Loving Lana- Chapter 3
If you're a die hard romantic...this story is for you
“See, that’s your punishment for skipping your turn,” Sandy teased. She set the stopwatch on her phone, and looked at us. “Well, come on you two. Give us the best damn kiss we’ve ever seen.”
I wanted to get up and back out of the game, because I was so sure Vincent was going to say something to humiliate me. But he surprised me when motioned me forward with his index finger.
“Get in his lap!” Ciara sounded excited for me. Little did she know that I was totally freaking out inside.
I looked uncertain and apprehensive, as I glanced over at Sandy.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Saddle up!” she exclaimed.
I couldn’t believe she was absolutely fine with me kissing her husband. My god, was I the only person in this room that had difficulty sharing partners?
“There’s no way they can beat our kiss, babe. That was hot!”
I heard Darius’s voice in the background, as I crawled over to Vincent, feeling my arms tremble slightly.
The music switched tracks to something really dark and seductive, and I wasn’t sure if it was coincidence or fate, because the energy in the room immediately shifted when I got in his lap, straddling him.
I couldn’t read his expression, but his eyes were electric, and his body felt warm.
“Okay, remember you’re doing double time,” Sandy reminded me. “And your time starts…now!”
I had no idea whether to lead or to follow. Vincent looked just as lost as I was. I tried to focus on the music, and fall under its spell. My skin tingled when I felt his fingertips gently brush up the side of my arms, causing goose bumps to spread over every surface he touched. All my fears and insecurities were being forced under, as something inside of me was beginning to waken from its long slumber. This feeling was so powerful, as it only intensified when I stared at him. It had always been present, but dormant; this feeling of…desire.
I eventually found the courage to wrap my arms around his neck, but with caution. He still wouldn’t take his eyes off me. Was this finally a moment of truce between the two of us? I was afraid to trust it.
Vincent held my gaze, and swallowed hard. The intensity of his stare was intimidating me. I wasn’t sure if it was the sound of the bass vibrating through my chest, or my own heart beating violently inside me. He made me want to shy away, so I was determined to stare at his shirt buttons, but immediately gasped when his hands finally landed on my hips, closing the space between us in one quick and powerful pull. How was I not flat lining? I wasn’t expecting that.
Sitting in his lap this way, was causing a buried pain to resurface inside me, and I felt like crying because I knew that once he would kiss me, I wouldn’t be able to handle his insults and cruelty anymore. I would have let him in…again.
He attracted me like a magnet, as I slowly brought my face closer to his, switching glances from his eyes to his kissable mouth, and just when our lips were inches apart, I paused.
“Come on, kiss! Fifteen seconds have passed already!” Ciara yelled out.
“Right, let’s get this bloody well over with,” Vincent whispered, never taking his eyes off me.
I took my time bridging the gap between us, until our lips finally collided. And that’s when the magic happened. It felt as if a curse had been lifted. I had finally managed to touch the surface of who he was at his core, without him recoiling, and rejecting me.
His mouth slowly glided gently over mine, kissing me with a growing passion, until I parted my lips, allowing our tentative tongues to touch. I felt like my body was on fire. Was this seriously happening, Vincent kissing me? This couldn’t have been real. It had to be a dream. But it wasn’t.
I held his face, and kissed him like it was the last time I would ever kiss him again, as fireworks exploded in my brain. A rush of ecstasy surged through my bloodstream shooting straight to my heart, while he kissed me fervently, unleashing his passion into that unbreakable kiss. I didn’t want to pull back for breath. I had been waiting so long for this moment. I hadn’t even realized it until I finally felt his lips against mine, and I wanted to cry because something became crystal clear to me in that moment; I was in love with a man that hated me with all his heart. I was in love with Vincent.
The way he was kissing me made it impossible for me to feel his hate. I was blind to it. All I could feel was his longing for me. It couldn’t have been fake. Not when it felt so real, as if he had been dying to kiss me and touch me this way.
He sank his teeth into my lower lip, and tugged it back before his lips crashed against mine once more, engulfing me in his passionate flames. I released a breathy moan when his fingertips traced my spine up and down. My arousal only amplified when his hands traveled over the curve of my bottom, squeezing it hard and pulling me flush against his body.
Oh god, I wanted him so badly, and I knew he felt the same desire, because his erection was pressing right against me.
Slowly, I slid my hands down his shoulders, and felt this scorching heat radiating off his chest. He probably felt hot because of all that liquor he had been drinking—it naturally spiked your body temperature. Somehow I was courageous enough to unbutton his shirt all the way, and he didn’t stop me, as he gripped my hips, causing this pressure to build inside me. My palms were now in direct contact with his smooth skin, and I caressed his hard pectoral muscles, shivering when he groaned in pleasure in my mouth.
Vincent’s hands were resting right underneath my rib cage now, massaging and teasing my nipples with his thumbs. He was kissing me with unrelenting passion. I wondered if it was because he was drunk, or because his desire for me defied his laws of logic and reason. Everyone had faded out, and I didn’t even realize that we were being spectated like some sport anymore. It was just me and him. I think he felt that too. His mouth was wet and slick, moving over mine, combining lips, teeth, and tongue in perfect synchronization.
I shivered when he grazed his lips up and down my chin, allowing me to breathe, until he got greedy for my lips again, kissing me more aggressively without restraint. Vincent grabbed my thighs tightly, and released a pleasurable groan when I slowly started to grind against his painfully constricted hard on. The friction felt so good, and only made me want him more. He licked, teased, bit, and sucked on my lips, and all I could feel was this deep sense of envy inside me. If he kissed Sandy like this, she was one lucky woman. The way he kissed me literally took my breath away.
Please don’t stop. Don’t stop, I kept repeating in my head, as I surrendered to the sensations and emotions he was evoking in me. His heart was beating so fast when I placed my palm against it.
If that buzzer hadn’t gone off, I wouldn’t have stopped.
Vincent managed to pull away from my lips, but I could tell he didn’t want to. I felt so dizzy because he had intoxicated me with that kiss. We were both trying to catch our breath, as we said nothing to one another, just stared, chests heaving up and down. Those lust drenched eyes pierced right through me, and spoke three simple words; I want you.
I felt his hunger, and it was so animalistic, like he had a war going inside of him; a man attempting to tame the animal within. But his inner beast was emerging out of his cage, because I set him free. For the first time in all the years I had known him, I realized that I felt safer with this part of him, because the judgmental man that beat me down with words was no longer present. All throughout that insatiable kiss, I couldn’t feel his judgments, or his cruelty. I felt his desire for me, along with something else that I couldn’t quite understand or recognize. It was blurred between the lines of love and hate.
“Who-ly-crap,” Ciara fanned herself, while I got out of Vincent’s lap, and sat back down on the cushion.
“That had to be the hottest kiss I have ever seen in my life. Wow!” she continued.
“You okay, honey? You look a little winded,” Sandy laughed. “You get five stars from me! Darius, what’s your vote?”
“Four and a half. Five if he was daring enough to remove an item of clothing from Lana’s body.”
“Are you kidding me?” Ciara interjected. “You don’t necessarily need to get naked in order to have a hot make out session. Kissing is an art form, and not everybody possesses such artistic talent, let’s put it that way. She could’ve been kissing him in a nun’s outfit and it still would’ve been hot!”
Sandy and Darius laughed.
“That was just…I can’t even explain,” Ciara glanced at me, and then looked over at Vincent with this smirk on her face.
He was buttoning up his shirt, and I was only reminded of how painfully hard my nipples were. It was a good thing I had enough padding in my bra.
“Okay, my turn to spin! Round two!”
“This game is fucking stupid,” Vincent stood up. “I’m done.”
“We lost a game player. I’m done too,” Darius rose to his feet, and followed his friend to the bar.
“And then there were three…” Sandy sighed, swigging back a shot full of vodka.
“I think I’m going to turn in early tonight if you guys don’t mind,” I addressed the girls.
“Seriously? It’s only ten thirty,” Ciara lay down on the cushions to get comfier.
“I get up early in the mornings to jog. That’s why I get tired.”
“We’re going to watch a movie. Have a coffee, or a Red Bull or something. Stay up with us, Lana,” Sandy insisted, pouring herself another shot. This woman seriously had a high alcohol tolerance.
“I’ll probably just end up falling asleep on the sofa,” I leaned over and kissed her cheek, then Ciara’s. “I’ll see you all in the morning. I had fun.”
“Okay, girl—night.” Cici gave me a worried look, but I smiled to let her know that I was alright.
I said goodnight to the guys, and noticed Vincent’s eyes following me, as I walked past him and headed upstairs. I felt so weighed down by this ache in my chest. That kiss had not only affected me in a physical way, but emotionally as well.
After I changed into a nude baby doll, I turned out the lights and grabbed my reading glasses. I knew it was going to be impossible to sleep, but I had my lamp on, and was going to do some reading until I passed out. Just when I was about to get into bed, there was a soft knock at my door.
Probably Ciara checking on me, I thought, as I walked bare foot towards the door and opened it.
My heart almost stopped beating, and I wasn’t sure what to say or do. I just stared. For the first time those frosted blue eyes betrayed nothing but vulnerability, and a subtle gentleness I had seen only once.
Before I could utter another word, he cupped my face in his hands, moved in closer, and kissed me so soft, and tenderly, like a soldier that had long been away from his love for far too long. The feeling was so overwhelming, that I was almost moved to tears.
When he finally withdrew, he held my face, stared right through me, and whispered, “I remember.”
I could see the realization sink into his eyes, and it crushed me, because I could tell he was hurt. I hated that feeling I would get at the back of my throat when I’d be on the verge of crying while trying to talk.
A teardrop streaked down my cheek, as I watched him turn around and disappear down the stairs. I stood there, trembling, paralyzed.
He remembered. He remembered me.
8 YEARS AGO
Miami, June 25 2005
It was finally summer break when Vincent and three of his best friends drove down to Miami to party it up. It felt great to wind down, relax, and kick off the summer with some much needed partying, and picking up pretty girls.
“Dude, chicks in Miami are hot!” Trevor could hardly contain his excitement. He was the one who was driving behind the wheel; a tall, athletic, spikey haired blond, with green eyes. He looked like the classic beach bum surfer.
“Just remember, no falling in love. We’re here to party, get laid by some really smokin’ chicks, and get drunk as fuck!” Kevin hollered, as he rolled down his window and screamed into the air like a maniac.
Vincent was sitting in the passenger seat, and he was all smiles, laughing at his friends, as they enjoyed the loud music that was pumping from the car stereo.
This summer’s going to be wild. No regrets, he thought, as he cranked up the music and brought his window down all the way.
When they finally pulled up to Crandon Park Beach, they found a nice spot to sit, and immediately got a game of football going.
Vincent was more athletic than his friends, unlike Kevin who carried around a bit of a beer gut, Vincent had washboard abs, strong muscular arms, and a physique he had worked hard to achieve at 24. Every girl that walked by the boys, showed particular interest in him. He was very easy on the eyes, a natural charmer with the ladies, even though he never had a serious girlfriend since high school. He could’ve had any woman he wanted.
There were no life guards at the beach that day, and signs were posted all over informing people to swim at their own risk. Vincent took a break from the game to grab some Gatorade from the ice box, when someone started crying out in distress.
“My friend is drowning! Please, somebody help her! Someone please help!”
He didn’t even need to think twice. Vincent abandoned his drink in the sand, and ran towards the frantic girl.
“Please, she’s over there!” the brunette pointed at the powerful waves that were gaining momentum in the distance. “She got knocked out on her surf board.”
“I see her.” He ran into the water, and started to swim towards the helpless girl. It didn’t take him very long to reach her. He was a trained life guard, and as soon as he pulled her onto the shore, he immediately started CPR.
A crowd of people huddled around them, while Vincent performed mouth to mouth resuscitation, and chest compressions.
“Come on, come on, breathe for me,” he continued compressing her chest, hoping to restore blood flow from the brain to the heart. He couldn’t understand how God could allow someone so young and beautiful to die like this. He wasn’t going to allow her to die on him. Not on his watch.
“Come on, breathe!” he grew impatient, fearing the worst, while he gave her a couple more breaths, and harder chest compressions.
Miraculously, she started to cough up water, and open her eyes.
“Oh, thank god! Thank god!” her friend began to cry.
The crowd began to cheer and clap, feeling relieved that a life was saved.
“She needs an ambulance.” Kevin suggested, appearing next to the brunette.
“Call one down, just in case,” Vincent replied.
The mystery girl he had just rescued sat up, and tried to catch her breath. She looked completely disoriented and slow because her brain had been deprived of oxygen for a while. She didn’t have enough strength to hold her balance. Before she could fall over and pass out, Vincent took her in his arms, and carried her away from the shore.
“How long until the ambulance is here?” he asked Kevin
“It shouldn’t be too long.” His friend answered.
Once the ambulance arrived, the paramedics took care of the girl. She didn’t want to go to the hospital, and didn’t have any life threatening injuries, so they just patched her up and monitored her in the truck for a good fifteen minutes, until she was okay.
“How is she?” Vincent asked the one paramedic with the bald head and moustache.
“Why don’t you ask her yourself?” he smiled and peered into the truck. “Lana, your hero’s here.”
Vincent wasn’t sure why he felt so nervous, but as soon as he saw those aqua eyes, and that heart melting smile, he felt relieved. All the color had returned to her face, and she was wrapped in a blanket, sitting on the edge of the ambulance truck.
“Hey,” he smiled sheepishly. “I’m Vincent. I’m the one who—” but before he could finish his sentence, he was surprised to feel her body pressed against his, hugging him tightly.
“Thank you, for saving my life.”
Her voice was so sweet. It was like music to his ears.
“No need to thank me,” he hugged her back, feeling the warmest sensation expand inside his heart. “I’m just glad you’re breathing again.”
“We’re going to leave now,” said the friendly paramedic. “Keep an eye on her.”
Lana’s friend showed up, and gave her a hug. “I was so scared. I thought I was going to lose you. I told you not to go surfing today!” she then looked at Vincent, and embraced him. “You’re seriously a life saver.”
“Well, that used to be my job.” He chuckled and turned his attention back on the beautiful blonde he saved.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t introduce myself. I’m—”
“Lana,” he answered. “I know. I kind of figured that out on my own.”
“Right,” she laughed nervously.
“You should probably take it easy. No more swimming.”
“Definitely not,” her cheeks turned a lovely shade of pink, and it made him smile. “Are you from around here? You sound…English?”
“That’s because I am,” he laughed lightly. “And here I thought I dropped the accent by now.”
“I like it,” Lana smiled.
“How old are you?” he asked.
“Wow, that is young.”
And technically not legal, Vincent thought to himself.
“I’ll be eighteen soon. How old are you?”
“Twenty four. My mates and I are visiting from Atlanta—just enjoying the summer break. We were playing some football when your friend over here started freaking out.”
“Yeah, that’s Jill for you. She doesn’t handle panic situations well.”
“Excuse me? You were about to die!” Jill joined the conversation. “What the hell would I have told your grandmother?”
“Oh, well. She would’ve had one less mouth to feed.” Lana shrugged.
“Hey, Vince! Everything okay with the hot chick?” Trevor hollered out from the beach.
“And that would be my best mate, Trevor,” he gave him a thumbs up, and then looked at Lana.
“I’m sorry. You probably want to get back to your friends. I seriously don’t know how to thank you for saving my life.” She regarded him with such admiration. He appeared as the knight in shining armour. But Vincent’s reputation was not squeaky clean, and his armour was not white. It was tainted.
“How about you hang out with me and my mates for the rest of the afternoon? We’ve going to make some good barbeque in a bit. You’re both welcome to join us.”
“We’d love to!” Jill exclaimed with a grin.
Lana exchanged a shy little smile with Vincent, and followed him back to the beach.
A good majority of the day was spent playing volley ball, drinking beer, barbequing, and sun bathing, as Vincent and his friends enjoyed their new company.
Trevor managed to hit on some really hot twins and persuade them to hang out. Kevin and Jill were socializing a lot, while Vincent and Lana got to know each other more. It was almost eight in the evening, when the two of them decided to go for a walk along the beach strip. Lana’s wavy golden hair had finally dried off, and was gently blowing in the wind, while they walked towards the docks.
“So, have you lived in Illinois all your life?” he asked her.
“Pretty much,” she answered, walking beside him, as he walked along the shore. “What about you?”
“My family and I moved to the states when I was sixteen.”
“Do you miss it back home?”
“Sometimes, but I’ve readjusted pretty well I think,” he glanced over at her, and flashed a charismatic smile.
He was wearing a pair of white swimming trunks, and a white shirt, with the sleeves rolled up, and the buttons completely undone.
Lana had changed into a white halter bikini, and they were both walking bare foot on the sand. It was difficult for Vincent not to stare at her. She was beyond beautiful, and the attraction he felt towards her he had never felt with another girl before.
There was music playing in the distance and the sun was slowly beginning to set. The sky was a marvellous magenta color, and the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore was soothing to the ears.
“I love the ocean.” Lana paused, and looked out on the water.
“Even after today?”
“Of course—that was just stupidity on my part. You can’t blame Mother Nature. I was lucky you were here.”
They both stared at each other, and he couldn’t look away, because he was simply mesmerized by the glimmering emerald in her eyes.
“I’m glad I was here.” He gave her a soft smile, while they continued walking and talking, until they reached a long, wooden dock.
Vincent took Lana’s hand, and led her under it, where the waves slowly caressed their feet and ankles in timed intervals. It was just the two of them now, the music, and the breathtaking scenery. Jon Secada’s single Just Another Day was reverberating all around them.
“Wow, I haven’t heard this song in forever.”
“It’s an early nineties track,” Lana added, brushing her hair out of her face.
“Is that your favorite musical era?”
“One of my many favorites— I have very eclectic taste in music.”
He couldn’t take his eyes off her. Everything about her intrigued him, and he wanted to know everything there was to know about her.
Lana got playful out of the blue and started to kick her feet in the water, splashing Vincent.
“Oh, no you don’t—” he laughed, and grabbed her, throwing her over his shoulder and spinning around. She giggled and begged to get off.
Every time we’re together…
Jon Secada sang the rest of the song, as Vincent carefully slid Lana down his body, and placed her back on her feet. He never believed in love at first sight until he cast his eyes on her innocent face.
“Dance with me.” He pulled her into his arms, and held her waist, slow dancing with the rhythm of the music.
Lana felt like she was dreaming. She recognized right away that she was crushing on the handsome young Englishman, and as much as she was trying to push those feelings down, they kept resurfacing and telling her that she was attracted to this man beyond a physical level. Her feelings kept intensifying by the minute, and she was already getting attached.
“So tell me something, Lana,” he murmured in her ear. “Is this going to be a summer of love for us?”
“I hope not.” She responded.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because summer love never lasts. They fade as soon as the leaves change color and fall away.” She looked into his brilliant blue eyes, and felt her stomach tighten, as a swarm of butterflies began to flutter around. His penetrating gaze was piercing right through her, but she couldn’t look away.
“That’s a fair reasoning.” He finally spoke.
“I’m sure a guy as good looking as yourself has had many summer of love’s.”
“Maybe so,” Vincent smirked. “But I’ve never been in love. Have you?”
“I tend to wear my heart out on my sleeve, and yes. I have.”
He searched her eyes, contemplating a personal decision, wondering if he should wear his heart out on his sleeve too. “I want to kiss you,” he finally confessed.
“Then why don’t you?” Lana’s heart immediately began to skip a beat, as she tried her best not to blush.
“Because,” he leaned into her ear, and whispered, “I’m afraid I’ll fall in love if I do.”
She was speechless. He was charismatic to a fault, and she knew that he could’ve very well been the devil in disguise. But how could he have been the devil, when he saved her life like a guardian angel?
“I think I’m worth the risk.” She finally responded, slowly swaying her body side to side with him.
“You’re a heart breaker, Lana. That’s what I see when I look in your eyes. You’re going to break my heart and make me bleed one day. I know it.” He chuckled.
“I would never do that. Not to you. Not to anybody.”
“Well, you really are as sweet as you look.”
“I’m just me. What you see is what you get—just a small town girl with big dreams.”
“And what are those dreams?” He asked.
“I want to be a writer one day, a famous novelist.”
“I can definitely appreciate and admire an artist.” He complimented her.
“I’m hardly an artist,” she shied away.
“You write. Writing is an art.”
“I’m not very good at it.”
“You have a dream. Do you believe in it?” Vincent questioned.
“With all my heart,” Lana replied.
“Then you’ll make it.”
His encouragement meant so much to her, and she had no idea why. He was a stranger, a handsome stranger that had just entered her life by divine intervention.
“How long will you be in Miami?’ she asked, curiously.
“Two weeks. What about you?”
“A month. I’m here with Jill and her family. They have a summer house and invited me to vacation with them since I needed it.”
“And how’s the vacation going so far?”
“It’s better than life at home. I love the beach and surfing every day. It just makes me feel so free.”
He listened to her attentively, as the urge to kiss her only grew stronger and stronger.
“I think I’m ready to take that risk now.”
“Are you sure?” she blushed.
“If I don’t, I know that I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”
“Well, you technically did kiss me today.”
“That doesn’t count,” he chuckled lightly. “And how do you know I gave you mouth to mouth?”
“Jill told me.”
“Ah, of course. Is this your way of rejecting me?”
“Have you ever been rejected before?”
“Never,” he replied.
“Then maybe I should be your first.” Lana grinned.
“You can’t just dance in my arms, look drop dead gorgeous in that bikini, and tease me with those lips.”
“I’m not trying to tease you,” she giggled. “I’m just trying to protect myself just as much as you were five minutes ago. You told me that you see a heart breaker when you look in my eyes. Well, I see the exact same mirror when I look at you.”
“What if I told you that I fancy you?” he whispered in hear again, and she shivered in reaction.
“What does that even mean?” Lana laughed a bit.
“It means this—” Vincent could no longer hold back. He cupped her face, and kissed her deeply, slow, but passionately. The lazy ocean waves continued to crash along the shore, as if to celebrate and cheer the youthful love that was manifesting between him and Lana.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him back with a sweet passion that made him desire her in a way that transcended the physical. His heart was sending him signals; I want her. I want this girl. She’s special.
When he finally pulled back for breath, he stared into her turquoise eyes, and kissed her softly again. And then again, and again, until she giggled against his lips and hugged him while he lifted her up, and spun her around in his arms. This moment was perfect. This moment he wished to freeze forever, because for once, Vincent was so happy. He was convinced he was in love, and the reason why he was able to differentiate between love and lust, was because he knew he could get her in bed…but that’s not what he wanted. He wanted her heart.
“You’re not a mermaid, are you?”
Lana smiled and shook her head.
“You’re not going to disappear on me tomorrow? Somehow I’m worried I won’t see you again.”
“You want to see me again?”
“Do you even have to ask when it’s so obvious?” he pulled her in for another kiss that left her breathless.
“You’re not drunk, are you?” she asked.
“Nope—just drunk off you.”
There was that charisma again. Lana kissed him with more confidence this time, as if to claim him as hers and only hers alone. He felt her trembling, so he took off his shirt, and gave it to her to wear.
“You’re such a gentlemen.”
“You can thank my mother for that.”
He smiled warmly and kissed her hand, before they headed back to join their friends.
The sky was getting dark, and the stars were twinkling in the sky, as a luminous full moon reflected into the ocean. Trevor and Kevin managed to get a bonfire going, and everyone was having a good time. Vincent and Lana were basically inseparable. He couldn’t take his hands off her, and she didn’t want him to. Their chemistry was intense and amazing.
Once they had enough of socializing, Lana wanted to have a moment alone with Vincent again.
“Take me to where you pulled me out of the water.” She said him.
He stood up, took her hand in his, and guided her to the edge of the shore where he rescued her.
“Right here,” he pointed downward.
It was low tide, and the waves were barely reaching the shoreline. Lana sat down right on the edge of beach strip, and lay back. Vincent watched as the water rushed up, and soaked her hair and body.
“You really are a mermaid, aren’t you?”
“Mermaids don’t have legs.”
Indeed they didn’t, and her legs were long, toned and beautiful.
“I’m convinced you’re enchanted.” Vincent answered.
“Then I think you better kiss me and break the spell, so I don’t disappear into the water by midnight.”
His lips curved up into a crooked smile, as he lowered himself in between her legs, carefully supporting his weight above her body so he wouldn’t crush her.
“Is this better?”
“Much.” She smiled against his lips, snaking her arms around his neck, and kissing him while the water washed over their bodies.
His desire for her was only increasing by the second. Normally he would already have a chick in bed with him by this hour, but he didn’t want to sleep with Lana. He didn’t want to take advantage of her, use her up, and leave her the next day. They had bonded so much and shared a lot about their lives, all in the course of a day. She was special, and he didn’t want to mess this up.
“Why do I… want you… so much?” Lana breathed between kisses.
“Because,” he managed to break that heated connection. “I’m irresistibly good looking, and charming to a fault.” He grinned wickedly at her, and bit her bottom lip.
“Not to mention cocky.” She giggled, and rolled over so that she was on top of him now.
He stared up at her face, and couldn’t help but notice how breathtakingly beautiful she looked in the moonlight.
Her hands travelled up his abdominals, all the way to his chest, then back down again.
“Someone enjoys touching my body.” He chuckled.
“I can’t explain it, and maybe this sounds crazy but, it feels like it’s mine.”
He smiled at her, and raised himself up on his elbows.
That’s how I felt when I pulled you out of the ocean today, like you were mine. Vincent kept his private thoughts to himself. He was falling in love, and the feeling was euphoric. It felt like he could finally feel his heart beating in his chest after living like a zombie for many years. It was extremely difficult for him to behave and not take her right there on the beach, because the chemistry with Lana was just sizzling hot. He managed to mount her again, pinning her hands back above her head, making an impression in the sand, as he tangled his fingers through hers.
Lana moaned when he slowly rocked his hips into her. Their passion for each other was consuming, and the moon and the stars almost wanted to shy away from the incredible love that was transforming between these two.
“Vincent, I want you.”
He kissed her softly and whispered, “I want you more.”
She reached for the draw string on his swimming trunks, but he stopped her just in time, pulling back.
“Not here, Lana. Not like this.”
“But everything feels so perfect.”
“I don’t want you to feel like a one night stand. That’s not what I want with you.”
His words touched her heart. She was young, but a hopeless romantic.
“All these feelings just feel so intense.” Lana confessed.
“I know.” He kissed her lips once more, and then her jaw, and then her neck.
“You’re only making it worse, Vincent…”
“I can’t help it.” He laughed, sucking the vulnerable flesh on her neck.
When the charming new couple returned, it was almost midnight. Their long make out session in the sand had left them both exhausted, but also wanting more. Everything felt new and fresh, and neither of them wanted the night to end.
Many people had cleared the beach already, and it was just about time for Jill and Lana to leave since they had a curfew. The girls said goodbye to Kevin and Trevor, before Vincent walked them to their car.
“Are you free tomorrow?” he asked Lana.
“I’m on vacation. I’m free like every day.”
“Perfect. I want to take you out, so expect a call from me in the afternoon.”
She felt a swarm of butterflies again, when she hugged him tight. “I had so much fun with you today. I’m so glad we met.”
“Me too.” He breathed her in, and kissed her long and deep one last time.
The star crossed lovers reluctantly parted ways, but felt happy knowing they would see each other soon. Vincent had never felt so alive. Something indescribable happened to him. Lane McKenzie happened to him.
“Didn’t I tell you not to fall in love while we’re on our ultimate summer vacation?” Trevor complained, as he drove the car.
“She’s different, mate. There’s something about her. I can’t explain it.”
“She’s got a bangin’ body, nice tits, and ass. If I were you, I’d so take advantage of that and hit it.”
Vincent rolled his eyes at his friend. It kind of pissed him off to hear him describe Lana like she was some sexual object. But he didn’t want to instigate a fight while Trevor was driving.
Kevin had passed out in the back from drinking so much.
“I guess he won’t be waking up anytime soon,” Trevor said, glancing at the passed out drunk through the rear view mirror. “And I assume you won’t be joining me at the club tonight?”
“Nah—go on without me.”
“You guys seriously fuckin’ suck. You’re supposed to be my wingman, remember?”
“I’m sure you can survive and pull a bird without me, mate.”
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered under his breath. “So what are you doing tomorrow? Taking her out?”
“Does she know you’re filthy fuckin’ rich?”
“Good. The last thing you need is some gold digger digging her hooks in you.”
Vincent didn’t really want to have this conversation with him at the moment. So he turned up the music, and watched the coastline as they drove back to the hotel.
They were on a two lane road, and it wasn’t long before his friend started speeding.
“Hey, slow down.”
But he didn’t slow down. He only sped faster.
“Trevor, slow the fuck down!”
The car engine got louder and louder, as Trevor began to drive like a maniac.
“I snorted some coke earlier, bro—best fuckin’ shit ever. Fuckin’ prime I tell you. You should try this shit!” He exclaimed, and gripped the steering wheel.
“Pull the fuck over, now!” Vincent tried to make him come to his senses. There was a truck approaching on the left lane. “Trevor, you’re going to get us killed. Listen to me, and pull the fucking car over.” He tried to reason with him in a calm voice, but it was no use. Trevor had become overconfident, and the drug had clearly impaired his driving and better judgement.
He suddenly turned the steering wheel, making the car jerk to the left. They were now in the trucker’s lane.
“Watch this. We’re going to play a game. It’s called chicken.”
The blaring sound of the truck driver’s horn echoed in their ears, as they approached the monstrous truck head on. Kevin suddenly started to wake up.
“Chicken, chicken, chicken!” Trevor laughed hysterically.
“Get in your goddamn lane, now!” Vincent shouted.
Everything was happening so fast and they were seconds away from getting into a head on collision with the truck. As soon as Vincent grabbed the wheel to regain control…the lights went out.
Lana felt so depressed when she didn’t hear from the handsome Englishman that had won her heart yesterday. She was so disappointed and upset that she even cried over him. Jill tried to console her friend and told her that he wasn’t worth her tears—that he probably just wanted to fool around with her, and it was for the best that he didn’t call back. But Lana refused to believe that. He had plenty of opportunity to sleep with her last night, and he didn’t.
She ended up going back to Illinois a week later, refusing to stay the course of the holiday because she felt so crest fallen, and the memory of the beach only reminded her of Vincent. The angel that had saved her from death’s grip had vanished overnight, never to return again. She cried on the plane, as she flew back to her boring life. She would later meet a man who was the polar opposite of Vincent; a man that would use and abuse her. The fates had played a cruel joke on them, and both Vincent and Lana would suffer the consequences.
He woke up in his hospital bed after a month of being in a coma, only to find out that his best friends had died in the collision, and he was the only survivor. Yet he could not feel grief. He could not feel sadness. He couldn’t feel anything, because he couldn’t remember his lifelong friends. He couldn’t even remember his mother or father when they visited him once he woke up. The brain damage had caused retrograde amnesia, due to head trauma from the car crash; a condition that lasted for two years, until he slowly got his memories back. Almost everything came back to him…except that fateful day on the beach when he met his first love. He couldn’t remember the beautiful blonde with the alluring aqua eyes. The memory had completely gone missing, as if it was wiped entirely clean.
Vincent mourned the death of his friends, but ultimately wanted to move on from the accident. He never mentioned it to his wife, or anyone else he met along the way. It was a tragic part of his past, and something that he wished to move on from. He even asked his parents not to bring it up as a subject of discussion with other people, and they respected his wishes.
Life went along normally, and Vincent moved on, got married and settled down. Nothing seemed to jog his memory when he saw Lana’s face again eight years later. It seemed the Gods of love and destiny had not completed their cruel intentions upon these two. Either the universe was pulling them together to test their love, or mocking them for the strict entertainment of whatever mystical deities that resided in the heavens.
Lana knew that Maxwell had a son when she met him, but she had no idea that it was the same Vincent she had met on that beach in Miami. She didn’t even know his last name at that time. The only picture Maxwell showed her was a photograph of his boy when he was six months old. Lana had no idea she was marrying the father of the young man she had fallen for eight years ago. It was scarred forever as her summertime sadness.
When she finally met Maxwell’s family once they returned from their honeymoon, she was confronted by a familiar ghost of her past. One she did not expect to see ever again and he appeared to have no idea who she was.
She felt so happy to see him after all those years of not knowing, but she was also heartbroken at the same time. He had clearly moved on, and that’s what hurt her the most. The fact that he gave her so much hope that what they shared was special, and then disappeared out of her life the next day without any explanation. Lana needed answers. She felt she deserved that much.
When she finally had an opportunity to be alone with Vincent, she eased the conversation into an interrogation. They were standing inside the solarium in the garden at night. It was the summer of 2012.
“Vincent…do you remember me?”
He gawked at her, confused. “What the bloody hell are you on? Is that why you brought me in here to talk?” he backed away from her like she was some crazy person.
“You don’t remember that night on the beach?”
“I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. It seems my father married a schizo. Lovely,” his tone was glacial, and his smile was condescending and mean. Lana waned to cry.
“Look, if you’re just another whore I fucked, I’m glad I don’t remember you, luv. It just means you weren’t worth the space in my memory.”
His words were razor sharp and cut her deep. Lana walked away from him that night with tears in her eyes, and a bleeding heart. She quickly concluded that she never meant anything to him. Of course she had no idea about his accident, and it was never discussed by her husband. Sandy didn’t even know.
Lana spent the next year and a half trying to reconnect with an old flame that still burned inside her chest. She believed that he did remember her, but didn’t care, and she didn’t dare bring up that memory after the way he treated her that night in the garden. She didn’t want Vincent to ruin the meaning of that faded fragment of the only beautiful part of her past.
He had saved her life and made her fall for him, all in one day. And then he pulled a disappearing act on her the next. She couldn’t understand it. All she knew was that he was not the same man she met on that beach in Miami. Then again, maybe he never was the man she believed he was. Maybe that was nothing but an illusion. She was young, foolish, and extremely naive in the love department.
Lana devoted herself to her husband and her new lifestyle. She was practically the perfect trophy wife. Vincent constantly argued with her every chance he got, and his intense hatred was only masking an intense passion and love that was buried under the surface, locked away in a secret compartment in his mind.
When he kissed Lana that night for the first time after eight years, it triggered memories. Bits and pieces came back to him. He remembered pulling her out of the water. He remembered kissing her under the dock. He remembered the way she sighed against his lips when he kissed her passionately in the sand. All of Vincent’s emotions hit him like a train. He was devastated upon realizing this crushing new reality, because as soon as he realized who his woman was, his heart achingly yearned for her, like a long lost lover that had descended through hell and back, only to lose himself in a permanent purgatory with no chance of escape.
That hate that was so amplified in their relationship for almost two years, immediately dissolved into the strongest and most powerful emotion that resided inside his frozen heart; love. It was strong enough to melt the ice, and make that beating organ come to life and glow resiliently. Eight years ago, Vincent resurrected Lana from death. And eight years later, she resurrected his dying soul.
Now that he knew who she was, all he could do was force his body to stay away from her bedroom door. He lay wide awake next to his wife, staring up at the ceiling, while his heart pounded in his chest. It was as if every heart beat was screaming her name; Lana, Lana, Lana…
He couldn’t fight it anymore. It was maddening, and he physically hurt from the distance. He felt so ashamed for all the hurtful things he had said and done to her. They had met only once all those years ago, but he spent a year and a half getting to know her when his father married her. And all this time, he had been in love with her. His hate had blinded him. But now that the blindfold was off, he was only blinded by love.
Unwilling to sleep, Vincent quietly got out of bed, and slipped out of the room. He wanted to get a glass of water to calm his nerves, but his feet led him straight to Lana’s door without even realizing it.
Nervously, he knocked, and waited. It seemed like forever had gone by, and he didn’t bother knocking again because she was most likely asleep. He was about to turn around and leave, when the bedroom door suddenly opened…and it wasn’t Lana standing in front of him.
“It’s almost six in the morning. What you doing up so early?”
“I…I…” Shit, he cursed in his head. “I saw your car out front, and was wondering if you’d still be up.”
“Well, now I am. What do you need, son?”
“On second thought, it can wait. Get some sleep, dad.”
“Are you sure? Are you and Sandy okay, the children?”
“Yes, we’re fine. It’s not that important. It can wait.”
Vincent felt this panic inside. He felt anger and resentment. Lana did not belong with his father. That beautiful young girl that had shared her painful life with him that day on the beach, the girl he believed was destined to be his soul mate, was no longer his. That dream was snatched away from him, stolen like a thief in the night. He was so upset that he wanted to punch his fist through a wall, but controlled himself.
Feeling confused, depressed, and anxious, Vincent returned to his bedroom and glanced at the clock. He was familiar with Lana’s usual routine. She would normally get up around seven every morning to go out for a jog. So he jumped in the shower, dressed himself, and headed downstairs to fix an early breakfast, in hopes that he would catch her before she went out the door. He just had to see her. He had to look in the eyes and explain what happened.
Last night felt like a dream. I still couldn’t wrap my head around what happened and what Vincent meant when he visited my room. I was conflicted, confused, and completely coming undone.
I tied my hair up in a ponytail, put on my black shorts, and black sports bra before I wore my running shoes and went downstairs. I turned on my iPod and was about to head into the kitchen, when I suddenly froze. Vincent was sitting by the island, already dressed and waiting for me.
“Wasn’t expecting to see you up so early…”
I was hesitant to approach, almost fearful that he would snap at me or something. Was I dreaming? Was the intimacy we shared last night all in my head?
“I visited your bedroom to talk to you, but I see that my father has returned.” He stood up and walked around the island, as I took a couple steps closer. There was this super strong magnetic pull between us.
“Max came back this morning. I wasn’t expecting him. Apparently business was taken care of.”
An awkward silence had befallen upon us, and I wasn’t sure what to say or do, but I was convinced that he could sense my uneasiness. Vincent walked towards me, as my mind began to race, and my heart began to pound like a powerful Taiko drum in my chest.
Oh god. What should I do? What should I say? I couldn’t shut off the thoughts.
The only thing I could feel was his hands on my face, as he stared in my eyes so deep and compassionately. It was all so nostalgic and familiar. The only thing missing was a dock, a beach, ocean waves, and eight years of youth that was lost.
“I know I don’t deserve it. Not after everything that I’ve put you through. But I’m begging you, Lana. Just hear me out and let me explain what happened that night.”
I wasn’t sure why I wanted to cry, maybe because I finally recognized the man who was standing across from me, staring back with nothing but love and pain in his eyes. A personal anguish; something tormented him.
“Lana, I suffered amnesia for two years.”
It was as if he couldn’t get the words out any faster.
“I was in a car accident eight years ago that put me in a coma for a month, and when I woke up I had amnesia. I couldn’t recognize my family or any of my mates, and I could not recall any past events in my life. It took me two years to regain my memory back, but not everything returned. I couldn’t remember that day on the beach when I saved you from drowning.”
This was unbelievable. How could this have happened? I wanted to cry
“Why didn’t you tell me about the accident?” I began to tear up. “You made me feel like this crazy person when I confronted you about it a year and a half ago.”
“I’m so sorry, love. I feel so ashamed for everything I said to you. Please forgive me.”
Love? I was definitely not used to his terms of endearment towards me.
“What happened to you, Vincent? What happened to that man I met eight years ago who was so loving and sweet?”
“He died when he woke up. You possessed my soul eight years ago when we kissed on that beach, Lana. And you breathed it back into me when we kissed last night. I feel like I’ve been comatose all this time, and have only woken up to a reality that should have been the one I was supposed to wake up to in that hospital bed.”
“I guess the fates weren’t so kind to us.” I was choking on quiet sobs, as I wiped my tears away with a trembling hand.
“Please, you have to believe me,” he took my hands into his with such need and desperation. “Please don’t hate me.”
“I could never hate you, and I do believe you,” I met his gaze and felt his sincerity. “But I guess we’re eight years too late.”
I didn’t want to cry in front of him. My chest felt so heavy, and I needed to get some air. I turned around to leave, when he grabbed my arm and the next thing I knew we were lip locked.
“Vincent—” I breathed between his lustful, needy kisses.
His kiss grew more fervent and passionate. I could feel his desperation, the raging need to connect with me, as his hands traveled all over my body, holding my thighs and lifting me up. I wrapped my legs around his waist and felt the cold steel of the refrigerator against my back, as he slammed me against it, and devoured my neck.
It was so hard not to moan in pleasure, while he swept me away in his sweet rapture. I had ignited this blazing inferno inside of him, and I had no idea how to put it out. A part of me didn’t even want to. If I had to burn with him, then so be it. We would burn together.
I was about to kiss him, when I saw Ciara walk into the kitchen.
“Shit! Vincent, stop!” I hissed in a hushed voice, and it took him a while to snap out of it, but I eventually managed to push him back.
“O-kay…well, this doesn’t feel awkward.” Cici looked at me, and then at Vincent once he turned around and faced her. “I think I’m going to come back for that glass of water later.”
I made an attempt to talk. “Ciara, it’s not what it—”
“None of my business,” she raised her hands a bit, and walked away.
This was bad.
We were alone in the kitchen again, and I had finally come to my senses. I wasn’t sure what to say to Vincent, so I decided to get myself as far away from him before we ended up having sex right there in that kitchen.
I paused, and looked at him.
“We need to talk about this.”
“What more is there left to say?” What happened between him and I was a tragic reality, but life still went on, and we sealed our fates.
“I bloody fucking kissed you, and you expect me to just pretend like it was nothing?”
There it was. That temper again.
“Vincent, your wife is sleeping upstairs, and so is my husband. Our friend just walked in on us, and you want to talk now? Here?”
“Lana, I’m a mess. Do you even realize what this has done to me? I can’t fucking function anymore. All I feel is this bloody hole in my chest, piling amounts of guilt, and I can’t get a grip on reality. This feels like a fucking nightmare.”
He looked so lost, so vulnerable and helpless. I wasn’t used to seeing him like this. It was so out of his character, especially towards me.
“We’ll talk about it later.”
“When?” he moved closer and grabbed my hand, as I looked down at it.
“I don’t know, Vincent. Circumstances are a little difficult at the moment.”
“Promise me you won’t sleep with him.” His face was dead serious.
Oh my god.
“It drives me mad knowing that he can touch you, Lana. Promise me you won’t accept his advances.”
Max and I weren’t even having sex. He didn’t know that of course.
“Please,” Vincent pleaded.
He stole one more kiss from my lips, before I forced myself to withdraw and away. What just happened in the past 24 hours? Was this a blessing, or a curse?
Music in chapter: All music in can be found in the video section of my profile :)
Sombear- Can’t Love You in the Dark
The Weekend- Wicked Games (thank you Steph for recommending this song xx)
Jonas Mantey - Stille Nacht
Jon Secada- Just Another Day