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Chapter 8: Caught In the Rain
It had been nearly a week now since that incident. Monica had talked over it numerous times, but I still thought about it every week, every day, every hour.
When I was working, I tried to let myself focus on my assignments, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Malfoy. No matter how hard I tried, his face wouldn’t leave my mind. It was hard for me, because the moment I thought of him hurting my best friend and hurting me, I would try not to go into a fit of tears.
How could he? What was he thinking? Was I just confused? Was I really seeing that he had feelings for me? Or was I just being stupid?
I was asking myself these constant questions all day, wondering if I was just being a thick, confused woman in love.
I was in love. I was still in love with him. Even when I told him those words that I no longer felt that way for him, I still did. But he was selfish, inconsiderate, and arrogant. He didn’t care about what other people were feeling; he only cared about himself.
So when I continued to rant on in my mind about how much of a bad person he was, it still didn’t help. I felt the exact same way as I had last night. My heart still beat the same for him, only for him.
I jumped up to see Patrick’s boiling face staring at me. “Get back to work. Don’t go off daydreaming on me like a silly fool. People like that get themselves fired.”
“Yes, sir,” I said through gritted teeth.
“I always thought someone like you would know not to drink eleven bloody Dragonflus in one night on an empty stomach!” Patrick growled at the top of his lungs.
“Eleven?” I heard someone whisper in shock.
“That’s absurd,” I said, shaking my head. “I didn’t have eleven Dragonflus.”
“How would you know? You don’t even remember what happened the rest of the night! And I need that article, Naomi. The month is nearly up. If it isn’t on my desk by the new month, you’re fired.”
I blinked at him. “You’re not serious.”
“Oh, I am.”
I stared at him in complete shock. “Alright, chill out. I’ll get it as soon as possible,” I said, feverishly returning to my work.
Soon everything had calmed down--Patrick no longer hounded people with labor, and everyone kept to themselves, their noses in their own business.
I could smell the familiar scent of raspberries and looked up to see Monica standing before me.
“Hi,” she said softly, examining my face.
“Hello,” I said back, softer than her.
We were both silent for a few more seconds.
“I think you should talk to him, Naomi,” Monica explained.
I stared up at her, shocked. “And why would I do that? After what he’d done to you, to the both of us?”
“He didn’t really do anything,” Monica explained. “I let him have me. I could’ve said no; I could’ve gone home. But instead I stayed.”
“But he took advantage of you.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe he did--maybe I knew he was doing it, and let him. I couldn’t help it, Naomi. He’s Draco Malfoy, a man so good looking that I couldn’t resist.”
I cringed at her words, remembering what Darcy had said to me.
“And besides, I know that he’s at least a good man inside,” she explained.
“A good man? A man who doesn’t even think twice about what he’s doing to all these women?” I asked, my tone hushed.
“He apologized to me,” she explained. “It was such a nice apology, Naomi. I could hear the sorrow and guilt in his voice.”
“Maybe he’s just a good actor.”
“I could see it on his face. He asked me to forgive him. He felt sorry; he felt bad. I know how you feel about him. You feel the same way as you did before… you’re still in love with him.”
“You don’t know that,” I snapped quietly, shaking my head. “You don’t know how I feel.”
“I can see it on your face while you work,” said Monica. “I see you daydreaming like mad.”
“So? I could be thinking about something else, for all you know,” I said.
“Naomi, if you do happen to get back together with Malfoy-”
“I won’t care at all if you do-”
“You won’t have to, because I won’t be seeing him again.”
“Because I don’t have feelings for Malfoy anymore-”
“And neither to I,” I lied.
We glowered at each other for a few seconds, then Monica turned on her heel, not before saying “We’ll see…”
What did that mean?
I went home that night feeling groggy and not in the mood for anything. I didn’t feel hungry, and didn’t feel like my old self to snuggle up and read by the fire.
I couldn’t get his face out of my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I huffed, pacing back and forth, wondering if I needed therapy.
Then my eyes landed on the front door.
Or maybe I just need a walk.
I stepped towards the door, opening it, and stared at the outside world. A breeze fluttered into the house, and for a moment I was frozen, my state of mind gone. Then suddenly something whizzed past me, a color of orange and white.
“Thomas!” I gasped.
You stupid head! You know better than to leave the front door open long enough for him to dash out!
I raced out the door after him, but he was faster than me. Thomas wasn’t allowed outside; there were cars and loose dogs and icky people. The world wasn’t safe for a tiny, sweet, gentle kitty cat like him. So as you can imagine, I tried to keep up with the mad dashing cat, but he was like a lion, sprinting through peoples’ yards, a blur of color, his tail in the air as he ran along.
I didn’t stop running. I couldn’t stop thinking about or wondering what might happen to him. I’d die if I found him laying in the street the next morning from the result of a car, unmoving and lifeless.
From the moment my eyes lost sight of him, I went frantic. I couldn’t stop sprinting like mad, going after any blur of orange and white, crying out and calling to him. I stopped people while they were walking, giving them the specifics of Thomas and wondering if they had seen him. They all told me no.
I was beginning to feel hopeless as nighttime came and the sky cracked with thunder and lightning. It still didn’t stop me though--I loved Thomas too much. Losing him would be like loosing a family member, my therapist--the only creature who could make me happy if I were in a poor mood.
There was another rumble of thunder, and rain poured down like a fountain instantly, forked lightning streaking the sky and glowing in the darkness. I ran and dashed under a bus stop shelter, shivering like mad, my hair and clothes drenched. I was only wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and sweater, and wasn’t at all very warm.
I began to lose more hope, my arms wrapped around me, water streaming down my face as I thought more and more about my little cat. I was worried sick--he was like a child to me, my child. I had lost him! What was wrong with me?!
“You… you stupid!” I began yelling, stamping my foot in puddles of water, screaming out at the sky. The muggle man beside me stared in fright, holding his umbrella close to him as if preparing to use it as a defense mechanism.
“What’s wrong with you? You can’t take care of one ruddy cat?” I barked at myself.
Another thunderclap broke through the air, lightning illuminating the sky, as if mocking me.
I turned towards the scared muggle man. “Sir?”
The man jumped a foot out of the air, preparing to defend himself. “Y-y-yes?”
“Have you seen a tawny orange and white cat? He’s pretty skinny, hazel eyes…”
“N-no… I haven’t!” he said rather rudely.
I crossed my arms in reply, glaring at him, and then the sky. I felt like crying. I looked back towards the ground, my eyes searching every corner of the streets, in the darkness, trying to find-
Orange and white blurred together raced around a corner and down another street.
“Thomas!” I cried, dashing after him, nearly getting myself killed as I raced in front of a taxi, the honking shattering my eardrums.
I charged around the corner with all my might, starting to run again, when I saw someone dressed in a crisp, black suit, a wool jacket around his shoulders, holding a large, black umbrella. Thomas was in his hands…
“Naomi?” he asked me in surprise.
I stared in shock, my mouth hanging open. “M-M-Malfoy?”
“What are you doing here?” he asked me.
“I was looking for my cat. He got out,” I explained, stammering as I went along. “That cat.” I pointed at Malfoy’s arms, seeing Thomas as wet as me, who was quite glad to be sheltered with Malfoy.
“He came right up to me,” Malfoy explained, handing Thomas to me. “I didn’t know what to do.”
I took Thomas, staring at Malfoy in disbelief, wondering how on earth I could’ve bumped into him.
“You’re drenched, Naomi,” said Malfoy.
“I’ve been out looking for him for a while now,” I exclaimed, rubbing Thomas under his chin. He looked rather angry that he was with me, all wet and cold, rather than with Malfoy. “He got out of the house. I never let him out.”
“It’s not safe out here for a cat like that,” commented Malfoy. He scratched Thomas behind the ears. “What’s his name?”
“Thomas,” I answered softly. “Well, I’ve gotta go now. It’s late, and I’m… cold and wet, and I’ve gotta get home. Thank you, Malfoy. Good-”
“Could you wait just one minute?” he asked. “I needed to talk to you, Naomi.”
“Well, I’m a little pressed for time.”
“What in the name of Merlin could you be busy doing at this time of night?”
“I’m cold, and I wanna go home,” I snapped. “That’s all.”
“Here. Take this. You’re soaked to the bone.” He removed his wool coat, placing it around my shoulders without an answer coming out of my mouth. It was nice and warm, and I could smell his cologne on it… it smelled good.
“I can’t take this coat,” I protested. “It must’ve cost a lot for you, and-”
“You need it more than me,” he said. “Maybe I should walk you home. It’s not safe on the streets at night-”
“I’m fine, thank you,” I said quickly. I could feel my fingers going numb from the cold. “I’ll be all right on my own.”
We were silent for a second, and I turned to leave.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you, Naomi,” Malfoy explained, grabbing my arm before I could take another step.
“Can’t it wait till another time?”
“How do I know there will be another time? You never come to my office to finish up the interview-”
“That’s because it’s already finished,” I said, annoyed. I started walking away.
“Will I see you again, sometime?” he asked me, his voice becoming faint.
I turned back slightly. “Maybe… sometime.” Then I headed back home, not looking back.
I woke up the next morning laying in bed, Malfoy’s coat still draped around myself.
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed that! Please review and tell me what you thought! And only one more chapter left! :)