Odessa finally stopped to take a breather, after nearly 25 minutes of continuous running and speed-walking through the woods. Fortunately for her, she knew the particular set of woods she was in very well, due to her numerous, photography excursions through them; in spite of the fact they all took place in the daytime. However, she knew of a shortcut that would lead her close to the hospital. The woods were naturally dark, but the pale of the moonlight was sufficient enough to guide Odessa on her path. She was well-aware that being in the woods at night alone was as perilous as it was foolish. If her parents – especially her father – knew what she was doing, they were sure to go completely ape on her. Her mother had signed her up for women’s self-defence classes a couple of summers ago, and her father had taught her a few moves, as well. She was prepared and brave enough to take on some sort of potential danger, but at that moment she wasn’t thinking about the possibility of being attacked. She kept replaying the image of Gisella and The Boy embracing on top of the hill. A couple of tears rolled down her delicate face, but she quickly wiped them away. Get it together, girl! It’s not like we were dating or anything… That reminder made Odessa even more upset, for she was beginning to realise just how much really did like The Boy, no matter how many times she told herself to hold back. But after seeing him that afternoon, engaging in a deep conversation, as well as seeing those unbelievable sketches of her, she knew she wouldn’t have been able to fight her feelings for him any longer. Her mother had once said you shouldn’t cry over a boy who hurts you, because if he really cared for you he wouldn’t bring you to tears. Odessa always had that bit of advice tucked away in memory, but she could see that it was becoming difficult to follow now. “Easier said than done, Mom,” she muttered to herself.

Shortly after, Odessa safely reached the dimly-lit area of the woods located just behind the hospital, notwithstanding her tripping over twigs couple of times. But she was dismayed to learn that she had broken her watch, either when she fell at the game or tripped in the woods. What difference does it make? Time’s never on my side anyway… She was about to march her way over to her secret hiding spot, when she realised she didn’t want to go there; all it would do is remind her of the times she and The Boy spent there and she didn’t want to get emotional in the nightly public. "Great! Now I have to find a new spot to ‘hide’ at!" she said. At that instance her phone rang; it was Tyler, who was extremely peeved but relieved she was safe.

“Fiona, thank God, you’re alright! Where the hell have you been?!? We’ve been trying to call you for the longest time now, and I was just about to call Uncle John if I didn’t get you this time!” Tyler ranted the background fairly noisy.

There must not have been reception in the woods, Odessa guessed.

“Gisella’s just told us that she saw you by the bathrooms and you seemed upset about something,” Tyler continued, not letting her respond to his other questions. “She said you ran into the woods, too! Are you out of your freaking mind!? Aside from the fact that your parents would skin me alive over your forest-trailing antics, something serious could’ve happened to you!!”

Hmph, leave it to Gisella to stay innocent in all of this!

“Tyler, calm down will ya?!,” Odessa finally worked in. “I’m sorry…I’m really am. I didn’t mean to worry you or the others, but… I’m not coming back to the game. ”

“Huh? Just like that?... Fiona, are you alright? Did something bad happen and does this have anything to do with Gisella?”

“Yes, I’m okay. I just needed to be on my own for awhile… and no, Gisella has nothing to do with my decision,” she lied.

“Well, how are you getting home then? I refuse to let you walk home alone… Where are you? Do I need to call Aunt Vangie to come pick you–”

“NO! I mean… thanks Tyler, but you don’t need to do that… I’ll be fine. Besides, I’m near the hospital and maybe Uncle Mike will be done with work soon. I’ll just see if he can take me home. Now apologise to the gang for me, and you don’t go worrying about me. Enjoy the rest of the game.” And with that she hung up without hearing his protests, putting her phone on silent mode.

Whilst talking on the phone with Tyler, Odessa had already been walking on a more open trail that led from one area of the hospital to Angel Square. She didn’t know what she was going do once she got to The Square, but all the walking she was doing, along with the soft breeze blowing, was helping her to calm down, but only temporarily. Unexpectedly, she saw bright lights and heard the sounds of a revved-up engine, one that a motorcycle would make, coming towards her direction. She abruptly stopped when she saw a familiar-looking black, red, and grey bike stop only a few feet from her from her; the helmet-wearing rider was motionless. Knowing who it was, Odessa immediately turned around to run away; she couldn’t bear to face The Boy just yet. As if anticipating her move, he quickly accelerated on the bike and sped past ahead of her, stopped and blocked her way. Odessa then turned in another direction to run-off but The Boy only repeated his actions.

“Are you crazy?!? Go away or I’ll scream!!” Odessa yelled at him. The Boy responded by revving up his engine louder. “Fuck you!” she yelled and turned to run, once again, in the direction towards Angel Square, but it was hopeless, as he kept speeding up and blocking her. Odessa finally stopped and surrendered. The Boy switched his engine off, and sat still on his bike, watching her through his helmet. She was wound up. “What do you want from me?!” she commanded from him.

The Boy didn’t respond. Rather, he sat still for a bit longer. Finally, he took of his helmet, with the slight breeze lightly tussling his loose black hair. The moonlight was weak in the area there were in but Odessa could see The Boy looked infuriated, his eyes fierce with a hint of anxiety. Although he was glaring at her The Boy’s striking looks still held affect. Odessa was taken aback at how she found him even more compelling, despite her negative feelings towards him earlier, for the look of fury was one that The Boy beautifully suited. “What the hell were you thinking running off like that?! Something could have happened to you! Don’t you ever scare me like that again!” he said tightly.

His concern almost made Odessa want to go give him an immense hug and apologise, but she checked herself and repeated her earlier question: “What do you want from me?”

“I want to talk to you,” The Boy responded.

Odessa laughed sourly, “What’s there to talk about, Tim? I spied on an obviously private moment between you and Gisella. I shouldn’t have done that, if that’s what you want to hear, and I’m sorry. There! See!? I said it… now there’s nothing else to talk about here.” She quickly turned around to run-off again, before The Boy could notice that her eyes were beginning to well-up.

“Odessa, wait!!” he called out, quickly getting off his bike and dropping his helmet to go after her. He grabbed her and spun her around, just in time to see a few tears spill from her stunning eyes.

Now, Odessa was angry with herself, and embarrassed that The Boy was seeing her cry. “Please leave me alone,” she whispered. The Boy’s face was sympathetic, which made her more irate. “And don’t fucking look at me like that!!” she yelled. She tried to struggle free from his grip, but his hold was too strong.

“Odessa, will you please stop! I want to -- need to-- say something to you.”

“I don’t want to hear what I already saw Tim, now let me go!!”

“Damnit Odessa! Just listen to me… please!” he pleaded aggressively. “It’s important, trust me…”

The desperation in his voice calmed her down, but she gave another bitter laugh. “Trust you? Right now, I can barely look at you…” her tone was icy. She knew didn’t feel that way, but she felt the urge hurt him. Regardless, she accomplished her goal, as her words stung The Boy. He abruptly loosened his grip on her, with a brief, wounded display on his face, the kind Odessa had never seen in him before. Regret was now her guilty feeling.

“And there we have it… ” he said quietly. He turned away from Odessa and stood still, his profile facing her.

Odessa couldn’t hold in her regret any longer. “Tim, I’m sorry… I didn’t actually mean what I said.”

The Boy still wasn’t facing her. “But, you did say it… Just answer me this, Odessa… did all those times we hung out mean anything to you?”

Odessa was immediately stunned at his question. “Of course our time together meant something to me, a lot even! But Tim, what in the world was I supposed to think when I saw you on the hill with Gisel–”

“Nothing!!” The Boy looked at her, his eyes fierce again. “You weren’t supposed to think anything… At least not what you thought you saw!”

Odessa looked at him incredulously. “For crying out loud, I have freaking pictures of you two saying otherwise! Do I need to show you!?” She’d reached into her bag for her camera, only to discover it wasn’t in there. “Fuck!! My camera is gone! I must’ve dropped it when I fell down earlier...”

The Boy went to his bike and lifted up the seat, and brought out Odessa’s small, digital camera. He went back and handed it her. “I got this from the security guard I saw you with. And for the record, I don’t need to see your proof… Things aren’t always what they seem.”

Odessa wasn’t looking at him; rather she was staring at her camera. “You think I’m that naïve don’t you, Tim? You know what don’t even answer that, because I guess I am.” Still looking at the ground she muttered more to herself than to him. “You are so beautiful in so many ways…” Then she laughed quietly. “I blame myself for thinking that you were different from other guys I’ve met… that you and I–” she stopped herself. Then she sighed and put her camera back in her bag. She’d tried to fight it again, but it was a lost cause as she could feel more tears roll down her face. “It doesn’t matter, anyway…” and she turned away from him.

“ ‘You and I’ what?” The Boy asked, but she didn’t reply. “What doesn’t matter??” Still no response. The Boy was now frustrated. “Holy shit, you don’t get it do you, girl?! What I was trying to tell you yesterday after school and today…” he stopped, trying to put his words carefully. He ran his fingers through his hair and proceeded more calmly. “Trying to express myself to you has been difficult for me, so I’ll do the best I can… Odessa, you don’t know this, but I had seen you around town a couple of times, before you and your dad came to the garage.” Surprised by the revelation, Odessa turned to look at him. The Boy continued. “And both times I saw you, with that gorgeous smile of yours… I thought to myself ‘Oh my God, it doesn’t make any sense for someone to be that damn stunning.’” Odessa was now holding her breath. “When I saw you in the garage I honestly believed someone was playing a joke on me, and I’m not talking about your sneezing either…” He paused, wiped away her tears streaks and put his hands on her shoulders, giving her a tiny smile. “The day I first walked into our chemistry class, I couldn’t believe my luck again, seeing your beautiful eyes, cute nose, those lips… you! And the moment I shook your hand, the feeling that I got from your touch… I definitely knew something was there…” he stopped. Odessa was starting to tremble, and breaking his gaze she looked down at the ground, as she was thinking about that moment in chemistry class, along with his sketches of her flashing through. “Did you not feel it, too?” he asked; she stayed quiet, “For chrissakes Odessa, answer me! Maybe I was just fooling myself, but can you look me in the eye and tell me you felt something too?”

Odessa looked up at him sharply, “You know I did,” she firmly answered.

A huge look of relief was apparent on The Boy’s face. “Well, that’s good to hear.” He let go of her shoulders and turned away from her again, frowning. He spoke softly again. “Looking back at the times we hung out together… how I feel about you Odessa, it was enough for me to realise I can share some things about my life with you that I wouldn’t dare tell anyone else, I have that much faith in you… So when you stand there looking at me, doubting me… I just wonder if there’s any point.”

Odessa could feel her heart becoming heavy. “Tim… I’m so sorry. I had no idea–“

“Will you stop apologising?!” The Boy suddenly demanded. He turned to look at her, his face hard. “There’s nothing for you to apologise for… If anything I’m the one who should be saying ‘sorry’ to you.” His voice cooled down and deepened, full of sincerity. He stepped closer to her and cupped her chin with his hand. She felt her knees buckling at his gentle touch. “Odessa, I would never do anything to hurt you… Do you know how much it kills me to see you cry? I’m so sorry that I caused it… I’m sorry for the misunderstanding you had about me and Gisella.” He now took his thumb and slowly ran it across her lips. “But most importantly, I’m sorry that up until now, I still haven’t done this…” With that The Boy drew Odessa closer to him. With his eyes closed he bent his head down and pressed his lips against Odessa’s, sharing a deep, passionate kiss. His lips felt tender but strong against hers. Their kiss wasn’t long but it wasn’t short. But it was long enough to intoxicate Odessa, as she let out a soft moan. “Damn, your lips are so soft,” The Boy whispered in her ear after they broke free from their intimate embrace. Although Odessa had opened her eyes she barely heard him, as she was still feeling the effect of the kiss. The two gazed at each other again. “Can we go somewhere else and talk a bit longer?” he asked. Odessa only nodded her head quickly and The Boy smiled. “I want to go where there’s more light though… talking in the dark with you just doesn’t do that pretty little face of yours any justice,” he winked; Odessa gave a bashful smile. “Do you want to ride with me on my bike over to the Angel Square? We can sit by the statue,” The Boy suggested. Odessa was looked uncertain. “I’ll let you wear my helmet, of course,” he added.

Odessa finally broke her silence, thrilled and scared at the suggestion. “Um, I dunno… what about you though? I don’t want you hurting–”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. Believe it or not, I can’t stand wearing the damn thing anyway.”

She was still skeptical, but The Boy had already gone to retrieve his helmet from the ground. To fight against windspeed he then opened his bike’s seat and pulled out a pair of dark shades for his eyes and a hair band to tie his hair back, exposing his sexy ear piercing. Lastly, he went over to Odessa, fixed the helmet on her head, and pulled her towards his motorcycle. He hopped on and motioned for her to sit behind him. “I’m not leaving you here until you get on,” he informed.

Odessa finally yielded and got on to his bike. “Look at you, ‘Mr. Bad-ass!” she said.

He lifted up his shades. “I do believe that’s ‘Sir Prick’ to you,” he winked.

He started up his engine and before they rode off, she lifted up the helmet’s visor and tapped The Boy on his shoulders. He looked back at her. “Tim, thanks for getting my camera back, by the way,” she said.

The Boy smiled, took her hand and kissed the back of it. “No need to thank me for that, babes. Now hold on tight to me…”