05 | нαυnтє∂

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And he just might make me smile but

I'm wishing it was you instead

Chapter 05 ~ Haunted

Liam Slater

Max. Max. Max. Max. Max. Max. Max.

For the first time in forever, I was thinking of someone other than Scotty and that really scared the hell out of me.

I wasn't thinking of Max in a totally-altogether-friendly kind of way. It came to my attention somewhere in the middle of our one sided conversation that I was thinking of Max in a totally-altogether-affectionate kind of way.

Even when the sun had set and we were walking the night streets of the small shopping plaza, Max was still talking. I didn't totally mind it because if Max was talking about himself, then it meant we weren't talking about me. He'd occasionally try to ask me a question, but I was reasonably short with him - not on purpose, though.

I made the huge mistake of telling Marcy about my condition, which was probably why I didn't like her that much. She acted different around me because she wanted to fix everything that was wrong with me. I didn't want Max to do the same thing, so I couldn't tell him about me.

But it made me feel horrible that I knew everything about him. I knew that he was in love with a boy named Jamie for almost three years now. He didn't actually say it like that, but I could hear the slight shift in his voice when he talked about him, and it reminded me of how I sounded when I talked about Scotty.

I knew about his friend Trey, who was gay too, but he didn't want anyone to know. I knew he liked to draw and he swore that he was really good at it. I knew about Robin, the girl who always tried to outdo him. I knew plenty of things that a stranger shouldn't know.

But maybe we weren't really strangers, because I felt like I've known Max my whole life. Maybe that was just because he really did talk a lot, but I didn't care. I wanted to know him.

"This is your car?" He practically shouted as soon as we approached the parking space occupied by my spotless, all-red Audi sports car. It was a gift from my parents as a reason for me to get out more. "Are your parents like rich or something?"

I shrugged. I had no idea what my parents' financial status was. All I knew was that they constantly spoiled me with gifts in order to cheer me up. I couldn't complain because a flashy sports car wasn't all that bad.

Max shook his head in disbelief while simultaneously running a hand through his well-groomed hair. "Wow."

"Do you want a ride?" I found myself asking, only because I wanted an excuse to talk to him more.

He gazed back at me with a puzzled look. "You want to give me a ride?"

There was a slight hint of surprise in his voice, which gave me the impression that he hadn't been asked this question before. I found that hard to believe. Even though I knew about the unfortunate circumstances he had to face at school, I couldn't imagine hating someone who looked so adorable and happy.

"Yeah," I replied and I was confident with my answer.

He thought it over. "I'd love to, but my parents will probably freak if they find out I'm hanging out with another boy."

"Completely understandable," I responded as I thumbed my car keys in between my fingers. "We should do this again."

Max's tongue swiped over his lips, wetting them. "Yeah, we should."

"So, I guess I'll see you around then?" I unlocked my car and reached for the handle with the full intent of sliding into the driver's seat.

I was caught off guard when he advanced towards me, stood on his tip toes and pressed his soft lips firmly against mine. The kiss made me numb almost immediately and the shock suddenly permeated my mind. I was too caught up in my own mind to return the kiss and that made Max pull away after only a few seconds.

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