15 | knight in love

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k n i g h t   i n   l o v e

The morning of the Durden dawned bright and clear, just like any other day in summer. The weather was perfect and warm, but I had never felt colder before.

I was at a complete loss as to what to do. I wanted to curl up and lie in bed, willing the hours away until everything was over and Miles was safe. But no, I needed to see Miles before he left, needed to breathe in the scent of him more than I needed air, as a reminder that he was there, he was safe, just before he left.

With a frustrated sigh, I covered my face with my hands before pushing myself out of bed altogether. "Deep breaths, Darcy," I murmured, because even though I hardly ever talked to myself, it seemed necessary in situations like these. Every fibre of my being felt wooden. "You can do this."

Frankly, it wasn't even about me, it was about Miles. And I needed to gather my nerves together and be calm and collected for him. Harshly reminding myself to do just that, I strode purposefully into the bathroom.

And my day began.

When I headed downstairs for breakfast, I could practically sense the tension in the room as Ean and I met each other. I wondered if our parents could sense it, but clearly they couldn't, because Dad was soon greeting us cheerfully and Mom was smacking loud kisses on both our cheeks.

"So, what are your plans for today?" Mom asked, as she spread butter on her toast. It was Saturday and the weekends were when my parents usually ran the shack. Now that the holidays were coming to an end, Ean and I no longer had weekend shifts.

Ean flicked a brief glance at me before muttering, "probably jet-skiing with Kyle."

"Remember your suntan lotion. If I see you coming home looking redder at a tomato, I will smack you and not be sorry about it," Mom said sternly, ignoring Ean when he let out a dismal groan. "And you, Darcy?"

I thought of all the things I could say, the most truthful being oh, you know, I'm just going to go give Miles my support as he beats up some guy. I couldn't even think of that without my heart constricting. Instead, I said, "well, I'm just going to go over to Miles's."

Mom nodded immediately, beaming as she thought about Miles and what a good influence he probably was on me. "Okay, then, you have fun."

I almost snorted. Fun, right. If only she knew what we were up to.

Ean stopped me by the doorway as I was about to leave, his fingers clutching onto my sleeve tight. "Tell Miles I said good luck," he whispered, keeping one eye on the living room to make sure our parents couldn't see or hear us. "And keep me updated."

I promised him that I would before shutting the door firmly behind me, making my way to Miles's house as fast as I possibly could. Driving once again made me uneasy, but it had to be done. Riverton's campus was quiet in the early morning and I made my way past the different buildings before turning into the familiar driveway and parking in an empty spot.

Then I got to the front door and knocked. To my greatest dismay, Miles's father answered the door. It was going to be so much harder to keep my emotions in check now that he was around.

"Miss Evers," he didn't seem surprised to see me and was sufficiently cordial, "come on in."

"Thank you," I murmured and brushed past him, only to see Miles standing several feet behind. He was dressed in a black shirt and a faded pair of jeans – hardly an outfit appropriate to participate in the Durden. The sight of him made my eyebrows shoot up high on my forehead. "What are you – " I caught myself just before I could let slip the truth about his initiation. "What's going on?" I settled for asking instead.

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