~Sometimes our flame goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being~

Scanning his gray eyes around the lot, he searched for the young girl. After a talk with his best friend he was worried. He had to just check and make sure she was ok.

"Collins!" the dark haired boy jogged down the hall to reach the small girl who seemed buried in her locker. "Hey," he pulled the door to see the red eyes and trembling lip. "Collins…" his tone soft as he pulled her back from her locker. "What's wrong? What happened?"

"Nothing," she pushed the tears away and sniffled. "My contacts are just bothering me…"

"Liar…" he challenged. "Taylor said you were upset. What is wrong? Someone do something?"

"No…no one did anything," she told him quickly. Knowing he always seemed to fly off when he thought someone had hurt her. She liked it, liked him protective of her but sometimes it just exhausted her to stop him from slugging someone. And today of all days she didn't need it.

"Then what's wrong?" he pushed and she pulled in a long breath lifting her gaze to her locker. His brows pulling lost as he followed her gaze. "It's Thursday…"

"Yeah…" she rubbed her finger of the picture and quickly slammed her locker. "I'm sorry…I don't mean to be like this. It's just hard…"

"I know, I know it is," he nodded because he understood that completely. "Come here," he tugged her into him and heard her break out with a sob as she buried her face in his chest. "It's ok…" he soothed rubbing his head up and down her back. "The first ones are always the hardest," he kissed the top of her head and she nodded. "Let's get out of here," he suggested pulling back to whip the tears from her face.

"We can't just leave…"

"Says who?" he pushed to know and she bit her lip unsure of how to answer that. "We haven't been to a class yet. For all they know we are sick…"

"Practice? You have a game tomorrow, Benry…"

"And missing one practice isn't going to make me suck for tomorrow," he pointed out, hating all the pain on her face. "Let's just go…" he gave a gentle smile that always made her stomach do a flip. "It will be fun…we can go see my brother."

"Your brother?" her brows creased and he offered a shrug.

"He goes to college about an hour and half from here. I've keep telling him I'm going to visit just haven't. Maybe it will be good to just get away from this place," he waved his hand around and she gave a small smile.

"You're always too good to me," she pushed up on her toes to give him a sweet kiss.

"Let's go then," he laced his fingers through hers and gave a small tug. "We will make a full day of just…having fun."

"I like that," she grinned bigger, doing the best not to let her emotions take over. She didn't want to be sad; it was just hard not to be. She missed her. However, it didn't shock her one bit that Benry like always came through on making her smile.

"We miss school too much this week," she laughed as she sat in the boy's lap outside of the school. "Sooner or later they are going to question all my doctors' notes," she used air quotes and he chuckled.

"Well yours yes…me never. I'm never late to class," he smirked and she rolled her eyes. "I don't have a first period."

"Must you remind me," she laced her fingers through his and bit her lip. The blonde giving her a little grin and a look she never received from anyone and it made her heart tighten. "What are you doing after school?"


"Well, I was wondering if maybe…" she nervously bit her lip as she felt her heart race. Almost nervous he might say no. "Maybe you would want to come over…"

"You want me to come over?" he repeated and she slowly nodded.

"My mom is going to her boyfriend's or I don't know, somewhere," she flipped her hand around not really caring. "So I'm just kinda there. I'm going to Taylor's tomorrow, but thought maybe if you wanted too…"

"Jeri…" he frowned a little and panic started to rip through her. "I thought we were going to wait to do that…" he reminded her with a light shrug. "I mean, don't think I don't want too, because I do. I've wanted to for years, but I don't want you to think that is what this about…you know you mean more to me than that…"

"I know and I still want to wait," she rushed to tell him. "I just want you there with me. I want to do those couple things that Benry and Collins do or what Taylor and Bradley used too. That lame watching movies on the couch and just…cuddling or whatever," she said, not really sure what couples did, but really wanting to try. "I could make you dinner…"

"Make me dinner?" he raised a brow with a chuckle and she rolled her eyes.

"I'll burn you dinner and then you can order some more," she teased and he laughed tilting his head up to give her a sweet kiss. "So what do you say Andrew?" she worried on her lip and gently touched his chin. "Want to do this…couples thing with me?"

"Yeah," he grinned big and gripped his hand in her hair. "I want nothing more than to have you burn me dinner…"

"Good," she giggled leaning back down and kissing him.

Feeling her fingers twitch she followed slowly behind the confident boy as he walked through the campus. His head high, his signature smirk placed on his lips and his eyes shining with such light it made his whole body glow and made more attention fall onto him that Collins knew she would never receive.

"Benry," her voice sounded a little weak as she reached for his hand and clung on tight.

"What's up?" he turned to face her and watched her blush. His dark brow twitching upward in question to why and she glanced down. "You ok?"

"Yeah…" she pulled in a nervous breath and glanced around at everyone around. "I…I didn't mean to really say anything…"

"You didn't mean to say my name?" he teased and she bit hard on her lip and stepped closer to him. "Angel," he thread his fingers through her hair and lifted her head up to face him. "What's up?" he wondered and just like always, with the sweet look in his eyes she caved.

"I just notice all the attention you always get," she shrugged. "All the girls who look at you…" she told him and he lifted his gaze to look at everyone around. Benry really didn't even pay much attention to any of the girls around. "In my mind I was just reaching for your hand. I didn't realize I said something…"

"You staking calm on me Miss Hewitt?" he smirked and her heart skipped a beat as the heat spread across her face.

"No…" she grinned twisting her body into his as he slowly laced their fingers together.

"You're so damn cute," he dropped his head to rest against hers and brought one of their hands that were linked together to lift her chin for a sweet kiss. The young girl let out a sweet sigh as he added more pressure and parted her lips.

Collins released a small moan when he released one of her hands and slid his hand down her small body. It slipping around her small waist and tugging her body to press against his. The young girl smiling as she curled her hand around his shirt and he released a growl. Something about when she was so confident in her moves always turning him on just that much more.

"Oh big shock," they heard a teasing voice behind them and they slowly pulled away. "I hear of a show going on in the quad and of course it's my little brother…"

"Yeah," Benry let out a dry laugh and ran his thumb across the corner of his lip. "I hear a smartass comment and I should have known it was my big brother," he teased spinning on his feet and slapping his hand to his brother's and pulling him into a quick hug.

"Well I can't miss the chance," the dark haired boy smirked and shifted on his feet back half a step to look at the girl before him. "Hello…"

"Hi…" Collins glanced down nervously before letting her eyes slowly trail up. The gorgeous boy before her made her a little uncomfortable with his gaze. She shouldn't be shocked he was gorgeous, look at Benry, but it really isn't fair that one family had so many pretty people in it. She knew his name was Stephen, she heard everyone talk about him back home and he really probably took the all girls' breath away. His hair was dark and short and his body was fit. He was bigger than Benry, but she would tell everyone Benry was the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen. His smile was sweet, way different than the one Benry gave her the first time she met him and unlike Benry who liked a nice shade of hair on his strong jaw, Stephen was clean shaven. They were different, yet similar but the one thing that proved they were brothers was their eyes. They both had those gorgeous blue gray eyes that just made you shiver and want to agree to whatever they said.

"Collins this is my brother Stephen," Benry introduced and his brother watched something flicker through him as his little brother turned to the young girl. "And Stephen this is Collins," he slowly reached for her hand and pulled her close. "My girlfriend…"

"Girlfriend," Stephen repeated slowly and his brother nodded. "This little thing calmed my brother down?" he teased and Collins released a weird noise from her throat as she shifted on her feet. "I should buy you a drink…"

"You should probably buy her ten," a girl appeared by his side and Collins instantly knew who it was.

"You're Haley," she blurted out before thinking and the group laughed a little.

"I am," Haley nodded and slowly reaching out her hand. "And you're Collins," she commented and trailed her eyes over to the dark haired boy and he instantly knew she knew everything. That she knew exactly who Collins was.


"Taylor's mentioned you," Haley felt her brow cork up with a smile. "Mentioned you and Benny Boo…"

"Yeah, Benny Boo," Stephen teased as he poked his brother and he growled. "So damn cute…"

"Be nice," Haley slugged his stomach and he groaned. "But what are you doing here? I thought you were coming with Tay around break?"

"We still might," Benry shrugged and pulled Collins close. "But thought maybe a day away would be nice."

"Other girls in school giving you a hard time and threatening your murder?" Stephen's brow arched upward and glanced around. "Are we involved in a kidnapping right now?"

"Dude, shut up!" Benry slugged his brother as the group let out a laugh. "We were just over school for the day and thought a visit to see Haley would be nice. Not our fault visiting Hales gets us stuck seeing you."

"What can I say," Stephen slipped his arm over his girl's shoulder and gave a shrug. "We're banging."

"You're a dipshit," Haley shook her head and looked at Collins as she watched the brothers interact. "But really, I'm glad you two came to visit. I need to talk to you," she wiggled her finger at Benry who frowned a little.

"Yes, mom," he grumbled knowing that motherly tone all too well.

"So why don't we go talk for a bit and Stephen you show Collins around a little," Haley suggested and Benry cut his eyes to his girl knowing how uncomfortable she was with people she didn't really know. Plus he knew today was a hard day. He didn't want to leave her alone.


"Go ahead," Collins read his mind and gave a smile. "I might go here. It would be cool to get to see around."

"Alright," he said, still a little unsure. Collins giving a wider smile that seemed to convince him. "Can I just talk to you for a second Stephen?" he wondered and his brother offered a shrug as they headed away from the two girls.

"So you're Bradley's cousin," Haley randomly stated and Collins's head snapped over to her.


"I've always liked Bradley," she told her as she stared at the two boys. Both looking extremely serious as Benry explained something to his big brother. "He's always treated my sister so well."

"Well he loves her," Collins felt like she needed to defend that and Haley gave a gentle smile.

"I know…"

"Alright," both girls turned to the boys. "I won't be long. If you need me just text me," Benry brushed Collins hair over her shoulder and she nodded. "See you soon Angel," he lifted her chin to give her a sweet kiss. "Stephen take care of her," he warned and his brother chuckled waving his hand at him.

"But of course…"

"See ya'll in a little bit," Haley told them and looped her arm through Benry's and started to tug him down the walkway.

"So…" a heavy arm landed on Collins's shoulder and she glanced up to meet the familiar blue eyes. "Want to go bang before they get back?" he teased and Collins let out a loud laugh and blush. "Come on, there is this cool kinda jazz coffee shop on the other side of campus."

"Ok, cool," Collins said as she started to follow.

"Are you going to lecture me?" his leg shook nervously as he stared hard at the girl before him. "I don't want to get lectured."

"I'm not going to lecture you," Haley leaned back in her chair and cross her arms. "Just find all this interesting…"

"Why?" his blue eyes trailed up to hers nervously. Haley always had this effect on him like a child getting in trouble.

"You're dating Collins," she stated and his brows pulled together. "Collins is Bradley's cousin," she also stated and his eyes closed. "I love you Benry. You are like my baby brother and when I see you with Collins…I see a guy I never thought I would see," she leaned forward and his head dropped and eyes flipped up to hers. "In just a few minutes I saw how protective of her you are. I also saw the way you looked at her…"


"And it's almost identical to the way a certain blonde looks at my sister," her tone changed and body straightened up again. "Imagine how much it would hurt to have someone tell you that you couldn't be with her anymore."

"Well odds are high when she figures everything out I'll be alone anyway," he slumped back in his chair and ran his hand over the table. "Just like everyone else she will blame me for it."

"And if that happens I'm sorry Benry. I know how hard all of this was on you and still is. However, it doesn't change the fact Taylor didn't do anything wrong and if I get one more phone call from her crying because she feels stuck and torn on what to do, I will personally drive back to that town and chop off both yours and Bradley's penis. Then for giggles I'll place it in your hand. That way you feel it, but you don't really feel it."

"Have you always been this violent?" he teased a little and she offered a shrug.

"There are four things in this world I would destroy or murder someone for other than my mom; James, Jacob, Taylor and Stephen."

"I know…"

"And I know how much you love Taylor. I know you do. I know she is your safety net and protects you from everything but it's not fair to her. It is not fair at all she isn't with Bradley because you hate him."

"I don't hate him," his jaw clinched a little. "I'm so tired of people saying I do when I don't. Everyone seems to forget that he was my best friend and he made everyone in this town hate me. People keyed my car, egged my house. I couldn't walk into school or even the grocery store without people whispering and pointing. Someone threw a damn rock through my window and scared the hell out of my mother who was innocent in all of this and he did nothing to stop it. All I had was Taylor…and I never asked her to pick."

"I know you never really asked but what did you expect her to do? If roles were reversed and Taylor went through what you did and Collins was the Bradley would you have picked Collins or Taylor? Honestly, who would you have picked?"

"Honestly?" he raised a brow and she nodded. "I like Collins a lot. I don't even know how to explain. I've never cared about someone like this before, but…"

"But what?"

"I love Taylor," he told her without a second thought. "We've been through a lot of stuff together. Any girl I'm ever with knows they are my number two. She is my best friend, my family and my family always comes before everyone."

"Funny," Haley let out a small laugh. "Taylor said the exact same thing," she gave a light shrug. "You two are ridiculous. Ya'll are like the closest thing to a relationship without being in a relationship."

"That's you and Stephen. I love Taylor, but not that way. That thought honestly grosses me out," he cringed at just the thought of him and Taylor ever being more than just friends.

"She also said that," she laughed. "Benry…she loves him," she told him and he frowned. "But she won't do anything about that unless you tell her it's ok. Don't you want her happy?"

"Yes…" he said and fiddled with his fingers. "But…but what if he makes her hate me too?" he worried and Haley let out a sigh tilting her head to the side. "She's the only person to not turn her back on me. I can't lose her; because when Collins finds out the truth and I lose her…I don't want to be alone…"

"You won't," Haley took his hand and gave it a light squeeze. "We aren't going to let you return to that dark place Ben," her voice soothing as he shifted in his seat. "And I'm pretty sure Collins isn't going anywhere…" she told him and he just remained quiet. "You really like her, huh?" she questioned and he paused pulling in a long breath.

"I can't explain it," he told her first. "Honestly…honestly at first I didn't see her as anything but this girl. Same as every other girl I know…but…"


"But over time it changed," he shrugged. "She is a great, Hales. I mean, better than any person I've ever met. She is corky yes, but she has this heart," he held his hand to his chest. "This heart of gold that just…just sees the best in everyone. Sees the best in me," he sunk back in his chair as he thought about her. How great she was and how he really wanted to do nothing more but to protect her from everything. "Plus she is cute as hell…" he smirked a little and she laughed.

"She is cute…and she is clearly crazy about you," she told him and watched as he tried to hide his grin at that. "So what you say? Want to go find our better halves?"

"Yeah…" he fiddled with the spoon on his plate and flipped his eyes up at her. "I've really missed you Hales…"

"I've missed you too, Benny Boo," she squeezed his hand and stood.

"I really like this place," Collins glanced around finding it so neat. The low jazz music in the corner and the couples sitting around the round tables sipping their coffee. It was quiet, yet there was a lot of chatter if that made sense. She liked it, she liked it a lot. "My friend James would really like this place," she commented thinking the dark haired boy would love this atmosphere.

"Yeah…" Stephen eyed the girl before him before taking a sip. "It's a cool place…" he commented and she shifted a little awkwardly in her place. "So question…what's going on with you and my bro?"

"What-what do you mean?"

"Collins…" he leaned forward and she held her breath as all the nerves took over her. "You're a cool chick," he told her and she bit her lower lip. "But I know my brother. I don't think he's ever had a girlfriend," he informed her like she wasn't aware.

"I…I know…"

"You do?" he asked and she quickly nodded. "Then you must be pretty damn special to make him really commit to someone."

"I'm not special…" she told him quickly. "I just…"

"Just?" he pushed and he watched as she nervously glanced around and scratched the back of her neck. Red starting to paint her cheeks as she bounced around in her chair. "Collins…"

"I think…I think I'm falling in love with him…" she whispered out and fiddled with her fingers as he let out a long breath and dropped down in his chair. "Don't tell him, please…"

"I wouldn't…"

"I just…I've never in my life felt this way about someone before," she gave a short shrug. "And I know he is your brother and I know you probably know him better than anyone, so please don't tell me I'm stupid to feel this way about someone…about him."

"Why would it be stupid?"

"Because he's never had a girlfriend before, because odds are higher than must he's never truly cared about anyone before and the fact it's me who has made him care…well that could be concerning."

"No…you don't need to be concerned," he shook his head and gave her a smile. "He's crazy about you."

"How do you know that?" her heart raced as she asked and he gave a half corked Michaels' smile.

"Because he is my brother," he winked and she let out a small smile as she cut her eyes around the room.

"Benry's here," she said and his brows creased looking around.


"I don't know," she bit her lip and pushed up in her chair. "But I always know when he is around…I feel it," she explained and if on cue the dark haired boy came into her view and she smiled. "Baby…" she grinned standing up and wrapping her arms around his neck.

"Baby?" he corked a brow as his arms slipped around her tiny waste. "Never heard you call me that before…" he teased and she bit her bottom lip.

"I like it," she told him in a matter of fact tone. "Plus, then girls know your mine," she explained and he chuckled cupping her cheek and lifting her up for a kiss. "You have a good talk?" she wondered, cutting her eyes over at Haley falling down into her boyfriend's lap.

"I did," he said slowly and brushed her hair off her shoulders. "But I missed you though," he informed her and she beamed up at him. "Was Stephen ok with you?" his tone sharp and she rolled her eyes.

"He was fine," she told him and bit her lip. "But I am glad you're here," she laced her fingers through his and pushed up on her toes.

"Hey Ben," a hard slap came to his shoulder and he jerked forward a step, wrapping a secure arm around Collins's slim waist so she didn't fall. "Getting my girl a drink. You want anything?"

"No, I'm good man. Thanks though," he told him with a nod and watched as his brother walked away with Haley laughing by his side. The dark haired boy watching them interact and he frowned a bit at how perfect they were, how perfect they always were.

"Benry…" Collins touched his cheek and turned his head to look at her. "Are you ok?" she wondered seeing the almost distant look in his eyes.

"Yeah…" he mumbled, keeping an eye on his brother laughing and frowning. "Just thinking…"

"About?" she questioned and he let out a long sigh looking down. "Hey, talk to me…" she lifted his face to look at her and bit her lower lip. "Just talk to me…" she asked and he looked into her gorgeous eyes and hated all that she didn't know.

"Damn it," he leaned to rest his head against hers and breathed in deep. "Do…do you ever just look around at all your family and friends and just…"

"Just what?"

"Just realize you might be the disappointment," he let out a bitter laugh. "I mean, I see my brother and he never does wrong. He is like the ideal kid and I love him. I mean, he is my brother and I look up to him and I just…I'm slowly starting to realize…well actually that is a lie, I always knew. I'm just not as good as him…"


"I mean, at anything. He was always better in school and basketball and just…everything. He's always the better choice," he watched him talk to some friends at the counter and them all laughing at something he said.

"It's not a competition Benry," she told him quickly. "Your mom loves you. And I know for a fact never compares…she made two amazing boys and I know she is proud of both of you."

"You say that Collins, but…but if you knew the truth, the truth about everything you wouldn't think that…"

"What is there to know?" she wondered and she watched the pain strike over his face as he glanced down. "Benry…" she touched his cheek and again made him face her. "I know that I'm not what most the kids in school would pick for someone like you…"


"No, it's ok," she told him quickly with a shrug. "But you…you took the time to get to know me. You saw me as more than just…just the quiet girl in the back of the class and you, every day, make me feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. You have a heart of gold…"


"No! You do," she told him and his gaze dropped to the ground. "And I'm…I'm so crazy about you," she whispered and his eyes closed. "I've never felt like this for anyone before."

"I shouldn't have let that happen," he spoke more to himself on that, but still confusing her all the same. However, before he let her question it, he lifted her chin to catch her mouth on his.

"I'm really glad you came to visit," Haley said as she walked down the hall, her boyfriend's hand in hers. "Maybe next time you think you could bring Taylor?"

"I'll try. She would have this time but it was all kinda last minute," Benry told them, cutting his eyes at his girlfriend and giving a shrug. Collins shifted a bit and snuggled close to the boy beside her, his arm coming around her and instantly she felt…better. "But we will try to come more often…I promise…"

"Good," she wrapped her arms around him and gave him a tight hug. "Make sure to say bye in the morning?"


"It was really good meeting you, Collins," Haley gave her a hug and smiled. "Watch out for this one over here, yeah?" she teased and earned a laugh.

"Of course," Collins promised cutting her eyes up at Benry. "It was good meeting you too…you also Stephen…"

"Well I thank you," he flashed his corky grin and gave her a brief hug before turning to his brother. "She's a cool chick," he commented was Collins and Haley walked closer to the door and out of their earshot.

"I like to think so…"

"Way cooler than you," he joked and his brother laughed. "And baby bro," he placed his hands on his shoulders and looked into his matching eyes. "I don't allow anyone to have my room," he informed him and got an eyes roll. "But you are my brother and I would never get in the way of you…you losing your virginity," he teased, wiping an imaginary tear. "Remember you always remember your first."

"You're a jackass," Benry shoved his brother with a chuckle. "But thanks…I didn't want to drive all the way back tonight…"

"No problem, but seriously…the condoms are in the top drawer. Easy access," he pointed at him and Benry shook his head.

"Go away…"

"Later bro," he smacked his ass and moved down the hall. "Hales! Come on, babe," he called and his girl rolled her eyes and moved toward him. "I just pulled an assist."

"I'm sure you did, babe," she patted his chest as they walked out of the building.

"What's an assist?" Collins wondered and the dark haired boy rolled his eyes and shook his head as he pushed open his brother's room.

"Stephen is just retarded," he told her as he shut the door and started to strip off his clothes. "Here," he pulled his shirt off and handed it over to her. "You can wear this to bed…"

"Don't want me wearing just my jeans and shirt?" she raised a brow and he swallowed hard as she swayed toward him and gave him a little smirk.

"I just…uh, I want you comfortable," he mumbled out as she slid her hand over his and took his shirt.

"Thank you…" she told him, her eyes flickering up to his and his heart skipped a quick beat. "I had fun today," she spun on her feet and moved toward the dresser. Facing it as she started to tug her shirt over her head, biting hard on her lower lip as she paused a moment.

"Collins…" his heart started pounding in his chest as he watched her hair cascade over her smooth shoulders. Watching as the small freckles danced across her back and one disappeared under her jeans.

"Hmm?" her heart raced as she stood still, her hands trembling when she felt his chest press hard against her back. His strong arm coming around her as his hands planted on the dresser and he gripped tight.

"You're killing me," he growled burying his face in the croak of her neck. "Completely destroying me…"

"I'm not meaning too…" she slowly turned to face him and leaned against the hard wooden dresser. "Do you want me?" she whispered out low, running her hand slowly down his chest and feeling him inhale quickly as she started to unlatch his belt. "Because I'm yours," she told him as she leaned forward nervously and pressed a kiss to his chest, flipping her eyes up to meet his and watched the lust flash through them.

"Mine…" he growled, gripping tight on her hips and lifting her up on the dresser and hearing it rattle. Her heart slamming hard into her chest as her breath raced quickly out of her. "I want you…" he pressed a rough kiss to her lips and she let out a squeal, his hand gripping tight in her hair as she wrapped her legs around his waist. "But we can't tonight…"

"Why?" her jaw dropped a little as she searched his eyes for the answer. "Why can't we?"

"Honestly?" he raised a brow and she nodded. "Honestly a lot of reasons," he told her, one of the main reasons being he wanted her to know the truth on everything before they took that step in their relationship. Though it was hard as hell, he didn't want to sleep with her, her learn about his past and them break up and he cause more damage to her. He wasn't sure if that made too much sense to people, but it did to him. "But one big one is today you aren't in a good place. You have a lot on your mind. I don't want it to just be something so you can forget everything else."

"I get that," she gripped her hand in his hair and bit her lower lip. "Sucks a little…" she let out a dry laugh and he gave a smile. "But I get it and so love that you are always looking out for me."

"Collins…" he cupped her cheeks and lifted her face to meet his. "I will always look after you," he made clear and she swallowed. "I swear no one will hurt you. I will do everything in my power to make sure you never hurt again…"

"I don't know if you can promise something like that Benry…" she whispered out a little nervous and his eyes remained locked on hers.

"I promise you, no one will hurt you," he brushed her hair back and gave her a sweet kiss.

"Ok…" she nodded as he lifted her in his arms and carried her over to the bed. Easing her down gently he shook from his jeans and helped her peel off hers before her dropped on top of her and gave her a kiss that she felt in her toes.

"You going to sleep in that?" he wondered, still kissing her as his hand searched for his shirt on the floor.

"Yes," she gripped his hand and curled their fingers together. "And you are just going to have to deal with it…"

"Yes ma'am," he smirked as he dropped on his side as she rolled on hers and tugged the sheet over them. "Collins…" he brushed her hair back as he looked at her. "Can I tell you something?"

"Anything…" she traced her finger across his chest looking at him. "You know that…"

"I don't want to seem like an insensitive ass…"

"I don't think you could ever be that," she shook her head at that thought. Him today proving just how sensitive and sweet he was. A side she wished other people saw. She heard what people said about him, she knew his reputation but he wasn't like that with her.

"James…" he spoke and her eyes darted down at a small scar across his chest. "You sure there is nothing going on there?"


"I know, I know ok? I know you said it wasn't a big deal. That you just, you fell asleep. But think from my point of few for a minute," he asked and she worried on her lip. "What would you do if you walked in on me in bed with someone else? Sleeping or not, you wouldn't be too happy about it."

"I know, I know I wouldn't be…" she frowned sitting up and shaking her head. "I gave a lame answer and I know that. I just, I've never been in this situation before. I hadn't been in a situation like that," she told him and he nodded knowing that. "But I just…" she turned to face him and gave a short shrug. "The safest I ever feel is when I'm with you. When you're holding me and I think…I think I panicked a little because I woke up feeling safe and it wasn't you beside me."

"What is that supposed to mean Collins?" he let out a dry laugh.

"I don't care about him Benry…I swear it's not like that," her voice cracked a little and he pulled his gaze to stare up at the ceiling. "I want to explain it. I want to tell you what he is to me but I don't know how. When I'm with you I feel something, I feel something I've never felt with anyone but he just…he gets me and I don't get why. And then I feel so guilty about it…" she told him honestly and hated the look on his feet. "Because that should be you…"

"I'm crazy about you, you know?" he whispered out and her eyes closed. "No one, I mean, no one has ever made me feel this way before and I don't get it. I don't understand at all what is going on here but I want too. Yet, I don't want to share you with someone. I don't want to be the fun thing in your life while he is this deep and meaningful connection."

"It's not like that…"

"Then what is it Collins? Because you seem pretty damn unsure…"

"I'm like his Taylor," she offered a short shrug. "You get Taylor, you understand her in a way I don't get. Sometimes we will all be hanging out and you just look at each other and laugh or smile and it's like without even talking you two just understand each other. I never had a friend like that…I never had someone who knows me so well…and at first I thought it was because you've known each other so long. Until I realized the amount of time you know someone doesn't mean anything. If the connection is there, it's there. James gets me. Does he get me because of Alex? Maybe, more than likely but he does. I don't have to explain what I'm feeling. He just gets it."

"I want to get it…"

"I know you do…but the difference between you and him is that I don't care if you don't," she told him and his brows creased. "I don't care if you can't explain to me why my heart is hurting. I don't care if can't tell me anything about Alex or help me remember her. I don't care about it. I just…"

"Just what?"

"I'm just falling for you," she looked away from him and felt the heat tickle across her cheeks. "I'm falling so fast for you Benry that when I'm not around you I get almost sad. And maybe not even sad, just…I miss you. I wake up thinking about you, I go to bed thinking about you and I just love that you take my mind away from everything. James and Bradley and my parents help me accept what happened. You…you help me move on from it. You make me happy…a happy I didn't think was possible anymore. And I'm sorry that isn't the answer you're looking for…I'm sorry I upset you and made you question what I felt but I need you to know that I'm yours," she told him and he let out a small smile. "Completely and fully and you don't have to worry about anyone else."

"Come here," he grinned, gripping his hand through her long locks and bringing her down for a kiss. Rolling her over on her back, his body rested on top of his and he was fine. Yes, maybe he still didn't get her and James. But he knew people didn't get him and Taylor and honestly, well honestly with the look she just gave him nothing really mattered to him, but her.