Chapter Fifteen

I could tell Ian was surprised. He didn't immediately respond to my kiss, though as I was about to pull away his lips moved against mine. His arm encircled my waist and pulled me in to a comfortable position in his lap.

The kiss wasn't heated or terribly passionate, but it still left me breathless. I'd been kissed before but it never felt as it had with Ian. His fingers gently stroking my arm and lower back left tingles, and when his lips were upon mine a nervous feeling of excitement crept up inside my belly.

I pulled back, but Ian wouldn't hear any of it.

"No," he mumbled, his eyes still closed, and he cupped my face, drawing me towards him again.

This time Ian kissed me with more fervor. I let it continue for a bit, until it was pretty obvious that he wanted to go further. I pulled back once again, this time pulling myself out of his grasp and standing up and away from him. I heard him exhale a sharp sigh.

"I'm still mad at you, you know," I told him pointedly, turning back around to find Ian staring at me intensely. He nodded slowly after my statement.

"I know," he replied, laughing mirthlessly and sitting up straighter. He then stood up and walked towards me, sliding his arms around my waist and resting his forehead on my shoulder. He sighed again before continuing, "I really am sorry Maddy…it's just…. there's been a lot going on lately, you know?"

"Honestly Ian…no, I don't know," I told him directly, looking in to his eyes.

He sighed, then let go of me and went to sit down on one of the benches nearby. He didn't continue speaking until I went to sit beside him.

"It's just…remember how I told you that my dad called?" Ian asked, sounding nervous and hesitant, though eager.

"Yeah…"

"Well, apparently he's coming back to 'rejuvenate the relationship' between him and Libby and I," at this Ian's voice was bitter and cold. If I hadn't already known of the animosity he had towards his father I would have been shocked.

"I see," I said tentatively. I didn't know what had happened to make Ian hate his father so much. I could sympathize to a certain degree seeing as my father and I didn't have a great relationship, though I had a feeling Ian's hate ran a lot deeper than mine ever had. I decided to continue. "What happened?"

He looked at me, his eyes shiny, though without tears. He looked away almost as soon as he had looked up. "He left," Ian stated simply. He didn't say anything else for so long that I thought he wasn't going to continue. He did eventually saying, "I don't think I ever told you this, but Libby and I don't have the same mother."

I was a little shocked. I'd heard that Libby meant everything to Ian and hearing that they were only half-siblings was a little shocking. "No, you haven't told me that."

His smile was crooked and without mirth. "Yeah, well we don't. My father was married to Libby's mom when he went and fucked his secretary, my mom. Once Libby's mom found out he was screwing around on her she went crazy, filed for divorce. Somehow the bastard got custody of Libby once she was born and my mom didn't want me so she dumped me with him too."

Ian stated everything so matter of factly, it was as if he were relating the story of somebody else. The thought scared me. It scared me that somebody could hurt Ian so much that his feelings turned apathetic or absent altogether. I put my hand in his and squeezed gently, letting him know I was there for him. He looked up and smiled at me once more, or attempted to at least. It was still lacking the happiness I wanted desperately to see, though his eyes were warm as they held mine.

He let out a breath before continuing. "My dad raised Libby and I until about…nearly two years ago I guess. Then I don't even know what happened really…everything just kind of blew up. He was always a shit father, drinking and partying like he was still in college. So, I don't know who started it but he and I got in to a huge shit storm and it somehow ended up with my getting emancipated and him leaving. He hasn't called since he left; he only sends money once or twice a month so that we can get by. And I have a feeling he only does that because the judge told him to when I got emancipated. Then suddenly he's calling and saying he wants things to get better. It's just…a lot to take in."

When Ian finished, I scooted over so that I was closer to him and gave him a hug. He returned it and it felt almost like things were back to normal again. It felt good to be in Ian's arms, no matter how screwed up the both of us seemed to be. I snuck my head in his collarbone and felt some of the stress and apprehension seep out of me.

"So…you forgive me for being a dick?" Ian asked, breaking the silence.

"Mhmm," I mumbled in to his shirt. He chuckled and rubbed my back affectionately.

We stayed that way for what felt like hours, though was probably more like 45 minutes. It felt good to be on good terms with Ian again.

"I should probably take you home," Ian said suddenly. I groaned, but he only pulled me to my feet and started walking me towards his truck. We both got in and in no time we were parked in front of the gates to my property.

I smiled at Ian and made to get out of the truck. He caught my wrist and pulled me back to him, before I could say anything his lips were on mine. I smiled against him and I could feel him smile back. After Ian was satisfied from thoroughly exploring my mouth, he let me go and I went back to my mausoleum.

&&&

The next day I was happier than I had been in a while. It seemed like certain things didn't matter anymore. It had been the first time since I'd switched schools that I truly felt happy and that things were turning out for the best. It felt as though things that would have once forced me to tears were now only reminders that I was human.

I got a call from Jenny early that morning. She wanted to inquire about what had happened between Ian and I. When I told her she started squealing, and I was pretty sure she was jumping around in her room as well.

"So are you guys like…. officially together now, as a couple?" she asked me excitedly.

"Uhmm…." I told her uncertainly. The truth was I wasn't sure about that myself. I'd thought about it since the day before, though mostly I was just excited to be on good terms with him again that actually being together wasn't my main priority.

"Maddy! That's something you should be finding out!" she screeched.

"What am I supposed to do? Just call him and ask him if we're a couple?" I asked her sarcastically.

"Yes," she deadpanned.

"Oh," I replied, "but I made the first move, it's his turn!"

"Oh Maddy, if only life worked that way! Now go call him!"

"Fine," I said reluctantly.

We then said our goodbyes and hung up, though Jenny explicitly instructed me to call her right back as soon as I found something out.

I stared at the phone for several minutes trying to organize what I was going to say. I couldn't just bring something like that up—it would sound too awkward, and this was a time where I was feeling especially self-conscious.

Before I could decide what to do the phone started ringing. I checked the caller ID and it was Ian himself. I gulped and answered.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Maddy?" I heard Ian's masculine voice ask.

"Yeah, hey," I replied.

"Hey…so umm…. what's up?" he inquired nervously. I didn't know why he was nervous; it was me that was supposed to be nervous in all this!

"Not much really, I was just about to call you actually," I said, trying to b nonchalant.

"Really? Why?" he queried.

Oops. "Uhh…well…I mean…" I stuttered once more looking for the right words. "Iwasjustwonderingwherewestood," I blurted it out quickly.

"What?"

"I mean…since…the other day…I was just wondering.— " I couldn't finish because Ian had cut me off.

"Will you go out with me?" he blurted out almost as fast as I had. I stared open mouthed in to the receiver before nodding. Then realizing he couldn't see me I quickly answered.

"Yes."

We talked for a bit more before deciding to hang up. Less than five minutes later I had called Jenny back to tell her the good news.