A ROSE HAS ITS THORN

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14

“What’s your worst fear?” I whispered curiously, my chin on Julian’s shoulder as I leaned into his arm slightly. We sat on the sand at the beach, sand pressing against my bare feet, legs and hand while I faced Julian but he looked out, watching the waved crash lightly against the sand.

We’d been quiet for a while and I’ve been overthinking a lot of everything that had happened. He’d obviously been thinking deeply too because he took a minute before he reheard my question, plunging him back into his thoughts.

It was a random question but it came when I remembered how scared I was that night. Thinking I was going to die.

“Losing you with no explanation,” he whispered back, turning his head to look at me as I kept my chin on his shoulder, lifting my eyes to look back at him. “That almost happened and I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared as I was then,” he looked back to the water as I looked down sadly, knowing I shouldn’t have asked a question like that. Now he’s going to be upset again and I didn’t like it when he was sad.

I wanted him to be happy. I want him to be excited for every second he gets to live and I want him to be okay with it all.

“Fuck, I must be bad luck though, right?” He said, cracking a chuckle as he leaned back on his hands.

“No, you’re not. Don’t say that,” I replied, moving my hand over his as I sat up straight and crossed my legs, facing him still.

“Rosie, don’t try to make it like it’s not true. I’m sure you think it,” he muttered the last part as I looked at him in shock.

“Oh really? You really think I think you’re bad luck?”

“Why wouldn’t you?” He shrugged. “First my own mum. Max died next, he was my best friend. The closest I was to anyone. Then-Then you? Everyone I get close to gets hurt.”

“None of it was your fault though and you’re not bad luck. I don’t think it either,” I replied and he gave me a blank look as if he didn’t believe me. “I don’t, Julian. Stop giving me that look.”

“Fine,” he muttered and looked back out at the water. I stared at him for a while before I kneeled up enough to push him down and fall on him. He grunted, his hands touching to my sides as I kissed his cheek and lifted my head enough to look into his eyes.

“I love you. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me. I don’t understand why you would think I think of you as bad luck when you full-on know how much I love you,” I said to him, playing with his hair gently, twirling my fingers in it. He stayed quiet, looking away from me and closing his eyes as I felt his hand move under my shirt, resting against my soft flesh at my side. I watched him silently, continuing to play with his hair as the light breeze moved sand over each sand, some brushing up and mixing in his hair and against my fingers.

“Do you want to know what I’m scared of?” I asked quietly but he didn’t do or say anything as a response. “I’m scared of a lot of things but I can’t stop wondering if you would leave me,” I whispered, watching as I tied a lock of his hair into a knot when he glanced at me for a moment. “Not because you’d want to but because you thought I’d be best for the both of us. Thinking you were bad for me, pushing me away and then suddenly disappearing from my life, saying goodbye and telling me it was for the best. And I know you’ve thought about it, which just scares me even more.”

“I have,” he confessed as I nodded, already knowing because I knew him. I felt my eyes start to water as I tried to focus on his hair again, not thinking about it too much. “Because I know you deserve so much more than I can offer-.”

“I don’t want more. I just want you, forever, Julian,” I replied, letting go of his hair to hold his cheeks as I leaned down and pecked his lips. I looked at him lightly as he smiled against my lips, leaning up enough to catch them again just before I laughed out when he tickled my stomach.

I fell off him just as he lightly pushed me but only so he could roll over. I smiled at him, moving my hand down to his neck, my eyes closed as we kissed more.

“It’s only a stupid thought,” he whispered, leaning on his elbow beside me, his hand resting over my stomach as I gently brushed the sand off my cheeks where a few gains settled. “I think about it but then I think more around it and it’s not what I want. Not for you. Not for me. To live without you, I wouldn’t know how to take the first step back,” he continued as I took a small breath, grateful to hear it come from him.

I smiled gently when he came down again, kissing my lips as I ran my hand from his neck, up to his hair. I gripped it lightly, kissing him back softly before I pulled away to look at him, sitting up as I hugged my arms around his neck.

He picked me up enough to put me on his lap while I moved my legs around him.

“Can you promise me forever?” I whispered and watched as he took in a short breath.

“No,” he replied and I dropped my eyes as I leaned in and put my head on his shoulder. “I could only wish this forever. But I promise until my last breath,” he added as I smiled softly against his shoulder, touching my hand to his head and hair again.

“So, I just got the best shots,” I heard, making me look at Ruben as he suddenly slumped down on the sand next to us, looking down at his camera. I stared at him for a while as Julian swore, shook his head. I looked towards him as he stared back at me blankly before I looked away and around to see if Logan was around somewhere too.

“Ah, Ru?” I questioned, looking back at him because I couldn’t see Logan anywhere. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I saw on your Snapchat that you were at the beach so I came, thinking you were alone. But then I found you with him and got my camera because you were being all cute. They’re pretty good, see?” He held me his camera but Julian snatched it to throw it away. “Dude!” Ruben growled, getting up and running after it as I got off Julian when he gently pushed me back. He got up and held his hand to me which I hesitated before I took. He helped me up and pulled me away without another word or look to Ruben.

I knew he was pissed and I knew he didn’t like Ruben much at the moment but I also knew that was Ruben’s favourite camera worth a lot and Julian shouldn’t have thrown it.

“I know he’s been annoying but you shouldn’t have done that-.”

“I should have gotten off my ass and smashed it. He violated our privacy, Rosie. Do not start telling me what I should and shouldn’t do,” he snapped back, stopping to point a finger, the anger obvious in his eyes as I clenched my jaw.

“Okay. You’re right,” I breathed, telling myself to calm down because this wasn’t worth getting upset about. Cameras can be replaced, memories can’t.

“Yeah, I am,” he replied, touching my arm as he gestured with his head towards the carpark. “It’s getting late too. I should get you home.”

“Let’s go out for dinner,” I said, walking with him up the beach. “My shout-.”

“Don’t be stupid,” he cut me off, scoffing as I bit my tongue hard because he paid every time. He’s paid for so much for me, food, the apartment, other small things. “Can I see your phone?” He asked me and I looked at him in confusion as I got my phone from the inside pocket of my jacket.

“Yeah. Why?”

“Call your mum and invite your parents and brother,” he said as I gave him a warning look because that definitely wasn’t a good idea. “It’s time they get it into their heads that you’re moving out and you’re old enough to be without them a few days in a row,” he continued, making me laugh at the wide eyes he gave me, cracking a smile next. “They might not be comfortable with it but we can’t just let the loft sit there without a point,” he said as I nodded along, feeling my stomach twist up in nerves that we were even talking about this.

And it was going to happen.

I was moving out of my home. My childhood home, away from my family to live somewhere smaller but it’ll just be me and him. No one could ever calculate just how happy it made me feel, knowing how far we’ve come and how much further we’re going to go together.

“Okay,” was all I could reply with as I looked down at my phone, finding Mum’s number in my most recent contacts. I tapped her name, pressed the green phone and watched my screen flip to something else as it rang. I looked to Julian as I put it to my ear while we reached his bike and he moved to lean against the seat.

“No, you’re not staying the night again-.”

“Mum,” I cut her off quickly. “That’s not why I’m calling. I’m inviting you, dad and Angus to dinner with Julian and I. Saves you cooking,” I put in, my eyes falling to the road by habit because I didn’t know what else to look at.

“Oh. Tonight? I’m meeting his father for dinner actually.”

“Paul?” I questioned, looking up at Julian as he looked back. “Another business meeting?”

“Yes, of course. Another boring meeting where he likes to show off just how rich he is but he’s the boss and I gotta do what I gotta do, baby. I’ll be home before you go to bed and maybe Julian shouldn’t stay over, I think you guys need a night alone.”

“No, it’s okay,” I replied, knowing she wasn’t asking but telling me. I didn’t care, he was going to stay if he wanted. I wanted him to, he helped me when it got rough in the nights unlike anyone else. “We’re still going out for dinner though so tell Angus we’ll be home a bit later.”

“I’ll tell your father, Angus is out with his friends tonight but honey, I really just want some time with you when I get home. I’d appreciate it if Julian wasn’t around,” she said and I took a small breath because I really didn’t want any of that to happen. I didn’t want to talk to her about anything because it’ll just end badly and I didn’t want Julian to leave, he hadn’t ever since I woke up and I don’t know how I’d be without him through the night.

“I’m going now,” I told her, heard her sigh softly.

“Okay. Be safe and smart. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

“Bye,” she ended before I hung up and shook my head to Julian as he watched me carefully.

“She’s going out with your dad. Angus is out with his friends and she wants to have alone time with me when she gets home,” I filled in for him, stepping in front of him as he dropped his arms from over his chest, placed his hands on my hips.

“Angus has friends?” He questioned, pulling up a smirk as I rolled my eyes and smiled back at him.

“Apparently so,” I shrugged lightly and poked his chest softly. “Talking about friends. What are the boys up to? We should all do something for dinner, it’ll be fun.”

“Just like lunch was fun,” he narrowed his eyes and looked away from me lightly as I laughed softly, moving my hands to his cheeks. “Fine. I’ll see what they’re up to,” he said, getting his phone out as I glanced to the side when Ruben was walking to us.

“Do you know how long I just spent getting sand out of it?” He said angrily at Julian, who shushed him when he put his phone to his ear.

“Ruben,” I said his name sternly, walking to him to let Julian talk to his friends. “Why are you here?”

“I told you-.”

“You gave me an excuse. Why did you come? Because you thought I was alone? You knew very well I wasn’t. You knew I went to the police station this morning, did you just think I was going to be alone sulking on the beach? No, I was with Julian and we were together and you shouldn’t have come,” I told him and took a breath to keep calm when he just looked at me sadly. “There are lines. Boundaries. You can’t just show up like this, stalk me like you have.”

“I wasn’t stalking-.”

“You followed us here, Ru. You took pictures of us without our consent-.”

“But they’re pretty good pictures,” he cut me off as I swallowed hard and looked to Julian as he suddenly started up his bike. “Rosie, do you think we could go for a walk? Just the two of us.”

“Ruben, in your dreams,” I snapped back angrily before I walked back and took the helmet Julian held me. “Don’t post those,” I told him, getting on behind Julian before I put on the helmet and hugged my arms around his stomach just as he drove out of the parking space and onto the road at the safe time.

***

Yaya, finally got another up

So sorry for the long wait. I hadn't really been writing much, it's an on and off thing at the moment but next update will be up soon

Thanks for your patience and please don't forget to comment so I know what you think :)

xxo

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