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Missing Moments

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“This is getting creepy, Samuel.”

Carla had been avoiding him all day. His eyes had pierced through her as she walked, talked, played with her phone. And she had tried, she’d really tried not to meet his eyes. She knew it was dangerous. And sure enough, once she’d locked eyes with him, it was done, he followed her inside an empty classroom. She just wanted to be alone.

He ignored her remark, coming to a stop behind her. “What happened yesterday?”

"What do you mean?” she asked, staring at his reflection in the window.

“Carla.”

She smirked, “Samuel.”

He sighed, “You agreed to meet me after school.”

“Did I?”

“You were standing right there, and then you left. What was that?”

He wasn’t going to let it it go, she was going to have to make him, “Oh, right. I had somewhere better to be.”

“Don’t lie to me.” he took a step closer.

“I’m not.”

“Whether you like it or not, I know you, Carla. Just tell me, what’s going on?” another step closer.

She whirled around to face him, crossing her arms, “I’m not lying, Samuel. You just can’t accept the truth.”

“What truth?”

“That this,” she said, gesturing between them, “was a game. A game you played surprisingly well. Time to move on.”

“I said I was sorry, I didn’t want to put you in that position. But I had no choice.”

“No choice?”

“Yes. It was the right thing to do.”

“You could’ve told me,”

“We both know you wouldn’t have agreed to confess,”

“So you manipulate me into doing it?”

“Do you really wanna talk to me about manipulation, Carla? ‘Cause, you won’t hold the moral high ground.”

She let out a mirthless chuckle, “I guess you’re right. Though, I don’t think I was ever that manipulative, or that cruel to you.”

“I wasn’t - ”

“I thought you were dead!”

He flinched at her tone, and then his whole demeanor softened at the pain he could probably see all over her face.

“I know. I’m so sorry. I didn’t - ”

“I’m over it,” she said, raising her chin, “as far as I’m concerned, we played, you won. It was nothing more. End of story.”

His next stride backed her into the glass, “Another lie.”

She tilted her head. “Is it?”

“It might have started as something else.” he paused, his eye blazing, “but we’ve stopped playing a long time ago, and you know it.”

He was way too close, she was starting to lose focus. The burn of his proximity was thrilling and terrifying. She wanted to kiss him so badly. She wanted to pull on his tie, bring him closer, and throw caution to the wind. But that was something she couldn’t afford to do. She could risk many things, but she wasn’t going to risk his life. She could still feel the panic that had risen and settled within her, when she’d thought her father had gotten to him. Never again.

“Samuel,” she started with a mocking voice, “you sound delusional.”

Carla’s hand tingled as she placed it on his chest to push him back. When he didn’t budge, she glared at him; before putting a bit more weight into her shove. He stumbled back a step as she moved around him, heading for the door.

She didn’t get far. He grabbed her wrist and wheeled her back around to face him, “Why are you fighting it?”

“Let go!” she scowled, trying to yank herself away.

“Carla.” his low voice cut through her, as he leaned his face impossibly closer to hers, “if you think I’m buying any of this, you’re the delusional one.”

She huffed as he released her, “Whatever, just leave me alone.”

“It’s your father, isn’t it?”

Her eyes flew to his, “What?”

“He doesn’t want me near you.”

“Obviously.” she rolled her eyes, trying to play it off, “he doesn’t necessarily like the guys I fuck.”

“He threatened you.”

She stiffened, “Samuel - ”

“What, He’s going to kill me if you let me come near you? Is that it?”

“He would never do that.”

He moved towards her, “Just like he didn’t do anything to Christian?”

“As I’ve told you before, he had nothing to do with that.” she wanted to throw up at the echo of her words, “he’s also not the reason why I want nothing to do with you,” she said coldly.

“Yes, he is.” he growled, “it’s always him. And he’s definitely the reason why you lied in court.”

She immediately felt her eyes well up with tears, and quickly looked away from him. She didn’t even want to think about that day.

“Carla - ”

“I’m done talking.” but before she could turn around to leave, his palms rose to her cheeks urgently, gripping her face; as his eyes frantically searched hers.

“But you’re safe, right?”

“I - ”

“He would never hurt you, right?”

“Carla?” he urged anxiously, when she didn’t answer right away.

"Yes,” she finally replied softly, trying to appease his worries, “of course, he wouldn’t hurt me.”

He closed his eyes, resting his forehead against hers. She really needed to get away, she wasn’t strong enough to be that close to him, “I don’t believe you.”

“I don’t care.”

“Carla.”

“I’m fine, Samuel.” she breathed. Physically, at least, she thought to herself.

“Good. Now let’s forget about all of it, okay? I just want to be with you.”

“Which makes you an idiot.” she smiled, her tone gentle and a bit sad.

His eyes opened slowly, half a grin on his kissable lips, “I tend to be one when it comes to you.”

“You should stay away from me, then,” she whispered, her eyes pleading with him.

“I can’t. I don’t want to,” he murmured huskily, his intense gaze dropping from hers, to stare at her lips, his sweet breath brushing over them enticingly.

No, no, no. She couldn’t handle it, if he kissed her.

She softly caught his hands, and slowly pulled them away from her face; before taking a step back, “You have to.”

She didn’t confirm his suspicion, but Samuel wasn’t stupid. He knew what her father would do if he didn’t get his way.

“We are nothing, Samuel. Get over it,” she said with disinterest, turning around briskly.

“Carla, please.”

Before he could do or say anything else, she was gone.