Not In That Way *Completed*

There is always that one little thing that can keep a person stable. That one little thing that makes a person feel alive. The thing that can make a person smile even when they are having a bad day.

For Cora Smith that thing is more like a someone. Her someone is Zachary Dawson. Her long time best friend and the person that saved her when her life was in shambles. For years, she has been battling for his attention against all the other girls around her. However, little did she know she had him wrapped around her little finger since the very beginning.

Join Cora on her journey in discovering the truth about Zachary, while all the while she is consumed with the fear that, in the end, the only words she will hear from him are, "I'm sorry, believe me, I love you, but not in that way......"

*Based on the song, "Not in That Way" by Sam Smith*

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31. Chapter 29

Chapter 29

*Cora’s POV*
 

My hands grip tightly to the thin material of his shirt. He holds me to his chest and whispers comforting words in my ear. After a few minutes, I pull away and dry the remaining tears from my eyes.

“Sorry about your shirt.” I mumble.

“It doesn’t matter. I like to be here for you.” he says simply.

The other man is looking down at me with a look of complete sympathy.

“Who are you?” I whisper.

“The names Adam.” he smiles.

“And?” I ask.

“Luke asked me to come get you. I saw you running from Zach and I thought that I would help you. I didn't mean to scare you.”  he explains.

“Oh, thank you I guess.” I reply.

“Of course.” he says, with a smile.

“What the fuck is going on here?” someone growls.

Twirling around my eyes widen and my breathing hitches. Zach is standing before me, absolutely furious. If looks could kill, both Luke and Adam would be obliterated.

“I said What the fuck is going on here? Is this your little boyfriend Cora?” he sneers.

“What?! NO!” I screech.

“Yeah, right. Of course not. It isn’t like you were just hanging all over him a second ago.” he snaps.

My face pales.

“You saw that?”

“Yeah, Cora. I saw that.”

“It isn’t what it looks like, man.” Luke tries to reason, but it only angers Zach more.

“It isn’t what it looks like! Are you serious right now?” he growls.

I am at a loss for words. I have no idea what to say to him.

“Who the fuck are you?” he nearly screams, taking Luke’s shirt into his hand.

Adam steps forward then, wedging his body between Zach’s and Luke’s.

“Move.” Zach growls lowly.

“Make me.” Adam eggs on.

“Okay that’s enough!” I shout, taking Zach’s arm and pulling him away.

He tries to fight against me, but I lose it.

“Fucking stop Zach! He’s my damn brother!” I yell.

He stops struggling and looks over at me sharply.

“What? You expect me to believe that shit? He’s my brother?! Yeah, fucking right.” he mocks, ripping his arm out of my hold.

“I am fucking done.” I snap, glaring at Zach.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Adam and Luke slowly creeping out of the room.

“I’m gonna go.” They say awkwardly.

“I am fucking done, Zach.” I repeat.

You’re done?! Are you fucking serious, Cora?!” he shouts.

“Yes, Zach. I am done. I am tired of all of your shit right now! You can’t just keep acting like you fucking care. You come barging in here like you fucking own the place accuse me of having a boyfriend! And besides it shouldn’t even matter to you if I did have a boyfriend!” I yell.

“Why do you always do that? Why do you always say that I don’t care about you?” he growls lowly, getting in my face.

“Because you don’t.” I spit out.

“You always do this, Cora! You try to play the pity card way too damn much! I care about you so much that sometimes I can’t even think straight!”

“Oh, please. Like that isn’t a lie.” I chuckle darkly.

“It isn’t a fucking lie.” he barks.

“Psh, and how do you expect me to believe that?” I say sarcastically.

“Because it’s the truth. I only ever tell you the truth.” he snaps.

“Yeah right.” I chuckle sarcastically.

“Fucking stop!” he screams.

Stop?! You want me to fucking stop?! You are a liar Zach. You played me for a fool. You made me believe that you cared for me. You made me believe that I had someone, Zach! And it was all a fucking lie! You lied to me! You never cared for me! You never wanted to be there for me! You never wanted to be my friend! You were fucking playing me all along! All you did was pity me! You thought that I was annoying! You thought that I was pathetic! You told everyone as a fucking joke that I loved you, Zach! So go ahead and fucking laugh then! Come on, Zach! I know you want to!” I screech.

His eyes widen and expression of shock and confusion appears on his face.

“Who told you that?” he whispers.

“Ask your fucking girlfriend!” I shout.

“My girlfriend? What are you talking about? I don’t have a….” he trails off.

“Bullshit. I saw you cuddling up with her at school!” I sneer.

“Amanda?!” he says, surprised.

“Yes, Amanda. Surprised that your perfect little girl isn’t as perfect as you thought she was?” I ask mockingly.

“She isn’t my girlfriend. What you saw…..I was trying to make you jealous…” he says.

“You were trying to make me jealous? Why the fuck would you want to do that?” I question harshly.

“Because I want you, Cora. You weren’t paying attention to me in that way and I wanted you.” he mumbles.

“Yeah right. More and more lies they just keep piling up, don’t they.” I scoff, turning on my heel and starting to walk away.

Not long before I turned around, Zach’s hand latches onto my elbow and spins me around.

“I can prove it.” he whispers.

I raise an eyebrow, “How?”

Without a chance at an answer, he quickly leans forward, pressing his lips to mine. Shock mixed with sparks of pleasure fills my body. His lips are warm and slightly chapped. They feel perfect pressed to mine. As soon as I come to my senses, I rip myself away from him, my lips still tingling from the kiss.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I yell, viciously wiping my mouth, even though I don’t want to.

“Proving it to you” he says seriously.

“That doesn’t mean that you go and fucking kiss me!” I scream, faking a disgusted face.

“I just didn’t know how else to prove it to you…” he trails off.

"Well you sure as hell don't fucking kiss me!" I yell, throwing my hands in the air.

"I'm sorry, Cor." he apologizes, looking down at the ground.

“You are ridiculous!” I screech.

“Cora, I’m sorry, okay! I had to find a way to show you that I cared. I thought that would suffice.” he tries to explain.

“There’s a fucking thing called words, Zach!” I sneer.

“I’m not good with words okay! You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to tell you that I cared. You don’t know how long that I’ve wanted to do that.” he whispers, reaching out to move a hair away from my face.

I harshly pull away from him and snap, “Do what?”

“Kiss you.” he says, simply.

My mouth drops open in shock, but I quickly recover and fix my face into the harshest glare that I can muster.

“You are an asshole.” I growl.

“How?! How am I a fucking asshole! It’s the truth!” he shouts.

“You see, that’s just it. It’s not the fucking truth, okay! That’s pretty obvious!” I shout back.

“What the hell are you talking about?! Of course it’s the truth! I would never lie to you!” he scoffs, as his mouth drops open.

"That right there is absolute bullshit! Why do you have to lie straight to my face?!" I yell, roughly running my fingers through my hair.

“I don’t! I never have!” he roars.

“Yeah right! You fucking played me, Zach!” I cry.

“What the hell are you talking about?” he says, in a deadly tone, rage clouding his eyes.

“Amanda said-”

“I swear, Cora. If I hear one more damn word about what Amanda said I am going to lose my shit! Nothing that she said to you was true! I didn’t date her! I didn’t do anything with her that wasn’t just to make you jealous! I didn’t tell her that I loved you and I sure as hell didn’t tell her that I fucking pitied you! Why in the hell would you believe something like that?!” he screams.

“Because it made sense! I believed it because it made fucking sense! There is no way in hell that you actually care about me! A guy like you should never care about someone like me!” I screech.

“A girl like you? What the hell does that mean?” he snaps.

“I’m pathetic, Zach! I’m fucking weak! I can’t do anything without crying! Why would you want a girl like that? Why would you want someone that’s so fucking broken that they can’t even look in the mirror anymore? Tell me, Zach. Why would you want someone like that?” I rant, looking at the ground, anger and sadness coursing through my body.

“Because it’s you. I want a girl like that because it’s you.” he says, tilting my face up.

My eyebrows furrow in confusion.

“Why though? Why me?” I ask.

“Because you’re you, Cora. You’re perfect to me. You may be weak and you may cry at everything, but I don’t give a shit because you’re Cora Smith and I fucking love you.” he chuckles, stroking my cheeks with his thumbs.

My breath catches in my throat and my eyes widen.

“W-what?” I stutter.

“I love you, Cora Smith.” he repeats.

My mind is swimming with thoughts that I can’t even say out loud.

“T-that can’t be possible.” I mumble, shaking my head.

“Yes it can. It’s very possible, Cora, because I do, more than anything.”

Shaking my head more fiercely I pull out of his hold and step back.

“You can’t love me. It’s not possible.” I mutter, gasping for breath.

My breaths are coming out in short gasps and my heart is constricting. The three words that I have waited for years for him to say just came out of his mouth, but they can’t be possible.  I’m too broken for him. He doesn’t deserve to have someone like me in his life. He deserves someone so much better. He deserves someone who can be his everything. A person who could love him with their entire self. I can’t be that person. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. Why would I ever be able to be enough for him?

“No…” I whisper, still shaking my head.

“Cor. Calm down.” he begs, taking me into his arms.

I struggle to get out of his arms, but his vice like hold prevents from doing so.

“You can’t love me.” I say again weakly.

“Oh god, Cora,” he whispers as I start to breathe ten times faster, “Baby, please calm down. Everything’s going to be okay.”

My chest constricts and my breathing becomes harder. Lowering us to the ground, Zach holds me to his chest and rocks us back and forth. Throughout my small panic attack, Zach holds me closer to him and speaks comforting words into my ear. Once my breathing returns to normal, I pull away from him and rise to my feet. Zach stands up and puts a hand on my elbow when I stumble backwards.

“Thanks.” I whisper lowly.

“Of course.” he says before giving me a smile and continuing. 

“I don’t know how to get you to understand. I love you. You’re my everything. My world and you can’t see that. I don’t know what to do to get you to believe me, but I just need you to know that I’m not lying. I don’t care about anything anyone, Amanda, says. I don’t pity you. You don’t annoy me and I sure as hell didn’t make it a joke that you loved me. You’re perfect, Cora. In my eyes anyways. You’re kind, outgoing, intelligent, and an amazing person. Plus, you’re fucking gorgeous. You mean a lot to me, Cora. You have for a very long time. I thought it was actually pretty obvious, but I guess not. I will stop at nothing to get you to believe that I love you.” he vows, inching closer to me.

My heart flips in my chest at his words. Staring up at him, I realize he’s completely serious. He will literally stop at nothing to make me believe.

My lips lift in a small smile and I subtly step closer to him.

“I know it’s going to take a while for you to trust me again. You’ve heard a lot of stuff and I seriously don't doubt why you don’t believe me right now. Of course I wish that you did, but I understand completely why you don’t. I promise you that I’m not lying when I say that I love you. I promise you that I’m not playing you and I know that all of this means nothing to you right now, but you just need to know.” he shrugs.

“You know I always knew you loved me…...but not in that way. I just thought that you loved me like a little sister.” I say.

“I love you like a girlfriend, baby.” he whispers, taking me into his arms.

“Good. I love you too.” I reply, a smile slipping onto my face.

His face lights up and he grins down at me.

“Really?” he nearly shouts.

Nodding my head, I lean up and press my lips to his.

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