Status: Just starting!! :)

Two Different Worlds Collide

twenty two.

I woke up on the couch, a blanket neatly tucked in around me, and looked to see Liza curled up on the recliner, it pushed back so she could sleep, and Alice on the loveseat, both of them covered with blankets and tucked in. I sat up slowly, eyeing the half-drank bottle of beer on the coffee table in front of me. I’d had too many and known it, but I’d wanted to forget it all, which Alice had definitely helped along by getting pretty hammered herself.

“Morning,” I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard someone talking, and turned to see Riley sitting at his kitchen table, cup of coffee in hand while he was on his laptop.

“Morning,” I whispered, my throat hoarse from having been crying last night. I was embarrassed for him to see me like this, because I so rarely ever broke down. But something about this place and these people had the walls crumbling down around me quicker than a straw house in the wind.

“How you feeling?” he asked, his expression completely neutral, his eyes and tone non-judging.

“Kind of shitty,” I allowed, making him laugh.

“Well, come here and I’ll fix you up,” he told me, and I did as I was told, wrapping the blanket around my shoulders and walking to the chair he’d pulled out for me. He placed a glass of water and two Tylenol down, and I managed a smile in thanks before downing the Tylenol and then sipping on the water until about half of it was gone.

“Rough night?” he asked, and I nodded. I jumped again at another sound, making Riley chuckle as he walked over and got his toast from the toaster. Now I was feeling incredibly ridiculous, and my cheeks turned red when he set down a plate with one piece of toast in front of me.

“You’ll feel better if you eat something. Do you want jam, honey, butter?”

“Jam’s fine,” I nodded, and he pushed the jar of strawberry jam to within my reach. We sat and ate breakfast quietly, until Alice and Liza woke up, the light from the window getting to both of them.

“Morning sweetheart,” Riley called, looking far too pleased with the situation. Alice groaned and buried her head in her blankets, making him laugh. Liza wasn’t in any better shape, and I had to grin.

“Morning babe. How are you?” Alice finally asked once she’d hauled herself up from the loveseat and sat down on Riley’s lap, kissing his cheek before cuddling up to him.

“Good – a couple of us went out to the bar last night, and when I came home the three of you were out like light bulbs. Hope you don’t mind I tucked you all in and made sure you were comfortable,”

“Thanks for that,” I smiled, and Alice kissed his cheek again.

“You are the sweetest,” she seconded, making his smile grow.

“I know,”

We sat for a few more minutes until my phone began to go off. I froze, not sure if I wanted to pick up or not, and Alice sent me a knowing look. She put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a soft squeeze before handing my cell over. I took a deep breath, and looked to her once more before connecting the call. Riley and Alice went to their bedroom after Alice got Liza a towel and things to shower, and Liza excused herself to the bathroom as soon as they’d left the living room.

“Hi,” I choked out, and heard Jared swallow hard on the other end.

“Hey Cheyenne. Um, how are you?” he asked.

“Good. I’m good,” I replied, feeling awkward. “How are you?”

“Tired – it was a long flight last night,” he chuckled, sounding groggy even over the phone.
“And then I got hauled out to the bar by Brett and Zach.”

“Sounds like a good night,” I allowed, and heard him chuckle before things got quiet again.

“Um, can we talk? I don’t know if you want to hang out or go somewhere or…”

“Yeah, that would be good,” I agreed, and he told me he would come pick me up in forty-five minutes. I ran a hand through my hair then, hoping I could shower and look presentable before he got here. A few minutes later Alice came out fully dressed, having showered in the ensuite bathroom, and Liza came out just after that.


“Jared’s going to come pick me up in forty five minutes,” I told them, and Alice smiled.

‘That’s good, you can shower and everything here – you’re probably close to my size, you can borrow something if you want,” Alice immediately offered. I got up and walked toward her, pulling her into a hug.

“Thank you so much, for everything,” I told her, and she just shrugged.

“You’d do the same for me,” was her simple reply, before shooing me into the bathroom to get ready. I showered quickly, putting my clothes from last night on before coming out of the bathroom. Alice lent me a comb and her hair dryer so my hair wouldn’t freeze once I’d got outside, and told me to help myself to any makeup or clothes. I politely refused, pulling some of my hair back and off of my face but leaving the rest of it down. Then I got nervous, not sure what to do until Jared got here.

“So, how hungover did Jared sound?” Liza asked, already texting Brett, who must’ve been in pretty bad shape from the giggling she was doing. I just shrugged, thinking he didn’t sound all that bad, and Liza just laughed.

“Brett’s just done for,” she laughed, and Alice couldn’t help but join in.

“That does sound like Brett after a big win,” she allowed. It did seem like something Brett would do, because he liked to have fun.

“Doesn’t surprise me – they had an incredible game yesterday,” Liza agreed. That got us onto the topic of the game last night and the two next week. Before I knew it the doorbell rang and the three of us jumped, before Alice moved to answer the door. Jared was standing there quietly, looking unsure of himself.

“Hey, uh… is Cheyenne…” our eyes met and his words tapered off.

“Yeah, I’m ready to go,” I quickly got my wallet, phone and jacket and slipped into my shoes. Giving Liza and Alice each a hug before I pulled my jacket on and left with Jared. We were quiet walking toward his truck, and when we were almost there Jared stopped dead in his tracks. I came to a stop too, and then Jared turned around and pulled me into a hug. I hugged him back just as tightly, grabbing onto his coat and keeping him as close as I could.

“I’m so sorry Cheyenne, I wish I could’ve found a way to deal with her without having to drag you into that mess,” he told me, his face buried in my hair and against my neck.

“It’s not your fault Jared, you didn’t do anything wrong,” I assured him, rubbing his back and enjoying being in his arms. He pulled away slightly, just far enough to look at me.

“I drug you into a mess and probably ruined your spring break Cheyenne – you didn’t deserve the things that she said to you,” I cut him off by pulling him close and kissing him. Jared enthusiastically kissed me back, before grinning against my lips.

“You didn’t Jared, honest,” I told him between kisses, and when we pulled away I rested my head on his chest. Jared’s huge hands were spread across my back, both of us enjoying the closeness.

“We better get in the truck before you freeze,” he finally whispered, and I nodded, getting into the passenger seat and taking the hand he offered once he was sitting in the driver’s seat and had pulled away from the curb.

“Do you want to go somewhere or just back to my place…?” he asked.

“Your place is fine,” I replied, and he smiled, quickly changing lanes and turning to head toward his building. The ten-minute drive flew by, and once we were inside we curled up on the couch together, my head on Jared’s chest and his arms around me. He let out a content sigh, kissing the top of my head.

“She left, like, went home left,” Jared finally said. I lifted my head, pretty sure I had an idea of what he meant, but not one hundred percent.


“She stormed off not long after you left with Liza and Alice. I kind of lost it on her… I told her that it was over and had been for months, and that her coming back and causing a scene wasn’t going to change that; that I wasn’t going to let her keep coming and ruining my life and that I wasn’t going to let her do that to people I cared about. She had a fit and started saying stuff about you but I told her to stop it and leave, because you meant a lot to me and she wasn’t going to change that. Then she stomped out and left me an angry voicemail saying she was heading back to Thunder Bay and to not expect to see her anytime soon. That was it,” he explained, and I pecked his cheek, not sure what to say after such a sweet gesture as that.

“Wow,” was finally what came out, and he started to laugh.

“Um, thanks? It didn’t even really occur to me what I was saying, I just knew that I need her out of my life and that I didn’t want to lose you because of her,” he shrugged, and I made myself comfortable against his chest again.

“That’s the sweetest thing anybody has ever said to me,” I replied, and he shrugged.

“It’s the truth, that’s all there was to it,”

“Doesn’t change the fact that that is definitely the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. And I’m sorry because I shouldn’t have lost it like that either Jared. I knew she was just trying to be mean and I shouldn’t have let it get to me like that,”

“What are you talking about? Cheyenne you had every right to be that upset,” he insisted.

“No, because it wasn’t just what she said that got to me Jared. It wasn’t just what she said… it was… well, I um, kind of need to explain the Chad thing to you,” I took a deep breath, not sure how I was going to get through this but wanting him to know. It was only fair, he’d faced his demons for me, it was only fair he knew what was going on.

“The Chad thing?” he asked, and I nodded, fiddling until Jared’s large hands covered mine, and instead he let me play with his fingers as I struggled to find the words.

“Chad and I dated for two years… everything seemed good, you know? Then it was little comments, snide remarks… the biggest one was when we were out for dinner and he spent the entire date making comments about this thin blonde sitting a few tables down from us. From then on, I was just never good enough, you know?” Jared shifted uncomfortably, staying silent so I would continue my story.

“I spent a year trying to be the girl he wanted me to be. Dressing differently, dying my hair, wearing makeup, high heels, trying to do whatever it was I could to make him love me. And I was still never good enough, never pretty enough, never thin enough… I did everything I could to change for him, and finally I realized that I needed to get out because I was only hurting myself. I was taken to the hospital for exhaustion because I’d lost so much weight I couldn’t even get through day-to-day life anymore. So I tried to break it off and he beat the crap out of me. That cycle lasted for about three or four months before he found somebody who fit the bill better than I did,” I took a long breath, feeling a million times better once I realized that I’d finally told somebody the biggest secret I’d ever had. I was afraid to look up at Jared, afraid for the reaction that I’d had the one other time I’d told my secret to a guy who I’d cared about.

“You okay?” I jumped when I heard his voice, and finally worked up the courage to look at is face. He was watching me quietly, his green eyes searching my face.

“It’s just… the last time I told somebody I cared about this he told me I needed to get my shit together and left,” That I’d never told anybody else either, and Jared’s eyes widened.

“No way; some douche really told you that?” he demanded, and I nodded, burying my face against his chest again. He pulled me back gently, his huge hands covering my shoulders.

“Cheyenne, there’s no way you deserved to hear that either. People are going to be awful, and not understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re right,” he told me, his eyes big and painfully honest as I struggled to keep eye contact with him. “They were wrong, Cheyenne, and you deserve better than what he did to you. I’d never do that to you,” he told me, before pressing his lips to mine so softly and sweetly I had no words for him. I merely held onto him for dear life as we kissed, before he pulled me close and rubbed my back as the tears started again. But somehow it wasn’t because of Chad.
♠ ♠ ♠
New chapter!

I'm sorry for being so awful at updating lately... things have just been crazy beyond my control for the past week and a half or so, and unfortunately school has to come first (as much as I'd like to just be writing full time!) and so I haven't been updating. I really do want to apologize to you guys because as much as I write for my own enjoyment having people actually read and enjoy my stories mean the world to me.

On that note, please, please, PLEASE continue to drop comments off - I love hearing what you guys have to think about the story, good, bad, or otherwise; where you think it's going, how you like the characters, etcetera. It literally makes my day getting to read comments from you guys and even taking the 5 seconds to say 'hey! thanks for the chapter!' or "oh... I wasn't a fan of that one... would have liked to see more of [insert whatever here]" makes a huge difference to me!

So thank you so much to everybody for reading and a SUPER HUGE thank you to everybody who's commented, subscribed or recommended this story! I hope you continue to enjoy it and I promise to make a more steady effort to update regularly!

- Hayley