Watch Me Follow

By: Harloe Rae

Watch Me Follow is dedicated to Cindy and Melissa.

Thank for you for being the sunshine I needed during the cloudy days.





Creep. Freak. Crazy Eyes.

I've heard it all.

Over the years, they've slammed me with every demeaning name in the book.

Their taunts warped me like a steady stream of poison.

Anger replaced anxiety as I started believing the cruelty spat my way.

Until she showed up and changed everything.

Lennon Bennett is pure innocence—warm sunshine breaking apart my stormy existence.

She's everything good and maybe I can be too.

For her. With her. Because of her.

Lennon doesn’t know I’m beckoned closer with each breath.

She isn't aware that I'm completely consumed with her.

It’s become my sole purpose to protect her, by any means necessary.

But if she discovers the depth of my obsession, it will be the end of me.

So, I remain in the shadows.

Waiting. Watching. Wanting.

She'll be my first. My last. My only.





Ryker

For the first time in my life, I don't feel alone. This blinding ray of sunshine has suddenly appeared in the form of a beautiful girl.

SHE’S SMILING AT me.

Lennon Bennett is the most beautiful creature to ever grace this fucked up planet and she’s currently turned around in her seat, grinning at me.

That’s never happened before so I’m not sure how to react. I fight the initial urge to shield my face with the thick curtain of hair tucked behind my ear because I want her to see me. Shock streaks through me like lightning as her unwavering stare stays fixed on me—the boy everyone always looks away from. I’m not prepared to handle this sort of blatant attention, especially from her. My heart threatens to burst as I’m consumed by her gaze but my face remains blank, like usual.

“Hi,” Lennon barely whispers. “Can I, um, borrow a pencil?”

Her sugary voice is soft but clear, sinking deep into my bones. Sweat dots my brow as I blindly reach into my backpack, refusing to break eye contact. My clumsy fingers fumble a few times before getting a grip on one and hold it out to her.

“Oh, uh . . . thanks,” she mumbles as red colors her cheeks.

Why is she blushing?

Confusion clogs any attempt at processing this interaction while I scan her flushed face. My head jerks in acknowledgement but my lips remain frozen in a flat line.

Lennon clears her throat before asking, “Can I have a piece of paper too?”

I carelessly tear a sheet from my notebook and offer it without hesitation. Her shoulders shake with a soundless giggle as she thanks me and takes the paper from my trembling grasp. Lennon doesn’t look away and I wonder what she sees as she keeps staring at me. After a moment of shared silence, she sighs heavily and the smile slips from her lips.

Before I can consider Lennon’s reaction further or try forcing a response, she twists back around and effectively breaks our connection.

I fucking blew it.

She talked to me and I said nothing, which is exactly what I am—fucking nothing. Why do I even bother? Maybe because the small slice of hope surviving in my starved heart believes she could be different.

Ever since Lennon started school here a few weeks ago, my thoughts have rarely strayed from her. Each glorious piece of her fuels my fantasies and drags me deeper into obsession. I’m totally infatuated with her, but what the hell am I supposed to do about it?

Keep staring like a creep.

Lennon’s skin glows with a bronze tan even though it’s still spring in Michigan. I'm not sure where she moved from but it must have been warm. She’s very short, tiny really, which makes protective instincts I didn’t know existed rattle inside me. Even though I never touch anyone, my arms ache with the urge to wrap around her skinny waist and pull her close. Lennon’s glossy dark hair appears to be made of the softest silk. The long waves shimmer whenever she shifts her head and constantly lures me into a trance. Her sparkling aqua eyes remind me of a tropical sea. Today is the first time her smile has been cast my way and the beaming sight is by far my favorite. Possessiveness has been slowly spreading through me but I’ll never be able to let her go now that she’s acknowledged me. The realization hits hard and knocks any remaining sense loose.

Not that I had much to begin with—at least according to everyone else.

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