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.


13. The Aftermath

They hadn't really done anything to me once they had taken me. Preston said a lot of nasty things, threatened me a lot, stroked my face, but beyond that no one had laid a finger on me. Most of my stress had come from worrying about what had happened to Ian while they had me tied up on the boat.


They made sure I had a prime view to watch him row to the island. When Preston was bored with waiting, he ripped the tape off of my mouth and threatened to do something awful to me. I screamed, then I saw the fireworks go off and I saw him get thrown into a tree with the force of one. And I saw him get up. They knocked me out and the next thing I knew, I was in Ian's arms bobbing in the choppy lake water.


I told Ian all of this, but he still paced around like he needed to fix something but he forgot what it was.


"Ian, calm down and let me check your bandage," I said from the edge of the bathtub as he paced around the bathroom floor.


"It's fine," he said.


I stood up and stopped him, then tugged at the bandage on his shoulder. His chest rose and fell quickly with his anxious breath.


"Ian, you can stop worrying," I whispered. "I'm okay. You're okay. Preston is behind bars now. We don't have anything left to worry about."


He sighed and relaxed as I moved him to sit on the edge of the bathtub and peeled away the bandage. I took a bottle of burn ointment and put a fresh coat on his shoulder. He grimaced, but I could tell it was working. It had been a week and he was already healing up pretty well. In fact, he would probably be okay without the bandage.


"You know what would take your mind off of this nonsense?" I asked.


He looked at me quizzically.


"Finding a place for us to live once the summer is over," I said flatly and poked at his rib to tease him.


He nodded.


"We don't have much longer before it ends, huh?" he asked. "There's no way my old room mate would welcome us both into his dorm back in New York. Have you looked into transferring schools yet?"


I shook my head. I didn't intend to. I still wanted to just get my G.E.D. and be done with High School for good. Transferring again was hard enough in the first place, let alone as a married woman.


"Hey, are you okay?" he asked.


"I just hate feeling stuck. I'm ready for us to move forward with our lives. I'm ready for us to get started. I hate that there are still things holding us back."


"Hey, hey, there is nothing holding us back," he said and lifted my chin so that I was looking up at him. "We've already gotten started. We're moving forward. So, some things take a little planning and thinking ahead. Who cares? Right now, we're together. It's just you and me."


I nodded and smiled.


He leaned in and gave me a gentle kiss.

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