The Gentiles

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Callie

“You sure you’re okay here alone?” Harry asks, carefully running his knuckles on my forehead.

He changed the bandage twice today, the frantic guy that he is, and he even shooed Fely away when she came to drop off our assignments this afternoon. I also asked her to lend me her binder so I could copy the notes that I ’ve missed on the classes that we both have, which was why I was able to hang out with Harry the rest of the night.

It was a shame I felt sleepy quickly. Once I came to, I immediately jumped out of bed to go back downstairs, in his arms, and continue cuddling and maybe even fall asleep together on the couch.

I lied when I said that my contact lenses were about to expire. I have three pairs of them and I’ve only used one. The other two are still brand new and I used one pair because I wanted to try it out before I use it tomorrow at school. Harry being sweet to me all day and taking care of me breaks my heart even more than seeing him with someone else.

True, I still don’t know what that kiss all about but the longer I think about it, the more I’ve wanted not to keep my hopes up. After all, how many times have I been disappointed and cried my eyes out after having my hopes crushed? He just got carried away, that’s all.

More like, his tongue got carried away.

Oh, god. No, stop.

“I can sleep over,” Harry tells me, stretching across my bed with his arms folded behind his head. He nods his head at me. “Come on in, sweetheart. The water’s fine.”

I might have blushed, but the frantic beating of my heart is not solely due to his words, or the effect he still has on me. It’s the way he casually acted like this with me when there is a girl waiting for him downstairs.

Swallowing hard, I manage a small tilt of my lips with the shaking of my head. “We have school tomorrow.”

“So?”

I sigh. “We both know you won’t let me sleep.”

Harry raised one brow, sitting up. His mouth curved into a mischievous smile and only then I realized the double meaning behind what I said. My face heats up. I really should be mindful with my choice of words when it comes to him. He tends to twist them and make them, well, more than what they meant.

“If there’s someone who would make the other stay up all night, it won’t be me, sweetheart.”

There it is again. That same look he’d given me this morning in the bathroom when he… When the most humiliating thing in my life happened. I’m currently not half naked before him but it seems like I am with the way his eyes are piercing through me.

Getting under the covers, I shove at his biceps with my palms, then straightening my legs to firmly push him off the bed with my feet. Of course, I was unsuccessful.

Harry catches my ankles underneath the covers and pulls. He comes at me, making me lie on my back with him on top, arms branded around my waist. A glint of laughter is playing in his eyes, a ghost of a smile on his lips as he tries to look serious.

“You don’t believe me?”

I wiggle my body, attempting to free my arms that had been trapped on either side of me. This time, Harry laughs.

“You’ll end up telling stories about the latest book you’re reading or divulging me with fun facts you’ve recently learnt and before we know it, it’ll already be past midnight and then you’ll panic, which will make you wide awake. When it’s only mere hours or two before your alarm clock goes off, that’s when you’ll fall asleep. You’ll be in a bad mood at breakfast, during classes and all day long and swear you’ll sleep once you get home but when we do reach home, you’ll just have the same book or a new one in your hands which you’ll finish until wee hours and the cycle continues.”

My chest constricted at how detailed his explanation was, no matter how it was all in theory. It’s not what I do every day but I do it often enough that I was also so familiar with the routine I can almost see myself doing the exact same things he’d described in my head as if watching myself. It was as if I’m seeing myself through his eyes. I am touched by how observant he’d been, knowing me better than I know myself.

I must have been staring at him for a while because a knot forms between Harry’s eyebrows, a sign of his worry. Not my fault he made me speechless.

Being with Harry is as natural as breathing but right now, I feel like I am drowning not because of water but from too much air. My head feels light though my heart couldn’t be any heavier. If only he feels the same way as I do with the way he treats me and touch me and sees me.

Right now, I am suspended in a space where there’s only me, my deep-seated emotions, and what I wished for the person I am most certain I love to be like. At this moment, in my head and in my heart, I am going to pretend that Harry loves me the way that I do him.

The grandfather clock on the hallway chimed, making me jump a little. Just like that, the spell has been broken and so is my connection with the dream that I am having of another world, another life, in which I get what I long for. Whatever happened before midnight would forever stay there, frozen in time but treasured all the same. What comes next, after the clock turns twelve, I am sure to face with a level head and a clear mind. A cleansed heart that is ready to start over again.

Sliding one arm upwards, I gently caressed the wrinkle on his forehead with my thumb and gave it a soft peck.

“I’ll go straight to bed, no reading,” I promise him, drawing a cross mark with my index finger on my chest. With my throat closing up, it was a miracle I was still able to say, “You should also go back to your room. You’ve been taking care of me the whole day. You must be tired.”

He surely is. That could be the only reason he invited a girl over at this late hour. He needed to destress. Being burdened with his annoying puppy dog eyed cousin must be taxing he had to call someone who he isn’t currently dating to let the steam off.

Stomach churning, I push the thought away. I don’t want to torture myself any further. The entirety of my chest is about to combust but I held it altogether, freeing my heart from any unwanted aches. I refuse to get hurt over something I have no right to be feeling anything at all for in the first place.

It’s just not meant to be. What I was thinking of was disgusting and I have to let it go.

I have to let him go.

Clearly, I’ve caused enough trouble with Harry’s relationships that he had to think that he needs to hide girls from me. I also don’t know what it is with that girl hiding downstairs behind the counter anyway that made her think, yeah, it’s cool to go out for a late-night booty call in lingerie. I first thought that she wasn’t wearing anything. Thankfully, I was able to make out the scraps of clothing and the red stilettos she has on.

Harry almost caught me, I suppose, when I kept my eyes glued to her reflection on the glass doors. I guess I just refused to believe that they could already be doing it when I ran downstairs hence the lack of clothing. I’m grateful that wasn’t the case. I once interrupted him doing that, lord knows how awful I’d feel if it happened again.

Watching my face, I bet Harry wants to know if I would really go to bed and stay put. Another wave of hurt makes my pulse run fast and I’m doing my best to calm myself down and accept the fact I have slowly been learning to accept before Harry kissed me.

He can sleep with whomever he wants. He can fall in love with whoever he will.

I forced a bright smile right out of my face. Freeing my other arm from his hold, I circled his neck with both and tug his cheek to my lips, pressing a hard kiss on it. See? I could do normal again. I could go back to that natural ease we had before like tonight’s dinner. Right after I caught him again with another girl. Technically.

“Stop worrying about me, idiot,” I tell him with an eyeroll. I’m teasing him, like I always do. I know what would come next even before he leans back and tightened his grip on me with one arm, his other lifts in the air in preparation. Harry doesn’t like disobedience and he’d often punish me, only his punishments are both the best and the worst.

The first round of tickles was expected but I was surprised by them all the same. I squealed and pushed at his chest, but Harry settled himself between my legs, pining my hips with his, one arm pulling me back down on the mattress even as I try to overthrow him.

My sides burn deliciously and I’m laughing, laughing my head off, and finally, the tears fell. I know exactly what those tears are for. They symbolize exactly how I feel at the moment: ecstatic and devastated.

When Harry deems he tortured me enough, he stops his assault and buries his face on the crook of my neck.

“You know what happens when you roll your eyes at me,” he murmurs hotly on my ear.

We stay locked in each other’s arms as I recuperate from his attack, catching my breath and relaxing my muscles. There are still aftershocks but they are decreasing by the second. Harry leans back, looking straight to my eyes. I am thankful he’ll never know the true reason for the tears.

His huge hands frame my face, thumbs grazing my tear-streaked cheeks. Then he surprises me by brushing his lips with mine. It was soft and feather-like, the gesture so painstakingly sweet and as promising as the triumphant smile that spread across his face afterwards.

“Alright,” he whispers, nudging his nose with mine. “Remember, no reading. Straight to sleeping,” he reminds me, slowly untangling himself from my limbs which have since grown limp from the weakness of his tender kiss.

I lie there, melting, as Harry gets off my bed and heads for the door. He looks at my lax form with a smile still plastered on his face, as he bids me, “Goodnight, Callie.”



***Author’s Note***

Hi everyone! 🤗 Here’s another chapter of Callie 🌹 I would like to say thank you to another reviewer @laurenbthurman 🥰 Thank you as well to everyone who are engaging in the comments, letting me know of their thoughts and opinions and feelings about the story. I appreciate it and I just absolutely love talking with you guys 🥰

Thank you for reading this story, you all warm my heart ❤️

Also, I’m trying to write longer chapters now and I hope that’s alright with you ☺️

I hope you enjoy this update and happy reading 🥰

Take care and stay safe.

Yours,

Ama ❤️

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