Binding Moonlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 20 (v.1) - Chapter 20

Submitted: January 15, 2019

Reads: 19

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Submitted: January 15, 2019

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“Are you sure you're up for this? Wouldn't you rather go up to the room and take it easy for a while first?” Nrekeeka asked her sister as she squeezed her hands.

Shelsea's head lolled to one side. “Nrekeeka, I'm fine,” she protested. “I want to meet the others. I've been cooped up in my hospital room, so I don't want to sit in your bedroom being bored until you decide I'm okay. Meeting a few people isn't gonna to kill me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!” Shelsea laughed, shaking her head at her overprotective sister.

Nrekeeka pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes at Shelsea.

“You worry too much,” stated Shelsea.

“Yeah, well someone has to. No one else around here ever shows the appropriate amount of worry,” Nrekeeka grumbled back.

Shelsea brushed her dark, curly hair off of her face as she shrugged. “I doubt that's true. They probably just spend more time worrying about things that actually matter.”

Nrekeeka gave her sister a flat stare.

“What? I'm just telling the truth!” Shelsea continued to laugh at her sister.

Nrekeeka was still staring at her sister when Tobi came into the kitchen, Theo and Adonis in tow.

“Ooh, you've been in each other's company for all of three hours and you're already giving Shelsea the look? This doesn't bode well,” Tobi declared as he led the other two toward the table where the Seldon sisters were seated.

“I called her out for being a worry wart,” Shelsea informed Tobi.

“Ah.” Tobi smirked, accepting Nrekeeka's glare with a shrug.

Shelsea's eyes traveled past Tobi and locked on Theo. He smiled at her in his accidental, overly charming manner. Her brown eyes grew big and round, and her lips parted. A tiny gasp escaped her throat and she shot out of her seat, rushing over to Theo.

“Hi!” she chirped, batting her long lashes at Theo.

“Hello,” he replied, amused.

Clasping her hands behind her back and rocking forward on her tiptoes, Shelsea tilted her head back to meet his eyes. “My name is Shelsea. What's yours?”

Theo could barely contain a snort of laughter as he glanced over Shelsea's head to Tobi and Nrekeeka. They were wearing matching expressions of enjoyment. He turned his attention back to the girl to see her watching him, eyes full of eagerness. “I'm Theo Sheridan. Nice to finally meet you,” he answered, extending his hand.

Completely ignoring the hand, Shelsea launched herself at Theo, flinging her arms around his neck.

“Yeah...should have warned you. She's a hugger,” Tobi chuckled, sitting down in the seat Shelsea vacated.

“I'm noticing,” Theo answered, returning the hug.

When Shelsea finally released Theo, she kept her chest pressed against his, her fingers wrapped in the wrinkles of his sweater. She batted her eyelashes at him again. The longer she stared, the more uncomfortable Theo became.

Keeping his eyes on the pair, Tobi leaned over to whisper in Nrekeeka's ear. “I don't think Theo appreciates your sister's breasts.” Color flooded Theo's cheeks as his hands hovered awkwardly over her shoulders.

Nrekeeka gave Tobi a sideways glance. “Can you blame him? Look how she's behaving when they've only just met.”

Tobi grinned. “Most men wouldn't be quite so embarrassed.  In fact, many would appreciate having the large breasts of a pretty girl pressed against them,” he said with a wink before getting to his feet. “Okay Shelsea, we all love Theo, but I think it's time to introduce you to Adonis before this gets really awkward.”

“Yeah, okay,” sighed Shelsea. Her ears drooped slightly as she released Theo, but as she faced Adonis, she perked up again. Meeting Adonis' silver eyes, her lips parted slightly. “Oh my,” she mumbled, her breath catching in her throat. Sucking her bottom lip between her teeth, her eyes glazed over.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Adonis said with a nod.

“If it wasn't for his computer skills, you might not be standing here,” Tobi said, leaning one hip against the table.

“Thank you very much,” Shelsea said, surprising Adonis with a tight hug.

“Uh?” Adonis' brow twitched, and he glanced over Shelsea's head for assistance. He stood there, stiff as a board, hands at his sides.

Theo snorted in laughter, trying to hide his smirk behind his hand. “Wow Adonis, you look like you've never been hugged before.”

Adonis's uncertainty morphed into a glare directed at Theo as he timidly returned the hug. Theo's comment brought back a few memories he thought long buried.

“Tobi, you said there were others living here as well. Are they as genetically gifted as these two?” Shelsea asked with a wink in Theo's direction. She crossed her arms, squishing her breasts together. The low collar of her shirt pulled across her chest, exposing a little more flesh than necessary.

Tobi huffed, rolling his eyes. “Honestly Shelsea,” he sighed, shaking his head.

“What?” she chirped, feigning innocence as she batted her lashes at Tobi.

One eyebrow slid upward, and he blinked slowly at her. They stared at one another for a while, the others watching with curiosity. Shelsea's facade slowly began to crack, her mouth turning down in the corners, and her brow creasing. Eventually, she lowered her arms, pouting.

“He can get her every time,” chuckled Nrekeeka.

“I... I don't know what I just witnessed,” stammered Theo.

A smug smirk tugged at Nrekeeka's lips as her sister looked to her for assistance. “My dad taught that to Tobi. If she's doing something he doesn't approve of, he just has to stare at her until she gives in.”

“Okay, but what was she doing?” Theo asked, glancing between Tobi and Nrekeeka.

“Clearly she was failing to flirt with you,” answered Tobi. “How 'bout you keep your boobs in your shirt. Actually, on second thought, how 'bout you go change into a turtleneck sweater or something before you meet Gabe.”

“You're no fun, Tobi,” grumbled Shelsea, sticking her tongue out at the man.

“I disagree, Sweetheart.”

Shelsea narrowed one eye at Tobi before turning away from him. “So, when do I get to meet everyone else? Although, I'm not exactly unhappy with the current company,” she said, smiling at Theo. The brunet's face lit up and he directed his gaze at the floor.

“Subtle, Shelsea...” Tobi grumbled. “Their car wasn't in the lot when we came home. Did they say anything to you guys?”

Adonis shook his head.

“Max said they needed to buy some things because they couldn't go back for their own stuff. No idea how long they'll be gone,” Theo answered.

“Or if they'll even come back,” muttered Tobi.

“Well, let's get you settled in then. Maybe they'll be back by the time you've finished unpacking.” Nrekeeka pushed herself to her feet, picking up the duffel bag on the floor by her chair.

“Fine,” Shelsea said with an exaggerated pout. She took her bag from her sister and winked at Theo on the way out of the kitchen.

Tobi exhaled slowly and flopped into a chair. “I probably should have told you she likes to tease people. Especially when she thinks they're cute,” he said, pushing his bangs off of his face as he spoke,

“No, no, it's okay,” Theo replied, lowering his head to try and hide the pink remaining in his cheeks.

“If you don't stop blushing every time she looks at you, it's just gonna get worse.”

Turning away from Tobi and Adonis, Theo acted like preparing dinner was the best idea he ever had.

Tobi arched his brows and exchanged a glance with Adonis. He returned his gaze to Theo's back. The young man's shoulders were up around his ears, which were still red. “Wow, you are seriously embarrassed, aren't you? Do you want me to say something to her?”

Theo shook his head. “I can manage, thank you,” he stated, forcing his shoulders down. After a few seconds, he faced Tobi again. “I know what to expect now.”

Tobi scoffed. “Oh, you don't know a percentage of what she's capable. Just know it's only because she likes you,” he warned, smiling as he stood. He chuckled at Theo's expression as he left the pair alone in the kitchen. If he wasn't mistaking, he could have sworn he heard a quiet laugh from Adonis as the doors closed behind him.

Stretching as he walked, Tobi stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Nrekeeka probably wouldn't let him into her room to hang out with her and Shelsea right now. Twisting his mouth to one side, he thought for a moment before turning around and going outside.

Behind their building was an empty field not yet developed by the city. It would cost an arm and a leg to make the land usable, so it sat as one of the few natural places in the miles of concrete and steel. Beyond the field was a market district with lots of small, independent shops Tobi enjoyed visiting. Today he was just content to sit in the grass and stare across the field, listening to the city in the distance.

He knew Nrekeeka occasionally came out here to relax, and he could see why. The light pollution wasn't as severe out here, so he could actually see the glimmer of the artificial atmosphere around the distant weather control towers. The sirens, almost continuous when at the heart of the city, were muffled this far out. Even the air seemed cleaner, though he knew it couldn't be true since they were surrounded by factories.

Humming contentedly, Tobi leaned back on his arms and absentmindedly stroked the cool grass under his hand. He could see himself spending a lot of time out here, especially when the weather was nice.

“Whatcha doin'?”

Tobi's head snapped up with a start, berating himself for not noticing someone approach. “Hey 'Keeka. What're you doing out here?” he asked in return, craning his head to see her. She was staring out across the field, her eyes distant.

“Shelsea wanted to take a shower, so I let her be,” she answered, sitting next to Tobi. Her shoulder pressed against his.

“Do you want to be alone? I know it's why you usually come out here.”

She closed her eyes for a moment and when she opened them again, they were on him. “No, it's okay. Actually, I'm glad you're here.”

“Well good, then.” Twisting his torso to face Nrekeeka, Tobi reached up, curling her hair over one long, pointed ear. “How're you doing?”

“Emotionally exhausted,” she said with an airy chuckle. Leaning over, she put her head on Tobi's shoulder and let her eyelids droop.

Tobi draped his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close. “I bet. Things will settle down soon, you just gotta be strong a little while longer. I'm pretty sure Shelsea is already comfortable here.”

“Which is a relief. She's already attached to Theo, too.”

“Yeah, I think she's barking up the wrong tree there,” laughed Tobi.

Nrekeeka's gaze slid toward him. “What?”

“It's not my place to assume but I don't think Theo's into women,” he told her.

She was quiet for a while before nodding. “That actually makes a lot of sense.”

Tobi let out a snort of laughter. “Your tone was entirely too serious, Sweetheart.” He slid his hand up her neck and started flicking at the golden hoops in her ear.

“What are you doing?” she questioned, lifting her hand to cover his.

“What do you mean? You like it when I play with your earrings,” he replied, giving her a sideways glance.

Nrekeeka pushed him away. “Something is different about it today, though,” she mumbled, a dusting of pink coloring her cheeks.

Turning to face her, Tobi furrowed his brow in confusion. “Uh, I don't think so.”

“The way you touched my neck. It was different,” she told him, plucking blades of the dark green grass from the ground.

“I didn't do anything different than I usually do. You're just oversensitive right now,” he soothed, squeezing her shoulder.

Nrekeeka gave her head an emphatic shake. “I don't think so.”

A panicky chuckle rumbled in Tobi's throat. This was not a subject he wanted to broach right now. “You're imagining it,” he insisted

After a long silence, Nrekeeka let out a heavy breath and leaned on Tobi's shoulder once again. “Maybe I am. I don't know.” Sliding her hand across the grass, she linked her fingers with Tobi's. “Whether I am or not, this type of behavior will have to stop when Shelsea is around.”

Tobi raised his eyebrows. “What behavior? This is how I am. Kinda hard to change my personality, Keeks.”

“I know, but I think if you pay attention to me like you usually do, she'll get jealous,” she admitted.

Licking his lips, a grin took over Tobi's features. He grabbed Nrekeeka, hugging her against his chest and laughing. “I doubt she'd even notice! She's too busy trying to mortify poor Theo.”

“True.”

“I can't believe I forgot how much of a brat she can be. I was worried about her meeting Gabe, but I think she may put him in his place!” declared Tobi.

“And now I'm worried.” Nrekeeka pushed herself away from Tobi, sitting up straight. Staring out across the field again, she rose to her feet. “I'm heading back inside. You coming?”

“Yup,” grunted Tobi, getting up as well. His movements were not nearly as smooth as hers. Stretching, he followed Nrekeeka inside. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed the old, beat up car belonging to the others taking up space in the lot again. The thing was such an eyesore, but it made his own car look so much better.

Tobi and Nrekeeka were halfway up the staircase when they heard a gasp from the second floor. They exchanged a look and rushed upstairs to see what was going on. Max, Ekie, and Shelsea stood in the hallway by the common room. Shelsea held Ekie's face in her hands and stared, mesmerized, into his eyes.

“Uh, he doesn't really like being touched,” Max said nervously, eyes darting between the two.

“I've never seen someone who looks like you before. I absolutely love your eyes!” Shelsea exclaimed, beaming at Ekie. He seemed uncomfortable, but not angry. “And those muscles!” She moved her hands to his biceps in awe.

“Shelsea! Did you even introduce yourself before you started pawing at him?” Tobi admonished, crossing his arms and glaring at the girl.

Shelsea's arms fell to her sides and she pouted up at Tobi. “Quit spoiling my fun.”

“So this is your sister?” Max asked in an attempt to ease the tension.

Nrekeeka nodded. “Yes. I'm sorry about her behavior. She always gets over excited when meeting new people. Kind of like a puppy.”

“Hey! It's not my fault,” Shelsea declared. “All of your housemates are so attractive. And she's gorgeous!” Shelsea pointed emphatically at Max.

“Max,” she introduced, cheeks flushing at the compliment. She extended her hand, but just like with the others, Shelsea knocked the air out of Max with a tight hug. “Oh, goodness!” Surprised, Max hesitated before returning the hug.

“So... yeah. Max, Ekie, this is Shelsea Seldon,” Tobi said, shaking his head.

A strangled snort escaped his throat when he caught Ekie's expression. The fifteen-year-old watched Max and Shelsea hug, and his cheeks were stained the most amazing shade of pink. Both girls, similar in age, height, and shape, also wore similar low-collared shirts. Between them was a sea of pale cleavage.

“I think she's gonna be my best friend!” declared Shelsea, standing back and holding Max at arm's length.

“Oh, uh, but we just met. What if you don't like me?” Max pointed out.

“I think we'll get along fabulously!” Grinning at Max, Shelsea linked her arm with the other girl's.

“Shelsea, you need to calm down a bit okay? You're still healing,” Nrekeeka said, noticing her sister's knees tremble.

Releasing Max's arm, Shelsea propped her fists on her hips. “Seriously, you need to stop worrying. I feel perfectly fine!”

“Listen to your sister, Shelsea. You're shaking like a leaf,” Tobi told her.

“I am not. Honestly, I've been asleep how long? Let me have some fun!” Shelsea turned away from Nrekeeka and Tobi with the intention to storm off, but her knees gave out. She toppled over just as Gabe came around the corner. He caught her around the waist as she grabbed the front of his shirt.

“Whoa! Y'all right there, darlin'?” he asked, scanning her face with curious eyes.

“Oh! Yes, thank you.” Biting her bottom lip, she kept her hands clutched in Gabe's shirt as he steadied her.

“You need to rest more,” Nrekeeka scolded. “Thank you, Gabe.”

“No biggie. I just happened ta be here. What's yer name, darlin'?” Gabe held the girl as she struggled to stand on her own.

Shelsea introduced herself without meeting his eyes.

“Oh. Well, it's a pleasure ta meetcha.”

Max shifted her weight from one foot to the other. “Wow. You're being surprisingly polite, Gabe.”

“I'm always polite!” he complained. “No need ta be shy around me, Love.” He directed a charming smile at the younger Seldon girl.

Tobi chuckled as Shelsea's cheeks lit up. “Oh, she's hardly shy. She's embarrassed,” he said, shrugging when she shot him a glare.

Everyone's eyes were on Shelsea as Gabe lifted an eyebrow at her. “How come?” he asked.

Shelsea didn't answer, just clenched her fists tighter in the cloth of Gabe's shirt.

Tobi took it upon himself to answer in her place. “If her reaction to the other guys is any indication, she thinks you're cute. And she almost fell on her face before she was even introduced to you.”

“Tobi, you're being mean,” warned Nrekeeka, elbowing him in the ribs.

“I'll stop teasing when she stops flirting,” he replied, crossing his arms.

Gabe kept his eyes on Shelsea, features soft as he looked into her eyes. “No need ta be embarrassed around me. Yer cute, so I'll let it pass,” he told her with a wink.

“Oh my god, you're hopeless,” Max grumbled at Gabe, rolling her eyes.

“I'm really glad my sister gets along with everyone, but she really needs to rest. She's not one hundred percent yet,” Nrekeeka told them, directing a pointed glance at Shelsea. “And don't you dare try and tell me you're fine.”

“Ya had Amaran, right? We wouldn't want ya ta relapse. Ya oughtta listen t'yer sister, Sweetheart,” Gabe said to Shelsea, putting his hand over hers. “I've got younger siblings too, and I'd be devastated if anything happened ta them.”

Shelsea's eyes locked onto his and she dipped her head. “Okay, I guess I should have a nap. Tobi, can you help me to my room?”

“Sure.” Tobi switched places with Gabe and they headed towards Nrekeeka's bedroom.

“I'm glad the cure worked,” said Max, staring down at the beige carpet.

“Me too. Thank you for helping us,” replied Nrekeeka.

Max's eyes slid upward to meet Nrekeeka's. She held the woman's gaze, nervously chewing on her bottom lip before speaking. “Actually...about that...”

“What is it?”

Max inhaled deeply, shifting her line of sight to Ekie and Gabe. “There's something you need to know about Robyn's plans.”


© Copyright 2019 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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