Being this close to him makes my skin burn with anticipation. The thought of his hands on me again is driving me mad and it takes everything I have to push the thoughts away, because I don’t want them. He does dangerous things to me, and I can’t continue on like this.
“There are times when I wish I could shut you up forever.” I walk to the kitchen and shove the tequila back in the freezer.
“You mean there isn’t a spell for that?” He leans against the frame of the door.
I turn my head and give him a dirty look. “If there was one that would work, I would’ve used it already.”
As I walk past him he doesn’t move, but turns and continues to look at me. That’s when I smell the sweetness mixed with his cologne.
“When did you start wearing women’s perfume?” My tone is accusing, but I already know the answer.
His eyes shift slightly, immediately giving him away. Realization sets in to what Travis was doing tonight and my mind creates a repulsive picture.
“God, you’re disgusting. Have some damn self-control.” The moment those words spill out, I eat my words. Self-control, Viola. Must stay away from Travis King and his royal cock.
He doesn’t respond. Shrugging his shoulders, he walks the other way. As much as I fight it, I can’t stop the pang of jealousy that shoots through me, followed by anger. I remember why I’ve hated him for so long. He’s the king of all douches, a manwhore and a one-upper. And I’m still the girl with a stupid crush.
Monday morning is proving to be more of a bitch than I anticipated. I work out and go straight from the gym to work, so there’s no opportunity of running into Viola. I turn the radio off and drive in silence. My mind is running a million miles an hour, thinking of when we were kids and the first time Viola asked me about boys. We were sitting in our spot on her rooftop when she brought the subject up. It was sweet, the way she glanced up at me, acting shy and embarrassed as she asked me how to tell if a boy liked her. The wind blew her hair around her face, and I was surprised she had worn her hair down. I watched as she tucked strands behind her ears as she fidgeted.
“Guys are simple creatures,” I explained, although I hadn’t much experience myself. The only girl I cared about spending time with was her, but I could never tell her that. “They will find any opportunity to be near a girl they like, even if no one else approves. He’ll just enjoy being around you.”
“I kind of expected you to tell me they’ll pull your hair and make fun of your clothes or something.” She laughed, her body finally relaxing. I loved her laughter and tried to make her laugh any chance I could.
“Well that depends. Are you crushing on a five year old?”
She threw her head back, exposing her neck, and let out the purest, rawest laugh I’ve ever heard. I wanted to bottle that up and lock it away only for me to hear it.
“No,” she finally managed to answer, wiping away tears of laughter from her cheeks.
Without thinking, I leaned in and caught one with my finger. She swallowed hard as I brushed my hand against her cheek.
“If a guy likes you, he won’t be afraid to tell you.” The moment the words came out, I regretted them. I wanted to tell her. I wanted her to know that whatever she was feeling, I was feeling too, but I was a fucking coward.
I didn’t know how to explain what I was feeling.
“Oh,” she replied, her eyes lowering, and I could see the disappointment in her features.
I was an idiot.
“So are you excited for your birthday?” I needed to change the subject.
She shrugged. I knew she didn’t have a lot of friends, so I wanted to do something to make her feel special.
Viola Fisher was special. To me at least.
I didn’t have a lot of money, but I managed to scrape enough from mowing lawns to buy her something. I thought about it for weeks, wanting to get her the perfect gift.
I couldn’t let Drew know, though, because then I definitely wouldn’t hear the end of it, so when I did finally pick out the perfect necklace for her, I wrapped it with some old wrapping paper I found in our attic and hid it under her pillow. Inside, I wrote a short note: When a guy likes you, he’ll make sure you know.
I knew I was crossing every single line and boundary writing that note, but I didn’t care. I wanted her to feel extra special on her birthday. When she wasn’t burying her head in a book or reciting the value of Pi, she’d talk to me for hours about all the characters and different worlds she’s read about. I never knew what she was talking about, but it didn’t matter. I just enjoyed being around her even if Drew poked fun at me for it.