Reliving Fate, page 17
"Hugo's the one facing us."
She takes a hard intake of breath.
Bingo. He's the one she's here to see. But why?
"You look like you recognise him," I press.
"No, I've never seen him before in my life," she whispers.
Although I have very little idea of what goes through her mind, I know she's telling the truth. But that just leaves me with even more questions.
"Why are you so jumpy then? How do you know of him?"
"Please, not here, Rocco," she hushes when Faith turns to look at us.
She lingers on Bella for a few seconds and walks off. It could be a perfectly innocent look. Bella does stick out here, and when someone new arrives, we check them out pretty hard.
"Where then? I'm tired of Cryptic Isabella."
"Whoa, full name. You sound like my parents. Let's go to yours."
She nods her head and swallows, totally on edge. "Yeah, right now."
"But they've not even thrown one punch yet."
"I've seen everything I need to."
Okay, what the fuck is going on?
"All right, come on." I lead her around the outside of the circle and toward the seventh chain-link panel from the end--this week's escape route.
Ellis laughs and wiggles his eyebrows as he spots us sneaking off.
I stick my finger up and then push the edge of the fence, so we can slip through.
Bella is silent as we walk back into town, toward my car. This doesn't seem like a conversation to have out on the street though, so I don't push her to talk yet. It can wait until we're completely alone.
She doesn't say a word as we get in my car. I watch her out of the corner of my eye as I start the engine and drive off. Bella's lips are pressed together, like she's trying really hard not to talk. It must be excruciating for her.
I should say something, but what?
The silence between us makes me nervous. I'm not down with this relationship thing, so I don't know what's normal, but I don't like this. I'm cool with us being okay and shouting, but this nothing is shitty.
My flat comes into view, and I sigh in relief, gripping the steering wheel. The silence is grating on me. I hate that she has secrets, which pisses me the fuck off even more. She's not mine, and she doesn't owe me anything, but I want everything.
Before I've come fully to a stop, she's out of the car.
What the fuck is up with her?
Scowling, I follow, but her eyes stay fixed in front of her. Even when we argue, I still feel her close, but right now, she might as well be on a different continent.
I unlock the door and shove it open. Bella immediately goes inside and heads to the sofa where she flops down, as if standing is just too much effort.
She looks so right and so wrong while curled up in my flat. She deserves so much better than this, but I feel like she belongs here. Too much fucking confliction.
"Start talking," I order as I sit beside her. I'm tired of half-truths.
Meeting my eye, she says, "I found Celia's diary, and it mentions Hugo. A lot. Shortly before she died, she met Hugo. She knew him and used to sneak here when she stayed with our grandparents." Her shoulders sag, like she's had the weight of the world removed.
I feel sick. She's here on a fucking mission. A risky one that I should just send her home because of. This is a bad idea. Hugo isn't a good person, any more than I am. He's a fighter and a drug mule.
"What do you think finding Hugo will do?"
Does she think he killed her sister? Do I think that?
If someone told me that Hugo took someone's life, it wouldn't surprise me but not a teenage girl's. I don't think he's that sick.
She shrugs, and her eyes fill with tears. "I don't know. There are too many questions with too few answers. Someone knows what happened to her. Her friends won't acknowledge any part of the secret life Celia led. Hugo must know. There are people here who knew my sister. You've probably seen her."
"No, I don't mean it like that. You were young when she was here, but she used to go to that pub you took me to."
I exhale long and hard. "Jesus, Bella."
"I know. I know it's a lot. I just want answers. Celia deserves justice."
"You think finding Hugo will achieve that?"
"Not sure. I think it's one step closer though. He is the only person she mentioned. She fancied the arse off him, and by the way she wrote, he knew her, too."
"You think they were together?"
"No, she only wrote about her feelings for him. Nothing happened there--that she wrote about anyway."
My mind is spinning. Bella is playing a dangerous game, one that can get her seriously hurt. I'm torn between telling her parents what's going on so that they force her to stay away and offering my help.
"I don't think he would've hurt her," I say.
"I don't know either way, but I have to find out."
"How? Shit!" I explode as I stand up. I don't know what he would do if she accused him. "Do you have any idea how unsafe this is? Do you even have a plan? Fuck's sake, Bella, do you have a death wish?"
I've lost it. She's made me fucking lose it.
What the hell is wrong with her?
"Calm down!" she snaps.
"Calm down? Are you joking? You're risking your life!"
"It's worth it!"
"What?" I shout, throwing my hands up.
Not much gets to me, but her life does. She is everything. My fingers itch to wrap around her neck and choke some sense into her.
Right behind me, she's on her feet, face like thunder. "She's my sister. Wouldn't you do the same for your sister?"
"I don't have one," I shoot back, glaring at her stupidity.
"Well, for someone you love then, idiot! Oh, but wait. I forgot big-man-with-a-heart-of-steel Rocco doesn't love anyone!" she shouts.
"Well, I fucking love you!"
I've shocked myself as much as her. The words just spilled out, and the second I said them, the enormity of it hit me.
I love her.
I've never been in love. I didn't even realise I was until I said it.
Warmth spreads through my body. I feel like I was frozen, and Bella just lit a fire.
Bella stares at me with her mouth hanging open. Well, she doesn't look pissed off with me anymore.
"You what?" she asks.
But I know she heard every word.
I can deny it now and tell her I didn't mean it. I should do that. I can't do that.
"You heard what I said."
"Yes," she replies as she waves her hand at her stunned expression. "This isn't the face of someone who didn't hear."
"Then, why say what?" This is a ridiculous argument, but I'm biding my time because I know she wants me to repeat it.
"Rocco!" she snaps. "Oh my God, you're so frustrating!"
"You're no picnic either, sweetheart."
She sighs sharply, shoves her hands on her hips, and closes her eyes. After a few seconds, she breaks the silence with, "I love you, too."
Her eyes open, and she's glaring at me. "Okay, I love you a little less."
"No, you don't," I reply.
"Are we done arguing about why I'm looking for Hugo?"
"We're not even close to finished, but right now, I need to take you to bed."
Smiling, she steps forward and into my embrace. I pick her up and carry her through to my room.
Bella's legs, wrapped around mine, tighten, the closer I get to the bed. When my leg hits the wooden frame, I lean forward and let go.
Laughing, Bella unwraps her arms from my neck and falls onto the mattress. She bites her lip, looking up at me like I'm some fucking god, with her dark hair fanned over my pillow.
How did I ever get this lucky?
Bella pushes herself up onto her elbows and rai
I lift my leg and crawl onto the bed. Bella takes a breath as I get closer, and I stop when I'm right above her.
"What do you plan on doing to me?" she asks.
Hooking my fingers over the waistband of her leggings, I tug them down, not needing to answer her question with words. Her underwear comes, too, in the interest of saving time. With a giggle, she pulls her legs, helping me remove the clothing in the way.
The bottom half of her is naked. Soft, smooth legs drop back down on either side of mine.
"Fucking hell, Bella," I breathe.
Her beautiful body still makes my heart stop, no matter how many times I've seen it.
"That top needs to go."
Without hesitation, she sits up, whips her top over her head, reaches round her back, and pops her bra undone. She's damn fast when she's horny.
"I think it's a little unfair that I'm naked, and you're fully clothed," she says, chucking the bra at me.
I don't move as it hits my chest and falls. For a second, I'm can't move. My eyes won't leave hers.
How can anything be so perfect?
Move, Rocco, for fuck's sake!
I grab her knees with each hand and pull them up. Bella's hazel eyes widen before she groans, realising exactly what I'm about to do to her.
"Oh, shit, Rocco," she pants. Her voice is thick with need, and it's all I have to hear to get me going.
I lean in and flick my tongue between her legs. She cries out and bucks her hips, pressing herself against my mouth.
I smile as I flatten my tongue and hold her still. Nothing feels better than the way she reacts to me.
"Let go," she orders, trying to move.
Shaking my head against her, I take her clit into my mouth and suck. My erection is straining against the denim, and I have no idea how I've not come just at the sound of her so turned on.
Bella tries to arch, but I press down on her thighs, feeling the resistance, as she desperately works on wriggling that body.
"Rocco, stop. I can't take it. Please. I'm close," she whimpers, fingers digging into the quilt.
I sit up, still fully clothed, but I only need my jeans off for this. "Condom," I order.
She rolls to the side and yanks open my drawer.
I rip the button on my jeans open and shove them down. "You're on top. Ride me, babe."
Bella wastes no time in rolling the condom over my cock and climbing over me. I watch her hover herself above my erection. My instinct is to close my eyes and focus on how fucking amazing she feels, but I can't look away.
Her chest rises and falls a little too fast, and her eyes are hooded. She stares at me like I'm some sort of king.
I love her. I love her so much that I'm surprised my heart hasn't fucking exploded by now.
She places her palms on my chest and lowers herself. I slide inside her, and my hands instinctively grab her hips as I push up.
"Jesus, you feel incredible, Bella," I groan.
"Yeah, back atcha," she says. "Oh God, you're everywhere." Her eyes snap closed as she starts to rock back and forth.
"Yeah, just like that." I lay my head back, moving my hands back to grip her pert arse.
I still can't believe this girl is mine.
She moans my name, and my dick pulses.
"Bella, harder. I need you to come because watching you ride my face earlier--"
"Oh my God, Rocco."
I'm not sure if it's my words or the way she's jumping up and down on my dick like her life depends on it, but she tightens around me in a death grip, and my eyes roll back.
"Fuck," I hiss, coming hard and pulling her down against me. Throwing my head back, I close my eyes and ride out her second orgasm.
"Damn," she mutters, circling one more time.
Chuckling, I wrap her in my arms, and my eyes flick open. "You good?"
Smiling, I hold on tight, knowing she will have to go back to her parents' house soon.
I can't get enough. No matter how much time I spend with her, I always want more.
* * *
Livvy spent one night in the hospital, but she's fine. Right now, she's sitting on the sofa, staring at the TV. That wouldn't usually be strange, but the TV isn't on.
It's Saturday morning. I've been away from Rocco for six days, and I miss him like mad.
I'm so, so close to the door and being with him for the weekend. A few more steps, and I won't have to worry about my family for two days. It'd be so easy to leave, but she looks sad and...
Can I leave without being a mega bitch?
No, I can't.
Sighing, I turn and head to the sofa. "What's up, Liv?" I ask, dropping down beside her.
"Harry and I had an argument." She sniffs and wipes her nose on her hoodie sleeve.
"I suppose that makes you really happy," she adds.
She's refusing to look at me, probably thinking I look smug. I'm not. I don't like her being upset. But, yeah, okay, so it does make me happy that she thinks he's a bit of an arse. Gloating is a dick move though, so I won't.
"No, I don't like it when you're all depressed like this. You do know that the TV isn't on, right?"
She gives me a look and folds her arms.
"Fine, I'll bite." Rolling my eyes, I ask, "What happened with Harry?"
"Why are you doing this?"
"You like to talk about things," I reply.
Livvy is the talk-it-out ambassador. "Yeah, I do, but you don't," she says.
"Well, I'm not the one who will be doing the talking..."
This is weird. I pull my feet up and hug my legs. Livvy looks equally as uncomfortable, tugging on her hoodie. We don't do this; we don't talk to each other. I was fine with that. I still am actually, but look what's happening.
"We had an argument about uni. He wants us to rent a flat off-campus."
Of course he does. How would he keep an eye on her if they lived in the halls and got assigned different buildings? Ugh, he's such a wanker.
"Why don't you? I assume you'll be getting a mortgage and having all those kids eventually."
"Don't be funny, Bella. If you don't want to talk, then just go wherever it is you were going."
"No, I'm sorry. No more smart-arse comments, I promise." To your face anyway.
"I want the full uni experience. I'm already in a serious, committed relationship, which I wouldn't have any other way, so I can't have the casual side of uni. Not that I want it anyway. Do you think it's unreasonable of me to want to live separately the first year?"
"Not at all. If you're going to be together forever, then what's the point in rushing?"
"That's exactly what I said to him. To which he hit back with, 'There's no point in waiting because we're going to be together forever.'"
Shrugging, I let go of my legs in a bid to force myself to relax. She's my damn twin; this shouldn't be odd.
"You don't actually need an explanation that he agrees with. If you want to have the full experience, then you can have it. I mean, you're already missing out on experimenting, so live where you want."
"Yeah, I know he'll come around. I just hate when we're in the middle of a fight. It doesn't happen often, like once every six months, and it sucks."
Wow, Rocco and I argue once every few minutes.
"It was horrible, Bella. He raised his voice."
"Huh? How have you argued before?"
She frowns. "Don't judge how we argue."
"Can you even call it that if you don't shout?"
"You're getting off track, and it's not making me feel any better."
"I'm sorry...again. How did you leave it
Looking up, she blinks, like she's trying to stop herself from crying. "He said, 'Clearly, you're not as into this relationship as I am,' and walked out. I've tried calling for the last two hours, and he's not picking up. Should I go and see him?"
"No! You're not in the wrong, so don't go running to him with apologies."
She will probably end up telling him that she's at fault. I hate that. And I hate him.
"Seriously, Liv, you can't back down on something you really want. You said yourself, he'll come around, so leave him to cool off and contact you."
"You think I'm pathetic."
"No, I think you love him, and you want to make things better."
"When did you get so rational about relationships? Especially mine. Is there a boy, Isabella?"
Don't smile, don't think about him, don't give it away.
"Bella, tell me!"
"There's no one. Maybe I'm just growing up. Who knows?"
She raises her eyebrow, not believing a single word, but she doesn't press any further. "All right. Where are you off to anyway?"
"A friend's place for the weekend."
"Yeah? Do I know her?"
"Hmm, do I know him?"
Raising her hands, she laughs. "Fine, I give up. You know, if you ever want to talk about anything, you can talk to me, right?"
Okay, it's weird again.
"Thanks, but I'm all good."
"You're always all good, but I worry about you as much as Mum and Dad do. You don't ever seem...happy."
Her eyes well up, and I'm seconds from running out the door.
"Are you sad, Bella?"
"What, like, at this second? No."
"Do you have someone who makes you happy? You don't have to tell me anything or give any details. I won't even question where you're going or when we can meet whoever it is. I just want to know that you're not doing all of this alone. I know that finding Celia was horrific and shaped your future, but--"
"Livvy," I say, cutting her off. Stop talking. "You need to breathe. Look, I appreciate the concern, but I'm really okay. I promise you, I'm not always sad."
I don't want to touch the someone subject because it will get back to Mum and Dad, and they'll want to meet him. I'm not ready to share Rocco with anyone. I love that I have him all to myself.
"Right. That's good. Anyway, I don't want to keep you from wherever you're going."
"Are you okay though? I don't want to leave if you're still upset." And I want to make sure you don't bloody call him again.
"You go. I'm going to put on a movie, eat chocolate, and ignore Harry's first three calls."
I smile. "Good girl. See you later."
Once I hit the road, it doesn't take long to get to Rocco's. I feel emotionally lighter, the closer to him I get, which is bizarre, considering going to this part of town is what used to mess with me.
Other author's books:
- Broken SilenceSilenceThe CellarPlayers, Bumps and Cocktail SausagesLie to MeSilent NightReliving Fate
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