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Casey’s POV

        I moved swiftly through the halls, doing my best to not draw attention to myself. Dakota had been looking for me all day, and I knew I couldn’t avoid him during lunch. 

        My stomach tightened at the thought of having to talk to him, which I really didn’t want to do. I was hurt enough already. He hurt me enough already. 

        “Casey!” I heard my name being shouted, and my head shot up, my eyes connecting with a pair of gray ones. 

        Turning on my heel, I went the opposite way, going as fast as I could without running. 

        “Casey, wait! I need to talk to you!” 

        I bit my lip, resisting the desire to turn and face him. Maybe he wants to finally tell everything to me? I shook off the thought as I continued down the hall, heading away from my class.

        Squeezing through groups of people, keeping my head low, I ducked into various hallways in hopes of losing him. Yet I felt as if a war was waging in my body, my heart wanting to go and talk to him where as my brain was telling me that I will only get hurt once more. 

        Yet after weaving through the halls, I finally came to a dead end. I cursed at myself for a moment, preparing to turn around, when I saw Dakota standing in the only exit way. 

        “Casey, what was that? Why did you run?” he asked, eyes hurt as he came closer. 

        I clamped my lips shut, unwilling to admit exactly why. My wall was back up, and stronger than ever. 

        This boy has made me cry for more reasons than he even knows, and I won’t give him the satisfaction of making me crumble. It is only up to me to protect myself, and nobody else, I chanted in my head.

        “Casey.. is this about yesterday? Are you still mad that we couldn’t tell you anything?” His voice grew quiet, guilt crawling into his tone. 

        That’s partially it… but it was also the fact that I thought we were closer than that, I answered him in my mind. 

        It was at that moment we both heard the distinct clacking of shoes on the tiled floor, and Dakota gave me a panicked look before pulling me into a classroom. 

        As if this was a cliché novel, the classroom was empty. 

        The lights were off, and Dakota pulled me against him to the side of the door, his eyes looking through the narrow window. We saw a teacher walk into the neighboring classroom before we both let out a sigh of relief. 

        I wasn’t in the mood for a detention today. 

        We were both still for a few more seconds before it registered that he was still holding me. I pulled away, my face starting to redden. 

        It’s not as if we haven’t hugged before, we’ve done it many times before! So why is it that I’m blushing now? I thought, trying desperately to cool my hot cheeks. 

        The silence stretched on, and I could feel his eyes on me, although I wasn’t sure if he could see me well enough to notice the light pink dusting my cheeks. I hoped not, that’d be embarrassing. 

        “So, what did you want,” I dead panned, keeping my voice as steady and neutral as possible. 

        “I wanted to talk,” he stated simply. 

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