***POV - Melaena
Sorella = Italian for ‘sister’
I flip through the pages of my diary, sipping my orange juice. Kiara and I just came back from dance practice. Teaching those little kids is great and I think the group might even have a chance of winning, they’re that great.
I’ve written everything about my stalker D in my diary since his first message. I’ve also written down who was there during each occurrence. That’s what I’m looking at right now, but not one person stands out at the moment.
“Mel, you can shower now!” Kiara shouts. We take turns to shower else the water pressure gets too low. I jump up, needing to get clean for my date with Ren tonight and hide my diary in its usual place behind my dresser. I get out of the shower, humming to myself ‘It’s raining men’ – not sure exactly why that song got stuck in my head, but at least it’s a cheerful tune. Ren gave me an ultimatum at Damion’s party, we take our relationship to the next base, and I stay away from Damion or we break up. I needed some time to think, to sort out my feelings and since then I haven’t seen him that much. But I’ve finally made my decision and tonight I going to tell him.
I wipe the steam from the mirror and stare at myself. My intestines pull into a knot as I look into my own eyes, trying to ignore the message my ‘windows to the soul’ is trying to portray back to me. My deepest darkest secrets, the ones I’m desperately hiding from everybody, including myself, is that I would much rather go on a date with a guy I hate, than my boyfriend. How messed up is that? And even worse is that I want that guy to strip me naked and take my body any way he wants to. That there is not messed up, it’s totally juiced up crazy!
I shake my head and walk into my room to get dressed, but froze as soon as my eyes fall on a bunch of blood-red flowers on my bed. My breath stops in my throat making an oozing sound. One slow step at a time I walk towards my bed as if the flowers are going to jump up and attack me. I notice a card attached to the bouquet.
“Kiara! KIARA!” I yell at my roommate and she throws her door open and runs into my room, dressed in only a bra, panty in hand.
“What the fudge!” She yells and I point to my bed with my eyes. She turns her head and a frown pulls between her perfect brows, her eyes almost popping out of her head.
“Who? When?” Her head turns back to look at me and I pull up my shoulders, not trusting my voice yet. She grabs the card and reads it out loud.
Babe, I can’t wait to make you mine. You belong to me, always and forever.
Your true love.
Ug, the talking pig reverence again. What is it with guys and that word? Almost every guy uses it. I’m so glad Damion doesn’t call me that.
“Ok, this is getting crazy creepy.”
“Still, I can’t think of any D guy except Damion,” Kiara sits on the bed between the flowers.
“It’s not him.” I defend him maybe too quickly, earning a glare from my best friend.
“I know it’s not him, dumbass. He’s crazy, but not this type of crazy.”
“I don’t care who it’s from, what I care about is that somebody was in our house, in my room, while we were here!”
“Oh … OHH shit!” Kiara jumps from the bed and runs to the door to check if it’s locked, while I pick up the flowers and throw them on the kitchen table.
“I think you better ask one of the boys to come over to stay with you until I get back. Or I could cancel?”
“No, you have to do this tonight. I’ll get Axel to babysit me.” She picks up her phone and dials Axel while hopping into some clothes at the same time.
“Hi dude, can you come over please, we have a little situation.” She takes out some wine, pinning her phone between her ear and shoulder, and I grab 2 glasses from the shelf. I need something to calm my nerves, we both do.
“Thanks.” She hangs up and says that he’ll be over as soon as he can. We drink our wine on the couch.
“This is so weird.” She murmurs as if she’s talking to herself. I get up to go get ready for that date, suddenly even less in the mood.
Why would somebody do this? Is it about the revenge he talked about? What happened to his father and what has it to do with us, with me? My mind keeps running around while I get dressed in a denim mini dress with a zipper at the front, black Doc Martens, and I grab my black leather jacket with a skull embroidered on the back. Enrique bought it for me at a biker shop in Italy when he was there for a photoshoot and it’s probably my most favorite item in my wardrobe.
I find Axel sitting in the TV room with Kiara, reading the note, frown on his beautiful face.
“Shit.” He’s only response before dropping the card on the table.
“Crazy right?” Kiara asks and Axel pulls up his shoulders, still frowning.
“Yeh, way past crazy. I can’t believe he was inside the house.” He then looks up at me and his face turns into an almost shocked expression.
“Eh … Mel … are you going out … eh … like that … I mean … dressed like …“ A knock on the door interrupts his question. Giving Axel a frowny face, I open the door for Ren. His face brightens up as I let him in, but then he notices the huge bouquet on the table and frowns. Ren doesn’t know anything about my stalker and I like to keep it that way.
“Hi, Ren.” Kiara greets him while Axel just waves, never being a great fan of my boyfriend and not hiding it either. Nobody in my personal group hits it off with Ren and most of them don’t even try to be polite. Hell, Logan and Damion are blatantly rude to him whenever they are around. I shake my head to get free from my mind-running. I don’t want to think about Damion right now. He’s already taking up too much of my thoughts.
Kiara sees Ren eyeing the flowers, so she picks them up and smiles as big as her mouth allows her.
“Aren’t they pretty? I got them from a fan.” I thank her with my eyes and look at Axel, snorting not caring what Ren thinks.
“Ready?” Ren asks and I nod, grabbing my purse from the kitchen and giving my friends a friendly wave before walking out. I shoot Kiara a last thank-you look before closing the door. We don’t talk much during our short ride as my mind keeps backtracking to the card and the flowers. Is somebody trying to frame Damion as the stalker? But why would they then tell me to stay away from him? It just doesn’t make sense.
“What’s going on with you?” Ren’s voice dribbles into my mind, stopping it from running any further.
“Nothing, just … “ I don’t know what to tell Ren. I can’t tell him anything going on in my mind so I just leave it vague “ … some family issues.”
I smile to try and convince him. I open the door of the diner and a little bell rings to announce our presence and it feels as if the whole diner is staring at me. Feeling uncomfortable I keep my eyes down, looking at the black-and-white checkered tile floor. Ren puts his hand on my back and steers me to an open table in the corner.
Sitting across from Ren, looking at the menu, I notice that he seems tense and quiet.
“Is something wrong?” I take his hand that’s lying on the table and give it a little squeeze, feeling guilty that I’ve been distracted a little too much.
“Mel, you’ve been my girlfriend for more than two months now, and we both know why we’re here, so let’s just get it over and done with.” He looks at me waiting for my response but the realization of what he’s saying seeps into my mangled brain and it closes up my throat so no sound can escape. The result is me staring at him with a dropped jaw and huge eyes.
“Ok, I’ll need some words, cause I’m not a mind reader and you are like a closed book to me. I never know what you’re thinking.” His voice is soft as to not attract attention from the people around us. I take in what he just said, and it’s just the opposite of what Damion told me the other night. How can one guy read me like a magazine and another one think that I’m a locked diary? At least I manage to close my mouth and swallow the huge lump down. I blink a few times to get out of the trans. My mind starts having a duel in my head between trying to focus on Ren and thoughts about Damion.
“Yes, I have been thinking about it.” I’m going to be as truthful as I can, without hurting him too much. But before I can continue, a girl walks up to Ren and throws her arms around him, kissing him full on the lips. He pushes her away and wipes his mouth and with an angry face asks, “What the hell?”
Exactly what I was thinking. She frowns and looks at me. “Call me later, sweetheart.” She trails a finger along his cheek and then walks out as if nothing happened. Ren looks uncomfortable and Damion’s words that Ren is cheating ring in my head. He opens his mouth and I know he wants to explain, but it’s not necessary so I hold up my hand.
“It doesn’t matter. Ren, my parents didn’t have a happy marriage, my dad was never around and he drank too much, so I promised myself I don’t want that for me. I want true love, the kind they talk about in stories. I know it’s lame, but that’s what I’m looking for.” He opens his mouth to interrupt me but I hold up my hand again to stop him.
“And what we have is not love so I’m breaking up with you.” His face falls and I can see that he’s angry.
“It’s about Damion, isn’t it? You’re screwing the guy.” He hisses softly.
“Why does everybody think that? Anyway, by the looks of it, you’re the one that can’t keep it in his pants.”
“A man has needs, Mel. I love you and if you satisfy my needs, I’ll never fuck around, I promise.”
“I’m sorry, Ren, but I can’t.”
“That is the wrong choice babe.” I shrug, that sounded like a threat, ug. He gets up and walks out of the diner before I can say anything more. I’m stunned about his reaction, and I watch him open the door and then the clinging of the bell shakes me from my haze. Ok then, I suppose I’ll need a ride back. I turn in my chair to get my phone from my purse to call Kiara.
“Hi, seems you’ve been abanded. Mind if I sit down?” Alejandro flings himself in the chair, not waiting for an invitation and I’m so glad I can kiss him right now.
“Damn, am I glad to see you! What are you doing here?” I’m hoping he’s not on a date or something.
“Was in the neighborhood and felt hungry. I saw you walk in. Seems like everybody is here tonight.” Firstly I wonder what he was doing in this part of town, secondly, I wonder who else is here cause at this moment I’m not in the mood for more company.
“Did you eat already?” I ask, hoping he hasn’t.
“Nope, was just about to order. Want to get a burger with me?” I nod overeagerly, feeling rather hungry. He orders cheeseburgers and milkshakes, smiling at the young waitress. She can’t seem to keep her eyes away from him.
My mind does a quick analysis of his looks, and he must be pretty close to a perfect 10, but for some reason, I don’t feel any butterflies or electricity like I do when Damion is around. Strange. It must be because he’s not an asshole like Damion. I smile back, and he takes my hand on the table, keeping it in a grip.
“Alejandro, before we continue anything, I just want to make it clear that we are on the same page – namely the FRIENDS one.” He winks at me and leans forward as if he’s going to tell me a secret.
“Oh, sorella, we’re reading the same book, don’t worry.” I smile and it’s as if we both have this mutual understanding, without saying it. In this instance, I just know that Alejandro is going to be a big part of my life and a great, trusted friend. Weird, I know.
“My interest is purely platonic and your heart is already occupied,” he continues with a big smile, showing off his perfect pearly whites. He must think that I’m in love with Ren, but it doesn’t matter for now.
“Oh, you big loaf, where have you been all my life!” He gives a sly smile as if he’s planning something bad and knows things I don’t, his eyes looking past me. But before I can open my mouth to ask what he’s thinking a hand lands on my shoulder. The electricity shooting down my core is enough for me to know exactly who the owner of said hand is even before I even hear his voice.
“Everything alright here?” His hand tenses up putting more pressure on my shoulder.
“Yep. We’re just getting something to eat.” I don’t want to turn around and look at him, but then a girl’s voice forces me to face my demon.
“Hi, you must be Mel. I’m Thalia.” The girl is so beautiful, it’s annoying, with long golden-blond hair and smoldering green eyes. Her body is soaked into faded jeans and a loose emerald top. But what’s even more annoying is that her arm is intertwined with Damion’s as if she has every right to do that. I shake her hand and produce a fake smile to hide the jealous rage suddenly streaming through my body. And to make it worse, she seems really nice, unlike his usual bimbos.
“Come with me.” Damion pulls me up, a little rough, and I know he’s not gonna take no for an answer.
“Damion!” Thalia scolds him and stares daggers into his eyes. He grunts and rolls his eyes.
“Please.” I don’t think he actually means it, but I suppose it’s better than nothing. Alejandro gets up, his face looking like the Grinch on x-mas and I know trouble is brewing.
“It’s ok, Alejandro, I’ll be back in two secs.” I walk out of the diner with big strides while everybody looks at me yet again, but this time I’m too angry to care. I give Alejandro a so-sorry smile, he shrugs his eyebrows at me, and then his eyes focus on Damion with a strange, almost longing look. I frown confused and then get it that maybe he’s gay like Jesse. I hope he’s not in love with the evil one. Oh, boy, I’ll have to tell him that Damion is the devil and bad news. As soon as we get outside I turn to my brother’s bestie, rage piling up inside me.
“What the hell were you thinking?” Thalia lifts her hands and with a huge grin strolls to lean against a black motorcycle in the parking lot.
“Me?” He yells back. “I’m not the one chatting up all the fucking guys in the diner wearing that dick-teaser dress!” His hands are clenched in fists next to his body and I know he’s trying to keep calm. I look down at my dress and I can’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just a plain denim dress, zip in the front, ending way under my panty-line, and not even extremely tight. You can see some cleavage but it’s not overly revealing.
“You’re not my fudging bodyguard nor my fashion guru. I had a really crappy day so far, so please just fudge off.” I’m trying to keep my voice down, but not totally succeeding. He turns around and runs his fingers through his hair. Good, he’s agitated. Well, I’m too. Who the hell does he think he is always inserting himself into my life, and mostly ruining it in the process? I’m desperate for that freaking delete button that will remove Damion Grimm from the planet right now. He turns back and faces me again, a little calmer.
“Mel, I’m trying to help. That guy is trouble. He’s a player.” His eyes shoot flames, and I’ll never get used to how they look like emerald fires burning in the pits of hell. Although his eyes are bright shocking green, they have some yellow-blue flecks that jump out and surprise you.
“Yeh takes one to know one! Please, I don’t have the energy for dealing with you right now. You’re exhausting like always and I’m tired. As I said, I had a bad crappy day.”
“What happened?” His hands grip the top of my arms, his fingers burning my skin, his eyes turning from angry to worried.
“Where should I start,” I say, not really wanting to share anything with him, but for some reason also wanting to share everything with him, “for one, you are in my close proximity, next I broke up with Ren and … oh, D left flowers on my bed with a note, while I was in the shower. Is that enough for you? Now can I please go and have a peaceful meal with someone that doesn’t piss me off?”
“He was in your house? Fuck!” Ok, so that’s the part of my night that he’s going with. As if out of thin air, Alejandro is standing behind me, putting his arm protectively around my shoulder.
“What do you want?” Damion shouts, I wasn’t expecting him to be civil with my new friend.
“I can ask you the same question.” He then takes my arm softly and ignores Damion, saying our food arrived. Damion glares at him as if he’s going to kill him any second now, then turns away and walks with big strides to where Thalia is waiting patiently still hosting a big smile. She says something to him, making him hit the poor bike with his fist, sending her into a rage of laughter. I can’t help but like that girl.
He pulls away with shrieking tires and I swear that man is the definition of trouble, I’m even sure you would find a picture of him in the dictionary next to the word. I turn to face Alejandro still standing silently next to me, also watching them drive away with a sinister smile.
“Let’s go eat!” He nods and we walk back into the diner.
“What is it with that dude and you?” He keeps his eyes on mine, his slim fingers curled around his burger. Why can’t I just fall in love with this guy? He’s perfect.
“What do you mean?” He turns his head to give me a you’re-not-serious-right-now look before taking a sip of his milkshake.
“Well, let me see, it’s like he wants to kill anybody that dares to come close to you, and according to Axel, it’s been going on for years now. And the tension between you two, hell you can cut it with a cricket bat.”
“I don’t know. Damion has issues. Maybe he thinks he needs to protect me like my brothers.”
“He’s much worse than all of them combined. Well, except for Jackson maybe … ”
“Can I ask you a personal question?” He nods. “Are you gay? I mean, it seems like you have feelings for Damion or something.” He starts laughing so loud the whole diner turns their heads to watch us again. Some are amused, others curious and the rest seem annoyed.
“No, Mel, I LOVE girls. And for Damion, I think I might be a little jealous. He has something I always longed for. It’s stupid, I know, but I can’t help it.”
“I think I understand. But if I think about it, you’re much alike, the only difference is that you’re much friendlier.”
“Yeh, I’m pretty perfect, ain’t I?”
“Okay, now you sound just like him!” I scrunch my nose up, acting disgusted.
“Just joking, sorella,” he laughs messing up my hair while we walk to his car.
Alejandro drops me at my place and I thank him for making a bad night better.
“I’m back!” I yell as I burst through the door making Kiara and Axel jump. They look at me with sleepy eyes and I know they fell asleep while watching movies. Kiara stretches her arms in the air while yawning.
“You’re back!” she repeats after me. I push myself between them, grabbing some of the chocolates on the table.
“Yep, it was a weird night. Ren still wants us to take things further … crazy right.” I look from Kiara to Axel waiting for them to support me here.
“Eh, Mel ….. he has a point. You’ve been together for like months now and he can’t even get to second base. I mean, no offense, but I would have dumped your ass long ago.” I glare at Axel and he shrugs his shoulders at me.
“I’m just saying,” he squicks and I take a deep breath and look at him a bit more friendly.
“You must lose your innocence some time or the other, right? So what’s the problem taking things a step further with Ren?” Kiara asks, pulling her mouth as if she already knows the answer to the question.
“I don’t know. If I think about having sex with him, it’s like thinking about having sex with Axel or Logan. Well, not exactly the same, but you get the idea.” They both pull sour faces, especially Axel.
“Yuk. I’ll say it’s bad. Logan, maybe a bit more than me, but all the same, not good.”
“Exactly,” I make some hand gestures to back up my statement before I continue, “It’s just not like thinking about having sex with … “ I stop myself just in time but I think the bird has flown the coop, cause they both have this I-think-I-know-but-I-need-you-to-confirm expression on their face. Shoot. Why do I always end up in these situations?
“Yes … having sex with …” Kiara bites her lip with excitement.
“Come on Mel, just say it. It’s not as if we haven’t been waiting for years to hear it.” I glare at Axel as if I’m putting a deadly spell on him but he just smiles while shaking his head.
“Okay, can I continue telling you about my disastrous night now?” They both shake their heads, trying to hide the grins on their lips. Sometimes, like right now, I hate my friends. “Anyway, Damion was also there with this pretty girl called Thalia. She’s very beautiful and seems so nice. I wonder if they’re dating or something.” Kiara’s eye-roll didn’t go unnoticed.
“Did I say that he’s the worst? Such a player. He told me that he doesn’t like my inappropriate cock-teasing dress. I mean, is he suddenly a fashion designer or something? Who says that? And what exactly is wrong with this dress?”
“Eh, I can totally see his problem with your dress.” Axel looks me up and down.
“So now all you guys suddenly turned into Christian Dior.” I bite it out, still seeing nothing wrong with my dress, it’s one of my favorite things to wear.
“It’s just, well, short and sexy and on you … let’s just say most guys would … eh … get a bit …” he struggles to find the right words and then he just blurts it out, “Truthfully you look extremely fuckable in that dress, and knowing Damion, that would be a problem for him.” Axel tries to explain but the kite just flies above my reach, I’m not getting it. Isn’t girls supposed to look pretty and sexy when they go on a date? But I always appreciate Axel’s point of view. He doesn’t have any ulterior motives and he will tell me the truth even if I don’t want to hear it. Like I said before, he’s our GBF, but he’s not gay.
“That’s nothing new, she always looks fuckable, get to the point.” Kiara can be so impatient sometimes it’s annoying. So I have ADHD … it’s nothing to get worked up about, I’ll get to the point eventually.
“Point is … “ I push out the words just for Kiara’s sake “ I had a very crappy night and it’s all Damion’s fault, AGAIN.” Kiara looks at Axel pulling her face but I act as if I don’t notice. “Oh, and I finally broke up with Ren so I ended up having dinner with Alejandro.”
Kiara looks over my head at Axel, her eyes telling him I’ve definitely lost all my little piggies for sure.
“What? I know that look.”
“Eeh, you do realize that you had a crappy night all because Damion was there with a girl and he didn’t like your dress and only then do you tell us that you broke up with Ren, as some kind of an afterthought.”
“Yeh, so?” I don’t get it. “Breaking up with Ren is not a big deal. It’s not as if I loved him or something.”
“None so blind as those who will not see,” Axel mumbles to himself earning him a stern stare.
“Where does Alejandro suddenly fit into everything?”
“Oh, he was there to get something to eat and I just feel save with him, as I do with you guys.” My phone vibrates and I slide it open without looking at the screen. Then it feels as if all the air was just sucked from the room.
D: Mayday! Mayday! A little biker took a tumble.