Belonging to Lust

Chapter 22: A Natural Beauty

The entire down stairs of the guest house had been cleaned out by Heath over the last week, except for Zaiyia’s room, where she currently sat on her window seat looking out the window. She had been yelled at for not calling Heath to inform him that she had been out with his sister picking up items from her endless shopping list. She told him she was sorry but he wouldn’t listen and sent her off to her room like a child! Zaiyia hated to be thought of as a child when she tried so hard to separate herself from all the other average teenagers that were just so overdramatic and immature. She wanted to be seen as an adult, despite her young age. Hell she deserved to, considering what she’s already had to go through in her short and young life traveling around with an irresponsible mother.

A soft knocking from behind her interrupted her from her thoughts. Turning her head, Zaiyia looked across her room towards the stairs to see Heath standing at the top, watching her with an apologetic look on his face. She didn’t want to stare at him for too long because she was still upset with the way he spoke her earlier, and quickly looked back towards the window instead, concentrating on the different flowers growing in his garden. Her ears perked up at the sound of his footsteps coming closer to her location, and through her peripheral vision she saw him lower himself onto the far side of the window seat.

Heath let out a regretful sigh as he scratched the back of his head awkwardly. Looking her over, he could tell that she was still upset with him, and he didn’t blame her. What could he say other than sorry? “Hey, Zaiyia. Look I…I wanted to come up here and tell you that I’m sorry about yelling at you earlier. I didn’t mean to appear like some mean bully or something like that towards you. I’m sorry, really I am.”

At that point, Zaiyia didn’t ever want to talk to him again, yet when she peeked at him from behind the curtain of her long thick braids, some of her anger for him reluctantly melted away. “I just don’t get why you had to be THAT mean about it. It’s not like I meant to not call you, it just so happened my phone decided to die at the worst time possibly.”

Heath hesitated a bit on expressing his feelings to her, before deciding he owed her at least that much for the way he acted. “Yeah I know, I was pretty mean back there, but…you have to understand the thoughts that were going through my head at that moment about you, and where you could possibly be started to get under my skin. I admit my mind started to wander off into the worst case scenarios. I started to think that you…might have run off like your mother did.”

The mention of her mother, and being compared to her had Zaiyia seeing red. Jumping to her feet, she swung her long black braids over her shoulder, only for them to swing back over her face, as she pointed a stern finger at his face and fiercely exclaimed. “Now you listen to me here, Sullivan, I would NEVER do anything like what she did to us to ANYONE that care about me. I AM NOTHING LIKE YOVELA!”

Heath was surprised by her sudden and emotional outburst, as well as how incredibly sexy she looked when she was mad. He knew he wasn’t the only one hurt by Yovela’s sudden disappearance, but it was nice to finally see Zaiyia emotionally express her frustrations over it. He was beginning to think the young girl didn’t care that her mother had ditched her in the hands of a complete stranger.

Zaiyia let out a gasp and covered her mouth with a look of surprise when she realized that she just yelled at him like the stereotypical emotional teenage girl that she didn’t want to be. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry about that! Please forget that just happened. I didn’t mean to shout at you like that.”

Heath shook his head and shrugged the whole thing off. “No, no it’s no problem. I get it, trust me, I do. She abandoned me too.”

Zaiyia didn’t try to disagree with what he believed. She preferred that he continued to think that she was also upset over her mother’s recent abandonment, which she was in a way, but not that much to be acting all crazy. She knew her mother would be back for her, so there wasn’t really a reason for her to start screaming, and crying over it. Zaiyia gave him a quick nod instead before wrapping her arms around herself in support, while mentally trying to calm herself down so that she wouldn’t make another humiliating outburst.

“So, do you think you can forgive me for yelling at you before?” Heath asked her, flashing her a friendly smirk that only appeared sexy to her.

Zaiyia gave him a reluctant smile. “Yeah of course, it’s not a big deal. I’m just glad we sorted this out now so I wouldn’t have to ignore you for the new few months.”

Heath’s smile stretched as he chuckled. “Yeah we wouldn’t want that, especially now when we’re about to start redecorating the downstairs for millionth time. Do you still feel like pitching in?”

Zaiyia raised an eyebrow at him in doubt. “Wait a minute, I thought you hated decorating the guest house.”

Heath shrugged. “I do, but I’ll go down there and help if you’ll come with me. I don’t want to be left alone with my sister when she decorates. She’s so strict she becomes the biggest bitch in the word and purposely drive me crazy.”

Zaiyia laughed and nodded. “Well in that case, I have to go, don’t I?”

Heath laughed too before standing up to pat the side of her arm in a friendly gesture. “I knew I could count on you.”

Wrapping his arms around her shoulder, the couple headed downstairs to join Anneliese, the mastermind, on decorating the living room and kitchen. The ladies were in charge of painting while Heath handled the more complicated and higher areas. The color Anneliese decided on was a type of coral orange that wasn’t too dark or too bright. Thanks to Heath’s lessons about paint, Anneliese was also pretty good with the brush too. Zaiyia was the only one that wasn’t experienced, and was getting paint almost all over her. Anneliese laughed at the sight of the young girl covered in a ridiculous amount of paint, while Heath was the only one that came to her rescue.

“Man look at you, you’re a mess.” Heath teased.

Zaiyia gave him a playful glare as she kept her painted hands up and away from her clothes. “Duh, I can see that Sherlock.”

Heath reached into his pocket for his handkerchief and carefully dabbed at the wet pain that had flecked across her cheeks and nose. He was careful not to rub too hard, because she was wearing makeup, and he didn’t want to wipe it off in case it might upset her. Zaiyia stood still as he helped dab away some of the paint, but she couldn’t help herself from staring at him while he did it. She watched his green eyes roam over her face in concentration, and soaked up the attention he was giving her. Her face looked soft and flawless beneath the cotton material of his handkerchief. It was like a temptation that he wanted to surrender to and runs his fingers over. As he wiped off the last drop, he boldly caressed her cheek with his thumb, making it appear like he was just finishing up.“There you go. As good as new.” Heath assured her, before handing her his handkerchief to wipe her hands off with.

Zaiyia smiled softly, as she continued to stare up at him dreamingly. “Am I still pretty even when I look like a hot mess?”

In the blink of an eyes, Heath’s expression turned serious. “You’d be beautiful even if a paint bucket was dumped on you. I don’t think there’s anything that you can do that’ll make you look unsightly to anyone. You have a natural beauty inside and out.”

Zaiyia’s smile had faded with every word he said. She was struck mute by his speech but was also mesmerized by it. She used the term pretty to describe herself, and yet he used the term beautiful instead. Not to mention he also said that she had a natural beauty too. In the past, she’s been told she was beautiful by a lot of guys, old and young, but hearing it from Heath was like hearing it for the first time in her life. If there was ever a moment that she didn’t think she was beautiful before, it was now gone in an instant. Heath looked above her eyes to see that if Zaiyia had indeed continued to paint any longer she would have defiantly gotten some drops onto her braids. “We need to find something to protect your hair with. Let me see…”

Zaiyia watched as Heath went off to check through the small closet by the door only to pull out an old hat. He walked back to her to offer it for her to take. “Here, put this on. It’ll help keep the paint out of your hair.”

Zaiyia placed it over her head, getting the bill of the hat stained with leftover paint on her fingertips. “Thanks you so much, Heath. I was starting to get worried with how dirty my hands were, if maybe my hair looked just as bad. Do you have a hair tie or anything so I could keep my braids behind me?”

Heath shook his head before looking over at his sister who had been painting this entire time while humming to whatever song that was blasting out of the radio. “Anneliese, do you have a hair tie Zaiyia can borrow to keep the paint out of her hair?”

Annelise turned around before pointing to her purse. “They should be in the zipper compartment in my bag.”

Heath nodded and fetched a gold hair tie out of her bag before returning back to Zaiyia. “Here let me do it since you’re hands are still wet with paint.”

Zaiyia nodded and turned around. Her scalp began to tingle when he started grabbing ahold of her long thick braids and gently tried to slip them through the tie. He tightened its hold by twisting it and then pulling the braids through the other available hole, but only halfway. Heath wanted to make sure that her hair wouldn’t get a drop of pain on them, and having them in a low messy bun was more reliable than a ponytail where the ends of her hair could easily swing around and connect to the wet walls at any time. “There you go.”

Zaiyia couldn’t have helped her eyes from drifting close while he fiddled with her hair. It strangely felt amazing on her scalp and in that moment she wished for nothing more than for his sister to go away so that they could be left alone together.
♠ ♠ ♠