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Sing Me That Lullaby - Chapter Twenty Seven

Do you still love me?
As she reached Parker, she was relieved at the sight of him and eagerly ran to give him a hug for his gift. As she approached, he had his back to her, sitting on the Ducati. She crept up slowly, dropped her flowers quietly, and when she was within an arm's length, she launched herself to him for a hug. He gasped slightly, and she laughed as he craned his neck to see who had hugged him.

"Geez Rainey. Kill me, why don't you?" His laugh was contagious and choppy with his breaths. She placed a kiss on his cheek and whispered into his ear, "Thanks for the flowers. How did you know lilacs are my favorite?" He turned to her and pursed his lips.

"Last I checked, I didn't give anyone any flowers ever in my life. Unless you count a couple corsages for prom that my mom pre-order." Parker looked at her as if she had grown a second head. Rainey was at odds for this event. Who the hell could have given her flowers?

"I have a card for it. I could have sworn it was your handwriting." She walked to pick up her bouquet and contemplated throwing it away. She hoisted it up from the ground and looked for the card, only to see it was gone. She walked back to him with a frown still prominent on her face.

"It's gone," she said as she scratched her head in annoyance.
"Was the handwriting anything like mine?" He asked curiously. She grimaced and mumbled a no. "Then why did you think it was me?" He questioned. She rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips, "Well, I think the fact that you are my boyfriend should sum it all up." He chuckled and patted the back of his bike.

"Come here," she sat obediently at the back and stared at her flowers.
"Maybe you just forgot the card in your locker. No sweat," he shrugged and she sighed. "I shoved the darn thing in the ribbon." "Maybe you dropped it on your way here?" His voice was calm and steady. She, on the other hand, was freaking out.

"Xavier." She muttered. He looked at her, shocked that the name would fall from her lips.
"What about him?" She gave a shrug and placed her helmet on her head. "I ran into him in the hallway. Maybe through all that he didn't notice, he forgot the card on the ground or something. Nothing big." He pursed his lips and agreed that it was nothing. As they drove away, Rainey felt a niggling feeling in her heart. Who could have given her such flowers and write her a noteworthy of a romance novel?

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Standing in the middle of the hallway, Xavier clenched his fists at the pure, undiluted anger that seeped from his bones. Who was he kidding? She was so out of his reach. He reread his card over and over again. He meant every last word on that card. Even to the deep meaning of the lilacs itself. Do you still love me? Each time he looked at the card, the scent of the lilacs fluttered around, and gave him that thought. Running into her in the hallway was pure fate, mixed with perfect timing. He made sure to keep her away from her locker, while he placed the bouquet into it. Luckily, no one in the school locked their lockers.

When they collided, he was just as shocked as her. He knew it was a sign. She was soft and breathtaking. As he wrapped his arm around her waist, her small gasp resounded in his ears. He wanted to bury his face into her hair, take in the subtle, sweet scent that was only hers. She was brilliant and he missed her even more than ever. He cursed at himself for only realizing what he had, when he lost it. Just because Parker Warren had gallantly ridden into town on his trusty Ducati, didn't mean he would lose who he was. He and Rainey both agreed to this through understanding, not exactly through conversing. They weren't supposed to be together. They couldn't, after both of them lost their friendship so suddenly. They lost trust in each other. But what was it that stopped them from fixing what was broken? When she looked up at him, her eyes wide and innocent, were calling for him. Practically begging for him to do something, anything. She was just as helpless as him, and neither of them knew why. They were both scared. He knew that this was the kind of situation he could speak for both of them. They were both used to where they were. Their distance was the expected action for them.

The whole school looked at him as if he was their leader. He was the next generation of greatness that the school wanted. They wanted him to bring Riverton High to its former glory, full of fame and prominence. Rainey was the girl everyone looked at with pity. She was nothing like her star parents, or like her equally excellent sister. She was the outcast, yet never fully demeaned due to her parents' endorsement of the school. She had become Riverton's imperfection. If he hadn't walked into high school with the smug look on his face and his sudden need to throw away his best friend, they wouldn't have become used to this.

When they were best friends for the last 14 years before they drifted, no one viewed them as anything different than the two best friends, who had the whole town at their feet. The two of them were what the town took pride in. Loyalty, laughter, love, and life. That was the two of them; they were the town's image. Two children, their love for each other infinite. Look at them now. They were the exact opposite. Their images were separate. And Xavier thought, a bouquet would solve everything. He really was delusional. Gripping the card, he had a flash of her smile.

The one thing in the world that seemed to never change. Even though all the crap the world had thrown at her, the girl who didn't do anything to make it treat her so horribly, her smile was just as bright, plainly irresistible. Do you still love me? That question was bouncing around his head, echoing painfully. He felt disgusted with himself. It was his fault, her life had become so crappy. Now he had to step up his game. If helping her out meant, her staying with Parker, so be it. If Parker made her happier than she ever would be with him, then dammit, he would let her be with that so-called guy. The plan was fix, Rainey's life behind the scenes. Maybe down the road, he would tell her. For now, she would have to keep living as if he was the enemy, and if fate was really on their side, she and him would be something more.
By
Published: 8/9/2013
Bouquets and Brickbats