Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.67
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.67

           Bailey Ardisone


  Tears brimmed in my eyes as I sat mesmerized by Rydan’s enchanted playing. It truly was magical, like witnessing life after death, or the never failing sun rising at dawn to chase away the darkness. His music always spoke to me, but not like this. Not when he was in his true element.

  Rydan was born to play the piano. If there was anything I was sure of in this world, that was it.

  As he finished his piece and stood up to bow, I watched as the entire room erupted into wild cheering and clapping. Hundreds of roses were thrown onto the stage at his feet. He was always the finale and always had piles of roses at his feet by the time he walked off the stage.

  “That was incredible!” Zaylie said to me as she squeezed my arm. “I had no idea!”

  “I know, right? He is magnificent. This is my favorite thing to do,” I replied to her, remembering how much I looked forward to these trips every time I got to go. Sometimes Ray would put up a good fight and tell me no, other times he’d say yes but only if I did something in return, which was usually very unpleasant—Like making the garage and attic spotless or washing his car inside and out. Despite all that, it was absolutely worth it in the end.

  We met up with Rydan back stage. As soon as I saw him, I ran over and threw my arms around him. “You were breathtaking. Congratulations.” I beamed at him, feeling exceptionally proud of my best friend. Keeping to tradition, he handed me a single red rose he had picked up off the stage. I grinned at the familiar gesture and pulled it to my nose, taking in its wonderful scent. His parents came over next, so I relinquished my attention and let them take over.

  Anna cried as she hugged her son and offered her congratulations and compliments as well. Darren did the same, without the tears, but it was obvious how moved he was by Rydan’s gift. The intimate gestures brought more tears to my eyes as I watched them.

  I was happy Rydan had a loving family—and that so did Zaylie and Desmond, and even Liam. I was grateful my friends all had that.

  But it still sent aching pangs of envy through my limbs and made me wish I, too, had a caring family I could call my own. It made me miss Elizabeth more than ever when there were moments like this.

  Even Mycah knew his family history. I might not have known anything about it or where they were or if he was close with them, but he said himself he bore a family emblem right on his neck, so they must have meant something to him.

  I was the only one who didn’t know what it was like to be loved or cared for unconditionally—To have parents who worried about you all the time and watched you grow up and deal with typical teenage problems.

  “That was so awesome, man. We are seriously impressed,” I heard Liam say to Rydan. I took a deep breath, thankful to have been broken from my gloomy thoughts.

  “Ah, ya know, after some thought, I’m thinking we might make an exception and let you skip the audition trial for the band,” Desmond joked, shaking Rydan’s hand.

  “Thanks, man,” Rydan chuckled.

  “I’m starving. How about we head to the restaurant?” Darren asked everyone.

  “That’s a great idea, honey. We don’t want to keep these kids out too late. They have school in the morning still,” Anna added, being very motherly.

  Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley took us to a super fancy restaurant. I was barely able to read the menu since the whole thing was in a foreign language looking much like French, and there were no prices listed, which I knew meant no matter what I chose, I would be giving up my life savings.

  I inwardly rolled my eyes at myself every time I thought of the loose term "life savings" I always seemed to give it. It was a joke of course. I had no such thing as an actual life savings.

  “Please, everyone. Choose whatever sounds good to you. Tonight is our treat,” Anna said as Darren put an arm around her and nodded in agreement.

  “Oh, Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley, you really don’t have to do that!” Zaylie countered, shocked by the generosity.

  “Please! Don’t be silly, Zaylie. We absolutely want to. No arguments!” Darren spoke up, smiling.

  “Thank you so much!” Zaylie surrendered.

  “Yes, thank you! You’re so kind,” I added. I was used to their generosity, but it never failed to be so heartwarming. Rydan especially took after them. He took care of me so much. I would forever be indebted to him and his family.

  Two and a half hours later, we were all dropped off at our respective homes. I was last, and as I stepped out of the SUV, Rydan followed me.

  “So you told them I was staying here, huh?” I asked him quietly, not wanting his parents to overhear as they stayed in the car. Originally Rydan was going to wait until my birthday to tell them that I moved into their B&B. But here we were parked outside, and I didn’t even need to tell them where to drop me off.

  “Uh yeah. Marie told them actually. After she walked in on you and…him,” he replied, shifting uncomfortably where he stood. Immediately a rush of blood went to my cheeks at the mention of Marie finding Mycah and I kissing passionately in front of his room. I was horrified that Rydan’s parents now knew, but even worse that Rydan knew, too.

  “Oh god. Please tell me I fell asleep on the ride home and this is just a stupid nightmare I am about to wake up from,” I grumbled, closing my eyes and willing myself to wake up.

  “Nope, I’m afraid not. Believe me, no one wishes that more than me,” he murmured.

  “Ow!” I yelped, my eyes popping open from Rydan pinching my arm. I had left them closed, determined to wake up soon. “What was that for?”

  “See? Not a nightmare,” he responded with a small smile.

  “Fine. So they’re okay with it?” I asked hesitantly. I was afraid maybe they’d make me go back tomorrow or something and were just being nice by letting me stay here tonight.

  “They’re fine. I told them how important it is for you to get away and that Ray wants you out just as much as you want to be out. They were concerned he’d file a complaint or make a big deal about it at first, but I explained to them how that would never happen.”

  “Okay, thank you so much for everything, Ry. I don’t know what I would do without you.” I sighed and gave him a huge hug.

  “Yeah, yeah, you say that all the time,” he chuckled, rolling his eyes at me. “See you tomorrow.”

  “See ya.” I waved to him as he got back in the SUV and then waved at his parents. I stepped back and watched them drive away.

  I turned around sighing, excited about climbing into bed and finally going to sleep. But I jumped and let out a small scream upon finding Mycah standing right in front of me with his hands in pockets and looking way too good to be human. No, it wasn’t fair. Not fair at all.

  “I’m sorry, love. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I take it you had fun?” he said genuinely but didn’t make any attempts to come closer to me.

  “Yes, yes, it was amazing,” I answered with a hand over my heart, trying to catch my breath. “We all had a blast.”

  “Lovely.” He smiled at me.

  “How was Sabrina?” I asked snidely, brushing past him and making my way up the front steps of the B&B. I could feel I was being childish, but I didn’t even know what Mycah and I were, and a huge part of me still fought against us becoming anything but friends. I was trudging through denial, telling myself that no men were good and I needed to stay away or my heart was bound to get broken.

  “Excuse me?” he answered, following close behind me.

  “You know, Miss Big Boobs? Blonde hair, legs that go on forever?” I spun around to face him, wanting to see his expression. He looked completely confused with eyebrows furrowed together, eyes to the ground. Like he tried to figure out a big mystery.

  “Are you referring to the girl that spoke to us this morning outside your school?” he questioned, still looking puzzled. I rolled my eyes. Seriously?

  “And are you trying to tell me you don’t know her name?” I asked skeptically, not believing it could be true for a second.

“I honestly had no idea. But I think what threw me is why you would even bring up her or any other girl for that matter?” He took a step closer to me and narrowed his eyes with intensity.

  “You’re right. I’m being stupid. I’m just really tired and confused, and we’re just friends, right? I don’t care either way.” I sighed, feeling ridiculous, but I wasn’t ready to come to terms with any deeper feelings I might've had for Mycah. I just couldn’t. Not until he told me everything I knew he was hiding from me. I had to keep him at an arm's length.

  I noticed him flinch at my words, but I made myself ignore it. I turned around and forcefully opened the door and ran inside, leaving Mycah behind. I just needed sleep. I couldn’t trust anything I said or did until I got a good night’s rest. Lack of rest made me crabby, apparently.

  But as soon as I opened the door to the "Duck Room," my plan to go right to bed was immediately overwritten with a new plan. Someone else’s plan for me. And it instantly washed away any negative feelings I might have felt just seconds ago.

  I was stunned by the hundreds—maybe thousands—of purple and blue flower petals that covered the entirety of the room. Ivory candles lined the walls and sat on every surface as twinkling lights hung from the ceiling. It was whimsical. It was beautiful.

  It was Mycah.

  I didn’t hear him come up behind me, but I felt it, as if his very presence stirred my soul and molecules were snapped to life. I gasped once every candle lit to a soft glowing flame all at once. Oh, he was good.

  Way too good.

  It resembled the flame I, too, had growing and raging deep inside me somewhere—one that had been kindled without my control some time ago, and much like the ambient candles decorating the room, my own fire gave full credit to Mycah as the orchestrator slash pyro-technician.

  I turned around to face the one creature who never ceased to amaze me, who stood quietly behind me, and who I only assumed waited for my reaction of some sort.

  “What...? What in the world is this?” I didn’t know what else to say, or even try hiding my shock, because I knew he would be able to feel it anyway. I hadn’t exactly had very many romantic gestures happen in my life. Okay, well, if we were being honest here, this was kinda my first. I almost looked down to make sure my feet were still there, wondering if they could literally be swept off.

  “Dance with me,” he pitched his voice low, and then he infinitesimally nodded his head upward without drawing away his eyes from mine, and like magic, beautiful cello music began filling the air.

  “Where’s the bed?” I couldn’t help ask. The room was empty, except for the flower petals, candles, and the dresser that carried the stereo. Obviously, my brain was not working properly and was too muddled to perform a proper response, and unfortunately curiosity always got the best of me.

  “It is just in the other room for now. I’ll bring it back for you, I promise. Don’t worry about that. Just dance with me,” and as he said the words, he already pulled me to him and led me to the middle of the area. The now empty room was spacious without the bed, giving us plenty of floor to move about.

  “I’m sorry you missed your dance because of me. I wanted to make it up to you,” he whispered in my ear. I didn’t respond.

  Because Mycah was right. He was an excellent dancer. He twirled me around like an expert, making me laugh and dipping me perfectly at all the right places. After a few minutes of fun, the music switched from a slightly fast rhythm to a slow, ultra magnetic sound. Mycah slowed to match it and pulled me ever closer against his hard chest, as if there were physical elements contained in the haunting symphonic notes that forced us closer together.

  We couldn’t be pulled apart, even if we wanted to.

  I drew a long breath of air, soaking in the scent of vanilla, flowers, and of course Mycah. The passionate, soulful music beckoned every one of my emotions as the deep sounds of the cello cocooned us. I was afraid to look up, afraid to look into his eyes at what I would find there. But with the way each one of my cells tingled and buzzed, I had no choice, and my eyes moved on their own accord. They slid up to meet his waiting gaze and were instantly lost in the infinite pools of multi-faceted blues, purples, and greens.

  My heart stopped.

  This look—this expression he gave me. I didn’t understand it—couldn’t figure out what it was or what it meant. And the way it struck the strings of my heart like a master cellist, I knew there would be no returning from this.

  Whatever this was, it was amazing. I had never experienced anything like it before, or the way it felt to have Mycah’s arm around my waist as he gently held my hand in his, barely swaying us back and forth. It was like nothing else in the world; that I was sure of. My soul literally felt full, whole. Complete.

  Time seemed to slow to a stop as the world vanished around us, leaving only him and only me. I moved my head against his body. I could hear his heart beating against my ear.


  More magic. Pure and simple. I let the wonderful sound permeate every fiber of my being instead of trying to fight it, like usual, because I honestly didn’t think I could even if I wanted to.

  And I didn’t want to. Not this time. Not anymore. I might not have liked it, but slowly, I was changing. Slowly, I was realizing something.

  I just didn’t know what it was yet.

  He suddenly picked me up off the floor, and immediately I reciprocated by wrapping my legs around his waist. He stared up into my eyes, drawing me in, and before I could react or even comprehend what I was doing, I leaned down closer and closer to his soft lips, which I cautiously, hesitantly touched with mine. He did not pull his eyes away from mine, nor did I pull mine away from his as I gently and slowly kissed his barely restrained mouth. I could feel it was difficult for him to not kiss me back like mad. He was letting me take control, and I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed testing the waters of my physical attraction, embellished with my affection and adoration for this beautiful, ethereal being.


  I did not go wild. I did not go mad. But the level of passion behind the slow, gentle kiss was just as strong as all of our other kisses, and I felt it from the very top of my head down to the tiniest atoms in the tips of my toes. Only, this time, this kiss, was different. It meant more somehow. It reflected something else, something more concrete. Something I had yet to understand.

  And it left me utterly breathless.

  After a few more dances, Mycah reluctantly called it a night, knowing I was lacking sleep. He easily moved the bed back into the room as if it were never missing and quietly said good night.

  I leapt onto the bouncy mattress in a complete mind-numbing daze, and in seconds was fast asleep.

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