Ella didn't exactly avoid Nate during the week, but she wasn't nearly as active with him either. He asked her a couple of times if anything was wrong, but she assured him nothing was. She hadn't figured out what all she wanted and what all he was willing to give her. So she didn't want to encourage or discourage him either. He must of believed her because he didn't ask or continue to look at her funny.

She finally took some time alone to sort through her thoughts and feelings. Plus she couldn't concentrate on her school work. So she went and sat on her bed trying to figure out what she felt, which hadn't gotten her far before. She caught a glimpse of the picture hanging above her bed. The beautiful girl and the beast. There was something so familiar about that picture. But she couldn't place it. She remembered her conversation with the girls weeks earlier about Nate being the beast, but there was something else to it. Thinking of Nate as the beast though seemed so long ago. How wrong she had been. He was far from a beast, just a little misunderstood. And really deep down he was so sweet. And then a whole list of good qualities went through her head and she realized it was getting a little difficult to come up with bad ones. I mean the guy had flaws, his temper being number one. But there was a time not so long ago that all that she and the girls talked about was his bad qualities. 

Didn't her answer lay right there? She really couldn't think of a better man. They shared tons of interests. He treated her perfectly. There certainly wasn't any other guy that she wanted to spend time with now or in the past. When she thought about him, and if she was being totally honest that was more than a friend would think of him, she always smiled. There was obviously something there. And she was ready to explore those feelings and see where they went.

The next morning she told Rose her decision, feeling it was best to warn her. She wasn't sure how she would take it.

"As long as you are happy El, I have no problems. It doesn't mean I totally trust him or won't still be keeping an eye on him, but I trust you."

"That's a relief," Ella said with a sigh.

"What? Did you think you had to worry? I'm not that bad."

"I know. But he has been a sore subject a time or two."

The girls laughed and then went on about their day with Ella thinking about how to go about letting Nate know she was open to something more.

[comment with feelings if you read ♥]
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