Chapter 2 - Mr. Therapist

Lilly's POV

"What are you talking about?" He asked, his tone steady, and his words measured. The disoriented emotions that swirled his eyes seconds ago suddenly faded into nothing.

Anger clenched my jaw and I grated out, "I heard everything," My eyebrow arched in accusation, "Zack wanted to ask me out before but you," I pointed at him, "You stopped him, why is that?"

I thought my question would clear out that blank look but instead, he shrugged...he simply shrugged.

I groaned in annoyance at his lack of reaction and my hand reached to the neck of his shirt, grabbing it, I pulled him down. His eyes grew wide a bit, shocked at the gesture, "Why do you always interfere in my life like that?" I hissed in his face.

His hand came to mine and gently untangled my fingers from over the fabric. He pulled it away but didn't let it go, "We are not kids anymore, okay?" I snapped while he kept silent, "You can't just steal my things when I break your toys," I sarcastically remarked, "That's not how it works now!"

He shook his head, "That's not what I am doing."

"Then what exactly are you trying to do?"

"I am trying to protect you." The words effortlessly parted his lips.

I scoffed, "Protect me?"

He nodded, "Zack is my cousin, I care about him but..." He shook his head, "He's not good for you, Lilly." His expression shifted and he sucked a deep breath into his lungs, "He's not the person you think he is."

My eyebrows pulled together and I shook my head, "That doesn't give you the permission to interfere in my life."

"I just..."

"You what?" I snapped, snatching my hand away from his grip.

Bewilderment darkened his eyes, "I just don't wanna see you get hurt!"

On a heavy exhale, I shook my head, "I don't need your protection, get it?" I held him with a smoldering gaze, "Don't meddle into my life again, don't tell me who should I or shouldn't be with, don't act like my father," At those specific words, searing anger blazed in his blue eyes, "I know what I want, nothing you can do would ever change that."

My words came out as an order, a one he better follow. But every letter seemed to feed the anger in his eyes. Gathering enough oxygen back into my lungs, I turned around, ready to go.

But he had other plans apparently.

Fingers wrapped around my arm, stopping me. With his hand tightly wrapped around my flesh, he spun me around, pulling me closer to him, caging me. His taller figure hovered over mine. I didn't look up, I didn't want to.

Chills cascaded in a dizzying wave down my spine, before the intensity of his voice lifted the hairs at the nape of my neck, "What about last night?"

I swallowed hard and tilted my head up. I drew in a gulp of air as our eyes met, "Nothing happened last night." I tried to sound as confident as possible.

I could feel the rise and fall of his chest, "Don't.." He shook his head, the muscles of his perfect jaw worked, the anger mixed with a thousand different emotions in his eyes, enough to get my legs all wobbly.

I hated this. Being close to him, it's dangerous. It strips my control away. I can feel it flattering and I despise that.

I hate it when I stare at those blue eyes for too long, I hate it because it scares me how easily I could just drown in them...and I don't want that.

I lifted my chin up, regaining control, "I'll tell you what happened, I was drunk," My eyebrow arched, "A drunk girl kissed you, a one that was apparently fantasizing about someone else," I pulled my hand back, snatching it away from his grip, "And you kissed her back," I gave him a knowing look and used his own words against him, "Now, what does that say about the person you are."

The flash of hurt in his eyes at what I indirectly accused him with almost made me take my words back. I didn't, because I just drew a line and bounded him to it. That's exactly what I needed. Distance. Space. Or else I'll just keep thinking about his lips all pressed up against mine.

The thoughts clouding my head since last night, I needed them to go away. The way I get drawn to him every time we're close, I wished it to just disappear.

I don't need that in my life. I don't want it.

I want to always be the girl who broke his toys, not his heart. And he should always be the guy who stole my things, not my...not my heart.


"Okay, just admit it, I throw better barbecues than Ashton!" Dad said proudly while sipping on his drink.

Mom rolled her eyes, "Alex, you do know that Ashton is the one actually grilling the meat outside, and you're just here chatting!"

"Look cupcakes," He started, ever so seriously, "My presence alone is enough to lighten up the room, so if i left the guests and did the actual grilling, then what's the point?" He turned to me and his eyebrow raised, "Right, little bug?"

I nodded silently before my gaze drifted down to my lap, feeling my ability to talk getting drained away.

Mom gave up on arguing with him after and walked away. With my eyes on the floor, I felt an arm wrap around my shoulder and pull me closer. I breathed out a shaky breath and my temple pressed against his warmth, "What's wrong?" His words were low, only for me to hear.

I lifted my head up and met his brown eyes, the same ones as mine. Worry swam in them and I immediately shook my head, "Nothing."

He lightly bumped the side of his head with mine, "You sure?" He asked again and I nodded.

He didn't seem satisfied though, he always read me like an open book, "Did anything happen last night?" He asked and I gulped, "Because if any of those guys did something to you," His eyebrow raised threateningly, "Just wait for me here and I'll go grab my gun from the dresser!"

I smiled because he sounded so serious. I shook my head, "No, nothing happened."

At my smile, he smiled.

He rubbed at the side of my arm, "Okay, if attending this barbecue gets you scowling like that," He rolled his eyes, "I give you the permission to leave."

I beamed up at him so brightly, "Really?"

"Woah, look at her smile now," He said, offended and I giggled, "Can I?"

He nodded, "Oh but first, go tell your mother that I throw better barbecues than Ashton." He said, so serious about it and I nodded with a chuckle.

I tiptoed, left a kiss over his cheek and immediately left his side before he changes his mind. I walked to the backyard to grab a plate and head to my room but regretted that decision when I came face to face with him.

I internally groaned, he's everywhere.

Pretending that he didn't even see me, he circled his way around and headed toward the table to grab a plate.

I did the same, ignoring his presence, I went to where mom and auntie Katherine were standing and talking about something. That was another mistake because they took a hold of me and didn't let go. They started asking about last night, about school coming and all of that.

Too much for running back to my room.

"So, Chase, did you enjoy working in the company this summer?" One of the men that worked with dad and uncle Ashton asked, he placed his hand over Chase's shoulder and flashed him a smile.

Chase nodded and a low, "Yeah," parted his lips as he flipped the steak over the barbecue. My attention got grabbed by their conversation because I remembered how he told me that he didn't like it at all.

See, that's who we were. True, we annoyed each others on daily basis, but when there was something serious to talk about, we usually sat and talked it between us.

He was the first to know about my feelings for Zack and I was the first to know how he didn't wanna follow into his father's footsteps and take over the company like everyone thought so.

We trusted each other and I am scared that one stupid kiss might've ruined that.

"So, when we'll be seeing you again?" the man asked again, "Well, school is starting," Chase said and uncle Ashton joined him, "Yeah, school is more important now," He smiled proudly at his son, "Maybe next summer, what do you think?"

Chase smiled back and nodded. Maybe they didn't catch it but I did, the disappointment that flashed across his eyes, it tightened my chest.

At moments like this, I'd talk to him, he'd talk to me. But now, we both pretended that the other wasn't standing in the same space.

Why did he have to interfere between me and Zack? Why did I have to go and kiss him? Ugh.

"Which college you're planning to attend? Or will you start right away after high school?" The man asked again, way too curious about Chase's life. I wanted to punch the man because I could feel how uncomfortable these questions got Chase but I decided to stay out of it.

My eyes flickered to the barbecue and they widened on instinct, "Watch out!" I said in alarm as the fat on the rib-eye steak caught on fire and singed his hand.

He flinched at the contact and pulled it back.

He was too lost in their questions to even notice it. Damn that stupid man that I don't know what his name is. I really should've punched him.

Katherine gasped before she scurried toward him, "Are you okay?" She asked worriedly, as she tried to reach for his hand to check it.

"I am fine." He mumbled, snatching his hand away, harsher than he should.

Today, he really isn't in his right state of my mind.

Is he PMSing?

Not funny, Lilly. Not funny.

I noticed the redness forming over the side of his hand as he went back inside, dodging everyone's question.

"What's with him?" His mother mumbled before her eyes went to us. Her eyebrows quenched up in worry, "Where is the first-aid kit?"

"Lilly, go get it." Mom said and at that, aunt Katherine took a hold of my arm and pulled me with her inside. What the-

I pulled the kit and opened it, grabbing the burn gel, I handed it to her. Her lips curled up and she shook her head, "Why don't you go and give it to him?" She requested, ever so sweetly, "Because I really should get back outside," She looked at the backdoor, "See, Ashton is calling for me!"

"No one is calling..."

"I am coming!" She said, dismissing me and rushed back outside.

Okay, seriously, what is that all about?

I huffed out a breath and walked around, searching for that someone.

I found him in the living room, he was sitting down, by the couch's edge. He raked his fingers through his hair and rubbed at the back of his neck, tiredly.

I walked closer and placed the gel over the counter, "Put that on it," I said, as neutral as possible. I swallowed hard, my eyebrows pulled together when I noticed how bad it looked.

He didn't move.

I sighed, "Don't be such a baby!" I mumbled annoyed.

He still ignored me so I let out a frustrated sigh before I sat down by his side, "Give me your hand."

He removed his hands from over his hair but still, didn't even turn to glance at me.

This SOB.

"Will you stop being such a spoiled brat!"

At that, he turned around, his eyebrows arched at my choice of words and I rolled my eyes. He wasn't listening, so I reached out and took his hand in mine.

I must've grabbed the burned part because he immediately flinched. My eyes widened and shot out to his, "I am sorry," I said, genuinely.

I opened the gel and placed a little on the tip of my finger. Holding his with my other hand, I gently rubbed the gel over the burned area.

I could feel his eyes bore holes into my head as I did so. Probably wondering why I'm being nice to him all of a sudden.

I inched his hand closer to my mouth and blew out a low breath, because I am pretty sure the gel made it sting more.

His hand stayed in mine as I focused my gaze back on him. The short flare of softness transformed his eyes but still, they were achingly sad. Swallowing hard, I said, "You don't look okay."

His jaw tightened and looked away, "You don't say." His words were as cold as they could be.

"What's wrong?" Although a part of me already knew the answer.

"Nothing is going right, that's all." He mumbled before his gaze dropped to his hand laying over mine. At instinct, he pulled it away.

It's true we argue a lot, we annoy each a lot, I shout at him for the most part of the day, and surely, I call him colorful names all time and I curse him at least ten times a day...but still, seeing him like this, pulled at my heart.

Because deep down, I couldn't handle to see someone get hurt in anyway. So what if that someone was family?

I inched closer at first. I didn't know what to say so instead, I surprised us both by reaching up and wrapping my arms around his neck. My hand went to the back of his head, my fingers ran through his hair, bringing his head closer to my shoulder and whispered my sorrow to him.

I threw what happened last night out of the window. At the moment, I pretended that I didn't kiss him, that we didn't just fight. At the moment, I just wanted him to be okay.

He tensed up at first, his muscles jerked in shock but it wasn't long before he seemed to let go and relax a bit in my embrace. My eyes closed and I tightened my hold as his arm wrapped around my back.

My chest felt too tight. Maybe, we both needed this.

A low breath parted my lips before I backed away a fraction, my hand left the back of his head and rested over his cheek. I stared into his troubled eyes, "Why didn't you tell them that you don't like working there?"

Air pushed out of his nose and he shook his head, "The thing is, I never wanted it, they just assumed it and went on with it."

"You should tell them," I said, my thumb gently stroked his skin, "Your father won't force you to do something you don't want."

He nodded, "I know," He mumbled, "But he looks so proud and happy about it," He shrugged, "I don't wanna disappoint him."

"But, he'll know eventually." I said, "So if he figured it out now, it's better than later."

He nodded and I offered him a small smile. My hand left his cheek and landed on his shoulder. Our bodies were still so close, chest to chest, breath to breath.

It's then that I realized, I didn't need distance from him. No, I just needed things to go back to the way they were.

I looked around, noticing the people going in and out. On a heavy exhale, I stood up, I took his hand in mine and pulled him up with me.

"Let's go somewhere private," Where we can't be interpreted.

He didn't argue this time and to that I was thankful. Reaching my room, we got inside and I closed the door behind us.

I turned to him. Confusion clouded the blue of his eyes as he stood in the middle of my room, "Don't worry, I didn't bring you here to have sex with you." I said with a roll of my eyes.

His lips twitched, fighting a smile. I pressed my palm over his chest, giving him a slight push backward, "Now, sit."

He sat down by my bed's edge and I took my shoes off. I plopped over the bed, pressing the back of my head against the pillow, I crossed my legs over his lap.

His eyebrow raised and I ignored him. I rested my arms behind my head and started, "So, Mr. Therapist," He chuckled at my words, it was low and very soothing to hear.

I smiled, feeling accomplished.

My eyes kept their focus on him sitting across me. We always did this, so I carried on, "So, there is this guy, he and I always mess around all the time, he annoys me, I annoy him back,"

Amusement danced in his eyes and his hand rested over my leg, "You know, it's all fun and games. But also, when life gets stupid, we usually sit down and rant about it."

"But lately, that's changing," I added with a sigh, "I did something so stupid," My eyes narrowed at him, "And so did he."

I sighed, "And now, it feels like if we kept it this way, I may end up...losing him."

"Lilly, I-"

"Shush!" I shot him a glare, "You don't talk Mr. Therapist, you only listen, now shush, let me continue!"

"Anyways," I stressed out before my eyes flickered to the ceiling, "Our relationship is messed up, we are neither friends nor enemies, we aren't like brothers and sisters either, we...I mean, seriously what are we?" My brows pulled together and I shook my head, "Our relationship is unlike anything else."

I looked at him, "But I like it."

A connection I'll never be able to explain.

bond. So pure, and shouldn't be tainted.

"We're each others distraction and it would hurt me to lose what we both have."

My lips pursed out, "So, what do you think I should do, Mr. therapist?"

His throat bobbed, "I think that he feels the same way," he said, his eyes dropped down, hiding them from me as he lightly ran his fingers over my leg, "He crossed a boundary, allowed himself to think about something he shouldn't," My heart beat a little faster, "He realized that now."

He looked back at me and shook his head, "He doesn't want to lose you either."

I pulled myself up, removing my legs from over his lap, I crossed them in front of me and sat by his side, "So, can we just pretend that the kiss didn't happen?"

He released a long breath and it took him a couple of seconds before he gave me a nod. His blue eyes dimmed, "We can."

I smiled, "And you won't interfere between Zack and me?"

His jaw tightened and he looked away.


He huffed out a breath, "I'll try."

My eyes narrowed at him, "And you'd help set us up?" I joked.

He looked at me like I am crazy, "Hell, no!"

I chuckled and shrugged, "Worth the shot."

He shot me a glare and sighed.

Relief mellowed the concern that clouded my chest after our little conversation. I backed away and laid again over the bed, I tapped at the space beside me, ushering him to come close. He pulled himself up and his head rested beside mine over the pillow. I reached for his arm and placed it under my head and laid it over it.

My eyes flickered to his face and I asked, "So, tomorrow we go back into annoying each other?"

He nodded with a small smile while his hand that's under my head ran through my hair. He twirled the black ribbon between his finger and questioned, "What does black mean again?"

That's why I don't want to lose him. He knows me, everything about me, he knew that I wear the color best suiting my mood.

With him, I can be myself.

"It means I am making a funeral." I mumbled, "Because this day kinda sucked."

A low chuckle rumbled from his chest before he untied the bow and removed the ribbon away. He placed it over the night stand, and at my confused expression, he explained, "The day is almost over, we don't need more negativity."

"You're right."

He turned his gaze to the ceiling and so did I, his finger still ran through my hair and I raveled in it.

He released a weighted breath. For the longest time, silence took us over. We swam in it.

Finally, he spoke, the words a muted whisper, "Thank you."

I turned to him, "For what?"

He met my gaze, "I was in a really bad mood," The corner of his lips lifted up, "You changed that."

I flashed him a proud look, "I know, I am just that awesome."

He smiled a little and I curiously asked, "So, since you didn't like the business world, what do you wanna be?"

"Did you think about it?" I asked.

He nodded. His tongue darted out to wet his lips and I suppressed the urge to eye it. Damn it.

"I won't tell anyone," I added, swallowing past the thickness in my throat.

"A pilot." He said, "I've wanted it since I was a kid."

I hummed, "A pilot, that's interesting." I commented, "Captain Chase," My eyebrow raised, "Woah, that sounds hot, you would get laid a lot!"

He chuckled lowly, "That's the dream."

I turned my body toward him, laying on my side, "So would you take me around in your plane for free?" I was messing with him. The smile didn't leave his lips and he nodded, going on with my game.

"But hold on, would I trust you enough to put my life in your hands?"

A grin danced over his flirty mouth and he nodded. He caressed my cheek with his thumb, "Yeah, because you know that I would protect that life at all costs." His voice dropped low, the promise in it resonated deep in the pit of my stomach.

Chills slipped down my spine with the expression that lit on his face, with the affection that played in his blue eyes.

I quirked a brow at him, "So, you promise to take me on a ride?" I asked and he nodded.

I pointed toward his pants where his...ahem..ding-dong is, "Not that type of a ride, though!" I mischievously added.

A hint of laughter floated out with his breath, he rested his forehead against mine, "You're unbelievable."

A rush of air left me on a heavy exhale. He pulled back. Brushing his fingers through my hair, he twisted a single lock in his finger.

This is new. This type of closeness is new.

It is comfortable though. Was it ridiculous I didn't want to let go or back away?

"I know what you're thinking at the moment." I said.

His eyebrow raised, "You do?"

Biting my lip, I nodded, "Yup, you're thinking how lucky you are that you're in bed with one of the hottest girl in your school," I flipped my hair proudly, "And how many guys would wish to be here in your place!"

A noise between a scoff and a chuckle rumbled from his chest, "That's exactly what I am thinking about." He said sarcastically to which I narrowed my eyes at him.

His eyebrows suddenly pulled together and he looked down, "There is something under me."

He moved a little and pulled something from under him, "Wow," he mumbled with a whistle, holding nothing but my pink underwear, "Hello kitty," he read the words amusingly, "That doesn't sound like you."

My eyebrow raised, "I wear that on laundry day." I defended myself before I reached for it, "Give it to me!"

He backed his hand away making me fight harder, "Give it back!" I stressed out but he only shook his head with a tease he moved his hand further away.

I groaned in annoyance and lifted my upper body up.

He wants to play dirty, well, so can I.

I shifted around, pressing my knees on each side of his waist, I straddled him.

I dipped my head down, our noses touching and my hand caught his. The teasing smile over his lips seemed to drop as he gazed so closely into my eyes.

They flickered down a little and that's when I noticed how my shirt is pulled down and everything is in full view.

I immediately pressed my hand over his eyes, "Don't look at my chest, you pig!" I said. Playfulness saturated my tone, though there was no mistaking the point I was making.

"Get off me!" He groaned as his lips twitched in a smile and tried to remove my hand from over his eyes.

Now that those beautiful eyes were covered, my gaze was full on focus on his lips. The same twisted feeling rushed my chest and coiled at my stomach.

Were those...butterflies?


His lips seemed so full and red against the backdrop of the stubble coating his jawline.

Lilly, control. Control.

You regretted kissing him. This won't be any better. You'll regret it.

Nerves jackhammered my heart into a frenzy. I still couldn't make sense of it.

"Chase," I coaxed, my eyes never left his lips, "Remember how we said we gonna pretend that the kiss didn't happen?"

I slowly removed my hand from over his eyes, confusion radiated off them in waves at my out of-the-blue topic.

I swallowed hard, "Can we add one more thing to that list?"

For god's sake, my lungs probably stopped function because I was already panting.

"Add what?" He asked, clueless and breathless.

One last time. I assured myself.

"This." I mumbled.

All coherent thoughts escaped me when my mouth descended on his....and I was kissing him again.

This time, it took him less than a second to meet my mouth. Big, warm hands held into my face, slipped around my sides to my back, and he brought my flush to his body. In the same second, his mouth descended on mine, gentle yet firm and enough to make my breath hitch.

A thrill buzzed through every single one of my senses.

He kissed me back in a way I'd only read about. A one I thought was only a fantasy. When a little moan rumbled up my throat, his tongue grazed along the rim of my bottom lip.

In a blink, my hands were in his hair, desperate to draw him nearer, and I was suddenly kissing him like a storm that had taken an abrupt turn and hit land.

There was no experience as blissful as kissing Chase.

Sure, he was the only boy I'd ever kissed, but I didn't need anything to compare it to.

It was pure ecstasy.

Nerves raced through me, a shivered thrill and a flutter of anxiety, because I had no clue what I was doing.

All I knew was I wanted to do it.

I was addicted. To his taste, to his smell, to his lips.

Chase groaned and swallowed it down, then gripped me by the waist, his hold firm, desperate as he reared up and rolled until I was the one beneath him.

The hold of our lips broke. But our bodies didn't.

His warm breath washed over my face as the words hoarsely made it out, "What are you doing?"

"I don't know." My words were chopped and raw.

All I knew is that I wanted this.

Was I breaking any rules? Maybe.

Will it complicate things again? Possible.

Tangling my fingers around the soft strands at the back of his head, I grabbed them and pulled him closer.

He felt familiar and right and totally, incredibly wrong.

I was so going to regret this.

But that's tomorrow's problem.

We'll just pretend again that it didn't happen and get back into annoying each others. We promised those words throughout this forbidden action.

This was...beyond messed up.


There's a connection here that we can't explain.

It's this relationship, that's unlike any other.

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