Chapter 4

They arrived at Stewart's place too quickly for their liking. Beck seemed just a bit nervous, and Riley kept on fidgeting and squirming in her seat.
"Riley, would ya quit movin' around? I can't see when yer like this," Beck said, not angry at all. She didn't know quite why she was this nervous, but she felt something new coming, and she didn't like it.

"Sorry," she squeaked out, focusing on her breathing so she wouldn't get a panic attack.

When they arrived there, they both seemed even more nervous. As they walked up onto his porch, Riley started to wheeze a bit, each breath getting tighter. Crap! Panic attack! She sat down on the front porch, doubled-over, trying to get as much air as possible.
"Girl, ya ok? What's wrong?" he said, looking worried. Girl? I thought he stopped calling me that! But she only wheezed in answer. He knelt down in front of her and looked her straight in the eyes.

"Come on, woman," he corrected himself. "Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out," and bit by bit, with his coaxing, her breathing got better. "What the hell was that, gir-woman?"

"Panic attack. I'm getting them more often these days…" she said, getting up. As she wavered on her feet, slightly dizzy from the panic attack, he grabbed her arm.

"Hold on to me. I'll catch ya if ya fall," he said, cautiously pulling her to walk on. Slowly they made it to Stewart's door. After Beck knocked and Stewart opened, Riley was completely fine, but Beck insisted on her sitting down. He worries too much… She thought as he knelt on the chair she was sitting in.

After fixing Riley a mug of hot chocolate, again, Beck's doing, Stewart began.

"So I see ya two have sorted everythin' out?" he asked, looking at both of us.

"Yes, Master" I answered, knowing he'll be relieved. I took a sip of the hot beverage, burning my tongue, though it was worth it.

"Aye, that's good news. Better than the ones I'm goin' ta tell ya…" he muttered darkly. He turned towards Beck and said, "This is really only news for Beck, but he's confided in ya so much, Riley, I thought it was only good ta have ya here. Anyway, Beck, yer mom is worse. I canna say that ya knew because I don't know what she's told ya and what she hasn't, but I know that this is goin' ta hurt ya," he took a deep breath. "Lad, she's got lung cancer. And there's no way ya can help it. It's too late. Aye, I've asked and everythin'…" He said sadly. "Lass, I hope ya'll help him…" the Scotsman said, before he left the room.

Riley looked over at Beck, scared of what his expression was going to be. He looked hurt and sad. Broken and lost.
"Beck?" she said softly, knowing he needs her right now. He looked down at her, tears glistening in his eyes. "Go on, guy. You've earned the right to. I won't tell anyone," knowing how much he values his pride. She stood up, letting him sit, and he fell into the chair, as if his legs couldn't hold him up anymore. She put a hand on his shoulder and felt it shake under her hand. Riley was really upset too – she remembered how useless she'd felt when they told her and her father about Miriam, her mom, and how she felt when the last of her family left her. But this won't be the case with Beck; he has Riley… She knelt beside him and hugged him, her hands softly stroking his arms, feeling the muscles beneath the shirt. Even a strong guy like you has a breaking point, Beck. You need to go easy on yourself, you can't push that much… And she decided to say it out loud. "Beck, you've got to cut yourself some slack, you can't push yourself that much. Even if you are as strong as you are. If you don't want to look after yourself for your sake, do it for the people who love you," she said softly. he looked up with a sad look, which then transformed to hurt.

"Like who? Name at least one person who loves me! My momma's always hated me for no reason! Yer daddy's gone, and now there's no one!" he replied, acid in his tone.

"Stewart! He cares about you, and you know it. And what about me? Why don't you count me? I-" and she stopped. She almost said that she loved him. But that's when she realised that she does. "I love you. More than a friend should, more than a sister should. And if you don't feel the same way…" she frowned. "Well then-" but she was cut off with a kiss. He'd gotten up and closed the distance between them. His arms wound around her waist securing her to him. Emboldened, he deepened the kiss, as she ran her hands through his messy blond hair. A slight moan escaped her lips as their tongues met, lightly. Just as he broke away, he chuckled.

"I love ya too, and I can't believe that I haven't told ya this before. I really can't!" he said, just as he pulled her in for another kiss.
'Umm, not wanting ta interrupt this or anythin', but don't ya two need ta be getting' home?" Stewart said just as they'd jumped apart. Riley blushed and giggled quietly just as Beck cleared his throat and said, "Um, yeah, that was just what we were doin'. Bye Master!" and they ran out the door and into her car.

As they got out of the car at his house, Riley stepped closer to him and placed a quick peck on his lips. He pulled her up against her car and kissed her. As her hands ran again and again through his hair, his hands found their way under her jumper, then under her shirt, just at the small of her back. He pulled himself away, obviously with great effort. "Yer such a temptation, Riley," he whispered, his voice thick and needy. She giggled, but she couldn't help thinking if he actually meant that he wanted her to stay tonight.
"Beck, I…" she said, not wanting to repeat a mistake; doing something she wasn't ready for.

"Riley, don't worry, I didn't mean that. Just now with ya, I figured out that there's way more than just draggin' a girl into bed," he said brushing a hand on her cheek. "We're goin' to do this right, so it'll last," he said, giving her a tentative smile. He's totally serious about us! She smiled back and kissed him again. When they pulled apart, she muttered, "I should get going now…"

"Yeah… Something tells me we're goin' to see each other tomorrow," he says. Was it just something specific he meant, or was it just a slip of the tongue? You never knew with him… She pulled away, and walked to the other side of the car. As she got inside, he waved to her and she waved back. His smile was as big as if he's just won the lottery. When she drove away, she heard 'Georgia On My Mind' playing on the seat next to her. Damn, he's forgotten his phone! She pulled up and looked at the ID. She was confused as it said 'Riley Blackthorne 3' on it. Ohmigod, he really does love me! She picked up, a grin edging onto her face.

"Hey guy, it seems you took the wrong phone out of my car," she said.
"It does, doesn't it? Well I guess I will be seeing ya tomorrow, won't I?" and she could already hear the smirk in his voice. "Wow, what a coincidence, how did that happen?" and he was laughing.

"Yeah, how did that happen?!" she replied as she burst out laughing.

"Oh, I must be psychic!"

"You lie!" she laughed back at him just as he hung up. She sat there laughing for a while, just as she received a text.

So I gess we are meeting up tomoro? He sent to her. Ohmigod, he actually sent a text? Aww, he never does that!

Yep! When are you free, guy?

All day! See ya, princes

See ya, Backwoods Boy 3

And when she got home, she got changed, climbed into her bed and fell asleep dreaming of the kiss they shared not so long ago.