Chapter 16 is up…

Cheryl looked toward the counter, waiting on her customer’s order. Since what happened between her, Chris, and Devin a few days ago, she has been on autopilot. She hasn’t heard from Chris and she only associated with Devin during their A&P class. Chris was right. They both needed some time to think about things. For her, she needed to focus on herself and getting through this semester.

She did feel a little bad for Devin though. He has tried to talk to her, but she ignored him, saying she needed to focus on her assignment. She figured it was for the best between them, because she was getting herself into something that she knew she wasn’t able to get out of.

The one thing that has helped her was her pills. If it wasn’t for them, she probably wouldn’t be at work right now. Between her classes, working, and getting ready for her pre-entrance exam for several programs, she hasn’t had time to catch any sleep; but with her pills, she could do anything. If she didn’t need to sleep, that was fine by her. Although Devin insisted she only take half right now, she been taking a whole pill every day. She wasn’t sure if she could double the dose, but if she needed to, she will.

“Order’s up!” the cook said, handing Cheryl a plate of chicken fried steak.

“Thanks, Cliff.” she said.

She walked over to the customer and handed him his meal. She turned around and saw Chris standing behind her.

“Hey.”

“Hey. You have a second?”

“Yeah, I’m about to go on break, so give me a second?”

He nodded as she went over to her co-worker to let her know she was leaving. Chris followed her as she went out of the door.

They went to a bench near the entrance to sit down.

“I didn’t think you wanted to talk to me since I haven’t heard from you in days.” Cheryl said.

“I told you we both needed time to think. I don’t know if you used the time to, but I definitely have.”

“What does that supposed to mean?”

“You could have been with Devin for all I know.”

“Stop, Chris.”

“I’m still pissed about that. After everything we have witnessed between your cousin and friend, you would go and do the same thing?”

She looked ahead, realizing Riana could be doing the same thing right now.

“I know it was wrong, but at the time, I just needed an escape. Everything was starting to become too much for me. It still is too much.”

“Don’t you think you need to slow down, then?”

“I can’t. I have a lot riding on my future. I have to take pre-entrance exams, make As on my current classes, and I need the money to pay for it all.”

“Shouldn’t you ask your dad for some type of help? He said he’d help you if you need it.”

Cheryl looked ahead at some students playing football and sighed.

“I’m not asking him for help.”

“Cher, I understand you want to be independent, but it’s okay to ask for help sometimes. You’re doing too much and eventually it will catch up with you.”

“I’m fine, Chris.”

He put her face to his and stared into her eyes.

“No matter what’s going on, I’m here for you, okay.”

Cheryl nodded.

“Thank you.”

“But it doesn’t change the fact that you were kissing on another dude. That’s something I can’t get over.”

“I know and I’m sorry about that.”

“But I am willing to get through it; but promise me that you will come to me if anything is bothering you.”

“I promise.”

“And you need to get Devin out of your life. I know he’s your lab partner, but he’s no good and you don’t need that in your life.”

“I know now. In fact, I’ve stopped speaking to him after what happened. I’ll even talk to my professor to see if I can switch partners.”

Chris put his arms around Cheryl. She breathed a sigh of relief that Chris forgave her. Although she needed to focus on her right now, she didn’t want Chris out of her life.

Her heart started to beat fast, which took her off guard. She gave an uncomfortable glance, not sure what was going on.

Chris gave a concerned look and held her shoulder.

“Are you okay?”

Her heartbeat went back to normal, which made her give another sigh of relief.

“It was nothing. Probably something I ate.”

“Oh; that is why you need to take care of yourself. Let me make you dinner tonight, if you’re not too busy.”

She smiled.

“Sounds great.”

He hugged her again, which made Cheryl nervous. She knew it wasn’t something she ate. It could be the pills she’s been accumulating for the past few days. Hopefully it’s not as worse as she think it is.

***
Riana sat on Marcus’ bed not sure if she heard him correctly.

“You think he knows?”

“I don’t think; I know for a fact he does.”

“How can you tell?”

“The way he was behaving. He wanted me to slip up.” Marcus said as he walked over to the nightstand.

“I don’t believe this.” she said as she got up. She paced in the small room, giving a worried expression while running a hand through her hair.

“Ri, nothing is going to happen. He’ll be more pissed at me than you.”

“I know how Shawn gets when he’s upset. No one can stop him when he’s angry.”

“I’ll handle my brother. I’m just trying to figure out when he’s going to expose us.”

“You sure he knows? Why he didn’t say anything when he was here?”

“Because he’s planning something. He’s not going to do anything until it’s in place. So if he wants to play games, then we’ll play along with him.”

“I don’t like this.”

“I know and I’m really sorry you’re in the middle of all this.” he said. He went over to her and kissed her.

“This is my fault. If I didn’t…”

“Don’t blame yourself for what’s going on.”

He put his hands around her waist, sliding them to her ass. His erection was pressed against her as he bent down to suck on her breast.

“Are you being serious right now? Your brother knows about us and you want to have sex? ” she asked.

He picked her up and smiled.

“We’ll deal with that later. Right now, I need to be inside of you again.”

Riana was a little nervous at the fact that Shawn could walk in again, but how the way Marcus was looking at her, she couldn’t resist.

She kissed him and the two went back to the bed.

***
Shawn pulled up to the girls’ apartment. He looked towards the door, contemplating what he was about to do. He knew he should keep what he found out to himself, but he felt Britney needed to know as well.

He got out of his car, hoping she was there when he approached the door. Before he could knock, Britney opened it, giving him a surprise look.

“Hey. What are you doing here? If you’re looking for Ri, she’s not here.”

“I know. I came to see you.” he said.

He walked inside and Britney closed the door. She wasn’t sure why he wanted to see her. Besides being around Riana, the two barely spoke to each other.

“What’s going on, Shawn?”

He turned around and stared at her.

“I need to tell you something. It’s about my brother and your friend.”

Britney looked confused when Shawn sat down. Why would he refer to Riana as “her friend”?

“Shawn, you’re scaring me. What the hell is going on?”

“I found out the two has been seeing each other behind our backs. I don’t know if they have already fucked, but they done some other stuff.”

“What?”

“I had some suspicions, because we know how Riana can be. She’s been nervous around everyone, especially Marcus after what happened. Anyway, my internship partner saw the two making out in the bowling alley’s restroom.”

Britney shook her head. She couldn’t believe Shawn was telling her this.

“She could be saying that because she wants you for herself.”

“I have proof Britney. I found this in my apartment when I went there today. I gave this to her just the other day.” he said as he pulled out Riana’s charm bracelet.

“So what.”

“I haven’t been by my apartment for the past two days. Since I’ve been busy I just showered at work and went straight to class. I found it near Marcus’ bedroom. That and I saw her car parked by the apartment today. She knew I was going to be at the station late, so she had no business being there.”

“Damn.” Britney said. She sat down beside him and lowered her head.

“I had my own suspicions about them, but after talking to Monica, I let them go.”

“Well, believe it. They’ve been cheating; no telling how long they have been.”

“There’s still some things that doesn’t add up. How are they able to sneak around?”

“Trust me, they have found a way.”

“Why haven’t you confronted them?”

“I will, but not right now. In fact, I have the perfect time to do it.”

Britney glanced at Shawn.

“This is karma. I did this to her, so now I’m getting it back.”

“Stop, Britney.”

“If you look at it, it’s pretty funny. Hysterical even. I mean, I was with Isaac for months before she found out, and now, she screwing my boyfriend behind my back. The worse part about it is that it’s your brother.”

She started to laugh, which didn’t make Shawn feel any better.

“I’m glad you’re finding this funny.”

“What more can I do? I knew the relationship I had with Marcus was too good to be true. I thought I found some sort of happiness after the miserable way I treated Riana, but instead, she backstabbed me.”

Shawn went to her and gave her a hug.

“Listen, I’m just as pissed and irritated about the entire thing. We made a pact that we would never push our way on any of our girlfriends. I guess he forgot about that as soon as he saw Riana. I knew he wanted her that day in our apartment. The fact that he looked me in my face and say he would never pursue her is what making me want to go back to the apartment and kill his ass.” he said. He went over to the wall and punched it, causing Britney to become nervous.

“Shawn, it’s not entirely Marcus’ fault. Riana is as much to blame for this as he is. I’m pretty sure she developed feelings once she saw him naked in the bathroom.”

Shawn rolled his eyes and went back to the couch.

“All of this is bullshit.”

“I agree. So, what’s your plan?”

“I’m not telling you.”

“Why not?”

“Because this is something I would like to do on my own.”

Britney sighed and went to him.

“I’m really sorry, Shawn. I know how much you love Riana. You’re too sweet of a guy for her to be doing this to.”

She put her arms around him. Although she has feelings for Marcus, their relationship was new, so it doesn’t hurt as much as it hurting Shawn. She couldn’t believe Riana would do this to him and with his brother nonetheless.

“I’m really sorry.” she continued.

She pulled away from him and he stared into her eyes.

“I’m sorry this is happening to you too.”

Britney stared at Shawn, realizing how Riana could do such a thing when she has such a good man. Not only that, but he was too sexy to be cheated on. If Riana didn’t want him, then she wouldn’t mind being with him.

She leaned into him, kissing those sexy lips of his. Shawn pulled away and stared at her before pulling her to him. Before they knew it, they were heading towards Britney’s bedroom, not caring about Riana or Marcus.

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