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It's 6:24 p.m.

The air is filled with celebration outside, yet all I feel is trepidation. I didn't even have it in me to join some of the fun outside earlier, where most girls are down by the beach or eating from the array of party food brought out to commemorate the last night here.

I'm stuck in front of my collection of clothing, hunting around for something to wear. Most of the pieces I brought are for working out or lounging around, nothing appropriate for a dinner out, but then again, who says I have to dress up? Nowhere did Axel make it sound like this was a date, and even if he did, I could never consider it one with this much dread flowing through my veins.

I look harder and find my favorite pair of girlfriend jeans and a white top that rests slightly off my shoulders, accentuating my collarbones.

Now I'm getting somewhere.

I hurry up and pull on the jeans, realizing they're so much looser than they were last month. I ignore the different fit, seeing that they look trendy enough anyway, and pull on the white top and a small necklace.

Axel has never seen me even remotely dressed up, nor have I ever worn makeup around him. It's strange how I've never been insecure in my natural form around him, and maybe that says something about him. Either way, I have to deal with the little makeup I brought and conceal my small blemishes, line my eyes, and run enough mascara through my eyelashes to land me a Maybelline commercial.

When I'm done fixing my hair and applying a nude lipstick, I grab my phone and head out the door. I slip out the exit of the dorm building and hurry towards the parking lot on the opposite side of the camp. It's 6:59 when I reach the lot, and I try to locate Axel before finding his car, having no idea what he even drives.

I find him in the middle of the lot, standing in front of an older black BMW, and make my way over there, adjusting my hair again. I was hoping I'd be the first one there, but I remind myself that not everything has to be a competition at this camp.

When I approach his car, I notice that he's decided to clean up in almost the same way: a white linen shirt rolled up to his elbows, with a few open buttons at the top, and a pair of fitting dark jeans. His clothes are so simple yet they make him look even more attractive—if that's even possible at this point.

We don't say anything for a few seconds, our eyes doing all of the work.

"You look pretty," he says, comment so innocent for that wandering gaze.

"We kind of match, don't we?"

"Can assure you that wasn't planned," he jokes and holds open the passenger door for me.

We don't say much as he drives. I keep my gaze trained on the window, counting trees and stop signs absentmindedly, trying not to think about what might come out of this dinner. There's that thick tension between us again, and this time I can blame it partly on the outside, since Axel's half-open window lets in the muggy late July warmth.

But the light goosebumps forming on my arms can't be from the weather.

After around twenty minutes, he pulls up into the far end of the parking lot of an upscale steakhouse, one I went to once for Poppy's high school graduation. When we get out of the car, he looks down at our hands. Mine gravitates towards his on instinct, but I pull it away at the last minute, not wanting to seem desperate. A trace of a smile meets his lips as he brushes his fingers against mine as some middle ground.

My stomach roils when we finally sit down at our table. Everything about this, from the table for two to the lit candle in the middle of it, screams first date.

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