My eyes widened in terror as I struggled to get out of his grasp. "Wh-What? What do you mean?"
What in the world was happening? Mate?
But the stranger's eyes turned into confusion as he brought my neck closer to his nose and took a deep inhale of me; all the while, Mango was barking and growling at him.
He pulled away from my neck, seeming to be muddled as he stared deeply into my eyes, his face dangerously close to mine. "Why do you-" His deep, velvet voice began to say before he was interrupted.
"ROMAN, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" a voice shouted.
Our intense eye contact was brought to an abrupt end as both of our heads turned to sound of the voice. Roxy emerged from the shadowy trees with an angry expression on her face as she took in the bizarre scene that was happening in front of her. "GET OFF OF HER!"
Roman directed his gaze back towards me and released the hand that held my chin to firmly wrap it around my waist instead as he pulled my body even closer towards him. "MATE!" He growled out even harsher this time as his grip began to become painful on my wrists.
"Ouch," I cried in pain and his eyes widened before he immediately released my wrists.
"What?" Roxy said in confusion. "Roman stop it, she's my friend! My friend from ballet."
After hearing that, Roman the wrist strangler, released me from his vice grip as his face morphed into an even deeper state of confusion. "No she's-", He tried to say again but Roxy wasn't having it.
"No she's not," She glared at him as she knelt beside me. "Like I said, she's my friend from ballet; she's not from around here. You're confusing her with someone else."
I feel sorry for whoever "mate" is to him around here because this behavior right here is straight up psychotic!
With unsure eyes, he slowly released the arm that was wrapped around my waist and backed away as he stared at me in bewilderment.
"I don't understand," He shook his head in confusion as he looked up at Roxy; his gray eyes sparkling.
That makes two of us pal.
Now that Roxy was standing next to him, I could see the striking resemblance that they shared. Same steel gray eyes, same thick, shiny brown hair, same pink pouty lips. They have to be related. She did mention before that she has an older brother.
"Are you alright, Fee?" She asked in a concerned tone as she held out a hand to help me up off of the ground.
With my eyes still glued Roman, I hesitantly gripped her hand as she pulled me to a standing position. I was still scared that he'd make a move to grab me again.
Now that I was standing, I noticed just how large this man really was. He towered over me as my head barely reached his shoulders.
"Fee?" Roxy said again as I didn't respond to her the first time.
"Ye-Yeah, I'm good," I quickly said as I gulped and folded my arms tightly across my chest.
No one made a move to say anything after that. Roman the Wrist Strangler was still staring into my soul, which was making me very uncomfortable, Mango was still snarling at him and Roxy seemed frazzled.
"I'm so sorry about him Fee," She apologized as she wrapped an arm around me. "He just mistook you for somebody else."
I peered around at him to see if Roxy's statement was correct. He gulped as he shook his head again. "Yeah, I-uh, you're definitely the wrong person. I'm sorry about what happened." He apologized before turning around and darting off back towards the house.
"Was that your brother?" I asked softly as I stared at the spot where he just was.
Roxy sighed. "Yeah but, he's not normally like that. I don't know what came over him. He didn't hurt you did he?"
Well I mean, my wrists still hurt and that encounter greatly impacted my mental and psychological constitution. But other than that I'm awesome!
"No, I'm fine," I lied to reassure her. Looking down I realized the original reason why I even came here in the first place.
"Here's your shoes," I bent down to retrieve the pale pink toe shoes.
"Thanks," She accepted them as she ran a hand through her distressed hair. "I feel so bad about what happened Fee. I know that must've scared the hell out of you."
"It was definitely a chilling experience, but like I said I'm fine, you don't have to keep apologizing."
She gave me a deadpanned expression. "Yes I do, if this situation was reversed, you would've built me a shrine or sacrificed a goat as an apology."
I chuckled as I picked up Mango in my arms. "Yeah, you're probably right."
We both walked back towards my car in silence. I was still paranoid that her brother was going to appear out of nowhere and attack me again. "This place is really beautiful," I complimented. "It's like a mini city here."
"Oh yeah, it's a family thing," She explained. "Basically our ancestors had a huge amount of land and decided to turn it into this community."
"That's actually really cool," I said impressed.
"It is but sometimes I wouldn't mind if it was a little closer to the rest of civilization you know? This place is really isolated."
"True, but that's what gives it its charm."
She shrugged nonchalantly. "I guess so."
Our conversation was cut short by the sudden beep of my phone, letting me know I had a new message. As I read, I remembered the task that I was supposed to do. Oh shit.
"Shit," I swore as I unlocked the SUV. "I forgot that I was supposed to pick up Bon-Bon."
"Now I feel even more bad about what happened," She frowned.
I rolled my eyes. "I told you that I'm fine Roxy, seriously I'm not mad or anything."
"I hope you aren't just saying that to make me feel less guilty."
I am. "No, I'm not."
"Alright," She said as Mango and I got in and I started the ignition. "I'll see you on Monday then? I'll message you later."
I nodded buckling up. "Yeah, I'll see you later."
She waved one last time as I swiftly turned the jeep around and sped on out of there like a bat from hell! I wasn't taking any chances with that lunatic still so close by.
My cell phone began to ring and I answered it without checking the I.D. "Hello?"
"WHERE ARE YOU?" The annoying voice of my little brother screeched. "You were supposed to pick to pick me up thirty minutes ago?"
"Would you chill out?" I rolled my eyes. "You should be happy I gave you more time to spend with your friend."
"Unlike you, I actually have a life." He shot back.
The nerve of this little prick. "Hey I'm the one that's picking you up, I can leave your ass there for all I care!"
"Oh yeah," He challenged. "Well, then I'll tell Grandma! What'll you do then?"
Damn he got me there; no one wants to incur the wrath of Maya Grey. "Just sit tight, I'm coming." I curtly responded as I hung up.
"Beautiful!" Madame Mercier praised as she watched Roxy finish her performance with a perfect Grand Jeté.
She had asked Roxy to perform a variation of Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers for the rest of the class, and she executed it flawlessly. Her talent was just out of this world! She's svelte, yet strong. How can someone be that small but still have so much power in their body?
"Flawless as always Roxanne," Madame Mercier commended. "Observe ladies, this is what hard work will get you."
"Great job," I told her as she sat down next to me.
Watching Roxy dance made me realize just how much I suck at ballet. There's no doubt that I'm one of the weakest dancers here.
"Alright ladies, that's all for today," Madame Mercier clapped her hands. "Remember that auditions for Giselle will begin next week, as well as our joint lessons with the danseurs from the Carleton Dance Company."
We all knew who would take the starring role as Giselle.
"I'm so tired," Roxy groaned as she began untying her pointe shoes. "Kyle kept me up all night!"
Ah, the infamous Kyle. He was Roxy's boyfriend, who was the starring role of our conversations 45% of the time. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind her talking about him, but when she starts to talk about their very active sex life it makes me feel just a tad bit uncomfortable.
"Oh God Roxy please don't start," I rolled my eyes. "You've informed me quite of enough of how much Kyle keeps you up at night."
"Get your mind out of the gutter Fee, I don't mean it that way." She laughed. "For once we actually laid in bed and talked instead of doing it all night. We started talking about one thing and then it just swayed to another, before we knew it the sun was rising."
"You got no rest last night and still managed to practice before you went to school and just now," I said looking at her incredulously. "How do you do it?"
"Honestly, I asked myself the same question today." She shrugged. "I truly have no idea."
"Well, you're going to need all the energy you can get," I said as I pulled my sweats over my black leotard. "With the whole Giselle play that's happening, you'll be as busy as ever trying to prepare for the lead role."
"Who said I'm going to get the lead role?"
My head whipped around to stare at her with a deadpanned expression. "Oh come on, who else is going to play Giselle besides you?"
"There are a lot of other talented ballerinas here who can take the role."
"Enough with the humility Roxy," I started. "I don't even think Madame Mercier will accept anyone else to play the role of Giselle."
"What about you?" She shot back.
My eyes shifted back and forth. "What about me?"
"Aren't you going to audition?"
I snorted. "Yeah right. Even if I did, I'll probably audition to be a tree or something."
Roxy frowned. "You shouldn't put yourself down all the time you know."
"I'm not putting myself down, I'm just stating facts," I said slinging my gym bag across my body as I searched for my keys. "Besides, I told you that I'm only doing ballet because it'll look good on my college applications."
"Is that the real reason or the excuse that you've convinced yourself with."
My right eyebrow twitched in slight annoyance. "I-I don't know what you mean."
She let out another sigh before grabbing her own gym bag. "Forget it. I don't want to fight. But to be fair, if I'm auditioning then you have to as well."
"What role can I honestly get Roxy?" I asked as we made our way towards the exit.
"You never know unless you try Fi-Fi," She shrugged. "Who knows, maybe you'll surprise yourself."
I snorted at her optimism. "I doubt it but fine, I'll audition."
Pushing open the doors the exit, the first thing that we were greeted with was a monster black Hummer that nearly took up two parking spaces. What the hell? Who owns this?
"Whose truck is this?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh that's Kyle," She said sweeping a stray brown strand back into her bun. "He's picking me up today. Come on, I want you guys to meet."
She didn't give me anytime to protests as she tightly gripped my wrist and dragged me towards the monster vehicle. The first thing I saw was boot clad feet before a tall figure with a shit-eating grin on his face coming out of the passenger side of the car.
God damn, I could see why Roxy talked about him so much. He was fine as hell!
He was of Asian descent with short black hair, muscles that were bulging from his fitted black t-shirt and adorable brown doe-eyes. His smile was also very handsome.
"Hey baby," Roxy released me to wrap her arms around his neck and pull him down for a passionate kiss.
"Oh God," I said slightly disgusted as I turned away.
She laughed as she released him and turned back towards me. "Babe this my friend that I told you about, Africa Grey. Fee, this is my boyfriend Kyle Seng."
"Oh so you're the infamous Africa," He held out a large hand towards me. "It's great to finally meet you! Rox talks about you all the time."
I shook his hand as I felt myself blushing a bit by his handsomeness. "Ye-Yeah it's the same with me. She always talks about you."
"Good things I hope?" He asked as he turned to lovingly stare down at her. How cute!
I was so jealous of Roxy. Not only was she insanely gorgeous and talented, she also had a loving boyfriend. Let's not forget her friendly and extroverted personality; she's literally the perfect human being. I'll probably never be able to be like her.
"All good things," I responded softly as I tightened my bag on my shoulder.
"Is someone else in the car with you?" Roxy asked as she turned towards the Hummer.
Now that she mentioned it, Kyle had come out the passenger side.
"Yeah uh, Roman said he wanted to tag along for some reason," Kyle scratched the back of his neck. "I don't really know why."
Memories of Saturday evening came flooding back to me as I recalled how was attacked by that lunatic. Roxy noticed my face turning into horror as Kyle said that and she quickly came over to me. "Do-Don't worry Fee, it's fine."
Kyle's face morphed into confusion. "Um, am I missing something here?"
"Remember last night? I told you what that idiot did."
Realization came across his face. "Oh! Well, I don't think he's going to bother you anymore Africa, so you don't have to be so afra-".
But his sentence was cut short as the driver side of the vehicle swung open and the man of the hour came sauntering out looking even more handsome since the last time I saw him. His hair was pushed back and the long sleeved red shirt that he was wearing looked like it was ready to bust at the seams because of how tight it was. His face was set into a harsh scowl as he walked over to us.
Oh dear Lord!
"Roman, what are you doing here?" Roxy seethed at him. "Why won't you leave my friend alone?"
But he just ignored her he stood directly in front of me. I watched his eyes examine me from the tip of my ballerina bun to my flip-flop clad feet and back up; his gaze lingering a little longer on my hips.
"Dude, what are you-" Kyle started but was rudely cut off.
"Shut up," Roman growled out, startling me by his harsh tone.
His eyes connected with mine and I watched them soften a bit before he began to speak. "I just wanted to...apologize for what happened the last time we met. It wasn't my intention to frighten you."
Kyle's jaw dropped in the background as he stared at Roman in disbelief. Heck, my own jaw was ready to drop because I wasn't exactly expecting another apology since he already had.
Everyone's eyes have turned to me and I realized that I hadn't said anything. But I was so nervous! My mouth started to feel extremely dry as my heart began to race. Calm down! Calm down!
"Are you alright?" Roman asked as he gently grabbed my hand, which only made me panic even more.
"Uh-um, yes fi-fine I am!" I scrambled out as I realized that didn't make any sense. "Am fine!"
Someone, please kill me. Just bury me alive.
My head dropped in shame as I wished the ground would swallow me whole for making a complete fool of myself. Why am I like this?
I heard Roman let out a deep chuckle before his large calloused hand cupped my chin and gently lifted it up so that our eyes could meet once again. "What's your name?"
My face began to heat up even more as I realized how close we were. "Af-Africa."
"That's a beautiful name for a very beautiful girl," He smiled down at me, making my legs feel weak. Me? Beautiful? "Does Africa have a last name?"
I gulped, as his attractiveness was beginning to become too much for me to handle. "It's Grey, Africa Grey," I said softly.
He stared at me for a few more seconds before he released my chin and brought my left hand to his lips to kiss my knuckles. "It's a pleasure to meet you Africa Grey, I'm Roman Knox."
By this time, both Kyle and Roxy's jaws were to the floor as they stared at Roman and me in disbelief. Meanwhile, I was trying my hardest not to pass out as I felt all the blood rushing to my head. "Ye-yeah I know who you are. You're Roxy's brother."
At hearing her name, Roxy broke out of whatever trance she was in and marched over to Roman. "What the hell is this Ro? Why are you acting like this?"
His face morphed back into a scowl as he stared down at her in annoyance. "I'm apologizing for my actions Roxy!" He snarled. "Why are you acting like this?"
"I'm acting like this because your behavior is bizarre!" She said in an obvious tone. "First you attacked her two days ago and now this?"
"Are you deaf? I said that I'm apologizing for having attacked her." He shot back.
"And I'm saying that you never EVER apologize!" She fumed. "I don't know what your motive is, but if you're planning on making Africa another one of your little whores, then you picked the wrong girl because she is not like that!"
I felt my heart sink at her statement. So he was one of those guys, huh? I should've known. Why would a guy as attractive as this be interested in me if it wasn't just to get into my pants?
Slowly I pulled my hand out of his grip as I backed away. "Um, I'm gonna go Roxy, my parents will start to worry."
"No wait," Roman said as he went to reach for my hand again but I stepped back even further. Why did I even want him to be interested in me?
"It was nice to meet you," I smiled at Kyle as I avoided Roman's gaze.
"Fee," Roxy said in a sorrowful tone.
"I'll see you later," I gave her one last fake smile before I quickly went towards SUV and pulled out of there.
God, how do I get myself into these messes?
"You're such an idiot Fee," I scolded myself as I sped towards my home.
I don't even know what I was expecting, for him to want to get to know me better? He's not even the same age as me, he'd be more interested in older women around his age. I guess I must've seemed liked "easy" prey to him. In a sense, I probably was because when you've been starved of a romantic relationship all your life, you start to crave desperately for it and begin to seek out any possible way to obtain it.
"Stupid," I chastised myself one last time as I swiftly pulled into my driveway.
"I'm home," I called out as I walked through the front doors of my home.
At my exclamation, Eden's head peeked around from the sofa as she skipped on over to me. "Oh thank God you're here Fee, I need help deciding the outfits my waiters are going to wear for my wedding."
Take me now Lord.ns 22.214.171.124da2