Our chance, p.11
Our Chance, page 11
Nell wasn't the skipping meals type so I knew something was really affecting her and even if she wasn't ready to open up and tell me why, she had come to me for support.
"Go to bed then."
Laughing nervously, she tugged on the sleeve of her jacket. "You don't mind me coming over just to steal half of your bed?"
Jesus, she could be really obtuse sometimes. "No, I don't mind." I actually loved that she was coming to me; usually it would be Chloe who got her.
"Thank you," she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.
Something passed between us. My heart raced and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It was a breakthrough and I wanted to push but it'd taken her years to get to this point. This was a huge deal to her.
"Are you coming too?"
"I'll be there in a minute," I replied.
Nodding, she walked off to my bedroom, leaving me calculating the probability of this being a robot or alien version of Nell. Something had changed for her to come here tonight. I was worried about what that was. She could be in trouble but I had no idea what she could have possibly done.
Flicking off the lights, I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and headed in to find Nell. I thought my heart was going to rip right through my chest when I saw her curled up in my bed. She had the cover right up to her chin and her face tucked against the edge of my pillow.
What's happened to her?
Her vulnerability was difficult to witness.
"Hey you," I said, slipping my jeans off.
Smiling up at me she replied, "Hey back."
"Been a long day?"
Snorting, she raised her eyebrows. "Long life." I sat on the bed and she shook her head. "Sorry, I'm being really depressing, aren't I?"
"You don't have to be happy and carefree all the time, Nell."
Her silence told me she thought she did. Whatever she was hiding she'd been doing it for a long time. She'd mastered the art of pretending everything was fine. I wanted to know it all but the lengths she went to, to protect her secret scared me. I clenched my jaw as worst-case scenarios plagued my mind. What if she was hurt, abused?
"Hey," I said, laying down and stiffly pulling her into my arms. I needed to snap out of it and focus on taking care of her.
She made a quiet gasping sound, like she was choked up, and burrowed into my side. I closed my eyes. That was better. Having her body tucked against mine felt like the most natural thing in the world. "It's okay if you're not okay. It's normal."
"Maybe I'm not normal."
Smiling against her forehead, I replied, "Yes, you're definitely not normal, but you know what I'm getting at here. Everyone has bad days and you don't have to hide them from the people that care for you."
The person that's fallen so fucking much in love with you it kills.
"I just don't like to be one of those miseries that brings everyone down."
"You wouldn't do that by showing when you're struggling."
"I'm not struggling," she replied instantly, defensive.
"Perhaps that was the wrong word but you know what I mean, Nell. If you're pissed off and down, be pissed off and down. It's fine."
Sighing, she kissed my bare chest and said, "Thanks, Damon."
"Sleep now, okay, and if you want to talk in the morning I'm here."
She wouldn't want to talk in the morning of course, but at least she knew the option was there and I didn't care if she wasn't bouncing-off-the-walls happy.
It was half past six in the evening and we were in bed. No amount of hunger was going to tear me away from her tonight, not for a second. This was exactly where I needed to be.
Nell slept in long after I got up at 6am. She flat out refused to get up before seven. It was now ten minutes to, but apparently that 'holy' ten minutes was going to be spent with her face pressed in my pillow on my side of the bed.
We both had work today and I enjoyed the normality of getting ready together a bit too much. Or I would when she actually got up.
"Nell," I said.
She rolled over leaving a mass of shiny black hair fanned out on the pillow behind her. Her lips pouted and she groaned. "I don't want to leave this bed, I'm still exhausted."
"I managed it."
"Well, congratulations to you."
I laughed and slipped my shirt on, buttoning it up. "Will you get up for coffee?"
"I'll do anything for coffee."
My hand froze on my button. "Why didn't you say that sooner? I'll get these trousers off."
She bolted upright and put her palm up. "Oh no you don't, you sex pest. I'm still tired so there is no way your ultra-randy self is coming anywhere near me until tomorrow."
With a nod of the head she replied, "Tomorrow. Come over. Oh and be nice."
"I'm always nice."
"Fine, be gentle then."
"That's probably the only time I've ever heard you ask for it to be gentle."
She frowned and her nose scrunched up at the tip. "And don't you think I'm mad at you for making me want that?"
I laughed and went back to getting dressed, picking out a slim, red tie. "Don't be mad. I happen to be very good at gentle too."
"Well, I look forward to tonight then."
"Tonight? You said tomorrow."
"You look good in a suit and it's making me hot. Tonight."
"I won't argue with that. We have time now..."
She held her hand up. "Definitely not. I need a shower and time to get ready. I don't want to be sore and late."
"You are no fun in the mornings."
"Fuck off, Damon," she muttered, making her way to the bathroom.
I laughed, enjoying having her here to get ready with me, despite her not being a morning person. She walked a little gingerly into my en-suite, still raw from opening herself up and asking for help last night.
"What do you want for breakfast?" I called, finishing fixing my tie.
"Anything, I don't mind."
God, I hated it when women said that. Why couldn't she just tell me what she wanted?
"Sounds good," she called back.
The shower turned on and I had to get out of the bedroom because the thought of water running down her naked body was calling me to go in.
I made coffee and peanut butter bagels topped with slices of banana that reminded me of my childhood. Nell came into the room looking incredible in a fitted skirt and knitted jumper. She'd not done anything with her hair but tie it up, but she still looked like she'd spent hours on her appearance. Beauty came very naturally to her.
"This looks good," she said, picking up a bagel. "I've never had peanut butter on it before."
"My mum used to make them when we needed to eat quickly before leaving the house. Cara hates it but it's still one of mine and Lance's favourites."
She took a bite, and I waited to get her verdict. "Like it?"
Nodding, she replied behind her hand, "It's good."
We ate the breakfast of kings together and then went to our cars to part ways. She stayed at mine at least once a week and visa versa so it would make sense to keep some things at each others, but I knew that if I suggested that she would freak out. So we lugged a bag back each time.
I put her small case on the backseat of her car and lent against the door.
"Well, thanks for letting me sleep over."
"Anytime," I replied. Literally anytime. "You free at lunch?"
"I'm meeting Chloe today, but I'll see you tonight. And tomorrow is Scotland so you'll be sick of my by the end of the weekend."
"Not likely, and shit that's come around quick."
Kicking her mouth up at the side in a shy smile, she stepped into my embrace. "I really appreciate last night, Damon. I don't like to..." Biting her lip, she lowered her eyes. Show weakness was what she was getting at. "Well, just thank you."
I lifted her chin and pressed my forehead to hers. "You're
I couldn't wait to have Nell back the way she was the last time we were in Scotland. She was so free of whatever demons she carried around.
"Remind me to tie you to it this time," she said with a mischievous glint to her eyes.
"Come here," she said, reaching up and pressing her lips against mine.
Groaning, I cupped her neck and deepened the kiss.
Nell had insisted that she was going to drive to Scotland rather than fly again. She had also insisted that I fly with everyone else but there was no way I was letting her drive alone. Or at all - she was a terrible driver.
I was picking her up and Chloe and Logan stopped by to laugh at us. We were supposed to leave at eight in the morning because it was going to take seven hours to get up there. But it was now eight twenty-nine and she was still rushing around trying to find a certain top that I bet she wouldn't even end up fucking wearing.
"Nell, do you need it? You have enough to wear and the second we're in the hotel room you're going to be naked anyway."
Chloe laughed, Logan wolf whistled and Nell continued looking as if I hadn't even said a word. She was either ignoring me or was just so used to it by now. Whether it scared her or not, we were a couple already.
It did scare me too. The way I felt about her scared me. I had no previous idea of what it was like to love someone in that respect, to put them before anything else, to want to do everything humanly possible to make sure they were okay. It was intense and sort of crept up on me. I was powerless to stop it or control any part of loving her. Which sucked for me because she was very anti anything even remotely serious.
"Nell, Damon's right. You're only there for three nights and you already have enough clothes. Why do you need this specific top?"
"It makes my tits look awesome," she replied, getting a chuckle out of Logan.
I cocked my eyebrow. "Every top does that. Get your arse in the car, I'm leaving in two minutes with or without you."
She huffed and shoved her hands on her hips. "Fine. Are the bags loaded?"
"They have been for the last forty minutes, yes."
Chloe and Logan stood up while Nell stood still. Alright, she wasn't getting in the bloody car of her own free will so I was making her. I scooped her up, swinging the top half of her over my back. She squealed and gripped onto my hips.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" She snapped.
"Do you mind locking up, Chlo?" I asked.
Laughing, she replied, "Not at all. Have a safe trip and we'll see you there tonight. Love you, Nelly."
"You do not or you wouldn't let him manhandle me!" She shouted back as I carried her out of the house.
"I wouldn't have to manhandle you if you just got in the fucking car," I said, flipping her back on her feet.
Her hair was as wild as her eyes. She glared. "What. The. Fuck."
"You're not the one that has to drive for the next seven hours, I want to get going," I said.
"How many times did I offer to drive whole or part of the way?"
I laughed. "I would very much like to arrive in one piece."
"There is nothing wrong with my driving."
Another, louder burst of laughter broke out from the pit of my stomach. "You drive too fast and brake too late."
"But are you dead?"
"I would like to keep it that way."
"You might not have a choice!" She growled.
"It makes me hard when you get all worked up like this."
Her mouth dropped open. She walked around me, got in the car and slammed the door. That was absolutely worth it. I waved Chloe and Logan off, tried not to laugh at Nell too much, and pulled onto the road.
"Are you ignoring me?" I asked, twenty minutes in when she hadn't even glanced my way.
"I'm just thinking."
"About how uncomfortable my bra is."
My heart started flying. "Take it off then."
She reached around her back and her hands went up her top. "Going to, there's no way I can be uncomfortable for seven hours."
"If there's anything else you want to take off to get more comfortable be my guest."
Her hands left the back of her top and went to the zip of her jeans.
"Nell!" I said, swerving to the side in shock and almost crashing the damn car. "Are you serious?" Oh God, please be serious.
"Keep your eyes on the road! You can't complain about my driving and handle the car like a knob at the same time."
"You're taking your jeans off, what do you expect?"
Every few seconds I glanced back to see if she was actually going to take them off.
"I expect you to get us to Scotland in one piece."
"Maybe we should find somewhere to pull over."
"I'm not driving for the next seven half hours with blue balls."
Rolling her eyes, she pointed to the road. "Look ahead. I'm changing into shorts for the drive."
"Why couldn't you just wear them to begin with? This isn't fair."
"Because it was cold outside and I had to wait for the car to heat up."
"Do you think I'm an idiot?"
Turning her head, she laughed. "Do you want an honest answer? Contrary to what you believe I don't stay up at night planning different ways to torture you."
"No, that just comes naturally," I muttered.
"In a minute I'm just going to go to sleep and let you drive the whole way in silence."
"That would be lovely, Nell. I'd appreciate seven hours nag-free."
She gasped. "I do not nag!"
"Think back five seconds to when you were telling me how to drive."
"Anyone would tell you to watch the fucking road!"
"Most people wouldn't take their clothes off in my car."
Growling, she slapped my arm.
"What the fuck, Nell?"
Her eyes filled with tears and she sat bolt upright in horror.
Shit, what just happened?
"What? What's wrong?" I asked, looking around.
"I'm sorry," she mumbled, looking at my arm.
Had we stepped into another dimension? It wasn't as if she'd stabbed me. We teased and play fought all the time. Granted it was more wrestling than slapping, but it was on the same level to me.
"Hey, don't worry, I think I'll live."
"I'm so sorry," she repeated.
"Nell, seriously, forget it. Why're you so spooked by this? It's not the first time we've messed around like that," I said, flicking my eyes between her and the road.
"I know I just don't want to hurt you."
"That didn't hurt."
She raised her eyes to look at me. "Are you sure?"
"Real sure. I'm not that much of a pussy.
"I know you're not, I just..." Her eyes glossed over again and then she was so far away I could barely breathe. Was this linked to why she was so closed off? If someone had hit her growing up I would fucking kill them.
"Hey, would you rather have sex with a family member or have your vagina sealed shut?"
Bursting out laughing, she covered her face with her hands. "What's wrong with you? You're disgusting."
Just lightening the mood again. We had a long way to go and I didn't want to spend the trip with a subdued and moody Nell.
"Which one, Nell?" I asked, grinning.
"Sealed shut, you weirdo! Who would pick the other one?"
"You'd never be able to do me again."
"I don't care! That's so gross. I feel like I need a shower now. Wait... What would you choose? Family or penis drops off?" She looked scared to ask.
I shrugged. "It'd have to be a sexy cousin."
"Oh my God, what's your damage, you fucktard!"
Laughing, I replied, "I'm kidding, and I don't have cousins. Not any that're sexy
"Number plate," she replied instantly.
The entire way there I exchanged banter with the old Nell again. She was funny, rude and downright annoying, and I loved every second. A few miles from the hotel she changed back into her jeans, almost making me crash again.
I'd promised her that as soon as we got everything up to our room I'd spend the rest of the day making her scream. We'd never checked in or moved so many bags so quickly.
I spent the entire evening making good on my promise.
My best friend was getting married today. I was unbelievably excited and happy for her but I also envied her for having something so amazing. I guess I just felt a little sad that I couldn't have this, or have it so easily. The thought of getting married made my head spin.
"Chlo, you absolutely have to drink on the morning of your wedding. You're not following the rules," I argued when she pushed away the glass of champagne for the second time.
"She's right, darling," Chloe's mum, Bethany said.
I gave her a smug smile. "See, I'm right. Drink up."
"I'm not getting drunk before I marry him."
"Can anyone even get drunk on one glass of champagne?" I asked.
"Fine," she said, holding her hands up. "One is all I'm having until after the ceremony."
"That's all I ask," I replied, handing it to her - again. "Bethany?" I said, holding one out for her. She took it like a real sport, her eyes filling with tears. Uh oh, proud mum coming up.
I was a proud best friend too. Chloe and Logan's journey hadn't been easy but they'd made it and were happy now. And Chloe looked beautiful. Her hair long brown hair was styled with big curls and a silver, crystal encrusted comb pinning back one side. Her gown hugged her body perfectly, giving her the perfect figure.
"Chloe," Bethany said thickly.
"No, Mum. No way. You can't do this to me right now, I've just had my make-up done."
The make-up artist had left a few minutes ago and she's done an amazing job of accentuating Chloe's natural beauty, her amber eyes looked bigger and the dark subtle eyeliner made them stand out. She looked incredible and I almost wanted to marry her myself.
The make-up artist had also done mine and Bethany's and we look bloody good too. My eyes also looked bigger, brighter and I couldn't help taking the occasional peek at how awesome they looked. Tomorrow when I tried to recreate the same thing I'd look a mess.
"I'm sorry," she replied, fanning her face and taking a sip. "You just look so beautiful. I'm so proud of you."
by Natasha Preston / Romance / Thriller have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes