Troubled Sincerity

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Chapter 18 | Here Comes the Bride

“How’s your leg?”

I look up from my textbook and smile at Mark. “It’s fine, barely feel anything. The marks from the sting look killer though.”

Mark laughs as he moves from my desk chair to my bed. He closes my textbook and moves it onto the bedside table.

“I wasn’t finished.”

“Yes you were.” Mark says simply, leaning over to begin kissing against the skin on my neck.

I grin as my hand goes directly to Mark’s hair, running my fingers through it.

“You could’ve just said you wanted to shag.”

“Shag? What are we in, the eighties?” Mark says while continuing to leave small kisses along my neck and jawline. “Besides, that’s not exactly romantic Nave.”

“Since when are you romantic?” I tease. Mark lifts his head from my neck to glare at me.

“I’m very romantic. Remember that nice picnic I made for us on Valentine’s Day? You’re the one that didn’t appreciate the gesture.” He says, jokingly.

Mention of that day only makes me frown.

“And I’ll never forgive myself for letting you walk away.”

Mark glances at me, and as soon as he sees my face, he frowns.

“Shit, baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize. I shouldn’t joke around about that day. I don’t blame you. I blame the earth, the rain, and the fact that I was carelessly speeding.”

“Yes, but you were speeding because you were mad, and if I hadn’t of let you walk away the accident would never of happened.”

“You don’t know that. I could’ve spent the entire day with you, and then gotten in the accident on my way home regardless. Or hell, I could’ve offered to drive you home and we both could’ve gotten in an accident. Trust me, I used to think about the endless possibilities often. But doing that isn’t going to change anything, what happened has already happened. It’s in the past. I’m over it.” Mark explains as he gently strokes my cheek with his thumb. “It’s nobody’s fault.”

“Okay.” I nod.

“Well, way to kill the mood, Mark. Good job.” Mark sighs to himself.

“Yeah, that was a real boner killer.” I suddenly smirk, glancing up at him.

His stoic expression turns into a smile, and then he’s right back to kissing my neck while running his hands down the sides of my body.

Having him here, around me, near me, it brings me comfort. I love waking up to him every single day, and falling asleep lying on his chest. Of course, during the middle of the night we always end up separated while facing the opposite direction. What you see in movies, never happens. It’s too damn hot to be cuddled up for the entire night.

Suddenly, Mark and I are cut short when there’s an aggressive knock to my bedroom door.

“What is it?” I shout.

“Naveah, its Lucy, get out here!” Riley shouts from behind the door. I hurriedly push Mark off me, who glares at me, and then rush out of my room and into the living room.

“What’s going on?” I frantically ask, glancing at Lucy who’s crying on the couch.

She holds up a letter, and I take it as I start reading.

Apparently all of the paperwork has processed and Lucy now officially owns her childhood home. Her mother’s home. I thought she already owned it, but I guess there were still some signatures and processing that needed to be done. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since she lost her.

That night, is a night that none of us will ever forget. Riley wasn’t there at the time, but I know how horrible she feels for Lucy. Anyone having to lose a parent that way, is just heartbreaking.

Attached to the letter finalizing Lucy as the official owner, is a copy of her mother’s completed and processed death certificate. I don’t know why it took them this long to get everything handled and mailed to Lucy, but I know it can’t be easy for her to see this stuff.

It’s just a painful reminder of what she’s lost.

I place the letter down onto the coffee table, and rush over to sit beside Lucy.

“I’m so sorry Luc. I don’t know what to do for you, tell me what to do for you.” I hug my best friend.

“I just… I miss her.” Lucy sobs against my shoulder. “I wish I could see her, talk to her, something.”

“I know.” I nod. “I wish for that too.”

I’d give anything in the world to give my best friend back her mom. I’d move heaven and Earth to reunite them.

“What can we do for you?” I ask again. Riley is sitting on the other side of Lucy, her hand on Lucy’s back as she continues to cry onto my shoulder.

“Just be here with me? Can we have a movie night?”

“Of course, let me just go kick numb-nuts out.”

Lucy actually laughs while Riley heads to the kitchen to round up some snacks.

I hurry back into my room, but gasp at what I see.

“Mark! What the hell are you doing?” I laugh, just as he wiggles his eyebrows.

My idiotic boyfriend decided to get naked and put on my silk robe, leaving it wide open as he lays side-ways on my bed, his right leg propped up, revealing everything to the world.

“Shut the door, and find out.” He winks.

“No, you have to leave.” I shake my head. “Lucy needs us for a girl’s night. Sorry.”

“Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do with this?”

I glance down at his awaken member, and snort.

“Go rub it out in the bathroom and then let yourself out.” I shrug, leaning over the bed to give him a kiss.

I decide to tease him and deepen the kiss, demanding entrance to his mouth with my tongue. He immediately accepts, and reaches up to grip the back of my head, pulling me closer. As soon as I lean into him, and brush my hips against his, I suddenly get up and step away from the bed.

“Beat it.” I point toward the bathroom, “Literally and figuratively.” I smile.

“Wow that was cold.” Mark glares while standing up, my silk robe flowing around him.

“Gotta keep things interesting, right babe?” I smirk, “By the way, you are slaying that robe right now.”

Mark immediately takes it off, tossing it onto my bed as he walks over and kisses me once more, before turning and walking into my bathroom. He doesn’t miss the opportunity to shake his naked ass before closing the bathroom door after him.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mark Chase.

I leave Mark to handle his business as I make my way out into the living room. Blankets surround the couch and food litters the coffee table.

“Wow, y’all waste no time, huh?” I laugh.

“Is doofus leaving?” Riley asks, referring to Mark.

“Yep, he just needed a few minutes to collect himself.”

“He’s whacking off in the bathroom, isn’t he?” Riley raises an eyebrow.

“I cannot confirm nor deny that.” I shrug, Lucy laughing in the process.

“I hope he doesn’t leave a mess on the floor.”

I glare at Lucy, “I’m sure he’s more than capable of cleaning up after himself.”

Ten minutes later, Mark comes strolling out of my bedroom just as the first movie starts.

“Mark, sweetie, you didn’t leave a mess did you?” I glance up at him.

I hear Riley and Lucy snort quietly to themselves.

“Uh, be right back.”

I roll my eyes as he rushes back down the hallway and back into my bedroom.

“Told ya.” Lucy smirks while reaching for some chips out of the bowl in my hands.

“Shut up.” I sigh, pulling the bowl away from her reach as I shove a handful of chips into my mouth.

“Come on you hog, share!” Lucy whines, leaning over my legs to get to the bowl.

“Say the magic words!” I smile wide.

“Give me the fucking chips or suffer the dire consequences.” Lucy smiles evilly.

“Wow, harsh.” I mumble while giving her the bowl of chips. She snatches it from me, and places it in between her and Riley.

“Alright, I’m all set to go!” Mark sings as he walks back into the room. “Unless, you want me to stay.”

I glance over to see him pouting at me with a frown. “Really?” I ask.

“What? I can always stay in your room and watch Netflix while you gals have your movie night.” He shrugs, “I really don’t have any place to be.”

“What about work? You haven’t taken a shift in a while?” I raise an eyebrow.

“I work tomorrow after class, I’m off today.” He shrugs.

“Fine, if you wanna stay in my room, go for it. I don’t know how long I’m going to be out here though. Sisters before misters!” I smirk, causing both Riley and Lucy to smile teasingly at Mark.

“Sweet, see you later.” Mark winks, turning to go back to my room. We hear him close my bedroom door, and I sigh in content.

“That boy is so whipped for you, it’s unreal.” Riley comments.

I nod. “Yeah, I do have him hooked, huh?”

“I swear, you two are end-game. I want to be your maid of honor when you get married.” Lucy says with a smile, and her comment almost causes me to choke on my sandwich.

“What? Married? We literally just became official a month ago.”

“Please, you two were in love long before anything ever became official.” Lucy rolls her eyes, “Stop denying it.”

“Whatever. If and when that happens, I suppose I will consider it.” I say to Lucy.

“Gee thanks, what am I?” Riley comments.

“I can have two maids of honor, satisfied?”

“What about Callie?” Lucy suddenly says.

“Jesus, okay, all three of you will be my maids of honor. Happy?”

Both Riley and Lucy nod at the same time. “Yes.” They say in unison.

“Grand, now let’s watch the movie.” I motion toward the TV screen.

After ten minutes, they start up again.

“You don’t sound like you want to get married.” Lucy comments.

“It’s not that, I just think marriage is a long way away from now.” I shrug, “We’re still young, why rush that?”

I don’t know where all their talk about marriage is coming from, but it scares me. I pictured myself being graduated from college and in a career before even thinking about getting married and starting a family.

“So roughly, if you had to pick a time to get married, when would that be?” Riley asks.

I give her an incredulous look. “I don’t know, sometime after I graduate college and start my career.”

Riley nods while looking at Lucy.

“What the hell is going on? Why are you two suddenly so interested in me getting married?” I raise an eyebrow questioningly.

“No reason.” They both say in unison.

I swear on my Louis Vuitton heels, Mark better not be preparing to propose. I don’t want to have to say no. We’re too young, and only just started dating a month ago. How the hell am I supposed to make that kind of serious commitment right now? It’s way too soon for that.

I look back to the movie, and pretend to watch it. They don’t press the subject further, but I can tell they both are having a silent conversation. What if Mark put them up to grilling me about marriage? That’s something I’ll have to scold him for later.

After three movies, and tons of food, I’m finally ready for bed.

I walk into the kitchen, getting rid of trash from our feast, and then get a glass of water. Once I have my water, I walk down the hall and slowly open my bedroom door, just in case Mark is asleep.

What I see though, completely catches me off guard.

Candles light up the entire room, Mark lounging across my bed in his boxers. He’s watching Netflix on his phone, and once he realizes I’ve entered the room, he puts his phone down and smiles at me.

“What’s all this?” I ask nervously.

My heart is beating out of my chest, because for some twisted reason, I feel as though Mark may try to propose to me tonight.

“It’s for you, duh.” He deadpans, getting up to walk over to me.

He takes my face in his hands gently, before pulling me in for a kiss.

I kiss him back hesitantly, my nerves getting the better of me.

He pulls away, looking down at me. “Is something wrong?”

I shake my head. “No, not at all. I just didn’t expect this.” I admit truthfully.

“Well, you said earlier I wasn’t a romantic, so I found these candles in that box that’s in your closet.

“You were snooping through my closet?” I raise a playful eyebrow.

“I wasn’t snooping, snooping is when you want to find something specific. I was just bored and honestly I was looking for hidden treats because I didn’t want to walk out there and interrupt your movie night.”

I laugh at him, leaning in to kiss him again.

“My hidden treats are in a container under my bed.”

“Yeah, I know. I found them after I found the candles.” He smirks, glancing over his shoulder at the trash can full of wrappers.

“You ate everything, didn’t you?” I sigh.

He instantly gives me a sheepish smile. “I’m a growing boy Nave.”

I make a mental note to restock and re-hide my container of treats, before I follow Mark over to the bed, my nerves settling down.

“So this isn’t some grand gesture?” I ask, “It’s just you being romantic?”

“Of course, why? Did you think something else?” He raises an eyebrow.

“Well, not to sound weird, but the girls were grilling me earlier about marriage.”

Mark’s eyes widen, “Marriage? For fuck sake we’re barely nineteen.” He laughs.

“Thank you! I tried to explain that, but they just kept going on and on and on, eventually they shut up about it but sheesh. They were on a mission.” I ramble, Mark watching me contently.

“I think they want us to get married.” Mark smiles.

“Well they need to slow their roles, because that’s a lot to even think about let alone consider right now.” I admit.

“Yeah, I agree. We need to build up to that.” Mark nods, still smiling at me.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” I give him a questioning look.

“Nothing, I’m just picturing how beautiful you’d look in a wedding gown.” He shrugs.

I feel myself blush before I tackle him on my bed. I straddle his lap and pull him in for a kiss, not letting it break. He immediately wraps his arms around me, deepening the kiss.

“Can I admit something though?” Mark asks after finally pulling away from me.

I look into his deep brown eyes, nodding for him to continue.

“I would be absolutely honored, to be your husband someday.”

Immediate swoon.

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