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Unholy Bonds

by T.S. Watkins 3 months ago in fiction
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Chapter Eight

“Hey, I didn’t get a kiss!” Micah was sulking when we found him by the buffet table later, “I think ninety grand is worth a kiss, Darren got one.” Liam rolled his eyes.

“One, on the cheek, that’s it.” he growled, glaring at Micah, “he stole that kiss while there was an audience, he was lucky.”

Grinning widely Micah swept me into a hug and shooting a mischievous glance at Liam he planted a hot line of kisses along my jaw before he kissed me sweetly on the cheek. My nerves jumped into my throat and I scrambled away from him clinging to Liam’s arm.

“That was like five!” I said breathlessly, my face burning in mortification, “very unbrotherly Micah!”

Liam glared at him before he sighed, “Okay you two, what are you up to?” They looked at him innocently.

“What do you mean?” Darren said quietly sipping at a smoking glass, “We’re not doing anything.”

“You two never flirt with any of my girlfriends, as a matter of fact, you avoid them.” Liam growled, scowling at them, “What are you doing?”

“It’s not our fault this one is so cute,” Micah said with a teasing grin, “Come to think of it, she’s a catch compared to those other things you called women.” Darren snickered.

I looked up at Darren and he shook his head, telling me not to say anything. Frowning, I turned away, “I think I want to go back now.” I said quietly, I didn’t feel right keeping stuff from Liam, “I’m tired and these lights are giving me a headache.”

Liam followed me as I crossed the floor, a lot of the throng had thinned out. He wrapped an arm around my waist when he caught up to me and squeezed me gently, “You okay?” The concern in his voice wracked my nerves.

“I’m alright, I’m just tired.” I smiled at his puzzled expression, “It’s been a nerve-wracking night, I just want some peace.”

“I’ll have my car brought around.” he said looking away with a frown, “You sure? I mean you look a little upset.”

“I’m sure,” I said quietly, watching him as he turned and strode away to find the valet. His brothers were testing me? That’s awful! I can’t believe those girls did that to him! Shuddering, I climbed into the car as it was brought around.

I checked my phone briefly sighing at the flood of messages from Melissa, HOLY COW DUSTY! Leaped out at me from the screen, I thought about texting her back but when I checked the time, I decided against it. It was already almost one in the morning, stuffing my phone into my bag I sat back. Relaxing into the bucket racing seat as Liam drove quietly through the darkness.

Before I knew it warm arms were wrapped around me lifting me from the car, “what’s going on?” I said blearily, cringing against the cold blast of air that swirled around me.

“Shh, go back to sleep sweetheart.” Liam’s voice rumbled through his chest as he carried me through a doorway, “I’m just putting you in bed.” I quickly faded back out as his smooth gait rocked me back to sleep.

Sometime later I woke up again, a warm blue comforter was wrapped around me. Sitting up in the dim light I looked around confused. Oh wait, this is Liam’s room. I realized and sat back against the pillow. I glanced at the digital clock beside the bed and frowned, Wait where is he? It’s just now five in the morning. Quietly I slid out of bed and hugging the cover around my shoulders made my way down the dark hallway. The house was so quiet, I shivered and clutched the blanket tighter. Finally, I found my way down to the kitchen and looked out the clear doors to the pool deck. Well, he isn’t out there either.

“Maybe I’m dreaming,” I muttered to myself and started to turn away, suddenly a quick movement caught my eye and I glanced back out the sliding glass doors. A trio of black shapes was moving across the backyard, “What the hell is that?” I edged closer and clapped my hand over my mouth in shock.

Three black wolves were coming across the yard towards the back door, the carcass of a deer drug between the two larger ones. Stopping on the other side of the pool they dropped the deer and started eating it. Wait, why are the wolves in their yard? Remembering what Liam had said I frowned, these must be the same wolves as before. I placed my hand on the glass watching them in wonder. Suddenly a pair of glacial blue eyes pierced me as one wolf whipped around to look at me. His black snout dripping with the blood of the deer, it ran down his chest in rivulets. He gave a sharp bark and the other two turned to look at me, grabbing the carcass they turned and disappeared into the darkness around the edge of the yard. The blue-eyed wolf lingered, staring at me intently, his ears cocked forward. Damn it those eyes look so familiar! Turning, he swiftly disappeared, following the other two.

I rubbed my eyes and shook my head, So the wolves know where he lives? What are they pets? Confused, I turned and made my way back to his room. “I need to go back to sleep, I’m seeing things.” crawling back into his bed I pulled the pillow over my head and quickly fell back asleep.

The harsh glare of sunlight forced my eyes open, I peered around the room, my gaze settling on the clock. “Holy shit, I’m going to be late for the Lit final!” I leaped out of bed and swept around the room gathering my things.

“Whoa slow down whirlwind!” Liam came into the room when he heard me curse, “I was just about to come get you, don’t worry we’ll make it in time.”

“We have fifteen minutes to get there!” I moaned quickly, stripping out of the costume I was still wearing and pulling on some decent clothes.

He watched me appreciatively, his eyes wide, “Babe, I will get you there, ten minutes tops.” grinning, he snagged my arm after I pulled my shoes on.

“But what about the early morning work traffic?” I said as he towed me down the stairs, “I can’t think without breakfast, why didn’t you wake me up sooner!” I growled and he laughed.

He stuck a honey bagel in my mouth when I started to say something else, “Here eat and calm down.” I chewed glaring at him as he strapped me into the car and went around to his seat.

“Don’t ever let me sleep in like that!” I said after I finally swallowed the dry lump of bagel, “Or I won’t spend the night again!”

He reached across the console and handed me a coffee with a guilty grin, “Here, wash it down.” I was floored with his calm attitude; he didn’t even look worried!

My stomach flattened against my spine as he stepped on the accelerator. I almost dropped the coffee as I clutched the seat in alarm, “I didn’t say kill us!” I chirped looking wide-eyed at him across the car.

He grinned and pulled on a pair of sunglasses, shifting gears quickly he wove through the mass of commuters with ease. Suddenly sick, I dropped the bagel and set the coffee in a cup holder he had installed in the door. I clenched my eyes shut and held on for dear life as I felt the car weaving dangerously.

“Hey watch out, that's hot!” he yelped as the coffee threatened to slosh over the rim, “You’re perfectly safe, just hold on love.” I reached out and steadied the coffee cup glaring at him.

True to his word he rolled onto the campus exactly five minutes before the morning bell rang, I stumbled out of the car when he parked and immediately sat down on the curb. My stomach was rolling queasily as I clutched the grass beside the cement grateful for the solid ground.

“You okay?” he came and crouched down in front of me, a teasing grin on his face, “You look sick.”

“Don’t. Ever. Do. That.Again!” I snapped when I finally caught my breath, he laughed and pulled me to my feet.

“Come on now, you’ve got two minutes.” he said and pulled me across the grass, I stumbled drunkenly behind him trying to keep up, “Jesus you’re slow!” before I could retort he crouched down and pulled me up onto his back.

“Put me down!” I hissed as he jogged across the front lawn to the English building, I could feel the stares boring into my back.

“Nope sorry!” he said playfully and quickly closed the distance to the front door of the lecture hall, setting me gently on my feet. He gave me a sweet peck on the lips before he shoved me through the door, “Good luck babe!” the bell rang as soon as the door closed behind me.

I stood in the entrance frozen for a second, “Miss Rivers, your seat please!” Mrs. Rayburn’s sharp voice brought me around, I flushed and edged to my seat beside Melissa.

She gave me a suspicious glance when I sat down, “Jesus you look like hell Dusty.” Mrs. Rayburn started walking around the room handing out thick sheaves of paper as Melissa eyed me.

“I had a long night,” I grumbled testily, “He drives like a formula one racer, by the way, I almost ruined his car.” she chuckled.

“Quiet please,” we both turned guiltily to Mrs. Rayburn as she laid the papers in front of us, “I want a short descriptive paragraph about each topic.” She said moving down the table, “I will be checking punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and form.” I looked down at the booklet and groaned, I hate writing! “You have two hours, begin.” She sat behind her desk and mashed a button on a timer.

I kept glancing up at her as I worked, she looked like an old frog with reading glasses sitting there glaring around the room. She looks tired too, so I thought, turning my attention back to the booklet. Working slowly, I made it through the first few pages. My wrist was starting to ache from what seemed like an endless stream of words. I sighed and pushed on as the timer ticked away, wringing the numbness out of my wrist. Finally, the timer rang and I dropped my pen in relief. Pushing the booklet away I sat up and watched as she made her way around the room collecting the papers.

“This will be your only class for the day, I suggest you all go and study for whatever final you have tomorrow.” she said sternly, tucking the stack of papers under her arm, “Have a good day students, and I wish you luck. All papers will be graded by Wednesday, you’re dismissed.”

“What happened to you seriously?” Melissa glued herself to my arm as we left our Lit Hall for the last time, “I can barely talk you into wearing a sexy skirt and you’re with them for a few days, suddenly you’re half-naked with not one but three drop-dead-gorgeous men and wearing a costume that would make a prostitute blush.” she gave me a quizzical look, “It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.”

“It’s not that,” I said defensively and frowned at her, “I don’t know, it’s like he’s under my skin. He makes me feel beautiful, no matter how I feel about myself. Then there’s that irritating smug look when he thinks I’m not going to do something and I feel like I have to prove him wrong.”

“Hmm...so are you two a thing now? I know you said on Friday you weren’t dating.” she narrowed her eyes, “You two are getting a little close for just friends.”

“I punched his ex in the mouth last night,” I said, glancing at her as her jaw dropped, “Does that count?”

“Holy cow Dusty!” she blanched, “You’re getting serious, aren’t you? What did the poor girl do to deserve that?”

“It’s a long story,” I grumbled and turned toward The Cafe, “She touched what is mine and insulted me, also known as she deserved that bloody lip.” I looked at her shocked expression, “Want breakfast? I’m starving, I didn’t get a chance to eat with the Michael Schumacher wanna be behind the wheel this morning.”

“Yeah sure.” she said weakly and followed me through the door, “Did you ask...Oh my god!” she stopped dead in her tracks behind me.

My feet were frozen to the floor in shock, Liam was already there in a booth. Both of his brothers were seated on either side of him, laughing and eating. Not even aware that we had entered, Melissa grabbed my arm and hauled me out the door before they saw us.

“What are all three of them doing here?” she hissed, her face flushed every shade of pink, “I thought Professor Cross was the only teacher? Why are the other two here?”

“I don’t know, don’t drag me off like that.” I groused, pulling my arm away, “They’re pretty nice, they’re not going to bite you or anything. Just don’t tell them you know who they are, because then they’ll probably get mad at me thinking I told you.”

“I’m not going back in there!” she snapped and backed away, I frowned at her, “I look like crap today!”

“You act like you’re trying to impress them.” I said curiously, “Why? You haven’t even met them, don’t know anything about them, and are in a relationship of three years.”

“Are you kidding? I would break it off in a microsecond for Erreur Fatale,” her eyes got a dreamy look, “He could be a jerk for all I care, I just want him.”

I turned abruptly and walked away, calling over my shoulder, “I never knew you were that cold Melissa.” she gasped but I ignored her, ducking back into the Cafe.

“Babe!” Liam called over the chatter, immediately the whole place fell silent. Watching him sweep across the room. He yanked me into a hug and gave me a thorough kiss, I heard a few gasps and could feel the burning glares again.

I carefully pried myself away with a sheepish grin, “Knock it off, people are staring.” I said quietly, “You act like a teenager sometimes, I swear.”

Looping an arm around my shoulder casually he looked around the room surreptitiously, “They can stare,” he pulled me over to their table, “You make me feel like a teenager again.” chucking my cheek playfully he pulled me down beside him.

“How did your final go, Dusty?” Darren asked, smiling at me, “I heard you had a rough start this morning.”

“I think I passed,” I waved for the waiter, “But right now I’m starving,” glaring around at them I added, “None of you are paying, I want to buy my own breakfast.”

“As long as you eat, I won’t interfere.” Liam said, giving me a stern glare, “You can’t live off of crackers and water.”

Rolling my eyes at him I ordered the breakfast special, two pancakes with a sausage patty and two eggs sunny side up, “I can afford it don’t you worry.” adding an orange juice to my order I sat back and looked around at them, “So why are you two here? I know why he’s here; he’s working. But you two...” I raised a brow.

“Mom set up an interview here with your campus paper.” Micah said beaming, “They’re adding modeling to the career column for the end of the year paper.”

Well, Melissa is going to have a field day, she’s the reporter! “Are you wearing your masks?” I asked, “You realize if people know that you’re on campus and who you are it’s going to get ugly right?”

“The dean promised it would be a private interview and that only our alias would be used,” Darren said with a yawn, “Honestly getting chased off the campus by a hoard of women is starting to sound better and better.” he gave me an impish grin, “These women aren’t spoiled heiresses and are definitely not old enough to be my grandmother.” he laughed as I gasped.

“How old are you anyway?” I gave him a stern look, “most of the girls here are my age or younger, there’s a fifteen-year-old in my math class too.”

“Thirty-two.” my jaw dropped, There’s no way! He does not look that old! He chuckled at my stunned expression, “You expected me to let myself go?”

“No, it’s not that.” I blushed and turned away, “You just don’t look that old, just behave, don’t get personal with the students.”

“Dean Rivers,” Micah snorted as the waiter came back with my platter, “You’re stricter than the old bat is.” he grinned.

“I’m not!” I grabbed my fork and proceeded to ignore him, eating my breakfast, “If you’ll all excuse me, I’m starving so keep talking or whatever it was you were doing.”

They blinked at me but turned to each other, keeping up the lively banter. I watched them quietly as I ate. I was pretty mean to Melissa; I know quite a few girls that are actually nice and sweet too. They would love to have one of these guys in a heartbeat. I guess what happened with Victoria set me off. I frowned and wiped my mouth. Speak of the devil. Melissa was back clutching her bag nervously.

“Dusty I’m sorry, I guess what I said was kind of cold.” she looked on the verge of tears. The brothers turned almost in unison to look up at her. I saw her trembling and stood up.

“Here, just sit here and try the, getting to know people thing, I hear it does wonders,” I gave her an apologetic smile and sat her next to Micah on the end of the booth.

Every ounce of color left her skin and she slid as far away from him as she could without falling out of the booth. Sitting across from her I smiled, she can do better than Kurtis, he’s a douche and so are his friends. Not to mention it was mildly hilarious watching the always cocky and sure Melissa on the edge of the seat, showing that she was just as shy as me.

“Hey gorgeous!” Micah looped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her away from the edge of the seat, “Don’t sit so far away, you might fall.” I could almost see her heart in her throat as she nearly jumped out of her skin when he touched her.

“Um.” was all she could manage before she clammed up, finally she cleared her voice and spoke, “I was sent back by the editor.” she whispered, “She told me to get you guys and take you to the interview room.”

“Sure!” Micah said grinning at her, “No problem, let Dusty finish eating and we’ll all come.” I glared at him across my plate, “Mom says you’re to be treated as a model until you give a solid refusal.” he explained.

Melissa gaped and Micah reached up, chucking her chin, “Oh better watch out I’d hate for a bug to get trapped in that pretty mouth of yours,” Jesus do they all say it? Irritatingly, I finished my food and stood up walking to the counter.

“I don’t like this,” I mumbled as Liam pulled me across the campus after Melissa, Micah still had an arm looped around her shoulder talking animatedly, “I really hope Kurtis doesn’t see him.” I sighed and glanced around quickly.

“Who’s Kurtis?” he said following my gaze, “Is he a member of that house that assaulted you?” shooting a warning gaze down at me he frowned.

“Yeah, he’s Theta Ki’s president,” I sighed as I spotted him storming across the grounds from the Economics building, followed by a few of his cronies, “Melissa’s overprotective douchebag and here he comes!” I groaned and lurched out from under Liam’s arm, “Melissa!” I yelled ahead.

But Micah had already seen him, he ducked as Kurtis swung right at him, dropping Melissa into a dip. Pulling her back up he spun her to Darren. The angry faces surrounded Micah; I couldn’t watch.

“Stop it!” I yelled at them, but they didn’t listen, “Melissa make him stop!” but she was speechless, tucked under Darren’s arm.

“Just watch,” Liam put his arm around my shoulders watching with an amused grin, “Micah can take care of himself, I promise.”

“Liam, there are seven of them!” I hissed watching as Micah grinned and cracked his knuckles, “They’re going to hurt him!”

Suddenly one of the crones dropped and I gasped, I hadn’t even seen Micah move. Another dropped to his knees groaning, blood pouring down his chest.

“Are you guys like ninjas or something?” I watched amazed as one by one the goons fell, only Kurtis was left.

“Or something,” Liam said smugly, the fight had drawn a crowd, “I told you, Micah is quite capable.”

“Keep your pretty boy paws off of my girlfriend!” Kurtis snarled and threw a right hook at Micah, dodging around him Micah laughed.

“Girlfriend? Did she feel sorry for you or something?” he grinned wolfishly as Kurtis swung again, neatly dodging. He didn’t have a scratch on him.

“You prick!” Kurtis lunged at him clumsily, this time Micah ducked under his hands and brought a swift uppercut straight into his stomach.

“You don’t trust her at all, I bet she doesn’t know about your side girl either does she?” I heard Micah say in a deadly whisper as he dropped to his knees.

Melissa gasped audibly, “Hey how would he know that?” I said quickly to Liam, he grinned down at me.

“Micah is a student too, his graduation is the same day as yours,” he said chuckling at my shocked expression.

“How did I not know that!” I snapped as the onlookers burst into applause, Micah gave a quick wave and bowed smartly.

“You never asked, he’s the same age as you.” Liam said watching as he stepped over the pile of groaning goons and offered Melissa a hand, “He lives off-campus, he’ll be graduating on an engineering major Thursday.”

No wonder I didn’t know! The engineering students were in advanced courses, I wouldn’t even pass him on the grounds heading to class. I fell silent as we walked across the campus to the newsroom. Melissa was sobbing under Micah’s arm, frowning I caught up.

“Hey, don’t even think twice about that jerk.” I said as Micah surrendered her to me, “You knew he was an asshole from the beginning, remember last year? When they threw the Theta Ki and Delta Phi party with that sorority? He wouldn’t even let you come, I told you something had to be going on. Heather is always stuck to his shadow, even when you’re around. I say drop him like last week’s paper.” I snorted and she turned bloodshot eyes to me.

“I was actually trying to make this one work!” she groaned, the brothers walked silently behind us, “Why the hell is every guy I’m with like this!” dissolving into tears again, she fell silent as we walked up the stairs to the editor’s office.

“Interview room five is ready!” Vanessa hopped up from behind her desk with a generous smile, “Come right this way guys!” brushing by them she swept down the hall.

Finally, a woman that’s not struck dumb by them. But then again, she was newlywed, I remembered the sweet ceremony they had held on the pavilion near the lake behind the campus. At least she’s faithful.

“Are you going to be able to do this?” I asked Melissa, she straightened her spine and nodded stiffly.

“I can do this, If I’m going to be a reporter, I can’t let things like this interfere with my ability to do my job.” she said and turned a professional look on the brothers as they followed us down the hall, “No matter who I interview I have to keep myself under control, no celebrity is going to want to talk to a reporter who’s falling all over themselves.” They smiled at her.

“Here we are!” Vanessa stopped outside a door and waved us in, “I’ll close down the neighboring rooms so you guys can have some peace, here’s your question prompt.” with that she handed Melissa a stack of paper and walked away.

Melissa sat Micah in a chair and looked down at the paper the editor had given her, “Okay first up, Triple Threat.” he looked up at her expectantly, “How does being a fashion model help with your career choice of engineering?”

“Honestly it’s just a side interest,” he said smiling, “My mother owns Beau, I wanted to help her advertise her clothes. I love her very much so I want her to succeed.”

“Would you recommend modeling to a student interested in the career?” she said, glancing up as her pen stopped moving.

“It’s definitely something to look into if you’re trying to get out of your shell,” he chuckled dryly, “I wouldn’t recommend it to the faint-hearted, those agencies can be a pack of wolves at times.”

“How about your life?” she said quickly falling into a business-like monotone, she is getting good at this! “Would you say being a model has had any negative effects on your schooling or social life?”

“None at all.” he said sitting up and smiling, “Thus the reason I wear the mask, I keep my lives separate so they can’t affect each other. Out of the studio, I’m a normal person just like you.”

I sat back listening as she drew the questionnaire to a close with him and moved on to Liam and Darren. Finally, she turned to me, “You going to be in this too Dusty?” I shook my head firmly, “Okay, all that’s left is the photoshoot!” The brothers looked at each other swiftly and pulled out their masks.

“No pictures unless we’re wearing the masks,” Darren said giving her an apologetic smile, “If the students on campus find out who we are we would never get any peace. Not to mention we do have other jobs; I would hate to be flooded with fans while I am trying to work.”

“That’s perfectly understandable Mr. Cross.” she smiled and pulled out a digital camera, “Might as well get in there Dusty.”

I blanched, “No way in hell!” backing away swiftly I glared at her, “I haven’t said yes, and besides I don’t have a mask!”

“Calm down Dusty,” she sighed, “It’s supposed to be a candid shot, Vanessa wants a shot with one of the students on campus.”

“You do it then!” I snapped and grabbed the camera from her before she could protest, “You wanted an autograph right? Make a copy of this picture and they will sign it.” I looked around at them, daring them to deny it, “I’m the better photographer here anyway.”

“Oh my god, Dusty, are you insane!” The stunned look on her face was almost comical, Micah looped an arm around her grinning.

“I’ve already taken photos with Dusty,” he said, pulling her back between him and Liam, “smile pretty, gorgeous!” Darren leaned into the frame as I steadied the shot.

“Alright, guys give me smiles!” I said, watching through the lenses as Liam crossed his arm over Micah’s behind Melissa’s neck and smiled, “Darren stand in the middle behind Melissa, you’re too tall. You look like a photo bomber on the edge of the shot.” Obediently he straightened and circled behind her, propping his arms on his brother's shoulders. “Melissa stop standing there like a statue, put your arms around their waists or something and smile for Christ's sake.”

“Jesus you’re just as bad as mother,” Darren chuckled as I barked orders, I scowled at him from behind the camera.

Finally, when the shot looked perfect, I snapped a picture, “Awesome, this will look perfect in the newspaper.” I crowed, proud of myself.

“You really are a good photographer,” Micah said when Melissa scrambled away from them, “I don’t know which one you’re better at, in front of the camera or behind it. You’re pretty awesome at both.”

I flushed, handing the camera back to a hyperventilating Melissa, “I’m a Photography major genius.” I said before I turned to walk out, “Get a copy of that Melissa, I’ll make sure it gets signed.” I heard her squeal of excitement as the brothers followed me down the hall, sliding off their masks with smiles.

fiction

About the author

T.S. Watkins

I am a single mom of four who is also a published author! I use writing as a second income to help me raise my kids so every little bit helps! I write Erotic Fantasy novels and poems. if you love my work thank you! I appreciate your time!

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