The sky was an omnipresent gray. The chill of the almost spring wind was haunting. It reflected her mood perfectly.
The cold ground she sat on didn't faze her in the slightest. Nor did the seemingly unending cliff she faced. She was lost in her mind by memories she couldn't erase. Oh, how she wished she could cleanse them from her head! But it was too late for that.
The sound of a vehicle pulling up, and an engine cutting off finally pulled her out of her reverie. She would know the hum of that jeep and those calculated footsteps anywhere. Justin.
"I thought you'd be here," he said quietly by her side.
She turned to look at him as he took a seat beside her. She noted how he did so carefully, almost stiffly. He could try to cover up his injury, but she knew it still bothered him. She didn't say a word though, just continued to stare.
"You've been gone for hours. You're pops has been going crazy."
Hours? Had it really been that long?
"Sorry," she said. "I guess I just lost track of time." She made a move to get up, but he grabbed her hand.
"Don't feel rushed. You can stay as long as you need. I can make up some story for your dad. Just…do what you need to do, and take your time." He gave her hand a squeeze of reassurance.
He was really too good to her. She didn't deserve it. So much had happened in the last month. Things that should've drove them apart, but hadn't. Things that had almost gotten them both killed, but hadn't. Things that should've crushed them, but still hadn't. He was just too good for her.
"Will you stay?" she asked him, looking at the ground. "At least for a little while. I know you're probably busy, but I-"
He wrapped an arm around her and cut her off. "Cami, I'll stay as long as you need me to."
She leaned more fully into him. "Thanks."
Images came into her mind of him. Of him in her backyard. Of him with that knife. Of him on this cliff. And falling. Falling, falling, falling.
And somehow, she still made it. Albeit her mental state was less than perfect, she was still in one piece, and getting better all the time.
They sat there for what seemed like ages. So long that the sun was starting to set and the sounds of night were approaching. He didn't rush her, and she was grateful.
She thought about everything that had happened between them. How her initial loathing of him became a friendship, which in time turned into something more. She thought about the twists and turns that had brought them to this point. They had endured what most people would've considered crazy events. The past month had really put them to the test.
Eventually all the turmoil in her mind cleared, and she was left with insightful clarity. She didn't need to dwell in the past anymore. Not when she could be letting her future slip away.
She snuggled into the crook of his neck. "Thanks for waiting."
He pulled her closer in response. "I'd wait forever if that's how long it took," he murmured into her hair.
"Do you ever just get lost inside your head?" she asked him gazing up at the stars.
He didn't respond right away. After a few moments he said, "Sometimes. Especially after everything that's happened. But then I think that there are better things to do than to think too inside my head making up scenarios of what could've happened."
She thought about what he said, and came to the conclusion that that was how she wanted to live from now on. She knew it would take time. Changes like that didn't happen overnight. But she would have help. She had so many supportive people in her life.
She would leave this place behind.
"I'm ready now. I guess I just needed some time." She said to him. They both got up, just now realizing the cold of the night.
Again, he reached for her hand, entwining their fingers together. He led them over to his jeep. She gave him a confused look.
"Let me drive you home. We can have someone pick up your vehicle tomorrow." He said. "I know you're perfectly capable of driving home yourself, but just humor me." He gave her hand a squeeze.
She gave him a small smile and followed him. He opened up her door and climbed in as he walked over to his side. The vehicle started with the roar of the engine, and soon they were pulling out. She didn't look back.
"Dad's going to kill me." She muttered, fully coming back to the present and all the problems that came with it.
He gave a small sound of amusement. "You and me both. He's called about twenty times since we've been gone."
She groaned and laid her head on the window. "Fantastic. I'm going to be stuck on house arrest again."
"He's just worried about you. You can't blame him." He said lightly, trying to cheer her up.
She silently agreed with him as she watched the blur of the trees go by. Soon enough they were rolling into town, getting closer to home faster than she would've liked.
"Can you pull over for a second," she asked him, a growing urgency rising inside her.
He shot her a concerned look, but replied with a 'no problem.'
"Cameryn, what's wr-"
She cut him off with her lips, putting all the built up emotion she hadn't showed him in a month into this kiss.
He didn't respond right away, confusion at the fore front of his mind. He pulled back slightly, hands on her shoulders keeping her at bay. "Cami…" He didn't know what else to say. He could feel that she was at a turning point.
"Justin, just…kiss me. Just…please." They were so close that they were sharing breaths. So close that he could see the look in her eyes. She wasn't sure what he was seeing, but he must've found what he was looking for because he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.
How long had it been since they last kissed? Much too long. This kiss was sweet and slow and everything she had been missing in the last month. His hands on her shoulders slid around her; one resting in the middle of her back, while the other traveled to her hair, angling her head to deepen the moment.
Her hands slid around his neck, drawing her closer to him. What started at as simple kiss soon he heated up as he hesitantly licked the seam of her lips, asking for permission which she readily granted him. All of the unspoken words between them were being spoken into this kiss. God, how she missed this!
All too soon though, the need to breath overcame them and they pulled apart.
Justin rested his forehead against hers. Both of them were breathing heavily. "What changed?" he whispered, eyes still closed.
She placed a hand tenderly on his cheek, making him open up his eyes. "I've missed you. I've missed us. I've been too busy living in the past to pay attention to what's happening in the present. I don't want to be like that anymore." She told him. "I just wanted you to know that."
The look in his eyes made her heart clench. In a good way. She could see the relief and love in them. He leaned in for another kiss, tender this time. She could feel the smile on his lips. She could've stayed there forever.
Of course the ringing of his cellphone had to ruin the moment. The caller I.D. showing it was her father.
He gave a carefree laugh in response. "I guess I better get you home." The loving, always mischievous look was back in his eyes.
She laughed too, as he pulled out. She was at her house before she knew it. She could see her dad peeking through the curtains.
"Thanks for being there today," she said, turning to Justin. There was a smile on her face.
"I'm glad you're back," he replied. They shared a look only they could understand.
She opened the door and got out. "Goodnight."
And she walked away, feeling lighter than she had in a while.
She was glad she was back too.