The Secret of Ella and Micha / Chapter 12

Chapter 12


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Micha

"Dude, where the fuck is your head today?" Ethan asks and seconds later a grease rag hits me in the face.

I throw it back at him, hard. "You're starting to piss me off with this crap."

Ethan widens his eyes exaggeratedly. "Whatever man. You've been so distracted for the last two days." He sticks his head back under the hood. "And I'm not going to say why."

"Good, because I don't want to hear it." I round the back of my car and eye over the tools on the wall of the garage. I grab a rusty toolbox, one of the few things my dad left behind, and toss it into the garbage can. He called again this morning, begging on the answering machine for either my mom or I to pick up.

Ethan raises his head up and eyes the garbage can. "Wanna explain what that was for?"

"Nope." I pick up a wrench and start working on the car.

We work on it for a while, but it's hot and I'm getting more pissed off at my dad by the second. Finally, I move back and throw the wrench down onto the concrete. Ethan doesn't ask questions this time.

"We should have a party tonight," I announce, unable to hold still. "A big one, like the one we had on graduation night."

"You really want to relive that night?" Ethan backs out from under the hood. "Because I'm not sure I do."

I step outside into the sunlight, determined to get my mind off stuff. "What you can't remember doesn't hurt, right?"

"I don't think you want to go there." Ethan walks next to me and we stare down the driveway at an old guy pushing a shopping cart. "There are plenty of times in my life I wish I could remember - that I'd give anything to remember - but I can't. I lost like a year of my life. It's better to stay within the boundaries of a semi-clear head. Besides, this doesn't sound like you at all. What's up?"

"Nothing's up." I sigh, raking my fingers through my hair. "I'm just thinking out loud."

Ethan returns to the garage and starts working on the engine again. Around sophomore year, he started hanging out with these kids at school, who had really heavy views on the world and liked to sit around and get high while they talked about it. Ethan somehow ended up being friends with them, and within a month, he had dropped out of school and got into some pretty heavy shit.

A year later he made the decision to get some help. He cleaned up his life, cut the habits, and worked the hell out of himself to catch up in school. He was a grade behind, but managed to graduate with our year. Looking at him, you wouldn't guess.

The side door of Ella's house swings open and Lila steps out. She looks upset, although not as bad as she did last night. She glances up the driveway at the house across the street, where there's a very loud game of tackle football going on in the front yard. Her eyes roam to my house and then widen when she sees that I'm watching her.

She gives a tentative wave from the top step. "Hey, Micha."

"What's up?" I say with a nod of my chin. "Is Ella up yet?"

Shielding her blue eyes from the sun, she looks up at Ella's window. "Yeah, she said she'd be out in a second. She's just talking to her brother."

"He's not being a dick, is he?"

"I'm not sure what constitutes as a brother being a dick, since I don't have one." A smile cracks at her lips.

I walk toward the fence, pulling up my jeans that are riding low on my hips. "There's no yelling going on?"

Lila shakes her head and meets me at the fence, plucking some of her blonde hair away from her mouth. "But Ella's not much of a yeller, is she?"

I rest my arms on the top of the fence. "It depends on which one we're talking about."

Her face falls. "How could I know her for eight freaking months and not know anything about her. It must say something about me, right?"

I feel bad for her. "I think Ella kind of made it her mission to keep who she was hidden from you. It's not your fault."

She eyes me over with this suspicious look. "Honestly, it seems like she's that way with everyone, except for you."

"We've known each other forever," I say. "We have a comfortable relationship."

Her blue eyes twinkle with mischievousness. "One where you feel her up in the car?"

"It feels like you're trying to start some trouble," I say, liking the girl even more.

"Maybe I am." She leans over the fence to the side of me so she can get a better view of the inside of the garage. "Is that Ethan in there?"

I step back so she can get a better look. "Yep, he's working on the car."

"I think I'll go give him some help." A grin spans across her face and she hops over the fence, squealing as her shoe gets caught in the wire.

Trying not to laugh at her, I unhook her shoe and she walks into the garage, surprising Ethan. The door to Ella's house opens and my attention centers on her as she steps out into the sunlight.

She's wearing a tight, black and purple plaid dress, and knee high lace-up boots, but her hair is curled up neatly. It's like a mix of her old look and her new one. Her face is guarded as she ambles across the driveway, with this strange look in her eyes, like she's terrified yet excited at the same time.

"Did Lila come out here?" She bites her lip and I want to lean over and bite it for her; taste her and feel her like I did last night.

Without taking my eyes off her, I nod my head at the garage. "She's in there with Ethan. I think she might have a thing for him."

"I think you're right." She pauses. "I think I might have freaked her out a little, just barely."

"You mean you and Dean might have freaked her out a little?"

"She told you I was talking to Dean?"

"She mentioned it." I extend my hand to her. "Why don't you come over and join the party on this side of the fence?"

"A party of four?" she asks, trying not to grin and looking as cute as hell.

I snag her by the hip, jerk her toward me playfully, and dip my lips to her ear. "It can be a party of two. Just say the word."

She shivers from the feel of my breath on her neck. "I think we better keep it a foursome."

I press my fingers into the curve of her hips. "I didn't know you liked it kinky."

She swats my shoulder and I laugh, my dad problems feeling less heavy. "Relax, I was just kidding, even though you're the one who brought it up first."

"I was joking."

"I know... I think I am going to have a party tonight."

"Don't you have one of those every night?"

I cock my eyebrow. "Besides the night you showed up, have you seen one going on?"

She wrinkles her forehead. "No." She sits down on the fence, swinging her legs over to my side. "Micha, what have you been doing for the last eight months?"

"Pinning for you." I avoid the truth. That I haven't been doing much of anything besides looking for her and helping my mom take care of things.

She tucks her dress underneath her legs and I get a small glimpse of the black lacy panties she has on. "Where do you work?"

Against her protest, I spread her legs apart and put myself between them. "I work at the shop with Ethan a lot, but it's not going to be forever. I have plans. I'm still working on getting everything lined up."

She places her hands on my chest, holding me back. "I think the lines between our friendship are getting a little blurred."

"That happened a long time ago," I tell her, gliding my palms up the sides of her bare legs. "At least for me it did."

Her jaw tightens. "It's things like that which make them blurry and things last night... and things like in the car."

"There seems to be a lot of things, which I think might be a hint that you and I belong together."

Her eyes snap wide and I back off to try another tactic. She needs to smile and let those stressed lips free. I pinch her side and she squeals.

"Don't do that," she says, holding back a laugh. "You know I hate being tickled."

I graze my fingers across her other side and she squirms, before falling over the fence and landing on her back in the grass. I leap over the fence easily as she scrambles to her feet. She narrows her eyes, backing toward her back door. I run up to the side of her and she skitters out of my reach. She glances at the door and then at the front yard, which is closer to her.

"Micha, seriously," she warns. "We're too old for this."

I spread my arms out to the side innocently. "I'm not doing anything."

Her eyes flick to her house one last time and then shaking her head, she spins around and runs for the front yard. I give her a head start before I sprint off after her. When I round the house, she's up on the front porch, jiggling the door knob.

I laugh at her. "Is it locked?"

She heaves a frustrated sigh and hops over the railing, slipping on the grass. "Dammit Micha! I'm so going to kick your ass for this."

"I'm planning on holding you to that threat." I jog after her across the neighbor's yard.

She races across the grass, her hair falling out of a clip. She leaps over the brick fence into the next yard and smashes a row of flowers. Without using my hands, I hop onto the fence, but trip during my dismount and fall on my knees.

She freezes in the middle of the lawn and starts to laugh at me. "You so deserved that."

I get to my feet, dusting the dirt off my knees, and a dark smile rises on my face. "You think that's funny?"

Her eyes sparkle and it's worth the fall. "You look ridiculous."

"Do I?" I take a step toward her.

She takes a step back. "You do."

Abruptly the sprinklers turn on, drenching the grass and her. She screams and covers her head with her arms.

"Serves you right for laughing at me," I say with a grin.

She lets her arms fall to the side and smirks. "Well, at least it keeps you away from me."

Her dress is clinging to her body in all the right places and pieces of her wet hair stick to the sides of her face. She begins to twirl in circles with her hands up above her head.

"You're beautiful," I say, unable to help myself.

Ella

Micha looks ridiculous and I can't help but laugh. I haven't laughed in so long that it feels unnatural leaving my mouth. It's like we're kids again, as if this moment belongs in another time where things are weightless and full of sunshine.

As I'm laughing at him, the sprinklers turn on and my clothes instantly get soaked. At first I squeal, but then I let go, lifting my hands above my head and twirling in the water, figuring he won't come in after me.

He calls out something about me being beautiful and then he charges into the sprinklers, completely blind-siding me. His arms snake around my waist and we collapse to the ground but Micha holds my weight up, so I land on the wet grass gently.

"Micha," I say, trying to be serious. "Don't do it. You know how much I hate being tickled."

"Which makes it even more appealing." Water beads in his hair, his long eyelashes, his lips. With one hand, he pins my arms above my head and presses his body against mine. My wet clothes cling to my skin and I can feel every part of him. "I take that back. This is more appealing." He lets his hand move up my ribs, his thumb sketching along the ridges, sending my body into a frenzy.

I stop fighting him and lay perfectly still. Water sprinkles our faces as he lowers his lips to mine. Our wet tongues twine together, full of desire as they collide. A strange, unfamiliar feeling opens inside of me again and my legs fall apart and hook around his waist, requesting more of him, like they did last night.

Micha draws back, looking surprised as he glances at the house to the side of us and then at the street. Then he lets out an untamed growl and deepens the kiss, thrusting his tongue deep into my mouth. I suck on his bottom lip and trace my tongue along his lip ring. It sends a quiver through his body and I'm secretly pleased, but my pleasure confuses me.

"Ella," he groans and then kisses me fiercely. His hand travels upward and cups my breasts. His thumb circles around my nipple and through the wet fabric of my clothes, the feeling is mind blowing. It's driving me wild and my knees vice-grip against his hips.

A moan laced with ecstasy crumbles from my lips. I'm starting to lose control again and it's alarming. I try to get past it this time, but it consumes me and I have to stop. After a lot of effort, I get my arms between our bodies and I push him away.

"We should get back." I look at the brick home of the yard we're laying in. "Besides if Miss Fenerly comes out, she'll have a heart attack."

Micha's aqua eyes penetrate me. There's mud on his forehead and grass in the locks of his blonde hair. "If that's what you want." Maneuvering to his feet, he takes my hand and lifts me to mine. He plucks pieces of grass out of my hair and lets his hand linger on my cheek.

Holding hands, we walk across the grass and down the sidewalk, leaving a trail of water behind us and something else. Something invisible to the outside eye, but to me it's more noticeable than the sun in the sky.


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