Belonging to Lust

Chapter 182: Forget Everything That's Been Said

The Sullivan siblings bickered back and forth with ‘yes and no’ over and over again until Colin stepped in again to end this never-ending debate. Rising to his feet, he threw his hands up in the air and announced to the soon-to-be excited kids. “DESSERT TIME!”

Dropping their hands from their ears, the trio flocked around their dad, cheering. “YAY, DESSERT TIME!”

Having already had the necessary ingredients to make S’mores right beside him, Colin got to sticking a fat fluffy marshmallow on each metal roasting marshmallow stick and then handed them out to his kids. Seeing that her kids were about to roast some marshmallows, Anneliese aborted the dating subject with Heath for now to take over for her husband on reminding their children on how to safely and properly roast a marshmallow while he set up the graham crackers and pieces of chocolate.

While the couples were distracted with their children, Heath’s green eyes drifted to Zaiyia. She had a melancholy look on her face from where she sat on the log across from him. Not liking it, he got up from his seat to round the campfire and extend a hand out to her. “Hey, come sit over here with me.”

Shaken from her forlorn thoughts, Zaiyia’s eyes stared up at him then dropped to the large inviting palm. Wordlessly, she took his hand and allowed him to guide her back to his log where they sat next to each other. Keeping her eyes on the campfire before them, she tried to ignore his looming presence but found it difficult. He was not only a huge man, but also had a perceptible presence.

Sensing her displeasure over his exchange with his sister, Heath leaned his head towards her to converse privately while keeping his eyes on the family diligently roasting their marshmallows to notice them, or listen in. “Ignore Anneliese. She’s just being her usual nosy little sister self, that’s all.”

“I get it.” Zaiyia told him while still avoiding to look his way.

Hearing the dishonesty in the tone of her voice, Heath glanced down at her, scoping out her side profile in the flickering campfire and finding it utterly gorgeous. His voice didn’t mirror that though. It mirrored that of a parent as he firmly ordered her in the same way he ordered Anneliese not too long ago. “Hey. I said to ignore her, you hear me?”

Closing her brown eyes for a minute for isolation, Zaiyia turned her head to open them back up to his handsome face staring right back at her. She tried her damndest to not let his good looks make her heart swoon and forget all about the conflict he had with his sister because she loved him so much. No, that conversation mattered. This Katie woman mattered. “Katie’s the perfect age though.”

“I don’t fucking care about Katie. I don’t care about any of that.” Heath told her before his nephew skipped up to him and interrupted.

“Here, Uncle!” Jasiah told him, handing him two metal sticks each with a fluffy marshmallow impaled on them.

Handing Zaiyia one of those sticks, the two thanked the young boy before he dashed off back to his parents. As they hovered their marshmallows over the fire, Heath muttered to Zaiyia. “Forget about it. Forget about Katie. Forget about my sister. Forget everything that’s been said tonight.”

Not wishing to cause a clash here in front of his family, Zaiyia eased off though she knew her heart wouldn’t allow her any peace tonight on the subject. “Fine.”

For the rest of the night, the family enjoyed their S’mores while retelling stories around the campfire. There couldn’t be any spooky ones due to the children being present, so the genre was kept at a low rating created for youngsters in mind. The kids even got to tell their own stories though they didn’t really make much sense. By the time the kids were tuckered out for the night, their parents transported them into the big tent they’d be sharing with their Uncle Heath. As soon as the couple returned back to their seats, Anneliese asked a delicate question to Zaiyia that she’d been curious about for some time. “Hey Zaiyia, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but…how is your mother doing? Are you in contact with her?”

Like a deer caught in the headlights, Zaiyia looked to Heath to rescue her, but he looked just as taken aback by his sister’s question. Having no choice but to concoct a lie, Zaiyia nodded. “Yes, we’re in contact.”

Both Colin and Annliese were intrigued to find this out. Leaning forward, Colin inquired. “You are? Well, what did your mother have to say for herself then after abandoning you with Heath like that?”

“She…apologized to us for being gone for so long and…informed us that she had some kind of mental breakdown that’s been keeping her from returning home.” Zaiyia fabricated while fidgeting with her fingers. Her heart was pounding like a heavy metal drum set in her chest and was just as deafening too. She was surprised no one else but herself could hear it.

“Excuse me for saying this, but I don’t think that’s a good excuse for disappearing on your guys the way she did. Nor to be gone for this long.” Anneliese shared with a strong look of disapproval. Turning her attention to her poor brother that had to raise an abandoned teenage girl with no choice, she asked him. “Don’t you think it’s about time we call CPS on her?”

“NO!” Both Heath and Zaiyia bellowed at the Hoppers, stunning them into silence.

Having nearly leapt to his own feet in a panic at the mention of CPS, Heath gripped onto the log beneath him as he abated his little sister’s worries. “No, Anneliese, everything is perfectly fine.”

Narrowing her eyes at him curiously, Anneliese poked some more. “Heath, how can you sit there and tell me you’re perfectly fine with this abandonment? She’s a mother, for Christ’s sake. She has a job to do!”

“Zaiyia and I get along pretty well on our own without her. She’s not a burden to me in the least bit, more like an improvement if you ask me.” Heath let his sister know while feeling Zaiyai’s eyes on him. “Plus, I’d rather Yovela return when she’s feeling better so we can talk things out rationally then.”

Zaiyia gave her two cents next. “Heath treats me very well. I’m in good hands with him and my mother knows that. I think that’s why she felt safe leaving me with him when she had her mental break.”

“So you’re all really fine with this?” Colin asked in disbelief. “Her being gone for as long as she has?”

“Yup.” Zaiyia and Heath conceded brightly.

Shrugging it off, Colin concluded. “Then that’s perfectly fine with me too.”

Anneliese nodded along with her husband though her features stated the complete opposite. A sudden smile crossed her face as she decided to bring up Katie again now that the kids were asleep. “So Heath, let's get back to hooking you up with Katie. We weren’t finished with our discussion, after all.”

“Alright, time to call it a night!” Heath rapidly stated as he got to his feet. “I gotta get some shut eye.”

Zaiyia giggled, and got up herself to join him. As the two made their way to their tent, Anneliese attempted to wheedle him back to talk about Katie some more instead, but Heath wasn’t listening. Unzipping the tent, the couple stepped inside before he zipped it shut behind them. With gentle hands, Heath steered Zaiyia around the sleeping children. Her sleeping bag was closest to the wall which meant he would be between her and the kids. Preparing themselves for bed, the two slid into their own separate sleeping bags. Lying down, Zaiyia wished they could share one. Voicing her exact thoughts while staring up at the ceiling, Heath whispered it to her. “Wish we could share a sleeping bag.”

“Same.” Zaiyia smiled to herself in the dark, relieved she wasn’t the only one who felt the same.

Turning his head to look at her, Heath couldn’t resist smiling too. “Goodnight, baby.”

Returning his stare, Zaiyia whispered back. “Goodnight, Heath.”

Heath stared longingly at Zaiyia, craving to run his hands over her velvet soft skin. “I’m already over this.”

Giggling faintly, Zaiyia nodded in agreement. “Same here.”

Turning over to face her properly, Heath was pleased when she did the same. Everything was silent for a long time before he said screw it and leaned forward to press a slow kiss upon her lips. When he pulled back, he licked his lips with a drowsy smile. “Mmm, I missed that.”

“Me too.” Zaiyia sighed, reaching out a hand to him. He took it and they fell asleep holding hands.