Chapter 38 - Spider!
There were so many kisses we didn't consider as kisses, and it seemed like the hundred kisses deal became pointless because of that. But this time, this moment...
I'm counting it in the deal.
Daniel held my face gently as he bit my lower lip. I put my hand on top of his as I returned the favor.
His weight was pressing against me on my bed but he was careful not to crush me. I could almost hear our heartbeats competing at who's faster, louder.
I don't know what had gotten into me. The fear I initially had when I saw that look on his face quickly turned into excitement.
I held back a gasp when I felt his hand rest on my bare skin. We were fully clothed but due to all the movement, my shirt was half-way rolled up my stomach.
His lips were warm, his breath was hot, his touch burned.
And I feel guilty for wanting more of it.
I still can't comprehend what was happening. I was teasing him, wasn't I? I had the upper hand.
How did he turn the tables and ended up dominating me?
When our lips parted, we were out of breath. He stared at me deeply before he started kissing my neck, making me press my lips together to conceal a sigh.
It tickled a bit, but it felt nice.
It felt really nice.
I wasn't even thinking about anything else other than what Daniel was doing to me right now, when all of a sudden my phone started to ring.
It took three rings before I blindly took my phone from under my pillow. I froze up when I saw my dad's name flash on the screen.
Daniel saw this too and had the same reaction. Then his phone started ringing too.
We quickly sat up straight from the bed and fixed ourselves up as if our parents could see us.
We were guilty as chocolate.
"Hey dad!" I said as soon as I answered the call. I probably sounded a bit too loud. Oh my God. I hope he doesn't notice anything weird.
"Hey honey," dad replied, sounding a bit tired. "I'm just calling to check up on you. How's school?"
I nodded quickly, panicking. "Oh you know, the usual. How's your back?"
"I'm getting better. We're hoping to come home soon. And honey, are you okay? You sound a little weird."
"Do I? Ha ha ha," I asked, then I started laughing nervously.
When I turned to Daniel for help, I could clearly see in his face that he was dealing with something similar.
"Yeah, dad, um..." He mumbled, fumbling his words as he tried to come up with an excuse. "We had to run a bit, that's why I sound like this. Yeah... Yeah a... a dog chased us a little while ago."
He was slapping his face as he said this. It was ridiculous but I followed his excuse and told dad the same thing.
"What dog? Whose dog?" Dad asked.
"Umm..." I bit my nail as I looked to Daniel for help again. Our excuses had to match for it to be believable. "A chihuahua. You know how scary they are."
My turn to slap my face.
A chihuahua? Really?
"Oh!" Dad replied. "That's our neighbor's dog! You know, that lady from across the street with the pink hair?"
I snapped my fingers, glad that our fake story had a match with reality. Was it really just a coincidence? I think I'm using up my luck for this year. "Yeah that dog! It sure was feisty. Ha ha..."
God I hope my laugh wasn't too robotic.
"Are you okay? Did it bite you guys? I'm gonna have a word with that lady when we get back."
"No, we're fine! We're really okay dad!" I quickly said, almost yelling. I was panicking. "We made it to the house without a scratch. We're safe."
There was a silence for a few seconds. I almost gulped.
"Is Daniel treating you okay?" Dad asked, sounding genuinely worried. But there was a hint of strictness in his tone.
I have no idea what he was thinking when he asked me that question. Maybe it was just him being a dad. Or maybe it was something else, I don't know.
I watched Daniel at the other side of the bed, busy with his own phone call. His dad too, probably. He looked worn out already.
I smiled unknowingly.
"Yes," I replied truthfully and wholeheartedly. "He is."
There was this short silence before my dad cleared his throat when I said that. I raised a brow. "Well... That's good. You kids stay safe back there. We'll be home soon. Love you."
"Love you too dad."
As soon as he hung up, I held my phone against my chest and breathed a sigh of relief. I feel so guilty about lying to my dad.
"It was a really scary chihuahua dad," Daniel almost groaned; massaging his temples as he sunk in my bed. I giggled. He still wasn't finished with his interrogation.
His eyes quietly met mine, sending me a look of distress followed by a playful smile that I returned effortlessly.
This was actually kind of fun.
"Stop that." He said, his face turning the slightest shade of pink. I was curious as to what his dad told him. "I'm hanging up now."
And he did.
I could hear his dad's loud and cheery laughter as soon as he took his phone off his ear to end the call.
He probably got teased again.
When he placed his phone back in his pocket, he released a deep sigh. We were silent for almost a minute, still recovering from those questionable phonecalls.
Plus the um... part before that.
"So..." I mumbled. I didn't know what I should say, but I knew I had to say something. I hated awkward silences.
"I'm sorry." He quickly apologized, shifting the mood. His head was slightly down as if he just did something wrong.
He watched me for about a few seconds, looking lost and a bit confused. He placed his hand on the back of his head and averted his gaze.
He looked adorable, honestly.
I was getting tempted to tease him again.
"I... I might've crossed the line. I broke my promise."
I didn't understand what he meant at first, but when I did, I just hid a small smile.
He was talking about how he wouldn't kiss me until we were official. To be honest, that promise wasn't necessary, but he made it so I would be comfortable and sure of my feelings.
He made that promise to give me time to think about him. About us.
And as a personal restraining order, of course.
But he didn't need to do that. When he made that promise, he had no idea I already had feelings for him. I always have. It never left, it just grew.
But I was scared to admit that. Maybe it was my pride. Maybe I was just shy. Maybe I was just scared of a repeat from our childhood.
That memory when I told him that I loved him, and when he left the day after. That car disappearing into the streets... they were etched in the back of my mind.
I guess I could call that my first heartbreak.
It was just a childhood memory. A bit childish and nothing too serious. But it made me think a lot. Because history always, always repeats itself.
Daniel kept glancing at me, waiting and getting ready to be scolded. Maybe he thought I was disappointed in him or something.
My silence must've bothered him a lot, so he spoke up again.
"I'm sorry. I'm a jerk, I know. I'm sorry." And then he winced, probably expecting to get hit.
I hid my expressions. He was so used to how I treated him back then. I feel kind of bad about it now.
As a reply to his apology, I slid closer to him, watching him quietly as he followed my eyes.
My heart was beating so fast, and my breath was running short.
I placed my hand on the back of his neck, giving him a small smile before I pecked his lips like a mischievous little kid.
"Twenty-two." I grinned, earning a confused and surprised expression from him.
Then I kissed him again. "Twenty-three." And again. "Twenty-four."
I was looking into his eyes the whole time, and I almost burst out laughing because he seemed like he forgot to blink or even breathe for that matter.
I smiled at him again, his presence alone making my heart warm and comfortable.
I wrapped my arms around him, giving him a tight squeeze before I looked up to his face again and slowly gave him another kiss, passionately but gently.
"Twenty-five..." I said when I broke the kiss, almost out of breath. I think I forgot how to breathe too. I was too caught up in the moment. I felt so high.
"Does..." He whispered, staring at my eyes hopefully. His warm breath was fanning my lips and I was getting tempted to kiss him again. I had to control myself. "Does that mean--"
Before he could finish that sentence, I quickly pressed my lips on his mouth and smiled as I did so.
Yes, you butthead.
That means I love you too.
But I'm not saying that out loud yet.
"Twenty-six." I stood up before he got the chance ask again. "Let's go have dinner."
I hid a giggle before I dashed for the door, leaving him all flustered and in a daze.
I'm not sure how long I stayed in her room after what she just did to me.
I kept replaying the memory of her kissing me again and again. And again.
And God. God.
I felt like my heart was gonna explode. My insides felt so weird and tingly.
I felt like screaming at the top of my lungs... though it might shock some people so never mind.
My bodily reactions were much quicker than the slow processing going on in my mind. It was still sinking in, because I can't believe it. There's no way I can be this lucky. I must be dreaming.
Then a recent memory hit me, when she smiled and kissed me. When she hugged me.
I could feel a stupid grin crawling up my face. I let out a breath of laughter then held my mouth to suppress it.
But I couldn't suppress it. I laughed again, like a total idiot.
"Alright..." I said to myself triumphantly. I clutched my chest, hoping to calm down the thing inside. I sighed loudly, yet it sounded like another laugh because I was just too damn happy. "I'm crazy."
I hope she doesn't walk in and see me in this ridiculous state of euphoria. She might change her mind.
Never mind about our status. She felt the same. She felt the same way.
I wanna jump. Can I jump? Or skip. Or leap. Or whatever. Oh damn. Oh damn.
I'm too happy.
My face hurt; only then did I realize that I was smiling like an idiot the whole time. But I can't help it. Was this really happening?
I just can't believe it.
"Aaaahh," I kept my voice as quiet as possible as I fell on her bed, grabbing a pillow to smother my face with. "I'm done for."
The next day at school was different. We were different. All our friends noticed it.
We weren't even holding hands or anything. We weren't glued to each other. But I guess it showed on our expressions.
We entered the classroom and noticed Tops talking shyly to Anne. They were still at that awkward stage but I know it was gonna disappear in no time. It was progress.
Ella was no where to be seen. If she was here I just know she would instantly know what had happened between me and her best friend.
And she'd be proud of us.
I'm proud of us.
As soon as my butt hit the seat, I quickly turned to my right to look at her, not even hiding the huge smile on my face anymore. I can't suppress it anymore.
She laughed and shook her head, pretending to be cool about it as she stared at the board, avoiding my face at all costs.
"Don't." She laughed, then pressed her lips together to conceal a smile. My heart.
"But I didn't even say anything yet." I said, holding back a chuckle myself.
I still can't believe this was really happening. I still can't believe that last night wasn't a dream.
She rolled her eyes laughing. I can't help but think that she was the most beautiful girl in the world just by that. "Shut up."
I playfully sealed my lips together and pretended to zip it close. It was pretty lame but it got us laughing like we were on drugs.
Guess we were just that high.
"Can you guys be any more obvious?" We heard Anne say. She was walking towards us with Tops following behind her, his face bright and giddy.
I directed a look at my smitten cousin. "Can you?"
It seemed like he was struggling keep a straight face. But as soon as I said that, his expression broke loose and he was all smiles. He even started laughing, shaking his head as if mentally calling himself an idiot.
I know, because I was an idiot too.
But at least we were happy idiots.
Wow, that sounded lame.
"We're screwed, aren't we?" He sighed, covering half his face with his palm. I chuckled, knowing exactly what he meant.
The girls were just giggling at us. It was a funny sight to them, but to us it really meant a lot. It meant everything actually.
That moment of bliss was interrupted when I suddenly heard a click. I immediately froze up. What was that?
That familiar sound made me feel nauseous and my heart sped up. Where did it come from? We were at school. What was happening?
I heard it a second time and watched Tops if he noticed it too, but he seemed too distracted. He was busy talking animatedly with the girls.
I shook my head.
Maybe it just sounded similar. Or maybe one of my classmates were having a random photoshoot or something.
Don't think too much about it.
But it was a feeling I couldn't quite shake off just like that.
"Ey," Tops called my attention, putting a hand on my shoulder. "What's wrong?"
I shook my head. I didn't want to spoil the fun with a little speculation. "Nothing."
He had this weird look on his face that meant he didn't believe me, but before another word could leave his mouth, we heard a loud crash just right in front of the teacher's desk.
Ella had accidentally fallen on the floor, notebooks and papers scattered everywhere. And Sean.
Sean was standing right there.
Kristina immediately got up, getting ready to rescue her best friend but he beat her to it.
Ella seemed like she was in a trance even when she had already fallen down. What could have happened?
Sean crouched down and quietly gathered the papers. Nobody in the room made a sound. Nobody went anywhere near the two.
Everybody was watching.
"Sorry," he said, somewhat panicking. It was almost like a hushed whisper.
"It's okay," Ella spoke in monotone. "It's okay."
He set aside the papers he just picked up and offered her his hand. "Let me help you."
"No." She said, quickly gathering the papers around her. "It's okay. Really."
There was a slight pause before Sean spoke again, sounding solemn. Sounding guilty. "But you hurt yourself."
Ella didn't look at him once. Even I could feel the tension from this distance.
Sean almost looked mad because of her stubborn replies. His brows furrowed and a frown was clear on his face. His voice was too low and serious. It wasn't like him. "Ella."
"Sean." She matched his tone, if not a little stronger. "I said I'm fine."
He tried to meet her eyes but she was determined to avoid it. I honestly felt sorry for the guy.
"Are you really?" He asked. It sounded like he was not pertaining to her accident just now.
She finally met his eyes when he said that. Her gaze was quite piercing but it didn't hold any anger in it. Disappointment or even sadness maybe. But there was no anger. If there was, it looked like it was completely extinguished.
She had finally finished gathering the notebooks and papers and was now hugging them against her chest. She took the papers Sean had collected from the floor as well.
Her eyes dulled as she quietly returned his question in a more meaningful manner.
A heavy silence followed after that. Sean had no words at all. He just looked down as Ella stood up and went back to her desk.
Luckily Miss Stanford came in to start the class. Everybody went back to their seats, dead silent. I saw Kristina giving Anne some sort of message in her expressions and Anne nodded at her.
Female telepathy maybe?
I'll ask them about it later.
Just as Miss Stanford started her lecture, I heard that click again. I was uncomfortable in every way. I felt like someone was watching us and it wasn't just paranoia taking its toll.
Or was it?
I felt my foot getting kicked and noticed that Kristina was the culprit. She raised a brow at me, asking me what was wrong.
Was I that obvious? I thought I hid my expressions pretty well. Did I lose that talent when I fell for her?
If I was the me back then, I would've cringed at my thoughts. Maybe.
I shook my head at her smiling but she didn't look convinced in the slightest.
As soon as Miss Stanford turned her back to write on the board, and the rest of the class were too distracted jotting down notes, I casually took Kristina's hand and kissed the back of her palm.
She held back a gasp. She probably wasn't expecting that. I set my cheek on her hand and fought back a smile.
Now I've calmed down.
Usually I wouldn't be this affectionate at class, but I was feeling a tornado of emotions right now. Like a child, I wanted her comfort yet I didn't want her to worry. I know she had Ella to worry about for now.
I heard an obvious cough behind our seats and someone cleared her throat loudly. It didn't take a genius to guess it was Tops and Anne.
Before Miss Stanford turned back to face the class, I returned Kristina's hand, sending her a playful grin after that.
For now, I won't think much of my suspicions and just enjoy my time with her. Though neither of us declared that we were officially a couple, at least we were sure our feelings were mutual.
I was going to make the best out of every minute we spend together. I'm sure Tops is thinking the same thing about Anne.
After all, it was just a matter of time before we're forced to go back to London.
Ella left before Anne and I could catch up to her. She was in such a hurry that she even left some of her stuff in her desk.
I called and texted her a few times. She sent me only one reply.
| Sorry. I'm just tired today. I just wanna sleep. I'll talk about it when I get better. |
I was worried sick and curious as hell. What happened? What did Sean do?
I know it was wrong to accuse him for why Ella was being like this but that little scene in front of the whole class earlier convinced me that he did or said something to her.
I didn't even realize I was already storming towards his desk until I saw Daniel and Kristopher sitting on the chairs around him.
The three of them stared at me as I glared at Sean. Usually he'd look terrified. But today he seemed indifferent.
My glare fell into something a little less intimidating after seeing that crestfallen look on his face.
I didn't even say anything yet. Sean spoke first.
"She's got a small scratch on her left arm and a bruise on her knee when she fell down earlier." He said, standing up and preparing to go home. It seemed like he was ignoring the boys. Which was weird, considering that he was the one always engaging lively conversations with them.
Today, he wasn't lively at all.
Neither was Ella.
And it was just... heartbreaking.
"See you guys tomorrow." He weakly smiled before he dragged his feet out the classroom.
I was so ready to run my mouth and get mad at him for something he probably did to Ella, but that rage immediately died down when I saw his expressions and heard what he had to say.
What exactly happened that morning?
"Let's just give them some time," Anne appeared right beside me. "We're all worried about them, but they need to sort this out on their own first."
I slowly nodded, agreeing to what she said, but I was still unsettled. Ella has always been there for me whatever it was I was going through. And now that she was going through something like this, I was completely useless.
I know she told me that she was gonna tell me about her and Sean when she was ready, but when was that? She always feigned being brave. Is she gonna keep doing that until she breaks?
I want to prevent that from happening to her again from the same guy but I can't. Because she won't let me.
"Let's go home." Daniel said, carrying my things for me and taking my hand, which surprised me a bit. He was quite affectionate today.
"Aaw," Anne cooed. "You guys are so sweet."
Then Kristopher stepped in. "Want us to be sweet too?"
She rolled her eyes laughing as she walked away. "Nice try."
Kristopher shrugged his shoulders at us before he jogged after her. He was trying to convince her to let him drive her home but she was keen on saying no. One of the reasons was because she had her own car.
I heard Daniel snicker beside me. "Anne wasn't kidding when she said she was gonna give him a hard time."
I sighed but I was happy for them. I'm glad they rekindled their friendship and are now developing a romantic relationship.
Now if only Sean and Ella had the heart to talk it out like them...
Before I could think of anything else, Daniel was already pulling me to his car. He was acting kinda strange today. Was it because of what I did last night?
When we arrived at my house, we had dinner and I went straight to my room. I was itching to call Ella but I remembered Anne's advice. I should give her time. She'd probably think I was a bother if I called her now.
"Hey," Daniel tapped on my door before stepping inside.
"Oh my, you do know how to knock." I mock-gasped, trying to cheer myself up by teasing Daniel.
He slid on my bed and sat Indian-style in front of me, copying my position. A pillow was resting between my arms and legs for comfort.
"How are you?" He asked. I sighed and cupped my cheeks with my hands, not caring if my face looked smushed at the moment.
"I feel like a useless best friend."
"You're not and you know it." He said, pinching my nose. I winced and he took his hand back before I could slap it away. "You know how she's always been. She's a strong girl. She'll come to you for help the moment she can't handle it by herself anymore and you'll be there in a heartbeat."
I just quietly nodded. It was true what he said.
I'll be right here when she needs me.
"Next question," he said, his tone changing into something wickedly playful. I had a bad feeling about this one. "Are you free this Saturday?"
I raised a brow, but my heart sped up just a bit. "I think so. Why?"
His expression softened as he sent me a gentle smile. "We never had a proper date before."
The corners of my lips twitched up. I couldn't help it. "So you're asking me out now?"
He nodded. "If you're okay with it?"
He sounded unsure all of a sudden. I giggled at his confused expression. It was adorable.
I smiled at him and nodded, and I swear he looked just like a very appreciated puppy. "I'm okay with it, Butthead."
"It's been a while since you called me that, Poopy."
I laughed heartily. My insides warmed and I can't help feeling all bubbly. He cleared his throat and wagged his brows at me, making me laugh even harder.
"Next question," he said, taking the pillow from my legs and setting it aside. "Just how much did you hold back from kissing me? I know you were just dying to--"
"Hey." I warned. "It's the other way around. You're the one who lost control first."
"But you consented," he grinned smugly.
"Shut up," I laughed, attempting to kick him but he caught my ankle. And now my leg was hanging in the air because he was holding it up.
"You know you're cute when you're embarrassed."
"Hushhh." I said, my face getting warm.
"Oh Poopy. What am I going to do with you." He clicked his tongue and shook his head mischievously.
I scoffed and tried to kick him with my other leg, but he caught that too. Now both my legs were hanging in the air.
"Careful now, Butthead," I sang, smirking at him. "Don't get so cocky."
"Oh?" He sang in reply, spreading my legs apart so he could lean closer to my face. He casually set my feet on each of his shoulders. "Or what?"
Damn it why'd he come closer? The resolve I had to tease him slowly dissipated. I tried to resist looking at his lips.
I forgot what I was supposed to say and said the first thing that came to mind.
"Or else I'll kiss you."
He narrowed his eyes as he let out a breath of laughter, the warmth of it was teasing me as he leaned closer and closer until our chests were pressed together.
He took my legs off his shoulders and locked them around his waist. My heart was racing as his lips were centimetres away from mine.
"That sounded too sweet for a threat." He whispered.
Before anything else happened, my mother stormed in the room, proclaiming her arrival in a flashy manner as usual.
"SURPRISE!!! WE'RE BA--OH!"
Immediately after she walked in, Daniel and I jumped in opposite directions, guilty as hell and blushing like crazy. This was so embarrassing oh my God!!!
And this wasn't even the first time this happened!
"OH MY GOD!" I screamed, unintentionally. My mom did the same, looking at me then at Daniel, the excitement evident in her expression and tone.
"OH MY GOD!!!" She screamed back, only louder.
"What! What's going on up there?!" I could hear my dad running up the stairs, stumbling on a few steps along the way.
I also heard another set of footsteps, which I assumed was Uncle Johnny's.
And it did not make the situation any better.
Before they could make it to the threshold, realization and panic flashed on my mom's face. She then sprinted towards me and bounced on the bed; it all seemed to happen in slow motion.
She pulled Daniel to the bed as well and started bouncing as she held both our hands. What was she doing this time?
Daniel and I were still trying to figure out what she was trying to do. But judging by the twinkle in her eyes, we realized that she was actually trying to help us this time. To save us from embarrassment from our dads. That was until she spit out the ultimate excuse...
"JACOB!!! JOHNNY!!! SPIDER!!!"