***POV – Damion
I lean against the door and look at the people sitting around the table. I can’t believe it’s already Christmas, not that I have anything to celebrate this year. These last few weeks I’ve been living in hell – the deepest pits of the abode of the damned is where I got stuck. Yep, I’m burning in the other world, my heart in a state of ill-being due to one girl’s deception.
A girl I love so much, that I can’t seem to live without anymore, even if she dropped me into the eternal damnation. I’m not sure exactly where it started going wrong, but I just know it did. First I went to Europe for my last race, and that’s where the boulder started rolling downhill – with fucking great speed. I missed Mel so much that I drowned my sorrows and longing in the pubs, but it didn’t work - it just landed me in trouble and I started fights everywhere I went. Yep, STARTING fights, drawing blood first.
For the first time in my life, I got on my bike for a race, not fully sober, and it ended with me falling in the second lap. Luckily nobody else was involved in the accident and I only hurt my leg. It could have been so much worse. At least the fall seemed to shake my brain back into place and I sobered up.
Then eventually the damn plane landed and I rushed home to see my angel, to smell her scent, to make love to her, to get my fix of her and calm down. But the boulder also crashed that dream. At first, everything seemed fine, Mel was waiting at my door, sexy as hell in her tight jeans and my hoody, bare feet, a vision of innocence. How wrong can a guy be?
I went to the shower with a huge boner, in anticipation of what’s to come, but she just left me alone with the seemingly romantic evening she prepared. I can’t explain the fear I experienced while I ran frantically through the house hoping to find her and praying that nothing bad happened to her, that she’s going to be alright. Then I get a phone call from my mother saying that she’s in the hospital, but doesn’t want to see me … I fucking lost it and the furniture in my house paid the price.
I eventually went to the hospital but her brothers wouldn’t let me see her, or even get close to her. At least mom explained to me what happened. I understand sort of, but still think she totally overreacted – I mean running into the night without shoes … who does that? She should have just talked to me, let me explain, but no … Melaena Blackburn is a stupid, judgemental, stubborn drama queen!
I look at Mel, and she looks as if the cat dragged her in, she looks almost anorexic, her eyes deep in their sockets, her beautiful face pale. Worried, I wonder what could be wrong with her. Fuck … stop that Damion … serves her right. Why should I care? Didn’t I just put my pride in my pocket and tried to have a decent conversation with her, just to get blown off again?
I still want to explain everything to her, but either her brothers won’t let me get close to her or she ignores me as if I have the plague, sticking to Alejandro like a nut. Now how are we supposed to sort things out with an attitude like that?
And speaking of Alejandro - turns out he is my half-brother, yep, my blood-brother from my father’s side. Long story short, my dad didn’t know about the pregnancy, and then he married my mom. Yes, it was a great big shock for everybody involved, especially my dad. Just imagine finding out you have a kid 23 years later, one you never knew about. But the worst part is that my brother, even before I had time to get to know him better, decided to rip out my heart.
I received a message from an unknown number saying that Mel was cheating, backing up her infidelity with a photo where Alejandro was seemingly sucking out her brains. So much for the long-lost loving brother and the devoted girlfriend.
And that’s that. Our love story seemingly ended before it began. And I will never call Alejandro my brother, to me he’s nothing.
“We’re here!” Kiara shouts from the doorway, her arms full of presents. And then the asshole sharing my DNA walks in, carrying Luke on his back, smiling as if he didn’t wreck my whole fucking life. I can’t stand the fucking sight of him so, as to not make a scene, I walk out into the backyard to clear my head.
I stand there staring at the pool. Why the fuck did I come here? No, it would be better if I just left. My heart won’t survive if I see Mel with my brother. I feel for my car keys in my pocket.
“Damion, we need to talk!” Did the dimwit really follow me outside? I turn around and in a split second I pull my arm back, clenching my fist I throw it forward with so much force that the douche staggers backward as soon as it connects his cheek. I throw an immediate left punch into his torso and the dull thud and gasp of breath confirm that he’s winded. I feel better already, but the triumphant rush of adrenaline spiking through me is short-lived.
Alejandro recovers with a massive blow connecting the bone just below my eye. I see stars, dammit. His left fist hits my mouth, brutal, drawing blood. Fists in the air we face each other, matching each other’s moves like shadow puppets – or is it shadow-brothers?
I get a few more punches in, but my brother is relentless and even though I don’t want to admit it, he’s likely going to mangle me. Although I have a few black belts, he probably has more skills than me with SEAL training and a tour behind his back. Feeling inferior only aggravates my anger towards him.
“You’re a fucking dick!” I shout, holding my ground, barely.
“No, you are. How could you do that to her?” He drops his hands to his side, his ice-blue eyes shooting daggers. He has my father’s eyes, that’s for fucking sure. How did I miss that?
“I didn’t do anything wrong. You fucking kissed her!” His shoulders shag and he gets a huge V between his brows. He looks flabbergasted and highly disorientated.
“I never kissed Mel, she’s like a sister to me. And she would never do that to you.” I step back and let my arms fall next to my sides. Now I’m confused, the photo. I take out my phone and show him the message and picture. He gets a smile on his face, we have the same mouth.
“It sure as hell looks like we’re snogging,” he says still smiling, “but we didn’t, I was holding her cause she almost fainted. Hell, bro, I held her lots of times this past few weeks while she was crying over you. But you don’t deserve her! You fucked around and broke the perfect girl.”
“I’m not fucking around. I would never do that. Chloe is crazy.” We take a seat on the pool chairs and I tell him all about the psycho-bitch and her stalking ways, and then for the first time, I hug my brother before we walk into the house together.
Fuck, I feel like a stupid, undeserving asshole. I touch the bulging bruise just under my eye and give a disturbing smile while leaning against the doorframe, my brother’s arm draped across my shoulder. We’re just in time to help with the cooking. I know now that I seriously need to talk to Mel, that everything is just a complete misunderstanding from both our sides. Alejandro painfully explained that to me just now.
“Did you two just hit the shit out of each other?” Enrique asks.
“Just had to sort a few things out. All good now.” Alejandro answers. Mel seems as if she’s going to barf any moment and my mom and Alejandro puff around her, asking if she’s alright.
Mom, being the big-hearted person she is, already adopted Ale as if he was her own child, treating him with just as much love as she would Luke and me. I smile at them, for the first time feeling good about having an older brother.
I watch everybody cooking together, just having fun, and for the first time in weeks, I feel as if I may have a small chance to get back in heaven, to get back my angel, to fix my broken life and I can’t help the smile spreading over my face. I keep my eyes on Mel and she seems self-conscious. Can she feel the tension too? Then she runs out, her hand on her mouth.
“Okay, I think we’re done, now just to wait for the turkey to finish then we can eat,” mom says and Uncle John fills the coffee machine.
“The twins can make coffee this time around,” he says walking out without waiting for their answer. Jackson starts taking out cups while Enrique opens the fridge to look for milk.
Uncle John found Mel along the way and she’s sitting next to him on the couch, her feet tucked in under her like usual. This bug must be really bad, cause she said that the smell of the coffee is going to make her barf. Hell, since I’ve known her she’s always been addicted to coffee and food, and now she’s drinking some herbal ginger tea shit. Her face looks gaunt and grey with black bags under her eyes, her body thinner than I’ve ever seen it – even her eyes are dull. Guilt washes over me, it’s all my fault. I’m so fucking stupid! I should have explained everything to her that night in the hospital, but NO … Damion Grimm is a stubborn asshole!
“There’s something I have to tell you,” Dad has this extra big smile on his face, understandable as he just found a lost son he never knew he had. Alejandro explained that he thought his father abandoned him and his mother. She always told him the story of how his super-rich father just opted and left them for another woman. He found a photo with my father’s name at the back between her belongings after she died. And it still took him a while to gear up the courage to look us up.
“Alejandro is my son and from now on part of our family.” Short from dropping an ice bucket on their heads, I don’t think the people in the room could be any more surprised. Hell, I think Santa climbing through the chimney right now wouldn’t get a more stupefy reaction from them. And like most of the time, Enrique is the first to react.
“Flippin, I’m not sure we’re going to survive another Grimm.” He slaps my new brother’s shoulder with a big smile. “But welcome to the family, bro.”
“Damn, how could we all miss those icy blue eyes … “ Everybody now has something to say, and like expected they’re all very excited and excepting to having him as part of us.
I drift away, thinking how I’m going to make things right with Mel, and then I’m pulled back to the conversation hearing Harry’s name.
“I’ve used all of my contacts, but I still couldn’t find any property or even bank accounts registered in Harry’s name. So either he’s using an alias or he’s living off the grid.” Uncle John scratches his head concerned. There’s also no trace of Mel’s father, hell we don’t even know for sure he’s still alive. Jackson takes Mel’s shaking hands and holds them in his. She seems pale and I wonder if she’s going to throw up again. I know D is bothering her, even though she tries to hide it from everybody.
“Ug, enough about that guy, rather tell me what I missed while being stuck in that freaking popsicle world. Berlyn is cold and wet and icy and the girls there is a whole new cup of tea,” Enrique says looking at his brothers. He only arrived back yesterday.
“The little witch and Damion are pissed at each other and then there was the whole Chloe debacle.” Now Logan is just being an arse, plain and simple. Why does he have to choose Chloe as a topic of discussion? Snotass-ballbuster.
My eyes are still on Mel and she seems even paler, looking at her cup, turning it around in those pretty little hands. The same hands that drive me insane when they move over my body. My cock starts getting eager again and I look away, trying to keep up with the conversation.
“She’s CRA-ZY that one!” He sounds like one of the hyenas in the Lion King movie tapping his finger against his temple. Jackson pushes his finger in his throat and makes a gagging sound.
“She came to the club one night …” Shit Jackson, it’s not something I want to discuss in front of Mel. “… all dressed up as if she’s going to the late-night hooker show. It was karaoke night and she got on stage and sang that song from Fifty Shades of Grey … you know the soppy one … what’s it called again?“
“Love me like you do.” Enrique helps him out and he nods and continues again.
“Yeh, that one … she sang it for Damion … but she can’t even sing … sounded like a cat bonking a walrus.” He laughs pulling his face as if he’s hearing her sing right now. It was bad!
“And then she started a fight with some of the groupies who are also crushing on Mr. Hotness over here. It was a sight to see. A bitch-fight in the middle of the dancefloor.” Logan continues the story.
“No way, everything always happens when I’m away!” Enrique snickers looking upset.
“I must admit,” Logan looks at his brother. “it was dangerously hot since some of the girls didn’t wear any underwear.” Logan fans himself, hosting a huge grin.
“Yep, you should have seen it, bro, the whole club came to a halt and we had to throw them out.” Jackson gestures with his hands to try and explain it to his twin. Mel gets up and I need to follow her and talk some bloody sense into her. I can’t stand much more of her being so distant.
I get up and walk to the kitchen saying “I need some more coffee.”
Mel is standing looking out the window, arms crossed. Without a word I put on the kettle and scoop a spoon of coffee into my cup. I add some sugar, trying to make a noise hoping she would turn around but she doesn’t. Damn this.
“Mel, you seem mad and I suppose I can’t blame you.” She twirls around, eyes shooting daggers.
“Really, you can’t blame me? What a fudging gentleman.” She turns her back on me again. I walk over and take her into my arms, needing to feel her body against me. An unexpected, but anticipated, fist hits my abdominal muscles causing me to bend my body, then I grin and pull her closer. Tingles make their way through every fiber of me and blood pumps into my dick, compressing it painfully against the tightness of my jeans. I need her, and I think she needs me too. I lick my lips and inch forward, wanting her to feel my desire, not that I can hide it.
“Damn I missed you!” I feel her body tense and she turns her head to face me. Her lips are just inches away and if I lean forward I can kiss her, but I’m a bit concerned that she actually might bite me right now.
“Really Damion? You MISSED me? Or maybe my vagina?” She’s totally upset.
“Yes I do miss you, is that so hard to believe?”
“Screwing another girl, fights between groupies, getting drunk in Europe, don’t seem to me you had time to miss me or my female parts!” She tips her head up and opens her mouth.
“I didn’t cheat on you! Fuck, Mel, what do you think of me! You didn’t even give me time to explain.” I feel a bit stupid for being angry at her. Didn’t I think the exact same thing when I saw the photo of her and Alejandro?
“I saw the photos on your phone, the messages she wrote. What am I supposed to think?”
“You didn’t really give me a chance, now did you? ”
“You haven’t even tried, no messages, no apology, nothing.” Her eyes shoot full of tears and it pains my heart.
“Well, it’s not what you think? Did you notice that it was all one-sided? Chloe is worse than a stalker, she’s D in female form. If he wrote sexual comments to you and send you naked photos, does that mean you’re cheating on me?” I see the realization of my words moving over her face, understanding now blinking in her eyes.
“I’ll never cheat on you. I’ll tell you all about Chloe when we are alone and have time.”
“And I didn’t call you because I thought you were cheating on me with Alejandro.” Her eyes fill with a puzzled look and then she tilts her head to the side. I take out my phone and show her the devastating smoldering, or what looks like a smoldering, picture. Now she looks even more confused.
“It looks like I’m kissing Alejandro.” Then her eyes grow wide and she looks apologetic. “I didn’t kiss him … I fainted and he held me up. He’s been a very good friend.”
“Yeh, I know that now.” I point to the bruises on my face. “We had a little talk.” I pull her closer and she doesn’t resist, her body falling into my arms.
“I’m sorry, I should have trusted you and let you explain. It’s just that these feelings are so overwhelming that I’m scared of losing you all the time.”
“Ditto. But we’ll have to learn to trust each other.” She looks down as if she’s shy. Then her fingers dance over the buckle of my belt, playing sheepishly with it. The problem with this unintentional movement is that it is inches from my needy cock. I push her back but then pull her close.
“Fuck this,” I grunt and my lips lock onto hers. I’ve longed for that for almost a month. She eagerly kisses me back, but then she shoves me away and runs to the dustbin to throw up. I gently stroke her back.
“You ok?” She lifts her head and takes the cloth I’m holding for her. I pour her some ginger-ale and hand her the glass. She takes a small sip and then looks at me with angry eyes.
“I’m sure me feeling so lousy is your fault!” She groans and pulls her face, wrinkling her nose and it’s extremely sexy.
“What, you being sick is my fault?” I ask, rather amused about her conclusion. How the hell did I make her sick?
“Yes, you broke my heart, or it could be an STD?” I smile at her awkwardness. It’s so damn cute. I pull her close again.
“Firstly, no STD. I get tested for every possible disease each month as part of my job. I’m clean as a whistle. Secondly, I’m sorry for breaking your heart. I was hurt too, and stubborn and stupid. I’m really sorry.”
“I guess I should have at least listened to you.”
“I didn’t make you sick, but I could give you a PENIS-cillin injection to make you better.”
“Your fudging unbelievable!” She complains pulling an adorable face.
“I know, and handsome and hot and loveable AND not cheating … shall I go on?” She pushes me away and barfs again into the dustbin. I hold her hair to the side, wishing I could do more.
“You know, that’s the first time I ever got that reaction from a girl in my arms.”
“I do wish I could send you back to hell right now!” She takes another sip from the ginger-ale. Logan walks in.
“What’s taking so long?” He looks from me to Mel. I’m still holding her hair in my hand.
“I thought you two would be smooching by this time.”
“I’m going to bed. The testosterone in this house is suffocating me.” She takes her glass and walks away leaving me staring at her ass and Logan staring at me. Shit, I messed up big time. But at least it seems that she might forgive me. I pull up my shoulders and pick up the kettle. I pour the water into my cup while Logan takes a banana from the bowl of fruit on the table. He opens the dustbin to throw away the peel, but then slams the lid closed, pulling a sour face.
“Fuck, what’s that smell?”
“Oh, that’s what was taking so long. Your sister brought up her dinner in there.”
“I’m worried about my sister. She really doesn’t look well.“
“She’s upset about Chloe.” But yes, I should check up on her.
“Flip, Chloe is as crazy as the coo-coo who flew over the nest. What if she’s like that girl from the movie who cooked the bunny?”
“What Fatal Attraction?”
“Yeh, that one. Mel better keep an eye on Reaper or he could end up in a pot.”
“Don’t pull the duck from the water, bro.”
“Yes, I know. But dude, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck … She’s crazy!”
“Guess you’re right, that one is way past crazy, no arguing there.” I clutch my cup as if the warmth it’s radiating will make everything alright.