Lazlo and Presley
This takes place after The Ostin Scholar.
Lazlo and I were spending our Friday night in Sparkling Beach. Emotions warred within me. I was excited to finally be out in public with Lazlo as someone other than his student. I was also nervous as hell because my father was out there somewhere. I was far from his favorite person. It was the first time I would be out in public with Lazlo where we’d be seen holding hands, kissing, being everything we were in the castle, but in front of people we weren’t related to.
The air was warmer but not to the point of the heat and humidity of summer yet. The wind blew through my hair as we made our way to the coast in our boat. I loved that we had our own, though given how we hardly left the island, we probably didn’t need it. It was fun now that we were actually leaving on it.
Lazlo was tense beside me as he navigated us through the water toward the pier. He didn’t wear his glasses. He was leaving them off more. It was a habit of his to wear them for work. Since he wasn’t teaching, and didn’t need them, he kept them on the nightstand.
I placed my hand on the small of his back. “It’s going to be fine. Father wouldn’t come after us in front of a Friday night crowd.” At least I hoped but kept that part to myself.
“That doesn’t stop me from worrying.”
“We’re going to walk along the pier and the beach. We’ll have dinner at Arbor’s house. Just the two of us, where we’ll be safe. I just want to be out of the castle for a bit.”
“I’m sorry.” He glanced my way and I saw regret in his eyes.
“It’s not your fault. Let’s just try and have fun, okay?”
He nodded and gave me a small smile.
Arbor had noticed I was getting antsy and told us to go enjoy his home where we could be truly alone. He also added that we weren’t to get it on in his bed or on the couch. Everything else was fair game as long as we cleaned up after ourselves. It made me wonder where him and Zeke fooled around. Never mind. I didn’t want to know.
There were people on the pier as we pulled up. It wouldn’t take long before we were asked questions and had phones in our faces taking our pictures. That was fine with me. As much as I didn’t want to piss my father off, I wasn’t willing to keep my relationship with Lazlo a secret any longer. Father knew so it wouldn’t be a surprise to him. Going out in public to declare ourselves a couple would anger him though.
I wished he would have appeared somewhere by now. Not knowing where he was… none of us liked it. We were uneasy and worried about what he was planning.
Lazlo cut the engine and secured the boat. He got out first and offered me his hand, which I gladly took. I knew every inch of his body intimately. This hand I was holding had done glorious things to me earlier. I shivered thinking about it.
When I glanced up, Lazlo was looking at me with his eyebrow cocked. Dropping to my knees wouldn’t be appropriate given our current location so I settled for a little whimper, one only he could hear.
His arm came around my waist as he pulled me against him. “I know where your mind went.”
“I like it.”
Then he kissed me.
A woman on the pier yelled, “Oh my god, they’re kissing!”
Another person let out a small scream.
I reached around and palmed Lazlo’s ass. Because I could. And so everyone would know he was mine. I wasn’t an overly possessive guy. I just didn’t want anyone getting ideas where he was concerned.
He grinned against my lips. “I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Now, if you’re done handling me, how about we go for a walk on the beach and watch the sun set?”
We broke apart but held hands up the gangway to the pier. More people had gathered.
“I can’t believe you’re together,” a woman said who stood in front of us. “You are together, right? Not just putting on a show to make us think you’re together but you’re really not?”
I smiled. “We’re together. Not for show.”
“Wasn’t he your professor?”
I looked up at Lazlo, who was peering down at me with a soft smile that spoke of so much love. “Yeah, for a semester.”
“Were you two dating when he was your teacher? Oh my god, it’s like a romance novel. Please tell me you were.”
“I won’t confirm nor deny it. That’s something only we know.” I winked for fun.
Lazlo didn’t care who said what about him, but I was a different story. He didn’t want rumors spreading about me to do damage to my reputation. I wasn’t sure I even had one of those. The people I loved were the ones who truly knew me. They were who mattered.
“If you’ll excuse us,” Lazlo said in that hot professor voice of his. I was definitely getting on my knees for him in Arbor’s home. There was only so much sexiness I could take before I combusted. “I promised Presley a date.”
He didn’t wait for people to let us through, he started carefully pushing between them until they moved out of the way. We went to the end of the pier then turned left. I thought we’d go right and walk along Sparkling’s beach, but Lazlo was bringing me toward Desolate. I didn’t say anything, simply followed his lead.
We didn’t go to where the buildings were or see the progress being done with the construction. We walked through the sand with its black granules mixed into the beige ones, while Lazlo occasionally looked out to sea or toward the buildings. Not going far, we turned around and made our way back to Sparkling.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“I wanted to be in Desolate for a moment. With you. Remind myself that even though I lost most of my family, I still have good in my life. I have you.” He smiled at me.
“You always will.”
I held his hand tighter as we walked along the beach that was the exact opposite of the one we were just on. There were people taking strolls in Sparkling, enjoying the last rays of the day as the sun set. No one came up to us, but they waved, smiled, or took a picture. I grinned because of the man beside me. He made me happy in a way I didn’t realize I could be.
After watching the sun set, we walked back to the parking lot by the pier where Lazlo’s Mercedes SUV was parked. It had the same wards on it that Arbor’s did, which was parked next to it. Now with so many of us living in the castle, it was smart to keep another here. The rest, minus Lina’s since hers was at the marina, were in a garage nearby in spaces the Ostins paid for.
It didn’t take us long to get to the home Arbor bought—his baby home as he called it. He recently bought the one next door. Arbor told us he had a quest to own the entire block, for now. He wanted to buy more. But he wouldn’t try to get people to leave. If they wanted to sell, he’d buy.
Lazlo parked in the garage, and we stepped through the front door into a very clean, very ordinary home. Nothing like what my father had built for the Kades, or the castle the Ostins owned. In a way, this house was better because it had that at-home feeling.
I wasn’t someone who flaunted my family’s wealth. I left that to my father. I didn’t need the giant house or the amenities that came with it. I just wanted to be comfortable.
I missed Lazlo’s home in Pennsylvania, and we hadn’t even been gone very long.
Lazlo’s arms wrapped around me from behind as I stood in the middle of the living room, staring at nothing, thinking about a place we couldn’t be. Somehow, he knew.
“It’s not forever,” he told me. “We’ll go home as soon as we can.”
That was what I wanted with him.
The castle was great, and I loved knowing we were safe there, even if at times I had to escape to our bedroom for a bit of quiet. I couldn’t wait to go back to a normal life though. If there was any normality to begin with.
“We’re alone, Sweetheart,” Lazlo whispered in my ear before placing a kiss below it. “Stop thinking. It’s just us and I’m going to make you feel so damn good.”
He opened my shorts and stripped me from the waist down. Then he dropped to his knees behind me. Gentle hands caressed over my bare skin. And I let go.
This was exactly what I needed. He was what I needed. I was going to spend the rest of my life with him.