Out of My League
She was at it again.
It all started right after Blake had left. Yeah… that Blake Bradley, my younger brother. Right after he got the chance of racing professionally, things started to change. Everyone did, including someone he had once treasured.
I heard from the guys that Tori off, dejectedly letting her mind roam. Probably thinking about my brother, that's for sure. I supposed, it was not exactly an issue. Until she started losing her appetite and getting less-than-needed sleep.
All of us started to see her… change.
Dustin thought that Tori was in a state of mild depression; often times she'd frown whenever she'd be left alone in her thoughts. All of us tried cheering her up, going too far as sighing up for surfing lessons from her.
I guess futile attempts always end with a frown. Because even if we've learn the difference between a good and bad wave… she was still, out there.
Shane and Cam are getting worried, because she seems more detached whenever the guys and I have fun with Tor. Even her birthday didn't hold much genuine mirth. She barely touched her food… she never had any interest in any of our topics… and she's certainly putting on her mask of 'I'm-okay-but-deep-inside-I'm-not' that just makes me want to punch my brother.
And of course, she's at it again; storming into my room and laying herself beside me.
It's not what you think… I'd never lay my hands on her like that.
You see, we're somehow neighbors now. She had been noticed weeks ago that the apartment complex she lived in was getting a major renovation, and the apartment next to mine has always been vacant. Put those things together, and even Dustin would be proud of you.
I gave her my keys just incase of something, and lately that 'just in case' thing I was talking about was in some way escalating to a daily routine.
It's probably because she finally realized that Blake's dreams and her desire of staying here at Blue Bay Harbor just wouldn't be in the same page. And because of that she needed a shoulder to lean on.
I guess it's not a good thing being the only girl in a team because she can't freely express her emotions. I figure, it was a girl bond every female shared with each other. Kira and Hayley – on some level despite their age gap – have that real sisterly bond. And I sense that Tori doesn't have that here.
Marah and Kapri aren't exactly the definition of leaning shoulders, and Kelly was someone Tori might not want to bother. After all, Kelly probably has more things in her hand than her.
She's a train wreck, I tell you. I'm somehow seeing the formation of dark circles under her eyes, and her once plump face was getting edgier by the day. I hope it's nothing too serious, but who am I kidding… I've never dealt with a situation like this before; being a neighbor to my brother's ex.
Sure I've had my moments with my brother's exes and so did he, but with Tor, it's completely different, you know?
I hope I'm making any sense here, because Tor might come here today again. And it just feels weird to me when I'm thinking about someone who is in the same room as me.
A frown crept upon my face as I recalled something.
The first time she entered my room was still fresh in my mind; with her bloodshot eyes, her puffy cheeks and her uncontrollable sobs echoing in my room. It just, broke me apart, man. I've always known Tor to be the most collected and composed person in our team, and that's coming from someone like me, but now… I dunno anymore.
I remember my exact reaction, at that time; from shocked, to concerned, then angry. Shocked because I've always had believed in the idea that Victoria Hanson would never cry, at least in front of me. But there she was, tear streaked and sobbing, right in front of my bedroom's door.
Then it shifted to pure concern, "Tor? What happened?" I remember saying to her as I placed my hand over her shivering shoulder. The hallway where she stood was dimly lit, only the moonlight and the nearby light post provided the illumination. Her face was pale that night, and it shone like a star under the moonlight. I could see her blue eyes shining like sapphires despite the redness of it.
I never thought I was this poetic in describing her, that it's actually freaking me out.
But yeah, she was definitely one of the few people who still looked stunning even when they cried.
The next thing I remember was a blur of blonde hair, the wetness of my crimson wife beater and a tight restriction forming around my stomach.
It took me a moment to realize that she had given me one of her rare bear hugs. But somehow, I had started to stroke her blond locks shushing her into silence. I felt really bad whenever I heard someone cry, but with her sobs it was… different, it felt like someone had struck me in the gut and started to add salt in my wound.
It took me another moment to soothe her, calm her, make her sensible enough to voice words.
But when I opened my mouth to speak, the words just never came; I could never ask the reason why she had been crying because I knew it. I could never ask her if she's hurting because she was already in front of me crying. And most especially, I never wanted to say 'Blake' - that was actually a first to me – because I feared that she might break again. And I hated myself for being in this… complicated situation.
Tor was always strong-willed and strong. Smart and decisive. And fun, understating and caring. However. this Tori was a fragile thing that if you hold to hard or too loose, you'd see her break. I was almost afraid that if I'd hold her, she'll just yelp in pain.
Silence filled the room; only my ticking alarm clock and her sobs broke that silence. We just stood in the door frame; her hugging me close, and me trying to comfort her. When her sobs died, she let go.
Her face, God it was so surreal, and yet I never wanted to see it again because it just broke me. How could something as heartbreaking like Tori's sad face be so ethereal? I secretly hate it… so much.
Dude, I sound stupid.
"Are you okay now?" I asked.
She nodded, but she seemed to be in shock.
"C-could I… sleep with you?" I heard her say.
I looked at her with a perplexed expression, and I blinked it away, "Uh… sure Tor…"
I didn't want to voice all of the opinion, because no matter what angle you look at, it's wrong. Very wrong. But I just couldn't say no to her now either. She looked so defenseless and sad.
Maybe it was a ranger's damsel-in-distress instincts kicking in, I'm not sure. But I really had the urge of comforting her. Even if we're not evidently that close.
After all, I feel responsible; being the big brother of her ex. I felt like it was my responsibility of taking care of her. Until she's once again back to her feet.
We lay in my bed, and placed the covers on top of us. I was jittery and nervous, staring at her with concerned eyes while she seemed content. I turned off the lampshade, and readjusted my position, lying on my back.
For a long time, Tori didn't move… didn't mutter a single word. She just breathed.
"I'm sorry." Was what she whispered.
I shook my head, "It's alright, I know you're hurting." I offered my hand for her to squeeze by placing it atop of hers.
A small smile slowly formed on my lips, seeing as she seemed to be getting better. And the fact that it was maybe because of my touch made me mentally ecstatic.
Then another silence followed. Slowly, I felt her creeping onto me, moving closer inch by inch. Until she wrapped her arms around one of my arms and snuggled closer to me. I never bothered about it because even if I knew it was wrong; for me sleeping in the same bed with my brother's ex… for me sleeping beside Tori… and for me having these thoughts about her, because right now.. it didn't matter to me. No, right now, all I wanted to do was make her feel a little better. Even if it meant watching her fall asleep, just to see that she'd come through the whole night.
Yeah, that's definitely what I would do.
"Hunter?" Tori's voice sounded better than her voice last time, but there was still that hint of sadness in her tone. I realized that I had returned to the present, and the sight of the blonde running a hand over my cheeks made my heart run to my throat.
Damned if I knew why.
It was her, I dunno, first week here at my room. And it felt almost natural for her being her.
She inched closer and placed her head on my shoulder.
"What is it Tor?" I asked, wrapping my free hand around her, and moving her closer to me.
Her body was warm, and her salty-sweet strawberry smell felt like oxygen to my sense. It was almost every night that she slept beside me; I'm surprised none of us told Shane and the others about our sleeping habits. But maybe, just maybe it was just our little moment together. Something I'd get to treasure with her.
"Thank you…" she started, and the look she gave me made me yearn more of her affection.
"You're such a wonderful friend." she whispered, giving me a light peck in the cheek before placing her head back onto my shoulder.
Hunter Bradley, I concluded after that line, will forever be Tori Hanson's friend.
A/N: This is (obviously unbetad) but I hope you liked it!
I do hope you guys review my work.. :D
DISCLAIMER: I never owned anything... just the plot!