The Ghost (Ghost #1)

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Chapter 23

Blake

My brain stops working for a moment. But once I make peace with the shocking revelation, I feel warmth spread throughout my whole body.

I don’t know when it happened, but this beautiful creature completely swept me off my feet and stole my heart.

The warmth I feel soon turns to ice as the girl I’ve fallen in love with remains limp in my embrace.

Giving into my instincts, I lean down and kiss her cheek.

“Come back, sweetheart. You’ve tortured me enough.” I softly say into her ear, trailing light kisses across her cheek and jaw.

Rubbing her back gently, I continue kissing her face and neck, watching out for any reaction from her every minute. I lean back a little, supporting her head with one hand, while the other is wrapped around her waist and snuggle into the crook of her neck.

“Come on, baby. Come back to me.” I kiss the vein on the side of her neck, feeling her steady pulse with my lips. I move towards her jaw, leaving feathery pecks along the way. Once I reach the corner of her mouth, I hesitate.

I keep still for a while, uncertain about doing this. For the first time in my life, I hesitate before kissing a girl. Oh god, look at me. What did she do to me?!

I move my arm to cup her cheek, easily keeping her head steady with my hand due to how small she is. I barely stop myself from flinching when I lock my eyes with hers. Her gorgeous hazel orbs are staring at me, but not seeing me. They are empty. Lifeless. I wipe the never ending stream of tears running down her cheeks, but she barely blinks.

I look down to her lips, their plumpness basically calling out to me to taste them. I wonder if they’re as soft as they look. Slowly leaning in, I place a light kiss on her nose, then her cheeks, then her chin and then, at last, her deliciously looking lips.

They’re even softer than I imagined. Moving my hand further into her hair, while keeping the other around her small form, I crush her gently back into my chest. After few seconds of just having my lips pressed against hers, I pull back, pecking her a few times, unable to stop myself.

I’m shocked to see her tears stop.

“Sweetheart? Can you hear me? See me?” I frantically ask, but I get no response.

I press a firm kiss on her lips again, this time holding them there a little longer. And just like earlier, I get a reaction. It works!

“Lia?” No verbal response, again, but her eyes look a little more focused.

I squeeze her a little tighter, kissing her again, nibbling on her lower lip, before pulling away and pecking her a few times again. Each time I do that, she looks better, her pale face regaining color and her eyes losing that haunting empty look.

I continue kissing her in short intervals, checking her reaction each time I pull away, my heart soaring at the thought of her reacting positively to my actions.

After a while, I feel her lips move against mine. I pull away in shock.

“Sweetheart?” This time I get a sad smile in response.

“Blake.” She croaks, her voice hoarse and pained.

“Oh my god, Lia. Don’t scare me like that!” I breathe out as I wrap my arms around her shoulders, holding her tightly, frantically kissing her hair and face. She doesn’t stop me, putting her arms around me weakly. She’s absolutely exhausted. I’m not surprised; whatever happened must’ve drained all her strength.

“Blake.” She repeats, suddenly sounding surprised. I lean back, looking down to her face. She moves her arms from my waist to my face.

I sit still while she inspects my face. Her fingers feel like butterflies on my skin and I relish the feeling. Me realizing my feelings for her only intensifies the pleasure I feel at her touch.

“Blake.”

“Yeah, sweetheart. It’s me. I’m right here.” I reassure her, placing my hand back on her cheek, caressing it with my thumb.

As her eyes clear up completely, I see the old Lia slowly come back to life.

“You kissed me.” She rather states than questions.

“I did.” I don’t deny it. “And you kissed me back.” I smile teasingly at her.

“I did.” Her look turns soft. I hide my surprise at her honesty. I didn’t think she was aware of that.

“I want to do it again.” I hear my voice turn husky as I speak.

“I want you to do it again.” She tells me softly, gazing straight into my eyes.

And I do. I smash my lips against hers before she can blink. I nibble on her lower lip, licking over the seam of it. She grants my wish and soon our tongues dance their own sensual tango as my senses are filled with her unique sweet taste.

She’s addictive. Her smell, her taste, her beauty, her attitude, everything about her is captivating.

I pull away when the need to breathe become dire, but I don’t detach my lips from Lia’s skin, trailing kisses across her jaw, down her neck, nibbling on that one point that causes a small moan to escape her mouth. That’s the spot. I feel this sudden urge to mark her as mine. I keep my mouth on her neck, licking, sucking and nipping at the soft skin. I put my hands on her hips under the shirt to keep them from wandering, while Lia’s hands are wrapped around my neck, with her fingers running through my hair and tugging at the short strands at the nape of my neck, which earns her a guttural groan from me.

Once I’m satisfied with my work, I move my mouth back on hers, already missing her taste on my tongue.

My mind barely registers the sound of the door opening and closing, as Lia and I are engaged in a heated make out session, Lia’s fervor matching mine. I feel my grip get tighter on her hips as she puts her hands under my shirt, scratching my abs with her nails. I’m pretty sure I’m leaving bruises, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I’ll worry about that later.

We pull away from each other, breathing heavily. I peck her lips and nose for a good measure then place my forehead on hers.

“I’m falling for you, sweetheart.” I confess, my voice betraying my anxiety. Despite what just transpired between us, I’m still afraid she doesn’t feel anything for me.

“Way to ruin the mood, Cakey.” She leans away and shakes her head with a teasing smile.

“I want to do this for real.” I whisper huskily, tugging at her hips to pull her even closer.

“Are you asking me out?” She whispers back, scratching my abs again.

“What if I am?” I keep whispering.

She tilts her head, pretending to think about it. I tug at her hips again, making her chuckle, then wrap my arms around her back, keeping her caged in my embrace.

“Then ask me out.” She looks at me expectantly, like a kid on Christmas waiting to get their present. I smile at her enthusiasm.

“Will you go out with me?”

“Go where?”

“Lia!” I groan.

“You should’ve seen that one coming. You walked straight into that.” She laughs at me.

“Sweetheart?” I get her attention back.

“I will go out with you. I don’t kiss people I don’t like.” I smash my lips on hers again, feeling giddy inside. I never realized that liking someone would be such a great feeling. I’ve never felt this good! I feel like I’m the luckiest guy alive! She likes me! She actually likes me!



After both of us are done with our showers, we go to bed. I’m lying on my back, stroking Lia’s arm, while she’s snuggled into my side with her head on my shoulder, drawing patterns on my bare chest. I hate wearing a shirt to sleep, but last time I did, only to make Lia feel more comfortable.

“I can tell you’re curious.” She breaks the silence.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I say, trying to avoid the topic, earning a harsh pinch of my nipple in response.

“OW!” I cry out. She’s so bold. “You’re so abusive. I may have to rethink this whole relationship.”

“Then don’t lie.”

I sigh deeply.

“I won’t pry unless you want to tell me. I got worried. You hurt yourself, Lia. My mom had to stitch you up. I didn’t know how to help you; you just shut down completely.” My voice gets hoarse as I think back to what happened earlier. I’ve never felt so hopeless in my entire life.

“Do you remember what I told your dad?” She softly asks.

I frown for a moment, wondering why she’s mentioning it all of a sudden. “Yeah. You told him he was abandoning me in my time of need and he needs to have more faith in me.”

“That’s what triggered my attack. – she leans onto her elbow, looking me straight in the eye, suddenly getting serious – Blake, whatever I tell you here, stays here. Swear to me you won’t talk to anyone about this.”

“I swear.” I say sternly. I can see how important it is to her.

She returns to her previous position and I begin stroking her arm again.

“The abandonment. That’s my trigger. The way your dad was so ready to send you away and got everything prepared to do that reminded me of – her voice hitches – of my own parents. I spent years trying to get over it, but the situation with your dad just broke down the wall I built over my heart. I realized how little I remember about my parents. Even their faces are a blur to me now. I went through a lot after they gave up on me. I worked so hard to try to forget it, to block it away from my mind, but it all came back. The agony I felt back then hit me like a tidal wave and I couldn’t bear the pain anymore. So I shut down and let the darkness consume me. The last attack I had was years ago and lasted for days. I almost died in my own room from dehydration.” She explains, her voice breaking a few times as she reminisces her past.

I’m furious and sad at the same time. But I also feel proud of her. She’s so damn strong. She went through hell and still grew up to be the beautiful, smart and funny woman she is.

I pull her on top of me, hearing a small yelp as her face hits my chest.

“Blake.” Lia whines cutely, as she lifts her head to glare at me. I peck her nose, chuckling at her.

I’m highly aware of her chest pressing against mine, the only barrier between us being the thin shirt she’s wearing. Maybe pulling her up onto me was not a good idea.

Lia seems to know what I’m thinking as she puts her elbows on my chest and leans her chin on her palms, smirking at me knowingly.

“You regret your move now?” She teases.

I wrap my arms around her waist, keeping her in place. “Not at all. I have you right where I wanted you.” I lean up and peck her lips.

“You haven’t said anything about… you know.” Lia implores.

“Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry that you had to go through something so horrible as a child, but at the same time your past is what makes you – you.” I peck her lips again. I’m already addicted to her. And I don’t mind it one bit.

“Thank you.” Lia’s gaze turns the softest I’ve ever seen.

“For what?” I frown in confusion.

“For not pitying me. I don’t tell anyone about this because every time I did in the past, people would just look at me with pity and treat me like I’m a fragile doll.”

“You’re not fragile. You’re the strongest person I know.” Leaning up, I place a firm kiss on her lips. “Let’s sleep. Today was exhausting.”

I turn onto my side, keeping Lia in my arms. I adjust the blanket over us and with one final kiss we go to sleep.


The sound of my alarm clock wakes me up, but when I try to slam my fist on it, like I do every morning, I realize I can’t raise my arm. I look down, disoriented, only to see Lia sleeping peacefully with her back to me, keeping my arm hostage. The blanket pools around her waist and her shirt has risen up a bit during the night; I can clearly see the handprints I left on her hips yesterday. She’s so going to kill me for this.

Just as I’m about to lean over her to turn off the alarm, her left arm shoots out and smashes the clock.

“Who wakes up this fucking early?!” She grumbles.

I hear her groan as she pulls the blanket over her head. She’s so fucking adorable.

“I’ll come back for you in an hour, okay?” Kissing the top of her head I pull out my arm from under her neck as she mumbles a ‘no’ from beneath the blanket.

After I’m done with my morning routine, I head downstairs, where I’m greeted by my dad’s teasing smirk and my mom’s giggles.

“Morning.”

“Good morning, honey.” “Good morning” My parents greet simultaneously.

“William and Tyler dropped by yesterday. They brought your car back.” My dad says and I nod at him. My mom continues to glance between dad and me as she giggles and I start to think she’s on something. But when I hear dad chortle at something she whispers in his ear, I’m sure they’re on something.

“How’s Lia?” My mom asks once she calms down a little.

“She’s okay, just tired.”

“I’m sure she is.” I hear my dad mutter, to which my mom starts giggling like a schoolgirl. What the hell?

Just as I’m about to ask him what he means by that, he speaks.

“You can stay at home today. I’ll notify the school.” I almost choke on my food at this.

“Really?”

“After yesterday’s events you deserve a break. It’s Friday, so you can just think of it as a prolonged weekend.” My mom answers. “If you want, Lia can stay here for the weekend.” She grins.

“O~kay. What are you on and where can I get some?” I ask them, completely serious, but they only laugh in response. They’re acting really weird.

When I’m finished with my breakfast, I go back to my room, hearing my parents’ hushed laughter behind me.

Lia is still sleeping, covered completely by the blanket, reminding me of the last time she was here, wrapped up like a burrito. I strip down to my boxers, deciding to go back to sleep, since we don’t have to go to school. Yes, we. I don’t plan on waking her up later.

With a stupid grin on my face, I get under the covers and after I pull the blanket off of Lia’s head, I carefully place my arm under her neck, wrapping my other arm around her waist, spooning her. She’s so tiny compared to me that she fits me perfectly. I fall asleep almost instantly, despite not feeling tired.


“BLAKE!” Lia’s furious voice wakes me up this time. I glance at the clock, only to see it not working. She broke it! I laugh internally.

I look around the room, trying to locate my angry girl, but she’s not here.

She storms out of the bathroom just as I get up from the bed. Uh oh. She’s mad.

“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO ME?!” She screams at me, her fists clenching at her sides. I’m sure she means the bruises I left on her hips.

I go to her and pull her shirt up to take a look at the bruises I left on her.

“I’m so sorry, baby. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I apologize sincerely. I really didn’t want to hurt her.

“What? That? That’s not what I’m talking about, they’ll disappear. I’M TALKING ABOUT THIS FUCKING HICKEY ON MY NECK!!!” My gaze snaps back to her in surprise. I look at her neck where there’s a dark hickey. I almost growl out in satisfaction at the sight of it, feeling proud of myself. This is my woman. I marked her.

“Oh, you find it funny, huh?” My eyes widen slightly at the sudden change in Lia’s tone. She looks strangely calm despite screaming in my face just seconds ago.

“I won’t apologize for that one.” I proudly tell her before pulling her towards me by her waist. “I was just marking what’s mine.”

“Caveman.” She mutters, before looking up to me. “You know I don’t wear make-up. How am I supposed to hide this?” She whines adorably. I peck her cute pout and she huffs at me, turning her head away.

“I’m trying to be mad at you. Don’t distract me.” I laugh at her.

“My dad said he’s going to call the school to notify them we’re not going in today, so we have the whole day for ourselves. Also, my parents said you can stay over the weekend if I want. And I want.” I tell her.

She arches her eyebrow at me with an inquisitive look. “Is that so?”

“That is exactly so. So, what do you want to do today?”

Lia thinks about it for a moment, tapping her chin teasingly. “I have to organize my notes, mail the teachers I’m supposed to have classes with today, I need to go to my house to get changed, go to my mechanic and pick up the tires I ordered, visit my doctor to check up on my ribs and get a prescription for my meds, then I have to pick up those meds, and I need to buy you a new alarm clock.” She tells me.

“Can’t you just stay with me all day?” I whine, not caring how childish I sound. I don't want her to leave, I want to spend as much time with her as I can.

“I’m messing with you. – she laughs – I can do most of it next week. I’ll just organize my notes and order you a new alarm clock and I’ll be done for the day.”

“You little devil!” I shake my head at her in mock anger.

“I’m hungry. Give me food.” She pulls my arms away from her waist, slapping my bare chest lightly.

“What do you want to eat?” I ask once I’m dressed – well half-dressed, since I just put my jeans on. I take Lia’s hand and lead her to the kitchen.

“Surprise me. What can you make?” She asks curiously.

“Cereal.” Her jaw drops.

She sighs, shaking her head in what seems to be disappointment. “Can I use your kitchen?”

“Of course. You don’t have to ask.” I chuckle, kissing her temple.

Once we’re downstairs I let go of Lia’s hand, taking a seat at the table.

As I watch her work her way around my kitchen a warm feeling spreads through me.

I could get used to this.

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