Last chapter. Hope you like it!


"Sit down," Kelly said, directing Kasey toward the couch as if it were his house.

Kasey sat and waited while Kelly went out to the kitchen. She heard him rummaging around and smiled a little to herself. Boys could always find their way around a kitchen even if they'd rarely been there before. He soon returned with a lumpy bundle that he held out to her.

She knew without looking that he'd put ice cubes in a plastic zipper bag and wrapped it in a dish towel. She took the home-made ice pack from him and pressed it against her sore cheek. "Thanks."

He sat beside her and waited in silence.

Kasey didn't know what to say, but she knew he was waiting for her to start. "I don't know if I like the idea of you stalking me," she said slowly, "but I'm glad you were there."

"Yeah."

That wasn't very helpful. She took a deep breath. "The other day… when I told you that you weren't helping… I mostly said that because Bobby was there and I didn't want him to be jealous. He doesn't like it if I talk about you, and there I was talking to you… I know it wasn't right, but…"

"OK." He paused, then said, "It really frustrated me then, but then I thought maybe you said it that way—that I wasn't helping—to let me know there was a way that I could help if I kept trying. I don't know if that's what you meant."

"I don't know either," she admitted.

"Anyway, I know I was a real jerk to you—saying you were just a fling. It's not like that at all. It's just that I don't understand everything myself, and I have a hard time telling you what you mean to me."

"Are you sorry?"

"Hell, yeah."

Kasey smiled and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Me too," she said. "I shouldn't try to push you into a commitment if you're not ready."

Kelly wrapped an arm around her. "Well… I'm committed to being your friend, that's for sure. And maybe I'd like to try being your boyfriend. I just want…"

"You want to keep your freedom," Kasey said wryly. "I get that. So… how about if we work on solidifying the friends thing, and add more gradually? See what happens."

"I could go for that," Kelly said, resting his head on top of hers. "I do have one boyfriend-type request, though."

"Yeah?"

"Don't ever meet up with Bobby Meyers alone again."

"You don't need to worry about that."

"And if he bothers you, tell me."

"I don't want you to kill him."

"Aw, why not?" Kelly laughed quietly.

"You should be careful of him, though… he sounded really mad. And I wouldn't put it past him to get his team to gang up on you."

"Heh, Tanner and I could take all of 'em easy."

She tipped her head back to look at his face. "Just be careful, ok?"

He kissed her forehead. "I will. Oh, and one more thing."

"Yes?"

"If you do ever go out with someone else, at least pick someone who can drive."

Kasey laughed. "OK, I'll give you that one." She pulled her legs up onto the couch and snuggled against his chest. "You know, I have the same trouble as you sometimes. I don't know how to say what you mean to me either. Maybe we just need to take our time. And I'll try to show you."

He took the ice pack and held it in place for her. "That sounds like a plan. And I'll try to show what you mean to me."

The house's automatic timer switched the living room lights off a few minutes later, but they were already asleep.


The End. They lived in happy turbulence ever after... xD