36 - Stupid, Earnest and Relentless

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"Rian!" I called, banging on the door. "Let me in!"

No answer.

I knocked harder this time. "I'm serious! Don't make me break and enter again!"

Still nothing.

"Alright," I muttered, letting my hands slip off the door's smooth surface. "You wanna play it that way? Fine by me."

I dug around in my coat pockets for the bobby pins I always kept in case of emergency. My fingers brushed a candy wrapper, some thread, and—were those my earbuds? I'd been looking for those for weeks!

Finally, I touched cool metal. But I frowned—it had too jagged an edge to be my bobby pins. I withdrew the object in confusion.

A key.

"What the hell . . ." I mumbled, before pausing in shock. I remembered snatching a spare key off of Rian's coffee table the last time I was here, on my way to buy that disastrous fever medicine. Was this it?

"No way." I reached forward, extending the key to the lock. It slid in easily. My eyes widened with glee as I turned it and the door clicked open.

Past me is a genius, I thought happily as I stepped inside. The place was just as it'd been before—clean, chrome and cavernous. Whatever you had to say about the boy, he sure knew how to decorate.

"Oh my god," an irritated voice called out. "You actually broke into my house?"

My head whipped around to face Rian, who was lounging on his steel-grey couch. He drew himself up and turned to glare at me. I glared right back.

"I knew it!" I exclaimed triumphantly, jabbing an accusing finger in his direction. "I knew you were ignoring me!"

He rolled his eyes. "Of course I was ignoring you. That's what you do when a crazy person knocks on your door."

I scoffed, brushing past the insult. "If that were true, I guarantee you'd still be wondering what my apartment looks like."

He didn't bother responding to that one, instead choosing to lie back down. I shut the front door, slipping his house key back into my pocket. I had a feeling I'd need it again.

I walked over to him. He was staring at the ceiling, paying me no attention. I leaned over his body, purposefully letting my hair tickle his features. After a few moments of this, his annoyed obsidian eyes rounded on me.

"Get your hair out of my face," he growled.

I pretended to think about it, still letting the deep red waves dangle over him. "How about no?" I said finally, giving him a wicked grin when his eyes narrowed.

"Really?" he asked threateningly.



Without warning, he reached up and wrapped an arm around my waist. I yelped as he pulled me down onto the couch, practically into his lap. My face went redder than my hair.

He smirked at me, glancing down the length of his body. "Now, isn't that better?" he drawled. 

I fought to get off of him, but his hand on my hip locked me in place. "It's not better," I snapped, struggling to keep my blush in check. "Let me go."

"Hmm." His eyes lit up with devilish delight. "How about no?"


"Saying my name like that isn't helping you."

My blush intensified, and I scowled at him. His infuriating attitude was making it hard to remember what I'd come here to do. His smirking face was all I could see.

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