I'm really sorry I haven't been updating this story. I just lost inspration to write there for a while. But anyway, I do plan on finishing this story, and I plan on updating more regularly than I have been. So, I hope this will somewhat make up for the lack of updates (though it probably won't), and without further ado, here is chapter 14 of Paying the Price. Vulnerability
I glanced out of the corner of my eye, stiffening as I see Mike. It's not that I had a problem with him. He's just the last person that I wanted to have by my side in a this moment of vulnerability. Not to mention the fact that he had just broken up with me, though we were never even an official couple.
"Kelly?" Mike's voice pierced through a sniffle, and I finally looked up. "What happened?"
I tried to stop tears from falling, tried to act like everything was okay. I hoped he would just move along, realizing that I didn't want to talk to him. But of course, I never really get what I want, and he continued to press it.
He shifted his position, from bending over to squatting and attempted to reach out. I shrunk away from his touch, scooting over an inch or two. He can't comfort me, and it would probably be less awkward if he would just move on, leaving me here to cry a little more. Or a lot.
"Come on, Kelly. Everything will be okay."
I rolled my eyes, choking on another sob that was about to escape. Oh, how I hated when people said that, and how ignorant could he be? He doesn't even know what happened and yet he still assumes it will all be okay. Except it won't. And I'm losing all faith that it ever will be again. And just when I'm about to tell him that, along with a not so nice go away, we're both interrupted.
"Mike why don't you leave." It wasn't a suggestion, it was an order. Which was none to surprising coming from Orton's minion. "It's obvious Kelly doesn't want you're here, or give a damn about what you have to say."
Despite the fact I wasn't too big a fan of the person who was speaking, or his all to familiar voice, I still felt the urge to thank him as I watched Mike glance up at Cody, before standing and walking away.
I sighed, wiping away some more fallen tears. "Thanks, I guess." I expected him to move on, walk away, and leave me alone to continue doing what I've been doing. I slid up into a standing position, avoiding his eyes, which I could feel were searching for mine.
I wiped a couple more tears from my cheek, and came away with black smudged fingers. I wondered aimlessly how horrible I must look.
"Kelly…" The voice trailed off.
I glanced up, finally looking him in the eyes. "What?" I tried to sound strong, like I hadn't been crying, but I knew the attempt was useless.
"What happened?" He stared right back, and for a moment it almost seemed like he truly cared. But then I remembered that this was Cody I was thinking about, and Cody doesn't care about anyone but himself.
"Why should I tell you? It's not like you care," I sniffled a little bit, and saw the expression on his face change.
"And why do you think that?" It wasn't a harsh tone like I was expecting, but rather a soft, gentle one, that, for a moment, nearly made me let my guard down and actually tell. But once again I remembered who I was with, and who I was talking to, and I bit back the words that I desperately needed to get out.
I looked up at him, folding my arms across my chest. My eyes felt puffy, and I could only guess that they were extremely red. I sniffled again, wishing I head a tissue so I could blow my nose. "Because you're Cody Rhodes, one of the most selfish bastards I know." It came out sharp, much harsher than I had intended. It was still nasally thanks to my stopped up nose.
A brief smile flashed across his face, "Aw… but that just shows that you don't know me, Kelly." I must have looked confused, because he continued, "because, Kelly, I'm really not that bad person you see me as, but you wouldn't know that now would you?" He took a short pause, shaking his head. "You never even gave me a chance. Wrote me off an asshole, just because Orton's one. Perhaps you're the bad person in all this, you know. Considering you're just a judgmental bitch."
My jaw fell open. It was just like him to make me feel even worse in a situation where I didn't even know that was possible. I felt another wave of tears coming, and I tried my hardest to blink them back. "Well, gee. Thanks." I lifted my hand to face, wiping a few stray tears that managed to escape.
He looked at me for a second, sliding his hands into his pockets. "Look," he sighed, "I'm sorry, that took it a little too far. I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do for you, because you looked really upset." He backed away a couple of steps, lifting his hands in mock surrender. "I can see that I'm just making it worse, so I'll just go."
"Wait." I called after him, his back now turned away from me. He stopped, and I took that as a sign to keep talking. "Why would you want to make sure I'm okay? What does it matter to you?"
He turned towards me again. "Because I've been in you're position before, Kelly. And it isn't fun." He averted his gaze from mine. "And besides, I told you I would be here for you if you needed me, and Cody Rhodes never breaks a promise."
I tilted my head, my brows furrowing. "But you never promised that, you only said it." I felt stupid saying it, because the real thing I was confused about wasn't that he never promised it, but because Cody Rhodes just didn't seem like an honest person.
He let out a light chuckle. "Then how about we make it a promise right now, and go somewhere that isn't in the middle of a hallway, and talk about what's wrong?"
I wasn't sure whether or not I should trust him or not. But at this point I was desperate. I just needed someone to talk to. I looked up at him, My urge to cry nearly gone. He outstretched his arms, "What do you say?"
I nodded my head, sniffling as I did so, "Okay." I took a step forward and burrowed my head into his shoulder, smelling the scent that was distinctly Cody, yet a scent that I would have never would have guessed that a guy like him would have. But it was intoxicating nonetheless. I realized suddenly that Cody was absolutely right about me. I was a huge judgmental bitch. I smiled into him, and even though I knew he couldn't see me, I had the sense that he knew I was grinning. And as he wrapped his arms around me, and ran his hand over my hair, I made the recognition that maybe I had been a little to harsh on him. Maybe I did need to get to know him a little better. Let him let his own guard down, and come out of the Legacy shell he had been in the entire time I had been judging him. Perhaps Cody wasn't as bad as I had thought him to be.