Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.39
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.39

           Bailey Ardisone


  I took in air sharply at his declaration. He just said yes. Mycah did fix my sculpture. I knew it. But how?

  “How?” I echoed my thoughts.

  “I manipulated the molecular structure of the clay. It was very easy actually. You really didn’t need to get your knickers all in a bunch, love.” He grinned, and his eyes danced in humor.

  “English, please.” I couldn’t even pretend to understand what he just said.

  “I have the ability to sense and command atoms, molecules—any structure—to bend to my will.” He put his finger to his lips, a sign to be quiet. The server came back ready to take our order. I completely forgot about food and my appetite.

  “You guys know what you want?” She pulled a pen from her apron, ready to write in her notepad.

  “Ladies first.” He looked to me seriously.

  “A bowl of vegetable soup please.” I may have lost my appetite, but I knew I needed food in my system. Soup would be the easiest thing to choke down at the moment.

  “And you?” Renée, her nametag said, flashed Mycah a wide smile.

  “The same for me, thank you.” But he did not return the gesture. The seriousness of our conversation was thick in the air, causing tension. I was sure it wasn’t noticeable to anyone else, or at least I hoped it wasn’t.

  Renée walked away, and I raised my eyebrows in question, urging him to tell me more. He got the hint.

  “Think back to the night you came to me, bruised and broken.” His eyes grew dark, and he clenched his jaw. My eyes, however, quickly looked down at my water, and I could feel my cheeks burn at the memory of his gentle touch and warm proximity. He smelled heavenly, just like he always did. Then I thought of how he moved his hands to all of my wounds, my skin glowing beneath his fingers, or maybe his fingers were glowing above my skin, I didn’t know. But I could feel my flesh healing, the bruises and cuts disappearing in seconds. It kind of made sense then.

  “So, just like you commanded my skin to heal, you commanded my sculpture to…heal?”

  “If that’s how you want to look at it,” he chuckled. “I did it in the same way, yes. I used energy to manipulate the molecules your body is made of, advanced the life stages of your cells until they were new and perfect again. The sculpture is just particles, not living cells like your body is made of, but atoms just the same. I manipulated them to reform and come together, reattaching so it looked just as good as you intended. It really was beautiful work by the way,” he finished, taking a sip of his tea.

  Renée set our soups down in front of us, asked if she could get us anything else, and then walked away when we said no.

  “Who else knows about what you can do?” I was starting to imagine maybe that was why those men were asking about him.

  “Let’s see, shall I count?….” His eyebrows furrowed together like he seriously counted all the individual people in his head. “I would say there is…well…you.” He winked at me.

  “Just me?” I was shocked. How could I be the only one?

  “That’s right, sweetheart,” he teased. “And you mustn’t tell anyone. It is very imperative that no one knows, alright?” He was serious now, his crisp accent clicking as he spoke.

  “Mycah, who were those men that took me? Don’t they at least know about you, and is why they want you? How long did they have me for? And where is Ray?” All the questions I needed answers to burned inside me and tumbled out.

  “The less you know the better, believe me. But no, they don’t know what I can do, and they won’t be back here for a while. I’ve made sure of that. I’ve sent them on a wild goose chase.” His sexy smirk was back as he took the bread that came with the soup and spread a little butter on it, then doused sugar over the top. My eyes widened slightly as he took a bite.

  He looked up at me, a huge sheepish smile spreading across his face.

  “Um…I fancy sweet things,” he said guiltily.

  I laughed. “Apparently.” My own smile spread wide.

  “I have a heightened sense of taste. I love sweet, but I hate spicy,” he said dejectedly, as if remembering the first time he ever bit into something spicy. I couldn’t help laughing some more. It was endearing. Crazy, but endearing.

  “And you were gone for five days. The moment I realized they took you, I…” He ran his hand through his dark hair while clenching his jaw and slowly let out a long breath. “I will never let that happen to you again, Nariella. You have my word, for as long as I live, I will never let them do those things to you again.” His voice was almost menacing, and I realized he blamed himself for my capture. What did they want with him? And what did it have to do with me?

  “Wait, how can they not know what you can do? They acted like they knew, and you also did things right in front of them.” I shook my head lightly, confused. He didn’t make sense at all.

  “I erased those things from their memories. Ray was also taken. He’s fine; I made sure he doesn’t remember any of it either or what happened the night before you were taken. I had him telephone into work and take a long holiday. I figured you would need a little time without him.” He took a bite of his food.

  “What other senses are heightened for you?” I was reeling from this new revelation and needed to change the subject, not fully understanding what he meant and not entirely sure I wanted to. It was all too heavy for me at the moment. I followed suit by forcing myself to take big bites of my own soup.

  “All of them,” he stated plainly, continuing to eat. My hand kept my spoon hovered in front of my mouth for a second as this news slowly sunk in. I thought of all the different senses a person had. Taste, sight, hearing, smell, and touch. All of them were heightened? I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like. Did that mean he could hear my heartbeat every time it started pounding frantically from something he did? Oh god. I consciously made myself take the bite and forced myself to chew. I couldn’t taste the food, but I desperately needed to get back to normal. Normal. That made me think of Rydan. What was I going to say to Rydan?

  “Mycah…Rydan is my best friend. I have to tell him about you and what happened to me. He needs to know, and I can’t lie to him.” I stared intently into his eyes, willing for him to understand how serious I was.

  “The bloke at your house this morning?” I knew he wasn’t really asking; he knew exactly who I was talking about. I nodded anyway.

  “You mustn’t tell him. Nariella, listen to me. If you really value your friendship as much as you say you do, then you cannot tell him one word of this. For his sake,” he beseeched sternly. “And not a word about me either.” I winced at his words.

  “I can’t do that! He is going to ask about you. I have to tell him something. Please. You’re the one who told him I’ve been with you this whole time. I have to give him an explanation.” I could hear my voice turned to begging, and I hoped he could sense my desperation. He ran his hand through his hair, a gesture I was beginning to understand as frustration. Rydan did the same thing, and for a moment the similarity between the two of them struck me very oddly. I hadn’t noticed it before this moment.

  “I said that for his own safety. You can tell him I was lying about that, but you’re going to have to make something up to explain your whereabouts. You cannot tell him about those men and your capture. You can’t, Nariella. Do you understand?” He leaned over the table with his eyes so intense, there was no way I could argue or not do what he asked of me. I wouldn’t tell Rydan the truth. I didn’t know how or what I was going to say to him, but if it meant his safety, then I would make sure and do my best to protect him.

  We finished eating in silence. I didn’t care to ask any more questions. The information I was given so far was enough to keep my head swirling with disbelief and confusion for a long time. I wasn’t sure if I could handle more crazy right now, and I sure as heck couldn’t get Rydan off my mind. My insides ached to my core at the thought of hurting him and having to lie to him. I just wanted to make it better and
confide all the insane crap that, for some reason, kept happening to me.

  Mycah took care of the bill automatically, making me once again grateful for his kindness when I realized after the fact that I didn’t have my wallet. Not that it mattered, since I knew there was no money in said wallet anyway. But this wasn’t a date.

  “I’ll pay you back,” I exclaimed. I didn’t want him to think I expected him to take care of me. Even though he always did.

  “Don’t be silly.” He put his hand on the small of my back and guided me out of the restaurant.

  “Well, thank you again, really. It’s very nice of you.” As we stepped outside, a chilled breeze slammed into my face. I was glad I got the soup, making my insides nice and toasty. My outside, however, not so much.

  “Would you like to take a walk near the ocean?” he asked light-heartedly.

  “Sure.” I nodded, liking the idea of not having to go back home just yet. I hugged my arms to my body as we made our way down the street toward the Atlantic. The cool, briny ocean smell filled my lungs as I thought of one more thing I wanted to say to him, if I could just figure out how to say it.

  “It is so peaceful here. It’s completely different from Chicago.” He looked up toward the sky, furrowing his eyebrows. “Actually, I take that back. Anytime I walk along Lake Michigan it can be peaceful too. But the streets can be chaotic.”

  “I’d love to go there sometime. I’ve always wanted to see a big city like that,” I confessed, pushing my hair behind my ear.

  “It has its low and high points, just like any place really. But I’m sure you’d love it nonetheless.” He kicked at a stone, and it went flying through the air. I couldn’t even see where it landed.

  As we made our way to the sidewalk that stretched along the rocks that encompassed the ocean, I stopped to stare out at the infinite black horizon and crashing waves that played in the moonlight. It was so beautiful.

  “Look! A shooting star,” he breathed with amazement and pointed to the sky.

  “I haven’t seen one of those in such a long time! Wow, so pretty.” I stared up at the sky and felt like a tiny ant compared to the reality of galaxies and space. “It’s not very often I'm able to get outside at night. Ray doesn’t allow me out after dark.” I grimaced. Just having to say his name out loud made me want to puke.

  “I’m sorry, love.” Mycah brushed his fingers over my knuckles that peeked out from having my arms crossed over my chest. I tried to ignore it and stayed silent, making myself watch the busy ocean.

  “Sindora!” I yelped. The name my captor kept asking me about all of a sudden hit me like a slap in the face. “Who or what is Sindora?”

  When Mycah didn’t say anything, I pulled my eyes from the ocean and turned to him. He stared out at the waves, remaining completely stoic.

  “Mycah?” I pushed, growing impatient.

  “I was counting on you to forget. Don’t mention that word aloud again; it’s very important you don’t know about it. They could use it against you. I don’t want to give them another reason to come after you,” he whispered very softly through his teeth, clenching his jaw.

  “Are you serious? They already think I know about it, so what’s it matter?” Could there ever be anything simple about Mycah, just once?

  “If I tell you what it is, I would be putting you in infinitely more danger. I can’t take that risk. I know you want answers, I know it, but you have to understand just you being near me is putting you in danger. Imagine if I actually told you anything, how much more danger you would be in. Don’t you understand?” He rushed his words, making his accent thicker and almost hard for me to understand.

  “Listen, I get all that, okay? But it is driving me crazy not knowing! Please, just tell me something. Anything! Is it a person?” I didn’t want to give up.

  “No, it’s not a person. It’s a thing. A very important thing.” He averted his eyes in the opposite direction and stayed like that for a few moments.

  “Okay...what does it do?” I kept pressing, hoping he’d just tell me. My curiosity was burning.

  “That I won’t tell you.” He still didn’t look at me.

  “Where is it?” I tried, just to see.

  “Ha! You’re bloody joking. Right?” He finally turned his gaze to me, his ocean blue eyes looking to be on fire, causing me to squint and focus my attention on the elemental contradiction warring in his irises right in front of me. Everything about him was otherworldly...but his eyes...well, they were on a whole other level.

  “I wasn’t joking, but fine, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know anyway.” I pouted, trying the reverse psychology approach.

  “Good.” He ran a hand through his black hair and then stopped talking. I guessed it didn’t work. It didn’t matter because I was kept mesmerized by the way the moonlight caressed his messy tresses and accentuated the blue in each and every strand. It gave him a glowing effect and gave me the strongest urge to reach out and tangle my fingers in them...I rolled my eyes at myself. I needed to get a grip.

  We stayed like that for a few moments before I could no longer feel my toes. It was too cold, so we made our way back. After walking in silence for a while, I already gave up thinking about the Sindora and Mycah’s hair and tried to focus on how to say what I’d been dying to express to him without it getting awkward. I eventually mustered up the courage to say what I wanted to tell him just as we were coming up to his car.

  “Mycah…thank you…for saving me. Again. I wish I could express how grateful I am for you coming for me and what you did with Ray and after Ray…” We were standing so close together that any slight movement would have made us touch. I could feel electricity coursing through my veins, begging me to reach out and grab his hand. I told myself to shut up and calm down. I swore off guys. All guys. Especially hot, sexy, tall dark and dangerous ones. It didn’t matter that he kept saving me. Did it?

  “You don’t have to thank me.” He opened the car door for me and then slowly leaned down and put his lips to my ear, making me freeze—and not from the cold. “But if you’re that desperate to figure out a way to express your gratitude, I’m sure I could think of something.” He pulled back, standing up straight again and stared into my clearly shocked eyes.

  “I’m just teasing you, love.” He laughed, brushing his thumb along my jawline.

  “Yeah, no, I know. I knew you were teasing.” I laughed then too, trying to sound convincing. He squinted and turned his head to the side, like he could see right through me. I got in the car, slowly letting out a breath of air I didn’t know I was holding.

  “Mycah, um…I…you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I…I’m scared to be alone. To sleep…alone,” I fumbled through what I was trying to say as Mycah started the engine and began driving me home, a place I dreaded going back to by myself.

  “Just for tonight then. The longer I stay here, the more danger you’ll be in. I’ll have to leave soon.” My heart sunk at his words. He had to leave? Like, leave Kennebunkport? Leave Maine? Or just my house? I remembered Zaylie said he was just visiting, but I had forgotten about it. I looked out the window into the black sky and tried not to let the panic show in my face. Or let the sickening disappointment I didn’t want to admit to plant itself in my heart.

  “School! What should I tell my teachers? How do I explain my absence? They’ve been trying to contact Ray, I’m sure.” I suddenly remembered my life before all the crazy started.

  “I took care of that. I rang pretending to be Ray and told them you would be out for a few days. Do you think you could handle going tomorrow, though? It is up to you.” He turned onto my street.

  “Will you be there?” I stared at my dark house, not used to it being empty this late. It felt good not having to worry about Ray being there angry with me. Not having to clean up his broken bottles of alcohol. It hadn’t felt this good since my mom was alive. I missed her so much.

  “Your first class perhaps. I’m not really a student there. I have t
o manipulate so many minds when I go; I try to avoid that.” He pulled into the driveway and turned off the car. I stayed sitting in my seat as I contemplated this. He was at my door and opening it for me before it could sink in. I had been right—something weird did happen with Mr. Dale that day Mycah called out the answer to that diabolical equation for me. I inwardly scoffed once again at the ridiculousness of it. I mean, did Mr. Dale really expect me to know the answer to that? I shook my head and rolled my eyes as we walked up to the front door.

  I didn’t bring anything with me—not my wallet, keys, purse, nothing. I didn’t know what I was thinking when we left; my head was obviously some place else. I tried the door handle thinking it would be unlocked since I had no way of locking it when we left, but it didn’t turn. Great. Just my luck. It was locked, surprisingly. How…

  Mycah reached over just then and put his fingers over the lock. It glowed just before I heard it click, and he opened the door, letting me walk through first. I think I was going to have to get used to this. “Thank you,” I murmured like the superhuman act was no big deal. At least I pretended I could get used to it.

  I walked into my room, still feeling completely exhausted. Mycah stayed standing in the hallway, obviously not knowing what to do with himself.

  “I’m just going to get changed real quick. One second.” I closed the door behind me and quickly looked for something decent to wear. I shimmied out of my jeans and navy blue cotton top and grabbed my best looking comfortable clothes. Black soft sweatpants and grey tank top would have to do.

  I opened my door again and peeked my head out. Mycah leaned against the wall still in the hallway, head down and hands in his pockets. He looked up under his lashes, head turned to the side toward me. I sighed, knowing there was nothing about Mycah I could ever get used to.

  “I’ll stay on the sofa,” he stated softly. The hallway was dark so I couldn’t make out his expression. The thought of being alone in my room scared me, and I knew I was just being silly, but I couldn’t help it. It was too soon.

  “Actually, could you stay in here with me? I just don’t want to be alone yet. But if you don’t want to, I mean I’m sure you want your privacy—” I made myself shut up when he started walking toward me. My heart pounded in my ears; surely he could hear it too. I tried to take a deep breath to calm my nerves.

  “As you wish,” he breathed, looking down at me as he walked past. I let out the air I unconsciously held and slowly closed the door, locking it behind me.

  Nothing was going to happen, I kept telling myself. This was nothing. I just wanted to feel safe. I closed my eyes and walked toward my bed, determined to calm down before I got to it. Mycah walked to the window and stared outside, not saying a word.

  I lay down, realizing my anxiety was silly. Of course nothing was going to happen. Mycah wouldn’t do that. I just got back from something unimaginable, learned a whole bunch of even more unimaginable things, and hurt my best friend for the first time ever. I was in no state of mind to even consider something serious with Mycah. My emotions were all over the place; I couldn’t even tell what was real anymore.

  “Shhhhh, it’s alright, Nariella. Sleep,” Mycah whispered softly from the window, not turning around. How did he…? Darn heightened senses. I was in no mood to ask. I did as he said, slowly exhaling, and settled down deeper into my fluffy pillow. I was surprised to find how much Mycah’s presence affected me. He was alluringly comforting when near, like a warm blanket wrapped around my cold soul, and I wasn’t exactly sure I liked how happy that made me—how much my soul relished in this newfound comfort. In fact, it downright worried me.

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