Chapter 7

I was nervous. I mean the brownies were noway near as nice as Jessica's. What if Aaron compared them? No he wouldn't do that. He would love them just like he always did with the things I attempted to best Jessica. Just like I loved him. I shivered and clutched the basket tighter to me.

He will like them. He will. I reassured myself. I made it down to the town and headed to the forge starting to get a skip to my step. That was until I found Jessica in the forge. She was playing with her hair and looking up at Aaron flirtatiously. I didn't really care if he was or wasn't responding why hadn't he thrown her out! He knew I hated her around him so why?

Unless he didn't want to. Maybe, even after all he said yesterday, he did like Jessica and had just said that to make me feel better. I fought against tears that tried to spill. I was over thinking this. I had to be. Aaron cared about me. Best friends forever although maybe like my brother he wanted a girlfriend not a girl like me who was only 'friend' material apparently.

"Aaron!" I called trying to sound cheerful. It got not only his attention but Jessica who scowled at my presence.

"We're talking here" she snappily informed me then saw my brownies and her posture tensed. "He already has brownies. I brought him some yesterday"

She thought she was being smart but both me and Aaron knew those brownies hadn't been touched having been thrown away since they'd been scattered over the floor. It had been a sweet gesture from Aaron to cheer me up to show Jessica didn't matter but seeing her here made me question everything.

"Carlie! Hey." Aaron smiled at me seeming to ignore how rude Jessica had been to me. He should be defending me! Then he had the cheek to invite me over.

With anger boiling in my veins I stomped my foot and stormed off. I didn't miss Jessica's comment though of "Such a child" which infuriated me even more.

It was a few moments before I heard Aaron's heavy footsteps coming after me with him calling my name. I also heard Jessica calling after Aaron distressed and the footsteps and calling stopped. That hurt the fact that he stopped coming after me for her. Gosh, I wish it had anyone but her. My heart ached horrible in my chest and my feet became as heavy as stone. I fought the tears. I had to fight the tears.

I hugged the basket of brownies tighter to my chest. He'd chosen to stay with her over coming after me. Maybe he had finally chosen to settle just like Isaac had. Oh gosh everyone was leaving me.... I reached the river and had to sit down at tears poured down my face. I heard footsteps but I must be imagining them cause he wouldn't come after me. The footsteps past me though and again I lost hope but then my name started to be called.It was Aaron. I could pick his voice out of a million. He seemed to give up trying to find me and there was a hurt in his voice as he breathed. Still he called out for me even though he had apparently given up in finding me.

I got up slowly moving cautiously round the tree. "Aaron?"

He jumped up surprise trying to regain his cool but I'd already seen that other side of him. The softer vulnerable side that confused me. "Oh, hey" he began gesturing over his shoulder before continuing to ramble. "Jessica.. nothing.. just you know, trying to.. the usual.. you ok? Was worried.."

The awkward laugh he gave then made me even more curious as I just stood there watching him. I mean what did that vulnerability over me mean. He shakes his head his arms looping around me so warm and tight as he smiles that way that makes me melt inside.

"Anyway, haha." He continues starting to get this comical edge to him but his ragged breathing leaves the fact he raced after me hanging in the air.  "Anything in particular you were coming to see me for, or just wanting to hang out with the coolest Blacksmith in Aire?"

A deep possession ran through me. A need to get it all out and pray Aaron would except me so clenching parts of his shirt tight in my hands I yanked him down while going up on my tip toes till our lips met in a silly chanced kiss.

The End

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