✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 馃拫馃拫馃拫馃拫 18+ Reading Episode 203 || 204 || 205...212✍️✍️✍️✍️

馃憚THE KISS馃憚
{Loving him with all his flaws}

By KELSAY ❣️ (M.M.A.)

CHAPTER 2❤️3

|•MARIANA•|

"Guys! The lover boy is here." Nina shouted and I hear footsteps getting closer.

"What the hell are they doing here?" I hear Novan mutter under his breath. I pulled out of his arms and he allowed it but didn't get his hands from my waist.

"What the fuck are you assholes doing here?"

"Chill man. It's not like we want to murder her."

"Where were you when she was dying on the streets? Fucking new pussies."

Ronnie obviously doesn't think before speaking. I got Novan's hands from me and walked back inside.

"Why would you say that?!" I hear Novan ask in between his teeth.

"Joking man. Joking."

"Well, it wasn't funny. I already have a bigger problem. Don't complicate it further with your nonsense talks."

"Easy. What's your shit?"

"I want all of you out from here immediately. You're not healthy for her."

I walk back to the door. "You don't talk to the people who were there for me when nobody else was in this manner Novan."

"They're my friend. I can talk to them anyhow how I want."

"They're your friend but today they're here for me, not you."

"Fine but they have to leave. I am here now."

"I don't want you here." I hurried back inside in an attempt to lock the door in his face but he was fast.

"Don't send me away Mariana."

"Why shouldn't I? You came back to torment me and you expect me to embrace you?"

"I didn't come to torment you."

"Then why are you here?"

"I came because..wait. what's that?" He pointed to the bowl of yellow soup at the bedside which is now turning green with a disgusted face.

"That's my soup?"

"You mean?"

"Soup."

"How can you call this abominable fluid soup? Something that can change color like a magic potion. Who made it?!"

"Nina made that for me. She tried."

"What? Who said she can cook? This is concoction, not soup?" He yelled.

"She tried at least."

"Fuck! Who said she can make food for you anyway? We should get you back to the hospital before your condition gets worse. Taking this is worse than being in an accident." He picked the tray and stormed out.

I followed him.

"Nina dear," Novan called out and at once I knew he's about to get dramatic with this sarcastic voice he's forming.

"What's the matter, dude?" Nina appeared with the rest and Novan smiled at her.

"You made this?"

"Yes, I did. It's so nice isn't it?"

"Of course, of course. I am so damn fucking proud of you. You're not my friend for no reason."

"Oh my God. So you're praising me?"

"Yes, why not? Don't you believe that it's amazing?"

"I know but.."

"There's no need talking. Have a taste of your amazing handiwork Nina dear." Novan raised the spoon to feed her and she readily opened her mouth. Once she tasted it, she began to throw it out instantly.

"Yuck! Who made this? Is this what you were praising me for? It's horrible. I didn't make that."

"Oh, so it's me who made it? Mariana is too nice that's why she didn't say but I won't allow for you to feed my girl this shit! Was it by force to cook if you can't?" He threw the bowl away angrily in the gravels outside and it broke.

"There's no point being angry, Novan. Nina tried and I am grateful."

"Because of that, you'll kill yourself to make her happy for something she doesn't even deserve? Oh please don't tell me that. You're very important to me."

I rolled my eyes but that didn't stop my traitorous butterflies from dancing.

"I just knew Nina prepared a concoction for the poor innocent girl but the way she appreciated it, I thought it was good." Eva laughed.

"I supposed the same." Ronnie seconded.

"I knew it was bad when she took the first spoon. It was all over her face." Courtney said, circling her face with a shrug.

"Yeah. I thought the same too. I pitied her actually but what can I say when the person I am concerned about keeps saying it's good, it's good when I haven't tasted the thing." Evan voiced.

"Nina tried guys. Please don't make her feel bad about it. At least she tried, something none of you did." I reprimand them.

"You could've told me, Mariana. I am really sorry. You shouldn't have lied to make me feel better."

"No no. Don't be. The meat actually tasted nice."

"That's only because it's the meat I left in the fridge which is a month and over now. She didn't prepare it." Novan let out.

"Ohh. Nina, you had a zero score. Meat zero, soup zero. All along we thought you cooked the meat." Ronnie let out and the rest went into a fit of laughter.

"Alright, that's okay. I will slay anyone who laughs at me again. Is it my fault that cooking is not my calling?" Nina defends herself and the rest laugh more.

"That shouldn't make you take the credit for something you didn't make."

"Fine. It's not a big deal. Y'all know I can't cook. I don't cook."

"Yes yes. You just confirmed it even more now. Take some lessons from Ciara."

"I will. I am even leaving. She's just a stone throw from here anyway. Bye Mariana."

"Bye Nina and thanks once again. I really appreciate your efforts. Don't mind them."

"I won't. They're all assholes." She smiled. "Bye Loverboy."

"I pray that Ciara's angry parents chase you out," Novan yelled after her.

"Back to sender! You think I don't know you kissed her. Don't worry, I will come back for you." She yelled back.

Novan's eyes met mine and I look away.

"Hey man, we're leaving. The party hasn't died out yet and the free booze is just sitting there, begging for us to consume." Evan hooked his hand around Eva's waist.

"And I have bitches waiting for me to fuck ." Ronnie licked his lips and pocketed his hands in the pocket of his striped jeans.

Courtney hugged me gently. "Take care and I wish you a speedy recovery."

"Thanks," I said to the nice girl.

Eva waves me. "Bye Mariana," Evan said.

"Bye. Thank you all so much for being here and taking care of me."

Novan scoffed and got inside.

I watched them get back in their car and drive away.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Novan asked me when I walked back in.

"Yes. I am."

"Your stomach is alright? That thing she prepared in the name of soup could be poisonous."

"I'm okay. I didn't take much anyway."

"Alright. I wanted to make something for you."

"I am fine." He walked closer and examined me from head to toe. "I am really sorry. Does it hurt so much?" He pressed my forehead gently.

"A little. I had some painkillers and they're working."

"And your arm? Your body? Tell me where it hurts."

"I feel pains all over but it's coming down. The doctors said my injury is not severe."

"Thank God." He's still examining me. "Have you taken your medicines yet?"

"I have."

"Then..you should change or what do you say?"

I looked down at the giant shirt. " There's nothing wrong with it. I am okay."

"Yes but.." he touched my face, my cheeks, my neck then began to rub in circles. His fingers are cold, making me shudder. My mouth falls apart without me even noticing until I feel his thumb run over it. I gulped before catching myself on what is happening. I stopped his hands and turned around with a burning face.

"What are you doing?" I fiddle with my own fingers not believing how a simple gesture can turn me on this badly.

"There..umh.." he stuttered.

"While you're here, please keep your hands to yourself. Don't touch me."

"I am sorry but there was blood on your cheeks and neck.."

"On my mouth too?"

"Not.. really.."

" Forget it and Just tell me why you are here." I turn back to him with a step back. I have no self-control whenever I am with him.

"Happy Valentine's day and anniversary to us." He smiled and straightened out his form.

Novan smiled at me.

I have to be dreaming.

"Why?" I asked and stepped back weakly into the house. "Why are you saying this?"

"Because yesterday was our anniversary and today is Valentine's day. I am so happy I made it before it's over. Did you forget?"

"I didn't just didn't think it's ours to celebrate."

"Why?"

"You broke up with me."

"I didn't mean it."

"So you're back to do what? You came for what? I thought you were clear and specific."

"I want us together. I don't wanna be alone anymore. With you is my perfect place. You're my better place."

"Stop saying all this." My heart is threatening to rip out of my chest. Why is he throwing the words at me like that?

"I am sorry Mariana."

"What?"

"I mean it." He tries to hold my hand.

"No." I stepped away further into the room.

"Please."

"I say no! It doesn't work this way."

"Which way?"

"You tell me is over then you act as if you want me after that, you throw me away. I've been coming to you all this while even when I am not supposed to but all you do is push me away. I don't want to go through it again."

"I won't do that again. I swear I am sorry."

I see the sincerity in his eyes but I don't want to believe. What if all this is a way to hurt me all over again?

"I don't want to believe you. This is just your own way to humiliate me even more. I am not going to fall for it."

"No. That's not why I flew all the way from America. I really want you back and I am sorry."

"What are you sorry for?"

"Everything." He breathed, staring into my eyes with so much intensity.

"What is everything?"

"For making you feel unwanted, ignoring you unnecessarily. For fighting you, being rude, and calling us over for no accurate reason when I didn't even want that. I have treated you badly since my father's death. I am apologizing for all the things. Please forgive me."

I shook my head and disappeared into the bedroom. I looked for my things so I can leave.

"You're angry at me but you can't leave at this time. I am..."

"I am not angry at you and there's really nothing to be forgiven for. "

"Really? Then why do your actions say otherwise? You want to leave."

"I just want you to realize your mistakes and become better, Novan. This is all I was asking but you were stubborn. You made me do things I will never dream of doing. I became that girl and you didn't hesitate to call me that." I picked my bag and threw my stuff in it. I don't feel too well but I can't stay here either if he's here.

"That is why I am sorry."

"Sorry wouldn't change anything. It's not that easy. I remember what you did."

"I want to make it up to you. I swear I won't fuck it up anymore. I am here to stay, Mariana."

"How will you do it? You ruined everything."

"I want to mend it. Please give me a chance. I understand. I know it's not simple but you have to trust me. I am for real this time."

"How did you realize it? You seem to be doing fine. How's it possible? I don't believe this."

"I won't travel all the way here just to joke with you Mariana. I don't want to do things to hurt you anymore because I realized that's just what I have been doing. I am deeply sorry for causing you so much pain and trouble. Please forgive me and let's come back together. I am sorry. I hope it's not too late to say that at least."

"You know I will always forgive you Novan. It's not because I don't have a choice because I know you're just being the way you are. Because I understand you. What I don't like is your unwillingness to change..."

"I am willing to do that now. I swear I am."

"You are?" I drop my packed bag.

"Yes, Mariana. I want to go through this change one last time. I can't bear staying anymore longer away from you."

"Is it because you miss our sex?"

"What? No! No! Don't say that please." He gave me a horrified look and turned around.

"I miss you more than your body okay?. I miss the way you've always been there for me like no one else and I want to laugh with you, tease you and take you out. I want to have a more realistic relationship with you where there will be fight but we'll manage it maturely and won't have to act like kindergarten kids and ignore each other. I want us to be happy always even through tough times."

"How sure are you that you won't slide back into your old ways and take me along with you? A place where you humiliate me right after sex. It's your tradition. How quick are you going to let go?"

"The most important part is that I realized it and I have you. Anything is possible when I have you Mariana." He placed his hands on my shoulders and forced me to look at him. "Let's talk this out, babe. I can't lose you."

"It's what I have been asking for," I said calmly.

"I am sorry." He whispered to me.

"You don't have to. We're all at fault. If I had given you the space you needed, all this wouldn't occur. I was needy and kept wanting too much from..."

"You're not needy. I am sorry for planting that in your head."

"No. I am. You were right. I was supposed to give you space when you needed it. It's the reason this is happening to us now. I am also very sorry."

"You're not the one at fault here Mariana."

"I am. My problem is that I don't listen to you. I always want to have my way. I should be able to accept and respect your decisions.."

"No. I am the one who lacks understanding. I shouldn't have blown up on you that day you called to talk to me about Nervisa the way I did. It was insane and abnormal."

"What about calling to scold you because of what your mother said?"

"You know that's not it."

"You won't deny it."

"No. I didn't like it because of Tricia. I don't want her in my matters so it pained me when you mentioned her name. That's all but I could have handled the situation better. I let my anger take the best of me way too much."

I am amazed. So far we've been talking calmly. Not for once did his voice raise like it always does.

What an improvement! Novan is realizing all of his faults and weak points. He's even promising to do better. To change.

"You didn't like it when I kissed Ed." I sat down on the edge of the bed.

"You also didn't like it when I kissed Ciara. We both felt the same pain. We know how it feels like so I am sure it's not going to happen again. Besides, it was what I said to you that made you do what you did. Getting drunk and robbed made you vulnerable and that bastard had to take advantage of that."

"What happened to you?" I got up and held his face between my hands, unable to believe just what is happening?

"I saw life from another angle."

"Which angle," I asked and his eyes locked with mine.

"The angle where there's no you and it wasn't pretty. You're my only shot at happiness and not having to remain lonely forever Mariana. I will say this again. Please don't leave me. I am sorry for being a jerk." He pressed his forehead against mine, directly on my fresh wound. It hurts but I endured it. This way, I enjoyed his minty breath fanning my face with my eyes pinch close.

"I was only pretending. I am miserable when we're fighting and we're not talking. I want to win you over. I want us to start this relationship afresh, Mariana."

"I know but how sure are you?" I asked.

"Over a hundred percent."

"Have you solved your inner turmoils just yet?"

"I have. There's no doubt. I've always wanted you in my life. I just didn't know how to keep you but I have found a way now. You just have to give me the chance."

"What of your demons? Are they still alive?"

"Yes. They are. Where will they go?" He asked back in a groan.

"What are you doing about it?"

"I need you to come and calm them. You know it is only you that can do that."

"All this that you're saying.. you're saying everything I wanted to hear from you but I am not convinced." I stepped away from him again.

"What do you want me to do to show that I am serious this time?"

"You don't have to do anything. I just don't like that you'll want me today and kick me away tomorrow. You're not decided, Novan."

"I wish I could help myself. When I think of how fucked up I am, I think I don't deserve you and that you'll one day get tired of me and leave so what is the point in keeping something that I can't have? It gets me irate and I do things I shouldn't be doing."

"You should do away with negativity. You know I always love you."

"So?" He looked at me with hope, fear, and vulnerability.

"I don't know," I told him the truth.

"You don't know?" His voice is thick with fear.

I nodded and stared at the huge plasma TV Eva has left on.

Novan has been cruel. Just because he's saying all this out of the blue doesn't mean I should fall back on him immediately. Saturday we fought and Sunday he left without a word. Monday evening, close to midnight, he's here begging that we should come back after I had an accident in my desperate attempt to just hear his voice over the phone. That is a little mysterious. This is the boy who until now was cross with me then giving me bad names. He was so rude and he said he doesn't want me. Called me a slut right after sex. Today he's saying the opposite and promising me to be good. What do I do with all of it at the same time? How sure am I that he won't backtrack and his come back won't be terrible? This is the boy who says and does things to hurt me on purpose, the boy who doesn't think twice to humiliate me, the boy who speaks to me anyhow he pleases without feeling bad about it. The boy who can be cruel if he wants to. I have suffered the past weeks out of his heart-wrenching actions and I don't want to go through that pain anymore. He truly broke me and my heart. He doesn't call me or reciprocate my calls. If he does, he talks trash to me. He's eager to insult and shout at me...

"Mariana." He fell between my legs. "Tell me what I need to do."

"I want to sleep. I have class tomorrow and my head is pounding." I fake a yawn and tried to get his hands off my lap. I feel hot under his touch even while having this conversation.

"But we haven't finished talking. You haven't said anything to me yet Mariana and you're unwell for class."

"What do you want me to say? You didn't convince me enough."

"You don't believe me that I am sorry? And that I will try not to hurt you again?"

"I didn't expect all this. It's too good to be true. I fear it's not going to last. I went through so much because of our misunderstanding that I don't want to experience it again. It's not my fault that I am scared to try this with you again."

"What do you mean? He panicked.

I remained quiet and just stared at his panic-stricken face that still look undeniably beautiful.

"So what do you want me to do? I am sorry for putting you through so much."

"Go back to America."

"What!" He exclaimed and got up.

"Yes, Novan. You still need to put your thoughts together. You have to be sure that you really want me. I can't go through any more uncertainty from you."

"For fuck sake. I am certain. I have been since the day I realized I am in love with you." He began to pace around.

"When did you realize that you're in love with me?" He paused pacing.

"I liked you since I was a kid but I realized it's beyond that the day I came to rescue you in the washroom back in high school when you were harassed. I found the boy and proudly broke his nose without regrets. That day I realized I could kill for you.."

"You found the person?"

"Yes, I did. He just wouldn't say who paid him to do it but I know it's Aria. I caught him fucking her after some days."

"Okay." I don't want to remember.

"That being said, please reconsider your decision. It can not be the only option. It's either I stay here or we move together. I am ready to compromise anything to ensure it. I swear."

"This is about you being decided so my mind remains unchanged. You can't say all this and the next we'll be fighting and ignoring each other. I want this to be once and for all. Above all, I don't want to build my hopes high. I don't trust you to keep all that you're saying. You have to understand me. I am just standing against history from being repeated."

"And I am saying no backtracking this time. I am dead serious.."

"No!" I object and out of impulse threw a pillow at him.

I am really glad that we're finally at a point in our lives where we're able to identify our mistakes and each other's mistakes even though we can't work them out now but I hope in the future we can conquer that too. With this new behavior of his, I am even more optimistic that all hope is not lost for us. Novan came after all and that means a lot to me. I wasn't ready to lose him and the thought was killing me but now that he's here, I can't just jump into his arms even though that's all my mind is telling me to do. I want us to work this out, to work our faults out. And for that to happen, Novan really has to take the space he needed that I refused to give him for him to know what he actually wants in this life.

"Believe me when I say I am sure Mariana." He pleaded.

I didn't say anything but walked to pick the pillow I threw to the floor and placed it back on his bed.

"Please Mariana."

"My mind is made," I told him and this time I yawned for real. I got in bed and watched him pace about close to an hour then he left.

I sat up and waited for him for an hour but he didn't come. I waited for another two hours and when he didn't come, I went to sleep. I didn't see him the next day when I woke up except for the food he prepared for me and a note that I shouldn't go to school but would I listen? I woke up and I didn't feel the pain so much. I feel alright. Novan's friends didn't come to school and I suspect them hangovered. Lenna was not in school but Dylan was and he wouldn't stop freaking out and asking over and over again if I am alright.

After my classes, I received a message from my dad that they're back and that I should be at home after my classes.

Did Novan do as I said or he's busy doing something that he's not supposed to?

And why do my parents want me home?

★★★

馃憚THE KISS馃憚
{Loving him with all his flaws}

By KELSAY ❣️ (M.M.A.)

CHAPTER 2❤️4

|•MARIANA•|

My car is at the workshop and since I can't sit in a car for an hour and over, I took a flight instead.

"Mom?! Dad?! Where's everyone?!"

I had wanted to take my bandage off and just put a plaster on the wound but Keegan said it's not the best. All the servants around are all giving me looks just like everyone did in school today. I pray my mother doesn't pass out seeing me so frail and sickly looking. I did a lot about my appearance but that didn't still change the fact written all over me that I had an accident. I am most grateful that it wasn't published in the news without my permission. I am very happy about that else I will have to be seeing the likes of Edward and Aria being sympathetic towards me. I didn't see Edward at the reception after the slap I gave him. As much as I regret my action, I hope he's back off for real this time. Novan is like blazing fire and I am the ice. I try to calm him, to bring his blaze down but he ends up trying to melt me instead, reducing me to liquid, and Edward, he keeps being the petrol that adds to the blazing flame which is Novan and I suffer for it. While I am trying to quench him for me not to liquidate, Edward keeps adding the petrol. It's better he's away and he ever wants to come back, he should come with another motive that doesn't involve me being his girlfriend.

"Quinn."

I already knew the person who called without having to look at him. I looked past his worried tone and ran to hug the only Father figure I had since I was 7. For ten good years, I stayed with him, he fathered and mothered me. He was everything to me and still is.

"Toby." I placed my head on his chest and he tap my back gently. He's so tired and weak due to old age and often get sick.

"What happened to you, my child?" His voice is low, too low. He held my face in his trembling hands.

"I am alright. Let's talk about you and where is the rest?" I looked around.

"You know I am fine. Your parents arrived not long ago. Nicholas just went out and Victoria is resting."

"Good. Do you have any idea why they called me to come?"

"No, but come with me." He wraps his aged hands on my wrist.

"What Toby."

"Just come with me."

"Taking the stairs is not good for you. I can walk to my room." I say as we begin to take the stairs. It takes us 15 minutes approximately to reach there and he tried to hide his exhaustion.

"I will be outside here while you go in and wear any of the dresses you see and look beautiful. I will be waiting here."

I smile through my confused face and walk to my room. I have three dresses on the bed. One is pink. Whoever bought me this dress really doesn't know me at all. I dislike pink outfits and It's not something I wear all the time. The next is a sea blue knee-length homecoming lace bodice with spaghetti straps. It's sexy. I raised it up and match it with my body. The remaining dress is identical to the one I am holding just that it's white and not lace.

Running to the bathroom, I wash my body down and being careful to not let the water touch my bandage. If it happens, I am just going to leave it because I don't have the time to fix another one.

I got into the dress then I untied my hair and rulsn a brush through. I let it fall on my face to hide the white bandage. I tried but it still shows so I made use of a scarf instead that matches my pumps. I look better this way.

Stepping out, I am in surprise to see Toby still at the door.

"Ready?"

"Yeah, but what's the occasion?"

"You'll see." He put a flower crown on my head and that make me laugh. Once upon a time during Easter, he did this.

"Now you look perfect."

"I see." I giggle.

"Hi princess." My father walks to us with a broad smile but it fades away when his eyes meet my arm.

"What happened?"

"Nothing serious you should be worried about."

"Nothing serious? Are you sure?"

"You can rest assured. I should be in bed if it's something serious right?"

"You're right. Let's get going." His arms hook with mine.

"Wait where? Why did you make me come in the first place?"

"You'll see." I look at Toby then to my father before walking down with him. Descending the stairs, we walked to the middle of the big hall which was in darkness then he placed my hand in someone else's. I need not be told who. The burn and electric wave that course through me is enough.

"Dad? What?"

"I told you you're not gonna take this right from me. It's happening." He whispered to me and disappeared into the darkness.

I removed my hands from his to step back when a spotlight fell on us and I caught a glimpse of him in a suit.

I wanted to scream at him but I knew instantly that we're not alone and since I don't know who exactly is present, I decided to be on my best behavior for now.

"What is this Novan," I said through my teeth.

"In front of everyone, I just want to marry you. I want to make our marriage proper. To complete it just the way it's done."

Huh?

"You're mad! Completely!" I took off towards the stairs and I heard him coming after me.

"Mariana please." He begged.

"Have you gone mad? Why are you doing this?" I keep taking the stairs.

"I just wanted you to see how serious I am about having you back. Left to me alone you know I don't mind about this but I have. It's a shame I couldn't get you a ring. Now I have it."

I got into my room to close it but he stopped the door with his foot and got in.

He's in a goddamn suit and what...dress shoes and an earring back in his ear.

"Get the hell out Novan! What did you think you're doing?!"

"I already told you. We got married but didn't exchange rings.."

"Oh shut up! Did you ever want that marriage? You said it was a stupid formality remember?"

"That was before. Don't judge me by it."

"So now you know marriage brings people together?"

"Fuck! I still don't believe it but we need to do this. The ring will symbolize our marriage! Marriage is not what will keep us together but since we went through it then why don't we go through all the process? Besides, this will mean so much to your family. I thought of them."

"You talk to my family now? Oh wow!" I laughed. "What did you tell them to make them agree to your plans? I can't believe how you'll stoop just to get them on your side to win me over..."

"No! I didn't do anything..."

"I am talking. Don't cut in! I just got into an accident. I am still recovering,Novan and you went and did this?"

"I am sorry but you have to understand me."

"Understand you? Did you ever understand me? You said you can't live without me but all this time you were living so fine. You won't pick my call and neither will you return it. You hurt me to the core! You disrespected me but guess what, I refuse to be disrespected once again so get out! Out of my room Now!" I scream.

"Keep it down. I know we have to talk. See, I said I am sorry..."

"This isn't about that. It's about ganging up on me this way. You're doing something that concerns me without my consent. Who do you think you are? That you can just do anything? You know what, it pains me that I tore that divorce papers you left behind. I was trying to live without you and now you came and did this?!"

"Calm down. Let's talk about this okay? I can see you're hurt and I am the cause but baby, please. Let's fix this together. I love you. Let's talk it out calmly I beg of you." He steps closer to me and I jerk away.

"Maintain your distance!" I warned with my forefinger.

"Calm down Riana. Let's talk about this."

"Why didn't you let us do it before anything? Is that not what I said?"

"I am sorry."

I huff and drop on the bed.

"You think you can change my mind when you do this? It's a lie Novan. You won't succeed."

"What won't I succeed?"

"My mind remains unchanged. You'll go back to America to gather your thoughts. When you come back and you really want me, then you won't shout at me and treat me badly. You'll be kind."

"Then you'll accept me?"

"Yes."

"Well, then I am doing all that now. I don't have to go anywhere."

"Then get out!"

"Listen Mariana. Please don't do this." He begged, running his hand in his now long hair.

"I can't risk it. I can't fall back in when you're still conflicted within yourself. You have yourself to forgive and everyone but you won't do it. You harbor so much anger and hatred inside you that is deteriorating your growth it's pulling you back but you don't know. When your demons visit you, you feel worthless then you use it on me. I am the one at your receiving end. I am suffering,Novan and we won't get there if you don't change. Believe me, I am tired of these constant fights we've been having. I feel that it's draining me. It drains the greater part of me each time and it breaks my heart. I know we don't really have any problems. We're our own problem Novan." I said without shouting this time and looked up at him. "It's abnormal and senseless the way we fight. It's insane."

" I know. I realized that myself."

"You know?" I am surprised.

"Yes. We only love each other but the trust is not there. It was never there." He shakes his head.

"Just think about it. Whatever that happened to us is either misunderstanding or something that has been conspired against us except for my own doings of course."

"Good you know." My eyes turn soft on him. I am so proud and impressed that he said these things.

"How are you feeling?" He stare deeply into my eyes and I felt him looking at my soul instead.

"Why are you asking me?"

He walked closer to where I sat on the bed then let his eyes drag on me. There's something about the way he always looks at me or his looks at me does to me. I feel naked and hot all of a sudden under his gaze.

Seconds later and Novan is kneeling before my legs then he touched my bare thighs. "I am really sorry."

I nod and gulp with our eyes still locked. The air has already shifted and my gullible inner woman is pleading to be pleased in a way I don't know just yet.

My hand falls on his. "I am very mad at you in every sense," I mutter, begging him to touch me more.

I am so pathetic. My words and actions don't match.

"I know. Let me make it up to you I beg of you." He said gently and quietly while looking at me with so much affection and remorse on his face.

My thoughts carry my hands to his face and I rub my thumb under his eyes then my eyes travel to his lips, so full and tempting. I miss the fee of them on me. I am still mad at him but it won't hurt to do this.

I lowered my head and kissed the corners of his lips then I kissed it slowly. He surprised me by kissing back and deeply. It's just like a matchstick lighting a firecracker. Sparks flew with fireworks as he kissed me, rubbing my thighs and teasing me inside. My legs part and I welcome him in, closer. He crawled on his knees and I wrapped my legs around his torso as he kissed me just as how he knows best.

"Are you two alright in there?" I heard my father's voice and we broke apart instantly. I got up with my back turned to him. How can you hate someone and still want him so badly at the same time? Okay, I don't hate Novan but I am very angry at him. It shouldn't make me want him to touch me.

"Yes, we'll be down in a bit," Novan answered.

"Okay." I hear my father's footsteps retreat and I feel Novan's arms around me from the back.

I look over my shoulders and wish the door was closed. Novan will use it against me when I go to close it. He'll see that I want him. That I want to do more things with him than just kiss.

When he stepped away from me, I sigh in dismay. So it's going to be like this? He'll go and if he doesn't make up his mind that he wants me above all, it will be the end of us then what? Who will make me feel what he alone makes me feel?

He walks to the door and I can't help asking. "Are you... leaving?"

"No. I just want to close the door."

I want to say something but his eyes meet mine and they communicate clearly to me and show me that he understands.

"It won't change anything."

"I know." His hands worked on his suit then he began to take it out. That will take a lot of time.

"I am still mad at you." I picked the blazer he dropped on the floor and hanged it.

"I know babe. I know."

"And you'll still go to America."

"Allow me to go inside you first Riana." His voice is passionate even with his blunt statement.

His words did more to me than he'll know. It made me take a bold step to him and helped him out of his tie.

"This is not gonna change shit," I repeated.

"Yes."

"You annoy me, you make me sad, angry but you also do this to me. Make me want you crazily. You're doing all of it to me at the same time but it won't change my mind Novan."

"But I could make you forget all that I did..."

I look up at him. "For now." He adds.

"Then make me." I plead silently, forgetting that we're being waited on downstairs.

"Of course. Of course, I will." His lips cover mine and I want to stop and ask him something.

I hope I am not shamelessly throwing myself at him again. He won't use it against me right from here? What is he thinking now? Does he want me as well or just want to do this for me alone...

"Mariana." He stopped kissing me and gazed into my eyes. "You want me. You shouldn't feel bad about it and I also want you. This is not you throwing yourself at me. This is consensual. You want me and I want you double. I understand."

I nod and he tilts my head to resume the kiss. It started slowly but not anymore after a minute. My hands worked on his dress pants while he unzipped my dress from the back and made it drop below my feet. I stepped out of it then he picked it from the floor for me. Novan makes me sit at the edge of the bed then comes back between my legs on his knees after I have taken off his dress pants.

I take his lips back in as his hands wander teasingly on my back, igniting fires at wherever they touch. He frees my boobs from its bondage and helps me out of the straps. I always like the way he looks surprised and fascinated whenever he looks at me naked meanwhile it's not the first time. His eyes go wide and dilate immediately then his lips part.

"You're perfect. So perfect and each time I look at you feel so new. I see new beauties every day on you Mariana. And...I love you so much."

"Will you stop wasting our time talking?" I whispered impatiently and he smiled.

"Yes, boss."

"Oh shut up." I captured his lips and he smiled against my lips before kissing me back.

I pinch him at the back just to scold him for laughing at me and he moaned into my mouth. Did he like it?

I rub my palms at the spot in case I hurt him.

"Please do it again." He begged and this time I knew. I pinch him again then he moans, sliding his lips from mine to my ear. He kisses and licks me there before moving his tongue to my neck, nibbling and sucking harshly on the skin there. I already know he has marked me again. His big hands are on my waist as he squeezed my sides then began to caress me with the other hand. I want him to touch me so badly right now so when he pushed my panties to the side, I sucked in a sharp breath. My hormones charged and took the best of me as he pumped into me.

"Novan." My mouth falls open and I pinch my eyes close, my fingers digging into his shoulder blades then fingers without mercy draws on his back which I am sure will leave red lines tomorrow. I hope he makes me come this time. I will go mad if he lives me hanging again.

|•DONOVAN•|

I know my girl. Just by looking at her face, I know she wants me. The hunger in them weaks me and I feel incredibly awful for being selfish. I feel terrible for not satisfying her the last time. How could I? I was so consumed by my own feelings that I forgot hers and the terrible aspect, we have to fight after that. I can only imagine what she went through. Tonight even though this is not the time, I want to please her. I want to make her come repeatedly and this time I won't think about myself.

Once I got her bra out of my way, her beautiful breast played before me, making me harder than I already am. She's so gorgeous. It's always like the first time each time she goes naked in front of me. Haven't I studied her body enough? Why is every time so new yet the feelings stronger than before?

I didn't hold back letting her know how perfect she is but when she pinched me as a way to scold me, I lost it. I know I said I want to please her so if I had a way, I won't beg her to do it again but I did.

"Please do it again," I beg and she obediently fulfills my demand. I can't comprehend how fucking lucky I am as I freely move my hands on her precious body. She allows me to do this all. To touch her and I just mess it up each fucking time.

I adore the pleasant sound she makes as I push her pants to the side and slip a finger into her warm and soft wet flesh. She's so wet. So fucking wet. I pump into her and watch her lose control under my assault. I am so grateful that she's allowing me to touch her after everything.

"How did you get this wet babe?" I asked and looked down at her. I can't wait to have her taste on my tongue.

"Speak," I command.

"You." She moaned.

"Me? What about me?"

"Don't be an asshole. You know what I meant."

"I am already an asshole dear."

"No, you're not. I don't want you to be." She whispers through her pants and moans.

"Then tell me who's responsible for how wet you are."

"You of course. You have no idea Novan. Please don't do that to me again. I want more, please. Don't leave me on the way."

She's afraid, she's hurt she's angry and it's all me but her body is going against her and she doesn't have anything to do so she gives in. Even now that she's doing this, she's afraid that I won't make her come.

This is so low of me. How can I?

"I'm cuming with you, together," I assure her and add another finger.

"Mmm." She hummed. "I want more Novan. Please."

"Don't beg me, babe. I am here for you."

She nods. I kissed her thighs and raised them on my shoulders as I made her fall back onto the bed.

I pull her panties out and take in her clean cunt; so wet, pink, and swollen clit stare back at me and I want to plunge into her instantly but I won't. I want to take my time, please her, and make it worthwhile even though her entire family is downstairs waiting for us.

When I returned yesterday and saw her condition, I died inside. She had an accident and I suspect I am the cause. Wait...

"Riana, are you okay? Your body pains and the injury. Are you hurting?" I panicked.

"Fool. I would've stopped you if I can't bear it. Now continue please."

"But.."

"Novan!"

"Okay, sorry." I dipped my head in between her as I squeezed her smooth laps.

|~MARIANA~|

When his lips touch me, I shudder violently when his tongue kisses my bud of nerves then his tongue goes in circles over it. I couldn't keep it in.

"Novan!" I dug my nails in the mattress and wrapped my legs tightly around his neck, pulling him closer and pressing him further on me, suffocating him even. His tongue slide into me as well then he used his thumb to rub my clit. His tongue still pushing in and out of me, he adds a finger. I lost total control not only over my body but senses. How is it that he's so good at this?

"Quiet babydoll. You might not know who's ear is pressed against your door."

"Well then fuck me already," I command boldly.

"I will. I will."

He sends two fingers inside me and curls them before bringing it out then going in again, circling me and sucking my clit.

I tried to muffle my sounds. I really tried but with the things he's doing to me, I am unable to keep quiet. I feel the knot and the pressure building up to wash down on me. I prayed for it to happen to quench my hunger.

"You're always so sweet. Come for me, baby." He whispered, his warm breath hitting directly over me and tickling me.

Finally, I feel my core clench around his fingers, legs shaking and my toes curl as I come down from my high harder than I've ever come.

"Thank you." I couldn't help but say through my fast and heavy breaths. I wanted this for too long. Far too long.

I feel him climb on top of me and when my eyes open, his face is just an inch apart from mine. His hands pressing to my side on the bed, supporting his weight.

He's unsmiling with jaw clenching and unclenching as he stares into my face. I let my eyes journey to his lower region. I squirm at the sight of his long thick hard cock in his brief. I want more. I don't know how much I can take before I get satisfied. Not wanting to be selfish, I thought of making him come as well.

"Up you go." I tap at his back. I am yet to read the quotes he engraved on his body for me and right now, I can see my face on his arm then my name, and the chain still on his wrist.

"What?"

"I want to return the favor."

The corners of his lips curl in a smile and he drops his face into my sweaty neck. "Don't go all philanthropic on me Mariana."

"What? No." I shriek.

"You're not satisfied. Let's see to you first."

"What?" I am in shock. How does he manage to know?"

"Yeah? I know you." His face lifts from my neck and he smiles at me. I cover my heated face.

"Don't be shy. It's been long for us." He removed my hands from my face.

"So what are we gonna do?" I ask, feeling excited that he knows what I think and feel within especially at a time like this.

"I will fuck you." He states flatly and I press my thighs together tightly.

"Oh." He's too straightforward. Wasn't there a nice way he could've said that? But then, if he says it the nice way, it won't have the same effect and make me wet all over again like it's doing now. I love his filthy mouth and talks. I think he knows that.

"Everyone is downstairs right?" I've already agreed.

"They can wait for another couple of minutes. You matter to me more than them." He pressed his palm to the top of my sex and I yelp.

"Novan." I hold on tightly to his shoulders.

"Let's get you properly on the bed shall we?"

I nod eagerly and he raises me to the middle of the bed and picks a pillow which he makes me rest my head on.

I got up instead and with my legs spread wide, I made him sit in front of me, his legs spread as well and on top of mine.

I push forward and wrap my hands around his neck. My lips press to his and he pushes forward as well that, through his brief, his dick rub against my opening.

Holding him tight, I kiss him deeply, tugging at his long hair then pinching him gently. I am so happy to discover this new act. It drives him mad and I love the sexy sound that leaves his mouth.

He fondles with my breast, pinching my nipples that my moans won't let me kiss him smoothly without breaking off and coming back. He palms me again then presses his finger deep inside me. I pull back and stare in his face wordlessly.

"I love you." He mumbles and I look down at how he moves his finger in and out of me.

I reach into his brief and bring him out. I stroke him, sliding my thumb over his tip and wiping his precum away as he also pumps into me.

"Tell me you love me too Mariana." He begs me. I wanted this too in California but he didn't say it to me. I like how nice the tables have turned.

"You know I love you," I say and place a kiss on his inked chest.

"Yes, but say it."

I shake my head as I focus on getting his briefs off. By the waistband, I begin to pull it out. He helps me by getting up and taking it off before sitting back. I didn't like the emptiness he brought to me when they left inside me so I brought his hand back to touch me.

"You're so dirty." He smirks.

"So are you." I fire back and he laughs. I hold him and begin to guide him into me.

"Wait." He stops me.

"You have a condom?" He shakes his head.

"Then?" I frown.

"It's okay." He tilts my chin to kiss me.

"It's okay?"

"Yes."

"I could get pregnant," I say even though I know it's not happening and I wish it happen.

"I don't care."

"You mean?" I should be having hearing problems.

"I won't mind if a baby comes."

"What? You didn't want it."

"If it happens, I will take it. So it doesn't matter if it happens or not."

"Are we not too young to be parents already? How will we take care of it?"

"I was young when I started taking care of my sick sister. I didn't even know how to fuck then but I did."

"You surprise me." I smile softly. "You must be wanting to trap me with a pregnancy then."

"Is that what you think of me, Miss Dominguez?" He returns my smile.

"I don't know why all of a sudden you will want something you hated before?"

"Change. It's change and I love you a lot."

"Enough of this conversation." I drag myself closer to his waiting ever ready hardness.

I guided him to my entrance again and he pushed in and at once we moaned out. I fall back a little with my hands behind then arch my hips so that he goes in completely. He begins to fill me and I stretch to accommodate all of his sizes. My eyes screw shut as tears fall out from their corners.

"Fuck! You're the best."He pulls me even closer and my pumps that I still had on dig at his back.

He comes out and goes back in with ease this time. My eyes level on where our bodies connect perfectly and I moan at the beautiful sight of his cock sliding in then comes out glistening then goes back in. It's quite the sight and I am not getting it out of my memory anytime soon. His ink-covered skin comes to my stainless one then goes back. It's a contract in every way.

"You enjoy watching me fuck you?"

I nod without shame. This is fascinating to watch, I swear.

"We can record ourselves and watch later. It will be fun." He suggests.

"No!" I love the idea but.. No!

"I know you won't agree but you love it."

"No, I don't." I lie.

"Go on and deny it."

"Novan."

"Come over here and climb me. I want to kiss you and feel your soft body against me. Above all, I don't want you to harm your arm further." Obediently, I loop my hands around his neck and straddle him, flesh against flesh, two hot bodies collide and neutralize to one, two bodies in one soul as he rams into me from beneath. His hands on my waist, tracing my spine. I roll my hip then raise myself to meet his thrust. While I go up and down, he goes round and round then jams in at intervals. I hold onto his shoulders for dear life whenever he does that and I feel my orgasm getting nearer and nearer. I hug him tighter and suck on his neck, grazing my teeth on his flesh and he continues to jam into me so well, gaging my spot and hitting each time. He gages it so perfectly like a hunter and he doesn't miss a shot. Right now, I want to be his game. I am his game. He's not missing either. Each shot evokes something I never knew existed inside me. Novan is so good. So so good.

"How do you feel Mariana?" He takes turns in licking my neck.

"So good Novan. So good..." I moan out.

"Can anyone ever make you feel better than I do?"

"No one," I answered immediately.

"Tell me that I am the only one babe."

I knew he's remember me and Ed's kiss and he's insecure.

"You are and will always be Novan. No one else will ever be. I love you."

"Oh god! I love you Riana. I love you." His lips find mine passionately.

"What... what.. of me? Am I the only one?" I'm almost there.

"Verily, you are and will always be. I will love only you until the day that I die Mariana." Surety and clarity are bounds in his voice to register his promise. And I don't doubt the sincerity with which the words came out. I look down at our seeded connection once again. Here I thought he'll never make me feel greater than he does all the time but he proved me wrong. I will never get bored with this man. Never. He gives me good feelings each time we get this way...

My thoughts distort as he went faster and deeper each time. "How close are you Mariana? I can't.." his muscles contract and he begins to go rigid. I tightened around him.

"Let's go, baby." I moan out and that's all it takes for us. His cock twitched inside me and that sent me to the edge and me calling him baby did it. Novan fills me with his seeds while I bathe his cock with my juices and with sloppy thrust, he comes undone and I fall back on the bed with him falling on top.

I welcome his sweaty skin and the salty taste of it on my lips. We stay in that position for what seemed like forever till our breaths even.

"We can't get late for our function any longer. We should get going."

"I don't think anyone will still be there," I tell him.

"It's just thirty minutes we spent. We should get ready." He pecked my lips and got up. I watch him look for his boxer shorts.

"Thirty minutes it's not just Novan." I saw his boxer under me.

"Yeah?"

"Catch."

When he turned, I put it under my nose and made a disgusted face. "It smells." I push my nose up.

"Really? Give it to me." He snatches it, laughing. "I am only dirty in bed sweetheart. I am quite a hygienist"

"I see how you throw your clothes around and how you shove your things anyhow into the wardrobe Novan."

"At least I wash them. Why fold when there's iron?"

"I see. You haven't experienced a power outage before where you have to wear a wrinkled shirt."

" I am a rich man's son. I don't experience that." He brags and I agree with him.

"Rich boy huh?"

"No." He pouts. " I make a decent living but I am not rich. You are rich."

"Me? No! Everything I owe was given to me by my parents whereas you got your own things. Clearly, you're the rich ass."

"I don't agree." He disappeared into the bathroom and came back with a towel. "You need to clean and get dressed, Mariana." He presented the towel to me.

"What for?" I asked the obvious.

" You know..to wipe.. down there."

★★★★

馃憚THE KISS馃憚
{Loving him with all his flaws}

By KELSAY ❣️ (M.M.A.)

CHAPTER 2❤️5

♾️||~MARIANA~||♾️

"Oh." I took it and he watched me wipe myself. "It doesn't change anything, Novan. I am as mad at you as fuck!"

"I know."

"I am serious."

"I know."

Hmm. "It was just sex and nothing more," I add.

"Okay."

Silence rests between us as I watch him wear the dress pants then the shirt. I admit the sex we had set a lighter mood between us and I feel giddy enough that It's breaking my resolve.

"You'll have to help me finish wearing this." He showed me the tie.

I nod and put my feet on the floor to stand but my knees wobble and I almost land on the floor but he caught me.

"Are you alright?"

"I feel wobbly and weak kind of."

"Have you eaten?"

"Yeah but I am yet to take supper."

"Then we should..."

"Are you two alive in there?" I hear my mom's voice full of worry.

"Coming. Don't worry" I answer this time.

"Okay. Be quick." The sound of her heels fade away and I lay back on the bed. I need to take my medicines, eat and rest. I wasn't supposed to go to school but I stubbornly went and the doctor had warned me against stress. I was feeling worse than this but while the sex has made me feel a little better stress-wise, it has weakened me.

"Are you sure you're alright?" He separates my hair from my face.

I nod but his eyes won't leave my face.
"I am sorry for not making you come when you were at my house back in California. I am sorry."

"What?" I push at him and he rolls off of me simply.

" I didn't mean to be self-centered."

"So you decided that this is your way to make up for it?"

He didn't say anything or try to deny.

"How can you keep doing this to me Novan." I wail. Novan didn't want me. Who knows that he only flew here just after realizing it. He didn't even want this sex.

"Don't be quick to doubt my intentions, Mariana."

"You're a bloody bastard." I try to get up but fall back weakly again.

"I said I am sorry."

"That's not the issue. Why did you have to do it?"

"I told you. I'm just making up."

"Just," I repeat under my breath.

"Don't get angry over this now!"

"You'll not tell me that."

"I felt bad for only thinking about myself that day.."

"So you did this to feel better?"

"I have to."

"So what's the difference? You're still selfish."

"We're not doing this now Mariana. Must we always fight after sex?"

"You're always the cause." I accused without thinking twice.

"Me? I just realized that you're the one who sets the fight with your constant need to annoy the fucking hell outta me. I am not nagging here but you are and over something that we just enjoyed. This argument you're bringing up is pointless."

"So what you did is good?"

"I am not saying. You needed this and so do I. Don't make a mountain out of this tiny little molehill."

I remain quiet. He could've told me before we started doing anything. I knew I wanted him because I miss him and my motive is pure while his is to just make up for his deeds. I actually thought he wanted this as well.

"Mariana."

I didn't respond.

"Mariana."

I look away.

"Won't you mind me?" He squats in front of me.

"Don't call my name again!"

"So what? You'll fight me?"

I ignored him still.

"Well then, let's fight." He got on his feet. "I didn't bring any boxing gloves but my bare fist will do." He began to do light jumps and warming up just like a boxer will do. "Come on now Mariana. I am so ready for you."

I bite the inside of my cheeks to restrain my laughter from bubbling out.

"I didn't say I want to fight," I said to him and a small smile stole its way to my face. I coughed to hide it.

"Then don't give me attitude. I don't want us to fight over this. You said it's just sex remember?"

What he's saying doesn't justify his doings but I am for once amazed. He didn't feed into this like he always does. Instead he talked to me calmly about it and even made a joke out of it. A normal Novan would've added fuel and by now this room will be burning with our screams and eventually, one person will walk out and the other will cry till no more tears are available to cry.

"Okay." I decided to get up and he helped me.

"You can only run your mouth and steer fights yet you can't even stand or walk on your own." He teases.

"Really?" I chuckled.

I fix his tie then I dress afterward. He also helped me to rebandage my arm and forehead.

"Tell me what else is happening down there Novan."

"I won't."

"Okay." I didn't push.

"If you go there to do something that I don't like, trust that I won't play along, Novan," I warned him before he stepped out.

The place was still in darkness when I got down. My father's hands find me again.

"What happened? You didn't want to?"

"Not really. He just didn't tell me." I answered him.

"That's because we wanted to surprise you."

"We?"

"Yeah. We will talk later about it."

'US' by James Bay plays in the background till we get to the altar which is brightened by the spotlight. Dad hands me over just like the latter and I pull away to follow him but Novan's hands find me and he pulls me back under the spotlight. I went through the wedding process with him in front of the priest until it got to the exchange of rings where I flared.

"What?" I am speechless and breathless as he goes down on his knees.

I told him not to do any of this. I don't want any ring from him.

"What are you doing? I don't like this." I look around shyly. "You can't be doing this. We still have to talk, remember?"

"I know.."

"Then why are you doing this?"

"Please accept it. Everyone is here." He whispered.

"You're taking advantage again Novan. We don't even have a relationship and you're here trying to fix a marriage that wasn't even there or because we just had sex?."

" So you gonna walk away? Come on Mariana. Everyone is watching and I have been on my knees for too long. We made them wait close to an hour. Please remember that."

"I didn't send you to come to do this. Did you talk to me before this?"

"I didn't have to. I knew what must be done. And I want everyone to know by this ring that you're mine."

I sighed. I feel so trapped and if anyone was not here, I swear I would've slapped him across his cheek long ago.

He's having his way and it's not fine. We're barely together and now this.

"Don't overthink it. You can get it off once it's over then you can put it on when you decide to forgive but for now please." He begged and held my hand.

"You know this is something I will never do and never dreamt of but doing now. If this doesn't mean so much to me, I wouldn't be doing it so please Mariana. I am begging you. We can solve our problems indoors later."

I saw how beautifully we solved it by not even touching it back in my room.

I looked at his pleading face through the dim light and nodded. I am doing this for my family and for my father especially. He wanted to take me to the altar and this is close to it. Also, if my parents didn't agree, this won't happen. From here, Novan will have to tell me how he managed to get my parents on his side.

"Okay."

"Smile?" He asked and smiled.

I wanted to roll my eyes but stopped and forced a smile. "Get up please."

"Sure."

He pulled the ring out from a box then slipped it on my ring finger. He gave me his and I slipped it on for him. Instantly, the lights came in, and applaud sounds from every corner that I didn't have time to examine the rings. I walked into his arms basically to hide my face due to shyness when the priest declared our marriage fully blessed.

"Thank you so much." He whispers against my ear and I feel his lips brushing on my lobe.

"This is not for you."

"I know." He mutters and draws his arms around me.

"I am proud of you two and Donovan, thanks for doing this for us. I thought it would never happen and we'll never see it." I hear my mom's voice.

"Yes. This means a lot. She's our only daughter and I thought after the court which we missed, we won't see any of this and so though this is little, I appreciate it a lot and I am happy." My dad agrees. They sound emotional and I am dying to see their faces but shy to bring my face out.

"I wanted this too. I am happy that we're all happy." Novan says and I just want to smack his head. He's happy at my expense.

"You two finally did it." Amy squeals. "Don't hide Mariana. It's just us, your family."

I peeked first between his arms before lifting my face. I see everyone in my family. Betsy and Mike inclusive. They all wear fat smiles.

"When I heard about your marriage, I was sad that I couldn't witness it. I felt as if something has been taken away from me and even though this is not like I anticipated, it still does it for me. Congratulations on your union." My father hugs me.

"Thanks."

"Me too. I will hug you some." My mother says.

"I will also hug you." That's Amy.

"And me." Betsy stepped forward and joined the queue.

"What about the groom? Is nobody going to hug me? Or I am not stunning enough." Novan says and everyone laughs. My mom dragged him away and I keep looking to know what they're discussing.

They don't look like they're fighting judging by the wide smile on Novan's face as they talk.

My mom and Novan's friendship came out as a shocker to me. The signs were there but I didn't know it was for real until during the ten months when he came to MD and I actually thought he came for me. I was surprised and excited only for him to walk to my mother's office instead and they went out for lunch. When I ask my mom, she won't tell me anything and just laugh. Seeing Novan with my mom was such a pleasant thing for me and I don't want it to be ruined and that's why I haven't confronted any of them to confirm since but I will one day if Novan and I don't separate.

"You wanted to turn him down didn't you?" Betsy whispers to me.

"He's a jerk," I answered simply and she laughed. "Thanks for the pics and I know you had an accident. How are you now?"

"As you can see. I managed to be present so..."

"Yeah." She stepped back and I hugged my grannies. I wish Florencia was here too but anyways, this is just one of Novan's ways and he managed to convince my parents. I can't believe they called me here for this.

"You two are finally married. Though I am happy for you, I am sad because It ends my dream of ever being with you." Mike jokes but I know it's a half-truth. He has wanted me since I started being friends with his sister.

"Suck it up bro," Novan says from behind and snakes his hand around my waist. You're beautiful." He whispers to me again, nuzzling his face into my neck.

"I jealous you," Mike adds.

"I know right," Novan responds.

"Stop it. I told you to stop taking advantage of me just because I can't do anything in front of everyone here." I said under my breath, barely moving my lips.

"So then allow me."

"Okay stop." I see Daniel walking to us.

"Please don't congratulate me. I feel so old." I laughed and used that opportunity to step away from Novan.

"Is that so? I see how you're handling robberies, attacks, bails, and accidents so well. No kid can do that?" He smirked.

"If you didn't know so much, I will say I am a kid."

"So I am congratulating you." He smiled and hugged me.

"I am the luckiest here. I saw the first marriage then this but I am sorry to say, they're all boring. Most boring weddings ever. I will title it the world's most boring nuptial which is true." Marion remarks, drawing everyone's attention.

"Why don't you tell us what's missing?" Novan asked.

"Where's the kiss?"

I instantly knew Novan planned this. I shoot daggers at him, horns blazing.

"Yes, they didn't kiss."

"That's not necessary."

"But everyone does it at weddings."

"Yes but.."

"Kiss, kiss kiss.!" They begin to chant already. I looked at Novan but he was smirking. This takes me back to our prom night back in high school where he requested to kiss me in front of the whole school and I had to stump my feet on his and runoff. If only I knew he'd occupy every ounce of me and make me fall so hard for him, I wouldn't have ran anywhere. This is dej盲 Vu.

We weren't dating then but now we've had something close to that. We even got married and he took my virginity. If someone had told me that day that all this will occur, I would've laughed and called the person crazy but look. Here I am as Mrs. Anderson and we had kissed million times and had a lot of sex and today, I can't run from this kiss even if I want to.

I closed the gap between us and let us have this kiss as my family cheers us on. If only they knew what we just did inside there or maybe they know.

"Now this is the actual kiss that changed everything. I mean the mood of the wedding. It's no longer boring." Marion is officially our commentator for tonight.

This kiss was supposed to happen and change things right from highschool but it didn't happen. I disliked his guts, narcissist nature, and his thirst to make me angry then.

We were just in high school and he was one out of the many who had the worst appearance ever and I had to make faces anytime I saw him. Not because I judge him but just to piss him off with it even though he didn't give two shits about it. However, I never wished or dreamt of ever being with him as he was everything I detest but now, it's just him and me.

"It's not a wedding Marion." I correct him.

"You don't see it that way but that's how it looks for me."

James Bay's song 'us' carried us through the entire night and Novan sways me to it.

This song speaks so much about us. It's as if it was composed mainly for us, me and Novan's crazy relationship.

We got married so unexpectedly and mysteriously at the young age of 18 and 21 then it was blessed in front of our family at age 19 and 22.

We still have a lot of years ahead of us and in the coming years, a lot is sure to occur but I pray none includes Novan and I separating that is if he chose me after agreeing to be away to make a final decision.

We haven't spent a lot of good times together but I am grateful that at least he was ever-present in my life.

Novan hums to the song and looks him in the eyes. One day, we'll listen and dance to this song with a happy face because then, we'll say, after everything, we made it.

馃幍After the wreckage
After the dust
I still hear the howling, I still feel the rush
Over the riots, above all the noise
Through all the worry, I still hear your voice

So, tell me how to be in this world
Tell me how to breathe in and feel no hurt
Tell me how ‘cause I believe in something
I believe in us
Tell me when the light goes down
That even in the dark we will find a way out...

We used to be kids living just for kicks
In cinema seats, learning how to kiss
Running through streets that were painted gold
We never believed we'd grow up like this...

So tell me how to be in this world
Tell me how to breathe in and feel no hurt
Tell me how 'cause I believe in something
I believe in us...馃幍

"I also believe in us Mariana. Please don't make me go away again." He hugs me.

I hugged him back and listened to the rest of the tune as it died down.

*****

♾️ |•DONOVAN•|♾️

I feel a kick at me but I didn't pay it my mind. It happens again and I feel something struggling on my side.

I sprang up and my eyes flew open. I switched the lamp on and On the bed to my side is Mariana who's throwing her arms and legs and shouting "No... no.. no."

"Mariana?!" I shake her by the shoulders.

"No, don't come near me! I regret everything. I wish I accepted the cautions earlier if not we won't be here today, I won't be here. You're mean and cruel." She says all that.

"Open your eyes, Mariana." I shake her once more.

"No, go away! Go away from me." She's even crying. It's obvious she's having a nightmare but when did she start having nightmares?

"It's me, Mariana. Please wake up. It's just a dream."

Her eyes open finally and she shoves me away violently when she sees me.

"Go away from me Novan." She crawled to the far side of the bed and coiled.

"What are you saying? It was just a nightmare."

"No no. It felt real. Please go away and let me be. Let me be happy for once Novan."

My heart broke. Why is she saying all this? Was the dream about me? If it was then what is it about?

"It was a dream, Mariana. Please forget it and come to me. Don't run away."

"You'll mistreat me again so I won't come. You always do that. You use my lack of control against me then torture me for it."

"No!" I groan and walk on the bed to her. She's sweating and her tears have stained her cheeks.

She fights against me when I gather her in my hands. I didn't free her until she calmed down.

She melts into my arms and sobs.

"Was it a nightmare?"

She nodded.

"About me?"

She nods again like a child.

"Since when did you start having them? You never had a nightmare."

"The day before I called you and you broke up with me over the phone is the day. I started having them."

"What is it about?"

"You. I dream of you mistreating me in every way and especially in public then you have sex with me when we come home and I overlook our mistakes. That is what has been happening always but today was worse. You turned into a complete monster and after humiliating me, you molested me and..and.." her voice breaks again.

I know this is a result of my actions and someone feeding a similar scenario in her head but she must know that I will never do it. I am trying to drop every of my bad habits that's why I didn't fight her today. I am trying a better way we can solve our issues without having to scream at ourselves. I want to be good for her from this day on and so I am deciding to forgive my parents, to let everything go because I have realized that, I will never have a smooth life or have a complete change if I don't forgive and let go.

"I am sorry Mariana." I comfort her.

"This is one of the reasons I want us apart so you can decide what you want Novan. You know I will always keep forgiving you because I love you but how long will I keep doing it? In the end, one of your actions will be the last straw and it will break me forever. I will never be able to survive it and We'll never come back together and that will be our end. I don't want that so that is why I want us apart for some time. Take all the time and think. Be sure of us and when you make it back, I want you to be kind to me. Your parent's betrayal, your father's death, your sufferings. All of it is stirring in you, coming between every step you make to recovery. I will be here for you always, Novan. Please do this for us."

I let her words sink. She's right to some point but I don't want to be away from her.

"Maybe my mind will be at peace if you accept to go and I won't have these horrible nightmares anymore." She added.

I sigh. This is so difficult for me to do but I can't watch her look so broken just from a mere nightmare.

"Promise me you won't stop loving me."

"I promise."

"No Edward will come into your life "

"No Edward."

"Have you cut ties with him?" I asked. He likes to make use of opportunities. Now that I am thinking of leaving as she requested, he'll come and be shooting his shots. That motherfucker.

"I have."

"How?"

"I slapped him at the wedding and told him not to contact me again. I haven't heard from him since."

"Good. That's my girl." I kissed her forehead. I'm so relieved. I wished she did more than that. Like cutting his balls or something.

"I saw your message. I'm sorry for causing your accident."

"It's okay."

"No, it's not. I don't like all that I did to you. I promise to treat you right Mariana. I will put the respect I have for you in my actions this time I promise."

"You can."

"I am doing this for you. I won't go anywhere again if you ask me to."

"Thank you."

We stayed quiet until I jumped in fright when I saw her bleeding on the arm and forehead.

"Your wound is bleeding Mariana."

"I suspected it too. I will call the doctor." She closed her eyes in pain.

"No, don't worry. I will see to it."

"You can?"

"Yes."

"You didn't bring, Nervisa." She said as I cleaned and dress her wounds at four in the morning in her room.

"Yes."

"Why?"
"I don't like how close she's getting with your brother."

"Me too." She admitted.

"What? You too?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

She shrugged.

"You?" She also asked.

"I don't know."

"Then we're just crazed." She chuckled through a whimper.

♾️||~MARIANA~||♾️

"Let me know when you get there," I told Novan and he just nods. I have come to drop him off at the airport before going to school.

"I will graduate the next two semesters." He revealed.

"Really?" It's next year around this time.

"Yeah. It's just three years so..."

"Thanks for telling me."

"I have to."

We stay quiet and I watch people filling the plane he'll take.

"You'll miss your flight Novan. Everyone is getting on board."

"I know." He groaned and pulled me into his arms.

"This is not goodbye. I am hoping you come back to me just the way you left but more improved and polished. We have come this far."

"Yeah. Hmm." He groaned.

"You'll be fine Novan," I assure him.

"All our lives as if being cursed, we've been away from each other when we didn't even want it. I missed you for ten years then when you came, we separated for another four months, a few weeks then a whole ten months. I left for almost two months then this which scares me to the bone because I have no idea how long it will take. We've spent our entire life apart Mariana but this is the last time. If we survive this and I come back to you the way you want it, we'll never be apart again. I won't go away even if you want me to and you won't leave me either. We'll have our happily ever after and if possible, we'll get a proper marriage all over again."

"Yes." I agreed. If we survive this, I will spend my entire life with this man. I will be selfish and never let him go.

He tugs on my shirt to pull me closer to him and hug me in the most overwhelming intimate way.

I breathed him in and listened to his heartbeat. I hold him tight, squeezing his abs.

"Don't forget that I love you more than breathing Mariana."

I know and I won't ever forget.

I took a step back and on tiptoes, I held his waist to kiss him. With eyes closed, I wish vehemently that this isn't the last time I am holding and kissing him. That this isn't our goodbye, the last time I will feel the way even his common kisses does to me that it makes me want to give in to the change and have him just this way. Standing in an open place with travelers and foreigners around, it didn't prevent the steady throb of electricity from buzzing furiously between us even while making this sad exit from each other for a while. Our fierce passion for each other still burns, I feel my constant need for him. I feel it breaking my resolve and I have to step back first.

He groaned with the frown he wore since we stepped out of my house to the airport just this time it was a deep frown. The deepest I've ever seen him wore. The last announcement was made and he groaned even louder in frustration then running his hands in his hair.

I can see clearly how difficult this is for him but it is for me too. I lean up and kiss him on his sharp jaw. "Call me when you get there." I peck his lips then kiss him again on the cheek.

I stepped back but he pulled me back and leaned his forehead against mine. " Please Mariana. I am so scared."

"Don't be, Novan." I hold his face in my hands.

"I promise to be good. Let's just be the way we are."

"Novan." I groaned as well. "Your flight."

"So you won't consider it?"

"We've already talked about this yesterday, Novan. Why are you reluctant now?"

"I am sorry I just.."

"Hey," I force him to look at me. "I will always love you no matter what. Even if we don't make it together, know that there's always a Mariana who loves you."

"Thank you. I am trusting you." He cups my face and kisses me feverishly and thoroughly.

"Can I mark you? Please." He asked hurriedly.

"What?" Is Novan not weird? He can leave me on his own but when I tell him to go because it is what we need in order to come back stronger, he acts as if he'll die. As if what I suggested is a deadly weapon against him and now he wants to mark me. If he hasn't stopped taking drugs, I would've said he's going mad. Are we some vampires or werewolves? And I am his soulmate?

"Can I?" He asked.

"Where?" Is the ring he gave me not enough?

"Please."

"It's going to hurt."

"No. I won't make it hurt too much. I promise."

"Okay." I hope it doesn't pain me too much like he said.

He raised my left hand to his lips and on top of my hand close to my thumb, the space separating the thumb and the index, Novan leaves a tiny cut there with his teeth. "Don't ever leave me, remember me always. Every day and night." He sucks the blood away till it stopped flowing. This is insane and psychotic of him but I am surprised that I didn't feel the pain like I am supposed to just like he said but I still felt it.

"I will always remember you," I said and closed my eyes as a wince left my lips.

"I am sorry." He rubs his hand on the cut gently.

"It's okay. I will do anything for you to feel secured."

"You're wonderful." He pressed his lips to mine and I taste and smell my blood in his mouth.

"Novan the plane is about to take off," I warned.

"Yeah. Take care Riana." He stepped back, took another step, then another backwardly, blew me a kiss then ran off speedily to catch up. My heart is in the pit of my stomach as I watch Novan hang dangerously on the airstairs. When he finally made it up and entered, my heart went back to its place.

I need Novan to fight for us else, this will be the end for us. I looked down at his priceless ring which is so rare and kissed it in admiration. I am so proud to have it on and the fact that I haven't seen a type before. I want to describe it but I don't know how to since I haven't seen anything close to it before. The gold band is light weighted that I don't feel I have a ring on but it's heavy-looking when you see it. The surface is a bit wide, just a little, the surface sparkles and has a reflective quality and it meets pure diamond in the form of a beam right in the middle of the ring and it keeps glowing and glistening. I love it. I looked back and saw the plane my husband was sitting in off ground.

Until we meet again, I will hope for the best.... For the man of my dreams and the only one who ardently, my heart beat repeatedly for and his for me. I know.

All along, our love has been like the ebbs in the ocean, periodically peaceful, sometimes turbulent but forever there. It's the only constant in our life. I hope that it pulls us back if not anything…♾️馃崅馃枻

★★★

Finally, there you have it. This is where the author planned to end it but it was taking too long to come. And look.. After 205 chapters,( It could be someone's five stories 馃槬) this Story Continues With another titled ♾️馃崅The kiss and now,

our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅..

 

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 01✓
[206] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~DONOVAN~|


〰️❤️〰️
A KISS I thought was momentary, just for a LIFETIME but that all changed and she became my LIFELINE. A memorandum of someone that I depend on to be happy, to be better then slowly became my sort of redemption. She's that to me and I failed to put my shits together but now, I am willing to do everything possible to make her my LIFELONG and finally unveil our AFTERGLOW because she is, and can only be the one for me. There's no other else for me, infinity and beyond. In the entire world, she is the one who loved the frayed flawed brood that I am and that too, unconditionally. She never stopped loving me and her love is that light that led me out of the darkness. Mariana never gave up on me and I haven't stopped trying. I am still trying and hope that we emerge stronger.

〰️❤️〰️

I stare at myself in the mirror for the umpteenth time just checking my outfit. I know there's no one out there for me to impress and even if there is, I wouldn't. It has to do with what I am wearing. The long gown. Initially, I didn't want to wear it but it's compulsory and the university won't take any excuse I gave so as not to wear it.

I came out and I saw Esther getting Nervisa ready for school while she sat at the dining biting into her toast.

"Are you leaving?"

"No, I am coming." I scowl at my ten years old sister.

"Looks like someone is in another bad mood again."

"Mind your business."

"Who gets sad on his graduation day? Only you but I can come with."

"No, I'll be fine." I touch her shoulders and begin to walk to the door.

"Will dollface be coming?"

Turning to look at her, I shake my head. "I don't know."

A lot of days have passed, weeks and months. In them, I have called Tricia once but couldn't talk so I had to hang up. Mariana and I talked for the first week and month frequently but as time goes, I hear less and less of her and now, her calls don't come at all. When I call, she doesn't pick all the time and just returns some of them and leaves a few formal text messages to which I refuse to reply. I want to believe that she's busy and that is what I suspected since I don't want to think of what else will make her not to talk to me like she used to and I missed her to the point I don't know how to miss her anymore.

"For your information, I asked her to come since you're being too of a panicky asshole to do so."

"What?" I turn back to her.

"Yes, I did because I honestly don't know why you wouldn't do it when it's obvious you need her."

"You shouldn't be interfering in my personal matters the way you do Nervisa. You're still young to understand certain things so stay off."

"Alright, bro. I just thought I could help but since you're a big boy and don't need my help, I'mma call her back to not come." She raises her brow at me with a slight tilt of her head in my direction to taunt me.

All along, I knew I am just a lonely sad lad going to sit among a group of happy students and their overexcited emotional parents and listen to their equally emotional speeches then praise their children and tell them how proud they're of them so I didn't think of seeing any family there and now my sister had to mention that she invited her. Before we departed, I told her about it but just couldn't request that she come. Hearing my sister say that caused her face to appear not like it ever went anywhere. I always remember Mariana. She's in my everyday thoughts, taunting and haunting me. I imagine her close to me and finally seeing her after six months. Six whole fucking months of not seeing my girl. Our poor communication scares me like hell and I pray she didn't find any better boyfriend than me. I know it will be easy because Mariana is quite a hot cake and will be a great fortune for any man who wins her heart. Not money wise but Mariana is excellent and has the purest and biggest hearts of all. Anyone who finds her is lucky and I don't want to let go of my luck. She is my luck and I am doing every possible shit in the last six months to be good. Not perfect but close to something like that. God, I love that woman and if there's anything under this sun that I haven't thought of doing before because I didn't know her worth, I will do it now.

"Why would you do that?" I finally ask her and she fucking rolls her eyes at me. "Because you clearly don't want her to be here."

I refuse to argue with her so I just nod. "Don't ever think of helping me until you're fit enough to help yourself." I raise my gaze to Esther who's arranging her blonde hair.

"You should go already with that hideous cloak of yours."

"Yes, I am going." I turn to leave.

"Go."

I smile and draw my gaze back on her. "Take care, Nervy and don't come home with a scratched face again. Marion wouldn't like a mutilated face." I tease her but also dead serious at the same time. She's a girl and it's turning to habit as Nervisa comes home every day with a new wound and a story of how it happened. Lastly, she'll get to my kitchen and start mixing weird things in the name of beauty paste to get rid of the wound and make her face smooth. I have noticed one thing she likes. Keeping herself beautiful always and I wonder who the hell she wants to please. Maybe because she recently won a beauty pageant that she said was held in her school. She forced me to come to watch but I have been too occupied with work, school work then Mariana who won't stop running in my head every fucking ass seconds that pass by. The last time, I almost gave into gravity to pull me down on my ass when I saw a makeup kit in her room then lastly, I saw her applying. Like what the fuck! She's just ten. Okay, that's not all. She doesn't walk the way she uses to anymore ever since she brought that weightless worthless thin fucking cheap crown home.

"You too take care and don't act all lonely. You have a sister and I love you a lot. We got each other even if nobody wants us isn't it?" She smiles so brightly at me that it pulls me from the door to her and I kiss her on the forehead.

"Correct." I return her smile before finally leaving and driving to the amphitheater where the graduation is being held.

Just like I had imagined this day, it's crowded as fuck with students who unlike me adore the stupid gown like it's their true love, and almost all the parents had a tissue in hand.

"Aww, what a sight." I snort and try to find my way around the arena which is stadium-like for my seat.

I find it and sits beside a girl who's about my age. She's holding an ancient button phone with who she's proudly taking selfies with from the back with her ridiculous cap sitting on top of her unattractive greasy hair. When she points the phone in my direction, she asks. "Could you look if my face is appearing clearly?"

I first glared at her before catching on myself and thought that I could tease her and tell her how pathetically she's rolling behind time to be having this shit as a phone. But then I thought again. What if she requests for my phone to take her images on?

I squint my eyes to her small cloudy screen. "It's okay. Nice." I mutter wickedly but so proud of myself for doing.

"Oh, thanks." She grins too wide at me and I quickly look away so she won't assign any task for me to do again which concerns her 80s phone and I had to dish out a lie all over.

I wasn't lucky enough as my eyes land on another girl next to me who's shivering like a chicken out in the snow just because she's anxious. Unlike the one with the ancient phone, this girl is pretty and using an Android phone which by just glancing, I deduce to be the latest version.

I wish it was Mariana and I will gather her in my arms or even make her sit on my lap then I will comfort and assure her that she's good and that she's coming out with flying colors. Bit, unfortunately, it's not her and my Mariana is in her second year instead of third and she still has another two more years to go. I wonder how she's managing to study two whole courses together and when we spoke in the first month, she told me she started an internship. Just how does she manage to come around all of it and her college course is not even an easy one.

"Excuse me?"

I turn to the girl with an ancient phone. "What?" I snap and wonder if I am now less intimidating if not how can she have the courage to call my attention.

"My phone isn't doing any good work at taking good pictures of me so I thought why not let me use your phone please."

The fucking hell.

"No!" I say the first thing that came to my mind and it's the truth. The fuck will I let her use my phone.

"Please." She attempts a puppy face and I just want to hit her across the face. Okay. I am being mean.

"Don't make that face," I tell her.

"Okay but please."

"I have a bad camera quality." I lie.

"At least it won't be bad as mine.."

She won't give up.

I got my phone out and when I hear her squeal, I want to put my phone back in my pocket.

"Please." She begs once more and I get the lock away and gives it to her.

"Thank you so much." Out of excitement, she snatches it. "Oops." She balances it in her hands and I realized she hasn't held a damn iPhone before.

"Careful with it," I warn.

"Yeah sure."

I look away as I begin to hear click after click.

The girl beside me seems to have run out of her tissues and the way she's looking at me, I hope she's not coming to ask from me an extra. So much for taking a culinary course. Fewer men and a bunch of Instagram bitches.

Looking to my side, the girl has pause and I see her fingers sliding on the screen.

"Done?"

She shakes her head and I look away towards the stage. After some minutes, she's still not done and I suspect she's doing something else.

Without warning, I snatch my phone and there she's zooming on Mariana's picture.

"The fuck!"

"Is that your girlfriend?"

"Tell me why the fuck you're looking at her picture instead."

"I am sorry but she's very pretty."

"I know." I snap.

"Okay. Can I have my pictures?"

I glance at her phone. "What can that shit do?"

"You mean?"

"I mean which of the social media is your phone is opportune to have?"

"Whatsapp."

What? I take another look at the phone and its blackberry but very old looking. I think it's a hand me down.

"Number?"

She mentions it to me and I marked her multiple pictures with whom even an iPhone couldn't pity a little to beautify.

They begin to mention names and I shove my phone back in my pocket as I prepare to get up since I am in the 'A' column. It reached my turn and I got up. Reaching the huge stage, I stumble back and almost faint at what I am seeing. Her smile is bright and beautiful just like her daughter's as she shares it with her husband. They look happy and...what..proud?

As an advantage of their huge influence across the globe, they get the advantage of taking the front seats.

I try to not freak so much and look less surprised as I take my walk for the worthless piece of paper then make it out fast to leave the amphitheater but that appears to be difficult as I keep meeting obstacles on the way. Graduates and their families are everywhere, hugging each other in the way, crying, giving congratulation speeches, and a whole lot of annoying bullshit. Clearly, I am the only one here whose parents didn't come for.

My eyes dart to a man hugging his son affectionately and I don't know why my fucked up mind will take me down the memory lane of my father but I can't help thinking of it that, if things were good right from the beginning and we had a great relationship, is this how it was going to be or death will still take him along the way. Though I hated him, I hate more that I couldn't experience any fatherly love from him or spend more time with her. I hate that I have to be so hard on him and enjoy the little moment he had on earth when he came begging for my forgiveness. I remember Mariana warning me against this kind feeling of regret but I didn't pay heed but now that I am experiencing just what she predicted, I wished that I had listened to her more.

Knowing there's no reason to get emotional over what had happened, I walked on towards the exit and my only aim was to get into my car and go. So sad and I feel it. This day is supposed to be a memorable one but sadly, I have no one to make it even as close to that.

My phone rings from my pocket and I reach for it. Staring on the screen is Paula's face.

"Turn around." She says once I raise the phone to my ears.

I turned as she said and there they were, husband and wife.

Scratching my neck nervously, I begin to walk to them. Despite knowing them, I get a little nervous around them because of their status.

Paula runs into my chest, taking me completely off guard.

"What are you doing? Your husband is here." I attempt one of my old-time silly jokes in a whisper to her.

"Let him see it."

"Such confidence."

She steps back and grins at me. Pablo steps closer with a smile. "We're proud of you. Congratulations son."

I stare at them speechlessly and hope that my cheeks are not red for them to see. I agree, hearing Pablo call me son makes me warm inside. Only a few words I exchanged with this man since his daughter and I became a thing but this man is the one who changed my overall view of things and I suddenly wish to be something close to him. Through him, I discovered my shortcomings. His words made me go back and think hard on it. I begin to see reality. A reality for me if I don't mend my ways. I came to know anger was one of my greatest problems so I went for anger management, still learning to control it...

"Where have you zone off to?"

Paula's voice wakes me from my thoughts and I look everywhere but them.

"Why did you come? You had some business and decided to pass by?"

"Should we have something to do in America before coming to our son-in-law's graduation?" Paula wiggles her brows at me.

"No...I just..I didn't think you'd come."

"Why not? Have you forgotten how you're related to us? You're not just any other person to us Everett. You're important."

I look up at Pablo and I know if I'd come out a girl, I will be falling on his shoulder in tears. How can he say all the right words that it touches me so hard?

"Thank you for coming. I didn't expect it so I am glad." I express my gratitude.

"It's nothing. We're just not happy that you didn't invite us. Why Donovan? Don't you consider us family?"

"That's not the case." My eyes look around to search for her. I'm beginning to feel her presence if I am not dreaming or imagining. "Did Mariana come?" The question leaves my mouth before I could stop them.

"You should know. Is she not your wife or you've forgotten which I will be very disappointed at you for." Pablo seems serious and I curse myself for asking such a dumb question. Mariana and I haven't made it known to them what is happening in our relationship though that night in their house almost gave it away what skeletons are buried in our married life. To them, they think we're together and happy despite the distance.

"No no. I just haven't seen her here and I am beginning to panic that she didn't make it." I hate to lie but I got no choice in this situation with how Pablo is eyeing me skeptically.

"My daughter doesn't know how to disappoint. She'll be somewhere around. Just call her." Paula preaches proudly about her daughter.

"Sure." I smile at them.

"Care for lunch or dinner to celebrate you?" Pablo offers.

"Well.." I begin to look for excuses to turn him down.

"You don't have to agree now. I know you must be having a lot of plans but in case you want to hang out with my old lady and I, we're available at least for the next two days." Pablo presents me his card and puts his arm around Paula who elbows him playfully for calling them old I am sure.

"Thank you so much." I put the card in my wallet and smiled again at them.

"I told you I am saving my congratulations for something worth deserving for so here it is. Congratulations Donovan. You really proved me wrong. I was panicking that the person my daughter is involved with had no future but look. Not only do you have a degree but you are an international culinary award winner with a gold medal. I've also realized over your bad parts that you're a good and sweet soul. Now I know my daughter couldn't have found anyone better than you. I am seriously proud of you and I know you'll keep making us proud. You mean more to me than a friend or in-law. You're my son.." Paula wipes the few drops of tears from her cheeks and I, being taken over by the overwhelming feeling of hearing these words from her, I couldn't help not hugging her. I am so fucking emotional right now for receiving such love from these kind souls.

"Thank you too but you see. I am not a fan of emotional drama so I am escaping from here." I step back as they laugh.

"Alright but just know we are and will always be there for you so you can fall on us for anything at all. And I will also like for you to meet a few people I know who are in your career lane. I think it will be helpful but I am okay if you think otherwise."

"Yeah. Thank you." Not being proud but I am the type who wants to strive and acquire my own things that is why it pains that Mariana has to interfere in my competition. I like to be independent. To depend on myself especially the building of my future. I appreciate Pablo's help and I saw the big people he took me to just that I had to decline any help from them unfortunately but they assured that they're ready to help if I am ready to be helped.

We said goodbye and I thank them honestly for traveling from their continent to another just for me. That, I will never forget. In a way, they filled in the void my parents left behind. So after all, someone came to witness me graduate and not just any other person but the Dominguez.

I resume my journey to exit the premises.

Walking to my car in the parking lot, I see a red Ferrari parked in front of mine and there's no way I can move out if the driver doesn't move out of my way. Looks like a car Mariana will drive. That girl drives heavy machines like Lamborghini, Benz, and the rest. You won't see her in anything other than that.

I focus on the red Ferrari and I hope the person is in the car if not I will have to go back and search for the owner of it which is impossible. This car is expensive and I haven't seen anyone driving it around campus so it's either a guest or a celebrity. I guess it will be easy to find the owner if this is the case so why not find out first?

Walking to the car, I knocked on the window three times and when it didn't open, I knew that the person was not in so I walked back to my car. Getting to it, I hear a car door open and I turn just in time to see the Ferrari occupant emerging from it in a slow-motion style. It's a woman. Her head pops up and the wind hovering around the parking lot blows her hair back revealing her exotic most angelic face in full view as the sun nails it by spreading its golden rays over her and her face. God, her beauty is radiating even more than the sun. She looks like a water goddess and some Hollywood star. I begin to look for my breath as I have lost it when she smiles nervously at me but turns out the most beautiful smile I've seen in six months. My hanging jaw paves way for air to enter my lungs and when I finally closed them, it passed the wrong tract and I began to cough silently.

Has she been here all along inside her car or she came to witness the ceremony and is running away once it is over?

Which is which?

Her remaining feet stepped out and she closed the door and leaned against it, her eyes fixed directly on me.

Me being a coward couldn't look at her as I feared I would break down and cry like a whore who has been denied her pay after being banged by her client thoroughly.

And so I let my eyes fall to her body where she wears a gown which wickedly hid her body and legs from me. It was a long gown that was almost sweeping the floor and it's not fitting. However, it looks really good on her. It's a strap gown so I can see her smooth arms and admire how much her deep tan glows under the sun. My eyes descended to her left hand as I began to search for the ring I slipped on for her.

Out of a nervous act, she raises that hand to tuck her long hair behind her ear when my heart disconnects from my chest and drops helplessly to the ground for not seeing the ring on her. The scar of the mark I gave her is present which is my only consolation but doesn't do much to the hurt and fear I feel inside.

♾️馃崅

★★★


♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 02✓
[207] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~DONOVAN~|

〰️❤️〰️

I lean on my car for balance then drops my gaze to my feet. I have so much to talk to her about, about what I have been doing with my life and how far I came but they're all lost in my head only leaving the pain that she took of our ring.

I bit down on my lips and raised my gaze once more. It's so awkward and none of us is muttering a word. I didn't imagine that seeing her after six months will be this awkward. I thought just like soap operas, with a cinematic move, I will be running into her arms and her into mine but here we stand about ten feet apart and not saying anything.

Her eyes begin to match all over me and I do the same to her. It's such an overwhelming relief to see her again after such a long time.

I looked down at my cloak and wished that it was not what I was wearing so she can see me properly and how much I worked out.

"Novan." She calls me first and her voice is as smooth as chocolate and sweet as honey on top of it. I miss it.

I galloped in nervousness to her then left just 4 feet between us. " Thanks for coming." I didn't mean to say this. Damn me.

I lifted my eyes to her face and I couldn't look away as she's got me hypnotized with her advanced beauty. Her brown eyes are so full of life, bright, sharp, and sparkling. Her hair is longer and she's just a glow. All the girls that I have known or just seen, Mariana is the only one who doesn't seem to be intimated by me. Not in the least. She's always been strong and has this kind of confidence that doesn't falter. She's the kind of girl who bleeds inside but manages to bring clear water out. She throws a happy face around when she's not okay. Mariana is that strong and brave which is something I think is beyond what she went through growing up. Today, her confidence and how strong she looks are on a whole new level. She looks so strong to be moved by anything and I love it. That is why it kills me inside when I do something to her and she has to bring out how broken she is from the inside to the surface. I hate to see her that way and today though my heart aches that she put the ring down, I am glad to see her so composed and collected.

"You didn't think I would come?" Her voice holds a slight disappointment.

"No."

"Then what is it,Novan? You didn't want me here, did you? I should have known." She huffs and brings both hands above her eyes to shield her face from the harsh sun.

As much as it's making her radiate, I won't condone it being a disturb to her and her skin or her beautiful eyes and so I look in the direction of the sun and moves to it to cast my shadow on her.

Her hands return to her side. "You didn't have to do that. What about you?"

"Me?" She's still so caring when I have to. This girl wants to get burnt while I remain intact. She doesn't know I am a great fan of her gorgeous tan which is now glowing so much.

I moved my hands over my hair to brush my hair back as the sun was burning the skin behind my neck. My hideous cap falls to the ground and from the corners of my eyes, Mariana rushes to get it.

I bent down almost at the same time she also bent but she picked it first and when I got up, I gave her a hand. Her small smooth hand falls in my while mine wraps securely on her then lifts her to her feet. Our little contact sparks something in me, breathes a life into me at once then the burn begins to take over. Our eyes meet as if she also felt it then I step back from her, removing my hands from hers.

"You shouldn't have bothered. I look like a clown in this and having it over my head anyway."

She chuckled softly. "You don't like the outfit do you?"

"Fuck! I hate it."

She raises her brows but still maintains the smile on her face.

"I haven't stopped swearing."

"I didn't expect you to."

"Yeah."

"You don't look bad in it." She fucking begins to check me out.

"Stop."

"No. I won't" She laughs and the sound is so sweet. "You don't look bad."

"Please." A smile forms on my lips seeing her attempt to tease me.

"Have your beautiful cap."

"Beautiful cap huh?" I walk forward and plunge it on top of her head. Not like anything ever looks bad on her but this was funny.

She gets it off in laughter and throws it at me.

I caught it. For a moment, we both laugh and got lost in it. Staring at each other and laughing. I miss getting playful with her.

"You watched the ceremony?" I pray she says she did.

"Yeah. I watched all of it." Another relief takes me over.

"Was it good?"

"Good? God, it was boring but you kept me entertained."

"How?"

She smiled deeply.

"I saw Mr. Anderson in the midst of two ladies then watched you walk and took the paper then walked back."

"How?" I asked again.

"Because I was far at your back and I had my eyes on only you the whole time. You were all I could see Novan. I am so proud of you for coming this far."

Her words weaken me and I reach to her then pull her into my arms. She didn't stop me or step away. I wrap my arms around her and breathe her familiar sweet feminine scent in. Her soft body comes against mine and I wish again that I was wearing lighter clothing.

"I am sorry for not calling you always." I apologized and she stepped away from the hug but we were still close that I could hear her breathing.

"It's okay. I was also busy by the way and I knew you also were isn't it?"

"Yes. The graduation and work. How have you been?" I asked.

"Good. Just occupied with school and work. You know the going gets tougher. My double course is quite tiring." She complains.

"You don't need to work."

"I have to." She replied quickly and bit her bottom lip. "Why didn't you invite me?"

"I am sorry but it doesn't mean I didn't want you here." I take a look at her. "You were trying to run away, isn't it? You'd left without even seeing me?"

"I felt unwelcome and I didn't want to ruin the space we were giving each other and you know what happened the last time when I couldn't give it. I was scared that I am going to ruin everything...I still couldn't stay behind and not come."

"You took the ring off too." I level my eyes om her hand. I couldn't help the pain that coursed through me. I had her fucking name on my wrist like a fucking badge with her chain on top that makes me look like Ben ten. I still had our ring on. Something I've always detest and won't ever have on my hand but I wore it for her through this entire time.

"Well.." she looks up at me, blinking while searching for the excuse she'll throw in my face for taking the ring off.

"Novan I took it..." She tries to explain but someone calls in.

"Hi, Mariana."

I turn and saw Tricia with a guard following her. Is it only Mariana she saw here?

|~MARIANA~|

We turn to see Tricia and I felt happy to see her at her son's graduation.

"Hi, Tricia." I hug her and I felt her kiss my hair. "It's so good to see you again. I miss you too much."

"It's good to see you too."

"Is he in a good mood?" She asked silently.

"Kind of." I stepped back and I see the nervousness in her as she approaches Novan.

"Congratulations son. I hope it's not bad that I came."

"It's okay." Novan replies, surprising his mom and I. Before, he'll be yelling and telling her to leave or asking who gave her permission to come but now, Novan said he's okay that she came, that she doesn't mind her presence.

Wow.

They didn't say anything else and I decide to step back for them to talk. I came here even though I didn't get an invitation from him just because I thought he'd be alone since Novan had no one but me but I thought wrong. I was totally thrown back when I saw my parents sitting at the front then watched them chase Novan to just catch up with him before he leaves. I watched them talk to him then my mom hugged him. The sight was emotional and relieving for me. Novan is not alone when he has my parents because I know they always will be there for him. Fuck. The duo left Australia for him and they didn't even tell me. I got into my car to leave but couldn't help thinking if I could just talk to him and see him close. This made me stay in the car for long just thinking about him. I miss him a lot and seeing him from afar is not enough. Just then, three knocks came against the window of the rented car. I saw someone in a cloak and the person's fist but not the face. However, it will be a sin if I couldn't recognize my better half.

He walked to a car opposite to mine and opened it. I realized If I don't get out, I will miss the only chance of seeing him.

This is my chance.

I opened the door and got out then enjoyed how his eyes widened on me then he began to cough.

Betsy was right about this dress not being great for me to wear. I wished I took the short homecoming dress to wear instead so he can see me properly...

"Don't go anywhere, Mariana." Novan's voice cuts through me.

I stop in my tracks and turn to him. " I'm still here," I assure him.

When I looked up, I saw a familiar group of people making it to the parking lot. His friends.

Now I've realized I really thought wrongly. There was no need for me to be here that's why he didn't even invite me. I thought he'll be lonely but just see. Novan isn't. He has my family, his mom, and his group of friends. What a fool I made out of myself. Once again, I broke our rules.

I dodged his friends by taking another exit out of the lot as I hear Nina yell loudly. "You motherfucker!"

|•DONOVAN•|

"How's Nervisa?" Tricia asks me.

"Fine." My eyes remained on Mariana. She told me she'll be here but the thumping of my heart tells me that she can leave. That she's not being completely honest.

My eyes moved to the group of people coming then groaned though I am surprised to see them. I have never considered them friends except for people I party with and now there they are in their numbers in America for my graduation. This makes me feel guilty for how I have always regarded them. Even without invitation, they came just like they helped Mariana when she had the accident.

"You motherfucker!" Nina yelled as if she's still in Australia but I understand.

"You didn't invite us and now you're leaving?"

"No I know he never considered us his friends. We're okay that you said you didn't want to do shit with us anymore and you don't spend time with us because you feel you'll be tempted to fall back in with us but what stopped you from letting us witness this day with you?" Ronnie complained bitterly.

"That is not the case guys. I was.."

"I will be leaving. Have a nice time but I won't mind if I can see Nervisa." Tricia requested politely.

"You can go see her."

"Thanks." She smiled Nervisa's kind of smile.

My eyes begin to search for Mariana but when I didn't see her, my heart skipped a million beats.

'No' it came out from under my breath. "A minute." I did the apologize sign to my friends then begin to run around the huge lot.

After searching all around and behind every damn available car, my eyes begin to burn.

Mariana didn't leave, did she?

I returned and when I saw the red Ferrari, I consoled myself that she's still around. I panicked for no reason.

"I am grateful that you all came and then sorry for not inviting. It's a long journey and I just didn't think you guys can make it."

"Telling us wouldn't have been bad," Evan said.

"I know. I am sorry."

"We're not forgiving you until you agree to come with us somewhere."

"No Nina, not now," I said calmly but impatiently. I know all she cares about is to party and we've both had the same mind before but not now.

"You don't want to be forgiven." He puts her arms around my neck.

"Mariana is around. Please understand." I whined. How can I party when she's around?

"Ohhhh" they all chorused.

"Yes."

"If you say so." Courtney smiled at me. "Guys we can give him this time at least. Tomorrow you can drag him to wherever."

"You're right. We need to rest anyway." Eva seconded and I silently thanked her. If she hadn't taken sides with Courtney, the others wouldn't have agreed especially Nina.

"Alright. We're seeing you tomorrow." Nina kicks at my car tire while Evan nudged me before they left.

I leaned back on my car and waited, waited for Mariana to come. Cars moved out of the lot one after the other until there were just a few. Scared but I still didn't lose hope. The sun hides it face behind the clouds and slowly, darkness begins to fall on me. The lights around came on and brightened the lot. No single person can be seen around anymore as all graduates and parents have left. I had a little hope remaining. Mosquitoes and the cold outside pushed me to enter my car. One look at her Ferrari and I entered my car then kept a close eye on her car. I tried. I was watching. When I blinked again, I realized it was gone. I checked the time and realized I've slept for two hours. I jumped out of the car and looked around. I can't believe this. I tore the long gown away and buried my hands in my hair. With great pain in my chest and just one tiny hope left, I got into my car and called Pablo that I am ready for dinner. I should've asked whether Mariana is with them but I didn't. If only I knew, I would've.

I walked past Nervisa and Tricia in the living room and throwing a shirt over my head and pulling my jeans trousers on, I rushed out to the venue I got texted.

"We made some small arrangements." This was what Paula said but when I got there, it was clear she had different meaning to 'small '.
Big restaurant reserved area, a huge cake, lots of drinks, beautiful decorations and even guests.

"Thank you." I forced a smile at my in-laws and the guest. Unfortunately, Pablo and Paula don't know that I am not a fan of fancy and extravagant things.

I searched for only one person in the multiples while I cut the cake.

"Where's Mariana?." Paula and I say at once I was done cutting the cake.

"Wait. She's not here?" I blurted while feeding her a piece and the one I took first which was incredibly amazing turned bitter in my mouth.

"Is she not with you? We saw you two together." Paula asked back, mouthful.

"No..I..." I am lost for words and I find my hands going into my hair to pull it but controls myself.

"Wait you two. I will call her. For now, Paula please bring him to the table." Pablo smiled at his wife and his hands dig into his pocket for his phone.

Paula directed me to a table with four seats and I sat.

"What will you take?"

"Anything you have." I try to smile. God knows I am only here because of her.

Pablo came and sat once the food came. I look at him for any information about Mariana."

"Something came up. She said she can't make it."

I choke on my lobsters. I know he's lying with how he's throwing me a sympathetic look as he gives me a glass of water.

"Why wouldn't she be here?"

"I just said it, Paula."

Knowing what their next question will be, I stuff enough food in my mouth so that I won't have to answer.

"Is something happening between you two?"

I simply shake my head.

"Then why won't she be here with you?" Paula keeps asking and I keep putting food in my mouth till she kept quiet and while they dine silently, I died and burned slowly...

I know she left the country. That car was rented so she left it there to be taken.

My question is, why would she leave? I know she'll eventually go back but why so quickly and without a goodbye?

★★★

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 03✓
[208] of the LIFE SERIES.

~THREE MONTHS LATER~

|~MARIANA~|

〰️❤️〰️

I'm having work today but since it's Friday, I didn't go and came to MD instead. My mom has been busy throughout the day in the production area since I arrived. It's almost lunch and I want to go with her but she's just occupied. Too occupied.

I sat on the couch close to the window and pulled the drapes to the side to take in the view. Cars drive-in, then leaves, workers arrive for their shift while some own ends. I planned that I am spending the weekend with my family and not on campus this time. My stomach churned and I looked back at my clock. I brought my eyes back to the window and I saw him or just my imagination or someone who just resembles him. He came in a cab and when he entered the building, I couldn't see him again and so I got up. I walked back and forth in my office for close to five minutes before stepping into the hallway. I know I couldn't have mistaken him. There's Novan in his usual dressing and his hair falling to his face from the sides. His body seemed to be more defined with the way they contract at each movement.

He passed the receptionist and when he took the direction towards my office, blood rushed through my veins, I felt hot and my heart thumped loud along. I closed the door and just by peeking through the pinhole, I watched him get closer.

He didn't stop at my office and threw a glance at it instead he walked straight to my mom's office. Minutes later, they both came out chuckling with Novan holding my mom's bag just like he used to hold mine when we were schooling together.

"Hey!" I greeted him with a wave and they stopped in their tracks.

"Hi." He said.

"Came for me?" I smiled at him. It's another three months since the last time I saw him at his graduation

He shares a look with my mom. "No, came to see her." He pointed to my mom.

"My mom?" I couldn't control my surprised expression.

"Yeah, your mom." He said cooly.

"What... what.. of me?" I stammer.

"What about you?"

"Nothing." I shook my head and walked back into my office.

First, it was that he didn't invite me to his graduation, then the second, he refused to talk to me when I called after that. The entire three months, our conversations were boring. I knew there's something wrong with him but he won't say it. Today he came all of a sudden and said he came to see my mom. What of me? Am I not his wife or girlfriend anymore?

We thought things would get better this way but I feel him slipping away, my relationship slipping off of my fingers. We're so distant than ever and miss him like never before.

I lost my interest in everything including food and I am glad that I wasn't working in anyone's company other than my own parents.

Taking my bag, I drive back home and locks myself in. He's doing this because he has people now. People love him and I am not the only one. He has realized that he won't be alone even if I leave him. I miss the times he'll beg me to not leave him and wish things were like before... wait...I don't mean to say things should go back to the way it was but I wish he'll be lonely and I will be the only one for him..okay. I never thought about this before but I think I made that confession of his that he can't live without me a weapon against him. Now that I think about it, those words were responsible for some of my actions. Because I think he can't do without me, I go out with Ed, Dylan, and do things he doesn't like. That's bad but why didn't I realize before?

'He was still clinging but now that you're apart and he actually prefers to be with your mom, you knew.' my subconscious clarified.

Yeah.

I changed out of my working clothes and laid on my bed.

I picked a novel I've been meaning to read for long and dig into it. By the time I finished, I turn a weeping mess as the book was so emotional. How can one person suffer so much? From being haunted by his nightmares then the nightmares began to play in his life. At a very young age, he lost his mother and siblings in a terrible accident then after some months, his father died while trying to save him from drowning. His aunt came to pick him out of the country to live with her and her daughter. His aunt turns out to be his worst nightmare ever and tormented his life through and through. How can someone be so wicked to an orphan? I cried ugly throughout the book that my red tired eyes have to give in to sleep to rest.

I feel hands moving slowly at my back plus the churning of my stomach so I opened my eyes.

My eyes met a pair of hazels and blinked to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

I reached for his face. "Novan?"

"Yes."

I dropped my hands and got up to a sitting position.

"Have you been crying?" He raised my chin to look at my face in worry. I missed him worrying about me so much.

I nod and he sat on the bed, came closer, and wrapped his arms around me. "What happened?"

"It's the book I read when I came home. It was so sad, Novan." Tears pulled up in my eyes again.

"So I am not the one."

"No why would you think that way?" I looked up at him and he looked guilty.

"Because.."

"No, I know." I interjected."What are you doing in my room?" I got away from him.

"Came to see you."

"Were you not the same person who said it is my mom you came to see and not me?"

"At that moment, it was her."

"Since when? Are you two for real?"

"What? "

"Are you like friends?"

"Yeah. Your mom and I have been good."

"Since when?"

"Before my father's death."

"That's so long. You never told me."

"We were on and off. Never stable."

"I guess you just have a problem with keeping a relationship stable." I got up and walked out to the kitchen with him following.

"Hey wait." He whispered.

"No."

"Are you jealous?"

"Of course I am," I admitted and began to look for leftovers. "I am sure she made you wear those shirts you wear but you won't ever wear them if I say."

"Oh hoo." He wrapped his arms around me from behind and for a minute, I got taken aback by our sudden intimate position that it makes me shiver. It's been so long he's touched me this way.

"You don't have to be jealous of anyone and not your mother?"

"Not jealous per se but you denied me attention and gave it to her instead."

"And I am here now." He pecked my neck and goosebumps spread all over me. Up my shoulders, I looked at him and got lost in his beautiful eyes.

My stomach growled, remembering why I was in the kitchen in the first place and I wiggled out of his hold. "This is my family's kitchen."

"Did I say otherwise? Bad mind Mariana."

"You're the one influencing my mind. Bad influence."

"Oh me? I didn't do anything." I felt a smile in his voice as I embarked on my search.

"Are you looking for food?"

"As you can see."

"You're hungry?"

"Don't ask me dumb questions." My nerves are at the edge, even more, when I didn't find anything to eat.

"What? No food?" He walked past me and checked. "Let's eat out then?"

"Us?"

"Yeah. Us."

"Okay." I walked ahead of him back to my room but on another thought, I stopped for him to lead. I can feel his eyes spreading warmth all over me.

"Why?"

"You were looking at me just like the other time."

He chuckled and led the way without arguing.

I selected skinny jeans and a hoodie crop then walked to the bathroom to change. It's funny that I am still doing this.

I put them on hurriedly and came out with my hair held up in a pony.

He stared at me for a long time before speaking up. "Ready?"

"Yeah."

A motorbike is what I saw when we walked out. "Where's your car?"

"I didn't get a car this time and this will be faster." He got on it and I just stared at the deadly machine.

"Don't be scared. Get on it and let's roll."

"It's scary."

"You just have to hold me tight, relax and you'll be safe. Don't you trust me?"

"Yeah." I put my hand on his shoulder and got on it.

"Now hold me." I did as he said. "Where did you get this idea of having a motorbike?"

"Have you forgotten before? I haven't lost my bad boy vibes since high school sweetheart."

I smiled at the memory and put my hands around his waist, my head falling at his back. "I haven't forgotten."

"Good. So what are you going to take."

"Anything eatable."

"Hmm." The motor sparks to life and I jerked.

"Don't be scared honey. Just hold me tight."

"What is with you and sweet names tonight?" I asked with a silly smile.

"I don't know. I.. can't stop it. It just keeps coming."

"Okay."

"Why? Don't you like it?"

"I like it," I admitted and put my head back against his back. The feeling that he's here with me is so great that if I wasn't even hungry, I would get on this bike with him just so different can be this close to him.

"Ready?"

"Yeah." I shifted really close and held him tighter.

"Mariana, will you come sit in the front instead? You're pushing me off."

"Oh sorry." I pushed back but still had my arms around his torso.

He sped into the streets and I closed my eyes.

"You'll enjoy it if your eyes are opened."

"No."

"Just try it."

"Maybe next."

"Okay."

After some minutes, he stopped and when I opened my eyes, we were in front of a restaurant.

He turned to me and helped me get down before himself. The restaurant wasn't big and neither small. We got what we wanted and by the first taste of the food, it was nice. I ate quickly in silence as I was hungry.

Novan picked at his food and looked at me the whole time till we were finished.

He paid the bill and I didn't protest. "You didn't have lunch did you?" He asked when we stepped out.

"No. I was waiting to go with my mom but you..."

"I am sorry."

"No, I should've eaten when I came home. I came early." I decided to not make it his fault though it hurts with the way he ignored me.

"Yeah. I didn't see you when I returned so I waited."

"I left."

"Like always."

"Huh?"

"Nothing. Let's go." He grabbed my wrist.

"Where?" I stopped walking.

"Home or where do you wanna go?"

"Anywhere you'll take me."

"Let's check the cinema then if any movie is showing."

"Really? You wanna watch a movie with me?" This is the first time we'll be doing this.

"If you don't mind."

"I don't." I smile and he grabs my hand. We got back on the bike and this time I let myself loose and enjoyed the ride. We got tickets for the next movie to be on show and I cried through it all. It was so sad just like the book I read.

"Sorry for making you cry again," Novan says once we got out.

"I couldn't help it." I wiped my fresh tears away. "Life can be unbearable and so unfavorable sometimes. Many people go through such hardships and we don't even know about it."

"Come here, my emotional wife." Novan opens his arms wide for me and I walk into it. Bursting into another level of cry when I hear him sigh and the relief I also got for being in arms for such a long time. I don't cry because of the movie or book anymore but I cry for missing him so much.

I wipe my face on his shirt then look up at him. "I miss you Novan."

"Me too babe." He held my face in his large hands. " I miss you a lot."

"When did you come and why?"

"I came to your mother's company straight from the airport when I learned you were there. You're the only reason why I am here."

"Then why didn't you come to me first? I really thought you came for me. It really hurt Novan."

"I am sorry."

"Why did you do it?"

"I didn't like that you came to my graduation then left without a goodbye."

"If you needed me there, you would've given me an invitation but you didn't and when I came, I realized that everybody was just there for you. I didn't want to ruin what we've been trying to arrive at for so long so I have to leave."

"Who said I didn't need you? I need you more than any fucking body else in this world and you're so important to me. Why wouldn't I want you there over those people you saw?"

"You'd have made me come."

"That's not the matter. It's not right that you left. I waited for you Mariana. I waited for so long but you didn't show up and I felt hurt. I went to your parent's party thinking I will see you but no! "

" Don't make it about yourself now. I felt really terrible when you didn't invite me. You have no idea do you?" I remember how reluctantly I took the plane in sadness back home.

"It's okay. It's been three months and there will be no point arguing about something that has already happened. Let's move forward."

I look at him to check if something wrong is going on with him. "What did you say?"

"You heard me. It's bad to feel bitter about something that is already passed. It won't benefit us especially when we have to fight over it."

"I am sorry for leaving without a goodbye." I looked into his eyes.

"It's alright. I am also sorry for not telling you to come."

Our eyes held and we smiled from there at each other.

"Did you see what happened?" He asked and tucked a strand of my hair back from my face.

"We solved a misunderstanding without having to yell," I answered. "Was it the reason for how things got tense between us all these three months?"

"Yes. I was trying to deal with my hurt another way and also, I finally got the courage to call my mom twice and talked to her once."

"Really?"

He nodded shyly. "It was awkward and weird, really."

"Oh god, Novan. I am so damn proud of you. I love you." I hugged him back again. He worked things out with my mom and won her heart now he's trying with his mom. That's great and too good.

"But you didn't kiss me." He mumbled and I smiled as I pressed my lips to his. With my hands holding his waist and his hand under my jaw and the other on my shoulders, Novan kissed me with so much affection and love. I miss how minty and sweet he always taste, I miss how our tongue fight, connect, and move against the other, I miss how he swipes his tongue across my lips before diving in again, I miss the way he sucks on my lips gently and harsh at the same time then grazes his teeth on it. I miss the fire his kisses spark in me. I miss the soft purr that falls out of his mouth when I kiss him hard and suck on his tongue or lace them. Novan nibbles on my lips bite it softly then teases me and begins all over again. "I love you Mariana." He said into the kiss.

"And I love you, Novan. I love you." I breathed and went back to kiss him. As breathless as we both are, we haven't had enough and there seems to be no time to be spent on breathing. He runs his hands on my back then on my arm.

"I am so sure of you. You're my beginning and will be my end. You mean everything Mariana." He said against my lips and stared deep into my soul through my eyes.

"Sure?"

"A zillion sure."

"Let's get out of here." I couldn't control my happy smile. I feel I will burst or my lips will tear.

"We walked hand in hand from the cinema to the bike and we went to his old house and room.

"You have been here since I left?" He asked the moment we got into the room.

"No." I lied.

"Don't lie."

He knows everything.

"Just once."

"Come on Mariana."

"Okay okay. I come often. Anytime I come home to my family. I feel closer to you when I am here. We've shared this bed so many times, Novan. It makes me feel better when I am here."

"I knew it. You haven't stopped being creepy have you?" He tapped on the tip of my nose.

"Should I remind you that this is my husband's house and room?"

"No, but don't call this place our home." A frown creases his forehead.

"Why?"

"I'll get us our own home where we'll live forever one day. Not here." He promised.

"I'll pay half."

"No. A man provides the home and brings his woman."

"That's ancient. Let me do something as well."

"I'll think about it later but for now, I need to get out of my clothes and hit the shower." He began to take his clothes off.

His shirt was first and when I saw his body, an involuntary moan left my lips. He turned to look at me and I blush. God, Novan has the perfect body. So defined and beautiful. His chest is wide and all his packs are now so prominent. My hands itched to have a feel of it.

"I will get into the bathroom to finish." He tries to leave.

"No, don't go. I want to see." I sat on the bed, my lustful eyes directly on him.

"You sure?" A small sexy smile tugs at the corners of his full lips.

"Yeah, please. I miss you." I repeated. I bring my tongue out to wet my lips.

"Okay okay." He took his jeans off and when he got to his boxers he stopped to ask me if he should go ahead.

"Please," I begged and he peeled it off at a go. I gasped and didn't know when I started biting my lips in hunger. Novan's v angle to below. So hot and sexy. I see his dick hardening bit by bit under my sinful stare. It's been a long time I saw a dick except for my hands. I miss it. His own only.

I crossed my legs tight and dig my nails into the mattress. The air has been sucked out of the room. My body is warm and tingling. I run my eyes from his chest to his feet, eye-raping him all the way.

I can cum just by staring at him.

"I am going now." He turns around and leaves.

I sat there and feel how much I was dripping in my panties. The drive-in

I got up and took my clothes off as well then followed him into the bathroom in a haste.

★★★

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 04✓
[209] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~MARIANA~|

〰️❤️〰️

Standing at the door of the bathroom, I salivate at the sexiest and most beautiful man under the shower in front of me. Knowing that he's already aware that I am here and watching him, I step closer.

From the back, my hands snake around his waist while I do well to make intimate contact with him by pressing my body against his.

Looking at him and his presence has made me so hormonal. I can't seem to control it and it's driving me nuts.

I lick the water that dropped from his hair to his back away and I hear him gasp.

My hands rub his slippery wet chest and I pinch his nipples before letting my hand descend to hold him.

"Fuck Riana! What... what..fuck!" He turns with the washcloth still in hand. "What are you doing? I want to bathe."

"And I want to hold you," I say without shame and he remains silent, his Adam's apple bobbing anytime he gulps as his dark eyes take me in.

"I want to bathe." He turns around again.

I turn him back. "Novan, I am here."

"Yes, I know."

"Then?" I locked my hands behind his neck, throwing my body in his view but he looked in my face only. I cock my head to the side and make the most sexiest face I can come with. "Don't you want me? You don't wanna touch me?"

He breathed and licked his lips.

"Don't you want to throw me against this bathroom wall and take me from behind? Don't you want me to go on my knees before you while you dig your nails on my waist and fuck me deep? Don't you want to throw me in the damn bed and..."

His mouth came fiercely on mine, silencing me as he caged me on the bathroom wall I just spoke about. " Damn you for making me go this crazy Mariana. You have no idea how badly I wanted to push that skirt you wore to work up today and take you right on your desk when I first saw you. And I want to fuck you against this wall right now till you're all sore but.." he pecked my lips. "I won't."

"Why?" My voice came out like a mouse. Full of disappointment.

"Because I am trying to be a gentleman."

"For what?"

"I just returned today. Jumping on you for sex won't make it appropriate. I can fuck you anytime but not today even with how hard I am for you."

"It doesn't matter." I looked down at him. I don't like this part of the change in him. I reached to hold him and he stepped back, laughing.

"Come on Novan." I followed him.

"No. He kept laughing then grabbed himself with his two hands, to cover it from my view but it was impossible. Novan Jnr is so long and big.

"You're gonna hurt yourself." I cautioned while walking fast after him. We're walking all over the bathroom with him trying to get away from me.

"Since when did you know so much about what mens go through?."

"I know. You'll get blue balls."

"I can manage. It's not a new thing. And is penis you've been googling about all this time?"

"No." I stopped pursuing him with a flushed face.

"I see."

"Don't." I turned the faucet on and began to wash myself.

"I caught you." He slapped my ass gently while laughing.

"I was learning okay. Some new things."

"And you chose penis. Hmm. Whose dick was in your mind all along." He's the one now behind me, intentionally rubbing his hard-on on me.

"I have seen no other but yours," I answer him truthfully.

"It's a lie." He stepped away."

"What? You don't believe me?"

"All I know is you're lying. My dick couldn't possibly be the only one you've seen? I know you."

"Oh. So you..you... think I am sneaking behind you.." my lips trembled and my eyes water. This is the worst he could think of me. Yes, I've been researching all about penis when I wake up at dawn missing him. I wanted to know why it is that his boxers always raise and get tight on him during those wee hours. I realized it is all men who experience that so I went into details to know why boys go through that. Then I...

"You won't lie that you haven't seen penis drawings and pictures in your textbooks."

"Of course I've seen them before.."

"Then what are you denying?"

"What..wait. is that what you mean?"

"Of course. What were you thinking, silly babe?" He put his arms around me.

"I thought..oh.. you're crazy." I splashed water in his face and she shakes his wet hair in my face in return.

I laughed and reached out to bring him close for a hug under the shower. "I really thought you doubt me."

"I am happy to know nobody swept you off your feet in my absence. I will lose it if that happens."

"Nobody will know how to sweep better than you."

"You mean cleaning?"

"No, you crazed husband." I bite his chest slightly. He breaks into laughter instead, tightening his arms on my body. He's still harder than ever.

"Let me take care of your worry down there baby. I promise to make you feel good and better." I whispered in a low moan into his ears and smirked when I felt him shudder and I saw goosebumps on his neck and beneath his ear.

"Excellent try but I refuse to back down you little pretty temptress." He tickled me and I stepped away.

"Why are you doing this Novan."

"It's nine months Mariana. It won't be well with you down there if I lay my fingers on you. For now, enjoy my generosity because it's not going to last for long."

"You're playing hypocrisy. If you'll definitely do it then why not now? It won't change anything later."..

"God! Stop making a case for me. I know I need to get off and I don't want to use you though that's not how it will be but remember that I don't have sex with you just for the sake of it. I do it's because I love you. I failed to show that all the time and it appears that I am selfish. You see what happened 9 months ago in America. It looks like we're all about sex.."

"It's not. It's just the explosive powerful passion and chemistry between us. We can't avoid each other and you know it. It's just that, our reactions after that belittle what we had and leave it with no meaning."

"You're being super understanding tonight. Thanks."

"You're also being more thoughtful than you ever were."

"That's enough." He gave me a towel and another for himself and we both walked out while drying ourselves.

"How did you know I've been coming to your house and room?"

"It's clean. I can't feel any dust."

"Sharon didn't leave."

"But she doesn't have my room keys."

"Okay." I accept that I have been caught.

He sat on the bed with eyes on me as I dried my hair.

"I can wear your shirt right? I don't have any nighties here."

"I don't mind. I will also check if I still have some clothes in there." He got up and my eyes just couldn't stay away from him.

"You have." I tried to tear them from him but I couldn't. When he finally got a boxer short from his closet and wore it, his eyes met mine and I looked away.

This time, he's the one who is looking so intensely at me, setting fires in me.

"You're looking at me."

"I know."

"Then?"

"I didn't complain when you were eye-raping me few minutes ago.This is my time."

"To shine?" I chuckled, enjoying how his eyes are admiring me.

" I guess. You're so beautiful and this is even more. You look more beautiful than the last time I saw you. More than I've imagined all these months. You've even added weight. Your hair is longer and your tan is glowing. You're so gorgeous and I love you for everything ."

I blushed at his words and put his shirt on. I barely could hear his scent in his teddy but this is more. I can feel and smell him. Above all, he's in the room with me.

"I am 20 years Novan. What did you expect? skinny carcass?" I chuckled.

"No. Come here you sexy fuck!" He beckons and I giggled even more.

I got into bed with him and he covered us with the comforter. One of his hands went under it and I know where it went and what it was doing.

"I don't mind," I told him simply and traced my thumb on his lips. I want him just as badly as he also wants me. I feel sore all over and I can't stop imagining his cock buried inside me.

"Come here, babe." He made me lay on him and he wrapped his arms around me.

"Let's talk. Tell me all that has been going on in your life for the past nine months and what you've been doing. I want to know everything."

I looked into his face and began to talk while he listened attentively while kissing me every second since my face was directly facing his. I told Novan about work and the mean secretary in my father's company who always gives me an attitude. I told him about school and how I've become a little close to his friends and he panicked.

"I hope they didn't introduce you to anything or make you do it?"

"Chill. They didn't." I answered with a half laugh and moan. Novan's hard dick is poking me all through the narration.

I told him about the organization and Evermar who has grown up and talking fluently. I told him how beautiful they're and even showed him pictures. He agreed that they're nice and didn't say more. I went on and told him about some of my favorite kids so far and the sponsorship offers. I told him about Toby's constant sickness then about how I had a low grade in accounting then had to do more the next semester and ended up with an A. I told him about my brother turning thirteen and how I can't wait for him to get all grown-up. I told him that I met Ciara one day when I was taking a stroll around the cabin in the woods and we had a small chat. I told him that Dylan got a girlfriend and Lenna also started dating a guy in my class. I told him that I haven't seen Edward in a long time and heard from my father recently that he traveled out of the country. I told him about how I suspect that my grandfather is seeing another woman after Simona broke his heart.

"What? They dated?"

"Yeah. My grandfather once loved her so much but she ended things between them."

"That lowlife. I found out she's living with her skinny ass hoe of a daughter in my father's house in Melbourne. I wanted to send them away but got to know that she had an affair with my father and he actually gave that to her. I couldn't do anything because it was in his will and backed by law. Those whores."

"It's okay. They need it."

"You think? I wish I could kick them out."

"That won't be needed. I'm glad he didn't Will everything to their name but it's clear you and your sister matter more and him giving them that house and maybe a few cash is just out of humanity. Your father's soul needs that."

"You always say the right words." He kissed me again for the millionth time.

"Tell me more." He smiled sleepily at me.

"Okay." I smiled back and told him about Mike's girlfriend then about Morgan's upcoming graduation next semester. I started telling him about random things happening in Australia at large then how far my father's company is stretching to other countries. I don't hear Novan responding again and when I looked at him, his eyes were closed and his mouth partly open. I didn't get up, instead I pecked him goodnight and placed my head on his chest. I wanted to hear him ramble about what he has been doing also but it's okay. Tomorrow is also another day and I can't wait to wake up and see him with me.

|•DONOVAN•|

〰️❤️〰️

I felt warmth and wetness around me then something soft and wet began to glide and slide over me. I feel a mouth around me then begin to suck. I hear a low groan then I am sucked harder then went deep. I bucked my hips and thrust gently.

"FUCK!" I opened my eyes.

What the hell is happening to me? I was dreaming? But..it hasn't stopped.

I looked down and there was my beautiful sexy Mariana sitting in between my legs naked with my dick buried in her mouth. Fuck. I fixed my eyes on the glorious sight, watching her beautiful face and moaning to the good work she's doing on my dick. For the past nine months, I have imagined her lips around me almost every day. I fucked my hands countless times assuming that it was her but none have I felt like this I am now. My days were miserable. I haven't been sexually inactive for that long before. A whole fucking nine months and I haven't fucked yet just a picture of her and I will be hard as fuck. I go to the washroom or just in bed with her picture in my face, I work to get a release. Not anymore.

She blinked her long lashes at me when she realized my eyes were on her and stopped but my cock was still in her mouth. So sexy.

Way to say good morning. Wow, Mariana. Who would've thought that this sweet innocent girl would become so dirty?

"Please." I urged her on then she rolled her tongue on my tip, taking me deep then sliding her tongue on my veins as she sucked. How did she learn to give such a good head?

Her hands are around my base as she deepthroats me. I moved out a little so she won't gag then thrust gently back into her mouth.

When I came to see her sleeping in her bed yesterday in some thin clothes apart from the one she wore to the office, I just wanted to wake her and make love to her. I started running my hands on her then over her lips. Pecking her over and over again until her eyes opened. Her face looked tearful so I have to calm myself and remind myself that I won't jump on her like I always do. Though I want to fuck her, I didn't come because of that. I miss her and I wanted to see her in person. Mariana means more to me than the mind-blowing amazing love and passion-filled sex we always have but it's also needed. Though we always seem to fight afterward, we've always had great sex which is far from just sex itself. I feel her love for me while I am buried in her and I know she feels mine too. I feel the closeness and the bond.

I knew I would make love to her today. I wanted to yesterday with how she was teasing, acting sexy to seduce me but she forgets that she doesn't even need to try. Her body alone is enough just by a glance for me to be seduced and going crazy to be inside her. She's really looking beautiful and mature. My woman. When I saw her yesterday I almost wept. Like I can't believe how lucky I am. She told me that I am the only one and she still loves me even though I still don't see the ring on her.

And she told me a lot yesterday..fuck. she's had me deep inside her mouth again then looking at me and batting her lashes. I lost it. I feel the overwhelming pressure running through my veins to my cock.

"Fuck Mariana...I am coming..." I couldn't finish as I filled her mouth. She licked it away and swallowed.

She smiled brightly at me obviously proud of herself and muttered. "Good morning."

"Come and sit in my face Riana," I said, meaning my words. I want to taste her and make her come in my face badly. I miss her sweetness on my tongue.

"What?" She was surprised and shy. "Sit over your face?"

"Yes, babe. Hurry." This is our first time doing this so it's okay for her to be shy.

"Okay." She smiled beautifully and crawled to me. I kissed her first and tasted myself on her tongue. I move my hands at her back then below. I rubbed her, circling my finger on the bud of nerves while I kissed her to swallow her moans. She gasped and held my shoulders tight when I slipped two fingers in her at once then pumped into her. So wet, soft, warm, and fucking tight.

"Now hurry and spread your legs over my face." I got my hands from her soaking pussy and she winced at the lost of contact.

Shy but in a minute, she had her legs at either side of my face and I can see and defined the plane area of her sex. Pink swollen and dripping. She's so turned on. Fuck me for trying to be a gentleman and not giving it to her yesterday.

"Novan."

"Mmm." I inhaled her fresh and sweet scent.

"Stop looking and get to work."

I laughed. So hard and she swats at my arm.

"It's quite the view though."

"Jerk."

"It's clean-shaven, I can see pink, clit..."

"Novan!" She whined and I pushed my tongue into her at once. She screamed, really screamed, and buried her nails in my hair while mine found her waist and dug into it.

I moan against her, breathing into her then licking, sucking, and lapping at her delicious juices. Her moans filled the room and I got even harder. I fucked her with my tongue faster and went as deep as I could into her, tasting her completely and enjoying how mad I am driving her.

"Oh God Novan..." She went rigid and began to shake, filling me with her juice while my name pour out from her full lips with multiple I love you(s).

She fell back weakly and I carried her into the bed beside me. I watched the sweat lining her creamy skin deliciously as her beautiful large chest heaves and she tried to catch her breath with her eyes still closed.

"How was it?" I asked when her clear mesmerizing brown eyes opened and kissed her sweaty forehead.

"I can't explain..it was mind-blowing.. and.. fantastic."

I smiled at my world and cleared the hair sticking on her face away.

"Here I thought we've done anything sex." She breathed with a lazy smile.

"There's more we haven't done yet babe."

She turned on her side to look at me. Where do you get those naughty ideas from anyway?"

"Where you got the idea of blowing me early in the morning while I am asleep."

"Novan!" She covered her face. I uncovered her face and came on top of her.

"Do you want more or you're okay?"

She looked down at me and gulped before nodding.

"Talk."

"I want more."

My lips fall in the crook of her neck and I lick her salty skin, biting her then sucking on her flesh.

Her hands reached beneath me and began to stroke me. I brought my lips back on hers then my hand traveled in between her thighs. I fixed a finger into her then curled it. She's so wet already.

"I am going to enter you now," I said as I parted her legs and positioned myself.

"Yes please."

I brushed against her entrance and she hissed, her teeth gritting as she shudders.

"I don't have a condom." I couldn't go any further.

"It's okay."

"The last time too we didn't use it, did we?"

She shakes her head.

"Then did you take a pill afterward?"

"No."

"What? Did you get pregnant?" I looked all over her for any sign.

"If I did, won't you be seeing me with a big belly which will be due this week or a baby with me?"

"Yes, but why didn't you get pregnant?" Okay, that's a cheeky question to ask.

She closed her eyes and when she opened it, I saw pain and sadness instead of the love in it before.

I feel her thighs try to close as she fumbles to explain, her eyes glossy. "Well, I didn't..tell you... that.. I... I..we.. no..I... I'm sorry..I.."

she's stuttering so much and nervous.

"You weren't fertile at that time?"

"Yes." She agreed immediately but I know she's lying and busy hiding something from me.

"What were you so upset about? It's natural but today, it might be unsafe for us. I will get condoms later so we can continue from where we stopped okay?" If only she got on birth control. I wouldn't have to worry. I waited for her to protest like the other day, months ago to go ahead but she doesn't.

"Okay." Her voice is silent and I rolled off her but still stayed close.

"Breakfast or you say you've already had?" I smirked at her.

"I already had but since I've missed your food and seeing you cook, I'll go for breakfast." She smiled and I saw myself drawing close to kiss her as if her smile was some magnet or has a magical power that is working on me.

Not even distance can quench the fire and bring an end to the magnetic pull between us. We're so different but they did say unlike poles attract with a force while like poles repel right? Mariana and I don't repel. We have a force of attraction and a love that is not dying anytime soon.

We're different yet similar and that makes us, even more, better for one another. This is not toxic? To hell with the judging world who thinks that is what our relationship is...

★★★

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 05✓
[210] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~MARIANA~|

〰️❤️〰️

I managed to wriggle out of Novan's grasp into the bathroom after that dramatic yet tense moment when he has to question my fertility. It looks like Novan is not ready for a baby that is why he still thought of condoms and when he just got off me without trying to do anything. I agree that the sudden confrontation almost quenched my mood but not entirely. I still want him and I anticipated that heavenly moment when he brushed me then pressed against me to enter and had to stop to talk about some stupid rubber.

I take the only available toothbrush and cut a paste on it. My mind takes me back to when I woke up.

I found myself still on top of him and his warm member hard in between my thighs. I got myself from him quietly without waking him and took the shirt I wore off, leaving me stark naked. Sitting on the bed cross-legged, I stare at his cock. The sight alone clenched my core and brought wetness to it. I wanted to sit on him and have him. I wanted to fuck him but that will not be me. After so long without penetration, I want Novan to be awake so I can hear his moan while he fills me. I won't take that from him.

I took him in my hand, moving my hand up and down on his length then, I licked his tip, sucked on it then licked it all over. He stirred and moaned but his eyes were still closed. I took him all while I ran my hand at his base. He kept making crazy moaning sounds but won't open his eyes and I liked the look on his face as I blow him. He thrust into me that I almost gagged. When I looked at him again, he still had his eyes closed. I brought my focus back on his cock until I felt his stare on me. It was only then I felt embarrassed about how he was looking at me in full amusement. I continued only when he urged me on then he filled my mouth with his come. I enjoyed it but not like when he made me sit on his face. God. I can still feel the way his tongue lapped around me and moved inside of me. I can feel...

"If you're done daydreaming I would like to use the toothbrush." His voice interrupted my thoughts. I turn to see him behind me.

"Get another toothbrush."

"There's none and I can't go to a shop now but I have to brush. Please hurry up." He yawned, his head falling to my left shoulder. I jerked it away but he didn't budge instead, his hand round my waist.

I nod with a smile and hurried up just like he said. I washed the brush under the tap carefully before handing it to him and stepping back for him to occupy the space before the sink.

He takes it without question and I cringe when he begins to use it. I remember some time ago, we both stood in front of this mirror and I did imagine us being couples and now look, we're couples.

"Stop making faces. This is not the first time is it?"

"No, but it's weird. I haven't shared a toothbrush with anyone before but you of course."

"I can share even your panties."

"If you're not crazed." I walked out. I picked something to wear and got down to the kitchen. Sharon isn't around so there's no food. I set the coffee pot and filled some for myself and Novan.

"What are we doing today?" He walked in and I gave the cup to him.

"Whatever you want us to do but food first."

"Okay foodie. I will go for some groceries then I can make something."

"I'm coming with."

***

"That is enough." I scold Novan and begin to push the cart from him. He's behind me and keeps dumbing whatever he sees in the cart.

"When are you leaving?"

"Maybe Monday."

"Then don't put more items here."

"Sharon might need it. Who knows."

"I know but I said I'm hungry and we keep wasting time here." I groaned as my stomach growled along.

"Oops. Sorry." He took charge of the overflowing cart then pushed it to the counter.

"A minute." He said when we got there and raced back into the shop. The lady at the desk began to calculate the price of the things we took and when she was almost done, Novan came and threw packets of what I recognized as condoms on the counter with so much confidence. The saleslady raised an eyebrow at the both of us and I looked away with a red face. Novan has got so many of them. It could be ten or fifteen.

"What? Do your work or I find a way to make you do it." He snapped at the lady and she diverts her gaze instantly.

He laced our hands and pressed a kiss to my forehead. I smiled my embarrassment away as his public affection and leaned into him for more if possible.

"Why so many of them? Did you see how the people around were looking at us?" I asked when we were out.

"Is that what you care about?"

"No, but you're too ambitious."

He laughed. "It's because of the way you're behaving. A round or two is never going to be enough for you."

True.

"I guess so."

We got inside the Uber we called for with our things in the trunk.

When we got back home I got the pleasure of watching him cook with ease and confidence while sitting on the island. He doesn't seem to have a problem with anything. He just went about it easily and I enjoyed it all including the meal which was super tasty and nothing I've tasted before.

"Have you thought of going into any other competitions?" I asked as we ate.

"I have but I won't tell you until it's due."

"Oh. Why won't you?" I asked again.

He gave me a quirky brow. "I haven't forgotten the last time."

I sighed without saying more until we were done eating. I loaded the dishwasher and walked back to his room with him following with gentle steps.

"Why don't you take me to see the twins?" He asked out of the blue when we got in and that really did cheer me up.

"What?"

"Can we go and see the kids?"

"Of course. Why not?" I gushed in excitement

"Yes. Now.." he stepped closer to me. " kiss me?"

His fingers trailed on my jawline then he stroked my cheeks.

"What for?"

"You know I would never agree to go to that smelly organization of yours." He pressed his nose to mine.

"So is it some sort of bribe?"

"No, but you haven't kissed me since morning."

Alright. I placed my palms against his hard chest then on my tiptoes I placed a kiss in the corners of his mouth before coming down.

"Only that?" He pouted.

"Let's save it all for later. We might not make it to the place if we drag it on and I want us to leave quickly before you have a change of mind."

"I didn't mean to hide anything about my work from you." He said, making our eyes meet.

"I know. You're scared that I will interfere. Again, I'm sorry for going against you the other time. I just thought I should do that but I didn't give any money out.."

"Then what did you do?"

"Well, they didn't wanna pick you and when I begged, they decided on assistant chef. I know you don't deserve that and you wouldn't want that so.."

"Why?" He rubbed my cheeks softly.

"I am aware of what you can do and making you an assistant won't do justice to your future and your confidence. You didn't know you can do it and I detest you always being pessimistic about your life. In the end, since I had so much faith in you and what you can do, I drove a bargain."

"That?"

"If you fail to bring the trophy to Australia I am going to give half of my properties to compensate so you should be made. They still didn't agree though. They were scared but I kept on pushing and pushing then finally they agreed and.."

"I won." His smile is gentle and affectionate.

"Correct." I smiled back at him, feeling proud all over again of this talented man who has consumed every ounce of me.

"You drove a hard bargain babe. What if I didn't win?"

"I knew you would."

"So much faith and trust. Thank you."

"No. Don't thank me. I was the happiest person that day you won. I was so sure about you and you didn't even disappoint me."

"What if I had lost?" He repeated his question.

" I will accept and move on but you'll always be a winner in my eyes because you tried. I always say it's better than not doing anything at all."

"You would've lost your money."

"I know but it's not all about it. I'm so ready to risk it on you."

"You don't risk something that you haven't worked for." He stated flatly.

"But it's for me for now and I am the eldest child. I have every right to what my parents own."

"Yes..so don't you think you're to protect it? And don't have to be throwing it away like that? Somebody worked for it. Just imagine your hard work being thrown away. I didn't like it when my father pulled that stunt. I feel like I can see what your father felt.."

"You're making me feel bad now." I couldn't meet his eyes. I looked down and began to step back.

"No don't. I'm just saying what I think."

"You're scolding me. Not saying what you think." His words are sinking deep and I am feeling guilty each step it takes to sink.

"Okay. Forget about it. Shall we go?"

I nodded.

"Oh come on fine girl." He pulled me by the waist to him and wrapped his arms around me. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," I mutter dryly. I was foolishly ready to lose what I didn't work for to him just because I think...

"Fuck me! I am an asshole." He pulled back to look at my face.

"I'm sorry...I didn't mean.."

"It's okay." I stepped away.

"If it's okay then smile." He jumped in my front.

I forced a smile. "Happy?"

"No. That's not the smile I always go crazy about. The one I have etched in my skin. So smile, please. I am sorry."

"Don't say you're sorry. You're right. Let's get going." I found my shoe and began to push my feet into it.

"If you don't smile, I will make you."

"You're mad."

Before I could catch on to his warning, Novan's hands began grazing my sides then he began to tickle me. For the first minutes, I grit my teeth and tried not to smile but it wasn't long when I got thrown into full laughter.

"Novan stop!" I tried to hit his hands away but it's unfruitful.

"You wouldn't even smile. You were mad at me and fucking sad. I don't like that."

"I am laughing now. Please stop!" My abs have started to hurt already. I can't control it. I fell back on the bed and he came on top and wouldn't stop.

"I enjoy seeing this."

"Please. Please." I said breathlessly.

"No. Promise me you won't make a sad face and you won't take my words to heart."

"Alright alright!" I don't know how much more tickles I can take before combusting.

"Sure? Promise?"

"Promise. I promise." He stopped and got up from me then helped me up. We changed into different clothes before leaving the house.

Novan and I took the bike and since I forgot to tie my hair up, it flew everywhere. Hitting my face and getting in my mouth.

"You need a haircut, Novan," I shout over the air blowing around us. "And put the helmet on please."

Apart from my hair, his own is also a nuisance to me.

"No."

"Your hair is flying in my face. I can't see."

"Put your head at my back." I did as he said but it didn't solve much.

This might look fun but I prefer to be in a car with Novan where he'll have his hand on my lap or steal glances at me. After what seemed like forever on the bike, we arrived.

Emma and her sister Everly were the first children to run to me when they saw us.

"Hey there!" I kneeled on the grass to their level and hugged both of them. "How're my pretty munchkins doing?"

"I'm good. Don't know about her." Emma points to her sister.

"I'm perfect." She said quietly looking towards a tree where a colorful bird was perched on with just a little interest.

Everly is the cool type. She hardly talks and always sits quietly by herself. Anytime I come to see them, she embraces me then that's it. She won't talk much. While Emma is outspoken, she's reserved.

"Is that your husband?" Emma whispered to me then her brown eyes went up to look at Novan.

"Yes."

"Is he mean?"

I shook my head.

"Then why is he not talking? He's glaring at my sister. See."

My eyes went back to Everly and truly, she and Novan are now in a glaring competition.

I got up and nudged Novan. He's going to scare the little girl away if he doesn't stop. "Is this the reason why you wanted to come?"

"I'm just going to sit and wait for you okay." He looked slightly pissed, something I've not seen in a long time.

"Thought you said.."

"Yes, I've already seen them. Don't make me see the others too."

"Okay."

He walked towards a bench under a tree in the garden.

I took the tiny wrists of both girls in my hand and they walked side by side of me to the entrance. It was then the rest got to know that I came and rushed to me. I lost my grip on one of the girls when the children threw themselves on me, knocking me to the ground like always.

I didn't bother to stand. After each of them came to hug me, we sat on the grass and I made them tell me how they're doing one after the other. We had lunch together and there was no Novan or Everly to be seen. I played a lot of games with them and before nightfall, they all went to have their bath and the little ones had their nanny take care of them. I took charge of Emma and got her ready for bed.

"Where's my sister?" Emma asked and I looked around the girl's room. Everyone was on their bed but her.

"A minute." I got up to ask their caregiver when Novan walked in with Everly tailing behind him.

"Where have you been?" I questioned.

"Nowhere."

"But I haven't seen you around since we came until now."

He shrugged and leaned on the door while from the corners of my eyes, Everly ran to Emma.

I feel as if something is bothering Novan which he doesn't want to say to me. He's been off ever since we got here and he was even the one who suggested that we came.

I turn to the girls, ready to say my goodbye. Goodbye is always the hardest and it draws me to tears when I have to.

"Have you taken your bath already?" I asked the little girl. It was great happiness when I heard them call my name for the first time and answered the few questions I asked them.

"I have, just now."

"Who bathed you?"

"Your daddy." Her pink lips form a pout as she raised a doll to her chest.

"My daddy?"

"Yes. That's him." Everly points to Novan. "And he fed me. I just have to sleep. He's a nice daddy. I wonder if we could share."

"You can," I whispered very quietly and smiled softly at her.

I took her appearance in and she has indeed been bathed. Her hair is done nicely and the choice of pajamas is also cute.

"Alright. Y'all should go to sleep." I kissed all of them goodnight but Emma and her sister last.

"Why don't you read us a story before you leave?" A tiny voice said before I could close the door.

"Don't do it. It's time for us to go." Novan whispered to me,. dragging me back literally.

"I'm sorry." I mouthed to him and walked back into the large room which contains 15 children of ages 2-4. Novan doesn't know how much these children mean to me. This is the only way for me to experience what it is like to be a mother.

"You don't have to worry. It's getting late." Dakota smiled at me.

"No, I want to. It's not a bother." I went to their shelf and selected a bedtime story.

Dakota, their caregiver brought me a chair and I sat in the middle. I cleared my throat and began to read the mouse and the Lion. Before I could finish, they all had slept. Novan dragged me out impatiently that I heard Dakota giggle. If only he knew that I have more rooms to go to before I leave. Luckily for Novan, the other children's room ranging from 5-8 years have all slept. As for 8-12, they're all grown so I just said a simple goodnight to them then to the workers and we left.

"That was taking forever. Thank God it has finally ended." Novan sighed behind me.

"Where did you take Everly?"

"She came to me under the tree and wouldn't leave."

"I see. She said you're my daddy. What did you discuss with her?"

"Nothing. She asked if I am your daddy and I said yes since you're my babe." He laced his hands with mine.

" I missed you the entire day." He kissed the top of my hand.

"I was here."

"It didn't feel like it. Those children took you away from me. I regretted making us come the instant I saw them rush to you."

"That's why you looked pissed?"

"Yeah."

"And you thought it was nice to glare at the innocent child?"

"She was looking at me and I waited for her to look away but she wouldn't."

"You must've scared her."

"Unfortunately no! If she got scared she wouldn't be with me the entire time."

"And she said she wants to share my daddy." I chuckled and put my head on his shoulders as we walked to the parking lot to his bike.

"Didn't you tell her that I am hooked to you alone?"

"I told her she can."

"What? No! I don't want children issues now."

That should make me loosen up a bit but it dropped my heart.

"I told her she can."

"What?!"

"Yes."

"That is not fair. Don't you want to enjoy me alone, have me all to yourself?"

"I already have you but they can have you in another way."

"As in?"

"As their daddy."

"Don't talk bullshit." He got his hands from mine.

"I'm not bullshitting."

He stopped walking and took a look at me. "Tell me why you're so obsessed with these kids"

"Everybody loves children, Novan. And like everyone, I love them."

"Yours is so fucking far from that. More than. You gave them home then you still come here to do shit with them on a regular."

"Maybe it's because of the internal peace I feel within when I see smiles instead of tears on their faces. It's a priceless feeling."

"You spend a shitload of bucks here. When you can keep it for yourself."

"What's the point? It's about what you impact with what you have if not, you have nothing at all. What do I gain if I have all that money resting in my account and people are out there who can't even afford good drinking water?"

"Some people are just so damn lazy. They sit and expect manna to rain as if they're in ancient Moses time waiting to reach the promised land."

I chuckled at his Bible knowledge. " I go for the helpless kids, not adults. Adults need decent work to do and they're good to go."

"You're doing great humanity work and you're genuinely and naturally kind."

I gave him a hideous shy goofy grin and he gave me a smile that made me know how much he meant the words.

"Maybe you can make us adopt the twins." I pushed my offer in his face and instantly regretted it when his demeanor changed.

"I'm sorry."

"No, that's not the problem. We'll have our own children when we're ready one day. I don't like it when you bring up adoption."

"Sorry."

"It's fine. Let's get going."

He got on the bike and I placed my hand on his shoulders to climb up. "Please use the helmet."

"No."

"Please."

"Why?"

"I can't lose you," I mutter simply and he fixed it.

"You won't lose me."

"Thanks." I snaked my arms around his waist tight and rested my head on his back.

"Please don't sleep. You'll fall off." He warned and that made me laugh.

After some minutes of night breeze blowing over me, my eyes began to close. I opened them when I realized Novan's words.

"I'm dozing off Novan."

"I will speed up."

"No. I will get scared." I protest.

"Then what are we doing?"

"I don't know. I can't keep my eyes open for long."

"Get down." He stopped the bike. When I came down, he made me sit in front of him with my face buried in his chest, legs wrapped around his waist and hooked behind.

"Try not to sleep too deep." He said and took off.

He did say I should try not to sleep deep but I only felt something when I felt my body dropped on a bed. I opened my eyes and realized we're home.

"Hope I didn't give you too much trouble riding." Novan is taking his clothes off. My eyes are fixed on his sexy body that cause all sleep to scatter from my eyes and set my body ablaze instead.

"You did. You sprinkled your drool all over me and filled my ears with your horrible snores." He kicked his feet out of his boots and peeled his jeans off.

Chuckling, I got up and began to take my clothes off too.

"Will you go back to sleep?" He steps leisurely towards me.

"Why? You want something?"

"Yes. You. I haven't had you all day. I am so done with being a stupid ass gentleman." His hands trek in the valley between my breast as he sucks on his bottom lip seductively. When he raised his eyes to mine, the passion I saw weakened me so much that my hands moved quickly to my back and fumbled with my bra to unhook it.

His deep consuming eyes that had fire in them took me over with a sharp breath gushing from his parted lips and clammed them to mine in a kiss filled with fire and intense fervor. I returned it with the same energy, smashing my naked chest to his and surrendering myself to him to do whatever he likes. He can take all of me and I won't bother asking back. I have belonged to Novan, I still belong to him and forever will. I give myself to him, all of it— I'm all his.

"You know I love you right?" His warm breath rasped against my lips.

"I know."

"Don't ever forget."

I couldn't respond as he took my lips back the moment the words left his sinful lips. I took slow steps back,. leading us to the bed and tugging him along. I have wanted him for so long and now that it's coming to me, my blood is pumping violently as my pounding heart pleads for mercy. In a few minutes to come, I will have him buried in me..oh God. I love this man just as much as I lust after him. The two blends together are like a moth to a flame.

|•DONOVAN•|

If I knew we would be spending long hours with the lads, I wouldn't have suggested that we go. I'm leaving on Monday and I want to have Mariana to myself as much as I can all the days of my stay. Seeing those kids take her from me pissed me off. They worried the shit out of her and she gave her all-out meticulously to them that she had to start sleeping once we got on the bike. Even if we won't get intimate, I want Mariana fully awake with me even if just chatting and smiling at each other.

Putting her on the bed, I wanted to wake her but I knew just how tired she must be so I decided not to wake her but as if the universe heard my woe, it smiled on me and I saw my angel open her eyes. That was pure relief for me. I crave more and more of her but it's not all about the sex. It's about that closeness that comes with it that I've been missing for nine fucking months. It's that trust she has installed in me to allow me to touch her the way I do. I am so lucky to have Mariana and it hurts that I failed to realize that earlier. No, I knew. I just kept messing up and being a really big asshole. I had to picture myself without her to realize just how she means to me and how great of a blessing she is to me. This girl is not common but I have her, all of her and I am not letting go of even a piece. She's mine, just mine and I am hers.

Even now that she's leading me to the bed, it's because of just how much she loves me and the trust she has for me that she made me see a part of her that she hasn't shown anyone before. That's a privilege for me.

I want to go down on her seeing her lying on her back with legs wide open for me but this moment, we both know what we want. I can eat her out any day but this is what we need now, our seeded closeness smoldered with so much love.

I took a condom out and while rolling it on, I admired the sexy goddess in my bed. My hands moved to our entwined initials tattooed on her waistline and her waist chain. Isn't this beautifully amazing? While I have her name on my wrist with her chain tying around it unknowingly, she has our names tattooed on her waist with her I billion-dollar chain on it. We both didn't plan this.

"Novan.." She whined in a sexy tone which begs for my hurry.

"What have you been doing with your hands when I was away, Mariana." My cock is against her and my lips worshipped her neck.

"What?" She pretended to have no idea.

"What do you do with your fingers, Mariana," I whispered in her ears and watched the goosebumps that my voice created on her delicate skin. "Did you use it on yourself?"

"No." She gasped.

"Maybe I didn't say it well. I mean did you fuck yourself with them while I was away?"

"I didn't." She denied but I know.

"Really? Who are you lying to?" I stopped kissing her neck and stared into her beautiful face.

"Okay. Fine. I do it." She admitted, biting her lips to hide her embarrassment.

"How many times?"

"Whenever I miss you and.. want..to.." she couldn't finish.

"So it's so many times." I smiled down at her while picturing her touching herself. I almost cummed at the image. Fuck!,

"I couldn't help it." She added.

"Who was in your mind? What made you get your release?"

"You. I picture you. You alone." She held my face and both hands traveled into my overgrown hair. "What have you also been doing?"

"Well, while you were getting off with your fingers, I was also fucking my hands with only you in mind all through this devasting nine months of being apart. Only you. But not anymore.

She nodded in agreement and I slipped freely into her wet warm region. We moaned in unison and she held my shoulders tight, digging her nails into my flesh as I filled her and completely. After so many days, weeks and months. Finally. I can feel this way again—complete. And I wished there was no barrier hindering my flesh from meeting hers but this incredible overpowering feeling shamed the damn rubber and shattered it pride to dust. The overwhelming feeling pulls us to the side then under, to the top then brings us back to where we were.

"God, I love you."

Her eyes rolled out, her mouth parted and her chest rising and falling beautifully in alignment with her breathing like a wave coming against the shore as these magical words fell out passionately in all honesty to me. I couldn't ask for more. She's everything to me; my heart, my life, my joy, my pain, my addiction, my wife, my soul mate, and the fucking pillar that holds my fucked up life. She means absolutely everything….

★★★

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 06✓
[211] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~MARIANA~|

〰️❤️〰️

Before Novan can begin to thrust, I feel the pressure already building up and me tightening around him. This wasn't supposed to be so fast. I want to come with him not to leave him on the way.

My hands clawed on his back as I brought him close to taste his lips. He didn't stop me but I halted when I lost control over the euphoric sensation of Novan going in and out of me slowly, making me feel all the love he has for me deeply. I looked into his eyes and it's all I saw. I couldn't stop myself as I got near.

"I'm sorry." He apologized in a moan before I could render mine.

"What?" I gasped out.

His face contorted in embarrassment as he began to fill me with sloppy thrusts. "I'm sorry." He mumbled and buried his face in my neck. I felt him still and then I knew.

"Me too." I tried to lift his head to look at me.

"For what?" He asked.

"I am about to." As I said this, the embarrassment cleared from his face a little. My legs shake and my toes curl in an unending spill. His eyes connect with mine as this happens and as he also came. Short yet powerful and looks like it will not come to an end. His lips found mine in our sedated state then rolled us over so that I am on top of him with him still buried in me.

"I'm sorry." He apologized again.

"No don't."

"I came early."

"Me too. I understand." The feeling was too much for us that it was impossible to hold it for long. I am happy that I'm not the only one who felt that way.

He brushed my hair away from my face and tugged it behind my ear. My chin rests on his chest and I look up at him from there with a smile.

"Daddy."

His eyes went wide a little before he replied with a cocky grin, "Yes baby."

"I'm not okay." I simply said and he nods with a charming sexy smile. "Me too."

I love that I don't have to say much before he understands me. Sometimes I don't even have to say anything.

I got up from him and he raised himself to take off the used condom. He tied it and tossed it before lying back then pulling another one which he placed between his teeth. I hopped back on him and with my mouth, I took the condom from his teeth then holding it, I kissed him slowly, savoring every taste of him as his large hands also moved all over my body, igniting the fire back in me. The kiss generates from slow to fast with fire, more fire in a strange yearn, and craving. I feel him only getting harder and heightening my hunger for him.

My hands trembled as I unwrapped the condom and rolled the latex over his length, completely ready to give him another MariDon ride. Our iconic nickname for this cowgirl style. I smiled and he tickled me on my sides. "What?"

"Just want to know if you're ready for a MariDon ride."

He lost it in a fit of laughter. His rich deep voice filled the room and I chuckled along.

"I miss that word."

"Me too."

"Now I can't wait for it."

"So am I." I agreed with him and focused on sheathing him with the protective shield.

I couldn't wait to have him back inside me so when I was finally done, I raised myself on him and brushed him against me then lowering onto him slowly, my eyes rolling into my head, breathless and hormonal with moans bustling out from my lips.

He raised himself and dug his elbows into the soft mattress to prop his weight while he looked at where we were connecting.

"Kiss me as you do it." He begged and I do as he asked. I brought myself close and kissed him before beginning to go up and down on him.

"Fuck..this is so good." He moaned, his hands on my waist as I journey back and forth on him. I lost it as his hand went beneath to rub my clit.

"Oh, Novan." I moaned into his mouth and raised myself to look at him. "I love you." He rasped to me in a thick low voice.

I splayed my hands on his chest and began to bounce on him, increasing the tempo with driving him crazy my only motive and I love the sounds he makes each time I come on him, taking him inside me.

"Fuck!" He cursed and there came the moment when Novan began to hit into me from below, taking charge but not full control. I met each of his thrusts in synchrony.

"You're everything to me." His eyes settled into mine with a strong intensity of feelings. "You mean the world."

I bit my lips and let his words soak and sink me to the highest depth.

"I...can't.. can't.. leave you no matter what." He promised through fast breaths.

"Novan." I rubbed my thumb against his swollen lips as I whined and rolled my hips on him while he plunged into me, hitting at my nerves each time with his finger rubbing me, giving the best sensation that is driving me insane just only he can do.

"You made me into who I am today Riana. Thank you." He looks like he's going to cry but I know that's not it.

"No.."

"Shut up! You don't know what you did and brought into my life." He scolds me lovingly.

"I love you," I said simply but I mean it. I love this man so..so much that even God knows.

"I can't wait to show you what you made out of a fucking mess like me."

"What is that?" That familiar feeling began to set in again.

"You'll see when the time is right but before then, I swear I won't go back and forth with us again. I promise that when I come, I am not leaving anymore but promise me that you won't ignore me when I leave for the last time. We'll talk every day and you'll come and see me if it's possible."

"I promise," I responded in a heartbeat as I squeezed him inside me.

He flipped me to my fours and I winced when he pulled out but immediately felt him behind me then he pushed back in with a force and off guard that my thoughts jammed as Novan slammed into me over and over. I couldn't think or control my breath or my moans until my knees buckled and I fell back to the bed in exhaustion, drained out from my orgasm.

Novan also fell beside me, we both are a panting mess. For a long time, we just lay there breathing heavily in our sweat and with me whose leg is sprawled wide. I feel sore, a little.

"Are you alright?"

"Yes. That was powerful." I chuckled and turned to look at him but his face was buried in the bed.

"Yeah."

"Hope I didn't hurt you."

"No. Sore? yes and just a little."

"Come here." He pulled me into his arms and I lay in it like a baby, listening to his frantic heartbeat as he kissed my salty forehead over and over.

"Sleep?"

"Not feeling it yet."

"Okay."

We settled in the silence revolving around us together in all comfort.

"I'm going to need the washroom." He tapped my shoulders and I moved from his arms.

Soon after he left I followed. I put my hands around his waist and watched him take water out of his cock into the WC.

"How did we reach this stage?" He asked.

"Which stage?"

"That you can watch me take a piss without shying."

"I don't know." I shrugged. I can't believe it myself either.

When he finished I took turns to sit on the toilet and told him to leave.

"Why? You just watched me."

"I won't be able to piss if you're here."

"Why is that so?"

"It's just the way it is."

"Strange." He muttered and walked out. Truly, he left before I was able to free my bladder.

I got up and turned the faucet to wash myself quickly before walking out.

"Why did you take so long,?"

"Nothing." I climb into the bed with my knees towards my side.

"Okay come. I want to sleep on you. You know it right."

"Yeah." I laid on my back with my legs opened apart then Novan walked in, placing his head on my stomach. His hair tickled my stomach while his breath fans my pelvis. Those things didn't do me any good, especially that I am naked and Novan too. His warm body is plastered against me awakening butterflies that I didn't know existed and sparking an electric flow through me.

I raked my hand through his soft grown hair and tried to remain unaffected by this sexy Greek Lord laying in between my legs. My hands descended on his broad shoulders and moved my fingertips on it to his arms then traced it back.

"Novie."

"Mmm."

"Are you sleeping already?" The ache between my thighs that I have been harboring all these months hasn't disappeared wholly. As sinful and embarrassing as it is, I've not had enough and I can't even tell him.

"I'm trying to sleep but I am laying directly on you. It's such a disturbance and I don't want you to put clothes on even though that is going to help me sleep faster."

"Then come back to the bed."

"No!" He objected and I sighed. This is not helping any of us and the longer he lay there, the faster my pulse is shooting and my heart is pumping. I feel my core clench and unclench. I groaned when I smelled my arousal around.

"Novan."

"Riana."

"I can't have enough of you. I don't know what is wrong with me Novan. I think I want you... again but you don't need to bother. Just get up and I will try to sleep it away."

His body rises slightly from me then his eyes fall on me. Squirming, I attempted to close my legs but he restricted me from doing so.

He stood and went for another packet and as he tore it, my insides churned in excitement and in anticipation of what is to come.

"Will you get on birth control this time around, please? I hate these damn rubbers because I don't get to feel you the way I should."

"Okay." I wish I can tell him that it doesn't matter but he's going to ask questions which I can't answer without spilling the whole truth. Novan isn't ready for a baby now so I am not going to bring out a problem concerning what he doesn't even like. Until he's ready, I will tell him, and whatever he makes out of it or his decision, I will follow. I just hope he doesn't leave me because of it.

"Lay on your side for me babe."

"Why?" I pout.

"Do before complaining." He snapped his fingers and brushed his hair back.

"Okay, Sir."

I caught a smirk on his lips then he also laid on his side behind me in a spooning position.

"I'm insatiable as well." He whispered at the back of my neck. I closed my eyes with a large smile. I wonder what this man is about to do.

"You know I can never have enough of you." He muttered hoarsely as he bit my earlobe from the back.

"Me too." I concur.

"We can go all night long as long as we don't pass out on the way." He chuckled and bit my neck this time.

I pushed back to him for more contact then I felt his condom covered dick behind me.

"Let's see how fucking wet you are for me." His voice is teasing and I shudder from it with my body aching to be pleasured.

"Shit!" He muttered while I hissed when his finger entered me.

"So wet always and for me. How much I love you." Novan licks my neck and began to pump his finger in and out of me.

I moaned and looked back to look at him or kiss him. I do both of them but it didn't last as Novan quit kissing me.

"Do you want more or this is okay?"

"I want more." My breathing staggered.

"Good girl." He pressed his lips to my back and at the same time drew out and his dick found its way to my entrance.

"Are you ready?"

"Yes please." I nibbled on my lips and waited.

From the back, Novan rode into me with ease and I held onto a pillow for dear life as he penetrate fully and deeply inside me. He paused and his lips worshipped every part of my back before picking up pace. His hand moved under my arm to hold my boobs and the other went between my thighs to touch me as he jabbed into me recklessly yet gently, intensely, and full of passion.

Nothing made sense afterward..just Novan and me then what he's doing to me. Our moans blend to a special melody and I pictured our bodies shimmering under the moonlight spreading in our room through the windows and from the sides of the curtains. It carries on throughout the entire night and I lost count of the number of times I cummed. Only that I got exhausted and couldn't lift a finger while Novan's breathing filled the room and my ears. It was what sent me to sleep.

My eyes opened the next day and it wasn't even morning but afternoon. I could tell by Novan's deep snores that he's still sleeping deep. I huddled in a ball and wrapped myself in the duvet. My body is still tingling from Novan's touches and I can still feel his touches faintly on my body and the soreness down there is still very present. I am not sure I can walk if I should get up. As much as Novan was rough, I love every fucking moment of it. Last night..last night overall was amazing, it was extraordinary and we..we were wonderful. It was all raw passion, love, trust, and deep emotions. We both wanted each other just as much. No selfishness. It was plain and honest. Last night was just phenomenal and exquisite. Novan just knows how to make me feel special and great. All this time we were apart, I thought we've lost our spark and that he won't have an effect on me like he used to but it all turned wrong. Our chemistry isn't the same as before, agreed but it has doubled ten times. Just a simple touch or glance of Novan at me is enough to make me hot and wet for him. It's mind-blowing and I am really happy. Happy that I didn't lose him as a result of our distance. Now I have more hope for us that we could be after all.

I watched him for a long time until his eyes opened and met mine straight away.

"You'll never stop being a creep, will you? Since when have you been staring?" His voice is raspy, deep, and still clouded by sleep with his eyes hooded yet he's still the most beautiful man my eyes have beheld in the entire world.

"Just now."

"Liar." He stretched his limbs and yawned. "I need energy. I'm going to take a piss then go to the kitchen for something okay?"

"Okay." He pecked my lips, got out of bed, and padded into the bathroom. He came back and looked for his boxers to put on before walking out.

I stared at the ceiling as I waited for him to return quickly.

I have a class tomorrow. Novan is leaving tomorrow and I haven't spoken to my family or friends for the past two days since Novan arrived. Forget about that, I don't even know where my phone is. So much for missing someone as Novan.

After half an hour, Novan returned with a tray with mouthwatering meals lined up on it. I sat up and he sat on the bed as well then placed it between us.

"We're going to stain the sheets."

"This won't be the only stain." He winked at me and I looked away shyly. "We'll take it out and replace it after eating."

I nodded and drank water first.

We ate in silence with just me throwing compliments at him each time I tasted something amazing.

"I am lucky to have you, Novan."

"Because of food?"

"No."

"Then?"

"Because I know you love me. Being a good cook is just a bonus."

"You're not the one to be lucky."

"I don't have the energy to battle this with you." I scowled playfully at him and he just smiled.

"How are you?" He asked after the meal.

"Great. Just sore and weak but the food will go a long way to restore me."

"Okay." He got up and brought some new bedsheets and spread from his wardrobe. I got down and we replaced the previous one.

I picked the tray to take to the kitchen but he stopped me.

"Go to bed. I will drop it and get back in a jiffy."

"No. I want to go."

"No princess, allow me to take care of you." He said cooly that it melted my insides and I let go of the tray for him. He kissed my cheeks before getting out and I heard his footsteps rushing down the stairs.

I got back in bed and wrapped the fresh and nice smelling comforter around me.

Novan returned, got into bed with me and gathered me in his arms. We didn't talk. We just enjoyed the silence around us in each other's company. The constant tick of his heart fades as time passes by till I could hear no more.

When I opened my eyes again, this time, Novan was the one staring at me with a sweet smile.

"Did I sleep?"

"You did. For a long time." He exaggerated on the 'long'

"What? Really?"

"Yeah. I am going to see my friends. Should I drop you home or you'll stay here or even come with me?"

I thought about all the options. Nothing is better than a time with him.

"I will come with you and of course if you don't mind."

"I don't mind. I will just wait for you to get ready."

My eyes raked him and he's dressed and even had his hair combed neatly to the back. It's getting long. Very soon, he'll have pigtails.

I got up with a wide yawn and new energy before rushing off to the bathroom.

I still feel slight pain down there but it's better than before. I hurried up and came out.

Novan was busy with his phone but he lifts his head when he saw me and couldn't stop assessing me all over again with his jaw hanging below as if he's just seeing me for the first time. Does that make me feel good inside? Well, it does. Novan just doesn't look at me, he adores me with his eyes as if I'm the most important thing.

I finished drying myself and threw the towel at him which he caught with laughter.

"You'll get blind if you look at a person like that."

"Well let it happen so far as it's you and you'll be the only one I'll ever look at."

I'll burst from too much exhilaration if he continues to pamper me with nice words.

"And you know I don't just look at you." He put the phone down and elevated himself.

"Don't come any close, Novan."

"What. I am not gonna do anything."

"Then don't come."

"I just want to see you better."

"You can do it while sitting there."

"You're mean. You don't treat your fan this way." He sat back with his palms under his chin as he gazes at me dreamily.

"We make the distance between fans sometimes to prevent them from doing anything crazy to the star."

"Spare me." He scoffed.

I wear black pants and a bra then pulls high waist denim shorts on. I selected a plain body top and put it on. I brushed my hair and looked at Novan before holding it in Ariana's style. I don't have any make-up bag here so I just looked at myself in the mirror one last time after putting my white sneakers on.

"Why use the mirror when I am here?"

"Oops sorry." I turned to the groggy man and posed, hands on my waist.

He looked me up with a frown. "Are you done?"

"Yep."

"You mean this is all you're wearing?"

"Yes, what's wrong with it?"

"You're too exposed. Your legs, thighs, bits of your stomach, your arms, and my favorite part, your neck."

"So?"

"Wear jeans, a long skirt or even a dress."

"No. I'm only wearing a jacket over it." I opened the closet and dragged the only jacket of mine out.

"I'm saying you're too exposed. A stupid jacket won't do shit! Get it off and look for something else. I'll help." He commanded authoritatively.

"Have you forgotten that you don't get to tell me the fuck to do Mr. Anderson?" I raised my brows at him.

He blinked as if catching on himself. "Yes...Sorry."

"What?" He surprised me. I didn't expect an apology.

"I almost backtrack on what I am learning."

"And what are you learning?" I became interested.

"Managing the thirst to control."

"You're going for another therapy?" My voice calmed. Now I can't wait for him to tell me all that he's been up to.

"Yeah." He scratched the back of his neck and cleared his throat unnecessarily, a clear sign that he's nervous or embarrassed. It's both.

I looked at him speechlessly and flabbergasted hearing this new bit from him.

"Why did you want me to change in the first place? It's just your friends right?" I asked.

"I'm assuming they'll be at the club and I didn't want any bastard to..look or try anything snarky and inappropriate but that's okay because I will be there to look out for you."

"You sure? You're not gonna start a fight if a bastard tries something?" If he agrees that he'll fight, then I'm changing my clothes.

He only smiled and grabbed my wrist to lead me out of the room.

"Wait. You didn't answer me." I dragged my feet behind him.

"We don't have time. You spent the entire time sleeping and it's already 7 pm. We have dinner to pick on the way and a two hours drive ahead."

"It's not enough reason to not answer me." The last thing I want is being the reason for a drama around me.

"What more do you want to know? Gone are those days Mariana. The Novan of before is not now. I grew."

★★★

♾️馃崅The kiss and now,
our AFTERGLOW?♾️馃崅

By: @AvisMens (Kels)

CHAPTER 07✓
[212] of the LIFE SERIES.

|~MARIANA~|

"What more do you want to know? Gone are those days Mariana. The Novan of before is not now. I grew."

He automatically shut me up with his words. I followed him out and he made a stop in front of his bike.

"We're taking a bike?"

"Yes."

"A two hours drive and in this cold weather?" I began to put the jacket on, zipping it all up.

"You'll be fine."

"I'm trusting you even though.." I got on the bike and he rides out of his compound then into the streets.

We stopped by a filling station and he got his tank filled before leaving.

Novan stopped by a restaurant and I got fries for myself while he went for chicken tacos.

"Why do you always make a stop at a restaurant with good food all the time?'

"Because I am a cook myself and I know where good food is."

I looked around. "Have you worked here before?"

"No this is even the first time I am eating here but I know the chef managing this place and what he can do."

I nodded.

We finished eating and again he paid. I jumped behind him and he zoomed into the night street.

I searched my pocket for my phone and realized I didn't have it. "Novan, I didn't bring my phone.

"Sorry. What did you want to do with it?"

"Listen to music. I can't listen to the wind all night." I said against his ear so he could hear and stayed there so I can hear him when he talks.

"In my left pocket. You can use my phone."

"Really? You have no problem with it?"

"No. I don't mind."

I put my hands to the mouth of his left pocket and pulled his phone out.

"Earpiece?" I asked, knowing that there's no way I will be getting it. I've never seen Novan listening to music with an earphone or just listen to music.

"Around my neck."

Whoa!

"Do you listen to music now?" I got the thread-like device from his neck.

"Ain't answering that."

I giggled and swiped across the screen of his iPhone. I went to his music folders but it was the only one which he named MD. I tapped on it and saw a collection of Justin Bieber songs which are all my favorite and other songs I've sung with him since we met and the ones I said I love.

Novan really hasn't told me which type of songs he likes so I can't tell if this is for me or him. Maybe both.

"Are you also a Bieber fan?"

"No." He answered. Correct because I don't remember Novan and I having the same taste in music.

"Then?"

"You know I am not really the music kind of guy. It's for you."

My heart melts while my head decides to swell.

"So do you listen to them at all? Why do you have it?"

"I do it now because they remind me of you and they actually helped me during all the time we've been spending apart."

I didn't say anything instead, I kissed his cheeks from the back before plugging in the earpiece. I rested my head on his shoulder then fixed one bud into his ear and the other to mine and clicked on play.

"You know I didn't say I will listen to your trash music."

"You play a piano. You've got a good voice and you sing with me most of the time. I'm sorry dude, you're a music freak!"

"Whatever but it's actually not something that I love."

I ignored him and he didn't take it out of his ears either.

After listening to about twenty-five songs, Novan pulled in front of a frat I haven't been before.

"Is there a party?"

"No. Nina lives here."

"Oh." I got the earpiece from his ear and stepped down. A frat has many inhabitants so I just know she isn't going to be alone.

"My phone." He opened his palms and I dropped it in with the earpiece. The phone goes back to his pocket then the earpiece around his neck before he put his hand around my neck.

We walked on the sidewalk quietly and only the thud of his boots against the grass can be heard. This is the first time I am going to see his friends with him and I am not panicking.

Novan and I walked through the corridor then the stairs to the top where I heard familiar voices talking and laughing apart from that, the frat is really quiet.

"Why is the house so quiet?"

"It's always quiet in the evenings when there's no party. They've gone to party somewhere." He pushed a door I think should be Nina's opened and there is the entire house crammed in a small room. It has only one chair which Ronnie was occupying. Evan and her girl are sitting on the bed while Nina and Courtney are on the bed.

"Guys are you seeing what I am seeing or I'm imagining," Ronnie shouts, and the others head turned to us.

"Holy shit!" Nina got up from the bed and Evan scrambled from the floor.

Now I am certain Novan surprised them. They didn't have any idea that he was even in the country.

"Fuck! I miss you so much." Nina jumped into his arms and even though I know it's just a hug, I couldn't look.

I smiled at Courtney and walked across the room to sit on the bed but Ronnie pulled me into his arms.

"Oww baby. I missed you too." He whispered in a tiny voice that had me giggling.

"Ronnie get the fuck off her!" Novan thundered and Ronnie jumped back as if his voice set a bomb between us.

"Give me a hug then. It is you that I missed." Ronnie grinned with open arms.

"Fuck off!" He stepped back but shook Ronnie's hand anyway. The latter raised his hand as if to kiss it and Novan snatched his hand away with a glare and a secret smile at the corners of his lips.

"Dude, don't be a fucking bitch to us. You've been missing for a long while now." Evan throws his balled fist against Novan's chest but he doesn't budge.

"That's why I am here but it doesn't mean Ronnie can hug my girl and cling on me like we're gay?"

I rolled my eyes at Novan and his words.

"Fine then. Since you're here and it's a Sunday night, we're going to the club and you're joining. Like it or not."

"Yeah yeah. We were planning to go anyway. Look at us, all dressed and shit but weren't decided." Eva also got up.

I looked at her to check for her dressing but only saw her in a tube top and a very skimpy short skirt.

Nina on the other hand is wearing baggy shorts with a waist tie, a black crop top with an oversized shirt on top then black boots to match her top. Her dyed hair is in a French braid.

Courtney is looking decent and sweet always in blue leggings and a baggy white top.

Technically, this group doesn't dress fancily and chic.

"Looks like we were waiting for them to come." Eva admonished.

"I came to you guys. Not to party with you."

"And don't you think since you came on your own you do what we tell you?"

"I don't.."

"It's okay Novan. It's just the club." I cut him off before he can grumble more. I don't know why he doesn't want to go unless he fears he's going to follow what the crowd does there.

"Thanks for taking our side honey." Nina smiled at me then turned to pull her tongue out childishly at Novan.

"Come here." He mouthed to me but I looked away. Nina's room is small like Betsy's formal dorm and looks really messy, especially the bed. Books and shoes were everywhere then red cups and vodka bottles. I saw takeaway packs too then her overflowing wardrobe.

I reached to pick some of her clothes from the floor but Novan chose that time to hold my hand.

"We'll wait outside." He said and walked me out.

"What were you about to do?"

"Nothing."

"Sometimes you just forget who you are. Always even."

"I don't. I just started living in luxury less than five years ago."

"But you know who you are."

"I don't let it get in my head."

"Sometimes let it get in it else you'll be taken for just a commoner like us."

"What is your argument?" I sighed and stopped on the way.

"You mingle too freely and if I wasn't around you'll be cleaning that shit room free of charge."

"Things were not in order.."

"And you like things to be in order but that is not your shit to worry about."

"What is your whole point?"

"Let's go back home."

"No." I fold my hands to my chest.

"Imagine what we can be doing..all alone..on the bed." He speaks slowly with a naughty smirk.

"What?" My heart is already beating, my imagination running wild as to what other kink is embedded in his crackhead.

"You'll only find out if you come with me home." He cocks his head to the side but his arms on my shoulders.

Novan is baiting me but...I am not giving in. "We can do all things later."

"You don't want me to pay special attention to you? Like this.." his hand went under my jacket to touch my bare skin and my breathing hitched. They traveled to my front and he rubbed me through my shorts. I gulped and bit my lips. "Tell me you don't want this dollface."

His hand began to travel under my shorts and his other hand fondled my boobs gently through my shirt.

"I..I.. want.."

"Okay we're here.. we're here." I heard Nina's voice from the top and then footsteps follow that they are taking the stairs down.

I flushed and Novan brought his hands back to his side.

"We could give you five minutes to..to get off in my room though," Nina smirked with a wink at me while she passed us.

The rest also passed by with a knowing smirk and I couldn't get any red in the face.

"Don't mind them." His lips grace my neck then we walked out.

"Anderson, you brought a bike?"

"No, a car." Novan replied sarcastically.

"Let me ride with you. Your babe can sit with Courtney and Ronnie in the track."

"No. Go back to your car. Mariana will ride with me."

"She won't mind or Mariana will you mind if I ride with your boo?"

Novan is my ride or die. I won't like to ride with anybody else but Nina is asking me something for the first time and she's Novan's friend.

I looked at Novan and he's pleading with me to refuse. I know he wants to spend time with me and I also want the same even if it's just riding with him but I will let Nina have this.

"I don't mind." I smiled apologetically at him while Nina hurled me into her arms. "Thanks, bugaboo."

This is the second time in a day. First she called me honey. Now, bugaboo.

"Hey! Don't touch her!" Novan barked and in a minute he's taking me from her.

I laughed. "She's weird. She likes women so don't let her touch you." It's Nina's turn to laugh.

"Okay."

He kissed me slowly then pecked my lips. "I'll see you there."

"Sure." I got into the car beside Courtney and Ronnie who must've been watching lifted his brows at me. "Lovers."

I looked outside the window and saw Novan speed away with Nina behind him with her hands on his waist. I could be the one there. A pang of jealousy spread through me and I tried to keep it away then hoped in eagerness to get there early so I could see him. We just parted and I miss him terribly already.

Evan pulled from the driveway into the streets and I couldn't stop myself from telling him to speed a little.

Eva looked above his shoulders at me from the front seat with a smile before getting closer to her boyfriend and they started whispering God knows what to each other with fat smiles on their faces. They looked adorable. A movement beside me brought my attention back to the passengers beside me. Courtney is shifting towards me as if to get away from Ronnie. I looked at the duo in confusion. Ronnie shifted towards the door to make room for Courtney but she's rather running away.

One look at Ronnie again and I imagined the image of him on top of my best friend. I looked away and tried to knock the thought away.

"Any music?" I requested to reduce the awkwardness at my side and also to keep my anxiety away.

"Sure." Eva turned the radio on and began to browse stations. She stopped at a hip-hop station and immediately began to sing along and the rest joined. I didn't know the line so I kept quiet and enjoyed the way none of them was missing a line.

Unfortunately, hip hop is not my kind of music.

When the car finally stopped at our destination, I was the first to hop out and began searching for only one person. The devil I sold my heart to in the form of Everett Alec Anderson. Aka Donovan and my very own, Novan.

"I am here." I heard his voice and before I could turn, he's behind me. Hugging and kissing my nape from the back.

I'm full of glee inside out as I turned, looped my hands on his neck, and stole his breath away with my lips. "I found you."

"No I found you." He argued.

"We found each other. That's better." I said.

"We will always find each other right?"

"Yeah, figuratively and metaphorically."

"Don't kill me with vocab, I beg." He laughed.

"I miss you." I murmur against his lips and take him back in. I will never have enough of his lips nor him.

A group of people I believe are his friends pass us by making sounds we failed to care about except for us and what we're doing to each other.

"The way I love you." He engulfed me in a bear hug.

Look at us. Only a few minutes apart and it seems like ages that we've not seen each other.

"We've been away from each other too much, Novan. Ten years, ten months, nine months, three months, two months, and all.. enough."

"Yes, but things weren't the way it is now so we went for the distance. Now that we're trying to come around, we don't wanna be away anymore."

"Correct."

"We just have to wait a little longer."

"Yeah."

We walked hand in hand into the club and as usual. Drunk sweaty fellas wiggling on the dance floor like worms with synthetic smoke choking them and disco lights blinding their vision but do they care? No. Not even a single flying fuck!

I removed my jacket and tied it to my waist like I used to do back in tenth grade with my sports cardigan.

Novan eyed me without saying anything and placed his hand on the small of my back instead.

"There'll be no drink for you."

"Why is that?" I stressed my words as we maneuvered through the crowds.

"Just one." We walked to the bar and he got a cup filled for me.

We found his friends who already had cups in their hands and their eyes towards the dancing crowd.

Novan sat on the couch and made me sit on his laps.

"Thought you two took my offer and went back home." Nina grinned at us.

I shook my head and swallowed all of the bitter liquid. I gave him the cup for a refill and his brows furrowed at me.

"You were supposed to sip it since you won't be getting more."

"You're boring." I tried to get on my feet but he wouldn't let me.

"Let me go Novan."

"Uh uh. You're going nowhere."

"Don't be a snub. You're the reason your friends came so have fun with them."

"Who will want to have fun with those assholes when they have you? When I have you?" He bit my back playfully through my top.

"Don't be like this Novan. Pay attention to them and I will be here."

"No."

"Then I will get up and do something crazy."

"Like what?"

"Kiss any hot guy I see."

"Huh?" His grip loses on me and I froze as well, remembering my kiss with Ed. "That is not even a joke. You want somebody to die?"

"Then don't snub them."

"They have nothing to do than get drunk, dance, get laid, or get a good fuck. Nina is busy looking for a guy or any girl to cheat on her girl with while Ronnie is also looking for a chick. Courtney will sit here and watch Evan and Eva make out and fuck. That's all they do at these parties and clubs. If Betsy was here Ronnie will not have to hustle for who to bed tonight.."

"Stop it Novan." That is Betsy's past. My friend is not even here.

"Okay. Okay. Sorry."

"Why don't you tell me what you also do?" I asked.

"You don't wanna know."

"I want to."

"I sit on the couch just like this using drugs or smoking while Aria gives me lap dances. At the end of the night, I take to bed some faceless bimbos."

My mood changed from bliss to gloom. "And..you sleep with them?" The words taste like bile at the back of my throat.

"Yes, what else? They were all easy. I fuck them without knowing who they even are since I am always high as fuck! The cycle continues. Get high, fuck and forget. Pretty cut and dried."

The thought of Novan touching other girls and their hands-on him makes me nauseous. I feel sick and I have even forgotten to breathe.

"Hey, you said you wanted to hear."

"I didn't...I didn't know it was that."

"I didn't want to lie about it but I am sorry if it hurts you." He strokes my cheeks.

"You..you don't do it again right?"

"Of course. Are you crazy?" He chuckled and poured a beer for himself from the one his friends ordered.

"I don't do that shitty business anymore babe and I don't remember what I had with them or what I felt but yours. Those girls meant nothing. They just happened to be there and it happened most times when I am high. Even that, consciously, none have been able to make me feel what you make me feel and I don't go back daydreaming about it and relieving each moment like I do anytime I spend a minute with you. Even if it's just a kiss, I think about it the whole day, replaying it and memorizing how your lips felt against mine. You're incomparable Riana and you bring me unique joy."

I leaned over to kiss the tip of his nose. "Thanks." I brushed my face against his as a kitten does to it, mom.

I was feeling horrible and ready to die out of jealousy but he just made me feel better.

"Let me have one more drink, Novan."


"Okay." He gave me his own and filled another.

While I raised the cup to my lips, I saw Ronnie making out with a girl and the crazy me decided to look at Courtney. Her face is a mixture of emotions that I couldn't decipher clearly. Sadness, hurt, anger, or even jealousy?
And the look she's throwing at them is quite murderous. Could there be more or is just the alcohol starting to speak to me?

"I'll go sit with Courtney. Try to talk to your friends too."

I began to walk to Courtney but she got up that moment. I followed her and pretended to not have heard Novan calling me and when I turned Evan was sitting beside him along with Nina and even Ronnie's bitch seemed to have left.

Courtney is walking so fast even with slumped shoulders. She got a drink at the bar then turned to her left.

I also need a drink but I don't even have a dime on me. I still need a drink and will do what I have to in order to get it but...I need to follow Courtney. I aborted my plans and followed the petite beauty.

I narrowly followed her and as we walk further, the music goes down and there weren't so many people. She sat down on a couch and placed her bottle of liquor on a table in front of her.

"Mind if I join?"

"Sure. Why not?" She beamed at me and I sat, facing her.

We didn't say anything else and I began to think of what to say.

"You left," I stated dumbly.

"Yeah."

"Why? You don't like clubs?"

She smiles. " I do."

"Then?"

"I just didn't like what I was seeing."

"What is that? Mind to share if you don't mind?" I asked politely. Invading her privacy is the last thing I will do.

She looks at me for a moment then around, to her lap then back to my face.

"I think I am in love with Ronnie."

"Wait. Can I have your drink?"

"No problem."

Her confession just knocked the air from my lungs.

I raised her bottle to my lips and gulped some.

"Does he know you love him?"

"Not really but he said he likes me."

"Is that all?" I asked and gulped another.

"He asked me out.."

"And what happened?" I raised the bottle to my lips again.

"I turned him down."

"What? Did you not like him?"

"I've always liked him even before I became a part of their group. I know who Ronnie is but what I don't know is how to stop myself from liking or getting attracted to him. It's the most difficult thing so far."

"Why?"

"He's a Casanova. He doesn't date but has a lot of girls he sleeps with on a daily basis. When he said he likes me, I was happy and I thought he meant it but after some minutes, I saw him kissing a girl against a wall. So much for someone who said he likes me." She scoffed and I didn't only feel bad for her for Ronnie being a dick but also because I hijacked the only thing she wanted to manage her pain with.

"Need the drink?"

"I don't actually drink. I only bought it."

"Oh really?"

"Yeah. You can have it."

"Is it not strange? You move with people who drink, smoke, do illegal stuff, and fuck all the time yet you don't do some. I am jealous of your self-control."

"Is that it? It's more of being disciplined. If I had self-control, I wouldn't be in love with someone I see on a regular while sleeping with different girls."

"You may be right but I am not taking that." I laughed. "So did Ronnie just give up when you turned the lights off on him?"

"No, he didn't. He's always around me on campus and even comes to my home despite my dad's warning for him to stay away..."

"He loves you.." I blurted.

"No. I don't think so. If he does love me, he wouldn't be kissing fucking girls in front of me. It's so painful Mariana." She closed her eyes and for some seconds, I understood what she's going through.

"He doesn't know you love him so why not just tell him."

"He's going to mock me."

"What makes you think so?"

"He will by fucking a girl before me that same day."

"No, he wouldn't. Right now he thinks you don't like him and for all you know he's only doing those things to get you jealous." I remember the lady Ronnie was kissing leave once Courtney got up. Could it be true? I hope my facts are not backed by the alcohol running in my veins.

"Even If that is the case, Ronnie will never change. You don't know how much girls he fuck in a day. If he actually likes me, he'll stay away from the girls to show me how serious he's but no. I fear he'll hurt me and I don't want that." Her voice breaks while the room begins to spin around me.

"People can change if they really want to, Courtney. Do you see Donovan?"

"Because he has you."

"No, it's because I love him. When you love someone at their worst, it questions their conscience. Imagine Ronnie doing all that and even though it hurts you, you still love him vigorously with every power in you. He'll begin to feel guilty and he'll gradually think of reforming."

"You should be drunk by now. Why are you still speaking so much sense."

"So you're confiding in me because you think I am drunk or going to be?"

She nodded. "I wanted someone to tell this to or just listen to me. Nina is a crackhead so there's no one. Eva only cares about her relationship with Evan and I am shy to disclose to them that I am secretly in love with the badass Playboy."

"For your information, I can see two of you right now." My voice slurs and breaks into giggles.

I'm tipsy but I don't know how I can still think.

"You're the few who don't drink your brains away then."

"Yeah. I still have it in that. There's no way I will do anything foolish or forget whatever happened in my drunken state the next morning."

"Lucky you."

"You may have a point. If Ronnie likes you, he should be able to stop all that and concentrate on winning you..." I tried to think carefully.

"Boys can be confusing sometimes," I added.

"Yes. Sometimes you think they like you. The next, they're turning the light off on you but tell me how many boys you've encountered so far Mariana."

I laughed." Only one and something tiny with Edward that's all." I shrugged and chugged the whole bottle at a go.

My vision blurs and my insides burned from the strong liquid.

"Don't tell me you took all that."

"I did." I grinned and leaned back on the couch. " Try to talk to Ronnie. Tell him you like him and you don't like to see him with girls all the time."

"What if I tell him and he doesn't stop?"

"Try it first and see how he takes it."

"I should tell him that I love him?"

"No. Just say you like him back and you're thinking of giving him a chance but you're not sure if he still likes you because you see him with new girls every day." I don't know if that makes sense. I laughed again with my eyes closed. I'm not sure if I can walk without falling at least thrice or quadruples.

"It does make sense. Have you thought of being a sociologist or a counselor?"

"Oh please." I laughed harder. "I just want to take care of my father's business, manage the jewelry company, become a published author one day, and focus on my organization."

"That's a lot."

"You think? No, you don't. You think? No, you don't." I sang and finally opened my eyes. "Can you take me to my boyfriend?"

"Thought he's your husband."

"Yes, but I don't like saying it because it feels weird on my tongue. I even lost the precious ring and I am surprised he hasn't asked me about it. I pray he doesn't."

"How did it get missing?"

"One of our parties. I don't know how it happened. It just slipped off and I looked for it but couldn't find it. Please promise to not tell Novan that I've been partying with you guys a lot and that is why I once failed my accounting exam and.."

"Whoa! That's a lot. I won't tell him anything."

"Thanks. Now I have to go before he gets mad looking for me." I managed to carry myself up. I don't know why I am saying all this in the first place.

Courtney holds my hand and I began to walk like a baby learning to walk for the first time.

"Can you dance?" I asked her.

"No no. I don't."

"That's bad. When we get to the dance floor you'll promise to wait for me while I go dance for a while okay?"

"Alright."

"You're so nice and kind to me Courtney. What will I do without you?" I held her shoulders to balance me while I was about to trip and fall face flat.

She only laughed and I wonder if I've grown a horn. What's so funny. I'm telling her how good she's being to me.

The loud music hit against my ear and rushed through my body. I let it take me over completely and I let go of Courtney and staggered to the dance floor. I twirled, swayed my hands then began to twist my waist and body to the strange music. I don't know what moves I am taking. I just know that I am dancing and it's so fun. Am having a really good time.

A man appeared from behind me and began to dance with me. I entertained him but when he began to overstep his boundaries, I advised myself and stepped away.

I decided to go to the washroom and since I didn't know which way to take, I thought of asking a random girl.

"Please can you show me where the washroom is?" I tapped the girl on her shoulders.

When she turned, it was Aria. My mouth parted as she gave me her signature smile.

"Hey, Quinn. Long time no see." She took me by surprise and hugged me.

She must be drunk as well to be hugging me.

"I said I need the washroom."

"That way." She pointed to a dark area. I smiled warily before leaving.

Before I could start the journey into the darker part of the club, someone pulled me back.

"God Mariana." Novan dragged me gently behind him till we got back to where we once sat.

"Where the fuck have you been and why were you going there?"

"I was with Courtney then I went dancing and right now, I am just going to the washroom."

"Who said where you were heading is a washroom?"

"Then what is it?"

"That place is filled with assholes who only do evil things. Thank God I found you in time else something worse could've happened to you."

"What can be worse."

"They'll drug you and.. and..fuck.. touch you."

"That's not an issue." I giggled.

"Huh? Wait, are you drunk?"

"Nope."

"Of course you are. Look at your eyes and you're not even talking properly."

"Really?" I got closer to him and whispered.

"How am I talking and how is my eyes other than sexy to charm you."

He didn't say anything instead he sat and pulled me back on his lap.

"Let's go dance baby."

"I don't dance."

"I taught you, remember?"

"You're wasted as fuck."

"Fuck? I don't mind doing it." I got up and straddled him instead. I grind against him and drops wet kisses on his face.

"You won't dance but you'll fuck me and right here right now," I said close to his ears and bit it. I slipped my tongue into it and he gasped a moan.

"Who gave you the alcohol?"

"Seriously? I said you should fuck me and you're asking about alcohol? Well, a guy who grabbed my ass gave it to me."

"What!" He screamed in my face and I laughed.

"He grabbed my breast and fondled it just like the way you do it then his hands went into my shorts just like this.."

"Stop! Fucking stop it!"

I laughed again at his horrified expression.

"Joking..just joking." I laughed.

"That wasn't funny. Please stop."

"Well then fuck me or I go get it in that dark area or go get it from any guy I lay my eyes on when I move from your laps right now.."

"You're crazy."

"For you."

He smiled. "You will do no such thing."

"If you fuck me." I wiggled on him then put my hands under his shirt to feel his warm body.

"What are you doing?"

"Getting you in the mood."

"You need not to. I'm always in the mood for you but see, I can't fuck you in front of everyone in a club. People will watch and there could be cameras. You're not just any other person Mariana."

"Then?" I pulled a sad face.

" You really want to?" He whispered to me and his tongue darts out to lick my face. I groaned and kissed him for a second.

"Yes. I'm so fucking horny. You can check."

He looked around swiftly then his hand went beneath me, walked past my shorts, and broke through my panties.

"Shit!" He cursed and tried to get his hands off but I stopped him.

"Touch me more." I barely felt his finger and now he wants to take it off.

"Not here." He whispered.

"Where?" I whispered back.

"Come with me." He put me down from his lap and began to lead me out of the crowd.

Damn alcohol for always triggering my hormones against me this way. It was this same stupid alcohol that made me kiss Ed. This time, it's different...

★★★

Aww....

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