Wildfire

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16.

ADELAIDE

Every time Luca kissed me it was like electricity shot through my body. At this point I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. My whole body instantly warmed for that second, making it feel like I was sitting in a sauna.

The last few days were like a blur to me, everything tangling into one. Luca and I had gone from sworn enemies, not knowing how to act around one another other than lashing out in anger and frustration to planning on going on a date and kissing any chance we got. My head already hurt but thinking how we ended up here made it hurt even more.

I had dragged myself back to my room, my whole body hurting from this hangover, and clutched Luca’s sweatshirt tight around me. He didn’t have to do that, lend this to me to sleep in last night. I’d been a brat and I probably would have let my ass sleep in that dress all night, not caring that it wasn’t comfortable.

My eyes stung as I flipped on my bathroom light and a shiver shot through me as my feet touched the cold marble floor. God, I looked horrific. My hair had become a nest once again, with giant messy waves and a few knots but what else is new. I didn’t take my makeup off and my mascara was smeared around my eyes, making it look like I had attempted a smoky eye but really it was because I was so drunk last night I could barely stand. Saying I looked rough was putting it nicely.

I made it slowly to my shower, reaching around the privacy wall to turn it on and let it warm while I finally took off Luca’s sweatshirt and my panties, the cold air rushing around me before I found safety in the hot water in the shower.

I stood there for what felt like forever, letting the hot water soothe my aching head. I have got to stop letting Edie buy us so many drinks when we’re out, I think I drank half the bar last night. Thoughts about the last few days filled my head again, overwhelming me with emotion. It was like the switch of a light how fast things had changed between us — us.

Is there an ‘us’?

It had always been a given that if Luca and I were ever finally civil with each other that we’d be ‘together’ and no one would think anything of it, the contract already sealing our fate. But did being ‘together’ make me his girlfriend? Was I just to be known as Luca’s, no other title to it? I mean eventually I’d have the title of wife and him husband, but did we have to have something before?

Does he want to be something before?

I heard my bathroom door suddenly open, snapping out of my head. Who in the hell...?

I slowly creeped to the end of the privacy wall and peered around. Surely if Hannah was home she would have knocked? And knowing Edie she was dead to the world. When she was hungover, she was in bed for days.

Luca stood there, leaning back against the counter with his arms crossed loosely over his chest, looking at me peek around but keep myself hidden. My eyebrow raised in a questioning look.

“So you are alive. Thought you’d fallen and cracked your head or something, you’ve been in here for ages.”

“What am I, eighty?” I rolled my eyes, sinking back behind the wall to finally wash my hair. I heard him laugh on the other side of the wall which meant he’d moved and now was closer to the shower opening. Nothing was stopping in from peeking around, but I hoped he wouldn’t.

One track mind, this man.

“No, but I thought I’d offer my help if you needed it. Maybe help you soap up your body, especially those perfect tits.” He said, his voice changing into a silky tone, making my core tighten. My breath caught in my throat. As much as I enjoyed giving into him the other night, right now was not the time.

Maybe tonight

Thanks, but no thanks.” I rinsed the shampoo from my hair, working conditioner through the knots and hoping they wouldn’t be too bad when I got out.

“I’ve seen some of what you keep hidden away, why not just show me a peek? Let me see that little tattoo you have again.” I could hear the smile in his voice, hoping I’d give in and reveal myself.

I blushed hard. He had seen some of me the other night, even if it had been darker in his room. I was hoping he wouldn’t bring it up again but it seemed to be one of his favorite topics. Besides, I wasn’t anything impressive. He’d been with other girls before, and I’m sure he had a type. Modelesque more than likely.

“The more you distract me, the longer I’m going to stay in here.” I shot back, peeking around the corner again so he could only see my face and a little of my shoulder. I was careful to keep everything behind the wall, giving him no chance to peek at anything.

“You stay in there much longer, I’m coming in, Princess.” He leaned over like he was about to look around the wall when my hand shot out, pushing back against his chest to stop him. We looked at each other, eyes locking. The green in his eyes was so vibrant today, like emerald, I couldn’t help but stare at them. He grabbed my wrist and light rubbed it with his thumb, sending goosebumps through me and snapping me out of my trance.

“I don’t think so.” I pulled my hand away and ducked back into the water, rinsing my hair again and finally turning off the water.

Shit. I forgot all my towels are on the other side of the wall with Luca which means I can’t grab one without completely exposing myself.

Shit shit shit.

“Forget something?” Mischief rang in his voice as he knew why I wasn’t coming out and I was standing here, shivering.

“Just hand me my towel.” I said, wrapping my arms around myself trying to stay warm.

“Your manners are terrible, Princess. No please?” He teased.

“Oh my God, Luca, just give me my towel before I freeze to death... please.”

“Better.” He said as his arm shot around the corner of the shower wall holding my towel. I’d never been so happy to see one as I ripped it from his hand and wrapped it around myself, instantly warming as I rang the water from my hair. I heard the bathroom door open and close again and when I peeked around the corner, I was alone.

I let out a deep breath before anxiety settled in my chest. I was going on a date. A date with Luca. I was excited and nervous all at once, making it hard to concentrate on getting ready. I brushed my teeth as fast as I could before ripping the comb through my hair, shrieking and wincing when it caught a knot and pulled. While I let my hair air dry some I put on some super basic makeup, focusing more on my mascara than anything. I still looked a little rough from last night but after that shower I felt a hell of a lot better. I blow dried my hair to add some volume to the waves before finally leaving my bathroom to see Luca lounging on my bed, his eyes snapping to me and widening. He had a hungered look on his face as his eyes traveled down my body. I looked down and realized I was still just in my towel with nothing underneath.

God, Addy, use your brain today!

I blushed before scurrying to my closet and shutting the door, making sure Luca wouldn’t see a thing. He was right though, he’d seen enough of my body in the last few days to probably have a pretty good mental image between the photo I accidentally sent him and then the night of the storm.

My body shuddered at the thought of that night, my core clenching and warming, and trying to push out of my head all the things he made me feel. How he felt most of all. And how he made me say that I was his.

I was his and knew it. Even if we weren’t going on this date and hadn’t messed around the other night, he still wouldn’t ever allow me to see any other guy. Not that I wanted to, no one had ever interested me the way Luca did, even while at each other’s throats. And he was mine.

Grabbing a white baby doll dress that hit a few inches above my knees and an oversized flannel with the sleeves rolled, I dressed quickly before grabbing a pair of black high top vans. Casual and comfy, just what I wanted. Hopefully Luca didn’t plan anything fancy because I was so underdressed.

I opened my closet door to see Luca strolling around my room, his back to me. His shirt was loose fitting but you could see his muscles in his shoulders, strong and threatening. He was looking at the photos I had tacked up of Edie and me on vacations together, some with my sisters, various posters from bands I liked.

He got to one photo of me in high school and burst out laughing, his hands on his knees he was laughing so hard.

“What’s so funny?” I looked at him, confused.

“You were a cheerleader? No fucking way. There’s no way.” He said and laughed some more, laughing so hard he had to catch his breath.

He was laughing at the photo of Edie, Hannah, and me all together in our cheer uniforms from high school. We’d all made the team together, Chelsea had graduated by the time I was a freshman, and I had some of the best memories from it. I was captain my senior year.

“Why is that so funny and unbelievable?” I said crossing my arms, just watching him try to gain back his composure from laughing so hard. My eyes narrowed.

“I just can’t imagine you peppy and enthusiastic about anything, you’re always so full of fire. God, what I would pay to have seen that.” He said and burst out into another round of laughter.

“I’m not going on this date with you if you don’t stop.” I started walking towards the door to leave and let him stand here laughing until he grabbed my arm and pulled me to him.

“I’m just messing with you, Princess. It’s cute. I didn’t expect it.” He kissed my temple.

“And what were you? The sensitive art type? The douchey football player?” I shot back, still annoyed that he had even laughed at me for something I did in high school. We hadn’t gone to the same school growing up, and neither of ours played against one another so he would have had no way of knowing I was a cheerleader. And a good one at that.

“Lacrosse. I was the captain my junior and senior year.” He looked proud of himself for a moment because I burst out laughing at him.

“Yeah because lacrosse is so much less douchey.” I kept laughing while he rolled his eyes.

“I wasn’t douchey.” He said back with an annoyed tone. Now he knew how I felt.

“Nooo, never.” I teased, pulling out of his arms to grab my purse off the chair by my bed. “So are we going or not?”

“We would have left sooner if you didn’t decide you needed to use all the hot water in the house.” He walked towards my door and held it open for me. I rolled my eyes and walked out, him close behind me.

My nerves had really kicked in now. Not only were we actually going on a date now, Luca would be in high alert all day for any threats from Damien. I knew wherever we were going we wouldn’t truly be alone, he’d have his security men close by. It didn’t help much to know though how close Hannah and I had been to being kidnapped the other day. But it was better than not going on a date with him and this time I knew I’d be safe.

Didn’t care much about that last night though, did you?

I hoped at this point that Luca wasn’t still too upset about last night. My hangover had been punishment enough.

Luca placed his arm around my waist as he led me outside to his car and I felt my body lean into him, like I couldn’t bear to not be touching him. He must have felt it because he tightened his hand on my waist, the pressure change just enough for me to notice.

My chest fluttered.

Pull it together, Addy. Things were very different three days ago.

He had helped me into his car and I bounced my leg as he pulled out of my driveway, driving us in the direction of the city.

“What’re you so anxious about?” He said, looking at the road while resting his hand closest to me on my leg. I hadn’t stopped bouncing it and I knew it was only a matter of time until he noticed.

“Nothing.” I lied through my teeth and turned on the radio to distract from the silence.

“You’re shit at lying so you might as well fess up, Princess.” He squeezed my thigh. My throat suddenly felt dry and I picked at the hem of my flannel shirt, playing with a loose string.

“I’ve never been on a date.” I fessed up quietly, becoming embarrassed.

He smirked out of the corner of my eye as I was too embarrassed now to look at him. I knew he hadn’t gone on many either but I’m sure he was thinking how pathetic it was that no one had taken me on a date before. Being the daughter of one of the most feared crime bosses doesn’t really make you dateable, especially if anyone had ever broken up with me. It also didn’t help that everyone seemed to know about my arranged marriage with Luca. He wasn’t someone other men wanted to cross. So here we are with Luca being my first date ever and I was clueless on what to expect. I wasn’t too upset though that Luca was my first date.

“It’s just us hanging out. Not much to it, Princess. You can’t just sneak off now if you get annoyed with me. And for once Edie isn’t here, thank God.” He smiled and rubbed his thumb on my thigh.

“Speaking of Edie, what happened to her last night? I don’t remember anything.” I wanted to change the subject to distract from my nerves. I knew it would just be us hanging out but alone time with Luca isn’t something I had a ton of and what I did have had thrown me for a whirlwind the past few days.

“I might have had Owen come and get her.” He said sheepishly, knowing that that was the last thing he should have done.

“You WHAT?! Luca, they just broke up! He’s the reason she went to Bali!” I shot my head to look at him, eyes wide in disbelief. Oh God, I was never going to hear the end of this when Edie finally rose from the dead and got over her hangover. I covered my face with my hands and groaned. Luca laughed, probably knowing what a shit storm he caused now between his little brother and my best friend who he hated. “You’re literally the worst, you know that?” I said, looking at him in disbelief.

“I am not, you’re so dramatic,” He rolled his eyes annoyingly, “I’m sure they’re fine. Owen can handle her. Or at least I hope he can, I haven’t heard from him either.” He said, now realizing that it probably wasn’t the best idea.

“You’re lucky she didn’t kill you when she saw him.”

“Oh trust me, she wanted to. She looked more wild than you usually do, now I see why you two are a perfect fit. And I thought I had my hands full with you.” He blew up a stream of air, exaggerating how much of a handful I was.

Well, if he didn’t always annoy me I maybe would have been more better behaved.

“I am not a handful, everything I’ve ever done to you you’ve deserved.” I narrowed my eyes at him and crossed my arms, sitting back against my seat. He laughed and waved his hand at me.

“Perfect example right here, Princess. The only time you’re ever able to control is when you’re in my bed.” He said, wiggling his eyebrows at me. My face instantly turned red and I felt the heat in my chest. Here he was again bringing that up.

“That’s not true.” I said quietly, embarrassed all over again. He ran his hand up my thigh, resting it higher up this time as goosebumps broke out on my skin.

“Isn’t it? Because you seemed pretty tamable while my fingers were insi—“ I slapped my hand over his mouth before he could finish his sentence.

“You don’t have to keep bringing that up!” My face was burning now and I knew he has enjoying getting a rise out of me again like he always did. He placed a kiss on the palm of my hand before I pulled it away, his beard scratching against it. I hadn’t been paying attention to where he was going until he pulled the car up to a coffee shop and parked it.

“Oh I’m going to bring it up, Princess. You loved it and I know you want me inside you again.” He leaned over, our lips almost touching. I was breathing heavy, trying to get myself under control. “But let me get some coffee you in first before you kill me.” He closed the distance between us and kissed me.

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