CW: sexual assault, violence
Audrey tapped her heel against the carpet-covered floor of the bright office.
“Please be patient miss Hawke, the will can't be read without him being here.”
She narrowed her eyes at the white-haired old man behind the office desk.
“Why? I'm her only family. Why should an outsider be at the reading?”
He clamped his hands together, giving her a pitying look.
“Your grandmother must have her reasons.”
Just then, the door opened.
“Sorry, I'm late,” a husky voice said, and the owner stepped into the room.
The barrister stood up and shook his hands.
“It's was no issue Mr. Hart, please sit down so we can proceed.”
Audrey stared dumbfounded at the person next to her. “Luke?”
“Audrey.” He sounded not
“Why is he here?” She glared at the barrister.
“It was your grandmother's wish for him to be here.”
“You knew and refused to tell me?” She pointed a finger at the barrister.
The stranger crossed his arms across his chest, his brow arched up at her. “So dramatic, I see you haven't given up your childish ways.”
She clenched her fingers so hard moon marks imprinted on her palm. “Why you__”
The barrister gave her a look.
“Miss Hawke, calm down, otherwise, this hearing won't proceed.”
Convinced that the situation was settled, the barrister started.
“I was your grandmother's lawyer and friend for such a long time and I know she loved you and wanted your happiness.”
He cleared his throat. “Her will states that you are grandchild gets 60% of all her possession and 40% goes to Mr hart here, only if you comply to her last____”
“I knew it, I knew you were after my grandmother's wealth.” She spits out.
“Can you listen to yourself,” said Luke coolly.
Her freckled cheeks flamed up in rage.
“Do you feel good robbing an old woman? She took care of you and this is how you repay her?”
Luke's laughter left her cold. “And how did you repay her? You didn't visit her once, only called occasionally. Then you come for her burial and will__”
Her eyes widened and her lips trembled. “I love my grandmother.”
“Poor way showing it.” He whispered.
The barrister thumped the table with his fist.
“I told her this would never work,” he muttered to himself.
“I will continue with the reading, the outcome is then your choice.”
He cleared his throat again.
“Only if you comply with her last wishes, If not her whole possessions go to charity.”
Audrey suddenly felt parched.
“And what is her last wish?”
He looked up from the will.
“Her wish is that both of you spend a week together in her vacation home at Cape cod.”
“A week together.” She shrieked.
“I will sooner spend time with demons in hell than go anywhere near him.”
“I would want to go anywhere with a prude.” Luke's lips curled up.
“If you don't, everything goes to charity, so think carefully,” said the barrister
“If you choose to follow her request, then you will go to Cape cod by car. Her will requests that you remain together, for a week. So no flight, you could evade each other on it.”
The barrister stood up, heading for the door.
“I'll leave you two to decide.
When you're done, ring me back into the room.”
The door closed with a clink and silence ensued in the room.
Audrey gauged Luke's figure.
He hadn't changed a single bit, only got older. He still maintained that short military-style hair.
She flushed as his eyes met hers.
“I'm not going on a road trip with you.”
“That's it, I'm done.” He grunted and started heading for the door.
“You can make the decision yourself.”
“Wait.” She gasped, scurrying after him.
“I'm glad you both made the right choice,” said the barrister.
He shook hands with Luke and he planted a kiss on Audrey's cheeks.
“A Bentley has been provided for your journey including the necessities needed. Good luck and call me when you arrive.”
Luke nodded, accepting a set of keys from him.
“Bye Mr. Brones,” Audrey said as he sauntered back into his office building.
Shortly after he left, Audrey pressed her body against the driver's door. “I'm driving.”
“Move away.” Luke grabbed her arm, pulling her to him.
“Let me go, you bastard.” She glared at him.
Luke stared down his nose at her. “Not what you said seven years ago.”
“How dare you?” She raised her hand to slap him.
He caught her wrist before it could reach its target, amused he watched her cheek flame red with anger. Laughing openly now, he leaned close, bringing his lips to her ears.
“Someone needs to tame that temper of yours.”
His proximity made her uncomfortable until a cellphone vibrated in Audrey's pocket startling them both.
Audrey lifted the cell to her ear, her eyes still glued to Luke's.
“Hello?” She glanced away from Luke.
“Dave, I'm sorry for not calling___”
“Yes. But there's a condition attached.
I'll text you later. Okay, I love you too.”
Luke slipped into the driver's seat before the call ended.
“My guess is someone already took the job of taming you,” he said.
“Though he's doing a poor job of it.”
“Don't talk about Dave, he's nothing Like you,” she said, snapping on her seat belt.
He backed out of the driveway and into the main street.
“And what am I like?”
“Disgusting,” she said.
“I'm happy I ain't like your Dave. What kind of man would want you in control of the relationship,” he said navigating the details of the nearest exit.
“I'm not even going to reply that,” she said, closing her eyes to feign sleep.
This is awful.
She and Luke never got along.
She could remember when she came to stay with her grandmother after her parent's death.
She found a young boy in the garden, he was playing with a toy truck. Fascinated she attempted joining him only for him to push her away. She fell grazing her knee.
When she was sixteen and had just discovered boys, she had a crush on Luke. At that time he was in college.
He came back home one summer with a couple of friends. She tried to greet him and he ignored her then she tried talking to his friends and he rebuffed her. He told them that she was only a child___ She ran away with tears in her eyes without hearing the rest.
At eighteen, she found him in the garden sitting alone, a sad expression on his face. When she got close enough to comfort him, he kissed her. She was delighted, he finally saw her as a woman.
Before she realized what going on, his left hand fondled her breast, his legs were between hers and he kissed her roughly, bruising her lip.
“Next time, mind your business,” he whispered to her ears before standing up to leave.
She felt humiliated and her infatuation turned into hatred. He had wanted her to stay away from him. And she did, away from him and her grandmother until now.
The past kept running through her head as her feigned sleep turned genuine.
Something jarred her awake and she opened her eyes to see Luke's face above hers.
“What are you doing?” She jumped away, glaring at him.
He smiled and his one-sided dimple winked at her.
“I tried to wake you but you seem to enjoy using my shoulder as your cushion.”
Her cheek flamed at his remark.
“Anyway, we have a problem,” he said, his expression turned serious.
“What?” She glanced at him.
“I followed a shortcut. The GPS didn't say the road was terrible. We lost the back tire and there is no town in sight.”
Audrey closed her eyes breathing in and out slowly.
“You should have stuck to the route.”
“And here is me thinking you might want to reach there faster and not spend another moment in the same space with me,” he said.
“The good news is, we have a spare tire but the not-so-good news is we'll have to sleep in the car.”
“Do not scream at him, you are a grown woman so don't let it get to you.” She muttered from between clenched teeth.
It was how her parents died.
“I found a blanket and some chocolate bars. I'm sorry, I didn't consider your fear of lonely roads, we have to sleep here tonight,” he said, his voice softened. “Tomorrow I'll fix the tire and we can stop to eat.”
The tension in her eased, placated by his apology.
“Alright, a pact just for today.”
“I'm supposedly a good company you know.”
Audrey nearly choked on her hamburger, it took several sips of her coke before she could speak.
They stopped a while ago at a cafe in the nearest town. Luke had taken his shirt off while fixing the flat and hadn't worn it ever since.
He probably thought it funny, seeing all those women in the cafe drool after him.
“All those ladies in the cafe figured probably it out.”
“You are not jealous, are you?” He glanced at her, fighting a smile.
“Why should I be, I have Dave remember and he's a better man than you will ever be.” She shouted the words at him.
He frowned now.
“That's a low blow, Audrey.”
“Is it? treating all those women just like Sabrina, eight summers ago. You get what you want then you discard them. Thank God I didn't fall into your trap that summer,” she said.
Pain flashed through his eyes before his expression shuttered. For a second there she thought she imagined it.
“Do sweet Dave know how you came undone in my arms, holding tight unto me, how you almost lost your virginity?” he said, leering at her.
“I should have taken what you offered so freely.”
“You bastard.” Her face flushed hot red.
“After this, I don't want to see you ever again.”
The rest of the drive to Cape cod was silent, not one of them attempted to break the silence.
Audrey fiddled with her cell phone, bored replying to Dave's questions. Funny enough, he never used to ask questions, he was always satisfied with whatever she tells him.
He was calm and always patient with her, and that's why she loved him.
As Luke drove through the street of the quaint lively town of cape cod, Chatham, Audrey could see reasons why her grandmother would keep a vacation house in a place like this.
It was comfortable, a place to get away from the outside, though the person she would like to get away from would stick to her side in this paradise.
Relief rushed through her, as the car stopped in the driveway of a smooth green lawn. In the middle a charming house with a steeped roof, dormers, and a centralized chimney.
Luke passed her the house key. “Go in, I'll catch up later.”
He turned away, closing the car door behind him.
Audrey hitched her elbow over the car door and regarded him.
He strode towards the car boot, fist in his pockets.
She had the impression he wanted to be far away from her. It was what she wanted right? Funny how it didn't feel that way.
Ignoring the pinch of remorse, she shut the car door and moved to the top of the staircase.
Each room had an ocean theme decor, seashells, driftwood was displayed across the living room wall.
The kitchen decor was a splash of sunny yellow and blue-green seafoam.
She swiped her hand across the counter, someone had been here; probably to clean the place and they dropped coffee.
Audrey had the coffee ready, two cups.
As she bounded to the living room, she could hear the animated conversation, along with the occasional hushed, tones
“Who was that?”
“The lawyer called,” Luke said, lowering the phone.
“Oh.” She raised her wrist. “I brought coffee.”
“No thank you.” He strode to the mix-matched sofa.
She followed his step and sat on the blue-colored cushion.
“We have to get foodstuff if we are to stay here for a week.”
Luke palmed his face with both hands.
“Audrey, can I be left alone, please?”
Her belly churned, a sick feeling of not being wanted, consumed her until the phone rang.
Her eyes widened with alarm. “You are here?”
Audrey lunged for the door, pattering down the stairs.
“Dave, why are you here?”
“Darling.” He beamed at her, leaning away from his car.
“I missed you so much,” he said caressing her hair as he hugged her.
“I was so worried about you staying with that male.”
“Dave, you didn't have to. And Luke stayed with my grandma, I have known him all my life, he's like a brother to me,” she said, that last statement unable to look him in the eyes.
“Then it won't be a problem to leave the inheritance for him. I'm loaded and you don't need the money.”
“Dave.” She cradled his cheek in her hands. “It's not about the money, I can't let my grandma's possession go, I'll hate myself.”
“Or you want more reasons to see Luke.” He gripped her wrist tight, a cruel smile on his face.
“Dave stop you are hurting me.” She fought to free herself from his grasp.
“This isn't like you, Dave.”
“Do you want him? Say it, admit you a whore.” He spits out.
She struck him then with enough force to snap his head back. Flames spitting from her eyes, conveying info on the color of her hair. “How dare you?”
Even if she could avoid it, it was too late. The back of his hand smashed across her face, sending her reeling.
She opened her eyes, trying to orient her reeling head to watch Luke swung his fist at Dave.
All hell broke loose.
“Luke, let him go, he's not worth it.” She pulled him away from Dave and kept him from lunging for him again.
“And here's your ring, I can't believe you.” She flung the ring at his already bloodied nose.
“Get out of here!” Luke growled and stomped off into the house.
“I'm sorry, darling, I don't know what came over me. I love you.” He cried out from the floor.
And when he didn't get any sympathy.
“It's your fault, you didn't explain more.”
Audrey shook her head and headed into the house.
She should check in on him. At least offer him coffee.
She paced the kitchen floor, biting her nail.
He had come to her rescue, after all, she said to him.
She had to apologize.
God help her, She had been jealous.
All those women flocking him, She had the urge to stab the blondie who trailed her red nail down his chest.
Before she realized what she was doing, she was knocking at his door.
“Come in,” She heard.
Her gaze zeroed on him ignoring everything else in the room.
“Hi, I brought coffee.”
“Leave it on the nightstand,” he said, watching her with dark eyes.
She inched towards the nightstand, breathing heavily. There was no reason to be scared of him.
Luke grabbed her and tossed her onto the bed as soon as her fingers left the cup.
She didn't have time to breathe before his mouth came down on hers.
“I wanted this for a long time.”
Oh Luke, she gasped, eyes misted.
“She knew. And she made me promise to stay away from you,” he said, his mouth curved into a sad smile.
“You were too young for what would have transpired between us.”
“Was that the reason you rejected me.” The words trembled from her lips.
His eyes pleaded for her to understand.
“You were my temptation, I had to push you away not to succumb.”
“I should thank my grandmother then.” she smiled, and their lips met again igniting the fever.
Their hands touched everywhere, the only sound heard was groans, moans, and the whispers of clothing as it slid from their skin.
She had known all her lives, that this would happen eventually between them. And she surrendered herself to the wave he built up in her.