37 | in which she fears he'll leave

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Love is like breathing.
Getting lost in your eyes and forgetting how to breathe.

.\.|./.

Crystal Monroe

| in which she fears he'll leave |

I wake up to an empty hotel room, staring at the empty bed space next to me.

"Ryan?" I grumble, strangely aware of how awkward it would be if he actually responded. Such a girlfriend thing to do.

Shaking my head, I slowly sit up so that the covers slip off me. My eyes scan my surroundings and I don't know how to feel. The bathroom door is half-open and there is no sound from inside it. I get out of bed and enter the bathroom, rinsing my mouth and splashing water on my face before looking around for our things.

"Ryan?" I call louder this time, seeing our bag of clothes still lying on the chair in the corner.

There is no response.

I sit in the bed for a long time, staring at my own hands. There is no sign of Ryan anywhere around, and I wonder if I should get up and leave the room. Without him, I probably shouldn't even be here.

But if he's gone, he's probably taken the car along. Unless something happened to him. Ryan wouldn't just leave me without an explanation.

Would he?

The click of the door opening startles me and I jump, staring wide-eyed at the door that opens when Ryan enters. He's carrying a tray with some disposable boxes in it, stopping suddenly when he catches sight of me.

"Crystal?" he asks, quickly placing the tray on the dingy table in the corner before approaching me at a brisk pace. "Are you okay? Is something wrong?"

I exhale a shaky breath as soon as he places a hand on my shoulder, closing my eyes and dropping my head.

"Crystal, what's --"

"Nothing, I'm fine," I say, sounding the exact opposite of fine. "I just ..."

"Did something happen?" Ryan asks, not convinced by my lie. "Did you see someone or --"

"No, I just ..." I trail off, not knowing what to say.

There is a pause, as Ryan slowly brings his hand to cup my face and make me look at him. His grey eyes are smoldering when he speaks, causing my heart to stop.

"Truth or dare, Crystal?" he asks.

I roll my eyes, smiling slightly.

"Truth," I answer softly. "And I know what you're going to ask."

"What worried you?"

I close my eyes. "I was afraid you left," I confess. "I've been left alone so many times, I don't think I can take being abandoned one more time, especially not by you --"

He leans in, pressing his lips against my forehead and holding me close. I love his expressions of affection, so gentle and full of love. He never kisses me on the lips, choosing either my hands or my forehead. It's respectful, and other girls might not agree, but I love everything about it.

"I'm not leaving you," he whispers against my skin. "Never."

I trust him, shifting closer so that I fit neatly against his body. He smells like fresh flowers, and I assume he took a bath with the fragrant soap of the hotel before he went wherever he went.

"I pick truth too," he says, surprising me.

Pulling back, I peek at his face and see that he has something to tell me.

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