Always You - Book cover

Always You

Roanna Hinks

Chapter 2


I duck as another plate comes hurtling toward me.

Ruby has been screaming at me since I came home from work. Speaking to a girl at the gym I work at is not what I should be doing, even though I am a personal trainer.

“YOU HAD YOUR HANDS ON HER WAIST,” she yells at me.

I sigh and rub my hand over my face. This is getting old. I own a gym with my best friend. We do some personal training sessions for both men and women.

I help them with weightlifting mainly, which usually involves men, but there have been women, and today’s client was Anna. She is happily married, and even her husband was there.

My hands were never on her waist, but I was making sure she never hurt herself. I stood behind her.

“THAT’S ENOUGH,” I shouted at her. Another plate comes my way, but I catch it in my hands this time. I glare at her. “I never touched her. I was helping. It’s my job, Ruby,” I say.

Lately, this is becoming a whole new thing with Ruby; she fights and then leaves. This is our fourth fight in a month. I have had enough.

“I think we should take a break,” I say, which makes her glare back at me, but she stops in her tracks.

“Fine, I am leaving for work tonight. I won’t be back for three weeks,” she says and walks up to me, standing right in front of me.

“I want us to have a serious talk about this relationship. You have been ignoring me all the time. I thought since Savannah hasn’t been around, you would…,” she says, but I cut her off.

“What has Savannah got to do with any of this?” I ask, even though I know.

She glares back. “Don’t play innocent with me—you and her never stop looking at each other. You both fell out because of what she did to your friend.

“You should leave her alone,” she says and turns to walk away. Still, when she gets to the bottom of the steps, she stops and looks back at me.

“Elijah, I want us to move forward. I want us to be together and even start a family,” she says and sighs.

“I will be gone for three weeks. Take some time to think about what you want, and when I come back, I want us to be back to normal.”

With that, she walks up the stairs and goes to the bedroom. She slams the bedroom door.

I huff out.

I need to get out of here.

I’m already in my training gear, so I decide to go for a run.

I quickly place my trainers on, looking around to find my phone and headphones, which are where I left them when I walked in.

I walk out of the house, stop at the foot of the steps, put my headphones in my ears, and start running down the street.

I love running; it helps me think. I run in the same direction I usually take, taking me to see Savannah.

I sigh as an image of Savannah comes into my head.

We were friends throughout school, all four of us. I’m best friends with Alex, the gym’s co-owner. His wife Megan is Savannah’s closest and best friend.

They were inseparable, but not for the last six months. Alex and I liked Danny, Savannah’s boyfriend at the time, but we found out that she cheated on him with someone.

I never thought Savannah was like that. She was so sweet and caring, but she never denied it when Alex and I confronted her one night. She won’t talk to us after that night.

Meg has been stuck in the middle of it all. Meg has been worried about her. Savannah hasn’t even told her anything about what happened.

But she keeps reaching out, and Savannah talks to her but does not give much away. I miss her so much too. I have always had feelings for her ever since high school.

The whole reason why Ruby hates Savannah is that when we were having sex, I called out Savannah’s name when I was drunk, which didn’t mean anything, but I remember that night very well.

Savannah was grinding on Danny in the sexiest dress I have ever seen her wear. She was watching me while she was doing it.

She thought I never noticed the glances she gave me when she thought I wasn’t looking, but I could sense her. Her scent of coconuts always drives me nuts.

I shake my head at the thought as it makes me hard. I soon realize I’m in town and start to run slowly. I stop to stretch, but I always do this to look in the window to see her.

It sounds creepy, but I need to see her. I need to know she is all right and happy. As I look in the window, I catch sight of her.

Her long brown hair is pulled back in a high ponytail, and damn, the dress she is wearing fits every curve of her body. Judging by the time, she’s closing up.

I know I can’t keep looking in the window or she will see me. I slowly start jogging and pick up speed when I get to the bank leading to a wooded area.

It’s mainly a park, but it has a huge pond.

I would finish Ruby for Savannah. Well, whoever I’m with at the time, as no one will ever compare. I have had feelings for Savannah for over fifteen years, but they are still there in my heart.

I run toward the pond but my phone’s vibration pulls me away from my thoughts. I come to a stop and look at the screen, praying it isn’t Ruby, and thank God it isn’t. It’s Alex.

“How did it go when you got home?” he asks.

I sigh. “What do you think? She went nuts as usual. Next time, you will have to train the woman, especially if she is going to keep throwing plates at me,” I say.

“Fuck, dude, don’t tell Meg that—she already hates Ruby,” he says, which isn’t a surprise.

Meg made her feelings clear when I introduced Ruby to her. She told me that I could do loads better and that Ruby would only use me for my money.

I can’t help but frown. “I know. We need to go out or something,” I say. “I need to let off some steam.”

He chuckles, but I can hear Meg in the background whispering something.

“What did Meg say?” I ask.

Alex goes quiet for a moment, but suddenly: “Meg mentioned doing a guy’s night out, and she will have a night out with Savannah,” he says in a stern voice.

Alex has his views on everything that went down. We both hate cheaters, but we were stunned by what Danny told us. I never thought Savannah would do it, but why would Danny lie?

“How do you feel about her going out with Savannah?” I ask him, my stomach doing flips as I mention her name.

Alex sighs. “I can’t stop her from being friends,” he says. “Did Danny tell you that she moved out of their house because Meg found out a few weeks back that she is now living in the flat above the store?”

I stare out at the pond with a frown on my face. “No, he never did, but he was cut up about it all,” I say. “That flat space is tiny, and she wouldn’t have gotten all of her things in there.”

“I know. I was thinking about that,” he says and sighs. “I still can’t understand why she would cheat on him, and also…” he says, but I stop him.

“Don’t say that. I can’t believe it either, but Savannah was always stubborn.”

“That’s why you always loved her,” he says.

Alex is the only one I ever told about my feelings toward Savannah. He knows I would take her now, but after everything, I don’t know if I would.

“Yeah, but she was this amazing woman; she knew what she wanted and also went for it,” I say.

Alex stays quiet for a bit, but I speak again. “I told Ruby that we need a break.”

“What did she say to that?” he asks.

I sigh. “She agreed to it all. She is working away for three weeks. But she wants us to talk about where this relationship is going when she gets back.”

“Where is it going, Eli?” he asks me.

“I can’t keep doing these fights all the time, man. Since the second date, I have been trying to break up with her, but she never got the hint.

“When I mentioned this before, she always wormed her way back to me. She always knew what to say to me, which was reminding me of what Savannah did.”

“I don’t blame you. You could always move in with us if she wants the house,” he says with a chuckle.

“I know, but she doesn’t know about one house I own, so I will move in there if I have to, but I will make sure she never comes back into my life after,” I say with a groan.

I stand up and walk toward the town as the thought of my run has now gone from my mind.

“So, when are we going out?” I ask as I walk past the store. I look at it, but my eyes look up to see the light on in the flat.

I slowly walk away.

“Meg said Friday—that’s when she and Savannah are out,” he says. “We could go to the new pub in the next town over if you want. No one will know us, and it will be a breather for us.”

I think he is trying to stay away from Savannah.

I would love to see her. I haven’t seen her in six months. I miss her.

Meg always tells Alex everything about her and what they get up to. Maybe if we’re both drunk, we can find out where they are toward the end of the night.

“That’s cool with me,” I say as I walk toward the house. The house is in complete darkness. Ruby’s car isn’t in the drive.

“I just got home. Ruby has gone too by the looks of it,” I say as I walk in. Her perfume floats around the house, making me gag slightly as she always wears too much.

I’ve never understood that about her.

“What is your plan now?” he asks, and I can hear he is outside. “Meg just told me that they are going to Jolly’s; we could pop in to see them afterward if you want?”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” I ask as I walk over to the kitchen counter and flip on the kettle switch to make a cup of coffee.

“I don’t mind. I want to apologize to her, but I also want to know why, but it is not our business to know,” he says with a sigh.

“Meg is going to try to ask her, but I think she is afraid to,” he says but stops suddenly.

I sigh at him. “Savannah never gave us an explanation about anything, but if I remember rightly, we both never gave her a chance to either,” I say, feeling the sadness sweeping in from nowhere.

“We can have a few drinks in the new pub, but we will go there and figure out the rest.”

I close my eyes, knowing I want to see the woman more than anything. She’s not only the one who got away, but she is also my friend, and I’m worried about her.

Alex and I talk for another few minutes, but we both hang up when Meg tells him he’s like an old lady when it comes to me on the phone, which makes me laugh.

After the phone call, I have my coffee and drink it slowly, taking sips. I lean on the counter. So Friday is the night I’m going out, but also I want to see Savannah.

Alex knows how I felt for her and still do.

Suddenly, a message comes through on my phone. I glance down and notice a message from Danny. I open it.

DannyHey dude, I notice there is a convention next week for the gyms in the local area. Do you want me to get there to promote the business?”

I smirk.

Danny’s job has been to promote the gym, and he has found us some business of late, which has been helping us. We do pay him to do it.

He is always looking for conventions, but he did tell us that he wanted to travel to get away from thinking about things that happened between him and Savannah.

I know it was about seven months ago that Savannah and Danny broke up. I planned to break up with Ruby, but then Danny told us that Savannah left him due to her cheating.

Alex and I were totally with him, but now it has been seven months later, he has had a few weekends away and has come back smelling like cheap perfume.

He seems to have moved on, which is nice, but an image of Savannah comes into my head from earlier. When I look back, she wasn’t the same Savannah.

She’s lost a lot of weight, and she looked withdrawn. I know from running your own business that it can be tiring. But I have Alex, who is also an owner.

Savannah has no one, just her.

I message Danny back.

MeHey dude, take the week off if you want. We will manage, have a good time.

I send the message back to him and head upstairs to shower.

I need to get to bed as I need to be up early for work. Maybe I might go into town to get food from the café opposite Savannah’s.

Doris always knows what’s going on everywhere. She is the town’s gossip, but she is lovely. She always had Savannah’s back, even when she and Danny broke up.

Doris never told us what happened; she never broadcasted anything about Savannah. But she always listens to whatever people say around her.

I sigh as I step into the shower and let the water wash over me, hoping to wash my troubles away.

As soon as I finish the shower, I quickly dry and head to my room.

I quickly get dressed.

I sit on the bed and slide down as my head hits the pillow. I get images of Savannah flooding into my mind. I know I need to see her, and I’m determined on Friday to end my night with her near me.

Sleep takes me seconds as I’m sent into my slumber.

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