Title: Alive [Chapter Fifteen]
Summary: Sage Alvi’s whole world turned upside-down when she lost her mother to cancer. Now forced to live with a father she never knew, she’s trying to navigate her way through a new home, city and school. To make things worse, her half-siblings hate her and she’s being bullied by the cool crowd. They say high school is hard, but this is just ridiculous.
The next day Aidan swaggered into the bathroom, backpack slung over shoulder. His chin jutted out at her with a familiar stubbornness while green-gold eyes stared back at her defiantly. Yet the mask of disdain on his face was just that: a mask. She sensed the overwhelming hurt that exuded from him and it broke her heart.
Perched on the edge of the counter, she sent him a hesitant smile. “Hi.”
He didn’t respond.
“Did you notice the out of service sign outside?” She sent him a flirtatious smile. “You’re not the only one who can bribe the janitor.”
“I didn’t need cash. Just used my charm to flirt with him.”
“Oh.” He cocked his eyebrow in amusement, and she took that as a sign of encouragement. “Come here.”
“What, you don’t mind looking at me now?”
“Don’t be an ass.”
“Why not? It’s who I am. Guess that’s not good enough for you. Obviously you think you’re perfect.”
“I never said that.”
“Really? ‘cause that’s how you were acting yesterday.”
“Why? Because I didn’t want you to ruin someone’s life? Because I think you’re better than that?”
His defiant gaze dropped to her lips, drifted down to her shoulder, then even further below. After a short pause he sauntered forward until standing next to her, pressed against the counter on which she sat. Close, but not touching her. She waited for him to speak, maybe meet her stare. He did neither, his focus remaining on the wall behind them.
She bit her bottom lip, pondering how to discuss her concerns with him. Aidan tended to shut down whenever he thought he was being criticised, expecting arguments to escalate into full-on angry attacks against him. And because of his bastard of a father, Aidan became defensive in unpleasant situations, openly taunting his opponent to gain the upper-hand. To get through to him and make him understand, she had to be patient, which wasn’t exactly a strong point of hers.
Dropping his backpack to the ground, she held his hands and squeezed them gently. “I tend to piss off a lot of people. You already know that. What if someone wanted to get back at me and threatened me the same way?”
“I would rip them apart.”
She took a deep breath. “And then you’d be in a hell of a lot of trouble. If not with the cops then with your dad.” Her voice quivered. “Do you have any idea how sick I feel knowing what he does to you? And that there’s nothing I can do to protect you because of the promise I made?”
He laced his fingers through her hand. “You don’t need to worry about me.”
“But I do. Especially when you pull stunts like this.” She brought his hand to her lips, pressed a gentle kiss on his skin. “I couldn’t live with myself knowing your dad hurt you because of me.”
“That wouldn’t be your fault,” Aidan said, his eyes reflecting the gentleness he tried desperately to hide from the world. “You’re not responsible for what I do.”
“But you’re all I have. Being with you is the only thing that gets me through all this shit.”
His lips closed over hers, soft and warm, tongue playing with her, before the slow molasses stroke of the kiss advanced to something frantic, an intense rush that set her heart racing. She pulled him close, grinding her hips against his while her legs tightened around him. Fingers trembling, she started to unzip his jeans. “Condom?”
He angled back a little, eyes brimming with frustration. “No. Don’t have one.”
“Because we’re fighting. Didn’t think I was going to get laid anytime soon.”
“I don’t want to stop.”
His eyebrow quirked up. “And I do?”
Her fingers wrapped around his slick cock, moistened by the pre-cum, pumping him with a gentle but firm touch. Hard and beautiful, he groaned out loud while leaning in closer, resting the entirety of his body weight on her. He was heavy. Supporting him should have been awkward but it wasn’t. His embrace was a warm blanket in the midst of a chaotic storm.
The madness took over, rendering them out of control. His rough hands reached for the panties underneath her skirt and threw them aside. “I’ll pull out,” he growled before biting her shoulder.
She didn’t respond, propping up her right leg against the wall, allowing him to penetrate deep inside her. Her nails clawed his back, his teeth scraped her skin. The rhythm of his thrusts were unpredictable, the movements neither smooth nor gentle. He was fierce in his need to possess her and not only did she understand it, she loved it.
Her hips hurt from being pulled across the surface and she clung to his back for support, then clutched the strands of his hair, before finally gripping the edges of the counter so as not to fall off. Caught between pain and pleasure, she moaned when he squeezed her breasts, biting her nipples, licking the stretch of skin between them.
He fucked her hard and fast, and she was lost in the sheer craziness of it all, a throbbing bundle of nerves attuned to one thing only. Him.
Sage stifled a groan, her body already starting to show signs of soreness. The insides of her thighs were still wet despite Aidan helping her clean up, but she ignored the uncomfortable sensation and continued to get dressed.
“You alright?” he asked, coming up behind to kiss her cheek.
She smiled at his reflection in the mirror. “I’m fine. Just a little sore.”
He grinned, biting her ear lobe. “Picking a fight again? I don’t mind. I like the way we make up.”
“’cause you’re not the one with the bruises.” She regretted the words right away, cringing at her stupidity. His wounds were far worse than her own. “Sorry.”
He curved his arms around her. “Shut up,” he ordered, the affection in his tone belying the harshness of his words.
Sage regarded his image for a few seconds, wondering if now was a good time to broach the subject of their fight from earlier. Then again, she had no choice in the matter. While sex had been a necessary – and wonderful – escape, the problems between them remained unresolved. “Tish looked so scared of me. I don’t think she’s even in school today.”
“It makes me sick to have her look at me like that. I feel horrible about it.”
He didn’t say anything, simply watching her.
“Didn’t she ask you why you were trying to get my necklace back?” Sage prodded. “Everyone thinks you hate me.”
“She’s not in any position to question me.”
The rigidity in his voice was hard to hear. “Aidan, I want you to delete those files.”
“Because you might be tempted to use them and get yourself in trouble. I can’t handle that. It’s going to eat away at me.”
“What if I promise I won’t? I won’t delete them but I won’t post them anywhere.”
She eyed him with frustration, reminding herself not to lose her temper. “Then why even keep them?”
“For my own personal collection,” he snarked. “New material to jerk off to when you’re not around.”
He was trying to goad her; she recognized the tactic right away. Taking a deep breath, she reached back to cup one side of his face. Immediately his features softened in the mirror, surprised by the gesture. “I trust you, Aidan. If you say you won’t use them against her.” She shrugged her shoulders. “I believe you.”
Regret flashed over his face and he turned her around in his arms. His lips grazed her temple, tracing an imaginary line down her face until he dropped a gentle kiss on the tip of her nose. “I’ll delete them.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, I don’t want you to freak out over this.”
Embracing him, she gave him a warm hug. “I knew you would, Aidan. ‘cause you’re not that guy.”
He chuckled. “No, I’m an asshole of a different breed.”
“That you are, my friend,” she teased, playing along.
“But you realise Tish wouldn’t do the same for you? If she had anything on you, she’d use it in a second to fuck you over.”
“I know. But I don’t have to stoop to that level.”
His eyes twinkled with mischief. “No, you’ll resort to violence and break her nose again.”
They shared a delicate kiss before he reluctantly pulled away. Long, lean fingers of his caressed through her hair. “I have to go. Soccer practice.”
He grabbed his backpack and walked to the door.
He looked over his shoulder at her.
“I love you.”
He smiled, then walked out. She tried not to be bothered by the fact he had yet to say the same words to her.
Aidan rested his long legs up on the coffee table and stretched out an arm along the back of the couch.
“So what do you think?” Theo asked from a few feet away.
Shifting his focus to his best friend, Aidan eyed Theo as he took his sweet ass time pouring drinks. “I think it’s a good thing you were never a bartender. You suck at it.”
“Love you too, bro,” Aidan replied cheekily.
Theo sauntered closer and handed him a glass of whiskey before taking the seat across. “I meant about Cadence. Tonight was fun, right? And you guys seemed to get along okay.”
“Oh, that.” Aidan sipped the whiskey, thinking about the evening he just spent with Theo and his new girlfriend. Initially Aidan had been irritated to learn it wasn’t going to be the two of them hitting up clubs and picking up women like they used to do in their college days; however, the night hadn’t been a complete loss as Cadence turned out to be different than Theo’s usual type, not at all pretentious or self-absorbed but fun and down-to-earth. “Her name is the most interesting thing about her,” Aidan teased.
Theo grabbed the cushion from behind and threw it at him; Aidan caught it with his free hand.
“Get the fuck out, jackass.”
Aidan smirked. “She’s hot, nice, and will probably let you stick it in wherever you want without you having to beg. Happy?”
“Don’t be an ass.”
Theo was usually mild-tempered but the fact he was agitated meant Aidan had crossed the line. Heeding the silent warning in Theo’s voice, Aidan nodded. “Sorry.”
“I’m thinking about asking her to marry me.”
“What’s the rush? You’ve only been dating her for a few months.”
“Forget it,” Theo snapped, setting aside his glass atop the coffee table. “Cat already chewed me out over this. I don’t why I thought you’d understand.”
Aidan couldn’t remember the last time Theo had gotten this worked up over anything, let alone a woman. “You love her?”
“Yeah, I do,” Theo said with conviction.
“Then why do you care about my opinion? You want to be with the girl? Then be with her. That’s all that matters. Fuck what anyone else thinks.” A heavy burden seemed to lift from Theo’s shoulders as relief surged across his face. It finally dawned on Aidan his best friend’s feelings for Cadence wasn’t of the casual variety; Theo had fallen hard for the women. “Can I tell you something?”
“Does it matter if I say no?”
“That’s what I thought.”
“I’m jealous, dude. I can’t help it.”
Theo stared at him suspiciously. “Why?”
“I really thought you’d ask me to marry you first. Everyone knows you always had the hots for me.”
Chuckling, Aidan finished his drink. “I can’t believe you told Cat before me. I’m not surprised she’s pissed though. She hates it when everyone else is happy.”
“I wasn’t planning to but we hadn’t talked in a while and she called me out of the blue. One thing led to another. You know how it is.”
“She called to bitch about me, didn’t she?”
“I hate getting pulled into your drama.”
“That’s why you should just ignore her.”
“How am I supposed to do that when she calls me whining about how you’re using her?”
Aidan glared at Theo. “You remember this is your sister, right? No one ever uses Cat. She’s always the one manipulating others.”
“Which is why I told her to stop wasting my time.”
“Then why are we still talking about this?”
“Because you need to stop. Stop fucking her, stop talking to her, stop getting pulled into her bullshit.”
“Fine. Whatever,” Aidan said dismissively. He stood up and walked to the bar to grab himself another drink.
“And, for fuck’s sakes, stop looking for Sage!”
Anger flooded over him, swift and potent, and Aidan had to stop himself from throwing the bottle of whiskey against the wall. “That’s between Sage and me. It has nothing to do with you.”
“Really? You’re fucking one sister, you’re hunting down the other when she doesn’t want to be found, and now you’re showing up at my dad’s and threatening him too. Tell me again how this doesn’t concern me.”
Turning around to face Theo, Aidan glowered at him. “Guess you heard from the old man, huh?”
“Why do you keep doing this to yourself?” Theo asked, sounding a lot less furious than a minute ago. “Forget about Sage. Go live your life. Be happy. You deserve that, don’t you think?”
“I’ll do all of that once I find her.”
“Why, because things will magically go back to the way they were before she left? That’s not possible, Aidan. Tell me you get that.”
“I don’t want to be with her,” Aidan fired back. “I want her to pay. I want to destroy her. And then I can move on.”
“So you keep saying,” Theo sighed. “Except I know you won’t hurt her. You don’t have it in you. But I’m worried about how you’ll deal with things once you realise she’s gotten over you.”
“You’re wrong,” Aidan said, his voice quiet but firm. “You only want to see the good in me, but I’m my father’s son. I can fuck her up worse than you can imagine.”
Theo approached him swiftly and grabbed him by the collar. “Stop with that bullshit. I know you. You’re nothing like him.”
Aidan shoved him away. “Stop psychoanalysing me, alright? I’m not in the mood.”
“I’ve been defending you all these years, telling my dad you’re not the worthless crap he thinks you are. Don’t make me regret it.”
“Don’t bother with the guilt trip. There’s nothing you can say that’ll save Sage.”
“This isn’t about her. She might be my blood but you’re my family.”
“I can’t let her go. I just can’t.”
There was a brief pause before Theo spoke again. “Then I’m done. I’m not going to stand by and watch you ruin your life anymore.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
Theo clenched his jaw. “After tonight I don’t want to see you again until you have your head back on straight.”
Aidan used to think nothing could surprise him after Sage’s betrayal but he’d been a fool – Theo’s words hurt far worse than expected. “So that’s it? You’re choosing a half-sister you don’t even care about over me?”
“Really? That’s what you got out of this conversation? Obviously I should have done this sooner.” Theo squinted his face with disgust. “Get the fuck out of my house.”
Aidan did just that, picking up his jacket along the way and slamming the door behind him.
To be continued…
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without written consent from the author.
A/N – Thank you to all those reading, especially those wonderful people who have taken the time to share their feedback. Whether it’s through comments here or via Facebook messages, I truly appreciate the wonderful support you guys have given me.