Chapter 22

Eep! So I totally apologize for the last chapter, I have no idea what was up with the formatting, but I went back and fixed it, so problem solved and check it out! And woohoo! Last chapter thank you all so much for sticking with me as ideas have kept me changing the story...um this chapters a little short, but hopefully you'll like it, please review and let me know! Also now that this is over Never Look Back will be getting me undivided (almost) attention so check that one out...

"The ceremony was beautiful," Anna comments.

"Could it have been any longer?" Seth questions, "not to mention twisted...I mean, how many times will we be able to say we watched the father of the bride give away his daughter to his wife's ex-husband." Seth shakes his head, "we have a twisted family."

Ryan nods, "but I would really appreciate it if you would stop drawing all of these connections, it's creepy."

"Cohen, we need to talk." Summer marches up to Seth and Ryan. "Privately."

"Summer, I'm almost positive that you've said all that needs to be said." Seth responds, "you've made it clear you want nothing to do with me, so why can't you just leave everything alone?"

"Yeah," Anna steps in, "come on Summer, can't you just let us all enjoy the party?"

"Can you really get any more pleasure out of saying horrible things to me?" Seth questions.

"I had sex with Tate last night," Summer states bluntly.

"And I guess she can," Seth sighs.

"And it made me realize something," Summer barrels on, ignoring Seth's words.

"How lousy I was in bed?" Seth suggests.

"Cohen, shut up," Summer orders. "Sleeping with Tate made me realize just how much I want to be with you, not anyone else. It made me realize that no matter how much I want to hate you, I just can't do it. No matter how much I want to move on, I just can't do it and it's been driving me crazy."

"Summer..."

"Cohen, will you let me finish?" Summer demands and a stunned Seth just nods in response. "Good, cause there's been something I've been meaning to do since the night in the stairwell. But I didn't want to get hurt so I said what I said instead of doing what I wanted to do." Quickly Summer throws her arms around Seth and kisses him.

When it's obvious that they have been forgotten Anna turns to Ryan "I think I'm going to get some punch."

Ryan nods, "me too."

"Thank you," Ryan and Anna both murmur taking their drinks from one of the servers wandering the beautiful backyard.

"They're crazy," Anna comments softly.

"Are you okay?" Ryan questions.

Anna flashes Ryan bright smile, "worried about my feelings for Seth?"

Ryan looks away quickly, he wasn't good with these kind of conversations, "yeah."

"You don't have to be," Anna responds, "this time, for real, I don't have feelings for Seth. I realized that if Seth and I dated for very long he'd drive me crazy...Summer's already crazy so that works out well."

Ryan nods and as his eyes land on a figured almost half hidden from view by a rose bush he states, "I'll be right back." Sitting on the steps next to Marissa he greets, "hey."

"Hey," Marissa smiles gently at Ryan.

"Not enjoying the reception?"

"No, it's great," Marissa responds, "I'm avoiding my mother, she's been a guilt trippy since I left."

"Marissa I was thinking about what you said last night," Ryan states slowly.

"There's nothing to think about Ryan," Marissa sighs, "it's over."

Ryan takes Marissa hands and his eyes lock on hers and they remain in that position for several seconds before Ryan begins talking. "I know you don't want to get hurt again, believe I know what it's like to get hurt over and over again and what it feels like to just want that pain to stop happening."

"Then why are you pushing this?"

"Because of something you said last night."

"What?"

"About how you said you didn't think we were worth it, because we haven't been able to figure us out in a year."

"Ryan you have to know it's true."

Ryan nods, "I know it's true. But I want you to take one more on me...on us."

Marissa shakes her head, "I don't want to take any more chances Ryan, I'm done taking chances."

"I know you are."

"Then why are you still pushing this?" Marissa demands trying, but failing, to hide her tears. "Why can't you just stop making this harder than it already is?"

"Because, everything you do in life has the chance of backfiring on you and hurting you."

"So why increase that chance?"

"Because," Ryan takes a deep breath, "because I think we are worth it, even if you don't."

"Ryan," Marissa shakes her head. "I don't know if I can do it and I can't even think of a reason to try again."

"Because we're," Ryan gestures back and forth between them, "not just going to go away overnight. What's the point of pushing us apart when it's just going to hurt both of us anyway."

Marissa sniffs, "are you really trying to talk me into a relationship with us?"

Ryan nod, "yes."

"You really want to try?" Marissa asks.

"I'm fighting for us Marissa," Ryan insists, "please take another chance and let us see where it goes."

Marissa nods slowly, "I'll give us another chance."

Yay!! I'm done, can you believe it! Wahoo! I've got the next two chapters of Never Look Back mapped out so look for those chapters soon! Thanks again for baring with me. Review? Please? I kind of thought the end was cheesy and would like to hear what other people think.