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Eric stands with his back toward me, facing the other buildings. I walk over and stand next to him, hoping he will start talking first. He doesn't.

"You've been avoiding me."

His eyes flick over toward me briefly before he looks away. "I have."


"It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does," I say. "I want to know why you've been avoiding me when I haven't done anything wrong."

"I was mad," he says, "and needed time to think."

"Why were you mad?"

"Because you weren't on my team," he says, his voice rising. "Because you captured the flag, meaning Four beat me again. Because you are all I can think about."

He runs his hand through his hair and turns toward me. "I was in my apartment all weekend to keep from seeing you."

"I'm not sure what to think about that," I say, averting my gaze.

"You've woven your way into my head and I can't think straight," he says. "I needed time to think things over, but all my thoughts kept wandering back to you."

"Why does that make you mad?"

"Because I've barely known you a week and you've become important to me," he says. "Nobody else here has bothered to try and get to know me, but you have."

"I'm still not understanding why you were mad."

"I'm mad because I kinda sorta have feelings for you," he says, taking a step closer to me. "And I'm mad that I can't do anything about it."

"And why can't you?" I step forward, eliminating the distance between us, and rub my hands up his chest, over his shoulders, and down his arms.

"The rules." He gulps and his eyes flick to my lips before he focuses them back on my eyes. "It's against the rules."

"Being friends isn't against the rules, right?" I say, resting my hand on the back of his neck.

"No," he says softly, "it isn't."

"Okay, we're just friends," I say. "To everyone else, at least."

"So, what you're saying is..."

"I'm saying that we're just friends in front of everyone else," I say, leaning in closer. "But when it's just us, we can be whoever we want. What they don't know won't hurt them."

I tug on his neck and the butterflies in my stomach take flight. I allow my lips to brush his before pressing my mouth on his. His lips are soft and warm against mine. His hands find my hips and he tugs me forward, pulling me against him.

My eyes flutter open and I pull away, feeling slightly out of breath. I smile up at him and his mouth up turns to form a grin.

"So, did that seem like I haven't kissed anyone or?" I say, causing him to chuckle. My cheeks turn red and I bury my face in his shirt. "Sorry, I ruined the moment."

He gently grabs my chin, making me look up at him. "It's okay. We'll have more moments."

"Except for Mr. Grouchy making us run twenty laps around the training room this morning," Tera says, "this has been a pretty decent day."

Four didn't say that we had afternoon training and neither did Eric, so we had the rest of the day off. After the roof scene with Eric, I decided to take a much needed nap. Training and the trip up and down the stairs really wore me out.

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