We were sat in my usual spot in the corner, waiting for our order of two hot chocolates. The lady who worked here glanced at Jake's hand before shaking her head disapprovingly. She silently handed me a first aid kit, her eyebrows raised.
"Thank you," Jake said politely.
"Does it hurt?" I asked as I gently wiped the blood off his hand. He shook his head, clearly unaffected by the stinging it must be causing him.
"Im used to it, I'm a tough cookie."
He puffed his chest out in true gorilla fashion and I laughed as I finished bandaging him up.
"All done!" I smiled, sitting back and admiring my work.
"Thanks Muffin," he murmured, smiling at me. I blushed, looking down to break eye contact with him.
"Where did you learn to bandage like that?" He asked, impressed as he studied his hand. I gave him a small smile, knowing he'd eventually figure it out. His eyes suddenly turned a shade darker and his lips stretched out into a thin line. "So, what happened back there?" he asked again, changing the subject.
I sighed and took a drink, the warm liquid comforting me before telling him everything that happened. Tears ran down my cheeks as I explained how Trevor held a knife to my throat, almost ending it completely. Jake's jaw clenched and his hands gripped so tightly round his mug, I was sure it would smash under the force.
"I'm going to kill him," Jake hissed, scraping his chair back and standing up. I stood up next to him, my eyes wide with fear.
"Please don't," I begged.
I don't want Trevor and Jake fighting over me, I couldn't think of anything worse. My words did little to stop the enraged look on Jake's features so I try to persuade him further.
"I don't want you anywhere near him, I want to forget about him. If you kill him, you're just as bad as he is." I say quietly. Jake grows silent, his eyes fixed on me. I watch him, waiting for his reaction.
His hand reaches up, touching my cheek with tenderness I've never felt. Despite it feeling good, I flinch slightly due to the the skin still stinging from Trevor's slap. Jake's eyes darken, turning into two angry dark pools. I can see from his tense posture that he's struggling to hold back his frustration. I know he wants to go after Trevor but it won't solve anything, it doesn't take back years of abuse.
Jake reaches for my bag, swinging it over his shoulder. I swallow the lump in my throat, watching as he holds his free hand out towards me.
"You're coming with me."
My hand reaches for his and he holds it tightly, giving it a small squeeze. I nod, knowing this isn't the end to all my problems but it's definitely a start. I need to get away from Trevor . . . forever.
I stand in the doorway, glancing around hesitantly. A daunting feeling washes over me as I try to imagine living somewhere else beside from the place I've called home for the past sixteen years. Change.
Change is scary, difficult to adjust to.
The last major change in my life was the death of my father which lead to meeting Trevor. That change ruined my whole life. That change is the cause of my night terrors, my anxiety and my fear of people. I feel my heart rate increase inside my chest as I continue to study the inside of Jake's house.
He doesn't sense my hesitation and walks straight in, placing my bag down before turning towards me. When he notices the expression on my face, he frowns. I decide to try and explain because I know I must look terrified right now.
"I'm not sure this is going to work out. It's too much to ask of you. Look at this place," I murmur, glancing around at the tall ceilings and beautiful decor.
It's all so. . . intimidating.
Jake doesn't respond and takes a step towards me, taking hold of my hand. Warmth instantly heats it up, travelling up my arm.
"You don't need to look so scared," He says quietly, his eyes flickering between both of mine. When I look into them, I feel the panic inside of my chest begin to melt away. Jake clears his throat and continues —
"I care about you Emily and this is the safest place for you right now."
I pause, my heart fluttering away at his words. I've never heard anything say those specific words to me for years. Someone cares about me. For someone who's felt so lonely and isolated in this world, Jake's words are music to my ear. No-one has ever cared about me enough to want to protect me.
Without thinking I walk towards him, wrapping my arms around his neck. The heavy burden on my shoulders feels like it's reduced slightly and I have Jake to thank for that. He appears startled at first, his body rigid before it softens ever so slightly. His arms wrap around my small frame, returning the embrace.
"Thank you . . . for everything." I murmur quietly against his chest. I can hear the thumping of his heart under his shirt. Moments pass between us and he doesn't respond but his body relaxes further against mine.
"It's what — " before he can finish, he pauses, clearing his throat. My body stills as I wait for him to finish his sentence.
"It's what friends are for." He mutters, his posture tensing up considerably. I feel his arms drop from around me and he takes a step back. I immediately miss his warmth but I don't show my disappointment.
"Right." I respond, giving him a tight smile. He looks at me for a while, his eyes falling around my features. I hear him let out a sigh before he turns away, heading for my bag. He picks it up effortlessly, beginning to walk up the stairs.
"Are you going to stand there all day or follow me up Muffin?" He asks me, turning around to give me a playful raised eyebrow. The sparkle has returned in his ocean blue eyes making me question whether the last few moments happened between us.
"Don't call me Muffin." I hit back at him, following him close behind. He lets out a low chuckle, his wide shoulders vibrating as I watch him from behind.
"We've already been through this, Muffin."
Even though I can't see his face, I can sense the smirk behind his words. I roll my eyes and decide to drop the topic because I'll never win with someone as stubborn as Jake Melvin.
Once we're upstairs, he turns right and opens a door. It reveals a large room with walls that are decorated in grey and black stripes. There's a double bed in the middle, a few posters hung on the wall and a computer desk. The left side of the room has a punching bag hung from the ceiling looking battered and bruised. A pile of weights are stacked neatly beside it.
I scan the rest of the room which is surprisingly tidy for a nineteen year old possible gang member. Huh, so Jake Melvin is a clean freak.
"This is my room. You're welcome to come and spend time with me in here." Jake winks in my direction. How does he manage to remain so confident all the time?
"Ha, you wish." I respond, my voice sounding more like a squeak. I can feel my cheeks burning with heat and curse myself for blushing.
"You're heating up Wentworth."
"It's warm inside, that's all." I reply, avoiding his gaze. Jake chuckles quietly under his breath before moving along the corridor slowly. He stops off in front of the next bedroom and swings the door open.
"This is your room. Treat it like your own."
He walks inside, dropping the bag on the floor. I walk in after him and scan the room. The walls are painted a light shade of lilac which I like. There's a large bed decorated with white and light grey cushions. Empty photo frames hand on the wall waiting to be used and a square fur rug sits at the end of my bed. I glance at the victorian wardrobe in the corner, admiring the intricate white detailing before turning towards Jake.
"It's perfect, I love the colours in here." I tell him walking around the room. My fingers trail over the bed spread, the material cool under my fingers.
"Are you sure it's cool that I'm staying here?" I ask him, spinning around. He's watching me intensely, leaning back against the wall with his hands stuffed inside his pockets.
His sleeves are rolled up halfway, exposing the skin on his arms. My eyes linger on them a second too long and when I look up, Jake is back to smirking at me.
"Mine and Ivory's mum are in Thailand for two weeks on business." He says, taking a slow step forward. I nod my head but remain silent.
"Two, Ivory's brother doesn't care who stays." He continues, his voice softer this time.
"And three, I want you to stay so you're staying." He finishes off, standing in front of me. I nod my head slowly, my breathing catching in my throat. Jake is inches away, his alluring scent wrapping itself around me. He suddenly steps away, dropping down onto the bed beside him.
It snaps me out of it and I plaster a grin onto my face.
"Sounds great." I reply, feeling my heartbeat slow down now he isn't so close to me. I will end up having a heart attack one day from having Jake Melvin invade my personal space.
"I'll find a job and pay you back everything I owe." I tell him, taking a seat on the end of the bed. I sit cross legged and turn to face Jake.
He's looking at me with one eyebrow raised, the blue in his eyes lit up with passion.
"Did you just say you're going to pay me for staying here?"
"That is kind of what people do Jake." I say in a duh, isn't it obvious way and he rolls his eyes, sitting up straighter. He places his hands behind his head, the muscles in his arms tensing. I tear my eyes away from him in fear that I'll start drooling and won't be able to stop.
It should be a skill to stay focused when an insanely attractive human being who smells divine is sitting inches away from you.
"You're not paying me." Jake says firmly and I narrow my eyes, shaking my head in disagreement.
"Of course I'm going to pay you, I can't stay here for free."
"Yes you can."
"No I don't want to."
"It's my house and I'm telling you I don't want any money. So I win." Jake smirks confidently.
"You're impossible, you know that?" I say but a smile spreads across my face and I look at him gratefully. He shrugs, brushing it off as if it's completely normal to offer me a room for free.
He opens his mouth to respond but a furry creature jumps up onto the bed and heads straight for his lap. My eyes widen in surprise at the little white dog, laughing as it attacks Jake's face with licks of its pink tongue. He lets out a groan, bringing his hands up to protect his face.
"Oh my goodness, she's adorable!" I coo over her, patting my knees. She notices me and heads over, her tail wagging in glee. A small pink rhinestone collar covers her neck which only adds to her cuteness.
"This is Boe, she's my dog." Jake says, introducing us. I scratch the back of her ears and her tail begins to wag faster.
"I think I'm going to like it here, especially with this little beauty." I coo over her. She spins around a few times before settling herself in my lap.
"She's your dog?" I ask in disbelief, the surprise clear as day in my voice.
"Yeah, she's mine. I've had her since I was five." Jake chuckles. I smile back at him, my heart warming at his words.
"That's kind of adorable Jake." I say softly, stroking the little dog in my lap. I've always wanted a pet but Mum and Trevor wouldn't allow me to have one. Jake's smile quickly turned into a childish pout at my words.
"Don't call me adorable."
"Does it bruise your man pride?" I tease him and he rolls his eyes. "Definitely."
I decide to come clean and explain everything to Ivory. Two tissue boxes and forty minutes later, I'm done. Ivory sniffles, pulling me into a bear hug.
"I can't believe everything you've been going through. You're so strong." She mutters, her eyes red with tears. I gently pull her away from me, giving her a reassuring smile.
"I feel like things are going to be better now." I explain, my eyes drifting over to Jake who's sat cross legged on the floor, Boe fast asleep in his lap. Ivory notices me staring at him and a triumphant smile stretches across her face. She jumps off the bed and heads for the door.
"Wait there!" She yells at me and I frown, wondering what she's up to. She disappears out of the room, leaving Jake and I alone.
"She's right you know." Jake says quietly, looking up at me. I swallow the emotional lump lodged in my throat —
"She's right about what?"
"You are strong."
I bite down on my bottom lip, a red tint covering my cheeks.
"Thank you." I reply, fidgeting with nerves from being under his intense stare. Ivory re-enters the room, causing me to blow out the breath I didn't realise I was holding.
"Here you go, these are yours!" She says excitedly, throwing a bunch of stuff down onto the bed. My eyes scanned over the toiletries and girl essentials and I smile, my heart bursting with love for her.
"You really didn't need to do this." I say, hugging her. She pulls back, shaking her head.
"Of course I did! This is going to be so exciting! It'll be like having a sister, I definitely need another girl around the house."
"I'm surprised you're still sane having to live under the same roof as Jake." I joke, getting a shocked gasp from Jake in return. Ivory giggles, agreeing with me before turning towards him.
"Is it a coincidence that Emily's room is right next door to yours?" She asks him, her tone suggestive. I feel my heart rate increase as I wait anxiously for his response —
"Not a coincidence." Jake shoots back instantly, a confident smirk on his face. I snap my head up to meet his blue eyes, butterflies exploding in my stomach.
"I'm welcome in here anytime, right Muffin?" Jake says, winking directly at me. I open my mouth to reply but I find the words unable to leave my throat. Ivory rolls her eyes, standing up and walking out the door —
"Just use condoms guys," she giggles over shoulders. My mouth falls open in shock and I feel my face burn bright red. I groan and slap a hand over my face to disguise my embarrassment.
"Ivory!" Jake warns her firmly before mouthing an apology my way. I give him a small smile in response, my cheeks burning up with flames. Jake's lips twitch upwards into a smirk at me before he spins around, glaring at Ivory.
"You have till the count of three before I chase you down and drop you head first out of the window." Jake threatens her, glancing down at his watch. Ivory gasps and narrows her eyes at him.
"You wouldn't," she hits back uneasily, her voice wavering. I can sense the nerves in her tone and let out a small giggle. Jake looks at her before tapping his watch —
"You know I would."
Ivory takes a second to consider her actions before turning on her heel and bolting down the corridor. Jake turns to give me one last heart stopping grin, his blue eyes shimmering.
That smile will be the death of me.
"I'm going to drop you on your head and hopefully you'll earn some brain cells!" Jake yells, his feet pounding on the floor as he leaves the room and catches up with her. Ivory's laughter fills the air and I cross my legs, glancing around my new room.
Well this is going to be different.
All three of us are enjoying an extra cheese pizza when the front door bangs loudly, causing me to jump. I glance towards the living room door, watching as it's pushed open.
The first thing I notice is his striking resemblance to Jake. Instead of bright blue eyes, his eyes are dark and deep. A shade of brown with swirls of black and they appear bored. His dark hair is ruffled messily, falling over into his eyes.
His shirt clings tightly to his body especially around the top of his arms. He's clearly toned, his muscle definition so strong without the need of flexing. His lips are set into a permanent scowl and I tear my eyes off him, swallowing the lump in my throat.
I know instantly he shared the same DNA as Ivory and Jake. All three of them are beautiful with such striking features, you simply want to sit back and stare.
"Who's this Ivory?" he asks her, signalling towards me. His voice is a low rumble, words clear and blunt. I shuffle in my seat awkwardly, my body burning from underneath his intense stare.
"This is Emily, she's our friend. She's going to be staying here for a while Tobias." Ivory responds before reaching forward for another slice of pizza. Tobias' scowl deepens at the news, his eyebrows scrunched together in anger.
Jake immediately stands up and turns towards him, his jaw clenched tightly.
"However long she wants. Last time I checked, you didn't own this house."
Tobias glared at Jake and the two of them have a silent stare off with each other as I glance between them both nervously. Tobias huffed and leave the room, slamming the door as he went. I jump again and bite my bottom lip, hating being stuck in the middle of confrontation.
"Ignore him, he's always an asshole." Jake mutters, dropping back down onto the couch. I nod at him, my first impression of Tobias being not so great.
Later that night, I'm searching for the bathroom when I open a door and came face to face with a shirtless Tobias.
"Crap! I'm so sorry!" I yell, shutting the door over and standing back, wide eyed. Tobias' door flung open and he stares at me, his eyes burning with hatred.
"Stay out of my room." He warns me, his tone dangerous. I take a step back, blinking in surprise at his hostility.
"I'm trying to find the bathroom, can you show me where it is?" I ask him confidently. I won't let him know that his rude personality bothers me. Tobias pauses before tilting his head at me, studying me. He silently walks down the hallway and opened up a door, motioning for me to go in.
"There you go." He says bluntly.
"Do you have a problem with me Tobias?" I asked him outright, wanting to clear the air between us. Tobias doesn't reply instantly and instead raises one brow at me patronisingly.
"No," he replies bluntly, his tone bored.
"If you want me to leave, I can leave."
"Jake wants you here so I don't have a say in it. Stay out of my way and I'll stay out of yours." Tobias says firmly, walking past me and shutting his bedroom door with a bang. I hear the lock in his door shut and I roll my eyes, exhaling the breath I'm holding.
Tobias really doesn't like me.