Crush, p.16
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       Crush, p.16

           Lacey Weatherford

  Chapter Thirteen


  He kissed her! Kissed her! That made me want to rearrange his face. Feelings of possessiveness welled up, causing a great amount of anger to roll through me, though I didn’t really have time to analyze.

  Cool it, man, the sane, rational voice in my head instructed. I tried tapping into that inner place I went when I needed to calm down. I lifted the camera and zoomed in again, snapping a few more pictures of Clay as he stood and kicked the giant mat when Cami ran away. He reached into his pocket, pulled something out, and paused, looking at it. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I took another shot hoping I could catch it.

  He was certainly exhibiting signs of repressed anger. It scared me a little, wondering if the cracks were starting to show in his carefully maintained demeanor. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions—things really could be exactly as they appeared—but I thought maybe I should keep a better eye on him. I didn’t want him hurting Cami in any way.

  I struggled with the idea of rushing to check on her as she came barreling by my hiding spot. I started reaching for her but then changed my mind when I heard her sobs. She was obviously upset, and I didn’t think she needed me mixing up her feelings even more. She could probably use a few moments to compose herself.

  Watching her, I waited until she was safely deposited in the bathroom just inside the back glass doors of the main building before I made my way over to the exterior entrance to the photo lab. The bell was about to ring, and most of the students were back gathering up their belongings. I took my camera and slipped into the dark room, hoping no one would notice. I made sure there were four bins set up with the different developing chemicals, and I locked the door, activating the red light.

  Pulling out my film, I set to work, knowing it would take time to develop and enlarge the images I was interested in. I kept a nervous watch on both the timer and the clock on the wall, worried about being interrupted. I maneuvered my way through the process, carefully doing a strip test to see how long to expose my images.

  There was a knock on the door. “Is someone in there?” Mr. Adams voice spoke.

  I cringed, glancing up through the red haze toward the clock. I’d been locked in here for almost two hours. “Yeah, it’s me, Hunter. I used all my film and wanted to see some of my images. I thought the darkroom was open until five.”

  I had several photos hanging, and from what I could see so far, there were some good captures. The ones of Cami immediately caught my eye. Even in black and white she was beautiful.

  “It is. I had a faculty meeting after class and didn’t realize anyone was still in here until I saw the Do Not Enter sign was lit. Just be sure to clean up and close everything when you’re done.”

  “Will do,” I replied as I continued to hurry about stringing pictures on the dry line. When I was finished I straightened the room, following the instruction sheet on the wall. I was almost done when there was another knock at the door.

  “Just a sec,” I called as I quickly pulled the pictures down and placed the ones I’d taken of Cami and Clay upside down in a pile on the worktable. I put a few of Cami, along with some of the track, facing up and unlocked the door so Mr. Adams could come in.

  “There you are.”

  I was shocked to see Cami standing there. She stepped inside hugging her binder, and the door closed behind her.

  “What are you doing here?” I asked. The red light made her hair look like it was glowing.

  “Well, I was waiting for you. Your car was still in the parking lot.”

  I looked at her, confused.

  “I usually catch a ride with Clay, and . . .” she added, shifting uncomfortably.

  She’d needed a ride home and I’d ditched her. I felt horrible.

  “Oh, man. I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you’d need a ride or I would’ve been right there. I didn’t have anything pressing after school so I stayed to develop my images.”

  “I kind of figured that when I saw your books were still on your desk. I sat at the tables outside and did homework while I was waiting.” She turned toward the stack of pictures. “How’d they turn out?” She sat her binder down on the counter and reached for them.

  I felt my pulse kick into overdrive. I didn’t want her to see I’d been spying on her private moment with Clay. It would creep her out.

  “Some aren’t that grand, but I especially like the ones of you. They’re gorgeous—like I knew they would be.”

  She lifted one and studied it with a small smile before reaching for the next one in the pile. “These are really good, Hunter. You’re quite the photographer.”

  I held still, my heart racing, knowing if she continued far enough she’d see what I’d been doing. I would totally come off as the jealous boyfriend—something I didn’t want at all. She made her way through until she reached the images that were facing down.

  “Those are the bad ones,” I said, moving to stop her. “I’m just going to put them in the shredder.”

  “Don’t do that.” She placed her hand over mine, stilling me. “Let me see them first. All the others were so good.”

  I was desperate, racking my brain for a way to distract her from continuing. “Cami . . . ,” I let my voice trail off, and she glanced up at me expectantly.


  I closed my eyes for a second. “Forgive me,” I whispered when I looked at her again. I grabbed her cheeks and pressed my lips to hers.

  Sparks exploded at the simple contact between us, and I found myself sliding my hands down to her shoulders so I could pull her closer. I wrapped both of my arms around her back and pressed against her, walking slowly forward until she was pinned against the door. Her fingers move upward, locking around behind my neck. She opened her mouth, allowing me access, and I happily invaded, licking and tasting what she offered. It was heaven.

  She made a soft moaning sound in the back of her throat—or maybe it was me—I wasn’t sure anymore as her hands made their way up into my hair, digging in as she kept me pulled tightly to her. My palms moved lower, cupping her bottom and lifting so she could wrap her legs around me. She did so as if she’d done it a thousand times before, and I moved to trail kisses across her face and down her neck.

  She tossed her head back, arching. “Finally,” she breathed out as her hands traveled over me.

  Seventeen! the warning voice shouted in my head, and I leaned away so quickly I almost dropped her.

  “What is it?” she asked, panting, hanging onto my shoulders.

  I can’t do this, I thought. “We’re moving too fast,” I said instead, not wanting to make her feel bad.

  She looked hurt anyway, staring into my eyes for several seconds before she released her legs from around my waist, and I helped set her upright again. We both stood there—each watching the other—not knowing what to say. She finally broke the awkward silence surrounding us.

  “I’m sorry if I’m doing something that’s upsetting you, but I liked kissing you. I don’t think it’s too fast. Well . . . , I mean . . . that was a pretty hot kiss, so yeah, I can see where you might construe that as moving fast. But still . . . I liked it . . . and if that’s how we feel then that’s how we feel, right?” She blinked. “I mean unless that’s not how you really feel. Is it?”

  She was rambling, and I couldn’t help myself. I started laughing. “I have no idea what you just said.” I couldn’t stop looking at her mouth. It was a little swollen, and I wanted to kiss her again and again, over and over until she couldn’t breathe properly anymore. My libido had kicked into overdrive, and I wasn’t having any problem imagining all the things I’d like to do.

  “Do you want to kiss me?” she asked plainly.

  “Yes,” I replied with an exasperated sigh. “Too much, in fact. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

  “You just keep kissing me like that, and let me decide how much is too much.” Her fingers were against my mouth, tracing my lip
s. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to kiss these.”

  “While I’m happy to know you dream of kissing me as much as I do of you, I think we should probably try to keep things a little more cool between us.”

  She rolled her eyes, clearly balking at the idea. “Why?”

  I shrugged. “Just trying to keep things a bit safer. If that was our first kiss where do we go from here?”

  “Let’s find out.” She leaned forward, pulling my mouth back down to hers and pressing her lips to mine once more.

  I was helpless to resist her—like a fly caught in her seductive web. The more I struggled the more tangled I became. I quit battling and gave in, succumbing to all she wanted. I kissed her hard, aggressively, too aggressively, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t get enough. She tasted so good, and I loved the way she clung to me with desperation. I knew she felt the same.

  There was a knock on the door, and we broke apart, both of us breathing heavily.

  “You about done in there, Hunter?” Mr. Adams voice asked.

  Cami grabbed up her books. “Meet you at your car.”

  I nodded and watched her sneak through the exterior door.

  “Yeah, I’m done,” I answered, taking a deep cleansing breath as I tried to calm my raging, hormonal body. I gathered up my things, and headed into the classroom. “Sorry I took so long.” I went to my desk, carefully slipping the images I didn’t want anyone to see into my binder, and set the others to the side while I zipped it up.

  “Let’s see how your pictures turned out,” Mr. Adams said, coming over and picking them up. He flipped through them casually, smiling before handing them back. “They look good, though you may want to take less pictures of Cami next time.”

  I nodded. “Yeah, I got a little carried away.”

  He smiled and patted me on the shoulder. “She’s a pretty girl. I’m sure that’s easy to do.”

  I cleared my throat nervously. “I better get going. My uncle is going to start wondering where I am.” I grabbed the items off my desk. “See you later, Mr. Adams.”

  “Goodnight, Hunter.”

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