5. Strickly Business

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Briar

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Briar

 The little encounter with the boys left me with adrenaline and excitement tickling in my body. I'm awake now, that's for sure. After that little power play between Darius and Grae, Grae stormed out. The other filed after. It was peaceful when they left.

No assholes to annoy the shit out of me anymore. Albeit, the power show-off was kind of hot. There's no denying. They're both attractive, and there's something attractive about a guy who knows what he wants. And Darius' emerald eyes are like a never-ending forest I want to walk.

My eyes drifted shut a long time ago but fly open when my phone buzzes at the table. Eagerly, I pick it up, only to feel my heart sink in my chest. It's a text from Naomi, saying that she needs to take a raincheck because she's exhausted.

It's all good, I text back, but annoyance is riling in the pit of my stomach. She could have texted me earlier so I wouldn't have to walk home alone when it's almost midnight. Although she didn't know that I went down here to wait, so I guess I can't blame her.

With a sigh, I leave a dollar at the table to make up for sitting there for an hour, ordering nothing more than one coffee, before I get up and leave.

When getting outside, I pull the thin jacket tighter around me. The midnight breeze is tugging at my hair, sending chills down my spine. Going for a twenty-minute stroll back to my dorm doesn't sound very appealing, and so I just start walking to get it over with it.

I don't spot many people around me, only a few people coming out of restaurants. I can't help but feel a little lonely walking by myself, listening to nothing but my hollow footsteps against the asphalt.

After a few minutes, I've reached the outside of the town and it's about fifteen minutes left to the campus. Chills shiver through my bones as I glance over all the dark store windows. They make up a silent and unfriendly wall, trapping me and making me feel small. It's not before now I acknowledge how alone I am physically too.

I flinch when I hear a twig snap, and I jerk around, suddenly feeling monitored. It's just a cat who climbed up a tree nearby. God, I'm getting paranoid.

I lick my suddenly dry lips. I take a deep breath, then curse at myself for the shakiness of it. Relax, idiot, you're just paranoid, I repeat in my head. Settling with that thought, I start walking again, forcing myself to not look back. Still, I can't shake the feeling of being watched, I scratch the back of my neck, trying to rid myself of the itching feeling of not being alone anymore that has latched onto my brain.

I try to calm my breathing. I've watched too many horror movies, that's all. Everyone would be a little paranoid if they were alone in the city at midnight. Get a grip. It's not even that late.

As I walk around a closed store, my gut wrenches, and a feeling that's something is very wrong overtakes me. I gather up the courage to turn around, to prove to myself that the feeling is misplaced, but before I can turn all the way, a big hand wraps across my mouth, pulling me back into a hard chest.

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