Beyond The Prophecy: Track 20
by MercurySkullbunny

"My ma gave me this box when I was a kid. She said it would help me find my soul mate."

"The anamchara bosca, I remember," said Chris. "You mean to tell me that whoever that person is, is currently here?"

"Yeah," I said with a smile, but it faded when I gave it further thought. "It didn't glow until now; why didn't it glow the first time ya were around this box?"

"Just because you marry someone, or are meant to marry someone, doesn't mean they're your soul mate."

"Do ya really believe that?" I asked while approaching him.

"Yes, I do."

At first, I thought he just had a pessimistic outlook on relationships, but then I realized that wasn't the case. He's been around a lot longer than I have. Most likely, he's experienced several lifetimes' worth of failed relationships. Not to mention, he was engaged to a woman that died before they got married.

"Do ya think that'd be our case?"

"There's only one way to find out." Both of us glanced at the box.

"I'd like to think there's more than one way."

"You're right, but the box is a good place to start."

I handed him the box and took a deep breath. If he can't open it, would that make him right? Would we have a relationship without love? Or, would there be love, but not the endless kind? Would the prophecy come true regardless?

And what if he successfully opens the box? Obviously it would be further proof that the prophecy will happen, but that's only if he allows it to happen. If Chris was meant to open the box, then why didn't it glow sooner?

Chris held the box with one hand and moved his other hand to the cover. He paused, but then applied pressure to the front of the cover in order to lift it. He tried once, twice, three times to lift the cover, but was unable to. No matter how hard he tried, it was evident: Chris couldn't open the box.

"How is that possible?" I murmured.

Our eyes were glued to the box, even after he placed it back on my dresser. He must've been just as afraid to look at me and just as shocked by the outcome as I was. How accurate was the prediction the box made, if Chris was unable to open it?

"We should go," he said, breaking our silence. "Everyone's waiting for us." I didn't say a word when we finally looked at each other. "Forget about the box for now. Perhaps we can introduce it at the gala to everyone in order to discover who's supposed to open it."

"I guess…"

Chris and I left my room hand-in-hand, keeping the illusion that we were dating. He was right about the box; there was no point to worry about it, not when I had to make an entrance with him and his family, as well as perform the foxtrot in front of a ballroom full of…I didn't know what. People? Shape-shifters? All of the above?

Hearing Jason whistle towards us eased some of my tension and made the ends of my lips curl upwards.

"Look at you!" he stated with a grin. "You actually look classy. How the hell did that happen?"

I punched his arm and he laughed.

"Ah, there's the Natasha I know."

I punched his arm again, he laughed harder.

"Try not to hurt my dance partner too much," requested Gaby, "since he still has to be coordinated for the foxtrot."

"Can't promise ya that."

Jackie approached Chris and me with a smile and slightly wider eyes. "Natasha, you look incredible! Together, the two of you make the perfect couple."

Though I gave her a smile, even as she walked back to Andrew, the smile didn't reach my eyes. The anamchara bosca was still on my mind.

Don't let the box distress you, Chris told me telepathically, or have your feelings towards me changed already as a result?

We looked at each other then, before he gave me a little smirk. I smiled once more, and this time it did reach my eyes.

"No, it didn't," I responded aloud.

"What didn't?" asked Jason. He shrugged after I shook my head.

Andrew looked back at us and joked, "Chris, make sure to keep an eye on Natasha before another bachelor tries to take her from you."

I turned to him and said, "Oh don't worry. The only way that'll happen is if I allow it to. No one's goin' to steal me away without my permission."

"Fuck yeah!" exclaimed Jason. He shrugged again when we stared at him.

We lined up two-by-two when loud, orchestral music played from the other side of the second floor entrance to the ballroom. Andrew and Jackie stood at the front, followed by Jason and Gaby, Chris and me, and finally, Emily and her escort Franklin (or Frankie, as he likes to be called). Little Frankie was African-American and tall for a seven year old, but then again, the average seven year old wouldn't be a natural born were-lion like he was.

A few tugs on my dress made me look back and see Emily beaming up at me. "Ready?" she asked, marching in place excitedly. Her white and champagne colored dress swayed with her every movement.

I smirked. "Hell yeah."

Once the double doors opened, Andrew and Jackie led the rest of us into the ballroom. We followed them down the flight of stairs on the right side. Although I should've been looking straight ahead to make sure I didn't miss a step, I couldn't help glancing around.

The art deco ballroom appeared even more grandiose with guests filling the room. Everyone was in black tie, though no one wore the color gold, and they weren't supposed to. Gold was this year's theme color; according to what Chris's family told me the week before this celebration. Only the members of the Frost family and their escorts, myself included, were allowed to wear gold.

Seeing the guests dressed up was strange to me. Most, I could tell, weren't human. Some had fur, or scaly skin, animal eyes, or animal body parts. It was like stepping onto the set of a fantasy film.

Miraculously, we all made it down the staircase and to the center of the dance floor without tripping or falling. Descending the stairs was one thing, performing the foxtrot, a dance style I just started learning two weeks prior, in a huge room full of strangers was another. No pressure.

Relax, Chris said to me, and just take deep breaths to release the nerves. You can be confident knowing that you won't be the worst dancer tonight.

Both of us glanced over to Jason. He looked back at us and raised his eyebrows twice, and Gaby shook her head with a smile.

If you really need to get rid of your nerves, then show off, continued Chris.

What do ya mean?

Perform as if you're an expert. Show off that arrogant side you displayed when you hated me.

I chuckled.

Then, he moved his lips close to my ear and whispered, "Give them hell." It brought a smirk to my face.

A man dressed in a tux announced the start of the foxtrot, just before the orchestra behind him began to play Michael Bublé's version of, "The More I See You." Once we heard our cue, we danced. Everyone, including Jason, remembered all of the choreography, but my focus remained primarily on Chris and me. The more we danced, the more everything around us faded away, until the only ones in the room were us. Dancing with Chris made me feel like we were the modern day Fred and Ginger*; at least it did for the duration of the performance.

Despite the pressure to perform well and the traditional nature of the foxtrot, it was a lot of fun. Even Jason (who was anything but flawless) danced enthusiastically. When it was over, we gave a bow to those in the room and everyone applauded.

The same guy that announced the performance to the guests also introduced the Eastern King and Queen of the United States, in other words, Andrew and Jackie, to everyone. Someone draped the cape Jackie removed for the performance over her shoulders, and followed up with placing a golden crown atop her head. Another person placed one on Andrew as well. The pair walked hand-in-hand towards ornate thrones on the back wall of the ballroom, turned to face everybody, and sat.

All of the people, creatures, whatever, in the room knelt down to one knee. Since my friends and I weren't aware it was a custom, we were the last to take a knee. No one stood until Andrew announced we could.

As soon as we stood, a crowd of people turned to Chris and me and asked us a million questions about our so-called relationship. It caught me by surprise, and I could hardly keep up with every question thrown at us. Luckily for me, Gaby came over and told everyone that she needed to steal me away for a moment, and that her parents needed to talk to Chris. She led me out of the ballroom and into the living room.

"Thanks for that Gaby."

"No problem. I know how overwhelming that can be. Though I have to say, I didn't just pull you away to get you away from the crowd. I read Chris's mind a little, without his permission, and saw that you confessed this morning to having feelings for him."

My eyebrows furrowed. "Readin' minds like that is a nasty little family habit you all share."

"Before you get angry, I wanted to let you know that it wasn't my intention to come across that particular thought. I reached out to his mind to communicate with him, but that thought was the first thing on his mind. It was a thought I picked up accidentally; I apologize. However, I wanted to hear about how you feel about my brother from you."

"Why would ya? Didn't ya see it for yerself?"

"I did, but it isn't the same. Reading someone's mind is, to me, analogous to hearing a rumor: You never know what the full story is, until you hear it directly from the source."

I ran my fingers through my hair. There was no point in denying the truth if she literally saw an instant replay in Chris's head of what happened this morning. "Okay…I do have feelings for your stupid brother." She chuckled. "And I suspect he feels the same, though he hasn't said so yet. I hate assuming though. It's like you said, 'if it isn't straight from the source, then it's more like a rumor.'"

"It might take a while for him to say so out loud. He's usually hesitant to tell a woman how he feels so he doesn't get blamed for their broken heart."

"That doesn't make sense."

"It does to him. If a woman he's dating, or is having a fling with, assumes he feels the same way about them as they do for him, then it isn't his fault that they're 'interpreting' his feelings and not actually hearing him say outright that their feelings are mutual."

My jaw dropped. "That fucker!"

Gaby cracked up. "I know he's my brother, but I agree with you. My advice is to somehow tempt him into confessing, or giving him an ultimatum."


"I'm not sure, but I trust you'll figure it out."

"Hope you're right because it has to happen tonight."

One of Gaby's eyebrows arched. "Did you make a deal with a fairy godmother?"

Laughing, I told her, "Nah, it's not like that. I had a dream with my ma. She said Chris would finally make a move tonight. If that's true, then it's the best night to get him to admit how he feels."

"How do you know it wasn't just a dream?"

"Don't know. I can't explain it really, but it felt so real to me. It feels like the truth."

Upon returning to the ballroom, I spotted Chris talking to a couple. One was a blonde woman wearing a velvet blue gown, and the other was a man in a wheelchair. He was dressed in a slate gray suit and had dirty blond hair. As strange as it sounded, my instincts told me that he was a vampire, but…a vampire in a wheelchair? I've never heard of such a thing, so I asked Chris about it once he was done speaking to them.

"I'm surprised you were able to determine what he was from a distance, but yes, he's a daywalker in a wheelchair. He's Prince Aríus, from Iceland. The woman with him is Queen Dania."

"But you have the ability to heal, so why wouldn't a disability heal when he became a vampire? I thought becoming one makes someone brand-spankin' new."

"It can. Turning into a vampire affects everyone differently; it isn't formulaic. A long time ago, he allowed me to glance into his memories. Prior to becoming a vampire, he was in a car accident and was paralyzed from the neck down. The depression he gained as a result led to his attempted suicide. He was hospitalized for months, and had no living loved ones to help him pull through."

"The poor guy…"

"Dania, who was a princess at the time, came to the hospital he was admitted to in order to pick up some blood packets from a friend, who worked in that department. Her friend told her about Aríus and she decided to help him. Dania communicated with him telepathically and convinced him to let her turn him. Most of his disabilities healed, but he still needed the wheelchair."

"Now he's the prince though?"

"Yes. Dania worked with him to help him recover and to adjust to life as a daywalker. They fell in love along the way."

"Well damn. Did Danielle Steel write their story? It's like a Lifetime movie."

Chris chuckled.

"They seem to be doin' well though, as far as I can tell from here."

"Yes, they've been fortunate, and so was I."

"What do ya mean?"

A server came by and offered us drinks. He took a champagne flute of blood, and I simply took champagne.

"Turning into a vampire cured my disability."

"What disability?" I asked before drinking.

"I was born a dhampir—half human, half vampire—but before I became a full vampire, I was legally blind."

I stopped drinking. "Sorry? Ya were…blind?!"

He nodded. "My vision, as far as I remember, was terrible from the beginning. However, my vision was nearly gone by my early twenties. I made the decision to become a full vampire after I turned twenty-four. It corrected my vision, though my eye color never changed back. They used to be a much deeper blue. Gaining back my vision makes me appreciate the things I'm able to see even more."

"So…if ya grew up with poor eye sight, does that mean ya wore glasses at one point?" I asked while trying to hide a smile.

"Yes I did, though I don't remember much about it. I only know because of the few pictures my family has from my childhood."

I gasped. "There were pictures?! Please tell me ya got them here."

"My parents keep all the photos in their place."

"Awe maaaaannn. Do ya remember yer glasses? Were they giant Urkel glasses, or round like Harry Potter's? Or were they more like the ones the Monopoly guy wears?"

"Why the sudden interest in my spectacles?"

"Because! It would be hilarious if ya were one of those awkward kids that wore glasses that were three times the size of your face." I laughed really hard, and all he did was shake his head with a small smile. "Still though," I stated while catching my breath, "bet yer eyes would still pop even with massive glasses. And just so ya know…"I continued, reaching up to caress his cheek, "yer eyes were the first thing I noticed about ya."

I saw him smile, but then I looked behind him and noticed my friends motioning me towards the stage, where they started setting up for our upcoming performance.

"Better go help my band mates set up. Are ya sure you're up for playin' the piano tonight?"

He sighed. "I gave you my word."

"Okay then." Smirking, I moved closer and whispered, "Give them hell," before walking towards the stage. "Hey Ava," I said when I got there, "Chris just told me he wore glasses as a kid."

"You're kidding. Were they big-ass Urkel ones?"

I laughed. "I asked him the same thing! I don't know, but man I hope so."

Telepathically, Chris told me, I can hear you talking to Ava about my spectacles, you know.

I turned to him and mouthed the words I don't care, with a grin.

The stage all of our instruments sat on, excluding the piano, sat against the wall across the ballroom entrances. It was so wide that there was still plenty of room for the orchestra to share the stage with Siren. Once my mates and I finished setting up and testing everything for our set, it was time to perform.

"Good evening everyone, we are Siren," I stated on the microphone. "We're privileged to perform in celebration of the coronation anniversary of the King and Queen. Enjoy the show."

As soon as Evan shredded on his guitar, we had everyone's undivided attention. The wide eyes and open mouths expressed just how surprised they were to learn we were an alternative band. It took a full minute or two for some to loosen up and smile. By the second song of our set, at least half the guests moved and danced along to the music. A handful remained stunned.

This was what I loved the most; I may not be a pro at the foxtrot, or wasn't any kind of royalty, but this—music—I could do, and my friends and I rocked at it.

By the end of the second song, we knew we gained more fans, even if it didn't include every single person in the room. Though the first two songs appealed to some, the third and final song appealed to all.

"Our last song," I stated on the microphone, "is one that took eleven years to complete. It was originally written by me and the late Pátraig McFadden…my father. He died before we could finish it." With those words, I had the room's undivided attention once more. "With the help of the prince, Chris Frost, the song was finally completed. I dedicate this last song to the ones we love, and the loved ones we've lost."

The song stared with Chris playing the beginning melody on the piano. I followed along with my acoustic guitar and vocals. Little by little, more instruments joined in: Jason on the bass, Evan on the electric guitar, and Ava on the drums. Even the orchestra played, with a range of instruments like violins, harps saxophones, trumpets, and more. My band mates sang along with part of the chorus. Every musician poured their heart and soul into the track. No one in the room tore their eyes and ears away from our performance; It was, appropriately, as captivating as a siren's* song.

After it was over, silence filled the room, until everybody cheered and applauded. All of the performers, including Chris and me, took a bow. I glanced around the room when we stood back up; Some of the guests' eyes, and even the Queen's eyes, were watery. Her husband Andrew clapped happily beside her. My friends and I congratulated the orchestra and each other on a job well done, before Chris and I looked at each other with a bittersweet smile.

Wish my da could've been here to see this. Wish my ma could've been here to hear her finished song too.

I'm sure they heard it, Chris told me. They would've been very proud of you.

It was my turn for my eyes to get watery. I moved towards him and wrapped my arms around him, my shoulders dropped when I felt his move around my torso. I bet Jocelyn would've been proud of ya too. My face turned against his before I put my lips on his cheek. It was almost a kiss…almost, but not quite. Our faces moved away just enough for us to be able to into each other's eyes, but then his eyes closed before he shook his head.

"What is it?" I asked.

"My parents want to speak to me. Apparently, I have more 'princely' responsibilities to do tonight."

"Fuck," I said with a deep sigh. "Is it goin' to be like this all night?"

"It shouldn't be. Why don't you grab the soul mate box your mother gave you and see if you can find who's supposed to open it, while I go do…whatever it is I'm supposed to do right now."

Smiling, I gave him another kiss on his cheek and walked towards my room. To my surprise, Leda was still awake and playing with Jerry, her favorite mouse-shaped toy.

"Hey Leda, is it yerself?"

I pulled her onto the bed, along with Jerry, and petted her head and neck. Her eyes closed with soft purrs vibrating through her body. She's been with me for ten years, yet that reaction always makes me smile. Her ears turned towards the door a few seconds before someone knocked on it.

Before opening the door, I checked myself out in the mirror to make sure nothing was out of place. Part of me suspected that Chris was on the other side of the door, so I wanted to look good. I thought I'd be opening the door to my future; instead, it turned out to be the door to my past.

Standing on the other side was a man who was an inch taller than me, was dressed in a deep gray suit, and hand brown hair a few shades darker than his eyes, eyes I hadn't looked into in months. His familiar smile still made a small piece of me melt.

"Hey," was all he said to me, in a tone above a whisper.

"…Alessandro?" was all I could muster, until I found my voice again. "What are ya doin' here, Les? I told ya when we broke up that I never wanted to see ya again. Ya got a lot of nerve showin' up here."

"I know, but I wanted to talk to you."

"What's there to talk about? Ya cheated on me, with my own sister. We're finished. And if ya don't get it, I'll tell ya in yer own language: É finito.*" I snatched the box, which was still glowing, from my dresser and prepared to storm out, but he blocked the doorway. "Get out of my way."

"Five minutes. Just give me five minutes to talk."

Sighing heavily, I sat on my bed and crossed my arms. "Make it quick." He closed the door and sat beside me, but I immediately jumped off the bed and leaned against the wall. "Keep yer distance."

"Fine." He smiled when he saw Leda and tried to pet her, but she moved away and jumped off the bed. I taught her well. "The last few months," he began, "have been really shitty. Not having you in my life…I can't even remember what it was like before I met you." He stood and made his way towards me. "My intention was never to cheat on you. I honestly thought that, when I was with Innogen, that I was actually with you."

"Bull-shit," I spat. "I don't give a rat's ass how much we look alike. Ya should've known it wasn't me. No two people kiss the same. Our fashion style is different. She even has more freckles than I do. Innogen doesn't have a triskele mark on her inner thigh like I do; she has a triquetra on her hand instead."

"I know, I know. But the lights were dim. Those details weren't clear until you caught us and turned on all the lights."

My head and my heart conflicted on whether or not to believe him, yet the closer he came to me, the more they fought against any logic. All they reminded me of was the good times we shared in our relationship. Why is that? Why is it that all anyone remembers after a break-up, is the great moments, and the bad ones come back when it's too late? This wasn't our first break-up, but it was certainly the longest. He knew I meant for our relationship to be over for good this time, but…

"Natasha," he spoke lowly once he finally reached me. "I've missed you." As much as I wanted to move away from him, I couldn't. "I still love you." I looked into his eyes and knew that he meant it. His hand moved up to my cheek and didn't stop, even when I shook my head.

"Don't…" I whispered. "I…I'm with someone new."

"You mean that Chris guy?" I nodded. "How serious are the two of you?"

"Pretty serious." I didn't want to elaborate, or else it might've exposed the lie.

"Either way, he could never offer you what I have to give."

"What's that?" I asked, before swallowing hard at the sight of his eyes going soft.

Les cupped my face with his hands and kissed me. I gasped into the kiss, and reluctantly gave in. His arms slid around me before pressing me closer to his body, while my arms moved around his shoulders. Until the kiss occurred, I had forgotten how good he was at it. My heart raced and my breathing quickened. All of our good memories came flooding back.

However, the bad ones came back as well. Les was terrible at calling me when I needed or wanted to talk to him. Whenever any guy was around me, even my own friends or family, his jealousy was unbearable. Any lies his ma fed him about me was the law to him; he never trusted me over her. He never even defended me whenever she'd try to put me down. And if all that wasn't bad enough, he betrayed me by sleeping with my sister.

I pushed Les away from me as anger bubbled to the surface. "No," I said sternly. "I won't let this happen; not now, not ever again. Ya broke my heart. If it wasn't for Chris, my heart would've still been in pieces, and I would've been foolish enough to get back together with ya for the millionth time. Chris listens to me. He believes me when I tell him the truth. He's not a jealous motherfucker like you, and his family actually likes and respects me. For the last time, we're done. Now get out of my house."

Les actually looked hurt with every word I said. With a small nod, he took a step towards the door, but something made him stop. I thought it was strange, that is until I turned towards the doorway and saw what, or rather, who, he saw.

"Chris…" I uttered. In a louder tone, I asked, "How long were ya standin' there?"

"Long enough," he responded.


Chris turned to Alessandro and extended a hand. "You must be Less."

"It's Les, actually," he corrected. "The 's' sounds more like a 'z' when you're pronouncing my nickname," he continued while shaking Chris's hand.

"No, I was right the first time," retorted Chris, his grip on Les's hand becoming firmer.

Les gave him a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "You were right, Natasha," he said without looking away from Chris. "He doesn't get jealous at all."

The strict look in Chris's eyes intensified. "When a man treats a woman with the respect she deserves, she won't have a reason to seek attention from another man. I don't need to be jealous in order to keep a woman beside me."

"Oh, is that why she kissed me just now?"

Holy shit. The whole situation was so awkward that I could hardly move or speak. My past and my supposed future, in the same room, practically fighting over me; I didn't want that. And I sure as hell didn't want my past insulting my future. Les's bantering turned the awkward air around me into rage.

"Les," I said strongly, "get the fuck out of here. And if you ever come up to either one of us again, I'm personally setting yer balls on fire." I knew the severe look on my face told him I wasn't kidding, and I probably wasn't.

Eventually, Chris and I made it back to the ballroom with the anamchara bosca. Les couldn't open it, luckily, but to my surprise, none of the guests were able to either. I even tried the female guests but they never came close. By the end of the night the guests were gone, those that were sleeping over (my friends, Chris's family, and even Damien) were at their respective rooms, and Chris and I were in his room getting ready for bed.

The tension between us was practically tangible. Though we kept up our "coupling" act for the gala and the Frost family, behind closed doors, we barely spoke to each other. The only thing I removed was my jewelry before I turned to Chris, who took off his shoes and tie.

"I have a question," I started, ending the silence in the room. "How do ya feel about me?"


"This mornin' I told ya I have feelin's for ya, but ya never told me if ya felt the same. How do ya feel?"

He shook his head as he unbuttoned his shirt. "You don't deserve to hear my answer."

"Why not?" I asked before slipping out of my shoes.

"It's appalling that one minute you're confessing you have feelings for me, and the next you're making out with your ex-boyfriend."

A heavy sigh escaped the opening of my lips. "Look…I told ya durin' the gala that I was sorry. He surprised me with it, and he was the one who kissed me!"

"And yet, you didn't stop it. As a matter of fact, you kissed him back."

"Are…Are ya jealous?"

"It's not about jealousy."

"Then cut me some slack! It's not like I was cheatin' on ya. We're not datin', yeah? And how would ya feel if it had been Jocelyn who—"

"Don't talk about her."

"Why not? Ya mentioned my ex, why can't I mention yers?"

"It's not the same thing! How would you feel if I spoke about your parents?"

"Don't talk about them," I warned.

"Why not? You brought up my departed loved one, why can't I mention yours?" he mocked before pulling off his button down shirt, tossing it onto the bed, and rushing towards the bathroom.

I stomped angrily after him. "It's not the same fuckin' thing and ya know it!" Another heavy sigh escaped my lips. I thought our argumentative days were over, but there we were, yelling at each other like I just arrived here yesterday. "I don't get ya," I stated in a calmer, defeated tone as he brushed his teeth. "Ya dragged me here months ago in case there's any truth to the prophecy, but now that we have an actual chance to start somethin' real…ya pull away. Why is it so hard for ya to say how ya feel out loud? What are ya waitin' for?"

Chris finished brushing his teeth and looked at me wordlessly. All he did was run his fingers through his hair with a sigh.

My eyebrows creased. "Ya know what? Fuck this. I can't wait for ya anymore. Ya don't want anythin' to happen between us? Wish granted. I don't have the patience for this shit. There's no point in me even stayin' if the prophecy isn't goin' to happen."

"What are you saying?"

"Oh, so the man can speak after all! What I'm sayin' is that I'm getting' the fuck out of here. I'm goin' to sleep in my room tonight; Ava probably won't mind sharin' the bed with me, and then tomorrow mornin' I'm getting a lift from the guys back into the city. I can crash at Ava's house in the Bronx, or with Evan and Jason for a little while. Or maybe, I can go back to the apartment I shared with my old roommate, Samantha. At least, until I can find a place of my own. You win, Chris. I'll no longer be a nuisance to you, especially since I won't be here anymore." I made my way back to the bedroom and didn't look back.

Chris quickly came after me and grabbed my arm. I had every intention of yanking it back, that is, until he pulled me close and kissed me. I froze; it was the second time today I was surprised by a kiss. But this time…I surrendered to him completely, and I definitely didn't stop it. In fact, I kissed him back as passionately as he kissed me.

He pressed me so close to his body that there was barely any room to breathe. Even so, it wasn't close enough. My arms moved around his neck and tugged us even closer together, deepening the kiss further. His lips were softer than I imagined, and they felt incredible against my own. He moved his hands to my bare back; the coolness of his touch against my hot skin sent shivers down my spine. I could've kissed him forever, but I briefly pulled away.

"Say it," I whispered while catching my breath.

"Say, what?" he whispered back, also catching his breath.

"How ya feel."

"Can't you tell?"

"Yeah…but it's not the same as hearin' ya actually say it."

Our foreheads rested on each other, but he moved his head back just enough to be able to stare into my eyes. "I have feelings for you as well."

Slowly, I smiled. He said it! For once, he answered an important question on the same day I asked it. Part of my smile remained when he kissed me again.

This time, I moaned into the kiss. I couldn't help it; Chris was an amazing kisser. So much so, that my knees actually got weak and gave out. He was so strong that he was able to wrap his arms tightly around my waist and hold me up effortlessly. He was even able to move us further into the bedroom and close the door behind us.

Fred and Ginger: Refers to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. They were iconic dance partners in films during the 1930s and 1940s.

Siren: A beautiful and dangerous creature that lured sailors to shipwrecks with their enchanting voices.

É finito: Italian for, "It's finished" or "It's over."

- Sneak Peak: Track 21 -

"There's something I need you to do as soon as possible," said Chris.

"Oh really? What's that?" I said lowly, moving my lips closer to his.

"Pack your bags."

I instantly frowned. He was kicking me out? Even though I threatened to move out last night, I didn't plan to go through with it since Chris and I were finally getting together. Did he still believe I intended on leaving? Or worse: Did he change his mind about wanting to date me, and now was evicting me as a result?

Chris smiled, probably from picking up on my thoughts. "Perhaps I should be more specific. Pack an overnight bag. You and I are taking a trip."

Slowly, I grinned. Thank goodness that's all it was. "To where?"

"You'll see once we get there."