Chapter Twenty-Eight: Pain and Whatnot

It hurt.

For a little while now, she'd it all figured out that it probably would. But even so, the magnitude of the pain overwhelmed her and as she pushed past the people who'd gathered to watch the showdown between her and Ocean, she realized that the pain had already torn her guts apart and drowned her heart.

It literally killed her.

Never had she imagined that one day she'd feel worse than how she'd felt when her father had died. Her father was the most pivotal figure in her life so when he'd passed away, she'd suffered tremendously and that, she understood.

She loved her father.

But this? For him?

She grasped at the fabric on her chest as she ran. The motion of running usually helped to ease whatever pain she felt but this time around, it didn't seem to be working. Tears gathered at her eyes as she fought to draw in breaths. Her throat burned the same way her heart did and she felt as if her voice was going to be lost if she ever tried to speak.

How could he?

How could he have the heart to make her feel this great grief after he'd dug into her life and found out how hard it was for her to climb out of her darkest times? How could he single-handedly ruin her after he'd rescued her?

How could he hurt her so much that she hated herself for living?

The anguish she felt then set her in flames. Her skin felt as if it was on fire and tears felt like acid in her eyes. She'd lost all control of her body coordination and, for a couple of times, she'd almost tripped over her legs as she ran past the hallways. What was worse was, amidst all the rage and hurt, deep down, sorrow was consuming her alive.

She thought she'd loved him—she really did. But no, apparently, it was all a lie. He'd disguised himself as an utterly different man in order to lure her to his trap. She was nothing more than a prey in one of his games and no more different than all the other girls he'd toyed with. She was just another number in his statistics.

Just another fool.

And the thought of that made her quiver from the inside out.

Her lower lip trembled uncontrollably as she slowed down her pace, her stamina no longer quite as much as it used to be. She gasped desperately for air, feeling pathetic that she couldn't even run anymore; sports was what she was good in and now, even that was gone. Compunction, rage, sorrow and pain really were not the best combination to keep one at its best physical state.

Thoughts raced through her mind as her physical strength wore off. The moment she slowed down, her body seemed to have centralized on the task of heightening her every other sensation including her pain. It was as if the focus switched to whatever it was on the inside after whatever it was that was outside had been battered quite enough.

Seconds passed, minutes? She'd lost count of how much time elapsed exactly before her knees gave in, rendering her to collapse on the ground. It was impressive somehow that even in that state of mind, her vision and hearing seemed to be working at their best because she was able to see with clarity the smug looks on the people who were staring at her with satisfaction on their faces and hear the not-so-quiet-whispers droning in her ears as she sat on her legs.

It was almost ironic, the situation. When she'd left London before, it was because of all the sympathetic looks and pitiful stares she'd gotten and now, instead of that, she'd gotten the direct opposite, exactly what she'd wished for. Weren't all these cynical stares and disdainful snorts much better than being pitied like a beggar?

No.

They weren't.

Even though she hated to admit it, she needed someone.

And it wasn't because she wanted to host a pity party for herself or because she couldn't survive without the attention, she just needed it because she was—well, human. She sought for warmth, comfort and a shoulder to cry on, and in the past, she'd had her mother for that. But given the present circumstances, these were things that were unlikely to be given to her seeing as how she'd even succeeded to drive the two sweetest people she'd ever met.

Her only two best friends.

Why she'd lied to them, she couldn't even remember now. But she regretted that she did. How in the world did she manage to cave-in to Ocean but not to them? Was Ocean a better man? Did he care more for her than Mercedes and Tony did?

Certainly not.

But she did it anyways and because of that, she loathed herself—so much so that if she could spit on herself, she would.

Just when she thought she'd just let the pain torture her until she passes out, out of nowhere, she heard a loud scoff that brought her temporarily back to her surroundings.

"Look at what the wind blew in, girls."

Terra looked up out of reflex. If there was one thing that was constant about her life after all of this, it was the number of haters she'd. She'd bet her life that her haters were crawling from all corners of the world just to come see her suffer so it wasn't a shock to her that they'd come to gloat in her face.

And she wasn't sure if that unnerved her.

Given any other day, she might've been up for it but she didn't have the energy to deal with the pain and her haters all at the same time.

She sucked in a sharp breath and felt her ribs aching. She shook her head and muttered, "Leave me alone."

But it was clear that the girls didn't recognize the words as a form of command as they tittered back in disbelief. The leading blonde spearheading the war had stepped out of the her circle to look at Terra with disgust reflecting in her eyes.

"Oh gee. What, do you really expect me to listen to you? Oh I'm so scared. Who're you going to run off to now?" she said and then, snorted. "Oops, you forgot. You've no one now."

As irritating as the girl's voice was, Terra couldn't help but feel as if she'd heard her stupid voice before and seen that pair of icy blue eyes in the past though the blonde might've just given Terra that feeling because she looked like an exact replica of Rose in that cheerleader's outfit.

How heart-warming.

She shuddered slightly, the movement so subtle nobody but herself could've realized it. Whatever it was, she really was just trying to focus on mollifying the pain she felt. Her voice sounded desperate but she knew she'd to try and, with some luck, hopefully the bitches might pity her and leave.

"Please. Just go."

Not surprisingly, her plan failed and not only did the girls not seem to be affected by her plead, they reveled in her defeat.

"Hmph," the blonde said. "You're pathetic. Well, I guess it serves you right. First, you steal Scott from me and then, you try to steal Ocean too? What, did you really think you'd be able to fool around undetected, you slut?"

Her blood boiled and anger only reinforced the pain that'd pulsed beneath her temples. She held onto her chest, hoping that her action might control the abstract growth of the aching within.

Patiently, she gave patience another shot.

"Are you done? If you are, leave."

"Done?" she said and snorted. "Do you really think you can have it all so easy, you little bitch? Nah-ah. Not after everything you've done."

Her voice started to pick up force. "Fucking. Leave."

The blonde seemed to be taken aback when Terra had lifted up her chin so fast that her neck almost broke but she didn't take the hint. "You really think you can tell people to come and go now? In case you don't know, you're at the bottom of the food chain, whore." She kicked her stilettos a few times as if she were kicking back the dust to Terra and then, laughed. "How does it feel to eat my dust?"

Terra was in rage but she was in so much pain that she couldn't seem to find the strength to stand let alone fight. She sat there, feeling more and more defeated by the second as she tried to fight against a losing battle.

"You should go."

If the blonde heard her, she made no indication of it. "I bet you don't even remember me, do you?" she said, giving her a sideway glance. "Nope. You can't be bothered with anyone but yourself."

And she was right.

At first, as Terra looked at her with fury playing back and forth in her eyes, she really didn't know what the crap the blonde was talking about. But no matter in what state of mind, Terra had always been good with memory and as she searched her mind for a picture of the blonde, she stared harder—and harder, and harder, and—

"Casey?" she said, narrowing an eye.

The blonde seemed absurdly pleased with herself as she crossed her arms and loomed over Terra's sitting figure. "Well, well, it seems I've left quite the impression if you remembered me that well."

Terra couldn't help but snort. "You left an impression, all right."

Casey must've not been very bright because she couldn't seem to catch the sarcasm in Terra's tone. She was oozing with satisfaction, taking pride in her glorious moment as the winner before she bent down so that her face was at the same level as Terra's.

"You should apologize," she said.

At that fleeting second, the statement stunned Terra so much that she froze for a while. Did she really say that? Was she really expecting her to apologize to her of all people that she might possibly have wronged?

Oh no way.

"Bullshit," Terra spat.

Casey seemed to be shocked at her answer, clearly not expecting such a retort after Terra's lack of energy before but Casey was determined to not lose herself. So, instead of throwing tantrums like she did in the past, she tried to provoke her instead.

A smarter option had she been more efficient at it.

"You know, it doesn't even matter," she said and snickered. "You know why? Because Ocean eventually left you and it's only a matter of time before Scott comes running back."

It was tacit that the entire school thought the fight between Ocean and Terra was something in between the lines of Ocean wanting to end their affair and Terra throwing a fit about it but that fact, at then, really wasn't important at all.

What was important was that Terra suddenly felt the urge to be mean. Despite all the anguish and mishmash of feelings she felt within her then, for that one second as she stared into Casey's eyes with her hand firmly gripping the fabric on her chest, she wanted to win.

Something snapped.

And she chuckled. People around her looked at her as if she'd gone quite possibly mad. Then, very slowly, she leaned forward and with her voice, just a tad bit audible, she said, "Wanna know a secret?"

When Rose froze, Terra knew her deliberate pause had served its purpose. The corners of her lips curved just ever so slightly.

"You were never his option—not then, not now and not ever."

And that was it.

Casey's red face blew up and at some point, Terra thought her face was going to burst like a balloon with too much air in it. Right there, right then, Casey lost control of the composure she tried so hard to preserve and as if she'd impulsively decided upon it, she raised a hand, ready to strike Terra.

The odd thing about it was the fact that Terra had expected it. She knew how crazy Casey was and she knew that if she'd even tried to insult her in way at all in the condition she was in, Casey would no doubt do something more than merely—well, snort. But even so, she didn't even try to move away. Somehow, she'd thought that maybe—just maybe—the pain on her cheek might make her stop thinking about the aching in her chest.

And so, she closed her eyes and prepared for the blow.

"What the fuck do you think you're doin'!"

Only to be rescued.

Silence filled the air for some time before anyone moved and even though Terra had yet flipped her eyes open, she felt a masculine arm pulling her aside so quickly that her head spun.

Gradually, she allowed herself to open her eyes only to find herself staring at the back of Scott's hair. To be honest, she recognized him not by his back or the color of his hair—it was his aura and his warmth that oddly gave him away. It was a weird realization that she'd come to know him so well that she could feel that but one way or another, he was there. He'd crouched down in front of her after apparently shoving Casey to the side.

Then, all of a sudden, because she no longer felt the need to fend for herself, she just collapsed straight onto his back as if a huge burden had been lifted from her shoulder.

When Scott felt Terra's weight behind him, he was fuming. His nostrils flared and he gripped a hold on Casey's wrist tightly.

"What did you do?" he hissed lowly.

Fear was clear in Casey's expression as she squirmed but she tried to laugh it off, crazy as she was. "Scott, didn't you hear 'bout her? Why do you care? She cheated on you!"

"What the fuck did you do to her!"

Casey was clearly affronted by his inordinate use of language. "She's not worth your time. She's nothing more than a slut, a whore, a—"

Before she could finish, Scott's finger were curling up with so much force on her wrist that he was literally searing his fingerprints on her skin.

"Call her that again and I swear I'll kill you."

His voice was so low and so dangerously real that when Terra finally came to notice what he was doing, her fingers actually shook a little. He looked so out of it, so wild that for one second, Terra wondered if this was the same Scott she knew. She muttered his name hesitantly, unsure whether he'd entertain her, but the moment he heard her, she knew she brought him back from the way his eyes softened and his expression changed.

He looked over at her and saw the look of contrived pain in her face. She shook her head at him—she was already hurting enough so she didn't need to shoulder another burden of pain if Scott were to ever commit something he'd deeply regret.

Whether it was because they were pseudo-dating long enough or because they really were close enough, he understood the gesture and his shoulders relaxed just that little.

Nonetheless, he took a deep breath and glared icily at Casey. "Go," he said and when she didn't react fast enough, he yelled, "Leave! Go away now! All of you!"

Just like that, they all scattered like ants on the move including Casey. Under one minute, everyone had emptied the hallway. In some ways, it was formidable that Scott had that sort of power against people but she guessed they were all just shocked to see this side of him that even Terra herself had never witnessed.

But when he turned towards her again, he was the same old him—kind and gentle, and awfully worried.

"You okay?"

Terra didn't know why but she snorted snidely. It wasn't a reaction he deserved considering what he'd done but it was her reaction, nevertheless. "Why're you here, Scott? You don't want to be around me now."

Scott frowned. "What're you talking 'bout? I always want to be around you."

She shrugged off his arms when he tried to put them on her shoulder. She drew back, finding the strength to preserve just that shred of pride she had left even though she knew that it didn't really even signified anymore.

"I'm not a good friend."

"You are to me."

"I lied."

"Not to me."

She lifted her head to look at him. "It'll do you good to stay away. Nobody wants to be around me now," she said. "You're just goin' to get yourself in trouble."

"Oh and you think you're safe?" he said with an edge of anger. "Casey almost hit you, you know that, right?"

She laughed. "You should've just let her."

"And you should've blocked."

"I deserved it."

He opened his mouth as if he was going to berate her but after a moment or two, he kept it shut again and merely just stared at her. He winced as if he saw right through her pain and felt it as well, and seeing his face, Terra couldn't help but feel her eyes watering up again.

"Don't do this to yourself."

"I'm not," she said and even though she didn't mean it as a whimper, it came out sounding so. "Just go away."

"You can cry."

The moment those words came out of Scott's lips, a part of her memory with Ocean resurfaced and she felt as if someone had taken the knife that was still stuck in her chest and twisted it all the way.

She shook her head, laughing bitterly as she looked up to the ceiling in an attempt to hold back the tears that were already trickling down her cheek. "He used to say that."

Once more, Scott fell into deep silence but after a while, he just hugged her and the action was so quick and sudden that Terra didn't have time to react.

"I'm here."

And that, surprisingly, was all she needed to hear before she started to cry.


It must've been it.

Otherwise, this all wouldn't have happened; coincidences couldn't have been so untimely. This was a punishment for her—for all that she'd done in her past life. Yes, that was the reason. Things could never have happened at such a bad timing if it weren't so.

There simply was no other explanation for it.

"I must've killed a lot of people in your previous life," Terra muttered to herself under her breath as she blinked at the scoreboard.

All the spectators on their side of the school had mostly leapt off their bleachers to join in the celebration on the football field ahead. The boys on the team had wildly broad smiles seemingly sewn to their faces. The Lancers have won—Pentrose High had succeeded to preserve their years of pride as the unbeatable football champion and the trophy was theirs to keep.

They were victorious!

Yet, victory had never quite tasted so bitter in her mouth.

In all truth, she would've been quite happy with the win had all of the incidents the past week didn't happen. But even if it had, she rather thought she'd still be able to share a bit of the joy if only Mr. Ohio hadn't practically gone and shoved—okay, so maybe not so quite as to shove—but he did issue her the impossibly stupid task of interviewing Ocean.

That, of course, she'd so foolishly taken up on impulse.

On her defense, she really didn't expect the team to win at all (if the team didn't win, she wouldn't have to interview him)—which was imbecilic of her considering that the Lancers had had years of reputation as the best football team in San Francisco if not the state of California itself. Really, she should've done more research on her own school before she'd quite so rashly accepted the task.

But she just couldn't help it.

It'd been a week since she'd slapped Ocean in the face, and even though rumors about them were dying out fast what with the ongoing anticipation for the football game, she wanted to prove to other people that she was up for this.

More importantly, she needed to prove to herself that she was no longer controlled by him.

The pain that she'd felt hadn't really subside but she guessed she must've grown more and more accustomed to it—which was good. She still woke up every morning feeling as if the wind that'd entered her bedroom were pressing against her chest, making it hard for her to breathe, but as the day moved forward, the pain simply lingered and she simply—well, let it linger. The hardest were the first few days when she'd find it difficult to even shut her eyes without feeling as if she was going to cry but then, it got better with Scott by her side, calling her every now and then to check if she was all right.

Even so, it didn't mean it didn't still hurt.

A few times a day, she'd somehow been strung along into situations where she'd have to face Ocean—Mr. Seymour was either really oblivious to the awkwardness in the air or simply didn't care because he'd insisted that they had dinner together claiming that he didn't like to see Terra hiding out alone in her room as he'd promised her mother to take good care of her—and every time she'd to see him, she'd feel her wounds hurting anew.

His face, his eyes, the way he looked at her.

All of it reminded her of how he'd treated her, hurt her and ultimately, betrayed her. The memory of it often proved too much for her to bear, so much so that she barely lasted an entire dinner before she ran back to her room to cry. After a few times, she'd learnt to feign sickness and had escaped the dinner dates unscathed but she knew for sure that she wasn't going to be able to keep up with it much longer.

So, when Mr. Ohio had approached her, looking frantic with a purpose, she'd thought it was a good challenge for herself. If she could handle this interview, she should be able to go through dinner fine. After all, she wasn't required to speak during dinner so it ought to be easier than the interview. Also, with the exception of the constant aching and whatnot, she'd been feeling a lot better than she'd been the first day and she thought she'd be able to handle it well enough.

Or so she thought.

But as she looked at the field now and watched as the boys gleefully throw one another in the air, and dance their bizarrely cute victory dances, her heart sank.

Who the hell was she kidding?

She couldn't do this.

It went without saying that she was still hurting from what'd happened and that, Scott wasn't there with her tonight due to some personal errand he was obligated to run so she wouldn't have any form of support, but that all aside, how could she ever thought she could pull this off when she still couldn't even look at Ocean in the eyes?

"I can't do this," she murmured. "No."

"What're you mumbling to yourself about?"

Terra turned her head and blinked when she saw Laura standing beside her with her hand placed firmly on her hips. She'd a brow shot up high with a haughty look she usually wore whenever she assumed the place of president of the journalism club.

As president, of course, it was only fitting that she'd come to see to it that Terra went on with her assigned task so Terra wasn't at all surprised at her appearance.

Instead, she groaned when Laura took the recently vacated seat right next to her. "Please don't force me to do this."

"I told you so."

It might be a good idea to state clearly now that Laura had remained friends with her—as had Scott—even after what'd happened. Laura had been vocal about her disagreement towards the way Terra had lied to Mercedes and Tony but even so, she'd hugged her and told her that because Terra didn't exactly lie to her, she was going to forgive her.

Much like Scott, really.

But alas, the same couldn't be said for Mercedes and Tony.

The duo was almost too impressive. Given that the three of them worked and studied together, and had the same schedules, it was truly a feat that they'd been able to avoid Terra like a plague. A part of her realized that she must've hurt them badly seeing as how Mercedes really didn't seem like the type who'd severed their ties to such ends for matters that were petty to her but with that being said, Terra honestly never expected that they'd shut her off so completely.

And somehow, this realization had made her so guilty that she'd even stopped seeing Moses and Calvin altogether.

For one thing, she knew that the three guys were childhood friends and that, if they should be forced to take sides, it should very well be Ocean's. But judging by their characters, they might not necessarily want to side with Ocean—especially Calvin—and if she attempted to turn them against him, she'd be ruining yet another friendship. As much as she was hurting, she didn't wish for them to end up that way let alone be responsible for it.

And that was why Laura and Scott were really precious to her. They'd stuck around and were willingly accepting of all her flaws no matter how bad things seem.

But even so, right at that moment, Terra actually wished that Laura could've just avoided her, like Mercedes and Tony, just so she wouldn't actually have to go on with the stupid interview.

"I should've believed you," Terra muttered solemnly when it dawned upon her that she was doomed. "What am I goin' to do?"

Laura's eyes widened with alacrity. "Nothing," she said sternly. "You're going to march down there and interview him as you've signed up for, that's what."

"Can you do it instead? I'm not feelin' so—"

"No!" she exclaimed. "You're not going to shirk your duties. Nobody pointed a gun to your head and forced you to do this."

Terra groaned. "I didn't know they were going to win!"

"I told you they were going to win!"

"Oh and all of a sudden, I was supposed to believe you were a psychic. You could've warned me with solid evidences, Lo!"

Laura's lips parted and she looked as if she might just explode but somehow, she found the strength to hold it back. Her butt was firmly planted on her seat and she took a deep breath before she looked over at Terra again.

"Whatever it is, it's too late to turn back."

Again, Terra grunted. She put her fingers through her hair and stomped on her feet as she sat like a child angry. Then, she inhaled deeply.

"Can we get another person to—"

Before she could even finish, Laura was already leaping off her seat and throwing her hands up. "Look, Terra. This is crazy! Nobody remembers what happened, okay? He sure as hell couldn't be bothered! Look at him," she said and pointed towards the field, "See him? Yeah, he's the one cheering the loudest now. I sure as hell don't see how he could—"

When Laura turned back to look at Terra, she stopped. For a few seconds, nobody said a word and Terra could just feel Laura's eyes burning on her skin. Her fingers reached for her eyes—she must be tearing up again; a tear must've just escaped her eyes the second Laura looked back, that must've been why she stopped.

Laura sighed ruefully as she sat back down. "I'm sorry."

Terra laughed it off and wiped away at her eyes quickly. "It's nothing. It's just sand. I swear it doesn't hurt that much anymore."

"I know, sweetie," she said. "I know it doesn't but it doesn't mean it's not there. I should've been more sensitive."

She smiled a little. "Yes. You probably should."

Laura looked at her and then, smiled back as she shook her head. "I know it's hard for you but I'm doin' this for your own good too. You yourself told me that you've to face him soon, you know? You can't run from him forever."

"I know that, Lo," Terra said and then, paused for the longest time before she sighed resignedly. "But I can't."

"Why? You told me you were ready."

She turned to Laura sharply and frowned. "Except I really am not," she said softly. "I can't. Lo, it hurts and I don't know how long it'll take before I don't feel it anymore when I see him, but I don't think the pain will pass any moment now."

Laura tilted her head in silence. She seemed to be considering her words as she stared blankly at the space behind Terra's shoulder. Terra wondered if she'd gotten through to her, if she'd really allow her to leave. Laura was a good friend and all, but when it came down to business, she rarely brooked incompetence.

But a girl could always hope.

Then, when Laura finished staring off into space, her eyes lit up as if its power had just been switched back on and she blinked at Terra.

"I'll do the interview for you," she said.

And Terra felt herself letting out a long breath that she didn't quite realize she was holding. She beamed at her. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she said as she hugged her. "You're the best."

When she pulled back, Laura had an apologetic smile on her face as she shrugged. "Don't be too sure about that, sweetie."

Terra scowled. "What?"

Then, almost as if Zeus himself had appeared and disappeared to grab Laura away, she ran off and disappeared into the crowd. At first, Terra really thought Laura was just that eager to get the interview over and done with but then, when she felt a sharp chill behind her, she knew she'd to be wrong.

"Ahem."

She jumped off her seat and swirled around so fast that she almost tumbled backwards. Ocean jolted forward as if he was trying to save her if she ever fell but then, he pulled back when he saw that she regained her balance almost like he wanted to maintain the distance between them.

And Terra just gaped at him, too shocked by his unexpected presence that she couldn't react fast enough.

He nodded civilly when she didn't speak. "Terra."

Seconds passed before the blood began to reach Terra's face again and when it resumed traveling in her body, she suddenly felt that acute jolt in her chest almost as if someone had electrocuted her. She fisted her hands, her knuckles turning white and her lips paling. She blanched as she took a step backwards, feeling all over again what she'd felt when she'd slapped him in the face just a week ago.

It was insufferable.

She winced at him but didn't say a word. The pain was too much for her to even open her mouth. She turned away from him, picked up her stuff and got ready to leave.

"Hey, wait," he said, alarmed when he saw her packing. Then, when she didn't react to his pleads and turned on her heels, he caught her by her arm.

She felt the burn of his touch on her skin and she shut her eyes, trying to repress the memories of him that she'd tried so hard to erase. He was nothing to her, she reminded herself, and so she should feel nothing.

She steeled herself. "Let go."

But he clearly had no intention of doing so. His grip on her, if possible, grew even tighter. Then, when he spoke, his voice held such a pleading tone that Terra thought she'd cry if she heard anymore.

"Don't go."

She inhaled sharply only because she was afraid that too much oxygen would ruin her. "Let go."

"No."

A tiny part of her wanted to laugh at all of this if only the pain wasn't burning quite so intensely inside of her. After all of this, Ocean still hadn't mastered the softer way to plead and beg with her just so she could stay.

What kind of man says things like 'no' after hurting a person as badly as he did?

Finally, after she struggled to get out of his grasp to no avail—as usual—she whirled around and glared at him. But the moment she saw his eyes and the second those dark blue eyes bore its weight on hers, her hands were already trembling.

He must've felt it because his grip on her tightened even more than before.

"Stay."

"I'm not your bitch," she snapped.

He drew his brows together. "You know I didn't mean it that way."

She made a choking sound. "I may've fallen for that trap before but I'm not stupid enough to make the mistake of assuming I know you."

"You don't mean that."

She glowered at him. "I'd appreciate it if you don't pretend as if you know me too. In fact, you know what, I don't think we know each other well enough to be having this conversation. So, let me go."

Once again, he said, "No."

Terra wasn't exactly sure if it was the word 'no' or simply the convulsing pain that seemed perpetual inside of her that was making her het up. All she knew was she needed to leave immediately before she did anything stupid.

So, she tried to pry his fingers apart by digging at the space where his fingers were joined. She was confident that her nails were long enough to cause him enough pain to let go and when she saw the folds on his forehead as his brows drew together, she knew her plan was working.

But a few seconds pass.

Then, a whole minute.

And besides the expression of hurt he was wearing, he really didn't quite move at all. Finally, when her fingers started to ache instead of his, she released him and saw the dent her nails had created on his hand.

Reflexively, she winced.

"Are you done?" he said gently, still carrying the same expression. "If you are, let's talk."

She snorted disdainfully. "Why?" she said. "So that you can ruin me even more? Here's an interesting thought—why don't you go fuck someone else for a change?"

"Don't do this."

"Do what?" she hissed and with the element of surprise, succeeded in flinging off his hand. "Exactly what am I doin' that's so wrong?"

He looked weary. "Don't hurt yourself."

One way or another, that phrase itself seemed to have snapped something inside of her. Hurt herself? Oh and now, he cared? She chuckled mirthlessly as she took a step closer towards him.

"You're already doin' a good job of that."

"We can't go on like this."

She laughed. "That's why we're over!" she said in disbelief. There was a brief pause as he looked at her with an expression that was unfathomable and then, she just shook her head. "You know what, I've had enough of this bullshit."

It was at that moment—the moment that the aching in her heart seemed to have peaked, the second that she turned away and began to walk—that he'd said it.

"I'm sorry."

And she froze.

For the longest time, she just stood there as if time had stopped. Her movements were subtle but when she began to regain her motor abilities, they went haywire. First, her hands trembled and then, her knees shook and after that, her lips quivered.

"Sorry?" she muttered, not looking back. "You're sorry? Do you really think that 'sorry' could solve everything?"

"No."

He didn't have a chance to explain further when she turned onto him as if he was some kind of prey. Her eyes were welling up in tears and her heart was racing faster than it'd ever been but she didn't care. To hell with it all! She wanted the guy to hurt. She wanted him to feel what pain was and so, she wanted him to see what he'd made her.

How much he'd hurt her.

"I trusted you," she hissed. "Do you know how much that means to me? Do you know that? You were the one thing that was supposed to be right in my life. I liked you—I actually genuinely liked you. And you—", her lower lip trembled hard, "—you betrayed me."

She knew that he could feel how much she was hurting just from his pained expression alone. He was staring at her, the lump on his throat seemingly frozen as he pulled his brows together. His hands were balled into fists by his side and even though he was still wearing his stupid jersey-armor-whatever-thing football players wore, she could see him breathing faster.

"I'm sor—"

"Don't tell me you're fucking sorry!" she yelled and in one swift move, pushed him. He stumbled back but managed to steady himself. "Don't say you're sorry! You're not! You're not sorry! If you were, you wouldn't have done what you did to me!"

More and more tears started to gather at her eyes until the point that some began to flow down her cheeks. She didn't care that she was crying in front of him, didn't care that she was yelling because really, everything was overwhelming. She looked into his eyes, the deep pain that was in there. Good, she thought. He needed to feel it too—he needed to have that sort of pain convulse through his entire body.

Just as the way it was convulsing through hers.

She swallowed hard and put a hand on her forehead. It was easier—so much easier to believe that he hadn't been sorry for what he'd done. It was easier to accept that he was a jackass—someone she'd been misled to trust. That, she could've handled. But to come to know that he was indeed sorry, that he'd cared for her, she just couldn't take that.

She couldn't take knowing that he'd known how much pain he'd inflict on her and still hurt her the way he did.

She shook her head. "Why?" she said. "Just tell me why."

And the look on his face just broke her heart. The apologetic eyes, the deep sadness that was drowning in them—she couldn't take it.

"Terra!"

Terra wasn't sure if relief or disappointment was the feeling that'd overcame her the moment she heard Scott's voice calling her name—between all that'd happened, she wasn't surprised that she could no longer distinguish between the two. She was already sobbing by the time he came to her side, clearly out of breath and when he did, she just sank into his chest. He grabbed her and moved them away from Ocean as he glared deathly at him.

"Just what the hell do you think you're doin' to her!" Scott yelled.

Ocean's voice was perilously low. "Get off her."

Scott snorted, his tone hinting at ridiculing him. "You've lost your rights the moment you decided to sell her out."

Ocean had his eyes trained on Scott as he glared. He took a step forward, his demeanor threatening. "You don't know anything about us," he hissed.

"Except that you've done enough!" Scott shouted.

"Enough!" Terra yelled.

Both men snapped out of their trances and looked over to her. She was writhing in pain from the aching in her chest and her lungs felt as if it'd been squeezed out of air. She shook her head as her limbs grew more and more limp.

"Let's go, Scott," she said. "Let's leave."

Scott didn't have to wait for her to say it twice but he did give Ocean a push as if he needed to keep him in a safe distance from her before he steered them to his car.

As they walked towards the car, she was already beginning to cry. All Terra could think of, at that moment, was Ocean's pained expression when he'd muttered his apology and she'd no doubt in her mind that he'd be wearing the exact expression right then as she walked away from him.

But somehow, knowing that didn't make her feel any better.

If any, it just made her cry harder.


A/N: I cannot apologize more for my late, late, late update. But with that being said, let me just clarify that I won't leave the story hanging (Updates might be late, but the story will never be left unfinished). I'm already working on my next chapter so fingers crossed that I'll finish fast since I'm particularly free this semester (I've just started my first semester in University last August-which explains why I haven't had time to update-and I'm doing Psychology!) Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter! Bear with me just a little while more, alright?

sappyromancelvr: I know. Everyone's angry with Ocean now. But can we really stay mad at him for long? :P

Frozen Doll: I get that a lot. Maybe it's because I update late so people start forgetting the story and all. I tried to write it in a way that it wouldn't quite explain so directly that she slapped him. Hope you got it!

beenthere: Thanks for the compliment! Though we are supposed to know actually. If you would remember, Terra's biggest secret was her father's death.

Cookie: I see someone's all fired up! Yes, they should just drop dead. I hate Rose, personally. Writing about her makes me feel sick BUT with that being said, she's not evil. Just immature, maybe. PS: Sorry for not updating faster!

cat10958: I'm terribly sorry you have had to wait SOOOOOOOOOOOO long. And I mean it. Everyday I delay, I feel bad. I hope you're still going to read it!

charmedblush: haha. I HAD FUN READING YOUR REVIEW! It's like I have a friend right next to me reading it and telling me exactly how it made her feel at every corner! :D I love this style of review. Why can't everyone review like this, right? ;)

Mau-Mau: Okay, let me try this. When a person trusts another so much, it's hurtful to find out that the other person had actually been lying to her all these time. What's worse is that the lie is of something with such magnitude. And people were snickering because they kinda thought, "Well, not only is she a big whore, now she's a liar too."

jumeaufortune: Thanks for the review. But I assure you that it isn't my intention at all to insult as I know someone who's gay and he's family to me. But, I will take that into note and will do something about it when I'm editing the whole story after I finish writing it.

Red: Sweetheart, I hope you're not crying in this chapter too! But it IS too sad!

rollinby: It IS unexpected, isn't it? :D

mylittlePRINCESS, 4everSmiles: Thanks for your review!

Midnight113: I actually miss the fluff too! But one way or another, I guess the story has to peak in some kind of serious business. Otherwise, there'd be no substance. Thanks for your review and sorry for the late update.

silverstarazor: Ah, I think you might want to kill me now? I did a story before this with multiple POV and sometimes, I thought it was rather hard to write so in this story, only one's enough. But I'm going to do it again in my next story. Probably. :D

Bridgett-blah: Haha. Sorry the update wasn't 'SOON' enough. But I'm always, ALWAYS flattered whenever I get a review that says "I spend all day reading this." Makes my heart flutter!

summerinlove: Ocean's always going to be an ass…but I guess that's what's charming about him in some ways!

storytellerrose: HERE YOU GO! :D I'm just sorry that it came so late!

Inocencia: I'm glad you love and I HOPE you still do! :D

gaga19: I would have to say that I'm thoroughly flattered that you cut classes to read this! THANK YOU. You have no idea how much of a compliment that is to me.

luke33: Haha. I know, I know. It's confusing…sometimes :D But I guess it's just my style of writing. Though I might have to improve it 'cause sometimes, it isn't really good to be confusing. Am I confusing you now? :P

sometimesforever: That is a compliment to me that you've read mine! :D I'm happy that you did! Thank you!

Noori: Haha. Thanks! I've noted the grammatical errors and will improve of it when I edit it next time! But keep reading, yeah? Bear with me a little while more!

D-Mish: haha. Yeah, almost 30 chapters and still not togetheeeeer! I don't know how I can stand this if I'm the reader! Haha.