Previous – The Sky Is Black
Timothy whispers in my ear in between kisses down my neck.
We’re locked in a hug outside Instructor Inga’s door with about a minute left before I’m late to class. I’ve tried to leave twice now, but it’s impossible. After a thousand kisses and the weekend together at his parent’s beach house he still can’t keep his hands off of me.
I had a blast. We went swimming, did a little sightseeing since I’m still learning my way around Black Mountain, and both nights we had dinner beneath the stars. And… I could’ve slept over, especially since Timothy offered, but I wasn’t comfortable yet. I knew what would happen. Instead, he took me back to my place each night without complaint.
I smile and pull the class door open.
He snatches my other hand, reining me back in. The door slams shut behind me. “I’ll pick you up after class?” he asks me.
The class door bursts open.
“Misa.” Instructor Inga scowls at me. “Class is starting.” She looks Timothy up and down with sour eyes. “I suggest you get to your class as well, young man.”
Chuckling, Timothy kisses my cheek, giving me flashbacks of my fingers running through his thick, blonde hair as we make out in the sand.
“Bye Timothy…” I shuffle inside.
With his usual murderous glare, Emilian watches me approach.
He’s wearing a black-collared shirt that makes his deep-set eyes look haunting. His dark hair is messed to perfection, different from his usual parted to the side neat style.
I sit quietly and look straight ahead.
He drapes his long arm on the table, writing something. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbows showing off his light brown arms scattered with thin, dark hair. Not too muscular, not too lean. No! Stop looking.
See Misa? You’re messed up. You didn’t sleep with Timothy this weekend even though you wanted to. Now you’re on the brink of exploding.
Emilian slides over a small, folded paper.
Ugh. What is this? A note?
I remember Emilian’s door closing when Timothy and I left for our date. Watching us. I hear his mean words last time in class as if they were whispered in my ear, Tours, protection, damn rocks everywhere and you show up at my home naked! I would’ve scored a 350 on my test if you weren’t sitting beside me. And… you’re distracting… and boring.
I leave the note between us. If Emilian Grim has something to say to me, he can say it to my face, and it better be an apology.
He drums his fingers on the note to get my attention.
Don’t give in. Don’t look.
He sets it on top of my notebook. I flick it away, sending the white paper swimming through the air.
“It looks like a butterfly.” I whisper.
Emilian doesn’t like it. He huffs, picks the note up from the floor and crumples it up. Guess it wasn’t important after all.
After scribbling for a moment, he slides his pricey looking leather-bound notebook over. This time I can’t resist… His fancy cursive writing catches my eye.
Watch out for your little Tim
Huh? Oh, wait. He’s talking about Timothy. Ugh. I thought this would be an apology. Little Tim… I picture Timothy in a younger light. Like I’m dating a child or something. Little Tim. I giggle.
No. No. Don’t laugh at that. I like Timothy. And Emilian can’t know what makes me laugh. Once men know how to crack a smile out of me, they’ll say anything to keep me locked beneath layers of comedic bliss. Just another fancy word spell.
Tell Emilian the evil you can’t stand him; he’s mean and to leave you alone. Do it. Now.
leave me alone. please and thank you
Emilian holds the notebook up to rip the paper out, then stops himself. His mannerisms are dramatic, like an intense actor in a powerful role he was born to play. I look away so he doesn’t see me laughing. It’s hard to hide sitting beside him.
He slides the notebook back to me.
Impossible. I’m your neighbor. Timothy looks like the lying type
why do you care? I scribble back.
You’re my neighbor!
you don’t care about me. you’re a bully. look at you, using exclamation points
He gasps, sensing my snarkiness.
Point. There was one exclamation point, not more than one. And I’m passionate about many things. Protecting my home is one. And, sorry I was a dick last week
my home isn’t your home
We share a wall. Do you forgive me, Misa?
ya I heard through it too! no I don’t forgive you
I shove the notebook back. Instructor Inga is at the head of class mumbling something. I’ve been so focused on our written argument I have no clue what her lecture is about. I think she mentioned a test.
Emilian shoves the notebook back. His cursive is unhinged now.
Heard what? Why don’t you accept my apology?
I heard you… with someone. your apology wasn’t sincere. I dunno what you’re apologizing for
No. And that was sincere
I heard what I heard. still don’t forgive you
You will. What did you hear exactly?
He stares down at me with wide, curious eyes. Now I have to reveal I heard his grunting and moaning during sex through the wall he confirmed we share. Here goes…
your night pleasures
I hide my grin and pass the notebook. I’m sure I’ll regret writing it, but I feel bold right now. Besides, he saw me naked. Now we both know something about each other.
Emilian stares at the note. Five minutes pass. Ten. He didn’t put the book away but didn’t write back. Should I write more?
Did I go too far?
I look ahead, listening to Inga.
In the corner of my eye, I see Emilian turn to me, staring. His gaze circles me like soft warm rope wrapped tight around my body. I hide my hands under the table, twisting and squeezing my fingers in my lap.
He makes me feel so…
I can’t describe it. It’s nothing I’ve ever felt before.
The bell rings. He scribbles something fast, rips out the paper and slides it over.
We’re not done. Text me E08-312
I look up at Emilian looming over me. His brown eyes hold mine, making me blush under his potent gaze.
“Tonight.” He whispers sexily.
I nervously fold up the note and shove it in my backpack, watching him go.
Seconds later, Timothy arrives to pick me up.
“Ready to go?” he says, smiling.
“Uh… Yes, yeah, I’m ready.” I take his hand.