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Hello my beautiful readers!

I recently got a comment about not updating this story quick enough or with long enough chapters. While I’m sorry to see that my update frequency dampens your enjoyment of this story, please know that I update all my stories as much as possible! However, to be completely honest, the reason this story has had such long breaks in between updates, aside from my working on other stories, is that I wasn’t sure if people were still interested in reading it or not and I base that assumption strictly on the comment section. Most people seem to be focused on my werewolf stories, which I’m happy for, but it does mean that I tend to focus more of my attention on the stories that are being asked for. Thank you so much for expressing interest and I’ve done my best to write a long chapter this time. I thought it would be fun to write the chapter going through the holidays as well to make time pass a little more quickly for our two pining love birds. Because of this, the chapter is split between three sections: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. I hope whoever reads this finds it enjoyable and is happy to finally see some real progress in the Thomas and Riley relationship! Please forgive any editing mistakes.

P.S. If you would like to set the mood for this chapter, please refer to the song I left in the chapter description. It gives me serious Thomas and Riley vibes.

Much love, xx


Thomas’s Pov:

I woke up early the next morning, dressing in dark denim jeans and a collared navy blue shirt, wanting to look nice for Riley. On the way to the coffee shop I stopped at a florist’s and picked up an order of two dozen roses, hoping the gesture would make him see that he was right. I hadn’t meant it when I said I wanted him to leave. I was just being an ass.

When I arrived at the coffee shop I ordered his favorite drink and arranged the flowers next to it, in what I hoped was an aesthetically pleasing way. Then I waited. After an hour passed, I texted Riley, asking him if he was still asleep and then got a refill of my coffee and a fresh order of his drink, setting it right next to the first cup. When I didn’t get a text back after two hours, I texted again.

Me: Hey Riley, I’m still here. I hope you’ll meet up with me soon. I’ll wait as long as you want.

Then I waited, once again ordering a fresh drink for Riley. After I’d been waiting for four more hours, I finally called him. His phone was off. That’s when it finally hit me. I was being stood up. So, I’d completely destroyed everything I’d tried to build with Riley and all because I was jealous of Scott and forced a kiss onto him. I felt tears sting at my eyes but quickly went to the counter to collect two drink carriers and ordered a fresh drink for Riley. I put it, and all the others I’d ordered, in the carrier and collected the roses that had wilted a bit, then I drove to Riley’s dorm. When I got to his room, I didn’t knock. I simply left the things I’d gotten him in front of his door with the note telling him how sorry I was for making him leave and could he please forgive me. Then I left.

That was nearly four weeks ago and I’d barely heard from Riley since. After he failed to show up at the coffee shop, I decided to give him space, like Scott suggested, though it killed me to do so. Now I only saw him at the gym and when I did, he treated me like a regular customer. It hurt. It felt like I’d gotten my heart broken without even having a relationship to show for it, on top of losing one of my closest friends.

My other friends noticed that I’d changed after the halloween party. I was less talkative and I didn’t want to do anything with anyone, even Heather. I couldn’t find enjoyment in things and it struck me once more how completely lost I’d felt ever since Riley stopped being in my life.

I replayed our kiss in my head, over and over, holding on to how much he seemed to want me in that moment.

I asked myself why I hadn’t just kissed again him when he was practically begging for it? I regretted that I hadn’t and thought about texting Riley for the hundredth time today. He had never texted me back after the party and he never mentioned the flowers or anything during the few times I caught him at work. It felt like I was invisible to him now and I hated it. Why couldn’t I have just been a little more patient?

I was just sitting down to thanksgiving dinner, with all my relatives, when he finally called. My phone vibrated in my pocket and I was tempted to take the call but I knew my mom would flip if I got on the phone while at the table. She was big into family time and I was lucky to be sitting with it at all, considering for Sunday dinners she usually took everyone’s phone away.

When my phone rang for the fifth time in a row, it being Riley every time, I became concerned and got up from the table. My mother gave me a look that asked what the hell I was doing and I gave her a worried look in return. I then left the room and went outside, despite Demetevler Escort the frigid temperature, so nobody could hear me. When my phone rang for the sixth time I answered.

“Riley? Is everything okay?” I asked, extremely concerned.

“Please come,” he whispered and I could hear furniture smashing in the background as well as a high pitched scream that didn’t come from Riley.

A moment later my phone buzzed and I saw that he had texted me his location.

“Alright Riley, I’m coming. Just stay safe,” I told him as I quickly ran inside to grab my keys.

After I hurriedly informed my mother that a friend needed help, I kissed her goodbye and was on my way. I plugged the address he had given me into my gps and sighed in relief when it told me I was only ten minutes away from Riley’s location. I drove quickly, careful to watch out for cops so I wouldn’t get caught speeding, which would only slow me down even more, and ended up making it to my destination in six minutes.

I entered a shabby trailer park that I had never noticed before and pulled up to a run down looking mobile home. The aluminum shell was covered in a coat of yellow, cracked paint that did little to hide the corrosion it had collected over the years and most of the windows contained broken glass. Because of this, the moment I stepped out of my car I could hear screaming.

“Leave him alone! Stop it! Please daddy stop!” A girl screamed.

I ran to the front door of the trailer and yanked it open, finding Riley curled up on the ground and an older, fatter version of the screaming girl kicked the ever living shit out of him. The man stopped when I rushed in and gave me a look of complete surprise before my fist met his jaw. The piece of shit wasn’t ready for me to punch him, he seemed very drunk and I’d landed a good blow. He went down, tripping on the edge of a frayed rug, causing him to fall much harder than he previously would have and his head smacked against the cheap, pealing tile. Thankfully he didn’t get back up and I was free to examine Riley.

I gasped when I saw his face. Purple bruises were already forming in various patches across his skin and a bit of blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth. I turned to look at the girl but she was already on the phone with 911. Good. I put my attention back to Riley and tried to wake him as I tenderly stroked his brow. Thankfully he was still breathing. He just seemed to be unconscious. He looked so small and helpless and I partially blamed myself for his injuries. If I hadn’t kissed him then maybe he would have asked me to come over tonight. Maybe I could have protected him.

“The paramedics are on their way along with the police,” she informed me, the exhaustion in her eyes making her look much older than she probably was. “So, thanks for saving my brother and everything but who the hell are you?” She asked, sounding suspicious as she watched me stroke Riley’s brow.

“Thomas Smith,” I replied, offering her my hand.

She shook it thoughtfully and then gazed at the way I was cradling Riley’s head in my lap.

“Oh!” She brightened up immediately. “Are you his new boyfriend? He talks about you all the time!”

“Does he?” I asked, blushing happily at the discovery.

She nodded with a smile but then she gave me a very serious look. “You better be nice to him,” she threatened. “His ex was so mean to him, all the time! I wasn’t surprised when-“

“Abby!” Riley suddenly whispered before coughing violently, causing the girl to stop with her chatter as tears filled her eyes.

“Riley, I can’t do this anymore,” she suddenly said as she gripped her brothers hand.

“But your school, your friends?” He gasped, sounding like it was difficult to speak. “I c-can protect you. I did better this time didn’t I?”

The girl, Abby, looked at him with huge, sorrowful eyes. “Yes, you did really well Ry! You stood your ground for a while this time and I’m proud of you but he was so fucked up tonight. It’s never this bad when mom is around, especially with you off at school but she’s been gone for weeks, probably doing drugs again. Who knows if she’ll come back this time? When the police get here, I’m going to ask them to let me stay with Grandma and Grandpa instead. I’m tired of watching you get the crap beat out of you just so you can protect me. And I don’t know why you started with him tonight anyways. You knew he’d just hurt you.” She cried a little as she scolded him but gripped his hand even tighter. “I.. I thought he was going to kill you this time and I just can’t… I love you. Please let me go.”

Riley nodded a little, looking both worried and sad. “I’ll miss you,” he murmured as he squeezed her small hand in his.

“I’ll miss you too,” she replied, placing a small kiss on the hand that she held.


After a few hours of dealing with the police, I was finally able to join Riley at St. Mary’s Hospital where the paramedics had taken him. Otele gelen escort After proving my identity, I was told he had to stay for observation but that he got super lucky none of his organs seemed to be injured. He did have extensive bruising all over his whole body, a severely sprained shoulder and a broken finger. The biggest concern right now was Riley getting a concussion and the nurse seemed glad that I was coming to visit him. It occurred to me then how strange it was that she was telling me all his information. When I asked, she told me I was Riley’s emergency contact and I felt a little thrill of pleasure, hearing her say that, even if it was a surprise to me. Before I got to his room I thought to drop by the little gift shop but then stopped myself. Yes, Riley had called for my help and I was his emergency contact but given his drunk, abusive step dad, his drugged up mom and a sister that was my little brothers age, I could understand how he might not have anyone else. The thing was, if he hadn’t liked my roses, then what would he do if I bought him a little bear? I sadly put the stuffed toy down, reminding myself that I wasn’t visiting my boyfriend. I was visiting a friend… a friend who didn’t want to know me anymore.

By the time I finally made it to Riley’s I’d almost convinced myself to not visit. I had no idea how he’d react and he’d barely spoken to me before the ambulance picked him up. Not that I held it against him. I knew he was focusing on where his sister would end up and fighting to stay conscious. I just wished I knew if he’d still wanted me around, now that he wasn’t in crisis. I ended up hyperventilating in the hallway over the fact that I was about to lose Riley for good and ended up calling my mother. I didn’t tell her I had a crush. I told her a friend was in the hospital and what had happened, to the best of my knowledge. She offered to let Riley and Abby stay with us and I told her I’d let him know but that his sister was being held in protective custody until her grandparents could get her. They were currently waiting for a flight but planned to be here no later than tomorrow evening. They wanted to get to Virginia more quickly but due to the holiday they couldn’t.

By the time I’d told her everything, she was adamant that Riley stay at our place, at least once the holiday break started, since the dorms would close until school started again in January. This meant I literally had to go check on him and tell him about mom’s offer, otherwise she’d probably strangle me. My mom was never one to leave a person in need.

After our phone call I took a deep breath and tried to psych myself up. Then I walked down the hall and knocked on the door of room 202 before I cautiously entered. Riley was laying back on a few pillows and I was struck by how small and defenseless he looked all wrapped up in bandages and his arm in a sling. He had his eyes closed but when I simply entered without speaking, he finally cracked his eyelids open.

“T-Thomas?” He asked, sounding confused as he opened his eyes all the way. “Why are you here?”

My heart sank a little, “You called me… a lot… and I’m so sorry I didn’t answer sooner! I was having dinner with my family but if I knew it was an emergency I would have answered the first time you called. I… I punched your… step dad?” I asked, unsure if that’s who I’d knocked out.

Riley gave a nod to confirm and then asked, “But why did you come? I… I didn’t think you would. Why are you here?” He asked again, looking cautious, as if he were mentally protecting himself from what I was going to say.

“Because we’re friends!” I finally said, not understanding why Riley would think anything different after all I’d tried to do to show him I still cared.

“Are we?” He asked quietly as he looked at his bruised hand. “I haven’t heard from you since the halloween party. I’d hoped you were just drunk and that you’d change your mind about us being friends. I waited to hear from you for days! I mean, I didn’t know my phone was off for some of the day after because Scott had taken it and insisted we focus on something else and that if you wanted to talk, you’d text me but I never saw an alert for any missed messages. And then… well I tried to be normal around you at the gym but you never asked to see me or to hang out so I tried to just be professional. I… I thought about asking Heather if you still hated me but I was too humiliated to hang around your group if you didn’t even want to text me. I mean, they were your friends first… and I… I’m so fucking sorry about that kiss. I knew you’d been drinking and I should have never… I- I’m so sorry if you thought I was taking advantage of you… are we not friends because you’ve decided I’m a slut who doesn’t deserve you?” Somewhere in the middle of him speaking he ended up breaking down into tears and his final words were barely above a whisper.

I was so confused. I didn’t know how Riley hadn’t Balgat Escort seen my messages or gotten my flowers and drinks but he looked so hurt and upset that I wasn’t about to act frustrated with him.

“Riley,” I started gently as I put a hand on his trembling shoulder, “I’m the one who should be apologizing. You didn’t do anything that I hadn’t already expected. I knew what I was doing when I kissed you. You never took advantage and I don’t think you ever would. That’s just not you. And I know I told you to leave and that I didn’t answer you about being friends in person, which, I’m so sorry about that! I was being dumb and I’ve been feeling like absolute shit over it for weeks, as I should! I… I went after you that night but you’d already gone so I texted you. Scott answered and I told him to tell you we were still friends and to meet me at the coffee shop in the morning. Then I waited for you to come for hours. I…I even left the drinks I bought you outside your door.”

I purposely chose to leave out the bit about the roses, feeling like I had been doing too much and that he wouldn’t like to know about it. I almost spilled the part where I knew about his cock but it didn’t seem like a fair time to bring it up. He was injured and sad and had thought I didn’t want him around this whole time. I wasn’t going to embarrass him in hopes that he’d finally become my boyfriend.

“I never saw any drinks… but thank you. If I would have gotten your message I would have come to the coffee shop. I’ve missed you so much!” He grabbed my hand that was on his shoulder with his own bruised one, pulling me down so that I was seated on the bed next to him. “You’re my best friend. Everything’s been shit without you!” He continued as he pulled me close.

I wrapped my arms around him, mindful of his sling, gathering him up in a warm hug. When he didn’t pull away I continued to hold him, letting him cry on my shoulder until he felt better. When he finally slowed down to occasional sniffles, I spoke again.

“I’m sorry I gave you space. I was trying to respect what you wanted but it killed me to stay away from you.”

“It did?” He asked, sounding shy.

“Yeah. Everyone’s going to be glad we made up cuz I’ve been a real pill lately, not my usually fun self,” I admitted.

“I didn’t mean to-” he started.

“Riley, please stop. You didn’t do anything wrong and I’ve told you you’re not a slut. I promise. I knew you’d reject the idea of being with me and I still tried. I got my feelings hurt a little but I’m the one who told you I could be friends and then kissed you. I knew what you’d say. I also figured you’d kiss me if I went for it,” I told him as I finally pulled away, worried I was touching him too much.

“I wish it could be different,” he murmured, looking like he might tear up again as he gazed at my mouth.

Impulsively, I leaned in and kissed him lightly on the lips. I hadn’t expected to do it but he looked like he needed it. Riley kissed me back hesitantly, with none of the heat from the halloween party and I felt a little bad for kissing him again after all the drama I had caused.

“You were right. I should have kissed you again instead of getting hurt that you didn’t want me. I didn’t mean for my kiss to hurt you but I also want you to know, now that I’m completely sober, I still meant what I said and I still want to kiss you but I won’t do it again. Not unless you want more.”

Riley blushed a little, “I think that’s a good idea,” he murmured. “But.. we are still friends right?”

“Of course! Actually, I sorta told my mom about your awful night and she invited you and Abby to stay with us. I told her Abby was taken care of and she insisted that you stay at our place until school starts up again, you know, once break starts next week.”

“She did? I.. I could never repay her,” he answered, looking shocked and a little stressed.

“My mom would probably say that you putting up with me is payment enough,” I laughed, knowing how she appreciated that I had good friends in my life. It hadn’t always been like that.

“Well… tell her I accept. I did have plans to hang out with Scott for a little bit but… I don’t really want to see him now.”

“I’m sure he was just trying to be a good friend. He did tell me to give you space and I’m sure he thought he was protecting you and getting your mind off things.” I hadn’t planned on defending Scott. In fact, I was pissed that he had tried to separate Riley and I but I also knew Riley didn’t have a lot of friends and I didn’t want to be the reason he lost one.

“Yeah maybe… but he kissed me too,” Riley admitted, looking ashamed of himself. “He took me by surprise and I didn’t really want to kiss him… but I was sad and I missed you so I just let it happen. If that changes your opinion about me, let me know,” he told me as misery filled his voice.

I was a little annoyed by what I heard but not because I was upset with Riley. It upset me that his friend had watched him hurting and used that to be physical with him. Then I had an unhappy thought.

“I’m sorry if you didn’t want me to kiss you either,” I told him, feeling a bit ashamed of myself for all the mixed messages but I couldn’t seem to help myself. I was falling for Riley, fast and hard and even though I said I wouldn’t, I was tempted to kiss him again only this time, I refrained.

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