This was becoming aggravating. How had it gotten to this point? Everything had started out smoothly and now it was ruined–in shambles.
The hunters were on their trail and because one died it was bound to be a major clusterfuck. Then to learn that they were watching the wrong threat all this time.
Who was responsible for this? Was it himself? No, it couldn’t be his fault. He thought it out clearly. It had to be that fool. There was no other explanation. Damn him! Damn him to the very pits of hell!
“Don’t sit there looking pitiful!”
She flinched and sank deeper into the ball she was curled up in. She had some nerve looking pitiful. Or should he say more pitiful? She had taken quite the beating. Served her right.
She had her orders and because of her damned feelings, she took matters into her own hands.
Females. Such emotional creatures they were. They would be quite formidable if they weren’t run by hormones. It’s sad really. So much so he found himself pitying them often.
“What did I tell you to do?”
“D-don’t make a scene.”
Oh, she did remember. “I see, yet you went after her, not once, but twice.”
“I-I…” She swallowed and covered her face.
He sat beside her on the couch and rubbed her back. “You know I hate it when people mumble.” he grabbed her hair, yanking her head up to face him. “Spit it out. What could have been so important that you deliberately disobeyed me?”
“She, Jamoy, They…He’s mine, it’s not fair!” She cried, and he shoved her away from him. God tears were disgusting. He hated to see a crying a face. There was nothing that churned his stomach more.
“This isn’t about you. This folly of a relationship was not meant to last. You know that!”
She was still sobbing. He growled and grabbed her roughly by the shoulders. “Stop that incessant whining this instant!” She shut up immediately. “Good.”
He let her go and began pacing. There had to be a way around this, one that wouldn’t require him to shed more blood. What good were pawns if he had to constantly do the dirty work himself?
“What good is a mate if I can’t have him to myself? Love sucks.” she whispered to herself. “It’d be so much easier if she died.”
That was it!
“Salima!” He cheered and clapped his hands together with a devious smirk on his face. “You’re a genius.”
Surprisingly, Marissa was enjoying herself with Kaleb. He turned out to be good company. They ate at one of the café’s first, and he paid the bill. She had fought him about it but he insisted that he took care of it.
They idly drove around town until they saw a large bounce house in someone’s yard. It was some kid’s birthday party. Something about inviting yourself to someone’s birthday party seemed wrong, but somehow Kaleb managed to make it seem so natural. The kid didn’t seem to care. He went inside with Kaleb and they bounced around as if they were best buddies. Kaleb got along well with the kids. It was probably because he was a big kid himself. She stayed outside for most of it, but the boys were persistent in their pleas to get her inside. Not to mention the other kids were also yelling at her to join them. Once she did, she didn’t want to come out. Soon they were waving goodbye.
They spent a few minutes at the park next. She sat in the swing and he pushed her while they talked about nothing. Somehow they landed on the topic of school. He was majoring in broadcast communications, said he wanted to be an anchorman because he had the hair for it and looked good in a suit. The better part of their conversation was trying to find him a catchphrase. That entire process was a failure.
The more she talked to him the more she realized that she didn’t have a dream of her own. She was a hospitality major, but only because it seemed interesting. She had no idea what she wanted to do with her degree. Her parents wanted her to study politics and join the council. That was never an option. She didn’t know why, but she told him about her parents, about how strict they were, and how she wanted to just live a little. She had been too good for too long and was tired of it. She knew he wouldn’t understand; he didn’t need to.
After the park, he took her into the forest and she was skeptical at first to go in. She dug into the movie database in her brain and knew all too well what happened in forests. It wasn’t smart. She fought him on it. He promised she would be safe with him. He didn’t understand. The forest wasn’t friendly.
Still, she took his hand and followed him in. They walked for what seemed like forever to her aching feet, climbed uphill, and then they followed the path of the river. She was ready to call it quits when they finally stopped.
The view from the top was breathtaking. The orange haze cast over the rows of trees below and reflected beautifully over the rushing waters beside them that fell down the waterfall. She wanted to go closer and look over the edge but feared she would fall in. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the feel of the fading rays of sunlight. The warm sensation, along with the gentle breeze that whisked across her face brought a calmness that made her heart stop for just a moment.
They sat together, her leaning against him while watching the light as it disappeared and the stars began peeking out into the night sky. He didn’t say a word to her. Rather, he watched on in silence, occasionally glancing down at her and giving her a brief smile. She wondered if he came here often. He led her there with such precision that he must have. It couldn’t have just been a coincidence.
“You said you wanted to live a little right?”
She didn’t know he was listening to her. Before she could respond he scooped her up and ran for the falls.
The crashing waters drowned out the sound of her screams.
How long had she been under water? A minute? Two? Half an hour? When she finally broke the surface, she took in a deep breath of air, filling her lungs beyond their capacity. Her eyes were wide with panic, then narrowed as she angrily searched for Kaleb. She was going to murder him if the fall hadn’t done that already.
He was sitting on the shore, watching her with a wide grin on his face. When she came out of the water, she tackled him. He was too busy laughing to fight back.
“S-stop it. Calm down, it wasn’t that bad right?”
Her fist froze before she could hit him. Honestly, it wasn’t. Once she got past the fear of falling, it was actually exhilarating. The rush was similar to how she felt when she fought earlier today. His smile widened, making him resemble the Cheshire cat.
She could only laugh and punched him in the shoulder. Still, she looked like a wet rag and needed to get out of those clothes. They traversed through the forest again until they exited. She was ready to go home, but he refused to take her back.
“If your parents are as bad as you say they are, they’ll have a cow if I take you home.”
Somewhat true, but staying overnight with him would get her into even more trouble.
“They’ll probably kill you first,” She giggled softly at his fallen mouth, “but I left the car at school. I’ll just take myself home.”
His face contorted, the worry lines were deep and she wondered why. But he didn’t argue with her and took her back.
“I’ll be right behind you.”
He didn’t leave any room for argument. She drove home, far too aware of his lights behind her. This was sweet right? She should thank him for making sure she got home safely.
To her surprise, he followed her all the way in, and even walked her to her door; something most people did not do.
She snapped to attention when he started talking.
He rubbed the back the back of his neck nervously.
Aww, well wasn’t he just so cute.
She didn’t mean to laugh at him, and he didn’t appreciate it.
“You’re making fun of me.” He frowned.
“No, of course not.” Yes, she was. “I had a great time today. I really needed that.”
“Say the word and we can do this again,” and he leaned in, giving her a soft peck on the cheek.
“What are we five?” She laughed.
“Anything more than that and I’d probably drag you back to my place.”
She stared at him, shocked by his honesty, and wanted to test the truth behind his words when the door behind her was thrown open.
“To school and back,” her father snapped. “Those were your only destinations yet you are hours late to return home.”
She wanted to dig a hole and crawl into it. This was far from how she wanted to end her night. The embarrassment washed over, masking the heat she was started to feel from her proximity to Kaleb. Suddenly, going home with him seemed like a grand idea.
“And who the hell is this?”
“Hey,” he saluted her father, “Kaleb Sabre, returning your daughter home safely.”
Her father straightened himself out, almost making himself appear larger. He raked a hard glance over Kaleb. “Inside.” He told Marissa.
“Just buy a leash for me already.” She groaned and threw her hands up in defeat. She had seen Butch in the corner of her eye and knew that resisting her father would lead to him hauling her inside. It was best to leave the theatrics alone. “And a fancy bell while you’re at it. God forbid you can’t hear my every step.”
Butch stood in her way and she brushed past him. Her mother was gliding down the stairs in that creepy elegant way she did and she too was ignored. She was about to say something and Marissa cut her off with a curt “Not now.”
“You will do well to leave my daughter alone Sabre,” Mr. Coldwell responded, his voice dripping with malice.
Kaleb dropped his hands into his pockets, raising his brow at the clear threat.
“I won’t give you another warning.” Suddenly Butch was at the man’s side, the aura radiating off him was just as threatening.
Kaleb, however, remained unfazed.
“Yeah, I heard you.” He turned and began walking away. “I just hope you know what you’re in for.”