ChallengesMature

          The air around my head smelled like a campfire. I kept my eyes closed and breathed it in slowly. I savored the smell, committing it to memory. There was no better smell. Slowly opening my eyes, I kept breathing the addicting odor. My head was resting against Damien's chest and his head was turned away from me. I was laying on top of his arm and my arm was draped over his stomach. So much for the barrier.

          I stayed as I was, too lazy to move. I stared at Damien's cheek and tried to remember what day it was. After getting hit I was transferred to the hospital where I spent the night. Then I spent another day there. The day I got hit was Tuesday. Today was Friday. I had missed two days of school. There would be plenty of makeup work to do. Grunting with the effort, I struggled to sit up. When I had succeeded, I looked back down at Damien.

          He looked peaceful in his sleep. If I didn't know any better, I would think he was an angel. He was far from it. Still, he looked angelic. I wondered if he had a heartbeat. Slowly, steadily, I leaned close to him and pressed my ear to his chest. The rhythmic beating of his heart filled my ears. I matched it to my own and listened to the two beats intertwining together in my head. It was like listening to music. Then a rumble interrupted the peaceful melody as Damien mumbled in his sleep. Sighing, I sat up again and shook him awake.

          "Hmm?" he mumble, rubbing his eyes.

          "Damien, get up. I have to go to school today," I stated, yawning.

          "Alright, alright," he grumbled, getting up from the bed. "Here, I'll help you get dressed."

          "You wish. I'm not letting you help me. I'll get my mom," I replied, stretching my arms.

          He rolled his eyes and lifted me into the wheel chair.

          "Thank you. Now, I'm going to go get my mom. So, hide or something," I stated, wheeling myself towards my bedroom door. "Go change your clothes."

          He fled out the window while muttering to him self.

          I opened the door and rolled down the hallway, seeking my mother. I found her in the kitchen, eating a bagel. She agreed to help me with my clothes. There wasn't much I could wear. Mainly pajama bottoms or sweats. I couldn't much else over the thick casts. It was easier to get a shirt on though. Hair and makeup were just everyday things and that made me feel better. At least some what better. Even though I had been injured, I was scared that people would still bug me about my question to Brendon on Tuesday.

         The sound of the doorbell ringing startled me. I had really been deep in thought. Shrugging it off, I rolled towards my bed and picked up my bag. Then I heard the sounds of talking. I stopped moving and listened to the words. I couldn't make out what they were saying. I wheeled out of my room in a furry towards the front door.

         "Oh, Lyekka. Your friend, Damien, is here. He said that he's here to help wheel your chair around school," explained my mom, smiling.

         I looked at the doorway and saw Damien smirking at me. There was several things I wanted to say, but I couldn't say them in front of my mother. Not now.

          "Hey, Damien! I didn't know you were coming today," I commented, a little more harsh than necessary.

          "You didn't? Well, I'm here now. Let's stop by Starbucks and get a coffee. We talk for a little bit," he replied, unaffected by my harshness.

           I nodded and let him wheel me out the door. My mom whispered in my ear that he was cute. I cringed at the words. It was weird hearing it from my mother.

          As Damien rolled me down the sidewalk, I felt a knot in my stomach. I was nervous about school. There was no doubt that there would be questions and some of them would be hard to answer. The knot in my stomach tightened as my mind wandered to the thought of Brendon being one of the people questioning me. Maybe he would thing that I was crazy and tried to commit suicide. I shivered at that thought.

         "Lyekka, what do you want to drink?" asked Damien, bringing me back to reality. "Or to eat?"

          "Oh. I would like a caramel cappuccino," I answered softly. "I'd like a poppy seed muffin as well, please."

          Damien looked at me with a questioning expression, but paid for our food. Then he wheeled me to a table that was away from the others.

          "What's wrong? Are you okay?" he asked, looking concerned. "You're never that quiet."

          "I'm just nervous about school. All the questions and such...I'm scared that it'll get out of hand," I answered, looking into his snowy eyes. "What if people think I'm a suicide case?"

          "Don't worry what they think. You and I both know the truth. I was there. I'll be there to back you up."

          "You're going to stay with me the whole day?"

          "Of course. I can't let you go any where by yourself. I don't want you to get ambushed by Drake."

          I nodded and looked down at my hands. They were shaking on the table. Then Damien's warm hands were on mine, stopping their shaking.

          "Don't worry," he repeated, looking into my eyes.

          Our coffee was called soon and Damien picked them up for us. He wheeled me out of the coffee shop and down the road to where my school was. Sipping my coffee, I watched as people on the street turned to look at him. People probably thought he was amazing and just overall handsome. He was as handsome as any male model, possibly more. Not only would people ask me questions about the accident, they would ask questions about Damien. Where did he come from? How old was he? Was he single? Some of the questions I wanted to know myself, but I was too scared to ask them. Seeing him angry once was enough to make me be careful of what I said.

          As we were approaching the front of the school, people turned around to look at me. A couple people ran to me, screaming. They questioned me, while Damien stood there holding the handles of my chair. I was surprised he had enough patience for anything like this.

          "Lyekka, are you okay?" asked one girl, holding my hands.

          "Yeah, I'm fine, Jen," I replied smiling.

          Jen was one of my good friends. She was the most energetic person I knew. Sports were her thing. Out of all my friends, she was the most athletic.

          "Did it hurt?" questioned a short blond girl.

          "It did, but I'm okay now. Thanks, Megan."

          Megan was the shy and smart one. She usually tutored me in homework. The only reason my grades were up to A's was because of her.

          Then they looked up at Damien. Jen was the first to ask questions. She grilled him on who he was, where he was from and how old he was. Her curiousness surprised him, but didn't stop him from answering the questions.

          His answers were short and logical. He told them his name and that he was a hired hand from the hospital. His age was seventeen and he explained that he had dropped out of school to earn money for his family. It was pretty convincing actually, but demons were supposed to be good at tricking people, right?

          When the bell rang, I told Damien which class I had. As I directed him where to go, people in the hall stared with wonder at the tall handsome boy. I knew what they were thinking. It was something along the lines of what was he, this gorgeous boy, doing with me, some stupid unimportant person. They shouldn't worry so much about him being with me. He was only here to protect me, not because he liked me.

           Damien explained to the teacher who he was and why he was there. Then he maneuvered the chair to a table that had free space. He locked my chair so I couldn't move it and then sat next to me.

          "Look at all these humans," he whispered, handing me my notebook. "They keep staring."

          "There staring at you because they're curious. The girls probably want to date you and the guys are probably wondering if your dangerous competition," I remarked, taking down the notes on the board. "They all have girls they want to date, but since your here, that may not happen."

          "Why? Why do they want to date me?" he questioned, becoming curious.

          "Have you looked in a mirror?" I replied, rolling my eyes.

          "Oh. So you think I'm cute too."

          My cheeks burned with embarrassment. The pen in my hands dug into my finger and I squeezed it. Why did I just blurt that out?

          "You're cheeks are so red. How cute. I made the human blush," he gloated, smirking slightly. "I wonder if your face can get any redder."

          He was whispering into my ear and his breath tickled it. It felt like his lips were so close. My concentration was now focused on his lips so close to my ear. The notes were suddenly unimportant compared to the feeling I was having. Then I felt his hand brush against my thigh. My already red face turned scarlet. I yelped a little and dropped my pencil.

          The teacher looked up from his desk in my direction.

          "Sorry, sir. The pain medication must be wearing off from last night. May I take her to administer some more?" he asked, politely.

          The teacher nodded and filled out a hall pass. As he handed it to Damien, he stared at me. He was probably wondering why my face was so red.

           Damien thanked the teacher and wheeled me out of the room. He rolled me down the hall and towards the resting benches. he set me to face the bench and then sat across from me.

          "Sorry about that. I didn't mean to touch your leg," he apologized, locking his eyes with mine.

          I stared at him. This wasn't going to be easy. Having him around would make things harder for me in class. Concentrating on the teacher would be hard with him sitting next to me looking the way he did.

          "Are you mad at me?" he questioned, resting his hands on his lap.

          "No...actually, yes. I can't concentrate with you whispering in my ear and touching me. It's...it's just hard, okay?" I snapped, letting it all pour out. "Why do you torture me? You don't like me and you probably know by now that I like you! Just...stop playing with my feelings."

          He seemed to be shocked that I had snapped at him. His eyes searched my face. Sadness washed over his face and he looked down.

          I stared at him wondering if I had really hurt his feelings. Was it a trick? Sympathy washed over me, covering the anger from before. There was something about the way that he was acting that screamed real. I reached out and touched his shoulder. He looked up and stared into my eyes. Wrapping my arms around him I apologized and told him that I was just frustrated.

          "I did mean to torture you. I'm sorry. I shouldn't toy with your emotions like that," he replied, hugging me back.

          "It's okay. You aren't the only one."

          It was the truth. He wasn't the only one.

The End

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