Belonging to Lust

Chapter 153: What If I Want To Do This?

When Heath’s green eyes fluttered open with lingering lethargy that Saturday morning to detect Zaiyia wasn’t beside him, he jetted right out of his bed in a scare. All of last night’s events had sped back with a velocity that was faster than light itself. He was naked as the day he was born as he reeled around his room like a madman on the brink of losing his grip on reality.

“Zaiyia! Where the hell are you!?” Heath called out only to receive no response. He snatched up his brief from the hardwood floor and stumbled into it as he made his way to his bedroom door. His mind only had one directive and that was to locate Zaiyia even if it came down to him having to literally dismantle his own home nail by nail!

Zaiyia was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of water between her hands. Her vacant eyes were gazing at the toaster, waiting for it to go off.

When she woke up that morning, long before Heath, she speculated if she had even slept at all. She was heavy with exhaustion. She laid there next to the man she loved and allowed the events of the night before to file in one at a time. What had almost transpired was something she felt deeply ashamed of.

Last night she had come close to ending her own life, to making a decision that would only bear final ramifications that she couldn’t take back. But she didn’t go through with it. No. Because a drop dead gorgeous lumbering buffoon had to insert himself into the situation and demolish everything!

“Zaiyia!” Heath’s voice hollered out from the hallway.

Raising her head, she observed the very same buffoon invade the kitchen in nothing but his briefs. The sight of him in all of his masculine perfection made her mouth salivate to a perilous level. She was forced to keep her mouth shut as she strived to keep her eyes near his head, because looking him in the eyes would prove too much.

Heath felt himself calm down the second he saw her. Visibly his tight muscles slackened as he leaned himself against the entryway, taking her barren eyes in. She hadn’t left him. She hadn’t taken flight from the property to return back to that damned river to kill herself. She was here, in his home, safe and alive.

His eyes flickered around his kitchen, uncertain of what to say. He didn’t want to bring up her attempted suicide just right off the bat. He too still needed a minute to redeem himself, and so he found himself blurting out the first thing to come to mind. “Uh...what’s for breakfast?”

Having hoped she wouldn’t be forced to speak today, Zaiyia took a sip of her water and cleared her throat. “Bacon. Eggs. Toast. You have two minutes until it’s done.”

Giving her a nod, he began to retreat back into the hallway. He needed to get himself together. He needed time, and it looked like to him she did too. “I’m gonna have a quick shower. I’ll be back in sec.”

Happy to leave him to it, Zaiyia nodded back coolly and returned her gaze back to the toaster that had just decided to pop up two slices of bread.

Heading down the hall to his bedroom, Heath let out a grunt. He didn’t like how detached she was this morning. Minus the anger, it was reminiscent of her attitude when she was dangling off the bridge last night. She was as devoid then as she is now. Did that mean that she was still at risk of taking her life? If so, would she go back to the bridge or find some other method close by to try?

No, he wouldn’t give her the chance to. Determined to get his baby back to her old self again, Heath swiftly washed himself then yanked on his clothes. Striding into the kitchen, he was taken aback when he saw that it was deserted save for one plate of steaming breakfast ready to be gobbled up. “Zaiyia!?” He found himself once again calling.

Just like this morning, he was back to searching for her. He called out her name one more time before returning into the kitchen and doing a double take. Outside his kitchen window, he spotted her slow figure entering the guest house and shutting the door behind her.

Terrified that she was still depressed, and that she might just try to take her own life in his guest house, Heath neglected his empty belly to race out his backdoor and across his lawn. The second he burst through the front door of the guest house, he was back to bellowing her name. “ZAIYIA!”

He didn’t get an answer. Not even the house creaked. It was so eerily quiet, no one would believe a living soul resided in this place, and that’s exactly what he thought too. Petrified that he could be too late, he ascended up the stairs to the second floor where he didn’t find Zaiyia, but a mound on her bed instead.

Heath stared silently at the mound while he caught his breath. She was alive. He didn’t need to haul back the covers to see for it to be true. Closing the distance slowly, Heath lowered himself to sit beside the mound, his eyes never leaving it. In a voice so soft he didn’t recognize it was his at first, he said her name. “Zaiyia.”

His baby didn’t answer back. The mound remained a stationary lump.

“Zai.” Heath whispered tenderly, reaching out a hand to touch the comforter at the very edge of the mound. “Zai, I want to talk to you for a minute. Can you come out of there?”

Still, Zaiyia wouldn’t speak.

“I’ve been thinking about…” Heath began, his eyes scouring over her room, taking in it’s snug ambience. It was a splendid place for his Zaiyia. It was excellent for this house. It was like she was meant to be here. But he couldn’t dwell on that right now. They had unfinished business, a different kind of unfinished business that had been rooted in his mind since he voiced it to be. “About the rules that we’re going to need to set up for our new relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. Naturally, we’re going to need to keep it under wraps so no one will find out. It’s something we haven’t gotten around to discussing yet.”

Zaiyia finally let out a sound underneath the comforter. It was a jaded sigh and as soon as it was expelled, she rose like a Goddess from within her mound and tossed her head back to whisk her braids aside. That didn’t work for long, as they came tumbling back when she lowered her head to avert her eyes from his. She sat that way for a long time before muttering. “You don’t need to do that.”

Heath knew exactly what she was referring to, and for once, had no plan of listening to her. For the first time ever, their roles were reversed. “Why not, Zai?”

“Because we’re NOT going to BE in a relationship!” Zaiyia snapped with resentment.

“What the hell are you talking about, Zai?” Heath disputed with a frown. “Of course, we’re in a relationship!”

“It’s too dangerous! Remember!?” Zaiyia reminded him heatedly, her brown orbs piercing straight into him with fury. She was throwing his words back in his face. “I’ll live over here. You live over there. That’s it.”

“Do I have to remind you that we’ve tried all that a million times before?” Heath pointed out. “It’s never worked!”

“It will work this time!” Zaiyia asserted.

“And how exactly do you think it’ll work this time, hmm?” Heath inquired, inviting her to explain.

“Because this time I’m determined not to let anything happen again, that's how!” Zaiyia clarified for him.

“Oh yeah?” Heath scoffed with disbelief, an amused smirk on his face. “And what about me?”

Zaiyia shot him a puzzled look, her eyes looking him up and down. “What ABOUT you?”

There was time Heath swore the words he was about to say next would never leave his lips. There was a time he remembered where he would fight this young girl and the feelings she evoked within him with the might of Hercules, but those times were no more. He was on a different page, a different book. And he now needed to let her know what he was on and what he was about. It would be hard for her to believe him after all this time he’s wasted being a broken record, but last night changed his life. He couldn't lose her. To death, to the law, to anyone. He didn’t understand why this was something he couldn’t live without like any ordinary person, but he couldn’t. Stretching a large hand out, he sought Zaiyia’s on her lap, and held on tightly to it as he looked her in the eye. “What if I want to do this?”