I woke up extra early so that I could leave for work before anyone else woke up. Of course, I'll need to
get a ride from Luka given that I don't have my car yet, and I would definitely get lost in the woods. But
I decided to let him get some more rest first.
After applying my lipstick and tightening my hair, I made my way downstairs to grab something to eat. I
tiptoed passed Luka's room as I went to get breakfast before waking him.
It took me a while to actually find the kitchen.. The house was too big for its own good. To my surprise,
everyone except Luka and Caleb was already in the kitchen eating and talking.
"Good morning" I greeted, expecting a little manners, but of course, no one answered.
"Not too many at once please" I muttered sarcastically and actually received a chuckle from Lincoln.
I got myself a sandwich and went to the farthest end of the kitchen to eat alone. I noticed Twinkle's
bowl was full and I thought it must've been Luka who filled it.
The scraping of a chair caught my attention and I noticed Lincoln was making his way towards me. For
more tormenting I suppose.
"Hi" he said with a small smile. Okayyyy?
"What's the prank? I'm really not up for any games." I retorted unamusingly. He held up his hands in
mock surrender with a light chuckle.
"I'm not messing with you" He looked genuine, but I still didn't believe him. "I'm just trying to make
amends. I was being an ass last night"
I was silent for a moment but decided to answer.
"Yes you were " I muttered and he laughed loudly. It was contagious and I found myself chuckling too.
He was silent for a while before he spoke again. "I'm sorry for the way I acted last night. It's just that we
don't have pleasant history with outsiders and it's literally in my nature to be overprotective of my
people" I nodded in understanding.
" I get it. I would too if I had so many people I hold dare to me. But I assure you, I mean you and your
family no harm, I'm just here until my house is fixed. I may even leave earlier"
"Well I hope we can put this behind us and start over. Caleb gave us a proper lecture about being kind
to you. He said you're fun, I'll like to see that for myself"
I should really thank Caleb for sticking up for me.
"And don't worry about those two, they'll come around. But that protective gene runs through their veins
more prominent than mine, so it might be harder" He continued while I finished my coffee.
I simply nodded as I checked the time, seeing that it was almost time to leave. It was a Saturday
morning, which meant I'd get to leave work early today, so I planned to go spend some time at the diner
"I'll get going now" I announced with a grunt as I stood up.
"I'll drop you since Luka's still sleeping" Lincoln offered sweetly, causing me to gasp in shock.
"Um.. I guess that's okay.. " I didn't trust his intentions yet, so I was a bit skeptical. Luckily, I saw Luka
enter the kitchen looking like a very sleepy model.
Why does he have to be so damn attractive?
His eyes scanned the kitchen worryingly till they landed on me, which made him automatically relax in
"Hey why didn't you wake me up? I thought you went off by yourself" He mumbled through a yawn as
he approached me.
"Now what kind of gentleman would I be if I let the little nurse wonder off alone Luka?" Lincoln taunted
with a smirk.
"When since do you care?" He shot back. "Anyways let's go Victoria" he nodded towards the door,
silently telling me to go.
I followed him to the door, not sparing a glance at anyone. I just muttered a quick 'bye' to Lincoln as the
rest stayed silent. We drove in comfortable silence for a while until I remembered something important.
"Shit" I muttered "I forgot to arrange for my house to be cleared and renovated"
"Don't worry about that. I already dealt with it" Luka replied coolly. I just stared at him awestrucked.
"When did you even do that? This only happened yesterday" I mean, I wasn't complaining but..
"I have my ways"
"Well thank you. You saved me a lot of stress, just let me know the costs" I sighed in relief, happy that
the hard part was dealt with.
He looked like he was about to say something but I wouldn't let him.. It's my house after all. Even
though he's obviously rich, I knew I wouldn't be comfortable with him paying for my house renovations.
We sat in silence for another hour as I just enjoyed his presence. My favourite song came on the radio
and I began to sing loudly, wiggling in my chair as I shouted at the top of my voice. I caught a glimpse
of him smiling, seeming amused by my performance.
"You should really smile more, it suits you. " I said truthfully. He glanced at me then shook his head
"I'll smile when I get a reason to"
"I can help you know" I told him softly and carefully. I saw his jaw clench as an annoyed look formed on
"And how do you expect to do that Victoria? "
How did I plan to do it? I don't know.. I just thought I could, but he took my silence as an answer.
"Exactly. You don't even know half the things about me so you wouldn't know the first thing about fixing
me." His tone was harsh and I flinched under his words.
"I wasn't trying to fix you" I whispered, feeling hurt. I didn't get why it always made him angry. He didn't
answer as we drove into town, my mood completely wrecked.
"Why are you so invested in me anyways?" He asked after a while.
"What do you mean? You're a nice guy so why wouldn't I want to be your fri-"
"No I mean why do you want it to be your duty to save me? I told you to stop"
I sighed. I decided that it was okay to tell him. If we continued this friendship, maybe he would've
known eventually anyways. So, I took a while before I started speaking, just to gather my thoughts.
"When I was one year old, my parents left me. I mean like, they completely left me at home and moved
away. My aunt was called to take care of me 'until they return', but they didn't " I started ."After realising
that they weren't coming back, my aunt took care of me for years, but she was never happy." I sighed.
"She always came up with theories, like they were dead or something, but we both knew that they just
didn't want me. My aunt kinda resented me for it. She loved her sister, and she never saw her as a bad
person, so it was like I held onto her life. She wanted to get married, get a home for herself and kids,
but she always felt like she had a duty to me and my mom even if it was unfair to her" A tear escaped
my eye as I remembered everything I had nightmares about.
"In spite of all that, she always loved me. Sometimes she would get angry that her life wasn't going as
planned because of me, but she always treated me like a gem. But one day all of that changed" I
paused and stole a glance at him. He looked interested as he peered into my eyes. I didn't even
realized that he pulled over to the side of the road as he listened.
"She found what she thought was love, but the moment she found out she was pregnant, he left. She
was hurt but she was beyond happy and I was happy for her too because of the baby. She deserved
it" Here comes the hard part, I thought as I gathered my jumbled thoughts.
"On my 16th birthday, I went out with some friends. I rebelled and went home late. She was up and she
was furious. I was kinda drunk so I wasn't being fair, I had one of those teen-age breakdowns saying
stuff I didn't mean and acting all bitchy. We had a full blown argument, and I didn't know her blood
pressure was sky rocket" I sighed as more tears fell. "My little incident and the argument sent is off the
Sobs raked my body as the guilt, shame and grief of that egregious night bathed my memory and
forged my emotions into one common associate. Pain.
"She collapsed and I had to take my drunk ass self and drive her to the hospital. Luckily we arrived
unharmed and they took her into the emergency room" I muffled the words out in hopes he would
understand. It had been too long since I cried. I always believed I was too tough, but in reality, I just
wasn't facing the real hurt.
"She lost the baby" I whispered while I squeezed my eyes shut. "She lost the baby because of me! " I
shouted at no one in particular. It just hurts.
Luka unbuckled himself as he pulled me on his lap, cradling me like a baby and providing me comfort. I
snuggled my head in his shoulder for comfort, gripping his shirt like he'd disappear in thin air. Maybe it
was a bit inappropriate given that our friendship was still fresh, but if he believed this was the only way
to provide me comfort, I didn't mind. I took a while before I continued again.
"She went into some deep depression after that, and she wasn't the same" My voice was a hush
whisper, since I didn't have the energy to speak louder. I was just below his ears, so it was loud enough
for him to hear
"I apologized numerous times as the guilt ate me alive. Being the person she was, she always said it
wasn't my fault but I knew she just didn't want me to blame myself. Deep down she knew it was my
fault one way or the other, so our relationship became distant and strained. She barely talked, ate, -
"For months she was like that. But when my graduation week rolled up, she suddenly seemed normal.
She was acting happy and excited and I thought she was going back to normal" I started crying again
because I knew it was nothing close to that.
"She helped me shop, took me to the salon, made sure I was ready for everything and for the first time
in a long while, I was actually happy. On my graduation day, she was there cheering me on every step
of the way. We took numerous pictures and she told me how proud she was of me"
My voice cracked at the last part, then I showed him my screen saver. It was me and Sophie, my aunt,
on graduation day.
"She told me to go the after party and have fun. She said she had some stuff to do. She hugged me
and she said she will always love me and. I. Should. Live. A. Happy. Life. For. Her. " I said through
"I didn't understand at first, but I was too excited to comprehend, so I just kissed her cheek and left with
my friends" I took a deep breath as I tried to calm down a bit.
"I got home around 11 that night. I felt like I was on cloud nine but I was tired. I went to my aunt's room
and she was 'asleep' so I just went to bed...The next day I went downstairs for breakfast, but oddly
there wasn't any there like I was used to. So I went to Sophie's room and she was there laying down on
her chest. At first I thought she was still sleeping but after shaking her for minutes and she didn't
respond, I turned her over to see blood coming out of her mouth and nose... She was dead"
I still remembered how helpless I felt that day. I felt like everything in my life went downhill. I felt like the
fragments of my heart that were held together by the only living relative I had left, had been smashed to
It was horrible.
"I found a letter she wrote, saying that she was sorry but she couldn't go on anymore with the pain, guilt
and rejection. She told me she left all her money and belongings for me, and she hopes I'll be happy. I
learnt that my parents transferred the house in her name also, so it was mine too. She planned it Luka"
I told him while meeting his gaze.
"She made up her mind long before that day, so she could get everything to my name before she did
it." I sighed with my heart filled with defeat. Just repeating everything drained my body.
"I held her lifeless body for over an hour, crying. The blood on her sheet and face confirmed it every
passing second until I came to terms with it...I buried her with no more than six people at her funeral. I
didn't have any other family, so it was just me against the world. It took years for me to heal, but that's
what you have to do when you're alone" I ended with a sigh.
"You see Luka, when I saw you trying to..you know, it brought back so many memories and demons
that I got rid of. I felt like-like.. "
"Like since you couldn't save your aunt, you wanted to save me, so you could find some sort of peace"
He finished for me, sounding a little detached but with understanding.
When he said it like that, it just made me feel selfish, like I was using him. But he wasn't wrong though.
It hurt me to see something like that again.
"At first that was the only reason " I admitted lowly " But something about you interests me, and I'm
genuinely in this for the friendship. But I can't help the part of me that's still in it for the first reason"
I felt terrible. Just because I couldn't save Sophie, I took this man as my own personally mission. And
for what? To get some sort of peace.
"Victoria" He sighed , turning me to face him. "You can't try and fix someone who doesn't want to be
fixed for your own personal gain" I hung my head in shame.
"But I do appreciate that you actually want this to work. And I'm sorry that you had to go through that,
and go through it alone" he whispered looking pained. "I've been through shit but I had people along
the way to look out for me. I can't imagine what you've been through"
I sighed. 'More than you think bud. More than you think.'
We sat there in silence for a while longer, till he pulled out and drove the rest of the way to work.
It hurt like hell to re-open that wound, and I made sure to stitch it right back up. But even though I knew
he said I shouldn't, I still couldn't help that little part of me that wanted to ignite that flame in him again.
And I will, I just needed to find out how.