|Love My Existence
Author: annajade PM
The Highlander Series: Killian Hunter was struggling to keep her family above water, but she couldn't deny that the beautiful man with a knee-melting accent was going to be her destruction. Or her salvation.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 10 - Words: 55,765 - Reviews: 52 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 52 - Updated: 09-16-11 - Published: 12-03-09 - id: 2748105
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Love My Existence
The Hunter Becomes The Hunted
Story by annajade
The Highlander Series, Story Three: Killian Hunter was struggling to keep her family above water, but she couldn't deny that the beautiful man with a knee-melting accent was going to be her destruction. Or her salvation.
Chapter 9: Kismet
The sounds of rustling clothes and skin touching skin was what kept me from turning around and gaping like a curious virgin voyeur over what the whole hullabaloo sex was about. Yes, I know. I'm a sick person. I tried to hold on to my inner dry sarcasm, because what lurked beneath my caustic mockery was something I rather not deal with. Like I said before, it is pretty hard to come to terms with emotion once that bottle was re-opened. Damn, Pandora and your box of tricks.
What I had to do was count to whatever number I needed to count to calm the hell down, and turn around with nary a fury-spitting, eye-scratching, neck-wringing, fist-punching-nose female mush I had come bursting in with. I needed to be cool, calm…and collected. But what I really wanted to do, what I was really itching to do, was turn around, march right up to him and look down at what Marlene was so enamored with on his lap. Maybe view it like some scientist and make observations and hypothesis. Yes. I know. I'm a sick person. Maybe, there's nothing to be so astounded over, I thought bitterly, it's been worn down to a stump; a tiny thing. He sure has worked hard enough to stub it down. Somehow...that thought only made an inner part of me lay down and mope. My impatience was growing more when I started hearing the small clicks and wet sounds of kissing, obviously not caring that I was in the same room (willing or unwilling) and if they wanted an avid participant to their passionate embrace. Yeah, I was definitely feeling sick to my stomach, as well.
"Weel ye keep yer hands to yerself, ye bloody woman?" Duncan roared, making me jump. "Get. Out." I gasped quietly, my body shivering with a strange combination of fear and, strangely, a flood of desire at the cold tone in his voice. "This bletherin' house isnae a fuckin' hotel, ye cannae just barge in here when I was asleep and practice yer whorin' ways on me. Ha'e some respect, woman." That voice was calculating and frigid, it rather seemed odd and out of place to the man I knew; it should belong to a mafia-affiliated rogue.
"But, Duncan-baby, you were enjoying it! If it wasn't for her," Marlene snarled, "barging in here we would have been making use of that table and not for business." I suppose the her she was talking about and oh-so-hated was me. Ugh. "Tell her to go...or she can stay and join us," she purred.
I gagged. Whuh. Okay, this girl was insane if she thought that I could share him with her. My eyes bulged at the possessive thought. "I could leave," I said quietly, my outward appearance didn't betray a single emotion churning in my stomach making me regret not eating lunch, or rather, thankful. "My conversation could wait until you're...done." I swallowed and wrung my fingers together, a nervous habit when I knew I didn't have any control over some situations.
"Nay, Killian, ye stay," Duncan growled. He turned to look at Marlene, a sly look in her slanted eyes. "Didnae I tell ye to leave, Marlene? If ye doona, there is nay power on earth that could stop me from throwin' ye out and callin' the police to write a restraining order." He looked coldly at the curvaceous woman shaking in front of him, barely keeping his eyes from seeking the rigid, very slim form of the other. "Leave. Now." His words were clipped and the burr rolled off his tongue thickly, making them nothing but a shiver-inducing growl.
Marlene's eyes were comically wide, her swollen lips hanging open in fear. I kept my face averted, taking all this in with the occasional peripheral glance until I felt daggers for nails grab my arm and turn me to an enraged flushed face caked with carefully applied makeup. I looked between her eyes, finding vanity, jealousy and a fading lust...all emotions that I couldn't comprehend. "May I help you?" I said carefully, my brow twitching with the unconscious effort to raise it.
"He's mine," she hissed between her teeth, letting her nails scrape at my arm as she pulled it away. "Never forget that." She turned to glare at the scowling Highlander behind us. "You'll regret this, Duncan."
Duncan crossed his arms in front of his chest and kept his cold, brown eyes firmly on her. "I dinnae think I weel," he growled. Marlene spared one more, angry glare at him before turning around in a flurry of impossible red hair and heels. Duncan kept his gaze on her until she disappeared from view, his trained ear hearing the smallest utter and audible steps she took to get out of the manor. The slam of the door shook the glass panes on the windows made me flinch instinctively. I was alone...with a person I didn't know well enough. A sigh behind me made me tense in preparation of that cold, shiver-inducing burr. "Killi-lass..." he murmured tiredly, guiltily. "I...I-I can explain. Weel, I weel try to. I was asleep when Marlene -"
I turned to him, my hair falling behind my back in a curtain of gold and sunlight. "You don't need to, Mr. McKay. It really doesn't matter, does it? I barged in here without announcement. I'm pretty sure that I violated certain policies and privacies. You are my boss, thus I should have treated you with respect." My lips thinned when I heard a mocking snort come from his patrician nose. But when I saw him open his mouth to argue, I quickly intercepted him. "There is no need to explain your private activities," I said, hurriedly. "What you do in your spare time and your professional time is no concern of mine. Like I said when you interviewed me: I only come here to work, to advance my professional life, earn my pay and learn as much as I can concerning the winery business," I gritted, almost word for word from that day. "Not to socialize nor to jump in a bed already brimming with a multitude of lovers."
I looked down, noticing my stance was shoulder width apart and wary; as if readying myself for battle. There was something else I had to address, although I knew that it couldn't be undone, I will have my explanation. "But answer me this first, Mr. McKay..." I waited until he looked me right in the eye. "Why are you taking a surly, angry teenager under your wing? Explain to me why you so persistently choose to engrain yourself into my affairs, into my life and the life of my little brother?"
My eyes watched him intensely, noticing the slight furrowing of his brow and the gulp that convulsed his masculine throat, the way his Adam's Apple bobbed with nervousness and his pulse at the base of his neck picked up its pace. It seemed my gaze took a life of its own and I was helpless to stop it. I should have stopped but I couldn't as my gaze wandered from his neck to his torso. And what a torso! The advertisement did not do him justice; the swarthy skin seemed to glow beneath my appraisal, stretched tautly over muscles bulging across his chest and abdomen. My breaths came fast. Manly nipples tipped a dusky brown under the slight chill of the air-conditioner, his pectorals contracting as he breathed. My mouth watered. Arms made of steel, tightened and relaxed, made humane with rivers of veins, emphasizing his power and strength as well as his mortality and control. My eyes dilated. His abdomen...rigid and lean, six raised muscles that contracted with the shiver that quivered his towering body, made way to his tight hips and cut the lines on his pelvis. I licked my lips. Those lines: I could see myself falling to my knees, my eyes fixated upon the taut V, to place my shaking, sweating hands on his hips...lean closer and breathe his scent (warmth, musk, woods...and skin), feast on the unyielding veins that snaked downwards, commanding my gaze to follow it. And taste, oh, to taste...
"B'gad, woman, doona look at me like that!" he roared.
I jumped and gasped, my cheeks heating with a strange emotion as I turned to the side, breaking the spell that made the room smaller and heat with the same fire of a furnace. "I'm sorry," I squeaked instinctively, my heart thudding in my chest and my legs quivering with a hot warmth that was unknown to me.
Duncan groaned as he turned his back on the slim blonde and swiftly adjusted himself, cursing with knowledgeable profanity and damning the confining fabric of his jeans. He panted as he threw his head back and clenched his eyes shut. The heat, the need and want in such a gaze...so raw in its intensity; honest and open, unlike many of the women he usually dealt with. A passion so fierce and all-consuming, and she didnae even ken it. It was more than a man like he could bear. More temptation than most. "Fuck," he hissed as he turned and stalked towards me.
To say I was unprepared is just a mild word to describe when he grabbed my arms with a gentle firmness and turned me to face him. I hissed a gasp, my mind reeling with the rapid movement. But then I couldn't think at all.
Duncan slanted his mouth on mine, lifting me clear off my feet and pressing me tightly against his chest. His lips were branding me, moving with a raw intensity that I couldn't help but follow his lead. I have never been kissed this way. My previous boyfriends from my younger teenage years abruptly dimming to just that: nothing but boys. Here was a man, an experienced man, who knew how to seduce, the inner and outer workings of a woman's body unguarded to him, and such knowledge was proven by the way he made me shiver and melt as if I was stuck in a raging fever. His arm wound around my waist as his other burrowed its hand in my hair, wounding the strands around his fist. My arms now free, glided to his shoulders, digging my nails into his resilient muscular shoulders earning a hiss from his lips and another more intense kiss. I gasped as he bit my lower lip. Taking advantage of that, Duncan thrust his tongue into my panting mouth. I moaned as he groaned, his taste exploding on my tongue. My right hand nestled in his hair, tugging at the strands. Tired of having my legs useless and hanging, I instinctively wound them around his trim waist, gasping again as a searing steel bulge nestled on the crevice between my legs. He cussed eloquently at the contact and buried his face on the crook of my neck while his arm around my waist cupped my butt in his giant hand, bringing our sexes closer together.
"Killian...lass," Duncan gritted, words vibrating against my skin like a caress. "Bletherin' hell, Killi..." He panted and moved me in a pantomime of what we both craved.
"Duncan," I gasped, his name a mere whisper of air. I tightened my arms and legs closer to him, opening my eyes with a difficulty and looked at him. His brown eyes were near swallowed by the black of his pupils. Feelings upon feelings, emotions upon emotions, seeped out of the tight, sealed lid of the bottle I held them in. I was feeling...happy? Excited? What is that glowing? I bucked against him, sending him in another monologue of profanity and praises. He looked at me again, his face taut with lust and...I don't know what that other was. My lips neared his. "Please," I breathed on his lips, asking for something... "Please," I whimpered the word again. Release...more than physical...need. Oh, yes! Release.
My eyes widened, the haze of lust and painful need abruptly vanished with the cold reality of my situation. Oh...shit...
Upon seeing this, Duncan's face transformed from that of lust to a desperate frustration. "Nay!" he roared, holding on to me even as I pushed away from him with all my limited strength allowed me to. "Killian, come back!"
Shit, shit, shit! OhmyGod, OhmyGod, Ohmy-flipping-God! My thoughts were in a craze, whirling with something disgusting and crippling. I shut all of those things back up into that cracking prison I had held them behind for nine years. My eyes dimmed, my face slipped into that familiar mask of ennui, my limbs fell with numb acceptance. This was too much...too soon. The face of a woman flashed behind my eyes, making me shiver with disgust. "Let me down," I whispered, voice as void of emotion as any china doll.
Duncan tightened his arms, unwilling to let the moment go. He had taken a step forward with her, and if he let this moment go, it would be taking two steps back. He cannae go back to ignoring the stifling emotions and thoughts that crammed his mind and made slave to his body -he was willing to fight. And fight hard he weel...but this woman wasnae going to make it easy as he was so accustomed to.
"Let her down, Duncan."
Those four words struck him hard. He wanted to snarl and snap at the person intruding, but he was letting a side of him he thought was left buried in the past make an unwelcome resurrection. He looked at the woman in his arms, her body unyielding and stiff, his gaze seeing the remoteness of her expression. She was already pulling away from him.
"Let me down," I said again, this time it was punctuated with a firm push at his smooth chest. Nope. Must not think about that beautifully, sculpted chest. I needed to get away, far away from the temptation he presented me with. He felt safe, secure...a steady, strong rock against the constant clashes of my life. My light in the darkness. It was frightening, terrifying in its intensity, that I just wanted to melt into his embrace and let him fight my battles that I have fought for so long. It seemed he wanted to bare the load that I have always carried on my shoulders. No, no...never. "Please, let me down." My gaze fixed on his, seeing the feral stubbornness, the frustration. The vulnerability in the words finally made it through his thick brain.
Slowly, ever so slowly, he lowered me to the ground, making sure that I brushed every part of his body as I went down. When my feet were firmly planted on the ground, Duncan pressed me closer still. I flinched when I felt a hot, steel rod nestled comfortably on the too-flat plane of my stomach. I drew a deep breath and wrenched myself from his arms, the loss of his heat filling me with such sadness I nearly whimpered and threw myself back at him. I smoothed the slightly rumpled dress shirt with shaky hands and turned to look at the person who had (thankfully) intruded. Shards of ice and gray stared back, their depths filled with nothing. I turned back to Duncan only to be met with his muscular back. I trembled.
Taking another fortifying deep breath, I said, "This will never happen again, Mr. McKay. This was a mistake, my apologies if you thought I had tempted you in any way; it was never my intention." He turned around to glare at me. "But this does not mean that I will let you interfere in my life again. I give my consent in the matters of my little brother but it will stop at that. Despite your many flaws, I think you a great role model for him and I hope he can learn the good things you could show him. Such as responsibility and self-respect." I could hear the clock ticking as I paused, both men staring at me. I met his eyes. "I must stress again, Mr. McKay, I came here only to work. Not to have sex with you, nor to become anything romantic between us."
"So, what now?" Duncan snarled, accent thickening, as his hand roughly sweeping through his hair, making the short strands stand in disarray. "We go back to the 'I dinnae need friends' shite? Ye stubborn, narrow-minded woman!" My eyes became cold slits. "What of the kiss we just shared? Tha' wasnae nothing, ye fool lass."
"Yes," she murmured coldly, "it was nothing, you oversexed idiot." I pivoted on my heel, coming to a halt on the towering figure of the silver-eyed Scot. "If you'll excuse me," I said, my neck craning to meet the unrelenting gaze of Rory's man.
A glimmer of amusement flashed in Ian's eyes as he moved. "Dinnae let me keep ye, lassie." He moved to the side and slightly bowed in mockery, his gaze as remote of thoughts and feelings as my own.
I nearly snapped at him, but I willfully bit my lip and strode away from that too-hot, too-small room and the man boring holes at my back. My body ached with every step, the distance that I put between us paining me that it almost brought me doubling over. I shook my head at the fanciful thoughts in my head, that strange teenage-voice mewling in protest. All I had to do was make sure I was never alone with that man, the very strange man that seemed constantly surrounded by women and friends, but acted like the loneliest man alive. My mouth formed a frown, my brows crinkling with concern and my heart stuttering in its hollowed depths. A dry sob escaped my lips. Concentrate on work. Mom needs you. Rylan needs you. They come first. Money. Money. Bills. Hospital fees. Money. Money. Oh, god.
He was a man that didn't need to be concerned with the pitiful growing attraction she deemed to deny with every fiber of her very existence.
Ian glanced at the closed door that clicked behind the too-thin, fair lass, finding humor in the situation that he had stepped into. Unintentionally. Aye, he should ha'e been a good friend and quietly retreated from the room before either of the embracing couple noticed his presence. But the opportunity was too much to resist for a mon like him. He wasnae honorable; och, nay, never that. Except to his cait-sidhe*. And that was the person who had intruded in his head when he had stumbled into the heated embrace of one Duncan McKay and the lass, Killian Hunter. Ian had thought of the kiss his wee cait-sidhe had told him about; that one cold winter day amidst the snow and country, where their breaths mingled and their warm lips touched reverently, wondering about a new beginning and its possibilities. Without him in her life. He had grown furiously jealous of Duncan. And, och, there was his window of opportunity. Cock-blocking the SOB.
"Oops," he muttered, with a snarling smirk, his eyes alight with malicious glee.
Duncan threw his fist, cussing in Gaelic and English when he continually missed the smug face that snickered and chuckled at his expense. Ian ducked again, fixing his shirt and burrowing his hands in his pockets without a stitch of concern. Duncan roared and stalked away from him, the very picture of male swaggering arrogance. Ian half-grinned, watching as the smaller mon threw on the rumpled white t-shirt that was on the floor a ways from the grand, gleaming desk. At the thought of his Janine sitting in that verra chair, sullied from Duncan's sex escapades, brought another flare of anger in his heart.
"Ye should be whipped," Ian announced nonchalantly, but his eyes gleamed with gray fire. "Janine had sat in that verra same chair, worked in that verra same desk. Ye have sullied and dirtied her home."
Duncan gave him the finger and glared at him hatefully. "Dinnae ye think I ken that?" he snapped. "That succubus came in here while I was asleep and set to make me slave to her lusts. I am mon," he defended himself when Ian raised a caustic brow.
"I havenae thought that a slight lass like Killian could be such a burden when ye cannae tell her no," he said, fooling the other man with a mocking innocence.
"What the bletherin' hell are ye talking about? I wasnae talking about Killi, ye eejit*, I was talking about that bitch, Marlene." Duncan moved to the stand that housed the decanters of Scottish whiskey and poured himself a lengthy amount. He offered a glass to Ian who gladly took it and swallowed a mouthful without so much as a wince to the alcoholic burn. "I made the folly to tup the woman and think that a bout of sweaty tussling we weel part ways. Och, but that is the way of most women I meet." He shook his head and sighed tiredly as he sat on the couch. "It seems that a rutting bastard is what she weel ever look at me as. Befriending her is but an impossibility, and more work than its worth." Duncan scrunched his eyes shut and ignored the constant pounding of unfulfilled release thrumming beneath his skin. Taking another deep swallow, he paused before he muttered quietly, "I just want to make that wee, poor lass smile."
Ian raised a brow. Matters seem more complicated that he had originally thought it. If he heard correctly, there was longing underneath that frustration he heard on the Highlander's voice. His nostrils flared as he released a deep exhale; his own troubles with Rory weel have to wait. He groaned as he sat in the comfortable armchair facing the stone fireplace. Ian rolled the small glass between his hands, biting his lower lip in contemplation. "I dinnae understand my reasoning or why I want to help ye. Och, in actuality, I would rather see ye bumbling about without direction and fucking up in the matters concerning Killian Hunter," he chuckled, smirking when Duncan glared at him. "I agree with ye, wanting that lass to smile. It causes me great pain to say this, but ye do make the women happy. With yer idiocy."
"Grand," Duncan spat. "My incompetence amuses ye. What shite."
Ian gave him an icy look for interrupting him. "However, I weel help ye, in exchange ye weel help me when I ask it." Aye, the troubles between Rory and himself could wait. "Dinnae ask, dinnae wonder what; just wait for my plea." He nearly smiled that old familiar smile when he caught the flare of mild curiosity and suspicious wariness in the mon's brown eyes. He snorted as he leaned to glance out the window, watching recognizable figure stride towards the guesthouse, a brown mongrel in tow.
His bygone brither kenned him too weel.
What was that? ...what...was...What the Hell was that? My breathing became erratic, lungs craving a stable breath of oxygen, leaning against the back wall of the restaurant's cellar. I swallowed thickly, feeling as if I was going to choke on my own tongue, eyes searching. That damn, traitorous tongue of mine; of his! He kissed me. He kissed me. No, no, no. No. Wrong. Duncan McKay was my employer, a man that got whatever he wanted with a twitch of a brow: money, women, and a secure lifestyle. Yes, he was a libidinous, satyric reprobate (too much, I doth protest not), but he was a man with no sense of tact or manners. Despite giving me the benefit of a doubt, he threw Marlene out notwithstanding her claims of pregnancies or care of delicacy. Then he calls her back! My cheeks fused with red slashes of high feminine temper. He had no respect for the opposite sex. Duncan McKay had his life too easy. Maybe it was high time I show him that I was not the same as the ones he so callously played with!
Flinch. I hiccupped a denial. Why was I getting so worked up over a small thing like a kiss? I clicked my tongue. No, it wasn't just a kiss; it was more, more than mere lips touching and breaths mingling. Passion awoke in me.
Shaking my head, I scattered away the disturbing thoughts. Who really cares. I had work to do.
Angelina greeted me once I opened the door, making me lean slightly away, her eyes narrowed on me. Despite being heavy with child, Angelina was silent on her feet. "I apologize, Angelina," I sighed, mask back in place. "I just needed a moment to -"
"Are you okay?" she interrupted, concern making her voice motherly. "You look flushed." She placed a cool hand on my forehead and moved them to my cheeks. "You are flushed. Hmm, are you coming on with something? Weather is being weird and I know some folks that are allergic to the constant weather changes that afflicts California."
I shook my head as I grasped both her hands, giving them a slight squeeze to insure my sincerity and gratitude. "I'm fine, Angelina. Really. It seems that I am constantly ignoring my work or bring trouble to the restaurant, that I couldn't help but feel ashamed." It wasn't that much of a lie, anyway. "I'm sorry."
Angelina smiled, her freckle-scattered cheeks lifting high cheekbones in a grin. "You apologize too much, did you know that?" I blinked. Sighing, she placed her hand on the low of her back and the large bump on her middle. "Go on with you. I just need you to waiter, suggest the sweets for dessert and the dries for meats." I nodded, but stopped again when she paused in my way. "Look, Killian...I-I know why you're like this," she started nervously. I stopped breathing. "I've lived here my whole life and my mom was into gossip and high society, she was aiming in making me a debutant and try to land me a member of society for a husband. It's really not hard to figure out who you are." My eyes grew cold. Angelina shook her head, eyes large. "No, no, it's not what you think! It's not because of...well, you could see the uncanny resemblance to your mom. I just wanted to say, I respect you. I don't think I would have been brave enough to dust myself off and continue on if matters happened the same to me."
"It didn't," I hissed harshly.
"I know," Angelina whispered, nodding. "But all the same. I won't say anything to anyone, you have my word. On that, you can trust me."
I frowned as I looked down at my second-hand clothing then turned to meet her gaze. "Forgive me in advance if I don't," I said emotionlessly. With that said, I turned on my heel and strode away from the pregnant woman.
After the talk with Angelina, things seemed to go fairly normal, almost to the point of being redundant and dull. Business was ever-growing in Lahay Fruit Farms & Winery, guests drawn by the unique array of dessert wines instead of dry wines or brought by word from loyal guests who came more than 2 times a week. The population mostly consisted of tourists and wine enthusiasts who left with a considerable amount of knick-knacks and bottles, 1 out of 5 becoming monthly members. Regardless of my unsmiling demeanor and humorless countenance, gratuity was tear-jerking (not that I was) generous. I could give Rylan some cash for him to get some supplies and clothes, and still have enough to bring mom flowers and Nancy a new tea set she's been eyeing. Soon enough, it was time to head to the apartment and begin chores while getting ready to go to Mancini's. Gathering the worn cross-body bag I found in GoodWill, I nodded my goodbyes to my fellow co-worker's, strangely receiving enthusiastic well-wishes, I walked out of the restaurant refusing to glance at the main house.
"Somehow, I knew you were getting out at this time," a husky female voice chuckled in front of me.
I quickly looked up, meeting a feline-like gaze. I snorted as I narrowed my eyes in welcome. "Olivia," I greeted as grasped my wrist with my hand and stood in front of her.
"Wow, I haven't seen or spoken to you in quite a while and the only thing you say is 'Olivia'," she mocked, round sunglasses, hiding her hazel eyes as she snorted and propped her hand on her jutting hip. "Hmm, that's okay! I love it when people say my name, anyways." Olivia waved her hand as she grinned and tugged me towards her gleaming red Porsche. "Come on, Killi! Let's chat while I take you home. Sometimes, my generosity astounds me!" She giggled as she opened the driver's door as I fumbled to open the passenger door.
I sighed quietly as I sat gingerly on the leather cream seats, listening to Olivia's rant about a man that gave her a square-cut diamond necklace on a gold chain and how she thanked him profoundly for his gift. As she continued to speak, I couldn't help but glance at the main house. What was he doing at this exact moment? Was he with another woman, kissing away my taste from his sinful lips? I closed my eyes and continued to half-heartedly listen to Olivia about the married man and his bountiful gifts to her.
"He kept telling me that he had never met a woman like me. Actually, no, he didn't call me woman, he called me a goddess. Goddess! So, I proceeded to give him a bigger gift for his honesty, and went on my knees to -"
"Olivia?" I interrupted, before she began to detail what she was going to do to the married man. "Need I remind you that men, especially cheating men, will say anything in the throes of lust? Just to get what they want." Olivia scowled. "They will literally go to extreme lengths to make you open your legs for them."
"Don't be so crude, Killian!" Olivia snapped and glared at me. "Of course I know that they will spout beautiful words while I tease them. But his words were very honest because he looked at my face while I took him in my mo -"
"Okay, I just wanted to remind you," I interrupted again and turned my face away. He didn't really see your face, Olivia. He just saw what your were going to do and made sure you did a good enough job, I thought. Just the same with Duncan, he didn't see my face. He saw a means of release.
Olivia continued to scowl ahead of her. "I'm more experienced than you, Sister Killian. I know when a man is lying. Jeez, Killian, when did you become such a jealous bitch?" She then proceeded to give me the silent treatment that only lasted 5 minutes.
I endured the drive to the apartment, finding it really odd that being near hearing-distance of my friend gave me the urge to throw her down and knock her out so I wouldn't have to hear her yapping anymore. It was strange indeed.
The door opened with a protesting groan as I shouldered my way inside the tiny, decrepit apartment, Olivia soon following me with a smile of her rose-tinted lips. Nancy was in the kitchen, mixing a cup of green tea when I came in; she turned and gasped aloud as I presented her with a box of her new tea set. I stood stoic as she praised me with kisses on my cheeks and showered me with endearments in her native tongue.
"You did not have to give me this, Killian," she said excitedly with her broken English as she opened the new box. "It feels wrong, but I love it. Oh, Killian, you have a heart of gold, just like your mama. Kismet is blessing you."
I could feel my insides warm with pride when she compared me to Abigail, knowing that I couldn't ever be as gold-hearted as her. "You deserved something for keeping watch on mom, Nancy. Those long hours could be stressful." Nancy shook her head, her eyes gleaming with tears.
"Killian?" Abigail called, her voice cracking. I turned quickly and made my way to the curtained area. Abigail greeted me with a smile so radiant that I nearly cried at the strangeness of such radiance on a hollow face. "Oh, what's this? You brought me tulips?" she gasped.
The wetness in my arms reminded me of the bouquet I held, the array of pink tulips and the sprigs of lavender in the bundle not as beautiful as my mother's delighted smile. "Hi, mom," I whispered, kissing her cheek.
"Killian..." Abigail murmured as she weakly stroked my cheek. "Thank you so much, but you shouldn't have bought them. Save your money for something that you will want to buy."
I shook my head. "What better way to spend my money, than spend it and gifting something beautiful to the people I love the most in the world." I felt someone slide behind me.
"Can you believe it, mommy? These were the prettiest in the bunch! I was eyeing that chocolate they had on the side, too, it looked really yummy," Olivia cut in, moving to take Abigail's hand in hers.
Abigail blinked owlishly. "Oh...erm, hello, Olivia," she said hollowly. "Nice to see you too. It really didn't matter that it was pretty or wilted, just that I was in her thoughts were gift enough." Olivia's smile wobbled. "The vase is right there, sweetheart," she said as she pointed to a purple vase on the table by the window sill.
"Is Rylan home?" I asked as I unwrapped the plastic and placed the flowers in the vase and filled it with water from a canteen that was placed next to it. "I have something for him too, since I noticed that his pants were getting too short for him and his art supplies were dwindling.
"You called?" Rylan's voice intruded before Abigail could say anything. I looked at my brother as I nodded. He wore cut-off shorts and a black rumpled tee-shirt that strained with the growing muscles of his crossed arms and chest. His feet were bare as he crossed them as well to lean against the wall, his blue eyes heavy-lidded and as deep and unfathomable as the ocean. My eyes scanned the edges of his face, discovering that the roundness of youth was disappearing rapidly and scrapes of a growing beard shadowed his cheeks, chin and upper lip. "Are you done looking me over, sis?"
I blinked and snorted at the mild amusement shining in his eyes and the smirk playing at his lips. "You've grown," I stated as he walked towards Abigail and Olivia to bend over and kiss Abigail. "It seems that whenever I happen to glance at you, you look older."
Olivia hissed. "Hi, Rylan!" she said cheerfully, placing a hand on his stomach. "I was wondering if you can show me some of your paintings? I really like art...all forms of it." I frowned as Rylan tensed.
"Not now, Olivia," he growled, eyes flashing with the familiar rage I was accustomed to seeing in my brother. "Later."
Olivia licked her lips and pushed slightly at his lower abdomen. A niggling sense of disgusted foreboding made my stomach heave. "But I really want to see them, while I'm here. You never know when I'll be back anyways. Is that okay with you, mommy?" Olivia asked as she turned to look at Abigail who was staring at the arranged flowers at her bedside and gave a distracted nod. "See? You don't have to feel bad if you're leaving mommy to entertain me, she knows how to share." She grinned.
I frowned again. "Um, Rylan, you don't have to," I intercepted.
Rylan sighed and ran a large hand through his messy hair. "It's okay, Killi. She'll only nag me more if I don't giver her what she's whining for, anyhow." He placed another lingering on Abigail's cheek and whispered a 'I'll be back' in her ear and stood to his full height.
I looked up. "Okay. Anyways, I was going to give you this." I handed him a white envelope. "It'll help and I don't think you will last long with those short jeans and thread-bare shirts. Also, there's enough for your art, too. Just because." She nodded when he smiled tentatively.
"Thanks, Killi. Means a lot," he grumbled, hair falling to shield his eyes. He walked forward before calling behind him, "Come on, Olivia."
Olivia spun around quickly to follow him. "I'll won't be long, Killi!" she said huskily and swished her hips as she entered the one bedroom pertaining to my brother and closed the door with a meaningful snap.
I turned away, tucking the covers around my sleeping mother. I kissed her forehead and picked up a stack of watercolor sheets Abigail had been working on. A grunt intruded my musings and Nancy's humming as I frowned at the closed door. "Are you okay?" I called, walking towards it.
"Yes, everything's perfect! Rylan just stubbed his toe, thanks, Killi!" I heard Olivia answer back.
I stared a little longer before I looked at the ticking clock set on the wall. I was running a little behind, chores had to be done before I had to leave. With that in mind, I closed my ears and set to work on making dinner for mom, Rylan and Nancy. I wonder if Duncan will come to Mancini's tonight...was my last clear thought before the chore at hand took over.
"Your love is like a tidal wave, spinnin' over my head/
Drownin' me in your promises, better left unsaid/
You're the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy/
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to please/
You're a heartbreaker/
Dream maker, love taker/
Don't you mess around me!.../
Your love has set my soul on fire, burnin' out of control/
You taught me the ways of desire, now it's takin' it's toll.../
You're a heartbreaker/
Dream maker, love taker/
Don't mess around - no, no, no!"
Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar
Thank you so much for all those lovely reviews! I'm sorry I didn't write this story in...almost a year. Shit, I'm really sorry guys. I know most of you are probably gone or are pretty much sick of me, I deserve it. Pout. But anyways, for those who have stuck around until I finished ER means a lot. Thanks for pushing me until I wrote and all that. But like I said before, I do have a life and I can't sit down and write, my brain shuts down for some reason. Especially nowadays, life is being really difficult for me and been feeling pressured. Thank you for pushing me to write, but really be understanding that I can't always be writing...no matter how much I miss it. Be patient with me. :)
On to more prettier things, what did you think of this chapter? Did not expect it did you? Hee hee! I can still spring the old gasp from you guys.
So, yes, Duncan is an over-sexed fool, but he's beautiful and seems to get in a better track now that he knows that Killian is cracking and most likely hurt her in the process. Rylan is still the same old kid. Olivia is still a bitch. Rory and Ian are having some major problems...what can it be?
*cait-sidhe: [n.; 'kett-shee'] a fairy creature from Scottish and Irish mythology, said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its breast. Legend has it that the spectral cat haunts the Scottish Highlands. Some common folklore suggested that the Cait Sìdhe was not a fairy, but a transformed witch.
- Ian calls Rory this.
*eejit: [n.] idiot
Thank You All For Waiting!
Ang3lxCrystal: :) Don't worry, it's coming.
CoryD: With a man that beautiful, how can he not be. He's single but I still want to beat him over the head. He's taking the easy way. Ha ha ha! Thanks.
Lady-White: Ha ha ha! Marlene is definitely back. Yes, we author's have to take breaks. Thanks for understanding! The LittleBrotherBigBrother program is in the local YMCA or such places.
INMIY: Thank you for reading!
vmursili: I'm really sorry, but I am quite busy and stressed. I'll try to concentrate on this story more often, but at times I can't juggle my work life and my personal life all at once.
P.S. Another thing, I thought that there were going to be 4 stories in the Highlander Series but guess what?...There's 5.
P.S.S. I'm exhausted. Good night.