Sun Kissed -So close, yet so far – Eli’s POV
I opened my eyes just before the alarm clock rang. Training time. The one thing I enjoyed in this hell hole. Not only did I get to exercise and blow off excess energy, but I also got to see Ruby and that was enough to keep me happy.
I ran my hand over my face to wake myself up. My insides ached with lack of sleep and a nagging nauseous feeling tugged at me. Lucian insisted on us dining with him every night which seriously affected our sleeping pattern. With training sessions as vigorous as Ruby’s she needed as much sleep as she could get.
I rolled out of bed and headed straight for the shower. The hot water was a godsend and it massaged the tired, ache out of my back muscles. I’d showered before bed last night so the purpose of this morning’s shower was more to wake me up than clean. I can’t have Ruby thinking I’m as slack as she is. I smiled to myself at the mere thought of all the lazy, quirky things she does. Ruby was the complete opposite to me and yet I’m helplessly drawn to her, like a moth to a flame.
Feeling fresh and revitalised, I changed into a black tank top and matching black sweat pants. I grabbed two water bottles and a towel and I shoved them into my backpack. Today was our last training session and I wanted to make it as demanding as possible (not for Ruby, she couldn’t learn much more in one session, but for me). I needed to see how much she could do when pushed to her absolute limits. It would put my mind at ease knowing that if we were apart, she’d be able to handle herself. My thoughts brought me all the way to her room and I knocked on the door. Immediately the door was pulled open and her beautiful azure met mine. Most days, Ruby wore a pair of black sweat pants and a blue t-shirt to training. Today, she wore tight three-quarter leggings and a pink tank top that barely covered her belly button. And I thought the blue top and sweat pants made it hard to keep my hands to myself.
“Are you ready for one last training session?” I said, fighting to keep my calm composure.
If we didn’t get out of here now, I couldn’t guarantee that I’d be able to keep my hands off her.
Her lips curved into a determined smile and she was oblivious to my animalistic thoughts. “More than ready.”
Before long, we were at our usual training place in the backyard. We warmed up with stretches and then we ran. Ruby’s cardio had improved tremendously in the last few weeks. By the end of our run she hardly ended up as flustered and out of breath as she once was. We moved into our usual offensive and defensive techniques. I crouched in front of her and she followed suit. Her eyes narrowed into cheeky catlike slits as she waited for my attack. Ruby had no idea if I was going to force her to be offensive or defensive. I wasn’t going to go easy on her, not today. I lunged at her and she dove out of the way. She rolled across the ground and landed on her feet again. I tried hard not show any sign of the pride I felt inside. That was the first time she’s managed to avoid my lunges. I was starting to think she enjoyed being caught by me. Ruby was far from mastering any of the techniques I’d showed her, but at least she had the basics down pat. I dove at her again, but she was distracted and stepped away too late. I took my chance and grabbed her arm with both hands—the double arm gab. Vampires use the double arm grab a lot. They grab you and try to pull you in to catch you with their fangs. I pulled Ruby toward me and just like I taught her she bent her elbow, using my weight against me, pulling me off balance slightly. A hard blow hit my knee and keeled over in pain. As quickly as the pain subsided, a hard object was pressed into my spine—directly above my heart. I stood up and ruby beamed at me.
“Not bad.” I said.
She frowned and placed her hands on her hips. I knew she loved it when I gave her props, I was very impressed with her, but if I let her know it now she’ll slack off for the rest of the session.
“Another one.” She demanded.
I bit the inside of my lip to fight back a smile. “Someone is keen.”
She walked backwards, away from me and returned to her crouching stance. “This time, I’ll attack you.”
I ran my fingers through my hair, curious as to why she’d want to flip the session on me. She’d already proven herself today, so I’m interested to see what she’ll do when she’s attacking. Her brows drew impatiently together as she waited for me to assume my position. I laughed. “Give it your best shot.”
She ran at me, her face more determined than I’d ever seen it. I planted my feet firmly on the ground and she threw a punch at me. Easily, I blocked it. That didn’t obscure her determination. She kept going, throwing punch after punch each blow delivering more force than the last. Regardless of the force of her attack, she was leaving too much space for someone as fast as me—or a vampire for that matter—to sneak through. I could see her growing more and more frustrated and it distracted me. That’s all it took for her to punch me square in the chest, I grabbed her wrist. She threw another punch and I grabbed her other wrist. I pushed her backwards until she was pressed against a deteriorating wall of the courtyard. She gasped, confused by what I was doing.
“You’re angry, why?” I asked.
“Because it took me this long to figure out you’re going easy on me.”
She genuinely looked upset. I told myself I wouldn’t go easy on her, but I couldn’t hurt her. I guess part of me didn’t want to go hard on her because I never thought she’d be fighting vampires. That’s what I do. I’m meant to protect her from that.
“Of course I’m going easy on you. You’ve only trained for three weeks… I’ll hurt you.”
We live in a mansion filled with vampires. If I hurt her, she’d be at even more risk.
“I can’t risk that.” I smiled to lighten the mood. “Maybe after all of this is over.”
“Do you promise?”
“Yes. I promise to beat you up when all of this is over.” I laughed.
Ruby’s soft lips connected with mine, cutting off my laugh. Momentarily, I was stunned. I definitely wasn’t expecting her to kiss me. The feeling of desire burned at my core and I couldn’t tear myself away. I wrapped my arm around her slim waist and my hand tangled in her ponytail, pressing her mouth harder against mine. Desire tore through my veins and I wanted to go further. Lower. My body was flooded with adrenaline and energy and I tugged on her slightly, so her head tilted and her neck was exposed to my lips. I kissed her neck, inching lower after every kiss I planted on her burning skin. Remember where you are. I thought. Don’t risk it. Not here, not now. Reluctantly, I made my way back up to her mouth. This time when I kissed her lips, it was slow and loving, not passionate and hungry as it had been before.
“I don’t want to stop.” She breathed as I pulled away.
Her little pink lips were held in a sad pout. I rested my forehead against hers. Damn our society for making this wrong when it felt so right. “I know.”
“Do we go back to training now?”
“No. It’s your last session, I’ll let you off. Besides, there’s nothing more I can teach you here.” I kissed her forehead and turned away. I walked over to the weight set and began stacking them from biggest to smallest. Packing this all away is going to suck. From the corner of my eye, I saw Ruby make her way over to me.
“You didn’t want to see how I go with a stake?”
I sighed. Not this topic again. I don’t know how many times I’ve told her that she’ll never need to use one. I’ll always be there to protect her.
“You won’t need to use one. Stick with you powers, leave everything else to me and the rest of the guardians.”
With obvious attitude in her step, Ruby marched over to the practice dummy. I stopped stacking the weights and moved onto the stretching mats. A loud slap drew my attention back to Ruby. I stared at what she had done. She’d managed to put the stake into the dummy and it was far enough to hit its heart.
“How did you –”
“Uh-uh, a magician never tells her secrets.”
How did she learnt to do that? I sure as hell didn’t teach it to her. I’m not surprised. Ruby was intelligent and determined. I couldn’t help but to think that maybe I have been too protective of her. All she wanted was to impress me and be independent, and I’ve been sheltering her from that.
“How is it possible?” The words left my lips before I could stop them.
“How is what possible?” She asked.
“How is it possible that you manage to impress me more and more every day?”
She smiled and a light pink flush rolled through her cheeks.
“C’mon.” I said. “Let’s get some rest and then pack some things. We leave as soon as the sun goes down.”
I walked Ruby back to her room. I know I shouldn’t have considering our kiss was still fresh on my mind. And lips.
“So I’ll – ”
My words were cut off as Ruby threw her arms around my neck and pressed her lips against mine. Eagerly, I returned the kiss. Have some control. I chastised myself.
“Stop,” I said every time our lips parted for air. I didn’t do anything to actually stop the kiss and for the most part, I didn’t want to.
“You stop first.” Ruby giggled, knowing very well that she had me right where she wanted me. If I was being honest, I was right where I wanted me too.
The same desire I felt in the courtyard came back. Actually, I don’t think it left. I pulled her harder against me and kicked the door shut. I knew I should clear my head and take control of the situation, but I couldn’t. There was too much going on inside me. I grabbed her around the waist and lifted her so her legs wrapped around me. I was so entranced by the taste of her mouth and the feel of her hands in my hair and on my skin that I couldn’t, in good conscious believe that this was wrong. This is right. It felt right. I laid her down on the bed, careful to support the majority of my weight on my elbows.
My skin erupted in goosebumps as her warm fingertips caressed my neck and rubbed my shoulders. I didn’t want to stop for breath. If I did, I was worried I’d come to my senses and realise the danger we’re putting ourselves in.
“This isn’t a good idea.” I said, as I pulled away from her lips.
“So? We’re probably going to die anyway.”
I looked into her blue eyes. She was serious. I rolled off her and stared up at the dark cream ceiling. This was the reason for her sudden sexually-impulsive behaviour? She didn’t want to die a virgin?
“I don’t want you to do this because you think you’re going to die tomorrow. I thought you wanted to do it because you care.”
I was hurt. Not for me, but for her. I didn’t care about my first time. It happened and I’ve never really thought about it again. For girls it’s different. It’s a really big deal and I don’t want to be the guy she had to have sex with because I was the only one there when she was ‘probably going to die anyway’. I don’t want to be that guy for her.
“I do care.”
I glanced at her. She stared deep into my eyes, trying to understand what I was thinking. What she said next I would have never predicted.
“I love you.”
As the words fell from her lips happiness filled me and I knew I loved her too, but I couldn’t say it, not yet. I wanted her to hear it when there was nothing threatening our lives. It was like I saw her in a different light. I knew from the beginning I would do anything to protect her. When I saw her at the school—before there were any romantic feelings—I knew I’d help her as much as I can. Now, that feeling was stronger. I’d die protecting Ruby, no matter what. I caressed her for a little while. Appreciating everything. I ran my index finger along her cheek, down her neck and across her chest. I couldn’t hold back anymore and I pulled her against me once more. My hands slid up under her top and she shivered. I pulled her tank top over her head. Perfect.
I changed to a kneeling position and pulled her up too. Following my lead, she pulled my shirt off, running her lips up my stomach and across my chest. She paused, taking in the nakedness of my torso. A deep scarlet flushed through her cheeks. From there it happened so quickly and soon we were naked under silk sheets. I ran my hands over every square inch of bare flesh before I’d realized something. I don’t have any condoms.
“You’re not going to believe this.”
“I don’t have a —”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”
I shook my head.
“I thought boys carry one around in their wallets all the time.”
“I’m not in high school, Ruby. I don’t carry one around, hoping to have sex …”
“What do we do?”
“We aren’t going to risk it.”
“You don’t have on in your room?”
I couldn’t help but to laugh. “We were coming to live with vampires and the higher power, who, by the way, made it illegal for goddesses or gods and guardian angels to have relationships. The last thing on my mind were condoms.”
Ruby’s furrowed her eyebrows and bit her lip. “Okay, so what do we do know.”
“We get dressed, we pack a bag, we rest, and then we get up at night time and travel to Gerald Harbor.”
“And,” I continued as I drew small circles around the soft skin of her belly button. “We continue this when we’re free from all this ridiculousness.”