The Ghost (Ghost #1)

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Chapter 6

Lia

Fuck, my body hurts. I try to get up, quickly looking around, only to see I’m on the couch in my living room with the three idiots around; William on the phone, Tyler trying to calm down Blake, who is definitely trying to wear a hole in my carpet with his incessant pacing.

I groan as I sit up, catching the guys’ attention. Blake is immediately next to me, putting his arm around me to help me move, making me stiffen. I hate being touched!

“What are you doing here? How did you get in?” I ask, completely ignoring the fact that they probably want to know what happened.

“Are you okay? Are you in any pain? We called 911, they should be here soon. Do you need anything?” Blake fires questions at me, but my mind registers only one thing. They called 911. Fuck!

“I don’t need an ambulance. Call them off.” I demand sternly.

“No! You were coughing up blood, for fuck’s sake, and then you fainted! You need to be seen by a doctor, it’s not normal!” William explodes, shocking me, as I took him for a calm and collected type of guy.

I sigh, resigned. I can't go to a hospital.

“I’ll call a doctor myself. Just call off the ambulance. I’m not going to a hospital.” I tell them as I stand up, done with the ‘conversation’, seeing as they did not even answer my questions. But before I can even make one step away from Blake, he stops me by grabbing my arm.

And I snap.

“STOP TOUCHING ME!” I rip my arm out of his grasp, and I can see he’s clearly shocked.

“Just leave. I’ll be fine.” I say. But I don’t get my wish, they are still here! What the hell do they want now?!

“Lia, you’re hurt. I’m not leaving you like that. Let us at least wait till your parents come home, so you’re not alone. Will, call off the ambulance.” Blake tells me, then directing his attention towards William, who looks ready to argue, but with one glare from Blake he complies nonetheless.

Tyler keeps intently looking at me, as if trying to see right through me, and to be honest, it’s unnerving to say the least. But it’s his words that shock me.

“Who beats you?”

I can feel my eyes widen at the sudden question, and both William and Blake turn to their friend, then to me, their stares imploring. They actually think he’s right!

“No one beats me.” I tell him, my voice strong and unwavering, indicating I’m telling the truth. But Tyler doesn’t see it that way, as his look suddenly turns dark and angry. But his anger doesn’t seem to be directed at me, for some reason.

“Don’t fucking lie to me, Clarke! You’re Blake’s girlfriend now, and that means you’re OUR friend, too! I don’t need a doctor to see that your ribs are hurt! So WHO is it?” It’s my first time seeing him angry.

But getting into a shouting match is not a solution. So I remain calm as I talk.

“No one beats me, Tyler. I had sort of an accident and injured my ribs. That’s why I reacted the way I did when Blake poked me today. And since your grip was pretty strong when you caught me, it irritated the injury, causing me to faint. It’s not a big deal, you didn’t know.” For some reason I felt as though I needed to reassure Tyler that it wasn’t his fault, or anyone else’s.

But apparently, I have no persuasion skills.

“Are you… a-abused? Do your parents hit you?” Tyler asks, seemingly in pain as he asks the questions. Was he-?

“I live alone.” As soon as I say that I notice him releasing a breath of relief, his posture relaxing, muttering ‘thank god’ so quiet I almost didn’t hear it.

But this time it’s Blake who gets angry. They are staring to piss me off!

“What do you mean you live alone?! So you’re staying by yourself?! In this state?! You're hurt!!” He screams, his voice getting louder with each sentence. And my mood getting worse with each minute.

“WILL YOU STOP IT!!!” I yell, effectively shutting him up. “I’ve had enough. Today was exhausting. I want to go to bed and sleep. So why don’t you go home and leave me alone, yeah? My ribs are fine, no one is beating me, I’m okay. – I look at Tyler as I say those words – I know what I’m doing and I know how to take care of myself, – this time I look pointedly at Blake – so PLEASE, just go. Can we not do this today, when I’m tired and in pain? AND CAN YOU STOP STARING AT MY LEGS?!” I explode at the end seeing their attention is still on my exposed legs.

The guys look like at me like kids caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Boys! Ugh. I shake my head at them and head towards the front door, holding it open for them, hoping they will take a hint and finally leave.

And for once today, I get my wish.

Almost.

Tyler pauses for a second as he goes outside. He looks at me with sympathy and hugs me carefully, not touching my ribs.

“Take care, little one, and stay strong.” He whispers in my ear. What the hell?

He lets go of me, patting my head lightly, then gives me a smile and walks towards his car.

I need a fucking shower! I start feeling sick as the feeling of the guys’ touch makes me nauseous.

I lock the door, and change the password while I’m at it cause I still don’t know how the guys got in. Then I hurriedly head towards the bathroom, almost ripping the robe in my haste to take it off.

I don’t even wait for the water to get warm when I start scrubbing my skin furiously. As the water warms up, I go through the whole day in my head, still not understanding what the hell has happened today.

First Blake asks me out, then he claims me as HIS, then shows up at my house and asks me out again, because he wants me to PRETEND to be his GIRLFRIEND in front of his parents, to which I fucking agree – why did I agree to this? – and then Tyler aggravates my broken ribs, making me cough up blood and collapse in front of all three.

Today was a fucking disaster.

I can’t wait for tomorrow. I think sarcastically as I leave the shower and head to bed.

As I lie in bed, hopelessly waiting for the sleep to come, my phone pings, indicating a new message. Surprised, since no one knows this number, I lean over towards my nightstand to take my phone but what I see almost makes me crush it in fury.

THAT FUCKER!!! I WILL FUCKING KILL HIM!!!

I read the words over and over again, getting more and more furious by the second. Now I’m sure I won’t be able to fall asleep.

Right there on the screen, there are two words.

“Goodnight, sweetheart”

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