I couldn’t concentrate, no matter how hard I tried. How had I existed prior to him? I couldn’t remember how not to care, how to stop thinking about him. I knew this was for the best but that didn’t make any of this a damn sight easier. The first few weeks in school had been hard, but I managed to avoid him for the most part. He still had the ability to make me breathless, like when we were in the canteen and our hands accidentally brushed when we both reached for the same bottle of soda. I had nearly dropped my tray, had he not steadied me with his hand. I had nearly dehydrated that day, refusing to go back to the fridges just in case he was there. Then there were the countless rumours I had to put up with- how he had cheated on me, dumped me, slept with me then left me and even that it was another bet. I knew from the look in his eyes that none of it was true, and I felt so desperately sad for him. I walked out of school one Friday afternoon and decided to head straight for the beach, I needed to clear my head. Ray dropped me off and I breathed in the salty air gratefully, my head clearing somewhat as I stared at the ocean, feeling somewhat grounded. Something about the open ocean that made me almost humble, reminding me that there was more to the world that my problems, however significant they seemed to me. I walked along the shore line, the wind blowing my hair away from my face as I gazed ahead of me. I felt my stomach drop when I saw Bailey standing in front of me, staring into the ocean.
‘Talk about cliches.’ I called as I neared him as his head whipped around to see me, his eyes wide as he saw me walking towards him, a smile playing at his lips. He turned towards me, his hands jammed into his pockets as he waited for me to reach him. My heart beat wildly as he gazed at me, swallowing hard as I came to a stop in front of him. Our eyes met and I dropped my gaze to the floor, as ever I couldn’t maintain eye contact with this man.
‘Apparently you dumped me because I wasn’t very good in bed.’ I mumbled with a feeble attempt at humour. His steely gaze didn’t falter as he nodded slowly.
‘Yeah, I heard that one too.’
I laughed nervously, as I gazed out at the ocean.
‘I heard what you did that night. You didn’t have to.’
‘I did. I should have done it sooner, you were right. They are pathetic.’ He stared out at the ocean then as he kicked at the sand with his foot, his hair flopping into his eyes again. I watched him with a desire I thought had abandoned me, but the urge to reach out and touch him overrode any rational thoughts I had in my mind.
‘Did you get into trouble?’ I asked quietly, my heart hammering wildly in my chest as he looked at me with those baby blues.
‘Nah. He didn’t press charges. Probably because he knows he deserved it. Its good to see you, Annabelle.’ His voice sent tingles all over my body as I walked closer to him, his scent bringing back flashbacks of our heated make out sessions. I reached up slowly to move his hair away from his eyes as he turned his head to kiss my hand, his hand on mine. I gulped as he closed his eyes, holding my hand to his mouth. The wind whipped around us as we stood like that for what felt like an eternity.
‘I miss you.’ I said as he opened his eyes to see me standing closer to him, my hand reaching out for him awkwardly.
‘You did this.’ He said sadly and I stared at the floor, my hand dropping to my side. He let my other hand go and I felt sick with nerves as he turned back to the ocean, creating a distance between us that I really didn’t want or need.
‘I know, and I did it for the right reasons. It doesn’t make it any easier though.’ I said defensively as he remained silent.
‘I’m glad you are ok. I’ve got to head back.’ He smiled apologetically as he went to walk away, and I felt desperation ripple through my body as I called out to him to wait. He stopped, his posture deflating slightly as I hurried after him, my hand lacing with his as my heart beat erratically.
It was now or never.
‘Bailey, I have to tell you something.’
He gripped my hand as though it was a lifeline, his jaw clenched as he turned to me, the breath leaving my body when I saw the hope in his eyes. I swallowed and took a deep breath as I felt myself wobble with fear of saying the wrong thing. How do you tell someone you love them when you have clearly broken their heart? He studied me as I struggled to find the words, opening and closing my mouth as I tried to speak.
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you were right. I did fall for you.’ He searched my eyes as I spoke, a smile playing at his lips.
‘Yeah? So what are you saying?’
The bastard was going to make it difficult for me.
‘I love you.’ I blurted out as he blinked in shock. I don’t think he expected me to say it so quickly, if at all, his eyebrows raised as he exhaled slowly.
‘You know what, Annabelle, I love you too. Even though you have nearly killed me these past few weeks, I really fucking do.’
I gulped as he pulled me towards him, his lips meeting mine as he kissed me with a passion I didn’t know existed. My hands clawed at his hair as he pressed me to his hard body, moans of combined frustration and desire coming from us as we kissed.
‘Don’t ever do that to me again.’ He growled as he kissed my throat, moving his lips to my cheeks, and finally back to my mouth as I kissed him hungrily. I realised I was crying as he stopped, his thumbs rubbing the salty tears away from under my eyes as he kissed my eyelids.
‘Fuck, Anna.’ He held me to his chest as I cried, unsure of whether it was happy tears or the last drops of sad tears I hadn’t managed to cry out. I slid my hands up his jumper, my fingers on his bare warm back as he held me tight.
‘Come home with me.’ He said huskily as I kissed him, nodding.
He smiled then, and I realised I never wanted to be without him again.
A/N Hey Guys, this is NOT the END! I just need to read it back and make sure I am happy with it all. Please comment any suggestions you have for Bailey & Annabelle, or any of the other characters, who do you like the most? Who else is intrigued by Sam White?! Thank you sooooo much for reading :)