The Way I Loved You, C21

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Chapter 21

Nick opened his eyes as he felt the hotness pricking his forehead, sinking into his skin like a heavy ton of metals. He blinked and waited for the headache to fade away. He groaned and rubbed his temples slightly, sitting up on his bed.

A hand slipped up from shoulder to his forehead, making him jumped. Turning around, he saw Scarlet sitting next to him. Her eyes looked tired from the sleepless night and her lips pursed in disapproval while she tested his temperature. “38 Celsius.” She mumbled and frowned, pressing him down onto his pillows.

It turned out that Nick was the one that had caught the cold this time, after standing and kissing in the rain for the whole night. Nick watched as Scarlet climbed out of her bed and closed the bathroom door quietly behind her. It felt weird, to let her take the turn to take care of him. He’d always been the one who took care of her.

But it felt great. Kind of.

Scarlet walked out of the bathroom and started fumbling in her drawer, looking for something. Nick stared at her quietly. She was wearing a camisole and a pair of worn out shorts. Her top hitched up when she stood on tiptoe to take something out from the top drawer. He just stared and stared, as if he couldn’t get enough.

Of her.

She felt the lingering gaze on her neck and turned around to see Nick staring at her. Suddenly she felt shy in front of him --- which never really happened before. The fact that she wasn’t wearing anything underneath, not even a bra --- (who wears that to sleep, anyway, breast cancer, hello.) made her blushed.

Ignoring the gaze, she took out the thermometer and pretended to examine it. She stood by the bed, looking at the instructions on the box. Well, pretended to be reading.

“Scar?” Nick suddenly said, looking at her with an amused look on his face. She raised her eyebrow at him suspiciously, and he went on.

“Are you sure you’re reading that?” He asked with that familiar mischievous grin again. Scarlet shot him a look, and he chuckled. “It’s upside down.” He pointed out. Scarlet felt her cheeks turning pink and bit her lips, not saying anything.

Then he surprised her by pulling her down so that she was sitting on top of him. Raising his eyebrow, he teased her, “Why are you blushing, girlfriend?” That only made her blushed more. She rolled her eyes and shoved the thermometer into his mouth, “Don’t move.” She warned, then beamed cheerfully in satisfaction. “That ought to shut you up.”

Nick stared at her, his lips curled up into a smile. A warm one. Scarlet had never seen him smiling like that --- as if he’d finally found his happiness. She felt something in her heart melted, and tears came. She blinked them back, but Nick already noticed.

He reached out to wipe her tears away. Scarlet pulled the thermometer out and lay down next to him. She leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips, and he kissed back. Her hands circled his neck as he hugged her tightly in his arms. Soft but strong, gentle but protective --- as if he was protecting something he’d risk his life for.

Reluctantly, he pushed her away gently. Scarlet looked up at him, looking a little astonished. His face softened as he reached out to rub her face, “I don’t want you to catch the sickness, silly.” He smiled faintly, combing her hair.

“I don’t care, silly.” Scarlet gave him an eye roll and kissed him again. This time he didn’t pull back. His arms wrapped around her waist even tighter, and when they finally pulled away, his eyes were misty.

“I love you.”

“I know.” Scarlet smiled, fluffing his hair.

“I was expecting something like ‘I love you too’.” Nick argued. But Scarlet ignored him. Changing the topic, he asked, looking surprised. “How come you’re able to wake up by yourself this morning?”

Scarlet laughed. “I never say I’m not capable of that.” She winked at him, who looked stunned. “But you…” He said, his eyes narrowed in confusion.

“I guess I just like to hear your voice first thing in the morning.” She mumbled, “I always had.” She then added, her eyes smiling up at him. He held her tightly and kissed her hair, “And you will. I want to be right next to you every morning for the rest of my life, nagging you to wake up and eat your breakfast.”

There was that pure happiness in his eyes again as he smiled happily and innocently like a child. She felt her heart skipped a beat, and opened her mouth to say…

“Nick?”

“Yeah?”

“I love you too.”

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