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*Copyright of plot and characters. This story was inspired by the song, "My Immortal" by Evanescence.*
These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase
When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me.
I could never figure out why he seemed all too familiar to me. Every time I’d ask if we had ever met before, he’d just deny it, saying that I was crazy, that we had never met before that one evening. I never believed him, though. I knew I had seen him before, somehow. I knew him. Maybe from a different life? I couldn’t be sure, considering I never really began to believe in that kind of thing in the first place. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something about him seem much too familiar for me to be able to let it go.
I had to admit, he was incredibly intriguing, despite all my efforts to keep away from him. He was mysterious and very unpredictable, not the average boy you see walking the streets. He was… different. So exceedingly different, there’s got to be a whole story to it, maybe even some secrets hidden behind the story. He was sophisticated, more sophisticated than any other boy I had ever met, mature, insightful, thoughtful, and he pays attention to every little movement, every little change in emotion, making sure he’s taking any offense against anyone.
His only flaws were his cryptic, vague personality, never letting anyone in on his secrets, never trusting anyone who just wanted him to open up to someone he could confide in. He doesn’t trust anyone but himself. He’s much too stubborn to let anyone else have an inside look on his pains and burdens.
I’m determined to find out what they are.
I start my way down the street, in my usual black hoodie, dark blue jeans, black sneakers, and black gloves. I shove my hands into my sweater pocket, my hoodie up, almost over my eyes. My hair’s down and well past my shoulders, draping down and its tips getting a little wet. It’s raining in the town I live in, Lakemont. Or, rather, the town I currently reside in. I never stay in a place for too long, mostly because I’m a fifteen year old girl who’s emancipated.
The rain is pouring down on me, making my dark jeans appear even darker. The town is very small and quaint, so not a lot of people live in it. Couple hundred people live here and not even half of them are able to drive cars. This is why I’m walking alone on the sidewalk, no cars whizzing past me and no people walking on the sidewalk, due to the intense rain. But, frankly, I don’t mind the rain. Frankly, I like it, especially during this time, when it’s pouring on the houses. It’s like it’s playing its own music, its own drum beat against the house. I can almost hear it.
Anyway, I’m walking home from the market. I had just gone there for a soda. That’s it. Nothing else. I open up the Coke, hearing the light Tsss before taking a deep swing. I feel the cool sensation of bubble tickle me down my throat. I take the soda away from my lips, twisting the cap back on.
Just then, I hear them. Past the patter of the rain, I can hear their loud guffawing. I turn around, seeing their faint shadows through the rain. I turn back around and keep walking, slightly faster now. I hear them again, their low chuckling and hollering. This time, I don’t bother to turn around. I just walk faster, trying to get away from them. I hear them as they start walking faster, too, their voices becoming louder against the pounding rain. I look around, searching for some quick escape. I turn the corner, just a couple more steps away from my nice, cozy apartment.
That’s when they come up right behind me and put a hand on my each of my shoulders. I turn around, meeting their faces. There were two of them, both of them big, brawny, and very, very intimidating. They’re dressed in all black, from their beanies down to their tennis shoes. They both sneer at me, towering about a foot over me. One of them is much taller than the other, almost a seven footer. And the other is wearing glasses.
“Give us your money,” the big one says. Oh crap.
I say in a shaky voice, “I-I don’t have any money.”
The one with glasses squeezes hard on my shoulder. “We know you have money. Or else you wouldn’t have that soda in your hands, now, would you?”
I hide the soda behind my back, quietly twisting the bottle cap off. Had they followed me on my way to the market?
“Give us your money,” the big one repeats.
This time, I don’t say anything. I throw the bottle of soda at them, seeing as it spills all over them. I’m going to have to buy more soon, I thought to myself, a little ruefully. As they’re distracted, I run. I start running as fast as I can towards my apartment building. I can hear them running behind me, but I pay no attention. My main focus is getting my building before they can get me.
Too bad I forget that it’s raining and I fall face first on the hard, slippery pavement. I try to get up, but a foot presses me down hard against the ground. I look up at the one with the glasses, the one pressing me down. He smirks at me. Before I could even react, a foot meets my face. I scream in pain, feeling my head throbbing. I feel more kicks to my stomach and chest. I try to scream and yell for help, but I doubt anyone can hear me through the rain.
Once they stop beating me, they take my phone and keys to my apartment from my pocket and run off. I try to get up, try to call for help, but it’s not use. I lay here on the ground, unable to move, hardly able to speak.
I feel my eyes become heavy, feeling sleepy. Like I’m going to die. I even start to hallucinate before my eyes close, seeing the figure of a boy angel in front of me. And it isn’t a full second that I look at him before I fall into deep unconsciousness.
The first thing I feel when I wake up is my throbbing head. I have the worst headache in the world. I try to lift an arm to rub against my head, but I can hardly feel my arm. That’s when I notice that I’m no longer in the rain. Then where am I? My eyes flutter open. I’m in a small room, laying down on a couch or bed of some sort; this isn’t my apartment. I feel a cushion under me; a very comfortable cushion at that. I can now feel all my injuries. My chest is bandaged, as well as my ankle. To my right, I see a small bedside table with a clear glass of water and a lamp, the only light available in the room. One thing that leaves me most befuddled is that all my clothes, including my gloves, were still on… yet, they were incredibly warm and dry.
I catch my reflection in a mirror on the bedside table. I look terrible. My dirty blonde hair was still wet from the rain. Dried blood was stained under my nose, which probably broke when I had gotten kicked in the face. My lip is split and my light brown eyes are now bruised. My pale face was beaten severely, leaving it covered in bruises that matched my eyes. I probably looked worse earlier.
Had those guys kidnapped me? I can’t be sure, considering that my injuries are bandaged and healing. Whatever’s happening, all I know is that I should get out of here. I shift myself so that I try to sit up.
“I wouldn’t if I were you,” a soft voice says.
I look up to see someone at the doorway, leaning against its frame. His voice has a slight British accent and his long dark hair is tied back in a ponytail that looks like it reaches his shoulder blades. He wears glasses that framed his dark eyes. He looks somewhat familiar.
“What,” I ask, finally able to find my voice.
He walks slowly into the room. “You’re not yet fully healed. It’ll take longer for you to heal. Especially for you.”
“Why especially for me,” I ask, lying back down against my pillow
He chuckles and sits beside me on the bed. “That’s another story for later.” His answer makes me a little curious, but, considering how much pain I’m in, I don’t really feel like pressing the matter any further.
We’re both silent for a while. “What am I doing here,” I ask quietly.
He simply says, “I heard you screaming in the rain. Once I had found you, you had already been unconscious. You took quite a spill there.”
I thought to myself. He can’t be the angel boy I saw before I blacked out, could he? I take a good look at him. No, the boy I saw was shorter then this man. And lankier, too.
The man says, “I decided to take you in. I bandaged you up and brought you here, a spare room I have in my small house.”
I nod. “Thank you.”
He grins. “You’re quiet welcome.” He chuckles again. “So sorry, I’ve forgotten my manners.” He holds out his hand to me. “I am Reed. Reed Collins. And who might you be?”
I take his hand in my gloved one, wondering why he flinches ever so slightly, and smile back. “I’m Andrea Jeanine Johnson. Most people just call me Andi.”
Chapter 1 . . . . . Page 3
Chapter 2 . . . . . Page 5
Chapter 3 . . . . . Page 7
Chapter 4 . . . . . Page 9
Chapter 5 . . . . . Page 12
Chapter 6 . . . . . Page 14
As I wash out the soda in my hair, I grimace at the black streaks that reach down my cheeks all the way to my jaw line and cheeks. I don’t usually cry very often. I didn’t cry when my parents kicked me out, or when those guys jumped me. And to think I’d cry over something like this? Over some public humiliation? It just wasn’t like me. I shrug; nothing I can do about it now. I just wish I knew why.
I start to wash the black mascara off my face, watching as the black water swirls down the drain. I can’t imagine what else she has planned for me. I shiver; the thought of actually confronting Nicolette frightens me a little. I’ve turned into such a coward that I’ve actually been scared by some girl. More things are changing than I thought. I hardly know who I am anymore. I sigh at the depressing thought.
I take another look at myself in the mirror, figuring that no one will notice the red in my eyes. I shrug. I wring out my hair and figure that there’s really nothing I can really do about my sticky clothes. I tie my hair up and grab my purse, slipping my gloves on before exiting out the bathroom door. I don’t expect to bump into someone, but I do. As I pull my gloves up to meet the sleeve of my shirt, I don’t pay attention and bump into a familiar person.
I look up and feel my cheeks burn. “I’m so sorry-”
Blake chuckles, his blue-green eyes almost sparkling. “You say sorry a lot. You know that?”
I blush again. “Sorry,” I say again, laughing a little.
He purses his lips to hide his smile. “It’s all right. I think it’s cute.” I can’t stop the smile that already spreads across my face. “So,” Blake starts. “Why are your eyes all red? Were you... doing crack or something in there?” The corners of his lips slightly turn, as if that thought amuses him.
I curse under my breath – I thought no one would notice, but I guess I was mistaken. I try to look around so he can look anywhere but my eyes. “Um, no I don’t do drugs.”
He tries to look at me. “So you were crying?” I sigh, finally look up at him, like a child waiting for a punishment, and nod. He asks, “What happened?”
I furrow my eyebrows. “Weren’t you at lunch today?”
He shook his head. “I was in the music room.”
I sigh. “Stupid Nicolette and her stupid ego…”
“Ahh,” he nods understandingly. “What’d she do this time?”
I shake my head, looking down at my boots. “I…”
“You don’t wanna talk about it,” he says – not a question, a statement.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
He nods. “That’s fine. I get it.”
I exhale in relief. “Thanks. That means a lot to me.”
A grin spreads across his face. “No problem. As long as you can trust me enough to tell me one day, I’ll be here.”
I raise an eyebrow, amused a little. “I’m kinda scared to ask this,” I say playfully. Blake grins. “But are you flirting?”
Blake shrugs, a small smile on his face. “Depends. Is it working?”
I purse my lips. “I don’t know. You tell me.”
He chuckles. “Well how’s this for flirting? How about I take you out sometime?”
I feel my heart stop for a second, then beat ten times faster. “Seriously,” I ask. I just met the guy this morning and now he was asking me out on a date?
He grins a cocky smile and shrugs. “Sure. I think you’re pretty cute. And I think a date would brighten your mood, considering all the giant a$$holes here who think it’s cool to pick on the new girl.”
I laugh. “You seem pretty confident, like you think it’s gonna be a good date.” I slowly start walking down the hallway with him by my side, just strolling down the hallway.
He laughs, too. “I don’t think it’ll be a good date. I know it’ll be a great date. I mean, as long as you say yes, of course. Which I’m sure you will.” He grins again.
I shake my head, but smiling. “You know, you’re pretty cocky for someone who hangs out with a nobody like me. I would think someone like you would be on the football or baseball team.”
“You’re close. I’m on the track team.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Really?”
He smirks. “The best on the team, if I do say so myself.”
I roll my eyes. “You’re doing it, again.”
“What’s wrong with a little confidence?”
“Confidence and arrogance don’t mean the same thing.”
He clutches his heart melodramatically. “Ouch. That one actually hurt from over here.”
I laugh. When was the last time I had ever been like this with a guy (besides Reed)? I can’t remember, but all I know at the moment is that Blake makes me forget about Nicolette, Stevie, and my weirdo death fingers. I can just act normal around him. Also, he makes me forget about all those stupid kids who are trying to ruin my life. And I really like that.
“So you still haven’t answered my question,” he presses, raising an eyebrow in mock suspicion. “Are you trying to avoid it?”
I shrug and repeat what he had said earlier. “Depends. Is it working?”
He laughs. “All right, I’ll give. You’re good at distractions.”
“And you’re good at talking about yourself.”
He laughs again. “Okay, I’ll give you that one, too.”
I grin. “Of course you will.”
He narrows his eyes. “You know, you can be pretty mean sometimes.”
I shrug. “When I wanna be.”
“So does that mean you want to be mean to me?” He pouts, making himself look like a little boy.
“Naw…” Then, I grin. “You’re just fun to mess with.”
He raises his eyebrows. “Oh, is that so?”
“Yes, it is.”
He shakes his head and says sarcastically, “I don’t think that’s the usual way to treat someone who wants to treat you for a date.”
“Well, then I guess I’m just not like the usual person.”
“Nope I guess you’re not… You’re a freak.”
I laugh and smack his arm playfully. “Shut up!” He just laughs and grins at me. We both stop walking in the hallway and just stand there for a while in silence – not in an awkward silence though…. A good kind of silence.
“So is that a yes,” he asks, that stupid smile on his face.
And right after he asks, the bell rings and students start to scatter in the hallway. He looks at me hopefully.
I purse my lips. “It’s a maybe.” Before I let him answer, I start walking to my next class, turning back to see him watching me go. He grins at me and waves. I just roll my eyes and smile, laughing as I turn back around.
Geometry was a snore and now I’m on my way to Lit with Ms. Munro. Since I’ve only met her once, I can’t be sure, but, to me, she seems pretty nice and really pretty and funny. She loves reading and teaching and is very good at both.
“How you feeling,” Nigel asks as he walks alongside me.
“Fine. Why do you ask?”
He furrows his eyebrows. “The whole lunch fiasco?”
“Oh yeah… Yeah, I’m doing fine.”
He looks at me more closely. “It seems like you somehow got distracted.”
I shrug, nonchalant. “I guess Geometry did the trick, then, because I didn’t really think about it.”
He shakes his head. “No, Geometry doesn’t do that kind of magic. If anything, it’s the subject to keep your mind on it and off the stupid shapes and measuring. You found another distraction.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Oh, I bet you did. I bet this distraction was a boy by the name of… I don’t know… Blake Peterson?” He raises an eyebrow ay me, a grinning when I purse my lips and my cheeks turn red. “I knew it! What did he do this time?”
I shake my head. “Nope. I’m not telling you.”
He groans. “Why not?”
“Because it’s none of your business.”
“It is my business. As your friend, I’m entitled to know anything and everything about the new boy – or girl – that you’re crushing on.”
“I’m not crushing on him.”
He rolls his eyes. “Please. Don’t give me that. It’s totally obvious that you are.”
“I’m no liar. You just jump to conclusions.”
“Stop it with these mind games!”
“Is it working?” I smile at the question, remembering when Blake and I had this sort of conversation.
“Actually, no it’s not. Whether you like it or not, I’m going to bug you until you tell me what happened between you and Blake. Until then, I’m going to conclusions.”
I look at him with narrowed eyes. “You wouldn’t dare…”
“Oh, but I would… Hmm… It was a rather long time when you were gone after the incident… Enough time to-”
“Eww!!! Please don’t even say what you’re thinking. Nothing like that happened!”
“Then what did happen?” I groan; there is no discouraging this boy, is there? He smiles sweetly. “Come on. Tell me. I’ll be your best friend.” He bats his eyes.
I roll my eyes again. “Fine… Well, after I cleaned myself up, I bumped into him and we got talking. We were laughing and joking around and there was a little bit of flirting…”
“… There’s more, isn’t there?”
I sigh. “He asked me out… on a date.”
Nigel grins. “I knew it. I knew it! He likes you!”
I purse my lips, but trying not to smile this time. “Well yeah but I haven’t answered him yet.”
Nigel’s smile falters. “Wait… you didn’t say yes? To one of the hottest guys in this freaking school?” I shrug. Then, he smacks my arm, a little playfully, but a little hard, too. “What’s wrong with you?!”
I rub my arm and laugh. “Nothing’s wrong with me. I just… I don’t really think I’m looking for a relationship right now.”
“Well, it’s our high school years. Full of love and loss and mistakes and triumphs. Why not have relationships? Especially with a guy like him.”
I shrug, mentally sighing. Obviously, he doesn’t know the reason I can’t have a relationship. I try not to think about it too often because it kinda depresses me that I’ll be alone for as long as I have this curse touch – which will probably be forever.
Once we enter Lit class, we sit down in the far right of the classroom and Ms. Munro hurries into the classroom, her hair a little messy and many books in her arms. As soon as she sets her books on her desk, the bell rings. She pushes up her red oval reading glasses and smoothes out her hair and skirt. She looks pretty in her floral blouse and knee-length pale blue skirt.
She starts writing on the whiteboard with her black Expo. “Fiction,” with a big circle around it. She turns around and says to the class, “Fiction. What can you tell me about fiction?”
“It’s make believe,” some boy shouts out. She draws a line from the circle and writes “make believe.”
“Made up animals or universe,” another girl yells from the back of the room. Ms. Munro adds that to the Word Web.
“Anything can happen,” Nigel says. “Even the impossible.” Ms. Munro gives him an approving smile and adds it.
After a couple more examples, Ms. Munro caps her marker and says, “Okay, class, now you have an idea what fiction is all about. Now, I want you to pair up with a partner and work on a fiction story. It can be about absolutely anything you want. Love, drama, loss, skateboarding, family problems, a magical world, anything at all. Make sure it’s at least five pages long and filled with as much imagination as you can put into it.”
Nigel looks over at me. “I love her,” he mouths. I snicker under my breath.
“All right, class,” she says. “Find a partner. I’ll give you three minutes.”
As soon as she finishes her sentence, kids automatically stand up and start looking for a partner. Nigel and I look at each other and nod. “So whatcha wanna write about,” he asks, turning himself around to face me.
I shrug. “I don’t know. I’m not all that good at writing.”
He grins. “Well, lucky for you, I’m an aspiring writer.”
I smile. “You wanna become an author?”
“Yup. For fiction or romance or drama… Or maybe all of them. I love them all.”
I laugh. Ms. Munro walks to us with a notepad in hand. “Nigel, you’re partnering with…?”
“Andi,” he answers cheerfully.
Ms. Munro smiles and writes it down in her notepad. “Good choice, Andi. Nigel’s one of my best students. He has the kind of imagination a professional author would dream for.” Nigel smiles, a little bit of blush on his cheeks. She smiles again. “I’m interested to see what you two come up with.” She walks away to another pair of people.
“I like her,” I say to Nigel.
“Yeah, she’s the best.”
Soon, Ms. Munro returns to the front of the classroom and says, “You have to work on this project on your own time, which means that you will not have class time to start or finish this. I suggest you discuss with your partner when and where you’re going to meet up to finish the project. It counts as forty percent of your grade, so I suggest you either do the project or fail my class. You’re choice.”
I smile; she doesn’t take any crap, does she? I like that.
She continues, “Now, we’re going to finish the class by reading one of my favorite poems, ‘Annabel Lee,’ by Edgar Allan Poe. Scott, can you please pass out the poems for me? And please read?”
I smile again, thinking about how that’s my favorite poem, too. Maybe this year won’t be so bad after all.
OMG!!! i luv it!! keep posting!!
Once I get home from school, I throw my backpack against the wall and lay down on the couch, grabbing the remote and turning on the TV. Reed walks out from the kitchen, his reading glasses on the tip of his nose. I can see him in my peripheral vision, watching as he leans against the doorway and takes off his glasses.
“Is this all you’re going to do for the rest of our stay here,” he asks me.
“Pretty much,” I answer, not taking my eyes off the changing channels. He shakes his head. I look over at him. “What?”
“I’m sorry to say but that sounds… pathetic.”
I flinch and wince; Reed never really says things like that to me. He usually picks his words carefully to avoid offensiveness.
But he’s right. I’m a teenager. I should be out doing teenage things and flirting with guys and try to make the most of this time without making skin-to-skin contact.
He sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right-”
“No, no, you’re right. It really is pathetic of me to do be stuck in this house like I’m confined for eternity in here.”
He smiles apologetically. “Well, yeah. I hate seeing you so… imprisoned here. You need to get out. Hang out with your friends. Do something fun.”
I nod. “All right, I get your point. I’ll try asking Nigel to hang out tomorrow after school, okay?”
He sighs, a bit of relief sounding from it. “That’s fine with me.” He puts his glasses back on and saunters back into the kitchen.
After about a half hour of watching TV, I decide to do my homework. Too bad it doesn’t keep my busy long enough. By the time I finish, it’s barely four-thirty. Four and a half hours before my curfew. And I have absolutely nothing to do. I mean, I could spend meaningless hours on the computer or watch mindless TV while my brain starts to rot.
But, instead, I decided to take a walk.
I grab my jacket and yell out to Reed, “I’m going for a walk, okay?”
I walk out the door and down the sidewalk, inhaling sharply. As I walk, I take notice of the little kids running around in their front yards, playing some made-up game, being care-free, having the time of their lives. I suddenly feel envy towards them. Any teenager, even ones with less complicated lives, unlike mine, can relate that life was so much better as a kid. No school drama, no falling in love, no doing your hair for an hour, no parents nagging you, and the only thing you had to worry about was whether your Barbie looked pretty in her skating outfit or if your toy monster truck was bigger and better than your neighbor’s.
I find myself unconsciously walking into the little park nearby. It’s a really small park, just with a jungle gym, a slide, three swings, and a sand pit surrounded by grass and a couple benches where parents can watch their children play. Everything is so still, it’s eerie.
I sit down on the middle swing, swinging myself just barely. As I swing, I think about my second day in this city. It all seems a little surreal that so much has happened to me so far and I’ve only been here a little over 48 hours. Especially with all this boy drama going on with Blake.
The thought of him send butterflies swarming in my stomach. They start to giggle and blush as my brain mulls over the different angles I’ve seen him during the day. I roll my eyes at myself. I can’t be that attracted to him. I mean, I’ve only just met the guy. But I have to admit, he’s pretty cute. He’s got that hair that’s shaggy and long, but fits his face. And he has those blue-green eyes that are so unusual, but so beautiful, like the color of the ocean. And his smile’s so contagious; I can’t help but get the giggles when he grins that arrogant grin that’s oh-so adorable.
Again, the butterflies flutter anxiously in my stomach and I feel the blush upon my cheeks.
Okay, so I’m a little attracted to him, I think to myself.
The butterflies flutter in agreement. I shake my head, thinking that I must really like him if I really think that these butterflies actually exist in my stomach.
He’s really funny and sweet and he seems pretty sincere with his intentions. And his cocky attitude is kinda funny to me. I’ve never really been attracted to a guy since before my little incident with my death fingers. Well, I guess if you don’t count Ayden…
Again, the butterflies come back as I remember Ayden in the restaurant last night. I mean, he seemed to like me a little… or was that my imagination jumping to conclusions? I’m not quite sure anymore. I think over again and remember his dark hair and dark eyes, his lean form, and those plump, pink lips…
I soon take myself out of my reverie. I can’t be thinking of possibly having relationships with guys. I am in no condition to have any thoughts about liking guys, especially guys who seem really out of my league.
I stare at my gloved hands in complete disgust. I curl my fingers and squeeze tight. I think about punching my hands, but that would look stupid and immature.
My head snaps up when I hear someone’s foot crunch in the sandbox. Immediately, the guy holds up his hands, the sign of surrender, and steps out of the box.
“Sorry,” he apologizes in a familiar voice, smiling crookedly. “I didn’t mean to disturb you. I didn’t want to alarm you.”
I feel the blush spread all over my cheeks when I realize that it’s Ayden; wasn’t I just thinking about him right now?
“Well, that didn’t work out,” I mumble a little sarcastically.
He smiles apologetically, lowering his hands to his sides and shoving them into his pockets. He hesitates before walking over to me slowly and taking a seat on the swing next to mine.
“I really am sorry for disrupting you. I didn’t mean to.”
I smile as I repeat what Blake had told me earlier. “You say sorry a lot. You know that?” He smiles sheepishly, turning his face away slightly out of embarrassment. I continue, “It’s all right. It wasn’t like I was doing anything productive anyway. Just killing time by thinking and swinging.”
He nods slightly and an uncomfortable silence fills the space between us. Again, I have that feeling in the pit of my stomach (besides the butterflies, which are fluttering so wildly, I feel like they’re going to bust out my stomach) that I somehow met him before coming here to Los Angeles.
“What are you doing here,” I ask, breaking the awkward silence. “I thought you said you live somewhere near the restaurant.”
“I do,” he replies. “But I’m visiting a friend right now and I was just taking a walk when I saw you here. I wanted to greet you, but you seemed to be deep in thought, so I tried to without startling you.” Then, he smiles slightly. “But I guess that didn’t work out too well.”
I purse my lips in an attempt to hide my grin, but fail miserably as the corners of my mouth pull up. “What friend are you visiting, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“I don’t mind. His name is Brett. He’s a pretty good friend and I needed something from him.”
I nod. “Oh, I see. So were you on your way home right now or something?”
He shrugs nonchalantly. “Yeah, but I guess I could kill a couple minutes here with you. If that’s okay with you, of course.”
I purse my lips to hide my smile. “It’s cool with me.”
He smiles that amused smile he had at the restaurant. “All right then.”
Just as I’m about get into a conversation with him, I hear a loud, “Ayden Montgomery!” I recognize the voice as the girl at the restaurant with him. Her name is Cynthia, I think.
Ayden looks over at the direction of the house. He rolls his eyes and looks over at me, laughing. “She acts really motherly about me.”
I grin a little bit. “Really?”
He nods. “She always reminds me of the things I have to do and, frankly, it gets pretty annoying.”
“Wow, she is like a mother.”
“Tell me about it.”
Then, we hear another, “Ayden!”
He jumps off the swing and takes my hand, yelling out playfully, “Run!” I laugh and decide to listen to him, taking off behind him. He leads me to a fancy black Lexus and opens the passenger door for me. I look at him cautiously.
“You’re asking me to get into your car,” I ask skeptically. I shake my head. “Do you really think I’m that stupid?”
He rolls his eyes. “Oh, come on. Do I really look like the kind of person to kidnap you?”
“I don’t know. For all I know, you could be a creeper or something.”
He chuckles and moves a little closer to me, enclosing the space between us. I can feel my heart speeding up a little as he leans a little closer to me, his face just inches from mine.
“Do I really look like I would hurt you,” he whispers, almost seductively.
I lean my head back from his for two reasons: one, to get some air because he’s definitely making things a little hot, and two, I couldn’t risk him trying to touch my face, my bare skin which is open for anyone to touch and die from.
“How should I know,” I ask, feeling a little light-headed.
He smiles with a perfect set of pearly-white teeth, making my heart beat fast again. “Don’t you trust me,” he asks.
Those words, coming out of his mouth, trigger some memory switch in my head. I feel like I’ve heard him say something like this before. Like he’s told me that before. In some weird universe that might’ve somehow existed.
He chuckles. “Trust me. Please?”
I don’t know what compels me to tell this hot man yes, but I nod, a little eagerly; for some odd reason, I really do trust him. I don’t know how or why, but I feel like he’s some really close friend that’s been for me for as long as I can remember. The thought gets my memory flickering again, but I try to ignore it this time. He grins again and holds the door open once again.
I feel the blood rush to my cheeks as I take a seat in the leather covered seats. He closes the door beside me and rushes over to the driver side.
As I buckle my seatbelt, I ask, “Where are we going?”
He shrugs. “Wherever you want. As long as it’s far away from her.”
I laugh. “How about… The Grammy Museum?”
He grins. “Good choice. It’s really great there.”
“You’ve been there?”
“Of course. I’m a true Los Angeles native.” He smiles sheepishly, abashed, and looks down at the steering wheel.
I laugh. “Don’t be embarrassed. You can show me around, then. Give me a personal tour.”
He looks over at me and purses his lips. “All right. We’ll start at the Grammy Museum.”
“AYDEN MONTGOMERY, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE YOU GOING?!?!”
We turn around to see Cynthia, red-faced and all, stomping towards the car. Ayden quickly starts the ignition and screeches out into the road. I look behind and see Cynthia staring after us in shock and rage. Ayden laughs.
“I’ve never seen her so angry with me,” he says, laughing up a storm.
I laugh, too. “Really?”
He nods. Suddenly, I hear vibrating and look down at the armrest. I see his phone – oh, I’m sorry, his sleek-looking iPhone – vibrating with a picture of her appearing on the screen. He shakes his head and rolls his eyes, pressing the “Ignore” button. I laugh.
“Is she really that bad?”
He shakes his head. “You don’t know the half of it.”
I laugh again. “So, to the Grammy Museum?”
He smiles and nods. “To the Grammy Museum.”