Home > Watch Me Follow(9)

Watch Me Follow(9)
Author: Harloe Rae

I jump what has to be five feet in the air when Lucy whispers in my ear, “What are you looking at?”

My heartbeat skyrockets as I force myself to turn away from the window.

“Luce, give me some damn warning next time. You scared the shit out of me.”

She rolls her eyes and pops out her hip. “If you weren’t staring like a creep, you would have heard me coming. What’s so interesting out there?”

“What do you mean? I was just looking at the grass finally turning green,” I mutter, trying to avoid her interest, but I should have known better. Lucy doesn’t let anything go.

“Liar. Just tell me or we’ll watch together until I figure it out. Like one of those hidden image games at the bar.” She smirks at me before peering outside.

I cross my arms, as if protecting my heart from a brutal blow. “The guy is back. The one who wears all black.” My voice is soft and barely there.

“The weirdo that follows us? Why are you staring at him? He’s freaky as hell!”

My hackles rise in defense as I practically growl, “Seek is not a freak! Don’t call him that.”

“What did you call him? Oh, no. No way. You gave him a nickname? Do you like him?!” Her brown eyes widen as her jaw hangs.

“I don’t even know him. But he . . . intrigues me.”

“Are you freaking serious? You’re terrified of all men except the scariest one of all. His size alone is enough reason to tuck tail and run.” She glances out the window in his direction. “I mean, look at how big he is. His shoulders are almost as wide as the tree trunk!” Lucy’s tone goes shrill at the end and I wince before peering at her.

“Stop it. You’re judging him. We don’t know anything about him other than he hangs around a lot of our frequent stops. He’s probably very nice.” I sigh in exasperation, my fuse shortening by the second.

Lucy scoffs. “Why are you defending this dude? He’s been stalking us for who knows how long. Don’t give me that nonsense about it being coincidence. He’s probably planning—”

“Okay, seriously. Knock it off, Luce. You watch way too many crime shows. He’s done nothing wrong. Maybe he likes you or something.” The words taste bitter on my tongue and a sharp throb stabs at my chest.

She shakes her head wildly. “Uh huh, yeah right. I should go out there and give him a piece of my mind. If he’s not following us, it sure as hell seems like it. If he’s interested in me, I do not appreciate his wooing strategy. He needs to find somewhere else to hang out.”

“No!” I squeeze my eyes shut for a few seconds. “Let’s just leave him alone. Seek is harmless. He never gets close enough to be considered threatening. I actually think he’s helpful.”

Lucy looks at me with a blank stare, as if she can’t believe what I just said.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

I bite my lip while deciding how much to share. “I’m pretty sure he was around the night David was harassing me.” She motions with her hand for me to keep going. “I told you about the bank calling with the false charges, but there’s more. I saw someone wearing black in the alcove and he might have followed me home. From a safe distance.”

“And why do you think it was him?” She juts her chin toward Seek outside.

I nod slowly. “Guess what else? When I got upstairs to the computer, there was a coffee and bagel waiting.” I scrunch my face, waiting for her ridicule.

She gasps. “Like the coffee and bagel?”

“Yeah,” I say slowly. “I’m not sure what to think. It’s a weird coincidence, right?”

Lucy stays quiet for a few beats, cranking up my nerves. “You can say that again. Seems like both are trying to protect you.” She sighs before saying, “That’s twisted but also really sweet. I’m not sure how to really feel about it.” She tilts her head slightly while staring at me. “Now I really want to ask him what the hell he’s doing.”

“What? No. No, no, no. Can’t we just wait and see?”

“Until what? He makes a move? Seek, which is a ridiculous name by the way, looks very comfortable against that tree. What if he keeps this weird shit up for years without revealing his identity? Then you’ll have two big question marks.”

I drop my gaze to the floor. “I know,” I grumble.

“So, let me go ask him. What’s the worst that could happen?”

“He could leave.” My heart stutters at the thought.

“And? What would be so bad about that? It’s not like you’re getting to know him from here. Besides, I’m not confident he’s stellar crush material.” Lucy reaches out and touches my arm, squeezing gently. Her gaze is warm and comforting but her words sting.

Another cramp attacks my chest.

“There’s something about him, Luc. I don’t know what it is or how to describe it other than he’s calling out to me. For years, I’ve been slowly getting attached to my mysterious gift giver. How could I not? And now that I’m assuming who it could be, my unexplainable attraction is stronger. Seek already means something to me, no matter how crazy that sounds. I don’t want that to end.”

She raises a questioning brow. “Okay, wow. I didn’t know you had all that trapped inside you. He’s only been around for . . . what? A week? I can try to be more supportive. Maybe. There’s so much you seem to be hiding. You won’t even share the notes with me,” Lucy whines while flicking the paper still clutched in my palm.

“They’re private,” I whisper while glancing outside quickly. Seek is exactly where I saw him last but his head is no longer downcast. It seems like he’s looking right at me. A shiver races up my spine as a decision settles in my gut. “I’ll go to him.”

Lucy chuckles but stops suddenly when she catches my serious expression. “I’m sorry, what? You’re going to talk to him? You? The girl who refuses to speak to any guy? I don’t believe that for a second.”

“He’s different. I’m not afraid of him. I think he’s been waiting for me to notice him.” Lucy is the one hearing my words but they’re spoken for Seek. “I’m ready to meet him.”

“When? Like right now?” She almost yells the last part and I shush her without taking my gaze off Seek. “Len, look at me.”

A heavy sigh deflates my shoulders as I force my eyes to hers.

“This is serious, Boo. Regardless of your freaky intuition or whatever, that man could be dangerous. If you’re honestly going to approach him, I’m coming with you. No arguing.”

My lips twist in thought. If Lucy tags along, she’ll understand what I already know about him. Plus, she has a way of calming my crazy. Even though Seek doesn’t make me nauseous or ready to bolt, I’m full of uncertainty.

I nod while agreeing, “All right. Let’s go.”

“Dude. Slow down. We should make a plan. What if he pulls out a weapon when we get too close?” Her sharp tone has my spine snapping straight.

“It’s broad daylight, Luce. You’re being really paranoid. I don’t see what the big deal is.”

“That’s exactly the problem. Your self-preservation is totally whacked. And that’s why you have me.” She smiles wide, pride shimmering on her face.

My own lips lift in a small grin as I shrug my shoulders. “It’s time for me to be risky, especially because it feels right.”

She sighs before saying, “You win. I guess this is happening. Right now, apparently.”

“Yes. I’m ready.” I tell her for the second time. My head twists back to the window as I silently prepare for what’s about to happen. Seek is still there, waiting and watching.

Lucy remains quiet beside me, looking toward the mysterious man too.

Hopefully not a mystery for long . . .


When the sun is shining directly in your eyes and nothing is visible but blinding light, what else is there to do but bask in the glowing warmth?

I’D FORGOTTEN WHAT it felt like for Lennon to acknowledge my presence—this week is proof of that. My body and soul had been hibernating since the last smile she gave me all those years ago. But not anymore. Every part of me has lit up like a Thanksgiving parade since she’s looked my way again.

Right now is a perfect example as Lennon continues staring at me from the big bay window of the Student Center. I rub my clammy palms together while trying to stop my heart from exploding. Her gaze on me is a shot of adrenaline and I’ve lost any ability to control the electricity buzzing under my skin. The current zaps along every inch, from my skull to my toes, but the shocks aren’t painful. I consider them sparks that rapidly spread until all of me is consumed with blistering heat.

After years of freezing alone, I welcome the burn.

My hungry eyes eagerly devour every gorgeous inch of her behind the glass. Her long brown hair floats around her, a dark halo capturing the sun. Lennon’s teal irises glisten and sparkle, full of awareness and intelligence. They crinkle at the corners as a small smile lifts her glossy lips and my knees threaten to buckle at the sight. My gaze swoops down to check out the flowing dress she’s wearing, the warm spring weather allowing her to show off more skin than usual.

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