The Angel,The Devil,The Nerd

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Chapter 43 - No more hiding

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CHAPTER 43 - NO MORE HIDING

NATALIE'S POV

"You ok?" Was the first thing I heard when I opened my eyes. I felt a little bit lightheaded, but I immediately knew where and with who I was, especially because I could never mistake that voice ... smiling, I better snuggled up to Eric, sort of pressing my eyelids because my body felt sore, more specifically, there was quite an annoying ache between my thighs, but it didn't matter, because I perfectly remembered where did it come from, so I quite simply craned my neck and kissed my boyfriend's cheek as I stated: "Amazingly okay."

Eric smiled, rubbing my arm as he placed a kiss on my hair. We were still in the tent, still lying on the duvet, even though, there was a blanket covering us, which obviously served to both make us warm and to cover our nudities ... giggling, I hid my face in Eric's chest as I recalled last night. My ... it was amazing, wonderful, blissful ... I don't even know how to describe it! My first time.

"You sure you alright?" Eric repeated and I could feel him hugging me tighter. "I mean, I didn't hurt you, did I? Well, I did ... but not always, I mean ... I did my best not to ..."

I craned my neck once more and cut him off with a kiss because clearly, he was freaking out. Giggling, I stared into his eyes as I amusedly but proudly pointed out: "I am no more virgin."

Eric laughed, making me rest on his chest as he kissed my hair once more. And there we remained, silent, only birds being heard in the distance, my boyfriend rubbing my arm up and down soothingly, as he always does when he wants to calm me down. It made me feel Goosebumps and I liked it because more than soothing, it meant feeling his presence and I love that, I love him! It's so refreshing to be able to admit that. I love Eric. I am madly in love with Eric Rivers and I could never imagine my life without him.

I giggled to myself as I hid my face in his chest. Eric rubbed my back as he smiled. "I've been craving that for long, you know?" He confessed, hugging me tighter.

I bit my lip. "Yeah, I made you wait, huh? Well, it's not even a month actually, but ..."

"No, I didn't mean that." I looked up at him, a bit confused, and he smiled brightly, cupping my cheeks, he smiled so brightly that my heart melted into a puddle, even more as he brought my face to his, only to press his lips on mine and give me a gentle and tender kiss that lasted too little for my liking, but I can get used to it.

I can get used to having him always with me, always cuddling me and kissing me and ... prude me blushed profusely at the thought, but yeah, I can also get used to having him make love to me so intensely every time.

When he pulled back, Eric was still cupping my cheeks and his smile was still there as he spoke: "I meant your words, Tallie. I've been craving to have you tell me those thing since ages." He smiled more, playing with my earlobe. "I've spent years hiding my feelings, Tallie. I was ... well, no, you don't need to know. All you need to know is that I love you, princess. Truly, I do. And with those words yesterday you made me the happiest boy on Earth, believe me."

I grinned and pressed my lips on his once more, closing my eyes to better enjoy the kiss, but whispering against those full pink lips: "And I am happy with you, Eric. I love you. Truly, I do."

***

ERIC'S POV

I halted the car in front of Natalie's house, wondering if her mother is going to shoot me on sight for having made her precious daughter sleep in the woods. Natalie told me she did inform her that she'd ... well, you know, intended to lose her V-card with me, yesterday night. Ah, it was magnificent, I swear. Nothing I've ever felt and I may as well tell you I'm not exactly a newbie when it comes to sex. But with Natalie it was so different ... maybe it's because she was a virgin, or maybe it's simply because she is the first girl I sleep with and don't want to get rid of quickly.

Maybe it's because when I look at her and I see her smiling at me like she was now, my heart melts into a puddle and it yells those three words I'll never get tired of telling her. God, I love her. I love her so much I have no idea how can I even describe it. I love her so much that I wouldn't give a damn about being too young, I'd marry her right here, right now, before even graduating.

But of course, that'd be really reckless. Things are going well for once in my life, so it's time to hang up my bad boy's boots and finally live the life I always desired: just me and my princess, wherever she wants to go, be it even North Pole.

But there's one thing I need to enjoy first, and I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world, well, anything but more time with my Natalie, that is. Therefore, engine still roaring, I smiled at her as I admitted: "I'd gladly remain with you, but there are things I need to take care of. I'll call you later, ok?"

Even if half pouting, she nodded and I unbuckled my seatbelt to reach for her, grab the back of her neck and pull her in for a long tender kiss before parting, feeling like even only an hour far from her is torture.

"I'll see you in the afternoon?" She asked, well, sort of demanded, with her adorable pouty look, eyes half closed as our lips were still brushing.

I pecked hers before, regretfully, replying: "I'll see to drop by, but ... I'm spending the weekend with Kyle." Natalie was taken aback, to say the least, so she pulled back completely and frowned, confused. Grazing my neck, I explained that he and ... his father have invited me to go fishing with them this weekend and I agreed, in the name of the friendship I'm trying to build up with him.

Natalie smiled, nodding, clearly glad to hear that, but I felt guilty ... I'll have to tell her the truth about me and her friend soon, I guess, before she gets mad at both of us for lying to her. I will once everything's settled.

Kissing one last time, I let her go, remaining there to contemplate her as she walked up to her house, I'll admit, sort of ... lingering on non truly neutral zones, my perverted mind taking me back to yesterday night and how perfect her sweet naked body felt underneath my fingertips and against mine, something less gentleman suggesting me that we should repeat that experience soon ...

Before I could get a major hard on just by staring at my girlfriend's rear side swaying as she reached her door, still wearing that short black dress, hair ruffled, sandals in hand, like a bad girl coming from a night of roughhousing, I pulled off her driveway, heading to my, well, his house, to enjoy that show FBI will pull off for me in something less than half an hour, which is more or less what it takes me to get there from here.

***

I'll be unpopular and say that luxury homes suck. Well, mine does. Maybe because it's not truly mine. I've lived eight years in this house and there hasn't been a day in which I haven't been reminded that I am only a guest here, a pretty unwanted guest they're forced to keep. Well, my so called mother says that. Her lovely husband finds me useful. Be it for his pastime or because I work for him.

Was it for me, I'd burn this damn house down with both of them still inside and, believe me, I have thought about it. I've got such a bad reputation, why don't give people something to base it on? But ... that's not how you deal with problems. Taking lives isn't the solution and blah, blah, blah ... yet I've been sent to kill multiple times.

I've been sent to exact debts and if they didn't want to pay, it was easy, just a cut here and there, if they resisted more ... well, there's that spot right beneath the Adam's apple, it's so easy and so delicate that one doesn't even need to apply too much pressure, just a tiny bit of force and power of will and voila, you've successfully cut the man's throat. Easy, huh?

No, don't worry, I've never done that. I've never killed anyone, even if I should have. At first, I refused to, and the boy Robert sent with me in the beginning would be telltale about my disobeying to his orders, hence, I was to received my deserved punishment. I've received so many of those that I started getting used to it and the pains after that. Always because I preferred being beaten to a pulp or cut or anything, instead of taking an innocent life.

Then we came to a deal: I would work for him and do whatever he wanted, but he wasn't to ask me to kill people, because I never would, he may as well kill me, because I would never take someone's life. Quietly, Mr. Dickinger responded that he gladly would kill me, quite painfully even, but unfortunately he couldn't, one, because I was his stepson and if I went missing, "that pain in the ass", aka my uncle, would raise Hell, then because even the blind sheep of this town would start questioning and, eventually, because ... well, where would he find another young man so keen on accepting to be tortured without making a fuss?

Yeah, who else would endure all the most wicked and most painful games he came up with without ever whimpering in the slightest bit? Who would even build a bad fame, making it easier for him to cut my flesh and cause me bruises without anybody ever questioning it?

Because, I mean, I'm that troublemaker, that unruly stepson that causes so many worries to his angelic stepfather that has welcomed him in his home so mercifully and never lets him spend the due time in jail that he deserves ... well, that can be argued. I've spent two out of four high school summers in a damn reformatory, one of those places the generality of people would abhor, which is why they are kept in the dark. One of those places were other than "fixing" unruly youths, they provide to break them. But what can you expect from a reformatory run by my own stepfather's criminal organization?

Reformatory is only the cover name for that place. It's actually some sort of Guantanamo mixed with Alcatraz where Robert sends his enemies, those that he particularly hates, because those he doesn't abhor completely, he does them the favor of simply murdering them, then have his best buddy, the police chief, open a missing case just for fun.

I'm privileged, you know. Because I am the only one guest of that "reformatory" that, one, got to live, two, got to have a special treatment, but, always without ever causing major damages that would bring me to death. Never anything that damaged my brain, because I ought to remember every single thing they do to me and I can't get the privilege of going nuts and relieving myself, no. Breaking legs and arms was allowed, but always till they can be fixed. I mean, what would people think if Robert Dillinger's stepson ended up on a wheelchair, pretty much a vegetable?

I was lucky only in one sense. In that place they also give a very special treatment to some guys, mostly the young ones like me, even though, I was always the youngest. I saved myself only because, like I said, I was privileged. Even though, I highly doubt Robert would have minded if one of "guards" had made of me his whore, like they did to some other boys a few years older than I. One of them saved my ass. Literally.

Because the new supervisor that arrived last year, right at the beginning of my second sojourn in there, last summer, had taken a peculiar liking for me and one night, I was retrieved from my cell and escorted to his office, because he wanted to "talk to me". That's usually the code for "you've just become the guard's new whore, props to you".

Yet I didn't make it there, because Billy, the guy next to my cell, who was barely 21, prevented it. He grabbed the guard's weapon and forced them to focus on him, so that they could forget about me. He even told me to escape if I could, even if he knew all too perfectly that I couldn't, but I guess that was just the euphoria of the moment or ... well, his having gone crazy once for all, as many in there do.

I tried to use my "privileged" position to save him when they caught him. I tried to claim that certainly my stepfather would find Billy useful, but it was of no use.

I wish I could see he was the first person I saw dying, but I'd lie. I've seen much, much more than I'd like to admit. And I've been able to go past nightmares only by routine.

But anyway, today I was in a good mood and I wouldn't let anything in the world spoil for me. I mean, how better can it get? I've slept with the girl of my dreams, she'd confessed she loves me, I'm spending the weekend with my father and brother, who want me in their family, and, as cherry on top, tonight my nightmare ends, the two people I hate most, the worst demons of my life, get what they deserve.

Ah, sweet revenge. I almost felt like cheerfully whistling while entering the house. Well, I did twirl my keys around my fingers as I walked to the kitchen. It was barely eight, just a few more minutes and I'd get my show on a silver plate. Seriously, I almost feel like grabbing pop corn and coke and enjoying it fully.

I'd just laid my phone and keys on the island and was rummaging the fridge to get some breakfast, when I heard that adorable voice ..."What the hell are you doing here?"

Not bothering to hide my smile, I took out the orange juice from the fridge and turned to her, grinning shamelessly and provokingly as I greeted: "Oh, good morning to you too, mother."

My grin only widened as she grimaced at my last word, which I knew she would, just as I knew she would respond with the same old words: "Do not call me that. I am not ..."

"Yeah, yeah, you're not my mother, if you could have chosen you'd have suffocated me in my sleep and blah, blah, blah ... old story, Portia. Wanna invent a new one?" Her glares as she crossed her arms only humored me more.

My so called mother, namely, the woman that gave me life but that has been regretting not having aborted me since day 1 (her words, not mine), was not truly tall but neither short, a few inches shorter than I anyway, blonde, well, fake blonde I'm starting to think, considering her hair doesn't truly match her dark brown eyes, in perfect shape despite being a druggie, but that must be because she only gets her fix one week per month, busty, as busty as one that practically spends the remaining three weeks per month that she is there between beautician and plastic surgeon. Her wearing skinny blue jeans and a skimpy cardigan truly made her look like she'd just popped out of a porn movie, I swear.

I should feel disgusted, shouldn't I? Yet I don't. I couldn't care less. Like I told her years ago, she's just a bitch that ruined my life because she couldn't keep her legs closed. Had she not had an affair with Mr. Dickinger here, I would be still living in Washington, with my old friends, I'd have had a real life, not this shit ... even though, I ought to admit that, hadn't she brought me here, I wouldn't have met my lovely princess, so, at least one thing, Portia did it right.

"Why are you so cheerful?" She asked me, both suspicious and resented, as she watched me as I poured myself orange juice and grabbed an apple from the basket on the island.

I simply shrugged. "Why not? It's Saturday. It's a sunny day."

She furrowed her eyebrows at my response. Of course, for her own admission, she's only happy when I'm miserable. Sometimes I wonder what the hell did I do to her to deserve all this hatred, but then I remind myself that I was born. That's what I did wrong.

Dissimulating, I asked: "How comes you're up so early? Didn't vampires sleep during the day?" Her glaring only made it funnier. I've never enjoyed mocking her so much, I swear. It's probably because now as ever I can afford that. I don't have to be in her good graces so that she won't have her husband worsen his games with me. Even though, Robert doesn't give a damn about her, he just exploits her complaints to play wicked father that punishes his son.

But ... Portia decided to disappoint me and she smirked, clearly having something in mind. "Let me guess, that worthless toy of yours gave it to you, didn't she? How sweet." I nearly toppled my breakfast, my eyes widening. How the hell does she know about Natalie? I've kept our relationship a secret as much as I could. Just four people besides us know about it. And those are trustworthy. How does ... oh, but sure. Her husband put a tail on me ... but I took care of Jeff. He was too easy to manipulate and ditch. Unless ...

"Nathan says she's cute." Damn piece of shit. I swear, next time I see him it's gonna be his last day on Earth. I should have known. He's one of her toys. I mean, Robert has his whores, but Portia too has her toy boys and Nathan is her favorite. Fuck.

Well, it's too late now anyway. It's over. So, taking her off guard, I smirked. "Oh, she's more than cute. She's gorgeous."

Portia looked taken aback by my secure and carefree response, so she narrowed her eyes, I bet ready to ask explanations, but we heard the front door being practically broken down and I grinned, knowing who it was. In fact, she barely had time to turn around and see what was happening that four men armed to the teeth broke into the room, shotguns ready, ordering her to throw her hands in the air.

Behind them, a very familiar face, dressing casual, well, in his work suit, but only with a gun pointed at his own sister, no mask, no war equipment.

"Samuel." Portia hissed the name as if it was poison, even spitting on the floor in despise as another man cuffed her.

"Nice to see you too, sis." Uncle Sam responded, placing his gun behind his back as he reached me. "You'll be glad to know we've already taken care of your dear husband. You'll reach him in a few." He stated, then gestured for two of his men to take her away while the others reckoned the house to find Robert's minions or any other thing that would better reinforce their case in the court, I guess.

I smiled when uncle Sam patted a hand on my shoulder, grinning at me. "Finally. It's over." He stated and I childishly nodded, even more childishly jumping in his arms to hug him. Don't judge me, I've missed my uncle.

Before Charles reached out for me, uncle Sam has been the only father figure I've ever known. He's always been there for me, hell, he's the only one before Natalie that's ever believed in me or even only seen me as a human being. Well, him and his wife actually. Aunt Lisa always sent me her hellos via her husband, saying I wasn't allowed to have contacts with anyone but my referent, you know, the only one man an undercover cop can talk to, who was obviously my uncle.

"You've got Robert?" I asked, voice muffled by his chest as, even if I did try to move back, uncle Sam didn't let me, keeping me there in a hug that maybe might have not looked too manly but who cares. He confirmed that they'd raided into his office barely 20 minutes before and they were lucky, because they even caught him in the act, for, he'd been just then ordering an execution, the poor man still kneeled in front of him, gun pointed at his head. Uncle Sam said we've got enough dirt on Robert to put him away for the rest of his life because, I mean, he's is worse than Vito Corleone in The Godfather.

My uncle explained that because I'm a major, I won't be entrusted to social services or anything, but I can't remain in this house, because it's obviously confiscated, but I argued that I wouldn't remain here for anything in the world, to which he grinned and, pulling back, placed his hands on my shoulders as he spoke: "You know, New York is quite a nice city ..."

He suggested and I chuckled, knowing what he meant. I repeated that I'd see with my girlfriend where she wants to go, but before anything we should graduate. He smiled tenderly, nonchalantly but a bit bitterly commenting that he understood if I wanted to remain here now that my father had reached out for me ...

"You're kidding, right?" I asked in a snort. "This town's been my personal Inferno. I would remain here only if Natalie truly wants to, but she's already told me she's gonna head to some distant college, so ..."

He grinned, pinching my cheek like he did when I was a kid, before we moved here, that is. "You really love this girl, huh?"

Every adult asks me the same question. Isn't it clearly just from my eyes? Kyle says yes. I grinned anyway as I once more proclaimed my endless love for my gorgeous princess: "More than I could ever even explain."

Uncle Sam nodded, moving to wrap his arm around my shoulder as we headed out. I don't even need to go to my room and pack my things, I already have everything ready in the cupboard under the stairs. Had Portia or Robert checked my room yesterday, they would have found it empty, well, more or less. I've left there what I didn't need or want, everything else is in a black bag.

My room has never been much full anyway. Barely a bed, a wardrobe and a desk, no posters, no calendars ... nothing that would make it mine. Simply because, I was a guest in this house, and so I felt, hence, even my clothes were stored in a bag in the wardrobe, because since I was 13 I packed everything in order to be always ready to leave as soon as the occasion came. Too bad I never got it. Well, till now.

Although, now that I think about it, I have no idea where should I spend these last months. I mean, I have nowhere to sleep now. Even though, always since I was 13, I've barely ever slept in my bed, both because many times I was out for little jobs Robert made me do, and because yes, a good number of times I was in this or that girl's bed. Although this started happening since I was 15.

Overall, since then I started spending just one or two nights per week in my bed. No, I'm not bragging about how many girls I've slept with. Actually, given my reputation, the number of the notches of my belt is fairly low. I can't say I can count them on one hand, but neither are they as countless as people think, especially considering that, since mid-sophomore year, I started spending many nights in Dana's bed. Honestly, the girl was there when I needed to relieve myself, as she said, therefore I didn't really need other one-night-stands.

Anyway, I don't have a place to go ... officially, but I guess I'll find a way, a hotel or something. Even though, my perverted mind suggested that, maybe, considering her mother works the night shift lately, I could sleep at Natalie's ... yeah, ok, not really sleep, but ... you get it, don't you?

Once out of the house, having made a pit stop by the cupboard under the stairs to take my bag, uncle Sam and I enjoyed the moment. There were several SUVs , many agents, Robert's men being cuffed ... a downright roundup. The perfect day for FBI apparently. I enjoyed the whole scene with a grin that said it all about how content I was.

It's over. Finally. Well, technically, as my uncle told me, there's the trial first, but in these years we've dismantled pretty much all of Robert's organization, he and his minions here were the last ones remained. Talk about huge police and FBI operation. Well, basically just FBI, considering half of the police corps was corrupted and embedded with Robert and his pals. Wow, things like this, one would say they happen in movies only or in cities like New York, not this God's forsaken town ... and yet ...

When my phone buzzed in my jeans pocket, I quickly grabbed it, grinning at the idea that it might be Natalie, but when I read the ID I was a bit disappointed, even if not fully. It was a text message from Kyle: Move those buttocks, Rivers. We're waiting for you and you're late.

Normally, I would have been annoyed, but instead I grinned. The idea of a whole weekend alone with my father and brother ... well, it wasn't that bad. Sure, I'd rather spend it with Natalie, but ... I guess we can't always be one of those couple that just forget the entire world, can we? Besides, I can always text her and call her.

So, feeling like, for once, life was smiling at me, I quickly sent a text to my brother saying I'd just drop by Natalie's to salute her and then I'd reach them. Once parted from my uncle, with the promise of seeing each other more often now that we can, I got in my car and left. Maybe life can be good for me too.

***

NATALIE'S POV

Aisha was beside me, babbling about this cute boy she'd met a few weeks ago and she hadn't noticed before but she was starting to like him, but she wasn't quite sure she could try with him, because he had a crush on this friend of hers and she'd become friends with him anyway, so she didn't know whether she could give it a try or not ...

"Just talk to him." I suggested as I opened my locker. We'd just arrived at school, pretty in advance even. Because I've been alone this weekend, I asked to Aisha to come over, just to do something other than giggle like a silly girly as I thought of Friday night and, because I honestly wanted a friend to talk about that same night to.

Mom was out in the weekend with, guess who, her new boyfriend. She told me when I came back home on Saturday morning. Sure, she kind of chastised me for not having slept at home and, judging from her look, she knew all too well what I'd done that night, but in the end she forgave me, just because I had told her I would do that. Even if warily, when she gave me an expectant look, I assured her that Eric and I had been cautious and used protections, so she was relieved.

Then we sat on the sofa and she told me everything: she had a new boyfriend. She'd been going out with this man since a couple of weeks only, more or less one after me and Eric became a couple, so she wasn't truly sure it was necessary to tell me, but she really likes this man and he's funny and charming and handsome and he likes her too, he's confessed, actually, he's admitted he'd been having quite a big crush on her since a few years already, but thought it wasn't really professional to ask her out and in any case when they met he was coming from a difficult divorce ...

Long story short, that one time that they saw each other alone, he manned up and asked her out, she said she was taken off guard and kind of stuttered that she wasn't sure it was really appropriate, but he insisted, saying just one date wouldn't hurt and he really liked her ... in a word, they went out, it worked, they repeated. I didn't need further explanations, I already had an idea about who he was and I couldn't be happier about it, but I had the ultimate confirm when, hearing the doorbell ring, I excitedly went to open, especially because mom had told me he was coming to pick her up for a getaway weekend and she'd informed him she'd tell me about them so she wanted us to meet properly, even if I knew him already ...

I swear, I grinned from ear to ear when, opening the door, I found Dr. Green in front of me. I just knew it was him! He's always been crushed on mom, he even told me, and I knew he'd treat her right, so I couldn't have been happier for them.

Now, I was saying, Aisha slept at my place this weekend, just to keep me company, because my mother was out for her getaway with Michael, as he demands I call him, and my boyfriend was also out of town with Kyle and his father, so I felt a tiny bit lonely.

Therefore this morning Aisha and I drove to school together and she's been telling me about this boy she likes since then. When I suggested she talked to him, she bit the corner of her bottom lip, arguing that he had a crush on a mutual friend, so it wasn't really possible, but I simply shrugged and suggested she get a move before he mans up and declares to this mutual friend, because what if she reciprocates?

But Aisha grinned at that, shaking her head, saying that it was more complicated than that, because the girl had a boyfriend she loved and that loved her back, so there was no chance she'd want this other boy. At that point, I shrugged, not really knowing what else to tell her other than to give it a try.

I'd just finished saying that, closing my locker, books in my arms, that I felt strong arms wrapping around my waist, a very familiar scent filling my nostrils, and I heard that voice, that sexy voice I love so much ... "Good morning, princess." Eric greeted me softly, placing a lingering kiss behind my ear.

Giggling, I argued: "What happened to secrecy?"

He simply kissed my neck again, replying: "Screw secrecy. I love you and I want everybody to know you're mine." Oh, finally. No more hiding. Giggling, I conveniently launched my books in Aisha's hands and wrapped my arms around my boyfriend, letting him engulf me in a long, passionate kiss that attracted not little attention, as I could feel all of a sudden all school gaping at us, but I couldn't care less, I just kissed Eric with every ounce of passion and sentiment I had inside.

I barely heard Aisha muttering that I was insensitive to hurl my relationship in her face like that while she was suffering for love pains, then left in a huff, leaving my books on the floor. I knew she was mocking me, but I'd see to apologize to her later, now ... now it was time to make up for all the kisses I missed because my boyfriend was out of town this weekend. Therefore I increased the dose of fervor in my kiss, so much that Eric gripped me better and I soon found myself against the locker.

We were in the middle of the hall, people gaping at us, but I couldn't care less. I knew they'd be talking for a while, after all, it was me, Miss Invisible, Miss Goody-Two-Shoes with Mr. Bad Boy, Mr. Troublemaker, it was plain old me with that boy every single girl in our school had drooled over at least once. A bit of a payback or something of the sort, I guess.

When Eric's hands moved lower, closer to my buttocks, I yelped inside his mouth, but then giggled when he chuckled, ceasing our kiss, but only to lean his forehead on mine and remind me, once more: "God, I love you, Tallie."

I grinned, pecking his lips as I responded: "I love you too, Eric."

He grinned as well and gave me one more kiss, but this time smaller, just as the bell rang, signaling us to go to class if we didn't want to get in trouble. Eric looked around, and just as he did, our spectators averted their gazes, faking indifference, which made me chuckle, knowing that they'd never dare say anything about us, not when he was right there. If anything, I'd receive plenty of looks and maybe even comments, but I didn't care.

I love Eric with all my heart and he loves me back and we're finally an official couple, so it doesn't really matter if people talk, I can serenely endure some gossiping without worries. Especially when knowing I have him. And not just for one night, but possibly forever. Because he loves me. Truly.

Slowly, we parted. Eric picked up my books from the floor but held them, saying it was one of his tasks as official boyfriend to help me carry my books. I simply giggled and, unable to keep myself from touching him, I wrapped my arms around his torso, craning my neck to kiss his cheek, making him grin.

Eric wrapped his arm around me, entangling our fingers together as we walked to class. My first period was Physics and we didn't have it together, but he walked with me anyway. The door of the classroom was still open when we reached it.

Unceremoniously, Eric gave me books to a skinny boy that was about to enter, ordering him to lean them on my usual seat, and I barely had time to thank the boy, who I recognized as Steve, my Chemistry partner last year, that Eric immediately pulled me in his arms, uncaring of the kids in the classroom craning their necks to the unbelievable to peep on us, as he attacked my mouth, kissing me so fervently that I nearly lost balance, but when I regained it, also thanks to his strong arms around me, I let myself go to the nth kiss that more than sweet, was getting steamy, which made my face beet crimson, especially as we heard the teacher clearing her throat and ordering to Eric to "let his girlfriend breathe and head to class".

She then entered the classroom and I forcedly pulled back from Eric, only pecking his lips as I promised I'd see him at lunch. Grudgingly, he left and I entered my classroom, gulping when I noticed all the eyes on me.

I did my best to ignore them and head straight to my seat in the second row, next to Aisha, and I made it, but before I could sit down, I noticed a pair of cold blue eyes fixed on me ... believe me, if looks could kill, I'd be pretty much in ashes already. Why? Well, because, it just so happened that no less than Miss Perfection, Dana Langley was mentally murdering me from her seat at the back of the class. I forgot I had this period with her ...

I guess that, if she wasn't my number one fan before, imagine now that I have ... well, practically stolen her sort of ex boyfriend ... now that I think about it, when that day in the hall she hissed so venomously at me, was she ... oh, my ... she was telling me to keep away from Eric, not Kyle! Gee, Natalie, can you be more clueless?

Inhaling deeply, I sat down, trying to ignore that boring gaze that was freezing the blood in my veins. She can't do anything, can she? I mean, yeah, she might make my life a living hell, but I honestly doubt she'd risk making her ex mad, would she? Well, if she does, I'll be right here. I'm tired of hiding. I will fight if necessary. I have claws too and at this point, I am not afraid of showing them. The perks of dating the badass of the school, I guess. He makes you stronger without even trying.

Just as I thought that, the teacher had barely started talking, the girl beside me threw a rolled up piece of paper on my desk and hinted behind me. I didn't need to turn around to know who'd sent it. Taking a deep breath, knowing it couldn't be anything good, I opened it: you are so dead, Watson!

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