~~The boys insisted that we take the black Tahoe that Delaney had
driven me home in the day before, instead of my Range. I wasn't
happy about it but decided not to argue and just go with the
flow. However, when they made me sit in the backseat I couldn't
help but be offended. It wasn't that I wanted to sit next to
Tyler in the front, but the option would have been nice, and I
did like that they were just bossing me around. I mean really,
they could at least pretend to be nice to me.
We made it to school early, and once they were done with all their 'paperwork' in the main office we were still able to make it to class before the majority of the other students.
I chose to sit in the back of the room because it would be difficult for people to stare at us when they had to turn around to do so. I could feel curiosity pulse through the other students as they arrived and took one look at Tyler and Alex sitting on either side of me. I even heard the whispers, who are they, why are they sitting back there, does Ali know them?
I looked over at Tyler and Alex to see if they noticed the silent commotion they had stirred, the looks on their faces told me that if they did notice they didn't care. They didn't make eye contact with anyone, just stared straight ahead their jaws locked. They looked funny sitting in the small desks since they were both easily over 6 feet tall and the tops of the knees would have hit the bottoms of the desk had they put their feet flat on the floor. Finally class began and I tried my best to ignore them and focus on what the teacher was saying, which turned out to be more difficult than I imagined. I was so keyed up and frustrated that even their breathing began to annoy me. I was mad at myself for feeling that way. I knew they were a necessary precaution and I knew that there was a real danger out there, but knowing is one thing, and feeling was quite another.
The only thing I felt was frustration. I missed Delaney so badly. I missed him, my Delaney… the one that Alex, Tyler and everyone else knew nothing about. The man that in his own way was so caring and thoughtful when it came to me, but could also be a bullheaded asshole when he wanted to. I was just beginning to peel back the layers, and all of a sudden I felt like he was slipping out of my grasp. I knew my feeling were irrational. I knew he had a lot to deal with now, but I couldn't help the way I felt.
It didn't help my mood that Tyler and Alex didn't give me an inch to breath all morning. They walked right beside me in the hallway, sat on either side of me in all of my classes and even waited for me outside of the bathroom. I could tell everyone wanted to ask me about them, but were either too intimated by them to approach me, or waiting to get me alone…which at this rate would never happen. The bell for lunch rang and I stood up at my desk gathering my books. Tyler and Alex stood patiently beside me waiting.
"Look guys, I don't want to have lunch with you. I mean I know it's your job to look after me and I appreciate it, but can you just let me have lunch without you hovering over me? Please?" I was exasperated and really just wanted to be able to talk to Heather about everything that had happened, and I didn't need Frick and Frack all up in the mix.
Alex started laughing and it startled me, since I wasn't expecting that kind of response. "Alivia, relax we are here to protect your life, not ruin it." He gave me an apologetic grin and I immediately felt bad for my outburst.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out like that. I don't think you're ruining my life. This is just a lot, and I wanted to have a normal lunch with my friend to get my mind off of it is all."
"No worries, we will give you a little space, but we will be sitting within sight okay?"
"Okay, Thank you Alex" I emphasized his name so Tyler wouldn't think I was thanking him for anything. He just stood there serious face and silent. I fought rolling my eyes at him, fought hard.
They walked me out to the courtyard where I saw Heather sitting at our usual table waiting for me. Her eyes popped out of her head when she saw Alex and Tyler walking beside me, her mouth may have even dropped open a little. I motioned to Heather showing the boys where I would be. They nodded and sat at a table a few yards away. It wasn't much, but I would take it.
I rushed over to Heather who still staring at Alex and Tyler when I sat down.
"I know we have a lot to talk to about Ali, but before we get into all of that, can I just ask…Who the hell are they?" The glint in her eyes giving her intention away.
"They" I said tilting my head in the boys direction "are my personal security".
"What?! Holy shit Ali, you have more man candy around you than can possibly be fair"
I laughed. "They are annoying Heather, pretty yes, but really annoying."
"I wouldn't mind if they annoyed me" She said still not taking her eyes off of them.
"Oh, my god will you stop it! You are so obvious" I hissed at her trying to get her to focus on me.
"Ali, they are the talk of the school, are you kidding me? Every chick I know has asked me who your new friends are" She giggled. "I was dying to see what all the buzz was about."
"Great, you have seen them. Now can we talk about something else?"
"Yes, let's talk about what the fuck happened the other day. I was worried I would never see you again. Mr. Delaney was furious, like literally I was worried about you."
"Yeah, I really screwed up Heather, big time."
She finally focused on me her face concerned, "Tell me Ali why? And why do you need security now?"
I took a deep breath and brought her up to date about Delaney's operation. I told her how they were using Lydia as bait for Luther, and how I single handedly blew the entire thing up because now Lydia was gone. I also told her how now Delaney was convinced that she would tell Luther who I was if he found her first.
She was quiet for a couple of minutes absorbing what I just spat
out at her. "Why would Luther care about you?"
"Heather, remember my dad is the one who helped Lydia, for revenge, for spite, who knows … but Delaney is convinced and we basically have an army living at the house… well not an army but it feels like a small battalion"
"Well it's a good thing Mr. Delaney is overbearing and protective over you now isn't it. I mean I'm still scared for you Ali. That Luther sounded like a monster"
"Thanks, but don't worry about it, there is no way he is getting through to me. Alex and Tyler are just the beginning."
"Well, on the upside at least you have a house full of sexy to entertain you while you're on lock down."
"Jesus Heather, you are worse than a cat in heat" I giggled
"No not that bad, but Ali how is it that you are not hot for one of them. I mean if I was you, I would have serious struggles trying to control myself.
I laughed, "Well it's a good thing I'm a respectable young lady now isn't it" If she only knew…she would die…
The bell rang signaling the end of lunch, and saving me from having to elaborate on my answer to Heather. I said goodbye to her and began to walk towards Alex and Tyler when I realized Heather was right in step with me.
"What are you doing?" I whispered to her.
"I'm introducing myself, if you don't like them then there is no harm"
"Good God Heather..." but I abruptly stopped since we had reached within earshot of the boys.
Alex looked at me and Heather and slightly arched his eyebrow at me as if to ask what the deal was. Tyler's usually serious face actually looked confused for a moment.
"Hi, I'm Heather, I'm Ali's best friend" She said walking right up to Tyler and extending her hand. He studied her for a moment before taking her hand and shaking lightly.
"I'm Tyler, this is Alex we are … um … we are Alivia's new friends" I rolled my eyes. You Tyler are not my friend.
"No, you're not honey, it's okay Ali told me the deal. I was with her in Georgia when Mr. Delaney scooped her up. I just wanted to introduce myself since we all will probably be spending more time together." She released Tyler's hand and reached towards Alex's. "Anyway it was nice to meet you boys, I'll see you around " She winked at me and sashayed off making sure to flip her platinum blond hair at least once before she was out of sight.
I rolled my eyes again. She was incorrigible, but it was part of her charm.
The rest of the day went pretty much the same way it had started. Lots of stares and whispers but funny enough Heather was the only who had the balls to approach the boys. I was glad when the day was over and I was comfortably in the back seat headed home. At least I thought we were headed home, but quickly noticed we weren't.
"Where are we going?" I asked them both
Tyler answered me "Mr. Delaney told us to bring you to the gym we have behind the shooting rage for some self-defense training with Demetri."
"With Demetri? Mr. Tattoos?"
Alex laughed, "Alivia, you have no idea how funny you are when you're worked up."
"I am not worked up"
"Okay, then I guess you are just funny then."
"Just trying to keep you all straight that's all. Plus nobody told me about it so I was a little surprised."
"Really, Mr. Delaney said he texted you about it".
"Well I haven't checked my phone at all today so he may have…"
I immediately opened my backpack and started rummaging around for my phone. Sure enough there were 2 unread text messages from Delaney.
~Ali baby you will start self-defense training with Demetri after school today-LD - 8:35am
~I miss you -LD 2:43pm
He missed me. .. He thought about me during the middle of the day and wanted to tell me he missed me. I sighed and slunk back into my seat. Sick Ali, you are freaking sick for being so needy. A simple text message from him had the ability to improve my mood greatly. I started to reply but realized we were parked and both Tyler and Alex were turned around in their seats looking at me, waiting for something.
"What?" I asked defensively as I stuck my phone back into my back pack.
"Didn't you hear us? We're here" Tyler said not even pretending to hide his annoyance.
"Sorry, No I didn't hear you." I said letting my annoyance be known as well.
We walked into a large room. Wrestling mats covered the floor on one end and a few treadmills, and punching bags were lined up on the other end. I got a little tingle of excitement at the prospect of learning how to beat people up.
Demetri arrived shortly after we did. He was wearing a short sleeved T-shirt and just as I had expected his arms were covered with tattoos, a large dragon on one arm and some tribal markings on the other.
"Hello gentlemen" He said nodding at the boys before turning to face me. "Alivia how are you doing"
"I'm good" I smiled at him and he actually smiled back a little.
"Mr. Delaney says you want to learn how to defend yourself if something were to happen to you? Is that right?"
"Yes, that's correct"
"Well I'm going to teach you how to do that, but I'm also going to teach you how to fight because sometimes the best defense is a good offense if you know what I mean" I didn't know what he meant at all, but nodded anyway.
"Alright first things first you're going to have to change out of that and into something that you can move around in a little better. Norma packed this bag here for you with appropriate clothing"
He handed me a small shopping bag. I peeked inside and saw a pair of my yoga pants, and a tank top and sneakers.
"Okay, thanks where can I change?"
"Nowhere really, we will step out and give you a few moments." Demetri said and he ushered Alex and Tyler outside.
"Alivia" Alex said sticking head in the doorway before if closed. "Tyler and I are headed out Demetri will bring you back when your done."
"Okay" I responded waiting for a few moments to pass after the door closed before I started changing my clothes.
I never changed so fast in my entire life.
I was sitting on the mat stretching when I heard the door open. I looked up expecting to see Demetri so I couldn't hide my shock when Delaney walked in. He was wearing his usual uniform of a suit and tie, his hair perfectly in place his beautiful blue eyes shining. Dear god, what was he doing here?
He took off his jacket and hung it on one of the hooks near the
door before turning towards me.
"You don't respond to my texts now?" He asked his voice low serious and very sexy.
"No, I just didn't see them until just before …I miss you too."
"Do you really now?"
"I do." I looked around "Where is everyone else?"
"I sent them back to the house. I told them I'd like to get you started personally on your self-defense"
"So, we are alone?"
"Yes Ali, we are all alone" He turned and locked the door behind him.