Chapter 1-P2

2240 Words
"Marley-" "It's fine," she insisted quickly, thinking about how stupid it was to assume they wouldn't be separated. You have your book, Marley. You'll be fine. It's a bus full of teenagers, not the Hunger Games. She walked as soon as the aisle was clear, being the one in the front of the line. Before she could lose her nerve and run off the bus, Marley took the first open seat beside a guy with dark red hair and a giant textbook in his lap. The rest of the group moved along, and Marley heard a lot of 'Aiden, over here's' and 'Leo! Get over here!' Marley watched Gabby take a seat across the aisle, a few rows down next to a girl she seemed to recognize. Feeling a tap on her shoulder, Marley looked to her seatmate to see him smiling at her. She shrunk in her seat, not wanting to talk to anyone but Gabby. "Hey, I'm Matt. I thought I'd be alone today but I'm glad I have a pretty girl to keep me company." Another trigger. A pretty girl to keep me company. Marley shoved herself as far away from him as possible, fumbling for her book. She smiled softly in greeting only to be polite, but wanted him to be quiet. "Nervous? Me too. None of the people who got in from my school know me." Please stop talking, Marley pleaded the person — Matt — next to her her silently. She reached for her book and almost felt annoyed when his finger tapped her shoulder again. "Wuthering Heights? I love that book." Marley would've rather sat on the floor than be here. She hated social interactions, especially with strangers. Marley debated ways in her head that she could leave the seat for a while, even as the bus started to move beneath them, right as the bus driver started to warn everyone to settle down. "Get up." Marley's head snapped up to the deep voice above her. Aiden Matthews was staring at her, his hands on the seat in front of her and the one across the aisle to steady himself. He had taken off his sweater and was wearing a plain black t-shirt which stretched over his muscular chest. "Sit down!" The bus driver ordered harshly, but Aiden acted like he didn't hear him at all. Marley was staring up at him in fear and shock. He wanted this seat. After her wide eyes were locked on his expectant expression for way too long, she scrambled upwards as fast as she could, wondering what she was going to do now but too scared to defend herself. The bus was starting to gain speed, but she grabbed the seat for balance and expected Aiden to take her seat. But all he did was turn to look at Matt in the window seat, "You too. Up, now," Aiden almost growled out the words, his gaze turning steely and cold. Now he wanted the whole aisle? Maybe to sit with Leo. Marley's heart plummeted at the attention of all of the people on the bus. The bus driver was shouting again, "Get your asses in seats before you're on the side of the damn road!" Marley's legs shook. She lost her balance temporarily but wrapped her arm around the seat so she wouldn't fall on her face. Her hair acted as a nice shield. "Why should I listen to you?" Matt looked nervous but defensive. Marley squeaked when Aiden shot out and grabbed the collar of his striped shirt, yanking him upwards, "Because I'm not asking. I'm telling. Move," his words were so carefully violent that Marley felt goosebumps form on her skin. Matt nodded so Aiden would release him, grabbing his bag and stumbling through the seats, his head down. "I swear I'm two seconds away from pulling over! Sit down!" Marley turned around in hopes of seeing a seat behind her to jump into before her hard work became for nothing but being stranded on a random road at 4 o'clock in the morning. But before she could move a hand was clamping on her arm, shooting electricity up her spine. She was gently shoved into her original aisle, but instead, she was given the window seat. She would've fallen, her head slamming on the window if the hand hadn't wrapped around her shoulder and steadied her before releasing its hold, allowing her to sit in her seat, so terribly confused. It only peaked when she watched Aiden collapse into the seat beside her, his headphones shoved into his ears and his eyes straight ahead. He managed to fit his long body into the seat though it was a tight squeeze. He leaned back and stretched one of his legs out on the aisle, relaxed, as if the last two minutes didn't happen at all. Marley stared open-mouthed at her high schools' quarterback who finally turned to look at her after way too long of staring. His blue eyes caught on hers, something intense passing over them before a lack of emotion took over. His eyes drifted downwards, to her lips? before he was looking away again, his own turned upwards. As if he was enjoying her dismay and confusion. Marley clamped her mouth closed so she wouldn't look like an i***t anymore. She shoved herself as far away from him as she could get, curling her knees up to her chest and pulling out her book. The bus started to really move, voices returning and the noise already giving Marley a headache. Aiden didn't speak to her. Didn't crowd her space. Didn't even look at her. Not once. Marley felt like her muscles were aching an hour into the ride, so she cautiously relaxed them, her eyes on Aiden's all the while even though he wasn't paying her any attention. He was leaned forward in his seat, chatting with the person two seats ahead with wild hand gestures. His hair was wild on his head, one of his headphones hanging in his lap. His smell was as comforting and nice as it was an hour ago, and she wasn't getting used to it either. Marley reached into her bag for her water bottle, ignoring another one of Gabby's frantic texts. Marley had spent some time on the bus messaging Gabby about Aiden forcing Matt out of his seat so he could sit beside her. After a while though, car sickness set in, so she put her books and phone away in favour of staring out the window at the view from the side of the freeway. The trees blurred around her and the scenery was boring, but the soft music filtering in her headphones kept her somewhat entertained. She took a long drink from her bottled water before stowing it in her bag and reaching for her blanket and her goldfish. The bus was cold, and it wasn't getting any warmer so she wrapped it around herself, very careful to keep anything and everything from crossing into Aiden's seat. Even though she was tired, Marley forced herself to stay awake when she was next to someone she wasn't sure she trusted yet. She dug her hand into her baggie, shoving some of gods greatest gift to humanity in the form of cheesy crackers, into her mouth. "-could've passed it to Jeffries, but he was too cocky. No, it was a great play, but the bastard ruined it!" Aiden's voice carried into her ears and she turned the volume up higher so she wouldn't have to hear him. She leaned her forehead against the window, begging her bladder not to betray her until they were at a rest stop. After about twenty more minutes, Marley's leg started to bounce and her legs squeezed together in an effort to keep from peeing herself. She would turn to Aiden and open her mouth, before looking away and silently cursing herself. She did that about a dozen times, all the while her urge to pee became more and more unbearable. Argh! Marley had already folded her blanket away and was staring at the seat in front of her with her eyebrows furrowed and her legs bouncing. When she looked up at him again, she gasped at the sight of his blue eyes on hers. He scanned her body quickly. "Bathroom?" Marley's cheeks flamed. She was about to say no, but hung her head in defeat and nodded shyly after a moment of thought. She kept her eyes off on him when he shifted on his feet and stood up. She did the same, ignoring the fact that his arms were out as if to hold her steady if she fell. She nearly bumped into a girl trying to leave the seat across the aisle. "Sorry!" Marley stammered to the short brunette, who only gave her an annoyed look. Marley moved back into her seat to let the girl go but ran into Aiden's arm blocking her from doing so. "You going to the bathroom?" Aiden asked, his breath rustling the hair on the back of Marley's head which made her shiver. "Duh?" She replied in monotone, but her eyes raked over his frame appreciatively. "Wait here then. Marley's first." The girl put her hands up in mock surrender, shooting a humiliated Marley an astonished look before slumping back into her seat. Marley would've turned and asked him why on God's green earth he did that if she wasn't so anxious about talking to him. Instead of saying anything that could humiliate her more, Marley scurried down the aisle, holding onto the backs of seats to keep herself steady. When she made it to the bathrooms, she felt sick and nauseated from not only the bus but her own embarrassment. The door was closed and the panel by the handle said, occupied, so she stood and waited on the opposite wall, holding onto the expertly placed handle by her torso. After about five minutes and a lot of leg bouncing, a girl with spiky pink hair leaned over her seat, "You're wasting your time. Jordan and Trish are in there, and they aren't coming out anytime soon." Marley winced at the idea that two people were in one bathroom, not needing to even think about what they could possibly be doing there. With a burning bladder and insane anxiety about it, she had no choice but to scramble back to her seat. When she appeared beside Aiden, he moved to stand but something made him pause. He stood to his full height, towering over her and scrutinizing her carefully before his blue eyes flickered to the direction of the back of the bus over her head, "Did you even get into the bathroom?" he demanded. Marley, not wanting another ridiculous confrontation, nodded weakly and tried to keep herself still and not pee at the same time. Aiden's harsh breath was all the proof she needed that he didn't believe her. "Move." Aiden gestured for her to walk to the back. "But..." "Marley." the sound of her name in his deep baritone made her shudder, but she couldn't focus on much else with her bladder about to explode. Marley decided to relent and scramble to the back, Aiden Matthews right on her heels. She took her place against the wall again, but Aiden didn't. He lifted a fist and banged on the door, causing Marley to jump and want to dig herself a grave at their first rest stop. She was naive for not guessing what he was going to do, and putting a stop to this before he could do it. Aiden stiffened after two minutes of no response. After a few more seconds, he let out an aggravated sigh before leaning closer to the door, his ear tilted to listen. Whatever he heard, seemed to annoy him even more than he already was. "Get the f**k out!" he shouted, banging on the door about five more times before it flew open. A blonde girl with her shirt over her chest instead of on, and a blonde haired giant of a male teenager with swollen lips and dishevelled hair popped up with annoyed looks on their faces, which did fade when they realized who was standing there. "This bathroom is clearly occupied, Matthews." He was shirtless too, but Marley didn't see much because Aiden had shifted strategically so he was in front of her. "It's a bathroom, not a private lounge, Jordan. Now get the f**k out and I won't ask again," Aiden replied cooly. Marley's eyes widened watching Jordan's expression harden from around Aiden's bulging bicep. She wasn't sure what to say to keep things civil on a moving vehicle full of high-schoolers, but any ideas died when the blonde girl caught sight of her. "He wants to bring his own girl in here, babe." She pointed at the timid brunette standing behind the hulking guy in front of them. The male blonde moved over to see her too, but Aiden only adjusted his stance. Marley felt her eyes burn and her body shake as she curled in on herself. She hated the attention. The male sighed loudly, exasperated. "Do I need to make a sign, dumbass? The room is ours. Find another way to get laid. Hell, do it under a blanket. Nobody's gonna watch unless they're joining in — but the more the merrier, right?"
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