She made her way back to the green room and grabbed some water thinking in her thoughts. It sunk in that this is a competition, someone will have to leave. Ryleigh felt the pressure all week for this and hopes to never experience this again. It made her realise when Ester left, she has an opportunity to do something, they all did and had to get her head back in the game.
On the stage one by one and waiting to be called out, she got called first to go through with Elliot and Ashton not long after. Which meant Dylan and Rory were in the bottom two, her heart pounded fast and feared her gut feeling is coming true.
‘Both of you are leaving the competition tonight.’ The host said out loud, which made the audience gasp, and her heart dropped to her stomach but was left shock for both of them to go which meant she’s in the final. What surprised her is the two people that produced the most drama are leaving.
Rory stayed calm on stage, straining from reacting and understands it is what it is. She made it to the final and deserves it, Elliot has been a good friend to him too but he’s secretly rooting for her more. As he went off stage Ryleigh embraced into his arms feeling sorry for him.
‘I can’t believe it.’ She tells him.
‘It’s fine, it was going to happen at some point.’ He gaped into her eyes while she looked sad for him. Rory smiles at her ‘Ry, you’re in the final!’ As he lifts her spinning her around, which put a smile back on her face.
‘Wow, I-I-…’ She lost her words, he found it cute.
Rory collected his thoughts on how this isn’t over yet, she’s still in it and will have the chance to win. He isn’t mad about it, what he did this week is what he would do whether the camera is on or not and he decided to put water under the bridge with Dylan and celebrate the evening together on good terms. The sofa had more space to lie down on and they relaxed. She stretched her legs out and placed them on Rory’s lap while she’s talking to Ashton, he gazes over her sometimes on how perfect she is.
‘You don’t want some time alone with Ry?’ Elliot quietly asked him.
‘What do you mean?’
‘We’re all down here, you can go upstairs for a bit. You’re leaving tomorrow.’ Rory wasn’t getting the hint from Elliot at all.
‘She’ll see me when this show is over.’
‘Yessss, but can you wait that long?’ Elliot raises his eyebrows at him, the penny finally dropped.
‘No, we said we wouldn’t, it might make the fans suspicious.’ Elliot rolled his eyes.
‘Alright, it’s a thought.’ And takes a sip of his beer, he felt her feet shift off him,
‘Need to pee.’ Ryleigh says making her way upstairs, he did think about it, perhaps they can as it is his last night. He waited for a couple of minutes.
‘I’ll be back.’ He says making his way upstairs.
Rory stood next to the bathroom door in her room waiting for her come out, the door unlocked and him being there scared her.
‘Fucking hell!’ She put her heart on her chest like she had a mini heart attack. ‘Rory, it’s not funny.’ He laughs a little. ‘You’ve got your own bathroom.’
‘I know.’ Ryleigh looked confused.
‘Sooo, what are you doing here?’ He grabbed onto her waist and looked down at her.
‘It’s my last night here.’ She makes a corner smile grasping what he wants.
‘I thought we said to wait after this finishes?’ She has her hands on his waist gazing into his coffee-coloured eyes.
‘I know, but I just want to have you by myself before I go.’ He goes closer to her face rubbing his nose against hers.
‘We’ll talk every night.’ She smiles.
‘It’s not the same while I’m still here.’ She giggles and buries her face into his chest, he cups her face with his hands so he could look at her. ‘You’re crazy.’
‘Only about you.’ He winks at her and he gets closer to her lips to kiss her.
‘I think you can wait a little bit longer.’ She teases and pulls herself off him.
‘You bitch.’ He chases her and grabs her around the waist from behind tight while she laughs. Ryleigh stops fighting and stays there looking at him, and he thinks quickly.
‘Come live with me?’ He sounded serious, she moves away to face him.
‘That’s a big thing you know.’
‘Don’t question it, you know it’s right.’ She chews on the bottom of her lip considering it.
‘No, I get it.’ She looks to the floor tucking her hair behind her ears. ‘I appreciate the offer.’ As she looks at him she always feels this adrenaline rush.
‘We practically lived together in this house anyway.’
‘Yeah true.’ He makes a good point. ‘I guess I wouldn’t mind living with you a bit longer.’ Using her flirting charms on him,
‘I knew you would.’ And kisses her forehead and make their way downstairs.
Asking to move in with him got Ryleigh excited more than ever, she did think about they’ll eventually but not this soon. She does doubts these sorts of things sometimes and always thought that had to be done in stages but with Rory, it didn’t feel like she had to do that.
Rory and Dylan got their bags together and waited to get into the car and hugged everyone goodbye. Ryleigh had her moment with Rory and it felt more than a friendly hug, he placed both hands on the side of her face.
‘You can do this, I know you can.’ As he gazes into her green dark eyes she smiles, not to give any more away he lets her go and into his car. As he drives off she turns back to Elliot and Ashton.
‘We’re in the final. What the heck?’ And go into a group hug.
Less than ten minutes with him gone she gets a message from Rory,
‘Got back and I can’t wait to have you by my side. See you in a few days xxxx’
She smiles from ear to ear.
It did feel different with him not being here, but they have been exchanging texts here and there, which always made her smile when she would look at her phone.
It’s the final and she is ready to give it her all, standing on the end next to Elliot seeing the judges which would be the last time. She had a bit of a lump in her throat.
‘Bet you’re all tired seeing our faces.’ Bruce says and makes them giggle ‘So, this is the final.’
‘Yes so we want you to write two songs, it’s your last so go out with a bang.’ Marcus encourages them. After the filming, she goes and sees Kelsie.
‘This is it, the final time.’ She gets all excited for Ryleigh,
‘I know, then it’ll be all over.’ She did seem upset about it.
‘It’s not over yet. Go get em.’ Kelsie winks at her. ‘Oh, I think we should go shopping one last time. What do you say?’ Ryleigh nodded and laughed when she saw it being put in her schedule.
She takes a picture for Rory to see what she’s going to do an arrange a private face time chat and laughed too at the shopping schedule as well.
She sits in the studio and walks around thinking on what she could do make a killer song. Ryleigh looks over at the piano and thinks she could use the sequence that Rory taught her, she tries to recall it in her head and presses the keys down softly with her fingers. That’s what she wanted to use for her second song of the night, hoping he’ll hear it knowing it’s for him.
Every day, she worked hard on her tracks making it best that she can make it. She wanted to make it dark but meaningful, all the about who this has changed her mentally and also a way to tell her family and friends back home on how she has felt for years about not being herself. This has become an emotional rollercoaster in her mind and everything changed when she met Rory. He has made her believe that she can do this whether she wins or not and Kelsie, telling her about the opportunity of collaborating with other artists. It’s not over and it’s a start to a new chapter.
She made her first song and modified a lot of things back and forth, and is thankful the band are being helpful and reasonable. The producer who controls the sounds agreed with her when there was a few things weren’t sounding good and proposed to change the approach, her lyrics sounded darker than the melody and thought about addressing a darker aspect.
After her recording she met with Kelsie at the shopping store and told her to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect her identity, she is starting to become quite popular in the LA streets with the paparazzi watching her move. Also, adding security following her.
‘They aren’t going to follow us around the store?’ Ryleigh asked.
‘No, the store won’t let them. So anything you say in here will be our secret.’ Kelsie replies and makes there way into the dress section. ‘You need the winner’s party dress.’ She laughs at her optimism.
‘Easy there, I might not win.’ Kelsie gives her a small whack on the arm.
‘Don’t bring yourself down. It’s not the LA way.’ She laughs at her, while she found a dress removing it off the rails examining it. A green emerald heart shape bust skater dress. ‘This will look good with your leather jacket.’
‘It’s a nice colour.’ Ryleigh says.
‘Plus it’ll be easy for Rory to take it off.’ She winks at her.
‘Kelsie!’ And gives her a whack on her arms and they laugh together.
‘Just helping a girl out.’
Ryleigh offered for Kelsie to get a dress for the party too, but she already said the dress she got was enough and had something already to wear. Ryleigh tries the dress in the changing room while talking to Kelsie over the curtain.
‘What happens when this ends? What do I do?’
‘Well, you get a few days off to go home. Then you’ll come back and start recording.’ Ryleigh draws the curtain and looks in the mirror. ‘The label will have a place for you to stay, but I am tempted to tell them that you’re living with me. It’ll keep the costs down.’ As she adjusts the dress she thinks about her next step with Rory.
‘Can I ask you something?’ She turns to look at her.
‘With you and Josh, you both know exactly what is happening and where you are in the relationship right?’
‘Yeah…?’ She started to look puzzled.
‘Well, before Rory left, he asked me to move in with him.’
‘What did you say?’
‘I said yes but-.’
‘Then do it.’ Kelsie cut her off, ‘Don’t question it.’
‘That’s exactly what he said.’
‘You’re into him right?’ She nodded.
‘Go with it. It’ll fall into place.’
‘I feel bad as you offered first.’
‘Nah don’t worry about, I think it’s great he’s asked you.’ Ryleigh smiles, ‘Besides, would you want to be a third wheel with Josh around?’
‘Yeah you got a point.’ They both laugh.
‘That’s the dress. Let’s go buy it.’ Kelsie instructs her.