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My hand was so tightly wrapped around Ben's that I was probably cutting off his circulation. The butterflies in my stomach weren't helping at all. Ben nudged me slightly, causing me to look up at him. He leaned down as he whispered, "everything's going to be ok." I smiled at him for his kind words, & it actually helped calm me down. My palms were still clammy, but I felt a sense of security with Ben at my side. That didn't last much longer since he was swept away by reporters & the hosts of the ball. He gave me an apologetic look that said "are you okay?" I gave him a reassuring smile & he slipped away into the crowd of people. I awkwardly went to go sit at a near by empty table & waited for Ben to finish.

There was an abundance of flashing lights that were coming from the other entrance, most of Ben's reporters actually left to go to where the commotion was. Ben came & sat with me as he too looked upon the crowd that was forming, but there was a sadness in his eyes that I couldn't quite describe. It wasn't jealousy or envy, just a heartbreaking look on his face. It wasn't until the photographers were pushed out of the venue that I finally understood why Ben was so upset.

There stood the boy that wanted nothing to do with me, & I wanted everything to do with him. He kept his eyes on the ground, with an unreadable look on his face. Elle had her arm wrapped around his, with a smug look on her face as she looked upon all the single women that sat a table, almost as if to say, "that's right, I got him & you didn't." The sad part was that she was so blind she couldn't even see how fake their love is.

Grayson led Elle to a table that sat on the opposite side of the room, ignoring anyone that tried to speak to him. The look on his face was so unreadable, that I wondered if he was even human anymore. He was so different now. His face looked worn out & he carried himself the same way a 70 year old man would. That was when I realized that I was witnessing his underbelly, all of this, the fancy gowns, paparazzi, all of it. It was a side of Grayson I had never witnessed before, & it was so ugly, but I didn't feel my love for him dwindle or suddenly disappear, it only caused me to want to go over there and wrap my arms around him & say everything was going to be okay. I started to think about how I wanted to "protect" Grayson from my underbelly, that was a straight lie. I pushed him away because I thought I was protecting him but really I was just protecting myself. I wanted to spare myself a heartbreak that I wasn't even sure would happen. Grayson loved me, all of me, not just for what he saw or for what he thought he knew. He wanted to help me and I pushed him away, and now I might have lost him forever.

It took me five seconds to register that Grayson had been watching me, watch him. My eyes nearly popped out of my head, my cheeks feeling like they were on fire. I looked down at my hands and mentally cursed at myself for being so stupid, he was probably going to call security now, I mean he didn't even want to see me again! This was so stupid I know I shouldn't have come-

The sound of a chair screeching across the floor caused my head to snap up. Grayson was walking very rigidly, towards the stairs. As he was walking up he glanced at me almost as if to say, follow me.

So I did.

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