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Chapter Seven

Avery's heart rate slowed down, and she instantly felt a strange sense of calmness settle over her as the last bits of fear left her. 

Aamon smirked, stepping back from her just as the elevator door opened. He grabbed Avery's hand and led her out of the elevator. Together, they stepped into what Avery thought had to be a penthouse apartment. 

The first thing Avery noticed was the floor-to-ceiling windows, which provided a stunning view of the city. Avery stopped breathing as her eyes took in the dim lights that lit up the city surrounding the place. The longer she stared out, the more greedy she felt for more. 

Avery had never seen something like that. Sure, her parents didn't struggle financially, and Avery never lacked anything, but the family preferred leading a more simple life. She never thought luxury might be her thing until Aamon took her to his place. 

Then, she tilted her head to take in the rest of her surroundings. While one whole side of the living room was all windows, the apartment was vast and richly decorated. Avery felt as if she had stepped inside the display home and should be more aware of how close she got to things- the last thing she wanted was to break something while Aamon was so kind to take her in. 

All in all, the place was everything but what she expected Aamon to live in. Avery half expected it to look like some bachelor pad, plain and simple, and some bottles of alcohol left out for everyone to see. 

Aamon moved through the place with ease, flicking on light as he went, and Avery instantly followed in his step into the kitchen.

All too kindly, Aamon offered to brew her coffee, but Avery declined. She watched Aamon, silently asking questions she didn't know if she wanted to hear answers for. Who was he, and why did he work at the University when he clearly didn't need the money? 

And when would Aamon start pressuring her to answer questions about what happened back in her dorm apartment with Becca? He would ask her, right? Aamon wouldn't let Avery off the hook so easily, would he?

"You look so confused, Ava. My place isn't what you were expecting, I suppose?" Aamon asked, arching an eyebrow at Avery. Ever so slowly, he crossed his arms in front of his chest and smirked as he waited for her to speak up.

Avery just shook her head, too confused to come up with a good answer. Besides, she stood in a stranger's kitchen, and the stranger in question was someone she probably would be better off if she didn't leave campus with. 

Aamon chuckled. "Well, if you want to follow me, you can sleep in my bedroom," he stated, turning around and walking down the hall Avery hadn't noticed before. 

Though she knew it would be better if she thought through the things she did, Avery still followed Amon to his bedroom, which didn't disappoint. The room was extravagant beyond any words Avery could use to describe it. 

Avery's eyes took in every detail- the room was as large as the living room, if not a bit bigger. The bedroom had a huge four-poster bed. The walk-in closet was bigger than her dorm apartment bedroom. 

But if those already over-the-top details weren't enough for Aamon, Avery noticed that he had a whole spa in his bedroom. She frowned at her need to peer inside all rooms and even felt a little envious as her eyes took in the bathroom spa situation. 

The shower took up an entire wall with multiple showerheads at either end. Close by were some double sink basins, and on one wall in the bathroom stood the same floor-to-ceiling windows as in the living room, providing the perfect view over the city even while Aamon did ordinary everyday things such as brushing his teeth.

Avery couldn't help but wonder why one man needed so much open space. Did he lead his days alone as she initially assumed, or did he have a secret girlfriend or wife he was hiding from Avery? She shook her head at the ridiculous thought. Avery was nothing to this stranger, so she had no right to snoop around his house or pick on his business. 

A bright red blush appeared on her skin as Avery scolded herself for acting like a teenager when someone cleared their throat behind her. Avery jumped and turned around to face Aanon, leaning against the door frame, his arms crossed in front of his chest. She could swear she saw a smile tug on his lips, but it was gone even before she could witness the sight again. 

"Where are you going to sleep?" Avery blurted out the question before Aamon could speak up. He did offer her to sleep in his bedroom, but did that mean she was to sleep there alone, or would he join her?

"I will sleep in the guest room," he stated, shrugging as if it was no big deal. But it was. Avery was a guest in his home, not the other way around. She couldn’t allow the owner of this beautiful place to sleep in the guest room when his rightful place had always been, and always will be in his bedroom.

Avery gasped, utterly shocked by his response. "No, I won't kick you out of your own bedroom!" She argued, shaking her head. "I can sleep in the guest room or on the couch; it doesn't matter. I don't mind; whichever option I get is good for me. I already fell on your head like snow; you've been kind enough to take me in." She kept mumbling, feeling embarrassed. 

Aamon just shook his head before walking out of the bathroom, and Avery didn't waste a split second following him back into the kitchen. He handed Avery her bag and phone, which, frankly, she had already forgotten about while she gawked at the luxurious apartment Aamon called his home. 

"Are you hungry?" Aamon broke the silence. Hidden in the comfort of his home, Aamon appeared to be a different person. The tension disappeared from his body, and the frown faded from his handsome face. However, she could still catch on some tension that surrounded him, as if they were to do something illegal, or even worse- Aamon wanted to question Avery about the ruckus back in her dorm apartment. 

Avery just nodded. "Okay, well, I'll order something, and you're free to use the shower. Once you're done, we can drink some tea, and then we should have a talk." With an awkward nod, Avery clutched her bag to her chest and walked back to his bedroom. Her eyes took in the details again before sliding back to reality and tip-toed to the bathroom. 

Avery placed her bag on the basin and let out a deep breath before she unlocked her phone, hoping Becca might have messaged her. No new messages or notifications. It didn't surprise Avery; the sadness that overtook her was one Avery knew she deserved. 

With shaking hands, she clutched the phone, breathed out a few times and tapped on the screen to find the message thread with her best friend. Biting her lip, Avery typed the message: "Hey B, I'm sorry about what happened. I really didn't mean to scare you, and I didn't intend to hurt you. You are the last person I'd ever want to hurt. Please forgive me. Call when you can or message me back. I just want to know you're okay. Love you, Ava." 

Avery hit the send button and threw the phone in her bag. With a loud groan, she opened the bag to check what she had and stopped once she came across her pills. 

She grabbed the bottle and stared at it, wondering what the hell they actually were. She had never questioned her parents about what those pills were. Avery knew they wouldn't give her anything that might harm her in any way, but still, she couldn't stop wondering what for she had to take them. 

Avery knew the pills were natural as her mother was the one who made them in her shop, specifically for Avery. Didn't she mention those were antidepressants once? 

She opened the bottle, dropped a few pills in her palm and stared at them. Could they be for something else? 

Then, Avery turned her hand over and watched the pill fall into the drain before she turned on the tap and made sure the pills were gone for good. She threw the bottle in the bin next to the toilet and then focused back on why she entered the bathroom in the first place. Avery undressed, brought her clothes to the bedroom to avoid getting them wet, and walked back into the bathroom to step into the shower. 

Washing as quickly as she could, Avery stepped out of the shower after spending only five minutes under the relaxing stream of water. 

Her eyes scanned the vast bathroom, and she instantly frowned. How could Avery forget she didn't have any clothes to change into?

Huffing, annoyed at herself, Avery wrapped a towel around her body and walked into the bedroom where she had her clothes from earlier. 

While she was drying herself, deep in thought, Aamon walked into his walk-in closet and, a moment later, handed Avery a pair of track pants and a shirt. 

Aamon placed them on the end of his bed and picked up Avery's clothes before he walked out of the bedroom. Everything he did, he did it in silence, so Avery just slipped on his clothes and walked to the living room, where she assumed Aamon was expecting her. 

Just as expected, he was there when Avery found herself back in the impressive room. "Thank you," she mumbled, a little embarrassed as she sat next to him in the lounge. 

Aamon had ordered Chinese food and was already placing their portions on the two plates he had on the coffee table. 

Once he finished doing that, he left and returned with two wine glasses and a bottle of red wine in his hands. Aamon was still too silent for Avery's liking, but she didn't dare to question him, fearing the upcoming conversation he had mentioned earlier. 

Avery's gaze followed his movements as Aamon took a seat on the floor, right next to her. The food in front of her smelled delicious, and she was starving, so Avery couldn't wait until she could dig in. 

To ease the rising tension, Avery shifted a little and spoke up, "How did you get this so fast? I was in the shower for about five minutes, and I didn't see any stores or restaurants on the way here." 

She bit her bottom lip, wondering if she didn't go too far. Aamon didn't ask her anything; he just took her home when she, once again, lost the only one she had. Now, he provided food and even gave her his clothes. The last thing Avery wanted to do was to annoy Aamon.

"There is a Chinese restaurant at the end of the street. Believe it or not, the Northside isn't much different from the rest of the city. You just haven't seen it yet, only the border side," Aamon explained as he opened the bottle and poured us some wine. 

They sat eating and drinking for a bit. The food tasted just as heavenly as it smelled, and Avery found herself wine drunk only after a couple of glasses. It was funny that she had never been more wine drunk than she was after drinking the entire bottle with Aamon. 

"So, what happened back in the dorm?" Avery's whole body tensed at the question. A part of her had hoped Aamon had too much of a good time with her to return to the dreaded conversation. After a moment of silence, he added, "There will be consequences for the damages you caused. Especially if they let you back in." 

She knew that she would have to cover the damages, regardless of if they let her back in or left Avery behind a closed door. 

Instead of giving him a proper answer, Avery dodged it by asking Aamon a question: "Why do you even work at the university? You clearly lack nothing, and money doesn't seem to be a problem for you. So, what is it? And why the hell are you so fascinated with me to keep saving me and even let me stay under your roof?"

"I asked my question first, so you're obligated to answer first. Once I get my answer, we can discuss everything you're interested in." Aamon replied dryly. 

"But that's the thing, Aamon," Avery breathed out. "I don't know what happened. I was fine, and then I got angry, which resulted in a complete loss of control. Maybe it's because I'm so close to my twenty-first birthday." Avery explained, still trying to convince herself that the things that happened in the dorm apartment were just that.

Somewhere, deep down, she knew it was more than just that. Avery didn't know how she knew; she just did. Besides, her intuition told Avery that there was something different about her, and her mother had always told Avery to listen to her gut feeling. That was one of the lessons Avery swore to remember till the end of her days. 

"I don't think you're telling me the truth. I don't believe that's what it was. I saw your face, Ava. You and I aren't so different, and I'm nearly certain you were stuck in a trance, almost like you enjoyed seeing your friend like that. Has that happened before?" Aamon asked, his voice low and weirdly comforting. 

However, though he wasn't doing anything wrong, his intrusive questions irked Avery. So far, though she didn't know him that well, Avery thought if anyone, Aamon would be the person to understand her. At least a little bit. But instead, he acted just like everyone else in Avery's life did. 

"What are you, Aamon? Some kind of billionaire shrink? No, don't tell me; you probably have a whole secret identity or whatever Batman bullshit it is." Avery hissed under her breath. She both wanted and feared the moment she'd lose control over her anger. One side wanted to show Aamon she wasn't one to mess with, but the other, stronger and more rational side of her knew her anger wouldn't end well. 

Avery rolled her eyes and gave in. "Shit happens, and it won't happen again, okay? It's just my elemental magic that's getting ready to manifest." 

And again, she knew she was lying, but what would she tell Aamon? That she relished the anger, she felt and, in fact, wanted to see more desperation in her best friend's eyes? That would take away the last bits of pure humanity Avery had in her, and that was the last thing she wanted. 

Besides, now that she faced a demon, Avery didn't want this creature of pure darkness to repeat how alike they were. She was nothing like Aamon, not even close, and would never be. Avery knew she was better than her intense emotions and powers; her parents had taught her better. 

Aamon grumbled, pulling her out of the silent, intense battle Avery had with herself. "You don't believe that, and neither do I." He kept pushing. 

How was that fair? How was Aamon the only one to ask questions and receive answers for those? And once Avery answered, he instantly jumped in with more bullshit to prolong the discussion he had started instead of answering Avery's questions. No, that wasn't how this was supposed to work.

Avery crossed her arms in front of her chest. "What about the questions I asked, then? Are you ever going to answer, or should I keep guessing and assuming things about you?" 

"Hmm," Aamon hummed, deep in his thoughts. In fact, he was so deep that Avery didn't think he'd bother to return his attention to her and actually bless her with an answer. Yet, once again, she was wrong. "Maybe you won't like the only answer I could give," Aamon pondered out loud. 

Avery frowned, still trying to get a hold of what he had meant. There always was a chance to figure out a person, even when they tried to hide something, but Avery had a feeling she couldn't do that with Aamon. 

He was far too mysterious and gave out little to no information. 

She sighed and shook her head. "I don't get it, Aamon. What do you mean? You can't say something like that and then keep the answer to yourself," Avery stated, determined to pull the answers out of the man if she had to. 

Alarm bells were ringing in her ears, and the red flags flashed before her eyes at the vibe he was giving off. Aamon didn't tear his eyes away from Avery, making his behaviour so much stranger. 

"Fine then," Aamon threw his hands up as if Avery was pushing him harder than she actually did. "The answer is: I was watching you. That's the reason why I work in the university." 

Avery gaped at him, stunned to her bone if that was possible. His words had left her speechless, possibly hanging somewhere and doubting the reality. 

Why would anyone think of working somewhere just to watch someone, let alone actually take the step and do it? Aamon was giving off major stalker alerts before, but now, he admitted to being one. 

But why? Why was Aamon doing that? It didn't make sense to her, no matter how hard Avery thought about his confession. They had met a couple of months ago, but she had never met him or spoken to Aamon before that. Didn't he start working at the university before they ran into each other in the bathroom? 

"Alright then. For how long have you been watching me? And why? Aamon, you're not making much sense here, so please explain." Avery mumbled, shifting uncomfortably as goosebumps rose on her arms. 

"Ah, it's been nearly two years," Aamon stated, looking as unbothered as ever. As if he couldn't see anything wrong with his answer or past doings.

Avery's eyes widened, fear coursed through her, and she quickly jumped to her feet. A cold shiver ran down Avery's spine as Aamon's words sunk in. She couldn't stop wondering if he was a serial killer, an actual threat to her safety and life. Nothing, absolutely nothing made sense about that man. 

"Let me explain," Aamon whispered, putting his hands up in an apologetic gesture. Avery couldn't notice any sign of remorse in his eyes, but there was the odd glint dancing in his stormy greys that had to represent the sincerity he was willing to offer her. 

She shifted her weight from one leg to the other while her eyes focused on the stormy orbs pleading with her. "You better explain this like yesterday, or even better, nearly two years ago, Aamon. Explain, or I'm out of here; there's enough crazy in my life as it is; I don't need to add more to that massive pile." 

Avery gave in to her curiosity and his pleading, but she didn't know what to think of the situation. Yes, she wanted answers. Yes, Aamon warned she might dislike his answers, but who on earth would have thought he'd say something like that? What kind of reaction was Aamon hoping for when he admitted he's been watching and following her for years? Did he think Avery would jump up in joy once she learned the demon had gotten a job at the same university she attended just to stalk her more often?

"I can't explain everything," Aamon started, looking up at Avery with nothing but hope burning in his eyes. "However, there are some things you need to find out about yourself. Just listen to me, okay, Ava?" Aamon stood up and took her hand in his. 

Avery gazed into his eyes, looking for any warning that Aamon was about to tell a lie, but since the beautiful grey didn't darken or fade, Avery gulped and nodded. She needed the answers, and if this man could tell her something she didn't know, Avery would give him as much as listen. 

"Two years ago, your parents came into my bank, asking for a safety deposit box. Initially, I thought it was a bit strange; your mother was the only witch I have had to put anything in my bank or even step a foot into this district, so I asked them why they needed the box. They told me it was safer if the box was kept off the witch territory and the box was for their daughter. Then, I'd say pretty naturally, I became curious about what had to be so special that they needed a secret safe place, so I watched you and realised what it was about a year in." 

Aamon's answer shocked Avery more than anything he had done and said ever since the day they met. Her parents, she hated to admit, had always been cautious of this side of the city. They believed the stereotypes about those that inhabited the darker side of Avalon city. 

Avery gasped and rushed back to Aamon's bedroom, frantically looking for her bag. Then, she remembered she had left it by the sink and nearly jumped into the bathroom. Avery grabbed her bag and rummaged through it as if her life depended on it. After a few minutes, she finally found the small key she had hidden inside one of many secret pockets of her bag and walked back to Ammon. 

He had moved since Avery ran out of the room, so she walked closer to where he leaned against the table and dropped the key in front of him. 

"So," Avery let out a shaky breath, aware of how damaging Aamon's answer might be. "What you're trying to tell me is that this key is from the deposit box in a bank on the Northside?" She asked, still a bit sceptical. Avery just couldn't picture her parents coming here, but if they did- there was something more to add to their secrets than just the pills her mother made for her. 

Aamon's eyes scanned the key for a second. "Correct," he nodded. "I'll take you there tomorrow so you can see it yourself."

"Do you have any idea what is inside it?" Avery asked, arching an eyebrow. 

Aamon shrugged. "I never looked; I don't have any right to do so," he explained. 

Avery couldn't help but feel frustrated. How could it be real that Ammon had the gall to follow her but never peeked inside the mysterious box? "So now you're telling me you own a whole bank, stalked me for two years like a bloody creeper, yet never looked inside the box?" She voiced her thoughts, hoping for an honest answer. Avery was done with everyone holding secrets from her. 

"Correct, again. Besides, that's the only key for that box; I don't keep spares. Maybe I can hold onto my promises to keep my nose out of my client's business, but I can't guarantee that any bank employees won't break, so it's safer that way." Avery had to admit that Aamon's words made more sense than she hoped. 

Since questions about the box were thrown out of the window, she decided to poke a little deeper. Avery crossed her arms in front of her chest and huffed. "Then what was the big revelation you had after a year of stalking me?" 

"That you would like me," Aamon wiggled his eyebrows, the all too familiar grin spreading across his lips. Avery almost gave in and smiled, but she couldn't give in that easily, so she shook her head, expecting the real answer. "You're a demon, Ava. Well, not exactly. The correct term would be a succubus," Aamon spoke with so much confidence that one could think Avery already knew everything about his confession. 

Avery's eyebrows raised at his accusation, while Aamon seemed unperturbed by her shock. 

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Avery burst out laughing. She must have looked like a madwoman when she clutched at her stomach and leaned forward as the intensity of her laughter shook her whole body. Avery found his words comical, but the look on Aamon's face turned even more serious as he waited for Avery to stop laughing. 

"That's the stupidest shit I've ever heard, Aamon. Kudos for the imagination, though. Listen, my dad is a human, and my mother is a witch, so your fake observations are impossible," Avery retorted, wiping the tears off her cheeks.

He had said himself that he had met her parents, so how on earth did he come to that conclusion was beyond Avery. 

Aamon moved at inhuman speed, making Avery gasp when he appeared directly in front of her. He stood so close to Avery that she could feel the heat from his body and had to take a step back as fear overtook her senses. 

But then, Aamon got closer again and kissed her. At first' Avery did nothing as she felt his tongue brush her bottom lip. 

Yet, her body had a mind of its own, so Avery was shocked to find herself answering his kiss. She kissed Aamon back fiercely, feeling more hunger spread through her with each stroke of his tongue, losing herself in raw desire and lust. 

Aamon smiled against her lips as Avery ran her fingers through his hair, tugging him closer. He pushed her body against the wall, lifting her up, and Avery's legs instantly wrapped around his hips. Aamon's hands ran along with her tights as if his palms could taste her skin and pressed his entire body against hers. 

His hot mouth moved to her neck, sucking and kissing her flesh. Then, just as fast as their kiss had started, Aamon stopped it, releasing Avery. He placed her back to her feet and made sure Avery wouldn't lose her balance as he spoke, "If that's so, explain your reaction," he murmured and walked off, leaving Avery hanging dry and confused. 

Avery pressed her back against the wall and let out a deep sigh. She couldn't understand what had happened and how Aamon had stopped so abruptly and walked away as if nothing had happened. That had to be what stunned Avery the most. 

Avery shook her head, chuckling. Did she just imagine that happening? And what the heck was wrong with her? She couldn't get over the instant reaction her body had to Aamon. 

To distract herself, Avery picked up the dishes and placed them in the sink. She pulled up the sleeves of her shirt and got to washing the dishes right as Aamon walked into the sitting area, turned on the television and lazily flicked through a row of random channels. 

As soon as she finished, she walked to the bedroom and slowly got ready for bed. Avery lay in bed for about two hours, struggling to get comfortable. Yet, the bed felt too big, and though she would have loved stretching out on it, she missed the single dorm bed pressed against the wall- nice and cosy. 

Aamon's bed was cold, unfamiliar and had too much room for Avery's liking. She knew that at least another four to five people could easily fit in the bed comfortably, so after a while, she gave up. 

There was no way she could make herself comfortable in the massive monster Aamon claimed to be his bed, so Avery decided she would take the couch. 

Avery tip-toed out of his bedroom with a pillow and a throw blanket she found draped over the armchair in Aamon's room. But as she went to lie down, Avery realised Aamon hadn't left the sitting area and was still watching the television. 

Aamon didn't look at her, but as he sensed her presence, he moved over a bit to make room for Avery. Her mind instantly went back to what happened in the kitchen, making Avery wonder if she did imagine the entire thing. 

Before Avery noticed how things progressed, she snuggled up with Aamon, taking up the whole space. She had no idea how or when it happened, but she liked the feeling, finally realising how deprived of skin-to-skin contact she had been. It felt nice, almost like she was sitting on the sofa back in the dorm next to Becca. 

Avery's head rested on Aamon's chest, and she instantly found comfort in the heat of his body. For once, she felt content with where she was. 

When Avery glanced up at him, she wasn't expecting his eyes on her, so she glanced away to avoid eye contact. She could feel the soft rumble in his chest as Aamon laughed to himself. 

Surrounded by heat and a sense of comfort, Avery drifted off to sleep. It was a mere movement that made her eyes flutter open. Without saying anything, Aamon scooped her into his arms, cradling her and gently carrying her to his bedroom. 

He lay Avery on his bed with such gentleness that she wouldn't believe the demon took her to the bedroom if she hadn't opened her eyes. 

As Aamon turned to leave, Avery rolled over and grabbed his wrist, "Will you stay with me tonight? I don't want to be alone," Avery pleaded. She wasn't lying; Avery really didn't want him to leave her alone in the cold, way too spacious bed. 

She wiggled underneath the covers and lifted them to motion for Aamon to join her. He slid in next to her and flipped her with one hand to turn Avery away from him. At first, she frowned in confusion, but once she felt Aamon's body melt into hers from behind, she sighed in relief. Aamon's hand caressed her arm, sending Avery into a deep sleep as a strange fogginess crept over her, luring Avery into oblivion. 

Comments (8)
goodnovel comment avatar
Dijana Jaksic
Why would you post this? You’ve just ruined it for people who haven’t read the Hybrid Aria series!
goodnovel comment avatar
Francis M Torres
in the other Alpha books. it was said he killed her parents? did Aamon really kill them??? img so good so far
goodnovel comment avatar
Tonya Horinek
I'm crying now....wow, this is going to be a great story. I'm betting they were killed by other witches.
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