It takes a while before River lets go of my hand but when he does, he comes to an abrupt stop making me stop an inch away from hitting him.

”Im sorry about what she said. Shes just real- ”

”Its okay, ” I tell him honestly. I can really blame him for what Sophia said. ”Theres no need to explain. Drop it. ”

”Please spend some time with me. ” He begs and my heart tags a little. ”I miss my friend. ” He takes hold of my hand in form of persuasion.

I can say I miss him after everything. Especially not after what Ive painted him out to be.

”We
e not- ” my breathe catches when he lets go of my hand and takes a deep breathe, his eyes looking a little glassy. ”We
e not friends, River. ” I finish quietly and try to walk away from him.

”Things are really hard and I need someone to talk to. Cmon. ” Theres a hint of desperation that coats his voice and it threatens to break me in so many ways unimaginable.

But I promised myself I wouldn be here again. The least I can do is walk away before things become tangled and messy. Weve been here, I know how it ends.

”Youve been fine for the last four years. I know you can handle it. ” I tell him and turn to walk away again but he holds on to my arm.

”I tried really hard to talk to you even then. You changed your number and just went off. I got the message then but are you still mad at me even now? ”

”Im not mad, ” I tell him calmly. Even if I was mad at him, I wouldn let it get in the way of any thing professional between us. ”We both know why Im back here and I just really want to work. ”

”I still need a friend. ” He huffs, pulling his glassy gaze from me.

Some times he acts more of a kid than a 24 year old.

”Youve got plenty, ” I assure him with a small laugh to lift the tension around us. ”Im sure everyone wants to be a friend to the prince. ”

”Why aren you part of the list? ” He challenges with narrowed eyes and I smile sadly, my eyes dropping to the ground.

We could go back and forth all we want on the issue of our friendship just two days after my arrival but I can never seem to bury some of the hurt that brought us apart. Sometimes the wounds never heal.

”Because Ive been there. I know how it ends. ” I tell him and take a small step back. ”It bothers me to think about being friends with you again. ” I tell him honestly and he takes a step back as if the words deals him a blow.

He withdraws his arm from my arm and sighs. ”Can we start over? ” He asks quietly.

I know River. Or rather, I knew River. And there was never a part of him that pushed to have something that didn mean anything to him.

When his relationship with his dad seemed to fall apart after a series of his own doing, he made every effort to bring it back and now they are best of friends. So close it has become a thing of praise from the public.

One of the good fronts of the royals that can be broken down. Gives me an easier job to showing how functional of a family they are without staging fake dinners and stuff.

”Not really. Its better if we left it off where it ended. ” I tell him quietly and he runs his hand through his hair.

Looking at him, at the tattoo that picks out right under his shirts sleeve, I wonder what the hell is wrong with me.

River is handsome. Well, maybe more like hot. He is amazing as a person, he jokes around, makes me laugh, he is kind, and at the risk of ruining his public image, River cries when a romantic film has a tragic end.

I don know when I started having feelings for him, maybe it was senior year in high school when he asked me to prom. Maybe a year before that when he came to school with a bouquet of flowers for friendship day.

I don know when but Id started having feelings for him and soon enough, I had a very huge crush on him that some of my friends started to notice.

It didn help that River did these little special things that made my heart jump. Right up until that night when everything just stopped and my heart felt like it couldn break anymore.

Now though, Ive learned to school my emotions. Im not in love with him. I don have a crush on River and I barely like him.

I might feel a little pull towards him but its only because of the past. The friendship we shared. Nothing more.

Four years away from him thankfully helped me learn how to hate him and I regret nothing. Hate is better than sitting in my room and crying all night.

”Just listen to me. We don even have to be friends. ”

Im about to say something when one of his guards approaches us making me take a step back.

”Your father called for you. ”

River is about to say something when I shake my head and nod at the guard.

”I have a meeting in a while. Ill see you around. ” I take my leave before he says anything.

With a sigh, I turn in the direction of the north wing, keeping my head low and my brain blank.

I felt something. I know I felt something when Rivers disputed eyes fell from the guards direction to mine.

I shouldn feel anything. River is a mistake that should only be regretted.

Then why do I feel these things? Shouldn I be happy that he is begging to have me back even as a friend and Ive been persistent enough to say no?

A shaky breathe escapes past my lips and I take few deep breaths to calm down. Im just a little stressed out. A few cups of coffee and the meeting with Brad should make things alright.

River does not have the power to evoke emotions in me.

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