Copyright © 2020 Kaizer Wolf
Innocent Devil's Harem | Chapter 9-3: Just How Awkward Can Dinner Be?
I could smell that my girlfriend felt guilty again, but honestly this was a smart decision. As much as I hated it, this got Nick off my trail, preventing him from thinking the secret we were hiding was something bigger than traditional teenager stuff…
Well, technically only I was the teenager, but same idea.
Serenity stayed in her room for probably only about five minutes, though it felt like an eternity, before she took a few deep breaths and got up. I rose to my feet even before she opened the door, with her meeting my gaze almost as if she expected me to still be waiting.
I was sure that the anguish in my expression communicated more than words would ever do.
However, she gave me a reassuring look after a second. “Sorry,” she said sincerely, still sounding a little sad. “I think I just wasn’t ready for you to grow up. Almost feels like it happened overnight.”
I tried to lighten the mood, though I felt anything but amused. “Well, I did technically only turn eighteen a few days ago.”
She gave me a weak smile in return. “Trust me, I’m aware.”
I wasn’t sure what that was supposed to mean, but I knew now wasn’t the time to nitpick about details when we had company over.
When I didn’t respond, she sighed heavily before making her way back down the stairs. She then gave me a small hug in passing, before returning to the kitchen and apologizing to both Gabriella and Nick.
But especially Gabriella.
I noticed she didn’t seem as friendly with Nick, though I was fully aware that I might just be imagining it.
Once I finally returned to my chair, followed soon by my sister returning to her seat since she was standing closer to Gabriella at first, Serenity resumed the conversation from where it left off.
Her gaze shifted to mine.
“You’re serious about marrying her, aren’t you?” she said, sounding more like a statement than a question.
I glanced at Gabriella, before nodding. “I mean, yeah…” My voice trailed off for a second. “Obviously I haven’t officially asked her yet, but…” I sighed, glancing away when her expression almost became a little endearing. “Sis, don’t make a big deal out of it yet.”
In part, I felt a little embarrassed, but also a little disappointed that she seemed kind of happy for me now.
It was obvious that Gabriella wanted to ease the tension too, trying to lighten the mood. “Shh,” she said playfully. “Don’t jinx me, Serenity.”
My sister smirked at that, before sighing again. “Okay, okay. I’ll drop it for now.” She then looked at Gabriella critically. “But where do you plan on sleeping tonight?”
Gabriella looked shocked. “You want me to go home?” she asked, sounding sad.
My sister quickly shook her head. “No, I wouldn’t make you do that. I know you need to be around people right now.” She sighed again. “I mean, where in the house.”
I quickly interrupted, since this conversation was heading somewhere that could be very bad for my skin.
“Can we talk about this later, sis? We do have extra company over right now.”
Nick agreed immediately. “Yeah, and I don’t feel like I should be a part of this conversation. I mean, I just met all of you. I feel like I’m intruding on some pretty personal stuff.” He paused. “And I’m sorry again,” he added.
“Oh, sorry Nicholas,” Serenity replied, sounding sincere. She then picked up her fork to resume eating, her tone more chipper as she changed the subject. “So, how was the mall?” she wondered casually.
Gabriella and I quickly exchanged a glance before I went back to eating too, making it clear that I was leaving it up to her to talk about our mall experience. Thankfully, she didn’t miss a beat.
“It was great!” she exclaimed cheerfully. “We went because my mom told me they were having a sale at one of the bookstores. I ended up getting several new books. Oh!” she added, glancing at me. “I left them in the car.”
I nodded. “Actually, we left the cinnamon pretzels in there too. We should probably put them in the fridge for later.”
“Right,” she agreed, standing up. “I’ll go get them.”
“Are you sure?” I asked seriously, sitting more upright in my seat, indicating I was about to get up to do it myself. Of course, I was well aware she would be physically fine, but I was still worried about her being outside alone, especially since she might notice the spot where I’d killed the cop earlier that morning. I didn’t want her to have to think about it again unnecessarily.
However, she seemed calm and determined.
“Yeah, I’ll be right back. I want to show her what I got.” She then gave me an endearing smile, only to look at me apologetically, before rushing out of the kitchen and toward the front door.
The moment the door closed, Serenity was immediately on my case. “Okay, seriously Kai, what was that about? It doesn’t take a genius to see that something is up with you two.”
I shrugged, taking a bite of food to have an excuse to not answer right away. I tried to think of a good reason as I chewed, but nothing came to mind. In a weird way, I felt kind of emotionally drained about this whole situation now, especially with all the whiplash-thoughts I was having about my sister’s reaction to everything.
Not to mention, the fact that she seemed fine now made me both relieved and depressed.
After I swallowed, I focused on Serenity’s crossed arms and sighed. “Well, I guess I’m just afraid she’s going to snap after everything, you know? She’s doing really well considering what happened yesterday, so I suppose I’m being a little overprotective.”
“Yeah, I get that,” Serenity said right away, likely knowing we didn’t have much more time before Gabriella would be back. “But, it just seems like she’s so careful around you. As if she’s always silently apologizing.”
Taking a deep breath, I put my fork down, deciding I should probably try to be as honest as possible in order to put my sister’s mind at ease. “Remember what you said this morning?” I asked her. “About me not knowing what to do with myself?”
She nodded slowly.
“Well, that’s really true,” I admitted. “It’s why I ran away when I first met her. She makes me really nervous – in a good way. But still, she promised to try not to be so affectionate around others, so that I’m not so embarrassed…” I paused. “Because I overreact to the smallest things with her. So that’s why.”
“Oh,” Serenity said with raised eyebrows, leaning back in her seat, only to turn her head toward the kitchen entrance when we heard the front door open again. She glanced at me then, lowering her voice, her words coming out in a rush. “Sorry. I guess I shouldn’t be so nosy. It’s just hard, being your older sister and all…” Her voice trailed off.
I nodded. “We’re fine. Don’t worry so much,” I whispered, focusing on Gabriella’s cheerful expression as she reappeared in the room. When she set the pretzels and books down on the table, I grabbed our snack from earlier and got up to put it in the fridge while she gleefully showed off her new books.
Thankfully, when I sat back down to eat, the rest of the meal felt a lot more relaxed, largely because my sister and girlfriend kept the conversation going as they settled into a comfortable subject regarding their shared interest.
My explanation for why Gabriella was so careful around me also seemed to help as well. Even if it wasn’t the complete truth, my sister seemed a lot less concerned and suspicious now.
Once everyone was finished eating, I began grabbing plates to clean. Gabriella offered to help, and Nick even did too when I declined her offer, but I was fine doing it myself. Besides, having them talk filled up the time, making it not feel awkward that us guys weren’t socializing. Because I honestly didn’t really want to get to know Nick better.
Even if my sister had no feelings for me beyond just being her little brother, I still wasn’t sure I was ever going to be okay with any guy she brought home. He seemed like a cool and easygoing dude, but him possibly being here because my sister was interested automatically tainted my perception.
Once I was finished, Gabriella paused when I sat down, only to switch subjects. “So Serenity, you are fine if I stay here again tonight, right?” When my sister nodded, giving her a confused look, Gabriella continued. “It’s just, I need to run back to my apartment then, to grab some things. I’d prefer to do it before it gets too late.” She grimaced. “I’m not a fan of being out after dark right now.”
“Oh, of course,” she replied, seeming apologetic again. “You need me to take you?”
Gabriella quickly shook her head. “No, you have company over. Kai can take me. I just didn’t want to be rude by leaving suddenly.”
Now I grimaced, not liking the idea of my sister being here alone with Nick, especially not in our house.
Serenity hesitated for a second, seeming pensive, before noticing my expression. I wasn’t sure if she was worried about what might happen at Gabriella’s apartment, or if she also didn’t want to be alone with a guy she barely knew, but I quickly pushed the first thought out of my mind, before it started affecting me.
Unexpectedly, Nick scratched the back of his head, only to chime in. “Actually, I should probably be getting back home too, if you don’t mind Serenity.”
My sister looked at him in surprise. “Are you sure? Maybe we could grab a coffee on the way back and chat a little more.” She paused. “But if you’re busy I understand,” she added.
Nick shrugged. “I mean, if you want, I’m fine with that. I can push things off for a while.” He sighed. “I’m kind of a workaholic sometimes, but there isn’t anything too pressing right now. I could always use more caffeine.”
Serenity smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes.
I was glad to discover that Nick was actually a nice guy, volunteering to leave the house too, so that my sister didn’t feel awkward about it, but I still didn’t want her to end up dating him. Still, it was nice knowing I didn’t have to worry about him being the pushy one in the event that they did end up alone someplace.
My sister unfortunately seemed set on the coffee date. “Okay! Coffee it is then.” She laughed. “I could drink it all day and still sleep like a baby.” She chuckled again at her own comment, returning her focus to Gabriella. “Well, I guess I’ll see you two in a little while then, after I drop Nicholas off. How long do you think you’ll be?”
I tried to keep my mind blank, knowing that even a simple answer to this question might affect me, depending on what Gabriella said.
She shrugged in response, glancing at me briefly. “We might stop for some coffee too.” She paused. “Or at least, I will get some…” Her voice trailed off as she gave me another quick look. “So, I don’t know, but it will most likely be before dark. Or, at least not long after.”
My sister nodded. “Oh, right. Sorry.” She then glanced at the clock, seeing that it was almost 5:30 PM. “I guess I’ll see you two in roughly two hours then. I should be home by that time as well.”
“Sounds good,” I abruptly chimed in, rising from my seat.
I was trying not to feel depressed that my sister suddenly seemed fine with me being alone with Gabriella, while also trying not to get aroused by the idea that the two of us might end up at her apartment for well over an hour, minus driving time.
Nick quickly stood up too. “Actually Kai, I was wondering if I could talk to you before you go. I wanted to show you something. Are you cool if we chat before you head out?”
I hesitated before nodding, seeing that my sister seemed exceptionally concerned now. Which confused me. I mean, it was a little odd that Nick had something he specifically wanted to talk to me about, but she looked almost scared by that fact.
However, I suspected she was more concerned about me snapping at his somewhat unintentional invasiveness and chewing her new ‘friend’ out.
At the very least, I doubted it had anything to do with the case at this point, since Nick didn’t seem suspicious at all anymore. And, honestly, I realized I’d been overreacting to the whole situation. The dude put a caffeine pill in his drink because he was tired, accidentally gave me the wrong glass because he was tired, of course having no idea it could affect me, and only ended up at our place because my sister invited him over.
“Sure,” I agreed simply, giving my sister a reassuring smile.
Copyright © 2020 Kaizer Wolf
Support "Innocent Devil's Harem"
- United States
I'm a writer who primarily publishes stories on Patreon, but decided to start sharing my story on RoyalRoad. Pretty much everything I write has explicit scenes, even though most of my content is 95% story. I have quite a few short-stories and other on-going series on my Patreon.
Advanced Chapters can be read at: www.patreon.com/KaizerWolf