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message 1: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments A single blip of red stood out like a tiny flame about to be smothered by a blue and white wave. A young girl, roughly fifteen, sat on the bleachers with her four parents. Her fiery ginger hair was cut into a short pixie style and she was dressed in jeans and a jersey with the name CHANDLER written across the back with his assigned number. A sign with the text "Go Win, Go Vin!" rested in her lap at the ready to spring into the air the moment the rest of the crowd clued her in to something good happening for her school's team.

Like the two couples she sat with, her eyes were glued to the field. The game was drawing to a close, but the teams were tied. The ginger's lower lip was clenched between her teeth in nervousness. The only player she really cared to watch was waiting patiently for the ball to be tossed into his waiting hands. The horn sounded and the play began. The girl couldn't have been able to explain what was happening or who did what, but she knew what was important: the guy from their side landed with the ball on the good side of the field. The crowd went crazy. Raelyn Emmerson screamed as loud as she could, jumping up and down with her sign waving in the air. It was doubtful that Gavin could even see her from the field, but she'd cheer anyways because he knew generally where and and their parents tended to sit, so on the off chance that he did see her, she wanted to show her support.


message 2: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Focus.

The game is almost over. You can't screw this up.

As a sophomore, Gavin had been appointed as the first underclassmen quarterback since the eighties, and though it meant a massive popularity bump, it also meant huge responsibility and pressure, especially for his first game.

He could see his teammate, Chris Heinz, slip around behind the other team and took the chance, tossing the ball as hard as he could and watching, terrified, as it spun through the air and landed neatly in Chris's outstretched hands.

He was standing behind the line.

It was a touchdown.

THEY WON!

With a victory cry, Vin laughed as he was hoisted on the shoulders of his older teammates. From his roost, the curly-headed teen yanked his helmet off and searched the crowd for her. At first, he feared he wouldn't be able to spot her in the horde of fans, but suddenly, there she was, a bouncy flash of copper hair and flailing fists sandwhiched between two sets of parents.

Her enthusiasm for his victories never ceased to amaze him. It was the only time she really let her personality show in public.

With a wave, in her direction, he finished celebrating with his team as they made their way to the locker room to quickly shower and change into jeans and his jersey.

Stepping out of the locker room, Vin swiveled his head in search of his favorite cheerleader.


message 3: by DragonDreamer (last edited Aug 26, 2015 10:03PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments The ginger's bright smile brightened even further when she saw her favorite musician's wave. She knew he must have felt like a rockstar out there. Surely everyone else would recognize him as one by now. How exciting! Whether he had seen her or not, it was an unspoken knowledge that she had to gravitate back to her best friend now that the game had ended. Rae buzzed her way through the ocean of people so she could make her way down to the locker rooms. By the time she made it there, Gavin was already waiting for her, ridiculous curls bouncing as he looked for her. When he was facing the other way, she took her chance to sneak up on the quarterback.
"Vin!" She hugged him from behind. "You were great out there! Super cool nailing that last touchdown-well, the throwing part. The other guy caught it. Actually, he did most of the work, nevermind." She giggled, teasing her best friend easily. She didn't know much about football, but she knew that he had worked really hard to be good at it and was the VIP tonight.

She couldn't be happier for him. He deserved it after the rough break up he had recently. Who could have ever wanted to cheat on the best guy she knew? Someone crazy, that was for sure.

A couple more players exited out of the locker rooms and joined the duo.
"Good game, Chandler! You coming to Chris's afterparty tonight?"

Upon the additional company, Rae felt herself clam up, her cheeks flushing nervously. She stood awkwardly at Vin's side, letting them do all the talking.

One of the players noticed the shy redhead and asked curiously, "What, Chandler? Aren't you going to introduce us to your girlfriend or something? I feel like I've seen you around at practices and around campus, but I haven't met you. I'm Eric, by the way." The guy offered his hand easily with a wide toothy grin spanning his face.

Rae panicked. Did she tell him her name first or did she correct the girlfriend comment? Why did everyone always assume they were dating? Didn't anyone understand that guys and girls could just be friends? Slowly, and blushing madly, she took his hand and shook it, still debating on what to say. She'd only met a few of Gavin's football buddies, but only briefly.


message 4: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Vin grinned, not even losing his balance as he was hit from behind by what felt like the full force of a mouse. "You really gotta work on your tackling, Rae," he chuckled, turning in her embrace to wrap his arms around her shoulders in a hug. "You're never going to make the team in this condition." The idea of Raelyn Emmerson in football pads--or even trying to look tough--made him laughed harder, and he pulled away from the girl, keeping an arm around her shoulder and ruffling her ginger pixie cut with his free hand.

After confirming to several players that he would, in fact, be attending the party, Chandler opened his mouth to make sure his preferred plus-one was still coming but was interrupted by Eric, a teammate and upperclassman. Eric had taken Vin under his wing after the younger boy had been made quarterback, and Vin had really grown to like the guy. The assumption that Raevin were an 'item' never ceased to amuse the pair, and he knew that if Rae wasn't so shy, she would be scoffing aloud, so while she silently shook Eric's hand, he corrected the older teen for both of them. "Nah, dude. She'd not my girlfriend." With an easy grin, he squeezed the shy girl's shoulder. "This here is my best friend, Raelyn Emmerson."

Gavin knew the moment Eric realized she was single, because it was as if a switch had been flipped. He went from polite, introduce-yourself-to-your-teammate's-girlfriend, to flirty, you're-really-cute-I-wanna-date-you mode in a few seconds. Suddenly the goofy grin was charming, and he kept her hand a few seconds longer than appropriate for someone who was taken. "Well in that case, I hope I see you at the party tonight, 'best friend Raelyn.'" And with a cheeky wink, he let her go and walked by, clapping Gavin on the shoulder as he passed with a "good game tonight, Vinny."

The look on Rae's face after Eric's flirtation elicited a smirk from her best friend, and he led her to the parking lot, muttering, "You can speak now, Rae. He's gone."


message 5: by DragonDreamer (last edited Aug 27, 2015 05:11PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae telepathically thanked Vin for speaking in her place. Sometimes she wondered if she relied on him to do that too much...
"This here is my best friend, Raelyn Emmerson." She managed to smile politely at the musician's introduction.
"Nice to meet you." She squeaked shyly at the handsome player that was still shaking her hand. He sure had a lot of energy...

"Well in that case, I hope I see you at the party tonight, 'best friend Raelyn.'" Eric winked playfully, shocking the ginger into paralysis before slipping his hand away and congratulating Gavin on his game before taking his leave.

The star quarterback of the night led her out into the parking lot before reminding her that they were alone again and she didn't have to be shy anymore. What would she do without him?
"Hm? Oh, right. Wow, he's... um... so did you want to let our parents congratulate you on kicking butt tonight before we head over to the party? Or, you know, we could grab something to eat before we head over. Oh! Hey, I wanted to say I can be your wing woman tonight! Got your eye on any of the cheerleaders? I could put in a good word or something..." She babbled, still blushing from her earlier encounter with the football players. She'd definitely need to get a drink or two in her if she wanted to even attempt talking to them tonight. "Sorry, just give me a second." She apologized, putting her hands on her cheeks and breathing to dull her flush. It was such a pain having skin that never allowed you to have any secret feelings. One of these days it was going to bite her in the butt.
"Ok, back to you, Mr. Star player! So what do you want to do right now?" She grinned, wrapping her arm around his waist, falling back into place as usual.


message 6: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Unable to hold back his amusement, Vin let out a stream of laughter as his shy friend chattered on. "Rae," he finally broke in, effectively ending her raving. "why don't we go get some pizza, just us, and then head to the party? I think you need a chance to take a breather. Plus, I'm starved." He grinned, thinking of their last party. "And you need some food in you before you drink. Don't want a repeat of that beach party over the summer."

In truth, Vin had no interest in finding a new girlfriend--especially not a cheerleader. Kara had been a cheerleader, and look how that turned out. Though fortunately he hadn't been all too beat up about the breakup, her infidelity still stung. "Why don't I be your wingman tonight?" He asked suggestively. Eric seemed like a good guy, and Rae needed someone as outgoing as him. Gavin decided then that he wouldn't be drinking much that night. It was Rae's turn, and she would need his full attention at the end of the night.

After shooting a quick text to his parents, informing them that he would be hanging out with a few friends that night and another message to Rae's father asking if she could stay at the Chandler's that night, he pulled his friend toward his parent's car and heading for La Bella's, just down the road from their school.


message 7: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae blushed in embarrassment of her blatant feelings of interest for the bold football player. She sighed, agreeing with her relatively level headed friend.

"Pizza sounds so good right now. You must be super hungry after playing all night. Then again, feeding you is like feeding a bottomless pit." She laughed easily, glad she had Gavin to keep her head from spinning out of control. Still, she couldn't help but blush intensely in remembering the party they went to over the summer and Rae had gotten so drunk she had ended up going around hugging everyone she could get her hands on, landing her in one to many compromising situations with strangers. Thankfully, Gavin hadn't been drinking as much and was able to direct her back to the house so she could sleep it off. Thinking about running into people that had been there never failed to make the sweet ginger cringe.
"Maybe I just shouldn't drink at all tonight. You should be the one letting loose now that you are the star quarterback or whatever." She nudged him encouragingly.

She knew Kara had been the most serious relationship Gavin had ever had and she hated that he always had to see her at games because she was one of the cheerleaders and the after parties... But she was glad that he didn't seem to let her betrayal hold him back from seeing his friends or socializing at parties. If anything, she had been the one to respectfully back off some. The whole drama of it all still baffled the guitarist's friend. Gavin would never have done that to her and he obviously had really liked the girl. Rae even liked Kara... She could still remember the utter shock of suddenly walking to the music hall to pick up Thomas's homework since he was sick and opening the door to find her making out with some guy. Who would ever want to cheat on Gavin?

"M-my wingman? Psh! Who said I need your help with- ok, I totally do, I can't talk to him. What am I gonna do?" She groaned, getting into her car. Honestly, what would she do if she didn't have him? She was lucky to not have to worry about that.

~~~

Pizza had been a continuation of their endless dialogue. Gavin was forced to pick the pizza because, as Rae continued to insist, it was his night. And it continued on until they reached the party. The copper haired doe was blushing after a particularly blunt comment about her interest in the football player that he couldn't help but tease her for. Rae, in turn, threatened to confiscate Velma for the weekend if he kept on making her turn into a tomato unwillingly.

Chris's house was very nice, standing at two stories and richly furnished and adorned. The doors remained open in the front, letting the party goers spill out on to the porch to welcome the ones who recently arrived. Rae kept closely to her friend's side as usual. The duo found their way to the kitchen, where the alcohol and drinks were being distributed. The ginger's eyes couldn't help but graze the crowd as she subtly searched for the friendly player's number in the crowd.


message 8: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments After eating way too much pizza--he'd chosen Rae's favorite, of course--the pair arrived at the party, sober Rae clinging tightly to her outgoing friend's side. Gavin had teased and coached her endlessly on talking to the older boy, trying to give her serious advice whilst simultaneously giving her suggestive looks, which only ended in the blush he adored so much out of his friend.

The party in full swing when they arrived. Loud and crowded, filled with suggestive looks at Vin and Rae, high-fives from teammates, and way too much alcohol, it was right down Gavin's alley. Raelyn, however, began to clam up at the sight of all the people.

He spotted Eric on the porch, goofing off with a Chris and another teammate, Samuel, and he snuck his nervous charge past, making a beeline for the alcohol. It was go-time. Finding the kitchen--and consequently, the booze--Vin quickly grabbed two plastic cups of beer and poured his sweet friend a shot of the coconut rum someone managed to score. With a wink, he pushed the shot and beer into the ginger's hand. "Liquid courage, Rae," Gavin grinned, sipping his own beer. This would be a fun night.


message 9: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Before she knew it, the curly haired athlete was placing a drink in her hand.
"You are relentless, Gavin Chandler." She accused, accepting his offer of alcohol. Maybe she would just drink a little and be sober enough to encourage her bestie to keep going. He deserved it. She should be supporting him tonight and not the other way around!

The beer was nice and slightly sweeter than what she normally drank. Was in a new brand? She'd have to remember it because it tasted really good. She drank and chatted with Gavin until she started to feel the buzz kick in. It was a little faster than usual... Did she not eat enough pizza or had she just been drinking faster than she thought?

As if on cue, Eric walked into the kitchen, looking for a refill, when he spotted Rae. Once they made eye contact, Rae knew her cheeks were flushed. She hid her face in Gavin's shoulder momentarily before being pushed away.
"Hey, there best friend Raelyn." The older player smoothly opened the conversation.
"You remembered my name." The sweetling noted, holding her fiery cheek with her hand. Eric chuckled easily.
"You made the name memorable." He winked before shaking his head. "Sorry, that was cheesy. I swear I'm very normal." Rae giggled, shaking her own head in disagreement. "Can I get you another drink?" His perfect white grin beamed as his cheeks showed their dimples. The poor doe was going to be sent into a tissy. She simply nodded, smiling madly and offering him her empty beer cup. Taking the moment when Eric was distracted to steal a glance at Gavin, she silently communicated her excitement and squeezed his arm, urging him to go have fun too. Once she had been handed her refilled drink, the sweet ginger was escorted to the back yard to get some air and admire the pool.


message 10: by Deanna (last edited Sep 03, 2015 08:24PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments He grinned as she tossed back the rum and began sipping on her beer. "I'll take that as a compliment, babe," Vin replied easily. The athlete kept a watchful eye on his friend's drink, stealthily refilling it every few minutes, and pushing more shots into her trusting hands.

This would be good for her.

After the lightweight's third shot and about halfway through her fourth beer, Eric, just the football player they wanted to see, appeared and quickly located the prettiest girl in the room--who just so happened to be trying to wriggle her way under Gavin's arm, as if pressing her dark pink face into his shoulder would somehow make her invisible.

With a gentle push, he broke contact with the shy girl. She was accepting another drink from Eric when she squeezed his arm once more, red face grinning. "Go get 'em, tiger," he whispered, and walked away.

Passing Eric, he grasped his shoulder, applying moderate pressure so he would pay attention. Vin liked Eric, he really did. He seemed trustworthy, and treated girls well, but that didn't mean he trusted him completely with his Rae. He had a few inches and about ten pounds on the older boy, and he wasn't afraid to use it. Fixing his friend with an intense stare, he muttered, "she's sweet, Eric, and innocent. Don't. Fucking. Hurt. Her."

Eric's expression became momentarily somber, and he nodded sincerely at the younger teen. It was obvious that he cared deeply for ginger, and Eric respected that. He wasn't at all offended by the threatening voice. If anything, he appreciated it.

As if the warning never happened, Gavin was again all smiles. Clapping his friend on the back and moving away to look for someone to make out with. He wouldn't be far.

He saw that they were making their way out to the pool and quietly followed, taking the hand of a pretty blonde in a low-cut top. He thought her name was Briana. Once they found a spot on the porch--one where people at the pool could not see him, but he could see them--he handed the girl the new shot he'd poured and watched her lazily drink it down. Her sultry, blue gaze was all the invitation he needed, and he quickly downed his beer, and yanked the girl forward, connecting with her soft lips. She melted into him, twisting her hands into his hair--all the girls seemed to love it--and reciprocating his kiss with equal fervor. He found a chair and backed into it, the blonde landing in his lap as their hands explored each other.

Yes, this pastime would work just fine until Rae was ready to go.

------

The pool sparkled, small ripples breaking across the surface any time anyone moved their foot too quickly. Eric sat close to the adorable ginger, nursing his drink and watching her watch the water. He dropped his hand casually between them, letting his pinky graze hers that also sat between the two. "So, Raelyn," he started, recalling he knew very little about her, "what do you do for fun? Besides hanging out with that goofball Vinny?"


message 11: by DragonDreamer (last edited Sep 04, 2015 08:41PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae couldn't help but marvel at how wonderful Eric was. He was handsome, charming, outgoing, and nice. Maybe not in the same way Thomas had been nice, but nonetheless a very entrancing individual. His teeth were white and straight like he was on a toothpaste commercial or something. She wished she could talk to him.

The two went out to the yard! enjoying the glowing blue water against the dark atmosphere. Rae always loved contrast. She found it to be beautiful. Her eyes were trained on the rippling surface caused by people dipping their feet and swishing them about. The ginger wondered if it would rain and she could watch their radiating circle's dance across the pool.

"what do you like to do for fun? Besides hanging out with that goofball Vinny?" The upperclassman began, urging the girl into conversation. Through her buzzed mind and dropped inhibitions, she found her speech flowing more easily.
"Study, well, I study a lot, but it isn't really what most people think is fun, but I think it can be fun especially when you like the subject. Science is fun. I even have study games..." She frowned, unhappy with her answer. "I like movies... But I watch a lot with Vin. We have movie nights. I do some reading when I can, but I haven't done nearly as much as I've wanted." She shook her head sadly. "What do you do besides hang out with goofball Vinny? Well, besides football. I'm sorry that sounds shallow but other than school football is the only thing I know you do." She apologized, touching his arm so he knew she was sincere. She wondered if he thought she was lame. She couldn't play guitar or do sports like Gavin. He was so cool and artsy and hair that was annoyingly perfect all the time. Why couldn't she ever wake up without the worst bed head? Maybe she should grow her hair out...

Her eyes glanced around the yard and landed momentarily on the porch, where her best friend was currently sucking the face of a pretty blonde girl. She giggled. Classic Vin. She had long hair too. All the pretty girls had long hair, she should definitely try it, right? Maybe dresses too. Rae thought she looked boyish especially in her jean shorts and football jersey. Why hadn't she insisted on changing before the party? She wanted Eric to think she was pretty.


message 12: by Deanna (last edited Sep 06, 2015 11:00PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments She was so damn adorable. Eric found himself unable to look away from the suddenly chatty girl beside him. Her choppy hairstyle and casual clothes--a sharp contrast from many of the girls at the party tonight--clearly showcased the fact that she was beautiful without even trying. He'd never been much for the girly-girls anyway.

The football player grinned as he listened to her ramblings about enjoying her studies, especially science. She had to be the cutest nerd he'd ever met. "Ah . . . science. You're cute and smart, then. Science isn't my strong suit. I fancy myself more of a math guy--geometry especially. You use a ton of it for football, so I'm not sure why some of the guys complain about it so much."

He was readying himself to explain his favorite pastimes when the sweet ginger beside him did something funny. She apologized! In a gesture as non-intimidating as he could manage, Eric trapped the soft hand touching him between both of his, smile lopsided. "Well, up until tonight, all I know about you was school and cheering on Gavin, so I guess we're even."

"And to answer your question, I mean, I guess I just really love being outside. I like to bike, play a lot of sports, I love hiking and camping. And I've been known to watch a movie or two. I have a projector in my backyard that's pretty great." With a grin, he added, "maybe I can show it to you sometime."

The red cup in Rae's free hand, he suddenly noticed, was empty, and he nodded toward it, preparing to stand. "Did you want some more? I can grab it for you."


message 13: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Eric thought she was cute? And smart? Wow, he was so nice... The copper-haired sweetling blushed fervently at his words, though it wouldn't be easy to notice from her alcohol flushed skin. She thought it was funny how, while sober, her skin would betray her but her words wouldn't, but whilst drunk, her words would betray her and her skin wouldn't ah the contradictions of being a fair skinned individual...
"You think I'm cute?" She giggled, holding her cheeks. She nodded eagerly, agreeing with his observation. "Geometry is so important for sports! I keep telling Gavin that if he wants to step up his game, he should hit the books but nooooo. He's got some song to work on." She shook her head. "You're like the perfect combination of athleticism and intelligence. You don't let your studies keep you cooped up, but you don't neglect them either. That's very admirable, you know. You're a rare breed as jocks go." She smiled, admiring the handsome devil beside her. Well, actually he seemed too nice to be the devil... but not quite the innocence of an angel... maybe, like a hero? Not quite so low as mere mortals, nor as pompous as the gods, but someone special, to be sure.

"I'd love to see your projector! That sounds like so much fun!" She blurted out. Was she coming on too strong? "Sorry, I hope I'm not coming on too strong. I think you're really cool and I like being around you. I would really like to watch a movie with you on your fancy projector screen." She managed before the suave man went to go grab them some more drinks. She probably didn't need another at this point. She was very loose, but she really liked the drinks tonight. Someone had good taste in liquor.

After Eric had gone, she glanced again across the backyard, spotting a chatty couple sharing heated looks on a bench. Her slim, tan leg was draped over one of her companion's. Her hair looked familiar... her face too. Who was that again? Rae moved closer, wanting to remember the face when she did realize who it belonged to. It was Kara. Gavin's ex. Her ex-friend. The jerk who cheated on her best friend. She cheated on Gavin. She hurt him. And he was just across the yard in plain sight!

The ginger's drunken courage fueled her and she approached the witch.
"Hey!" She commanded the couple's attention. "You jerk! Can't you take this inside where the ex-boyfriend you cheated on won't see you? Have you no sense of decency?" She accused her, frowning angrily.


message 14: by Deanna (last edited Sep 11, 2015 04:15PM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments He wondered if this was the way she acted around Gavin all the time? No wonder he adored her so much. It was goddamn adorable.

Eric tried to follow her speech even as it became chipper and a bit slurred. Even drunk, what she had to say was insightful, if a bit dorky, but he couldn't resist a girl with quirks.

He beamed at her compliment, accepting it with grace, but accepting it all the same. The thing about Eric? He was confident to the point of arrogance. He might not rub his talents in others' faces, but he knew his own worth. "Well, I think you're admirable for trying to keep the airhead on track. He really is a blonde, but you never give up on him, Lyn." He hadn't asked if he could call her that, but he liked the way it sounded, so the older boy went with the nickname.

With a quiet laugh, he took her enthusiasm an a yes and moved forward with what would hopefully be a date in the near future. "It's a date, then," the teen flashed his perfect teeth in a grin. "How about next tomorrow night?"

He wanted to touch her, to hold her hand, or put his arm around her. Would she let him? Maybe if he got her another drink.

The kitchen was packed with bodies, and he pushed his way through the crowd, shoes sticking to the sweet, spilled alcohol coating the floor, and locating a bottle of some sweet, green liquor. Pouring that and grabbing two more beers, the dark-haired football-player made his way to the back door

--------

"Hey! You jerk!"
Kara groaned, rolling her onyx eyes. Fucking great. As if she hadn't already ruined enough.

Kara had tried to like Raelyn, tried to be okay with her weird relationship with Gavin. She had worked very hard to maintain their friendship, even when she couldn't stand the little prude, but the first night Gavin had chosen her over his own girlfriend, she'd decided either the girl had to go, or she would. So she started cheating, coming on to guys in places that Rae would find her. It took a while--not that Kara minded the extra attention from other guys--but finally, she spotted them. It had been in the library with a senior named Jeremy, and that was when the test began.

If he believed Kara, he could keep her; if not, he didn't deserve her.

Once again, he'd picked Raelyn.

And what was worse, before she had the chance break it off dramatically, he'd dumped her. Unceremoniously. And then he'd gone to Rae's house.

She made no move to disentangle herself from the embrace of the boy, glancing back at her adversary, a nasty smirk on her lips pink lips.

"I think I'll stay where I am, actually," the girl replied lazily. "I'm pretty comfy right here." At the word 'here,' Kara's hand found her newest toy's knee and squeezed, eyes catching the drunk ginger's.
--------
Gavin heard her before he saw her, breaking away from the heated embrace with . . . Britney or Becca or something. The top she wore was unbuttoned down the front, and her hands were roaming the skin beneath his jersey when he gently pushed her off. "Button yourself back up, Bailey," he murmured quietly. "It's time for me to go." The blonde's huff as he pecked her cheek made him wonder if he'd gotten her name wrong, but he didn't think much on the matter; once she was buttoned again, he adjusted his clothes quickly and started off the porch.

". . . boyfriend you cheated on won't see you?" Rae's suddenly-loud voice drifted across the grassy lawn, filling him with conflicting emotions. Obviously, she was referring to Kara. It sounded as if she was with another guy. He shook his head.

Poor Rae. Though the girl's infidelity still stung a little, he could honestly say he didn't care. She was welcome to fuck anyone she wanted--that was no longer his business. What did frustrate him was how much it affected Rae. Kara had not just fooled Gavin; she's tricked Rae into trusting her, become her friend, took her shopping, and tried to pull her out of her shell. Rae didn't just throw her friendship around to anyone . . . her shyness didn't allow it, but Kara had found a way to unlock it, then she'd used it to stab them both in the back.

"Rae!" he called out, but the ginger had a decent headstart on her athletic friend. As he hurried forward, he caught Eric's eye, nodding toward the impending scene.

This might not go too well.


message 15: by DragonDreamer (last edited Sep 11, 2015 10:53PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae did not agree at all with the implication that Gavin was an airhead. He was very smart. He just lacked focus, which is why she felt obligated to stay on him about his studies. She supposed, though, that Eric couldn't have meant that statement seriously. He and Vin were friends, so, surely, he knew how intelligent her best friend actually was. She shook her head modestly,
"I could never give up on him. He's family." Who was Lyn? Oh, her- as in Raelyn. She got it now. He was being flirty. She giggled. She liked him.

Had... he just asked her out on a date? The ginger was stunned and excited and not sure what she was saying but by his expression she could tell that he'd understood her response was an absolute YES. She couldn't wait to tell Gavin! He would be so proud of her!

~~

"I think I'll stay where I am, actually... I'm pretty comfy right here." The witch responded, groping her partners knee just to hurt them more. Rae wasn't sure if Gavin had seen her or not, but she wouldn't stand for anyone trying to hurt him. Frowning, the drunk ginger grabbed for the girl's wrist.

"Can't you just go inside, please?" She hadn't meant to tug her hard, but somehow Kara ended up toppling off the boy's lap to the ground. The sweetling gasped, surprised by her own actions. "I'm so s-sorry it was an accident." She tried to enunciate, but her words weren't coming out as clear as she had envisioned them.

The cheerleader glared daggers up at her from the ground and she stood haughtily before quickly approaching her foe. To her, Rae was someone that acted so sweet and innocent all the time, but deep down she was selfish. She'd had her ex-boyfriend wrapped around her little finger and Kara was sick of her nonsense. Rae was not her problem anymore, yet the girl still kept butting into her business.
"Save it. Just leave me alone!" She fumed, pushing the copper-haired girl's shoulders for emphasis. Unfortunately, the girls were closer to the pool than they had realized. Rae stumbled, grabbing on to Kara for support, but that only served to throw the cheerleader off balance. A look was exchanged between them and they knew there was no hope now.

Screaming, the two dropped into the pool. Boy, did Kara hate this girl.

It took a moment for the fiery dame to realize she needed air. Right, swim. Flapping her arms and legs, the girl broke the surface of the water with some help. She coughed and sputtered, making her way out of the pool, her mind reeling. How much had she even had to drink again? She couldn't remember... Eric went to get more alcohol...she smiled. He was really cute. And he had a projector. And he liked math. Ah... Eric...


message 16: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Eric and Vin watched helplessly as the two fought, both rushing to the edge when they fell, but Eric was further away when the girls took their dives, and without hesitation, Vin dove after them, quickly locating Rae's uncoordinated, drunk body near the bottom of the deeper end.

Pulling his friend's head from the water so she could take a breath, Gavin clamped an arm around her waist and began to swim the delirious girl to the edge, passing her to Eric as he appeared and reached into the pool, then pulling himself out.

What an interesting night this had become.

As he stood, dripping and cold, he watched his drunken best friend try to talk to the older boy who'd lifted her easily from the water. Did she realize she was shivering?

It was definitely time to go. Approaching the two, Vin spoke. "Sorry to break up your fun early, guys, but it's time for me to get this one home before she gets hypothermia." The girl's body was positively convulsing beneath the intensity of her shakes, and none of his wet clothes would do anything to warm her.

Before he could say another word, his older friend was stripping off his jacket and wrapping it quickly around the ginger, giving her a kiss on the cheek that would likely to give her a heart attack if she remembered it in the morning.

Stepping away to give them a minute, Vin didn't hear their exchange.

The older player hated to see the interesting copper-haired girl leave, but he couldn't deny that she was shaking pretty hard. After tucking his jacket around her, he found he couldn't help himself and pressed his lips to her cheek and whispering, "I had fun tonight, Lyn. Can't wait to see you again."


message 17: by DragonDreamer (last edited Sep 21, 2015 11:00AM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Not soon after she had been pulled out of the pool, Rae found herself in the hunky player's warm arms. What had happened to Kara again? She couldn't be bothered to care at this point. Had Eric saved her from the cold pool? That was so nice, even if the pool was really pretty, she liked watching it from land better. Especially since it was already cold.

"Hey, you." She grinned, cuddling into his chest.

"Sorry to break up your fun early, guys..." Gavin interjected, joining in on the reunion. Rae frowned, worriedly. Did he see Kara and get his feelings hurt? Was he ok?
"Vinnn!" She called, moving to hug her friend. He was wet too... did he go swimming? Did he see Kara?

Before the drunk ginger could reach her best friend, she was caught by a warm jacket and a kiss to the cheek that left her giggling like the school girl she was.
"I had fun tonight, Lyn. Can't wait to see you again." The charming jock whispered, his hot breath tickling her ear.
"You too, Mister Projector Man. I can't wait for our date. I'm really excited." She hugged him one last time before Vin was able to usher her away.

She clung to Gavin, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and holding him close. "Psst. Vin. Vinnnn.*giggle* Are we going now? Hey are you okay? Did she make you sad? Cuz if she did I will go kick her butt for you. I can do it because I'm a girl." She assured him, nuzzling her head against his shoulder.

The sweet ginger wasn't aware of how or when she got home. She was happy enough just chittering on to her protector about what she and Eric had talked about, how big of a jerk Kara was, and how she was determined to find her best friend someone that would be able to properly appreciate him.
"Maybe Cindy? Actually... she might be dating Cody now..." She yawned, fighting her drowsiness and shivers.


message 18: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Vin rolled his eyes, laughing at the antics of his inebriated friend. He wasn't uncomfortable by her closeness, rather, he enjoyed it. As long as she was clinging to him like this, he could protect her. It was when she clung to other guys that it worried him. Though he did his best not to show Rae his worry, Gavin was trusting Eric with one of the most important people in his life; the young musician hoped that wasn't a mistake.

Realizing her stumbling was going to get them nowhere, the basically-sober teen swept an arm under the little ginger's knees, lifting her easily to his chest and making his way to her car. "Pssst. Rae," he teased affectionately. "Yes, we're going home." Her voice was muffled as she pressed her face into his collarbone, and he hugged her closer at her sweet words. "No, sweetie. I'm not sad," was his quiet reply as he laughed quietly. The thought of Rae beating anyone up was laughable. "No butt-kicking needed." Pressing his lips to her forehead as he reached the car, he settled her into her seat, helping her buckle in, before fishing the keys from her pocket. "Let's get you home," he said to the delirious girl.

-----

The drive home had been entertaining, as was the norm when his best friend was drunk, and soon enough, he pulled his best friend's car into his driveway and lifted her from her seat, laughing at her insistence on hooking him up with someone else. "Honestly, Rae. I'm fine," he assured her, hugging the caring girl to his chest as he carried her up the walk to his house. His parents were far more lax when it came to curfews, and as long as he was safe about his partying habits, tended to look the other way.

Once the pair were in his room, he set her on her feet and turned, looking for clothes and a towel to give his shivering friend. "You need to shower," he called over his shoulder to the adorable drunk, digging through a pile of clean laundry. "And then you need water and sleep."


message 19: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Drunk Rae nodded obediently to her protector. She felt bad when Gavin wound up needing to take care of her, but he insisted that she did the same for him, so she tried just being attentive when she could so it would make it easier for him. She was thankful, too, to Gavin's parents for never tattling on her to her parents. Rae's father trusted Gavin to take care of Rae for the most part, but her mother was a lot more strict about curfew and the kinds of social events the teens attended.

Rae listened to his instructions, swaying along towards the bathroom and stripping the wet clothes that clung to her skin. Somehow, she was able to turn the water on and managed to soap herself sufficiently and rinse. The warm water felt so nice in comparison to the freezing pool. She could have stayed in this water forever, reveling in the heated rain and heavenly steam. Gavin turned off the magical spray, though and handed her a towel through the curtain.

The copper-haired doe dried off her body and wrapped the towel around her torso before stepping out again. She smiled at Gavin, clinging to his side as he directed her back to his room, where he had clothes and a glass of water waiting for her. He was the best, she knew. Dropping her towel to the floor, she grabbed the fresh, dry laundry and got dressed as directed.
"I love sleeping in guy clothes. So big and comfy." She sighed, remembering Thomas's unfairly worn shirt in her drawer. It was her favorite thing to sleep in.


message 20: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin rolled his eyes as the intoxicated ginger stumbled to the bathroom, shedding her clothes as she went. Habitually, he averted his gaze and went about finding her pajamas, following not too far behind to make sure she was safely in the shower and turning it off before it got cold or she fell asleep--something she'd done this summer after a beach party.

When Rae unceremoniously dropped her towel, making this the second time tonight that she was naked in his room, Vin rushed to help her cover herself. "Rae, you gotta learn not to strip when you're drunk," he mumbled slightly embarrassed. "Not every guy is as trustworthy as me." They grew up together, took baths together as toddlers, dared each other to streak through the yard in elementary school, but now? Now, he was old enough to be interested in girls, and though he'd never try anything with his best friend, seeing her nude, even when it was an accident, felt like a betrayal.

Once she was safely clothed and obediently hydrated he began trying to usher her to his bed. "Time to sleep off all the rum," he said patiently.


message 21: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Rae...not...strip...drunk..." The intoxicated doe found it to be increasingly difficult to understand her friend and Sleep gnawed at her brain. She understood that he was getting on about her clothing problem. He'd mentioned it once or twice, but Rae never seemed to be able to break her habit.

"But... how'm I s'posed to put clothes on 'f I don't take'm off." She argued unconvincingly. "That's why I don't 'til I'm home." She hummed, fitting her head and limbs through the shirt holes with Gavin's help. "'Sides! Er-ric's very nice. We hava date! T'morrow-don't lemme forget, K?" She yawned, successfully hydrated and ushered into Vin's bed with little resistance.

"Mmh. Vin." The ginger mumbled, holding onto her friend. "Thank'you for being so good friend. 'M very lucky." She finished before snuggling under the warm covers and grab some nearby pillows to wrap around. It didn't take long for her consciousness to fade. She really was glad she had Vin. She probably would have spent the night glued to his side incessantly if he hadn't encouraged her to branch out. She was too lucky they happened to move in next door all those years ago.


message 22: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments After his intoxicated friend found her way to bed, the musician tucked her in and made quick work of his own shower before collapsing next to her. He brushed the wet hair back from her freckled face and kissed her head, chuckling as the sleeping form instinctively wriggled closer to his warmth, limbs wrapping around him. He loved his goofy little friend, no matter how ridiculous she could be.

Eric better be careful, he thought to himself. He was typically a pacifist, but the overprotective friend wasn't afraid to fuck someone up for Rae. Shaking the negative thought from his mind, Gavin pulled her into hug. It didn't matter what happened. He'd be there. Whether it was to celebrate or to pick up the pieces, he'd always be there.

***END OF SCENE***


message 23: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((I think that would work great! And then after that, maybe Eric could get kinda mad and try to confront her at school or something? Like, the next day? He could try to get her back and she is standing her ground but really upset and Gavin can show up and stand there with her, not saying anything but letting her know he's there if she needs him.))


message 24: by DragonDreamer (last edited Oct 06, 2015 02:42PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments How could she not love him? This made no sense! Eric was a good boyfriend. He was sweet, enthusiastic, caring, fun, and understanding. Rae had known for a while that she wasn't in love with the football captain. Probably ever since she had sex with him for the first time and she felt like she needed to justify herself to Gavin. Saying it just felt wrong because there was no meaning other than defense behind those words. She felt horrible and cruel. She couldn't break up with him. She just needed more time, right? Because she was slow at everything pertaining to relationships. Eric could understand that, right? Because she's always said she wanted to take things slow. She really liked Eric... Why couldn't she just love him?

Gavin knew too and that made her feel worse. He kept saying she needs to break up with him. But what if she did and eventually realized she was in love with Eric, but didn't know until it was too late? Or what if he hated her? She didn't want him to hate her. Had she been leading him on? This dilemma lead to many tears, lost sleep, and declining grades on the ginger's part. When would it end?

Rae couldn't say anything to Eric. He was too sweet! And he cared for her so much... Any time she even thought about saying anything to the forward hunk, he always seemed to find a way to whisk her away from whatever she was doing to find them a private place to kiss or do other things.

Now she was starting to avoid him, hiding in the library under the pretense that she had a very important exam coming up, which she did, but no studying was being done as the sweet red head finished realizing she had once again read the same paragraph and retained nothing for the 8th time. She groaned, running her fingers through her short, copper locks.


message 25: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Raelyn Emmerson had always been too nice for her own good, and never before had it been more apparent to her best friend than these last few months. At first, he'd assumed it was because she was still nervous around her new beau. It had taken quite some time for her to be comfortably affectionate with Thomas, so he hadn't worried, but everything moved faster with Eric, and it was obvious that the older boy had been the one to set the pace. He tried, Gavin could see, to hold back, to take things slow for his nervous girlfriend. But Eric had never been reserved, especially not with girls he'd dated in the past. He liked to hold hands. To kiss in the hallway. It was just his way.

Then came the night. That fateful night that could mean so much or so little to a person. For Rae, it had meant a lot, but not in the way she'd wanted it to. The night she slept with Eric, hell with anyone, for the first time, was the night she realized she didn't love him. Gavin had known both things the minute he saw his best friend. The look of distress she'd worn had made it very clear what had just happened, and the guilt? It answered the rest of questions he didn't need to ask.

She hadn't been ready, and she didn''t love him.

And now she was avoiding both boys. The musician had tried to keep his opinion to himself at first, to let her work it out. He didn't say anything during the ginger's random praising of Eric, merely nodding along as she rambled, sounding more like she was reassuring herself than him. He didn't mention the time he overheard Eric say "love you," as they separated for class, and her reply was a soft "mhmm," as she pecked his cheek. But he had begun to question her the first time he saw a big red "C" on her chemistry exam. That was one of her best subjects!

He'd confronted his friend, that afternoon, and she'd begun steering clear of him too. But Rae couldn't get away from her closest confidant that easily. It hadn't been hard to locate the girl, and the sigh of frustration he heard as he approached made his heart hurt for her.

Walking up behind the distressed girl, Vin bent, closing her book and wrapping her shoulders in a hug. With his chin on her shoulder, he spoke. "I think it's time to take a break from studying, Rae. Let's go get a pizza and talk."


message 26: by DragonDreamer (last edited Oct 07, 2015 06:14PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Of course Gavin had found her eventually. It should have come as no surprise to the young ginger since he knew her sometimes better than she knew herself. At the time, she wasn't sure if she should be more stressed or relieved, but as his arms wove their way around her shoulders and settled in their familiar, comforting position, she felt so tired of all of the drama she was creating unintentionally and just wanted to tell him everything so everything could be ok again.

"I think it's time to take a break from studying, Rae. Let's go get a pizza and talk." He spoke gently, carefully. The copper haired sweetling nodded in agreement silently, closing her books and collecting her things before following her best friend out of the library. Her eyes were trained on the ground before her, watching her shoes move one step at a time until they got some food and a quiet place to sit.

"Something has to be wrong with me, right?" She sniffed, curling her knees into her chest as she began eating a slice of cheesy heaven, though she felt as though she shouldn't be enjoying any of it.
"He's so great... and I really care about him but it all just feels wrong, you know?" She shook her head ashamedly.
"I thought I just needed more time but it's only getting worse..." She frowned, "And it's no fair to him... but he's always so happy looking when we're together. And I want to be that happy too. I'm so terrible..." She wiped her eyes with the heel of her hand as her vision began to blur. "I'm sorry for avoiding you, Gavin." She noted after explaining everything that had been going on, much to her relief because bottling all her thoughts and feelings had done little to help her sleep at night. He'd ordered her favorite pizza again, trying to get her to eat and feel better. Gavin was the best, she knew. She shouldn't have avoided him in the first place. Things always got better when Raevin worked together. The hugs and pizza helped too.
"I just knew you were going to keep telling me to break up with him and I just can't. I've tried, but I can't. I really wish I cared for him as much as he cares for me. It was easier with Peter and Thomas... Peter didn't like you and Thomas was on the same page as me. Eric... it's not fair." She whimpered, unable to eat her pizza anymore.


message 27: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((DRAGON! Yeah, it all is. I'm so sorry!

I've really been wanting to reply. I've just been so busy. I just want to curl up on GR.))


message 28: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Thx! :) ))


message 29: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin called in the order on their way out of the school and picked up Rae's favorite pizza on the way to his house.

Nestled into his quiet backyard, the teens sat huddled together, neither eating much, and Gavin waited. He wouldn't pressure his friend into talking. She'd start when she was ready. And sure enough, a few minutes later, she spoke, her voice strained with the effort of holding back tears.

The musician listened to her explanation in silence, waiting for her to get it all out of her system, everything she'd been bottling up for weeks. But at her apology, he put his untouched second piece back in the box, taking hers from her hand as well before pulling her curled form against him. "Shh, Rae. You don't need to apologize. There's nothing wrong with you." Finding her hair with his fingers, he kept trying to reassure her. "Sure, he's a good guy, but he's not worth making yourself miserable over."

His heart broke as she tried not to cry. This was getting ridiculous. Her inability to hurt others was hurting everyone more. It needed to end, and it looked like Gavin was going to be the one to end it.

"Honey," he said quietly, giving her one more opportunity to do it herself. "You have to end it. Your grades are dropping and you can barely eat." With an uncharacteristically stern voice, he finished, "If you won't, I will."


message 30: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Rae wanted to disappear into her safe little spot in Vin's backyard, away from Eric and the rest of her problems. Gavin was good enough not to let her, though. He listened to her ridiculous babbles and understood her, or, if he didn't, he at least knew her well enough not to say so and let her finish her spastic ranting. He comforted her, pulling the sweet ginger close and assuring her that she wasn't crazy.

"Sure, he's a good guy, but he's not worth making yourself miserable over." He noted. How could he say that? Eric was great and if she was going to hurt him, didn't that mean she should at least feel a little miserable? Still, the doe couldn't bring herself to argue in her state. She needed guidance and Vin hadn't failed her yet.

And there it was. He wanted her to break up with the dreamy football player that was the perfect mix of brains and brawn. After she had just finished explaining to him that she couldn't...
"But-" She started but was quickly silenced.
"If you won't, I will." His voice held warning, but was gentle enough not to be threatening. Rae's eyes widened as she watched him fearfully. He wouldn't... would he? No... to Eric? Eric was his friend! His team mate! He wouldn't... unless he thought it would be best for Rae. She couldn't do that to him. She had to end it with Eric.
"Y-you can't!" She pleaded. It was bad enough she was avoiding her boyfriend in the first place... but now her best friend was going to break them up for her? How low had she become?

"I'll do it. I'll definitely do it." She tried, holding her phone tightly in her hands. What if she broke her phone then and there? That could buy her some time right? No. She had to do this now while she held her resolve. In a burst of daring, the mouse dialed Eric's number and held it to her ear, praying he didn't pick up on the other line.

He picked up after the fourth ring.
"Rae? Did you finish studying?"
"H-Hi, Eric. Yeah, I'm back home now."
"Great! Do you want to get together later? I don't have practice tonight and my parents are going out with friends..."
"Oh? Uh-uhm..." Deep breath, "I need to tell you something."
"Hm? Is something wrong? Are you ok?"
"I-" Her words were caught in her throat like she was being strangled by fear. She didn't want to do this. This sucked.
"Rae?"Speak... she urged herself, Say something!
"I'm just sorry. I've been really busy lately and you've been so patient and understanding with me. I'll make it up to you later, ok?" She blurted out, realizing he cowardice would cost her. Gavin snatched the phone away before she could even ask him not to.


message 31: by Deanna (last edited Nov 20, 2015 11:05AM) (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin remained silent as she blanched, waiting for her to realize how serious he really was. This couldn't go on any longer. It had to end today. He couldn't watch his best friend torture himself any more than she already had, and if she couldn't take the steps needed to fix the situation, he would.

"Rae," he said quietly, frowning when she eyed her phone as if it were a venomous snake. "Just do it. Neither of you deserve this. Just get it over with."

And then she was calling, eyes wide, breathing shallow, she waited while it rang. The musician knew when he picked up because her expression grew frantic, her terrified gaze finding his. With a nod of encouragement, Vin took the doe's hand, squeezing gently.

"I need to tell you something . . . " she muttered breathlessly.

Here goes.

But suddenly, her fearful eyes turned dull and dropped from his guiltily. He knew before she spoke, before her words of apology and explanation even left her mouth, maybe before she knew herself, that she was backing out.

"I'll make it up to you later . . . " he heard her murmur.

Goddammit, Rae, no you won't. The idea of her sleeping with a guy made him uncomfortable as it was--she was too good, too pure for, well, anyone--but the knowledge that she was having sex with a guy she didn't love just because she didn't want to hurt him? That made his skin crawl. How could she do that to herself? She'd grown up so loved, so affirmed. Was her self-worth so low? Or her need to please others so high? His patience finally grew so thin it snapped, and with quick fingers he snatched the phone away, silencing his sweet friend with a look she rarely received--especially from him: irritation, frustration. He couldn't watch her hurt herself anymore, and if a moment of tough love would help her in the end, that's what he would give her.

"Eric," he said confidently into the phone, eyeing his paralyzed friend cooly. "This is Gavin. Look, I'm going to cut to the chase. I hate to do this to you, but this can't go on anymore. Rae is making herself sick because she doesn't want to hurt you, but this is hurting you both more. She doesn't love you, man. She tried. She's been trying for weeks, but she doesn't, and that's not fair to either of you. It's time for you guys to break it off, to move on. I can't watch her hurt herself for this relationship anymore. I'm sorry." His eyes never left his friend as he spoke into the phone, and the teen felt his expression soften at the pain in her eyes. The hand he still held squeezed back now, appall apparent in her eyes, and she stroked a thumb across the tense skin.

The other end of the line was eerily silent. The only reason Vin knew he was still there was the shallow breathing.

" . . . Let me talk to Rae . . . " the older boy pleaded finally.

"No, Eric. Not right now. I think it's best if you give her some time." He brought the phone away from his face amid protests on the other line and quickly hung up, powering to phone off before dropping it on the grass.

Unsure of how she would react, Vin remained still. She looked devastated, but her hand still hadn't left his, which gave him hope, so, as gently as he could, he tugged her forward, a request rather than a command. An assurance that he was here if she wanted his comfort, that he wasn't upset about what he had to do, that he'd do it again if she needed him to.

"C'mere," he offered, opening his free arm to her.


message 32: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Gavin may have taken the phone, but she had been warned and she was the one that let it happen. Her lips opened slightly to protest, but her tongue was suddenly too dry to make any comprehensible noise. She felt like a pathetic, cowardly creature, letting her best friend make this decision for her. But what made her really hate herself was that she felt better because of it. He was calm, confident, eloquent, and honest. She wished she could have given Eric that kind of courtesy. He deserved better than her...

It was like she had trapped herself under a boulder and Gavin was the one pulling her out when she had considering letting herself die there. She was so thankful and horrified all at once. Her ears strained to hear the voice on the other line as she squeezed her best friend's hand tightly. What was Eric saying? Was he saying anything? Was he angry? Sad? Unaffected? Did he hate her? He probably hadn't even seen this coming. Hell, Rae had never imagined it coming to this, but here it was.

"No, Eric. Not right now. I think it's best if you give her some time." Gavin ended the conversation bluntly and hung up the line. Did he want to see her? Was he really hurt? So many questions ran through her mind, but when she heard his muffled protests, all she could think about was how sorry she was. The device landed softly in the grass after being turned off and Rae could only stare at it painfully. Her body shook as she fought the tears.

"C'mere," His voice offered knowingly. Without possessing the strength to stop herself, The sweet ginger's eyes overflowed and she fell into her best friend's knowing embrace. She must have thanked him a thousand and one times and apologized a thousand and two more. Gavin and Eric had been good friends and now there would be a scar between them because she had been too weak to do the right thing in the end. She couldn't even imagine what school would be like tomorrow... She felt so tired, having this huge weight lifted off her shoulders and letting someone else hold her upright just for this moment. She'd worry about straightening out her grades and commitments later. Now she would cry until the tears stopped being produced.

***END OF SCENE***


message 33: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((We can go on or skip to the next scene. I think Gavin would prolly want her to stay with him the first night so he can keep her off her phone. Eric would prolly be the type to want an explanation or to hear it from her, and she wouldn't be ready for that yet. Anything else in this scene would most likely be Vin alternating between trying to comfort and trying to feed her and then just trying to distract her all afternoon. So if you want to play that out in a couple posts, I'm down. If not, we can time jump! :) ))


message 34: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments She almost decided to skip school today. She was worried about seeing Eric and although Gavin had done a good job calming her down considerably, she knew that seeing her ex could likely bring all those feelings back again. Gavin had asked him to give her some space, but would he accommodate? After all, she hadn't been the one to break them up...

Unfortunately, she had an exam today and she couldn't miss it, especially after her grade had taken a hit after the last one. She needed this. To redeem herself and to own up to her decision. Not to mention that Gavin was insistent on helping her studying last night for it. Surprisingly, she was actually able to focus a lot better without thoughts about her relationship looming over her head. Gavin had distracted her with pizza, movies, and studying all night. He was a total rock in her time of need and no matter how much he disagreed, she felt like she couldn't thank him enough. She spent the night at the Chandler's with her parents permission and slept in a pillow nest with her favorite person, flash cards clutched between her fingers.

Alas, the fated tomorrow arrived and she still felt incredibly nervous as she walked up the sidewalk to the school. She gripped her friend's arm nervously as the approached.
"What if I played sick? That'd give me another day and I could probably convince the teacher to let me make up the test. What do you think?" She tried, knowing as she said it, that she couldn't run away again. Gavin wouldn't let her. And he was right not to. On look from the shaggy haired musician confirmed his suspicions. So, arm in arm, they walked in together.


message 35: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments The night has gone surprisingly well. Gavin's attempts at distracting Rae from the heavy feelings weighing on her mind seemed to work, and by the time they'd fallen asleep, the doe seemed more relaxed than she had in weeks.

That all ended, however, when she woke the next morning. Stepping out of his bathroom, the musician had found the previously sleeping girl sitting up in their nest, eyes wide at the prospect of facing her new ex. It was as if he could see her mind spinning, trying to formulate a plan, asking herself one question: How can I get out of going to school today?

Without letting her speak, he'd pulled his friend from the heap of bedding, ushered her into his bathroom, and not rested until she was ready to leave.

"It won't really be over until you face it," he'd told her calmly. "You'll have to see him every day. Avoiding him won't help him move on, and it won't help your grades."

And with that, they found themselves walking into the school, Rae clinging to her rock like a lifeline.

Before they could enter, however, the anxious ginger stopped him again.

"What if I played sick?" she asked, body tensed to flee.

Putting his free hand over hers, he answered, "Raelyn, you're going to walk through those doors just like normal, ace that test you studied so hard for, and face Eric if you see him. " Voice softening at the look of fear in her eyes, the teen added, "and I won't be far if you need me."

With that he tugged her forward, guiding their feet through the doors and toward her fears.

Vin spotted Eric approaching not long after, and he frowned. The guy looked bad. He wondered how many times the older teen had called the phone she'd yet to turn on.

With a quick shake of his head, he warned the distraught-looking boy off and steered his charge safely to her class.

Leaving Rae at the door to her advanced chemistry class with a smiling promise to return in fifty minutes, he made his way to his own class, worry about how his friend would handle the day in the forefront of his mind.


message 36: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Does that work? Maybe Eric can try to confront her if she finds herself alone after a class or she leaves a class early for something and Vin can show up later?))


message 37: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((I think Gavin would try to keep him at bay for as long as possible and then, when Eric does finally get a chance to confront her he would be obviously upset and maybe frustrated but try to hear her side, but he wouldn't understand. He would have thought everything was great. He'd never get violent or mean, but maybe just really frustrated?))


message 38: by DragonDreamer (last edited Nov 28, 2015 10:03PM) (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "Raelyn, you're going to walk through those doors just like normal, ace that test you studied so hard for, and face Eric if you see him... and I won't be far if you need me." He scolded gently, ever the emotional rock of the two.

The ginger headbutted his shoulder softly but did not dare to let go of Gavin's hand. He guided her swiftly to her chemistry class, promising to return once the class had ended. Luckily, Eric hadn't been anywhere in sight before she got there. She felt like all her crammed study knowledge could be lost the moment he appeared. She wondered if he didn't want to see her... Did she hurt him so badly he didn't want to see her face... No. She couldn't think about that now. She had a test to ace. She went over Vin's words, looking for strength as she took her seat and retrieved her testing pencils from her bag.

The test had gone fairly well. At least, better than her previous one. She even had enough time to double check her answers and turn the test in early. She apologized to the teacher for her recent lack of focused and even got a couple of extra credit suggestions. Luckily, Ms. Lee seemed to be understanding and happy to help one of her star students.

Rae felt good, as though she could pick up the pieces and get back on track with school with a little effort. She left class and was going towards the direction of Vin's class when an urgent hand wrapped around her wrist. In that moment, she prayed that Gavin had been let out of class early. Alas, her hopes were for naught.

She'd never seen Eric like this before. He didn't have his aura of optimism and playfulness about him. He looked confused, heartbroken, tired, frustrated, and so many more unfortunate adjectives. The worst, though, was the little glint of hope in his eye. Like if he could just talk to her and understand, then maybe everything would be alright. The older football player lead the somber girl out of the immediate hallway to an empty broom closet where they could talk in private. She followed him obediently. She owed him this much, at least.

She wanted to start crying the moment he started speaking as all the guilt came rushing back.
"What happened?" He asked. She could tell he was really trying to be calm for her. "What the hell happened, Lyn? I thought everything was going great! One minute we're finally making plans to meet up and the next, your friend is saying that we're breaking up? And that I can't even talk to you! What am I supposed to do, huh? I thought couples were supposed to work out problems together."

He was right, she knew he was, but she hadn't been brave enough to say anything.
"I'm so sorry, Eric. I'm so so sorry." She shook, looking for the right words.

"I'm not looking for an APOL-apology." He sighed, "I want to understand why what I understood to be a good relationship is ending." He said more softly. "Gavin said that you don't love me. Is that true?"

Rae nodded her head sadly.
"I mean," he took a moment to collect himself, "I know that you never said that to me. I thought it would come with time, you know, since we're taking things slow. I was never trying to rush that."

"I know!" The copper haired girl squeaked, "I know you were trying really hard to go slow for me. And I was really thankful that you were so considerate, b-but-we-w-we-I- I wasn't ready and I thought I just needed more time or I'd get used to it... I couldn't! And I really care about you." She sobbed, scrambling for words.
"Then why didn't you talk to me? Was-was it bad or something? You never said you were hurt-" he looked so lost and even more confused than when he had originally confronted his new ex.
"No! It wasn't- and you never hurt me at all-"
"Then why, Lyn?! Why are you giving up on us?! I just don't get it. You aren't making any sense!"
"I'm sorry!"
"Stop apologizing! Please!"
"Eric-" She wiped her eyes, trying to calm down. "I just can't do it any-" Her words were interrupted by a desperate kiss. She started to kiss him back out of habit, but stopped herself. She knew if she didn't, then the cycle of guilt and regret would just start back up again.
"I just don't get it Lyn. You say you care about me. I really care about you. What's wrong? Can't we just try to make this work one more time?" His voice was soft, pleading, hoping.

God she wished she could just be fine with it all. She wished she could be fine with all the public displays of affection, the frequent make out sessions, the sex, the saying "i love you." She wanted to give him all of that, but she couldn't. Because that wasn't Raelyn. Not for Eric.

"Eric, I don't love you the way you love me. And I can't keep trying to be the person you deserve. This just isn't me. I'm sor- Neither of us deserves this relationship." Gavin's advice seemed to ring in her head. "This isn't about you doing anything wrong. This is about the relationship reaching it's limit." She nodded, mostly to herself. "I think this about all I can take right now." She finished, eyeing the door. She didn't want to leave. She probably looked like a mess with red, puffy eyes and tear stained cheeks. She wasn't even sure if Eric finally understood her or not. For her, though, it was over and that was enough. She just wanted Gavin and ice cream and pillow nests.


message 39: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments She wasn't outside her class when Gavin rounded the corner leading into the science wing. Darting his gaze around, he glimpsed a disheveled brunette guiding a tense, nervous ginger into a broom closet.

Shit.

With a quick stride, he made to follow, hurrying toward the closing door until he came to a realization. There was no way Eric would believe the breakup was real until Rae told him herself. Vin could not step in, couldn't save her this time. She had to do this on her own.

So he waited, posting up in a side hallway to watch for their exit. He worried, with an increasingly wrinkled brow, that their conversation had gone too long, that he might be wearing her down, that she might be reconsidering. The idea ate at the musician.

But as he snuck closer, he heard her final words: " . . . the relationship reaching its limit . . . about all I can take right now . . . "

He breathed a sigh of relief, tugging his hand through his tangled curls and waited.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eric eyed the girl he'd come to love, who he'd thought had loved him. He knew it had only been a few weeks, but he thought they had a real connection. He kept hoping that Gavin had been wrong. Maybe Lyn had just been upset about a grade and the protective friend jumped to conclusions.

But then he'd heard those words.

"I don't love you like you love me . . . "

There it was. The proof he'd needed. It hadn't been a mistake.

She was done with him.

With a bitter sigh, he looked away from her sad eyes. "It would have been nice to hear it from you first," he muttered as he reached for the door. "I guess I'll see you around, Raelyn."

With a bit too much force, he wrenched the door open, and even more force, whipped it closed behind him, not noticing Gavin standing close by, not noticing much of anything, as he walked toward the stairs, shoulders hunched.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vin waited quietly, perking up when he noticed Eric slam the door and hurry away. But where was Rae? Why hadn't she come out with him? Why had she still not come out?

Shoulders tense, he moved to pull the door open and peer inside. She was staring at nothing, eyes red and raw, but looked up in surprise when he stepped inside.

When she didn't say anything, Gavin pulled her into a hug. "You did great, Rae," he comforted. "Really great."

He pulled back enough to examine his friend's tear-streaked face. He wouldn't bother with stupid questions like asking if she was okay. "Now," he offered instead, tone all business. "It's time for class, and I expect a full report at lunch, so you better pay attention." With a teasing tap of her temple, he pulled away and offered his arm. "And the sooner we get this day over with," the cheeky teen added with a grin, "the sooner we can go get ice cream."


message 40: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments "It would have been nice to hear it from you first," His words came like a slap to the face. And she knew she deserved it. She'd been such a coward this whole time and she was paying that price now in pain and regret. She leaned into it, hearing the disappointed acceptance in his voice and the angry undertone behind it. She knew that Eric would have never raised a hand against her or let his anger overcome him. Still, he wasn't the kind of person who could convincingly hide his feelings. It wasn't in his programming, as was evident by the bitter bite in his tone when he finished the conversation with "I guess I'll see you around, Raelyn." No, the football player was perfectly capable of expressing his emotions in other ways. It hurt her immensely, knowing she had done this. It was her fault for letting herself get lost in the relationship, her fault for hiding her feelings, her fault for dragging out a dying relationship and making herself sick and leaving him dumbfounded. The harsh opening and slamming of the door was enough for him to feel heard.

I'm sorry. She wanted to say over and over again until he forgave her. Was she beyond that? Forgiveness? She'd never wanted to hurt him. She ended up hurting herself in order to avoid just that and yet... now that hardly seemed justified at all. Had she really been protecting him the whole time or was she actually protecting herself from this?

The sudden opening of the door startled the ginger. Had he come back? Could she apologize now? Instead, her favorite shaggy haired blonde popped his head inside, finding her in a mess of a state and quickly stepping inside, closing the gap between them and hugging her tightly, offering his shoulder to cry on quite literally.

"You did great, Rae," His gentle voice soothed the little doe."Really great." He assured her. Like some kind of magic he seemed to hold over her, Gavin affirmed Rae's actions and supported her despite her shortcomings. The girl sniffled and nodded along to his instructions, feeling more and more like herself with every passing moment. She even chuckled a bit when Vin mentioned the promise of ice cream.

It was over. The wounds felt fresh, but bandaged, and Rae knew she would be alright so long as she had Gavin by her side, forcing her to rely on him. If not this, then what are best friends for?

***END OF SCENE***


message 41: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((I think it's great! More would definitely be in excess. So what next?))


message 42: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Oh gosh. Tragedy or joy for our next scene? That's a hard choice. :/ Maybe since we just did a sadish scene, we could do a happy one? The first date might be fun. Hey we should eventually do the day Rae finds out she's pregnant and tells Vin! That would be a super cute one to add to th3 list of fun scenes.))


message 43: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Or, if we're trying to stay in order, maybe we should do the parents death scene.))


message 44: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((I'm not worried about staying in order either. :) Wanna do something light before hitting that scene?))


message 45: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((So first date, proposal, or baby surprise?))


message 46: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Sounds great! You want me to start it or you? XD))


message 47: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Sounds great!))


message 48: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments Gavin waited impatiently for his shower to get hot, running over the plans in his head.

God, he was nervous.

He hadn't dated in years. Not really. He hadn't been on a "date" since high school. And not only was this a date, it was his first date . . . with Rae. He knew she wouldn't care either way, but he really wanted to impress his best friend, and more recently, girlfriend. He still had trouble believing that one at times.

The afternoon ticked by in much the same fashion, the musician reassuring himself that everything would turn out fine, falling into a spiral of "what ifs," and pulling himself back out, only to start all over.

Finally, it was time. He'd seen her that morning before work, and they lived together, but he couldn't help the tingle of excitement that rippled through him. They'd only confessed their feelings a week ago, and the new dynamic it had added to their relationship was both exciting and a bit terrifying (which was mostly due to her skeptical father).

Dragging a hand through his disheveled hair, he watched the clock. Rae would be home any minute to change, though he'd argued that she could have gone on their date in scrubs and still been prettier than every woman in San Francisco.

He eyed the door, landing on the couch with an anxious huff, picking up Velma he eyed the instrument, strumming not a tune, really, but merely chords. As he played, the nerves began to fade. Even his guitar reminded him of her, that wonderful, perfect woman, the one who somehow still loved him after everything he'd put her through.

And this date would the first of many, as many as he could squeeze into their life together. He knew he could never make up for the mistakes he'd made, but he could damn sure try.

(view spoiler)


message 49: by DragonDreamer (new)

DragonDreamer | 683 comments Every morning felt like she was waking up from a dream. Like she'd had a wonderful, wonderful dream where the man she confessed her love to loved her back, the memory of the rain in her sleep ensuring that she'd wake up with a smile plastered on her features. And then the day would only get better because she'd realize that, actually, it was reality, which was even better! And not even Jessica's sarcastic third wheel comments could dampen her spirits (partly because Jessica continued to assure the sweetling that she was merely teasing and, in fact, perfectly comfortable living with the new couple).

very unlike her previous relationship, Rae and Gavin were going to take things slow. Contrary to her initial enthusiasm, the ginger had quickly grown incredibly nervous about the pace of their relationship. It wasn't that she had any reservations about Gavin. He was definitely right, but their initial fervor frightened the doe, making her a blushing, bumbling mess every time she remembered their heated kiss in the kitchen. It was amazing that she functioned so well at work. If it wasn't for the panic and being surrounded by bleeding people, she probably wouldn't have been able to preform her job very well.

Gavin was beyond understanding and patient with her. When she had been about to tell him her concerns, he beat her to the bunch, assuring her that they would take things as slow as she needed and that she better not push herself like her previous relationship or he would tickle attack her relentlessly. Thus, it was decided that Raelyn would be the one guiding the relationship. This threw the girl for a bit of a loop and she had to think really hard about what she was and was not ready for at this point in the relationship. Thinking about how not so long ago, she had been perfectly fine with sitting in his lap, making out, and nearly... well she had felt so ready at the time. But, the more she thought about them being in their early stages as a couple, the faster she receded into the embarrassment and blush-ridden bashfulness that was her nature. She had to take several steps back.

She was getting used to being in his close proximity all over again. She felt odd, because she both desired his closeness and couldn't handle it at the same time. The attraction and the desire was there, unwavering, but the memories, happy memories, hammered at her until she was red as a tomato and unable to function normally. A few days into their relationship, she experimented with quick contacts; momentary gripping of his hand, swift kisses to his cheeks, brief hugs. Usually anything lingering caused a rise in facial blood flow for the young nurse. She started with linking fingers, then worked her way to full on handholding within the week. She was also beginning to handle short cheek kisses when they were in private pretty well. Things seemed to be moving smoothly and no matter how much she asked, Gavin insisted that he was perfectly happy going at whichever pace she was comfortable with and never complained about being deprived.

Today was a special day. Raevin was going on their first official date. The nurse had been really excited when she told Gavin that she wanted to take him out a couple days ago. She wanted to do something special, but there were so many options and ideas lurking throughout the city, it was difficult to stick with one idea. Unfortunately, she got called into work for the earlier portion of the day, but that didn't ruin her mood since the city was still beautiful at night.

Her shift ended and the young nurse rushed home as fast as she could.
"I'm home!" She called, stepping through the door and hustling over to the couch to give her new boyfriend a peck on the cheek. He looked really nice. She couldn't help but think about how he was getting dressed up for her. The idea made her heart swell a little.
"You look really handsome." She noted, smiling. "You got a date or something?" A light tease. His gaze held hers for a moment like a 'welcome home, I missed you' before the flirtations that she oh so loved, but made her face burn up like paper.

"I can't believe you suggested I just wear my scrubs! That's so unfair! Look at you! Ok, I'm going to go shower and get ready, so just wair a little longer, alright?" She tugged at one of the man's unfairly perfect curls before moving on to the shower. Luckily, Rae had picked out her outfit beforehand, saving herself the agony of having to choose right before they wanted to leave. Plus, Jessica was there to make sure she didn't back out of her decision. ((view spoiler))

Once she had put on the finishing touches to her hair and make up, she headed out to the living room again. Her stomach was humming with butterflies, she was so nervous and excited all at once!
"Ready?" She breathed.


message 50: by Deanna (new)

Deanna | 477 comments ((Did you want Rae to have planned the date or Vin? I'm good with either!))


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