Chapter 11 – After

Chapter 11 – After

As I look into those amazing green eyes, I suddenly realize that I hadn’t previously noticed their color before. And then I realize that it’s because Hardin hasn’t really made eye contact with me until just now. Amazing, deep, surprised green eyes. Hardin looks away quickly when I push past him. He grabs my arm and pulls me back.

“Don’t touch me!” I yell, jerking my arm away.

“Have you been crying?” he asks, his tone curious. If this wasn’t Hardin, I might actually think he was concerned for me.

“Just leave me alone, Hardin.”

He moves in front of me, his tall frame blocking my movements. I can’t take more of his games, not tonight.

“Hardin, please. I am begging you, if you have one decent bone in your body you will leave me be. Just save whatever mean comment you are going to say for tomorrow. Please.” I don’t care if he hears the embarrassment and desperation in my voice. I just need to be left alone by him.

A flash of confusion shows in his eyes before he opens his mouth. He watches me for a moment before any words come out. “There’s a room down the hall you can sleep in. It’s where I put Steph,” he flatly states. I wait a second for him to say something else, but he doesn’t. He just stares at me.

“Okay,” I quietly say and he moves out of my way.

“It’s the third door on the left,” he instructs and heads down the hall and disappears into his bedroom.

What the hell was that? Hardin without any rude comments? I know I’m in for it if I see him tomorrow. He’s probably got a planner for all his snide comments like I do for my classwork, and I’m sure I’ll be on his agenda tomorrow.

The third room on the left is a plain room, much smaller than Hardin’s and with two twin beds. It looks more like a dorm room than the larger space that Hardin has. Maybe he’s the leader or something? The more likely explanation is that everyone is afraid of him and he bullied his way into the largest room. Steph is lying across the bed closest to the window, so I kick off my shoes and cover her with the blanket before locking the door and lying down on the other.

My thoughts are all over the place as I fall asleep, and images of clouded roses and angry green eyes flow through my dreams.

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