But Matt has been too busy to notice anything anyway, coming up with ways to get the money without needing the loans. I suggested he look at the loan option but he was disgusted by the idea. Having to pay off loans for years isn’t even a prospect to him.
“Morning, Walker,” I say hesitantly when Matt enters the kitchen.
Kai immediately backs away from me and mutters a morning, trying not to sound too enthusiastic. I hate that this is how our relationship is, but soon, we will tell Matt, and it will all be out in the open.
I can see myself with Kai for a long time. I am in love, real love this time. Not influenced by anything else. I wasn’t sure what love was but I now know I’ve found it, I’m sure. This feeling is worth everything. I want the perfect time to tell him though; I’m scared to too.
Matt slouches down onto a chair at the table by Kai and sighs in frustration.
“You know, Matt, I have an idea but you won’t like it,” I announce, nearing him and taking a seat next to him and opposite Kai. Kai grimaces at me, as he knows what I’m about to suggest. “I contacted mom yesterday.” He begins to open his mouth but I say, “before you say anything, hear me out.” He nods in anticipation. “She was ecstatic to hear from me, and I told her about school and college. I asked her if she could pay for your tuition and she was more than happy to if we would come visit her for a week and meet her new husband.” Matt almost spits out his coffee at the news of a stepfather.
“Her new husband?” he exclaims, barely holding himself together.
“Yeah, the lawyer she cheated on dad for, his name is Jackson, and she’s happy with him. They have been together for a while now and married for five months so we should have to leave tomorrow to visit to get back before school starts again.” He doesn’t say anything. I look over to Kai who shrugs his shoulders. “Matt, say something.”
“I don’t have any other option, I guess. But are you okay with this? She ran away and left you alone with our pathetic dad who's passed out upstairs.” I nod my head.
“It’s for you,” I state firmly, and start clearing away the dishes. We are on a break anyway so we wouldn’t miss school. I planned to spend more time with Kai but Matt needs the money.
“Hey, man, can you come too?” Matt asks Kai. I turn to look at Kai.
He raises his eyebrow at me, I nod slightly, hiding my excitement, and then he says, “of course, I’ll be the buffer if anything gets too heated.” He looks to me suggestively and smirks. I give him a glare which makes him chuckle. I’ll never get tired of hearing him laugh.
When I first met him, I never thought he'd act like this with me. He rarely spoke, was always brooding and I was certain he was set on murdering me. Now, he's so sweet and charming. His protectiveness isn't suffocating like Axel's. Fuck, I love him.
My mom now lives in Pittsburgh, in a rich neighborhood. It sounds just like my mom to marry rich, but I guess she could be marrying for love.
We load our suitcases onto a conveyor belt at check-in and walk around the airport, waiting to board the plane. I’d rarely flown anywhere before, Phoenix to LA was the first flight I had been on and I took a sleeping pill.
When we board the plane, we notice Kai and my seats are next to each other whereas Matt’s is five rows in front. Kai has booked this flight for us and clearly planned this out. Matt offers to swap with me or Kai but we declined in a ‘I don’t care’ way, trying to hide the real reason.
We strap ourselves in and remain calm, remembering even though this is my second time flying, lots of people here have flown places, including Kai, and they are still alive.
Sensing my anxiety, Kai offers me his hand, which I grip with my much smaller ones and steady my breathing. A old woman sitting next to us, but an aisle separating turns to us and says, “first time flying dear?”
"Second," I state nervously with a smile.
“I’m sure it’s fine, it’s just a little anxiety,” I reply sweetly, still holding onto Kai.
“I’m sure your boyfriend will look after you. You make a cute couple.” We both thank her and turn away, trying not to draw much attention. Matt isn’t too far away to want to change seats but far enough away out of earshot. Kai did well.
As I feel a jolt in the plane as we are about to take off, I shudder, clinging onto Kai, digging my nails into his hand. All he does it chuckle and kiss my cheek, trying to calm me down. I squeeze my eyes tightly shut, humming in my head to forget where I am.
“Lex, we’re in the air now. It’s fine, you’re fine,” Kai says but I keep my eyes shut. “Lex, beautiful, open your eyes.” I do as Kai says and he tells me to breathe slowly with him. Fuck, I love him.