Protecting Freedom - Page 7

His eyes roam down my bare legs, but I don’t stay to look at his reaction. I just keep on walking like I dress this way all the time and don’t have a care in the world. I feel him following me closely and I can’t stop myself from peeking over my shoulder. His jaw is rock solid and his lips are pressed together in a tight line.

“I don’t think your outfit is appropriate,” he says as he grabs me by the arm and spins me around to face him. It doesn’t hurt, but I can feel his barely controlled strength as he once again pulls me close to him. “I think you should change.”

“No,” I say, pulling my arm out of his grip, and try to keep walking. He steps into my path, and suddenly a wall of muscle is blocking the way. “You can’t tell me what to wear.” I look up at him and watch his nostrils flare.

“Didn’t you just say you aren’t rebellious?”

“If you’re going to say that I am, then I might as well live up to it.” I say it in the sweetest voice I can muster.

“This isn’t like you,” he says, but his voice is softer this time.

“How do you know? Maybe this is my new and improved self as I get ready to go to college.”

He looks away and thinks for a second before he turns his dark green eyes back on me. “All right. How about we make a deal?”

“What kind of deal?” I ask as my eyes move down to his mouth. His lips look so soft.

“If you change, I’ll do something you want.”

“Like what?” I hedge. I want to know what he has that I want. Then the idea sparks and I decide to throw caution to the wind. Why not go after what I want? “How about a kiss?”

“Fucking hell,” he mutters before he clenches his teeth and closes his eyes.


If anyone walked in on us right now they’d see how tight he’s holding me, how close our bodies are pressed together. No one ever talks to me like he does, but I like that he’s not so careful. Everyone is so polite and well-mannered in front of me. I’d take Washington cursing up a storm over programmed robots any day of the week.

When he opens his eyes again, his lids are heavy and his lips part just a little. “You’re seventeen, Honor. You can’t say shit like that to me.”

“I’m eighteen tomorrow,” I remind him.

“Trust me, I know that.” He releases me and takes a step back then runs his hand through his short dark hair. “Besides, this place has too many eyes.” He looks to his left and right as if making sure we’re still alone.

“Not in my wing.” I point towards the doors that lead back into my private space.

I don’t miss the fact that he never said no. Maybe he’s considering it? Anything that has his body on mine is going to make my panties explode. I decide to tease him just a bit more and see how far he’s willing to be pushed.

“You’d be my first.” I play with the too-short hem of my shorts, and I’m not disappointed when his eyes go there. Is he thinking about all the ways he’d be my first?

“Honor,” he says in warning then lets out a string of curses. I swear he’s trying to talk himself out of it. “Go change and I’ll tell you what happened to me.” He points to his stomach where the bleeding happened earlier.

“Deal,” I agree, knowing that it’s better than nothing.

I wanted a kiss, but being able to learn something about him, anything really, is better than nothing. I’ve been around him a long time, but he’s still such a mystery to me. Does it make me a little pathetic that I’m willing to trade my protest against my normal clothes for scraps of information from him? I decide not to dwell on it right now. I’ll think about it later. Instead I focus on the fact that I’ll get to spend extra time with Washington.

When I enter, he follows me but stays in the living room while I go to my bedroom and shut the door. I pull off the shorts and flip-flops and replace them with a pair of black wide-leg pants and grab a cardigan to throw over my top. I slip into some black flats then walk into the main room. When I get there Washington is looking down at his phone. His head comes up as he slides his phone back into his pocket.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” I blurt out the question without thinking. I’ve never had the courage to ask him before, but I can’t stop myself from doing it now.

“That’s not the question I agreed to answer.” His voice is stern, but his eyes are soft.

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