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What in the world

Chapter 10


“Ella are you ready yet,” Olivia calls from my bedroom.

She’s referring to the idea of us going to the mall, her idea certainly not mine. Public places with lots of people were not my preferred areas to hang around.

She wouldn’t take any of her other friends either, she said I was her best friend therefore she wanted me to come. Apparently, I’m the only real friend she’s got, and since it’s the weekend it’s the perfect time to go.

I tried to refuse, I really did but she wasn’t having it. We were going to have a ‘girls day’ so that meant no Declan aloud.

“No, I don’t want to go,” I say solemnly, putting on a pair of cropped girlfriend jeans.

I hear stomping on the other side of the door, and then comes a loud knock. “Ella Mae Emerson, you are coming with me and that’s final,” Olivia states firmly, no room for disapproval.

A sigh passes my lips as I throw on one of Declan’s wonderful t-shirts, his delicious scent immediately fills my nose as I tuck the long material into my jeans. I have a little drawer where I keep them all, he gave me some just for here knowing how much I love to wear them.

A smile lights my lips as I recall the memory.

“You like my shirts, don’t you baby?” He whispers close to my ear.

My eyes lifted at this, the smallest of smiles simpering onto my lips. That accusation is indeed a correct statement, I loved his shirts. They were big and soft and smelled exactly like him.

His devious lips curved into a striking grin. His forest eyes sparkling in the afternoon sunlight glinting through the window. “I like my shirts too, especially when they are on you.” He murmurs, running his hand down my side at a very slow place in emphasis.

My cheeks dapple in color, “They’re comfy D, and they smell like you.” I mumble.

He leans in smiling against the side of my face, his lips planting a sweet kiss right where the apple of my cheek is. He then gently grabs my chin with his calloused fingers guiding it so we’re now looking at each other.

Our eyes connected, he then gazed down at my lips and as he does he bites his own lip. Just like that the space between us evaporates, his lips come pressing against mine. One of his hands caressing my face, the other resting on my thigh.

Little furious flames flicker under my skin, feelings that words have not yet been invented for.

As we pull away Declan’s eyes do not leave mine. “When you say things like that, I swear it drives me fucking bonkers.” He mutters, “You can have all the shirts you want, then you’ll smell like me too.”

“You want me to smell like you?” I ask softly.

His smile grows, “Ellie baby, I want you to be my girl in every sense, so yes I want you to wear my clothes and I want you to smell like me.” He says slowly, “I want you to have me with you even when I’m not there.”

“You alright in there?” Olivia begins to knock again, pulling me out of the memory that I wish I didn’t have to leave so soon.

With a clip of my belt I mumble, “I’ll be right out.”

“If you say so.”

Her retracting steps are heard through the door, so I quickly run a brush through my hair and after simply tuck it behind my ears. This should be good enough, she’s lucky I’m even wearing jeans when it’s the weekend.

Completely finished, I glance down at myself real quick making sure I’m all put together. With that, I twist open the door and stroll out.

Olivia sits in my chair tapping her foot impatiently. Her mane of long dark brown curls bounces up as she hears me enter, her caramel eyes taking me in. A smile curls onto the corners of her mouth, “About time you come out. Now I see why you took so long.”

I tilt my head to the side in confusion. She knows I was daydreaming about Declan? “Huh?” I let out.

She raises her perfectly plucked eyebrows, “Duhh look at you, you’re gorgeous! No wonder you were in there for like thirty minutes.” She exclaims.

My cheeks tint, taking complements is another thing I’m not good at. Actually, you can add that to the long list of things I’m not good at. I wasn’t in the bathroom for thirty minutes perfecting my look, I was in there that long because I got distracted thinking about you know who.

“I’m only wearing jeans and a t-shirt Olivia, I’d hardly say that.” I mumble, “I always look like this.”

Her smile brightens, “So what? Just because you’re wearing your normal outfit doesn’t mean you don’t look good. You’re my best friend Ella, so I’m going to be honest with you.” She pauses, looking right at me, “You’re kind of naive, but literally everyone around you thinks the same thing.”

“Umm thanks,” I say quietly, feeling immensely uncomfortable. “You know you are too...gorgeous I mean.”

She stands up and embraces me in a hug, “Let’s go to the mall.”

So that’s what we do, we go to the mall. If it were up to me, I would no doubt stay home but unfortunately, it wasn’t. Olivia was one persistent girl when she set her mind to something.

When I told Declan he was hesitant, hesitant to let me go with just Olivia. I told him everything would be fine, I didn’t want him to worry about me and if I needed him I would call him.

After a lot of back and forth disagreements, he finally gave in but didn’t sound at all happy about it. He didn’t like the idea of me in the mall with a whole bunch of strangers, especially other ‘boys’. It didn’t matter that Olivia would be with me either, it didn’t satisfy him.

He was the only boy. Didn’t he know that wouldn’t be a problem?

When I told Olivia she laughed and said, “That’s not what he means Ella Bella.” I still didn’t get it but decided not to answer.

Olivia pulls into the mall, the parking lots full of all kinds of vehicles. We repetitively go up and down a bunch of aisles until we find a parking spot. This place is utterly packed, people everywhere you turn.

We took Olivia’s car because Declan was still borrowing my truck, he was actually supposed to pick up his GMC sometime today. He was also getting Riley, I just wish I could’ve gone with him but I’m sure Wes did.

It’s just a little while, I’ll see him later.

Olivia wastes no time getting out of the car and skipping excitingly to the entrance if only I could share the same excitement. From there, I follow her as she goes in and out of multiple stores.

I try my best to keep my heart calm, but being in a place so hectic it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. The clothes racks seem too close to each other as we walk through the cramped stores, the air seems thick, and the noise, the noise makes me dizzy.

We filter in and out of so many places, I lose count. The feeling of other people brushing my shoulders as we pass by them makes my skin crawl.

Declan isn’t here to shield them away.

At one point when Olivia was in the changing room, I had the urge to call Declan, to tell him I needed him. I didn’t like being left alone in the store, I know it’s ridiculous but I have this feeling people are watching me.

It seriously felt like I was going to cry, thank goodness I didn’t because that would’ve been a deal-breaker. Olivia came out just in time, just as my eyes were starting to water. She asked if I was okay, I told her I was just hot and laughed it off.

When lunchtime came, we sat and ate chicken and french fries. Olivia had two handfuls of bags, while I just had a couple.

As I ate my eyes skimmed the surrounding area of the food court. By doing this I hoped to calm my anxiety, to keep my mind off of myself.

I was beginning to settle down, but then I saw someone familiar. My eyes narrowed in on hair extremely similar to Declan’s soft chocolate curls, in fact, it looked like him from his back profile. Tall and lean, muscles perfect. I was about to jump out of my seat and run to him.

Until I saw a girl right next to him, a girl with dark brown hair, so dark it was almost black. Their hands were interlaced.

A sudden pang erupted in my chest. He wouldn’t do that, Declan wouldn’t do that.

Just then he turned around, eyes piercing even from this far away. They were blue, dark blue. They weren’t the forest green I loved. That wasn’t my Declan, that wasn’t Declan at all.

A gasp escaped my lips, that was Hayes, Declan’s brother, kidnapper.

“Ella,” Olivia says, waving her hand in my face.

Shaking my head, I glance up at her. “S-sorry.” I stutter waking from my trance, trying to hold my fear from my voice.

Concern takes over her features, eyes scanning my face. “Hey, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” She asks, voice soft.

I shake my head, eyes burning. I need to get out of here, I need to hide. “Can we umm go, I’m n-not feeling well.” I murmur, my heart beating wildly in my chest.

She nods immediately standing up. “Of course, let’s get you home.”

Shakily, I stand up and grab my bags trying to keep my head veered down. I don’t want him to see me, what will he do if he does? Will he come after me here in a public place full of people?

Olivia watches me, her eyes worried as we make our way outside. A wave of nausea hits me and I stumble on the outside pavement. Olivia comes to my side, “I’m worried Ella, are you sure you can make it to the car?”

I nod my head furiously fighting the tears off. “Y-Yeah just a little stumble.” We begin to walk again, and soon enough we make it to the car. Then we drive back.


Olivia pulls up my driveway, the ride now bumpy with the rocks underneath. She comes to a stop parking close to my garage, surprisingly my mom’s vehicle is in the driveway. For once she’s not at work.

I begin to open my door and notice Olivia does the same. “You don’t have to walk me in Liv, my mom’s home. I’ll be fine.” I tell her.

She halts eyeing me, “You sure you’ll be okay?” I nod, trying to give her my best smile. “Better already, it must have been the food.” I lie.

Reluctantly she sits back, “Alight, call me if you need anything, yeah?”

With one last nod, I hop out of the car grabbing my two bags and trek up to my house. My heart is racing so fast, my hands still a trembling mess, but I try to walk normal, to appear normal.

Slowly I amble up my porch steps and stroll to my door. Once inside, I kick off my shoes releasing a shaky breath. Do I tell Declan about seeing Hayes? Do I keep it to myself? I don’t want to worry him.

Wanting to take a shower after people brushing against my shoulder all day, I head up the stairs. On my way up, I hear a barely audible muffled noise. Quietly I walk down the hall to see where the noise is coming from.

The noise is more noticeable and just a smidge bit louder the closer I get. Following it leads me right to my moms’ bedroom door, which is open just a crack. Silently I peak in, nervous about what I’ll find.

My heart drops to my feet at sight in front of me.

My mom sits on the floor against the foot of her bed, knees pulled to her chest, and head tucked. Her body wracks with quiet sobs, alone she cries in the dark. She looks so fragile, so hurt, and so not like herself.

What in the world?

Slowly I step back, backtracking to my room, not wanting her to hear me. I don’t think I was supposed to see that, but I did and now I’m just about ready to break down myself.

Once in my room, I carelessly throw myself in bed. My head is spinning, my heart is hurting, and my life is suddenly crumbling.

Why is my mom crying her heart out? Why was Hayes at the mall? And why do I suddenly miss Thomas so much?

I want Declan, I want him to hold me, I want him to kiss me, and I want him to take it all away. But I can’t call him and tell him, it will only add more weight on his shoulders he’ll have to carry, I won’t do that to him. It would only ruin his day with Riley.


It’s already chapter 10!!! Okay I know Declan wasn’t in this chapter much, but he’ll be in the next chapter promise! I hope you all are having a good day! Enjoy!

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