I follow him into the lounge. It is a real royal dump. The large plasma television fixed to the wall above the fireplace and the brand new leather lounge suite looks out of place.
My eyes fix onto a body sprawled across the large three-seat leather couch. The pair of black eyes from this body looks up at me in stunned surprise.
The owner of the pair of black eyes stands up hastily, and I cannot help noticing he is only wearing a pair of black sweatpants, hanging low on his hips. In an instant, I observe his arms, his firm stomach and his strong shoulders.
He gives me a long, unhurried look, and he smiles slowly, brilliantly. He keeps my eyes imprisoned with his, and I feel captured by his gaze, a gaze filled with promises and silent desires.
Kieran breaks this exhilarating moment between us by shouldering past him. “Put on a shirt, Jayden,” Kieran stresses as he walks past him toward the dining room.
Jayden pulls his face sourly and smiles at me, as if we are sharing a joke. His smile is not quite a smile. It is half a smile, half a grin, hinting at amusement, confidence and mischief.
I feel my face grow warm as he moves toward me. He is mere centimetres away from me, but he might as well have touched me, judging by the way my heart speeds up in my chest.
He stops when he gets next to me and lowers his head down to me. I can do nothing but look up at him. His eyes are dark, changing rapidly as a cold wintry day could turn into a bright cloudless sky, the wind trailing light and shadows across the earth.
Kieran calls my name from the kitchen.
One corner of his mouth curls up slowly and he says quietly, “Welcome to our humble abode, Heather.”
I step away from him. I whisper, not trusting my voice not to croak when I speak normally, “Thank you, Jayden.”
He moves away from me and distractedly I walk toward the double door separating the lounge from the dining room.
In the dining room, the entire wall between the dining room and the kitchen has been removed and the kitchen and dining room form one big room.
As I walk into the room, Kieran smiles widely. I look into his green eyes, and the last minutes melt away as if they never happened.
“What would you like to eat? Name it and I will tell you if we have it or not,” he asks.
He ends up making us croissants with ham and melted cheese.
We sit down in the lounge and I sit on a single chair, which sucks me into its comfort, with my legs folded in under me. The oiliness from the melted cheese on the croissant drips down my fingers as I lean over the plate to take a bite.
I finish chewing what is in my mouth and I ask curiously, “Where are your parents?”
Kieran replies, “On holiday in Spain.”
I see Jayden glance at Kieran amused as he walks back into the lounge. He is now wearing a loose black T-shirt with the black sweatpants. His feet are still bare. He lies down on his back on the couch where he was when I first saw him. He is facing me and he looks across the room at me pensively as he folds his arm under his head on the armrest. The corners of his mouth curl up ever so slightly in the most seductive smile I have ever had the pleasure to witness. His eyes look away from me, and strangely, I feel disappointed. His brow furrows as he looks up at the television.
He presses the play button on the remote control and I see he is watching an action movie, the hero in the movie diving and rolling on the ground to avoid being hit by an entire magazine of bullets raining down on him.
Although I am hungry, I cannot eat with him in the room, so I sit with the half-eaten croissant pinched between my fingers and watch the movie with him.
Kieran breaks the tension in the room. “Heather, would you like to sit outside for a bit?”
Eagerly I reply, “Yes. It’s nice and warm outside.”
I stand up and then I follow Kieran to the kitchen. I glance toward Jayden, and he is looking up at me. Maybe I am only imagining it, but he looks sad as he looks at me. His dark eyes look miserable; it is almost as if they are trying to tell me something—begging to be understood.
In the kitchen, Kieran takes my plate from me. “You hardly ate anything.”
I take a croissant from the plate, and smiling I say, “I’ll eat this one outside.”
He puts the plates on the kitchen counter next to the basin and then he pulls the sliding door to the back garden open. We walk out onto a wooden patio with a wooden bench and one of those large swings in the corner.
“I have never seen one of these in real life.” I laugh delighted as I walk toward the swing.
I sit down onto it carefully. Kieran sits down next to me, and he starts to push his legs backwards and forwards slowly.
“This is very relaxing.” I sigh. I turn toward him. “I have a feeling you do not want to talk about it, but I cannot understand though, I felt that car slam into you and I heard the metal crunch.”
“I cannot tell you everything. Not because I don’t want to, but because I am not allowed to.”
“Not allowed by who?”
He smiles sadly. “That is the part I cannot tell you.”
I frown and take a bite from the croissant still pinched between my fingers. While I chew, I look across the garden at a crow sitting on the wooden fence, hidden in the shadows of a large ash tree. It feels as if the crow’s beady eyes are staring at me fixedly and it gives me the chills.
Kieran follows my gaze and his shoulders drop despondently when he sees the crow.