Out Of Bounds

In all honesty, my sister and I had never been close

But one person was going to tear us further apart

His name is Luke Hemmings

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17. 17

"Guess who?"

I don't need to guess. His touch offends my skin the same way sitting out in the sun too long does. Like when you feel like you can't breathe and you wish for the comfort of a cold shower to wash the pain and discomfort away. I stop my body from trembling at this unwelcome feeling and somehow manage to slip out of his grip

"Oh, hey Jordan"

I try and keep the mood light, to hide how I really feel. Sick and repulsed are two of the many words that come to mind. I stand up and wipe the sand off my legs

"Wow it's been a long time, what are you doing back here?"

I discreetly take a step away from him and pull the sleeves of Luke's jacket over my now cold hands

"I'm just visiting my mom and Jodie. Same as always. Nice seeing you, I should go and find everyone. They are waiting for me" I give a small wave and watch him take a swig out of the bottle of brandy he's holding. I smile as best as I can but as I go to leave I literally walk into his friend Randy

"Hey Carly, long time no see. Party with us. Have a drink. I've missed that sweet face of yours"

"Thanks for the offer Randy but I have to go" I smile again but it fades as Randy intercepts every move I make. I go right. So does he. I take a step to the left, so does he. It's like dancing with the devil, but I know I won't win. Jordan softly pulls at my arm and again I'm face to face with the person I want to forget. He sweeps his blonde greasy hair from off his face and I watch him run his tongue over his tobacco stained teeth. He's only two years older than me but time, tobacco and alcohol haven't been kind to him. I swallow nervously and go to pull my arm away

"I really have to go Jordan" my voice feels like it doesn't belong to me and my mouth is that dry the words barely come out

"Are you still pissed about what happened last time? Come on Carly, it was just a bit of fun" he pulls me closer to him but I can't run, I feel Randy closing in behind me

"It wasn't fun for me. Now please let me go. I have to go"

"Oh so you are still annoyed. Have a drink, you're tense. That loosens people up" He tries to put the bottle to my mouth, forcing the rim into my closed lips. I turn my head and the brandy runs down my chin and onto my T-shirt. I feel utterly humiliated by this person. Again. I wipe the liquid from my skin and try and stop my bottom lip from trembling. From showing him how I really feel. Absolutely terrified "You wanted it Carly. I don't like a prick tease" feeling his warm breath on the coldness of my cheek sends a fire through me and I push him with such force that he stumbles backwards. I'm about to run but Randy grabs me before I can even move a few centimetres. He forcefully holds my arms behind my back and I kick and scream but there's no use. No one can hear me over the music and the party is too far away.

Jordan takes a step forward and places his hand over my mouth. No. I feel like I can't breathe. My heart slams against my chest and the adrenaline is pushing me to the point of having a panic attack. I bite hard down on his fingers and he pulls his away

"You fucking whore. You think you can be a tease and then not give me what I want? What makes you so special princess?"

"I was passed out, what you did to me was wrong. I hate you. I hate you so much. You disgust me" my voice raises but I stop talking as his hand makes contact with my cheek. The force makes my head turn and I feel blood swarm my mouth as I accidentally catch my bottom lip on my teeth. Randys lips skim against my neck and I start to cry. I hear Jordan unbuckle his belt and I fight against the grip I'm in again

"What the fuck do you think you're doing? Let go of her. Now"

We all freeze and look at Luke. He's thrown the drinks he was carrying onto the sand and I see his hands clench at his side

"Turn away, and leave. There's nothing happening here" Jordan holds out his arms and smiles which angers Luke even more. His breathing is unsteady like he's controlling his anger and this is a side to Luke I've never seen before

"I will leave. But I'm taking Carly with me. And if you have any sense, you'll let go of her"

Randy lets go and holds his hands up innocently

"We are only playing. No need to act like animals over a piece of meat"

I run over to Luke who pushes me behind him. I rest my forehead on his back and breathe. When I close my eyes I feel the calmness of being with him sweep over me. I'm ok, I'm going to be ok

"hey man, have her. I didn't manage to break her in last time so the little Virgin should still be tight. Unless she turned out to be the little slut she was on the verge of becoming" Jordan's voice mocks Luke and before I know it I'm no longer behind Luke, he's lunged at Jordan.

I hear his nose break as Luke head buts him square in the middle of his face. He holds his now bloodied nose and stumbles back. Randy throws a punch at Luke but his arm raises and Luke's fist makes contact with his ribs that hard that Randy falls to the floor winded. Jordan throws an unexpected punch and I can vaguely see blood on his fist but Luke rugby tackles him on the floor and continuously punches his face

"You. Piece. Of. Shit"

"Luke stop. STOP Luke. Please I'm begging you. I pull at his arm and he looks at me with such anger I take a step back frightened. Luke's eyes soften and he looks at Jordan. He holds the neck of his T shirt and pulls his battered and bleeding face up closer to his

"If you ever even speak her name again or look at her I will kill you, do you understand? You're not worth it"

Jordan spits some blood out of his mouth and grins

"She must have some pussy on her to get you this mad. Shame I missed out"

Luke punches his face once more and his head falls onto sand

"We are leaving. Now" Luke grabs my hand and pulls me away. When we have left behind whats happened he puts his hands on my shoulders and studies my face

"What the hell did they do to you?"

"He hit me, my lip -" I put my hand to my face and although the bleeding has stopped I can feel my lip swelling. I look at Luke and my fingers run along his mouth. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. I step forward and with the adrenaline still running through me I lean up and softly kiss the corner of his mouth "Thank you Luke" His eyes open and we just look at each other. His chest rises and falls quickly and I feel like all the oxygen has left my body

"Take my keys and wait in the car -"

"What about Jodie?"

"I'm going to get her"

"No Luke please, don't. I don't want her to know about this"

"And you think she won't find out? after what I've just done?" I run my hands over my face and shake my head. What has he done? As much as I hate that son of a bitch Jordan is he ok? If not, Luke will be in trouble

"Just take the keys Carly. Go" I nod my head and stumble towards the entrance to where the car is parked. When I get in I start to shake so I turn on the ignition and put the heating on even though it's warm out tonight. Five minutes later Jodie bangs the window making me jump and I unlock the doors

"Carly, oh my god. Not again" for the first time I see panic and concern on her face, something I'm not used to and it makes my tears fall hard and heavy

"I was so scared Jodie. I was so scared" I turn to face her and the comfort of her arms around me doesn't ease any pain. It adds to the burdens I've been carrying around for so long

"Shhh, I'm here. I'm here C. It's ok. You're safe now. You're safe"

She strokes my hair and after about 10 minutes of crying I feel exhausted. I pull away and she holds my face in her hands

"Where's Luke? He didn't go back to them did he?"

"No we went to find them but they've gone. He's phoning Jack. I think he knows them. Jordan won't let this go now. Randy won't either. He's going to get jack to warn them off in case this escalates"

"Jodie I'm so sorry -"

"No I'm sorry. I said I was going to protect you but look whats happened. I swear I'm going to kill that asshole when I see him. He should be so scared of me right now"

This makes me smile, Jodie has never had an actual fight in her life but it's sweet all the same

"Thanks sis"

She sighs and puts her hands on her hips

"No problem baby sis"

She hands me a flask of whiskey and I nearly drink the whole thing. The alcohol burns my throat but I don't care. I need to forget this

"I've phoned Jack, he's going to sort it. Ready to go?"

Luke looks at the both of us and I can tell he's still angry

"We're leaving? But I've just got through to the second round of beach queen two thousand and sixteen" she pouts and I raise my eyebrows. There she, there's the Jodie I know

"Jodie, your sister has just been attacked, I've just broke some guys nose and you expect me to stay?!"

"Don't make out I'm selfish Luke, you didn't need to go all Rocky on their ass. I had to dance for twenty minutes solid on that stage. The crowd love me! For two years I've tried to win this competition and it is you who has made a mess of things. You should have just called security -"

"Guys please, don't fight. I just want to go. Can I get a lift home and then Luke can come back? I don't want to stay"

"Of course I'll take you back I'm not staying here! Just give me a call when you're ready to go home and I'll pick you and tiff up"

Jodie claps her hands and then looks at me and smiles

"I knew you'd understand! I'll call you later Luke. Just come back they won't be around" she kisses him and for the briefest of seconds opens her eyes to see if I'm looking at this PDA but I climb over the gear stick so I'm no longer in the driving seat I'm now on the passengers side. They say goodbye and Luke gets in. He doesn't talk to me as he fires up the engine but I don't mind. Apart from saying thank you I don't even know how to put in words what has just happened or how grateful I truly am

When we get back into our street Luke parks his car in his garage but insists on walking me home. The lights are all off and I knock the door but no answer

"They must have gone out"

"do you have a key?"

I shake my head but then remember mom usually leaves a spare one under the plant pot. I retrieve it from its hidden place and open the door. I step inside and lean against the door frame

"Luke thank you. If you didn't come back when you did, I don't know what would have happened. I don't, and I'm sorry about that kiss, I don't know what came over me. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't thinking straight. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry -"

"I'm coming in"

"You don't have to do that"

He doesn't listen, instead he gently moves me to the side and walks in. He flicks on the lights and I follow him into the kitchen. Dad has left a letter on the counter

Girls,

Your moms dragged me to the golf club.

Apparently we will be back in the early hours (doubt that) so if you are reading this well done on listening to my instructions, if you aren't back by the time we are, expect to be grounded.

Dad

I smile and run my fingers over his writing and like a flood gate opening, and the safeness of this house, I start to cry again

"Hey Carly, don't. I'm here. You're ok. I'm not leaving you" Luke puts his arms around me and I sink my cheek into his T shirt. He strokes my hair and I hold him tighter, like he's an anchor, holding me in place so I don't lose myself "I'm here. I would never have let anything happen to you"

"But what if something would have happened to you! It would have been my fault! I couldn't live with myself knowing I had got you into that situation. I can't breathe when I think what could have happened and I don't mean to me I mean to you. I need you to always be ok, I need to know you are ok -"

I pull away and shake my head, I try and breathe through the tears but my chest hurts and my head hurts. My head stops it's erratic movement from left to right as he holds my cheeks delicately in his hands

"Look at me. Look at me Carly. I'm ok. I'm fine. I would have taken a beating for you but most of all I would have done a lot worse to them for you. Can't you see? If you're not ok then I'm not either"

I look into his eyes and place my hands over his. He leans his forehead against mine and this is the only contact we have. I feel the chemistry between us, the heavy thickness of wanting. I want to kiss him, I'm sure if I just moved my head a little our mouths would be touching but like forbidden fruit, I know I can't. The taste of his mouth is something I can't experience again

"Go and and get changed, I'll order us some food. We need to talk about what happened" he kisses my forehead and finally let him go.

I crouch down in the shower and hold my knees to chest as I rock myself back and fourth. I let the tears fall for what I promise myself will be the last time tonight. I try and get a grip on reality and stop reliving the nightmares that have haunted me for so long but every time I close my eyes Jordan's face assaults my mind and I pull at my hair in frustration.

I wipe myself dry and and then blow dry my hair. I throw on some leggings, bed socks and a long sleeve fitted T shirt and pinch my cheeks to try and put some colour into my deathly pale skin. It doesn't work but it's ridiculous to even think about putting any make up on so I throw my hair into a loose ponytail and meet Luke downstairs. He's sitting in the living room and he stands up when I walk in

"I ordered a Chinese take out, I don't know what you like or don't like so I've basically just ordered every vegetarian thing they had"

"Thank you Luke, that's sweet of you"

"Yeah well you might have post traumatic stress or something"

I sigh and nod my head. He gestures for me to sit down on the couch and I reluctantly do as he asks because I know now we'll have to talk about what happened. He sits one seat away from me and I turn my body so we are facing each other. He reaches over and holds my hand and I take a deep breath

"We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but I would like to know why I smashed a guy's face in"

I nod my head and he waits for me to speak

"I never liked coming back here, that is common knowledge to everyone. When I came back in the summer when I had just turned fifteen I felt more resentment then ever. Dad was struggling for money, he couldn't even afford to buy me new school shoes so when I came here it just reminded me of how much dad was trying to keep us afloat at home and here, here mom and Jodie were living like royalty. Jodie mentioned the beach party and that there would be alcohol and I wanted to go, I wanted to get away from this house. We told mom and Tom we was going to a sleepover at our friend Jessica's house and they didn't question it. We were good kids so they wouldn't think we would lie. The plan was to stay on the beach and just come back early in the morning. Anyway we went and alcohol was just being passed around. I hadn't really drank like that before, not to that extent, and it went to my head quickly. Then I met Jordan"

I stop and Luke softly strokes my palm with his fingers

"Go on, it's ok" his voice is soothing so I concentrate on his hand that is mine and carry on

"He's two years older and he seemed cool. we spoke about music and films, he seemed friendly. Randy was there too and they just seemed interested to know about me. Like they thought I was interesting. It felt nice to have someone want to talk to me. Jodie was dancing and I was so drunk my head was spinning so Jordan suggested we go for a walk. We must have walked for about twenty minutes and I just remember the music fading and everything becoming fuzzy. Almost like an outer body experience. He gave me a drink and he told me it would make feel better and like an idiot I drank it then after that it just went dark. When Jodie found us, he was on top of me. He had taken off my jeans. Jodie said I still had my underwear on" I take my hand away from his and cover my face from the humiliation of all of this "she was dating a guy called mark at the time, be pulled Jordan off me, Jordan said I was up for it. I wanted to have sex with him but it's a lie, it was a lie. He must have spiked that drink, no I know he did, he definitely did. I was passed out and Jodie stayed with me until I came around. Mark snuck is back into his garage, he put some blankets on the floor and I stayed there until I woke up. I made jodie promise not to tell anyone. Jordan's dad was one of the most high profile solicitors in Sydney. If I told the police his dad would have counter claimed it all and I would have been made to look cheap so I made Jodie and Mark promise not to tell a soul and they didn't. His dad died last year in a car accident and I wanted to tell the police but who would believe me now? I don't want to think about it again. I don't. I don't want to think about this anymore"

Luke moves closer and moves my hands away from my face

"Carly, did he touch you?"

"No, I know he couldn't have done. I would have known"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes"

Luke looks embarrassed as he clearly toys with what he wants to say

"But when you've been with guys, you would have known if you had lost your virginity after that. I don't want to make you feel like shit Carly, I just want to be sure that he didn't do anything to you"

"You heard him on the beach, if he would have, he would have said. But he didn't, do what you think he did. And I've -" I trail off and I go bite the inside of my cheek but I wince at the pain radiating from the inside of my mouth

"Carly, you can tell me anything. I would never judge you. Never"

"I've never, been with a boy before. Not like that. I've never even been on a date. If my life was a movie it would be U rated"

He frowns but then the realisation sweeps over his face

"You're a virgin?"

"You say that like its a bad thing"

"No, I say it like I don't understand how you can be. You're beautiful"

"No I'm not"

"Yes you are damn it! Carly one day someone will make you forget that experience, that's not the way you should have been touched. Look at the way I've treated you! Fuck! I didn't know! I'm sorry Carly. I've pushed you because I thought you were strong -"

"I am strong"

"But I could have gone about this better"

He sits forward and holds his head in his hands

"I've messed this up. I don't want you thinking I'm a jerk like him. I would never have treated you like that, I wouldn't have pushed this so much. You deserve someone who will treat you the way you should be treated, who can kiss you and hold you. Don't hate me Carly. Don't"

"Luke I don't hate you" I pull at his arm but he won't budge "Luke I don't hate you. Will you just listen to me please!"

He looks up and I can see the tears in his eyes

"Make me forget Luke, I know you can"

"Carly I can't. I can't do that. I can't do that to you. Don't challenge me. We know things will never change" he's almost pleading with himself, to find his resolve. I nod my head dejected knowing he's right but right now I just need to feel him against me, I need to feel the warmth of his hands on my skin. To remove the dirtiness of Jordan and Randy

"I know, I'm sorry. I understand"

"No Carly you don't"

I look up confused but everything falls into place as he pulls me onto his lap. I feel his hands slide into my T shirt and my back involuntarily arches as his hands move along my skin. My head dips back and I feel his lips against my neck and the feeling of Randy is pushed away as the only thing I know I will remember is how in this moment it is Luke that owns this part of my skin. I close my eyes and Luke unties my hair band and my hair cascaded over my shoulders. His hand softly fists in my hair and I open my eyes

"I'm falling for you Carly. I'm falling for you"

I don't have time to reply as Luke kisses me. His lips commanding mine to move with his and all the pain I felt earlier leaves my body

I don't need to say anything

He knows I'm falling for him too

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