Chapter Twenty-One: Caught

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One day, Freddie would write in her journal about this moment. About the way she'd known, like a puzzle piece snapping into place, that this was right. That she and Theo were right.

She would tell him that too—one day—and Theo would smile. Then he would tell her how he thought she had that effect on everyone. To which she would roll her eyes and say, "Obviously, Mr. Porter. But only you have have this effect on me."

Of course, Freddie knew none of this was coming. Not while she kissed Theo in a parking lot full of snow. All she knew in that moment was that the world made a lot more sense when she was with him.

Safe. Grounded. No broken pinball machines to scuttle her brain. It was just Freddie and Theo, finding each other in a storm.

And this time, when Theo bent slightly to cup his hands beneath Freddie, she was ready for it. This time, when he hefted her up, her legs instinctively slung around his waist and her arms clung to his neck.

Theo carried her around the car door, still kissing her. Like he could never stop. He kicked the door shut as they passed—which was a stupid sexy move, and Freddie found herself kissing him all the harder for it.

Then he pressed Freddie onto the car's hood and pressed himself against Freddie. The car was warm beneath her. Damp with melted snow too, but the blazer protected her.

His blazer that he had given her to keep her warm.

Her legs squeezed more tightly around him, and she slid up her hands to rest on Theo's chest. He had such a nice chest, and Freddie especially liked the way his heart thumped against her palm.

Distantly, she realized Theo's shirt was now wet with snow. And distantly, she realized he must be freezing without his coat on. She certainly was, and she was the one now wearing it. Of course, that was a cursory, unimportant problem.

All that mattered right now was Theo.

"Just...to clarify," Freddie murmured between kisses. "This does mean you like me too, right?"

"Yes," Theo breathed, a ragged sound. "Wasn't that obvious?" He dragged kisses over her jaw. Onto her neck. "I told you, it's tearing up my heart when I'm with you, and when we are apart, I feel it too."

"Ah," Freddie replied, and she couldn't help it: she laughed. An irrepressible sound that fizzed up from her lungs.

Because really—no boy should be allowed to quote N'SYNC and kiss her neck at the same time. It was like having every fantasy come true at once. All that was missing was Justin Timberlake, and honestly, she wasn't sure she wanted him anymore.

Theo Porter was more than enough.

Theo stopped kissing Freddie's neck and looked at her. "You're laughing at me."

"No." She tugged him back to her. "I'm laughing with you."

"Except notice I'm not laughing."

"You should be, though. I mean, look at us: a few days ago, you hated me."

"No, I didn't." Theo rested his forehead against hers. "I never hated you, Freddie. At least not after meeting you at the Quick-Bis."

"Oh?" This was news to Freddie. Good news that she liked very much. "Why is that?"

"Because you made me laugh. Not many people can do that. Also"—Theo offered a cocky grin—"I have a thing for girls in glasses."

Now this was really news to Freddie. Her eyebrows shot high. "You could have told me that sooner, you know. Then I would have worn them everyday."

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