What if? The alternate version of Never Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 18 (v.1) - Chapter 18

Submitted: February 11, 2011

Reads: 101

Comments: 2

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Submitted: February 11, 2011

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I lost all track of time as I lay in Ben's arms. The window let me know it had gotten dark a while ago. I didn't care, though. I didn't ever want to move. I hadn't felt this relaxed and secure in what seemed like a very long time.

It was odd how comfortable I was considering what just happened. Not to mention the fact that neither of us had bothered to make a move to get dressed yet. We just lay together, holding hands and not speaking as Ben absently played with my hair.

I felt strange, though. Almost like a different person and I wasn't sorry.

I wasn't going to lie and say everything was perfect and pleasant. I'd had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. It was awkward and uncomfortable and at times, downright painful. But Ben was perfect, like I knew he would be. He was so caring. So gentle.

No, I didn't regret my decision at all.

I felt Ben place a soft kiss on the top of my head. I looked up at him and smiled before I stretched up to reach his lips.

He complied and kissed me sweetly. "I should probably get you home soon." He said.

I pouted and snuggled back into my comfortable spot against his chest.

"I don't want to move yet." I complained.

Ben chuckled softly. "Alright." He said as he resumed playing with my hair. "I guess we can wait a little while."

I grinned and was, for the moment at least, completely happy.

I jumped when I heard Ben's phone buzz for the millionth time, from the floor. He'd been ignoring it for a while now.

Ben sighed and reached for the phone.

"Hi Anna." He said when he answered.

I bit my lip guiltily. What would Anna say if she knew about this? I was glad I had a little time to worry about it. I shouldn't be seeing her until tomorrow.

"Yeah," Ben said. "We talked..." I didn't miss the smile in his voice.

I smiled too. We did a whole heck of a lot more than talk.

"What are you talking about, Anna?" Ben sounded a little worried.

I twisted around to look at his face, concerned.

"Yes, she's here, but you don't have to-"

"Anna-" He tried, aggravation clear in his voice. "No, just wait-"

Ben pulled the phone away from his ear, slammed it closed and used a word I never thought I'd hear from him.

"What?" I asked worried.

Ben sighed before he slid out from under me. "Get dressed." He grabbed our clothes from the floor, handed me mine, and pulled on his pants.

"What's wrong?" I said, holding onto my clothes.

Ben looked at me as he pulled on his shirt. "Anna's here."

"She's here?!" I shrieked. "Now?!"

The doorbell rang and I had my answer.

"Just wait!" I said, trying to untangle my clothes. "She'll have to wait till you answer the door!"

He looked at me miserably. "She knows where the key is."

"Ben?" Anna called from the living room.

"Go!" I cried. "Distract her!"

Ben nodded, unlocked the door, and flew out of the room. I threw the covers off and desperately tried to get my clothes on. It was alot harder than usual. My hands weren't moving nearly fast enough.

I managed to get almost everything thrown on. My shoes were waiting on the floor. I was fighting with the buttons on my shirt when I heard Ben from the other side of the door.

"Anna, wait a minute!" He was saying and I tried to speed up the process.

"Wait for what, Ben?" Anna said as she opened the door.

Oh, why hadn't I thought to lock it again?

"Lizzie, I was just-" Anna froze when she saw me. I had only managed to get the top half of my shirt buttoned and I still didn't have shoes on.

She took in my appearance - disheveled and undoubtedly glowing red, and of course, still in the dark - and her eyes widened to the extreme.

She looked at me for another minute before her eyes zeroed in on the messy bed. If possible, her eyes got bigger and she turned around to look at Ben. He was in better shape than I was, but still not quite as put together as usual. He was also shoeless.

I guessed that even without our appearances for proof, she'd know that it was unusual for anything in Ben's room to be even the slightest bit out of place. The state of the bed was a complete disaster and dead give away.

Her mouth had been hanging open and she attempted to say something quite a few times but nothing ever came out.

I'd never seen Anna speechless before.

Suddenly she turned, maneuvered around Ben, and disappeared from sight.

I looked at Ben, unsure what to do at this point. He didn't look too sure himself. I knew I couldn't just let Anna leave though.

"Anna!" I said, rushing past Ben as well.

I caught her right as she reached the front door.

"Anna, wait!" I grabbed her arm. "It's not what you're thinking!"

I honestly had no idea what she was thinking, but that's all I could think to say. And there was no way she could know the reason we did what we did.

She turned to look at me, shock still plain on her face.

"Not what I'm thinking?!" She shrieked. "What? Were you guys just playing hide and seek, in the dark? And you just happened to be hiding in Ben's bed without a shirt on?!"

I cringed. Yeah, ok maybe it was some of what she was thinking.

Anna pushed passed me and flew at Ben. "What the hell is the matter with you?!" She screamed as she repeatedly smacked his arm. It sounded hard. Ben flinched with each blow, but he made no attempt to stop her.

"Anna, stop!" I said. "It's not his fault-"

"And you!" She said, turning on me - I was grateful she didn't start hitting me too, though. "What happened to you?!" She yelled. "You could hardly look at Ben without turning five shades of red!"

"You don't understand." I said.

She took a deep breath. "I really hope I don't, Lizzie." She said. "Because right now it looks like my best friend, the king of chivalry, took advantage of you when you were really vulnerable and upset."

"Anna, no!" I said, horrified that she would think that of Ben.

"Please, tell me I'm wrong." She said glancing at Ben, who looked utterly miserable. He probably believed what she said.

"Because I really hate thinking that Ben's capable of doing that." She looked so upset. "But I have no idea what else to think."

"I promise, it's not like that." I guess I was going to have to tell her everything, right now.

She crossed her arms and waited.

"Anna, I had to practically beg him to do this." I said feeling my face heat up.

"You did?" She asked skeptically. "Lizzie, that doesn't make any sense. It's completely unlike you."

"I know." I said. "But-"

"You couldn't even bring yourself to touch him for crying out loud," She said. "And you're telling me you begged him to have sex?"

I cringed and bit my lip. She was absolutely right. It did sound crazy.

Anna looked at me for a minute before she sighed.

"Come on." She said grabbing my arm and pulling me back into the living room.

I exchanged a guilty look with Ben as I passed him.

Anna led me over to the couch.

"Alright." She said, throwing a stern look at Ben. "Talk."

Trying to think of how to start, I glanced at Ben. He was still hanging back in the doorway.

"I didn't tell you everything before." I wished Morgan was here too, so I wouldn't have to have this conversation again later.

Anna's eyes narrowed. She, most likely realized the direction this was headed.

"I didn't even know everything myself, until after." I looked down and felt completely awful about what I had to tell her. I wasn't sure how to do it.

"Just say it, Lizzie." She ordered.

"Anna, Josh said he'd have my dad fired unless I agree to be with him."

"Oh, Lizzie." Anna sounded a little more sympathetic, but also still angry. "You can't worry about that." She said. "You can't just-"

"I am worried about it!" I said, looking up at her. "I can't let it happen! I told him..." My voice wavered and I tried to hold off the tears. "I said I would." I said quietly.

"That's..." Anna looked appalled. "You can't!"

"I have to." I said, loosing the battle with the tears.

"So, what?" She demanded. "You're just going to give him everything he wants?"

"I.."

"You're just going to be his...his what?! His girlfriend? His call girl? What?!" She said angrily.

"Anna." Ben said reproachfully.

"What, Ben?" She fumed. "That's what she'll be!" Her eyes filled with tears too as she looked at me. "You know that don't you?"

I couldn't say anything.

"You do." She said stunned, casting a quick look at Ben. "That's why you guys-"

She looked at Ben again, "I can't believe you're just going along with this. You're just going to let it happen?"

Ben looked tormented.

"Anna, please," I said. "It's not his fault. This is my decision."

"It's a really dumb decision!" She said.

"I'm really sorry." I said. "I don't have a choice."

"Yes, you do!"

"I don't." I disagreed. "I can't be responsible for my family losing everything."

"They're just things, Lizzie." She said, wiping her face hastily with her hands. "It'd be better to have nothing at all than to do what you're saying."

"I can't do that to them." Not again.

"You wouldn't be." She argued. "Josh would. You don't even know if it's true!"

"I know." I said quietly. "But if it is, I'd be responsible for not stopping it when I could have."

"Lizzie, don't-"

"I'd hate myself, Anna." I looked down. "I'd understand if you hated me too."

"Don't be crazy." She said, pulling me into her arms. "I couldn't hate you, Lizzie. I just think you're making a really, really bad choice."

I hugged her back. "Maybe I am." I allowed.

"Please don't do this." She begged. "Don't give in to him."

I held onto her more tightly and couldn't answer her. She didn't want to hear the only thing I could offer.

"Anna, there's more." I said quietly, hating myself for what I was about to say.

She pulled back to see my face. "What?" She asked warily.

I glanced at Ben and he came over to stand by me.

"He said I can't be around you guys anymore." I couldn't look at either one of them when I said it. "After Saturday."

It was quiet for a minute and I stared at the floor, feeling like a traitor.

"Why?" Anna finally asked.

"I don't know." I said miserably. "I guess he's just trying to be cruel."

"And you're going to be able to-?" She said sounding choked up. "Lizzie, please don't do this."

"I'm sorry, Anna." I said. "I really am, I feel like I'm betraying you all. That's the worst part of all of this."

"You're not." She said. "It's not your fault. You're just much too selfless for your own good."

I looked at her, so relieved that she didn't hate me.

"You won't do anything, right?" I asked. Anna was so take-charge all the time, I had to check.

She looked at me unhappily for a minute.

"What can I do?" She asked sadly. "As much as I would like to, I can't make this decision for you."

I almost wished she could. That I wouldn't have to worry about it and anything that happened wouldn't be my fault.

Ben put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. I looked up at him before I leaned over and rested my head against him.

"You're going to have to promise me something, Lizzie." Anna said. "If you expect me to do nothing." She wiped at her eyes again.

I nodded as my vision blurred again.

"Promise me you'll eat." She said with a sad smile. "I don't want you getting sick."

"I promise." I could at least agree to that.

"Starting now." She said getting up and heading for the kitchen.

I supposed I probably should eat, I couldn't even remember when or what the last thing I ate was. But I really didn't feel like it. I couldn't refuse though. I just promised I would.

Ben sat down and pulled me into his arms. I sighed and sank back against him.

"I'm so sorry about all this." I said.

"Shh," Ben kissed the top of my head. "Let's not talk about it anymore right now."

I nodded. He was right. Why let Josh ruin the little bit of time we had left together? Unsuccessful as I knew I would probably be, I was going to try not to think about him anymore until I had to. I just wanted to enjoy every minute I had left with Ben.

I snuggled against him and tried to relax while I waited for whatever Anna was going to bring me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I started awake and looked around. It took me a few seconds to realize I was still at Ben's house, snuggled up against his side.

I sat up, furious with myself for falling asleep when I could have been spending time with them.

"Hey." Ben said. "Did you have a good nap?" He smiled.

"What time is it?" I grumbled as I rubbed my eyes.

"Almost ten." Anna answered from the chair off to the side. "You're food's still waiting." She got up. "Ben, keep her awake this time." She smiled as she went to the kitchen.

"I'm sorry." I said. "I can't believe I fell asleep."

"You had a long day." Ben shrugged. "I'm guessing you haven't been sleeping much lately, either."

I didn't care about that. "I wasted all that time." I complained.

"You needed sleep." Ben said. "Besides, we were still together. You're cute when you sleep, you know."

I half smiled.

"Here." Anna said, coming back in the room with a plate of spaghetti.

I sighed, resigned. I still didn't even want to look at food, but I could do that much for Anna.

After I managed to shove most of the spaghetti down my throat, Ben took me and Anna home. I wanted to stay with him all night, but I highly doubted either of our parents would go for that.

When I got home and saw Mamma and Daddy, I was hit by a wave of guilt. They would be so disappointed if they knew what I did. Not to mention what I planned on doing later. If there's one thing I should have learned from my family, it's that teenage sex is a bad idea.

It's not like I really had a choice after this week, though. I just made it happen a few days earlier and on my terms.

Mamma and Daddy didn't suspect a thing. Why should they? As Anna pointed out, this was completely unlike me. But I snuck away to my room as quick as I could anyway. I was worried that they would be able to see my guilt and know something.

I tried to go to bed pretty much right away. Unfortunately, my nap at Ben's house must have energized me, so I wasn't really that tired anymore. At least not enough to block out my thoughts about Josh and what now awaited me.

I attempted homework after an hour or so of unsuccessfully trying to sleep, but I couldn't concentrate on anything. My mind just kept coming back to how drastically everything was about to change.

At least I still had a few days, though. I wouldn't have to worry about it too much until the weekend. I already made my decision. Worrying about it wasn't going to help now. And I still had Ben and the others for the next few days.

After a while of trying and failing to accomplish anything academic, I put my school things away and went to bed again. I probably wouldn't be getting much sleep. It was almost one in the morning by this time and my head was still full of unpleasant thoughts.

I wished I had Ben with me now. I'd been so relaxed with him earlier, I didn't even have to try to fall asleep.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case now and I lay in bed for a long time before I was able to drift off.


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