Falling For You (Unbreakable #3)

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4.

Oh, yeah, it hurt.

My head, my whole body ached, I felt like eighty years old when I started perceiving in the morning. But the painkillers helped and compared to the pain that had tortured me in the middle of the night, I felt better. Much better.

I was able to move. There were no stones in my stomach anymore. My mouth didn’t turn into Sahara. However, my brain didn’t let me to enjoy my hangover-almost-free state. No, no way, not even for a couple of seconds. As soon as I was fully awake, my hemispheres began to maltreat me.

Exactly at that moment when they made me remember the events of the night before.

How my demon carried me all the way out of his car into my room. How he wanted to lay me on my bed, but we ended up in bathroom instead as I felt like throwing up. I recalled how I did throw up. How I begged him to go away not to witness it. But he refused to obey, he stayed with me, nonetheless. How he held my hair and helped me undress my dirty T-shirt.

I remembered how I couldn’t have endured the horizontal position; I couldn’t have laid down because of my upset stomach. And he stayed with me in the bathroom. Or to be more precisely, he pulled me into his arms, he let mi sit on his lap so I wouldn’t have to sit on the cold floor.

Well…

I felt embarrassed.

Very embarrassed.

So much embarrassed that I desperately wished the ground to open up and swallow me. Yet, even if I fell over somewhere to the center of the Earth, I still wouldn’t hide from my disgrace. Gosh! I prayed I was at least one Globe away from my demon, so I would never have to meet him again. In fact, I was too scared to open my eyelids because I knew I would find him there.

And I wasn’t wrong.

“Good morning, Princess.”

Okey. As soon as I was able to sharpen my vision, I spotted the amusement in his eyes. The same amusement he had laid me on my bed with in the night. And maybe I would be relieved if I didn’t notice it.

The tension smoldering behind the sparks in his irises.

“What about your head?”

“It´s not that bad,” I said still not recognizing my voice.

“How do you feel?” He continued the interrogation.

“Fine,” I exhaled, not lying that much.

I mean, yes, I felt weak and tired. But given the circumstances, it could have been worse. I wasn’t even cold anymore. And only then did I realize that I was no longer half-naked. That I was wearing his T-shirt.

“Are you conscious?”

I heard it; the sudden strict tone of his voice forced me to look up at him. He was sitting on the bed next to me, his arms crossed on his divine bare chest. His whole attitude, the way he was watching my every move told me reliably what I could expect from him.

“I am,” I answered again, mentally preparing for his rebuke.

“Can I start yelling?”

No!

Please!

He had every right to scold me, I knew he did. But I didn’t want him to do so. Not right now as I didn’t feel like facing his anger, like being able to bear it. I immediately thought of begging him to postpone. But I didn’t even have time to take a breath, nor to open my mouth.

“Dammit, Lara!” He took a deep breath instead of me, letting me realize that I was in a big trouble. For a brief instant, he got stuck as if there was so much on his mind that he didn’t even know where to start. “What the hell? How could you be so irresponsible?”

My heart automatically started to pound as my demon truly raised his voice at me. I couldn’t say he was yelling as he´d planned to, but he wasn’t gently either.

“I understand when you go out for a beer, or two, or three. I understand that when you have fun, you drink more than you initially wanted. But how, seriously, tell me how could you keep drinking and not care whether you come home safely? What did you want to do yesterday? Did you want to walk alone in the middle of the night when you weren’t able to stand on your feet properly? Or let a guy whom you barely know to drive you?”

His words reached the center of understanding in my brain. Yet, every single one of them stabbed me in the chest. I knew he was right and even though that none of that was his business, I felt bad about my yesterday´s foolish decisions. Which I made to forget him.

“And how come you called me only by accident? Fuck! Don´t you dare to erase my number out of your favorite contacts!”

No, actually no.

I felt terrible.

I was lying on my bed, unable to speak. I was lying motionless in my bed and I all I could do was to perceive his anger and the tears, filling my eyes. As if at that moment my world came crushing down.

“I almost had a heart attack!” He continued, my demon was still talking, as if unaware of how desperately I wished him to remain quiet. “My body hasn’t been working normally for a hell of a long time, and yet, I swear you managed to stop my heart when you lied to Bill, hang up on me twice and then ignored me! Do you have even the slightest idea of how scared I was until I figured out where you are?”

I didn’t stop it; I didn’t have the strength to stop it. That endless emptiness overwhelmed me. I only stared at the ceiling above me until the tears rolled down my face. Because my demon was pretty pissed at me.

“And can you explain me the bill?” Suddenly he sounded even more menacing. “I know your limit Lara, and if it took so little to get you this drunk then you couldn’t have eaten again!”

That moment.

It was exactly that moment when I couldn’t bear it anymore.

He was right, I didn’t dare to say a word, but I still couldn’t stand listening to him further. At that one precise moment, I would endure everything, except his rebuke, his raised voice.

I shot up into the sitting position, I jumped out of the bed and headed out of the room. To wherever I could be alone, where he wouldn’t be. To wherever only when it was away from him.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

It was his body that blocked my escape route. And even though I wasn’t able to look at him, or see through those tears anything at all, I noticed that he completely froze.

“Dove?” His voice broke. “Are you crying?”

He raised his hand, he reached out for me as if he wanted to cup my face and wipe away those tears. But I couldn’t… The door, just that door behind him, I needed, I had to go away, to disappear. I necessarily had to run away.

“Please, let me go,” I muttered, begging. “You can yell at me later. But now… Please, Eric, just let me go…”

I gathered all my courage to look at him only to spot an absolute horror, being reflected in his expression. He stiffened even more as he realized what I was asking of him. In an instant, the room shrank into the size of a box, and I simply felt that something inside me was falling apart.

I carefully brushed past him. I don’t even know how; I suddenly stood in the kitchen and couldn’t control anything of what overpowered me. I wasn’t able to stop the rush of those wet things that kept streaming down my face.

Out of the blue, it wasn’t just because I was stupid.

It wasn’t just because he was mad at me.

All of a sudden, it all caught up with me.

Those whole two weeks when I was tormented by his absence. When I missed him unbearably, while he was leaving school with his ex-girlfriend. Those last two and a half months when we were apart. When he was no longer a part of my every day’s life. Those previous six months since I met him since he completely turned my world upside down.

The huge tears kept falling and falling, I sobbed like a little child. I reached out for a glass as I hoped that drinking some water might help to stop it. And instead, I sobbed even more when it fell out of my hands and shattered into shreds.

No, it wasn’t just because of this morning. In an instant, I felt extremely exhausted. Numb. Disappointed. As if the last hints of life left me.

My knees wobbled, I slumped down to the ground, leaning against the kitchen island behind me. I´d never wished so badly to go home, to be with Joel, to have my piglets around me. I´d never craved so desperately for my heart to be complete. That all of this would have never happened. That I would have never met my demon.

If this was supposed to be love, if this was what love felt like then I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to fall in love ever again. Because it hurt, it hurt me more than those sharp stings I felt when I tried to pick up the broken glass out of the floor.

Through my blurred vision, I only perceived it dimly.

Those shoes that appeared in my visual field.

It didn’t take long; it didn’t take him even a second to kneel down to me. And willy-nilly, I was forced to face the desperation in his gaze.

He didn’t say anything, he obviously didn’t want to hear anything. He just reached out for me again. And this time, I didn’t have enough strength to push him away. I only let him to take my hands, to wrap them around his shoulders. He grabbed my butt and right after that, I found myself sitting on the kitchen island. Trapped in the heartbreaking sadness of his deep brown eyes.

“Forgive me, Babygirl,” he let his forehead lean on mine, whispering. “I´m sorry, I am so, so sorry.”

He hugged my cheeks with his palms, he wiped away all my tears with his thumbs. Or at least he tried as those damn things kept falling further.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m terribly sorry…,” he repeated over and over, wrapping his arms around me. He pulled me into his hot naked embrace, and I let him, I let him hold me tight as all of a sudden, I couldn’t fight the urge to feel him close.

Cause´ that´s what fucking love did to me.

“I didn’t mean to come at you, I swear I didn’t,” he said. “But you scared me, and I…, I… Lara, I simply lose my mind when it comes to you. I didn’t know where you were, I didn’t know whether you were alright. I didn’t know whether you would be alright when I come for you. Whether I wouldn’t come too late. Dove, do you have any idea of how important you are to me? I can´t allow something to happen to you.”

Am I?

What is he talking about?

“I didn’t mean to take it out on you. Please, forgive me.” His head dropped to my shoulder, and I could feel the weight of the remorse that overwhelmed him. “Cause´ I hate myself right now.”

“Don´t!” I blurted out as it became unbearable to endure the hopelessness in his voice. I succumbed to my first instinct, I wanted to cup his face with my hand to make him face me again. But instead of that I jerked as soon as the pain reminded me of my injury.

And he sighed heavily.

I shook my head; I opened my mouth to tell him not to worry about it. However, he was already too distracted by studying those little wounds that were still bleeding.

Until he looked at me.

He pressed his lips together as if thinking about something. As if considering saying something aloud. Yet he remained quiet, and just hide my injured hand between his palms.

The need to calm him somehow down overpowered me again but the heat spreading through my fingers immediately silenced me. One, two, three seconds and it was gone.

The pain.

The burning.

The heat.

Damn!

I guess I raised my eyebrows. I opened my mouth again, but I didn’t manage to get even a beep out of my throat when he straightened up and release my hand out of his grasp. My completely undamaged hand, while one of his was now covered with small wounds.

That´s right!

I totally forgot about my tears.

“What …?” I got stuck because… Holy crap! What had just happened?! I would have been convinced that I just hallucinated if the envoy from hell hadn’t raised the corner of his mouth into a crooked smile.

“Yes, Dove?” He laughed softly at my confused expression. I was pretty sure I must have looked confused. Very confused. “You want to know how I did it, don’t you?”

The hell I do!

My entire nervous break-down fell into oblivion, I was thrown off balance, unable to stop looking at my hands. And his hands. And my hands again. And then his hands.

“That´s just a demonic trifle,” he laughed quietly for the second time. “You’re not gonna run away from me, are you?”

What?

“A trifle?” The tone of my voice jumped two octaves higher. I managed to clear my throat quickly to cover how disconcerted I was. I was, I truly was, and as I looked him in the eyes, it dawned on me. I mean, I knew already, but now, maybe for the first time, I fully realized it.

That there was a real demon standing in front of me.

Even though he told me his secrets, he never let me to peek into his world. And if this meant that he was starting to trust me, I didn’t want to discourage him.

“What do you mean by a trifle?” I asked in a much calmer voice. Though, I didn’t hide my surprise, that was an impossible task. “What´s not trifle then? You passed my injury on yourself! You…”

Wait a second…

“Damn! You passed my injury on yourself and now you are hurt! Give it back! Now!”

And my demon burst out laughing.

“Don’t worry about me, Dove,” he only shrugged casually. “I´m not hurt. I told you once, my heart is my only weakness.”

Oh!

So he wasn’t kidding back then?!

“And besides, I heal fast.”

It took me a while to process his words. Yes, it did as the boy with that mesmerizing chest rested his hands on each side of my thighs on the counter. As he leaned forward to me. As he captured me in his knee-wobbling gaze. The amusement didn’t disappear from his face, but I also noticed tenderness behind those dancing flames in his eyes.

Oh, he still managed to captivate me like no one else. Yet, this time, I collected myself quickly. “How fast?” I had to ask.

The corners of his lips twitched, and I could tell he knew very well how curious I was. “Ask me in a minute,” he replied, conjuring up an absolutely magical smile.

The thousands of thoughts, running through my head were blocked when he pressed his lips to my forehead. And prolonging that moment, he got a pretty heavy sigh out of me. My real demon bent down to me, he run with his nose through mine, and maybe for a brief moment, I forgot about the world too. The ordinary and the supernatural as well.

“What about a deal, Princess?” The wry smile returned to his bewitching lips. “I´ll answer every question you have,” he immediately made me enliven, “if you eat something for breakfast.”

Oh!

That was very cunning!

“Everything?” I had to make sure. Because the offer sounded too tempting, and I needed to know whether there was a catch.

But my demon raised his hand, he stretched his pinkie only to intertwine it with mine.

“Fine,” I accepted his pinky swear. “I´m gonna take a shower. Then I´m gonna eat whatever you want me to. And then, Heaven help you Lestrad, if you´re just pulling my leg.”

He burst into a loud guffaw. However, even though it was the hottest laugh I´d ever heard, this time I didn’t enjoy it properly. Because as our pinkies separated, I noticed… Actually, I didn’t notice anything at all.

I grabbed his hand once again as I needed to look at it again. But no, no signs of injury, no wounds, just a perfectly smooth skin.

How the hell is that even possible?

He laughed even more and didn’t stop, I heard him even when I was already upstairs heading to the bathroom.

I´m not gonna lie, the hot water was extremely pleasant. Yet, it didn’t take me long to wash the pub´s smell away. I was curious, I was impatient and that meant I didn’t want to spend much time in bathroom.

However, only when I stepped out of the shower did I realize that -lost in my daze - I forgot to take clean clothes with me. Everything I´d worn, ended up in laundry basket and I was left just with Eric´s T-shirt. Praying that he stayed in the kitchen, preparing breakfast, I quickly ran back to my room just in that piece of light fabric.

But the luck didn’t stand on my side this time.

I found him lying on my bed but as soon as I crossed the threshold, he sat up. And yes, I noticed how he looked me up und down. I only stiffened, praying that this T-shirt of his was long enough just like every T-shirt he´d ever lent me.

“Princess,” he said, returning his gaze to my face. “It´s seven already. Jim can come home any minute and I´d rather not push my luck.”

Fuck!

My Uncle!

How could I forget about my Uncle?!

“I´m gonna go park my car in front of the Andersons so he wouldn’t see me. I´ll wait for you there, okey? You´re gonna ride with me, right? I´m gonna take you for breakfast. We have a lot of time left anyway. Even for your interrogation.”

I quickened a little bit as it sounded as a perfect plan. Especially the part about my interrogation.

“I just need my T-shirt back.”

Oh.

Well…

That could be a problem.

I stiffened again… No, I literally froze as he caught me off guard. I didn’t want to owe up to wearing only my birthday suit under his T-shirt.

“Okey… But I am… I…,” I stuttered like a kid. “Could you… Uhm, could you let me dress up? I am…, uh…”

I recognized the second when it changed.

His expression, his whole attitude, something in his eyes.

I got scared as he stood up, as he didn’t hesitate to step forward, to approach me. I took a step back, two or three, and then I couldn’t do anything else as my back hit the wall behind me. And the envoy from my personal hell narrowed his gaze at me as he leaned his hands on both sides of my head against it.

“Dove,” he spoke out my name, his voice suddenly too deep, “are you trying to tell me that you´re naked?”

Holy crap!

I had it all right in front of me.

His previous amusement was gone. Out of the blue, there was engulfing fire burning in his eyes. And he fixed them on me, he did it to make me realize how hypnotizing his gaze could be. He imprisoned me between his arms, and only then did I understand that his expression didn’t have anything in common with seriousness.

That was a pure desire his face reflected now.

His breath tickled my neck, I could literally feel each inch that divided our lips. He didn’t kiss me since the Valentine´s day, he wasn’t so close to me since we decided to make that stupid peace. And now, it hit me like a slap, it almost rolled me over. The feeling, the need, the urge.

I was fully aware of how intense my body was perceiving his closeness.

I was fully aware of the heat radiating from his skin.

I was fully aware of his naked chest rising against mine.

And I knew he felt it the same way.

That one moment told me everything about it. That only moment when he closed his beautiful eyes and leaned against me. Forehead against forehead, nose against nose. He dug his fingers into my hair only to brush it from my neck. He raised my heart rate somewhere to heavenly heights when he bent down to my skin and took a deep breath.

I swear, it must have been his lips running through the curve of my neck, I recognized it thanks to chills that immediately started crawling down my spine. And my demon groaned.

“I´m gonna go,” he whispered in a tone which reliably alerted every hair in my body. “Cause´ I´m afraid that even Heaven wouldn’t help you if I stayed. I´m too tempted to make sure you will stay naked the whole day.”

He hugged my face with his hand as if he didn’t mean it. He touched my lips with his thumb softly as if he didn’t find the strength to keep his word.

And I… if there was some bit of self-preservation left in my head, his captivating charisma shut it down. I wanted to ask him to stay, I even opened my mouth. But then the thought crossed my mind anyway.

We didn’t talk two weeks; he wasn’t looking for me since the Valentine´s night. I couldn’t succumb to him so easily; I didn’t want to be another bimbo he once knew.

“Damn,” he cursed quietly. And then he just pulled himself hastily away from me and disappeared behind the door.

I wished I was able to do something. To at least think.

I wished I was angry at myself for letting him disconcert me.

But the truth was that standing here nailed against the wall with my skin still tingling I felt alive again.

***

“What about the great blood vessels?”

Oh, goodness gracious, this was lovely. The spring Sun was already getting stronger, but this was the first time I enjoyed its rays tickling my nose. The warm rays and excited chirping of the birds. Well, okey, I didn’t really get what they were so high about… I mean, there wasn’t much green around yet. However, yeah, it was pleasant.

The air smelled completely differently as the forests, surrounding this little town were awakening too. And I simply couldn’t get enough of this morning while we were sitting on a bench by the basketball field.

Yes, I managed to return the T-shirt to him, thanking all my lucky stars that he didn’t comment it. I even managed to meet Jim, thanking my luckiest stars that my demon sticked to his plan and disappeared. And thanking Jesssica for an inspiration, I told my Uncle that I had to go to school earlier because I needed to finish my history project. I know, it was a lie. But it was totally worth it.

“I heal fast, Dove,” the envoy from my personal hell smiled at me. “I heal sooner than I could bleed out. You could stab me with that biggest kitchen knife of yours and I would still sit here like nothing happened.”

I almost choked on the Danishes he´d bought at the grocery store on our way here. However, the perfectly calm expression on his face revealed me that he was being honest with me.

“Fractures? Multiple fractures?”

“Remember the cliff where I took you to last November? I once jumped off it. I´m pretty sure I broke my spine as I couldn’t feel my legs. And two minutes later, I got out of the water, walking. As if nothing happened.”

“What the hell?” I think the pastry fell out of my hands, and the thought crossed my mind. Whether it was a good idea to keep eating when he was giving me such answers. “Why would you do that?”

And the boy in front of me burst out laughing. “It´s hard to explain, Princess. The rush of adrenalin, the speed, the strength. The power I have is simply captivating. It would be a shame not to use it.

Right.

Of course.

Damn! How strong is he?

Well, he definitely always pacified me without the slightest effort. But I wasn’t really a rival to him.

“Could you lift up… I don’t know…, a car?”

Car´s heavy, isn’t it?

“Without a blink of an eye. Even with you sitting in it.”

Holy crap!

He isn’t kidding me!

“What about bleeding in the brain? Concussion? Broken neck?” I blurted out another question.

However, my demon narrowed his eyes at me, and for a brief instant he looked rather discontented. For a brief instant until I realized that I stopped eating. I quicky picked up my Danish pastry, I bit again, giving him what he wanted. And he didn’t hesitate anymore to keep his pinky swear as well: “That could knock me out. Especially when I lose consciousness. But…, I don’t know whether I´ve already said it, I heal fast.”

The corners of his lips twitched as he was watching me. I had no idea whether I looked so funny while I was stuffing myself. In my defense, the fruity topping was simply delicious. Or maybe he found my curiosity so hilarious.

“Can you suffocate?”

But the boy with the most mesmerizing eyes I´d ever seen just shook his head. “My heart, Dove. That´s my weakness. If you stab it, I die. That´s the only way to kill me. Everything else ends up with- I heal fast.”

Interesting.

How calm he revealed his only weakness to me.

“What about fire?” I asked another question as I didn’t want to let him know that it actually touched me. That he trusted me with his secret.

“It burns.”

“Do you even feel pain?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “But it has to be caused by a great strength.”

What?

I wanted to ask what he meant by that. However, something clicked in my brain, and I remembered. “The baseball bat?” I recalled the day when I slapped him and then he gave me instructions how to do it more thoroughly next time.

And the envoy from my personal hell burst into a load guffaw. Again.

“Well, I´m not really sure whether it would help but it´s definitely a better option than just your tiny fists.”

Tiny?

I snorted.

Which made him laugh even more.

There was only small piece of my breakfast left, reminding me that I was running out of time. And that the senior boys’ basketball team already came outside wasn’t a good sign. I expected the school bell to ring soon, and I still had sooo many questions.

“Is Tamara…?”

“Perfectly human,” he smiled but I could see something bittersweet in his expression. “William too.”

I got a little stuck. I wanted to know how they found out, how they reacted but I wasn’t sure whether asking about his family wasn’t too rude of me. And the hot guardian of the keys to my happiness let his gaze fall upon the pavement in front of us, making me realize that he probably wasn’t ready for this kind of topic.

“They´re family,” yet, I heard him say. “The only I´d ever had. I´ve changed a lot, Princess but still, if I had the slightest suspicion that something might happen to them, I would leave. I would never hurt them. Just like I would never hurt you.”

He looked at me again and I could swear I saw a tension in his eyes. As if something was bothering him. “You know that Dove, right?”

Yes, there was definitely a tension and a little bit of fear hidden in his eyes. And I understood that this was important to him. That he needed to know that I wasn’t afraid of him.

“I do,” I had no doubts. I mean… I know, he hurt me, he broke my heart. But I was sure that he would never hurt me physically. That he wouldn’t hurt me deliberately.

I smiled. Or at least I wanted to smile. Instead, a pretty disappointed expression overwhelmed my face as a sound of school bell´s ringing reached my ears through the open window of a geography class.

And the real demon next to me chuckled. “C´mon, Princess, drop that sad face. You can torture me with your questions later. I´m driving you home after all. And we can do something together later.”

And that was exactly the moment when all my enthusiasm fell apart. Cause´ I knew better now.

“Thank you, Eric,” I picked up all the paper bags and threw it into the trash can. Suddenly, I wasn’t able to look at him. “But I´m gonna ask Jessica to drive me home. I don’t wanna be a third wheel to you and your ex-girlfriend. She´s gonna wait for you at the parking lot again, isn’t she?”

I rather stood up. I was totally unable to face him once more, yet I somehow noticed how he paled. Even the light shock his expression reflected. I guess he wanted to say something. But wishing him a nice day, I didn’t give him another opportunity to mess with my head.

I survived the first half of the classes only thanks to Beckie who fell in love lately with some kind of a college guy with a motorbike. Her rhapsodies about him where definitely more interesting then the heavily sighs of my heart.

And for the last three periods, my best friend took the guard over my mood. She managed to cheer me up only with the I-don’t-know-what-to-think look she kept watching my pretty old Converse sneakers with.

For my conscience´s sake, I didn’t run home as soon as the school was over. But I decided to join her at lunch today. And looking at the food counter in lunchroom, I didn’t regret my decision at all. I mean, I couldn’t decide what I fancied more. Whether the mushroom pasta or meat.

“Um, Lara,” Jessica poked me in the arm. “I think your still-not boyfriend’s heading to us, and he looks awfully hot again.”

What?

I had to try hard not to burst out laughing at her hilarious attempt to pretend that she had no idea that he was coming. That she had had no idea that Eric Lestrad existed at all. However, willy-nilly, I looked at him too, and…

Heh, awfully hot seemed like an awfully ridiculous underestimation of the whole situation.

“And you haven’t seen him half-naked yet,” I told her, not bothering to whisper.

I was fully aware of her widening eyes; I knew that there were a lot of her questions awaiting me. But I didn’t care. At that moment, I just couldn’t stop staring.

At the brazen self-confidence radiating from every his step. He was wearing only stupid jeans, and the olive-colored T-shirt I´d been sleeping in, yet he simply changed the meaning, he raised the bar of a perfection.

Maybe it occurred to me. That I should tactfully suggest Jess to be careful about the words she would want to say. The crooked smile on his divine face told me that he´d heard her. That he knew what we were talking about. And the sharp breath he took assured me that he´d heard me as well.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Dear brain, could you please stop drooling?

“Ladies,” my demon simply nodded as he approached us.

“What´s up?” I tried to look relaxed.

I tried, okey?

That counts, right?

I was surprised a little bit. After I left the way I left in the morning, I wouldn’t expect him to come to talk to me again.

“Not much, Princess,” he shrugged casually. “Actually, I came to see Jessica.”

Well, if I thought I was surprised thirty seconds ago then right now, I was already pretty disconcerted. But not as disconcerted as Jessica.

“What?” she cried, and I was maybe a little grateful that she prevented me from similar reaction. I just followed his example and shrugged casually, turning my attention to the food again.

The mushroom pasta.

It smelled delicious.

Yeah, definitely the pasta!

“Jess.” I couldn’t overhear him as they still stood behind me. It was none of my business, I know. However… It was impossible not to listen either. Not when he talked to her with that damn captivating tone of his voice. I was quite sure that if he wanted her soul, or her heart, or whatever, she’d give it to him on a silver platter. I would definitely do it.

Goddammit!

Girl!

What´s going on with you?

“I recently learned that Lara doesn’t eat,” he said.

“What the hell?” she cried even more.

“What the hell?” I followed her example as well, adding an extra angry tone. Very angry tone. And I didn’t hesitate to turn back to them.

“Excuse us, Princess,” but Eric gave me only a brief glance, as if this didn’t concern me at all. “Private conversation.”

Fuck, what?

Private?

I’m standing right here!

I gasped, I needed to get some air into my lungs as he simply turned all his attention back to Jessica. “Since she refuses to spend the time with me, could you please keep an eye on her? So she eats at least at lunch?”

Excuse me?

I…

I just…

“Who do you think you are?!” I barked at him, simply refusing to tolerate it anymore. “I’m standing right in front of you!”

“I can see you Princess,” he answered calmly. “How couldn’t I? I haven’t seen anything more beautiful so far. “

Oh, yes.

He still managed to do it thoroughly. To force me to reach the bottom of my self-control. But now, as he was standing next to me and yet ignoring me, he crossed the line.

What the hell was wrong with him?

Why does he care?

Where was he the past two weeks?

“Don’t fuck with me, Lestrad! Quit treating me like a little kid!” I hissed through gritted teeth. “I’m warning you…,”

And the boy who I was talking to froze. He took a sharp breath, forcing me realize that this threatening thing wasn’t the best idea. And when he turned to me, when he approached me, I was sure of it.

In fact, I didn’t even have time to collect myself, or even back away. In an instant, I had his pretty pissed expression floating right in front of my face.

“Or what? What are you going to do, Dove?” He growled.

But that wasn’t all.

His audacity made the blood inside me boil and my hormones to get furious. I swear, every nerve in my body was on alert. I was ready to argue, to yell, to scream.

Only if he didn’t bow down.

He disarmed me completely as he leaned to me, looking for my eyes. And I was angry, I really was, still I couldn’t help but notice his closeness. I couldn’t help but notice how his lips looked like.

Exactly like finding a briefcase with thirty million dollars on the ground.

You just have to take it.

You simply have to.

And I…, I wanted…

I swear, all the air evaporated from the space around us. Out of the blue, I really had trouble breathing. And his breath stuttered as if he lacked oxygen too. However no, the envoy from my personal hell jerked and I understood that he noticed it too. That he was aware of me staring at his lips.

All of a sudden, I found myself in my room back in the morning. Or at least I felt exactly the same way.

Or not.

No.

This time, it was thousand times worse.

Because I didn’t care anymore. Because I refused to stop looking at that damn mesmerizing part of his divine face. Did they still taste as bewitching as I remembered? So bewitching that they always made me give up, lose the battle raging inside me and succumb to the unbearable urge to kiss him? That lower lip of his, dammit, his lower lip, how I desired to suck it in my mouth.

Oh.

It was there. The lust, the excruciating desire which had the power to make me forget about my rules and resolutions and bring me to my knees instead, was burning in his eyes. It was there in his irises as I looked up at him. And if I thought that my hormones were getting furious few seconds ago, then now, it must have been more of an explosion what his gaze started inside me.

Or his scent, I couldn’t decide it.

And he… It was as if he knew exactly what was going through my mind. As if he knew exactly what to do to make me beg.

My skin was burning me, my whole heart was burning me. And he clenched his fists. I had no idea whether he did it out of anger, or out of the same uncontrollable feelings that completely engulfed me. Like a tsunami, the chills rolled over me only to turn to a heat and started crawling down my spine into every part of my stiffened body.

“Um, uh, Lara, honey,” Jess cleared her throat, and I immediately jerked, realizing that she was still standing there with us, too. She tried to look inconspicuous again, but I couldn’t be more grateful for her interruption. “I’ll wait for you at the table, okey?”

No!

No way!

“I’m coming with you,” I said without a slightest hesitation. It was out of the question for me to stay alone with him. Especially not now when the corner of his lips rose into his incredibly provocative smile.

Yep, it was weird.

It was weird of me to simply walk away from him without saying a word.

Everything that had just happened was mega weird.

Still, the weirdest thing about it was that even two minutes after we sat down in a booth for two, Jessica didn’t utter even a word.

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