THANK YOU for the reviews! They make me sooo happy! Here's the next chapter: Marina's starting to get in over her head….uh oh. ;) Enjoy!
"What are you doing here, Brad?" I demanded, forgetting for a second that Jet's life was dependent on Brad's mouth, "Did you follow me here?"
Brad didn't respond. He simply stared at me from behind his sunglasses. Brad's lack of response only fueled Jet's rising anger towards him.
"She asked you a question!" Jet shouted to Brad, taking a menacing step towards him.
I quickly reached an arm out to stop Jet. I knew this could get out of hand real fast and I couldn't let that happen. I couldn't let Brad reveal Jet's secret and I couldn't let Jet kill Brad—no matter how much I wanted him to.
"Come on, Marina," Brad said.
"She's not going anywhere with you," Jet growled.
This time I placed a hand on Jet's chest to hold him back, but Brad wasn't paying any attention to Jet. He was looking at me—his eyes conveying a message much faster than his lips ever could.
"It's okay," I said, turning to Jet.
My words broke his concentration and his head snapped in my direction. "What?" he asked—unsure he had heard me right.
"It's okay," I repeated, "I'll go with him."
Jet's frown deepened. He took me by the shoulders and looked into my eyes as his filled with concern. "You don't have to go with him."
It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do—and it was only to force a smile on my face when I wanted to cry. "It's okay," I said for a third time, "I don't mind."
Then, very slowly and very deliberately, I removed Jet's hands from my shoulders and looked away from him. I began walking towards Brad, who held open the passenger door for me. I climbed in, immediately uncomfortable in the smooth leather seats. Brad slammed the door shut behind me and walked around to the driver's side. I looked out the window as Brad slid in the seat beside me. Brad started the car and pulled away from the adoption agency, leaving Jet standing there on the sidewalk—completely stunned.
I watched Jet in the side mirror until we turned out of the adoption agency and headed back towards a main road. I was angry—no, I was furious. I didn't think I had ever hated Brad more than I did now. Not only had he purposely followed me, but he had basically kidnapped me. Yes, yes, I know technically I went with him willingly, but the word "willingly" can't really apply if the person is being blackmailed—which was exactly what Brad was doing to me. He promised he wouldn't tell anyone Jet's secret if I broke up with Jet. He was using Jet's secret against me. I could only imagine what he would do if he knew I had the same secret. I shuddered at the thought.
But I had to remember that, at least for now, he didn't know I was a shapeshifter too. Any suspicion he might have had before he most certainly discarded when he found out about Jet—believing me to the stupid, lovesick girlfriend of a monster. Apparently, me knowing the secret of my boyfriend was explanation enough for my previous suspicious behavior.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked Brad, but refused to look at him.
"We're going to do something fun," was his response. He couldn't seem to bear the thought of looking at me either. Apparently we were both angry with the other.
"That doesn't answer my question," I spat.
Beside me I heard Brad sigh. "I'm taking you to the docks," he said.
"What are you going to do? Hogtie me and throw me over the edge?" I laughed—but it wasn't my normal laugh—it was short and full of sarcasm. I finally peeked over at Brad. He wasn't smiling like I was.
"No," he told me, "like I said, we're going to have some fun."
"Something tells me your idea of fun is a lot different from mine," I said, my tone biting.
"Not this time."
"Why are you doing this?" I asked.
"I told you to stay away from John," Brad said, "but you didn't listen. So I had to get you away from him."
"You told me to break up with him," I said, my voice sharp and pointed.
Brad looked over at me for the first time. "And did you?" he asked, significantly.
"No, not yet," I said. He turned his attention back to the road. "But just give me some time. You're asking an awful lot of me."
"I'm asking a lot of you? You're asking me to defy my nature and protect a monster!" Brad said raising his voice.
"So?! You're asking me to break up with the love of my life! I think I win." I shouted at him.
He frowned. "It's for your own good."
I glared at him. "Since when did I get a third parent?"
"Since you decided it was a good idea to date someone so unstable and dangerous."
I didn't answer him—I just continued to glare at the road ahead of us.
Brad drove towards the beach—well, technically towards the docks, I guess. He parked the car and we got out.
"So what are we doing?" I asked.
Brad smiled to himself. "Jet-skiing."
Brad led me to the end of a dock where a jet-ski sat tied to the post. I would have thought almost drowning in a storm would have made Brad stay clear of the ocean for awhile, but no. He jumped in the seat without another moment's hesitation.
"Hop on," he said to me as he put the key in the ignition.
"Come on," he said, smiling at me, "it'll be fun. I promise."
"Fine," I said, giving in as I climbed onto the jet-ski behind Brad.
"Hold on," Brad said, returning to his mischievous self. I didn't want to, but as soon as Brad revved the engine I needed to. Squeezing him around the waist, I held on for dear life as he sped away from the docks and out into the ocean. He drove around for a bit and I was able to relax my grip—I was getting used to the motion of the jet-ski. And I had to admit, it was actually fun—though I would never tell Brad that—I couldn't give him the satisfaction of being right. He was already too full of himself.
Just then, Brad looked back at me with his typical sly smile slapped across his face. We were headed right towards an abnormally large wave. Oh crap. He wasn't actually thinking of going over it, was he?
"Hold on tight," he told me, then faced forward again.
Crap, he was.
I wrapped my arms around him—locking them as tightly as I could—and buried my face between his shoulder blades in anticipation of the jump. There was no way we were going to make it over this wave without getting thrown off.
Brad sped up—the jet-ski smoothly bumping over the smaller waves leading up to the larger one. We were almost there. I squeezed my eyes shut as I felt the jet-ski soar up the incline. Then we were airborne. I couldn't help but let out a small shriek of delight—it was terrifying, but also exhilarating—just like the upside-down roller coasters at amusement parks.
We landed back on the surface of the water with a distinctive splash and my forehead hit against the bones in Brad's spinal cord. Brad slowed the jet-ski to a stop.
"You okay?" he asked.
I nodded, smiling from the thrill of the jump—my cheek still pressed against his back. "Take me home," I said. This was wrong. I couldn't be having fun with Brad. Right now, Brad was the enemy—the one who was blackmailing me—the reason I wasn't with Jet at that moment.
Brad didn't say anything but he obliged, turning the jet-ski around and heading back towards the docks. When we reached them, I hopped off the jet-ski as fast as I could and immediately began walking away from Brad. Once he tied up the jet-ski, I could hear his thudding footsteps as he ran to catch up with me.
"Take me home," I said again.
"Alright," was all Brad said. He didn't argue, he didn't complain.
We climbed into his Charger and Brad drove off. Less than twenty minutes later, we were sitting in the driveway in front of my house. I opened the passenger door and got out, not bothering to look back at Brad as I made my way towards the house.
"Hey!" Brad called from the open window of his car, "I told you it'd be fun!"
I turned and saw that he was smiling at me again. I didn't answer him—I couldn't. I couldn't admit that yes, he was right—I did have fun. In fact, I had too much fun. How was it that even when Brad was taking everything from me I could still be happy?
I stared into his blue eyes—so different, and so much more piercing than Jet's. But it was Jet's that I preferred—I knew that. That was all I had to do whenever I was with Brad—remember Jet's beautiful green eyes—and I would be okay. I could get through this. I had to get through this—just so Jet and I could be together again.
But I couldn't stop the right edge of my lip from turning up in a half-smile as I watched Brad back out of my driveway.
Defygravity314: I am currently editing "Shapes of Us" (changing title to "Taking Shape") for publishing. It's just taking longer than I thought it would, haha. But seriously, thank you so much for telling me to publish these stories. It means so much to me that you say that, you can't even imagine. :)