A L E X
I wake up to find Kai has gone, and I’m left missing his touch. His body heat gave me warmth in our embrace and his presence lulled me to sleep.
I guess he couldn’t stay with Matt around.
With Axel gone, I felt my path was clear. I strung Axel along really, to figure out how I felt about Kai. I didn’t ever love Axel, which means love is different. And I am feeling all sorts of different emotions with Kai.
Kai and I smiled in passing over the last week or so. He would check in on me and make sure I was sleeping and that my bruises were healing.
He took the time to care for me, to protect me. He made me feel safe. That was what it was.
One morning, I trot down the stairs, the ache of my face searing through my head. I compel my eyes fully open to find Matt and Kai at the kitchen table with plates of food in front of them and another plate of food with an empty chair.
I assume it’s for me, heading over there.
Imagine if it wasn't for me. I'd be so embarassed when some chick Matt or Kai had brought home joined us. Not that I didn't trust Kai. I knew he was into me. It's just... Shit. Axel really fucked me up.
Kai’s exhausted face lights up when he sees me and he wears an adorable smile. I take the seat next to him and glance at Matt who greets at me, then starts in on his food.
“Where’s dad?” I ask, suddenly concerned to not see his body around.
“We put him to bed,” Matt grunts out. I can’t help but smile as I know Matt hates doing anything for dad, but he did it so I didn’t have to. “I gotta get to school early because coach wants a word. Kai will take you to school,” Matt explains, taking his plate to the sink, nodding at us before heading out the door.
Matt and Kai had been traveling with me ever since the incident. They would rarely let me out of their sight if they didn't know I was safe and with someone like the girls or in class.
It was sweet really. Of course, protective like before, but they had good reason and they really cared. I would just allow them to do it for now.
Alone, Kai and I fall into an awkward silence which he eventually breaks.
“How’s your face?” he asks, still looking at his food.
“It’s fine. I don’t even feel it,” I reply trying to act strong.
I don’t know why, maybe because he saw me all weak and helpless and in shock that night. I just want to seem tougher in his eyes. I don't want his pity; I'm not some charity case. I want him to know that I won't fall apart.
“You don’t have to do that, act strong. You really took a hit,” he says, grasping my hand in his and turning to face me.
He touches my face on its hurt side, moving his fingers over the area. I wince a little but his touch soothes me, dulling the ferocity of my ache. I lean into his hand a little, liking the warmth in my bruise.
“Why did you stop me? I would’ve killed him,” I whisper in a quiet voice.
“Exactly, because you were losing control, and I thought that was the one thing you wanted to maintain.” He knew me. He knew me well. It made my heart skip to hear how well he knew me. And I lean my mouth to his and begin to kiss him with passion. He breaks away almost instantly with widened eyes. “Alex, you just broke up with Axel,” he mutters, looking down in sadness. I lift his chin up.
“I didn’t want to be with Axel. I remembered the idea of him, a good idea influenced by drugs and alcohol, and I gave him a chance. But it didn’t feel the same. And you were on my mind.
"You made me feel things I never felt with him. My feelings for you made me more aware of his manipulation and influence because I wasn’t fully invested. I couldn’t even sleep with him or kiss him for very long.
"But I thought we had something before so instead of trying something new, I decided to go with something I knew wasn’t right but then we weren’t in love. He was obsessed and I was confused. It didn’t feel right but it feels right with you.
"I understand if you don't want this. I'm not trying to toy with your feelings or anything. I just-" This time, he smashes his lips with mine, cutting off my ramble, pulling my body onto his lap so I am straddling him in his chair.
I hear his groans as I grind against his hips, his hands moving from my waist and neck to grope my butt, rolling my body deeper and further into him. We continued to kiss with urgency, as if we couldn’t get enough of each other. After a good few minutes, we both break away, our breaths ragged and faces heated.
“We should get to school,” he declares still breathlessly and I nod.
He carries me over his shoulder to his car and sets me down in the passenger side, doing my seat-belt for me as well. I giggle a little at his protectiveness, and he pecks my lips before going over to the driver side, starting the engine and zooming down the street.
I peer over at him, looking at his handsome features: his chiseled jawline with scuff, his dark eyes glistening in the sun, his tousled dark hair with the perfect ratio of kept and unkept. When he catches me staring, I avert my eyes, gazing at my bandaged hands.
They were still quite in bad shape. He bandaged them for me too. The tough guy is a softy for those he cares for.
“Who was that guy you were talking to after the game?” I ask, my eyes back to him.
“USC scout. Says he’s interested in me,” he replies nonchalantly and I scream in delight.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I ask, calming down a little.
“Fuck, it sounds like you're the one with the potential scholarship with that scream,” he replies, chuckling.
Fuck, his laugh is so hot it makes me melt.
“This is a big deal,” I state, hit him lightly on the shoulder. “I can’t be happy for you?”
“Yes, you can,” he says with a grin, “I know it’s big.”
“He didn’t talk to Matt?”
“No, it doesn’t matter, there’s still time. Plus, he’s captain of the football team, writes for the newspaper, has a 4.o gpa and will graduate valedictorian. He’s going to get to any college.”
“We don’t have the money.” I frown, thinking how unfair it would be if he couldn’t go thanks to our worthless parents.
“We’ll get the money, I promise,” he states firmly, and we arrive at school.