Warning: this chapter includes foul language and moderate sexual references/adult themes. Pictures may take a moment to load, and it is recommended you read this chapter on my blog, not Reader. The songs for this chapter are Perfect Storm by Sam Tsui and 2 AM by Astrid.
“I don’t like it.”
I cross my arms over my chest, determinedly looking at anywhere but the unforgiving bedroom mirror. Lilith rolls her eyes at me, her sharp nails drumming impatiently on her hips, her sanguine lips pressed together in half exasperation, half laughter. “Stop being so obstinado, Cherry, you’ve literally said that about the past twenty dresses.” I frown at her. “Can you even call this a dress?”
She laughs and simply turns my head back to the mirror, forcing my eyes to meet with my reflection. “If you look hot in it, si, it is a dress.” I make an indistinguishable noise in my throat. That’s easy for her to say. Lilith looks amazing no matter what she wears. But I most definitely can’t say the same for myself. The dress she has made me squeeze on is sewn with black leather and has a frighteningly deep neckline. The exposing cutouts along the sides, while they may look good on Lilith, just leaves me feeling incredibly uncomfortable. The dress feels like it is going to slip down any moment, too. “I don’t like it,” I repeat.
Lilith sighs heavily, flicking her ponytail over her shoulder. “We have to go in ten minutes, and I have to do your makeup!” She claps her hands dramatically. “One more dress, and if you don’t like it, I shall choose one for you. We’re on a tight schedule!” I silently disagree with her, since I didn’t want to do this tonight in the first place, but it’s unwise to argue with her at this point. “Fine. Just… get something that doesn’t make me look like a stripper, please?” Lilith tuts at my dejected answer and goes to search through her extensive wardrobe again.
Tonight, I’m going clubbing for the first time. It’s an eighteenth birthday tradition in Bridgeport, apparently, and according to Lilith this means she can force me to go since I’m one year late. Everyone else is coming with me today. I suspect Michel and Gabriel are just tagging along to keep an eye on me, as they are not ones to enjoy getting drunk and dancing with random strangers, like myself. To be fair, though, I don’t know what that actually feels like, so I guess I can’t judge.
“Try this on, quick.” Lilith has returned with another outfit slung over her arm. When I take it, it’s revealed to be a crop top and skater skirt. The top is far more slim fitting than I would like, but it’s far less exposing than all the get ups I have tried on this evening; at least it covers my chest. “Ooh, they fit you well!” Lilith exclaims. “I haven’t worn them in ages because they’re too small for me.” I roll my eyes, knowing she means too small for her chest and hips. “I guess it’s okay,” I admit.
I’m sat down in front of the mirror soon after that, told to close my eyes, and am submerged in a glittering cloud of hairspray and makeup. In five minutes flat, Lilith allows me to open my eyes. The reflection in the mirror is… unreal. The horrible scar tissue mottling the left side of my face is simply gone, hidden underneath a smooth layer of foundation. Smoky, dark eyeliner and mascara make my eyes look big and lashes long, and the dash of red lipstick is bright against my skin. “Te ves muy sexy!” Lilith trills in delight, speaking in rapid Spanish at her excitement.
“Not really,” I sigh, absentmindedly tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. “Well, I guarantee that Luc will like it.” She pats my head and I frown at her. “He’ll only like it because it shows skin.” I tug at the hem of my skirt fruitlessly. I have never worn something like this before, and I’m not sure I’m that comfortable enough with Luc yet. “No, he will like it because you look gorgeous in it,” Lilith says firmly. “Don’t you worry, Cherry. Now go!” She shoves me out of the bedroom and I am left stranded in the silent foyer, wobbling on my high heels. I will probably fall over once or twice tonight, but at least I won’t look as tiny next to Luc.
To my growing shyness, Lucifer is talking with Gabriel in the lounge when I peek in; the tight line of their mouths speak of tension and they are obviously not over what happened on Sunday. Both of them are look no more dressed up than usual, which makes me feel even more uncomfortable about my own outfit. Why does Lilith own anything but modest clothes? I’m considering just waiting for her in the foyer to finish changing, but both of them have heard me come in.
My eyes flit to Gabriel first; his dark eyebrows are raised in a surprise that makes my heart skip an unwanted beat. I blush when my eyes then meet Luc’s, his lips curving into a slow smile as he takes in my appearance. “Stop looking at me like that.” I bite at my lip, my voice trembling very slightly and ruining my attempt to sound annoyed. Luc laughs, getting off his chair to walk towards me. “What do you expect me to do?” He tilts his head teasingly. “You look amazing.” He slides his hands around my bare waist, causing me to jump. A few days after our first kiss and even the slightest touch still makes my nerves spark violently. And judging from the way a corner of Luc’s lips twitches up, he knows it.
“I feel exposed,” I admit nervously, wanting to hide. His eyes flick down for a second and my cheeks burn deeply at his smirk. “Not my idea of exposed, but I like it.” Luc murmurs and suddenly bends down to kiss me, his fingers lacing through my hair. I let out a tiny breath of surprise against his lips, blood racing up to my face, then mentally chide myself. Why can’t I get used to this? I’m still shocked that this infamous player hasn’t broken up with me yet in the first few days. I’m still finding it hard to believe that Luc actually wants me to be his girlfriend, if our relationship merits that label. The term dating is a little loose right now, just because he hasn’t said anything about it yet.
The other three interrupt us when they appear in the living room. “Save the making out for a less public place, will you?” Raphael says grumpily, making me blush and step away from Luc. Michel and Lilith trail after Raphael; the latter stunning in a blood red cutout dress. “Shut up, Raphie, let the chicas be happy!” She reprimands him playfully. He just raises his eyes to the ceiling. “Whatever.”
The place we are heading to is called Banzai Lounge, which according to Lilith is a Japanese-themed nightclub. The outer facade is minimalist white concrete, but once we get inside, I’m taken aback by the green and purple neon flooding the club. There are a lot of people already; crowding and laughing loudly at tables, blowing luminescent bubbles around some kind of strange multicoloured bar, and dancing among the glaring strobe lights with cocktails tipping in their hands.
I swallow nervously, unsure of what to do. Lilith has disappeared into the crowd, probably to buy drinks, dragging Raphael along with her. Just like at The Grind, I feel out of place -despite my appropriate clothing- and the dizzying myriad of flashing lights is not helping. “Are you feeling okay?” Luc says from beside me, his eyebrows furrowed in concern. “Just a little intimidated,” I reply hesitantly. To my surprise, instead of teasing me, he nods and intertwines his fingers through mine, sending a fizzle of energy up my arm. “Just stick with me and you’ll be fine, Cherry.”
I’m pulled across the club, winding through groups of young men and women, who are all joking and whooping and moving to the pop music throbbing loudly through the speakers. I can tell most of them are already drunk to some degree, although not as much as The Grind. That could be because the night is still young, however. Give it a few more hours and it could be just as bad. I’m therefore reluctant when Luc brings me to the bar, where many of the clubbers are buzzing at.
I stand a little behind, my hand still linked with his, as he orders a drink from the bartender. “Do you want one?” Luc looks over his shoulder at me. I nibble at my lip anxiously, torn between wariness and curiosity. “I don’t know,” I say nervously, recalling all the times my mother warned me about alcohol. “Well, I’ll get you a diluted one.” Luc squeezes my fingers and a minute later, hands me a tall glass holding something that looks like Coca-Cola. I take it gingerly from him, the sparkling drink icing my warm fingers. “Is this just Coke?” I look at it cautiously. “Yeah, but with a little Jack Daniel’s mixed in. That is, whiskey.” Luc clinks his own glass against mine. “Try it.”
I take a tiny sip of the drink. At first, it tastes bitter and makes me cough, but then the familiar caramel zing kicks in, surprisingly better than I expected. “It takes time to get used to the initial taste,” He explains, downing half of his own drink. I take another sip and the bubbles dance across my tongue, warming me as the alcohol goes down. Before I know it, I’ve finished my drink and a pleasant buzz has come over me, somehow chasing away the anxiety I had before. “I don’t think you should have another one,” Luc warns as I set my glass atop the counter. “Why not?” At my question, he takes my hand again and pulls me away from the bar. “This is your first time drinking, Cherry,” He says carefully. “I don’t want you to go overboard and make yourself sick. Besides, you’re so tiny that one weak drink has already made you tipsy.”
I frown at him as he stops in the middle of the dance floor. “Thanks a lot. But I guess you’re right.” Is this a taste of what it feels like to be drunk? If so, the light and tingly feeling spreading through my blood is honestly rather nice. But I did only have one drink, mostly Coca-Cola at that, and to be truly drunk I would probably feel a lot worse. As Luc said, I’m slightly tipsy, but it feels good and I find myself smiling, something that doesn’t happen often in this kind of place. “I didn’t know you were a responsible drinker,” I tease as he places a hand on my back, pulling me closer to him. “I gotta look after you, don’t I?” Luc gives me his usual sexy little side smirk, which makes me blush and forget my offense at him saying I need looking after. We dance for a little while, just absorbing the lively atmosphere of Banzai Lounge. The Jack Daniel’s and Coke has shown me a new perspective on the club, and I now understand the reason why so many people come to this sort of place. It feels good to be able to just let go, to become one with the swirling crowd and simply lose every negative thought to the night. Well… almost. A small part of me that is keeping a firm grip on cold reality is wondering why Luc is being so nice to me. I mean, he’s never gone this long without insulting me before.
“Are you tired now?” Luc says in my ear some time later. “Yes.” I admit, feeling my feet beginning to get sore from moving around in heels for this long. I’m not sure how long, though, for the dazzling lights and alcohol flickering in my body seems to twist time into something unreadable. I follow Luc out of the crowd, which is growing louder and more wild as the night sails by. His grasp on my hand is tight, and noticing this makes an unwelcome realisation smoulder inside my head. Yes, he is being unusually possessive tonight. Because I’m wearing a skimpy outfit and makeup. Suddenly, I have become someone worth keeping his attention on.
We reach a dark corner of the club, where there are less people around. Lucifer turns around abruptly and I find myself pressed into the wall, causing my heartbeat to speed up rapidly. His face is just inches from mine; in the chaos of green and purple light, the sharp angles of his features look like knives, and his eyes are black, simmering with a kind of fire that I haven’t seen before. “Luc, what-” My hesitant words are cut off by his mouth. His fingers tilt my chin up forcibly as he bites my bottom lip, making me melt against him. In the buzzing feeling that sweeps over me, I vaguely register his other hand running up the side of my body, slightly lifting up my crop top. Somewhere, a tiny alarm bell rings in my head, but the unexpected intensity of this kiss has shocked me and I struggle to bring my thoughts together. Eventually, he pulls away, letting my mind function properly again. His breathing is just as heavy as mine is fast.
“Luc.” I try again, but he holds up a finger. “Wait a couple minutes, Cherry, I’m gonna go to the bathroom.” I stare after him as he disappears into the crowd, leaving me alone. My brain is still working slowly after the heat of how Lucifer just kissed me. He’s never kissed me like that before. I swallow and look down at my feet, with the light leaping across them. Did he… not want to before? Did he not like me enough? But then why would he have even kissed me in the first place? Cherry, stop worrying, of course he likes you, or else you wouldn’t be here, I think firmly.
“Are you here alone?” Someone says right next to me, and I jump. A tall man with white-gold hair and a handsome face is leaning on the wall about a metre away, and the smirk on his lips instantly makes me shy away from him. I bite my lip anxiously and keep quiet. “You do not look like the type who would wander here alone.” This time, I notice a Russian accent in his musing. I can feel the man’s eyes travel up and down my body and sudden fear ignites my voice. “No, I’m not alone,” I say, my words shaking. “I’m here with my…” I falter as I realise that I don’t actually know if Lucifer is my boyfriend. The man senses my hesitation and he smiles, something that makes me uncomfortable; like the cruel smile of a predator. “With your what?” The Russian cadence pulls each word out slowly and I tense, ready to move quickly, my mouth glued shut.
“Ah.” The man narrows his eyes. “Tell me… is this Lucifer Torres you are talking about?” The name sends a painful electric shock through me. “Yes,” I say bravely. To my unpleasant surprise, he chuckles, deep and low and intimidating. “Oh, you poor devushka.” The Russian man shakes his head. “What?” “You do know what you are getting yourself into, right?” He sighs heavily. The man leans in closer, and I can see that his eyes are ice blue and fire yellow, an unsettling combination. My silence is taken as a truthful no. “Well, I suppose it would be kinder to inform you.” The danger flickering in his smile tells me otherwise. “Lucifer will take you home tonight. He will seduce you into his bed. And he will screw you once and then tomorrow morning, you will be dumped.”
I can’t help but gasp, tears instantly pricking hot and sharp at my eyelids. My nails dig into my palms as I fight to bring myself under control. “No. He wouldn’t…” The man’s smile just widens. “Lucifer does that to all his girlfriends, you must know this. How are you any different, printsessa?” I cover my mouth, desperately telling over and over again myself not to believe this stranger. “No…” I repeat, my voice trembling. “Well, I warned you.” He shrugs and strides away, giving me one more cold smirk before being swallowed by the crowd. He’s lying. It can’t be true… and yet… it can be. Because this would explain everything. It makes sense, that the only thing Lucifer wants is to sleep with me.
I can’t control my tears when Lucifer appears from the crowd again, his eyes widening when he sees me. “Hey, what happened, Cherry?” Fake concern knits his eyebrows together. “This is all a game to you, isn’t it?” I whisper. “What?” He says sharply, and I force myself to meet his piercing gaze. “This what you do to all your girlfriends, right? You sleep with them a couple of times, and when you get bored, you move on to the next one.” He opens his mouth to reply but I cut him off, my voice growing stronger as anger begins to flood me. “I was wondering why you kissed me. I’m not beautiful or fun or exciting, compared to all the other girls you have dated. All you want to do is play with Cherry’s feelings, kiss her, get her into your bed, dump her. Prize won. Game over!”
“That’s not the reason why I’m dating you.” Lucifer answers in a tight voice. “Like there could be any other reason!” A brittle, hysterical laugh escapes me. “Don’t say that I’m different. You’ve made it quite clear that I’m not anything more of worth than all the other girls you flirt with-” “Cherry.” His fingers press into my arms, and my voice falters. A muscle is twitching in his jaw. “Stop. Who told you this?” “Some guy with a Russian accent.” I cry, and a dark cloud passes over his face. “Shit. Caden. Don’t believe him.” “How can I not, Lucifer, when that’s how you’ve treated me from the moment I met you?” I tear myself violently from his grasp and fall into the suddenly welcoming chaos of spinning lights and bright-eyed drunks, where he cannot find me. The dancing club looks like a glittering kaleidoscope through my hot tears as I push my way through, not knowing where I am going, just away from his devil’s smile of painkiller lies. I don’t know who he is or how I ever got into such a messed up situation or what the hell I am doing-
“Cherry, where are you going?” Someone grabs my shoulder and I whirl around, ready to lash out, before I realise it is Gabriel. His eyes change colour with each strobe of neon that flies over us; silver then green then blue. They narrow as he takes in my silent crying. “I just… want to go home now.” I hiccup and he looks at me for a moment before nodding. “Stay right here.” He slips into the crowd and I wrap my arms around myself, wanting to curl up into a ball and just never come out of it. Soon enough, Gabriel appears next to me again with Michel and Raphael bobbing along in his wake, wearing matching grimaces of worry. “Lilith wants to stay longer.” Gabriel says softly as he leads me out of this confusing, dizzying, swaying maze of people. “My brother, as well. He said he had some business to attend to… or something like that.” I dip my head in a weak attempt at a nod. Fine. Lucifer is probably pissed at what I said and has no reason for wanting to see me right now, especially when what I said was true.
When we reach the car in a cold side street, Gabriel opens the front door for me and I slip inside, trying my best to curb my crying. I can’t stop the tears and I just feel so weak. I never used to cry like this before, and the time it started is directly linked to Gabriel. Like the first time we met, he made something go wrong inside me, and Lucifer is only worsening it. Everything that is happening to me is all the fault of boys. Stupid idiotic attractive boys. The car is silent except for my sniffling as we head back home. I can tell Raphael is feeling awkward and Michel just plain sorry for me, but when I catch a glimpse of Gabriel through my salted tears, his expression unsettles me. He’s staring right ahead at the road, and his jaws are clenched with tension. His hands are gripping the steering wheel very hard. “Are you okay, Gabriel?” I whisper, my voice sodden and wavering and pathetic. “Why are you asking if I’m okay?” He says tightly. “You’re the one who’s crying.” “You just… look like you want to punch someone.” I rub at my swollen eyelids. Gabriel’s cloudy eyes flick to mine in the driver’s mirror for a second before he sighs. “He just can’t stop hurting you, can he?”
I know he is talking about his older brother and the car falls dead silent again. He’s right. What am I going to do about Lucifer now? No, the real question is- what will Lucifer do about me now? Will he apologise or deny or throw me away now that I know what his actual intentions are? I guess I will have to wait until he comes home. I stare out of the window, with the shadowed buildings and glittering billboards racing by. I trace little circles on the glass, watching them glow every time a street light throws an amber ray across the car. My head is starting to nod when the familiar wail of police sirens jerks me awake. They are growing louder, the red and blue flashes cutting clearer into the night, when we pass by the footpath where all the police cars are gathered around, and in the centre I glimpse a dark shape lying in a great shining onyx pool-
Behind me, Raphael curses under his breath. My vision suddenly turns black and it takes one panicked second for me to realise that Gabriel has clamped a hand over my eyes. “What are you doing?” I squeak in indignation, trying to prise his fingers off in vain. “Wait a second, Cherry,” He says in a controlled voice, before drawing back his warm hand. “Why did you do that?” I snap, forgetting about my tears for a moment. Michel answers my question. “Because you would have probably thrown up.” I am surprised to note that his sweet voice is shaky. “What? Why?” “Don’t be a fucking idiot, Cherry,” Raphael says flatly. “It was a body.”
I turn to frown at him. “Um… wow, okay, I’m not that squeamish…” In the dim moonlight, his blue hair looks ghostly. “Yeah sure, but-” “Don’t describe it,” Gabriel cuts in stiffly. Raphael rolls his eyes and defiantly opens his mouth. “The body looked like it was slashed open, because I think I saw a ribcage.” True to word, I feel a horrible surge of nausea — from the unwillingly conjured mental image — and I cover my mouth quickly. “I told you not to describe it,” Gabriel snaps. “That’s disgusting,” I whisper, once I determine that I won’t throw up all over the windscreen. It is a relief when the car finally pulls into the parking lot and I can breathe in the fresh night air, deeply unsettled. I wonder who that poor person was, and what terrible thing must have happened. Oh god, I hope that was just Raphael’s imagination… but seeing that this is Bridgeport, most likely not. I shake my head as we hurry into the apartment block. I should try my best to forget about this. After all, it has nothing to do with me.
When I finish getting ready for bed, Lucifer still hasn’t come home. Although I am tired, the growing pit of worry in my stomach keeps me awake, and I sit down on the living room window seat to wait for him. I rest my head on the cold glass and gaze out of the window, watching the road for any movement, any sign of him. A small part of me knows that I am being hypocritical, waiting for Lucifer like this, when I lashed out at him before. I shouldn’t care. I shouldn’t want to see his annoying face at all. But I can’t help curling up and hoping that soon, he will appear out of the steadily deepening night. That this fear growing like poison ivy in my chest will be quashed.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed by now?” Gabriel’s voice draws me away from the glass for a moment. He’s leaning on a dining chair in a thin cotton shirt and sweatpants, and his silver eyes are studying me, taking in my position, and I know he understands what I am doing. I don’t answer, just looking at the clock nearby him. It’s almost twelve, marking an hour which I have sat here, waiting. Why is Luc taking so long to come back home? What if… what if… “Do you want hot chocolate?” Gabriel breaks my train of thought before it can crash into me. “No, thank you,” I say quietly, even though I kinda want one, to melt the cold slowly lacing through my bones. He simply gives me a searching look before nodding and heading off to the kitchen.
Lucifer can be a really good actor when he wants to be, I know that much. Trickery dances on his tongue, just like in his smile. What if the reason he’s not coming home is because… he’s gone off with another girl? What if he’s finally decided that I am not worth his time and found a pretty girl to seduce instead? I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. So why am I waiting for him? I know he wouldn’t be sitting at this window and worrying about me, if I stayed out late. Just because Lucifer is good looking, I am pining after him like a stupid little lovesick puppy. I hate how beauty can give someone so much power. And I hate how Lucifer knows exactly how to manipulate that power to drag me after him. I hug my legs and stare really hard at the silent parking lot below our apartment block, swallowing down my tears. I seem to be doing that a lot these days.
Gabriel sits down next to me with two mugs of chocolate, and he holds one out with a raised eyebrow. “You’ll feel better,” He says, and I take the drink, quietly grateful for the way he always seems to know what I want. The hot chocolate is thick and velvety and fills me with warmth. “This is really nice!” I exclaim, breathing in the sweet hint of cinnamon. He smiles slightly and leans back, his slender fingers laced around his mug. “My mother’s recipe. She taught it to me when I was young.” His grey eyes are wistful for a moment before they sharpen, focusing on me. “Cherry, if Luc doesn’t come home in an hour, I’ll call him. He usually picks up… wherever he is.” “Okay.” I turn my head to the window again. The reflection in the dark glass is one with exhausted eyes and trembling mouth. It is pathetic.
“Tell me how Luc made you cry,” Gabriel suddenly says. I take a long sip of my hot chocolate before answering him. “Well… it wasn’t exactly him.” I cradle the warm mug to my chest, like a precious heart against my own. “A Russian man named Caden…” “Caden Malanov.” The name sounds like a curse upon Gabriel’s tongue. “What did he do?” “He… told me that all Lucifer wants to do is… sleep with me once.” Saying it aloud makes my stomach lurch horribly again. “And you believed that?” He replies in a sharp tone. “There can’t be any other reason,” I whisper. Gabriel is quiet for a long time. “There are a lot of reasons,” He sighs softly. “I think my brother actually likes you, Cherry.” “How- how do you know that?” “Have you noticed how he always smiles around you?”
Silence falls upon the lounge as I turn over that observation in my head. The smile of a devil or angel? Surely he doesn’t mean that dangerous smirk Lucifer always seems to give me. “Why isn’t he home yet, then?” The mug almost slips from my fingers and Gabriel swiftly takes it from me before I can spill chocolate dregs all over myself. “You should go to bed,” He says gently. I shake my head wearily, unable to give up. But I feel my eyelids fluttering, craving sleep, and he sees it. “I’ll wake you up if he comes home.” If. Not when. I lie down, burying my face into a pillow. There is a glass heart inside my chest. It feels heavy, cold, webbed with delicate cracks. How many hits can Lucifer give before it shatters?
The living room door slams open and I jerk awake, a blanket slithering off me. The clock says 2 AM. Lucifer is in the doorway. My eyes widen and my heart squeezes as I take in his appearance. There are vicious cuts and scrapes along his arms and his face, staining his skin red, and there is dark blood dripping from his lips. “Not again.” I hear Gabriel say under his breath, and he gets up to presumably fetch the first aid kit. Luc slumps down next to me and I carefully touch his shoulder. “What happened?” I whisper, and he wipes at his mouth before answering me. His hand comes away dripping. “Got into a fight.” He groans. “Thank you, Mr. Obvious. I meant why. And whom,” I say lightly, overwhelming relief sweeping over me. But then I feel guilty, because Luc is hurt and all I can think is that my worry was for nothing. His bloodied lips curve up in amusement, a nightmare version of his usual magnetic smile. “Caden.” “And you got yourself beat up?” Luc gives me an offended look. “Cherry, there are only a few people in the world who can beat me up, and that doesn’t include that son of a bitch. And for your information, I was just gonna talk to him.”
I blink, and his clean hand covers mine. His knuckles are shredded. “Then why-” “Hold on.” He jerks his head towards his brother, who has come back with some cotton and what seems like disinfectant. “This is the worst part of getting into a fight.” Luc grumbles, and he pulls his shirt off. Now this would normally make me blush, but the bloody skin just makes me wince. I watch as Gabriel treats the wounds with a little of the liquid. Luc hisses through his teeth and his jaw clenches up, and my heart contracts with pity. I’ve heard that alcohol hurts really badly, so I am surprised how quietly he is taking this. “Did you really have to start a fight with Caden?” Gabriel says softly as he finishes off. Luc’s eyes flash in sudden anger. “Shut the fuck up,” He growls. “I was honestly just going to tell him to leave her alone, that’s all. Asshole took his sweet time coming out of the club, too. But then that bastard starting saying these really fucked up things about her and I snapped, okay? You would have killed him if you were there, Gabriel.” Some kind of dark look passes between the brothers and I realise a little too late that her means me.
“What did he say?” I ask hesitantly. Luc shakes his head and then winces. “I’m not telling you.” I look down at my hands, which look pale and small next to his. “Fine. But, Luc… please don’t get into a fight because of me.” At my plea, he shoots me an exasperated look. “You know, most girls would be real happy if a guy got into a brawl defending them.” A smirk flits across his face and I sigh. I mean, perhaps he is a tiny bit right. Maybe it is nice that Luc cared enough about me to confront Caden. “I don’t want you to be hurt,” I whisper. He just shrugs. “Nothing new, Cherry.” Again, he is right. I have lost count of the nights he has come home all bloodied up like this, but… this is the first time that it’s because of me.
“Don’t stress. I’m used to it.” He says with a wry smile. “Besides, Caden was a good opponent, it was refreshing. He’s one of those guys who grew up street fighting.” “Like gambling, for money or bragging rights,” Gabriel adds with a sigh, handing his brother the bandages. “Do this yourself. I’ve been up too long.” Luc pulls a face at his retreating back. “Well, you didn’t need to wait for me anyway,” He mutters. Gabriel turns with raised eyebrows, his silver eyes resting on me. “I waited because someone else needed me to. Maybe you should think about that.”
I glance away uncomfortably as he exits the lounge, and soon all is quiet, except for the sound of Luc ripping off bandages and wrapping them around his wounds. “I’m sorry about before.” The apology spills from my lips before I even think about saying it. He pauses and then looks at me, eyebrows arched incredulously. “Pretty sure you aren’t the one who should be apologising.” “No, I just… I shouldn’t have run off like that without letting you say anything-” “That’s not your fault, Cherry.” Luc takes my wrists firmly, his green eyes suddenly serious. “You were right, and I’m not going to deny it. I know I’ve treated you like shit and you didn’t deserve it and I know one apology isn’t enough, but for all it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
I stare at him in shock, words stuck in my throat. Luc presses on into my silence. “I have no excuse for my behaviour. I’m an insensitive diabolical jackass, that’s all. But what Caden said isn’t true, alright? I’m dating you because you’re cute and funny and and so goddamn pretty-” “When I’m wearing makeup,” I say flatly. Luc shakes his head and his fingers trace along the veins in my wrist, light as a feather. “You’re always pretty, Cherry,” He smiles at me, and this time it isn’t his usual smirk but an almost-too-big, lopsided, real smile that makes me feel like I’m melting. “And besides, if you didn’t notice, you’ve been my girlfriend a few days before tonight.” “I was?” I blurt out, feeling stupid a second later when Luc gives me an exasperated look.
“Ohhh, do you need me to make it official?” He teases, back to his usual lighthearted self again. “Um-” “Well, if you say so.” “I didn’t say so!” Luc ignores my protest and clears his throat dramatically, getting down on one knee in front of me. “My darling Cherry-” “Oh god.” “-it is of my greatest honour to ask for your hand in… girlfriend-age. Or some shit like that.” He looks up at me with a commendably straight face. “You are terrible at being poetic,” I laugh lightly, my hand tingling between his. “Well? Do you accept? I didn’t get down on a bruising knee for nothing.” Luc squeezes my fingers, and warmth radiates from his hands to my cheeks. I hesitate, my laughter quieting down. My first instinct is to say yes, but inside my head, a small voice is whispering… if he’s already hurt you this much, what will stop him from hurting you again?
Luc notices my indecision and locks his gaze with mine. “Just one chance, Cherry,” He says softly. I study his face, the handsome features made imperfect by freckles and scars and fresh blood, and I feel my heart twisting. I remember all the times he’s made me smile and laugh and feel like I was lighting up inside, but all the times he’s made me feel utterly worthless, too. And yet, Luc confronted Caden tonight because of me, didn’t he? His hopeful smile seems genuine, with the fact he’s letting me make the choice, this time… and screw it, I do want to be with him. I desperately want his fiery kisses and red-hot touches and glowing words and…
Uh… so… that ending was WAY too cheesy haha. It actually hurts my soul. Okay guys, I know the Luciferry relationship is bad and immature right now. We will see how it goes.
I did some research on cleaning wounds, apparently it’s better to use cold water or something (also, the process was illogical; should have cleaned off the blood first probably) but I enjoy making Luc suffer for his jerkiness. Also, remember that I did put a precautionary R-16 rating on this generation so if you get offended easily, please be mindful of that!
I have now officially finished exams and summer break is here! So I will try get the chapters up quicker… but I’m wanting to build/decorate a house for download as well *shrugs again* At least this one didn’t take too long! Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading Chapter 3.9 and I would love to hear your thoughts ❤