Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 23

“You what” I ask swallowing the lump in my throat.

“I” he pauses “Love” he pauses again “You” He says smiling at me and I am frozen. In my head I’m screaming ‘I love you too’ but for some reason I look at him and I can’t bring myself to say it back. Maybe it’s because he walked out on me without giving me a chance to tell the true story. Or maybe it’s because the last time I told someone I loved them they slept with my cousin and broke my family apart.

But I know that Gage isn’t Markus and I know that he wouldn’t tell me he loves me if he didn’t mean it. “I can’t say it back” Is all I can get out before his beautiful smile falls away. Inside I panic because that is not what I meant to say. “That’s not how I wanted that to come out” I say and he starts pacing. “N-n-no I-I mean that I do, feel that way about you, that’s actually what I came over here to talk to you about but right now. Where I am at Mentally and Emotionally I can’t say it back, not yet. I want to but I, I just-” I start when he speaks.

“You can’t, It’s okay I get it. I’m not going to force you to say anything or ask for you to say it back. Hopefully in your own time you can say it back” he says with a sad smile.

I stand there awkwardly staring at my shoes and wondering what to do now. I don’t know what to do, this is the part of the movie where they cut to another scene, they never elaborate on what they do after an emotional conversation.

My phone rings randomly making both Gage and I jump. “Sorry” I whisper to myself “I got it” I say as I click answer, I move my medium brown hair behind my ear and place the phone up to it. “Hell-” Is all I get out before I am greeted by Ophelias screaming.

“Bitch! Guess What!” She yells with a squeal so loud I have to pull the phone from my ear.

“What?” I ask

“Sage is going to Bora Bora and invites us for a girls week! I packed your suitcase, get that handsome boy of yours to drop you off at our apartment and let’s go to the beach. I need to get over Kade and that won’t happen by sitting and glooming and crying over The Notebook in my room. So I packed your sexy red and sexy black swimsuit and get ready to get So shit faced drunk we won’t even know our names because Dare we are going to BORA FUCKING BORA!!! You better be here in 10 our flight leaves in an hour. Love ya bye!” she rushes quickly and hangs up before I get to say anything.

“But-” I rush and huff when I realize that she hung up. I stand there thinking for a few moments when I realize something else. I have to ask Gage to give me a ride to my apartment. “Um Gage, I know it’s a lot to ask but can you give me a ride back to my apartment. Ope’s sister is taking us out on a girls week to Bora Bora and Ophelia is rushing me back so we can get on a plane to head over to meet her” I say trying to force myself to look into his eyes. He nods and grabs his keys before we head out the door.

***

After a super awkward car ride Gage stops me before I get out I turn to him and try to burn his face into my memory if that were even possible. As if staring at him long enough will somehow tattoo him into my brain. I study everything his hair his nose I pause at his lips for a while. I look at his cheeks and his jawline that is covered with stubble I make my way back up his face I stare at his eyes, the deep brown that captivates me paralyzing me and feeling like he can read my mind. Before I realize it I am leaning over the arm rest in his corvette and he starts leaning to me.

Our foreheads touch and I close my eyes and inhale deeply. His scent hit me like a ton of bricks. I sigh and before I can stop myself the words fly out of my mouth “I always loved the way you smell” I breathe out “it’s calming” I mumble and feel my cheeks reddening. Gage lets out a breathy chuckle and I feel his breath on my face.

Before I talk myself out of it I kiss him. It’s not like out quick passionate ones. This one is different, full of love, care, so much feeling is put into this last kiss as if he and I are never going to see each other ever again. The Kiss only lasts for a few moments more but all too soon in my mind. Our foreheads are still touching and the feeling is almost serene.

“I love you” He whispers. He rushes out his next sentence “I know you need time and you don’t have to say it-” I cut him off by kissing him. I pull back and he looks kind of dazed it’s actually kinda cute, wait no, it’s super cute. I smile a little as I watch him blush.

I turn to get out before sending him a big smile and saying “I love you too” His face is priceless painted in shock as I let out a bellowing laugh. Before I rush and close the door but I hear him in his car exclaim “WAIT WHAT?” I stop at the entrance before I hold up the sign language I love you sign before seeing his face hold that shocked look before walking into my building.

“LET’S GO IT’S TANNING BORA BORA TIME!” Ophelia shouts as she runs past me with our suitcases. I giggle watching as she runs to the car. I turn back around and follow Ope laughing to myself.

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