The Manor; chapter7

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Clayton McMillen

He woke to the sun shining directly on his face. That was quite rude of it. And who the hell had opened the curtains anyhow? They had most assuredly been closed when he went to bed. Clayton let out a small groan and rolled over to his stomach, pulling the pillow over his head. However, there seemed to be no way he was actually going to sleep. It was already so hot and it was only- he grabbed his phone and glanced at the screen- nine in the morning. It should be made illegal to be awake so early when one felt so totally like shit. And like shit he most certainly did feel. The night before he'd been so hungry at dinner and had eaten so much. His perfectly flat stomach had ceased to be perfectly flat and he couldn't bear it. He'd tried to hold it in, but ten minutes of looking in the mirror and he couldn't. He threw it all up, kept ridding himself of the food until tears had streamed from his eyes and they were rimmed in red, contrasting sharply with the chalky paleness of his skin.

Clayton's head was pounding and his mouth was thick and felt as though it were stuffed, filled with dry cotton. It had been a long time since he's felt like this. Then again, it had been a long time since he'd eaten enough to be forced to vomit so much for so long. When he looked down at his stomach afterwards and it was flat again, though, the whole ordeal had been made worth it. With a sigh he rolled over to his back again, arm flung under his head and looked down at his stomach. It was still flat, slightly concave, in fact. Relief washed through him. It was worth it. To stay thin, to keep his weight class when he got out of this hell-hole was worth all the pain.

"Clayton?" He looked up to see amber standing in his doorway. Or, her head was in his doorway, the rest of her was hidden. She was apparently feeling the sweltering heat as well, because the wisps of black hair that had escaped her ponytail clung to her forehead and neck where she had sweat some. "May I come in?" she asked quietly, and fully stepped into the doorway. A tray laden with food was held in her slender hands. "I brought breakfast."

"Sure." Clayton sat up and scooted to the side of the bed to make room for Amber. She settled herself on the bed next to him and set the tray between them. It held steaming coffee, orange juice, toast, eggs, sausage, bacon and cocoa puffs. Amber flushed a pretty rose pink as Clayton observed the tray.

"I wasn't sure what you like for breakfast," she informed him in a shy voice. Clayton gave her a small smile and selected a piece of toast, then took a small bite. The smell of the coffee overwhelmed him and, despite the heat, Clayton grabbed the steaming mug and took a large gulp, burning his throat and tongue.

"This is perfect, thank you." He said nothing more, instead letting Amber get to her point in her own time. Awkwardness stretched in the space between them as Clayton sipped at his coffee and Amber studied her hands, looking anywhere but at him.

"I- I owe you an apology," she finally said haltingly. Clayton handed her the coffee, assuming correctly that she would rink some. Amber gladly took the mug and looked into the cup before taking a small sip, then continued looking into the cup. Clayton just watched her. Finally, Amber looked up from the cup.

"Well say something!" she urged him. Clayton shrugged his muscular shoulders.

"What would you like me to say?" he asked her gently.

"I don't know." Clayton took the coffee cup back and drained the contents in one last gulp.

"You're forgiven, of course." Amber looked immensely relieved. She gathered the tray back into hands and carried it carried it out. She paused in the look as she was exiting.

"You're just like him, you know?" Clayton cocked his head.

"Who?"

"Hunter." And she left.

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