Hating Arlo #1 ✔️

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Chapter 6

Lily's POV

Arlo’s glare penetrates my back.

He is not happy with our pairing, at all. Reluctantly, after my teacher gives him a harsh glare, he stalks over to me with his eyes downcast.

Arlo plants his butt on the seat next to me, making sure to keep a good distance between us, and stares straight ahead, blankly.

The electricity around us crackles. My skin tingles from our semi-close proximity and a part of my body wishes to move closer to him. I have to drum my fingers on the table to stop myself from reaching out and touching him.

I wonder if he feels this too. Or am I hallucinating these sensations?

“So...” I drawl out, attempting to start a conversation. His glare only deepens. “I’ll just start drawing you then,” I whisper in defeat and open my sketchbook.

He still doesn’t look pleased but he doesn’t stop me from drawing. For the rest of the lesson, I draw him the way I see him. He never turns to look at me and he doesn't flick open his sketchbook.

When the lesson finishes, Talia meets me outside of the classroom. She gives Arlo a smile as he passes us and he returns it brightly. Jealousy washes over my body and flows through my veins. I hate it. I hate the feeling of it. I shouldn’t care if he likes her or not—we’re not together. It shouldn’t matter.

Talia, completely unaware of what happened in art, starts pulling me along. “So, how was drawing Arlo?”

I shrug my shoulders, “It was alright I guess.”

Talia arches an eyebrow, not believing me for a second. Sometimes it feels like she can see right through me and what I’m thinking. Every time I think like that, it feels as if a box of ice-cold water is being tipped over my head.

But she doesn’t. Because if she did, she would know about Arlo’s love for her. She would know he is head over heels in love with her.

“Arlo has had it tough—he’s always been living in Arden’s shadow. He sleeps with girls on a regular basis to try and distract his mind. I used to think he liked a girl but I realized if he did, he would only be hurting her.” She explains, delicately. If only she knew that Arlo was hurting me—someone who felt an undeniable attraction to him.

But he doesn’t care. Because he only cares about Talia.

I nod my head in understanding.

“I’m hoping when he finds his ma—I mean, when he finds a girl he likes, he will change,” Talia adds, brushing off the slip-up she made. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone slip-up like this and I don’t think it will be the last. I’m beginning to think they’re hiding something from me.

“Maybe,” I whisper, internally hoping he would for me.

It’s a strange feeling. I don’t know how to describe it—I want Arlo. I want a man I barely know who is nothing but mean to me. I’m aroused by it in fact. It makes no sense. None whatsoever.

At tea, a young, handsome man who is wearing a football uniform approaches us. With a cocky smile and mischievous eyes, I have a feeling I know what type of guy he is.

His eyes never stray from me. It looks like he’s devouring me, eating all of me with his eyes. Perhaps if I hadn’t gone through what I did the past few months, I would have been flattered. But I can’t be.

Plus, I don’t like how he’s looking at me. My stomach churns. Something about it doesn’t feel right. He doesn’t feel right.

I swallow nervously and glance at Arlo. For some reason, some unconscious part of me believes he will protect me. It’s one of my most stupid thoughts to date but it doesn’t stop me from thinking it. My innate drives tell me to do it—well, they force me to glance at him for help.

Arlo locks eyes with me for a brief moment but then glances away. Great.

“Hi,” He greets and slides into the empty seat next to me. “I’ve come to inform you guys that there will be a party tonight at Ford’s.” He announces, his eyes never once straying from me.

I shuffle in my seat uncomfortably.

“We’ll be there,” Arden replies instantly, eyeing the man next to me cautiously. He notices my discomfort and tries to give me a reassuring smile.

“Great,” The man smiles in triumphant. “Now, who is this lovely specimen?”

I begrudgingly drag my eyes to his brown eyes that are full of desire and lust. He smirks when he knows he has my full attention and forgets about everyone else here.

“Well aren’t you pretty,” He states, making it obvious that he was eye-raping me right now. I squirm in my seat in disgust. “My name is Paxton, gorgeous. What’s yours?”

I don’t want to give him my name but it would be rude not to. If any funny business happens, at least I’m in a public place, surrounded by people who will protect me. At least, that’s what I hope.

“Lily,” I mumble.

His smirk deepens. And then he makes a bold move and gently grabs my hand, lifting it up to his lips. He places his small pink lips on my hand, giving it a kiss, all the while keeping eye contact with me.

I feel disgusted and outraged by it but make no move to show it.

The sound of a hand slamming on the table causes me to jerk away from the man. I snap my eyes to the source of the noise and am surprised to see it is Arlo—the man who hates me. His beautiful brown eyes—that are so much better than Paxton’s—narrow like slits. He seems completely unimpressed by what happened.

Could he be jealous of what Paxton did? Or is he protecting me? Either way, it implies he cares about me. I’ll take that over hate any day of the week.

“Thank you, Paxton,” Arlo says in a tight, clipped tone. “That will be all.”

Like a good puppy, Paxton scrambles off.

“Thank you,” I breathe, feeling utterly relieved. Arlo helped me when I needed it. He could, in fact, have a heart for others.

“Whatever,” He rolls his eyes and gives me one last cold stare. So perhaps he might not like, like me but at least he will protect me. That suggests he cares about the female population—all of them.

Later that night, I find myself browsing through my small wardrobe, searching for something to wear. I used to attend lots of house parties before everything happened and have acquired numerous outfits for them.

However, after my parent's death, I fell into a fit of rage. My mind had been overcome with so much pain and anger that one night, I grabbed all of my clothes and tore them up.

I remember seeing them spread out over my bedroom floor. Hearing the noise, Amber came to check on me. When she saw what happened, she sighed and told me I would need to chuck it into the bin. Then she left.

So now, I don’t have any party dresses.

Sighing, I pick out the closest thing to a suitable attire—black skinny jeans and a white v-neck crop top.

Trinity, who is applying make-up in the mirror, briefly glances at me. Her eyes assess my outfit and for the first time since I’ve known her, she gives me a look of approval.

“Do you know where the party is?” She asks me whilst smacking lipstick onto her lips.

I shake my head, causing my blonde curls to bounce in front of me. “No. I'm meeting Talia in the common room."

Trinity whips her head to me at Talia’s name.

“I’ve noticed you’ve been getting closer to that group recently.” She comments, smoothly. “Because of this, I think you need to know something.”

My eyes flash with confusion. “Okay?” I say, slowly.

“The Gold brothers are indestructible. You will never get to Arden because he’s crazy in love with Talia. As for Arlo, don’t even bother. Whilst he fools around with those other girls, he always comes back to me. You hear me?”

The air whooshes out of my lungs. It feels like I’ve been sucker-punched in the gut. I had no idea Trinity had a semi-relationship with Arlo. She implied that they’ve slept together before, on numerous occasions.

The very fact hurts my heart beyond belief. I knew Arlo was a player—so many people have told me—but hearing it from someone he’s been with multiple times makes it feel one hundred times worse. Plus Talia practically threw it in my face.

Whilst my heart is shattering, I somehow manage to pull the last measly bit of decency I have and nod my head. Trinity needn’t know of my affections for Arlo—she would only rub it in my face.

I have known the man for a week and he’s already hurting me more than anyone else has. That includes my ex.

Arlo Gold has been nothing but mean to me.

Yet, he continues to hurt my heart. I’m beginning to wonder how on earth I’m going to make it through the rest of the year. How am I supposed to reach for the top of the rabbit hole if people keep pushing me down?

The answer is: I’m not going to make it to the top.

I can already see it. Arlo Gold is going to be the death of me, I’m certain of it.

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