"Would you really have done it?" Rylie asked as she tightened the grip around Luke's hand. They walked back to Luke's house so his family could know he was alright. The rush and panic of the previous moments had left them stunned and full of questions. A lot they wanted to forget would probably get brought up, but they needed to catch up.
Luke looked down at his boots as he walked in step with Rylie down the sidewalk. "I don't know...honestly, the whole thing was a blur. You saved me..."
"Well I'm glad I did." Rylie laughed at the obvious statement. She couldn't take the grin off her face that they had made up. It was perfect.
Luke nodded in agreement, and cringed his forehead.
"What is it?" Rylie asked with worry. No more secrets. "You can talk to me about anything, Luke." she nudged him with her elbow, trying to get him to open up. She couldn't understand his feelings for he had a near death experience, but she needed all the problems to disappear in oblivion.
"Did you...really sleep with Michael?" Luke's neck strained in pain, like he was choking on the words.
Rylie stopped their rhythmic walking, and grabbed Luke's chin to force him to meet her eyes. She got lost in the deep blue ocean of his soul, but she saw the sorrow and regret behind them.
"Yes." she answered, unable to say anything else.
Luke sighed, already knowing the answer. "Did you..." he gulped at the foul taste on his tongue, "like it?"
Rylie widened her eyes at the unexpected question. She didn't want to say she did, but she wouldn't dare lie. "I..." she stopped and glanced around at the rich neighborhood. "I was lonely and vulnerable, Luke, and Michael was there...and I." she stopped scared of Luke's facial expression.
"I should have gone after you, and fixed everything right there." Luke clenched his fists in anger at himself. "I was a coward! None of this would've happened if I would have just..."
"No!" Rylie interrupted. "Everything happened for a reason...please don't blame yourself..." she gripped his shoulder, and rubbed gently.
Rylie could see Luke battle the tears. "Did you...fall in love...with him?" he gulped again, sickened with the question.
So was Rylie. How on Earth was she supposed to answer that question? Of course she did, but she had just gotten Luke back, and if she answered, it could ruin everything. "Luke..." she breathed out.
"I understand if you did. He was there for you when I wasn't."
Rylie forced Luke to look at her again. "It's over..." she whispered to him. "What happened between Michael and I is over...it's not coming back." she said more for herself than him. It was true. They needed to forget about her short love affair with Michael, and start thinking of the good memories before his death.
The street lamps were the only light providing Luke's expression at her. The shadow cast on his face made his jawline more prominent, and Rylie smiled at his face, feeling how much she missed it. She touched his cheek gently, and nodded at him to forget.
"Why did you say you didn't love me?" Luke blurted out, his eyes trying to get every answer before he shot Rylie a loving glare back. Rylie knew he was just trying to figure everything out. They hadn't been on speaking terms for the past three weeks, and too much had happened.
Rylie thought about it for a second, knowing her explanation now sounded foolish. "I thought you deserved a better girl. Someone who wouldn't sleep with your best friend, and kill him...and." Rylie stopped, mentally calming herself down.
Luke shook his head. The corners of his lips lifted up in a grimacing expression. "All I needed was you, Ry!" his voice rang throughout the neighborhood, and Rylie touched his chest to calm his down. She could feel his rapid heartbeat steadily go down. She cooed at him with shushing noises.
"I'm sorry..." she comforted him. "I'm sorry, but I'm here. I'm not leaving as long as you don't give me a reason too." she allowed a small smile, and Luke did too.
"I know I did a real shitty thing, but I have been killing myself over how guilty I am. I chose you, Rylie, but I was blinded by what was right or wrong." Luke gave the first explanation Rylie had been waiting for. She never really saw it from Luke's point of view, and it was nice. It soothed her ill mind.
"I love you..." she whispered, and wrapped her arms around his waist. He did the same, and gently rested his chin on the top of her head.
"I love you, too." They had been exchanging 'I love you's' so much that it was practically routine. It was just nice to say the words after not being able to for what felt like forever.
"Luke!" Liz jumped up from her seat, and lunged for her son. She wrapped her arms around him, and gripped his back in panic and relief.
Rylie stepped back a few feet behind Luke to let the rest of his family attack Luke with hugs and kisses. It was so nice to see them reunited, and when she met Liz's eyes, she saw how much Liz cared for him. It must have pained her so much to not know where he was or what he was doing. Rylie was still stunned she had found him.
Liz kissed all over his face, and Luke squeezed his cheeks in embarrassment. She pulled away, and frowned at him. "Why would you run away?" she yelled. "We were so worried, and..."
Luke's dad grabbed Liz's shoulder, and snapped her out of her rant. "All that matters is he's back."
Liz nodded, and planted her hands on her son's cheeks and smiled. "My baby..." her cheeks grew pink with warmth and love.
Luke's father took his turn to give Luke a proper hug. "What were you gonna do, Luke?" he asked in fear, and it was obvious he already knew the answer.
Luke turned to Rylie, and smiled. "Something horrible...but she saved me."
Rylie placed her left foot over her right, and looked down, feeling her cheeks flush with red.
Liz walked over to her, and placed her hands on her frail shoulders. "Thank you..." she said so gratefully that Rylie completely forgot about the hateful expressions she was giving only hours earlier. She nodded in acknowledgment, and finally felt welcomed into the family.
Ben walked over and joined them, sending a cheeky look her way. "So I guess this means you're taken?" he smiled a joking expression, and patted her shoulder.
Rylie nodded, and couldn't help but laugh at his confidence.
Luke took a few step towards and wrapped a strong arm around her waist. "C'mon." he motioned Rylie towards the hallway.
"But you just now got back!" Liz exclaimed, fearing of letting her son out of her sight again.
Luke smiled an apologetic expression, but continued to coax Rylie into a long hallway away from the living room. He walked to the last room at the end of the hallway, and turned the doorknob slowly, revealing a small, but efficient bedroom.
The walls were an off-white, and all that was included in the room was a dresser, a twin bed, and a group of guitars in the corner. It reminded Rylie of Michael's room, just a lot less packed and more organized.
"This is my humble abode." Luke said, and Rylie smiled.
"I like it. "She let go of his hand, and walked over to the bed. She sat down slowly, feeling a sense of awkwardness hang in the air. This was the first time she was experiencing Luke's life before she came along. She couldn't imagine the time he spent in the room, or what he was doing. It was crazy to think of the past. Rylie could barely remember a time without him that was happy. He made her so happy, and nothing compared to the feelings she had when she was with him.
Luke joined on the bed, and placed her hands in his. "From now on, the past is the past, right?"
Rylie nodded, feeling her eyes lift with contentment. She had Luke back in her loving arms.
Luke leaned in, and Rylie felt his hand on her lower back. Their lips touched for the first time in three weeks, and Rylie felt that familiar feeling of love. When she had kissed Michael, she had thought she felt the same feeling, but it was a false, fake feeling. Only Luke could still make the butterflies erupt in her stomach every time he touched her delicate skin. He was the only one to make her feel so alive with passion.
Their lips connected were like a lock and key. She could feel every detail of his familiar lips, and her heart pounded at the sudden want increasing in her body.
Luke's tongue touched Rylie's lips, asking for permission, and she allowed.
She had missed him so much and she cherished them reuniting. No matter how long they were apart, the feelings weren't awkward, and they hadn't decreased in intensity. Rylie wanted him; all of him. She was tired of the tears, and the pain. She wanted Luke to take away the hurt of her body, and feel it with the love he had for her.
Luke grabbed Rylie's elbows, and pulled her with him as he scooted farther up the bed. Rylie climbed on his lap, and connected their lips once again. They weren't rushing. It wasn't like Michael and Rylie when every motion was quick and forced. They were taking their time, soaking in the romance and passion. They were taking every inch moved slow. Rylie found herself comparing Luke and Michael so much lately, but really, nothing could compare to Luke.
Rylie broke away, and tugged the hem of her shirt up over her head. She tossed her hair to the side, and smiled as Luke traced his fingers over her abdomen. His eyes met hers, and he brought his hand up to her cheek. Rylie leaned down, and touched Luke's forehead with her own. They bore into each other's soul for a moment before Luke licked his lips, and smiled. "I love you..." he whispered, loud enough for only her to hear.
Rylie pulled away slightly, and placed her hands under his shirt, running her soft fingers over his warm chest. Luke helped her pull the shirt off his body.
"I want to take this slow, okay?" Rylie told him. She wanted their experience to be one to never forget. She wanted them to forget everything and start new. Maybe it was too soon to be having sex after getting back together, but Rylie couldn't wait any longer. They never got around to it, and it was the only way Rylie could think to show how much she missed and loved him.
Luke nodded, and brought his lips to hers as he scanned the tip of his fingers up and down her sides. Rylie smiled through the kiss, feeling her heart rapidly beating in nervous excitement.
Luke took his lips from hers, and found the crook of her neck, leaving wet splotches on her tender skin.
"Do...you...have a...condom?" Rylie breathed out, trying to keep her mind clear. She would not make another mistake like she did with Michael, and have that scary panic.
Without pulling away, Luke reached his hand to his bedside table, and opened the top drawer. He pulled one out, and waved it in Rylie's face to show prove.
Rylie checked off her mental list of everything they needed done, and once she was satisfied, she kissed the tip of Luke's nose, and wrapped her small hands around his neck, pulling him to the side as they toppled flatly on the cushioned mattress.