Sun Kissed
Page 6

 Skyla Madi

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I sighed. Living in this world was complicated. The higher power was very particular in his rules and was known for doing everything he could to enforce them. A goddess can only marry a god or no one at all. If a guardian angel and a god/goddess have intimate relations and/or fall in love, he banishes the angel to live amongst the humans, binding their strength and speed with magic, rendering them weak. Most guardian angels seek out vampires and become immortal to get a sense of power again. Eli dropped my hand as we walked side by side up Calamdale Street. I assumed this was the street the garage was on.
We reached the garage before I had a chance to think up another idea that involved us running away together without the consequences. Damn, two blocks wasn’t very far at all.
My happiness was sucked out and replaced with the anger I’d felt earlier as I saw Hunter leaning against the gate, smoking.
“I’ll go inside and get the car. Talk to him.”
“I have nothing to say,” I grunted.
Eli entered the gate, leaving Hunter and me alone. The bright white skate shoe that Hunter was wearing stomped out the cigarette as he threw it on the ground. Slowly he stepped towards me, scuffing his shoes against the rocks.
“You left this,” he said, handing my clutch to me.
I really was thankful he brought it back; Mila would have killed me if I lost it. As I was getting dressed for dinner, Mila went on and on about how hard it was for her to find it, blah, blah, blah.
I felt sick just talking to him. I snatched my bag from his hands and started to walk past him.
“Ruby, I know how you’re feeling —”
“You know how I’m feeling? Ha!” I interrupted, turning to face him; the car Eli had got to take us back to the school pulled up behind me. “For months, I felt depressed and alone. The one person who didn’t judge me when I was a vampire, who saved my life countless times, who knew everything about me —” I paused to take a breath.
I didn’t want to cry. I dropped my eyes down to the gravel beneath my feet and scuffed my heels against the small rocks. “My guardian angel was gone, and you may or may not be the reason why. It destroyed me, and I couldn’t say anything to anyone in fear of malicious rumours, or worse, Eli’s death. You know nothing of how I’m feeling; you’re selfish, you’re a liar, and you’re cruel. I want nothing to do with you.” My voice was shaky and tears threatened my eyes.
“Just hear me out, please?” he begged.
“You have ten seconds and then I’m getting in the car.”
“Raina was in my ear about you and Eli and I got jealous. I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry. I was blinded by my selfishness, but I didn’t send that report. You have to believe me.”
Hunter’s expression was desperate and pained. I wanted to believe him. Hunter was the only light I had when I was surrounded by the darkness of Eli’s disappearance, even if it had only been for a few weeks. My heart wanted to believe him but my brain wanted to castigate him, the evidence was too damning. Tears spilt over the brim of my eyes and rolled gently down my face.
“I’m sorry, I don’t.” I climbed into the back seat of the car. Eli shot me a sympathetic glance through the rear-view as I wiped tears from my eyes. Hunter got into the front seat and didn’t spare a glance in my direction, thankfully.
After getting clearance from the guardian angel at the gate, the car rolled into the car park. Before it came to a complete stop, Hunter was already out of the car and heading towards the student campus. The tears I’d shed at the garage were now dried up, leaving only trails of slightly smeared mascara.
“Was it really that bad for you?” His eyes watched me through the rear view mirror.
“When I left… was it really that bad?”
I opened the car door and paused, thinking about my life three months ago, a month ago, last week. Not having Eli around was horrible. I had no one to vent to, no one to make me smile a genuine smile, or give me butterflies.
“Bad? No … it was horrible. Not knowing if you were alive or dead was the worst part.”
Eli climbed out of the driver’s seat and came around to my door, his face filled with sorrow and regret.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to put you through that.”
“It wasn’t your fault. As far as I know, it was Hunter’s or Raina’s fault, and they’ll pay for it.”
“Ruby, I’m back, I’m here with you.” The back of his hand softly stroked my cheek. “Getting back at them will accomplish nothing. There’s no need for revenge.”
“Would you do it for me? If someone hurt me, would you want revenge?”
“No, because I wouldn’t give them a chance to hurt you.”
“But if they did?”
“If they did?” He paused in thought. “I wouldn’t stop until I had hurt them ten times the amount they had hurt you.”
Eli extended his hand to me and I took it, sliding out of the car. He didn’t step back and it forced our bodies to press together. I gasped involuntarily; it felt like I had touched an exposed wire as tingles shot through my body. I glanced up at his face, his gaze was intense. All the forbidden, unfamiliar feelings I had earlier in the alleyway were trying to resurface. I swallowed hard in hopes the feelings would go down with the saliva.
“This is dangerous,” I whispered.
“I know.” He still didn’t move. We stood, adoring each other in extremely close proximity.
“I want to kiss you again,” he growled seductively.
“Then … do it.”
Eli didn’t bother glancing around to see if anyone was coming or watching; instead he took my hands, caressing them with his thumb. I tilted my mouth towards his and he leaned forward, pressing his lips against mine. This time, the kiss was different, it wasn’t animalistic or hungry. It was tender and blissfully slow.
I pulled away from his lips and tried to gather my thoughts. As his hard body rested against mine, it made thinking impossible. If I could be anywhere in the world, it would be in Eli’s arms. I don’t care if we were someplace expensive and exotic or right here in the school. Being with him was all I needed.
“I- I should go.”
“I’ll walk you.”
Once again we walked side by side, his face stern and mine … I don’t know. I should be happy and I was, but I couldn’t shake this feeling of guilt deep down.
Mrs Gaines, the newest recruit to the lobby monitors, sat dipping chocolate biscuits into her tea.
“Guardian De Luca here to take Miss Moore back to her room,” Eli said as he approached her desk.
“Sign here and here.” Eli signed the sheet. “Good. You have five minutes to be in and out.”
We thanked her and made our way down the hallway, my knees shaky and my stomach full of butterflies. Finally we came to a stop at my door.
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.”
We watched each other, soaking in each other’s appearances and smells before he walked past me, his cologne wafting behind him.
“Goodnight,” I replied.
I entered my room and leaned up against the door. It was dark; the only light that illumined the room was the small study lamp on Mila’s desk.
Why was I feeling so shitty? My heart and soul wanted to be on cloud nine, but my mind wouldn’t let me make the leap from cloud four.
I threw myself onto my bed. I hadn’t realized how badly the ceiling needed to be re-painted. I followed cracks with my eyes as they ran a few inches away from the corner, veering off into various directions.
“Ruby?” Mila was sitting up in her bed, wiping her eyes with her hands.
How does someone who has just woken up still look so perfect?
“How was it?”
I groaned instead of talking.
“That bad, eh?”
“You have no idea.”
I rolled over and faced the wall, Mila took the hint. I just wanted to sleep all the bad things about tonight away and relive all the good things in my dreams; the kisses, the talking, and the love. I didn’t bother getting changed or showering, sleeping was my priority.
Don’t Protect Me
“Wakey, wakey!” Mila called, pulling me from my dreamless sleep.
A burst of sunlight hit my face; I scrunched my eyes up as tight as I could before pulling a pillow over my face.
“It’s breakfast.”
“I’m not going.” My voice was muffled through the pillow.
“You don’t have to go anywhere. Mr De Luca helped me bring breakfast to you, with my uncle’s approval, of course.”
I lifted the pillow slightly, still managing to block the sun. The smell of toast and vegemite made my stomach growl with hunger, but the fruit was the most appealing.
“I thought we could have a private breakfast and you could tell me all about last night.”
My mind fell on to the events that unfolded last night. Eli and I kissed twice. The first was passionate and hungry, the second was kind and loving.
“I love Eli,” I blurted absentmindedly.
I didn’t look her in the face when I said it, but I wonder how low her mouth dropped. Slowly I forced my gaze to her face. Her mouth had formed a perfect ‘O’ shape.
“You look like you’ve never heard of a goddess falling in love with a guardian angel before.” I chuckled.
“I, just, uh … I didn’t see this coming.” She nervously popped a piece of watermelon into her mouth, buying herself some time to think about what to say next. “You decided this last night whilst on a date with Hunter?”
“No, I’ve felt this way for a while … last night just confirmed it.”
“What happened?” She passed me the bowl of watermelon and sat down on the floor beside my bed.
I wasn’t going to go into detail, but then I thought about Mila and how she opened up to me. If she told anyone my secret, hers would get out, too. We would both be screwed and so would the men we love.
“We kissed. Twice.”
Her mouth dropped open and she began to giggle. “Oh my god! You’re lying!” she squealed in a hushed tone.
When she saw my face was serious, she asked how it was.
“Exciting. Loving. Perfect,” I replied, naming the first descriptive words that came to my mind, one by one.
“How did that happen? You were having dinner with Hunter; how did he not see?”
“That’s a long story.” I sighed.
“It’s Sunday. We can relax in here until lunch time, so spill.”
I sat up in bed and Mila handed me a piece of watermelon. I popped it into my mouth. It was so juicy and delicious. I explained all about Rylan and how he approached me at lunch, telling me everything.
“He’s so hung up on you he’d do anything to spoil what you and Hunter have. You didn’t believe him, did you?”
“I did, but at the same time, I didn’t. Earlier that day, Eli told me not to put all my trust into Hunter, which tipped my scale to actually thinking it might be true.”
I told her how I asked him straight out and he admitted to it.
“What? No. He wouldn’t do that.”
“I was hoping he didn’t, but he said he filed a report and then withdrew it.”
“Maybe he did.”
“So what if he did? He still wanted to get rid of Eli.” I told her I left Hunter at the restaurant and started walking, but Eli caught up to me. I explained the steamy kiss in the alleyway and again getting out of the car.
“I just can’t believe it!” She gasped. “Why now? How come you guys never wanted each other before? Maybe Eli was jealous that you were with Hunter.”
I didn’t bother telling her about the kiss and the feelings we had for each other when I had first arrived.
“I don’t know.”
I didn’t pick Eli for the jealous type. Maybe he just did a good job hiding it most of the time. She did have point, why did he kiss me last night? Why did he want me? Usually he was very closed off and serious. He never even looked at me wrong in case people got the wrong idea. Perhaps he was jealous of Hunter, but then why was he so eager for me to make up with him?
“It’s all so confusing.” I sighed.
“Something doesn’t add up, though.”
“How so?”
“So Raina convinced Hunter to file a report, which he did, but then he withdrew it. Everyone knows that the sealed envelope it’s sent in doesn’t get opened until it gets to wherever the higher power is.”
“Well, someone would have had to watch Hunter retrieve it from the outgoing box and take it from him, whether it was in a bin or in his room.”
“Or he just changed his mind and decided to send it?”
“It’s a possibility, but I can’t see him doing it.”
I couldn’t see Hunter purposely hurting me, either, but what choice did I have? I wasn’t going to go against hard evidence. Hunter was my main suspect, and until I figured it out, he’d be treated like one.
Mila and I hung out in our room the rest of the morning, talking and giggling about boys. It was nice to finally relax and have fun, it had been a long time since I’ve been able to really bond with another girl. Girls need girls; you can’t talk about boys, shoes, make-up and dresses with boys, they don’t understand.
After Mila and I finished giggling and gossiping, I headed for the shower. The hot water stream collided into my skin and I moaned it felt so good; it released tension that had unknowingly built up between my muscles. I closed my eyes and the hot steam enveloped my body.