xviii. losing bets

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"Wh-what?" I manage to stammer out. "How did you know I wear contacts?"

"Your left pupil doesn't dilate whereas your right one does. The left limbus is less distinct, and the coloration of your iris is different," Ace smoothly states.

"Jesus Christ, are you a medical textbook or something?" I sigh.

"I like to observe."

The contact was faint in my hand as I took it out. The flexible plastic was smooth, thin, insignificant and yet was somehow the guise that made all the difference. A single brown colored eye and stark jaded one looked onto Ace.

He scrutinizes me with clear objectivity. I felt as uncomfortable as a lab subject until eventually, his lips tug upward.

"Your eyes are magnetic," Ace says softly after a moment's pause. "Why do you hide it?"

The difference of heterochromia was startling on my face, and no one ever saw me without colored contacts. My gaze flickers quickly away, not in shame but in nervousness.

"My father had green eyes. Seeing a part of him every time I looked into the mirror wasn't something I was ready to deal with," I say. "Besides, it's a giant imperfection in the middle of my face."

Ace brings my chin up to meet his face. "Don't ever think that."

A foreign part of me wanted nothing more than to pull him into me. In this moment, everything about him—from his incessant but endearing narcissism to his admiration for imperfections—compelled me.

Our breaths intertwine as Ace slowly leans in. My heart begins to hitch, pounding furiously against my ribcage as if it was a prisoner in my own body. My fingers trail across his jawline in certainty.

Suddenly, Skye and Chase drunkenly stumble into the penthouse.

I quickly jump away from Ace's arms.

A disheveled Chase is leaning against Skye for support, and by the looks of it, Skye was almost crushed under his weight. Xavier was nowhere to be found. Skye hauls Chase's body to the couch and dumps him there. The latter falls asleep instantly at an impressive pace.

"Looks like you guys had fun," I cough.

Skye gestures to the sleeping gang leader. "Sleeping Beauty over here had too much fun."

"Where's Xavier?"

"He went home with some cute brunette guy. Hopefully, Xavier will find his way back somehow by tomorrow."

Skye wipes her brow whiling looking suspiciously between Ace and I. My face was probably crimson at this point, but Ace had mastered nonchalance.

"What did you two do all night?" Skye smirks.

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