Chapter 10

“Showing me off, eh?” Beth asked, smiling one of her sexy smiles that I loved. I nodded, tightened my fingers around hers and pulled her closer to me. It felt so good to have her this close to me and know that she didn’t hate me. I smiled as my friend Jaime approached us.

“Tay, my man.” He said while we high-fived. I released Beth’s hand and wrapped that arm around her back, placing it on her hip. “Looks like you snagged her, just like you said you would.”

My breath stopped. Jaime did not just say that. I had no idea what he was talking about. I hadn’t told anyone about liking Beth. She pulled away from me. I looked sharply at Jaime, who only held a smirk across his lips. I wanted to mess him up bad for what he had just said. I looked back at Beth. She had tears in her eyes, but none fell.

“What?” she asked me. I touched her hand, but she yanked it away, taking a step backwards. Great, I thought. I just gained her trust back, and now it’s all lost again because Jaime had to be a dick.

“Beth, I don’t know what he’s talking about.” I said honestly. She shook her head.

“Tay, don’t talk to me right now.” She said, starting to walk away. I glared at Jaime. What was his problem? I went to Beth’s side and tried to get her hand in mine. She jerked her hand away and as quickly as she pulled it from my reach, it came up and slapped my cheek.

Frozen, I stood there. I couldn’t believe that she had just slapped me. I felt my eyes grow wide and I could tell that my cheeks became red. Talk about embarrassment.

“Taylor, do not talk to me right now.” She warned, then stormed away. The slap didn’t really hurt, it had just startled me. Needless to say, it attracted a crowd and everyone was watching. I quickly walked to homeroom and as I took off, the whispering began.

* * * * *

I saw Beth walking quickly down the hall. She looked really mad about something. When she saw me, tears spilled over her eyes. I took her into my arms and embraced her. Her shoulders shook as she let out a small sob, then she looked up at me.

“Can we talk?” she asked, hope filling her eyes. ‘Can we talk?’? What kind of question was that? Of course we could talk!

“Let’s go to the library.” I said, leading her to the library. She held onto my arm the whole time and never let go until we sat down at a table. “What’s wrong?”

“Does Taylor like me or not?” she asked. The question sorta came out or nowhere and to be truthful, it kind of disappointed me. I knew the answer to it, but I couldn’t answer her completely.

“Why? I mean, after last night, why would you have doubts of him liking you?” I asked her instead. I needed to know what happened to make her feel uncertain.

“Ike, I just need to know. Please don’t do this to me.” She said. Her hand was over mine, resting on the table top. It felt so good to know that she needed me.

“No, he doesn’t like you,” I said. Her eyes teared up again and then I knew that I had to continue as soon as I could. “He loves you.”

“He does?” she questioned.

“As much as I wish he didn’t, yes, he does.” I said, then actually realized what I had just said. Oops. Her eyes smiled, though.

“He loves me?” she questioned again. Whew, I thought, she didn’t pick up on what I had just said. I smiled and nodded. “Did he say anything about ‘getting me back’ or something like that?”

“Well, he did mention something about wanting to get back together with you, but not ‘getting you back’. Why?”

“Because some kid came up to us in the hallway and said ‘Looks like you snagged her just like you said you would.’ And it made me pretty upset.” Beth said. That didn’t sound like something Taylor would say. Not about Beth. He cared too much about her to say something so cruel.

“Tay never said that. He would never have said something like that.” I assured her. She lifted her hand from mine and then looked up into my eyes. I thought that I was going to melt right then and there. Her eyes were so beautiful and it made me a little envious of Taylor. He had her. It wasn’t fair, but I accepted it. Hell, I wasn’t a little bit envious of Taylor, I was really envious.

“Thanks, Ike.” She said, then stood up.

“Sure, anytime.” I replied. She smiled again, then placed her hand on my shoulder, leaned over and her lips touched my cheek, resting there longer than a quick friendly kiss on the cheek should have lasted.

“Thanks again.” She said, then walked from the library, leaving me alone in my own thoughts, fantasies, and daydreams.

Chapter 9
Chapter 11