Damaged

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Chapter Thirty

B E L L A M Y

That following week, Noah barely talked to me. He would be gone at first light, and only come home after dinner, heading straight to bed.

At one point, I came home from work into an empty house, and all I wanted to do that night was lay my head on Noah’s chest while he brushed his fingers through my hair.

But since he wouldn’t even look at me, I highly doubted that I would be able to do that.

I dropped my bag next to the table and kicked off my shoes, looking up when I heard something upstairs.

Noah was home?

Determined to get him to talk to me, I walked up the stairs, taking deep breaths as I raised my hand to knock on his door.

I hesitated, but my feelings for him urged me to knock.

“Yes,” Noah said from inside, and I opened the door, not sure what to expect. Would he be angry? Sad? Annoyed?

He sat on the edge of his bed, his back facing me. Even from this angle, I could tell he was on edge, the muscles in his back constantly making his shirt move, and his head went from side to side to crack his neck.

“Noah?” I whispered, and his shoulders dropped.

I closed the door behind me, walking around the bed to sit next to him.

“What are you doing here, Bellamy?” he asked, keeping his eyes on the floor.

I decided to just get straight to the point, voicing my concerns and insecurities.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” I stated, picking at my nails as I stared at them, somehow nervous about what to expect.

Was he done with me? Did he regret telling his story?

He sighed, finally looking up. “I just...”

I waited for him to continue, but he didn’t. Instead, his eyes went back to the floor and my mind to overthinking.

“Do you...” I said softly, gathering some courage to go on. “Do you not want to do this anymore?”

I moved a finger between us, and Noah’s head snapped up to mine, his eyes wide. “What?”

If I didn’t notice the panic in him, I would be disappointed, but it gave me a different feeling. Hope.

“Bellamy,” he spoke, turning his entire body to me and grabbing my hands.

He tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, and my cheeks heated up under his gaze. The effect he had on me was insane, and something I never felt in my life. Nor knew existed.

“You still want me?” he questioned, and I frowned. Wait, he thought I didn’t want to have anything to do with him after he told me his story?

My heart broke, and I wondered if others had given him this feeling. Or straight-up told him so.

“I—” Before I could properly form a sentence, I jumped up, holding a hand under my nose as blood streamed down my face.

“Oh my god,” Noah exclaimed, quickly standing and running to the bathroom.

I followed him, trying not to chuckle as a pool of blood settled in my hand. Why the fuck did I find this so funny?

Noah handed me some toilet paper, and I rolled it up before pressing it against my nose.

“If you didn’t want to answer the question you could’ve just told me,” Noah joked, a smile playing on his lips as he gave me more toilet paper.

I rolled my eyes, checking if my nose had stopped bleeding yet.

It took a while before it did, and I cleaned my face after, making sure I got everything off my hands too.

“Why would you think I wouldn’t want you?” I asked, taking a step in his direction and wrapping my arms around his waist, looking up at him.

“I don’t know...” he trailed off, pulling me closer and lowering his face.

“Because I do.”

I stood on my tiptoes, pressing my lips softly against his.

Finally, I was able to properly breathe again. He wasn’t avoiding me because he was done with me, and we cleared the air, so everything was good again.

“Hmm,” I hummed against his mouth, ready to part my lips and start playing with his tongue. But the bathroom door swinging open made us jump apart.

“What the—Bella?” Isaac’s eyes were wide as he looked from me to his best friend, and I dropped my head, taking a step away from Noah.

“Isaac—” Noah tried, holding his hands up in defense, but Isaac was quicker.

“That’s my little sister,” he exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at him.

“Hey!” I frowned up at my brother, pushing him out of the bathroom. “Let’s talk.”

He struggled, keeping his eyes on Noah, but I managed to get him out of there and into my bedroom.

I closed the door behind me and Isaac plopped on the bed, crossing his arms and raising his brows. “What the fuck was that?”

I rolled my eyes, leaning against the wall opposite of him. “I didn’t know you had to right to decide who I can and can’t be with?”

He relaxed slightly, burying his face in his hands. “I—Bella. He’s...dangerous.”

I huffed, getting a little angry myself. “Excuse me? I believe he’s your best friend.”

Isaac looked up, ignoring my statement. “God, ok. Just...” He walked up to me and grabbed my shoulders. “Just be careful. I love you, Bella.”

Surprised that he calmed down so quickly, I smiled. “I love you, too.”

Well, it was safe to say Isaac knew.


The next day, I woke up feeling like trash. Maybe it was exhaustion, or the anxiety from the last couple of days, but I really just wanted to lay in bed all day and watch movies.

But, I decided to do some other form of self-care first. Shopping.

Trying on clothes was definitely not going to happen today, but scanning the shops for some face masks and other skincare products was exactly what I needed.

I’d like to think I was someone who washed their face every day, using the right product for my skin type and always starting the day by putting some SPF on my skin, but I just wasn’t. Again, I’d like to think so.

Hence why I was checking out some fancy-looking toner, and reading the little chart next to it to figure out which of the pretty colors I ′needed’.

Did I have dry skin? I softly brushed my fingers over my cheek, pretending I could tell what skin type I had by just touching it.

Oily?

My thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of my phone, and I couldn’t contain a smile when I saw Noah’s name on the caller ID.

“Hey,” I answered, grabbing one of the bottles of toner and reading the information on the back. Or—pretending to do so.

“Where are you?” he asked, and I chuckled softly.

“What’s it to you?”

I loved teasing him, and I got the exact reaction I wanted. “Just answer the question, Goldilocks.”

“I’m just doing some shopping. Running some very important errands.” I placed the toner back, deciding that I wasn’t going to spend twenty dollars on something that I would probably only use for a couple of days.

“Well, get back soon.”

I rolled my eyes. “Bye, Noah.”

Pocketing my phone after I hung up, I switched to a different shelf, my eyes widening at all the different kinds of face cream. Was all of this even necessary?

“Bellamy,” someone sneered behind me, and I cleared my throat, looking up.

“Oh, you’re still in town,” I stated, looking Katy up and down. I guess she looked better.

“So...” she trailed off, walking around me as she studied me. “You and Noah, huh?”

Aw, the little bitch was jealous.

I wasn’t one to rub stuff in for others, but it felt exceptionally good when I said yes.

She scoffed, her lips curling into a smirk, and I suddenly got very uneasy. Why the fuck was she smiling?

“You know what he did, right?” She grabbed some cream from the shelf and nonchalantly studied the back before she looked up at me again.

“Whatever, Katy.” I turned around, deciding to just leave without buying anything, but Katy stopped me.

“I guess you’re fine with being with someone who attacks his family members,” she continued, and my curiosity was piqued. Noah never told me what he went to prison for, and even though it was none of my business and I should’ve waited for him to tell me himself, I couldn’t help but listen to her.

“What?”

Katy had me right where she wanted me, but I didn’t care.

Maybe I could understand Noah better when I knew, or help him.

“He assaulted his stepfather a few years back, left him for dead. But if you can ignore that...I guess that says something about you, too.”

I remember someone else being eager to get into Noah’s pants, but I kept my mouth shut as she walked off without looking back, not interested in keeping the conversation going any longer.

It made total sense why he went to prison now, and even though justice wasn’t quite served yet, it must’ve felt exhilarating to beat the shit out of the person who made your childhood a living hell.

And fuck Katy anyway.

She seemed to only show up when something went bad or to try and set people up against each other, but this time she failed. And I would make sure she would fail every time after.

Skipping out of the shop, I felt better. Isaac was working so Noah and I had the house to ourselves. And we all know what that means.

Watching documentaries while cuddling on the couch.

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