Chapter Twenty:-

Martin rolled to a stop in front of a bar and unbuckled his belt. "Go about your business. I'll be here when you get done."

Ophelia was beginning to trust Martin with not telling her secrets. So when she explained that she needed to take the car somewhere, he was fine with lying to Andrew and saying they were going to the store on a late night candy craze. She used the excuse of her period coming as a reason for craving chocolate and a need for tampons.

"Are you sure?"

He nodded, pushing the car into park and opening the door. "As long as you promise to explain everything later and whatever you're doing isn't illegal then it's fine with me. Just don't take too long."

"Promise," she replied with series of quick nods.

He climbed out of the car and she slid over carefully. He waited for her to put on her seatbelt before he closed the door and patted the hood of the car. "Honk twice when you get here. I'll come right out." He was giving her the okay to pull off, and she pulled the car into drive to do just that.

She rolled away slowly at first, careful not to run over Martin's toes, and then gained speed as she distanced herself from the relatively quiet bar. The police station wasn't too far from where she'd left Martin, but she didn't need to go to the station just yet. She drove nervously through town until she eventually reached the mall. As soon as she turned into the parking lot she spotted his truck, sitting lonely at the end of the lot. She pulled up beside it and turned her car off.

There were only a couple cars passing through every now and again, but no one paid any attention to the girl with two cars sitting at the mall.

She was a little paranoid that truck wasn't really his or that this was just a trick. When she looked through the window, though, she saw his hula dancer sitting on the middle of the dash.

She looked down at the digits written on her hand and poked the code into the car door, praying that the alarm didn't go off. If that would happen she wouldn't know what to do. Maybe have a heart attack and die. Fortunately for her, she managed to type in the code right the first time, allowing her to climb into Reece's truck at her will.

Part two of her mission was to make sure his wallet was where he left it and that his credit card was in it as well. He swore that it was beneath the driver's seat to the right. She reached between her legs and found it where he'd said. She pulled it out and looked at it before she opened it sheepishly. This made her feel like she was doing something wrong, but she knew he'd asked her to do it.

As the folds opened, she began searching through the old receipts and papers for the blue credit card. Every paper she pulled out made her even more curious, so she decided to pay more attention as she pulled out papers.

The first three receipts she looked at were all from the same restaurant, but different dates. The first meal was always the same, but the second varied from a salad to a fish entrée. Dates, she realized. They were receipts from taking different women on dates. A little annoyed, she continued to snoop.

The last paper she pulled away from the wallet fell apart. Half of it floated into her lap and the other half unfolded in her hand. She recognized her own sketch pattern as soon as she saw it, and then she remembered where it had come from.

That day at the park when the boys were fighting over it. She'd left before she had time to she what they did with the picture. She picked up the other half of the drawing and smiled a little. Reece took it, and he kept it with him at all times apparently. She wasn't sure if her ego was more excited or her emotions toward him heightened. She folded it away in his wallet and shoved everything else away. Enough time was wasted looked through his things.

She made sure to lock her car before starting his truck and pulling away from the parking spot. Another time would come to snoop. She pulled onto the main highway as a flicker of lightening lit up the summer sky.

It wasn't a long drive to the police station, though it felt like it was to her. When she rolled to a stop in front of the building she looked at it for a minute. It nearing ten in the evening and the building appeared to be very quiet. She wondered what was going on behind the red, brick walls.

Nervously, she parallel parked Reece's truck between two police vehicles and only bumped each one once. She glanced back-and-forth desperately, hoping that no one had seen her. There was no one around to see her, let alone care enough to tell, so she relaxed. She turned the truck off and opened the door to slide down into the street.

Street lights glowed along side the street and in the distance she could hear the faint sound of a train. The sky was dark, threatening rain. She walking gracefully over to the front door, clutching Reece's wallet in her slender fingers. Once inside, the piercing silence was filled with the sound of a news broadcast on the television and the consistent click of long fingernails on a keyboard.

Shyly, she approached the counter. "Hello," she asked in an almost squeak.

The clacking stopped and the woman behind the counter looked up at her from her seat with an expectant look. Her eyelashes were long and cluttered with dry mascara, and her lipstick was much too red for her complexion. Her obviously dyed red-orange hair was pulled neatly into a slick bun with only one strand dangling from the back.

"I need to pick someone up."

The woman raised an eyebrow.

"Reece," she said. "Callihan," she added on quickly after.

The woman was skeptical, but she didn't ask questions. She only wanted Reece's bail, which apparently was all on his credit card because she didn't say anything when Ophelia handed her the blue Chase card. Once it was handed back to her she tucked it safely away into the wallet and waited impatiently.

"You can have a seat, sweetheart. Your boyfriend will be out in a second."

"He's not..." She started to protest, but the woman was already dialing a number on the phone before she could say much more. Silently, she leaned against the wall next to the front door. A wild wind blew outside, and she watched as it swept away a piece of paper and a few leaves on the ground.

She waited impatiently for the rain to start, but nothing came before a cold hand touched her side. Somehow she knew that it wasn't Reece, and when she turned around, her assumptions were right.

The sight of his battered face made her step back and gasp. "Should've known you put him up to it," Mike grumbled hatefully.

She could bring herself to ask what he was talking about. The blackened eye and broken nose were distracting her too much. Her stomach turned at the sight of it. A shaking hand reached up to touch his face, but he jerked away. She jumped, not expecting such a violent reaction. A quick glance to his clenched fist and she realized that he wanted to hit her. Her shaking hand covered her mouth, because she would've screamed otherwise.

The man Mike was with stepped forward and put a hand on his shoulder. She didn't recognize him, but the facial structure resembled Mike's. He had to be his father. "Let's get your nose checked out." He tugged at Mike's shoulder and the boy's eyes shut tight in pain.

"Yeah," another voice echoed from behind, "Have someone check out that nose."

Mike didn't turn to face the voice because he knew exactly who it was. Ophelia glanced over Mike's shoulder to Reece's less bloody, but almost equally battered face. He winked at her. She wanted to whack him upside the head. How could he still be so arrogant at such a time?

When her attention drew back to Mike's face, she was scared again. The hate he had for Reece was radiating off his eyes and stabbing her in the stomach. She hugged herself nervously and looked at her feet. The elephant in the room shrank as Mike's father tugged him out the front door. She didn't looked up, but she knew he watched her the whole way out.

"Thanks," she heard before she looked up. "Shouldn't have left my wallet in my truck, huh?" He was trying to joke, she could tell, but she couldn't find humor with the lingering stabs from Mike's eyes against her back. "Oh, come on," Reece laughed weekly. "Cheer up, kiddo."

She ignored him and pushed through him to the front door.

Reece rolled his eyes and sighed before following after her quickly. "Come on, Ophelia."

She ignored him and proceeded down the sidewalk.

"What are you freaking out about?"

She continued to stay silent and unlocked the car door through the keypad on the side; the numbers shuffled in her brain. The alarm went off when she mixed up the last two numbers. The loud, consistent noise scared her and she fumbled to enter the correct code.

"It's not like I killed the kid!"

She climbed into the driver's seat and slammed the door in his face. Before she could lock it, though, he jerked the door back open.

"And who says you get to drive my truck."

She looked him in the eye from the high-up seat and parted her lips to say something. A clap of thunder interrupted her and caused a squeal instead of words. The trees around them whispered in excitement for a drink, and Reece laughed quietly.

He climbed into the truck and scooted her aside with his butt, making her fall over into the passenger seat. A drop of rain fell onto the door before he could close it. He wiped it away with his palm, and then turned the keys already in ignition. The rumbled alive, but he didn't pull away just yet.

Ophelia was still gathering herself when he looked her way. She blew hair out of her eyes and then proceeded to push it away when the wind didn't carry it. Instead of looking at him, she stared through the passenger window at the black spots popping up on the sidewalk. Every time a droplet would hit her window, she would lose her focus and have to regain it again.

Reece smiled, but she didn't see it. "Where am I taking you? Is your car still at the mall?"

She nodded silently.

He sighed and pulled away from the curb slowly at first and then caught up to speed, but he surprisingly didn't go above the speed limit like her normally did. Ophelia caught glimpse of his speedometer and found he was only driving five above the limit. She looked away quickly, though, when he turned toward her.

As they got closer and closer to the mall, the rain picked up speed and intensity. When Reece rolled to a stop beside her car, they could barely see out the windshield. The water on the hood of the truck was almost as loud as the thunder that clashed only once every now and again.

"Wanna wait until it slows a little bit?"

Ophelia nodded and pulled her legs up against her chest. The receipts she'd failed to put away crunched under her shoes and her heart thumped nervously. He didn't say anything, though.

There was a long silence. She studied the truck carefully, using her focus as a way to avoid him. The truck was cleaner that it was the last time she had been in it. She could actually see the floor.

After a few moments, they both turned to look at each other and say something at the same time. Both shut up, and Ophelia looked away. She was determined to speak first, though.

"Did you want to kill him," she asked sheepishly.

He chuckled a little, but she could barely hear it under the clatter of the rain. "Want to; yes. Intend to; no."

She nodded and desperately wanted to ask him why, but only repressed the question. "Why did you drive so slow tonight?"

He looked away and shrugged. "You didn't have your seatbelt on."

She was kind of flattered. Forcing down a smile, she finally asked her last question."Why did you call me?"

He thought for a moment, but eventually shrugged again. "Why did you come?"

She looked up into his eyes and processed the question. Why did she come? She could've easily let his parents come get him instead of risking her neck to do it. Her dad was already mad at her. What possessed her to come and risk getting into more trouble? Eventually, she smiled and shrugged.

He brushed the papers in the seat away and opened his arms, silently asking her to join him on the other side of the truck. She didn't move at first, but it only made him smile. "You know you want to." He winked and waved her over.

She could feel all common sense leaving her as she scooted across the seat and leaned against his side. Her feet rested on the seat and she let her head rest comfortably against his shoulder. He ran his fingers through her hair a few times, never getting caught. There were no tangles.

It was a lot later that the rain started to settle, but neither of them moved. Ophelia's eyes were beginning to droop and she wasn't sure she could make it another five minutes before she fell asleep on Reece. She inhaled deeply and straightened her back to stretch.

"Reece," she whispered tiredly.

"Yeah," he asked, obviously not as tired as she.

"I need to get home." She turned to face him, her hair poofy on one side from laying against his shirt.

"Okay," he said blankly. "Thanks," he added quickly and reached up to flatten her hair.

She scooted away a little and shrugged, a little smile creepy across her face. "No problem, I guess. I just wish I knew why you ended up there in the first place. I mean, why were you two even near each other? Is that why you started fighting? Was he just-."

"Oh, just shut up," he smiled and interrupted. Before she had time to react, he'd put his hand on the back of her head and pulled her into long kiss. He pushed his tongue into her mouth without gaining any permission to first. For a second, she rejected him, but she realized that she liked it and let him in.

His tongue fought with hers as a hand tangled in her once perfectly smooth hair and the other stayed wrapped around her waist.

Only once he came up for air, and then he leaned forward. She sank underneath him, body and mind melted. He climbed on top of her tiny body carefully, afraid of breaking her. Never did their lips part.

Her hands slid up his sides. One had a firm grip on his hair and the other had found its way underneath his shirt. She could feel every flawless piece of his body as he kissed her with passion that ignited a fire in her heart and jump-started the butterflies in her stomach.

She eventually managed to push him off of her, but kept him close all the same. Her chest rose and fell quickly as she tried to fill her lungs with much needed oxygen. Her eyes twinkled when he smiled.

He rubbed her nose with his. "Drive safe," he finally whispered.

Her eyes fluttered shut and she nodded. "You, too?"

His head dropped beside hers and he nodded. "Of course," he promised, as if he never drove recklessly.

She wrapped both arms around his sides and hugged him tightly. When she opened her eyes, she pressed her cheek against his and fluttered her eyes rapidly, letting her lashes tickle his rough skin.

He laughed and pulled away. "What are you doing?" He pressed his forehead against hers and played with the bottom of her shirt, twisting it in his hand until it was skin tight.

"Giving you a butterfly kiss," she admitted, a blush rising.

He laughed again and kissed the corner of her lips. "Thank you."