College and Woodland

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Chapter 12

Sparks the Rescue- Need You Now

Raychel

Josh passes me another glass of water. We are sitting on the balcony off my sun room. I am more than wasted. That rum punch really did me in. I haven't puked from drinking like that in a long time. I can tell I am going to be more embarrassed tomorrow but for now I'm blissed out. Laying on a rooftop (for all intents and purposes) with the sweetest and most good looking man I know. What could be better? Not going to lie, it would be slightly better if he didn't look so tense. I run my hand over the frown lines in his forehead.

"What's wrong friend?" I try and give him my best concerned look but I end up giggling and tip over a little. He wraps one arm around me pulling me tightly to his side.

"Nothings wrong really I just have never seen you like this." His eyes travel over my face which I am sure is stuck in a goofy grin because he is touching me. He is so handsome, eyes like chocolate and his smile is so soft even though he's brooding and mean sometimes.

"I don't mean to be mean it's just a side effect of doing the right thing." He laughs a little and I realize I spoke out loud. I feel my cheeks and chest blush a furious red. I pull away from him a little. I have no idea what I am doing and I am about to run for the hills, maybe lock myself in the bathroom out of embarrassment when the fireworks start. We are in a perfect place to see them with our spot on the balcony. I take a deep breath and sigh. There is something very fated about this moment: me getting drunk and needing Josh to save me once again and then him and I here alone. I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that this is the start of something epic. That we fit really well together. It's so natural for us, his arm is around me and I and tucked into his chest. How could this not work out?

"I know this is an odd time to bring it up... are we friends still?" My question is shy and soft but I know he hears me because he shifts slightly to look into my eyes.

"Of course we are friends Ray, Why wouldn't we be?" While he speaks his eyes search my face, he is looking for an explanation behind my question.

"Well this is very unfriend...ly. I mean Max and I have taken care of each other drunk before and usually we stay at the party and just give the other water, or find somewhere safe safe to pass out. You brought me home to watch the fireworks on my balcony...alone." He shifts uncomfortably and much to my dismay removes his arm from around my body.


Josh

I have to tread carefully now. I can see the pain of rejection in her eyes. I don't want to unwind myself from her but I force myself to push back a little from her side.

"We can't do anything un-friend like tonight Ray." The words come out stuttered and raspy. I am fighting my own insticts to take what she is offering me. It would be so easy to wraps her in my arms and carry her to my bed, or hers since it is closer at the moment. But I am trying very hard to be the better man I know I can be. I lose her eyes for just a fraction of a second, looking over her head to the fireworks display shining in the sky. But that is all it takes.

"Oh, I am so sorry. I thought... never mind." She turns her head back towards the sky and purposefully shifts her body so there is at least a foot between us. That foot feels like miles. Miles I have to make up and fast.

"It's not that I don't want you Ray. I think we both know you are the only woman I ever think about. But the timing just isn't right. You are seven years younger than me, it's seems wrong right now." She doesn't turn back to me or make any kind of move towards me. The physical distance is obvious, but the emotional distance she has put between us is subtle. I can feel her walls going back up. Protecting her from me.

"I just don't want you to regret anything that could happen between us." Now I sound like a whiny fuckboy.

"Of course I completely understand Josh. It won't happen again." She heaves a big sigh and continues. "You know what I am really tired. I think it's time for me to go pass out. I will leave the door open if you want to stay out here. I'll just got and sleep in Stacey's room tonight."

She gets up and slowly walks into the house. The lamp she has above her loft comes on and the magic of the moments we spent out here together fades away with it's light. I know now that i have seriously fucked up. If I had any chance making Ray mine that was probably it and I blew it. Big time. I stay sitting there for what feels like forever. When I finally get up I walk through Ray's room and to my bedroom. I spare one glance towards the door at the other end of the hall. The light is on in Stacey's room. Maybe I should go grovel until she lets me in. I start towards the door planning in my head what I am going to say to her to get back in her good graces. To try and piece together the mess I have made of our friendship and our theoretic relationship. I am just about to knock when the light goes out. Times up.


Raychel

The sun is so freaking bright. Why did I pick the east facing bedroom. I throw one of my pillows over my head. After humiliating myself at the party and then with Josh last night I tried to sleep in Stace's room. Her room faces the street, all the cars going by kept me awake for another hour after I heard Josh go to his room. So I finally conceded and went back to my room around three in the morning. Now I am full on regretting everything that happened yesterday. I should have known Karl was trying to get me hammered. I am not completely naive. I thought I could handle that punch but on man was I wrong. I think I forgot how much sugary drinks make me sick. After one too many nights in high school with my head in the toilet after too many bottles of Boonesfarm you think I would have learned my lesson. I know now the only think that will make me feel better is water and a shower. I peel myself out of bed and grab my robe and towel. Josh's door is still closed and I don't hear anyone downstairs so Charlie must not be back from Sammie's yet. Once in the bathroom I turn on the shower and wait for it to get hot. My reflection in the mirror is a horror show, I am slightly pink all over from being in the sun all day yesterday. My hair is greasy and I can feel sand in my scalp from the beach. No wonder Josh wanted nothing to do with me last night. I turn away and hop in the shower. The spray feels amazing on the muscles of my neck and back that are still tense from puking. I rinse out my mouth and start shampooing when there is a knock on the door.

"I will be done in a couple minutes." I yell, but I hear the door open anyway. I am glad I hung a black and grey shower curtain and got rid of that see through plastic one the guys had in here.

"What the hell Josh?" I know it's him nobody else is in the house. I don't peek around the curtain, because hello naked.

"Sorry I really had to pee..."

"Are you serious right now? You are not peeing with me in here!" I can feel my face flush. Then I hear it. Oh my god he is really peeing with me in here!

"Sorry, not like I can do it outside." He flushes the toilet and the shower water instantly runs ice cold. I scream and fling myself out of the stream. Only I don't just get out of the stream, the back of my leg hits the edge of the tub and before I know it I am falling out of the shower. But I don't hit the wall, or god forbid the toilet on my way to the floor. I hit Josh's body, once again only dressed in boxers. Jesus doesn't this guy wear clothes, EVER?

"Shit sorry about that." Josh's voice is a whisper in my ear. The arms that caught me now winding around my naked form. I'm naked...I'M NAKED! I shift to try and get my feet back under me but it only brings my chest (read boobs) closer to Josh. His entire body stiffens and his eyes can't seem do decide which part of me they want to focus on. I am able to meet his eyes for a fraction of a second. I think I see a hint of heat in them but as soon as I do it's gone. He turns his gaze away and rights my body in the, now warm again, water. He turns and leaves the bathroom without a word or a backwards glance. Wow, why does that feel like another rejection? I got it already Josh...not interested. Stop rubbing it in.

I text Max when I get out of the shower. I need to vent and I need my best friend for that.

Me: I need to call a friend emergency, meet meet at Louie's in an hour.

Max: Dear god woman aren't you hung over?

Me: yes I am. but I need you

Max: Fine make it and hour and 15 Tom is coming too.


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