Friday, April 27, 2012
Chapter 27: The threat of time
Chapter 27: The threat of time (Wattpad)
How is it that your bestfriends suddenly agree with your mother?
Oh my gosh, that’s wonderful! I remembered Nicole exclaiming over the telephone and I grimaced, I never thought you’d ever wear a bikini – you said you hated it! But I’m really happy for your recent changes.
But I think I approve of Theresa’s reaction.
You? Bikini? Is this a prank call? You’re not Avery, are you?
She’s really sensible. But when I called at Cassie’s place with high hopes that she’ll be the same, it felt like aiming a boomerang at yourself.
PICTURES! I need the bloody pictures! Call me as soon as you’re home and Travis better not screw this one up. And Lexi’s here. She’s sick, though, but she’s giving you the thumbs-up so I think she’s cool with it. Avery Warner, I’ll be watching out for the pictures. Capiche?
Yes, she’s calling me by Avery Warner since she found out about the rings. Actually the whole lot of them do, but I really don’t mind. Okay, I admit, it sounds nice.
I chewed my lip as my flip-flops tapped against our pristine white floor and I fingered the hem of my summer dress for the millionth time. Again, I rummaged inside my white canvas bag to check if I have everything. I breathed out. Okay, I got everything. I’m safe – for now.
I was extremely conscious of the thing I’m wearing beneath the dress. Aaargh. I’m not supposed to wear bloody bikinis.
“Avery, it’s going to be okay.” Dad said over his morning coffee. Behind him, Mom nodded her approval, just resting after she cleaned the entire second floor of the house.
“I hope so, but this thing is just overkill and I – ”
We all heard a car pull up on the driveway and followed by a familiar honking.
This is really, really, really bad. I don’t like what I’m wearing at all. I would give up every single thing I own –
“Avery, why don’t you open the door?” Mom smiled sweetly.
“Thanks a bunch, Mom.” I muttered under my breath as I hooked my bag over one shoulder and walked unsteadily to the front door. As I swung it open, my breath caught in my throat.
I’m suddenly in love with khaki.
He was there, smiling brightly with a glint in his eyes that would make anyone passing by swoon, and age is irrelevant to my assumption. He was wearing khaki shorts and a grey jacket over his plain white shirt and the sun shining down on his chocolate hair was just mmm.
I bit my lip and nodded, trying to appear calm and totally in control of myself. Which I am not. At all.
“Just wait a sec.” he stepped forward and caught both of my hands in his grasp and dusted a kiss on my nose. “I love your look. You’re beautiful.” He gave me a lingering kiss on my cheek and hugged me tightly. I laughed out loud, “You’re not bad yourself.” He pulled away, grimacing. “This? I had no idea what I was wearing.” He laced my fingers with his as he often did and I still can’t believe that it’s a perfect fit. He said, “Before we make out in my car, maybe I should say hi to your parents first.”
I burst out laughing and nodded my consent, leading him through the threshold and turned to the direction of the table where Mom and Dad area already looking at us.
Both of us waved and they smiled. Mom called out, “Have fun.”
“Will do.” We answered both at the same time. Before going out, I sent Dad a flying kiss, which became our habit when one of us goes somewhere for quite some time.
That is truly a blessing for us, since no one could have anticipated what would happen in the next forty-eight hours.
In a way, for some chosen lives, history does repeat itself. But in my case, it was different. Entirely different. When something gives an omen before anything comes striking, either death of a loved one or yourself, you should watch out for it. But as I got myself in the car with the love of my life, I wasn’t watching out for anything. It’s foolish; no one could ever have known, but I still blame myself for what became of myself a day from this beach trip. But then, I was happy. I was content.
Excitement surged through me as Travis turned on the engine, with mischief evident in his eyes. “I can’t keep my hands to myself, so I’ll just…” he quickly revved up the car and turned to the next possible corner and twisted the key. I barely heard the dying growl of the engine when Travis leaned forward and kissed me without a second thought.
He took my face into both of his hands and started out gently, but I couldn’t help myself. My hands splayed across his muscular chest and pressed closer and his mouth became firm on mine, the pressure increasing. His hand was now on the back of my neck, keeping me in place, and the other one was on the small of my back, gripping tightly and making me tremble. He swept my tongue on my upper lip and I clutched hungrily on his shirt, raining kisses on his chin. Then, he kissed my temple and moved back, his hair mussed and lips swollen. He cupped my face and gently put our brows together and I could see to the very depths of his blue eyes, which were empowered by emotion.
“I love you.”
An incredible feeling washed over me, making me feel string and very weak at the same time. I felt a smile unconsciously appear on my lips and I murmured, “I love you, too.” I heard his chuckle and his eyes sparkled brighter than any star I’ve seen.
Even inside the car, I could see the trees branches and leaves whipping with the criss-crossing directions of the wind as we came closer to our destination. Apprehension clawed its way to me again and I bit my lip. “So,” I cleared my throat then tried again, “So, were going to your beach. Your private beach.”
“Yes.” Travis answered, smiling as he drove through the road with ease that made him unbearably sexy.
“And nobody’s around except for us.”
“There’s the lifeguard.” He shrugged.
“Right.” I breathed in and exhaled to calm myself. “The lifeguard.”
“Yes, the lifeguard.” He flashed his complete smile while keeping his eyes straight in, but I could tell he’s immensely enjoying this. I can’t even bring myself to be annoyed because I’m being swallowed whole by panic. I’ve seen enough photos of Travis parents on countless magazines but it’s entirely different when you’re intending to meet them. Words like billionaire, company and scared are swirling around my brain and warning me of an impending doom – which is probably an understatement, but I don’t care; I’m scared out of my wits.
What would happen if they came to the conclusion that I’m the most horrible girl in the world? They won’t drown me, won’t they? I so hope not.
“What are you thinking?” he asked out of nowhere as he took a left. I swallowed hard before answering in a shaky voice, “I-I’m just thinking. They won’t drown me, right? It’s your beach, after all – ”
“If they do, I’ll jump in and save you.”
I gulped. “You will?” He laughed and I know we’re probably thinking the same thing – that the idea’s really absurd, but he didn’t seem to mind.
“I’ll always save you.”
Then he slowed to a stop in front of a guardhouse and beyond, I could already see colourful banners raised high and ruffled by the wind. They lined along the gravel path that leads to the tropical-looking huts and nooks made of indigenous resources. And I’m scared as hell.
Travis then opened his car window and nodded up to the middle-aged man in uniform who looked alert and wary. What for, I have no idea; no one seems to be around the area and it’s not as if someone can just pass through. I think.
“Sir.” He inclined his head and with a flourish, retrieved a small tab from behind him and put it in front of Travis, who put his palm on the center of the white grid. It immediately beeped and the lines on the grid turned green.
Are we entering a beach or a secret facility? The palm access thingy is just overboard. I mean, do we look like terrorists? And as if that wasn’t enough, the guard turned the tab around and I saw a lens – bigger than any I’ve ever seen before. Travis aligned his right eye with the lens and the same, little grid sprang to life, screening his eye and after an instant came the beep and the glow of color green.
“Thank you. Have fun, sir.” The man muttered as Travis closed the window, but not before I saw him give me an intensely curious look and turn away.
“I really enjoy that part.” Travis said as we sped through the path among the huts, on the way to the sound of the waves clashing not far away. “When I was a kid, I used to play James Bond.”
I don’t think my brain is functioning. What happened to the standard manual search where you actually use your hands? I glanced at Travis, who was patiently waiting for my reply. “Uhm. Was that a retina scan?”
“Yeah. Only allows access to retina patterns from myself, Mom and Dad. It’s too much, don’t you think?”
“Yeah…too much.” I replied dazedly. I heard his chuckle and he slowed to a stop in front of a particularly huge hut, with benches and whit lounge chairs facing the white sand.
“Here we are.” He stated with an irresistible glow.
“I’m going to die.”
“I’ll die with you, then.” He shrugged, finally facing me. I breathed in and out and licked my lips, gripping my canvas bag tighter, “That won’t be necessary – ”
“Oh, look. There they are.”
I froze as my eyes landed on two people on the shore of the beach. They’re far away from us for me to really see their features but there was no mistaking the towering figure of Travis’ father, who wore black slacks and white shirt, partly obscured by a black overcoat as dark as his hair. Even from this distance, I can see his ominous scowl that dominated any other expression on his face.
But before I lost my mind altogether and ran for it, the petite lady beside him waved, her royal blue dress fluttering slightly in the breeze. She had her hair on a ponytail, but I could see that the hue is exactly the same as Travis’. And if her husband is scowling, she clearly doesn’t make too much of it as she smiled happily, clasping her arm around his.
Their polar opposites, I can sense it.
“Your first impression?” Travis asked as he took gold of my sweating hand.
My uncertain statement was followed by his laugh and he kissed my palm lovingly. “I don’t think you will die.” Mustering some courage from his words, I looked at the same couple on the shore, the waves lapping at their bare feet and ankles.
I took a deep breath, “Do I act the angelic girlfriend or the wild, carefree one?” He smothered a chuckle by biting his full bottom lip and said, “It would be really interesting to see you try the second, although I prefer you to act just like yourself.”
“Act like myself.” I nodded. “Got it.”
A few seconds later, we got out of the car, hand in hand. I steeled myself to meet the person who, unknowingly, changed the course of my life forever.