Chapter 29 | Confessions and Prom Dresses
I slowly begin snapping my green rubber band against my wrist, while Ethan paces his bedroom floor.
After a few more torturous minutes of silence, I finally speak up.
“Please say something.”
At the sound of my hesitant voice, Ethan abruptly stops pacing to turn and face me.
I blink at him, my eyes slowly widening. “W-What?”
“I said, show me.” He urges, taking a step toward me.
I take an automatic step back, not knowing why I suddenly became scared.
Ethan immediately notices and takes a step away from me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
I nod, and try to take a deep breath.
“Why do you want to see?”
“I don’t know, for proof… to understand?”
He’s running his fingers through his messy hair, his large frame towering over me.
“I don’t know if I can.” I admit.
“Why not? Don’t you trust me?”
I stare at him incredulously. “This has nothing to do with if I trust you or not, Ethan.”
“It seems like it!” He all but shouts.
“Don’t do that.” I glare. “Don’t yell at me.”
“Well I just don’t understand! Why would you hurt yourself? It doesn’t make any sense! You have everyone here for you, trying to help you, but you don’t want to accept it. All you want to do is wallow and hurt yourself, because you think it will make you feel better. I love you Dallas, I don’t want to see you hurt yourself like this!”
Ethan is breathing irregularly. Part of me wants to slap him in the face for being so insensitive, but the more protective part of me wants to wrap him up in my arms and tell him that everything will be fine.
I can’t think straight. This was a mistake, I shouldn’t have told him.
“I shouldn’t have told you. It’s too soon. I can’t handle this.” I move to step around him, but he grabs my shoulders and keeps me in place, staring intensely into my eyes.
“No.” He shakes his head, “Not until you explain.”
Suddenly, I begin to panic.
“I said, let go!” I say louder, trying to yank my arms from his strong grasp.
He lightly shakes me, “No Dallas! Why won’t you talk to me?”
This has escalated too quickly. I need to get out of here.
Tears well up in my eyes as I look back at Ethan. His grip immediately loosens, and his lips turn down into a frown. “Fuck Dallas… I just love you. Please talk to me…”
Before I can think, I untie my sweatpants and yank them down to my ankles, exposing my thigh covered in marks. Some old, some still pink.
“Is this what you wanted to see? Are you satisfied now?” I ask in a low voice.
Ethan’s eyes widen, while his cheeks redden. Surely it’s due to the fact that I’m standing in front of him in only my underwear.
His eyes train in on my thigh, slowly going over every single cut, causing my heart to thud rapidly inside of my chest.
“Baby…” I look into his eyes again, and I swear I see them glisten.
Fresh tears fall from my eyes as Ethan slowly walks over to me. I feel my breath hitch as he slowly kneels down in front of me. I’ve never been this exposed to Ethan, not in our entire lives.
A sob escapes my lips as soon as his own meet the bare skin on my thigh. He begins leaving small, delicate kisses on top of every single cut. My hand slowly raises and I find myself gently running my fingers though his soft hair.
“Ethan…” I barely manage to get out, more tears spilling from my tear ducts.
He finally stops kissing my thigh to look up at me, our eyes boring into each other.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t notice that things were this bad…” He trails off, his voice barely a whisper.
I immediately shake my head, “No, don’t do that. This isn’t your fault, or anyone else’s. It’s my fault, okay? Only mine.” I urge him to understand.
He slowly stands back up, gently taking my face into his strong hands on either side.
“Can you please promise me one thing?”
I squeeze my eyes shut tightly, forcing the built up tears to fall, allowing my vision to become clear again. Ethan catches every tear with each of his thumbs.
“Promise me, that before you decide to do this again, you’ll call me. I don’t care where I am, or what I’m doing, I want you to call me okay?” He all but begs.
I look into his eyes, my heart still beating harshly inside of my chest, “I promise.”
I barely get the last word out before Ethan is kissing me. This kiss is different than any other kiss we’ve ever shared. It’s intense, and definitely passionate. He’s kissing me as if this will be the last time he will ever get a chance to kiss me, as if he’s scared to lose me and he wants to remember the feel of my lips for as long as humanly possible.
I immediately wrap my arms around his neck, not caring that my sweatpants are still around my ankles.
He lifts me up and out of them, and carries me over to his bed, laying me down softly. He puts us both underneath the covers, wrapping his arms around my body protectively. I latch myself onto him, pulling him as close as he’s able to be. The only thing in between us is our clothes.
He rests his head on top of my own, leaving small kisses all over my hair.
I can’t help but giggle from beneath him, and I feel his smile through everything.
I lean my head back and look up at him, our foreheads touching softly.
“Promise me you won’t look at me any differently because of this. I need to hear you say it.”
The smile has left my face, a look of seriousness taking over immediately.
Ethan nods, agreeing to what I said.
“I would never look at you any differently. You will always be Dallas to me. Smart, beautiful, outgoing, strong, fierce, sexy, immaculate, everything. That’s what you are to me Dallas, you’re everything.”
My eyes tear up once more at his sweet words, the loving confession brightening my mood immensely. My heart swells, in a good way, and all traces of panic are out of the window. I have never felt more safe, than I do right now, here in his arms.
“I love you Ethan Hart.” I whisper against his lips, a smile playing on my own.
“I love you so goddamn much.” He leans in to close the space between us once more.
We spend the rest of the evening getting lost in ourselves, until his mother calls us to have some dinner.
As we eat at the table, I see Mrs. Hart eye my wrist, a knowing look on her face. She smiles at me, a real look of admiration, and I grin right back to her.
I look around the table, the four of us eating together. It’s weird, yet so amazing. I never thought I would be comfortable stepping foot into this house again after everything that I’ve been through, but I know that as long as Jeremy is locked away, he can’t get to me anymore.
It may have taken a lot of time, but I feel as though I’m finally coming out of this thing with my being intact.
I may be damaged, but I’m still me. That’s something I’ll never let Jeremy take away from me.
It’s the last week of school before Prom, and I’ve been waiting patiently for my wonderful boyfriend to ask me.
Things have been a little on edge, ever since I confessed my dark side to him. I know he is slowly starting to understand, but it’s taken a little while.
I still haven’t told Lexi, Liam or my dad. I honestly don’t know how to. I’ve sworn Ethan to secrecy, and told him that a castration will be in order if he spills the beans.
Let’s just say, he sworn on his entire life that he wouldn’t say a word.
I’m currently browsing prom dresses with Lexi, since Carter actually asked her to go with him. He doesn’t go to our school, being that he’s older, but he said he was still able to buy two tickets to escort her.
I’m so happy she gets to experience this with me. She and Carter have been together for a while, and I know that he truly makes her happy.
“Carter has a black and light blue tux, so I need to find the perfect light blue dress.” Lexi sighs.
“I’m sure we’ll find something, we’ve only been to a couple stores.” I reassure her. “Don’t worry so much.”
“Dallas… Prom is next week! I should have already had my dress picked out and purchased!”
I roll my eyes with a smile, not knowing what I would do without my dramatic best friend.
“What color tux does Ethan have?” Lexi asks.
“How should I know? He hasn’t even asked me to Prom yet.” I sigh.
“Y-You’re kidding, right? PROM IS NEXT FREAKING WEEK!” She exclaims with a shout.
People turn to stare at her, so I mouth a few apologies on her behalf.
“Call him, now.” Lexi demands while handing me her phone.
She has already hit dial, and the phone is ringing.
“I could’ve used my phone.” I mumble as I bring the phone to my ear.
“What’s up Lex? Aren’t you with Dallas?”
“You bet she is.” I smirk.
“Hey beautiful! How’s shopping coming along?”
“Well, here’s the thing, Lexi is sort of freaking out.” I begin to say, but before I can say anything more, Lexi snatches her phone from my hand and begins talking to Ethan.
Okay, she is yelling, but whatever.
“ETHAN HART, HOW THE HECK HAVE YOU NOT ASKED DALLAS TO THE FREAKING PROM YET? IT’S NEXT WEEK FOR CHRIST SAKE!”
I lower my head and run my hand along my face, noticing more eyes traveling our way.
“Lexi, do you have to yell?” I scold her.
I can only imagine what Ethan is saying on the other end. Actually, he probably isn’t saying anything, too scared to reply.
“I’m going to put her on the phone, and so help me if you don’t ask her right now, there will be hell to pay.” Lexi instructs, before tossing the phone back to me. I just barely manage to catch it, and then I bring the phone back to my ear.”
“Hey babe.” I say sweetly. “How’s it going?”
“Thanks for the ambush.” He deadpans. “I wasn’t really in the mood to be yelled at.”
“Hey, I can’t help it. This is Lexi, you know.”
“I heard that.” Lexi says while looking through her hundredth rack of dresses.
I smirk, even though she can’t see me beyond the heaps of fabric.
“Well, I was actually going to take you out to the beach tonight and ask you. But now that that's RUINED,” He says loud enough for Lexi to hear it, “Would you like to go to the Prom with me babe?”
“Of course.” I smile wide.
“Great! My tux is black and deep red, just shy of maroon.”
“Really?” I raise a brow, “Maroon?”
“What? I look hot in it, okay? Besides, my mom got it for me at a discount and she insists that you will look amazing in red.”
“Oh my God, Dallas, red will look amazing on you!” Lexi suddenly says while smiling wildly at me. “THANKS, ETHAN!” She then shouts so he can hear it through the speaker.
I sigh as more people begin to stare at us in the store.
“I’m going to go now, before Lexi gets us kicked out of the mall.”
Ethan laughs. “Alright babe, I’ll see you later. Love you.”
“Love you too.” I smile. Once Ethan hangs up, I hand Lexi’s phone back to her.
“Alright, now you can start browsing yourself. You’re welcome, by the way!” Lexi deadpans, while I smack her arm playfully.
“Whatever, let’s just get this over with.”
It took us all day, but we finally found the perfect dresses. The boys aren’t going to know what hit them.
Liam is taking Claire, the red-headed chick he met not long ago. He says he really likes her, but I know my brother. As soon as something more appealing to his eye comes around, Claire will be history. Poor girl, she won’t even know what happened until it’s already too late.
“Thank you for tolerating me today.” Lexi smiles sheepishly as she drops me off at home.
“It’s what best friends are for.” I shrug with a smirk. “I can’t believe the deals we got on our dresses.”
“Ugh, I know! It was fate!” Lexi beams. “I gotta get going though, mother dearest needs me. See you tomorrow.”
“Hey Lexi,” I say, just as I get out of her car and shut the door. The window is down, so she can still hear me.
“I love you.” I smile.
“Dal, I love you too, ya softy.” Lexi smiles playfully.
I wave goodbye and watch her drive off down the street.
I can’t believe Prom is right around the corner.
I also can’t believe, that I’m finally starting to feel happy. Something I thought I wouldn’t feel again for a very long time.
Time really does heal all wounds.