The minute the clock struck twelve Rilah jumped out of bed and knelt by the bed. She reached way underneath the bed and pulled out the box. She had not slept at all in anticipation of trying out her gift.
She opened the box lid and took out her two piece swim suit; it was black with a design of blue luminescent flowers. The bikini top had a sweetheart neckline and a halter neck. In summary, it was beautiful and she loved it.
She put it on quickly and put on sweatpants and a sweater on top. Stooping, she shoved the box, with the other swimsuit - a full, scubadiver suit- under the bed. She had contemplated wearing it but realised it wouldn't dry before the Daniels saw it.
Sneaking out yet again with expertise, she ran eagerly to the lake. As she swam, she didn't feel like she was venting her anger out anymore. She was just having fun, doing what she loved. Hearing the rustling of leaves, signalling an intrusion, she lifted her head to see who it was. She waited but couldn't see anyone approaching. Just as she was about to dive back into the depths of the water, she felt something slither around her waist.
Her heart took a leap and she turned very quickly, ready to strike at whoever as ambushing her. It was with surprise then, that she met Charlie's dark eyes.
"What the . . . Oh my goodness. Charlie, what are you doing here?!" She whispered furiously.
He smirked. "I gathered that it is safe to swim with you tonight, in light of my gift to you."
"Don't be so arrogant", she pushed him gently. "And thank you."
He gave her a half smile. "Race you to the edge and back. Go!"
Not one to turn down a challenge, Rilah took off after Charlie. Since she had less muscle than Charlie, she had to think smart in order to outswim him. She preserved her strength as she started out, and just as Charlie hit the edge and turned back, she called on all her inner reserves and shot forward.
Surprised, Charlie laughed and swam harder. Frustrated, and almost out of breath from the exhilaration, Rilah decided to resort to using her other 'skills'. She caught up to Charlie, and reached for his head, dunking him.
She reached the end of the lake and raised her hands in a celebratory gesture.
"I won!!" She screamed, laughing at Charlie who was giving her an I'll-kill-you look.
"That wasn't fair", he shouted.
"All's fair in love and war", she shouted back.
"Oh yeah?" He swam towards her in a threatening way and she started swimming back, moving away from him. "I declare war then."
With a powerful surge, he swam towards her and caught her around the waist, imprisoning her in his hold. She squealed and tried to escape, finally finding a way out by swimming down. Charlie chuckled and swam after her. Rilah held her breath and opened her eyes, meeting Charlie's smouldering gaze. The atmosphere seemed to change, becoming intense and almost magical.
Charlie slipped his hands around Rilah's waist and she shivered with delight and anticipation. He pulled her ever so slowly towards him, closing the distance between them and letting their lips meet. For Rilah, who was having her first kiss, it was nothing short of amazing, and for Charlie, who had waited for this moment for a long time, it was more than he'd ever expected.
They had broken a barrier that couldn't be rebuilt again, and they both knew it. Shivering, they got out of the lake and Charlie led them to a spot shaded by overhanging tree branches. He had set up a picnic blanket and he laid a basket of food, cold drinks and sweets. They talked freely throughout the night, avoiding the elephant in the room. Conversation was relaxed but there was just a tinge of tension in the air but not so much that it ruined the mood.
They snuck through the woods, laughing and snickering along the way, trying by all means to keep quiet. Charlie left Rilah by the back door, and stole one last kiss. Rilah blushed deeply but she chided herself. She would have to tell Charlie that the kisses mean nothing, and that nothing would develop between them. Oh, how she dreaded when that moment would come.
She climbed up the ledges and vines, making her way into her room. She stopped abruptly at the window, her body tense and tight. Something was wrong. Her eyes scanned the darkness of the room, until they landed on a silhouette next to the door. She froze and looked directly into the blue depths of Tyron's eyes.
"Well, well. Guess who's back from her rendezvous." Rilah's eyes narrowed in defiance as Ty walked towards her, wicked amusement in his features.
"Wonder what mom will say about your escapades when I tell her", he cocked his head as if in deep thought. " Probably starve you." He shook his head. "Nah, already done that. Maybe she'll lock you in the cupboard or make you spring clean this place or maybe send you to a military school. Not sure but it'll be gruesome."
Smirking at Rilah's expression, he sneered. "My, my, aren't we in trouble. And you know what," he gripped Rilah's chin with his hand, "I'll spend a good fortune of my time thinking of some suggestions for your punishments." He let go of Rilah's face and walked away laughing.
"Enjoy your last peaceful night, Rye".
Rilah's heart beat frantically as Tyron shut the door. What had she gotten herself into?