How to Build a Better Princess

I Still Don't Know What Happened

Riley's POV


The blankets had loosely draped on my shoulders, as I leaned in close.


"Were you watching me sleep?" I said, smiling devilishly, and his ears turned bright red.


"Uhh... No... I was.. I... Here, lemme get you another bowl of soup!" He said, rushing out the room, and I felt a small giggle bubble up from inside me. AWWW... He's so cute when he's flustered. I gathered up the blanket, and wrapped it tightly around myself, enveloping myself in its big, poofy warmness. With some effort, I managed to get up, and glided to the kitchen, where I found Lucas, ladling another bowl for me to devour.


"Thanks Lucas," I said quickly, scooping the bowl of out his hands before he could protest, and tilted my head back, smelling the rich scents of the soup emanating from the bowl. The broth slid down my throat, and it screamed in protest for a split second, before the rushing cool air swept in, soothing it instantly. "More!"


"I thought you were supposed to be sick!" He smirked, and I just shrugged, letting the blanket fall, as I added more soup to the bowl.


"Maybe you just needed to sleep in more." He said, ambling through the living room, straightening up thighs.


"You don't have to do that. That's what mom is for!" I said cheerily, taking another gulp, and he shook his head, bending down to pick up my blanket.


"True, but you're mom will be too tired to clean up when she gets back home." He said, placing the folded blanket on the counter before wrapping me in a big hug, and I froze. "At least you're getting better." He said gently, and a few more awkward seconds passed, before he let me go, both of us blushing madly. "Sorry." He said, turning around, and hurriedly ambled around, straightening things nervously.


"It's fine, my prince." I try to say with a grin, heat rising to my face, "it's fine if it's you." but he was gone, disappearing in a blink, and I shook my head, flopping down on the couch. I've tried playing it cool... I sighed inwardly, clicking the TV on. But when I'm looking at you... I just... I just can't be brave. You just make my heart race. You're kinda like my kryptonite... I thought, the irony causing me to chuckle. Cowboys aren't supposed to be kryptonite... But you just make me feel... Weak. I thought, rubbing my arms feverishly, wishing I hadn't dropped the blanket. Like I'm frozen. And can't breath.


"You okay?" Lucas said, running in, and I nodded.


"Yeah. Can you get me more soup?"


"Well, why don't you get some yourself?" he said, smiling awkwardly as he gestured to the pot of soup.


"Cause it's so much work!..." I moaned, feigning weakness. "I'm still tired from just walking here, don't tell me I need to walk all the way over there just for soup!"


"Alright alright, I'll getcha some." he laughed, and I clapped my hands happily.


"Yay!" I laughed, as he brought it out towards me with a flourish.


"Madam." he said solemnly, and I giggled, taking the bowl.


"Thaaank you!" I said, and took another big gulp.


"Uh, Riley?" he asked hesitantly, and I nodded.


"Yeah?"


"Is... Is this weird for you? I'm just here alone, with you, when you already have a date... " he trailed off, and I almost dropped the bowl.


"Well... It's... I... It's not like we're a couple now. Well, I mean, he is pretty cute but-" I stopped short, sputtering as I caught the look on his adorable embarrassed face, and I facepalmed myself, spinning around. Get it together Riley!


"Well, Lucas... I mean, well, you're also really cute- gah Maya where are you when I need you!" I said, frustrated, my voice already beginning go raw.


"I really like you!" I blurted out, my mind a complete mess, as Lucas stared back in shock.


"AS A FRIEND! GAH!"


I curled up in a ball, and tipped over, so I laid on my side. What did I just say? What am I doing? Oh man... He's going to think I'm so weird. "


“It's okay Lucas, I know you think I'm weird. So you can just leave if you want, and me die here, an old lady. A wrinkly old lady, who messed up, and now has saggy bags on her face." I moaned, clutching my knees tight, and and braced myself for the goodbye. But it never came. A minute passed. Two minutes. But he was still here. Finally, he cleared his throat, breaking the awkward silence.


"Uh... Riley? Why... Why would you like someone like me?" he said quietly, and I froze, not quite sure what I heard was right.


"Uhh... Can you explain?" I asked, uncurling myself and sitting up.


"Well, you welcomed me into your group so readily. And... Well...I don't know. Why?" He said quietly.


"Well." I said awkwardly, looking down at my hands. Oh gosh... If I say something wrong... he might hate me for forever.


"I mean... There are a lot of things. But... I just... Well... There's this special thing that... Wow this is harder than I thought." I said, and he sagged slightly. "No! Not that I don't like you, cause I do! But... Well, you're nice, and really polite, and a lot of fun, but... I don't know. You just have that one thing." I said, embarrassed, and I stared at the TV, barely able to look at him.


"Huh. Okay. Thanks." he said, and I squeezed my eyes shut, as he swished past me. I grabbed a pillow, and hugged it against my chest, face burning. Ah gosh… Why did I?... What did I?... What just happened?"


"Here." Lucas said suddenly, reappearing in front of me. I looked up, trying to cool of the heat on my face, and stared directly at the cup of medicine that was in front of me.


"Eww no no no!" I said quickly, scrambling to my feet, and towered over Lucas on the couch, wielding the pillow like a shield. "I hate medicine. They taste so bitter and nasty and… Ugghhh.." I said, shuddering, but Lucas only smiled grimly.


"Riley, just take the medicine."


"NO!"


"Please?"


"NO! I will whack you with the pillow."


"Does that seem like the smartest thing to do?" he said calmly, and I huffed, knowing he was right.


"Alright, fine." I said grudgingly, hopping down, and I reached for the small cup of medicine.


"Uh uh uh," he said teasingly, pulling away his hand at the last minute, and I frowned. "I wanna pour in into your mouth." He said devilishly, and I stared, stunned. What the what? Lucas is never this…. bold. What's gotten into him?


"Uhhh… okay." I said, opening my mouth hesitantly.


"That's not how you're supposed to take medicine." He grinned, and cupped my chin, tilting my head up.


"Ack! What do you think you're doing?" I said, my voice raising, panicking.


"Don't worry. Now, get ready." He said, slowly pouring the medicine in, and I squeezed my eyes shut again, trying not to gag. Not in front of him. The medicine slid down my throat, and I resisted the urge to throw up, as it left a burning sensation, and a bitter taste in my mouth.


"Don't close your mouth just yet." He said, suddenly slowing the rate he was pouring, and I let a small tear slip from my eye, the irritating burn of the medicine causing me to tear up. I clenched the pillow, trying not to swallow, knowing I'd end up closing my mouth to do so. Finally, he shook the last few drops out, and I swallowed as quickly as I could, sticking my tongue out in disgust.


"Bleeeech! Remind me never to do that again!" I groaned, another tear slipping out, when suddenly, he leaned over, kissing the tear that had gotten away.


"That's for enduring it, my brave Princess." he said quietly, lingering as he pulled away slowly. My breath hitched, my heart racing as I froze, not daring to move. His breathing was the only sound I could hear, and I could easily smell the scent on him without even trying.


"Riley…" he said, trailing off, but before he could say any more, I flung my arms around him, wrapping him in a big hug.


"Thanks Lucas. For everything." I said, burying my face in his neck, and he let out a deep breath, before wrapping his own arms around me, enveloping me in his embrace.

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