54 | feelings

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"Where's Nevaeh?" I ask Ian as soon as I arrive in the dining room.

Ian steps out of the kitchen. He looks surprised to see me, raising his eyebrows at me. "She's looking for you in the painting room. I thought you were there."

I sigh. It's silly because I went to her room so that we could have dinner together. We're apparently looking for each other in the wrong places.

While I'm heading to my art room, my heart suddenly becomes restless.

I was in the middle of painting something she shouldn't see. I'd lost track of time while painting. I abruptly stopped as soon as I noticed that it had reached dinner time. Although I'd covered the painting with a cloak, I didn't even bother to move it to another spot to make it unnoticed.

When I reach my art room, I take a deep breath. To my horror, Nevaeh is standing right in front of the painting she's not supposed to see.

My heart feels like dropping into an endless pit.

How am I supposed to explain it to her?

How am I supposed to tell her about what I was doing?

Nevaeh freezes. Her eyes are glued to the painting of herself without any clothes on, not even a piece.

It's a painting of herself with over the shoulder pose and her bare back facing whoever it is seeing the painting.

I've painted her beautiful face, her perfect wavy long blonde hair, and her sky blue eyes -- those broken eyes, exactly how I see them when I spot her in the shower.

I've painted her body that stops at the curve of her ass.

In the painting, she's covering one of her breasts with her palm while looking over the shoulder at me with such a vulnerable gaze. Some parts of her body are kept hidden because I couldn't continue painting them.

I still remember that day when I tore my gaze away from her naked form, when I walked out of her bathroom.

I was afraid that I couldn't control myself, so I stopped looking.

Now that Nevaeh has found this painting, she must be thinking that I'm crazy.

A psychopath.

A freak.

My fear builds up. I feel like the world around me turns into darkness.

Nevaeh feels my presence, and slowly, she turns around. Our eyes meet.

My heart seems to stop as she looks at me with disbelief skating all over her face. The way she looks at me makes me feel like I'm the worst person ever to exist in this world.

"Nevaeh." My voice is shaking as I whisper her name.

I want to step closer to her and fix everything, but I don't know what to say. I can't even move.

Nevaeh swallows, and before I can comprehend what's happening, she runs out of the room. My heart thumps hard against my ribcage, it's painful.

"Nevaeh," I shout, running after her.

Please, don't go.

I don't want to lose her. I think I'll die if I do.

Panic consumes me. We end up entering the outdoor area near the pool, and by the time she reaches the balcony, she turns around.

Her legs are shaking as she grips the railing behind her. The wind blows through her hair, making it messy. Her eyes are wide, still filled with shock.

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