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She is water💦 He is fire🔥
She is kind😊 He is Cold😟
Episode Thirty-One💦
(His good side)
I was left alone with Xavier as usual. Our parents were sitting in the living room chatting about each and everything they could think of. Politics? Sports? Weather? They got it all covered.

As for me? I have been trying hard to talk to Xavier about that night. The night when he came to get me but never actually met me. I wanted to hear it from him. But since I couldn’t ask it in front of our parents I waited out for this moment. And I finally got it.

We were both sitting on the couch a little far away from our parents. He was sitting there pinching the bridge of his nose. His eyes closed.
I cleared my throat, “Xavier?”
He didn’t make any movement but hummed in response.
I looked down at my hands for a moment which were laying on my thighs, “About that night,”
Before I could even complete my sentence his eyes shot wide open looking at me panicked before getting up. He took hold of my hands and helped me get up,

“I haven’t shown you my room, have I?” He asked smiling at me.
I was still looking at him dazed. I shook my head slightly in denial.
“Since you showed me your room, I must too.” He looked at me charmingly.
“I guess so?” I said unsure.
Is he really willing to show me his room? After all these year? Is he for real? Has he really changed that much? Wait a minute…or is it to keep me from asking him about that night?
“Come on then, I’ll show you.” He pulled me with him while going upstairs.

“God, how can I forget about your ankle.” He said suddenly and was about to lift me up in a bridal style when I stopped him putting my hands in front of him.
“I-I can climb.”
“You sure?” He asked concerned.
“Yes!” My voice came out to be meek as I stepped away from him and climbed the stairs before him. He looked at me impressively before joining me.
He stopped outside his room turning around to look at me for a while. I stood there waiting for him to open the door as he seemed unsure.

He saw me open my mouth to say something because suddenly all the uncertainty vanished from his face as he opened the door and invited me in.
I couldn’t help but chuckle a little at his reaction.
Slowly I entered into his room and looked around. Now, I don’t know what I was expecting really. So when I saw a grey room with a bed in the middle with its head touching one of the walls, the only thought that came to my mind was…he actually keeps his room clean and tidy. There was a chest drawer against the other wall. And on top of that were some photo frames.
But those were not the only thing which caught my attention. My attention was solely on one of the walls with a board and drawings pinned to it.
I turned towards Xavier a little surprised, “You draw?”
He put his hands behind the back of his head, “Sometimes.”
I started making my way towards his drawings. I wanted to have a closer look. Xavier walked along side with me.
I stopped and noticed each drawing pinned with different coloured pins. I started looking at each and every photo slowly.

“They are so good!” I couldn’t help but announce it. If possible I could announce it to the whole world right now. Xavier Reed knows how to draw some good stuff! Who knew a guy with sharp tongue and attitude was tender with a pencil.
My eyes ran over his work. They were drawings of some random animals. Cars. And people. But not random people. Very known people. In one picture he had drawn Alec and Nathaniel making a goofy face. While in other he drew a couple looking into each others eyes. My eyes moved to another one of his drawing but before I could even take a proper look Xavier took it off and hid it behind himself.

Then taking a few long strides he put the drawing away in one of the drawers .
I folded my arms at him, “Why didn’t you let me see it?”
He rolled his eyes, “It’s not completed. I don’t want people to watch my unfinished work.”
I didn’t say anything to that. What am I even supposed to say? He let me see his work and know that he liked to draw…wasn’t that enough?
“But how did I not know that you were this good at drawing.” I asked unbelievably.

He came and stood in front of me. Looking down at me through mischievous hazel eyes of his, “There are many things you don’t know about me.”
“But-” he shushed me by putting his finger on my lips.
“You know the Xavier I show you very well.”
The Xavier he shows me? Are there any more personality to him than he shows?
“Which one am I talking to?” I asked through between his fingers on my lips.
He looked up thinking for a while before grinning down at me again, “The good one…All you have seen until now was my bad side. You can call it worse too. But that changes now. It’s time that I let you on my good side.” He winked at me.
His good side? There is a good side to Xavier too? I thought it was dead a long time ago. But I am excited to know his good side. I think I know what his good side is like. He is caring, kind, and even considerate. So not like the Xavier I have come to know in these past few years.
“I am excited.” I said as he removed his fingers from my lips.

My eyes momentarily flew to the chest drawer behind him. My gaze fixed on a particular frame. It seemed so familiar.
I stepped away from Xavier and walked towards the photo frame which seemed like a magnet. Pulling me in. The closer I got the more I became sure.
Finally I stood there in front of it. The two kids smiling and looking at the camera. One of them had his arms wrapped around the other.
The same kids whose photo I had in my room. It was Xavier’s and mine. When we were six. The only photo we have together.

I couldn’t help but look at it in awe. Xavier has it too, I can’t believe. This whole time he kept it with him. In his room.
I felt happy deep within. There were so many things that I was finding out about Xavier. All the things letting me know that I am right on not giving up on him.
Making me fall deeper for him.
“You have it too.” I felt myself say when I saw Xavier coming and standing beside me from the corner of my eyes.
“Yeah. How can I not? You were my bestfriend, pancake.” He said looking at the photo with me.

We both gazed at it for a while. Thinking about our friendship back then and so much has changed since then.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked him still looking at the photo.
“Tell you what?” He asked without turning his head.
“That you came that night.”
There. I said it. Finally. Now Xavier can’t run away from it as he has been.
He sighed, “What good would it have done anyway? You were with Alec.”
I shrugged my shoulders–still not looking at him, “So I was with Alec? You should have taken me.”
“You seemed happy.”

I fell quiet. I seemed happy? Because I was. In a long time I felt like myself. And it was because of Alec. He was there when nobody was there.
And now he told me he likes me. And I don’t know how to feel. Surely I feel comfortable around him. And I like him too…But I love Xavier.
“You should have told me the next day.” I rolled my eyes. Even though I knew he couldn’t see me.
“Why?” Xavier suddenly turned to me. Searching my eyes, “What’s the point? It wouldn’t have made any difference whatsoever.”

I finally turned to him with my mouth open. Unbelievable, “Wouldn’t have made a difference? Are you serious? It is the only fucking thing that brought us here. In this circumstance! If you would have told me, I wouldn’t have been mad. If I wasn’t mad then I wouldn’t have slapped you. You wouldn’t have yanked me out and then we wouldn’t have made any deal! Hence no Olivia! No Luke! No drama!”
By the time I was finished he was looking at me wide eyed, “It made a difference. Shit.” He muttered before closing his eyes.

“It did.”
He opened them again looking at me expectedly, “But then we wouldn’t be here. I would have been still a jerk to you like always. And you wouldn’t have met Luke.”
He doesn’t understand, does he? It wasn’t Luke I wanted. It was him! For god’s sake…God literally provide guys with a lot less common sense.
“Come on.” Xavier said trying to cheer me up, “Everything happens for a reason. Are you glad that you know now?”

I nodded my head at him letting him know I was very much happy. I was happy that it was even before all of this that he actually cared. I actually had my confidence boost upto to like a hundred times.
To put it simply…he wasn’t completely a gone case afterall.
His good side?
I looked at him and couldn’t help but think….if I can fall for his bad side…then I can only imagine how hard I will fall for his good side.
His eyes found mine before they turned soft at the corners as he smiled at me. A genuine smile.
___To be continued…
Do you really think Xavier good side would accept Liya?

Episode Thirty-two💦
(Before camping drama)
“I can’t believe we are actually doing this.” I said a little excited and looking at Luke.
I felt arms wrap around me from behind the seat, “I know! We are going camping!” I heard Brian yell in excitement.

“Sit still, will you?” Evie said while pulling Brian back in his seat.
Right now we were all going for camping at some place Xavier knew. I still don’t remember how we all came up with this decision today but we did. All of us. Yes, even Xavier, Olivia, Nathaniel and Alec. They were all in Xavier’s car.
It was dark outside. I think it was Brian who wanted to do this at night. I looked out the window and up at the sky. It was a clear night with stars shining brightly upon everything and anything.
“How long?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Xavier won’t tell. The only option we have is to follow him.” Luke said.

I sighed. Sounds so much like Xavier.
I could see his car going in front of ours as we followed behind him. We were on a single lane right now with trees covering one side and miraculously steep on the other side. To be honest it looked scary with no cars in sight. Only ours.
“He is not planning on killing us here, right?” Evie asked breaking the silence once there was too much in the car.
As soon as she spoke it was again filling with silence.

It was Brian who spoke next, “I don’t think Xavier is capable of that….He isn’t, is he?” He fell silent for a while lost in his own thoughts before he cursed, “I just imagined Xavier in all his bad moods. And let me tell you. He is very much capable of killing all of us.”
I shook my head sighing. I closed my eyes laying my head on the head of the seat before I was shaken vigorously. And I mean VIGOROUSLY.
“WHAT IS IT BRIAN?” I yelled in between his shaking.
“He won’t kill us, will he?” He asked in a high pitched tone.
I pinched his hands that were covering my shoulders, “He is not a freaking serial killer!”

“Who says he can’t kill us?! We won’t even be found here. Look at this. It is so dark. Who suggested it to do at night?! I am gonna kill him!”
I could see from the rearview mirror as Evie choked onto Brian’s neck making him loosen his hands on my shoulder and almost collapsing onto her lap,
“You were the one! Let me make your work easy of killing him.”
Brian choked as Evie let go of him rolling her eyes. I heard Luke chuckle beside me. I turned to him in a questioning way.
He shook his head, “It’s just that I have seen Brian being beaten up by a girl for the first time.”

Brian’s head appeared in between the seat glaring at Luke, “I am gonna kill you if you open your damn mouth in front of anyone else about this. I have a reputation to hold!”
Evie pulled him back with her again, “You have reputation?”
“Of course I do!”
And just like that the car was not filled with silence anymore. Hell, I preferred silence over their bickering. I listened to their conversations every now and then but most of the time I let my eyes close and let my mind wonder about all the things I would be doing at the campsite. Sometimes I would think about Alec or even Xavier, about his good side? But that was it.

I heard Luke ask me from beside me if I was doing fine. I let my eyes find their way to his and nod my head letting him know that I was doing great.
“We packed everything, right? We have to put up a tent. And FOOD? We brought food, right?”
“We did.” I chuckled as I saw a relief pass through Brian’s face.
“Can I have something to eat?” He asked putting his feet up on the seat which by the way ended just near my face. I could smell his socks as I cursed before making him put them down. He grumbled but reluctantly put them down and sat there cross legged in his seat.
“Right now?” Luke asked, “Wait till we reach there.”

“But I am hungry right now.” Brian reasoned.
“Then you won’t get to eat with everyone else, okay?” Luke smirked.
Brain’s mouth gape open to look at Luke unbelievably, “That’s not fair.”
“Then wait.” Luke shrugged his shoulders.
Brian mumbled something incoherent under his breath before he reached back and pulled out a bottle of water. He drank all of it as we all looked at him in a deadpanned expression.
“What?” He grumbled.
“You just drank the full bottle.” Evie pointed.

“So? I am hungry. If you guys won’t let me eat then I’ll try to fill my stomach with water.” Brian rolled his eyes, “What? You have problem with water too?”
He doesn’t understand, does he? It’s not about the water. It’s about drinking too much water and then having the urge to pee. Where will we ever find a washroom here? Heck, there is nothing in sight here where does he think he can go?

Evie smirked before patting him on the shoulders sympathetically, “We don’t have any problem with you drinking water. Drink as much as you want.”
Brian made a face before continuing drinking water from other bottles,
“Though,” Evie continued, “Just remember the technique to control your pee here.”

Brian stopped in the middle of drinking water. He put the bottle slowly down. Looking at all of us wide eyed.
Yeah. He just realized. That face was exactly what he made whenever he realized something important. But wait, there was something else too…was it horror? Yeah, definitely horror.
“Tell me you are kidding.” He finally said.
“You drank two bottles of water. Why would we kid around?” Luke chuckled.
“Shit. Shit. SHIT. FUCK.” Brian mumbled frustratedly.
“Maybe we will reach there in time.” Evie tried to console him.
He looked at her wide eyed before looking down a little embarrassed.
Evie was right. So what if he drank two bottles of water? It isn’t like he will need to pee right now? Maybe we will reach before he even feels like going.
Brian nodded his head but you could see colours drained from his face.
We drove for another ten minutes. It was as silent as before with no fighting or bickering.

I stretched my arms due to this long drive. Geez, where is Xavier even taking us? We have been driving for hour and half now. And still it seems like we have a long way to go. I remember planning going on camping. Not some long drive.
I looked at Luke and noticed him driving with ease. His attention all in the front at the road. At Xavier’s car.
His eyes moment flew towards me before he passed me a smile.

“Are you tired?” He asked concerned.
I shook my head, “You must be by driving for this long.”
“It hasn’t been that long. I can drive.”
I looked in the rearview mirror and found Evie looking out the window lost in her own thoughts. I looked a little further and couldn’t find Brian.
“Brian?” I called.

Evie’s attention snapped to me before looking beside her. I looked at Evie and I knew she could see Brian because she shook her head and rolled her eyes.
Not even seconds later I saw a hand appear from the gap between the seats. It went and settled onto Luke’s shoulder. Next came the groggy voice,
“Cousinnn. Thank you for all you have done for me. But I can’t.”
“What’s wrong?” Luke asked getting concerned.

“I can’t. I tried. I tried so hard. But I just can’t.” He whined.
“What’s wrong Brian?” I asked getting concerned myself. Evie seemed concerned too as she bent forward holding onto him. She rubbed his arms as he took deep breaths.
___To be continued…
How many of you can relate to Brian? Wanting to go just when you are going somewhere? Haha.. I love Brian

Episode Thirty-three💦
(Let me help you)
We were all ready with our tents set up. The boys did most of the stuff but of course we helped too. We held the torches for them to see. Wouldn’t want them to take all the credit now, do we?
After a two hour drive we finally got here. We were in the middle of a forest with a clearing in the middle. Yes, and that is where our tents were set up. So basically, we were all surrounded by forest. And it was night. And animals live in forest. And they love flesh. And we are flesh. Thrilling, I know.

As Nathaniel was done he got up and asked, “Are you sure three would be fine? We have an extra.”
“We don’t need four. Who’d sleep in it?” Alec asked leaning against one of the trees.
“I don’t know. Then we can all sleep in pairs.” Nathaniel pointed out.
Right now I was sitting on the ground with Evie and Olivia as I listened to them. Even though I knew my pants were getting dirt on them…who cared? I was all about nature today. Nature is the very essence of our existence.

Xavier came setting the last tent with Brian and Luke trailing behind him. He was trying to get rid of the dirt on his hands when Nathaniel called him,
“Tell me Xavier you agree with me?”
Xavier looked up at him in question but Nathaniel just rolled his eyes before explaining it to him. Xavier sighed,
“I don’t really have problem with that. But can you guys really set up one more tent?”

Nathaniel puffed his chest out, “Of course.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Luke said while coming and sitting next to me. He inhaled deeply as he shuts his eyes, “We won’t be able to pair up.”
“What is that even supposed to mean?” Nathaniel asked crossing his arm.
Luke didn’t even open his eyes as he said, “Think about it. There are three ladies while five men. How do you think we can pair up?”

Now when Luke said that it actually made sense. I looked at Evie and found her picking out the grasses in front of her seeming bored of the conversation.
“Well that should not be a problem. Evie can be with Olivia. And considering you and Liya are a couple. You both can have one tent to yourselves.”

As soon those words left Nathaniel’s mouth I couldn’t help but choke onto my own saliva while coughing loudly. I could feel the shock on Luke’s face too as he was no longer sitting there with his eyes closed. He was very much staring at Nathaniel.
Not only Luke. There were other two pair of eyes glaring at him too. Nathaniel seemed innocent as he looked around innocently.

“Well?” He said urging with a smile on his face.
Nathaniel furrowed his eyebrows and looked at the four of us in confusion. Luke, Alec, Xavier and me. We all seemed so moved by his words that the only thing that came out of our mouths was a no.
“Why? You are a couple. It should be no problem.” He complaint.
Xavier gritted his teeth, “That doesn’t mean you will make them sleep together.”

“They will just share a freaking tent!”
“Where they’ll sleep together!”
Alec said unbelievably.
“You both are being unreasonable! It’s just a tent. They are in a relationship. Why do you care?” Nathaniel got loud.
“You really want me to tell you why do I care?! And you call me your best friend.” Xavier snapped back.

“Nath, try to understand.” Alec tried to sweet talk him, “It’s not just about the tent. It is about them being together. Alone. In there. This close.” He pinched his fingers together to show the proximity, “sharing a single comforter. And,”
He went on ranting about everything wrong with Luke sleeping in the same tent with me along with Xavier. I looked at Luke and found him looking relaxed as before. I copied his actions and laid back on my elbows a little,
“Shouldn’t you be convincing him too?” I asked chuckling.

He was quiet for a while looking at Alec and Xavier getting so hyped before he shook his head, “Not really. Those two are pretty much doing an amazing job. I know for sure that we are not sleeping together today.”
I laughed nodding my head and looked at Xavier. I couldn’t help but smile softly. He looked so much troubled that he was willing to tell Nathaniel anything to keep us from sleeping together.

“Though I won’t mind it at all.” I felt a whisper in my ear. A chill ran down my spine as I turned my head to look at Luke. As soon as I turned my face I saw his face a few centimeters away from me. He gazed into my eyes as I tried to gulp. The intensity he was holding in his eyes while looking at me was commendable. I opened my mouth still looking into his eyes. They were darker due to the darkness,

“I don’t think you want to flirt in front of them.” I whispered referring to Alec and Xavier. Luke got it too because he smirked,
“I think I want to flirt in front of them.”
He kept his gaze stable on me as I tried to look back at him but failed miserably . I would end up looking around and then at him and then again looking around.
“Luke?” I finally said looking him in the eyes.

He hummed in response.
“You meant it when you said we are just friends, right?” I asked.
Where did that question come from? Even I don’t know. It was on the tip of my tongue and I couldn’t hold myself back from asking.
He stared at me for a moment. Then slowly yet tenderly he ran his hands through my hair,
“I did. I meant it. We are just friends. Don’t worry friends can flirt to make people jealous.”

I nodded at him still looking into his eyes. It wasn’t until now that I realized that it was awfully quiet. I closed my eyes cursing.
I felt something hard on my crossed legs. I opened my eyes and found two hazel eyes staring right back at me.
I looked around to make sure that it was really Xavier whose head was on my laps. And it was confirmed the minute my eyes landed on Alec’s face and then on Olivia’s.

Oh holy mother of jesus what is happening today.
“Pancake.” I heard him say in his deep voice.
My eyes found their way back to his and I couldn’t help but be lost into them as I nodded my head at him letting him know that I was listening.
“You are not sharing a tent with Luke.” He smiled at me satisfied.
Slowly as if not sure I turned my head to look at Luke. A smile was playing around his lips as he looked at the both of us. I suddenly felt the weight lift off from my laps as Xavier got up. I looked at him as he came between me and Luke.
“Can you make some space for me? I am tired.” He said sitting in between us. As soon as he was sitting there in between Luke and me he exhaled a breath of relief.

“What about you and Olivia?” Nathaniel asked directing the question to Xavier, “You both are couples too. You can share a tent.”
Can I kill Nathaniel? What was wrong with this guy? Why did he want any of us to sleep together at all.
“Cut it out already, Nath. Three are enough. The girls will sleep together and since there are five of us we can divide into three to two.” Xavier waved his hands off getting bored now.
Nathaniel pouted but finally nodded his head.

Suddenly Olivia got up from her place before dusting off her pants. She came and stood in front of Xavier. Smiling.
Xavier seemed confused for a moment but all of it vanished the minute she came and sat on his lap. He opened his mouth to say something but she shushed him before kissing him. He seemed taken off for a moment before he gave in.
My eyes widened as I turned my head away from them. You could hear the sound of them kissing and it was grossing me out!

For god’s sake, I haven’t had my first kiss! Not yet! And she was kissing my fiance in front of me. Where is my fucking knife?
I made a face of disgust as I tried to stay away from them. I saw a hand appear in front of me. Without looking up I took it and before I knew I was hauled up.
I came face to face with baby blue eyes looking back at me concerned.

I took a step back immediately as he held onto my hand tightly. I looked up at him– vulnerable.
“Let’s go and get some woods for the fire.” He said while dragging me away through my hand.
“But,” I started.
He turned around and stared at me making me quiet. He looked at me with emotions running through his eyes,
“I am helping you out right now. Let me do it. Please.”

So I did. I let him take me away from them. From Xavier and Olivia. I let him help me. Yet again.
___To be continued…

Episode Thirty-four💦
I picked up one of the few woods before turning around to say something to Alec. I found his back turned to me as he continued getting more woods. I kept silent for a while before going back to get more.
Again after a minute I looked back and sighed, “Alec?” I finally called him.
He hummed in response but kept his back turned to me as he continued doing his work.

“Thanks.” I said going towards him. Thanks for taking me away from there. Thanks for bringing me out here in peace where I could get some fresh air. Where I could think straight.
I could see his muscles tense as he turned around slowly and passed me a smile, “I had my reasons.”
I smiled back at him before nodding and going back to my place. He hasn’t been talking much. For all I can say he had been silent since he took me away from there. But I knew that he genuinely wanted to help me.

I couldn’t help but look up and gaze in awe at the stars. You don’t see these many stars in the cities. And seeing these many right now made me feel so close to them. I wanted to be there in between them. Looking pretty. So that whenever someone tilted their head up to look at us they were filled with happiness, warmth. They felt good. And I want to be someone who makes people feel good about themselves. Just like these stars.
I didn’t even hear footsteps approach me until I heard his voice from beside me, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”

I looked at Alec beside me and found him staring at the sky with a smile on his face. I went back to gazing up at the sky as I agreed with him.
Indeed it was.
We both were quiet. No one even saying a word. Just side by side. Gazing at the stars. Together.
I could see him slowly turning his head towards me and staring at me. I cleared my throat as I said, “The stars are up in the sky.”

I heard him chuckle as he said, “I know. But I find them more beautiful while seeing them through your eyes.”
I felt my heart leap as I heard him say that. But I kept my gaze stable up on the stars as I thought of what to say to that. I didn’t know. I was speechless.
“I-I’ll check out there if I can find more of these.” I said referring to the woods and went in another direction.

He didn’t come behind me or followed me as I went away from him.
Did I feel bad for leaving him back there alone? Yes, I did. But I knew for a fact that if I stayed there I would have led him on. And that is the last thing I want to do to him. I don’t want to hurt him.
I kept walking and went wherever my legs took me. I don’t know for how long I walked. I didn’t realize how far I came as I continued walking away in another direction.

Finally I stopped and turned the torch in my hand in different directions as I tried to figure my way.
I was far away from where the tents were set up because I couldn’t hear anything. Only crickets chirping around me.
I turned off the torch in my hand. It was pitch black. I couldn’t see anything. Dang it, I think I came too far away into the forest. I turned back and switched my torch back on as I tried to trace my way back.

I don’t want to become some animal’s meal today. Heck what am I talking about? I don’t want to become some animal’s meal ever.
I tried to walk back the way I came. I don’t know if I was going in right direction or not. I stopped when I saw two ways…one going to the left and the other one to the right.
Was it even there the first time?
I shined the torch upon both the ways. Now, under normal circumstances one would choose the way which seemed less scarier. But what should one choose when both of them seem the same? Dark. Scary.

I looked up at the sky and muttered a prayer. What have I gotten myself into? Why do I always end up in problems when I don’t want to?
I looked back at the two paths waiting for me to take them. None of them seemed tempted enough to invite me in.
The most mature thing to do right now was to count till twenty. The path which lands with the number twenty in the end will be the one I’ll take.
Don’t doubt my maturity level! I am alone in the middle of a forest. What do you expect?

I started from the left one, “1..2..3…4…….20.”
I stood there pointing at the right path. I took a deep breath (internally freaking). Well, here goes nothing.
I stepped in the direction of right path and continued walking on it.
Take a piece of advice from me. No matter how mature you think you are. Don’t decide onto your fate by counting to twenty. Believe me. It will help you.
“I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!” I yelled loudly.

I am lost. I have finally accepted it. I am in the middle of the forest with not a single soul in sight.
How much time has passed? Even I don’t know. One hour? Two hour?
And no one came to find me yet. Or they haven’t found me. I don’t know! I don’t want to die here in the middle of nowhere!
I heard sounds from far away. I couldn’t quite decipher them. But it was there. Sounds of shuffling? Leaves rattling? An animal?

I took deep shaky breaths as I let the woods in my hands hit the ground. I picked two of them in defense. One in each hand.
Don’t know if they can help me fight an animal. But they will be of some help. Some help!
I turned off my torch incase the animals were attracted towards it. The rattling became more and more noisy as it came closer.

I could hear my heart pounding loud enough as I took a few steps back ready to attack and then run.
I know I won’t be fast enough. But I’ll give it my best shot. I will fight until I can.
I wondered what everyone was doing? Did they figure it out yet that I was missing? Did Alec notice? Or was I still taking some fresh air for them?
Ughhhh. I didn’t even get to have my first kiss!

I heard the rattling sound more closer to me now. Someone was moving closer to me. To where I was. I took in a deep breath before holding it tight.
I took my position as I held the woods in my hands higher up. I went and hid behind a tree and waited for the animal to come. From what I could hear he’s approaching this side. I can hit him hard before running off.
I bit my lip as I heard it getting closer and almost next to the tree. But there wasn’t just one of them. No. But two of them.

I cursed under my breath.
Okay Liya, I know you can do it. I am strong enough. No matter how scared I am right now. I can pull this off.
It was at this exact moment I saw a silhouette and without seeing I charged with my full force.
“Aaaaah….I am not dying so soon!” I yelled as I hit it with all my might.
I thought the wood would go down….almost till the ground. But I was surprised when I hit it in mid air. I looked up with wide eyes and noticed I hit the head.

Not just somebody’s head,
“Ouch. What the fuck?! You hit me!!”
Nathaniel’s head.
He moaned in pain as he sat there with his hands on his head.
I stared at him for a moment. Frozen. Not able to wrap my head around the fact that Nathaniel was sitting in front of me.
It wasn’t until I saw a torch light blinding me that I had to cover my eyes and a person coming and standing in front of me. He faced the torch in another direction and now I could see his full face.

Xavier Reed.
He stood there in front of me. His hair a total mess. His eyes looked troubled as he ran his eyes all over my body.
While he did that I stood there doing nothing. I was just glad that they found me. I- I don’t even know how to react right now. I knew I was relieved. I knew I wanted to laugh and smile that they finally found me. But nothing came,
I opened my mouth to say something but I was shut quiet the minute Xavier took long strides towards me and embraced me in his arms. He wrapped his arms tightly around me. It was as if he was trying to make sure it was me. My head was laying on his hard torso.
Unsure of what to do I wrapped my arms around him.

He took deep breaths as he kept his hands stable behind my back. Slowly he snuggled his head down so that his face was near my ear. As he spoke I could hear the fear in his voice,
“Don’t you dare do that ever again. Do you know how afraid I was? I thought I lost you.”
He tightened his arms around me, “I am so glad that I found you. I am so glad. Oh my god….what if something would have happened to you? I can’t even think about it.”

It was now that I couldn’t control my emotions anymore. I cried as I hugged him tighter.
No matter how much I denied. I was afraid. I was scared like nobody.
He rubbed my back– comforting me as I held onto his tshirt tightly. As I cried I I couldn’t help but laugh gratefully,
“I am so glad you found me.” I said in between laughters and tears.
He continued comforting me as he repeated, “Everything is fine. I am here now.”

___To be continued

She is water💦 He is fire🔥
She is kind😊 He is Cold😟
Episode Thirty-five💦
( Just better )
I was still holding onto Xavier as my nerves calmed down. As soon as I was feeling well enough to have a sense of thinking I stepped far away from him.
Xavier looked at me confused before stepping forward and trying to reach out to me. I held my hand in front of me making him stop. The confusion on his face increased but I ignored it.
I looked down at Nathaniel who was still moaning in pain. I hurried over to him and helped him get up, “I am so sorry.” I said apologetically.

He tried to get up slowly with his hands still on his head before leaning on me a little, “You have quite a strength.”
I looked at him guiltily before looking down a little embarrassed. I felt bad for Nathaniel. I really hit him hard. Really really hard.
“I am so sorry.” I repeated.
He tried to shake his head before wincing in pain and holding onto his head tightly, “I totally get it. You were just trying to protect yourself….besides,” he looked in the front. I followed his gaze and found him looking at Xavier, “it is better to have a little concussion knowing that you are safe than dying through someone’s hands.”
Xavier clenched his jaw tight, “What do you mean?”

“Don’t act so naive now.” Nathaniel said before turning towards me, “Liya, I swear to god you should have seen Xavier. He was this whole another person. Angry. Terrified. Willing to do anything. What can be a better example than us standing in the middle of forest for you?!”
“You are exaggerating.” Xavier snapped at Nathaniel.

Nathaniel winced before shaking his head, “If anything, it is not even the portion of how you acted. You were about to kill everyone and anyone Xavier.”
“Do you want me to hit you again?” Xavier grinded his teeth.
Nathaniel waved his hands bored at Xavier. He wasn’t afraid of him. Now when I think about it why would he be? They have been good friends for so long now. He turned towards me, “Thanks to you Liya.”

I looked at him dumbfounded. Why is he thanking me? I almost gave him a concussion.
Nath grinned at me, “Thanks for letting me know this side of Xavier. The side I didn’t know existed.”
“Shut up Nathaniel!” Xavier glared at him.
Nathaniel rolled his eyes before starting to walk.

“I’ll help you.” I said taking him by his shoulders.
“I can walk. Believe me. It’s bad. But not that bad.” Nathaniel said grinning.
I was about to say something else when Xavier came and took hold of my hands dragging me away with him, “You heard him. He said he can walk. Now, let’s go.”
I stared at his hand which was wrapped around my hand. I took my hand away from him, “I can walk too.”
Xavier turned around to look at his empty hand. He looked back at me before holding my hand again, “I know. I am letting you walk.”

I stopped before snatching my hand away from him again. He seemed frustrated as he asked,
“What is wrong with you? Why don’t you just hold my hand?”
I looked at him unbelievably. I was glad that he found me. I was glad that I was safe. But I was so emersed in my joy that I almost forgot that he kissed a girl in front of me. And it hurt me.
“What good will it do holding hands with you? You are gonna go back to sucking faces with Olivia again anyhow.”
I heard someone taking a sharp intake of breath. I looked back and saw Nathaniel holding his hands up, “I just didn’t hear that.”

“Are you bothered by that?” Xavier asked.
I clenched my jaw tight, “No.”
Lie. It was a lie. And I knew that. I was very much bothered by it.
“You were, weren’t you?” He asked with a smile playing on his lips.
“No. Why would I? She is your girlfriend.” I said nonchalantly.
The smile vanished from his face while he stood there silent. When he spoke again– his voice was very low, “I pulled back.”

My eyes snapped upto his face. What did he just say? Did I hear him right? Did he really pull away?
As much as I felt a ray of happiness inside me. I gulped down, “As I said, I don’t care.”
“But you should.” He said shaking me by my shoulders.
He was bothered. I could see he was bothered that I didn’t care. And it was making him go insane. This just a fraction of what he makes me feel.
“Why?” I asked slyly enjoying this a little way too much.

“Because I-” He stopped mid sentence. He seemed a little surprised before he took a step back and cleared his throat, “Never mind.”
What was that about?
I finally reached where the tents were set up. Everyone was waiting for us. You could see them tensed up. Brian and Evie were the first one to run towards me and hug me tight.

“Thank God liya! We almost thought that…” they both said in unison before shutting up and continuing to hug me. I hugged them back– closing my eyes. They stepped away from me and tried to inspect me for any harm.
I looked up and noticed Alec coming towards me. He came and stood in front of me looking into my eyes. I stared back at him. He didn’t seem to be in a good condition. He clenched his hands into a fist before coming and hugging me–tight.
“It’s all my fault. All of it. I should have stayed with you. I shouldn’t have taken you away. I should have gone with you.” He continued blabbing while I was in his arms.

I wrapped my arms around him before comforting him, “Alec. Alec. Listen to me. It wasn’t your fault. It was no one’s fault. Okay? Calm down. Everyone is fine now. That is what matters, right?”
He looked down at me while still hugging me. He nodded his head pursing his lips, “I am glad you are fine. I tried to searche for you everywhere Liya.”
I smiled at him thankfully before Xavier peeled Alec away from me,
“I forgive you too.” Xavier said.
“I didn’t ask for your forgiveness.” Alec commented.

“But you want to.”
“No. Why would I?”
“Anything related to Liya concerns me. So yes, as I said I forgive you.” Xavier smiled contently.
Alec rolled his eyes before smiling softly. It was good to see them both smiling and happy.
“Luke?” I said as he came towards me.
“Did you hit an animal or two?” He asked trying to lighten up my mood.
“She definitely hit me.” Nathaniel made a face as he remembered the pain he went through.
Luke grinned at me, “You aimed for the better option then.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. He looked at me contently before coming and kissing me on my cheek, “Stop landing yourself in trouble already, will you?”
I agreed at him before looking down a little flushed. He laughed before going away.
“We even put up the fire when you were gone.” Olivia said kindly.
It was the first time that I noticed her since I was found. I couldn’t help but avert my eyes away from her. Just thinking the way she kissed Xavier. I am sorry but all she will see is not kindness in my eyes right now.

Brian clapped his hands, getting everyone’s attention, “Let’s put this behind us and enjoy the rest of the night, okay?”
“We will all tell a horror or a creepy story.” Brian said ecstatically.
Everyone seemed to agree as we all sat around the bonfire they all lit up.
“But why? Why creepy stories?” Olivia asked.

“You are here. Camping. What can be a better timing than this to talk all about it.” Evie replied.
“Alright,” Nathaniel said getting our attention, “I’ll start, okay?”
Everyone nodded their head as they waited for him to continue, “Okay, listen what I am going to tell now is a true story. So hold your breaths and don’t get disturbed after listening to it…cause it will be creepy.”

“Just already tell us the story, Nath.” Alec said getting impatient.
Nathaniel took a deep breath while looking at all of us with a face expression that was meant to keep the aura. You could see everyone’s face orange due to the flames. We were all ready to engross ourselves as he continued, “In the year 1526 the Messiah came down to Earth. She performed miracles and cured the sick. All believed. All worshipped her.
Some time later, after this period of history known as the Age of Peace, She dropped a bombshell on the people. She warned them that Heaven was almost full. Nobody had gone to Hell during this Age. There were a fixed amount of spots left. Paradise would be closed to all who died after the Gates close.

That is when the Mass Suicides began. Taking your own life, She had told them, was not a sin if you died a pious man. The race was on!
She looked on and was pleased. She returned to her home, to her throne of fire and flames, and greeted all with a nod of her wicked horns.”
He finished.
What the hell did I just hear? Why? Why am I doing this to myself?
“That…that was disturbing.” Luke acknowledged.

There was a pin drop silence as we all stared at each other. I could see everyone felt the same.
Alec cleared his throat, “I’ll go next.”
I got up from my seat making everyone stop. Brian and Evie who were beside me looked up at me in confusion, “Where are you going now?”
“I don’t think I want to listen to these creepy stories…” I started,
“We can stop if you want.” Alec said.
I shook my head in denial, “No! Don’t stop because of me. You guys continue. I will be just here watching the stars.”
Xavier shook his head, “You are not going anywhere. Don’t know when you will land yourself in trouble.”
“Seriously I am just here. I am not going anywhere!”

They all looked at me unsure. I gave them the most puppy eyes I could make. Finally, they sighed before letting me go.
I went and sat away from everyone. I wasn’t that far away. It wasn’t that I didn’t like sitting with them. It’s just that I love sitting here. I want to sit here while gazing at the stars. I am not really a fan of creepy stories. I would much rather sit here and watch stars the whole night than listen to some stories that will make me stay up whole night anyway.
I brought my knees near my chest as I wrapped my arms around them and looked up. I love it. I can’t even describe how much I love sitting here just gazing at the stars.

Some say when people die they become stars. As a child everyone would believe that but once they grow up they don’t anymore. But I want to. I still do. When we die we become a star. Shining brightly and providing warmth to the ones who miss you.
I felt a presence beside me as I saw a pair of legs stretch out in front of me. I turned my head around and found Xavier sitting there while supporting his body weight on both of his hands. He had his head held up high, looking at the stars.
I stared at him a little taken aback from the fact that he came and sat here beside me. And he didn’t seem like he was compelled to do so. You could see he wanted to be here.

I cleared my throat before trying to move away from him. He held onto my wrist tightly making me stop as he saw me moving away from him.
“Stay.” He whispered still not looking at me.
I tried to get out of his hold, “Xavier, you have a girlfriend. I can’t.”
“All I am asking is for you to sit next to me.”
I could see his side profile as his head was tilted upwards. He looked beautiful as always. Flawless as always. But was Xavier really that flawless as he seemed?
“Olivia. I’ll find Olivia and send her to sit next to you.” I said trying to get up.
Xavier pulled me back with him as my back hit his chest. He put his head on my shoulder from behind me and said, “Don’t you understand? I want to be here with you. Not Olivia.”

I wanted to melt into his arms right now. This was the moment I always wanted. I wanted him to hold me into his arms and whisper sweet things into my ear. And yet when this moment was here I couldn’t feel the way I wanted to. Something was still missing.
“It didn’t seem like that when you were kissing Olivia.” I muttered rolling my eyes.

He exhaled loudly. Taking this advantage to myself I moved away from him. And sat away from him. Facing him.
“How many times do I have to tell you? I pulled back Liya! I didn’t kiss her.” He looked frustrated as he ran his hands through his hair.
I wanted to believe him. Maybe I even did. But that doesn’t change the fact that he was someone else’s boyfriend.
“Come on, we are just gazing at the stars together. What is wrong in that?” He tried to sound persuasive.

I looked at him and stared into his eyes. It was dark so you couldn’t see their natural color from this distance but you could still tell the intensity they held.
I got up and went to sit there beside him. He observed my every movement as I kept a distance between us.
He patted the distance between us asking me to get closer.
“This distance stays here, else I leave.”
He made a face before nodding his head and looking back at the stars. I went to look back at them too, resting my head on my knees.

After a few moments I heard him ask, “Why are you so amazed by them?”
I thought for a while of how to answer to that question. Why am I amazed by them? Because I see myself between them. With them.
“I just think I want to be one of them. A part of them. I want people to be mesmerized and feel warm. I want to witness every couple they have seen getting closer under their light. I want people to remember me.” I finished smiling to myself.

Xavier was quiet for this whole while listening to me. When I was done he whispered a single sentence, “I don’t want you to be a star.”
I turned to him confused, “Why?” I asked.
He went to look up at the sky while I continued looking at him, “When the night goes away, people forget all about it. No one remembers them. They don’t matter anymore.” His eyes found their way back to mine, “You do. You matter. I cannot not remember you.”

My breathing hitched as I looked at him. My heart was pounding so fast that you could hear it from a mile away. I gazed into his eyes. To see if he was lying. My eyes made their way to his ears, he noticed them too. He turned his ear towards me,
“I am not lying. See for yourself.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at him. He actually wasn’t lying. But why? Why is Xavier being so nice? Why isn’t he being his usual self? Did he mean this when he said ‘good side’.

I didn’t realize it but he was still staring at me in the eyes, “I never realized it but you have beautiful eyes.”
I opened my mouth to say something before shutting it. Beautiful eyes? Mine? Are you kidding me? If two balls of black holes could be called beautiful.
“They are the darkest brown they can be. You can say they are almost black. What is so beautiful about that?” I asked with a hint of smile on my face.
I will tell you who had beautiful eyes.
Xavier Reed did.

Hazel eyes. Green around the corners and brown around the pupils. They were beautiful eyes. Not mine.
He looked into both my eyes as if trying to contemplate something. At last, he smiled softly before softly shaking his head,
“What is so beautiful about them, you ask? The fact that I can almost see everything in your eyes…You haven’t seen yourself looking at the stars. The way your eyes shine. I can see the reflections of the stars in your eyes. And black colour just makes it even more beautiful. It’s like a whole night sky in your eyes. Just better.”
Just better?

I looked at him to realize that he meant everything he said. I bit my lip looking down.
Has he said the same things to Olivia? Or is it just me? But why will he just compliment me? All of a sudden?
Can it be that Xavier is finally letting his walls down? Can it be that he is realizing that…he likes
__To be continued…
Do you guys like Xavier better this way or the way he was before

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