Scarlett woke up to the sound of the vacuum cleaner downstairs. She had slept in a strange position and now had a pain in her shoulder and a headache. Shane had taken up most of the bed and was sleeping against her. She shook him so she could move and stretch, she looked up to the gap in the curtains to try and gauge the weather. She got out of bed and looked out the window to see it was a bright, blustery Autumn day. She wanted to be outside in her boots and coat, kicking the crispy leaves. She wanted to get up and go out but Shane was lying on his stomach with his eyes closed and arms outstretched. Normally Scarlett was the one who wanted to stay asleep, or at least in bed, putting off the start of the day while Shane was trying to coax her to wake up and get out of bed. She sat down heavily on the bed and stroked his hair, she knew he was awake.

Shane sighed "Come back to bed, babe" he groaned, reaching his arm round her thigh. He kept his eyes closed.

"Are you tired today? You're normally dragging me out of bed!" Scarlett laughed softly.

Shane opened his eyes, laid his head in her lap and looked up at her. "That's cos you're normally going to make me late for work! The day we don't have work or anything to be at, you're up, opening the curtains and wanting me to get up!" he said sharply, tutting and sighing. He closed his eyes again and moved his head back on to the bed.

Scarlett felt the now familiar creeping feeling of discomfort. She'd recently been feeling very anxious and it would hit her suddenly. Previously she'd felt completely relaxed and at home in Shane's house. She was mindful that she wasn't a housemate there and never went to the kitchen or living room without him but she felt relaxed there. Since their date night though she'd found herself feeling anxious and panicking, an uneasy feeling that creeped up on her and made her feel vulnerable, like she didn't belong and needed to go home.

She was conflicted by craving the comfort of Shane, sure that that's what would make her feel better, and worrying that she was annoying him but not really understanding why.

She sat in silence, feeling his breath against her leg until he got up, muttering "If you're not going to get back into bed, I can take the hint - I know I said I'd make you breakfast. I'll do it now then, shall I?" he threw his dressing down on and stormed downstairs. Scarlett frowned and shook her head.

Scarlett was struggling to keep the feelings of panic at bay. How would she even begin to explain them to him when she didn't understand herself? She started to scratch her arm. She had begun to itch, the skin on her arms, back and chest had itched so badly recently she'd gone to see the doctor. He'd told her it wasn't an allergic reaction but rather a response to stress. She had scratched her skin sore, particularly in the last week. She was surprised Shane hadn't asked about it but then she hadn't really been naked in front of him in that time.

She heard Shane coming back upstairs, he threw his dressing gown on the floor and threw himself back into bed "There's no bread left" he mumbled, not looking at her.

"Oh, ok. I thought you said you were going to make French toast?" said Scarlett, puzzled, still sitting on the bed.

"I was but there's no bread left" he said through gritted teeth.

"I just mean I thought you had got the ingredients or whatever already there so..." Scarlett said, timidly.

Shane sighed, loudly "No"

"Oh. ok" Scarlett said, disappointed. Before she realised it, tears were rolling down her cheeks. The room was so quiet, she couldn't hide her sobs.

Shane looked up "It's not worth crying over! Fuck sake, Scarlett. Why are you crying AGAIN?" he said, exasperated.

Scarlett tried to stop crying and gather her thoughts to explain what she was feeling but he was giving her the impression he was fed up and that her behaviour was irrational. "I dunno... I'm just feeling... down or something. I'm not really sure." she sobbed.

Shane looked annoyed "You've no reason to, I don't know what is going on. why don't you go and have a shower? you'll feel better after." he said, turning over so his back was facing her and pulling the duvet over him.

Scarlett went to have a shower, she felt relieved to have some time alone though she still couldn't understand her feelings. She did crave the feeling of being held in Shane's arms, maybe it was because she'd missed their bond and their normal affectionate embraces.

Back in Shane's room, she lay on top of the duvet as he lay underneath it, her wet hair dragged on his chest as she leaned in and kissed him softly.

"Are you ok, babe?" he asked. She nodded.

They kissed passionately and he threw back the duvet, rolling them both over until he was lying between her legs. They didn't speak as they kissed and caressed each other, looking into each other's eyes. But to Scarlett it felt different, like their chemistry had altered and she didn't know how to get it back. She thought if they carried on, she would relax into it.

"Do you think you feel wet enough?" Shane whispered. She thought it an odd way for him to ask but she nodded and he slid his cock just inside her. "You're too tense babe, I can't get in cos your muscles are clamping. Just relax." he whispered.

Scarlett hadn't realised she was so tense, she tried to breathe deeply and calmly but it still hurt as Shane pushed further into her. Her mind raced and she couldn't relax, her back was stiff against the bed and she wasn't in sync with him at all. She was distracted and found herself wishing it was over, within minutes she saw on Shane's face and felt in his thrusts that he was cumming. He pulled out straight away and she turned her face to the side, facing away from him. He sat on the edge of the bed with his back to her.

"Did you cum,babe?" he asked

"No. You know I didn't" said Scarlett quietly. She started to cry as she realised the comfort she had craved from him was missing even when they were closer than they could ever be.

He looked over at her and sighed in frustration. "I don't know what it is you want! What is it you need? You just keep crying and I don't know what it is you want me to do, I don't think I can help you" he spluttered. He stood up, lifted his t-shirt from the floor and threw it at her "Here, clean yourself up. I'm going for a shower." he snapped, slamming the door as he left.

Scarlett felt so lonely in that moment. She felt dirty and wished she could have another shower to wash him off her. She cried as she got dressed and gathered her belongings.

Shane returned from the shower with a towel wrapped round his waist and started getting dressed. Scarlett was sitting on the floor in front of the mirror putting on her eyeliner. "Why are you all scraped, Scarlett?" he asked firmly, not looking at her.

"What do you mean?" she asked, looking at him. He walked over and stretched her arm out, raising his eyebrows. "Oh, the doctor said it's just from stress." she replied.

"Stress? What are you stressed about? You're a student" he laughed.

"Exactly! I've got my final exams coming up, I need to start looking for a permanent job, I need to think about moving home permanently and things at home are a bit weird." Scarlett said matter-of-factly. "Plus, things with us are not great at the minute. A month ago you were talking about me moving in and how you'd move with me anywhere I got a job, YOU started those conversations and now...I dunno, Shane." Scarlett started crying again.

Shane pulled her up off the floor and over to sit beside him on the bed. "Look babe, once you get a real job and learn what it's like to have responsibilities and to pay your own way, you'll see it's different." he said, in a soft but patronising tone.

Scarlett raged, still crying "Why are you always so patronising? Like I don't know anything cos I've been a student for the last few years - but I've lived on my own, in a different country, I've worked full time when I'm home for holidays, I've paid my bills and kept myself alive. You say one thing and then do something else but deny what you said, as if I misunderstood. You've been treating me like I'm some lovesick puppy this last couple of weeks when you were the one who was so keen on me in the first place. We're far enough down the line now but it's like I know less where I stand now than at the very beginning!" Scarlett's eyes stung from crying with anger.

Shane stroked her face "Babe, what are you getting so worked up about?" he saw her eyes well up again "Don't start crying again, have you seen how much water comes out of your eyes when you cry?! Listen, I really care about you and I don't want to hurt you." he said, softly

"IT'S A BIT LATE, SHANE!" Scarlett shouted, breaking away from his hand. "You're full of these derogatory remarks, what the fuck is wrong? If you've changed your mind and don't want to be with me anymore then I'd rather you just say cos this is fucking torturous!" she smarted.

"No, I'm not saying that, there's a lot going on with you at the moment and I just think you might need to speak to someone." Shane said softly

"Speak to someone?" Scarlett asked, puzzled.

"Yes, I can't help thinking all of this is in your head, to do with your mental health and it might help to talk to someone... professional." Shane said.

"WHAT?!" Scarlett stood up, trying to understand where Shane was getting this from and why. "You're trying to make out I'm some sort of 'hysterical woman'! How dare you! I have to go" she said, lifting her bag and coat, turning quickly, running down the stairs and opening the front door.

Shane chased after her "Scarlett! Wait, don't go Scarlett! Don't go like this." he grabbed her wrist as she reached the front door and she shook her arm violently to free her wrist as she opened the door. Standing on the doorstep was Shane's friend and his wife. "Oh, hello. I forgot you two were coming round" said Shane, pulling Scarlett back into the hallway discreetly. Scarlett looked at him.

"You said 1pm?" said Shane's friend "Is everything OK?" he asked. Shane nodded and led them all into the living room, inviting his friends to sit down before pulling Scarlett into the kitchen.

"I need to go, Shane. I want to leave. Now. And you must've forgotten to tell me they were coming round!" Scarlett hissed.

"I only texted him this morning! Don't go,

not yet, you don't want them to think you're rude!" Shane said, still holding her wrist.

"LET GO OF ME!" Scarlett said through gritted teeth, shaking her arm and he let go. She opened the back door, slamming it behind her and sat on the windowsill to light a cigarette. She hadn't smoked for ages, she didn't smoke around Shane often since he didn't like it. She heard chatter and laughter coming from the living room, Shane was being his usual public charming self. By her third cigarette, Shane came out and told her to come back indoors.

Back in the kitchen Shane told Scarlett he'd agreed they'd help his friend and his wife with some furniture shopping at the retail park. Scarlett was furious. Hearing the hushed voices, his friend shouted "I know you two can't keep your hands off each other but come on!" he laughed a loud, brash laugh and his wife cackled.

Scarlett pushed past Shane into the living room and explained her bus home was at 2:20pm. "That's grand, we'll go to the shop, look at the furniture then drop you off for your bus." they decided, without her agreement. She wished she could be more assertive but was worried she would appear rude. "Have you had breakfast?" his friend's wife asked. Scarlett nodded, lying. "I bet you did!" she and her husband laughed, looking at Shane, who blushed.

Scarlett wondered what Shane had told them, he very rarely blushed and his friends' conversations were very innuendo- heavy. She felt paranoid and sick.

They got in the car and drove to the retail park, Shane and Scarlett sat in the back. Scarlett was looking out the window when she felt something on her hand, looking round she realised it was Shane trying to hold her hand. She tried to pull her hand away but he clasped it in his. Shane's friend saw in the mirror "Now, now, you're going to need to get a room!!" he joked. Scarlett didn't even react but Shane overcompensated, laughing loud.

By the time they left the furniture shop it was 2:15pm. The retail park was miles further away from the bus station than Shane's house was. Scarlett just wanted to leave but she couldn't. The others decided to get something to eat but Scarlett had no appetite so she sat in silence while they ate and chatted. Shane kept trying to include her in the conversation but he was putting on a show.

Finally, 2 hours later they pulled up outside the bus station. Scarlett thanked Shane's friends for the lift and got out of the car. Shane got out of the car at the other side and stood in front of her as she tried to cross the road, putting his arms around her and trying to kiss her. "You're only doing this because you know they're watching us" Scarlett said, glancing into the car. "Fuck knows what you've told them about me the way they've been saying things all day. I just want to go home!" she hissed. "You can't spend the morning being nasty to me and then basically force me to carry on like nothing's happened in front of your friends. Now it makes it look like I'm a moody cow when really you've put me in an awkward situation. I hope you're happy with how horribly you've treated me today." she tried and failed to hold back tears.

Scarlett pushed past him and walked as fast as she could to her bus stop. Standing checking the timetable, she could still see him from the corner of her eye. She looked down the long terminal and to the car parked outside, Shane was leaning against the car looking at his phone. She heard her phone bleep and looked to see a text message from Shane "Your ass looks fucking sexy in those trousers ;-)"

Scarlett felt sick, what sort of game was he playing?! She didn't reply, instead she went to the shop for a cup of tea and a sandwich. She was starving and shaking. Everything she had felt so sure about a few weeks ago, everything she'd spent the last few months finally settling into had suddenly completely changed and she didn't know what to do. She just knew she couldn't wait to get home to a nice hot shower and her own bed. & com=1043126#formu & t=20767 & t=79092

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