~This time I wouldn't forget him, because I couldn't ever forgive him - for breaking my heart twice~

He watched as her hand went up in the air and body moved to the music. The snug shirt she wore that night riding up as she moved revealing just that much more of her sweet skin he hadn't touched in weeks. It was driving him mad. Completely pushing him over the edge and the alcohol that was swimming in his blood stream wasn't helping him.

The talk, if you could call it that, wasn't enough for him. He needed more. He needed her back. It actually scared him how much he missed her. He had no clue it was even possible to miss someone like he missed her.

"Talk to Jeri at all?" Benry twisted to his friend in hopes to shut up his brain even if it was for a few short moments. He really felt bad for his best friend. Teddy had stood beside him through so much shit and he hated his mess up hurt him. He swore that Abby was right a few years back when she told him he was a grenade and he destroyed everything and everyone in his path. She quickly apologized as soon as it tumbled out, but didn't make it any less true.

"Not really," Teddy shrugged, his eyes locked on the feisty red head as she danced with her friends. "Few short words here and there, but nothing…nothing like I would hope."

"Why don't you ask her to dance?" Benry slapped his hand to his friend's shoulder and shrugged. "I really don't think she's going to say no. Not with the way she's been looking at you all night. Girl misses you man."

"She isn't the only one," Teddy gave a tight lip smile before pulling in a nervous breath and heading toward the girl he hoped was still considered his girlfriend. Benry watched as Teddy nervously tapped her shoulder, instantly Jeri crossed her arms and tensed up, but with a nudge from Collins seemed to agree. The smile on Teddy's face honestly being enough if nothing good turned out for him that night.

Nervously chewing on her lip, Benry couldn't stand the distance and headed over to the small girl standing alone by the table. She had been avoiding him since she ran off earlier, however after a long debate in his head he decided he had to try one more time. What was the worst she was going to do yell at him again?

"Hey," he locked his fingers together and leaned forward on the table she stood at. Collins kept her gaze straight on James on stage and not the boy beside her that still made her blood boil with a graze.

"Hello," she mumbled around the rim of her drink, wrapping her tongue around an ice cube she pulled it in her mouth and crunched on it hard.

"Still avoiding me?" and another piece of ice crushed right by his ear. "I'm not going to apologize again. I know you don't want to hear it and I'm sure tired of hearing it."

"Told you that you weren't stupid," there was a confidence in her she normally didn't have and because of it a smile, a real smile, traced across his lips.

"Can I ask you to dance?" he inched closer, Collins head snapping to look at him and lip slid between her teeth and pressed down hard. "Everyone is. Taylor and Bradley disappeared forever ago. So I'm only imagining what they are doing."

"They got a room down the street," Collins stared at his mouth and how each word tumbled out of it. "So I imagine they are doing what Jeri and Teddy are doing just with less clothes."

"Probably so…"

"You hate dancing," she spun back to face the crowd swallowing hard.

"But you love it," he shrugged casually shuffling his feet closer, feeling like he could finally breathe again when his hand planted on the small of her back. "Please dance with me, Angel."


"What could one dance hurt?"

"There you go being stupid again," her eyes flipped up to meet his and chewed her lip. "You have no idea how much you affect me…" she whispered out, her small hand sliding up across his chest and feeling his heart race as a chuckle vibrated from inside him.

"Funny, I was just thinking the same thing."

"One…" she held up a finger, his eyes sparking with a light that seemed to have been gone the last few weeks. "Just one dance and that's it."

"Just a dance," he promised and after a long pause she gave a light nod and spun around to move through the crowd. His long fingers locked around hers as they pushed through and ended up in the center of it all.

Closing her eyes, Collins listened as James' words played in her head and her body pressed against Benry's. 'I long to feel You, I feel this need for You, I need to hear You, Is that so wrong…' She knew dancing with Benry was wrong, but she couldn't help it. Maybe she was using drinking as an excuse, but she honestly missed him. She missed him holding her and talking her and just being around her and though she groaned and moaned when he spoke to her she just kept waiting for him to say something, one thing that made it all better and she could forgive him. Yet he hadn't said it and as days passed she was sure he had no clue what she was truly upset about and she hated it.

She really meant what she said earlier…he was damn stupid and what she hated the most was he treated her just like everyone else always had. Broken. She wasn't damn broken.

Twisting her back to him, his hands ran down her body to rest on her hips. Her fingers sliding into his hair she gripped the back of his head as he licked his dry lips and leaned down near her ear.

"I want you to know I get it…"

"Get what?"

"Why you would care about James…" his throat tightened finally vocalizing it as she spun slowly around to look at him. "I don't think it happened while we were together. I don't think you ever debated between the two of us, but I see it now and I get it."

"Benry…" she sighed pushing on her toes and locking her fingers behind his head. "You hurt me. You hurt me so bad and I'm so mad at you, but it doesn't change my feelings. I can't just turn them off for you that fast. Do you honestly think as crazy about you as I was in a few weeks I could be with someone else?"

"No, but he isn't just some guy you met last week. He's James…"

"And you're you," her hands slid away from him and sighed. "Do I care about James? Yes, of course I do. But it's not like I feel for you. It's not even close and I wish it was. I wish every day it was, but it's not."

"You wish it was because it's easier? Or because you trust him?" he asked slowly and her eyes fluttered shut. "It makes perfect sense why you would. Hell, the only reason I don't freak out so much is because I know you're not alone. I know he's making you feel better. I know he's someone to talk to. And I want to hate him and…punch him right in the face, but I can't."

"I'd punch you if you punched him," she mumbled out and he released a chuckle. "I'm sorry I trust him…" her voice cracked a little and head fell against his chest as his arms circled around her. "He's all I trust right now."

"And I hate that I get that…" he inhaled a breath lifting her chin and rested his head against hers. "Is there ever a chance you could one day forgive me?"


"It was an accident, Collins," he told her and her eyes snapped to lock on his. "I wish to god I could bring him back. I'd do anything to bring him back and I'm sorry. I'll never ever describe to you how sorry I am. I could never describe to your family how sorry I am."

"Benry…" she took a step back his hands falling from her body. "I can't do this. I just can't. I'm sorry."

"No, wait…wait…" he grabbed her back and pulled her into him. "Just talk to me. Or don't. We can just dance."

"I think we both know it isn't just a dance," she released a dry laugh stepping back. "I hope you have a good rest of the night. I…I have to go."

"Collins!" he called over the loud music as she darted through the crowd. "Damn it," he cursed slamming his fist in the wall beside him as he heard the rest of James' song play through, 'Are you done forgiving, or can you look past my pretending, Lord, I'm so tired of defending what I've become what have I become…'

The bright light shining through the blinds she didn't close, Taylor groaned as she rolled into the bed and pulled the sheet over her body. Inhaling the familiar scent a light smile danced across her face as she pulled her hand out from under the sheet and touched his cheek. The light stubble tickling her palm as her thumb slowly ran across his lower lip.

She missed him. She didn't know it was possible to miss someone so much.

"I love you," she whispered and watched as slowly his eyes slowly started to crack open. "I love you," she repeated as his eyes locked on hers and his hand danced up her naked body to rest on her smoke.

"I know," he rolled closer to give her a light kiss on her trembling lips.

"Bradley…are we ok?" she wondered when he pulled back. "Was last night just a we drank too much and fell back into an old pattern? I don't think I could handle that and I don't think I could handle you using me that way."

"I wouldn't," Bradley rose up to look at her as his brows pulled. "Taylor, I know right now we are off. I mean really off, but I would never ever use you that way. You know me."

"And you know me," she challenged back sliding up on the bed to rest against the head rest. "You know I would have never let anyone hurt anyone. Let alone Collins. If I knew about the bet…"

"I know," he cut her off quickly to nod. "Tay, I know. In the moment I was mad and I hated she was hurting because in the moment I saw Alex and I panicked, because I couldn't lose someone that close to me again. So because of it…well because of it I blamed all of ya'll for it. For putting her in that position."

"What changed your mind then? Last night when I got there you wouldn't even speak to me."

"I know it looks bad but baby please believe me when I tell you it wasn't just a drinking thing. I just…I just needed Collins to hit me in the face which she did."

"What she say?"

"That I can't go around blaming people for shitty things other people do. That you have probably one of the best hearts of anyone she has ever met," he laced his fingers through hers and placed them to his chest. "And that I deserve to be really happy and the happiest I ever get in my life is when I'm with you."

"She's a real smart kid," Taylor released a dry laugh as she knocked a tear on her cheek.

"I'm so sorry for how I've treated you the last few weeks. I hope you can forgive me."

"Always do," she gave a light smile, cupping his cheek. Giggling as he flipped her on her back and deepened their kiss.

Walking down the long hall of the large home, Taylor listened to the light music filtering out of the sad girl's room. The music clearly announcing the mood of the young girl inside.

"Cols…" she gave a light tap on the door and heard a semi broken come in. "Hey you…" she nervously wondered in. Collins on the bed typing away on her computer. "Whatcha doing?"

"I have this huge paper due Monday and I've been completely putting it off," Collins eyes stayed glued to the computer as her bed shifted under Taylor's weight. Taylor taking note of the puffy red eyes and dark circles under Collins' eyes. "I probably should have stayed in last night and worked on it, but promised James I would come."

"I know he is really glad you did. Called me earlier and was telling me about how he was about to travel with his band."

"Yeah, he really deserves the best. He's one of the best people I know."

"He always informed me he woke up at his friend Jonah's apartment and Abby was there."

"Seriously?" Collins' eyes widened and finally pulled her eyes from her computer to look at her friend. "I saw them talking at one point but didn't know they talked that much."

"Think a few tequila shots were involved," Taylor tried to lighten the mood and loved when Collins finally laughed. "But that wasn't why I came over."

"No?" Collins nervously swallowed.

"No, I wanted to thank you for talking to Bradley. We had a really good talk this morning and I know that it was because of you to forgive me."

"He had nothing to forgive," Collins informed her quickly placing her hand on her leg. "Taylor you have been nothing but an amazing friend to me and you can't control what other people do. You didn't do anything wrong what-so-ever."

"Thank you," she placed her hand on Collins' and gave a tight smile. "But how are you?"

"I'm doing ok," she told her with a shrug. "I mean…I'm getting there…it's hard. Seeing him at school is hard…last night was hard, but I mean, sooner or later it stops right?" she looked up at her with pleading eyes. Honestly, really only wanting someone to tell her it does get better, the pain does stop.

"Not at fast as we like," Taylor sighed. "The day is the easy part. You busy yourself with things. Focus on school work, or friends or really anything. But the night…when your mind settles down and the room is terribly silent it all comes rushing back."

"Yeah," her voice cracked as she eased off the bed. "All I do is think of him," she stared out the window as the tears started to form. "I think of him and the way he made me feel and I don't get it. I don't understand."

"Collins, Greg that was an accident," she made sure she was aware, defending her friend on that all day long. "It could have been any of them. And though I know your heart is killing you right now you can't blame him for Alex," she told her and the young brunette's eyes closed tight. "I know you want to make sense of her death and why she did it and I know you want to believe Greg could have saved her but…but she wasn't in a good place. That wasn't Benry's fault," she told her and heard the small girl let out a sob. "Collins…"

"He thinks that is why I hate him?" she cried shaking her head. "I only said that because I was afraid of how stupid I looked," she slowly turned to face her. "He used me Taylor. I was a game to him!"


"Don't defend him," she cut her off quickly. "I was a bet. A game to get back at Bradley. He never cared about me and in front of everyone I found out. Do you know how stupid I looked? I wandered that school thinking I was so damn special because Benry Michaels cared about little ole me. I told him things, Taylor. God, I slept with him!"

"I know…I know you did…"

"Everyone knows," her shoulders dropped and she ran a hand through her hair. "All I wanted was to be invisible. Why did he do this to me? What did I do to him? How can someone be so evil?"

"Collins, what he did was wrong ok. I agree with you on that, but I swear to you, you weren't a game to him."

"Taylor, I'm a bet!"

"No! You were a bet. I can't imagine what it must have felt like to hear that, Collins. And it was low of him, so incredibly low of him. However, god I can't believe I'm saying this," she shook her head at it. "But did you ever think that if he never did that stupid bet or game or whatever it was, he wouldn't have seen the real you?"

"I don't understand…"

"You aren't his type of girl, Collins. Or at least the old him. Yes, he went after you in the thought of getting back at Bradley, but he changed. We all watched him change into this amazing guy and that was because of you. He spent time with you, he got to know you and you made him this amazing guy. And over time, this bullshit joke he made disappeared and in returned a guy who is so crazy about you. God, he loves you Collins."

"No," Collins kept shaking her head as she held her arms close to her. "No, I don't believe that. I can't believe that."


"Because it hurts more," she released a sob dropping down on the bed. Her head calling into Taylor's lap as she cried. "It hurts so bad Tay. Every time I see him I want to hate him, but I get pulled right back in and I hate him that much more. I feel like I can't breathe," she cried out. "I can't breathe."

"I know," Taylor ran her hand through her hair feeling her own heart tightened. "I know…I know."

"I gave him a second chance. Why wasn't he honest with me? Why would he do this to me? I loved him so much."

"I don't know," Taylor held her close. "I don't know," she shook her head not at all being able to make sense of her best friend. However, feeling her heart hurt for him because she knew in that moment Collins would never forgive him.

I've been MIA way too long and I'm sorry! I just couldn't figure out what the hell I was doing! Writer's block out the ass, but hope you enjoy and ya'll are still out there and haven't given up on me!