Kat275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ9r7sLXIh3h
February 20, 2005
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I'm falling. 275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ4WEJhu0uGg
Falling.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡl2JiPDgFFo
I jerk awake.
The sounds of shouting in the distance pulling me from the hold sleep had on me.
The darkness of night still hasn't lifted. What time is it?
I look for my clock, but the numbers glow from a different location.
Where am I?
The feeling of a warm body moving next to me puts my senses on high alert.
So which will it be, fight or flight?
I jump off the bed, flight it is.
Now that my eyes have adjusted to the low light, I realize where I am.
Of course I'm here. Again. Why do I always end up here?
Because you feel safe here. Shut up, brain.
Oh right, Ben was about to tell me some deep dark secret... and I totally passed out.
He was willing to open up and I probably snored in his face.
I need to leave, but I can't go back to the dorm. Vanessa might be there. At least if she's here, I can avoid her in one of the many rooms.
That's it! I can just sleep next door. Problem solved.
The distant shouting draws my attention again.
I tip toe as quietly as possible to the door, but of course I hit every creaky floorboard.
I really hope he's a hard sleeper.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡSceAQHaQe9
And whoever is out there is okay.
As soon as my hand grips the doorknob, I hear Ben turn over.
The small amount of light filtering in from the street lamp illuminates his muscular body as he feels around the spot I just occupied.
"Kat?" He rubs his eyes, confusion enveloping his voice.
Shoot. I didn't make it.
I return to stand at the end of the bed, but my movement startles him.
He sits up quickly. "Who's there?"
Guess we know his choice in the fight or flight dilemma.
"Ben, it's me." I try to reassure him, but maybe he didn't want me here in the first place. He wasn't exactly known for sleepovers.
"Kat? What are you doing?" He stretches, his muscles flexing.
I am totally not staring.
Nope.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ4WIai4tHkF
Not.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡxjwyuJzqa3
At.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡRyhq7HCxWI
Okay, I'm hopeless.
"I heard shouting, so I was going to make sure everyone was okay." I still need to go. What if Vanessa is hurt?
"You heard shouting?" Can he not hear me?
"Yes." Isn't that what I just said. I sit down on the bed beside him.
"And you decided to go out in the middle of the night, alone, to check it out?" Oh... now I understand. This is like the broken glass all over again. I'm not just a stupid girl.
"Well, yeah, but-" He cuts me off, as though what I have to say isn't important.
"Kat." He blows out a breath. "You really need to be more careful."
"Whoever it is, they are in the house already." I roll my eyes, even though he probably can't see me in the shadows.
"It doesn't matter. What if someone broke in and was out there murdering everyone?" Wow, that got really morbid really fast.
"Uh... You would rather all your friends die?" I try to make him understand how dumb he's being.
"No. I would rather you wake me up before charging your little self towards danger." Ugh. His inner caveman is showing.
"I can take care of myself, thank you very much." He wants me to be a hurricane? Fine.
"This isn't about your ability at all." Then what is it about? The fact that I have a vagina? Or maybe my breasts are going to slow me down?
"Then what is it about, Mr. Caveman?" This better be good.
"I..." He starts, but he seems to be having difficulty getting the words out.
"You what?" I glare at him, hoping I live up to the storm he sees me as.
"I just want to protect you... You know? Keep you safe. Is that so hard to understand?" My irritation level constantly rising with each lie out of his mouth.
"And I don't need you to protect me. What's so hard to understand about that?" I fire his words back at him. I probably wouldn't be this hostile, if he actually meant it.
"Everyone needs protected sometimes." Maybe that's true, but it doesn't mean I need his protection.
"Well, if there was a murderer, they would be here by now, right?" I try to lighten the mood.
"I guess. I still don't like you sneaking out at night alone." If I didn't know better, I would think he's trying to tell me something that has nothing to do with my safety.
And everything to do with him waking up alone.
But I do know better. Don't I?
I scoff. "Whatever. I would have totally saved your butt if it were a murderer."
"Yeah right, you would have just added to his body count." He chuckles. "Plus, you would have left me here defenseless! It's basically like you murdered me."
I laugh. "No, see, I would have murdered the murderer and then I would be your hero. Duh."
"Right, cause anyone who can take down Kai is totally easy to kill." What a weird conversation to have in the middle of the night.
But for some reason, all I can think about is how right this feels.
How easy it is to be with him.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡkYl7xm6QAW
How I wish this was my life, for real.
I push that thought aside. Ignore those feelings, Katarina Rose.
Push them way down deep and lock them away. Throw away the key.
If only it were that easy.
"Well, maybe they caught Kai while he was sleeping." I no longer care who wins this argument, I'm just enjoying this moment.
"True. I would be more scared of Red in the middle of the night, anyway." I flinch at the mention of my best friend. I really screwed up tonight.
"Shit, Kat, I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have-" I hold up my hand, stopping him mid-sentence.
"It's fine. We are still friends, I just made a mistake tonight." I really, really hope that's true.
"Yeah, of course. She will totally forgive you." God, I really hope he's right.
"Listen, I'm really sorry for earlier." I try to hint at my embarrassment, hoping he understands.
"Earlier?" Of course, he's going to make me say it. Jerk.
"You know, I fell asleep while you were talking." Now I feel like the jerk. I really wanted to know what he had to say, but I feel weird asking. I think that was my one chance.
Why did I have to blow it?
"Don't even worry about it." He doesn't elaborate, which means I'm going to worry about it.
I'm totally going to spend way too much time trying to figure it out.
This is totally not my night.
"Listen, I actually wanted to talk to you about something, from earlier." Oh my gosh, is he hoping to put me out of my misery?
"Okay?" I mentally cross my fingers.
Please tell me. Please tell me. I promise I won't fall asleep this time.
"I thought we had a deal." It's a statement, but it sounds more like a question.
"Uh, what?" I'm not sure what to say, I thought we were going a totally different direction.
"I asked you out, in front of everyone and you said no. That wasn't really the plan." Oh crap. I bet I hurt his pride. He's probably never been rejected before.
Oops. Maybe I should just give up on today, if it's even still today...
I really should check the time.
Well, at least the shouting stopped. Hopefully that's a good thing.
"I'm sorry, Ben. I thought it would be more convincing that way. We did just spend the last month ignoring each other." And also I kinda hated being around you.
"So what?" Crap. I can't say that out loud.
"Well, they know I wasn't your biggest fan..." I try to put it more delicately, but no matter how you say it, it doesn't sound nice.
"Oh." Please say something else.
"I'm sorry." I know it's not enough. At the time I felt justified in my anger, but I really had no right to be upset with him.
"No, I get it. It's pretty late, we should probably get some sleep." He lays down, adjusting to get comfortable.
"Yeah, you're right. I'll just head out then." I stand to leave.
"Head out where?" Oops, guess I should have asked first.
"Um... The spare room? If that's okay?" Suddenly feeling self-conscious about assuming I could stay here whenever I want.
He chuckles. "Sure, if you want to sleep with Cole instead of me."
"Cole? Like your little brother?" I would really like to meet him, but I guess I won't be here in the morning.
"That's the one. Poor kid probably wouldn't know what hit him though." He's smirking. I love it when he does that.
"Alright, I guess I will just head back to the dorm then." I really shouldn't just assume he will let me sleep with him again.
"No way. Come on." He motions for me, but I don't budge.
"Are you sure?" I really have no idea how I would get back to my dorm at this time of night.
"Of course, Beautiful." My heart flutters.
Pitter, patter.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡDl2SQp8TvH
"Listen, Ben, I get it if you don't want me to stay. I will figure something out." I want to give him a chance to back out, but I've never wanted to leave less.
"Get. Over. Here. Now." He opens his arms for me.
I fall into him, breathing in his scent.
I never want to leave.275Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡqXftl9UIjFns 18.104.22.168da2