Completed: a Devoured novella
For what seems like hours—instead of thirty seconds, max—I sit with my back uncomfortably straight, staring up at Cilla. With her hands on her hips, and her lips twisted into a smug little grin, I wonder what she’s thinking. Finally, I narrow my eyes and ask, “I don’t suppose you care that I hate being called Pepper?” I ask.
“Nope.” She steps around our chairs and chooses the seat on the opposite side of Kylie. Lucas’ sister makes a sound of disagreement. “Don’t be a bitch, Kylie,” Cilla says before telling me, “Besides, Sienna, it’s not like the Pepper thing is an insult.”
I start to speak, but Kylie beats me to the punch. “What the hell do you want, Cilla?”
The other brunette twirls a long strand of her ponytail around her finger and bites her bottom lip. At last, she shrugs. “I’m hiding from someone.” When I release a little noise, she looks at me, grinning. I’m struck by the fact there’s no malice in her expression. “Apparently, my … friend doesn’t have as much appeal when the beer goggles come off.”
“Nice,” I say, my voice a little more sarcastic than I want it to be. I can’t help it—most of my encounters with Cilla have been anything but civil, so it’s always weird to talk to her when she’s not treating me like a piece of lint on her jumpsuit. “So you thought you’d—”
“Red?” I hear Lucas’ voice call my name, and I look to my left to see him tentatively coming toward the pool area. He glances from me to Cilla and then to his sister, thinning his hazel eyes. “Is everything alright?”
Cilla’s eyes are closed when he comes right up on us, but the sound of his footsteps causes her to lift her hand. “Relax, relax. I came in peace.”
“Cilla, there’s not a goddamn part of you that’s peaceful,” he says, and she laughs. I’m not exactly sure he meant that as a compliment, but she’s smiling when she finally opens her eyes and looks at my fiancé.
“I’m avoiding Tyler,” she tells him, and he nods in understanding.
“Now it makes sense.”
Tyler. I let the name rattle around my head for a few seconds, then I face Cilla with a wide stare as soon as I realize she’s talking about Your Toxic Sequel’s tour manager.
Pressing her lips together, she jerks her head to each side. “Kylie, Pepper,” Cilla starts, her voice dangerously low. “If you say one fucking word about it…”
I shoot a surprised look up at Lucas, who looks like he’s second away from laughing. “Ah, Cilla, calm down.” He motions me to him, and I get up from my seat to join him. Cilla’s gaze trails over us, and a flash of jealousy crosses her blue-green eyes before she looks away. Lucas drops his lips to my ear. “Red, there’s a few people I want you to meet before we have to go.”
“You’re not leaving already, are you?” Kylie wrinkles her nose and then shoots a look toward Cilla. “If she’s bothering you, I swear I can get rid of her.”
Surprisingly, Cilla doesn’t respond, and I wonder if she’s losing her taloned touch. She had no problem chiming in with snarky responses when I tagged along on their tour this summer.
“We have plans,” Lucas says.
“And that would be?” Kylie probes.
“For you to mind your damn business, Ky, and let me worry about my own shit.” Lucas pulls me to his side, his fingers caressing my hip and Kylie rolls her eyes.
“And here I was thinking we’d have a nice family night out.” Letting out a dramatic breath, she starts to get up, prompting Lucas and I to both step forward to help her. She grips the edges of her seat and blows a blue streaked strand of hair from her eyes. “You both realize that I’m not that knocked up, right?”
When Cilla mutters something that sounds like “I can’t tell,” I give Kylie a little smile. “Maybe I just wanted a reason to touch your stomach,” I say as we walk back toward the house and she throws her head back, laughing.
“Touch it anytime you want, but be careful.” She leans forward, glancing around me to give Lucas a meaningful look. “It might be in the water.”
At her mention of me ending up pregnant, I feel my face redden, and even though I’m staring straight ahead, I can see Lucas’ grin out the corner of my eye. Kylie’s words have definitely brought up a good point, though. Lucas and I have never actually sat down to talk about kids in our future, and it’s obviously one of those important subjects that needs to be approached before the “I do’s” are said.
I’m deep in my thoughts for the remainder of our time at the party, but when we’re in the car on the way back to the hotel, I turn to him and immediately blurt what’s on mind.
His grin from earlier returns, and I feel the pit of my stomach clench. Damn, the way he’s looking at me always manages to mess with me. “Hell, yes, I want children with you, Sienna.“ He touches my thigh, strokes his thumb over my smooth skin, causing my breath to catch. “Was there ever a doubt in your mind?”
“No. Yes, I—”
His hand moves a little higher, his fingers hooking under the fabric between my legs, and I squeeze my legs around his wrist. “Do you want a baby with me, Red?”
“Yes.” It comes out almost pleadingly, and I quickly correct myself. “After the wedding, I mean. After—”
Lucas’ knuckle brushes my clit, and I grip either side of the leather seat. “I know what you mean, Sienna,” he says, and I can feel his stare burning into the side of my face. “So in the mean time, I’m going to spend every second I can getting as much of you as possible.”
He strokes my center a little harder, and I bite down on my tongue. “Starting now?” I say at last, sounding like I’m seconds away from floating away.
He chuckles, and I feel the car accelerate, feel his fingers move faster too. “That’s the fucking plan, Red.”