The Ghost (Ghost #1)

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Chapter 52


I wake up in Blake’s arms and with a pounding headache. I glance at the clock on my nightstand before groaning when I see it’s already after midnight. Shit, it’s late.

I turn around, facing my sleeping boyfriend before burying my face in his shirtless chest.

“You awake, kitten?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up.” I apologize quietly. Blake just kisses the top of my head, running his fingers through my hair soothingly.

“Up up, baby. – he sits up, pulling me with him – You need to take a bath, you smell like a distillery.” He jokes, and I chuckle before groaning in pain. “Come on, sweetheart.”

I drag myself out of bed and Blake obviously enjoys my torture, laughing at me obnoxiously as he follows after me into the bathroom. He fills the tub with warm water and a mint-scented bathing oil. I have it specifically for when I need to sober up.

“You feeling better? You’re not gonna throw up on me, are you?” I laugh at his scared tone.

“I’m not. – I chuckle – I’ll be fine. Sorry about all that. I don’t exactly want to trouble you with my issues.” I wince uncomfortably. I really don’t want to bother him.

“Don’t worry about it baby. I don’t mind taking care of you. Your issues are my issues and I can’t be okay if you’re not.” Blake kisses my head, nuzzling his face into my hair.

“What about your parents? Did you tell them we’re staying here? Your mom will be worried.”

“I called her earlier and said we’ll stay here for tonight.”

“And she didn't say anything about that?”

“No. I told her you're already asleep and I don' want to wake you.” He shrugs.

“Cunning Cakey.” I laugh.

After a long bath, we go back to bed, since we have to go to school tomorrow and have to wake up in the morning.

Just thinking about school makes me sick. I know for a fact that people are going to be talking about me. I hate being the center of attention. Someone’s about to get hurt. If they say one wrong thing, I will fucking lose it.

Almost as if he can read my thoughts, Blake kisses my neck, rubbing my waist soothingly under the shirt. “It’s okay, kitten. No one will bother you, I’ll make sure of it.”

His words comfort me more than I’m willing to admit, but I’m sure he knows. He knows me better than anyone, he’s seen more than anyone, he understands more than anyone.

Wrapped in each other’s arms, we finally fall asleep.

But it hasn't been a peaceful night. I kept waking up, the memories of that horrendous incident keeping me awake. Fortunately, I didn't wake Blake up. He doesn’t have to witness my struggles.

After going through my morning routine in the guest bathroom, I go to my kitchen to prepare breakfast. Blake is still in bed, snoring lightly, when I bring in his food. I set the tray on the coffee table and make my way to the sleeping beauty.

Running my fingers up and down his spine as he lies on his stomach, I softly coo at him to wake him up. “Wakey wakey, little Cakey.” I kiss his cheek and comb his hair with my fingers, coaxing him to get up. He’s quite a heavy sleeper, so it takes a few minutes to wake him up.

“Hey baby.” I smile at him when his eyes finally open and meet mine. “Breakfast is ready so get your pretty ass up.” I pat his butt teasingly.

“It is pretty isn’t it?” He teases back, sitting up.

“Yeah, yeah.” I agree offhandedly, pulling him off the bed.

“You didn’t sleep well.” Blake says as he exits the bathroom, drying his hair with a small towel.

“I know.” I sigh. I should’ve known he would notice.

He pulls me with him to sit in his lap, tracing the dark circles under my eyes with a sad look on his face. “It’s because of Victoria’s words isn’t it?” He asks, already knowing the answer. I just nod at him and pour him a cup of coffee.

I keep feeding him his breakfast, since he doesn’t take his hands off my waist. “What about you?” He questions when he notices I don’t eat.

“I’m not hungry, I usually don't eat after drinking. – I give him a peck – Don’t worry, I’ll just have a bigger lunch.” I feel the need to reassure him. Ever since he found out about my homelessness, he’s been keeping a close watch on my eating habits.

“I’ll make sure you do.” He kisses me before going back to his food. I get off his lap and head to my closet.

“What are you doing?” He questions as I rummage through my wardrobe.

“There should be something for you to wear. I don’t think we have enough time to go to your house.” I find Blake’s shirt and jeans in the closet and his boxers in my drawer. At the rate his clothes fill my closet, I’ll have to get at least one drawer empty for him.

I give him his clothes and he unceremoniously undresses in front of me, causing me to release a weird squeak and turn around. He laughs at me, getting changed behind my back. “What? It’s not like you haven’t seen me naked before.” He chuckles.

“A little warning would be nice! How could you just strip like that?!” I feel his arms around my waist as he pulls me to him.

“I have nothing to be ashamed of.” That little bastard, he’s enjoying this!

“Oh yeah?! How would you feel if I just stripped out of the blue?” A growl-like sound comes from him at my words then he spins me around in his arms.

“I would love it. But if you don’t believe me, you can just start getting your clothes off.”

“Keep dreaming. Get dressed, we’re going to be late.” I pick up his shirt and throw it at him, getting an amused chuckle in response.

“Don’t worry so much, everything will be fine.” Blake puts his hand on my bouncing knee, calming me down slightly. But the effect of his touch evaporates when I see the crowd gathered in the parking lot. They’re loitering around Blake’s spot and when they notice him pulling up, they turn to us, some of them going as far as taking pictures. Fucking idiots.

The students keep whispering and pointing fingers my way throughout the day and by lunch I’m barely stopping myself from pummeling someone’s face.

“What do you wanna eat? I’m buying.” I give Blake a pointed glare. He just chuckles and kisses my head.

“Just get me a lot, I don’t care what.”

Blake fills my tray with food then pays for it before we go to our table, ignoring everyone’s stares. But it’s getting really hard to do it.

“Let’s just eat. They’re not worth your attention.” He softly tells me. The guys around us haven’t questioned me for the whole day or even commented on Victoria’s words, for which I’m actually grateful. I don’t want to talk about my past.

I decide to listen to him and try to ignore the never-ending talking behind my back, but my patience is tested with every sentence that reaches me.

Until it finally snaps.

“Lia! Jesus Christ!!!” Blake grabs my left hand and that’s when I’m aware that I crushed the glass in it and there are shards of glass in my palm. He wipes off the blood with a napkin then pulls out his handkerchief and gently wraps it around my bloodied hand. I don’t even flinch at the pain as it barely registers in my mind. I just want to smash the face of the fuckhead who said ‘She deserved that.’ Deserve it? What can a 11-year-old do to deserve being brutally raped and whipped bloody?? Ask for food? Is that a crime?!

“I’ll take you to the nurse, we need to get the glass out of your hand.” Blake’s worried voice pulls me back.

“Later.” I get up from my seat and come up to the guy who spoke earlier.

“You have something to say, shithead?!” I sneer at him, getting shocked looks from his friends around the table. I lean my hands on it, dismissing the shards of glass biting into my palm and the blood spilling from it.

“I- I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He stutters.

“Don’t you? – I get in his face with a murderous look – I’m pretty sure I fucking heard you. You said – I get even closer – that I deserved what happened to me.” I see fucker’s eyes widen, clearly not expecting me to hear that. “You’re not exactly quiet. – I put a hand on his face, smearing my blood on his cheek, making him cringe – I would break your face like I did to Victoria, but I don’t think you deserve it. What you do deserve is a fucking baseball bat shoved up your ass, so you know the feeling of having something unwanted in your body. How about that?!” The fucker in front of me actually looks nervous, with sweat pouring out his pores. I give him a malicious smirk and his eyes get even wider, if that’s even possible.

“I-I-I’m so-sorry. I-I didn’t m-mean that.” He stammers. I tilt my head a little, giving him an unimpressed look.

“Oh! Would you look at that! A bat! How convenient!” I gasp dramatically when I see few baseball bats resting against the table. Fucker’s from the baseball team. I think, amused. “Bend over the table, shithead. Time for some fun.” I snarl at him before sending an evil smirk his way. I hear gasps from everyone around, while the little fucker wails pathetically and pisses himself. He falls to his knees in front of me, crying.

“Please, Clarke. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Please!” He actually cries. I straighten up above him, hitting the table with the bat I picked up.

“You might want to think before you speak next time. – I hiss at him then turn to the rest of the students – IF I HEAR SOMEONE TALKING ABOUT ME, I’LL FUCK YOU UP!!! SO STAY OUT OF MY BUSINESS AND SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” I yell at them, making sure to stare them down one by one. Then I meet Blake’s worried gaze and that’s when I realize my hand is still bleeding.

I come up to him, and give a quick kiss to his neck. He’s so fucking tall I have to tiptoe to reach his face!!! Damn Cakey.

“Let’s go to the nurse’s office.” I grab his hand with my uninjured one and let him lead me out of the cafeteria, with the guys from football team following behind us with our stuff.

The nurse takes out the glass off my hand and places a bandage around it before giving me instructions about how to take care of the wound. I zone out her words; I know how to deal with this.

“Are you alright?” Nathan asks worriedly as we head to the next class. Yes, I’m still coming to class, I don’t intend to skip.

“I’m okay. I already got it out of my system, no need to worry.” I assure him, squeezing Blake’s hand that still hasn’t left mine.

“You sure you want to go to classes? You’re hurt.” Blake stops me from taking my stuff out of his locker with a concerned gaze.

“I’ll be fine.” I wrap my arm around him and pull him closer to me.

Blake sighs, knowing that it’s no use arguing with me, then places a kiss on my forehead. “Say one word and we’re going home.”

“Okay.” I give him a peck and turn to his locker. But he doesn’t let me take anything out, instead carrying everything himself. When I glare at him, he just grins and kisses me. Annoying Cakey.

Throughout the classes, I notice some stares directed my way, but with one look from me everyone averts their eyes.

Just few months ago most of those people didn’t even notice me, but now it’s like I’m some local celebrity for them to gossip about. It’s so fucking irritating, but I guess that’s the price for dating the most popular guy in school.

After we're done with the last lecture, the guys head to their practice. And I have to follow. Damn Blake! Because of him I have no ride home, so I need to wait for him.

And as if my luck can’t get any worse, the coach is taking the team outside to the field. I take a seat on the bench in the first row and get out my laptop, headphones and papers from today. I have to make as much use of the wait as I can. Thank god I brought my computer with me.

I put the headphones over my cap and put on Three Days Grace playlist, drowning out the noises from the field. While the guys are being tortured, I quietly copy the notes from today, getting amused glances from the coach every few minutes. I guess he finds it funny that someone is studying during football practice.

“BOO!!!” I instinctively kick the person in the shin, making them jump slightly. “OW! Fuck, it hurts!” I raise my head, only to be met with Damien’s pained look.

I just smirk at him. I knew he was there, but I just wanted to see if he’d actually try to scare me. He should’ve known better.

“HA HA HA!!! I told you not to do it!” Blake laughs as he strolls towards me. He takes off his helmet and bends down and gives me a quick kiss before he takes his water bottle from me.

“Is your hand okay? You shouldn’t strain it.” He crouches in front of me and takes my injured hand in his, inspecting it quickly.

“It’s okay. – I squeeze his hand – You worry too much. Now go back, the coach looks like he wants to strangle you.” I chuckle. He gives me a kiss and runs back to the field. I catch coach shaking his head at us.

It takes another hour for the guys to finish the training before they do a cool down and head towards the locker rooms. I pack my stuff and wait for Blake in the hallway.

I’m replying to Flash’s message by the window when a pair of arms wrap themselves around my waist. Blake leans his chin on my shoulder and his wet hair drips on the exposed skin of my neck and chest.

“Let’s go home.” He kisses my neck and I put my phone away then grab my backpack. We leave school together, going straight to Blake’s house.

“Oh my! What happened to your hand, honey?!” Sam rushes to me when she notices the bandage.

“It’s nothing. Just a small cut.” Blake frowns at this, but stays quiet.

“You should be more careful, honey. Blake, look after her.” Sam chastises and I laugh at the disbelieving look on Blake’s face.

“Mom!” He whines. Adorable.

“What? I’m just saying you should take care of Lia.” Sam shrugs before turning back to the stove. “Dinner will be ready in an hour, kids.” She adds with a smile.

“Alright. Dad’s not here yet?”

“He’ll be here soon. Now go rest. Lia looks like she’s about to collapse any second.” I frown at her as Blake pulls me out of the kitchen.

“Stop frowning, baby, or it’ll stay that way.” Blake puts his finger between my brows and smooths out the crease between them. “Mom’s just worried about you. You do look like you’re about to faint.” He gently caresses the dark area under my eyes.

“You’re just like your mom. I’m fine, I just need some sleep.” I put my stuff on his dresser and go to sit on his bed, Blake following right behind me.

“What do you say we take a shower before dinner?” He asks with a playful look.

“Pervy Cakey.” I mutter, but he doesn’t give up, instead takes his shirt off and pulls me up. “Fiiiiineeee…..” I trail off dramatically, dragging myself off his bed, while Blake looks like he just won a lottery, picking me up and carrying me to the bathroom.

“I can walk!” I rebuke with a scowl. He’s so annoying, I swear to god!

“I know.” He cheekily says.

What was supposed to be a quick shower ended up taking almost an hour, as Blake took his time washing my hair. He expressed more than once how much he loves it, but to have it washed 5 times just for his pleasure was a little strange.

After we’re both done, Blake carefully dries my hair.

“This is so fucking weird.” I say after a while.

“Why? My mom said to take care of you, so that’s what I’m doing.” He chuckles amused.

“That I did, but I’m not sure I meant this.” I whip my head to Sam when I hear her voice from the door. She’s standing in the doorway with her phone up, obviously taking a picture.

“MOM!!!” Blake exclaims, whining.

“What? It’s cute. I am so showing this to your father.” She giggles, skipping out of the room.

“Why did she even come here?” Blake wonders, taking the dryer from my hand. Damn it, I thought he would give this up.

“Dinner?” I suggest. Considering the time, it should be ready.

“Oh, right. I didn’t even notice it’s been over an hour. I’ll just get this done and we’ll go eat. – he kisses the top of my head – You should go to sleep earlier today, I know you’re tired.” He’s so considerate.

We’re met by teasing looks from Jared and Sam as we enter the kitchen.

“Good afternoon, darling. – Jared gives me a smile as he greets me – Hmm, you look a little different today. What is it? – he caresses his chin, pretending to be deep in thought – Did you do something with your hair?” Sam bursts out laughing, while Blake just groans annoyed.

“Stop it, dad. Mom, did you seriously tell him?!” He whines, taking a seat at the table.

“It was just so cute to watch. – Sam defends – I’ve never seen you act like that before.” Blake’s look turns mellow at her words as he turns to me.

“That’s because no girl was this important to me before.” He presses a kiss on my temple then takes my plate and fills it to the brim with food. “Eat up, baby. You didn’t get to finish your lunch today.”

I notice Sam and Jared give me a questioning look, so I give them a small smile. “It’s just school stuff.”

The dinner goes peacefully, but I catch Blake glancing at me every once in a while. He even washes the dishes and doesn’t let me dry them, since I have a bandage on my hand.

Bored out of my mind, I do the same thing he’s done to me countless times – I wrap my arms around him.

“It seems that I’m rubbing off on you.” He chuckles.

“Looks like it. Though I can’t put my head on your shoulder, since you’re so uselessly tall.” I laugh.

Blake takes off the gloves and turns around. “There is a way. Just get on my back.” I snort at this.

“You’re ridiculous.” He picks me up suddenly, leaving me no choice but to wrap my legs around him. “Blake! What the hell?! Put me down!” I whine at him, but he just shakes his head then turns towards the sink.

“If you don’t want to get your back wet, better get on mine.” He warns playfully.

“I can just get off of you.”

“Don’t. – he pleads – I love having you close. Just stay like that.” I decide to give up after seeing his pleading look and maneuver myself to his back, leaning my head on his shoulder with my arms around his neck.

Blake turns his head, getting a kiss from me, then puts the gloves back on and washes the rest of the dishes with me glued to his back.

The exhaustion finally catches up to me, causing me to almost fall asleep on Blake’s shoulder.


“A little.” I get off his back.

“Then let’s go to bed.” He takes my hand and leads me to the bedroom, grinning happily. “Can’t have my kitten tired, can I?” He pulls me for a passionate kiss when we enter the room, pressing my back against the door.

“I love you, kitten.” He says when we pull away.

“I love you, too.”

Blake carries me to the bed, ignoring my protests, then gets in next to me and presses his chest against my back, spooning me.

“Goodnight, baby.” He kisses my cheek.

“Goodnight, Cakey.”

This time it actually is a good night.

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