Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.44
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.44

           Bailey Ardisone
 

  ~Nari~


  “Mycah, where are we going?” I asked again when he didn’t answer me the first time. I expected to go home where I could lay down in peace and silence and go over again what I was planning on telling Rydan. If I was able to see him tonight, I wanted to be prepared.

  “Calm down. You behave as if I were abducting you. You already know I’m the rescuer, not the other way ‘round.” He smirked and changed gears in what looked more like art than an actual car as we continued driving to who knows where. I rolled my eyes and watched from my peripheral as he drove manually. I’d never driven a manual car, only automatic. It was fascinating to watch his precise movements each time he had to switch gears. I didn’t even feel the change like usual when the driver pressed down on the clutch and moved the gearshift. There was no jerk or pull at all. He was clearly a master at it. Surprise, surprise.

  Eventually, he parked the car as we arrived at our destination. We were at O’Malley’s Bed & Breakfast. I inwardly rolled my eyes at myself. I didn’t know why I was worried. He probably just needed to stop and grab a few things.

  “Come on, slow poke,” Mycah called when he realized I wasn’t getting out. I was confused, though. Why did I have to go in, too?

  I hesitantly opened my door, then quickly jumped out and ran to Mycah, wishing I could've still avoided the rain. He didn’t protect me from it like he did before. By the time we got inside, I was completely soaked.

  I was about to complain, already spoiled by the neat trick I badly wished I could perform myself, when he suddenly started drying me with a simple wave of his hand. He started with my head and moved all the way down to my toes until I was completely dry and back to normal, just like the night he healed me.

  “Thank you.” "Amazed" couldn’t nearly describe how I felt each time I witnessed his abilities. I had a feeling I’d be thanking him a lot as time went on. That was, unless he left...

  “It’s my pleasure, love,” he responded as he started walking to his room, so I followed. He opened the door for me, letting me enter first.

  To my major surprise, I walked in to find Rydan sitting in the only chair contained in the room. He looked despondent and frayed, dressed all in black, matching the color of his hair. He looked like a dark, ragged angel, and before I even knew what I was doing, I was across the room throwing my arms around him.

  “I’ll leave you to chat. I’ll be back later,” I faintly heard Mycah say, followed by the sound of the door closing.

  “What are you doing here?” I was so stunned to see him, in Mycah’s room of all places.

  “Why are you so surprised to see me at the B&B my family owns?” He didn’t sound amused or pleased to see me, and he didn’t return the hug either.

  “It’s not that I'm surprised to see you at the B&B, per se. It’s the fact that you are here in Mycah’s room that caught me off guard,” I explained, a little hurt he was being so distant.

  “I was here earlier for business purposes and ran into him. He told me he’d pick you up and bring you here since it was about to rain. What is going on, Nari? Why are you hanging around this guy?” He stood up and walked to the other side of the room, leaving me in the spot alone.

  “I’m not hanging around him. I mean, I’m not trying to. He is just someone I met at school, that’s all. I’m so sorry for what happened yesterday, Rydan. Please forgive me. I wasn’t kicking you out, and I didn’t want you to leave, I just had to take care of something first. You took what I said the wrong way,” I tried to explain—tried to make him understand—but it was so difficult without going into actual details.

  “Don’t ever do that to me again. When I didn’t hear from you, I came looking for you every day. I thought for sure something terrible happened to you—that Ray finally broke and went off the handle. Do you have any idea what that was like? And then to find you perfectly okay and in bed with some strange guy—” He stopped talking and ran a hand through his straight hair. I didn’t know what to say. All day I had thought of this conversation in my head over and over, but now that I was living it, I wasn’t expecting Rydan to display such emotions. He was usually so reserved; I was taken aback.

  “I know I put you through hell, and I truly am so, so sorry. Please forgive me. It won’t happen again, I promise you. I pinky promise.” I walked over to him, holding out my pinky. He reluctantly hooked his own pinky with mine.

  “I don’t like him, Nari. You need to stay away,” his voice was so earnest; I looked up at him confused. Did he know something?

  “I thought the same thing at first, Ry. He feels so…dangerous, right? I mean, he totally creeped me out too when I first met him.” He must have been able to feel the same dark vibe I did at first.

  “Dangerous? No, Nari. He doesn’t feel dangerous to me. I wish that were what it was. That would be way better,” he said disdainfully while pacing the room. He held a fist to his mouth, as if contemplating what to do next.

  “Really? I had such strong bad feelings from him at first, but they are basically gone now. He’s actually a really great person when you get to know him. Not that I really know him yet—Wait, why don’t you like him, then?” I was so confused. He stopped pacing and sat on the edge of the bed, staring intently at me. Now he was starting to freak me out.

  “Rydan, what is it? Why don’t you like him?” I prodded when he didn’t say anything and sat down in the chair, bracing myself for something more awful than dangerous.

  “It’s not danger that I feel from him at all. I don’t like him because he feels like…like…” He stood up again with exasperation and resumed pacing.

  “Oh, my god, Rydan. Seriously, he feels like what?!” He was keeping me on the edge of my seat, and I swore I was about to lose it in one second. He stopped walking and turned around. The look on his face as he locked eyes with mine made my chest hurt with all sorts of dread.

  “Home,” he finally breathed. His shoulders sagged, as if the weight of the world were sitting right on top of him.

  “What?!” I suddenly stood up, shouting and shaking my head. Perhaps I didn’t hear him right. “Did you say "home"? What does that even mean? And how is that a bad thing?” I crossed my arms and tapped my foot as I waited for an explanation. These dumb boys were going to be the death of me, I swear.

  Not even a second later, a blinding light flashed and an extremely loud crack of thunder boomed around us. I screamed and practically jumped out of my skin, instinctively covering my ears. The entire room shook and the windows rattled from the force. I could hear the rain pouring against the windows.

  Rydan’s cell phone started ringing, making me jump again.

  “What?” he answered nonchalantly. I watched him as he listened to whoever was speaking on the other end. “I’ll be right there.” He ended the call and turned to speak to me.

  “I have to go. My parents need me home before the storm gets any worse. Thunder got out; he’s frightened by the storm,” he explained solemnly. I found the young black colt’s name ironic at the moment. Rydan’s parents lived on a farm outside of town and owned several horses. I’d only been there a few times since it was so far away. Usually Rydan just came to me since I didn’t have a car.

  “I hope he’ll be okay.” I hadn’t met Thunder yet, but I still worried for the poor thing.

  “We’ll get him, don’t worry. I’m serious though, Nari. Stay away from that guy. I don’t trust him,” he cautioned me firmly.

  “Rydan, you don’t make any sense.” I shook my head and gave him a hug, not promising anything. He looked at me sternly before walking out the door.

  Wonderful.

  I could feel the impending doom of battle between best friend and…whatever Mycah was. If all Rydan worried about was that Mycah felt like…home? Then I really didn’t see what the problem was.

  Thunder boomed loudly again, startling me for the third time. I sighed. I had to get a grip. I walked out of Mycah’s room, ready to go home. I heard voices coming from one of the fro
nt sitting rooms so I followed it.

  I slowed my steps as I came upon Mycah and Marie—the B&B manager—chatting back and forth. I stayed hidden behind the wall, listening.

  “What?! A good-looking thing like you? How is it possible you don’t have anyone special in your life?” Marie teased, sounding very motherly. She was a kind, hardworking woman in her early fifties. Mycah laughed in return, and the sound was absolutely beautiful. It was a real laugh—a good, genuine hearty laugh—and I would die happy if it were the last thing I heard.

  “I know, right? You’d think I’d be able to get anybody. There must be something else wrong with me.” I could hear the humor in his voice and the gentle way he spoke to her. She laughed at his joke just as hard as he had at hers. It was obvious they both enjoyed speaking to each other and that this definitely wasn’t the first time.

  “It really is such a shame you didn’t get to go to any dances while you were in high school. Well, since you are past the age to be going to the Homecoming Dance here, you at least will go to the carnival, yeah? The whole town will be there.” Did she say past the age? How old was he? I figured we were both seventeen.

  “Perhaps. We shall see when the time comes.” The floor creaked, sounding like he stood up. I quickly turned around and started back to his room, not wanting him to catch me eavesdropping.

  “Oh, I do just love your accent!” I faintly heard Marie say just before I turned a corner and entered his room.

  A few minutes later, Mycah knocked on the door. I opened it, fidgeting and feeling guilty for listening in on their conversation. Pull it together, Nari…

  “You set to go home, darling?” Mycah asked in his sexy voice as he entered. He walked over to the dresser and grabbed a few things.

  “Mhm, yes, ready,” I said too sweetly. “What’s with all the fancy terms of endearment, by the way?” I tried to turn the attention on him, hoping to mask my nervousness. He looked at me with furrowed eyebrows for a second.

  “Oh, sorry, just out of habit really. I guess it’s a British thing,” he explained light heartedly. “Alright then, let’s go.” He walked toward the door and opened it for me.

  “When will Ray be back?” I dreaded the moment but knew it was coming sooner or later. I walked past him, heading for his car.

  “Sunday evening. He’ll be returning to work that next morning. I’m sorry, love.” He sounded sincere. I kept walking, not wanting to dwell too much on the fact I only had two and a half more days 'til Ray was back.

  “Hey um…can I ask how old you are?” This was a more interesting topic.

  “How come you want to know?” I couldn’t see his face since he was behind me, but he sounded skeptical.

  “Because…I don’t know, I just do.” Did I need a reason?

  “I’m nineteen,” he said as he walked past, never failing to open a door for me, leading to the outside. Chivalry was not dead after all. It was still storming, so he enveloped us in his protective shield.

  “I see. I had been thinking we were the same age. I’m seventeen.” I felt silly for thinking he was a high school student and expecting to still be under his parents' care.

  “You’ll be eighteen soon, won’t you?” It didn’t really sound like a question the way he said it, but I answered anyway.

  “Yes, October 24th, but how did you know that?” Was he psychic?

  “Lucky guess.” He smirked as he opened the car door for me. I got in and waited for him to get in too. He started the car and began driving.

  “Why did you come here to Kennebunkport?” There wasn’t much to see, and I couldn’t imagine this being an actual vacation for him.

  “What do you mean? Miss out on seeing all the lovely lighthouses? It’s a charming place really. It isn’t Chicago of course, but the character here is quite captivating, don’t you think?” He turned to me, and again his accent accompanied by his whole foreign demeanor made me lost on whether he was truly asking or being sarcastic.

  “Well yes, but that’s all you came here for? To see lighthouses and small town charm?” I found it hard to believe that a person who could travel anywhere in the world chose Kennebunkport, Maine as their destination.

  “Perhaps you’re just a cynic,” he joked, smirking.

  “Perhaps.” There really wasn’t much I actually understood about Mycah. I tried not to let it be obvious, but he was so mysterious. I couldn’t help thinking he wasn’t being entirely honest with me. ‘Stay away from that guy. I don’t trust him.’ Rydan’s words echoed in my mind. A feeling of foreboding came over me, and I gripped the sides of my seat as we sped, way too fast for my comfort, through the storming rain and wet streets leading to my house.

  When we arrived, I was supposed to say goodbye, get out of the car, and walk inside. But after he parked in the driveway and I touched the door handle, unexplainable panic came over me. I didn’t want to say goodbye. Why couldn’t I say goodbye?

  Mycah turned off the engine and came to my side of the car to open the door for me. I eventually got out, with him shielding us from the storm and me not knowing what to say. We stood there next to each other in silence, and I dared not look at him. The wind and rain swirled around us, but it couldn’t touch us. He wouldn’t let it. I could feel his eyes on me, beseeching me to match his gaze. But I knew if I did, I would break.

  The thought of him leaving hurt like nothing I’d felt before, and it terrified me. Perhaps he waited for me to say goodbye, I wasn’t sure, because I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.

  He slowly, hesitantly, reached up and caressed my cheek with his thumb, sending shivers down my spine. My eyes went to his then, and the look I found staring back at me left me breathless. My skin lit on fire the moment his ocean eyes dropped to my lips, and if I didn’t know any better I would have thought I was having a heart attack.

  My heart was threatening to burst from its cavity as he stepped closer and licked his lips. ‘Stay away from that guy.’ I heard Rydan’s words again. And that did it. That woke me up and broke my trance. What was I doing? This wasn’t me…I wasn’t easily seduced by men. I stepped back, breaking the tension. But the thought of him leaving, maybe for good, was still too much.

  “Please don’t go,” I beckoned through deep breaths, my mouth acting on its own accord, betraying the logical resolve I knew I should hold to. I knew I should stay away, but there was something there, begging me to explore it. In the back of my mind, a part of me hoped to prove Rydan wrong.

  “As you wish,” he whispered, and a mixture of disappointment and relief crossed his face.

  I stepped into my darkened room and closed the door while Mycah waited out in the hallway for me to change into more comfortable clothes. I had about a million butterflies in my stomach all doing nose-dives.

  I turned my back to the door and slowly slid down to the floor, putting my head in my hands. I didn’t want to feel this way. I couldn’t feel this way. Maybe no one else felt strange things about Mycah at school, but I did and Rydan did. He was dark and mysterious, with men resembling Secret Agents looking for him for reasons unbeknownst to me. Rydan said to stay away and not to trust him. I trusted Rydan with all my heart, and if he felt like something was wrong with Mycah then who was I to disagree? He would kill me if he knew I was letting Mycah stay here. And then he’d bring me back just to kill me all over again when he found out I asked him to stay here.

  What was wrong with me? All the signs pointed for me to stay away.

  But then…

  Why couldn’t I bring myself to do it? Why did I feel so drawn to him? The thought of staying away made my chest ache. He did save my life on several occasions. He couldn’t be that bad. Right? In fact, he was proving to be quite the reliable person. Always watching out for me and taking care of me. I didn’t know why he gave off such scary vibes, but I at least could stay friends with him until I was given a reason otherwise. Or again, until he left…

  Standing up, I grabbed my clothes and quickly changed. I sent a t
ext to Rydan with ‘Are you still mad at me?’ I wouldn’t be able to sleep if things weren’t okay with us. We didn’t get to talk for long before he had to leave. A few minutes later he replied.

  ‘No’ was all he said. I sighed…then sent back, ‘Go to the Homecoming Carnival with me this Saturday?’ He replied with ‘k.’ I smiled, biting my lip, feeling excited.

  ‘Is Thunder okay?’ I sent back.

  ‘Yes’ was his reply. Phew...thank goodness.

  I opened my bedroom door to let Mycah in. He wasn’t standing there like he usually was.

  “Mycah?” I walked out to find him when I didn’t hear a response. The house was dark, empty, and very silent as I padded through. My scalp prickled and goosebumps morphed onto my arms, but I tried not to be scared. I knew I had to get used to the darkness again. I couldn’t rely on Mycah forever.

  I looked out the back door and found him standing in the yard. Even though there was still lightning and thunder in the distance, it had stopped raining. I grabbed my coat and boots before joining him.

  We stood in silence next to each other, lost in our own thoughts. My skin burned at the memory of the way he looked at me just moments ago. I couldn’t ever let that happen again. My resolve continued to crumble, and I was determined to get it back to normal. I would get it back to normal. I knew Mycah didn’t feel anything serious about me either. He was leaving, and I was sure I was nothing but a nuisance to him. He was just being an English Gentlemen like they say by staying.

  That moment was just a stupid fluke.

  Eventually, he bent down and picked up a leaf that had blown off our tree. I watched as he turned the leaf from brown to green, then to red and orange. Right after turning blue, it shifted from a leaf to a small white piece of paper. He handed it to me, and I numbly took it, staring with unconcealed shock.

  “What the...what the heck are you?” I didn’t wait for a response, the shock fueling my suspicions. “I don’t know why you’re here or why people are after you, but I know there is a reason. I know there has to be something that brought you to Kennebunkport, and don’t feed me that crap about lighthouses. You’re hiding something. I can feel it in my bones you’re hiding something, and I don’t understand why. Please, just tell me. I want to know. I want to know more about you.” I turned to him, pleading, willing for him to give in.

  “I can’t,” was all he said as he ran a hand through his dark hair, staring out at the lightning strikes far in the sky.

  “Are you really...human? I mean, you can’t be—” I knew the question was silly the second it left my lips, but deep in my heart I could feel that he wasn’t. He had never felt...human. I hated thinking it and didn’t want to admit it, but from the very first moment I laid eyes on him I could feel he was different. I stared at him for a few moments, hoping he’d change his mind and tell me the truth. But he didn’t. He stayed silent, not looking at me. “Fine. Lie to me. But there’s no way you—” I cut myself off. I couldn’t finish the words out loud. I couldn’t handle saying he wasn’t human.

  I turned around and walked back toward the house. I faintly heard him whisper behind me, “I never said I was.” My chest tightened at his words, but I kept on walking without stopping or turning around. I was angry now. And disappointed, frustrated, anxious; all of the above. I couldn’t take it anymore. I closed my eyes and slowly exhaled as I made my way back into my room. I didn’t want to care anymore. I didn’t want to feel angry or wonder what he was and what he had done to have made strange men kidnap me and interrogate me. I couldn’t wrap my head around his "special abilities," or not so special according to him, and I was sick of trying.

  If he wasn’t going to let me in, then fine. I wasn’t going to let him in either. I was done with all of it.

  I jumped into my bed and made myself forget those things. At least temporarily, I was numb. All I wanted to do now was sleep. Lose myself in blissful slumber, like drowning into sweet oblivion.

  Chapter Twenty-Five

 
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