A Small World
I was speechless. That was the reason Amir attacked me… because I resemble Kieran's dad? Why did that make my stomach twist into a knot? I looked like someone Kieran had been terrified of for the past 3 years? I stared at Kieran, my mouth agape. What could I say?
"So now you know," Kieran whispered. "You know what happened and that it's all my fault—"
The blonde's voice cracked and he burst into tears, right in front of me. That was so weird, seeing him like that. It made my heart contract. I crawled, on my hands and knees, over to Kieran and wrapped my arms around him without hesitation.
"None of it's your fault," I uttered, soothingly, stroking his hair with consolation as he sobbed into my shoulder. "What your dad did isn't your fault. It's his. And running away was the right thing to do. Amir is much better for you. He protects you."
Kieran, staring at me with wide eyes, nodded solemnly. I stood up, pulling him onto his feet.
"Okay," He whispered, smiling a bit. "I have to go. I have a date with Amir."
I smiled and nodded as Kieran left the apartment to go find his boyfriend. After hearing Kieran's story, I had a newfound respect for Amir. Now that I knew Amir was only trying to protect Kieran out of pure love and loyalty, I couldn't help but feel admiration for the thug. He was never a bad person; he just didn't want to see Kieran so hurt. Then it suddenly dawned on me.
Why did Kieran think I looked like his dad? And what did Amir mean by Noah being 'the strongest member of our gang?' I stared hard at the floor, my breathing irregular. Noah? A gang member? That was ridiculous! There had to have been some kind of mistake! There was no way in hell Noah, of all people, could be in a gang! He was so skinny and always dressed like some kind of person you would see walking out of an expensive-looking building with khaki's and a dress shirt on. Gang members just weren't like that. Noah, I would have thought, would have most likely been the victim of a gang rather than the perpetrator. Then, another question crossed my mind.
Had Noah ever… killed someone? I shuddered at the thought and closed my eyes, swallowing a growing lump in my throat. No. He was never in a gang. He had never killed anyone. It was impossible. No way could Noah be part of something like that. No way in hell!
I jumped as I heard the front door of my apartment slam shut. My head shot up and I was staring into beautiful, auburn eyes. Noah… My mind turned to mush as soon as I saw him. My heart began beating hard within my chest. As the corners of his mouth curved up, slightly and he began walking toward me, my cheeks rapidly darkened and I was back to staring at the ground. I gasped silently as I felt his hand gently come in contact with my cheek. It slid across my cut, already sealed by dried blood, and ran his fingers through my messy hair. I closed my eyes, shuddering as an impact of pleasure shot through my whole body. Noah chuckled as he noticed my growing desire. He leaned in close, grabbing my chin with one hand, making me look up and stare into his gorgeous eyes.
"Noah," I whispered, shakily. His lips brushed mine at first, but I couldn't hold back. I wrapped one arm around his neck and grabbed his shirt, tugging him down so his lips could connect with mine. As I closed my eyes, my breathing became jagged and we suddenly fell to the floor, our lips not parting away from each other's. Noah's hand impatiently slid under my shirt, gliding across my stomach gently. That was it; I didn't care if he was a thug! I was in love with him and it was obvious he was in love with me. This couldn't be wrong. No matter how many times my mind told me to say no, no matter how much I denied, my heart told me this was right. And I was going to listen to it.
"Carson," Noah murmured, softly. I opened my eyes slightly, my face burning. I couldn't hear myself think over my heavy, uneven breathing and my racing heart. Why did Noah make me feel like this? What was it about him that made him so different from anyone else? How did he break down my barriers so quickly, making anything that was in my mind at the moment, totally fade into nonexistence? Whenever I saw him, nothing else mattered in the world. It was just him and me; us.
"Carson," Noah repeated, a bit more sternly. I opened my eyes fully now, to get a good look at the brunette's face. He was staring down at me, his eyebrows furrowed.
"W- What," I breathed, my heart skipping a beat.
"There's someone at the door."
I pushed Noah off of me and ran to the door, straightening my shirt and running a hand through my messy hair. I didn't really want to look like I had just been interrupted doing... stuff with Noah on the floor of my apartment, even if it was only Kieran on the other side of the door.
But when I opened the door, to my surprise, it wasn't Kieran. As a matter of fact, it wasn't anyone who lived in the building. I had to crane my neck to see the man's face. His long, black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, spiky bangs falling over one of his eyes which were a deep gray and a cigarette protruded from his mouth. He was wearing black dress pants and a flannel shirt with the sleeves folded up past his elbows. My eyes widened and I took a step back.
My dad pushed past me into the apartment, ignoring my sudden confusion. What was he doing here? He turned to me, his eyebrows raised.
"You forgot again, didn't you?"
I cocked my head to the side, muddled thoughts filling my head. Forgot what?
"It's Sunday," He said, matter-of-factly. Then it hit me. It was Sunday. The day my father had said he was going to visit the new apartment. I gasped and looked down, rubbing my head nervously.
"Get rid of the cigarette," was all I could say. "I don't want my brand new apartment smelling like a cancer stick."
"Well," He replied, staring at the cigarette in bemusement. "I guess you're right." He muttered, extinguishing it in a decorative ash tray that the last tenants had left behind.
As my dad turned back around, he stopped in his tracks, inhaling. Noah was standing there, smoothing out his hair, his eyes locked onto my father's.
"Hello, Sir," He said, putting on his best smile. My dad stared at him a moment and then his gaze fell onto me.
I gulped and my eyes shot from Noah to my father.
"Dad, this is my friend, Noah. Noah, meet my father, Cyrus Lee."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Lee."
Noah put out his hand for Cyrus to shake, but he just stared at it, his arms crossed.
"I don't like all that formal shit," He spat, glowering at the brunette. "Just call me Cyrus."
"U- Um, right," Noah whispered, rubbing the back of his head. "Sorry."
"Dad," I hissed, glaring the older man. "Be more respectful."
"My kid ain't gotta teach me nothin' bout respect. Boy, you listen here," Cyrus wrapped his arm around my shoulders and eyed me. "Once you get this old, you ain't gotta worry 'bout no respect. It's gonna be bout people respectin' you. Alright? Don't let nobody ruff you up, you got that?"
I rolled my eyes and nodded, solemnly. It looked as though my father was going to blow a gasket.
"You were listening, right?"
"Dad, you've already gave me this speech before. I think after the tenth time, I stopped listening." I said, wiggling out of his arms.
His hand came up, gripping my face and pinching it, firmly.
"Ow," I whispered. Noah took a step forward, about to say something before the door slammed open.
"Hey guys, I—"
Everyone looked to the door and saw Kieran standing in the doorway. He had frozen mid-sentence and his eyes were wide in shock, his body trembling all over. Was he ok? My dad's grip around my face loosened and I looked up into his grey eyes which were fixated on the blonde. He had the same expression as Kieran. What was wrong with them?
I stared at my dad. Did he just say Kieran's name? How does he know who he is? I felt a weight drop to the pit of my stomach as Kieran's unexpected one-word sentence filled the room.