Director Snoke intoned Camp Obikenobi's rules with the seriousness of scripture for the seventh time. Their final group of campers were a slightly older bunch, mostly twelve-year olds, and some of them were already nearly as tall as Rey and taller than Jess. Rey could see them rolling their eyes at each other and suppressing giggles behind their hands as he spoke, as though they were too good to pay attention. She could feel a new layer of irritation building at them in her midsection, mingling uneasily with the empty ache she felt at Kylo's disappearance.
"It's gotta be the hormones in milk, right?" Jess whispered to her as they watched the girls stash their belongings in the cabin before heading to the opening session. "They're giants."
Rey sighed deeply and nodded in silent agreement. She wasn't sure there were enough ponies physically large enough in the herd to fit them all. She considered uneasily that she might have to give BeBe to the tallest one, a whippet-thin young beauty with long, golden hair that hung nearly to her waist. She looked as though she might've been equally at home strutting on a catwalk as leaping off the dock into the lake holding her nose.
After her attempt to contact him had fallen flat, Rey had sulked back to their cabin and lain on her bunk without speaking until Jess had roused her at 3:30 to collect their campers from the parking lot.
"Bae," Jessika had stroked her hair from her forehead. "I know you feel like you want to lay here forever, but we've gotta go get the kids. Last time, I promise." She gave a falsely bright smile and a double-thumbs up that broke Rey's heart even further.
The walk to the main parking lot had felt like an eternity in the steamy, late afternoon heat. A thunderstorm had moved through in the time she had lain staring at the wall, and the sun now made it feel as though camp were in a tropical climate.
Rey felt like her smile didn't reach her eyes as she shook hands with the nervous parents, listened to them admonish their sullen daughters to behave and take directions, and nodded absently through their instructions of what medicines and allergies and phobias each one had. She cast her eyes over the fray repeatedly, hoping against hope that she'd catch a glimpse of Kylo's dark head over everyone else.
Hux caught her looking and quirked a curious eyebrow at her. She shook her head slightly and pressed lips into a line. He merely shrugged in response, turning away to corral his new herd of boys with their backpacks.
The final, abiding rule at Camp Obikenobi was to have fun .
Rey cradled her forehead in her hands with her elbows propped on her crossed knees as the elderly man's exhortion hung over her.
Had she been wrong to admit her feelings to him? She replayed their conversation on the deck of the cabin in an infinite loop, trying to discern a different meaning from him than the one she'd taken.
Each time, she came back to the same conclusion. He had started it. He wanted more. He didn't care that they were at different places in their lives, or lived in different parts of the country.
Rey knew this, but couldn't help but think perhaps he had come to his senses once they were separated. She imagined what his friends and family might say.
You only just met her.
She's how old?
What do you even have in common?
It was exactly the same sort of things she could imagine her friends saying, once she arrived back at the safety of campus. Jessika had been too nice to let reality intrude on her happy bubble that had lasted the entire last session, but she suspected her friend was merely holding her tongue now that he had inexplicably disappeared.
She was at a loss to explain it, but she had this feeling like she knew him, had always known him in some way.
"You ready for ice-breakers?" Jess nudged her, breaking her reverie. The girls were all standing and stretching above them, sizing one another up like suspicious cats on new turf.
Rey looked up. "As ready as I'll ever be."
It didn't take long for some sharp divisions to emerge in their new cabin. Their campers included a set of twins, Maddy and McKayla, and they each seemed determined to hate everything the other liked.
McKayla was in Rey's equestrian group, and Maddy took every opportunity to make fun of her sister's hobby.
"Good luck finding a boyfriend who'll want those thunder thighs," Maddy sneered as they dressed. "You'd better not wear my jeans and get them all stretched out."
"I think your bun's so tight you can't think straight," McKayla retorted, narrowing her eyes at her twin's high, tight knot of hair that she wore proudly atop her crown."Like I'd wear your trashy old jeans with the glitter-butt anyway, Miss Bridge-and-Tunnel."
Jess sighed deeply and muttered under her breath, "I apologize on behalf of America."
Rey laughed then, her smile cracking her cheeks in a way they hadn't been in days, and Jess brightened considerably.
McKayla quieted down once they split off down the dirt track towards the stable, but the tall, blonde girl- Aeryn- piped up instead with an unending, incomprehensible string of chatter about anything and everything.
Rey tried to break it off several times and start quizzing the girls about their respective horse knowledge, but it always turned back to another topic of Aeryn's choosing. The other girls seemed in awe of her, whether because she was taller, or slightly more mature, or because she wasn't afraid to elaborate exactly how much money her family had.
Usually by the time they reached the stable, Rey had a good idea of their skills: who'd ridden before, who hadn't, who thought they knew everything, and who secretly did but was too shy to share.
This group was still a blank slate when Rey stood on her straw bale above them and cleared her throat.
"Alright," she began, feeling like a broken record. "Which of you has ridden a horse or pony before?"
Their eyerolls were maddening as three-quarters of them raised their hands to shoulder height, as though they were embarrassed to be seen participating.
"Like, duh?" A dark-haired girl named Leah shrugged at the back of the pack. "That's why we're here, because we ride."
"Thank you, you can put your hands down," Rey ignored her remark. She clasped her hands behind her back and tried to project authority onto them through her body language. "As some of you probably know, then," she shot daggers at Leah until the girl looked down, "Ponies are a lot like people. Each one is different, has its own personality and moods, things that they like, or don't like. It's our job as riders, and as caretakers, to pay attention to their needs and wants before our own. Riding is a two-way street, okay? Ideally, you'll begin to form a bond with your pony as they learn to trust you, but you have to earn that trust."
She hopped off the bale and strode towards the fenceline of the field where the ponies spent their nights. The herd was way out, but she spied BeBe looking curiously in their direction, a mouthful of grass still protruding from his blonde lips. She clambered up the fence and sat astride the top rail, the wood plank digging into her buttock as she shaded her eyes with her hand to get a better look at them.
It was time for the herd to come in for morning feed, and they began to stir and amble towards the group of girls hanging on the fence.
"Now, I want you to pay attention to how the herd moves," Rey instructed them.
The girls reluctantly propped their faces between the boards of the fence, peering at the herd as it moved slowly to them. BeBe nearly always started them moving, but then dropped back to his middle-back position in the herd as the dominant mares took over the lead. He was the biggest, but he was comfortable to let the others eat first and hang back.
Rey kept an eye on the herd, but moreso, on her new charges. It was the quietest they'd been since arriving the day before.
A quiet girl with curly, auburn hair spoke up. "It looks like there's two herd leaders- the two ponies in the front, then another one that's the head of the second bunch."
"Good, Rachel," Rey nodded, and the girl ventured a small smile.
"And... they're not all ponies? Some of them look like Mustangs."
Rey caught the sharp, withering looks some of the others threw her, but Rachel seemed not to notice.
"That's right, too. There's two Mustangs in this herd, Dusty and Chance," Rey praised her. "It's important to know where your mount fits in the pecking order of the herd. They'll be loyal to you, but instinct dictates a lot of how they act in the group. You have to be tuned into that to work successfully with them."
"Look at the blonde one," Aeryn was practically swooning, pointing out BeBe to Maddy. "He is so cute!"
Rey glanced at her and felt the strangest surge of protectiveness for BeBe. She decided in that instant that she couldn't put him with this girl, even if meant giving her a mount so small her knees hung down past its belly. She was not getting BeBe.
After a full day of cloudless skies, Tuesday evening was unbearably hot. The air was completely still, and the girls were restless in their room. Jess got up once to shush them, then a second time with threats of being made to sit out of activities if they didn't settle down.
Rey drifted in and out of sleep, their barely-concealed whispers bringing her back to life. She felt irritable at their insolence, at the heat.
The third time she awakened, she glanced at her watch. It was nearly eleven, and she threw back the covers with a vengeance to give them a piece of her mind. As she stood, she saw the silhouettes outside the cabin, just aways onto the lawn.
She realized with a pinch in her stomach that it was Jessika, and Kylo. He stood with his hands on his hips and his head bowed, but she could see from Jessika's body language that she was laying into him. It was her furious whispering that carried into the open door of the cabin.
Rey hid just inside the screen door, watching them cautiously. She heard the girls beginning to stir again, and their bare feet shuffling across the floor to the window.
"Ooooohhhhhh, is that Miss Jessika's boyfriend?" she recognized McKayla's voice.
"He would like her, tall guys love short girls!" Aeryn was at the window now.
Rey stepped to the doorway of the campers' bedroom and whispered as fiercely as she could, "Which of you would like to clean stalls all day tomorrow while everyone else rides? Hm?"
Their heads snapped back from the window and their feet barely touched the floor as they leapt from the braided rug to their bunks. They continued giggling maniacally and whispering as she turned back to the door.
She hated herself, but her heart was fluttering at his arrival. She tried to remember how it had felt to lay awake for the last five nights wondering where he'd gone, what she might have done, but her breathing stuttered at the sight of him.
It was impossible to read his expression in the dark, but Jessika was turned towards her and looked to be softening. She glanced up towards the cabin and caught sight of Rey hovering there. She beckoned with her hand.
Come out .
Rey balked for a moment before Jessika waved her on again and watched as she came out and joined them on the lawn. Kylo turned then, and she met his eyes for a second before looking away. The dew wet her bare feet.
She pursed her lips at Kylo, unsure what to say.
"I just got your texts," he said lamely, holding up his phone.
"What do you want?" she managed. "I've been going out of my mind."
"Rey," he breathed. "My mom got sick and was hospitalized. They came and got me in the woods, and I was halfway back to the city before I realized I'd left my phone."
Jessika moved towards the cabin, squeezing Rey's elbow gently as she passed.
She bowed her own chin to her chest now, trying to digest the information.
He hadn't just left. There had been an emergency.
She was trying to picture what his mother looked like now, someone old enough to have a medical emergency.
"I'm sorry, kid," he tried. "I know how it probably seemed after… that weekend."
She shook her head. "No, I really don't think you do."
"Look, can we just talk?" Kylo stepped closer to her. "Please?"
Rey hesitated, her arms crossed protectively over her middle. He stepped another half-stride closer and paused, like he was afraid of spooking her. She stood her ground and looked at him out of the tops of her eyes. He stuffed his phone in the back pocket of his shorts and waited, his hands on his hips again.
"Is your mom okay?" she whispered.
Without another word, he scooped her up with his elbow behind her knees and his arm banded around her back.
"Where are we going," Rey murmured against his shoulder. Over his shoulder, she could see the light go on in the cabin and Jessika's shadow inside the window.
"The infirmary," he replied curtly. "It's air conditioned and Dr. K went home hours ago."
The smell of antiseptic mixed with alcohol and adhesive mingled sharply in her nostrils as he opened the door with his key and backed through the door. She had only been in the infirmary once, when one of her campers had fallen and scraped her hand badly enough to need irrigation and a bandage taped on it. Kylo didn't bother with the lights now, placing her gently on the bed.
Rey turned on her side and rested her head on her elbow as he pulled the chair in the room next to her. She shivered slightly as her sweaty skin cooled in the chilly air issuing from the small vent.
"My mom will be fine," he finally answered her question. "Thanks for asking."
Rey merely blinked in response as he slouched down and propped his feet up beside her on the bed.
"What happened?" she asked. "If you want to tell me."
"They think she had a… basically, a mini-stroke, and she got into a minor car accident because of it," Kylo smiled unexpectedly. "I think she was more pissed about the car being wrecked than her health, honestly."
"Is there someone to take care of her?" Rey was suddenly concerned for this woman she'd never met. She felt like she knew her from looking at the camp photos, like a long-lost cousin she hadn't seen in years. Not that she knew what that was like.
"Not exactly, but you wouldn't even know anything had happened if you talked to her now," Kylo shrugged. "They kept her in the hospital for a few days for tests and observation, then I insisted on staying with her for a bit, but... there's a reason we barely talk. She practically begged me to go back to work."
"I'm glad she's alright," Rey whispered. He acknowledged her with only a slow blink and a slight nod.
They were silent for what felt like an eternity before Rey finally said, "I really thought you'd left because of me."
Kylo hung his head and looked at his hands, pressing his lips between his teeth as he heaved a couple deep sighs. "Rey, you have no idea," he started with a shake of his head. "I was going out of my mind, wondering if I should just call someone here and have them tell you, but I didn't want to get you in trouble. You're new, and they can be kind of… stodgy about that stuff."
She nodded silently, then said, "You could've sent a letter."
"Yeah, I'm an idiot," Kylo conceded readily. "I could've just sent a letter without a name on the return address. Although, I might've beaten it here anyway by the time I got a chance to send it."
He cocked his head at her and tried a shy smile. "I hope you can forgive me. It sounded like you missed me, at least."
Rey eyed him without answering right away. She could feel the knot in her stomach unraveling, but wanted him to work for it. "Probably."
"Who gave you my number, anyway?"
Rey smiled at the memory. "Hux."
"I hope he wasn't gross about it," Kylo wrinkled his nose. "I don't understand how our parents are even friends."
"How did they meet?" Rey asked, genuinely curious.
"Oh, camp," Kylo shrugged dismissively. "But our families are very different."
Rey stared at the tile floor. It was a brown linoleum with flecks of green, orange, and a color somewhere between grey and cream. "Different how?" she asked.
Kylo stared up at the ceiling, shaking his head. "They were both old-money families, but Hux's have stayed in that world, and my mom and uncle chose to divest," he said simply. "They thought it wasn't right to have inherited money from a father they never knew, that was earned on the backs of investments that could be considered… ethically suspect today."
"Is that why you don't get along with your parents?" Rey asked. "You wish they'd kept the money?"
"No, absolutely not," Kylo said quickly. "My folks had their own problems already, and I think I came along at just the time to magnify how wrong they really were for each other."
Rey studied him. He was looking down at his broad hands.
"Can I… " he trailed off, shaking his head as though he thought better of what he wanted to say.
Rey lifted her eyebrows expectantly. "I don't know, can you?" She mimicked the tone she recalled teachers taking to distinguish between can and want .
Kylo smiled immediately, recognizing her reference. "Yes, Miss Rey, may I hold you?"
She scooted backwards towards the wall to make room for him as he slipped his shoes off and folded his gangly frame gingerly beside her. The foam pillow was child-sized and well-used, so he curled one massive arm beneath his head as a cushion. She snuggled closer, enough that he could throw his free arm across her waist.
The steady weight of his arm on her broke the dam inside her, and she leaned forward without warning to capture his lips in a chaste kiss.
"Hi," she whispered as she drew away. "I missed you."
His eyes closed as he replied, "Same. So much."
They were barely apart more than a few hours for the rest of camp.
The end of summer was signaled in many ways, chiefly the slow slide of the temperature overnight into ranges that licked frost up the steamy glass of the bathroom in the cabin and turned the very tips of maple leaves from green to reds and oranges.
The last round of campers were cheated a few swims in the lake, and the canoes were pushed up onto the rocky beach in preparation for winter storage in the boathouse.
Rey was startled to notice how BeBe's coat was no longer completely silky, but sporting a few long, dull-looking winter hairs already. She combed her fingers through his tangled mane and braided his forelock loosely as she herded the girls on the last trail ride of the summer.
They attended to their duties, but mostly, to each other. Rey had only to glance at him across the mess hall to feel her heartbeat throb between her legs in anticipation of another stolen kiss when they thought no one was looking, of another early-morning rendezvous in the bathhouse where she would let him kiss her senseless, a prickly tryst in the hayloft atop a scratchy wool blanket.
With every encounter, Rey parted from him feeling like she was storing something up, and a wave of anxiety would overcome her to think of being thousands of miles from him.
It wasn't enough to stop her from meeting him again.
"You?" Jess grinned. "Are disgusting . I have never seen you glowing like this."
A tiny bead of guilt plagued Rey as she checked her texts one night and found a few new ones from Finn.
Wednesday: Hey gurl, miss ur face!
Thursday: See u 2 soon!
Friday: We have lots 2 catch up on - kawfee tawk on Tuesday?
Rey hovered with her finger over the keypad, wondering how to delicately summarize the situation. She finally settled on a vague answer.
Yes we do! C U soon. Lots to report. XOXO.
They spent the Friday afternoon after the campers left cleaning all the saddles and bridles, pausing only to flick soapy water at each other and to press hotly against the wall of the tack room. After the last one was hung up and covered for the winter, they went out to the pasture to visit Bebe.
She threaded her fingers into his thick mane and he raised his head, obviously looking for a treat. A few of the others raised their heads when they heard the cellophane wrapper untwisting from the peppermint she had hidden in her jeans pocket.
She scrubbed the smear of green saliva from Bebe's lips on her already-filthy shirt and suppressed her smile at Kylo's barely concealed disgust.
BeBe shifted his weight between his back feet and nudged Kylo's hand with his muzzle.
Kylo crossed his arms quickly in self-protection and scowled at the pony, who lowered his head nearly to the ground. A huff from his furry nostrils raised a small cloud of dust around Kylo's shoes.
"He likes you," Rey said with a barely-concealed smile. "Why don't you pet him?"
"I'll pet a pony when you sleep in a tent again," Kylo grumbled.
"What, are you afraid?" she asked. "He just wants a treat."
"Right, a flesh-flavored treat!"
"You're afraid," she said slowly, as though she'd lit on an undiscovered truth.
"The only teeth I'll allow on my skin are human ones," he retorted. "Preferably yours."
Rey blushed and made herself busy neatening Bebe's unruly mane. He was more openly suggestive to her, but the thought of it made her stomach flip-flop.
"Meet me tonight?" she asked without looking at him. "The lake?"
"Any night," Kylo replied. "You know that."
She put on the only dress she'd brought with to go meet him at the boathouse one last time.
"Shameless!" Jess pronounced as Rey presented herself for a one-over. "I wish I had your legs."
"It's not too much?" Rey was genuinely concerned.
Jess laughed. "You're too much. Go already! I expect a full report, as usual."
Rey backed out the screendoor with a roll of her eyes, but she had to bite her lip to keep from grinning openly as she tripped down the path to the lake.
They rowed silently to the middle of the lake, under the moonlight. It was quiet aside from the slight splash of the paddles against the water, and the occasional croak of a bullfrog from the cattails along the shoreline.
Kylo stopped paddling first, and the canoe drifted slowly to a stop. Rey secured her paddle in the oar lock and stood over him, bracing her hands against his shoulders as he too set aside his paddle.
He looked up at her, and she brushed his hair back from the edge of his face.
"Let me go down on you," he said, cupping her behind in his warm hands.
Rey closed her eyes and felt the heavy warmth beginning to prick between her legs. She hadn't let him do this yet. She hadn't let anyone.
"Please," Kylo murmured into her stomach. His hands trailed down the backs of her thighs and under the hem of her skirt, tickling the backs of her knees. She squirmed against him but could not deny the fluttering sensation that was rapidly enveloping her lower half. "Please?"
She drew back slightly and he raised his eyes once more. She traced the line of his eyebrows and cheekbones before she replied: "Yes."
His smile struck her as wolfish as he reached under her dress and tugged her panties down her thighs. The cool night air caused her to shiver when it reached the heated, swollen flesh at the apex of her legs.
"Lie down for me," Kylo pushed her gently away and she tugged one of the life vests to the middle of the boat for a pillow. The orange nylon was stiff under her fingers and she settled back against the hull with it propped beneath her head. The metal beneath her was chilly, but she barely felt it as he knelt between her legs and pushed her skirt up around her waist.
Rey closed her eyes once more as his thumbs traced upwards from her knees to the juncture of her thighs to her body, pressing her legs wider and leaving a burning trail behind. She felt equally as proud as embarrassed to think he wanted to look at her, to put his mouth on her there . It felt much more private than doing the same to him.
He settled between her legs and she started to feel his fingers brush the seam of her body. He chuckled quietly at her and she opened one eye to spy on him as he set about his work.
To her surprise, he looked very relaxed, almost reverent as he continued stroking her with his fingertips. She could feel her arousal beginning to leak and make her slippery, and she half-expected him to back off and merely use his fingers. As it was, each movement of his hand was nearly painful against her swollen, prickling flesh. She felt overripe, like a fruit ready to split its skin.
Rey stared up at the stars and tried to relax into the feeling of his face so close to her. She braced one heel against the wooden seat of the canoe and held her breath as he finally bent to her, placing a delicate kiss on the small curl of hair in the top of her cleft. He kissed down, down her body until his mouth was hovering right over her entrance and he paused, thumbing her nether lips just open.
"Oh!" She exclaimed, clasping her hand over her open mouth.
His tongue, his wicked tongue, was darting between her slick folds. It felt obscene, this hot pressure of his mouth sliding back up to begin circling her clit. She gasped against her palm, whimpering at how unexpectedly good it felt.
Rey tried to concentrate, to order the stars into individual constellations, but every stroke of his tongue caused her to blink and lose her place. She was rapidly becoming thick-lidded, and her eyes stubbornly refused to stay open as she breathed raggedly into her hand. His left hand played over her low stomach, tickling her belly button and tracing slow circles just above where he worshiped her with his mouth. His other fingers were playing at her entrance beneath his face, and she wondered if he might...?
He raised his face to gaze up at her and caught her curious look as he placed his fingers in his mouth. His expression had darkened, and Rey shivered for the first time. He looked slightly predatory now, she thought.
"Do I… uh, does it…." she stammered, "Taste alright?"
He withdrew his fingers with a wet smack and ducked back between her legs before replying.
"Mmmhmmmm," he murmured against her, resuming his work.
A nervous bead had begun to form in her middle, and she lolled her head back and forth against the hard foam of the life vest as he picked up where he left off. His fingers stroked the swollen lips of her cunt, and she shivered again in anticipation to think that he would not stop until he made her come like this.
A firm swipe of his tongue moved the stiff little swell of her clit and she moaned inadvertently, bucking up against his face. The hull of the boat scraped softly against the long, pliable stalks of the cattails where they had drifted closer to the edge of the lake, and a lone cloud drifted across the moon, shadowing them further.
His fingers breached her then, and her face screwed up with the mounting, inevitable pleasure she had been circling for several minutes. She felt both too exposed and completely private, laying beneath him like this in a canoe under the heavens. His fingers were deft, alternating in a vulgar rhythm with his mouth, working her up to a peak she could not back away from. Even if she had not wanted to, she felt she had to come, had to fall off the cliff he had been so eager to bring her to. In her mind's eye she saw the white cliff horses high above the English countryside. She pictured him standing just behind her, glancing over her shoulder at him before taking a single, sickening step where she knew there was nothing below her.
Rey keened then, clutching spastically at the handle of the paddle above her and the material of her dress bunched at her hips as she shattered, let him break her into a million tiny glittering pieces. She may as well have been one of the stars, a smooth stone on the bottom of the lake, a single dry leaf falling to the floor of the woods. She was out of her body for a moment, looking down at them entwined in the boat on the water, then back in it, writhing as waves of relief and pleasure overtook her. He raised his head to watch her, but his fingers still curled insistently deep in her core, wringing her out and arching her back.
She dared not look at him, and instead allowed her eyes to flutter closed as she chased the last, shuddering spasms of her climax. What she had been so afraid of, why she had been so reluctant to let someone make her feel this way, was a mystery to her now.
He eased his hand from her once she finally stilled, and crawled gently up beside her to curl around her. She could feel his hard-on pressing into the curve of her rear when she snuggled back against him.
"Was that alright?" he murmured into her neck, his hand playing up her front to cup her breast. His thumb flicked over her pebbled nipple.
Rey nodded thickly. "What about you?"
His hand turned her cheek towards him to look over her shoulder at him, and she could see his need written plainly on his face.
"You still…" he trailed off as though uncertain. "Want to fuck me?"
She bit her lower lip in a half-hearted attempt to suppress the grin that twisted her lips at the thought. She felt greedy, but not at all sorry, when she replied, "Yes, please."
Rey sorted through their mail that had accumulated over the summer months as she walked idly back to Meier Hall. Jessika had been airing her pile of winter sweaters when Rey had left, and their room smelled slightly like a wet dog.
The usual tuition notices, magazines and a few pieces of junk mail had accumulated, and she flicked through these with mild disdain before she found an envelope without a return address. She stared at the even, block-printed address to her and she knew who had sent it even before she tore it open. Her stomach twisted a little as her eyes raced over the scant lines on a yellow post-it stuck to a few printed pages.
NYC is nice in the fall. Come see me.
Rey picked up her pace as she scanned the following pages, mounting the two flights of stairs two at a time.
Jess was lounging amongst her sweaters with a textbook when Rey burst through the door.
"Oh hey," her roommate said without looking up. "Did you get the mail?"
"I did," Rey was breathless. "But… look at this." She shoved the papers in front of Jess's face, on top of the textbook.
Jess scanned the printouts mildly before handing them back. "What about it?"
Rey sank onto her own bed and peered suspiciously at Jess. "A flight from Denver to New York? How did Kylo known my information to book a flight for me? This is over fall break."
Jessika merely raised one eyebrow without looking at her. "Gosh Rey, I don't know. How on earth could he have known that?"
Rey stared at her friend.
Jessika finally put down her book and turned to her with a conspiratorial grin. "You didn't really think I was going to let you lovebirds part without a plan to see each other again, did you?"
A smile tugged at the corner of Rey's mouth. They had talked about her coming out, but she had remained outwardly noncommittal, not wanting to appear too needy. She had refused his repeated offers to come visit her at school as well. He had driven them to the airport and was still staring after them when she glanced over her shoulder beyond security.
"Thank you," she whispered, a lump forming in her throat. "I owe you one."
She curled away from Jessika on her bed, cradling her phone as she texted Kylo.
i got yr letter.
A second later, her message tone sounded. She peeked with one eye at his reply.
I hope it wasn't too bold, but I had help ;)
So i hear, she pecked out.
I *know* this is too bold, but…
She frowned slightly at this message when another appeared under it.
I think I love you.
Rey held her breath as she paused for a second before typing.
I know. And i think i love u 2.
She placed the phone face down on her comforter and traced the line of the mortar between the cinderblocks under the layers of cream-colored paint. Her heart was racing to see if he'd reply.
She peeked at the screen to see he had merely written:
You're over the line. :)
~Tug of War~
The English cliff horse that is mentioned in this chapter is the Uffington White Horse, although there are other cliff horses in western England as well.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this story! I love hearing from readers, so if you like, please leave reviews/comments with questions, thoughts, criticisms, etc! Fic writers LIVE for feedback! )