Wildfire

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12.

ADELAIDE

Luca had been gone for hours, locked away in my father’s office, no doubted discussing what to do about Damien.

It made my skin crawl to know that he was out there essentially waiting for me to be alone to he could take me. And for marriage? What is it with these men wanting to marry me?

I had hidden away in the library for most of the day, attempting to stay out of trouble so I didn’t have to deal with another one of Luca’s outbursts like last night. As fun as it is to piss him off most times, I didn’t like being reprimanded. I also needed to think about where I wanted him to take me on a date.

I can’t believe a date was the first thing that popped in my head when thinking about making life easier with now having to marry Luca in two months. What the fuck was I thinking? Not something like ‘stop picking fights with me’ or ‘actually talk to me like an adult and human’. Nope. I had to go and blurt out a date right after we were done screaming at each other, frustrated beyond belief. If it had been any other couple it would have probably thrown them for a tail spin, but not us apparently.

Well, maybe Luca. I don’t think he’d been on a date in his life. Not that I knew of at least.

His reputation was more meet them at the bar, take them home, and never learn their names.

Hot, angry jealousy crept up in my chest again at the thought of all the other girls who’d been with Luca.

My Luca.

What the hell, Adelaide? ‘My’ Luca?

I’d never felt this kind of jealousy towards anything involving Luca before and it was starting to freak me out why quickly my emotions had changed towards him in the last few days.

Maybe a date wasn’t the best idea…

My phone binged with a text, bringing me out of the thoughts and stopping me from reading the same paragraph over and over in the book I was reading, not taking in anything it was saying.

Edie – I have a surprise for you ;) Hope you can get to the front door faster than if you were slamming it in Luca’s face!

Edie was home?! She was days early!

I jumped up from my laying down position, taking off at full speed through the library and throwing the door open, it slammed behind me as I ran as fast as I could down the hall and practically threw myself down the stairs. I don’t know how I didn’t fall and break my ankle.

“EDIE!” I screamed seeing her standing in the doorway, looking like a bronzed goddess from all the sun she got laying on the beach in Bali. I was only mildly jealous. I met her full force, practically knocking her backwards through the doorway when I jumped and hugged her. She squealed in delight from it, trying desperately to stay upright.

“Oh my God, Addy, you act like you haven’t seen me in years! It’s been three weeks, chill!” She said, finally catching her balance and squeezing me back as tightly as I was squeezing her.

She hadn’t been gone that long, but she was like my twin. We looked almost identical, we acted the same, everything. Our mother’s were friends when they were growing up so naturally they had their own daughters at the same time, both planning their last pregnancies at the same time in attempt to have their kids grow up best friends. Needless to say, it had worked and Edie was like my twin sister I never had.

Edie’s mom had passed away when she was 10 and my mother was never the same after that. Edie reminded her so much of her mother, and me in turn, causing her to turn her grief on me. It was the only thing that explained why she had treated me so coldly as she did growing up. I’d been a constant reminder of what she lost, and it never helped when Edie was around. We usually tried to stay clear of my mother, most of the time leaving the property and going into the city to whatever the newest club was, or spending our days at the beach behind my home, working on our tans.

“That’s like the longest you’ve left in forever, excuse me for missing you.” I picked at her as she kept us in the embrace. Things were already tough with what had gone on the past few days, but not having your best friend to vent to made it even harder, and I was so glad she was back.

“I have so much to tell you, you won’t believe it.” I pulled back, now getting a good look at her. Her eyes went wide with excitement. “You don’t have to marry Luca anymore?!” She practically screamed, desperately hoping that would be it.

Edie had disliked Luca just as much as I had, she had seen right through that mask he wore and knew he wasn’t as scary as he made himself out to be. And it didn’t help that her and Owen, the next youngest behind Luca, had had a little fling not too long ago and he had dumped her without any explanation. She’d been completely blind-sided and he wouldn’t tell her anything, he wouldn’t even look at her. She’d been a mess for days, and Edie was not one to cry over a boy. But this one really got to her and I knew that’s why she had gone to Bali for as long as she did. Edie had a habit of running away, or going on vacation as she calls it, when things were tough for her.

“Shhhh!” I shushed her, praying Luca wasn’t standing at the top of the steps, listening in. I wouldn’t put it past him, nosey bastard. “No, I still am. Let’s go to my room, I have a sneaking suspicion he’s listening somewhere.” I said, heading towards the stairs with Edie following behind me.

I had reached the top of the stairs and turned the corner, walking right into Luca. I knew it. He almost dropped his phone with the force that we collided with, him throwing his arm around my waist to steady himself. I had grabbed his jacket in turn, trying to keep myself upright and steady. I turned up to look at him, my heart skipping at beat with how attractive he suddenly was to me.

“Did I just catch you listening in on conversations?” I scoffed as he hung up his phone, looking at me with playfulness flashing in his eyes. He then realized I wasn’t alone, his expression hardening. His eyes narrowed and shot to Edie.

Yikes, here we go.

“Oh no, you two are always up to something when she’s around.” His grip on my waist tightening enough for only me to notice, his voice lowering. I rolled my eyes, pushing against his hard chest to get out of his grip.

Edie and I did get into some harmless trouble every now and then, it just wasn’t my fault Luca somehow always found out about it. We’d snuck out a few times without my father’s security team noticing and went to a new bar that had just opened, getting so drunk I don’t know how we didn’t pass out, and somehow made it home in one piece. But not before Edie tripped on one of her heels in the front yard, setting off the security alarm and causing the whole house to go on lockdown. We had laughed so hard at it, ridiculously drunk and rolling around on the front lawn I thought my father would never let me see the light of day again. Of course this was before there were any major threats against my safety and I could do almost whatever I wanted.

“No, we aren’t. And you’re the one who was just listening in on conversations ‘that don’t involve you’ so you have no room to talk.” I mocked, walking around him to get out to my room. He huffed out a laugh, following close behind me. Edie was walking a few paces ahead, ignoring him. She wouldn’t even give him the time of day and I thought I was harsh. I walked past my father’s office door which was closed, before Luca wrapped his arm around my waist from behind, pulling me quickly flush with his chest.

“You better watch that smart ass, Princess.” He hissed in my ear as he slid his hand down and slapped my ass hard before slipping back through the door to my father’s office. He was gone before I had time to turn around and smack him.

This was the second time he’d done that! Next time he wouldn’t be so lucky. I felt my face turn red in annoyance as my jaw dropped in surprise. I heard Edie laughing behind me, knowing he got me good. As much as she hated him, she sometimes gave him credit for how easy it was for him to work me up over things.

“Don’t encourage him.” I said sharply as I turned back around to see her almost doubled over in laughter. It wasn’t that funny…

We walked to my room with my ass cheek stinging.

“I see not much has changed between the two of you since I was gone. I just can’t believe you still have to marry him.” She said as she plopped down on my couch, making herself comfy. Edie was here so often she practically lived here so it wasn’t uncommon for her to make herself comfortable wherever.

“About that,” I said sitting next to her and turning to look at her, pulling my legs up and wrapping my arms around them, “I’m actually marry him in two months.” Her eyes went so wide I thought they’d come out of her head, her jaw dropping so far she looked almost comical.

“What?! And you didn’t text me about this sooner?!” She practically screamed.

“I just found out about it today! I needed some time to sit with it. I mean for fuck’s sake no one has even talked about a ring, it’s been all talk about Hannah with her wedding and Chelsea with the new baby.” I rested my chin on my knee, staring at a spot on the couch between us.

“Why so soon? How does he feel about it? Probably pretty smug, the bastard.” She seethed out. I just shrugged. Edie would never know what it was like to not have a choice in her marriage, her parents had been lucky and so would she.

“I don’t know. Luca actually wanted to push it back farther. Damien Moretti, someone my father and his father are acquainted with, tried to have Hannah and I kidnapped last night so he could hold me for ransom. That ransom is me marrying him. He isn’t happy that the Katsaros’ just took over some of his territory so he’s retaliating. So now my father wants us married even sooner to keep everyone safe.” I let out a sigh. It was a heavy weight to bare.

“Jesus, and you were almost kidnapped? I’m never going on vacation again, I miss too much when I’m gone.” She massaged her temples as if she had a headache, like the info was too much for her to take in. And it probably was. It was almost too much for me to take it when I thought of it.

“That’s not all.” I said looking at her. “We’re going on a date.” I said shyly, not wanting to really tell her but she had to know. She always found out everything anyways.

“Who?” She cocked her head, not understanding who I meant. I had never been on a date, and since she had been gone she hadn’t known about how close Luca and I had seemingly become. Especially last night. I don’t think I’d tell her about that, she’d probably die from that information.

“Luca and me. Tomorrow.”

“WHAT?! Oh my God, Addy, this is too much. I leave and now you’re marrying Luca is two months, you were almost kidnapped, and now you’re going on a date with Luca Katsaros of all people. You’re going to make me have to attempt to stand him sooner or later, and I really don’t want to.” She said dramatically. I gave her a small smile.

“He’s not the worst of them. I think you’re still just angry about Owen.” I teased her, knowing it was a sore spot but she knew it was all in fun.

“Don’t even talk about him around me, I’d love to pummel him into the dirt.” She pretended to punch the palm of her hand, getting wound up. I just laughed and watched her. And I thought I had boy troubles, at least Luca hadn’t broken it off with him and just let me hanging.

“I don’t like it, but where are you going on your date tomorrow? I need to know where so I can follow you, make sure that asshole doesn’t try anything.” I laughed at her, rolling my eyes.

“It won’t be that bad. I’m not sure yet, but you won’t need to follow me. Luca’s got eyes everywhere, I’m not allowed to leave the property without him or Marcus’ men until further notice, so I don’t think you need to worry.” I said, leaning back against the arm rest of my couch, getting comfortable.

“Not allowed? Not allowed my ass, we’re going out tonight and there’s nothing Luca Katsaros can do about it.” She said getting up and walking to my closet. With looking almost like twins, that meant Edie fit into everything I wore as well. We were notoriously sharing each other’s clothes, her’s a little most eccentric than mine with her bright colors, low cuts, and ripped jeans galore but like Hannah had said when we were dress shopping, it was like dress up.

“He’s gonna find out and then it’s me who has to deal with him.” I sing-songed to her, trying to convince her to change her mind.

“And how is he going to find out? Are you going to run down the hall and tell him? Because if you are you’re an idiot.” She poked her head out of my closet, looking at me dead in the eye and giving me a face of ‘just go pick out your damn outfit already’.

If Luca found out I left without him or anyone but Edie he’d kill me. Not literally, but I’m sure I wouldn’t like what he had to say or do.

So I just couldn’t let him find out. Easy.

Besides, I deserved a night of fun seeing as my best friend just came back and learning that I’d very soon be a married woman. One night out wouldn’t hurt anyone. And no one would even know I was out, it’s not like I’m a celebrity or something. We’d go to the same club as always and it’d be fine.

“Fine. But you’re not wearing my new dress!” I said getting up.

At least if Luca caught me I’d look so appealing he couldn’t stay mad at me.

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A/N - What's Luca going to do when he finds out Adelaide and Edie really are up to something like he said they were?

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