Chapter Twenty Three

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Just popping in to say things might get a liiiittle bit smutty towards the end, so if that makes you uncomfortable or if you don't want to read that, when you see three little stars like this (***) just skip to the next chapter :)

"I can't believe you called me an asshole." Isobel chuckled, shooting me a sly grin.

"And a little bitch, don't forget." I added with a smirk.

"Yeah, that too." She shook her head. "I had it coming though."

"You did." I agreed, tightening my grip on her hand. I looked between us at her fingers laced through mines and couldn't help the smile that automatically made it's way to my lips.

We had decided to go to the cabin instead of back to the hot tub. We agreed we had a lot to talk about, and we preferred to do so without our extremities freezing off in the middle of the woods.

So here we were, slowly walking through the cabins to number 33.

She looked deep in thought for along moment. When she raised her head, her eyes were full of guilt. "Talia, I need you to know that I wasn't purposefully toying with you, and I can't stand the thought of you thinking I would intentionally hurt you. I just had all these... strong feelings for you that I was trying to avoid and sometimes I slipped up. I never meant to hurt you."

"I wish you had just told me all of this instead of bottling things up and pushing me away." I sighed.

"I know I should have, I just couldn't help it. I think it's pretty obvious that I have trust issues and I'm very guarded when it comes to my feelings."

"Is... is that because of your dad?" I asked softly.

She shook her head then shrugged. "Well, mainly yes. But also because of failed relationships in the past where I got hurt badly."

"You don't have to tell me about that if you aren't ready to." I assured her, rubbing my thumb across the back of her hand.

"No, I want to. I'm not keeping anything from you anymore. Look where that got us."

I nodded and waited for her to continue. She took a deep breath.

"The first and only relationship I was in was when I was fifteen. His name was Anderson and he was a total jerk. But I was fifteen and excited to have a boys attention so I didn't care. He cheated on me three months into the relationship so I dumped him and cried for days. Now when I look back, I realize I didn't even like him at all, but being cheated on can affect anyone, let alone a fifteen year old girl with no self esteem."

I stopped walked. "That's awful. I'm sorry he did that to you."

She shrugged and took ahold of my second hand so we were facing each other. "I'm way over it now."

"You said 'failed relationships', as in plural." I remembered.

She nodded. "Yeah, but the second wasn't really a relationship. I just caught feelings for the wrong person. Remember my best friend Carson? I think I told you about her."

I nodded, remembering that day when she was telling me all about her friends and her life in New York. I had been so blissfully happy then. "Yes, you said things didn't end well between you guys."

"I'd had crushes before, but she was the first girl I ever really liked. Maybe even loved." My eyes widened. I had not been expecting that at all.

"You loved her?" I repeated, shocked by this information.

"I thought I did. I thought she was perfect, everything about her was so elegant and graceful. It's a shame her personality was so ugly, but I fell for her regardless of it."

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