The snowball part 12
I’m back to really late updates so sorry but I have to prioritise uni work, thank you all for being so understanding and waiting patiently :) xx
The sun rose, bathing Feyre’s room in sunlight but Feyre had already been up for hours. She had been tossing and turning all night feeling guilty as hell.
She had kissed Rhysand. Even worse, she had liked kissing Rhysand.
No matter how hard she thought back, Feyre couldn’t figure out when things had changed between them. She refused to believe those feelings had been there all along because that would make her even more of a cheating douchebag.
Her and Tamlin weren’t even officially broken up. Well Feyre assumed that was how Tamlin was judging the situation, due to his eager text back at 1am that morning when Feyre had asked to meet for lunch.
They had agreed to meet at a small restaurant for lunch, not far from the coffee shop. Mor and Amren would be waiting outside, while the boys would stay at the store, just the sight of Rhysand might set Tamlin off.
Feyre did her best with makeup to hide the dark bags under her eyes and added some blush to give her pale face colour.
Hopefully after today Feyre wouldn’t have to deal with Tamlin. If she was lucky. But that didn’t change how she felt for Rhys. Or how recently she had been broken up with Tamlin.
It wasn’t about what others would think of her for moving on so quickly, it was the way it made Feyre’s stomach knot up and made her legs feel leaden with guilt. She would have to talk to Rhys. Maybe if she just got some space, she could sort her head out and if the feelings were still there… then what? Rhys had never shied away from hiding how he found her attractive, the constant flirting was proof of that. But had he ever really said he was interested in more than a basic flirting? Feyre didn’t think so.
Arranging her hair into something not resembling a bird’s nest anymore, Feyre headed downstairs to find Mor.
Mor was cooking alone in the kitchen when Feyre found her.
“Hey sleepyhead, get home a bit late last night did we?” Mor said with a wink.
Trying to sound as bored and casual as possible Feyre said, “I kissed Rhys last night.”
Mor dropped the wooden spoon she had been using to stir scrambled eggs in a pan.
“Let me at least put some coffee on before you say anything of interest first.”
“…You’re not mad?”
“Of course I’m mad. I bet Cassian you two would hook up in two weeks. You’ve just lost me $50. Don’t suppose you wanna keep this from Cassian for a few days?”
Feyre laughed a bit giddy with relief. “He may have seen us, so no can do. It doesn’t matter anyway.”
Mor froze and gazed at her curiously, “Oh?” Was all she said though.
“I don’t think it meant anything.”
An odd look flashed across Mor’s face. Her face turned grim before she turned back to stirring the pan. “What makes you say that? Something Rhys said?”
“No it’s not that it’s just… it’s Rhys. He flirts with everyone.”
“He used to.” Mor’s voice sounded tight.
“I’m still technically with Tamlin anyway.” Feyre again tried to sound casual, unbothered.
“Feyre, everyone around her knew that was over the second you ended up in hospital by his hand.”
“It’s been days Mor! It’s too soon for me to already be with someone else.”
Mor turned back to stare Feyre down. “If you need space that’s fine. But Rhys needs to be told that too. You can’t lead him on.”
Feyre had rarely heard Mor sound so stern.
“We’re just fooling around. Rhys has never mentioned wanting anything more.”
“Okay Feyre. But please… don’t hurt him.”
Feyre arrived with Mor and Amren at the shop first to meet the others. One of the other workers waved at them a bit shyly from behind the counter as they arrived.
Rhys, Cassian, and Azriel were already sitting at one of the back tables with coffees. As they approached, Feyre could feel Rhys’s eyes trying to meet hers but she refused to raise her eyes. A faint blush crept along her cheeks as she tried to ignore a wave of heat under his gaze that spread throughout her whole body.
“How are you feeling Feyre?” Azriel asked.
“It’s not too late to back out.” Cassian added.
But Feyre shook her head. “I’m fine. Just want to get this over with.”
“We’ll be here if you need us.” Rhys said, trying to get her to look at him.
She risked him a small smile and held his stare for half a second, before looking away.
“Feyre, a word please?” Rhys said, standing to usher her towards the front of the store.
When they were alone, and Rhys had glared at his friends until they at least were less inconspicuous about their efforts to listen in, Rhys reached out a hand to grasp Feyre’s arm gently.
“Is that why you won’t look at me?”
Feyre made an effort to stare down his violet gaze. Her sickening guilt changing into something with more steel.
“I can’t do this right now.”
“Do what? The meeting with Tamlin?”
“No. This. Us.”
The warmth behind Rhys’s eyes winked out like stars, replaced with a cold, icy stare. He withdrew his hand from her arm.
“Us?” He gritted out.
“Yes. Whatever this is, I can’t. It’s too soon. I’m seeing Tamlin today! He thinks we never even broke up.”
Rhys’s voice was unusually flat and without feeling as he said, “I understand that things have gone quickly and I’m sorry if that was my fault. We can go back to being just friends.”
A small traitorous part of Feyre cried out at the suggestion.
“Flirting with you was a fun distraction but I understand now that, that’s all you wanted.” Rhys added.
Feyre went to reassure him, say anything that would take away the hurt look behind his eyes but Rhys turned away swiftly and went back to his friends, leaving Feyre feeling somehow more guilty than she had before.
Feyre was early for the lunch. She wanted to already be sitting down when Tamlin arrived so she would have an excuse not to get up and hug him, as she knew he would try to do.
She had been ripping apart a napkin when she saw Tamlin walk inside, followed by Lucien. Lucien nodded at her and went to take a seat at a table further away to give them some privacy.
Tamlin stopped before her wearing his typical business suit. He was smiling warmly at her but Feyre refused to return one back, as she also refused to stand when he held his hands out to her.
“Sit down Tamlin.” She said coldly.
Tamlin had the good sense to look a little unnerved as he sat down opposite her.
“It’s good to see you Feyre. I’ve missed yo-”
“Don’t. Just don’t. I need to talk to you Tamlin, and I don’t think you’re going to like it.”
Tamlin’s smiled vanished as he brought his hands onto the table to fold them together.
“I’m sorry but I’m not coming back. Not after what you did.”
“Feyre I never meant to hurt you. Ever. I’m so sorry it’s come to this, but you have to forgive me.”
“I don’t have to do anything. I asked you here to tell you that we’re over but I also need to talk to you about something el-”
“Did he put you up to this?” Tamlin interrupted quietly.
“Rhysand.” Tamlin spat.
“No, this was my decision. And you owe him an apology.”
“What?” He snarled.
“Tamlin you put him in hospital! Set part of his house on fire.”
“Because he kidnapped you Feyre! I was terrified for you.”
“Just do me a favour and not do anything for me ever again. You could’ve hurt a lot of people. And that’s why I can’t be with you anymore. I love you Tamlin but you also hurt me. I need more freedom than you could ever give me.”
Tamlin’s jaw was clenching and unclenching as he tried to control his temper.
“Feyre.” He said softly. “I need you. I’ll change. I can be better. You just need to stop talking to Rhys.”
Feyre’s temper flared dangerously. “Stop bringing him into this! It has nothing to do with him.”
“Tell me what I can do to make this up to you Feyre.” Tamlin begged making Feyre feel sick.
“… there is one thing.”
“What is it Feyre?”
“I need you to pull out of your deal with Hybern.”
Tamlin looked visibly confused so Feyre continued, “He’s going to build a factory, it’s going to make a lot of Illyrian’s very sick, they could die Tamlin. We have to stop it from happening.”
Tamlin’s face went dark. “He put you up to this didn’t he?”
Feyre had to stop herself from slapping him.
“He didn’t have to. The second I heard about Hybern’s plan I knew I had to stop him. This isn’t about us, or Rhys, it’s about saving a bunch of innocent people. How could you have ever agreed to this?”
“I only recently agreed.” He said gravely.
“Hybern said he would make sure the Illyrians would be gone, including Rhysand.”
“Tamlin you have to take it back. Do you really think that forcing an entire community to leave their homes would make me come running back to you?”
“I would do anything to keep you by my side.”
Feyre was mortified. “Then back out of the deal.”
“Only if you come home.”
“I can’t do that.” Feyre said shaking her head.
“Then the plan goes ahead. You can stop it though, if you just come home.”
“I’m already home.” Feyre said and rose to leave.
Tamlin immediately stood up too, Lucien on the other side of the room mirrored him with a worried glance.
“You will let me leave without causing a scene or you will be sorry Tamlin.” Feyre said, glaring down at the hand he had used to grip her to him by her arm.
People began glancing at them concernedly. Some began whispering to each other.
A waitress approached them looking sternly at Tamlin. Clearing her throat she said loudly, “Mam is there a problem?”
Feyre smiled sweetly at her, “Not at all. Two of my friends are waiting outside, would you be able to tell them to come inside please?”
The waitress hurried outside to where Feyre hoped she would find Amren and Mor.
“Unless you want them to call the cops, I’d suggest you take your hand off me.” Feyre hissed quietly at Tamlin.
Feyre began to mildly panic when Tamlin still showed no sign of letting her go. Thankfully Lucien appeared behind him and placed a strong hand on his shoulder.
“Tam we should go. People are beginning to recognise who you are.”
Tamlin looked like he would do no such thing when Mor breezed past him. She expertly twisted Feyre so Tamlin’s hand was removed while she wrapped an arm around Feyre, steering her towards the door.
“There you are. We’ve been looking everywhere for you, we’ll be late if we don’t hurry” She said as she ushered Feyre out the door.
When Feyre looked back, Lucien had a strong grip on a very surprised looking Tamlin. Amren held the door open with the waitress as Feyre was quickly escorted out.