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Home > The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(5)

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(5)
Author: Jessica Sorensen

"Sorry, I just... I want to make sure you're comfortable." I shift the bag onto my hip and feel around the dark trunk for my other bag.

"I promise I can manage for one night." She crosses her heart with her finger and smiles. "In fact, I might even get brave enough to go check out the party next door."

I rapidly switch the subject. "We can probably get the rest of this stuff out tomorrow, since it's dark and I can barely see. And I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted."

"I think..." Her eyes wander in the direction of the driveway. "Dear God Almighty, who is he? Wait a minute. Isn't he... yeah..." She lets out a quiet squeal and hops up and down. "Ella, I think it's the guy from your drawing, that Micha guy you insist you never dated."

My bag falls to the ground as I slouch down, debating an escape. Duck under the car? Run into the house? Dive into the trunk?

"Hey there, beautiful," Micha says in his flirty tone. "You shouldn't park your car out here in the open. Someone will probably jack it."

The sound of his voice sends a tremble through my body that coils down deep inside me. I thought the feeling would be gone after being away for eight months, but somehow time has had the opposite effect - it's amplified and taking over my body. I pretend to be engrossed by a box in the trunk and put my head amidst the shadows.

Lila giggles. "I'm sure my car will be okay. This is my friend's house."

"Your friend's house..." He drifts off, making the connection and anxiety strangles me. "Wait a minute? Are you talking about Ella Daniels?"

Collecting myself, I slam the trunk down. When he sees me, his eyes enlarge and he has the same expression on his face as when his mama told him his daddy wasn't ever coming back.

He blinks the stunned expression away and a hint of anger transpires. "What are you doing here? I thought you were in Vegas."

For a moment, I'm unable to speak, caught in a mixture of emotions from seeing him again. Micha has always been stunningly beautiful in a way that makes artists' hands ache. He's dressed in a red plaid shirt, dark jeans, and a pair of black boots. His lips are full and ornamented with a silver loop and his dirty blonde hair has a slight wave to it. His skin is like porcelain and his aqua eyes carry more than I can handle.

"I was down there for school, but I'm back now," I say in the polite tone I've used with everyone over the last eight months. But on the inside my heart is wild, and my blood is roaring with the same yearning I felt for him when I left. "Wait a minute. You knew I was down there?"

He sidesteps around Lila and positions himself directly in front of me. Micha is one of the few guys that is taller than me and I have to angle my head up to meet his eyes. "I had no idea where you were until this morning," he says. "Since you didn't tell anyone where you went."

The ache in his voice stabs at my heart and the phone carrying the voicemail in my pocket weighs a thousand pounds. "Sorry, but I needed a break from this place. It was... things were... well you know how it was."

"No, I don't know how it was." He braces a hand on the trunk like he's going to fall over. "Since you took off and never told me where the hell you went."

I need to go before he gets to me, and all my self-control evaporates. Picking up my bag from the ground, I wave good-bye to him. "It was nice talking to you again, but we've been on the road for like twelve hours and all I want to do is lay down."

"I'm not really that tired," Lila says and I press her with a pleading look. "Oh, wait maybe I am." She fakes a yawn.

I hurry for the side door of my house, but Micha blocks my path, and his hand comes down on the car like a railroad track barricade. He drags his lip ring into his mouth with a passionate look on his face, like he might kiss me or something.

For a second, I wish he would.

He leans toward my ear, lowering his voice to an intimate level. "Come with me somewhere. Please. I've been waiting eight months to talk to you."

I flinch at my body's fiery reaction his voice emits. "I can't talk to you, Micha." I choke, backing away, and bumping my hip on the edge of the car. Tears threaten the corners of my eyes, but I haven't cried in over a year and I refuse to break down. Spinning on my heels, I dash for the house.

He doesn't call out to me - it's not his style. But his gaze bores a hole into my messed up head the entire way, until I'm finally locked inside my house.

Then I can breathe again.

Micha

I swear I'm dreaming. Ella is standing in front of me and she looks just like Stacy Harris, a slutty cheerleader we used to go to high school with and who Ella beat up once because Stacy was making fun of a girl in a wheelchair.

It was one of the things that made me fall in love with her; the fire, passion, and the need to stick up for the outcasts, even if it meant being an outcast herself. She never fell into any category - she was just Ella - but now she looks like a freakin' Stepford Wife. She's still hot as hell, a rock hard body, and long legs that go on forever. I've pictured those legs wrapped around my waist many times and the same images flood my head, even though she looks like a stranger.

Her gorgeous green eyes are glossed over, like she's repressed everything inside. She's unhappy to see me and it hurts a little, but pisses me off more. She starts rambling about being tired, something she used to do all the time to avoid confrontation. I watch her lips move, wanting to kiss her so God damn bad, but knowing she'd probably kick me if I tried anything. So I lean in, smelling her hair and beg her to come with me somewhere.

Then she runs down the driveway and locks herself in the house. I start to chase after her, but a Frisbee smacks me in the side of the head.

"Sorry man," Ethan calls out, hopping over the fence with a smirk on his face. "It slipped."

Rubbing my head, I arch my eyebrows at Ethan. "Perfect timing ass**le."

He holds up his hands. "I said I was sorry. You were just standing there all dazed out like a freaking whipped pu**y, so I thought I'd snap you out of it." He scoops up the Frisbee from the concrete and gives a low whistle at Ella's friend's Mercedes as he circles it rolling up his sleeves. "Whose sweet ride is this? Wait, is it Ella's?"

"I think it's her friends." I eye the back door of her house, debating whether I should barge in after her and demand to know why she shut me out for eight months.

"Since when does Ella hang out with people who drive cars like this?" he asks, peeking through the tinted windows.

"She's been gone for eight months." I back toward the fence that separates Ella's yard from mine with my hands in my pockets. "Who the hell knows who she is anymore?"

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