Chapter 17: Damsel In Distress
She came to me.
Kirsten Green had walked up to me, head in a dumb book about two people who couldn’t seem to keep their hands off each other.
It didn’t seem real that she was standing in front of me, pretty lips parted just enough to notice a chip in one of her teeth. My breathing caught inevitably in my throat, and my hand faltered against a page of the book I was holding.
My mind flashed back to one of the chapters I’d read. ‘Every time we meet it feels like the first time.’ The quote was beginning to hold some truth to it.
I blinked away any feeling, swallowing the words I really wanted to say, before pressing a mediocre, “Oh, it’s you,” in her direction. I flinched as she recoiled backwards slightly, cheeks flushing.
I bit my lip, annoyed at myself for hiding behind a smart mouth. She saw it too, she saw way past all the cocky remarks and quick-fire comments. She’d figured it out when we met. But in that moment, she looked deflated, and it didn’t take any idiot to figure out she was hurt.
The light in her eyes dimmed as I turned my head back down to the book, throat tight. I tried to clamp my mouth shut but the words spilled out before my brain processed what I was saying.
“What, have you suddenly gone mute? It’s funny because you seemed to have so much to say for yourself yesterday.”
I couldn’t let down my guard, couldn’t show her the history she didn’t even know we had. Sometimes you have to act like you don’t care, because if you let someone down early on, they won’t be so broken when it happens for good.
If I seemed too desperate, I would scare her away.
I stole a glance in her direction, immediately noticing the tears in her eyes. She bit them back fiercely. I knew there was an ulterior reason as to why she’d come and found me, and when she broke down about the twins, it was confirmation that she was lonely.
This was my chance. The damsel in distress had fallen at my feet, practically begging for help. Praying on someone’s weaknesses wasn’t my style, but I saw this as an opportunity. Asking her to go on an adventure with me would tear her attention away from Austin and Alice, her two best friends who had deserted her.
Seeing her this hurt, clutching onto memories when everyone knows that does more damage than good, made me want to reach out and pull her into my arms. To try and reattach two broken strings would be impossible, but now that they were gone I had an open road to drive along. Alice and Austin had run away out of fear, fear of me, like they always did. But this time it had actually helped me.
Because now, she was mine. And this was just the start.