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Or you were cheating

Chapter 9


Today was day two of Declan’s suspension and he had to spend it working. Since he couldn’t go to school, he inconveniently was called into work all day. It’s not like he wanted to, but he had to because he needed the money.

The whole morning I debated on whether or not I was going to go to school myself, but it wasn’t much of a debate really. Deep down I knew if I went in, he wouldn’t be there to hold my hand and tell me everything was going to be alright. If he wasn’t there, who was going to neutralize my endless anxiety.

I know Declan would make Wes stay with me but it’s not the same. Wes isn’t my rock, Declan is.

Wes is my friend, he’s just not my Declan. He can’t do whatever it is Declan does to make me feel better, he doesn’t have that kind of power.

My mom left early this morning, kissing me on the forehead on her way out, the rushed words of ‘I love you’ tumbling out in a mere whisper. With the small glimpse I caught of her before she left, I saw the dark-rimmed circles under her tired eyes. Sleep must only seem like a minuscule requirement, with all the work she’s been so busily occupied with.

With her gone all the time, it just seems so different at home, especially with Thomas now at college staying in the dorms. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing the subject too much like always.

Sighing, I lay back in my comfy bed and admire the ceiling for a while, Declan on my mind. What’s new?

A smile curves on the corners of my lips as I think about how Declan kissed me yesterday, how he set my skin ablaze with just his fingertips. Jubilation ran from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, feelings agile in my veins.

He saw me shirt free and still told me I was beautiful. Just thinking about him gives me hot shivering shudders.

With the soundless house all to myself, I decided to turn on Netflix. How original of me. Scrolling through the many channels, I choose ‘The 100’ and click the play button. For some reason, I find this show so interesting. I only recently started watching it because Olivia told me I had to.

After a while, I throw my blankets off becoming uncomfortably hot, a sheen of sweat covering my forehead and hands. Sometimes sitting in the same place for so long gives me a heat flash.

Turning off my Tv I get up from my bed and pad across my floor. Under my reading chair I pull out the photo album I’ve been working on, it’s mostly scrapbooking and what not but it’s for Declan’s birthday.

He didn’t want me to get him anything, so I decided to make something instead. Along with the photo album, I made him a beaded bracelet, with the letter ‘D’ in the center, standing for the nickname I gave him.

I’ve been keeping it hidden under my chair so when he comes over he doesn’t see it. His birthday is only days away and I didn’t want him to find it by accident. The cover of the scrapbook is a light brown leather road map with the symbols of a compass, I hope he will like it.

Having nothing to do, I flick through the pictures, a small smile stealing my very chapped lips. There were all kinds of pictures in here, including photos of Wes and Riley too. Under each, I wrote a little caption.

Each memory filters through my brain. When the picture of Declan and me in the sunflower field comes into view, I stop at it. Declan was trying to get me to take a photo with him but I refused and looked away. He then said something which had me glancing over and that’s when he snapped the picture. A satisfied smile filled his charming face.

Without him in my physical presence, he still manages to give me little fluttering butterflies.

A sudden buzz has me jumping, it’s just my phone vibrating though. Standing up, I go grab my phone off my nightstand.

‘I’m just checking in Ellie, I love you.’

My already big smile seems to grow. ‘I’m fine D, I love you too.’

Three dots appear at the bottom of the screen, showing me he’s typing back a response. I wait patiently as he does. ‘Fine is just another word for not okay.’ He responds, then seconds later his name and picture takes over the screen, he’s calling me.

I swipe over answering it, “Hey.” I murmur.

“Ellie.” He says, my name rolling right off his dulcet lips. “Tell me you’re alright.”

“I am D, you don’t have to worry.” I giggle a bit.

He breathes out a sigh, “I’m always worried about you silly girl.” He mumbles, “I love that giggle, in fact, I’m going to make sure I hear it later.” He states.

“Mhm, you sound so sure,” I say playfully. If only I could see him right now, I imagine his eyebrow raised and his peach lips set into a grin.

“Is that a challenge baby?” He asks, amused. “Because we both know I will win, just think about all the things I’ll do to you, you know I will Ellie.”

My eyes widen a bit, “N-no.” I stutter.

He chuckles, “Oh yes.”

After our phone call has ended, my cheeks are warm with color. I’m sure Declan is happily content with himself, amusement probably showing sharp on his cheekbones. He always has my heart racing with his words.


A knock on my door has me up and out of my bed. Who is here? Declan isn’t supposed to be out of work yet.

My feet pad heavily down the stairs, I turn the corner and head towards the door. Opening it, a mix of surprise and relief wash over me. It’s just Olivia, oh, and Wes stands behind her with a smirk lighting his lips.

“Hey?” I say, but it sounds more like a question. I wasn’t expecting them.

Olivia smiles a full-fledged smile, her olive cheeks tinted pink, and her caramel eyes glowing. “Hey back. You’ve been alone all day, so I wanted to come give you some company.” She says.

“Me too.” Wes sings, “School is such a bore.”

I laugh opening the door so they can come in. “Did you guys get out early or something? School doesn’t end for another thirty minutes.”

“Bingo,” Wes exclaims, his smile beaming. “We’re such rebels aren’t we?” He asks proudly.

Fits of laughter bubbled in my throat. “Totally.” I sputter in between breaths. “Such rebels.”

“I knew you would think so.” Wes says, “Too bad Deck Deck isn’t here to witness it himself, he’d think I’m a total baddy.”

Olivia and I share the same look, us both fighting to hold in our laughter. Wes seems so proud, it’s funny. “Declan would definitely think that.” Olivia snickers, her eyes lit with amusement.

We head to my room, Olivia and I hop on my bed almost instantly. Wes walks around, studying the walls and running his hands along the books on my bookshelves. He reads the titles under his breath, this is his first time being in my room.

Back when I isolated myself, I read a lot. Sometimes being in a different world makes you forget about your own life, at least for a little while. It’s funny really, I used to hate to read. But it only takes one book to change that completely.

Just before Wes and Olivia knocked on my door, I was reading ‘Legend’.

Turning on the Tv, I go right to Netflix and click on once again “The 100.” Olivia squeals clapping her hands, “You finally started watching it! It’s so good isn’t it?”

I nod my head just as Wes turns around, “What is?”

“The One Hundred duhh.” Olivia says, “Where these people live in space and get sent down to earth. It’s literally the best show ever.”

Wes plops down on my chair, “We’ll see about that, press play.”

So I press play and we all begin to watch. Soon after, Wes is immersed in the show just as much as Olivia and I are. After each episode we quickly click on the next one, impatient to watch more. Four episodes later, we move on to the fifth creating a streak, and just when we start it there’s a knock on my door once again.

Olivia and Wes make eye contact and at the same time touch their nose. “Not it, nose goes.” They yell in unison.

“That’s not fair, you guys planned that.” I huff sliding off the bed. Olivia shrugs her shoulders, an apologetic smile on her lips. But I know she doesn’t feel sorry, she’s more than happy to not get up.

Leaving the room, I once again trudge down my steep stairs, they creak as I do. At the door, I twist the knob but it doesn’t twist. Looking down I notice it’s locked, I must have locked it earlier out of habit. So unlocking the door, this time I’m able to twist and pull open the door.

Declan stands in front of me with his arms crossed and lips quirked in the most beautiful way. His chocolate tousled hair is in messy ringlets on top of his head, and his forest eyes are greener than ever.

“Didn’t want me coming in?” He asks, the words leaving his lips slowly.

What is he talking about? “What?” His lips curl higher, his eyebrows raised. “The door was locked.”

“Oh yeah, habit,” I mumble sheepishly. I didn’t even realize it myself when I did it.

“Hmm.” He hums taking a step closer, I tilt my head to see his face. “Or you were cheating.”

“C-cheating,” I mumble, kind of nervous now. What does he mean?

His thumb brushes down my lips, my face turning the color cherry. “Don’t you remember our conversation earlier baby? Or do I need to remind you?” He murmurs to me.

Oh. He means about being able to make me laugh.

“I w-wasn’t cheating. I didn’t e-even realize I locked the door.” I stutter.

His fingers move to my hair, tucking a piece behind my ear. “You see Ellie how nervous you are.” He coos, “I can make you nervous, I can make you giggle, and I’m sure I can do other things to you too.”

Heat captures me in a bubble, my face flushed in darkened shades of red. He’s right.

“Ella Bella is everything alright down there?” Olivia yells, probably because I haven’t come back upstairs yet.

Declan watches me as I squirm. “Y-Yeah.” I manage to croak up to her.

Seconds later footsteps come tumbling down the stairs, sounding like a herd of elephants.

Declan spins me around pulling me to him, my back now against his chest. Before the tumbling stops, Declan’s hot breath brushes against my neck, sending tingles down my skin. “Later.” He whispers, “We’ll test my theory.”

Olivia and Wes come from off the steps, Wes hopping off at the bottom. They glance over at us, Wes not bothering to hide his smirk. My cheeks burn up.

“So not sorry to interrupt.” Wes snickers.


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