AUTHORESS NOTES: OH MY GOSH! First, let me express my eternal gratitude to everyone who reviewed this story! I didn't expect to get a positive reaction posting this, much less twenty-one reviews! You guys have inspired me beyond words! Now, enough of my gushing. You guys waited long enough for this! Enjoy! :D
THE BIRTHDAY SOUL
Ian frowned and furrowed his brows, obviously displeased with Kyle's adamant refusal to go along with Jeb's and his plans. Wanda just found the entire situation humorous.
"Why not?" Ian demanded, his voice on the borderline of becoming uncivil.
"Because I don't fucking want to," Kyle snarled, crossing his arms and leaning up against the rocky cavern wall in defiance.
"That's not a reason," Ian snapped back, careful to sensor his language around Wanda. The Soul thought it was rather unnecessary, but endearing nonetheless.
"I don't need a reason, dumbass," Kyle growled, lips twisting into a dour scowl. "It's my birthday and if I say I don't want a fucking party then I don't want a fucking party!"
Wanda sighed inwardly. As it would seem, Ian was getting nowhere with his volatile brother. They always managed to get into a shouting match no matter what it was they were discussing. Not because they disliked each other but merely because, Wanda supposed, it was in the human male's mental nature not to give in. Mel had once referred to it as The Alpha Male Syndrome before rolling her eyes and laughing lightly in thorough amusement.
"You're being ridiculous!"
"Am I? You're the one being fucking ridiculous!"
Wanda winced as their volume increased tenfold. Really, if she didn't do something soon this whole predicament was going to turn from nasty to violent in the blink of an eye. "Ian," she said softly as she placed her hand gently on Ian's shoulder. "Just leave it alone," she shifted her silver gaze to Kyle and smiled tenderly. "If Kyle doesn't want a party, then we should respect his wishes."
"But—" The Soul sent him The Look. Ian frowned and pursed his lips together. He'd give in this time.
A weird expression took to Kyle's face, one Wanda noted was becoming more and more common when she looked at him; his eyes seemed to smolder over, darkening with some strong emotion the Soul wasn't able to identify. His scowl became even darker. "Alright," he said grudgingly, tearing his gaze from the Soul and fixing it on his brother. "I'll go to the godforsaken party."
A satisfied smirk replaced Ian's frown as Kyle hastily walked off. "Well," he said proudly, "that went well."
Wanda smiled. "Yes," she agreed, "now Jeb won't have to carry out his oh-so-horrible threat."
Ian winced. "Thank god. I was really not looking forward to being on laundry duty for a month."
The Soul could only laugh.
Wanda was at Ian's side in an instant, tissue in hand and concern written all over her face. "Your cold has gotten worse," she chastised as a frown took to her face.
Ian took the tissue gratefully from his girlfriend's hand and blew his nose. He tossed the tissue into the bin next to their shared make-shift bed and sighed haggardly. "No, it hasn't," he said stuffily as he met Wanda's worried look with a half-smile of his own. "You're just imagining things."
"Ian," Wanda said a little too sweetly. "Go see Doc."
"Speaking of Doc," he said smoothly, dodging the request. "Do you think he's had lunch? If not, you should really – Ah-choo!"
"Don't try to redirect this conversation," Wanda scolded as she got to her feet to retrieve Ian another tissue. "You're going now and that's that!"
Ian scowled, displeased. "It's not necessary," he argued. "The medicine shouldn't be wasted on me…"
The Soul passed and turned to stare at Ian wearily. "Don't say such things…"
He simply shrugged. "We need to conserve the medicine for a more serious matter."
Wanda bit the inside of her mouth as she turned her back to Ian. As much as she loved him, it did wear on her when he refused to take care of himself properly. She was his love, his girlfriend; not in any way was she his mother. It was a bit tedious taking care of him like a child because he refused to do it himself. Composing herself, the Soul forced a smile on her face as she once again handed Ian another tissue. "Well," she started. "I guess this means we both won't be going to Kyle's little birthday bash."
"What do you mean we won't be going?"
"Well, you're sick and the last thing everyone needs is you infecting people. And, seeing as you're incapable of taking care of yourself I won't be attending so I can attend to you."
"No, you're going," Ian said a bit fiercely, determination a light in his sapphire eyes.
Wanda was a tad taken back. "Ian…"
"Jeez," Melanie spoke up suddenly from the archway that led into Ian and Wanda's shared room. "This room is putting off some serious gloom." Arching her brow at the two Melanie advanced into the room, crossed her arms and stared: her expression clearly demanded an explanation.
Wanda smiled fondly at the olive skinned woman she'd come to revere as an older sister. "Ian is sick and refuses to let me miss Kyle's party to tend to him."
At this, Melanie laughed. "And you're upset because of that?"
"She thinks I can't take care of myself," Ian whined, a bit cross about the entire situation.
"Well," Wanda started, trying to argue her point, "he can't! He'll get worse if I leave him alone for five minutes, much less an evening!"
"Ian is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, Wanda," Melanie grinned as she took a step towards the Soul and slung her arm over the small woman's shoulders. "How do you think he managed all this time without you?"
Wanda pursed her lips. "But…"
"Ah-choo! Ah-choo! Ah-choo!"
Melanie made a face. "That's disgusting."
Ian sighed, sniffling slightly and glaring half-heartily at Melanie. "Just make sure she goes," he paused, looking thoughtful. "And that she wears something decent."
"Decent?" Wanda asked, confused.
A mischievous grin took to Melanie's face as she seized Wanda's hand and began to tug her out of the room and into the hallway. "Will do!" she shouted back over her shoulder.
As Ian watched them go he couldn't help but feel that perhaps he should have let Wanda stay and tend to him.
"I can't wear that!" Wanda exclaimed as she examined the skin-tight red, low v-cut shirt Melanie was holding in her outstretched hand waiting for the Soul to take.
Melanie scrunched up her face. "And why not? It'll look sexy on you!"
"Exactly!" The Soul rebutted, looking a tad bit scandalized. "Ian said something decent!"
Scowling, Melanie tossed the sexy v-cut top onto her bed and crossed her arms in agitation. "You're no fun, you know that? You have such a cute body; you should show it off a little more!"
In a matter of mere seconds, Wanda's face was on fire. "I don't see the need in that," she whispered shyly. "They only person I want to show my body already enjoys it."
Melanie rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. "Fine. Decent it is."
The olive skinned beauty turned her back on the Soul and sauntered over to her huge pile of clothing. She rifled through it for a good minute or two before she grabbed a shirt she deemed decent enough. She turned around to face Wanda and pinched her face slightly, analyzing the Soul. She glanced back down at the shirt. "Well," she drawled, "this will have to do."
Wanda didn't look particularly convinced. "Let me see?" she asked as she held out her hand.
"Decent enough for you?" Melanie tossed it over.
The shirt was a simple white spaghetti strap that wouldn't show too much cleavage. It was a bit much, but Wanda doubted she would be able to talk the strong-willed Melanie into a turtle neck. A warm smile took to her lips. "It's perfect, Mel."
A fond smile spread across Melanie's face. "Good. Now…" she paused, smirking. "Make up!"
Wanda faltered. "I don't get a say in this do I?"
"No, my dear, you do not!"
An hour later Melanie had finished her masterpiece—also known as, Wanda—and was feeling particularly smug about the finished product. The Soul's blonde hair was scrunched and fell over her shoulder, gleaming like polished bricks of gold. Blush was spread across her cheeks lightly, accenting her silver eyes and her spaghetti strap shirt showed off her round shoulders just so. Her current appearance coupled with her flawless personality made Wanda a definite knock out.
"All the girls are going to be so jealous!" Melanie gloated smugly. "Hell, I'm jealous. You glow like an angel!"
Wanda blushed scarlet. "That's embarrassing, Mel! I don't glow!"
"If you say so," Melanie mused, waving Wanda's comment off.
The Soul sighed. "If we don't leave soon, we'll be late."
"Yeah, yeah," she smiled at Wanda. "You ready for your first real party?!"
Not really, Wanda thought but she didn't have the heart to break Melanie's spirit. "Of course." With that, they headed towards what Wanda was sure was certain doom.
The first person Wanda noticed when she walked into one of the larger rooms of the Cave—appropriately decorated for the party that was taking place—was Kyle. His messy jet black hair had been combed to the side and he was, for once, wearing a dressy cobalt button-up shirt and matching black slacks. The Soul gasped, fighting the blush that threatened to spill across her cheeks. It really is strange how similar he and Ian are, she thought as she continued to stare.
Kyle was currently laughing at something Jared had said. However as he turned his eyes caught Wanda's. In an instant the laughter was gone from his face, replaced by the cold, expressionless look h face took on only when he looked at her. Wanda bit the inside of her right cheek so that the hurt wouldn't show on her face. She so wanted to get along with Kyle. He was, after all, Ian's only family and therefore hers as well.
"Jared!" She heard Melanie squeal suddenly from beside her, breaking Wanda from her reverie.
"Good to see you to, Mel," Jared replied, voice baritone and eyes filled with so much love for Melanie, the Soul couldn't help but melt a little inside. He spared the Soul a glance. "And you too, Wanda."
Wanda smiled brilliantly in reply before turning her attention to Kyle. He was still glowering at her causing her heart ache agonizingly. Her smile slipped slightly. "Happy birthday, Kyle," she whispered.
"…Thank you," he replied awkwardly, small smile touching his lips.
The smile was back on her face in an instant. "Ian sends his love as well. He feels terrible he wasn't able to make it."
Kyle's signature glower was back in place as he grunted in a reply. "Yeah," he shrugged her words off. "Tell him I say thanks." With that said he turned and stomped off.
Wanda sighed a bit sadly. Would Kyle ever, truly, be comfortable with her presence?
"Oh, he's such an asshole!" Melanie seethed, placing a comforting hand on Wanda's bare shoulder. "Don't mind him; he's only acting like that be he actually really—"
"Melanie," Jared said darkly, interrupting her.
Melanie scowled. "What?"
"There are some things that are not yours to tell," he scolded her lightly, grabbing her hand and pulling her into his side. "Don't you agree?"
"You spoil all my fun," she pouted.
Wanda cleared her throat, looking a bit lost. "Um, mind explaining to me what the two of you are talking about?"
"Nothing!" Melanie chimed before pushing Wanda towards the refreshment table with her free hand. "Go drink and have fun! Jared and I have some stuff to talk about…"
Unsure, Wanda pursed her lips but nodded in agreement. "Okay…"
Wanda felt incredibly out of place and as if she was in the center of everyone's attention. Melanie had long since abandoned her to force Jared up against a wall and make up for lost time. That left the Soul alone to try and hide herself in one of the least-crowded corners of the room. She'd had quite a few drinks since Melanie had sent her off to the refreshments table. The world was a bit woozy and she felt as if she was going to fall over if she didn't keep her back firmly pressed up against the wall.
Every now and then, Wanda would glance in Kyle's direction, only to find him glaring angrily at her. Does he hate me so much he can't even enjoy his birthday party while I'm here? She wondered miserably, suddenly feeling very pathetic. I never should have come.
Spotting Melanie pressed up against Jared, Wanda slowly made her way over to her. "…Mel? I'm… ah … going to … head back now."
"Do you want me to waaalkkk you?" Melanie slurred as she clutched on tighter to Jared's now disheveled shirt and giggled uncontrollably at nothing. "Because I totally caaaan!"
The world was spinning faster now and Wanda was having a hard time interpreting what Mel was slurring at her. "…No, that's … okay. I should… I should be fine." The Soul didn't really believe that, but she was more sober than Mel and she figured she had a better chance at getting back to her and Ian's room by herself without another drunk's help.
"Okaaay, if you say soooo…" Melanie pouted before turning to Jared and pulling his lips down to crush hers.
Wanda took that as a sign to take her leave. She shifted her way uneasily towards the door, swaying slightly every now and then. Even though her vision had begun to blur drastically, she knew the caverns well enough by touch that she figured she'd be alright.
She had made it about half way down the main cavern when she became aware that someone was following her. Their footsteps were heavy, which meant it was most likely a man. She paused and turned took look behind herself. Her eyes locked with that of a man she was unfamiliar with—likely a new addition to the colony of humans she'd yet to meet. He stared back at her, gaze intense. "…can I help you?" she asked softly, trying her hardest to focus her vision.
It was then that the man lurch forward, seized her arms and pressed her harshly against the jagged cavern wall. She yelped in stunned pain. "You've been torturing me aaaaaaaaalllll night, sweetheart," the man breathed into her ear as he drunkenly slid his hand up the back of her shirt.
Wanda immediately felt like she was going to puke. The way the man was touching her sickened her. "…N-No… please, stop it!" she cried out. She didn't want anyone else but Ian to touch her like that.
Please, she prayed silently. Please, don't let this happen!
Suddenly, her prayers were answered as the man was ripped off of her. In an instant, the passage way was filled with shouting.
"Heeey, what the heeeelll man?" The man who had been violating her spoke, slurring his words and sounding genuinely confused. Wanda wrapped her hands around her torso and shivered as she remembered the way he had been touching her moments before. She'd never felt so disgusted in her life.
"That's my question. What the hell were you doing to Wanda?" The second man spoke up, surprising Wanda. Ian? She thought fuzzily, shifting her gaze to who she believed to be Ian.
She instantly felt at peace.
"…N-Nothing…," the man who assaulted her argued feebly in defense. Wanda turned away. She couldn't even stand to look at the man.
"Nothing?!" Her Ian seethed. "Nothing?! I don't call shoving her up against a wall against her will nothing, you fucking bastard!" Wanda winced. She'd never heard Ian yell like this before! Had he not been defending her, it would have been quite frightening. Though, she was further shocked when Ian pulled the man away from the wall and punched him hard in the face. The man clutched his nose and moaned slightly in pain as he fell to the floor. This terrified Wanda, but not as much as the expression that took to Ian's face as he advanced towards the fallen man.
His expression was murderous.
I've never seen Ian like this, she thought a bit fearfully as she threw herself forward and wrapped her arms around his right arm. "Stop!" she cried desperately. "Please, stop!" She did not want her beloved to become a murderer for her sake!
The Soul was relieved when Ian gently pulled his arm from Wanda's grasp and bent down towards the man who'd touched her against her will. He gripped the man's collar tightly and hoisted him up to his feet. "Get the fuck out of here," he growled. "And never touch Wanda again. If you do, I'll personally wring your neck," he said, glaring. The man scrambled away quickly.
Relief flooded the Soul's body and in an instant all of her worries had been vanquished. Stepping forward, Wanda thrust herself into the embrace of her love. She encircled her arms around his torso and hid her face in his chest. "Thank you," she breathed, voice trembling. "…Ian."
A moment passed and it struck Wanda as odd that Ian hadn't replied. Though, before she could wonder further something strange and horribly out of character happen. Ian pushed her away roughly, cupped her chin, angling it upwards and crushed his lips to hers with passionate force. The shock of the rough kiss paralyzed Wanda for only a moment before she was him back. She was tentative at first, unsure—how was she supposed to react to such passion?
The world was spinning out of control and Wanda couldn't shake the alcohol induced haze that was muddling her brain. Ian abruptly pulled away, growl fresh off his lips as he backed her up against the nearest cavern wall and pressed his body close against hers. Then his lips were once again attacking hers, his tongue slipping into her mouth with ease, exploring. Wanda reveled in it, the feeling of this intense kiss. It sent her reeling—why did Ian not kiss her like this more often? His usual kisses were soft and tender, as if he were afraid of breaking her.
Wanda gasped softly into the kiss as she felt Ian's hand trailing up the back of her shirt—teasing her back with such tantalizing touches. She shivered in pure unadulterated pleasure as she leaned forward and deepened the kiss. It was then she wrapped her arms around Ian's neck and pulled his lips in closer to hers with a crushing force. So lost in the fervent kisses, the Soul vaguely noted that her bra was being unhooked and slipped off her shoulders.
They broke apart, much to Wanda's displeasure. She looked up at her love and tried to focus in on his face. "…Ian," she breathed longingly. "I love you…"
Suddenly Ian stopped. His arms fell slack at his side and he took a step back from the Soul. She stared after him in confusion. "…Ian?" Wanda whispered, finding it hard to locate her voice. "What's wrong? Why did you stop?"
"I'm sorry," he murmured, voice broken and more than apologetic.
"For what?" she asked in confusion, her own insecurities taking hold. "Ian?"
"Just," he paused. "Just go back to the room Wanda. I'll… I'll be there in a bit."
Wanda bit her lower lip. "Alright…," she murmured as she squeezed Ian's upper forearm slightly and then turned to walk towards the room they shared. As she continued to walk a sinking feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. Her mind was still a bit muddled, but she'd sobered up since the fierce kiss she'd shared with Ian.
A thought occurred to her, why had Ian even been out of bed? Where was he going?
The answer came to her suddenly as she came to stand in the entry way of her and Ian's room. There, on their makeshift bed, lay Ian—sound asleep and snoring away.
Her heart stopped as all of the pieces fell into place.
It had been Kyle who had kissed her.
Wanda collapsed onto her knees, covering her mouth in shock. She just couldn't comprehend it. What a mess, she thought, tears glistening in her silver eyes.
Then it hit her like a ton of bricks: She'd betrayed Ian by kissing Kyle.
And the worst part? She'd enjoyed that kiss more than any she'd ever shared with Ian.
ENDING NOTE: Okay, so this started out as just a companion one-shot to the previous chapter and then it sort of evolved ... and then spiraled out of control. No, this is NOT the end. Yes, I am turning this into a WIP. Yes, there WILL be another chapter. I don't know when it'll be up, as I have classes and am fairly busy, but I promise you it won't be another six months! Haha! Anyway, as always, reviews are greatly appreciated and loved! You guys are the best and I love each and every one of you! You guys are my inspiration!
Now... leave a review? :D