Show Me Your Soul

What happens if life throws you off track? What if someone asks you to trust him, even though you know nothing about him? Would you trust him?
Cecily Martesse is a normal student in her second year at college. Just when the next normal semester starts, she meets Ace - a handsome boy that throws her life upside down. Compelled by his words, his voice, his behavior, she finds herself getting dragged into a world full of secrets, unfaithfulness and deceit.
Just when she hears some devastating news about her brother, she has to face things she never knew she could endure.
A story about love, trust and friendship. Rated Mature for adult language and hot love scenes.

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3. Phone Calls

 

 

CECILY

 

In the afternoon, I called Cassy after having seen the messages she’d sent me. After her typical Cassy-speech, I explained what happened last night, but left out the part of me being “mind-raped” by Ace or the incident between him and Karen.

“So, he kind of saved you from that drunken dude!” Cassy was all hopes.

“No, he was a total jerk after that. He really insulted me badly.”

“Oh… okay, maybe you were right. He doesn’t seem to be very nice to you. I’m sorry for dragging you to the party, Ruby told me that you weren’t feeling well. I thought it was a good opportunity.” Now I had a bad conscience. My headache wasn’t exactly the reason why I wanted to leave but it was too embarrassing to tell them the real reason. “Anyway, that girl Anna seems nice.   We spent a couple hours with her. She’s transferred from Chicago. Maybe she and Ace know each other.”

“M-hm.”

Cassy sensed me being taciturn, so after a little talk about our plans this weekend we hung up.

 

At the beginning of the week, I drove with my Mom’s car while she drove Dad’s since he was abroad for a business trip. I parked at my favorite spot and was suddenly aware, that I was too early. What a miracle. Okay, class was about to start in half an hour, so I sat in the cozy foyer, grabbing a textbook when my phone rang. It was Mom.

“Salut Maman”, I said in French “Que est-ce qu’il–”

“Cecily!” She was crying. Oh no. “Maman, what’s going on?”

Incomprehensible words rang in my ear between sobs and hiccups. “Whoa… Maman, please slow down”, I said as I got up and made my way to the door. It was twilight and cold. Freezing in fact, but I didn’t mind walking to the garden across the street.

Benches were placed there but they were hardly used. No one comes here which was very fortunate for me. 

Once she calmed down, I focused on her voice and ignored the cold slapping my face. “Y-Your brother’s in j-jail”, she said in French.

Noah.

It had to be him. Stefan would never do something… troublesome. The chill swept over my entire body down to my core, my bones. My lips began shaking and I swallowed that lump down my throat.

“What? Why? What has he done?” Of course he must’ve done something.

“I-I don’t know. T-The lawyer said something about some taxes he didn’t pay and an illegal business with a guy and debts! Your father has canceled his meeting and took a flight to New York now.”

She was agitated, her French swallowed by the sobs.

That sounded pretty serious.

“Maman, you need to calm down, first. We don’t know anything for sure. Did you call Stefan? And how’s Marlene?”

Coming from France used to bug me when I was a teenager. Now I was grateful for being able to speak in a language that most people here wouldn’t understand. I wouldn’t want anyone to hear this conversation.

“No, I didn’t call him, yet. He would need to drive six hours to be here. Marlene doesn’t know either. She was already out for school when the lawyer called. I-I can’t g-go to work right n-now.”

“Maman, please calm down.” I tried to control my voice as much as possible. “Look, I don’t have to go to the last two lectures so I’ll be home at two. Don’t panic. We don’t know anything for sure and how much money he has to pay. Go call at school and tell them that you’re sick or something. Try to contact the lawyer again in a couple hours and ask him if there are any news. Everything’s going to be okay.”

I sounded more confident than I felt. But if I panicked now, too, then it wouldn’t help anyone.

After a few appeasing phrases, she seemed to have calmed down, so we hung up.

I sat there looking straight at the tree that was in front of me when I heard a rustling. My head darted to the source of the noise when a pair of luminous eyes caught mine.

Shit.

Cold air stung my eyes but then I realized those were wet tears. Dammit.

Standing up, I wiped them away as my face turned into a scowl.

“What are you doing here?”, I snapped, harsher than I intended. I didn’t expect an answer when I added, “Did you hear any of this conversation, you stalker?!”

Although I was speaking in French, a couple sentences slipped out in English. I couldn’t help it, they were both my mother tongues.

He still didn’t answer. Fine. I won’t waste my time on him.

I started to walk past Ace when he suddenly grabbed my arm. His touch was light and almost tender, putting just the right pressure around my arm to send another chill down my spine.

He looked down at me but as usual I couldn’t read his face expression.

“Are you okay?” His voice was kind, almost as tender as his touch.

I so didn’t have the nerves right now for any of this – whatever this was.

“I’m fine. Did you hear anything I said on the phone?”, I repeated.

A sudden fear came over me when I thought about how much he heard. How much he knew. What if he told anyone. Josh, Eric, my friends? Or that Anna?

“No. I just saw you crying.”

“I wasn’t.”

“You’re a bad liar. And I’m not a stalker, I just came from this direction.”

“Why would you care if I cry or not. You made yourself perfectly clear on Friday”, I barked. He didn’t get to act all friendly and kind with me when he was creeping me out a few days ago.

Blinking a couple times, Ace contemplated what to say next before he answered.

“I don’t want you to be reckless. That’s why I reacted that way.”

Was that his way of apologizing? If it was, then it sucked. I was tired. My head was spinning with everything I just heard on the phone.

“Whatever.” He let go of my arm while I headed back to the medical facility.

The course was going to start in five minutes.

 

The next days were a living hell at home. Anger and sadness blanketed over my family and I had no clue how we were going to survive this.

Apparently, Noah owed the state about fifty thousand Dollars since he didn’t pay the taxes for a while. Maybe years. The employers gave him the opportunity to pay his taxes independently, but instead of disbursing, he kept the money and was now accused of having illicitly made some businesses with some dude that indebted him with extra fifty thousand Dollars.   

Great job, Noah. Why would he do that? Was that even completely the truth? It seemed, the DA couldn’t catch the “big fish” – a.k.a. that guy – so they looked for proof to bring the smaller employees of that business down. That explained also why Noah always needed some money.

This was really the summit of every bullshit Noah ever did. The drugs, alcohol, parties – that was nothing in comparison to that. Once he finally started to work in this new IT agency, we thought he’d eventually learn how to be responsible and to not make stupid decisions. Bullshit.

Mom was just crying until we visited him. He was brought in the state prison here, so we could go to him without having to take a plane.

Dad was just as devastated. He had never been so disappointed like this time.

He didn’t want to eat anymore, or sleep enough or go for a run.

Stefan, my eldest brother, supported us the best he could. He visited us as often as possible and even found a good lawyer who was specialized in those kinds of crimes. His wife Sandra also came once and consoled my parents as best as she could.

We also wrote a few letters to Noah, trying to raise his spirit, somehow, as well as ours.

 

But what shocked me the most was my act at college.

I didn’t show any trace of my sadness. I tried to be the same as usual. And it actually was pretty simple.

The moment I left the front door of our house, I was another person. I wasn’t the sister of someone who was in jail. I was just a dental student focusing on her work, patients, and friends. I even got to know Anna better.

She was really a nice person, smart, and very calm. We once asked her how it was in Chicago and if she knew Ace there, too.

“Yes, we were in the same semester, but we haven’t actually spoken often. He was just another student, so I was really surprised when I saw him here. I actually talk to him now more than in Chicago.” She smiled, and continued talking about him. I couldn’t shake the feeling of her having dreamy eyes each time she mentioned him. But then, maybe I was imagining things.

Trying to ignore Ace turned out to be hard since he hanged out with Josh and Eric who were my friends, too.

Even Aro, my sort-of-ex, seemed to want to be friends with him. God, this was just like high school where everyone wanted to get to know the new popular guy. Though, I was glad Aro and I were… done. Kind of. Well, we were never officially together; there were just a couple dates when I was a freshman.

I don’t know why I went out with him. Maybe because he was charming and funny and I liked him, yet his dull character and cruel behavior were not obvious to me when I had a crush on him. I should have known better, especially when his best friend and other half of his brain Lucas was just as dumb.

I thought Ace would hang out with him, too but he was just as taciturn to him as to me.

 

“Cecy, did you lose some weight?”, Ruby said, eyeing my jeans that were a little loose on my hips.

“Uh…yeah. For this summer”, I lied, hoping it sounded convincing.

“Like you needed a diet!” She rolled her eyes. “Wanna do it together? I am this close” She pinched her index finger and thumb together. “to my goal weight.”

I laughed. “Sorry, I didn’t mention it. I wanted to surprise you.”

She sighed. “I’m, like, five pounds away from my goal weight.”

I giggled and we moved on to some the next upcoming event. Ugh… Valentine’s Day in two weeks. Since everywhere around the clinic hung rosy hearts and other lovey-dovey things on the walls, we all were a little annoyed.

Actually, I didn’t mind being single. It didn’t mean I was lonely and to be honest I didn’t want to have drama right now, I had plenty drama at home.

Anna wanted to visit her family in Chicago about that time, so she was the only one of us who was looking forward to Valentine’s Day.

 

“Cecy, do you have some plans this weekend?”, Ruby asked.

“Um…”

Dad was overseas because of his work and Mom wanted to take Marlene to Phoenix to visit my sick aunt Susan. I would have loved to see her, too but someone needed to keep visiting Noah. I had written a request to the DA and he gave me an appointment this Friday.

Neither Ruby nor Cassy knew about my brother being in jail and I didn’t want to tell them ever. It was too embarrassing and the thought that my brother was right now locked in a little room during the whole day was tearing my heart apart.

No, there was no way I could tell them. The clinic was the only place I didn’t feel as if the burden of the situation was crushing me and telling my friends what I was going through would only make them look at me with pitiful eyes.

I didn’t want that.

“No, I’m just going to paint at home or read a book. My parents aren’t home. We could have a sleep-over at my place.”

Normally, I didn’t mind being home alone but somehow, I knew my thoughts would drift to Noah and I’d just be sad the whole weekend.

“Yeah, that would be awesome!” Cassy was beaming, Ruby joining her. “You didn’t think about that offer, Cecily? You know, moving out and–”

“Nope”, I said, cutting her off. “Guys, I know it’s unusual. But I like living with my parents.”

“Yeah… that’s really unusual.”

I shrugged. “They already left France and their families there.” Besides, my father was barely here. He never stayed longer than a week before flying to the next country for his work. I knew my mother would never admit it, but she was a lonely woman. Leaving her would only make her sad, I knew that.

I couldn’t imagine what it must’ve cost them when the decided to leave my grand-parents, my aunt and uncle, their friends.

“Okay, okay”, Cass sighed. “It was just an offer. But I respect your decision. Now, let’s talk about that sleep-over.”

We agreed to meet Saturday at my place to watch a movie and have our little girls talk that I have really missed.

 

It was an unusual cold day today. I finished with my patient two hours before the appointment with Noah and his lawyer would be, so I had some time to go home and get changed. Most of the students were already in weekend-mode and had gone to some frat party at someone’s house. I had no idea what they liked about those frat parties and I was grateful that my friends were not interested in going.

Plunged into my thoughts, I didn’t see Ace coming from the elevator to my right, heading to the glazed entrance like me. 

I contemplated whether I should greet him or not since he had been nothing but rude to me but my mother raised me to be always polite.

“Hey”, I said and got a “Hey” back.

I’d thought he’d walk to his car but he followed me as I headed to the subway station. Yay.

“Didn’t you come by car?”, I asked him hopefully.” I wished he would just go to the parking lot and leave me alone.

“Nope.”

Silence fell above us and with every step it was getting worse. Probably, he wanted as much to walk next to me as I wanted him to.

“So, do you have plans for this weekend?”, I broke the silence. Even though I hated him, I hated that awkward silence even more.

“Just the usual stuff. You?”

I wondered what that usual stuff was, but I knew better than to ask. Watching porn and hitting the gym, probably.

“No, my parents are out of town. My Mom’s visiting my aunt together with my little sister but my friends are going to stay overnight”, I babbled without realizing what I am even saying to him. “I would have liked to visit my aunt, too but I had to stay–”

Crap. Me and my stupid mouth. Why am I blurting out such personal things?! I must be really tired.

Ace arched an eyebrow but didn’t ask any questions. Surely, he wasn’t interested in hearing any more of my family stories.

“You still live with your family?”

“Yup”, I said, popping the ‘p’. Everyone always wonders why and I got tired of explaining.

“Yeah. I know it’s uncommon but I don’t mind living with them.”

He didn’t respond. Was he even interested or did he just ask offhandedly?

“And you–?”, I came to a halt, suddenly remembering what date today was. “Oh my gosh, Alex is coming this Sunday”, I muttered.

I was in seventh heaven.

Alex – well, actually Alessandra – was my oldest friend. We’ve known each other since kindergarten. We went together to school, but then she moved away with her parents. All the more, I was happy when she decided to study Korean language here. She’d been in Seoul for over six months and because of all the lawyer bullshit I had totally forgotten.

“Your boyfriend?”, he asked.

I shook my head, suppressing a grin. “She’s a girl. A friend of mine since kindergarten. She’s like a sister to me, we basically grew up together. No one knows me better than her.”

“Interesting”, Ace said and now he was the one who grinned. “Maybe you should introduce me to her. Surely, she knows some of your dirty secrets.”

What a change of moods.

“I don’t have any and even if I had, she wouldn’t tell you anything about them.”

His grin vanished. “Does she know the reason why you are so sad lately?”

I stopped walking.

What did he just say? “I’m not.”

He arched his eyebrows. “Told you you’re a bad liar. Besides, I have eyes, I can see something’s going on.”

Why the hell was he so damn observing? Okay now I had to come up with a really good lie. I put on a fake smile. “You’re imagining things, Ace. I’m the same as usual.”

We kept on walking. “You’re not.”

Heat rose up to my cheeks. “How would you know? Ask anyone who knows me much longer, they will tell you I’m perfectly fine.”

“You’re not”, he repeated. “You look like someone died. Your smile and laugh sound often fake – anyone can see that and even Josh and Eric are wondering what’s wrong with you.”

When did he see me? When did he notice all of that? “A-Are you stalking me?”

He snorted. “No, I’m just observing.”

“It’s nice that you’re concerned, but I swear I’m okay.” I couldn’t believe I was saying he was nice. His behavior was actually creepy. And hot.

No, God, no. Not hot. Creepy. But I figured insulting him now wouldn’t be wise. Who knows how he’d react with his mood swings.  

“But stop being so observing.”

“Why? It’s fun confusing you.”

I snort-laughed. “Sorry, buddy. You’re definitively not confusing me–”

Before I could finish the sentence, he moved so fast, my eyes couldn’t catch up. His body was pressing my back against the wall of some building.

His eyes were glowing, the sun directly shining at them, erasing the onyx color of his pupils.

With every breath I took, our bodies rubbed against each other. His cheeks were rosy from the cold, his full lips forming a smirk which made mine suddenly vibrate at the closeness of his mouth.

Grabbing my face, he placed my chin between his surprisingly warm fingers, forcing me to look him directly in the eyes.

The warmth of his palm mixed with my cold cheeks sent million shivers down my spine; his touch was too igniting, burning my skin.

With his other arm wrapped firmly around my waist, I couldn’t move an inch. I was under his spell; frozen and unable to form a sentence. Thank God, the street was empty, because we would’ve attracted some curious eyes.

His typical eucalyptus scent mixed with the smell of oranges I’ve seen him eating were tickling my nose every time he exhaled.

“What did you want to say?” Eh? Did I even say something before he wrapped his arms around me?

“I-I wanted to…” Squeezing his fingers around my cheeks, my lips parted slightly. Pulling me even closer to him, his long, beautiful waved eyelashes caught my eyes whereas his lips were at a wafer-thin distance from mine.

I didn’t dare to say anything, afraid that one little move would lead into kissing him.

“Yes? What did you want to say?” His smell made me dizzy. I wasn’t able to think clearly.

“Um–”

And as abruptly as he had dragged me into his arms, he let go of me with the same speed, leaving my head spinning and my legs like rubber. My heartbeat stopped the time I had been in his arms and was now racing as if to catch up all the beats it had skipped.

“See, you little baby?”, he laughed, “A little distraction and you can’t think clearly.”

Little distraction? Oh, that was a hell of a distraction.

“Shut up, Ace. You startled me, that was all.”

“I can gladly demonstrate you again how easily you can get distracted by me.”

Hitting him with my purse, he just kept chuckling. I think my head was about to explode with the heat rising up my cheeks.

“Well, at least I’ve cheered you up.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Your face is as red as a tomato. That’s actually pretty cute.” He smiled and cocked his head while examining me. “But I need you to promise me one thing.” He sounded now serious again. He stopped and touched my arm. “Don’t do anything stupid while you’re alone – like burning the house on fire or something like that. You seem very affine to putting yourself in a troublesome situation.”

“How eloquent you expressed yourself just to tell me that I’m like a stupid duck.” I rolled my eyes and he snorted with laughter. I’d never seen him laugh like that.

His smile was perfect. Wonderful teeth. My inner dentist tried to consume every detail of it. “Now you understand what I’m talking about. I’m very talented.”

I couldn’t believe this guy was so… ugh.

“Uh-huh. God, you’re so arrogant, do you even listen to what you say sometimes?”

“Of course, my voice is melodious to my ears.” Again, I rolled my eyes.

I sighed. It was pointless to argue with him.

“What would Karen say if she knew you’re flirting like that?”

Oh God, I did not just say that. Cursing myself for mentioning that embarrassing moment, I bit my bottom lip.

“Karen doesn’t get to say anything. She’s not my girlfriend. We were just fooling around”, he said in a matter-of-fact, making me suddenly grin at his indifference to that slut. But then, it was extreme frightening that such fond moments meant nothing to him.

“Curious what Karen was doing with me, aren’t ya?”

I stopped, Ace joining me. “No, I’m not. That was disgusting and I-I shouldn’t have… I was looking for someone else”, I lied.

“Whatever, you baby.”

“I have to go this way”, I said.

“You’re breaking my heart”, he said sarcastically, bored even.

I wonder if he didn’t feel anything when he placed his hands on my cheeks with his lips so close to mine but banished that thought immediately.

“Whatever. Have a nice weekend”, I said ready to cross the street.

Ace extended his arm, tipping with his long index finger against my temple. Once again, he accomplished to send a shiver down my spine with such a little gesture. What the hell was wrong with me?!

He tilted his head to the side and pierced me with his icy stare for a second.

I arched my eyebrows as he opened his mouth, ready to counter any insult he was probably going to throw at me. But then he just snorted and shook his head while grinning. Dropping his hand, he turned around without looking at me a second time.

He just left me motionless on the sidewalk.

I so didn’t understand this guy.

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