Raine and Sawyer · Riley and Jax · Vanished

Raine

The slowly lightening sky alerts me to the fact I need to leave. Soon.

I’m surprisingly reluctant. Partly because It’s going to be annoyingly cold outside and I am so warm and cozy right now. Partly because I’m going to have explanations to make that I’m not looking forward to. Partly because the guy I spent the night with last night was, is, pretty spectacular.

Or maybe I just liked who he let me be.

It’s been a while since I haven’t had disapproving eyes on my every move, waiting for me to screw up so my mistake could be pointed out and I could be corrected.

Last night I ate what I wanted to eat. I drank what I wanted to drink. I played darts! And danced to the juke box.

God, that freedom was heady. That and his dark hair, and steel blue eyes, and sexy beard shadow, and gorgeous sleeve tattoo. I was totally sober and still flying high. So at the end of the night, when they kicked us out of the bar, I kissed him. I asked him back to my hotel room. I chose.

But now the sun is creeping in to tomorrow and I have to go.

I slowly scoot to the edge of the bed, easing out from the arm wrapped around me. I pause after making it to my feet, holding my breath until I’m sure he hasn’t woken up. Silently I gather my things.

Sawyer. His name.

I glance over at the bed as I pull my clothes on. He’s rumpled and sexy still asleep, snoring lightly.

I’m hit with a momentary wave of indecision. I could stay….

But last night…last night didn’t count. It was just a gift I’d given myself. A chance to take a mini-vacation from my life.

No, not a mini-vacation. That’s not quite right.

The final blow releasing me from my past life, leaving me untethered and ready to start totally fresh. It’s funny how sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward. When my mom moved us out of Chicago, that’s when my life irrevocable changed for the worse. Coming back here feels like coming back to that fork in the road. And this time I’m choosing, not just a kid along for the ride. I’m choosing. And I’m choosing to go the other way at that fork. Taking the other path.

I hope the better path.

I feel lighter, actually hopeful for the first time in years. That’s got to be a good sign, right?

Today I start the life I choose.

I start my apartment search, my job search, my life search.

Sticking around here, waiting until he wakes up and attempting to start something with the first guy I meet in my new-again city seems like falling in to old patterns, not starting new. The whole point of coming back was so I could be on my own, figuring out what I want. Not to find another boyfriend, no matter how tempting he may be.

So I’m staying the course on my plan. Entering in to this next phase totally unencumbered. I am a blank canvass.

I’m giddy.

First on my agenda, once again going back to move forward. I’ve got to go see Jax. I just hope his offer to come visit any time was real and not just something you say to be polite assuming it will never actually happen. I mean, he’s tried to keep in touch over the years but he hasn’t actually seen me since I was fourteen.

Twelve years is kind of a long time to hold someone to a promise. Hopefully I’ll have a place to sleep tonight.

Well, worse case scenario I can use some of the $50,000 I have stashed in my suitcase for another hotel room.

See what Sawyer thinks here.

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