Grace of Spades

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Chapter 10

Christian





Well, I royally fucked up asking Grace to lunch. I got all flustered after seeing that motorcycle outside. I totally thought she brought someone home last night.

I know, not the most logical for a Wednesday night. But logic was not on my mind at that moment especially after the meeting last night and it certainly went out the window when I barged into her room first thing in the morning. Way to go Christian.

I walk into the kitchen and see Ruby watching the news while she pours a few glasses of iced tea.

"Oh! Perfect! You can bring these down to Grace and her friend!" She beams holding out a tray of sandwiches and fruit.

"Sure. Where am I heading?" I ask.

"The pool." The pool? You mean Grace is in a bathing suit? Wet? I send a thank you to the man upstairs and hurry to the pool with the tray. I hear Grace and her friend before I even get to the door.

"So, what's going on with you and Keir?" Her friend asks.

"Nothing."

"It doesn't look like nothing."

"It can't be anything. I know his family. It's best we just stay friends." Grace explains. She knows the Chekhovs?

"Fine. What about that guy who's always hanging around here? I've seen him check you out." Does she mean me?

"Pfft! Christian? Ya right! He thinks I'm just some damaged little girl." Grace says. Is that what she thinks? She couldn't be more wrong. "Besides, he works for my uncle that's a big no no."

"But you like him."

"I mean, ya, he's gorgeous and sweet but nothing can happen."

"I don't know..." Her friend trails off.

"What's this all about anyway? Why is my love life so important to you?" Grace asks.

"Because I'm the one people ask!" Her friend cackles.

"Well, I appreciate your sacrifice. I'll pull wingwoman for you next time." Grace laughs and that's my cue. I walk into the room with the tray and I see Grace's friend grinning at me.

"Food!" I call out. I look over at Grace and immediately regret it. Holy fuck. Grace smiles brightly at me as she walks over. Her little black bikini is fucking incredible on her. Her tattoo is a beautiful crow on her ribs and sternum. Its a gorgeous piece made even more beautiful by the woman wearing it. The wings fan out into smoke under her full breasts and I even see the outline of nipple rings. Fuck me. Please!

As she gets closer I see them. Her scars. They are everywhere. Bundles of small ones and some curved in a very unnatural way. If I ever find out who did this to her they will never know anything but pain.

"Hey!" She smiles making my heart pound as I try not to stare.

"Hey." I say tightly.

"Kennedy! You want some food?" She shouts over her shoulder.

"No! I'm going to do a few more laps!" Kennedy calls back. She is a good friend. Grace shrugs and pops a grape into her mouth.

"Thanks for bringing this down." Grace smiles shifting her weight back and forth.

"No problem... are you ok?" I ask looking at her stomach.

"Oh, um... ya. I know they're pretty ugly." She shrugs.

"I think you're perfect." I blurt out. Her eyes go wide and I see her almost shut down.

"Uh... thank you... um... I gotta go!" She stammers before running out the door. Well, shit. 1

"What the hell did you do?! I gave you the perfect opening!" Kennedy scolds. I just stare at the door where Grace disappeared. "What are you waiting for? Go after her!!" She commands. That gets me going. I bolt out into the hall and up the stairs to her room. I can hear her panicked voice inside.

"He said I was perfect. I can't do this! Maybe going back to the streets wouldn't be so bad." She says. "Well, he's clearly insane. He doesn't know everything... You know I can't... because I don't want to die Ray!" What is going on?

"Whatever, you suck. Go get laid, I'll see you Friday at Rudy's... ya ya love you too." I wait a few minutes to get myself back to normal before knocking on the door gently.

"Grace?" No answer. "I'm sorry Grace. I didn't mean to overstep." I push the door open and im shocked to see her in a deep red bra and panty set flipping a knife in her hand like a pro muttering to herself.

Thats an image thats going into the vault.





Grace





I think you're perfect.

Why? Why?!

Ray was no fucking help! I need a fight or a fuck. I need to calm down and I can't go to Rudy's or a bar because my grandparents are going to be here soon.

I need to lose myself a bit. I put in my headphones blasting Jxdn and start my throwing knife routine. Tossing a knife from hand to hand turning and spinning them through the air. I grab another one and start breathing through the calming movements of the blades. Up, turn, down, flip, toss, catch, slice. Over and over again. I need to get a board up so I can do target practice. Once my mind is clear I hide the blades back where they belong and take a deep breath.

I better get clothes on. Can't meet grandma and grandpa in my undies. I grab my thigh rig and slide it on before a pretty yellow sundress.

I look like I'm going to church. Nope. I take it off and go back to the dresser and find a pair of jeans and a nice shirt and try not to pull out my hair.

"Its just another day Grace. They're going to have to get used to you eventually. They can't be worse than mom and dad." I mutter to myself.

I see movement out of the side of my eye and go to turn off my music but make it look like I'm just changing the song.

"Whats going on?" Kennedy asks.

"She's stressing out over her grandparents." Christian says. How long have they been there?

"God damn that is a look." Kennedy chuckles.

"Whats happening Friday?" He asks.

"Oh shes got a job and then she's getting a tattoo." Kennedy says.

"She's taking you to her work?"

"Ya. She says she wants to show me her old haunt and meet Ray." She explains.

"That Ray guy seems pretty important to her."

"Ya. I think its more of a comrade in arms situation though."

"Interesting choice of words." He observes.

"Has she told you about her life up until a few days ago? Its an accurate choice of words." She defends. I take off my rig and slide my jeans on and throw on a black tank top on. I load up on my knives and throw on my old hoodie. I need extra comfort tonight. I put my hair up into a half ponytail and turn to see them whispering to eachother. I take my headphones out and watch them with my brow raised. Kennedy notices me first but doesn't give me away. She's such a good friend.

"How long have you been here?" She asks.

"Since I left the pool." He says sounding ashamed.

"You've been here the whole time? Just watching her like a creeper? Its been like an hour!" She chuckles. An hour?! Did he hear me talking to Ray?

"Its not like... ok, ya its kind of like that." He admits. "I did knock but she had her music in and then she started throwing knives and... I just kinda stood there." He says rubbing the back of his neck. Awe. I put my headphones back on and smile at them.

"You perverts just watching me get dressed?" I ask laughing as Kennedy cackles.

"Yes!" She admits while Christian turns pink.

"Get a girlfriend!" I scold walking between them and into the hall.

"I'm trying!" She grumbles.

"Don't worry, I'll introduce you to some lovely ladies Friday." I offer.

"Yes! Now its your turn to play wingwoman!" She crows.

"Happily, my love!"

We find Ruby stressing out more than me. Her face is flushed and her hair looks even bigger than usual.

"Ruby, what can I do to help?" I ask. She starts to wave me off but I stand firm giving her a look. "Give me something to do." She looks at me like she's seeing what I'm made of.

"Fine. Grate cheese." She commands.

"Yes ma'am." I smile and start grating. "See you tomorrow Kennedy!"

"See you then babe! Good luck! Bye everyone!" She calls out heading to the door. Christian sits next to me twiddling his thumbs awkwardly. It takes all my strength not to hold them like he did mine.

"I'm sorry about earlier." I mumble.

"Don't be. I get it." He mumbles back. I don't think he does but its best if I don't encourage these feelings so I nod and feel ashamed of myself. I've always thought if I was lucky enough to find love that I would be brave enough to hold onto it with both hands. Now here I am pushing away a guy I like. Several of them. I am the worst.

"How was your day sweetie?" Ruby asks me.

"It was ok. Pretty boring. Oh! Except I have to yell at Andras when he gets home!" I remember.

"Why?" She chuckles.

"I was informed that he said I was dating a guy from my school." I say with a look.

"Was this Mr. McConnell?" Christian asks practically grinding his teeth.

"Liam, ya." I nod.

"I was there. Thats not how it happened. I think there was a misunderstanding." He admits. Well thats big of him. God! Grace stop it! This cant happen!

"What did Andras say?" I ask.

"Liam asked if he could ask you out on a date and Andras laughed and said he'd have to earn it." He smirks. I narrow my eyes in judgment.

"Alright, he may live for now." I grin. That was a good response. Points for Andras.

Ruby and I finish dinner in no time and are just about to set the table when the doorbell rings.

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