“Keira. Wake up.” The voice is harsh, commanding, but not cruel. I can feel myself wanting to listen. “It’s Tino, your Tino. I need you to wake up babe. You’re crying is killing me.”
“Tino?” I don’t know if I say it aloud or not. My eyes are beginning to open, it’s hard to focus. It feels like the dream is fighting to keep me in it.
I’m disoriented, so when I feel a hand rub down my back, right over my shoulder where my tattoo is, I panic. Not again. Don’t hurt me again. I thrash and kick. “No. Don’t touch me. Not again. No. Tino!”
My arms swing wildly, I feel like I’m on top of someone. My body goes into fight mode. “Ow, fuck.” Then there’s a grunt followed by a loud thud. I scramble back from my attacker. My eyes finally open and focused.
I’m in the study. In the compound. I take a few deep breathes to calm myself further then look around the room. Tino is on the floor. He looks in pain.
“Tino. Oh my god. I’m so sorry. Shit. Did I hurt you? Please tell me I didn’t hurt you.”
He rolls into a sitting position, one hand cupping his manhood. “I’m alright. How are you doing?” He asks as he struggles to get back on the couch. There is a significant bulge in his pants that I can’t stop staring at. “You got to stop looking at me like that babe.”
“Why?” I ask shyly. I thought we were back together. Wait are we technically together? Do we have a title?
“Cause I’m going to want to do something about it, but considering you just rammed my nuts up into my abdominal cavity, we’re going to have to wait a bit. And dealing with sore balls is surprisingly worse to deal with when you have an erection.”
“Oh.” My cheeks flush at the mention of his erection. Then I focus on the other bit of what he said. “Shit. So I did hurt you?” I scoot closer. Then stop and back away. I want to go to him, but I also want to run and get him ice. “I’m so sorry. I was stuck in the dream. And I didn’t know what was real. I’m sorry. I haven’t had one in a long time. I don’t know why I had one now.”
“Babe. Come here.” He says. I don’t. In fact I shift a little further back. “Keira. I need to hold you. Please.” The sincerity in his voice and eyes get to me. I crawl across the sofa so I am beside him but not on him. He pulls me closer and wraps his arm around my shoulder. Tugging my head in closer, so it’s resting on him. “I’m not mad. I’m not hurt. Just a bit sore. It will pass in a minute. I’m more worried about you. It’s been a long couple of days. I think you are feeling vulnerable.” I nod. Not wanting to look at him or speak at the moment. I want to absorb his strength.
“What would make you feel better? Want me to make you some hot tea, or warm milk?” He asks, and I shake my head no. “Want to go to my room, we can take a hot shower, then cuddle in bed with a movie?” I shake my head no again. Do I ask for what I need? Will he find it weird that I want to fight right now? I was a pretty girlie girl back in the day. I still like make-up and pretty things, but I also like to feel the power of throwing a punch.
“How about some pancakes? Are chocolate chip still your favorite?”
I sit up a bit so I can see his face. Trying to make sure it wasn’t a lucky guess. “You remembered?”
“Of course.” He says as me moves to stand, before lifting me up to my feet.
Livianna and Massimo are in the kitchen when we get there. She is pulling ingredients out of the cupboards, while he is making a pot of coffee.
“Morning.” Says Tino. They both turn and greet us back.
Tino pulls out a stool for me at the counter then pushes my shoulder. I follow his unsaid instructions and sit. He moves around to the other side. The kitchen is large enough for the three of them to move around without bumping into one another. I feel weird being the only one not helping. Standing, I move to the the cupboards and start opening them, looking for plates.
After my second cupboard Livianna speaks up. “Left of the sink.” I move to the cupboard she suggested, sure enough, the plates and bowls are there. I take out enough for each of us. Then turn to look in the drawers for the silverware. I figure they are in a top drawer near by. I must go in the wrong direction because without prompt Livianna says. “This one.” Then proceeds to open a drawer next to her hip. She isn’t even looking at me. In fact, she’s dipped her head down. Almost like she’s afraid. No that’s not it. Ashamed. Why is she ashamed?
Massimo gives her a big smile then grabs her around the waist and pulls her in for a kiss. She turns to me with a smile. Her hands wringing the hem of her shirt. “Sorry. Everyone is used to my quirks. I forgot you aren’t.”
“What quirk?” I ask.
“The Jedi mind tricks she does. You know, the one where she becomes a human lie detector, or handing you things you didn’t realize you needed.” Pipes in Elena from the door. Her right hand is held at an unnatural angle behind her back, with Luca right behind her. Is he holding her hand? How cute.
“I did notice the lie detector thing. You also have this weird calming effect on people.” Turning to Luca. “Is that why you had Livianna delivering my food and always trying to talk to me?”
“Yes.” He replies quickly. I like that he doesn’t hide his reasoning.
“Smart.” I tell him. Tino brings over a stack of pancakes. The counter is large enough that we are all able to fit around it. Livianna brings a bowl of scrambled eggs, and Massimo has a platter of bacon. We all dig in.
About two minutes into eating, I catch Elena in the corner of my eye moving. It’s then that realize she has one arm handcuffed to Luca. She keeps yanking it, causing him to knock the food off his fork and start again. Unable to help myself, I begin to laugh. I look around the room to see if anyone else notices. They do. But no once says a thing. Only Livianna seems affected by sneaking glances and giggling quietly to herself.
“Are the handcuffs a kinky thing, or a protection thing?”
Elena gives one hard yank, then seems to pick the lock in two seconds and free herself. “It’s a caveman thing.” She says, as she tries to stand.
Luca is quick to pull her down on his lap and reattach the cuff. “It’s for protection. Elena seems to think it’s funny to sneak out of the room while I’m sleeping and run off.” He sounds disgruntled but their isn’t any real heat in his words.