I pull Nitya close to my body and hold her as she tries to squirm away from my probing fingers. Her strained yet melodic laugh fills the room as she begins to bring air back into her lungs from our fight. I don't even know how this started. One second she was telling me what an asshole I was being because I was telling her how much I hate her friends. Next thing you know we're wrestling and I have the unfair advantage of long arms.
She manages to get away from me in my moment of distraction and crawls to the edge of my bed leaning against the frame. I inch toward her and she grabs a pillow to shield herself with, but it's too late. I've pounced. She screams slightly as her body slouches and my frame covers hers entirely. Just before I land on her, my arms shoot out to land on either side of her head with a bit of strain and she pulls the pillow up to cover her face.
I laugh deeply, the first time I've laughed in a while. It kinda freaked me out a little to be honest because I stopped as quickly as I had started. Nitya sits up and stares at me, her eyes deep pools of blue set directly under naturally thin eyebrows. I hate my eyes, they remind me a bit to much of my father.
"Do that again." Her voice rings out like a bell in my small, cluttered room. I can't help but roll my eyes at her, something I know annoys her. It was always the little things she noticed, my rare laugh or smile, or the way I get when I'm only around her. She says that's why she loves me.
That word sickens me, how do you love something? Love should be solely focused on something or someone you can't live without. Yet she says she loves everything, especially the things she wants to leave behind. I've never once told my mother that I love her and I couldn't ever dream of telling my father that. The closest I've ever come to saying anything of the sort is to my little brother.
"Please," she begs, her sad puppy dog eyes pleading out to me as she scoots closer, her head coming to rest on my shoulder. The scent of her slowly fills my room and is permanently locked into my pillow; the smell of flowers and oranges. I smell this now as I bury my face into the silky blonde hair that spills over my shoulder and she scrunches up her nose.
"Are you really smelling me?" I nod into her neck before giving her a little kiss there that along with a couple others begin to trail up her neck against my will. I feel her smile as I kiss the corner of her mouth. "That's sweet."
She climbs onto me and plants a small kiss on my lips. Her knees rest outside of my thighs and her purple dress spills over us as I pull back momentarily. "I'm sorry about what I say about Maysilee and Mallory. And Ivory. I was just venting, but they always get you into shit." I stop and take a quick breath before I go off on them again. "I'm sorry. Forgive me?"
Her soft blue eyes stare down into my own as she says with all seriousness, "Never in your life."
A smile creeps onto my lips as I run my fingers over the soft skin on her shoulders and collarbone, trailing up to the hollow of her neck. I brush my fingers up and down momentarily. "Where's you necklace?"
She holds her arm up to me, and I see the silver chain wrapped twice around her thin wrist. Hanging down at the base of her wrist is the ring I gave her, a promise. It's a simple silver band with a small diamond in the center and tiny aquamarine stones lining the band.
Guess what it cost? Absolutely nothing. Ok, not really. I had planned on buying a ring, but Mrs. Redding got a divorce and gave it to me for two squirrels. It honestly wasn't a fair trade. It had been in her family for decades, but she basically gave it away.
I think the only reason she gave it to me is because she's Ivory's mom. They run the apothecary shop downtown, but they only cater to officials. Ivory takes in people from the Seam sometimes for half the regular price. Even though it is illegal.
I look up to see her smiling down at me, her eyes shining as I reach up to kiss her. Lightly; enough to send shock waves up her spine but too little for her to be satisfied.
I pull away, our noses just touching when the door opens. We both look up shocked, her face painted various shades of pink and mine a sickly white. I run a hand through my shaggy brown hair, my hand shaking as I think of my father, his drunken rampages through the house often ending in here.
He doesn't even look at us as he walks to the side table by our bed as he reaches in and grabs two of my hunting knifes. "Don't worry, I'm not gonna kill you."
Zayn snickers at his joke as he tucks the knifes between his belt and waistband, something he learned from me. As he turns to leave, I reach out and grab his arm, my speed catching him off guard. "Where you going with those?"
"Doesn't look like your hunting today. So I am." His eyes connect with mine, dark, daring me to deny it. He snatches his hand from mine as we stare at each other a minute, my conscious begging me not to yell at him.
"You won't be doing anything either if you get caught. I hunt at night, alone. It's safer. Now, hand 'em over." I stick my hand out, calmly, his face dropping with every word. His thick brown hair falls across his eyes and high cheekbones. Our cheekbones.
Everyone claims he is just like me but I don't see it. He's too soft. He cried when I told him that the soup he was eating was made from his bird. Yes, his pet bird. It kept getting into our meager food supply, so, I used him for food. I admit I felt kinda bad, but it was getting to the point where I was too weak to hunt and you could count ribs and protruding bones. Still, I would've manned up, and moved on.
He tosses the knifes onto the bed beside me before turning and stomping out of the house, the door slamming behind him. I look back at Nitya, her face a mask of indifference as my heart sinks. Sighing, she brushes some stray hair away from my face and smiles softly.
"You really should be nicer to him. He's the only brother you've got. It's lucky he's put up with you this long." Nodding slowly, I realize how lucky I am to have her as well, how easily her parents could have disagreed with our relationship. Or how she could have went off to be with some merchant kid.
"Ok..." My hand finds hers quickly as I bring her arm to eye level. "So why isn't this on your neck?"
She smiles at my mood, glad to have that moment of reality gone. We tend to be other people when were together, the troubles of the day forgotten.
"Well, that girl who's with the baker's kid, you know her right? Well, she was going off on me about the ring and how I shouldn't just be giving myself away to the first guy I see. Especially someone as low as you."
My heart nearly breaks at these words. She is probably one of the most pure and beautiful people I know, someone I could never take advantage of. How does a promise ring lead people to believe someone is giving themselves away? And how does being from the Seam make me lower than her?
"I almost hit her when she started saying how low you were, how little and unimportant and rude you are. Then she snatched the necklace off and tossed into the trash at school, knowing perfectly well how much I care about this ring and that a teacher was looking. Of course the teacher didn't say anything, but still."
I smirk at her attitude. The way she doesn't back down from a fight and is cocky when she needs to be. Tough and cocky. Who does that sound like? Oh yah, me. But she is carefree, not dealing with the trouble of raising your family.
"You want to know something else?" Her eyes are alight with mischief. "She's pregnant. Only just turning 18 and she's pregnant." That triggers a round of laughter from her that shakes her to the core.
"An-and she had the nerve to call me a whore? Ha. Yah right."
We sit there for the rest of the day, leaning against my headboard, her in my lap telling stories of our week until we fall asleep there. It's probably the best day I've had in a while. Of course everything comes crashing down I'm the end.