Carrero: Arrick's View. Bonus Book 2
- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: L.T.Marshall
My temper is riling slightly because I cannot get the knack for this. I drop the wooden spoon in the bowl as batter splashes back in my face and recoil in disgust, wiping the wet mess out of my eye and huffing stroppily. Sylvana laughs at my expression and tends to my face with a dish towel over her shoulder, dabbing at me lightly to clean it off. That motherly smile and gentle manner soothe my temper tantrum, and I calm slightly at her ever-tender touch to my fiery moods, warming inside at her easy method.
“Oh, Sophie, Bambino… Don’t be so aggressive with stirring. Be gentle with the batter, or you will pound the air out of the mixture.” She smiles softly and picks the spoon up to hand me encouragingly, pushing the bowl back against me on the wooden surface with an eyebrow lift meant to endear me to try again. I frown at the heavy ceramic beast and make another attempt at this, sighing heavily and setting my frown to one of determination.
I attack with much less grace than the first attempt, and in my overzealous efforts, I get it splashed up my Unicorn t-shirt alarmingly. I sigh and glare at the mess splattered over twinkles, my unicorn compadre.
I love this top. I’m gutted that I defiled him with raw cake mix.
“I really don’t think baking is my thing.” I point out defeatedly, my mood taking a nosedive and leaving me feeling heavy and listless. This is another cooking lesson with ‘Mamma Carrero’ that I am failing at. I have a skill for spectacular failings in the kitchen department, and it never ceases to amaze me how much I suck at cooking. We have one every few days; she calls it ‘bonding time’ to quiz me on how I am settling in with the foster parents she has placed me with, and without fail, I make something awful.
She has so much patience and no end to supplies that I make inedible; it’s a wonder she still even tries, although I like that she’s keeping tabs on me and cares enough to check that I am okay in my new life. At least I know this time I have someone to run to if my life turns out as awful as it was with my biological parents. I trust her.
She reminds me of her son, Jake, so much. She has his eyes and easy manner, and I feel like I can relax with her as I relax with Jake and Emma. Knowing that they all have the same genuine goal: to keep me safe and look after me, I appreciate it. Blessed to be given this new chance in life.
Sylvana found me a home with people who live close by. So far, so good. They seem to like me, they even let me put a lock on my door, so I feel safe around them. They are pretty awesome people, if not a little too caring. I guess in time, I can maybe relax around them and stop questioning if this is all real all the time. I have siblings for the first time in my life, and even though they all seem nice, I’m just not ready to bond with any of them yet. I mean, this could be temporary. It’s just a foster home, after all. I don’t want to get my hopes up yet and start caring about people who might not stay in my life for long. I like Sylvana, though. She doesn’t make me feel like I’m anything different. Anything broken.
She doesn’t bring up the stuff I don’t want to discuss, even though I know it’s part of her job. I mean, the support worker I see weekly is from her charity… he told me she is why I got homed so fast. It’s almost unheard of for a fourteen-year-old runaway to find a family like the Huntsbergers so easily, especially coming from poverty. I owe all this to her, Jake, and Emma. I owe them everything. Although I know it probably won’t last. I’m a lot to handle at times, and I know sometimes, when something is too good to be true, then it is, so I aim to enjoy it while I can. Build my strength if I need to run or return to the streets again and fend for myself.
I look at Sylvana and feel so much love for her. I wish I knew how to express it better than I do, as it’s not particularly easy for me to show emotion. It’s easier with Emma… she gets me and doesn’t expect me to say anything. She just knows. Sylvana is a completely different kind of person, and even though she works with kids like me, I don’t think she has ever been through what we have.
“Mamma. Where are you? I’m home.” A male voice that sounds much like Jake echoes down the hall, and I falter, my mixing poised as I freeze. I am not good with strangers, yet this one sounds like Jake, so I’m unsure if it’s him. There’s something different in the voice, though, only slightly, and my heart beats faster as Sylvana walks to the kitchen door, patting the flour from her dress as she greets the voice.
I drop my eyes to the bowl and continue with the mess I’m making, gripping the spoon tight and hoping whoever it is, doesn’t stay long. My heart rate is elevating, and my breathing is getting a little shallower as nerves crash through me at the sudden intrusion of our time. Still not good at coping with my anxiety, but I’m learning to hide it and get on top of it more. I breathe slowly to combat the suffocating feeling in my chest and focus on slow stirs to concentrate.
“Ahhh, il mio, bambino.” Sylvana walks forward into a tall frame concealed behind her body, who embraces her tightly. I can see sandy hair over her head, wide shoulders over hers, and strong arms encircling her as they hug. It’s definitely not Jake; the hair color alone is wrong, although he is around the same height.
“Hey, mamma, mi sei mancato.” The male voice is low and husky, that same Jake depth of tone, and I wonder if this is the elusive brother I have been told about. Sylvana talks about Arrick a lot but is always away at college or traveling; apparently, he does it a lot. This is the first time he’s been here while I have. It would make sense because he’s bilingual and called her mom.
I pause and hold my breath. Waiting. I know she’ll introduce him, and I feel the panic start to rise in my throat. Hands going cold and body icing with apprehension at meeting a new male, an unknown stranger. They both move as she turns to me, and I duck my eyes back to what I’m doing, overcome with shyness and unable to look up as my gut twists in my body. Trying to hold myself in check so I don’t make an idiot of myself. I have the urge to check my hair is still tied up, neat in my ponytail, out of the way from nervous hands and twitchy habits.
“Arry, this is Sophabelle, our newest Huntsberger addition.” Sylvana’s voice pulls me up, almost like hypnotic magic, clever with her spells of persuasion. I connect to a pair of pretty hazel brown eyes, studying me coolly with a calm and handsome face. Surprised immediately that they are not green, like Jake’s and Sylvana’s, yet somehow these are nicer, warmer, and deeper. Shaking myself at the trance he almost causes me, forgetting myself for a second and feeling utterly stupid that a boy’s eyes halted me mid-breath.
The heat hits my cheeks as I blush and glance away; his gaze is too intense for my liking, and I instantly feel defensive as my body bristles up in alarm. I barely took in anything but his eyes and can still feel them on me. Studying me.
“Hey, how you doing?” He speaks to me, and I curse that I must do this. I’m used to the little circle of people who have surrounded me for the past weeks, and I don’t need anyone new to be around me. Strangers mean danger. Especially ones with a weird ability to render me still with just a look; it’s unnerving as hell, and my heart doing the rhumba is not exactly welcoming.