Read Fall From Love Online

Authors: Heather London

Tags: #Contemporary romance

Fall From Love (24 page)

There is one thing
that I am sure of, my heart aches when we are apart and it doesn’t stop aching
until I see him again. So many emotions flood my mind and I find it hard to
keep the tears locked inside. The entire drive home, even the entire way up the
stairs to my apartment, I have done a great job of fighting them off.

“Hey, where have
you been all day?” Jenna asks, turning her head in my direction when I shut the
door. She’s lying on the couch with a textbook propped up against her knees.

“I was with
Carter.” My voice cracks when I say his name.

She closes the
textbook and sits up to face me. “Oh?”

Curiosity is
written all over her face as I set my purse on the counter and wait for the
questions to start. I’m trying to be strong. I’m trying not to let the tears
fall. I’m trying to tell myself that I don’t really want to feel like this
again and that it’s better to just shut my feelings off.

Jenna’s off the
couch and beside me now, her eyes are cautious as she looks over my features.
“Holly, what’s wrong?

I don’t say
anything, but the tears begin to fall and I know there’s no holding them back

“Did he hurt you?
I’ll kill him if he hurt you.” Her tone is serious.

I cry harder,
grabbing her and pulling her close.

“Hey, hey, hey…
it’s alright. Whatever it is, it’ll be okay. I’m here.”

I shake my head.
“It won’t be… it’s not okay.”

“Come on, let’s sit
down and you can tell me.”

When we get to the
couch, I collapse down onto it and bury my head in my hands as she wraps her
arms around me.

“C’mon, tell me
what happened.” Her voice is soft and soothing, almost motherly.

Through my tears, I
explain to Jenna how I had gone over to Carter’s this morning to make him
breakfast. I tell her about the whole misunderstanding with Kelly, the great
day we spent together, and, finally, about how I told Carter how I feel… or
tried to tell him how I feel. I tell her how Carter has been really sweet and
always knows just what to say. I tell her how he makes me feel things that I
never thought I’d feel again.

“Holly, all of that
sounds great. Did something else happen? You’re confusing the shit outta me.”

“That’s the
problem,” I say, my throat feeling thick. “Nothing happened!” I cry out through
my tears. “I like being around him, I miss him when he’s gone. I like him,

“And all of this...
it’s a bad thing, right?” she asks, her tone guarded.

“Yes!” I blurt out,
looking at her.

“Oh.” Her features
soften. “I get it... I think? You don’t want to like him?”

“No! I don’t think
so! I don’t know! I’m so confused.” I raise my hands up in the air and let them
fall back into my lap. “How he reacted tonight, I don’t think he feels the same
as me and I may have just ruined everything! Then I can’t help having all these
other feelings. Feelings like maybe it’s too soon. Maybe I shouldn’t be feeling
like this about someone,” I finish my outburst and bury my head back in my

“Hon, you can’t run
from love for the rest of your life. Your heart will tell you when it’s ready
to move on. Don’t fight it so much.”

“I just didn’t
expect it to be him.” I choke back the tears. “I’m a stupid, stupid girl.”

“Hey, we can’t
choose who we love, Holls. The heart wants what it wants.”

There’s a long
silence between us.

“So what do you
think you’re going to do?” she asks.

I shake my head. “I
don’t know. I feel like an idiot. The way he looked at me, I’m not sure he has
the same feelings I do.”

She pulls away and
looks me in the eyes. “Seriously, are you that clueless? The guy is...” her
voice trails off. “It’s not my place to say, but I think you need to talk to
him and tell him exactly how you feel.”

“I tried to
tonight, it just came out wrong.”

“Maybe this break
next week will be a good thing, then. It will give you some time to think about
what you want,” she says, giving me a smile.

I nod. “Yeah,

“Will you be okay?”

Laughing, I wipe
away my tears.

“What’s so funny?”
she asks, looking confused.

“I was just getting
used to you not asking me that all the time.”

She smiles again.
“I’ll try to keep it to ten times a day or less over Thanksgiving break.”

“I’m going to take
a hot shower,” I say, taking a deep breath in, feeling a heaviness in my chest.

After taking a few
steps, I stop and turn around to face her. “Thanks, Jenna. I don’t know what
I’d do without you.”

She sighs and falls
back onto the couch. “I am pretty badass, aren’t I?”



I’ve been standing
in the shower so long now that the hot water knob is the only one turned on and
lukewarm water is barely coming out of it. Shutting off the water, I tear back
the shower curtain and reach for my towel. The hot water helped relax me, but
it can’t help take away the emptiness that is still in my chest. I’m not sure
anything can help that right now.

As I’m clearing off
an area on the foggy mirror, there’s a soft knock at the door. Without even
opening the door, I know it’s just Jenna and she’s just checking on me.

“I’m almost done,”
I call out.

“Holly, can you
open up the door for a sec?” Jenna asks, her voice guarded.

Grabbing my robe, I
wrap it around myself and pull the door open a crack. “What?” I can now see
that her strained voice matches an even more worrisome expression. “What is
it?” I ask again, feeling my heart pick up speed.

“Carter’s here.”

My stomach drops
and my throat feels tight. “Shit,” I breathe.

“Do you want me to
ask him to leave?”

“No,” I blurt out a
little too quickly and maybe with a little too much enthusiasm. “Just tell him
I’ll be a minute.”

She nods and I shut
the door. My mind is so distracted and nervous that I don’t even know what to
do first.
Clothes, Holly. Clothes would be good

When I see the
coast is clear I run back to my room and throw on a black and gold CU
sweatshirt that is lying on my bed and pull on a pair of jeans. As I’m
buttoning my jeans, I get a quick glance in the mirror and can see that my eyes
are still red and puffy from crying. I blink hard, wondering if I should put on
some makeup, yet I know that nothing is going to hide it, especially nothing in
the next minute or so. Pulling my hair up into a tight bun on the top of my
head, I slip my feet into a pair of flip flops. My movements get quicker when I
realize that he and Jenna are probably out there talking, right now, at this
very moment. I’d rather leave a hungry bear alone with him right now than
Jenna. I hurry out the door, not caring too much what I look like anymore.

When I enter the
living room, I see Jenna sitting on the couch, flipping through channels.

“Jenna, where is
he?” I ask looking around.

“He said that he
wanted to wait outside.” She shrugs and meets my eyes.

“What? Jenna, it’s
freezing outside!”

“Yeah, that’s what
I told him.”

Rolling my eyes, I
turn on my heels and head for the door, feeling awful that he has been out
there this whole time. When I look to my right, I see him standing at the end
of the breezeway, bouncing up and down, trying to keep warm. His hands are
stuffed in his jean’s pockets and his back is turned towards me. For a moment,
I stand there and watch him, enjoying the warm, fuzzy feeling that’s swirling
around inside me. It’s one of those times where I wish I could capture the
moment and bottle it forever. My feelings and emotions have been all over the
place the past few weeks. There is a small part of me that doesn’t want to care
for Carter the way I do because I know the risk of caring for someone. However,
this feeling is also very special to me because it wasn’t long ago that I
accepted that I would never feel like this again.

“Hey,” I say. He
turns around and gives me a small grin. His expression has made a complete
change from just a few hours ago when we said goodbye. My insides clench as he
begins to walk towards me. His nose is bright red from the cold and, when he
exhales, a trail of steam follows.

“Hi.” He shivers,
stopping just a few feet from me.

“You must be
freezing. Why don’t you come inside?” I offer.

“I’m fine, but your
hair is wet. Are you cold?”

I’m not sure if
it’s the nerves buzzing around inside me or what, but at the moment, I’m not cold
at all. “I’m okay for now.”

“Sorry to just show
up like this. I just didn’t like the way we ended things earlier.” He squints
and his eyes search my face. “Are you okay?”

“You could’ve just
called,” I say, not answering his question.

His eyes hold mine,
unwavering. “No, we won’t see each other next week and there are a few things I
want to say to you, and I want to say them in person.” He sniffs and takes a
couple steps closer until we’re only inches apart. I can’t take my eyes off him
and the closer I look, I could swear that he looks like he’s been crying, too.

“What you said
earlier today, I know what you meant, I mean, I know what you were trying to
say at least. I feel the same way.” He pinches the space between his eyes,
looking frustrated with himself. “It’s just, I’ve been telling myself that I
shouldn’t feel like this about you. When we first started hanging out, I just
wanted us to be friends. I wanted you to look at me without all the pain in
your eyes. I wanted to see you smile. I wanted to hear you laugh. I didn’t want
anything more than that.” He turns around and walks a few steps away from me.
“But, dammit, I’m having all these other feelings now. It’s not something I
expected, I don’t know what to do about them, and it’s scaring the shit outta

He glances at me
and I don’t miss the way his eyes scan over my lips before they finally meet my
gaze. I swallow hard and can feel my chest rising and falling in quick
movements. “When I said all of this in my head on the way over, it sounded so
much better.” He sucks on his bottom lip, almost as if he’s hesitating on
whether or not he should continue.

I’m about to open
my mouth, to say something to break the silence, but he begins again and I find
myself holding my breath. “What I’m trying to say is that I’m not sure if we
should cross this line because, if we do and for some reason it doesn’t work
out, I’m not sure we can go back to the way we are now.” He stops talking and I
remind myself to breathe, hoping I’m strong enough to hold the tears inside
until I’m back inside the apartment.

He takes a couple
steps towards me and I back up until I hit the wall. When I realize there’s
nowhere else to go, I feel the tears building inside me and I’m not sure how
much longer I’ll be able to hang on. He raises his right hand and wraps his
fingers around the side of my neck, using his thumb to caress my cheek. I’m
tempted to close my eyes, lean my head back, and enjoy his touch, but I don’t.

“If I ask you
something, will you be honest with me?” he asks, searching my eyes.

I nod my head

“Have you been
crying?” His eyebrows knit as he scans my face.

Against my better
judgment, I nod again.

His jaw clenches
and the grip he has on my neck tightens. It doesn’t hurt, but the pressure
causes the ache in my chest to worsen. It’s taking everything I have inside me
not to kiss him right now.

“I’m not trying to
hurt you, Holly. I’m trying to protect you. Please don’t misunderstand me. I
want you. I want to be with you. I’m just not sure if I should.”

I nod again because
I’m not sure what to say in return. There’s also the fear that if I open my
mouth to speak, tears will soon follow.

“But damn if it’s
not killing me not to kiss you right now.” He glances at my lips and then his
head falls forward, landing next to my cheek. I can feel his warm breath down
my neck and I nearly break apart right then. My head falls back and I close my
eyes, trying to force out the anxiety, the fear, and the desire... all the
emotions that are swimming around inside me.

“Kiss me,” I whisper,
surprised to hear those words escape my lips. All of my defenses are down and
I’m just not strong enough to resist him anymore. I want him. I want all of

Pulling back, he
looks at me with a torn expression, like he’s fighting an internal struggle within
himself. Without hesitation, I lean in and softly press my lips to his. His
lips are warm and soft, I can feel the resistance in them. Finally, giving in,
he kisses me back with so much force that my whole body is pushed back, pressed
firmly against the wall. One of his hands grips tighter around my neck while
the other hand travels up to my waist and then around to my lower back,
pressing my whole body against him. The sudden closeness causes the smallest
whimper to escape me and I know that there’s no turning back now. The line has
been crossed.

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