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Home > The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(9)

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)(9)
Author: Jessica Sorensen

Lila watches me with inquisitiveness as she pulls her hair back into a bun and puts some lip gloss on. "Ethan and Micha act like you used to be someone else. Like this isn't the real you. Want to explain?"

"Not really." I push away from the door and collect some pajamas from the duffel bag. "I'm going to go take a shower. Do you need anything from downstairs?"

"Yeah, for you to tell me why those guys have you so frazzled." She unclips her watch and tosses it into her purse that's on the bed. "I've never seen you so worked up like that. You basically had an orgasm when you first saw him."

"I did not," I say, embarrassed and annoyed. "And you haven't seen me that worked up because I'm not that person anymore."

"Except for when you're around him," she insinuates. "When you were talking to him, there was something in your eyes I've never seen before. You were always so closed off to all the guys at parties and in school. Honestly, I thought you were a virgin. But the way you and Micha were looking at each other - you've had sex with him, right?"

Pressing my lips together, I tuck my pajamas under my arm, and shake my head. "No, Micha and I've never slept together, just like we've never dated. But we've been friends since we were kids."

She sits down on the bed and unhooks her sandal. "But you've had sex before?"

I squirm in my skin. "I'm going to go get ready for bed."

"Whoa, wait a second." She leaps off the bed wearing one shoe and jumps in front of the door with her hands spread out to the side. "Are you saying that you've never had sex? Ever."

I struggle for words she'll understand. "It's not like I haven't because I don't believe in premarital sex or anything. I just... Look there's a lot you don't know about me and sometimes I have a hard time getting close to people."

She's not surprised. "Well, obviously. That's totally been a given from day one."

"What do you mean?" I question. "I've never told anyone that before." Not even Micha.

"It means sometimes I can see right through you." She sighs and counts down on her fingers. "I've been your roommate for eight months and all I know about you is you're focused on school, you hate to drink, hate being around large crowds, and have never went on a date. I barely know you and being here, I'm starting to wonder if I know you at all."

She knows the Ella I want her to know. "Can you let me by? I'm really tired."

She gives me a disbelieving look, but doesn't press. She steps aside and lets me by. Relief washes over me because I don't want to get into it with her. Not tonight. Not ever. I never want to get into the night that changed my life. I buried my reckless identity, and I won't dig it up again.

Chapter 4

Micha

"She's already got you all hot and bothered." Ethan sips on his soda. "Look at you. Drunk after eight months of sobriety and I don't believe it's a coincidence it happened on the same night she showed up."

I slam another shot back and wipe my lips with the back of my hand. "I'm fine man. And I can't blame what I do on anyone else but myself. This isn't Ella's fault. "

Ethan laughs, tipping his head back, bumping it on the edge of the cupboard. "Who the hell are you trying to convince? You know just as well as every single person in the room knows that you two are each other's problem and it's never going to be fixed until you f**k and get it over with."

I punch him in the arm, harder than I planned. "Watch it. You're walking on thin ice tonight."

He holds up his hands, surrendering. "Sorry, I forgot how you get when you're like this."

I grab a fist full of his shirt and jerk him toward me. "Like what?"

Again, he forfeits up his hands. "Micha man, calm down and go drink some coffee or something. You're trashed out of your mind."

I release him and rake my fingers through my hair, frustrated with something I can't grasp. "Coffee's a myth... And I need something else." My eyes travel to the back door window, and suddenly I understand what I need. I pat Ethan's shoulder. "Clear everyone out before my mom gets home, okay?"

"Alright, man will do," he replies confoundedly. "But where are you going?"

"On a walk." I knock people out of my way, and stumble out the back door. Regaining my balance, I trip across the grass and climb over the fence. Ella's dad's Firebird is parked in the driveway, so he must be home from the bar. Doesn't matter, though. He won't notice or care if I sneak in. I've been doing it since we were kids.

Although, my intentions did get a bit dirtier the older we got.

I stare up at her bedroom window until I reach the tree. After a drunken struggle, I make it to the top and I inch along the branch to the window. Cupping me hands around my eyes, I peek inside. The lights are off, but the glow of the moon lights a trail to her bed. She's fast asleep. I inch open the window, slicing my finger on a rusty nail. "Mother..." I suck on my finger tip, the taste of blood and vodka bitter against my tongue as I head dive through the window and hit the floor with a soft thud.

Her friend shoots upright from the bed on the floor, her eyes wide. "Oh my God."

I put my finger to my lips as I get to my feet. "Shh..." She still looks worried so I dazzle her with my most charming smile.

That seems to win her over and she settles back in her bed. As carefully as I can, I step over her bed and crawl in with Ella. She's always been a heavy sleeper and doesn't stir. I press my chest against her back, drape my arm over her waist, and feel the rhythm of her breathing. God, I've missed this way too much. It's not healthy. I burrow my face in her neck, smelling the scent of her hair, vanilla mixed with something that's only her.

I shut my eyes and for the first time in eight months, I fall into a peaceful sleep.

Ella

I sleep horribly for half the night, tossing and turning, like the princess sleeping on a pea. Only I am far from a princess and the pea is my guilty conscience. I don't know why I feel guilty about blowing off Micha. I've done it breezily for the past eight months. Although, he wasn't living right next door with his sad puppy dog eyes and charming sexiness.

My sleep deprivation only got worse when my dad stumbled into the house in the middle of the night, bumping over cups and bottles, drunk off his ass. Later, I heard him crying in the bathroom my mom died in. It still hurts to hear because his tears are my fault.

Once I fall asleep, I am out and it ends up being the best night's rest I've had in ages. When I wake up in the late afternoon, I feel refreshed and calm. Until I realize why.

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