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Chapter Twenty Eight

"O-M-G, you have that face."

I looked over at Krista. She was watching intently as I applied make-up to one of the new teens at the center. The girl's eyes squinted open; she looked at Krista in annoyance.

"What face?" I asked.

My head had been in the clouds all day. Kim attributed it to lasting effects of my concussion.

I attributed it to--

"You're in lust."

My eyes widened. I looked over towards the windows nervously. Sure enough, Cole's head turned slightly.

"Nope, I'm just having a good day," I said lightly.

"No way. You're daydreaming. Who's the guy? Is he cute?"

I shifted uncomfortably. "Krista, I've been too busy working too--"

"Speaking of which, when's Joe coming back to visit?"

Her bottom lip jutted out into a pout. I smiled. "He's coming to pick me up."

Krista beamed. "He is?"

I nodded. Kevin had offered to give me a ride home. Mason was pulling an insane forty- eight hour shift. They were making him pay for taking time off for his birthday in a week.

"Can you do my make-up?" she added.

"Well, I--"


I laughed. "Okay."

I went back to the girl I was working on. I felt my lips curve into a dreamy smile again. Every so often, my heart would pound.

Would Adam still come for me at midnight? Where were we going?

"There is is again. That smile."

I sighed. Krista was as annoying as Joe. They were a match made in heaven.

"Krista, really..."

"Fine," she sighed dramatically. "I'm going to go change!"

She got up, practically running out the door. I rolled my eyes. I knew Joe wouldn't notice if she changed clothes. The only thing he would have noticed is if she wasn't wearing clothes.

"You're all set," I said happily a few minutes later. The girl opened her eyes and I held up a mirror. She smiled.

"Wow. You're really good," she said. Her hands curved around the wheels of her chair. She glanced down, her smile fading.

"Wish I could have a pedi again," she whispered.

I didn't look down. I already knew her legs were gone. I reached out and patted her hand.

"You're a lot more than just legs," I said. She looked at me skeptically but she must have seen how sincere I was. Her eyes shone with tears.

"Don't ruin your mascara," I chided. She laughed. "Right. Thanks, Ally. This meant a lot."

My pride grew. She wheeled back and then headed over to show Kim her transformation. I busied myself with my brushes.

"You're quiet today."

I paused. Cole's head was still turned in my direction.

"Not quiet, just busy," I argued. "How're you doing?"

"Who's the guy?"

I groaned. "Don't listen to Krista. She's--"

"I never listen to Krista. I just know."

"Trust me, I've had a lot more going on than just worrying about guys," I said. I got up and made my way to the chair across from him. I patted his knee as I sat down.

"That's right," Cole said. "How's your head?"

I laughed. "Still on my shoulders."

He arched a brow. "Really?"

I got the implied meaning. My heart fluttered again. Midnight.

Cole clicked his tongue when I didn't respond right away. "Has he gotten my kiss?" he asked.

"Your kiss?"

"Any kiss," Cole amended.

"No one's gotten a kiss," I said. "Except for a couple horses."

"Lucky horses," Cole said with a smile.

"Ally, can I borrow some bobby pins from your little case?" Kim called out. I looked at her. She had two large handfuls of thick brown hair in her hand. I stood up.

"Lemme get them," I said. Before I could step forward, Cole grabbed my wrist. His thumb stroked my pulse. He frowned.

"Lucky guy," he whispered.


He let go and grabbed for his walking stick. He stood up.

"See ya 'round, Al."

My heart sunk as he began to work his way towards the door.

"Ally?" Kim asked. I growled in frustration as I made my way to my accessories case.

Couldn't someone give me a friggin' break?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I told her she has a perfect nose. Do you think that's cheesy?"

"Anything you tell a girl is cheesy," I replied. Joe scowled.

"What crawled up your ass and died?"

"Nothing," I said. "It's just...Cole got mad at me."

"Cole? Is that the dude you gave the haircut too?"


"Why's he mad?"

I stopped outside the front doors. Addy had called with a dinner request and Kevin had gone off to pick it up quickly. Joe leaned against the door frame opposite me.

"You can't tell anyone," I said quickly. Joe's eyes widened. He grinned.

"Oh, I think I'm going to like this," he said. I opened my mouth to argue, but he waved his hand. "Go on."

"Well, when I last did the barn, I talked to Addy and she suggested I go take a walk to the lake. So, I did. But, while I was there I met this guy."

Joe's eyes narrowed. "What guy?"

"His name's Adam. He's the same guy we saw at Wal-mart."

"The guy that was flirting with me?" Joe asked in disgust.

"He just said he liked the belt you were holding."

"Same difference."

"What is with you and gay-dar?"

"Nothing! It's just gross."

"It's not gross to them! They probably think you kissing Krista is gross."

"Trust me. It's not gross," Joe said softly. I blanched.

"Anyhow," I continued. "We went for a swim and we got to talking. He's really nice and--"

"Oh God. You've got a crush on him."

I blushed. "He's really cute," I said. I didn't realize it, but I began to roll the bottom of my shirt.

"What the hell kind of swim did you go on?" Joe asked. "You didn't have your swimsuit did you?"


"Holy shit, did you--"

"NO! And even if I did, I wouldn't tell you."

"Good," Joe said. He folded his arms. "Where's this guy live?"

"Don't pull a dad," I warned.

"I'm not pulling a dad."

"My point is that Cole is mad about it."

"When did Cole become your boyfriend?"

"He didn't."

"So it's none of his business."

I bit my lip. "Well, no..."

We both turned at the sound of Kevin's truck. Joe opened the door for me.

"Then, don't worry about it. In fact, make it easy on yourself. Become a nun. You'd make a good one."

I don't know why, but his words bothered me. Was I really that naive that I was on my way to nun-dom?

Not if I had anything to do with it, I thought to myself as I climbed into the truck.

Because there was still midnight.