35 | in which she lets him into her pants

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Some days we cried until we laughed.
Some days we laughed until we cried.
Either way ...
Every day was perfect.

.\.|./.

Crystal Monroe

| in which she lets him into her pants |

Ryan falls asleep after a while, his head resting against the back of the seat and his fingers in mine. I don't pull my hand out of his, liking the clammy warmth that his skin radiates.

I admit, he looks so much younger when he's sleeping like this, his dark hair a stark contrast against his pale skin. The tan that had been on his skin when I first met him has faded, and with it, the last of the reminders of his LA life.

Before he returns to it.

I know it's wrong, that to help me escape from my past, he's forced to take me to his. It worries me, because he's been on edge ever since we left Alaska, and though he would never admit it, I can tell it's not easy for him.

Maybe that's why he needs it so much. Maybe that's why he needs closure like I needed it. Full and painful, in all its tragic glory.

It hurts, the truth does. It hurt me when it was in the shape of Jeremy, leaving bruises on my body. And it will hurt Ryan too, in the form of LA. But that's the thing about the end. It's inevitable, and sometimes, it's mandatory. You can't begin a new story if you don't end the last one.

We reach a gas station, and I dig into my pockets to find some cash. I have nothing, not a single penny.

"My wallet's in the dash," Ryan says, almost startling me.

I look at him to see him peeking at me through half-closed eyes, his head against the back of the seat.

Feeling incredibly small for being so dependent on him, I find his wallet and take out some money to get gas.

"We're almost out of water," Ryan says, glancing over to the backseat to see the stray bags of crisps and empty water bottles.

"I can go get some," I say, unbuckling my seatbelt and getting out of the car with Ryan's wallet in my hand.

As the car is refilled, I make my way over to the quick-mart on the side, rubbing my eyes and tapping my hair into a respectable appearance. Somehow, with Ryan, I don't have to worry.

I get water and refill our snack-stash, buy a carton of beer for the road, and pay in cash. By the time I get back with my arms struggling to carry all the things I got in bags, Ryan is about to doze off again.

"And you said you weren't tired," I remind him.

Ryan gives me a sleepy smile, glancing at all the things I got.

"Sorry you're probably bankrupt now," I say quickly, hoping to get Ryan to loosen up again.

I miss his cheerfulness, and ever since he took me to the hospital he's been awfully quiet. the prospect of going to LA and then the almost-fiasco with the bandits seem to have hit him hard.

Ryan finally chuckles, putting a hand in one of the bigger grocery bags. He grabs the carton of beer, already getting out of the car. Before I can say anything, he's walking back to the mart with the carton in his hands.

He returns a few minutes later, carrying a carton of coke instead.

"What was the about?" I ask him as soon as he's back in the car.

"I don't think having beer in the car is a good idea," Ryan admits, yawning and stretching. "With the state of mind I'm in, what if I relapse?"

I stare at him, not knowing whether to consider his words a joke or take them seriously. He smiles, reaching out to touch my cheek.

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