Bestfriend

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Summary

Torn between friendship and relationship

Genre:
Romance
Author:
Queen Zee
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Bestfriend

"BESTFRIEND"

Having a guy as a best friend is better than you would think. The petty things that have females all wound up doesn't apply to guys and that's why I opted for a guy best friend but when you start getting feelings for that best friend and he isn't on the same wavelength as you are that's when it becomes a problem. Will I stay in the friend Zone? Or will I finally tell him how I feel about him after all these years.

CHAPTER 1

Raven Taylor

My name is Raven Taylor a.k.a Ray for short I'm a 25year old tattoo artist I have my own little shop it's small but it generates a lot of work because I'm that good. I stay above my shop in a two bedroom apartment that I also share with my best friend Jackson Cyrus. Me and Jackson have been friends since I was 5years old. We did the whole bathing together because our parents are best friends so we kind of spent a lot of time together growing up. We went to the same schools up until college then he left, we went our separate ways for 4years we kept in touch for the most part. When he came back he looked me up. He needed a place to stay and I offered him a place naturally, he is my best friend after all. Jackson is a boxer, he owns a gym up the road. Everything is close to where we stay so we barely need to drive the only time I use my car is when I go see my mom Lisa Taylor. Who lives about 20min away from me, I try to go see her at least once a week but we talk everyday. My mom raised us after my dad Martin Taylor died. He was a policeman, he died on the job. That was about 10years ago leaving my sister Alex Taylor, my mom and me behind. My sister went on to study journalism because of it. She feels my father's death wasn't brought to justice so she's on a mission and I couldn't be more proud of her at 21years old kicking ass already. She's good at what she does and me and my mom support her fully, she has a good head on her shoulders so we don't have to worry about her too much. I'm kind of like a tomboy considering I barely hang out with girls even though I have two girlfriends Jade fox and Chelsea Lawrence that I have been friends since high school they just stuck like glue and I love them too bits but they get too much sometimes both of them are overly girly and I'm just not. I don't wear heels or skirts or dresses. I won't be caught dead in them, I dress the way I feel comfortable and jeans is always a better option. My life in general is good. I'm not into girls, I have had a few boyfriends but nothing serious because honestly speaking I can not love anyone else, at 25 years old I realized that I'm in love with my best friend and he has no idea. I tried to fight it at first but it was pointless and the worse part is he doesn't have a clue.

I could barely get out of bed this morning, I had to drag my ass downstairs to open the shop and hold the fort down till one of the other tattoo artists arrive. We have walk ins from time to time so if I am available and at the shop I don't mind but most of the time I do appointments only. This time of the morning I am at the shop until about 9 then I go back upstairs, have breakfast and get back in bed until my first appointment. I just threw on a tracksuit pants and a hoodie, brushed my teeth and roughly ran my fingers through my hair. As usual the shop was quiet but it's Saturday so it's bound to pick up. My first tattoo artist Lilah comes through the door, I say a quick good morning and I head back upstairs immediately. I make myself some toast and coffee to help with the hangover. I drink alot on a Friday night it helps me concentrate because we open late on a Friday and Saturday evenings to cater for the drunk who want to do dumb impulsive things like cheat and get stupid tattoos. Don't get me wrong getting the tattoo isn't the stupid idea it's the kind of tattoos they want that are usually the stupid ideas. We open till 2 am on a weekend and till 6 pm Monday to Thursday. Jackson sleeps over at his girlfriend Charlotte's place on a Friday night then they sleep over at our place on Saturday. She hates me because of how close me and Jackson are. She video calls him every night keeping him busy for hours so he wouldn't be caught up talking to me or spending too much time with me. It's crazy! It's like she can sense that I'm in love with him, when she's here she tries to make me jealous and keeps him in the room as much as possible but Jackson and me, were too close of friends for her to come between us. I'm used to seeing Jackson with other girls, he doesn't know I'm in love with him so I have no right to be jealous we are just friends. I do wish it was me most of the time. My girlfriend's think I'm lesbian because they have been trying to hook me up for so long and I have turned them down one too many times they starting to get suspicious. I haven't told anyone about my feelings for Jackson absolutely no one knows and it's eating me up inside. That is why I drink on a Friday evening. I have nothing better to do. I dread Saturday's even more because the both of them come over and sleep here, she walks around naked all the damn time! She thinks it's her house. She sits on her ass and he does everything for her, Jackson seems to like it so I don't get involved. The only time I have a problem is when they decide to have sex which is not very often she's forever having a headache or her period his lucky if he gets any once a month with that one she has a mouth on her too. I respect Jackson and he respects me so he always apologizes the next day, he doesn't belong to me so I can't get jealous. I can only go on with my life no matter how hard it gets sometimes. Laying in bed trying to fall asleep again my phone rings, I grab it from my bedside table to check who it is and it's Jade calling "Morning! You awake?" She asks all little miss ray of sunshine "I am now" I say sarcastically still laying with my eyes closed "Good! What are we doing tonight?" She asks again "I have two appointments today why?" I ask her curious as to what she's going to say next "I was thinking we could do a sleepover girls night at your place" she says "If it's okay with you of course" she says giggling a little. Jade is the softie between us, she's a girly girl, tiny petite woman soft features beautiful blue eyes and flaming red hair but she's so insecure about herself so she prefers to be invisible. Don't get me wrong she's feisty, she doesn't take bullshit from anyone either she can hold her own if push comes to shove but for the most part she's the sweetheart. This is why she's calling and not Chelsea, they know they stand a better chance of getting me to do something if it's coming from her. I'm sceptical as to why they would want to come here when we could just go to her place like we always do so I ask "We not doing sleepovers at your place anymore?" I ask her "My place is getting boring, we need to switch it up" she says "Okay but Jackson and Charlotte will be here tonight if you guys don't mind? They mostly stay in the room anyway" I say sarcastically and I start laughing and so does Jade "Yeah! I'm sure we will survive. We can do some catchup. All you do is sleep, work and drink these days it's unhealthy" says Jade and she is right, I barely even eat. I'm not depressed or anything. I'm just living, I guess I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing from here. I'm already doing what I love. I have my own shop, my own place, what more could I want? I don't know because we lost our father at such a young age my mother raised us alone never had another man in her life and I guess that's what made me this independent besides I have tried to love someone else that isn't Jackson and it was a no go at all so I guess I'm dying alone. Me and Jade say our goodbyes and we hang up the phone after agreeing on a time for tonight and figuring out what activities we will be doing if I'm lucky I don't get all made up tonight. They like to give me a makeover when we get together because I dress like a dude but I like it. Almost my whole right side from the neck down to my ankle is filled with tattoos, my skin is pale white so it's the perfect canvas. I have some freckles on my face and my hair is really dark in color, it's so dark brown it looks almost black so I color it black anyway to make it even darker. I have some tattoos on my left side but I'm not as covered as my right although there is still place for more but I like it the way it is. I keep my hair straight because no matter how hard I try for my hair to stay in curls it falls straight anyway so I just keep it straight it's less hassle. My dress code is always casual, I don't own a pair of heels at all and my girlfriend's can not understand but Jackson gets me he likes the way I dress. My eyes are green a really bright sea green color changes from time to time. I'm okay looking, I guess. I don't care about looks really, it's about your personality and your energy, not about the way you look. Some people can be so shallow sometimes like Jackson's girlfriend. She's hot! I will admit it, a blonde bombshells if I can put it that way. Gorgeous woman but her personality and attitude stinks and that makes her ugly I'm sorry. I guess I have to prepare for my girls night tonight for now I can still get an hour or two of sleep in before I have to get to work.I close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

Jackson Cyrus

I wake up to an empty bed, Charlotte is probably doing her morning workout already. She's always up early doing yoga or pilates. She takes good care of herself and I love that about her. I lay for a few minutes before getting up, it's Saturday morning we usually go over to my place on a Saturday after lunch. I share an apartment with my best friend Raven Taylor, amazing person and we have been very close since the age of 5. Charlotte is a bit jealous of our friendship and for good reason but me and Raven we are just friends we have never crossed the line with our friendship and I'm glad because relationships are messy and it usually messes up friendships so, as much as I would have loved to date my best friend I can't. I have had feelings for Raven since forever, she has no idea and I'm not ever telling her I like having her in my life. She would probably freak and run if she ever found out. I make my way to the back yard where Charlotte is busy doing her morning session of yoga. I stand there smiling for a while before I head back inside trying not to disturb her. I get myself some coffee and make my way to the living room to watch some t.v when my phone rings. It's Raven so I answer "Hey Ray! Miss me already?" I ask sarcastically and giggle a little "You wish, just wanted to let you know the girls are coming over tonight for a sleepover" she says, I like that she tells me these things we live together and she knows that me and Charlotte are going to be there as well, she's very considerate "Cool it's technically your house I'm just crashing you know till I get my own place but thanks for letting me know" I tell her "Ag it's our place Jackson I wouldn't have had it any other way and you know that" she says, she's really sweet and caring but she hides it by pretending she doesn't care and nothing is a big deal but Raven has a big heart, I admire her strength and independence on a daily she doesn't need a man in her life. To be honest I'm glad she hasn't had a boyfriend while I'm living there I know it sounds selfish because I have a girlfriend but since we living together I feel insanely over protective of her and I bet if I should see her with another guy I'm gonna feel jealous and that can't happen I might just lose it so for now the fact that she doesn't have a boyfriend yet is in my favor. We chat for a little while when I hear Charlotte calling out to me "Jackson! Where are you?" She yells from the kitchen "I'm in here Char!" I yell back "I'll see you later Ray" I tell Raven she says bye and we hang up. I get up and make my way to the kitchen where Charlotte is busy fixing me breakfast. I'm surprised she doesn't normally do things like this. I walk over to her and she starts smiling "Morning handsome" she says and I pull her in for hug and a kiss "Morning beautiful" I say after our kiss, she smiles again "Someone's in a good mood" she says and turns off the stove "Sit and eat" she points to the pancakes, egg and sausage spread on the table. I take a seat at the table "What's the occasion?" I ask chuckling, she turns to look at me "Can't I cook for my man? When has it become a crime?" She asks with a sly smile and shrugs. I turn around in my seat and pulled her by her hand closer to me "The only crime here is you not joining me for breakfast" I tell her and pull her down onto my lap feeding her pancakes she starts giggling "You going to make fat" she says again and starts laughing trying to swallow the last piece of pancake I put in her mouth "I would love you even if you were fat" I tell her and she smiles and I lean in, she meets me halfway for an intense kiss that gives me goosebumps. I love my girlfriend, she has a lot of character she might come across as vindictive to other people but she's okay and she's really hot! I can handle her is all I'm going to say. She pulls away from me "Do we have to go to your place tonight?" She asks with sad eyes, I know she doesn't really like Raven but like I said since me and Raven live together I have been overly protective of her so Charlotte needs to accept that Raven is in my life "Yeah, one night at your place and one night at my place remember. That was the deal" I tell her and smile but she gets up from my lap "I'm going to take a shower" she says and walks away "I love you!" I yell behind her, she says nothing and just walks out the kitchen leaving me sitting at the table. I finished breakfast, took a quick shower after Charlotte. We decided to go out for lunch before heading over to my place.

We got to my place around 5:30 because Charlotte made sure we stretched out the time. She went shopping for shoes and went to get her hair done and her nails after lunch so I tagged along like I always do. I like spending time with her because during the week I spend most of my time at the gym. I'm training for an exhibition match to raise funds for the gym and to show my guys that I still got it. I mean my gym is keeping a few of the younger generation out of trouble and that's a good thing. I have been training a lot preparing and a few others will be joining in on the fun. Charlotte heads straight for my bedroom the minute we enter the house because she's been extra annoyed since I told her Raven is having friends over, Charlotte is very jealous so I try to stay out of trouble as much as possible. I don't see Raven anywhere she must be sleeping or downstairs at the shop. I go check her room but it's empty, her room is actually clean today it's usually a mess she probably tidied up cause her girlfriends are judgy bitches. Before I decide to go downstairs to her shop I go check on Charlotte who is currently laying spread across my bed on her laptop trying to ignore me because she doesn't want to be here tonight but I'm not too worried I'll make it up to her later "Char I'm going downstairs to let Raven know we here okay, I'll be right back" I tell her and bend down to give her a kiss but she gives me her cheek "Fine" she says bluntly and carries on doing what she was doing. I smile a little, she's adorable when she's angry, I give her another kiss on the cheek and I leave the room and head downstairs. There are two entrances into the apartment, one outside and another on the inside of the shop that leads straight up to her room. Which is perfect for her for when she works late on a Friday and Saturday. I use her room's entrance and I make my way downstairs, I get there and there are a bunch of people sitting and waiting. I can hear the sound of three tattoo machines behind closed curtains. I walk over to one of the curtains and I peek behind it but it's one of the tattoo artist that works with Raven, her name is Lilah. Cute girl with really bright pink hair and she wears glasses, she looks up and sees me "Hey Jackson, Ray's on this side" she points to her right "Thank you" I give her a smile and nod. I go to the curtain on my right and hear Raven chatting away with this person so I say "Knock Knock" the talking stops and so does the machine "Yeah" she says and I take a peek around the curtain "Hey I'm home" I say when I see her she wears glasses when she does tattoos the light has messed up her eyes a little so she gets migraines a lot when she doesn't wear them. She hates it but I think she looks sophisticated and super cute, she has freckles and these really beautiful green eyes that changes color, it's breathtaking she's really gorgeous that's part of the reason I'm so over protective of her. Raven smiles, puts the machine down, apologizes to the guy getting a neck tattoo and comes over to me "Hey you're early" she says "I thought I would be done by the time you guys get here" she says and shrugs, I smile and pull her in for a hug "Come here" I tell her and she gives me a tight squeeze "Did you sleep okay last night? Or did you see things again?" I ask sarcastically and chuckle a little she rolls her eyes "I was too drunk the only thing I was seeing is double" she says and laughs "Where's Charlotte?" She asks "Upstairs in my room pouting as usual" I tell her and roll my eyes she starts chuckling "Don't worry we will try to stay out of her way as much as possible we don't even need to use the bathroom, we could use the shops if we need to go" she shrugs, I don't expect her to do that it's actually her place and not mine but she still turns her whole life around to accommodate me and I appreciate her so much for that "You really don't have to do that Ray" I tell her "But I want to besides I don't want to run into her either" she says and rolls her eyes "When are you two gonna get along?" I ask her "When hell freezes over" she says again, smiles sarcastically, gives me a quick peck on the cheek before she turns around and walks back behind the curtain, she turns around again to look at me "See you later" she says winks and closes the curtain again. I think I'll order a bunch of pizzas for her girlsnight and leave it in her room and some drinks, it's the least I can do. I head back upstairs to go smooth things over with Charlotte but I have a feeling that tonight, is going to be a very long night.


Raven Taylor

Jade and Chelsea are coming over at 7 and I'm not done with my last appointment. I gave Jade a call earlier that I might be late but she said it's okay they will wait upstairs. They're probably there already and it's only like 6:45 now. I'm almost done with the color and shading of this dude's tattoo so hopefully I can get out of here soon before those two come over. Jackson and Charlotte are upstairs as well and I told Jackson I'll make sure we stay out of their way tonight but leaving Jade and Chelsea there is a bad idea because they hate Charlotte almost as much as I hate her so I have to get there before then. I do the finishing touches he pays and leaves. Thank God I'm done. I tell Lilah and Drake to lock up when they're done and I head upstairs. When I get to my room the terrible twins are already comfortably settled into my room on my bed eating pizza and drinking. They look up at me and start smiling "Hey! Finally! Sorry we got hungry, hope you don't mind?" Says Chelsea and shrugs taking another bite of her pizza "Sure no problem I didn't buy it" I say looking at them confused "Then where did all this stuff come from?" I ask walking over to them and sit down on the bed they both shrug and carry on eating. This has Jackson written all over it I know it and I smile not knowing I look like a retard smiling to myself "And that face?" Asks Chelsea my smile immediately disappears "Nothing" I say quickly "It's probably about Jackson" says Jade my eyes widen at what she's implying "What?" I ask her "You in love with Jackson" she says casually Chelsea nods in agreement. How the hell did they know that? I'm playing this off no way I'm admitting anything to these two "That's crazy you know that right?me and Jackson are just friends" I tell them roll my eyes and grab a piece of pizza and it's my favorite too this is definitely Jackson he knows me too well "She's in denial" Chelsea says trying to whisper like I'm not there "Come on guys me and Jackson are just friends and I'm pretty sure I'm not his type I kinda know him longer" I tell them taking a sip of my drink "Exactly!" Says Jade sitting up straight. What is with these two trying to get me to spill my guts "Stop" I tell her "What's happening with you guys? What's new?" I ask them, trying to steer the conversation away from me and Jackson. I get up to close my door and catch Charlotte standing by my door eavesdropping, startled when she sees me "Hey you home" she says awkwardly because I just caught her "Are you eavesdropping?" I ask her folding my arms over my chest after closing the door so Jade and Chelsea don't see her "What if I was" she says with an attitude putting her hands on her hips "This is too much even for you Charlotte" I tell her she smiles "Not when I just found out that you have feelings for Jackson" she says slyly and folds her arms over her chest, what am I supposed to say? I take a deep breath before answering her because I feel like I'm about to knock this bitch out "Me and Jackson are just friends his like a brother to me" I tell her "A brother you wouldn't mind having sex with I bet" she says and chuckles "That just sounds wrong" she says again and laughs even louder "And the thought of you and Jackson ever! ever! being together is absurd, it will never happen you are not his type so stay away from him!" She says walking closer to me "Whatever Charlotte I don't care what you have to say you will never break the bond me and Jackson have" I tell her and smile slyly "20years of friendship over here I know him better than you ever will" I step even closer to her, I wiped that smug smile right off her face "Stay away from him" she says again "Or what?" I tell her when we get interrupted by Jackson "Here you are I was looking everywhere for you" he says walking over to us "Hey Ray I didn't know you home" he says putting his arm around Charlotte's waist and she smiles at me slyly "Yes and thank you for the pizza Jackson I appreciate it" I say and lean in giving him a peck on the cheek, I can see Charlotte's face changing all different shades of red "No problem Ray" he says and smiles, Charlotte storms off and Jackson follows right behind her. I go back inside and 2 pairs of eyes look at me waiting to say what just happened to me I left the room without saying anything "Charlotte heard you two making assumptions that I have feelings for Jackson so she was trying to give me a hard time" I tell them and go sit back down next to Jade "That little sneaky bitch" says Chelsea and jumps up but I pull her back down onto the bed "Relax it's cool guys I know how to handle princess Charlotte" I say rolling my eyes "So you are in to Jackson right?" Jade starts with this again, I think I should just tell them they won't stop if I don't come clean. I sit up straight before answering, making them wait patiently "Fine! Yes" they start jumping and cheering me on "Shhhhh!!! We don't know whose listening" I tell them pointing to the door they start settling down "So what are we gonna do about it?" Asks Chelsea "What do you mean what are we gonna do about it? Nothing! Me and Jack's…" Jade and Chelsea cut me off saying together in melody "Me and Jackson are just friends" roll their eyes and start laughing "Whatever! You guys don't understand I will never tell him how I feel because it will ruin everything if this is just an infatuation" I say bluntly and shrug "Raven that's crazy" Jade says quickly "Everyone can see Jackson has a soft spot for you that goes deeper than friends" Jade says rolling her eyes "The only one who can't see it is you two even Charlotte sees it why do you think she's so jealous all the time?" She looks at me waiting for me to answer but I don't. Is Jade right? Could Jackson be feeling the same way about me? I don't know what to think. I sit with my thoughts for a few minutes when they snap me back to reality "So again I'm going to ask you what are we going to do about it" Chelsea says smiling "Again! Nothing he has a girlfriend and I'm happy for him done! Can we change the subject please" I tell them and pour myself some shots I need to get drunk and fast.

The evening went by so quickly we eventually passed out after 2 in the morning. I actually had a lot of fun with these two tonight, getting the whole Jackson thing out there for someone other than me to know feels like a relief although I know the girls are going to want me to go for Jackson now that they know I have feelings for him. I'm not so sure I want to even try. I'm not Jackson's type that I know for a fact 20years of friendship I know his type and that's not me. I won't cross that line with him if I'm only going to end up hurt if it's not what I want to hear so I'll just be his friend so I know I will always have him in my life that's good enough for me. We woke up just after 9 am and we went to have breakfast in the kitchen. Jade decided to cook up a storm, me and Chelsea just sat around the kitchen table keeping her company and eating in our pajamas. My pajamas is a extra large t-shirt and my underwear so that's what I'm wearing when Jackson walks in "It smells amazing in here, I literally followed the smell. Morning ladies" he says with a bright smile "How's the heads?" He asks and chuckles making his way over to the kitchen table and sits down next to me "Morning Ray" he says and gives me a kiss on the forehead "Morning" Jade and Chelsea says together "Did you guys have fun last night?" Asks Jackson again, he turns to look at me but I have a hangover from hell and he knows hence the reason his giving me such a hard time he gives me a little shove "Yeah, yeah head hurts blah blah blah" I say roll my eyes at him and lay my head on the table he starts chuckling again "You drink way to much and this is coming from someone who drinks too much" he says laughing and then rubs my back before he gets up and leaves the kitchen. He comes back grabs a glass of water comes over to me and hands me two white pills "For the hangover" he says and smiles, I sit up straight take the tablets from him downs it without water and say "Thanks Jackson" before laying my head back down on the table the girls start chuckling with Jackson at how horrible I look "We told her to stop when she decided to drink the alcohol that's used for the shots straight out of the bottle but she wouldn't listen" says Jade from the stove "Shut up!" I say with my eyes closed, they start laughing again "Well you need to take a day off and sleep" Jackson says getting up from where he was sitting next to me "After I drop Charlotte tonight I'll pick up something to eat and we can relax with a movie? How does that sound?" I lift my head to look at him "Are we building a fort?" I ask him just peeking at him slightly because the light makes the migraine/headache even worse, he starts smiling "Definitely" he says and nods "I'm in" I say and lay my head back down. I hear him laugh and walk down the hallway. The kitchen is silent, too silent. I open my eyes and look up, Jade and Chelsea are staring at me suspiciously "What?" I ask them and sit up straight "You guys are practically a couple" says Jade putting her hands on her hips "No we do this all the time" I tell them because we do "You not kids anymore Raven, this is like marriage minus the kids and the sex, although….did you two ever…" I stop her before she can say anything else "No! And will you keep your voice down" I tell her, putting my finger on my lips but she rolls her eyes at me and walks over to the stove again to finish the pancakes that were now put on hold for a gossip story. Chelsea sits and stares at me but says nothing "What are you doing?" I ask her the tablets kicking in I can feel the throbbing subsiding "Trying to determine if you lying about the sex" she says and gives me a suspicious look "Are you crazy we never had sex" I tell her trying to whisper, she sits up straight "Why? Jackson's hot" she says half drooling "Because we're friends durrhhh.." I tell her rolling my eyes "Now you are the crazy one, tonight when you cuddling with your really hot best friend think of this" she says with a sly smile "Absolutely not! I'll admit Jackson's hot, I know that better than anyone but he's not mine so it's better I not think of him in that way considering" I tell them and lay my head back down "You need to loosen up with this whole friendship thing Raven and make some moves. It's like you said you know Jackson better than anyone you guys would be perfect together." Says Jade placing the pancakes down on the table and takes a seat next to me "I don't know if I can" I tell her sitting up straight again. She takes my hand, gives it a squeeze and nods yes as in, I can do this. After breakfast we cleaned up, the girls left before lunch so I took a shower and got back in bed. Jackson woke me up after 2 pm to eat something and I went back to sleep. My head is so full of Jackson right now even more than usual and I don't know what to do. After all these years should I come clean about how I feel about him or should I let it be? He seems happy I don't want to disturb that now.

CHAPTER 2

TWO WEEKS LATER….

Raven Taylor

After my girl's night with Jade and Chelsea and I told them about my feelings for Jackson they sort of opened my eyes to a few things. I have been more alert when Jackson does something for me or when he speaks to me. I'm looking for a hint that this could be more before I make my moves. I have slowly been creeping my way into spending more time with him instead of sleeping when I'm not working so let's see how this goes, I don't want to make a fool of myself. I went to visit my mom last week, she's doing very good keeping busy. We did some catchup on my life even though I see her once a week. She told me about my sister that has a boyfriend, Alex much like me doesn't make it a thing to be in a relationship, she's very independent as I am as well. I guess it's the way my mom raised us so hearing she has a boyfriend is actually very good news. We spoke about my dad and how proud he would have been of both of us, I miss him and I know my mom misses him too. We have come so far since he died considering my mom had to raise us alone, I guess that's why I have always been more mature than I should have been for a kid my age. I tried to help my mom growing up around the house and with Alex. I used to babysit and tutor younger kids when I was in high school to help mom out with the bills. Me and Alex both got scholarships to the college of our choice so that wasn't a problem for my mom. After college I worked at a tattoo parlor for about a year then applied for a business loan at the bank in which I bought the space that I own now. I make good money not everyday is a good day but I have two tattoo artist that are equally very good at what they do, they pay rent for their space and that helps with the bills plus Jackson pulls his weight so I do a okay to a point where I can give my mom money as well and that works fine for me I don't care about money.

I had a slow week, not much appointments mostly cover ups and removals. That's the joy of my job the drunk get the stupid tattoo then they have to come back when they sober to either remove it or cover it up either way it's a win win for me. When I have nothing to do I usually go hang out with Jackson at the gym. I'm more comfortable with guys anyway besides it's not like anyone there is interested in me at all. It's Thursday after 12 pm I have 3 appointments for today but that's only for 3:30 and later so I decided to get take out and surprise Jackson with lunch. When I get to the gym it's buzzing as usual. Jackson and some other guy I have never seen before in the ring throwing a few punches probably training for the exhibition match they're having in two months. Jackson sees me walking past and stops what he was doing to come over to me "Hey what are you doing here?" He asks smiling at me "I bought you lunch besides do I need an excuse to come say hi to my best friend" I say rolling my eyes at him, he climbs out of the ring and jumps off in front of me "Never" he says and pulls me in for a hug "Oh come on Jackson you all sweaty" I tell him and he squeezes tight till I start laughing "Jackson!" The guy in the ring calls out to him, he let's go of me and turns around to look at him "Is this your girl man?" He asks climbing out of the ring making his way over to me and Jackson who is now feeling awkward with his question "Ummm….. no" he looks at me and back at this guy who I must say is very very handsomely yummy his body is too die for "This is my best friend Raven Taylor" says Jackson pointing to me and continues "Raven this is Dyson Reign one of my fighters for the exhibition match" he says pointing to me, Dyson has this weird look on his face it's giving me butterflies I start laughing like an idiot and hold out my hand to him not breaking eye contact with me he takes my hand lifts it up to his lips and give it a soft kiss "Nice to meet Raven" he says still not breaking eye contact with me before I can say anything Jackson says "Okay! So Raven shall we" I snap back to reality at the sound of Jackson's voice and Dyson let's go of my hand and smiles as I walk away. What the hell was that and who was that guy? He seems interesting or maybe not I barely know him and what was up with Jackson he seemed very uneasy at the interaction that just took place between me and Dyson if I didn't know any better I would think his….jealous….but that would be crazy right? Or is it? I was looking for signs, maybe I should test the theory some more and I'm pretty sure Dyson would be interested. Two hours later and I leave the gym, me and Jackson spent most of the time in his little back office just talking, he couldn't get me out of there fast enough when we walked past Dyson again which he was totally perving on me, I swear Jackson was changing colors. He was definitely jealous, it was pretty clear. Jackson was venting on Charlotte not wanting to give him sex because she's cleansing her soul. Whatever the hell that means he doesn't still go into detail about things like that but he always tells me what's on his mind although sometimes it feels like his holding back but I don't push him. I left the gym and went straight back to the shop. I made it just in time for my first appointment because me and Jackson got a bit carried away with conversation. The first tattoo took about an hour and a half, it wasn't a big tattoo so it went quick. My second and third appointments took a bit longer cause it was bigger pieces so that took another 5 hours. I got done just after 10 pm. Cleaned up my work station said bye to Lilah and Drake who were still busy, they both have a set of keys so they make sure to lock up when they leave. I head upstairs to my room and I fall lifeless on the bed. I'm exhausted, I need to shower and sleep. My eyes hurt and my head is throbbing. I haven't eaten anything since lunch but I'm too tired to even move so I just lay there for a while when I hear a knock on my door. I roll over so I can sit up "Come in!" I say and the door opens Jackson walking in wearing only a tracksuit pants and socks no t-shirt as usual taunting me with his 8 pack his hair messy and a little wet his just freshly showered. He makes his way over to me and throws himself onto my bed next to me "You and me both brother" I tell him before straightening my legs and moving down so my head is on my pillow. He turns to look at me but says nothing "How was your day?" He asks eventually "Same old same old" I say giggling "You know how it goes" I tell him staring at the ceiling "Dyson asks me to give you this" and he hands me a piece of paper, I open it and it has a cellphone number written on it. My eyes widen and I turn to look at Jackson "Is this?" He nods yes and I can't help but smile, I mean Dyson is insanely Greek God like kind of hot. I'm not sure however what his intentions are "Why do you look so shocked?" Jackson asks staring at me but I keep my eyes glued back to the ceiling "I dunno, no one from the gym has ever hit on me in any way" I say and laugh "What? I happen to know that half the guys at the gym drool over you" he says and sits up straight, is one of the guys him? "Yeah, well I haven't seen it" I say and sit up straight as well "You think I should text him?" I ask Jackson looking at the number, he says nothing at first "That is entirely up to you Ray" he says bluntly gives me a kiss on the forehead before getting up and walks over to my room door "Did you eat anything yet?" He asks before leaving "No I didn't actually but I want to take a shower first" I tell him "Cool meet me in the kitchen after your shower, I'll see what I can come up with" he winks and leaves the room "No vegetarian meals please!!" I yell before he closes the door behind him. I sit on my bed looking at the number again, maybe I should see what Dyson's deal is, I mean you never know what if this is just an infatuation I have with Jackson. I hope it's real but he is with Charlotte, I might as well keep myself occupied till Jackson gives me clearer signs. I slip the number into my underwear draw. I should hold off just a bit on saving his number to my phone. It's nice to know I have options now. I make my way to the shower and I take my time when I get there because the water flowing over my body is feeling really good and I like the heat, it's really relaxing. After my shower I throw my fluffy nightgown over my t-shirt and underwear combo I usually sleep in and head to the kitchen where I smell something greasy cooking. When I get in the kitchen the table is set with two plates on opposite sides there is something that's smelling really delicious in the oven and Jackson is busy chopping up tomatoes he seems to be making some kind of salad "You look fresh" he says looking up at me smiling, I walk over to the kitchen table and I take a seat "What's cooking?" I ask him pouring myself a glass of juice standing on the table some vodka with this would be nice right about now just to take the edge off "There are some juicy steaks going in the oven with it I'm frying some potato wedges and a nice green salad" he says very enthusiastically and continues chopping "So protein, starch and rabbit food got it" I say and smile sarcastically, Jackson starts laughing "It was the quickest and easier to whip up, you don't take very long showers" he says again tossing all the chopped up ingredients into a bowl gives it a toss with some salad dressing and he comes over to place it on the table "Burgers and fries would have been sufficient" I say shrug and take a sip of juice he starts chuckling "I would but someone forgot to go grocery shopping so we basically tapped out" my eyes widen in horror I was supposed to go shopping today instead I went to have lunch with Jackson at the gym "Crap! Why didn't you remind me?" I ask him "I did" he turns around walks over to the fridge to remove a piece of paper under a strawberry magnet and walks over to me again "See" he hands me the note that he left this morning reminding me to go grocery shopping. I slap the palm of my hand to my forehead and he starts laughing again "It's cool don't stress" he says and walks over to the stove to take the potato wedges out of the hot oil, he places it in a bowl adds some salt to it, comes over to the table and puts it down next to the salad "I'll go tomorrow so there will be plenty to eat when you and Charlotte come over tomorrow evening I promise" I tell him sincerely feeling like crap it was my turn to go grocery shopping and I forgot. I better get up real early and go do a shop run. We had a nice dinner although it felt kind of romantic, I guess considering that was the last of our food supply we didn't really have a choice but it was nice of him to cook tonight. We usually just sort ourselves out or I'll do the cooking. I don't know if this is another sign other than the jealousy but I'm leaning towards telling him. After tonight he seems different and like I said 20 years of friendship I kind of know him pretty well. Only time will tell if my decision to tell him is a good thing or a bad thing.

Jackson Cyrus

The past two weeks I have been training my ass off for the exhibition match. We got a few other boxers from our neighboring towns to help out with the event. I hardly had time for Charlotte this past two weeks and she's starting to get very annoyed by me so this weekend I decided to spoil her, give her as much attention as she wants. Truth be told I have been enjoying my extra time with Raven so I feel a bit guilty for not really missing Char when we weren't together besides she's been off the radar with her going through some kind of soul cleanse she refuses to give me sex and that's very frustrating for me because I could seriously take a load off. Me and Ray have always been close but I can feel things starting to change between us and it's scaring me. Dyson Reign, one of my fighters that has recently joined the gym has showed her a lot of interest the other day, even asked me to give her his number which I did because we're just friends, I really didn't want to but I did. This situation with me and Ray is complicated I can't confuse her after all these years and tell her now that I might be in love with her and I'm saying might because it might not be this might just be me imagining myself but I could have sworn I felt something between us last night when we were having dinner together. She was nice enough to bring me lunch yesterday so I was just returning the favor by making supper for her, beside she seemed exhausted when she got home. I was hoping she could get me tatted last night but I didn't bother to ask, I could see she was tired. I'll call her tomorrow and ask her to pencil me in. I have a full back piece that was done by Ray, also some tribal tattoos on my arms and a few running down the left side of my chest. There's two tattoos on my legs as well one on each calf all of which was done by Raven. I don't let anyone else do my tattoos but her I trust her and she's really good too.


I pick Char up at the spa before we head to her place. The whole ride she hasn't said a word she must be really pissed at me for neglecting her. I leave her be till we get to her place and she leaves me at the car to carry all her shopping bags inside. She goes inside, heads straight to her bedroom and bangs the door close. I leave the stuff on the living room floor and go after her. When I get inside Charlotte is sitting crossed legs on her bed crying, I go over to her quickly "Hey what's wrong?" I try to comfort her but she hits my hand away "You!" She yells, shocked I look at her when she eventually makes eyes contact with me "I'm sorry what is it that I'm doing?" I ask her "I want you to stay away from Raven" she says tears rolling down her face, she's so upset but how can she ask this of me "Char…" I don't even know what to say to her "Exactly my point! You don't care about me enough to do what I ask you" she says and some more tears start rolling down her face. I feel like a real bastard "Char how can you say that? I love you baby" I try to reassure her but she doesn't seem convinced "Really? But you love Raven more right?" Shocked at what she's implying I say "We just friends Char, she's like a sister to me" I try to convince her when I know the truth and it's making me feel even worse. She says nothing just sits and cries "I need to know you serious about us Jackson. We have been together 2years and I need more from this relationship" she says wiping some tears away, I understand why she feels like this, she wants more than what I'm giving her but I'm just not ready yet what am I supposed to do now? "Char I'm so sorry about everything I promise I will make it up to you" I tell her and pull her in for a hug reluctantly she gives in to my embrace and holds me back. Charlotte is a lot of things that pisses most people off but I think she's just misunderstood. The rest of the evening I spent bending over backwards to put a smile on her face. I ordered take out and we spent the night cuddling and watching movies giving her special treatment but still no sex she says she's to depressed. I'll have to think of something to prove to her that I love her because I genuinely do and she has a good heart and I know she adores me so what could I do to win her back? I'm not sure yet but I'll have to come up with something and fast. The next morning I wake up really early even earlier than Char who is usually up before 7 but considering all the crying last night and the talking till 2 she is probably exhausted. I'm not gone long I get back like after 8 am. I was gone just over an hour, I hope what I'm about to do today is not a mistake but I realized that I can't tell Raven how I really feel and I'll rather have her in my life as a friend then not at all. I know she and Charlotte don't get along but I know Raven would support me in any decision I make so I'm not gonna tell her until I actually go through with it. Moving in with her now wouldn't be such a good idea, I don't want to leave Raven like that it wouldn't be right. If I do this we should stay apart until we can actually move in together. When I get back at Charlotte's place she's already busy making breakfast and she does not look very happy at my disappearing act this morning. I walk over to her but she gives me the cold shower, shit I'm really in trouble over here hopefully this will make up for everything I don't like seeing her like this. I stand there for a few minutes watching her cut up some strawberries for her fruit salad, she doesn't look at me "Morning" I say pulling her on her arm but she doesn't budge. I go stand behind her and start kissing her neck "Stop Jackson, leave me alone!" She says trying to shake me off her. I spin her around fast so she can face me "What are you doing?" She says shocked at what I just did and she's holding a knife I should be very careful what I say right now or this could get ugly "Don't kill me" I say laughing awkwardly but she doesn't look amused "Okay I'm sorry for disappearing this morning I have a good reason I promise" I say quickly holding up both my hands "Spit it out then because you already on thin…" I interrupt her before she can finish her sentence and I just blurt it out "Marry Me!" I say shocking myself that I actually said it, wtf is wrong with me this doesn't feel right anymore what do I do? I can't turn back now. I can already see her facial expression starts to soften from furious to the way she normally looks at me "Jackson are you serious?" She asks, then I remembered the ring I went to get this morning, I put my hand in my pocket and pull out the small suede box that holds the ring. Her eyes widen and cups her one hand over her mouth in shock. I open the box to expose the ring and she starts tearing up, the look on her face is priceless so I have to go through with this. I love her and we are good together "YES! YES!!" she yells and I can't help but smile, I take the ring out of the box and slip it onto her finger, she wraps her arms around my neck and gives me a tight squeeze holding onto me for a while "I love you Jackson" she whispers in my ear "I love you too Char" I say and hold her even tighter.

Raven Taylor

I finally went grocery shopping yesterday so there's food for the queen. I don't understand why she has to be such a spoilt little bitch it's totally unnecessary. They will be home soon and I have to work late tonight so I'll probably only be back like 2 in the morning they will be passed out by then, that works perfectly fine with me the less I see of her the better. I have decided since recent events I'm going to tell Jackson that I'm in love with him. I'm not sure how it's gonna go but I'm hoping for the best. I have a good feeling though so the plan is not to run into them today and hopefully tomorrow I can sleep really late and by the time I actually wake up he would've left to drop Charlotte. Then tomorrow evening when he returns I'll make something nice to eat and I'll tell him everything. The plans are set in motion so we're good to go. Now to make myself invisible till the She devil is gone. I wrote down on a piece of paper what I want to tell him in case I forget so I'm kind of reading over it from time to time. I never felt this nervous about something my entire life. I don't want to have to take my piece of paper to tell him how I feel. I want to be able to speak from my heart and with Jackson that's easy because he's a really good listener. I hope this day goes by really fast. I'm feeling anxious and before I change my mind about telling him I need to get this over and done with.

I managed to avoid even Jackson yesterday, he popped by downstairs while I was busy and my heart almost jumped out of my chest. I told him I'll talk to him later and he left, we didn't sit and chat although it looked like something was bothering him. I came home like 4 this morning decided to drink in the shop with Lilah and Drake. After the store closed we whipped out the tequila and we got drunk. I needed to take the edge off, I mean today I spill my guts to him after all these years he's finally gonna know. I'm so nervous my stomach is in knots. I heard them leave after 12 I was awake but I pretended to be asleep when Jackson popped his head into my room. I need to get ready for later, it's Sunday and he usually gets home after 5 around 6 sometimes depending on Queen Charlotte ofcoz that gives me enough time for a late lunch early supper. I'm not getting all dolled up because that's just not what I do but I will take a shower and wear something that's not a t-shirt and underwear. The moment they leave I get up, clean my room and then also the rest of the house like I always do when I'm at home on a Sunday because my shop is closed on a Sunday as well. I make myself something quick to eat and I go take a shower I'm definitely doing jeans but what to wear with it? I'm at home so not too flashy, I need to dress down but look decent. I decided to go with blue high waisted skinny jeans and a black crop top with sneakers. We're not going anywhere so it's really not necessary getting dressed up besides not seeing me in pajamas when he gets home will already raise red flags. I get started with the food while I iron my clothes and lay it on my bed. My hair is really straight and it's in a bun most of the time so I'll wash it tonight, straighten it and leave it down. I got a nice roast in the oven with some vegetables and savoury rice and a few other small add ons, I hope he likes it. He always liked my cooking. I don't mean to brag but my cooking skills is onpoint. Everything is basically done, I'll just heat up again before he gets home. I go take a shower and get ready, it's only like 3:30 now I can still go relax and watch a movie or take a nap.

I wake up, check my phone and it's 5:30 shit! I hope he's not home yet. I get up fix myself in the mirror and peek slowly out the door before making my way down the hallway to the kitchen. The house is still quiet so he's not home yet good! I start up the oven and start heating up the food. I lay out the table when I hear the front door, his home and I'm starting to freak out. I'm really gonna do this, I take a deep breath as I hear his footsteps coming closer to the kitchen "Something smells yummy in here!" I hear his voice and I turn to look at him, he stops dead in his track and looks at me from head to toe "What's the occasion?" He asks, this guy knows me too well so I just smile and say "Do I always have to look like a hobo" I say rolling my eyes and Jackson starts chuckling. He comes over to me and pulls me in for a hug "So what's cooking?" He says peeking in the oven "mmmm this smells amazing Ray" he says again breathing in the aroma coming from the oven "Sit" I tell him, he smiles takes off his jacket and takes a seat at the table. I start filling the table with food and last but not least the gorgeous roast I made in the oven it smells absolutely amazing I can't wait to dig in. I sit down with him finally after making almost no small talk. He seems awkward tonight preoccupied but I don't say anything at first until we start eating and I break the ice "What's going with you?" I ask he has a shocked look on his face almost like I caught him "Nothing" he says quickly looking very guilty. I think he can sense something is not right with me so his acting weird I should just get this over with "Jackson there is something I want to tell you" I say and take a sip of my drink. He looks at me and says "There something I want to tell you too" he says, crap what if it's the same thing we want to tell each other. He is acting as weird as I am tonight so it has to be "You go first" I tell him "Ladies first" he says looking more nervous than before I roll my eyes and say "Fine then we say it together and you not allowed to repeat yourself" I give him the rules he nods in agreement we both take a deep breath and say

"I'm in love with you"
"I proposed to Char…"

We both stop, there's dead silence and I can't help myself but tears start forming in my eyes. I don't know if I just heard correctly but I think he just said he proposed to Charlotte and I just told him I'm in love with him. Shit! This is bad, I sit there frozen not knowing what to say "Ray…." He looks at me but doesn't know what to say. I get up from my seat and leave the kitchen, he can't see me cry. I don't cry that's just not me "Raven!" I hear him yell after me but I go inside my room quickly and lock the door. I go sit down on my bed and the tears that were forming in my eyes falls down my face and I start sobbing. I can't believe he proposed to Charlotte, how could he even do that? She is totally wrong for him "Ray!" I hear Jackson by my door and he knocks. I can't deal with this right now so I don't answer him. He knocks again "Ray! Can you please talk to me" he says again but I don't answer. I just want to go sleep. I wait till he eventually leaves and get into bed. I stopped crying because Jackson is not my property and I realize that so I don't have the right to be mad at him but for tonight I just want to get some sleep. I'll deal with this in the morning. The next morning I wake up and my head is killing me, I feel like I drank a lot last night but I know it's cause of the crying. I'm not usually a crier but I felt really disappointed I put all this effort into telling Jackson how I feel and it blew up in my face. I feel like an idiot but I can't be mad at him. Charlotte and Jackson have been dating I think it's 2years his taking the next step and I just admitted to him that I'm in love with him. I can't imagine how confused he must be feeling and it's all my fault. I can't just drop a bomb like that after 20years and expect him not to have questions. I get out of the bed still wearing my jeans and crop top. I take off what I'm wearing and throw on tracksuit pants, t-shirt, my furry slipper and I tie my hair in a bun. I check out the door to see if the coast is clear and I quickly make my way to the toilet. I wash my face cause I look like shit and brush my teeth and I'm out the door but just my luck I run straight into Jackson. Startled, I look at him with wide eyes. I try to turn away from him and walk away but he pulls me back by my arm "Ray come on" he says softly looking at me but I can't even look at him. I feel too embarrassed "Can you please look at me" he sounds annoyed "I can't" I tell him keeping my eyes glued to the floor "Ray what you said last night…" he stops and sighs "Why didn't you tell me before…." He stops again, he can't seem to finish his sentences "It's no big deal" I tell him and finally look up at him, he looks so sad and confused "I'm happy for you Jackson, you deserve this so congratulations" I say and smile fakely trying to hold back the tears before he can say anything else I turn around and walk away. I'm going to be happy for Jackson if he's happy I'm happy.

TWO WEEKS LATER..

Jackson Cyrus

Raven told me she's in love with me and I just proposed to Charlotte. I can't imagine what she must be feeling right now and what's worse she won't talk to me. I feel like shit about everything all this time she felt exactly the same way I do and I never knew and now I proposed to Charlotte why I did that I have no idea, I was confused and Charlotte was pouting and it all just happened so fast I didn't really think things through. I'm not even sure I'm ready for marriage and here I am proposing like I have my shit together. I screwed up bad, and I'm not sure how or where to start fixing things with Raven.

It's been two weeks since me and Raven really had a conversation and it's eating me alive. This is exactly what I was afraid of and now everything is ruined. She's been avoiding me just the occasional hello and bye if we happen to bump into each other but not like we used to be. I guess she feels embarrassed or disappointed I don't know. I wish she would just talk to me,I miss my best friend. Things with Charlotte are good even though I know she's noticed how down I have been lately. I don't say anything because talking about Raven to Charlotte is a bad idea especially since she told me she's in love with me. How do I explain all that too Char who hates her. I never thought any of this would happen and now I think I lost my best friend. I need to speak to her and I think I know just the way to do it. I decided to book an appointment with Raven to have the tattoo done that I wanted her to do two weeks ago before everything changed but I'll text Lilah to pencil me in but she shouldn't tell Raven it's me. I never need to go to these extreme measures to get Raven to do a tattoo for me but it seems it's the only way to get her to talk to me because this is killing me. I don't know what is supposed to happen when we do speak, I just know that I need my best friend back. I'll do whatever it takes to fix things with Raven. It's Wednesday I told Lilah I'll be there at 5:30 pm. I finish up at the gym and head home for a quick shower before heading downstairs. When I get to the shop Ray is already at her workstation prepping. The piece I want is medium in size but it has a lot of detail so it's going to take a few hours 2 or 3 give or take. Lilah spots me walking in and smiles while she's walking to her workstation closing the curtain. Raven hasn't seen me yet so I walk over to her, the curtains are still open when she eventually looks up and sees me standing in front of her, her eyes widen of surprise "Hey Jackson, I'm sorry I have a 5:30 who should be here any minute now" she says quickly standing up from her seat "I am your 5:30 appointment" I tell her smiling walking in and closing the curtain behind me. She looks shocked but she moves out of the way for me to sit on the table/bed. I take a seat and she sits back down grabbing her notepad, she makes notes before putting the piece together on the p.c then she prints it and then we get started "Okay….so since when do you make an appointment to get a tattoo done?" She asks looking at me suspiciously "Since you're avoiding me" immediately her facial expression changes from awkward to sad "Ray you won't talk to me and I really need to speak to you please" I tell her she looks down at her notepad "What do you want done?" She asks, avoiding what I just said "RAY!" I yell she jumps at me raising my voice and she looks up at me "Look…" I get off the table/bed "I'm sorry, for everything. I'm not going to pretend to know what to say to you but I miss you" I tell her not knowing exactly what to say, she says nothing at first then she looks up at me again eyes full of tears "No Jackson I'm the one who should be apologizing, I shouldn't have said that this is all my fault. You have a good thing going with Charlotte and if you're happy I'm happy" she says and smiles fakely, stands up wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me in for a hug and I hold her tight against me, she lets go of me after a few seconds. I don't want to hurt her like this, she's in love with me and I'm in love with her even though I haven't told her yet because I'm with Charlotte and her telling me how she feels has already done a number on our friendship. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my engagement and Charlotte because at this point someone's going to get hurt and it's going to be my fault but first things first I'm going to win my friend back. She has no idea how much she means to me. Although everything is not as it should be yet at least she's talking to me now and that's a good thing it means there's hope. She finished the sketch and we got started. A few hours later we are almost done, just needs some shading and it will be complete. We were talking about what we missed out on in the past two weeks but avoided talking about Charlotte and the engagement when she finally asks "So when's the big day?" Shocked, I start stuttering "Ummm… I..I don't know we haven't talked about it yet" I tell her not making any eye contact "What's going on?" Because she knows me so well she can see when something's bothering me I'm always honest with her so I don't intend to stop now "Okay...I think I made a mistake proposing to Charlotte but it's not because of what you told me. I realized it the minute the words came out of my mouth and now it's too late to turn back" I explain to Ray what's bothering me and she just stares at me "What?" She says with this weird look on her face "Why would you do something so stupid Jackson? You do know Charlotte is literally going to kill you if you tell her you made a mistake right?" she says and starts laughing uncontrollably "I'm going to miss you my friend" she says again and starts laughing some more "Wow! Thanks! you are a lot of help" I say sarcastically rolling my eyes "I'm sorry but why?" She asks and shrugs "She was complaining about me not caring enough about her and I had blue balls, I guess I made an impulsive decision" I say slapping my hand to my forehead. She shakes her head in disbelief "So you proposed to get laid?" She asks "No!" I say quickly "I don't know what I was doing" I say and sigh. She cleans up my tattoo and I stand up to take a look at it and as usual she did an amazing job "Nice work Ray! As always" I tell her and smile. She gets up and smiles "My pleasure" she says and I pull her in for a hug "Your an idiot" she says and starts chuckling again and I let go "Can we atleast have supper together tonight I happen to know I am your last appointment so no excuses" I tell her, she rolls her eyes "Fine! Let me clean up and I'll meet you upstairs in a bit" she says and I leave her to it. I'm hoping we can get our friendship back on track.

CHAPTER 3

A MONTH LATER…

Raven Taylor

Things with me and Jackson are back on track. I shoved my feelings for him back in the box so we can be friends again and the fact that his engaged to Charlotte. It's been a month and he hasn't told her that he made a "mistake" so I guess he will be going through with the whole getting married thing. Jade and Chelsea were not very happy about my decision to let go of Jackson because they still think there is a chance now that he knows. I however don't feel the same. I'm not doing this to myself to hold on to hope when there is none, as long as he remains my best friend I'm happy. We still spend a lot of time together considering he lives with me it's kind of hard not too. He has been treating me differently though and I'm not sure why either. I dread the day he moves in with Charlotte and I know it's coming very soon I mean she doesn't want him here and seeing they're engaged she will probably convince him to move in with her. I don't even want to think of it because I put the feelings away. I'm going to be happy for my best friend and I will never stop loving him that's for damn sure.

This has been my longest week, it's only Tuesday but I feel like it's supposed to be Saturday already. I have been very busy these past two days, I was thinking of taking tomorrow off and just sleep. I haven't done that in a while but unfortunately someone just called in an appointment for tomorrow morning at 10. I told Lilah to not take any more appointments for tomorrow. I just got home, it's after 6 pm now and I hear Jackson busy in the kitchen. We do supper together once or twice a week now it's shortened since recent events it used to be three maybe four times a week. I lay back on my bed with my eyes closed when I hear a knock on my door "Ray! You home?" He yells from the other side "Yeah! Come in!" I tell him and he comes inside. He looks freshly showered and I'm full of ink and sweaty "You look like shit" he says chuckling. I sit up straight and roll my eyes at him as he takes a seat next to me. I turn to look at him and for some reason because we're sitting so close the first thing I look at is his lips but I quickly move my eyes up to his. He stares at me for a while when I notice his eyes falling down to my lips as well and he looks back up to me when his expression changes. What is this look he has on his face? He has never looked at me this way before this is very different and it's making my heart beat really fast. I haven't even noticed but we have started leaning in towards each other and we are now just inches away from each other when I realize what's happening I freak out and jump up from the bed quickly. I go straight over to my dresser to grab my things for my shower "What are you cooking?" I ask breaking the awkward silence but I continue scratching in my drawer not making any eye contact with him. He sighs and says "Spaghetti" he says bluntly and I turn around with clean underwear and a t-shirt in my hand "Extra spicy?" I ask him "Just the way you like it" he says and smiles. He gets up from my bed and walks over to the door "I'll meet you in the kitchen" he says winks and leaves my room. I'm flustered really flustered, I think we were about to kiss or maybe I was imagining myself. I try not to think about it to much because I can literally feel the box opening little at a time the more I think about it so I shake it off and head to the bathroom to take a nice hot shower. When I get out of the shower I head to the kitchen where I find Jackson sitting at the table talking on his phone. It must be Charlotte "Let's not rush the wedding just yet babe I want it to be perfect it's your special day and perfection takes time" he says trying to convince Charlotte. I guess he's still trying to stall her "Char don't be crazy of course I can't wait to live together I just think when we married we gonna be in each other's face all the time so why not wait and do the moving in together after the wedding" she must not like what he said because he says "Char it's not like that, I told you me and Ray….." and he stops when he gets up, turns around and sees me standing at the sink about to rinse a glass for some water "Char! Hello Char!" He sighs and places his phone down on the table "Everything okay?" I ask "Yeah you know the usual move in with me we need to set a date argument" he says and walks over to me to warm up the spaghetti he dished both of ours but it needs to be heated again so he puts it one at a time in the microwave. We making small talk when I decide to ask him " Why don't you want to move in with Char?" He looks surprised at my question "You want me to go?" He asks looking a little sad "No! No that's not what I'm saying" I chuckle "I'm just curious as to why you wont live with your fiance" I say and shrug, his standing next to against the kitchen sink and he turns to look at me. The same look as earlier spread across his face and my heart starts racing again he turns so he is facing me completely and I hold eye contact with him although this is making me very nervous. I look up at him and he smiles "You afraid of the dark" he says and shrugs "So you don't want to live with your fiance because I'm scared of the dark?" I ask him very confused "Yes and a few other reasons" he says and that look he gave me comes back and it's getting really intense to a point where we both leaning in towards each other again. I should stop this again! But my will power is suddenly not working very well we're like two magnets drawn to each other to a point where we are unable to stop it. Our noses touch and my eyes close automatically with his lips inches away from mine. I feel like I'm dreaming and I'm going to wake up when it gets to the good part. He leans in some more and we lock lips. Like an ice block that gets left in the sun I start melting away in Jackson's kiss, it's deep and meaningful and I don't want him to stop. I press myself up against him and I wrap my arms around his neck but he stops "Ray.. I'm sorry I can't" he says and looks down. I let go of him and step back. This feels really horrible we kiss and just when I give in to him he pushes me away so why did he even bother to go there? I'm an idiot, a total idiot "I'm sorry Jackson I shouldn't have….." I say but, not able to finish my sentence because the top of the box I kept my feelings for Jackson in has popped open again and I'm feeling really emotional especially after that kiss that still has my knees wobbly. I think I should get out of this kitchen before I burst into tears in front of Jackson, the guilt will eat him alive and I don't want to do that to him. After a few seconds of awkward silence the microwave goes off and I jump at the sound of the ping it made "I'm not hungry" I say bluntly "Good night Jackson" I tell him making my way out of the kitchen "Ray please" he says taking the plate out of the microwave placing it on the counter and walk after me but I walk faster till I'm in my room behind closed door. Why do I do this to myself? I should have just stopped it from happening and now too late. Our friendship is slowly being flushed away and that is overwhelming me more than my best friend rejecting me. I start crying again not as much as I did the night I told him I was in love with him and he said he proposed to Charlotte but just enough to feel really stupid because now I can't stop thinking about the kiss and how it will never be mine again. I lay down on my bed and my phone goes off.

Jacks : Can I come see you please
Raven : Sure

Because I can't say no to him I tell him to come to my room. I wipe away my tears quickly luckily there were only a few so I won't give anything away. There's a knock on the door "Come in" I say and he makes his way inside. He walks over to me sitting on the edge of the bed not looking at him, he sits down next to me "Ray I'm so sorry for doing this to you, your my best friend and I don't want to loose you" he says sounding really sad and I can feel the tears start building again "You don't have to apologize Jackson it was a mistake right?" I turn to him and smile fakely waiting for him to answer, he stares at me and I know he can see the tears in my eyes but unfortunately I no longer have control over them. I'm still waiting for his answer but he says nothing, he looks away from me and looks down at his hands instead "Right Jackson?" I say again he slowly nods his head yes "Right" he says with no eye contact at all. We just sit there for a few minutes not talking when I decide to say something "Look Jackson your my best friend and I know me telling you how I really feel about you must be a lot for you considering but you have no obligation towards me okay" I tell him but he doesn't make a move nor does he say anything. I wish I knew what he was thinking "You wanted to talk now you just gonna sit there and say nothing?" I ask and shrug, he eventually sits up straight "Ray you know I'm not very good with words hence the reason I went and got engaged" he says sighs and shakes his head. He looks frustrated "It's okay I know" I tell him and pat him on the shoulder "I'm exhausted I think I'm just going to get to bed" I say again when he turns to look at me again "Okay" he says and gets up from the bed "Jackson" I say before he leaves my room and he turns to look at me "Yeah" he says holding on to the door handle "You will always be my best friend" I say with a fake smile feeling extremely emotional and I get up to give him a hug. He holds on to me really tight because it feels like there is more to this hug then we both thought. When he let's go he gives me a quick peck on the forehead and leaves the room. I stand against the door with my eyes closed wishing that none of this ever happened. I should have just kept my big mouth closed then we would still be okay but now it's too late there was a kiss shared something we have never done before and it felt amazing it felt right. I open my eyes and it falls straight to a piece of paper laying on the floor in front of my dresser. I go over to pick it up and see it's Dyson's number. I completely forgot about it, I take the number, add it to my phone contact list and throw the piece of paper in the bin. I switch off the lights and get in bed, tonight has been eventful to say the least.

Jackson Cyrus

I have made things ten times more complicated between me and Ray. I kissed her and I don't know why I did, it just felt right at the time. I have been wanting to do that for a very long time and now that I have I don't regret it but the Charlotte thing has got me guilty to another level because I made promises to her and I do love her but I think she was right when she said I love Raven more. I don't have a plan yet but I need to figure out what I'm going to do because I can't loose my best friend especially since I now know she feels the same way about me as I do about her but then on the other hand I can't hurt Charlotte like this it's not fair towards her. I'm so confused I just wish life was a bit easier sometimes.

It's Wednesday morning I'm always up before Ray because sometimes her appointments run till long after closing time on a weekday. It always depends on the size of the piece and the color and detail and perfection takes time so if she has to work an extra 3 hours after closing time then she will but the customer always leaves her chair happy. I would know she's done all my tattoos since she started. She even fixed a stupid drunken tattoo I got when we were both away at college I got her name and mine tattooed on my back with best friends forever written at the bottom it was a shit job but I guess if I look back now I think I always knew Raven Taylor was perfect for me other then the fact that she literally knows me pretty well we have a good understanding, we respect each other, we basically think alike and other then everything that's been happening we have never been angry at each other for anything so her being this distant with me is killing me to a point where Charlotte can see it. I head to the kitchen to get some coffee and I make a stop at her room to see if she's awake. I knock twice softly and I walk inside but she's still fast asleep. I'll leave her to sleep, I could see she was crying when I came to talk to her last night and that was all my fault. I basically pushed her away after making moves on her when I know how she feels about me. I feel like a piece of shit, I hope there is some way I can make all of this right again. I back out of her room slowly and I close the door behind me. I'm going to get myself a cup of coffee, grab a quick shower and I head out to the gym. It's only a few blocks up the road so I take a slow jog down to get warmed up, it helps me clear my head. When I get to the gym I quickly lock open and switch on the lights, no one is here yet so I switch on some music and get a work out in before everyone starts coming in.

It's about 2:30 pm, I'm relaxing in my office realizing that I haven't had anything to eat and I'm starting to feel the burn. I get up and leave the office when I hear Raven's voice inside the gym. I walk around the corner and she's talking to Dyson over by the punching bags. She laughing, I haven't seen her laugh like that in a while. I stand and watch them for a while till she turns around and sees me. She turns back to Dyson who gives her a peck on the hand like last time and she turns around all smiles walking towards me "Hey! I brought lunch. The kitchen was still clean this morning so I figured you probably didn't eat anything today" she says all chirpy holding up the bag with the food in it. She knows me so well all I can do is smile "Well you are right" I tell her, throw my arm over her shoulder and we walk together into my office to have lunch. We chilling in my office talking like we usually do but I'm burning inside to ask her about the Dyson thing. I'm not gonna lie I said this would happen and since the kiss I think I'm even more jealous and I have no right to be. So we're talking when I just come out and ask "What's the deal with you and Dyson?" I say and shrug, taking a sip of my soda she looks at me suspiciously and a little shocked "What do you mean? I barely know him" she says rolling her eyes and chuckles "You two looked pretty chummy earlier" I say trying to act nonchalant she looks at me shakes her head and smiles "Yeah he asked me out" she says bluntly looking down at her fries. There's a very awkward silence "Did you say yes?" I ask curiosity getting the better of me or it could be the jealousy I don't know either way I need to know. She says nothing at first then looks at me and says "Yes, I said yes" and just like that my heart sinks to my gut and there's a heavy feeling on my chest but I have to play it cool because I have no right to be jealous she has shoved her feelings aside for me because I'm with another woman who I stupidly proposed to so I'm going to be very selfish if I can't at least be happy for her "Jackson!" I hear her say when I snap back from my thought "Yeah that's good I'm glad" I tell her with a fake smile making very little eye contact because I can already see by the look on her face she knows I'm lying. Like I said and I'll say it again she knows me very well it's a blessing and a curse. I'm surprised she hasn't figured out that I'm in love with her too. My phone rings and it's Charlotte so I answer. Raven gets up from her seat "Hey Char!" I say quickly hand gesturing to Ray not to go but she mouths to me softly that she has another appointment "JACKSON!!" I hear Charlotte yell on the other end "Yes I'm here!" I say quickly as Ray makes her way out the door with just a wave no hug. I smooth things over with Charlotte over the phone and we hang up. I'm a bit distracted, I can't stop thinking about Ray and Dyson going on a date! That's ridiculous right? She can't be serious, his not even her type or is he? Ray barely dated anyone she's very independent. She has had a few one night stands so I know she ain't no virgin, we talk about sex and it's not weird at all because we're friends since forever. We used to bath together even though we don't do that anymore it's not weird talking her about sex, alot of people would think she's lesbian because of the way she dresses and the fact that she doesn't have a boyfriend but I just think she has a unique style and it totally suits her. She has shared a few of her sex stories with me as well, Raven is smoking hot! She just doesn't see it at all. She wears jeans most of the time and big t-shirt, she never wears makeup or spends a lot of time with her hair, she would rather sleep the extra 45min as she will say but she does take care of herself that much I can say. Hopefully by the time I get home she will be there and we can talk. I would like to know more about this date.

Raven Taylor

I'm pretending like the kiss didn't happen, it's better that way. Jackson said he doesn't want to loose me as his friend and I feel the same way. I said I'm going to be happy for my best friend and that's what I'm doing. I took him lunch today at the gym to show no hard feelings when I ran into Dyson who was charming as usual. He gave me an earful for not using his number and then he asked me out on a date! I was shocked that he was so forward but also very flattered he really is super hot. Jackson on the other hand was acting weird after I told him about the date he tried to be happy for me but he was just being fake, I could see because I know him too well. What's his deal? Why did he look upset about the date thing? Could he possibly be jealous? This is getting more and more confusing for me and at this point going on this date with Dyson is exactly what I need to take my mind off Jackson. I don't know what he expects of me but I can't sit around and wait for him forever especially when he doesn't feel the same way he should just tell me so I can stop holding on to hope even when I feel it's pointless sometimes, there is still a part of me that hopes he will choose me so if he tells me he doesn't feel the same then maybe I can let go. I'm so confused but I don't want to loose him. I can't even imagine not having Jackson in my life that would kill me. I'm anxious for tonight I know he's going to try and get some more information out of me about the date. I'm not even sure what we're doing for the date I just know I have two days to prepare because it's Friday evening. I'm nervous but a little excited because I have only ever went on two dates my entire life and it was a bust anyway so that doesn't count. I have no more appointments for the rest of the day so I'm home just after 5 and I start making something for supper before Jackson gets home. I'm going to try and avoid the date conversation with him tonight considering he seems a little uncomfortable with it. In the mean time, I need my girlfriends for this because I have no idea what to wear. Dyson is a really nice guy so I want to look good.

FRIDAY EVENING…..

Raven Taylor

I'm so nervous for tonight I'm freaking out, I feel like I should cancel and I look ridiculous. Jade and Chelsea are helping me get ready, I gave over to them when I couldn't decide what to wear and they are taking this way overboard. I'm actually wearing a dress! A very tight dress and heels! Something I swore I would never wear. I can't believe I let them talk me into it and the cherry on top my hair can curl and I'm wearing makeup CAN SOMEONE KILL ME NOW!! The girls are doing the finishing touches so I haven't seen myself in the mirror yet "Could you guys hurry up! He will be here any minute" I tell them feeling frustrated with their hands all over me "Would you relax! You still have 30min and we are done" says Jade standing in front of me. They both start smiling from ear to ear looking at me from head to toe "Wow! Shit! Raven Taylor you clean up really good" says Chelsea "You look like a dark Queen, in a good way of course. We went with all black because we figured we would stick to your favorite color" says Jade smiling "You do know my favorite color is red right?" I tell them rolling my eyes, disgusted they call themselves my friends "We know, don't worry there is red involved" she says and turns me around so I can look at myself in the mirror. WHO THE HELL IS THIS!! my eyes widen in shock at what I'm seeing right now. I don't recognize the woman I'm looking at staring at myself up and down in the mirror and the heels I'm wearing are actually comfortable although I haven't tried walking in them yet but it's not that high so I'm sure it will be fine. I'm standing there totally speechless for about 15min when there's a knock on my door "Ray can I come in?!" Jackson yells from the other side. The girls both start smiling at each other and Jade quickly opens the door before I could even say anything. Jackson walks inside and stops dead in his tracks when he sees me but I have my back turned to him so I'm looking at him in the mirror. He says nothing just stares at me when I turn around to look at him, he makes eye contact with me immediately "So Jackson, what do you think?" Chelsea asks standing next to Jackson "Ummmm….. Yeah…… wow!" The girls start laughing at Jackson being tongue tied right now and my heart is beating really fast "Did you need something Jackson?" I ask him trying to figure out why he came in here and what he's still doing here. I thought he would have left to Charlotte's place already. He looks at me confused like he doesn't understand what I mean "Ummm… no I came to say good luck tonight and I'm off to Charlotte's" he says and smiles fakely "Thank you Jackson, I'll see you sunday" I say and smile back, he turns around to walk away and before he leave the room he turns back to me "Ray" he says and I make eye contact with him again "Yeah" I say anxiously waiting for him to say what he wants to say "You look beautiful" he says and smiles genuinely this time and I smile back "Thank you" I tell him and he leaves my room closing the door behind him. Jade and Chelsea stand and look at me with this awwwww look on their faces and it's creeping me out "Stop!" I tell them "Did you see the way he looked at you, omg Raven he's so in love with you" says Jade walking over to my bed to sit on it "Don't be ridiculous, he was just shocked he has never! Seen me in a dress and I mean never" I tell them laughing a little and then turn back to the mirror to take a look at myself again. I'm still kind of speechless when I look in the mirror at this huge transformation, in a good way but I feel like I should act differently now and that's scary. The doorbell goes, Chelsea jumps up and leaves my room to get the door. I grab my little clutch bag that makes no sense. I can barely fit my phone in but nevertheless I put my phone in there and leave the room with Jade right behind me. When I get to the living room he is already standing there waiting for me with Chelsea drooling all over him. His dressed smart casual looking hot as usual the other times I have seen him he was practically naked at least there's no abs tonight or maybe there will be we'll see.

He came with his motorbike, I was sceptical at first because I'm wearing heels and a very tight dress making it almost impossible to get on the bike but I love motorbikes, was thinking of selling my car and getting myself one. Naturally I was more excited then freaked out so I made the tight dress work just enough not expose my ass and we were off. First dinner at a fancy restaurant, then we took a long drive to the beach where we relaxed and just talked for a whole 2 hours. He brought me home safely just after 12 am. There was actually no funny business and a very delicious good night kiss at my door was all I got, like a real gentleman and I'm not used to any of this so I'm completely overwhelmed by him. He keeps a good conversation, sweet and considerate. This date was a very good idea. When I got home there were a bunch of messages and missed calls from Jackson. I'll call him in the morning, I just want to stay in my bubble for a little while longer. I got straight in bed totally on cloud nine who knows maybe this Jackson thing is just an infatuation after all. I hope I get to see more of Dyson.

CHAPTER 4

A MONTH LATER

Raven Taylor

A month later and what do you know Dyson is still sticking around mainly because there hasn't been any sex involved yet. I decided to hold off because I like him a little too much and I'm scared as soon as he gets what he wants his going to bail. I'm letting him work for it and I must say he is holding up very well still remaining a complete gentleman. We see each other more than 3 times a week. I will go see him at the gym and we hang out Saturday evenings. I told my mom about him and she would love to meet him but there is no label on it yet so she is just going to have to wait. Jackson has been distant since I started dating Dyson. Trying to be the better man I guess but he doesn't make a secret of the fact that he doesn't approve even called my mom to tell her that. I don't know who he thinks he is trying to control my life, he's not my father he should know his place. If he was so concerned about me he should have put me out of my misery a month ago but he didn't and I'm trying to move on because he's getting married and leaving me behind. I don't know much about the wedding just that they have set a date apparently it's 3 months away. Jackson will move out and I will be left here alone because once Charlotte has him she ain't letting him near me again. He has been spending more time with Charlotte as well and I'm happy for him, I really am but these days he seems so depressed not really laughing or smiling just serious all the time. I'm not sure why but I can see that he is jealous now, it's clear as day because when Dyson comes over he wants to be around us all the time making small talk till Dyson runs out of time and has to leave. Then he leaves me to myself and goes to bed. That pisses me off so when Dyson visits I usually tell him we should go for a drive so we could be alone. Dyson is a really great kisser, I'll admit he almost got into the cookie jar and as I explained he is very yummy but I'm going to be strong about this, who knows he could be the one.

Two days before the exhibition match and the fighters are all on edge training really hard including Jackson and Dyson. They have started getting the gym ready for the match on Saturday already and I must say it's coming together nicely. I try and help out where I can but I have been busy as well getting in more clients not to mention this afternoon I have back to back tattoos till late and then tomorrow as well. The guys from the club are all getting tatts after the fight on Saturday keeping me very busy for the next few days. I hardly see Jackson anymore his spending more time at Charlotte's place these days even on weekdays, so this is getting serious now and I'm starting to get a little nervous because I miss him even though he lives here everything is changing and I'm sad. Things with me and Dyson are going great but with me and Jackson it's going horrible to say the least it's like he's angry at me but for what? I have no idea although this started when I started dating Dyson so that means he's jealous? His marrying Charlotte I don't know what he wants from me. Does Jackson want me to be alone forever? If so then I think it's better he move in with Charlotte and fast so I can at least try and be happy without him. I'm up earlier these days and I head to the kitchen to get some coffee when I see Jackson sitting at the table having breakfast. I didn't even know he was here. I thought he was still at Charlotte's like he has been for the past two days "Morning stranger" I say walking straight over to the coffee machine "Morning" he says and smiles fakely as usual "You know I can see that right?" I say sarcastically walking over to the table to sit opposite him with my coffee, he takes a sip of his juice, clears his throat "What?" He questions looking confused "The fake smiles you have been trying to play off" I tell him, waiting on his response. He sits up straight but says nothing "How's things with you and Charlotte?" I ask trying to change the subject but still no response "Okay what the hell is up with you?!" I ask, raising my voice now because what is this silent treatment I'm getting from him "Nothing" he says bluntly "JACKSON!" I yell, feeling frustrated and a little emotional because this is kind of hurting real bad he has never done this before we have never not talked to each other EVER! So I don't understand. He runs his hands over his face and sighs "Ray……" and he trails off shaking his head not making any eye contact with me and I can feel the tears start building but I hold it back because he can't see me cry "I don't want you dating Dyson Reign" he says not looking at me, I'm totally confused "What? You're the one who gave me his number" I tell him "I know!" He says and gets up with his cup and plate, walks over to the kitchen sink to put the dirty dishes in it. He sighs again standing at the sink with his back to me not talking. This is driving me crazy and the tears have started filling my eyes again. I get up from the table leaving my cup behind. I have to get out of here before I explode "Ray! where are you going?!" He calls out after me but I don't say anything, I walk past him down the hall but before I get to my room he's right behind me and grabs hold of my arm so I can stop. I stop but I stand still I don't turn around "Ray I'm so sorry" he says but I'm pissed off he won't talk to me so I turn around "STOP SAYING YOUR SORRY!! what are you even sorry for Jackson?" I ask him feeling defeated because the box is wide open and I'm feeling emotional to a point where I won't be able to control my stupid tears. Jackson stands in shock at me yelling at him for the first time ever but I don't have the patience for this right now. I attempt to walk away but he pulls me back again giving me an unexpected soft kiss on my lips but he holds it there not wanting to go further and I can't help but give in to a very passionate moment, after all it's Jackson. He breaks away leaving me a little breathless "Does that answer all your questions?" He asks, running his hand down my arm "Jackson what are you trying to say?" I ask him because I'm not feeling like myself right now. I'm confused, I feel guilty and my heart won't stop racing. I just need him to be clear about what this all means "I don't know Ray, I'm not sure what we're supposed to do. I'm saying sorry because I know how hard all of this must be for you and it's all my fault but I can't just leave Charlotte either Ray she has done nothing wrong" what is he saying? His still not being very clear about what he wants. I don't answer him at first trying to analyze all of this "So you don't want me dating but you gonna go ahead and marry Charlotte?" I ask him trying to figure out if he's for real being this selfish right now "Yes… I mean no! I don't know Ray…. I " I stop him before he can answer, I'm more annoyed now than emotional "I have always been happy for you Jackson! Always! Even though I knew I was in love with you since high school and I let you be happy and after all these years my best friend is only thinking of himself not even taking me into consideration. Wow!" I tell him shocked at the realization of everything "No! Ray it's not like that I swear" he says pleading me to believe him but I just can't deal with this right now, I feel really disappointed in him. I walk away from him straight to my room "Ray!!" He calls out after me but I make my way to my room quickly and I close the door behind me. I can't believe that Jackson would be so selfish he doesn't want me to be happy and that hurts.

Jackson Cyrus

Things are just going from bad to worse with me and Ray. I kissed her again because I couldn't use words to tell her how I feel and now I think I lost my best friend. I need Raven in my life but at the same time I can't hurt Charlotte like that. It looks like I'm gonna have to choose because judging from Ray's reaction to my stupid answer I take it I can't have both. I guess my curiosity about loving two people at the same time happens to be true and I got myself caught up in a love triangle and so does Ray except she isn't as long with Dyson but she seems to like him a whole lot. I don't know if they had slept together yet but what I do know is things are getting really serious between them and it's making me nervous. I love Ray with all my heart, I don't know why we waited so long, I don't know why everything is so fucked up but I can't loose her. I'm gonna have to decide what I'm going to do and fast before it's too late.

Two days before the match and we're all in tiptop shape all ready for the event. My gym is almost complete. I had to do some temporary renovations to make it look presentable, we have a lot of potential sponsors coming in Saturday night and I want the gym to look decent. I felt like shit after me and Ray argued this morning so I left and went for a run. I came straight to the gym and I have been here ever since. Mostly all I have been doing is sitting in my office thinking about everything. I can't even speak to Charlotte, she has left me a bunch of msgs and tried to call but I just can't do this right now. I'm starting to feel hungry, by this time Ray would have called to ask if I had eaten anything yet or she would show up with lunch but I know that's not happening today. I leave my office to get something to eat but I spot Dyson talking to someone on his phone at the one corner of the gym. It looks serious so I walk past him, he doesn't see me, he has his back turned to me "Baby I'll be home soon, after the match I'm coming home. Why do you listen to your stupid friends we been married 5 year Nicola and you still don't trust me" Wtf! He's married! What the hell is doing with Ray if he is married! My blood is boiling, I stand there frozen trying to calm myself down. He doesn't see me so I listen some more to get my facts straight "You shouldn't worry so much I'm being good I promise. Kiss my son for me will you" and the cherry on top he has a child. I feel like I'm about to beat the shit out of this scumbag "I love you baby" he says before hanging up the phone. He turns around and sees me standing there watching him probably with this look of rage on my face and his eyes widen "Jackson!" He says surprised "What's going on man?" He asks with this guilty look on his face "You're married?" I ask him folding my arms over my chest to calm myself from punching him lights out "Ummmm….." he can't even speak "So you have been lying to Ray" I ask him as calm as possible "It's not like that man" I'm loosing my patience with this guy, I walk up closer to him and he steps back "Look man it's between me and Ray…..." he shouldn't have said that before he can finish I punch him straight in the face. Dyson's laying on the floor spitting blood out of his mouth trying to get back up, by now I'm fuming but before I can go for him again I get grabbed from behind by Ralph one of the trainers at the gym "Woah! Jackson! Relax, what's going on man?" He asks holding onto me tight because I'm trying to get out of his hold to go for Dyson again but he has a firm grip on allowing Dyson to get back up "Fuck you Jackson!" That's making me even more angrier as I try and get loose from Ralph again "Jackson relax! Save it for the match okay" says Ralph so I try and calm down. I shake him off "You good" I shake my head "I'm not done with you" I tell Dyson and head back to my office before I kill him. I can't believe this guy, how could he do this to Ray. I'm definitely telling Ray the minute she gets home tonight.

Raven Taylor

This thing with me and Jackson has been on my head the whole day. I can't stop thinking about what happened this morning. I didn't have much appointments today just two big pieces that took about 6 hours out of my day, so I'm home by 5:30 and I decide to call up Dyson but Dyson says he can't come over because he's tired, he had a hectic day training. I get it he needs to rest up the match is on Saturday and I'm sure he must be on edge about it so I'll give him his space. In the mean time I'm just gonna order pizza and watch a movie. I'm not in the mood to talk to Jackson tonight or even see him so I'm watching a movie on my laptop in my room. Usually I watch t.v in the living room but the living room is where the front door is and I don't want to run into him. The pizza gets here I grab a few slices, some soda and I head to my room, I have my secret stash of munchies hidden away inside my bedside dresser so I'm good for the night. It's just after 10 pm and I have watched two very good movies but I still heard no sign of Jackson. Has he even come home yet? I'm starting to worry so I go check if he's here. I make a stop at his room first, I knock no answers so I go inside but there's no one he hasn't been home whole day. I make my way to the kitchen and no one there either so I go check in the living room and nope no Jackson. Where could he be? Unless he went to Charlotte after gym today and forgot to tell me. Then I realized that we kind of not talking since this mornings drama and I start to feel sad when I hear the door open. It's Jackson he's startled when he sees me standing there shocked to see him when I was just in here looking for him. He closes the door behind him and walks over to me "Hey" he says with a crooked smile "Hey" I say bluntly not knowing what to say to him "Ray can we talk? And it's not about us" he says looking genuinely concerned. I'm a little nervous as to what this is about but he points to the sofa for me to sit and I do. He sits down next to me and sighs "What's going on Jackson? talk to me" I tell him "Ray there is something I need to tell you and you not going to like it" oh God I don't know what this is but it can't be good, please don't tell me Charlotte is pregnant "I'm listening" I tell him settling into my seat a bit better "Today I overheard a conversation between Dyson and someone he was talking with over the phone" he says not making eye contact with me "Yeah so?" I ask and shrug "The person was his wife Nicola" wtf!! He can't be serious "What" I say bluntly because I'm still in shock "I heard him tell her his being good his not doing anything wrong and they have a son too….." I stop him before he can go any further because this is just too much. Why is he doing this? Does Jackson not want me to be happy for a change "You lying!" Feeling frustrated and angry at him "Ray, why would I lie to you?" He asks shocked at my reaction to what he just said but I'm sorry I just don't feel like his telling me the truth "I don't know! I just know that I would have known if he was married okay" I tell him and the emotions starts acting up again, I'm feeling angry, confused and a bunch of things I don't want to feel. I get up from the sofa. I need to get away from Jackson and everything I just need to be alone "Ray!! Wait!" He yells behind me and I stop and turn around "I'm sorry but it's the truth" he says walking over to me "Why did you have to tell me this!!" I yell at him trying to control the tears that wants to fall "What do you mean? Would you rather me not say anything and watch you get hurt by that scumbag?" He says with this annoyed look on his face like he can't believe I just said that "Yes! Because it's my life and you made it very clear you don't want to see me happy so I'm sorry if I don't believe you" for the first time since I have known adult Jackson and were best friends, I have never seen him cry and tonight his standing in front of me with tears in his eyes and mine just start rolling down my face "What happened to us Ray? How can two people who love each other so much loose faith in each other like this, how could you ever think that I wouldn't want you to be happy Raven" and for the first time in many years his saying my full name and now I'm full on sobbing uncontrollably but he just stands there looking horribly disappointed in me. I can't think straight right now I just found out my boyfriend is married and now all of this with Jackson and I just "I think you should move out, we clearly don't know each other that well anymore" I say wipe my tears and walk away from him straight to my room. I can barely breath when I get to my room and I sit down on the floor grabbing the nearest piece of clothing I could find to scream so it doesn't come out loud. I have a good scream with tears rolling down my face, my heart is broken and I don't know if it's because of Dyson but I think it has more to do with Jackson at this point and the fact that I told him to move out. I didn't mean what I said but I said it and it's too late to turn back now, Jackson will probably never forgive me for this. As for Dyson, I don't ever want to see him again. It's funny how I didn't want to believe Jackson and here I am deleting Dyson's number from my phone, guess the faith isn't gone after all. I get in bed and a few minutes of crying I finally fall asleep.

SATURDAY….

Raven Taylor

The exhibition match will be starting in an hour. I'm at the gym but I haven't seen Jackson or Dyson the fighters stay at the back till it's their turn to fight. I haven't spoken to Jackson since the other night and I haven't seen him either. He left me a note saying his going to stay at Charlotte's for a few days to give me some space. I needed the space but I needed my best friend more. I called up Jade and Chelsea last night and they came over to keep me company. I told them everything that's been going on so they came with me today for moral support. I'm not even sure why I came here tonight because I see Charlotte coming from the back and taking a seat in the front row. I want to tell Jackson goodluck but I don't think that would be such a good idea considering. I wouldn't want to distract him now before a fight. As for Dyson he hasn't tried to make contact with me so I guess he knows that Jackson must have told me about him being married. I'm more disappointed in myself for the fact that I so badly wanted to get a life for myself that isn't Jackson that I was blinded by it. I can usually see through people's bullshit but this time around I was completely clueless. If this is what happens when I let my guard down I'm never doing that shit again. I miss Jackson and I don't know if we can ever go back to being friends again. I was so emotional yesterday that I called my mom crying, other then Jackson she is after all the only one who understands me.

We are almost halfway through and it's getting intense. Dyson and some other guy are fighting next and I'm kind of nervous to see him. Jade gives my arm a tight squeeze to let me know she's right there and I can't help but smile. Three rounds later and Dyson wins leaving him to fight in the finals with Jackson. This is not going to be good, I hope it doesn't get out of hand. We take a short break and I attempt to look for Jackson without anyone noticing. I just want to tell him good luck but I don't see him anywhere so I make my way to his office because I can see Charlotte still in her seat on her phone. I knock on his door and walk in slowly peaking to see if he's in there and he is. Jackson sitting on his desk in his shorts and boots. He looks up at me and immediately I can see something's wrong "Hey" I say cautiously because we're not supposed to be speaking but he looks like he is completely in his feelings and I don't want to make things worse "Hey Ray" he says and smiles fakely. I walk over to him to take a seat next to him "Everything okay?" I ask pretending like nothing happened, he turns to look at me and just shakes his head. I feel really bad for him he looks really sad "Is it something I can help with?" I ask him my heart breaking right now seeing him like this "How did everything get so messed up Ray?" He says looking at the floor instead of looking at me and I know what he means so I don't answer him "I mean we're not talking me and Charlotte's not talking. I'm about to go up against Dyson who I'm going to probably kill for what he did to you" he says and laughs sarcastically shaking his head "Jackson, I didn't mean it when I said you should move out. I was upset and I thought…." He stops me before I can finish "Ray you haven't done anything wrong and truth be told you were right I was being selfish I wanted you to always be there and when I realized what I was doing I felt even worse about telling you about Dyson because I should have made him tell you himself. I intervened in your relationship throughout only because I knew something was off about him…." He stops "Jackson I shouldn't have told you how I felt about you, that's when everything changed between us. It has nothing to do with Dyson or you proposing to Charlotte everything changed when I told you I'm in love with you" I say as I swallow hard trying not to cry and I stare at the wall in front of me instead of looking at him. I can feel him staring at me so I say nothing "You know what the funny part of is Ray?" He asks looking at me and then at the floor but I don't answer him once again so he continues "Is that I'm in love with you too" he says "Have been for a very long time" He says again and I immediately turn to look at him with shock. I always thought this was one sided feelings but it turn out he felt exactly the same way all this time "But…." He says and trails off. I wait patiently for him to speak "For this reason our friendship took a beating the thing I was most afraid of has now happened and I think that it would be better for me to move in with Charlotte, I think we need a break from each other until we can figure out what we going to do about us but I would like to get our friendship back on track because I miss you Ray. I need us to find what we had again first or nothing will work because I fell in love with my best friend and I want her back" says Jackson looking at me with tears in his eyes, I don't know what to say because my heart just sank to my gut and I'm not sure how to process all of this. The tears that I have been biting back have now rolled down my face "Ray, please don't cry" he gets up from where he was sitting and pulls me in for a hug "We will still see each other everyday I promise" and I start crying more because this feels like goodbye "You getting married in two months Jackson" I say moving away from him to wipe my tears "That gives us enough time to figure all of this out" he says taking my hand before I can say anything else there's a knock on the door "Cyrus your up!" One of the bouncer guys says from the other side "Be right there" says Jackson turning to me again. I feel like we still have a lot to talk about and our time is up, he pulls me in for a kiss and I kiss him back because why wouldn't I when there is so much left on the table to think about. He breaks away from me "Goodluck" I tell him, he smiles, nods and leaves his office. I wipe my face and fix myself before going back out there to support my best friend. I'm not happy about him moving out especially now that I know how he feels about me but I get that our feelings for each other is what got us in this mess in the first place so we need this space. I know what I want but Jackson has a decision to make because I know he loves Charlotte and he doesn't want to hurt her but on the other end he doesn't want to loose me either. I can only imagine how frustrated he must feel so I'm not going to pressure him, I just want my best friend back. Let's see what happens, he has two months to decide.

CHAPTER 5

A MONTH LATER…

Raven Taylor

The pressure is on as there is a month left for Jackson to make his decision. Furthermore Charlotte's wedding plans are coming together nicely and I'm getting nervous. Our friendship has gotten back on track which I'm really happy about other than the fact that I don't see him as often. Charlotte has him now and she is holding on for dear life but the gym and my place are a few blocks away from each other so I win. We have lunch together everyday and he pops in the evenings to see if I'm sorted for the night then he heads home. There were a few stolen kisses between us but nothing intense, we can't help ourselves and I don't mind this is exactly what I want. I want Jackson to want me more but I don't want to force him into anything, I can only imagine how confused he must be having to juggle us both. Technically he is cheating but I'm not a fan of Charlotte either so I'm going to be selfish and just think of myself. The more time we spend together now draws me even closer to him on a very intimate level, a level we have never been. The last time I saw him naked he was 8 and I'm pretty sure a lot of things have changed. Jackson is really handsome, I always knew that I mean we grew up together. I experienced the whole transformation with him and he is definitely a catch because not only is he smoking hot! Tall, has full on 8 pack hair that belongs in shampoo commercials not even mentioning his catlike hazel brown eyes and those pearly white perfect set of teeth that he takes very good care of. He also has impeccable manners, his sweet, kind, loyal for the most part atleast and he is just an all around good guy. He has a passion for boxing that runs deep and since the renovations have started at the gym he has been really excited. After the match he got a bunch of sponsors for the gym so his fixing it up, extended it some more drawing in more potential athletes and possibly become stars in the world of boxing as the days go by. Dyson left after Jackson beat him up pretty bad at the match and we never saw him again. I blocked him so I wouldn't even know if he tried to contact me, I still haven't spoken to him either. I'm so glad we didn't have sex, I probably would have lost my shit. My mom is doing good, she and my sister Alex are a good team although it's getting serious between Alex and her boyfriend and my mom is telling me they might move in together soon. That's a problem for me because then my mom would be alone and I don't want her to be alone. She can take care of herself, make no mistake but I worry about her all the time. I can't leave my shop or I would move there in a heartbeat but seeing as Jackson moved out if push comes to shove I'll have her move in with me, she can sell the house and relax. My shop is doing well, there's another tattoo artist interested in renting a chair in my shop and I still have space for two more sections so I might just do that. The more tattoo artists the better for me and this one comes with his own clientele so that's good. I make good money but I'm the type of person who doesn't need much because it's the smaller things in life that are important so I have savings for days and it doesn't bother me, the only thing I really spend money on is food and sending some money every month for my mom. The guys who rent their chairs in my shop, their rentals pay the bills. I can safely say I live comfortably now all that's missing is someone to share it with.

TWO WEEKS LATER

Raven Taylor

Friday morning and up before my alarm which almost never happens. I miss when Jackson used to wake me in the morning because I knocked the alarm off, while pressing the snooze button. I couldn't be late today because a group of bikers are coming in for new tatts so I have to be ready for the rush. Which also means I won't be able to do lunch with Jackson today and that suckss because I don't get to see him on weekends. If I can wrap things up earlier then that could work in my favor to go see Jackson before he heads home. No matter what else is going on at this point I still want my best friend to be happy. I still want Jackson to be happy even if that means it's not going to be with me I'll still be happy for him. This morning I took a quick shower, threw on some jeans and a crop top with a pair of sneakers tied up my hair in a pony tail and headed downstairs to the shop. When I got there and it was already buzzing the other tattoo artist will be helping me, they make a commission off it because it's all my clients. My first appointment is at 9, he's already here and I'm not late, that's a first. I go over to him and lead the way to my station. We took a seat, discussed his design and I realized that this will be a 3 hour piece. Already I'm tired and I still have a few more still coming in.

I'm 3 clients in and it's already 5pm. I can forget about seeing Jackson today. I'm exhausted and hungry. All I have been doing is drinking water, I haven't eaten a damn thing. Jackson must have had his hands full today because he would have checked in with me. My last client takes a seat and explains her design and what do you know a full back piece that's gonna take another 3 hours maybe longer because of her design. I take a 5min break to send Jackson a text I haven't heard from him the whole day when my phone rings in my hand and it's my mom "Hey mom! What's up?" I ask her because it's not like her to just call out of the blue she will send me a text "Ray I take it you haven't heard what happened to Jackson?" She asks and I can hear the concern in the voice "No...mom what's going on?" I ask very nervous about what's going on "He was in a car accident an hour ago, Bernie called me 5min ago and I thought if you didn't call me yet that must mean you don't know" my heart drops to gut and I can't breath "Ray are you there?" My mom asks on the other end "Yeah...yes! Is he okay? Where is he?" I ask her quickly, trying to wrap my brain around everything "The ambulance came and took him to the hospital not sure about the condition he's in yet" she says in her soothing voice "Ray! Calm down okay Jackson is going to be fine! Ray! Are you there!?" She yells on the other end "Yes I'm fine mom, I have to go. I'm going to see Jackson" I tell her and hang up. I turn around and Lilah is standing behind me startled by her standing there she says "Ray is everything okay?" I haven't noticed the tears rolling down my face, I wipe them quickly "Ummm…. Jackson was in an accident so can you take my client please because I have to go" she nods her head quickly "Yes definitely, go!" She says pulling me in for a hug and I leave the store.

My nerves are shot when I get to the hospital. I ask for Jackson at the front desk and they direct me to the emergency area where he was brought in. I spot Charlotte, Jackson's mom Bernie and Jackson's younger brother Caleb. The moment aunty Bernie sees me she runs over to me to give me a hug, I immediately start sobbing because she's like a mother to me and mine wasn't around I felt comfort in her embrace which made me feel home and I guess all that pent up emotions just surfaced also because I have no idea what's happening with Jackson and it's freaking me out. She gives me a tight squeeze and I see Charlotte's glare from across the room giving me the evil eye but I'm not here for her "Hows Jackson? Where is he?" I ask letting go of her "He's in that room over there" she says pointing to the only room with a closed door the doctors are examining him "We're waiting to hear from the doctors" she says. My nerves are shot of worry and all I want to do is see Jackson. I don't care about Charlotte giving me the evil eye from a distance. I make my way past her to Jackson's room door and I pause. My legs are shaking, my body feels numb, I feel two hands on each side of my shoulders and I turn around to see who it is "Hey Ray! Are you okay?" I see Jade and Chelsea standing behind me. I immediately start tearing up and Jade pulls me in for a hug "His going to be okay Ray" she whispers in my ear and I start sobbing uncontrollably. After about 10 min of feeling sorry for myself, I wipe my tears and pull myself together. I look around to see where Charlotte has disappeared to but she is standing and talking with Bernie. She looks in a horrible state, I wonder what they're talking about? I think to myself when Bernie makes her way over to me and the girls again to wait it out "How's Charlotte?" I ask Bernie genuinely concerned because Charlotte does love Jackson that I know even if I think she's not good enough for him there is no denying she loves him and that thought is making me feel really guilty right now. Bernie turns to look at me "She said they were arguing on the phone before when the accident happened" says Bernie with this sad look on her face "They were arguing about you" she says looking at me again, my heart starts racing and I'm completely speechless. I look down at my hands instead of making eye contact with her "Don't worry Ray, Jackson is strong, we both know that. He will pull through" she says again putting her arm around my shoulder when Jackson's room door opens up and the doctor's walks out. I'm anxious and I feel like I'm gonna throw up. We gather around who I'm assuming is the main doctor to hear the verdict "The good news is he's going to be okay" we all sigh of relief but the bad news is still lingering in the air "What's the bad news doc?" Asks Chelsea "There isn't really bad news, he hit his head pretty hard but from what the scans are showing there was no bad damage although a hit like that causes trauma to a point where there is possibility of him having temporary memory loss other then that a few broken ribs, he broke his right leg but not anything extremely serious and fractured his collarbone he has a few months of healing ahead of him but the waiting is on now if he wakes up he will be good to go in a few days." All that information has me a bit relieved he's not gonna die.

I left the hospital a few hours later with Chelsea and Jade because Jackson has not woken up yet. I need to take a shower then I'll go back to check on him. I couldn't stop thinking about what Bernie said to me at the hospital, I feel horrible about it because this could be all my fault. My best friend could have died because he was having an argument with his girlfriend because of me! What am I supposed to do? I don't want to loose Jackson but at the same time I feel like we never got our shot to try and be together like a couple all these years he felt the same way about me as I did about him and we never said anything because we were trying to protect our friendship. I feel like everything is falling apart, there might be a chance that Jackson wakes up with temporary memory loss and not remembering a thing which means he might not remember what's going between us. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I need to be there when he wakes up, he's my best friend and I love him. I need to be there for him. I'm sitting on my bed with a towel around me just staring at the wall when my door opens and Jade comes walking in with a cup of coffee. She puts the cup down on the table next to my bed then takes a seat next to me "How you feeling after that shower?" She asks "Okay I guess" I tell her keeping my eyes glued to wall "We both know Jackson will be okay" says Jade, giving my hand a squeeze that's laying lifeless on my lap, but that's not the reason I look like this "I know he will" I tell her giving her a fake smile "Then what's the problem?" Ask Jade with a confused look "This is all my fault" I tell her lowering my head "What are you talking about
Ray! You know that's not true" she says "But it is" I tell her looking up at her, I can feel the emotions starting to build again and Jade is looking at me confused again "Bernie told me that Jackson and Charlotte were fighting about me over the phone when the accident happened" I tell her looking away again because I can feel the tears starting to form in my eyes "That doesn't mean it's your fault Ray, Charlotte always has a problem with you. Jackson doesn't even live with you anymore and she still has a problem" she says shaking her head "But it is Jade! Jackson is my best friend and possibly the love of my life and all his been doing for the past month and a half is trying to keep us both happy. I'm being unfair to expect him to choose. Charlotte was there before I told him how I really feel about him, if I wanted a shot with him I should have told him a long time ago but I didn't now I'm handing out ultimatums like I deserve anything" I stop talking because I laugh a little at myself thinking how selfish I was actually being this entire time. Jade puts her hand on my shoulder because I didn't even realize but the tears have started rolling down my face "Jade I have to let him go" I tell her and I can't control myself anymore I start sobbing uncontrollably. Jade pulls me in for a hug "Ray you guys belong together " she says giving me a tight squeeze. A few minutes later the crying stopped but no ones talking I'm laying on Jade's shoulder staring at the wall again "You should get dressed Ray" she says and I sit up straight "What are you gonna do?" Asks Jade looking at me with sad eyes "I dunno" I tell her.

A WEEK LATER…

Jackson Cyrus

I woke up in hospital two days ago and I couldn't remember what happened. My mom, Charlotte and the other guys tried to fill me in as much as possible but I feel like Ray is hiding something from me. They say I lost out on a few months of memories because the last I remember I was getting a ring to propose to Charlotte and the rest was blank. Charlotte told me we got engaged and we were supposed to be married in a week but that's obviously postponed now because I'm still recovering. The doc says everything is healing nicely and that my memory will come back in bits and pieces, he says I shouldn't worry being around my loved ones will trigger it faster. I'll be going home in a few days and apparently I don't live with Ray anymore, I moved in with Charlotte. I don't understand how that happened because I would never leave Ray alone and the worst part is Ray has been acting weird, she looks so sad all the time close to tears when I see her and she says nothing is wrong but I can clearly see that she's not okay and it hurts. I don't understand why she won't talk to me. I will get to the bottom of it the minute I get out of this hospital bed because she doesn't visit often either. I try not to think about it too much when the door opens and Charlotte comes walking in with a huge smile on her face "Hey handsome!how are you feeling?" She asks taking a seat next to me on the bed "Good enough to get the hell out of here" I tell her laughing a little "Soon baby" she says and leans to give me a kiss. Did I make the right decision to not only propose to Charlotte and then move in with her so quickly I have no idea. I know that this has something to do with Ray, the missing pieces of the puzzle. Charlotte takes a fast food bag out of her bag and hands it to me. It's from my favorite burger place "I snuck this in for you, I know hospital food sucks" she says and giggles. I can't help but feel happy at her being this sweet "Thank you baby" I say, giving her a quick peck before digging into my burger. I have been starving in the place and this is testing pretty good right now.

WEDNESDAY……

Jackson Cyrus

I'm up bright and early this morning because I'm going home! Finally! My mom is picking me up because Charlotte has to work, it's okay she's been doing alot for me lately. I'll see her at home where I live now with her. I still can't believe I moved out, that's so puzzling to me. The doctor came by a half hour ago to drop off my discharge papers so I'm good to go. I'm already dressed waiting patiently for my mom when my door opens and I get up from the bed when Ray walks through the door. I'm shocked to see because I haven't seen her in a few days "Hey" she says walking in smiling, at least she's smiling I guess "Hey stranger" I say smiling back at her "Are you ready to go?" She asks and shrug "Yeah I'm waiting on my mom" I tell her "She's not coming, I'm your ride" wait so my mom was never picking me up? I'm a little confused but anyway why wouldn't I take a ride with my best friend maybe she will tell me what's been bugging her. I grab my jacket, my bag and we head out. The drive is silent the first few minutes when I decide to say something "So what's been going on with you lately?" I ask her keeping my eyes on the road "Nothing much the usual" she says and giggles, I'm not convinced "More importantly why the hell did I move out?" I ask turning to look at her, confused by my question she asks "What do you mean? You got engaged and moved in with your fiance, it was time" she says keeping her eyes on the road "Ray you and I both know I won't leave you alone. Did something happen between us?" I ask genuinely curious because I can see she's not telling me everything but she makes no eye contact with me at all "Nope not that I'm aware of" she says again "Ray!" I tell her feeling annoyed making her jump a little at me raising my voice at her "What's wrong with you? Did I do something to you? I mean I know you too well to fall for these lies you've been feeding me. Come on Ray! What happened?!" I'm feeling really frustrated with Ray and a little angry we have never lied to each other so why is she lying to me it can only be because whatever it is it must be serious. I wait patiently for her to answer when she sighs "I was dating Dyson for a bit and he was married you found out and told me but I didn't believe you and then I blamed you for my failed relationship and I told you to move out" she says tears rolling down her face as she brings the car to a stop in front of Charlotte's place, I was not expecting that. I turn to look at her but she's looking down at her hands "Ray why didn't you just tell me" I tell her talking her hand in mine so she can look at me "Is this why you're so distant? You barely came to visit me in hospital, I was getting worried" I say giving her hand a kiss. She shakes her head still not even looking at me "Ray can you please look at me" I say again when she looks up, she wipes away the tears quickly and finally makes eye contact with me. Raven is so fucking beautiful, I can't believe she's not mine and that's probably my stupidity for proposing to Charlotte I probably ruined my chances with her now anyway. She rolls her eyes at me and starts laughing "What?" I ask her confused "Don't look at me like that" she says "Like that" she says pointing to me face so I frown out of confusion I'm not sure what she's talking about but I have a feeling my thoughts just projected all over my face "I'm not" I say quickly feeling a little guilty because Raven doesn't know how i feel about her, wait…….or does she?? I snap back from my thoughts to look at her again when I ask "Ray did something else happen between us?" I ask her my head is a mess, the expression on her face changes to a sad look again. I'm starting to feel nervous because there is a good chance I told her I'm in love with her and she's not saying because I don't remember! Fuck! "No! What do you mean? Nothing else happened, seriously" she says trying to be a little too convincing if you ask me. I'm gonna let this go for now but I will be doing some digging. I'm determined now more than ever to get my damn memories back. I get out of the car so does Ray to open up the boot so I can get my bag. I pull her in for a hug, she's reluctant at first almost as if we never hugged before we slept in the same bed mind you, that was really hard because Raven sleeps in a t-shirt and a panty and she's hot! It was not easy but I feel this hug is somehow different than before.

Raven Taylor

When Jackson woke up he didn't remember anything that happened between us he remembers from the time before he proposed to Charlotte he remembers buying the ring and nothing after that. I was heartbroken but a little relieved to be honest because I was planning to let Jackson go so he can be happy and the fact that he can't remember any of the drama means I have my bestfriend back and for that I'm really thankful. I stayed away for a while to wrap my head around everything that's happened with us and the fact that he can't remember anything and because he knows me so well he knew I was hiding something from him. I won't ever tell him unless he remembers it himself for now I have my best friend back. I'm going to hold onto that for now at least until he remembers. Charlotte never spoke to me even when Jackson was in hospital she never spoke to me, I know she probably hates me for everything that's happened but I gave him back to her, she should be happy. I honestly don't care about Charlotte, I care about my friend and being caught in this triangle was stressing him out so I might not be able to be with him but they postponed the wedding till he is completely healed up. That was a relief for me, it means I have more time, just in case he gets his memory back and chooses me.

CHAPTER 6

A MONTH LATER…

Jackson Cyrus

I'm back at the gym rehabilitating myself one day at a time. Charlotte insists on me taking it easy so my training is being kept at a minimum these days but I will get back on track again. I have been picking up weight being at home lazing around and Charlotte waiting on me hand and foot. I have been so content with being here living with Charlotte. I miss Ray a lot because I don't get to see her because she doesn't come here and I haven't been out of the house often and when I'm at the gym and try to see her she avoids me, so I haven't seen her since the day she dropped me off, we text but it's not the same. Raven makes me laugh more than I should sometimes even when I'm in a bad mood, she cheers me up, she's my best friend and I'm in love with her. My memory is coming back in bits and pieces but nothing really important. I remembered the Dyson thing when he pitched up at the gym the other day he triggered that memory so I remember that, I also remember the part where Raven told me to move out, that broke me all over again. That was weird because I don't remember before that and after that it's still coming back but very slowly. I need to know what happened with me and Raven because I know she won't tell me judging by her reaction to my question when she dropped me from the hospital, she was trying too hard to convince me that nothing happened between us. I don't know what she was thinking lying to me because I know her very well and I know when she's lying. Raven has always been a bad liar because we never needed to lie to each other about anything, we were always honest at least as honest as we could be. If Raven found out I was in love with her that could mean things are going to or already has changed. I asked Charlotte about the accident, she says she was talking with me on the phone when it happened but she won't tell me what we were talking about, she's always changing the subject so not only is two of the most important woman in my life next to mom not talking to each other they are both keeping a secret from me which I'm starting to think is the same secret. I need to get to the bottom of this and fast.

I'm at the gym today, I only come here twice a week because I'm still not 100% healed up yet so I need to take it easy. Everytime I'm here and I want to see Ray she always has an excuse why she can't see me and when I go over there she's not there which I'm pretty sure she has the guys who work there lie to me and she actually is there so today I'm not going to send a text or call. I decided I'm going to pitch up at the shop and if she's not there I'm going to her apartment. I head out of the gym and stop the local cafe to get Ray some of her favorite doughnuts and some coffee to go. I'm not in a hurry to get to her but I am feeling a bit anxious because I'm hoping to get some answers from her today. When I get to the shop I make my way inside. I don't see Ray but Lilah spots me and comes over to the front desk "Hey Jackson! Looking good. What can I do for you?" What a stupid question, she knows I only come in here to see Ray "Hey Lilah is Ray down here? Or should I go upstairs instead?" I ask Lilah waiting patiently for her response when her facial expression changes and she looks uncomfortable all of a sudden "Lilah?" I call out to her looking in a daze and I wave my hand in front of her face when she looks up at me again "She's upstairs…...her first appointment is in an hour" she says looking down at her hands. Was Lilah told to lie about her whereabouts? Raven is avoiding me and I want to know why. I give Lilah a little nod and smile before heading upstairs using the stores entrance that leads straight to her room. I get to her door and I pause for a few seconds before I proceed to knock "Come in!!" I hear Ray yell from the other side so I go inside. Ray is sitting on her bed freshly showered wrapped in a towel and her hair still dripping wet. When she sees me she immediately jumps up from the bed "Jackson!.... hey! What are you doing here?" She looks shocked to see me also a little guilty because she got busted basically "I figured since you are avoiding me telling you I'm coming wouldn't be such a good idea" I say sarcastically as I make my way slowly inside closing the door behind me she smiles a awkward smile folding her arms over her chest "Why would I be avoiding you?" She asks looking even worse guilty than before "Since when did we start lying to each other?" I ask handing her the bag with the doughnuts and I place the two cups of coffee down on the side table next to the bed "I brought you doughnuts" I say again throwing myself down on her bed like I always do, Ray is still standing there with the bag in her hand "Are you just gonna stand there? Or even speak for that matter?" I ask Ray sitting up straight. She comes over and takes a seat next to me on the bed. She still hasn't said a word "Ray?" I say waving my hand in front of her face, what is with everyone today? I swear if I don't get answers soon I'm gonna explode. When she finally looks at me she hands me the bag "Doughnut?" She asks and smiles fakely "No! I don't want a doughnut Ray" I say and her facial expression changes immediately "Jackson I'm sorry after the accident I sort of blamed myself for what happened. I was scared out of my mind and I'm just trying to get my own life" why would she blame herself for the accident she wasn't even there "Ray the accident was not your fault, why would you even think that?" But she looks down at her hands breaking the eye contact with me but I saw the sadness in them "Raven please! Just tell me what I don't know please! You are my best friend and I know that you have been keeping something from me so please can you just tell me what it is" I tell Ray pleading with her to put me out of my misery because not having Ray in my life sucks and I miss her. She starts fiddling with her hands when she finally speaks "Jackson I can't I'm sorry" so there is something! It must be really bad if she doesn't want me to be reminded of it but now I have to know "Ray whatever it is, I'm sure I can handle it" I tell her putting my hand on her shoulder. She looks up at me, her eyes filled with tears but she's trying really hard for them to not drop but they roll down her face anyway "Ray what happened between us?" I ask her in a soothing tone because I don't want to upset her to a point where she won't speak to me at all "We….we were in love …" she says and I swallow hard because that tugged at my heart. I turn away from her because my head is spinning, I'm not sure what to say to her but wait...she said we were "Did you say we were?" I ask her curiosity, getting the better of me, she looks up at me "Jackson a lot happened between us and we almost lost our friendship and you your life in the process" I knew the fact that I'm in love with Ray would mess with our friendship. Ray takes a deep breath next to me and wipes her tears "Jackson I didn't tell you because the night of the accident you and Charlotte were arguing about me over the phone when the accident happened" she says looking away from me as more tears start to fill her eyes but she continues "You asked me to give you time to figure out what you want to do because you love Charlotte too and I get that I do but I have loved you since we were kids and I always put your happiness above mine so I decided to give you time. The accident happened two weeks before your were supposed to get married as you already know and the only person who knows what the argument was about is Charlotte because I wasn't there" she says more tears rolling down her face, I can't stand seeing her like this but I need to get as much of the story out of her as possible "What you saying is…..I was supposed to choose? Either you or Charlotte?" I ask her, she just shakes her head. This is starting to make sense now little by little the pieces are starting to fit "Ray….I'm…" before I can finish Ray puts her hand on top mine "Jackson it's okay, when we found out you have temporary memory loss and that you don't remember anything about us I decided to step back and let you be happy because at least I'll have my best friend back" her voice starts cracking and tears start rolling down her face again. I pull her in my arms and she starts sobbing uncontrollably "Ray I'm sorry" I whisper in her ear holding her tight against me her hair making my t-shirt wet but I don't care no matter what happens Ray is important to me and I don't want to see her hurting. She should have told me about us but she didn't because once again she put me before herself so the question is what am I still doing with Charlotte?

Raven Taylor

This past month has been emotionally exhausting to say the least. Trying to avoid Jackson seemed to have been harder than I thought. What I did I did because I love him so much all I want is for him to be happy but because he knows me he knew something wasn't right with us. I tried to keep in touch via text and calls as much as I could to assure him everything is fine but as always he saw right through the lies. I guess he got fed up not knowing and pitched up at my place to get some clarity on the situation so I told him. I couldn't lie to him while he was right in front of me, he has ways. I told him about us, I decided to leave out the details, I just told him the important stuff, like the argument with Charlotte because I would like to know what they were arguing about that night. Bernie said it was about me but I'm not sure what, could it be that Jackson chose me? Did he tell her? Is that why they were arguing? I would really like to know because I have just about given up all hope for us ever taking the chance to try and be together. I love Jackson with all my heart and watching him be with Charlotte doesn't make it easy but seeing him happy, that makes it more bearable. Now that he knows about us I'm not sure what he's going to do about it. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

After Jackson left I immediately called Jade and Chelsea to come over for some company. I cancelled my appointments for the day because there is no way I was in the mood for work. I just stopped the crying and I don't feel like being alone. I got dressed when Jackson left and went straight to the kitchen to make some popcorn before the girls get here so we can have movie night. I grab some pillows and blankets to make a little bed on the floor in front if the t.v in the living room like me and Jackson used to. I place the bowl of popcorn and the other snacks on the coffee table when there's a knock on the door and I proceed to open the door but before I get to the door the girls are already making their way inside. Jade is carrying a plastic bag with some more snacks and Chelsea holding 2 6pack of beers "Hey Ray" says Jade pulling me in for a hug and so does Chelsea. We made our way over to where I made the bed for us to sit. Jade hands me a beer "So….are you gonna tell us what happened with Jackson?" She asks and shrugs taking a sip of her beer. I look down at the beer in my hand "I told him" I say bluntly feeling the emotions rising inside me again "He didn't say anything really, he just had this look of relief on his face. I'm not exactly sure why though I'm not sure what this all means guys" I tell them feeling a little defeated because I didn't exactly get answers from him either, he still went home to his fiance and left me here. Jade gives me a sad look again "Don't worry Ray he will get his memories back and realize that you are perfect for him" she says cupping my cheek with her hand and I can help but smile "I hope so" I tell her "Okay enough with the sad, what's new?" I ask them wiping the few tears that managed to escape as I tried not to cry the whole time. I'm really grateful to have these guys in my life, they have really proven their loyalty where Jackson is concerned and they haven't left my side since.

We chatted for a few hours before actually watching the movie then when we finally watched it we fell asleep a half hour into it. The next morning Jade made breakfast and they helped me clean up before we got dressed and spent the morning at the mall because I still had postponed appointments to get to. I had 3 clients for medium sized pieces so I got back home not too late this evening. I take a hot shower and I order pizza when my phone goes off.

Jackson : Hey Ray! Can you talk?

It's Jackson this time of the evening…. I'm not sure if I want to talk to him right now he just makes me anxious when I talk to him because I never know he's going to say and that scares me.

Raven : Hey what's up?
Jackson : Can we have lunch tomorrow?
Raven : Sure, what's the occasion?
Jackson : Nothing, I just want to see my best friend is that a crime?
Raven : Lol okay then it's a date
Raven : I don't mean a date lol
Jackson : It's a date ;)

And he's gone…..leaving me hanging with his last words, he said it's a date right? So what does this mean. My heart suddenly starts racing and I'm feeling flustered. I get myself something to drink and read over the short texts again to make sure I read correctly. I don't want to get my hopes up because this could just be Jackson being Jackson. I'll just have to wait and see tomorrow.

Jackson Cyrus

I had to wrap my head around everything Ray told me. I had a feeling our feelings were out in the open but I had no idea that Ray would actually feel the same way, I guess I was wrong. What do I do now because clearly it caused conflict with our friendship and the fact the I got engaged to Charlotte who is an amazing woman but I still don't understand why I did that because all my life I dreamt of the day I propose to Ray my best friend because she's the one I am in love with not Charlotte. I love Charlotte but I'm not in love with her, how can I be when Ray has my heart since we were kids. I feel confused but also things couldn't be more clear to me the engagement, I need to call it off till I figure all of this out.

I decided to talk to Charlotte tonight about what we argued about that night so I'm ordering Chinese food her favorite before she gets home from work. The last thing I want to do is hurt Charlotte but in a situation like this someone is bound to get hurt. I set the table when the Chinese food arrives. I place it on the table waiting patiently in the livingroom for Charlotte but my thoughts drift to Ray and I instantly feel sad because I have never seen her this hurt before and it's killing me. Why am I not with her? Why is this so hard? I should choose Ray but then Charlotte I could never hurt her like this. I hear the door "Jackson! Honey!" She yells entering the apartment "In here!" I yell from the living area where we eat dinner every night. She comes walking in with this huge smile on her face when she reaches me she pulls me in for a hug "I missed you" she says and I hold her tighter feeling horribly guilty even though I never did anything yet. She smiles looking at the table and takes a seat and so do I "How was your day?" I start, I want to slowly ease into that conversation. A half hour later we have been through all the small talk, gossip stories and drama so we sitting at the table after eating not talking when I decide to open my mouth "Hey can I ask you something?" I ask and she gives me a suspicious look "Depends" she giggles "I was wondering the other night I keep having flashbacks and I know it's my memory coming back slowly I thought maybe if you clarify a few things for me my puzzle will start to fit" I say looking at her and she smiles "What do you want to know?" She asks "What were we arguing about the night of the accident?" I ask her when her face suddenly drops and she breaks eye contact with me which never happens "Char…. Please" I plead with her she shakes her head "Jackson…...I can't" she says letting out a sigh "Char I need to know what happened please" I say again her eyes met mine and I could see the sadness in them. She looks away before she speaks "We were arguing about Ray" she says and looks down at her hands. I feel like shit for doing this to her but I need answers "Why were we arguing about Ray?" I ask and shrug, still confused she shakes her head again "Jackson please I don't want to talk about it" she says still looking at her hands but I place my index finger under her chin and lift gently for her to look at me. This poor womans eyes are filled with tears, I'm a real damn bastard for doing this to her, "Jackson you chose her, you chose Ray over me that's why we were arguing" she says and starts to sob uncontrollably. I pull her close to me and I hold her tight trying to give her as much comfort as I can because none of this is her fault and she's heartbroken. There's a moment of silence Charlotte stopped crying and I'm sitting cradling her in my arms trying to think of what to say next "You leaving me aren't you? You spoke to Ray right?" She says sitting up straight waiting for my answer "Char….. I think we should put a hold on the engagement thing until I get my memory back and can make sense of this mess I made" instantly tears starts to fill her eye again "Are you moving out?" She asks fiddling with her hands again trying to hide the tears that has fallen again "No…" I stretch out the word because that wasn't my plan anyway I can't just up and leave her now "Ofcoz not" I say trying to reassure her, she smiles fakely wiping her tears "Char I'm so sorry for all of this" she shakes her head "I was so happy when you couldn't remember anything" she says her voice starting to crack as she's on the verge of crying again but she bites it back and continues "Then Ray told me she's going to step back and let you be happy and I was over the moon" that made my heart drop at her selfless act to step back so I can be happy, she giggles sarcastically between tears "I knew it would come to this point where you would want answers or you get your memory back but I just didn't think it would be so soon" she says another flood of tears rolling down her cheek her bottom lip trembling "Jackson I love y…." She can't even get the words out completely when she starts sobbing again and I pull her closer once more "I love you too Char" I says in her ear kissing the top of her forehead "It's not enough is it?" She questions and all I can do is sigh because the way I love Ray is more intense than what I have with Charlotte, me and Ray share a deeper connection something I have never felt before but that doesn't mean I don't care about Char. I'm so confused my heart is breaking at what I'm doing to these woman. I texted Ray to meet me for lunch tomorrow after me and Char left the livingroom she went to shower and I sent the quick text to Ray. I need to talk to Ray one more time before I make a decision because I can't put these two woman through this it's either one of them or neither of them and I can't imagine loosing Ray but the thought of hurting Charlotte more than I already have has my head real fucked up.

The next morning I head to the gym earlier than usual. I decided to order take out and have lunch at the gym. The way we used to do, I miss the good old days when things were simpler but I guess I can kiss those days goodbye, my life just got more complicated than I can handle. I'm counting down the hours till I see Ray because I feel a bit anxious to be honest. I mean our feelings are out in the open, I hope things aren't awkward between us. I got us burgers from her favorite burger joint up the road and texted her to meet me at the gym. Deep in thought relaxing in my office there's a knock on the door, I check the time and it's just after 1PM "Come inside" I call out, the door opens and Ray walks in. She gives me a crooked smile "Hey" she says closing the door behind her then takes a seat opposite me "Hey" I say suddenly at a loss for words and here I thought it won't be awkward. I lean forward in my chair placing my arms on top of my desk "I got burgers" I say holding up the bag "Your favorite" I say again, she smiles "Thank you Jackson I'm starving" she says talking the brown paper bag and unpacks the food on the table, she hands me mine and we start eating in silence at first when she speaks "Why did you want to speak to me?" She asks curious, waiting patiently for my response "Charlotte told me what we argued about that night" I tell her, wiping my hands and mouth with one of the napkins. She stops eating placing her half eaten burger back in it's paper then wipes her hands and mouth almost as if she was getting ready for bad news that could spoil her appetite "Are you going to tell me?" She questions making straight eye contact with me. I'm hesitating because if I tell her this it's not going to make any of this easy on me or her or Charlotte because I can't remember how I made that decision aside for the fact that it's obvious I should be with Ray. I shake my head and I decide to tell her "She said I chose you" Ray's eyes immediately shoots full of tears and she breaks eye contact with me to try and wipe them away before they fall down her cheeks "Oh...ummmm…." She says stumbling over her words not knowing what to say "Jackson….." I stop her before she can continue. I get out of my seat and make my way around my desk to her. She looks at me with big eyes and get up out of her seat "Ray I'm sorry for all of this I can't believe how things have turned out with me and you especially" her eyes tears up again "Jackson it's my fault shouldn't have told you I was in love with you" she says and looks down because the tears she was trying to bite back have started rolling down her face when I suddenly get a flashback to the night Ray told me she was in love with me. I remember it clear I even remember what she was wearing and then I remembered that's the night I told her that I proposed to Charlotte and my heart sank at the memory of the disappointed look in Ray's eyes. I snap back from the memory "Jackson are you okay?" Asks Ray placing her hand on my shoulder "Yeah….. I…...ummmm… you said it first?" I ask her trying to remember a little more and she nods a sad look spread across her face immediately "Ray……." I say feeling hopeless when my impulsive side just kicks in and I plant a kiss on her lips. She's reluctant at first probably of the shock but she kisses me back and I don't stop as much as I want to this just feels right so I pull her closer but she breaks away from me "Jackson we shouldn't do this" she says with both her hands placed gently on my chest to keep the space between us before I kiss her again "Ray I'm sorry I shouldn't have done that, the last thing I want to do is confuse you more" I tell her stepping back, I run my hands through my hair before turning away from her. I hear her sigh when I turn around she's standing frozen staring into space almost completely zoned out "Ray?" I call out to her and she snaps back "Sorry I was just…….I think I should go" she says pointing to the door grabbing her things but before she opens the door she turns to look at me and the look in her eyes right now is telling everything I need to know.

Raven Taylor

Overwhelmed by today's events I head straight to the shop for my appointment. The best thing I can do right now is try to keep as busy as possible so I don't think about the kiss. When I get to the shop my 3 o'clock appointment is already waiting, lucky I'm early so I have time to set everything up before I start. I zoned out on this 3 hour back piece everytime my head takes me back to the kiss, the more I try to shake it off the more it resurfaces. Lucky for me my client is lying face down so he can't see the stupid grin on my face everytime I think about it because honestly this kiss meant something to me and I know I shouldn't get my hopes up but what he said about the argument he had with Charlotte was, that he chose me! That's why they were arguing. I'm not sure if I should be happy or horribly sad for all of this. I want Jackson to be happy and living a full life instead he got this love triangle to deal with. I don't know if I'm being selfish or selfless because for once I need to think about me. I finished off my client, he takes a look at his fire breathing Chinese dragon and smiles from ear to ear "Good job Ray! As always" he says smiling "You know I got you Johnny" I say and give him a wink. He puts his shirt back on after I covered up his new tattoo and he left. I had no other appointments for the day so I went upstairs. It's after 6 PM now so I'll just take a nice hot shower have something to eat and snuggle up with a good book tonight. I don't want to think about the Jackson situation I'm in. Everything was just starting to fall apart and it seems the only way to get out of the mess was to actually try to be together so I hope Jackson chooses me again this time around.

CHAPTER 7

LOADING…….







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