I slightly open my mouth, but no words come out of it. I completely lost track of what I’m going to say.
A moment later, I stutter, “isn’t it obvious? You chase me out of your room. You shout at me at the restaurant. And you—”
“And I drove around crazy trying to find you, I fought for you, and I risked getting a ticket just to cheer you up.” He shrugs, “yeah, I must have hated your guts.”
I flush. That’s why he confuses me. “Thanks.”
He grins, “as long as you feel better.”
I truly do. The way I feel around him…it’s so new and exciting and thrill. Being with him is such an adventure that it blows my head off. I know that’s partially because he comes from a different world than I do. But I don’t hate it when he gets his rich on, not the way I hated Zack.
And that’s why he’s so different.
We talk for a while and finish the beer. And he leads me to the guest room.
“Bathroom is inside. You’ll find anything you need…towels included.”
I giggle. “Anything in particular that I should keep my hands off?”
He lets out a short laugh. “No. Just make yourself at home.”
We both smile at each other. Just when I’m about to say goodnight, he gently lets me into his arm, giving me a short and warm hug.
Before I can react, he takes a step back and closes the door for me.
I had a hard time falling sleep. But once I did, I slept surprisingly well. I wake up feeling refreshed. Breaking up with Zack, running away and chased by some scums in the park all seem like a century ago.
I stretch a little in bed and reach out for my phone. God, it’s almost 5 in the afternoon. How long did I sleep? I’m also not too surprised to find hundreds of missing texts and calls from mom.
I sign and toss it aside. My mom and her nagging can wait.
The house is super quiet when I come out. Seems like no one is around. I walk around a bit and see a slide door on the glazed wall. It was too dark last night so I didn’t notice.
I stride over and slide the door open. Then I got completely astonished by the view outside.
There is an infinity pool outside.
Golden afternoon sunshine casts down on the sparkling water, as a muscular body emerges from it, creating radiating ripples. Hearing the door, he pulls himself to the surface and draws his wet hair to the back of his head. Gleaming drops run down his broad shoulders to his firm chest, he seems so handsome and godlike.
“Hey.” He reveals a grin to me, “you are a late sleeper.”
I step outside and crouch down by the pool. “If your house has a rocket ship, I still won’t be surprised.”
He laughs. Green eyes glitter with joy. I suddenly feel a pull inside of my heart. God he is so hot and attractive…almost toxic. No girl on earth can resist him.
He swims over and place his arms on the curb. “Care to join me?”
I gulp. “No thanks.”
“Well for one thing, I don’t have a swimming suit.”
He shrugs. “Take off your shirt and swim in your bra.”
I gasp at his bold statement. “No! Not in a million years, no!”
He whines. “What’s the big deal. We used to swim together all the time. You’ve grown into a prude you know that?”
Yes we swim together a lot, that summer three years ago. During that time, I see him only as my brother and friend. But we have both changed a lot since. Now it makes me blush just thinking of taking my shirt in front of him.
He extends a hand to me. “Come. The water is warm.”
I am still fighting with the temptation as he suddenly takes a pull at my pants, almost yanking me off the curb.
“What the hell!” I steady myself and yell, “Let go off me.”
He bursts into laughter and is about to say something, when my phone suddenly buzzes.
I take it out and, of course, it’s my mom.
“Nat! Babe, are you alright? Gosh I was so worried last night. Where have you been? How did Eason find you? Where were you two last night?”
I have to chime in before she throws more questions at me, “Mom I’m fine. I am at Eason’s place.”
“Oh.” She sounds relived, “when are you coming back? At least talk to me. We can work everything out together—”
“I need some time.” I pause, “Alone.”
Mom falls into silence. I can tell she’s breaking down piece by piece, but she’s not going to win me over this time with tears and pleas. She has coped with my father to banish me. I deserve some alone time.
Then someone else speaks up on the other end. “Natalia. It’s Shawn.”
I involuntarily sit up straight. “Yes. Hi Mr. Ramirez.”
Eason’s father always scares the crap out of me. He is nice to me, no doubt, but he is also a very intimidating guy that no one dares to joke around. I’ve never passed first name basis with him.
“You mom has been very concerned. We are all relieved to hear that you are alright.”
I stutter. “Yeah, I’m fine…and I’m sorry that you have to fly back because of me.”
“My business trip is ending anyway. So, are you coming back today? We can all have dinner together if you want.”
I want to decline his offer. But Shawn Ramirez is not a person you can say no to. During my hesitation, he speaks up again, “Or if you want to stay with Eason for a couple more days, that’s fine too.”
I feel a tuck at my heart. Stay with Eason? But like…me and him alone? In his apartment?
I take a quick glimpse at Eason, who is still standing in the water and watching me closely. Yet the more important question is: would he let me stay?
“That sounds great.” My answer slips out before I realize.
“Awesome.” Mr. Ramirez sounds pleased, “Let me know if he gives you a hard time. Though I know he wouldn’t dare.”
I hang up. Eason immediately pursues, “Was that my dad? What did he say?”
“Well…” I’m a little nervous and try to avoid eye-contact with him, “He asks me if I want to stay here for a couple of days. And I kind of said yes.”
The next few seconds are awful for me. My heart keeps sinking as he remains silence. God, what’s on his mind? What am I thinking? Of course he doesn’t want me to stay. I’m such an idiot.
Just when I’m about to tell him that this is a joke and save myself from the embarrassment, suddenly—
He drags me directly into the pool, causing a huge splash. I choke on the water as I grab the nearest thing in my reach—his arms.
“What the fuck!” I yell between coughs, “I told you I don’t want to swim!”
He bursts into laughter and holds my waist tight. Now I’m floating in the warm afternoon water with him, with both of my hands on his broad shoulders, gasping for breath, and look down at him only an inch far away.
His eyes are so beautiful, like a crystal-clear emerald, flickering with golden daylight. My mouth suddenly went dry as he raises his hand and runs his long fingers through my wet hairs.
“Hey Nat.” his voice soft like a summer breeze, “I’m glad you can stay.”
I can’t pull myself away from his gaze. From the look in his eyes, I know he can’t either. The way we lock eyes with each other, breath lingering, everything feels like a dream too good to be true.
His palm holds my cheek and slowly closes the gap between us. My mind went completely blank and right at this moment suddenly—
A thump comes from the door. Then large talking and laughing poor into the house.
Eason immediately pulls away from me. Something comes to his mind as he curses, “fuck. I forgot.”
I’m still in trance. “What? What’s that?”
He seems furious. “There’s supposed to be a party here. I forgot to tell them…hang on.”
He swims away, but someone slides the glass door before he gets to the curb.
“Wow look at the lovely couple.” A red hair guy steps out and teases, “who’s this? Now Val must be pissed.”
A pretty blonde behind him hisses, “Shut up James.”
Then she walks toward Eason, pulls him up from the water and wraps her arms around his waist. Her possessive gesture makes it clear that they are intimate. Then she shots me a hostile glare.
“Enjoying your afternoon swim?” she chuckles, “you should have waited for me.”
Eason remains silence. But he didn’t push her away either.
Now I’m still standing in the water alone, and all of them are standing on the shore looking down at me. I seem like a complete idiot.
Eason has no intention of introducing me to these people. He grabs a towel from the bench and heads directly towards the house. The blonde follows him closely. My whole body went cold seeing him leave. I can’t believe he just left me here, without a single word.
What’s wrong with him? Is he embarrassed of me or anything? At least he can have the decency of pulling me up and introducing me, not ditch me in the water like this and make me like a fool.
The entire group loses interest in me and follows Eason inside. Only one guy in the back looks back at me, “you need a hand?”
“No.” I snap as I climb out of the pool.
I’m now furious at that jerk.
When I finally clean myself up and step out of the room, the party has already started. Loud music is on, and a couple guys have laid out the bar section with bottles of vodka and beers. They are heavy drinkers given by their age. I’m not against party. Back in Miami, I often have small and intimate gathering with my friends. We would grab couples of cold beers and head to the beach, enjoy the evening sea air. We talk, we drink, and we dance. We always have a blast. I sign at my sudden nostalgic feeling. I miss Miami, and it’s easy and relaxing vibe. Boston is a busy and bustling city. It suits people like Eason, not me. We are indeed from two totally different worlds. I push through the crowd and try to find Eason. I want to talk to him about me staying here, which seems like a terrible idea now. Judging by the speed people pour alcohol down their throats, I better find him soon. I walk pass by two girls smoking joints and try not judge them. Then I finally spot Eason, sitting
My whole body freezes in shock. What the hell is going on?!Millions of questions whizz past my mind, as he presses my neck and keep kissing me. I know I should feel shocked or mad or even disgusted, he’s my brother for God’s sake!But I still lost myself momentarily in this kiss.His lips are cold. I can even taste vodka and fresh lemon in his breathe. His eyes closed, long eyelashes touching mine, causing my heart to flutter. I’ve never felt anything like this with anyone before.But before I get to react, he pushes me away again. Without looking at me, he returns to the couch and sits down, like nothing has happened.I gulp. And suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath for so long that my lungs are exploding. Everyone else is clearly in shock as well. Especially Val. Her face distorts with anger.“What the hell are you doing!” she voices out my question.Eason is surprisingly calm. Still not looking at me, he takes a sip of his drink, “You wanted to see her kiss. Now you have i
Katherine lets out an audible gasp. Signed, I look up and meet Eason’s eyes in the air. He’s looking at me coldly, expression undetectable.Valerie lets go of him and walks towards me, as people hurry clear out a pass for her. She stands a few inches above me with her high heels. She looks down at me, lips curved into a sarcastic angle.“This is no place for people like you. Drop out now and leave Eason alone,” she mouths a threat.I look straight into her eyes and reply, “I earned my place in here. Fair and square. You can’t force me. And it’s none of your business anyway.”She sneers, “how? By that pathetic transcript of yours? You got in because Eason’s father pulled some strings and wrote huge check to the board. Do you have no self-esteem? Using his family like this?”My face flashes red under her question. On some level, I know she’s right. But I’m already too far deep into the war to back out right now. So I stare her back, while remain in silence.She squints at me, and sudden
“Help! Somebody helps!”I yank the door with all my might and yells. My voices and the sound of door rattling echo in the dark and empty corridor. But only death silence falls upon me.It’s getting dark outside. The tour must have left hours ago. So I’m all alone in this observatory right now. Doesn’t this fancy school have a security guard or something? But on the second thought, this is summertime. Who patrol during summer vacation?I panic a bit at the thought of that. I’m not exactly afraid of ghosts. But the thought of being left alone in an empty building with no food and water terrifies me.Mr. Ramirez said he’ll meet me after the tour. But the tour ended hours ago, and he still hasn’t come and find me. Maybe he thought I left with Eason. Maybe something turned up and he must leave in a hurry.If that’s the case, then I’m screwed.“Fuck!” I pound on the door, feeling more frustrated than ever. Nothing good has happened since I moved back to Boston and met Eason again. Maybe Val
His one hand presses me to the mirror, while the other pulls me impossibly close to his body. His lips mold with mine, taking away every shaky breathes that escaped my mouth. And as if it wasn’t enough, he sucks my bottom lips and bites it, quietly urging me to open my mouth and let him in.My mind is cloudy. All sense is lost. So I shakily part my lips, as he immediately snakes his tongue in and tangles with mine.A sign of pleasure leaves my lips as I find myself melting away in his arms. He groans and travels his hand upwards, longer fingers playing with those thin stripes on my back, causing me to shudder under his touch. The thin layer of clothing becomes nothing, I feel as though I’m naked and my panties felt dam.“Eason…” I gasp and tilt my head to escape from the kiss, trying to call back some senses to us. But he refused to listen. His hot lips trace my check, my neck and down to the upper part of my chest. I cry out as he suddenly bites on my collar bones and suck it hard. I
The clouds are dense and opaque on the first day of my senior year, which kind of mirrors the state of my feelings. In my entire lifetime, I’ve never detested going to school so badly. Mr. Ramirez kindly offered to drive me to school in his Rolls, which I can’t say no to, since he had made it clear that he wants to send me off on my first day. Looks like the secret of me being the Ramirez’s freeloader won’t be kept for long. During the drive, Mr. Ramirez tried his best to easy off my nerve, but I kept tailing off from our conversation. As we approach the front gate of school, my symptom of nausea is getting worse. The parking area is already packed with fancy cars when we get there. In my old school, everyone had limited budget for cars, and as a result it was common to see dingy second-handed Honda and Pirus everywhere on campus. But things clearly work different here. Mercedes and Porsche would still be considered as normal. I just saw a flashy sport car with doors opened like win
I follow the direction of her eyes, and immediately recognize some familiar faces.Walking upfront is no other than the school queen Valerie Vale, and next to her is Eason. She has her arm wrapped around his tightly, like she’s parading him around like a trophy.Eason’s face is calm, a bit aloof even. His eyes travel right pass the crowd, as if no one in this room is worthy of his attention. I’ve never seen him like this before. As far as I can recall, he’s never been scanty in showing his emotions around me. I wonder if he has always been like this in school.There’re six or seven students behind them, including that red-haired boy James I met at the party. They walk towards the only empty table and sit down, while the others admire them in distance.“Wow.” Katherine gasps besides me, “Intimidating, right?”“I’ve seen worse.” That would be partly lying. But I don’t want to cave in just yet.“Ok, enough of them,” Katherine snaps her fingers in front me to get my attention. “Now, the t
Alex’s eyes widen immediately at that. His mind must be spinning with confusion right now. I felt queasy, partially because of Alex’s hesitated reaction, but also Eason’s deathly glare at us.I can see from the corner of my eyes that Eason’s hands are clenched into a tight fist, as if the next second he’s going to throw a punch at Alex. Why he hates Alex so much is beyond me, and I try not to be so self-conscious to think that this is all about me, but it’s always nice to see him get pissed off.But if Alex turns me off right on the spot, it’s going to be a huge price for me to pay.I hold my breath, while waiting for Alex’s response.“This is ridiculous,” Eason’s tone is cold and jeering, “Why do you think he’d be willing to go with you?”I sniff. “I’m not asking you, aren’t I?”“Just saying the obvious. You can’t just grab someone randomly from the street and ask him to—”But his sarcastic comment is interrupted by a simple word from Alex.“Yes.”My heart race dramatically increases