Logan meeting Skyla for the very first time; (Before he procures a supervising spirit in VEX)
It rained three days straight—then like some kind of miracle it finally let off.
I toss the coins into the register, steady as a metallic waterfall.
Pennies. That’s all I’ll have to show for this place if business doesn’t pick up.
A chattering whirlwind walks through the door—Brielle. Looks like she’s brought company so I guess I’m supplying free shoes and ten rounds, probably a well catered lunch all on my dime. Brielle has a running tab six years long. In addition to that I pay her to hang out and talk on the phone.
I don’t really mind. At this point I’d pay half the customers to be here.
My eyes shift over to the girl with her. Long blonde hair, perfect body, perfect face—eyes as bright as diamonds.
A hot bite of perspiration cuts through me.
I’ve been around plenty of girls and not one of them has ever made me sweat.
The girl with the crystal eyes spears me a look that says I eat scum like you for breakfast. Not that I’d stop her. Hell—I’d encourage it.
My lips curve at the thought.
The girls turn and head towards a table.
“Bree,” I call.
Brielle rolls her eyes because she knows what I’m really after.
Gage pops up expanding his chest. I can tell he’s interested, but he’d better back off. No boys need apply. She’s all mine.
“Guys, this is Skyla,” Brielle ticks into the girl with a shy smile. “She’s moving into Chloe’s old house. Skyla, these are the knuckleheads I work with, Logan and Gage.” She waves her hands over Gage and me like she were gifting us to her—another thing I wouldn’t mind with the exception of Gage. The way he bats off girls waiting for ‘the one’ to show up makes me wonder if he’s switched teams.
Brielle laughs, she might very well be going on about something, but all I hear is the equivalent of a power mower. I’m too busy enjoying the view.
“Skyla?” Gage takes up her hand, pants into her like a puppy.
What the hell?
“Gage Oliver.” He leans in, never dipping his gaze to her cleavage.
He’s got self-control I’ll give him that.
Skyla—I want to say it—feel it tumble off my tongue. I’m half afraid I’ll shout it out in an uncalled for fit of delirium. Someone like Skyla has the power to make my voice break like a twelve-year old. I’m pretty sure I’d let her break me anytime she wanted in much more creative ways than that. The nightly possibilities I’m going to have with this one are staggering. I think I’ve just met the star of all my future best dreams, live and in person.
Time to stomp Gage and his affections out like a fire.
“You have a very unique name. It’s beautiful,” I say, carefully plucking Gage off her and replacing his death grip with mine. Reading her thoughts is just a pleasant side effect of holding her hand. Besides, it’s painfully obvious to everyone in the room that Gage is all worked up over our new friend here. I’ll have to push him into the pool later to cool him off.
She digs a half-smile into her cheek and my stomach twists like a tangle of bungee cords.
I pull in and bring her hand up to my lips.
“Logan Oliver,” I annunciate to let both her and Gage know I’m the only Oliver she needs to direct her interests towards.
“Oh, so you’re brothers?” She bites the inside of her lip and pivots in her shoes.
They look nothing alike. Or maybe they’re step? Mothers marrying morons is on the rise.
I give a private smile. I take it she doesn’t like the moron her mother married.
She turns her chest into me, brushes over me with an open look, and I swallow hard.
“Cousins.” I nod over towards Gage. “I live with them,” I lay my other hand over hers in the event she wants to divulge a full evaluation of the two of us.
“My parents are both deceased.”
Did I just go there? There’s no quicker way to kill a conversation than dragging in your dead relatives.
Her face turns apple red.
Perfect. She’ll be bolting for the exit in less than five.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She steps in with a great look of sadness. “My dad died, too.”
I gently place her hand by her waist, take her in with this newfound information. She’s not just a body, a face—she’s a person who loved someone and lost them.
My heart breaks for her. There is no greater pain than losing a parent. I want to let her know I’m here for her, that I’d gladly shield her from this rotten world—maybe I can help her heal—maybe she can help heal me.
“Sorry,” I whisper, absorbing her with wonder before she decides to bolt for safety. I want to memorize her, etch her into my grey matter. It takes all of my self-control not to wrap my arms around her and console her.
I ruined the moment. I’ll be the downer she does her best to avoid. Can’t run a business, can’t get the girl. I’m on a real effing streak.
I walk us over to a table and Gage plods along. I’ll have to manufacture a task for him if I catch him showing another ounce of interest. The last thing Gage and I need is to be competing for the same girl.
Gage swipes the seat across from Skyla and leans in, turns on those baby blues in an effort to jockey for her attention.
Guess Gage just put himself in the game, which is completely fine because everybody needs to learn to deal with a broken heart at some point in the their lives and this will have be his.
I give a complacent smile in his direction.
“So you’re a junior?” He knocks on the table like he’s demanding an answer.
I’ll have to give him a few pointers later on how to get the girl—all bad and fruitless of course—like write her a poem. Nothing says stalker like poetry.
“Yup.” She bites down on those perfect lips and my insides explode. “And you guys?”
“We’re all juniors!” Brielle shakes her as if we won the scholastic lottery. I swear that girl is on something half the time. Nobody walks around that psyched up to be alive twenty-four seven.
Skyla looks over at Bree like she’s lost it. She glares into her with an unnatural curiosity as if she were reading her mind.
“So tell me about Chloe,” Skyla takes us all in. It comes out interrogating— surprises the hell out me, and for a minute I wonder if she’s the second coming. Although in this altered state I think I could forgive Chloe of all her trespasses. Just the thought of Chloe Bishop makes my blood boil. That was the first and last time I’ll ever be used by anybody.
I glance back up at Skyla.
Although, I’d make an exception for her if I had to.
I’d break every rule in the book for her.
Logan’s POV is from ETHEREAL. This scene takes place the morning of chapter 15 (Virtue).
“Breakfast with the Olivers”
I’m dreaming of Skyla when my eyelids crack open to a burst of violent sunshine.
Gage treks out of the room after committing the solar felony, and I throw my pillow at him, nailing him in the back of the head.
It’s the same crap he used to pull when we were little—opening my curtains on the rare morning the sun has the balls to show and waking me up out of a dead sleep.
“Get the hell out of my room,” I groan, trying to bury my head in the crook of my arm. The covers are off and my boxers are pitched like a tent.
He doesn’t say anything, just stomps down the hall with those cinder blocks he calls feet. I jump out of bed and hit the shower. By the time I get dressed and head downstairs, a fogbank has seeped over the island and all is right with the world.
“Morning!” Aunt Emma sings while Gage and my uncle discuss something at the breakfast nook.
“Morning.” I bullet toward the fridge but she herds me in the direction of the table with a plate at the ready.
Gage leans back and inspects me as I take a seat.
I don’t say a word, just bow my head for a moment of gratitude before digging into my food.
“Rough night?” Gage asks with a pissed expression layered beneath his paltry concern. I doubt Gage is too broken up over the fact he interrupted my early morning fantasy where I was in the middle of some serious cardio with Skyla.
The scene comes back to me in detail, and my lips twitch with a dirty smile.
“What’s with the tension, boys?” Barron singes the two of us with his salt and pepper brows.
“Nothing.” I shrug as if I didn’t suspect that Gage and his perpetual hard-on for Skyla have everything to do with it. I thought he’d get over her by now. I thought he loosened up the obsession, until Bree informed me he was giving Skyla a ride home from the mall yesterday. I know what kind of ride Gage would prefer to give her and it has nothing to do with those underinflated tires sitting in the driveway.
“There’s definitely something going on.” Emma takes a seat next to my well-aged brother whom I’ve grown accustomed to as my uncle—heck, my father. “Is this about a girl?” Her hand crops up around her neck, and for a second I’m afraid she’ll choke herself. God knows there’s not a girl on the planet that will ever be good enough for sweet baby Gage.
I don’t say anything, just sink in my seat and drill a cold look into my nephew—waiting for him to affirm or deny the theory.
Barron huffs a laugh. “The silence suggests nothing less. Who is she?”
“Skyla Messenger,” I offer. “My girlfriend.”
“Gage!” Emma jumps in her seat. “Don’t dream for a minute of letting a girl come between the two of you. Remember what happened with that Bishop girl? Then she disappeared.”
I’m not sure what she means by, ‘Then she disappeared’. Unless, of course, she’s implying that she herself offed Chloe and hid the body in order to protect her offspring from potential girl parts. If that’s the case, I could’ve used a little help from Emma myself. Chloe latched onto my balls in front of everyone at West and plucked them off like apples in the fall. I’m sorry about whatever happened to Chloe though—wish I could have stopped it.
Gage shifts in his seat. “I don’t think we should bring up Chloe.”
“Gage,” Barron’s voice dips into his I’m-about-to-school-you register, “if Logan here is dating a young lady, I think you should be a gentleman and step aside. Give them some space.”
“Yes, Gage,” I say, knocking my foot into his shin with a little Celestra missile guidance. “Give us some space.” I try to bury a laugh as he writhes at the other end of the table, probably more from the thought of losing Skyla than the gnarly Charlie horse I’ve just inflicted.
“Someone else will come along.” Emma does a poor job of hiding her relief. “When it’s the right girl, nothing—not even Logan will be able to stop it from happening.” She winks over at me.
I flex my hands in surrender. “Who am I to stand in the way of destiny?” Funny how Mr. Dimples suddenly forgot about his imaginary girlfriend. He could have had Chloe everyday and twice on Sunday if he weren’t saving himself for that figment of his X-rated imagination. I tried to warn him not to read too much into those visions of his. I specifically told him that crap has a way of cementing itself into your head—leaves you believing weird stuff, like Mrs. Right is going to stroll into your life one day out of the blue—sort of like Skyla did for me. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Everything about Skyla is pretty amazing.
“You’re right, Mom.” Gage hardens his glare at me. “I’m pretty sure when destiny places me in someone’s life, there won’t be a darn thing Logan can do to stop it.”
He pounds me with those brooding eyes as if destiny has already laid out the cards for him, shown him a full house with a beauty queen on top.
A cold surge rips through me.
He doesn’t think its Skyla, does he?
I’ll have to squash his misinformed fantasy before he gets his interpretations crossed with my brand new girlfriend. Skyla is going to be my wife one day—I can feel it. Gage has always been better than a brother to me. I’d hate for there to be permanent weirdness between us.
I should probably pay Miller a couple grand to lure him away during Harrison’s next unholy gathering—get his mind twisting in other carnal directions. I’ll have him declaring Michelle Miller the girl of his wet dreams before homecoming.
I raise a glass of OJ over to Gage. “I give destiny full permission to intercede.”
Gage offers up a fist bump and sharpens his features as we connect. It’s on Bro. A smile slopes up the side of his face and that ditch in his cheek winks at me.
It’s on? I give a little laugh.
I’d say, ‘bring it’ but something in me knows he’s more than capable.
Nope. I don’t like this one fucking bit.
ETHEREAL KNIGHTS (An Oliver Novel)
The Falls of Virtue are a testament to the Master’s glory like nothing else I’ve ever seen—until I met Skyla.
The fog skirts by our feet at this heightened elevation as I lead us down to the waterline where the view is best.
There they are—three falls, each perfectly spaced across the back of the hillside. We watch as they rain down with fury and passion into the open mouth of the lake. It’s a heated exchange, pulsating and throbbing, something just this side of erotic. It’s so blatantly beautiful here. It makes you feel as if you’ve accidentally landed in paradise.
“Wow.” She looks up at a rainbow just beyond the peak and a laugh gets trapped in her throat. “It’s…”
Skyla struggles with words. Her lips part. It takes all of my self-control not to dive down over her mouth and cover it with my own.
“You have unicorns here too?” She laughs.
“Not at this location. They prefer the higher elevations where it snows.” I bite my lip until it feels like I might draw blood. I’m having serious withdrawals from kissing her, and yet, I don’t want her to think I dragged her all the way up here to maul her. But God, how I would love to maul her.
“So that’s where the water comes from?”
“Year round.” I knock my head back trying to ignore the fact I’m starting to get the shakes just looking at her.
She heads out toward the edge of the lake, the water nearly lapping over her shoes. I step beside her and wrap an arm around her waist, safely from her skin so she doesn’t feel like I’m trying to listen in.
“This is where I want to get married someday.” Her face ignites with color. She swallows hard as if realizing what she just let slip. “Gage said I was going to marry him.” She averts her eyes as if the theory were more than laughable.
Everything in me goes numb—the expression bleeds from my face.
A thousand thoughts assault me all at once.
“So it must be true,” I whisper.
Gage—this was his girl—his dream come to life. He knew it and he didn’t tell me. He gave her the knife and she gutted me without even knowing. But this is Skyla, the Celestra that stole my heart with one bat of her lash. The minute she set foot on Paragon, she lit up my universe with her smile. To hell with Gage and his weepy eyed dreams. I’m not letting go. If he wants her—if he wants his unblemished “prognosticating” track record to continue, he’ll have to go through me to get her.
“I’m not marrying Gage.” She spits it out as if it were a fact—as if she had any say in it at all. “I thought it was funny,”—she shakes her head—“Brielle thinks maybe he has a crush on me.”
“He does.” I can’t seem to break my deer in the headlights gaze.
“Anyway,” she breathes, “I’m not into him.” She pauses, waving her hand over my face to capture my attention. “I’m into you.”
And there it is. Just the words I needed to break the spell. A smile curves on the edge of my lips and everything in me aches to kiss her.
“I’m into you,” I say, pulling her in close.
Skyla with her out of the box wicked beauty. I want to run my tongue over every inch of her, devour her in one quick bite—swallow her down.
I sweep my lips over hers and an involuntary groan wrenches from me. We kiss in waves of heated passion. We drink down the wine of new love by the vat full. This is meaningful. This is right, and for damn sure it’s meant to be. Every angel on earth and in heaven can testify to the truth of what’s unfolding between us.
I love kissing Logan, Skyla’s mind reels with lust.Kissing Logan at the Falls of Virtue is like stepping into a fairytale. Suddenly I’m transported to a land with dragons and villains. Of course, I’m the princess, which in turn makes Logan the perfect prince.
I pull back and dot the tip of her nose with my lips.
“You up for a swim, princess?”
Her mouth falls open at the realization I read her thoughts.
“I don’t have my bathing suit.” She gives a sexy as hell smile and the bulge in my jeans rises to salute her.
“Swim in your underwear, or without. Your choice.” Choose without. I relax my grip around her sweater, too bad she didn’t hear my preference.
“I don’t have a towel.” It comes out pressured and gives away the fact she’s not so hot on the idea.
“I have a few in the truck for emergencies.” No point in letting her off so easy. I try to hide the grin wanting to take over.
Skyla licks her lips, slow in one clean sweep, like she’s trying to seduce me. “Does this qualify as an emergency?”
“It’s the only one I know of.” My jeans tighten just below the hips and I turn slightly so I don’t stab her in the leg with my newfound protrusion and send her running for the hills. “I’ll stay in my boxers.” I hold up a hand, swearing to my declaration.
She takes a heated breath as if a preview of what’s to come just swirled through her mind like some wild porno flick. Not that I plan on doing anything wildly pornographic with her. In fact, I plan on taking it slow—doing things right. This isn’t some dime a dozen girl I’ve latched onto at one of Ellis’s VD Petri dish get-togethers. Skyla is special—a princess, someone to build a life with.
“Sure.” She finally concedes and starts heading toward the truck.
I whip out my cell to send a big FU to Gage and my thumb hits “camera” instead of messages, so I go with it. I aim high and snap of picture of Skyla’s arms in the air, her sweater knotted up by her wrists.
I’m mesmerized as her golden hair falls against her bare skin. Her pink bra straps set my body on fire, and I groan pushing off my jeans. I’m already testing the resolve of my boxers. I’d better get control, and fast.
I land my phone and jeans on the hood of the truck, take off my T-shirt and hook it over the windshield so it doesn’t fly away.
Skyla walks over slow and methodical, swiveling her hips like a well-polished vixen. Her pink toenails call to me like candy. Her tans legs rise like skyscrapers that I long to climb. I ride my gaze up her body and trace out her yellow lace underwear, her hot pink bra with a diamond cut jewel shining between her cleavage. If I didn’t know better, I’d think swimming in our underwear was a well thought out plan on her part.
Her face turns ten shades of red as she sweeps her eyes over me, she blinks down at my boxers and bounces her gaze right back to my face.
I pull her in by the hand, pressing my lips against her and land her stomach over mine. My body seizes with the touch of her hot skin and a strangled sound of pleasure gets trapped in my throat.
“You think the water’s cold?” She lands her cool hands over my chest and pushes me back a good twelve inches.
“I hope so.” For the sake of my sanity it’d better be.
I walk her over to the “diving board”, a granite ledge that hangs over the top of the falls, and smile over at her as we jump in hand in hand. The lake swallows us down, engulfs us with its sharp icy sting—fire and ice all in one. This is what it feels like being with Skyla, a delirium of sensation, the logic of up and down, hot and cold is all erased in her bewitching presence.
Skyla and I cement our feelings for one another under each of the three falls by way of our lips, our arms—her legs riding over my back. These are lust-born kisses, mysterious kisses that stretch back and forth in time, explosive lingual exchanges that just might be illegal in all fifty states. We set the water on fire—turn the entire lake into a boiling cauldron as we drop beneath the surface, our mouths interlocked, exchanging the air from our lungs like currency.
Skyla coils her legs around me. Her fingernails dig into my back as she pushes in with great intensity.There’s no way I would ever become Gage’s anything. Logan has me totally and completely. This is something that surpasses the length of years, the ladder of time. We’re building something eternal. I can feel it.
We pop to the surface and gasp for air as laughter trembles from our lips.
Something catches her attention off in the ebony pines and I follow her gaze.
I let go of her for a minute and dive back under. Gage won’t let her out of his sight and I finally know why.
I’m about to prove Gage and his gift of knowing wrong. I’ll be damned if I let him get in the way our love.
Skyla and I will get our happily ever after, with or without destiny’s approval.
(Logan with Skyla in Ellis’s pool house)
“So”—I take a breath not knowing what’s about to fly out of my mouth—“how long have you known?”
Shit. Wrong question. Barron specifically said to test her first.
I hand her a pool stick with a reluctant smile. I can’t help it though. Skyla has me all twisted up whenever she's around. She could get me to rattle off the combination to the floor safe at the bowling alley if she wanted.
“Known what?” She blinks up as if she’s got no idea what I’m talking about, but something about the way her lips twitch tells me otherwise.
I tilt my head to the side and study her—those high cheekbones, her cute pinched nose, hair like a lion's mane. God, all I want to do is pull her in and cover her mouth with a kiss that goes on for days.
“That I like to play pool?” She looks up at me from under her lashes before shooting the ball across the table. “Stripes.”
Skyla remains frozen, bent over the table, most likely amazed that she got the ball to obey her command. I snap up a stick and step in behind her. My heart is about ready to blow from my chest, amongst other bodily explosions that are demanding to happen right about now. I lay over her without processing anything my grey matter might like to inject in the situation. I’m firing on one hundred percent primal instincts at the moment, and God, I love these primal instincts. Her body rises to meet me, her bottom tucks into my hips and I give an inaudible groan.
“Solids.” I blow the word over the side of her face while trying to control my breathing.
Skyla spins around. Her eyes glitter up at me with a smile all their own as she touches her nose to mine for a brief second.
Hot damn. I do believe she’s flirting in the best way possible.
I run my fingers through her hair before stroking the back of her neck.
Kiss me, I roar it out like a lion and wait to see if she heard.
***I hope you enjoyed it~!***
(Logan's point of view after ELYSIAN)
(Logan's point of view after ELYSIAN)
Skyla walks into the bowling alley just as I flip off the over head lights. The interior signage is still on, giving the place a decent glow. I’ve made a habit of leaving it on at night. Just another boneheaded move on my part as I continue to spike that electric bill I’m barely able to pay. Gage and I were just closing up shop.
“Hey beautiful.” Gage walks over to her and leans in for a kiss but she shoves her hand in his chest and pushes him away.
“I’m not here to see you.” She gives an impish grin in my direction, never taking those sweet baby blues off me.
“Hot damn,” I whisper. She’s got on a pair of sky-high heels and her cheer uniform from West. Her hair is wild as if the wind just blew through it and she’s got a look in her eye that if I didn’t know better said she wanted to—
“Come here.” She pulls me in hard by the back of the neck and our lips collide in a fit of passion. It’s been so long since I’ve felt her against me like this. So f*cking long since we’ve kissed.
Her tongue lashes around my mouth hungry and viral. This is electric. You can see the sparks shooting off around us—the air clogging up with static.
“What the hell?” Gage pushes me away from her.
“Don’t you touch him.” Skyla pulls me back in by the arm, growling at my dark-haired nephew like he just pulled a knife on the two of us.
“You want this?” His eyes light up with rage.
“Yes, I want this.” She wraps her arms around my waist and her lips expand into a warm smile all for me. Her eyes lock with mine and I can’t breathe, can’t move. Skyla has me so completely. “I’ve always wanted this—only this—only you Logan Oliver. You’re all I’ve ever dreamed of.” She sinks back into me with a kiss and I can hear angry footsteps stomping their way toward the exit. “Finally.” She twirls her finger through the back of my hair and it feels intense, like the most erotic event in the world. “You don’t know how bad I’ve wanted to have my way with you right here in this bowling alley.” She leans in and runs her tongue from my lips to my ear driving me f*cking out of my mind. “I’m going to let you have me”—she whispers, pressing her lips directly into my ear and a shiver runs up my spine—“against the wall”—she presses in a kiss just below my ear—“the floor”—she sinks her lips lower and takes a playful bite out of my neck—“the door.” Her fingers unbutton my jeans and work down my zipper, quick as a magician. “But first, I want it right here, right now.”
Skyla jumps up on my hips and dives over me with her searing lips while we lose ourselves in a kiss that has the ability to blow Paragon right off the damn map if it wanted. I hold her steady, under the knees, as I press her against the counter. My hand glides over her creamy thigh and rides higher until I can feel her cheer skirt flirting with my skin. My fingers round out her soft curves, and I groan right into the kiss.
“Damn, Skyla. You’re not wearing any underwear,” I whisper with our teeth bumping over one another softly.
She pulls back and takes me in with a fire in her eyes. “I don’t ever want to wear anything around you.”
She comes in for another kiss and her forehead knocks against mine so I hard I jolt.
I sit up and take a breath as the landscape of my room fills in around me. I give a hard blink, and my bedroom comes in clear, confirming the fact it was just a dream.
“Crap.” I fall back on the pillow and kick the sheets down to cool off.
It felt real. It felt like more than a dream.
Skyla mentioned she had new gifts, and I’m hoping physically assaulting me in my sleep is one of them.
I give a dull laugh.
Don’t I wish.