A Passion That Was Poison

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Nine

Chapter 9

Elizabeth

The river rushed with power, flowing off banks, carving its way through the earth. Rocks lined the edges of the crystalline water, more were seen resting on the river floor.

The sun gleamed showing off the speckled greens of the woods. I watched where I stepped, making sure to avoid any poison Ivy or oak. Little purple flowers littered the ground, along with old scattered leaves. Branches and rotted sticks laid on top of the crunchy terrain.

As the wind blows the heat seems more bearable. This place is honestly beautiful, and being here with all my best friends makes it all the more amazing.

Although Jay and I didn’t reach the river first, we made it here second behind the winners Aaron and Maya. As the saying goes first is the worst, second is the best. All the others came along after flying through the woods willing themselves to go faster, their hair wild in the wind.

Unfortunately Aaron and Maya got the Starbucks card. It was a real heart breaking moment when I realized I just lost fifteen dollars worth of goodness. To say I was mildly upset is and understatement, kidding that’s a bit dramatic.

When Jay parked the four wheeler to the left between two trees, I got off and ran towards the water. Carefully, I walked on top of the rocks feeling the pointy edges through my Birkenstocks.

Sitting down on a somewhat flat good sized rock, I slide my Birkenstocks off and put them next to me, then place my bare pale feet into the water. As soon as the water touches my skin, a coolness washes over me. A sigh leaves my chapped lips, the water feels so good in this heat.

Jay comes up behind me kneeling down. I turn my head to him giving him a big smile. I knew it was him before I even turned around, because when he’s near it’s like I’m more hyper aware of everything. The hairs on my neck stick straight up in recognition, his presence calling to be known.

“Hey.” I speak first.

He smiles back big and bright, “Hows the water?” He asks, his voice deep.

“Perfect.” I say kicking my feet back and forth slowly. Jay rests his head on my shoulder watching the water rush by. Every couple of seconds it splashes up coating my shins. The wetness shines off of my pale legs courtesy of the sun.

“Have I ever told you how pretty you are?” He suddenly asks, being so casual.

I turn my head slightly raising a brow at him. He’s never told me that and him saying it now makes my stomach swirl with butterflies. Not being able to speak I shake my head telling him no.

He grins liking my reaction. “Well you are.”

My smile grows in width, it’s a silly too happy kind of smile. I probably look like a dork but I can’t help it. “You are too, pretty I mean.” I say dumbly.

He scowls, “I’m not pretty, I’m fucking sexy.”

“Sure you are.” I mutter rolling my eyes. My smile lingers at his arrogant remark. I felt happy before but his one compliment somehow makes me more happy. It’s a nice feeling to have when you think that one person is also freaking gorgeous. He can make any face and still look good, where anything and still make it attractive.

He places his hand under my chin, then gently but firmly moves my head so we’re staring each other in the eyes, “That’s right.” He says, “You know what else is sexy?”

I squint my eyes wondering what he means. When nothing comes I say, “No”

He smiles a wicked smile. His hot breath is suddenly felt on my right ear, my body quivers at his closeness. His hands are now resting on each of my hips. Then he whispers in a velvety voice, “You, soaking wet.”

All of the sudden my body flies forward, before I even realize what’s happening coldness captures me, gooseflesh surfaces immediately on my skin. My breath caught in my throat as the water steals my oxygen.

The river is deeper than it first looked, it is also much colder than when I just had my feet in it. Usually before I go swimming I ease myself into the water, letting my body get used to the cold temperatures. I was never one to just jump right in and deal with it.

It takes me a second before I start moving my arms and legs, pushing past the current and up to the surface to breathe. He pushed me in, Jay pushed me into the river. I’m going to kill him, both metaphorically and physically. He was just being so sweet, what the actual fudge biscuits.

When I arise above water, I set my glare right on him. “What the fudge Jay.” I yell swimming towards the rocks.

He smirks pleasantly, “Fudge does sound good right now.”

I glare harder, “I’m going to kill you.” Drew is standing next to him, with both a look of amusement and sympathy. Was he in on this? My face burns with both anger and embarrassment.

“No you’re not.” He sings, “You said the water was perfect, I thought you wanted to go for a swim. So I helped you out.”

I climb up the rocks, my friends watching me, trying to hold in their smiles and laughter. “Yeah and you said I was pretty, now I’m going to show you just how pretty I can be.” I snap.

Once I climb up the rock I shove by him, making sure to hit his shoulder hard. I stomp right over to the four wheelers looking for a towel.

“Women.” I hear Drew mutter to Jay. Jay begins a fit of laughter, I scowl searching for a towel to wrap around myself.

The water was freezing cold, it doesn’t matter how hot it is, as long as I’m wet I will be cold. Digging through everything making a mess, my anger builds. These are my good clothes and now they’re ruined. I’m glad he thinks this is so funny.

“Looking for this.” Hunter says behind me. I twirl around to see Hunter holding a towel out towards me.

I nod my head in appreciation, “Thanks.” I mumble. I’m about to take it when he instead takes a step forward wrapping it around me. I send him a small smile holding the towel tight.

“Better?”

“Much.” I say, still feeling aggravated at Jay. I glance over at him and he’s already looking at me and Hunter, his amusement is now gone instead his lips are set in a straight line.

“For the record I don’t think Jay pushing you in was funny.” Hunter tells me, taking my side.

I nodded at him appreciatively, “If I was in my swimsuit I wouldn’t have cared, but these are my good clothes and I really liked this shirt.” I say looking down at my once white shirt, it now looked kinda yellowish cream with dirt speckles.

“I understand.” He agrees.

In the corner of my eyes, I notice Jay is not next to Drew anymore, he’s walking towards Hunter and I. I remove my eyes from him and hold the towel tighter, shouldn’t he be laughing still?

“Elizabeth.” He draws, sounding kind of annoyed. His eyes are set on Hunter, an intense stare.

My cheeks burn, “Come to laugh at me more?”

“Came to warm you up, actually.” He says, but it sounds like he’s mocking me.

I grind my teeth. He shouldn’t have pushed me in, in the first place. Just the way he says warm you up, I know that’s not why he came over here. “No need Hunter’s got that covered.” I say sarcastically emphasizing Hunter’s name.

Hunter glances at me, he looks so uncomfortable. He looks like he wants to leave, so I nod my head telling him he can. Relief flashes through his brown eyes, before he slowly backs up and goes back to our friends, which leaves just Jay and I glaring at each other.

Jay takes a step closer, “Don’t talk to me like that.”

“Like what?” I challenge.

His jaw twitches, “Like that.” He spits, “I pushed you in the water big fucking deal, you don’t need to be a bitch about it.”

Is he serious right now? “I’m not being a bitch, I liked this shirt and you ruined it. Also the water was fucking cold, at least Hunter had the decency to get me a towel unlike you.” I hiss.

“Hurray for Hunter, what are you guys fucking dating now.” He asks with so much venom.

Confusion washes over me, “What are you talking about, were just friends.”

Now he’s so close, practically right in my face. “Really?” He says playing dumb, “I seen him wrap that towel around you, and now you’re rubbing him right in my face.”

I throw my hand on my hip, “I was not rubbing him in your face, and he was being nice apparently something you don’t know how to do.”

His face contorts with so much anger, I shrink back a bit. “Tell me Rosa if it’s not Hunter you want then who is it?” He shakes his head, “Don’t bother insulting me again either because I’ll punish you.”

I gulp. What does he mean punish? “W-what.”

His lips curl, eyes hard, “You heard me.” He says, “Now tell me who you want.”

My cheeks burn in embarrassment. How is it he can change a whole conversation around? I gaze down at my feet knowing he seriously wants an answer, and if I have to admit it I won’t be looking him in the eyes while doing it. “You know who.” I mutter.

He grabs my chin, jerking it up so we’re once again staring at each other, “That’s not what I asked.”

I close my eyes before opening them again, “You.” I whisper defeatedly.

“Thought so, now show me.” He traces my lip. “Kiss me.”

My eyes widen but he just stares holes into my head. He’s waiting and he won’t let this go until I do it. So I lean in and press my lips to his. But like always he takes control of the kiss, it’s fast and harsh.

When he pulls away he caresses my cheek ever so softly like we didn’t just have a fight. The anger I felt slowly slips away with his simple touch. “I’m glad we’re on the same page.”

*

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