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Chapter 5

Knocking. That’s what she heard, constant knocking. Melanie dragged her duvet cover away from her face and swept away the tangled mess of hair that fell over her eyes and gazed at her bedside clock that read 6am in bold red letters and she groaned, she’d gotten exactly two hours sleep, Chase left at three and she only fell asleep at four.

As if on cue the knocking started again and she groaned as she practically fell out of bed “IT’S SIX IN THE MORNING on a Saturday” she yelled.

She shuffled to the door while pulling on her robe “Who on earth has the guts to knock on my door-“she went on as she opened the door but cut herself of with a squeal when she saw who was standing there in jeans and a t-shirt.

"Scotty!” she jumped into her cousin’s arms and he gave a throaty laugh.

“I’m here with a delivery and seeing as I didn’t give you a proper goodbye, I thought I’d visit and drive back on Monday morning” he gave her a tight hug.

He let himself in while she walked to her little kitchen to get coffee starting. As she switched on the coffee machine and gave a yawn her cousin slouched against the doorframe and she sighed “How are you doing bud?”

One thing Melanie will always cherish is the great bond she has with her cousin, even though they had grown up in different towns, they have had a close relationship since she was born and truth be told he’s more a brother to her than anything else.

Tragedy shook his life almost three years back and their bond luckily grew even more, Melanie being his support when he moved back to their hometown and started working for Grandad, evidently moving in with them in her senior year.

“It’s hard Mel… I try to not think about it as much anymore you know? Sometimes it consumes me and other times I just run automatically…” Scotty runs a hand through his hair.

In a blink of an eye he gets his composure back again “So my little Mel Bel, what’s going on with you?”

“Nothing your over protective ears would need to hear thank you very much” she placed his mug on the table next to him.

Grabbing his hand and giving it a squeeze “I don’t know when and I don’t know how but it will get better Scotty, I promise.”

Mel would never forget the ache she felt in her heart when he gave her a broken smile.

Scott cleared his throat “What have you been doing that I would approve of? Better yet, what have you done that I wouldn’t approve of?”

Mel gave him a mischievous smile “Well, thanks to my professor, I have an interview with the university newspaper. She gave the editor my essay on sports and they thought I’d be perfect for the sports opening and maybe even want me to take photos… Don’t tell anyone though, I want to see what happens first.”

Scotty gave her a proud look and gestured that his lips were sealed, furrowing his eyebrows right after “So what have you been doing that I wouldn’t approve of?”

At his question Melanie hid her smile behind her cup and quickly mumbled out her answer to which he gave her an exasperated look.

"Mel could you please not mumble your sins so I could lecture you properly”

“I met a guy, won a poker game and kneed another guy in his groin” she shrugged casually and took another sip of her coffee.

She watched Scott blink one, two, three times before speaking “You met a guy, won at poker and kneed… Who’s this guy you met?”

Naturally that would be the part he would fixate on, she gave him a cheeky smile

“So what time is your delivery? I think I’ll go take a shower and when you get back we can go get some breakfast in town at this really cute diner I found on 6th street, it has the best flapjacks that I have ever tasted-“

“Oh no young lady you best be telling me about this guy you met-“

Melanie cut him off with a chuckle “Why is that the only part bothering you? Did you hear me telling you I won a poker game or that I kneed a guy where the sun doesn’t shine?”

Scott replied her with a shrug “I know it wouldn’t have been strip poker so I’m good and the guy must’ve deserved it, you socked Sam Montgomery so hard I’m sure he never looked your way again. The guy bothers me because you’ve never deemed a guy important enough to tell me you’ve met him, so back to my first question then, who is he?”

Melanie gave a small laugh “You are unbelievable, the only way you know it wouldn’t be strip poker is because well yes and Sam Montgomery had it coming. There’s nothing to tell, he helped me with that devil spider you all laughed at, socked the same guy I kneed and we drank coffee on the porch.”

She finished with a little shrug and got up to place her mug under the coffee machine again, a yawn escaping her.

“I want updates if anything else goes on, why don’t you get your ass in the shower and I’ll wait for you. That way you can do the delivery with me and I’ll take you to that diner on Sixth Street, with the help of your directions obviously, right after.” Scott smiled smugly at her, taking her freshly brewed mug out of her hands.

Quickly she took her mug back, smacking his fingers for trying to take it again “Fine, but you’re paying because you woke me at an ungodly hour.”

Scott grinned and gave her a nod, ushering her out of the kitchen.

Twenty minutes later they locked her front door, out of the corner of her eye she spotted something on her garden chair. She took a step closer and found a deep red rose laying softly on the chair and her heart made an unfamiliar beat.

Behind her Scotty groaned “I told them they should have kept you home, first a guy and now he’s leaving roses.”

Melanie grinned at the secret admirer’s gesture and quickly unlocked her door and placed the rose in a tall glass of water, reminding herself to get a vase.

After locking up for the second time they left the university in a grumpy Scotty’s pick up, Melanie’s thoughts drifting to whether it could be Chase every other second.

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