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Love No More

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Chapter Two

The drive to Kayla's apartment didn't take long as she and Ryan had luck finding a place nearby that wasn't completely outrageous in price but wasn't in a spotty neighborhood either. Patrice, as usual, is quickly out of the car rushing to beat Kayla to the elevator. Ever since the trio had established the tradition of weekly movie nights, whoever showed up first won the privilege of picking the movie, much to the other two losers' dissatisfaction.

Kayla was already behind with having to grab her stuff from the backseat before locking her car. She made her way up to the front door just to see Patrice hop into the elevator and stick her tongue out in victory at her as the doors closed.

Silently Kayla cursed the day she gave Patrice access to the building and their spare key.

Great, now she'd be left with the stairs or waiting an eternity for the elevator again. Knowing Patrice, she had pressed the button for the top floor before getting off just to make it worse.

"Stairs it is then..."

It was only three flights up, but she'd already been to the gym for today. After her run-in with Mr. Incredible, all she wanted to do was veg out on the couch sandwiched between her two besties with a mouth full of junk food.

"Ugh...she had to steal the elevator on leg day! She's gonna be the death of me someday, I swear!"

Kayla exits the stairwell, her legs slightly burning, and heads down the hall. She grumpily pushes the unlocked door open and makes her way inside, huffing to the already seated Patrice.

"Why am I friends with you again? Remind me..."

"Oh, you know you love me! Besides, it's not like I've never done that before. You think you'd be used to it by now, honestly."

"True, but it doesn't mean I have to like it! At least I beat Ryan here. Poor sucker hasn't beat either of us in like a month or two."

The runner-up or first loser, as Patrice liked to call them, got to pick the snacks. As Kayla is pondering what to subject the others to, she hears Ryan come in tossing his bag down with an exaggerated sigh. He plops himself down between them, resting his arms around each of their shoulders.

"Ahh, how are my two favorite ladies?"

"Sucking up won't get you anywhere, Renny. You're still last, still have to endure our ‘torture’."

Ryan rolls his eyes, but it twists into a grin because of the use of his nickname, which is short for a renaissance man. Ever since Kayla had known him, he had an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge and a talent for dominating his pursuits. He dabbled in so many things and had yet to find something he wasn't at least competent in.

He even gave Kayla a run for her money in her field, Biotechnology. His passion though was primarily Art...painting, sculpting, and photography. Despite all that talent, he was never cocky about it. Ryan was just one of "those" people. You want to dislike them, but you can't...so annoying.

"Well, tell me you beat P, so I don't have to eat your gross idea of movie snacks, please. I swear if I even smell another Twizzler my next ‘masterpiece’ is gonna consist of me ralphing all over our living room. It'll be epic...the colors, the texture..."

"OKAY okay, we get it! Put it away, Jackson Pollock...geez. Annnnnnd NoIGotHereFirstAgainSoSuckIt."

Patrice spit that last bit out all in one big breath and smiled widely at him.

"Ya know, if I wanted to be abused, I would've stayed in the studio with Bethany and her cronies."

"Did he just compare us to Bethany Rogers?"

Kayla questions this without a hint of the amusement currently on her roommate's face.

"Ohhhhhh, I think he did sweets!"

Both of the girls narrowed their eyes at Ryan.

Bethany was an extremely grating individual who appeared to be stuck in a high-strung emo phase. Art was about suffering and darkness and blah blah whatever else she constantly spewed at whoever was in her vicinity.

"Alright then..."

Kayla gave Patrice a wink and got up to pull out her favie idea of "torture" for Ryan. Meanwhile, Patrice is flipping through Netflix for her own idea.

"Nope, seen it, ew really Netflix? Hrm potential... wait... oh yeah, Chadwick Boseman come to Mama!"

She had landed on a movie called Message from the King.

"Seriously? Come on P! What is this movie even about?"

"Don't know, don't care... I see Chadwick Boseman and I click!"

Ryan squints at Patrice trying to decide if it's worth it trying to argue. She now looks engrossed in her phone, though.

Well, at least it's not a chick flick...

"Don't look at me like that. You'll survive, I promise."

Kayla returned from the kitchen with a tray full of snacks. Everything from popcorn with special chipotle cheddar seasoning to Fritos corn chips with french onion dip. She also couldn't pass up her recent discovery of a banana spread with Nutella, then covered in crushed-up Frosted Flakes.

To drink she grabbed a few Sprites to be, of course, sipped through none other than Sour Punch Straws. This wasn't torture, this was numminess!

"You two don't play fair. I'm in the first circle of hell!"

"Oh, you're welcome, roomie. Here's your first circle beverage, complimentary snack, and movie. We ask that you silence any electronic devices during our showing for the sake of said device."

She pauses to look him dead in eye before continuing.

"Lastly, but most importantly...if you find any of this unpleasant, simply get your ass to the couch in a timely fashion from now on."

Kayla rattled that all off in her best fake customer service voice possible. A quick pat to the top of Ryan's head was done before she settled in with her food. Patrice giggled and turned the movie on.

Two hours later...

"Okay, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."

"The movie or the snacks?"

"Eh...definitely only the movie. Kayla didn't hold back with the snacks this time around."

"Trust me, it could've been way worse after the day she's had."

Ryan and Patrice both look down to see their friend passed out and quite comfy between the two of them. Patrice begins to clear away their trash and dishes while Ryan turns off the TV and most of the lights.

"I don't think any of us had an exactly stellar day. Advisor meetings mean classes are starting up again...yay."

Ryan threw up his hands in mock celebration before leaning against the back of the couch.

"Well, unless your advisor meeting also included a run-in later with your lovely ex and his bitchy, redheaded fuck buddy..."

Ryan's loud cursing cuts her off. Patrice makes shushing noises and pulls him into the kitchen.

"What the fuck did that asshole want?"

"I don't know. I caught up with her once she was already outside the auditorium. Whatever he said, though, rattled her."

Ryan sighed and rubbed a hand down his face.

"Okay, I'll see if I can get it out of her tomorrow sometime."

"Text me when she spills. Well, if she spills..."

It was Patrice's turn to sigh.

"Will do P."

They both walk out of the kitchen and Patrice turns to head out the door.

"Hey, how you getting home?"

As if summoned, Patrice's phone lights up with her boyfriend Evan's pic. She lifts it to show Ryan and grins.

"My chariot awaits! See ya, sweets."


Ryan locks the door behind her and does one last round of checks before scooping Kayla up in his arms to take her down the hall to her room. She stirs a bit, nuzzling into his chest, but doesn't wake up.

"I got you, Ladybug. You're going to be okay."

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