Home > Watch Me Follow(11)

Watch Me Follow(11)
Author: Harloe Rae

Lennon smirks and an adorable dimple appears. “Thank you, for everything. I’m so happy we’ve finally met. Well, I talked and you listened but whatever.” She waves a hand in front of her before continuing. “Anyway, this was . . . good. I gotta go but will you find me later?”

I nod while silently saying, “Watch me follow.”


Sometimes a whisper feels like an earthquake.

WHY DID I bother coming to class?

As the professor drones on about our seminar presentations, all I can think about is Seek and what happened earlier. Shock continues to creep through me, even hours later. It’s surreal to finally discover who’s responsible for delivering the yellow sticky notes and gifts after all this time. The secret that’s been following me for years has been revealed. Well . . . kind of.

I haven’t seen Seek’s face under the hood but hopefully he’ll show me soon. Maybe there’s a reason he’s been keeping his identity a mystery, but I want him to trust me.

This entire situation is wild and unexpected, yet I’m calm and ready for more. Mostly because receiving his undivided attention is extremely thrilling. I’m not sure my heart rate will ever return to normal. Does this make me naïve and gullible? Maybe, but I’ve never been risky. To me, Seek is worth taking a chance. There’s a gut feeling deep inside that’s telling me he’s special.

My lips lift into a dopey smile as I recall the note he just gave me. As I reach into my pocket to touch the paper, my eyes slide shut.

I want to be his sunshine.

His romantic messages have kept me floating in bliss and I want to know what else he’s capable of. I want to see it all, hear his words, and hopefully Seek will let me.

Why is he holding back?

Goosebumps prickle my skin while I stare out the window, getting lost in visions of his mysterious features. His strong, square jaw jutted out from the shadows. The light skin was covered with dark stubble and my fingers twitch at the memory, wanting to feel the texture. Would the hair be soft and silky or scratchy and rough?

Seek’s full lips were also exposed to my hungry eyes. I saw them lift into a barely-there smile when we stood close together. I pictured the rest of his face transforming with the expression and longing shot straight to my core.

Is his nose sloped or straight?

Are his cheekbones high?

Does his forehead crinkle when he’s concentrating?

Every piece of him interests me but the feature that claims most of my attention is the color of his eyes.

No matter how hard I try steering my imagination away, light irises appear like a flash in the night. The unique combination of ice-blue fading into midnight navy always left me transfixed. That stunning shade is impossible to forget.

I blink slowly while getting dragged deeper into the crystal-clear depths, once so familiar to me. His thick lashes would flutter shut, like dark clouds protecting the bright sky. Suddenly the boy from my past forms completely, watching me from the sidewalk. His broad build radiates strength, similar to Seek, but Ryker is my original pillar of wonder.

I’ve tried forgetting him but he’s always in the back of my mind. He’s the only guy I’ve found a connection with, no matter how silent or one sided it was. Four years have trickled by since those ocean eyes sucked me in but my dreams always remind me. Ryker is long gone and I let him get away.

My gaze gets misty and I wipe the moisture away. When I glance back outside, a figure on the sidewalk has a black hood covering his head and the memories of Ryker evaporate. Seek is the one actually here, in the present, and it’s time to move forward.

“Ms. Bennett?

My instructor’s voice startles me from the daydream.

“Um, y-yes?” I stutter quietly as my flickering gaze focuses on her.

“Care to join the class? Or will you be staring out the window all period?”

My cheeks heat with the shame of being caught.

“Sorry,” I mutter before she turns away.

My hand gets busy copying the notes on the board while the professor moves forward with the instructions. She discusses the final project guidelines and I quickly glimpse at the outline she’s scrawling across the board. I write barely-legible notes so my attention can return to the intriguing scenery beyond these stuffy walls.

As I glance back to the sidewalk, Seek’s dark form is gone. Disappointment sinks like a brick in my stomach but his disappearing act is for the best.

This weird fascination is becoming more distracting and my concentration needs to get back on track. Graduation is less than a month away and my priorities can’t take a backseat while I chase this random guy around. My Seek-crazy heart almost convinced my usually levelheaded mind to blow off class altogether and I never do that.

I could have stayed there, staring at his darkened face, all day if Lucy hadn’t pulled me away. She told me one of us needed to be responsible after shoving me in the general direction of my first class. A muted snort escapes me at the thought of her being the dutiful one. That’s hilarious. If anyone enjoys ditching, it’s that girl. Lucy was just uncomfortable with the situation. I appreciate her watching my back and keeping my head screwed on straight.

Being impulsive isn’t my thing—at all.

And yet, regret has been pooling in my chest since leaving him. Even the deeply ingrained devotion to my future career can’t keep my thoughts away from him. What is it about him? I barely know this man aside from his beautifully written words and his peculiar habit of following me, but I’d skip out on my perfectly planned routine for him.

The afternoon drags by but I’ve finally made it to my last class. Without windows, the basement computer lab is like a concrete fortress with no escape. The knot in my stomach tightens as I weigh the options. My leg bounces restlessly as I contemplate leaving early. It’s not like I’m really listening. My focus keeps bouncing between what happened earlier and what might happen later. With a heavy exhale, I settle deeper into the chair as stubborn determination wins.

There’s no hope of catching sight of Seek down here so I’m doing my best to get some work done. My current assignment is to create a logo for a popular brand of Michigan-made kayaks. If my design is chosen, I earn a hefty sum to use for starting my own business, so this could be a huge win. I’ve been layering navy splotches mixed with black swirls until the entire screen looks like a midnight setting. The last thing a lakeshore company wants is a dreary symbol to dull their sparkle. I groan inwardly and rub my eyes before trashing the pitiful picture and starting over.

After choosing powder blue as my backdrop, inspiration strikes and I’m filled with newfound motivation. Soon bursts of yellow, orange, and red blend to create a magnetic image. My gaze gets lost in the rays blasting through the early sky.

The girl next to me leans over and mutters, “Dude. You’re totally going to win. That color scheme is dope.”

I offer her a small smile before returning to the screen and saving my progress. Finding my stride after that doubt is a hefty burden off my shoulders. This design is definitely the beginning of something solid and the final submission isn’t due until next Friday. Having the prize money would make all the difference for me. A real chance to start my own company, Len’s Looks.

When we’re dismissed at the top of the hour I don’t waste time sitting around but when I get into the hallway, my legs lock up without a clear plan of where to go. I’ve been obsessing about finding Seek all afternoon but completely forgetting to consider how.

I usually spend Thursday evenings in the studio since it’s always quiet and abandoned. Other students are more interested in partying, while I see the night as open hours with no one around to bother me. Since the incident with David, I’ve been avoiding being alone down there but Seek will be around. I hope he will.

As I start walking toward the Art Center, my eyes naturally search the hidden nooks and crannies where Seek could be waiting. My mind floods with crazy possibilities as I contemplate what could happen. Everything inside my heart trusts Seek and wants to know everything he’s willing to share. I’m very close to finding out. I can feel it within my bones.

My hand grips the door handle before I take a last look over my shoulder. I don’t see him but that doesn’t mean he’s not there. Considering how long he’s been delivering coffee and bagels without any hint of revealing his identity proves he’s stealthy.

Where is he?

A heavy sigh deflates my chest when the space around me remains Seek-free. I head down the stairs and into the studio while keeping my chin up.

He’ll be here soon.

He seems to know my schedule since he’s conveniently parked in my path more times than not lately. There’s no reason to doubt him now.

I don’t see him but suddenly a scent from earlier floats in the air. With a deep inhale, musk and pine settle into my lungs while my lashes flutter rapidly. There’s nothing artificial about the aroma clinging around me—it’s just him. It speaks of days spent outdoors and nights in the gym. Seek has an organic smell that’s not available in a bottle and after another whiff, my body is hooked.

And he’s here with me.

Nerves squeeze my throat, forming a rock that makes it painful to swallow. My mind is swamped and it’s difficult to concentrate. I focus on the clench in my muscles and take a steady inhale to try loosening the tension. Everything about me screams anxious mess, which probably makes sense. There wasn’t much rational thought going into this meet up in the first place.

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