To Love So Pure

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Chapter 5

The room was quiet. To quiet in Caroline’s opinion. She silently wished she had brought her blue tooth ear piece so she could sneak her courage music into the dull exams.

It was the last day of exams, and Caroline was pouring herself over the page of her least favorite subject. Algebra. She had hoped she would at least get a passing score. The exam was half her grade average and she knew without a doubt that she would not make the standard B. in the class if she didnt.

Her Teacher Mrs. Beasley had helped her out the best she could. She didnt know all the reasons behind Carolines struggles in her class, but she had a feeling it was alot more then just being poor at the subject.

Caroline was a good student, and worked hard. So giving her extra credit was something she didnt mind doing.

Groaning, caroline leaned her forehead against her desk. Why didnt she understand. She had done these problems over and over all week, but it seemed that now she was in front of the real thing; the pressure was on.

Looking up, Caroline met the unwavering eyes of her Mrs. Beasley. She gave Caroline a confident nod of her head, with a wave of her hand. With a sigh, Caroline picked up her pencil again and set to work, hoping and praying that she was writing the numbers down in the right sequence, and coming to the right answer.

***********

“Caroline, can you please stay after class? I have something I would like to give to you.” Mrs. Beasley’s voice echoed through the room softly when the bell rang and the other students began to file out.

Caroline stood from her desk, slowly packing away her things into her bag. Her heart was beating fast, and her mouth ran dry. She had never been told to stay after class and it be anything good.

Finishing up with her items, she slowly made her way to stand in front of her teachers desk. Mrs. Beasley could tell she was nervous, if the way her hands were ringing the strap on her bag was any indicator.

Reaching over, she pulled a sheet of paper from under a book on her desk and offered it up to her.

Caroline was confused, but reached over and grabbed the page anyways. Nervously looking at her teacher, Mrs. Beasley nodded in a gesture that told her to look. So she did.

Butterflies ruptured in her stomach and she let out a breath she hadnt even known she was holding. There staring back at her was the final exam she had handed in only 15 minutes before, and it was graded. The score on the page shocked even her, and she couldnt help the smile that made its way to her lips. 97%. Not a perfect score, but it was so much better then she had thought it would be.

Caroline felt a prickle in her eyes. She was honestly about to cry like a baby over a test score. She snapped her watery gaze up to Mrs. Beasleys now smiling face.

“Ar- Are you sure this is right?” She choked out, her voice cracking a bit.

“Its right.” Mrs. Beasley said softly, coming from around the side of her desk to lay her hands on Caroline’s shoulders and bring her in for a small comforting hug.

“You did that on your own. This was a very serious test, and I didnt help you in the slightest. I am so proud of you.” Squeezing her shoulder in affection.

May came running into the room, and rushed up to Caroline at the site of her crying.

“Care, whats wrong?” She asked. Caroline just shook her head, and dabbed her eyes. Her smile never leaving her face.

“I passed.” She croaked. Caroline knew she probably looked stupid, crying over a test, but she didnt care. She worked hard and she was damn proud of her results.

May grabbed her up in a hug. She knew how important this was to her, and was happy for her.

“Thats great, Care! Come over to my house tonight and stay the weekend! Well do... umm... something to celebrate!” May said.

Caroline’s heart dropped, and she turned to May.

“I dont think my dad will let me this weeked.” She admited sadly. May just waved her off.

“Ill have mom call him and ask him if we can borrow you to help with some outside house chores.” Caroline winced. She hated lying to her dad, and if her dad ever found out she was, she would be in even bigger trouble.

“I dont have any clothes though.” She tried, but may just brushed it aside.

“You have the ones you left there last weekend.”

“But what if they plan to go out this weekend. Who would watch the kids?” Caroline questioned as may sent a quick text message to her mom to call Caroline’s dad.

“So that will be there problem.” She locked her screen and shoved her phone back into her pocket, and faced Caroline. “Look, the only time you actually get to act like the teenager you are is when you are at my house. You are to young to be playing ‘mommy’ to these kids, and its about time they start picking up their responsability instead of shoving it all on you.” A ding from May’s phone cut her off and she pulled it back out.

“But-” May grabbed Caroline by the wrist and drug her from the class.

“To late, mom said she already talked to your dad, and he said that is was fine. So-” May smiled. “Lets go home.”

********

The movie played in the dark living room, and the girls huddled up under a blanket with hot chocolate and carmel popcorn sitting on thier laps.

May had already fallen asleep, and Caroline smiled soflty at their girl as the credits of the movie rolled across the screen.

Caroline reached up and stretched her hands above her head, sighing as her limbs popped and creaked. Pulling the blanket off of her legs, she tucked it more securely around May, and turned the movie off.

Throwing the dishes into the sink, Caroline’s phone buzzed in the pocket of her fleece pajama bottoms.

She couldnt help the flutter of her stomach when she saw Jesse’s name on her screen.

Wanna go for a walk? -J

Pulling on a jacket and sneakers, Caroline stepped outside on the back patio and lit a cigarette. Sipping slowly on what was left of her now luke warm coco.

You do know it’s almost 2 in the morning right? -C

A warm fuzzy smile played on her lips as she sent the message. Caroline plopped down into one of the seats. She drug happily on her cigarette and scrolled through facebook, waiting for a reply.

When she finally put her cigarette out, there was still no reply, so picking up her cup from the table, she decided that he had changed his mind.

Making her way back to the door, she felt a firm hand grab her wrist. Jumping at the sudden touch, Caroline geared up for a mighty scream and prepared herself to fight until someone came to her rescue.

There was a strong, but soft pull on her wrist, and her back was shoved up against the side of the house, and a hand covered her mouth. Her scream she was trying to let loose was muffled to almost nothing from behind the hand. Thrashing, she tried to push the intruder off, feeling her fight instincts coming in full swing.

“Caroline, shhh, its just me.” His voice washed over her like a balm. His hand came slowly off of her mouth, and she felt anger course through her.

Jerking forward, she snapped at his hand, which resulted in him pulling it to his chest faster, a bewildered look on is face.

“Jerk! You damn near gave me a heart attack!” Jesse chuckled. And Caroline tried to hold her scowl, but his smile was infectious. Feeling the corners of her lips twitch, she finally sighed and let her smile cover her face.

“Sorry, I saw you going inside, and just wanted to get your attention.” He said with a shrug. “But then you started screaching like a banshee, and I had to shut you up before you woke up the whole damn neighborhood.” He said, snatching the pack of cigarettes peeking from the top of her bra.

She felt his knuckles graze her collor bone and sucked in a breath. Shocked so completly at the bold move.

“Watch your hands.” She warned through clenched teeth.

“Oh come off it, you loved it. Your body practically screams for my touch.” He picked and Caroline felt her face heat up and her jaw unhinged. She hadnt even noticed that they had started to make their way down the street. Walking slowly.

“Ugh! Im only 13! Your such a pervert!” She stuttered, looking away when she felt her blush heating up all the way to her ears.

His low laugh, had her head swinging back to face him. Irritation flashed in her eyes, watching him laugh at her with such abandon. Huffing, She reached over and snatched her cigarettes back from is grasp and tapped one out for herself.

“You such an ass.” She said matter of factly. “So why all of a sudden did you want to take a walk at this time of night?” She asked, and looked up to see they had made it to the park a few blocks down from May’s house.

Caroline took a seat on one of the swing seats and lightly kicked up into a lazy swing. puffing her cigarette into the night cold air.

“I just... Felt like having a walk. Is that a crime?” He answered, leaning against the pole beside her swing seat.

“Well no, But why ask me to come out. What about doogey?” Throwing his cigarette to the ground he crossed his arms around his chest, and leaned his head back to look at the surprisingly clear stary night sky.

“Doogey isnt as pretty as you. I needed a pretty view.” He picked, and smirked down at Caroline who once again was cursing the fact that she couldnt stop blushing like a damn fool.

“Besides, I never got a chance to ask you how you did on your finals.” The smile on her face was bright and genuin as she remembered her passing grades in all of her classes. Her Daddy was going to be so proud of her.

“I passed them all.” She said excitedly. And he couldnt stop the way his heart fluttered a bit at her child like excitement. She was always so serious, or just flat out mean at times.

“Even my algebra exam! I really didnt expect the score I got on that one. Because everyone who knows me, knows that I am the worlds worst at anything math.” She explained.

Looking back up, she noticed the light in his eyes, and felt his stare boring into hers. Feeling a little self concious, she pulled her jacket a little tighter around her, and began her lazy swing once more.

“So, what? No fights planned for tonight?” She teased, and he shook his head.

“No, that was earlier. I won that one to. It was a quick victory. I hate when they dont give me much of a challenge.” She felt herself genuinly curious.

“Why would you want that? Wouldnt make the win harder to get? Easy wins sound great to me.” She replied.

“When they are easy wins, I feel as if I havnt earned the money and I dont like that. Plus, if they dont put up a fight, how am I supposed to get my training in.” He smirked and she shook her head.

“It seems to me, it would be better not to get your ass kicked every day. Or atleast in my opinion.” Caroline said, pushing her feet under her.

“Oh, but then the other guy would get his ass kicked then. How is that fair? Because i am most certainly not to be taken lightly in a fight...” Caroline scoffed, crossed her arms over her chest and cut him off.

“Fuck fair, better them then you...” She stopped her words before she shoved her foot any further in her mouth. She couldnt believe those words came from her mouth and had no idea where the hell they came from.

Coming out of her shocked daze, she glanced toward his now smirking face, and rolled her eyes.

“I mean, I know you. I dont know them. So what do I care.” She said, trying and failing miserably to cover up for her earlier words.

“You like me.” He stated. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest and she took her vision to the ground.

“No I dont. But you are a friend of mine and...” Jesse rolled his eyes and grabbed the chains on the swing, bringing it to a stop. staring level eyed at her down cast gaze.

Her rant came to a shocked stop when she felt the swing jerk to a halt. Her head flew up and met his cheeky gaze.

“You like me.” He stated again. She felt his breath ghost over her face. He was that close. To close. Grabbing hold of the little bit of resolve she had, she answered truthfully.

“I barely know you though, Jesse.” She whispered. And he nodded. All traces of teasing leaving his face.

“I know, but I also know you feel a connection with me...” His hand came up to push a stray locke of hair behind her ear. “The same one I feel to you.” He whispered.

She couldnt deny that his words were true. And that scared her. She had only just met him not to long ago and not in the best of situations either.

She was scared; if she was being completly honest with herself. He was so young, and still he somehow dripped with a dangerous way to him. She couldnt believe how he does what he does.

She wasnt scared of him, but rather what he was capable of doing. It was a warning sign she needed to stay away from him. But then why was she still being pulled to him to.

Without even really knowing him, he had somehow become very important to her. And she couldnt deny it from herself or him.

“But I dont know why.” She whispered back, and he chuckled, smiling softly down at her. His eyes flickering from her gaze to her lips. And she felt her nerves come alive as he ran his hand down her cheek and his thumb stroked down her chin. Just the feather lightest of touch across her bottom lip that made her shiver.

Was he going to kiss her? Would she let him?

“I know. Me either.” He said, then abruptly pulled away from her and walked out to an open clearing in the middle of a grove of trees. There was a gaping whole through the tops of the trees, and the stars shined brightly through it.

She watched him plop down to the ground and throw himself backwards. His hands under his head.

“You coming or what?” He asked, and she let a breath out that she didnt even know she was holding. smiling, she walked over to him, and layed down beside him.

They stayed that way for a while. They didnt speak. For some reason, they didnt have to and they both knew that.

Faster then she would have liked, it had become to cold to stay out any longer. She was feeling like a popcicle and her jacket wasnt doing much anymore to keep her warm.

*********

They walked back in silence. Her arms were wrapped around herself in an attempt to keep as much heat on herself as possible. But she couldnt help the shivers.

A heavy jacket landed on her shoulders and she looked up confused, to see Jesse walking beside her in a short sleeved shirt, his hands adjusting his jacket more securly on her shoulders.

“Jesse, your going to freeze to death. Put this back on.” She said, trying to shrug the jacket from her shoulders.

“Ill be ok, im perfectly fine in this type of weather. You on the other hand are about to rattle your teeth right out of your head if you keep shivering like this.” He said, grabbing the front of the jacket to keep her from taking it off. He held it securely until she stopped struggling.

Caroline gave up and nodded her head.

“Thank you.” She said, bringing her hands up to either side of her neck to get warmth back into her frozen and acheing digits.

Jesse watched her. It was a simple gesture, but she made it look so damn cute. Her nose was rosy from the cold air and her hair was down and cascading down down her shoulders from under the hood of her jacket.

They walked in silence like that. She never took her hands down from her neck and before they knew it, they were back on the back patio of May’s house. She could see light from inside the kitchen and knew that Mrs. Lucas was awake. She had completly lost track of time and forgot that Mrs. Lucas was an early riser.

Looking back toward Jesse, she smiled. Holding his jacket out to him.

“I should probably get inside.” Caroline smiled, but Jesse never took the jacket from her hands.

“Keep it. It looks good on you.” He smirked. Caroline shook her head.

“Jesse, Its freezing tits out here. your going to get sick...” he lightly knocked her chin with his fist.

“Then you will just have to take care of me again.” He winked, and she flushed.

Caroline geared up again to argue her point, but lost all thought when Jesse, grabbed her hand and pulled her sharply into a hug. And she couldnt help but to melt into his embrace.

Damn he was like a furnace. And the muscles she could feel under her hands were sinful. It shocked her that a boy his age could even possess such.

“Stay warm badger.” He stated, then shocked her more completly by dropping a chaste kiss to her forehead before fading into the night and dissapearing.

Forcing herself to come back to earth, Caroline looked down at the jacket he had left her with. Shaking her head with a smile, she walked into the house from the back sliding door and Mrs. Lucas was seated at the table with her news paper and coffee.

Caroline felt nervouse. Would she be mad? She had never done anything like this before and she didnt know if she could take having her dissapointed in her.

“Did you have a good walk?” Mrs. Lucas asked soflty. Smiling at Caroline in a motherly way.

“Yes, umm... im sorry. I should have left a note, but I was already outside when he got here and we just left... we were only at the park. Im so sorry...” Mrs lucas held her hand up, silencing Caroline and she felt her heart drop. She had dissapointed her.

“Caroline, I do not mind.” Snapping her head up to look at the older woman in front of her. “I knew who you were with, Jesse left a text on my phone when you left with him. I got it when I woke up.” Standing, Mrs. Lucas made Caroline a cup of coffee, and handed it to the girl.

“I trust you, and I trust him. I knew you were safe.” Caroline nodded her head in thanks, sipping the coffee. Welcoming the warmth it provided her once frozen body.

“Now, go get some rest.” Mrs Lucas said, shooing the girl to the room down the hall.

Once the door clicked shut behind her, Caroline shrugged out of the jacket and tossed both of them in her bag, and snuggled up under May’s coveres.

********

That sunday morning, Caroline went home. Her parents needed her to watch the kids while they went to a movie with some friends.

After spending the day cleaning the house, that night, she took her duffle bag into the laundry room to start her weekend laundry.

Pulling the clothes out one at a time, she put them into the washer. A familier scent hit her and she smiled. His jacket clutched in her hands. It smelled just like him, and she couldnt bring herself to put it into the washer. throwing it over her arm, she shut the lid to the washer.

Caroline pulled her arms through the oversized jacket and walked out onto her front porch, lighting a cigarette.

Stuffing the pack into the pocket of the jacket, Caroline was surprised that her hand met something already in the pocket. Had he left something in it?

Caroline pulled it out and noticed it was a small ring box with a pink ribbon pourly tied. She wouldnt have opened it if it hadnt been for ‘Badger’ scrawled across the bottom of the ribbon with sharpe. Laughing at how obvious it was that a guy had wrapped the gift, she pulled the small string and opened the small box.

A note fell from the box. It had been folded and folded so many times to fit into the tiny thing. The note was sweet and simple.

Small victories are worth celebrating to. Great job on those exams. Hope you like it.

-Jesse

Setting the note aside, Caroline inspected the contents of the box and couldnt help the hitch in her breath. It was a simple silver thumb ring. But What made it stand out was the carving of her initials on the top of the band. It was beautiful.

Slipping it onto her finger, she grabbed her phone and took a quick picture of it, and sent it to him.

It is beautiful. Thank you. -C

Glad you like it. Dont get all sappy on me. It was nothing really. -J

Dont be a jerk! -C

no can do, its in my nature ;) -J

Night. :) -C

No other replies came back from him. But she was ok with that. She hurried and snuffed her cigarette out and decided it was about time for bed. Lucky for her, spring break was here. She didnt have to wake up early in the morning.

Snuggling under the covers. She pulled the sleevs of his jacket to her face and fell into a deep sleep.

Oblivious to her phone viberating off her night stand in the middle of the night.

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