Sebastian wants blood.
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Externally, Sebastian was a healed man. Internally, he was bruised, battered, and broken—no longer by the hands of Juliette’s goons, but of his own doing. It had been nearly eight weeks since Willow had left him—since he had told her to leave. It nearly killed him to watch her walk away, but he didn’t deserve her. She didn’t deserve a life of where dangerous lurked behind every corner. She didn’t deserve a life where that danger could affect the lives of her loved ones. In the beginning, his curiosity got the best of him and his attraction to her was too strong to deny, so he tasted her. One taste was all it took and he was knew he was doomed—he knew they were both doomed, but he was a selfish man.
Over these last seven weeks, he locked himself away his home. A personal doctor he had hired gave home visits. A personal physical therapist came to his home to push his body to the brink, to bring it back to what it once was.
He was in the middle of doing a chin-up on the room-length metal bar in his personal gym when he heard the warehouse entrance door creak open and slam shut. He heard the clicking of high heels against the glossed gray concrete floors, but continued his chin-ups, wanting to get stronger—better than he was before.
“If I wasn’t already happily married and you’re weren’t well…you, I might actually get aroused by this,” a blonde-haired, gray-eyed woman with olive skin by the name of Isabelle replied as she entered his personal gym.
“To what…do I…owe the…honors, Isa,” Sebastian grunted out in between chin-ups.
“I just wanted to check up on you,” Isabelle said as she wandered slowly about the room, brushing her fingers against his various exercising equipment. “I heard from a little tiny birdie of your unfortunate accident.”
“By little tiny birdie…you mean…Antonio,” he replied as he continued his chin-ups, keeping a count in his head and he was well into his 70s now. Antonio was her husband, who—just like her and everyone else it seemed—worked for Sebastian’s father.
“Well, Nathaniel, people in our little organization gossip more than fifteen-year-old schoolgirls in a cafeteria lunchroom and you’re the closest thing we’ve all got to a rockstar,” Isabelle said.
“I’m flattered,” Sebastian said, fighting back a smirk.
“Don’t let it all get to your head,” she teased as she approached him from him, slowly rounding him until she came in front of him by a few inches as he continued his chin-ups.
“I would never,” Sebastian said.
“Why did you let her do it, Nathaniel,” Isabelle asked in all serious while he was in mid chin-up. By her, she meant Juliette and by ‘do it’, she meant let Juliette beat the shit out of him until he was on the brink of death. He finished it and released his fingerless-gloved hands from the metal bar, dropping on both feet. He grabbed a hold of his towel and began to wipe the sweat off of him.
“Let me guess,” Sebastian said as he eyed Isabelle carefully with an arched eyebrow. “Your little tiny birdie tell you that too?”
Isabelle crossed her arms over her chest and stared him down like a sister would a brother. She was the closest thing he had to family. “Answer the damn question, Nathaniel,” Isabelle ordered, clenching her jaw tightly.
“I bet a million bucks that you already know why,” Sebastian said in a low irritated tone before he moved past her and left the personal gym.
“So, it’s true then. You did for that woman I’ve been hearing so much about,” Isabelle replied matter-of-factly.
Sebastian halted in his steps and in wiping off his sweat at the mention of ‘that woman’. “Good seeing you, Isa. You know where the door is.”
“Oh, no. You aren’t brushing me off that easily, Nathaniel. I’m practically fucking family to you. Even more than your own damn father,” Isabelle snapped as she marched over him, grabbing a hold of his arm and yanked him to face her.
It was true. She was. Isabelle was like a little sister to him. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say she loved him more than his fucked-up parents ever did. Sebastian closed his eyes and tilted his head back, attempting to muster all the strength he needed to deal with Isa. “What do you want me from me, Isa?”
“I want to know if you love her,” Isabelle said, softening her voice. “If you love her like you loved…Giselle?”
“Yes,” he breathed. The answer came so easily to him that it almost scared him. He thought he could never love a woman like he loved his late wife because he thought no woman could compare to Giselle. That was no longer true.
Isabelle let him go. “Good, that’s good. And if the opportunity presented itself, you’d do anything to get her back?”
“Isabelle,” Sebastian began with a frown.
“Would you do anything to get her back if an opportunity presented itself,” she repeated, emphasizing each word with a stern look.
“Yes,” he said, finding it too try and lie to her. Isa was too much like a bloodhound. She could smell the lie from a mile away.
“I just wanted to be sure,” Isabelle said, as if she were building herself up to tell him something important. “Because a little tiny birdie told me that this woman you love is currently semi-dating Juliette’s right hand man.”
Sebastian’s face went blank and his right eye twitched.
“I only say semi-dating because they’ve only got out a few times and nothing serious as happened. They talk to each other primarily through text messages and Jasper has been pushy, but she still has feelings for you, Sebastian. Antonio has been monitoring her text messages and cell phone calls once a close confidant in Juliette’s group informed him of what was going on and hoped that he would remain out of the crossfire and bullets are firing,” Isabelle explained.
Sebastian stalked away. He was seeing red. Blood red. Jasper’s blood on his hands. He wasn’t going to empty a bullet into his skull and he wasn’t going to bash his brain in. He was going to kill that bastard with his bare hands. No weapons. Just instincts, strength, and pure unadulterated rage. He thought…he thought that if he had pushed Willow away, she would safe.
“Nathaniel, wait! Don’t go busting through Juliette’s headquarters trying to find Jasper. The two of them are going on a date tonight,” Isabelle called after him, causing him to halt once more. His hands balled into fists until his fingernails bit into the flesh of his palms. “So let’s do this right. Beat the shit of out him after the date.”
“Beat,” Sebastian repeated with a signature smirk, the kind of smirk that warned anyone who knew him that he was bloodthirsty. When Isabelle saw that smirk, he could see her swallow nervously at the sight of it. Though she knew he would never put his hands on her, she knew what that meant. She knew that cold blank look in his eyes. Nathaniel was gone and Sebastian was in front of her.
“I’m not going to beat Jasper. I’m going to kill him, Isa. Not with a gun or a knife. Just with these two hands and I don’t give a fuck what Juliette or my father has to say about it. I know Juliette might be pulling his little puppet strings and I’ll deal with her later, but for now, all I want is him dead tonight,” he said in a calm, collected voice. “Give me the exact details of this date.”
His teeth clicked as he grit them, emphasizing the word date.
Isabelle closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. “They have a reservation for dinner at a restaurant called Alexander’s off of North Street at 7pm then they will proceed to the Starlight Theaters for a showing of Maximum Fury’s Revenge at 9pm,” she reported.
“Earlier, you said that nothing serious has happened between them,” Sebastian said coolly. “Do you know what has happened between them?”
Isabelle blinked at his question, obviously caught off-guard. “Well, according to transcripts of her text messages and phone calls, there’s been kissing and him feeling up on her, but her being unable to return it. In fact, one conversation she had with her sister indicates she doesn’t feel like she’s ready to do that with him yet after…well, you.” Isabelle paused for a moment. “You hurt her badly, Nathaniel. Running her off the way you did.”
“I don’t need relationship therapy sessions from you, Isa.”
“I’m not trying to give you relationship therapy sessions, Nathaniel. I telling you straight facts—common sense. You love to drive people away because you’re afraid that they’ll end up like Giselle and Valerie. You didn’t kill them, Nate. Those drug-dealing assholes killed them because you did your job and you brought a terrible man to justice. You protected your city as a police officer.”
“Juliette threatened her life, Isa,” Sebastian said. “Threatened to make Jasper put a bullet through her head and fuck her corpse as a form of punishment for me, so sorry if I had no choice but to drive her away because she would have ended up exactly like my wife and daughter.”
He began to stalk away, a plan of action formulating in his tempest of a mind.
“Where are you going,” Isa queried in a defeated tone, crossing her arms over her chest as she watched him walk away from her.
“To gear up,” he answered.
“You shouldn’t have come,” Sebastian said gruffly as he stared out of the tinted windshield, his green eyes locked on Willow’s house. He was parked several houses down on the opposite side of the street and had been for nearly an hour now. The clock was ticking down and the moment for this date to officially begin. According to the compiled transcript of text messages and phone call exchanges, Jasper would be picking Willow up for a romantic dinner at a 4-star restaurant called Alexander’s. Sebastian clenched his jaw tightly, grinding his teeth as the unquenchable thirst for that motherfucker’s blood plagued him.
Isabelle was reclined across the backseat of the car, reading through the compiled transcript like it was an intriguing novel she couldn’t put down. “Someone has to make sure you don’t go absolutely postal at the restaurant,” Isabelle sighed as she flipped another page of the transcript, “or the movie theater for that matter.”
A few moments of silence drifted between them before he heard dreamy admiring ‘aww’ from the backseat. Sebastian fought the urge to shift his attention away from Willow’s house and take a peek into the backseat—not wanting to miss a single second.
“What is it,” he questioned.
“She wrote a text message to her BFF saying that she missed eating your waffles,” Isa replied. He could hear the smile in her voice. “I thought you hated waffles.”
He answered, “I do.”
“You know, I’ve known you’ve hated waffles for years, but why? Do you just not like the taste of them or something?”
“It was Valerie’s favorite thing to eat in the world.”
Once more there was silence before Isa said softly, “Oh.”
“She loved waffles and wanted to eat them breakfast, lunch, and dinner if she could, but only if I made them. She’d beg for them even,” he chuckled briefly for a moment as he took a trip down memory lane. “Elle could never make them right.”
He closed his eyes, picturing his daughter with a look of determination on her face, flour dusting her cheeks, and waffle batter on her nose while he showed her how to whisk the batter properly in a bowl. After her death, he avoided cooking or eating waffles because it reminded him too much of her and the life he once had. That was until Willow offered to treat him to waffles as a token of her gratitude and he cooked her waffles after he found her unconscious on a sidewalk in the park.
The sound of a car easing to a stop made him pry his eyes open, dragging him out of a sweet memory that possessed a bitter ring to it. He watched with narrow eyes as Juliette’s right hand man stepped out of his car and sauntered up to the front door of Willow’s house. Jasper rang the doorbell and a few moments later, the door opened.
“He’s early,” Sebastian replied before clenching his jaw.
“Such a gentleman,” Isa said sarcastically as she sat up from the seat and peered over Sebastian’s shoulder with a cocked head. “Hm, he cleans up nice for a psychotic asshole. That black outfit looks good on him.”
“Black hides blood.”
“Good,” Isa said.
“No good. I enjoy watching blood seep through clothes.”
“Nate,” Isa began, on the verge of preparing a speech to steer him away from the inevitability that Jasper was going to die by his hands.
Sebastian interjected, “No, Isa. I’ve made up my mind.”
“If you kill him, you’re gonna cut off Juliette’s right hand and if you do that, there’s gonna be blood everywhere. Not just his, but everyone’s including,” Isa paused and blinked at the sight ahead.
“Wow,” Isa replied in an awestruck voice. Together, they watched as Willow stepped out of her house dressed in a dark green sweater dress with black leggings and boots. Her hair was in loose curls. She also wore black-framed glasses. She looked breathtaking. The bashful smile etched across her lips—directed at Jasper—enhanced her beauty even more. Jealousy clenched Sebastian by the throat and wouldn’t let go. Jasper leaned down and kissed her boldly on the lips. She pulled back quickly, swatting him playfully in the arm. Jasper escorted her to his car and opened the front passenger door for her. She accepted the gesture with a graceful smile and slipped into the car. He closed the passenger door and looked ahead in the direction of Sebastian’s vehicle with a smug smile.
Sebastian’s hand snapped to the car door’s interior handle and jerked towards him. Isabelle placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it. “Don’t,” Isabelle said in a tense voice. He breathed deeply through his nostrils with his tight grip still on the door’s handle.
Isabelle peered over her shoulder through the back windshield, her eyes most likely scanning the surrounding perimeter. “They’ve been tracking us,” she stated coolly.
“I know,” he said in a similar cool tone. “She always does. It’s a favorite pastime of hers.”
“And now she sent her right-hand man after your ex-girlfriend? She needs to be dealt with by him before this gets out of hand.”
“No,” Sebastian answered. The last thing he needed was his poor excuse of a father to become involved.
He wanted handle this himself.
After the date had concluded, Sebastian tailed Jasper’s vehicle back to Willow’s home to ensure she had returned safely and out of harm’s way. He parked several house down the street on the opposite side of the road and watched from the rearview mirror as Jasper escorted Willow from the car and to the front door. Moments later, she slipped into the house and Jasper followed after her. The sight made his blood boil, but he took it as an opportunity to begin the strategic process of Jasper’s inevitable death.
Sebastian slipped out of the vehicle and flipped up his hoodie, slipping his hands into his jacket pockets as he smoothly marched towards Jasper’s car. He retrieved a switchblade from the depths of his right pocket and flicked it open, the sharp blade shining in the moonlight. He jabbed it into the front tire on the driver’s side and twisted it for good measure. The sound of the tire’s air hissing outward gave him a tiny rush of satisfaction. He closed the switchblade and returned it to his pocket, making his way back to his car.
About twenty minutes later, Jasper sauntered out of the house and towards his car parked at the curb. When he reached the driver’s side, he glanced down at the flattened tire. Sebastian turned on the ignition and made a three-point turn on the street to face the car in Jasper’s direction. He slowly drove up to Jasper and rolled the window.
“Having car trouble,” Sebastian queried.
Jasper grinned, his hand inching for the inside of his jacket. “As it seems. Are you going to be a Good Samaritan and give me a ride?”
“Of course,” Sebastian assured with a cold grin.
The back passenger window rolled down and Isabelle aimed a gun with a silencer in Jasper’s direction. “Easy, love.”
Jasper’s hand halted and his attention flickered from Sebastian to Isabelle then back to Sebastian again. An impressed look splashed onto his face. “You actually brought back-up? That’s a first.”
“Get in the car,” Isabelle ordered as she opened the car door and stepped up, pressing the silencer into Jasper’s side. Jasper obeyed her and entered the car, all the while seemingly amused by the situation. Isabelle slipped into the car with the gun still aimed in his direction. With her spare hand, she reached forward and retrieved his gun from a hidden shoulder holster within his jacket.
She whistled in admiration, “Pretty.”
She handed the gun to Sebastian, her eyes and gun still trained on Jasper.
“So you two are fucking now? Is Hubby’s performance not up to snuff,” Jasper wondered. Sebastian watched from the rearview mirror as Isabelle cocked her head to the side and smiled sweetly at Jasper before she used the gun to backhand him across the face. He grunted loudly and massaged his jaw. “I’ll take that as a no.”
“You make me sick, Jasper, for dragging an innocent into all of this bullshit.”
“Oh, I’m not the only one who’s done something to an innocent. I mean I wasn’t the one who bashed in my girlfriend’s crush’s head with a baseball bat at the city park,” Jasper replied. “Isn’t that right, Sebastian?”
Isabelle glanced to the back of Sebastian’s head and arched an eyebrow. “What the hell is he talking about, Sebastian?”
Sebastian clenched a jaw before remained silent as he continued to drive through the streets of the city.
“Oh, he didn’t tell you about that? He probably didn’t tell you that he wanted Juliette to beat the shit out of him as punishment for what he had done,” Jasper chuckled. “Over Willow.”
“Don’t say her name again,” Sebastian stated as calmly as he could.
“At first, I couldn’t understand why in the world would you want a woman like that, but now I understand. Her innocence is intoxicating. She’s an odd shy thing, but she grows on you,” Jasper replied in an admirable way that caught Sebastian off-guard.
Isabelle said, “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that you might actually have feelings for her, Jasper. You know, if bastards like you could feel.”
The car eased to a stop behind an abandoned warehouse on the seedier side of town. Sebastian turned off the ignition and got out of the car. He yanked open the back passenger door and grabbed Jasper by the collar, tugging him roughly out of the car. He tumbled to the ground with an ‘oomph’.
“Stay here, Isa,” Sebastian ordered before he slammed the door shut, blocking out any vocal protests from her.
“Get up,” he said as he stared down at Jasper, his upper lip curling in disgust.
Jasper obliged, dusting himself off. “I thought you’d be a little more creative tha—“
A clenched fist greeted the man’s mouth before he could finish his statement. His head jerked backwards from the force and he stumbled against the car. Sebastian threw three more punches in a rapid progression with each hit growing more powerful. Not wanting to give him time to recover, Sebastian twirled Jasper around to face the car and grabbed ahold of his hair, slamming his face into the glass window of the back passenger seat repeatedly until the glass became to crack.
“You must really love her,” Jasper wheezed when Sebastian reeled his head back hard, relishing in the sight of his nose and mouth oozing with blood. “To kill for her…over and over again, but if you kill me, you’ll start…a war.”
“This is war,” Sebastian growled as he flung Jasper to the ground and kicked him hard in the face. His cell rang in his back pocket as he began to play kickball with Jasper’s head. He knew who the ringtone belonged to and he decided to answer it, wanting Juliette to hear him end Jasper’s life.
“Nathaniel,” Juliette replied from the other end of the line.
“Juliette,” he returned, his breath slightly labored as he gave Jasper a final kick in the throat before he went into an intermission, deciding to let the motherfucker cough and gag on his own blood. “I knew you’d call.”
“You’ve proven your point, Nathaniel.”
Sebastian chuckled darkly, “Actually, Juliette, I don’t think I have. You see, you and I came to an agreement that night at the strip club. She was on the no-touch list, but you broke that agreement. So now I’m going to break his neck with my bare hands.”
“I highly recommend that you refrain from that,” Juliette replied.
“I agree,” his father’s voice interjected into the conversation smoothly. Sebastian stiffened at the sound of his father’s voice, his green eyes widening slowly. His hold on the cellphone grew tighter.
“This is none of your concern, old man,” Sebastian growled lowly.
“And that is where you are wrong, Nathaniel. This is my concern. This little conflict has caused a rift within my organization amongst my subordinates. Rifts cause chaos and chaos within the organization would imply that I am unable to control a petty situation such as this,” his father stated. “It ends here.”
Mere moments after his father spoke, another vehicle turned into the area behind the abandoned warehouse, briefly blinding Sebastian with its bright headlights. The vehicle eased to a stop and four of Juliette’s henchman stepped out of the vehicle, mostly to collect Jasper.
“You will not break anyone’s neck and both of you will be punished accordingly for allowing this situation to thrive and escalate for as long as it did,” his father decreed.
“I want his blood,” Sebastian snapped. “I want it now.”
“Remember your debt to me and this organization,” he heard his father say while he watched Juliette’s goons pick up Jasper’s unconscious body and ushered him towards their car. When the line went dead, Sebastian let out a blood-curling roar as he gripped the phone tightly in his hand while he punched the warehouse’s wall over and over.
Then he felt a small feminine hand on his shoulder and he jerked his head over his shoulder. For a moment, he saw Willow’s concerned face, but within a blink of an eye, he realized that it was staring into Isabelle’s worried face.
“Let’s go,” she said softly.
Sebastian went back to his warehouse home to return Isabelle to her car. After she left, he departed as well. It took him twenty minutes to get to his destination and when he arrived, he eased his vehicle to a stop in front of Willow’s house. Jasper’s car was no longer there, which meant that Juliette most likely had it towed away. He sat in the driver’s seat for a long moment, strong emotions swirling within him like hurricane winds as he recollected all of the memories leading up to this one.
He took his key out of the ignition and got out of the car, walking towards Willow’s front door. He rang the doorbell and walked in the spotlight of her front porch’s light as he waited for her to answer—if she was going to answer at all. The last time he saw her, he told her to leave once she knew the truth about him. His breath hitched in his throat as he heard the door’s locks unlock and the door slowly creep open.
Willow stood in the doorway in a baggy red college shirt with sleeping shorts. She stared him with uncertainty while she chewed on her bottom lip for a moment.
“What are you doing here?”
That was a good question. Before he could even answer, he watched her reach out and grasp his bruised and scraped knuckles. He closed his eyes for a moment, savoring her soft touch.
“Another occupational hazard,” she asked with an arched eyebrow as she released his hand and crossed her arms over her chest.
Sebastian shook his head slowly. “No,” he said as he closed in on her, towering over her. “Selfish reasons.”
He leaned down and slanted his lips onto hers, thrusting his tongue into her mouth and groaned when she accepted its invasion without protest. He backed her into the house and closed the door behind them with a spare hand. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer to her while their lips worked against each other feverishly. Sebastian backed her into a wall, his calloused hands gliding hungrily along her curves hidden under her baggy shirt before he scooped the underside of her thighs into the palms of his hands and used his strength to hike her plush body against his hardened one.
She gasped against his lips from the suddenness and wrapped her thick legs around his waist, her mouth gaining height over his. He took a step backwards from the wall and used his memories as a guide to assist him in the dark as he walked down the hallway and towards her bedroom.
He carried her against him through the threshold of the doorway. He swirled on his heels, so that he was walking backwards until the back of his legs hit the bed. They collapsed onto the bed with her laying on top of him. They breathed heavily in the dark, her lips hovering over his by a few millimeters. She unzipped his jacket and slid her fingers underneath his shirt, her exploring fingertips burning his defined abdomen with soft touches.
Sebastian sat up and shrugged off his jacket, letting her take off his shirt. She tossed his shirt to the side before she cupped his face affectionately, pressing her forehead against his.
Say it, a voice inside of his head whispered. “I love you,” he breathed.
“Show me,” she whispered. “Show me, Sebastian.”
This was a good juicy chapter. I know you enjoyed it! :)