.:X: Chapter 14- Set Free:X:.

I was compelled to run to Nicks house as soon as I had calmed down a little, but thought better of it. I couldn't just ditch school to go see Nick, especially when I didn't know what I was going to say to him. Without a plan, I would probably just blow the whole thing, and then I would not only be without Nick, but I would also be truant.

The whole day was long, the walls spiraling around my vision as I trekked back and forth from class to class. My movements were all foreign, and I didn't put any thought into them. Write name on paper, hand paper in, sit back in seat, stare at wall, stand up, walk to locker, put books away, walk to lunch table...

"Rebecca... are you even listening to me!?" I snapped my head up and looked at the tan male in front of me, he was waving his hands in my face looking.

"Oh, sorry Reuben.... yes I think blue is an excellent color on you.." I answered, looking back down at my Styrofoam tray of processed roadkill. The school really needed to look into getting fresh produce in the future. If I wasn't so out of it, the smell would probably be makeing me sick right now.

"Rebecca...." Reuben got up from his side of the booth and slid in next to me, putting his arm around my shoulder "Tell me whats the matter.." He put his finger under my chin and pushed it up so I would stop gazing at my untouched food. His eyes were filled with concern. Oh Reuben, he was always setting aside time and emotions for me. I don't know how I got him, but I would forever be grateful that he was my best friend. My best friend.

"Reuben... It's just awful... I've made a mess... and I.. I don't know how to..." I burst into tears, my voice breaking. I didn't need to explain further for Reuben to take me into his arms and pull me close, rocking me back and forth, shushing me softly, assuring me over and over again that it would be okay. It would all be okay. "How do y-you kn-know?" I gasped, pushing my face further into his chest.

"Because even if they don't I will make them alright. I'll always find a way to make you happy." He patted my head. "Thats what I'm here for." And I nodded.

Yes, he was here. For me. Always.

We sat there for who knows how long, until we were interrupted by a long string of profanities and insults. I pulled away from Reuben to look at the form standing before us.

"C-cayla?" I asked, confused. I had totally forgotten about her phone call earlier this morning, I had been so deep in grief.

"You whore. You lying, cheating whore. What HAVE you done to my brother?"

"I swear Cayla, I don't know what you-"

"You do too! I know you dropped him. For a completely absurd reason too, might I add... How could you? He loved you, He loved you. And I looked up to you. I wanted to be you. I wanted to be as good to Reuben as you were to Nick... and boy, was my perception of you sorely mistake-"

"Cayla, be quiet, you don't know what you're going on about!" Reuben interrupted, waving his arm at her to calm her down.

"Of course I know what I'm talking about Reuben, do you think I'm stupid? And what are you doing?" She motioned at the two of us "Why are you taking her side? Over me, of all people!" She yelled, tears filling her eyes.

"I'm not taking sides-"

"Yes you are, look at you, with your arms around her, telling me to stop talking!"

"Cayla, I'm simply trying to tell you that whatever you think is going on between your brother and Rebecca is wrong... "

"Is that what you believe? You believe what she told you, but you won't even listen to me?!" She shrieked, and I winced. This was very unlike Cayla. Cayla never did anything but smile and help people. I had never heard her raise her voice at anything but her dysfunctional microwave in my life.

"You won't listen to her either" He stated.

Cayla dropped her shoulders and looked at the two of us before turning on her heel and saying "Well then, I hope she treats you better than she did Nick." And with that she walked away. Reuben was silent for a moment, before finally speaking.

"Did... did she just break up with me?" He asked puzzled.

"I think so.." I whispered. He nodded. I clenched the fabric of his shirt in my fist. "I'm... I'm so sorry Reuben, you didn't have to do that for me..."

"No, I think I did have to do it..." He looked down at me, smiling. But I could tell he was upset.


"No really Becks, you're my best friend, and as much as I love Cayla, you mean more to me. You'll be there for me always. Thick and thin." He rubbed my arm, and squeezed me tight. "Which is why I can't let anyone, even Cayla, talk to you like that..." He sighed in resignation. I smiled up at him and put my arms around his neck, hugging him tight.



"You're my best friend."

"I know."


"Yes Becca?"

"I love you very much." He chuckled.

"I love you too Becca."


"No I'm sorry Rebecca, he's hasn't been home since this morning... Are you sure he's not at the school still?" Nick mom asked, smiling down at me from the doorway. Her thick blond hair was pulled back in a bun, and red lip stick was placed on her lips. I smiled. Mrs. Landon always wore lipstick when she was cooking or dealing with something unpleasant. It made her feel like Marylin Monroe in an Apron. And Marylin Monroe could handle anything, in her opinion. I shook my head and bid goodbye, getting back in my car and heading over to the park, the last place I could think of that Dominic would be. After surveying the swing set, I left the park disappointed, and headed back home.

Sighing, I waved to my Rita in the kitchen as I trudged up the stairs. Opening my door, I headed straight to the bed and dove under the covers.

Wait a minute. Something was wrong. I peeked out from under the sheets and looked at my wall, only to be greeted with a big splash of orange. A splash of orange that was not supposed to be there. And neither was the foreign deep breaths coming from across the room. I threw my blankets off of me and sat up to inspect. I did NOT expect to see what was in front of me.

There he was, in all his golden, angelic glory, crumpled against the wall, breathing in and out deeply. His eyes were closed, his soft hair resting against the painting of my face. His face was flushed a slight pink, and the deep blue sheets that had once covered my walls were captured in his clenched fists. How long had he been there? However long it was, it was enough time for him to uncover the entire room, even the ceiling. Now all the sheets were piled around him, like a large nest, roll after roll of thick blue fabric.

Softly, carefully, I moved off the bed and stepped tentatively forward, stopping short when he moved. Time slowed as I watched his black laced lashes flutter, his lids lifting heavily upwards, dark brown irises made their way from the ground to my face and stayed there for what seemed like forever. My breath caught at the unsheathed love that poured from his eyes moments before thy closed up again. The feeling shot me in the heart so thoroughly it took everything I could to not burst into tears.

The love was there, until his awareness kicked in. I opened my mouth to say something but was interrupted.

"What am I, to you?" He stated simply.

"I-- what?" I was confused.

"What. Am. I. To. You?" He enunciated each word sharply and clearly.

"You're... I don't know what you mean." That question could mean so many things. Of course, I had answers to probably any meanings, but that would take too long.

"What am I, just an ex-boyfriend, a friend, an acquaintance.. untrustworthy?" he paused "... a father??"

"Listen Dominic" His eyes flickered for a quick moment at the use of his full name "I was going to tell you... Today, in fact... if Robert hadn't gotten to you before.."

"Whether Robert go to me before you or not, I would still feel the same I think, Rebecca. You should have told me from the beginning... Things might have..." He hesitated, his breaths staggering "Things might have been different if I had known from the beginning. You didn't trust me. You ignored me. You played with my feelings. You broke up with me, hid the truth from me, lied to me" He stood up and walked towards the doors, stopping to gesture at the walls around us. "This" he said "This was everything to me. I would have done anything for you... I still would. But... If you can't trust me... I don't know how I can still commit myself to you if you're just going to... change so rapidly." He moved to leave, only to be thrust to the floor.

"oof! Rebecca! What are you--!"

"No! Don't say anything... you don't know the whole story..." I said, placing my knee on his back and my hands on his sturdy shoulders "I know that-" I breathed in "I know that what I did was wrong... I should have trusted you. I underestimated you and your heart. I don't deserve you at all... but I'm willing to fight for you. Please, just give me a chance-" I bowed my head, resting it on my knee, trying to keep my breaths even. It wasn't an easy task to do. So much was at stake, and possibly already lost by this point. The pressure was pressing on me, pushing my shoulders into the ground. Reality was a mess and I pushed it away, trying only to focus on the task at hand. Even if he had already decided against having me back, I wasn't letting him out of it that easily.

He groaned and lifted himself up suddenly, causing me to topple off his back and hit my head on the doorway. I whimpered, trying to pull myself up, only to be lifted up from the floor and carried to my bed. He sat me down and stood before me, his arms folded against his chest. He looked down at me and waited. I breathed in again and looked up into his eyes, his gaze intense and expectant.

"Well. Go on."

"Where should I start?"

"From the beginning."

"The beginning... from... when I found out that I was--?" He nodded.

"Okay..." I clasped my hands in front of me, twiddling my thumbs together, thinking back. "I hadn't been keeping track of my.... period "I blushed but continued "So I didn't realize I might be p-pregnant until it was past... I thought maybe I was mistaken, but I bought a test anyways... It came out negative." He looked confused "But it still didn't come, so I bought three more, and they all came out positive. I- I was going to tell you, but then I got scared. I didn't want to... ruin things for you..." He started to interrupt but I put my hand up. "You were talking about all the things you were planning on doing in the future, the day I had planned to tell you. We were sitting at the lake, and you were holding my hand... you were so sure of the future, that it would come for you... And I wanted it to happen. All of it. If anyone deserves success, its you. But I know you, and I knew that if this baby was going to obstruct my path, you would veer away from yours also to follow me. Because thats how you are. So... I went to the clinic that day. The one Roberts mom works at, and I asked to get an abortion. They gave me the papers, and I filled them out."

"Why did you do that Becca! I don't understand... You were so set in your beliefs... how could you just.. Kill the baby?" Tears started to fill his eyes, he was frustrated, and full of confusion.

"Robert... Robert didn't know the truth of what happened that day.." I looked back up at Nick, he was still. Holding his breath. "I filled out the papers, yes, and Robert saw me go into the clinic. But he didn't see me walk out fifteen minutes later and throw the papers in the trash bin."

"You... you didn't get a... you're still pregnant?" I nodded. He just stood there, turning everything over in his head. Emotions flickered on across his face. Relief, confusion, more relief, and then more sadness. "Then... why didn't you tell me anyways? We could have worked this out Rebecca..." He took a step forward, and keeled on the floor in front of me, taking my fidgeting hands into his large, strong ones.

"Because I... I still wanted you to have a future... I wanted you to go to college, get a scholarship, play football, become a chef, get your restaurant.."

"Then why... what were you planning on doing when it became obvious? Hate to burst you bubble Lace, but a human being isnt very easy to hide."

"I'm moving in with my aunt in a couple of weeks... and then I'm giving the baby up for adoption." His fingers, which had been previously rubbing the back of my knuckles froze.

"You know Lace, no matter what the outcome would be for you and I, I would never put my dreams aside. The reason for this is that I have you. Everything that I've planned and wanted to do the last... I don't know, seven months or so has been fashioned in such a way that you would never be exempt from my life. Now if that means making a little room for a baby or doctor appointment or anything, I'm willing to do it." He paused and looked down at our hands, caressing my fingers once again. "So... Why adoption?"

"Because... I don't know.." I looked down. He wasn't making this easy.

"Are you against keeping the baby?" He lifted my chin up, making eye contact. His hand resting alongside my jaw, warm and strong.

"I like children..."

"Rebecca... could you... I don't know if you would want to... Would it be a problem if we..."

"If we what, Dominic?" My breathing patterns were out of whack, not sure which paces to be at.

"I want to keep the baby."

My eyes widened, and he corrected himself.

"I want to keep the baby, if you want to keep the baby."

I stared at him, not saying a word. His eyes were so sure, determined. I tried to find any sign that he was just saying this to make me feel better, but I couldn't. He was completely serious. Suddenly, the corner of my mouth twitched. His twitched slightly too, before bursting into a full out, radiant smile, his dimples deep and laugh lines appearing at the corner of his liquid, shimmering eyes. I smiled back.

"I want to keep the baby too... But" His smile faltered for a moment "But only if you'll keep it with me." His smile spread wider and he pulled me into his arms, laughing out loud.

"What are you laughing bout?" I asked, confused, putting my arms around his neck nonetheless.

"I don't know... I'm just... relieved." He sighed. He pulled away from me slightly and looked into my eyes, his warm breath spreading across my face, his eyes smoldering, making my stomach do little flips. Oh, the things he did to me. "I love you, Lace, will you keep me too?" I smiled.

"I'll keep every part of you." And I leaned in, resting my mouth against his own warm lips. He pulled me in, his hand in my hair, and my hands on his shoulders. I lifted my hand up to his neck for support, moving my lips in sync with his, starved from the lack of touch we'd experienced so long away from each other. He leaned over me, pushing my back onto the bed, lying against me. I gasped for air, and he took the opportunity to travel down my jaw, making a path of light kisses all the way to my collar bone, sucking softly on the skin there below. I ran my hands through his hair, twirling the golden curls around my long fingers. He moved back up to my mouth after a moment. He smelled so good. Like salt, and Old Spice, the deodorant he wore. I groaned as he pulled away, and pulled him back down. He complied. I lifted myself up a bit and made my own journey down his neck as he whispered into my ear.

"I love you." He said again. And again. And again and again and again.

Lopunnu: Noo.... If you review the chapters you'll see that it never mentions Robert and Nick being related. Yes! Cayla is Nicks sister. I'll expand more on her later. And Robert. And if you read chapter 2 again, you will notice that I said Marylin had dishwater blond hair, and I never specified what color her eyes were till chapter 12. :D Rebecca is the one with dark hair and eyes. I don't really talk about appearances as much so I suppose its easy to forget and become confused. Thanks for the feedback, I love the enthusiasm.

XxSiennaxX: Thank you so much! I love reviews and readers! I updated just for you! And everybody else... But I WAS thinking about you!


Alrighty, I'm so sorry I took too long to update, but I hope that this chapter and the next one satisfy you all! The story does NOT end at the reconcile-mint. It CONTINUES. :D So keep reading!

Chapter playlist: "Glitter in the Air"- by P!nk & "I'll Be"- By Edwin Mccain