Made of steel (made of s.., p.49
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.49

           Ivy Smoak

  Chapter 39


  "Jesus, Sadie. I've been looking all over for you."

  I hadn't expected Eli to be standing outside of my dorm building. But there he was, with more flowers, and more looks of apology on his face. He should have looked apologetic. He had been spying on me this whole time.

  "I was busy." I stayed a few feet away from him. I didn't want him anywhere near me.

  "Busy? Kins told me you were in the hospital. Are you okay? What happened?" He took a step closer.

  Stay the hell away from me. "It was just a random mugging. But I'm fine. They didn't even steal anything."

  The concerned look on his face seemed to falter. "You think I can't tell when you're lying to me, but I can. Look, let's go inside and we can talk about what happened." He took another step toward me.

  "No." If I was going to start saving myself, now seemed as good a time as ever.

  "Come on, we need to get inside." He didn't look like he cared about me at all. He looked pissed.

  "I'm not going anywhere with you."

  He exhaled slowly. "I'm not messing around. We need to go. Now." He grabbed my wrist.

  "I'm not messing around either." I pulled my arm away from him. "I'm not going anywhere with you. You've been lying to me ever since we've met."

  "Me? You're joking, right? I'm the one that's lying? You won't even tell me who hurt you." He was raising his voice. People on the sidewalk were starting to stare. He was just like Don, his temper seeming to rise without his control.

  "Because I don't feel comfortable talking about it. You keep pushing an issue that I'm trying to get over. I can't talk about it because I don't want to. And this isn't about me, it's about you."

  "Seriously? Because the list goes on and on for you. I specifically asked you to stop talking to Miles." He was yelling at me now. "And I had to find out from Kins that he spent all night and day by your side at the hospital. How do you think that made me feel?"

  "Are you seriously jealous? It doesn't even seem like you like me. Why did you really ask me to stay away from him?" I was certain he had a whole different reason than whatever lie he was about to say.

  "Because I like you. Of course I like you."

  "All you do is lie to me! You wanted me to stay away from him because you thought he'd ruin everything."

  "Ruin everything between us? Yeah, I was fucking worried about that and obviously I had a right to be. And just for the record, I haven't lied to you. You're losing your mind."

  That's what Don wanted. He wanted me to think I was completely crazy. "Oh yeah? That gym you've been going to doesn't even have boxing classes."

  "You've been following me?"

  "No. I just looked it up online because you've been acting so evasive."

  He laughed. It sounded strained. "I haven't lied to you. All I've done is tried to help you." He grabbed my wrist more forcefully this time. "And I'm asking you to trust me when I say that we need to get inside."

  I pulled away from him again. "I listened to your iPod."

  "What the hell? I knew you went through my stuff."

  "How else was I supposed to learn anything about you?"

  "You could have asked me. Unlike you, I would have loved to have a conversation. I was never constantly pushing you away."

  Maybe he was right. But I didn't have time to regret anything else. "I don't have to explain myself. You've been the one spying on me."

  "Fuck." He ran his hands through his hair. "Look," he said dropping his voice. "It's not what you think."

  That was the only confession I needed. "Why, because I think you're trying to hurt me? This was never about us, I'm just a job to you."

  "You have no idea what you're talking about."

  "Stay the hell away from me, Eli." It was true. It was all true. The fire from his touch. I should have followed my gut. He was bad news. I didn't even need to know the specifics. He was part of the darkness that I had brought here.

  "You know what? Fine. I've done everything I could to help you. I'm fucking done." He grabbed my arm once more. "Some people can't be saved."

  I pushed his chest so that he'd get off me. "You're right. People like you can't be saved."

  "You've just made a terrible mistake." He looked incredulous.

  I turned away from him. His threats meant nothing to me. Yes, he was working for Don, but I wasn't scared of him. The only person I truly feared was his boss.

  "Sadie, wait. Sadie." He grabbed my shoulder hard.

  Fire. And it wasn't just because he had grabbed my hurt shoulder.

  "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said what I did. I'm just trying to help you."

  It's like he was at a war with himself in his head. Maybe he didn't want to hurt me, but ultimately that wasn't his decision. He'd burn everything in his path. "Let go of me."

  "We have to go inside. I'm serious. If you'd just hear me out..."

  I stomped on his foot. Hard.

  "Fuck." He released my shoulder and grabbed his foot. "Sadie!" he called after me, but the door to my dorm building was already closing.

  I heard his fists pounding on the glass door.


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