Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Chapter 24: Guardian angel
Chapter 24: Guardian angel (Wattpad)
“What did you say?” I said, looking at him disbelievingly. He grinned playfully, “I have no idea.” With an almost desperate look on my face, I hit him on the chest lightly, almost forgetting about Kat, who was calmly eating chips, looking out on the door.
“Damn it, I’m serious.”
He smiled genuinely this time and took both of my hands. Then using them, he framed his own face. Immediately, my palms grew warm between his cheeks and hands and I can’t help scowling. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m not doing anything.” He shrugged.
I suspiciously said, “You’re supposed to be bragging about your perfection and your ego should be as big as Russia, as usual.”
He countered, “You should be screaming at me to go away and now look at you. Blushing like hell, and I’m just touching your hands.” He turned his hands to the side and kissed my palm. “Anything else?”
“Are…are you implying something?” My heart was beating so fast and I find this…scary. Creepy. I don’t believe this is happening.
“I honestly don’t know. Do you think I am?” he smiled teasingly and I sighed. “Please tell me what – just what’s going on in your mind or just – tell me something.”
“Okay, but can we go upstairs first?”
“Up to the – ”
“Thanks.” He grinned then pulled me to my feet. He said, “See you, Kat.” And without another word, he turned me by the shoulders and guided me up the stairs. We passed by Delsey and Nique, who both said, “Hello, lovebirds.”
“Hey, guys.” Travis smiled back. The moment they were out of earshot, I rounded on him, “Okay. Talk now.” We’ve reached the second landing and I now gave him the answer-me-no-bullshit-please look, but he didn’t seem to notice and he interlocked my fingers with his and walked backward, to the direction of my room.
“Do I have permission to come in?”
“Perfect.” He opened the door wide and pulled me in. Before he could say anything, I slammed the door shut and glowered at him. He’s behaving out of character – so out of the bloody character. Instead of being rattled by my scowling, he’s smiling like he’d won the lottery. Not that it would make any difference to their fortune but aaargh. I deserve answers.
“Seriously. What’s going on?”
His expression softened and he stepped forward, wrapped his arms around my waist and touched his forehead with mine. Biting my lip, I hesitated for five seconds before putting my own arms around his neck. I sighed and prayed that whatever this is, I won’t get hurt too much.
“Avery, would you believe me if I said I have a fear of spiders? And please look at me.” My brow creased and I met his straight gaze, his eyes unflinching. What does the bloody prank have to do with anything?
“What do you mean? That is way off the – ”
“Please just answer the question.”
Suddenly feeling self-conscious, I replied, “Of course I would. That’s because you do have the damned phobia.” He smiled at my answer and kissed my right cheek and embraced me tightly. When he pulled back, he looked into my eyes and said, “Would you believe me if I said I live in a mansion?”
“You do. And it’s more of a palace than a mansion but seriously – where is this conversation going?”
“Answer the question. Yes or no?”
“Of course yes. What the hell is this?” he didn’t answer my question but kissed my left cheek. He smiled and faced me with an almost peaceful look. I said, confused, “Please tell me what’s happening.” I didn’t receive my response once again and he only put his forehead on mine. He spoke, his blue eyes so solemn and sincere,
“So would you believe me if I said I’m in love with you?”
I heard the words. I heard them, but – no. They’re not true. They can’t possibly be true. Even when he started to smile, my mind still refused to give in. I was speechless, but he seemed to understand my lack of words as he hugged me tightly and I distinctly heard him say,
“I was aiming for a more romantic admission, but I think I managed to nail it.” He kissed my shoulder, “Don’t you think?”
I gave a strangled laugh and allowed myself to think properly. Somehow, there was still a part of me that was refusing to accept. I said in a voice that didn’t sound like myself,
“You – could you say it again?”
He pulled back from the hug and looked at me in the eye. His face doesn’t bear even the slightest hint of a smile as he framed my face in his hands and said,
“I love you.”
I blinked rapidly. “You…you do? But that’s not really…”
“Possible?” he guessed, arching an eyebrow. “I don’t think so. I don’t know how or when it happened, but the point is that it did happen.” He smiled gently, “Right?”
I had difficulty breathing even as he said it point-blank. I – I mean, how could someone like him love someone like me? It’s so…unreal.
He continued to say to me, “I love you, Avery. It just happened like gravity.” He smiled reminiscently, “And tidal waves.” I can’t even bring myself to wonder what makes him smile when he mentioned gravity and the tidal waves. I even forgot what their definition is.
“We only had one day out together and it can’t even be considered as a date. And then we spent lunchtime with my friends. Just one lunch. I don’t think that’s enough – ”
“Then I made you cut classes. You never do that. Also, I made you climb that tree and got photos of us published across the country. Not that I’m sorry about that.” He smiled. “I made you do things you wouldn’t dare do and I’m intending to do more of that. I know I’m talking about stupid things, but sometimes, little things matter a lot.” Now he grinned wider, “For instance, if you didn’t get yourself drunk to the bone, we wouldn’t be standing here right now, wouldn’t we?”
“But…” My brow creased as I scrambled for a sense of balance. “That doesn’t make sense.”
“Love doesn’t make sense, darling. Oh, I forgot one – I also had your first kiss. I don’t know about that, but I think my guardian angel was with me at that time. I’ll have to thank him later.”
I chuckled. He also believes in guardian angels, doesn’t he? “Maybe I just find it too overwhelming to believe that a person like yourself would stoop so low as to wanting me.” He gave me and oh-please kind of look and backed me towards the door until I felt the hard wood against my back and he comfortably molded his body to fit mine. I chuckled up at him as he grinned playfully. He said,
“Let’s see what do you want me to do to make you believe? Did I tell you that you’re fucking beautiful?” his words and even his voice made me curl my toes and I answered, “You know, when you say that, I believe it. Funny is it not?”
“You have to start believing it from other people. Even the mirror.” He leaned forward and caught my earlobe between his teeth. I took a deep shaking breath, “Stop that.” On the contrary, he made it much worse. He put the earlobe on his mouth, swept his tongue across it, and sucked.
“Oh, God. Please stop.” He didn’t. “Fuck you Travis.” he laughed, finally pulling back and he stared at me for a long time, smiling.
“Where were we?” he asked pressing himself closer to me.
“If you come even closer, I’ll probably die of suffocation.” He did come closer and I could feel every outline of his body against mine. I was wrong – maybe it’s heart attack, not suffocation. I said breathlessly,
“You do know I can’t breathe, don’t you?” he smiled and responded, “I think that’s a good thing.” If it was even possible, he moved even closer and I groaned. He said, “Seems like I can’t get enough of you lately.”
“Yes,” I gasped. “Right.” God, I can’t breathe. And it’s not merely the invasion of my personal space it’s just – I feel every inch of him and I’d jump off a cliff before I admit it, but it feels so good.
“Don’t believe me yet?” he asked.
“Believe what?” I think I’m floating.
“You know what. And don’t pass out on me, okay?” he nuzzled my neck.
“I won’t. At least,” I gasped, “I don’t think so.”
“Mmm. That’s good.” He kissed my cheek. “God, you’re so delicious.”
“Technically, you can’t taste me.” He chuckled at the comment and said, “Wrong answer.” He tilted his head and kissed me as if his life depended on it. His mouth devoured mine and all rational thoughts fled my mind when his tongue licked my lower lip.
“Okay,” I panted, “I that’s enough. You’re going to kill me by the rate you’re going.”
“Satisfied now?” he asked still, not letting go of the subject. When I didn’t answer, he heaved a sigh. “You’re so stubborn.”
He just smiled and moved a step backward. I breathed properly again, feeling the cold air on my skin again and I smiled up at Travis, who was watching me as though fascinated.
“Now, I have to show you something.”
“What the hell are you doing?”
I gripped his hand but he continued to look out of my window, half of his body hanging. “I said I wanted to show you something.”
“Why don’t you just go down and show me the bloody thing instead of having an accident?”
“Patience isn’t really my forte.” He smiled at me over his shoulder and waved out to Paul, his “personal bodyguard and chauffeur.” He was a grim, leonine man who followed Travis with his own car just a few minutes ago. He instantly looked up, if he was surprised to see the only heir of the most promising company everyone knows dangling on the window sill, his face betrayed nothing. As if he knew what Travis needed, he opened the passenger’s side of the car and rummaged for the unknown item. Then a disturbing thought came across me. I turned to Travis,
“Has he been standing there whole time? Isn’t he allowed to even go in the car? Or atleast the house? Do you have any idea how sunny it is?” Without thinking, I pulled him by the hand and raced down the stairs. I vaguely waved at everyone on the table, went outside and saw Mr. Chauffeur with a rectangular box with no handle at all, only a small keyhole. Which doesn’t make absolute sense.
I stepped forward, “Uhm. Hello.”
Travis said, “Thanks, Paul. I’ll have that.” He got the box and put it under his arm as I said, “Do you want to go in, sir? It’s quite hot out here.”
“It’s fine, ma’am. I don’t want to intrude.” He inclined his head to me slightly and then to Travis. Which…I find creepier.
“You can atleast stay in the car. You can turn on the radio, I know how you like it.” Paul blinked and his forehead creased slightly, but he maintained his rigid self-discipline as he muttered a thank-you and went inside his car.
Chuckling slightly, I turned to Travis, “I find that exchange really suspicious and scary. And why the hell does he have to call me ‘ma’am’ when he’s probably two decades older than me?” He just laughed as we walked back to the house and explained about their guards having a protocol to follow and we clambered up the stairs again and secluded ourselves in my room. I looked at the medium-sized box with renewed interest.
“So what’s the big surprise about?”
He just smiled and flopped down on the bed. “Sit here.” He patted the space next to him and ridiculously, I obeyed, still looking at the innocent-looking box on his lap. He started saying, “It’s nothing special, but I thought it would be nice.”
From his pocket, he got a silver key – one of those that look like they’re from medieval times – and inserted it on the lock. When he swung it open, the inside is certainly not what I expected. A blue, thick kind of paper that stretched up, looking like an accordion. Looking puzzled still, I watched at Travis parted it at the middle and was surprised to see that it was indeed a paper, albeit blue, just folded to fit in. Pictures were pasted on it, along with the names of the people on photo and the date.
As I stared, disbelief etched to my features, particular photos leaped out of my line of vision – me, in the middle of a laugh with the familiar trees behind me, then there’s me and him on the car doing…yeah. But what really caught my eyes was a picture of me and him on our desks; arguing it seems. Then when we were on the parking lot, when he stole my first ever kiss, when we were walking on the hallway.
Some pictures were taken with the Polaroid, some not at all. I stared, my lips parted in surprise. Even the blue paper must’ve cost a fortune – there were intricate patterns etched on it and adds more detail to the whole thing. But I saw that there were still spots to be filled, and I recovered enough to look at Travis.
“Pictures? Who got these pictures?”
“Cassie.” He said with a smile.
“Cassie?” My mouth was open and I stared back at the pictures. Cassie – Cassie – has been doing this little project this little project behind my back for – for how long?
“Cassie knows everything.” Travis confessed, “After I begged to you in that classroom and you ran away from me, she came in, figuring something was wrong and started interrogating me like a bloody police officer and I spilled everything to her. I thought she might help, but she didn’t believe a word of it. She said I was a lunatic.” He chuckled. “But after that little scene on the cafeteria, she talked to me privately and I came up with this project and that’s it.
“She…she knows? Everything?” I asked weakly.
“Yes, she does.” He kissed me soothingly. “She’s not angry with you, trust me.” Then giving me one last kiss on the list one last time, he smiled. “We still have to fill these up with more photos, don’t you think?”
I heard the challenge and the invitation in his voice and I smiled excitedly.
“Let’s start with breaking more rules.”
“Why yes, Your Highness.”