Hayden always told her she was never very bright. Mia guessed she wasn't. He caught her. She was back in his grasp. Why had she came back?
"You don't own me." Mia's face tensed. All she'd ever wanted was to get away from him. But the truth was..he was the one she knew. He was the only one who really knew her. Or so he said. But she couldn't think it true.
There was a time when Hayden had been her hero. After all, he was the one who saved her from that car crash. Dragged her from the wreckage before it exploited along with everything she ever had. She wasn't even sure if her real name were even Mia. But Hayden was the one she relied on. He'd taken her to the hospital. Claimed her to be his. And his only, evidently.
She pressed her lips tight.
"Why don't you forget about him?" Hayden's glare was so cold. It was as if she'd said too much, already.
She thought hard of the night that had been. Hayden was a no show at the party. It had been freedom in a sense. Not being under his thumb. And she'd found the boy at the edge of the mayhem, holding a long neck beer with a slight smile. She'd never seen anything quite like him before. It felt as if he were from another world. Funny, he'd said the same exact thing to her. He was reluctant to dance with her. But the crowd grew old. She still wanted to dance with him. Just not at the party.
So they'd taken a walk down the street in the crisp air. Dark all around. Just the streetlight to illuminate their presence. His smile was so genuine. He made her laugh with no reason. It was a soft laugh, one that lingered. They held hands, and he let her lead the way. All the way to the old house on the corner.
"I think someone was killed here." She shocked even herself when she said it. She laughed then as if it were a joke, but she wasn't sure.
"What?" Liam smiled. She kissed him as if she'd missed him, and this place to. She knew it. She did. Evidently.
So they went in. Just the luster of the golden street light to help them along. "Come on." She pulled him toward the stairs. Raced up the old staircase as if she'd show him. Everything. But she reached for a kiss and he gave it to her as if he were in for the night, forever perhaps.
"This used to be my room." But there were dead leaves on the floor. She had to wonder where the leaves came from. The sheer curtains remained untouched. And there was a bed. Even if it wasn't much of one. No sheets. No pillows. Just the raw mattress waited on the floor.
"Wow," Liam breathed in the room. It was like she'd put him under some spell. He was a lost puppy that needed her affection. He wanted to stay with her.
"There are...ghosts here." She was sure of it. Maybe she was one too. It was so cold. So stifling cold, in fact. She didn't want to be sad about it.
"Ghosts?" Liam looked around as if he might spot one, any moment. But instead, she touched the small of his back, and she thought he might cave in on her.
"Oh..." He turned to see, it was her, and he was still smiling to her satisfaction. They kissed. and she unzipped his hoodie, it was the first of much unzipping, but it was a slow process because he was there as if he knew this dance, except with his clumsy steps. She showed him. Where the hands should be placed and what came next. There was a moment she was sure he started without her, but he didn't.
She wanted to remember it well. He was quite possibly the best she ever had. There was still an ache for him in her heart. Mia's eyes shot open as she looked at Hayden. Now. There in the front seat of his rundown Black Mustang. His eyes were so angry. There was no smile on his face. He reached for the car cigarette lighter as he grabbed her hand, and opened the nakedness of it.
A fierce pain took hold of her by surprise. Mia flinched instantly. Soft tears surfaced. Yes, she knew now...Hayden was all she ever needed.