Celia could only stare at him with a dumbfounded look in her eyes.
"What?" She breathed and looked afraid. "Why would you do this now?" She tried not to acknowledge his demand.
"I thought I could take a bit of your time since you are so busy that you don't even say goodbye."
"It was supposed to be a one night stand. I'm sorry, I didn't know that I was supposed to stay so that we could talk and braid each other's hair." Sarcasm flowed easily with her words but a part of her could not help but feel slightly pleased with the thought that he had been frustrated she had sneaked out.
He made a grimace full of mock empathy. "Oh, you certainly will be sorry, little dove." He said and the look on his face had her inhaling sharply. "I will tell you one thing and you better remember it always, I don't like to repeat myself. When I tell you to do something you don't question it, you do it. I told you that I wanted you on my bed every night, I fucking meant it."
Celia scoffed. "Oh, did you? Well, let me tell you something. You have no right to tell me what to do. And what if I don't want you? Did you fucking think of that, you arrogant asshole?" It was a lie, of course, she wanted him but her pride would never let her go down without a fight.
He didn't grace her with a response. He simply pulled her closer to him and reached his hand under her skirt, causing her to curse internally at how short the damn thing was. Celia knew from his sharp inhale that he was aware of her lie. "I'm not quite that sure I believe you, little dove, you feel pretty willing to me." With that, he took his fingers out of the fabric of her panties and raised them to his mouth. Celia stared at him with fascination as his mouth opened, accepting the fingers into it. God-fucking-dammit.
"Just as good as I remember." He groaned and looked into her eyes, which had turned almost completely black.
She was almost ashamed. "Do you have to keep doing things like that?" She questioned. Her voice had turned a few octaves lower and she was struggling to keep her breathing even. Ax knew he had gotten under her skin and was pleased with the way her breathing had turned erratic.
He shrugged nonchalantly. "We have established that you want me." He said, stating the obvious. "And so, I believe we can settle for something that satisfies both our needs."
"You want to negotiate..." Her voice trailed off, the words would not come.
"Fucking, yes." He completed. He did have to be so crass about it? "But first you need to be taught a lesson. Take off your panties. Now." Celia did not know how to respond.
The look he was giving her, however, indicated that he wouldn't be very pleased if she chose to disobey his orders. Something inside her wanted to do as he commanded, begged her even. She came to a silent agreement with her self-control that would allow her to lose herself for that moment only. After that, she would make sure that he understood that she wasn't interested in what he was offering.
Her delicate hand trembled a little bit as she reached under her skirt and pulled the flimsy material down her legs before stepping out of it. Ax held out his hand in a silent command, and Celia rolled her eyes before giving them to him.
"Good girl." He praised and she felt her cheeks turn a shade brighter. "Lie on top of the desk and spread your legs."
Silently, almost overbearingly so, she moved to the desk that was placed in the middle of the room. Ax followed behind her and took note of her growing discomfort at doing something so illicit in a place where anyone could walk in. The lack of privacy did not matter to the brutish man, in fact, he grew even more excited at the thought of someone might walking in on them.
Celia hopped on top of the desk and lied down. "Your legs." He reminded harshly. She obeyed and parted her curvy thighs. She waited for him to move closer to her but that never came. Instead, he stood a few metres away from her, unmoving. "Touch yourself for me, Celia." After the words left his mouth an outraged gasp escaped her and she stood upright, closing her legs.
"What the fuck?" She breathed out.
"I think you heard me. I want you to touch yourself while staring at me."
"Why?" I, apparently, use only one word to speak now. It is truly incredible how the human brain works. Truly.
"Because I said so."
"Because you said so? Do you even listen to yourself?" Celia asked incredulously.
Ax sighed, a bored expression marring his characteristics. "You need to know that if you are going to disobey me, there will be consequences."
I'm standing in the presence of a Christian Grey wannabe? Who would have thought? She laughed lightly under her breath, but the melodic sound seemed to annoy the man in question immensely. "Did I say something funny?"
"No, sir." She tried to state seriously but another laugh managed to find its way to the surface.
He chose not to respond to her childish behaviour. "Don't waste my time, Celia." With a defeated sigh Celia closed her eyes and tried to muster up all the courage she possessed in her body. Truth be told, it wasn't much, anyway but beggars couldn't be choosers. In seconds, she had returned to her previous position with her hand reaching under her skirt. At least you have practised enough not to embarrass yourself.
"Eyes on me." He reminded.
She obeyed as her fingers slowly teased her folds. It wasn't as hard as she had originally thought, especially since he had been the protagonist in every single fantasy she had as of late. She was already wet and she was certain the reason was the hard, guarded look he was giving her. She didn't have to conjure up a scenario involving him this time, the real thing was standing less than a metre away from her. Celia just imagined how it would feel if he was to reach the desk where she was sprawled over and pound into her without mercy. Her fingers worked faster and a moan escaped from her lips.
Ax groaned at the image in front of him. He wanted to close the space that separated them and replace her fingers with his own but this was her punishment and so, he would not interfere.
The fact that they kept staring at each other brought Celia close to the edge in mere seconds, and from his sudden change in behaviour, it was apparent that he had also sensed it. "Ax..." She groaned and tried in vain to catch her breath.
"Are you close, little dove?" Even though his expression had turned cool and emotionless his voice unwillingly confessed just how affected he was. Celia muttered a breathy 'yes' in reply and kept going but Ax had other plans.
"No, don't come."
His voice was hazy in her mind but the command could not be ignored. However, he did have to repeat himself for her to actually remove her hand, which he didn't like all that much. "I told you I don't like to repeat myself."
"You're a big boy, I'm sure you'll cope," She snapped, feeling a need to hit him rise from somewhere deep within her bones.
He growled, the sound low and husky. "This was your reminder. If you don't want to go through with this again, then you will listen to me next time."
"What makes you so sure there will be a next time?"
He shrugged and gestured at her.
"Alright then, let's assume that there will be a next time. Am I supposed to sleep with you whenever you want?" She raised an eyebrow before pulling her raised skirt down in order to cover up from his gaze. Too little, too late for that, kid, her brain mocked. "Let me remind you that we do not know each other."
Ax frowned at her statement, "You want to get to know me?"
Didn't he know how human interactions worked? Did she even have to mention that? "What do you think?"
"What do you wish to know?"
She almost groaned in frustration. "Mundane things. Your favourite colour, the kind of music you listen to." Ax kept on frowning. "You're interested in that?"
"Yes, I am. Can you do that, act like a normal person and not a neatherdal for once?"
"If you insist." He walked a few steps in her direction and swiftly closed the space between them. "My favourite colour is blu-"
"Oh, no buddy.″ Celia interrupted, waving a hand in front of his face. "Not like this." She gestured at her dishevelled state, meanwhile reminding him where they were.
"Then how?" Ax was growing more and more impatient by the second and the little minx was enjoying it profoundly.
"I'm sure you'll think of something. Until then, you'll have to excuse me but I have things to do." She pushed her body off the desk and tried to manoeuvre away from him, but Ax wouldn't let her.
"I'm taking you home. My home." He clarified. He carefully grabbed her arm, keeping her in place.
"No, you are not." She refused and snatched her arm from his. "Are we going to talk?" She questioned sardonically to which he replied with a mischievous smirk.
"No. I would prefer to fuck you If you don't mind, of course." The smirk was replaced with a little grin that was just as twisted. His tone did not leave any room for refusal.
Celia stared at his outstretched hand, the one that was not holding the little black panties she had given him previously. She pointed at them. "I want these back."
He shook his head, making a few inky black strands fall on his face messily. "Not happening." With that, he led the hand that was clutching her underwear towards his face and Inhaled deeply, causing an almost automatic reaction from Celia. Her legs clenched tightly together and wetness began to pool once again between her thighs. He actually just...
After that little display, he took the underwear and shoved them impatiently in the left pocket of his jeans. Celia continued to watch the hand he had offered her with interest, taking note of the veins that run proudly over his muscled forearms. It was a trait she found irresistible without having a logical explanation to justify the why. Without thinking, she slipped her hand into his and followed him out of the dark classroom.
Ax led her to a practically deserted parking lot. Most of the students were still in class but the few that happened to be there stood and gawked at them. It was unnerving but Celia was beyond the point of caring.
For the second time in less than twelve hours, Celia found herself gazing into a familiar pair of blue eyes. However, these eyes did not belong to the man who kept her awake at night, the man she was secretly wishing to be staring at, instead. These were not the eyes she gazed into as the hands of the beholder of the blue hues he ripped her clothes from her body.
No, unfortunately, those weren't his eyes.
Genetically speaking, they were pretty damn close, as close as it could get, actually, but it wasn't the same. Celia was standing in front of Apollo Vidal, Ax's bother and also the person who had created the vast majority of her tattoos. He was her friend, as close to a friend she could have, anyway. Most people befriended those that opened up quickly and were easygoing, not a lot of people appreciated introverts like the young woman.
Thankfully, Apollo was not one of those people.
She was able to make it to her appointment, albeit forty minutes later than she had originally planned. Not that it was her fault. Ax hadn't been exactly helpful. Also, she still hadn't gone to pick up her car and so, she had to walk to Apollo's shop.
"My car broke down. I'm sorry, I know I should have called." It wasn't exactly a lie, her car had indeed broken down, a few days ago.
Apollo gave her a warm smile in greeting.
"Hello to you, too." He said after she had finished ranting. "You actually did me a favour. I've been working all morning long, I needed the break." She gave a sigh of relief.
Celia had a thing about punctuality. She couldn't stand being late and she hated when people would make her wait on them. With his words, Apollo had lifted a weight off her shoulders.
"Now, about your car. One of my brothers is a mechanic. If you want, I can have him fix it for you." He suggested and led her toward the main room he used to tattoo.
Rachel had been absent that day, which was unusual for her. Celia noticed but did not bother asking Apollo where the receptionist was. He seemed on edge, which was also quite unusual, and Celia thought that it might have something to do with Rachel's disappearance. Besides that, she preferred not to pry into matters that did not involve her.
"I can't accept that, but thank you. It happens all the time nowadays, it's probably time for me to buy a new one." She refused as politely as she could.
"You don't know Ax, he can make it brand new. I'm just saying." Oh, I know Ax. Believe me.
Apollo's intelligent eyes seemed to understand that something was happening and so, being the considerate friend he was, he steered the conversation toward the tattoo she was about to get.
"I'll go in the back to sketch it out for you quickly, alright Celia?" She nodded absentmindedly while staring at the scar that had been resting on the lower part of her left arm for nearly six years. She was finally going to cover that awful reminder. The fact that she could wake up one morning and not stare at that white slash with dread felt oddly calming. It gave her a strength that she hadn't felt in years.
Fortunately, the wave of sadness that came over her as she acknowledged one of the few scars that had remained uncovered, left as quickly as it had come.
Apollo stood there, also gazing at her scar. Every time she stepped inside his shop she knew that she would have to deal with his questioning gaze but they had, at least, come to a silent agreement: Apollo never asked about how she had acquired the scars and Celia filled the silence with whatever he wanted to talk about. No questions asked just mindless chatter, it was a decent bargain.
Apollo snapped out of his little daydream and moved towards the back room, where he created his stencils. He couldn't have been gone for more than twenty minutes when he returned with the design.
"Is this alright?" He asked as he approached her, thrusting the design to her waiting hand.
"It's more than alright. It's perfect, thank you." It truly was. Apollo had created a little girl that held a striking resemblance to Alice from Alice In Wonderland. In the picture, the little girl was braiding her hair lazily, letting strands fall from her grip as she used a piece of leather to tie it all together. On the top of her head rested a flower crown, while a rose escaped and was being carried away by the wind. Her white dress was simple and it kept flowing around her tiny frame. Fashion-wise it reminded her of the sixties but as a whole, it reminded of her self as a child.
He nodded and motioned her to take a seat in his chair of pain. "You know the drill, Celia. Go sit down and wait, I'll be right back." Apollo disappeared immediately after the words registered in the young woman's mind. She complied and made herself comfortable on the chair, resting her eyes and rethinking everything that had occurred, previously. Once Apollo returned, Celia could hardly look at him in the eye.
Something inside her made her think that somehow he must have known about her involvement with his brother. But she quickly dismissed the thought. It was ridiculous.
Apollo started working on her tattoo right after he turned on the music. The needle moved around her soft skin, piercing her without actually breaking her flesh. The pain wasn't unbearable but the feeling couldn't exactly be characterised as pleasant. She had gotten used to it, of course, it was the only way she could hide her scars. Only a few seconds passed before Celia felt herself relax without thinking about other matters. She concentrated on the needle which playing on her skin.
She hummed along to the song that was playing under her breath. It was a great song, sad and erotic, at the same time. The singer spoke of a woman that he had lost while reminiscing about the memories he had of her. After that song ended, a new one took its place and to Celia, it was equally haunting. That was the great thing about music, it could help people forget about their problems, even for a little while, because they could dive, momentarily, inside the picture the singer painted as he performed. The same thing could be said about books and any other form of escape. For a lot of people, those were the reasons why they withstood the hardships life threw their way without giving up. That, also, applied to the young woman.
"What happened to you?" He asked hesitantly. "I know it isn't my place to ask and I normally wouldn't but you are my friend and I want to help if I can." Apollo did not stop working on her arm as he spoke and not once did he look up and try to catch her gaze. For that she was grateful.
Celia wasn't sure that she could stand it if she saw pity in his blue eyes.
She took in a breath, feeling quite anxious all of a sudden. The feeling was somewhat close to a panic attack. Celia thought that she was incredibly lucky because she was aware that if it had come to her like a wave, as it usually came, she would have fallen to the floor while crying her eyes out trying to put as much distance between herself and any person in her proximity as possible.
Celia knew that if she was to confess the truth about her past, the dynamics of her friendly relationship with Apollo would change instantly and she did not want that. She loved how carefree the blond haired man was and it would cause her immense pain if she was the reason that he lost his smile, albeit momentarily. Also, she was aware of how their friendship would, eventually, end. Her opening her heart and spilling all its secrets would bring them to a new level of intimacy, the kind people experienced shortly before their friendships fell to pieces.
But perhaps it was finally time for the truth to be heard.