Read Deception Online

Authors: Kelly Carrero

Deception (6 page)

“What?” Lucas asked him.

“Let’s just say that you must’ve got that one from your mother’s side.”

“Wait,” Chelsea muttered as she thought about what Nathan had said. “No way. You’re Lucas’s father?”

Nathan nodded slowly as he chewed on a bagel.

“Wow,” she mouthed. “So I’m the only normal human here?” Bernie walked into the room, carrying a tray of cups. “Well, except for him,” she muttered, noticing his grey hair and wrinkles.

Bernie placed cups in front of Aiden and me. “Excuse me, miss,” he said to Chelsea in his oh-so-proper English accent that I had hoped I would never hear again.

“Miss? Huh?” Chelsea looked around before realising he was talking to her. “Um, yeah?”

“Would you prefer tea or coffee?”

“Coffee, thanks,” Chelsea said, feeling extremely uncomfortable with his formalities. Being on this end of the joke, I could see the humour behind how he made everyone feel so awkward.

“How do you like your coffee, miss?”

“White with four,” she said, embarrassed to have to admit in front of everyone how many sugars she took.

“Holy crap!” Lucas exclaimed. “Are you sure you can taste any coffee amongst all the sugar?”

“What can I say, I’ve got a sweet tooth.” She flipped her blond hair off her shoulders.

Bernie placed her coffee on the table in front of her. He stood back and did the exact same thing he’d done when he gave me my first coffee, and Chelsea reacted almost the exact same way I had. She couldn’t work out what he was waiting for, so I jumped in. “He’s waiting to see if the coffee is okay.”

“Ohh,” she mouthed, then took a sip. “Perfect.”

Bernie, still wearing a straight face, turned to Dave. “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

“You’re dismissed,” Dave said, playing along.

When Bernie exited the room, Chelsea turned to me. “What the hell is with all the misses and sirs?”
And ‘you’re dismissed,’
she thought, but didn’t say because she didn’t think it was right of her to have a go at Dave while she was in his house.

I laughed, as did everyone else at the table. “He’s just screwing with you. He did the same thing to me when I first came here.”

“So he’s not really like that?” she asked, not really believing Bernie could be any other way.

“Do you really think we would let someone, even if it is an employee, address us that way?” Anna asked.

Chelsea shrugged. “I wouldn’t have thought so.”

Nathan cleared his throat. “Jade, I hear your mum’s got a whole other life in the US that you didn’t know about.”

I hated how Nathan was always the one to bring us back to the serious topics. But someone probably needed to.

I proceeded to explain what happened after I’d transported to my mother.

“Well, that’s something I don’t think any of us saw coming.” Nathan rubbed the stubble on his chin. “Are you sure she really had something going on with that Jack guy?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I said a little too forcefully. I knew he was only trying to get a precise picture of what was going on, but I hated being second-guessed.

Aiden put his arm around my shoulder. “I saw it, too. There’s definitely something going on between the two of them.”

“Hell, yeah,” Chelsea agreed. “The way your mum looked into that cutie’s eyes… I bet we probably interrupted something between them.”

“Eww,” I said, screwing up my face at the thought of my mother doing anything with a guy. “And no, we definitely didn’t interrupt anything, because she was with the other guy, Harry, when I got there.”

“Two guys, hey?” Kai wiggled his eyebrows up and down.

“Grow up, will you?” Anna said, throwing a Danish at his chest.

Kai picked it up and took a bite. “Thanks,” he said, as he sloshed the pastry around in his mouth.

Those two seemed more like brother and sister than friends, but I was sure Aiden would have told me if Kai was his uncle. I made a mental note to ask Anna about it one day.

“Do you think you’re going to go back and find out what she’s doing in America?” Dave asked.

I scoffed. “Not anytime soon. I’m too pissed to speak with her.”

“Hmm,” he murmured and began to rub his chin in deep thought.

“Maybe she has a good reason for keeping that part of her life away from you,” Anna said.

I snorted. “I don’t think she can say anything to explain why she’s been lying to me all these years.”

“Well, you will never know, unless you speak to her, will you?” Anna said, trying to be the peacemaker.

“Yeah, not going to happen anytime soon.”

Chapter 4

A couple of hours later, Chelsea, Anna, and I stood in the rumpus room, working out the details of Aiden’s not-so-surprise party. A full-size pool table filled the right side of the room, and a few pub tables and stools stood against the wall. In the centre of the back wall was a wet bar that looked to be stocked with every type of alcohol imaginable.

To the left of the room was the lounge area, which was divided by two separate seating arrangements. Both were almost identical, with massive U-shaped leather lounges with huge coffee tables in the centre. The only difference was the colour of the couches. One was black, and the other was red.

“Check this out.” Anna pressed a button on the remote she was holding. The lights went out, leaving us in complete darkness. Then a second later, the room lit up with a laser light show. It made the room seem more like a club than a rumpus room. The only thing missing was music, and as if on cue, dance music pumped through speakers, making my heart thump along to the beat.

“Holy shit,” I said, throwing my head back and watching the lights dancing around the room. “When you guys do something, you certainly do it right.”

“This is friggin’ awesome,” Chelsea said, turning around as she imagined what Aiden’s party was going to be like.

Anna swayed to the music. “There’s no point in doing things by halves.”

“So who are we going to invite to his party?” Chelsea screamed over the music.

“Well, we can only invite people from around here,” Anna yelled.

“What?” Chelsea screamed.

Anna turned off the music. “I said, we can only invite people from around here.” She walked over to the red couch, where she sat down, and curled her legs up beside her.

Chelsea and I joined her on the couch, each of us having our own side of the u-shaped sofa to sprawl out on while we discussed the details.

“I was thinking of inviting some of the kids he used to go to school with when he lived here,” Anna said.

“But that was a few years ago. Don’t you think it might be a little weird to invite them after all this time?” I asked.

Anna twirled a strand of her golden-brown hair through her fingers. “You do realise he has kept in touch with them since he moved to Australia?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “He’s never talked about any of them. But then again, he never talked about Lucas, either.”

Anna chewed on her lip in thought, then said, “Well, I guess it was probably easier for him to not mention this part of his life when you weren’t aware it existed.”

“So, are these other friends of his super humans, too?” Chelsea asked.

“No, we don’t have a school for ‘super-human’ children,” Anna said with a laugh. “They’re just good old, normal humans.”

“I guess we should leave the guest list to you, considering neither of us knows anyone,” I said, hating that there was yet another part of Aiden’s life I didn’t know anything about.

As if hearing my thought, Anna said, “Don’t be upset about him not telling you about his old school friends. He probably just thought it wasn’t that important, considering all the other things that have been going on since you found out about this part of his life.”

And there I went again, feeling as crappy as ever that our relationship had been completely one-sided for months.

Within a blink of an eye, Anna was by my side. “Holy crap,” Chelsea said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing you guys doing that.”

“You will. I thought the exact same thing, and now I barely notice it,” I said with a flat tone. I was still thinking what a crappy girlfriend I’d been lately—so much so that I’d forgotten his eighteenth birthday.

Anna placed her hand on my outstretched leg. “There’s no way I’m going to let you beat yourself up for being a bit distracted lately.”

A moment later, she sent some happy endorphins my way. “Oh, my God.” I felt like I was high.

“Oh, my God, what?” Chelsea sat up straight and swung her feet to the ground. “What did she do?” she asked, grinning with excitement.

I waved her over. “You have so got to try this,” I said with a laugh.

She quickly hopped off the lounge and sat down beside me. “Try what?”

I turned to Anna. “Go on. Do to Chelsea what you just did to me.”

Anna looked sceptical.

“Come on, please,” I begged.

“Okay,” she conceded. “But just this once.”

Chelsea shifted in her seat as Anna reached across to her. “Should I be worried?”

“Nah. You’ll be begging her to do it again.”

Anna placed her hand on Chelsea’s knee, and a moment later Chelsea’s face lit up. “Holy crap!” She laughed, then slumped back against the lounge, breathing deeply. “What the hell was that?”

“I’m able to manipulate your endorphins to make you feel however I want you to,” Anna explained.

“It was good, hey?” I said with a smile.

“Uh huh,” she replied with a smile plastered across her face. “That is one talent that could certainly have its benefits.” Being Chelsea, she’d let her mind wander into the gutter. She was thinking how handy the ability to control emotions would be in the bedroom, which made my heart begin to flutter as I thought of the time when we were in the shower and Aiden had showed me just what he could do. I really needed to get some air.

“It comes in handy at times,” Anna said, grinning.

“I bet.” Chelsea’s thoughts were still revolving around the bedroom, which led to Ben. “Huh,” she said, deep in thought about how easily she had come to terms with his death.

Chelsea lifted her eyes to me, then looked across to Anna and eyed her suspiciously. “You didn’t happen to do something to me after Ben…” Even though she had accepted his death, she still couldn’t bring herself to say the word.

“Don’t look at me,” Anna said, holding up her hands.

Chelsea turned to me. “What about you?”

“Um… I can’t manipulate feelings yet, but…” I paused, preparing for Chelsea to yell at me. “I did ask Aiden to help you get past it.” Her eyes widened in shock, and I quickly added, “He did the same thing to me when I thought my mum was dead, and I couldn’t bear to let you feel like I felt when it was so easy for Aiden to fix it.”

I was sure she was going to be as upset as I had been at the time, but she wasn’t.

“Thanks.”

I was shocked. “Seriously? You’re not angry with me?”

She scrunched up her face. “Why would I be upset with you? It wasn’t as if I wanted to feel the hurt and pain…”

We all just sat in silence, thinking about Ben. Well, I couldn’t say for sure Anna was thinking about him, but I presumed she was considering what Chelsea was thinking about, and it was pretty hard to ignore her thoughts.

Chelsea looked up at Anna. “I know you said before was a one-off, but I don’t suppose you can make an exception?”

“Wow. You really are open to all of this, aren’t you?” Anna sounded as shocked as I was. Maybe there would be no need to wipe our secret from her memory.

“Yep, open and ready for some happy pills, or I should say happy vibes, or endorphins, or whatever the hell they are.”

“Just this once, okay?”

“Déjà vu. I swear I heard you say that just before,” I said with a smirk.

Chelsea slapped me on the arm. “Shoosh.”

Anna clapped her hands together. “We’d better get back to organising the party.”

I looked around the room. “Chels and I can organise the music, ’cause let’s face it, your taste is a little old-fashioned.”

Anna’s mouth dropped open.

“I’m kidding. I’m kidding,” I said with a laugh, but I really wasn’t. She may have thought she was up to date with music, but there were more than a few years between her idea of up to date and my idea of up to date.

“No, she’s not.” Chelsea laughed. “I used to think it was strange that your taste in music was stuck back in the 80s and 90s, but now I can understand it’s because—” She couldn’t finish her sentence because she was too busy pissing herself laughing, and I was, too.

“No more happy vibes for either of you,” Anna said, sneering at Chelsea and me.

“That’s okay. We’ve got another supplier,” I said with a laugh. God, we sounded like we were talking about drugs. And I guessed it kind of was like a drug, but without all the chemicals, side effects, and danger.

The look on Anna’s face was priceless.

Chelsea nearly rolled off the sofa as she clutched her hand over her stomach, trying to stop the pain from laughing—and the need to go pee. “I’m gonna piss my pants. Where’s the bathroom?”

Stifling a laugh, Anna pointed behind the sofa. “Through that door.”

Still clutching her stomach, Chelsea made a dash for the door.

Anna sat back and put her feet up on the coffee table. “She sure has a way of making you forget all your worries and just have fun, doesn’t she?”

“Uh huh.” I smiled, thinking about how much I’d missed her and how glad I was that she was back in my life—and not just back in my life, but aware of my true life. The way she had accepted it without even so much as a freak-out made me love her that much more.

Chelsea’s phone began vibrating on the table. I craned my neck forward to see who was calling. It was a landline number. “Hello, Chelsea’s phone.”

“Yes, hello. Could I please speak with Chelsea Carmichael?” a female voice asked.

“May I ask who’s speaking?” God, I was polite.

“Yes, it’s Lucy from the Gold Coast Hospital.”

A shiver ran down my spine the moment I heard “hospital.” I was afraid something bad had happened to her mother, but I knew they weren’t going to tell me.

“Just a minute. I’ll go get her for you.”

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