**I'm so sorry for the delay in this story, I've just been extrememly busy lately. I'm also sorry that this chapter is just kind of "filler" so to speak. I promise though, an actual chapter will be coming up (hopefully!) soon. (: Oh! And as always, thanks for reading. <3
“You’ll never catch me, Ryan!” I yelled, skirting around the various forms of shrubbery in the backyard. The sun was beating down fiercely overhead and my sunburn from that trip down to Florida was stinging the bridge of my nose as the wind whipped my face. My plaid dress flapped behind me as I attempted to evade my pursuer.
“That’s what you think!” Ryan called back before making a running dive at my ankles. He caught me, of course, and I flopped down into the soft grass underneath the giant tree. He perched himself across my midsection and looked down at me with a victorious smirk before poking me in the cheek with one finger. “You’re all red.”
“It’s because I’m sun turned, dummy!” I fought beneath him, but he wouldn’t let me go.
“Actually it’s called ‘sun burned’, dummy.” He rolled his eyes at my ‘idiocy’ and then turned back to me. “You look pretty.” He cocked his head to the side after he said it, as if wondering why he did so.
“Don’t say that, Ryan! You’re a boy! It’s gross!” I gathered all my strength and pushed him off of me and into the surrounding grass. “I hate you!” I took off running as fast as I could, coming to a stop on the back patio. I sat down on the swing and closed my eyes, listening to the sounds of summer. When I opened them again, it was nighttime. I was older and so was Ryan, who was perched next to me with his arms around his knees.
“Why does Jason hate me?” I asked, putting my head in my hands. I could feel the hot tears assaulting my jeans as they landed in my lap.
“Jason’s an idiot,” Ryan replied, looking out into the night.
“But why did he invite Katie to the movies and not me?”
“I don’t know,” Ryan answered rather moodily. “But listen, you’re gorgeous, smart, and funny. And Jason’s a moron not to see it.” He suddenly grabbed my hand and kicked the ground, making us swing back and forth. We sat like that for what seemed like hours before it was time to go to bed. “You can sleep in my room if you want. I’ll even let you have the top bunk.” I happily nodded as we headed up to his room. However, sometime during the night, I crept down to the bottom bunk, not really wanting to be alone. When I opened my eyes for the second time and looked to my right, I saw a Ryan that I was much more familiar with. He was looking at me with that toothy grin that I had grown so accustomed to. “I can’t believe we just did that!”
“I know!” I laughed with him as he brushed a stray hair out of my face. He brought his mouth to the side of my neck.
“Round two?” he murmured, biting down softly and automatically causing my back to arch. I could hear myself calling Ryan’s name, but my voice sounded distant. And then I heard another voice all together.
“Riley? Riley?” Max’s features swam into view as I started to wake up. I looked around and noticed how dark it was, then I looked at the clock which read 3:27 AM. As my eyes began to adjust, I noticed the bemused expression on Max’s face. “Well, well, well, what were you dreaming about?”
“I don’t really remember,” I lied. “It’s kind of a blur now.”
“Well from the way and the volume that you were moaning in your sleep, I’d say it sounded pretty good.”
“Oh really?” I tried to keep my tone light and nonchalant.
“I hope you were dreaming about me.” He winked and reached for my hand. I gave it willingly and laid back down, perching my head on his bare chest. I could hear his heart beating, a sound that would normally soothe me, but instead made me antsy and anxious. I waited a few minutes until I was sure Max had gone back to sleep before I slipped out of bed and downstairs. I paced the length of the living room floor, desperately wanting to go somewhere, but not being able to think of a single place to go. My mind was running a million miles a minute. Why on earth did all of those memories of myself and Ryan come back to me in a dream? I suddenly had the urge to pick up my phone and call Ryan to ask if he remembered that stuff as well as I did. Probably not though. I’m the only one with the ridiculous sentimental memory. And even if I wanted to call him, I couldn’t. We weren’t on speaking terms. Why did everything have to be so damn difficult? It seemed like things were finally on the right track with Max and then my subconscious throws a wrench into everything. Thinking about those days with Ryan made me actually miss him and the way things used to be. And, believe me, missing Ryan was the absolute last thing I wanted right now. I’d probably rather get hit by a mack truck than miss him, and that’s saying something. Or, maybe my subconscious was making all that stuff up? What if it never really happened? I walked over to the stand next to the television that housed all of the photo albums my mother gave me. I opened one of the older ones, flipped through a couple of pages, and sure enough, there it was. Staring me right in the face was a picture of myself and Ryan sitting on a patch of grass. And indeed, I was wearing that plaid dress. I even had the same sunburn from my memory. I slammed the book shut and put my head in my hands. What the hell did I want? Well of course I wanted Max, but why when I was finally able to tell him that I loved him did these feelings for Ryan resurface? As if on cue, I heard Max tiptoeing down the stairs. I turned around to see him standing on the last step and the way the moonlight was highlighting his bare chest was enough to make me salivate. “Is everything okay? I noticed you didn’t come back to bed.” I was dimly aware of the fact that he threw on his jeans, but I was too captivated with his well toned abs.
“Yeah, everything’s fine.”
“Are you sure? Did I do something wrong before? Did I hurt you?” I heard the genuine concern in his voice and I felt really bad for worrying him over nothing. He was already leery of sleeping with me because he thought that I thought that he only wanted to get in my pants. And here I was making him feel all awkward about it even thought it was possibly the best sex I’ve had in my life.
“You were absolutely perfect,” I said, walking over to him and placing a hand on his chest.
“Are you sure? I mean, you bolted out of there pretty quickly after you work up.”
“I’m positive, Max. Everything was amazing, you were amazing. Let’s go back to bed.” I followed him up the stairs, desperately trying to shake my head clear of this daze I was in.
Chapter Six - Tied Together
7 years ago