I focused my mind on the conversation, but my awareness of the request waiting for my response distracted me more than I would have thought was possible. As soon as the conversation concluded and my father signed off I picked up the phone and was about to answer the message when I realized that Angelo was still watching me.
“Everything alright?” he asked again silkily.
I tossed the phone aside casually and frowned at him. “Don’t you have a fiancée to get to?”
“She’s not home right now. She went grocery shopping. Ever since we moved in together she’s fallen in love with experimenting with meals when she’s not at work.”
“Is that a complaint?”
“It’s not,” Angelo denied instantly. “Actually, it’s very interesting to see her excited about creating something new for me to try. I’ve had to double my workouts at the gym otherwise she’s going to make me fat while she keeps her heavenly body.”
My mind immediately went to the contours of Skye’s body. Of all the dips and curves and flesh in all the right places. She was perfectly heavenly.
“Something’s different about you. What’s going on, Luca?”
I leaned forward. “Nothing’s going on. I have things to do. Speak to you tomorrow.” Before he could protest I ended the call and the screen became black.
I stared at my blurry reflection as my fingers thrummed against the table.
I shouldn’t call her. It was not her place to make demands on my time. In fact, it had annoyed me greatly that I hadn’t been able to get her off my mind all day, not completely. In the little moments when the chaos had settled, she would appear in my head as very vivid memories. I saw her moaning, panting, in the throes of passion… calling out my name as she climaxed.
I wanted to see that mouth say filthy things. I thought about how it had felt like to kiss her and it made me shake. I still couldn’t understand why I had been driven by an almost desperate need to taste her. With that one kiss she had broken down walls I had spent years building. Walls I did not want to come down. My life was fine as it was. I had no dependents. No one who truly loved me. One day I would die as I had lived, violently, but I was okay with that too.
I didn’t need her, or anyone else.
It was best like this. I picked up my phone and rose to my feet with it. I found her number from my list of contacts and headed over to the door overlooking the room’s balcony. It overlooked the ocean. From this vantage point I could see the dark waves rolling in and crashing against the rocky banks. I opened the door and stepped into the freezing cold night air. The strong ocean wind rushed into me and swept back my hair. I was only wearing a thin dress shirt and the cold bit right down into my bones, but I did not really feel it.
I gazed unseeing at the dark ocean. It was unknowable, full of weird and wonderful secrets, and all the souls it had stolen through the centuries.
Hear what she has to say, a voice whispered to me.
I pressed the call button and placed the phone to my ear. I let it ring for five rings and when she didn’t pick up, I ended the call.
That’s it, I thought. I had given her a chance and she had missed it. I’d had a long day and tomorrow would be even longer and I should get to bed. However, I couldn’t bring myself to go back inside. Angelo was right. I was not myself. Something was happening inside me. The more I tried to stop it, the worse it became. I gripped the balcony railing, closed my eyes, and leaned out towards the ocean. I thought of her calling me as she came. Like a Siren.
And then I did the strangest thing.
I willed her to call me back.
When my phone started to ring, I opened my eyes and stared down at it with astonishment. The hairs at the back of my neck were standing. I told myself not to be so silly. It was not me who had called to her psychically, it was just her returning my call. I accepted the call and lifted my phone to my ear.
I didn’t speak and for the first few seconds neither did she.
“What is it?” I asked.
She cleared her throat. “Um, sorry for disturbing you, but I wanted to ask you about the greenhouse.”
The greenhouse? I had considered at least fifty other reasons why she would have been asking to speak to me, and the greenhouse would not have come on the list if I had listed a thousand. “What about it?” I asked curiously.