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       Home, p.16

           J.W. Phillips

  “You do, why?” he inquired.

  “I see your good side. I watch you with Sea. I feel how you touch me. No matter how many times my head tells me to leave, my heart tells me to stay. I know there is more to you then you believe. I’m willing to accept all of you for that love you have in your heart.”

  Shaking her off, he jumped to his feet. “I don’t even have a heart. When you lay your head on my chest have you ever once heard a heartbeat? No. Because it is not there. I was born with one because of my mom, but it froze over soon after my first birthday.” He ran both hands through his hair. Placing her hand on his back, she trailed her fingertips along his spine. She remembered his mother talking about the rage freezing over his heart and she was the one to melt it. Then she thought of him with Sea listening to her heartbeat.

  “You listen to Sea’s heartbeat, because as long as her heart beats she can’t be a monster.”

  He nodded his head. “Yes, I had one for about the first year and a half of life. I listen every time I hold her and fear I’ll not hear hers one day too.”

  “Demons have no heart, so as long as her heart beats she’s human?” Julie asked.

  “Yeah, and I don’t want her to be a monster.” Trucker sat back down and quickly and forcibly kissed Julie. He held her face in his hand, and pushed his forehead against hers. “I don’t want her to suffer like this forever.”

  “Are you immortal?” she asked and he released her.

  “Not like you mean. I have a life span. It’s hard to run for president without a birth certificate.”

  “And the ability to turn gray.” She tried to laugh and lighten the mood.

  “Yeah, my kind are born and we live to our mission is played out. Our awards and punishments come in our afterlife.”

  Julie’s heart pounded in her chest loud and fast enough for the both of them as she pondered all she had learned about the world around her. She didn’t ask any more questions. They just walked in silence, listening to the leaves crackle under their feet.

  I’m tired. Can I go back home now?” she wondered.

  Trucker flipped around, picked her up, and crushed her against his chest. He raked his teeth along her jawline, and begged, “Give me tonight. Please, Angel, let me have tonight.”

  Julie’s heart melted. She would’ve gave him anything, a night was nothing compared to what she was willing to give him. “I meant your home. I need to be near you more than ever.”

  Without saying a word to each other or anybody else, they went hand in hand to his bedroom. She was in that very room earlier, but with her world falling apart she never truly got to look at it. Trucker tossed her a drink that he had grabbed out of a small refrigerator built into a wet bar. Julie could see he was breathing hard. No doubt he was reliving the moments from earlier that day in his mind. He smiled at her, stood back, and with the wave of his hand gave her room to explore his personal space. Julie felt guilty about it. Trucker didn’t open up to anyone, yet he was giving her free rein to explore. The room was nicer than most studio apartments. There was a small home theater off the main bedroom space. The plasma TV was possibly the largest one Julie had ever seen: sitting in front of it was a row of recliners. Around the TV, old movie posters hung, on the remaining three walls were selves after selves of DVDs. He had everything from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights to every Stephen King movie made. Looking over the shelves, his organizational skills were evident. Each and every movie was placed in alphabetical order.

  Julie glanced back at Trucker; he had already stripped out of the shirt his wings had split earlier. She wanted to take in the sight of his perfectly sculptured chest but it was the peculiar expression on his face that grabbed her attention.

  “Why do you hang out at my house so much when you have a bedroom like this?” Julie asked, but had a million other questions she wanted to ask.

  “Because that’s where my angel is. This is just stuff.” He reached for her. His arms formed a cage around her as he lunged toward the bed that was stationed across the room, knocking it into the wall as they landed on it. She gasped at the smooth almost motionless leap. Trucker chuckled at her wide-eye expression. He readjusted her so that she was laying firmly next to his body. “Look around, I told you my favorite color was green,” he murmured against her skin and traced around her green eyes with his thumb.

  His walls were covered in green and gray plaid wallpaper. The massive leather sofa seating opposite the bed was an odd but unique shade of green. The marble on the wet bar was the same particular shade of green. The bed however stood out. It had a gray comforter that perfectly matched his wallpaper. It reminded her of a massive fluffy storm cloud. His life was so full of storms that Julie saw it as poetic that his bed, the one place for him to find peace and comfort, was a storm cloud.

  “Why gray?” she asked, pulling at the comforter.

  “Because my life was gray before you came in it.” He pulled at her earlobe and smiled his all-American smile. Julie’s heart lurched into her stomach. He was her monster. He was her everything. She was more determined than ever to pull him into the light. Holding the side of her head, his mouth parted. There was a need and desperation to his kiss. The feeling was almost too much for Julie. He had all the trappings of the world. He didn’t lack in money, just love and happiness. This sweet, wounded boy needed her. She was the one to make him whole, to heal his hurt. She was doing what was right.

  “It’s late. Are you ready for bed?”

  Julie simply nodded her head. She was exhausted but unsure if she would ever be able to sleep that night.

  Catherine had laid out some pajamas, a new toothbrush, and toothpaste at the foot of the bed for her.

  “Angel, use my bathroom. It’s through those doors.” He pointed to a set of doors behind her back. “I’ll use the bathroom down the hall.”

  He didn’t sit up with her. He rolled on his back and ran his hands down his face. Knowing the magnitude of the day was finally hitting him, her heart quivered at his broken-hearted expression. He was so scared of losing her, but her heart was loudly screaming she could never leave. The blood pounded in her ears. She was dying to reach out and kiss him, but her body refused to obey.

  “You have all your stuff in your bathroom, I’ll use the hall bath,” she said.

  “No.” He was stern. “Don’t leave this room without me, promise.” There was such urgency in his voice. She nodded her head. “I’ll be right back, please be careful, I need you.”

  He hopped up. After kissing her on the top of the head, he quickly left. She slumped on the bed and held her pajamas to her stomach. Earlier that day her world was falling apart in that very room, but now she felt hope for the future. She picked up her toothbrush and hurried to get ready knowing he would soon be back.

  His bathroom was bigger than most bedrooms. The tub could have easily held two maybe three people. After the long day she had and the sweaty walk in the woods, she wanted to sink down in it and take a long bubble bath. Sure he would freak out if she was out of his sight for too long, she pushed aside the idea of a nice long soak and changed into the softest pajamas. She brushed her teeth and scurried back into his bedroom. He was waiting right outside the door for her. With a brief gush of air, Trucker had her wrapped in his arms and wings. She knew he had extra powers but his speed still got to her. Feeling his body at her back and the soft caress of his wings, the pit of her stomach rolled. Suddenly, she was fearful of where the night might lead.

  To Julie’s dismay, Trucker let his wings recede. She wanted to pout but the determine look in his eyes as he took her by the hand and led her to his bed gripped her attention. Sitting down, he pulled her close to him, and removed the clip out of her hair, releasing her curls. They fell freely around her face. He brushed his fingers through them, placing a hand on each side of her face.

  “Angel, when I was little I dreamed of a place where I would feel safe and loved for who I am, not what I am. You’re everything I dreamed about and more.

  She stood there dazed. Yes, he was pure evil, but he was so much more. He was her lost little boy that needed to feel love. He had a soul that shined brighter than the evil glint in his eyes. She crawled into bed and positioned herself beside him. They laid there staring at each other. He slowly inch by inch took her hand into his. She could see so many emotions in his eyes, but above all it was love and hope. She rested her head on his chest and felt a small spark come from his heart.

  “Trucker, tell me how it works.”

  “What, baby?” Trucker stroked her hair, pushing a strand away that was stuck to her sweat soaked forehead. He was tender, but the tension was laying just under the surface.

  Aware his nerves were shot, she decided to play it safe and give into the happy points of the day. “This beaming, teleportation thing, can you take me to like Paris?” She widened her eyes in a fake enthusiasm.

  “You’re not fooling me. I always know how you’re feeling. I can see the fear, feel the anxiety, and taste the desire.” He pressed his fingers into her arm. “But to answer your question . . . no, that’s Jake’s job. I don’t know how I did it today. My kind all have magic in us. We have some gifts that comes natural to us and others we can learn.” Trucker scraped his hand down her arm. Julie tried not to tremble; conscious he was oblivious at how roughly he was manhandling her. “Jake has been trying to teach me that trick for a while. The farthest I’ve ever gone is from here to my bathroom. I just know today ... I wanted you here so bad. I needed to talk to you alone. Then you started.” He restrained her, pushing her body onto his. “Baby, how could you think I could hurt you much less . . .” He shook his head. The pain on his face was too much for her.

  “You did hurt me.” She wanted to kick herself when those words slipped out. He did hurt her, and she could only imagine the pain he could cause. Nothing he could do physically would come close to the ache his mental pain caused. “Truck, my head was going a million miles an hour. I knew you were uh . . . different, but not this. Demons bring pain not love. Why else would you have me here? If not to kill me.”

  “Because I want you here with me and for the record, we don’t date our victims. I know that’s harsh, but I couldn’t hurt you, not like that. The human in me loves you way too much.”

  No, he wouldn’t hurt her, and she believed that or she wouldn’t have been there. She shifted her body on his and giving him a guilty little grin, she tickled her fingers over his chest. She had enough sense to be scared, but for the moment she never felt safer or more wanted.

  “I’ll sleep on the couch, baby,” he offered.

  “Why?” she asked suddenly confused and hurt. What did she do to make him want to leave?

  “Baby, I’m not leaving you. It’s dangerous to be near me when you are so vulnerable.” His trembling hand caressed her hair. Julie never felt it; her heart was trying to stay intact. She snuggled close to his body and fingered his chest hair.

  “I’m scared to be here by myself.” She hated to admit it to him, but she needed him with her.

  “Babe, I would never leave you alone. I’ll be on the couch.” He kissed the top of her head and grabbed a pillow. She watched as he walked to his closet and pulled out some blankets. He meticulously spread the blankets out on the couch and made the neatest bed. He moved like he had done it a million times and had it down to a fine art.

  “Truck, how many girls have you had stay here with you?”

  “One and only one, my one and only.” He knelt down beside the bed and stroked her face. “I have to be private because of what I am, but my nature makes me extremely private. I’ve never let anybody in my life but you.” He did that heart tugging tilt of his head. “I learned as a little boy not to trust anyone, doing so only brings pain, but I trust you.”

  “I love you, Truck.” Julie reached out to touch the dimple on his cheek.

  “Angel, my chest is on fire. What you do to me is amazing.”

  “I know you been with other demons but is it possible for us?”

  He busted out laughing. “Are you talking about sex,” he said through his laughter.

  She nodded, and he gripped her hand, bringing it to cup his harden and enlarged groin. “Does this answer your question? Baby, I want to sink so deep in you that you beg for mercy but if I did at the moment, I would claim you and you are not ready for any of that.” Trucker brought his face close to hers. Julie thought he was going to kiss her but he gripped her earlobe with his teeth and tugged. “I need to be able to control myself with you. I can hurt you if I’m not extra careful, and for once, I’m going to do the right thing by someone,” he whispered in her ear before lightly kissing her cheek. “So stop begging.”

  Julie had been willing. He could had easily devoured her. However, he fought his true nature and chose to protect her. Sex was not his main desire where she was concern. His appetite to consume her and bond him to her forever was his greatest need. She only knew what he was, not what he wanted from her, and she was nowhere ready to learn that little detail either.

  Trucker had always slept with one eye open and that night was no exception. Trucker bounced to his feet when he heard a shuffle in the corner. He suddenly snapped his head around to see Julie sleeping, holding onto his pillow. He noticed her radiate light filtrated throughout his darkness. Forgetting the noise that woke him, he watched her sleep and for the life of him couldn’t understand why she chose to stay.

  “We need to talk, you lazy bum,” Jake said and jerked on Trucker’s ear, pulling him over. “Now.”


  “She won’t wake up, I dusted her,” Jake explained.

  In his ever-blinding speed, Trucker was in Jake’s face. “What did you do?” He went to hit him, but Jake captured his fist.

  “Cool it, boy, it was sleeping dust. She’s your claim. You honestly think I could hurt her much less tell you about it. I’m not into suicide missions or hurting you.” He let Trucker’s hand go and Trucker fell back on the couch.

  “What is so important you felt the need to come tonight?” Trucker asked, sliding his hand through his hair.

  “Her.” Jake and Trucker both glanced over at Julie sleeping. “She’s special.”

  “Like I didn’t already know that.” Trucker walked over to her and wiped the hair off her face. She was his claim. The feelings he had for her was far greater than anything he had ever experienced before.

  “I know your track record with the ladies. Trucker, you can’t do that to her. Her virtue is important to her.”

  “I know that too. I love her. I’m never going to push anything on her.”

  “Especially your mark, you want to mark her, ensure she’s always yours. She’s not ready for that. She will be one day but listen to me wait.”

  Trucker rolled over beside her and lightly ran his fingers down her neck. “I never understood the whole bonding thing. Why would you want some woman around for the rest of her life? Women are to be used then thrown away, but not her.” He placed a feathery light kiss on her forehead. “My jaws ached tonight. I wanted too.” He rolled back over and sat on the edge of the bed. “Jake, I can never truly have her.”

  Jake crouch down beside him. “Why do you say that? She’s here now.”

  “For now, but when will it be too much. When Emily turns into a wolf, into her. The council tries to kill her.” He glared at Jake. “When she finds out my true destiny. I told her I had a choice, but we both know that’s a lie.”

  “It’s not a lie. I’ve told you, everyone has more than one destiny. It’s up to you which one you choose.”

  “Not me, I have no choice.” Trucker was on his feet pacing. He felt his other side coming to the surface. He had to reel him in. There was no way he could let him loose this close to her. He wouldn’t let him anywhere near her.

  “Yeah, let her go then. Emily is your destiny not her, right?”

  It was going to happen, but he didn’t want to hear it and somewhere deep down, he hoped it wasn’t tru

  Trucker had Jake by the throat “Take it back now.”

  “That's right, boy. Get mad. Fight for her. She’s stronger than you believe. She’s not leaving you. She’ll one day ask for you to bond with her, you have to wait for her to ask.”

  Trucker dropped him and went back to her.

  “Truck, she’s smart and watches everything, she’ll notice the mark. She’ll ask you about it. You tell her everything, show her your teeth. It’ll scare her at first, but she’ll come to you one day and beg you for it.”

  “I’m scared I’ll lose control with her.” He traced her neckline.

  “You won’t, but this little lady will teach you patience.” Jake said as he shook his finger at Julie.

  Trucker turned back to Jake but he was gone. He nuzzled his nose across her jaw taking in her smell, and imagined his mark on her. His jaw ached as his canine teeth partially extended. He licked the vein at the side of her neck, wanting desperately to break the skin. The passion burned through his veins. He jerked back, clenching his jaw shut. She rolled over, spooning herself against the length of his body.


  Trucker crawled out of the warm cocoon they were wrapped in and stumbled to the bathroom. He stared at his reflection in the mirror. His cold black eyes stared back at him. He smiled and saw his teeth were long and sharp. With a rush of reality, he realized his other side was fighting to come out. He had found his mate and wanted to stake his claim. He wouldn’t let the evil in him win. Julie was to be protected and loved. He would fight him and keep her safe. He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, but eventually his demon conceded. Trucker went back into his room. He merely stood staring at her sleeping. After several minutes, he crawled into bed and wiped a tress of blond curls off her face. He shivered as she sighed in her sleep and burrowed her face in his chest. The clear pure light coming off her stung his eyes. He held her tight in his arms and drifted off to sleep with her taste on his tongue.

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