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I wake up in in the same damn room, and as I gaze around, confused, I notice that it’s pitch black outside. My body hurts as I try to sit up, and the memories of Noah’s beating flashes through my mind, followed by the memory of my sudden blackout.
“You’re awake”, Noah says from the other side of the room, and I reluctantly look his way.
“What happened?” I ask as I force my sore body into a sitting position.
“You fainted”, Noah says as he stands up, “you were out for hours.”
I frown as he sits down beside me, but I don’t have the courage nor the energy to push him away. “Why didn’t you take me to the infirmary?”
He sighs and runs his hand through his hair before gazing up and down my body. “And having to come up with excuses to your bruises?”
“Oh”, I say as realization dawns upon me. Of course, he couldn’t take me there, that meant putting himself in potential danger. In order to do a proper check-up on me, they would be doomed to notice my bruises and sore body sooner or later.
“You need to eat”, Noah suddenly says out of the blue, “I think that’s partly the reason to why you fainted.”
That, and the panic attack, I think, but I don’t dare to say it aloud. Instead, I nod and let him hand me an apple from his bag alongside a Pepsi.
“It’s not much, but it’s something”, he shrugs and I nod and slowly take a sip of the drink.
Noah keeps staring at me as I finish the apple and Pepsi, which makes me extremely uncomfortable. He watches my every move as if I wasn’t uncomfortable enough already.
“Are you tired?” he asks as we fall into an awkward silence, and although I’m exhausted, even though I’ve slept for hours already, I shake my head.
“Well, too bad”, he says with a smirk playing at the corner of his lips, “because I am, and you promised to sleep with me tonight.”
I want to protest, refuse, but I already know there’s nothing I can say or do to change his mind.
Without saying a word, he starts undressing and I immediately avert my eyes to the wall, which causes him to chuckle.
“Here”, he says right before a soft object hits me. I pick it up, careful not to gaze his way, and realize that he threw me one of his shirts. I don’t do anything with it, I just leave it be, and Noah rolls his eyes at me.
“You’re supposed to change into it”, he says and I shake my head and finally dare to look at him again. He’s shirtless, and all he’s wearing is his boxers.
“I don’t want to.”
“I don’t care”, he smirks. “Put it on now, or I’ll be glad to help.
“I’m fine with what I’m wea-” I start but he cuts me off.
“I’m not asking again.”
Realizing that there’s no way I’ll win this argument, I turn to my second best alternative instead.
"Will you please turn around then?” I ask him with a weak voice as I try to convince him with my pleading eyes.
He stares deep into my eyes for multiple seconds before finally giving in. “Fine.”
He turns around, and I don’t waste one second. I quickly slip out of my jeans and my own shirt, but just as I put the new one over my head, Noah spins around.
"Hey!” I shriek in surprise as I pull it down at the speed of light.
It seems like Noah gets startled for half a second as he notices my bruised body, but if I thought I saw pity in his eyes, it washed away as soon as it appeared.
Noah’s lips curl upwards into a smile, but before I have time to ask him what’s so funny, he goes to shut the lights.
“Come here”, he says from his bed as the room is dark, although not darker than his heart. Realizing that I don’t really have a choice, I slowly walk up to him.
“Lie down”, he commands as his hand gently tugs at my wrist. Reluctantly, I lie down next to me, and he immediately slips his arm around my waist and pulls me back close to his chest.
“You know what?” he asks after a couple of seconds of silence.
“What?” I sigh.
“It’s Thanksgiving soon.” His breath fans my neck, and I try to move my head away from him, without any success.
“You’ll celebrate it with me”, he whispers in my ear before giving me a kiss underneath it.
My whole body stiffens and I take a sharp breath as the slight movement hurt my bruises.
“We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden”, I say carefully.
Noah smirks against my back. “Good thing you’re in America now, then.”