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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23. The Beginning

 

 

ACE

 

2 months ago

 

“Where are you going?”, I asked as I saw her walking across the room in this fucking frat house.

“To the prison”, Cec barked. “Didn’t you hear what I just told you? Or do you think that wasn’t true, either?”

She grabbed her purse and tried to make her way past me, yet I blocked the passage.

“You can’t drive. And you certainly won’t get near to your brother in this state.”

“Shut up, that’s none of your business”, she hissed, trying vainly to go past me.

Her voice was raspy, her eyes still swollen from the tears she had shed.

I had never thought I would see Cec in such a state.

So devastated.

Seeing the most cheerful soul I had ever met hit rock bottom somehow turned my blood frozen. And as usual, she was concealing her hurt behind other emotions. Always acting, never breaking her façade. Except a couple minutes ago.

“It is. I’ll drive”, I said, wrapping my fingers around her arm.

She didn’t resist, so I ushered her through the hallway, past drunken students.

“Alex!”, she gasped, remembering her friend.

Oh, she was very busy with Paul’s hands and tongue a couple minutes ago. I mentally rolled my eyes. Couldn’t they just get a room upstairs and fuck there?

“Relax, she’s with Paul. I saw her earlier. They were… busy.”

We got inside my car and I started the engine.

It was quiet. Surely, she must be lost in thoughts but when I caught a glimpse at her I watched her eyelids getting heavier.

“Cec?”, I asked yet didn’t expect an answer.

No, she didn’t hear me anymore. She was already asleep, a single tear running down her cheek. 

So that was her secret. The reason why she had been contemplative when no one was looking at her, why she had been so sad that day on the bench.

Without thinking too much about it, I made a U-turn and headed to my place.

A visit in jail was the last thing she needed right now.

 

Cec was still sound asleep when I arrived at my place. I lifted her up and walked upstairs. “Ace…”, she mumbled but kept her eyes closed.

Her dress lifted the moment I put her on my bed, revealing her underwear. Images made my cock throb, but I threw the sheets over her body.

Now was not the time for that.

I walked to my closet and looked for that damn thing in my drawers. Found it.

There. Stuffed in a sock. If Thomas knew I had hidden the cards so recklessly, he would lose his shit. Whatever.

Shoving the cards and checkbook into my pocket, I looked at Cec one last time. Her chest was softly rising and falling.

My gaze wandered to her lips.

I’m in love with you, Ace.

I knew too well what people say when they were drunk. What they could do.

I grabbed my jacket and closed the door behind me.

 

The prison wasn’t hard to find.

A few cops were sitting at their desks, most of them almost falling asleep while watching the repeat of the latest basketball match.

I cleared my throat and the cop looked up from his desk.

“What can I do for you, boy?”, he grunted, straightening his body.

“I’m looking for Noah Martesse. He was brought here because of driving under alcohol influence.”

He looked at his records and fished out a file.

“Ah, yes. Noah Martesse. I’m sorry, but you can’t see him unless you’re a family member or here to pay the–”

Taking out my checkbook and cards, he immediately understood.

“So, let’s see… since it’s a repeated crime, the amount compiles from the hours he was here, the–”

“I don’t care about bureaucratic issues”, I interrupted him. I just wanted to get this fucking shit over with. “I don’t care how high the sum is.”

He gnarled, giving me tons of papers that I had to sign first.

Silently, he had let me fill the transfer. 

When I finished, I followed down a long hallway until we arrived at the cells. Noah was sleeping on the bench, covered in a blanket that would only fit for a child.

He got up as he heard the noise.

Unshaved, a swollen lip and blood blotched around his collar. I didn’t want to imagine Cec’s reaction.

“He’s here to pick you up”, the cop said.

Noah nodded, keeping his eyes on me.

We made our way back, the cop behind us and Noah’s gaze basically stabbing me. “Who–?”

“Not now”, I growled.

Again. Same shit with those papers he had to sign and then he got his personal things back.

Once we were outside, he grabbed my shoulder.

“Who the hell are you, dude?”

I turned my gaze to him and really looked at him for the first time. He wasn’t as tall as me, but I guess everyone in their family has an average height. The family resemblance was evident.

“I go to college with your sister.”

He blinked. “What the fuck? She told you about me being here?”

He was pissed.

But not as pissed as I was.

“Of course she couldn’t shut her mouth for once”, he grumbled. “Of course she couldn’t do what I asked her to–”

That was enough.

I grabbed his collar and shoved him against the car.

“Shut your mouth”, I hissed, trying to keep my voice down. “You have no idea what she went through.”

“What’s your problem, man?” He tried to get out of my grip.

I shook him harder against the car.

“My problem is that you’re acting like an asshole right now. She was shattered tonight, that’s why she told me. No one else. She kept quiet about all your messed-up problems and didn’t say shit. You made her suffer.”

Guilt popped up in his eyes. “I know…”, he mumbled, exhaling deeply.

I let go of him and got inside my car.

“Get in. I’ll drive you home. Tomorrow, you can pick up your car.”

He didn’t make a fuss.

Good. I was too tired to argue.

I asked him why he had been in jail last time and he told me about his business with that guy.

When he finished, he stayed quiet during the rest of the drive.

“Where’s Cecily?”, he asked after a while.

“Staying at Alex’s.”

I was still a stranger to him. Better he didn’t know she was currently sleeping on my bed. He seemed appeased.

“Fuck. I just don’t know what to do”, he mumbled, staring at the stoplight.

“For starters, stop being a pain in the ass for your family. From what I heard and saw, they seem to be nice people. And the thing with your work… did you try to find an agency?”

He did. And that incompetent job counselor didn’t do much so far.

I rubbed my eyes and parked in their driveway.

A thought shot through my mind and left a bitter taste.

The chances were small, almost zero.

But… it would be the right thing to do.

“Give me your phone number and your address in New York”, I said, handing him a piece of paper and a pen I had found in the glove box. He seemed confused but obeyed silently.

“What do you want with my address?”, he asked.

No fucking clue but it could be some useful information.

“Here”, I scribbled my phone number and my name on another piece of paper. “Call this number tomorrow. Tell the secretary that Ace Skidmore is your friend and you want to speak to Thomas. Ask her if he’ll be there.” He looked confused but didn’t ask any further questions.

If only Cec could be like that too, and not so curious. It would make things a lot simpler.

He nodded. “Thank you. For getting me out of jail. I’ll pay you back, I promise.”

I waved my hand dismissingly. “No, I don’t want any money. Just a favor.”

Noah’s eyebrows rose. “Sure.”

“Don’t tell Cecily. Ever. That I saw you, talked to you and especially not the name Skidmore. Tell her that a friend bailed you out or something.”

He nodded and got out of the car. Before he turned around, he asked, “Are you her boyfriend?”

“No.”

Confusion was written all over his face but he dropped it.

I watched him heading to their front porch.

Yawning, I rubbed my temples. Man, I’d sworn to never use that name again, and yet I was telling a stranger about it.

Talking to Thomas wasn’t something I looked forward to. But I’d had to sooner or later.

Fuck.

“Wait”, I called and Noah walked back.

“What?”

“You have some plans, tomorrow? Or the next couple days?”

He laughed drily. “I’m jobless, remember? I don’t have any plans for the next years.”

And then he rubbed his jaw. “Why do you ask?”

“Try to find an excuse tomorrow for your family why you’ll be out of town these next few days.”

“Why?”

I rubbed my temple again, saying something I’d never thought I’d say again so soon.  

“We’re going to Chicago.”

 

§§§

 

Ace… Ace… Ace…

“Ace!”, someone shook my shoulders.

Noah was pulling my arm.

“We arrived”, Noah added once the cab driver killed the engine.

That fucking hundred-story building that I’d sworn to never see again in this fucking city.

We got out, my legs feeling as heavy as lead.

I didn’t prepare a speech or had any clue what I was going to say to my father.

Noah already fired some questions at me how I knew the CEO and I couldn’t just lie by saying it was just a coincidence that I happen to know a billionaire.

Although he figured it out pretty fast.

I didn’t tell him the whole truth.

But I didn’t lie either.

We entered the glazed front door, the cold, iron-stoned walls and floor already welcoming me with their familiar appearance. A few business men that looked like they just graduated from high school rushed from door to door.

Businesslike, wannabe Wall Street snobs. I hated them. I hated this building. I hated this city.

I hated Mondays.

Great, I was already pissed.

Not because of these crazy workaholics but rather that I was about to swallow my pride.

Why was even I doing that?, I asked myself for the millionth time. I couldn’t find a logic answer.

I pressed the button and waited for the elevator.

Noah gawked. “Wow. This place is just amazing. What kind of company is that?”

He was in awe and I couldn’t blame him. It was ridiculously immense, its height intimidating every visitor that wasn’t familiar with these halls.

Unfortunately, it was very familiar to me.

Basically each time I’d fucked up at school, Mom had dragged me to Thomas so he could yell at me.

Mom just hoped he could bring me to reason and talk to me from father to son.

As if I had needed those kinds of talks.

What I needed was to visit my asshole father in jail. I would have loved seeing his face behind bars, his eyes surely pleading me for forgiveness or putting in a good word for him with the judge when they debated whether he could get a year of remission for good conduct or not.

Instead, she wanted me to have a good relationship with my wannabe father.

“It’s an architectural firm”, I replied dryly.

We arrived at the highest story, the bodyguard checking our pockets and bags. The foyer was like I remembered. White marble floor that my mother had chosen when she and Thomas were freshly married. Ugly paintings hung on each wall, each one of them probably worth thousands of Dollars. My mother really had had a bad taste in art.

My footsteps echoed inside the room as I made my way to Lucy, the secretary. She was sitting behind her desk, her eyes growing bigger as she saw me.

“Hey, Lucy”, I said. She was always kind. So I should be too.

“Hello, Ace! It’s nice to see you again. How are you?”

“Fine”, I replied stiffly. “I want to speak to Thomas. Is he here?”

“Um yes, he is”, she said, reaching for the phone. “I’ll just call him and tell him you’re waiting for–”

“No”, I said, flashing a big smile. He’d probably say he had no time. “I’ll go and just knock.” I winked at her before I turned to Noah. “You better wait here. It may take a little longer.”

If things would get ugly, I wouldn’t want Cec’s brother to know.

He nodded, still gawking.

I walked down the short hallway and knocked at the thick wooden door. Even that brought back memories.

“Come in”, a familiar voice said.

He was still the same as last year. Only now I noticed a couple gray hair at his temples and the tired look in his eyes behind the reading glasses.

They went wide.

“Ace”, he said, completely surprised.

“Hello, Thomas.” My voice was cold. I knew he hated it when I called him by his first name instead of Dad. I already had a Dad once and the sound of that word mostly didn’t bring back nice memories. Also, I didn’t see him as my Dad.

He was just my stepfather.

After a passing moment of exchanging stares and a confused look on his face, his eyes snapped as he got up and walked in front of his desk.

“What a surprise, son. What brings you here? Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?”, he asked.

I flinched at his choice of words. My body moved quicker than he had expected as he lifted his arms, ready to give me a hug but seemed to understand. He didn’t get to be familiar with me.

His eyes were still full of affection. Fake affection, I was pretty sure. And the questions he asked me already gave me a headache.

Clenching my jaw, I prepared to say that one thing I never wanted to say again.

“I need your help”, I said breathlessly. “Or rather a favor.”

He blinked a few times, apparently not believing what he just heard.

He walked back to his chair. “What do you need?”

His tone was callous, his face turning all business.

“Money and–”

“Of course that’s what you need”, he sighed in disgust.

His tone was enough to make me want to smash my fist against the wall.

I cracked each one of my fingers.

He folded his hands under his chin. “That’s what you always do, Ace. You disappear, you don’t care about other people – your family. But the moment you need something, you come back and ask for help.”

He whipped off his glasses and tossed them onto the desk, showing a stony-faced stare. “What is it this time?”

“Well, a McLaren P1 would be nice”, I said, settling on the chair in front of him. “Okay, fine. GTR would do it, too. I’m not a fucker.” I tapped my chin. “Or both, so I’d have a back-up. You know, just in case I wreck it when I’m drunk.”

His eyes were still hard but I saw the corner of his mouth quivering.

“I’m glad to see you still kept your humor.”

I shrugged.

Thomas sighed. “So, do I need to pay a lawyer? Is the Dean pressing charges against you because you punched him? Or are you simply indebted after spending all your money on parties, girls and alcohol?”

Now my patience snapped. “You still think of me that way?”, I hissed, gripping the armrest.

“I’ve changed. I’m not an irresponsible child anymore. I finished high school. I got a scholarship. I got accepted to college – without your name.”

He leaned back, measuring my words.

“Have you visited your mother’s grave?”, he pushed it. His tone was calm but, fuck, that only made me more furious.

“This has nothing to do with it”, I barked.

“So, no. You didn’t.”

I closed my eyes, praying – actually praying – for patience. “I am so sorry I didn’t call you or text you back, Thomas”, I said through clenched teeth. “But it wasn’t like you had given me much of a choice. Or should I remind you of the reasons why I left Chicago?”

His eyes flickered with guilt.

“You know I didn’t do it to hurt you, Ace. I tried to talk to Christopher. He should have been the one to tell you but–”

“Spare me your excuses. I don’t want to hear about Victoria or Chris and I am not here because of them. They can live their fucking lives”, I said, meaning every damn word. “I am here because someone who is… important to me, someone who is suffering right now, someone – and that might quite surprise you – who is not me really needs help. And I know you can help that person that’s why I’m here. Believe me, if I knew another way of helping her, I wouldn’t be throwing away my dignity and ask you for it.”

Praying didn’t work. Counting to ten neither. My knuckles turned white from clenching them to fists. I looked at my father’s pale eyes that were staring back at me in sheer astonishment. I didn’t know if he believed me or not but I didn’t care either.

He could think of me as the selfish boy I used to be. I was aiming for his compassion.

“Her?”

“What?”

“You said helping her. So this is about a girl?” His tone wasn’t judgmental.

“Wha– No. Well, yes, kind of. But not like you’re thinking.”

“And what am I thinking, Ace?”, he asked, leaning forward with his eyes piercing me.

Sighing, I threw my hands in the air. “What you usually think about me! That I probably banged some stripper and now she’s pregnant while her jealous ex-boyfriend is threatening to kill her or whatever fucking ridiculous thing it is that you’re thinking.”

He was silent. Probably contemplating whether I had joked or not.

“I didn’t think that, son”, was all he said after a moment.

I still flinched. Chris was his son. Not biological, but he was his favorite. The calm, kind, polite, motivated and good son. The one that will inherit this multimillion-Dollar company. The one that didn’t put him through headaches and argues.

Not me, the rotten apple.

And yet, he never stopped calling me son. Probably because he wanted to owe this to Mom.

His face softened, maybe there was even a hint of a smile on his lips.

“Tell me what’s going on, Ace.” His voice was surprisingly gentle.

I didn’t trust him. I could tell him everything and at the end he could say he didn’t want to help.

I sighed. I needed to try at least. For Cec.

Yes, that’s it. This whole fucking crap I was going through was for her.

Letting out a snort, I shook my head at this irony.

If I was truly honest to myself, I didn’t do this for her. I did it mostly for myself. She was in pain, true, but I’d messed up so many things in life maybe she was the beginning of me being selfless for once in my life. To prove to myself and Thomas that I have changed. To do something for another person instead of me. Cec just happened to be… there. And in time of need.

Great, Thomas was right, I haven’t changed. I was still the same, selfish person. I guess that’s why Victoria had started an affair with Chris.

I really neglected her.

Banishing those damn thoughts from my head, I turned my gaze to Thomas and told him everything Noah had told me.

As I finished, Thomas rubbed his temple, his eyes looking suddenly looking even more tired.

“Ace, this is not a small thing we’re talking about. He owes money not only to private investors but also the state. I’m surprised they didn’t take him back to jail. He is really lucky.”

Luck is the last thing Cec’s family had.

“I know. Her parents are paying his debts each month”, I mumbled. “Tho-… Dad. I know hundred thousand bucks is a ridiculous amount for you, that’s why I’m asking. I don’t know how long her parents can continue paying the debts until they’re going to have to sell their house. Please… Dad.”

The last words felt like venom coming out of my mouth. Fake and forced.

And Thomas knew it, yet all he said was, “All right. I’ll give them the money–”

“No, not them. Not their parents. Her father would never accept it if he knew.”

“Do you have another plan?”, he asked calmly.

As much as I had thought during the flight and at the hotel when I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t come up with something useful except:

“You give him the money. I’ll make sure he’ll pay the private investors and his taxes.”

“And how is he going to explain to his parents that they suddenly don’t have to pay every month a high amount?”

Sucking air through my teeth, I prepared to crush my dignity a second time. “I have another favor.”

I exhaled deeply. “He needs a job.”

At that, he uttered a short laugh. “Ace, are you out of your mind? I am the CEO of an architectural company and not… some business man in the IT sector. How do you expect me to find a job for him?”

“I don’t know, make some calls. Or ask one of your friends! Surely, one of them must know some IT companies in the States.”

Thomas was recapping what I just said. I didn’t plan any of this. I didn’t plan what exactly I would say or suggest and now I sounded like a child running to his Dad for help.

I was beyond pathetic.

“Fine. I’ll call Rufus. He just had a project for urban architecture on the West Coast and I think he mentioned working together with some informaticians.”

My fist unclenched.

“But I can’t promise anything”, he added.

Part of me wanted to say it doesn’t matter because at least he tried. But I didn’t want him to try. I wanted this to work. This had to work.

“Thanks”, I said, making my way to the door when Thomas cleared his throat. “Ace.”

I turned around. “Hm?”

“Who is this girl?”

His face was frozen, void of emotion. His eyes bore into me, giving nothing away. His look was so damn unreadable. Thomas rarely surfaced his true feelings toward me.

I don’t know who this girl is, Thomas. She just came crashing into my world and made me second-guess everything I do, everything I think.

“Just a girl from college”, I dodged.

“Then this ‘girl from college’” He raised his fingers to form quotation marks in the air, “must be a really special one if she made you come all the way to see me.”

I narrowed my eyes on him.

“She doesn’t know anything about that. And I don’t want her to know.”

I had good reasons not to tell her, and I was glad that Thomas didn’t dig further.

“He’ll pay you back”, I added. “I’ll make sure Noah pays you back.” 

Once again, Thomas fell into silence, his look annoying me to the infinity.

“No. He’s going to pay you back”, he said and got up from his chair. Fluidly, he crossed the distance to the safe behind the portrait of Mom.

“Here”, he said and handed me the bank passbooks, my name written neatly on the covers.

“I kept it although Victoria said you threw it in the trash. The amount didn’t change. It should be more than enough.”

I was astonished.

That thing was still here? My money was still here?

No, it was Thomas’s money, he just had given it to me when Mom had been dying.

Involuntarily, I took it. I didn’t know if I should be angry at Victoria or grateful, but I chose neither of those.

The thing was not finished yet and I didn’t want to get Noah’s hopes up. Mine, neither.

“Thank you”, I managed to say and opened the door.

“Son”, he repeated, waiting for me to turn around. “Can I give you some piece of advice?”

It was a rhetoric question.

“If you’re going to remind me that Mom’s death day is this Thursday I’m going to lose it, I swear. You know I won’t go there–”

“Yes, I know. And I won’t force you”, he snapped. “You’re stubborn and I know better than trying to convince you to do something you don’t want to. I know I won’t achieve anything.”

Taking my silence as a consent, he continued, “I don’t try to be prying or meddle in your affairs but I think this girl changed you quite a lot.”

He paused. “What’s her name?”

“Cecily”, I said after debating on whether I should tell him or not. Or rather why I should tell him.

He turned his gaze to the papers on his desk.

“Don’t ruin it”, he finished. “Really, Ace, don’t ruin it.”

 

Thomas called Rufus as promised, who called us back and confirmed what Thomas had said about him working with an IT office on the West Coast. In San Francisco, to be precise.

They wanted to see Noah as soon as possible so I had to book the next flight.

As we arrived at the entrance of our hotel in Chicago, Thomas’s driver waited for us.

Noah whistled at the view of the BMW.

I rolled my eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean, Spencer?”, I asked as he opened the door.

“Mr. Skidmore prepared his private jet at the air field and asked me to drive you there.”

Noah practically jumped inside the car and examined the interior.

“You have got to be kidding me”, I growled.

Spencer shrugged his shoulders, still holding the door open.

Noah already opened the minibar.

“Jeez, would you just get in, Ace? The faster we get to San Francisco, the faster you’ll be back home.”

He was right. Damn. Arguing with Thomas or Spencer wouldn’t bring us any closer to San Francisco.

“Fuck, fine.”

Five hours, two coffees and three aspirins later, we arrived in the afternoon.

I hated that city already.

 

Electronic Foundation was at the other end of the city, but before we got there, we drove to a barber. Noah was looking like a caveman but whatever they had done there, he looked like a Wall-Street-snob afterward.

Next stop was a shop to buy a suit for him.

Women surrounded us, measuring our sizes and bringing several Armani and Boss suits.

Now I looked snobbish too.

At the company, Noah and I headed to the foyer and announced that we were waiting for Mr. Barlow.

His tapped his foot against the floor.

“Nervous?”, I asked, looking at my phone.

“I’m shitting my pants.” 

A skinny secretary teetered to us and ushered us to the CEO’s office.

Different building, same decorated style on the inside.

Well, Thomas’s office was… cozier, somehow. He liked a down-home lifestyle while other CEOs wanted the most needless bullshit.

“Mr. Skidmore”, Barlow said, shaking my hand. “Nice to meet you.”

I gave him a fake smile while he greeted Noah. “Please have a seat.”

The interview started.

And Noah was still nervous.

But it lessened when he got to show some of his knowledge by coping with a new software they had developed.

Their focus seemed to be on the Nano technology and robot construction. Surely lucrative.

And quite impressive.

I liked this company.

And then Barlow dropped the bomb about Noah being in jail. Closing my eyes, I hoped Thomas’s idea to tell him about Noah’s former stay in jail proved to be good. I had no Plan B.  

He the CEO was just interested if there had been a trial and if he was on probation, which both did not happen.

Thomas had put in a good word, I was sure.

Fuck.

I needed to thank him after that.

Barlow cleared his throat. “I am most impressed by your knowledge about collaborative modeling and cyber-toolbox, Mr. Martesse. Also, with your experience at DBI Staffing, you are at advantage than most other applicants.”

He rose. “So, I just have one question, Mr. Martesse.”

“Yes?”, he nodded.

“Can you start next month?”

 

§§§

 

“That is awesome!”, Noah shouted as soon as we arrived at the cab.

“Yeah, yeah…”, I mumbled, fighting a grin.

It was awesome.

Noah opened the door but stopped.

“I’ll pay you back”, he said, his face turning serious. “Just wait until I gather some money and I’ll pay every month–”

“No, I don’t want that.”

He blinked several times, his mouth still open. And then he laughed. “Quit the jokes, Ace.”

“I’m not joking. I don’t want the money back.”

Slowly, his laugh vanished as he realized that I was serious.

“You’re kidding, right? That’s crazy. Hundred grands!”

Peanuts.

Besides, Thomas’s money meant nothing to me. It never had.

“Believe me, I don’t need it. I have still enough on my bank account. Just take it as a gift or something.”

He contemplated whether I was serious or completely out of my mind. I guess it was the latter, but I was glad he just shut his mouth.

He thanked me a couple times.

“I’m going back to Los Angeles today”, I said.

Noah nodded. “I’m gonna look for an apartment.”

“Make sure the finance office gets their money from next month on, together with the–”

“Investors, I know.” He sighed. “How many times you want to repeat the plan?”

“Until you get it”, I retorted. “Make up a story for your parents. Interviews, Barlow, San Francisco. You can fill in the gaps.”

He nodded again.

“Thanks a lot, man”, he said for the millionth time and shook my hand before he got in the car. I watched him drive away while I looked for another one to drive me to the airport.

I wouldn’t take Thomas’s jet again.

I looked at the flights. I would arrive at five in the afternoon. And then I’d go straight to bed. Those past few days had been tiring. I couldn’t believe I flew across the country just because–

My phone buzzed.

Paul texted: Dude, where R U?

Busy, I texted back.

There was a pause before he replied. We’re going 2 grab a bite later. Wanna come?

Who?, I texted back

Alex, Dexter, Karen. She kept asking for you.

I rolled my eyes.

Maybe Aro, too, he added. Ah, and Cecily.

Interested? ; )   

I sent a middle finger emoji.

He laughed.

I wanted to sleep. I wanted to relax. I wanted to… Cec.

Last thing I had said to her had been Get out.

Guilt nagged at me for yelling at her.

My fingers moved without thinking.

Coming.

He sent thumb-ups. I slipped my phone into my pocket.

A strange feeling formed inside the pit of my stomach. For some reason I wanted to keep an eye on Cec. And Aro. I remembered the looks he gave her in San Diego and fuck, that made my stomach burn.

I wanted to protect her.

The reason I wanted to protect her was like another burn through my mind.

Oh, fuck.

 

 

A/N: Hey there!! I'm sorry that it's probably not the chapter you had hoped for (hehe... I'm a meanie, I know) but I figured it was important to see Ace's selfless act ;) But don't worry, the next chapter is coming soon and will be... let's say: exciting =)

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