Reluctantly Yours

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Chapter 12

I woke up feeling groggy and disoriented. I opened my eyes to see Shane already looking at me with a smile on his bruised and battered face. I sat up quickly, wondering why he was here, in my house, in my room, and most importantly, in my bed. I looked down, just to make sure I still had clothes.

Shane started laughing and I glared at him. Now I remembered why he was here. Then I remembered what he said, and I agreed to it. I rubbed my eyes to chase the blurriness away.

He slowly lifted his hand and pushed the dark hair out of my face and tuck it behind my ear. "Good morning," he grunted. I nodded, not bothering to answer because one; I wasn't a morning person, and two; I wasn't sure how bad my breath was at the moment.

I quickly jumped up and scrambled to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and combed my fingers through my hair. I turned the water off and walked back into the bedroom, collapsing back in the bed next to Shane. He smiled widely and I smiled too.

"I'm sorry for falling asleep. Did you need anything? Or do you want anything now? I can go get it," I offered, trying not to stumble over my words.

"I'm okay Bambi. I don't need anything. I just wanna lay here with you for now," he said. I smiled softly and nodded. Without putting much thought into it, I scooted closer to him and pressed my lips to his and I felt his arm wind around my waist, pulling me closer to him.

No matter how much I had denied it, I had missed this. I had missed the feeling between us and the way my heart pounded against my chest with the thrill of touching him and I missed him completely. I had deprived myself of this and I didn't want to do it again.

I unconsciously sighed as our lips moved in sync against each other. I brought my hands up and curled them into his hair, enjoying the soft feel of it in my hands. This moment was perfect. Until the door swung open.

I jumped, startled, and turned my head to see Cooper staring at us in surprise. I had forgotten that he came in every morning to wake me up, which meant that it must have been about nine in the morning. Cooper was an early riser, but now, I wasn't sure if this was a good thing.

Without saying anything, he closed the door and I heard his footsteps against the hardwood as he walked away. This wasn't a good thing. I wanted to go after him but I knew better. I had learned that when he was upset, it was best to leave him alone, even though my conscience was tugging at me to chase after him.

I sighed and stood up, forcing a small smile at Shane. "Wanna go get some breakfast," I asked. He nodded and slowly stood up. I guess he was feeling a little better because even though he had a slight limp in his gait, he was moving more than he did last night.

I helped him hobble down the stairs and into the kitchen. It surprised me that Isabel was there. Usually her and Dad would be gone to work by now, yet here she was in the kitchen, making breakfast.

"Good morning guys. I'm making bacon and pancakes. How are you guys feeling," she asked. Even though the question was directed towards both of us, it was evident that she was only interested in Shane's answer. Her eyes strayed on his face until he finally decided to speak.

"I'm feeling a lot better, but it still hurts to move," he confessed. Isabel's eyebrows furrowed for a quick second but smoothed back out.

"Why aren't you at work? Is Dad home," I asked. She shook her head in answer.

"Bryan went to work, but I just decided to take the day off. I wanted to stay here and help Shane if it was needed," she explained, and I nodded. It was clear to see that she still saw Shane as one of her own children and she obviously still cared for him and his feelings didn't seem to change either.

We all sat at the table, Isabel across from Shane and I. We ate in silence, none of us daring to utter a word in the quiet room. The only noise that was made was the scraping of the forks against the plates. I heard my phone ring and I quickly ran upstairs to retrieve it from my nightstand. The caller was unknown, yet I answered anyways.

"Hello," I greeted softly.

"Jasmine! Finally. I've called the wrong number three times, silly old me," the woman exclaimed with a lighthearted laugh. I recognized the woman's voice as Mrs. Carter.

"Hey Mrs. Carter. What's up," I asked, wondering why in the world she would be calling me right now. I immediately wondered if there was something wrong with my art. What if it had been stolen, or wasn't good enough, or-

My thoughts were cut off by Mrs. Carter's voice through the phone again. "I just needed to tell you that they rescheduled the showcase for tonight. Some very important people wanted to attend and they weren't able to do it when it was already scheduled because they would be busy. I just wanted to tell you that it was at the same place, but starts tonight at 8:30. I was also supposed to tell you that you can bring a friend if you please. Anyways, I'll see you tonight, goodbye dear," she said. Without me saying another word, she hung up.

It was reassuring to know that there was nothing wrong with my work. I let out a deep breath and wrung my hands together. Who was I going to bring? Shane was the first to come to mind, but that wasn't going to happen because he was seriously injured. Cooper came next, but I wasn't sure how much he would be interested in something as boring as that. I thought of Jess too, but the idea of her at a quiet showcase didn't seem to fit. I could bring Isabel… but no. It would feel awkward to me, considering that I still didn't know her that well yet.

Without anymore thinking, I walked back downstairs. Shane's plate was empty as I seated myself beside him once more. I narrowed my eyes as I scrutinized my plate then turned my head to Shane, who was staring at the table.

"Did you take some of my bacon," I asked accusingly. He looked at me, his eyes wide. He held up a hand to his chest, feigning hurt and disbelief.

"I would never," he said dramatically. I rolled my eyes and looked to Isabel, who watched us with an amused but calculating look on her face.

"So um… Mrs. Carter just called. The showcase was rescheduled to tonight and I'm supposed to bring a friend," I explained. I looked back at Shane who sat with a smile on his face while looking at me.

"Sure Bambi. I'd love to go," he said. I rolled my eyes again. "Absolutely not. You need to stay here and rest so you can get better," I argued. He glared at me for a few seconds before abruptly standing up to his full height, towering over me. He crossed his arms and looked down at me with argumentative and determined eyes.

"I feel just fine Bambi. I am quite capable of walking around and looking at art with you," he declared with finality. His golden flecked eyes bore into mine, but this was a fight that I was willing to give up easily.

I crossed my arms, just as he did, and stood a little straighter, my eyes never leaving his. "No. You can't talk me out of this one Shane. You're staying here whether you want to or not," I told him.

Something flickered in his eyes and he relaxed, uncrossing his arms. I relaxed as well, seeing that he was admitting defeat. Suddenly, he grabbed me and threw me precariously over his shoulder and I squealed in surprise.

"Shane! Put me down before you hurt yourself! Or before I hurt you," I yelled. He ignored my commands and complaints as he carried me upstairs. He took me to my room, flung me on the bed, and climbed over me as I lay on my back.

He pinned my wrists down on the bed and stared down at me. He looked over his shoulder at the closed bedroom door then turned his attention back to me.

"Shane let me up," I yelled. I struggled to move out from under him, not wanting to hit him or hurt him even more than he already was.

"I don't think so Bambi," he taunted. I wriggled in place and he leaned his hips down to keep me in place. I instantly stiffened, feeling my cheeks grow hot.

"Now," he prompted me. "Are you going to let me come with you," he asked huskily. I paused before looking him in the eye again.

"No. I already said that I'm not changing my mind. If something happens to you tonight, then I won't be able to help you if you need it or anything because I'm too small to carry you around so you need to just-"

He cut off my words by pressing his lips to mine. I stilled, surprised. He lifted his mouth from mine and I instantly missed the warmth on my lips, but he didn't stop there. He trailed his mouth down to my jaw, pressing kisses everywhere along my jawline, down my neck, across my collarbone, and to the base of my throat. He stopped in the small hollow of my neck and whispered, his soft lips and breath tickling the skin, making goosebumps rise throughout my body.

"Bambi," he sang out. "I'll be okay, I promise. I just want to be there and support you," he whispered softly. Already, my resolve was weakening.

I sighed and said "This isn't fair, you know. This is literally like… hypnotizing me." He chuckled and looked at me.

"Does this mean I can go," he asked with a bright smile on his busted up face. His straight white teeth gleamed in the light coming in through the windows. I looked away and stared at the curtain for a few seconds.

"Fine, you can come," I grumbled. His smile somehow grew bigger. "But if something happens or you're hurting too much, then tell me straight away so we can leave, but obviously it's not as bad as I thought if you could bring me up here and abuse me like this," I stated.

His smile morphed into a smirk as he leaned over me, gradually coming closer to my face. "I didn't know I was abusing you angel," he whispered huskily against my ear and I shivered. He smiled smugly and I rolled my eyes as he pulled away only to join our lips together again.

This kiss was more heated than the last one and I enjoyed it. He still had his hands pinning my arms above my head, but he shifted it so that one hand was holding both of my wrists. I tried to lift them, knowing that I wouldn't succeed, but I wanted to touch him, without knowing why.

He trailed his fingertips down my arm to my shoulder, and down to my sides, where he stopped and held me there. I tugged a little more on my arms and he finally let me go, then I pushed my fingers into his hair and pulled him closer. I didn't know where this came from all of a sudden, but I wasn't sure if I wanted it to stop.

Suddenly, he gripped my side and I squealed. He jumped, startled and I closed my eyes tightly, feeling me face heat up. He startled chuckling and I only grew more embarrassed. He brought his mouth to my neck and whispered against it.

"Seems to me that someone is ticklish," he said. I shook my head, keeping my eyes closed but I could practically hear the smirk in his voice when he said, "Oh really?"

He grabbed my sides and my eyes shot open as I screamed and laughed at the same time. "Stop! Stop please," I managed to say. This only made him laugh as I struggled in his grip, pushing his arms away to no avail. Finally, he stopped and I was able to breathe.

"You are evil," I teased breathlessly. He smirked down at me and I pushed him away at last. I scrambled up from the bed and stood looking up at him.

"You know, I was thinking Bambi. Maybe we could use tonight as our first date," Shane said nonchalantly. I gaped at him, feeling my stomach knot up inside of me. I was shocked to hear those words coming out of Shane's mouth. He lifted an eyebrow in question, but I still said nothing.

He seemed to squirm and looked away while shifting from foot to foot. "It was just an idea. You don't have to if you don't want to," he mumbled. I snapped out of it and shook my head a little to clear the incoherent thoughts away.

"No um, it's fine. That sounds perfect, actually," I reassured. He looked back at me and smiled brightly and it was nearly impossible not to smile back at him. This would be my first date and I was already a bundle of nerves.

I did the last few finishing touches to my hair, pulling out little tendrils to frame my face. I wasn't sure how I was supposed to dress when going to these things so I did a mix of formal but casual. I sighed nervously as I looked in the mirror.

My hair was braided in a crown on my head with some hair falling to frame my face. I wore a khaki skirt and a white short sleeve button up blouse with a tan sweater and strappy brown gladiator sandals and I smiled to myself.

The eyeliner was kept simple, as was the mascara and the lip gloss. Isabel took Shane out to get some changes of clothes and they came back a half hour ago, though I had yet to see them back, I just knew they were home because Isabel had texted me to notify me earlier.

I sprayed myself with my vanilla scented body mist and grabbed my purse and my phone, ready to go. I sent a quick text to tell Shane that I was ready and he quickly texted back, saying that he was downstairs waiting for me. I opened the bedroom door and walked out and down the stairs.

Shane was in the living room, seated on the couch and Isabel was humming in the kitchen. He looked up as I walked down and his eyes stayed glued to me. I felt my cheeks heat as his eyes slowly slid down and back up my body. For the first time, I hoped that I looked pretty enough for a guy.

I took in his appearance as well. He wore a black polo that stretched tightly across his broad chest with a pair of dark blue jeans and his usual black Doc Martens. His hair looked wet and was slicked back, with either water or gel, but I was assuming by the way some of his hair flopped, it was just water. I felt the urge to run my fingers through it, but I suppressed the urge.

"You look gorgeous Bambi," he said with a smile. I felt my face grow even hotter as I mumbled in thanks. He pulled out a set of keys from his pocket and I grew confused.

"Isabel said that we can take her car, so I'm driving and I have a surprise for you," he said. I glanced towards the kitchen, noticing for the first time that Isabel's humming had come to a stop. I took a deep breath and blew it back out.

"Okay. Let's go then, shall we?" I had tried to sound enthusiastic but my nerves were getting the best of me. He nodded once, called a goodbye to Isabel, and followed me out the door while we walked to her car.

He opened the passenger side door for me and I sat down while he walked around to the other side. When he was in and we were buckled, he started the engine and for the first few minutes, we rode in silence.

"So are you excited for tonight," he asked casually. I slowly nodded and he smiled widely. "It's okay to be nervous, Jasmine. You'll do perfectly fine though, because your artwork is amazing. Everyone can see that except you. You just have to open your eyes and look at the possibilities," he said.

Though his words were meant to be reassuring, I was more shocked than anything. That's not why I was nervous about tonight. I glanced over at him and looked back out of the window as we drove in silence once more. I watched as the landscapes passed in a dizzying blur.

Suddenly, I felt his hand on the ones that I held in my lap. I looked over as he grasped one and locked our fingers together. I squeezed a little and smiled at him. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad.

If I was honest with myself, I think I was more nervous about what could happen tonight. Shane doesn't seem like the kind of person to stop at first base.

He seems more like the guy who kept running and succeeds in making a homerun. I just wasn't completely sure if I would stop him though, or if I even wanted to stop him. The questions that spun around my head like a tornado went unanswered for now.

What if I do something wrong? What if it's not good for him. What if I lose my virginity tonight? Does he have protection in case that happens? What if he doesn't even want me like that and I'm just making myself look stupid?

He suddenly squeezed my hand a little, jerking me out of my thoughts and I looked at him. He was shifting his eyes from me to the road, then back again.

"What's wrong Bambi? You'll be perfectly in whatever you do, okay? Stop doubting yourself because whatever you're thinking about in that pretty little head of yours is making you sweat a little bit," he stated.

I wasn't just sweating. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I looked back down at my legs and saw flames lapping at my feet. I almost panicked, but I closed my eyes and took deep breaths. I didn't want to do this here, not now.

I opened my eyes again and the fire was gone. I let out a breath of relief before noticing that the car was stopped and Shane was looking at me, his eyebrows knitted together in concern. We were there, at the art gallery.

I looked at Shane and plastered a smile on my face. "Let's go," I said. We got out and walked hand in hand to the front entrance of the building.

Hey guys! I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I'm working on the next one. I'm so sorry it took so long but I've been busy with school and my classes and its all hectic and just UGHHH!!! Let me know what you think and if you think I should write more chapters from Shane's P.O.V.



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