《In Five Years》Chapter 15

Tre's nails are digging into my wrist as he pulls me away from the table. We stop in the hallway by the bathrooms where there's nobody around, and I finally am able to yank my wrist away.

"Ow!" I yell. "Why are you pulling me like that, Tre?"

"What the fuck do you mean why?" He replies. The look in his eyes in horrifying. I've never seen this side of him before. "You're the one that convinced me to go on this stupid fucking date with your ex. You told me it wouldn't be awkward, and yet I just had to sit there and watch as you wanted to go back and forth with his girlfriend."

"She was attacking me the entire night!" I shout back. "What did you expect me to do? Sit there and take it? She needed to get a taste of her own medicine for once."

"You were acting like a jealous little bitch!" He seethes, and my jaw drops open in shock. "If Cameron is who you want then by all means go and get him, but the last thing I'm going to do is be used to make your ex want you back."

Why the hell is he being like this? This is literally our second date. He's acting like we've been in a relationship for years.

"And while we're at it?" He chuckles angrily and rakes his eyes up and down my body. "Why did you dress like that tonight?"

"Like what?" I ask.

"What do you mean like what? Like a whore, Maddie. Are you needing his attention that badly? You thought it'd be okay to-"

It all happens so quickly. I'm not even able to process what he just said as Cameron shoves him up against the wall. I don't know where he came from. My eyes are blurry from the tears. I have never been spoken to like that.

If he thought I looked too provocative then why didn't he say something before we left? But even if he did say something, that wouldn't make it okay, right? I can wear whatever I please.

"What the fuck did you just say?" Cameron has him pinned against the wall, his forearm against his throat.

"Cameron, it's fine." I'm full on crying now, pulling at his sweater in attempts to get him off of Tre.

"It's fine?" Cameron looks at me in disbelief. He's angry as hell. "This isn't fine, Maddie. You're really going to be okay with him talking to you like that?"

"How about you mind your own fucking business?" Tre is hardly able to say from the pressure on his throat. It only makes Cameron lean in harder.

"If I ever get word from her that you're talking to her like that again then I promise you it's going to be a lot worse for you than it already is. What a piece of shit."

He releases him from his grasp, and Tre fixes the collar of his shirt. I can't stop my tears. My hands are shaking, and I'm finding it harder and harder to breathe. I think I might be having a panic attack.

"Whatever." Tre mutters, and as he stares at me it's like he's finally having sympathy. Like he finally realizes what he's said to me tonight. "Fuck, I'm sorry Maddie." He tries to move closer but Cameron steps in front of me.

"Cam, it's fine." I plead, and he begrudgingly steps to the side, making no efforts to take his eyes off of Tre though.

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"I just got angry." Tre sighs, shaking his head in disbelief. "I didn't mean what I said. I was just jealous, and after we slept together I really don't want to lose you, Maddie. I really like you."

Cam clears his throat and closes his eyes out of frustration. I can tell he wants to say something, but thankfully he's holding it back.

"I just think I need some time to process everything." I tell him. "It's been... a lot, tonight."

"Understandable." He replies. "Can I at least take you home?"

I can tell he's genuinely sorry, but why did he say what he did to begin with? I don't like that he spews off at the mouth with the first thoughts that come to mind. I also don't appreciate that those were the first thoughts that came to his mind when he thought of me.

I'm overwhelmed. So much is happening in my life at the moment that it's almost too much to bear. This is why I didn't want to start anything with someone right now. I'm not in a place to mentally handle it.

"I'm just going to call an Uber." I say quietly. "I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

"Sure." He mutters in defeat, but leans over to place a kiss to my cheek. "I'm sorry, again."

Sending a dirty look towards Cam, he roughly hits his shoulder as he walks out of the restaurant, leaving the both of us alone. It's hard to explain, but it's like as soon as Tre leaves my walls are able to finally come down. I let myself collapse against the wall, crying so much that I can't get a grip.

Everything hits me like a ton of bricks. From all of Katie's comments about my weight, to Tre calling me all of things, to my goodbye conversation with Cam last night, I'm a wreck. A complete and utter wreck.

"Come on." Cam grabs onto my hand and tugs me towards the door, avoiding the curious stares from the other people in here as he leads me outside. I don't know where Katie is, but truthfully I don't really care. I'm comforted when Cameron brings me close to his chest and wraps his arms around me. I feel safe.

Protected. A way I haven't felt all night.

"It's okay." He soothes. "Maddie, it's okay."

"I-it's not okay." I sob. "Nothing is okay! Nothing is fucking okay."

He tightens his grip on me and continues to hold me closer, gently stroking my hair to try and get me to calm down.

"Tonight has been shit." I mutter into his sweater. "I'm losing touch with everyone and everything around me it seems like and I can't do anything to stop it. I ruin everything."

"You don't ruin everything." He says softly. "And you haven't lost everyone. You haven't lost me."

"But you said-"

"I know what I said." He sighs. "You're never going to lose me though, Maddie. You may make me mad at times, but in the end I'm always going to be here for you. You know that."

I cry harder, gripping onto his sweater and savoring this moment. I never want to let him go. I want to tell him how stupid I was. I want to tell him that I should have called him. I wish things were different.

"You don't deserve what was said to you in there. No man should ever speak to a woman that way, and I hope you know that. He may be apologizing Maddie, but he's going to do that again. That's not going to be the last time. Please end that. It's only going to get worse with guys like that."

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I don't want to talk about Tre. I don't want to talk about anything. I just want to be with Cam. I just want to be in his arms. It's been so long.

"Please don't let go." I sniffle and grip him tighter. "I know you probably have to go back to Katie, but please. I don't want to be alone right now. I need you, Cam."

I'm expecting him to tell me he can't, that he has to go home, but instead he picks me up so that my legs are wrapped around his waist, my head right on his shoulder as he heads towards his car.

"I'm sorry." I cry even more, feeling like an idiot. "I shouldn't put that kind of pressure on you. You don't have to stay with me. I know you have Katie, and if you need to go then I'll understand, but-"

He rests my back up against the car as he fishes the keys out of his pockets, and his body is pressed up against mine. "I need you too, Maddie." He breathes out. "I'm not going anywhere."

He unlocks his car, but his eyes haven't left mine. We're so close, and I run my eyes over his lips, over his chiseled jawline, over his green eyes that are so dark and filled with so many emotions that I can't decipher what it is he's feeling right now.

"Come on." He brings me over to the passenger side and sets me onto my feet. His hands are still on my waist, my arms around his neck. "Seeing him talk to you that way was hard as hell for me Maddie."

"I know." I bite onto my bottom lip, and he gently grasps my chin with his pointer finger and thumb to make me look at him again.

"I..." he trails off. "I used to be the one to protect you. I used to be the one you depended on, and now that I'm not that person anymore it's bothering me more than I thought it would."

"You still are that person." I finally smile, and it causes him to smile too. "You protected me tonight, didn't you? I'm with you right now, aren't I?"

"True." He nods and opens up the door for me. "Want to go to your house?"

"Well, Ethan might still be up, but..."

"Ethan isn't going to care." Cam waits until I'm buckled in before he heads around to the drivers seat, and I want to ask why, but mentally I'm just tapped. I don't have the energy to talk about it.

"Is Katie going to care that you're coming over?"

"Probably." He says. "But I don't care about that right now. That way she treated you tonight wasn't okay, Maddie. I'm mad as hell at her. You need me, and I don't want to be anywhere else. That's all you need to be concerned about."

I decide to drop it. If I think about it any longer I'll tell him not to come over, and selfishly I don't want that. I want to be with him more than anything, and I didn't think I wanted this that badly until now. My heart is full, and I finally feel... happy.

My hands are still shaking. I don't even notice until Cam leans over and entwines his fingers with mine. The guilt I'm feeling seeps inside of me from the way my heart is racing. He's with Katie. He shouldn't be doing this.

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"I don't care." He tells me, and I shut my brain off again. He doesn't care, so neither should I.

We get back to my house around nine. My moms car isn't in the driveway, neither is my dads, but that's unsurprising. I still haven't seen him since I've been home. It's been over a week.

I still open the door cautiously, pulling Cam in behind me. We sneak up to my room, past Ethan's closed door, and shut the door to my room quickly. They're going to know he's here when they see his car in the driveway, but I'd rather deal with the aftermath tomorrow. I don't need to hear it tonight.

The safety of my room makes me feel slightly better, but so much has happened that It's hard to wrap my head around. I have a migraine. It's practically throbbing from the light in here.

"You okay?" Cam asks, but I immediately shake my head. He pulls me against his chest again and holds me close. "What's going on in that head of yours? Tell me."

"It's just everything." I sigh. "School, my friends, you. I can't get a handle on anything. I'm studying so hard to be at the top of my class that I don't have time for anyone. I lost you because of it. I lost Maya because of it. I lost myself because of it. I don't even know who I am anymore without school."

"You haven't lost me." He reminds me. "I'm here with you right now, aren't I?"

Yes. I mentally respond. But not the way I want you to be.

"And you haven't lost Maya either. She loves you all the same. She understands you've got things going on. You're doing what you need to do to achieve your dreams, Maddie. To me that says you're smart, strong, determined, and stubborn as hell."

I find myself laughing, wiping away more tears.

"You haven't changed since high school. No matter how much you think you have. You're still the same girl. Just a lot smarter."

"And fatter apparently." I joke.

He rolls his eyes and brushes a strand of hair behind my ear. "You are not fat. Your body is perfect, Maddie. There's not a thing wrong with it."

"Well you haven't seen it in what, four years? How would you know?"

The comment wasn't meant to be sexual, but his arms grip tighter around my waist, and his gaze holds on me like he's debating on whether or not to say something.

Thankfully he decides to ignore my comment, releasing me from his grasp before he looks around the room. "It hasn't changed at all, has it?"

"No." I laugh. "It hasn't. Not even the comforter."

I go over to my dresser to pick out a pair of pajamas, deciding on a pair of short shorts and a tank top. I know I shouldn't be dressing around him like this since he has a girlfriend, but he said he didn't care, and right now I'm not caring either. She's a total and utter bitch.

"Can you turn around?" I ask, and it sounds so stupid. He's seen me naked plenty of times before.

"Oh, yeah. Sorry." He clears his throat and turns his back to me while I take off my tights and attempt to grab the zipper to my dress. I can't get it. Tre was there to zip me up earlier, and now I'm cursing myself for not thinking this through. I'm going to have to ask Cam do it.

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"Uh, could you... unzip me?" I ask.

I turn around and move my hair to one side so he can have easier access, and I don't hear him say anything when he comes up behind me. His hands are shaking as he fumbles with the zipper, and he trails his fingers slowly down my spine until it comes all the way undone, exposing my back to him.

Having him be this close to me is agonizing. I can feel his breath right on my neck, goosebumps rising onto my skin.

"Okay." He clears his throat. "I'm turning around again."

The dress falls to my feet, leaving me completely naked. I slip on the shorts and my tank top and then tap him on the shoulder. "Ok. I'm fully clothed now."

He turns around and sucks in a sharp breath, his eyes darkening before he quickly shakes his head. "No way." He laughs. "Please wear something else."

"Why?"

"You know why."

I arch a brow up, waiting for him to continue.

"You know why." He repeats, but doesn't go into detail.

"I'm not going to change my clothes." I huff. "I wore this around you before we dated."

"Exactly my point." Cam chuckles. "Thus the reason we became a thing."

I shrug and crawl underneath my covers, propping my head up onto one hand to look at him. "You don't have to stay you know. I'll be okay."

"I know." He nods, and then he reaches behind his head to take off his sweater, his abs on full display to me. "I want to."

He takes off his jeans to strip down in his briefs, and it takes everything I have not to stare. I'm forcing myself to stare into his eyes, but it's the hardest thing I've ever done.

He's so much more muscular than he used to be. He's built, and he looks so damn good. Not that he didn't look good before, but my god. He's something else.

Crawling into my bed beside me, he's unsure of how to hold me. I think he's trying to figure out if he can hold me, so I make it easy for him and place my head on his chest.

"Fuck, I missed you, Maddie." He breathes out, and the breath hitches in my throat. "I know you said you needed me tonight, but I needed this. I needed you too."

"Mhm." I mumble, the heat from his arms around my waist already starting to put me to sleep. I'm mentally exhausted from today. Somehow I started my day with Tre and ended up with Cameron, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

"Go to sleep." He whispers. "I'm here. It's okay."

"I'm here too." I yawn. "Always will be, Cam."

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