Everlasting Bonds ( A Reverse Harem Story)

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Chapter 9

POV: Lark

Aidan was the first one to answer my question.

“We want to know everything”. He was sitting on the edge of the couch, his elbows resting on his knees.

As much as I wanted to share everything with them, and have them help me carry the burden of my memories, I couldn’t. If I was going to stay in their lives than I couldn’t share anything that would put them at risk.

That had to be the compromise.

“I can’t give you that. I know you want every detail but that’s not something I can do”. I let my words sink in and I watched as Colt’s face hardened.

“Then tell us why you are calling yourself Emily. What game are you playing?“. Colt sounded harsh but I could tell he was just trying to handle his emotions. He was our protector and I was asking him to give up control of something.

“It’s a long story, but I have to give you the condensed version”. I took another deep breath and readied myself for what I was going to say.

“The day that everything happened, they knocked me out after Greyson went to go find Luka. I woke up on a private plane and had no idea what my destination was going to be. Only that the same men that . . . that killed David and Maria were on the plane with me. When we landed I realized I wasn’t in America anymore. I was in Italy”. I had debated about telling them where I was taken, but seeing as Luka had already heard me speak fluent Italian, he would have figured it out.

The guys all let out various sounds of disbelief and Luka looked like he was piecing a puzzle together.

“That’s why you speak Italian so well. I was so confused in class at how easily you were carrying on a conversation without switching back to English”. Even though he was sitting the farthest away, Luka’s voice carried to me easily in the vast space of the living room.

“Yeah, I umm, my birth family is Italian. That’s who I ended up with”. I waited for the blame to come when they realized it was my fault our lives had been torn apart. It never came. Instead when I looked at them, I only saw compassion.

“What kind of family, kills people in order to get someone back?” Colt’s question cut a little too deep and I could tell that he knew it. My eyes quickly flashed to his and I hope I had hidden the fear that appeared in them.

Judging by the way he clenched his jaw, I would say I didn’t.

“They may be my family by blood but they never will be by choice. I don’t speak to them anymore”. The passion in my voice was hard to get rid of and I knew I shouldn’t have said anything.

“What does that mean Lark?”

“What happened to you?”

“Why didn’t you ever try to contact us?”

The questions kept coming in a barrage and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to keep up with them. This conversation was quickly spinning out of control.

“Stop! Please just give me a second. You all have clearly been back together for a while now. I need to readjust to this dynamic before I just trust you all again so blindly”. I wasn’t trying to hurt them. I just needed them to chill out for a moment.

“Before you can trust us again?” Colt’s question brought tears to my eyes that I couldn’t blink away quick enough.

“I want to. I want everything to fall together again and have you all back. But... I was at the mercy of people who told me they cared about me when their actions said the exact opposite. Please just give me a little time to get to know you all again”. I looked each of them in the eye as I spoke. Hoping they would understand how desperately I needed to build trust with them again.

“I think we can do that. You’ve obviously changed as well. We all need to reintroduce ourselves”. Greyson’s voice was calm and I could tell he wanted to make this work.

I could have kissed him for that.

“I call myself Emily McCoy because that is the name I am registered under at school, the name my apartment lease is in, and most of my documentation says Emily is my name. I needed to change it... for reasons I can’t explain. I couldn’t be Emilia Benson anymore”.

I decided to give them that piece of the truth for allowing me to take this at my own pace. Trust needed to be earned. I figured I might as well make the first move to extend it.

They all seemed to take that information in and think for a moment. It was so quiet I could hear the noise of the city drifting in from the window.

“I’m not going to call you Emily. You are not Emily to us. You’re Lark. Our Lark”. I looked up to see Aidan staring at me intently. Whatever emotion he was trying to conceal, he was doing a damn good job of it.

Compromise. I can compromise.

“Not in public please. If it’s just us I would love for nothing more than to be your Lark again. But I have to be Emily in front of everyone else”. I hoped my pleading would get through to them. I never used to be the kind of girl that would beg.

After you spend nine years begging for basic human decency, it becomes second nature. Which is something I plan to work through as soon as possible.

They all nodded their heads in agreement. Not a single one of them liked it, but they agreed for me.

I looked over to the window again and saw that the sun was starting to set.

“What time is it?” My question seemed to jar them out of whatever inner world they were in.

“It’s almost 6pm. Why?” Luka sounded like he was cautious to tell me. Probably concerned that I was going to flee at sundown.

“If anyone else is hungry can we eat please? I’m starving”. I didn’t realize how much this day had taken out of me until now. I was tired, hungry, and on the edge of losing my shit.

Colt laughed and shook his head at me. “Of course you are thinking about food right now. I was worried I lost you for a minute there... Emily”. His sarcastic voice shocked me a little. I missed how playful he could be.

I smirked at him before standing up and walking over to stand in front of me. Putting my hands on my hips, I smiled down at him.

“Are you going to feed me or make fun of me all night? I just need to know if I should head out to go fend for myself”.

“No!” I quickly turned to face the rest of them, their shouts of disagreement catching me off guard.

I was about to tell them I was just kidding when I felt Colt’s arms snake around my waist. He quickly pulled me down into his lap and I felt his breath tickled my ear.

“If you think we are letting you go that easily Lark, you clearly don’t know us at all”. Colt’s lips brushed my ear as he whispered to me, and I was surprised to feel something close to butterflies stirring in my stomach.

Things had definitely changed between all of us.

I couldn’t wait to see how much.

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