***POV - Melaena
“Mom! Mom! We have a guest! MOM!” Luke shouts excitedly as soon as we enter the house. Hayley appears drying her hands on her apron. Her surprised face lights up when she sees me and she walks forward, pulling me into a hug.
“Melaena, I didn’t know you were coming? Is Damion with you?” She looks around expecting to see her son.
“No,” I say, not quite knowing how to explain, so I change the subject quickly, “You have a beautiful home! Very very beautiful.” She smiles softly and her green eyes are full of love.
“Thank you. Come, let’s go to the kitchen. I’m dying for some feminine company. I’m stuck with these blockheads all the time.” She lovingly rubs her hand through Luke’s dark locks.
“She’s going to play with me!” Luke pouts and I laugh at him.
“I will, I promise. Let me just talk a little bit with your mom, ok.” He agrees and walks up some stairs.
“I’ll go pick out some games.” He winks at me and then disappears. Hayley gestures for me to follow her and we walk into the most amazing farm-style kitchen, decorated with loads of wood, iron. The huge windows light up the room, helped along with the mostly white color scheme, with patches of red here and there to brighten things up.
“I’m surprised that Damion is not with you, giving what happened last night.” She looks at the cut on my throat while pouring us some coffee.
“To tell you the truth, I think he’s rather pissed at me this moment. I ran away from him.” She throws her head around, a proud, surprised smile on her face, and her eyes dance with the same fire-sparks as her son’s.
“Is that so? Good. I think you deserve some cake for putting my son in his place.” She hands me my coffee and takes a red-velvet cake from the fridge, putting a slice on the counter for us. We start talking as if we’ve known each other our whole lives. She’s so easy to talk to, the total opposite of her pain-ass of a child.
“Please fetch me some milk from the fridge,” she gestures holding a fork. I get up and remove the carton from the fridge. When I close the door, I notice the photos posted to it with magnets. Some are of Damion, some of Luke and then there’s some of a small girl with ice blue eyes and light brown hair.
“That’s my daughter, Lori,” Hayley says. I see tears welling in her eyes.
“Damion never told me he has a sister.”
“He doesn’t talk about her. Lori was 6 when she died. Damion was devastated and it broke him, that’s when he started acting out.” I gasp a deep breath, holding it for a while. I don’t know what to say.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.” Nice Mel, that must be the most cliché words ever!
“Thanks.” She pauses for a while, looking down at her hands. “They say that the best way not to break your heart is to pretend not to have one. Unfortunately, since her death, Damion does a very good job of acting heartless.”
“You can say that again.”
“Mel, don’t throw him under the bus just yet. He needs you more than you know.” There are tears in her apple-green eyes, the pain she suffered clearly visible.
“Mel, I’m a big believer of fate and destiny, that everything that happens is predetermined by a supernatural power. So Damion meeting you at the worst time in his life was not a coincidence. And it also made us cross paths, maybe to replace a little part of what we’ve both lost.”
She looks at me as if waiting for me to say something, but I’m still trying to figure out what she means, and then it hits me right between the eyes.
I take her hand in mine, lots of cropped-up feelings bubbling now to the surface, leaving me unable to speak, so I just nod my head. Hayley squeeze my hand with a big warm smile on her face. We stay like that until I eventually gain back my power of speech.
“We can go shopping, and talk boys, and you can teach me how to cook ….. and anything else that girls do …..” Excitement taking over my voice.
“I can’t wait! I never had that since … OMG … I can buy pink girly clothes again.” I take her hand.
We laugh together. “You don’t know what this means to me, Hayley.” I need to swallow down some tears again. “Since my mom died it’s always just been me, Kiara, and the boys. And no matter how much I love my brothers and uncle, even Kiara, they could never replace the gaping hole in my heart. There are just some things they’ll never get.” Maybe that’s why Kiara and I are such good friends, we just had to cope without any feminine guidance. We got through our first period together, bought our first bras together, cried about our first crushes (mine being Damion of course). But now, we would have somebody to share it with, someone to give advice and teach us stuff. She grabs me into a hug and some tears flow.
“What’s going on here?” I jump up and see Deimos leaning against the door, his mouth pulled into the same sexy grin as his son.
“I just found myself a daughter.” His eyes suddenly change and it seems to get misty, but then he blinks and it’s as if his emotions just switched off. So that’s where Damion learned it.
“Well, can I also be part of this venture?” He walks forward and pulls us both into his arms.
“Of course.” Hayley and I say simultaneously and we giggle a little.
Then Luke runs with the force of Jupiter into the group, shouting like a Michael Jackson imitator, “I have a sister! The most beautiful awesomest greatest sister in the whole world!” We break up the intimate family hug and Luke runs out the door like a fighter plane. Deimos runs his fingers through his air, exactly the same way his son does.
“So where’s my boy. I don’t know if I can stand much more of this feminine attention.” Hayley hits him playfully on his chest.
“She ran away from him.” The way she pulls her face saying more than her words.
“Is that so?” He pouts his mouth, trying to hide a smile, but not succeeding.
“I’ll set a timer.” As if he knows Damion is going to show up, he walks away and then chuckles softly, talking to himself, “Poor boy is fucked.”
“May I ask why you ran?” Hayley sits closer as if we’re going to gossip and talk secrets.
“Ug, he’s just so … I don’t know ...” I put my finger on my lip to try and find the right adjectives to describe his sorry ass, but Hayley beats me to it.
“Cocky, full of himself, obnoxious, annoying, wild, demanding, stubborn, exhausting …”
“Exactly, see, you get it. So I was telling him the truth, that he needs to stop kissing me cause I’m not going to be his toy until he gets together with Chloe, and he just laughed at me. Sorry, but I really think he has no heart, not anymore.”
“Chloe? I think I must have missed something.” She frowns at me, her face pulled as if she just heard that the quidditch match got canceled. Just then we hear the front door open and the next moment a very angry Damion burst into the kitchen. His T-shirt is clinging to his body, glistening with sweat. He must have sprinted all the way here.
I continue the trail of adjectives that Hayley started in my head … hot, handsome, strong, manly, godlike, sexy, perfect …
“What the fuck, Mel, I know you heard me!” He slams his hands on the table in front of me and his eyes are fuming green, shooting daggers right at me. The look is exactly what they had in mind when they created the saying ‘if looks could kill’.
But unfortunately for him, I’ve grown up with 4 of his type, so I’m used to handling my own. Hell, if you can survive an angry Jackson, you can survive anything!
I get up and mimics his stance, putting my hands on the table, leaning forward until my face is close to his, my eyes meeting those angry sapphire ones.
“Yes, I heard you! Now greet your mother, you mannerless ape!” I hiss, my eyes staring in his, and I’m not going to back down, even if he kills me. His eyes narrow and I take in how the muscles of his arms are flexing and my mouth drops open. A notice a vein throbbing beneath his perfect skin and I swallow imaginary spit down my dry throat. I move my look back to his face and his jaw is tense as if he’s biting on his teeth.
“So why didn’t you stop?”
“I didn’t feel like it. But mostly because I knew it would piss you off if I kept going.” Then he turns around and pushes his hand through his already messy hair. By now I know that it’s his signature mark when he’s frustrated. He turns around again and I know he’s still angry.
“Hello, son. Good to see you.” His mom’s voice is dripping with sugar and honey and everything sweet. This irritates him even more.
“Not now mom!” He glares at her and her eyebrows pull up, but I notice a small smile pulling at her mouth. Then he turns back and eyeballs me as if pondering what to do next.
“I know it must be hard for you, being the brainless moron you are, but use freaking words to talk to me instead of that fucked up glare you have on your face.” Hayley gulps, sounding almost like a lama giving birth, probably because I used a real swearword, but Damion’s gaze does not wander even a little. Instead, it gets even scarier and more intense. He grabs my arm and I shake him off.
“Go to hell!” I hiss at him.
“Oh, darling, where do you think I came from.” He gives me a devilish smile and a shiver runs down my spine. I knew he was the son of Hades from down under. Damn, I was right, I really am in love with the devil.
Observing my almost full coffee cup on the table I grab it without hesitation and empty the contents on his head. He makes no attempt to stop me, just closes his eyes as if he’s counting to ten or something, and then he opens them slowly.
Now, look, I’m no scaredy-cat, but the glow in his eyes will make even Chuck Norris pee in his pants.
“Why don’t you two go and talk in your room, I need to cook dinner and the atmosphere is killing me.” Hayley sounds amused.
He pulls his wet T-shirt off over his head, throwing it onto the ground and my insides tremble in awe.
Damion grabs my arm again, still keeping his magnetizing gaze on me. Hell, I’m dead anyway, so I’m not going to back down now, not to him, not today.
“I’ll rather help you, I’ve got nothing to say to this buffoon.” I intentionally make my voice sound sweet as a cupcake. This time he cocks his head and his face looks like Hannibal Lecter before he has someone for dinner, the eerie smile curling at the corner of his mouth makes me want to gag. The next moment he picks me up and throws me over his shoulder.
“Good, then you can listen, cause I have plenty to say to you.” My fists collide a few times with his back. Then I feel a slap and a sharp sting on my buttocks. Did he just HIT me? No, he didn’t dare the crazy-ass caveman.
“I’m going to fucking cut your testicles out, you shithead.” Hayley is of no help, cause she’s trying to contain her laughter and he made me swear again. Another slap on my bum, while we walk out of the kitchen.
“Doggone it, let me go, moron!” He just gives me another slap. Hayley can’t contain her laughter anymore and I can see her leaning on the counter to keep herself from folding double. Even Deimos is now standing at the door, his son’s signature smile on his face.
“Had enough?” The devil grunts and I can hear in his voice that he’s beyond furious. I keep my mouth shut, but my mind is working overtime thinking up ways to kill my newfound mom’s beastly son.
He walks up the stairs and drops me unceremoniously onto a bed with a black and grey quilt. The grey walls are covered with black-and-white photos of people doing tricks on motorcycles and skateboards.
“Are you mentally crazy or don’t you have any brains? You can’t just run off like that! What if D got to you before I did? Are you trying to get raped or something?” I swallow down some spit. I never thought about that. But it’s his fault, not mine.
“Don’t you lecture me, bone-dick!” I point a finger at his nose, “If you were just 10% a decent person, I wouldn’t have to run.” He stays looking at me as if he wants to eat me alive. “You freaking laughed at me! I don’t listen to cocky, self-absorbed, social-malfunctioning devils with no hearts.”
He grabs me unexpectantly and kisses me so hard I swear my lips are bruised, and then he pushes me away.
“I hate you! And stop kissing me just to push me away, I feel like a flipping yo-yo.” I try not to yell at him, but it’s freaking hard to keep my cool.
“I needed it. You scared the crap out of me. And I know you don’t hate me, and I for sure as hell don’t hate you!” He crosses his arms and I’m not staring at the godly specimen before me, the movement of his muscles, and how his pants dip teasingly low around his hips. I’m also not following the magical V slowly downwards to get a load of the way he fills out his jeans just a little too well. Nope, not staring at all.
“Don’t you eye-fuck me right now, my control is very low at the moment and I might just bend you over that bed and claim you right here!” I can see in his eyes that he’s dead serious and I blink before looking away, biting my lip.
“Mel, seriously!” What am I doing wrong now? An agitated Damion is no laughing matter it seems. At least I’ve learned something today. I decide to keep my mouth shut, so I just stare at him, trying to look tuff and innocent at the same time, hoping it will smother the raging fire in his eyes just a little.
“Ug! You drive me crazy!” He starts pacing up and down, hands in his hair. Then he presses them against his temples and lets out a scream, before throwing the poor chair with a SMACK against the wall. I try to make myself seem smaller between the pillows of the bed I’m sitting on.
“I’m sure that chair was innocent, Your Honor.” I just can’t help myself. He stops as if he can’t believe I just said that to him.
“Fuck! You’re going to kill me, do you know that!” This time he slams his fist into the cupboard door, splintering the wood. I decide that, innocent or not, that door is on its own, I’m not giving it any legal representation. Nope, I keep my mouth shut. Another few paces and then he stops and takes a deep breath.
“Ok, let’s start again.” He looks at me, and I can see that he’s calmed down a little. He pushes his back against the wall and slides down to sit on the floor.
“That night at the party, I was not talking about Chloe, that’s for sure.”
“But you’re mom said she saw how you looked at her… you said you would die for her …” I’m babbling again, I know.
“Mel! There’s no other girl! None. I’m not in love with fucking Chloe or anybody else, hell, I don’t even like Chloe.” I swallow my words and nod. Didn’t see that one coming.
“Still, I know that you’re a self-declared player and your reputation about banging girls precedes you.”
“Mel, I’m not trying to fuck you … I mean I am, but ... “ He throws his head back, leaning it against the wall. At least I’m not the only one babbling. He takes a deep breath again and blows it out slowly. Then he looks back at me, still sitting between the pillows on the bed.
“What I’m trying to say is that although I desperately want to fuck you, I also want to do all the other things I’ve never done with you, like dating and having a girlfriend.” His hands are in his hair again. For once I give him the space to finish.
“You’re so opinionated about me and what I’m supposed to be, but actually you don’t know a groping paw-paw about my feelings or how passionate I can be. You made up your mind that I’m going to break your heart, but you never think that mine can break too.” He’s on a roll and I don’t dare to interrupt, my gut tells me so.
“You’re too scared to take a chance on me, on us, on something epic, just because of my reputation. But have you ever thought to take a deeper look, to ask me the story of who I really am? Ever wanted to try to get to know the real me behind the rumors, before judging me? Maybe I fucked brunettes because I needed to try and forget about a certain blonde.” Suddenly I feel sick and guilty and heartbroken and sad all at the same time.
“I suppose you were too busy with Alejandro to listen to the words of the song last night. I am willing to break all my rules for you, just to see if whatever this thing between us is real. But it seems you don’t feel the same, so I guess now you’ll never know if I can be a forever kind of guy, will you? And don’t worry, I won’t kiss you again.” He pushes himself from the floor and walks into what must be the bathroom without another word, slamming the door close, leaving me feeling like elephant crap.
Tears start streaming down my cheeks and I don’t even bother to wipe them away. I just lost the most important thing in my life. There’s no denying it, I’m head-over-heels, madly, crazy in love with Damion Grimm. And I just screwed it up. Not him, ME! I just broke my own heart.
I get up and start walking up and down in the room with such speed I’m sure I’m creating a draft. The words of the song keep repeating through my mind – ‘in case you didn’t know, baby I’m crazy about you’ - it was meant for me.
I’m so fucking stupid. I fucked everything up. I stop and look at the now broken cupboard door before me. I give it a big shove and it slams shut just to fling back open, hitting me against my shin. I jump up and down a few times on one leg, glaring at the stupid door.
“I felt sorry for you, but now I think you deserved the punishment.” Shoot, I’m officially going mad, I’m talking to a freaking door. Then I see the paper stuck on the inside of the said door. I read the heading written in thick black capital letters at the top: RULES.
So these are the famous rules, the ones that keep Damion on the right path. I glance over it and see that there are 10 of them. While I’m reading through them I realize that Damion was right, I don’t know him at all and I was so preoccupied with protecting my heart, that I didn’t even try to see his soul. I realize now that it’s got nothing to do with the rules as such, but about his control. Breaking the rules just means he loses his tight grip on his life and everything that goes with it. He was willing to risk everything, and I didn’t even have the guts to risk my heart.
I fall down on the bed and cry into the pillow, my body shaking with each heartbroken sob.
“Mel, pumpkin.” I didn’t even hear Hayley come in. I look up from the pillow and grab her around her neck, sobbing into her chest. She rubs my back softly. “Want to tell me what happened?” Her voice is soft and soothing. I give a big sniff and then let her go before I wipe the wetness and snot from my face with my sleeve.
“Ok.” My voice sounds small and childlike. “I was so stupid and now I lost him.”
Then I tell her how I was a stuck up snob and what I heard at the party, that I was too scared to let myself love him, that I didn’t even try to get to know him and that I just believed all the rumors about him, that I was blinded by his reputation. In return, she explained that she was talking about me at the party, that she believes Damion really cares for me much more than he leads on.
Damion comes out of the bathroom only wearing his underpants, drops of water sticking to his perfect skin. Oh, my goblin broken bits, this man’s body is a work of art, that’s for sure.
“Well, now both of you listen to me.” Hayley points her finger at me. “So you were scared and judged him without listening to his side, maybe a little too harsh. But it’s not that he’s an innocent little angel, after all, he hurt you before and the rumors about him were not all wrong.”
Now she turns towards her son, her finger still in the air. “But both of you are stubborn and stupid, and it’s way past time to admit your true feelings. And while you’re at it, get to know the reasons behind rumors and fear. There you have it, my motherly advice for today.” Hayley gets up and closes the door softly behind her.
“I’m sorry.” I hope that’s a good start cause I truly need this to work. I look up and into his eyes. I need him to see that I mean every word I’m about to say.
“I’m really sorry. I was scared cause my feelings for you are just too overwhelming. I honestly believed that you loved Chloe and that you’re going to rip out my heart like before. I just realized that I indeed don’t know anything about you, but I want to know it all if you’re willing to tell me.”
“I’m also sorry, angel. I should have told you the reasons why I did what I did. I hurt you, but I promise that won’t happen again.”
“Can we maybe start over? But this time we’ll have no secrets.” I ask and my heart starts thumping dangerously in my chest. He gets one of those famous BEAST smirks and holds out his hand.
“Hello, I’m Damion Grimm, the guy who fell for his best friend’s sister.” I laugh out loud, relieved but also excited. I take his hand.
“Melaena Blackburn, the girl that fell for the bad-boy biker.”
His head descends slowly towards me and I close my eyes, waiting for the best feeling in the world – his lips on mine.