After eating their food, they relax in the living room chattering when Ryleigh receives a video call from her workmates and decided to take it outside.
‘Hey, everyone.’ She can see all her work colleagues squeezing onto a small phone.
‘Hey Ryleigh, how’s it going?’ Jack her manager takes the lead.
’Yeah, it’s all going good thank you. How are you all?”
‘We’re working 9 to 5 job, how do you think we feel?’ Jack chuckles.
‘You looked amazing at the awards.’ Her co-worker Sarah tells her.
‘And killing it with the music.’ Paul says, he’s into the same music as her and has been sending her good luck messages.
‘Thanks guys. I miss you all.’
‘We do too.’
‘Hang on, are you all still at work?’ Ryleigh see the view of the familiar whiteboard of jobs on the wall.
‘Yeah we only got 5 minutes left and thought why not?’ Sarah yells and Ryleigh laughs.
‘Good luck with the live show, we are up late voting.’ Paul says.
‘Thanks guys. I’ll see you all soon.’ They said bye and she ended the call.
Ryleigh places her phone in her pocket and see’s Blake opposite the sun lounger,
‘Hey Blake.’ And walks past him.
‘Hey where do you think you’re going?’ Blake questions, making her turn back to him, he blinked more than he needed to and had consumed too much beer this evening.
‘Back inside.’ She’s looks at him confused.
‘Why don’t we go somewhere?’ He teases with her getting closer and she smelling the heavy beer on his breath.
‘Blake, I told you I’m not interested. Go away.’
‘You say that now but I know you really do.’ He starts to touch her on the waist and she stiffens up.
‘Fuck off!’ Ryleigh turns her back on him and he grabs her by the waist and his other hand over mouth dragging her back, she tried to fight him off but he’s too strong.
Everything went fast and Rory saw her in distress and reacted as he would when he cares, he pulled him off and laid Blake on the floor punching him. Ryleigh fell to the ground shocked from what just happened, Ester and Elliot helped her stand while Ashton and Dylan had to get Rory off him.
‘Jesus man!’ Blake said as he stood upright and see the blood on his fingers from his nose, he wanted to have another go and Ashton told him to chill while restraining him down. Rory ultimately gives up and he releases off him, the producer came up to get Blake checked out. She looks at Rory with tears in her eyes thinking of the nightmare of what Blake could have done to her.
‘Did he hurt you?’ Rory said, she glanced at him frightened. ‘Did he hurt you?’ He asked again but with more tension in his voice, she shook her head and places her head down. In the corner of her eye, she can see blood on his right hand.
‘Are you hurt?’ Ester notices it too and Rory looks at it.
‘Yeah I’m fine.’ Rory couldn’t stand there much longer and was desperate to hold her, but he can see Ryleigh is terrified of him of how he behaved. ‘I’m not going to let anyone hurt you.’ He whispers to her.
‘Thank you.’ She whispers back, confused from what she should be feeling. The anger in his eyes made her fear for herself and everyone around her and she shouldn’t enjoy his embrace, not the slightest.
‘We need to talk to you both.’ The producer cuts in and they let go of each other.
Ryleigh explained from her side what happened and Rory did too, he expressed how unacceptable Blake has been about the girls here in general. He hates Blake very much that he wanted him gone. With that, the producers thought it was best to end the filming tonight and make them all go to bed.
The girls’ room is so bare now with them two, they got changed into there PJ’s and Ryleigh gawked out the window.
‘What a complete prick. I hope he gets kicked out now.’ Ester says while settling her clothes away and can see she’s distracted. ‘Ryleigh?’ She gazed at the stars and the overview of the LA city something to keep her mind busy she’s not sure what frightened her more, what Blake was intending to do or the way Rory attacked him and how far he would have hurt Blake if no one was there to stop him. Ester calls her name again.
‘Sorry, I wasn’t listening.’ She looks over her shoulder and back at the window.
‘It’s ok.’ Ester decided to leave her with her thoughts and caught Rory in the corner of her eye leaning on the door frame wondering if he could speak with Ryleigh in private, he didn’t need to say anything Ester guessed. ‘I’ll be back in a bit.’ She calls out and Ryleigh doesn’t say anything, she wrapped her arms around herself, finding another way to stop thinking.
Rory wanders up the window 2 feet away from her, he saw how scared she was on how he responded and hated himself for it. Ryleigh catches him in the corner of her eye but doesn’t make it obvious.
‘I never get tired looking over LA.’ He says.
‘Yep, it’s a beautiful place.’ She supplied small talk, which isn’t why he was here, he looks at her and see’s her hair falls gracefully on her shoulder and her skin shines from the nightlight sky.
‘I’m not like that anymore Ryleigh, I promise you that.’ She tries not to look at him. ‘When I care about someone so much it hurts me when I see them hurting. It may get me into trouble, I try not to but I just can’t have something like that happen to you. Not ever. The last thing I want to see is someone as amazing as you be damaged by something like that.’ He plead for her forgiveness, she finally looked at him.
‘You didn’t have to hit him that aggressively. Alright, he deserved it but it could’ve been worse.’ She thought for a minute, ‘Why didn’t you stop after the first punch?’ Rory hung his head down in shame.
‘I tried I really did.’ He tells her and she can see the honesty in his eyes. ‘I hated the way he talked about you girls, it’s disrespectful! I used to know people like that and it makes me sick to my stomach, thinking that they are some sort of god and flocks of women will fall to their knees.’ He starts to get angry. ‘I’m not perfect, I know. But I don’t want you to be scared of me, your the only person that saw right through me as a normal human being and I haven’t had that from anyone. Forgive me Ryleigh?’ Sometimes in Ryleigh’s head, she overthinks everything and stays away from the bad people who she thinks are troubled in there way, this would be her time to tell Rory she would want to be acquaintances but he does something to her and can see Rory’s honesty shining through him.
‘Rory..’ She mutters ‘I know why you did it and I know you have so much shit to deal with.’ Rory concluded that he might have lost her in all of this and has his head down. ‘But I don’t care.’ He stared at her in shock. ‘We all react in different ways to which some people don’t agree with, but you saying all that to me is a big deal.’ Ryleigh steps closer to him. ‘And I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for me while I’ve been here.’ She grabs his hands and squeezes it, ‘Let’s make it a new day tomorrow and forget what happened tonight.’
‘I can’t thank you enough Ryleigh, I don’t deserve it.’ Ryleigh elevates onto her tippy toes and kisses his cheek.
‘I see you in the morning.’ And draws her mouth into a smile and he can’t help smiling back, Ester present two small taps and Rory choose to leave. From the rosy red cheeks displayed on her face, Ester could tell what occurred and didn’t need to say anymore.
It’s the first time she passionately dreamt about Rory and the recalls the last part of the night and regrets that she should have kissed him on the lips and pictures him touching her uncontrollably and how much she would enjoy it. Being by his side in his arms, while sleeping.
Ryleigh rem dreaming state was a place she didn’t want to wake up from, but her stomach was telling her something else and couldn’t resist it grumbling anymore. She had a shower, dressed and went downstairs to make some breakfast, the bitter taste of tea and overdone toast was tasteless and not appealing to eat but she suffered through it.
Not long after, everyone started to come down. Ashton, Dylan, Elliot and Ester wanted to know what happened before Rory punched him and what made him do it. Before she started, Rory made his way down and the first person he wants to look at is her, he wasn’t a morning person and presented a small smile to her feeling great that she’s forgiving him. Rory stands beside her and kisses the side of her head, he also nodded at her that’s ok to tell them. Ryleigh went into exact detail and most of their jaw dropped when she explained when Blake put his hand over her mouth and dragged her back, Rory kept his head down attempting not to show how pissed off he is still.
The room went quiet as they saw Blake made his way towards the kitchen, the atmosphere changed and Rory’s mood suddenly did too. He slammed the water bottle down and shield Ryleigh over with his body glaring at him indicating not to go near her. Blake’s right eye was completely black and his nose has some yellow marks.
‘Wow, he hit you hard.’ Ashton said.
‘Yeah, it really hurts. Thinking about going to the doctors to check it out, hopefully nothing is broken.’ Blake responded, Rory didn’t want to apologise for hitting him hard it’s still redeemed in his mind he deserved it. ‘Ryleigh, I owe you an apology.’ She peered over Rory’s right side and touched his arm and can feel the veins sticking out.
‘Rory, it’s fine.’ She says to him, making him move to see Blake clearer. ‘Thanks for saying sorry, but I just think we should stay clear from each other from now on. Ok?’ Blake agreed and started to make his breakfast, with that Ryleigh decided to leave to sort her stuff out ready to go to the recording studio. Rory didn’t want to stop her but the producer did and said there is an urgent meeting with the judges and told everyone to be at the studio.
They figured it might be Blake getting disqualified from his actions with the way Rory portrayed him to the producers, Ryleigh feared Rory would be gone too. As they made it to the studio, Kelsie, her first point of contact and wanted her to tell in great detail what happened, she didn’t want to say it again but it’s Kelsie and she deserved to know. She shook her head disgusted,
‘I can’t believe it. If you want time out, please let me know won’t you?’ Ryleigh nodded her head, ideally her schedule this week should keep her mind occupied. The crew told them to stand in a line, Ryleigh stood between Ester and Ashton while Rory was on the end and Blake on the other end.
‘Ok, so we called you all up because an incident happened last night.’ Marcus stated the elephant in the room, ‘We’ve spoken to the producers and decided on what is happening this week.’ He went quiet for a second. ‘We’re still going to do the live show this weekend and we are not disqualifying anyone.’