Falling For You (Unbreakable #3)

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5.

Eric:

So, where were we…

Oh!

Right!

I know.

I was heading to the lunchroom, the sun was shining, Friday afternoon. I thought of the thousand and first way how to convince my Princess to spend the evening with me. Then I saw her at the food counter, she was standing there with her friend.

And suddenly, out of the blue…

I guess, I needed an ice-cold shower.

She simply let me stand here with my heart pounding like crazy and pretty tight pants. And I was sweaty and gasping for air.

Well, fine, I shouldn’t be surprised. It wasn’t the first time she did something like that to me after all. Actually, my Princess mastered the highest level of torturing me. And she also had a fucking great power over me.

Someone quite naïve - like me - would hope that the two-week separation could help somehow. That maybe I could get used to it. That when I wasn’t around her all the time, I wouldn’t succumb to her magic so easily.

Bah!

The two-week separation had the exact opposite effect, and everything I tried to suppress suddenly hit me hard and all together. Although it may be true that I was to blame.

Maybe I should stop thinking about all the things I would like to do with her. About all the stuff I would like to do to her. But it wasn’t possible, I swear it wasn’t. There will be a cold day in hell before I manage to give up provoking her. Because the way she always reacted to my teasing boiled my blood. It was like a dose of a drug that was never enough of. And I was addicted, dammit, I was completely captivated.

No. This was millions of miles beyond the boundary of my freewill, and I couldn’t get enough of all the ways she returned my teasing.

And then I wonder how come all I can think about is the white sofa in Jim’s living room where I would like to lay her on. Or pin her against the kitchen counter. Or her bed….

Holy crap, her bed with all her scent around!

Exactly.

It was probably high time to admit that it all got out of my hands.

I offered her peace only to make the confusion disappear from her face. The confusion that almost ripped my heart when I climbed up a tree to her room and I found her sitting on the ground playing with roses I´d given her. She was incredibly beautiful and so broken, and I simply knew that I´d caused it. That it was my fucking fault.

First, I ended up our friendship just to find out that I needed her back, that I wasn’t able to even breathe without her. I did everything possible and impossible to make her trust me again. And when I finally succeeded, I screwed up with the whole Leroy – Sophie affair. I knew I didn’t deserve a fraction of her attention anymore. Not after all the things she told me back then at the rest area. And I wanted to leave, I really planned to pack up and get out of her life so I couldn’t hurt her anymore.

Instead?

I completely lost my self-control and couldn’t stop kissing her.

Icing on a cake?

I stole her soul.

Yes, I needed that peace, I needed it as much as I needed my redemption. I had to give her space, an opportunity to cool down. So she would have enough time to think it through, to deal with it. So it would all become only memories. I felt like this whole thing could be a chance for her and me to put everything in the past and have a fresh start. That I could get my chance to win her over.

I knew very well that this was my last chance. Which meant I mustn’t fail again. I knew her patience had its limits. I was fully aware that this time I had to do it right. That I had to conquer her slowly, precisely, and very carefully.

And it seemed to be a good decision. At first. The confusion really disappeared from her face. As I stopped chasing and teasing her, she truly looked calmer. And that was the only reason why I held on to that. Why I repeated to myself every morning that I had to endure it. That I need to wait until she alone would decide to let me back in her life again.

But that day never came.

I told her she was the boss here. That I would do anything she wanted me to. That I wait until she needs no more time. And I intended to keep my promise. Even though I missed her unbearably. Even though I was going insane. Even though that every fucking second without her close to me seemed like an eternity.

Mia was right. The connection she had made between us completely robbed me of my mind, of my free will. I missed her scent, the softness of her body, lying in my arms. I missed her laughter, the way she could make fun of even the most serious things. That she always made me look at the world with completely different eyes. Without her, I was suddenly unable to even survive.

I regretted being apart from her perhaps a million times a day. It cost me all my strength not to run after her when I watched over her at school. It cost me extreme self-control not to just get on my knees and beg her to at least lie to me. That she could be mine some day. But I managed to keep it under control, I really controlled myself as if it was my last hope of rescue.

And maybe I would have succeeded, maybe I would have endured it all if she hadn’t admitted that she missed me too. That she couldn’t hate me after all. That afternoon, at that moment, at that one second, she broke my will, my plans, my hard-won self-control down. It all fell apart like a house built on the sand during a huge storm.

The result?

I crawled into her room at two o´clock in the morning.

Just to see her.

Just. So. I. Could. See. Her.

Goodness gracious, I felt an immense relief when she let me curl up to her. I swear, I could easily die when she didn’t protest against my arms around her stunning body. And I knew I would rather rip my heart out of my chest than let her go.

Her embrace.

Oh, just her embrace.

It felt like paradise.

Actually…

Fuck the whole paradise.

Paradise seemed to be a cheap motel compared to her arms. Just a necessity you don’t want to stay in for more than one night.

And her belly.

Mmmm, her belly….

My newest favorite place.

I wouldn’t hesitate to lay my face on her belly straightaway. I would gladly let myself daze with her soft skin. I would even enjoy my own inability to decide whether I would want to wander with my fingers up or down the velvety path.

Oh, yes, I was ravished this morning having her in my arms. So ravished that I had to be damn careful so she wouldn’t notice what she´d been doing to me.

Just like now.

It was probably high time to go sit down somewhere so no one would notice how hard I was thanks to her again.

Okey…

One more time… Where were we….?

Right!

I wanted to ask her friend to look after her. It scared me, it fucking tormented me that she was refusing to eat, that she was hurting herself. I had to do something about it, hadn’t I?

I admit, I expected her to get upset. And instead, she made me reach the bottom of my self-control. Because her angry look, those big, beautiful eyes…, my Gosh!

The counter behind her?

That’s exactly where I would pin her against right now. Just so I could feel her soft body leaned against mine. Just so I could perceive her accelerated breath on my skin. Just so I could hear her quiet moans, coming from those bewitching lips as I would make her repeat my name. I would wrap my arms around her, I would take her into my embrace so she could never leave again. And then I would kiss her until there’s no air left in our lungs. I would keep kissing her until she admits that she´s mine. Only mine.

Lara was like my Medusa. Exactly the one, whose one gaze turned a man into a stone. I was sure that she was created to torture me for all my sins. One look at her was enough for me to be enchanted, dazed, completely captivated. Tied in handcuffs of her charm, and able to do anything for her. Absolutely anything.

But my Princess - unlike Medusa - was hauntingly beautiful and I was fucked up, even when she wasn’t looking at me. And I had a stone only in my pants.

I sat down in the nearest booth. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, even though I knew that she would rather hug the Indian Cobra than return the look to me.

She seemed to be tensed and even more stunning than five seconds ago. I held my breath as she ran her fingers through her hair. I was damn disappointed that I couldn’t feel her scent across the room the way I could hear her.

“So… Will you tell me finally what the hell that supposed to mean?” Her friend asked.

She choked and I couldn’t help but smile. Because it was an appropriate question and I inevitably needed to hear her answer.

“What do you mean, Jess?”

Of course.

Avoiding.

As always.

She knew I was listening.

“Eric Lestrad,” Jessica didn’t let herself be discouraged by my Dove´s temper. “I thought that you two would jump on yourselves. I just wasn’t sure if you start fighting or kissing and undressing each other.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have interrupted us,” she shrugged casually. “You would have found out which of these two possibilities our encounter would have led to.”

I took a sharp breath as I truly needed to breath it through. I needed something, anything that would keep me sitting on that chair and not to run to kiss her straightaway. Hell, she should definitely watch her mouth, her provocations were sometimes like stirring up a hornet’s nest.

Just like back then on Valentine’s Day. I swear, if Jim hadn’t been sitting right next to me, nothing would have helped her. Nothing, nothing at all. No begging, no beseeching, not even her escape maneuvers. I was damn close to making her mine that night.

And now?

I glanced at my pants just to make sure nothing had changed.

“Girl, I really don’t get you,” her friend shook her head.

Yeah, Jess, me neither.

My Dove was fire and ice.

She could melt all my brain cells and arouse a passion within me I had never felt before. I thought she wouldn’t want to see me ever again, but I had to risk it when she needed to be saved from Colin. Just in principle. I couldn’t have let such a jerk to confess his feelings to her. I mean, he wasn’t able to hold a candle to her!

But try to endure it.

A small space, her huge, frightened eyes, her face five inches from mine. I would have to be a monk to be able to handle it.

No.

Actually no.

I wouldn’t have handled it even as a holy man.

I was happy when she started fighting with me. Cause´ then I had an excuse to pin her against the wall behind her and feel her soft body touching mine. My blood was boiling, my whole chest was burning, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think when she suddenly was in my arms. Completely tamed.

I was terribly relieved that she was running from Colin. That she didn’t wait for him in the lunchroom. If she had accepted the confession from him, I would had gone crazy letting anger, sadness, fear, and despair overwhelm me.

But… The way she breathed, the way she was staring at me. The way her scent was intoxicating me. Every bit of her curves I felt pressed to my body. It robbed me of my free will, it robbed me of the ability to control myself. That desire swept me away like a tornado, tearing apart everything I´d ever believed in. Instead, I only believed in her.

I wasn’t able to stop it. When she shivered, I did the only one thing I craved the most.

I kissed her.

I was aware of her trying to pull away. But her accelerated breath, her gentle touches, her stiffness itself reliably told me that she didn’t really want to push herself away from me. She gasped when I touched her and I couldn’t let her go, at that moment I couldn’t stand an extra inch between us.

And she kissed me back.

At that moment, the world stopped to spin, and I simply wanted to get on my knees and begged her to be mine. That’s how she had me wrapped around her finger. And I didn’t mind.

Because I thought she didn’t want anything to do with me anymore and yet, she kissed me back.

And everything would have been absolutely perfect if she hadn’t pulled away from me. Everything would be absolutely wonderful if she stopped running away from me. Every fucking time. It was like jumping from fire to ice. Like having everything and suddenly nothing.

And I hated it.

“I’m like really scared to ask,” her voice caressed my heart as she replied to her friend, “but what don’t you get?”

She was playing with her food, and I couldn’t decide what I wanted more. Whether to find out where their conversation would lead to, or her to finally start eating.

“Why don’t you jump on him?”

Heh.

Okey.

Nothing was more important to me than hearing her answer. Even though she wasn’t like that, I couldn’t imagine her jumping on me. But I held her in high esteem for it.

“And why would I do that?”

Sure, a counter-question.

Because why not.

That girl will kill me one day.

I know she will!

“Because Eric´s damn sexy,” Jessica said, “and because there’s obviously some chemistry between you two.”

She looked down; my Princess just watched the table in front of her. She didn’t say anything for an awful long time, and I swear my chair turned into needles.

“Jess, it’s not just about chemistry,” she laughed eventually, but it wasn’t a happy laugh. “Try to put yourself in my shoes. What are my options?”

Be mine?

Or be mine.

Hey, how about being mine?

No, I know. Simply be mine.

She looked at me, my Princess finally fixed her beautiful eyes on me, forcing something inside me to stiffen. I was beginning to realize that I wouldn’t like none of what she was about to say.

“He’s my friend,” she whispered softly, as if she didn’t even want me to hear it. Maybe I felt remorse for listening. Maybe. For about five seconds.

“The best I’ve ever had. We’ve made it pretty complicated, but somehow I believe it still can be fixed.”

Holy crap!

Did she really mean it?

Wasn’t I dreaming?

Did she just give me hope that the bond between us wasn’t lost?

“So, either we try to make the friend-thing work,” she continued, but I didn’t overhear it anyway. How her voice broke. “Or let the chemistry win and jump at each other, as you say. A little moment of damn passion and what will happen next? We will destroy everything we have built up over the months. Do you think it would be worth it?”

I frowned as I didn’t quite understand what my Dove meant. Why the hell should we destroy something?

“Why should it last only for a little moment?” Thank Goodness, Jessica asked the question for me.

“Because you’re right,” she exhaled defeated. She let go of the fork she was holding in her hand, and she leaned against her chair. And I didn’t like it, dammit, I really didn’t like any of what she was saying.

“Eric´s damn handsome. Which means there will always be other girls around him. Always. And I don’t need that.”

She said it, she said it out loud. She said those words in front of her friend, but it wasn’t for Jessica. This was for me. Just for my ears.

Because I hurt her.

She was the only one I´d ever truly cared about, and I hurt her.

Even though, I didn’t mean…

Oh! Hell no!

Stop making excuses!

You treated her like an asshole.

Because that´s what you are.

An asshole.

“I had a boyfriend back at home. His name was Jace,” she continued, forcing me to look up and listen to her again. “He cheated on me. Even though it was pride, and not my feelings that had been hurt back then, I wanted to take revenge on him. The same way he deceived me. I don’t even remember the guy´s name, all I know is that I still hate myself for it.”

Jessica was the one who took her by the hand. It was Jessica and not me who could comfort her. And I almost didn’t stand to see her so broken. She deserved to be treated like princess.

She deserved it all.

“I just can’t do it, Jess. I can´t sleep with someone out of fun. Knowing that I’m just one of many, just a trophy. I don’t want to be anyone’s trophy. I don’t want to be someone who means nothing but short-term pleasure. I´m not that kind of a girl.”

It burned, her words burned and stabbed me at the same time, and my head dropped into my palms under their weight. Jace had only one hope in his fucking useless life - that he would never meet me. I hated it; I hated the idea of ​​him touching her. Yet I hated myself even more. Because I hurt her as well. Without even touching her.

“Do you think Eric wouldn’t be faithful to you too?”

Jessica’s voice, her next question made me immediately collect myself. I looked up, I looked at the beautiful girl few feet ahead of me only to find out she was already watching me. And I froze as it slowly dawned on me.

She knew very well that I was listening. I expected her not to tell truth. I expect her not to want to share her opinion with me.

Still, I guess I wasn’t breathing at all. I couldn’t even take a one single damn breath as I was waiting for her answer. And then something pretty hard burdened my chest as my Princess looked away.

A fly was buzzing at the fourth window on the left. Some posters slowly fell to the ground from the noticeboard as someone opened the door. And some kind of too sweet song were playing on that annoying school radio. I could feel every fucking second of her silence.

My Dove definitely knew how to make me feel tense. Suddenly, I felt annoyed only by myself. I felt annoyed by the people around me. And the boyish voice singing… No, wait. That dude put the words in my mouth.

She´d got a hold of me, she didn’t even know her power. Yes, my ego stood a hundred feet, but I was falling when I was around her. I was definitely a puppet on her strings.

“Lars, honey,” Jessica poked her softly. “You need to be honest with yourself in the first place. Don’t you have any feelings for him?”

Mercy!

“I…”

Please, take it easy on my heart!

And then the most beautiful girl in the world fixed her eyes again on me. “I care about him damn much. More than I am willing to admit.”

If I thought I´d frozen a minute ago than I completely petrified right now. There was an honesty and defeat, reflecting from every syllable of her confession. And I simply couldn’t believe that I heard her say that. I couldn’t believe I could be so lucky.

Because not only did she deny that she could ever hate me, she also admitted that she still cared about me. Despite everything she had to go through for me. I swear, the devastating tornado inside me calmed down, and the first warm rays of the sun finally penetrated through the clouds. And all I wanted to do was to take her into my arms and lay my head on her shoulder.

“And you think he doesn’t feel the same way?”

What?

It brought me back to reality, it almost knocked me out of my cloud nine hearing Jessica ask the dumbest question in human history.

“Dammit, Jess, how am I supposed to know what he´s thinking?” My Princess barked out at her friend irritably. “Why don’t you go ask him?”

What the fuck?

Fuck! What?

Is she kidding me?

She´s kidding me, right?

Doesn’t she know what she means to me?

Out of the blue, there were like millions of thoughts running through my head uncontrollably as her answer totally disconcerted me.

“I’m sorry, Jess, I didn’t mean to come at you,” she apologized right after. “Could we just talk about something else? Please? I just…”

She got stuck, and so did I. Because her mesmerizing eyes met mine again. And her piercing gaze seemed to be unbearable.

“I´m just sick and tired of dealing with the same old drama over and over again.”

Well, I understood her. She probably didn’t want to explain to her fried how I´d kissed her and then kissed someone else.

A colossal asshole.

I was looking at her, I kept staring at her even though she turned her attention back to Jessica. Those millions of thought suddenly disappeared and there was only emptiness left in my mind. At that moment, I knew only one thing.

I craved this girl more than I craved anything else.

She, knowing her, being with her was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me in my entire existence. I couldn’t lose her.

And I wanted her back.

Fuck the whole peace thing!

“Based on how often you’ve been calling me lately, I’d say you really miss me.”

I recognized the teasing tone in Amelia´s voice when she finally answered my phone call. But yeah, she was right. I´d missed her. And her powers.

“Mia,” I exhaled heavily. “Please, tell me you’ve found something.”

I was really begging, at least inwardly. And the silence at the other side was literally killing me.

“I’m sorry, Eric,” she eventually replied, and her exhalation sounded heavier. “Still nothing.”

My face ended up in my palm again, I failed to stop the disappointment. Because the hope that I could be finally happy, seemed still too far away from me.

“What about Sophie? Did you ask her for help? Did she find something?”

I frowned, hearing her name. As a matter of fact, I totally regretted getting her involved. I thought she might figure it out as she was more powerful than Mia. However, it looked like she was just using my plea for help as an excuse to be around me. She kept chasing me, saying that she wanted to try some spells she´d found out. But it never worked, and she didn’t even seem to be sorry.

“No,” I shook my head vehemently even though Mia couldn’t see me. “I don’t rely on Sophie. And I don’t trust her either. You´re my only hope.”

“Goddammit, Lestrad! I would kick your ass if I could right now!” She burst out laughing. “How many times have I offered myself to search for your way out of this bullshit? And you always, ALWAYS refused me. And now I can’t get rid of you and your constant begging. What is wrong with you?”

I looked in front of me just to lose my breath again. I looked at her, I looked at my Princess.

She.

Just she.

I´d never wanted to have everything under control as much as I wanted now. Instead, I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t the one who was being controlled.

As if she knew exactly how to daze me. I could swear she had her own methods to lure me. And I, even though I knew I would end up tied in chains of her charm, I was willing to follow her everywhere she would go.

If only she let me.

If only she stopped running away from me.

It was so easy to read in people, but my Dove was confusing, so terribly confusing. And the more confused I felt, the more I fell for her.

And there was nothing I could do about it.

You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”

“Do you still remember the day when you found me in the middle of some forest? I woke up there after I failed to control myself for like the millionth time?” I asked.

“I do,” Mia admitted carefully, “you were down in the dumps, and it was extra bad back then.”

“You asked me to think of something I wanted. You wanted me to fight for something I really desired. And I couldn’t think of anything.”

I recalled how much it was killing me. How much I longed to just give up and stay the way I was. Not to worry about good or evil. Just to take what I wanted.

“Now, I have a reason,” I whispered, still looking ahead.

And my friend who´d finally managed to tame the monster in me laughed heartily. But I recognized relief and a bit of happiness as she exhaled.

“How is she?” She knew immediately whom I was talking about.

“I don’t know,” my voice broke. “I´m losing her.”

And that was killing me even more.

“I’ve wasted so many chances and I can’t waste another one. Because it could be the last opportunity to make things right. And that´s why I need to get rid of my past, of Leroy, of the whole Brotherhood. So it would never endanger her again. I don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Mia, please find a way to free me from it.”

I was begging, I know I was. However, at that moment, I didn’t care.

“I’ll try everything possible and impossible, sweetie,” she promised me, and it calmed me down a little. Because I knew she would do it for me. That she would keep her word.

“But you’ll have to be patient, it’s not that simple. Don’t forget that you´re the one who leads them, you bind them together. Finding a loophole in this case can be a bit of a problem. I won’t give up, nonetheless. There’s always one there, right?”

She laughed, and I was grateful for it. Though I wasn’t so pleased. I desperately wanted to get out of it, to detach myself from them.

“Besides, honey,” she added, “it´s not what´s around you but what´s inside you that will matter when it comes to winning over Lara´s heart.”

And that was actually the biggest problem.

Somehow, I didn’t think there was something worth loving about me.

Lyrics I used in this chapter belongs to Shawn Mendes´ Mercy

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