A/N: This Ryley FF is inspired roughly by the cliffhanger from "I do" where Ryder and Marley kissed in the hallway. I know Glee has technically covered a relationship abuse storyline in season 3 with Coach Beiste and her husband, but it's never been explored with the high school relationships. I hate vilifying Jake, I really do, but I will go down with the Ryley ship and I figured this could be an interesting angle! The title is also inspired by the Nicholas Spark book, but only that and the theme of relationship violence are the only similarities. Please review so I know if people like it :) I own nothing related to glee!
Time: A few hours after Mr. Shue's wedding reception
"Wow Kitty, that was…" Jake said panting.
"Yeah you weren't too bad yourself. Definitely better than vintage Puckerman." she purred. "Now you can't tell me that you're still into the bulimic freak after I pretty much rocked your world." she added as she stretched out onto the disheveled bed next to Jake.
"Kitty, you know this didn't mean anything. I have needs. And, the hotel room was already paid for. It would have been a shame to let it go to waste.
"Mmmm, well tell that to Honey Boo Boo, who had the nerve to apologize after closing the door on a prime opportunity to swipe her v-card. If she really cared, you wouldn't have had to come crying to me at the bar, now would you?" Kitty replied with a pout on her face.
Jake knew he was in too deep. Honestly, it was really frustrating for him that Marley wouldn't give it up to him, after the awesome Valentine's week him and Ryder concocted for her. He understood that she really wasn't ready, but still. She knew what she was signing up for.
"What am I going to do? Marley's going to be so pissed off at me. And I promised Ryder I wouldn't hurt her." he voiced out loud.
"Maybe we can keep this our dirty little secret? No one has to know." Kitty purred seductively, climbing on top of Jake, clearly wanting more.
"Ok. But do not tell anyone this happened! God knows I couldn't take both Ryder and Puck if they kicked my ass for this." he said.
"This? So you admit this is a something more than a one night stand?" she murmured, kissing his neck.
As they turned off the lights and went back for one more round, Jake thought that cheating on Marley maybe wasn't the only mistake he made.
Time: In the hallway after Ryder kissed her the day after the wedding
After Ryder kissed her in the hallway, Marley was in a daze. Why were her emotions so twisted? Didn't she close the door on the drama when she asked Jake to the Sadie Hawkins dance a couple of weeks ago? Sure, Ryder looked a little disappointed when she chose Jake over him, but she was sure he was over it when he was all over the cheerio with the neck brace after the dance. Actually, it looked more like she was all over him when she spotted them in his car as her and Jake were leaving, but whatever. In all honestly, he looked a little scared of her in the days after the dance, and Marley couldn't blame him. She looked slightly unhinged.
"Now maybe if I were with Ryder…he is a really good kisser," she reasoned in her head.
"Ughhh! Why are you still thinking about it?! It's just a ridiculous crush! They aren't puppies! You can't have both of them! You chose one of them, that is it. If it doesn't work out with Jake, it doesn't work out. But it's not fair to him if you don't give him a shot first." another voice in the back of her head rebutted.
"But he didn't come up with any of those sweet gestures, now did he? It was all Ryder! He knows you better than you know yourself! Stop torturing the poor boy. YOU KNOW JAKE IS GOING TO HURT YOU IN THE END! Ryder won't be waiting forever! Make the right choice before it's too late Marley!" the first voice practically yelled in her head.
"Marley's already made the right choice. Why fix it if it isn't broken?" The other voice replied stubbornly.
"Ughhh shut up already!" she said to the voices, attempting to quiet them as she beat her head against her cool locker.
"Are you ok, Marley?" Santana, her mentor said as she tapped her shoulder to get her attention.
"Yeah Santana, right as rain." she replied in frustration trying to rid her memory of what happened with Ryder just a few minutes ago.
"You don't look alright. Come on, let's go to the Lima Bean and talk about it." she soothed, helping Marley get her stuff so she can go.
"Alright, let's go." Marley said in defeat. She needed to talk to someone and try to sort out all the jumbled feelings in her brain.
"Alright, so let me guess, it's Ryder and Jake. I know my lady loins don't operate the same as yours, but I do understand what you're feeling."
Santana said fifteen minutes as her and Marley sat down in the Lima Bean with their iced lattes.
"Yeah, I know I chose Jake and everything, but what if that wasn't the right choice?" Marley asked in distress.
"Wait, I happened to notice Jake at the hotel check-in desk getting a room key at the wedding when you weren't with him. Did he pressure you into sleeping with him?" Santana said, looking livid about ready to kill any Puckerman in sight.
"Well no, I told him I wasn't ready-" Marley said trying to calm down Santana.
"Good girl!" Santana said immediately calming down.
"But I felt so bad, he spent so much money trying to make it special and everything." Marley muttered in shame.
"You have nothing to feel bad about. You weren't ready for the full Puckerman experience. And if Jake is anything like his brother, it's nothing to brag about, trust me." Santana said to comfort Marley.
"You know, I'm just going to see what happens with Jake. It can't get any worse. Maybe I'll just try to avoid Ryder." Marley said thoughtfully. "Ok Marley. Just please be careful with him. Puckerman boys don't change their spots easily." Santana said looking really worried.
"I'll be fine Santana. Have a safe flight back to New York."
"Ok. And call or text me if you need anything. And I'll make sure Sam and Brittany are watching you." Santana said hugging Marley as they both got up to leave.
"Thank you so much Santana!" Marley said happily.
"Well look who's here. Vomit-breath and her trusty lesbian sidekick. Only person who's missing is the boy who can't decide which gender he is." Kitty slithered in behind Marley and Santana, voice dripping with hatred. "Kitty, why don't you just knock it off?" Marley snapped.
"Oh I'll knock it off when you starve yourself out of existence. This game isn't over until I say it's over." Kitty replied venomously. "Fine Kitty, your move." Marley challenged, knowing Kitty didn't have anything left in her arsenal.
Kitty who wasn't about to back down from a fight, almost revealed that Jake had already cheated on Marley, but decided not to rock the boat just yet. "Fine, I'm already bored. Just watch yourself. You may have won Jake's heart, but you can't keep a boy like him reined up." Kitty said as she knocked past Marley, her words getting into Marley's head.
"That bitch is up to something. My psychic Mexican third eye is never wrong." Santana said as Kitty left. Marley was visibly shaken. "Don't let her get to you. She's not worth it." Santana said as they left coffee shop.
"I won't." Marley vowed as they parted ways.
That's it! Something's up with them. I thought Ryder was being really cool about this whole thing? What the hell is happening? I have to maintain control of the situation. Marley is mine! I'm not letting some douche bag get in the way. A Puckerman always gets what he wants. I just have to take it." Jake thought as he saw Ryder and Marley exchange a look during Glee practice when they all sang Anything Could Happen. Jake couldn't shake the feeling that he had. Inside, he knew Marley was too good for him, but he couldn't lose control. He had finally won most of Marley, he just had one more wall to break through. He had taken it slow enough, but now he had to up the game.
"Hey, what the hell is happening between you and Ryder?" Jake stormed up to Marley's locker after Glee practice.
"Nothing is happening. Ok, can you please not make a big deal out of nothing?!" Marley said instantly getting defensive.
"Listen," Jake snarled as he grabbed Marley's wrist roughly. "Don't lie to me. I'm so sick of this love triangle shit. Something is going on, I know it. Stay away from him!" Jake practically screamed as Marley tried to get away from him.
He saw the look of fear in Marley's face. He wasn't expecting to lose control like this. He was becoming the person he never wanted to be: his father.
"I'm sorry, Marley, I just don't want to lose you." He sighed as he released his death grip on Marley's wrist.
He saw that a bruise was starting to blossom on it. Was he really holding it that tight? Marley was silent as she rubbed her throbbing wrist, trying to make sense of what was happening. People in the hallways, including those in the Glee club were giving them weird looks. Marley was praying that this was just a one time thing.
"Are you ok, Marley? Maybe you should go get some Tylenol for your wrist," Jake said gently as he tried to lead Marley to the nurse's office. Marley withdrew when he tried to hold her hand. "I'm fine, Jake. Maybe you should go cool off." Marley implored.
Jake was a little hurt that Marley was scared of him already. "Yeah, you're right. I'm just going to go home now. I think I've just been having a bad day." Jake mumbled.
"Ok." Marley said gently, still confused by the change in events. How did he change so quickly?
When Jake left, Marley tried desperately to get their first fight out of her mind. It must have been her fault. If she wasn't so conflicted about Ryder, Jake wouldn't have been so pissed off right?
"Don't say I didn't warn you."
the small voice in her head said smugly.
"Hey Marley, someone said you and Jake got into a fight just now. Are you alright? Ryder asked as he came up behind her.
"Yes Ryder I'm fine!" Marley said in frustration. She wasn't really mad at him, but she needed to snap at someone.
"Whoa, it's fine, calm down!" Ryder said taken aback. He immediately lowered his voice. "Does Jake know about the…" he started. Marley slammed her locker door and turned to face Ryder. "No he doesn't know, and he's never going to know! Nothing is happening between us Ryder! If you really care, you'll forget about it and move on!" Marley said with fire and desperation.
"Marley, something did happen. If it was nothing, we wouldn't have kissed. I pulled away first, not you! You can't say you didn't feel anything-" Ryder said trying to catch Marley's eye.
"Ryder, please. Let's not make this anymore complicated than it has to be." she pleaded as she walked away.
How did everything fall apart so easily? Little did she know, it wasn't going to get any better for her.