Chapter Nine

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It wasn't until I was sat on a sturdy seat, supping cool water, that my mind started to calm itself down, allowing me to focus on the scene in front of me. It was then I realised, with pure shock in my heart, who my saviour was—the stranger. Of course it was. The guy from the kitchen, the one who started off the crazy roller coaster of emotions that resulted in me humiliating myself in one of the worst possible ways. And he just had to be there to witness it. Perfect. Could this get any worse?

He wasn't smiling at me as he stared into my eyes this time. He was examining me carefully with an intent look of concern on his face that I didn't like one bit. I tried to smile reassuringly, to try and prevent this moment from becoming all the more embarrassing than it already was, but it seemed to make no difference. His expression didn't change, which saddened me somewhat. I much preferred the happiness in his eyes.

My ears caught up to the fact that his mouth was moving far too late. I'd been so busy staring at him, that I didn't actually notice him talking—again, just another moment to add to the increasing number of slip ups tonight! The buzz surrounding me started to fade and I strained to make out words, desperately hoping that I may be able to rectify this yet...

"Are you okay?" I finally caught and I nodded emphatically, glad to be given the chance to appear normal—well, sort of! I was pretty sure that the normal ship had sailed some time ago. "Drinks were strong...I told you." He laughed, relief passing over his face.

I went to correct him, I wanted to tell him that I didn't even sip the drink, but I suddenly realised that there was no other explanation I could give to lessen the humiliation—especially not the truth. I passed out because I lost my friend...how would that make me sound? No, that was just shameful! It would probably be better to let him assume that I was a lightweight.

His fingers softly grazed my cheek, sending electrical shocks through my face. These tremors went on to rock through my entire body, causing me to shiver lightly with a bizarre pleasure that didn't quite make sense. As his hand dropped down by his side, mine immediately took its place—as if I couldn't bear to let the sensation go just yet. He kept talking and I kept nodding, but nothing was sinking in. All I cared about was the fact that he had been touching me, and that I wished he still was.

Eventually, he must have realised that my mind was off on some other world entirely, because he grabbed my hand to lead me away, and I followed behind willingly. I was happy to go wherever he wanted—especially since he seemed to be taking me away from that God awful party. I never intended to go to anything like that again—not even for Kimberly's sake. It was just too awful for words, not my idea of a good time at all. We walked out of the door, into some very welcome fresh air. Breathing in something other than booze and cigarettes gave me enough head space to finally be able to think a little clearer.

"Are you sure you're okay?" He asked again, and I turned to face him while I nodded. I wanted him to see that I finally really was alright now, and I felt like showing him my much-calmer expression was the only way to do that. "Good." He sighed deeply. "I was worried about you for a moment."

He was worried about me? What the hell did that mean? It had to mean something, right?

I laughed loudly—a little too loudly, really, because it caused him to look at me a little oddly. Again, I felt the overly familiar blush fill my cheeks and I was forced to look away. It wasn't enough that I was constantly making an ass of myself; it had to be highlighted to the world too? If there was one person that I wanted to think highly of me, it was the sexy stranger from the kitchen—even if I had only known him for a few moments. He just had something about him that made me desperately want to impress him—a desire that was currently going nowhere. I wished I could be one of those cool, easygoing people, who never seem to suffer the red-face curse, but I wasn't. I didn't know how much of that was me, and how much of it had been determined by the fact that I was ill during the time that I should have been getting to know myself. The time where I should have been growing up, and becoming the person I was always supposed to be, I had no time for any other worries outside of the hospital.

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