Her fingers tapped an unsteady beat against the smooth checkered seating as she pushed her feet back against the ground, feeling the rocker tip forward. Closing her eyes, Rayne let out a sigh of relief when she heard the door slowly close. She knew she wasn't alone; Matt was there, right behind her, waiting for her to start their usual midnight conversation. She didn't even have to look; she felt her whole world tilt at his mere presence. 'But why didn't'—she shuddered at the incomplete thought, knowing that if she continued it would leave to a path she had yet to accept. Though Rayne knew that he was she didn't talk; she didn't want to ruin their delicate relationship with the news she was going to break. Lifting her right hand she brushed a strand of hair out of her face. When she felt the cold touch of metal against her cheek, she froze, knowing she unwittingly showed him what she dreaded.
"Andrew asked me to marry him earlier this evening," Rayne whispered, breaking the peaceful silence that enveloped them.
"Figured he would."
Repressing a shiver when she heard his voice, so soft it faded into the low murmurings that drifted into the room. Rayne leaned forward, causing the rocker to halt as she pressed her shoes against the floor. Her eyes still closed, she waited for him to say more but knew he wouldn't.
"I said yes," she said, hoping he would appear in front of her, telling her to say no.
"Makes sense, there is a ring."
She smirked, knowing she walked straight into that one. "Aren't you going to say anything else?"
"Andrew is a good man, he'll treat you right."
"He'll treat me right? That's all you have to say? What about don't marry him; he's not right for you. He doesn't make your heart pound the way I do. He must not have realized how grumpy I am in the morning. Just say something," Rayne said, feeling frustrated by his lack of words.
"Grumpy? Hell you're a walking tornado in the morning. Duck and hide is my motto when it comes to you."
Laughing at his Matt's response, Rayne moved her feet from the floor, bringing up to the seat. Once she readjusted herself, she leaned back, causing the rocker to swing back and forth. At least with this, she knew what to expect, unlike unpredictable Matt.
"You smile when you're with him."
The words fluttered around her, wrapping her into a tight blanket. Rayne felt as if she would slowly start to suffocate. 'He isn't supposed to be happy for me, he's supposed to fight,' she thought.
"You made me smile." She spoke quietly, fearing that he would leave. She waited in silence for his response, paying attention to the footsteps that sounded from outside. The clock ticked each second away, sounding louder than ever, but she still waited, hoping he wouldn't leave her alone again.
"You're not smiling right now."
"Well I'm not exactly happy with you at the moment," she snapped, but was immediately apologetic. "Matt can't you just once do what I ask?"
"And what would that be? Do you want me to wait until the last moment and show up at the wedding, screaming from the back of the alter that you can't marry him because you still love me? Or better yet, why don't I say that you are still legally married to me? That our divorce isn't final? Is that what you want? I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for you, my Rayne day."
She smiled at the name. "Do you remember that day I was dubbed 'Rayne day?"
"What is this? Don't tell me you've been reading up on King Arthur and the Round Table?"
"Dubbed is a perfectly—" she paused trying to think of what to say next—"perfect word."
"Perfectly perfect? Well isn't that awesomely terrific."
"I see the sarcasm dripping onto the floor," she said sardonically, her hand sweeping towards it in a grand gesture.
"You were in the park, lying down on a bench. You were staring at the sky with a slight smile on your face, as if you knew something that no one else did. When I asked if I could sit down, you didn't move."
Rayne couldn't help but grin when Matt said that. "You were limping and covered in water, why would I want to sit next to a crazy person?"
"I told you that my friends and I were having a balloon fight, but you were too busy cloud watching."
"I wasn't cloud watching," Rayne retorted. "I was waiting for it to rain."
"And you call me crazy? You were the one waiting for it to rain."
"Well I didn't get the chance to see it rain because you through a balloon at me!"
"I made the sound conclusion that you wanted to get wet. I was just trying to hurry the process along."
Rayne snorted. "Because you knew that was the only way I would get wet around you. And I wasn't waiting to 'get wet' as you so eloquently put it…"
"You're right, I'm sorry. You were waiting for the sky to open up and rain."
"You have to admit it is a beautiful sight," Rayne said with a sigh.
"Only you, my Rayne day."
Rayne closed her eyes, fighting off the wave of pain that filled her as he said the same remark he always made before he leaned down and kissed her. She wanted to turn around and walk straight into his arms; instead she gripped the armrest tighter. Her nails dug into the soft cloth, scrapping over the texture. "I was right though, it did rain," she replied, trying to erase the memories of them together.
"And we all know you being right doesn't happen often."
Her hand instinctively went towards the pillow in her lap, moving to throw it at him, but she paused midway. She wrapped her fingers around the soft cloth, tracing the crooked seams.
"It's just a pillow."
Rayne shook her head. "No it's not," she said softly, repeating the words she said long ago.
Rayne jumped from one foot to the other, debating whether she should stay or leave. She took a step backwards, already regretting the decision of ringing his doorbell. She couldn't do this; she couldn't face him so soon. Her foot hovered over the next step on the porch as the door opened. She closed her eyes and muttered a quick curse, before pasting on an artificial smile. 'Maybe he won't say anything'she prayed.
She opened her eyes and saw him leaning against the doorway, smirking at her. He had his arms crossed over his broad chest; his hair was pushed carelessly out of the way. His chocolate brown eyes danced with amusement as his crooked smirk tilted further towards the left.
"Not thinking about running are you?" he asked before taking a step back into the house. He nodded his head backwards, motioning her to follow. "I promise I won't bite."
"Why do I have the feeling you're dying to say 'unless you ask'?" Rayne asked before walking forwards. When she was standing in front of him, he leaned closer and said, "Do you want me to?"
Rayne rolled her eyes and pushed him out of the way. "You're such a jerk."
Matt rubbed his chest, his lower lip protruding slightly in a pout before saying, "My Rayne day, why won't you just admit your feelings for me."
"I'm madly and deeply in love with the thought of you jumping of a cliff," she said, clapping her hands together in prayer fashion. Matt placed his arm over her shoulder, kissing the side of her head before saying, "Would you come after me?"
Rayne desperately wanted to lean deeper into his embrace, instead she shrugged his arm off. "And die with you? I don't think so."
Matt's smile wilted for a moment, an action he tried to hide by turning around. "Judging by the look in your eyes, I'll stick to the original plan."
"I suddenly developed a case of one-day amnesia, apparently it hits healthy males my age. New study at Harvard and all, I was asked to be case # 23482. I'm not sure I'll go though, I hate the thought of being watched when I'm unaware," he said with a serious tone. Rayne looked at him curiously. 'This isn't what I expected.'
"Matt—" Rayne said, reaching out to stop him as he walked away, but he jerked his arm out of the way. "Won't you just listen?"
"About what Rayne day? We're sticking to the original 'don't ask, don't tell' plan," he said.
"So I guess that means I shouldn't ask why you've been avoiding me this past week," she whispered.
His shoulders tensed with her muttered words, he shook his head slowly before walking away. 'He never once glanced at me', she thought as she leaned against the wall. Rayne glanced towards the front door before looking towards the hallway that Matt just walked through. 'Knowing him, he's probably going to return in a few seconds acting as if nothing happened. Why do guys have to be so damn confusing?'
Matt strolled through the room, holding something in his hand. He glanced towards her before lowering his gaze. Holding the object in one hand, he ran his other through his hair in a nervous gesture. "I've never been good at telling you what I feel," he started to say. His cheeks turned a slight rosy shade as he glanced towards the floor. "We've known each other for how long?" he asked, his right foot tapping against the ground.
Rayne looked at him quizzically, wondering what had him tied up so tightly. "Since we were eight," she said. 'He's going to bring it up isn't he? He's going to say that we can't be friends anymore.'
Matt jerked his head up. "Yeah," he agreed. "We've known each other since we were eight, we've been crazy companions, dealing with un-requited love—" he glanced up, smirking as he wiggled his eyebrows—"We shared our first kiss together as well as our first real fist-to-fist fight. You had my back, while I had yours."
Matt tilted his head towards the side, "We always said we weren't going to be a cliché. I didn't want to be the guy that fell madly in love with my best female friend. You didn't want to be the nerdy girl—" he paused before correcting, "—I'm sorry, you didn't want to be the highly intelligent female who fell hopelessly for the crazy jock who made you insane—or in my case, the crazy guy who slept through one to many classes. We weren't going to be like that, we were going to be different. 'We were going to write our own book,'" he said with sweet smile. Rayne blushed as she recalled the words she spoken when she was younger.
"So what I'm trying to say, in an oddly broken speech, is that can we have a new chapter?" Matt rubbed the back of his neck. "Damn, that was cheesy, wasn't it?"
Rayne nodded her head slowly in agreement, unable to say anything. Matt—her Matt—was speaking in riddles at the moment.
"God I'm horrible at this. What I'm trying to say is that I—ah hell, I might as well just come out and say it—I'm in love."
Matt's cheeks turned brighter at his spoken confession. Rayne's mouth dropped open, unable to believe what he just said. Matt was in love? 'With who?' she thought, racking her brain through his endless streams of dates, trying to figure out who he was talking about.
"It's not Shelly Marik is it? Because you should stop that love speech right now because I heard she's dating Johnny whathisname," Rayne said, focusing on his date with the cheerful redhead.
Matt let out a half-laugh, half-groan. "Shelly? Damn, Rayne can't you think of anyone else I spend my time with?"
"Lizzy Copper?" she asked but answered her own question with a forceful 'No.' "You couldn't be in love with her; you couldn't run fast enough to get away from her."
"Just shut up and listen. Three days ago, you told me that you were in love with me, but what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm in love with—"
Rayne jerked forward. 'He mentioned it. He actually motioned it.' "Matt—," she started to say but was cutoff.
"Rayne, I'm in love with Jessica Parks," Matt finished quickly; his eyes focused on the ground, a tiny smile graced his lips, one which he was trying to hide.
Rayne faltered, unable to believe what he just said. "You jerk!" Rayne exclaimed. She started walking towards him but Matt backed away. He held his hands up in front of him as he said, "You can't help you fall in love with."
He continued to take steps backwards until he ran into the coffee table. Sitting down, he waited for Rayne to stop in front of him. He scooted to the side, leaving enough room for her. Nudging him in the shoulder, Rayne sat down next to him. "You had me worried there for a second; I thought you were going to say me."
Matt laughed. "You thought I was going to say 'I love you'?" he asked, staring off in space. Not realizing that his voice sounded slightly off, Rayne nodded her head, "I thought that you took me seriously, I had this whole speech planned out about how you misunderstood."
"I could have sworn I cleaned my ears," Matt replied, pulling on his left ear. He shrugged and said, "But because you're so sure I didn't hear you say 'I'm in love with Matt' then I'm guess I was wrong."
"Matt…" Rayne dragged his name out, knowing she was going to be teased for her vocal declaration for some time now.
Placing an arm over her shoulder, Matt brought her closer near him. "You looked so horrified when David told you that he was in love with you. I knew that you were trying to think of another guy. I should feel so lucky that my name came up. Of course did you have to say it so loudly during lunch? Now, Jessica thinks that I'm going to dump her for you."
"Weren't you already planning on dumping her?"
"Well yeah, but that's just because I've been thinking about asking Tiffany out."
"You're such a player," Rayne said, shaking her head.
"Only because I've been pining away for my one true love," Matt quipped, widening his eyes as he stared at her.
Rayne rolled her eyes before focusing in on the forgotten object that Matt held. She tried reaching for it, but Matt moved his hand out of the way. "Just wait a damn minute."
"Let me see, let me see," Rayne begged, staring at the oddly shaped pillow.
Matt coughed. "So in home-ec class, Mrs. Turner told us that we had to sew something. I knew that I wouldn't be able to make a shirt—it would probably have mismatched sleeves. So I started thinking about how much you love pillows and thought that you could use another one." he finished, praying that she wouldn't say anything at his lame reasoning.
He slowly gave it to her, his expression blank as he waited to hear her laugh at his misguided attempt of a gift. Rayne smiled as she turned it over. She stared at his crooked sewn words, 'Best friends for life. You're my favorite Rayne day.'
"I would have declared my love for you on it, but I thought we were sticking to the cliché path of not admitting it until one of us gets insanely jealous of a significant other."
"Why do I put up with you?" Rayne asked, refusing to admit-even to herself-that she was clutching the pillow tightly, unable to believe that Matt made this for her.
"It's just a pillow," Matt said.
"No it's not," she said softly.
"You always did get emotional at the oddest moments."
Rayne laughed. "I get emotional? Is someone forgetting a particular moment when the big, tough guy actually showed his true colors?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Should I recapture the moment for you?" she asked, smirking.
"You're so lucky I'm comfortable at the moment or you would be regretting those words."
"Are you comfortable?"
"Rayne day, why do you always ask that question when you know the answer?"
"Because I want to hear it from you," she replied softly, straining for him to admit the words she's been denying for so long.
"It was just a speck of dust in my eye."
"That was a horrible attempt to change the subject, but because I know you're not going to answer, I'll let it pass."
"You know you love—"
'Andrew.' Rayne repeated his name in her head when Matt's sentence wavered in the air. 'I'm in love with Andrew.' Rayne slowly loosened her hold on the pillow, her eyes downcast, as she waited for Matt to say something. 'Who would have thought that Matt and I would ever have uncomfortable silences?'
When he didn't say anything, Rayne said, "You know it wasn't a speck of dust in your eye." She smiled when she heard him laugh.
"Well that's the story I'm sticking to."
Rayne shook her head, knowing that she would never forget that day.
"Damn you Rayne day, will you stop walking so freakin' fast," Matt complained as he tried to juggle the shopping bags in his hand. Why he ever agreed to this, he would never know.
"Matt if you just stop complaining and pick up the pace, you wouldn't be straggling behind," Rayne said over her shoulder as she moved to dodge the man in front of her.
"Says the person who isn't holding seven bags," Matt muttered under his breath.
"You were the one that offered to come even after I told you I was going shopping."
"You said little shopping spree. This—" he said holding the bags higher in the air—"is not a little, but I should tell you that you are minimizing by bank account."
Rayne stopped suddenly, turning around, she wrapped her arms around his waist. "You love me though, don't you?"
Matt groaned, resting his forehead against hers. "Only you, my Rayne day," he said before brushing his lips against hers.
"This is our first holiday as an official couple," Rayne started to say after she pulled away.
Matt rolled his eyes. "And it will be perfect. So stop worrying and shopping. Please for the love of Hershey kisses, just stop."
"Fine, but if I realize that I'm missing something, I'm sending you out to get it," Rayne said with a slight huff.
He laughed, pulling her with him as he maneuvered himself out of the crazy rush. As they passed the food court, they stopped when they heard someone yell, "Well I don't believe my eyes. It's Rayne and Matt holding hands."
Matt glanced over at the tall brown-haired man making his way over towards him. Rayne laughed, running towards him as she launched herself into his arms. "Jason!"
Jason laughed, spinning her around before setting her down. Glancing towards Matt, he said, "I don't think she likes you that much. All she had to do was see me and she went running."
"Please take her, you'll save me years of misery," Matt begged.
Rayne stuck her tongue out at him. "Do you see what I put up with? I don't feel the love."
Jason backed away from Rayne. "I don't think so man, you can have her."
Glancing down at Rayne, he saw her pouting. Leaning down he softly kissed her lips before saying, "I'll always love you Rayne day."
"So when did this happen?" Jason asked, focusing on the couple he thought would never admit their feelings for each other.
"She threw a bottle of apple juice at me," Matt said with a goofy grin.
"You started it when you threw a water balloon at me. I was just biding my time until I could get you back."
"With apple juice?" Matt asked with a skeptical tone.
"It tasted really bad," Rayne replied.
"And I'm still confused, but that's okay," Jason interrupted.
Rayne smiled, gesturing for Matt to tell the story, but he shook his head. "Fine, but don't grumble if I take 'forever and day' to finish it," she warned him. Turning to Jason, she proceeded to tell him of the fateful day. "So during our second year of college, I decided I need a change of scenery—well, really just a new job. So instead of volunteering at the hospital, I asked around, filled out a couple of applications and got a job as a surgical assistant, which is really just a lofty title for a horrible job."
"But on my first day of work, I ran out of milk. I can not start my day without a glass of milk," she said, as if it were the end of the world. Matt rolled his eyes at her exuberant speech. He slowly started nudging her towards an empty table, knowing that this would take awhile. Once seated, Rayne resumed her reenactment of that day.
"So I called Matt up, begging him to go to the grocery store and pick me up a galloon of milk, but does the idiot answer his phone? No, instead I have to listen to his quick voicemail, telling me that he's probably sleeping or he's avoiding this call. I then took it upon myself to get the milk, but as it turned out, the quick stop at the DairyMart proved to be futile because did they have the milk I want? Nope. By that time, I was already running late—I blame the alarm clock and someone who will remain anonymous—" she said, jerking her head towards Matt—"for tinkering around with it. The blasted thing woke me up thirty minutes late. Did I tell you that?"
Matt placed his feet across the table, trying to hide the yawn. Rayne glanced towards him but he just grinned, motioning for her to continue. Rayne rolled her eyes, but did just that. "Where was I?" she asked, but didn't wait for an answer. "Oh, I remember. I hurried to my car and made the horrible decision of listening to the traffic. Why I did that, I'll never know. Well actually that's a lie, because I do know, but Matt doesn't like my answer. I thought that the traffic reporter had a really sexy voice, it was deep but smooth. But that's a whole other story, so…I listened—remember big mistake—and heard that there was traffic on 270. I came up with the great decision of avoiding that traffic and taking the back road. Horrible decision, I swear I saw the nastiest road kill, but you really don't want to know that."
Matt laughed, knowing that she was going to mention it. He saw her tense up and shudder as she said it. Taking her hand in his, he smiled as she quickly jerked it back. She swirled her hand in the air, as if she were pushing the subject out of her mind. When she dropped her hand on the table again, Matt grabbed it before she could start waving it around. As he traced his thumb up and down the palm of her hand, he was rewarded a sweet smile for her.
"You'd think that I'd know the back roads, for God knows how many times Matt's used them. But do I really? Again, I sadly have to say no. I got lost somewhere between Callaway and Greenwoods. I tried calling Matt—the guy that swears he will answer the phone—but does he? Nope! I might have left an angry voicemail—"she said, ignoring Matt's muffled laughter—"but it really didn't matter at the time because the next thing I knew my tire suddenly deflated."
"You know when I think of deflated," Jason started to say, but stopped when Matt suddenly kicked him with his foot. Jason laughed, knowing that was a story that Matt would probably never want Rayne to know. Rayne glanced between Matt and Jason, wondering what was going on, but decided not to ask. "Well it turned out that I had a nail in my tire which caused it to go flat. I panicked. I had no idea where I was, my tire was flat, and there were no cars around. I timed it, fifty-six minutes no one drove by. That stupid wreck that was blocking all the traffic, turned out to be a lie. No traffic—or at least that's what Matt said when he finally picked up the phone—mind you it was after I called for the umpteenth time."
Rayne glanced between Matt and Jason, wondering what was going on, but decided not to ask. "Well it turned out that I had a nail in my tire which caused it to go flat. I panicked. I had no idea where I was, my tire was flat, and there were no cars around. I timed it, fifty-six minutes no one drove by. That stupid wreck that was blocking all the traffic, turned out to be a lie. No traffic—or at least that's what Matt said when he finally picked up the phone—mind you it was after I called for the umpteenth time."
"So when he finally arrived—a shocker because I didn't really give him good directions. Apparently I told him I took a right when I really took a left, which was why I had to wait so lonf for to find me," she said, shooting Matt a frown and ignoring his wink.
"When he came, I ranted. I was within my given ranting rights. Anyone in my position would have ranted, it wasn't the squeaky—high-pitched rant, but a slightly loud rant. I might have called him an ignoramus and pig, but I was angry," Rayne said with a nod. "Matt, being Matt, just stared at me and asked if I was done. Done? Can you believe it? So I reached for the only thing I could throw at him—it turned out to be a bottle of apple juice. Just because the cap came slightly undone in the throwing process, doesn't mean I wanted him to be covered in it," she said with an innocent smile. Jason laughed
"You know Matt's glare, the one he gets when he's angry and he mentally counts to ten before saying anything? Well he had that expression on. I waited for him to say something, but does he?"
Jason shook his head, glancing at Matt who was staring at the ceiling with a smile on his face. "No, instead he kisses me. Matt—best friend, player, all around goofy guy, kisses me!"
Matt leaned forward, resting his elbows on the countertop. He winked at Rayne, before whispering to Jason. "I finally found a way to get her to be quiet."
Rayne rested her head against his shoulder. "You love my crazy talk, don't deny it," she said.
Matt brushed a stray piece of hair of her cheek, before cupping it in his hand. He leaned down and said, "I wouldn't change it for the world—well maybe one or two of your quirks but other than that, you're perfect just the way you are," he quipped.
Jason leaned back against the booth, shaking his head at the couple. The two were whispering sweet nothings to each other, neither paying attention to him as he slowly slipped. He said bye, told them to call him to get together again, only to receive an absentminded wave.
"Who knew it would take us forever to get together?" Rayne asked as Matt started to pick up the forgotten bags. She reached over to grab a few, but he just brushed her hands away.
"Well apparently you didn't like my subtle hint of wanting to further our relationship when I made you that pillow," he said as they started to walk towards the exit.
"Wait, that whole speech of taking our relationship to the next level—or was it chapter—was a hint?" Rayne asked, dumbfounded by what he just said.
Matt stopped looking at the parking lot, trying to figure out where he parked to glance down at her. He smiled at her baffled expression before nodding his head.
"But you dated around. You never once did anything to say that you liked me. I should know, I waited for you to."
Rayne pointed towards the right, gesturing at his car. As they started to walk towards it, Matt said, "You liked me during high school? No way, I would have known about that."
"I did to! You were probably what most of my crazy 'I'm in love with Matt' notes consisted of. I probably drove my friends crazy with my slight obsession with you. They all wanted me to tell you that I liked you, but I kept chickening out."
Matt laughed. "So we were the cliché best friends?" he asked, shaking his head in amusement.
"We're what romance stories are made about," Rayne teased, pushing him against the side of the car. Matt dropped the bags onto the ground, pulling her into his arms. "I don't mind being a cheesy story, just as long as I get to wake up every morning to you're sweet smile."
"Sweet, cheesy? Matt are you hungry?" Rayne mocked.
"And you tell me that I ruin the good moments," Matt said.
"Well you usually brush everything off, trying to be Mr. Tough Guy."
"I have to keep my rep somehow."
"You're a softie, just admit it," Rayne said, smiling up at him.
'Only with you, my Rayne day."
Rayne laughed, sidestepping away as she asked, "What deflated?"
Matt groaned, "Let's just say it when I was nine and it involved a blow-up doll."
"Hey Matt, did you ever think about what we would be like if we grew old together?" Rayne asked. She immediately regretted the question, but had no way of taking it back.
"Sure I thought about it. It involved my stocking up on duct tape and praying that I would soon lose my hearing."
Rayne laughed, "You know that you would be bored without hearing me talk."
"I least I wouldn't go crazy, though I would, if I never saw you again."
"People say it's crazy that we still talk," Rayne said softly.
"Because were divorced?"
Rayne didn't respond to his question, instead she continued to rock back and forth on the chair.
"So was his proposal different from mine?"
Rayne laughed, "I'll have to admit that you're proposal was unique."
"I got the girl, didn't I?"
'Only to lose her' she thought with a sad smile. She glanced down at the ring on her finger, trying to ignore the fact that she had her past wedding ring on a platinum chain around her neck. "He asked during a candle-lit dinner. It was very romantic," she told him.
"I'm betting you didn't think about running from his proposal."
Growling in frustration, Rayne turned around and started to count backwards from twenty. When she reached seven, she felt Matt's fingers trace her spine before zipping up her dress. He leaned forward and gave her shoulder a kiss before whispering in her ear. "Are you happy now?"
Rayne glared at the towels that were carelessly tossed back onto the rack when Matt dragged her into the linen closet. Her hands itched to grab one and take a swat him, but she curbed that desire.
"Are seriously going to ignore me this whole time? Because if you are, I'm not letting you out of here," he threatened, grasping her shoulders and trying to turn her around.
Rolling her eyes, Rayne whispered, "What exactly do you want me to say?"
Batting his dark eyelashes, Matt grinned. "That you love me?"
When Rayne didn't respond, Matt asked, "Why are you whispering? I thought you would want someone to get us out of here?"
Spinning on her heels, Rayne glared at him. "And what exactly do you think people would say when they find out I was in a linen closet with the best man? It's a wedding for goodness sake; Matt couldn't you for once control your libido?"
Pulling the reluctant Rayne into his arms, Matt tightened his hold, lifting her slightly into the air. "I can't help but love you."
"It's Jason's wedding," she exclaimed before wincing at how loud her voice became.
"You didn't mind when—"
"Matt if you say one more word, I'll have to hurt you."
Grinning, he leaned down, trying to steal a kiss. "Promise?" He brushed his lips against hers, eliciting a soft moan to escape her lips. Placing her arms on his shoulder, she pushed, causing Matt to stumble back.
"We're not doing this again," she swore, trying to erase the feelings that he brought up with the lightest touch.
Feeling a strand of hair fall onto her cheek she absentmindedly pushed it away. The unruly strand brushed against Rayne's cheek, announcing its present once again. Mentally berating those pins that Clarissa shoved into her hair with the promise that her hair wouldn't fall out unless a tornad—. Rayne gasped out load, there was a tornado alright, it was Tornado Matt.
"You messed up my hair! How bad does it look?" she asked, her hands already grasping the flopping hair.
Matt took a step back. "Well if you're asking if it looks like you just had sex in a closest the answer would be yes," he answered with his ever-present grin.
"That's it, this is the last time were ever doing this," Rayne repeated, even though she was thinking promises are meant to be broken.
Matt shrugged off her threat. "Rayne, you aren't seriously mad about this are you?"
When she didn't respond, Matt wrapped his arms around her waist, bringing her closer towards him. "I know that things are crazy right now. Law school for me, med school for you, but we're going to get through this. I love you, my Rayne day. I have ever since I first made you wet. And you don't have to worry about Jason, he won't care. He's actually probably going to be jealous cause we can sneak away while he has to wait."
"Matt, you're an idiot you know that? Weddings are supposed to be special occasions, not about two people hooking up in a linen closet."
"For the past three weeks, we've probably said no more than a hundred words to each other. I miss you. I miss waking up with you or finding out that you've hogged the covers once again."
Rayne frown faltered at his odd speech. She hugged him tighter, whispering, "I miss you and you're snoring habits."
"I don't snore," Matt denied, leaning down to kiss her. "And I know that weddings are special occasions," he said softly. "And I know that this is crazy and you're probably going to hate this, but now that I have you in my arms, I'm not letting you go."
"What are you talking about Matt?"
"Will you marry me?"
Rayne stared up at him, unable to believe she heard him right. 'Marriage? He's crazy right, does he not realize that I don't have time to eat breakfast, yet alone plan for a wedding?'
Rayne turned around before he could say anything, she jingled the doorknob, tyring to see if it would open. Earlier when Matt came up behind whispering sweet nothings into her ear, she felt her knees weaken. She couldn't say no when he dragged her into the closest, kissing her senseless. She felt alive at his touch only that fire was doused when he asked one little question.
Who knew that being at a wedding would cause him to realize what he was missing?
Rayne snorted. What was she talking about? Matt always said that they would get married; he was the one that planned to future, she was too busy trying to stay focused on the present. 'Am I even ready to get married? I know I love him, I don't know what I would do without him, but marriage?'
"Rayne?" Matt said, the nervous panic in his voice, breaking her heart. She couldn't just walk away without answering him, but she didn't know what to say. 'I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I'm not sure if they we're ready for the next chapter', she thought with a slight laugh.
Taking a deep breath, she tried to get rid of her thoughts down memory lane. Rayne turned around and stared at Matt, who was to paying too much attention to the small task of buttoning his shirt. Rayne smile when she realized he missed a button. Her hands unconsciously reached out to fix it. "I want to do this," she said.
Matt glanced up at her. "Fix my shirt?" he asked coldly.
"I want to be the one who fixes you're shirt when you miss a button. I want to be the one who helps you when you're having trouble with your tie. I want to come and have dinner with you, even if were both ready to drop to our feet. I want to spend my Sunday mornings in bed with you, waking up to your smile. I want to marry you," she said, grinning from ear to ear.
"You're sure?" Matt asked.
"This is the part where you pull me into your arms," Rayne said.
"Words of wisdom," Matt asked, wrapping his arm around her waist. Rayne grinned, whispering against his lips, "We're going to get married. I'm going to be Mrs. Rayne Dawson."
Matt sucked the bottom of her lip, his tongue darting out to trace it afterwards. He ran his hands up and down the side of her body, pulling her closer towards him. Rayne wrapped her arms around his shoulders, playing with his hair. She pushed his head down as she leaned up. She started placing small kisses on the outside of his lips, moving away whenever he tried to deepen it. She smiled when he moaned her name, her smile turned into a gasp as he twisted her around. Her back pressed against the towel rack as he leaned forward.
The door suddenly swung open, revealing a shocked waiter. "I-uh-just need a towel," he said, pointing to the rack behind her.
Not taking his lips off hers, Matt grabbed a towel and unceremoniously tossed it towards the waiter. The waiter grabbed the towel and shut the door, leaving behind the couple who was too busy to even notice that they were once again locked in the closet.
"No I didn't run," Rayne said softly, unwillingly to admit the reason why she didn't run was because she didn't feel passionately about Andrew the way she did about Matt. 'Matt and I are no longer together.'
"It's okay to have feelings for him. You're allowed to move on."
Rayne brushed away the stray tears that made their way down her cheek. She tried to cover up the sniffles, but knew that it was useless. She slowly got up from her seat, turning around to look down at Matt.
"I love you," she whispered softly, brushing her lips against his. "I'll always love you."
"Why did you come today?"
"Because I had to tell you, I needed you to know that I—" Rayne swallowed her tears—"I'm trying to move on, Matt. It's hard, there are times when I want to curl up by your side and never move, but I know that life won't allow it."
Rayne stared down at him, her lips quivering as she tried to hold back the sob. "It's so hard to see you this way. I know that I shouldn't be here, that each time I come I take a step back from my new life, but I can't leave you behind. You're apart of me. I just can't let you go."
"I'll always be here for you."
"That's just it Matt, you can't be. I tell myself that—I can't do this. I can't come back."
"I understand, Rayne. You've held on for the past three years, you're allowed to move on. I'll always love you, my Rayne day."
Rayne turned around and walked out of the room, daring not to look back because she knew if she did, her resolve would weaken. She stepped out into the hallway, closing the door ever-so-slightly. Her hands traced down the wooden panel before turning away.
"Evening, Dr. Dawson," the nurse on duty said, her eyes filled with pity.
"Hello Margie. How's the nightshift," Rayne asked, focusing on the conversation so she didn't have to deal with what she just did.
"You're not the only one who does it," Margie said when Rayne started to walk away.
"You're not the only one who talks to the patient or carries on a conversation as if the patient is really responding."
"So I'm not going to meeting any white padded walls anytime soon?" Rayne asked with a small smile.
Margie shook her head, "Not for that."
Rayne glanced back at the door, where her Matt lay behind. She shook her head, smiled at Margie, and forced herself to walk away. She needed to be alone right now, she needed time to realize what she did was the right thing. She walked down the hallway, passing the waiting room, only to see a family sitting there, holding each other tightly. Their faces were grim, the older lady was crying heavily into the shoulder of the man that was holding her. The doctor stood there, his voice steady as he relayed the conditions of a loved one. Rayne's steps faltered, knowing what it was like to be on that side. To hear those words come out of the doctor's mouth. She knew what it was like. Her world fell to pieces when she found out about Matt, the only problem was that the real world didn't care about hers, it kept on going.
Rayne shook her head, trying to shake off the memories, but they came at her, full force.
"Matt would you stop, I'm trying to study," she said pushing his stray hand away from her waist. When his hand left, Rayne felt the cold chill brush against her skin. Pausing, Rayne glanced up to see Matt staring at his casework, his highlighter tapping against the page as he jerked his foot up and down.
"You're staring," he said, turning the page.
"You're moving," she retorted, putting her book down on the floor before curling up against him.
"You're definitely not helping," he said with a groan. "How can I study when I know that you're here?"
"Easy, don't," Rayne said with a smile as she pushed his folder off his lap. Straddling him, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, pressing her lips against his ear, she whispered, "I know something that is much more pleasurable to do."
Matt leaned back against the couch, placing his hand against her hips, he pushed up, eliciting a moan from her. "No fair," she said.
"You're not playing fair," Matt replied when he saw her hands rapidly work at unbuttoning his shirt. When she suddenly paused, Matt glanced up at her, only to see her frown. "What's the matter?"
"Ice-cream, I'm craving ice-cream."
"It's one o'clock in the morning and you want ice-cream?"
"Well I missed dinner."
"Meaning you burnt dinner."
"It didn't like me," Rayne answered with a pout.
"You finished the last tub of ice-cream two days ago," Matt reminded her as he got up. He kissed her as she unwound her legs from his waist. "Do you want me to go and get some?"
"You're such a good husband," Rayne said, stretching against the couch.
"I'll be back in ten," he said, leaning down to kiss her again. "Love you."
"I love you too," she said, watching as he went to grab the keys. "Do you want some company?"
"No you'll only distract me, just sit and read. It won't take that long," he said.
Rayne grinned at the image he made. His hair was standing up at all ends thanks to her hands. His sweat pants were hanging low on his hips, his white shirt molded against his chest, and his smile—Rayne bit her lip to stop from moaning. 'Could the man kiss,' she thought, watching him walk out the door.
Rayne picked up the book she was reading, her wedding ring flashing in the air. Her stomach growled ever-so-lightly. She placed her hand against it, wanting to burst from joy from the news she found out a couple days ago. She couldn't wait to tell Matt. She had it all planned out, she was going to tell him tomorrow over dinner—one she hopefully didn't burn.
"Take-out," she said out loud, trying to figure out how he would react. 'Hopefully he will be excited. Of course he's going to be excited,' she tried to reason, her emotions in a jumble.
Rayne pushed her thoughts away, knowing she'll drive herself insane until tomorrow. She couldn't believe she held on to this secret for three days. 'I can do it for twenty more hours' she thought, glancing at the clock. She was about to turn the page, but she then realized the time. Thirty-three minutes have passed.
Rayne jumped up, walking towards their bedroom, she glanced on the alarm clock sitting on the nightstand, only to confirm that the time was right. 'It's only thirty-three minutes,' she reasoned, but couldn't stop the sickening feeling that erupted in her stomach.
Hearing the phone ring, she ran towards the other side of the bed, grabbing the receiver. "Hello," she said, praying that it was Matt.
"Hello, may I please speak to Mrs. Dawson?"
"This is County Hospital. We're calling because your husband has been involved in a car accident…"
Rayne dropped the phone.
"Ma'am, are you alright?"
Rayne glanced up to see a young lady standing in front of her. Rayne, not bothering to respond, nodded her head as she started to walk away. She started to feel claustrophobic; the need to get out of the hospital grew. Walking towards the elevators, she pressed down, thankful that she wasn't work the night shift.
Hearing the din, Rayne watched as the elevators slid open, she walked into empty area, leaning against the railing. She stared down at the corridor where Matt's room was nestled in. Her eyes drifted away as the elevator doors shut.
Talking to Matt helped ease her emotions. She was able to reason through her problems, discussing them with him as if he was actually there to help. Though this was only the handful of times that in her mind, he actually responded. It was as if she could hear his voice, telling her it was okay to move on. That she was entitled to, but even knowing that, she couldn't help the guilt that clogged into her throat, threatening to suffocate her. She felt like she was leaving him behind, leaving their past, leaving what would have been their future. She's walking away to someone else, with a family that should have been Matt's.
Closing her eyes, Rayne waited until the elevator stopped on the final floor.
Matt was gone, he wasn't coming back. She wasn't going to open her eyes to see him standing in front of her. He wasn't going to be holding a pillow in one hand and tub of ice-cream in the other.
He was gone.
He wasn't coming back.
Rayne repeated the words in her head as the elevator doors opened. She walked out, stepping into the lobby. Her gaze moved towards the doors, knowing that when she walked towards them she would be letting him go.
She took a step forward. 'Acceptance is the final stage,' she told herself as she started to walk forward.
She paused at the doors before pushing it open.
She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with fresh air. In her head, she could see Matt staring at her, a small smile on his face as he slowly walked away.
And he wasn't coming back.
Well what do you think? I know that I haven't written anything in awhile—so make me feel better and let me know. Was it good/bad/really don't care/ or you guys just happy to know that I'm alive I'll try to update my other stories, though that will probably happen during winter break (in three more weeks!)