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Read Me Dead - Chapter 19 - Landon

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“Landon, please.  This is a huge opportunity for me and Christian to mend our friendship,” Alex says.

I watch her riffle through her closet, searching for clothes to wear when she goes out with Christian and his dad.  Deep down, I know what Christian’s doing.  He’s trying to win Alex back, and it just might work.  She’s excited to go out with them.  I can see it in her eyes.

“His dad is a horrible person, Alex,” I say, making sure that she knows she’s making a mistake.

“What if he’s changed?” she asks, continuing to look through her clothes.

“Do you believe he has?”

She pauses, pulls out a blue jean skirt, and says, “I hope so.”

A nervous feeling rises in the pit of my stomach.  Hoping isn’t good enough.  She’s in danger if she goes out with him.  I just know it, but she doesn’t.  And she’s blinded because she wants to continue being friends with Christian, and although I can’t blame her, I hate it.  So very much.

She tosses a skirt onto the bed beside me.  I watch her closely, and after staring at me for a second, she turns back around and continues searching for clothes.

“Alex,” I say.

“He needs me,” she answers with a finality.

So do I, I think, but I don’t speak it.  Instead, I say, “Why you?”

She doesn’t answer me but instead holds up a pink tank top and a thin black sweater to wear over it.  “What do you think?”

“You’ll look beautiful in it.”

Like she always does but frustration rises up inside of me, and I want to scream and yell and let her know how much I hate this.

Alex walks towards me, wrapping her arms around my neck, and whispers in my ear, “Please don’t worry.”

“How can I not?” I ask, and my voice cracks.  This is torture.  The girl I love is putting herself in danger because of an ex-boyfriend who says he needs her.

Before I can speak, she kisses me, and I lose myself in her touch, in her kiss, praying to feel some kind of reassurance.  I pull her closer to me, eager to feel her touch.  I move my hands to her hips and kiss her more urgently.  She reciprocates the kiss, and I pray that God will let her stay with me and not go out with Christian.

We lean our foreheads against each other, and I struggle to catch my breath.  I open my mouth to beg her to stay, but I don’t.  She won’t stay anyway.

I kiss her quickly and say, “Guess you need to change.  It’s getting about time.”

She stands up straight, grabs her clothes, and walks into the bathroom.  I sit there staring at nothing in particular, my mind racing with thoughts of losing her.  I won’t let that happen.  I will fight for her, and if Christian doesn’t think that’s the case, he’s sorely mistaken.

I pull out my phone, warring with myself about sending Christian a text, telling him to call this off.  But I don’t.  If Alex finds out, she’ll be hurt and angry.  I can’t do that to her, no matter how I feel.

Alex walks back into the room. She’s braided her hair to the side, and the outfit she wears hugs her body in ways that drive me wild.

“You look amazing,” I say, my breath catching in my lungs.

“You think?” she asks, smiling and twirling around.  Despite the odd circumstances, I can’t help but smile at her.  She hasn’t been happy since she was a kid, and to see a smile on her face now makes me want to work harder to keep it there.

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