I finished my beer, slinging the glass bottle into the bin as we passed, wiping the excess alcohol from my lips. I needed another, but considering we were moments away form the town I knew I could easily score another drink, possibly a decent beer too. I walked beside Ethan as I heard him mutter,
‘Well I’ll be damned.’
I frowned as I followed his eyes, my heart dropping from my chest when I saw her. It must’ve been two or three years since my eyes last drank her in, her now waist length hair billowing around her in the wind as she laughed, her perfect full lips parting to reveal her delicious mouth as she laughed; one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. Her alarmingly green eyes turned to meet mine as I forced a smile on my face. She held my gaze briefly, and I noted the regret in her eyes as she quickly looked away. My heart hammered in my chest as I took in her tight dress, her long tanned legs and black converse. My god what I would do to see under that dress again. Finn suggested we go get some drinks, and we all began to follow when suddenly I found myself grabbing her arm and softly tugging her back towards me. She recoiled in fear as she cried out, before realising it was only me. I frowned as I studied her, the fear evident in her eyes.
‘Who, sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I just wanted to speak to you, alone. Are you ok?’
She seemed to compose herself with a deep breath as she offered me a small smile. Her eyes ran over my body briefly and I felt a smile play on my lips- I had been training intensely for the past two years- and it showed. The desire in her eyes was there, albeit for a flash of a second, but it was all I needed to see.
‘I’m fine, how are you? Sorry, I’m just a little jumpy I guess.’
Why? I continued to study her, years of being her boyfriend allowed me to recognise the signs of fear and anxiety she was currently displaying- the way her eyes darted around us, her tongue wetting her lips as she tried to regain composure.
What the fuck happened to her?
I felt my stomach begin to twist with the familiar rage I felt whenever I thought of him, my fucking waster of a cousin who she was irrevocably in love with. He was a smug prick who stole her right from under my nose, altering the course of our lives forever. He was a bad apple, and I knew he would end up dragging her into his life of crime and bullshit. Where was he anyway? Hopefully he had died.
‘Yeah I’m good. You here with your parents?’
I scanned the crowd around us before my eyes met hers again, her face an open book. I sighed as I realised he was still in the picture- the look of guilt she wore told me that much. Without thinking, I reached out , my fingertips running down her arm as she let out a shiver.
Oh baby, you have no idea what I could do to you.
‘Are you still with him?’
I asked, not wanting to hear the answer. I moved closer to her as her eyes fell to my lips, her mouth parted slightly. Did she want me to kiss her? I would oblige if so, no problem.
″I’m still with Cal, yes.′ She was breathless now as I placed my hands either side of her on the wall, our bodies pressed together. Fuck she was already making me hard.
‘You’re still as beautiful as you were then.’
I brought my face close to hers as I leaned in, desperate to feel her lips on mine. I felt her hands on my shoulders as she pushed me away softly, as though she didn’t really want to, but had to.
‘Luke, I’m sorry but-’
‘She’s with me.’
I closed my eyes as I dropped my hands from her sides, feeling the breath leave my body at his voice. I turned slowly to see the bastard standing there with a deadly glare as he took in our position.
‘Cal. Leo. What a pleasant surprise.’
I stood facing him, my blood boiling as though I had lost her a second time. I remembered her reaction to me touching her earlier and I found myself snapping at him.
‘When she was with me she didn’t flinch if I went near her. She didn’t jump when she was touched. What the fuck have you done to her?’ I took a few steps towards him as I stared him straight in the eyes, my fists clenched. The bastard had the audacity to push past me, towards Gretchen as he spat,
‘She’s not your concern, shes mine.’
I watched with agony as he pulled her into his arms, her eyes meeting mine over his shoulder. I looked at her with sadness as I turned to walk away, my heart breaking again.
‘I told you he’s no good. I tried to warn you.’
I shrugged as I walked into the crowd, out of their sight. I turned and stood by a vendor stall, able to see then through the crowd. He pushed her against the wall as I had earlier, except he got to kiss her the way that I wanted to, more than anything. Her legs wrapped around his waist and I had a glimpse then into how they probably fucked, animalistic and raw. Her hands were wrapped in his hair as they spoke, their heads close together before they kissed again. My jaw tightened as I watched them, my stomach in knots. I felt violently sick, watching his hands roam over her body like he owned her. How did I still feel this way, years later? Something was wrong, something didn’t feel right. Maybe I needed to convince her how wrong he was for her, something had already happened to make her react the way she did to being touched. I just needed to find out what.