18: Across Campus

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Right now, this very moment I am typing this message, Across Campus is #200 in Humor, which is so awesome! Thanks to all you peoples! Hope you enjoy the chapter :)

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I sit stunned for a moment, too shocked to say anything to Chase. He stares back at me, his eyes flickering and darting across my face trying to assess some sort of reaction. The only reaction I have is plain and clear, confusion. He knew Jenna. The girl that was murdered by the psychopath that had just tried to kidnap me, he knew her. He was the connection between both of us.

“How did you know her?” I ask, moving away from Chase so my back is pressed against the car door. “From school or something? Did you two have classes together?” I beg him in my mind to say yes. I didn’t want to believe the worst; I couldn’t, not from Chase. He wouldn’t do anything like that to me, would he? Not after the whole Maisie drama. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t dare.

He looks hurt for a moment, probably because I moved away from him, before he sighs and shakes his head. Brushing his fingers through his hair a few times, he shakes his head. “No, we had no classes together, Harley,” he turns to me, “it’s not what you think.”

“What do I think?” I ask him. I stare at him intently, assessing him just like he was me moments ago. I try and take in a smooth breath, to calm my nerves, but it goes in with a loud sharp gasping noise and releases shakily. “What do I think, Chase?” I question again.

“That I cheated. But I didn’t, Harley. I know it all sounds incriminating, trust me, I do, that I knew her and didn’t tell you, that she was the one I got phone calls from, who I snuck off to see…” I cut him off before he can carry on, thoughts swimming and swirling around in my head like wildfire.

He’s been seeing Jenna all this time. Asher and Nate knew. The police knew. They all knew. Everyone accept me. And I refused to let Chase to tell me until he was ready. “That’s why they thought you did it!” I exclaim. “Isn’t it? And that’s why he tried to frame you. Because he knew it would be easy, and then with you out the way he could…”

“…get to you,” Chase finishes, a grim smile crossing his face, “yeah; he used me to get to you. I’m so sorry Harley; if it wasn’t for me then last night wouldn’t have happened, I’m so sorry,” his head falls into his hands, and he leans forward resting on the steering wheel. His shoulders shake slightly, and I gasp, unbuckling my seatbelt.

“Hey,” I grab him, pulling him up to look at me, “It’s okay, Chase, it wasn’t your fault.” I swipe the tears away from his face, pulling him into a hug. “You didn’t know, Chase, and I don’t blame you. I love you.”

He tries to push me away, but I hold on to him tighter. “You could have died because of me, Harley,” he collapses against me, “he could have taken you, hurt you, god knows, Harley, and it all would have been my fault.”

Pulling away from him, I grab his face firmly into my hands. The wetness on his cheeks wets my hands, and my heart feels like it’s being stabbed repeatedly watching Chase cry. “It’s not your fault, he is a pyscho, there’s nothing you could have done,” I smile at him, “God, look at us, we’re such a mess.”

Chase tries to smile at me, “a hot mess?”

I grin back at him, wiping the tears from his face, and kissing both of his cheeks gently. “The hottest.” I whisper.

*

“How did you know Jenna then?” I ask, an hour later, as we drive out of the garage, hot chocolates and a bunch of junk (comfort food) nestled in between us. “I mean, you don’t have to tell me, I believe you when you said you didn’t cheat, but yeah. I guess it would clear some things up.”

Chase smiles at me, “thank you,” he says, grabbing hold of my hand and squeezing, “for believing in me, even after all the crappy stuff I’ve done,” he rapidly continues, not letting a single breath in to let me interrupt, “Jenna was helping me…with a surprise for you.”

Half way through taking a mouthful of hot chocolate, I choke it back, and wipe my mouth abruptly. “Me? A surprise?”

Chase laughs, “Yeah, for you. Nate and Asher too, although they’re both useless, but she was the main player really. I kind of just provided some insight and the money. And before you ask or start thinking it, just like your brother did, no, I’m not proposing to you.”

I raise my eyebrow and stick out my bottom lip, “Aw, that sucks. I got excited then, I think a diamond ring would look good on me, don’t you think?” I wink at him, placing my coffee down.

Chase laughs at me. “Yeah, it would look beautiful, in about ten year’s maybe.”

“Ten?” I widen my eyes. “You’re going to make me wait ten years for a bloody rock?”

He laughs again, reaching in between us and picking up the haribos, “I’m going to be totally cliché here, Harles, so you better appreciate it,” he digs around in the haribo bag, before his eyes light up, “here! Give me your finger!” with careful precision between his eyes flickering to the road and between me, he slips a small haribo ring on my finger.

“So cute,” I laugh, reaching out and pinching his cheeks, “but I’m going to eat it.”

Chase pouts, “damn, shortest engagement of my life.”

I raise my eyebrow at him. “Shortest and only engagement, I hope.”

He grins again, showing a slight dimple in his cheek. “Yeah, but that will change in the next ten years,” he winks.

I roll my eyes at him, “Alright, Flynn, you’ve made your point. Now tell me, what surprise is this? I’m quite scared, especially if you had the help of Nate and Asher.”

Chase shakes his head. “It’s good. You’ll love it. Your mum did.”

“My mum? Seriously, Chase, what is it?” I had absolutely no idea what it could be. Maybe he brought me another puppy? No, he wouldn’t do that, not when I have Jellybean and he knows I can’t have any animals in my apartment. “Tell me.”

“How about I show you?”

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