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Made of steel (made of s.., p.50
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.50

           Ivy Smoak

  Chapter 40


  I ran up the stairs. Hit men were after me. Don was after me. Eli was somehow involved with them. I couldn't trust anyone. It was exactly what the vigilante had warned me about. I had to get out of here.

  I burst through the door to my floor. As soon as I grabbed a few things, I'd disappear. It was better that way. But my feet slowed when I saw Miles' door. And then they stopped completely when I was standing right outside of it. I knew he was sleeping. He had left the hospital to do just that.

  My hand seemed to lift and knock on his door without me telling it to. My feet stayed firmly planted, even though I was trying to make them walk away. This was a bad idea. Seeing him would make it so much harder to leave. How was I supposed to say goodbye to him again? Did I even want to?

  His door opened. "It's the middle of the night, what..." his voice trailed off when he saw me. He was wearing a tight t-shirt and boxers. That was it. He wasn't the same boy that had abandoned me. He was a man. So why did my heart still feel the same way about him?

  I stepped forward and wrapped my arms around him. I breathed in his scent. He still smelled like the grass we used to roll around in. God, he smelled perfectly the same. Home. Miles would forever be home to me.

  He didn't hesitate to wrap his arms around me too. "What are you doing out of the hospital?"

  I kept the side of my face pressed against his chest. I've always loved you. I'll always love you. I clung to him with full knowledge that I'd never see him again. My heart seemed to break all over again. "I'm sorry that I pushed you away." I couldn't answer his question. All I could do was apologize for causing him any pain.

  His lips brushed against my ear. "You don't have to apologize, Sadie."

  "And I'm sorry that I threw your pain in your face."

  "I was just thankful that you listened."

  He was so good. He was way too good for me. I had to say goodbye. I just didn't know how. "Can you just hold me for a few more seconds?"

  "Do you want to come in?" His lips brushed against my ear again.

  He was offering to hold me for longer than a few seconds. Hell, maybe he was offering to hold me forever. Time was supposed to heal everything. But time had never healed my wounds from Miles Young. And if I stayed in his room tonight, if I let our relationship grow any more, this time it would kill me.

  I'm so sorry. Please forgive me for disappearing again. "One day you're going to find someone so good. So perfect. And so worthy of you. Promise me you'll keep your heart open?"

  He put his fingers under my chin and lifted my face so that I'd meet his eyes. "Why do you not see how truly extraordinary you are?"

  His words brought tears to my eyes. Extraordinary? That wasn't a word that anyone would use if they knew the real me. I was broken. I was weak. I was running away from my problems because it was the only thing I knew how to do. "Just promise me."

  He lowered his eyebrows slightly. "I've already found everything I want."

  I swallowed hard. God, I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted a new kiss that I'd compare everything to for the rest of my life. I wanted to stay in his arms for eternity. I'm in trouble. All I had to do was say it out loud. He'd help me. Our lips were only a fraction of an inch apart now.


  Shit. I turned my head just in time to see Kins staring at us.

  "How could you?" She sounded devastated. She shook her head as she retreated back to our room.

  Maybe I was wrong about everything. Maybe I was the one that burned everything in my path. "I have to go."

  "Sadie." His fingers on my wrist were gentle, loving. "I can't make a promise I don't intend to keep."

  That was our goodbye? A guarantee that we'd both be miserable for the rest of our lives? Maybe he'd feel differently once he realized I was gone. But I couldn't live with that chance. He deserved the world. My eyes met his one last time. For the first time, I realized how exhausted he looked. It may have just been because I had awakened him, but I felt like it was deeper than that. He claimed he still missed Summer. Maybe I was finally helping him move on. And it killed me. It killed me to know that I was going to hurt him all over again. I wished that I could tell him everything I never got to the first time around. How he always meant so much more to me than the stars. How I loved him since the first moment I saw him. "You've always been better off without me, Miles."

  He lowered his eyebrows slightly.

  I wasn't sure why I had said that. I realized my mistake as soon as the words fell out of my mouth. Always. Why would I say always when we had only just met? What had I just done?

  His lips parted slightly like he was about to say something, but he closed them again.

  I couldn't stand there and let the pieces slowly fall together. Goodbye, Miles Young. I stood on my tiptoes and kissed his cheek. The warmth of his cheek made my lips tingle. I could hold on to that feeling of warmth. I'd need it. I turned around without another word and walked as fast as I could to my room.

  All I could feel was pain. Not the pain in my shoulder though. The pain in my heart. I would never see Miles again. That was it. I had always wanted to know if he was well. This had to be closure for me. He'd find someone wonderful because he was so fantastic.

  I opened up my door and walked into my room. Kins was sitting on her bed crying.

  "Kins..." I didn't really know what to say.

  "You knew I liked him." She wiped her tears away with her hands. "How could you?"

  "I'm so sorry." Everyone was better off without me. I wanted to comfort her. I wanted to apologize a million times. But I didn't have time. The longer I stayed, the more danger she was in. I grabbed my backpack and shoved a few articles of clothing inside.

  "Are you even listening to me?" She threw her pillow at me. "I want to talk about this. You said you weren't even attracted to him. What did I ever do to you?"

  "I'm sorry," I said again. I threw more things into my backpack.

  "I'm gonna sleep with Eli." Her words were icy.

  That was harsh. The threat would have stung more a few days ago, but now I couldn't care less who Eli slept with. "If that'll make you feel better, then do it." It was good that she was making me upset. It made it even easier to walk away.

  "Why won't you even look at me?"

  I looked over at her sitting on the bed. Her mascara was streaked down her cheeks. I immediately felt bad again. "I'm sorry, Kins. I'm just going to go. I know I haven't been the best roommate, and I am sorry." I pulled out my worn copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the one with my father's inscription, and stuffed it into my backpack.

  "You're leaving? You can't just leave. I want to talk about this."

  "I just think it's better if I go home." I tried to keep my voice even on the word "home."

  "What do you mean home?" She sniffled. "It's the middle of the week. You have classes."

  "I'm dropping out." It was extreme, but what did it matter? She'd have wondered why I never came back. This would make her understand.

  "What are you talking about? I don't want you to do that. I hurt to see him with you like that. I don't want you to leave me."

  She was my first friend in a long time. And it hurt to lie to her. "I'm sorry." It seemed to be the only thing I knew how to say.

  "What's going on?" She wiped away the rest of her tears. Even though she was upset, she looked more concerned about me now.

  I bit the inside of my lip. "Eli broke up with me and I hate this city, so I'm leaving." Heartache always made people do stupid things. It was a good excuse.

  She nodded as if she understood my sudden interest in Miles and my reason for wanting to leave. "There are so many guys in this city. You don't need Eli."

  "I know." I pulled my backpack onto my shoulders. "But that doesn't mean I want to stay."

  "Does this have something to do with that box?"

  Why did she bring that up? Had she lied to me? I felt compelled to throw every
one under the bus tonight. Kins was the only one that had access to our dorm room. I had thought someone broke in. But there hadn't been any signs of forced entry. It was almost like they had a key. Could she be involved in this?

  She just stared at me, waiting for my answer. She looked almost too innocent. Like Eli had been too nice.

  "No, not at all, I just have to go."

  "Just stay, we can talk about this." She slid off her bed. "You can't leave because some guy broke your heart. That's so crazy."

  Crazy. It's exactly what Don wanted. My hand grabbed the handle of my door.

  She took another step closer to me. "Seriously, don't go. Everything's going to be okay."

  Her reassurance terrified me. It sounded fake. It sounded rehearsed. I opened up the door and ran out before she could get any closer to me.

  "Sadie, stop!"

  I ran down the hall and flung the doorway to the stairwell open. Was she really involved too? Or was I just losing my mind? My whole world had just come crashing down on me again. The only difference was that this time I wasn't sure I would make it out alive.

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