Belonging to Lust

Chapter 9: You Can Stay

Heath knocked on Zaiyia’s bedroom door, but received no reply from the other side. He felt bad for what he said back in the kitchen to her. It wasn’t Zaiyia’s fault, and apparently, not his either. Yovela was prone to running away from her life, and nothing would change that, just like Zaiyia said. Well, at least the Yovela he didn’t know. His Yovela wouldn’t do something so irresponsible and selfish to the people that loved her.

It was upsetting for him to try and come to terms that the woman he thought he was beginning to fall in love with had actually been hiding a restless secret of disappearing without warning from him. If what Zaiyia said was indeed true, than Yovela wasn’t the woman she made him believe she was. She had been keeping secrets from him the entire time they’ve been together. Why? Why couldn’t she tell him? He would have tried to help her deal with her need to run away from everything. If she was hiding this secret from him, could there be more of them she hadn’t told him? What else did he not know about Yovela?

Heath decided to knock one more time, before swinging the door open and walking up the stairs to Zaiyia’s attic bedroom. Zaiyia was sitting on her bed, her back against her pillows and her eyes glued to her mother’s medallion in her hands. She had found it in small chest on her shelf and was now more confused than ever. Her mother was gone, and the medallion was here. This didn’t make sense to her. Just how long was her mother planning on staying away this time? Her thoughts were interrupted when Heath knocked on the wall to signal his presence. Zaiyia looked up to see him standing at the top of her stairs in his dirty work jeans and a navy blue shirt. She silently tore her eyes away from his muscular physique to look back down at her mother’s necklace.

Heath rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly before heading over to her and taking a seat at the end of her bed. “Look, Zaiyia…I’m sorry about what I said earlier. I didn’t mean for it to sound like you were a burden or anything, ok? I just….I don’t know.”

Zaiyia let out a sigh, not wanting to hear any more of his apology. It wasn’t necessary anyway, nor did she need it. What she did want to know was what he planned on doing with her now that she’s been left in his care by her mother. “Are you going to kick me off your property?”

Heath was a bit taken aback by her remark, and was also unprepared for it. For some reason, he hadn’t thought about what he was going to do with her. He’s never raised a kid on his own or with a partner before, well if you don’t include him having to raise his little sister and brother by himself. He had no idea what he was supposed to do in a situation like this. Should he sent her back to her aunt or…raise her himself until her mother decided to come back? But what if Yovela doesn’t return for her daughter at all? What if he ended up stuck with Zaiyia for the next four years?

Zaiyia took his silence as a hesitated yes, and immediately felt sick to her stomach. She pushed the tears back and tried to calm her breathing at the thought of going back to living on the streets for the next several months surrounded by homeless individuals and addicts. She hated living out there, it didn’t matter what town she lived in. Being homeless was the worst, especially when you’re a 16 year old with a pretty face. She couldn’t do it again. She WASN’T going to do it again.

Zaiyia crawled across her bed to scoot closer to him as she was prepared to beg for her life. “P-Please Mr. Sullivan, please don’t kick me off of your property. I’ll do anything to stay here, please. I-I-I can clean, I can cook, I can do laundry, yard work, or if you’re the kind of person that hates to do the food shopping, I can do it for you. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to stay here. If you don’t like kids, and prefer not to be around them, than I can totally stay out of your sight. I’ll practically be nonexistent! I can stay in the guesthouse and keep to myself. Mr. Sullivan, I really love it here, and I don’t want to go back in the streets and be homeless again. Please please please PLEASE, let me stay here with you.”

Heath was moved by her emotional speech, but was caught off guard by the last thing she said. “Back on the streets, again? Zaiyia, what are you talking about? When were you ever homeless?!”

Zaiyia mentally cursed herself for slipping up. As far as Heath knew, she lived all her life with her aunt and grandma. She was never homeless, at least that’s how their story went. Zaiyia couldn’t think of a lie quick enough and was too emotionally indebted to keeping herself off the streets this time. She remained silent, and looked down at her lap instead. Heath didn’t try to push her since she was already emotional and he didn’t need her exploding into tears any time soon. From what she already revealed to him, Zaiyia may have faced being homeless at some point in her life.

Heath had a lot of thinking to do. Zaiyia’s speech was emotional and convincing enough for him to know that she was willing to do whatever it took to stay here. For the short time she has been here, he had clearly seen that she had fallen in love with his home. To be torn from it and be thrown out on the streets would probably break the girl’s heart. Not only that, but it would haunt Heath every single day and night knowing that he had kicked her out into a cold harsh world where men preyed over young beautiful girls just like Zaiyia. The thought of some creep putting his hands on her made Heath’s skin crawl. He couldn’t allow that to happen to her. She wasn’t his child, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t care about her welfare.

“Do you think your mother will come back soon, or maybe your aunt might want to take you in?” Heath asked her softly, meeting her big brown eyes with his green orbs.

“I don’t want to live with my aunt. My life wasn’t as perfect as she likes to make it seem to everyone. There was some harshness to it too. Harshness I don’t want to talk about or think about. When it comes to my mother, she always comes back. The real question is, when.”

Heath didn’t know why he was about to agree to this arrangement. All he knew for certain was it had something to do with her big innocent brown eyes. Heath let out a sigh and rubbed his face with both hands. “Alright, you can stay, but let’s get several things straight right here and right now. I am NOT dealing with no teenage bullshit problems, ok? That includes loud fucking parties, sneaking out to parties, and drinking alcohol of any kind. I don’t care if it’s even %1, you’re not drinking it. That goes for drugs too, I won’t stand hardcore drugs like meth and cocaine or the baby marijuana. I know marijuana isn’t that big of deal when it comes to drugs, but I still don’t care. If it enters my home, we have a problem. I also won’t stand for any kind of sexual activity with males or females in my home, and you damn well better make sure you don’t get knocked up by some fucking loser either. I better not find out you got some form of sexually transmitted disease. And for the last three, no wild random animals in my house, no violence of any kind, and no gang affiliations. I know with you kids these days you like to join stupid gangs and end up getting a bullet through your head. The moment any of these things are brought into my home, I will kick your ass back to your aunt’s house. I’m not playing games.”

Zaiyia let him finish his endless list of rules without interruptions, even though she wanted to several times. She wanted to tell him she wasn’t much of a party girl, she didn’t drink or do drugs, or join gangs and had never actually had sex with anyone before. It was a struggled but she managed to keep guys away from her vagina, random boys her age and her old daddies combined.

Heath went on. “What I expect from you is to go to school, get good grades, come back home and do your homework. That’s it. I also want you to clean up after yourself, which would be helpful. If you do this and we have no problems, than you can stay here until your mom comes back for sure, ok?”

Zaiyia nodded violently and held back the happy emotions that were threatening to burst. “Absolutely, yes! But…can I um…give you a hug? I’m just so happy right now.”

Heath thought about it for a second before nodding. “Sure, go ahead.”

She threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his waist and hugging the back of his shoulder tightly. Heath was surprised at her strength, and since he was turned a little sideways, he reached over her small frame to lightly hug her back. She wasn’t super close to him, but he could still smell her scent. It was lovely with a strong hint of seduction. She could smell him too. He smelled sexy and felt so big and strong in her short arms. The man was perfectly fit, and his muscles were healthy and hard.

Zaiyia reluctantly pulled away first, but still had a smile on her face. “Thanks again, for letting me stay here. You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“Sure, just do me a favor and don’t call me Mr. Sullivan anymore. Make me feel like you’re talking to my dad, sometimes.” Heath suggested.

Zaiyia tapped her chin. “Hmm, well I guess I can you Daddy instead.”

Heath smiled and shook his head. “How about Heath, instead?”

Zaiyia shook her head, playfully. “No, I think I’ll call you Daddy…for now.”

Heath let out a sigh and rolled his eyes as he got off her bed. “Whatever. I’m heading to bed, so I’ll see you later after school tomorrow. Goodnight, Zaiyia.”
♠ ♠ ♠