Authors: Lanie Jacobs
Khalida laughed the whole way home, remembering how he fell on his derriere as the car slid out from under him. Khalida laughed, “I guess it was just meant for me to destroy that car.”
Luke pulled her back to him, and that is where she needed to be. “You worried me Friday night,” he whispered in her ear, moving her hair as he kissed her neck.
“Oh, no worries about me,” she placed his hand over her heart, “See? It still beats. I guess that means I’m okay.”
“You’re not as funny as I am,” he said, pulling back so he could look into her eyes. “You have to be more careful from now on. No more running off alone. It’s just not safe, anymore. You’re a vampire, Khally, not the Hulk.”
“Not once did I ever say I was the Hulk,” she said stubbornly.
“Oh, and you’re not allowed anywhere near the driver’s seat of my car. I cherish my car and dread the thought of you getting mad at me more. I fear the damage of what you could do to it,” he laughed heartily.
“Let me guess, you’re just making it clear that you don’t want me to roll your car off of a cliff?”
“Do I really have to specify that?” he laughed sarcastically, flicking the end of her nose.
“You will have payback on that one. Nobody flicks my nose and just walks away,” Khalida laughed as the memories of her very odd and strange dream crept back into her memory. “Speaking of being safe, I had the weirdest dream,” Khalida snuggled back against him and told him the whole dream from beginning to the end.
As she told him of her dream, she could see the black shadows rolling back into his eyes at every detail she recalled.
“It was seriously creepy, Luke. Do you think it had to do with the changes I’ve been going thr-”
“No,” he abruptly
cut her off, “It’s the Ubil Coven,” he stood, walking to the window and then back to the bed, pacing. “this means,” he continued, “if you’ve been dreaming like that, they must know by now that you’re alive. Braedon has to be close so that he can enter your dreams. We have to go; it’s not safe here any longer.”
Before the conversation could continue any further, Luke dug his phone out of his pocket and walked back to the window, dialing fast. Whoever he called answered almost immediately.
me. They know about Khalida. We are on our way. Update my mother.”
He looked at me as he hung up his phone, “Khally, get up. We have to go. Now.”
leaving? Like, leaving
sat up, and watched as he went to her closet to pull out her old red suitcase, tossing it on the bed. Luke then went over to her dresser, pulling out random things and throwing them into the suitcase that was now lying at her feet, Khalida still in the bed. Shocked, she stood up and walked over to reach out to him but got a wadded up pair of jeans in her hand instead.
“Put them on, and these.” He handed her a tank top and socks.
Khalida stopped and looked at him while he wrestled with her things, struggling to make everything fit.
What a mess of wrinkles I will have to deal with later
“Alright, I’ll get dressed, but you’re going to have to get out first,” she told him as she flung her pants over her shoulder.
“You’re kidding?” He stopped stuffing clothes into the suitcase and looked at Khalida, “after what almost happened Friday…”
“OUT, LUKE!” Khalida scorned.
“Okay, but you have one minute, and if you’re not dressed when I come back, I’ll dress you myself.” He turned and stormed out, leaving Khalida gasping like a fish out of water.
“Fifty-five seconds, Khally!” he yelled from the other side of the door.
Really? If he thinks this is going to make me move, he is insane
“Fifty seconds,” she could hear nothing but amusement coming from his voice.
Seriously! He is about to piss me off
“Thirty seconds, Cupcake.” This time his amused voice was lost, replaced by a sternness that only drove her stubbornness further.
She dressed fast, not because she was told to, but because anger poured through her veins and she was ready to blow. When Khalida was done, she picked up her luggage and opened the door. Luke was there, waiting impatiently.
“I’m not going,” she spat her words hastily.
“You ARE going.”
“Yes you are,” he said, stubbornly turning his chin to end the conversation.
Khalida jerked her hands to his chest and pushed.
Crap. I can’t even make him budge. I’m so screwed
“Now is not the time to turn into a diva,” Luke said through his straight clenched lips.
“Diva? Oh, Luke, you have no id….” Khalida was cut off before she could finish her sentence.
“Did you just ‘shush’ me? Do you really think it’s that damn easy to shut me up?”
“Well, yeah,” he replied matter-of-factly, scooping her up, throwing her over his shoulder, and started down the hall while simultaneously grabbing the ugly red suitcase before she could contest his demands any further. Kicking her feet, she thrashed her arms wildly, trying to get him to put her down, but before she knew it, they were out the door and Luke was standing beside his car.
“Put me down, Luke!” she shrieked.
“I swear to everything I’m going to kick your ass!”
She was confident that with his sudden stillness he was going to see this her way, but instead, Khalida found herself landing flat on her ass.
Luke bent down and was now looking at her, face to face. “Listen, Drama Queen. Not only are you being a pain in my ass at this very moment, you’re seriously about to piss me off.”
“Well, kudos to you, Luke. I’m already pissed off. And screw you for throwing me on my ass! Jerkface!”
“You can be pissed at me all you want. Scream at me, hit me, bite me, do whatever you want to do. We aren’t safe here, Khalida, and if you would stop to think for one damn second you would realize this. Now stop being so freaking hardheaded and get your ass in the car. For heaven’s sake, think about your safety, my safety, and if that doesn’t worry you, think about Fatin!”
The sudden thought of her mom interrupted her thoughts of clawing Luke’s eyes out, hysteria beginning to tighten her chest as the fear of losing her mom crept through her body.
“Luke, what about my mom?”
“Car… NOW!” he snapped angrily as he stormed to the driver’s side. Getting in, he turned the car on, revving the engine to life, reminding Khalida of his impatience.
Khalida, consumed with worry, rose from off the ground and got into the car with a now fuming Luke.
Luke shifted gears and took off, refusing to look at her or answer her question until they were on the road.
“Khalida, listen to me. Right now, we just have to be safe. When we get to my house, we will call your mom. For now, my only concern is your safety.”
Khalida eased back onto the leather seats, swallowing the rejections she had about the whole thing. She convinced herself that he was just being overly cautious and rather ridiculous. There was no proof the Ubil’s knew of her existence. Luke really
just had an over active imagination. Plus if hanging out at his house for a few days made him feel better, then whatever, that was fine with her.
“I’m no good to them until I turn eighteen, rig
umbing to her overactive imagination.
He looked at Khalida and sighed.
What? Why do you look at me like I’m crazy?
Khalida was suddenly glad she hadn’t thought that out loud.
I ‘m sure he could give me a dozen reasons why
“Better to be safe than sorry. I could be overreacting, but I don’t want to take any chances,” he said, not taking his eyes from the road.
When they got to the house, Razi and a few other people were standing by the gate of the cast-iron fence that surrounded the whole property.
They were dressed in black from head to toe with military style weapons draped over their shoulders. Razi had shiny blades strapped around his legs and along his chest. He was dead serious and all business, they all were. As the car stopped, Luke leaned closer to her, softly placing a kiss on her cheek.
“Wait for me inside,” he said just as she was swept out of the car by the guards at the gate, leaving Luke behind with Razi
as she was
led up the stairs to the house. When she looked back, Khalida could have sworn she saw a streak of strawberry blonde hair from a petite girl dancing around that looked a lot like Vega.
Was that Vega? What the hell?
Against her protest, the armed guards wouldn’t let her go until she was at the door of a room on the second floor of the house. The tallest of Khalida’s unwanted escorts rapped on the door of the room where they stood, the last room at the end of the hall. The woman who called out for them to enter was Luke’s mother, Josephine. The guard opened the door, bowing he allowed her inside first. Josephine was on the phone and pacing. She waived the men away, and after the door shut behind them she smiled at Khalida, motioning for her to sit. Josephine looked tired and worried. She came to a stop in front of a chair next to her desk and sat. Khalida could tell whoever she was on the phone with was talking about her, and after listening to all the reassurances she gave; Khalida knew it was her mother on the other end.
“We will take care of her, Fatin. Yes, of course,”
he went on, “no, you don’t need to go back to that ho
not safe any longer. They will track her back there, and when they do, I do not want anyone there. Well, we have been expecting this for some time now. We had just banked on a couple of more weeks. Yes, we both should have seen that coming,” she laughed into the phone.
Khalida looked around the room, blushing from the embarrassment she was trying to hide.
They must be talking about the whole I tried to eat Luke thing.
This room was Khalida’s favorite in the house. It was Josephine’s office/library. Everything was antiquated and king-sized. It was like stepping back in time. The best part of the room was the bookshelf that covered the whole back wall, holding hundreds of books. Khalida could spend all day in here with a blanket and a good book. The sound of the door opening broke her from her thoughts, startling Khalida
who looked up to see Luke walking into the room. He was back to his usual calm and confident gait, strolling past Khalida with his sly smile.
“I’m not missing school, or graduation,” Khalida said stubbornly, letting Luke know right away she was not giving in on those demands.
Luke shot Khalida a look of feigned dissatisfaction as he placed his fore finger to the center of his lips.
Oh, no, you did not shush me! AGAIN!
A smile swept across the edges of his mouth, and he winked.
Geez, you think you’re so funny don’t you?
This time he nodded his head in affirmative, laughing quietly.
Oh, my God! Can he hear me
Again he nodded.
No freaking way! Prove it
Khalida felt a little silly testing him, daring him to answer the mental questions only he could answer.
Luke walked over to Khalida, bent down on one knee, and whispered, “I quit swapping secrets with your mom when you asked. I think you’re cute when you’re embarrassed, and you slept for three whole days and called it a nap. FYI, I’d call that one lazy. I could absolutely come up with a dozen reasons pertaining to your craziness. That really wa
Vega you saw outside, and I totally agree that Carey d
d to have his car smashed,” Luke said smugly.
The fish look came back. Khalida couldn’t believe it, she could hardly breathe. Everything she thought since waking up today, he knew. He heard. She quickly looked away knowing exactly how round her eyes were. Khalida sat still. She was thoroughly shocked.
She could hear Luke laughing at her passing thoughts as he walked over and sat in the bay window, reclining back, apparently amused by them and even more with him.
“That is not cool. Stay out of my head!” Khalida snapped as she roughly folded her arms across her chest and kicking her feet in an apparent temper fit.
“Didn’t I mention to you that I could do that?” he laughed, still amused and now getting on Khalida’s nerves.
“No. No, you didn’t. I would remember something like that. It would be nice to know these things though! You know, ‘Hey, Khalida. How are you? Oh, and by the way, I can hear your damn thoughts!’ Are there any other tricks you might have? I’d like for you to tell me before performing them! You could say something like, oh, I don’t know, ‘Hey Khally, you’re going to be a vampire, and oh, in case I forget to tell you, I drink blood’ along with ‘I know what you’re thinking!’ ” she snapped hastily.