Seventeen

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The fifth pair I tried on were navy blue with black decals. Out of all the pairs I had tried on, these were the comfiest. I began to walk around in them, making sure they fit well. I hopped a few times, satisfied. Facing Sky, I asked, "How badass would I look running around in these shoes?" I questioned.

His elbow rested against a shelf of shoes, his tired eyes staring blankly at me with his fingers scuffed up in his hair. I rolled my eyes as I took the shoes off. Ever since we arrived, he had been silent, not saying anything, nor giving me any indication that he was listening. Not once had he ever been so vacant around me, or anyone else as a matter of fact. He seemed to be on autopilot.

Tying up my own sneakers, I walked up to Sky and smooshed his cheeks in my hands. "What's wrong?" I pouted.

Finally looking up at me, he whispered, "How?"

"How...what?"

"You just let that guy touch you, and then you beat him to the ground. How did you do that?"

I deadpanned. "This is seriously what you're worked up about?" I knew what I did seemed out of the blue and out of character, but if there was one thing I hated was cocky boys who thought they could do whatever they wanted to a woman just because she was a girl and he was a man. People did not belong to other people, plain and simple. And the moment I realized what he could have done to Amy (and quite possibly had before), I couldn't take it. I had to put him in his place.

"Yes!" he exclaimed. "You could have seriously hurt yourself."

Rolling up the sleeves to my cardigan, I flexed. "Feel it," I demanded. Crazy eyes stared incredulously at me. I may have been crazy, just not in that way. "Feel it," I pressed, and he finally did. His eyes almost flew out of their sockets. "I have been lifting weights and taking self defense classes since I was a freshman in high school. I knew what I was doing. You don't."

"But he was bigger than you. He could have beat you to a pulp," he injected.

"Nah," I chuckled. "He may have been muscular, but based on his grip on me, we seemed to have the same amount of strength, so I wasn't worried."

"I was," he sighed. "I-I know it sounds stupid, but when you told me to back away, I honestly thought for a second that you were going to leave me for him."

"What?"

"I know it's stupid. The thought left as quickly as it came. I just...ugh," he groaned. "I'm sorry. I was being stupid."

"Hey," I harshly stated, "do not think like that. I didn't mean to freak you out, okay? You're a damn toothpick compared to us, so I was scared of you getting involved, because he could easily crush you. Hell, I could crush you if I wanted to."

Snaking his arms around my waist, Sky smirked and rolled his eyes as he pulled me into his chest. "Could you now?"

Feeling his own biceps, causing his breath to hitch, I nodded. "Yup. I can definitely crush you." Wrapping my arms around his neck, I frowned. "I know you want to play hero, but you're not as strong as I am- physically speaking, of course. Your soul is far stronger than mine, what with all you've overcome. So, I need for you to make sure you don't involve yourself with people who could possibly hurt you. That's the last thing I need to happen to you, alright?"

"Okay," he murmured.

Pecking his lips, I smiled. "Good."

He stared at me. His eyes, wide as saucers, stared at me incredulously in both joy and confusion. I didn't know what was wrong until I realized that was the first time we kissed. Although, could that even be considered a kiss? It was a mere peck on the lips, so I guess it counted, but it wasn't like an actual kiss between two people who were dating. Or was it? I had no clue.

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