The Not-Outcast

Page 62

“It did.”

I stretched, smiling at him, and I was feeling all these mushy feelings. Someone like me didn’t get these feelings, and if we did, we lost ’em right away. They were taken from us. It was the rule of the universe, but damn. I’d fallen so hard for him.

No. I’d already been there, just had to let myself remember those feelings.

“What’s wrong? I can see it on you.”

As always, Cut saw me. Well, except for those times in high school when he had no clue who I was.

And that reminded me. “I went to a hockey party at Silvard, when you were there.”

“Really?” He sat up, sitting against the backboard.

I nodded, rising up to sit back on my knees. My ass was on my heels. “You didn’t go to a lot of the parties, so I only went to the big ones.”

He sighed, leaning his head back. “Like I told you, I was all about hockey.” His gaze fell down to the opening between my breasts. The cleavage was loose and open with this tank. I considered sleeping in his shirt, but Cut gets hot in bed. And he cuddles. Hence the tank instead of a full-on shirt. I was happy I picked this one now.

His eyes narrowed as he tilted his head to the side. “I missed out on a lot.”

“But you’re doing your dream.”

“I am. Yeah.”

I narrowed my eyes now back at him, my head cocking to reflect his. “Are you not happy with where you’re at?”

He picked up my hand, but he didn’t tug me toward him. He played with my fingers, running his up and down and around my palm.

I was trying to ignore the tickling that was mixing with the sensual sensations. Both were zipping through me.

He murmured, lifting my palm to fit against his, our fingers flat, “I would’ve wanted you back then.”

“No, you wouldn’t have.”

“I would’ve.”

“You saw me in high school, and you didn’t.”

“Once.” He gave me an admonishing grin, holding up a finger.

I reached for it, and he laughed, catching my hand instead, and this time he tugged me onto his lap.

I fitted over him, straddling him, and I leaned back. Our faces were inches away from each other. We stared at each other.

His eyes roamed over my face, falling to my lips. “I remember you in high school.”

“You’re lying.”

“No. I remember you. It took a beat. I didn’t remember right away, but you were leaving here the other morning and you looked back. You said, “Hey.” And I remembered you. I remembered liking you, too, but then one of the girls asked me about my hockey game, and when I looked back, you were gone.”

“Are you serious?”

He nodded, his hands falling to my hips and he started kneading me there. His thumbs slipped under my underwear. “I looked for you later, too, but I never saw you again. I thought one time I did, but by the time I caught up to you, it wasn’t you. It was some other girl.”

“I was in the car when Chad had to come out to talk to Natalie.”

My heart pounded. I had no idea why it mattered. It shouldn’t. It was so long, so trivial, so minute, but… it did. It mattered.

“I couldn’t see you. And he told me that his mom had to give some girl a ride home.” He lifted up a hand to my chest, pressing it flat between my breasts. He felt how hard it was pounding. “I don’t believe in love at first sight. Never have, but I know it exists for some people. I also don’t believe that you and I aren’t going to work out if I hadn’t remembered you in school. People are people. Boys are generally stupid at that age, and usually only thinking about sex. I was thinking about sex and hockey, mostly hockey. But I’m not lying about when I remembered you and I remembered noticing you.”

I had no voice, not for a second.

He had noticed me.

There was this sadness flooding me, but that didn’t make sense. I couldn’t understand that either, but I choked out, “I developed a way of thinking and talking that overrode what my senses were telling me. I got so overwhelmed by them, that it was a reverse way of handling the world. Or that’s what the psychologists told me, but they told me I was crazy.”

“They used that word?”

“It’s a word and it’s mine to use, about me. No one else can use it about me. It’s my word to own.” Another nod. Another knot in my throat. “One did. A couple did. And nurses. A counselor. I’ve had a lot of counselors.”

He let out another deep pocket of air, his hand moving to cup the back of my head. “I’m sorry.”

I looked up, meeting and holding his gaze, and for one heartbeat, we were one. Just one. He got me.

His eyes darkened.

I couldn’t help myself. I whispered, “Please don’t love me and then throw me away.” I couldn’t look at him when I said that.

He didn’t answer.

I shouldn’t have said that.

Why did I do these things? Say these things? Always at the wrong time.

I was always so inappropriate.

I couldn’t read the room.

That meant I couldn’t even read him right, and I was sitting on his lap.

My stress was rising.

My panic.

The air was stifling me, pressing down, and I could smell everything.

I could feel everything.

I was noticing everything.

Oh God.

Why wasn’t he answering?

I was frozen, still on his lap, and there was just silence from him.

“Cheyenne,” he whispered.

I felt him now. He was moving, but he was getting closer.

I looked up, and he was right there. My nose brushed against his and his hand moved to touch the side of my face. He whispered back, “Never.”

I was still in bed an hour later when his phone buzzed.

“Can you grab that for me?” Cut called from the shower.

Unknown number: I’m bored af. Coming back. I’ll make things right. I promise.

“Who’s it from?”

My tongue was so heavy in my mouth, but I looked over. I blinked a few times, barely noticing how he had water dripping down his body and he was holding a towel only in front of his dick. And I could usually obsess over his dick, so my shock was saying a lot here.


A wall slammed down over his face.

I swallowed over a boulder inside. “He’s coming back.”

He swore under his breath but went back in the bathroom.



I met Otis, JJ, and Maisie at The Way Station to watch Cut’s away game. Melanie joined us, and she became fast friends with all of them, so she worked her magic and my seat companions joined us going to Tits afterwards. Cut’s team won, which I knew that would’ve made him happy.

He was planning on seeing his family since their away game wasn’t too far from where we grew up.

I sent him a couple texts congratulating him and then asking him how the family was doing.

He didn’t reply right away so I tucked my phone away when we got to Tits.

Otis was bouncing off the wall. “I can’t believe you guys hang out here—” His words choked on themselves when he saw Sasha walking toward us.

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