Chapter Eighteen - Forbidden to see Him
Waking up to the obnoxious sound of your mobile phone ringing is not cherries and dandelions. On the rare occasion that I am a morning person, or I do wake up on the 'right side of the bed' so to speak, is when I wake up completely voluntary. The mobile phone blaring an annoying and uncommon tune was something to put me in an extremely bad mood. Literally, steam was gushing out of my ears.
My expression went from horrid green monster, hulk, to happy cuddly creature, pikachu. You may be questioning, why the sudden change in mood? The answer to that particular question begins and ends with Brooks. A crooked and I must admit, slightly lazy smile, nevertheless a smile stretched on the corners of my lips when I saw his caller ID screened across my glowing phone.
Immediately sliding, I held it up to my ear and politely answered, trying my best to sound like I didn't just wake up. "Morning Brooks." Just on my words I had to yawn, dammit.
"Crap, sorry Al, I didn't mean to wake you. However, good morning." He greeted with regret in a tone that suggested that he'd been up for an hour.
"It's fine, what's up?" I dismissed, cutting to the point of his call because I was so eager to know why Brooks would want to contact me. Please don't be Annabelle issues, I silently begged to myself.
He cleared his throat, I could just imagine his back effortlessly laying on his mattress, looking up at the ceiling as he spoke. "Are you busy this morning?"
My heart should not be beating this fast in the morning, it literally is not healthy at all. This was my body's common response from the interaction with Brooks and his impact on words. I was more than thrilled to be receiving a greeting call from him because I always wanted to wake up in the morning and find a message from him. I don't know, maybe it would trick me into thinking that as he woke up in the morning I was the first person he thought of. Hey, a girl can dream.
"No, I'm free." I informed him nautically, answering his original question.
"Great." He said in a chirpy tone. "So can I pick you up?" He inquired.
The words didn't even need to be processed as they slipped off my tongue so quickly. "Yes."
Skipping down stairs, I made my way to the kitchen after getting changed into a white blouse and light denim skinny jeans. I spent twenty minutes, changing my shirt three times in that period. Deep within me I wanted to look good for Brooks.
"Why are you awake so early?" My mum questioned as I bit into an apple. Glaring at the clock for the first time today I realized it was only 9:20am, I am never awake this early on Saturdays. Mentally groaning, I replied. "I'm going out with a friend." I wasn't lying I just wasn't necessarily telling the truth.
"I hope that you aren't going out with that Luke figure." My mum said sternly yet cautiously.
My fists clenched when she called him 'That Luke figure.' I was now pissed because my mother was so impressionable due to Colt. Clearly, I should fill you in because you were left under the impression that my mother liked Brooks after the splendid dinner, well that was until last night.
After I got home from Hungry Jacks with Brooks, I was beyond stoked that he asked me out. I was in a state of incredulous, beyond compare. Upon arriving home I was stalked at the door and was confided to the lounge room where my mother interrogated me, asking me odd questions. It was then that I asked 'What is this about?' and she told me everything.
Apparently when I left, Colt completed the task of putting away the dishes as my mother dried them with a dish towel. Of course, my mother began chatting and some way or another I was dragged into their tuning session and my 'love life' was discussed. I know Colt was sour about Brooks but the way he discussed Brooks to my mother was pure evil.
He had to mention the detentions and the numerous suspensions, as if that wasn't enough, his one time jail stay, then to out do that he mentioned the class skipping, to top it all off he told my mother that Brooks was a player. Since my mother is in love with Colt, immediately she took his side in saying that he wasn't fit to be my friend. I am pretty sure that I was the judge of that.
Just as I thought Colt was redeeming himself, he goes and pulls a typical Colton stunt. What I did know for sure was that I needed to find out the issue between those two conceited jerks. Anyway, from that point on my mother was disgusted in Brooks, not wanting him to step foot in this house. I informed her that the relationship was completely platonic and it was. That's when I went in a deep spell of thoughts.
Brooks never dates, I mean never. You know how your mind plays tricks on you and tells you things that you want to think and hear. My brain went on a rampage saying things like 'He really likes you', 'He's thought about you more than just a nerd in his class' and 'You're special to him.' I decided to ignore those comments but it did make me wonder why me? Why did he want to ask me on a date? Does he really think of me in that way?
To be completely honest, I didn't think that Brooks was capable of a relationship. I know he is capable with the physical but the emotional, what I want, is what he is incapable of. I know that I shouldn't get in too deep but a relationship with Brooks would be like quick sand.
Two thin fingers clicked in my face, snapping me back to my own reality. I glared at my mother who was scowling at me. "Alex, answer me. Are you going out this morning with that boy."
"He has a name mum. Not that boy or that Luke figure. It's just Luke okay and yes, I am going out with him and you aren't allowed to have an issue with that." I snapped at her, my words laced with anger.
Her index finger waving in my face, she spoke with determination. "You cannot talk to me like that young lady. Is this the boy who influenced you on getting that detention, or skipping when you had school?" My mother inquired and after no response on my part she got her answer.
"I forbid you to see him." She said sternly but I wasn't taking a word of that.
"Too late for that mum." With my words lingering in the atmosphere, I walked out on her.
My growling frown was turned up side down when I saw Luke's bike parked on the curb of the road. He smiled almost instantly when he saw me which made my heart pound in my chest.
"Hi." I breathed when I close enough to touch his bike, which I used to lean on before my knees buckled in at the sight of him.
It shouldn't be allowed that such a beautiful specimen is on this earth, smiling at me so early in the morning.
"Hi Al." He said slightly pathetically but I knew why. His chest was rising and falling quickly, this reaction I have experienced many times in the presence of Brooks but today there was a revaluation. Brooks was nervous.
"Are you alright? I heard a slight raise in the volume before you stormed out." Brooks asked with pure concern expressed on his face and in his words.
I nodded but he didn't believe me so I elaborated on the whole situation with Colt and my mum. It felt good that I could take advantage on his offer, that he would be my own personal diary. It was easy talking to Brooks because not once did he judge.
"Bitch." He whispered, who he was referring to I didn't know. His hand raised to my face, his fingers lightly skimming my cheek made me shudder in bliss. It felt good to know that he was affectionate towards me.
"I'm sorry Al, if you aren't allowed to see me then-" I cut him off and I offered him a smile.
"Trust me Brooks, it's fine. Plus, I'm sure she doesn't want me in that house as much as I don't want to be there." I told him and he laughed. His laugh was so easy and free which obviously made me melt inside.
"Well get on Al and I'll be the worst influence on you." His words made my lips curl up even further. I never knew it was possibly to feel so comfortable, so happy, so nervous and so excited all at the same time but around Brooks anything is possible.
As my hooked the helmet around my heart, I decided that it probably wasn't the best time to ask about he and Colt's differences but I vowed to myself that I will ask when it feels right.
Climbing onto the bike was the moment I was most nervous, at any moment it felt as though I were going to explode and perspire. It was because this was the moment that I had to wrap my arms around Luke's waist and I haven't done that in a long time. Now with the whole concept of possibly dating Brooks, wait, it sounded so unbelievably true and right. Dating Brooks sounded so easy.
Anyway, it was nerve racking. "Squeeze me tight, Teddy." He said as he made the engine roar. Cautiously placing my hands no where near his package I wrapped my arms around his muscular and warm waist. Then something happened. Brooks shuddered. I had that effect on him, me. It was like a domino effect because when his back shuddered onto my chest my body involuntary shuddered.
Pulling out of the side of the road we cruised along the streets and onto the main road. Then I became uncomfortable because I had no idea where we were going. He hadn't mentioned anything because I didn't ask. As of my heart wasn't racing enough, I was sure that I was putting it under a lot of pressure, especially when I saw the sign 'Tattoo Parlor.'
Brooks pulled up on the curb and helped me off the bike. My teeth were chattering, I was crazy nervous. He smiled encouragingly at me which almost settled my nerves, they were immediately gone when he grabbed my hand (unromantic ally) and whisked me into a store. I gave him a questioning look before my eyes tore off his and looked around the shop.
First thing that I noticed was the overused colour of black. Black walls, black floor, black bench and black chairs. The second thing I noticed was the glistening -due to the reflecting sun- silver wear tools, I assume to ink and scar the skin. Last but not least, I noticed the breathtaking artworks that hung around the shop, I didn't know if they were choices to have on your own body but they were beautiful.
I assumed that Luke had come here a lot and trusted the owner because they were on first name bases. I knew Brooks had tattoos but it made me excited to know just how many he had and where they were all hiding.
"Chase." Brooks said, smiling politely at the completely inked employee.
"Luke Brooks, what can I do for you today?" He asked, offering a toothy smile in my direction.
"Actually, one for Al today." Brooks said, giving me a reassuring smile.
My jaw literally dropped and my heart rates pace fastened. "Brooks, I can't-" He cut my excuses off by squeezing my numb hand.
"It will be fine Teddy, trust me." His words alone were enough to persuade me but his smile, his gorgeous flawless smile convinced me.
"Okay." I said quietly, which made his smile broaden.
It happened so quickly, I was seated in the chair and my fate was placed in the hands of an immature boy. I was just praying that he didn't put something on my body which was horrible, because it would be there forever. I was entrusting my right wrist to Brooks, the thing that he asks Chase to tattoo on me will be there, for the rest of my life. Either haunting me or making me smile.
My nerves were getting the better of me and horrible thoughts spiraled in my head. "Brooks, please just talk." I almost yelled at Brooks as the tattoo artist rubbed something on my wrist. I honestly had no idea what he was doing.
"What do you want me to say?" He chucked and I was on the verge of dying. You know when you can't get all the words out because it's so urgent, that's what I was experiencing.
"Anything Brooks, anything. Please just talk I need your soothing sexy voice to get me through this." I blurted out in a huff and Chase's tool almost made contact with my skin. Please, please know what he was doing, I begged silently to myself.
"Al, just breathe in and out." Immediately my heart rate decreased in speed. That was when my brain could actually process my words. I openly admitted that I found Brooks' voice soothing but not just that, sexy. Oh no. It seemed like he by passed it, seeings as though he hear it everyday so I was in the clear.
Just as my heart beat remained at normal pace, as Brooks babbled on, soon it skyrocketed when he lifted up and off his shirt right before my eyes. My own private screening. This boy was so beautiful. He pointed to the tattoo on his chest that read 'If you can't you must, if you must you can', then he began explaining each and every tattoo on his body to me.
"This one," He said, pointing to a black inked dog that was in a lower area on his body. "Is for our YouTube channel and success, where we would have never gotten without our fans." He said, smiling at the thought of screaming girls.
"You have quite a few fangirls Brooks." I commented, trying to ignore the stinging and prickling pain in my wrist.
"Yes Al, I do. Are you one?" He questioned me with a smirk.
"That depends on which day it is." I responded with a smile and he sent me a confused look which I elaborated on.
"Some days you're a jerk, others you are sweet and sensitive." I expanded which made him blush which I thought was extremely cute.
"I would normally punch someone if they called me sensitive," He paused and I winced slightly. "But coming from you Al, I didn't mind too much."
"Can I look yet?" I asked, referring to the tattoo that I stupidly trusted him on choosing.
"Not yet Al, you're so impatient." He said which made me groan.
"Bite me, Brooks." I said in shear frustration but it caused him to pull his signature smirk.
"Just tell me where." Normally those words would disgust me but today I found my heart fluttering. I was in way too deep already.
After 20 minutes the tattoo artist out a liquid in my skin and rubbed it in, similar to how he did it in the beginning before exclaiming "Done."
I glanced at Luke for permission to take a peek, with a happy yet nervous smile he nodded. My gaze averted to my right wrist and my jaw dropped. They were so cute, I had no idea what I was worrying about. There, imprinted on my skin were two small black birds. I must admit, I was hoping Luke got it, one being me, one being him but he wasn't letting off any clues which made me pout.
"You don't like it?" He asked in a worried tone.
I instantly smiled. "Are you kidding? I love it." I almost squealed, it was perfect.
"Really?" He asked, clarifying and I nodded which made him sigh a sigh of relief.
"It's only simple but it's still beautiful." He admitted, holding my wrist up with a smug smile at how much he achieved. Tingles remained on my wrist even when he left go of it.
"Who's paying?" Chase asked after he told us the amount.
That was a preposterous question, as if Brooks would pay for my tattoo. He doesn't even buy girls dinner, considering the fact that he doesn't date, so I doubt he would pay for my tattoo. Additionally, I would never let him.
"I will." Brooks said after clearing his throat audible, my hand slapped his away which was offering Chase the money.
"Are you kidding Brooks? No way, I'm paying." I said, reaching for my wallet and grabbing the correct amount of money.
"Please Al," His face was desperate. "Let me pay for it." I didn't want to say no to that face but I couldn't actually let him pay for my tattoo, that was ridiculous.
I lost the battle and Luke happily walked out of the parlor with me trailing behind. "Al, I came up with the idea so I had to pay for it." Brooks said, restating his argument.
"But you shouldn't be paying for me." I told him, following him down the street which he was wondering aimlessly.
"Why? Did I stuff up? I'm new to this dating thing but I was more than sure that I should be paying for things. Plus it's not like I'm following a guide line because I have to or I want to be a gentleman, but Al, I really wanted to pay for it so now every time you look at your wrist, you think of me." He wore a weary smile which made me smile. He was adorable.
"Okay Brooks." I wasn't going to fight it anymore and now I smiled. Wait, did Brooks just say date? This wasn't a date right? I wore this to my first date? I look like a slob. Oh no. Wait this was my first date with Brooks, oh my.
"I thought we were just hanging." I mumbled to myself but he heard.
"I know that it was a bit spontaneous and I mean for the first date I would have taken you to somewhere more fun or romantic but I woke up and I really wanted to see you. So I guess we can call this our first non date." I chuckled at his words and agreed.
"Okay, so where are you headed for our first non date?" I questioned him and he shrugged.
The single question on my mind was 'Does Brooks really like me as much as I liked him?'
We ended up stopping at a small restaurant, where Luke felt compelled to order for me. I particularly agreed because most things were written in Spanish and he was convinced that he he knew Spanish (I think he was trying to impress me), he ordered something with chicken for me and he ordered a burrito.
Conversation flowed so easily between us and every moment that I sat across from him, looking into his chocolate brown eyes I got more excited for our 'non date'.
"So Al," He said in a teasing tone. "You think my voice is sexy?" And just when I thought I was in the clear. Something gave me the feeling that I was never going to live this down.
"You won't ever make me forget it, will you?" I questioned him already knowing the answer before he replied.
"No, I won't." He sent me a cheeky smile that no matter how had I tried, I wouldn't be able to not smile myself.
"Teddy, you said that you weren't interested so why did you say yes?" He asked me, the conversation just got serious. Was I about to admit my feelings for Brooks? No, not yet. I'll just avoid that.
"Why did you ask?" I shot back, easily deflecting the question from me to him.
"I asked first." He challenged.
"I asked second." It wasn't the best come back but it was something.
"Only because you're cute I'll go first. I asked you because the risk of you saying no was worth than the chance of you saying yes."
It wasn't the response I was looking for but I have him some credit. In return I gave him a cryptic message, similar to the one he gave me.
"Because the desire to say yes was greater than the desire to say no." I replied and we both nodded in satisfaction.
"I honestly thought you were going to say no, with the response of me being an inconsiderate and conceited jerk that would just dump you." I winced at his poor choice of words.
"Will you dump me?" I ask in a worried tone, I was going to set myself up for heartbreak. That was not even close to being fair to my heart.
He shook his head. "I don't think I could, in fact I think you'll be the one to dump me." I would literally never. "You are a surprise, a good surprise. Always keeping me on my toes. At first I thought you were just a little good girl who blushes at each and every compliment, but then he had quick and sexy comebacks, you got on detection and now you have a tattoo. You are quite the bad ass." He smirked.
"Yeah I am." I tried to fight back the comment but I couldn't which resulted in him smiling.
"I'm also surprised because I would have been sure someone would have snatched you up with all the time I spent waiting. I mean, I want to punch those boys who talk about you in the corridor, drooling about how gorgeous you are. I should be the only one to say that." His words were firm but they made my jaw drop.
"You aren't serious?" I tried laughing his comment off but he wasn't joking.
"You are not interested in the gender of males, except for me, you let off the vibe which screams 'reserved' which is incredibly sexy. And it doesn't help with the fact that you are drop dead gorgeous, so yeah, all the guys want you. That's why we should be perfect together, considering we are both the talk of the school in our opposing genders."
As if my mouth couldn't drop any further, it did. Guys talk about me? And to think that I was invisible for 4 years. I wasn't going to believe any of Brooks' words as I was already affected by the amount of compliments Brooks just fed me. My self esteem wasn't in need for further boosting.
"Teddy, I'm serious. I don't think the day will come where I finally work you out and I'm okay with that. As long as I get to spend time with you." He wore a lopsided smile quick made me smile.
"Don't go mushy on me Brooks." I teased, sticking my tongue out.
"Is that an invitation?" He questioned, referring to my tongue out in the open air. Slipping it back in i blushed.
"Loser." I weakly commented, licking my lips.
As if one cue, the food came rushing out. Sweet smells consumed my nasal passages and Luke dug in straight away so I decided to envelop my taste buds with this cuisine. Something was odd as I chewed the chicken but I didn't want to stop the smile on Brooks' face so I continued to swallow. Half way through the dish that I didn't even understand the name of, I began to feel this unsettling feeling in my stomach.
Taking another bite of the foreign dish, I swallowed down what ever was threatening to come up. "Are you okay?" Brooks said, noticing my odd behaviour because I was in a slightly unsociable mood.
"Fine." I said quickly, shutting my mouth just as fast as I opened it.
Now my whole body was refusing the small bite in my mouth. "Are you sure? you don't look too good." What a compliment on our non date.
"I'll just be-" I cut off mid sentence as I ran to the bathroom. Locking myself in a female cubical, I leaned over and vomited up everything that I just swallowed. Don't be under the impression that I'm bulimic, I'm really not and I don't encourage it. I knew something was wrong with the food that my body couldn't handle. It wasn't allergies, I knew the difference between that and food poising.
That why when I got to the table, after vigorously gargling water I didn't mention my journey to the toilet.
"Al, I'm really sorry. i didn't know that this place wasn't trust worthy." Luke apologized for the millionth time since we left the restaurant. He checked the reviews when I was gone and the common response was food poisoning so my plan on not telling him wasn't effective.
"It's okay Brooks, seriously I'm fine." I placed a hand on his shoulder for reassurance which made me overwhelmed because he was beating himself up.
And me.... Moments later a hand flung into my eye, followed my a flooding of curses and apologizes.
"I cannot believe I just hit you in the face." After that sentence was again, another off load of unrepeatable swear words.
Then the pain that was temporally missing, kicked in full swing. "Brooks, it's fine." I croaked, trying to sound believable.
"Are you kidding? I gave you food poisoning and I hit you in the face. How can be be okay with that?" He was freaking out and concerned that he did wrong by me which was incredibly cute.
"At least it was our non date huh?" I chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.
He swung his arm around my shoulder, walking me back to the bike because the vision in my left eye was temporarily impaired.
"If you still give me a chance, I promise, tonight I will make your first day perfect so you can forget about today." If I still give him a chance. Was he crazy? Was there even a choice?
"Fine." I sighed, pretending to make it an effort. "I'll give you another chance if you don't drop me now." I said, referring to his clumsily walking where he tripped everywhere.
"I'll catch you when you fall." He said as smoothly as smooth peanut butter. Now he sounded more like the Brooks I know.
"So tell me who this girl is who has Luke Brooks so whipped?" Daniel persisted to ask on the other end of the line when I declined his offer to watch the Essendon game which for me was pretty unbelievable in itself.
"Al Binks." I confided and he wolf whistled.
"If you are talking about the girl from the Truth or Dare game who you threw in the pool then damn, Luke, he's hot. Why is she going out with your gay ass?" That's the question I'm asking myself.
"Shut up." I must admit, it was a lame comeback on my behalf but when my mind wondered off to Al I couldn't seem to bring it back and concentrate again.
"Dude, you're so whipped. Well, enjoy." Daniel said, followed by hanging up the phone.
Did Al like me as much as I liked her?
I told her, as I dropped her off that she should dress comfortably and a dash of sexy wouldn't hurt which she laughed at. Her laugh could easily put a smile on my face. When I drove home, I was so worried about stuffing up again, -because today was literally a fail, even though she tried to convince me that she enjoyed herself- that I almost skimmed my bike on the curb causing it to scratch. Lucky it was an almost.
It was now 8:00pm and I was punctually waiting in her drive way, inhaling shakily. Usually I'm confident, cocky and yeah, confident. Why was I so nervous? It was just Teddy. My nerves were confirmed when she stepped out her house looking as breathtaking as ever.
I looked her all over, consuming every flawless feature. I got out of the car which I borrowed from Beau, smiling from ear to ear I met her half way. She was smiling to but her smile easily caused my heart to almost stop. Keep it together Luke.
Without a word to each other, I leaned in and planted a small kiss on her cheek then led her to the door. I opened it for her and she complimented me on being such a gentlemen before sliding in. Rounding the car, I hopped in on my side and awakened the engine.
Although I wasn't used to the dating scene, I was looking froward to learning with Al and although the feeling erupting in my stomach was foreign to me, I must admit, I liked it.