Cry Little Sister Ch. 03byRushette©
"You're what?" Jason asked incredulously. "You're just fucking with us, right?"
Rory shook his head and gave a sad laugh. "I half-wish I was."
"Holy shit," Kellan piped in, awed. "I never thought I'd see the day that you fell in fucking love."
"Me either," Jason chipped in. "Who is this girl?"
Rory looked away pointedly while he too a long draught of his beer. He finally answered, though hesitantly. "I don't want to say, it feels like it would jinx it." His friends roared with laughter. Rory was the least superstitious of the lot of them.
After the laughter finally subsided, Kellan let out a low whistle. "She must really be something."
Rory nodded fervently, then froze as his cell phone rang. "Shit, it's her," he mumbled as he checked the caller ID and recognized the phone number to her room.
"What the fuck are you doing, idiot? Answer it!" Jason all but screamed, eliciting a pointed stare from Mac, the bar owner. Jason waved an apology then watched as Rory let it roll into voice mail. "Did the headshot you took the other day somehow make you even more stupid?"
"I can't talk to her, not until I know what I'm doing."
"Are you fucking kidding me? You finally find some beautiful creature that not only tolerates you, but likes you enough to sleep with you on more than one occasion, and you don't know what to fucking do? Fuck, O'Brian. I'm going to the can, you talk some sense into him, Quaid."
"He just wants you to be happy, you know that, right?" Kellan asked as they watched Jason walk away.
"I know." It had always been like this between the two men; deep brotherly love hidden by foul language and mock loathing.
"How do you not know what to do? I thought you loved her."
"I do." Rory leaned over and gently beat his head against the table. "She's fucking perfect. She's too good for me."
"Me. She doesn't deserve to be strung along, to deal with a long-distance thing every other week, to deal with my issues."
"Maybe you should let her decide for herself," Kellan suggested kindly.
Rory shrugged, unsure of how to respond. Maybe Quaid had a point. "Can we just get drunk now? Before the season starts and we can't anymore?"
Jason returned then with another full pitcher of dark beer. "Hell yes we can."
Sometime in between sober and intoxicated oblivion, Rory made his decision.
Why hadn't he called? Jill had been the one to initiate contact for one, placing a call from the hotel phone to the number that he had left that first morning. She had left him a message around three. And she still hadn't heard anything.
The knock finally came at her door around eleven. Jill checked the peep hole to be safe, then unlocked and opened the door. Rory was swaying and smelled like a bar.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. "Beautiful Jill, I'm so sorry."
Jill crossed her arms and leaned against the door frame. Her heart broke a little at the look on his face, but maybe it was better to leave it this way. This way there were no sad goodbyes. "You shouldn't have left this morning without saying anything."
"I know." Rory hung his head in shame. "God, I know. I just didn't know what to do."
"Anything but sneak out like you did. And you didn't call me back."
"Shit, I know. Can I come in?" Jill's lips pursed at the request, but she didn't answer. "For a minute, please, I don't want to do this out here. Just hear what I have to say and if you still want me to leave, then I'll leave."
She hesitated, the pain in her chest growing, but didn't budge. "I'm checking out tomorrow anyway, Rory. Maybe it'll be easier to just leave it this way."
"That's exactly what I want to talk to you about," he stressed urgently as he pulled her hand out of the crook of her arm and took it in his, planting a kiss to her palm. "I don't want to leave it this way. I want to see you again. I need to see you again. I travel half the year anyway, I can visit you, wherever you're going. And you can come see me too. It doesn't have to end here."
Jill choked back the sob that was threatening to come out. Just one more minute and you can cry for twelve hours straight. Just one more minute to break his heart, and yours.
"I'm sorry, Rory. I'm so sorry, I just can't." Her voice broke on the last word and the tears started to spill. "Thank you, so much, for everything. I'll never forget this, or you. But I ... I have to go."
Rory dropped her hand without a fight, the look in his eyes echoing the hurt in her heart. Jill stepped back slowly and closed the door to her hotel room. Somehow through the haze of pain she managed to lock the door before crumbling to the floor as silent sobs wracked her body.
So much for no sad goodbyes.
You don't think I'd actually end it here, do you? I promise you, I don't, so keep an eye out for Chapter Four. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to comment!