Fighting to be free, p.7
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       Fighting to Be Free, p.7
 

         Part #1 of Fighting to Be Free series by Kirsty Moseley

  … yeah, just … wow,” I stuttered. Yep, you’ve just made yourself look like a first-class prick. Jamie, you are so smooth it’s just unreal.

  She laughed and blushed, dropping her eyes to the ground. The red in her cheeks made her look even more beautiful. “Um, thanks, you look good, too.”

  I groaned internally again. I was wearing a plain gray T-shirt, and she looked like that. I was punching way above my weight here. My heart squeezed painfully.

  “Here’s your phone,” I muttered.

  “Thanks.”

  “I got you this, too.” I held out the rose, feeling like a complete clueless idiot.

  Her eyes widened. “You did? Thank you.” She looked back at me, smiling gratefully as she traced her fingers over the petals.

  Okay, I score one for that! She had the strangest-colored eyes I’d ever seen. They were a kind of gray but with a hint of blue around the iris, just indescribable and beautiful.

  “I hope you’re hungry,” I said lamely, nodding to the door of the restaurant.

  She grinned, nodding eagerly. “I’m starving. And I love Mexican.”

  “I remember,” I replied smugly, loving the appreciative glint in her eye because I’d remembered something she’d said in the dead of the night. I pulled the door open and motioned for her to go in first. I couldn’t help but discreetly look at her ass as she walked past.

  As we were shown to our table and ordered drinks with the waitress, I started to calm down; the nerves were easing off as I remembered last night and how easy she was to talk to.

  “You know what, I never asked what you did for a job,” Ellie said while we looked over the menus.

  Crap, now what? “Um…I work with cars. I’m currently fixing up cars for a junkyard, and then they sell them at auctions,” I lied. Well, it wasn’t a total lie—that was the plan, it just wasn’t definite yet.

  “You fix cars? That’s handy to know. When my grandfather died a couple of years ago he left me his car. It’s old and always breaking down, but it’s my baby.” She laughed. “I don’t use it that often. It’s easier to get cabs or the train.”

  “Lucky you have my number then, huh?” I was trying to flirt with her, but I wasn’t entirely sure if it was working; I wasn’t very good at it. “What about you? You’re a senior, I guess. You wanna go to college?”

  She nodded, shrugging nonchalantly. “Yeah, I’m a senior. I’m not sure what I want to do in college yet. I’ve never really had a specific thing I’m interested in. My mom is always hounding the crap out of me to pick a major, but I just don’t care. I think I’d rather go traveling.”

  I laughed at her answer. “Well, who wouldn’t rather go traveling than be in school?”

  The waitress came over then and took our order. As she walked off, Ellie smiled. “So, Jamie, favorite TV show?” she questioned.

  I racked my brains trying to think of something. There wasn’t exactly much choice in juvie. “I don’t watch much TV,” I admitted, shrugging. “What’s yours?”

  She pursed her lips, thinking. “Either Game of Thrones or Sons of Anarchy. You like either of those?”

  I shook my head. “I’ve read Game of Thrones but haven’t seen it. The series is great.” Juvie didn’t have much in the way of TV but there was a pretty kickass library.

  One of her eyebrows rose. “You like to read?” When I nodded in reply, she laughed, her eyes twinkling. “Hot guy reading. Nice. You know, there’s this whole movement on social media dedicated to hot guys reading. I might have to take a picture of you and add it,” she teased.

  I chuckled and shook my head. Social media. I barely even knew what that meant, let alone anything about a movement happening on there. We certainly lived in different worlds. “Whatever,” I mused, grinning. “Okay, to change the conversation from how hot I am,” I started cockily, “tell me one random thing about you that no one else knows.”

  Ellie sat back in her chair, absentmindedly stirring her drink with her straw. After a full minute of thinking, she answered. “I used to love stargazing. My dad bought me a telescope for my eighth birthday and we’d spend hours on end outside trying to find constellations.”

  “Oh, so you’re a nerd?” I joked, laughing as she dipped her finger in her drink and flicked a droplet of lemonade at me. “Sexy nerd, though,” I added as we both laughed.

  The arrival of our food meant we had to stop fooling around for a while, but we talked easily through the rest of dinner about places we wanted to go and why, books, and our favorite things. It was probably the easiest conversation I’d ever had in my life. I found myself acting normal around her, being me without the tough act I usually put on. Whenever the conversation turned to my past, I would deflect it to something else. I didn’t want her asking about my past, where I lived, or my family. I didn’t want to lie to her like I did to everyone else.

  “It’s only nine thirty, you want to catch a movie or something?” I suggested after we’d finished eating.

  “Uh, yeah, sure.”

  I grinned and pulled out money to pay for dinner.

  “I can pay,” she protested, picking up her purse.

  “I got it.” I took her hand and led her away from the table, grabbing my jacket from the coat rack on the way past. As we stepped outside, I put it around her shoulders and discreetly left my arm there, too. She didn’t protest at my lame move, so I grinned proudly as I led her to the movie theater.

  The only thing due to start within the next hour was some crappy-sounding movie about a singer who lived in a trailer park, trying to make it big. When we went in we were literally the only ones in there.

  After about ten minutes of the awful movie, I was totally bored, so I started making little jokes about the characters, which made her laugh. In the end, we gave up on watching it and started talking some more.

  “How come you split up with your boyfriend?” I asked, taking her hand, hoping she wouldn’t mind.

  She smiled, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. “I don’t know, he was kind of possessive. He didn’t like me talking to other guys—not that I ever would have cheated on him or anything, but he just didn’t trust me. It all got to be too much.”

  “When did you break up with him?”

  “Friday night.” She looked down at our hands as I played with her fingers.

  I winced at the revelation. I’d slept with her on Saturday; no wonder it was too soon for her. “So you’re definitely not looking to start anything right now then?” I asked, mentally crossing my fingers and hoping she would say she wasn’t opposed to the idea of a relationship.

  She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “I just want to be on my own for a while, be my own person without having to worry about being part of a couple. I haven’t really had that before. I got with Miles when I was fifteen, and that was it,” she explained, shrugging.

  Okay, well that was an “I’m not interested, so please don’t ask me out again, Jamie.” I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. This girl truly was awesome.

  I nodded and changed the subject to her friends; she was obviously uncomfortable talking about this Miles guy.

  She was currently telling me about her friend Stacey, who Ellie thought was beautiful, and who modeled part-time. “Yeah, I would kill to look like her,” she said enviously.

  “Are you kidding? Why the hell would you want to look any different? You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.” I shook my head at her absurdity.

  “Again with the corny lines?” she teased, blushing.

  “It’s not a line, Ellie.”

  She moved in her seat and gently pressed her lips to mine. The kiss was sweet, soft, and just incredible. When she pulled away, I kissed her again, not wanting it to end. Her arms looped around my neck, pulling me closer to her as she kissed me back hungrily. This kiss wasn’t sweet like the last one, it was hot and heavy. I loved it.

  Needing to feel her body on mine, I pulled her onto my lap, kissing her desperately, savori
ng every last second in case I never got to kiss her again.

  Seemingly out of nowhere, someone cleared their throat loudly. I pulled away from her quickly, opening my eyes and looking over her shoulder. An usher was shining a flashlight at us, frowning disapprovingly. Ellie buried her face in the side of my neck, so I put my hand on the back of her head, trying to hide her.

  “Sorry. We’re done,” I said, grinning at the guy, who was shaking his head at us. Ellie quickly moved off my lap and back into her own seat, still looking the other way from the usher, and I couldn’t stop laughing at her red, embarrassed face.

  “Wanna go?” she whispered uncomfortably.

  “Yeah, sure,” I agreed, trying not to laugh again. She was so embarrassed that even her ears were a pale shade of pink, but it just made it all the more funny to me. Immediately, she stood up and headed down the aisle, stopping at the end to wait for me. When I caught up to her, I slipped my arm around her waist, and she hid her face against my shoulder as we walked out of the theater.

  It wasn’t until we stepped into the bright lights of the foyer that she finally raised her eyes from the floor. “Ugh, that was so embarrassing!” she grumbled, looking over my shoulder tentatively.

  “It’s okay, come on, it’s funny. We were only making out,” I replied, still chuckling to myself.

  She slapped my chest, shaking her head disapprovingly, but a smile played at the edge of her lips. “You think that’s funny?” she teased. I nodded. Suddenly her hand closed over mine tightly and she pulled me into the ladies’ bathroom. “Let’s see how funny you find it when you get caught in here.” She leaned against the door, smirking at me.

  “Hm, you know, maybe for our second date we could get caught making out in the park or something?” I suggested rather hopefully.

  She stiffened. “Jamie, I can’t, I’m sorry. You really are a great guy, but I just really want the freedom of being on my own for a while.” Her apologetic look made my heart sink.

  “Right, yeah, of course. I mean, you said earlier, and that’s fine, it was just a thought,” I said, quickly backtracking. I stepped closer to her and her breath caught in her throat; her eyes sparkled with excitement, making my breath catch, too.

  She cocked her head to the side as she seemed to be thinking about something for a couple of seconds before she spoke. “Jamie, I don’t want a relationship right now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want you,” she purred, her voice all sexy and husky, making me hard in an instant.

  “What does that mean?” I asked, needing her to spell it out. I wasn’t confident enough to make the first move in case I got shot down again.

  She grinned and slowly licked her full bottom lip. “We could be friends who have fun together occasionally, like, friends with … benefits,” she suggested, raising an eyebrow at me.

  “I like the sound of the benefits,” I admitted. There was no way I was passing up this opportunity; this girl was too incredible to say no to. I’d definitely take what I could get.

  “I bet you do.” She looked me over hungrily, biting her lip.

  How the hell can she look at me like that, knowing what my body looks like? I wondered. But this was no time to question the how or why; she’d just given me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.

  I grinned and kissed her, pushing her against the wall lightly, running my hands down her body until I got to her ass, just marveling over her perfection. As the kiss deepened and turned into something passionate and animalistic, I lifted her off her feet. Her legs wrapped around my waist, clamping her to me tightly. I smiled against her lips and pressed her harder against the wall so I could free one of my hands to touch her. She pulled out of the kiss and started kissing my neck. As she tilted her head to the other side, it collided with the door frame.

  “Ow!” she hissed, rubbing her head.

  “Shit, you okay?”

  She nodded and started giggling before pulling my mouth back to hers. I kissed her hungrily as I gripped her top and started to pull it off. But due to the limited space of the girls’ bathroom, my elbow banged against the condom machine that was mounted on the wall, making a loud clang echo in the empty room.

  She burst out laughing and shook her head. “This really isn’t working.”

  I grinned. “No, it’s not,” I admitted, pushing her hair away from her face gently. “Want to stay at my place again tonight?” I would love to wake up with her again.

  She looked a little torn. “I have school tomorrow.”

  I couldn’t help but feel excited because she looked disappointed when she spoke, like she actually did want to stay with me but couldn’t.

  “That wasn’t a no,” I teased, dipping my head and kissing her neck. I slid my hand back down to her ass, moving her hips so we rubbed together intimately.

  She let out a breathy little moan as her eyes locked on mine. I could see the want there. “You’ll drive me to school in the morning?”

  “Yep,” I murmured, leaning in farther, pressing my lips to her neck and sucking gently, giving her a hickey. I wanted to leave my mark on her creamy skin; if this was the last time we did this, I wanted her to be reminded of me and how good it was. I wanted to leave her thinking about me, and no matter how much she said she didn’t want to date me, I wanted it to be impossible for her to forget.

  She moaned, her fingers digging into my shoulders. “Okay,” she agreed. My insides clenched with excitement. “Come on then, stud, before the anticipation kills me.” She unwrapped one of her legs from my waist. I kissed her lightly before quickly pumping the condom machine with all the change I had. She giggled and pressed her face into my back, her hands gripping my hips, obviously embarrassed again.

  I held her hand as we walked to my truck; it was pretty cold so I wrapped my jacket around her shoulders again. She smiled at me gratefully as she called her friend to ask her to take her books and stuff to school for her in the morning.

  * * *

  When we pulled up outside my building, I checked everywhere for danger before opening her door. There was no one around tonight, not even the prostitutes who usually hung around out front.

  When we got upstairs to my door, Ellie’s arms slinked around my waist, pulling me closer to her, pressing her exquisite body against mine. I bent my head and kissed her, slipping my hands down to her hips as I lifted her and pressed her against the wall. Her long legs instantly wrapped around my waist, squeezing her to me tighter.

  Lust was taking over, a primal urge creeping over me, making my muscles tighten and my dick ache, but I was acutely conscious that we were still standing in the crappy little hallway, and it wasn’t really safe for her to be here. I knew I’d be able to protect her, but I didn’t want her to have to witness that, so I reached to slip my key into the lock. I was so turned on already it was unreal. But as my hand brushed against the door, it creaked open a tiny bit. Frowning and confused because I’d definitely remembered locking it on my way out, I palmed the door and pushed it open, stepping over the threshold. I stopped and my eyes widened in shock. My stuff was everywhere, my clothes strewn all over the floor, the furniture upturned. Someone had broken into my room.

  Ellie kissed back up to my mouth, but I needed to make sure no one was still in here. “Get down, now!” I ordered, supporting her weight with one arm while I unclamped her legs from my waist with the other.

  “Huh?”

  Grabbing her hand, I forced her behind me as I looked over the mess. I pushed her gently against the wall and strode over to my little bathroom to make sure whoever had been in my room had definitely left.

  My eyes fell on the toilet tank, noticing the lid wasn’t sitting properly. Oh shit, please don’t have taken my money!

  “Oh God, what happened? Have you been robbed?” Ellie asked breathlessly, obviously taking in the room for the first time. I didn’t answer; instead, I headed straight to the toilet and lifted the lid of the cistern. There was nothing in there. The little plastic bag that I had put all of my mone
y into was gone. “I’ll call the police,” Ellie said quickly.

  I shook my head. The police couldn’t come here, I’d probably get killed by someone in the building for bringing them. “No, Ellie, it’s fine. Nothing’s been taken; it’s just a mess, that’s all. I don’t need the police to come,” I replied quickly. My shoulders slumped in defeat. I had nothing now. There was twenty-five bucks and about forty cents in my pocket, and I was due to pay the next week’s rent in two days.

  “How do you know nothing’s been taken?” Ellie asked.

  I walked back into the bedroom; she was still pressed against the wall where I’d left her, her eyes wide and fearful.

  “I don’t have anything worth taking. All I have is clothes, and those are all over the floor.” I shrugged, trying not to show her I was totally screwed. Come Tuesday morning, when I didn’t have the rent money, I wouldn’t even have this crappy little roof over my head. Now that was a depressing thought.

  “Nothing’s gone?” she asked, looking around slowly as if she could see something missing.

  I shook my head and took her hand. “Come on, I’ll drive you to Stacey’s.” I gave her a little tug toward the door. It obviously wasn’t safe here, and I didn’t want her anywhere near trouble.

  She pulled her hand out of mine, frowning. “What? Don’t be stupid.” She bent down, scooping up an armful of my clothes off the floor and throwing them on the bed.

  I watched her, confused by her actions. “Ellie, come on, I’ll drive you to your friend’s place. I don’t want you here if it’s not safe.”

 
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