A/N: I don't own the rights to Ave Maria
And also, for fans of this story, there is now a sequel/sister story out that may clarify a few things or just confuse them further, you can access it on my page and it's titled Refrain.
Warnings: Angst, self-harm, blood, mild homosexuality, statutory rape, allusions to rape, alcohol, teenage pregnancy, guns, sex
I am a horrible man. In my mind there is no question about it. I am utterly horrible, and I will never be able to make up for the things I have and haven't done.
She was beautiful, if nothing else. Gorgeous, and I couldn't believe that there could ever been anyone as perfect as she was. It just wasn't possible, to have someone on this earth as angelic and ethereal as she looked. Even the very moment she met my eyes for the first time, I knew our lives were going to be intertwined, for better or for worse.
In that first glance, I already knew what to expect. She smiled at me, pausing for a second, cocking her head, closing her eyes, and smiling. It was a shy smile, innocent and captivating at the same time. My eyes followed her as she hurried down the hallway, almost as if she were afraid to see my reaction. I wish she had stayed, I wanted to speak to her, I wanted to know the girl behind that smile. With just that one smile, my heart was beating against my chest, the sound ringing in my ears. Just with a smile, leaving the smell of lilac in her wake…
Luke tugged on my arm, telling me we had to get to class and I let him pull me along, my eyes still staring after her, wishing I could see her again. No matter how much I looked though, I didn't see her after that. Not that day, that week, or even that month. I lost hope that I would ever see her again, and I began to wonder if maybe she was a figment of my imagination, a manifestation of a girl dropped from heaven. I began to accept that she was only an illusion and nothing more. I had to forget about her and find someone else, because that girl would never be real.
Then Ezra finally arrived at school. He was a month late coming to school; he said it was because of family issues. I nodded, knowing full well that his parents were still settling their divorce after ten years. He said that his sister was a freshman here now, just having come to live with him and his father, and he wanted to introduce us to her. He ran out of his room leaving Luke and I to sit on our backs, staring at the ceiling. Luke and I talked about what his sister looked like. I imagined someone more like his mother, long flowing red hair, cerulean eyes…
Then the door opened and I could hear a girl talking. Her voice was nervous and soft, even in the tiny room, I couldn't hear her. Ezra was telling her that there was nothing to worry about, that we'd absolutely love her. I don't think he realized how accurate that prediction was.
When I looked up, my heart began beating faster again. She looked nothing like her brother. Her skin was pale and rosy, her hair a light golden blonde, and her eyes the same shade of blue as the sky. Her hair the color of the sun, her eyes stolen from the sky, sparkling like stars… there was no way she could be anything but a fallen angel.
Even as she saw me her cheeks reddened as she blushed. "Luke, Ava… this is Lolita." Ezra introduced her, pushing her towards the both of us.
I stood up slowly, eyeing her, thinking that maybe this was another illusion. I didn't want her to disappear again. I wanted to keep her by my side; I didn't want to lose her. "H-hello…" she murmured quietly, shrinking away from me as she said it.
I noticed I was staring at her and I told myself to stop, I was making her nervous. She was about a foot shorter than me, so I had to look down at her to see her. She seemed uncomfortable with looking up at me, and instead looked away towards an unoccupied wall.
I held out my hand in the hopes that she wouldn't be scared of me for too long. "Ave. It's nice to finally meet you." I said, trying to sound warm and inviting.
"F-finally?" she stuttered, placing her small hand in mine. Had she forgotten me? I guess I shouldn't expect her to remember really, but nonetheless, I was slightly disappointed.
Ezra asked the both of us to try and make her first year here as painless as possible. It wasn't a problem for me, I tried to spend as much time with her as possible, which I would have done anyway. She was surprised at first, she hadn't expected me to keep coming around. The first time I was in her room and it was just us, I asked about her brother.
"So what's Ezra like at home?" I questioned, leaning back on her bed, my hands behind my head.
She cocked her head, furrowing her brow. "What? How would I know? I've only lived with him for a few months…" she murmured, sitting down next to me.
"But he's your brother, isn't he?" I asked with a laugh, sitting up so we were at eye level.
"Since when?" she asked, her eyes widening.
I was confused at first. I distinctly remember Ezra calling her his sister. I forgot about that when I realized that her face was only a few inches from mine. Any coherent thoughts had been lost as I stared into those eyes of hers. It was just a shade of blue, yet it was so captivating… I couldn't bring myself to look away. I noticed something on her cheek, a faint white mark. It was so faint I hadn't noticed it before, but now I could see a tendril of white swirling around her cheek. I used that as an excuse to raise my hand to cup her cheek.
"What's this?" I ask as she tensed her muscles at my touch, blushing.
"What's what?" she asked, raising her hand to her cheek as well. As she blushed, that white mark stayed the same color, making it even more obvious than before.
"There's something white on your face." I stated, tracing it with my index finger.
The mark wound around her neck and disappeared beneath the fabric of her shirt. For a second I wanted to be bold and ask if I could see the rest of that mark. I dismissed the thought, knowing she was much too shy to agree to anything like that.
"Oh, it's just a tattoo…" she murmured softly. She rolled up the sleeve on her left arm and I could see the same white mark winding around her arm. "I don't remember where I got it though…"
I took her hand gingerly, pulling it towards me to see it. I'd never seen anything like this before. "That's unique…" I murmured, letting her have her hand back.
She pulled her sleeve down again with a nod. Now I couldn't stop trying to find the mark on her cheek. It was like a game I was playing with myself, and I felt stupid for it. I knew I was making her feel awkward, but I couldn't stop, it was near impossible. I bent in closer to her cheek to get a better look at it and I realized it would be so easy to just lean in and…
I didn't realize my actions were mirroring my train of though until my lips were firmly pressed against hers and my hand was cupped against her cheek again. She yelped in surprise, not doing anything at first. My first thought was to pull away to apologize, but then I could feel one of Lee's shaky hands running through my hair, the other gently pressed against my chest, shaking as the kiss deepened.
I found myself falling back on the bed, the soft sheets billowing up as we bounced down on the mattress. I didn't even pay attention to the squeak of protest from the springs, the only sound I could hear being Lee's shaky breaths, the only feeling the silky texture of Lee's hair and her soft, unblemished skin. When I pulled away, needing oxygen, Lee's face had turned a deep red, and I could see the skin on her chest flushing as well.
"I-uh… Th-.. Um…" Lee stuttered, so incredibly flustered, unable to even form a sentence.
I shushed her, putting a finger to her lips with a chuckle. I nuzzled her neck, moving my body closer to her. The heat radiating off of her skin was enough to make me blush as well. I realized that her being a freshman, she'd probably never even been with a man like this before. I was careful, gentle with her, not wanting to scare her. Her breathing was shallow and quick, she was so nervous, maybe even a little excited, I hoped. Kissing her neck, I could hear her moan softly, it almost sounded like she was surprised, and I guess she probably was, never having experienced this before.
I pulled back and kissed her lips again, this time she tentatively scooted closer to me, pressing her chest to mine. She clutched the fabric of my shirt and I draped an arm over her side, my other hand taking hers and holding it tightly.
When I finally pulled away, she tensed again, her face flaring as she realized that now that the moment was over, she had to talk again. I wondered if she knew how to recover from a moment of passion like that, or if she could even speak at all.
Later, I asked Ezra about his sister, why she didn't acknowledge the fact that they were siblings. I wouldn't have expected his reply in a million years.
"Lolita… she was in a bad accident this summer. She was caught in an earthquake and the building she was in collapsed. She suffered a massive blow to the head. Thankfully she wasn't brain damaged but…" Ezra paused here; I was already stunned, gaping at him. Lee had something wrong with her? But she seemed perfectly normal. "… she has amnesia."
"What?" I exclaimed, disbelieving. She didn't remember the first fourteen years of her life?! But, how… how can she be so normal?
"She forgot everything, even her name. Lolita is the name she chose for herself…" he murmured, looking pained. "As far as she knows she's just living with strangers for awhile. We… decided it'd be less traumatic if we didn't tell her the truth."
"What's her real name then?" I questioned, still stunned.
"That's not important." Ezra said dismissively. "What is important is that she's not going to forget anything else, so don't worry, Ave. She won't forget you." Ezra said.
"Th-that's a relief…" I murmured softly. "Wait, why did you direct that at me?" I asked, flushing slightly, he didn't know, did he?
"Lolita talks, Ave." Ezra said, rolling his eyes. "Hurt her and I'll kill you." Ezra stated.
I avoided Ezra for awhile after he said that. Lee and I continued to spend time together, laughing and joking and sharing the occasional kiss. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I asked her on out on our first official date.
"Lee." I called, sitting on the edge of her bed as she sat at her computer, typing up a report for Biology.
She nodded, acknowledging me, but continuing to type, too busy to turn towards me.
"This new Chinese place is opening up on Vale Street tomorrow; do you want to come with me?" I questioned casually.
Now she turned to face me, looking surprised. "Are you… asking me out? on a date?" she asked disbelieving at first.
I pretended to ponder this question for a moment. "Yes, in fact I am!" I exclaimed happily. "So, yay or nay?"
"Um…" she murmured timidly. "O-of course." she confirmed with a smile, trying to sound confident.
"I'll be here as soon as school lets out." I said with a grin, picking up my backpack and exiting the room.
Lee seemed to enjoy our first date, I know I did. It was a nice place, filled with the warm smell of oriental herbs. The whole time I listened to Lee talking and I just stared deep into her eyes, unable to tear myself away. She looked beautiful, wearing a nice purple blouse and a pair of white jeans, it was simple, but on her it was elegant.
When we came back home, I brought her to my room. Luke was working on a project with Ezra, so I didn't have to worry about either of them seeing us. Luke and I had shared a room since freshman year when my parents had died. My closest relative was my sister who lived all the way in Michigan at the house I'd grown up in before moving to Virginia in fifth grade. When mom and dad died, my sister told me that I could stay in Virginia as long as someone would take care of me. Luke's parents gladly offered.
I didn't plan on sex, I just wanted to spend some time alone with her. Soon though, we were lying together on the bed and I asked to see the rest of her tattoo. She blushed profusely, but she nodded all the same, reaching for the buttons on her blouse. I stopped her, slowly starting to unbutton her blouse myself. Her white mark continued around her torso, wrapping around her midsection like a snake, and then disappearing beneath her jeans.
When I'd asked to see her tattoo, I didn't think I was asking to see her almost completely naked. "Lee, if you don't feel comfortable you don't have to…" I began as she reached for the clasp on her jeans.
"No… I want to…" she replied, pulling her pants off her legs, kicking them out of the way.
The mark ran around her right leg, finally stopping at her ankle. I lifted her leg, looking at the mark. At first, I'd thought it to be weird, but now I found it to be amazing. Besides her brother, I was sure I was the only one that knew about this mark, I might have been the only one to know exactly what it looked like even.
In return Lee requested that I take my shirt off. I laughed, pulling it over my head and throwing it to the side. She ran a hand over my chest and I smiled, placing a hand on her belly, feeling the soft skin and her thin figure.
Just as I leaned in for a kiss, the sound of a knock at the door resounded through the room. "Shit!" I exclaimed pulling apart and looking for our clothes.
"Ave, what's going on?" Luke asked, after he heard my exclamation. I handed Lee her shirt which she quickly buttoned up, her hands shaking almost unable to fasten the buttons.
"I'm coming in." Luke called, and I realized I'd forgotten to lock the door. Lee was still pulling her pants up and Luke walked in just as she was fastening the buttons on her pants. He turned to me with an eyebrow raised, his eyes questioning what we'd just been doing. "I don't want to know what you were doing." Luke muttered, turning and walking the way he'd come.
"He'll be down in a minute Ez, he's just gotta change clothes." Luke covered for me.
Lee's face turned the reddest I'd ever seen it, her whole face and chest turning a deep red. Even from the other side of the bed, I could see the white swirl on her cheek. I grinned gently, hoping it would comfort her, even just a little bit. Knowing Lee, she was a pile of frayed nerves and immensely uncomfortable, as if Luke had actually seen her naked.
"Okay you two, break it up. If Ez knows that you were here with her he's gonna kill you." Luke growled jokingly at me. "So you have to jump out the window." Luke said.
"What?" Lee questioned, her brow furrowing as she wondered whether Luke was trying to bump her off.
"Yeah, you have to go out the window then come in through the front door, spout some stuff about how you were looking for 'Ezzie' or something like that and voila, Ave's still here to masturbate another day." Luke proclaimed, slapping me on the back.
"But what about me!" Lee exclaimed, glancing at the drop from the roof to the hardened ground below.
Luke furrowed his brow. "Well, the fall won't kill you so at the most you might break an arm, but you have two so you shouldn't have any problems getting off. But if you do happen to break both arms, well, that's what Ave's for, right?" Luke exclaimed without a hint of a smile.
Lee simply stared at him, jaw agape as a thick coat of blood crept up her neck. "But… but…" she muttered.
"Now go, or we'll make you be the one to dig Ave's grave!" Luke exclaimed, pushing her towards the window.
I stood up, taking Lee's hands as she stood in front of the window. "If you're not comfortable, then you don't have to do this." I comforted. "I don't mind dying for the cause." I teased with a smile tugging at my lips.
She frowned, her look nearly crossing into scowl territory. I gave her a quick kiss, pressing my lips to hers chastely. She blushed again, as I leaned down to her, and she was on her tiptoes to meet my lips.
"How long does it take to pull your pants on?" Ezra's voice came up the stairs faintly.
"Ave can't find his pants! It'll just be a few more minutes!" Luke called over his shoulder.
I glower at him. "I hate you." I muttered, before glancing out the window to see Lee crawling down the tiled roof.
I bit my lip anxiously, turning back to Luke and walking down to the living room where Ezra was waiting impatiently. "What were you doing up there?" Ezra asked, standing up from the couch.
I struggled with my wandering eyes, telling them not to glance out the window in the hopes of seeing Lee. My wavering eyes finally came to rest on the most recent copy of People resting on the coffee table. "They were showing Twilight on TV." I blurted out, immediately cringing.
"And so… you had your pants off?" Ezra asked without missing a beat, arms folded across his chest. I could see Luke raised a hand to cover the poorly hidden smile. "That's just sad."
I opened my mouth to retort when the front door burst open and a wheezing Lee stumbled into Luke's living room. Frantically Lee searched the room, her eyes finally locking on a confused Ezra. His eyes were quickly darting from Lee to me, struggling to decide what the hell was going on. I don't know… I don't know.
"E-Ezzie!" she exclaimed, leaping forward to latch onto Ezra's arm. "Mrs. Floros said you were going to be at Luke's, but you weren't there!" Lee wheezed, pulling on Ezra's arm.
He planted his feet firmly in the ground, staring at Lee in annoyance. "Mum said you could call her Eidel, remember? And why did you need me so badly?" Ezra questioned dryly, obviously not amused.
"Mrs… Eidel's busy right now, and I needed to go to the store." Lee whined, pulling Ezra's arm to her stomach.
"For what." he spat angrily, glaring at Lee.
Lee let go of his hand immediately, her face flushing. "W-ell…" she murmured, taking a couple tentative steps towards Ezra.
Upon reaching him she whispered something inaudible. Immediately Ezra blanched, the color rushing from his face as if someone had wiped it away. He stared down at Lee who stood still, staring up at him expectantly. "Can't it wait?" Ezra sputtered, to which Lee shook her head.
Ezra sighed, turning back to Luke and I. "Catch up with you later." he muttered, following Lee as she pulled him out the front door.
I smirked. Dirty little liar.