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The Betting Game - Chapter Eighteen

I sighed. Nothing. There was absolutely no way he'd admit to liking me, even if by any chance he did.
Tyler sat beside me the whole time. His hand squeezed mine reassuringly, as I went on blabbering about how the whole incident happened … how I lost Asher.

He brushed the hair covering my face away and tucked it behind my ear repeatedly. Sometimes, silky hair can be annoying.

"It's not your fault Mia," he finally said after I was done. Surprisingly, I had managed not to cry. I had a lump forming in my throat but other than that I remained emotionless.

"Of course, you'd say that, but you don't need to comfort me. It makes me feel worse."

He opened his mouth to say something but I stopped him. "Don't."

"I'm not comforting you damn it!" He snapped. "It's just like saying I'm the cause for my parents nonchalance. Why the hell would you blame yourself?!"

"You don't get it! Why am I even telling you this?!" I plopped myself down on the floor. I was being a bitch, but the topic right now was a very sensitive one to me. I think he noticed because his eyes softened and he kneeled beside me.

"Mia, I'm sorry. I just really don't like seeing you like this. It really isn't your fault. Asher won't be happy with you if he's watching over you. You seriously have to stop blaming yourself."

I sighed. "You can't say I had nothing to do with it. I was stubborn and I still am. I hate that about myself."

"Start telling yourself that it's not your fault. It will help..."

"You want me to go into denial?"

He grabbed my arm and pulled me up so that I didn't have to crane my neck painfully to look at him. His eyes had darkened and I knew he wasn't happy with how I was handling all this.

"This isn't denying … this is realizing the truth. How the hell have you been living like this? Saying it's your fault when you had nothing to do with it. If it makes you feel better, I can find those bullies and beat them into-"

"Tyler. Forget it."

His hand on my arm tightened. "Starting today … you're going to forget all this and be as happy as you can. If you feel the need to cry then just call me over. I'll help you get through it. Don't just drown into your own sorrows."

I stared at him long and hard. Was it pity? Or did he genuinely care? If I were him, I wouldn't even look at me. I hurt him. I played with his feelings, yet here he is, telling me to stay strong.

"Mia?"

I nodded, not wanting to fight with him. His hand fell from mine and he looked down. "Sorry for going all snappy on you."

Before I could answer, my mum walked in with a tray of freshly baked cookies and tea. She put them on my table and smiled. "Lunch will be ready soon. I'll call you two down then."

"Thank you Mrs. Bryans." Tyler said in his most polite manner.

I raised an eyebrow at him and slowly shook my head. "I don't believe you."

The moment my mum was out of earshot, his smile was gone and he was looking at me seriously again. "What?"

"Why can't you be this polite all the time?"

"Are you feeling better now?"

I was. In fact, having him here and finally telling someone everything, makes me feel rather refreshed now. I nodded. "Why?"

"Why what?"

I rolled my eyes at him. "I said; why can't you always be polite?"

He shrugged. "I'm afraid you'll fall in love with me."

I playfully slapped his arm but felt a small smile tug on my lips. "You're too full of yourself."

We spent the next 2 hours playing video games and annoying people online. I think it's the most fun I had in years. I laughed so much, my cheeks hurt like hell.

I just couldn't stop smiling anymore.

"She's just like you!" I blurted. We were talking to some random girl online, using Tyler's name. So, naturally she expected it to be a boy flirting with her. At first she kept going on about how popular she was in her school and that no one could ever get her, then she randomly sent her picture.

She was a petite blonde girl. In the picture she was dressed in a short mini skirt and a white shirt.

'Send me yours?' - She wrote.

Tyler scowled at me. "I am not like that!"

"You're a show-off and apparently, so is she- Wait, what are you doing?" I asked when I saw him opening the camera.

"Sending her my pic."

"No, Tyler! Her school is only a few minutes away from ours."

"So?"

"There's a chance you might meet."

"Which doesn't sound so bad."

I opened my mouth and glared at him in disbelief. "Tyler!"

"Oh, you're going all jealous on me now?"

"What?! No!" I denied, but I could feel my cheeks heat up. I didn't like it. Tyler is really good-looking and it's natural he'd feel attracted to her because she's pretty good-looking too, and the idea actually made me feel all weird. It hurt. It felt wrong.

"Ok, fine! I won't. Happy?" He sat back on the chair and sighed.

'Wanna hang out sometime?' - Another message popped.

I stared at it in disbelief and then burst out laughing despite myself.

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"Amelia Bryans! Are you talking during my class again!?"

What class? We were just jogging outside and doing some warm-ups. I told the girl in front of me to hurry it up. They were too lazy and slow … well, it was a Monday after all. How is that considered talking?

I glared over at the basketball team. Those lucky idiots get to play a match but we can't unless we've done enough warm-ups. I watched as Tyler stole the ball easily and made a quick shoot. He turned and his eyes bore into mine. He looked at me for what seemed like hours before one of his members slapped him on the shoulder making him turn back to the game.

10 minutes later we all sat on the benches and waited for the teacher to put us into teams. Tyler jogged over to me the moment I dropped down on one of the empty benches. He shook his head at me and leaned down. He pulled my shoelaces and chuckled.

"I can almost imagine you falling over, due to your clumsiness. Can't you tie your own shoelaces?"

I scowled. "Leave me alone! I did tie them before jogging aimlessly around the school..." I watched him as he tied my shoelaces. His hands worked quickly, and when he got up, I saw the sparkle in his eyes and the messed-up situation of his hair, and for a moment I thought he was the most beautiful boy I've ever seen. I think my heartbeat just picked up.

This sudden act of affection is messing with my brain. I shouldn't let myself be moved. But ...Tyler isn't this type of affectionate person … at least not to just anyone.

"Why don't you go back to your team? There's someone waiting for you." I said, motioning to Jessie who stood with the boys but her eyes seemed to be stuck on me. An angry glint shone in them.

He shrugged. "You want me to leave?"

"That's not-"

"Mia!!" Clara ran over to me right on time.

Tyler gave me a small smile before joining his team.

"We have to be on the same team! Did you hear? Did he tell you?!" Clara asked, her eyes following Tyler's retreating figure.

"Tell me what? Who?"

"Tyler! He told the teacher he wanted to play with us!! Let's hope we're in the same team. So, he didn't come to tell you that?" She stopped for a moment then her eyes widened. "Now seriously, what's going on between you two?"

I sighed. Nothing. There was absolutely no way he'd admit to liking me, even if by any chance he did. I still don't think he'll ever come to trust me after finding out about our little 'game'.

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I finally got to writing this after reading the comments again. It's short because I have a writer's block right now. I don't know if everyone is still reading this but I'll still try to write.
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Published: 10/3/2013
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