Monday, 6 March 2017

Paradise Lost Chap 10

The next morning I woke up with a start, my heart sprinting. For a moment I had no idea where I was,
and I was seized by the disturbing sensation that I was being watched. Then I saw the ocean outside
my open windows and remembered. St. Barths. The Lange family's house. I was fine. I was safe. I
must have had a bad dream. The sky was just starting to brighten, the darkness giving way to lighter
shades of blue and gray. I listened for a moment to ascertain whether anyone in the house was up and
about, but I heard nothing. No early risers in the Lange family. Not that I was surprised. Noelle had
never been a morning person. I lay back on the thick feather pillow. There was no way I was going to
be able to fall back to sleep, because now I was thinking. Thinking of Sabine and Ariana and Thomas
and Josh and Ivy. Lots and lots to think about.
Including Upton. Upton, Upton, Upton. My mind recalled the image of Poppy koala-bearing him, and
my chest constricted. About two seconds after that little display I had fled the party, come back here,
and had gone directly to bed. There was no way I was messing around with a guy who had a
girlfriend. I had learned that lesson with Dash.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something careening toward the window and I sat up straight, my
heart in my throat. Just then a beautiful blue-and-yellow bird alighted on my windowsill and jumped
from side to side, checking me out with its little black eyes.
"Hey there. You scared me," I whispered, letting out a breath. The bird jumped back and forth, back
and forth, and then started to sing. I blinked, surprised. It was almost as if he had done his assessment
and decided I was worthy of a private morning concert. I was about to lay down again and listen to
his song when suddenly someone stepped up to my window, scaring the breath out of me. The bird
took flight with a squawk.
"Good morning," Upton said with a smile.
My hand was over my chest. "Upton! What the hell are you doing? " I whisper-shouted. My stomach
was tied in frightened knots that relaxed only slightly now that I realized I knew my surprise visitor. I
pulled up the blankets to cover my navy blue Easton Academy T-shirt and couldn't help wondering
what my hair was doing.
But wait. I didn't care. He had a girl friend.
"So this is the Langes' new house, huh?" he said, leaning on the windowsill and looking around my
room. "Nicely done."
"How many windows did you pop into before you found the right one?" I asked, my heart still
"Only two. Someone should check on the housekeeper. I may have given her a stroke," Upton said.
"Kidding! Kidding!" he said, lifting his hands.
I took a deep breath and silently told my pulse to calm itself. "What are you doing here?'
"I had to see you," Upton said, running his hands through his tousled hair. "You left so quickly last
night that I didn't have a chance to say good night."
"I thought that was because your tongue was otherwise occupied," I said sarcastically. I rolled away
from him in the bed and hung over the far side to retrieve my jeans from the floor.
"I thought Poppy might have been the cause of your sudden departure," he said with a frown. I
shimmied into my jeans under the covers and swung my legs around the edge of the bed to face him.
He was only about four feet away, but the wall separated us.
"Wow. You're even smarter than I thought," I said.
Upton's frown deepened. "Reed, Poppy is not my girlfriend," he said in a quiet but firm voice. "She's
simply a good friend with whom I've . . . for lack of a better word . . . hooked up with a few times this
past year."
"She seems to think it's more serious than that," I said, crossing my arms over my chest and glancing
at the clock on the nightstand. I needed something to look at other than those deep blue eyes.
Otherwise I was in danger of blindly believing everything he said. Upton laughed in a fond way.
"Well, that's just Poppy. She's used to getting what she wants--and doesn't take no for an answer. Just
one of her many endearing quirks."
"Obsessive delusions are an endearing quirk in your world?" I asked. Upton smirked. "When it's
Poppy Simon, yes." He took a deep breath. "Look, she wanted something more serious and I didn't,
but she's persistent. I think she believes that if she calls me her boyfriend over and over again, I'll
somehow start believing it's true." I snorted a derisive laugh. "Whatever. I just don't want to get
involved in some twisted love triangle," I told him. I got up and walked over to the window. Big
mistake. The closer I got to him, the higher my body temperature rose. "I'd just like to pretend that last
night never happened," I lied.
Upton reached for my hand. He pressed his thumb into my palm, causing my heart to skip an alarming
number of beats.
"That's not acceptable to me," he said. "I can't pretend last night never happened." I hazarded a glance
at his face. God, those eyes. A person could die happy in those eyes.
"Upton," I said. It came out in a sort of begging tone. I had lost all conviction.
"Just let me take you out for breakfast," he said. "I must prove to you I'm not a jerk." I smiled
inadvertently. His accent made everything sound so endearing.
Don't do it, Reed. Don't do it, a little voice in my mind warned. I stared at him, trying to picture a
flashing neon sign in the center of his forehead that read CAUTION! GIRLFRIEND haver!
But I couldn't do it. Another look in those eyes and I was a goner.
"Fine," I said finally, "breakfast."

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Terima kasih sebab sudi menerjah ke ruangan saya kali ini.
Anda diwajibkan untuk komen. Amaran keras!
*ceh tipu je HAHA =P*