The Other Side

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Chapter Three

"Why do I feel like I've known you my entire life?"

"Why do I feel the same way?" he smiled. His rough hand held the back of my neck, while mine had mysteriously found their way to a resting place on his chest.

"Ahem." an annoyed voice cued. I jumped and looked up. The waitress looked down at us and said, "Look. Y'all look super cute and happy and whatever, but, y'all gotta take this kissin business somewhere else. The customers over there are complaining." she motioned over to the boys who tried to get me to leave Thomas for them.

"That's ridiculous!" Thomas said.

"Thomas!" I hushed.

"I'm sorry, I don't agree with it either, but technically if they make a complaint I gotta do something. Nothing personal." the waitress shrugged.

"Whatever." He slid out of the booth and gave me a hand out. We left for his car, giant gusts of wind blowing back on us.

"Thomas?" I asked. "How did you know those boys in there?"

"I don't."

"Well they knew you. Or your name at least." I said.

His face hardened slightly and looked at me, "We probably went to school together last year. I went to Lincoln as well. Probably played football or something together." he said quickly.

I didn't believe him, not for a hot second. But a giant gust of wind blew against us, cutting off any response I had for him.

Thomas immediately took off his jacket and wrapped it around me along with his protective arm. "Let's get you to the car." We tried to jog to the car, but the wind was fighting us, making our jog look like a pitiful limp.

I hopped in his car as soon as I could and so did he. "That wind is crazy. Looks like a storm's coming on." he said.

"Thomas I don't mean to be frank or rude with you. But do you want to tell me how you really know those boys?"

"Jess, I told you-"

"If you think I'm going to let you lie to me on our first date and be okay with it, you thought wrong. I really like you Thomas, but I won't be lied to."

"Date?" he smiled. "You 'really' like me?" he reached across the seat and pulled me over close to him, so that my side was flush with his. "Well aren't I lucky-"

"Don't you change the subject on me!" I giggled. "How do you know them?"

He sighed and shook his head, "You're persistent aren't you?"

"Yup. Get used to it." I said firmly.

"Well I can't say. Not now at least. Maybe later. It's a long story, one that you will find out with time. But I don't want to scare you off with it before I've even had the chance to do this again." he smiled and leaned down towards my lips. Heat flowed through me as our mouths pressed together. He opened and closed my lips with his own and brushed a hand down my back. I remembered that I was supposed to be annoyed with him and pulled away.

"You're killing me Jess." he whispered, temptingly close to my mouth.

"You're the one who's hiding the truth from me. So no. I won't give in."

"Do you know how hard it is to sit with you, the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life, right here in my arms, telling me I can't have her?" he laughed. "It's like setting a plate of freshly baked cookies in a kid's lap and telling him he can't eat any. It's cruel! Anyways," he brushed a small piece of hair off my cheek. "I told you, I will tell you in time. You just have to trust me. Trust that I'll always protect you."

"I do trust you." I said quietly. "I don't trust myself. Not when I'm with you. When I'm with you, it's like I've known you forever. I'm not afraid of what might happen with you but I'm scared of how fast it feels that I-"

"That you what?" he grinned.

"Nothing." I smiled to myself.

"Come one, that you what?"

"I'm scared of how fast it feels like I'm falling for you." I whispered. Almost scared of the words themselves. His smile grew slowly and his lips pressed against my forehead. "Doesn't it scare you at fast this is all happening. I know it scares me."

His smile faded. "Don't you ever feel scared when you're with me." he said seriously. "Everything I do is to protect you. I'd never hurt a hair on your head. You deserve all the love and protection in the world."

"How can you know that? How can you be so sure?"

"I just do."

"Where are we going?" I asked. I looked at the street sign but didn't recognize it well. "My place." He smiled proudly. We pulled into the driveway of a teeny tiny townhouse.
We walked inside and took off our coats. "It's not much. But it's better than living with my 'ol man." he said. "No, its lovely." I said softly. I looked around and saw a couple photo frames on the wall.
He grabbed my hand in his and pulled me through the maze of the little hallways. "Are you hungry? Dinner's on me. What do you want?" "Oh, um, I don't know." I said, a little shocked by the sudden proposal at first. "How about pancakes and hot cocoa? I make a mean chocolate chip pancake." "For dinner?" "Especially for dinner!" A laugh escaped me and filled the little room. "Well sure. Pancakes it is I guess. What can I do to help?"
"You can sit down right here and let me treat you to this. After the week you've had you deserve a little relaxing." he sat me down in the little chair that rested in front of a warm fire and walked back into the kitchen. "What?" I giggled. "I'm not gonna sit here and watch you cook for me. No way!" I stood up and followed him into the kitchen. "You are going to sit down in the chair and wait for pancakes because I want to treat you, Jess!" he chuckled. Pressing my shoulders back into the chair. "Stay. I won't be but ten minutes." "Fine." I said. But I wasn't going to give in that easily. It wasn't in my nature, not one bit. I waited a minute or so for him to be gone before I stood up and tiptoed into the kitchen. He had his back to me as he was pouring some flour into his batter. CRRRREEEAAAAK! Dang it! I jumped off the squeaky floorboard and laughed when he turned around so quickly. "I warned you." He laughed. "You leave me no choice, darlin'." "No," I giggled. He ran towards me and swiftly lifted me into his arms, over his head. He carried me upside down across the room. "Put me down Thomas," I said in a fit of giggles. "Nope! You're mine now!" he said, sitting down in the same small chair. He pulled me from over his head with ease into his lap. I was trapped in his arms. "Are you ticklish?" "No!!" I yelled. My stomach hurt I was laughing so much. Each time I tried to escape his arms, it resulted in him pulling me closer and tickling me more. "Thomas!" I laughed. The tickling stopped all of a sudden when I pressed my lips to his and wrapped my arms around his neck. He stood up with me cradled in his arms, not breaking the kiss. My hands trailed from his neck down his arms. Through the long shirt I could feel his built muscles. If I could tell that his whole body was nicely toned through a shirt, what was it like underneath? I lost my breath and had to break off the kiss so I could breathe. "Are you okay?" he said. I didn't answer right away, trying to catch my breath. "Jess?""Yeah, I'm fine. I's hard to breathe. From...all the laughing and then..." I tried to inhale but it wouldn't work right. He had literally taken my breath away. Of course he did. He carried me to the long couch and laid me out on it. I opened my eyes and looked into his. Concern filled his beautiful blue eyes, "Don't be worried about me." I said slowly. "How could I not? It looks like you're about to have an asthma attack on my couch." he said half-jokingly. "It happens a lot, actually." I said shortly. "Asthma attacks?" he asked. I nodded. "Oh my goodness, Jessica Jones. What other medical problems do I need to know before I start kissing you?" he laughed softly. "Trust me, this isn't an asthma attack right now. They're much worse. I just need to monitor my breathing right now. But now that you ask, let's see. I am highly anemic. Not enough red blood cells in my body that function right meaning I get stuck with dizziness, shortness of breath, not a lot of stamina in general, and the good ole headache every other day. And I think that my clumsiness belongs up there as well." "Jesus, Jess. I gotta keep an eye on you." Thomas winked. "You stay here. For real now. I'm gonna make you those pancakes." "Can I use your phone? I should call my dad." I asked. "Tell him that I'm gonna spend the night at Linda's." "You are?" "No. Of course not." "How'd I get as lucky to have you sitting on my couch, telling me that you're staying the night with me. Who knew?" he smiled and shook his head at me. "You're too much Jessica."
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