Chapter 5

a/n: update for you guys! I'm a little sad this story isn't that popular but I love it that I always have those few loyal readers of mine. So, I will like to thank those who always review and give me their support! Much hugs and kisses to you!

Now, this chapter is I guess where I speed things up a little. I am hoping to end this story with ten to eleven chapters so.. just a few more to go!

Enjoy this one and do review! If you do, I will promise to update real quickly! Xoxo.

Rachel stifled a yawn as she finally placed away the last file of the patient she was sorting through. She had spent the last three days clearing up the pile of paperwork that was untouched during her absence and she must say, she was impressed with her own efficiency at getting things done. She glanced at the clock that read 8 PM. The last patient of the day was still in the Doctor's room and she couldn't leave till he was done. It was not like she had any plans after work but the idea of a bubble bath and curling up on her couch watching old movies sounded splendid on a Friday night. Yeah, that was how sad she was.

Rachel was glad the past three days hadn't been disastrous like how she had expected it to be. Ian had been nothing but formal to her since she came back and so had she, just like how she requested. It felt like it was only recently they had met and not been best friends who fought, laughed and played together. She had hated herself for having to swallow her pride and stepping back into this clinic to inform Ian she wanted the job back. But the thought of informing her landlord she was jobless and had to delay the month's rent was dreadful. Plus, she wasn't lying when Dina had called her and said she didn't care what was going on but she begged for Rachel to go back. Apparently, Ian was more than a boss to Dina, she was like a sister to him and she hated for him to be on his own. Then, Dina had guilt Rachel into the promises she had made over the interview. After a sleepless night, Rachel realized Beth was right – she was an adult now and the money was more important.

She didn't know why she hadn't chose to simply give Ian a call but somehow she found herself heading down to the clinic. Even though the main doors was locked, she could see the light in his office switched on through the glass doors. She let herself in and sure enough, he was there. His eyes was closed, his face weary and he was rubbing his temples and Rachel knew instantly he was having those headaches of his whenever he got stressed. He used to have them all the time when his parents fought or when he was worried he was going to lose a game in school. It bothered Rachel greatly she could still remember such tiny, insignificant details about him but it made her guilty when she saw the amount of paper work he was struggling to get through because of her abrupt resignation. It made her go soft a little to get him the painkillers but then she remembered, he was the one who broke her heart and she felt nothing towards him. Till he had to open his big mouth and called her Rachy..

"Miss Evans?"

Rachel blinked a couple of times and looked up to see Ian frowning down at her. She hadn't realized she had completely spaced out.

"Uh yes?" She answered hastily.

"Mr Marris here is done with his session for today. I have given him some prescription for his insomnia. You will need to make a record of that and oh print him a proof that he was here today. He will need to give that to his company," Ian said before disappearing back into his office and closing the door, leaving her alone with the patient.

Rachel merely nodded and did what he instructed. Once she was done and the patient was gone, she let out of sigh of relief. She could finally go home and take that bubble bath!

She started tidying up the place a little and packed her things when Ian came out of the office again. "You have cleared all the outstanding paperwork?" He asked and she simply nodded. She chose to spoke to him as little as possible most of the time. It didn't bother her so much.

"Oh, that's fast." He sounded impressed. "Well, are you heading anywhere? I can give you a lift,"

Rachel looked up at him and he quickly added. "Don't get the wrong idea. I used to give Dina lifts all the time if I could. I like to make sure my staff are safe,"

"Oh," She shook her head in response. "I am heading home and besides it is only twenty minutes away so I usually walk," She didn't know why she was explaining, she could just say no.

"I am heading home too. Let me just give you a lift. I'm sure you are tired," He offered and Rachel was hesitant. She was tired and a lift sounded tempting even if it was from him. Oh heck, it was just a ride and they had agreed to be civil around each other now.

"Alright. Can you leave now?" She asked.

"Yup. Just let me pack up a few things and we can lock up and go,"

Once they were both ready, Rachel locked the main doors and they walked in silence to the lift. The silence remained all the way till they reached the car park and till Ian led her to a car that was a shiny silver-

"You drive a freaking Ferrari?" Rachel could not help but blurt out. "Why do you need a Ferrari?" She shot Ian a disbelieving look. She had guessed since he was a doctor it meant he earned quite a bit but this was slightly absurd.

He gave a sheepish grin as he replied. "This was actually a reward to myself for successfully opening my own business plus being a doctor does have it's perks in the money area,"

Rachel rolled her eyes. "Typical you.I remember how you had always loved cars, especially those fast ones and even went on your knees to beg your father-" Rachel bit her tongue and immediately stopped talking and Ian was watching her with an unreadable expression.

An awkward silence fell over them for a moment before Ian broke it. "Come on, let's go." He said simply before unlocking the car and sliding in the driver's seat. Rachel cursed at herself inwardly before getting in the ridiculously expensive car. Why can't she stop remembering such things about him? She would bet he didn't remember a single shit about her…

"So where's your address?" He asked her as in buckled his seatbelt.

She gave him the directions and he started the car. They didn't speak throughout the whole ride. Rachel hated the tension between them especially since now they were in a confined space but she gritted her teeth and bear with it. When they arrived, he parked the car in front of her building.

"Um, thanks for the ride," Rachel said awkwardly as she unbuckled her seatbelt.

"It's nothing," Ian replied and she glanced up to see that he was still giving her that weird expression. It was starting to creep her out.

"Right.. I will see you Monday," She said politely. The man had been nice to give her a ride and saved her twenty minutes of walking in heels.

He didn't respond so she turned and was about to push open the car door when she felt his really warm hand reaching out to grab her arm and stop her. Rachel turned her body in shock and before she could react further, he had pulled her close to him till her chin was rested on his shoulder and his arms were wrapped around her body. It took her a few seconds to realize he was actually hugging her!

Dumbfounded, she simply sat there frozen. What the hell was he doing? And wait, why wasn't she pushing him away? She closed her eyes and breathed in and she could not help but melt a little inside when she managed to smell his scent even through the cologne. He still smelled the same even after all these years.. It felt so familiar and it brought back memories..

13 years ago


Rachel didn't move or turn her body at the sound of her room door opening and closing. She knew who had entered her bedroom.

"Go away," She managed to choke out as she kept her face hidden in her pillow, tears streaming down her face constantly. She could not let him see she was crying.

"Rach, I'm here for you," Ian said gently and she felt the bed being pushed down slightly as he sat down on it. "Rach.." His warm hands tugged at her shoulders, trying to get her to face him. Using his strength, he managed to pull her up and although she tried to shield her face with her long hair, he pushed it away and tucked it behind her ear.

She raised her eyes and wasn't surprised to see him looking slightly horrified. "Rach, you're crying.." She knew why it was such a shock to him. All these years, Rachel was never one to cry. It was considered strange but she had always been the tough girl. Till tonight that is..

"He's gone Ian.." Rachel broke as she allowed fresh tears to fall. "I didn't even get to say goodbye.." Tonight, Rachel's father had passed away from a sudden heart attack and Rachel was at school. She had rushed over to the hospital as quickly as she could but she was too late to even say goodbye. Her father was young and healthy but the doctor had said these situations were unpredictable. Life was. No one could stop God's will.

"I'm going to miss him so much…no one is going to protect me like he does anymore," Rachel cried even harder. Her father was the one who taught her to be tough and how to punch so she could look out for herself but he had always protected her when she was in trouble.

Ian didn't say a word but simply pulled her into his arms, hugging her tightly. She cried even harder as his scent envelope her and even though she was broken, she felt safe. "I'm sorry Rach," Ian said softly as he started stroking her hair. "But you know, he will always be watching you and I will be the one protecting you now Rach. I promise," He said solemnly as he pulled me closer to him.

She felt his lips brush against her forehead lightly. "Don't ever leave me Ian. You and Mom are all that I got now," Rachel said softly as she buried her head into his chest.

"I promise," He said. "I will always be here for you, Rachy,"

"You still smell so good, Rach." Ian murmured in her ear. "Always like strawberries,"

His voice brought her back to the present, to reality and Rachel's eyes snapped opened. She hastily pushed him away and he was stunned by her sudden action.

Rachel was shaken. How could she have allowed herself to slip just like that? That memory, she had pushed it to the back of her mind and locked it there. Why could he bring it back so easily?

"What do you think you're doing?" Rachel managed to ask.

"I don't know.." He seemed as taken aback by his actions just as she was. "I am sorry. It's just that.. knowing that you still remember things about me.." He hesitated but his next sentence threw Rachel off. "I know you still care about me Rach,"

"What?" She glared at him. "Where the hell did you get that from?"

"Rach, fuck this." He said angrily. "I really miss you and it kills me to see you sitting there everyday so close to me but act like we strangers. We used to be best friends and you were like a family to me Rach," He was frustrated. "I do not know what can I do to make it up to you for the shit I did but-"

"Nothing Ian!" She cut him off furiously. "There's nothing you can do!" Rachel was absolutely livid now. She thought they could be civil but apparently not. That's when she started to let out everything like word vomit. "You didn't just hurt me Ian! You broke my heart! I trusted you and you promised to protect me when my dad died!"

At her words, Rachel saw Ian's whole body tensed up and he simply sat there, speechless. Rachel could feel tears forming in her eyes but she pushed them back. There was no way she was crying over him again. "And do you want to know why it is so hard to forgive you?"

She let out a humourless laugh when he managed to shake his head slightly. "Because, I like every stupid other girl in school had fallen for the mighty Ian Sanders! But I knew I was in the fucking friend zone and it didn't matter as long as you were by my side but I was a moron to have actually loved you," Rachel spat out her last words before getting out of the car before slamming the door behind her. She didn't look back as she ran to her building, allowing a few tears to fall down her cheek. She had spilled it to him. She actually told him her secret all these years. She was such an idiot.

Ian did not bother to even change or remove his clothes as he simply fell back and lay on it.

"Because, I like every stupid other girl in school had fallen for the mighty Ian Sanders! But I knew I was in the fucking friend zone and it didn't matter as long as you were by my side but I was a moron to have actually loved you,"

He groaned as Rachel's words kept replaying in his head since the moment he had managed to get his sense back to drive away from her building. What the hell had just happened tonight? He didn't know what had came over him when he actually hugged her. All he knew was that he wanted to do it and he couldn't control it. It didn't help she still smelled like strawberries after all these years and he remembered it being one of his favourite thing about her.

Now, he felt like a fucking jerk at Rachel's words. She had actually loved him? God, how was he so blind not to have seen it. He hated his younger self. The old Ian was so egoistical, self-centred and a manwhore. Guess that was the reason why he had failed to notice Rachel's deeper feelings all along. He thought they were best friends, a family and he didn't think further beyond that. He hadn't since the time they were kids and he realized he had a tiny crush on her. He had really liked her pretty eyes, her innocent but tough personality. He liked how she could make him laugh and how silly but sincere she could be. She was so unique.

When Rachel's dad passed away, he remembered the night where he had found her crying and he had hugged her to sleep and made that promise to her. He was so determined to keep it – to protect Rachel and he had actually thought that maybe hopefully, when they got older he would allowed themselves to be something more. Given their three years age gap, he was 14 but Rachel was still considered a kid. But as he got older, he became more of a douche and enjoying the limelight too much and had pushed aside everything. What the fuck was he thinking?

Ian sighed. He was sure now Rachel would definitely resign and probably disappear from his life again. God, he was just great at screwing things up.