It's another hour before the rain stops. Paul is reluctant to let me go and I'm reluctant to leave the warmth of his embrace. "We should get out and check the car" I say. Paul growls, something he seems to do often, lightly in my ear.
"Why?" he whispers.
And I have no answer for that. I've been gone for over three hours and no one has called to see if I'm even alive. Missy is probably… actually, I don't want to think about that. And Dad is at work. But still, a call would have been nice. And what about Paul? I know he has a mom. Isn't she worried? I sneak a glance, trying to see if Paul looks anxious but he catches me.
He smirks and I turn away quickly. "I don't think you want to go" he laughs.
Now I push out of his arms and jump out of the car. My shoes are instantly soaked. The water is up to my shins and I groan because now my shoes are ruined and I don't have the money to replace them. But they're already ruined so I move on. I hear a splash and glance to see that Paul has joined me. We meet at the back of the car. Paul inspects for a minute and then rubs his hands across his jeans.
"What are you doing?" I ask when he bends and puts his hands on the bumper.
"What's it look like?" Then he gives the car an effortless shove. It rolls a few dozen feet.
My eyes are as wide as they can get. Paul bends down to push again but I stop him with a hand on his arm. "Paul?" His eyes light up for a split second, as if he's shared a secret he wasn't supposed to. "How the hell did you do that?"
Paul just shakes his head and the surprise from before is gone. "Do you want your car moving or not?"
"You can't push it all the way" I protest. A part of me is still shocked with his strength. And the rest is amazed by his stubbornness. I don't know much about the capability of the human body, but I'm pretty sure it's not normal for one person to push an entire car through water by himself with little effort.
Paul scoffs. "You should have more faith in me." He gives it another shove. My car protests with a groan but it moves nonetheless.
"Paul stop" I say and throw my arm out in front of him. He gives me a look that makes me feel like a child. "Let me call a tow truck" I beg.
He rolls his eyes. "Whatever."
While I'm on the phone, he gets back in the car. He's sitting in the driver's seat now and I don't pretend not to notice when I sit down on the passenger's side. "What are you doing?"
He stares straight ahead. "They're going to try and take advantage of you" he says matter-of-factly. "They won't try anything with me."
I don't know how to feel. Mostly insulted because Paul thinks I can't stand up for myself or know when I'm being had. I climb around to his side of the car and throw the door open. "Get out" I growl.
He raises an eyebrow at me and laughs. "Get in the car little girl" he mocks.
I glare. "Get. Out."
"What are you going to do?" he teases with an ever-present smirk.
"I'll call the police. This is my car. And if I want you out, you're going to get out" I say feeling powerful and strong.
Paul crushes all of this confidence in one fluid move. "Feisty little thing." I think it's the word little that really bothers me. I'm not little. I've had the body of a twenty year old since I was in sixth grade. I'm not skinny and I'm not short. I'm not little.
Paul still refuses to move. "Did you think I was kidding?"
He stays silent which is strange because Paul always has a comment. I don't catch what he's doing, but I see his arm dart out. He grabs me around the waist and my feet are swept out from under me when he pulls me onto his lap again. "Let me go! I swear to God, Paul!"
He just chuckles and kisses my neck. I freeze feeling his lips on mine. I can feel every place that his skin is in contact with mine, like he's just imprinted his lips on me. The place he kisses me tingles and it's everything I've never thought I could ever feel from Paul. It's beautiful and there's so much love and comfort in that kiss that I'm completely frozen. Paul laughs and the vibrations in his chest shake me but I can't shake off the haze he's just put me in. "What's the matter?" he teases.
That brings me back. I slap his chest and push away from him. "You're such an ass!" I shout and stand waiting for him to get out of my car.
"You don't seem to mind."
"Asshole" I mutter.
It takes more than an hour for the tow truck to come. And I feel bad for the guy because by the time he arrives, I'm in a bad mood because of Paul and I'm not as friendly as I could be. The trip to the mechanics is even worse because the three of us are squished in the truck. The guy makes small talk that neither Paul or I put any effort into keeping up. So eventually the radio replaces conversation until we're back in La Push per Paul's directions against my desire to go to Forks. And guess who our mechanic is?
Jacob takes one look at my car and shakes his head. "You really can't drive can you?"
"Shut up" I threaten with a pointed finger. Paul snorts and I spin on my heal but he just smirks when I march over. "This is partially your fault" I remind him.
"Of course it is" he talks down to me as if I'm a child. And this angers me more than the awful day I've had.
I give up on him for the moment and turn back to Jake. "Can you fix it?"
"You're asking me to bring something back to life." My shoulders slump and I groan inwardly. I'm going to have to buy a new car and that means further college debt that I'll never pay off. "Yeah, I can fix it."
"But you just said…" I try not to sound as hopeful as I am inside.
Jacob chuckles. "I'm the best damn mechanic in Washington. I've got this Lucy."
"Thank you! Thank you!" I gush and can barely contain myself. I almost jump him but I don't because I don't want to freak him out. "I'll pay you whatever you want." And I will because any number he can think of is lower than that of a new used car.
Jacob just shakes his head. "You don't owe me anything."
My eyebrows furrow. "Why would you do that for me?" Jacob and I hardly know each other. Jared and I are best friends but Jacob is a couple years younger than us and I've don't really hang out with him other than in our large group. It seems odd for him to just fix my car for free. Maybe drop the price a little, but not for free.
His eyes shift behind me but I'm too slow to catch whatever face Paul is making. "Well I appreciate it a lot. If there's anything you need, call me."
He nods and smiles. "So…" he elongates the word in a sing-song voice. "You and Paul huh?"
My eyes widen. What the heck is Paul telling people?
Jacob's eyebrows raise and he coughs awkwardly. His hand raises into his hair and he stutters for a second. "S-sorry. I… uh… I thought."
I shake my head. "No it's ok."
Paul's hand lands on my hip. It's big and warm and very possessive. The gesture is a claim. A claim of me. I pinch his hand and pluck it from my body. I spin on my heal and glare at him. I hear Jacob swear behind me. Even he knows Paul is screwed. "You're ridiculous!" I snap. I march out of the shop. And the bastard has the nerve to snicker.
I pull out my phone, never stopping in my march from Paul. I'm so furious with him right now. How can he keep pulling 180s like this. One minute he's sweet. And that's a short minute, but a minute still. But the next he's an asshole all over again. I can't figure this guy out. There are no patterns to his personality. He's just… infuriating.
"Hey Jared. Listen, could you pick me up? My car broke down during the storm."
"Are you alright?" he asks. I hear him shuffling around, probably pulling on his shoes and getting his keys if I know my best friend.
"Yeah, I'm fine" I say but it comes out angry and I know it before he points it out. "It's kind of a long story."
"Paul?" he guesses. I hear an engine start.
"Yeah" I breathe through my teeth. "Him."