It was seven o’ clock in the evening when Vanessa walked into the luxurious Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills. She couldn’t wait to meet Lewis at the room suite, and she followed “his” instructions just like he asked; went up to the front desk, checked in, got a room key, and headed up the elevator. She had her hair up in a French bun and had applied a crimson coloured lipstick on her Botox lips. Vanessa was wearing a pair of black, Prada
heels, and a black trench coat. Her tiny baby bump was barely noticeable.
An expensive Louis Vuitton
hand bag swayed on her arm, as she walked down the narrow hallway like a runway model, approaching room 1606. She wasn’t wearing anything underneath her trench coat, because she planned to give “Lewis” a little surprise of her own.
Vanessa took out the silver key card, and inserted it into the security lock. The door clicked, and she stepped inside.
“I’m here, lover…” she said, in a seductive voice. “And you better be ready for me, because I’m so
ready for you.”
Noah was hiding behind a wall, with his navy blue tie wrapped around his fists, waiting for the perfect moment.
“Where are you? And where’s my surprise?” She dropped her trench coat, and sauntered into the spacious hotel room, wearing only her six inch heels. He watched her like a hawk, as she moved right past him, not noticing him at all. That’s when he stealthily moved behind her and wrapped the tie over her eyes, like a blind fold.
Vanessa gasped, feeling completely caught off guard. “Oh! Lewis, you scared me!” she laughed a bit, and then relaxed when she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders. “Mmmm,
a little BDSM...
I like—nice to switch it up for once. Usually you prefer to be the submissive one.”
Noah rolled his eyes and tied her hands behind her back with some gold rope that was used to hold back the drapes in the bedroom.
“Are you giving me the silent treatment too? Is that part of my punishment, daddy?”
she giggled really obnoxiously. “We both know you love it when I call you that.”
He tried to control his anger and slowly led her to the queen size bed. He sat her down carefully and pushed her shoulders so that she landed on her back.
“My, oh my, aren’t we a little rough today?” she breathed with anticipation. “I’m so not used to this.”
He switched on the camera on his phone, and began recording her.
“Are you planning on teasing me?” Vanessa felt her legs being widened. “You know I don’t like that, Lewis. Now, are you going to give me that cock or not?”
He ran his fingers up her inner thigh, towards the most intimate area that he once believed only belonged to him.
“Oh god, Lewis. Give it to me!”
He watched her squirm and writhe in disgust.
“Mmmmmmm yes! Finger my cunt! I’ve brought some of my favourite toys, baby. They’re in my bag.”
He kept teasing her while she continuously moaned his best friend’s name. Noah had all the evidence he needed now. He turned off his camera, and a light bulb suddenly went off in his head. Entertaining the idea, he turned around, headed towards the mini fridge, and pulled out a bottle of smoking hot, Tabasco sauce.
“Fuck me like the dirty whore that I am!” Oh trust me. I’ll give you exactly what you deserve,
he thought, as he unscrewed the lid, and poured hot sauce all over the vibrator he had pulled out from Vanessa’s bag. Once it was drenched with the liquid fire, he thought about shoving it inside of her two timing pussy, but shoved it in her mouth instead.
She immediately spit it out, choking on her words.
“Wha…what is…what did you do!?It burns! What the fuck did you do!?”
she tried to free her hands, but to no avail.
“Lewis? Is that you!? Answer me!” she started to panic and cry, fearing that some psychotic intruder had broken into their room. “Oh dear god, please don’t hurt me. What did you do to Lewis? I’ll give you all the money you want, just don’t hurt me! Please! I’m pregnant!” Pathetic,
He finally removed the blind fold, and the look on Vanessa’s face was absolutely priceless. She stopped her wretched crying, and froze like a statue. He face went pale.
“N…Noah…I…it’s not what it—”
“Shut up, Vanessa. You’re going to listen to me speak.”
He took his tie, and gagged her with it. “When I’m done, I’m going to untie you, you’re going to get dressed, and then you’re going to sit your ass down, and wait for further instruction. Do you understand?”
Everything about him demanded dominance and she surrendered to his authority over her. Vanessa nodded compliantly and dressed herself in her trench coat, once Noah untied her. Her makeup was all messed up, mascara streaking down her face, and her mouth was horribly burning from the hot sauced vibrator that got shoved down her throat.
“Drink this,” he handed her a small carton of milk, feeling only a little bad.
“Thank you,” she sniffled, and sat down on one of the leather sofas in the living room. Gone was that lewd, promiscuous woman that made her debut appearance only a short moment a go. She was now replaced by someone who was more familiar to him.
“You can come up now—room 1606. I let the front desk know that I’m expecting you. Just give your name—alright, see you soon,” Noah hung up the phone, and regarded his guilty wife.
“Oh, don’t look at me with those judgy
eyes! You’ve been fucking Dianne behind my back throughout this entire marriage!” she finally grew a backbone, and attempted to justify her actions.
“It’s evident that you’re insecurities have completely clouded your judgement. “One
,” he held up his thumb, “Dianne works for me professionally. She’s not my adulterous secretary.” Next came the index finger. “Two
, she’s a lesbian,” and then he raised his middle finger, and dropped the other digits, giving her a very visible ‘fuck you.’ “Three
- you are so screwed, and this marriage is officially over.”
There was suddenly a knock at the door, and Noah quickly answered it. A shorter man in his mid 50s walked through the threshold. He had greying hair, was at least 50 pounds overweight, and carried that weight around in his gut. He was dressed in a dark grey suit, had dark brown eyes, round framed glasses, and a black brief case, which he carried in his hand. It was the same lawyer that had represented Noah in his custody battle for Aria.
“In here, Mike,” he waved him over towards the sofas.
“Here’s what’s going to happen, Vanessa. Remember that little infidelity clause in our prenuptial agreement? You broke it, and you know what that means—”
“I’m going to fight you tooth and nail for all you’re worth, Noah,” she cut him off. “You ignored me for years, never gave me enough attention, or love. That’s why I cheated on you! All I wanted was a baby, and you always put it off, making excuses! And now you’re going to put the mother of your child out on the street!?”
“The paternity has yet to be determined, since you’ve been whoring yourself. If
the child is mine, you will want or need for nothing. I’ll make sure you’re well taken care of, but we are over.”
“When did you stop loving me?” she started to cry. “Where did we go wrong? I just cheated on you with your best friend for almost two years, and you’re not even shedding a tear! You’re not angry. You’re not yelling, or breaking things! You don’t give a shit about me at all! Admit it!”
It enraged him to know that she had been unfaithful for so long, without him realizing it at all.
“Enough!” Noah raised his voice, sternly. “Compose yourself, Vanessa.”
“No! I will not
compose myself! Don’t you fucking dare tell me to compose
myself!” her crying became more hysterical, as she buried her face in her hands, and sobbed. “I never meant for this affair to get dragged out for so long. It started out as a one night stand when you went on that business trip to Rome. Things just got worse as we became more distant. I thought you were cheating on me.”
His blood was boiling. It wasn’t a broken heart he was suffering at the moment; it was a severely wounded ego.
“So you sleep with my best friend—I’m sorry, ex best friend,
instead of talking to me about your suspicions?” he sounded outraged.
“You were always busy with work, and travelling. I was convinced you would lie to me, even if I would ask!” she cried out.
“You know what? Let’s stop pointing the finger at each other and just look at the situation rationally,” Noah breathed out his anger. “You’re not happy. I’m not happy. Why stay in a marriage when we’re both miserable?”
“I love you, Noah. Lewis was just…” she struggled to find the words. “I was using him for attention. He’s a horrible lover, and he’s not exactly...big.”
“Yeah, that’s why you call him ‘Mr. Big,’ huh?”
Mike snorted, and stifled a laugh.
“That’s what he calls his penis okay? I didn’t give him the nick name.”
“Pathetic,” Noah shook his head.
“Please don’t make me feel anymore humiliated than I already am,” she wept.
“You did that all on your own, honey.”
“I slept with Lewis because he made me feel good about myself, and has this fetish for being dominated and treated like a slave…I liked that.”
“Wonderful—a dominatrix in the closet. Anymore secrets?” Noah’s voice was laced with sarcasm, as he stared at her in a patronizing way.
“I needed this outlet to vent all my frustration and resentment towards you. I wasn’t having sex with him every day.”
“No, of course not. Just every other day, right? You know what? Spare me the disgusting details,” he stood by the window, and shoved his hands in his pockets, while his lawyer sat across from Vanessa.
“Ever since my plastic surgery—”
you forgot to make it plural.”
She looked at him for a moment, and fought the urge to break down. “I felt like you don’t find me attractive anymore.”
“Because you butchered the face and body of the woman I married!” he yelled, fixing his infuriated gaze back on her. “I mean, come on! Open your damn eyes, Nessa! Despite all these drastic changes that you forced me to accept, I still loved you through it all. But love isn’t enough to keep this relationship alive. My trust in you is broken.” Quit playing the saint. You’re just as guilty as she is. You contributed to the destruction of this marriage too.
His buried conscience spoke up from underneath the broken fragments of blame that had compiled in his mind.
“And I’m not going to leave you out on the street,” Noah paced around the room, and rubbed his temples. “I’m not heartless, but this charade is over,” he turned around and looked at his lawyer. “Mike, do you have it?”
“It’s right here, Noah,” he pulled out a white cheque from his briefcase and handed it over to her.
“It’s nothing that’s going to support your extreme plastic surgeries, so don’t even think about squandering it on that. But it’s enough to help you get by,” Noah stated.
She looked at the generous figures on the cheque.
“Before you protest and refuse to settle this with me here and now, I’m also offering you sole ownership of the company. You can take over, I don’t want to be part of it any longer, nor will I invest in it. You can keep your car, and I’ll even split the money once I sell the house.”
“You’re not keeping the house, Vanessa. I’m selling it. You’ll have enough money to buy your own place, trust me.”
She remained silent, and stared at the tiny slip of paper that was pretty much her ‘get out of jail free card.’
“I want a quick and easy divorce.”
“Tell me there’s no other woman.”
“What?” he knitted his brows together.
“Tell me you’re not rushing for a divorce because of another woman.”
Noah let out an exasperated sigh, “It’s not because of another woman.” Lies,
that little voice whispered in his ear.
“Tell me you’re not in love with me anymore. Say it, Noah. I need to hear you say it, and then I’ll sign.”
“Why are you making this harder on yourself?”
“Just say it!” she yelled, tears falling down her cheeks.
He swallowed hard, and looked at her with all seriousness, “I don’t love you anymore.”
There was a daunting silence between them as she he searched his eyes, desperately hoping to find the truth she was hoping to find, but found none. The ugly truth was that he was right. He did not look at her the same way he used to and Vanessa had to accept it. She quieted a sob and wiped away her blackened tears that had smudged her face.
“Here,” Mike offered her a tissue. “I’ve got the papers ready. All you have to do is sign.”
She dried her eyes and seemed a bit apprehensive to follow through.
“Look, you can either sign the documents, or I’m going to make your life really difficult,” Noah grew more agitated.
“I’ll sign them once a paternity test is done.”
He looked at her, and then his lawyer, who gave him a little nod. “Fine, we’ll get you in vitro tested first thing tomorrow morning. But I’m still getting this divorce, Vanessa. I got you on camera, and I’ve got a witness. Don’t forget that. So if you even try to fight me on this, you will
Check and mate. *****ARIA
It was a little after nine, when my uncle Evan dropped by to visit me. I hadn’t seen Noah all day, and was wondering if he was avoiding me on purpose. Maybe the fact that my step mom was pregnant changed everything between us. It seriously felt like all my hope was sucked out of me. Never mind the fact that I was Noah’s daughter. I was completely blind to it.
My relentless thoughts of misery were consuming me, as I pretended to pay attention to what my mother was saying.
“So, I’ll be back in the morning. Are you sure you have no plans tonight, Evan?”
“I’m sure. Get some rest, Emily,” he dragged a chair over to my bedside.
“You guys really don’t have to do this every day. I’m fine now,” I looked at him, and then my mom.
“We’re your family, Aria, and family sticks together during crisis. No matter how dysfunctional we may be.”
Boy, was she ever right about that.
“I’ll be back around seven tomorrow.”
“Alright, later,” Evan replied and then cast his deep brown eyes on me.
“Love the fresh cut.”
“Thanks,” he turned his neck, so that I could see the faded angles.
“Are you always changing your hairstyles?”
“Depends on my mood.”
“Well, I’m glad you approve.”
“You don’t need my approval. You have enough women swooning over you.”
He said nothing, but his dimpled smile was warm and his company was more than welcome.
“How do you feel today?” Evan asked, taking my hand into his.
“Okay, I guess. I just want to get out of this hospital more than anything.”
“Soon, be patient.”
“Yeah, that’s not exactly my best virtue.”
“I can relate,” he chuckled, and gently stroked my hand with his thumb. It felt nice.
“I’m tired of sleeping, and getting poked with all these needles. I miss my bed, and I hate these hospital gowns.”
“It’ll all be over soon, Aria. Stay positive. You survived, and the worst part is already over. You have no idea what I went through while you were in a coma.”
He was right. I didn’t know. We never really talked about it.
“I feel responsible, like it’s my fault. I never should have let either of you leave, not when Noah was upset like that.”
“Evan, please don’t blame yourself. It’s not like he was drunk or anything. We got hit by another car. No one could have predicted that to happen.”
“I’m just glad you’re awake and alive. I hope you don’t feel like this organ transplant will cripple you in any sort of way.”
“I don’t know—it kind of feels like my life is ticking on the clock.”
“You’re going to get a healthy kidney. I promise.”
It was sweet of him to be so optimistic and his attempts to cheer me up were working.
“I brought you something.”
I watched him pull out a pink box from a plastic bag.
“I’m sure you’re sick of all this hospital food.”
“You have no idea.”
He opened the pastry box and took out a chocolate cupcake that had blue icing on it, and silver glitter.
“Wow! It looks so pretty. I almost don’t want to eat it.”
“Oh, you’re definitely going to want to eat it. These cupcakes are amazing.
“What kind are they?”
“Chocolate coconut swirled.”
I could already smell the coconut and my stomach began to growl a bit.
“Here, try it.”
Evan handed me the cupcake and I slowly took a bite, savouring the delicious taste of the chocolate, and the soft texture of the cake mix. The coconut gave it a sweet fragrance, and complimented the flavour of the chocolate.
“So, does she approve?”
my eyes rolled back, as my taste buds exploded with pleasure. “She definitely does. This has got to be the best cupcake I’ve ever had in my life.”
“You’ve got some—” he smiled at me and reached out, swiping some of the icing away from the corner of my mouth with his thumb. “There we go.”
I blushed, and watched him suck the blue icing off.
His dark eyes were alluring, and seductive, but I guess that was just the effect he had on every heterosexual female.
“Aren’t you going to have some?”
“Nah, I bought these for you. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth anyway. I’m pretty strict with what I put into my body.”
I stared at his shoulders and biceps, and they seemed to have only gotten bigger since the last time I saw him.
“Are you training for Iron Man America, or something?” I laughed lightly, feeling bashful all of a sudden.
“No, just keeping fit,” he smiled. Ugh,
those dimples were killer.
“I’m so jealous. At least you can move around and be active. I’m seriously not doing well with this whole bed rest thing,” I sighed, and ran my fingers through my hair. “It’s just me, myself, and my mattress—day in and day out. Wow, that sounded like a horrible sitcom. How depressing is that?”
“Finish your cupcake, and stop drowning in misery. You’re not allowed to. Not on my watch.”
“Sorry, wallowing in self-pity at the moment.”
“I’m not here to throw you a pity party,” he leaned forward, and then said, “So, suck it up, Aria. You’re a Hunter, remember?”
“And what are we Hunter’s
“Well,” he briefly pondered his thoughts, and then met my eyes again. “We can be incredibly stubborn, selfish, annoying, arrogant, bad tempered, bossy, and at times—a downright dick.”
I laughed out loud. “Okay, please tell me you weren’t subliminally describing Noah.”
“Just a little,” I replied sarcastically.
“Yeah, well he hasn’t exactly been the best brother of the year.”
“Why should you be sorry?”
“I don’t know…I’ve complicated your life more since you met me.”
Not just him, but the lives of many. I hated feeling like I was this burden to everybody.
“You’re the only person in our family who doesn’t judge me. How have you complicated my life? I know we’ve only started to get to know each other, and there are many relatives I know that I could honestly care less about, but you are no way in that category.”
“No, just honest.”
We both smiled at one another and then he reached into his pocket.
“Before I forget, I have one more thing for you.”
“A present? My birthday isn’t until next month.”
“And you’ll be getting another gift from me on that day, but consider this ‘part one’ of your early birthday present,” he pulled out a long, red, rectangular shaped box. “This has sentimental value and I have to give it to you because…”
Evan opened the box, revealing a beautiful pair shaped pearl and crystal pendant, clasped on a silver chain. “That crystal is special. It has healing energies. So I thought I’d give it to you now, while you’re still in the hospital.”
“Oh my gosh, it’s beautiful.”
“My buddy’s girlfriend runs her own custom made jewelry store. I dropped by and had this made for you last week.”
“I’m speechless,” I raised myself on my elbows and pulled my hair up so he could fasten the pendant around my neck.
“I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it. I won’t ever take it off. Thank you,” I kissed his cheek and hugged him.
“Where the hell is Emily?” Noah’s deep voice came from the doorway and we both turned our heads towards him. I didn’t expect him to show up.
“She left not too long ago.”
“Why are you here?” he glared at Evan and stepped inside the room. He wasn’t wearing a suit, which meant he must’ve gone home and changed into something more casual.
“My niece is in the hospital. Why wouldn’t I be here?”
“Well, you can leave now.”
“Stop being rude to him!”
Okay, I sounded a little more upset than I intended.
“Why can’t you just get along, and accept the fact that he cares about me?”
I had so much more that I wanted to say, but held my tongue. It’s like I was holding back all this heavy artillery, ready to open fire once Evan was gone. And in some ways, I was afraid of that moment, so having my uncle stay was probably best for damage control.
“If he really cared about you, he never would’ve allowed you to smoke weed at his place.”
“Will you seriously lighten up?” Evan scowled at him.
“No, I will not lighten up.
She’s my daughter and you’re clearly a bad influence.”
“What? You afraid I might slip in a joint while she’s bound to this damn hospital bed? I’m not the addict in the family. How many times do I have to remind you?”
Oh god, that was a low blow. Noah had murder in his eyes again and there was no way I could physically break up a brawl between them.
“I think you should ask Aria whether or not she wants me gone.”
“He stays,” I replied, almost instinctively.
Noah gave me another typical stare down that made my insides twist in knots, because his heated stare always got me hot and bothered. But I didn’t look away, until he surrendered, and pulled up another chair next to me.
The energy in the room immediately shifted to an unidentified tension. There I was, laying in between the two men I loved and cared about; brothers bonded through pain, and broken by unspoken grudges. I looked at each handsome face, while they both glowered at one another, expressing their evident mistrust, like Caesar
I was convinced that if Shakespeare were still alive, he would’ve written quite the literary drama about the three of us—probably concluding with a tragic ending.
“How are you feeling?” Noah turned his attention on me.
“I’m alright,” I answered, taciturnly.
“That’s a pretty necklace, did your mom give that to you?” he reached out, and held the pearl pendant.
“No, Evan did,” I smiled in a condescending way and he immediately let go of the necklace.
“Well, how sweet of him.”
That sounded more sarcastic than sincere. I could tell he was struggling to play nice.
“So, I heard you and the Missus are having a baby on the way. Congrats.” Evan grinned.
“Who told you that?” Noah frowned.
“Oh—thanks,” he answered, while remaining standoffish.
The reality of him having a baby with this woman was heart wrenching to hear. I felt like Vanessa had stolen him from me for good, leaving me totally gutted. God, did I feel awkward. I was about to say something to Evan, when his cellphone vibrated.
He checked his cell, and then glanced at me.
“I got to go, doll face. Something’s come up.” No, please don’t leave me now.
“Another booty call?” Noah provoked him.
Evan ignored the comment, and softly kissed my cheek. “I’ll drop by tomorrow and check on you.”
It wasn’t just any normal kiss. It was a long lingering kiss on the cheek. It felt…intimate, not innocent.
I watched Noah get up and shut the door, before he returned back to his seat.
“I know you’re upset.” Really?
I thought, folding my arms in my chest.
“Aria, look at me.”
“If I could get out of this stupid hospital bed, I would,” I tried to sound more angry than hurt.
“I know you would, but I’m glad I have the advantage at the moment. Look at me please.”
“You should get home to your pregnant wife,” I answered, avoiding his eyes.
“I doubt the baby is even mine.” Whoa…pause, rewind.
Did he just say what I thought he said? I finally turned my face, and met his gaze.
“You were right all along. I’m so sorry for not believing you. I can’t express how stupid I feel.”
“Wait, what are you talking about?”
He sighed deeply, and clenched his jaw. “I found out that Vanessa is having an affair with that prick, just like you said…just like you warned me all this time.”
A part of me wanted to cry out ‘I told you so!’
Because the truth was finally out, but the other half of me felt sad for him. No one likes to be cheated on. I tried to read the expression on his face, wondering how this discovery had affected him.
“How did you find out?”
He recapped the whole scenario for me in detail and I seriously felt like there must have been some sort of divine intervention causing Lewis to conveniently leave his cellphone behind in the cab.
“I’m filing for divorce first thing in the morning and that includes getting a paternity test done.”
“They can do that while a woman’s pregnant?”
“Yes, as long as she’s well over 12 weeks. When Vanessa broke the pregnancy news to me, she said that her doctor told her she was 14 weeks pregnant.”
“And what if you are the father?”
“Then I will love and take care of my child, and you’ll have a new baby brother or sister. But I’m still going through with the divorce. Our marriage cannot be repaired at this point. So many things complicate our relationship, and make reconciliation impossible.”
I was afraid to ask, but I did anyway. “Is it because of me?”
He parted his lips to say something, but then stopped, as if to carefully think his words through before answering.
“She’s been cheating on me for almost two years, Aria. I’m sure I could sit down and do the whole couples counselling charade, but the fact of the matter is,” Noah paused, and deeply stared into my eyes, like he was trying to communicate something to me without actually having to say it out loud.
“I don’t love her anymore. Not the way a husband should. Staying in a loveless marriage not only keeps me unhappy, but I’m robbing her of happiness because I’m not able to love her with all my heart. I can’t even love her with half of it. Someone else has completely occupied the space.”
That knot in my stomach only tightened more, and I wanted to shy away, but stayed mesmerized.
“And I’m staring right at her.”
Why did he always have to be so charismatic? It was easier to stay mad at him, than to let him in, and recognize the reality that I couldn’t cross any boundaries with Noah.
“Can I hug you now?” his voice was gentle. “I’ve missed you all day.”
I always felt this emptiness when he wasn’t within a five foot radius of me.
“I missed you too.”
He leaned forward and I snaked my arms around his neck, pulling him into a warm embrace, while secretly enjoying the way his body felt. I didn’t want him to pull away, but all good things always come to an end…
“I thought you wouldn’t visit me today.”
“You know I can’t stay away from you, Aria. We’ve already established that,” he pulled back, his blue eyes piercing right through me.
That smile always made me melt. I watched him close the blinds before walking back towards my hospital bed. Shifting over, I made enough room so he could lie down beside me. This was my favorite part of the day, cuddling with Noah.
There was a soothing heat radiating from his body and I immediately molded myself into him, taking comfort in the close contact between us.
We were both lying on our sides, looking at each other, while he ran his fingers through my hair.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked him.
“You don’t want to know.”
“But I do. Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.”
“You just don’t want to share. You’re always such a mystery, Noah.”
“I think you’re the only one who’s ever come close to solving me,” he whispered, and rested his hand on my hip. My body responded to his touch, sending shivers all down my spine.
This physical attraction was never going to go away. No matter how wrong it was, it was always there, and noticeable. The sexual tension was just unbearable. At least for me it was. I didn’t want to be a 16 year old virgin anymore, and more than anything, I wanted my first time to be with Noah.
“Why don’t you tell me what you’re thinking about, since you’re so deep in thought?”
“I don’t think you want to know,” I replied.
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have asked,”
he mimicked me.
“Tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Just thinking about you and I.”
“What about us?”
“I miss you.”
“I’m right here.”
“No, I mean, I miss…” I slowly brought my lips closer to his and closed my eyes, just as we were about to kiss.
“Aria—we can’t,” he pulled back and held the side of my face.
My heart sank in my chest and he saw the disappointment on my face.
“I promise we’ll figure this out, okay?”
I felt his fingers slide through my hair
“Do you trust me?”
“Good. Let’s just focus on your recovery for now,” Noah kissed my forehead, and then pulled me in closer to his chest. But I got greedy, and began to leave a trail of soft kisses down his neck.
“Yes?” I caressed his chest, and planted another kiss against his jawline.
“You need to stop that.”
“Why? I’m just showing you affection,” I continued my innocent teasing.
“Because…” he breathed out.
“Because why?” my fingertips slowly made their way down his stomach, reaching lower towards his…
“Because you don’t want to go there with me right now,” he grabbed my wrist, and gently pulled it back up, resting it on his heart.
“And what if I do?”
We locked eyes and I was so hoping he would just give in and kiss me. His lips were hovering near the corner of my mouth, as he whispered, “Stop being such a cock tease.”
Wow, that sounded so hot. Guilty as charged. I didn’t move and just kept my lips close to the edge of his mouth. “Are you admitting that I’m turning you on?” I whispered back.
“Don’t you find it disturbing that you are?”
“That I’m what?” I spoke in a hushed tone and enjoyed the intimacy between us, while we kept communicating this way.
“I don’t find that disturbing. Not in the least.”
“What am I going to do with you, Aria?” his voice was deep, and seductive, and I felt a very familiar heat growing in between my thighs, when he slowly caressed my hip.
“I can think of many things.”
“I’m sure you can.”
“Do you want me to tell you? I can just whisper them in your ear,” I giggled.
“No, thank you,” he chuckled. “That won’t be necessary,” his lips gently caressed my cheek, before he pulled back a bit. “I think I can already imagine what you’d say.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah, and I don’t need a heart attack.”
“Well, you are
in a hospital. If you just so happen to code blue, there are plenty of doctors on call.”
“I don’t need doctors to save me from cardiac arrest.”
“Then what do you need?” I asked him.
He stared right through me and looked down at my lips, then back up at my eyes again.
“Just let me kiss you.”
“Why?” I whined, making a pouty face.
“Because if you do, then I won’t be able to stop. The last thing I need is to have a nurse walk in here and get dragged out in handcuffs by security.”
“Then stop looking so hot, and teasing me
He laughed out loud, and stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. “I think we both have the same problem here.”
comes naturally to us. So, with that being said, you share the exact same predicament as I do.”
“Would you still love me if I lost a limb?”
“What kind of a question is that? You already know the answer there.”
“What if I lost all my hair, or had my face burned off?”
He rolled his eyes at me, and held my hip again. “Do you really believe I love you in shallow ways?”
“Everything that we feel is based off attraction, isn’t it?”
“Yes, there’s attraction, a lot of it. But that’s not the only reason why I love you so much. Men are very visual beings. They see a pretty woman, and nine times out of ten, they will chase her skirt, but that doesn’t mean they give their heart away. It takes a special woman to make a man want to get on his knees, and commit himself to her.”
“Is that how you felt about Vanessa? You married her after all. Did you believe she was the one?”
“That’s a complicated subject.”
“Because if I talk about it, then I will only feel like an asshole that’s been lying to myself from day one.”
I frowned at him, and touched his face. “Don’t say that about yourself. Talk to me.”
“You’re so young. I shouldn’t have to burden you with my issues, especially my marriage problems, even though that’s pretty much settled now.”
“Just open up. I’ll listen,” I kept encouraging him.
Noah drew in a deep breath, and exhaled. “When I met Vanessa, I thought she was attractive, smart, career driven, and great wife material. I had gotten so tired of casually dating women left and right. I wanted to settle down, in hopes of starting my own family, to fill the void that I was feeling inside. There was always this guilt I carried around regarding you—how I wasn’t there for you growing up. I was hesitant about getting in touch with you because I was sure you hated me.”
“But I could never hate you.”
“I know, beautiful,” he took my hand and kissed it. “Just listen.”
His smile was subtle, and I felt the conversation was about to get heavier. So I placed my hand on his chest, right against his heart chamber, and began to caress it in a slow, circular motion, in hopes that I could relieve some of the pain he was feeling.
“I married Vanessa because in my eyes, she seemed to have the whole package I was looking for. But to be honest, I was not in love with her. She was crazy about me, and I think that’s what made me feel safe in the relationship. I never felt worried about her being unfaithful. Clearly I was wrong about that,” he snickered. “I could list you so many reasons why our marriage was doomed from the start, but it doesn’t matter anymore. I made a mistake. Promise me you won’t ever marry a man just to settle.”
I frowned at him. How could he even say such a thing? The only man I wanted to be with was him.
“That won’t ever happen. I’m never getting married anyway.”
It wasn’t like I could. There was no way Noah and I could ever be legally married. So that dream only remained a fantasy, never to be brought to life.
“Never say never.”
“Was there ever a woman you did truly love throughout your life?”
He seemed to contemplate answering me, but finally said,
“She was your first love?”
“Do you still have feelings for her?”
“I care about her.”
“If she wasn’t with Rob, would you date her again?”
Noah let out a little laugh. “Why are you asking me these questions?”
I shrugged, feeling a little exposed all of a sudden.
“No, I wouldn’t date her again, because my feelings for you would complicate the relationship. I’ve already been lying to myself by staying in this relationship with Vanessa. Do you honestly believe I would repeat the same mistake?”
I felt relieved, shaking my head.
“You’re still wearing my wrist band,” he looked down at the African cowrie shell bracelet on my left wrist.
“I told you I won’t take it off.”
Noah reached for the pendant that was around my neck and examined it in his hand. “I’ll get you something nicer.”
“Why? I love this necklace. Evan got it for me. The crystal has healing energies.”
“This necklace isn’t going to save your life. A healthy kidney will.”
“I know that,” I snatched the pearl pendant out of his hand, and tucked it back into my hospital gown. “Why does it bother you so much that he cares about me?”
I studied him for a moment.
“Oh. My. God…you’re jealous, aren’t you?”
he looked shocked that I would even draw such a conclusion. “We’ve had this conversation before. I don’t trust him, simple as that.”
“He hasn’t done anything to hurt me.”
,” Noah added.
“What are you worried he will do?”
“Look, I don’t want you getting so attached to him. Evan has this tendency to just disappear out of the blue without notice. He’s not a very reliable person.”
“He’s been there for me anytime I needed.”
“You don’t need
him though, Aria.”
“He’s bad news.”
“Stop judging him based on things he’s done in the past. Give Evan a chance. Please, for me? He’s part of my life now. I care about him, and I wish you would too. How about just spending some time together, and talking things out?”
“Yeah, because you know how well that will go,” Noah’s tone was sarcastic.
“It’s not healthy to hold a grudge for this long.”
“Since when did you become my shrink?”
“Since you acknowledged my limitless wisdom that exceeds far beyond my years.”
“Yeah, freakishly so.”
I smacked his arm playfully. “I only have your best interest at heart.”
“I’m your father, that’s my
“Ugh, please don’t say that word.”
I cringed inside.
“Well, it’s true. That’s what I am. No point living in denial about that fact.”
“Yes, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
“True, but it’s certainly something you have to accept—something we both have to accept,” Noah admitted, with disappointment.
“Science has advanced so much and you’re a wealthy man…isn’t there a way I can somehow change my DNA, so that I’m not related to you in any way shape or form?”
“Well, first off, I don’t want you to change your shape,” he kissed my forehead. “And I don’t want you to change your form. I wouldn’t change a single thing about you, even if I could
alter your genes so that it was nothing like mine. I wouldn’t. Maybe that sounds selfish, but I don’t see it that way.”
I couldn’t resist a smile.
“You’re perfect the way you are, and the fact that you are a product of what I created, changing that would only wrongfully validate that there’s imperfection in your genetic makeup, which there isn’t.”
“F.Y.I—you only half
contributed, and your genes are perfect, but mom’s isn’t, which means I’m partly flawed. Can’t you just hire a couple genetic engineers to patch me up?”
“You don’t need patching-up.
And your mom’s a beautiful woman, where do you think you get your looks from?”
He laughed out loud, shaking his head.
“Thanks for the ego stroke, but you are sadly mistaken, little girl. Children are an extension from their parents, and you are something far more beautiful, and perfected than what your mother and I are. Even if we were the world’s ugliest people, I think we still would have created the most beautiful child together, because your soul was destined to be blessed with an angelic face.”
“Okay, now you are stroking my
“Not at all.”
“You’re pretty much telling me that I was destined to be beautiful.”
“Define beauty, Aria.”
I thought about this for a moment. “Boys usually like girls who are—”
“I don’t want you to tell me what boys think about pretty girls. Tell me your own definition of beauty.”
“Well, I’ve always wanted to be loved for who I am— flaws and all. But that seems impossible. I’ve starved myself before to lose weight,”
“First off, let me tell you this, you don’t need to lose weight. And secondly, do you think being skinny makes you beautiful?”
“No…but it makes you accepted in society.”
“Unfortunately there is this really negative stigma about people who are overweight, but your size doesn’t define your beauty,”
I gave him my undivided attention, and waited for him to continue.
“My sister battled eating disorders in her teen years—from anorexia, to bulimia, to gaining weight, to losing weight, binging, purging, recovering, and relapsing. She always felt insecure about her appearance, and no matter how much we tried to get her to love and accept herself, she could never see what we saw in her. Fortunately she finally got the help she needed when she turned 19, and she’s healthy now. But her illness really affected everyone. I resented her in some ways, because I blamed her for our family being so debilitated at times. She was constantly the center of attention,” he paused shortly. “Anyway, I digress. There’s this endless pressure the media puts out there, brainwashing young girls, and women, into believing that the only way they can look beautiful is if they follow Hollywood norms and beauty practices, which I strongly disagree with. Vanessa is a prime example of that. Look at what she has done to herself, all that plastic surgery, and do you think she’s happy?”
I shook my head.
“Beauty comes from within. I’ve dated some women who looked like high fashion models, but their personalities were ugly, which made their outer appearance extremely unattractive in my eyes. Let’s just say that by the end of the date, I threw out their numbers. Obviously you have to love yourself enough to take care of yourself. My Aunt Helen was morbidly obese and she was miserable. She needed a carer to wait on her hand and foot. She died at 43.”
“That’s so sad.”
“Yes, it is. People who normally get that size have a lot of emotional and psychological problems. Nobody wants to be housebound for the rest of their lives, and it’s the same thing for individuals battling an illness such as anorexia—emotional, and psychological issues contribute and feed the illness. Unfortunately, not everybody understands this. The world can be a pretty cruel place, and we learn things through social conditioning, and our environments, whether it’s good, or bad. But what I wanted to say was, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You don’t need to be stick thin to be beautiful. Our bodies are like clay. We can gain and lose whenever we want. It just takes motivation, and determination.”
“So if I packed on some pounds, would you still love me?”
“Of course I would. The most important thing is how you
feel about yourself, whether you are happy with your body image or not. If you want to lose weight that you’ve gained, then I’m right there with you, giving you my full support, and helping you shed the pounds. But you should know that you will always be attractive in my eyes, Aria. For me, personally, I’m all about the face, and you have the most beautiful one I have ever seen in my life.”
“What if I stuffed my face with donuts for a month because I was depressed and grew a set of love handles?”
“Then I would love those love handles
, but if you’re using food to cope with an emotional problem, then that would concern me. My mission in life is to support your happiness, and help you achieve your goals and dreams. Abusing your body with food, is the same thing as abusing it with drugs or any kind of dangerous substance. The only difference is that drugs are illegal, and not as easily accessible as food. That’s why the obesity rate has sky rocketed in America and the UK. Imagine having an addiction to something that is perfectly legal, and you have the means to support that addiction day in and day out. I felt so bad for Aunt Helen. I used to have long talks with her about her weight, and she told me all this stuff.”
“But you’re so incredibly fit and beyond attractive.”
“And that’s supposed to make me shallow and superficial? I don’t judge people based on their outer appearance, Aria. I judge them based on the ten minutes of conversation I have with them. You get an impression, you know. And I want you to be the same way. Be a beautiful human being. Start from in there,” he pressed his index finger against my heart.
“Of course we all feel attraction and chemistry in different ways. If we didn’t the world wouldn’t be so populated, because this place is definitely diverse.”
For some reason I started to imagine hoards of women chasing Noah down the street, competing to get their hands on him first, as if he was the only man in the world who was good looking enough to “mate with.” Oh god, all those baby mamas…I quickly erased the image from my mind, and tuned back into the conversation.
“Never lose who you are inside. As you grow, I want you to evolve in positive ways. These years are crucial, because you’re building and developing your character.”
“Are you lecturing me?” I asked, with a smile.
“I’d like to refer to it as, aiding your moral compass.”
“Okay, well, duly noted. Now I’m going to flip the question right back at you. What is your definition of beauty?”
“That’s easy. I’ve pretty much been explaining it to you. Beautiful heart, beautiful soul, the rest is just chemistry.”
“Would you say that love and physical attraction is just chemical reactions going off in our brain?”
“Any scientist would support that argument, but since I’m a romantic, I can only say that love is something that goes deeper than what science can explain. There’s no formula for it. It’s not like mathematics.”
So sexy, so intelligent, so loved him.
“Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Close your eyes.”
I looked at him and snuggled into his chest.
“I love you.”
He played with my hair, and whispered, “I love you more.”*****
It was almost eleven o’clock at night when Stephanie Spinney pulled to the side of road in her father’s Ferrari. She was on her way to a party when there was a loud noise that came from the car.
“What the fuck?” she cursed, and turned off the ignition, before getting out of the vehicle.
Steph crouched down low, and noticed that she had a flat tire and had no idea how to replace it, even though she had a spare in the trunk.
“Shit,” she stood up, straightened her tight, red mini dress, and pulled out her iPhone from her hand bag.
“Dammit! No reception,” her high heels clicked against the asphalt, as she walked away from the car, holding out her mobile to see if she could catch a signal, and make a quick call. To make matters worse, her battery had completely drained, and her phone suddenly shut off, just as she received some reception.
“Oh, for fucks sake!” It’s just not my night, is it?
She thought, and paced back towards the red sports car. Steph was in a very remote area, and there were hardly any cars going by. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do, but as soon as she saw some headlights approaching, she stood out in the middle of the road, and waved her arms in the air.
The car slowly came to a halt, and she went around over to the driver side. The windows were tinted. She couldn’t see who was driving, until the automatic window finally slid down.
“Car troubles?” the man asked.
“Hey, I’m so sorry, but can you please help me out? I’ve got a flat tire and my cellphone died. I just need to make a call and have somebody come down to help.”
The stranger looked at her, and then eyed her car. “Nice whip. I can change the flat for you. I’m a mechanic.”
“Oh my god, seriously?”
“Yeah, just let me pull over to the side, and I’ll have you on your way in no time.”
“Thank you so much, I’ll pay you. How much do you charge?”
“You don’t need to pay me,” he said, with a chuckle. “How can I accept money from a pretty face like yours?”
She blushed, and thanked him again. He looked like he was in his mid-twenties. Handsome stranger,
Steph thought to herself.
The young man got out of his vehicle and walked over to the Ferrari.
“How long have you been out here?”
“About ten minutes.”
He opened her trunk, and took out the spare tire.
“Lucky for you, I’ve got a car jack and tire wrench,” he walked towards the flat, and Stephanie followed. She curiously watched him work on the tire, and there was something about him that jogged her memory.
“Hey, this might sound crazy, but have we met before?”
The stranger looked up at her, and smiled. “If we met, I’m sure I wouldn’t have forgotten your name.”
“You just look so familiar. I think I’ve seen you someplace.”
“Nope—must be mistaking me for someone else,” he smiled good-naturedly.
“Yeah, I guess,” she turned around, and looked out on the road. There was only one street lamp shining in the darkness. “So where were you headed anyway?”
“Oh, what’s your—” but before Steph could ask him his name, everything suddenly faded to black. *****
It was around twelve in the afternoon, and Emily was at the hospital spending some time with her daughter. She was flipping through channels on the television, when something caught Aria’s attention.
“Wait, mom! Go back!”
She clicked on the remote and turned up the volume. There was a breaking news broadcast.
“A body had been found and identified in Clairance Park this morning. Seventeen year old Stephanie Spinney was brutally murdered last night in cold blood. A local jogger and his dog were passing by the park on their routine run, when the German Shepherd started to sniff around a wooded area. The dog began to dig and made the grisly discovery of a body that was buried and wrapped in a black garbage bag. Police detectives have not been able to identify and incarcerate the assailant, and are still investigating the crime scene. A memorial will be held by Stephanie’s family at the park tomorrow evening—”
“Aria, what’s wrong?”
“I knew her…”
“Oh, honey. I’m so sorry,” she held her daughter’s hand.
“We weren’t close or anything. We just went to the same school together.”
Emily was about to ask her something, when Evan walked in.
“How are my two favourite ladies doing today? I brought you a latté,” he smiled at Emily and entered the hospital room.
“We just heard some very sad news. One of Aria’s high school classmates was murdered last night.”
“Whoa, serious?” he looked at his niece with concern. “Are you okay?”
“It was Stephanie.”
“As in the same Steph who…”
“Was a complete bitch to me? Yes.”
She honestly didn’t know how to feel.
“The chick was a mean girl, but she didn’t deserve to be murdered.”
Evan handed Emily the warm beverage, and hugged his niece. “I’m here if you want to talk about it,” he gently held her face.
“Thanks. I’m just in shock more than anything,” she replied and glanced down at his forearm. “Oh my god, what happened to your arm?”
He was wearing a grey, long sleeve shirt, but it got pulled up by accident when he hugged Aria. He tugged the sleeve down, and hid the injury.
“Binx went kind of bonkers this morning. I was trying to get him out of his litter box, because he was laying in it since last night and he scratched me up pretty good when I picked him up. I dropped him off at the vet’s before coming here, just to make sure he’s okay.”
“What did the vet say?” Emily asked.
“Well, he’s got a clean bill of health. So the only conclusion she made was that he’s scared or anxious about something. Not sure what though—probably because I had my buddy’s dog over the other day. I was looking after him for the night.”
“I hope he’ll be okay. Did you at least disinfect the scratches?” Aria said.
“Yeah, it’s nothing to worry about,” he smiled warmly, and sat down by her bedside.
“I need to make a phone call, and check on the kids,” Emily pulled her cellphone out of her purse. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Take your time. She’s in good hands,” Evan replied with a grin.
“I hate feeling so tired.”
“Go to sleep, cutie.”
“But I don’t want to sleep,” she protested, fighting off the exhaustion that had overtaken her body.
“You’ll feel better when you wake up,” he encouraged her, while gently stroking her hand, until she finally closed her eyes. *****
Emily returned after a while and asked Evan if he could stay with Aria for some hours, which he was more than happy to do. She needed to get back to the hotel, to shower, and rest.
The television was distracting, even though it was on low volume. Every channel seemed to be broadcasting the murder of Stephanie Spinney, so he switched it off, and watched over his niece until she was in a deep sleep.
He fixed his eyes on the pair shaped, pearl pendant around Aria’s neck. It made him happy to know that she was wearing it, because inside of that pendant, was Evan’s blood and Aria had no idea.
He smiled darkly to himself, and leaned forward, whispering faintly in her ear;
“I’ll kill anyone who hurts you, Aria, because I love you, and I know you love me too. You just don’t know it yet, but soon you will,”
he slowly withdrew and stared at her sensuous lips. The temptation to steal a kiss was far too strong, and he easily surrendered to his desire, by edging closer and closer, until his face was only inches away from Aria’s. Evan lightly brushed his lips against hers, and softly kissed her, (unlike all the times he usually kissed other women, which was very rough and aggressive.) He enjoyed the sweet sensation he felt from the stolen intimacy, and tried to control himself.
Holding her hand, he spoke softly in her ear, whispering secrets that were dying to come out.
“I am madly in love with you.”
She stirred a bit in her sleep, and mumbled. “Mmm…I love you…Noah.” What the fuck?
Evan thought, as he pulled back, looking dazed and confused. ***** Authors Note:
Thank you to everyone who has been reading my story this far, commenting and scoring. That means so much to me :) If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, or send in your questions on my blog.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/incest/i-shouldnt-love-this-way-chapter-12.aspx">I Shouldn't Love This Way- Chapter 12</a>