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   Chapter 2 Food and Connections.

Changed. By The Other Girl Characters: 15453

Updated: 2018-03-08 15:13


I grab the straw of the smoothie between my teeth and drink, the effects come almost immediately. "Well I'll be..." I trail off, leaning up into a sitting position. I close my eyes as if I were preparing to be zapped with the burning again. I was shocked when it only felt as if my muscles were sore, like I had been working out the day before. "Wow, what's in that thing?" I look up at Aaron with curiosity.

"That is one of the things I plan to teach you. Here." He hands me the entire smoothie and I take another gulp, then test to see how much my muscles have loosened up.

"That stuff is amazing." I take out the straw and drink once more, now noticing how surprisingly good yet unfamiliar it tastes. I've never tasted something so different.

"So, you don't plan on teaching me Calculus?" I ask. This time his laugh is so genuine I find myself with a small smile as I watch his head tilt back and he let it out.

"No, I don't plan to teach you any typical school courses, you may continue to go to school of you please. Though it may interrupt when I want to teach." He seemed to go off in thought, which caused me to do the same. What's happening to me? And why is he here to be my "mentor?" What is he even mentoring me in?

I look at the drink in my hand and bring it back to my lips, finishing it off.

"How much longer will this work?"

"It should last until tomorrow morning. Hopefully you'll be at the house by then." He answers almost immediately.

"Can't you just tell me how to make it?" I ask.

"Now what's the fun in that?" The boyish smile that holds his face makes him look more sixteen than twenty. "Besides, how would you get up and make it?" I hadn't thought about that. I sigh and stand up, taking the cup with me to the sink and washing it. My muscles were still a little sore, but it wasn't a sharp pain. I grab my glasses and put them on.

"Would you like anything to eat? I'm starved." I look at him and he gives me a smile and a nod. I look at the clock to see what time it is and what I should make: 11:00.

"Is breakfast okay with you?" I ask.

"Anything is fine. I'm not picky." I smile and grab some bacon and eggs from the fridge. I turn on the stove and get two pans out, placing the bacon in one and then eggs in the other. I spin around and grab a plate to put the bacon on and set it on the counter. I place a few layers of napkins to soak up the grease as they finish. I'm incredibly methodical about how I cook, taking care of every step almost thoughtlessly.

"You're like a machine." Aaron mutters, more to himself than to make conversation. I turn to look at him, only to see that he's watching me carefully. Interest flickers in his eyes. Does he enjoy watching me work? I grab a spatula from the drawer, attempting to ignore the thought.

"I'm very serious about my cooking." I say, then flip the bacon and stir the eggs. Usually I hate the thought of food touching; I'm not much of an experimenter. My mother always makes these two dishes this way so I suppose I figure that it should taste fine. About ten minutes later the food is done and I place a plate in front of Aaron.

"You know, my parents will be home later today, " I speak. "How do you plan on sneaking past them tomorrow morning to give me this smoothie? They aren't exactly too keen on guys." My mind wanders to the fact that I've never had a boyfriend, let alone kissed a guy, and yet here one is inside of my house. Uninvited. Cute. Bad boy.

Not to mention the fact that his pitch black v neck t-shirt spans across his chest, almost looking a size too small if it weren't for the fact that it falls loosely everywhere else. He's wearing a leather jacket on top, giving him that edgy look I had been so cautious about earlier. My eyes roam to his well-worn jeans with a small rip in them on the thigh. His sock clad feet make me wonder absentmindedly what footwear he would choose to wear with this. Probably combat boots, maybe even a pair of Converse? Though I doubted that; he doesn't come across as the "Converse" type. I smirk at what my parents' reaction may be.

"Oh yes, parents." He says as if they were a burden. "Where are they now?"

"With my sister visiting some college." My mind struggles to place which college that she had chose to make the trip to go see. Cincinnati? Ohio State? I can't remember.

"Has this ever happened to her?" I turn to look at him with confusion causing my brows to lower. I rack my memory for anything that might be a hint.

"Not that I'm aware of." I say to him. I mean, she would get the sniffles every now and then but I don't recall her ever telling me that she felt she'd been lit on fire. I hope I would remember something as dramatic as that. "Oh, I forgot about drinks. Milk, apple, or orange juice?" I ask.

I stand up and suddenly feel very dizzy. The entire room seems to spin out of control around me as I feel the need to sit back down. I stumble a bit backwards, trying to find my seat. "Aaron?" I squeak.

Luna? A quiet voice whispers.

~*~

I open my eyes and I'm on my kitchen floor with Aaron standing over me. What the hell? His eyes are full of concern, whereas mine are just confused. Why am I on the floor? Why is Aaron less than a foot from my face? My spine tingles in awareness of the position, but neither of us make any hint of moving, though I can see the knowledge in his eyes as if he hears the way my heart is pounding in my ears at the moment. No guy has ever been so.. Close. Our eyes are locked.

Awkward. Oh god, this is so awkward.

A large, disgustingly wet tongue comes out of nowhere and begins licking my ear.

"Agh, Brutus." I whine and wipe the damp area. Ear-licking was one of my dog's weak spots, and also an incredibly disgusting one. My Doberman Pinscher whines and licks my face again, this time on my cheek. My face scrunches in response and I try to sit up, but Aaron pushes my shoulders back down.

"Woah, not so fast." I look around to see my other two dogs keeping a distance, watching me. I glare at Aaron, painfully aware that he is straddling me, his hot skin searing straight through my clothes.

"I don't wanna lay down." I growl. Wait, growl? Did I just growl at somebody? My face burns at the realization but I do as I'm told, despite the fact that I absolutely cannot stand to be ordered around. "And I want some orange juice." I try to lean up so that I'm sitting.

Aaron doesn't protest, unless you call him giving me a murderous look protesting. He climbs off of me and I almost sigh in relief.

Stay put! An angry voice rings in my head, completely unlike my own. I didn't think that, did I? That wouldn't make any sense.. Why would I tell myself to stay put?

I let out a loud yelp in surprise. I grab my head, immediately pressing my fingers into my temples. "What the hell was that?" I shout.

"What?" Aaron asks, "What happened?" His eyes are alight with confusion and.. Excitement?

"A-a voice." I mutter, suddenly feeling foolish. I think I'm hearing things. Inside of my head. God, I'm crazy. "Never mind. Just help me up." I lean forward a bit more and stand up with a little help and support of Aaron.

"So, " I decide to voice my thoughts, which have been going crazy since he had knocked on my door. If I didn't start talking now I fear even more for my sanity. "Why did you come in my house talking crazy and ask me what moon phase I was born under?"

"I needed to know what moon you were born under to be sure of, uh. Well, your title. I can explain later." Title? Am I some sort of wrestler now?

"What moon were you born under?" I wonder aloud.

"Crescent." His eyes are scanning over my features, and I feel like h

e knows me too well for a person that I had just met not even a two hours ago. I get a small feeling of self-consciousness, but I push it back and attempt to put a bit of a lighter tone to the conversation.

"Why do you get a prettier moon than me?" I ask. I had always liked crescent moons. I had always been fascinated with how something in our sky could be so perfectly round, but change shape in such a way just because of a little sunshine.

"You'll find out another day." I groan in answer to that. I need information, not short and clipped answers.

"What's a Luna?" I decide to change the subject, getting my orange juice out of the fridge and nudging the door shut with my hip. My mind wanders back to the voice that quietly nudged into my mind before I lost consciousness.

"A female leader of a pack. A foreign word for moon." His answers are turning vague. I raise my eyebrow in answer to that.

"Want to be more specific?" A pack of cigarettes, a pack of animals? What about a pack of people? Too many blanks.

"A group of something." My eyes narrow at that particular response. Would it kill him to elaborate?

"Well you don't say?" I say sarcastically. "What is this supposed Luna a pack leader of?" My words had gotten snarky, and I realize how rude that probably is, but I choose to ignore it for the time being. If it got me answers, what does it matter? Oh yes, maybe because if I pissed this person off I no doubt would lose to him in a fight. I roll my eyes at myself. He hasn't been hostile yet.

But that doesn't mean he couldn't be. My mind whispers to me.

"Uh, that part is a little hard to explain, you see. You probably won't believe me." He says, distress skirting into his voice. I glance into his eyes and take a gulp of my juice.

"Try me."

"It's a wolf, sort of. I mean, it's really hard to explain without you seeing for yourself, but technically I don't even know if you're a Luna. I won't know until you're finished.. Uhm, your moon phase is a helping factor, I mean-" His voice abruptly stops, probably finding out that he's blubbering on without control. A wolf? He wants me to lead a pack of WOLVES? He said I was supposed to do this? Why can't he just go to a wolf farm or something. They seem to be doing just fine without "Luna's, " which I guess I am? A laugh rips its way from my mouth, almost sounding hysterical.

"You're saying that I'm going to go off to lead a pack of wild dogs because of a moon I was born under? Please." I scoff, disbelief lacing my words. He's staring at me as if he truly believes what he is saying, and that freaks me out. Actually, this whole situation freaks me out. I don't even know him. I met him a few hours ago, and he's basically asking me to run away with him. "Thanks for the relief from whatever the hell I was feeling, but you're insane. I think it's time for you to leave." I go to the door and open it, giving Aaron his cue to leave. His face twists unhappily, but he walks briskly out of the door with my eyes following him. This insane person wants me to run away with him to lead a pack of wolves. That makes me stop looking and slam the door shut, locking it for good measure. My dogs whimper when he leaves and I roll my eyes.

"So he's the one y'all decide to like." I mutter. It took weeks for them to tolerate Bri or any of my other friends. "Unbelievable."

I walk back into the kitchen, texting Bri to come back over, mentioning that I have a completely crazy story to tell her about Aaron. I see my half empty plate and one clean plate sitting beside it. Well, at least I don't have to throw his food away. I pick up my plate and set it on the floor for the dogs to eat, which they did. I absentmindedly wonder if they even tasted anything I've ever given them. I take the now empty plate off of the floor and place both Aaron's and my plate into the sink. I'll wash them later.

I let the dogs out and they take off, sprinting across the rolling hills of my land. My family and I don't bother with leashes, we have too much land for our dogs to bother any neighbors or anything like that.

I hear a dog paw at the door. At the same time the sound is made, it feels as if I had been shot on the stomach. My eyes widen as I wrap my arms around my midsection, doubling over.

"Oh my god!" I shout, the feeling was comparable to being cut open. The pain worsened, as if someone was attempting to move around my internal organs. Tears fly to my eyes as I wrap my arms around myself even tighter.

I hear a banging on the glass door and look up to see Aaron there. He got rid of the pain last time, could he do it again? The pain fades slightly, then comes back impossibly worse. I scream as loud as I can, hoping that might somehow scare it away. Aaron wraps his arms around me and I try not to push him away. He didn't leave? I try not to think about that too much. I also try to ignore how warm he is, though now he doesn't seem quite as warm. It's more like the heat you get from sitting around a bonfire. He sits down on the couch, pulling me with him. Despite how much pain I'm in, I can't ignore how? much care he seems to be putting in his actions.

"Hold on, it's almost over." He whispers. I'm shaking from the pain I'm in. I have a feeling that he's lying.

"It's not really.. almost over. Is it?" I accuse quietly, my words choppy.

"For the moment it is." He tries instead. And his words rang true. The pain quickly faded and he released me. "If you still want me to go, I can." He says, looking as though he said it just to be polite and he really didn't want to go.

"No, it's okay. You can stay." I say. The smile he gave me after that lit up the entire room. My dogs scratch at the door, telling me they want back in. Aaron walks to the door and opens it, the dogs surrounding him and showering him with their wet dog kisses as he pets them and gives them attention. How did it get unlocked? I quickly let it go. No need to focus on the less important questions when I have so many other ones to answer.

I move to get comfortable on the couch. One of my dogs, an adorable mutt named Pari, jumps up and lays next to me. She lays her paws lazily across my stomach and sighs, closing her eyes. I lightly stroke her head and grab the TV remote and flip it on. Aaron gets up and sits next to me. The two remaining dogs get comfortable on the floor and I browse through the channels.

"Criminal Minds okay with you?" I ask.

"It's no football." He says, looking at me.

"We're not watching football." I say flatly. That's one of the sports I can't stand. I click on Criminal Minds and relax into the couch.

"Hey, so did Aaron come over and romantically take all of your virginit-" Bri halts at the door and looks at who I'm on the couch with. Her face gets beat red and she gives a little smile.

"You remember Bri, right Aaron?" I ask him. A small smile plays on his lips.

"As a matter of fact, I do. Welcome back." He looks up at her and his smile spreads so that he's showing his teeth.

"Uh, hey. I thought you would've left by now..." She says awkwardly. My bad.

"No worries, come in and have a seat." He welcomes her, though it's not his house. I smirk at his hospitality and realize how utterly tired I am.

"My parents should be home in a few hours. So you guys can't stay too long." I say, a yawn following. My eyelids start to feel heavy.

"Go to sleep." Aaron's voice whispers soothingly in my ear. "I'll be here when you wake up." I give in and shut my eyes, feeling a blanket get wrapped around me. I halfheartedly wonder if I'm gonna regret keeping when I wake up. I hear a muted "aww" from Bri before I finally drift off to dreamland.

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