"Ow...," Steph grimaced while holding her head tenderly. I moved over to sit next to her again, with a slight smile.
"I know, it hurts like hell, right?" I said sympathically, somehow it didn't affect me this time, it sounded like a regular snap to me, which was more than what it seemed like to Steph. Her entire face was contorted in pain, and my heart went out to her.
"That's what you get for blanking out during an exchange," Jayden cut in with no sympathy in his voice, my face voiced my shock, "You need to train more."
"That does hurt you know!?" I countered, turning to face him, "The whole snappily-snap thing!" Only two minutes after our previous conversation, and I still couldn't look at him without being extravagantly annoyed. He just glowered in reply.
"As painful as it is 1) I will do it in a real battle it's generally effective in waking you up, and 2) If I allow you to sleep continually the enemy will kill you."
"But it's not a real battle!"
"Preparation...," Steph cut in defending her brother, she smiled slightly at me, "What'd I miss? You guys seem on worse terms than when I dozed off—if it's possible." I glared up at Jayden who stared wordlessly down at me in reply.
"I agreed to train her to be an elite," he stated.
"Why? Tia wouldn't fight!" she sounded defiant, as if trying to convince herself and then turning her eyes slightly to me for confirmation.
"Of course, I wouldn't help destroy humans to save my life," I said, in reply to her questioning look, my voice holding accusatory. Jayden rolled his eyes, I knew he was thinking, 'Good Girl Scouts' again.
"I'm going to train her to protect you, since you can't fight," he said matter-of-factly. Steph's lip quivered and looked over to me hesitantly.
"But you were protecting me up till now... why are you changing?" ah, she was perceptive.
"Just in case," was the only reply she got, she looked even more questioning but Jayden didn't respond this time, so she shot me the same questioning look. At that point I felt a slight wave of energy come towards me. I glanced over to Jayden, and in an instant I felt connected with him.
'Don't tell her anything about my little absence in the future' was all I heard. I tried to send something back, but his eyes had long drifted passed me.
"Tia?" she practically whispered. I turned my face to hers and plastered a slight smile on my face.
"Don't worry about a thing, it's just an idea because I don't trust Jayden with you...and he might raise you wrong, or something," I said kind of losing my confidence in my lie. She smiled in reply
"Don't worry about that, he's been doing a good job so far, but I think he'll be glad for the help," I smiled lightly again, she seems to have believed me, that's sort of good, right?
I heard a clock chime, and turned back from on the couch where Steph spoke animatedly about the troubles of learning to be an elite. I knew we were talking for a while, although I wasn't sure how long, I was really enjoying Steph's company she was pretty mature for a ten year old, and in the points she wasn't, she was adorably sweet. It was only at the loud chime that I noticed that Jayden was gone.
"Where's your brother?"
"Jay?" she looked around curiously for a bit, and then started shouting his name, "Jayden!! Jay--." A hand clasp around her mouth from behind, and I glanced upward again to see Jayden standing over her with a towel wrapped around the lower part of his body and water glistening off of his chest.
"You're too noisy," he complained, slipping his hand away from over her mouth.
"Tia was wondering where you were," she stated matter-of-factly. Jayden looked slightly annoyed.
"Well you know now don't you?" he said sarcastically.
"You bathed!" I interjected with fake shock, he ignored me.
"Steph don't yell like that unless it's something important—I thought something actually happened?!" he scowled. She nodded a solemn apology and he just grimaced in response. I didn't know exactly what she said, at that point my eyes were appreciatively running over his perfectly sculpted body again, made even more alluring by the water dripping down.
"Aren't you going home at any point?" he asked knocking me out of my thoughts, true it was rude statement, if I thought about it—but he had a point. I jumped from the chair and looked around fervently for a clock. Crap, I thought, it's almost 11:45, my dad must be freaking out. I went in my pocket—3 missed calls. How did I not notice this vibrate!? Oh...it wasn't even on vibrate...why did I put it to plain silent anyway!
"You good?" Jayden's voice interrupted my rant. I turned to him, he really was towering over me, my head barely passed his chest, as I stood next to him, and his entire, sexy, muscular body literally could swallow me. Wait—what was I thinking, I'm supposed to be freaking out about dad. I pressed the re-dial button in one ring my father answered, flustered and terribly shaken.
"Oh thank God, I was scared I would have to tell your mother I lost her daughter!" I laughed slightly.
"Sorry about that dad..."
"Where are you!? You know what time it is!? You best not be alone on the streets at this time—please say you're not I'll come get you right--"
"I'm not! I'm not! I'm by...a friend's house..." silence was on the other line as my father tried to piece together if I had any girlfriends close to the area or if he would have to get his rifle and start shooting. Mike had always had a protective streak with me, despite everything, not that I was really that crazy about guys or anyone for him to really worry.
"Katrina?" he asked hopefully, I laughed nervously.
"Dad, I haven't heard Kat since I was 14,"
"Old friendships don't die...," my dad said lacadasically, I huffed silently, mine tended to, "Then who?" came the question I feared the most. I instantly regretted telling him I was by someone's house; he would be calmer if he thought I was in the middle of an alley in town. I hesitated; Steph grabbed the phone from my hand and pulled it to her ear.
"Hi! I'm Stephanie, Tia's friend! She's by my house," Jayden cocked his brow and I shrugged. It really couldn't be worse than Jayden saying it was his house I was at.
I watched Steph nod, and then say hold on.
"She sounds like an adorable girl, is her parents home?" my dad queried.
"Her guardian is...anyway I'm coming home now—so you don't have to worry any--,"
"I'm not worried, once you're safe, I trust you," he was saying.
"I'm coming home now dad." I decided, reading between the fake 'sense of calm' he was trying to portray in his voice.
"Thank you," he sighed in relief. I knew I was going to get more questions when I got home, but it was somewhat better than dealing with it here. Although here I had company, that was kind of nice. I said my good-bye and hung up, sighing the moment I got off.
"I've to go home asap," I said popping the 'p' as a stress reliever.
"Oh..." Steph looked genuinely disappointed, and I couldn't help but feel wanted. A smile spread across my face.
"Don't worry Steph, you'll see me soon, remember I've to train with you."
"So I'll see you tomorrow!" I blinked in disarray, as her eyes twinkled a joyful purple again. Although I wasn't sure my schedule could handle it, I slightly returned the smile.
"We'll see..." I mused praying it would work out. I could sense Jayden watching me and turned slightly to him.
"What??" I growled my attempt at joy gone. What can I say, I was still genuinely annoyed with the man. He grit his teeth slightly.
"I'm taking you home."