Beep, beep, beep, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. I rolled over and moved my hand around blindly, searching for the snooze button on my alarm. My hand hit the alarm clock and I whacked it off my drawers, pulling the plug out with it. I relished in my new found silence, a small smile playing on my lips. I thought this might have been from the dream I had that night, but again, I couldn't remember it for the life of me. I kicked out in frustration and ran my hand down my face. I decided to forget about it, it wasn't getting me anywhere so why should I bother. I let the silence wash over me once again.
My solitude was short lived, however, when I heard a crash from downstairs. I shot up in my bed, threw off my covers and tentatively stepped onto the floor. I tried to avoid all of the creaky floorboards in my room and managed it quite easily seeing as there were only 2 of them.
From my vantage point at the peak of the house I could look down all three sets of stairs just in case this person came up any of them. I flicked the lights for the stairs on and heard the crashing cease suddenly.
"Who's there?" I called, because, of course, if someone's trying to rob and or kill you they're gonna tell you their name first aren't they Mikayla? I groaned at my own stupidity. "If you don't come to the bottom of the stairs right now I'm gonna call the police… and my parents." I added as an afterthought.
I strained to hear light footsteps making their way towards the bottom of the stairs, but before they got there a voice called back. "How'd you know I'm not carrying a gun and will shoot you as soon as I see you?" I cocked my head to the side.
"How do you know that I'm in the line of sight from the stairs?"
"Why else would you want me to go there?" The voice called back. Damn, I thought, he's smart.
"So I know where you are when I tell the police." I countered.
"If you were gonna call the police you'd have done it by now." Then a face appeared at the bottom of the stairs. He smiled. He looked around sixteen and I couldn't help but notice that he had the most gorgeous eyes I had ever seen. I knew, rationally anyway, that I had never seen this boy before, but I couldn't shake how familiar those eyes were. "Well hello there." The boy smirked at me, his tone flirtatious. He had an aura of cockiness and arrogance that I couldn't help but hate and love simultaneously and that made me hate him, so I glared as hard as I could, as if I was trying to make holes in his head.
"Don't try to flirt with me." I said sharply. "What are you doing here?"
"I think it's pretty much self explanatory." He deadpanned, gesturing to his outfit, dark wash jeans, a plain none descript grey t-shirt and matching dark hoodie.
"Well it looks like you're trying to rob me, but I'm sure that's not true. Right?" I said innocently and started walking down the stairs, wrapping my thin silk robe around me. "Because, if it is, I might just have to help you." A look of shock passed over his face and it was my turn to smirk.
"Why?" He asked cautiously. I was on the second landing, just one set of stairs away from him. I shrugged.
"Maybe I'll hate whatever it is you're trying to steal and want rid of it, or maybe I just hate my parents. Either way, do you want help or not?" He seemed to consider it. "My name's Mikayla by the way, Mikayla Callisto Jones. But since you're robbing my house you probably already knew that." The boy, or should I say man, chuckled.
"Yes, I did." There was a silence.
"Are you gonna tell me your name?" I asked.
"Why would I do that? You could just go tell the police. How do I know you're not going to double cross me?"
"I guess you don't. But if you're not going to tell me your name can you at least give me something to call you. Cause, you know, calling you boy or man in my head just isn't cutting it."
"You can call me J."
"Alright then J, do you want a drink?" I asked walking down the last set of stairs and passing him. I slipped on a pair of flip flops and started moving towards the kitchen, listening to my shoes slap against the floor.
"Let me get this straight." I spun around to face J who had not moved from his position at the base of the stairs. "A mysterious guy turns up in your house trying to rob you; you offer to help him and then ask him if he wants a drink? That is messed up" I shrugged.
"It is a little bit isn't it?" I continued my walk to the kitchen. "Well," I said turning around. "Are you coming or what?" I asked him. He seemed to snap out of whatever trance he was in and nodded at me, smiling tentatively.
The walk to the kitchen was short, the only sound made was our footsteps on the cold marble floor. I curled my hand around the dull brass handle of the kitchen door and pulled it open. I heard J mutter behind me "Rich bitch." I turned around to face him.
"Rich? Yes. Bitch? Not really. You'd be talking about my step mother there I believe."
"Good hearing."I smiled and reached up to get a couple of glasses down from the cupboard.
The fridge was large and fully stocked with all the food and drink anyone could ever want. I sighed and ran my hand along the top shelf. I was on my tiptoes when I felt J walk up behind me and grab the carton of orange juice I was trying to reach. He was laughing. I huffed and snatched it off him and poured it into our two glasses.
I felt a twinge of pain in my right forearm and hissed. I rubbed my arm and pulled up the sleeve of my robe and gasped. There was a thin line of pale skin running down it; you could see it easily against my dark tanned complexion. I quickly dropped the sleeve back down my arm and tried to forget about it, but something in the back of my mind told me that I needed to remember how I got that mark.
I grabbed my glass of orange juice and threw it down my throat. J raised an eyebrow at me questioningly. I stared at him until he lowered his gaze to the juice in his glass; I allowed myself a small smile before turning around to make myself some breakfast.
I was running, slicing through the wind like it was butter. There was a dagger at my side and my hand was reaching for it but I wasn't in control, I was looking at the scene from a distance, but I was also looking through my eyes. It was a strange feeling. There was shouting from behind me, I felt myself run faster. There was a feeling of panic to the entire thing. I could hear my breath loud and clear in my ears.
Wherever I was it wasn't safe, I could feel that. I wanted to leave; I needed to leave, right now. I had a feeling that something bad was about to happen; and then it was black.
I gasped when I saw the bright lights of my kitchen again. J's face was hovering above me, a frown plastered on it. I looked into his eyes, daring him to ask what had happened. He wordlessly helped me up and when I swayed a little he held his hands on my shoulders to steady me without making a sound. "I think I need to eat." I muttered by way of explanation I knew he wanted. J just nodded and went back to sipping his drink.
I rummaged around the kitchen cupboards to find something for my breakfast. Screw it, I decided after a few minutes of scrounging around for some cereal, I'll get something from the bakery around the corner. I left J in my kitchen and ran up the three flights of stairs to my room to get dressed.
My room was the entire loft. I had an en suit bathroom and walk in wardrobe. The walls were painted midnight blue with dark swirling patterns, but other than that they were bare of any form of decoration.
When I walked over to the wardrobe I grabbed the first top I came across and a random pair of jeans from the floor. After I put them on I moved in front of my mirror and sighed, my auburn hair was a mess and my grey eyes were dull and lifeless. I mentally went through my to-do list for the day.
Whack my alarm off my drawers. Check
Procrastinate about getting up. Check
Try and fail to remember my dream… again Check
Meet super cute robber... well, that's new.
The day had gone successfully so far, I decided, smiling to myself. I reached from my jacket and shrugged it on while I ran down the stairs. "Who would've thought it would be you; that turned the sky so dark?
Wonder if I should've realised, how your presence was overbearing.
And the words you said are echoing in my head.
Along with the lies you told, cause baby we're not that old
And we don't know-" I ran into something solid ad gasped, cutting myself of midline. I blushed when I realised that J had heard me singing and looked down at the floor.
"You a song writer?" He asked me. I shook my head, no. "You sure? Because I've never heard that song before."
"I dabble a little, nothing major. Not as if I can make a career out of it anyway." I mumbled. I could've lied my way out of it, told him some obscure name that he would never have known, but I somehow knew he would see though the lie.
"I used to know someone like that. She always had a tune in her head, lyrics on her lips." There was a wistful smile on J's face, it made me smile too. "She was great." He suddenly sobered up. "But she's gone now." His face was steely and vicious. I didn't ask him anything on the subject; I feared it would make him lash out at me so I just nodded.
"I'm going to the bakery around the corner to get something to eat." I told him. "Maybe if you come you can tell me what you wanted to steal." A faint smiled tugged at his lips.
"Only if you buy me whatever I want." I shrugged.
"Sure, why not, I'll just take my dad's cash. He always leaves it in the same place in his study. There's so much there he won't even notice any of it is gone." I grabbed his hand and pulled him along with me towards my father's study. I could feel his emerald eyes bore into my back, eyes that were so familiar they were uncomfortable. The way I could act so casually around him even when I only knew a letter of his name. It all seemed so wrong, but so right and so... dangerous. It didn't make any sense.
"Callisto get back here!" A vaguely familiar voice shouted. "Callisto I'm sorry okay, I didn't mean it." Someone grabbed Callisto's arm and turned her around. I gasped when I saw her from the front, it was me. A boy with blonde hair leaned in closer to her, me, and whispered in her ear. Callisto tried to get away but this boy held her tight, she looked close to tears.
"Please leave me alone Jay, I need some time to think."
"And what if you do something stupid." Callisto glared at this Jay. "You were close Calli; this could've affected you in ways you don't even know."
"Just give me some space Jay!" She yelled. I reeled back at the sharp tone in her voice. "You need to go make sure Faye's okay." Callisto muttered. "I'll be back by dark." And then Callisto had run off into the woods, leaving Jay behind her.
The first thing I noticed was a hand and my shoulder and breathing against my neck. I snapped out of whatever I had just been in, it was the second time in a space of minutes and I was getting really, really worried. I put my hand on my head and exhaled slowly.
"Are you okay?" J asked. I felt a whisper run down my spine from the closeness of our bodies. I nodded slowly and swallowed.
"I'm-I'm fine J." I stuttered out. "I just... I think I just need to eat something." I stumbled around the room and felt J's hand slip from my shoulder. I missed the warmth it seemed to give me. I fumbled around trying to grab the handle of the top drawer in my father's desk. J placed his hand on top of mine.
"Here, let me help you." He said. Together, though it was mainly J, we opened the drawer.
"Turn around." I instructed. J obliged and faced the wall behind us. I couldn't help but feel a little bit vulnerable being alone with this boy and the subtle sense of knowledge niggling at me in the back of my mind was really starting to bug me. I knew him; I was sure about that, maybe from when we were kids? I shook my head, there was no use dwelling on it, I'd ask my father when he got back from wherever he was.
I moved my hand around the drawer, searching for the smooth wooden box that held all of my father's 'emergency money'. I was sure he wouldn't miss a couple of hundred pounds, he never kept count of it anyway, just topped it up every now and again. I pushed it in my back pocket and told J he could turn around. I motioned for him to follow me, he complied without complaint.
There was only a small amount of wind outside for a change, British summer was not known for being the hottest in the world so this was a welcome break from the usual rain. We walked along the tree lined street to the bakery I visited almost every morning. It was a small place run by two best friends, they met in high school and haven't separated ever since, they went to college together and then university. The only difference was the courses they took. Annalise took a business course with drama while Tessa took a catering course and art which meant all of their cakes and buns were neatly decorated and very artistic.
The cafe was little known to anyone apart from the locals, but given its location it could afford to be, especially with the prices they could charge. From the outside it looked like a little Paris patisserie, on the inside it looked just as professional but with a much more homely feel to it.
When you walk in the first thing you notice is the smell of freshly baked cookies and ground ginger. It assaults your nostrils and overpowers all of your senses, I can't say that it's an especially unpleasant feeling, in fact, I love it. I don't think I could say the same for J. His nose wrinkled and he reeled back slightly making little gagging motions. I shot him a glare telling him to stop messing around, he held his hands up in the universal sign for surrender. The display cabinet was almost completely made of glass, it looked very delicate and the pastries inside would make even people with the smallest sweet tooth want to try some.
The walls were painted warm autumn colours but the tables were light. For this season the pictures hung on the walls were of beaches and sunshine
I bounded up to the counter smiling widely at Annalise. Annalise's red hair was gently curled and cascaded down her back, she had soft, warm features with welcoming hazel eyes that just invited you to talk to her. She was a sharp contrast to her partner, Tessa, while her hair was also long it was raven black and dead straight; her blue eyes seemed to peer through your soul but no matter how cold and unapproachable she looked on the outside, she was one of the most kind and fun loving people I had ever met and she was always there to listen to anyone that wanted.
"Hey Kayla, what can I get ch'ya?" Annalise asked happily. Her wide smile was infectious and I had to grin back twice as wide.
"Um, a bacon and egg croissant, pain au chocolate and can I get three red velvet muffins to go? Chocolate not cream cheese icing please."
"Sure thing Kayla, in the mood for chocolate today?" I nodded. "You're dad still not back?" She asked solemnly. I nodded causing her to smile sympathetically. "I'm sure he'll be back soon."
"You'd think." I muttered. "What do you want J?" Annalise rose an eyebrow at me.
"This handsome young man I've never seen before is with you?" I rolled my eyes.
"Yes Annalise, I do have a life outside of my house and this cafe you know."
"Really? I'd never have guessed." She said cheekily.
"J." I prompted.
"Uh... I'll have the same as her, minus the muffins." J said. He sounded nervous and uncomfortable.
"Sure thing sweetie. I'll bring them to your table for you, on the house." Annalise told us.
"Annalise, you don't-" I tried to protest, she didn't need to give me free stuff.
"Shush!" She demanded. "I insist, now, go sit with down and talk with your new boyfriend." Annalise said in a sing song voice. I didn't dignify that with an answer, just spun on my heal and stalked over to my usual table in the corner.
"Boyfriend huh?" J snickered from behind me.
"Shut up!" I snapped. "Annalise is just... a very... chipper person. I honestly have no idea how Tessa and Patrick stand her sometimes." I grumbled. "Damit! I forget drinks, I'm getting a hot chocolate, do you want anything, juice, water, coffee?" J shook his head.
"No thanks." There was a short silence. "I don't get you Mikayla Jones, but I'm going to find out." I smiled at him.
"I'd like to see you try."
Tessa was at the counter this time. "Hey Tes, can I get a hot chocolate... and do not say it's on the house, I feel like I have to pay you for something." Tessa chuckled.
"Alright then, sweetie." Tessa punched some numbers into the till. "Do you want whipped cream and marshmallows?" I paused to think about it for a second then shrugged.
"Okay then, £5.55 then Mikayla." I smiled and happily handed over the money.
"You can go sit down, I'll bring it to you." Tessa offered.
"I think I'd rather wait for this one if you don't mind." Tessa shrugged as if to say 'suit yourself'.
I paid close attention to how Tessa was making the hot chocolate but I didn't really see. The swirling pattern of whipped cream she put on top fascinated me in some strange way. She handed it over the counter to me. I smiled in thanks and carefully made my way over to the table, trying not to spill any of the scolding hot liquid in the tall white mug.
I looked over the top of the mug at the boy sitting across from me and wondered why he was in my house in the first place. Tessa came over with our order and gave me a suggestive smile motioning her eyes towards J; I glared at her until the left. I picked and poked at my food for a minute before finally setting it down on the plate.
"Why were you there?" I blurted and mentally scolded myself.
"Huh?" J mumbled with his mouth full of food. I shook my head, he seemed to be enjoying his food just a little bit too much.
"At my house, I mean, why were you there?" J swallowed.
"Oh, haven't we been through that already? We decided I was trying to rob you." I rolled my eyes at his answer.
"Well I know that, but why, out of all the rich people on the street, did you choose mine? Well, my father's really, but you know." I shrugged
"I read about your dad online, about how he was always away and stuff, figured it would be easy. Get in; get out, no witnesses... but then." He stopped and ran his hands through his hair.
"I was there." I finished. "But... why didn't you just leave when I called out I hadn't seen you, you would've made a clean break. I don't get it." J shrugged.
"Why didn't you phone the police? Why did you offer me a drink and then drag me to this cafe with you. Life has questions that you just can't answer sometimes, some things happen for a reason." I looked at him to see if he was serious, was he talking about fate or something? Like, big guy in the sky with a plan? I couldn't help myself, I just started laughing.
"You mean like fate or something? Destiny? Do you really believe in all that stuff?" I asked. He looked me in the eye and spoke with deadly seriousness.
"You don't." I shivered at how he made those two words so important; they seemed to hang dangerously in the air as if one small movement would make the world come crashing down on us. I slowly shook my head, as if unsure, in answer and whispered 'no'. "Well," He started. "You should start." He picked up his croissant and walked out.
"Wait!" I yelled. "You didn't explain anything." I complained.
"I said enough. I have to go now." And with that said he grabbed the door handle and waltzed out of it leaving me to think over what he just said, but I didn't want to, he spoke in riddles and it annoyed me. I wanted to leave.
"Hey, Annalise! Can you put my stuff to go, I need to go home; I think I forgot to lock the door." I smiled sweetly and she brought over a box to put the croissant and pain au chocolate in along with my box of muffins. "Thanks. I'll probably see you tomorrow, depends if my father is back or not."
"I'll be looking forward to it sweetie." Annalise waved me off and I followed the path J took to and out of the door.