1. I Must be a Heartbreaker

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Riley smiled as he accepted a Coke and doughnut from the barista and then made his way over to a table. As he passed me, his eyes met my own and I struggled to hold back everything I wanted to say to him. How I missed him. How terrible Ambler was without him. How I was sorry. How I still needed an explanation for his actions.

He tore his gaze away and plopped down at a table on the opposite side of the cafe, pulling out his phone and ducking his head to read a text.

I picked up my hot chocolate and tried to drink some, but it still hadn't cooled down and I burned my tongue. I snuck another glance at Riley. He was still texting, refusing to look my way. Without taking his eyes off the phone, he picked up his Coke, took a sip, and then placed it back on the checkered tablecloth.

The tension was killing me.

I kept studying him. He hadn't changed one bit since he'd left The Ambler School of Dance. Still tall, with short, dark brown hair, flawlessly pale skin, and two intense brown eyes wtih amber flecks that seemed to have a life of their own. He still moved with the grace of a dancer, even though he was trying not to be one anymore. He still had that perfectly dimpled smile that I used to love.

And he still wasn't looking my way.

Suddenly, my hot chocolate didn't seem so apetizing when my stomach was twisting and turning inside of me. I opened my mouth to call his name, but I choked on my words. Why couldn't I say anything? Why couldn't I even get his attention?

Finally, he seemed unable to fake fascination with his cell phone anymore and he looked up, finally locking eyes with me. I held his gaze and refused to be the first to look away, even when starting into his eyes reminded me of painful things.

His eyes weren't cold now like they had been when we'd broken up, but they were sad, unsure, and purposeless. The ambler flecks didn't sparkle. They seemed lifeless.

He tore his eyes away and glued them back to the table, but I couldn't stop staring. When was he going to say something to me, instead of pretending to ignore my presence?

Impatiently, I tapped my foot against the tile floor, glanced at the clock, and then looked back at him. He wasn't moving anytime soon. It was up to me.

Before I could question myself, I stood and strode over to his table, sitting down in front of him and placing my hot chocolate down with one firm movement.

Riley glanced up at me and then looked back down at his phone, as if he'd expected me to come over. "Hey, Ever," he said nonchalantly.

He was acting like we hadn't broken up only a week ago, like he hadn't left The Ambler School of Dance when it needed him the most, like he was just Riley Meyer-Love out to get some Coke and a doughnut on any normal Saturday. But this wasn't a normal Saturday. This was a Saturday that I was grateful to have because I thought I'd never see him again, even when I was supposed to be mad at him for the break-up.

Why was he acting like nothing was wrong?

"Riley," I hissed, reaching over and pulling his phone away from him, "will you just look at me?"

Riley glanced up at me for a millisecond, cocky smirk and all, and then looked back at his phone.

Now I was getting frustrated. Now was not the time for him to be immature. "Riley. I'm trying to talk to you. Can you get rid of the electronics and listen?"

"I thought you were mad at me." Riley finally put his phone face-down on the table and then looked up at me for real. His self-assurance was gone and he looked more like the guy he'd increasingly been as his situation worsened at Ambler: insecure, uncertain. At least his eyes had some life in them now that he was looking at me.

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