Chapter 12: What Have I Done?
"Where are you taking me?"
Her voice startles me, and I glance over at her. She's been sitting quietly, staring out the window, but now her gaze is fixated on me, a look of curiosity and...fear. I turn my head sharply, careful to not let myself become soft. My hands tighten on the steering wheel and my knuckles turn white. Anger boils in my blood. Anger at her for not knowing what she does to me. How she makes me feel.
"You'll find out soon enough," I say through clenched teeth.
A sigh fills the car. Once again, I look over at her, and regret it. Her elbow is propped up on the window, her face cradled in her palm. The wind rushes through her hair, causing it to fly wildly around her face. Her eyes sparkle every time the sun finds a spot through the trees and dances across her form. My breath whooshes out as if I've been hit in the stomach. She looks at me, the sun behind her, and everything stops in time. The urge to take her right there overcomes me, but I hold myself back. Not the place, not the time. Then we're back in motion. She turns away, and I look ahead, ready to reach our destination and what awaits us.
Gabriel speeds down a dirt road surrounded by trees on both sides, and again I wonder where we're going. My phone vibrates and I pull it out. Six missed messages. Two from Mia and four from Nathan.
Mia: Where are you? I haven't seen you in school all day since you punched Crystal. Call me? Love you. <3
Mia: April, why haven't you called me?! What happened? Are you okay? Nathan told me you took off with Gabriel! Be careful please.
Nathan: April, I saw you go with Gabriel. Be careful and call me when you get this.
Nathan: I hope you know what you're doing April.
Nathan: April, PLEASE answer your phone!!!!
Nathan: Fine, you won't answer, then I'll come looking for you. You have Mia worried out of her mind and me too. If I find you, and he's hurt you, so help me....
Before I can even reply, Gabriel snatches the phone from my grasp.
"No cell phones. Wouldn't be able to send anything out here anyway. We're in the middle of nowhere," he huffs.
I know he's right, but I glare at him anyway, angry at him for all of this, and yet excited. I slump in my seat, ready to doze off, when he slams on the brakes and comes to a halt. He looks at me, grinning.
As he gets out of the car, I look ahead. There, standing alone with trees all around, is a cabin, looking old and worn, but cozy and homey. I step out of the car slowly, and gently shut the door, careful to not disturb the peace. Gabriel goes to the trunk and opens it. He grabs some blankets and a lantern, shuts the trunk and looks at me.
"Do you always carry around blankets, hoping to find a girl that will ride with you to this cabin," I ask cautiously, afraid of the answer.
"No honey. Just for you," he replies, and winks.
He walks down a path leading to the front of the cabin, and I follow, not sure what I'm going to find inside. Gabriel turns and faces me. He studies me, his eyes making a trail down my body, then coming up to meet my eyes.
"Once you enter this cabin with me April, there is no walking away. The decision is yours. I will not force it on you, but I will not be happy if you choose wrong either," he states simply.
My heart thuds in my ears. What do I want? What's going to happen? My fingers fiddle with the hem of my shirt as I contemplate. But I already know what I'm going to decide, no matter the consequences. It's what I want. I tell myself this over and over as I take a deep breath and push the door to the cabin open, opening not only new possibilities, but also new dangers.