(Chapter 12)

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“ARGH!” London screamed.

By reflex, my hand went over her mouth.


Her eyes were wild, panicking. What was wrong? Why was she…?

I looked down, and realized for the first time, that…she was topless. Okay, her bra was on, but more…exposed than usual.

I leapt off her, my face suddenly flushing. I looked away, anywhere but at London. I can’t believe I did that…I can’t believe I attacked her like that, I’m so –

London started giggling.

I turned. Bloody unbelievably. Any other girl would’ve started crying. Any other girl would’ve tried to kill me. Any other girl would’ve reported me to the police (well, if I hadn’t already kidnapped them). But London…she laughs?

“Your face, Josh!” she choked, through her giggles. She was even rolling on the floor. “You’re so red!”

“Shut up!”

“‘Shut up!’” she mimicked, still laughing. “You sound like a girl! God, Josh, you don’t have to be so embarrassed! It’s not like I’m actually naked. This kind of thing happens all the time, and if you blush when you see your hostage, what the hell are you going to be like when you get a girlfriend?”

‘This kind of thing happens all the time’? Does that mean…other guys have seen her naked?

I grabbed her by her shoulders, stopping her from rolling around. She looked into my eyes, saw I was completely serious, and stopped giggling.

“Do other guys see you like this all the time?”

“What?” she asked, completely clueless. That just annoyed me even more.

“I asked, do other guys see you like this all the time?!”

“What? NO! I mean, I don’t really tend to…I don’t…I…” she stuttered, her eyes very wide. I glared at her. She was so worked up. She had to be lying.

I left the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind me.

Why am I so angry?

She came in, a couple minutes later. I stared resolutely out of the window, wishing there was a TV to fill the silence. That’s why TV was invented, right? So people didn’t have to talk to each other.

Great, I was talking to myself now.

Her warm hand brushed against my bare arm. I jumped slightly. How did she get close to me so quietly? I jerked my arm away. I didn’t want to see her right now.

“Josh?” she whispered, her voice scared.

I can’t believe I thought she was innocent. She was obviously well experienced, just like all the other rich girls. I didn’t know what I was thinking before.

“Are you mad at me?”

I glared at the tree through the window.

“Josh, tell me,” she said, tugging at my shirt. “Tell me what I did wrong.”

She gripped my arm, with trembling fingers.

“Josh…what did I…?”

“Nothing. Leave me alone.”

Suddenly, she threw her arms around me, holding me from the back. A clean shampoo smell radiated from her hair, filling my nostrils. A bead of water dripped from her hair, and trickled down my back. She was warm. So very warm.

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