A/N: Some mild language and sexual references.
When she emerged from her shower, drying her hair with a towel, Matt was still seated, Pride and Prejudice clasped loosely in his hands as his eyes raked over her .
"Well, what do you think so far?" Alieta questioned throwing her dirty clothes and towel in the hamper, moving to stand between Matt's thighs.
"I really like that outfit you're wearing, but I suppose you are referring to the book, in which case, I believe it is not exactly to my taste," He replied tossing it beside him as he inhaled the sweet smell of her soap, shampoo and skin.
"I wouldn't expect a romance to be to your liking." She quickly ran a brush through her damp hair as he carefully grasped her hips, standing up in front of her.
"You presume too much," He wrapped his arms around her slowly, drawing her into his embrace as he kissed her tenderly. Matt buried his face in her damp hair. "I'm jealous of the experience the shower just had. The water caressing your smooth skin, the suds touching every inch of your body..." He murmured, pressing his lips lightly against her neck as he spoke.
"If I didn't know any better, Matthew, I'd think you were peaking in on me in the shower!" Alieta laughed, squirming under his attention. He brushed his lips across her ear, nipping on the lobe.
"I solemnly swear never to peek on girls in the shower. However, I won't look away if they leave the door open. That goes for you, lovely." He chuckled as her faced flushed pink.
Matt captured Alieta in another sweet kiss before they left the room, heading to dinner. As they travelled back down the stairs, the delectable and unmistakable smell of roast lamb and vegetables greeted them. There was also, however, the unwanted smell of smoke and melted plastic.
They sat down at the long dining table, knees touching and were soon joined by Todd and Jen and finally Jeshua. Shortly after, the maid brought out the dishes and set them on the table along with some loves of fresh French bread. All five people exchanged glances. Abruptly, Mrs Hayman bustled through the room, highly irritated, and putting on diamond earrings that set off her evening gown perfectly.
"Dears, I'm very sorry to disrupt our dinner plans but Mr Hayman failed to mention to me, until a short time ago, that we had a dinner party to attend this evening. Oh, and one of the ovens exploded! That's what that darn awful smell is, but not to worry, we just used the other." She sighed dramatically.
"Maaaan. I hate it when ovens explode." Todd exclaimed as Jen giggled.
Mrs Hayman raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at her son before moving to plant light kisses on all five teenagers' foreheads. "Now are you intending to go out or spend the night in?" She asked, resting her manicured hands on the top of a straight back chair. It wobbled under her stance. Frowning, she called for the maid.
"There is something wrong with this chair! It's the wooden leg on the top left. Please have it removed and repaired." She swiftly ordered, moving to simply rest her hands on Matt's shoulders.
"We'll be here when you return." Todd offered her.
She smiled curtly before muttering congratulations and apologies then turning, she left in a flurry of fabric. The butler, dressed magnificently in a pinstriped suit, efficiently served the food and they started to eat in silence.
"Well, just another family dinner in the Hayman household." Alieta laughed.
"You can say that again." Jeshua answered sharply.
"I thought you hated me and ergo were refraining from speaking to me" She smiled at him harshly.
"Ergo? Refraining? They're pretty sophisticated words; you're not trying to impress your new boyfriend here, are you?" He snickered in retort.
"Congratulations. You are now a class-A jerk." Alieta snapped, deflating slightly as Matt placed one hand on Alieta's leg, the other on the back of her chair and leaned the short distance to her ear. His breath tickled her hair for a split second before he spoke.
"Relax babe, he's just trying to provoke you to get a reaction and make you do or say something you'll regret. Besides, you always impress me, you don't have to try." Matt whispered, feeling her instantly settle down. He planted a kiss below her ear then sat back, not removing his hand from her thigh. Matt returned the meticulous stare he was receiving from Jeshua.
"But then again, it probably doesn't take a lot to impress our man here." Jeshua replied smarmily. Matt tightened his grip on Alieta's leg.
"GET OUT!" Todd demanded
"Wh...what?" Jeshua was dumbfounded.
"First you insult your sister's intelligence, trying to provoke her, then you insult my best mate who also happens to be your sister's boyfriend. You're disrupting dinner, upsetting everyone and I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to teach you a lesson with my fist!" Todd's gaze flickered to Matt's face. "So get out now and leave us in peace." Todd continued watching Matt's countenance, which was awash with anger. Alieta looked on the verge of tears which surprised Todd. Matt's attention was now directed towards her. Jeshua pushed back from the table loudly, his eyes locked with Alieta's.
"I don't answer to any of you and I'm not a little kid; I'm barley younger than her!" He yelled.
"Then stop acting like one." Todd calmly spoke.
"Fine!" He threw his chair halfway across the room storming out. Alieta exhaled, releasing her grip from the table.
"I'm not very hungry anymore." She announced, taking her plate to the kitchen. As she handed over her plate to a maid, she heard the unmistakable sound of tyres burning rubber. Alieta rushed through the dining room and out the front door to see her car speeding down the driveway. Jen, Todd and Matt appeared at her side.
"He will kill himself in that car." Jen stated. Alieta ran up to her room and returned with keys and a remote in seconds. She sprinted out the front door and into the garage. Sliding into the M5 beamer she cranked over the engine and was surprised by all three other doors opening.
"I'm in the front!" Jen angled in next to Alieta as the boys jumped in the back. She sighed then shrugged, motoring out of the garage onto the suburban roads.
"Where is he?" Alieta breathed quietly, cruising down along. Jen now had the remote in her hands but she had opened the cover to reveal a small screen.
"Take the next left. Straight. Ok good, he should be along any one of these streets." Jen instructed.
"There!" Matt indicated down a side street where Jeshua was accelerating off from the curb. Alieta hung a sharp right and followed. She stayed around three car widths back but there wasn't much traffic so she figured if he was looking for a tail he'd find her. Apparently the thought never crossed his mind because she followed him for three blocks.
"Jen hand me the controls." Alieta spoke coolly.
"No disrespect or anything little sis, but why exactly do we need to stop him? I mean what is so dangerous about that car?" Todd queried.
"There are some advanced features installed, that if, and when, they were messed with, could result in the car performing an array of disjointed movements ending most certainly in the car crashing while traveling at a phenomenal speed." She hit a button on the remote and they witnessed the Mazda significantly reduce speed before rolling to a complete stop on the side of the road.
"And it was that easy to stop him?" Todd inquired uncertainly.
"Yes, it is if you know what you're doing... but something I do need assistance in is muscle power and discipline. I need a remote for that. Maybe they'll invent such a thing some day."She turned off the BMW and pocketed the keys.
"No worries sis... I got this covered." Todd stepped out of the vehicle and strode over to the Mazda, the others in his wake. Jeshua had not even realized that they had pulled up behind him. He was attempting to discover the root of his car problems. In one fluid movement, Todd opened the driver's door, pulled Jeshua out and had him flattened against the bonnet of the beamer.
"You three take the Mazda back home, Jeshua and myself are going to take a short drive and have a little Tête`-à-tête." Alieta unwillingly threw Todd the keys to the BMW. Then Matt, Alieta and Jen reluctantly got into the Mazda. Alieta pressed another button on the remote before starting the car and hanging a u–turn. She headed home on autopilot; Matt in the passenger's seat beside her.
"I wonder what Todd is going to do to Jeshua." Jen voiced.
"I doubt he'll do anything... probably just give him a stern talking to or threaten him...something like that." Matt contributed, grasping Alieta's hand in his.
"A stern talking to?" Alieta raised an eyebrow in quizzical disbelief.
"Alright, Todd will probably rough him up a little bit because he made his gorgeous little sister upset."He dropped off, his voice fading as he turned to look out of the window. "He adores you, you know, and he's not the only one," he confided quietly, abruptly changing the subject for a reason unbeknown to Alieta and Jen. "I always forget how incredible a driver you are." He flashed Alieta a dazzling smile.
"Jeshua doesn't seem to share that same flattering opinion." She dejectedly acknowledged as she pulled the RX8 into her garage.
"You're amazing." Matt muttered, stepping out of the car, and collecting Alieta in his arms.
They snuck through an iron gate and entered the house by a side door. It was still early, but the Hayman's could have returned from their engagement and they would be less than pleased at seeing their children and those in their charge roaming around outdoors at night when they were expected to keep a quiet night at home. The three of them understood this very well and proceeded to sneak up the stairs.
They sat on Alieta's bed, silently all waiting anxiously. The front door opened and slammed shut loudly. Apparently the other boys didn't share their sense of discretion. Hastily, her bedroom door opened.
Alieta jumped to her feet as Jeshua entered and walked directly to her. His movements were sudden as he slapped her roughly across the face, knocking her back into her Globe, which crashed to the ground with her. Todd was only a couple steps behind Jeshua and witnessed her crumbling backwards. He didn't miss a beat and quickly fought to restrain an agitated Matt who was advancing towards Jeshua. "I'm not at all sorry for something that was your fault and I will not apologize for it. You call yourself independent and then you send someone else to fight your battles! How insulting, you disgust me. You're weak and couldn't hold your own if it was demanded of you. Honestly! Can't you do anything right?" Todd and Matt stood slightly shell shocked and stared at Alieta, expecting her to burst into tears or show some emotion. Instead she stood, touched her lip where it was bleeding, brushed herself off and pushed her shoulders back, lifting her chin slightly. Jen had seen this before and was slightly alarmed and excited at what she knew was bound to be her friend's reaction.
"You have the nerve to lecture me?! About something you obviously have no clue about. Not that you have a clue about anything other than yourself!" Her voice was raised but steady.
This time however she was prepared for the attack that Jeshua so offensively repeated. She caught his arm before it had made contact with her now tender face, and lifted her knee forcefully into his groin. Surprised, the pain registered and Jeshua dropped to the floor, cringing. Not stopping there, she pulled the arm she held forcefully up behind his back in a half-nelson and half dragged, half carried his sorry ass out of her room, banging the door closed on him. She let her hands linger on the door and placed her head gently on the cool wood.
"I'm sorry you two had to see that." Alieta turned, keeping her back pressed to the door and assessed Todd and Matt's faces. They were in disbelief, reliving what had just happened and trying to make sense of it. Simultaneously, they both looked up and laughed at the dumbfounded look on each other's face.
"I'm glad you didn't drop me like that when I kissed you in the parking lot! I would have looked like a complete idiot."Matt laughed as did Todd, visioning the sight of his sister dropping his best friend to the ground in one foul swoop.
Alieta smiled weakly, seeing the funny side, but then remembering why she had enrolled in the self defense classes, grimaced. Matt witnessed the flash of vulnerability in her eyes. Wiping the grin off his face, he took a step towards her and gently pulled her close to his chest. Sensing the shift in emotion, Jen and Todd escaped the room, smiling uneasily.
Matt cupped her face with both hands, and kissed her delicately on the lips.
"I suppose you don't want to relive that experience again do you?" He asked gently.
"How did you..." She hid her face in his chest.
"Did you really believe I would fall for I fell down a flight of steps? You were bawling your eyes out on my shoulder, if you haven't forgotten. Why would you do that if you had simply tripped? Then the next day, you enrolled in a two week defense program. I'm not as oblivious as your family... I care about you so much, I know when you're upset." He had now sat down on her large couch and pulled her across his lap. Her head still lay on his chest.
"I do remember," She muttered taking a deep breath. "I wasn't trying to fool you as much as I was trying to fool myself." A tear slid down her cheek, quickly followed by another. "Crap, you hate it when I cry!" She wiped them away, but her outburst resulted in a few more rolling down her face. He carefully caught her hand and began wiping the tears away himself.
"I don't hate it when you cry... I guess I did before, but now I can comfort you like this," he kissed her eyelids, "and this," his lips touched her neck, "and this," Matt embraced her in a tender kiss, his tongue tracing her lips. "So you see, now I don't really mind it at all." She smiled against his skin and they sat in comfortable silence, gradually drifting to sleep.