17. TRANQUILLITY OF TIME
I never understood how people could be addicted to drugs. I never even tried drugs - my dad would have lost it, you know; him being the sheriff and all that. But in this moment I feel like an addict that can’t get enough. All the hurt in my mind, all the frustration and anger subside. Every thought in my head is exploding into a dark craving.
I’m addicted to the way he makes me feel. Of course, don’t get me wrong, I’ve kissed a handful of guys before but no one has ever made me feel like this. Not even close. I wonder if it’s because we’re surrounded by the stillness of everything around us, the stars, the moon, the lake. The tranquillity of time.
His lips are soft and slow against mine, but there is nothing gentle about them. Ace is far from gentle. His hands are on my waist, pulling me closer even though there is no space between us. He runs his tongue along my bottom lip, asking for permission and I let him. Our tongues dance together in perfect sync and I don’t know how I ever thought that kissing Ace would be anything less than this.
I hate that I like it so much.
The last bit of rationality that I have left inside of me is telling me to get out of this situation but my body is glued to his. What is he doing to me?
He pulls away, his voice is low and husky, “We shouldn’t be doing this.”
“Ace,” I mumble against him, bringing his lips back to mine. I need more. More of him.
“Calla,” he warns and it’s the finality of his voice that brings me back down to Earth. I look at him and we’re both trying to catch our breath, “We shouldn’t,” he tells me again.
“Why does your mouth have to do that thing again, where it ruins everything?” I ask pulling away. He reluctantly lets me go and I suddenly remember exactly why this isn’t a good idea.
We’re just friends.
Three reasons that twirl in my mind like poison. “Are you trying to flirt with me or start a fight?” he asks annoyed. He is annoyed...at me? The audacity.
Don’t start this, Ace.
“Neither,” I say getting up on my feet. My head spins but I’m more sober than I’ve ever been. I don’t want to fight with him and I feel the need to distance myself from the situation. How can we go from making out to the verge of an argument in less than a second?
“Where are you going?”
I ignore him and continue walking. I don’t know what time it is or how long I have been sitting out here for. How long was I here before he came and ruined it all? And why?
“Calla, wait,” he says catching up to me. Why am I so angry at him? But that question is not worth answering because I already know.
I hate the way he makes me feel and I hate that even though he tells me to stay away, he’s always the one who finds me. He’s always there when the only thing I am trying to do is fit in and start over.
But most of all I hate that somehow, in the midst of all these weeks of him being an asshole and telling me to stay away; I found myself wanting to spend time with him. I found myself liking him. Ironic, I know.
But I don’t need complicated, I don’t need this.
“Fuck, Calla. Just wait,” he says touching my arm.
“What?” I twist around facing him.
“That shouldn’t have happened-,” he begins running his hand through his hair. I can’t shake the feeling of it through my fingers when we were kissing…
No no no.
I want to rip it out.
This is the last thing a girl wants to hear after kissing someone, it shouldn’t have happened. I’m sure he doesn’t say it to Lexi and all his other side girls. Was it that bad for him? Oh my god, what am I doing with Ace? My heart is beating out of my chest, I am angry at myself for letting this happen.
“Why? Because you’re with Lexi? Because you disappeared for a week after a girl called you? Because we’re friends?” I’m not yelling but it seems like it because everything around us is silent.
“No Calla, because I’m not good for-,” he starts but I’ve had enough. I can’t let him finish that sentence. Not again.
“Ace, I swear if you say what I think you’re about to say, I will… I will…” Ugh! Why can’t my brain think? I place my hand on my forehead, rubbing it.
I will what?
His lips twist into a small smile and I want to smack it off his face. He is so infuriating. No one has made me feel this much at once.
“You will what?”
“I… I…Screw you, Ace,” I stutter.
His smile grows and he raises his eyebrows, “Is that what you want?”
I can’t believe the words that are coming out of his mouth. Why does he think he can just say things like that and most of all, why do his words make my heart race more than it already is?
“Absolutely not,” I tell him, but my voice betrays me and comes out with a hint of uncertainty. All I can imagine is his hands on me. His mouth on mine.
Ace takes a step closer, it’s like he knows what he can do to girls with a single word, a look, a touch. It’s like he’s playing with my feelings. One minute he wants me, the next he doesn’t.
“Ace,” I whisper, stepping closer towards him and place my hands on his chest. I look up at him through my lashes and bite my lip.
“Hmm? Did you change your mind?” He asks and smirks. The asshole is smirking, and I do my best to keep it together. To not punch him. Not because I don’t want to but because his face is made of steel and he’s being hit too many times to even feel anything.
I step up onto my tiptoes and lean closer to him, his eyes widen, and he thinks he’s got me wrapped around his finger like everyone else. He’s wrong. And I do like him, I like him a lot but I’m not stupid and I’m not a game.
My lips brush his cheek before I whisper, “Stay the fuck away from me,” and it takes everything that I have to leave him standing there dumbfounded, wondering what the hell just happened.
When I get back into my room, I slam my door harder than necessary and instantly regret it. I hope I didn’t wake Zach and Liv. I glance at the time and it’s three in the morning. I turn the light off and collapse on my bed.
I hear when he comes into the house and he slams his door even harder than I slammed mine. I know he is pissed off, but I am too. From the start he’s been moody with me and from the start I knew that he is someone I didn’t want to deal with.
But here I am.
I toss and turn, I can’t go to sleep because I know he is downstairs, only a floor away.
Hours later, when the light is coming through my window, I finally drift off to sleep. But I wish I don’t because my dreams are filled with everything I am trying to get away from.
Everything that’s him.