christmas eve

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s i x

His eyes opened wide as he flinched hard. He fell back and would have slipped off the couch if I wouldn’t have gripped his leg. I couldn’t hold back my laughter.

“Fuck, Holly!” he exclaimed loudly, trying to sit up. I pulled him up so that his butt was still on the couch, the side of his other leg brushing my hip. I chuckled down at him. Payback, you asshole, I thought.

He gripped the back of the couch to support himself. Now, he was just sitting there with wide eyes, his thighs pressed against the backrest.

“What the fuck?” he panted. He was staring at me, overly and utterly shocked. I grinned.

“What were you doing?”

His brows furrowed for a brief second. And then, his cheeks were starting to flare up. He was actually blushing!

“Aw, how cute,” I drawled out.

I reached out my right hand and patted his head. “Pour Cade Thindal was scared... Do you need me to hold your hand?”

He gripped my hand and forced it away from him. Now his stupid grin had vanished from his lips and was lying on top of mine.

“That’s not funny! I could’ve fallen and broken my neck!”

I was ready to break out with laughter again. I pressed my hand against my mouth, but it was already too late. I snorted, and then the laughter burst out of me.

It took me at least a minute to recompose myself.

Still grinning, I made eye contact with Cade.

He was fighting a grin of his own. “Alright... maybe it was a bit funny... And to come back to your question, I was actually waiting for you!”

I tilted my head to the side. “Oh, that was what you were doing? Then why were you drumming around in the air?”

“I don’t remember such an act.”

I snorted, grinning at him. His smirk returned right back to his face.

I shook my head. He was such a dwarf.

He tried to pull his leg back. I looked down and saw that I was still holding onto it.

“Oh, sorry,” I whispered, feeling my cheeks heat up.

Only now I noticed that I was sort of standing between his legs. His left leg was at my right hip, and I held the other with my left hand. I released him and watched as he turned and stood up. Now the couch was between us.

“What did you take so long?” he asked, rounding the couch. He crossed his arms and leaned his hip against it. I looked up at him and licked over my lips.

“I overslept,” I muttered, my hands playing with the edges of my sleeves. My heart was beating faster suddenly.

I wasn’t sure if it was because of him. Anxiety often hit me at the most random times. But I wasn’t even sure if it was that. I felt my heartbeat sped up its beat even more. I gripped the couch to try and keep myself grounded.

Cade seemed to somehow feel my discomfort. “Are you fine?”

I nodded and swallowed, taking a step back. I stroked my hair back against my left ear. “Have you eaten yet?”

He raised one of his dark brows at me but thankfully let it drop. His smirk returned, “I was actually waiting on you to take you out on our first date, Holly,” he joked. His smile was contagious. “Come on, let’s get some breakfast.”

I was seated at one of the tables in the cafeteria. Cade was in the kitchen. He had told me to sit down while he prepared our food. The options were little, so I could only imagine that he was warming up soup in the microwave.

If he was actually able to use it... I wasn’t sure if I could trust him with that.

I leaned back in my chair. Now that it was bright in the room, everything looked normal again. Luckily, I wasn’t afraid anymore.

I was actually growing quite comfortable around Cade, and that meant something. Most guys were so much about themselves that I couldn’t stand talking to them longer than five minutes. Sure, Cade could be very annoying.

But at least, he wasn’t acting like them. He seemed very reserved when it came to his personal life... but what was I talking about? I’d only started talking to him yesterday!

Cade threw the door of the kitchen open. I flinched when it banged against the wall. This might’ve caused a dent...

He just continued walking, carrying two plates, and said nothing as my wide eyes met his. He even smiled. An idiot, that’s what he was. I stood up and walked past him to inspect the wall.

I wouldn’t be paying for that shit. If anyone asked, I had not been in this room. I closed the door and cringed when I saw the wall. The dent was impossible to ignore. I stroked over the rough wallpaper and bit my lip.

My fingers curved into the new addition to the wall immediately. I looked over my shoulder to Cade, who was starting to prepare the table.

“Hey!”

He looked at me over his shoulder, smirking when he saw my face. “Don’t throw me that face, Holly. You’ll only destroy the mood.”

I huffed. “You broke the wall, Cade!”

He chuckled and raised his brows. “′Broke the wall?′ Holly, Darling, I don’t think you know what destruction looks like! That is barely a scratch.”

My brows furrowed, and I crossed my arms. “A scratch, my ass... You haven’t even looked at it, you idiot!”

“Oh, we’re already that far in our relationship? I thought pet names only come in handy after the second date...”

I blinked at him. A brief second later, I sighed and threw up my hands. I wasn’t going to discuss this with him. “Fine, alright... just know that you’ll pay for the reparations if we get charged!”

“Fine with me,” he laughed.

He simply didn’t care. That made me wonder if he had never really worried about things like these. When I had dropped Taylor’s phone a few weeks ago, I had almost cried when I’d seen the new crack in it...

But everyone was different. And I had to admit, I was overly sensitive to some things. It was something that I really hated about myself.

Cade sat down and patted the chair that stood next to his. “Now, come here, Holly. You wouldn’t want to miss our date, would you?”

I snorted and made my way towards him. “Of course not, Cade! I even made sure to look good for you!” Of course, I hadn’t. I hadn’t even cared to look into the mirror after I had stood up because I had been late.

I was sure he could tell.

“You’re always beautiful to me,” he told me, grinning. There was a glint in his eyes. “You’ve got no idea how long I’ve been waiting to do this,” he laughed.

I gave him a smile. Both of us knew he was lying. There was no need for the flutter in my stomach. I didn’t even know the guy!

I sat down next to him and looked at the steaming plates. They were filled with light brown liquid. I looked at Cade. “So, what have you prepared for us?”

He leaned back in his seat and smirked. “As you can see, I have prepared the most excellent chicken soup for us. Tenderly taken from the cabinet by my subtle fingers.”

“Oh god,” I sighed. “Now, I can only imagine that you’ve spitted in mine...”

“Who do you think I am?”

I lifted one of my brows at him and tilted my head. I couldn’t even hide my smile. “Do you even wanna know?”

He squinted his eyes at me and leaned forward. Our faces were so near that I could feel his breath on my face, in my lungs. Now I could make out the tiny golden spots in his dark brown eyes. They reminded me of the galaxy.

I didn’t know how I hadn’t noticed him before...

“I wanna know so much...” he whispered. “Everything, Holly. I want to know every little detail.”

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