How To Live Without Dying

Tinsley was always loped in with the popular crowd in one way or another. It was just what her mother wanted. But, Tinsley couldn't stand it.

Ian was an indie skater kid with an undeserved bad reputation.

Sparks fly when they meet, but things quickly turn dangerous.

Sort of happened by chance, and I just kept on with it, but all of the chapter titles are taken from songs by Land of Talk.


6. Give Me Back My Heart Attack

Thunder woke me up the next morning. I sat up and walked to the window. Rain was pouring in torrents.

As a group, we decided to stay in the living room watching James Bond movies until the rain let up. I curled up in an oversized chair next to Ian with a cup of coffee.

The rain never did let up. Not for the next three days.

In fact, it was raining as we loaded our suitcases into the back of our cars. And it was raining as I went into the kitchen to find Ian.

He was making a sandwich, the same one he was putting together when we first met. I stepped up next to him.

"Hi," I said.

"Hey," he smiled at me.

"We were just-"

"I don't want you to go," he interrupted me.

"I don't want to go either," I told him.

"I know it's only been a week," he said. "I know that, but..."

"I know," I leaned my head on his shoulder.

"I don't like the thought of you being in that house," he sighed. "Especially not when I can't be there to protect you."

"Jack's with me," I smiled.

"I know," he nodded.

"The hour isn't bad, and you'll probably come into town every now and then, right?" I asked.

"Of course!" he said like it was ridiculous to think otherwise.

"And I'll make up some excuse to come out here," I told him.

He nodded, but I could tell he was feeling unsure.

"You want to know something stupid?" I asked and he kissed me.

He just... went for it. Dove right in while I was talking and pressed his lips against mine like I was an inhaler and he was out of breath.

After a minute, he pulled away and asked, "What's stupid?"

I took in a deep breath, then let it out slowly to recover, and smiled at him.

"We haven't exchanged phone numbers."

He laughed and said, "That is stupid."

I handed him my phone and he punched his number in.

"I'm saving it as Balloon Animal Henry," he told me.

I snorted and he started laughing.

"Tinsley, we have to go!" I heard Jack call from the front of the house. "I have work I have to do when we get home."

"I'll be out there in a minute!" I called back, then turned to Ian.

"I don't have my phone on me," he said. "Text me and I'll save your number, okay?"

I nodded, then I stood on my toes to kiss him one more time. He brought his hand up to cup my cheek, his other hand threading itself through my hair.

"Tinsley!" Jack called again and I pulled away.

"I'll call you, okay," I told him.

"I'll do the same," Ian said. "Except, to you. I won't be calling myself."

I laughed and walked backwards out of the kitchen. He walked forwards, keeping pace with me until I made it to the front door, where he stopped and leaned against the door jamb. I blew a kiss to him and waved. In the cheesiest, sweetest moment, he caught the kiss in his hands and tucked it into his shirt pocket, then waved to me. I got into the car. Jack and Mandy waved to Ian. I watched him through the window as we drove away.

Every passing second, I wanted more and more to go back to that lake house. I wanted more and more to be at his side.

I couldn't explain how within a week I'd managed to hand my heart over so completely to him. I couldn't explain it at all. But, it was his. And I wasn't sure I wanted it back. I wanted him to keep it.

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