Damage Control

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Late Night Rendezvous

A soft thud brought me out my slumber as my eyelids fluttered open. Avery’s blurry figure stood in the corner of the room holding my phone charger as I let out a small yawn and rubbed a fist over my eyes.

What time was it?

And more importantly why was Avery holding my charger.

Before I could utter another word, I watched as her figure booked it out of my room as I attempted to keep my eyes open. Instead of regular thieves being the biggest threat for my items, I had to be cautious of my own sister who had been caught lurking in my room one too many times.

Now I knew exactly where all my chargers had gone after all those times they had mysteriously gone missing.

Rubbing a hand over my face once more, I pushed myself up off the bed as an attempt to wake myself up. It was as if every time I woke up from a nap, I forgot who I was, where I was, and which dimension I was in.

Taking a seat on the edge of my bed, I leaned over and switched on my bedside lamp to look for my phone. The next couple minutes were spent rummaging around my bedside table before I finally stood up and turned to search my bed. A loud yelp escaped my mouth as I slapped a hand over erratic heart as my eyes landed on Easton who was sound asleep.

In my bed.

What the hell was he doing here?

Better yet, why was he asleep?

Taking a seat beside him, I watched as his chest slowly rose and fell as he slept soundly. One arm was slung lazily above his head whilst the other rested beside him. Unconsciously, I reached over and softly pushed his messy locks away from his eyes as I looked down at his peaceful figure.

Shockingly, Easton did not resemble the devil when he was asleep.

He actually looked like a normal human being while being unconscious.

“I hate to be cliche, but I’m almost certain a picture would last longer.” A husky voice said from beside me as my head snapped to look over at a Easton.

A very awake Easton.

That conniving, cunning man.

I could feel the blood rushing to my ears as I pushed myself away from him, knowing fully well that I had been caught staring like a creeper.

But I didn’t need to admit that.

Like the wisemen had advised long ago, when in doubt, one must simply deny.

Okay, maybe they didn’t say that but it was exactly what I was going to do.

Letting out the breath I was holding in, I turned to him with the best poker face I could muster, “Shut up, I wasn’t even looking at you.” I cooly said as I pushed back a couple strands that had fallen out of my bun while sleeping. Ignoring the smirk that had slowly began to spread across his face, I pushed myself off the bed and began looking for my phone, trying my best to avoid eye contact with the devil himself.

“Love, you can’t fool me. I’ve been awake since you let out that blood curling scream.” He chuckled as he sat up on the bed and ran a hand through his messy hair. I watched from the corner of my eye as his shirt slowly rose as he stretched his arms above his head, revealing his very toned body.

Shaking my head to bring myself back to reality, I quickly crouched down onto the floor and began slapping the side of my head like a maniac, praying to god he hadn’t caught me again.

Quit that Mal! Stop staring at him like an angsty preteen!

After containing myself, I let out a scoff as I finally picked up my phone which had fallen in between my bed and bedside table, “You are so dramatic, it was barely a squeak.” I shot back as as I stood up and made my way over to my desk to charge my phone. I avoided eye contact with him knowing full well that he would be able to see right through me if I had turned to face him- the guilt was plastered all over my face.

“Doesn’t change the fact that you were staring at me while I peacefully slept- with an adorable loving expression I might add. Is there anything you want to tell me, Mallory?” Easton questioned with the upmost serious expression. I knew he was trying to push my buttons and it took everything in me to not let it get to me like it usually did. Flashing him a sickly sweet smile, I stuck my tongue out and flashed him the finger before plopping into my desk chair without saying a single word.

I could feel Easton staring at me, waiting for me to bite back with something but there was no point in arguing with him. I had been caught creeping and he would never let me live this down.

Glancing over at my clock, my eyes widened as I realized it was nearly midnight, meaning we had been holed up in my room for hours, “Shouldn’t you be heading home? It’s almost midnight!” I exclaimed as he continued to stare at me with an amused expression on his face, as if I was the most entertaining thing to grace this planet.

I mean I was, but he didn’t need to stare so hard.

Raising a finger he responded with a knowing look on his face, “First off, I know you’re changing the subject. Second, I live 10 feet away from you. Third, my mother is working the night shift.” Rolling my eyes at his first comment, I leaned back in my chair and stared up at the ceiling as a comfortable silence ensued in the room.

Shutting my eyes I allowed myself to think about how Easton hadn’t mentioned any of today’s despite knowing he was curious. I still hadn’t wrapped my head around the fact that Easton, the devil in disguise, my arch nemesis, had seen me in one of my most vulnerable states. Strangely enough, I felt at ease having him around- as if I could easily trust him with all my darkest secrets, knowing fully well he would never use them against me.

Turning my head over to glance at him, I watched as he mindlessly threw one of my pillows back and forth in the air, humming quietly to himself, completely ignoring the world around him.

Of course this is what he would be doing in his spare time.

Smiling softly to myself, I cleared my throat to get his attention, “Hey Easton?” I called as his head snapped over to look over at me.

“Your highness.” He responded with a serious face as he continued to toss the pillow in the air as I let out a soft chuckle at his response.

“Thank you for today- for listening and being here tonight.” I finally said as he suddenly halted his movements, the pillow falling to his side.

Sitting up on the bed, he looked me straight in the eyes as he opened his mouth to speak, “You don’t need to thank me for anything, Mal. I’m always here to listen.” He said with the most sincere expression before he shot me one of his signature smiles.

I could feel my heart warm at his words and in that moment I knew that there wasn’t anybody else I would have wanted around me during my dark moments.

I was perfectly content with everything that had happened today knowing I would’ve probably been holed up in my room without any human contact for the next couple of days if it hadn’t been for Brandon’s loud mouth.

Smiling back at him, I nodded my head before I watched him scoot off the bed and make his way over to me. I curiously watched as he stopped directly in front of me before offering me his hand, “C’mon, let’s go.” He said with mischievous gleam in his eyes as my eyes drifted back and forth between his eyes and hands.

“Go where?” I questioned with uncertainty as he continued to hold his hand out to me, a wolfish grin making its way onto his face.

“Anywhere. The night is young, let’s go explore.” He urged as he glanced back at the clock before turning to me with a hopeful expression on his face.

Hanging around Easton had definitely rubbed off on me because for some odd reason I wanted to let loose and have fun. I was the type of person to always carefully plan everything out but lately, spontaneity seemed more appealing. And there was none other than Easton to thank for that.

Pulling my phone off the charger, I slipped it into the pocket of my pants before placing my hand in Easton’s, “Lead the way.” I said as I stood up.

With a grin on his face, Easton pulled me across my bedroom and out towards the hallway. The house was pitch dark, and I was surprised my mom hadn’t come into the room and woken me up, like she usually did when I napped. My best guess was that she was stuck at her office still working on her latest case. Tiptoeing across the wooden floor, we made our way downstairs where I quickly slipped on my shoes before grabbing my keys and making our way out the front door. Softly shutting the door behind me, I made sure it was locked before Easton and I ran towards my car. Tossing my keys to Easton who effortlessly caught them, we both jumped into our seats before Easton quickly pulled out of my driveway and made his way to the main roads.

I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins as I turned to Easton with a wide smile on my face, “That was my first time sneaking out!” I exclaimed excitedly as Easton turned to look over at me with a smile mirroring my own.

“The first of many, youngling” He jokingly said as I let out a loud laugh. Leaning over, I switched on the radio to a random station playing music before sitting back in my seat and watching as we drove through the vacant streets.

“Where are we going?” I curiously asked as Easton continued driving farther across town. We had been on the road for nearly fifteen minutes and nearly every surrounding shop was closed.

“We’re getting a late dinner.” He answered as he briefly glanced over at me before turning his eyes back to the road.

“It’s midnight, nothing is going to be open at this time.” I said as a matter factly as he let out a small smile before shaking his head.

“Don’t sound so sure.” He said as he turned into a parking lot which was occupied by one building. I watched as a large sign with flashing lights came into my line of vision we parked in front of the restaurant called, ‘Jim’s 24 hour diner.’

A couple of cars were parked beside us as we both stepped out and made our way towards the entrance. Easton pulled open the door and waited for me to walk in before following closely behind me.

My nostrils were instantly invaded by the scent of food as my eyes roamed over the 70′s interior of the diner. A soft hum of music resonated throughout the shop as we passed the Jukebox that was playing old classics. We made out way through the diner which was unusually buzzing with family and couples chatting and dining despite it being so late. Trailing behind Easton, we arrived to a booth in the far corner of the room and slid into opposite sides of the benches as I continued to look around the shop in awe. The diner was simply beautiful and reminded me of something exactly out of a movie. Various vintage accents decorated the red walls that also held the photographs of various musicians who had been popular decades ago.

“Cool huh? Doesn’t look like much from the outside but this place is a classic.” I heard Easton say as I turned to him with a wide grin on my face. I felt unusually giddy inside, like a child in a candy store as I nodded my head rapidly.

Before I could ask where he had discovered the restaurant, a chirpy voice sounded from beside me as we turned to look at the middle aged woman dressed in black polka dot dress. Her hair was styled in bouncy curls and she wore a wide grin on her face, “Welcome in, folks. What can I get started for you lovebirds today.” She greeted as my eyes widened at her comment.

“Oh we’re not together” I quickly informed as I profusely shook my head. Before I could say anything else, I felt Easton’s leg lightly tap one from underneath the table as he smiled up at the waitress.

“Don’t be silly sweetheart, yes we are” He chastised me as I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. He completely ignored my deathly stare as he continued speaking to the waitress, “Sorry, she’s just a bit shy.” He explained with a wave of hands as the lady turned to me with a smile.

“I was just like you when I was younger sweetheart, and your boyfriend here reminds me of my husband. Always so persistent.” She said as I let out an awkward laugh, not knowing exactly what to say seeing as Easton and I were not and would never be a couple.

“Two years with her and she’s still like this.” Easton continued to joke with the waitress who burst into giggles as she pulled the the notepad out of the pocket of her apron.

“Don’t you worry, she’ll come around.” She reassured before turning to me and flashing a wink. Shooting her a tight smile, I picked up the menu beside me and began scanning through it as Easton continued chatting with the waitress about random things.

The waitress was a sweet lady who had clearly fallen for Easton’s charm and I was going to kill him later for tricking her after she was done taking our order.

“Are you two ready?” She asked after a couple minutes spent looking through the menu. Though everything looked appetizing, I didn’t know what to order so I simply shot Easton a pleading look that screamed ‘help me’. I watched as he nodded his head before turning to the waitress and reciting something off the menu. Jotting everything down on her notepad, she took our menu’s from the table before rushing over to the kitchen to deliver the order.

As soon as she was out of ear shot, my leg shot out and slammed directly into Easton’s shin as he let out a loud yelp, “Holy mother of-” He hissed as his arm slid underneath the table to hold onto his shin. I watched with a satisfied smirk on my face as his eyes shot daggers at me, “What the hell was that for?” He breathed out as he crouched over the table, a look of pain transparent on his face.

“For feeding that woman lies!” I exclaimed as he looked at me incredulously, as if I had just spoken to him in a foreign language.

“You should be thanking me, I did us a favor! We’re probably going to get free dessert because I chatted her up!” He justified, causing me to roll my eyes and let out a loud huff. I watched as he pulled his leg onto the bench before continuing to rub a hand over it whilst glaring at me from across the table like an angry child who had just been denied candy.

“Oh please, I barely touched you.” I scoffed, waving off his overdramatic behavior. I watched as he pushed his leg back down the table before setting his hands on the table and leaning forward, an angry expression still plastered on his face.

“I have a game this week, and I will gladly tell everyone exactly why I won’t be able to play, little miss ‘don’t be overdramatic’.” He threatened as I crossed my arms across my chest, a small smile coming onto my face,

I rarely saw Easton riled up and it satisfied me to know that for once, he wasn’t the one making me angry.

It was actually the other way around, and boy did it feel good.

“Ooh I’m so scared.” I mocked as I held my hands in the air, trying my best to appear afraid of his threats.

Before he could get anything out of his mouth, we were interrupted by food being placed directly in front of us. It was as if every thought had faded away as we both shifted our attention to the food in front of us. Easton had ordered both of us the classic cheeseburger combo with chocolate milkshakes. I could barely hold back the moan as I took my first bite of what was probably the best burger I had ever had. I could hear Easton let out a snort at my behavior but I simply ignored it as I continued to eat the food.

As we ate our meal, we both mindlessly chatted about random things, our previous banter competently forgotten as we discussed anything and everything.

I had just finished telling Easton about Brandon’s first days home from the hospital when I felt him staring at my face with a small smile on his face. Before I could question what he was looking at, he picked up the napkin from the stand and leaned forward on the table to wipe the corner of my mouth. I could feel my body freeze as Easton’s face came closer to mine as he wiped away whatever had been on my face.

I could feel my heart beating out of my chest as my eyes locked onto his. His movements briefly slowed as we both continued to stare at one another, not knowing exactly what was going on. It was like both of us had been in a trance, and neither of us could snap out of it.

“Here is a piece of cake for you two to share, on the house!” The familiar chirpy voice sounded in my ear as Easton pulled away from me and sat back in his seat. I could feel the redness on my face as I avoided eye contact with Easton and turned to face the waitress who wore a small smirk on her face.

“Thank you!” I finally said as she simply shot us both a smile before heading back to the front counter. Clearing my throat to fill the silence, I briefly glanced up at Easton who wore his signature smile on his face as pushed the plate of cake towards me.

“Told ya we’d get free dessert.” He finally broke the silence as we both burst into laughter, all awkwardness fading away into the night.

Hello everyone!

Yes, I am alive and yes I am a horrible author who never gets anything done on time but I guess it’s kinda my trademark now.

Please forgive me for the lack of updates. I know it’s summer and I should have more updates out and believe me I am trying but its hard to find time in between work, hanging out with family and friends, and just making the most out of summer.

I hope you guys can forgive me and enjoyed this update!

Thank you all for being so supportive, I appreciate each and every one of you!

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