Chapter Forty Six
The holiday season came and went. The Christmas tree lights went out. The snow seemed less magical. And the new years celebration came and went like a flash. Dad and Laurel flew back home with promises of returning for spring break and summer. Mom worked constantly in her office with the door closed. Sawyer and Sophia were the epitome of young love at its finest. Ty came around, but there was something different.
It didn’t matter that I tried my best to stop things from changing. Because they did anyway. Ty and I remained friends, it was just different. Like a scar left behind after a battle. You could try to forget that there was once something there, but you can’t and I think it really changed our us.
But life had to move on. I learned that from Blake. He taught me that sometimes we couldn’t go back and fix what we can’t change.
Speaking of Blake, things had changed between us too. Except it changed for the better. We knew how hard our relationship would be. I would be leaving in a week and Blake still had his senior year to finish. Things weren’t ideal but I would rather have a week with him, than not have Blake at all. I had faith and I think that was enough. I knew it would be difficult doing the long distance relationship and Blake did too, but if we had made it this far together, then I was willing to go even farther with him.
“What are you thinking about?” Blake asked, tightening his hold around my waist. I looked up from his shoulder and met his gaze.
“I’m just really happy that we can be like this. Just you and I.” I smiled contently. Blake leaned down and gave me a chaste kiss. It wasn’t a big romantic gesture, but I still felt it from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. It still made my heart pound, faster and louder.
“Do you want to go home yet?” He asked, when he saw me stifle another yawn. I shook my head immediately, I didn’t want to waste another night sleeping. Not if our days together were numbered.
“No, I just want to stay here with you as long as possible.” I mumbled, resting my head on his shoulder. I delved deeper into his warmth and felt my eyelids grow heavy. I tried to fight it but I knew sleep would take over soon.
“Goodnight Vi.” He whispered before I completely fell into oblivion.
I woke up in my bed the next morning, confused. Sophia and Sawyer sat at the end of my bed watching me like a bunch of creeps. I groaned and turned over, covering my head in my pillows.
“Aww, she thinks we’re just going to leave her alone. How cute.” Sophia cooed sarcastically. I groaned and flipped her the bird.
I was not a morning person. I embraced it and moved on, I just wish they would too.
“Get up.” Sawyer grumbled, yanking the sheets off of me. My brother was happy that the triangle from hell was over. However he was still sour over the fact that Blake was the one in the end.
He really didn’t like him.
Usually I would care if my brother liked the guy I dated. But with Blake, I didn’t, he was my exception. That, and well Sawyer gave me hell with Nicky by his side for years and I’d like to think this was revenge. Sweet revenge, the kind I knew I was going to genuinely enjoy.
“I will not leave this bed, unless there is breakfast downstairs…preferably waffles…with strawberries on the side….and fresh orange juice.” I yawned, sitting up to stretch.
“There’s coco puffs, and milk that’ll expire in about two days.” Sawyer countered.
“Sold, I’m starving.” I shrugged, slipping on my slippers.
“So are you going to tell us what you and Blake did last night?” Sophia asked, practically jumping on the balls of her heels.
“No!” Sawyer snapped, with a grimace. “I don’t ever want to hear what Orton and my sister do, ever!” he clarified.
“Why are you so snappy?” Sophia huffed, “Are you constipated? You know you get cranky when you get backed up.” she pointed out. Sawyer and I both grimaced and cringed in sync.
“No!” Sawyer cried out in defense, “I just don’t like that Orton brought her home in late. She was already asleep when she got home. I just don’t like it. I don’t like him.” He grumbled, his eyes darkening.
“Sawyer.” I said softly gaining his attention. His reluctant eyes met mine, “He makes me really happy and I wish you could see that. Please just give him a chance. For me?” I asked him, in the most sincere way.
Seeing Sawyer upset was only entertaining for a bit. But I really wanted him to like Blake. I wasn’t asking for them to become best friends, I just wanted them to get along, because they’d be seeing each other more than they’d be seeing me, and I wasn’t going to be there to be their mediator.
“Fine.” He relented begrudgingly. I smiled and wrapped my arms around him, Sawyer let out a small chuckle and hugged me back. “But if he gets in my face Vi, I’ll drop kick the guy.” He warned me.
I snorted and ruffled his hair. “He’ll bulldoze your ass Saw.” I cooed him in a condescending way. Sawyer stared at me flatly but all arguments went out the window, when the doorbell rang.
We all bounded down the stairs, knowing mom was too invested in her paperwork. I reached the door first and swung it open. To my surprise both Blake and Ty were on the other end.
“Awkward.” Sawyer whistled, from beside him. “Argh!” he cried out when Soph jabbed him in the ribs.
“Hey…” I trialed off unsurely. “W-what are you guys doing here?” Blake smiled broadly and it made me feel uneasy. Like this wasn’t going to be a pleasant visit.
I looked over towards Ty and found he looked quite annoyed. He was still clad in his sweats and a wrinkled white t-shirt. He looked like he was just woken up. “This monster broke into my house and kidnapped me!” Ty snapped, shoving Blake’s shoulder roughly. Blake didn’t bat an eye and shrugged unconcerned.
“I was thinking about what you were saying the other night, and you’re right. I do miss him.” Blake admitted.
“Aww.” Sophia and I cooed together.
“I’m right here, you don’t have to talk about me like i’m not here.” Ty grumbled, rolling his eyes.
“I figured since you’re the one who said that we should just bury the hatchet, it’s only right if we all do this together.” Blake said ignoring Ty’s deadly glare, I smiled and invited them in.
Fifteen minutes later, and we all sat in the tense silence. Sophia, Sawyer, and I were watching Blake and Ty like they were animals in a zoo habitat. No one dared to say anything and I was afraid to poke the big elephant in the room.
“So how was your Christmas guys?” Sophia asked, attempting to break the ice. Sawyer and I glanced at each other unsurely.
“Soph, I don’t want to be here.” Ty grumbled, glaring at Blake as he said it.
“Come on man, can’t we at least get past this!” Blake cried out, throwing his hands up in frustration.
“Get past what? You liking her?” Ty snapped, gesturing to me. I felt myself getting smaller. I wished I could disappear though. My stomach churned and I felt all the guilt seep in. I really had ruined them and this was all my fault.
“Ty-” I began with a shaky approach.
“No Vivo, I really have to get this off my fucking chest!” Ty cut me off before I could say more.
“Don’t fucking talk to her like that, you prick!” Blake yelled, standing up and acting as a barrier between Ty and I. “If you want to go after someone then go after me, dude.”
“Fine, you want me to go after you?” Ty mocked him, “She was my friend, and I protected her. I protected her secret, and I protected her from you! Don’t you remember all those times you targeted her and I had to step in to stop you?” Ty snarled, poking Blake in the chest.
“Ty!” Sophia chastised her brother. However he ignored her and continued on. I looked towarda Blake and was ready to tell him not to worry about it, but he looked towards Ty intently. As if waiting for the fatal blow.
“I liked her, I really did…I do. I still like her and I understand that she chose you over me. I can live with that.” Ty said calmly but you see still the fire in his eyes. The burning desire to really hurt Blake.
“But you don’t understand why I chose her?” Blake guessed. Ty’s stone face didn’t falter as he nodded slowly. Blake sighed and his shoulders relaxed a little bit. “I didn’t know you liked her, that day in the diner. When Vivian arrived with Sawyer and his girlfriend-”
Sophia cleared her throat loudly. We all turned to her and found her annoyed expression. “We never mention that one again okay?” She warned us.
“Sorry.” Blake apologized sheepishly. “Look Ty, I really didn’t go out of my way to make you miserable. Things changed when I spent that first night with her in the park. I’m sorry that I hurt you, or made you feel betrayed, but i’m not sorry for feeling what I feel. Especially with Vivian.”
“What i’m pissed about, is that you knew I liked her and I told you that when she left for school. You were supposed to be my best friend and you went after my sister, then the girl I cared about?” Ty explained with an aggressive tone. His voice was cold and distant, it wasn’t the Ty I knew. This was different.
“Bro, that is a low blow.” Sawyer snorted. Sophia and I glared at him, but Blake took it all in. He was accepting full responsibility.
“I’m sorry Ty.” Blake said tiredly. “I’m sorry I liked your sister, but that was misplaced. I didn’t like her because I wanted to be with her. I liked her because maybe I was looking for something. To be a part of something as good as your family. That was stupid and I wasted so long trying to chase after that picture perfect family that I never realized I was chasing after a crazy fantasy.”
“What are you saying?” Ty asked, his brows furrowed deeply.
“I wanted a family Ty, I wanted your family. I wanted your life.” Blake admitted. “And I realize now that I was jealous of you because you had it all. You had the parents, the sister, the house, the friends, all of it. I just wanted to be a part of something like that.”
“So you liked Vivian because she was part of that?” Ty seethed. Blake shook his head, and turned to me. His eyes were warm and I knew I didn’t believe that. I didn’t want to.
“No,” Blake retorted, and I could see from his annoyed expression that he was losing his temper. If he did that, then we’d have another cat fight right in front of us. “that’s why I liked Sophia. Because she symbolized a family I thought I needed. When Vivian came though, all of that changed. I had met someone who made me nervous, excited, scared, and happy. I had met a girl who I could talk to without feeling like I had to impress her. I love Vivian because she isn’t just what I want, she’s what I need.”
“You’re what I want and need too.” I smiled, lacing my fingers with his. Our eyes met, and I was his, and only his. A bittersweet fact that I had came to know. I turned to Ty who looked between us with a defeated expression. “Ty, I’m really sorry. I really am, but can we all please move forward? All of us?” I asked everyone.
Ty frowned, “You really like her?” He said to Blake.
Blake shook his head, “Nah.” he said bluntly. I turned and was about to give him a piece of my mind when he quickly kissed the top of my head. “I love her, through and through.” He answered.
“I love you too.” I smiled. I turned to Ty who watched us intently, “So, what do you say Ty? Can we let bygones be bygones?” I asked hopeful.
“I’m sorry Vivo.” Ty apologized softly, “I-I just need time. I love you too, and I have to figure out how not to. Because as long as I still love you, I can’t be yours or Blake friend. Not yet at least.” He said honestly.
“I understand.” I said for the sake of the moment.
“I do too.” Blake added in understanding.
Then that was it. Ty left with a curt goodbye to Blake and I gave him a hug because it seemed right. I didn’t want to end the holidays this way, but I didn’t have control over that. I didn’t have control over Ty’s feelings, or Blake’s feelings, or anyone’s for that matter. I just had faith. Faith that time would heal this wound, and everything would be fine again someday.
Later that night, Blake and I were once again in the park. It had become our routine. I no longer had to wait around for the off chance that he would be there. I knew now he would be there sitting on the park bench, or on the swing set waiting for me. I let myself believe that he’d always be there waiting for me.
“I’m sorry for everything that happened this morning.” Blake whispered, against my hair. I shook my head and moved so I could meet his gaze.
“You have nothing to be sorry about. He’ll come around and we have to believe that. Just like I believe that you’ll always be you and I’ll always be me and that’s enough for us.” I said honestly. As honest as I could be.
“Vivian King, I promise you that we can make it. No matter what.” He promised. “We’ll never be strangers again.”
“No we won’t.” I agreed softly, tempting him into a kiss. He smiled and leaned in.
This kiss had the fire, the passion, and the promise of more to come. It was my favorite kind of kiss.
Life had never been kind to either of us. It had always been one missed step after another. It had been loneliness, regret, and bitterness. Yet, it had given us one gift and it was each other. Time had set me in the right place at the right time with Blake.
It had moved me from California to Virginia. It had chased my brother to Nicky and masked me in my brother’s disguise. It had given me friends in the people I had encountered. It had given me hurt and new ways to cope with that hurt. It had given hope, and how to live that with hope.
It had given me Blake. It had given me promises of more to come.
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