Luke stood up, straightening his tall frame. He backed into the wall, looking at Ashton at the ground. "What the hell, dude?" Ashton said around his bleeding lip.
"I- I'm sorry," Luke stammered. He stood against the wall.
"Ash, are you alright?" I asked him, walking towards him as he stood up. I turned to Luke. "Shut the door before people see, they'll call the police. And keep your hands off my walls, they're white and I don't want blood on them please." I said quietly.
"Hey, look, I'm going to go home. I'll call you later alright?" Ashton said to me.
"Don't you want some ice for your lip for the way home?" I asked him. "I'll get you some ice, I can see that lip swelling." I said, before he could object.
I walked to the kitchen, got a small cloth and put a few blocks of ice in it. I turned around to see that Ashton had followed me in, and I handed him the ice. "Here," I said. After watching him put it about five centimeters away from the cut, I placed his hand over the swelling spot.
"Thanks," he said, his voice muffled. "I'll speak to you later, bye." He said as he gave me a hug and then left the kitchen. I turned around and braced my hand on the counter, hanging my head and sighing.
"Taylor?" Luke's voice came from behind me. His hands were clean again and he was standing by the door of the kitchen. I wheeled around and pressed my back against the counter.
"Luke," I breathed. "I thought that you left." He shook his head and took a step towards me.
As I stepped towards her, she shrank against the counter. I stopped. "Are you... Are you afraid of me?" I asked her quietly. I watched her as she bit her lip, reading my eyes. Slowly, she gave a small nod. I stood there, struck dumb. I took in her small frame. She wasn't just skinny, she was tiny in general. She was short, but with long legs. Her hips were narrow, the bones sticking out from above her pants. Her narrow shoulders were drawn up, the bones at the top sticking out.
Her size 4 feet were barefoot on the cold tiles and her thin fingers were gripping the counter so hard that her knuckles had turned white while her large eyes looked me up and down warily. I put my head in my hands, standing in the middle of her kitchen.
I watched him, his shoulders pulled upwards, his head tucked into his hands. I walked over to him. Cautiously, I touched his shoulder lightly. He looked up from his hands. "I'm sorry," he whispered, his voice breaking slightly. I pulled his hands down and outwards, and stepped into them, wrapping my arms around his waist as I hugged him gently.
Cautiously, his arms gently wrapped around my lower back. His head rested on top of mine as I rubbed his back lightly. "I'm sorry, Luke. I didn't know that you would feel this way." I whispered against his chest.
"Neither did I," he whispered above my head. "I've never felt this way." He admitted.
I matched my breathing to her light, shallow ones. As we stood in her kitchen I came to the realization, that this was no longer a game to me. I didn't have to have her just because she didn't want me. I wanted her for her.