Love Thy Roommate

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Chapter 23

Nova:

"Babe, wake up..." Someone shakes me.

"Go away." I turn to sleep on the opposite side.

"Brownie, it's your sister..."

"Tell her to come back after five minutes. " I whine.

I feel him come closer and place something against my right ear.

"WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" Nina's voice pours into my ears.

I quickly jolt awake and rub my hands over my ears.

I look at Scott to see him, with my phone in his hands with my sister's face on the screen.

"I hate you!" I grumble, looking at the my cell, rubbing my eyes.

"Aww... Good mornin' sleepyhead. And I love you too." Nina coos at me.

"What's up?" I ask her, straight to the point.

"Whoa... No hi, no hello? I'm offended." She asks, placing a hand over her heart, faking hurt.

"Come on, Boo... I'm still sleepy, do you want me to be grumpy? Because I will be if you don't get straight to the point." I say, narrowing my eyes.

"Fine! I'll get straight to the point, but first, introduce me to your someone-someone." She says, wiggling her eyebrows.

I sigh, "Nina, this is Scott Taylor."

I look back at her, with a smirk, and say, "Scott, this is my sister, Nicolina Snowee Stark."

"Hey!" Nina shouts.

"You're middle name is Snowee?" Scott asks her, laughing inwardly.

"I seriously hate you, Nova." She murmurs. "And never call me Nicolina, my name is Nina... N-I-N-A... Nina!"

She sighs and turn towards Scott and says, "Scott? I'm only gonna say this once and listen to me very carefully." He nods and Nina continues, "If you ever hurt my sister, I'll literally grab your balls and shove it down your throat!"

Scott looks at me and says, "Didn't you use the same line on the Lucien guy, yesterday?"

Nina looks back and forth between us and says, shrugging, "This threat runs in the family."

I giggle at her expression, "So anyway, is it clear? Hurt my sister, and you'll regret it till you last breath." She says, narrowing her eyes.

"This line's better..." Scott winks at her. "But, anyway, in all seriousness, if I ever hurt Nova in any way, I would grab my own balls and shove it down my throat myself."

I look at Scott in awe. He looks back at me and winks.

Nina whispers from background, "I knew I liked Scott for a reason."

I hug him tightly, practically in his lap and pull away just to lean in and softly kiss his cheek. He smiles and tightens his hold around my waist. I bite my lower lip and slowly make way towards his.

Just before our lips comes in contact, "Um... hello? Big sister here!" Nina waves her hand around herself.

I sigh and pull away from Scott.

Nina narrows her eyes and looks at Scott and says, "Scott, if you wanna be on my good side, never kiss my sister in front of me. That's just plain gross. Unless you want me to puke all over you."

"How can you puke all over us? I'm in Mancester." I say.

"Trust me, sister... I'll find a way." She smirks.

"Anyway, what did you need to talk to me bout?" I ask her.

"I need you advice. It's bout... um.. Lucien." She mumbles, blushing.

Scott clears his throat beside me and says, "I'll leave you two to talk, see you later, babe." He kisses my cheek.

"Bye, Snow." He winks at my sister and stands up.

She rolls her eyes and says, "Wait Scott? You're a guy, right?"

Scott looks at her and blinks twice, and then turns to me with an expression that says, 'Did she really ask that question?'

I giggle at his dumbfounded face.

"Last time I checked, yes, I'm a guy." He says, coming back to his senses.

"Good! I need a guy's opinion. I'm not interrupting you, am I?" She asks Scott.

"No, not at all..." He says, sitting beside me.

"I wanna sleep!" I yell, which both of them ignore.

"Okay, so where to start?" Nina murmurs to herself. "So... you know who's Lucien right?"

"Yep, he's your boss." Scott says.

She nods.

"So... yesterday...

***

Flashback:

Nina:

"The pleasure's all mine, sweetheart." Mr. Cooper says, shaking my hand.

I smile at him. "Well, the Sobfest 2014 is over, so let's get back to work. I still have a lot of things to do." I say, gesturing towards my desk.

"Yeah. Sure." He says, and walks away, back to his office.

I take a deep breath and calm myself and walk towards my desk, sitting down on my chair and start to work again.

***

After completing all of my work, I look at my watch to see its 10 pm. I let out a yawn and rub my eyes, feeling sleepy.

I quickly get up and place all the contracts in their respective files. I was just about to walk into Lucien's office, when the door opens, and he himself walks in.

"You done?" He asks, gesturing towards the paper.

"Yep. I was just about to hand these to you." I say, handing him the files.

He looks through them and murmurs in approval, and hands it back to me.

I take it from him and bend down and open one of my drawers and place the files in it and close it. I stand up and straighten my skirt and start packing my phone, my hair-band into my purse.

After I finish, I look up at Luke to see him staring at me.

I smile and ask, "You ready?"

He clears his throat and nods.

He walks back towards the door and opens it for me. I smile and thank him.

Reaching the elevator, I press the button, which takes us to the garage.

"Shit!" I mutter to myself after the elevator door closes.

"What's wrong?" Luke asks from beside me.

I look at him and shake my head, "Nothing."

He raises his eyebrows and stares at me.

I sigh and say, "I wanted to splash some water on my face before we leave, so that I won't fall asleep on the ride home." I run my fingers through my hair.

His eyes follows my fingers and he murmurs, "Feeling sleepy?"

I nod, "A tad bit."

He nods to himself.

The elevator opens up to the garage and I turn and smile, "See you tomorrow," and turn around, since our cars were parked on the opposite sides of the garage.

I walk a few step, searching my purse for my car keys, when I feel a warm hand over my elbow. Before I could question it, it leads me to the opposite direction of my car.

"Mr. Coope-" I stop when he looks back at me and raises his eyebrow. "Luke." I correct myself. "What are you doing?"

He doesn't turn around, and keeps leading me forward and murmurs, "It's too risky for you to drive on your own... you're too tired."

"Luke, it's okay, I can manage." I say to him, but it falls on deaf ears.

He still continue to walk forward, "Luke, wait.." I place my other hand over his hand on my elbow.

"Luke, you're hurting me." I whisper.

He stiffens immediately and turns around, coming to a stop.

He removes his hold from my elbow and looks up at me. "Shit! I'm so sorry."

He rubs his hand over my elbow in a soothing motion. "I just... I dunno what took over me. I kept imagining you being in a accident and I just stood there helpless, not being able to do anything. God! I'm so sorry... I didn't mean to hurt you." He says, softly.

I take my hand away from him and say, "It's okay... I'm fine now." I smile up at him.

He sighs, "Could you please let me drop you off? It would help me sleep at night, knowing that you're safe."

I thought about denying him but I couldn't, looking at the expression on his face.

I just nod at him. He smiles and leads me to his car.

"Holy Crap! You have a Audi R8?" I literally scream, my jaw dropping.

How did I not know this?

"From your expression, I see that my car has your approval." He grins.

I murmur some unintelligent things. He chuckles.

"You know cars?" He asks, amused.

"Of course not." I say in a 'Duh' expression. "I just know bout this one..." I say, running my finger over the black hood of his car.

He raises his eyebrow, to which I just answer, "I read bout it somewhere," waving my hands around.

"Where?" He asks, raising his eyebrow.

"Um... Fifty Shades Of Grey." I whisper softly, blushing.

He chuckles.

I quickly open the passenger door and get inside and put on the seatbelt.

He gets in and does the same and starts the car.

I lean back on my seat and murmur sleepily, "Mmh... I love you car."

I hear him chuckle. "Didn't sleep enough last night?" He asks me.

I look over at him, my eyelids feeling heavy, "My neighbours took up last of their stuff today. They're moving some place else, so I got up at three am to make them cupcakes as a going away present because Pixie; their six-year old daughter loves it." I whisper sleepily.

"You make cupcakes?" He asks.

"Mmh..." I nod. "I gave you three this morning." I say to him, counting three on my fingers. And show him my three raised fingers. "Three." I mumble smiling.

"You made those chocolate velvet ones?" He asks shocked.

"Yup... I make many different flavours, but you like those chocolate velvet ones a lot, so I make those for you, once a week." I shrug.

"Just for me?" He asks, softly.

"Well, you're the only one I know who loves chocolate velvet. All my friends, each love a specific flavour." I murmur.

"How do you know I love that flavour?" He asks, amused.

"Because on my first day, I made ten different flavours and brought it to the office, you just picked up one - chocolate velvet and moaned, but you didn't even touch any other flavour." I say, softly.

"You remember all these stuff?" He asks just as softly.

I nod. "When you moaned, I thought it was the sexiest sound I've ever heard." I mumble, my eyes shutting close.

Being tired does weird things to your body.

Like, embarrassing yourself without even realizing it.

Go tiredness!

I feel him looking at me.

He takes my hand in his and rubs his thumb over the back of my hand in a circular motion.

"What other flavours do you make?" I hear him murmur.

"Mmh..." I think out loud, "Pixie likes cherry ones. Beck loves vanilla with caramel and Sexy likes strawberry cream, and Po loves to finish off the cupcake batter." I say, sleepily.

"Who's Beck, Sexy and Po?" He asks, his voice filled with curiosity.

"Beck and Sexy are my best friends and Po's my dog. Mmh... I love him." I murmur, smiling.

"You named your dog Po?" He asks. I hear him smile.

I nod. "He's a pug and is all black and white. He's a cutie pie. He reminds me of Po, the panda from the movie Kung Fu Panda. So I named him Po."

He chuckles.

"So... um... Beck and Sexy are your best friends?" I hear him murmur, with his voice little bit on edge.

Maybe I'm imagining it.

I just nod.

That's the last thing I remember before sleep takes me over.

***

I wake up to find myself in bed, light pouring through the window.

Wait! That is clearly not my window.

I try to look around but fail, when I feel a arm tightly secured around my waist and my back against something very warm. I try to struggle against it but only ended in arm on my waist to grow tighter.

I sigh.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eyes, I see a furry ball heading towards the bed.

I scream out loud and get up.

"What happened? What's wrong?" I hear Luke's voice from beside me.

I throw myself at him, my hands around his neck, me sitting on his lap, my head on his shirtless chest. His one hand on my waist and other hand over my very naked thigh.

I look down to see, I'm in one of his T-shirt.

Did he undress me?

First things, first...

"What's wrong, baby?" He asks softly.

I point my finger towards it.

I feel him look towards the direction I pointed and his eyes crinkles.

He smiles inwardly and looks down at me and says, "Um... Nina, that's a cat."

I roll my eyes and say, "Duh! I know it's a cat... make it go away." I whine. "Please."

"You're afraid of cats?" He asks, amused.

"No... I'm not afraid of it. I'm allergic to it." I say to him, not taking my eyes off the cat.

The cat starts heading towards the bed.

I clutch myself around Luke even more tightly. "Please, Luke... make it go away." I say, looking at him, on the verge of tears.

He looks down at me and sobers immediately and tightens his hold on me and says, "Ssh baby, don't cry... I'll take care of it."

He looks over at the cat, and says, "Go away Meow," and whistles a tune.

The cat looks stupidly at Luke and then meows and walks back to his bed or whatever thing-y.

I sigh and place my head on his shoulder. "Thanks." I mumble.

I feel him chuckle and say, "You're welcome."

Couldn't able to control any more, I pull back and blurt out, "You named your cat Meow?"

He looks at my expression and bursts out laughing.

He shakes his head, "It's not my cat, it's my friend's. She's away on her honeymoon, so I'm taking care of it for a week."

"Oh." I mumble.

I turn around and look back at the direction of the cat and murmur, "You sure, Meow's not gonna come back?"

"Yup. I'm sure." He says.

I look back at him and smile.

I quickly take him in, his shirtless body, drool-worthy biceps and lickable abs and a plain black pyjamas which hung low on his hips. The tattoos on his arms are clear from my view. I notice another tattoo over his heart. It consists of different numbers written in a spiral.

I look up at him and he smirks and asks, "Are you sure, the allergy thing is not just a story to cover up the fact that you're scared of cats?"

I roll my eyes at him and pull away. "On second thought... allergy." I murmur to myself. And pull the T-shirt I'm wearing over my head and handing it to him.

"Um... Nina, what are you doing?" He asks huskily, his eyes darkening.

I look down at my stomach and say, "Searching for an allergic reaction. Whenever I come in contact with cats, I get rashes. It starts from my stomach or my lower back."

I turn my back towards him and ask, "Do you see any rashes?"

He keeps staring at me, and murmurs huskily, "No."

I sigh in relief and turn around. "Thanks." I smile at him.

I look at him, to see he was still staring at me. I look down to see what he was looking at, to see myself in my matching lacy black undergarments.

I look back at him, blushing and quickly take back the T-shirt and wear it over my head.

"Sorry." I mumble and consciously tuck a strand of hair behind my ear.

"No need to apologise... I loved the show." He winks at me.

I turn red as a tomato.

"What am I doing here?" I ask him.

"You fell asleep in my car." He says, as a matter of fact.

I look back at him dumbfounded, and say, "Luke... when someone falls asleep in you car, you WAKE them up... you do not carry them to your bedroom and sleep with them."

"I just didn't wanna wake you up. You looked peaceful sleeping. One of the best nights of my life, I'm not gonna apologise for that." He says, shrugging.

I sigh and run my fingers through on hair, frustrated and asks, "Why did you sleep here? With me?"

He looks at me with a 'Duh' expression and says, "Because it's my bedroom and my bed. Where else would I sleep?" He tucks his hands in the pocket of his pyjamas.

Um... where was I?

"Um... the couch?" I say, sarcastically.

"Again, to answer that question - My bedroom. My bed. Why in the hell would I sleep on a couch?" He smirks.

"You are unbelievable." I grumble. "Why did you undress me?"

"Because I thought you would be uncomfortable sleeping in your tight skirt." He says, shrugging.

"Oh my God!" I let out a frustrated sigh. And sit down pacing around the room.

Why does this room looks familiar?

"Why are you complaining anyway? It's not like you didn't enjoy sleeping with me." He says, walking closer to me with a predatory glance.

I quickly started backing up, until my back came in contact with the wall.

Luke walks closer to me, and pins me against the wall with his hands on my hip.

"What are you doing?" I murmur, hoarsely.

He runs his nose along my neck and whisper, "Yesterday, as I climbed into the bed with you, you were the one who cuddled with me."

"Wh... what?" I whisper.

"You heard me." He murmurs, placing soft kisses against my neck.

"God, Luke..." I whisper.

He chuckles, "That's what you whispered in you sleep last night, when you fell asleep in my arms." He whispers.

I felt my heartbeat quicken and my breathing accelerate.

"You liked it, didn't you?" He murmurs. "My hands all over you. My tattooed arms against your milky white skin."

I let out a soft moan.

He takes his right hand and places it over the small of my back, pulling me into him. His left hand rises up and he places it over my cheek, making me open my eyes and look straight into his darken green ones. He caresses his thumb over my cheek.

"You don't know, what you do to me..." He murmurs, leaning forward, placing kisses on my jawline.

"Luke..." I whisper.

"I know, baby. I feel you... I know you're not ready yet. But I know you will be soon, and trust me when I say I'm not going anywhere. You will not be able to get rid of me. I'm here for a long run, whether you like it or not. Now that I know that you feel the same way about me, you cannot run away from me. You run. I run with you." He murmurs against my ear.

"You get it, baby?" He whispers looking at me.

Not being able to speak anything, I just nod.

He grins and moves away from me.

Oo-kay, what just happened?

I quickly start walking towards the door but stop when Luke steps in front of me.

"Would you stop stepping before me when I really have to pee?" I yell at him.

He holds up his hand in a surrender motion, and moves to the side.

As soon as I walk past him, he pulls me backward against his chest, with his hands on my waist.

"When we really have time, I'd like to start by sucking on the sweet little dimple you have right here..." He runs his hand over my right cheek.

I gulp.

He kisses me over my dimple and moves out of the room.

How can he say all this and then walk away just fine?

He's such a possessive, alpha male, arrogant jerk!

I quickly do my business and get out of the bathroom.

"Um... Luke, where's my clothes?" I say, looking around.

"In the laundry." He says, from the kitchen.

I look over him and say, "How do you expect to return home? Wearing this?" I gesture to myself.

He looks at me and says, "Will you stop worrying so much? Come and have a coffee with me."

"Fine." I murmur and head towards the kitchen.

Okay, I've definitely seen this kitchen before.

"Want me to make something?" I ask him.

"Well, since I don't know a thing about cooking, I would have say, 'Sure... Go ahead.'" He says waving his arms around the kitchen.

I smile and shake my head.

"I love your kitchen." I say to him.

"Thanks." He smiles.

I look around the kitchen, taking in the marble counter-tops, red and black cupboards. All the latest equipments. White sparkling tiles. A small window.

I could imagine myself cooking here for him.

Crap! Where did that thought come from?

I shake my head and open the refrigerator and take out a milk carton, and ice-cream from the freezer. I spot sugar and a blender nearby.

"Do you have cocoa powder?" I ask him.

"Um... I think it would be on the drawer to your left." He murmur sitting on one of the stools.

"Why? What are you making?" He asks, tilting his head looking at me curiously.

"Nina's milkshake." I wink at him. "Want some?"

"Sure." He says, smiling.

I turn around and put all the things in the blender.

"Do you have Oreo?" I ask.

"Yep." He gets up and opens one of the cupboards and hands it to me.

I take two and put it with the remaining things.

"Do you need anything else while I'm up?" He asks.

"Um... choco-chips, milk powder, two glasses, chocolate syrup, some coffee." I say, thinking out loud.

He searches the kitchen and places the items on the counter, besides the blender.

"Thanks." I smile at him.

I quickly add the required proportions of it to the blender and prepare the milkshake.

After pouring it into two glasses. I scoop out some ice-cream, and dump it over the milkshake. Then I finally take out the choco-chips, and sprinkle it on both of the glasses.

I slide the glass with a straw over to Luke, which he catches on time.

"It would be a real bar-tending fail if you hadn't caught the glass." I murmur.

"I know." He says, chuckling.

He looks down at the milkshake and murmurs, "Looks good," and starts drinking it.

After taking a sip, he looks at me, wide-eyed and asks dramatically, "Where have you been all my life?"

I giggle and ask, "Quoting Rihanna?"

He just nods, not paying attention to my question. Just closes his eyes and moans and murmurs something about milkshake.

I shake my head, smiling and ask, once he finishes, "You like it?"

"So good!" He sighs.

"I know, right? Who knew a bad breakup can lead to a invention this good!" I murmur.

"Bad breakup?" He asks, curiously.

I nod. "You know, my friend Sexy?" He nods.

"Well, she found out the guy, she was seeing was cheating on her the whole time. So, you know she was going through the phase where we eat everything to, you know forget bout the breakup... So Sexy, Beck and I raided my kitchen and dumped everything we loved into a blender. And ta-da." I gesture towards the milkshake.

He looks at me with a different expression and asks, "Sexy is a she?"

I look at me and say, "Um... yeah. Sexy is short for Sequoia. Why? What did you think it was?"

He runs his fingers through his hair and mumbles, "Nothing, nothing..."

Oo-kay...

"Since you seem to have everything in your kitchen, please tell me you have chocolate cake?" I ask him, fingers crossed.

"Yup, in the fridge." He says.

I squeak and give him a kiss on his cheek and head towards the fridge.

"I take it you love chocolate cake?" He says, chuckling.

"Yep. Nova and I have different opinion on everything, but we both agree that chocolate cake is the best invention ever. That itself says something." I murmur, taking the cake from the fridge and heading towards Luke, taking two forks in my hand.

I hand one to him and sit on the stool beside him and start devouring the cake. "I swear to God, if you keep feeding me these everyday, I would never leave this house." I murmur.

I swear I heard him mumble, "Done," under his breath.

I shrug it off.

After finishing the cake, I put the plate down on the sink.

Before I could wash it, Luke lifts me, with his hands on my waist and leads me out of the kitchen and puts me down and says, "The maid will clean those, you don't have to do anything."

I just nod. "So?" I ask.

"So..." He murmurs, confused.

"How am I gonna get home without my clothes?" I ask him.

He just grins and says, "Just open the front door. You'll understand."

I look suspiciously at him and start walking towards the door and open it.

Holy Shit!

***

Scott:

"What happened? What did you see outside the door?" Nova asks Nina.

"You know why I thought his house looked familiar to me?" Nina says, in full gossip mode.

"Why?" I ask.

"Because his home and Pixie's home are the same." She says.

"That means..." I murmur.

Nina nods, "Lucien's my new neighbour."

"Holy Crap!" Nova mumbles.

"That's why he told me to open the front door. My flat his exactly opposite his." She murmurs, annoyed.

"I need him to go away!" Nina whines.

"Why? Do you not like him?" Nova asks her.

"No... Just the opposite." She murmurs pouting. "And today I have to go to one of Dad's fundraiser with him."

"So.. what's the problem?" I ask her.

"I'm going as his plus one, his date! I do not date!" She yells.

"It won't count as a date, Boo. You're doing all the works stuff, right? You're going as his assistant." Nova says, shrugging.

Nina sighs and says, "I think you're right. I'm over-thinking this."

Nova burst out laughing, "Who am I kidding? You are so going out on a date!" She says, winking at her sister.

"I hate you." Nina grumbles. "You're of no use. I'll figure this out on my own."

"Fine. Take care, Snow." I smile at her.

"Yeah, yeah... you too. Take care of my sis for me." Nina smiles at me.

"Bye." Nova says, softly.

"Bye." Nina mumbles. The screen turns blank.

"NOVA! NOVA!" Aria and Ryan burst into the room.

Aria walks towards Nova and asks her, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." Nova mumbles, confused.

"Don't you know what date it is?" Ryan asks.

As soon as he says that, he slaps his hand over his mouth. Aria throws daggers at him through her eyes.

"Why? What's the date?" She asks Aria.

Aria looks softly at Nova and murmurs, "It's 25th October. I'm sorry, Novey..."

Nova looks at her and freezes, her eyes moistens. "It's October 25?" She asks.

Aria nods.

What the hell is going on?

"That's why Nina called me, to distract me... so I don't have time to think bout Max. How can I forget Max's birthday?" Nova murmurs to herself.

Who is this Max?

Nova gets up from beside me and says, "I gotta go... for a walk... I'll be back." She doesn't even looks at any of us.

What just happened?

She runs out of the room and I hear the front door shut.

Aria and Ryan both look at each other, sharing a thought and both walk out of the room.

Who is this Max?

Wait! Nova's parents are famous right?

Maybe Google has some answers.

I quickly take out my laptop and search: Novella Stark and Max.

Nothing.

I search: Stark family and Max.

I click on the first link to find an article, dated two years back:

An unknown singer in town:

Everyone wants to know more about the singer who had sung the recent number one hit song, Somebody To Love and also more than five songs for the movie, "Love Storm."

Although, the movie didn't make much in the box office, the soundtrack surely attracted a lot of public. When asked the film crew about the soundtrack, the only answer we received was, 'No comment.'

Public wonders who this mysterious singer is and why is she hiding behind the curtains. Our talented journalists has found the connection that links the movie to the singer.

It is very shocking to find out that, Richard Stark, the billionaire C.E.O of the S Enterprises had recommended the mysterious singer to the director. Although it is yet to find out who the singer is, the songs are distributed in the market under the album named 'Max.'

Only question is: Is Max the name of the singer or the person from whom the songs are dedicated to?

I quickly click on one of the links to hear the movie's soundtrack and play the song, Somebody To Love.

I've heard this song before. Me and the band played its cover in one of our album.

What shocks me the most is that I know that voice...

It's Nova's.

But, why did she named the album Max?

Who is this Max that everybody's talking about?

And how is he connected to Nova?

Why did the album that Nova had sung named Max?

Something's definitely wrong...

***


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