Wondering around in the woods, I tried to cool off. A lot’s been said and every time I thought about it, I just got worked up all over again. I had a feeling that fight was bound to happen, where we spilled all our frustration on each other.
I ran another hand through my hair as I continued to make it deeper into the trees but made sure I didn’t wonder too far. Who’d find me then? Slick was pissed and I doubt Jared would actually care.
Thinking back, in some way, Slick was right. I had serious trust issues but I also had my reasons. I’ve seen what trust’s done to my mother and there’s no way I’d willingly go down that road.
Trusting people meant you cared for them to, and that’s dangerous for me. My father would hurt anyone I cared about. Even after I’m dead, he’d just do it for the hell of it.
A small part of me didn’t want to have trust issues anymore. It got tiresome at some point, being suspicious all the time. But a larger part of me noted it’s what’s kept me alive. It blocked any opportunity of getting hurt when someone broke that trust.
I thought back to what we’d said back there and how I pushed Slick’s button. I wished I had pushed harder, made him brake like the porcelain doll he claimed me to be. But I know I’ve done enough damage, just like he did to me.
An odd emotion swirled inside when thinking back to what I said, how I used Mason against him. It was a low move, I see that now. Slick’s been through a lot with all the disappointments, and I was making myself more of a burden to him.
At this rate, he’ll kick me out for sure. I needed to fix it…alright, try make it better. There was no way I could fix what I said back there. I was doing this so he didn’t kick me out. That’s your only reason?, my subconscious asked.
I don’t bother answering, knowing it’d snap back with a snarky comment. I headed back to the cottage, the walk there seeming a lot longer than I remembered. Opening the back door that no one bothered to lock last night, I headed for Slick’s room.
An apology forms in my mind and I try figuring out how to say it without seeming too sappy or too vain. It wasn’t going too well, because I don’t usually do it, unless it’s to my father and that’d sound monotone and professional.
I had a feeling such an apology wouldn’t cut it this time. Finally, I stood in front of his door and I wondered if he’d throw a knife at me if I walked in.
I won’t blame him because I would’ve done worse if our positions were reversed. I just wanted to get this over with, clear up the unnecessary tension and lower the risks of him breaking the deal again.
Alright, now or never.
I threw open the door and marched in with an apology on my lips but came to a sudden halt. Slick was turned away from me, his torso bare of any material. My brown eyes racked over his skin, taking note of the tattoos that marked it.
Each one beautifully swirled in a patterned I’d never come up with on my own. A hint of warmth lit my chest and something inside me shifts.
I’ve never seen him without his hoodie, so seeing him now was breath taking. His back was toned, shoulders broad and inky skin was tanned.
Slick spun around, eyes sparked with surprise when seeing me. I slowly moved towards him, scanning his abdomen. Just like his back, it was solid, tanned and inked with tattoos.
There were so many designs that I’d spend hours counting. But that’s because they were small, not enough to hide every inch of his skin.
He looks a little out of his zone, reaching for a shirt that laid on the bed but I didn’t want him hiding from me. I moved faster.
Just when the material was in his grasp, I placed a hesitant hand on his shoulder. He froze, smoky gaze staring me down. My thoughts were jumbled, my mouth dry and my actions were unexplainable.
An overwhelming sensation settled over my head, clouding my rationality. I pleaded him with my eyes for him to stop so I could get a better look at his skin.
He doesn’t respond, so I take it as consent, my fingers moved on their own accord. I couldn’t help myself. I traced a tattoo, feeling Slick stiffen at my touch when I ran over rugged, smooth skin.
I knew the feeling, a scar. I traced another, and felt the same sensation. My heart slowly picks up and my breath’s held in my throat.
I’m about to trace another when a hand on my wrist stops me. That snapped me out of it, my eyes locking with his and I’m shocked at my actions.
“What’re you doing, Thea?” he breathed lowly, and goosebumps spread on my skin at the sound of my name.
The way it sounded so smooth and sweet like honey, stirred something within me. I shook my head to clear my thoughts but it didn’t help much. So I tried remembering why I came here in the first place.
Ignoring his question, because I didn’t know the answer to that, I said, “I’m sorry, for what I said earlier. I was upset and my words were harsh.”
It’s weird, how soft and sincere I sounded. He just stared at me, a million emotions swirled within his gaze and I couldn’t name what they were. Deep down, I found myself liking it.
I tried shoving that part of me aside, the irrational me. But with a shirtless Slick in front of me, it was getting harder by the second. He doesn’t reply, and when minutes passed, I took it as a ‘we’re good’.
I was suddenly aware of how warm his hand felt around my wrist. Questions rose within me like, why I wasn’t leaving? Why didn’t I snap his hand away? What was going on with me? But when I opened my mouth, I asked, “Your tattoos, why’d you get them?”
My words were soft, hesitated and far from sounding like myself. When the hell did I care? For a while now, my mind whispered but as usual, I ignored her.
Slick’s eyes darken and I know he’s about to pull away, to break this odd yet pleasant moment we’re having. For once, we’re not fighting, arguing or sitting in a tense silence.
I wanted to live in this moment for a little while longer. “Please,” I asked, the word sounding a little airy. I wanted to know.
The sensation brewing in my chest pushed me to want to know him. A large part of me said I didn’t give a shit, and should just leave before things got awkward. But for once, I didn’t listen to it.
“To cover up my scars. I think of it as my armor, to mark my past reminders as something worth wearing with pride,” his raspy reply confirmed my thoughts.
There were scars beneath his tattoos. I wanted to ask about them, how they got there but that’d be pushing my luck. So I settled with what he told me.
“That’s why you wear your hoodie, to cover them up.” It wasn’t a question but a statement. He nodded.
My eyes shift to his body once more, sparking my interest. I read over each tattoo like I’d read a book. I was right though, Slick was a book.
His hoodie as his cover and these tattoos were his chapters. Each layer of ink held a story behind them.
My hand itched to trace them again, to try read what they had to say but I felt like I owed him something. I walked in on him shirtless and he had a chance to cover up but he didn’t.
He let me see his torso, something he always hid from the world. My mind flashed back to what he said about trust issues. I did trust him in a sense, even with all his major flaws, I trusted him.
Well, a little more than I trust anyone. Secretly, I wanted to trust him but my instincts made it difficult. He and helped me when I needed it and hasn’t betrayed me.
He stitched up my wounds, cooked for me, brought me that wheelchair and kept his promise from our deal. Licking my dry lips, I whispered, “I’ve got scars too.”
My tone took on a sad note when avoiding his gaze. I tried telling myself we were the same, our bodies littered with scars but his was different. He turned something that was horrible, into something worth admiring.
It just added more beauty to his body than I’d ever care to admit. I, on the other hand, wasn’t like that. Mine were pink, sharp patterens that never healed right.
Their claws spread out like cracks, evidence of how my father broke me into following his every order. Physically, I looked like the shattered porcelain doll my mother had called me, I couldn’t do anything about it.
But I refused to be broken on the inside, I won’t let my father completely shatter me. I took a deep breath and tugged on the sleeve of my baggy shirt. Exposing my left shoulder to Slick, shame filled my pores.
I tried forcing down the emotion, but it’s hard when you’re left so vulnerable. “My first one,” I whispered and tense when a coarse finger trace the letters of the scar. ‘obey’, the one scar I hated the most.
One of the many reasons I hated my father. “Who gave that to you?” Slick asked, his words laced with a hate I didn’t know he had. I swallowed my bile when answering, “Jack.” My father.
Figuring this was enough heart to heart, I pulled away. My body froze over when leaving his warmth; his presence. “So, we’re good?” I asked, slowly backing away towards the door.
He nodded, eyes scanning me in a way that made me shiver. “Yeah.” Relieved, I turned and walked towards the door.
Once having the handle in my grip, I heard Slick say, “When I said I didn’t care about you, I lied.” My chest felt oddly light, and a buzz filled my stomach.
I only paused a moment before leaving the room and leaned against the closed door. Huffing out a breath, I ran a freckled hand through my hair.
“What’re you doing to me?” I whispered, my mind still stuck on Slick’s beautiful tattoos.
- - -
“And you waited till now to come to me!” Jared yells once Slick had told him all about Mason. We were huddled in the living room, the fire place was lit because of how freezing it suddenly got.
Slick was right, it did get really cold this late at night. Slick rolled out his shoulders and sighed, as if expecting his reaction. I wondered how long they knew each other.
“I know, I should’ve come the moment he vanished but you’ve got to admit, you would’ve killed me before I could say anything. You needed time to cool off.”
Jared paced in front of us, a hand running through his cooper hair. He sighs, “You’re right. But you should’ve called, texted, mailed or even sent a pigeon, Slick! It’s my best friend we’re talking about!”
“Look Jared, I’m sorry but can you calm down already. It’s been weeks now, and I don’t wanna add a couple more.”
Jared stopped mid stride and turned to us with a serious look. “Give me a couple hours. I’ll do some digging then get back to you in the morning. Goodnight,” he dismissed himself and left the room. I sat on a maroon couch, watching how the flames danced in the fire.
Slick gets up and leaves as well and I sit to think for a moment. Where’d I sleep tonight? Last’s night’s corner had to change. If Slick could find me, then I had to switch.
I halt in my train of thought, starting to think back to earlier today. Trust, I wanted to trust Slick. But, it could end so badly for me, like my mother. He could use it to hurt me, my father could use it to hurt me. It’s too risky, far out of my comfort zone.
What’s life without risks, my mind coaxed, words luring me in. It’s boring, not worth living at all, was my reply. That had my mind made up as I stood from my seat and moved towards Slick’s room. Technically, it’s ours but it’s mostly his.
Pausing at the door, I asked myself if I really wanted to do this. To leave my safe haven and trust him. After this morning, I’ve been avoiding him by staying out in the woods.
I wasn’t sure how to act around him after that but then I figured nothing changed between us except the fact we were opening up a little more. He didn’t kiss me again, nothing happened after our fight so why should I act differently.
If nothing happened, then why are you still standing here, all stiff? Chasing away my hesitation, I moved to open the door but thought better of it. He could be shirtless again, and I didn’t want to fall into another heart-to-heart conversation.
So, I knocked. A moment passed before the door swings open. Slick leans on the door frame, a hand stuffed into his sweats. He offers a questioning look, making me speak, “We’re still sharing the room, right?”
His lip twitched and he steps aside, motioning me to come in. Shoving away how uncomfortable I felt, I entered the room and closed the door behind me. Turning around, I spoke, “look, I’m still-”
I froze when realizing how close he was to me, his face inches away from mine. My body leans back into the door, trying to put some distance. Slick’s eyes are clouded over and his expression morphed into a look I couldn’t name.
I could suddenly feel every frantic thump my heart made, ramming into my chest. A buzz hums in my stomach and the sensation confused me. What was this boy doing to me? My eyes ran over him, his messy chocolate locks, dusky eyes and sculpted features.
I tried pointing out any imperfection to his features. I found them. His scar and the slight bend to his freckled nose. But that just enhanced his looks. He’s always seemed handsome to me, but this time something was different.
He had his cover on and I had the sudden urge to rip it away and read to my heart’s content. Slick took a slow step forward and I tensed, feeling caged. Strangely, I sort of liked the feeling… a thrill.
“Slick?” I questioned, my voice slightly wary. “Hmm,” he hummed, moving a little closer, stretching his arms to place his palms on either side of me. His actions were slow, as if he was afraid to startle me.
“What’re you doing?” my tone dropped by a million, low and airy. My heart continued to race and anticipation filled every cell of my being.
I didn’t know what to do, shove him away before anything happened or stick around to see how this’ll end. Risks, what’s life without risks?
“If you don’t mind, I’d like a redo,” he finally spoke, his voice taking on a new depth I hadn’t heard before. My brows crease by a fraction, “With what?”
Now he’s closer than ever, minty breath fanning over the bridge of my nose. I kept still, frozen in my spot as I waited on his reply. “Our kiss.” My eyes widen, heart stopped and vibrant emotions went wild. Did I hear him right? Were my ears faulty?
A silence washed over us as Slick waited, pausing to guard my reaction. I didn’t have one because my mind went blank once realizing I heard correctly. Did I want that? Shouldn’t I push him away?
I had to stop him but his scent filled my nose and drugged my thought process. I was helpless to him. Taking my silence as consent, he leaned in and traced a finger on my jaw. I shivered, my skin heating where he touched and I didn’t want him to stop. His eyes shut.
He slowly closed the gap and it felt like years, me standing there as my heart painfully slammed into my chest and wild emotions raged from within.
Emotions I’ve spent so long ignoring, were singing to a tune that even the deaf could hear. Finally, finally, his soft lips pressed over mine.
My breath hitched but other than that, we both stilled. Lips simply touching yet no friction was made. Then, he moved, lips dancing to a slow rhythm. I tried following his lead, my eyes fluttered shut.
A part of me told me to shove him away, that this wouldn’t end well but I shushed it, enjoying my risk.
Not knowing what to do with myself, I hooked my fingers on the pockets of his hoodie and leaned closer. My heart leaped into a fast pace and the buzz in my stomach turned to a cluster of butterflies, tickling my insides.
I gasp when his hands pressed on the small of my back, pulling me nearer. I had to lean up to reach his lips better, muffling a soft sigh. Every thought in my mind turned to goo and I couldn’t make sense of anything but our kiss.
How warm and strong his hands felt pressed against me, how his soft lips worked with mine. This was crazy. I was crazy. But I didn’t want to stop.
Not now. So I stood there, letting him kiss me till my knees felt shaky. Slick gently bit my lip and gave a short tug. My insides instantly turned to mush, a shiver shot down my spine and I swallowed a whimper.
Then, sadly, he pulled away after pressed a kiss to the corner of my mouth. My head spun and it took a while for it to clear. Once it did, I opened my eyes to find Slick already staring at me.
Both of us pant slightly, trying to catch our breath and I attempt to find something to say. “I’ll sleep here, but in a corner.”
My voice sounded raspy, airy. I wasn’t ready to share beds; it’ll take years before I even sat on it. He sighed but didn’t argue for once. “Goodnight, Loner.”
For the first time, I didn’t mind the nickname. In fact, I liked it. A lot…I mean a little. He released me, taking his warmth with him as his eyes linger on me for a moment longer.
Then he headed over to his bed, stripping off his sweats and hood. I would have screamed if he wasn’t wearing his boxers and a loose tee underneath. I get a look at his arms, briefly admiring the tattoos there.
He got under the covers and turned away from me, ready to sleep, like he hadn’t just kissed me moments ago. I followed his approach, figuring it’s the only way I could possibly function.
I searched around for a couple of blankets and made my corner comfortable. My movements a little shaky and disoriented.
Switching off the lights, I settled into my spot where I got the perfect view of where Slick’s head laid.
I didn’t have an extra blanket to cover myself so I brought my knees to my chest and hugged them. I couldn’t sleep, my eyes fixed on where he laid and my lips buzzed. A reminder about what happened minutes ago.
I let him kiss me. Kiss me. I wondered if this changed anything, because I was currently too confused to figure out my next move. I mentally groaned, I knew shit would get complicated if I didn’t stop him.
I didn’t know how to handle these sorts of things. Emotions, is one thing I loved to avoid. I decided that’d be the last kiss we shared. It’d all lead to things I wasn’t ready for. Throwing me into a deep sea where I couldn’t swim.
Drowning was the last thing I wanted. So I stored our kiss into my memory, trying to remember every small detail that set my heart alight and warmed my insides. I savored the redo of my first kiss. First and last, for a very long time.
© Copyright 2017 kalaxis. All rights reserved.
Paste the link to picture in the entry below:
Paste the link to Youtube video in the following entry:
Cannot annotate a non-flat selection. Make sure your selection starts and ends within the same node.
An annotation cannot contain another annotation.
There was an error uploading your file.