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Chapter 7- It's Not A Date

Arden and I talk for a bit longer, before I have to leave him to tend to other customers. My shift is a short one today, one that I am thankful for, being as I have some errands to run. I need to pick up some groceries and some paint. I want to go ahead and paint before I buy any decorations.

Arden was still sitting there when I rounded the corner to leave even though he already paid for his meal. “Hey, do you need anything else before I leave?” He looks up at me, giving a shy smile before answering.

“Um, no I was actually wondering if you were busy? You said you were new in town yesterday so I thought maybe I’d show you around.” He shoves his hands in his pockets as he waits for me to reply. I let my eyes wander over his face, taking in his five o’clock shadow.

I let a smile tug at my lips before I gesture to the door. “That sounds great. I just have to run a few errands before I’m free, groceries and paint and what not. Do you want to meet later?” He gives a gorgeous smile before nodding, pulling out his phone and handing it to me.

I type in my number, and hand it back. We agree to him picking me up at two o’clock, so that gives me a little under two hours to get everything I need. It should be more than enough time. We go our separate ways and I rush about in the grocery store, picking up the essentials and a few items to make a casserole that will last me a few days.

Heading into the hardware store, I beeline straight to the paint sections. The options of colors were endless and seems to go on for miles, I sift through, searching for the perfect shade. I will go with a warm brown color for the hallway and living room and a navy-blue color for my bedroom. Since the walls are already an eggshell white in the kitchen I’ll get some paint for the cabinets to transform them from white to black.

I think that will be a good start and them I will work on the rest of the house, the other rooms and the bathrooms. Telling the worker which colors I want, I wait patiently for them to finish mixing them. Checking my watch, I have a little under an hour to get home and get changed before Arden will arrive. Paying for my paint, I rush out of the store and down the road to my house.

Lugging it all in the house was a struggle, but I managed. After I put all of the groceries away I check the time, I have fifteen minutes before it’s time to go. Running up the stairs, I trip over the top step, landing on my face when Cassy appears. Her feet right in front of my view. Looking up slowly I give her a big grin.

“Where is the fire?” She jokes. I chuckle, even though I didn’t find the humor in it. I was too nervous. Should I tell her about my non-date with Arden? I mean she is dead, I don’t see why it would matter to her, and she is trying to get him to move on... Would it be so bad if he moves on with me?

Scolding myself mentally, we are not dating. This is not a date. I’m not ready for a relationship and he seems to be still hung up on Cassy. We are simply two acquaintances. He is just a kind guy who offered to show the new girl around. No harm done, but if that is true, why don’t I want to tell Cassy?

Pushing myself up, I walk around her to my room, pulling out a simple summer dress, and pulling it on before answering her. “No fire, Cas. I’m just going out for a bit.” Cassy’s eyes light up, she falls down on the bed, her hands tucked under her chin.

“Oh! You have a date? Tell me all about him!” Biting my lip, I shake my head, turning my back to her so she couldn’t see my blush. It is not a date. As long as I can keep reminding myself of that fact, I’ll feel less guilty.

“Well, it’s not really a date. He just offered to show me around.” Cassy rolls her eyes at me, standing to grab my shoulder to turn me to face her. I still cringe at the coldness that follows her when she touches me, but it was clear she didn’t notice.

“If a guy offers to take you out it obviously means he wants to get to know you! What’s his name? Maybe I knew him in school, I can give you the rundown on if he is a player.” I let out a sigh. knowing she won’t stop until I tell her.

“It’s not like that. He is just being nice. It is not a date, Cassy. Arden just feels bad for how he acted after I gave him the letter.” She freezes when Arden’s name in mentioned. Blinking, she steps away from me. I try not to let guilt eat at me so I turn to busy myself by pulling on my sandals.

“Oh. Yeah. Arden is a nice guy.” She mumbles. I can’t do this. I can’t go if I know she is upset at the fact. Sitting on the bed, I pat the spot beside me. Cassy stays still before she reluctantly comes over and takes the seat.

“Cassy, are you okay with this? I know you are dead, and I know you want him to move on... but if you don’t want me to go then I won’t.” Even as the words leave my mouth, I don’t know if they are entirely true. I want to go with Arden. I’m not sure what I would do if she tells me not to go. Hell, if I go anyways she could haunt me, turn into a mean and evil ghost instead of the nice calm one she is now.

Cassy seems to be thinking hard before she shakes her head, pulling on a bright smile that seems way to practiced. “No. No! You guys go and have fun! Arden is an amazing guy and even though I’ve only known you a few days, I know you’re great. Besides, you said so yourself, this isn’t a date. There are no reasons you guys can’t be friends.” Just then, the doorbell rings out.

Cassy’s smile falters slightly before she turns to me. “You guys have fun!” Then she disappears. I let out a small sigh, hoping she will be okay before I head downstairs to answer the door. Pulling the door open, I was greeted with a nervous Arden, standing at the door, hands in his pockets again while he looked around at the house. When his eyes met mine, his nerves settled slightly.

“Hi.” I greet him first. Arden smiles, before holding out a hand for me. I pick up my purse, checking to make sure I have everything I need before stepping out, shutting and locking the door. I place my hand in Arden’s as he leads me down the steps and to a big lifted truck. He opens the door for me, and helps me into the seat.

I could feel the blush on my cheeks as he reaches over me, pulling the seatbelt over me and quickly fastening it. His smoldering eyes meets mine, as he smirks. “Now that you’re all buckled in, let’s get out of here.”

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