My pulse

An emotional and sensitive teenager transforms over-night due to an expierence. She is now known as the girl who hooks up with every guy she sees, the girl known as the most badass girl in town. Everything changes when the new boy comes to town...but is he more special than she thinks?

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10. Deal

"Thanks for everything today Josh" I said as he switched the engine off after a silent journey.

"It was my pleasure" said Josh searching my face finding it completely blank, my usual guarded self.

"Guess I'll see you tomorrow at Lorna's" I said, Josh helping me down.  "You will" said Josh, pausing next to me.  "Ok then" I said, noticing that he wasn't moving from his position.  "Goodnight Amber" he said, giving me quick hug.  It was nothing like the one before, just a brief one, touching each other the least possible.  His throat was clenched and his eyes glassed.  "Josh what's wrong?" I asked, putting my hand on his arm.  He shrugged my hand away.  "It's nothing" he said roughly.  I felt a bit hurt.  "I told you my stuff, why can't you?" I said with hawk like eyes.  He looked away.  "Look at me" I said.  He turned but wouldn't meet my gaze.  "In my eyes" I said.  He looked but quickly glanced away.  "Josh!" I said, clutching his jaw and turning it to me, he had to look.  His expression froze.  "Did I do something wrong?" I asked slowly.  "No, you were great but..." he said hesitating.  "But what?" I said.  "Can you please let go of me?  I can't concentrate" he said, still looking into my eyes, not blinking.  "I...I...I have to go Amber, see you tomorrow" he said, his voice choked up, emphasizing my name.  He got into his truck and left as fast as he could.

Strange.  What did I do?  Did I scare him?  Did I do something wrong?  I felt disturbed, wanting to know the cause to his strange behaviour.  Everything was fine, although he looked very thoughtful at dinner, looking at me when he thought I wasn't noticing.  I'm a horrible person.  I didn't have to tell him but I did.  Stupid, stupid Amber, always ruining everything.  I wouldn't even look at myself in the mirror.  My sleep was restless.

"Amber..." whispered a voice. 

I was looking in the bathroom mirror.  I looked around, trying to see where the voice was coming from.  I turned back to the mirror and screamed.  Edward was in the mirror, his skin burnt and bleeding, grinning wickedly at me. 

"I swear I didn't mean for any of that to happen" I sobbed, terrified of him. 

He put his hand on my shoulder.  I felt something cold but when I turned around he wasn't there.  I looked back in the mirror and there he was but on my right side now.  "Oh I know, I just want you to burn" he said.  He grabbed me from my neck, blocking my airways.  Choking, I turned around to find his face inches from mine.  I screamed.

I woke up on my bed, haunted and a mess.  I was sweating like crazy and trembling.  Someone entered the door.  I screamed, thinking it would be Edward, creeping backwards against the headboard. 

"It's me" said a kind voice. 

It was Josh, with Samantha behind him.  They were all burnt like Edward.  I rocked forward and backwards, my sobs throbbing through me, my screams unable to pass.  "You did this to us" he said, twisting his head sideways.  The window flew open and a deep chill entered the room.  Somebody was climbing up.  A burnt hand was reaching for the window ledge. 

"Come help me!" shrieked Lara, as her burnt face appeared. 

She crawled up and into the room, crouching like a wild animal about to attack its prey.  Sitting beside me was Stacy, normal Stacy. 

"You killed us Amber" she said. 

Her flesh began turning red like the others.  I fainted.

When I woke up I was in someone's arms.  When is this nightmare going to end?  It was dad gently stroking my hair. 

"It's just a bad dream" he said. 

I cried into his shoulder, relieved he wasn't all burnt like the others. 

"It was horrific" I sobbed. 

"I know, you were screaming.  Was it the same one?" he asked.  "Yeah but worse; Lara, Stacy, Samantha and Josh were there too" I said, my voice crumpling.  My throat was dry.  "Are you going to be ok?" said dad.  I pursed my lips, the image of Josh all burnt up and bleeding stuck in my head.  "I'll pull through" I said.  "You could stay here for today, if you want I'll call Lorna..." he said.  "No" I said hurriedly.  "I want to go, I have some stuff to settle" I said, thinking about Josh and how me and Stacy weren't on completely good terms.  And poor Lara in the middle.  And, to top it all, no sex for another 5 weeks.  Screw them, if I feel good enough those 5 weeks can kiss themselves to the moon.  I hope James goes to hell.

I didn't dare sleep again and I definitely didn't want to go anywhere near a mirror or window so I turned on my laptop and decided to study.  Somewhere in the process, I must have nodded off because I woke up due to sunlight in my eyes.  Shit.  I hurried around the room pulling things on and begged my mum to help me with makeup and contact lenses.  She reluctantly helped, not putting on as much as I liked but I guess that's better than nothing.  Everything was in check.  I grabbed my bag and headed out. 

"Amber, wait!" sounded a voice from behind me. 

"You can't just walk to work with a fractured rib like that" said Josh.

"I can do whatever I want and clearly so do you" I said, walking in the opposite direction, trying to focus on the path ahead.  "You're going the wrong way" he said.  "I don't care" I shouted.  He ran after me.  "Amber, I can explain, please be reasonable and come into the van and let me explain" he said.  Realising I wasn't going to get far with the rate I was walking, I abruptly turned around to walk to the van only to bump into him.  "Steady there" he said, holding his hand out.  "Don't you touch me and you'd better start talking" I said.

"I'm sorry I went crazy last night" he said, eyes on the road.  "That's it?" I said.  Unbelievable.  Pathetic.  Useless.  Good for nothing.  Hot.  Wait what?  Focus brain.  "What else do you want from me?" he asked.  "Oh I don't know, maybe a reason for your sudden outburst?" I said.  "That's a no can do" he said.  "I trusted you.  I actually trusted a guy after all that happened to me and this happens?  I've lost faith in the male gender and yet I'm here talking to you about it because I can't help it" I said.  "What do you mean you can't help it?" said Josh.  "You're a magnet, you mentally exhaust me, it's just, you" I said, struggling for words.  "And it frustrates me, good looks, good personality, caring brother and all.  You make me want to tell you everything.  I can't even help it" I said.  "You tempt me in ways I've never been tempted by just one look, you make me want you against my own free will and I don't do anything, my brain accepts that" I said.  The tension between us was so strong it couldn't be broken by anything.  

Josh swerved on the road, barely missing a car.  He stopped the truck in a side street.  And stared ahead, his hands clenched on the wheel.  "Damn it" he said.  "Samantha warned me I wouldn't be able to control myself" said Josh.  "Control yourself about...?" I said, caught mid-sentence as Josh pressed his lips against mine.  I gasped at the jolt of electricity which passed through me.  I positioned myself on his lap, kissing him urgently, our hands completely out of control.  I gasped, struggling with breathing.  He gently pushed me away, biting his lip.  "Damn you're good" he said.  "I've had practise" I said, still trying to figure out what was happening.  I moved from his lap back onto my seat, wheezing a bit.  "I'm sorry" he said.  "Don't be, that was very enjoyable.  What I want to know is what now?" I said.  The electricity between us was like nothing I've ever felt before.  "Now...we're late for work" he said.  He sped to Lorna's Bar & Dine..

We kept glancing at each other all shift.  I had been thinking.  We could both benefit from this situation.

After our shift, heading towards Stacy's tattoo parlour I explained.

"So this is like an agreement?" asked Josh.

"Yes, we hook up with each other, stay as friends, we don't develop any feelings, satisfy each others needs" I said.

"Where?" he asked.  "Your place, when we're alone" I said.  "I like it, but on two conditions" said Josh.  "Name them" I said.  "Your rib has to heal first and that we don't hook up with anyone else whilst this deal is on" said Josh.  "Done" I said.  We fist bumped each other.

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