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(over look the rating there is NO cursing in this book)


Wild eyed and filled to the brim with paranoia the girl pressed her knuckles against her lips and watched the door. An odd mixture of aqua blue and sea foam green that created the color of the door had begun to peel long before Matilda had set foot in the musty hotel room. At the clicking of the keys teeth against the lock a thin strand of paint molded to decaying wood peeled away from the door. It fell clumsily against the yellowed linoleum walkway composed of what used to be white and black squares. It belonged there, much like the invisible clouds of dirt and dust bunnies did as well, and there at least it looked as appealing as it should have.

The door shook on the other end, rattled like a man’s last breath stuck in his throat never to be released. She felt the same way as the door, like the metaphor, like she would never be able to breathe again if the person on the other end meant to take her away. Loose tendrils of limp red hair stuck against her sweaty cheeks uncomfortably, if it hadn’t been for the window unit blowing to the right of her she could have written it off as the heat. Instead she wrote off the sweat as her physical reaction of fear. Mattie’s fingertips on her left hand grazed the rubber of the switchblade stuck in the front pocket of her shorts away from view.


It had been hard for her to do the last couple of days, a task that she had overlooked for her entire sixteen years now seemed to be the only thing that she couldn’t do without reminding herself. And she did, painfully with her fist still pressed against her lips like rough hands against a tender mouth she inhaled sharply through her nostrils. The sting of the dank musty air surrounding her in the one bedroom hotel room brought along with it stray particles of dust and dirt.

She coughed.

No she hacked like the man on his last breath.

Like a woman who had enjoyed the taste of cancer sticks for too long.

And it all was enough to force her eyes away from the door as they watered and she coughed away half of her life into her small, cold and clammy hands.

Click, Click.

The door closed, aided by the man who had managed to finally open it though it’s lock had seemed to be just as persistent as the owners who insisted that there was only one room left.

Mattie wiped her eyes and swallowed a mouthful of unclean air. Her fears were abated, for now anyways and the only thing that was on her mind was the scent of greasy French fries and beef covered in American cheese. Her stomach rumbled, she could feel the disconcerting vibrations in the pit of her gut.

“I uh,” The man’s voice cracked and faltered as his muddy browns fell on the girl across the room rubbing her eyes. She lifted her head, one fist fiercely rubbing against her right eye as she sat back on her heels with her pale knees digging into the dingy beige carpet, “brought you some uh food. If-If that’s ok.”

Feebly he held up the brown paper back a quarter of which had been rolled over to secure it’s contents as well as provide a clutch for the journey back.

He could have cursed himself for doing it again. Matilda already thought he was a freak and to top it off he could still sense her fear at being alone with him.

Nineteen year old Greg ran a shaky hand through his cropped auburn curls in response to Mattie’s steady stare. He didn’t know what to do, if he should speak as he had done the days before non-stop or if he should pretend to be the brooding sort of guy that girls like her seemed to go after. He’d tried, and failed to convince her that he was just as good if not better than the guy who had snubbed her for a bleached bimbo with fake tits and a plastic smile.

It hadn’t worked. At all.

Maybe it had something to do with his diarrhea of the mouth. He was certain that was the issue and then there was the thing with him frantically moving around each time he caught her turning her head in interest of something. He wanted to interest her. Sure he was a strange guy…he was pretty off beat and isolated for someone his age, but hadn’t he saved her life?

Did that count for anything?

Mattie cocked an eyebrow at a very strange looking Greg and pressed her palms flat against the top of her thighs.

“I’m on a diet.”

Apparently not.

She hadn’t been on a diet the day before or the day before that, in fact she’d managed to eat her share of food and his too.

He nodded and bit the bottom of his thin pink lips as he set the brown bag atop the hideous floral comforter on the bed. Greg was disappointed, no disappointment was an understatement as he adverted his eyes from the source of his affection and made his way to the bathroom. He was tall, standing at a gangly 6’2 in contrast to Mattie’s small and petite 5’5.

There was no hope at all in gauging her interest other than keeping her protected. Later that night as he struggled to keep his body from touching her in the slightest he dreamed about her again. It was merely as memory of their first meeting, the way he caught her eyes and immediately fell head over heels for her peculiar grays and the way she shrugged him off.

To think that  it had all happened a few days before. He was sure then that her change in opinion of him at that moment hadn’t been because she’d seen the light but because someone had failed to see how precious she was. It made him sink to think that he was just a boy used to throw in another’s face, an old trick used to ignite jealousy in another.

She would have done better ignoring me.

Because if she had then she wouldn’t have been in as much danger as she was with Greg at the moment. He kept his eyes closed though his hands remained alert and pulsing with heat underneath the quilt he shared with Mattie.

Beside him the bed squeaked and gave way enough for him to nearly roll over to her side. Still he remained with his eyes closed.

“Shoot.” Mattie accompanied it with a hissed swear as her toe began to throb from stubbing it against the corner of the entertainment system in the room.

Greg slit one eye open just in time to see the thin girl reach for the brown paper bag.

I knew it.

He laughed within himself at the girls inability to keep her act up. Quickly he squeezed his eyes shut and let out a snore at the sight of her casting him a quick and pained look.

Oh God yes.

She rocked back and forth on the tip of her toes with the burger in her hand, she inhaled it first, nearly burying her nose into the juicy sandwich. Her lips caressed the bread, soft and then surrounded the entire burger as she took a hefty bite. With her mouth full of beef, cheese, pickles and ketchup she moaned to herself in delight while offering a silent thanks to Greg.

In her opinion he was weird, he was almost scary, but he sure knew how to take care of a girl.

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