Dear readers…..

I'm still alive…

Finally writing again.

Now… Are any of my old readers still out there? This story is for YOU people who have been waiting YEARS for an update. SO SORRY.

I'm a horrible person.

Disclaimer: I own nothing except Adrianna. And the shame of leaving this story idle for so long.

Chapter 16

The sun was just beginning to set when Adrianna finally found Shane. She swore to set him straight before the end of the day and she meant it. Well, actually she'd swore 'before the sun set' but unless he cooperated…that didn't seem very likely.

"Shane," she snapped, finding him sitting on the edge of the dock, legs hanging over the edge. He either didn't hear her or was pretending not to. She guess the latter explanation.

"Don't act stupid," she rolled her eyes, standing behind him with her hands on her hips, "I know you can hear me-you're not deaf." When he still didn't respond or react in any way, Adrianna felt her temper boil over, "You're such an idiot!"

There was a splash after she pushed him into the water and Adrianna grinned to herself in satisfaction, squatting down so she could speak to -she predicted- the angry Shane when he surfaced.

"What the-" Shane coughed angrily, but she interrupted him.

"Maybe you shouldn't ignore me, jerk," she frowned, no offering her hand to help him out of the water. Adrianna wasn't stupid-she knew he'd pull her in as revenge, "Are you ready to actually talk to me now?"

"This water is freezing, Adrianna," Shane hissed, "What's your problem?"

"Your attitude," she glared, "I don't know why you've been treating me like dirt, but it had better stop." The sun had completely set and Adrianna noticed that only a lingering glow was shining across the lake.

"I didn't do anything," Shane's glare matched her own. Adrianna huffed in impatience and closed her eyes a moment to remind herself to control her temper. When she opened them again, she noticed Shane's thin t-shirt clinging to his body. He was probably cold.

"You know that's a lie!" she spoke harshly, "You've got to be more cooperating in class or I'm going to suggest to Brown that he kicks you out!"

"Like he'd do that to his own nephew," Shane scoffed, flicking his hair out of his eyes, "You know he wouldn't."

"You should stop expecting special treatment," Adrianna hissed, "Because one of these days you aren't going to get it-and what're you going to do then?"

"You've already shown me what that's like, Adri," Shane snapped, surprising her with the ferocity of his words. Taken aback for a moment, she didn't know what to say.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded, "Don't blame me for you attitude issues!"

"I didn't expect special treatment from you," Shane spoke in an even tone, but the anger behind his words could be heard in his voice, "But I expected you to at least treat me as an equal-not like dirt."

"I didn't-"

"You think I want to pretend that we don't have feelings for each other?" Shane demanded furiously, "You think I like being told that you can just brush it aside, like I was nothing?"

Adrianna froze as his words met her, the realization that what she'd done was hurtful. How would she have felt in his shoes? Opening up to someone completely like that, knowing what a risk it was, and then being brushed aside as if you were no more than a momentary thing?

"I'm sorry, Shane…" she felt the guilt wash over her. She had never meant to hurt him. But there was Mac. Why did things have to be so complicated? Why had they let things get so out of hand?

His icy glare didn't change as he came to stand in front of her.

"What else can I say?" Adrianna sighed, wrapping her arms around her as she felt small next to Shane, "I really am sorry."

"Did it mean anything at all?" Shane asked flatly, sounded very guarded as if he was bracing himself for rejection… Again. She searched his face a moment, wondering about the feelings she had for him. So this is what her relationship with Mac had been missing. Could she ever go back to a routine-like relationship with him now? It would seem so dull.

The moment Shane shook his head slightly and began to walk past her, she realized she hadn't answered his question – his important question. She'd gotten too caught up in her thoughts and he took it as a no.

Her hand grabbed his arm as she jumped in front of him, meeting his eyes and feeling butterflies flutter in her stomach at his gaze. The expression on his face would be intimidating if she hadn't known it was just to cover the hurt.

"Yes, it did," she hurried to say, wanting only to tell him just how much it all meant to her. But what could she say? She wasn't good with words. She wasn't good at expressing herself. Nervousness made her stutter and mix up words, so she just hoped her answer was enough.

"Do you mean that?" he asked, expression softening slightly and showing her just how vulnerable he was at the moment. His sad eyes begged her not to hurt him, to make him feel lower than he already did.

"I always mean what I say," Adrianna stepped closer to him, grabbing to hold his cold, wet hands and squeezing them, "Except when I said I wanted to forget what we have… I lied. I said what I thought was right, not what I wanted."

"What about Mac?"

A lump rose in her throat. She knew things were complicated before, now they were even more so. She had to make a choice, that was the right thing to do. Could she do that to Mac?

For Shane, yes.

"I choose you," she whispered, feeling nervousness course through her body. It was her turn to brace herself for rejection. This was a jump for her. Maybe it was for him, too, but at the moment it seemed a bigger risk since she'd have to talk to Mac and explain why things had to end.

And what about when camp ended? Mac would still be around because she'd be at home, but where would Shane be? Could he really fit into her life?

"Right now," Shane stated sarcastically, making Adrianna's spirits take a nose dive. He sounded like he didn't believe her. His walls were still up and strong, "But what would you do if your wonderful Mac walked up at this moment?"

There was a peaceful silence across camp, but there wasn't peace in Adrianna. She felt as though these next few moments were critical – which they definitely were. A decision had to be made, and the choice would affect the rest of her life.

But her heart had already made the choice, there was nothing to think about or reconsider.

It was only a moment before she had reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, not caring that he was still stiff and unresponsive. His eyes bore into hers, but Adrianna was determined to make him believe her.

"Then I guess I'd feel sorry for his disappointment. I'd tell him the truth, but I'd come back to your arms afterwards," she whispered, standing on her toes to rest her forehead against his.

Finally, his gaze softened and she felt him wrap her in a firm hug. He was soaking wet, but didn't seem to take any notice as he kissed her cheek softly.

I don't deserve reviews, but I really WOULD like to know if any readers are still lingering…. ?