Chapter 4

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As we walked down the street to the local ice cream parlor, Alex slung his arm around my shoulder giving it a reassuring squeeze. "I wish I knew what to tell you Bells."

Biting my lip, I played with the hem of my shirt. "The funny thing is, I know that it doesn't have to be complicated, but," I covered my face with my hands, leaning into Alex's side. "I don't know what to do Alex! I have no idea how to feel about him!"

"That's something you have to figure out for yourself Bells, but, luckily there is something that I can do." He said facing me as his hands gripped my shoulders. "I can buy you all the ice-cream you want."

I laughed. Alex would never change, no matter how old he is, his inner child would always come through.

We stepped inside the ice cream shop, in our small town it is one of the most popular hang-outs for teenagers, and today was packed, meaning I became the subject of hushed whispers. I bit the inside of my cheek, turning to leave, but Alex persuaded me to stay.

After ordering and paying for our frozen treats, we sat down on one of the comfy pale pink booths. Alex greedily dug into his ice cream, while I struggled to take bites.

"Bella." I slightly jumped at the sound of his voice.

"Dmitri?"

Dmitri leaned over, gently taking my arm. "I need to talk to you. Please."

I looked at Alex who nodded his head in understanding. I stood up, allowing Dmitri to pull me out of the ice cream shop and to his car. He held the passenger side open and I got in.

We drove in silence until we were a few miles outside of town before Dmitri stopped and got out of the car, stalking his way into the woods. Curiously, I followed him.

He didn't walk far before he stopped. His fists were clenched at his sides with his shoulders hunched forward, his back facing me.

I took shaky breathes, my mind struggling to figure out what to do next.

"I love you."

I froze, did he just say...?

"I love you." He said again, a little bit louder as he turned around to face me. His eyes were pleading, he looked so lost, so vulnerable.

"I've been in love with you since I saw you for the first time... I... When you approached me for the first time last week, I didn't know what to do, how to react. You've never talked to me, and there you were," He lifted his hand to motion to me, a small smile tugging at his lips. "And I was a jerk to you because I thought that you knew how I felt about you and you wanted to give me false hope."

He ran a shaky hand through his hair, his voice sounded so broken. "And yes, I was jealous when I saw you with Alex." He took a step closer to me and I felt like I couldn't move, my feet were planted firmly into the ground. "I didn't mean to me such an asshole. No words can describe to you how sorry I am."

He stopped when he was standing in front of me, I craned my neck up to look at him. He searched my eyes as he lifted his hands to gently cup my cheeks. "Please say something."

I parted my lips to speak, but my words failed me. I wanted to say everything and nothing.

So I did the only thing that any hormonal teenager would do when someone confesses their love.

I kissed him.

Dmitri's arms wrapped around me like vines, caging my body against his while my fingers tangled in his hair. Every emotion and frustration we felt towards each other was poured into an earth shattering kiss.

Dmitri pulled away from the kiss first, his chest heaving as he breathed. He rested his forehead against mine.

"Does this mean that you'll give me a chance to redeem myself?"

I looked into his dark eyes, finding myself compelled to comply, unable to say no. "Yes."

He pecked my lips once more, taking me by the hand and leading me deeper into the forest. I let him lead me to a small waterfall, wrapped in a bright mossy coat with crystal clear water running down the smooth rocks.

"It's beautiful."

Dmitri looked at the place, not with admiration, but with hatred in his eyes. "I wanted to show you this place, but now I don't think this was such a good idea."

"What is it?" I asked curiously.

"This is where my dad tried to drown me."

My eyes widened as I stared at him in disbelief. "I was only seven when my mom and I found this place, we came here all the time. My dad was a drunk, he used to beat my mom until she was so close to death... One day he came after me, bringing me here. I meant nothing to him, an error in his so called perfect life." Dmitri sunk down on the grass, burying his face in his hands. "He tried to kill me here, but my mom shot him before he got the chance."

I sat down next to him. "She went to jail, and I went to live with my aunt, but she was just as bad as my dad." Dmitri's fingers dug into the earth, gripping the grass as he clenched his jaw. "I used to love this place so much... I don't think I will ever admire it like I used to." I moved so I was facing him.

Cupping his face in my hands, urging him to look at me. "Let me help you. Let me help you love this place again."

Bringing his knuckles to my cheeks, he ran them down my cheeks in a gentle caress. Wrapping his fingers around the back of my neck he brought my face closer to his. "Okay." He whispered before pressing his lips against mine.

I knew he was reluctant, but I wanted to help him.

I didn't want to think about the next day, the whispers that would follow us around school, but as I pulled into the school parking lot that next day, I was met by stares boring into me everywhere I went.

Dmitri just ignored them as he strolled towards me, throwing his cigarette on the ground. When he reached me, his arms immediately went around me waist, his lips crushing against me. My eyes fluttered closed.

"I missed you." He whispered as he pulled away, resting his forehead against mine.

I laughed lightly. "You saw me last night." I reminded him, but he just shrugged.

He pecked my lips again. "Let's get to class."

Wrapping a protective arm around my waist, he led me through the sea of students who stood stunned watching us. I was having a hard time believing it myself, just yesterday I was punching him in the face and now look at us.

Everything around me felt so uncertain, like I was stuck in my own mind, an endless dream. I was holding my breath waiting for reality to come crashing down on me.

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