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sᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴅᴀʏʟɪɢʜᴛ [Sin]

By SmileBright

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They dated through highschool, being best friends before that. When she went away to college, they broke up, letting each other explore other options, saying if they were meant to be, they would be. He stayed in their town, going to school at a college nearby.

They tried to stay in contact, but it eventually fizzled out, as she assumed she’d never go back to the town she was originally from.

After school, she gets into a serious relationship, and is now engaged. She returns to her old town, wanting to get married back home.

Going to a bar with friends, she just hoping to have a simple night out. But when she looks over to the small stage where they have live music on the weekends, she sees her old best friend, his eyes locked onto her as well while he is singing.

After his set, he makes his way over to her, hoping to reconnect with his old best friend, whom he believes he is still in love with. She seems to feel the connection as well, but now she is happily engaged. But, she seems to not want to tell her friend right away, until her fiance calls wondering where she is. But the two old friends agree to meet up, wanting to catch up properly.

Beginning to reconnect with an old love interest while planning a wedding was not what she expected, but she needs to make a choice. Marry her fiance, or find new love in an old friend.

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Name||Age (24+)||Occupation||
Short Bio

Him: Taken

Hunter Ash Miller||26||Bartender/Aspiring Musician||
Short Bio: Even after his best friend left their small town, Hunter did not have the heart to do the same. He had grown up there, and eventually his career could send him somewhere else, and he’d rather soak up his town as much as possible. He dated here and there after her, but no one ever compared to the spark the two shared. Even though they stopped talking, he knew all he wanted was her to be happy. When she returned to their town out of the blue, he knew there was a reason she came back, and he wasn’t going to let it get away from him. Not again.

Her: Taken

ᴀʐᴀʀɪᴀʜ ɪᴅᴀʟɪᴀ ᴍᴏᴏɴ||26||Hospice Nurse||
Short Bio: Azariah, also known as Az, has always been a tomboyish girl. Much against her father's wishes on becoming a 'proper lady, Az has always been walking a bit on the rebellious side. Despite her slightly timid nature, Az has a way with having a hard time being too brash and outspoken at the worst moments and too quiet and reserved at the inappropriate times. This has lead her to commit a couple of mistakes, yet she finds her mistakes as small hiccups that help her grow.

However, most of her mistakes have lead others to despise her, run away from her or simply push her away. The one regret she has had was to push her best friend, former boyfriend, away; Hunter. With pride being one of her many flaws, Az didn't have the guts to speak up about her own regret of leaving him behind for feeling like she wouldn't ever be good enough for him. Instead, she chose to move on so he'd have a better chance at life while she'd still be figuring out hers…

After college she met Elijah and everything had seemed to fall into place. Swooned and in love, Az had thought she had it all. Marriage wasn't even a doubt. And thus she wanted to be married back in her hometown where her family was. But then after seeing Hunter again… things felt a bit different.


-PLEASE BE 21+. The characters are that age and I prefer to write with someone my own age. There are mature themes and it is a comfort thing for me as an educator.
-Real Photos Please. Something that isn't too big, doesn’t have a watermark, and fits the personality of your character. I am more than happy to assist in finding a photo and I can edit it for you as well if need be.
-I can write anywhere from 1000 Characters to 1000 Words. I ask that you stick to AT LEAST 1000-1500 Characters a post.
-This roleplay will be romance based. Please don’t make it immediate, especially for the woman. She is engaged to someone else, whom she loves. She wouldn’t drop him immediately for an old friend. They will have to realize it for themselves.
-You will, at times, may need to play NPCs. Friends, your fiance, etc. I will do the same for my character, but they do not have to be a whole new character. It will be mostly her and him, NPCs just help move the story alone.
-Please PM me a skeleton and I will accept before requesting access to the roleplay. Otherwise, I will refuse.
-Please PM me and let me know if you have any twists or turns you want to add. I love and encourage it!
-Please post at least one a week. I’ll let you know if it will take me longer than that, and I expect the same on your end. If I don’t hear from you and there is no post in 14 days, I will delete the thread and try again.
-PLEASE do not steal this plot. I've been working on this for a while. The poem is not mine but the plot is, so please accept that and do not steal it.
-Let’s have fun!
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[center [b Before]]

Hunter pressed one kiss to her cheek before stepping back from her car. As he watched Az’s car pull away, he held back the need to run after her and beg her to stay. She needed to be free, to go off and find herself. She would be back, he knew she would be. And he would be here, waiting for her.

They kept in touch, for a few months, before slowly, the messages became fewer and far between, until they stopped completely. He wanted to reach out to her, but he knew that this was what was best for her. Whatever would make her happy, even if it did the opposite to him.

The only thing that could soothe him was his music, constantly playing and perfecting the song he would always sing to her. The one he wrote for her. Adding in and taking out parts, but he always kept it close. And soon, he was playing gigs and different bars, and her song became a staple. He would play it everywhere he went, and girls would fantasize about it being for them. Asking him who it was for, and he would usually claim either his current girlfriend, or, when single, that it was for an ex. Going into a story about Az would hurt too much.

But in his heart, he knew she’d come back. And in that, he hoped it’d be for him.

[center [b Now]]

[b “Ten minutes boys! Ten minutes!”] Dom’s voice rang through the bar, [i Atomica]. Hunter and his small band of his two best friends, Tommy and Richie, setting up on the stage they’d be playing on tonight. He had played here hundreds of times, the best bar in town. It helped that he worked as a bartender here as well, whenever he wasn’t playing. He was an aspiring musician, and was waiting for the day they’d get discovered and move to the big leagues, but he never knew if he was really ready for all that just yet. They had quite a following in the surrounding towns, so he knew they’d be at least a bit of a crowd for them, as well as usually bar goers on the usual Saturday.

Hunter set up his microphone stand, as Richie worked on the drums and Tommy tuned his guitar. [b “We open in ten minutes! C’mon! No one wants to watch you sound check.”] Dom spoke, as he made his way back to his bar, making sure everything was set for the rush. They already had a line out the door, this place was popular, and Hunter was ready. [i “Alright, alright. Relax, chief. We’ll be ready.”] Hunter said, as several drums smashed down behind him. [i “Hopefully.”] he finished, turning to help his friend set the new drum set up.

7:00pm came quickly, as soon the bar was filling up with people. A couple of girl’s came up to the bar to flirt with the band members, getting in some requests as well. The first one, as always, Az’s song. He really hadn’t found a name for it, and everyone just called it ‘Girlfriend’, so he coined it as such. As the line outside diminished, the inside of the bar was raging. People were milling near the stage, knowing the band was starting soon. Their group, [i Phoenix], was ready to go. Dom gave them the okay, and Hunter stepped up to the mic. [i “Hey Atomica! Who's ready for a good night, huh?”] he asked, a wave of ‘Woos!’ went through the bar. [i “We’ll start with an old favorite. Goes out to an old ex of mine, and I hope she’s happy, whereever she is.”] he spoke, before letting the band start behind him.

Hunter was singing, letting the girl’s in front swoon at the song, and continued to sing out. [i “We even got a secret handshake//And she loves the music that my band makes//I know I'm young but if I had to choose her or the sun//I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun.”] he sang. As he kept going, his eyes were drawn to a redhead sitting at the bar. [i “Take a look at my girlfriend…”] he continued, and then realized.

It was Az.

His eyes went wide, but continued to sing. She’d have to know it was him, she’d have to know it was her song. Hunter didn’t look that different, except for the tattoos and how he styled his hair. She had to know it was him. She looked just as beautiful as she did when she left, maybe even more so. She definitely matured, and he loved that she was here. He began to get a bit more confident, trying to show off to her a bit more than before. All he wanted was her to look over, and notice it was him.

Back then…

Today was the day. The day that would mark her life in history, as her father had said. Today was when she'd finally leave her hometown to spread her wings at her new university; her new road to becoming a graduated nurse. And yet somehow she didn't feel quite right. Az knew that breaking up with Hunter was a mutual decision. Even though she had been the one to offer it up, hoping that Hunter wouldn't take it as an insult. He… he was surprisingly alright with it. It had only.made her wonder if their time together had even really mattered much to him. And yet Az also didn't want to think over the possibilities of her staying behind with him. No. She had decided to leave him behind the night she had noticed Danielle, an ex classmate of theirs, staring at Hunter. Danielle was a high honor student. She was popular. She was beautiful and intelligent. She was everything that Azariah wasn't. And Azariah had known that Danielle had been after Hunter for a while, since before they had gotten together. And yet he had chosen her over Danielle…

At first Azariah had been thrilled, having her best friend become her boyfriend as well. Yet as time passed the time came when things had unexpectedly came up to face her. First kiss was lovely. A romantic funny moment shared between the two of them, sending fireworks through her body. But then came the next step, the step everyone expected them to take in any healthy relationship. And yet… she wasn't ready for it.

Painful, awkward and simply messy described that first night she'd been with Hunter. A night she truly didn't want to remember, but also didn't want to forget. Of course, Az was the type to be verbal about her thoughts, most of the time and yet that night she hadn't seemed able to speak about what she really wanted--not to have sex as of yet.

Time went by, things changed and the more Az spent time with Hunter, the more she realized how much she just wasn't for him. She wouldn't be good enough for him… He'd eventually tire of her… like every guy would if she wouldn't give in entirely…

Hence she had to stop this… before they'd both end up hurt… more than she'd already felt…

Az could feel Hunter's kiss on her cheek, something he had always done even when they had been only friends. And though Azariah wanted to turn around, kiss him and hug him tightly. Tell him that she wanted to put all these silly feelings behind and just keep going within... But she withdrew herself from doing anything but smile at him and slipped into her father's car.

Az kept her eyes on the black carpet floor of the backseat. Trying her best not to overthink things that could.lead to her jumping right out of the car to run back to Hunter. And if she dared to look outside, she knew that the regret that was slowly seeping into her heart would become more unbearable. He needed to be free, to go off and find himself. Find someone better for him. And she… she'd focus on her studies and eventually her career…

Everything had gone and she'd planned. Stress overtook her life, a new lifestyle had helped her anxieties peak. keeping in touch with Hunter had become more difficult. Her longing to go back home and into his arms had grown stronger. But Azariah wasn't one to give up so easily when she became determined with something. Hence she had made the first choice to cut ties with Hunter completely… since he was already becoming her distraction.

At first it was hard, then it became easier until finally… she hadn't realized that her subconscious mind had pushed her memories with Hunter at the back of it with lock and key... Then… everything had seemed to calm down… And that's when she had met Elijah.


"Are you ready for your bachelorette party, Az?!" Her best friend Yasmine cheered. "I'm just a little pissed that you still won't go to a strip club. At least let me order one of them honeys back to our hotel room. Heck, how about a dancing bear?" She winked at Az.

"Yas, you know Azariah isn't into seeing naked muscular dudes. That's why she hasn't fucked that many guys." Gabriella, her other best friend, mentioned with a laugh.

Azariah rolled her eyes. It wasn't her fault she didn't really find anything desirable about seeing strangers naked bodies. It was just that, another body to her. "We can do that for you later, Yas. But for now I want to hit the bar and drink my night away."

"We could do that AND watch a brother seduce us." Yasmine smiled brightly.

Azariah chuckled. "Later, Yas. Maybe if I'm drunk enough I'll agree." She spoke softly. She then pulled the door of the bar open. Her eyes lurked around the faces, none that she could remember. Everything in her town had changed so much, including the people. One thing only seemed to stay the same… her mother.

“Ten minutes boys! Ten minutes!” Azariah heard a man call out. Her eyes shifted to her friends.

"Seems like we got her on time. Some gig is about to start." Azariah smiled.

Yasmine sighed. "You and your weird music fetishes."

Gabriella laughed. "At least she has one fetish. That we know of."

"You mean apart from Elijah?" Yasmine grinned. Azariah rolled her eyes again. They were hopeless. If they weren't her friends, she would be sure that they would've been her highschool bullies part two.

"Let's just order a drink. Get this place turnt up!" Yasmine cheered before walking off to the bar. Meanwhile, Gabriella pulled Azariah through the crowds of people and to an empty booth near the stage but by the bar.

"At least here we can check out the band." Gabriella smiled at Azariah. "So what are the plans for tonight? Are you really going to let Yas get some stripper boy dance for us back at our room?"

Azariah shook her head. "I really don't think it's a good idea. I'd rather spend my night throwing up in the bathroom regretting my liquor choices all night than having some stranger wiggle his ass and crotch in my face." Azariah laughed.

"We could always have Elijah do it for you." Gaby smiled.

Azariah blinked twice before laughing. "Oh God no. He'd enjoy that too much."

Gaby smiled before glancing at Yasmine who suddenly appeared with one bottle of Vodka and two of Tequila. She then placed three shot glasses down on the table. Azariah stared wide eyed.

"Jesus, Yas, isn't that too much for the three of us?"

"We about to make this night unforgettable! Bride to gets the first shot." Yas poured her a shot of tequila and slid it over to her. "So drink up homey."

Azariah sighed and nodded. "Fine." She took the shot. She winced at the burning feeling lingering inside her mouth. "Oh that's thick…"

"So is my fake dick. Now stop being a weakass and take another." She poured her another, then another and another. Seven shots in, Azariah knew she was going to be dead soon. Surely Yas was going to make her die tonight… But at least she'd be in her hometown so her parents could save her. Azariah took the other shot, only to notice then the lights suddenly blacking out and focusing on the stage lights. Her eyes lurked to the stage as the music started to play. The band seemed nice, they knew how to play. And the sing--- Azariah suddenly dropped her shot glass onto the table when she noticed the singer. Had… was… was she looking at him right?

"You alright there, Az?" Gaby asked. Though Azariah wasn't sure if she was. Her thoughts became too clouded with all of the memories she shared with Hunter. It had been forever since she'd seen him or heard from him. And shamefully she had to admit that she had somewhat forgotten about him. But… but it was nice to see him again. He hadn't changed a bit… Just a couple of tattoos and… well he did look manlier than what she remembered.

Azariah nodded slowly. His ex… did he mean her or someone else? She took notice of the song… The lyrics only reminding her of when they were together… When she was his one and only. He had written a song about her? No, no he couldn't have. It must've been someone else. Azariah swallowed hard. This wasn't happening… right? She was just in a very bad dream and yet as their eyes met, Az couldn't help but feel the contents of her stomach suddenly flop. Fuck.

"Wow, that singer is kinda cute." Yas commented with a giggle, bringing Az out of her sudden trance. "I wouldn't mind having a secret handshake with him." Yas chuckled.

"Would it actually be with his hands, Yas?" Gaby laughed.

"Nope. No it wouldn't be." Yas laughed as well. Azariah blinked twice. That… just no. Her eyes shifted to Gaby and then Yas. They didn't know about Hunter… she hadn't told them about him… nor her fucking mistake. And she wasn't going to either. They would surely kill her if they found out. But then again… he seemed to be in a better position now than he was before… He looked happy and the crowd definitely loved him.

Azariah felt like she was going to throw up. She suddenly got up as the song ended and was about to run for the bathroom when Yas grabbed her hand. "Let's go meet the singer. We can invite him and the band out with us, maybe come back to our place and we can have some fun." Yas suggested as she pulled Azariah with her towards the stage. Despite Azariah's clear rejection of her attempting to pull her hand away, Gaby still pushed her from behind.

"Don't be shy, Az. You need to get laid before you stick to Elijah the rest of your life. Enjoy life for a bit." Gaby smiled.

"Wait what?" Azariah shook her head. " I-I'm not going to---" she was suddenly shoved to the front of the stage. Tripping over a bit, she stopped her face from bashing on to the stage by extending her arms out and catching herself on the edge of the stage. Her eyes stared down at the shoes of the man in front of her. She could feel her heart racing inside of her chest as her eyes slowly drifted up the familiar body figure and met with those unmistakable beautiful eyes. Fuck. "Hey there!" She finally spat out. "Long time no see. Loved the performance. Loved the music, love the band and the song. So yeah I'm back." She laughed nervously as she stood up straight. "So… so I'm just gonna go back to my table." She began to back away slowly. "See ya! Break a leg! Not literally." She smiled nervously. "Ok bye!" She turned and hurried away back to her table. She was an idiot. A nervous fucking idiot.

Her eyes stared at her friend who snickered. "You guys are the devils." She smirked at them while she sit back down.

As Hunter looked over again, her eyes were on his. Her beautiful eyes stared back at him with the same amount of shock he had had moments before. He was happy he had relaxed by the time their eyes connected, and he was able to prove he had made it. He was doing okay for himself, because he had remembered telling time and time again he ‘didn’t know what he was going to do without her’. She seemed as shocked to see him as he was to see her, seeing a shot glass literally fall out of her hand. She was with people he had never seen before, maybe some new friends from wherever she had ended up. But the main question on his mind was a simple one; why was she back? And better yet, why didn’t she tell him? Sure, they hadn’t talked in years, but she might have guessed he would still be kicking it here. Was there something she didn’t want to tell him, or had she forgotten about him. He, clearly, hadn’t forgotten about her.

Hunter had dated, sure, but it was hard to not compare people to his first love. He had a couple of long term relationships, some flings too; but nothing felt as solid as he did when him and Azariah were together. Very much in love, he thought. When she had mentioned leaving and breaking up, he acted pretty cool about it. He only did that to prevent having an outburst about how crazy he thought the idea was. He knew she was going away, and he had been prepared to follow her, or do something long distance. But when she brought it up, he had no choice but to agree. He didn’t want the bad blood between them, but it didn’t stop them from discontinuing contact.

As the song ended, applause rapped through the bar, Hunter giving a smile and a wave out. He really hadn’t been paying attention to Az, but soon there was someone who was almost thrown at the stage. He quickly made his way, reaching his hand down. [i “Oh god, are you alright?”] he asked. Seeing the hair, he knew it could be only one person. As her face met his, he could only smile. She was even more perfect up close. He could see some girls behind her, smiles on their faces as well. As he was about to bend down and help her, say something to her, she was up and began. The things leaving her mouth were quick and it was cute to see her so flustered. He definitely chuckled at her joke about breaking a leg and was sad to see her leave. He wanted to talk to her, and off she was. She was still in the bar, and that meant he could catch her later. He was mainly happy she heard the song, her song.

Richie, his guitarist and best friend, came up to him as they were adjusting levels.
[b “Was that…”]
[i “Yeah...”]
[b “Did you know…?”]
[i “Would I have acted like an idiot if I had?”]
[b “Are you…”]
[i “Nervous as fuck, yes.”]
Richie and Hunter knew each other too well at this point, so unfinished questions were common. Both Tommy and Richie, friends from college, knew of Az from Hunter’s countless stories about her. But seeing her, you could feel the tension between the two of them, even with their short encounter.

After playing a couple of more original songs of theirs, songs to get up and dance to, he switched over and played some covers of a few favorites or a bit heavier versions of pop songs. They weren’t playing heavy metal, but something a bit more pop punk to get the crowd up and moving. Once his time was over and they would soon switch to a new band or DJ for the night. The band would usually hang around, as Dom basically offered them an open bar for the rest of the night, and then only paid them when the bar closed. It was his way of making Hunter help close before he got his money. He also couldn’t say much, as he gave him a job and a stage to sing on.

Once the stage was clear, Hunter was dead set on finding Azariah. After grabbing a beer, he scanned the bar as he leaned against the countertop, taking a swig of the drink. [i “Man, where is she?”] Hunter spoke to himself, but enough for Richie and Tommy, who were next to him, to hear. [b “I dunno man, would she leave?”] Richie asked, looking around. [+grey “Maybe she’s in the bathroom or something. Look, her friends are over there.”] Tommy spoke. [+grey “I know Az is off limits, but…”]. [i “You can hit on her friends, yes.”]. The two boys gave him a handshake before heading over, the two boys getting their flirt on with the two women at the table.

As he took another sip of his beer, his eyes did set on Az. She was sitting at a table alone, the girls further down on the bar, probably grabbing drinks. He headed over, hoping she wouldn’t be nervous around him if it was just the two of them. [i “Hey Az.”] he spoke softly, as not to spook her. [i “I just wanted to say hi. I mean, like more than that. I mean…”] he started, now he was a bumbling mess. [i “Sorry,’s really nice to see you. You look amazing.”] he spoke, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly, an awkward smile on his lips as well. [i “H-how have you been? It’s been a long time.”] he asked, putting a hand down on the back of one of the chairs at the table, using it to keep himself upright. He took another swig of his beer, before looking at her. [i “Oh my, do you want a drink or anything..”] he asked, seeing the couple of bottles on the table, [i “Unless you’re satisfied with those.”] he asked, pointing to the liquor with a slight chuckle. He wasn’t in tune with her drinking habits, as they maybe snuck a beer or two in high school together.

Hunter didn’t want to sit down, invade her space without her saying so. She might want nothing to do with her, but at least wanted to shoot his shot. He had no idea of her relationship status, and would even be okay with just reconnecting. If she wasn’t up for even reconnecting, he’d respect it. But, seeing her again brought a million things back into his head from the past. He wanted to catch up, take her out to her favorite place and just talk for hours like they used to. He would still see her mother at the store or something, always making a point to say hi and check in. He really did just miss [i her].

"It's not like you didn't enjoy the attention you got from the singer." Yasmine continued.

Az sighed. She knew Yasmine meant well for her, but sometimes she wondered if her friend was really trying to help her or create enough drama to get her into trouble. Luckily Gabriella was a bit more low key in comparison to Yasmine. If not, she'd surely have an awful time every single time they hung out.

"Well, since lame-ass daisy here doesn't wanna hang with the band, we will get more shots until you're drunk enough to have fun. Being prude won't get you anywhere hun." She winked at Az before leaving with Gaby. Az sighed in relief. At least she'd have some quiet time…

Or so she thought. Her eyes had then noticed Hunter walking over to her. Azariah had to remind herself that it was nothing. That he was nothing--no not that he was nothing. That they didn't have anything between them anymore. They were no longer together or lovers. That they were frien--- were they stilleven friends? It'd been so long that she had spoken to him… she kept her eyes on the shot she poured herself. She needed to calm down.

She took the shot just as she heard him speak her name again. She had nearly felt the alcohol come out her nose. She coughed slightly as she had forced it down her throat. She quickly turned to face him and smiled.

She tucked her hair behind her ears as he spoke about her appearance. He was being nice. As he always was… He was being just as awkward too. That alone made her feel comfortable. “I've been doing great!" She leaned back in her chair. "I finally graduated college and started to work right away as a Hospice care nurse.''

Her eyes glanced over to the empty bottle of tequila. "Oh, I think I'm good for now when it comes to the drinks." Her eyes lured back to him. "You are welcome to join us. I'm here with two of my best girl friends." She pointed over to the bar before patting the seat beside her. "Actually, I insist on you spending some time with us for a little. We could catch up… you can meet my friends and maybe you could tell me about you? How have you been? Also… I really enjoyed your performance… and the song." She chuckled. "Reminds me of the old days…"

Her eyes shifted over to her friends at the bar with the guus from the band. "Seems like your mates are interested in my girls."

The smile she had on her face when he came over brought him right back to when he was just 18 years old, spending his last night with her before she left. They were able to stow themselves away in his basement, his guitar propped against the wall to sing if she wanted him to, and just have one last night together. The smile that sat on her lips was the same, but he didn’t know if the girl who held it was still the same woman. But, he hoped she was in there.

When she spoke, she seemed happy. She was doing well, doing something she seemed happy doing. She was working, she had finished school; as he knew that was something she always talked about doing. [i “That’s amazing. I’m really happy for you, Az.”] he smiled back to her, leaning against the chair in front of him.

When she patted the seat next to him, insisting he spent time with them, he obliged. How could he not, really. He pulled his seat up next to hers, almost wanting to reach out and connect with her; her hand, her thigh, something, but he held off. He didn’t know if she was seeing someone, and he didn’t want to put her in a bad position. He had recently gotten out of a relationship, dating for a little under a year before the two decided they needed space. [i “Well, there isn’t a lot to tell. I’m still here, graduated school a couple of years ago. Working in this bar as a bartender, performing the other half of the time. I’m hoping for the music thing to take off soon, but ya know. It’s rough.”]

Hunter laughed, allowing a smile to rest on his face as she mentioned his performance. [i “Thanks. I’m glad you liked it, and I’m honestly glad you heard it too. I wrote it after you left, but it’s for you.”] he spoke, his voice not too loud. Not that he was embarrassed for people to know it was for her, but embarrassed that he had to tell her he wrote her a song like this. He had always hoped he could play it for her, more intimately, but once they’re connection was broken, he didn’t think he could reach out and show her once he had finished it.

When she mentioned their friends hitting it off, he smirked. [i “Looks that way.”] he spoke, a small laugh escaping as he watched his friends, who were terrible at flirting, flirt with these girls way out of their leagues. He turned back to Azariah, running a hand through his mess of a head of hair. [i “So, back in town for long? Actually, I’m just gonna come out and ask, why are you back?”] he asked. He knew it was a bit forward, but he wanted an answer. After they stopped talking, he had assumed he’d probably never see her again. And now, she was back. She was where he had wanted her to be for the last 8 years.

As he waited for her answer, his friends made their way to the table they were all seated at. The two boys pulled up chairs to sit beside whatever girl had been claimed by them for the night. [b “This must be your friend you’ve been talking about! I’m Richie, my friend’s Tom. And it looked like you and Hunter are already pretty acquainted.”] Richie said, leaning over the table slightly to introduce himself. Richie was always all over the place, especially when he was around his friends. Hunter rolled his eyes, his friends always barging in at the right time. [+grey “Hope we aren’t putting a damper on the bachelorette party you’re having.”] Tommy spoke, having been oblivious to the whole idea that Hunter and Azariah used to be together.

[i “Bachelorette party?”] Hunter teased, [i “whose getting married?”] he asked. He started laying on his charm, which is what always happened when he was in groups. He wasn’t flirting, but always a charmer when around new people. He looked around the group, trying to solve the answer to his own question.

Az smiled as he spoke about his life. It was nice to know that he was still the same. Hadn't really done much with his life or pursued a luxurious career. Instead he had kept it simple and decided to stay where he was most comfortable. Even though most people would've seen it as being lazy or even lame, Az found it ro be quite respectable and smart. Here he would have those who'd back him up no matter what. He didn't have to be constantly worrying about failure in his own town with his own people. He knew this place like the back of his hand and could find multiple ways to prosper. Unlike her who had to struggle a litt---lot at the beginning...

His laugh was contagious, Az found herself smiling. She had almost forgotten how much she enjoyed his laughter. Even after he explained that he had written it for her… He had written a song for her… after she left. Had he felt that lonely? Or was this his way of getting over her after she was gone? Whatever it was, she couldn't pay much mind to it. It was already over… And now she had Elijah.

His question had suddenly caught her off guard. She had almost forgotten about the bachelorette party she was participating in… She really didn't want to tell him. "I'm actually here for a good while. Two weeks to be exact. And honestly it's because I'm having a bach---"

Her eyes shifted to the men and her friends. Gaby was next to Tom while Yasmine had her arm wrapped around Richie's arm. She was a leech that way. Once she liked someone, she wouldn't let go so easily, unless asked to or given a proper reason.

"Oh, hi Rishie." Az replied with a smile. Her eyes then shifted to Tom who spoke. Her heart nearly stopped for a moment. This wasn't too bad. But even then Az felt a sense of guilt wash over her. Even more so when Tom spoke and then Hunter had only made the feeling grow more intensely in the pit of her stomach. Her eyes shifted over to Gaby who chuckled. "You're gonna tell him, right?"

"Not at all, Tom. I'm quite happy to meet you guys actually." Az smiled before turning to look at Hunter. "I'm actually having the bachelorette party." She said almost shamefully. A bit hesitant at first, Az then raised her left hand up and exposed the diamond ring on her finger. Her eyes remained on the table with a forced smile. "I-I'm getting married in two weeks."

"With a Doctor!" Yasmine nearly shouted and then howled. "This girl got a damn doctor to marry her. She gon' and did herself good." Yasmine laughed.

"She got herself a papi that will love her and spoil her non stop. Non-stop trips to Hawaii, Paris and Bahamas anyone?" Gaby chimed in.

Yes, Elijah was a doctor. A neurosurgeon to be exact. She had met him while she was studying in college. She had accidentally spilled her coffee on his laptop while in a café. She'd apologized so much for his clumsiness that she hadn't even realized that she had spilt some on him as well. And he… he had been amused by her sudden actions of trying to try the laptop and eventually his lap when she started to wipe him down with napkins. Awkward and charming. That's what he called her. Since then… they had become closer and eventually had gotten engaged.

"We were wondering if you here, lovely gentleman, would like to hang out with us? Help us celebrate my girl's engagement. I promise there will be lots of booze, on us, and boobs, on us too." Yasmine laughed.

"We're hiring strippers. Male for us, girls for you three?" Gaby grinned.

Az sighed softly and smiled before looking at Hunter. "You don't have to join if you don't want to. I'd totally get it… but… I wouldn't mind having you stick around for a while… maybe catch up for old times sake?"

The way one of her friends spoke made Hunter nervous. [b “You’re gonna tell him, right?”]. He liked to believe Az wouldn’t hide anything from him, but maybe that was back when they were close. They had 8 years between them now, and now, someone else too. [i “Tell me what?”] he cluelessly asked, until it all made sense.

Married. Azariah was getting married. In two weeks. To a freaking doctor. How was he supposed to compete with a doctor? He wasn’t surprised, honestly, because he knew how beautiful,competent, smart and charming she was, but he had hoped she was single, and that he actually had a chance. At that moment, he knew he should have ran after her father’s car that took her away from him. He should have gone with her, but he let her slip right through his fingers. He should have known someone would have snatched her up sooner rather than later. But, he couldn’t let her see the hurt he felt. Instead, he smiled. [i “That’s amazing. Congratulations.”]. He peered at the diamond ring she had gotten, and it was perfect. Something she deserved from someone she deserved, someone better than him. But, the way that she refused eye contact when she told him, showed she may be a bit embarrassed about it.

As her friends began to speak, Hunter was actually confused. Why were they asking him, her ex-boyfriend, to spend her bachelorette party with her? Then it clicked, they had no idea about him. About them. They were her new friends, and this whole area was new to them, including him. Tom and Richie were in the moment they heard what the girls had up their sleeves. Something right up their alley. He was about to politely decline, before Az’s voice spoke up.

Hearing her saying she wouldn’t mind having him around changed his mind immediately. Even if it was only two weeks and she would most likely move back to where she was before, leave again, he still wanted to reconnect. She had been his girlfriend, but she had been his best friend first. And he missed that more than anything. He wanted it, he wanted to be able to be there for her like he had been before. Through everything, they were there for eachother, and he got a do-over. And he wasn’t going to mess it up again.

[i “Sure, I’d love to.”] Hunter smiled, looking into her eyes. Those eyes he had missed dearly. He let his gaze slip away from her eyes, as to not heighten suspicion of her friends or her. He leaned over to her ear, lowering his voice, [i “I can guarantee the dancers are not your idea.”] he teased. Even with 8 years between them, he still knew her. She couldn’t have changed that much, personality wise...right? [i “Also, you’re gonna have to let me take you out or come over, I want to be able to catch up with my friend while we’re drunk at a club.”] he finished, before pulling away from her. And he meant it, he just wanted to catch up. Even if he was being even the tiniest bit flirty, he wasn’t about to be a homewrecker.

Their friends seemed enamored enough with each other that they didn’t notice his whispers, except maybe Richie who was giving him a side-eye look. He knew what that was. Richie didn’t want Hunter to ruin this for her, as Hunter cared for people hard and deep. But, that’s why Hunter controlled himself too. He wouldn’t do anything, unless she wanted to. He had nothing to hold against whoever she was marrying, but if she wanted it, he’d oblige, for her. But he wanted to, more than anything.

Hunter knew he couldn’t be silent now, he had to keep talking. But, he was ready to be done talking about her fiance, and would prefer anything else. [i “So, how did you all meet? Have you guys ever been to our small town before?”] he spoke, his charm seeping into his words. [i “You’d never guess it, but I met these goofballs in an advanced classic literature class in college.”] he teased towards his friends, who threw a few profanities towards him. [i “We got stuck on a project together, and they never left me alone.”] he teased further, his smile not leaving his face.

More profanities and teasing punches, Hunter quieted up. Even though he studied music, he gave himself a buffer of minoring in English. What that would do for him, he wasn’t sure, but it did keep his parents off his back. Hunter was a natural writer, as essays and projects of that nature came easy to him. He was also an avid reader, so English was an obvious choice. But music had always been his passion. And if he needed, he could easily become a teacher, which had always been his backup idea.

Az studied hunter closely. His actions spoke louder than the words that slipped from his mouth. The slightly hurt look behind his eyes. She almost felt guilty for having mentioned anything. In a way, she already regretted coming back. But since he was going to push past this and pretend everything was fine, then she'd do the same… for his sake.

Her heart fluttered a bit when she suddenly felt him lean closer to her. It was a rather unfamiliar yet familiar feeling. A feeling she could remember but had forgotten about. But his words made her laugh. At least he knew her well enough to identify who truly wanted the strippers. He would've known how… uninteresting she found other naked people to be. Though there was only one person who made her feel hot and bothered, nervous even, when she saw them naked, and it was--- "Hunter, you should know by now that it's gonna be very easy to get me drunk. I'm a lightweight as it is…" Hell, even right now she felt a bit buzzed, but it wasn't that bad yet… She just hoped she'd make it through the night. Especially now that she was near him… "I'd still love to go out with you. Afterall, catching up with a friend with a couple of drinks sounds pretty amazing. I just hope your back is still good. Since you're probably gonna have to carry me home like that first night we got drunk under the stars."

She could recall that night… It had been the night they had first kissed. Or well...the night she had kissed him and drunkenly confessed her feelings for him. She couldn't remember much else from that night… But she could remember his soft warm lips pressed to hers, the way he gazed at her, the way he held her closely…

Az shook the thought from her head and looked over at their friends. "No shame in that. It means all of you are wonderful writers. I remember Hunter being good with poetry. He always had to explain poetry to me… I guess I'm a little slow when it comes to verbal art." She laughed.

Yas looked at Hunter then. "Oh us, how we met?" Yasmine started while she laughed. "Oh boy, that was just a mess. Did you know this gurl is clumsy?" Yasmine looked at Gaby who laughed even harder.

"Az was my roommate in college. But I didn't really get to meet her since she is quieter than a church mouse. I met Az after I got drunk at a party. This girl had been invited to the college party but didn't go. No, she was too good to go and hang with us. I was trying to get back to my room but instead I fell face first into the college fountain. I was drowning in an inch of water, can you believe that?" Gaby smiled before looking at Az. "I just remember hearing this mamacita telling me off of how much of an idiot I was. How I was wasting my life on partying. How I wasn't going to pass my exam. And she was right. But this little girl dragged my fatass back to our dorm. She didn't complain, didn't tell me anything the next morning. She just took care of me. No questions, no judgement, just pure caring nature. And then I puked on her face. Best friends since. Right Az?"

Az cringed. "Yes… bestest if friends." She chuckled. "It was horrible… I smelled vomit for a week…"

"My turn, my turn." Yas cleared her throat. "I met Az butt naked, riding some guys dick in college. She kind of walked in on us getting it on. I remember her face was priceless, as if she had seen a ghost. She was paler than Casper, but her cheeks were redder than the apple that killed Snow White." She laughed. "She was in the college pool, we were in the locker room and boom! We got caught. She didn't snitch on us though, just got traumatized for a while. At first I thought she was the bitch trying to steal my mine away. But then I realized that she was just a little mouse trying to find somewhere to hide from the crowds that followed her taunting her. So… we became friends after. Now she my bitch." Yas smiled at Az.

"Totally, your bitch." Az rolled her eyes with a smile. Her eyes shifted over to Hunter. "I'm not as popular as you were, Hunter. Not even after college."

"Damn right. But your heart is in a good place, honey. That's all that matters." Yas smiled before looking at all of them. "Let us drink to our long lasting friendships!" She poured everyone a shot.

Az smiled and held her glass up to everyones, through her eyes soon met with Hunter's gaze. "To keeping our friendship forever?" She gently hit her glass against his. And downed the shot as everyone did.

The smile that sat on Hunter’s lips was bright, something he hadn’t felt like in a long time. Being able to be so happy was something he had been experiencing, especially as of late, and just having Az next to him brought it back. Listening as she spoke about carrying her home, he knew exactly what she was talking about. The two had gotten drunk together, both extremely nervous before Azariah had pressed her lips to Hunter’s, and he was able to quickly return the kisses back to her. That was the night they had kind of started dating, but Hunter confirmed the next morning, as he was unsure if he had actually asked her to be his that night.

[i “Actually, I’ve been working out. I actually enjoy working out now.”] he laughed. He had tried working out in highschool, and he hated it. He complained every single day to her about how he hated working out, but once she had left him, he needed to find something to get his mind off of her. So, he sang and ran. After he found out he enjoyed running, the gym became more enjoyable. Somewhere where he didn’t have to sit and wallow in his feelings, which happened if he sat still for too long.

But, what he was really interested in now was hearing how the girls met. Mainly, because he wanted to hear what Az was really like in college. He had always imagined she would break out of her shell while in college, go out and make lots of friends and have a lot of fun. But, immediately, he knew that wasn’t the case from Gaby’s story. Of course, she was the same as she was in high school. Keeping to herself, working really hard in school. Hunter always tried to bring her into friend groups he was in, but no one really stuck with her, except him. Hunter listened to her story, giving his own opinions through his facial expressions, as well as his friends, making comments through noises, as to not break the story.

Then, Yaz’s story was a bit more vulgar than the first. To be honest, Hunter would have never expected these kinds of people being Azariah’s best friends. He would have pictured different, someone who was similar to her. Yet, here she was with party girls, but they do seem like they were kind to her, which they were. She also showed them her kind heartedness, which is why their friendships started. And he always knew that would never leave the female. [i “Hey, being popular never beats having a few best friends. I think we both know that.”] he said, motioning to his best friends. Sure, he had lots of ‘friends’, more like acquaintances, but they were just around for a good time. They’d come to a house party or a show of his, but only Richie or Tom would show up at his house at 2am if he needed them.

Hunter looked toward Yaz, [i “Her heart has always been in the right place.”] he spoke, then turning to her, giving her a warm smile. Hunter took the shot glass that was slid toward him, holding it up to cheers with everyone. But, was pulled into a small cheers with just Az, when she met her gaze with him. He smiled at her, his teeth showing now. [i “Forever.”] he clinked their glasses, before shooting back the alcohol.

As the music became louder in the bar, Richie’s face lit up. [b “Aw, guys. We gotta dance, I love this song.”] he smiled, before taking Yaz with him. Tom followed behind, bringing Gaby by the hand with him too. Hunter smirked, [i “I know you’d rather stay here, but this is your night sweetheart. Let’s go dance.”] Hunter took another quick shot before he took her hand, pulling her to the dance floor. He hand was soft and the fact that he was able to call her sweetheart with such ease caused his face to heat up, but it was concealed by the heat the liquor brought to his face.

It was busy, and crowded, but Hunter made sure they found their friends. They had a small circle, the boys outside to protect the girls from any skeezy guys trying to make a pass. Gaby and Yaz seemed to dance with whatever male they had been paired with, while Hunter kept a little distance between the two of them. This was her bachelorette party, and, considering her friends were going to hire strippers, they wanted her to get some kind of action tonight. But, he knew that wasn’t Az’s style. If she ended up wanting to dance with her, he’d let her. Their hands were still intertwined, so he gave a small sip, trying to make her more comfortable in the crowd. He pulled his hand away, but leaned into her ear so she could hear him over the pounding music. [i “Do you want to dance?”] he asked, [i “However you feel comfortable.”] a smirk making its way to his face, his voice smooth as it left his lips.

Hunter was right… However, Az wasn't sure about Yas and Gaby being totally her best friends when it that. Yeah, they knew her in a way. They were around every now and again. And of course they were always there for her when she wanted a fun time. But they never really got to know her, about her past and such. Maybe it was because Az didn't feel comfortable telling them about how badly she fucked up back when she messed up her relationship with Hunter--Both the friendship and lovers relationship.

Az smiled as Hunter spoke about her. At least he still saw her in a good light. But would he still feel that way tomorrow? After all, they'd all been drinking… Who was she kidding. It was Hunter. But even then… years could change people.

And there it was, the smile that made her heart melt away as he repeated after her. Forever… but forever was such a short time when it came to them. She had promised to be his forever and now she was getting married to Elijah. Did forever even exist in their book?

Az placed her glass down, watching as her friends were taken away to the dance floor. Of course they were more than happy to have been dragged off by some hot guys. It was their thing, what they always looked forward to at a party or get together. Mainly so they'd have a good story to tell.

Az, however, was comfortable sitting at the table with Hun-- "S-sweetheart?" Her face blushed, her eyes stared at him with curiousness. She… she hadn't heard him call her that in ages. And now… it felt odd. Uncomfortable even…

Az was basically dragged from the table against her will. Of course she wouldn't fight about it, since it was Hunter. And for some reason, Az always did whatever Hunter wanted her to do… even when she really didn't want to. Reason? She hated to see him hurt… as hurt as that last time she had looked at him when she left… Fuck.

Az wasn't a large crowd kind of girl. But she couldn't help but feel her friends' eyes on her, begging her to dance. Her grip on Hunter's hand tightened. She was anxious in the pit of her stomach. But they all seemed to be having fun. Especially Yas who didn't hold back on becoming handsy with Richie.

Az turned to look at Hunter as he pulled his hand away from hers. Her sense of confidence had suddenly left her body when he moved closer to her. It became second nature for her to suddenly close her eyes when he leaned in. As if waiting for a kiss. But… instead she heard him whisper into her ear, his breath brushing against her neck. Az couldn't help but laugh nervously. She opened her eyes and looked at him.

He should've known by now how terrible she was at dancing. So instead, her hand reached out for his and pulled him closer to her, wrapping his arms around her waist as she pressed her back against him. Now, Az wasn't sure if it was the alcohol or the comforting feeling he gave off to her, but Az had found herself moving her body to the music. She swayed with the music, enjoying the moment she had with him. And just like that…. Before she knew it the time at the bar had flown by. Drinks after drinks, laughter after laughter and song after song.

Az hadn't realized how drunk she was. But one thing was sure, her body hurt from all the dancing and her stomach hurt from all the laughter. She had allowed herself to come out of her shell a bit. But that was only when she felt comfortable…. Like when she was around…

"Hunter! You slowpoke. They're already at the room door! Get off the elevator!" Az slurred her words as she laughed. She attempted to pull him out of the elevator, but her laughter made her too weak to even do so.

"Yas! Fuck Yas! Open the door already!" Gaby said as she tried her best to hold herself up with Tom. The two seemingly giggling.

Yasmine had then finally opened the door and walked in with the three others. Soon peeking around the corner of the door to Hunter and Az. "Yo, I called the strippers! They'll be here any minute. We should prepare ourselves." Yas laughed before disappearing into the room.

Az laughed before looking back at Hunter. "You're going to get a treat. You and the uys get to see boobies all up in your face. Get a jiggly bubble butt rub. I, on the other hand, have to deal with some dude wiggling his thing on my face. That is… if Yas doesn't get to him first. Or Gabs." She smiled brightly. But her smile then faded. "Oh God, does this make me a hoe? I'm not a hoe." Her eyes suddenly filled up with tears. "I'm a good girl. Not a bad girl. At least not yet!"

Hunter could help but smile when she pulled his hands to her waist, holding her close to him as he had done in the past. It felt natural to hold her close like this. They had gone to very few parties, a couple he was able to drag Az to, and they had been able to dance together. But tonight, he mainly wanted to keep her away from creeps who would try and pull her away, a drunk guy who was just looking for a sloppy makeout session in the back alley. He cared about Azariah, more than he should for someone who was getting married in a few weeks, and felt a need to keep her safe. They were still friends, at least to him, even with all the time that past. So, he moved with her as she began to sway with the music, keeping his hands planted on her waist. He looked over to his friends, Richie following Yaz’s lead, letting his hands roam before they rested on her backside, while Tom had his hands on Gaby’s hips. And soon, they all had plenty to drink and were worn out from dancing, Yaz’s wasn’t kidding when she said they’d supply the drinks, they definitely delivered.

[i “I’m coming, I’m coming.”] Hunter laughed, following Az out of the elevator. The other two coupled up had been holding each other up, while Az tried to run ahead, Hunter had tried to pull her back. As the other two couples piled into the room, Hunter and Az were still making their way down the hallway to the door. Once he made his way to her, he took hold of her, grabbing her waist to hold her up. He had never seen her so drunk before, but it was kind of cute, if he was being honest. When she started talking about the dancers, he laughed. [i “I guess, yeah.”] he laughed with her. Sure, having dancers come to the room was fun and all, but he would have rather just taken the time to catch up with Az. She wasn't into it either, but her friends surely weren’t going to let their fun go to waste without her.

When Hunter saw her face change, his face did too. To concern. [i “Hey hey hey. No, you’re not a hoe. I don’t think anyone in the whole world would make that mistake.”] he spoke calmly, but stifled a laugh. He placed a hand to her cheek, his other hand holding her arm to keep her upright. He used his thumb to push away the tears that fell from her eyes, and let a sigh escape his lips. [i “Not yet? Why would you be a bad girl?”] he teased, a small laugh escaping his lips as he moved his arm back to her waist, bringing her into the hotel room and shutting the door behind them.

Hunter sat Azariah down the plush bed, letting himself sit down as well, but laying his body back against the cushion. But soon, his friends were pulling him into the other room the girls had, as they rented a suite, and into the other bathroom to freshen up. The two other boys messed with their hair, as Hunter just sat on the counter. [b “What? You too much of a pretty boy think you don’t need to do anything? Already look good enough.”] Richie teased, while Hunter rolled his eyes. [i “I’m just not looking to impress anyone. And besides, don’t they HAVE to like you, no matter what? That’s how they make money.”] he laughed, running a hand through his hair, tossing it a bit. [b “Whatever, buzzkill.”] Richie replied, before finishing up his hair.

Hunter was actually happy they were in another room, as he was pretty sure with the alcohol in him, if he saw Az look uncomfortable with the dancer, he’d punch him in the face. Hunter had a bit of an anger problem, even back in highschool, and wasn’t afraid to punch someone or something if things went awry. He assumed she didn’t know, but he had beaten up a kid who had been making jokes about Az behind her back, and he just told her his parents let him skip school for a couple of days after, even if it was actually suspension. No one really messed with her after that, which is how Hunter liked it.

Hunter could hear Yaz and Gaby oohing and ahhing over their dancers who had just arrived, and the boys reentered the first room they were in. The dancer’s were here, and as soon as the lady saw the boys enter, a sultry smile played on her lips. She pushed them into the other room, closing the door behind her. Sure, this was fun, but he couldn’t let himself relax because he was too concerned with Az. Before she left, they sent almost all their time together, and leaving her so quickly was odd to him now. The woman sure gave them a show, and at least Richie and Tom fully enjoyed it. Hunter was able to forget and relax a bit, but whenever he heard a noise come from the other door, he just couldn’t help to think what was happening in the other room.

As the woman tried to get Hunter’s attention, strading on top of him, giving him a dance any guy would die to have, he just seemed uninterested. If this had happened yesterday, he would have been all for this, but his mind had been running so much since he first saw Az, there was no way he could enjoy it. She realized his disinterest, moving on to the other boys who would give her the attention she wanted. He just hoped Azariah was having somewhat of a good time, but he knew this wasn’t something she was interested in. He hoped her friends would help her relax, and allow her to take the dancer in her own way, not hold her down and force him onto her.

It was nice to feel his comforting touch once again. Az was ashamed to admit that there were times when she was with Elijah, Hunter would come to mind. Mainly because there were small details that Elijah would do that would remind her of Hunter. And this was one of them… the way he always seemed to bring her comfort. And yet, Az felt a slight bit of discomfort in the pit of her stomach once again. Maybe it was because he was too close to her?

Az didn’t realize she was holding her breath until he questioned her words. Bad girl… Well she meant bad girl in the sense of her doing something wrong. Like the mixed feelings she had right now. She didn’t want to feel this way anymore. No, she wanted to finally put a stop to it and move on from these feelings. Whatever they were… or maybe she was just over thinking about this all together again? No, she was pretty sure she still had feelings for Hunter somewhere deep down inside. Which was entirely wrong given that she also had feelings for Elijah. Wait, was that even possible?

“I’m not a bad girl… I just have very bad thoughts…” She spoke a bit mumbled as she was taken into the room. Her eyes settled upon Yas who suddenly pulled her away from Hunter. Her eyes shifted over to Hunter who also had been pulled away from her. This… this was an all too familiar feeling. A Deja Vu moment. Az could remember the times in the past that they’d been told that they weren’t good for one another, how much everyone was against her being with someone like him. Hunter was the popular guy and she… she was nothing compared to him. Even then he had chosen her, but why did he really choose her? Why her out of all the other girls that were a lot better than her? And even after he had chosen her… she still didn’t feel good enough.

"Are you ready?" Yas questioned as she opened the door. Az then took notice of the three men that stood at the doorway. One of the men was copper toned with muscles anywhere she looked, with brown hair and blue eyes. The other man had chiseled abs with dark skin that shined brightly. His almond colored eyes contrasted with his skin and his long braided hair. The other man's golden hair complemented his blue eyes and porcelain skin, his body was muscular, but not like the other men.

"Oohhh girls… God sent us angels!" Yas giggled. Gaby only sat down next to Az, waiting for the show.

As soon as the men walked in, Az's vision became a blur. She could hear the loud music and her friends laughing, giggling, moaning even. But Az really wasn't interested in the show, nor the men who danced away, showing off their bodies. Instead, she had only wondered if Hunter was enjoying his time like her friends were. she only hoped he did…

"You're the bride to be?" One of the men spoke, pulling Az out of her thoughts. Her eyes lifted from the ground and stared into his honey colored eyes. Feeling as suddenly pulled her up from the seat.

"I'm sorry, what?" She replied half a daze. It was then that he suddenly picked her up, as if she weighed nothing, and wrapped her legs around his waist. Az blinked twice, if she wasn't sober before, she felt a bit sober now. Not really… but she was aware of what was happening. "C-can you please put me down?"

"So you're a shy one. It's ok. I won't hurt you. Just want you to feel pleasure." He winked at her. Az raised an eyebrow. She instantly tapped his shoulders.

"No, I'm really not into this…" she said softly. Her eyes drifting to her other friends who seemed to be enjoying it. Her stomach began to spin along with the room. Az looked back at the man and pulled his face to look at her straight in the eye. "I know they paid you to give me a good time. But I'd like it better if you'd instead take me to the bathroom? I want to throw up…"

The man laughed and nodded. He carried her back over to the bathroom and gently placed her down, helping her keep her balance. "Are you sure you don't want the happy ending surprise?" He gave her a cocky smile.

Az blinked twice and shook her head. "No offense, but the only happy ending I want is something you can't provide me with you flopping your dick around. It's nice though. Excuse me." With that she closed the door and collapsed to her knees by the toilet and threw up.

Moments later, Az could hear her friends becoming rowdy in their room. Az could only imagine what they were doing. Then again, she didn't want to imagine. She didn't want to know.

Az washed up her face, struggling to turn off the faucet. Damn… she was really wasted. She could tell. And she could see it in her own reflection in the mirror. This was a terrible idea… but she was here. She had come this far…

Az splashed her face once more with water and reached for the door. Opening it quietly, she watched as her friends got dry humped on and danced for. They were having a lovely time. No use for ruining it for them… So Az tried her best to walk out of the bathroom and closed the door behind her. She wondered if the boys were having as much fun…

Making her way through the hall, struggling to keep standing up right by hanging on to the walls for dese life, Az finally made it into the room where the female stripper was. Her eyes then fell upon Hunter, the woman straddling him, her arms wrapped around his neck and her chest all up on his face basically.

Az felt heat rising within her, her chest now compressed with bitterness. It almost felt like when they were younger… the feeling she had when other girls attempted to get with him… But why would she care now? He was single… he had every right to enjoy a woman like her… And yet she hated it…

She felt the contents of her stomach coming up once more, Az quickly covered her mouth and hid back in the hallway. He...he deserved more than what she could've ever given… He was happier this way… right?

Az quietly made her way back into her own room and collapsed upon the bed----floor. She groaned in pain. "You're a fucking idiot." She muttered to herself. "Why… why did you do this to yourself?" She struggled to get up. "You should've stayed… why did you leave?" Why had she left Hunter?

Meanwhile… Gaby was the first to notice that Az was no longer around. Though drunk off her ass, Gaby had removed the stripper from her and looked around. She looked in the bathroom, then in the hallway. Her eyes noticed Az quietly hiding. She looked upset. Gaby watched as she left and she quickly walked into the room where the other three were. Gaby looked at Hunter. He had seemed to be closer to her… right?" "Hey, you. My friend is lonely… mind cheering her up a bit? I bet she'll give you more of a good time than Ms. Cherry here." Gaby winked at him. "She really needs it. Getting married in a few days, she needs to… let out a lot before then, you know?" She laughed.

After giving him a pretty decent dance with no reaction, the woman decided not to waste her time on Hunter anymore, which he was honestly fine with. He sat on the bed, watching the dances and reactions his friends provided her, which the woman ate up. You could tell the reactions were what she was looking for most, and she appreciated the tips the boys had been sliding into whatever few clothing articles she had on. But Hunter’s mind just kept going to Az. He needed to do something, or he was going to go crazy thinking about it, so he got himself up and headed to the bathroom.

Hunter starred in the mirror, leaning his hands on the counter. He sighed deeply, before turning around, leaning on the counter now. All he could think about was Az, and her getting married soon. In just a few short days, the woman he assumed he would be walking down the aisle with would be tied to someone else. Someone he didn’t even know. It was hard for him to think, at this point, about anything. The alcohol, mixed with the confusion he felt for Az, even if he knew it was wrong. He just hoped the two of them could sit down and talk about what happened, give them both closure and they could both move on. She would get married, and he would...figure out something. He hoped they could, now that they reunited, stay friends this time. He would make sure of it, he wasn’t going to lose her again.

Hunter returned from the bathroom, when he heard Gaby’s voice. She appeared like she was having fun, her hair slightly messed up and her shirt disheveled a bit as well. When she spoke of Az, he nodded. [i “Sure, she okay?”] he asked, but before she responded, he was off. He gave Tommy a couple of bills he had stuffed in his pocket, before heading out of the room. He would get more use out of them than he was anyway. He went into the hallway, before seeing a door slightly ajar with an agitated Az struggling to get up. [i “Hey Sunshine.”] he spoke, coming to her side. Hunter was no stranger to using nicknames, ‘Sunshine’ being one he used rarely but definitely one he liked the best. It contrasted with her last name, which is how he came up with it in the first place. He scooped her up, a hand on her back and under the bend of her legs. He lifted her easily, placing her on the bed softly.

Hunter made sure she was comfortable, he could tell she was clearly still very intoxicated. He was almost happy the two were alone, away from any friends who would judge any conversation they had. He took a seat at the end of the bed, turning toward her. [i “Really not a dancer type, huh?”] he teased softly, before pulling one leg under himself. [i “Me either. She seemed disinterested in me once she realized I was disinterested in her.”] he laughed, rubbing his hands together.

Hunter got up, going into the small fridge the hotel had, grabbing a bottle of water for the girl. [i “Here, this should help.”] he held it out to her, sitting down next to her now. [i “You need to stay hydrated, and take Advil before bed or you're going to be miserable in the morning. And I remember how you were after I carried you home. Remember you called me when you woke up?”] he teased, the memory clear in his head. He had told her to drink water and take Advil, but the girl was too tired and drunk to do anything but pass out right then. She then called him bright and early to tell him he was right, and that she was paying the price now.

Hunter knew the only way he was going to get over Az was to just accept the fact that she was getting married, talk to her about it and move on. He’d talk about their situation when she was a little more clear headed. He had basically sobered up when Gaby asked him to keep Az comfortable. Sure, he had his confidence of alcohol, but he was able to hold himself, at least for the most part. [i “So, are you excited?”] he asked, looking at the ceiling. [i “For your wedding.”] he finished, his eyes finding hers. [i “I bet your dress looks amazing. You never liked to dress up, I could see you changing after the ceremony so you can be more comfortable.”] he teased, a small laugh coming after his statement. He wasn’t happy to be talking about this, but thinking about her was something he could always find a reason to smile about. As he spoke, he could help but let his eyes wander to her lips, wishing he was able to kiss them like he had years ago. Before he let it get to a point of no return, he made his eyes return back to her eyes, which was just as dangerous as her lips.

“Hey Sunshine.” he spoke, coming to her side. Hunter was no stranger to using nicknames, ‘Sunshine’ being one he used rarely but definitely one he liked the best. It contrasted with her last name, which is how he came up with it in the first place. He scooped her up, a hand on her back and under the bend of her legs. He lifted her easily, placing her on the bed softly.

Az jumped in her skin at the sudden voice in the room. Sunshine? This was definitely Hunter… she couldn't mistake his voice for anyone else's. But her thoughts were too preoccupied with trying to get up from the floor. Her eyes shifted over to him. His sudden actions caused a small gssp to escape her lips. Did everyone seem to pick her up that easily? Like… shit. She wasn't a doll.

She kept her eyes on him as he teased her. Yeah.. she wasn't the dancer type… but he clearly was. Again… not that it should've mattered to her. Even though he tried to explain himself and what he felt… Az couldn't seem to believe him. Maybe it was because of the blurred thoughts in her head. "I just don't enjoy having a stranger wiggle his dick at me in my face." She said before laying back on the bed. "Though I wonder, if I wasn't here making things awkward, would you have enjoyed her? I bet you would." Az laughed as she took the bottle.

Hunter always used to take care of her Whenever she'd fuck up this badly. That was done she couldn't ever complain about. Hunter was always well aware of her in that sense. And she truly could recall the night she had drank one drink too many from her father's secret whiskey stash after having a long, miserable 'conversation' with one of the girls from her previous school who was after Hunter. It was the same night she learned the cruelty of others. It was also the night she couldn't tell Hunter in fear that he'd lash out again and end up in trouble once more because of his temper. No, Azariah would rather keep her bullied life in the dark.

"I remember I wanted to die. My head was killing me and I couldn't stop throwing up. Thank you for reminding me." She smiled at him as she downed the bottled water. Given his question, Az had suddenly spat up some of the water, some of it also coming out of her nose. She coughed vigorously before wiping her mouth. "Excited?" She coughed again before settling the bottled water aside and sitting up. "Well, of course I am." But it was still a complicated answer. She was excited for the wedding, but nervous for the aftermath.

It was a big step, a long term commitment. Something Az wasn't entirely sure she was ready for. But she always was that way with everything. And judging well Elijah treated her, Az knew she wouldn't regret a moment with him… but she also hoped that she wouldn't have changed her mind later on and possibly make him feel unloved. And now that Hunter was back in the picture… That uncertain feeling was worse…

"Well… my mother wants me to wear white. But I clearly can't wear it given the nature that I am no longer a … well you should know. It was your fault." Az admitted shyly with a slightly nervous giggle. "Anyways, I was actually thinking of wearing a black dress. No fluff, nothing extravagant… just something simple and elegant. Yas and Gaby were a bit against it. So I still got a white dress waiting for me. And I will feel like a hypocrite." She laughed. "I guess they are too scared for me to wear black since it's bad luck to do so, apparently. Given my record, I always have bad luck so it wouldn't be surprising to me." Not that it really mattered to her beyond this point in time… "And yes… You're right. I will change into my regular boy clothes. Because, you know how much I love frilly dresses and shit." She laughed. Though as her eyes met with his, she noticed the look in it. It was an all too familiar look. Given the years they shared together, Az already knew what he wanted… What… she couldn't give.

She opted to simply crawl over to him and lay her head upon his lap with closed eyes. "If I had to admit it to someone, I'm nervous about all of this. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I'm still doing it. If that makes sense…" She covered her face with her hands. "Elijah is a great guy. He also reminds me of you." But he wasn't Hunter… "I wanted you to come to my wedding, but I wasn't sure if you'd want to go or would feel weird about it. I… I still consider you my best friend and a wedding without my best friend isn't a good wedding." She pulled her hands from.her face and looked up at him with a smile. "And I always wondered when you would finally settle down. I thought that by now you'd end up with some girl that could be as badass as you and would convince you for more than just a simple long term relationship. Then again, you also lean towards the whole badboy/lone wolf." She reached up and caressed his face. "But you always had a heart of gold. It's a shame no one has able to claim it yet…" Her eyes widened. She sat up abruptly. "I could find you someone! I-I mean… if you want me to. I could find you someone or at least someone to come to the wedding with."

Hunter smiled as she spoke about him reminding her about her hangovers. But when he asked about if she was excited, it was like she choked. He reached out to rub her back when she did so, but stopped himself. But he was happy she was excited, she should be. But, he wasn’t excited about her getting married to someone else when they just got reunited. If she was dating, it would have been easier on him but married. He didn’t want to make her unhappy, and this new guy made her happy. But, he wished he could have been the one to make her that happy. That he could have gotten down on one need and gave her a ring. His ring wouldn’t have been as nice and big as the one currently on her finger, but he would have given her something she truly loved nevertheless.

When she mentioned why she couldn’t wear white, he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. [i “Yeah, I did do that.”] he spoke softly. Their first time was awkward and messy, but he hoped she had enjoyed the other times they had been intimate together. It was very few and far between, but he had enjoyed the times they had together. His eyes brightened when she said she wanted to wear black, and he thought she’d look absolutely amazing, but seemed like she was talked out of it. And he smiled when she said she’d be changing, he knew that immediately. She was a tomboy type, not one to wear a dress a whole night.

When Hunter gave her that look, the look that he gave when he wanted to lean in and kiss her, she ended up crawling over to him. He got flustered, as he could have sworn she would lean in, but she had just laid her head in her lap. When her head hit his lap, he laughed to himself. Why did he think she would kiss him, she was literally getting married! He was so stupid to even think that could happen, she wasn’t like that at all. He let his hand lightly play with her hair, it was soft and just how he remembered. He leaned back against the headboard, closing his eyes as well.

As she spoke, his eyes opened. All the things she was saying, he didn’t know how to feel. That she was actually nervous, her future husband reminded her of him, that she wanted him to come to her wedding. His face heated up, so he was happy her eyes were closed and her face covered. But once she looked up at him, he couldn’t help but smile at her. He still didn’t speak as she spoke. He had one girlfriend who he was close to keeping forever, Abigail Matthews . He had been planning to propose to Abbie, a woman he had been dating for three years, but he then found out that she had only been dating him to make her ex-boyfriend jealous. When he brought up the date he planned to propose to her at, she had realized what it was and ended it. She didn’t want to marry him, and they broke up. After Abbie, he’d been only keeping flings or short term relationships, getting close to people was hard. When she put her hand to his face, he leaned into his hand slightly. But then, she was sat up.

Wait, she [i wanted] him at her wedding. He couldn’t say no, or it would give away how hard this was for him to process. [i “Oh, uh, sure. If you’d like.”] he smiled, nodding softly. A date, picked out by his ex-girlfriend. He knew that whoever he picked, she would be great, especially with how well Az knew him. But, he wondered how she’d be able to find a date for him in such a short amount of time, especially when she's been gone for so long. Would it be someone coming to the wedding? Or would it be someone from their small town? He would be more nervous if he wasn’t intoxicated, and he could freak out tomorrow.

[i “And, I consider you my best friend still as well. We have too much history to throw it away because we broke up and spent a couple of years apart.”] Hunter smiled. He held his arm out, something he did to allow her to lean into his side. He didn’t know if she’d accept the gesture, but he thought he’d offer. [i “You don’t have to…”] he spoke, letting his hand fall, but leaving it outstretched if she did decide to come over to him.

[i “So, was the dancers the last thing on the schedule for tonight? Is there anything we could do to make your night be perfect? We could go get some milkshakes and fries, or take an uber to the lake? Or we could just pop in a movie like we used to? Or, we could just talk? I know I already told you, but I really missed you, Az.”] Hunter explained. He wanted to tell her how his world felt dark without her here, how it was hard to get out and do anything because all he thought of was her. But, that would just make her feel bad, and why would he do that to her on her bachelorette party night. Hunter tried his hardest, but he couldn’t help but take glances at her lips as he spoke, but knew he couldn’t act on how he really felt.

He didn't seem too convinced of going. And honestly, she didn't blame him. This was all an awkward situation. And she was sure that if they both hadn't had an ounce of alcohol in their system, it would've been worse. She wouldn't have even said such things! But she still would've invited him… eventually. Or maybe her mother would've, since she always had a soft spot for Hunter.. Surely her father wouldn't, given how much he didn't like Hunter or ever approved of him. The contrast of their views on Hunter had also taken a toll on her and given reason as to why she also made a big decision to leave all together...

He still considered her his best friend despite all of this? "History… we do have a lot of history together, don't we?" She said mainly to herself. A smile then crept on her face when he offered a hug. Something she couldn't ever deny. Not even when she was mad. Az leaned in and wrapped her arms around his body, snuggling up close to him.she rested her head against his chest, listening then to the all too familiar sound of his heartbeat and breathing. It sounded just the same and brought her comfort just as it did years ago. He even smelled the same… something she always love--- she had to stop. She loves Elijah, what the fuck was wrong with her?

"Yas and Gaby want me to have fun this week. Possibly have sex with someone before my big day. I think anything that doesn't involve me doing those kinds of things would be fun for me. I… I'd like to take a trip to the lake. I have a lot of good memories there." She smiled. It'd been the place where she'd first kissed Hunter and the place she'd first realized her feelings for him. She could recall it being their old hangout spot. The place where she first skinny dipped with him when they were still just friends. He always made her feel comfortable… regardless of the situation. That was always one of the things she most admired about him… "We can go skinny dipping like old times. I don't think I'm drunk enough to sink to the bottom. And the cold water will sober me right up!" She grinned like the idiot she was. "And that way… you won't miss me as much again… I can make up for lost time… I'll do anything you want." She leaned up and pressed her lips to his cheek. She stared at him for a moment, taking notice of the longing in his eyes. She… she really knew she couldn't. Even if somewhere deep down inside she secretly wanted to… She swallowed hard and pulled away from him.

Az reached into her pocket and ordered a car. "So the lake it is." She smiled as her eyes met up with his. "Help me pack towels."

At the lake…

Az stared out into the large pool of water. The glistening reflection of the moon shimmering upon the water had always made her fall in love with the scenery. The soft winds that brushed against the tall pine trees that surrounded the waters and the lovely fireflies that fathered around them always made her feel as if she were in some sort of fairytale.

Az looked back at Hunter, her hands behind her back then, secretly trying to maintain her balance and not fall off boardwalk. "It's just as beautiful as I remember it." She finally said before turning back to look at the waters. "I can't believe how much I miss this place… I remember when we used to camp here sometimes." When they actually were friends and then things got complicated after she got drunk and kissed him. She had been a total mess that night...

"Well, no use in wasting time." Az reached down and removed her pants, tossing them gently to the side, doing the same with her shirt once she'd removed it. She looked over her shoulder at Hunter. "Last one in is a rotten egg." She said with a grin before running off and jumping in.

Az shivered as the cold waters pricked at her skin like needles. In a sense it had sobered her up, but even then she had felt drunker than ever. Maybe it was because she was enjoying this moment all together. Reliving the good ol' days when she wasn't worried about much… back before she had just been friends with Hunter.

Once As surfaced, she wiped the excess water from her face and eyes before looking for him. Once she spotted him she smiled. She moved over to him and splashed him playfully. "I hope this can make up for our lost time? I missed this. Not the cold persay, but just being like this with you. I'm going to have a tough time finding a girl for you, I'm not gonna lie. Especially with such little time. But I'm sure I can find her. Or maybe I can ask Gaby or Yas to help. Even your dudes." She moved closer to him. "Maybe I'll find your soulmate." She smiled. "What do you think, Hunter? What do you want?"

When Azariah leaned over and kissed his cheek, his skin burned in that spot. When they were together and she had pressed a kiss to his cheek, he’d come back with something pretty bold of it, saying ‘You missed’ or something to that effect. But this time, he just left it as is. But, he knew that would mostly likely be as far as he would ever get with Azariah now, so he’d let himself relish in it. The plan quickly turned to the lake, that place being such a special place for them. Their first kiss, where he found out Azariah liked him as much as he liked her, many nights of camping or just going to get away. Going on her phone and booking a car, he smirked. He nodded, as they gathered towels for the both of them before the car arrived, he guessed they’d just go nude, like they had before. He would have to be careful, control himself. With the alcohol in his system, he knew it made himself more affectionate, and being around Az did that to him anyway.

[i [b [center At the Lake]]]

Hunter followed behind Az, they had left their towels at the corner of the boardwalk, so they wouldn’t get them wet. He smiled as he watched her, it really was beautiful here. [i “Camping here was always the best. I’m glad I finally got a hang of putting up the tent.”] he laughed. Hunter bought a new tent the first time they came here, but never figured out how to put it up. It took him three hours and a lot of huffing, even after Az asked him if he wanted her to help and he declined, but he finally did it. Wrong, he did it wrong, but they were able to use it overnight, until it fell on top of them in the middle of the night. But, the more they came, he got better and better until he could set it up in 10 minutes flat.

Even though it was dark, Hunter could still make out Az’s figure as she stripped of her clothes. Only a silhouette though. He seemed to keep her undergarments on, which made sense since she was getting married in a few short weeks, so Hunter followed suit. He stripped down to his boxer briefs, before jumping in after her. His body fully submerged, he pushed off the wet dirt of the bottom of the lake, taking a deep breath when he broke the top of the water. He pushed his hair back first, then used just hand to wipe his face of excess water. But once his face was clean, he felt a splash hit his face, to which he wiped his face again, before making a face at Az.

The water was freezing, as it was exactly in season, but it was nice. It was like they were back in high school, back before they started dating. But he rolled his eyes when she began talking about finding him someone. He swam over by her, his arms resting on the boardwalk, his newfound muscles and tattoos glistened with the water from the moon. [i “My soulmate, Az. I doubt it.”] he teased, looking up at the large moon above them. But her last question, what did he want, made his mouth act faster than his brain as his eyes never left the moon.

[i “You.”]

When Hunter realized what he had just said, he looked to her, his eyes widened. [i “I mean, someone like you. Ya know? Someone I can laugh with, who doesn’t take things too seriously. Kind and genuine. And pretty, but that would just be a bonus. You had all those things, so someone like you.”] he said, mentally kicking himself for letting those three letters slide from his lips. Sure, that was what he was thinking, but he didn’t mean to say it. But he did want her, badly. Hunter wanted everything about her, the good, bad and ugly. Their relationship wasn’t perfect, but it was something like he never felt with another person. There were no awkward moments when you needed to learn about a person, because they were already best friends.

After Az had left, everyone he was with he compared to her. And no one met his bar, except for Abbie, but that didn’t even work out. She didn’t realize the effect he had on her, everything he did was for her. He wanted to consistently make her and keep her happy, and he hoped that was what he had done. It was his first real relationship, so he used what his friends told him girls wanted, along with what he knew Azariah loved. He got her flowers when he could, he’d pick up things that she liked when he was at the store, and even gave her the intimacy their friends told them they needed. He just hoped he had done everything right, and didn’t ruin their relationship himself.

[i “Az…”] Hunter looked to her, swimming over near her. His body close to hers, but not uncomfortably close. [i “Was I the reason you left?”] he asked, his voice soft but loud enough so she could hear him. His liquid courage that still ran in his veins made these questions fall out of his mouth. [i “Because if it was my fault, I am so sorry.”] he said, now he was rambling. [i “I know your dad didn’t like me, and I just tried so hard because I knew you could have had any guy you wanted but you chose me and I didn’t want to lose you.”] he spoke, stopping and taking a few short breaths. [i “I just really wanted you to like me.”] he finished, a deep breath leaving his lips, reaching out and placing a hand on her cheek, letting his thumb swipe once before releasing her face. Another deep breath left his lips, running a hand down his face.

[i “Sorry, I don’t know where that came from.”] he sighed, rubbing the back of his neck with his hand.

But… he didn't have to doubt it. Az knew that his soulmate was out here somewhere. Somewhere in the world, waiting for him to come around and sweep her off her feet. Yet when he had finally answered her second question, Az couldn't help but feel her heart sink and flutter at the same time. And though he had tried to fix it, Az knew what he had truly meant. Then she only wondered if he only said that to keep her around again...

He needed someone better, regardless. He needed someone who'd be good for him. A ride or die kind of girl who wouldn't mind getting down and nasty with him. Something she really wasn't. She had tried to be at one point of her life… back when she was with him and tried to be everything he wanted her to be… But in the end she wouldn't be good enough. And she knew he'd grow tired of her eventually…

“Az…” she heard him call out to her as she approached him. Though his following had caught her off guard. Usually Azariah was good at hiding her true feelings. Her thoughts, her intentions. But she wasn't sure why she had a hard time hiding the guilt that now displayed on her face. She had always hoped he wouldn't ask her, but she knew Hunter would eventually ask. It was his right to know… Yet Azariah always feared what he'd say or do… even feel…

She averted her eyes from him. She couldn't face him now… she was too ashamed to admit the truth. Even as he apologized she felt the guilt eat away at her. The more he spoke, the more it hurt. Given the nature that regardless of how her parents felt, Azariah always chose Hunter over anyone else. Even herself… even her own feelings or desires…

Her eyes met with his gaze at the sudden feeling of his hands. His delicate warm touch sent her a bit over the edge. It was moments like these that always seemed to keep Azariah coming back for more. To him… and in a sense to Elijah.

Luckily he had stopped and apologized… Yet Azariah didn't want him to. No, she had wanted him to continue. To keep giving her the butterflies in her stomach… to make her feel cared for, loved and--- Azariah reached over and wrapped her hand around the back of his neck, pulling him closer. She pressed her lips to the corner of his. Just the corner… just… She pulled away from him and looked up at him. She felt sorry for him in a sense. Sorry that she had ruined everything. That she couldn't go back to him, that she couldn't call him hers and she could no longer be his. She had chosen someone else, she was going to belong to someone else; another man. Azariah felt aess, lost even. This was no longer something she could deny… this was something serious that needed closure. And so Azariah closed her eyes and claimed his lips for just a moment. Savoring the all too familiar feeling of his soft lips in which she hadn't realized how much she'd missed. And yet the thought of Elijah faded into her thoughts. His smile, his laugh his loyalty...Az pulled away. "If this was the closure you wanted and needed… then I hope you can move on now…" Azariah swallowed hard, the words were just as hard to be said as to swallow. She moved from him and pulled herself out of the water.

At least… at least now they could be friends again, right? Even then, Azariah knew that this couldn't be her own closure. But she had to make it so, for her heart's sake. She could hear Hunter behind her. She quickly grabbed her clothes and turned to face him. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to tell you what truly happened. Why I ended things…. You know I have a hard time speaking about my feelings or expressing things. But there's something I should finally tell you… I can't be your friend, Hunter… Not while you still think of me this way… of… of how we were when we were together… It'll hurt me but… it's going to kill you."

Az could feel the tears stinging in her eyes, yet she fought them back. But she failed miserably. "I'm sorry Hunter. This... Was a beautiful night and I thank you for it. But I should go..."

After he finished his small speech to her, he expected anything but what she actually did. She took hold of the back of his neck, the space between them closing. He let his hand rest on her hips, a natural response to when she used to take hold of the back of his neck. She pressed her lips to the corner of his lips, and as much as he wanted to lean in and capture her own lips, he couldn’t. He couldn’t do that to her, to himself. But, soon, her lips connected to his, and he naturally took hold of her hips tighter and pulled her into him. He was able to easily fall in line with Az, it had always been easy being with her.

Kissing Az, even if it was only for a moment felt like forever. Like things were finally falling back into place. He knew it was wrong, in his heart of hearts he knew he shouldn’t be holding her and his lips should not be on hers. He should be supporting her, not trying to break off her engagement. She was clearly happy with the man she chose, and even if it hurt him to see her get married, he had to be happy for her. All he ever wanted was her happiness, and if that wasn’t with him, he just had to accept that. But, it didn’t mean this kiss was something he hadn’t been wanting since he saw her when he was singing his song about her. He wanted to kiss her all night long, and now it happened. But once they pulled away, his eyes opened, hoping to see a smile but instead she started backing away from him.

Closure? He didn’t want closure, he wanted their story to not be over, but clearly, it needed to be. She was telling him right there, that she was not going back to him. She would marry Elijah in two weeks, and that was it. She pulled herself out of the water, her wet silhouette not helping with him trying to see her as a friend, but he let his eyes sit just on her face. He pulled himself out of the water as well, following behind her with his clothes in his hands as well. Listening to her words, he didn’t want to hear that. Of course he still loved her, she had been everything to him. But, he knew what he had to do, the last thing he ever wanted to do to Az. He had to lie to her.

No, she wasn’t just going to leave again. Not without a fight. [i “Azariah...”] he spoke up, taking hold of her upper arm, not tightly. She could easily pull out of it and leave. Seeing the tears in her eyes broke his heart in two. He reached out, wiping them away from her cheeks. He let his hand fall to her side after, as to not push his luck too far. [i “All I ever wanted is for you to be happy. And if this is your happiness, okay. I just want to be in your life, I will put my feelings to rest. Please, you can’t just leave again. You’re still my best friend, and I promise that’s all I will be to you, a best friend. Nothing more, nothing less.”] Hunter spoke, releasing her arm then. He was glad his lies came out as easily as they did, and avoiding her eyes may have helped in the matter.

Hunter took a towel, drying as much of his body off as he could before sliding back into his pants and t-shirt, before laying the towel on his head to dry off his hair. [i “Dry off, it’s cold out. I’ll get us a car to get back to the hotel.”] he said, giving her the space she needed to redress. He needed to make what he said believable, or she would see right through him. As much as he would have rather taken her in his arms and connected their lips once again, he couldn’t. He could never do that again, and he would relish in the last kiss they just shared. It had been as magical as the very first time, electric even.

Hunter got them a car, and it would be there in about 15 minutes, which made sense because of how late it now was and that the lake was somewhat out of the way. He yawned softly, realizing how tired he was becoming. He made his way back over to her, wrapping an arm playfully around her shoulders. [i “Car will be here in about 15 minutes. Any last minute things you want to do here while we wait for the car? I can point out some constellations to you like I used to if you’d like?”] he gave her a smile, moving his arm off her shoulders.

Hunter loved the night sky, and he was usually a night owl. He had started writing music outside, and at the same time, started learning different constellations after staring at them for so long. So, when he started learning them, he used to have Az quiz him on his knowledge. And whenever he missed her while she was away, finding three constellations in the sky would allow him to relax and smile again. He ran a hand through his slightly damp hair, before looking up. [i “Look, Orion is right there. See, it kind of looks like an hourglass. And the Big Dipper is right there.”] he pointed to, showing her where he was looking with an outstretched hand.

Hunter had changed his approach to Az, he wanted to show her he could just be her friend, even if he wanted more. There was no way she would be around him if all he did was swoon for her, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t write music for her and let his feelings out that way.

She could hear him call out her name in full. Hunter never called out her name in full unless it was something important. There was concern and worry in his voice and even more so in his touch when he grasped her arm. She allowed him to grab her, to hold her in place. Yet she couldn't face him in fear of what she'd do or feel. If he'd finally convinced her to do exactly what she didn't want to do… again.

He was lovig, wiping away her tears. But Az also wondered if he was truly doing it because he felt bad for her, or the fact that maybe he just wanted something from her… "Happy?" She asked, a bit doubtful. If he had wanted her happy, he would've noticed how she wasn't ready the first time. He would've noticed her feelings since the first day… or maybe he wouldn't have… After all, he wasn't exactly a mind reader. But it would've been nice.

Az realized when Hunter's personality changed drastically. He became someone who didn't care, the same guy she met before there was any romantic interest between them.

Az listened as he spoke about the stars. It was for that reason Az had come to like him. He admired astrology as much as she did. Her fascination with the stars and galaxies had brought them to become friends and then… they became one.

"Hunter, do you still want to fuck me? Is that it?" She said a bit boldly before pulling her shirt over her head. "Is that all you want? Because if that's what you want, I'm sorry. But I'm not going to cheat on Elijah more than I have already. Elijah is a good guy. He takes care of me and loves me for who I am. He hasn't pressured me into anything, and let's do my own thing. I never feel like I have to compete or if I'm ever good enough. Hence… I'm happy. Plus I never have to guess his feelings."

She covered her mouth with a gasp. Holding herself back from burping and throwing up then. She had drank too much by now… "I need that car. I need to go back home. I think I had enough of this encounter. Being my friend is gonna be hard for you, I know it. But… at the same time, I still want you near me. Just… just don't do anything stupid, especially around Eljah, ok? He's a good boy. And you aren't much of a saint, and angel or a good boy." She teased with a sultry smile.

Hunter’s mouth could have dropped open like a cartoon character at what came out of her mouth. Is that all she thought of him now? He cared about her, so much, and she thought all he wanted was to fuck her. [i “Az, are you alright? I told you, I wanted to be there for you, to be your friend again. I told you I’d push my feelings aside to make you happy.”] he said, making space between the two of them. [i “Is this the me you want? The me that was just your friend?”] he ran a hand through his hair, a soft groan leaving his lips.

Bringing his mind back to what she said about Elijah, [b “Elijah is a good guy. He takes care of me and loves me for who I am. He hasn't pressured me into anything, and let's do my own thing. I never feel like I have to compete or if I'm ever good enough. Hence… I'm happy. Plus I never have to guess his feelings."]. Did she feel that he was the opposite? But, before he could ask, a hand flew to her mouth. [i “Az! Are you okay?”] he said, placing a hand on her back before she continued speaking. He moved his hand, holding his hands up like he had a gun pointed at him.

When she started talking not doing anything stupid, he smirked. He was totally going to do something stupid, and definitely around Elijah. He rolled his eyes, his hand lowered [i “I’ll do what I want. If he can’t handle it, he can leave.”] Hunter teased with a smirk, hoping he didn’t cross too big of a line, and she would tell he was teasing. She wanted him to be her friend, this is what she’d get. Sarcastic, and somewhat of an asshole Hunter. Hunter was sweet when he needed to be, but he had a ‘dark’ side to him as well.

There was a silence between the two of them. But, it wasn’t awkward, just silent. He looked over to her, just letting a smile rest on his lips. [i “Actually, I already called it to the hotel, let’s just go there. We already got the room and everything.”] he spoke, his voice cool. He looked over to her, running a hand through his hair. [i “Az, what you said about Elijah...did you feel like I did something to you? Do you feel like I am the opposite of the things you said about him? Because I never meant to be that person to you.”] he said, letting his eyes leave hers to look up to the sky. [i “And plus, I always thought you were too good for me anyway.”] he said, his eyes scanning the sky for another constellation.

That was true, Hunter used to walk behind Az through the hallways, and make eyes to anyone who looked at her in any kind of way. As he watched her in front of him, he couldn’t believe that she wanted to be with him, when any guy would be lucky to be with her. Her dad had drilled it pretty hard in his head about how he’d never ever be good enough for his daughter. He had been doing this for years, even before they dated.

Hunter had been hiding his feelings for years from her, just to have her be comfortable around him, so he had plenty of practice for now.

As if on cue, his phone pinged, pulling him out of his trance toward the sky. He pulled it out, taking a look at it. [i “The car’s here. Ready?”]

Yes, yes. He repeated those words like a broken record player. Yet his eyes, his actions always screamed loudly the opposite. And as he moved away from her, it was evident to her that he'd never change. Never get over her. And she had to make sure that she could find him a replacement. Someone who could give him what he wanted or needed.

His question echoed in her head though. Was this really the Hunter she wanted? Her best friend? No--Yes, yes it was. She needed him to be. For his sake and hers. They didn't belong together. They weren't meant for eachother. They were just too different… Too different indeed.

Was she ok? No. In fact she would much rather have stayed back in New York with Elijah and his family than to deal with this whole situation with Hunter. Bringing back old flames and feelings just wasn't what Azariah wanted. But she was here and there was no way out of it. It was her fault for not making sure he wasn't around…

Azariah knew Hunter was going to make a mess of things. She could tell by the gleam in his eyes while he spoke about Elijah. Yes, he was going to make her life a living hell. And in a way, she wanted to see it. Maybe this way she could finally get over him. "You forget that Elijah isn't a simple love interest or crush, Hunter. He's my fiance. As in, my future husband. So please keep your asshole tendencies to a minimum?" She begged him. "I don't know what I'll do if he finds out you're my ex boyfriend…" she sighed softly.

It wasn't like Elijah would care. Instead, he might've found it funny or cute. He was very kind and patient. Understanding. In a way opposite from Hunter when it came to a hot head temperament. Elijah was calm and easy going while Hunter could be a bit brash and fire. Which she was too in a way… Hunter always tried to bring out her wild side. And she always would get herself into a heap of trouble… until she met Elijah.

The silence was comforting to her soul. She needed some time to think about what was to happen now. If she'd be able to handle this or if she'd need to bail out now when it was still early. Az picked up the bottle of rum she had hidden within her towel and downed what was left in it. Nearly spitting it back up as she listened to him speak.

"I can't answer that, Hunter…" she said softly as she closed the bottle. "You, as my best friend, have been the world to me. You were always what I wanted and needed… But more than that… we just… I guess we just weren't meant for eachother." She swallowed hard. His next words became daggers to her heart. "I… was never too good for you, Hunter…" He just didn't know how to love her. And she just didn't know how to love him. Hence they just didn't merge together. They just forced things to happen instead of allowing it to flow naturally. And forced things never tended to last forever. Which was another reason why she left him.

"I'm sure I can find someone for you. Hell you can too. It just takes time to find someone." Even if they wouldn't be that same person… it could be someone else just as good or even better than the person from before.

Her eyes then took notice of the headlights of their ride. "Shotgun!" Az called out trying to lighten up the mood. Rushing off towards the car.

Back at the hotel.

Azariah finished off the last bit of alcohol that remained in her bedroom. Her friends had seemed to have knocked out on their own beds. But they hadn't been alone. Gaby had slept half naked beside Tommy, which Az only could assume what had happened between them. And Yazmin was entirely naked half on top of Richie. That was a dead giveaway.

Azariah laid on her bed, her eyes on the ceiling as she held onto the bottle of rum and soon passed it to Hunter. "What really happened between us, Hunter?" She asked before her eyes shifted over to him. She pulled the covers up and turned to lay her chest against his, and looked at him. "Like why did we even try to be together when we already knew it wouldn't work out?" She sighed softly. "I wish we hadn't done anything. We were lovers and now we can't be friends…" Her gaze shifted down to his lips. "Friends don't know what friends taste like…"

Hunter realized that saying anything else to Az before getting to the hotel wasn’t going to do any good. While both of them were still slightly drunk, they were in that state where they would say things and would still remember this all tomorrow. But, if there was more alcohol, he probably could get away with more. He couldn’t let anything else slip out, or it would be all over for him. So, he’d be quiet for now, but he answered everything to her in his head.

[i I’m not going to lessen my asshole-ness for your new guy.]
[i You were my world too. And we were meant to be, it was the wrong time for us.]
[i You were far too good for me, even if you won’t see it.]
[i You are the person, but I guess I’ll have to settle for someone else.]

But as she yelled [b “Shotgun!”] he could help but laugh as he ran after her. [i “Over my dead body, Sunshine.”]

[center [b Back At The Hotel]]

When they finally got back and checked on their friends, he could only smile and shake his head at their friends. Clearly, they all had a little fun after getting plenty horny from the dancers. The dancers were good at what they did, and clearly it worked for people who enjoyed it. They two of them ended up back in Az’s room, and Hunter laid down on the bed, while Az went for the alcohol. He was with her, he needed it too if he was going to be able to make it through the night.

Hunter took the bottle that was handed to him, placing the top to his lips, letting the liquid slide down his throat. His throat burned, but it was a good burn. He was usually a beer drinker, so the rum was definitely different. But when she spoke, he could have spit the liquid out. What happened to them? Well, she told him she was thinking of leaving for school, and he knew he couldn’t hold her back, so he told her he thought it’d be a great idea, even if he didn’t want her to go. Then they decided that if she left, they would have to break up, which he agreed to, even if it broke his heart. Hunter could have followed her, but he loved this town. He had just started his band, and he was getting his life settled. Leaving wasn’t in his cards, so they decided to split. Hunter always said if they were meant to be, they’d find their way back to each other. But, he guessed she wasn’t looking for the real answer. He just swallowed hard, before taking another quick swig of the rum bottle.

Az pulled in closer to him, her chest pressed against his, he could feel his stomach flip. [i “Well, uh, I don’t think we knew it wouldn’t work then. We were kids, Az. Barely 18.”] he spoke, turning his face slightly away from hers, swallowing hard again. [i “We can be friends…”] he trailed off, biting his bottom lip when he mentioned knowing what each other tasted like. [i “I guess you’re right. We’ll just just pretend it never happened.”] he spoke, the thought of it killing him inside. When her eyes flickered to his lips, he let his eyes dart from hers. No, she told him no more.

Hunter was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol again, and his brain started to relax. He tried to keep it in his brain that they were [i just friends], but the alcohol was hard to fight against. [i “You wanna play a drinking game? I think Richie grabbed this at some point and never even opened it?”] he sat up a bit, finding an unopened bottle of whiskey on the floor. [i “Maybe like a truth or drink? So you either answer the question the other asks, or you drink?”] he spoke, raising an eyebrow.

Hunter grew warm in the room, as he had been wearing quite a heavy shirt. [i “Do you mind?”] he asked, as he pulled his shirt off his torso, throwing it off to the side. [i “What? It’s warm in here, and you know I run hot.”] he spoke, a teasing tone in his voice. He was being serious, his body was constantly warm, and he always tried to keep her warm when it was cold. He was now happy he had been keeping up with his physique while she was away.

And now, he was really feeling the alcohol. He opened the bottle of whisky he found, taking a swig before handing it over to her to start their little game. [i “Or are you scared?”] he teased, a bit of a challenging look toward her, leaning in a bit close to her face.

Barely 18… They didn't know what love was nor how to handle it. Maybe that alone was also their biggest downfall. Az watched him closely. He was fidgety and trying his best to remain calm. It was a nice change of perspective. Usually he had been the one making her feel awkward, a bit uncomfortable. Embarrassed. But this time, it'd been her.

"Friends? Can we really be friends, Hunter?" She spoke softly as she made circles around his chest with her fingers. Though he'd soon pulled away from her. He was trying to pretend it didn't happen. But Az knew it'd be impossible. No one could ever forget their first time and first love.

"A drinking game?" She asked, a bit curious. “Truth or drink. Sounds dangerous." She smiled. "Mind what?" She asked, though was soon answered with her eyes, as they suddenly trailed down to his body as he suddenly pulled off his shirt. Az couldn't help but stare in awe. The boy--- man. He was a man now. Definitely a man. He had changed so much and yet still looked the same. Much more defined and chiseled from the last time she'd seen him... It was funny because… Az didn't even really care about naked people in front of her… Being seeing Hunter like this somewhat made her feel… a bit bothered. Az swallowed hard. A light blushed crossed her face. She took another sip from the rum bottle. She peeled her eyes away from him. "Of course you're hot, Hunter. Everyone knows that. That's why you always had the girls running after you. I'm sure they still do. Probably wanting to see your best friend down under too." She chuckled nervously.

This was a bad idea. But Az wasn't about to hold back either. Her eyes shifted back to him and smiled. "I'm not scared. You know I can handle anything. I never back down." Which was one of her downfalls in a way. She loved challenges and especially when it was against him. Mainly because if she didn't...she'd never hear the end of it from him. And not even in a bad way, just a friendly reminder from time to time how she lost." She laughed at the thought. "I'll start." She placed her bottle to the side as she sat up on the bed, pushing his face away. "Get any closer and you might end up trying to make out with me again." She teased.

She then held the bottle out to him. "So, what's been the most embarrassing moment you've had, after I left? Come up, spit it out. I want to hear it." She smiled.

[i “Oh it is dangerous.”] Hunter smirked, taking another sip from his whisky bottle he was holding. He watched as Az took in his body, which was odd, coming from her. She wasn’t usually entertained by people’s naked bodies, but she seemed to take in his. But when she mentioned him being hot, he couldn’t help but roll his eyes and smirk. [i “It’s so hard looking this good. Girls only want me because I can sing them a cute song; Gets them everytime.”] he laughed. He was being serious, after a set he’d usually be able to find a girl to sleep with, which he would take up from time to time. But he didn’t want to live off one night stands and hook-ups. He wanted something long term, something forever.

[i “Yeah I do. But you know I don’t either”] Hunter smirked, the charm in his eyes coming out as well. He knew she’d fight in this game, but so would he. He knew she got if from him, knowing he’d tease her whenever he won. He loved that she was as competitive as he was, it made playing games all the more fun. And, it was incredibly sexy for her to think that way. When she was competitive, she was 1000x hotter than she already was. And when she mentioned getting close and making out again, he wasn’t opposed to that in the slightest.

[i “Most embarrassing moment, huh?”] Hunter thought. He thought back to being thoroughly embarrassed by being broken up with the woman he was going to ask to marry for her ex boyfriend, but he thought she’d want something a bit more funny. [i “You mean more embarrassing than singing a song about your ex-girlfriend while she was sitting in the same bar, and you had no idea?”] he teased, laughing. He took a sip of his whiskey, but just because he needed more liquor in his system.

[i “Okay, okay. I guess it’d have to be the second year of college, I drank a little too much at a frat party, I wasn’t even in the frat mind you. I just thought that after 10 shots of tequila, I was pretty sure I could crowd surf into a crowd of drunk college kids off the roof. And I jumped, and shattered my leg. Was in a cast for like months.”] Hunter spoke embarrassed. [i “Whole campus knew me as ‘Kid who jumped off the roof.’, I was literally in the town paper, you’re mom even called me.”] he laughed, taking another swig of his bottle.

[i “Alright, my turn.”] Hunter said. He didn’t know how risque he should go with his question, as he would have minded going pretty far, as they were pretty comfortable with her. But, he started pretty tame, so he should comply as well. [i “You know what, I want to know too. I want your most embarrassing moment after you left here?”] he asked, leaning back against the headboard of the bed, holding the bottle out to her. [i “I feel like we will just drink for fun, we won’t cop out of any question.”] he teased. The more drunk he was getting, especially with the straight alcohol, the more sexual he was thinking. It was something that happened when he really got drunk, he just got more affectionate. [i “C’mon, Sunshine. I know you got something good up there.”] he teased, tapping her temple softly.

Azariah smirked at his statement. Did he have to be such a playboy? "Seems like you can sing any girl out of her clothes." She rolled her eyes. At least one thing was sure, he couldn't sing her out of anything. She really didn't care about those kinds of things. To get to her… they had to be a certain kind of person… Which sadly was Hunter. They had to be like Hunter…. When he wasn't a dick. And yet the thought of him being able to hook up so easily only made her wonder how many people came after her. Was the list that long? She had kept hers short… extremely short.

Azariah already regretted her own thoughts and listened to him quietly. "You're an idiot, Hunter." She said with more hidden context behind it. Of course she meant he was an idiot for jumping off of a roof into a sea of people, but she also meant he was an idiot for--- it was his life. She had no right to judge, especially after she left him… It still hurt though

"One of my most embarrassing moments was when I met Elijah. I ended up spilling coffee all over him. Another was being so conservative that Elijah, Yasmine and Gaby believed I was a virgin for months on end until I had to explain to them that I wasn't. The other was the day after we first had sex, I was trying to hide the fact that I did anything with you. But I guess it was too obvious on my face and I was looked at differently by everyone who knew me. My dad still thinks I'm a virgin though. Oh and I threw up in front of my whole class once, because I freaked out trying to give my oral report."

She took the bottle and took a few sips from it. Instantly she began to cough. It burned horribly and not the good kind of burn. She instantly held the bottle out to him. That was an awful taste… "How many girls have you had sex with?" Her eyes shifted over to him. "Or done sexual things with." Wait, did she even want to know? Azariah chuckled and shook her head. "Ok, maybe not something I should know... um... Let's see... it's kind of hard to ask you something that I already know answers to. I knew you too well for too long... I don't even know what to ask you anymore, Hunter..." She sighed and looked away. "It's like I've known you forever and yet... I still feel like I barely know you at all..."

Hunter laughed when she called him an idiot. She really wasn’t wrong though. He was an idiot, and he had made a lot of mistakes in his life. But, she had never judged him for any of his mistakes he made, and had always loved him while they were together. And he didn’t know he’d ever be able to pay her back for that.

When she started speaking of her embarrassing moments, he shook his head. He had only asked for one, but of course she mentioned a few. But something that pissed him off was when she spoke of Elijah. He shouldn’t be pissed off, they are engaged, but he didn’t even know the guy. Especially now that he was drunk, Elijah just felt like competition to him. He was so much better than him, he knew that. So, he brushed them off, not wanting that to kill his buzz. But, he was still surprised that they didn’t know she wasn’t a virgin. Sure, when they were together, sex was never something big for them, but he never thought it was something weird between them either. The way she even spoke about how she felt the day after they first were together made him nervous, he hoped he didn’t even make her feel like that. Was it just because they had been surrounded by friends, would she have preferred to be more alone? As a 16 year old boy, he never noticed these things and now, at 26 he was starting to notice a difference. But, the amount of alcohol in him at the moment, he needed to sober up before any of these things were fully discussed.

Hunter put the bottle to his lips, and could have spit it out when she asked about his sexual prowess. His face heated up, not just from the alcohol but the embarrassment too. Hunter did hook up quite a bit when he went to school, but isn’t that expected of most? But, going back, he probably had sex with only about 6 girls after Az, but he anything sexual? He didn’t know if he even had a number, which now made him feel like more of a player than he ever wanted to be. [i “Shit uh…”] he spoke, before she took it back anyway. That caused him just to shrug, and take another large gulp of whiskey to hide his embarrassment. He was happy she took it back, that was not really the conversation he wanted to have with her. She had been his first and only when she was here, that's what mattered to him.

Hunter nodded, he agreed. They knew everything about the other, they had kept very little things from each other. He knew her favorite ice cream, what she ordered at any restaurant, names she preferred to be called, insecurities she had. That’s why they fell into a relationship so easily, they never had an awkward phase, at least in his eyes. They went from walking down the hallways of school together, joking and teasing each other, to doing the same thing just with their hands laced together. It was the easiest and best relationship he felt he ever had, but it clearly wasn’t mutual.

[i “I get it, I feel that way too. Why don’t you tell me what I missed then? We’ve been separated for 8 years, and something must have changed. I want to be there for you, and I want you to tell me anything you want to tell me of what I missed.”] Hunter smiled, taking a swig of his bottle. [i “I’ll even go first.”] Hunter spoke, sitting up and clearing his throat. [i “I went by Ash mostly in college, it felt better for my musician persona I had. But after college I went back to Hunter, but Richie and Tom will still call me Ash sometimes. Richie and Tom and I met in college, and started Phoenix not long after we met. We started just doing covers, which we still do, but have added originals into our sets as well. I’m usually just a beer drinker, but I will drink hard stuff every so often. I had 3 long term girlfriends, but nothing really stuck. I started working out the past year, helped me really get my anger issues under control and I’ve been a lot better lately. And, I now prefer bone in chicken wings to boneless.”] Hunter smiled, a small laugh when he finished his little speech. Maybe this will help her open up a little bit. [i “But, I’m also an open book still, if you want to know something, just ask me.”] he said, leaning in to her a bit, a smirk resting on his lips.

At this point she didn't want to tell him anything of what he missed. He clearly.had made sure to have her gone from his life. He'd moved on. Maybe she was wrong, maybe he truly just wanted to be friends, and only friends.

The more Hunter spoke, the more Azariah felt pain in her chest. Marvelous stories in which she no longer bonged in. Wait--- he said three girlfriends? Oh God. Was there any even in between? Had they been better than her? They must've been… possibly prettier and even more collected than she was. Given her prior experience, Azariah was more than confident that she wasn't good in bed at all--- However, that could change… She could just make it up to him. Show him what she learned throughout the years of her friends telling her shit. Viewing videos that were unsolicited or wanted by her due to her kinds of friends…

"I want to make it up to you." She said effortlessly.



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