East Side Academy

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Chapter 18 - Just Can’t Get Enough

“Boy I think about it every night and day / I’m addicted wanna jump inside your love / I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way / I’m addicted and I just can’t get enough” – Just Can’t Get Enough, Black Eyed Peas

Arya

“I’m sorry about that,” James says as he pulls out onto the road.

“You have nothing to be sorry about, James.” I say, “Lisa was the one that kept prying into my life with her questions. You saved me.”

“Yes, but I’m the one that brought you out here.” James says, “I’m a bad person.”

“What?” I say, “How can you even say that?”

“Lisa has liked me since we were in Grade 9,” James says, “I haven’t had it in me to tell her that I’m just not interested in her. So what did I think would happen if I brought you here in front of her? Of course she would attack you, but I brought you out here anyway and subjected you to that.”

“She’s friends with you guys though,” I say and James just laughs at the comment. “What?” I ask him.

“She just buts herself in.” James says, “She probably heard about the bonfire and invited herself and her friend.”

“So I’ll take it you don’t like her,” I say, relieved to know that James doesn’t have feelings for her and doesn’t have a past with her.

“No, I don’t.” James says, “She always seemed like she was being fake in front of me and her jealousy towards you tonight was just getting too much that I had to get out of there.”

“Curfew isn’t until 11 pm,” I say, looking at James, wondering what he has up his sleeve now.

“Oh, I am well aware,” James says and just continues looking at the road. We drive in comfortable silence for a while and then I see James put on his right indicator before we get into town, I look out and he turns into a gravel road.

“Where are you taking me?” I ask, there are no lights except for James’ car on the road.

“You’ll see,” James says. Within a minute, James pulls up the car next to an old abandoned stone building and shuts off the engine. “Ready?”

“Nope!” I say. It’s dark and he has led me to an abandoned building.

“Come on,” James says, getting out of the car and I slowly follow behind him. He takes my hand and leads me towards the front of the abandoned building that looks like it used to be a home to someone very wealthy at one point. James opens up the door.

“Are we allowed to be here?” I ask, holding onto James’ arm now.

“Just trust me, Arya,” James says in that way that makes my nerves just calm instantly. We walk into the old house, where the entire first floor has been stripped of its furniture, paintings, carpets, anything that would make this place a home. The moonlight provides the only light in the house, showing a wide-open living space with a fireplace at the center. There is a door on either side of the fireplace, one of which probably leads to a kitchen. There’s a beautiful giant staircase to the right of the fireplace.

“Who used to live here?” I ask.

“I have no clue,” James says, “The guys and I found it when we were kids and used to play here all the time without telling our parents. None of us have been back here since elementary school.” James says as he walks over and touches the railing of the staircase.

“Is there a reason you wanted to come here?” I ask James, coming up to him.

“I guess I wanted to connect back to a part of my past,” James says. “I changed when my dad passed away. I threw away my childhood to take on the responsibilities I thought I needed to do. I’m proud of the person I have become, but there’s a lot I miss about who I was before the accident, the simplicity of life. I didn’t think I could go back. But with you, Arya, I feel like I can be both. I can take my life back from when before my dad died and combine it with the person I have become since he’s been gone.”

“James,” I say, coming up close to him, putting a hand to his cheek to force him to look at me. “I’m sure your dad would be so proud of the man you are today.”

“There’s another reason for bringing you here,” James says.

“And what is that?” I ask.

“I refuse to let our first kiss to be in my car or on your front porch,” James says. I look into his beautiful, blue eyes at that moment to find them already looking into mine. He takes a step towards me, placing his right hand on my neck, his finger just touching my hair. His eyes ask me if I’m ready and I respond by grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him towards me, which makes him smile. He bends down to kiss me, putting his lips on mine and I don’t want it to stop. His hands travel down the length of my arms until he grips my waist. I reach out to hold his face with both hands, pulling him closer to me. I want every part of him closer to me. His hands just touch the bare skin above my jeans and under my shirt, which causes me to shudder inside. He leans into me, reaching his hands below my thighs so that he can lift me and I can wrap my legs around his waist. We never break the kiss as I run my hands through his hair, and he never seems to have a problem holding up my weight. He walks me over to one of the windows and pushes me up next to the wall so that he can lean into me more. I bite his lip and it sends him into overdrive. He readjusts his hold of me and our lips part, but our faces remain close, looking at each other in the eyes. I play with the back of his hair, my elbows resting on his shoulders.

“Now how does that compare to the other kisses you’ve had?” James whispers to me.

“James, there is no comparison,” I say, and then I kiss him again, there’s an urgency, a need in the kiss as if neither of us can get enough.

But all good things must come to an end. James slowly returns my feet to the ground, putting his hands on my waist, and we break our kiss. I grab his shirt right over where his belt buckle is, not wanting this to end, not wanting to let him get too far, not wanting to leave our safe haven. His hands travel up the inside of my shirt on either side of my waist, touching bare skin, and he leans down to me as if he’s going to kiss me again.

“I swear if I kiss you again,” James says, “I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.”

I want to say, ‘Then don’t’, but I know I can’t, and I know James can read those words in my mind, knowing that I want to say them, but can’t.

So instead, he leans down and kisses me on the forehead. “Let me take you home.”

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