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Chapter 8

Pulling into the parking lot of the ice cream parlor I saw Tristan there waiting for me. He waved and took my hand as we entered the shop. I ordered blueberry cheesecake while he settled for rocky road. We took a seat in the back booth. I was kind of surprised when Tristan scooted next to me on my side, pinning me against the window. I gave him a nervous smile and dug into my ice cream.

“You know, Amber I’ve always thought you were pretty,” he said, smiling. His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.

“Thank you,” I murmured. His closeness was starting to make me a bit uncomfortable. He had seemed so open and friendly with me during lunch that I hadn’t thought twice about accepting his invitation for ice cream. “Um so what are your plans after graduation?”

“Oh I don’t really want to talk about that,” he smirked, wrapping a tendril of my hair around his finger. I felt his arm go around my shoulder as he scooted even closer.

“Uh Tristan, what are you doing?” I asked. I reached for my cell phone, holding it under the table. I unlocked it without him noticing. His fingers traced a line up my bare thigh, stopping at the hem of my skirt.

“What do you think I’m doing, Amber? I find it very hard to believe with moves like that you’re still a virgin. You surprised me today.” I slammed my hand on his to stop his progress up my leg.

“I think I should go,” I said. He leaned into my ear.

“Do you really want to?” I opened my text messages as I turned my head away from him. Catching the reflection in the window, it was Brock’s last message to me. I quickly texted 911.

“Yes, Tristan, I do,” I said. “I don’t know what kind of idea you got from class today but I’m not that kind of girl.” Tristan grabbed my neck, holding me to him.

“Oh I think you can drop the innocent act, Amber. I know of a nice quiet place we can go to where we can get to know each other better.” I cringed as he held me pressed against him, his free hand continuing to trace my skin at the hem of my skirt. The tears rolled down my cheeks in fat drops as I tried to keep his hand from going any further.

“Tristan please let me go,” I whimpered. I prayed Brock got to the shop quickly before Tristan forced himself further on me. He finally noticed the tears and stiffened, stopping all movement of his hands on my body.

“Oh shit, Amber I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “I-I am so so sorry. Oh fuck.” I had dropped my cone, trembling in fear. Tristan’s face held a look of horror when he realized what he was doing. “No no no no. Amber I’m a dick!” He withdrew from me, stopping immediately and moving away from me. “Damn it! God, sweetie I’m so sorry! You’re just so beautiful and sexy I got carried away. Fuck!” He fisted his hair.

“I think it’s best if I go” I said, the tears coming in earnest as I fought to bring my fear under control. Suddenly, he was on the floor with a bloody nose.

“I knew it!” Brock towered over him, primal rage seeping from him in waves. “You lure her here to what, try to molest her? Did she say no, you prick? Because I’m pretty sure she did!” He reached down and picked Tristan up by the shirt. “If I catch you near her again, I’ll grind your ass into the ground.” Releasing him violently, Tristan stumbled back. Brock had already turned and gathered me in his arms. Lifting me from the booth, he carried me outside and tucked me into his car. Sitting in the passenger seat with me on his lap, he held me close while I cried. He gently stroked my hair and rubbed comforting circles on my back. “I’m so sorry baby girl,” he mumbled into my hair.

“It’s not your fault, Brock. It’s Tristan’s,” I mumbled into his chest. “I don’t understand…” I slumped further into him. “When he realized I was crying, he stopped immediately. It’s just the fact he even went there! That he even had those thoughts about me all because of me having to show up Bridgette!”

“Shhh, hey, look at me Amber,” he said gently. When I lifted my head, he wiped the tears from my cheeks. “I will always be there for you. But honey you are one hella gorgeous woman all wrapped up in a sexy package. Of course guys are going to have those thoughts about you. I’m just glad he realized he was about to do something stupid and stopped.” I smiled softly and lowered my head to his shoulder. I wonder if he ever had those kinds of thoughts about me. Too bad I’m too chicken to ask him.

“Thank you for coming to my rescue…again.” I buried my face into his neck, breathing him in deep into my lungs. “Gosh how could I be so stupid! I should have never stood up to her. Now the whole school will think the same thing Tristan thought…that I’m easy.”

“You leave that bitch to me. She won’t bother you again, I can promise you that. And if any of those fucktards try anything, they will answer to me.” I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him fiercely.

“You know, I had the weirdest feeling that I was making a mistake when I turned you down for pizza to come meet Tristan. Next time, I’m a listen to my gut and do what it says. I should have gone with you instead.” Chuckling, he kissed my forehead.

“You still up for that pizza, beautiful?”

“Yeah, I think I would love that pizza,” I said, smiling sweetly. “Time spent with a good friend is always a treasure. I can’t think of a better friend than you, Brock.”

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