XXIX

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"Okay, spill." I say as we walk into the kitchen to talk. He looks me up and down and sighs.

"What do you mean?" he asks.

"You've been acting weird toward me ever since you left my house the last day you stayed with us." I tell him.

He bites his lip and shakes his head. "Teal..."

"No, Darek! You tell me to go for Blake then all the sudden you give me the cold shoulder when you know he's acting?" I ask.

"First off, he's not acting. Even I can see that. Second, that's not why I've been acting weird. I meant what I said, T. If we are meant to be, it will happen." He pauses.

"That night, when I left, I got a package. It had a bunch of pictures of me in it... maybe thirty... I realized there was something on the back of them, another picture. I put them in order from most recent to oldest and separated the pictures on the back to make a new, big picture."

I feel my blood run cold as he explains this to me "It was a picture of cut up magazine letters you see on horror shows to spell things out... it said to stay away from you or something bad will happen to you." He says.

I feel my cheeks go red at his words and the worry in his voice "I should've told you, but I didn't want to risk anything. I couldn't live with myself if I got you hurt." He tells me.

I bite my lip and wrap my arms around his neck "I don't care what this crazy asshole says, never stay away from me." I tell him.

He holds me tight and nods "I know... and I figured I should tell you. I can tell it was hurting you and I figured if I could tell you, maybe we could figure this out together. Plus, Blake will make sure nothing happens to you." He says.

I smile weakly as I release him from my hug. "I'm glad you told me... did he threaten you?" I ask.

He shakes his head "No. He knew you were more important to me than anything else. He could've threatened Kass, but since he didn't I figured this all has to do with you. Not me, not Blake... you" he sighs.

"Blake told me yesterday about the box you got the same day... and that's when I knew I had to tell you. I told Blake about it, and he told me it was effecting you. I never meant to hurt you, T, I just wanted to make sure you were safe." He says.

So Blake did notice Darek was acting different?

I bite my lip and shake my head. He cares about me so much... he's given up so much for me.

So many emotions run through me as I look at my gorgeous best friend.

His features are effortlessly stunning.

Before I can think, I reach up and press my lips to his.

He is caught off guard, but I can feel his strong hands on my waist as he closes his lips on mine.

It's a soft, tender kiss. A slow kiss. One I savor more than I should...

I don't know if I did it because I'm mad at Blake, or if it was something else.

I'm so fucked up right now. I don't know what to do. I shouldn't do this with a cluttered head. Even if it does feel so.... good.

I pull away and bite my lip while looking at the ground "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that" I tell him as I take a few steps back.

He swallows hard and nods "Yeah, no, right- that was-" he trails off and just lets out an embarrassed chuckle.

I just look at the beautiful features of his face and I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, but I need his lips on mine again.

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