Warning: foul language. Pictures may take a moment to load. It is recommended you read this chapter on my blog, not Reader. Time jump of approximately 1 year.
The morning of my nineteenth birthday dawns like any other. The bedroom is full of eight o’ clock sunlight, and the curtains are drawn; the sky is pale grey, white around the edges, like a halo; the jagged hills in the distance, made green by pines and laced by narrow shimmering waterfalls, hills that look like a crown or teeth depending on the day. Today they look like a crown, distant but proud in the misty summer morning.
Lilith is awake, running a brush through her hair. She has no make up on, a startling but refreshing change. “Happy birthday, mejor amiga!” Her grey eyes light up when she notices me waking. “Thanks,” I smile at her sleepily and pull on a blouse and floral jeans. “Alright, time to cut your hair!” She chirps, pointing at the chair in front of her. I hesitantly take the seat, already regretting my promise to her from a few days ago, about letting her chop my hair for the first time in years. As Lilith snips away, the long curls float down to form a dull copper halo. Not a lot, but after she thins and straightens it, my hair feels strangely light; like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders, one that I didn’t know was there.
The kitchen feels like a greenhouse, as always; morning sunlight is flooding through the wraparound windows, which are lined with various potted plants and herbs. I can see the city to the west and steely ocean to the east. Lilith sits me down on one of the barstools and refuses my help in making breakfast. “It’s your birthday, Cherry!” She slaps my hand as I reach for the cutlery drawer. I roll my eyes. “Honestly, I don’t care if I’m one year older or not, but whatever you want, Lilith.” There is no point arguing with her. She smiles at me, knowing this, and cheerily tips flour into a bowl.
“Nice hairstyle.” I turn to find Luc leaning on the counter next to me, holding a mug of coffee. I jolt a little at his closeness; I can smell the rich perfume of the espresso, mixing with the smoky scent of his cologne. I can pick out the subtle hints of bronze in his blonde hair. His skin has tanned over the summer. “I suppose you’re being sarcastic,” I sigh as he raises the coffee to his lips. He shrugs at me and leans in with a tiny smile. “I’m not joking, you look cute.” To my surprise, he actually sounds sincere.
“Well… thanks.” I blink slowly, a little confused, because the first thing Luc always likes to do in the morning is insult me. I wait for him to say something degrading, but he just tilts his head at me. “Why do you sound so surprised?” “Um… maybe because you never say nice things to me?” At my cynicism, Luc laughs. “Fair point. Well, do you want a coffee?” I stare at him with wide eyes, wondering if he is somehow drunk or I am still dreaming. “You’re going to put salt or something in it, aren’t you?” I say suspiciously. Luc looks wounded. “Come on, have a little trust. It’s your birthday. I’m trying to be a kind and compassionate human being.” Both of us snort at the same time.
“Well, I guess I would like a coffee.” I hesitantly smile. I better enjoy Kind and Compassionate Luc before he goes away. “How do you want it?” He says as he fetches another mug out of the cupboard. “Um, black with lots of sugar. A little milk.” Luc nods at my answer. I study him carefully as he switches on the machine; it protests with a hiss before cranking out the coffee. Luc has been doing these sweet little things for me since a few months back, and it confuses me. One moment he will be playing a video game with me, surprising me with tiny pastries from a cakery downtown, after work, or getting things I can’t reach in the kitchen cabinets; the next he will be pissing me off just for fun. As a result, my mood is always changing when I am with Luc, and I just don’t know how to feel about him.
“What?” I jolt out of my thoughts to see Luc giving me a lopsided grin, his eyebrows cocked. “Huh?” I say, perplexed, as he slides the steaming mug across the counter towards me. “You were staring at me,” He explains, sitting down next to me and playfully kicking my foot. His leg is warm against mine. “I don’t look that bad in the morning, do I?”
What kind of question is that? I hide my blush by taking a long sip of the coffee, which is perfect, hot and strong and sweet. “Um… no. I mean, you look good, but I didn’t mean to stare at- wait, what did I just say?” I choke on my coffee and Luc begins laughing at me, my splutters and his laughter enough to turn Lilith around from her sizzling pancakes.
“Luc, stop trying to kill Cherry on her birthday!” Lilith accuses her cousin, her hands planted on her hips. “Hey, for once it wasn’t my fault,” He protests, throwing up his hands. I finally stop coughing enough to glare up at him. “It so was,” I hiccup. Luc simply glances away with a laugh, and looks back at me again with a crooked smile. For some reason, my heartbeat speeds up a little. “Well, I can’t help that you find me attractive.” He says smoothly, and I look down quickly in embarrassment. “Chin up, babe.” Lucifer pulls my chin up with a finger and forces me to meet his amused gaze; he’s smirking, a dark smirk, which means he’s playing his game with me again. “Don’t call me that,” I snap, my cheeks feeling like they are on fire, and I just want to slap his face really hard.
I mean, I like Luc. He’s the coolest person in the world when he feels like being nice. The kind of person you can joke and laugh and talk with, say anything and everything, without any worries. But there’s no getting past the fact that Luc Torres is a shameless player, and I am no exception to his game. Apparently my over-sensitivity to his teasing is enjoyable to watch. I stupidly fell for his slanted grin at first; if I’m being honest, I was surprised and secretly happy that he seemed to want me. But as time danced on, I slowly realised that flirting was as far he wanted to go with me, that there was no attraction in his smiles and words, that the only reason why he flirted was because of my squirming overreactions. And this is why I want to slap him; because I can’t help being attracted to Lucifer, which, let me tell you, really really sucks.
Before I actually hit him, though, he releases my chin with a cocked eyebrow and returns to the coffee machine. I stare down into my half-empty mug, angry and hurt. Idiot. Jerk. Stupid insensitive asshole. Luckily, Raphael and Michel soon arrive, the latter with a smile and the other looking as bored as usual. “Bon anniversarie, Cherry!” Michel says happily, his voice as sweet and soft as ever; it’s hard to remember he had turned eighteen a few months ago. I smile back at him despite my mood. He’s the only boy in this house that I’m not intimidated by, probably because he’s not unfairly tall like the others. “Thank you!” I hug him gratefully. Along with Lilith, he has become a very close friend. The other said friend places a pile of perfect golden pancakes in front of me. “Raphie, get the plates out,” She says absentmindedly as she scatters fresh blueberries over the pancakes. Raphael sighs grumpily, his electric blue hair fluttering, but he heads over to the cabinet anyway. “What, no good morning?”
Lilith swats at him playfully. “Fine, bueno dias.” She turns to me and gives me a fork and knife. “Now try not to asphyxiate on the pancakes, hm?” I smile at her, feeling a strange but comforting sense of fulfilment. Ever since I came to Bridgeport, exactly one year ago, I’ve been feeling happy just in the presence of others. Lilith is the first girl I’ve met who has genuinely become a friend, and the guys, if I forget Lucifer’s constant harassing for a moment… they do treat me as one of them. Part of their family. It’s nice not being alone anymore.
“Happy birthday,” Gabriel says quietly as he passes by my chair, the last to arrive for breakfast. “Thanks,” I reply softly, a little disappointed by his distant attitude. I’ve known Gabriel for a year, gone out on many robberies with him, but somehow it’s as if he’s still a stranger to me, as far away as he was to me when I was seventeen. There was a time when my breath would catch in my throat, in awe and hope, when we would meet on mornings like this. Now… well, it’s hard to keep crushing on someone when they keep on pulling away from you.
Forget it, Cherry. I shake my head to clear my thoughts and instead dig into the pancake stack. They are perfectly cooked — sweet and light, crispy gold on the outside. “Lilith, these are so good! Share with me, I can’t eat this all.” I push the plate towards her and we alternate bites, the other guys talking raucously about basketball over their own pancakes. “There is no fucking chance you’ll beat me today,” Lucifer points a forkful of syrup-drenched pancake at Raphael, who raises his eyebrows. “Just accept your defeat already. Give me the twenty,” Raphael says lazily, holding out his slender hand. Lucifer rolls his eyes. “Stop spewing bullshit, Kage, I haven’t lost the bet yet. Michel, Cherry, do you two want to come watch?”
I answer him a few seconds after Michel nods his head. “I… guess so.” A week or so ago, Raphael and Luc had started a bet on who was better at basketball; to this day they still haven’t managed to beat each other. I was planning to ask for more shifts at the record shop I work at today, but I guess it can wait till tomorrow. I smile slightly as I watch the banter. It is strange to think that we are all adults who work. It is even stranger that we are criminals as well. Sometimes when I think of this, I can’t help laughing to myself. One does not paint lawbreakers as normal people, but here we are, eating birthday pancakes and talking about basketball as if we do not steal from the rich at night.
Once everyone finishes their pancakes, dishes are washed and the kitchen is wiped down. Lilith kisses me on the cheek before going off to the boutique, and Gabriel excuses himself to work as well. “Have fun,” He tells me gently, and I watch him walk out of the kitchen before shaking my head in irritation. I can’t stop hoping that every time he talks to me, he’ll break the wall of ice he has built between us. But he never does.
The basketball court is located in a park nearby. The sky has clouded over and I glance up, hoping it won’t rain. The guys head straight to the hoops, Raphael and Luc facing off with Michel on the sidelines as the referee. I sit down on the warm concrete to watch them, leaning against the chain link fence. They move with the same effortless speed and fluent agility as I’ve seen during the robberies. It’s kind of mesmerising, watching the two guys dribbling and shooting, running and intercepting, so quickly and gracefully. They bring back memories, ones of my sisters and I when we were little, sitting with Mom, eating crisps and drinking vanilla Coke together, watching Dad and Uncle Will and their friends playing basketball at the stadium where they worked. Sometimes Mom would get up and join a team, and we would cheer her on.
A sharp combination of nostalgia and homesickness suddenly stabs at my chest. My sisters are turning nineteen today, too. Cara… would she be celebrating with a tiny baby in her arms? Perhaps I am an aunt now. Cinna would be next to her, the usual frown on her face, but with the hint of a smile she reserves for birthdays. The realisation makes me sad. This is our first birthday which we have spent apart. Although my sisters aren’t as close as we ought to be, I miss them, and Mom and Dad. I don’t know when I’ll ever see them again.
“Hey, are you okay?” I jolt to find Luc crouching in front of me, his gaze concerned. I must have spaced out. The sun peeking through the swollen clouds is much higher than the last time I checked. “Oh… yeah, I’m fine…” I say slowly, distracted by how he actually seems to care. He gives me a disbelieving look. “Do you want to play?” He asks, expertly spinning the basketball on his finger. “I would love to… but I’m crap at shooting. I haven’t played in years.” Seeing as both my father and uncle are professional athletes, it’s a bit shameful to admit. Luc just smiles and holds out his free hand. “Nothing I can’t fix,” He tells me. So I hesitantly take his hand, which is warm and rough and strong under mine.
He pulls me in front of a hoop and shows me where to stand. I hold the ball against my chest nervously. Luc stands behind me and his hands cover mine on the basketball, and I let out a tiny gasp at the unexpected contact. I can feel him against me, his belt clasp cool on the small of my back, his legs touching mine, his wrists brushing against my own. A strange shiver runs through me and I know Luc feels it, for he makes an amused noise in his throat. “Relax, Cherry. Bend both your knees slightly and lean back.” He directs me. I follow his instructions hesitantly and lean a little into him, my shoulders pressing into his warm chest. He taps my elbow next and shows me the ideal C shape for the shooting arm position. “Follow through and hold.” The ball sails through the air and into the hoop with a neat thunk. “Easy.” Luc smiles, and I can’t help smiling too. “Can I try on my own now?”
He lets go of me and I practise shooting, coming to realise that I’m not half-bad at this; the ball falls through the hoop more often then not. “This is actually fun!” I bounce up and down in celebration after scoring another hoop. There is a sense of satisfaction each time I land the ball, a small burst of exhilaration and pride. Luc is watching me critically with his arms folded and a smirk playing on his lips. “You know that in game, there will be someone trying to defending the hoop,” He says and walks in front of me. “Try shoot now.” I attempt to shoot and Luc intercepts the ball easily, hooking it out of the air with a fluid grace. “Try again.” He throws it to me and intercepts again and again until I am very frustrated. “How am I supposed to get it in if you’re so tall?” I sigh, jumping from foot to foot. “Faking. Distract me.” I glare at him, knowing he’s enjoying watching me get all worked up and annoyed. Luc rolls his eyes impatiently. “Think! You distract me all the time without trying, surely you can do something.” His words make my stomach jolt and I look at him with wide eyes, my mind racing, trying to decode what he had just said. But Luc just arches his eyebrows. “Come on, Cherry.”
I hesitate before I do the first thing that comes to mind. I kick him in the shin. In the second where he stumbles and swears, I lunge and shoot, the ball rattling into the hoop. “You told me to distract you,” I say sweetly when Luc stares at me in astonishment. He laughs, and runs a hand through his golden hair, his relaxed grin infectious. “Touche.” And then I smile at him, a real smile, finally dropping my guard, and he steps forward and leans down toward me and for a moment I think… “Can you keep practising without me?” Luc says with a tiny smirk, and cold disappointment floods me, like an ice cube has dropped into my stomach. “Yes,” I reply softly. He nods and walks off, and I turn to the basketball hoop bitterly. I let down my defences and got my hopes up again. Stupid Cherry. I throw the ball at the hoop, and it tumbles in, but the feeling of satisfaction has drained away. I hear the footsteps of other people coming into the park and I ignore them, shooting again and again, hard and fast. But then I hear a girl’s laugh, not too far away, high-pitched and breathless, and I can’t help glancing behind me.
Three girls, in tiny denim shorts and spaghetti-strap tops, with Converse and sparkly lipgloss. They can’t be much older than me. The prettiest girl has dark brown hair, like mine, which is braided into a little bun. My heart sinks when I realise she is talking to Luc. Of course. Who else? “Oh my god, you are so funny!” The brunette leans forward to touch his arm, and he actually smiles. The same kind of smile he had just given me. I bite my lip, knowing that I should probably turn away, but the cold weight in my stomach anchors my feet to the concrete. “Are you here with… another girl?” The brunette’s eyes sweep discretely over the court, and I know she is looking for someone who could be Luc’s girlfriend. Her gaze passes over me like I am invisible.
“Yeah, I am,” Luc says lightly, and something sparks in my chest when he looks at me. All three girls stare at me, and the brunette crosses her arms, giving me a scathing onceover. “No, I meant like, a girlfriend,” She laughs, sweet and tinkling. Luc hesitates for a second, his green eyes locking onto mine, and my breath lodges in my throat, a ridiculous hope rising up within me.
“Nah. Why do you ask?” He looks away from me and I bite my lip. The other girl looks delighted, and her friends hide their giggles behind their hands. “Ooh, I was just wondering if you could teach me how to play basketball… um, what’s your name?” She asks, tilting her head like a puppy. “Luc. And sure.” He flashes her another cocky smile. The brunette turns to me, and there is no disguising the triumph on her face. “Hey, are you done there yet?” I grit my teeth, clutching the ball tightly, wanting to chuck it at this stupid girl, for her to feel a fraction of what I am feeling right now; like I’ve been punched in the stomach. But then I glance at Lucifer. He isn’t looking at me. And all the strength just drains out of me. “I just finished. Lucky you.” The ball slips out of my fingers and thuds to the concrete, rolling away. Then I walk off to the sidelines, where Raphael and Michel are waiting. They must have been watching the whole time.
I sit down next to Michel, drawing my legs close to me. I can sense his light blue gaze on me. “I’m sorry, Cherry,” He says quietly. “What are you talking about?” I say flatly, like it’s not a big deal. He wisely chooses not to answer. I rest my chin on my knees and watch Lucifer, my stomach twisting. He’s doing the exact same thing to her, what he did to me; holding the basketball with her, teaching her how to shoot. The brunette looks up at him with fleeting, flirty smiles through the whole time, and he returns them with the crooked grins he always gives me. He whispers something in her ear and she laughs. Is he telling her the same things in that same low, amused tone? The ice turns into acid and I feel it climbing up my throat, behind my eyes. Soon, I know that Lucifer will kiss that girl, the pretty brunette he’s known for twenty minutes, and he will go off with her. I’ve lived with him for a year… and he’s never, ever tried to pull that on me.
I’m so goddamn stupid. Gabriel warned me about his brother. Why didn’t I listen to him? Why did I still end up falling into Lucifer’s trap? He’s perfected the ways of a womaniser, Gabriel and Lilith told me that, and yet here I am, shame and hurt throbbing in my chest. Why? It’s not like he was ever my boyfriend, like he ever tried to be. Maybe it’s because I thought… I was special to him. Like all his whispered words and teasing touches and lopsided smirks were just for me. And now I am realising that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good enough for Lucifer, because my appearance is the one thing I can’t change about myself. He only likes pretty girls, and clearly, he does not consider me one. I mean… it’s not surprising… but it still hurts.
“Hey, Cherry, we gotta go.” Michel taps my shoulder and I blink. The clouds have split open, and rain is falling in shimmering sheets, getting heavier by the second, wetting my hair and top. Lucifer and the brunette are in the rain, the girl squealing and throwing her arms around his neck, him laughing. “But… Luc,” I whisper. Michel leans down and takes my hand, pulling me up with a little difficulty. His eyebrows are scrunched together in what looks like pity. “He’ll come home later.” There is definitely a note of sympathy in his sweet voice. “Come on, Cherry. Lilith is probably making some yummy food right now.” Michel slings his arm around my shoulder, and I rest my head on his, walking back home together with Raphael just in front, the rain turning the streets into slip-and-slides. From a stranger’s view, we probably look like a couple, but we really aren’t anything more than good friends. We can’t be anything more; Michel is gay, which he told me a couple months ago, and he has a really nice boyfriend which I’ve met a few times. I’m not going to lie that before I knew, I did think about Michel in that way, because he’s kind and sweet and very cute, but I’m happy for him, that he is happy. I can’t say the same for me.
I wish that I could stop feeling this way about Lucifer. If I look at this situation from a logical point of view, I know that liking him after everything he’s done to me, is stupid, dumb, idiotic. But Lucifer has this unbreakable way of bringing your hopes up and dashing them down, like a broken record player; the music sweet then jagged, playing over and over again. And I know that unlike logic, emotions cannot be packed neatly inside a ink box and solved. I cannot control them, just as I cannot control the thunderstorm gathering over the city.
You either love or hate Lucifer. There is no middle or median or eye of the hurricane. And yet somehow, I am stuck in between.
“I haven’t finished the cake yet!” Lilith flaps her arms at me frantically, shooing me out of the kitchen. “Go sit down at the dining table, and give me ten minutes. You weren’t supposed to come home this early, this estupido rain ruining my plans!” The last thing I see before I move into the lounge is her glaring at the storm outside, as if arguing with the rain splattering the kitchen windows.
I turn away, smiling slightly. I don’t know anyone else who can be like a mother hen one moment and then kick your ass the next. For the millionth time, I feel grateful for the fact we have become best friends. I sit down, folding my hands in my lap and quietly waiting. Michel joins me on my right and Raphael sits next to him. They talk about something in French and I stare at the scratches and marks on the table, the imperfections, and trying not to think. A chair scrapes along the wooden floor. “Hey, Cherry,” Lucifer says, flopping down with closed eyes, his hair glittering with rainwater. I swallow, desperately pushing down the pain and bitterness I feel at seeing him. “I thought you were going to go off with that other girl.” I snap. “Nah. She got annoying real quick.” Is that what you think about me, too? I take a deep breath. “Oh.”
Lilith comes out of the kitchen, as per her word, exactly ten minutes later. She’s balancing a pretty sponge cake topped with swirls of cream and strawberries, and a stack of plates and forks. “Lilith, this looks amazing. Thank you.” I try my best to smile at her as she begins cutting the cake, giving me the first big slice. “Of course it is,” She says confidently and I laugh before digging my fork into it. The laugh is weak and flimsy.
The cake is probably the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted, and it’s apparent from how the guys finish their slices in a matter of minutes. “So who won the game?” Lilith asks them, taking a delicate sip of her coffee. Raphael glances at Lucifer, smirking. “This guy owes me twenty bucks, because he bailed halfway through.” Lilith stares at her cousin, disbelieving. “Luc Torres, who always tries to win at everything? Am I going deaf? What happened, prima?”
Michel speaks up when Lucifer doesn’t answer immediately. “He was teaching Cherry how to play basketball instead. And then… this other girl came along.” There is silence. Raphael coughs and Lilith’s bright smile turns upside down. “Esta bien?” She asks Lucifer sharply, who rolls his eyes. “Deja mi caso.” I can’t tell what they are speaking about, so when Lilith suddenly snaps at him, I jump, my fork clattering onto my crumb-filled plate. “Te dije que dejara de jugar con Cherry! Deja de hacerle daño!” Her voice is shrill and dangerous, like hot metal. “¡Multa!¡Dios!” Lucifer throws back at her, looking pissed off. I fiddle with my shirt anxiously, not fully understanding the conversation, but catching the gist. Lilith glares at him before taking a deep breath to calm herself down. “Sorry, Cherry. This idiot is ruining the cake.”
An hour or so after dinner, which was a delicious Spanish paella fixed by Lilith, I’m visited in my bedroom by Lucifer. “Do you want to watch a movie with me?” He asks, jerking his head towards the lounge. He’s back into Nice Guy mode, his feet crossed casually, his smile carefree. It’s hard to think that this smile can hurt more than his frown. “No thank you,” I say quietly. “Ah, come on. It’ll be fun, I promise. And…”
He hesitates, his tone suddenly softer. “I kinda want to make up for this afternoon.” My heart skips a beat. “For what?” I say in a tiny voice, a glimmering hope rising up in my chest. “For leaving you alone. I shouldn’t have gone and taught that other girl, that was rude.” I am silent for a moment, feeling the crushing weight of disappointment on my shoulders again. One day, I will buckle under the pressure. “Right. Well, you asked if I could practise without you, and I said yes. It’s fine, really,” I say flatly. The lie tastes like lead on my tongue. It’s anything but fine, but it doesn’t matter. Not when Lucifer doesn’t care.
“Well, I’m not gonna give you an option.” Lucifer grabs my hand and pulls me to the lounge. The sudden contact makes sparks leap up my arm. It takes me a moment to remember what he is talking about. “So… what is the movie about?” I finally manage to say, after he tugs me onto the sofa. “Just a rom-com.” He turns the TV on. I have never watched such a movie before, so I simply cross my legs and try get comfortable. A part of me is aware that I might be getting myself into a similar situation from earlier today, but it’s too late now.
The movie is really good. I laugh more times than I can count and it feels nice to be able to relax like this. I find myself sometimes sneaking a glance at him, just to see his open, easy smile as he watches the film, and blush when I realise what I am doing. And at the romantic scenes, I find myself all too aware of his warmth. “Did you enjoy that or did you enjoy that?” Luc asks me when the credits roll around. “It was very funny,” I admit, brushing crisp crumbs off my jeans. He smiles at that, stretching his arms above his head, and his shirt lifts up a little, revealing a narrow strip of tanned abdomen. Oh crap. I need to stop noticing these unnecessary details.
“So, um…” I fiddle with a stray thread of my jeans, trying to ignore the fact that we are along together. “Thanks for this, I had a good time,” I manage to say. “No problem.” Luc reaches a hand out, and for a moment I think he’s going to stroke my cheek, but he pinches it instead. “Hey!” I yelp, batting at his arm. “Ah, you’re just so cute.” He laughs, unrelenting. I feel myself blush as I try push him away. “Really.” “Yeah, really.” He suddenly grabs my wrists and jerks me close to him, and I almost fall onto him in my shock. Luc smiles down at me, and my cheeks flush, my heart starting to race, my wrists burning. My frantically working mind is noticing the unnecessary details again. There are flecks of gold in his green irises. He smells really good, like smoke and citrus and pine.
Then Luc kisses me, and I’m too shocked to do anything but freeze up, feeling nothing but his lips pressing onto my own. After a second, though, my eyes flutter shut and I melt a little, as if the warmth spreading over my body is breaking down my nerves into tiny sparks of heat. I can feel everything so sharply now; how he has pulled my hands to his chest, how his shirt is soft and warm, how his heart is beating steadily under my palms. The softness yet firmness of his lips, slightly rough and chapped. It is so surreal I wonder if I fell asleep during the movie and this kiss is just a dream. When Luc pulls away after what seems like a few seconds or a few hours, my face is glowing pink and my breath comes in quick little gasps.
“How was that for your first kiss?” He smiles, with a shimmer of arrogance. I inhale a deep breath, knowing that I should say something like incredible or wow. “Why did you do that?” I answer instead with a shaky whisper, trying to decipher if he’s just playing with me or if that kiss… actually meant something. Luc just gives me a cryptic smile and presses his lips into my neck. “What do you think?” His breath tickles my skin and I shiver. There are so many answers to that question. Maybe I think you’re playing a stupid practical joke on me. Maybe I think you just wanted to make out with a girl and I happened to be the nearest one. Maybe I think you… “I don’t know,” I say quietly. Luc kisses my collarbone lightly and his fingers run along the top of my blouse, slipping underneath the hem, burning across my skin. “Well, Cherry, if you really want to know-”
There is movement at the door behind us and Luc stops talking. A highly charged silence falls upon the lounge as the other four inhabitants walk in. “I’m out,” Raphael announces in disgust, and Lilith follows his quick pace into the kitchen, throwing me a strange look — almost like a warning. Michel seems even less amused. He glances behind him warily, and at the same time, my stomach drops like a stone. “Hey, Gabriel,” Luc says casually. How can he sound careless? His brother’s expression… it scares me a little. Gabriel looks calm, his features as still as marble, yet his grey eyes are flashing like the storm still howling outside. “Did I interrupt something?” The words are cool, but I can tell they are forced through clenched jaws.
“You did, actually,” Luc says, and I blink uneasily at the sharp tone in his voice. “So if you don’t mind, we’ll continue.” His lips press hard against mine and my first instinct is to freeze at this sudden edge. His fingers dig into my back, pushing me against him, and I don’t resist, my skin buzzing in both confusion and exhilaration. It’s a moment before my head stops spinning and I realise what he is doing, what message he is sending to Gabriel. Back off. “Is there a problem?” Lucifer asks his younger brother once he lets me go, and I rest my head against his chest, trying to catch my breath, too afraid to look up… but then I can’t help myself.
The anger has now broken free in Gabriel’s expression, and I feel a horrible jolt of guilt and trepidation to his reaction. Yet when I look at him properly, I get the feeling that the hatred burning in his eyes isn’t jealousy, more like… no, I can’t describe it. All I can see is that Gabriel looks like he seriously wants to strangle Lucifer. They glare at each other, and I squirm, caught helplessly in the middle, a deer in headlights. “No,” Gabriel says in a cold voice, breathing out slowly and getting himself under control again. “There’s no problem at all.”
He’s lying, I know, as he walks out of the room. Lucifer stares after him for a while, then looks back down at me with a smile, relaxing, like nothing had happened. “Sorry about that.” He kisses the tip of my nose, gentle again. I give him a strained nod, trying not to let the storm of emotions raging inside me show. I should be happy. I have wanted this for the longest time. Luc kissed me. He is holding me in his arms right now, his skin soft against mine, his warmth sparking a glowing fire inside my heart.
So why do I feel like I am throwing myself even deeper into darkness?
Disclaimer: Yes, I know Luc is being a real dick in this chapter.
I actually made twenty-six poses specially for this chapter, which I will put up for download. Why must I make things so difficult for myself .__. I enjoyed doing this chapter though, despite all the pose making and building, but writing it was fun — it went past 6500 words lmao. I rewrote it so many times though because of my crap romance writing >.> I reread the whole chapter just now and wow it still needs more rewriting but I’m too impatient to post, lol. Oh, and sorry again about any errors in the Spanish…
I, uh, may have started planning for Gen 5… planning as in kinda creating the whole storyline and main characters? I’ve got so many ideas for it! Why do I have to get so far ahead of myself, honestly, Gen 5 is probably two years away at the rate I’m going! I’m so excited for it which is just torture ;__; I blame Pinterest. Alsooo I think this legacy will be a matriarchy because I have no idea how a boy’s mind works, it’s much more easier for me to write from a girl perspective!
I hope you enjoyed Chapter 3.8, I would love to hear your thoughts ❤