“Abby, wake up.” Mark whispers into my ear, gently shaking me. My eyelids are too heavy, and my body is still asleep.
“Baby, wake up.” He says. I turn my head away from his voice.
“No.” I groan.
“Come on, get up.” He says. I don’t know which day it is, or who I am. I think if he’s up then it would mean it’s quite late in the morning, but then I feel too sleepy, it must be dawn.
“What time is it?” I ask, my eyes still closed.
“Quarter to eight.” What the fuck? My subconscious, puts a sleeping mask on.
“Why are you waking me up?” I ask.
“I have a surprise for you. Get dressed, you don’t have to shower.” He says. A surprise? So soon in the morning? My eyes flutter open as I stretch.
“Come on.” He kisses my cheek, and as I close my eyes again, I hear him leave. Eventually I get up and brush my teeth, but my mind is still blurry, and my eyes threaten to close themselves. I wander in the living room of his flat, and he is on his phone, drinking a cup of coffee. He sees me and smiles.
“Morning Abby is quite a show.” He says, and I smile sleepily. I’m not that tired in the morning usually, I don’t know what’s happening to me. I sit on his lap, and he wraps his arms around me. I love sitting on his lap, he’s so strong and muscular, I feel cherished when he randomly kisses my cheek as we talk.
“I’m tired.” I moan, burying my face in his neck. Hmmm… he smells good. “You’ll sleep in the car.” He replies.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“It’s a secret.” He says.
“Why do we have to be up so soon?”
“Because. Get dressed, now.” He kisses my hair. Oh, bossy Tuan.
It’s quarter to nine when Mark drives off to the unknown destination. I’m really excited to see where he’s taking me too. It’s still a little bit cold in the morning, but Mark Turned the air con on. Since I don’t want to bother him, I take his hoodie and use it as a blanket. It smells like him, and it’s warm.
“Can you, please, tell me where we’re going?” I ask him for what seems to be the millionth time. He simply shakes his head, tired to repeat the same thing each time I ask him. I yawn in response.
“Sleep, now. You’re tired.” He says. He’s right. I hum incoherently and before I know it, I’m drifting away.
We’re still moving as I wake. The sun is shining bright and we’re on the highway. I lift my arms and stretch, my eyes fluttering open.
“We’re almost there.” Mark says next to me. I glance at the clock, it’s half past ten. I look out the window, and we speed by a sign.
“San Diego?” I frown.
“Where are you taking me?” I look up at Mark, and he winks at me. I understand he’s not going to tell me. He turns to the left, and after a moment, he parks near a beach. It’s quite empty for a beach. I get out of his Mini Cooper and take a look at the landscape. Mark walks around the car and stands behind me, his arms wrapped around me.
“You wanted to go to beach, there it is.” He says into my ear. Holy shit! he drove all the way to San Diego just to take me to the beach?
“Mark!” I whirl around, wrapping my arms around his neck. He smiles down at me, proud and boyish.
“You’re the best, thank you.” I beam at him. Oh, this man is so caring. I kiss him on the lips.
“You’re welcome.” He replies. I let go of him and turn around. Am I dreaming?
“I can’t believe you did this.” I say appreciatively as he wraps his arms around me.
“We aim to please, miss Kraige.” He says, and I giggle. Suddenly, it occurs me.
“But I didn’t bring my swim suit.” I gasp in horror.
“Your bag is in the car. I packed everything.” He says.
“You did?” I ask, and he winks playfully.
“I have towels, sun cream, and I packed lunch.” He says. He’s so thoughtful.
We quickly change so we can go in the water. I’m wearing my white trikini and he has red swim trunks. His chest is bare, tantalizing. After a moment of bronzing, more people start to walk onto the beach, and we decide to bathe before there is no place in the water. I take slow steps into the cool water, feeling it on my feet, then I sink in, to my knees, and when I glance behind me, Mark is just entering the water, his eyes on him. He gives me a wicked smile and a light flashes in his eyes, I squeal. I try to run away, but running in the water isn’t easy. I hear Mark taking big and rushed steps towards me, the water roar at each of his steps, and in spite of my desperate attempt to avid him, he reaches me and wraps his arms around me, making me laugh.
“I like your swimsuit.” He purrs into my ear.
I giggle and press myself against his chest, and he kisses my temple. I turn to him and kiss him, wrapping myself around him. I nibble at his bottom lips, and his tongue meet mine in a passionate dance. I devour his mouth, my fingers curling in his hair. He sucks on my bottom lip and runs his tongue across it, and my libido explode, I want him, now. I fist my hand and tug at his hair, tilting his head backwards, and I trail light kisses on his neck, and I feel him tense up under my touch.
“Stop. Not here.” He breathes, tearing himself away from me, leaving me hanging. I sigh and connect our foreheads.
“You have no idea what you do to me.” I whisper.
“I could say the same thing.” He replies, and I look up at him. “I could show you.” I tease.
“By letting me show you how I feel about you.” He replies, and I want to scowl at him.
“Why can’t you just let me be on top?” I ask.
“Because we’re talking about your first time. I want you to show you trust me, and I want to show you how good love can feel.”
“Love?” I tilt my head to the side.
“My love. For you.” He says. Is it a confession? The thought warms up my heart. I look in his tender eyes.
“Say it.” I curl my fingers in his wet hair.
“I love you.” He breathes. His words travel straight to my heart. He loves me, and it make me happy. He’s the only man whose attention is important for me, and more than attention I get love from him.
“Say it again.” I breathe against his lips.
“I love you.” He repeats. Oh, it’s so exhilarating.
“I love you too.” I reply, and before I know it, his lips are on me. And as he kisses me, embraces me, loves me, a single tear rolls down my face.
Mark and I sit at the picnic area near the bitch, and I watch as he pulls one, two, three, five Tupperware boxes out of his bag.
“When did you plan all of this?” I ask. “During the night.” He opens one Tupperware box, and there is a salad inside.
“You’re crazy.” I say, more to myself than to him. In another Tupperware, there are watermelon squares. Hmmm… that’s perfect for the beach, he’s so thoughtful.
“Christian Grey would probably have rented the whole beach, I’m not a man of many resources.” He says, pulling out a bottle of apple juice for me, and tap water for him.
“This is much better.” I reply. The watermelon is so red, it looks juicy.
“Is it, now? Rich guys get all the girls.” Mark says, giving me a fork and a knife. I reach out for the watermelon but he slaps my hand away.
“That’s the desert.” He scolds me playfully.
“Ana was first attracted to him because of his face and his money, clearly. I’m not like that. Not with you.” I say. The salad looks good too.
“You don’t like my face?” He asks, opening his Tupperware boxes with the same content as mine.
“I do, Mark, a lot. That’s just not what attracted me first.” I reply.
“What attracted you?” He asks.
“The way you dealt with me. You just wouldn’t stop calling me Abby, it was infuriating.” I reply. Oh, cherry tomatoes! When I think that I couldn’t bare someone calling me Abby for mouth ago, and that now a man gave me my firsts orgasm and makes me say I love him, the word ‘progress’ comes to my mind.
“You’ve come such a long way.” Mark says, his eyes admiring.
“I’m proud of you.” He adds, and I fight back a blush.
“It’s because of you, Mark. You changed me.” I murmur.
“I think you were already like this.” He replies, and I snort.
“Constantly horny? I don’t think so. It’s definitely your fault.” I say. Mark laughs loudly, running a hand through his hair unconsciously, making me want to kiss the life out of him, tugging at his hair myself.
“You’re horny?” He asks.
“I’ll be if you don’t stop doing this.” I breathe.
“Doing what?” He asks.
“Running your hand in your hair like this.” I can feel a strong blush creeping on my cheeks. Marks smile fades a little, and his eyes light up with mischievousness.
“You find it hot?” He smirks, his hot stare making me uncomfortable. I’m almost squirming.
“Yes.” I blush, and he gives me a wicked smile. He knows what he’s doing to me. We can’t do this now, I change subjects.
“How long have you been living in your apart?” I ask. Mark leans back in his chair, smiling smugly, bemused by my poor attempt to hide my embarrassment. Yet, he plays along.
“Five months, why?” He asks.
“It’s pretty big.” I reply. His apartment has three room, and he uses one as a study, his has a huge living room with an open kitchen, one bathroom in his bedroom and another one near the guestroom.
“I saved some money.” He says.
“You bought it?” My mouth is full of salad, and he snorts.
“My parents helped me a lot, my unused college founds also helped.” He says.
“Unused college founds?” I ask.
“I got a scholarship, I didn’t pay for anything.” He explains. Oh, I had almost forgot, my boyfriend is genius. I nod silently.
“I’m a clean person.” He says. I didn’t accuse him of anything, I know he’s not into illegal business, he almost screamed at me for not correctly walking on the zebra crossing marks.
“With dirty thoughts.” I tease, and he smirks. We sit there, looking at each other for a moment. Me, leaning towards him, and him leaning towards me, his chin resting on his hand and his head tilted to the side. He looks like teenager, so young and carefree.
“You have beautiful eyes, Abby. Have I told you that already?” Mark says quietly.
“A couple of times, yes.” I reply. Silence takes place between us again. Mark reaches out and brush my hair out of my face, his knuckles tracing a line down my temple, past my jaw and down my neck. His eyes leave mine and he looks down, his gaze changing, turning more melancholic.
“What?” I ask, and he looks back at me.
“I’ve never seen your scars.” He says, his thumb caressing the material of my choker, threatening to hitch it down at any moment.
“Mr. Tuan, you sure know how to choose your moments.” I lean back, away from his touch.
“You never choose one.” He replies. Why does he have to bring this up now? We were having a fucking good day.
“You’re ruining the moment; you realize that?” I mumble angrily, getting up from my seat. Mark leans back and watches as I stomp away from him.
I stand on a dune that watches over the beach near the picnicking area. There is no wind, there are no waves, but the water is loud and animated by the thousands of people playing and swimming. I’m glad we came sooner. Mark comes up to me, standing behind me and he wraps his arms around me. I don’t want to get mad at him, after what he’s done for me, I should make an effort. Mark kisses my cheek.
“You’re the most frustrating girl I’ve ever met, Abby.” He says into my ear, his voice soft.
“Why does it sound like a compliment?” I arch my brow.
“Because I like it.” He replies. He like me making him mad?
“You do?” I ask.
“To some degree.” He kisses my hair. I don’t really want to test his limits.
“Have you been here before?” I ask, and he hums negatively.
“Not even with Mrs. Cooper?” I turn my head to him.
“Why do you say that?” He says dryly, his brow furrowed, his face impassive. I roll my eyes and look back in front of me.
“It’s a joke, Mark.” I inform him.
“It wasn’t very funny.” He says.
“That’s because you have no humor.” I reply.
“No humor, eh?” He nudges me.
“Who almost made you pee in your pants yesterday?” He asks, and yesterday night’s memories come back to me. I see him telling me all kind of stories, from the one with the pumpkin to the one where he ended up naked in his neighbor’s house. I can’t help a giggle.
“You miss my impersonation of De Nero?” He asks, making me crack up. Oh, that was the best.
“No, no, please.” I reply, my laugh fading away.
“I love to hear your laugh.” Mark says after a moment of silence. I sigh inwardly. This man is my only weakness. It’s hard to refuse him further access to myself. I turn to face him, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I love you, Mark. I just need time.” I murmur, my eyes pleading.
“Okay. I love you too.” He says, and his lips are on mine, kissing me tenderly, his fingers curling into my hair.
“Come. It’s time to go.” He says, taking my hand in his. As we walk back to his car, today’s event come back to me like a movie. I’ve spent one of the most amazing day of my life. We took awesome pictures, but then I realize I have no one to share them with.
“What are you thinking about?” Mark asks, tearing me away from my reverie. How does he know I’m thinking?
“I want to tell Bea.” I reply. I think I’m saying this for the hundredth time, and his answer is always the same, but it gets harder for me to lie to her.
“Abby…” He whines in his usual disapproving tone.
“I know her; she won’t tell anyone.” I add, he shakes his head.
“You don’t know that.”
“Yes, I do. She’s my best friend, she’s like a sister to me.” I outdo, taking him by the feelings.
“I understand what you feel, but you can’t do that.” He says. I give up the sweet talk card. Nothing works with him. Why am I crushed by the simple fact that he says no? What kind of authority does he have on me ?
“See, you’re always controlling me.” I say. 'Abby don’t do this’ 'Abby you can’t do that’, 'No, Abby.’ Can’t he let me take my own decisions?
“And you know how mad I can get.” He replies. Is that a threat? I’ve seen a glimpse of mad Tuan one time, only one time, and I don’t ever want to see it again, god it was chilling.
“I can get mad too.” I murmur.
“That would be quite a show actually.” He replies. Does he not care about me getting mad? It’s always about what he doesn’t want me to do, but he doesn’t care about being the one who makes me mad.
“Now you’re making fun of me.” I let his hand go, and he pulls me by the waist.
“No, I’m not.” He says. We reach his car, and as I make a move to climb in and giving him the silent treatment, he kisses my lips, taking my face in his hands. Hmmm… his lips are delicious. He pulls away, and I bite my lip to prevent myself from giving in.
“Listen, let’s just wait a little bit, okay?” He tilts his head to the side cutely; but it doesn’t work.
“She’ll get mad at me.” I say quietly, and he frowns.
“Why would she?” He asks.
“Because I’ve been lying to her for months.” I explain. From the moment Mark caught my eye, to his proposition, to Dallas, to why I stay with him after class, to what I did this weekend, I’ve been hiding all of this from her. The later I’ll tell her, the bigger will be her anger. Mark seems to realize I’m right and lets my face go, sighing loudly.
“Please, Mark.” I murmur, and he purses his lips.
“Fine.” He finally says. Thank god!
“Thank you.” I kiss him tenderly.
“Today was awesome. You sure know how to show a girl a good time.” I purr, gently combing his hair. God, I love this man, and he loves me too. “We aim to please, miss Kraige.” He boops my nose and I crinkle it, making him smile.