Chapter 31

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"It feels so good to be home!" I sighed. I put my bags in our room, and went back to the living room. I flopped on the couch, and Rob went to take a shower. I put a blanket on and flicked on the TV. Fox was doing an interview with Chandler Jones.

"What was it like in the locker room at halftime, Chandler?" Phil Simms asked. Chandler laughed.

"Gronkowski was really pumped up, Brady was a lunatic, and it seemed that we all just snapped out of whatever trance we were in," Chandler grinned.

"Thank you, Chandler!" Phil said, and the camera panned back to the booth.

"ROB!" I shouted, "ARE YOU OUT OF THE SHOWER?"

"Yes," he replied from behind me. He came around and sat on the couch next to me.

"I've been gone for almost two months. I wanna cuddle," I whined. He laughed and laid down on the couch. I curled up in front of him and put the blanket on both of us.

"I really missed you, you know," Rob said, putting his arms around me. I smiled.

"So how was your trip?"

"Well...interesting. The first day I got there Katie collapsed and was in bed for the rest of the first and second week. On the second day, my ex came and kissed me, blah blah blah. Then I went out to get food or fresh air or something-in the pouring rain-and the other three showed up and took me to a café where they had lunch and I passed out. Hmmm. Then the rest of the week I was in bed with hypothermia and that's when we got into our fight. After that, Katie had a new surgery that would hopefully eliminate the tumor. When it did, she was fine. Then we basically hung out for the rest of the time. Zack and I didn't make up. That's basically, in the nutshell, what happened," I said. Rob whistled. "Yeah. It was something else."

"Can I ask you something Alex?" Rob asked. I nodded.

"What's up babe?"

"Well...when we got into our fight, you said something about 'one of my hoes'. What did you mean?" Rob asked. I grimaced.

"Well...how do I put this...Rob, you're frigging hot! You're jacked, first of all, and a six pack that could have a bodybuilder envious. So you kinda have a surplus of female fans," I started. He blushed.

"Wait, wait, wait! You're jealous?" Rob asked incredulously. I shook my head.

"No. Anyway, I had a dream that my parents were back and they told me I was a disappointment, and Katie said she hated me. Then you said you didn't need me, and no one would ever love me and that you slept with six different people while I was away and...and...." My voice trailed off sadly.

"Oh my gosh, Alex!" Rob sat up behind me. "Babe, look at me." I sat up to see my handsome tight end looking at me intently, with soft brown eyes.

"Alex, I love you. Only you. I promise you to the moon and back, you're the only one I love. I promise," he said gently, kissing my forehead.

"I love you too, Rob. I remember when I fell for you," I said, chuckling slightly. He smiled.

"Oh really? When?"

"Well...let's see. Eighth grade maybe? I realized how much I needed you when you went off to high school. Then Homecoming freshmen year really sealed the deal. My boyfriend Isaiah Thornhill dumped me that day for Caitlyn Roubideaux. I was crying in the girls room after school, and you brought me home. We went home and I was crying in my room...I tried to commit suicide by overdosing, but you convinced me that Isaiah wasn't worth it. You told me that we would go to Homecoming on Saturday, to get my mind off it. And when you and I danced for the first time, I realized, you were the one I wanted to be with," I told him, thinking back to that day.

"Do you know when I fell for you?" he asked. I shook my head. "When you started going out with Isaiah. He always talked about you in the locker room, and it made me mad, because I knew he didn't deserve you. I didn't deserve you. But when he hurt you...I felt really protective towards you. Do you remember the day I punched James Thomas in the face?" Rob asked. I nodded. "He was talking about how he hated you because ever since you and Isaiah had broken up, we had been losing. So then he said you were a whore...and I punched him in the face," he said quietly.

"I remember when you broke your ankle and lower leg, and I stayed home with you for two weeks. The football game after homecoming. You landed unevenly and had to have surgery. I stayed with you the whole time," I said. "And that's when you asked me out, and we-"

"-had our first kiss," Rob finished. I froze.

"That happened before Prom. Your memory!" I exclaimed.

"Yeah. I figured you'd catch on," he said, laughing.

"You're a jackass. Let's watch a movie," I suggested, flicking the TV on.

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