Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Ella's POV:

I shove my homework in my bookbag. But as I'm going to pick up my bag, Declan picks it up first. He throws it over his shoulder, giving an award-winning smile.

"T-thank you," I say, trying to fight the big smile tugging at my lips.

Declan nods his head before lifting his hand, "After you, Lil' one."

I walk out of study hall and turn to him for directions. He waves his hand, gesturing for me to follow him. We walk down the quiet, empty corridors. The halls are our school colors, royal blue and white, matching our blue devil mascot.

"Where are we going?" I ask curiously.

Surprisingly I don't feel nervous. But I don't want to speak too soon.

"Now, what's the fun in that if I told you? You'll like it, I promise."

I nod my head, and then we become quiet for a bit. It's not awkward, though. We reach the parking lot and walk toward a black GMC. When we finally arrive at the car, he unlocks the doors and puts my backpack in the back seat. I open the passenger door and hop in while he does the same.

"We won't get in t-trouble right." I can't help the worry. It's not like me to skip.

"Of course not, we are only missing a study hall, not a real class. I wouldn't intentionally try to get you in trouble, Ellie." Declan assures amused.


I have never skipped a class before. Yeah, I hate school and all, but I'm too chicken actually to skip. Even if I did skip, I wouldn't go anywhere alone. I hate being in the presence of people I don't know. It gives me anxiety. When I was younger, it didn't really bother me. I used to have lots of friends, but now I guess that's changed, or so my mom says.

Declan puts the key in the ignition, starting the car. The radio is on, but it's not loud. We pull out of the school parking lot and drive.

About twenty minutes into the drive, we're surrounded by dark green trees, and the sky is a bright blue with not a cloud in sight. The sun is shining bright.

I love the woods, I've always had. When I was younger, my brother and I would go out in the woods and climb trees and make forts out of sticks. Sometimes the neighboring kids would join us.

Few cars are passing by, but that's probably because people are still working at this time. It hits me suddenly that I forgot to tell my mom I'll be home a little later than usual. She knows I usually go right home after school, and I don't want her to be worried when I don't show up.

'Hey mom, I'll be home a little bit later today. I'm going to a friend's house.' A little white lie won't hurt. I don't want her to know I skipped with some boy I don't even know.

I can't even believe it myself honestly. But I didn't want to cause a scene if I said no. I don't like to be the center of attention. I don't think Declan is the type to take no for an answer anyway. Also, how bad could it be, at least I'm not doing my boring homework right now.

Finally, we pull into a little dirt area surrounded by trees. But beyond the trees, there's a small rocky beach. It was stunning, the water was transparent emerald green, and the trees in the distance made this place feel magical.

I was speechless, to say the least. I glance over at Declan, and he's staring straight ahead to where I was staring just seconds ago. Then I decide to break the silence.

"It's beautiful," I mumble.

Declan smiles at my response. "I'm glad you like it." He opens the car door and gets out, and I do the same. Declan starts walking over to the rocks, and I follow. When we reach the rocks, I look around. The view is much prettier closeup. The water flows slowly through the stones, and the sun hits the water just right, making it look like crystals.

Evergreens and wild magnolia trees scatter the area around the lake. The wild magnolias swiftly shift back and forth in the wind. The wind carries the blossoms gently and lays them down on the bed of water. Under the distant trees behind the body of water, wild lilac bushes bloom. The view is absolutely captivating.

"Lilacs are my favorite flower," I say with a soft smile

When Declan hears this, he sends me his boyish smile back. His smile is nothing like I've seen before, and for some reason, it brings me joy that it's directed towards me. He makes me nervous but not in a bad way.

"Race you to the water." Declan challenges with a grin.

"W-what, I won't have any dry clothes to change into after," I say, playing with my fingers, a nervous habit.

Declan's grin grows even wider, "Come on, Lil' one, live a little." He pauses for a second, takes off his shirt, and throws it to the side.

Let me tell you, the view that wowed me: his tan, olive skin, and his defined six-pack. Sure I've seen Thomas shirtless before, but he's my brother. Declan was another gorgeous story. It's like he was a god sent from heaven. I suddenly felt my hands becoming sweaty and a blush settling in on my cheeks.

Then I notice a couple of faded lines across his left chest, they are about three inches long each. Definitely scars. He must have fallen or something and got some pretty deep cuts from it that left a mark. Who knows, but they didn't take away a centimeter of his good looks.

"On your mark, get set, go!" Declan yells and takes off running full speed.

It takes me a second to realize what's happening, and his abs are immediately forgotten. Then before I know it, I'm full out sprinting. I don't even care about getting my clothes wet anymore. Now I'm just dead set on beating him. Step after step, I'm running so fast I can barely feel my legs. It's like the wind is carrying me with it.

If he wants to race, I'll give him a race. Shy or not, I like to win, and that will never change.

Declan takes a quick glance back, and surprise covers his face. I then kick it up a notch my arms are pumping rapidly, my breathing is speeding up, I can't hear anything at the moment.

My heart is pounding at a hundred miles per hour, and I can feel the adrenaline pumping in my veins. Almost there, only about twenty more feet to go. He's about two steps ahead of me. I can do it. I can beat him.

Then suddenly I'm right in line with him, and we're running like nobody's watching. I feel the water at my feet and smile.

We tied.

"I didn't expect you to be that fast," Declan states, glancing down at me.

"I used to play soccer," I mumble quietly.

"Used to, you don't still play?" He questions.

"No," I say quietly, not elaborating.

He brushes off the question, sensing I don't want to talk about it, which I'm grateful for. We're standing in the water, and suddenly I see Declan smirk. I give him a weird look, and then he starts splashing me. The water feels so cold against my skin, and I'm about to say stop but realize there's no use, so instead, I start splashing him back.

We're laughing, and I'm actually having fun, and right now, I genuinely feel happy. I don't usually hang out with people, but I don't remember the last time I had enjoyed myself like this.

My anxiety, for some reason, is vacant. Here I can breathe, I'm not smothered by worry or panic. It's incredible.

Finally, we stop splashing, and I swim deeper into the water. It's relaxing out here, and it's like you don't have to worry about anything when you're here.

"This place is beautiful," I mumble quietly.

"Yeah, it's nice to get away once in a while." My eyes move over to him. He seems to be deep in thought.

"Do you like to swim, Ellie?" He asks while moving in the water.

"Umm yeah, I've always liked the water," I tell him, scrunching my toes in the underwater sand.

"Why did you bring me out here?" I ask. I mean me out of all people, but I don't say that. I want to know why, because it's not like I scream fun.

Most people ignore me when they see me, so I guess I'm just curious as to why he would want to skip with me. He just met me, and I'm pretty sure I haven't made a good first impression, with me bumping into him and all.

"So curious." Declan chuckles.

I ignore what he said and walk back to shore. I sit and look at the sky. He comes and joins me a couple of feet away. We sit in comfortable silence, just thinking for a while. I hope we can come back again sometime soon.

Then I think of my mom. Oh my gosh, what time is it?

"C-can you b-bring me back to school? My mom's probably wondering where I am and umm my vehicles there." I ask sheepishly.

"Of course, Lil' one." He pauses before saying, "I like that I make you nervous."

Heat immediately captures my cheeks, and I can't form any words. He chuckles at my reaction. He knows he makes me nervous, it's as clear as day. We walk to the car, and I take one last look at this place to engrave it in my memory. I'm going to keep this our little secret.

The sun was setting on the drive back to school. There were different shades of purple and oranges spread all across the sky. When I was younger, I used to lay outside on a blanket and watch the sunset. I always thought it was so cool how the sky could be so many different shades.

Time flew by even though it didn't feel like we were there that long. It was six o'clock now, and we still had about fifteen minutes until we reached our town. I look out the window and let my thoughts carry me away.

Soon enough, we pull up to the school and Declan parks next to the only vehicle left in the parking lot.

"You drive a truck?" He asks, already knowing the answer. "You're full of surprises, Ellie."

I give him a small smile, "Thank you for today. It was a lot of fun."

"Today was only the start." He murmurs more to himself than me. But I heard it.

I'm a little confused about what he said, but I smile and wave him goodbye. I grab my book bag out of the back and open the door, but before I shut it, I hear, "Goodnight, Lil' one."

I glanced back one last time to see him wink.

I start the engine, but before I drive home, I sneak a look over to see if Declan is still here, but he already left.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Kiara Colón
I hope he doesn’t have ulterior motives. Maybe he started liking her from the start and wants to do something nice for her though.

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