Out of Control
I could still feel Zac’s touch even long after I’d gone home and bathed, argued with Andy and had dinner.
Even as I lay on my bed nursing the bruises I’d managed to hide from my brother, I could feel his teeth and lips sucking and nibbling and pulling on my skin, my moans filling the heated car.
It got me all hot and bothered to remember the events of the previous night.
I’d never done anything like that before. I was a good girl.
I didn’t do parties, or alcohol, or boys. I went to school, done my homework, studied, and stayed at home.
But maybe now… Maybe now that I’d had the taste of a foreign lifestyle; both metaphorically and literally; maybe now I could be who I’d always longed to be. Someone more radiant and exciting and spontaneous and exotic… Maybe… Maybe Zac was going to bring that out of me.
I lay waiting for his call until I fell asleep much earlier than planned, dropping into a solid brick cave of slumber, one so deep I didn’t even dream.
When I awoke in the morning the reminder of school – with no Zac or beautiful family members to distract me – and Hollie’s newly-found relationship loomed over me like a rain-cloud threatening to rain on my parade, and the second I looked at my cell and realised I’d missed three calls from Zac; it burst.
Groaning I mentally slapped myself silly; how could I have slept through his calls?! Realising my cell was on vibrate I turned it onto normal so I wouldn’t miss anymore calls and hurried to get ready for school.
I was sat at the dining table, drinking coffee when I realised that he’d texted too. Just a simple message saying: Sogni d’oro mia cara.
I typed that sentence into Google Translate and received: Sweet dreams my darling.
I grinned from ear-to-ear and quickly typed: Buongiorno bambino. I hope your trip wasn’t too rough and that Brianna is okay.
A moment later my cell rang and I grinned as I answered with,
“Well aren’t you fast?”
“Always known to be so, mia cara,” He purred down the line. “And babe? Isn’t that cute.” He cooed.
“Hey, how d’you know I didn’t mean ‘bambino’ in the ‘child’ sense? I think good-morning child sounds remarkably sweet, don’t you?”
“You’re pushing the Italian now, amore.”
I laughed and so did he.
“Are you getting ready for school?” He asked and I sipped at my coffee.
“Already done.” I explained.
“Damn I wish you had to wear a uniform,” He groaned. “Ugh merda I can see that now…” The doorbell rang and I laughed at his tone.
“C’mon in guys!” I called, holding the phone away to do so. “Hey, bambino, lets not get too carried away here, it’s only eight in the morning after all.” The front door didn’t open and I groaned.
“Something the matter, mia cara?” Zac sounded concerned on the other line and I shook my head.
“Andy must’ve locked the door when he left for college, otherwise Hollie would’ve just come right on in…” I explained as I walked down the hall, frowning as I noticed Andy’s car keys still hanging on the hook. “Wait a minute…” I mumbled, peering at the door to see it unlocked.
I frowned as I tried the handle and pulled the door opened; a mass of flowers greeting me.
“Wow,” I choked. “Uh…”
“Sorpresa!” Zac’s voice cheered as he pulled the flowers away and revealed his face.
“Zac!” I gasped, frowning as I glanced at my cell to realise he’d already ended the call. “But shouldn’t you be in Italy?” I asked, backing inside the house to let him inside.
“I should be,” He nodded guiltily, closing the door behind him before I led the way along the hall. “But I was thinking to myself; how could I possibly travel half-way around the Globe when I have a beautiful woman like rosso right here? So I told myself, cazzo! Just stay behind and spend time with rosso.”
“Rosso is red right?” I guessed and he nodded his head, setting the flowers down on the kitchen table. “Zac are you sure your family will be okay with this?”
“Oh they’re not,” He laughed. “But I don’t give a damn,” He shrugged carelessly. “I’m sick of jumping to their every beck and call. I’m not a dog and I’m not a child and they’ll see me when I say so, not when they say so.” He said matter-of-factly.
“I’m glad you’re standing on your own two-feet, but I don’t want to be the cause of the problem between you and your family.”
“Mia Cara,” Zac purred, crossing the room to me leaning sheepishly against the counter. “You could never be a problem, not between my family and I, or in any other sense,” He said as he reached up and caressed my cheek with the backs of his fingers in a delicate embrace. “But I have an apology to make,” He said seriously, dropping his hand and cracking his knuckles. My stomach jolted.
“What happened between us on Saturday night was entirely my fault. I took advantage of the situation, and of how drunk we both were, and I forgot my manners, and my traditions, and I let myself get carried away. I don’t want to seem like a player, in any sense, because I have been brought up to be a gentleman in the ways of women, and I should never have given you reason to think otherwise. I am so very sorry, mio carro. Do you forgive me?” I forced the lump out of my throat.
“Zac, you don’t have to apologise,” I shook my head and he opened his mouth to speak but I held up my hand, stopping him. “We were both drunk, we’d both had so much to drink, and we were both willing participants taking advantage. I was abusing the situation just as much as you. So if you’re worrying over not being a gentleman, I’m worrying over not being a lady…” I paused. “I don’t…” I cleared my throat, my previous confidence suddenly gone as I couldn’t even look him in the eye. “I don’t usually do stuff like that,” I admitted. “I-I mean… I don’t go to parties, or drink excessively, or get into situations like that when I’m drunk… I guess… What I’m trying to say is that Saturday night was a first for me, and I want to make sure it never happens again. Not on your part, but from a personal-erratic-normally-ladylike sense.” He smiled and nodded his head.
“I’ll forgive you if you forgive me.” He suggested and I nodded my head.
“Of course.” I said and he smiled, reaching forward for my hand.
Frowning in confusion I gave it to him and he smiled up at me through his lashes as he kissed the back of my hand saying,
“Bello, it is lovely to meet you. I’m Zac Larinsones.” I smiled and played along.
“Likewise, Zac,” I cleared my throat. “I’m Scarlett Jefferson. This is the house I share with my never-here parents Patricia and Frank, and my older-over-protective brother Andy.”
“Oh?” He questioned. “How much older is Andy?”
“He’s twenty two.”
“And where is he now?”
“Well he should be at college, where he’s in his third year of biomedical science. But instead he’s upstairs asleep.”
“Typical students,” Zac rolled his eyes and I smiled. “I brought these flowers for you, because they reminded me of your eyes and your hair.” He explained, passing the bunch to me.
I cooed at the wonderfully ripe carnations.
“Thank you Zac. They’re beautiful.”
“Not as beautiful as you, mia cara.”
“If all of your lines from here-on-in are going to be as cheesy as that, I don’t see this lasting very long.” I said in my usually informal tone and he laughed, running a hand over his forehead.
“Thank god because really, it pains me to say merda like that.” He laughed in his usual informal tone too and I grinned, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Okay, so we don’t mention or talk about Saturday, we act like neither of us were drunk at all and we continue from there?” I suggested and he nodded.
“I love your scarf.” He complimented pointedly and I blushed at the sly smirk on his lips.
“Thanks, love your bruise.” I retorted and he laughed.
“Yeah uh, this little petardo gave it to me on Saturday night. You should’ve seen her, legs up to her neck, endless glossy hair and the most beautiful face you’d ever kissed.”
“Wow, sounds a hoot.” I blushed, glad my back was to him as I sorted the flowers into the vase.
“Oh she was… And madonna mia, do I wish I could kiss those lips again…” He groaned from the doorway. “But I’m being a gentleman and we’re trying to be reasonable and traditional about this… And anyway, her brother is upstairs and will most likely try to beat my ass if he hears the way I make her moan when we kiss.” My mouth fell open and the vase nearly slid out of my hands as I settled it on the tabletop.
“Oh you are so lucky that didn’t smash you son-of-a-bitch.” I laughed, reaching out with dish-towel and smacking his chest.
“I love the way you blush when I talk to you like that.” He smirked as he leaned against the doorframe.
“Really? I love the way your face is no longer bruised from my smack so that means I can give you another.”
“Ooh,” He hissed between his teeth. “Feisty. I love a petardo.” I rolled my eyes and gathered my book-bag just as the front door opened.
“Hola!” Hollie called and I brushed past Zac on way to the front door.
Slyly he reached out and pinched my butt, making me squeal and jolt forward slightly.
Hollie was, thankfully, only coming through the front door and so hadn’t seen this move.
“Good morning.” I smiled through my teeth as Zac chuckled behind me.
“Good morning, I picked Louis first today, is that okay?” She asked before entering the house and clocking Zac over my shoulder. “Wow, hey there Italian, I thought you were long-gone?”
“Not quite, America, I didn’t leave.”
“Ah, but you didn’t call her last night right?”
“Actually she was asleep.”
“Of course, but you’re only here to bribe her into thinking you stayed behind for her, right?”
“Actually, her, is right here, and would quite like to know why you two have beef?”
“Because your friend there can speak Italian and didn’t find it necessary to tell you.”
“Because your friend there has you like putty in his hands and is probably going to treat you like shit.”
“Whoa,” I called out, throwing a hand up to each of them. “Firstly where the hell did that come from?” I demanded of Hollie, folding my arms and staring at her pointedly with my lips pursed.
“I’m just looking out for you.” She said simply, glancing over my shoulder to Zac.
“No, don’t look at him, you’re talking to me. ‘Like putty in his hands’? Are you for real? Need I mention the list of guys you’ve fallen head-over-heels for and they’ve all just used and abused you? Need I mention how I’ve pulled you out of the gutter each time? Need I mention how I’m nothing like that with Zac?”
She cast her eyes down to her feet and looked back up at me with glassy eyes.
“Low blow, Jefferson,” She whispered emotionally. “Low blow.”
I sighed and folding my arms, turning to look at Zac.
“Can you give us a minute please?” He nodded his head and subtly swept his hand across my back as he left the house, closing the front door behind him.
“Hollie, I’m sorry,” I apologised, taking a deep breath. “I shouldn’t have said all of that in front of Zac-”
“You shouldn’t have said it at all.” She said in a weak voice.
“Come off the ‘poor me’ act you know I’m right.” I said sternly and she groaned, looking up at me with a little anger in her eyes.
“Even though you’re right it still hurt to hear.”
“The truth hurts, Hol,” I shrugged. “And I’m sorry,” I apologised sincerely. “Really I am. I may have said all of that but it doesn’t mean I regret doing all of that for you, and it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it all over again in a heartbeat,” I said truthfully, stepping forward to wrap an arm around her shoulder. “You’re like my sister, Hol. I love you. But sometimes you can be a pain in my ass. I’m not stupid, I’m not about to run off into the sunset with Zac. He’s a bit of a player, a bit cocky, and so arrogant sometimes I want to choke him,” She laughed and nodded her head, rolling her eyes in agreement. “But that doesn’t mean to say I don’t think he’s hot as Hell and swoon over the sight of him,” She nodded her head a little less emphatically. “The fact he’s paying me even the slightest fraction of attention makes me go all giddy, but of course I’m wary. You don’t have anything to worry about, trust me. If anything happens – and that’s a big if, you know me – I’ll be careful. So, so, careful.”
She looked up at me with questioning eyes and I nodded my head.
“I don’t trust him.” She said simply and I nodded.
“I know you don’t. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t either.” She sighed and threw her arms around me.
“I just don’t want to see you getting hurt like me. You can handle it and help me when I’m hurt, but I don’t know what I’d do if things were the other way around and I had to help you. I’m shit at those types of things.”
“Actually…” I said, pulling back to look at her skeptically before remembering the week of silence after I’d fallen from the cliff. “…Okay, so, maybe you are a little negligent but it’s alright,” We both laughed. “You’re still my number one, okay?” She smiled emotionally and nodded her head, looping her arm through mine as we turned for the front door.
“And you’re still mine,” She said matter-of-factly. “Percy Martin or no Percy Martin.”
I closed the door behind me and tried hard not to swoon at the sight of Zac leaning against Hollie’s car, smoking as Louis stood beside him, squinting up at him through the morning sun, nodding at whatever Zac was saying.
“Morning Jefferson.” Louis nodded at me as Hollie and I joined the pair on the sidewalk.
“Morning.” I smiled.
“So how we doin’ this?” Hollie asked, glancing between Zac and I.
“Well I came on the bike.” Zac said, nodding at his motorcycle I hadn’t initially noticed at the side of the house. He dropped his cigarette and stubbed it out with the underside of his boot before bending to pick it up and tossed it into the garbage can behind me.
“Am I hell going on that thing.” I laughed, waving at him to move so I could get to the car door.
“Why?” He smirked. “You scared?” He teased.
“Petrified,” I nodded. “And besides, I’d quite like to live today, so we’ll see you there.” Hollie and Louis laughed at my expression before climbing into the car.
“Ah mia cara,” Zac groaned, pushing off the car and taking a step closer to me, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Oh how I wish we were alone right now.” He said darkly, hovering over me.
“And oh how I wish you drove a car and not a death-wish.” He laughed and I smiled up at him sweetly.
“Don’t I even get a goodbye-kiss?” He pouted as I shifted to move around him.
“I thought we were being formal about this?” I asked and he smirked.
“I thought you knew me better.”
“Unfortunately I’m against smoking.” I said, shifting my face away from his slightly as he lowered it to mine.
“That’s not what you were saying on Saturday night…” He smirked devilishly and my eyes flew wide.
“You mean I didn’t imagine that?” I gasped quietly and he shook his head, rubbing the back of his neck. He then paused and turned his back on me, pointing to something on his neck.
“Your handy-work of course.” He said, bending slightly so I could see the back of his neck better. Frowning I stretched up, pulling him down a little more before gasping and pulling back.
“That was me?” I gasped, the sight of the cigarette burn shocking me.
“Let’s just say… You got a little… Distracted while holding the cigarette…” He said with a slight smirk, turning to me with a sparkle in his eyes.
“So does this mean I can kiss you?” He asked and I smiled.
“Unfortunately, bambino, I guess you’ll have to wait.” I smirked and he caught my forearm before I could move around him. He spun me closer and lowered his head to mine, pressing the lightest of kisses to my cheek, dropping his face to my neck and pressing his lips to my ear to mumble,