3. Home Far Away
I smiled when Melanie pulled up to the curb by the airport. Beaming at me, she leaned over the passenger seat and pushed the door open. Laughing lightly, I opened the door fully and got in, making sure to not clip my fingers as the car was kind of tight because of my bag pack.
“Look at you,” Melanie said, beaming at me with bright eyes. “It’s only been a year but I swear you look so mature.”
“I’m still the same me, auntie,”
“Hmm…” she hummed, nodding slowly. “You sure about that?”
From the corner of my eyes, I looked at her, confused. When I didn’t say anything, she didn’t push for answers. With quick observations, she pulled onto the main road and we settled into an awkward silence.
“What about Nazanin, how’s she doing?” Melanie asked, picking up the conversation. Shrugging, I checked my phone and logged into my snapchat to see I received a message from Naz.
“We’re cool, still talking but we haven’t had time to meet up,” I said. Almost a year had gone by since I’d seen her. We were busy doing our own thing. In the end, she decided to leave Miami despite her parents’ protests. “Maybe she might be back for Spring break. Who knows...”
The second I said those words, I opened the snap she’d sent to find a picture of her suitcase with the tag of the location. Boston.
“Yeah, she’s coming back,” I whispered more to myself than to Melanie. Locking my phone screen, I glanced out the window.
Once again, we fell into another round of silence. Fatigue swept through my body and I placed my head against the window, mindlessly figuring out the shapes of clouds in the sky. A soothing hum came from the cars engine and I closed my eyes, letting serenity lull me to sleep. I was half asleep when a thunderous roar jolted me shook me awake. With eyes wide open, I straightened my spine and glanced over my shoulder.
Motorcycles, to what felt like a dozen of them, were riding beside us; some had gone ahead while others were keeping a steady pace with the car. I scanned the insignia of their cuts – The Angel’s Demons.
Oh no, is he here?
Heart pounding, I took them all in. They weren’t the person I was looking for.
“What’s going on?” I asked, turning my gaze to Melanie’s. “Why are they here?”
Tightening her grip on the steering wheel, her eyes darted to the rear-view mirror before returning to the main road. She shook her head slowly. “I may have mentioned you coming back to Crystal. Muerte figured out and insisted on being escorted on our way home. I think there’s something going on with the club. What? I’m not sure.”
Frowning, I turned to the biker riding next to my side of the car and took in his appearance. He wore a helmet so I could make out his appearance. However, his skin was dark and I caught the ends of his dread flying with the wind. His height and build gave it all the way. From his glance and his small nod, I knew who he was.
“Are we in danger?” I asked jokingly, unable to fight off the smirk curling around my lips. Something in the back of my mind forced me to believe that there was some truth to the situation. It wasn’t the first time I’d been caught in the crossfire of the MC and their enemies. Keeping my gaze on the biker, I waited for Melanie’s response
“It’s just a precaution,” she said. I didn’t ask any more questions. “You know, with everything that has happened last year…”
“I know,” I responded, cutting her off and facing the front of the car. Our home was thirty minutes away from the airport and yet, the motorcycles kept pace with the vehicle, manoeuvring past traffic to ensure they provide a shield for us.
This went on for a long time. Although, the closer we were to home, the fewer the motorcycles. It was as if they’d planned this dance as they would all dispersed in twos, each rider going to the opposite direction. The rider beside me—Goliath—was gone the second Melanie pulled into the driveway. Switching off the ignition, she turned to me and pointed to the back seat.
“Pick some of the groceries before getting your things,”
I gaped at her in a mockingly. “What? No special treatment after I’ve been gone so long?” She threw a dirty look my way and I held my hands in mock surrender, laughing. “I’m joking, chill. I’ll do it.”
Rolling her eyes, Melanie stepped out of the car. I followed and moved to the back seat to gather what felt like a dozen grocery bags. Fuck, they were heavy. Ignoring the weight pressing my skin, I shuffled towards the front door. Melanie emerged through the threshold before I could step in.
“Shit, I completely forgot,” She said, pursing her lips. “I knew I forgot something. Look, I need to go back to grab some milk. Do you need anything?”
Shuffling the bags from arm to arm, I shrugged. “Hmm, nothing much, just chocolate, chips, some ice-cream—”
“I said what do you need, not what do you want,”
Pouting in disappointment, I shook my head. “Nothing, just the milk.”
She grinned and her laughter faded into the car as she hopped into her car. Sticking her head out the window, she yelled. “Grab the rest of the bags before I go.”
Lowering the bags in front of the door, I rushed to the back to grab the rest of the groceries and my suitcase. “Okay, I’ve got all of them.”
The familiar hum of the ignition reached my ears, and I didn’t look back when Melanie pulled out of the driveway. Glancing down at my suitcase and grocery bags, I muttered to myself. “You’re just gonna have to wait ’til I get back.”
With hurried steps, I rushed into the kitchen—making sure to take off my shoes— and started unpacking the bag, putting everything in its place. I opened the cupboard to check for any space for the billions of ramen noodles Melanie bought when a cup crashed to the ground.
“Fantastic,” I said with sarcasm. I looked up to see another cup threatening to fall but I caught it. The shelf was wonky; the weight of the cups and plates caused it to tilt down. Great.
I tried to fix the shelf in place but it wouldn’t stick. I was about to give up and grab the other groceries when the front door closed. Soon, footsteps followed. Did Melanie forget something?
“Hey, do you have any super glue or something?” I yelled, glaring at the wonky shelf. I looked down, scanning the broken cups and a couple of plates. Fuck, I need to avoid them.
“Auntie!” I yelled again, louder this time and getting impatient with her lack of response.
“She’s not here,” someone said, someone with a voice too deep to belong to my aunt much less any other female. But I recognised it all too well. Even after months apart, my body still reacted to the sound of his voice. I squeezed my thighs as my core tightened at the deep baritones that danced in the air.
“Vanessa,” he said and when I didn’t respond, he continued. “Vanessa, look at me.”
Closing my eyes, slowly, I turned around and felt a wave of shivers wrack through my body. I could feel his eyes on me, feel them touching me, caressing me… undressing me. I refuse to look at him but my attraction never wavered, not even with Alex.
From beyond, I felt movement but was unsure of what just happened. Out of reflex, I opened my eyes and jumped back at his close proximity. I regretted it instantly when pain stabbed the sole of my foot.