Chapter 24: Forgiving Hearts
As promised, after they gathered their stuff and left the beach, Lucas drove them straight to the tattoo parlor where he'd gotten his ink. The woman that helped Jasmine pick out the perfect tattoo couldn't have been much older than Lucas and was covered in ink and piercings from head to toe. Surprisingly, it actually suited her. Jasmine wasn't a big fan of that many tattoos, but the woman could totally pull it off.
After looking through the woman's portfolio, Jasmine choose a dove to symbolize her mother, the symbol of motherhood and the date she passed away. Next to the dove sat a falcon, the symbol of guardianship and wisdom. It looked absolutely beautiful. The moment the needle hit the soft skin above Jasmine's hipbone, she gasped audibly as the pain hit her, but Lucas had been right. The moment she saw the tattoo in the mirror, the pain had been totally worth it.
Jasmine couldn't have been more proud of her tattoo. When it was done, she must've thanked the woman a million of times, certainly because the woman took a risk by tattooing Jasmine. She was still underage, so legally it was forbidden to give her a tattoo without the permission of a legal guardian.
Jasmine took another peek at her hip. She couldn't see the tattoo through the bandage and her skin itched, but still a huge smile spread across her features. Her parents were no longer just in her memories, but on her body as well. If the hole inside her heart hadn't already been filled with Lucas' love and adoration, the tattoo had certainly done the trick. Jasmine never felt more whole than in that moment.
When they arrived home at seven o'clock, Jasmine told Lucas she still needed to do work for school. She'd love to spend some quality time with him in his room, but she needed to finish her Chemistry assignment if she wanted to pass. Thus here she was, sitting lonely in her room, staring at the covered tattoo on her hip and thinking about the boy across the hall.
Her assignment was still untouched, her mind elsewhere. How was she supposed to concentrate on a stupid assignment after the day she had? Done trying to concentrate, Jasmine stood up and threw her schoolbag closed. Staring at a blank page wouldn't help anyone, the correct answers weren't going to magically appear.
Heaving a sigh, Jasmine walked out of her room and pushed Lucas' door open. If she couldn't concentrate, she might as well enjoy her evening together with her boyfriend. She was surprised to see Lucas lying on top of his bed, eyes closed and rock music blasting through his ear buds. Her heart swelled, warmth coursing through her veins. Lucas never used ear buds. He didn't care if anyone was bothered by his music, yet he'd cared that she was studying across the hall. Damn. Who would've thought he could be a considerate, sweet, bad boy? Every time Jasmine thought she had him completely figured out, he proved her wrong and surprised her with yet another new trait.
Smiling, she jumped on top of him. Lucas' eyes immediately flew wide open as he let out a startled noise. Grinning, Jasmine pressed a quick peck against his cheek. "Hi," she whispered softly as he took the ear buds off. She stared into his eyes, the warmth in the pit of her stomach spreading through every fiber of her body.
"You almost gave me a heart attack," Lucas accused after he cursed loudly, his heart still racing in his chest. Jasmine grinned as she rested her face in the crook of his neck and listened to the thumping sound of his pulse.
"You poor baby," she cooed, smiling wickedly. Teasing Lucas was one of her favorite pastimes.
Lucas groaned lowly, wrapped his arms tightly around her frame and pushed Jasmine on her back. A gasp left her suddenly dry lips as Lucas' full weight was pressed into her body, his breath tickling the tender skin on her neck. "Lucas," she half whispered, half moaned as she arched her back.
Memories of their heated afternoon immediately sprang to her mind, coloring her cheeks pink with a blush and making a soft moan escape her lips. She'd never felt more alive than in the moments she spent with Lucas. He set her body on fire, kindled every inch of her skin with his sweet, lingering touches.
"You drive me crazy, princess," Lucas mumbled as he ground his hips into hers, his cock already at half-mast without any real action. It seemed he was just as turned on by her than she was by him. Their mutual attraction was truly mindboggling.
"Lucas," Jasmine groaned as his hand slipped between their bodies and touched her sweet spot. Even with layers of clothes separating them, his touch still set her body on fire. Jasmine's eyes rolled to the back of her head as she thrust her hips forward. "Don't tease me," she whimpered, her nails digging into his back, scratching against the fabric of his shirt.
Smirking, Lucas pushed himself off her and started pulling his shirt over his head. Jasmine watched in appreciation as his naked chest came into view, the muscles rippling with every movement he made. "What are you waiting for princess?" he grinned.
Lucas didn't have to tell her twice. Within seconds, Jasmine was on her knees, pulling her clothes off at rapid speed. She might still be pretty inexperienced, but she knew whatever was going to happen in the next hour would only bring her pleasure. Lucas never disappointed.
The next morning Jasmine woke with a lingering ache between her legs, the remnants of a beautiful night where Jasmine finally gave herself fully to Lucas. Smiling softly, she slowly opened her eyes and stretched her sore muscles. The bed was a total mess, the sheets crumbled and still whiffing with the smell of sex. Focusing on her surroundings, Jasmine realized she was alone in the room. A slight pang of hurt crossed her chest. Where was Lucas?
Before she could make any wrong assumptions, the door burst open and Lucas came walking in with a platter in his hands. Raising an eyebrow, Jasmine sat up and inspected the bounty. Two glasses of orange juice and bowls of cereal were presented to her. Lucas sheepishly ran his fingers across the one day old stubble on his jaw after he put the platter down. "I wanted to bring you breakfast in bed, but Grace hasn't arrived yet," he admitted.
Jasmine giggled and shook her head. Damn. He could be too cute sometimes. Breakfast in bed a la Lucas. "It's fine," she assured, still smiling brightly as she took a sip of the orange juice. It was the thought that counted.
"How are you feeling," Lucas asked worriedly, his brows drawn together.
A hint of a blush touched her cheeks as Jasmine murmured, "I'm okay." Besides the obvious ache between her legs, she'd never felt better. Lucas had made her feel wonderful. She didn't regret what they did for even a second.
"Are you sure? I wasn't too rough, was I?" he questioned, still concerned. To Jasmine's utter surprise, she'd been the first girl he'd ever slept with that was still a virgin. Lucas had been extremely careful and sweet. Honestly, she couldn't have imagined it being any better. There had been a sting of pain the moment he broke her maidenhood, but after that she'd felt nothing but pleasure.
"I loved every second of it," Jasmine assured him, smiling softly as she touched his cheek. "It was ten times better than anything I ever imagined." At her words a proud grin spread across Lucas' features.
"I told you I was going to take care of you," he grinned cockily, masking his relief. He hadn't just taken care of her, he rocked her entire world. Jasmine was glad she'd waited that long and gave herself to someone who took care of her and respected her. Too many people regretted their first time.
"I love you," Jasmine smiled, crawling into Lucas' lap and straddling him. Lucas' grin widened as he flattened his palms against her rear and confidently pressed his lips against hers. Jasmine's arms automatically curled around his neck as she pushed her chest closely against Lucas', her breasts squeezing against his solid muscles.
Her lips opened on their own account, granting access for Lucas' tongue to enter her mouth. He kissed her slowly, leisurely, taking his time to explore every nook and corner of her wet cavern. Jasmine's fingers disappeared into his raven locks as she rubbed her lower body against his growing member.
Lucas groaned low in his throat, his hands squeezing her butt playfully as he kissed her without coming up for air. When Jasmine started to feel slightly lightheaded because of the lack of oxygen in her lungs, Lucas finally pulled back and looked into her eyes. "I love you, too, princess," he said with a lopsided smile, his left hand softly caressing her cheek.
"You make me happier than I've felt in a long time," Jasmine confessed, resting her head against his and sighing softly. After the death of her grandmother, Jasmine had been certain she would never be happy again. Fortunately, Lucas showed her a way to let go of the hurt and move forward. She couldn't have done that without him. He supported her and gave her strength even when she still claimed to despise his guts.
"You do the same for me," Lucas admitted, his blue orbs shining with sincerity. "I know I might not be the perfect boyfriend, but I promise you I'll try to do my utmost best to make you happy and treat you with the respect you deserve," he promised before pressing a soft peck against her temple.
"I don't doubt that for a second," Jasmine stated, running her fingertips through his hair. Lucas had always tried to treat her properly. He might have teased her and made fun of her, but he'd never pushed her limits too far, except for that horrible day where he completely lost control over his anger.
Sliding one of his hands down her side, Lucas' hand suddenly halted against her hipbone. "You should put some ointment on the tattoo before it infects," he told her, looking down at the exposed bandage.
"We'll do that after you gave me a proper 'good morning'," Jasmine said, a wicked smile crossing her features.
"Princess," Lucas warned, but before he could stop her, Jasmine pressed her body flush against his and smacked her lips against his. Their mouths molded together as Jasmine rocked her hips against Lucas' pelvis. "Are you sure you're not too sore?" Lucas mumbled in between kisses.
Jasmine grinned and shook her head 'no'. She might still be a little sore, but it wasn't going to stop her from starting the day on a positive note.
Hours later, Jasmine and Lucas finally emerged from the bedroom and went downstairs to have lunch. Lucas certainly left Jasmine with quite the appetite. They'd been in bed for hours, alternately just talking and taking another roll between the sheets. Jasmine honestly didn't think it was possible for her libido to skyrocket like that, but Lucas proved her wrong. One smoldering glance from him and she was putty in his hands.
For the first time in her life, Jasmine was glad she had a bad period and her doctor subscribed her birth control to control the heavy bleeding. It meant Lucas and she didn't always have to use a condom, which she quickly learned, felt ten times better. People might say you don't feel the difference, Jasmine found out firsthand they had no idea what they were talking about.
"I see you two are still alive," Gabriella grinned as Jasmine and Lucas walked into the kitchen, hand in hand. Jasmine quickly let go of Lucas' hand and blushed. Damn. She had no idea Gabriella had a day off today. "Anything you want to tell me?" the woman asked with a raised eyebrow, her eyes shifting between the two of them.
"Uhm," Jasmine mumbled, at a loss for words. Her blush intensified, the rosy color turning into a darker shade of red as she glanced down at the floor. Lucas and she hadn't exactly talked about what they were going to tell his parents. It was a subject they both rather avoided.
"I'm sure you already figured it out," Lucas retorted, looking his mother in the eye, confidence radiating off his body. Jasmine didn't understand how he could stay that cool and collected, while she felt like she was tumbling from a cliff, her stomach fluttering with nerves and her heartbeat much faster than usual.
"Still, I'd like to hear it from you," Gabriella stated, her eyes focused on her son. Jasmine noticed her godmother looked just as calm and fierce. It must be a trait that ran in the family. To Jasmine, it was a mystery how they could stay that composed. She felt like a nervous wreck.
"We're in a relationship," Lucas sighed, giving his mother an annoyed glance. "Like you didn't know already," he muttered softly, his tone irritated. Jasmine bit her lip as she stared at her godmother, waiting for any kind of reaction, either good or bad.
Gabriella surprised both friend and foe when she started to smile, not just any smile, a full blown, from ear to ear smile. "Finally," she sighed, patting her son on the shoulder. "I've been waiting for a while until you two would finally make up."
Lucas gave his mother a confused stare. "How did you know we were fighting?" he asked with a frown.
"If it wasn't obvious by the hateful looks Jazzy sent you and the sad look in your eyes, I know because Jazzy told me," Gabriella replied.
"You told her?" Lucas asked, sounding slightly accusative as he turned his head to look at Jasmine.
"I did. I was feeling bad after you took off that day and your mother comforted me," Jasmine confessed, her eyes soft as she looked at the man she loved. "I felt horrible after I realized you made the wrong assumptions."
Lucas sighed. "I still feel like an ass for taking off like that without giving you the chance to explain. It would've prevented a lot of bad stuff from happening," he admitted, taking Jasmine's hands in his and pulling her against his chest. Jasmine exhaled deeply as her body molded against his, her head resting against his shoulder. She closed her eyes, her body relaxing.
"It doesn't matter now. That's all in the past. We're moving forward," she whispered, pressing a soft peck against Lucas' neck. The both of them had completely forgotten about Gabriella's presence.
"I wish you'd changed because you wanted to, to save our family, but I'm thankful anyhow. Jazzy brings out the best in you, son. It's nice to have you back," Gabriella mumbled, tears pricking behind her eyelids as she stared at the couple in front of her.
Lucas looked taken aback for a moment before he slowly nodded. "I love you, honey," Gabriella smiled softly. "You've lost track of your priorities for a long time, but I'm glad to see you've found what you needed to get back on track. I missed my sweet boy. I know he's always been somewhere inside of you, but for a while I was certain I'd never see him again."
Tears welled up in Jasmine's eyes as she looked at the emotional exchange between mother and son. It was clear they hadn't had a conversation like that in a long time. Somehow, Jasmine made that happen and she was glad. They both deserved to be happy.
"I admit I haven't always handled things well, but I'm honestly trying, mom. Jas made me realize I should let go of the past, let go of my demons, and move forward with my life. I've been lost on a dark road for too long. Jas brings light into my life, she blinds me with her brightness and purity," Lucas admitted, staring at Jasmine with love and adoration in his eyes.
That time, Jasmine couldn't hold back the loud sob that evoked from her body. Lucas' speech was far too sweet and overwhelming to stay unmoved. His words hit home hard, reaching the center of her heart and filling every fiber of her body with warmth. She never thought she'd feel that intensely, that deeply, for a boy but she did. Fighting her feelings for Lucas always had been in vain, she'd fallen head over heels in the first weeks she'd known him.
"I love you," Jasmine whimpered, quickly wiping her eyes as tears continued to stream down her cheeks. Lucas smiled charmingly, took a step closer and pressed a soft peck against her lips.
"I love you, too, princess," he whispered against the shell of her ear, just loud enough for Jasmine to catch his words.
Gabriella sighed in contentment in the background, her eyes filled with wonder as she stared at her son and goddaughter. She certainly hadn't been expecting this to happen when she flew to Florida to pick up Jasmine. They'd come a long way. The road had been long and bumpy, but she was glad to see both her children happy. They deserved their happily-ever-after.