My dad hasn’t grilled me about the whole thing with Blake or us skipping school, much to my surprise. I was sure he was going to make fun of me again, but no, he just gave me the talk. But not the usual talk, explaining birds and bees, but our talk. About me and the Ghost.
“I really like that boy, little mouse, but I don’t want you to get hurt. He doesn’t know about your fighting, does he?”
“No, and I don’t have any intention on telling him. Maybe one day, when I get out of the business. But not until then, it’s too risky. If someone knows how important he is to me, they’ll use him like they used you. He’s not as strong as you, he wouldn’t be able to protect himself.” I lean my elbows on my knees as I sit on the couch in my living room. Dad is opposite to me, looking as worried as I feel. This is getting out of hand.
“Is there something going on?” He asks worriedly. That man could always read me like an open book.
“I received some messages on my other phone. There’s this guy Ace that showed up some time ago. He’s been winning fight after fight, rising in the ranks of the Cage pretty fast and now he’s demanding a fight with me. He plays dirty, so who knows what he’ll try to get me in the ring. I can’t risk it again. Not after what happened to you. I nearly lost you because of those motherfuckers, and I won’t allow it again. And I know Ace will not give up until I fight him. He wants to take my spot at the top, and to do that he has to defeat me. I wouldn’t put it past him to pull some dirty shit to achieve that.” I can finally tell someone about it. It’s been on my mind for a while now, but I had no one to talk to.
“Can you beat him?”
“I think so. The problem is he likes to resort to underhanded tricks. I’ve heard he even pulled a knife on one guy. What guarantee do I have he won’t do it again?” I express my worries.
“But that’s not all, is it?” How does he do that? I can’t hide anything from him!
“I agreed to fight Ace on Friday. But… Blake is going to be there. He could recognize me.”
“That boy watches the fights?” Dad exclaims in shock. I know the feeling, dad. I was shocked at first, too.
“He has a name, dad. It’s Blake.” I chastise.
“Pfft. – he scoffs – To me, he’ll always be that boy, who has his eyes on my little girl.” I laugh at that.
“I’m not that little anymore, dad.” I joke. I know he will always see me as his little mouse, no matter how old I get.
“Yeah, you’re already 5’6”. You’re growing so fast.” He shakes his head in mock sadness. We burst out laughing at the ridiculousness.
I wake up the next day to the delicious smell of my dad’s cooking. After I’m done with my morning routine, I go to the kitchen, where I’m met by the sight of my shirtless dad making French toasts and my boyfriend sitting at the island.
“Hey sweetheart.” Blake grins cheekily.
“What are you doing here?”
“I came to pick you up.” I narrow my eyes at him in annoyance.
“I can drive myself.” I tell him for the 100th time. Why is he so stubborn about this?!
“Take a sit, little one, breakfast is ready.” Dad puts my plate on the island, smiling at me.
“Yeah, little one, come and eat or we’ll be late.” I glare at Blake.
“Don’t call me that, only my dad can do that.” I playfully scold, getting a laugh from my dad and a frown from Blake.
I greet my dad with a kiss on the cheek before taking my seat at the table.
“And mine?” Blake whines just as I’m about to take a bite of the toast.
“Your what?” I pretend to be clueless even though I know exactly what he’s talking about.
“My kiss.” I chuckle, while my dad just snorts, taking a bottle of juice from the fridge.
“Here you go.” I peck his lips then get back to my food. Blake smiles, satisfied, making me shake my head at his ridiculousness.
“You sure are brave, boy, asking for a kiss in front of me.” I almost laugh at the scared look on Blake’s face. My dad glances at me knowingly then pats Blake’s shoulder, who looks like he’s about to faint.
“No need to be scared, boy. I’m messing with you. Had I not liked you, I wouldn’t even let you come in.” Dad laughs, while Blake’s whole body sags with relief.
“Do you enjoy torturing me this way?” He turns to my dad.
“Of course I do.” Dad deadpans with no hesitation.
“Now I know where her deviousness comes from.” Blake mutters, finishing his juice.
“Finish up or you’ll really be late.” Dad kisses my head before leaving to his bedroom.
“Your dad is scary.” Blake whisper-yells with wide eyes.
“No, he's not. He’s like a big teddy bear.” I defend.
“Oh he’s a bear alright. – he shudders – A grizzly bear.” I snort unladylike at the look of horror on his face.
“You’re cute when you’re scared.” I squish his cheeks, giving him a peck then take our plates to the sink. I wash the dishes quickly, with Blake’s arms around me.
“I can’t wait to see the faces of people at school after yesterday. You’re about to become really popular real fast, baby. That’s why I decided to pick you up. I don’t want you to be swarmed the second you arrive.” Aww, he’s so thoughtful. Cute Blakey.
“HANDS!” Dad’s loud voice booms from the hallway, making Blake jump in fright and take his arms off me.
My dad bursts out laughing at Blake and I shake my head in amusement.
“This will never get old.” He says through laughter, making his way to me. “I’ll be back around 8, so you’ll have to eat without me, little mouse.” He leaves a firm kiss on the top of my head before patting Blake’s shoulder and leaving the kitchen.
“Don’t forget your keys!” I call out after him.
“Got them!” With that he goes out.
I hear a heavy sigh behind me, but I don’t turn around, busy drying off the dishes.
“He will continue to do that, you know? So don’t get scared, he’s enjoying that.” I face Blake once I’m done with everything. “He’s just messing with you, so don’t take it so seriously. You’re only fueling his teasing.” I peck his pout then go to my bedroom to get my backpack.
Thankfully, we’re not late to school, but we’re not that early either. There are a lot of people here, and they immediately turn to us as soon as Blake parks his car.
Blake takes my hand, like always, then leads me inside. I’m still wearing his jacket, not even caring that it’s way too big on me. I never cared how I looked to begin with, so it doesn’t bother me.
“Hey guys.” I greet the guys from the football team as we pass them.
They follow us inside, where we’re met by a gawking crowd. But one glare from me makes them turn away. I better not be pissed off today, I won’t be able to stop myself from lashing out.
“It’s fine, baby, don’t mind them.” Blake reads my mood perfectly. He knows that after yesterday’s fiasco, I will explode at the smallest shit.
“They better not bother me today.” I seethe.
“They won’t. We’ll make sure of it.” Damien assures from behind us.
Blake takes me to his locker, instead of mine, which is fortunately clean this time.
“How did you get my stuff? I thought it was ruined?” I ask confused, seeing every book I need neatly placed in Blake’s locker.
“I asked Will and Ty to get you new ones and put them here. I told you I’ll replace everything.” He gives me a peck, then takes out our stuff needed for the first lecture. I don’t get to carry my books, as usual, but I no longer comment on that.
We go through our classes in peace, despite the constant stares and whispering. But no one approaches neither me nor Blake. Good fucking choice.
We wait in line to get our lunch, with Blake keeping a hold of my hand, and Tyler behind us, waiting for my order. It’s his turn to buy my lunch. I was not joking when I said that he and Will have to buy my food for a month.
“What do you want to eat?” Tyler whispers into my ear.
“I want chicken tenders, sweet fries, a salad, one piece of pepperoni pizza and a smoothie.” I turn my head to tell him. His eyes widen a little, but he doesn’t say anything.
“Someone’s hungry.” Blake teases.
“I’m always hungry if you hadn’t noticed.” I joke back.
“Hey, bitch.” A nasally voice catches my attention as we walk to our table. Yes, our table. I’ve permanently moved here. I turn around, only to be faced with one of Victoria’s minions. I don't even remember her name.
“The fuck you want?” I don’t even bother with pleasantries.
“Aren’t you fucking arrogant, bitch. Just walking around as if you’re some sort of big shot here. Don’t think that just because you’re with Blake, you’re some sort of big shot.” She screams in my face.
“You’re repeating yourself. Are you stupid or you just have limited vocabulary?” I give her a bored look then turn back around to the table, pulling Blake with me.
Just as we sit down, the little whore shrieks. “Did you just call me stupid, bitch?!”
“Her brain sure is slow.” The guys around me chuckle, clearly catching my mumbling.
“I’m talking to you!” The little whore charges to our table, so I quickly take my weapon from my pocket and point it at her then spray it right on her face.
“AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” She shrieks, stepping away and covering her face before running out of the cafeteria.
“Was that pepper spray?!” Nathan asks shocked. I grin mischievously.
“Better. – I put the small bottle on the table – It’s a make-up remover. Yesterday I grabbed Victoria’s face and it was nasty. I do not want to touch their faces ever again.” I shudder in disgust while the guys boom with laughter.
“You’re fucking good!!!” Blake shakes his head in amusement, giving me a kiss.
“Ew, you taste like ketchup.” I cover his mouth with my hand, pushing him away. He gives me a strange look before puckering his lips and kissing my hand. Then he licks it. LICKS IT!
“EEEEWWWW!!!” I whine and quickly pull my hand away, wiping it on his jeans. Everyone around us laughs even louder.
“And you say you’re not a dog.” I mutter, biting on my pizza. I am so not using my right hand to eat.
“You should’ve seen that coming, sweetheart.” Blake chuckles, looking proud.
We eat in peace, with the guys talking and joking, mainly about yesterday’s events.
But then they mention the one thing I wish they didn’t.