Closing my eyes, I turn my face to the sky feeling the warmth of the morning sunlight on my skin.
New day, new me.
“Start jogging, instead of standing in front of the door like a retard.” A scowl comes to my face when I hear Pops’ voice, ruining my perfect moment.
“Get those legs working, I can already feel you are turning into a couch potato.” He ignores my scowl, with a shrug.
Shaking my head at him, I start power walking and soon I break into light jogging. Gradually, my face relaxes into a small smile enjoying myself.
A lot has happened in the past couple of days, but I am managing to slowly find myself. Days are bearable, however, when night comes it is an entirely different story. His words haunt me and darkness inside me starts to surface.
And then there is Alec, my anchor, always finding me and pulling me back from the darkness.
My smile widens just thinking about him, the person who hardly smiles around anyone, his name is enough to bring a smile on my face.
Picking up speed I start to jog towards the park, as jogging amid nature feels so refreshing, both physically and mentally.
I am about to end my second lap, around the park, when I see Alec a little far from where I am. He is unaware of my presence, his back his facing me, as he is standing with his hands on his waist. From the condition of his shirt, it seems he has just finished running.
A small chuckle escapes my lips and I immediately cover my mouth with my hand to stop myself from laughing while the excitement is buzzing inside me. I am not excited because he is here, I am excited as for the first time I can sneak up, on him.
Taking a deep breath I try to calm myself so I don’t make any sound to alert him while discreetly I walk towards him. With every step, my excitement increases, as well as, the smile on my face gets bigger.
I am about to push him, but he turns with lightning-fast speed and tackles me to the ground with his entire body. At the same time, he wraps one arm behind my head and the other on my lower back to cushion the impact. But even then groan leaves my lip as I fall on the ground with his weight on me, literally knocking the breath out of me.
“How did you know?” I wince looking at his smug expression.
“Next time try to be more discreet by keeping quiet, your little laugh was a clear giveaway.” He arches an eyebrow smugly, “Although, even then, you will not be able to outsmart me, still, you can try. Maybe if you are good then I will pretend to be surprised,” he says with teasing tone.
My frown vanishes when I focus on his face, as he hovers above me blocking the sun. The sunrays are creating an outline behind his head, highlighting his hair, closely resembling a halo making him look angelic.
For me that he is... an angel who saves me from falling into darkness.
Normally, I think he is handsome, but at this moment, he looks beautiful. Without thinking, I raise my hand to touch strands of his hair, which are light compared to the rest because of the light casting on them. Then I pull away, the hair from his face which carelessly fell on his forehead while memorizing each and every feature. From now, this face will keep my demons away.
His eyes are following my every movement, but he never stops me, while I caress the side of his face feeling light stubble beneath my fingers. However, his earlier playful look is replaced by a serious expression, as his gaze is focused on me. A small rueful smile forms on my lips, as I know nothing lasts forever but I want the memory of his face to imprint on my soul forever.
“What are you thinking?” His brows pull together as he tries to read my expression.
Blinking, I push away all my thoughts and smile at him.
“Get off me.” I lightly push him, “Before somebody thinks we are shooting porn in open.” I raise my eyebrow playfully at him.
The corner of his lips lifts in a small smile as he lightly shakes his head. Then he instantly jumps on his feet while pulling me up along with him like I weigh nothing.
He pins me with his questioning look, clearly not letting go of his question.
“Shush... nothing.” I cover his mouth with my hand when he is about to demand an answer, “Nothing important.” I give him a mocking glare while shaking my head.
“Everything is important for me if it is about you.” He pulls my hand away from his mouth, holding my gaze.
The sincerity behind his words makes me smile and I wrap my arms around his neck in a hug. My smile turns into a frown when he loosely places his hands on my back.
“Hug me back properly,” I complain.
“I don’t know, just properly,” I whine, not releasing him.
He chuckles lightly, then leans down wrapping his arms around my waist in a tight hold pulling me against his chest.
“Like this?” He whispers, planting a kiss beneath my ear.
“Yes, exactly like this.” I smile, closing my eyes feeling content.
Alec completed the rest of my two laps with me, without even breaking a sweat, even though he had completed his laps. Then he made me run an extra lap because according to him I wasted my time on sneaking up, on him. Now I feel my lungs are on fire and my legs hurt like anything.
He is worst than Pops, at least Pops listens to my whining while torturing me. Unlike him, who just threatened me with two more laps if I don’t stop my rant. And by the look on his face, I am sure he would make me run two more laps.
No way in hell, I will ever run with him again.
“Ewww... you are sweaty.” I try to step away from him, as he throws his arm over my shoulder pulling me to his side while we just walk.
“So are you.” He shrugs nonchalantly but doesn’t remove his arm.
“Are you coming to the club tonight?” He stuffs his hand in his sweatpants pocket while slipping his other hand into mine. “I have a fight tonight.”
“Nope.” I lie, even when I have the plan to go to the club with Kris, just to tease him.
When he doesn’t say anything, I turn to find him sulking silently. Chewing the inside of my cheeks, I stop myself from laughing at his sullen expression because he just looks like five-years-old whose request has been turned down.
Suddenly, I remember Kris telling me how he threatened Victoria.
Abruptly, I turn and stand in front of him, he stops in mid-step before he can run into me.
“You threatened Victoria?” I point at him raising my eyebrows, just wanting to listen from his mouth.
“No, I warned her and everyone, not to even think of hurting you.” Corner of his mouth twitches upward in a smile, as dark look passes his eyes, “Because if anybody tries to you bother you, I will make sure that they suffer.” There is a silent promise behind his words that cannot be taken lightly.
I search his face for the traces of Alec which I know because this Alec is nothing like him. Strangely, I am not afraid of him. Maybe because we both are similar in one way or another, we both are fierce when it comes to people we care about and can go to any extent for them.
“What about you, huh? If you hurt me, then what, mister?” I wiggle my eyebrows at him playfully.
“I don’t know how, but I will make myself suffer too,” he replies without any trace of humor.
“Hey, I was just joking.” I cup his face giving him a soft smile, looking back and forth between his eyes.
“But I am not.”
My smile falters sensing the seriousness behind his words because it seems he truly means them.
Stepping forward, he envelopes me in his arms, and kisses my head, like he is shielding me from everyone.
“I will never let anyone harm you, not even myself.” He sighs, keeping his chin over my head.
No words come out of my mouth, as my heart feels it can burst out of contentment. For me, protectiveness means love and care, and his actions and words are proof of them. Maybe it is too early, but there is no doubt that I am falling for him.