"Are you sure that you want to do this?" Rhys asks, continuing to draw on my hand with a sharpie

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"Are you sure that you want to do this?" Rhys asks, continuing to draw on my hand with a sharpie. "You don't have to."

"I don't have to but I want to," His eyes are focused on the pattern he's drawing on me. "Besides that it's one practice and it won't kill me."

He finishes the design of a ying-yang filled with intricate patterns in it. My eyes remain on his face as he scans it, tilting my hand in the process. He looks so concentrated when he's drawing and I find it adorable.

Rhys looks up, doing a double take when he notices me staring. "What? Don't you like it?"

"I love it," I smile and he returns it, putting the sharpie back into a small metal box he pulled from his bag. "What do you keep in there?"

He tilts it towards me showing various sharpies, pens, pencils and obvious art materials. "I always have it on me when I have art," He slips it back, tensing as he bites the inside of his cheek. "Do you remember when Brian mentioned something about your mother hating smokers, implying that I did smoke?"

I nod hesitantly after thinking back. "That was the prank. You called him strawberry shortcake, right?"

"Well I haven't smoked. I did once but almost choked."

"And you're telling me this, why?" He shakes the metal box with a chuckle.

"Because the only reason I was caught smoking was so nobody actually knew that I enjoyed art," I feel so confused right now and noticing my expression he continues. "I used to hide around the back of the gym last year. People assumed things, it was actually Lachlan that smokes and one day a teacher was coming so I stole the smoke from him so he wouldn't get in trouble with his parents. He kept my secret hidden so I protected his, he only does it when he's stressed."

"Does he still smoke?" I drop my voice with a crease in my eyebrows. "I'll have to talk to him about that. . ."

"Not as much as he used to and a pack lasts him two months."

"I feel like there was a point to this story."

"I just wanted to clarify something that isn't necessarily true," He drops the metal box inside his bag. "I carry the box with me and I used to take a notebook with me until I decided to stop. Do you know why I stopped?"

I hesitate in responding. "Because you stopped caring what others thought of you?"

"Yep. That was the point of my story and I thought if people knew it would affect me personally but it didn't," His eyes flicker behind me and I do the same as I notice a group of the girls walk in while laughing with one another. "You can choose whether you want to do this for Blair's sake or you can do it for yourself because it's your passion."

I look back with a small smile as he gently plays with my finger tips. He holds eye contact as I resist the urge to kiss him for the sweet words. Rhys always knows what to say to ease my nerves and his actions soothe the thoughts momentarily as she invades them. He makes everything okay.

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