Home > Collide (The Secret Life of Trystan Scott #1)(10)

Collide (The Secret Life of Trystan Scott #1)(10)
Author: H.M. Ward

"Mari," he said softly, his eyes fixated on my lips like he wanted to taste them. When his blue gaze finally lifted to my eyes, it felt like I'd die. Every inch of my body was screaming for his touch, but my mind was chastising me, echoing Katie's words of warning to stay away from him.

A kiss meant something. Trystan's kisses didn't. But that wasn't enough to make me move. He turned toward me and lifted his hand to my cheek. His fingers slid across my face, slowly moving toward my lips. His gaze was intense, his breathing slow and steady. When his finger touched my lips, he leaned closer, closing the space between us. My heart pounded in my chest.

Frantic cries for help rang out in my mind. Where the hell was Seth when you needed him? I couldn't do this. I couldn't kiss him.

Trystan's thumb was on my lip, stroking it like he savored the sensation. He leaned in painfully slow, stopping when he was within a breath of my lips. His hands laced back into my hair and I couldn't move. Every inch of me wanted to feel his lips on mine. My mind was the only part warring within me. Trembling, I sat perfectly still, my eyes locked on his, watching him, waiting for the kiss I didn't want. It would melt my brain. It would make me want him more.

Instead of closing the space, Trystan stayed there. Blinking slowly, he said, "Kiss me." His voice was deeper than usual, his tone gentle. "Kiss me, Mari."

The request made butterflies swarm in my stomach. Trystan's hands were splayed on my cheeks. All I had to do was lean in. He was less than an inch from me. When he spoke those sexy words, his breath on my lips made me shudder. I didn't want the moment to end, but this wasn't real. This was Trystan locked in a closet with a girl and making the most of it. Kisses didn't mean anything to him and I'd already given him one of mine. He couldn't have another.

When the thought crossed my mind, I pressed my lips together and looked down. It broke the eye contact that had me paralyzed. My pulse roared in my ears. It felt like I couldn't suck in air fast enough. Trystan's hands slid down to my shoulders, and he pulled me to him, holding my forehead to his. He closed his eyes, breathing hard. Neither of us moved. We sat like that too long. I savored the feeling of his hands on my shoulders, feeling their strength and warmth, and pictured them holding me tight.

It felt like forever, but it could have been only a few minutes. I don't know. But when we heard footfalls coming toward the closet, we broke apart. There was remorse in his gaze, almost like Trystan didn't want this to end. It made my heart lurch, but I let him go. Trystan jumped up and sat on the chair. The way he looked down at me broke my heart. There was a haunted expression in his eyes. It was the one he hid at all cost. It only appeared when he was really upset and today it was crystal clear.

Chapter 20


When Tucker closed the closet door, Trystan's heart slapped into his ribs. He swallowed hard and tried to ignore it. Ever since he was a little kid, he didn't like being confined to small spaces. His father had thrown him in a dark closet too many times to not be affected by it. At least there was a light in here. And it's not like they were locked in. Trystan followed Mari's lead and helped her clean until she nearly fell. Things changed after that. Finding the door locked, Trystan tensed even more. It wasn't until he realized Mari was freaking out that he snapped out of it.

Sitting with her was bliss. Trystan tried to be content feeling the smooth skin on her hand, but he wanted more. He needed her. They'd be good together. If she gave him a chance she'd see it. But Trystan knew he's said too many things too many times for her to give him that chance. She'd be crazy if she did.

After a moment, Trystan noticed her gaze on his hand. She watched him slide his thumb across her skin and when she looked up at him, Trystan couldn't help it. The way her eyes met his, like she was frightened. He wanted to protect her. He wanted to hold her close and tell her it would be okay, but all he could do was return her gaze. Every second he maintained that connection was another second he knew he loved her.

"Mari..." He breathed her name like it was life. Watching her, he felt the pull - the magnetic lock - that drew him to her. Those pink lips were so smooth, so perfect. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to taste her. He wanted to learn the curves of her mouth and feel her kiss him back. And not because she was rehearsing some lines from a play. He wanted her to kiss him back because she wanted to, because she felt something for him.

Trystan's hand floated slowing toward Mari's face. She sat perfectly still, her eyes locked with his, her breath slowly filling her body again and again. She seemed as hypnotized as he was. Trystan leaned closer to her, but instead of kissing her, he rested his finger on her lips. He traced his finger along her lower lip, feeling how soft it was before tracing the bow on her upper lip. Mari didn't move. She seemed lost in his eyes. The fluttering in Trystan's stomach increased to intolerable when he traded his pointer finger for his thumb. Rubbing his thumb gently on her lower lip, he thought about tasting that lip. He thought about leaning forward, closing the short distance between them, and kissing her.

But he couldn't do that to her. She'd think he took advantage of her. No, she had to want him to.

"Kiss me," he breathed. His lips were so close to hers. She barely had to move, but it made all the difference. If she kissed him, it would be all right. His heart pounded wildly. Trystan's skin felt like it was on fire. He'd never done this before and any girl this close to his lips would have kissed him instantly, but Mari didn't move.

Lost in her gaze, he whispered, "Kiss me, Mari." His heart soared when he said it a second time. Saying her name, asking her to kiss him made him feel every inch of his body. He burned for her touch. There was nothing he wanted more. Thoughts of Mari filled his mind every waking moment, and when he dreamed he thought of her.

Mari seemed like she was going to kiss him. She didn't pull away. Her body was strung as tight as Trystan's. He could see it in her eyes and feel it in her breath as it flowed over his lips. When his hands tangled in her hair, he didn't think he could wait any more. Mari finally blinked, breaking the moment, and turned her face away from him. She looked down, but Trystan didn't release her. Instead he lowered his hands to her shoulders and pulled her forehead to his.

For the next few moments no one said anything. He kept his hands on her, steadying her, feeling the curve of her shoulders beneath her shirt. Trystan focused on the sound of her breathing, fighting the urge to pull her into his arms. When Tucker showed up, the moment shattered.

Chapter 21


My chest rose as I breathed in deeply, trying to steady myself. I remained seated against the door, and when Tucker pulled it open, I fell out backward.

"Miss Jennings," he started to scold me, but Trystan cut him off.

"You locked us in the closet. Correction, you locked a claustrophobic girl in a closet. With no lunch." Trystan didn't move from the chair. He was sitting forward, leaning on his elbows. He looked up at Tucker, his voice filled with unspoken threats.

Tucker's expression changed from fury to shock. He bent over to help me up, sputtering apologizes. "I had no idea. Why didn't you say something?"

Before I could reply, Tryst said, "I don't think the school board will care why she didn't say anything. I think they'll be more interested to learn why the door was locked with us inside." Trystan stood and faced Tucker after he deposited me at a desk.

"If you have something to say, Scott, say it." Tucker tensed as he spoke. This was the kind of mistake that would be severely reprimanded and Trystan knew it.

Trystan slipped his hands into his pockets and shrugged. "How about a trade? Mine and Miss Jennings' silence for free period passes for the rest of the semester."

"You're blackmailing me?" Tucker growled.

Trystan walked past him and stopped next to me. "No, it's a trade. Something that helps you for something that helps us."

Tucker turned to look at me, but Trystan stood between us. Trystan squared his broad shoulders like he needed to protect me. "You're lucky I was in there, or you would have opened the door and found her hyperventilated on the floor. The passes make up for it."

It was strange. The way Trystan acted, the way he flew between me and Tucker. I was slightly horrified by Trystan's demands, but I was too frazzled to interject.

"Where will you go? You can't wander the school." Tucker's hand was on his double chin like he was considering it.

"The prop room. Leave the door unlocked. You can check on us if you want." Trystan folded his arms over his chest. The way he said it was insane. It didn't sound like he was asking at all. He was telling Tucker what he wanted for his silence. I expected Tucker to say no.

But he didn't. Instead, he crossed the room to his desk and grabbed two passes. "If you get caught, I had nothing to do with this."

Trystan walked up behind him and stopped on the other side of the desk. They faced each other. "If we get caught, you'll tell them you gave us permission. This is an all or nothing kind of deal, unless you want us to mention parts of what happened today. There are several parts that sound kind of damning."

Tucker scribbled on the pass, taking in a deep breath as Trystan spoke. When he finished, Tucker handed Trystan the two passes. "It was a mistake."

"Yes, it was." Trystan took the passes, turned and collected me, and walked out of the classroom leaving Tucker behind.

Chapter 22


"Are you okay?" Trystan asked.

Mari hadn't spoken. She glanced at him vacantly, "Yeah. Yes. That was just unreal. I can't believe you did that."

Trystan didn't understand why. He walked next to her. As they rounded the corner, he pulled open the side door to the auditorium and walked to the first row of seats. Trystan held out his hand and said, "Sit down. Eat. You'll feel better."

Mari stepped past him and took her lunch out of her bag. She nibbled on half a sandwich as Trystan watched her. His heart was in his throat. He wanted to know what she was thinking, but she didn't speak. After a moment she looked over at him. "Where's your lunch?"

Trystan leaned back in the chair. "Lunch isn't until next period. I'll go grab something then."

Mari nodded and looked down at her sandwich. She moved slowly, like she was shell-shocked. "I have study hall next period."

Trystan smiled at her. "No you don't. Not anymore. You're needed in the prop room for the rest of the semester. Tucker's orders." He handed her the pass.

Mari stared at it before saying, "I can't use this. I can't be here with you... Trystan - "

"Of course you can," Trystan's heart was sinking. The more she came back to herself, the more mortified she looked.

"I can't. I shouldn't be here with you..." It seemed like she was going to say more, but Mari's voice trailed off. Her eyes looked everywhere but at Trystan.

His stomach fell into his shoes. "I understand. It's okay. Do what you have to do." He made sure his voice sounded light even though her words made him physically ache.

Shaking her head she said, "No, you don't understand." Trystan tried to say something, but Mari cut him off. "I can't do this. It's killing me and you're just playing me, and I'm falling for it." She stood as she spoke and rubbed the heels of her hands into her eyes.

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