Hickey || 03

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HICKEY / chapter three

It takes me a moment to react, but when my brain finally processes what he just said, my eyes immediately go wide and my jaw drops. "What do you mean you it was you?!" I exclaim, feeling a mixture of desperation and confusion.

He glances around the hallway nervously before taking my arm. "Can we talk somewhere more private? I can give you a drive home."

I yank my arm away. "I'm not going anywhere with you."

Ryder sighs, looking at me pleadingly. "I just wanna talk, Eva.I'm not gonna do anything."

I narrow my eyes at him. "Fine. But if you do anything, I'm going to kill you."

"Not if your brother kills me first," he mutters, walking past me.

After a few moments, I follow him with enough distance between us. I didn't want anyone, especially not any of my older brother's friends, seeing us together.Elliot already hated Ryder's ass; this would be just another wood for the fire. They started this whole rival thing during their freshman year, and I knew it wasn't ending anytime soon.

Ryder leads the way across the parking lot towards his car, a blue pick-up. He unlocks the door and makes a move to open my door, but I beat him to it. Shooting me a tight smile, he runs around to get into the driver's seat. I put on my seatbelt, my head bent in case anyone passed by and saw us. When Ryder just sits there, I shoot him a suspicious look. "I though you were driving me home?"

"I am." Ryder raises his eyebrows at me, looking at me expectantly. "But first, just get it over with."

"What are you talking about?"

"You said that you weren't sure if you were gonna slap or just talk to the guy who gave you that." He points to me neck and I quickly adjust my dress so that the hickey was covered. "Now that you know it's me—well, I know you're not exactly my biggest fan."

Ryder waits for my reaction, biting his lip. But I'm too stunned to reply, my mouth opening then closing again. We stare at each other in silence until a small, shaky laugh escapes me. "W-What?"

"Your brother and I aren't exactly best friends," he says sarcastically.

"Obviously," I say. "But what's that got to do with me?"

He looks away and says, "Your brother hates me. Thought it was the same with you."

"I'm not my brother."

"So you're not gonna slap me?"

I shake my head, laughing softly. I see the corner of his lips turn up before he puts the key in and turns the car on. We're both silent again as he backs out of the school parking lot. I wait for him to turn on the radio, feeling a little awkward, but he just continues staring straight at the road.

Clearing my throat, I say, "Don't you have football practice?"

He shakes his head, then nods slowly. "Well, yeah, but it's okay. I was planning on skipping anyway. I have a quiz in Biology tomorrow."

I nod and we go back to silence. Football was one of the main reasons why Elliot and Ryder hated each other so much. They've been competing since their freshman year and now that they're seniors, one of them finally has the chance to be captain and I'm pretty sure neither of them wanted to lose. And as for the other reasons, well, I've never really heard the full story about it—about her.

I mentally slap myself. Out of all the boys that were there at that party, why did it have to be Ryder Finnick?

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