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A soft brush of softness caressed Aiden’s chest as the movement around him caused him to wake. He opened his eyes and realized that the softness was Rianne’s hair. She was in the process of trying to wiggle her way out of his arms. But when did she even get there?

            “No. Stay.” As he spoke the words in a groggy voice, he felt her body freeze up and watched her head slowly turn to face him. Her cheeks instantly flushed into a bright pink and a guilty expression overtook her face. One of Aiden’s arms was still slightly enveloped around her, having fallen to her hip when she tried to wiggle out, and he used it to urge her body back against his. Right as her face was about to settle into his chest he caught her chin with his free hand and pulled her face to his. He kissed her tentatively, then released her to whisper, “Don’t go,” against her lips. The only response she gave him was another small peck. When she pulled back, he let her snuggle her way into him. Protectively he utilized the arm he already had around her to hug her closer and then took his other hand and placed it atop hers on his chest.

            A few minutes passed before she broke the silence. “What time is it?” The warm air from her breath gave him a pleasant sensation. He noticed that while she spoke she tapped her fingers along his.

            “I have no idea. My phone’s over there.” He replied motioning over to the pile of clothes still lying in a heap on the grass.

            “So is mine.” She stated as she started to get up.

            Before she could, though, he gently lifted her off of him and placed her on the blanket beside him. He shook his head to silence her when she began to argue. Ignoring the confused look she gave him, he continued to get up and walk over to the clothes. After digging through the pockets on his jeans for a few seconds, he finally found his phone. Instead of shouting the time to her, he strode over to where she laid. “Seven.” Lying next to her, he observed how vulnerable she was. Yes, she was strong and smart but as she lay there curled into a ball, he saw the way she looked at him, felt the way she had cuddled into him almost immediately, heard the sound of her breathing filling his ears. She didn’t have to admit that she loved him, her actions proved it themselves. And for now that would do for him.

            He pressed a kiss to her head. “I have to go.”

            “Why?”

            “Dinners gonna be ready soon and I need to help my mom.” Following his words came a short silence in which they both remained still. He didn’t want to end what was going on between them, but he also didn’t want to leave his mother hanging. A half hour had passed before he actually stood to leave. Extending a hand towards Rianne, he helped her to her feet as well, and then went to help fold the blanket.

            “Don’t.” Rianne said, coming to stand next to him. “I’m gonna stay here a while.”

            He contorted his facial features into what he hoped looked like a suspicious expression. One eyebrow was cocked and his head was slightly tilted. “How much longer?”

            “A while. Not too long.”

            Aiden paused to think. “Why don’t you come over for dinner tonight? I’m pretty sure my mom won’t mind. She loves you.”

            Rianne’s eyes slowly searched his face as if trying to find some doubt in his words. Aiden was readying himself to persuade her to come over when she said, “I’ll go. But do me a favor and call your mom first. I don’t want to intrude.”

            “We don’t have to call, she won’t mind.” Aiden answered pulling her close.

            She lifted her head and gave him a puppy face. “Please?” As he looked at her, he noticed her eyes had changed color. They were now light blue.

            Aiden laughed. “You win.” Placing a kiss to her forehead, he took her hand and led her to the pile of clothes. On top was his phone, lit up from a recent text. Without opening the text, he began dialing his mother’s number. On the second ring, she picked up.

            “Hello?” She asked.

            “I have a quick question.” He squeezed Rianne’s hand and gave her a reassuring smile. His heart fluttered when she returned the smile.

            “Sure. But hold on I have to take the food out of the oven.”

            Aiden took that break to bring Rianne’s hand to his lips. “I love you.” He mouthed.

            “I know you do.” She said, her face still glowing.

            “Okay, what’s the question baby?” Aiden’s mother asked when she returned.

            “Can Rianne stay over tonight?”

            “Of course she can! Where is she? Is she okay?”

            “Yeah Ma, she’s with me.”

            “Well both of you can come over now if you want. Dinner’s ready.”

            “Ok.”

            “Be careful on your drive home you two.”

            “Ma it’s a two minute drive, we’ll be fine.”

            “I know, but just in case. Love you guys.”

            “Love you too.” He closed his phone and bent down to pick up Rianne’s clothes. As he handed them to her, he asked if she was ready. She replied with a, “yup.”

            Aiden watched as she stepped into her jeans and pulled her shirt over her head. “What?” she asked when she noticed.

            “I was just thinking, do you have any extra clothes with you?”

            “In my car.”

            “We’ll get them on the way out.” He quickly dressed himself and began helping to fold the blanket. With the folded blanket tucked under his arm, he took Rianne’s hand with his free one and started for the trees. For the most part they walked in silence, but every once in a while he would look down at her and smile to himself. She’s finally my girl.

The End

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