I threw a handful of water on my face, allowing the cold, refreshing water to run down again. The water ran off my face too quickly and splashed into the sink, sprinkling my shirt lightly. I bit my lip; this is not helping, usually nice, refreshing water seems to wash away everything but now... an image of Jayden' s eyes as he watched me pass flashed in my mind again. He looked so unforgivably hot, I swear I would have melt if I didn't have my father watching me. God knows I work too hard for him not to dislike me, since he wasn't my birth father there was a part of me that always felt I had to, which finally paid off for some extra will power. But darn with Jayden, it felt I needed a lot of it. I threw another gush of water in my face, washing away the heated feelings that were once again threatening to surface. What the hell is wrong with me? I should hate him! Not blush every time I think of him.
I pulled out the face towel to the right of the sink and proceeded to dry off my face with it, inhaling the beautiful scent of lavender my mother loved so much. I had after awhile convinced her to use this scent for practically everything, so much so I smelt like it. Whenever washing my face failed to relax me, a whiff of this smell usually sent me to cloud nine. It always reminded me of our happy memories, before my birth dad died and mom got 'sick'. Nevertheless, Michael Clarke was an excellent step father, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. I replaced the towel on the rack and exhaled again, feeling slightly revived and calmed. I stepped out the bathroom, and into my bedroom where I could smell freshly heated food. Looks like if dinner's ready, I thought, placing my hand gingerly on the door, I hesitated before I opened it knowing Jayden would hear and expect me to be coming soon, I can definitely survive this.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I'm back, what's for dinner folks?" I chimed, opening the dining and living room door. The group of two men and two children all glanced back at me upon hearing my voice. I could feel my smile tighten as my eyes met Jayden's and I ended up holding his gaze for a moment too long. My stomach lurched. Darn those mesmerizing eyes of his! I bit my lip and willed myself to turn away when both Sherry and Steph came running up to me and blocked my path.
"Big bro bought KFC!" Steph smiled enthusiastically up at me, "And a movie!!" Sherry stood beside her with equal enthusiasm, both acted as if it was their first film, Sherry I understood, Steph not so much; but I returned the smile either way.
"That's awesome," I encouraged, looking up to my dad who held the same excited grin on his face as he waltz towards me and wrapped his arm around my shoulder. Okay, what's his excuse? Sherry is three, Steph is ten, his reaction is way too happy for his age, I mused lightly. The only one that didn't seem as enthusiastic was Jayden. Big surprise, please note the sarcasm. He got up also and went to the microwave pulling out a plate of freshly heated popcorn chicken, and chips lots of chips. Despite not quite as excited, he didn't look completely bored either, I mused again, watching him as he popped a piece of chicken in his mouth. I guess everyone has happy moments. A light blush rose to my cheeks, as if on cue when I thought about Jayden."Jayden! That's to share!" Steph yelled, Sherry turned her little head, with such abruptness I swear she'd hurt herself. Shock flooded her eyes, and she opened her little mouth to speak.
"That's bad, Jayden! You're supposed to share!" Jayden smirked lightly, and I automatically smiled with him. His smile was so contagious.
"I'm hungry; it's not my fault you guys are so slow," he said cockily. Both of the girls abandoned my side to attack him for his cockiness. As cold blooded a murderer he seemed to be, he had a way with kids. I almost laughed at the scene. Big, bad wolf Jayden being pounded by two little girls? That was an odd version of the story.
"Sherry likes him," my father said softly beside me, with a small smile on his face but his eyes more so serious. He turned to me with a big smile, "And she adores Stephanie. That girl is an angel—they told you what they did for me today?" I was having trouble after the 'Sherry likes Jayden' part, after that I slowly blanked what my father was saying out, until it became a light murmur on my ear. How can my sister like him? He's supposed to be evil, Hell...he's definitely a killer. But why...even I can't despise him non-stop. My eyes glided up to where the girls were punching at Jayden as he teasingly stole another piece of chicken, with a simply beautiful smile on his lips. Crap... I know he killed..., I thought ruefully, but when I think of cold blooded killer somehow...I can't say that completely about him.
"You've chosen some good friends, Tia," my dad said. I'd swear that was the only part prior to his introduction I heard. I blinked trying to hide my dubious expression, I don't think he's a complete cold blooded murderer, anymore...however good isn't there yet and definitely not friend. He's still really mean. I shook off the need to object and pretended he was talking about 'Steph', in order to keep myself quiet. Like he said Steph is good...sort of.
"It's going to be real fun getting to know them better, now I don't have to worry about you so much," he continued with a bigger smile, glancing down at me. I was kind of glad, he worried about me, but I couldn't even force a smile to return to him. I knew, the truth and that meant I was leading my family into danger even if it wasn't completely my fault. How could I smile and accept, possibly being the death my family here. My dad didn't notice my hesitation though, and he simply turned away from me and called to the girls to get forks and plates. Instantly they ran to the kitchen leaving Jayden alone, still smiling cockily. His eyes locked with mine, and his entire expression turned solemn.
For that moment it felt as if no-one else was in the room and even if there was someone there; they no longer mattered. It was just Jayden and I, alone swirling in darkness.
'I won't hurt your family, so don't worry,' he voice sounded distant, stoic and serious, practically indifferent, and it sent a chill down my spine.
'How can I bloody not!? You're a murderer! You could change your mind in a second'
'I give you my word. I want no-one but you.' This time it sounded like an honest statement.
I blinked and Jayden looked away to talk with my dad. I don't know if I should feel relieved or upset. Relieved he doesn't want to harm my family, not so much I was still on the list. I bit my lip, I was doing that a lot recently, and I bet my lips will be tattered and torn in a few weeks if I keep this up, the thought flashed cross my mind glumly.
"Here's a plate, Titi," Sherry said, raising the plate well over her head to reach my hands. I smiled slightly down at her, to say 'thank you'. My eyes drifted across to where Jayden stood next to Steph who was giving him a plate also. His face still looked serious, and hers even more solemn, as if he was punishing her.
"Who wants dinner!?!" dad asked rhetorically, with an obvious smile in his voice as he waltz in with a plate full of chips. Sherry ran up to him first, and he skillfully shared hers even though he was barely holding the plate steadily, "What about you Steph?" he called, when he realized Steph hadn't moved with Sherry.
Steph looked across at him slightly glum, and then turned back to Jayden as if asking permission. He nodded, and the girl bounced off lightly towards where dad held the chips.
"Plate," I heard him say, in a childish gleeful voice meant to cheer up the sullen Steph. It worked. She smiled slightly and pushed out her plate slightly towards him, and then he proceeded to turn their attention to the television where the movie would show. They sat on the ground, practically as close to the Tele as humanly possible, and I took the opportunity to walk over to Jayden who still stood in the corner watching them.
"What did you do?" I asked, stopping so I would be right next to him as he watched them. My shoulder brushed him slightly, and it took every fiber in my body not to shiver as he took his nice cool time to reply.
"What do you mean?" he asked coldly, without glancing across at me. I felt stiff next to him, slightly uncomfortable and yet he had the nerve to make this more painful by being distant.
"Why did you ruin Steph's mood?" I accused a low annoyance in my voice. He turned slightly to glance down at me.
"I didn't do anything..."
"You told her something," I retorted, my annoyance increasing, but I made a conscious effort to speak really low since Steph might hear me, "What did you tell that child?"
"Don't worry she won't hear, she's too distracted by that big head, big foot girl—picture." I turned to him in surprise.
"You brought Bratz!" I exclaimed, clearly forgetting to whisper, but believe it or not none of the girls looked back, just a slight glance came from my dad who was watching it with them. I knew for a fact, Sherry loved that picture, and my dad loved anything she loved. It was like watching two 3 year old girls play. I witnessed a slight cringe form on Jayden's face, before he glanced across at me again distress forming in his eyes.
"She loves it," he grumbled, I couldn't help myself. I burst out laughing. His expression was so adorable. He seemed in so much pain and heartache you would not think he was talking about a movie. I laughed till all of the girls turned around to shush me, I include my dad in this because I'm mean and...it's Bratz, people!
Jayden stood beside me watching me the whole time, without saying a word; his expression didn't even look upset in fact he was amused. I was actually crying now, but I took deep concentrated breaths to calm myself. Man that was funny. He positioned his body in front of me, and moved his hand to my face, wiping the tear line with his thumb. The smooth, heat of his hand against my face, felt so nice, if I was a cat I would have purred. I found myself staring at his eyes, as he held my face in place, allowing me to practically get lost in the rich, greenness of his eyes. It looked like it held a new light, it was so mesmerizing. I literally forgot to breathe. God, I love his eyes...thank you so much for making them, I prayed silently. He smiled; the same smile I loved so much. Thank you for his smile also... I mused half delusional. He caressed my face slightly, and I closed my eyes as he stroked my face with his hand, releasing a low moan. Then I stiffened under his touch, and my eyes flew open, startled. What the bloody hell am I doing!?
I pulled back from his touch abruptly and anxiously stuck my head out pass him. My family was still watching the TV. Relief washed over me slightly, and I turned back to look at Jayden. He was staring at me—hard, and I felt my breath catch in my chest. His face turned unreadable, as he looked at me, and I could feel my heart jump. My whole body seemed to heat up, and I forgot my family was still in the room, as I lost myself in his eyes again.
"What did you want to ask me?" he asked, sighing softly breaking me out of my trance. I stared dumbly at him for a moment and noticed his muscles flex restlessly, as he waited for my reply. But to be honest...he would have to wait...I could barely remember pass him touching me at the moment.