Meeting Tobias

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I stand in the doorway, glancing around hesitantly. A daunting feeling washes over me as I try to imagine living somewhere else beside from the place I've called home for the past sixteen years. Change.

Change is scary, difficult to adjust to.

The last major change in my life was the death of my father which lead to meeting Trevor. That change ruined my whole life. That change is the cause of my night terrors, my anxiety and my fear of people. I feel my heart rate increase inside my chest as I continue to study the inside of Jake's house.

He doesn't sense my hesitation and walks straight in, placing my bag down before turning towards me. When he notices the expression on my face, he frowns. I decide to try and explain because I know I must look terrified right now.

"I'm not sure this is going to work out. It's too much to ask of you. Look at this place," I murmur, glancing around at the tall ceilings and beautiful decor.

It's all so. . . intimidating.

Jake doesn't respond and takes a step towards me, taking hold of my hand. Warmth instantly heats it up, travelling up my arm.

"You don't need to look so scared," He says quietly, his eyes flickering between both of mine. When I look into them, I feel the panic inside of my chest begin to melt away. Jake clears his throat and continues —

"I care about you Emily and this is the safest place for you right now."

I pause, my heart fluttering away at his words. I've never heard anything say those specific words to me for years. Someone cares about me. For someone who's felt so lonely and isolated in this world, Jake's words are music to my ear. No-one has ever cared about me enough to want to protect me.

Without thinking I walk towards him, wrapping my arms around his neck. The heavy burden on my shoulders feels like it's reduced slightly and I have Jake to thank for that. He appears startled at first, his body rigid before it softens ever so slightly. His arms wrap around my small frame, returning the embrace.

"Thank you . . . for everything." I murmur quietly against his chest. I can hear the thumping of his heart under his shirt. Moments pass between us and he doesn't respond but his body relaxes further against mine.

"It's what — " before he can finish, he pauses, clearing his throat. My body stills as I wait for him to finish his sentence.

"It's what friends are for." He mutters, his posture tensing up considerably. I feel his arms drop from around me and he takes a step back. I immediately miss his warmth but I don't show my disappointment.

"Right." I respond, giving him a tight smile. He looks at me for a while, his eyes falling around my features. I hear him let out a sigh before he turns away, heading for my bag. He picks it up effortlessly, beginning to walk up the stairs.

"Are you going to stand there all day or follow me up Muffin?" He asks me, turning around to give me a playful raised eyebrow. The sparkle has returned in his ocean blue eyes making me question whether the last few moments happened between us.

"Don't call me Muffin." I hit back at him, following him close behind. He lets out a low chuckle, his wide shoulders vibrating as I watch him from behind.

"We've already been through this, Muffin."

Even though I can't see his face, I can sense the smirk behind his words. I roll my eyes and decide to drop the topic because I'll never win with someone as stubborn as Jake Melvin.

Once we're upstairs, he turns right and opens a door. It reveals a large room with walls that are decorated in grey and black stripes. There's a double bed in the middle, a few posters hung on the wall and a computer desk. The left side of the room has a punching bag hung from the ceiling looking battered and bruised. A pile of weights are stacked neatly beside it.

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