For the first time in a long time, I woke up to rays of sunlight hitting the windowpane. Usually, the maximum amount of sleep I’d get is around 1 hour, and I would always wake up in the middle of the night.
As it turns out, I slept through the night and most of the afternoon. It felt fantastic.
And I wasn’t alone.
Nathan’s warm, solid chest felt soft against my cheek, and the steady beating of his heart sounded like music, lulling my eyes closed. His breathing was deep and even, tickling my forehead. His arms were rock solid around me, and just as I was about to melt to the floor with happiness, he pulled me even tighter against him. Chocolate and cinnamon engulfed my senses.
No longer did I feel numb and cold – Nathan’s warmth and energy had chased it all away. Of course, even though Nate’s shirt was discarded on the floor, we hadn’t done anything MA 15+ last night. We merely kissed. And kissed, and kissed, and kissed…
The sheets that surrounded me were exactly how I remembered them the night of Nathan’s party - crisp and soft against my bare legs. Somewhere in the back of my half-asleep mind, I knew my mother would have a heart attack once she realized that I wasn’t in my bedroom. But I couldn’t bring myself to care. Not right now.
Last night played inside my eyelids, over and over again.
I loved him.
And he loved me back.
“I’m sorry,” I gasped out between his lips. He seemed very adamant about taking my breath away with his mouth. “I didn’t mean to say that-“
“Shh,” he kissed me again, scrambling my thoughts into a blur. My blood was running high and fast, and I desperately gripped the back of his neck. His hands clawed their way into my bulky jacket and splayed themselves across my bare spine. I shuddered.
All too quickly, he pulled back and rested his forehead against mine. Our breaths came out in short gasps, entangling with one another and visible in the cold. He gave a short, breathless laugh. “I knew it.”
“Knew what?” I muttered distractedly, tracing the shape of his lips with the pad of my thumb. He kissed it.
“That you loved me.” His eyes danced behind the few strands of hair that flew across his vision. He shrugged. “One of us was bound to spit it out one of these days.” His eyes assessed my face, glowing and tender. “I’m glad you did it first.”
My breath caught it my throat, and something funny started to happen inside my chest. “You-you love me?” I whispered.
He smiled, amused at my surprise. He leaned into my ear and tucked a pale strand of hair behind it. “Yes. Of course I do,” he whispered, his voice full of love and laughter.
The wind was knocked out of me, and I covered my mouth with his before I said something stupid or sickeningly sweet. Or both.
I lifted my head and gazed down at Nate’s sleeping figure. He seemed so peaceful when asleep – his long lashes would flutter occasionally, and a sigh would escape his mouth right before he would pull me closer. I felt like my heart was about to burst inside my chest, the foreign and blissful emotions twisting all around me, and I wondered when in my life I had ever felt this peaceful.
I knew the answer to that.
Despite all the horrible things the investigation had forced upon me, I was absolutely grateful for one thing – Nathan. Back when things were still normal, back when I thought I had the whole world figured out, I thought that what I felt for Robbie was love. Turns out I didn’t even know the meaning of the word.
Up until now, at least.
But what I had with Nathan, the deep, unwavering connection and sense of peace that we both shared, that was love. So was I willing to give up the one thing that made me who I was – lying – for him?
Yes, I decided, watching Nate’s eyes flutter open. Yes I was.
He groaned and shifted slightly, covering his eyes with his arm. “Go back to sleep, Angel. It’s too early,” he slurred, and I could feel the vibration of his throat against my wrist.
I chuckled. “Actually, it’s past 2 in the afternoon,” I teased softly. “School is hours away from ending. We totally slept through it.”
|Brittany Snow||as Jennifer Veronica Hockley|
|Logan Lerman||as Robert Jonathan Blight|
|Alexander Rodriguez||as Noah Anthony Lincoln|
|Taylor Momsen||as Jessabel Vivian Griffin|
|Zac Efron||as Nathaniel Ericson|