Chapter 13 (Part 3)

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*Note: IF YOUR IN THE MOOD FOR SOME ROMANTIC ELIAS, click the Youtube link above to listen to the Audiobook Version of this chapter voiced by kaelking12 (Kristen Maglonzo) featuring music by The 1975.

Alex

"Elias, what are you doing?!"

"Give me two seconds."

He opens his door, slides me into his arms, and lowers me onto his bed with a kind of finesse boys only bust out around their girlfriends...or boyfriends.

He hovers over me with the kind of smile I can't read. My eyes are too busy trying to ignore the tawny, sweaty, and shirtless body hovering just inches over mine.

I'm pretty sure I should say something. Or do something. Like push him off. Or scream. Or remind him of Dan's existence.

But before I can speak, he drops to his elbows and lowers his lips to my forehead.

I never thought it was possible for a forehead to go all tingly, but mine does, however briefly.

Other parts of me start tingling too, but that's just sense-memory. Or biology. I read about it once in sex-ed. Some physical responses to certain stimuli are purely reactionary. It doesn't indicate attraction, it just--means all your baby making parts are in healthy working order.

Apparently, mine are in tip top shape, because all my alarm bells are going off south of the border.

What am I even saying right now?

Nothing should be happening at all. North or south of the border.

But--they are.

My skin comes to life wherever he touches me.

Even though he shouldn't be.

Even though I shouldn't want him to.

He doesn't stop.

He grazes his hands along the side of my face and my heart stops every time he smiles.

Get it together, Alex.

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for him acting like this. He's just in denial. The whole kissing your forehead and caressing your face thing is just his way of trying to keep you from suspecting his lack of straight-ness.

Maybe I should just--

--let him pretend for a little while longer.

He's changed so much.

It has to be because of Dan.

The old Elias never kissed my forehead. He would've been all tongue and lips and everything.

Maybe being with Dan's made him more careful.

More sensitive.

But sensitivity's a good thing, right?

"You comfortable?" He asks.

I prop myself up on my elbows and Elias backs away just enough for me to sit up straight.

Thank God.

His bed was starting to smell good, and feel good, and I'm a generally bed-centric person so I'm liable to fall asleep in places I shouldn't if they're cozy enough. Fact.

"No! What were you doing carrying me around like that? And what was the deal with that whole forehead kissing thing? Honestly, Elias, you don't have to prove anything to me anymore. "

"I know," he says as he settles back down on the bed dangerously close to me.

"Then why did you bring me here?"

He brushes his hand along the side of my face and leans in close enough for me to feel the heat of his breath against my lips.

"'Cause I wanted to do this where nobody'd see us."

There's something about certain boy's mouths that make girls clumsy and reckless. Whether it's the way they'll part their lips right before they kiss you, or how they'll linger inches away from your face just to tip you into trouble.

I don't know what it is about Elias that makes me forget about all the things I shouldn't.

Like Kai, and Dan, and every single wall I put up to keep myself from making mistakes like these.

But nobody ever tells you that mistakes happen easier than you think.

Faster than you think.

So you have to remind yourself to think before things fall apart.

I tell my body to stop, to slow down, but everything's racing.

My hand's on his chest, pressed against his skin, but there's barely any will power left in my fingers to push him away.

I should want to.

But I don't know if I want to anymore.

His warmth's confusing, consuming, comfortable.

Too comfortable.

I open my mouth to stop him.

To stop everything.

But I can't speak.

The sounds lose themselves somewhere between unspoken want and wilting resistance.

He's so close.

Too close.

Or maybe I'm not distant enough.

"Elias, I can't do this. We can't do this."

His eyes flutter open and the half moon smile dancing on his lips fades.

"But I--I thought you said you knew about everything. I thought you were okay with everything."

"I am. And that's exactly why this shouldn't be happening. What about you and Dan?"

"What about you and Kai?"

His words pierce straight through my skin and rattle my bones.

"This isn't about him and me. We're fine, Elias."

"Then what just happened?"

My whole face is burning, but I can't do anything to stop it.

"Nothing happened. Nobody kissed anybody, okay?"

"Whatever, Jersey. It takes two to tango."

"Yeah, well, I'm not tangoing with anyone. Besides, if anyone's the guilty party in this situation it's you! What would Dan think about what you just did, Elias?"

A deep set furrow breaks out across Elias's forehead and his eyes dart back and forth in confusion.

"What does Dan have to do with anything?" He asks.

I swallow my hesitation and will the words I need to ask him out into the open.

"Everything. He's your boyfriend, isn't he?"

(Thank you guys for reading! How'd ya'll like the audiobook? Throwback feels anyone ;)? Next update on the weekend or early next week!)

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