My feet take me up the steps. I stare over at the drape covered windows on the right side. It’s difficult to forgive myself for coming all the way here... for him. But I have some delusion that he might need me.
My finger presses the doorbell. Standing in front of this door seems darker than anything else. I shake off my nerves, although they hang on tight. My lips are frozen.
My eyes take another look at the black road behind me. Regret feels like a large spider crawling up my back. The door opens. I’m met with a gust of hot air and a hot Judah.
A short breath releases from my lungs. His hand pulls his hair away from his face. His grey eyes watch me move in. My heart races for miles. My body wants to manipulate my fingers to touch him. I try to resist.
There’s a temporary pause, after he shuts the door. He rolls up the sleeves of his dark green shirt. Nothing is said or heard yet. I’m internally breaking down in small increments.
Judah walks over to the kitchen, staring at me across the island.
“Did you eat?” he asks gently.
I look from one side of the room to the other, feeling a tad awkward and self-aware. I don’t know how to stand. I can already feel myself heating up under his stare.
“Actually, I was sleeping in my cozy bed,” I try to tell him off.
He smirks, “Without me?”
I roll my eyes at that reply. Judah walks casually, swaying his pointy shoulders, towards his sofa. I think for a minute, though. He sits comfortably with his knees on opposites and his arms resting on the back.
Uh-oh. Was that his code for his troubles with sleep? Now I don’t know... He has an odd way of expressing himself. My head feels heavier. I admire the way his shirt fits him... the way his veins clash and curve with his tattoos across his arms.
“Um, but we could sleep, here.”
“We could do other things,” Judah suggests, “Here.”
My slow legs bring me to his side. One of his brows lifts, while his eyes snake me up and down.
“No,” I shake my head, “Just sleep.”
He interrupts by grabbing my butt, pulling me down to him on the sofa.
He grabbed my heart at the same time. I look into his deep grey eyes, wondering what’s on his mind. Could it really be me? His next move tells me right away. His next move tells me he’s the bad guy.
Judah locks my neck in his other hand, kissing me hard—and harder. Something unorthodox takes me over. My hands clasp the sides of his face, kissing him back, straddling over his lap.
Slowly, I move my tongue in, loving the taste of him. He makes a low groan, while his shameless hands travel up and down my back. His muscles harden under my touch. His fingers twist around with the strings of my sweatpants. His palms pass some barriers.
I quickly break the link we made and hop off of Judah. I smooth my hair back and take a long needed breath of air. Judah sits still, with his eyes closed, and his brows low. His hands, which are in mid-air and missing my waist, roll into fists. I lick my lips, wishing I was where I was.
“Don’t play games with me,” he turns his lips into a smirk, as he opens his grey eyes.
“I’m not. I told you what I want,” I shrug and mumble, “Which is sleep.”
“What about what I want?” he questions, leaning back in the sofa.
I spin around and walk up the stairs. My back can feel his harsh stare. I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate being ignored. I know he loves the fact that there’s space in the bed.
For what feels like the first time, Judah follows me to the second floor. I look behind my shoulder.
“So why’d you call me over?” I ask, crossing my arms.
“It’s cold out,” Judah tells me, like I don’t know that.
I frown and tip my lip forward.
He answers softly, “Keep me warm.”
My frown solidifies. But nothing within me can seem to resist the way he steps closer, leaning his forehead down to mine. Trying to give him a cold shoulder is near impossible. He knows how to make me melt—drawing me in, gripping me tight, kissing my neck. He feels so good that it’s nauseating. Before my eyes roll to the back of my head, I speak up.
“Now you sound needy,” I say.
He grins all over my naive skin.
“Listen, sweet cheeks,” Judah raises his head and stares.
“Stop with the sweet cheeks,” I complain in the middle of his sentence.
He just goes on, “I’m a man. I have needs.”
I sigh with a side of eye roll, “Go find another girl to fulfill them—”
Suddenly, I’m tossed over the bed. My mouth nearly lets out a shriek. Judah edges his body on top of me. He eyes me, like he’s looking at a lake for a midnight swim. His head descends, brushing the tip of his lips onto mine. I gasp, feeling his hands pushing my thighs apart. My hands turn cold. His weight eases carefully on me, cementing me in the bed. I suck in my stomach and hold my breath in.
Judah looks down at our bodies connecting.
“There’s no other girl like you,” he whispers gently to me, “You know that.”
When his voice is husky and his touch is urgent... it’s so easy to digest his flattering words. I decide to just fall for it. My lips part slightly. Judah takes full advantage of it and kisses me deeply.
My arms stretch around his neck. The longer time passes, the more I feel closer to this man. In one pull, he strips my top off. My heart pounds crazily in my chest. He then takes his shirt off, while I take in his sculpted abs. Although the room is only lit by the moon outside, I get a glimpse of old scars and a singular round wound... a bullet wound. My mind wonders how long it’s been since he’s felt that pain. My thumb runs over the uneven skin, before he leans into me.
In a second, I go through a roller coaster of emotions. I think about who he is, what he’s done, the crimes he’s committed, the women he’s been with... hurt... So why is he kissing me so passionately.
It’s hard to stop him when he does it so well.
He grasps my hips possessively, grinding us together. His teeth bites down on my bottom lip, as his hands shed my bra away. I gasp, feeling his lips wander down my neck, suckling and biting.
I hook one arm around his neck and hold his shoulder with the other. My pants go flying after. I try to mentally overcome my shyness and accept his touch, no matter how rough it can be.
My eyes squeeze shut when Judah squeezes my chest. A small moan escapes my throat. I don’t know why this feels so right.
I hear a sudden burst going on downstairs. Judah feels me shudder beneath him and raises his head. I give him a cautious look.
“Judah?” a loud male voice calls out from downstairs, accompanied by a few footsteps.
I slip away from Judah’s now loosening grip and hide instantly in a panic. I take refuge under the sheets. He sighs heavily, almost groaning. I watch him stand by the bedroom arch.
“What?” he snaps at whoever’s below the stairs.
My heart hits hard and my pulse explode from the fright.
“We got to go,” they tell him.
Judah combs his fingers through his messy hair. He takes a quick whiff of air, before looking back at me. I cover my chest as best as I can with the thin white bed sheets. He rolls his hands into fists and comes over to grab his shirt.
In that time, the guy climbs upstairs and spots me sitting on Judah’s bed. My face probably looks like a swollen tomato. He simply continues to converse with Judah in hush tones. I look away and turn my shoulder. Judah gets ready to walk out. I open my mouth quickly.
“I got to go,” he answers before I ask the question.
“Wait!” I blurt out, feeling more than frustrated.
Judah stops in his track, although the others are out. I don’t really want to be abandoned and left alone in his room. He clearly knew he had somewhere to go... or at least had a vague idea of the time he’d have to be gone. He must have needed a reason to be distracted, I guess. My worry for him surfaces, because I know why he has to go. Asking him to stay isn’t something I can do. My face frowns and my hand rubs my throbbing lip.
I sigh, “Just be careful.”
Without really acknowledging what I said, he disappears. Maybe my statement is just not a possibility for Judah. I listen to his heavy footsteps exit through the door. It locks. I drop my head and scowl at just about everything. It’s passed midnight now.
Dear God, don’t let the night be too long.
“What did I miss?” Mara asks, bouncing on my bed.
Since the moment I’ve safely returned into my dorm room, I’ve wanted to go back... I thought that spending the whole day alone would help me gather my thoughts. But Mara’s usual self just bursts in and makes an even bigger mess.
“Nothing. The cafeteria’s giving us spam meat for dinner,” I mumble.
She nudges me violently, grinning her teeth.
“I meant with the bad boy!” she fans.
I sigh, “Nothing.”
“Come on! Tell me! Anything steamy I should know about?” she wiggles her brows.
I can’t tell her about the kissing and touching and everything. She’d advise me to apply for nun school, as she knows me well. She’d probably even begin a support group for me. The Rosalie she knows wouldn’t do the things I’ve let happen... with Judah, the bad boy. But in reality, Mara wouldn’t steer me in the direction of righteousness—she’d cheer me on to take risks. Reflecting, I realize I’ve gotten out of hand. I don’t feel the same.
“Sometimes, he’s nice. Sometimes, he’s not.”
She shrugs, “And?”
“He makes me feel good. He makes me feel bad,” I continue.
“Wow, deep,” she says sarcastically.
“It’s hard to get him out of my life,” I say honestly, “I sort of care about him.”
Mara opens her mouth to reply, but there’s loud knock on the door. I know it can’t be Judah, because he’s in other ‘places’ far away. I expect some of the frat boys to share party flyers, or something trivial.
The knocking gets louder. Mara and I stay like statues. She sends me a frown, wondering what’s going on. I decide to stand up and see who it is. Something feels off, as soon as I turn the knob.
Some uptown stranger raises his head high. Two men suited up pose threateningly behind him.
I gasp, swinging the door shut. I rush to Mara in a panic and wave her to hide under my desk. She tumbles to the floor, and I quickly skid my chair to hide her better.
As if the whole world knows that my door is lockless, the stranger comes waltzing through.
“That’s no way to treat guests,” he laughs, fixing his expensive gentleman suit.
“Y-you’re no guest. Get out!” I shout, defenceless.
He glides his tongue over his shiny white teeth. Then, the back-men whisk me off my feet and throw me onto their shoulders. I cry out and kick my legs as hard I can. My mind tries to figure out what they want from me, but panic plagues me. Someone’s hand presses over my mouth, as my body is dragged down the stairwell. It all happens too quickly.
In seconds, my hands are tied up. My foot manages to kick one of them in the face, before they tie me all up. They just toss me in the back of a black van. I try to scream, but the stranger slaps me silent. I watch him push the trunk close. My breaths become shorter. The van speeds away.
I can barely keep my left eye open, as it swells. I roll on my back, as my feet fight with the constricting ropes around them. I try to breathe through my mouth. My body slides from one side to the other, every instance the car revs in a new direction.
These men must know Judah. Why am I being kidnapped?