Then You Look At Me

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It Drives Me Crazy

~Maybe we’re friends, maybe we’re more, maybe it’s just my imagination. But I see you stare just a little too long and it makes me start to wonder. So baby, call me crazy, but I think you feel it too~ Jordin Sparks.

Chapter Theme Song: 'Next to You' by Jordin Sparks.

°°

Riley

I hate hospitals.

The scent of rubbing alcohol mixed with disinfectant makes my stomach churn. Not to mention the insipid food they serve here. I had to ask one of the nurses if she could sneak a pack of skittles in here, but she insists she prefers to keep her job. I cannot argue with that. But I swear if someone else comes in here with that yucky dried bread and cold porridge I will cut them with the drip needle in my hand.

I am not dead yet people, please respect my stomach!

I gaze out the window, the morning sun is hot and scorching, a beautiful day to be bed-ridden in a hospital; note the sarcasm. If I had not left my knife that day, I would have cut one of those muscular motherfuckers open, but maybe God did not want me to catch a case.

I itch the uncomfortable bandage around my head. The blue hospital pajama with baby dinosaurs randomly allocated on the fabric makes me scrunch my face up in annoyance. I look like I have cancer. It is just a minor rib and head injury, is all this necessary?

My mom thinks I almost died, and I get why she would think that. I have been unconscious for days but that was only because I was extremely tired; I kept up quite a fight with those men.

The door to the room slides open and I shut my eyes pleadingly. “Please! No more dried bread, please.”

“Riley.”

The voice of my best friend pulls my head in its direction and my heart swells with elation as Rainey rushes over, pulling me into one of the tightest hugs she has ever given me. I giggle, but instantly groan as my ribs painfully throb.

She pulls back apologetically, her brows knitting in worry. “I am sorry. I am so glad you are okay, Ry. I thought I lost you.”

I spot the tears in her eyes and it makes me emotional, but I play it off like a stud, frowning. “You know I won’t die anytime soon, Rain. God doesn’t want me up there yet, he knows I’m hard work.”

She chuckles at this. I can tell she has been beating herself up for what happened to me. This is not her fault but mine, for more reasons than one.

If I had just forced her to attend my family reunion that night or ditched the event to watch The Walking Dead with her, she would not have gone to that bar with Kendra and the girls. I know how complicated Rain’s life is. She is often lonely even though she plays it off like she is not, and I neglected her that night, enjoying cocktails and roasted chicken while she almost got raped.

It is my fault.

“Have you been crying?” I frown and she sighs, smiling sadly. “I am fine, Rain. You know I won’t be defeated that easily. You looking so sad is the only thing that'll hurt me.”

She nods her head and I rub her shoulder comfortingly, my eyes drifting to two pairs of familiar ones.

“I am glad you’re fine.” Ansel smiles. “We were worried about you.”

“Thanks for coming.” I beam genuinely at him, noticing the way Alex is patting his head uneasily while he stands next to his brother. He is wearing ripped jeans and just a simple black T-shirt, but he looks effortlessly attractive, his earlobes adorned with black earrings.

Damn. He is so hot that it is almost intimidating, but I cannot let him see how flushed I am about him, that is rule 101 of being a badass chick.

“Thanks for coming too, Alex.” I smile and he nods, his lips slightly turning up. My heart pumps weirdly in my chest at the sight of his dimples. I avert my eyes quickly, reaching for the teddy bear on my nightstand to cope with the anxiety.

“So, which one of you got me this cute furry bear?” I grin and Ansel and Rainey both point their gazes to Alex, who appears awkward as hell while he strokes the nape of his neck.

“Uh…it was on half-price, so.”

“It wasn’t.” Rainey grins. “He almost punched the shop guy to get that for you.”

“That—that right there is a lie.”

“It’s not.” Ansel laughs. “And he drank himself drunk last night, worrying about you. He came in after one in the morning, reeking of alcohol.”

“Dude.” Alex’s eyes go wide, and I cannot help but chuckle softly while my cheeks tinge pink. The blush on his face is severely adorable.

Ansel and Rainey are cracking up in laughter while Alex nods his head, a mischievous smirk on his face.

“Okay, okay. It’s cool. Since we are spilling secrets, let me pitch in my share.”

Ansel salivates his lips, smiling. “Yeah? Go ahead.”

“Riley, I left these two in the motel room last night, do you know what I came back to see?”

The color rises to Rainey’s face as I squint my eyes in curiosity.

“They were both up against the balcony door groping and kissi—”

Ansel slaps his palm over Alex’s mouth in a swift, as he laughs hard, attempting to peel his brother’s hand away. I frown, I did not catch it. I look at Rainey who appears visibly crimson as she quickly diverts the topic. “Uhm, have you eaten yet, Riley?”

I smile suspiciously at her. Rain is quite skilled at switching subjects, I will surely be tackling her about Alex’s broken speech later, but for now, I am starving.

“No, they keep serving me dried bread and cold porridge.” I fake gag, and she giggles.

“I’ll go grab you some food. What do you want?”

“Skittles.”

“I meant food Riley, food.”

“Skittles is considered food, Rain. It’s going into the stomach.”

“Okay, skittles, and what else?”

I place a finger on my chin. “A bag of Cheetos, and that’s it.”

“Okay, but later you have to get a cooked meal.”

I nod eagerly, my mouth already salivating at the thought of skittles and Cheetos.

“I’ll come along, wouldn’t want you strolling around here alone,” Ansel says to Rain and she nods before they both leave the room. He is right. Men could be in the area waiting to kidnap her, I would not want her to be alone either.

Realizing that it is now Alex and me, my cheeks heat up once again as I fiddle with the sleeve of my pajama. I attempt to lay down, screwing my face up as pain shoots through my rib. He briskly moves over, gently gripping my arm. “Wait…I’ll fluff your pillows for you.”

I look up at him, seeing the concern gleaming in his eyes. I prop myself up while he fluffs my pillows then places them back in their respective places. He grasps my arms softly and slowly guides me to lie onto my back. My head sinks into the soft cushions while I stare up at him. His hands are still on my arms and his upper body hovers above me. His dark hair almost touches my cheeks as he gazes at me.

I swallow uneasily, wondering why he has not moved away yet. His smooth face is causing my cheeks to snitch about my feelings for him.

“Don’t get hurt again.” He says softly, his eyes staring into mine. “It drives me crazy…”

My breath gets caught in my lungs, and before I can say anything, Alex lowers his head and presses his soft lips against mine.


^A/N: Hi😊Thank you so much for reading!💜If you love my story don’t forget to hit that heart/like at the bottom and follow me (if you want lol) so that you can get instant notifications of when I post updates❤Lots of love, keep safe and stay tuned for more!💜

-Tiffanyluvss❤

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