***POV - Melaena
Kiara walks with me up to the impressive multi-storage building, with steel mullions wrapped in a glass curtain wall that catches the sun, forming a breathtaking kaleidoscopic façade. I have a hell of a headache after last night’s episode and the sunglasses and painkillers are not helping, leaving me cranky and in serious need of some sleep. My BFF forced me out of bed this morning … way too overeager for my liking.
“Was it really that bad?” I whimper, wanting to sink into some hole if I think about everything I said. How can I be so brain-dead, telling him how sexy he is to his face? Ug, death, please come take me now.
“Yep, you were crushing … but he was so sweet … closing his eyes while helping me to get you dressed. It was unexpected but so bitterly cute I almost melted,” Kiara says in a sugary voice. And for her to go on like this … he must have made an impact.
She lets go of my hand when we reach the door. I plop another chocolate into my mouth. Apparently, the box of sweetness was waiting at our door when Kiara got home. The card is in the same style as the previous ones from D, but at least he has good taste - these chocolates are divine.
“I’ll see you for lunch on the grass, bitch.” She smiles when I groan and put my hands on the sides of my temples, squeezing them. Damn this headache.
“Get over it. And if I might add - it’s self-inflicted!” She scolds unsympathetically. I usually don’t over-drink, so feeling like this is rare for me.
“Really, you going to throw that at me?” I pull a dying face.
“Cheer up, it’s not a death sentence.”
“No, it’s much much worse. You don’t have an annoying stalker and an even more annoying brother’s friend annoying you. And you didn’t say goofy stuff to that same annoying ass because he’s so annoyingly sexy and now he’s going to be even more annoying.” I squint my eyes trying to count how many times I’ve said the word annoying, but it still doesn’t seem enough.
I’m contemplating turning around and running back to bed, but I can’t afford to skip class because we’re getting our assignments today.
“You sure you got enough ‘annoyings’ in there?” Her voice is full of bundled-up laughter.
“No matter how much I use, it can never be enough to describe him! ” Kiara gets this freaky oh-shit expression on her face, looking at something over my shoulder.
“You okay?” The too-familiar annoying voice shoots through my broken head. Oh ship, did he hear my rambling diacope? I turn around slowly, trying to focus on his green eyes. Even in my state, I can see the amusement on his face. Yep, he heard every word. And if I know him by now … he’s not going to let me forget last night in a hurry.
“What the hell do you want now? I’m already being punished enough, I don’t need to deal with the likes of you too!” I look at him, eyes blazing. And no, I don’t notice how awesomely handsome he looks in his jeans and blue shirt.
“Well, ain’t we just a scoop full of grumpy in a bowl of bitchy this morning? I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” I swallow down the lump in my crop and give him a quick what-the-fuck look.
I flip him one saying “Aw, my middle finger appreciates your care!” I know I’m being a bitch … but it’s mostly due to feeling absolutely utterly embarrassed.
“I was not insulting you, I was describing you, angel. I liked you much better last night, by the way.” I knew it … here it comes. I need to get out of here fast.
“I’m fine. I’m going to be late for class.” I push past him but he grabs my pulse and turns me to face him, his green eyes fucking with my mood.
“Actually, I wanted to show you this before you find out another way.” He hands me his phone and there on social media are photos of my drunken ass dancing on top of the bar. Some more photos of Damion carrying me to the car, looking really pissed off. I sigh and slap my hand over my face, pulling it down slowly. Can this day get any worse?
“Apparently we had a lover’s quarrel and you acted out. For future reference, just stay in the VIP section. They can’t get in there.” He smiles, peeping through his long thick black lashes at me, and damn this man for being so perfectly flawless.
“If they only knew what you did up there with that slut this whole ‘love thing’ would end!” I make air quotes when I say ‘love thing’ and I look at the sky. He smiles as if he knows something I don’t. But I don’t care.
“Sorry for being so annoying and sexy, little angel!” He pushes a strand of hair behind my ear then lets me go and I storm into the building, punching his beautiful face in my mind. Kiara’s laughter follows me inside. Some best friend she is. Bitch. I watch them through the window, walking off chatting and laughing. I envy her for being able to be so relaxed around him. I always tense up whenever he’s around. Why can’t I be chilled and relaxed with him?
As soon as they disappear around a corner, I sigh deeply and slowly take in the beauty of the interior of the building. It’s our first time having a class here. The crystalline shell wonderfully complements the structure’s aggregate of flowing geometric volumes. It’s breathtaking and I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of staring at it. But every step of the walk up the stairs to the next floor is torture though. I breathe in deep, trying to control the nauseating feeling in my throat.
I grab a spot way at the back, trying to hide behind the computer screen on my table, the glaring light of it already burning my eyes and scrunching my brain. I’m never going to drink again. Somebody falls into the chair next to me with a deep laugh.
“Bad night?” I open my eyes and see Jesse with a big smirk on his face and I give him a tortured smile.
“That’s putting it mildly. I’m dying here!” He laughs again and pats me on my arm as if I’m a child.
“You’ll survive.” I’m not so sure, but I suppose I’ll have to suck it up and just get these classes over and done with. I fall my head onto his shoulder, needing support. Lucinda walks in, looking around until she focuses on me. She smiles and takes a seat on the other side of me. She greets Jesse eagerly.
“How come you’re so cheery this morning?” I grumble at her and she blushes.
“I’ll tell you why – you don’t have the most annoying dumbass bastard men in your life!” I rampage my troubles at them.
“At least they’re hot,” Jesse and Lucinda say together.
“Gmf, you’re not helping here! Hot, my ass. They’re ill-mannered, raging, annoying cock-ass bad-boy lunatics, the lot of them! Why do all men have to be ruled by their penises and egos?”
“Guess you’re talking about the bro friend who’s the son of the devil?” Jesse has that annoying all-knowing BEAST grin, all guys possess, smashed on his face.
“I was drunk, okay! I hate that guy.”
“I don’t know what your problem is - I would just use him for sex, he’s like perfection on steroids.”
“You don’t know him, he’s the most annoying …” Professor Anne cuts my complaint short. I put my elbows on the table and lean my chin into my hands, glaring at the front of the class silently, my brain feeling as if it’s being torn into two.
“Okay class, now for your assignments. I want you to work in groups of 3 or 4 for this one and it will count as a big part of your exam marks. I’m sure all of you have heard about the Epic game group. Each year they invest in our first-year students.” She starts handing out booklets and then continues, “They want you to create a new game - design, coding - everything. The group that gets chosen by the managers will receive a large amount of money for that game and they will also help in the development of the said game. So there’s much more at stake than just a good mark.” I take one of the info books and push it into my bag, still frustrated.
“Can we group up?” Jesse asks softly in my ear.
“Yep. But we’re not going to start today.” I tap my head with my finger and he just shakes his head. Then, as if I’m being hit by a baseball bat, I realize that Jesse said Damion is hot … that he would just have sex with him …
“You’re gay!” I almost shout out too loud. Jesse tilts his head and starts to laugh, throwing his head back.
“It took you all this time to register? Damn, you must have a bad hangover girl.” I blush, feeling so stupid, but I circle my arm around his and put my head on his shoulder again. The rest of the class is a blur and I walk like a very dead malnourished zombie to the grass area where Kiara is waiting for me. Jesse carries my bag, while Lucinda just strums along, typing on her phone. I swear that girl is more on her phone than there are thoughts in my head - and that’s a lot.
As soon as I reach my friend, I fall flat on the grass with a moan and maybe two groans. Jesse drops our bags next to me and introduces himself to Kiara. Lucinda greets Kiara and sits down on the grass next to her and starts plucking some of the green blades as if she’s bored.
“So, is she still being an emotional sulking after-drunk pissy?” Kiara asks Jesse.
“Very. I’ve never seen anything like it.” He laughs. “And she’s pretty mad at that coo-coo friend of her brother’s!”
“I wonder why? Maybe it’s his sexy freaking devil demon look.” Kiara laughs loudly.
“Or his tight but!” Jesse complies.
“No, must be those eyes.” Kiara plays along and I know, without seeing it, that she’s wiggling her eyebrows at Jesse. I snort, still lying with my arm over my eyes to dim out the sunlight.
“You know I’m right here, right? And don’t you roll your eyes, bitch.” I know Kiara that well. I sit up and look at her smiling face, concluding that I hit the hammer on the nail – she definitely was rolling her eyes. She titters and rolls her eyes on purpose at Jesse.
“Ug, you’re the worst friend ever. If you don’t make fun of my poor vulnerable state, you hand my drunk ass over to Satan himself.” She holds up a hand as if to stop me and then a very accusing finger gets pointed my way.
“I didn’t grab him and pathetically begged him to stay. That one’s all on you. Anyway, I couldn’t pick you up, weak arms you know.” I look at her with my you’re-not-serious face. Kiara can easily lift her own weight, there’s nothing weak about her arms.
She takes a big bite of her sandwich and makes a hard ‘mmmm’ sound just to irritate me more. Now I’m rolling my eyes, giving her my best your-such-a-bad-friend look.
Jesse takes out his food and eats while lying on his side, propped up on one arm. The next moment, somebody jumps right over him and almost lands on top of me. I give a little shout and hold out my hands protectively.
“Hey, you.” Noah’s light green eyes look into mine teasingly, Alejandro next to him. He turns and then does some sort of secret handshake thing with Jesse before he introduces himself to Kiara. He plops down next to Lucinda and gives her a big friendly smile. We start talking about our family relationships and realize that we have a lot in common.
Lucinda lost her mom when she was 8 and she grew up with her father and brother here in San Francisco. Jesse and Noah are cousins who lost their parents in the same car crash. Noah has two sisters, still in LA. The older sister is working while looking after the younger one so he can finish his studies.
Alejandro never met his dad and his mom died from cancer a few years ago. He landed up in the same foster home as Jesse, Noah, and the two girls. Alejandro is doing his bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology and he is a seal or penguin, or walrus, not sure about what he said due to my splitting head – but it’s definitely some sea creature. We talk for a while and I lay with my head on Alejandro’s lap while he plays with my hair. I’m not sure what it is but I feel so comfortable and relaxed around him … unlike when I’m with a certain other person.
“Are you going back to class or can we go home?” Kiara asks me as she is finished for the day.
“You go, I have your back for the next few classes. I can do without all the whining anyway.” I jump up and hug Jesse, giving him a peck on his cheek.
“Thanks, thanks, thanks!” He holds up his hands and I pick up my bag and pull Kiara up, eager to drop dead in my bed and pull the blankets over my head. Maybe I’ll forget about this embarrassing day and Damion flipping Grimm. I’m glad that we came with Kiara’s car this morning, ’cause I’m in no state to drive.
“Soooo, those guys seem nice,” Kiara says and I nod in agreement, ”but there’s just something familiar about Alejandro that I can’t put my finger on.”
“Maybe it’s because he’s so good-looking.”
“As if we don’t have enough sexy hotheads in our lives already,” she grunts, and then her face changes. “Care to tell me why I had to cope with a drunk-ass friend last night?”
“I’m not sure. Everything was fine until Damion showed up and put his hand on my leg and …” Kiara interrupts me with a little squeal.
“He did WHAT?” I glare at her.
“Focus bitch, he put his hand on my leg … but I removed it and then we held hands, but not willingly – he forced me. Do you get something like hand-rape … cause that’s what he did?”
“OMG, NO!” Another interruption and she wiggles her eyebrows, a huge grin across her face, “How was it? I bet he’s awesome with his hands.”
“Haha, so not funny!” I’m seriously considering replacing my best friend with somebody that has more tact than this cow.
“Then a stupid bimbo kissed him at the bar … like she was all over him, I swear he had drool on his shirt … and I drank maybe a little too much and danced on the tables or something …… ug, I can’t remember all of it. I just know that I kept on drinking hoping Damion and his slutty friend would just go POOF and disappear… But guess what, he didn’t! He’s still here ruining my life like always.”
Kiara softly swears to herself, but it was not soft enough.
“What?” I know she has something to say so I turn in my seat to look at her.
“It’s just that you … how would I say this … you get a bit over-emotional as soon as Damion enters the picture.” She bites her lip.
“I do NOT!” I’m trying to focus on what she’s saying exactly, “I hate him so much, he drives me insane! Now even more than ever!” She bites her lip a little more and her eyebrows rise slightly.
“Is true, Mel … ever since the day you met him … he, uh … let’s say unravels you.”
“Yes, ’cause I hate him. I told you to focus.” Why does everybody think I’m in love with the guy? I can never do that, it will just end in disaster – for me. It’s like Jesse said, he’s the type of guy you have sex with, not the type you give your heart to.
“Uh, eh, yeah, it must be that.” Now she’s trying to hide a smile. “You held hands under the table, with your brothers sitting right there!” She laughs.
“Really, out of everything, that is the part you remember?” I can’t believe her.
“That’s the best part.”
“I can’t believe you left me with him. HIM of all people!”
“YOU asked him to stay. And maybe I was hoping he’d screw you and get it over with because the tension between you two is thicker than the Empire-state building. And both of you are blind as pigmies … or is it moles? Nope, I’m sure it’s pigmies.”
I choke on my own saliva and cough a few times, trying to regain my breath. She didn’t just say that!
“What? It’s not my fault you get all drunk and disorientated just because a girl is kissing the guy you DON’T like.”
“The guy I hate! The freaking slutty bitch! And he just let her! Ug, he’s such a bloody man-whore hustler!”
“Yep, but he was putting you to bed instead of her.” Kiara giggles and it annoys me even more. She’s really getting close to losing her position as my best friend. Very close.
“I was drunk, okay. He promised my brothers.” She shakes her head.
“Okay, but I’m sure, the two of you in the same bed is not what your brothers had in mind!” She throws her head back and laughs like a little child.
“Can you just stop?”
“So who are you taking to the ball?” Kiara asks while opening the door of our home, knowing she must change the subject.
“I don’t know.” I throw my bag on the floor, glad this day is almost over.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
The sound of gunshots makes both me and Kiara jump into each other’s arms, screaming. D came to kill us and my first priority is to protect my BFF. I push Kiara behind me and close my eyes, waiting for the bullet to hit me.
But instead, deep laughter rips through the room and I find two pairs of eyes staring at us from the coach. Logan and Damion are playing a PlayStation game in OUR flat.
“What the hell, are you crazy? I have a fudging hangover!” I shout at them, but it just encourages another spell of laughter.
“Why are you in our home?” Kiara is still clinging to me, shaking a little from the shock. With all this stuff with D, we’re both on edge and I must admit that we scare more easily than before.
“Cause we’re playing against the guys online, duh,” Logan answers as if that was a rather stupid question. But is it just me, or didn’t he actually explain exactly why they’re using our house?
“So why not use your own home?”
“Big Red and Sean are playing there,” he answers without moving his eyes from the screen. Big Red is his roommate and Jackson’s teammate, while Sean rents out my house since I’m staying with Kiara. I want to ask why they’re not playing in Sean’s place then … ug. Never mind. I’m not in the mood for a dispute with these two.
“Freaking idiots.” I ignore them and walk to my room, ready for a shower, some food, my bed, and maybe the Vampire Diaries. Nothing like some sexy dreamy NICE vampires to lull a girl to sleep.
Turning off the water, I pull the towel tight around my body and tuck the one corner in between my boobs while softly humming Angel with a shotgun. The song got stuck in my head after it played on the radio on our way back from campus. I quickly brush my teeth a second time … the unpleasant taste of burped-up alcohol seem to linger in my mouth since last night … or maybe it’s just my imagination … but nevertheless … a second brush won’t do any harm.
I drop the towel and put on my favorite pj’s – a pair of black boxers with skulls I stole from Jackson long ago and a white crop top that’s thin and soft from all the wash and wear. As I walk back into my room, I rub my hair with a towel to dry it.
“Shoot!” Damion laying on my bed gives me a jump scare. “Seriously? Can’t you knock or something?”
Ripper is squashed against his chest and I wonder if he remembers where the dragon comes from. His eyes are dark and he looks innocent and vulnerable … like an angel.
“I did,” he points to a pizza box on the bed, “thought you might be hungry.”
“Nice pj’s by the way.” The hoarse crackle in his voice demands my attention, so I peer unwillingly at him, just to catch his eyes inching over my body. His green eyes are bleak as he runs his hand through his hair and a red blush flush from my chest up to my face.
I know my top barely covers the essential parts of my braless breasts and doesn’t leave much room for the imagination, so I fold my arms hoping it would shield my body.
“I wasn’t exactly expecting a lunatic in my room,” I say blushing deep red again.
“I’m not complaining,” he grins and I grab my hoody from the chair and throw it over my head. He sits up straight and puts Ripper down on the bed. It’s only then that I notice my diary lying open next to him. Fudge buckets. I must have forgotten to put it away. Did he read it? Now that would be even more embarrassing than my skimpy clothes.
“I didn’t read it.” This guy for sure has telepathic powers. I’m not sure if I believe him, but I let out a sigh of relief.
My phone busses on the nightstand and he picks it up and reads the message as if it is meant for him. How obnoxious can one man be? I wait, tapping my foot impatiently, hand on my hip.
D: Told you to stay away from the biker.
“He still going on about it?”
“Yep, and it’s as if he’s everywhere watching me. He knows exactly what I’m doing. It’s scary and creepy. And he sends me all these gifts.”
Damion stares at me without a word, his green eyes void of any emotion. Damn, this man is good at hiding his feelings. He should be a professional poker player or something. He gets off the bed and hands me my phone.
He slowly paces through my room, checking everything out. I keep my eyes on him while taking a bite of food and switching on the TV to my favorite series. He picks random things from my dresser, looks them over as if he’s bored, and then places them back. He picks up a book from the shelf and reads out the name.
“Moby Dick. A story about a huge white sperm whale. You do see the problem with the whale’s name?” He puts on a sexy smile and even though I want to kill him, I also need to keep my legs scrunched together to keep the heat from erupting.
“Gmf … ” I don’t know what to say to that - it is rather funny, come to think of it. Now I wonder if the author did it on purpose. He peeks into my cupboard and slides through the clothes on hangers. Then he suddenly stops and the expression on his face changes. I lean to my right to see what he finds so interesting. Then I almost fall from my bed. Ship! His jacket … the one from THAT day years ago … I still got it. I’ve disguised his surname by painting a cute grim reaper over the second ‘M’ and I also added ‘reaper’ to it … so I could wear it to school and hide it from my stupid brothers.
He doesn’t say anything but instead opens the drawer and takes out some tiny lavender lace panties, holding them in the air.
“You should definitely hold on to these ones.” His eyes sparkle in the semi-darkness of the room.
“Fudge, Grimm, put those back.”
“It’s super sexy. Do they come with a bra?” He smiles mischievously at me and raises his eyebrows. I jump from the bed and grab back my lingerie, quickly stuffing it back in the drawer before shutting it.
“I’ve always known you are fricking dense.”
“Don’t you ever swear?”
“I try not to.” The next moment I get slammed into the wall, his body pushing against mine, his hands on either side of my head, cradling me in. His eyes are dark, and it feels as if I’m being burned alive. Told you he comes from hell. How else can I explain the eerie presentment of fire mythically burning over me? This guy has devilish powers, and I’m under his spell.
“What are you doing?” My voice is laced with fear and anticipation, maybe lust.
“I’m trying not to kiss you.” But I do want him to kiss me. Is that bad? Yes, that’s extremely bad. He’s still the same guy, the womanizing biker that ripped out my heart on more than one occasion, and he’s still my brother’s best friend. And he’ll always be just that. He’s hellbound and he has the power to totally destroy me if I let him into my heart.
A small annoying voice in my head tells me that it’s already too late. He stands there as if he wants to say something, but doesn’t. Then he pulls his mouth into a tight line.
You’re trouble! I think, but again, I seem to have blabbered out my secret thoughts in public. Why do I do that when he’s around? I should learn to keep my mouth shut.
“Yep, remember that!” He throws the words at me, cocking a faint smile. His face is inches from mine, and those eyes are dancing with little demons – they’re mostly vibrant green but there are some yellow specks in there as well. It makes sense that he has the devil’s eyes, ’cause he’s scarier than old Lucifer himself. I swallow down my spit and decide to ignore him, his freaking eyes, and his minty breath. Boy, he’s cocky and arrogant. He moves away as if it’s the hardest thing to do and I get into my bed before I do anything stupid.
“The song … at the party, it was not a joke.” His hands are pushing his hair back and he looks nervous and cute, and I so badly want to pull him into bed with me. His eyes are killing me and I’m shocked by his confession. For a long time, I just sit there staring at him as if he’s a ghost or something.
I can’t deal with this right now, so I grab some pills for my aching head, pull my comforter over me, and focus on the TV.
“Night angel.” He just smiles as if he learned a secret that I don’t know about and leaves the room. I dose off to dreamland with the Salvatores on my screen and those devilish eyes on my mind.