~Chapter 17: Dinner with the family
When I woke up, Lukas wasn't in bed with me.
That alerted me. One moment we're laying in bed, holding each other, and now he's gone.
I slept in my work clothes again.
I pulled my heels off of my feet and threw them down to the floor.
I stood from the bed and slid my skirt off and then unbuttoned my shirt.
Afterwards, I went to Lukas's drawer and pulled out one of his white t-shirts. I slipped it on and my eyes went to the bed. His laptop is gone. Him and his laptop are both gone.
I walked out of his bedroom and went on a search for him. I
walked downstairs and everything was quiet.
I didn't hear the littlest sound.
I checked the exercise room, the dining room, the kitchen, the living room, his library, and lastly, his office.
He was sitting in a black leather chair at his desk, facing the
view of Chicago out of the window.
"What'd you find?"
I thought he was talking to me at first.
"Illinois. This all happened in Illinois. Find him."
I walk into the office, and my eyes go to the desk we had sex on the other night. Good memories came crawling back.
"Alright, Dennis, I'm going to call you back in two hours and I
need some kind of lead. Any kind. Alright?"
He paused and then took the ear piece out of his ear and slammed it onto his desk.
He hesitated and turned around in his chair and met eyes with me.
I stared at him.
Lukas held his hand out for me.
I walked over and accepted his hand. He brought me to sit on his lap. "You okay?" He asked.
I nodded. "Yeah, You?"
He sighs. "I don't know." He rubs my back and then stops. "Is this my shirt?"
I look to him and grin. "Yes. Like it on me?" I asked.
He half smiles. "Very much."
I lean back against him and he wraps his arms around my waist. He
rests his chin on my shoulder and I grab his hair from behind. "I
didn't think you'd want me anymore. After I told you."
"Why would you think that?"
I shrugged. "I just thought that you would be disgusted of all
the things he did and you'd think that I was so fucked up."
"You are, Peyton. And so am I. So let's be fucked up together."
I closed my eyes as he nuzzled my neck. "It's neither of our fault that we are the way we are, Peyton. Shit just…happened to us that wasn't supposed to happen."
I nod. "I know."
He grabs my chin and his lips go to mine.
He smells good and fresh this morning, and taste even better. "You taste so good." I whispered.
Lukas holds me tighter.
When our lips are sore, and his fingers turned my hair into a
bird's nest, we break the kiss.
"Are you hungry?" He asks.
I nod. "Yeah. Are you going to cook for me?"
He shakes his head. "Trust me, you don't want me to cook for you."
I smile at him. "What you have some kind of maid who cooks for you?"
"Yes. Her name is Claire."
I frown then. "Claire? Is she pretty?"
He takes a firm grip on my hair. "If she's not you, I don't want
"That's not answering my question."
He sighs. "Sure. She's attractive, and married to a woman."
Oh. Well that changes things. "Okay then."
"Your jealous ways." He shakes his head.
I stand up from his lap and grab his hand, pulling him out of his chair.
We walk out of his office and through the hallway.
"Who were you talking to earlier when I walked in?" I asked. Curiosity always gets the best of me.
"A friend of mine. He was checking something for me."
"Business." He said abruptly.
Fuck it. I'll leave it at that.
When we got to the kitchen, there were two plates filled of
breakfast food waiting for us.
And a short woman with blonde hair and a homely smile looked at us.
Her brown eyes went to mine. "Hi. You must be Peyton."
I nod. "And you must be Claire."
She puts two cups of coffee by our plates. "That's right. And I know you take your coffee with cream and sugar. It's right there for you and if you're hungry again at any minute, just let me know."
She grins and looks to Lukas. "Ella es hermosa, el Sr. Kary."
He smiles at her. "I know."
Claire gives me a friendly nod before walking out of the kitchen.
Lukas leads me to the kitchen island and I slide into a stool.
"What'd she say?"
"She thinks you're beautiful."
"Oh. Well then I like her."
He chuckles. "Of course you do."
We began to eat and I must say that the food is amazing. Claire can cook the hell out of bacon, and omelets. The woman is talented. Her wife must be pretty damn pleased to have her in the kitchen.
"Do you work today?" I asked.
He shakes his head. "I took the day off."
"I guess I just wanted to be with you today." He said, his green eyes were focused on me as he said the words.
I grin. "You're good at buttering girls up, Kary. I give you that."
He smiles. "Thank you, love. I try my hardest."
I smirked at him and continued eating.
Afterwards, I decided to call Justin.
"What going on?" He asks.
"Nothing. Just seeing how you were doing. I need your help with something."
"So tonight, I want me, you, dad, and Lukas to have dinner at our
Justin was quiet for a while.
Oh my god. Here we go. "What? Is that a bad idea?"
"It's just that Victor just called here and was down talking Kary. Saying he was a good business man but he doesn't think Kary is right or healthy for you."
"This is the same man who told me that he would be okay with me
dating Kary, back when me and Lukas wasn't involved in any
"Well, he had a change of heart. He said you were going to tell Lukas about Brian but he doesn't think Lukas can handle your past or wants to be involved in it in any way."
"Well my dad is stupid then. Me and him are not on good terms, so
can you convince him to come to our apartment around nine?" I
"Do not tell him Lukas is coming."
"So are you going to cook?"
"Yeah. I'll make the simplest thing I know how to make."
"A ham sandwich?"
"No, idiot. Spaghetti. Straighten the place up."
"I got you."
"Thanks, Justin. Love you."
"Right back at you."
I hung up and looked to Lukas.
He was staring at me.
I grinned. "So, do you want to have dinner with my best friend and my dad?"
Lukas nods. "I'm fine with that. Me and Justin haven't really met."
Right. They were two of the most important guys in my life and they needed to meet each other and they better like each other or there's going to be a problem.
"Come on, let's shower." I say.
I go into Lukas's bathroom and its very clean.
Claire is a hell of a cook, and a hell of a cleaner.
I pull the glass door aside, walked into the shower and turned the water on and then walked out.
Lukas walks into the bathroom with me, pulling his shirt
I slid off the shirt of his that I had on and dropped it onto the floor.
I pulled off my panties and bra and walked back into the shower, surrounded by glass walls.
When Lukas had all of his clothes off, he joined me in the shower and held me. My back to his front.
The water was hot as it fell onto our bodies.
I turned to look to him. "Thank you for staying here with me today."
He grabs my chin. "Your welcome." He leans over and kisses my lips. When he pulls away, I automatically feel how hard he is.
I grin at him. "You're always hard for me." My hand rolls over his length and I begin pumping him back and forth.
I look into his eyes, enjoying the look on his face while I pleasure him.
It's making me wet. "You make me so hot, Lukas." I whispered.
Lukas grabs a handful of my hair and takes my mouth, hard,
I lose my rhythm with my hanc as Lukas backs me to the shower wall.
His hand slides to my back and down lower to my buttocks and squeezes them.
It makes me giggle.
I grab onto his and do the same. He groans into the kiss.
Our bodies were pressed hard together. There was no separating us.
As eight hit, Lukas dropped me off at my apartment and went off
to find us some wine.
I added the sauce to the hamburger in the big pot. I added a little water, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard and oregano.
"Smelling good." Justin grins as he come to my side.
I smile at him. "Thank you. It's been a while since I cooked. Feels good actually. What time did my dad say he was coming?"
"He texted me and said half an hour."
"Hey, check this girl out." He showed me the screen of his phone. "All I'm seeing is tits." I say.
He nods. "That's all you need to see. She's pretty hot, huh?" He asked.
I nod. "Yeah, if large nipples is your thing, have at it." I said.
He scoffed at me. "Anyway, anything I can help with?"
"You can put on the water for the noodles."
"Don't tell me we're having the thin noodles."
"What, you want the bowties?"
He nods. "Yeah. Or the pinwheels."
"You're such a kid." I playfully push him.
Justin went to the dish rack, grabbed a pot and filled it with water while I added some salt to the sauce and meat.
Someone knocked on the door. "Justin can you get that?" I
He nodded and sat the pot on the stove.
Justin went to open the door and I turn to see it's Lukas coming in with a paper bag.
I turn the fire down on the spaghetti as Lukas sit the bag down on the table in the middle of the kitchen.
I walk to the table. "What do you got for me, Kary?"
He pulled out a dark red bottle wrapped with gold at the top.
I nod. "Sexy bottle."
"You're going to hate it. It's red wine."
I roll my eyes. "Goes to show how much you know me."
He smiles and pull out a dark green bottle. "And a bottle of the
best white wine I could find." He sits it down.
I smile at him and lean over to kiss him. "Get those in the refrigerator for me, please." I said.
He nods and grab both of the bottles as I go back to the pot.
Justin turns the fire on for the noodles. "Want some music?" He
Justin turns to Lukas. "Kary, what music you into?" He asks.
"Doesn't matter. Any music would do." He says.
Justin nods and go to hook his iphone to the speakers in the living room.
I grab an onion and tomato out of the refirgerator and put them
on the cutting board on the counter.
Lukas leaned against the counter watching me.
I glanced at him and winked at him.
He smirks at me. "I like waching you cook."
"Maybe I can teach you sometime, Kary. I'm a good teacher."
"I'm definitely learning a lot from you."
"Same." I begin to cut up the onions and they burn the shit out of my eyes.
Justin turned on 'Time of the Season' by Ben Taylor Band.
Good enough for me.
I cut the tomato and dumped the diced tomatoes and onions into the sauce and stirred it up.
When everything was ready, I got the cheesy garlic bread out of
the oven and sat it on the stove to cool while Lukas set the
table for everyone.
My dad still wasn't here.
I wasn't going to worry about it.
I made the plates and sat them all down and the second I sat down
the fourth plate, my dad arrived.
He walked from the living room, to the kitchen where Lukas was sitting down and Justin was sitting down.
I looked to my dad who was staring back at me, an unsure look in his eyes.
He nods and pulls his coat off but then pause as he sees Lukas. He blinks, stuck with shock.
"Is there a problem?" I asked.
My dad looks to me and then shakes his head. He pulls his jacket
off and sits down next to Justin, across from me and Lukas's
"Want some wine?" I asked.
He nodded. "Any kind you have."
I poured him a glass of red wine and gave it to him before I cut
everyone a piece of garlic bread.
When everyone had their food, I sat down by Lukas and looked to my dad.
He looked uneasy, uncomfortable.
"My god, dad, what's the problem?" I snapped.
He shakes his head. "Nothing."
"You hung up on me the other day."
"Because what you said to me was unfair and unnecessary."
"Well I'm sorry dad. I told you I was sorry. I just want things to get back to normal if you don't mind."
"I'm sorry," Justin slurped a noodle. "What the hell is going
"My dad freaked out when I told him that I was going to tell Lukas about Brian."
"Your stepfather?" Justin asked.
"Victor, Peyton told me what happened. Why are you worried about
that?" Lukas asked, perfectly calm, unlike me, unlike my
My dad looked to Lukas. "Peyton has been through a lot. You're a good business man, Kary. Good boss. But the more and more I read about you, the more I dislike what I'm reading. There was a time where I thought you and her would have been perfect, but her life, her heart is very important to me. And I won't let it be broken by someone like you. I know about your ex, Jackie Lewis."
How the hell did he know about that?
"I read about her. I'd like to continue working for you, but I don't want my daughter to end up in a permanent coma she'll never wake up from."
Lukas stared at my dad for a long time before he spoke. "Victor, Jackie is my business. Peyton is my business. I asked her to be with me and she agreed. Am I keeping her hostage? No. But she is a grown woman and when she told me about that fucking asshole, I wanted to find him and rip his fucking tongue out. And that is what I'm going to do, when I find him. Learning about it didn't make me feel disgusted or draw away from her, I felt closer because she told me that. Because your daughter had the balls to look me in my eyes, and tell me what he did to her. I never had a woman like your daughter and I will never hurt her. Ever. I don't know if you trust my word, but I'm giving it to you." Lukas's eyes were sincere, heavy, full with truth. "Victor, I'm in so deep with Peyton that it scares me. I don't give a fuck what she tells me about her past, I want her."
My dad just stared at him, his uneasiness fading away.
Justin nodded. "This is a deep ass conversation…and…a little awkward…actually."
Lukas kept his eyes on my dad's.
My dad exhaled slowly and picked up his fork, for the first time, touching his food. "Well, Kary, I heard about your relationships with other women."
"I wouldn't call those relationships."
"They're called fuckbuddies." Justin commented.
Lukas looks to Justin and nods. "Thanks." He says
Justin shrugs innocently.
Lukas looked back to my dad. "I've wronged women. I've been doing it for years and I regret it. But Peyton, she is nothing like those women. Nothing like them. Sure, I slept with them and left them but I would never do that to her. I like this. Being in her life, meeting the people she loves. I never did this before. It's new. She's teaching me." He looks to me. His eyes are saying the words I know he wants to say.
I look to my dad and his shoulders slump. "Take care of my daughter, Kary. One man hurt her already, if another does it, all hell will break lose."
Lukas nods. "I will, Victor."
My dad sighs. "That's all I ask, Kary. Sorry for the cold shoulder. And you're right. Jackie is none of my business." Then my dad looks to me. "Peyton,"
"I love you. I just want what's best for you and if you think Kary is it, then I'm fine with that. Just be careful."
I smile at him. "Thanks, dad."
He nods and we all began to eat.
After our dinner and three glasses of wine, its time to put on
The four of us sat at the coffee table with poker chips in the middle of the table and our cards in our hands.
"I can't play this game. I'm very bad at it," My dad said. "And Justin cheats." He said glaring at him.
"You always use that as an excuse, old man, you just hate to lose
to a genius like me."
I grin and put in five chips. "I think I got this in the bag, guys, sorry."
I put down my full house on the table. "Checkmate."
"Checkmate my ass. Look at this." Justin put down a four of a
Damnit. I thought I had it.
My dad threw his cards down carelessly. "I quit. This is why I
I grin at him and then look to Lukas. "Put your cards down, Handsome."
He glances at me and then back to his hand. "I'm really bad at
this game." He shakes his head and put his cards down.
A straight flush.
I look back to him and he smiles.
I roll my eyes. "Ass."
He chuckles and slides all the poker chips in the middle of the table towards him.
"Fuck," Justin bangs the table. "I normally beat everyone."
"Things change, Justice." I say.
He shakes his head. "Government name, Peyton. Never the government name.
Come on. One more round." Justin says.
I nod. "I could go for one more."
My dad sighs. "What the hell. One more game so I can lose."
"That's the spirit, Victor." Justin pats his shoulder.
My dad rolls his eyes.
Lukas shuffles the cards and deal them to each of us.
We put in our bids with poker chips.
"I think I got you this time, Kary." Justin says.
Lukas smiles. "I'll let you think that."
Justin shakes his head and looks to me. "Peyton, remember in college, back when we were dating, we'd played with that fucking couple. What were their names, Rita and…Joshua or something like that. They always kicked our asses." Justin shook his head.
Lukas paused and glanced at Justin. "You dated Peyton?"
Justin's smile disappeared and then he glanced at me. "Oh. I thought you told him."
Lukas looked to me questioningly. I can see he's confused, and maybe a little mad. Fuck.
"Game over. I'm going home." my dad says.
"Bye, dad." I say without taking my eyes from Lukas.
Justin stands. "It's my cue to go. So I'll be back in the morning. Hey, Vic, you up for giving me a ride?" My dad agrees.
Justin disappears into his room and then comes back out to walk out of the front door with my dad, leaving me and Lukas alone.
I stand up and grabbed our wine glasses, trying to keep us from
the subject. "Want more wine?"
I walk into the kitchen and sit the glasses down on the counter before I go to the fridge.
Lukas comes in the kitchen, watching me.
I pour our glasses.
"That day. That first day I came here and I asked, have you ever slept with Justin, you said no. Why'd you lie to me?"
I put the bottle of wine back in the refirgerator and look to
him. "Because it wasn't important."
"Peyton," Lukas sits down at the table.
I grab our glasses, sit them on the table and sit by him.
"We don't want secrets. Didn't we agree on that?"
"Me and Justin's relationship wasn't a secret. It was just something I withheld. And I knew that if you knew, you'd hate it and be weird about it."
Lukas sat back in his chair. "Do you still have feelings for
I smile. "You're supposed to be smart. If I still had feelings for him, don't you think I'd still be with him?"
Lukas studied me. "Did you love him?"
I shake my head. "No. I was never in love with him. Me and his relationship was basically like our friendship just with us fucking."
Lukas stayed quiet, silently thinking to himself.
I slide our glasses of wine away and scoot closer to him. "Lukas, what me and you have is very different from what me and Justin had. That was college."
He meets my eyes.
"What I feel when I'm with you is very, very fucking different than what I felt when I was with him."
"How?" He asks.
"You want me to put all my shit onto the table? Fuck it. My heart
beats so fucking fast when I see you. Every time. When I'm around
you, my brain is…jumbled and just…a mess. I sometimes can't even
think straight. And when you kiss me, I feel so high. I can't
even fucking explain it."
I run my fingers through my hair. I take a deep breath. "Lukas, I told Justin what I told you last night. I wasn't fully able to let my guard down with him. He never saw that side of me that you saw last night and I've known him for years. Our connection, is deeper and more emotional than anything I ever felt. I love how I feel when I'm with you. I feel like I need you and I never felt that way about anyone else in my life. And that's how I know that you're the only man that I want. What more proof do you need?" I asked.
Lukas watched me carefully before sitting forward in his chair.
He looked to me. "Is that how you really feel?"
I nod. "Yes."
He sighs and grabs my hand. "I believe you. I see your friendship and I never was able to get that close to people. I have friends but nothing like that and nothing like what we have."
I shrugged. "I haven't either."
"This is new. And it's going to take time."
I nod and grab my glass. "Lord bless us."
He laughs lightly and then kisses my hand before meeting my eyes. "Just don't hide things from me anymore."
"You can't make me tell you everything if you won't even tell me about Manhattan."