Chapter TEN

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Chapter Ten

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The week in New York was finally coming to a close. I was going to miss the city, I was going to miss the loud cars and dozen of people fighting their way into the subways. I was going to miss the smells of the shops as they assaulted my nose trying to lure me into them. I was going to miss the way I blended into the crowd, like I was just me for a while.

I wasn't the scared little girl from the small town. I wasn't the girl who need the protection of her family. I didn't have nightmares and I definitely wasn't afraid of the people around me.

But I was. I was all those things and more.

My tears fell down my face when my mother and father greeted me at our gate to travel home together. I was so happy to see them. Of course they wanted to know everything I'd done with my time in the city so I spent the entire plane ride going over every detail.

Mom had been glad that I went to the club fair and already had some interest in joining some. She was even more delighted when I told her about the coffee house around the corner from the dorms that sold the most amazing coffee the city could offer. The taste of the bitter sweet liquid from the cup I had this morning could still be tasted on my tongue.

When the plane landed and we were on route back to my siblings I began to get butterflies in my stomach, would Colin be over? Besides the texting of my daily assignments we haven't conversed since he'd called me almost a full week ago. I hated to admit it but, I missed him more than I should have.

We rounded the corner and turned onto our street. I could feel the excitement bubble up inside me as I saw a couple of cars in the driveway. I didn't see his but that meant very little, he could have gotten a ride.

"Welcome home Kat!" Voices shouted as I walked through the door. Chris and Tommy reached me first, wrapping me in a tight embraces. Hannah's hug was less intense but I could tell that she'd missed me. The guys that Tommy had made friends with were over, Spencer included with Bradley tagging along for Hannah's sake.

"We missed you." Tommy laughed, throwing his arm of my shoulder as he led me over to the group that was in the living room.

"Everyone missed you." Spencer chuckled, "Seriously you are the light source for these people." He gestured to my family, "Even I was a little down that you weren't here."

I bit my lip, "Thanks." I blushed and Chris laughed.

"We got you something." Hannah told me as she pulled out a bag from behind her back. The bag was familiar and I grinned sheepishly as I opened it. Inside was four books that I had contemplated at the store last week, but how had they known? Even Colin wasn't with me when I'd debated getting these, right?

"Thank you." I told them again, my voice getting caught in my throat as I looked over the covers in amazement.

"We figured you'd have read the other one about a dozen times already so new books were in order." Chris teased.

"Thank you guys, this means so much to me." I hugged all of them again.

Looking around the room for the first time I noticed that one person was missing. I felt disappointment flood through me as I double-no triple- checked the faces.

Spencer was watching me carefully, a smirk on his lips and I turned back to Hannah and nodded, struggling to keep up the same excitement that I'd felt earlier. It was harder than I'd thought to act happy.

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