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           J.W. Phillips
 

  Chapter 13

  Julie woke up in the binding embrace of a sleeping Trucker. His head was tucked firmly on her chest, his leg carelessly thrown over hers. She was suffocating from his humanly body heat and was confused how he ended up in bed with her. He was the one that wanted to sleep on the couch. It didn’t matter. He was with her and he was human; her own personal Adonis. She traced along his nose with her fingers. His face appeared softer while he was dreaming, making him appear his age for once. It was hard to remember sometimes that he was just a young man on the cusp of life. He pulled her closer to him. She gently kissed his lips, waking him up. His eyes fluttered open, and for a moment, she wondered if he knew how he ended up in the bed.

  “Good morning, Angel . . . Damn, I can’t even get enough of you in my sleep.” He stroked her nose with his. Something felt so right about being with him. She hoped the day would bring more understanding into all the chaos.

  “Sleep well?” she asked.

  “Once I climbed into bed with you. You really do like to cuddle when you’re sleeping.” His eyes closed as he pressed his forehead against hers. After a brief moment, he kissed the tip of her nose and buried his face in her hair.

  “You’re very cuddly.”

  “Most girls are scared of the monster under their bed,” he confessed. After inhaling a few deep breaths, he released her and rolled on his back.

  “I’m not most girls. Plus, mine just crawls into bed with me.” She playfully poked him in the side.

  “So very true. Now excuse me, but your favorite monster has got to go to the bathroom,” he stated with a quick kiss.

  “How very human of you, Mr. Castleman.”

  “Oh, I can be very human sometimes. Remember, I have a wonderful loving human for a mom and if I say so myself the cutest little human sister ever.”

  “Don’t forget your very annoying human girlfriend.”

  He smiled and winked. “She’s my favorite human of all, but I really have to go.”

  “Then go,” Julie told him as she teasingly pushed him out of bed. He whirled out of bed and shoved a pillow at her.

  Julie sat up and yawned. She looked around his room; still surprised how at home she felt there. She picked up a silver picture frame from the bedside table, and was shocked to see a picture of herself. Trucker had made it the first day they were together at the pond. She stroked the polished frame. The picture showed an expression on her face, Julie didn’t recognize. Her eyes sparkled; she was content and extremely happy. It dawned on Julie that this was all easy to accept because she loved him from day one.

  “You’re exquisite,” Trucker said, wrapping her hair around his fingers.

  “I like the picture,” she said, and placed the frame back on his dresser.

  “Me too.” He raked his fingers down the back of her neck and across her shoulder. “We need to go eat breakfast.”

  “What are ‘we’ planning on eating?”

  He raised one eyebrow, smirked, and grazed her body with his eyes. “You look mighty yummy.”

  The heat exploded to her cheeks. Julie was sure she was redder than the bright red pajama bottoms Trucker was wearing. He leaned over and stopped short of her mouth. “I would love to taste every inch of you, but if I don’t get you downstairs and to the kitchen table; mom will be sending up a search party.”

  Downstairs they found his mom and Sea already eating. A creepy lady was serving them. The lady’s eyes appeared as if they had only ever known hate and anger, making the hair on the back of Julie’s neck stand on it ends.

  “Good morning, sweet pea.” Trucker kissed Sea on the head. Sea peeked up at him and giggled.

  Helping Julie take a seat, he gave his mom a light punch in the arm. “Good morning, my beautiful momma.” He flipped a chair around, swung his leg over it, and straddled it. Julie couldn’t help but notice the speed in which he moved. Trucker apparently felt he no longer needed to hide his unnatural abilities. His unsettling speed, did however, almost make Julie nauseous to watch, but she loved the fact he didn’t hide who he was.

  “Good morning, son,” Catherine said, shifting her eyes over to Julie. “Julie, I hope you had a good night sleep.”

  “Yes ma’am, except for Truck’s snoring.”

  The lady serving them dropped the skillet she was holding, and gasped at the remark made against Trucker. Trucker cut his eyes over at her with a cold warning glare.

  “Hey, that’s my dirty little secret. That was supposed to be between me and you.” He smiled the biggest grin at Julie, and then turned back to the creepy little lady who was staring.

  “Ruby, this is my Julie. She’s my claim.” The warning behind his voice was strong and forcible. Ruby nodded her head and continued to serve the family.

  Ruby, that’s the lady who helped raise him. No wonder he is a little screwed in the head. Julie thought as she bit down on her bottom lip. It took no more than two seconds for Trucker to wrap his hand around Julie’s neck, lean into her, and whisper, “Stop biting that damn lip.”

  “I have a surprise for you,” Catherine said, breaking the hold Trucker had Julie under. Trucker shifted his eyes over to his mother and gave her a puzzled look. “I’m a mom, I have to embarrass you whenever I can.”

  All at once, a violent shudder coursed through Trucker, one hard enough to shake Julie. Trucker’s grip suddenly crushed Julie’s shoulder. Julie looked up and noticed his father, Larry, entering the room.

  “Daddy,” Sea squealed, blind to the animosity swirling around them.

  “Hey, Sea,” Larry said.

  Julie found it strange the softness Larry had for Sea. He reached over and pulled down on one of her curls the way Trucker often did to Julie’s. How could pure innocence smile up at pure evil, even if it was her father? The sight was unnerving and made Julie questioned her beliefs even more. Larry turned his sights on Julie.

  “Good morning, Miss Emison, I hope my son showed you a pleasurable night,” Larry said with a suggestive wink.

  Trucker growled at him. “Stop it, now!” he warned. Slamming his fist onto the table, it cracked off a chunk on the corner. Julie jumped in her seat only to cause Trucker to wrap his arm around her waist tighter.

  Larry held his hand up and gave an innocent look over at them. “So Julia, I’ve learned you know our little family secret,” Larry stated simply. “If you know what is best for everybody, you’ll keep your mouth shut.”

  “Dad, it’s Julie. She won’t talk and you won’t threaten her.” Trucker was on his feet, his chair kicked to the ground.

  “Son that is not a threat. It’s simply a fact.” Larry pinched the bridge of his nose. He looked over at Julie. “It’s an honor to be part of us. If you appreciate it, you’ll act accordingly.” There was no sorrow in his voice, no apology, just a simple statement; if Julie spoke she’d be treated as a threat and taken care of. Her eyes widened, incredulously. She was nothing more than an inconsequential pawn in the game Larry was playing.

  “Ruby, sweetheart,” Larry said over to the lady cooking at the stove.

  Ruby scurried over with his plate of food. They sat and ate in silence. Larry got up and kissed Sea and Catherine on the top of the head. Julie noticed Larry rubbing a weird scar on Catherine’s neck. It seemed to bring pleasure to the both of them.

  “Thank you,” Catherine told Larry as she gripped his hand.

  “Anytime,” he answered.

  He left after a brief kiss on Ruby’s forehead. As quickly as the enjoyment had left when he enter the room, it became alive again on his departure.

  “Sorry you had to be in the same room as him. I didn’t know he’d be here,” Trucker whispered in her ear. “I’m not my father,” he added.

  Julie slipped her hand reassuringly around Trucker’s arm. She was fully aware of that fact. The horrible feelings she often felt trickle off Trucker, oozed out of every pour in Larry’s all too-appealing body. Julie shivered simply by thinking about him. Catherine got up to get a large book
of pictures and handed it to them.

  “It’s Trucker’s baby book, it’s his life from birth till now.” Catherine beamed with pride.

  Julie opened the book. As she flipped through the pages it was not his beauty that struck her, she had somewhat came accustom to that, it was his lighthearted spirit. He glowed. She could see the jokester in him. She realized his mom was not showing off her bouncing baby boy, but showing Julie what his true nature was. Julie noted Trucker’s eyes in his childhood pictures. They were bright and shining. She glanced over at Trucker. He was leaning back in his chair; smiling with one eyebrow slightly raised.

  “Pretty little thing?” He smirked. The shine in his eyes was gone; replaced with a dull glow of evil.

  “You were so happy.”

  “I was, but you make me happy now.”

  It was page after page of a beautiful but extremely happy child. Trucker played every sport she could think of; basketball, baseball, soccer, and football.

  “Why don’t you play sports anymore?” Julie knew Trucker still had a great passion for sports, and he definitely had the body for it.

  “You’ve seen my temper, I don’t think that would play out to well on the field.”

  “True, I guess Jake and those mind sweepers would have to have season tickets.”

  “Something like that.” He tried to laugh.

  Julie noticed that he changed at around fourteen, his eyes got cold, and his expression hard. Even the softness she saw in his face now was void. She scrutinized every picture, he looked like misery until about the time he met her. She did touch him, though hard his face now had some warmth to it. She despised the evil that had taken root inside his body, it took his joy, his happiness, his life. On the last page was a lightly handwritten statement in pencil, help me get my son back. Looking over at Catherine, Julie nodded her head.

  *******

  Julie sunk down in Trucker’s oversized tub. A bubble bath was what she needed to clear her head. Mindful that Trucker would be prompt, she had exactly thirty minutes to relax and get dressed before he returned. She had his IPod playing in the background. Every song on it was soothing and relaxing. It would be the perfect music to play for a sleeping baby, but it made her sad. He didn’t need music to over stimulate his emotions. He needed it to subdue him. Trucker felt everything tenfold. Yes, the bad feelings almost crippled him, but the good ones where magnetized too. That thought made her smile. His love for her was real and she could only perceive how that love was amplified in his mind. With her time ticking away, she got out and dried off.

  She dug through her overnight bag undecided on what to wear, when an idea crossed her mind. Trucker wanted her to feel at home there. She would see how much he wanted her at home. She rambled around in his drawers, and pulled out the smallest shirt of Trucker she could find. She slid it on, and pulled the belt out of her shorts and fastened it around her waist. She twirled around in front of the mirror, pulling her hair back in a loose ponytail. Julie rolled up the sleeves, admiring how his shirt made the perfect dress for her. It even touched the top of her knees. She felt that it would even get Trucker’s approval.

  “Wow,” Trucker said as he walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, placing his hand on her stomach. “You look amazing.”

  “You don’t care that I ransacked your closet?”

  He slowly shook his head and stroked his hand over her stomach.

  “Do you realize that you’re the first guy I’ve ever spent the night with?” Julie wrapped her arm around his head and wiggled her fingers through Trucker’s hair.

  “I better be the only guy. Ever.” He sucked on her earlobe, then smiled against the skin on her neck. “I like you in my shirt, but you’re wearing those shorts under it,” he whispered and traced his fingers along her thigh. “This is not for public viewing.”

  “Better,” she asked, sliding on her shorts.

  “Much,” he kissed her cheek. “Let’s go. Unfortunately, I need to get you home.”

  Julie eyed him as he licked his lip. “I’ve got a new favorite tic,” she declared.

  “What’s that?”

  She leaped up in his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. “This,” she said, catching his bottom lip between her teeth and biting down gently.

  He squeezed her so hard it hurt, she still wanted him to hold her tighter. She pressed her lips to his. His growl vibrated through every nerve in her body. He backed up, falling on the bed. She sat over him straddling his midsection. He spread his fingers over and under her thighs.

  “I should’ve really thought out this shorts idea.”

  “I thought my legs were not for viewing.”

  He kneaded his fingers deeply into her muscles. “Public viewing. I think a private show would be acceptable.”

  She laughed and slapped his chest. Sitting up, he pushed his chest against hers, and grabbed her arm shoving it behind her back. His eyes held the same piercing glare he had when he’d shattered her wrist, minus the blackness. Remembering the all-consuming pain she felt, she winced. “Don’t hurt me,” she whispered. “Please, baby.”

  “I can’t . . .” Trucker couldn’t finish. His eyes were shadowed with bleakness. His body emitted loneliness. He dropped his hands to his side. His head bowed. Julie had the power to hurt him far more than he ever dared hurt her. The look on his face crippled her. Trucker hadn’t yet told Julie whether demon possession was a real phenomenon or not, but there was not a doubt in her mind that he possessed her.

  “I’m sorry. So sorry.”

  He raised his eyes to meet hers. Cold black would be a welcome relief from the misery she was staring into. “Will you ever trust me?”

  “Yes,” she answered.

  “I won’t hurt you. I want to consume you, love you, mark you, but never hurt you.”

  She cuddled onto his chest, not knowing what to say. Deep down, she was still afraid. She didn’t want to be and hoped that wouldn’t be the thing that one day separated them. He held her, letting her breathing gradually slow as his words played over and over again in her head, ‘I won’t hurt you. I want to consume you, love you, mark you, but never hurt you.’

  “What do you mean mark me?”

  “My kind bond with their partners by biting them. It leaves our unique mark behind, so our world will know who you belong too.” He rubbed his forehead on the side of her head and finally smiled.

  “Oh,” she whispered, gripping her neck. Trucker curled his fingers around her hand causing her to lose her grasp.

  “Baby, it’s not scary it’s kind of sweet,” he breathed each word into her ear.

  “Have you ever bonded with anyone?” Please say no. Please say no.

  “I’m here with you.” He itched his fingers through her hair. That’s still not a no.

  “So, why does that matter?” she asked, unable to move.

  “Angel, a bonding is for life. When we bond it’s forever.” He held her head back, his eyes smoldered, causing her legs to clench together. Oh, that’s deep.

  “Like a marriage?”

  “No, it’s more, you can get out of a marriage. A bond is unbreakable; the only way out is death. When we bond we can sense our mate’s mood, their fears from miles away. We can even sense where they are at all times.” His eyes blazed. He swept her hair up, leaving her neck bare.

  “Do you hope to bond with somebody one day?” she asked. The depth of the emotions rushing out of him made her shudder. There was an aching hurt, but more, there was a pull in him that called to her deepest level. For a brief moment, they were one.

  “Yes, we all hope that. I can’t wait till the day that special someone offers me their neck.” He started lightly stroking her shoulder with his fingers. “I can taste her, see my mark on her, and know that she’s mine forever.” He ran his nose across the base of her neck. The thought made her body tingle. She craved the feel of his mouth on her. He snatched her hair, making her look up, and slowly nodded his head.


  What would it feel like to have him bite me? Feel his teeth buried into my skin. She wondered.

  “You’re my siren and your call is all consuming.” His mood was unreadable.

  “Do you want to bond with me?”

  His eyes closed and she feared what his next move would be. His eyes popped open and he smiled, stealing her heart again. “I’m hoping one day, but not until you’re ready.” He curled her hair around his finger and lightly kissed along her collarbone. “I’ll never force you into anything. My dad forced his mark on my mom. She had no choice in the matter. Now she has no choice but to stay. I don’t want that. I want you to want me.”

  “The odd scar on your mom’s neck. I saw your dad rubbing it.” The heat rose to Julie’s face.

  “Yes, it’s his mark.” Trucker’s mouth curved into a tantalizing smirk. His striking blue eyes singed, sending waves of pleasure throughout her body. His fingertips drifted over her hips as he gave her a kiss that lingered with longing. She moaned. “Tell me, baby. Tell me what you need?”

  I need you. I need security. Right now, I need to clear my mind. I need my comfy pjs, my pile of pillows, and clarity before I let my body overrule my thinking.

  “This is all too much.” She shoved him back hard, but he didn’t budge. He gripped her waist pulling her tightly against him. “Can you take me home? I need to think.” Julie was at her wits ends. Her mind was at a loss at everything around her.

  “Let’s go . . . Baby, take your time, ask me anything, but realize I’m not going anywhere. I can’t.”

  The car ride home was long. Trucker let her muddle through the emotional roller coaster in silence. She would watch him out of the corner of her eye. Yes, he was a demon, but he was her angel too. His mom described it as great rage in him. Yes, she had seen his temper but not rage. He always treated her with the upmost of tenderness. Well, except for when he shattered her wrist with the sheer force of his will.

  “Trucker, what are you thinking?”

  “That I hope I’m not losing you.” His face held firm, his expression never changed as he looked out the car windshield.

 
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