Hickey || 04

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HICKEY / chapter four


I catch sight of my house a few blocks away and for a moment I'm taken back, thinking how does he know where I lived? But then I remember that he drove me home last night. Honestly, it's a wonder how I managed to tell him correct directions to my house if I was drunk enough to forget last night.

I unbuckle my seatbelt but instead of getting out, I turn to Ryder. "Can you tell me what happened at the party last night?"

He chuckles softly. "Do you really not remember anything?"

I feel my cheeks heat up in embarrassment. For some reason, Ryder made me feel like an idiot for forgetting even though he didn't seem mad. "I don't remember much. I remember sneaking into my room, but I don't remember you driving me home."

"You didn't seem that drunk," he mutters under his breath, thinking. "But then again, you did drink a lot before I decided to drive you home."

"Can you tell me about, well, this?" I point to the spot on my neck where the hickey was, which my turtleneck dress was doing a good job covering up. "How'd I get this?" He chuckles and I roll my eyes. "Well, duh, obviously I know how. But how'd we, um—"

"We hooked up," Ryder says bluntly.

My eyes widen, feeling a sudden panic surge in me.

"No! No, that's not what I meant! We just made out, we didn't do anything more," he explains quickly and I let out a sigh of relief. "We bumped into each other at Derek's party. I saw that you were drinking a lot so I tried to stop you, but then we sort of got into an argument. Then, well, the argument turned into kissing and..."

I bury my face in my hands, face heating up.

"Don't," he says, softly pulling my hands away so that I was looking at him. "Don't be embarrassed. It was my fault, not yours, Eva. I shouldn't have taken advantage—"

"You weren't," I tell him quickly, sighing. "And it's not your fault. I shouldn't have gone to that stupid party."

Ryder lets out a defeated sigh. "I'm sorry."

"Elliot can't know," I tell him quietly.

"I know." He glances at me. "And he won't."

I let out a sigh of relief. He knew how protective Elliot could be of me, and the fact that I made out with him while I was drunk didn't exactly make him look good. Besides, I don't think Ryder wanted to start another fight with my brother. They've already had tons over the past three years, all of which led to bloody lips, black eyes, and bruised knuckles, and the fight over Elliot's girlfriend (well, ex-girlfriend) during their sophomore year was the messiest of them all.

I open the door but before stepping out, I say, "Hey, Ryder?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks."

He shoots me a smile. "Me stupidly giving you a hickey will be my cause of death."

I roll my eyes and close the door, trying to hide my smile. This whole rivalry thing with them is seriously getting old. Elliot hated Ryder because of what happened with his ex. But come on, they were in sophomores when they fought over Sophia, for crying out loud! And as for the whole football thing, it was their coach's decision so there really wasn't much they could do other than do their best to get the team captain spot.

Why couldn't they just get along? Maybe then then the fact that Ryder and I made out wouldn't be a big deal; it would be just like all my previous hook-ups.

I unlock our front door, knowing, feeling Ryder's eyes on me. I hear his engine turn on and I shoot him one last look over my shoulder before stepping inside.

"Hey, honey." My mom was sitting on the living room couch, watching TV. After everything that's happened, it completely slipped my mind that she was usually already home around this time. "Who was that boy who drove you home?"

I try my best to hide my panic over the fact that my mom had seen Ryder dropping me off. "Just a friend."

"You should have invited him inside," she says, shooting me a meaningful look. "I don't get to meet a lot of your friends."

I shoot her a tight-lipped smile. "Maybe next time. I'm gonna go do some homework."

She looks surprised since I don't usually do my homework (and don't actually plan on doing any), but gives me a wide smile. "Okay, honey. I'll start dinner when your dad and Eli get home."

I practically run all the way upstairs and into my bedroom. Why did I forget about Mom being home? And she must have seen us talking for a while in his car! Could my life get any more complicated?

Actually, it does.


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