Chapter 23

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"Thanks for the ride." I said taking the helmet off my head and handing it to Theo. I had to say that I was extremely surprised at how instead of leaving the bike idle and letting me off, he actually turned off the bike and got off as well. 

"You shouldn't lead Buzz on you know." 

Those words were the first things he had said since we had left and to say that I was shocked would be an understatement. 

"You think I'm leading Buzz on? Are you kidding me?" I knew that my emotions that I had tried to pull back were now fully displayed on my face. This man had trust issues and I could clearly see that I was number one on his list of people that he did not trust. 

"He's a nice guy and you are not available. Just don't lead him on." His voice was low and I could tell that he was trying to be as stoic as possible in telling me what to do. 

"What gave you the idea that I'm leading him on?" I sourly retorted. 

With a roll of his eyes he began to fiddle with his own helmet straps, fully taking off his helmet and holding it at his side before he spoke. "The entire time I was there, it was the two of you whispering, laughing, smiling, flirting. That giant hug when you said goodbye. Don't lead him on. I care about you Mia, but they're my family and I have to protect them." 

Ouch. I could physically feel the blow that that left on my chest. I felt myself stagger in a breath and I tried to relax myself, hoping to brush off the hurt I actually felt in Theo's words. He still thought that I was out to ruin his family, he thought I was leading Buzz on, and that I would intentionally hurt someone he cared about. What hurt worse is the fact that while I had found these wonderful attractive qualities in getting to know him, he could only see what he wanted to see. While I saw someone who was hard working, loyal, and selfless he still saw some rich bitch who didn't belong.

"If you must know, Buzz knows that I have a boyfriend. I didn't hide anything from him, we were innocently having fun. He was someone that I felt comfortable and familiar with and with that he decided to stick by my side." I retorted as coldly and collected as I could. 

"I can see that your opinion on my presence in your family hasn't changed, I'll try to rectify that as soon as possible. Thanks for the ride." Turning on my heels, I stepped away from him only stopping when I felt his warm fingers grasp gently onto my wrist. 

"That's not what I meant Mia." His voice was soft, like he was trying to coax me to try to understand him.

"Really? You didn't mean to relay the hidden message that you still don't trust me and that you have to protect them from me?" I said turning around and shaking his hand off of my arm. I didn't want to feel the warmth of his fingers, I didn't want to feel warm around him period. 

There was a slight panic that I caught in his eyes while the rest of his face remained impassive. "I didn't mean it like that." Was all he said. How else could I have possibly taken that?

With a quick roll of my eyes I turned on my heel once more and stepped away from him. This time I was able to make it all the way to the elevator before I felt the presence of a large man behind me. As soon as the elevator doors opened he had grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me into the elevator, quickly pressing the button to my floor, he turned me around to face him. 

"I didn't mean it like that." The blank expression on his face was beginning to crack as the panic and anxiety I had slightly seen in his eyes earlier spread throughout him. 

"What did you mean then?" I retorted back coldly. His hands held on to both of my arms, and I could feel each individual finger pressing into the leather of my jacket. We stayed in this position for the short ride of the elevator and he still hadn't answered. With a deep sigh from me I tore my arms away from his once again and walked away. I didn't look his way when I spoke to him. "Go home Theo, you've got people waiting for you." 

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