!” He called out.
“Yup!” Jayden’s voice answered.
Alex came and sat on the couch with us. Xavier, Hunt, Matt and Scott went upstairs. We heard them come down after a while but none of us looked back. We were so engrossed in the movie we were watching. The Devil Wears Prada. Old yet good as hell. It must be Claire who bought it.
“Hey, ladies! You up for battle?” Xavier called from the stairs.
We looked back. They were holding big guns in their hands. They looked like we’d see them in Rambo. Scott was checking out his gun as he came down. Xavier, Matt and Hunt had two each. Alex laughed.
“What. You scared you’d lose?” Xavier taunted, coming closer to us.
Damn if it worked. Vai, Alex and me, we exchanged glances and stood up from the couch. The boys grinned.
“Where’s our gun?” I asked confidently.
“Right here, babe,” Xavier smirked and handed me one.
I took it and soon, we were all out at the backyard, our guns filled up with as much water they could carry. The yard was big enough for the battle. They even had trees for taking cover and all. Just perfect.
We had divided ourselves into two teams. One team led by Xavier and the other by Matt. I was in Matt’s team. We were Matt, Vai, Alex, Scott and me. Since Xavier underestimated the female power, we girls (Vai, Alex and me) decided to be in one team and show them that women can rule too. Xavier’s team were David, Harry, Jayden and Hunt.
We stood facing one another, organizing our group. Elaine, Allie and Claire were watching us through the glass wall from the inside. Claire was a fundraiser and she had returned from work few minutes before. Captain was sitting with his back straight near the glass wall.
“All set?” Xavier asked us.
“We’re up, man,” Matt answered, holding up his gun on his shoulder.
Captain cheered his master on with few woof woofs.
“Roger, Sir. I won’t let you down,” Xavier flanked a salute to Captain.
“You’re going down,” I said to Xavier.
He winked at me cockily, “Sexy.”
I gestured a hand over my neck to him. Cutthroat. He laughed.
We took our positions. Me and Vai behind one tree. Scott climbed up a tree for ambush. He would be like the guardian angel, looking over everyone from the top. Matt would be leading the army from the front. Same goes for Xavier since they were the captain of each team. Hunt was their guardian angel. With a referee from Elaine, the battle broke open.
We began in the organized strategy as we first planned. But it soon turned into an all out war. David was the first one to get me. And I was the first to get Xavier. He looked stupefied and amused when I soaked his bronze head with my water bullets.
Victory to the Mongrel!
I squealed and celebrated my lungs off.
Elaine, Claire and Allie kept laughing inside as they watched our immature but extremely fun battle. We kept screaming and laughing as we drenched one another. When our guns ran out of water, we went for the sprinklers and pipes that water the grass. There was no stopping although we were all wet like we’d taken a dip in the pool on the other side of the yard. We just had a great time. It was the most fun thing I had done all year. Or honestly, in about three-four years.
Matt, Hunt, Scott and Alex left shorty after. Xavier took a quick shower because he was sweating earlier while Elaine dried the boys’ clothes in the machine. After that, he drove us back. I had changed again into one more of Xavier’s T-shirt. It was plain white.
Xavier dropped all of us back. Before we left, Claire pulled the boys to a group hug and she lovingly kissed David on his head. It almost brought tears to my eyes.
On the way Xavier asked the boys how they found his cousin, Violet.
“She’s so weird,” Harry said.
“Yeah. She’s not fun either,” Jayden said.
Xavier laughed. He knew what they were talking ’bout. Her sophistication and the accent.
“What ’bout you, David? Do you find her weird too?”
“I don’t know,” David answered, “She said she wants to be the Queen of England.”
“So you don’t find her weird?” Xavier glanced back at him quickly.
David shrugged, “Not really. I think she’s pretty.”
That blocked my airway. It seemed to give the same effect on Xavier too. We glanced at each other and then back at David. Xavier looked back to the front again since he was driving but I continued to stare at David.
My innocent little brother had learned to appreciate a girl’s look?
We dropped Harry and Jayden first. Around five in the evening, we reached my house. I told David to shower and he ran in instantly like he was thinking the same thing.
“Well,” Xavier turned to me.
I could tell from the way he was looking at me longingly that he still wanted to be with me for some more time. That wasn’t a problem with me either so I took his hand and pulled him along.
I grinned, “Come on in.”
He grinned back happily like a five year old getting a free ice cream.
I took a quick shower myself after putting David’s and my clothes in the machine. Xavier had offered I could shower in the guest room at his house but I just said I would get one at home. When I came down after the shower, Xavier’s long frame was stretched on the couch. He had kicked off his shoes and removed his jacket. Now, he was sleeping peacefully like a baby, holding a cushion to his body.
I tip toed to the next couch and quietly sat down on it, crossing my legs. I smiled to myself as I watched him breathe in and breathe out. He must’ve been tired after the long day. He fell asleep so quickly.
“Are you going to just sit there or come over here and cozy up with me? It’s winter here in this couch you know,” he mumbled sleepily with his eyes closed.
I smiled and asked in a low tone, “You weren’t sleeping?”
He grinned back with his eyes still closed and said, “I was. I just felt you here.”
He opened his eyes groggily and said, “Come here, Mongrel.”
Like an obedient kid, I got down from the couch and went over to him. He wrapped an arm around me and pulled me close to his body once I lay down next to him.
He inhaled the scent of my hair and kissed my cheek, saying, “Hmm... You smell nice.”
I hugged him back and buried my face in his chest.
“When’s your dad returning?”
“Why? Are you afraid of him?” I teased.
“Every boy is nervous of meeting the girlfriend’s dad. And especially not in this position,” he chuckled.
“Don’t worry. He’ll come back only in the morning,” I chuckled too, “Night shift.”
“Really?” Suddenly, he sounded energetic like he wasn’t sleeping just a minute ago. “That’s great. Then I can stay here as long as I want without bothering to prepare for topics to talk about, provided you don’t kick me out.”
I chuckled a bit and drowning my all in the comfort he was giving me, I slowly whispered into chest, “Don’t go. Stay. With me.”
I felt him grin, “Wasn’t planning to leave at all. Even if you kick me out, I’d still climb the pipes and hijack your room. Try me.”
I laughed. He chuckled and hugged me tighter.
“I love you, Mongrel. I love you so much,” he kissed me deeply on my forehead.
“I love you too,” I whispered back.
I don’t know how quickly we fell asleep on the couch tangled up. I guess we were both quite tired after the long day. Over that, the way we were cozying up in the quietude of the evening warmed up our bodies like blanket. And so feeling safe and sound, we drifted off to sleep.
David woke us up around seven. We made dinner together, ate it together and then watched Bruce Almighty together after that. David fell asleep on the couch midway through the movie. We paused the movie and Xavier carried him to his room. Then, we tucked him in. David is impossibly alert even in his sleep but I guess the day of frantic enjoyment weighed down on him. He didn’t stir even once when Xavier picked him up and carried him to bed.
Closing the door behind us, Xavier joked, “Let’s play House. You be the mother and I’m be the father. David will be our little Tommy. Let’s go make mud pies.”
And then we laughed, keeping the noise as low as possible. We went back to the living room and finished the movie. Then we went up to my room after that. Xavier easily picked me up to his shoulder and carried me up the stairs like I was a weightless ball of cotton. We kept laughing as we entered my room and as he laid me down on my bed.
“This shirt looks good on you. Keep it with you,” he said as he crawled up on top of me.
I was still wearing his T-shirt. This shirt was going to be my new favorite I was sure. I didn’t even want to remove it or even wash it. I wanted his scent to stay with me forever.
We looked into each other’s eyes and we knew what we wanted. His lips descended on mine. I held his face and kissed back in a kiss that started out slow and steady but which soon picked up to a passionate and heated make out session. My fingers knotted in his bronze head and my legs wrapped around his waist. He grabbed my wrists and pinned them back on the bed above my head, taking control.
I gasped for air as his lips trailed down my neck, my collar bone and my chest. His hands traveled down the sides of my body and he tugged once at the hem of my T-shirt, yanking the collar down to expose more of my skin. He moved up higher on me and latched his burning lips on the swell of my breast. I gasped loudly.
We make out a lot but we’d never been this bold. A deep moan mixed with a lustful groan gurgled from his throat and the sound made me bit my bottom lip. His hand moved up from my thigh to my stomach, stroking and feeling my bare skin. All through this time, he didn’t stop kissing me.
“Xavier. Wait. Wait,” my breathing was quivering as I spoke.
He didn’t hear me. He kept on kissing my chest and then my neck. It was so good and so I had to call upon a special level of strength to cupped his face and make him meet my eyes, ultimately making him stop.
“Xavier. Wait,” I said in a gasp.
He blinked innocently.
I inhaled a few deep breathes and said, “As much as I want to, I think we should take it slow. I’m not quite ready yet.”
He exhaled, ran a hand through his hair and sighed, “Oh God. I’m so sorry. I got carried away,” he said, looking as guilty as a convict and as adorable as a stuffed bear.
“No. I’m sorry. I made you stay her and I... Didn’t even,” I bit my bottom lip and dropped my gaze to his chest.
“Don’t be silly, Alana,” he smiled softly at me, cupping my chin with a hand and making me meet his eyes, “There’s no need to say sorry. We don’t have to do anything if you’re not ready. I’ll wait as long as you want; years, decade or even centuries.”
“Now you’re being silly. Century is a bit too long,” I giggled.
He chuckled and tipped my nose like he always did, “Just stay with me, okay? You are enough for me.”
I nodded. He kissed my forehead and rolled off of me. I looked at the time on my alarm clock. It was almost midnight.
“We should sleep. It’s late,” I said.
“Yeah,” he answered and then putting his arm up to the back of his neck, he pulled off his shirt in one swift motion.
My mouth literally fell open at the sight of his physique - the broad chest, the packs, the dents of his muscles, the... Everything. I swallowed, unable to look away. I’d seen him shirtless before but it still seemed like a sweet surprise.
He smirked at me and said, “I’m your boyfriend. It’s all yours. Get used to it.”
I felt my cheeks warm up. He plopped down next to me on his side and coiled one arm around my stomach while the other hand slipped under my head to act as my pillow. My back was against his chest. He pulled me closer to his body and nuzzled his face into my nape, breathing against my skin.
“Can’t sleep with my shirt on. Is it bothering you?” He asked.
“Yeah. A little bit but it’s okay. I have to learn to get used to it,” I joked.
He chuckled and kissed my neck. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how Xavier and I spent our first sober night together.