Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.37
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.37

           Bailey Ardisone

  It was dark. I sat huddled in my closet and pressed myself along the back wall as much as I could and waited. He was coming. I could hear his drunken footsteps clunk against the wood floor with each step he took. He was close.

  Very close.

  I squeezed Teddy with all my might and buried my tear-stained face in his soft fur. “Don’t be scared, Teddy. Don’t be scared,” I whispered in his ear as quietly as I could. I tried not to tremble, knowing that it would only make it worse when he found me. But the more I tried, the more I shook.

  I saw his shadow beneath the door before the doorknob started to turn. There was no escape. This was it.

  He found me.

  I buried my head in Teddy, and with all the strength I could muster, I held back sobs, my throat burning from the effort. But the door swung open with such force that I jumped and looked up into his eyes.

  With a blood-curdling scream, I stared into the emotionless eyes of a large man covered in red. His black suit and crooked nose dripped with blood just as it started pouring out of his eyes, mouth, everywhere, coating his entire body. I kicked and screamed as he drew closer, mangled hand ready to grab me.

  “Nariella! Hey! Wake up!” an English accent seeming to come from some place else called out to me. “You’re safe! You’re safe.”

  “He found me! He found me!” I yelled back, not believing for a second I was really safe.

  “It’s just a nightmare. You’re having a nightmare.” I recognized Mycah’s smooth, deep-timbered voice then and slowly opened my eyes.

  Mycah grasped the sides of my face and forced me to look at him. “You’re safe,” he declared firmly one more time. My lungs heaved heavily up and down from leftover fear, and my clothes and hair were soaked in sweat. I locked my eyes with his, seeking sanctuary and slowly calmed down when I found it.

  His eyes were so beautiful. For the first time since I’d met him, I took my time to appreciate how brilliant they actually were. I lost my breath as I noticed in detail the darkest and brightest blue I’d ever seen, like facets of color mixed into one. Among the tantalizing facets of ocean blue were tiny ribbons of deep purple, swirled around specks of jade, all contained in a rim of black.

  “You gave me a fright. I’ve never heard screams like that before,” he professed. He almost seemed shaken up, a contrast to his usual serene persona. His close proximity made my heart do cartwheels.

  “I’m sorry,” I murmured, releasing my hold on his eyes. I had to get a grip. His black hair reflected blue in the sunlight that shone through my curtains, distracting me. I tried to keep my mind on the present circumstances. “I guess my nightmares are back.” Wonderful.

  “You have them frequently?” he inquired as he picked up a book he must have been reading from the floor next to my bed.

  “Every night,” I answered as I looked down at my shaking hands. “Well, used to be every night. It’s been hit or miss lately. But, look, I really don’t want to talk about it. Can we get out of here? I’m feeling stir crazy.” I didn’t exactly feel relaxed in this room.

  “Are you sure you’re up for it? You just went through something extremely traumatizing,” he remarked.

  “I’m very sure. And if Ray is going to be home soon, we should probably get out of here before he does.”

  Ugh…Ray. I didn’t even want to think about seeing him again. I didn’t even know how long it had been since that night he tried to strangle me. Had he been wondering where I’ve been too, like Rydan had? Oh no…was he going to be furious with me?

  “You don’t have to worry about Ray for now. You don’t have to worry about anything for now; I’ve taken care of it. I made sure your house is secure.”

  “But I’m going to worry, Mycah. You don’t understand. And apparently I don’t understand either, because how do you seem to know everything and I know absolutely nothing? Until I have answers, I am always going to worry. Who are you really?” I hated being left in the dark. So much had happened, any normal person wouldn’t be expected to handle it. I wasn't even sure I was handling it. But what I did know was that if I didn’t get answers soon, I would have a mental breakdown.

  “My real name is Remycah Zafriel, but I never utter it out loud, so keep it to yourself. I go by Mycah Nightly, a cover name chosen for me a long time ago. But that’s who I really am. Now go, take a shower, get dressed, do whatever you have to do, and I’ll wait for you. We’ll go talk.” He winked at me and then walked out of the room, leaving me frustrated.

  I was sick of being emotional and weak. I couldn’t let what happened get the best of me. I needed to man up, so to speak, so I could get answers. I mean, who was he kidding? Did he really think just only telling me his real name would be enough to pacify me? It was not nearly enough. Plus, the mention of a shower called to me like never before. I just had to bury the fear and pitch it into oblivion until I forgot it ever happened so I could get on with my life.

  I ran to the bathroom, ready to jump in the tub, but my reflection in the mirror stopped me. I looked…horrible. My eyes were sunken in, and my skin was incredibly pale. I shivered, remembering that my body had been living off nothing but drugs for who knew how long. The thought of food made my stomach grumble, so I shook off the dark memories and got ready as fast as I could. I could do this. I could be strong.

  We walked out of my house, and for the second time today I was stopped in my tracks by the sight before me, causing Mycah to walk past me. There in my driveway sat what must be the hottest car ever created.

  “What is that!” It came out sounding more of an exclamation than a question, not even bothering to hide my shock.

  “What?” Mycah lilted as he turned around smirking.

  “That!” I pointed to the sleek black sports car, which looked very Italian and very fast. “That, that…I don’t even know what to call it. It’s too pretty to be just a car. Is it a Transformer or something?” I was completely in awe, half-believing that maybe aliens, even alien cars, could be real after everything I’d seen lately.

  “A what? No…that…” he jerked his chin toward the shiny metal beauty, “is an Alfa Romeo. You’ve never seen a fancy car before, love?” I was pretty sure he was making fun of me, but I didn’t care.

  “Um…no. I’ve never heard of an Alfa Romeo-whatever, and I know for a fact Kennebunkport has never seen the likes of one before either. Are your parents rich or something?” I knew it was none of my business, but the question tumbled out of my mouth before I could realize I was even thinking it. But he only laughed and shook his head.

  “Something like that.” He looked up from the ground under his eyelashes, making my pulse quicken, and I wondered if he knew how charming he was. “Are you going to stand there all day looking like a pretty dolly gaping through the window of a candy shop, or are you going to get in the car with me?” Humor sparkled in his ocean eyes, and I could see he was trying not to laugh.

  “I’ll get in the car with you.” I mimicked his English accent in a mocking and childish way, but it only made me laugh at how ridiculous I sounded. He opened the passenger door for me, and I respectfully got in. The car was just as sleek and gorgeous on the inside as it was on the outside.

  “Where would you like to go?” he asked after he got in and started the engine. It purred to life, and for a moment I was lost wondering how fast it could go. I imagined Mycah had probably tested that out.

  “You okay?”

  “Yes, sorry, ummm…there is only one diner here. It’s downtown off Maine Street.” I shook my head to make myself focus on the here and now.

  “Saucers? No problem.” I forgot he had been in town for a while and would have known about it already.

  “Right. Saucers.” I thought of Rydan and hoped with all my might that I’d get to see him soon and fix the hurt I caused.

  We got to the small diner, but not before turning many heads on the drive there. I knew I wouldn’t be the only one shocked by this foreign car, and we stood out like a sore thumb. It w
as embarrassing, but Mycah didn’t seem bothered or that he even noticed.

  It was open seating, so I followed Mycah as he chose a booth far in the back corner. Menus were already on the table so I took one, even though I knew every item that was on it like the back of my hand. Now that I was sitting here with Mycah, I was at a loss for words. I had so many questions to ask him, I didn’t know where or when to start.

  “Can I get you some drinks?” The server walked up, a girl I didn’t recognize. She must have been new.

  “I’ll take a water for now, please.” I didn’t think I’d ever take water for granted again after not having it readily available for a period of time.

  “Do you happen to carry English Breakfast tea, love?” Mycah smirked at the new girl, making her blush. At least I wasn’t the only one.

  “I believe we have that. I can check for sure though,” she replied, eager to please.

  “If you have it, brilliant. If not, may I please have whatever black tea you carry, and with milk for it too.” She nodded, walking away. He then looked into my eyes, growing very serious. I could feel the questions coming then, and I could barely wait a second longer.

  “How do you do it, Mycah? How do you do…what you do?” I made myself whisper, but it was extremely hard to keep my anxiety in check. He kept staring at me, holding my eyes to his, and I could hear the seconds ticking by.

  “Let’s just say I have full access to my brain, unlike the majority out there,” he slowly explained, letting each word click with inflection. He seemed so cool and calm, the complete opposite of how I felt. I swore at any second I was going to burst out of my skin.

  “What in the world does that mean?” If he thought for one second that would satisfy me, he was dead wrong.

  “It means I can do practically anything I want. You can’t understand because, like most everyone, you are not aware of what our brains are capable of. Anyone, even you, could do all the things I have done if you were not limited to using only a small percent of your brain.” He never let his eyes leave mine as he stayed leaned back against the booth. He was obviously being serious…and very blunt. He almost sounded defensive, and his words could be contrived as insult, but I knew that wasn't how he meant them to be. He was trying to say that everything he did was just normal brainpower—that it wasn't as special as I was making it out to be. Yeah, right…

  “Where are you from?” I tried another question, realizing I might need some time to let what he just said sink in.

  “Hmmm…” Again, his eyes stayed locked on mine. Didn’t he blink?

  “Well…?” I pressed. Finally he did blink as he unrolled his silverware with perfect grace and precision. Everything he did was smooth and flowed as easily as water. He certainly was a sight to see and unlike anything else I’ve encountered. The server came then and set down our drinks.

  “Thank you,” we both said in unison before she walked away, making me think of Zaylie and her little pinch poke you owe me coke saying. I was too shy to try something like that on Mycah, but the thought made me laugh.

  “What is so funny?” he asked as I watched him pour half of the large shaker of sugar in his tea, distracting me. He slowly stirred, eyebrow raised in amusement, waiting for my response.

  “Nothing, forget it.” I needed to focus on the task at hand. I had a long list of questions and little time to get them answered. “I know you’re not from around here. I mean, obviously you’re British, right?”

  “I’ve lived in many different places, Nariella. A lot of time was spent in the English countryside, yes. Most recently, however, was Chicago. I’ve been there for a few years now actually.”

  “That sounds wonderful. I would love to travel. I’ve never even left Maine before.”

  “We’ll have to change that, won’t we then.” It sounded more like a statement or a challenge to himself than a question to me. I didn’t dwell on it though, since I had a new question.

  “So, are your parents the reason for all the traveling? Job transfers or something?” I asked.

  “No, they aren’t the reason.” He sounded sad and distant, and I knew not to ask more of it. Not right now, anyway. I would save it for another time.

  “Did you fix my sculpture?” I blurted out the question that had been nagging at me since the moment my eyes laid upon it perfectly beautiful and not broken. With it now out there, hanging in the air, I practically sat on the very edge of my seat, just waiting for his answer.

  “Yes,” he breathed.

  Chapter Nineteen

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