Ansley (A Stalking Love)

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Chapter 14

I arched my back over the arm of the couch as a burning passion pelted through me. Derek hovered over me. His lips were moving against mine. My fingers were clenched around his shirt, holding onto him as our kiss deepened.

After a while, our faces pulled apart as we two caught our panting breaths.

I didn't realise when just a kiss turned into a burning makeout session. I was just trying to put a show for Josh to back him off that probably must have been whipped at him in dastardly manner. But I seemed to get lost in my own show.

I stared at Derek. His blue gaze were on me as his minty breath fanned my face. There was something about kissing him that had me intoxicated with his every touch. It felt like I'd turned obsolete of every pain I'd ever felt. Even now being aware of his touch, I felt no heaviness inside me. There was no pain. And there was no guilt nagging at me for using him to put up a show. Maybe because it seemed to have turned real.

He leant back from me slowly as he scooted to sit on the couch, and I felt the gush of coldness as his body moved away from mine. I followed his lead as I pushed my back off the arm on the couch and shifted to sit beside him.

I looked at him and his eyes were still on me. I though it to get awkward from here but it didn't. A slow blush crept on my cheeks as I lowered my eyes. I felt something brewing inside me. It wasn't any kind of discomfort. It was wordless to explain. It was a feeling I hadn't had in a long time. It almost felt foreign. And it was all happening under his gaze.

I moved my mouth to say something to break the silence but he beat me to it. "How have you been?"

His question was so simple and I knew the yet I didn't want to say. I wasn't okay, but I didn't want to say that aloud. It helped me to keep the illusion that everything was alright.

I met his eyes as I smiled wryly and shrugged. "Okay, I guess."

His expression softened. "You don't have to be, you know."

"It feels alright like this," I mumbled, trying to look anywhere but him.

His fingers wrapped around my chin as he gently jerked my head so that I looked at him. "It's not alright like this, Ann. It should never be like this."

I let in a shaky breath as I spoke, "It hurts too much. So it's alright not to feel it."

A small, empathic smile crossed his face as he brushed the loose strand of hair away from my face. "No hurt is constant. It fades away...eventually."

I almost wanted to believe his words. Almost. But it's different for everyone. .

"Trust me," he added.

"How do you know?" I asked sceptically.

He smiled a bright, knowing smile as he shrugged. "I just know."

There was a silence for a while as I mulled over his words, and he didn't interrupt.

I didn't know for sure if I would move on from the pain but at least I could try.

I closed my eyes and breathed a long sigh. I looked at him. "What are you doing this Saturday?"

"I'm going on a hiking trip," he replied.

"Oh," I muttered in a disappointment.

"My pals were supposed to tag along but they ditched. I'm going alone and it's only a day trip. Will be back by the evening. I'd like if you'd wanna come."

"Me?" I arched a brow. "I've never been to hiking before."

"Never?" he asked amused.

I shook my head.

"Well, there's always a first time for everything, " he smiled, "So?"

I wasn't sure, but I wanted to know. Maybe it was time to delve in this newfound feeling of being with him.

I took a moment before I nodded. "Would love to."

***

I'd stayed cooped up in my own misery for a long time. I didn't even care to know how my grandmother and brother was doing. Though, I didn't expect to see my brother anytime soon. He must have had left for the baseball camp while I was busy avoiding everyone. But hiding didn't help the hurt so here I was standing at my grandma's door.

I exhaled a deep breath and pressed the doorbell. I stood anxiously as I waited for the door to be answered.

"You can relax. You're not here to ask for her kidney." Rayon stepped beside me.

I glanced at him. He stood calm. His stormy grey eyes glued to the door. There seemed to be not a bone of tension in his body. I couldn't even recall a time that I'd seen him lose his calm.

" Thanks for coming with me," was all I said.

He just shrugged. It was a simple action but meant everything to me. He was there when I didn't even ask but wanted someone to be.

There was a shuffle behind the door and a second later, it opened and Grandma appeared.

"Ansley?" there was a startling note in her voice then her eyes skidded beside me. "And Ray is here too."

"Hi," Ray waved.

I frowned. "Were you expecting someone else?"

She shook her head but there was something restless about her demeanor. "No, no, dear. It's just the last I heard you were refusing to meet anyone." she moved aside as we made our way in. "It's just a bit of a surprise to see you here today."

I sighed.

I wanted to apologize but the words remained inside me. I quietly moved towards the living area and stopped at the arch. My eyes halted at the couch. A woman was sitting on it. A blue overcoat was folded on her lap. She was wearing a salmon colored turtleneck and blue jeans. Her fingers were delicately wrapped around the cup she was sipping from. An immediate sense of resemblance zapped through me like I had seen her before.

Her hairs were tightened in a ponytail which I was assuming she had dyed brown because tips of her roots were red. Her big, brown eyes were stilled at me and her lips stretched up into a gentle smile as she moved the cup away from them.

She was breathtakingly beautiful.

"Hi," she said softly.

I blinked as if interrupted out of my brooding. I now realized that I was staring at her.

"She's Aubrey," I heard my grandma say as she walked past me towards the couch. There was an anxious edge in her voice.

"Hi," I mumbled.

She seated herself from across Aubrey as I made my way to stand beside her. "And she's my grandbaby-"

"Ansley," Aubrey interjected, placing the cup on the coffee table. "I know." That small smile didn't leave her lips.

"And he's Rayon, Ann's friend." Grandma introduced as Rayon came to stand near me.

Ray mumbled a small hi as she gave him a curt nod in response.

I remembered her now. She was at the funeral.

"I saw you at my house three weeks back," I said, "How did you know my parents?" I didn't mean the question to come out blunt so I added, "I mean I never saw you around before."

I hadn't seen her before so I was curious. I couldn't even recall if my parents ever mentioned her name.

A sympathetic look crossed her face. "Lucas and Allen were..." she paused as if choosing her next words. "Good friends."

Grandma breathed a grief-stricken sigh at the mention of them.

"Oh," was all I muttered.

"And I live in LA. My job hardly let me have any personal time, " she continued, "so I didn't get much chance to meet them in last few years. But we were in touch."

I frowned. "My parents visited LA last year for a conference. Didn't you get to meet them then?" I didn't mean to inquire but I couldn't help it either.

"Ann..." grandma rebuked softly.

I peeked her way and then stared back at Aubrey. I should better stop now. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to intrude or anything."

Aubrey smiled softly. There was not a hint of offense in her expression. "Your parents visited in March last year and I was in Ohio at that time. It was work related visit so I couldn't get out of it."

"I'm sorry, Aubrey," Grams apologized, giving me a sharp look. "She's generally not that inquisitive."

"Yeah because she's generally dense," Ray muttered under his breath so only I could hear.

I shot him a glare which widened his smirk.

Aubrey shook her head at gram's apology. "That's okay. Last she saw me was when she was only a couple of years old. So I can understand her curio-"

A buzzing sound reverberated in the air, cutting her off. She slipped her hand inside the pocket of her overcoat on her lap. She looked at it briefly and then focused her eyes back on us. " This is my cab. I guess, I've to take my leave now." She stood up and grandma followed her next. "Thanks for the coffee, Elaine."

My grandma leant forward as she gave her a short hug. "It was nice to see you after so long, though I wish it could be under some different circumstances."

An empathetic look crossed her face. "I wish the same."

There was a short silence as she moved to walk past, but she stopped in her track and looked at me. "It was nice meeting you, Ansley. And if you got any more questions for me you can always call me up. Your grandma have my number." she smiled and every word of her sounded genuine.

I nodded. "Sure. And it was nice meeting you too."

She spared me one last look as she walked out of the living room with grandma behind to see her off probably.

Aubrey...

I was still curious. But how genuine her offer was, I didn't think I would call her up. I needed to make it right with the people in my life and she was a nobody.
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