True Memoirs of A Liar 2: Sacrifice
Author: C Lawson

Chapter 3
Clever Girl pt.1


“Wake up,” someone warm whispered from somewhere beside me.  I groaned and tucked my head underneath my pillow.  I heard a laugh and I just tried to go back to sleep.  I enjoyed my dreamless sleep now.  When I hadn’t known if Alex was alive or dead, I had only dreamt of him.  But now it was only peaceful nothingness.

            “Wake up,” the voice repeated.  The voice was smooth and deep and amused.

            “Go away!” I moaned from my head fortress.

            “Wake up first,” the voice suggested.

            The someone left me alone, and I forgot that I wasn’t alone in the bed.  I was more than half-way asleep after a half an hour of blissful silence.  I even removed the pillow from my head.  It was too hot and I couldn’t breathe under there anyway.

            Someone was tracing my jawline and pushing stray wisps of my hair away from my face.  I didn’t mind that at all; it actually felt nice.  But then the person grabbed my upper arms.

            Memory flashes burst into full view behind my closed eyelids.  I cringed as I remembered Tommy’s dead body lying on the dusty abandoned floor, bleeding from the skull.  I remembered two goons holding me back from going to properly mourn my best friend.  I had given the order to kill Tommy.

            Before my eyes flew open, my fist flew out first, nearly jerking my arm out of the socket with it.  My knuckles connected with what felt like a nose.

            My eyes opened and I realized that I had punched Alex in the nose.

            “Oh!  Alex!  Honey, I’m so sorry!  I didn’t know it was you!  Oh my God, baby come here,” I said, sitting up and turning to him.  I got on my knees on the mattress and took his head in my hands.  Alex was trying to hold his nose. “Alex, let go of your nose for, like, five seconds okay?”

            “Jesus!  Why did you hit me like that?” I opened my mouth to answer, but he continued. “You hit like a man!”

            His nose was bleeding pretty badly.  I told him to tilt his head back and wait for me to get a hot towel and tissue.  I ran to the bathroom, nearly knocking Serenity over.

            “Woah!  What the hell?” Serenity asked, groggy from sleep.  She was wearing her flannel pajamas and her hair looked a mess.  She usually woke up at two or three in the afternoon, not at ten in the morning.

            “Sorry,” I apologized quickly, grabbing what I needed and running back to the bedroom.  I closed the door behind me and was glad to see that Alex had actually done what I’d told him to. “Alex, I’m so sorry.”

            “Who did you think I was?” Alex wondered, his voice sounding nasally.  I hesitated before answering.  Alex didn’t miss it. “Who did you think I was?” he repeated, lowering his head and looking at me straight in the eye.

            “Keep your head back,” I ordered, tilting it for him.  I dabbed up the blood with the hot towel, then twisted up some tissue for him to use. “I really didn’t mean—” Alex caught my hand while it was gingerly touching the bridge of his nose and brought it down to rest in his lap.

            “I know,” he told me earnestly, leaning over and kissing my forehead. “Are you okay?” Alex asked me.

            “I think the question is; are you?” I retaliated, avoiding the question and removing my hand from Alex’s lap and busying myself with his nose.  Alex’s face was only a couple of inches away from mine and he was searching my eyes for something that I didn’t want to tell him.

            “Bright Eyes, tell me the truth.”

            “About what?” What?  The fact that I just had flashbacks to my best friend’s death?  Oh, that was nothing.

            “Okay, you don’t want to talk about it.  I got it.  Don’t think I’m letting it completely go, Camille.”

            I gave him a grateful look.  Again I opened my mouth to say something, but Alex continued.

            “I like those worried pet names.  Honey and baby.  Kind of made me…” He shrugged his shoulders, wiggled his eyebrows, smiled a devilish smile, and wrapped his long arms around me.  I laughed playfully into his chest and gave him a deep good morning kiss.  He groaned and pulled me so close to him I was almost sitting on his lap.  I sighed a pleasantly surprised sigh and placed my right hand on his stomach and my left hand around his neck.

            Alex groaned again and his hands began to wander through my hair.  I pulled away from him, and he leaned forward prolonging the kiss.  I shivered; Alex didn’t miss it.

            “You’re shaking,” he noted with a smile.

            “Um, no I’m not,” I tried.  Alex laughed and laid back down on the bed, folding his hands behind his head and looking at me in invitation. “Serenity’s awake,” I said, smoothing my hair down with my fingers.

            “Why?” he wondered, knowing Serenity’s sleeping habits.  I shrugged and stood.

            “I’m going to go and take a shower and get changed for today,” I announced, wandering over to my closet and rifling through some of my clothes.  I felt Alex behind me, and I whirled around, right into his arms.  His nostrils were still flared and his eyelids were heavy.  He bit his lip and I began to shake again.

            “What are you doing today?” Alex wondered, situating his hands on my lower back and stroking my skin tenderly.  My hands sat limply on his chest and his eyes captured me again.

            “Business lunch,” I told him, trying to keep the conversation short.  If Alex and I started something, I wouldn’t get out of the loft until the evening.  Alex and I would waste entire days worth of time lying on the couch and snacking and watching old movies together.  If Alex convinced me to take the day off, and he could, I would be in big trouble at work.

            “Really,” he stated, slowly moving his hands to hold my butt.  I nodded and tried to remember that I had to stay focused. “Is it important?” I nodded again, briefly closing my eyes. “Do you absolutely need to be there?” I nodded once more. “Is there any way I could convince you to stay with me?” I shook my head, but very weakly.  Alex saw my weakness and nuzzled my neck affectionately.

            “Alex, baby, this meeting really is important,” I told him, teasing him with the baby comment.

            “That’s just not fair,” he said, knowing that he loved the nicknames I gave him.  Alex kissed the hollow beneath my ear and I stayed firm.

            “Honey, I promise I’ll be back for dinner,” I assured him, beginning to pull out of his embrace.

            “I get the feeling you’re doing that on purpose.”

            “Oh, sweetheart, of course not.” I laughed quietly and extricated myself completely from his arms.  I grabbed a blue sweater and a pair of tan cotton pants that I always loved wearing.

            “No,” Alex ordered, taking the blue sweater from me and throwing it back into my closet.

            “What the—”

            “If you put that color blue on, you will not be leaving this loft,” he informed me, crossing his arms and the glint in his eyes telling me that he would be the one who wasn’t going to let me out of the loft.

            “Fine,” I agreed, turning back around and snagging an identical sweater in white.  I stuck my tongue out at Alex and stalked off to the bathroom.

            “Hey,” Serenity greeted as I walked out into the dining room.

            “Hey,” I returned, stopping briefly and leaning on one of the dining room chairs.

            “Did you tell Alex yet?” Serenity asked, lowering her voice slightly.  No, I almost said, I haven’t told Alex that the business lunch is with a man.

            “Tell me what exactly?” Double damn it! I remember screaming in my head.  I ran off to the bathroom, knowing that Serenity would keep her mouth shut until I told her otherwise.  Serenity was very trustworthy.  I showered and brushed my teeth and washed my face and did everything necessary to clean up.

            I struggled with my hairstyle; I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it.  I broke out the curling iron and styled my hair in tousled waves, pulling back the two locks that framed my face and connecting them in the back with an onyx barrette.

            I shook out my hair a little and opened the door.  Alex and Serenity were sitting at the dining table together.  They both looked up at me when I walked in.  Alex smiled and hopped down from the tall, dark wood dining chair and walked over to me.  He took me in his arms and kissed my forehead.

            “You look beautiful,” he whispered.  I hugged him for a short moment.

            “Thank you.” I waved goodbye to Serenity and walked towards the door.  I can’t believe I got away with that one, I remember thinking to myself in astonishment.

            “Oh, Camille?” Alex called.  I turned to him; he seemed to have forgotten something. “Who’s the business lunch with?”

            “A representative from Forrester Insurance,” I said honestly.  Serenity had told me that she thought she’d heard of the man and he was a very successful one. Serenity knew that Alex was not the kind of person to take things like that lightly. “And before you ask; yes, he’s a he.”

            Alex’s jaw clenched, then his nostrils flared, then he took a step towards me.

            “Alex,” I warned cautiously.  He nodded, but kept advancing on me. “Alex, you’re scaring me a little.”

            “I’m sorry,” he apologized softly.  I began to retreat.  Serenity just watched from the dining room table, wide-eyed.  She slowly eased out of her chair. “You didn’t tell me that you were going to be having lunch with another man.”

            “Why would it matter?” I asked, still backing up in the direction of the front door.  Alex took deep breaths and kept advancing on me.  I shivered in eager but fearful anticipation.  I didn’t know why he made me feel this way all of the time, even when he was angry.

            “It doesn’t,” he told himself more than he told me.

            “That’s right, so I’m leaving now,” I announced quickly and reaching for the doorknob.  Alex grabbed my wrist and then his hand slid to the ends of my fingertips.  He turned me around and kissed me deeply, bending me backwards slightly.

            “I love you,” he breathed, after kissing me breathless.

            “I love you too,” I told him sincerely, before turning to go.


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