"I'm moving."

I glance up from my position on my beach towel. Lacy stood in front of me blocking the sun. I moan. She couldn't have said she was moving. It's impossible.

"What?" I croak sitting up. I adjust my bathing suit and take a breath. So much for a day of laying out.

"I'm moving to California." She giggles and sits down on the towel.

"WHAT?" I yell. "No you're not." What's with everyone wanting to move away from me?

"Do you remember my aunt Debbie?" I nod. "Well her husband is divorcing her and she doesn't want to stay out there all alone. She called, ask and I agreed."

"Agreed to what?"

"To moving in with her! Have you been paying attention?" Lacy says rolling her eyes." Anyway isn't this great?"

"How is this great?" I ask. I have this sinking, gut wrenching feeling in my stomach all of a sudden.

"Because it's California! The beach, the sun, the guys." She laughs and punches my shoulder. "We're going to have so much fun."

"Huh? We're being who?"

"You and me silly. You don't actually think I'll move out there without you?"

"I'm not going anywhere." I say running a hand through my hair. "School starts in a few weeks."

"Oh Hannah it's just college. You can take a year off. Come have fun with me. You're always saying how boring Tennessee is. Let's go explore." Lacy throws a fist in the air. I laugh and shake my head. This is crazy.

"I can't do that Lace."

"Think about it Hannah. It's not for a life time, maybe just through the winter. You need a break. Lately you've been so distant and you're always sad." She says staring into my eyes. "I can see it Hannah. Something's going on. I'm not asking you to tell me because if you wanted to you'd already have told me, but maybe you need to get away from it."

"You're asking me to run from my problems?"

"Of course. Just forget about them for a little while. Once you come back I'm sure they'll still be here." Lacy shrugs.

"What about Charlie?"

"We broke up last night." She says still smiling. "He says I'm too wild for him. Plus I think he's afraid of Carter."


"Yeah so I think we'll go out there at the end of next month if that's alright with you?"

"I already told you I can't." I sigh. "You're acting like moving a thousand miles away isn't a big deal."

"It's not." Lacy laughs and runs a hand through her dark hair. "Hannah you've got to learn to live life. Just go for things. Who knows maybe you'll end up having a little fun."

"Oh trust me I've went for things." I mumble to myself. "Moving to California is just crazy."

"So was going for Raythe." My eyes widen and I look at her. Lacy does the same thing. "Oh did I just say that out loud."

"You know?"

"Of course I know." Lacy laughs. "It's good to finally admit that." I stare at her as if I'm dumbfounded. I am. I mean she knows. "Don't look so surprised. I'm your best friend, I can read you better than anyone else. I always knew you two would get together sooner or later. But to tell you the truth I didn't think it'd go as far as it did. I mean I saw you two a couple times in the tree house. Wow. You guys were pretty hot and heavy."

"Why didn't you tell me?" I say and stand up form my towel. I slip on my blue jean shorts and red tank top.

"Like I said a few minutes ago if you wanted me to know you would have told me yourself." The tone of her voice was soft and sad.

"I'm sorry Lace." I whisper.

"Don't be silly. You have nothing to be sorry for."

"Yes I do. You're my best friend. I should have told you. And it's not like I didn't want to its jus-

"Hannah." Lacy cuts me off. "It's fine."

"No it's not."

"Yeah it is." Lacy smiles. "It was a small secret."

"A small secret?" I repeat. "It's pretty big."

"Yeah well….right now you think so." I close my eyes. This is the last thing I want to get into right now. "Anyway I'll forgive you if you come with me."

"I can't." I mumble once again.

"Sure you can. You're always saying you want to experience life. Here's your big chance. Probably the biggest chance you'll get."

"I can't leave my family."

"Hannah you're acting like you're leaving them forever. It's only for the winter. We'll come back on Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other time you want." Isn't it funny how things come at the worst time possible? I mean here in less than a month I'm suppose to start my first collage semester and Lacy's asking me to move a thousand miles away. The funnier thing is I'm actually considering it. "Just think about it ok? You'll get to learn to live life on your own and you won't have to deal with him." My eyes follow Lacy's finger and I see a cherry red convertible slowly making its way down my driveway. I smile and walk toward the beauty. Once it comes to a complete stop the twins just out of the back. Jaron waves at me like a little boy.

"Hey sissy." He giggles. He does that a lot when he's really excited. "Raythe let me drive on the main road." He's acting like a twelve year old who's never drove before.

"Great." I laugh and walk up to the car. Lane and Raythe casually get out of the car and grin at me. I run my finger over the hood and stare in awe.

"Aw what's wrong with my Jacey-pooh?" Lacy says in her baby voice. I turn to my brother for the first to find him pouting.

"Go to hell." He glares at her.

"I let you guys drive the same." Raythe sighs.

"He drove more than me." Jace whines and crosses his arms over his chest.

"Get over it." Lacy mumbles.

"Shut up bitch."

"Grow up already."

"Grow a brain already."

"Grow a dick."

"Grow boobs."

"Grow balls."

"Grow…er…um…a head." We all stare at my brother. He flips us the finger and storms off. Our eyes follow him until he walks into the house and slams the door. I'm beginning to think he needs anger management.

"I really wish you'd stop pissing him off so much." I smile toward Lacy but she's too busy wallowing in her triumph to care. She grins and turns back to the car. I shake my head and let my eyes land on the 1964 Mustang.

"So why did you bring the baby out?" Raythe shrugs at me and pushes his sunglasses on his head.

"She's been up for a while. She needs some air." I nod and circle the car. It's the prettiest, shiniest car I'd ever laid eyes on. It's been my dream car ever since Raythe brought to my house the very first time. The white leather seats were as clean as the first time I put my eyes on them. "You want to take her for a spin?"

I glance up at Raythe and see him smiling at me.

"You're going to let her drive it." Jaron asks. He nods and throws the keys at me. I look at them and quickly walk over to the driver side. He's let me drive it a few times before but it's been a while. I sit in the driver seat and run my hands over the steering wheel.

"We'll be back in a few." Raythe says getting in the passenger seat.

"I'll come too." Lacy and Lane say at the same time. They look at each other and then at us. They both have their worried looks in place.

"We're only going up the road." Raythe answers.

"Yeah but I don't want to stay here with them." She says them like their infested diseases or something. She tries to hop in coolly but unfortunately her legs get tangled and she falls on her butt.

"Are you ok?" I ask over the boys laughing. I hear profanity and then she jumps up.

"Fine." She grumbles dusting off her pants.

"Couldn't you have waited until you got home?" Jace walks up behind her. He points at her pants and begins laughing like a hyena. There's a dirt stain on her butt but it looks nothing like Jace is acting like it does. Lacy glares at him and begins walking toward him. I sigh and drop my head on the steering wheel. This gets really old.

"If we leave now maybe no one will notice." Raythe whispers to me. I glance back at Lacy and Jace. They were beginning one of their arguments. I start the car and quickly back out of the drive way. I hear Lane's screaming but I continue to drive, he'd be fine. I grin over at Raythe and pick up the speed. Driving this car was like being in Heaven. Nothing mattered. The wind blowing in my hair, the sun beaming down on my face, and the leather under my palms. It's perfect.

Raythe bends down and switches on the radio. I immediately smile over at him when I hear the King's deep voice float from the speakers. He turns up the volume and begins to sing the song.

You make me so lonely baby,
I get so lonely,
I get so lonely I could die.

I laugh at his impersonation of the King. It sounds nothing like him. He deepens his voice and grabs his cell phone bringing it to his lips as a microphone.

Hey now, if your baby leaves you,
and you got a tale to tell.
Just take a walk down lonely street
to Heartbreak Hotel.

Luckily for future embarrassment the song was already almost over. He grins over at me and makes his lip quiver. It looks nothing like Elvis but it's cute. I get to the end of my street and turn right. I want to drive the car as long as I can, even if I have to put up with Raythe's singing. The next song is slightly slower and I don't recognize it. Raythe is about to turn it until he hears the first line.

I can't fight this feeling any longer

He glances over at me. I shrug and continue to pay attention to the road. He brings his hand back and places it in his lap.

And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow
What started out as friendship, has grown stronger
I only wish I had the strength to let it show

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever
I said there is no reason for my fear
Cause I feel so secure when we're together
You give my life direction
You make everything so clear

I watch him from the corner of my eye. He casually watches the trees pass by. He doesn't seem fazed by the lyrics and I'm sitting here squirming in my seat. I bend over to change the station but his hand reaches and grabs mine. I quickly look at him and then back at the road. He continues to gently hold my hand and I let him. The song continues to loudly play.

And even as I wander
I'm keeping you in sight
You're a candle in the window
On a cold, dark winter's night
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

And I can't fight this feeling anymore
I've forgotten what I started fighting for
It's time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever

"Turn down the next road." He says softly not looking at me.


"Because I ask you to." He says turning to me and smiling. I shrug and turn onto a small road.

"You didn't buy another house did you?" I ask grinning. He shakes his head and points to the side of the road where there was a small lot. "Pull in here." I did as he said. I park the car but leave it running.

My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you
I've been running round in circles in my mind
And it always seems that I'm following you, girl
Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find

I wish this stupid song would end. I look around and see nothing interesting. Just trees. "What's up Raythe?" I glance at him and he smiles at me. His smile warms my whole body. He examines my hand that's still in his.

And even as I wander I'm keeping you in sight
You're a candle in the window on a cold, dark winter's night
And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

"You're hands are so small." He whispers once the longest song in the universe ends. I gently pull it back. He looks up into my eyes. All I can see are the black sunglasses. There's no trying to guess what's on his mind with out seeing his eyes. "I'm sorry."

"What for?" I laugh and nervously fiddle with my hands. I have made a new rule for myself. Never be alone with Raythe, NEVER.

"For everything." He says turning his body toward me fully. "Making that first move on you, for being the biggest dick in the world when you wanted to be with Carter, for jumping you at my house."

"Don't worry." I gulp. "It's over. Like we've talked about let's forget it all." I bit the inside of my mouth to keep the water works back. Why does he have to continue this shit? Can't he just drop it? It'd be a lot easier for me to move on if he did.

"Tell me Hannah." He puts his finger under my chin and turns my head to look at him.

"Tell you what?" My voice betrays me and the emotions come out. He slowly drags his sunglasses off. Damn. It would have been so much easier to look at him if he kept them on. His eyes are a pool of blues and greens. It may have been the sudden breeze or the way he's staring at me but a chill ran through my body.

"Tell me the truth." He whispers dragging his fingers up to graze my cheek. I close my eyes at his touch and sigh. Why is he doing this to me? I open my eyes.

"You should already know the truth. All you have to do is look into my eyes and you can see it." I whisper. He nods and continues to stare into me. A fire's burning in me that's never burnt before. A burning that makes me excited but makes me hurt at the same time. "What do you see Ray-ray?"

"I see…." He says softly running his hand up to my hair. "I see you. But I've always seen you. You've always been there. Always in me, always fighting."'

"Raythe." I mumble. What was he going on about?

"Shh." He whispers coming closer to me. He leans his forehead against mine. The tears were too strong for me to keep back. They come flooding out like a gate had been lifted.

"Please stop playing games with me." I plead. "You know I can never push you away. That's why you did this."

"It's not a game Hannah." He whispers cradling my face in his large hands. "I just want it all out in the open."

"Raythe." I say trying to back away from him. He won't let me though. "We can't do this. Not again."

"I know." He says softly, causing his lips to brush against mine. "But please."

"Please what?" All he had to do was tell me and I'd do it. He just had to ask. But he doesn't ask. Instead he leans in and kisses me. Slow and torturess. He's waiting for me to make my move. To let him know it's all right. But it's not. As much as it feels right, it's not. He backs away slowly only to lean in again and kiss the tip of my nose.

"It was good while it lasted." He says his breath tickling my cheek.

"It was great." He nods and begins pushing my hair away from my face.

"No more tears over me, ok?" I nod and look up into his eyes. "I never meant to hurt you this much."

"So you were planning on hurting me?" I joke.

"You know what I mean." He smiles. We sit in silence for awhile, me trying to calm my racing heart and him watching me.

"Promise me it's over Raythe." I whisper stressing the over part.

"Promsie." He confirms. I nod and fiddle with my hands again. "You love me?" I glance at him. I'm not sure if it's a question or a fact so I just nod.

"I love you." I repeat.

"Hannah." He begins. I grab his hand and kiss it.

"I don't care." I say seriously. "I don't want to talk about it. Love happens Ray-ray. No matter how nice you are about it, it's not going to change. No matter how much you try to convince me it wouldn't work or how my minds just playing games with me it's not going to change a damn thing. And I don't understand why people won't accept it. I love you. I accept it. You don't love me. I accept that too. Let's just move on."

"It's not that easy."

"It is." I laugh sourly.

"We have to see each other almost everyday. How are we going to handle that? How do we act around each other? And when were alone together how am I suppose to keep my hands to myself? I don't think we can do it."

"That's okay though." I nod. "Because I'm moving." His eyes shoot up and look at me confusingly. "Lacy and I are moving to California with her aunt next month."

"What? When did you decide this?"

"Just now." I laugh. "I need to get away. It'll be good for me. Just leave it at that, ok?" I start the engine. Raythe looks like he wants to say more, ask me more but he only nods. "Good. I haven't told anyone else so don't mention it to anyone."

"Fine." He mumbles in a state of shock. I hadn't planned on telling him I was moving, hell I didn't even know I had made up my mind to go it just slipped out. We drive the whole way home in silence. If I didn't leave, give us some space then it'd never be over. I'd always be waiting for him. I'd never get on with my life. Moving was the best thing right now. We pull in my drive way and glance around. My brothers were no where in sight and neither was Lacy.

"Wonder where they are?" I ask just in time to hear Lacy scream in the back. Raythe looks at me and we both start running at the same time. Once we get in the back I feel my jaw drop. "What the hell are you guys doing?" I laugh.

"You guys are stupid." Raythe joins in. We walk down to the small fish pond and stare at the twins and Lacy. They are all in it, dressed fully.

"That dickface threw me in here." Lacy growls toward Jace.

"Yeah well that dickface threw me in here." He points to Jaron. Jaron bounces up and down in the pond splashing water.

"I just wanted to go for a swim." He grins cheekily. Raythe begins laughing uncontrollably. He bends down on his side which is the reason he doesn't see my brothers get out and walk toward him. Before he has no time to escape they drag him toward the water.

"STOP NOW!" He yells. "HANNAH HELP."

"What's that?" I laugh and wave. "I can't hear you."

"HANNAH!" They throw him in and he goes under water. I laugh. My brothers are one of a kind. Lacy jumps on Jace's back and tries to dunk him. Jaron climbs on the fisherman's deck and cannon balls into the water. I sigh and turn to go in. They are crazy. Who in their right mind likes to play in dirty pond water? It amazes me the things they come up with to pass the time. I get half way to the door when someone pokes me on the shoulder. I turn around and see a dripping, slightly stinky Raythe. He smirks and in one motion throws me over his shoulder.


"I'm sorry what's that? I can't hear you." He chuckles and takes off at a run. And in matter of seconds he were off the deck and we in cold water. The water went in my mouth and my clothes stuck to me. My shoes feel like they weigh a thousand pounds. I come to the surface of the water and push the hair out of my eyes. Raythe is a few feet away grinning smugly.

You're dead." I say matter of factly. He shrugs and begins swimming away. I go after him and jump on him like I'd seen Lacy do to Jace. "You asshole." I laugh trying to dunk him. It was weird how just a while ago we were in a serious conversation and now it's like nothing happened. It could be the fact that he knows I love him. Maybe it's because I'm moving. Maybe it's just how our weird relationship works. Whatever it is is okay with me. Here in a cold, stinky pond on talking turns is better than being anywhere else. It's like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can breathe around him. But I've realized the sooner I get away the sooner I'll be able to move on. So even though I'll be leaving this all behind for a while, it's something I'm going to have to do. So California here I come.

A/n: WOW! This is by far my longest chapter! It's the weirdest too. I mean some of you will probably have problems with how their relationship worked in this chapter, you may even find it inconsistent but that's their relationship. It's been like that through the whole story.

LOLA- I do believe you were the most upset about the whole Carter ordeal so if you promise to continue to read this story I will let you have him. No, wait. I can't do that. I'm too attached, but I will let you borrow him. Not for long though. LoL

BIBBLE- You're too funny. Destroy them all! And you are awesome!

Okay someone ask me about what it meant in the last chapter when Carter ask Hannah, why she could handle? I meant it to say Hannah what can you handle? IT was suppose to be smart. But I guess it didn't come across. I think that was the question I can't seem to find it now.

Anyway my computer time is running out and I want to post this chapter so…..I just want to say thank you, you wonderful people. If I didn't answer your question or something please forgive me. I must have over looked it or something. SORRY!

Thanks for all the great stories you all recommended. They are great!

The 2 awesome songs on here are Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley and Can't Stop This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. I of course don't any them.