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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23. 23

"Luke, wait. Stop! We have to go back"

He pulls me along the high street in Maitland and I try and keep up with him as he walks at a stupid speed, determined to get me away from what we have just seen

"Luke, stop!"

He turns quickly and I nearly fall into his chest. He drops our bags and his hands hold my waist

"Ok, so we go back. Then what? You tell them we know and then they know about us. Is that what you want? To expose their lie with ours?"

"How can you be so calm about this? What about my mom?"

"I'm fucking fuming Carly. But what choice do we have? Is this the way you want everyone to find about us? That wasn't the plan"

"The plan? The plan? We never had a plan!" The street is busy but it feels as though we are the only people on it. He steps back, annoyed that we are arguing but the blood is pumping through my veins and if I'm honest, I'm so angry right now "so tell me Luke, what is the plan? Because right now I don't know what's going on? what I am meant to do? what will happen? I'm a mess!"

"We will figure it out but right now we need to find a hotel, If they see us -"

"How would they see us? They are clearly staying there and I doubt having a late night stroll is on their agenda" the reality hits me like a slap in the face when I have a disgusting mental image of what they are probably going to do after they have had a drink "I'm going to be sick"

Luke kisses my forehead but before I can savour the feeling of his lips on my skin he has our bags in his hands again and I'm being marched down the road. We walk for about twenty minutes and it's started to softly rain. It's that horrible drizzle that clings to your clothes and I wipe the rain off my face the best I can whilst Luke keeps a firm grip of my hand, he's probably holding on so tight so I don't run back to the hotel and expose the lies. Everyone's lies. The thought alone depresses me. He scans the street and then pulls me into a hotel. Like the last one it is over the top luxurious and it is obviously going to be a lot to stay in but I just need to feel some warmth, I'm shaking due to the rain soaking my clothes and also due to shock. I stand in the foyer as he walks over to the reception desk and I try and salvage my hair so I at least look a little bit presentable

"Double room please, if you have one?"

The receptionist is in her early twenties and she smiles at Luke shyly. She taps away on her computer and then frowns

"We only have two rooms available, the executive suite or the penthouse suite"

Luke looks at me and I shrug

"What's the difference?"

The receptionist smirks like I'm dumb and I'm close to walking out but Luke holds my hand and pulls me closer to him. She gives a tight smile and taps her false nails off the keyboard again

"Executive suite has a double bed, mini bar, bath and shower and flat screen television. Penthouse suite has a king size four poster bed, flat screen television, mini bar, kitchen area, bath and shower including hot tub and a living area, also drop Windows so you can see the view from three hundred and sixty degrees. It's the best room in the hotel. Breakfast is included"

"Penthouse it is"

Luke takes out his wallet and I open my bag to get out my purse. He rolls his eyes but he's not paying, I am not a cheap date

"Great. The room is two hundred dollars a night"

"What?" Ok maybe I'm a little bit cheaper than that! That's absurd

"Put it on my card" Luke slides the plastic towards her and she raises her eyebrows, clearly impressed. Well I'm not impressed! That's a stupid amount of money for a bed and a few drinks! I would rather sleep in the car! I take out one hundred dollars and slip it into his pocket. He fills out the paper work and then we are given our key

"It's on the top floor. Insert the rectangle key just below the PH button in the elevator and it will take you straight up"

"Thank you"

"I'm on shift until seven a.m. Just call down and ask for Amanda if I can help you with anything"

I laugh under my breath as Luke nods politely, no thanks Amanda! There is nothing we need! The cheek! Luke puts his hand at the base of my back and we walk towards the elevator

"She has some nerve flirting with you when I'm standing right there! I should make a complaint!"

He bites his lip ring and then pushes the button to call the lift

"Jealous?"

"No!"

The ride up to the top floor is quite and I wrap my arms around myself. What an absolute mess tonight has turned out to be. I had such an amazing time at the concert but all of that was cancelled out when I saw Tom and Amy. How could I have been so blind? The scene she made at the barbecue, the new boyfriend, her enthusiasm joining the ball committee. I should have known something was up. But I don't think even I could have guessed this!

The doors open and we step into a small hallway. The walls are cream and next to a mahogany door is a small table that is adorned with fresh lilies.

Luke looks at me from the corner of his eye and then opens the door. I shake my head when I walk in, it's obvious why this is two hundred dollars a night, no matter how much I don't think we should have paid it, it is worth the money.

In front of us is a three and two seater settee and a coffee table. On the wall opposite is the biggest flat screen television I've ever seen and beneath it is a sprawling fireplace. Luke drops the bags and then finds the mini bar

"Drink?"

"Yes please. Whiskey if they have it"

He leans down and pushes the little bottles out of the way. He takes out two bottles of jack and places them on the counter that also has a kettle and a toaster on it

"Quite the room isn't it?" I look around and let out a sigh. This would be the perfect setting if the reasons for being here were not so dire!

"I'm not accepting your money. I've put it back in your bag"

"Luke don't be crazy! It's too much for you to pay for!"

"I'm not arguing. Not anymore. Put the fire on, you're freezing"

I do as he says as I am cold and once the flames are burning brightly I hold my hands out to warm myself up

"Here, drink this" he hands me the whiskey and I drink it in one "Carly! Getting drunk isn't going to help"

"I know that Einstein. But what will help?"

He shakes his head and gets me another drink. This time I sip it, I savour the taste and welcome the warm feeling in my throat. He puts his glass on the coffee table and then sits down on the settee. He runs one hand through his hair and let's out a deep breath

"Well this is fucked up! Did you have any idea? Has he been acting differently?"

"I don't know him well enough to know if he has been! I mean he's hardly at home but I just presumed that was the norm. Didn't you notice anything. You've been around Amy a lot more than I have?"

He leans forward and shakes his head

"Amy is just Amy. She likes being centre of attention. Nothing surprises me with her. But I thought Tom was better than that!"

"I have to tell my mom Luke. I have to. How can I live with this secret. I always knew there was something off about him but to have an affair with my friend? Who is only one year older than I am may I add" I think back to when I was at Amy's house and how much she had changed. Wow I bet she got a laugh out of that, telling me about her new boyfriend who also happens to be my step dad "her dad knows" the words come out of my mouth like a whisper and now things start to fall into place

"What? Her dad?"

I reach into my bag and grab my phone

"He said she would screw me over. That she wasn't the nice person she once was. He knows Luke!" I dial Amy's home phone but it just rings out. It's now 11.30 p.m so I suppose Mr Adams is in bed, or due to alcohol passed out. I end the call and throw my phone on the settee frustrated

"Carly, just calm down. There's nothing we can do about it tonight -"

"Are we doing anything about it? What will I even say when I get home? Hey mom, Tom and Amy are having an affair? She will ask how I know, he will deny it, she's ill! But I can't pretend that this isn't real, I can't" I start to cry and in one swift move Luke has stood up and he holds me against his chest

"We will figure it out"

"Will we?"

I feel him tense and I pull away confused

"What is it?"

He looks down at me and gently pushes my hair behind my ear

"If you have to tell your mom, and I know you do, then please let me tell Jodie about us first. I at least owe her that"

I step back and try and process this all. If everyone finds out about Tom and Amy then they find out about us too. Not only will my moms world be destroyed but Jodie's will be to. My own sister will hate me, my mom will hate me and I can't even imagine what dad would say

"So what am I mean to do Luke. Do you want her to know?"

He steps towards the fire and puts his back to me. He leans his hands against the fire place and I look away as I see his muscles move beneath his black T-shirt. Being around Luke is dangerous for me. Not physically but mentally at least, because when I'm near him I forget all reason, I forget that our passion comes with limits and with those limits comes boundaries that I can't cross. But I'm human, and I want to

"I want you, but at what cost can that happen? Will you always feel this way about me? Will what we have survive what lies ahead?" He doesn't look at me as he speaks and I'm grateful for that because he can't see the tears that fall on my cheeks. I pick up my bag and suddenly feel so small in this vast room

"I'm going to get changed. This conversation has taken a turn that I don't think either of us was expecting" I wait for an answer but it never comes.

The bedroom is even more exquisite than the living area and I feel like I don't belong here. That's probably because I don't. I walk past the four poster bed and look out at the world below. The windows are from the ceiling to the floor and it feels like I'm exposed to the world. That anyone could look in and pass judgement but no one can see me. People are barely visible on the streets below but the glows from the surrounding street signs and buildings light up the room. I watch for a little while longer and then go back over to the bed. I peel off my damp dress and then freshen up in the bathroom. As I brush my teeth I look at my reflection. What does he see in me? What did he ever see in me? But he sees something and I see him clearly. He's all I want, and I've never wanted anything so much. I rinse out my mouth and then tie my hair into a loose ponytail. Luckily I always carry a spare hair tie around my wrist and I slowly trace my finger over the indentation its left behind. I grab the complimentary dressing gown off the back off the door and walk back into the bedroom

"Sorry, I just wanted to see if you needed anything?"

Luke looks embarrassed as I wrap the dressing gown around my body, hiding the fact that beneath it I'm only in my underwear

"My pyjamas are in my bag"

He picks it up but hesitates before walking over. As he holds it out our hands touch, we both look down as the bag falls to the floor and I lose all control as I push my body against his. His one hand holds my waist and the other softly pulls my hair, bringing my head up to his so his mouth is on mine. We have never kissed like this before, not with such urgency or sadness. Yes I feel sadness because Luke is kissing me like this is the last time he will. With shaking hands my fingers move beneath his T shirt and I can feel his heart thumping heavily against my touch.

He pulls away abruptly and I hold onto the wood of the bed as I desperately try and catch my breath

"Carly, I shouldn't have done that. We can't ... I'm sorry" his breathing is heavy and for the first time I realise that Luke is losing grip of control too

"Why can't we?" I'm so tried of crying but somehow a tear falls down my cheek "don't you want me?" He steps forward and softly turns me so I'm facing him

"How can you even ask me that? Carly, I've already said you deserve someone who can hold you, who can wake up next to you -"

"But you can hold me, and you will be waking up next to me. Why won't you take from me what I know belongs to you"

"It's not that simple. Please. Don't ask this of me. You don't know what you are saying"

Tears fill his eyes and he tries to put space between us but I don't want that, I don't want it at all

"I want you. If you don't want me then I understand but this is my life and I get to choose what I do, and I choose you. It will always be you!"

"I can't" He pulls me closer to him and shakes his head "I just can't"

"You can't or won't?"

"Both"

I step away from him and sit on the bed so my back is to him. I feel utterly rejected and embarrassed. I just offered myself to him and he doesn't want me. He really doesn't

"Carly, talk to me"

I shake my head and sigh defeated

"What is there left to say?"

He stands in front of me and even though I don't want to I look up at him. He's absolutely breath taking and for a moment I'm so lost in him that the pain of wanting to touch him physically hurts. He closes his eyes and once he opens them he holds out his hand. I place mine in his and he pulls me up so we are now close again, I'm close enough to smell his aftershave, the familiar scent of him. He leans down and runs his mouth against mine before he moves his lips across my cheek then down my neck. I feel him open the front of the dressing gown before he pulls it off my shoulders and it falls to my feet

"Carly, stop me if this isn't what you want?"

I pull at his T shirt and lift it over his head. His body is more perfect than I ever could have imagined and I tenderly reach up and run my hands down his chest. He kisses me with the same force as earlier and in this moment I give Luke Hemmings the part of me that belongs to him

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