Chapter 20 - Sneaking in like a kid

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I smile back at him—at least, the best I can with my lips that have been g-forced to my face.

I feel happy and free. I feel alive.

The shock of those words reverberates around inside me. Like a ball spinning around a moving roulette wheel.

I feel alive.

For the first time in a really long time, I feel alive.

And it’s because of him.

I’m smiling and laughing and doing something that scares the crap out of me.

I’m living because of Jason.

And that thought alone brings with it a whole new brand of fear in me. A fear that terrifies me in a way that I have never known before.

“You really suck at this.” I laugh, putting cotton candy in my mouth—or candy floss, as they call it here.

Jason bought it for me when we passed the last food booth. I needed sugar. The choice of cotton candy was blue or pink or both. I chose both. I’ve already eaten all the blue. I’m onto the pink now.

I lick the cotton candy off my sticky fingers.

Jason gives me a dirty look. “If you think you can do any better, then, by all means, try.” He holds out a ball to me.

He’s playing a game called Knock ’Em Down, which is basically nine cans stacked up into a pyramid—four at the bottom, three in the middle, and two on the top. You have to knock the cans down by hitting them with a ball, and if you knock off the two top rows, you win a medium prize. Knock all the cans down, and you get a big prize.

Sounds simple, huh? Apparently, it’s not.

I’ve sat this game out¸ so I can eat my cotton candy.

But we played darts and Bull’s Eye, which is basically archery and you had to hit the bull’s-eye to win. And we played a shooting game where you have a pellet rifle and you have to hit a playing card with a pellet. I was especially bad at that.

But, so far, we haven’t won a thing, and I really want a stuffed animal. Something to keep. A keepsake of this day with him.

But then what’s the point? It’s not like I’ll get to keep it for long.

Even still, I want one.

Tucking my sad thoughts away, I put my bag of cotton candy under my arm and hold my hands up. “My hands are sticky from the cotton candy.”

“Excuses, excuses.”

I stick my tongue out at him.

“Your tongue is blue from the candy floss.” Jason chuckles.

I lean in close to him and whisper into his ear, “Well, if you’re a good boy and win me a prize, you might get a taste of it.”

I lean back a little, staring into his eyes, which are currently dark and lusty.

“Deal,” he growls, sending shivers hurtling through me.

I move back to my standing spot and watch him get back to the game.

He picks up a ball and throws it. Hits the edge of a can, but it doesn’t go down.

“I’m sure these cans are fucking glued down,” he says in a low growly voice, making me laugh.

“I don’t think they are. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. You just have a weak arm, Reed, and your aim sucks.”

That earns me a dirty look.

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