Chapter Eight

Riley stood in front of the mirror, analysing the dress and scrutinising herself. She had gone for a simple dark blue dress with some rhinestone embellishments around her bust, but apart from that the dress was...well, understated. She didn't want to look like she had tried too hard, like most girls did. She had curled her hair and swooped it back into a loose elegant bun, with a few curls framing her face which had delicate touches of make-up.

"Riley, Nate's here!" Her mother yelled from downstairs, and for the first time in a while, she felt nervous. Would Nate like her dress? Breathing slowly to steady her breath, she checked herself once more in the mirror before heading downstairs.

"Wow." Was all Nate said, his breath completely taken away by how beautiful Riley looked as she descended the stairs. A small blush spread across her cheeks as he took her hand upon reaching the bottom, and she couldn't help but think how handsome and perfect he looked.

"Oh, you two are too cute!" Her mother said, wiping away a stray tear as she saw how grown up her daughter was. "Get together then." She said, grabbing her camera from the nearby table to take some pictures.

"You okay?" Nate asked, wrapping his arm around her as they posed for pictures. The camera flashed around them as they posed, before she turned to him and smiled softly. His breath caught in his throat as he looked into her eyes, caught up in how beautiful she was.

"I think your limo's here." Her mother said, breaking the moment as she opened the door. The limo had pulled up outside, and Riley's stomach sank as she realised Zach would be in there with Ava. She hadn't started to show yet, and she still wasn't aware that Riley knew about the pregnancy.

Heading to the limo, she gripped Nate's hand nervously as he opened the door for her. Inside, her friends were already getting slightly tipsy off the champagne they had snuck in. When she noticed Zach staring at her, she quickly grabbed the glass Lori offered, and wished they would arrive at the prom as quick as possible.

Stepping out the limo, Riley leaned on Nate for support as the champagne gave her a slight buzz. The ride had been awkward for her; she could see Zach looking at her from the corner of her eye, and Ava sat awkwardly as the only one not drinking. If anyone realised she wasn't drinking, they weren't quick to point it out.

The room had been decorated silver and blue in order to emphasise the schools colours and spirit, and she couldn't help but feel slightly impressed at the effort the prom committee had put in. They had clearly gone all out with it all, and silver and blue balloons adorned each table along with handwritten place cards for each person.

"Here's our table!" Ava exclaimed as she found her card, holding it up to them all as if to emphasise her point. Nate pulled her seat out for her and helped her in, and she couldn't help but smile gently at how gentlemanly he was being. Sitting down next to her, he took her hand in his, sending small tingles up her arm, causing her to barely notice Zach's angry expression.

"Care to dance?" Nate asked, extending his hand. Smiling, she placed her hand in his and allowed him to help her up before he wrapped an arm around her waist and led her to the dance floor. A slow song had come on, and she willingly stepped into his arms, wrapping her own around his neck as she relaxed into his embrace. Over the past couple of months since breaking it off with Zach completely, she had enjoyed having Nate as her 'boyfriend', even if it was only pretend.

She hadn't told him that she had been re involved with Zach again of course – she had no idea how he would react. Plus if she told him, he would drop the charade of being her boyfriend – and she wasn't sure she was ready for that. She had grown to like him in the role, only adding to her confusion.

Sighing, she lay her head against his shoulder and let him pull her closer, breathing in his warm, delicious scent. When had everything gotten so messed up for her? Why was it her best friend seemed to fit so right in the role of boyfriend?

"Mind if I cut in?" Zach asked, tapping Nate on the shoulder and breaking her out of her thoughts. Gritting his teeth Nate stepped back, allowing Zach to fill the role he had been in only seconds ago. Turning around, he asked Ava to dance in order to distract himself.

"What are you doing?" She hissed under her breath, trying to keep her distance from him as much as possible.

"Riley I can't stand to see you with him any longer. I'm going to tell Ava about us tonight...I don't care, I need you back in my life." He said, a small smile reaching his lips as her face dropped in shock.

"No Zach, I told you, it's over. She's pregnant with your child, you can't just dump her!" She exclaimed, raising her voice as high as possible without others hearing her. "Me and you Zach...we were wrong for each other." Looking over his shoulder, she saw Nate looking at her inquisitively. "It's only taken me until now to realise it, but we were never right for each other. At best we were...convenient. I thought I loved you, but until now, I never really understood what love was." Breaking her gaze from Nate's, she turned back to Zach. "You and Ava are perfect for each other, and despite all the crap that's happened, I think she truly loves you." Breaking away from Zach, she turned to walk back to the table, not bothering to take one last look at him.

"So, did you have a good time tonight?" Nate asked as the limo dropped them off outside their houses, both of them standing awkwardly as they decided what to do next. She nodded in response, her mind still a little cloudy from the rest of the champagne they had consumed on the way home. "Want to come up for a bit? We can kick back and have a couple of parents aren't back until later." He asked.

"Sure, sounds good to me." She said as they headed to his front door. Once inside he headed to the fridge to grab some beers whilst she navigated her way upstairs in the dark. They had been friends for so long, that she was still capable of negotiating her way through his house completely stripped of her sense of sight. Finding his room, she flicked the light on and smiled softly at the mess that was so typical of his room.

"Here." He said, finally entering the room and dropping down on the bed next to her as he handed her an ice cold beer. Taking a sip of her beer she couldn't help but feel slightly awkward; it had been a while since she had last been in his room after all.

"Riley..." He said, trailing off as he sat up next to her. Turning her head slightly she noticed he was looking directly at her. "I just wanted to looked absolutely beautiful tonight." Her breath caught in her throat as he looked deep into her eyes. "You look beautiful every single day Ry, but took my breath away." With that he leant closer to her, pressing his lips softly against hers.

The kiss wasn't like anything they had done before; it was soft, gentle and sent tingles throughout her body. Deepening the kiss, she closed her eyes and let herself sink in the moment, getting lost in the feel of his lips upon hers. Slowly he lowered her down onto the bed, his fingers tracing down her skin and sending fire throughout her body. Breaking the kiss she allowed him to unclip her dress, letting it fall down completely.

"Beautiful." He whispered when they were both undressed. Blushing softly, she reached and pulled him back to her, his kiss awakening parts of her she never knew really existed. This time, she knew it was different; this time, it wasn't for show.

AN: Well, I hope you all enjoy this chapter! I updated as quick as possible especially for you guys :P Please R&R! Also I have a new story up, called 'Escape.' Please go and read that and review it, it would mean a lot to me! x