The Trophy; Closed
Muse A is the very definition of first class. They come from a wealthy background and a long line of successful business tycoons who have always known how to get ahead. Muse A is no exception. After graduating from a prestigious university, they took a seat on the board of their family’s company and quickly proved that their hire wasn’t just a case of nepotism. Though they had some critics when first getting started, Muse A took the company into a brand-new direction and managed to stay at the top for years. With a high profile career like that, Muse A has had a high profile social life. Their circle of friends is exclusive and highly sought after, and it’s quite hard to get a foot in the door with them.
Muse A met Muse B on a cross country flight when they were bumped up to first class and seated next to them. Though they hit it off almost instantly, when Muse B mentions that they’re unemployed and currently not even looking for a job, Muse A knows it’s going to be a problem. They really get along though, so once they land, they make plans to go on an actual date. The chemistry is there, definitely, but Muse A refuses to bring Muse B around any of their friends. In fact, their friends are under the impression that Muse A is still very much single. Muse B has never made a big deal about it, but when, after a year and a half of dating, they propose to Muse A, one of the stipulations is that they need to be introduced to people in their life if they’re going to be together forever.
Though reluctant, Muse A hosts a dinner party for their friends to meet Muse B. They hope that at this point, their friends can overlook the fact that Muse B doesn’t seem to have anything going for them other than their looks and accept them into their exclusive group.
Twist- One of Muse A’s friends recognize Muse B as the heir of an incredibly well known socialite that runs in a different circle than theirs. Muse B is worth more than Muse A is, and when Muse B finds out that Muse A was ashamed of them, drama ensues.
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Nior let out a small sigh as she knew it was getting closer to the time of meeting up with the other's. She didn't want them thinking anything less of Leo. Was this turning out to be a mistake? Was she really letting all of these thoughts cloud her mind. Her eyes wandered to the male beside her on the streets. There was something about him, something she didn't want to share with anyone else. Why was she so nervous? This wasn't like her at all. She was always talking in large groups of people, but having Leo meet her friends was a different story.
She bit the inside of her cheek lightly as she drew her eyes away from the handsome face. What was he doing to her? He was making her feel like she was in high school again, and that wasn't a good feeling. She felt her phone buzz in her pocket and she pulled it out. Star was messaging her. She sighed as she opened the message. Tony and I are here. Where are you at? was all the message read. Nior's heart slammed against her chest as she thought about making up a lie and leaving.
She knew better than that though. Her fingers moved across the key pad. We are on our way right now. We parked at one of the local shops and decided to walk. So we will be there shortly. I promise. :) She then hit send and slid her phone back into her pocket. She wanted nothing more than to just turn around, message Star back and just cancel. She wasn't that kind of person either. What if they didn't like Leo? What if she was just getting her hopes up for no reason? There was so many different things running around in her mind, that she couldn't think straight.
She slipped her arm through Leo's as she tilted her head towards him “So Star messaged me. Her and Tony are waiting for you and I to arrive. Are you nervous?” she asked softly. She herself was really nervous. Would they judge Leo and make her feel like she was making a mistake? She hoped that wasn't the case. She turned her eyes back ahead and spotted the restaurant ahead. They were getting closer and closed and she couldn't turn back now. She took a breath as they crossed the street and walked into the building.
“Nior! There you are!” came the sound of Star's voice. The female plastered on a smile as she nodded towards the woman. “Sorry we are late, I was showing Leo around town” she said lightly as they walked up to the table for four. Star stood and hugged Nior. Her ice blue eyes on Leo the whole time. She looked him up and down a cold look in her eyes. “It's all good. I'm just glad you are finally here.” she said. Nior nodded lightly as Star let her go and then slipped her arm around Leo's waist. “Tony, Star I want you both to meet Leo” she said softly. She was nervous, and she let her words hang in the air, wondering who was going to break the silence next.
Leo could sense that Nior was uncomfortable. It made him wonder. Why was she so reluctant? Did she have doubts about them? Had he given her any reason? He didn't think so. Then what was it? There was the obvious answer and it made him feel even worse about everything. That she was embarrassed about him. That she didn't think that he could fit in with her life.
He hoped that the thought didn't show on his face. There had to be a sort of irony about that. As LeoLeo Caderll, the rich socialite he would be welcomed with open arms and yet, here with Leo Lucato he didn't feel welcome. It was no wonder he didn't tell people who he really was. Would he have similar worries when Nior met his friends? No, he didn't think so.
Nior's phone buzzing drew him away from his thoughts. He just had to make the best of it. For Nior. Leo smiled softly at her and squeezed her hand. "Well, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous, but I am excited to meet them. After all, she is a dear friend of yours," Leo admitted honestly, "We'll make the best of it. And hey, if it goes terribly, then we just ditch them and run away for some fun." That last part was a joke, which he hoped his smirk conveyed.
Though he couldn't deny the slight nervous butterflies in his stomach as they entered the place. Leo didn't have much more time to dwell on this as the women were already greeting each other. That didn't stop Star from eyeing him the whole time, which made him nervous. When Nior introduced him Leo gave a small smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you," he said, “I can't wait to get to know you both better.”
They settled at their table. There was certainly a small tension and he kept his arm around Nior, giving her a soft squeeze as they browsed for drinks. Once the waitress had taken their drink order, he knew that they would soon want to know more about him. "So, how long have you known Nior?" Leo inquired curiously. Though with the way that Star stared at him, he had a strange feeling. "Though I'm sure that you are much more curious about me. So please go ahead and ask your questions. I'll try and answer all of them," he went on before deciding to at least start to prove his point, "So yeah, born in Louisiana where my dad was a chef. After he died, my mom and I moved to New York where she is originally from. And now I live in California, sharing an apartment with a roommate." Was it just him or was Star staring at him more and more? As though she was trying to see into his soul. Or... did she know? It seemed crazy that she of all people would recognize him. Leo made a note to tred lightly, in case that Star did know something. Would she spill the beans? His heart was beating slightly harder and now he was certainly nervous. What would Nior say if Star told her?
Nior could feel the air around them change as Star let her go, and she slipped her arm back around Leo. She didn't like the way she was looking at the male either. She cocked her head to the side as Star spoke. “I feel like I know you from somewhere…” she said lightly. How could that be possible? She had just barely started seeing Leo not that long ago. She made a mental note to ask Star about it later. They were then led to their table and Nior sat down. She pulled the menu towards her hating the silence.
That's when Leo spoke up first. He was willing to answer any questions and she shot Star a look, pretty much telling her not to say something stupid. Star saw the look Nior gave her, and rolled her eyes. Star also picked up her menu and read over it for a few moments. That's when the waitress came over to take their drink orders. Nior scanned the menu wondering if she wanted wine or not. “I'll take a Coca-Cola please, with extra ice” she said as she turned her gaze back to the menu in front of her. There was so many choices.
“I'll take the red wine please. Hell make it two glasses” Star said as she let the men order their drinks. The waitress nodded lightly as she went to put in their drink orders. Nior's ears were trained of Star while Leo spoke about his family. Then the silence washed over them once more. Star leaned back and closed the menu placing it in front of her, and then crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you want with Nior? It better not be for the money, because if you're just in it for that I'll murder you…”
“I'm serious too. There's been too many failed relationships because of that factor. Yes she might come from money, but there's more to Nior than that” Star hissed. Nior's cheeks flamed red as she shot a death glare towards the woman. “Star please.. Do you really think I would have brought him around if I knew he was after what I had?” she asked lightly. Star nodded a bit her eyes still on Leo. “It wouldn't be the first time Nior. I'm just looking out for you” she said as she waited for Leo to speak. Nior felt horrible.
She never thought it would come down to something like this, and yet it was. She wanted to sink into the floor boards and wished she hadn't come at all. She bit the inside of her cheek as she waited for Leo to just up and leave because of Star and how rude she was being towards him.
Leo wasn't surprised by the statement. Not with how Star was staring at him. It figured that the one person who might recognize him in Chicago was a friend of Nior's. Briefly he considered coming clean and yet, how could he? That was hardly something to just throw out there when you were meeting your significant other's friends for the first time. "I model so perhaps you saw an ad with me in it," Leo finally suggested, which was true. Modeling was one of the few things his mother didn't meddle in, mostly because she hated that he was selling his body instead of his mind. Typical his mother. At least she hadn't tried to have him band from any auditions, which he knew she could easily do with her extensive list of friends.
He had gone for a beer, much like Tony, as he had the feeling he would need it with Star. Once the waitress was gone it was clear that Star meant business. Leo almost felt bad for Nior as it was clear how uncomfortable this made her. Taking her hand, he gave it a soft squeeze and smiled at her reassuringly. "It's okay Nior. You have a friend who looks out for you. That's a good thing," he told her before looking to Star, "One who I hope doesn't share your love for true crime cause otherwise I could be in trouble." Leo couldn't help the small teasing.
Leo hoped it didn't show how nervous he was, because he knew he would have an uphill battle if Star didn't approve. "I'm sure that Nior told you about how we met on the plane. I didn't know who she was. I thought she was quirky and funny. How she loves true crime podcasts and has such a drive. And yes, she is damn attractive. I didn't find out about who she was or what her family did until much later and it didn't change my opinion of her," Leo said and felt himself blush slightly at how open he was, but it was all true. He wasn't sure, if Star believed him or even wanted to. Leaning over, he kissed Nior's temple softly, hoping it was clear that he had no intention of up and running.
Star sat there watching the male. She wanted nothing more than to say what she really though. She was also thinking of Nior as well. She could see how uncomfortable she was being. Star leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest. “You might be right on that, I could have seen you in a magazine or something” she said with ice dripping from her voice. She wanted nothing more than to tear into the male. She wanted to corner him and make him tell her everything. When he spoke about Nior's passion she seemed to calm down a bit more. “She's always listening to some sort of True Crime. I swear she knows how to hide a dead body” Star said with a small laugh.
Hearing Star's laugh put Nior's feelings back to normal. She wasn't going to question Leo more. Or at least she hoped she wasn't. She felt Leo's hand on hers and his lips against her temple. How had she gotten so lucky? She had known Star for years, and she knew that the woman wouldn't back down that quickly. She bit her lip lightly as Leo spoke again. It was true. He didn't know a single think about her or her family until much later. Yes she did come from money, and she had kept that part from Leo as long as she could. She didn't want their relationship to be based on lies after all.
That's when the waitress came back to the table with their drinks. Nior saw the way that the waitress touched Leo's shoulder. That seemed to put her on edge once more. She wasn't one to let something that small bug her, but couldn't the damn waitress tell he was with her? She might as well make it known. She shot a look at the waitress to make sure she was looking, before she pulled Leo towards her, her lips finding his. The kiss deep and short. The waitress turned her eyes away as she ducked her head and walked off to another table. Nior pulled back and ran a finger over his lower lip. “I'm sorry, but I didn't like the way she was looking at you. And the way she touched you as well made my blood boil” she admitted.
Star saw the look on Nior's face and smirked a bit. She loved seeing Nior take charge for a change. “Just so you know Leo, Nior's staked her claim on you and any female around you, or that you know will either get the death glare, or Nior will make it known you aren't up for the taking. You sure your ready for that?” she asked. Nior's cheeks burned as she dropped her hand from Leo's face and turned to Star. She wanted nothing more than to strangle Star more than anything. She kept her mouth shut though as she waited to see what Leo thought, or what he would have to say to Star's statement.
Somehow Leo doubted that Star believed a word he said. Every look and every motion clearly showed that. "I get that sometimes," he replied, chuckling to hopefully add to the innocence of situation, though it certainly wasn't. He hoped that he could convince Star, as he didn't feel like getting into his family history as it stood right now. Chuckling, he nodded. "Oh, for sure and in a way that no one will ever find it," he agreed.
While he understood that Star was just protective of Nior, he did feel sorry as well as it was clear as day that it also made Nior uncomfortable. Again, Leo couldn't help wondering if Star would have been just as judgemental if she was aware that he likely had more money than all of them at the table combined. Sometimes he resented himself for thinking it was a good idea to separate these two sides of him as it seemed to do more harm than good at times.
Leo had been so absorbed in his thoughts he hadn't even noticed the way the waitress had touched him. Honestly, it didn't matter to him regardless, as his attention was fully on Nior and no one else. Though he quickly notice the change in her demeanor and barely had time to see who she was shooting the gaze to before he found Nior's lips on his. Gladly, he kissed her back, his arm coming to wrap around her waist to pull her in for the brief moment before Nior pulled back.
His brow arched as Nior explained the situation. That was certainly a side of her he hadn't seen coming. Yet, it was definitely sexy, seeing her take charge and in a sense mark her territory. Leo listened to Star. "Who would have thought that you have such a territorial side to you," he mused as he thought on the words, "Well, good news is that there aren't a lot of women in my life so you won't need to make use of either of those options too often. As long as my mother doesn't count into those women there shouldn't be a problem." His mother was certainly over protective and leo imagined a part of the reason that he could handle dominating women like this was because his mother was a bit like that.
"Though, to be fair I ended up in a bar fight for you as well, so I think we both have a bit of that streak," Leo reminded her with a chuckle before leaning to kiss Nior's temple softly and whispering into her ear for only her to hear, "Plus, it's pretty sexy." He gave her a grin as he pulled back.
Taking his drink into his hand, he raised it. "I would suggest a toast. To the many things we are going to learn about one another," he said and took a sip. They soon ordered food and settled into more or less pleasant conversation. Though he had the feeling that Star was still eying him some.
Finally he excused himself to go to the bathroom, kissing Nior before he departed. Should he be worried about Star? He felt like he had more or less won her over. Exiting he was checking his phone, seeing that his mother had texted him about possibly attending some event for the family. Leo sighed, not really wanting to think about it right now, but knew his mother would want an answer soon.
Nior wasn't one to let the side of her show often. But when she felt like someone was zeroing in on something that was hers, she had no other choice but to show that, that person was taken. She felt her heart skip a beat when Star and Leo started talking about that side of her. She lifted her hand and waved them both off. “It's nothing really.. I mean I might have staked my claim, but Leo's done the same. Like he just mentioned the bar fight he had gotten into” she said lightly. She blushed a bit when she heard Leo's words whispered in her ear. Did he really think that?
He wasn't getting turned off by the fact she could be clingly at times? She was about to say something when he made a toast and she lifted her own glass and took a sip. Her heart fluttered in her chest as she looked at Star and Tony. Everything seemed to be going so well. She then turned her attention back to Leo as he kissed her. A small smile passed over her lips as she watched him leave. “I'll be right back” Star said as she pushed herself up and out of her chair. Nior knew what was going to happen, but she didn't stop her. She turned her attention to the plate in front of her.
Star followed Leo to the men's bathroom and waited outside while he did his business. She stood there with her arms crossed over her chest waiting. When the male came out, his phone in hand, she stepped in front of him to stop him. “Don't think for a moment that I don't know who you are. I know how much money you have, and I know damn well you are lying to my best friend. So what's in it for you? If you aren't after Nior's money, cause you have your mother and your name to uphold. I'm not going to stand by and let you use her” she snapped. She meant it too. She had seen Nior get hurt too many times before.
“You better explain why you are even interested in her. You don't have to lie anymore, Niro's back at the table with Tony. Tony and I will take her home after we eat, and you can leave. If you have your shit at my apartment you can go and get it” she hissed. She wasn't about to back down. She stood her ground and waited for the male to explain everything to her. She tilted her head to the side and eyed him up and down. She didn't know what Nior saw in him, but she would find out one way or another.
Leo was fairly glad that things seemed to be going well. Star seemed to be backing off, which he took as a sign that she was accepting him. Had he not been so engrossed with his phone and deciding what to reply to his mother, he would have noticed the female waiting for him. So he only realized she was there when she stepped in his path.
Hearing what Star said, he couldn't help sighing as he pocketed his phone. A long time ago this would have hurt him, but now it had happened so often he had grown numb to it. Though that wasn't quite right. It certainly hurt, but because it was Nior. Because Star was trying to break them apart and he couldn't let that happen.
So he let the hurt expression cross his eyes. "Have you ever considered that it's precisely because of situations like this?" Leo asked, "If I'm Leo Lucato, I might be a nobody that people look down on, but at least they get to know me, if they are open to it. As Leo Cadwell... I'm either an entitled jackass that only wants to use people and mooches on his families wealth or they want to use me for their own gain. Regardless, as soon as they find out it's one thing or the other." Just like now and Star's expression told her she was clearly leaning towards the former.
Leo was used to people judging him based solely on his name so he could handle it. What he couldn't handle was how Star spoke about Nior. "Do you really have such a poor opinion of Nior that the only reason that someone could like her is to use her?" Leo couldn't help himself inquiring, "You said it yourself. I have enough money so I don't care about hers. Why is it so hard to believe that all the things I said earlier are true? That I love how quirky she is. How energetic and driven. That she can take charge. How drop dead gorgeous she is without trying." Every single word was true, but he knew it wouldn't matter.
"I would be lying, if I said it wasn't nice that she doesn't know who I am," he admitted, "That she wants to know who I am, regardless of last name. I would have told her eventually, but for now I wanted us to enjoy each other without that shadow of my name, of my legacy. Because it changes things, it always does..." How often had it happened. As soon as they heard his name he could see the way their behavior changed. Suddenly, he mattered apparently. "As Nior's friend, surely you understand that. Seen how it's happened to her," he commented further, "I understand her better than most ever could." How suffocating a name could be.
His hand ran through his hair, looking to Star. He hated using his influence, but he didn't want to lose Nior. "I have to say I'm surprised you know who I am. I do try and take care of not appearing in public too often," Leo said, wondering how she knew. He had no desire to follow her plans and would find a way to make sure of that. "What would it take for you to believe I'm not actually a monster?" he asked, not stepping down. One way or another, he would stay with Nior, whether Star was okay with it or nor.
Star wasn't about to let someone else walk all over Nior. She stood there with her arms crossed as the male spoke. Was she really stepping out of line? Did this bastard really think she thought so little of Nior? That seemed to make her blood boil even more. “Listen here Leo. Nior's like a sister to me. I've been with her day and night. Been through so many of her relationships, watched her get her heart broken. I've seen so many men use her that you couldn't even think twice about. You don't think I don't care about her? That I think so little of her? That's where you are wrong buddy."
“Nior's the best thing that's ever walked into my life and has stayed. I'm tired of men like you thinking you can own her. Hiding behind a different name isn't going to change my mind about you. You think you know her? I doubt it. Do you know what her comfort food is? Her favorite show? Favorite pair of shoes? You know nothing about her. She's only letting you know what she wants you to know. I will do everything in my power to keep her safe, and if it means exposing you I will” she snapped. She meant it too. She was done watching Nior get hurt.
That's when she paused and let him speak again. Was he really trying to bribe her? She shook her head lightly as she moved closer to the male. “I want you to prove to me that you aren't just with her for the money. You say you aren't but prove it. Prove that you know her, that you care about her. Don't go around bribeing her friends either. Because that just makes you look like a terrible person. Prove that your words aren't just words. Actions do speak louder than words anyway. You have two weeks and that's it. Two weeks to prove to me that you aren't as bad as you say you are, then maybe I'll rethink about telling Nior about who you really are" she said with narrowed eyes.
She wasn't about to let Leo walk all over her either. She wasn't going to stand by while Nior fell head over heels for the man. He was lying to her after all. “Don't wait to tell Nior the truth either. If you really want to keep her then you really need to man up and prove it. Don't hide behind a false name. Because if you keep lying and hiding your true self, it'll tear her apart and I'll be the one having to pick up the shattered pieces again” she said in a softer tone. She wasn't about to let the male off the hook that easy either. She shoved her hands into her pockets as she turned and walked back to their table.
Star wasn't one to mess with. She doesn't like seeing Nior hurt, and Leo assuming she thinks so little of Nior rubbed her the wrong way all together. She sat back down keeping silent. She wasn't about to ruin the rest of their time together. She made a mental note to tell Nior about Leo if he didn't.
It probably hadn't been a smart idea to say that part about her thinking little of Nior, but Leo was just frustrated. He was sick and tired of people thinking he was a bad guy for having the background that he did. Why couldn't Star just see that Nior was happy and that he was happy? Why couldn't it just be that easy?
And yet, he knew that what he said was wrong and raised his hands in peace. It was hard walking that line of reason and just wanting to get his point across. "I don't want to own Nior. In what century are we?" he replied, before sighing, "You're right. I don't know all those things yet, but I want to know them. I want to know them so I can make Nior even more happy. To always see her smile."
Leo sighed as he listened to the ultimatum. Two weeks. How the hell was he supposed to do that? It honestly felt like he could do just about anything and Star still wouldn't consider it enough. Heck, he could probably get down on one knee and sign a prenup that stated that he would relinquish any rights to Nior's money and Star would still consider him to be a money grubbing jackass. Instead, he swallowed his thoughts. God damn it, if there was one thing he was it was persistent and he didn't give up. "Two weeks," he repeated, looking to Star, "I'll prove it in two weeks." Somehow, he would if it was the last thing he did.
With her last words Leo truly did see how much Star cared about Nior. Yet, he couldn't help wondering if her overprotectiveness didn't make things easier for Nior. Leo let Star walk back first, giving himself a minute to think. What could he possibly do? Running a hand through his hair, he took a deep breath before returning back to the table. For now, he would not let Nior know that anything is up and figure out his plan. His hand found hers under the table and gave it a squeeze.
The rest of dinner wasn't great, but it wasn't a train wreck so Leo supposed that was something. After they had said goodbye to the other two, Leo and Nior walked back to her car hand in hand. "That was a nice dinner," he said before chuckling, "Star is intense to say the least, but she cares about you dearly. That much is very clear. I'm glad I got to meet her." That much was very true. "Though it did make me realize that there is still so much more that I want to learn about you," Leo added and he was serious. He was serious about Nior and wanted to know all there was about her. Smiling down at her, he drew his arm around her waist to hold her close. If he noticed that she was cold, he would naturally give his jacket to her.
Nior had watched as Star seemed to follow Leo away from the table. She just hoped that the woman wouldn't do anything to scare Leo away. He really was a good guy. He meant a lot to her and she sure as hell didn't want Star or anyone ruining that for her. She looked up when the two came back to the table. She placed her hand on Leo's thigh glad to have him back beside her. Soon enough their food arrived, and the topic of conversation ended up changing to other items. For that Nior was glad for. Soon enough they were all finished and they were alone once more.
She lowered her gaze to the pavement under her feet as they walked back to the car, their fingers laced together. She wanted to get away from Star and her gaze. When they were at the car she leaned against it watching Leo. He really was amazing. She couldn't picture anything else about him. She titled her head to the side as he spoke. She was curious as to where this was coming from. “Well you are more than welcome to ask me anything you'd like. I'm an open book and you know that” she said softly. She felt his arm around her waist, and her heart slammed against her chest.
God she wanted to get somewhere private. She wanted to feel his skin, his fingers roaming her own skin the way they had when they first met. Her body was screaming for his touch. She slipped her hands to his waist, slowly trailing her finger along the waist band of his jeans. “So I was thinking, because I know Star's going to be at the apartment and I want you all to myself right now. Why don't we get a hotel room? It's not going to be like it was in New York, but it'll be private and we won't need clothes either” she said lightly her eyes searching his. God he was a catch. He really way. She couldn't wait to get him alone.
Her back was against the car as she hooked her fingers through his beltloops and drew his hips against hers. She wanted to be as close to the male as she could be. She searched his eyes for any signs of him saying no. They would be able to explore more as well. It was still early. “Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? There's still plenty of time until it's dark out. I want you to see everything you want to see before the sun sets. I also want to take you to my favorite spot to watch the sun set” she said softly as she kept his hips pressed firmly against her. She didn't want him moving an inch.
She leaned forward pressing her lips to his neck lightly. Dinner was horrible, but at least now she had the male to herself. She would make sure it stayed that way, for as long as she could.
Leo tied to keep his mind from racing. He had no idea how he was ever going to get Star's approval. It felt like a task he was doomed to fail and he hated that thought. Hated the idea of having to give up someone as amazing as Nior. Feeling her place her hand on his thigh, his came to rest on top of hers. He wouldn't give up. Not if he could do something about it.
He chuckled. "I know, but it seems a little weird to just ask rapid fire questions. I want it to be natural," he replied, "Though I'll start with your favorite color." He gave her a small smile. His arms held her close to him, enjoying the feeling and her scent that wafted up to him subtly.
Feeling her hands on the waistband of his jeans, Leo's eyes met hers before she spoke those words. His insides tightened and God yes, he wanted nothing more than that. "Well, you without clothes on is certainly more than a delightful idea," he mused, his voice dropping some as he held her closer to him. How could Star expect him to give her up?
Nior continued to speak, but it was becoming damn hard to concentrate on what she was saying. Leo felt himself shiver as her lips began to kiss his neck. God, he couldn't help himself. His hands moved to lift her up, gently pinning her between him and the car. For a moment Leo looked her in the eye before kissing her deeply. "How can you ask me what I want to do when you are doing that?" he asked amused, but clearly also very much intrigued. He kissed her once more before pulling back slightly. "I say, show me the way to that hotel," Leo whispered against her lips, "And afterwards we'll see how much time we have left." He didn't want to squander the bit of time he had with her. "But yes, we can watch the sunset wherever you want," he told her before chuckling, "I think I would probably say yes to anything you ask right about now." That certainly was true.
Kissing her passionately one last time, Leo let her down before sliding into the car. Once Nior had joined him, his hand came to rest on her thigh. "We could always go up onto that sky deck on the highest tower, but I want to see Chicago from your eyes. I want to see the places you like and that you frequent," Leo told her truthfully, smiling to her. He wanted to understand her better, learn more about Nior. Though right now his mind was otherwise preoccupied, his fingers massaging her though in circular motions. No woman before Nior had ever turned him on like this. "I do have to say I liked how you staked your claim back there," he said as his gaze didn't leave her for a moment, watching her in all her beauty.
Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. At least that's how the woman felt in that moment. When the male asked about her favorite color she cocked her head to the side. Was that really what he was curious about? Something as simple as that? She shrugged lightly as she kept her fingers looped through his belt loops. “To be honest it's always changing. Some days I love the color pink. Other days I love the color of blue. The different options for both colors varies as well” she said lightly. She was kind of surprised at his question, but it did make her think a little bit.
She let out a small breath as Leo picked her up and had her pinned between him and the car. Her heart was racing as she rested her arms on his shoulders. She trailed her fingers lightly along the back of his neck as he spoke. She wanted nothing more than to get him to the hotel room and just have her way with him. There was also another part of her that wanted to show him her little town. She was then lowered back to her feet and watched as Leo slid into the car. She took a breath to calm her racing heart.
She opened up the drivers door and slid in behind the wheel. She then turned her attention to the male beside her. “Here's the deal. We go and see my town from the highest part and then we will get that hotel room. I want to show you everything in the little time you and I have together.” she breathed out. She enjoyed the feeling of his hand on her thigh and the moment she felt him making circles on her thigh it nearly made her melt. The feeling of his fingers on her body, the sound of his voice drove her insane.
She wanted nothing more than to show him everything around her. Show him her life. She wanted him to understand where her mind is at a lot of the time. She placed her hand on top of his to keep his hand on her thigh. “Don't move your hand either.” she said lightly as she started up the car and backed out of the parking spot. She headed towards Make-Out point her mind racing. Her body screaming to be touched. They had a little while until the sun would set, and she didn't want to miss it.
She came to a stop at a light and turned her head towards Leo. “Tell me what you want to see, where you want to go and I'll make it happen the best I can” she promised. She wanted Leo to enjoy his time here and she would make sure to make it happen. She looked back at the stop light and when it turned green, she headed towards the outskirts of town, heading up the side roads heading to the highest point in town.
It felt like Star was getting into his head and it irritated the male. He didn't like feeling insecure and it wasn't a feeling he was used to. Star got under his skin and he knew why. Because he was scared of losing Nior. Scared of losing someone who was about as damn near to perfect as could be. Yes, he was well aware that no one was perfect, but Nior felt like that for him.
Nior's answer to his question made him arch a brow amused. "That sounds very volitile," he mused, but in a way it fit to her, "But in a way it makes sense." He certainly wanted to know more, but he was also preoccupied with other thoughts as they settled into the car. Listening to Nior's suggestion of what they would do, he nodded. "That sounds good. A view of the town sounds amazing," he agreed, "Yes, we'll definitely make the most of the time we have together." He was sure of that.
A small grin spread across his face when Nior uttered that second sentence, her hand further emphasizing her point. "I had no intention of removing it," he assured her as his hand continued their lazy circles. Leo loved the feeling and it seemed to be mutual.
Once more, her words pulled him from his thoughts. Where could they go? He wanted them to have a good time together, which meant that he had to shut Star out of his mind as best as he could, but he couldn't really. "Well, Millennium Park is supposed to be amazing. And quite honestly, nothing sounds more romantic than a river cruise," he suggested, liking both ideas.
His gaze shifted to look outside. "So where are we heading?" Leo asked, noticing the shifting scenery, "Should I be worried after all that you intend to kill me?" He gave her a teasing look. Didn't serial killers often have an interest in other murderers? Soon they were slowing down. His gaze shifted forward, catching the sight of the city. He paused. "Wow, that's quite the view," he said, looking for a moment longer before turning to Nior, "So this is the secret local hangout?" He couldn't resist leaning over to kiss her, as this all felt really special to him.
He pulled back to look into her eyes. "All I want this weekend to be is for us to have a good time and to enjoy it. To deepen this already crazy connection," Leo told her, "Because I do think we have that." They both very clearly were into one another and they had both said as much that it was the first time that either had felt so strongly so quickly for one another.
A small smirk passed over the females lips as she drove towards the mountains and away from the town. “You wouldn't be here if I was planning on murdering you. Cause if I was, I would have done it already. Or you would have found out about my plans cause I'm not too good at keeping something like that underwraps for long” she said with a small laugh. She did enjoy listening to the true crime stories, but she wouldn't be able to do something so horrible like those murderer's in the world. Just thinking about it made a shiver run down her spine.
When they were parked she kissed the male back and broke out into a smile when he pulled back. “I know it's not much, but the view is amazing. There's also a tree nearby that couples carve their names in whenever they come up here. I'm not sure if they are still together or not, but it's still cute to see. There have been some that have stayed together and come up here every year and make a notch under their names for however long they've been together, or married” she said lightly. She rolled the windows down before shutting the car off.
“Come on. I want you to see it. I know there's other trees that have the same thing, because they are too tall for people to climb up” she muttered lightly as she opened her door and slipped out. Plus the sun would be setting soon and she wanted Leo to see the amazing sight outside of the car. She shut the door and waited for him to join her. She slipped her hand into his, lacing their fingers together as she led him behind the car and towards the small grove of trees.
She paused at a couple of them and dropped his hand. She walked towards the largest one in the middle, her eyes scanning it. She found the two sets of names and ran her fingers over them. The names Marther & Daniel were etched there with the year they were married. “These are my grandparents. They came here when they were younger and did this exact same thing. I don't know if it was Papa's idea or MeMaw's but their wedding date is etched into the tree. My parents did the same thing as well, and daddy had been marking the years they were married.”
“He stopped after four markings though. Momma ended up cheating on daddy and getting pregnant and leaving the both of us behind. I was only four months old when that happened. Since then daddy's done everything in his power to make my life happy and be the best father in the world. He never got remarried and sometimes I want to ask why he didn't. I know it's not my place, but can you really blame me? I just want what's best for daddy and he wants what's best for me” she said softly. Her eyes filling with tears.
She hadn't told anyone about her parents in years. Star knew the whole story, but she never told another living soul. She turned her eyes towards Leo and smiled sadly. “Sorry for being all emotional, it's been years since I've talked about my mom” she said in a soft voice. She didn't remember the woman at all and she was kind of glad for it. It felt nice opening up about it though. She turned back to the tree, letting the silence wash over them for the time being.
Leo couldn't help laughing at what Nior said. "Well, I'm glad to hear it. Guess my charm saved me," he teased, giving her a wink. Though he had to admit that the sight was absolutely beautiful.
His brow rose slightly as she explained what this place was. "That sounds wonderful," he replied and got out, curious to see the markings on the trees for himself, "It's nice to imagine that all these couples stayed together and are happy." He knew it wasn't likely, but still, just the thought was nice and he followed after Nior, slipping his hand on hers.
Once they reached a grove of trees, he watched Nior step towards one, very sure of the one she wanted. Leo carefully followed, as if his presence could interrupt her thoughts. From where he stood, he could see the names etched into the tree. His gaze shifted around, wondering where her parents had made their mark, but couldn't see it. Silently he listened and it pained him to see her so emotional over the story. He now understood her father a bit better. Why he was so protective of his little girl. He wanted to protect Nior from the same pain that likely he had lived through, possibly still did to this day.
Finally Nior turned to him and Leo stepped forward to wrap his arms tightly around her, holding her close. Gently he caressed her head. "It's okay. You shouldn't apologize for it," he assured her in a soft voice, "I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to tell me." Pressing a kiss to her forehead, he just held her.
"I guess, it's a similar motive to my mom...," he began softly, "They just loved their partner that much..." He couldn't help thinking of his own parents. "My mom was 18 and doing a road trip through the south when she came across a small restaurant. There she ran into a kitchen helper and as she tells it, time just stopped. Although she had something planned, she stayed until closing and afterwards they just talked all night long. He told her of his dreams of owning his own restaurant and God knows what else...," Leo told her, "My mother never looked back. Her family threw a fit and threatened to disown her, but all she wanted was my father, that kitchen aid. Together they built up their dream restaurant..." Knowing that his mother had given up the comfy life of an heiress for his father made her sacrifice all the greater. "After my father died, she couldn't bare to be there anymore so we returned back to New York," Leo concluded, "Like your dad, she never remarried and I think partially it was for me, but also it was because she couldn't imagine her life with anyone else." He knew how hard it was to grow up without a father. How did Nior feel? His father hadn't chosen to leave, her mother had. "Do you ever miss her?" he couldn't help asking.
His gaze shifted to the trees, giving him an idea. "How about we add our names to a tree?" Leo suggested, liking the idea of them permanently being here. They had both already hinted at them wanting this to last so why not? He was confident in his feelings for Nior. Looking down at Nior, he still held her close, his hand resting on the small of her back.
Standing in the grove of trees and telling Leo about her parents made everything seem so real. She never spoke about her mother to anyone. The last time she did, the man she had been dating at the time went and did the worst thing possible. He found one of her really close friends at the time and they slept together. It was like he wanted her to find them in bed together. He then procedded to to her that she wasn't anything. That he didn't care about her. That she had been a good lay but that was it. He hadn't been looking for anything serious.
That had been the first time in her life she had been heart broken. That had been the first time she let Star do what she wanted. Star had taken matters into her own hands and since then hasn't let Nior out of her sight a lot of the time. She shook her head as she came back to the present. She turned her attention to Leo as he spoke about his own parents. Now that's the kind of love story she wanted in life. She wanted someone to look after, to do life with. She might have found that person.
A small smile passed over her lips as she nodded lightly. “If you' are serious about it, I wouldn't mind putting our names on a tree. Pick a spot” she said softly. This was turning out a lot better than she thought. She was here with an amazing man, she was opening herself up to him as well. Something she never did. That's when his words hit her. Did she miss her mother? She paused a moment letting his words sink in. She didn't want to talk poorly about her mother, but she knew when she started she would.
She took a breath and started speaking once more. “At one point I did. I was sixteen years old and was learning more and more about my body, and I was also realizing I was getting more and more into boys. I got jealous because of the other students in my class had their mother's. I didn't have one. So, when I got my first crush, I didn't know what to do. Of course, he had been on the football team, and he was the most popular student in school at the time. Everyone loved him, all the girls wanted him”
“When he paid attention to me though, I felt like I was walking on cloud nine. I wasn't considered pretty when I was in high school and I was okay with that, but when Skylar looked at me I felt like I was. So one night he asked me to one of the football games and I of course said I'd be there. I went and cheered my heart out for the team. Afterwards though was when things changed. My whole world was flipped upside down” her voice started to crack as she kept explaining.
“I was so stupid at the time. I agreed to go to a party after the game. I knew I was breaking the rules and I knew daddy would have been really upset, but I wanted to be the good girlfriend. Yes I thought I was his girlfriend. So when we arrived he took me to one of the bedrooms and we started talking. He said that he was just using me. He had made a bet with a couple of the other team members that he could get laid and that I would be the one to do it. I tired to tell him no, but he forced me too”
“He forced me down onto the bed, he forced me out of my clothes. I tried to scream but he cut off any sounds I could make. I could hear people outside the door laughing, and then I heard the worst sound that could be heard at such a young age. The sound of a zipper. He raped me that night. He raped me three times before he finally got his fill. When he was done he left me there, alone, sobbing, broken, scared. I could still hear the laughter outside the door. When he left there were cheers and then silence.”
“I stayed there as long as I could until I finally left. That was the night I wished my mom was around. She would have known what to do. Somehow I managed up at the hospital in tears, the cops were called, the rape kit was pulled out. Daddy was called at a little after one in the morning. When he got there, he didn't yell. He just held me and let me sob. After that night though I was glad I had my daddy. I wouldn't have had anyone else around.”
“That night I did miss my mom, but I knew I had someone better by my side” she breathed out. She realized she had spilled another one of her secrets and she felt heat rush to her cheeks. “I'm so sorry, you most likely didn't want to hear all of that..” she said in a small voice. She knew she had done a lot of the talking. She wasn't trying to ruin their time together, but something about being in the grove of trees with Leo was bringing all of that out. She knew she wanted him to know everything, and she just hoped she wasn't scaring him away.
It was a beautiful moment. Them sharing their past, peeling back layers that they often hid from other people. His parents were his ideal, something he kept close to his heart as though they could be taken away or made less meaningful. Though telling Nior it felt like the opposite. That sharing this with her made the memory even more special and empowering. Perhaps, it was also the wish that she could be what his dad was to his mother.
His gaze found her eyes as she spoke. "I am very serious about you and this," Leo assured her, wrapping his arms around her and leaned down to kiss her forehead softly. Which tree should it be? He turned a bit to look at the different trees.
Though his thoughts were interrupted when Nior began to speak. Something in the way that she spoke gave him chills before she had even really begun. It only got worse and he felt sick to his stomach. All he wanted was to go back in time. To stop that from ever happening so that he could save Nior all that hurt and pain. His arms wrapped around her more tightly, though at this point he wasn't sure if it was to comfort her or to support him.
Hearing Nior apologize, Leo shook his head softly. "Don't you dare ever apologize for something like that," he said, his voice clearly laced with pain and anguish. He took a shaking breath before he gently lifted her chin so he could look at her better. That also meant that she could clearly see how moved he was by what she said. "I am so sorry that you had to go through that. That that scumbag of a boy did that to you. If I could, I would track him down," Leo told her, shaking slightly with emotion, "But don't you ever think that I don't want to know this. I want to know all of you. The beautiful, the wonderful quirky and everything else. I want you to know you could tell me anything..." He gave her the softest of kisses on the lips.
"You are so incredibly strong for having gone through that and still being who you are," he whispered, his gaze meeting hers. Was that why Star was so protective of her? Leo couldn't fault her one bit if it was. Heck, it definitely explained why the connection to her father was so close. He didn't think he could stomach the thought of that ever happening to his own daughter, if he had one. Sometimes, knowing that men like that existed, he was ashamed of being a person of the same gender.
Talking about the night she had lost everything brought out a side of her that she had buried so deep within herself. She felt dirty. She felt like she didn't deserve this man in front of her. Speaking about it took her to a small, dark space. Something she had fought so hard to get out of. Feeling the male's arms around her calmed those demons. The moment she felt his lips on her own, the demons ended up losing all their power over her. She didn't need to be afraid. She didn't need to feel like she was worthless, because she wasn't.
She slipped her arms around his waist pressing herself against him even more. She leaned her forehead against his chest lightly as she spoke again. “I know I shouldn't apologize for shit like that you shouldn't have to deal with my past though either. I know you have a lot to deal with because of Star, but that's another reason why she's as protective of me as she is. She doesn't want me to get attached again. I don't want to get attached again unless I know for sure it's going to last” she admitted. She kept herself pressed against Leo for support.
She knew how he felt towards her, and he knew how she felt towards him. She wanted this to last but deep down she was scared that it wasn't going to last. She pulled back and looked up into Leo's face. Her eyes scanning his face. She knew she was about to say the worst thing anyone could say in such a short amount of time. She was nervous as shit to even say this. She didn't want to scare him off, but she needed to say what was on her mind. She bit her lip lightly before stepping back a little.
“You are more than welcome to run away after this.. I just I feel like it needs to be said.. Leo I'm falling in love with you, and it's scaring the living shit out of me” she breathed out. There, she said it. Was she regretting it? Not at all. She wasn't one to say something without meaning it. She took his chin in her hand and pulled his head down towards hers and kissed him lightly. Her heart hammering inside of her chest as she did. She pulled back catching her breath for a moment. “Did you finally decide on what tree you want?” she asked softly.
Leo felt Nior relax against him and he was glad for it. He wanted her to trust him, to believe she could tell him anything. His arms stayed around her tight as he nodded. "I get it now. She worries about you and she should," he assured her and in a way he couldn't fault Star for her behavior anymore, "I want to deal with it. I want to deal with all of you. The good, the bad, the ugly." To accentuate the point he kissed her between each of those three words.
He was confused though when Nior stepped back from him. It looked serious. She had already told him that. What more could she possibly drop on him that was even harder to swallow than that story. The tension was building inside him so much that he felt like he might burst.
Which was why Leo couldn't help the smallest of chuckles that escaped his lips when she finally uttered those words and gave him a soft kiss. He gave her the sheepiest of looks. "I'm sorry. I was expecting something even worse than the story before so this...," he explained as a smile crossed his lips, "This is so much better." Cupping her face, Leo kissed her passionately. "I'm falling in love with you too Nior," Leo told her and kissed her passionately once more, holding her close to him. He felt like he was experiencing the greatest high ever. While he hadn't actively thought about it, he was very sure that was how he felt about her. Heck, he could see a future with Nior. This was just one step towards that.
In all honesty he had almost completely forgotten about the tree until she reminded him. "I completely forgot about it," he admitted, but finally pointed one out to her that still had some space on it, "How about that one?" Not far aware someone had laid a pocket knife, likely so that no one had to bring their own. Picking it up, they made their way over to the tree. "So, shall we carve it together?" Leo suggested as he offered the knife to her first. It felt only right. Though if he was honest, he also was thinking about something else entirely. Emotions were running high in him and from what he could tell, no one else seemed to be around. "So... do people come here very often?" he asked, his arm around her waist still. In this moment a hotel seemed too far away.
A small laugh passed through the female's lips at his reaction. She shouldn't have done it the way she had and just dropped it on him right after a heavy story. When he pointed out a tree he wanted she nodded and walked over to it. She hadn't seen the pocket knife right away and was glad Leo had. “We can do it together” she said lightly. She didn't mind doing it with him. It was nice to do something like this. Ever since she had been a little girl she wanted to do this with the man she was going to be with.
At one point she almost did, she was glad that hadn't happened. She pressed herself back against Leo as they both carved their names into the tree. When he asked if many people came here she was kind of surprised at the question. “No they don't. The last time I saw someone even drive up this way was months ago. Why do you ask?” she had a feeling as to why he was asking and her heart skipped a beat. She knew they were supposed to make it back to the hotel, but it wasn't gonna happen that quickly.
She did want to hear him say those words. She closed the pocket knife and placed it back on the ground before turning around to face the male. She pressed her back up against the tree behind her. Her eyes searching his. “Would you really care if anyone came right now? I sure as hell wouldn't” she breathed out. They did have the safety of the car, but part of her hoped he wouldn't choose that option. The grass below their feet would be perfect. “There are a couple of blankets in the trunk of the car” she breathed out.
She hooked her fingers through his belt loops to stop him from leaving. He pulled him against her, as her lips found his. She kissed him deeply as her heart pounded against her chest. She never said those words to anyone beside her dad, and just knowing that Leo felt the same made her feel like she was on top of the world. She kept her fingers through his loops as she kissed him again. Her heart feeling like it was about to burst from her chest.
Leo imagined someone had left it here at some point to facilitate with the carving of names. After all, not everyone carried around a knife of some sorts around with them anymore so this was the best option. He smiled as she agreed to do it together.
The two of them made their way to the designated tree and together they carved their names. Once they were done, he ran his finger over the fresh carvings. It was honestly perfect and it only added to the high he was feeling. Nior's answer only further enticed him, the flicker in her eyes telling him that he understood exactly why he had asked.
Would he care? Leo thought for a moment. "Well, I don't care for my modesty, but I wouldn't be that happy if someone saw you," he admitted, but stepped closer, pressing her against the tree as his hands wandered her body. He nodded about the blankets, but didn't move, instead kissing her. His hand wrapped into her hair.
After some time of kissing, he did pulling back ever so slightly. "You know you have to let me go, if you want me to get the blankets," Leo mused with chuckle, "But do we really need them?" His hands found her thighs as he lifted her up, pressing her still against the tree before kissing her passionately some more. He was well aware that their carved heart was now being christened and that was kind of exciting. "I guess you'll have to do more of the undressing," he whispered against her ear before his lips began to trail along her. Somehow he had the feeling she wouldn't mind too much. They were both riding the high of what they had just disclosed to one another. Yes, this was very likely one of the best night of his life.
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