~Chapter 14: Willing to try
Another day at work. And it dragged. And dragged on. But at least I was able to stay focused and do what I was told. After work, I drove home.
This is how it was the next couple of days. Florence disappeared into thin air again. And my dad was so wrapped up at his new job that he hardly had time for me. So for the past few days I just been hanging out with Justin. Only Justin.
I picked up some take-out for the both of us before I headed home.
I unlocked the door to my apartment and the second I walked in, I
regretted it. Oh god. The one thing I always asked Justin was
never to fuck outside of his room.
I turned my head.
"Damn, I thought you'd still be at work, Peyton."
I rolled my eyes. "This is my apartment too, I'm allowed to come home early."
I hear Justin pulling his pants.
"Sorry." Said the woman.
I nod and give her a thumbs up. "It's fine."
"My bedroom is to the left." He tells her.
I turn around and she's only half dressed as she makes her way down the hall.
I look to Justin. "Got us some take-out." I say as I close the
"You're amazing." He takes the bag from my hand.
I lock the door and then pull my jacket off.
I follow him to the kitchen.
"How was work?" He asked.
I shrugged. "Work was work. What about you?"
"Sexy boss called me off so she could bang the model she was photographing." He said taking his box of food from the bag.
"How do you know?" I asked.
He pointed to his eyes. "I see the way she looks at him and how he looks at her. I know they're screwing."
"You can't look at someone and tell they're screwing someone.
Justin grabs us two forks from the drawer and hands me one. "False, sweetheart. If two random people saw you and Kary sitting on the couch-not even speaking to each other- they would be able to tell that you were either screwing him or you screwed him in the past."
"Well its in the past." I take my box of food out.
"Want a glass of wine?"
"Sure. Are you going to share your food with your lady friend?" I asked.
He grimaced as he opened the fridge to get the wine. "Yeah right." He said sarcastically.
"What, you're just going to eat in her face?"
He grins. "Yep."
Someone knocks on the door.
"I get it." Justin said.
I nod. "I'll pour the wine." I say.
I grab three glasses. His friend might want a glass. I pour our
wine and Justin calls my name.
I sit the bottle down and walk to the living room.
I stop when I see Lukas in the doorway, holding my blue pea coat. I must have left it in his limo twice because I was so distracted by my anger.
He's staring at me and I don't know what to say. My heart begins to beat fast at seeing him and I'm starting to feel the excitement in my body. Everything is moving so intensely inside of me yet I'm stuck with shock. "What are you doing here?"
Justin looks to me. "Do you want me to let him in?" He
I looked from Justin to Lukas and from Lukas back to Justin.
What would he want? What could he want besides the obvious? And why should I give it to him?
"I need to talk to you, Peyton." Lukas says. His voice
I look back to Justin.
If all Lukas needs is for us to talk, then let us talk and be done with each other. I give a nod to Justin and he moves aside to let him in the house.
Lukas walks in, and he hasn't taken his eyes from mine yet. I feel like he can see right through me and I don't like it.
Justin shuts the door. "Well, I'll just get my food and go to my
room for the night."
He leaves us alone in the living room and I say nothing.
When I hear Justin close his door, that's when I felt completely alone with Lukas.
He sits down on the couch and I slowly walk over and sit with
him. We weren't far apart but neither could I stand to be too
I watched him, trying to understand what he wanted but his face gave nothing away. He placed my coat on the couch between us.
I grabbed it and held it in my lap, unable to break his gaze.
"Why are you here, Lukas?"
"I need to tell you about my ex, Jackie."
My heart slowed a little. "Why?"
"Just listen to me." He demanded.
I didn't know why he'd come here to talk about her. I didn't want to hear it.
He took a deep breath. "This is one of the things that happened
in New York that I couldn't stand to talk to anyone about."
I sat back, waiting for him to continue.
But in the back of my mind, I wondered why he was doing this.
"I known Jackie in high school and we were friends, living in New
My eyebrow raised. "You don't seem like the type to have friends,"
"Well I had friends. After high school, we went to separate colleges. I went on to Yale and she went to Princeton. Afterwards, just when the Element started, she and I-"
"Fucked?" I asked.
He nods but manages to keep his eyes on mine.
I ignored the stung of jealousy and looked away from him.
He sighed. "I never liked her. But people thought we were in a relationship just because they knew we were fucking and she made it a thing to make people think we were together. This was to keep other women from me and it didn't work very well."
"She was in love with you." I looked to him then.
He nodded. "Yes she was."
"You felt no romantic feelings…at all?"
He shook his head. "None. I just fucked her."
"So, where is she now?"
He hesitated. His eyes went to the floor. "Hospital."
My eyebrows furrowed. Hospital. "She works there?"
"She's on life support, Peyton." I leaned forward staring at him. Life Support? Tell me." I demanded.
He licked his lips. "I decided to end it. End whatever the hell it was she thought we had and it left her heartbroken and a mess. One day, she called me crying, begging for me to come over. I refused and I hung up on her. She had her mother call and her sister. I told them both how what me and Jackie had was never serious and for them to comfort her." Lukas paused and pulled off his jacket and laid it over the arm of the couch. He rolled up his sleeves and rested his elbows on his knees. "She called again three days later, crying and telling me she has something important she had to tell me. So I finally gave in and I went over there. When I got there, she asked me how I was and everything was normal at first."
"She started to break down and ask me if I was seeing anyone and
if we could be together again but I turned her down and she got
angry, started throwing things and I tried to calm her down. When
I felt she was calm enough, I called her sister and told her to
come stay with Jackie and then I was about to leave. But Jackie
told me to stay where I was, she had something to give me and
He didn't say anything for a long time. When he did, he looked into my eyes. "I went to look for her. I couldn't find her. I looked through the whole house and she was nowhere to be found. The last place I checked was the bathroom. I opened the door…."
He stopped talking.
He didn't say anything.
"Lukas," I put my coat down and moved next to him. I grabbed his face with my hands. "What happened?" I whispered.
He blinked. "She hung herself."
I closed my eyes. "Oh my god."
"She lost too much oxygen but I was able to get her down before
she died. And now she's brain dead." There was nothing I could
say. I didn't expect this.
He took my hands from his face. "Peyton, all relationships that I have end in disaster. I hurt everyone I get close to. Everyone."
He drove his fingers through his chocolate brown hair and sighed. "There's a reason I only fuck and don't love. I don't want anyone getting hurt. I don't want you getting hurt."
"You think I'm going to get in too deep and then want to kill
myself when you get bored of me?" I asked.
He shakes his head. "I could never get bored of you, Peyton. And I don't think you'd go to that length to get my attention but I couldn't stand it if I was to ever break your heart."
"You staying away is breaking my heart."
He stared at me, his green eyes unable to read. He stayed quiet.
"Do you still see her….at the hospital?" I asked.
He nods. "On occasion. Her family wants me to stay away. They
"It's not your fault. She made that decision. They can't blame you because she was crazy."
Lukas shakes his head. "I feel guilty," He closes his eyes and covers them with his hands. "I feel so fucking guilty." He whispers.
I bury my face into his neck. "Don't. You're a good man. You were just trying to help her."
"I'm not a good man."
He sighs softly and takes his hands from his face.
He drives his fingers up through my hair and takes a grip to it. "Peyton,"
I pulled back to look at him.
"Do you want me?"
I nod. "Yes. But you cannot become distant. If something is fucking with you, you have to tell me."
Lukas frowned. "There are some things you rather not know." The look in his eyes were haunted, almost fearful.
His past was as dark as mine. And this was bad. Not only did a girl almost kill herself because of him but he was getting blamed for it. And that wasn't the only thing that was haunting him. There was something else. Something he felt I'd rather not know.
"Why wasn't it in the news or anything?"
"I had to pay people to cover it up. However its gotten out anyway."
"Lukas, I didn't know. I didn't know anything about Jackie. Oh my god, in the limo I told you if you cared about her so much then go fuck her."
He sighed. "Stop. Don't think about it. I don't want to think about it." He lifted my chin with his index finger and thumb. "I just want to know if you're willing to do this with me."
"Is that your way of asking me to be your girlfriend?"
He nods. "It's my way of asking you to give me a chance. I don't have experience with things like this but you do. So teach me." He said.
I looked into his eyes, feeling this excited rush coming over my body. "Lukas, if I'm going to be your girlfriend, you have to tell me shit. You can't keep all of it hidden. Relationships are about trust, and honesty. Eventually, we have to really dig deep in each other. We've both been through shit and this is going to be hard work to pull off."
"I'm willing to try if you are."
I nodded driving my fingers through his hair. "I'm willing. But one, you are not to fuck any other girl. And two, that bitch you were walking out of your building with, I want her gone."
He shakes his head. "She's my assistant."
He chuckles, and it lightens the entire mood.
He grabs my face with his hands and smiles warmly. "I love your jealousy." He whispers.
" Get used to it. And at least let that bitch know you belong to
me." I said. I was all about protecting what's mine and Lukas
Kary is definitely mine. I put a claim on the guy the moment he
first entered me. I knew that I wanted him since then and no
other woman would be right. I know Kary has so many damn suitors
so I know I'll be having to tell someone to back off every so
I was ready though. Lukas was worth it.
"If Ben tries to come around again, make it known that you belong
to me." He said, a protective tone in his words.
I nodded and leaned over to kiss his lips. "Yours." I whispered.
He nodded taking my face in his hands. "Mine." He said, his voice deep, and throaty.
It wasn't the night for sex. I had to take this all in at once and it would be impossible to not think about it tonight.
"What time do you work tomorrow?" I asked.
"Ten." He answered.
"Stay the night with me?" I asked.
Lukas doesn't answer. He just takes my hand in his.
He leads me to my own bedroom and I shut the door before pulling
my shoes off.
Lukas lets go of my hand and pull his shoes off and grab me as he lays down on the bed. I lay next to him and stare at his green eyes as he stares at the ceiling lost in thought.
A woman, a grown woman tried to kill herself over this man.
And it haunted him…that and other things.
I knew eventually he'd have to know about me. About my step dad. About everything.
I buried my head in his neck. He had on cologne and it smelled so good on him. I exhaled.
Lukas slides a hand under my body and pulls me against his body.
I feel safe with him.
I can't explain it.
He just has this way of making me feel like its only me and him in this world.