“Thank, D.” I say hopping out of the car quickly the next morning. It’s barely seven o’clock but that was the point.
To avoid Steele.
Whatever he said yesterday messed with my mind and made me doubt myself. I don’t ever doubt myself.
“Text me when you need a ride back.” Dicarius says through the open window and speeds away.
I yawn, my plain white t-shirt and blue plaid pants. My hair is tangled in a sloppy bun because I do not care. I open the door to the library with heavy eyes, I need a distraction from all of the drama and pain that is aching within me.
I make my way to the mystery section, my fingers skim past Agatha Christie and stop at Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes books are my favorite, granted sometimes I throw the book across the room because my deductions were wrong. It’s still interesting.
“I think fate is testing us, Madam Bookworm.” I hear, I turn confused. My eyes narrow slowly and a hateful glare appears on my face.
“You,” I snarl.
“Reid.” He corrects me, I grip the book from the shelf and pull it down.
“You.” I snarl again, I don’t have enough energy for a fight today. Drunk Steele was too much for all of me.
“Me.” Reid says, I glare at his features. Tan skin, amused chocolate eyes, today he has a black beanie hiding most of the dark curls that lay on top of his head.
My eyes drop to the book in his hand, I smirk, “The fog was a drug that created illusion of your greatest fear.”
Reid’s face drops and I bark out a laugh, walking swiftly past him. “Ah, revenge is the sweetest candy.”
Going around the other shelf I go to grab another book but it pulls from my grasp, I meet Reid’s brown eyes and glare. “It’s rude to walk away from someone, Bookworm.”
“It’s rude to spoil the ending of a book to a perfect stranger, yet here we are?” I counter, shoving the other books across the shelf, his face no long in view. I climb the ladder next to the window, my ankle screams out but I ignore it.
“I wouldn’t say I’m perfect, above average if I’m being humble.” I hear Reid and realize he’s standing next to the ladder with arms crossed over each other.
“Keep saying shit like that and I’ll shove a book down your throat.”
Annoyance spits out as I scan the shelves. I like my peace. I like my solitude. So why do people always ruin that? Get the hint and leave.
“Kinky.” Reid kicks the ladder, causing me to jolt. I send him the worst glare.
“It’s not kinky when you have a severed larynx.” He rolls his eyes and I roll mine, “I say this in the nicest way possible,” I cheekily smile, “Piss off.”
Reid let’s out a husky laugh, my foot slips on the ladder but I catch myself. This will not be a cliche moment, I will not fall into the arms of a stranger, and I will not go back home with more inguries.
“You’re going to fall, Bookworm.” Reid hits his head on the bookcase.
“Shut up,” I sneer, climbing one more step. My hand is no longer bruised which makes me smile slightly before I grab a novel.
“Ah, main protagonist is actually a villain. But you don’t know that until he kills himself.” Reid drawled and I muffle a scream.
I take the book off of the shelf and chuck it down, it hits him in the head causing him to stumble back into a pile of books. Reid falls over and I laugh. It’s a beautiful morning, isn’t it? I step down from the ladder slowly and look down on him as he lays on the dirty floor. Okay, weirdo. You do you.
“I always seem to be getting hit with books when I’m around you.” Reid flashes me a smile, crossing his arms behind his head.
I wrinkle my nose in distaste, “Good thing I’ll never see you around again!” I relay his smile and give him a parting wink before skipping off.
“I never got caught your name.” Reid asked I almost screamed ‘because I didn’t throw it’, but I refrained. I peak my head from the other shelf, Reid’s still laying on the floor with books covering his limbs.
“You never asked.”
“I’m asking now, though.” Reid sits up, crossing his legs together as he leans against the shelf.
“You love mysteries,” I shrug with a parting salute to the mysterious man. “Figure it out.”
My theory was incorrect, my deduction was way off.
I stare, blinking in disbelief as I enter my new room to see Steele still under the covers. Very much awake and waiting.
Does he remember what he said to me, did he realize I slept next to him? (Against my will why of course.)
It’s a horrible morning, isn’t it?
“Angel, I was waiting for you.” He says, I look wide eyed at the clock. It’s barely nine in the morning and I’m already too tired to deal with this.
Whatever this is.
“I went to the library,” I said slowly, I notice Steele has different clothes on from last night, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute. Did you change your clothes, take a shower, -I look at his damp blonde hair tied messily in a bun- and get back into my bed?” I squeak like a mouse.
Stay calm, stay calm, stay calm.
“Yes angel, I did exactly that.” Steele nods, a child like smile on his face.
I flinch thinking about two mornings ago, ‘Do you know what it does to me, to see you like this?’ I don’t know what it did to him, I don’t want to know either.
“Uhm.” My mind draws a blank on how to respond. Steele throws the covers off of him, leaving me to stare at his white loose tank top and navy blue shorts. I squeeze my eyes close, “I’m sorry.” I blurt.
I feel heavy arms on my shoulders, I open one eye and then the other. They widen tenfold, Steele leans both of his muscular on my shoulders. His hands clasp together behind me and my head. Steele’s lips almost grazing my own as he dips his eyes to meet mine. Face to face, chest to chest, and eye to eye, he smiles.
“Angel,” Steele starts, his smirk fading and icy eyes grow serious. “I don’t care about what you wanted to do—I don’t care about what you had planned. I care that you would put yourself in harms away to do it.” I suck in a breath, my eyes follow his as they drop to my lips. “I don’t care about what you do to fix your problems. Just don’t ever—ever, hurt yourself in the process, angel.”
I gulp, that was the most he has ever spoken to me at once. I watch his eyes change from maniacal vulnerability to nothing at all. He becomes so unreadable and I dislike it. I nod slowly, my own hands raising. I touch the large arms that bridge to my shoulders and I place my cold hands on top of his muscles.
Steele smiles at my words and I take the opportunity to dip my eyes to his lips. I look back up quick enough for him not to realize. My hands slowly leave his arms, but his arms stay heavily on me.
“This is very touching and all, but Rei you have a guy at the door looking for you.” I hear Vienna, my head turns to see her standing in the doorway very amused.
“A guy?” Steele’s muscles tense over my shoulders “You’re cute Austria, but Reign doesn’t have guys looking for her.” I look at him bewildered, how dare he!
“Mmh, I think your wrong Stel.” Vienna chuckles, “He specifically said that he had a book worth reading and he would not spoil it for his favorite bookworm.”
I gasp, a low growl vibrating off of Steele. What are you an animal? “Does this guy have a name?” I whisper, it couldn’t be, it shouldn’t be.
Vienna only smirks before saying, “He says you called him asshole, bastard, little shithead who ruined the ending to my book?”
Oh fucking hell.
“HIM!” I scream, shoving Steele’s arms off of me. Marching—hobbling, to the front door. Footsteps follow in my wake but I’m too pissed off when I see Reid. “You asshole, bastard, little shithead who ruined the ending to my book! You stalker.” I point to him appalled.
“I told you, Bookworm.” Reid says softly, I feel Steele’s looming presence behind me. “I have a name, and that name is Reid.”
“I told you buddy-o, piss off!” I yell, pushing him out of the doorway and slamming the door behind me. I lean against it and stare at him, “Who the fuck do you think you are, did you really follow me home?”
Reid cocks a brow, “There’s multiple people staring at us through the window.”
I turn to see Vienna, Kylie, Steele and Atlas crouching slightly. Dicarius stands tall and proud, making eye contact with me as he takes a big bite out of his apple.
I turn back to Reid, “Answer the question.”
Reid smirks, handing me a novel. His hands are smooth, unlike Steele’s, they run over my own as I pull the book out of his hands.
“I promise I won’t tell you what happens.”
“Answe the question, asshole, bastard, little shithead who ruined the ending to my book.” I say and he laughs quietly.
“If I remember correctly, my name is Reid and I did follow you home. I hope you know that you walk funny.” Gee thanks a-hole, Reid adjusts his beanie and I refrain from pulling it over his head and pushing him down into the concrete.
Think happy thoughts, Rei. Peaceful thoughts were you don’t get sued for attempted murder.
“So,” Reid sways on his heels, “You’re roommates are staring at me creepily and I want to know the name of the beautiful bookworm I enjoy to piss off.” Reid dares to say.
I flip him off but he catches my hand in his, “We wouldn’t be perfect strangers if I knew your name, and as much as I like a good mystery, I love to solve them more.”
Now that—that, ladies and gentlemen, was the most cheese filled line I have ever heard.
“Reign,” I say matter-o-factly, “This mystery’s name is Reign.”
Reid smiles and my insides squirm slightly, “I should go before that blonde guy shoots me.” Reid moves his head in the direction of the window. My eyes connect with Steele’s, a deadly glare is deep in his face. Of maliciousness, insanity, jealously—a look that could kill.
“Don’t mind him,” I whisper, “He’s just dramatic.” Good thing they can’t hear me, but you can never be too sure.
“Are you dramtic?” Reid steps closer, I take a half step back with a raised brow.
“Depends if you piss me off.” I tuck the book into my arm with a growing smile.
“Good,” Reid smiles, “I like dramatic.”
With that, we say our goodbyes and I enter the Hunter’s fight crew’s massive apartment. A small smile playing on my lips soon fades as Kylie rushes around the corner and into the entrance.
“Who the hell—what the hell, was that!” Kylie runs a hand through her fiery red waves. “Damn Reign, I mean you’re drop dead gorgeous but as of right now you’re a little bruised—but I mean, damn! I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“Kylie, sweetie.” I smile as the rest of the group stares at us, Kylie perks up at the sound of her name. “Shut up.” I deadpan. Walking past them, placing the book on the coffee table. It doesn’t even reach the wood as Dicarius swipes it from my hands.
“The Mystery on Clockwork Hill.” Dicarius flashes me a sweet smile full of hidden insults, “Isn’t that cute.”
“You—” I start again, but Atlas takes the book from Dicarius and flips through the pages.
“Oh boy, he even wrote is number on the back cover.” Atlas cackles.
“Okay—” Vienna cuts me off with a laugh.
“Hey, remember that party we got dragged to by Lou, and that guy started flirting with you.” Vienna sits down hysterical laughing, “You kept shoving food into your mouth, it was so funny!” Vienna bursts into a laughing fit as I roll my eyes, vaguely remembering that catastrophe. “And then he asked you if you wanted to head to the spare bedroom and you—you squashed a slice of pizza in his face. He still asked you for your number.”
Steele stalks closer to me, my eyes don’t dare to leave his.
“This was way funnier, you were blushing and then glaring, it was—was...” Vienna starts coughing, Dicarius rolls his eyes.
“I also remember a guy hitting on you, and you being you just stood there with that intimating look.” I shout back, feeling a faint hand on my back.
I shiver at his touch and take a step away, a faint grumble comes from his lips but I ignore it. Dicarius eyes Vienna warily, “You said you never went to parties junior year?”
“Uh,” Vienna flinches, “Khol made us go to one.”
“Did you enjoy boys flirting with you babygirl?” Dicarius grumbles in his annoyed tone.
This time I flinch at thought of Khol. I don’t want to remember him, ever.
“Oh yes,” Vienna rolled her eyes, “I loved when prepubescent teenagers stared at me in lust.”
“At least we all know that I was definitely a man.” He huffs in triumph. Oh you poor boy, did mommy never love you?
“Okay, sure babe.” Vienna giggles. Dicarius’ usual lazy smirk appears, picking up Vienna he starts to head to his room.
“At least try to be subtle about it.” Atlas mumbles.
I snatch the book away from him, sticking my tongue out at him. I head down the hall to my room with knit brows. I’m not drop dead gorgeous, I don’t ever get hit on, nobodies ever liked me for me. Huffing annoyed at the lies they spewed, I throw the book on the messy sheets of the bed.
I have to change those later.
I realize that the Hunter’s have done too much for me, I can’t pay them back in a large sum of money. I can barely walk normally, not to mention the looming figure of flirtatiousness that follows my every move.
The door slams shut and I whip my head around wide eyed. Steele stands proud right before me, an insane angry look chilling me to the bone.
“I’ve slept will hundreds of women, none of them even affecting me, I don’t even remember their names.”
Steele states, I cock a brow.
“Okay?” I say. Where is he going with this?
“So what makes you so special that I can’t get you out of my mind, Reign?”
I blush, my hands limp at my side as he growls, raking a hand into his sloppy hair. Steele turns his back on me before saying, “Why do the voices like you?” Steele almost shouts, then slamming the door shut in my face as I stand there gaping.
Dicarius said Steele was ‘insane’ but I actually never believed it, I thought it was a joke—no, it was a joke.