Dante woke when his phone went off, yawned, and checked his texts. He read it then tapped out a reply.
"Yep, like I said, not interested in that anyway. Name your requirements/conditions, I am asking a huge favour so you can have whatever you want in return." He hit send and laid back down while waiting for the reply.
Rachel heard her phone go off and grabbed it quickly reading his response. "Here goes nothing Lolly."
She started her text back.
"1. My dog goes with me. 2. Appearance of dating and marriage only, keep your hands, lips, and everything else to yourself. 3. You get to explain this to both of my parents. 4. Since I do not have a large sum of money to just move out you take care of the cost of living for me. 5. I want NONE of your money at all." She hit the send button.
"Lolly think he will learn that money does not buy happiness? I doubt it, he only came to get me because he needs me. Maybe a small part of him can be saved though."
He rolled over and groaned when he recieved the reply, then sat up to read it.
"1. You have a dog? What type? :3 And I love dogs so no arguments here. 2. [sarcasm]I will try to contain myself, but I want you sooooo freakin' bad. [/sarcasm] Not interested. It's nothing against you, I've just got this vow not to do anything ever again. You can blame/thank my ex for that. 3. Only if you lock all guns and/or pointy things away first. 4. Was gonna do that anyway. 5. ...okay, that's a little odd, but fine."
Dante sent the message, then groped through the dark to find his water bottle to get a drink.
Rachel got his text. "You stupid jerk, your claim your self esteem is in Beijing where the hell do you think mine is when you constantly run down my looks! I left off the last condition but here it is. 6. At the end of the fake marriage period I can then name my price not before and you have to agree to it." She hit send and got out of bed to go get another blanket, she was freezing.
"Lolly he is a dofus at times and I was so upset with how he insulted me that I did not even tell him about you. Not that he deserves to know."
Dante clicked on the text as fast as he could so he wouldn't have to listen to the ringtone. He groaned when he saw her reply.
"Dude, I'm not insulting your looks. You're gorgeous, okay? Is it so hard to believe that I'm not interested in dating/sex? My last relationship tanked and I'm not gonna go through it again, and as for sex, I got news for you: It's not that great. Ergo, I'm not interested. As for your condition, agreed." He frowned as he hit send. Did she think he was a pervert or something?
"I've done enough bad things without having another one tacked onto it by her imagination..."
Rachel had just finished grabbing another blanket when her phone started beeping again. She put her blanket on the bed when she saw his reply. "What the hell kind of response is that Lolly. I have no desire to know about his sex life! I cant believe what a creep Dante has turned into."
Dropping to the bed she put the phone down and pulled her dog close, she was on the verge of tears again. "What am I doing Lolly, I owe him nothing and yet I feel like I do." Feeling miserable beyond belief she raised the phone to text him back one last time. "Too much information, not your therapist. Not even your friend, that part of our lives is over, I am just a tool you are using now until I no longer serve a purpose for you then just like before you will vanish from my life.
When her mother came home around 10 she found her half on half off the bed, freezing cold with a high fever. "Rachel what is happening to you sweetie..." Her mother's intuition told her something really bad was happened to her.
Dante frowned at her reply and texted her back. "It was the only way to convince you that unlike most guys, I'm not interested in you that way. And I thought we were going to catch up...? I don't want to use you as a tool, I wanted to make up properly and be friends again! But if you're so against being around me, then the deal's off. I don't want you to be suffering for my sake. I won't contact you again, so you can go back to telling everybody I'm dead and I'll get back to wishing I was." Dante almost cried as he wrote out the last line, but hit send before he could delete it. He switched his phone off and rolled over to try to get more sleep.
Rachel woke up a few hours after her mother had put her back to bed. She was still burning up with fever and felt horrible. Seeing her phone on the floor she grabbed it and read his last text. "Lolly what have I done..." Wanting nothing more then to go back to bed she got up and tried to call Dante, it went to his voice mail. "Guess that leaves me on options Lolly." She got dressed and headed out the door. His family owned a whole chain of hotels and one happened to be fairly close. She got a taxi since she felt too horrible to walk that far and inquired about him at the front desk. The lady told her but kept asking her if she was alright or if she needed to sit down.
Making her way up the stairs she froze at the door to his room and then slowly raised her hand and knocked lightly on the door.
Dante rolled over and groaned. He'd already gotten up and showered, but had returned to bed to sleep some more.
When he heard the knock at the door, he tugged some jeans on over his boxers, and was just putting a shirt on over his chest when he opened the door.
"Ye- ...Shouldn't you be stabbing a voodoo doll of me or putting a curse on me or something?" Dante rubbed some sleep out of his bloodshot eyes, which were sore from lack of sleep and crying. He sighed. "Okay, sorry, that was mean."
He changed to the way he spoke to strangers, he'd even done it to a degree when he was a child, mostly to adults, but also to other kids until he knew them better. "Hello, what seems to be the problem?"
Rachel gave him a hurt look when he greeted her like that. "Fine it was a bad idea, I will let you get back to whatever it was you were doing." She turned to leave and was yelling at herself for doing such a stupid thing as coming to see him when she could barely even stand up on her own at the moment.
"Rachel, wait. I'm sorry, I'm just getting confused because you keep going back and forth. "I hate you!" "Let's be friends again." "I'm not helping you!" "Let's catch up!" "Actually I wanna be alone now." "I'll help you!" "I hate you!" You keep doing that and it's confusing me on top of everything else." Then he noticed her weird stance.
"Are you limping? You're gonna collapse in a sec, come in and sit down. What the heck are you even doing here when you can barely stand? I have a phone, you know. Oh, wait, I switched it off. But still, if you're sick you should be at home asleep, not running around the city."
Rachel turned and looked back at him, surprising she had a smile on her face even though she was deathly pale except for the color of a fever in her cheeks. "Do you not recall Mr. Marco, I told you if you went all emo on me again I would give you a black eye."
She tried to stand up straight and not show any sign of weakness in front of him but that just made her feel even worse and she stuck out a hand to the wall to catch herself. "In case you had no noticed I was in no shape to talk last night and to be honest I was embarrassed. You insulting me did not help considering I was covered in mud and soaking wet." Why was it this hard to think, her pounding head was making every word twice as hard to come up with. "As for why I am here, I had to make sure you... make sure... you..."
"Oh God, you're gonna beat the crap out of me." When she put her hand on the wall, he stepped out of the doorway to see if she was okay.
"At what point did I insult you? All I said was that I'm not interested in you that way, you say the same thing to every guy who thinks they have a chance with you. If that's an insult then I'm guessing you've insulted a lot of guys," he said with a small smile. "If it was something else, then I don't really know what it could be, because I never intended to insult you."
He tilted his head. "Make sure I what?" Dante reached out to take her hand and bring her inside, but pulled his hand back at the last second.
"Right... no touching. Just come inside and I'll get you a drink or an ice pack or something, you shouldn't be stood up right now." He wondered how exactly he was going to be a good friend if there was that no-contact rule, then he remembered what she'd texted the previous night and remembered that she apparently didn't want to be friends.
"When I said no touching I meant upon an intimate aspect, no holding hands, junk like that."
Rachel still had her hand on the wall for some balance. With a voice dripping with sarcasm she looked at him. "Yes Mr. Marco I am barley standing and I intend to beat the crap out of you." She rolled her eyes. "Besides the slap I gave you I have never been violent to you. As for the shove into the grass that was because I needed your attention and listening ears and I was not getting it, you and I both know you could of easily bested me. Therefore do you think you really have a lot to fear from me?"
"I have never asked a guy to marry me then told him it would be strictly platonic and were I to ask a guy what you asked me I would of used far more tack in explaining it was platonic instead of shoving it in his face." Thinking was hard as heck and not getting any easier.
"I had to make sure Dante that you would not....not really go through with you said." She looked up at him meeting his eyes with hers. "You leaving without a word broke my heart, I dont want to think what you taking your life would do to me." No one had ever replaced her best friend slot when he left because she had no let them. "You are the one who made the choice for us to stop being friends not me. I wont however let you make the choice to take your life, please stop being selfish and threatening me with that."
"Look at me, I've gone from planet-sized to a twig. You could easily beat the crap out of me, sick or not. Now get your butt in here before I have to break the rules and pick you up. I don't want you fainting out in the hall and I don't want you to make the journey home on your own if you're so sick."
He swung the door wide open to reveal the interior of the room. The carpet was a plush cream colour and an archway through to the bedroom, which had a big double bed - still messy from him sleeping on it - and his suitcase half-packed next to it. To the left was the living room, to the right, the kitchen.
"And yeah, to be honest I am a little scared of you. You've always kind of freaked me out when you yell and I didn't push you off because I didn't want to get grass stains on your uniform and make you angrier. Plus, a guy on top of a girl in a field, that'd look wrong, no? I wouldn't want you to get any kind of bad reputation."
When she explained what had insulted her, he nodded as he realised it. "Ah... yeah, I see. I'm sorry, it's just I'm used to rejecting people over and over again because I know for a fact most people want me for my money."
Dante chewed his lip a bit. "I'm sorry for threatening you like that. I know it's selfish and I really don't want to scare you. As for my decision to stop being friends - I am sorry. Since I made that choice, can I make the choice to reverse it? I want to catch up and be friends again. Even though I haven't seen you for years, I still trust you more than anybody else in the world."