What Doesn't Kill You

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Chapter 14

When Scout woke up, it took a few moments to place where she was. The sheets weren’t hers and she wasn’t used to having a warm body lying next to her. Lucky was sound asleep and she wasn’t sure she’d ever seen him so calm. He was usually animated and full of lip.

Scout’s fingers reached out and gently touched his cheek. Last night they had crossed the line they put in the sand when they first met. It was amazing and not what she had expected when she turned up at his door.

She jumped when Lucky took her hand and kissed her fingertips. “I thought you weren’t a morning person.” He spoke with his eyes still shut. Scout shuffled herself a little closer to him and he let go of her hand to drape it over her waist. Opening his bright blue eyes, Lucky gave her a lazy smile.

“I’m not usually,” she admitted.

His face inched closer and they shared a kiss. Lucky asked the question before she had a chance to. “No regrets?”

“None. You?”

“None.” Lucky shifted himself so that he was resting on his forearms, hovering above her. “Scout.”

“Yes?”

“I’ve never done this before.” Scout’s stomach did and uncomfortable clench, unsure where the conversation was headed. “But I promise I’ll try my hardest if…”

“If?” she prompted.

“If you’d agree to be my girlfriend.”

She looked up at Lucky, trying to get head heart to come down before she answered him. She raised her hands and ran them through his hair as he closed his eyes. “You don’t have to do this,” she told him quietly.

His eyes opened and his brow creased. “What do you mean?”

“If you don’t want a relationship. I’m not going to make you make me promises—”

“I told you I wouldn’t make you promises I can’t keep.”

“You also told me what was the point in a relationship if your eye wanders.”

“My eye hasn’t wandered since I met you, Scout. I want this but if you don’t—”

“I never said that.” Her fingers played with the short hair at the nape of his neck. “I never said that,” she repeated the words, quieter this time.

“So, what are you saying?”

“That you, Lucky James, have been given the title of boyfriend and with great power—”

“Comes great responsibility. Trust me, Scout. I know.”

“Look after my heart, Lucky.”

“Always.”

He lowered himself so that they kissed again. It didn’t take long for a simple kiss to become something deeper and for hands to start to wander and Scout could feel Lucky was ready for round two. Then, her brain reminded her of something.

“Nope. No.” Scout pushed him away and he fell to the side of her.

“Oh, come on, Scout,” Lucky whined.

“No. I need to go get the morning after pill.”

“Ah shit.”

“Yeah. So, until then you keep him to yourself.” Scout pulled the covers off her and got out of bed and Lucky let out a low whistle. She turned to see him getting out of bed, watching her closely. “Stop objectifying me.”

“You’re the only woman I’m allowed to objectify so trust me when I say I’m going to make the most out of it.”

Scout blushed. She might have told him off but she loved the fact he found her attractive enough to look at with hunger in his eyes. She followed the trail of clothes, picking them up one by one as she went and putting them back on. Lucky followed behind her.

“Can you give me a lift back home?” she asked, throwing her dress back over her head and tugging it down.

Lucky, clad only in his boxers, leaned against the wall and watched her. “Don’t want to take the walk of shame home?”

“I swear to God…”

“You’re too easy to wind up. Let me put on some trousers and I’ll take you home.”

He disappeared and returned with sweatpants and then got into his car. She worried that things might be strange between them but nothing had changed.

As Lucky pulled up outside her flat, Scout’s stomach sank. “Oh no,” she muttered.

“What?”

“Look.”

Lucky followed her finger, which was pointing to the door to her building where Ava was stood.

“Shit,” Lucky cussed.

“Go!”

“Too late.”

He was right. Ava came towards the car and knocked her knuckles against the passenger window. Lucky pressed the control that opened it and Ava surveyed them both. “I came by to check how your date went,” she said.

Scout went red and Lucky hmphed as she said, “It was nice.”

“So nice that you stayed with Chrissy and Lucky is bringing you home?”

“Would you believe that?”

“Absolutely not. I don’t want to know the details but what is going on here?”

“You know I never asked about you and Michael,” Lucky cut in.

“That’s because you threatened him before I could tell you anything in the first place!”

“I wanted to make sure he’d look after you.”

“Answer the question, dammit!”

Scout looked at Lucky and he let out a breath before taking her hand and lacing their fingers together. “Scout and I are dating.”

Ava broke into a grin and ripped the door open so that she could give Scout a hug. “I told you! I said he liked you. And you!” She pointed a finger at her twin. “Better not mess this up. About time you got serious about someone.”

“Ava,” Scout said. “I love you but I have some things I need to sort out.”

“Like what?” she asked and Scout blushed again.

“Put two and two together, sis,” Lucky chimed.

“Oh, shit. Sure. Um, I’ll catch up with you later.”

“Sounds good.”


Scout poured gravy into the boat and placed it on the table before taking a seat.

“I’m not sure my hips are meant to move like that.” Jim had been telling her about his salsa lessons in a big to getting Scout to agree to help him out.

“I’ll do it if it makes you happy.”

Jim clapped his hands together and picked up the gravy boat before pouring it over his Sunday roast. Small things in like made her father a happy man. “Now, tell me, what’s new with you? How’s work going?”

“It’s been good. I’m trying to brighten the place up a little and Clarice is keeping me up to date with what’s happening in the soaps.”

Jim chuckled. Clarice was in her late 90’s and still super active. Scout hoped that she’d be like Clarice when she was older.

“And how’s physiotherapy going?” Jim asked.

She was four months into recovery. Ava was happy with her progress. She’d made the effort to do the exercises that she asked of her and to walk wherever she could. “Good. I’m really hoping to start dancing soon. I might take up a class in the new year to get back into it again.”

“That’s great news, love. How’s your gentleman friend? Have you seen much of him?”

Scout’s entire face got warm, even the tips of her ears. Technically, she’s seen more than Lucky than ever before. Just the memory was enough to make the butterflies return to her stomach.

She’d never spoken to her Dad about any of the men in her life. Scott was the most serious and they met once in person over the course of their relationship. Jim always asked for Scott to come home when Scout visited but Scott found it awkward and refused.

“Scout?” Jim prompted.

“Uh…”

Jim stopped cutting his dinner and looked at his daughter. She, however, had a big interest in hers all of a sudden. Scout stuffed a potato in her mouth and almost had to spit it out as it burned her tongue and cheeks.

“Scout, is everything okay?”

She swallowed the potato and Scout lost feeling in her mouth because of how it burned. She took a gulp of water and looked at Jim. “He’s alright. We’re alright.”

Jim raised a brow at her and she let out a breath. Scout hated admitting that he was right almost as much as he hated admitting when she was right.

“Aren’t you going to tell me he’s just your friend?”

“Dad, honestly, it’s not even important.”

“My little girl has a new boyfriend and she thinks it isn’t important.”

“It’s really no big deal, Dad. We’ve only just gotten together. I think we both just want to see how it goes.”

Jim nodded and took a bite of his dinner. “How will it work when you move back to London?”

Scout’s fork stopped halfway to her mouth. Jim just put a spanner in the works without meaning to. Her plan was to stay for a year and then head back to London. She didn’t want to be trapped in Swansea where she’d struggle to find the work she wanted. “I don’t know.”

“I’m sorry, Scout. I didn’t meant to upset you, sweetheart.”

“No, you haven’t upset me. I just hadn’t thought about it.”

“You should think about discussing it, love.”

She chewed on her lip. “We’re only just starting out, Dad.”

“And this is a big part of your life, Scout. Don’t you think it would be better to talk about it before things have a chance to get serious?”

“Don’t you think he’ll think I’ll be rushing it if I try and bring up the future with him after we literally just got together?”

“First of all, may I know who exactly you are dating? Is it Chrissy because I had Vi from the corner shop ask me if you two were an item.” Swansea was a hotbed for gossip. It didn’t matter who you were, someone would know you and your business.

“It’s not Chrissy, Dad. It’s Luck… Lachlan James.”

Jim looked surprised. “Chris’s son?”

“Unless you know another one.”

Jim smiled and Scout relaxed. At least he wasn’t listing reasons for her not to date him.

“If he’s anything like his Dad then I’m sure he’ll be understanding. Besides, I thought you said you two were friends before you were dating.”

“We still are friends.”

“Then he already knows your plans?”

“Yes.”

“So, it’s not a new conversation but I do think it’s a conversation you should have, sweetheart.”

She knew Jim had a point but she was gutted that he put a small hole in her bubble of happiness. Scout needed to talk to Lucky and figure out if they were on the same page.

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