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Chapter Twenty-Five


Isaac had come home late that night, but I was awake anyway, tossing and turning, thinking about...well...Noah.

And all the amazing things he could do with his fingers.

I checked my phone numerous times, out of boredom or to find a distraction, but it didn’t work. Maybe I should just let the thoughts in?

Dream about all the things he could do to me, all the pleasure he could give me.

Though I knew it was more than sex. I felt a connection with him I had never felt before—with anyone.

Running a hand over my face, I checked my phone again, seeing that it was only 2 AM.

I almost dropped the device out of my hand when I heard my door open, and my heart skipped a beat. The fear of someone coming in to murder me was short-lived, because I recognized him the second he walked over the threshold.

“Bellamy?” he said softly, his voice sounding a little hoarse.

“Noah,” I whispered back, placing my phone back on my bedside table. “What are you doing here?”

He didn’t reply. Instead, he closed the door behind him, walking around the bed.

The weak moonlight illuminated his chest, accentuating his muscles and the darkness of the ink of his tattoos.

I held my breath as I felt the bed dip beside me, and slowly turned to face him.

I would ask again what he was doing here, but honestly, I didn’t want him to leave. And maybe I already knew the answer.

Trying to hide the smile on my face, I scooted closer to him, feeling one of his arms snake over my waist to pull me in.

As I laid there with my head on his chest, I listened to his heartbeat. It was a calming sound, and I suddenly felt my eyes go heavy.

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” he asked, and I held my breath. What...

I propped up on my elbow so I could look him in the eyes, my brows slightly furrowed at his question. “I’m...not sure.”

He nodded, shifting his gaze to the ceiling. “I think that’s what happened to me when I first saw you.”

My heart beat loudly in my chest, threatening to jump out, and I felt my cheeks heat up. Was this his way of telling me that he loved me? And did he? Love me?

No, he couldn’t. He was playing me. Again.

“You...I don’t understand.”

Noah sat up against the headboard, sighing before he continued. “Remember the first time we met?”



“Well...” he swallowed, avoiding my gaze as he added, “I’ve been in love with you since you opened the door for me that day.”

Oh my god.

I sat up, feeling hurt. “And that’s how you treat the people you love?”

He flinched, sucking his bottom lip between his teeth. I turned, swinging my legs over the edge of my bed as I tried to keep the tears in. I was so confused it made me emotional.

Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that some part of me was happy, relieved.

“Bella...” Noah trailed off, walking around the bed and crouching down in front of me.

He lifted my chin with two fingers, forcing me to look into his eyes. “I’m sorry for the way I treated you.”

A tear escaped my eyes, and he brushed his fingers over my cheek, catching it. “It’s no excuse,” he continued. “But I don’t deserve you. Being the asshole I am—was with you, it kept you safe, kept you far away from me.”

What happened to him that he didn’t let himself be loved? That he didn’t let anyone come close to him?

He had built up his walls so high, and I couldn’t help but be curious about what was going on behind them.

“Noah...” I cupped his face, rubbing my thumbs over his cheeks. “I don’t want to stay away from you anymore.”

He narrowed his eyes, resting his hands on my thighs as I spoke.

“You’re a good man, and I hate that you don’t let anybody see it, but we’ll figure it out.”

He brought his lips to mine, kissing me softly.

I pulled him back in the bed with me, and we stayed there, kissing, for what felt like hours until we fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up in an empty bed. I was a little disappointed that Noah wasn’t there, but was able to shrug it off pretty quickly.

I pulled on some comfortable shorts and a t-shirt, making my way downstairs to satisfy this growling beast that had taken up camp in my stomach. Ok, the beast is me. Don’t talk to me until I’ve eaten something.

“Morning,” I greeted Isaac as he sat at the dining table, slowly sipping a cup of coffee.

“Hmm,” he groaned, keeping his eyes on his phone.

“So I take it, it was fun?”

He looked up at me, nodding. “I forgot how much they can drink. They’re always so proper and responsible at work you know?”

I chuckled, pouring myself some coffee and filling a bowl with some cereal.

“Did Gareth drink? I thought he recently became a dad,” I asked, trying to remember some names of Isaac’s co-workers.

I didn’t know much about his work, just whatever he told me when he had another dinner or ’team day.

“Yeah, not too much though. Not like—”

“You,” I finished for him, taking a seat across from him at the table.

He groaned again, finishing his coffee before sitting back in his chair, rubbing his temples. “Did you cook yesterday? It smelled burned in here.”

I pressed my lips to keep myself from smiling, but it was useless. And besides, it was kind of funny.

“We ended up ordering pizza,” I replied, grinning as I took a bite of my breakfast.

Speaking off. “Where is Noah?” I tried not to sound too interested, but would it be so bad if Isaac knew what was going on? Or did he already know?

“No idea, he took off early I think.”

Isaac went to get himself another cup of coffee, and I stared at my own, shoving more cereal in my mouth.

I hated this feeling. When you’re not quite sure if the guy changed his mind, if he was serious, if he suddenly doesn’t like you anymore...

God, it was eating me up inside.

I was so deep in thought, that I jumped at the front door opening, almost falling out of my chair.

“Oh, there he is,” Isaac said, looking a little more alive as he sipped his fresh cup.

Noah looked surprised to see us both downstairs, and almost as if he was caught doing something. But he quickly collected himself, dropping a large duffel bag next to the couch before he walked into the kitchen.

“How are you?” he asked Isaac, who sighed and slouched against the counter behind him.

“I might just go back to bed for a bit.”

I chuckled, finishing my drink and sitting back.

“Why don’t you?” I asked, cocking my head to the side.

Noah looked at my brother with raised eyebrows, and Isaac narrowed his eyes as he debated his next step. “You know what,“—he placed his now empty cup next to the sink—“that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

I smirked at him as he walked up the stairs, but my expression changed as soon as I heard his door close.

The feeling in the room changed too, and I felt myself getting jittery with nerves. We were alone now, and I had no idea what was going on between us, nor what he was thinking.

“Bellamy,” he said softly, his eyes darting to the stairs before he walked up to me.

I looked up at him, having no idea what to do with my hands as he leaned forward, bringing his face closer to mine.

He placed his hands on the backrest of my chair, brushing his lips over mine. “Wanna spend the day with me?”

Who the fuck in their right mind would say no to that?

“Yes,” I replied, though it probably came out more like a breath.

He smirked, straightening up and holding out his hand, waiting for me to stand.

“Where are we going?” I questioned, looking down at my casual I-just-got-out-of-bed outfit.

“That’s a surprise, but it’s a lovely day, so maybe a pretty...” he brought his lips to my ear, “short, dress?”

His voice gave me goosebumps, and I felt my cheeks heat up.

Wearing a back mini dress, I sat next to Noah in the car as he drove to our destination. He still hadn’t told me where we were going, but when we drove out of town, I felt a little more at ease.

It wasn’t like I didn’t want people to know that Noah and I...were hanging out, but it would just be easier that people found out once we had established what was going on between us.

And it made me feel better that we could still move on and never see each other again without people talking about it if that were to be the case.

“We’re here,” Noah said, killing the engine and stepping out.

I needed a minute to realize where we were, and my curiosity grew when I was met what looked like miles of trees.

He took me to a forest?

He opened my door and offered me a hand while I stepped out, clutching the large duffel bag from earlier under his other arm.

The smile on his face told me nothing about what he had planned, but I felt sparks of joy inside that he even smiled in the first place.

“So I thought,” he started as we walked through the trees to a clearing. “That we could have a picnic here.”

I gasped when I stepped into the long grass, a plethora of bright colored flowers scattered around and the sunlight making the place look bright and welcoming.

“It’s beautiful here,” I said, feeling the grass brush against my shins as I walked further into the clearing. “And so peaceful.”

“Yeah, I don’t think people come here, so I thought—with the nice weather...”

He placed a blanket on the ground, taking various boxes out of the bag.

I kicked off my shoes, taking a seat next to Noah on the blanket, and watching him open a bottle of flavored, sparkling water.

We ate a sandwich before we dove into the sweets and desserts he had brought, all the while we just talked about anything and nothing.

“Come here,” he said, gesturing for me to come closer as he laid back into the blanket.

I scooted down and placed my head in his chest, hesitantly wrapping my arm around his waist.

It wasn’t weird to be like this with him, more unfamiliar. I didn’t really know what he wanted from me, especially since he had acted like a jerk for all those years.

I did believe him when he said he loved me though. It was a gut feeling and I could be horribly wrong, but maybe, for once in my life, I could allow myself to be happy. Or at least taste some of that happiness people keep going on about.

“You’re the most beautiful girl I have ever seen,” Noah mumbled, caressing my back as I smiled against his shirt.

I had to admit that I really like this new, softer side of him.

Did I still enjoy annoying him? Pissing him off a little? Yes.

“I hope you know it.” I jumped when I felt his fingers on my thigh, brushing over the thick scars. At the time I cut deep, and just stuck the skin together with medical tape until it healed, not knowing that it would leave the ugliest scars.

My teeth dug into my lower lip as I tried to keep my tears in, and I closed my eyes.

When did he even see them? How did he know?

I sighed, desperately wanting to change the subject. Noah picked up on my silence, and rolled on top of me.

“Can I feel you?” he asked, running his hands over my sides, and I nodded, feeling my heart thump in my throat.

As if I would ever say no to him.

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