Home > Watch Me Follow(8)

Watch Me Follow(8)
Author: Harloe Rae

“Hey, Asshole.” The growl vibrates from my chest.

David stops in his tracks and whips around, a sneer marring his features. “Who the fuck do you think—”

His bullshit rant cuts off when he steps closer and catches sight of who’s speaking.

Little bitch is scared, my mind silently taunts.

I hear him gulp as his eyes widen to saucers. David clears his throat while raising his chin, as if suddenly realizing fear is wafting from him. When he squares his shoulders and straightens his spine, I almost laugh. He’ll never be half my size but his efforts are entertaining.

I move away from the cool brick against my back, ready to get this shit settled. “I tried to warn your stupid ass before but that clearly didn’t work. Now you’ve pushed me beyond reason and forced me to waste precious time dealing with you.” My words spit through clenched teeth, the rage threatening to bubble over.

“What the hell are you talking about?” David sputters loudly.

When I begin crowding his space, his lips clamp shut.

“You don’t mess with another man’s woman. That’s how you get the shit kicked outta you. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that?” The venom leaks from my voice.

David holds out his hands, as if that will stop me from getting closer. “Dude. You’ve got the wrong guy. I didn’t touch any girl who’s attached.”

I scoff loudly. “Stop lying, Pinocchio. I can see clear through your bullshit. You haven’t just been messing with mine either. Don’t wedding vows mean shit to you? What about school policies or the fucking law?” My fists clench tight, desperate to punch him, but I deliver a different blow instead. His dark eyes blink slowly but otherwise he’s frozen. “Since you’re not getting the hint, let me make it easy.” I carelessly toss a few snapshots of him and Professor Carter by his feet. “And I’ve got plenty more where those came from.”

He peers at the images and I swear his face drains of all color. “Who the fuck are you? What the hell is this shit? You’re spying on me?”

“You done with the twenty questions? Seems pretty clear what’s going on to me. These don’t leave much to the imagination.”

“You’re a psycho creep. Need to watch me to get off?”

“I wouldn’t spew that shit my way. You’re a despicable piece of shit, preying on vulnerable women. Don’t bother twisting the truth.” My harsh tone bounces off the building wall and I almost hope people hear me.

David puffs out his chest. “What the fuck is your problem?” He shakes his head when a savage sound breaks from my mouth. “Never mind, don’t bother answering that. Just tell me what you want.”

“Leave. Lennon. Alone.” Each word is a sharp command.

His face scrunches up while he glares at me. “Lennon? Lennon Bennett? What the fuck? She doesn’t have a boyfriend. That sweet honey—”

I launch at him and he stumbles back against the wall to avoid me. “Don’t you dare finish that disgusting sentence. Lennon is none of your concern. Hear me? Leave her the fuck alone or those pictures will be plastered all over campus. Got it, Dickhead?”

“Fuck. You’re a special case of crazy.” His cold stare locks on me, looking for what I don’t know. “Fine, what the fuck ever. I’m not dealing with this shit. She ain’t worth the trouble.”

I slam my hand against the wall, roughly bending his ear in the process. “She’s everything to me but nothing to you. Don’t talk to her. Don’t look at her. Don’t even say her name. Get it through your thick, dumb skull. Lennon is mine.”

“Fine. Jesus. Back the fuck off. I’ll leave her alone.” His gaze drops with the last word.

I take a step back, my roaring fury easing with his acceptance. “Don’t make me find you again. I won’t be so nice next time.”

David’s head snaps up. “And you’ll get rid of the pictures?”

My lips curl in disdain. “We’ll see.”


Even shadows can’t stay hidden forever.


The mystery man is here again, hidden in the shadows and out of clear sight, but I’m catching onto him.

After noticing him standing behind me the other day, the dark stranger has been appearing everywhere lately. I’m pretty sure this guy wants to get caught. Perhaps he’s been hanging nearby a lot longer and I’m just realizing it. My pulse beats wildly, the whooshing pounding in my ears as I continue watching him. This reaction isn’t from fear but rather a startling awareness of his recurring presence. I’m not scared of him, though most might be, and the need to know why snakes through my system.

We’ve been playing an intense game of hide-and-seek since that afternoon outside Aire Gardens almost a week ago. I’ll go somewhere—my studio, Brewed Awakenings, around campus, my apartment—and after settling in, begin searching for him. He’s always there, waiting to be spotted. Each time I find him, my belly tightens as a smile lights up my face. Discovering him out there, lingering in the background, has become something I really look forward to.

Why didn’t I notice sooner?

Perhaps it’s my total inexperience with dating, and the opposite sex in general, that has me getting far too attached to these moments. I’m getting wrapped up in the fantasy of him, of what he represents. This stranger—Seek is what I’ve started calling him—is the closest thing to a boyfriend I’ve ever had. I find myself daydreaming about him, wondering who he really is, when did he find me, and most importantly—why me?

I press my palm flat against the cool glass and stare at him leaning against the large oak tree outside the Student Center. My thoughts are becoming more and more consumed with a guy I don’t even know—at least not really. Yet it seems like I do.

Seek is wearing all black again, just like the other times I’ve found him lingering. The leaves and grass are bright green so his dark form is easy to spot. My eyes scan the busy campus and discover people are avoiding him. Even though the paths are cramped, everyone gives him a wide berth. I tip my chin and wonder if he prefers it that way. He doesn’t appear to want attention from others but what the hell do I know. My faces inches closer to the glass as I wait for him to address someone.

It’s as though he’s existing without really living, physically present without planting roots. Seek is like a shadow.

His face is completely hidden by a hood so I can’t gauge his expressions or reactions to what’s going on around him. Seek’s broad shoulders are almost wider than the tree trunk and his height towers over most passing by. Maybe they’re afraid but I’m not.

I know plenty about wanting to fade away from certain situations, as if I’m not here at all. The burning attacks my lungs when a man approaches, painfully stealing my breath. Why can’t I be invisible in those moments? Then creeps like David can’t see me. Maybe that’s why I find Seek so quickly—I know the best spots to hide.

But not from him.

I like that he sees me and appears to know where to find me. I’m aware of him too. Does that make me weird? Either way, I’ve been different my entire life so one more reason won’t tip the scale.

Guilt pinches my gut as the confusing connection between us appears to grow stronger. Since moving to Webster and starting college, I’ve only experienced this calming sense after receiving a gift from my secret admirer. I thought that was something special but Seek has me all mixed up.

I glance down at the note from this morning, written in the same bold script on the familiar yellow post-it.

The sun, it gives us light, but most importantly, it gives you to me.

I’ve saved each one. My wooden box at home is almost stuffed full with golden notes. Each one contains a short message from my secret caffeine and carbs supplier. The messages frequently reference the shining sun, warmth and light, smiles and laughter, or moments of joy. Sometimes the subject isn’t so happy, like black paint splattered against a white canvas, which makes me wonder about his mood in those moments. In one short sentence, they convey so much.

The words swirl through me as my fingers trace the letters. I contemplate the identity of the sender, wondering who’s behind these notes. These presents are from a person with a tender heart and romantic soul. Someone I hope to meet one day. Very soon.

My eyes lift to Seek and my wild imagination takes off at light speed. How crazy would it be if the two were connected?

The idea first popped into my mind when I thought Seek was following behind me after the terrible incident with David. When I’d subtly turned around, someone darted off the path before I got a decent look. Did he see what happened in my studio? Or maybe who left the coffee and bagel at the study cube? Exactly at the right moment? How else would my secret admirer know unless they’d been watching me . . . much like Seek is now.

There’s no way they’re the same person. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering.

The prodding urge to approach him pokes at me again. As I gaze at Seek’s downcast head, I wonder what would happen. Fear holds me back. The potential backlash of breaking the silence and closing the distance separating us hums through me like a warning but the need to know more about him bangs louder.

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