I Need You To Hate Me

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12. YOU AND ME

“I’m not coming with you, Ace,” I say, and he stares at me like I just told him the world is ending. I guess he’s not used to being told no.

“You are,” he states in a definite tone.

Before I object again, I realise Lexi is looking at me and if looks could kill...but then, her gaze shifts to him, “You can’t be serious.”

“Does it look like I’m joking?” He asks.

She glares at him, waiting for Ace to change his mind. He doesn’t. Instead, he places his hands in his pockets like this is just another inconvenience in his life.

Lexi scoffs as if she can’t believe what’s happening. She climbs off his bike and walks over to him, “Me and you, Ace... we’re done.”

“Lexi, we were never together, you know that,” he says, irritated. What an arrogant asshole.

“Ugh whatever,” she rolls her eyes, I can’t believe she lets him talk to her like that.

“You —,” she points her pink fingernails at me, and I step back. God, I really don’t want to be a part of this. “Don’t think you’re any different, he will throw you out when he’s done...just like everyone else.”

“I’m -, I begin to say but Ace cuts me off.

I realise everyone else is watching the three of us and I don’t even understand how I became a part of Ace and Lexi drama.

“Lexi,” he begins but I don’t want to hear any more of this. I turn around and walk towards the direction that I hope will take me back to the house...eventually.

After a few minutes of walking, I’m glad no one is following me. I don’t know if I’m even going the right way, I pull out my phone and type the address into google maps. Two and a half hours, can this day get any better?

This is the exact reason why I don’t do normal things that people my age do. However, I would argue at this moment, that going to an underground fighting arena isn’t a normal thing.

It isn’t long before I hear the sound of a bike. Here we go, here comes the whirlwind of mood swings.

“Get on the bike, Calla,” Ace says when he pulls up next to me.

“No,” I say, not looking at him. I keep walking and he struggles to keep up with me and balance on his bike.

“Are you always this stubborn? Just get on the bike,” Ace tells me again as he gets off the bike and walks it next to me. I roll my eyes at the irony.

“Why do you care what I do?” I ask, not really expecting an answer.

“We’re friends,” he states.

I want to laugh because we certainly aren’t friends. I don’t even know what it means to be friends with Ace. If he thinks I’m going to be another one of his ‘fuck buddies’ or whatever it was that he and Lexi had, he is extremely wrong. He’s been nothing but rude to me since we met, talking to me only when it suits him.

“I’ll walk.”

“Fuck, Calla. I thought you wanted to be friends?” He runs his hand through his hair. He’s got to be kidding me. He’s acting like I’m the one giving him mixed signals.

“I’m not going to be friends with you, Ace,” I make air quotes, is he that stupid?

He scoffs, “What are you talking about?”

I stop and turn to face him and narrow my eyes, “Are you sure you don’t have a personality disorder? I can’t keep up with you! One minute you feel nothing for me and the next you act like a possessive boyfriend and now you want to be friends?!” I realise I am almost yelling in the middle of the road, I look psychotic, but I can’t deal with him anymore. He brings out the worst in me.

He kicks the side stand of his motorbike more forcefully than necessary and crosses his arms, “I’m not good for you.”

I don’t know what that even means, and I don’t even care anymore, “Whatever.”

I turn and begin to walk away but his fingers curl around my wrist pulling me towards him. I stumble into his hard chest. He wraps his arm around my waist to stabilise me and I can’t breathe. His body is pressed against mine and I can feel the heat coming off him, or is it just the burning of my own cheeks?

The corners of his mouth slightly curve as if he knows what he’s doing to me. It’s a strange feeling, one that I never felt before, especially not with Asher.

With Asher, it was innocent – our relationship was built on friendship more than anything else. We had sex just because it was something everyone else was doing and when I tell you my first and only time was horrible; I’m not exaggerating.

Asher claimed to have slept with lots of girls before me, but I think that was just his ego talking. He skipped foreplay and went straight for the big bang; the pain was unbearable and Scooby-Doo in the background on the large plasma TV wasn’t making me relax. To make it worse, Asher’s poodle was trying to hump his leg the whole time. Luckily, it took less than five minutes for Asher to finish, and I didn’t have the urge to try it again ever since then.

Thinking back on it now, I am surprised that we continued to date for another month after that unfortunate event.

I look up at Ace through my lashes, his eyes are already on me. For a second and only for a second my gaze trails down to his lips and I imagine what it would be like to feel them on mine. I tell myself to snap out of it because Ace is not someone I should be getting involved with for many reasons.

“Let’s start over, as friends?”

There’s that word again and I still don’t know what it means to him, I quickly avert my attention away from his mouth, “Like you and Lexi?”

He shakes his head abruptly, “No.”

I’m trying to get a better understanding of what ‘friends’ means to him, “Like you and Liv?”

He pauses for a moment and shakes his head again which makes me even more confused. I try to turn my head away from him because I realise there’s only a certain amount of Ace, I can handle in one day and that limit has already expired.

However, he doesn’t like that, and he gently places his hand on my jaw, forcing me to meet his gaze again. “Like you and me.”

My breath hitches in my throat and even though I still don’t know what that means, the way he said it, made me feel something; something that I shouldn’t be. Am I reading too much into this?

“Ace, I don’t know… you’re just so hot and cold all the time,” I begin.

“That’s okay, I promise I will only be hot from now on,” he winks and breaks our contact.

He’s back to being full of himself and I’m relieved that we are done with the intense talk. Having said that, I am still unclear where I stand with Ace. Is this just another act? Will he go back to being an asshole tomorrow? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

“Now, get on the bike.”

I shoot him a look of disapproval and he adds, ”Please get on the bike, Calla.”

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