Read Deception Online

Authors: Kelly Carrero

Deception (5 page)

Aiden put his hand around my waist. “I think she’s right. You both need some time to calm down before either of you says something you might regret.”

I turned to Aiden. “No, you just didn’t.” He had sent some of his calming endorphins my way, and I was so not happy. I didn’t want to be calm. I wanted to make my mother feel just as bad as I did, and I didn’t think she deserved to feel any other way.

“What did you do to her?” Chelsea asked Aiden.

“He’s trying to calm me down.” Just as I finished explaining to Chelsea, Aiden sent another surge through my body, and before I knew it, I didn’t have an ounce of anger left in me. I turned in his arms, wrapped my arms around his neck, and laid my head against his chest. I knew I should’ve been angry with him for controlling my emotions, but whenever he did that to me, all I wanted to do was wrap myself up in his arms and go somewhere private.

“How can he… Oh, this is one of the freaky things he can do, isn’t it?”

I barely heard Mum confirm Chelsea’s theory because my thoughts were consumed by the warmth of his breath against my cheek as he snuggled his head into the crook of my neck.

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t handle seeing you that way,” Aiden whispered into my ear.

“I know how you can make it up to me.”
I sent a mental image to him of the two of us lying on his bed, wrapped in each other’s arms.

He inhaled sharply.
“You are so lucky you’ve learnt to block others from hearing your thoughts ’cause that could’ve been a whole lot of awkward with your mother being here.”

“Word of advice, I wouldn’t mention her again if you want that image to come true.”

“Mention who?”

“Much better.”

Aiden lifted his head. “We’ll see you later.”

“Let me know when you’re ready to talk, okay, Jade?” Mum said to me, but I didn’t acknowledge her.

“She’ll call you when she’s ready,” Aiden said to my mum as if nothing had happened.

“Keep looking after her for me, would you?” Mum asked.

I lifted my head off his chest and turned to face my mother. “Like you really care.”

Ignoring me, Aiden replied, “I always will.” He also sent a tiny bit more endorphins my way, making me forget about everyone else in the room. I tilted my head against his chest and breathed in his intoxicating aroma. God, how I wished I could’ve ripped his clothes off then and there.

Aiden muffled a laugh at the same time Mum said, “Oh, God.”

“You probably don’t realise it, but you’re having a bit of trouble keeping your thoughts to yourself,”
Aiden informed me.

“Say what?”

“What’s going on?” Chelsea asked.

“You don’t want to know,” Mum told her.

“Come here, Chels,” Aiden said, holding out his arm.

She cautiously stepped closer, and Aiden put his arm around her. “What’s going on?” Chelsea asked nervously.

“We’re going back to England,” Aiden said. “You ready?”

“Hell, yeah,” Chelsea said eagerly. She was loving the idea of being able to transport around the world within a blink of an eye, even if it was only to a bathroom.

“See you all soon,” Mum said just before we phased out.

“Holy shit. That was so awesome,” Chelsea squealed when we touched down in a room almost identical to Aiden’s room in the castle.

Aiden kissed the top of my head.
“I didn’t think you’d want to go back to my old room.”

“Thanks.”

“I still can’t believe you guys can really do that,” Chelsea said.

“Believe it,” Aiden said.

She flopped down on the bed and stared absently at the ceiling while she thought about the possibilities.

Aiden led me over to the bed. He lay down with his back resting against the pillows on the backboard. I climbed over the top of him and curled up beside him, with my head resting against his chest, wanting nothing more than to be alone with him.

Chelsea suddenly sat up straight. “We have so got to go to Disneyland.” She turned around so she was facing us. “What do you reckon?”

“You want to go there now?” I asked, surprised by just how much she wanted to. I thought she would be buggered from everything that had happened during the previous twenty-four hours. But no, she wanted to do something fun.

“I’ve never been,” she said in defence.

“Maybe another day,” Aiden said, stroking the side of my face.

“Party pooper,” she said under her breath as she slumped back onto her elbows.

Lucas appeared beside the closed bedroom door. “Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?” He disappeared momentarily before reappearing on the bed on the other side of Chelsea. “Why the long face?” he asked her.

Her face flushed with embarrassment. “I…” she couldn’t think of what she’d been so bummed about while Lucas was lying so close to her.

“She wanted to go to Disneyland today, but we’re not really in the mood,” Aiden said, saving Chelsea any further embarrassment. However, he hadn’t really saved her, because Lucas already knew exactly why she was having difficulty talking, but thankfully, Chelsea had no idea he knew.

“I’ll take you,” Lucas said with his devilish smile.

Chelsea quickly sat up and turned to face Lucas. “Are you serious?”

“No, he’s not,” I said a little too forcefully, momentarily snapping out of my Aiden-induced state.

Chelsea’s eyes bulged. “You seriously didn’t just say he can’t take me to Disneyland, did you?”

I didn’t answer and instead tried to explain my reason to Lucas.
“My fath…”
I paused, unable to say the word father, even if it wasn’t out loud.
“DD said he was going to do something to someone I care about, so that means she is not going anywhere without me.”

“You don’t trust me?”
he asked, sounding hurt.

Considering what had happened the last time she was with him, the answer was not so much. But I wasn’t about to tell him that, and I was thankful he couldn’t hear my thoughts because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Lucas really was a great guy, and he didn’t deserve to feel blamed for what happened to Ben. After all, that was nobody’s fault, except for the asshole who had cut the rope.

“Are you guys having one of those telepathic conversations right now?” Chelsea interrupted, eyeing us suspiciously.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with any more worry at the moment,”
I pleaded for him to understand.

Lucas finally broke his gaze from mine and turned to Chelsea. “Yes, we were having a little conversation. Jade was explaining to me she wanted your first time there to be with her, but after everything that happened with her mum, she needs some time to process it.”

“Oh,” she said, her thoughts returning to her own mum. She was lying in hospital with burns covering almost her whole body, and there Chelsea was, wanting to go to Disneyland. She felt horrible that she’d barely had a thought about her mum since I had taken her from the hospital.

Forcing myself to sit up, I reached over and placed my hand on her shoulder. “We can go back to visit her in the daytime,” I said, squeezing her shoulder. “I mean the Australian daytime, because I’m pretty sure it’s nighttime there now,” I added when she wondered what I was on about since it was already daylight. She would obviously take a bit of time to get used to the idea of travelling between the different time zones. Hell,
I
was still having problems adjusting.

She smiled back at me. “That would be good.”

Lucas hopped off the bed. “So, who’s up for some breakfast?” he said, saving me from any further uncomfortable talk about our feelings.

“Sounds good to me,” Chelsea said in a chirpy voice as she got up off the bed.

I looked up at Aiden.
“Did you do that?”
I asked, wondering why her mood had done a complete one-eighty.

“Nope. Wasn’t me.”

“Lucas?”

“Maybe.”

“Are you two coming?” Chelsea asked, staring down at the two of us still on the bed.

“Umm…” I didn’t really feel like eating, but I wasn’t sure just yet if I wanted to let her out of my sight. I decided I wasn’t ready. Plus, I wanted to be the one to fill in Dave and Anna on my mother’s secret life. “Yep, we’re coming, too.”

I tried to get up, but Aiden caught me by the arm and pulled me back into his arms.
“Are you sure you’re up to talking about your mum just yet?”
he asked, kissing the top of my head.

“Not really—”

“Aww, look at the two lovebirds not wanting to get out of bed,” Chelsea said, not realising why he’d pulled me back down. “Should Lucas and I leave now so we don’t interrupt this special moment?” She walked towards the door, with a smirk on her face.

I smiled back. “Yay, she finally gets the hint,” I said sarcastically to Chelsea, then finished off what I was saying to Aiden.
“They’re going to get pieces of what happened from Chelsea’s thoughts anyway, so I may as well get it over with.”

“With the way that girl’s thoughts go, they’ll probably know the whole story before you open your mouth,”
he said with a laugh that ever so slightly pulled at the corners of his mouth in that irresistible twitch that used to drive me crazy before I knew the truth behind it.

“You’re probably right,”
I said as Lucas grabbed Chelsea by the hand and disappeared, taking her with him. I kissed him gently on the lips, wishing we could’ve stayed in bed long enough to fulfill the image I’d sent him. “We’d better get down there before I have nothing left to tell.”

He groaned in disappointment, then transported the two of us, still wrapped in each other’s arms, to the formal dining room. “Hi,” I said giving a quick wave of my hand to the entire UK clan, plus Chelsea, who were all sitting at the table and staring at me.
“How much have you heard from Chels?
I said to everyone besides Chelsea.

“Enough to know your mum’s been keeping another pretty big secret from you,”
Dave said, with his head resting against his left fist.

“Big is an understatement.”

“We also heard what you two were getting up to that caused you to be late for breakfast,”
Kai said with a grin that he quickly covered by shoving a croissant into his mouth.

I sure as hell hadn’t thought it through before inviting Chelsea to stay with us. Everyone would get way too much insight into my private life.

“Don’t just stand there like an idiot.” Chelsea patted the chair next to her.

I shook my head, pretending to have been in a daze. “Not sure what happened there.”

Chelsea’s lip curled up. “I can probably guess…”

Oh God, no,
I thought, knowing what she was about to say.

“Your brain’s probably oxygen deprived from being lip-locked with your man for so long.” She snickered, and everyone at the table stifled laughs, except for Kai, who never held back. He gave one of his open-mouthed laughs, showing off whatever food he had in his mouth at that time.

Aiden shook his head in dismay. “There’s never a dull moment with you around, is there, Chels?”

She sat up tall in her seat. “Nope,” she said proudly.

I sat down in the chair next to her, and Aiden took the seat on the other side of me. I leaned over to Chelsea and whispered in her ear, “Have you forgotten what I told you about Anna and Dave?”

Her eyes widened as she realised what she’d just said in front of his
parents.
“Oh, my God. I’m so sorry,” she said, looking over at Anna and Dave. She dropped her fork on the table and just sat, staring at them, wondering how the hell they could possibly be his parents when they only looked a couple of years older than he did.

“You all right there, Chels?” I asked, trying to break her uncomfortable assessment of the Scotts.

“You had to tell her that part, didn’t you?” Anna said to me.

“I… Uh…” I didn’t know what to say.

Dave wrapped his arm around Anna’s shoulders. “Don’t worry about it. She’s just paranoid there’s now another person who knows she’s not as young as she looks.”

Anna shoved her elbow into his ribs. “I am not.”

“How old are you?” Chelsea asked, and I hoped for once, Anna would answer the question. But, of course, she didn’t.

“How old do you think I look?” she asked, instead.

Chelsea narrowed her eyes at Anna as she studied her appearance. “I’d say twenty-four, but no more than twenty-five, which reminds me…” She turned to Aiden. “Your birthday’s coming up, isn’t it?”

Holy crap. I’d completely forgotten. Some girlfriend I was.

Aidan looked blank for a second. “Ahh, yeah, it is. This Friday, actually.”

“How could you forget your eighteenth birthday?” Chelsea asked.

I glared at her, willing her to shut up, because
I
had forgotten, and it was only three days away.

“Well, there’s been a lot going on lately,” Aiden said, putting his hand on my thigh as if he knew how I was feeling.

I slowly turned to face Aiden, ashamed that I’d forgotten such an important part of his life. “I’m so sorry I—”

“Well, it won’t be a surprise now, will it?” Anna said to me, then added silently,
“Just pretend we’ve been organising a surprise party.”

“A surprise? Huh? What?” Aiden said looking from his mother to me. “You’re not really organising a surprise party for me, are you?” He directed his question at me.

I smiled tightly. “Well, it’s not a surprise anymore now, is it?” I said, going along with Anna’s ingenious cover.
“Thanks for saving my butt,”
I said silently to her.

“You’re welcome, but it wasn’t just your ass I was saving. We forgot his birthday, too,”
Anna said at the same time Aiden asked Lucas, “Did you know about any of this?”

He shrugged. “Not a clue.”

“That’s because you can’t keep a secret,” Anna joked.

Lucas sat back in his chair and looked at the boys for support. “Come on, I’m not that bad, now am I?”

Nathan shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

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