One Murder For Another

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Chapter 26

Mina couldn’t take her eyes off the bruised skin of her neck, her fingers tracing the purple mouth sized mark over and over again as she stared at her figure in the mirror of the girls bathroom, unable to believe that it was in fact her flustered face staring back at her. Yesterday felt like a lucid dream, and she found it hard to believe that any of it had happened at all, but the marks and bruises all over her body were evidence that whatever it was that she had felt yesterday had been the most real thing she had ever experienced and she desperately yearned for even more.

“No!” a voice laughed, and Mina quickly tugged her white button-down uniform blouse back over her shoulders at the sound of the bathroom door creaking open behind her, a giggling group of girls shoving their way through the swinging door and Mina was thankful they didn’t eye her once as they made their way a few sinks down from her, still giggling and laughing as they went.

Quickly pulling herself together, she shouldered her backpack with a heave and pushed her way out of the swinging bathroom door and back into the pristine halls of Palm Valley Prep, the girls voices echoing behind her.

“Why’d you stop?” she breathed as he pulled away from their kiss, and Khalil smirked at her whining, placing his lips gently against the sun-kissed skin of her shoulder as his fingers curled harder into her sides.

“Trust me” he chuckled “I didn’t want to” He gave her another kiss, this time to the base of her neck. “But we can’t stay in here forever.” he mumbled against her.

“Can’t we?” she smiled teasingly, digging her nails further into his back and throwing her head back in pleasure as he kissed her neck again and again and again.

“MJ!” Yanked out of her reverie, Mina turned around swiftly at the sound of her name being yelled down the hall, heavy footsteps padding towards her and she felt her heart drop as she realized who the deep voice belonged to. Maybe she could pretend she hadn’t seen him. Maybe she could pretend she hadn’t heard.

“MJ!” he called again, and he was mere inches away from her now. There was no ignoring him.

“Hey” she sung, trying her best not to sound defeated as she gave him to most real fake smile she could muster.

“Hey.” he breathed as he came to stop in front of her, and the awkwardness between them was palpable. Mina didn’t want things to be awkward but it seemed as if, no matter how hard she tried, things were never going to change, especially now that Noah had told the entire school that she had broken up with him only to move on to Khalil. That hadn’t been true at the time, but now.....

“H-how-how are you?” That was a stupid question.

“Fine” he answered to quickly for it to have been honest, but Mina didn’t press. “Um-um- I was supposed to give this to you yesterday...but you weren’t- you weren’t here.” He didn’t waste time beating around the bush, anxiously extending a white and purple striped binder with her name written across the spine. She recognized it immediately and her heart dropped down into her stomach when she remembered where it was from. She didn’t think it could get any more uncomfortable.

“Khalil said you left this at his house.”

“Mhm” she hummed as she nodded her head in confirmation, quickly snatching the binder from his hands. “Thank you.”

“Yeah.” he shook his head, his eyes dancing towards the ground. “Yeah. Of course.”

“Ok, well-”

“What-what were you doing at Khalil’s house?” She gripped her notebook tightly to his chest, on the verge of a mini panic attack. “Lie” her brain wielded her.

“Um-” Lie. “We were just studying.” They had been studying, so why did she still feel guilty as the words flooded from her mouth.

“Oh? For what?” His shy demeanor had seemed to evaporate completely and Mina felt as if she were under a microscope.

“For school Ash.” she shook her head.

“Yeah? And what about yesterday?”

“What about yesterday?” she humphed her shoulders with a roll of her eyes, in disbelief of her ex-boyfriends newfound attitude.

“Well I saw you that morning, but then you just-you just disappeared.”

“I wasn’t feeling well, so I went home sick.”

“And got better in a day?”

“Period cramps.” He was quiet for a spell, and Mina hoped she had gotten the last word.

“What about cheer?” he continued on, and Mina let out an internal groan.

“Ok, is this an interrogation or something?”

“You’ve missed practice twice this week already!”

“What, are you keeping tabs on me now Asher!”

“I’m-” he sighed, rubbing his forehead with his fist. “Look, I-I’m just worried about you MJ.”

“Well don’t be! I’m fine.”

“But are you” he threw his hands up in the air now, exasperated. He looked exactly how she felt on the inside. “Are you fine! You’ve broke up with me and started hanging out with Khalil and now you’re skipping cheer practices and ditching school to do- to do who knows what!”

“I appreciate your concern Asher-” she didn’t. “but I’m fine and, not that it’s any of your business, but me breaking up with you was not some sort of mid-life crisis you’re making it out to be!” she exclaimed. “And I don’t regret it!”

She had had enough of everyone’s assumptions, she had had enough of everyone. Without giving Khalil a chance to reply, she turned on her heel and pounded off in the opposite direction. Who did he think he was, lecturing her as if she were a naive child. Everyone around her seemed to think they knew more about her than she did, and she was fed up with it all. She just wanted to be free.

“AHH-” she screamed into the air as she felt a large pair of hands clutch her around the waist, but the sound was cut short by a warm hand clamping over her mouth, silencing all sound as she was slowly dragged into an empty classroom nearby, her captor slamming the door shut behind them and pushing her firmly up against it.

Khalil.

She batted his hand away from her mouth, pushing him hard against his chest as he broke into a chuckling fit. “You scared the hell out of me, you know that!” Mina breathed and Khalil shrugged his shoulders in response, leaning in to place a soft wet kiss on her gaping lips.

“Hey?” he pulled back, his brows furrowed in confusion. “You ok?” his rested his hands against the door on either side of her head, trapping her between his arms. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing” she shook her head with a faux smile. Reaching out for him, she intertwined her fingers behind his neck pulling him in close, but Khalil kept her at a distance, using his arms against the door to prevent her from pulling him any closer.

“Mina.”

“It’s just Asher” she whispered out against him before bringing their lips crashing back together, and their lips had only touched for a millisecond before Khalil was pulling away once more.

“Asher?” he repeated.

“He was just-” she paused, trying to think of the right words. “He was just being ridiculous. That’s all” she tried to go in for another kiss, but Khalil pulled away and she dropped her arms with a sigh. She wondered what it was with all the men in her life being so- so uncooperative today.

“What did he do that was so ridiculous?” Khalil had dropped his arms now to, folding them across his chest as he backed onto one of the many gray wooded desks that littered the room in rows. He took a seat on top.

Mina ran her fingers through her hair in frustration, sucking in a breath through her teeth. “Well” she hummed. “He returned my binder, the one I left at your house that night.”

Khalil nodded “And?”

“And then he tried to tell me that leaving him was a mistake and that my life was falling apart”

“Is it?”

“What?”

“Your life” he clarified. “Is it falling apart.”

Mina shook her head frantically as she exclaimed “No! No of course not!” She closed the distance between the two of them that Khalil had created, coming to stand in between his legs with a shy smile that he didn’t return, his arms still folded tightly across his chest. She wondered what was up with him today.

“I’m not doing the things they want me to do anymore” she explained. “That’s why they think my life is falling apart, because this is the only way they’ve ever seen me, because this is the only thing I’ve ever done.” She grabbed his wrists now, forcing his arms apart.

“My life isn’t falling apart Khalil” she said, climbing up onto the desk he was sat on, still gripping his wrist tightly between her fingers as she straddled him.

He let outna soft grunt, his eyes darting down between the two of them for a split second before he was staring fixedly at her again.

“It’s just getting started.” She whispered, taking a page out of his book as she leaned forward, brushing her lips against his without fully giving into him. She could hear his breath hitch in his chest, but he remained just as emotionless as ever.

He was quiet for a spell and she watched as his eyes washed over her entire face, once, twice, thrice, before he finally spoke again. “Do you still love him?”

“Not in the way you think” she shook her head and, at these words, he seemed to regain a bit of himself once more. Stilling giving her complete control he leaned in further, aiming for a kiss, but Mina quickly pulled away before anything could happen. Karma was inevitable, but it took all of her self control to stop herself from bursting into a fit of giggle at the pure anxious worry written across his face.

He clearly didn’t enjoy having a taste of his own medicine but the end of the day, it was her wide smirk that gave her away.

With a sinster smile playing on the edges of his lips, he yanked both his hands free of Mina’s wrists, moving to slide one up the middle of her thigh and digging the other forcefully into the small of her back as he pulled her towards him once more. She had lost all sense of confidence she had managed to muster mintues ago, replaced instead by a hovering sense of wanting.

Pray as she might, there was still no satisfaction. There was still no reprieve of a kiss, only the sound of their heavy panting, heaving on top of one another, chest to chest.

A small sigh escaped Mina’s parted lips as she felt Khalil’s hand digging further into her thigh, sliding higher and higher each second and his eyes never left hers as he watched her begin to slowly fall apart in his hands. His tongue dared to dart out over her lips, her neck, her chest, leaving her tingling with sensation everywhere he trailed, a sensation she hoped would never stop.

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