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Twenty Eight - Intertwined Bodies

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I keep my eyes fixed on the plate of spaghetti bolognese in front of me, poking my fork at it like it's a dead cat. It's not that it tastes bad. It tastes delicious. I just don't want the taste of it to take away the taste lingering on my lips right now.

The taste of Haley's kiss.

Subconsciously, I lick my lower lip, closing my eyes and inhaling deeply through my nose to clear my head. 

The fact that Haley is sitting next to me is enough to distract me from everything else, and I glance at her from the corners of my eyes to see her doing exactly what I'm doing -- playing with her food and waiting for the moment we'll be alone again.

Her gaze flickers my way and our eyes meet. One side of my lips lifts in an automatic smile and color rises in Haley's cheeks. She looks down, causing her hair to fall on either side of her face and hide her awkwardness form my view. I don't understand how this girl can still be embarrassed with a kiss after what we did not too long ago.

And what we might be doing soon again.

I'm no horny pervert, but just the thought of being with Haley is enough to wipe away all thoughts of food and rest from my mind. 

"Haley, how's the guestroom?" 

Both Haley and I look up at her father, then at each other, then her father again. I'm frowning to myself, my fork hovering over my plate of spaghetti. Elias looks up at his daughter, raising his eyebrows questioningly.

"I'm ... I'll check?" Haley asks in confusion.

"That'd be nice." Elias smiles. "I want Xavier to feel right at home."

I continue to frown, not from confusion this time but rather from awkwardness. The glow on Haley's face has lit up the entire kitchen, and I hate to wipe it away. Unfortunate,ly I have to.

"I'm ... that's very nice of you, sir," I say to the man who looks my way. "But ... I can't stay."

Putting down the fork and moving my hands under the table to rest them on my thighs to hide how clammy they have suddenly become, I fix my gaze on my untouched dinner. 

"Is everything okay, Xavier?" Elias asks me, his face serious and tone soft.

"Actually ... no," I confess, sucking in a puff of air and stiffening my already aching shoulders. 

Every bone in my body is beyond exhausted, but my mind wants nothing more than to clear things up before I let these father and daughter take care of me again. They need to know what they have to be prepared for. 

"I ... I might move out of city," I drop the bomb. "Just for a while --" I add quickly, glancing at Haley who is as white as paper. "I can't stay here, it's ... I just ..." my initial confidence has faded away and the ghostly look on Haley's face has taken my breath away. 

Not in a good way this time.

"Haley --" I begin.

She jumps to her feet, pushing back her chair and already at the door of the kitchen before I can stop her. Swallowing hard, I look down in embarrassment, hating how much pain I cause her. 

What am I supposed to do? Stay here until the cops come knocking at her door to ask about me? She deserves better than a guy who is getting interrogated about his mother's suicide and his stepdad's absence, and getting tested for the amount of drugs in his bloodstream. She deserves better than a guy who can't promise her a future because he doesn't have one.

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