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Sing Me That Lullaby - Chapter Thirty Three

You can only wait so long.
Parker watched as Rainey sat on the end of a lone bench in the park, an apple in one hand and an open book in the other. Around her, children played and giggled at miniscule things. She knew he was there, but she didn't acknowledge him. Leaning up against a tree, Parker shoved his hands into his pockets and looked at her thoughtfully. He didn't understand what was bothering her so much lately. She avoided him with every turn and if she had to talk to him, she would make sure to answer short and sweet. It had been more than a week since he told her about Xavier and he doubted that it had to do with him anymore. He had already soothed all thoughts on the topic and she never fought him about it. Maybe she felt like he was keeping things hidden from her, and if he was honest, he was.

Looking at her from under the large tree, he noticed her elegance and plain grace. She didn't realize how smooth she was. Just as he was about to go up to her, she looked up at him, her gaze resembling a deer in headlights. He sighed and knew for sure something was up. He cautiously walked up to her, making sure to not hit any stray children. He sat on the opposite end of the bench, looking at everything but Rainey.

"Rainey..." He began but knew he had nothing worth saying at that moment. He could tell her everything about Xavier. That was one option that floated around his mind. She dropped her book and tossed her apple into a trash bin across from her. Turning fully to him, she sighed, her shoulders dropping in defeat. "I kissed Xavier. Not even just a kiss. It was a make out session that lasted long enough that I'm surprised that no one besides the two of us have known." Her voice was strong and bored, as if she was just talking about the weather.

Parker sat there seeking questions waiting to bubble onto the surface, but they never did. He felt as if all his confidence had been ripped from his soul. As if that whole conversation he had with Xavier was just words being exchanged without solid heart. He wanted to think of it as if it was a game and he was now officially the loser, but Rainey was more than that. She was as real as could be. And he couldn't bear to lose her.

"Say something?" Rainey pleaded. He didn't know what to say. He was falling fast for his best friend and she was more muddled up than the two of them combined. She was trying to prove to the town that she was better than all their assumptions, but why? What made them so special to have her change herself? And Xavier. Why did she have to want a guy like him? Why couldn't she have fallen for him? The dependable, boring guy he was, was better than a guy who changed his views daily. He knew why. He was just being a brat about it.

"I don't know what to say Rain." He was being honest. He could have said two different things. Either that he was sooner or later going to fall completely for her and her unorthodox ways of life, or that as much as he wanted to hold her close and never let go, he needed to hand her over to Xavier. She looked away from him and crossed her legs. It had almost been a month since he had arrived and he already saw the changes happening in Rainey. She was losing her shy exterior and pushing her true personality into the world. With three months left, there was still a lot to work on. But knowing that Xavier had once again seized her heart, was a step closer to the end. And he didn't know what to really feel.

"If you're thinking I'm just going to jump back into his arms, you're wrong." Stubbornly said, Parker knew she was going to be on a roll. She scooted closer to him slowly, making sure there was still a great distance between them.

"And if you think that I'm going to start being buddies with him, you're also wrong." Another scoot, but larger, in his direction. "And if you think that means we're not fake dating anymore, you're right." Now she was shoulder to shoulder to him. At her comment, he looked at her worriedly while she kicked her feet at the dirt under them. She looked up at him, her blue eyes shining with amusement at his reaction.

"As of today, I want you to be my real boyfriend Parker. If I keep holding onto Xavier, I won't be able to move on in my life. I can't keep that up anymore. As horrible as it is, I need to use you to help me forget him. It's too late for him and I." She didn't look sad. That worried him greatly.

"Rainey..."

"No, Parker. It's time." She sighed and he realized that she was holding back her true feelings.
"Kissing him made you decide this?" She nodded and closed her eyes.
"It made me feel alive, Parker. Like I would never ever feel again unless I kept kissing him. And for that reason, letting him go would be best. It won't always feel like that. The both of us were just using our hearts more than our heads. It was our permanent goodbye." By this point, she was losing her bravado. Her voice was shaky and her eyes shined with unshed tears.

He was supposed to feel happy that she chose him, but instead he felt disgusted. This wasn't the Rainey he knew. She fought for what she wanted. Now she was just giving up as if it was nothing. He reached out and held her hand. He could only dream that she would light up with every touch he gave her.

"You know why he busted my lip, Rain? He lost his head over you and I. He craves you just as much as you need him. It isn't a lost cause, and you sure as hell shouldn't be thinking a kiss should be goodbye." He gripped her hand tighter and looked over at her stoic face. In turn, she remained her composure and looked deep into his eyes.

"Is this your subtle way of trying to keep this from being a real relationship? I can totally understand if you don't really want me to date you Parker." Her lip curled into a smirk and he lost his breath.

"You and I both know this isn't a joke, Rain. This has feelings involved and you should know by now that after a month of fake dating, I could only dream of you and I being a real couple." He resented how whipped and womanly he sounded. He didn't expect her to give a small laugh and bring his hand up to her lips to place a small kiss to the knuckle of his thumb.

"Then let's be a real couple. Let's just jump into this and not care about the consequences. You like me and I'd be lying if I didn't like you too." She gave him a confident, radiant smile, filled with happiness and amusement.

"Wouldn't that be considered using our hearts instead of our heads?" He remembered her complaining that her and Xavier had done just that.

"There's a difference when it comes to the two of us, though. I know that no matter what happens, you and I won't break apart. You'll always be there." Her faith in him was undying. And he hoped he would never make it fade. He leaned in and kissed her cheek, his lips lingering, "I would love to be your boyfriend."
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Published: 9/17/2013
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