She blinked awake, fluttering her eyes open and close as she adjusted to the light that shone through the small gap between her curtains. A soft sigh escaped her mouth before her eyes glided to the clock that read eight in the morning, then groaned and squeezed her eyes shut.
Her head was pounding mercilessly. It felt like she only had six hours of sleep; if you could count her waking up several times in the night from having a nightmare of being chased and killed; different locations and different scenarios, and only one person was the villain in those dreams. It was like her mind was wired to think of him as an insane villain, to think that any day and any time, he could shoot her and end her life.
She sank her nails into her mattress before she released them and tugged her duvet upward. Nova was only dressed in a sleeveless top and a pair of panties. Rubbing her eyes, she rolled over to the left, only to be met by a pair of green eyes and a Cheshire Cat smile.
"Mornin', sleeping beauty."
She bolted upright.
Nova pulled the duvet to her chest, but it was already too late because her top was see-through and her nipples had peeked out to the morning glory, greeted by the eyes of Ghost. She was also aware of the fact that she had no makeup on, that her hair was probably a giant nest and she had morning breath. Ghost, on the other hand, was laying on her bed, his body fully turned to her, his left cheek rested on his hands, dressed like he was out to kill someone, and mostly just looking amused.
"What the hell?" she exclaimed, body inching back to get away from him, but one more move would end up with her falling back and flat on the ground. It definitely wasn't the kind of entertainment she would want to show.
Ghost sat up and leaned his back against the headboard, crossing his legs and his arms against his broad chest that was trapped in a tight high neck sweatshirt. A waft of his spice, earthy and masculine scent filled her nose, his locks hidden underneath a black beanie.
"I like your room," he said, his eyes moving about her room with the familiarity she didn't like. Just how long had the asshole been here? Did he look through her things? She gripped her duvet tightly, watching as those green orbs settled back on her with a grin. "It's warm and cozy. Tell me, are lonely women's rooms always like this? Is this like a superpower thingy y'all have?"
"It's eight in the morning," Nova clipped out tightly, not even bothering to educate him on why breaking into her room and watching her sleep like a creep was inappropriate on so many levels. She shouldn't even have to tell him anything because the bastard knew that. "What could you possibly want?"
"Straight to business with you, huh? Not even going to ask me how I am doing on this fine morning, or have some decency to get me something to drink and eat? Where did you throw your hospitality, doll?"
She narrowed her eyes at him, wanting him to cut the bullshit out already. Ghost seemed to read her emotions before he sighed and uncrossed his arms, sliding his legs to the ground before he dragged his ass out of her bed, turning back to face her with a disappointed look.
"Aight." His palms met together in a resonated clap. "Get up and get dressed. Put on your happy face—imagine you're a little girl in her cute scout uniform, ready to sell her cookies. I want that energy. Meet me downstairs. You got fifteen minutes, or else I'd come back here and drag you in the condition I find you." He turned and marched towards the door, halting in the doorway and turning his head back. "That includes if you're naked. But gotta remind you, we're going to church. Wouldn't want anyone to get an erection while trying to talk to god, yeah?" He winked and exited through the door.
Seriously, what kind of drugs was this man on?
Nova flung the duvet across the room and pulled herself up on her feet. Why was he taking her to church? It definitely wasn't to ask for god's forgiveness because it was too late for him.
She quickly showered and changed into jeans and a cropped hoodie with black combat boots, not putting any effort on her face, then brushed her hair, and by the time she was done, she was two minutes late. Nova honestly didn't care, but she was just glad that Ghost didn't barge into her room again.
He was waiting for her, standing by the door with a half-eaten sandwich in hand, eyes cast down on his phone. When he heard her footsteps, he looked up and glared at her, jerking his head at his watch.
"Oh, make yourself at home why don't you," she stated sarcastically, glaring at his sandwich. He mumbled a quick thanks and she promptly followed him out to his car, a black Aston Martin. He opened the passenger side door for her, gesturing her with a tilt of his head.
When Nova moved to get inside the car, she jerked back in shock when he slammed the door shut, almost taking her leg in the process. Ghost laughed as he crossed over to the driver's seat, as she stared at him in disbelief, palm against her beating heart.
"Open your own door, bitch."
The car ride was silent at first, with Ghost barely sparing her a glance or acknowledge her presence. It wouldn't have bothered her all that much if it weren't for the fact that he didn't tell her why he was taking her to church, if he was even telling the truth about that. She was tired, mostly sleepy and hungry, and the asshole couldn't even let her eat something first, but devoured his sandwich as if he paid for it.
The silent came and went before someone called him. The next five minutes were excruciating, listening to him laugh and talk shit Nova didn't understand. But the thing she got from the conversation was there was a rivalry between Ghost's gang and some other gang called Vipers. Surprise, surprise. Apparently, someone in Ghost's gang was a spy for Vipers and he had stolen money from his gang, but Ghost had located the missing money. Blah, blah. Bl-doesn't concern her-ah.
Instead, she looked out of the window, trying to map out the route he was driving in, and she recognized it at first, but then distinctly decided she had no idea where he was going.
When his annoying phone call ended, she caught him a glance, watching the side of his profile, ignoring how hard and striking it was and decided to end the silence.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Relax, I will bring you back in one piece."
"Your words mean shit to me. I wouldn't even trust you if you promise me in blood. Hell, I wouldn't even trust you if you promise on your life." The tension in her body didn't ease one bit, and her heart continued pumping furiously for a whole different reason.
He laughed, adjusting a little in his seat. Throwing a glance at her with a grin, he asked, "I forgot to feed you, didn't I? Don't worry, there would be free food in church, I think. They do have free food, don't they?" He looked back at her briefly before looking at the road again. At least, he wasn't a reckless driver she thought he would be.
"You know churches aren't for men like you, right?"
He cocked his head to the side like he didn't hear her right, and damn, he looked good doing it. His eyes were every hue of the forest, rimmed cooly with moss. Ghost's eyes were the kind of thing that distracted you from everything around. Eyes that were so revealing of his nature; reckless, untamed, yet undeniably captivating.
"Cute," was what he responded with.
They briefly made eye contact again, before Ghost looked back at the road, giving nothing away, and Nova looked out the window.
"Are you ever going to tell me what you're up to? Should I expect something dangerous?"
His mouth twisted into something that resembled a smirk. "Being in my presence is more dangerous, muneca, you should know that. Just because I'm being nice to you doesn't mean someone out there doesn't run and hide when they see me."
"Lucky them." The words left her mouth before she had the chance to swallow them.
"Aw, why? You wanna hide from me? Wanna play adult hide and seek, eh?" he quipped in amusement, adding, "I can sniff you out anywhere you're hiding, and I will drag you back to me kicking and screaming. Biting."
Nova's heart pounded too fast and fluttered too slowly, mouth dried. Jesus Christ. He was warning her and to no surprise, she was reacting to his words in the wrong way possible. What the hell was wrong with her?
She finally blinked over at him. "It will never come to that," she assured with a strong voice. "As soon as I get your money, I'm done with you."
And he does look at her for that, eyebrows high, lips parted. "Nah, it ain't work like that anymore, baby. We are done when I say we are done."
The words were close to a slap as Nova felt. She lets her eyes slip shut, tried to catch her breath over the panic and dread that seemed to hold her throat, tried to let the air in her lungs because the thing was, she suddenly knew exactly what he wanted from her.
It occurred to her that Ghost didn't want the money anymore, but it wasn't his money. It was his boss' money, his leader. And as soon as she arranged the entire money her brother owed to them, she wasn't going to give it to him. She was going to give it to Ghost's boss. Clearly, he had his own agenda and didn't seem to want to part ways with her. But she was already fed up with him. So, the money will be delivered to his boss, and his boss would be the one to end the ridiculous deal.
She wasn't going to tell him that.
Because she knew he would do whatever it took to see that she failed to get the money.
She slumped down in the seat, staring at him out of the corner of her eyes. He was drumming his fingers on the wheel, eyes looking at the road but occasionally glances out through his window. She looked away and closed her fists at her thighs.
The car pulled in a street Nova had never been to, but Ghost didn't attempt to get out of the car. He turned and his hand reached for something at the back seat before he leaned back against his seat, looking at her.
"Put this on now."
Nova caught the shopping bag with her hands. "What's that?" she asked, choosing not to look first, suspicious eyes holding his.
He pinned her with a wolfish grin. "Nipple pasties and a thong. Thought you'd look amazing in it."
She sucked in a breath before she gasped out, "Why, you vile–"
Ghost reached for her waist and pulled her to him. Goosebumps prickled her skin. "Quiet." His voice crawled into her ear, their chests almost brushing each other's, sending shivers to the rest of her body. She was breathing heavily, and so was he. "Be a good little girl and wear this for me, yeah? You need to look broken and innocent, and right now, you look so fucking hot and tasty. Like a ripe apple just waiting for me to take a bite." He sank his teeth in his bottom lip, dragging and releasing. "I can almost taste the juices in my tongue."
His innocent touch was setting off fireworks inside her. He was making her lightheaded; his touch that she didn't like, and the way her body was reacting to the man. Nova jolted away from his touch and pressed herself against the door as if it would protect her from him.
She felt the blood rush between her ears. "I'm not wearing anything, you fucking pervert. Who do you think I am that you will....you will ask me to wear that!" Her cheeks were so red she might resemble a tomato.
He laughed, a deep laugh that vibrated against her bones. "Look at it first, then say whatever you want after."
Her jaw ticked, but she looked through the shopping bag, pulling a pantsuit and a cardigan. There were none of those things he mentioned and she glared at him for playing with her, for almost bringing her on a verge of a heart attack.
"What is this for?"
He looked away from her and gave his attention to something else in front of him. "So, listen, this is your first job. You get to do the most exciting thing ever....make a confession to a priest. Confess to him your deepest and shameful secrets." His eyes slide to her that turned into a darker shade of green. His tone reduced to a mere whisper that felt like a teasing brush against her skin. "Confess to him how much you want to tear my clothes off with your teeth, this big bad wolf."
He leaned closer to her face and the breath was knocked out of her, as his hand slide into her hair, and Nova shivered in fear and something else. Her lips parted, moving, but not saying anything, eyes fluttering open and close, and if she just moved an inch, she would end up kissing him.
"And while you're confessing to the priest in the confession booth, baring your soul to him..." he whispered in her ear, sending a rush of tingles down her body and between her legs, and Nova shut her eyes, feeling his fingers on her neck, a finger sliding down her chest, teasing the front of her hoodie.
"And then...." he roamed that same finger near the neckline, dangerously close to her cleavage. "search for a hidden compartment in the booth and get my money back."