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Holiday rolled her eyes. “I do. And that was probably the worst attempt to change a subject I’ve ever heard.”
“Yeah, but I couldn’t come up with anything else,” Della said.
Holiday grinned and then her expression got serious again. “I guess what I’m saying is that what Chase did for you was a wonderful thing, but I don’t want you to feel you have to offer part of yourself that you don’t want to offer.”
“He’s not pressuring me to have to sex,” Della said, knowing it was true. The whole closet thing had been about the vision, not about them. Even if he did enjoy it. And she did, too, she admitted to herself.
“That makes me feel better,” Holiday said, and ran her foot along the top of the water. “But you feel something for him. I can tell. And I can also tell that you aren’t altogether comfortable with it. And that worries me.”
Della kicked at the water. “I hate when you do that, you know.”
“Do what?” Holiday pulled her hair over one shoulder.
“Read me.” Della frowned. “Because while you’re right about me being uncomfortable, it’s not what you think. If I’m uncomfortable, it’s because of what I feel, not because he’s trying to push me into something.”
Holiday looked at her. “And what do you feel?”
“Crazy,” Della said.
“That makes sense.” She reached over and touched Della’s arm. “I just want to help. And I know you are a very private person, but sometimes it does help to talk about things.”
“What things?” Della asked.
“About what you feel?”
Della swallowed her frustration. “I told you: crazy.” She sighed. “Look, if I knew the truth of exactly what I felt, I’d tell you, but I don’t. Do I like him? Yes. Am I attracted to him? Yes. Do I think the bonding thing is real?” She almost said no, but the truth came out. “Yes. But I don’t know to what extent, or where it will lead. Part of me trusts him. Part of me doesn’t. So there, did you get anything out of that except I’m completely confused and feeling pretty much bonkers?”
Holiday smiled. “Love’s confusing and can make you bonkers.”
“I didn’t say anything about love,” Della said.
Holiday smiled. “I don’t mean ‘love’ as in the-rest-of-your-life love. Just romance.” She leaned back and looked up at the sky. “However, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a camp leader if I didn’t share Burnett’s concerns with you.”
“Oh, hell! He sent you to talk to me about Chase?”
“No, it was my idea, and when I mentioned it, he … well, he sort of shared how he felt about it.”
“He doesn’t like Chase,” Della said.
“He doesn’t completely trust Chase. He really doesn’t trust the Vampire Council.”
“And I think he’s being a tad overprotective.”
Holiday grinned. “It would be out of his character if he wasn’t. But he does have good instincts. So I just want you to be careful.”
“I’m always careful.” At least most of the time.
Chapter Thirty
Della had lunch with Jenny, Kylie, and Miranda. They got their food and took it behind the office and sat under the trees to eat.
They spent half the time laughing due to Miranda recounting some of her goofed spells. Like the day she wanted to remove a stain from her dad’s shirt and ended up removing all his clothes.
Seeing as they had their elderly “human” neighbor over, it caused quite a stir. Especially because the clothes disappeared when he was bent over pulling a roast from the oven. Moments later, her dad had used two pot holders to cover the important parts.
Della needed a laugh. Once or twice, she saw the temptation in Miranda’s eyes to bring up what Della had told her about Chase and the whole his-hand-her-hand thing, but the girl must have read Della’s “I’ll-kill-you” glare and bypassed that conversation. Della had no need to talk about that.
Especially after Holiday’s little talk. Not that Holiday made her feel any different, but she didn’t want Burnett to get wind of anything and really start flipping out.
Miranda didn’t mention if she’d called Shawn. Della decided that she wouldn’t push any more. It had to be Miranda’s decision. But if she started back into the ice cream and tears mode, Della might change her mind.
She couldn’t, wouldn’t, stand by and watch her friend suffer and punish herself for a boy’s stupidity. And yes, she considered Perry stupid. Miranda cared about him, and for him to ask for a break, when in fact he cared about her, too, was stupid.
After such a fun lunch, the day seemed lighter. After school, Della waited for Chase at the front gate. Burnett had to leave on another case so they weren’t going to get their regular rule-checking meeting first. The plan was to go back to Uck’s Burgers and see if she picked up any more traces of weres.
When Chase’s blue Camaro pulled up, she moved to the car. She hadn’t driven in a car this much in months, and while she loved flying, all the car time made her feel a little more human. Like a real teenager. And that was kind of nice.
He came to a stop right beside her. His hair was windblown, he wore sunglasses, and his smile held the warmth of the sun. She felt the familiar thrill she got every time she saw him. The bonding? Or was it like Holiday said, just normal romance stuff? But for right now, she didn’t want to think or judge. When she jumped over the door, landing in the passenger seat, he held out a bag.