Chapter 8

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Jasmine's POV

"That would be 20." I said as I handed the book to the old lady. She handed me the twenty and smiled at me.

"Have a good day sweet girl." She said as she turned to leave.

"Thank you Ma'am. Have a good day too." I said.

The bell on the front door tingled signalling her departure. I sighed and looked at the clock hanging on the wall opposite me. 3:30. Half an hour until I'm free to go.

It was Saturday and there was a rush at the bookstore. Andy, a boy Kyle recently hired was supposed to cover up the morning shift but he didn't come. So Kyle had to call me to cover it up for him. Luckily I was free.

Who am I kidding? I'm always free. Unfortunately.

The bookstore was comparatively empty now as it was afternoon. I went to the romance aisle to get a book and spend my last half hour.

I searched through the number of books piled up on the shelfs and took out Paper Towns. I sat down on the floor at the foot of the shelf and immersed myself in the book.

It was in this position Meghan, Kyle's fiance found me.

"Why are you sitting down here sweetheart? You could get a back pain. Shoo shoo! Get up. Wasn't your shift over 20 minutes ago?" She put her hands on her hips and looked at me sternly. Meghan was a beautiful blonde with bright blue eyes and cute dimples. She was so short she actually looked like a teacup right now. I mentally snickered at my imagination. She was a sweet woman. No wonder Kyle fell for her.

"Oh yeah. I'm sorry. I just got so immersed in the book I forgot my shift was over. I'll go now." I said and sheepishly got off the floor.

Meghan shook her head and smiled fondly. She was like a big sister to me. Always taking care of me and advising me. In fact she was the one who hired me when Kyle didn't want to, as I was just 15 when I came to ask for a job. Kyle wasn't sure about a teenager working in his grandmother's bookstore.  But now both Kyle and Meghan are happy with my hardwork though.

I quickly snatched my bag from the counter and waving goodbye to Meghan, walked out of the store. But once I was out, I wished I had stayed inside.

Because standing just outside the store, in front of his extremely sexy car, was a sexy man.

Chris.

Sexy? Really Jas?

I shook my head to snap myself out of the inappropriate thoughts. But once my eyes landed on him, I couldn't make out why he was here.

"Umm hi." He said nervously, scratching the back of his neck. He came forward two steps and stood in front of me.

I cleared my throat and spoke up, "Hey. If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing here?"

He looked down for a moment and then looking up, said, "I was just passing by and saw you coming out. So I just stopped by to say hello. And maybe give you a lift home."

I looked at him suspiciously but then sighed. It actually doesn't matter what he was thinking. I was damn tired and if he was willing to drop me home, I wasn't hesitating.

"Okay." I said and cheerfully went around him to hop into the car.

He followed me and entered into the car. Starting it, he drove down the street.

The silence was killing me so I turned on the radio. Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello's "Senorita" blasted through the car.

I love it when you call me Senorita
I wish it wasn't so damn hard to leave yaa
But every touch is ooh la la la
It's true la la la
Ooh I should be running
Ooh you keep me coming for yaa.

I sang along with the song, completely forgetting that I had an audience. When I realised where I was, I shut up and looked at Chris. His mouth was hanging open and he was looking at me with wide eyes.

"What?" I asked timidly. My face and ears were starting to heat up out of embarrassment.

"Wow. You've a beautiful voice." Chris breathed out. I could detect the awe in his voice. This made me blush further.

"Thank you. And eyes on the road. I don't want to die." I said once I realised he was still looking at me.

He laughed and turned his head. For the rest of the way we both sang along with the songs playing. He had a wonderful baritone and could sing. I was impressed.

"Wow. You can sing." I said as the car stopped in front of my house. Chris turned his face away from me. But I could see a hinge of pink tint on his cheeks. Was he blushing?! Did I just make him blush?! Woah!

"Uhh thanks." He said and scratched his neck. It was nervous habit of his, I noticed.

"Thank you for the lift Chris. I'll see you around." I said and turned to get off the car. But before I could open the car door, it got locked. My eyes widened and I turned to him in panic.

"What's wrong? Why did you locked the car?" I asked.

He looked into my eyes and seemed to be searching for something. His eyes roamed my face and I felt fidgety.

"Nothing's wrong. I just wanted to apologise."

That got me.

"Apologise? For what?" I asked confused.

"For what you saw last night. Err.. in my room. I'm sorry, it was inappropriate of me." He said and genuinely sounded sorry.

I couldn't control myself and burst out laughing. Chris looked at me, puzzled by my sudden demeanor. I stiffled my laughter and said, "You don't need to apologise for that."

"I don't have to?" He frowned. He looked so cute I wanted to pinch his cheeks. Control Jasmine.

"Yeah of course. Why would you apologise? What you do with your girlfriend is none of my business." The last part came out a bit bitter and like a whisper. I don't know why though. I was confused by my reaction to the situation.

"She isn't my girlfriend Jas." Chris looked at me with a serious expression. I looked into his eyes and realised he was telling the truth. I couldn't stop myself from voicing out my next thoughts.

"Then what was she doing in your room?" I asked and then clamped my mouth shut with my hands. I started to apologise for crossing my limit but Chris shrugged me off.

"You don't need to apologise for asking anything. You can ask me anything. You have the right. And as for your question, I don't know. I left her down to go to the washroom and next moment I know she is in my room. I reprimanded her for her behaviour and sent her home."

I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding. I smiled at him and said, "It's okay. You don't need to explain to me. It's fine." And then added quickly, "Can I go now? Mom might be waiting for me."

"Oh yeah sure." He unlocked the doors and I got out. I walked towards my door but stopped midway and turned. He was looking at me through his car window. I smiled at him and waved him goodbye.

As I walked inside my house, I felt like a weight I had been carrying since last night lifted off my shoulders.

But I didn't understand any of it.

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