It was mostly easy keeping Ashton away from his house for the next hour or so. Since no one was home and no one would be for a few more hours, I thought it would be best to keep Ashton there. Then I remembered Luke would probably want to see him and help too. So we ended up back at the Hemmings House as usual.
"You got him," Luke breathed in relief as we walked through the door. He was already standing in the entryway like he was waiting for us. He pulled Ashton in for a huge hug before pushing him away and punching him in the arm. "If you do that again I will find a way out of the house I swear to based God."
Ashton chuckled but said nothing to his friend.
He had put his glasses on before entering the house. I noticed that he tended to keep them on around Luke. But now wasn't the time for questioning Ashton. We'd have to come up with a way to keep him occupied.
"Did you say goodbye to them?" Michael wondered.
That was the exact opposite of what we were supposed to do.
Ashton nodded. "I didn't tell them what was going to happen, but I told them I loved them."
Ashton had kept his left hand in my right one ever since we'd left his property. He continued to hold my hand while we sat on the couch in Luke's living room. Luke eyed us but said nothing, knowing now wasn't the time.
"Do you want to play something?" Luke offered. He added with a smile, "It doesn't have to be FIFA either."
"I'm going to go take a nap." he decided, standing up and pulling me with him.
"Apparently Cooper is too." Michael chuckled quietly.
"Okay, uh, I'm going to take a nap too." I shrugged as I was towed down the hallway.
We went upstairs to the guest room. Ashton sat down on the bed and took his glasses off. He stared at the ground, rubbing at his eyes. He didn't want to go to sleep; he just wanted to cry without his friends seeing him.
I walked over and put my arms around him, resting my head on his shoulder. "It's okay. It's better for them."
"I couldn't tell them," he sobbed. "They don't know."
"It's better if they don't." I told him soothingly.
"No," he shook his head as he looked at me. "I never told them I loved them. I'd try to but I'd start choking up and I couldn't let them know anything was wrong."
I sat up and stared at him. "Can't we go back before the wrecking ball comes?"
He shook his head.
"I could sneak you out."
He gave a faint smile but shook his head again. He opened his arms out for me and I gladly leaned into him. We sat like that for a while until he pulled away to move back on the bed and lay down. He looked at the space next to him and then to me. His tried not to look into my eyes, afraid he might make me do something against my will.
I crawled onto the bed and curled up under the covers next to him. As we lay facing each other, our faces inches apart, he stared into my eyes without worry. All of his thoughts were harmless; nothing that could make me do anything.
I'm scared but you make it better. I'm glad I have you. Thank you for sticking around. I love you, Bridgette.
The last thought caught me off guard and I didn't know how to respond. I did love Ashton but in the sense that I cared about him. In love with him? I wasn't sure. Instead of responding, I just pressed my lips to his softly. He pulled at my waist, bringing me closer. I didn't mind it, thought. I liked kissing Ashton anyway. He moved his lips with mine for a moment before pulling away a little bit.
"It's time," he whispered. Tears began to fall from his face again. "They're gone. I can feel it."
"I'm sorry," I told him softly, running my hand through his hair by his ear. "They're better where they are now."
"They really liked you, you know," he told me, staring down at my lips as our noses brushed. "Lauren said you were different from other girls I've dated - a good different."
I gave a small smile. "For what it's worth, I liked them too."
He half-smiled. "Thanks."
Ashton continued to play with our hands between us in the silence. I thought about my own feelings toward him. I felt guilty not feeling something for him that he felt for me. And I knew it was his true feelings because it was something he was thinking. It was nothing he could just say whenever. But he understood I was willing to see where things would go. I just wished I could know how I felt. But how do you know when you're in love? What does it even feel like? I love my family, but it can't be like that.
"Ashton?" I spoke up.
"Mmm?" he hummed in response.
"How do you know when you're in love?" I wondered. Maybe I actually was in love and didn't know it. There should be a book on symptoms of being in love. My feelings for Ashton were just something I couldn't describe.
Ashton's eyes flashed up to mine, but there were no thoughts going through. Could he control that kind of stuff or was it something out of his control? Was it even possible to think of nothing?
He looked passed my head to the closet. "Love feels like...okay, have you ever thought about someone all the time? You just can't get them out of your head but you're okay with it - like it, even. Their laugh, their smile, their eyes; anything just makes you feel happy. When you look at them, you just want to sit with them and be in their company no matter what it is their doing. Even if they're angry with you, you'd do anything for them. Has that ever happened to you?"
Let's see...I didn't think I thought about Ashton all the time. Sure, I had questions about aspects of his life, but I also had questions about Luke, Cal, and Michael. I do like Ashton's laugh and eyes and smile, but I also like Luke's too. And I have this cousin who's super adorable. I will admit, I do like being around Ashton. And when he wouldn't answer me, I still wanted to get to him anyway.
"I don't know," I shrugged. "Kind of."
He chuckled. "Bridgette, I understand that you don't know how you feel. Just go to sleep, alright? I think we both need a nap."
I sighed but did as he said, sliding down into the bed and snuggling into Ashton's chest.
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