All These Years

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Chapter 14

The sun rose and light filteres into my bedroom the following morning when I wake. Shane had left after our amazing first kiss and I find myself huddled in bed, replaying the entire evening over and over in my mind.

I decide to call work and tell them I’m taking a sick day. I just want to lay here in bed and think about the life I’m walking into.

A few quick knocks on my door make me jump out of bed. I quickly scan my reflection in the floor-length mirror and walk to the door. My stomach is filled with butterflies as I anticipate opening the door to Shane, coming to tell me good morning.

The smile on my face drops as I fling open the door and standing in front of me is the short man I had seen rush into Shane’s office the other night. I quickly try to remember his name.

" Hampton, ” He declares as an introduction striding past me and into my kitchen like he owns the place, ” in case you had forgotten. Thea, you have no idea how happy I am to finally officially meet you!”

I shut the door behind my chipper intruder and join him in the kitchen.

" Well, it’s nice to meet you as well Hampton. Can I ask why you’re in my house so early in the morning?”

" Everyone calls me Ham. You and I, we're gonna be friends, so I expect the same from you.” He broadly smiles an infectious smile that I can’t help but smile in response to.

" Ok Ham, why are you here?”

" Well I noticed that you had called out of work today, and Shane has a day full of business. So I wanted to take it upon myself to get to know you better.”

" Wait, you knew I called out of work? That fast? How much about my life do you know?” I stare at him in amazement and a little bit of fear.

" Thea, it’s my job to know your daily life. I have to know where you’re at so our business doesn’t interfere with you and your daily life. I ensure that you stay both safe and oblivious to our protection. I do my job well. ”

I'm not even sure what to say. I know all of this was done out of love for me, however, it still feels beyond creepy having someone I’d never met know my entire life.

" Go get ready, do whatever you gotta do. I’m taking you out today.” He declares as he scribbles his number on a napkin ” I’ll be downstairs waiting. Text me when you’re done.” He smiles his huge smile again and walks out the front door.

I can’t help but wonder what just happened. I chuckle to myself and go get ready. Thirty minutes later I've dressed in a pair of jeans and a long sleeve tee with boots and a fur hooded down jacket. I text the number Hampton left on the counter and walk out the door. As I walk into the cold January air, a black SUV pulla up to the entrance of my building. My heart speeds up for a moment thinking Finn has actually driven Shane over but apparently they all just drive the same type of cars. I climb in and Hampton speeds off.

The only things I've learned about Hampton so far is that he's a twin, he loves his friends as if they were family and he is a speed talker. He can tell an entire story in what feels like seconds. I desperately try to keep up but my head is spinning. Howerver, the main thing I've learned on this car ride, it's impossible not to like him.

As we drive I get lost in my thoughts, I wonder what this new life will hold for me. I know I’ll have love and anything I could possibly ask for but I wonder if I'll have friends outside of Shane. Will his friends be my friends? And if they are, will it be only because they have to? Will they even want to be my friend?

I shake the lingering thoughts out of my head as Hampton slows and puts the car in park. I look around to see where he's taken me and excitement fills my body when I realize where we are.

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