~Chapter Seventeen - The Truth~

Slowly Matt stood up, looking at me through his lashes. Raindrops clung to his hair and his Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat as he swallowed. His face was covered in a light sheen of rain, and his hair, which was a darker brown due to the rain, clung to the sides of his face, making water droplets splatter down his cheeks, throat and down the neckline of his open, dressy shirt.

“Matt, I’m so sorry,” I whispered, eyes wide as saucers as horror dawned on me. “I just… something else came up.”

He waved it away, though I could see the hurt written clearly in his bright hazel eyes, even if he didn't want to show it. “It’s fine. It doesn’t matter.”

I felt terrible, and my stomach twisted guiltily. I was such an idiot! “No, it’s not fine. I should’ve been here. It’s just… I was tutoring Cole and then he asked me out to a thank you dinner as friends and we—”

“How can you be so naïve?” Matt whispered hoarsely, effectively cutting me off. My mouth clamped shut, and I swallowed nervously, fair brows pulling together.

“What?”

“Do you seriously think Cole is the kind of guy who’ll take you out to dinner just to say thank you for tutoring him? With no ulterior motives?” Matt asked dubiously, watching me with a burning gaze.

“I don’t know what you mean…”

He ran a frustrated hand through his hair, tousling it so that it stuck up all around. “Look, it doesn’t even matter anymore, okay? I have to go.”

“Wait, no, Matt. Don’t go. Come inside with me. Mom won’t mind. You said you had something to tell me.” I shivered in Cole’s jacket as the rain continued to pour down around us.

“Maybe some other time.”

Did Matt just blow me off? That had to be the first time ever Matt had done that to me. My heart gave out a pang and I couldn’t help the hurt that flashed across my face. I mean, I'd done some bad things to him before, but he'd never been this cold. The mood he was giving me was like Antarctica in winter. Cold and unforgiving. I knew I deserved it, but it still hurt.

But for once Matt’s expression didn’t soften towards me, and stayed as hard as steel. “I’ve gotta go.”

“Please, Matt. Don’t be mad,” I whispered imploringly, eyes filling with tears. I hated this kind of animosity from him. Matt was always so kind and patient. And now he was... not. Now he was hurt and mean and rude. I got why, but still.... It was a whole new side to him that I'd never seen before.

“I’m not mad,” he said between gritted teeth, his eyes flashing with a feverish intensity.

“But you are.”

“Look, Grace. Drop it. It doesn’t matter.”

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