Made of steel (made of s.., p.27
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.27

           Ivy Smoak
 

  Chapter 22

  Wednesday

  One thing I was sure about was that finance was my least favorite class. At least I understood why Mr. Crawford had enrolled me in it now, though. I had money that I needed to manage. It was probably irresponsible to have it all sitting in the bank, but thinking about it made my stomach twist into knots. It was hard to believe that it was even real.

  It took me a second to realize that everyone was packing up their things. I had been daydreaming during class. I never did that. My eyes gravitated to the notes the person was taking next to me. She hadn't written much more down than I had. Maybe I didn't miss anything important.

  I hurried back to my dorm and changed into my Corner Diner t-shirt. Hopefully this meeting with the RA wouldn't take long. I pulled my hoodie back over my head as I walked out into the hallway. There would be no more accidental bruise sightings today. I'd be more careful at work. And I'd tell Eli I wanted to slow things down again. That was fine. I had already told him I wanted to take things slowly. Now I just needed to get my body to agree with my very sound reasoning.

  The RA's door was open, but I stopped outside because I heard two people speaking. Well, a girl speaking. I was a little early. I folded my arms across my chest and leaned against the wall.

  "I will definitely stop by if I need anything. It was really great talking to you." The girl's voice couldn't have been any more flirtatious. Apparently Kins wasn't the only one competing for his attention.

  "Yeah, you too."

  I smiled to myself. He didn't sound at all interested in what the girl was saying. Kins definitely had a shot.

  "Bye," she said and walked out of the open door.

  Maybe I imagined it, but I could have sworn she gave me a dirty look. She shouldn't have been worried about me. My roommate, on the other hand, was a whole different story.

  I leaned forward and tapped on the door.

  "You can come in," the RA said.

  I walked in and froze. Miles. No. He was looking down at a notebook on his lap. Shit. No, no, no. I took a step backwards and my butt hit his desk. The desk make a squeaking sound as it slid slightly on the linoleum. He raised his head and our eyes seemed to lock. I hated those brown eyes. Those stupid, beautiful brown eyes.

  "Oh." He immediately stood up. "I'm so sorry about the other night, Sadie."

  "That's okay. It wasn't my first time dropping a tray." This can't be happening. "I should have been watching where I was going."

  He shook his head. "No, it's my fault."

  We both just stared at each other for a few seconds. I wanted to turn around and run. Instead, I wrapped my arms around myself as if I was about to fall apart. I needed to hold myself together.

  "So you're Sadie," he looked down at his notebook, "Davis?"

  "Yes."

  He gestured to the chair that was next to his.

  I stayed glued to his desk. "I actually have to get to work."

  "It'll just take a few minutes."

  I glanced at the open door. I could bolt at any second. I could run and call Mr. Crawford. I could never see Miles again. Instead, I slowly walked over to him and sat down in the empty chair.

  He stood there for a second and then sat down too.

  "I'm Miles." He held out his hand.

  "Nice to meet you." I ignored his outstretched hand and kept my arms wrapped around myself. I knew if I let go, I'd fall apart.

  He awkwardly put his hand down on his thigh and cleared his throat. "Well, I'm your RA this year. So if you ever have any questions or need someone to talk to..." His eyes landed on my neck.

  I tried to shrink into my hoodie as I looked down at my Converses. What happened to my superhero strength? "I'm adjusting pretty well, actually."

  "That's good."

  I looked back up at him. I wished that the years had changed him more. I wished that it was harder to remember how his hand felt in mine. How his lips felt against mine. Stop staring at his lips. I thought about the Sagitta pendant handing around my neck. I thought about the night he gave it to me and it felt like I couldn't breathe. How could we have turned into strangers? How could he have ignored my pleas for help? My heart was racing, and I didn't know how to make it stop. "Who's Summer?" I shouldn't have asked it. I should have been avoiding the connection.

  We locked eyes again and he seemed to be searching my face. I immediately looked away and stared at a poster on the wall. It was of the constellations. He still looks at the stars.

  "Just someone I used to know."

  "An ex or something?" Stop asking questions about this. I continued to look anywhere but at him. There was a soccer ball on the floor. He still plays soccer.

  "Just a friend from when I was younger. I honestly don't know why I even thought you were her. Like I said the other night, she has red hair. I think I just lost my mind for a few minutes or something." He smiled out of the corner of his mouth.

  I swallowed hard. God, I missed that smile. I shook away the thought. The important thing was that he believed I wasn't Summer. I was okay. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him push his hair off his forehead like he had always done when we were kids. I nodded. A friend. I knew that. If he loved me, he would have tried to help save me. But I never really needed him. I just had to learn how to save myself.

  "How are your classes going?" he asked.

  "Pretty good." I wasn't going to sit here and have small talk with him. Maybe this helped other people on my floor, but seeing him only hurt me. "I'm sorry, I really do need to get going. It was great meeting you." It hadn't been great. Now I wished I had never seen him again. He was going to ruin my fresh start. He was going to ruin everything. I stood up and walked toward the door.

  "Sadie?"

  My feet stopped moving and I closed my eyes. I don't know what I wanted him to say. But all of this was wrong. All of it. I kept my back turned toward him.

  "I'm here if you need to talk."

  No...you're not. You were never there for me.

  "It's not really my business, but I saw the bruises on your neck. If your boyfriend is hurting you..."

  I did not need Miles Young to save me. He was five years too late. "You're right, it's not your business. I'm going to be late." I walked away as fast as I could. I thought he was searching my face because a small piece of him didn't believe that I wasn't Summer. But he was just trying to see if I was in pain. From my non-existent abusive boyfriend. Why the hell did he care so much about some random girl he just met more than the real me? Why had he ignored my pain?

 
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