Chapter 8 : Never Leave A Teammate Behind
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Like a bullet, I shot.
The natural force of wind and my own speed sparked adrenaline, encouraging me to keep it up. Faster, if possible. The maniacal smile on my face was not restrained. From afar, I probably looked like a crack-head on a broomstick.
In my mind, I tried to think of epic theme songs to characterize my intense race (because I’m cool like that), but could not concentrate on a single tune. The thunder was just too damn loud.
Bright lights flashed before me, and I assumed that it was sodding Samuels attempting to jinx me. Bloody cheater. My torso turned slightly to flip him the full birdie, but he wasn’t there. I was getting too blooming paranoid. It was just lightening in the distance.
That didn’t stop me. Even the wind was probably screwing my hair into a tornado disaster, I refused to quit. One may call it pure madness, but I think of it more as determination. Obsessive determination.
My energy stemmed from my fantasy of beating Samuels, and then rubbing it profusely in his face. Oh, crossing that finish line will surely be sweet.
I must hire a photographer or a creepy paparazzo to capture my moment of victory, and Samuels’ defeat. Hmm, wonder if that creepy Creevey boy is still around with a muggle camera…
Quickly, I met up with the towers of Hogwarts, swerving my broom around the school with an air of confidence. I ignored the bits of moisture that fell on my hair. Who cared about rain, this was pure ownage!
The thunder continued to sound, adding a little more zing to such a dysfunctional competition.
Who cares, for all I knew, the Quidditch gods were clapping for me; the constant booms sounding from the sky. Or at least, that’s what I deranged myself to think.
More idiocy, less fear!
Soon enough, my broom was gliding over the Black Lake, the reflection of my body on the soft ripples of the mirror-like water. I was a dark bullet, shooting with speed over the lake. Soft patters began to pattern the smooth surface, and it only took me a moment to realize that they were raindrops.
With heartbeats thrumming in my chest, my hand ran through my hair to wipe out the moisture, ruffling it in the wind. But it did no good; the rain intensified to the size of dimes. I cursed whatever snarky demon made weather happen in the world.
I didn’t want to admit that Samuels was right about the storm. It was dangerous to be flying out in this weather. Wet, cold,…and damn slippery. Like an evil bubble bath.
Wow, I’m weird.
The endless crashes of thunder and lightening brought light and volume to nature. The darkness was beginning to make everything look positively nightly, obscuring my vision with Galleon-sized water droplets.
Well isn’t this just bloody fantastic. If I came down with some sort of sickness, Davies better nurse me back to health. Ha, like he’d even dare. It’d probably be too much for his perfect hair to handle.
My speed brought me nearing the Forbidden Forest, the only area of Hogwarts whose darkness could not be altered from a rainstorm. It simply was the same; black, eerie, creepy. I tried my best to rush past as quickly as possible, not wanting to linger in that terrible area.
Angry whisks of wind started swinging my broomstick in wobbly directions, so I gripped the handle with both hands firmly, steadily.
Oh, well, wasn’t this just bloody magical. Here I am, rushing through a God forsaken storm of the apocalypse around the perimeter of Hogwarts on Davies’s bloody command while getting wet as a sweaty fat kid on a hot day in the process. How complete my day is.
Another rush of wind rushed, to my right. Just another trick from nature, served with vicious rain pellets and selectively annoying winds. Mother Nature was the ultimate bitch; I had no idea what I had done to piss her off.
My diverted glance to my right made me unprepared for the huge crash of lightening. The brightness was blinding, and I swore that I was struck by it. Although I was not hit, the shock that ran over me felt electric.
The lightening was merely just close. Too close.
As if conjured by bitchy Mother Nature herself, a bolt expressed itself on the tree I was flying over, causing me to wobble on my broom. That, mixed with the heavy wetness, made staying on the broom excessively difficult. It was slippery, and that was not good.
I had to fly low, or else get struck by lightening and die an untimely death via broom race. Not the sort of message I want engraved on my epitaph.
Precariously, I hovered my broom lower into the forest, almost meeting the tops of the trees. And just when I thought I was safe, my BFF Mother Nature strikes back, in the form of a humongous bolt of lightening.
Screaming, I felt the same unbelievable shock overcome me.
The numbness in my fingertips when something frightening occurs. It was a feeling that made the body temporarily unresponsive, just enough moments for the slipperiness to take its full effect. Distantly, I could feel my body slip off the broom, throwing me into the pit of the forest.
I was consumed by the eerie trees.
The moment my body was immersed in nothing but air, I felt a completely new shock. A shock of desperation. I knew I was not dying, because the never-ending (and painful) branches I fell through kept breaking my fall, one flippin branch at a time.
My body thudded with pain as I finally landed on the damp, mossy ground. The ground was soft, alleviating the impact slightly. My eyes stared up, the only motion my now numb body could muster up.
I could see nothing but darkness; the blanket of treetops made sure of that. The only thing that I was thankful about was the cover it provided, shielding me from the vicious rain grenades. Strangely, a laugh sounded from my throat, sounding more like a croak.
My body had just periled through a malicious catfight from tree branches, leaving me an unmoving corpse in the Forbidden Forest, and I was thankful more about the fact that I landed in a fairly dry area than that I was actually alive.
I either needed a refresher on my priorities, or just one hell of a mental check.
You’re abandoned in a God forsaken forest Emma, at least appear horrified!
Something frightening sounded in the distance, finally rendering me scared. I then ultimately realized that I was stranded in the middle of the Forbidden Forest, a place filled with creatures that not even Hagrid had the guts to explore, and I was alone. And bloody wet.
Unexpectedly, I heard a noise far in the distance.
It was a cry, or was it a mating call? Heavens knows why something would want to mate in weather such as this. But the cry sounded again, possibly nearing, causing my heart to accelerate.
I pushed my arms up stand and take cover, but movement sent me wincing. Something wasn’t right with my leg, it was thudding painfully.
Even more glorious; I was alone, wet, numb, and with a leg injury. At least if some animal came to maul me, I wouldn’t be a challenge. I’d be an easy eat.
All I could do was wallow in self-pity, but that didn’t seem helpful. There had to be a way out of this Forbidden Forest. By the way, who puts their school next to a Forbidden Forest?
They call it ‘Forbidden’ for a reason, Dumbledore!
Ok, blaming others for my random misfortune wasn’t helpful either. The only thing I could do was to pathetically crawl. Or at least move in some semblance of it. My actions made me appear like some vicious demon clawing its way out of hell. Yup, that’s me.
So there I was, crawling/clawing through the mossy ground, trying to find shelter under anything that didn’t look like it was infested by fungus. Maybe if I were lucky, I would stumble upon some innocent unicorn and ride gloriously on its back as I made my escape.
Not only was I growing colder with the wet, but my hopes were turning borderline creepy.
A crack was heard, a snap of the twigs. My heartbeat raced, now begging for a unicorn to come prancing from the distance. I knew it was unlikely, so I decided to put all of my effort into crawling back into a hiding place.
Low bellows were heard in the distance, sounding inhuman. Desperately, I clawed frantically, but only resulted in mounding piles of mushy earth. The noise sounded again, sounding closer. I screamed, “HELPPP!!!”
It was the only thing I could do; if there was some creepy person who just happened to be lurking in the forest during a perilous rainstorm—nah, that was unlikely. The only person in this forest was me. But I still foolishly hoped. “HELPP!”
Snaps and cracks were heard in all directions, rushing, probably acknowledging that there was a human to eat. Oh great, I just led the damn beast here.
The tree leaves in front of my body rustled a little, the raindrops slapping me in the face. The sound of steps came to my ears, and I closed my eyes, waiting for it. Maybe if I were lucky, it would devour my head first.
Ha, if I were lucky.
Helplessly, I envisioned images within my eyelids, revisiting moments I surely would want to remember before I died. People, places, events. To my great and utter shock, I did not revisit any memories. One image burned my eyelids, one only. I couldn’t imagine why the last thoughts before I died would be on—
My eyes snapped open as if I’d been painfully slapped. At first, I could see nothing but shadows. The only thing I could barely make out was a figure holding back the tree branch in front of me, with searching eyes. I nearly fainted; the pain and the shock of it all were making me slightly delirious.
“Dobbs—Christ!” He leaped in front of me, his voice ragged with both relief and desperation. The darkness was still my number one sight, but I didn’t need light to know who this person was.
“You’re not the knight in shining armor I was hoping for.” I attempted to scoff, but it merely came out a weakened cough. I sounded like one of those generic beauticians who had nothing better to do than smoke for all eternity.
“Better than nothing. God, I’m going to kill—we shouldn’t have—Davies is—” Samuels broke off into random sentences that I couldn’t decipher. His voice was rough and angry, but the only phrase he could fulfill without cutting himself off was, “Are you okay?”
I nodded, the care in his voice making me uncomfortable. He didn’t have to know of my pain; I didn’t want him to hold it over me. He looked fine; his dark hair tousled and wet, his outfit drenched, and his eyes livid and passionate. I cringed, thinking how horrendous I must’ve looked in that moment.
“No…you’re not.” He almost sounded angry. Not at the fact that I lied, but that his assumption was true. “You can’t even walk, can you?”
“I can walk fine, Samuels.” A snarl ripped out of my throat, still sounding slightly ragged. To demonstrate, I attempted to lift my upper body in a standing position. As I bent my legs, my right calf cried out in pain. Oh wait, no, that was me.
I managed to stand in a somewhat caveman-slouch position (which wasn’t attractive at all), but lost my balance and toppled into the closest thing I could find stability in, Samuels.
“Unh!” I groaned, as I fell into Samuels, who actually seemed ready yet surprised to catch me. I collapsed into his chest, feeling my leg thud painfully.
“Easy, easy,” he helped straighten me up, his hands gripping my shoulders. There were two distinct feelings felt all over my body: pain—from my leg, and then heat—from his hands.
Emma, not the most appropriate time to point out how hot he is…I mean, his hands!
Suddenly, I felt him go still as well. Curiously, I looked up at him, my cheek still pressed against his chest.
He was staring down at me, just as inquiringly as I was at him. Even in the dark, his eyes remained darker, and still unreadable. It was as though time had stopped, and we were trapped. Thankfully, no words were needed to be spoken.
If I opened my mouth even once I’d probably start drooling like a toddler receiving her binky.
Slowly, the grip on my shoulders tightened, and he started pulling me in. At the same time, he was dragging me back down to the earthy ground. My eyes would not leave him, trying to figure out what the hell he was going to do.
With this boy, I felt as though it would always be a mystery.
I swore, the way he looked at me when he finally had me securely on the ground—was very unnerving. His eyes smoldered (typical), but the hard lines around his mouth softened, giving him almost an approachable look.
The look alone made me mad, because I had no right idea what he’d possibly be thinking. I didn’t know what to make of it. But what I did know was that it was not the look that enemies exchanged, and I think that frightened me the most.
“Don’t strain it,” he whispered simply, yet softly. It wasn’t what I actually expected to hear after his melting gaze. His face was so close, I could make out the droplets of water that hung from his hair. I felt a warm hand slip underneath my neck. “I’ll carry you.”
“You will do no such th—”
Before I could finish my protest, I was lifted off the ground, Samuels’s hand slipping from my neck to support my back while the other held the back of my thighs. His large hand on my neck cradled both parts of my neck and the side of my face, causing me to blush.
I didn’t like it.
Well, seems like happy, ‘I-have-no-idea-what-you’re-thinking-but-I-wish-I-did’ time is over.
The previous mood was completely shattered, and in came a more familiar tone.
“SAMUELS! Put me DOWN! Get your hands off me, you tw—
“Dobbs, like it or not, I saved you.” He refused to let me go, ignoring my struggling. In response, he gripped me tighter, walking lightly on the forest ground. “As savior, I get to do whatever I want with you.”
I sincerely hoped that my gulp wasn’t as audible as I imagined it to be.
He sounded pervy as usual, and that got me glaring. I turned my head to meet his gaze expecting to see a suggestive smirk on his lips. But all I saw was dark, unreadable eyes; the farthest thing from suggestive or joking. Was he purposely trying to look like a brooding soap opera star?
“Put me down, bastard!” I must have looked like an idiot, flailing helplessly in his arms. I couldn’t take anymore of this: his smarmy hands on my body, the closeness of our faces, his unreadable face expressions. I had enough. “I swear Samuels, if you don’t release me, I will—”
“Oh, this will be a good one.”
“I will dismember your organs, one by one!”
“I will beat you so hard that the next generation of mini-Samuels will not exist!”
“I will unleash a swarm of eager first years on yo—”
“EMMA! SHUT UP!”
Abruptly, he stared at me lividly, his dark eyes fierce and passionate with fire. His stare pulled me in, drawing me closer. I immediately shut up, because so many wrong things had occurred at one moment.
1.) He had called me Emma, for the first time that I had known him. 2.) His eyes were blazing, pulling my gaze in. 3.) His burning hand started to gently slide up to palm my cheek.
And lastly 4.), I did not wrench my face away; I was trapped.
The front of his forearm supported my neck while his hand captured the side of my face. In all our random exploits, he’s never handled me with such gentleness or fragility than in that one moment.
Even though he wasn’t watching ahead, he walked without tripping. His eyes only remained on mine, as mine were on his. My silence should have been a victory for him, but he showed no joy. Only an undecipherable face.
Even in the dark, I could see the chiseled features of his face drenching with water drops, his lips twisted in a manner of confusion. I probably looked horrible, like a grumpy kitty that came out of a bathtub filled with electric eels.
Lightly, he stumbled a little, probably over a random rock or twig. Because of the slight jerk, my arms went around his neck, pulling him closer, trying to find stability in something.
I was shocked at how close this action made us, but no one was more surprised than he was.
It took me a moment to realize that if I move my head slightly to the side, our lips would be mere centimeters from each other. My cheek was already nearly pressed up against his, feeling the heat radiating off of him. I stopped breathing, hoping to faint, die, or do something equally distracting, before we did something extremely stupid.
To my surprise, he stopped walking and lowered me down. Gently, he flattened my legs out in front of me, his hand lightly running the length of them, either intentionally or unintentionally. He lowered my upper body down onto the ground, coming down with me, my arms still securely locked around his neck.
I had no idea what I was doing, couldn’t even remember how I ended up in such a situation. The warmth definitely felt nice, burning nearly all cells in my body. I didn’t know what events were to come, but I slowly unwrapped my hands from his neck, a dazed look of stupid confusion still hazy in my eyes.
With an inscrutable expression on his face, he pulled away, and then looked off into the vast forest like a cheesy lumberjack looking for the next tree to chop…wow, strange analogy.
To return back to reality, my fingers gripped what was below me, expecting to find mushy dirt. Instead, I felt softness. Fuzziness. What the hell? Dirty forests weren’t this accommodating.
“We’ll have to stay here overnight,” he said over his shoulder, as if he could sense my confusion. “The storm’s too strong to fly in, and we’d probably get lost in this darkness.”
I was on a blanket, or something of that material. Around me, was a shelter of trees with Samuels’s broom propped up against the trunk. It was a scary set up; not only because of the area, but because of the person.
“Ahh,” I hissed slightly, a spark of pain shooting up my spine as I tried to move my leg. “Shit.”
“What—what’s wrong?” he was by my side in an instant, his dark eyes flitting erratically over my face.
“It’s my leg,” I breathed, a sharp inhale. “I don’t know what’s wrong with it.”
He moved so swiftly; from my side to the injured leg. His hands went to the hem of the pants, fingering the edges. His curious eyes looked to me, slightly hesitant. “Do you mind?”
I shook my head, slowly, as he rolled up the cuff of my pants to the site of the throbbing pain. My eyes shut, refusing to investigate whatever hideous purple my leg had bruised.
Oddly enough, the fingers that grazed up and down the injury burned my skin. It felt strangely soothed, but still in pain. Samuels began to inspect it, his hand lightly pressing on points of the leg.
When I cringed at a certain area, he sighed. “A break.”
“Fabulous.” I murmured beneath my breath. “Davies will certainly have a laugh with that.”
“I’m going to kill tha—” He fumed. I had no idea why he got so defensive, I was the one who got hurt. “Pomfrey’ll fix you up. You’ll be back to Beating in no time.”
“I thought you’d be ecstatic about this,” I said dryly. “Now you’re the only Beater left, or the one who got away unscathed. Davies is bound to choose you now.” The disappointment colored my voice more than anything.
“This is nothing to be ecstatic about,” he seriously countered, a little angry at the accusation. “No one deserves to be injured because of Davies’s silly task.”
“Not even me?”
“Especially not you.”
My heartbeat quickened unevenly. Weird, it’s been doing that often. Unwillingly, I might add.
Swiftly, he pulled out his wand, pointed it directly at my leg, and concentrated. The broken feeling in my leg dulled a little, embraced in a warm relief. The wound wasn’t fully healed, but the spell improved the pain a bit.
“Get some sleep, Dobbs.” He advised me, his professional tone coming back again. His hot hand lingered on my leg, the catalyst of my erratic heartbeats, until he finally slid it off. “You’ll need it.”
He slid into place next to me, stunning me slightly. I didn’t know we’d be sleeping on the same blanket. Next to each other. I wasn’t surprised to hear a crash of thunder sound at this revelation. Nature was just as conflicted as I was.
“Oh great. This is spectacular.” I cursed at the sky, sarcastic to the very end.
“What?” he recoiled, jerking slightly away from me. “Do you—I mean, you don’t…mind this…do you?”
“Oh, no I was talking abou—the thunder is—you can, I don’t mind—I mean,…shit..”
Coherency was never my forte. Stuttering like an idiot, however, was my specialty.
“Ok, Dobbs. Just stop before you hurt yourself.” He chuckled in the darkness, probably smirking. Good, he was being an unbearable jackass again. That I could deal with.
I grumbled, a good reaction, and tried to find a peace of mind for sleep. It was harder than I thought; sleeping in an eerie forest in the midst of a ferocious storm with an injured leg while lying next to the boy you hate would make anybody restless.
“What are we going to tell everybody?” I asked out, thoughtfully. “It’s going to look weird, if we stumble out of the forest together, disheveled in appearance with you carrying me—”
“Oh Dobbs, don’t get any ideas.” Another sardonic laugh sounded from him, almost bitter. “I would never spill the hot, romantic night we shared to the others. Full of sweat, passion, heat—”
“Uggh, dry up Samuels.” I made a move to shove him, but he dodged it, smiling deviously in response.
He wouldn’t dare spin lies of a “hot, romantic night”. My skin blushed at the thought of it. When he saw the desperation in my eyes, he sighed rather resignedly.
“Don’t worry Dobbs, it’ll all get sorted out.” He assured, his voice low among the patters of rain. “Go to sleep, get some rest.”
“Jill’s going to be talking a storm tomorrow. The team will be an absolute nightmare.” I shuddered, thinking of the evil possibilities in that demonic child’s head, as well as the perverted minds of my teammates.
My mind was already dreading the sex-filled assumptions that Jeremy would be formulating. Splendid. I shivered in absolute dread.
“Are you cold?” he asked, sensing my shudder.
“No, it’s just—” I turned to face him before he conjured up another miraculous object to cover me in. But as I turned, my nose grazed against his cheek, a flash of fire. My head jerked instantly away before he could hear me gasp. But I couldn’t turn away, it would make me look wimpy. So, I endured his gaze a little longer. “—I don’t want to go back…right away.”
It sounded sappy when it came out of my mouth, but his eyes flitted over my face as if I said something completely different. My whisper came in with a rush, “With the rumors, and all.”
“Ah,” he nodded absently, though I doubted he would give a damn about rumors. He wasn’t the type to care what other people thought of him. He was a bloody rock. “Yes. The rumors.”
A moment of silence filled between us. It was dark, but I could tell he was looking at me. I didn’t know if it was that obvious that I was staring at him. His dark pupils were inconspicuously studying my face, but I could notice it. He sighed a breath, almost content.
“I know what you mean,” he admitted. “About not wanting going back immediately.”
“But I doubt it would be because of rumors,” I said with a whisper of a smile. “You don’t seem to care about what people think.”
“Neither do you,” he countered back, his eyes growing intense. “And yet, you still seem to chalk it up as your excuse. I wonder, why are you truly not in a rush to go back?”
He was challenging me; I could sense it. His smirk was basically polluting the air with arrogance. I chose not to answer it; my grumpy scowl made that clear.
“I like the outdoors.” He said off into the distance, breathing it all in. “It’s like camping. Sort of hard to achieve once you’re stuck in the school.”
I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. Samuels and I were actually having a heart-to-heart. Didn’t best friends do this at sleepovers? Well, Samuels and I were certainly not best friends. And this was certainly not a sleepover. If it was, it was a sick, abnormal version of it.
Oh no, there was that challenging smirk again. I bent my head, a lock of hair tumbling over my eye, then faced him again. “I told you, rumors. And Jill will be impossi—”
“Liar.” He cut in, almost too sure of himself. He threw me a tricky smile. “Dobbs, I don’t know what scares you the most. Hearing the truth from others, or realizing it for yourself.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” When the hell did he become the author of ‘Philosophy for Dummies’?
“I think you deny yourself of what you really want because it gets in the way of what you think you want.” He added. Did he choke on a book of inspirational quotes or something?
I didn’t approve of this new side of Samuels. He seemed to think he knew an awful lot about me, sparking up my unstable temper.
“Oh really, Yoda? And what exactly is it that I want?” I snapped rather testily, awaiting yet another insightful answer. Well, he was a Ravenclaw. Shocking that this quality was surfacing just now.
But instead of a sagacious Samuels, I got a side-tracked Samuels, distracted by something on my face.
Without a warning, he reached a hand over my face, and I dreaded it.
This was it.
This was the moment everything would change, everything between us, how we acted towards each other. Everything. It would change in this one moment, the moment he would finally kiss me.
His hand of fire brushed over my cheek, fingering the loose lock that fell over my eyes. He tucked it behind my ear, and to my surprise, pulled his hand away.
“Sorry,” he mumbled briskly. “That was really bothering me.”
“Oh.” Why was I blushing? Stupid, expressive cheeks of mine!
A strange feeling was occurring in the pit of my stomach, one that was both cozy and uncomfortable at the same time. I wanted it to stop, but I didn’t know how. God, emotions were perplexing.
“Oh, and as for your last question,” he reminded, throwing me a presumptuous look with a slight grin. “As much as I hate it, only you can answer that.”
The manner in which he said “you” felt like a caress against my cheek. I had no idea if he intentionally meant it to have that effect, but it worked. I wonder if his voice turned on the switch for ‘Seductive Tones’, or if it just came naturally.
Through the obscure shadows, I could tell that he was staring at me, with those knowing eyes. The ones that were unfathomable when in anger, yet flecked with gold when the opposite. He was probably smirking too, no doubt.
“Wait, what do you mean by ‘as much as you hate it’?” I questioned, thrown off a little. Why couldn’t boys just get to the goddamn point?
“Oh, nothing.” He chuckled in a sing-songy voice. The voice he knew irritated me. It irritated me even more that he knew what would irritate me.
“Tell me!” I demanded, curious. I propped myself firmly on my elbow, imitating his position. If one were to come and witness such a scene, they’d probably think we were best pals just enjoying a little evening chat on the mossy ground of a forest.
How wrong that perception is.
“To be honest, I personally don’t like it when you’re crabby.” He commented, enjoying whatever power he had over my yearning curiosity. Sadistic bastard. “Which is mainly 99% of the time.”
“And the other 1%?” I asked tersely.
“You’re rather amusing.” He murmured, attempting to be derogatory but the warm change in his tone conveyed otherwise. So he thought I was amusing in a good way? This night was growing stranger and stranger. “Very amusing.”
“Look, I could care less if you thought I resembled a toad, just tell me!” I tried my hardest not to scream it to the heavens. If I did, I’d probably attract some lingering animal that would then maul us until we died. “I’m begging you!”
“I like that sound of that.” He remarked in a tone producing another strange feeling in my stomach. Maybe it was hungry. God I got to feed that thing.
“Look, you know what,” I put up a determined front, and was actually succeeding. Go me! “I don’t even care anymore.”
“Oh really?” Disbelief casually filled his tone.
“Yeah, really.” I tried to mock his voice in a dumb tone, but just sounded plain stupid. “So just …make like a cardboard box, and shut it.”
“Ooh, nice one.” He laughed derisively, stirring my anger. How did he always manage to do that?! “Did your mother teach you that one?”
“No.” I mumbled. “Yours did.”
If this was a battle about the mothers, then he can just bring it on. No one messes with Mama Dobbs and gets away with it.
To intimidate him, I gave him a withering glare. For all I knew, I could’ve looked like an idiot frozen in time with a savage face expression. But it worked, I thought, because he was giving me that wry, entertained smile with eyes that didn’t quite comprehend the situation.
Yes, I am an intimidator.
“You okay, Samuels?” I asked. “Only you could work a face as pathetic as that.”
Instantly, as though realizing something urgent, he looked away with a grin and shook his head. As though there were crazy notions he wanted to dissolve from his thoughts. After he finished with his little hair-tousle session, he set his eyes back on me, suddenly serious. Offended.
“Is this also a part of your ploy, Dobbs?” he murmured out a question, his tone disgusted yet had all the appeal of a strong whisper.
“Your ploy.” He continued, his lips set into a stern line. “I knew from the first day Davies announced that one of us would be captain, that you were out to get me.”
I gulped. “I have no idea what you mean.”
“Don’t think I’m stupid, Dobbs,” he argued to my innocent looking eyes (I tried my hardest to look full-on Bambi at the moment). “You tried so hard to get me on edge…”
Slowly, he started inching his laying figure closer to mine. I gulped again, losing breath as each second of his tirade ticked.
“…that you didn’t realize you were ruining your chances as well.” He concluded, his eyes sure with certainty. His eyes targeted directly at me, its color a mix of the customary dark, flecked with unusual gold. “So let’s put it to the test.”
“Wha—” I tried my very hardest to keep my composure, but the blood rushing to my face must’ve clogged my ability to speak fluently. I was breathless. “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is,” he spoke, a challenging tone added to his persona. “How about we do a little experimenting?”
“Let’s see if your plan would’ve worked out in the end if I never managed to…restrain myself.” Samuels boldly declared, a cynical sneer on his face. His eyes settled over my face. “Just for tonight.”
I was in shock. It must’ve been apparent on my face, for he started smirking devilishly in triumph.
Disbelief flooded through my veins. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought that he just gave me an open invitation to snog him senseless.
The look in his eyes suggested the very thought, and the goose bumps erupted once more. And this time, they would not go away.
Before I could even nod with consent, his hand brushed upon my cheek, and his face already started advancing toward mine.
My body grew immobile, as though I were frozen in ice and the only functioning parts were my brain. Well, my brain was not much of a spectacular help. It was clashing between the theme song of Jaws, and one of those epic romantic melodic surges.
Trust me, it sounded horrible.
I didn’t know how to prepare myself mentally for this, since my physical being wasn’t a grand help either. The only thing that I feared was that I would feel either absolutely nothing, or everything completely.
The air finally swelled up in the tension as he lifted my chin up. This was it.
With one last stare into my eyes—I noticed that his dark eyes had those remarkable gold sparks—he kissed me…
on my cheek.
I felt my eyes close as he dragged his lips from my cheek to my lower jaw, and then backed away. He stared at me curiously, and I could only imagine that I looked the same as he.
What in the world just happened? My cheek was still tingly from the contact, and my mouth was urging to release a heavy sigh. In moments likes these, my body did not function properly, or at least the way I wanted it to.
“Get some sleep Dobbs.” He simply said, heaving out a sigh.
I stared at him, then laid back down on my back. If my body were in proper order, I’d be screaming like a banshee, obliterating Samuels from the world, and then heavily sanitizing my cheeks.
But I didn’t. I just lay there…like an idiot.
My leg hurt, I was confused, and my face was burning up. Oh the life of a woman…
In those moments of solitary bewilderment, I couldn’t tell what was more overwhelming: the sudden heat rushing within my cheeks, or the tension that balanced in the air on a thin string.
The only sound that kept me remotely in reality was the softening patters of rain falling lightly into the forest. The shelter over us prevented any wetness from reaching us, but I would’ve welcomed it; any reminder of the real world would be comforting.
He wanted me to sleep. Sleep! As if I could even dream of achieving that after what was just exchanged!
A kiss on the cheek. That wasn’t even the planned destination of his lips, and it still flustered my insides. Imagine if he actually managed to fulfill it thoroughly.
I stubbornly shut my eyes at the thought of it.
For long grudging moments I attempted to fall asleep, but was not successful. Sleep was not my main priority on such a special night like this. Passing the time without acting like a complete wacko was.
“Dobbs…?” He asked softly, as though sensing my internal turmoil. I was surprised by even myself that I could stay silent for so long.
“Hmm?” I tried my best to sound casual than whimpering. To me at that moment, there was a fine line between them both.
My eyes shut even more persistently. If I pretended to play dead, maybe he wouldn’t pull me into any more conflicting situations. Or maybe I wouldn’t be tempted enough to actually partake in them.
“Hmm.” I sighed, my voice bordering on hazy. It was convincing, I hoped.
I heard a slight laugh from him. Although I couldn’t see anything from my shut eyelids, I could already imagine him nervously running his fingers through his wet, disheveled hair.
The wet drops that hit my skin affirmed my assumptions; it also affirmed that he was unnervingly close to me.
Pretending to be asleep became even harder than I thought. I had to fight to stay still, a challenge within itself.
“Are you really?” his voice still had a hint of doubt.
My only response was steady breathing. The more I kept quiet, the more sleepy I would seem. Hopefully. Please.
I was waiting for him to shake me by the shoulders and slap me awake, but he didn’t. To my surprise, he let out a relieved sigh, a reaction which puzzled me.
Ok. Me asleep. I’m glad that information astounds you so, Samuels.
“You’re probably wondering why I didn’t kiss you.” He whispered softly, talking to me. My illusion of “sleeping” probably gave him the impression that I wasn’t awake.
Hence, he would probably start telling me things I wouldn’t approve if I were actually conscious…which I was. Wow, my life sucks. This will probably be the most awkward conversation I would ever witness.
“I mean, technically I did. On the cheek.” He pointed out, as though I were actually listening. It’d probably give him the shock of life knowing that I actually was. “But that’s nothing.”
Why on earth was he having this conversation with “comatose” me? Of all the things he wanted to freely talk to me about, it was that blasted kiss. Well, semi-kiss.
“I was actually aiming for a different spot, but it didn’t turn out that way.” He admitted the obvious, all in one breath. “And it’s all your fault.”
WHAT THE— oh, wait, no. Calm down. You’re still asleep. Act it.
I internally grumbled, affronted that he’d have the gall to accuse me of something that illogical.
“You…are way too defensive for your own good.” He mused, his voice lingering in the air. “Snogging you would probably give you an even better excuse to be cross with me.”
Silently, I agreed with him. Any chance to be irritated with him, I’d jump at it.
“It probably wouldn’t be smart to even consider it again.”
Damn right!...I think. Wait, was he saying he didn’t want to kiss me anymore?
“But what if I’m not smart.” He whispered contemplatively, then broke out in a chuckle. “You know I’m not smart. You like to remind me every chance you get.”
His laugh sounded off. It wasn’t one of humor at all. Complete opposite actually.
Wherever he was taking this one-man conversation, I wasn’t ready for it. My sweaty palms were evidence of that.
The air went still all of a sudden. My ears fought for the sound of the rain, but found nothing. Only the breathing of Samuels, mingled with mine, was all I heard. The silence was just as unsettling as the tension.
“Thank Merlin you’re asleep.” He said (I repressed a snort), the sound of his voice growing nearer than it already was. “It’s going to be a lot more easier this way…”
Wait. My eyelids started fluttering, but did not completely open. Did this mean he wanted to—
Unexpectedly, my thought was answered. The cold immediately left the atmosphere around me, devouring me into a sweet heat. A pair of warm lips touched mine, confusing me as to whom they belonged to.
God Emma, who else could it be? You daft, dumb Ravenclaw.
It was a strange feeling, strange without being clichéd. There were no fireworks, nor stars. Strangely enough, my body just screamed with strong relief, something I didn’t imagine hitting my gut so hard. Although his lips did not move against mine, my body was engulfed in a heat as though they were.
His lips were so light on mine; if it weren’t for the sensations that flickered within me, I wouldn’t have realized that he was doing such a thing.
After that brief sensation of relief, my body wanted something more. The pleasing feelings that started waving inside me strengthened the simple touch, a reaction that surprised even me. Never have I been kissed by a boy whose touch could spark so many emotions, only to just intensify them as the kiss prolonged.
A couple of long seconds passed, and I knew he was going to pull away soon enough. All at once he slid his lips off mine, trailing hotness to the corner of my mouth. I heard his sigh, his cheek close to mine.
He probably thought that I was still fast asleep, judging by the unresponsive movements of my body. With that in mind, he started pulling away.
Unrestrained and breaking out of my little “nap”, I wrapped my hands around his neck.
He looked straight into my eyes, which were still closed. “What the—”
I cut him off from finishing that exclamation, and pulled him back to kiss me…in a kiss that was anything but unresponsive.
Suddenly, the fierce rain returned.
Dear Readers Who Motivate Me,
I'm so sorry for the terribly long time to update! Hope that this chapter was satisfying enough for you. You were all eagerly awaiting the kiss, and now YOU GOT IT! But still, so much more to anticipate! The morning after the kiss? The return back to Hogwarts? Jill’s verbal attack on Emma to dish about the night? I really hope that you all liked the chapter! Read and review! And also, favorite quotes, characters, moments, etc.
Your Obedient Servant,
PS: Thank you all so much readers! I really love the response I’m getting from everyone☺ Your reviews make me feel so special hahaa! I’m glad you all love this story almost just as much as I love writing it;)
[EDIT] PPS: Sorry, forgot to add this in. Any questions or thoughts or about this series in general, just go to my Meet the Author page and ask away (just renewed it right now, and 'tis a tad bit empty...)
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