Made of steel (made of s.., p.34
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.34

           Ivy Smoak
 
Chapter 27

  Friday

  I took another sip of beer. The more I drank, the less I seemed to look over my shoulder. It calmed my nerves. It made me blend in. It made me feel like a normal college student.

  "I told you this would be fun," Kins said. She tapped her red solo cup against mine. Some beer sloshed over the rim and she laughed. She was definitely drunk.

  I giggled and looked down at my half empty cup. Was this my third? Crap. I was definitely drunk too.

  "Oh, there he is!" Kins shouted. She ran over to Patrick and jumped into his arms.

  He laughed, despite the fact that she just spilled some beer onto his shirt. I wasn't sure why she couldn't see how great he was. No, he wasn't a bad boy like she wanted. He was cute though. He had shaggy blonde hair and green eyes. Every time I had seen him he was wearing some grunge band t-shirt. Was he in a band? How was a rock star not what she was looking for? Especially one that looked like Patrick.

  I looked away as they started making out. I thought Eli was coming with him. My eyes wandered to the entrance of the stadium. Students were starting to head that way. The game would be starting soon. Without Eli here, I felt weird about going in. It made it seem like I had just come to see Miles. And that definitely wasn't the case. I bit my lip. So why wasn't I walking way? It felt like something was drawing me to the stadium.

  "Hey, Sadie."

  I jumped when Patrick touched my shoulder. "Hey, Patrick." His arm was slung around Kins' back and she was clinging to him. It didn't look like she had Miles on her mind at all. I was surprised by how much that relieved me.

  "Eli wanted me to tell you that something came up and he couldn't come."

  Not again. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. "Did he say why?"

  Patrick shrugged. "Something about a new class."

  "Oh, yeah. He did mention that." He just hadn't mentioned that he'd be standing me up again. I took another sip of my beer as I pulled my phone out of my pocket. There was a missed text from him that I must have not heard come through because of all the rowdy soccer fans. I clicked on it.

  "Sorry, I can't make the game tonight. I'll make it up to you tomorrow, I promise."

  "No problem," I typed out and pressed send. But it was a problem. He said he was taking the boxing classes for me, so why did it feel like he was avoiding me? I tossed my now empty cup into the trash and followed Kins and Patrick into the stadium. It was packed with screaming fans.

  "It's already started," Kins said and grabbed my arm. "Let's find a seat."

  We had lost our floor a long time ago in the sea of tailgaters. But it didn't really matter. I preferred to hang out with Kins anyway. Now that Patrick was here though, I kind of wished I wasn't the third wheel. We squeezed our way into the front row. I was all for sitting in the front row of class. But standing in the front row of a game I barely understood wasn't exactly something I normally did. The crowd was electrifying though. I wasn't sure if it was the booze or the fact that my eyes had just landed on Miles, but I started cheering along with them.

  Miles was easy to spot. He was without a doubt the most handsome man on the field. It was almost like he could sense my presence. He looked over his shoulder and our eyes locked. And there was that smile. The one that made my heart race when we were younger. Except, it was racing now too. I could have dismissed it as the alcohol coursing through my veins, but that wasn't it.

  I watched him push his hair off his forehead and turn his attention back to the game. I was completely enthralled. I couldn't seem to turn my mind off. His touch. His smell. His laugh. God, I still had feelings for him. And I couldn't look away.

  He scored a goal and slid, knees first, onto the grass. I had never seen him with such a big smile on his face. I chanted "Young" with the rest of the crowd while his teammates slid onto the grass beside him, cheering. He glanced toward me again. I could have sworn that he winked at me. He's winking at me. I felt like my eight year old self again. My heart was racing.

  I couldn't seem to tear my eyes away from the field. He was perfection. He assisted another goal and the crowd chanted his name instead of the guy that actually made the goal. It didn't take me long to realize that Miles had become a soccer God. And he looked good doing it. Really, really good.

  "We're going to go to the bathroom," Kins said as soon as the team exited the field for halftime. At first I thought she meant she wanted me to go with her, but then I saw her dragging Patrick with her. I didn't have a doubt in my mind that they were about to bang in the public bathroom. Normally something like that would completely appall me, but when I had been staring at Miles Young, I totally got it. I wished I was in the locker room with him right now.

  I shook away the thought. What was I doing here? I had a boyfriend. Sort of. I bit my lip. I didn't have a boyfriend. What I had was a guy that I liked who kept ditching me. I wanted a constant. I wanted my rock back. My appearance may have changed, but the longer I stood here, the more I realized that my feelings definitely hadn't.

  When Miles appeared back on the field, I cheered along with everyone else. I watched him score another goal. They were completely shutting out the other team. The chanting was growing even louder. I jumped up and down with everyone else, screaming at the top of my lungs.

  Summer Brooks had lost the love of her life. But Sadie Davis didn't have to. This was a fresh start. I hated Miles Young for forgetting about me, but I had never stopped loving him. I wasn't sure I ever would. And that's why the dismissal from his life had hurt so damn much. That's why it still hurt. I was tired of hurting though. Miles Young was home to me. He was my past, present, and future. God, he always had been. I wiped away a tear that had escaped from my eyes. I needed to tell him. There were only 5 minutes left of the game.

  I wanted to call his name until he came back home to me. I had been waiting five years to have him back. Five terrifyingly horrible years. Nothing seemed so dark when I looked at his smile though. Nothing would be bad again if he was beside me.

  He looked up at me in the crowd again and lifted up his hand. He's waving at me. Maybe I wasn't Summer Brooks anymore, but our chemistry was undoubtedly still there. I was about to lift my hand up to wave back when a few girls behind me started screaming his name.

  I turned around. They were wearing bikini tops with his name written across their perfectly tanned stomachs in bright, bold colors. As they jumped up and down, their huge fake looking tits bounced with them. My face turned red. He hadn't locked eyes with me. He hadn't winked at me. He hadn't waved at me. He had been staring at them the whole time.

  What was I doing here? I was dating a nice guy. A good guy. I shouldn't have come here. It was the alcohol manipulating my mind about Miles. That's what alcohol did. It made me think stupid thoughts. It was all a lie. I still hated him. I hated Miles Young. He left me. He left me alone. I couldn't seem to swallow down the lump in my throat.

  Where were Kins and Patrick? Had they not come back from the bathroom? I'm alone. I pushed through the people in the front row. I'm all alone.

  "Watch it," someone slurred at me.

  I didn't see anyone I knew. It was a blur of drunken faces. I ran down the steps of the bleachers. Kins? Where are you? There was a huge line to the women's bathroom. I thought about texting Eli. But if he had wanted to spend time with me, he'd be here. He'd been avoiding me ever since he saw my neck. Ever since he found out I was damaged. I'm all alone.

  I turned in the opposite direction and ran out of the stadium. I needed to get as far away from Miles Young as possible. The long pathway back to the dorms was deserted. I ran for as long as I could and then slowed my pace. I was out of shape. My body was weak. I had always been weak. Tears blurred my vision as I continued walking down the path. My heart seemed to ache. It was like it had repressed all these feeling for Miles and as soon as I released them, they needed to be beaten away again. I put my hand in the center of my chest. People like me didn't get happy endings. People like me belonged in the shadows whe
re no one could see them. Damaged. Alone.

  I glanced over my shoulder. It seemed impossible for me to shake the nagging feeling that someone was watching me. It's just in my head. I was going crazy. My mind was playing awful tricks on me. How far away from my dorm am I? Did I make a wrong turn?

  "Suuuummer." The voice sounded like a hiss.

  It felt like there was ice in my veins as I turned around.

  "Suuuummer."

  I turned the other way.

  "Who's there?" I tried to stay calm. He's here. He's here.

  "Suuuummer."

  I was imagining it. No one was here. I'm going crazy. I spun around again and came face to face with a beast. That was the only way to describe him. He was hideous. And huge. He towered over me. His face was greasy and there was a scar under his eye. But he wasn't Don. He stepped toward me.

  I tried to scream but nothing came out of my mouth. I had always become silent when I was in danger.

  "You are pretty, aren't you?" He slid his thumb down the side of my face.

  Don't touch me! I was completely frozen. No, he wasn't Don. He was here for Don, though. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. He didn't need to say it. I could see it in his eyes. That dead stare. He had killed before. It was his job.

  Scream. Do something. My whole body was defying me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to punch and kick and fight him. Damn it!

  He clamped his hand over my mouth, even though I hadn't said a word, and pulled me into the alley. He shoved my back against the brick wall. The smell of trash filled my lungs. I was going to die in this disgusting city in this dark alleyway. Scream. Do something. But my body hung limp against the wall, still defying me. I saw a glint and noticed the pocket knife he was raising to my face.

  "This is going to hurt, darling."

  Tears bit at my eyes as the knife came in contact with my skin. It didn't slice my neck, though. My eyes flashed down to the blade against the side of my jaw. He wasn't trying to kill me. What the hell was he doing? The knife slid under my skin. The pain was blinding.

  He coughed and the knife clattered to the ground. He released his hand that was clamped down over my mouth and my body slid down the brick wall. When my feet hit the pavement, I should have run. But I couldn't seem to look away. He slapped his hand to his neck as he stumbled sideways. He coughed again and teetered slightly.

  I heard a noise behind me and spun around.

  The Converses. The sweatpants. The dark blue hoodie. The New York City vigilante was crouched down on the other side of the alley, with one hand splayed against the pavement like he had just jumped down from something. He lifted his face slightly, but not enough for me to see in the shadows.

  "Run." His voice was low and rumbled slightly. It sounded like it was being altered somehow.

  I just stared at him. I didn't want to run. I wanted to thank him. He had just saved my life. But my body was still defying me. No words came to my lips.

  "You need to go home. Now. It's not safe for you here."

  I didn't have a home. Where was I supposed to go? Sirens started to wail in the distance.

  "Run, Sadie."

  His words gave me chills. He knows my name. I took a step back. That had seemed to be enough to get my feet moving. How did he know who I was?

  There was a crashing noise and my head snapped toward the man who had tried to kill me. He had just fallen into a pile of garbage. When I turned back to the vigilante he was gone. I looked up. There was nothing. Where had he gone?

  The sirens were getting closer. He told me to run. He told me I wasn't safe. I willed my feet to keep moving as I ran as fast as I could out of the alley. And I kept running until the door to my dorm room was safely locked behind me.

  Had I just imagined that whole thing? The blood dripping down my jaw was evidence enough that at least that part was real. But the vigilante? I touched my forehead. I was drunk. I was scared. Had I imagined that I saw him?

  I thought about the way his voice rumbled. The way his muscles seemed to bulge underneath the fabric of his hoodie. The way he knew my name. I felt safe when I was with Eli. I felt like I was home when I was with Miles. But no one made me feel as protected as the vigilante did. He had saved my life.

 
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