Her heartbeat banged against the cage her ribs created like a drum, her legs felt like jelly standing so close to Chad. It wasn't fair how she reacted to him so violently. It didn't matter what he did, she could feel him whenever he was near, and he didn't even realize how much she was so tuned in to him.

She couldn't speak for a moment, her mouth opening and closing as she stared at him with wide eyes, trying to remember what it meant to speak.

"Are you stupid or something?" he asked her suddenly.

Chad wasn't gorgeous or anything. He had curly brown hair and brown eyes. He was overweight, and he knew it, but it didn't matter. It was his attitude that made Delia wonder what was wrong with her head when she looked at him and felt a reaction to his every movement.

She closed her mouth and narrowed her eyes at the comment. "No," she snapped, "but it's obvious you are." She felt her anger rising up to match his. He was always mean to her, and she had yet to figure out why, but instead of asking, she just threw it back in his face and was just as ugly with her words.

For a moment, he just stared at her, but she felt a flame burn brightly within her at the smoldering look that was appearing in his eyes. She ignored it. It wasn't anything but his anger anyway. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach as it tried to handle the reaction she was getting from Chad. It wasn't any different than usual anyway.

"Why not?" he snapped.

"You're always being mean to me."

"So are you."

"You do it first." Delia realized they were being childish, but she couldn't help it.

All of a sudden, he grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him.

"Kiss me once," he muttered angrily.


"Just once."

"No!" Delia resisted the urge that was making her head spin in dizzying circles and tried to pull away from him. He was stronger than he looked though, and he wasn't about to let her go.

They were always fighting over the smallest things, but this was the first time he had ever commanded her to do something like this! At first she had said no because surprise had caught her, and she had answered without her mind letting her know how she'd really accepted the command.

His brown eyes darkened as he took a step closer to her and caught her chin with his hand.

"Please," he whispered helplessly, his breath light against her lips.

"No," she replied although she knew she was trembling at having him so near and she didn't really want to fight him any longer.

"Then I'll just have to kiss you," he said and his mouth came down on hers in a motion that was so fast, Delia wasn't even sure it had happened.

She stared at him with wide eyes as he pulled away and looked down at her, his eyes dark with an emotion she didn't recognize.

"That wasn't bad," he said. "But it wasn't great either."

He was baiting her. She wouldn't fall for it. Her eyes narrowed and she glared at him.

"Get away from me!" she hissed, although the heat of her skin told her she really didn't want him to.

He chuckled now, a sound that was foreign to her ears – at least coming from him.

"I'd rather not," he told her and then bent his head to her again. This kiss lasted slightly longer and added a little more pressure to her mouth. She didn't resist in any way.

"Better," he said and kissed her again and again. Each kiss was slightly longer and deeper, and before too long, Delia couldn't help but respond to him.

"You can start participating too you know," he told her as he kissed her again.

This time, his baiting worked. Her hand twitched and then she tangled it into the curly hair at the nape of his neck, pulling him closer and moving her mouth against his in response to his kiss.

He groaned. She wouldn't have noticed if her body hadn't been so tuned in to his every response to her, but she heard him and sighed against his mouth, her lips parting just enough.

When their tongues touched, she shivered and pressed herself against him, willing him never to let her go.

As he pushed her away, she opened her eyes and stared at him, dazed and confused.

"Chad?" she asked.

"Don't do that, please." He sounded broken, like he was drowning.


"Whisper like that."

"Like this?" she asked.

"Yes!" He groaned again and pushed her back against the wall, his mouth hot on hers, his hands trailing down her side to her leg, which he pulled up at his side before he leaned into her.

"Chad?" He didn't hear her. His mouth was trailing kisses along her throat, her racing heartbeat making his pulse quicken to match it. His free hand trailed the length of her body, memorizing her curves.

"I want you," he whispered near her ear, gently nibbling it.

Want and love were too different things and very different from each other, but Delia knew that would be all she got from him; it was all she wanted as well. She would have known he was lying had he said he loved her. He hated her just as much as she hated him, but that didn't stop them from reacting to one another.

She only nodded in reply, and he kissed her again.