I'm pretty sure last night was a dream. No, I'm certain.

         Who am I kidding? Last night was not a dream, and it most definitely was not a nightmare. Last night, or rather the early hours of this morning, River carried me in his arms, by his own accord, through the woods, and to the house. Although I was half asleep, I remember how his strong arms felt as they held me close against his solid torso. How his breath tickled my skin when he spoke because of our proximity.

         Damn it, River. Stop being so attractive. 

         Sighing, I reach my arms out towards the ceiling, stretching and yawning simultaneously. Thank God it's Saturday, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get out of bed for school with the laziness I'm feeling. Turning to lie on my side, I face the beauty that is beyond the balcony doors. Luckily, the curtains aren't drawn, allowing me to admire the unobstructed view of the garden.

         Okay, Lea, up you get, time to start your day.

        I listen to the voice in my head - that seems to sound a lot like my mother - and push the plush duvet from my body, permitting the coolness of the room to touch my bare skin. Slowly, trying to avoid getting a head rush, I sit up straight, brushing away any stray hairs from my face. Twisting my head, I read the time that's visible on the clock above this bed. 

         Twelve o'clock?

         Twelve o'clock!

         As in, noon? Why hasn't anyone woken me yet? I know it's Saturday, but I hate sleeping into the afternoon. I've lost my whole morning. Annoyed, I drop back onto the bed, only too far off to the side rather than on the pillow.


         Yes, that was the sound of my body slamming against the floor, and yes, I am hurt, and yes, my head is twisted in a way that it should never be twisted in. The duvet wraps around my legs as they fall from the comfy mattress and slap the wooden flooring that isn't covered by the rug, resultantly making me wince in pain. Luckily, due to the fabric of the duvet that's covering my face, my wince only makes a quiet, muffled sound – otherwise, if anyone else heard it, it would be embarrassing.

         "Are you okay?" I hear chuckles erupt in the doorway of this guestroom.

         Way to jinx it, Lea.

         "I mean, I know I call you clumsy all the time, but really? You managed to fall off a California king bed?" River's teasing and amused voice travels nearer to me, along with the sound of his footsteps. "How'd you manage it?"

         "It's a rare talent," I mumble into the duvet, squeezing my eyes shut in irritation. Pushing the fabric away from my face, I look directly up at him.

         He simply smirks, shakes his head a little, and then kneels down to my level before pulling the duvet away from the rest of my upper body. His fingers graze my collarbone, only for a second, but that's all it takes for my blood to boil vigorously within in my cheeks, and enlighten my face with the colour red. When the duvet falls from my stomach, I feel a slight chill touch the skin near my belly button. Cautiously, I look down at my midriff and realize that my t-shirt is rolled up to my chest, leaving my bare stomach on show...

         And River is staring at it.

         Gulp. Double gulp. Triple gulp.

         Reflexively, I pull my t-shirt down to cover my belly, too speedily that I accidentally hit River's hand away that was still clutching the duvet. His eyes meet mine, and we both hesitate. However, I'm relieved when he looks elsewhere before clearing his throat and standing back up. Trying to ignore the incline in my pulse rate, I sit up in my spot.

"Come on, get up." He tells me, outstretching his hand towards me to help me off the floor.

Unlike yesterday in the school parking lot, I do take River's hand, sliding my palm on top of his to have his fingers wrap around mine. Poorly ignoring the tingling that comes with his touch, I untangle my legs from the duvet and stand up. Only when I'm fully balanced does our grip loosen and we let go. 

River picks up the duvet, rolling it up in an untidy ball before dropping it onto the large, white mattress. Turning back around to face me, he chews on his bottom lip. For a moment, his eyes wander down my body, then back up to meet mine again, a smugness rearranging his expression. Due to his surveying eyes, I feel the need to cross my arms over my chest to hide it a little.

"Huh, that's funny." He says. His eyes focus on my arms that are currently folded over my chest.

"What's funny?" I ask, my voice is stern. No way is he going to think it's okay for him to blatantly eye me up like that. I tighten my folded arms, only to realise that it's actually causing my boobs to squish up together and form even more cleavage for him to stare at.

Yeah, you're not very clever Lea.

I finally drop my arms as River answers.

"I don't get turned on by you, even though you're practically baring all skin." He admits confidently, his eyes meet my glaring ones. I have no choice but to drop my jaw until it physically cannot drop any lower, and scowl at the bastard. My eyes are piercing and wide, as if I've seen a ghost. River, the dickhead, is still a jerk, even though the small part of me thought that he was a decent guy, I now know for sure.

So fucking rude. 

"Right, because my only wish in life is to turn you on," I bite back.

He laughs, "just an observation." 

"Well, dickhead, I'd rather you keep your observations to yourself," I say back so venomously that it weakens his smile a little. "If you'll excuse me, I need some privacy to change." 

I'm annoyed, and hurt, and shocked that River is saying this to me, directly to my face. Can he be much more of a jackass?

Busying myself with neatening the duvet, I don't dare look up to see him as he turns around and starts quietly towards the open door. Once he steps out of the guestroom and into corridor lit with sunshine, I sense him twisting his full body back to face in my direction.

"Everyone's out, and they're not going to be back for a while. If you want, I'm going to cook lunch," he says, reaching for the door handle, but before the closing the door, he speaks again. And this time, I cannot restrict my eyes from finding his.

"I'll be in the kitchen, come down when you're changed, if you want," he pauses for a second before finishing with "we can cook together."

He basically just insulted me, and now he wants me to cook with him?

River, you're utterly confusing. 



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