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Saved by Her Best Friend

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Ian Red has always been the girl I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, but I was wrong. She's now the one that got away, and I am not sure I will ever get over it. Or so I thought, until her best friend came barging into my life with a proposal of a beneficial fake relationship. Now, I find myself thinking of her more with every interaction. She's slowly bringing me out of this depression I live in daily. Can she help me finally get over Red? Or will she only confuse me further? Hailey I am 25 and still have yet to tell anyone - aside from my family - "I love you." All my life I have been scared of falling in love, seeing what it did to my dad when my mom left him. Love seems like nothing more than a hassle, or at least it did. Constantly being by Ian in this fake relationship is blurring the line. But can he even get over Liv? Am I ready to fall in love and trust him with my heart?

Chapter 1

Ian's POV

**Song Suggestion: Closure by Hayd**

There she was, the one who got away, as people say. Her fiery locks danced in the wind, pushing into her face. As she delicately tucked a strand behind her ear, her cheeks bloomed with a rosy hue, and her icy blue eyes locked onto mine. Her lips curled into a dazzling smile, sending my heart aflutter and refusing to release its grip.

"Do I have something in my teeth?" she asked as she noticed me staring a little too intently.

"Nope, you're all good."

With a bittersweet smile, I pried my gaze away from the most beautiful sight- her - and towards the setting sun behind the towering skyscrapers of New York. Compared to Olive, or, as I like to call her, Red, the sunset faltered in beauty. It's hard to let go of someone you've loved for years and envisioned your life with. I should have reconnected with her sooner. My stupid self assumed she didn't want me and that she'd given up on our friendship when I moved overseas. The moment I got back to the States, I should have sought her out and spoken to her instead of cowering away. Now it's too late, and she's found someone to love her as fiercely as I do. Lucas treats her like a queen, and they share a baby girl now, who is just as stunning as her mother.

"Are you okay, Ian?" She broke me out of my sorrowful thoughts.


"Are you okay? You seem down." She looked at me, so concerned. For a second, I wondered if maybe some part of her still loved me the same way I loved her.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry about me, Red. I'm a big boy." I gave her the best smile I could conjure up, seeing she didn't believe it as she crossed her arms and arched her brow. She was calling b*llsh*t, and she wasn't wrong. It astonished me how easily she could read me- like pages in a book. That part hasn't changed, even after all those years apart. She's the person who knows me best.

"Bull. Tell me what's wrong."

With a heavy sigh, I stepped toward the curb, hailing a cab for myself before turning to look at her again. "It's nothing you need to worry about, Red. I promise, I'll be fine."

Her arms fell to her sides as she let the matter go, seeing I wasn't willing to talk about it, because how could I really? Admitting to her that I loved her so deeply would only hurt our friendship, and I can't lose it, too- not again. She pouted for a second, pursing her plush, rose-petal-colored lips. When her eyes met mine again, she held a sort of sadness in them, one I didn't mean to invoke.

"I'm lonely, Red. I need more friends, is all. You can't be the only one I see. Especially now you're married. It looks a little questionable when it's just you and me, even if all we are doing is playing arcade games like teenagers again." I caved, telling her part of why I was feeling down.

I had coworkers I was friendly with, but to call them my friends would be overzealous on my part. Except for the few times a month I get to escape life with Red, I've felt more alone than ever before. Her eyebrows pinched in concern, and her eyes glistened with worry, but she gave me a small, understanding nod.

"I'll fix that, don't worry," she promised me before surprising me with a hug. Her slender yet powerful arms slipped around my torso as she held me close. I know she did it to bring me comfort, but it was only making me want her in my life more, further pulling at the hole in my heart.

"I'm grown now, Red. I can make my own friends, don't worry so much about me. Get home to sweet Abi and give her a kiss from her Uncle Ian. I'll see you later."

I gave her one last squeeze before making her let me go, standing straight as I opened the door to the cab that had finally come. She named me Abi's uncle because she said I'm too special to not have a connection of sorts with her daughter. I love her for trying to keep me included in her life, but it hurts more than it helps. As the taxi drove off, I kept my gaze fixed on her until she vanished from sight, her fiery locks extinguished like a flickering flame. Inhaling deeply, I fought against the suffocating weight of depression, which threatened to consume me. There was only one person who could cheer me up right now, so I called her.

"Hey Mom, whatcha up to right now?"

"I'm so happy you called. I was thinking of painting a wall pink, and I said if someone calls me in the next five minutes, then I won't go through with it. And here you are calling me 30 seconds later." She laughed, making me smile.

My mother is my hero, my person, and the one I most confide in. She knows my true feelings for Olive, or, as she calls her, Livie. It saddened her that I couldn't have the woman I loved for years on end- obsessed over even. Mom had kept me going when I kept getting my letters to Red back in the mail. I didn't know it, but her dad had been returning them before she could see them. He had also been throwing away her letters to me, so I never got one.

"Good thing I called, because I don't think a pink wall would look good in our house."

"Tell me what's wrong, Tesoro?" she asked, using her Italian to call me her treasure, as she always had when she knew something was wrong.

"Just got done hanging out with Olive."

"Ah, I see."

Mom and I spoke for a while, well after my cab ride home. She offered me words of solace and guidance, urging me to date again. I had a few flings during my time in London and college, but none of them lasted. I was fixated on Red, and no one else could compare to her. The other girls were pleasant enough, but they didn't ignite the same passion within me. Looking back, it seems stupid, but I couldn't help the way my heart felt. She ensnared me years ago, and I could not break free ever since.

"Get back out there and fall in love again. There are plenty of women in New York for you to meet and date. It's the only way you're going to get over her. Ti amo, tesoro mio. We'll speak some more tomorrow. Goodnight."

"I love you, too, Mom. Thanks for always answering the phone."

"Always, you're my boy."

I laid my head on my pillow, contemplating Mom's words. Perhaps she's right. I need to date again. Although I am not sure I have the heart for it. It would just be another fling, another girl who can't meet my ridiculous expectations. A fling won't get me over, Olive. With a deep sigh, I closed my eyes, deciding tomorrow would be a better day. I'll be more adventurous and make some friends, maybe going as far as joining my coworkers for a drink after work. It'll be Friday after all.

I dreamt of her, of us, of high school, and how happy we once were. My dreams always revolved around her after we would hang out. It is an inevitable truth of my life now. How do people get over this sort of thing? It hurts more than I care to admit. My alarm was my reprieve from the bittersweet dream I was having. My arm felt heavy as I lifted it to turn off the melodic tune. Dragging my hand down my face, I woke myself up, getting off the bed and heading to the bathroom to relieve myself.

I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror, seeing that I was due for another haircut as my golden blonde hair was getting past my ears now. I liked it long, but this was too much. Looking into my blue eyes, I assured myself that everything was going to be okay.

"Today is going to be better," I affirmed. As if to prove my point, I got a text from Red.

Red: I know we just hung out last night, but it's Friday, so a group of us are getting together and going out. You down to come with?

Ian: I'm always down to hang with you. You know that.

I wonder who's in this group she's talking about.

Chapter 2

Hailey's POV

Liv's voice echoed in my room as I placed her on speaker while I put my clothes away. "I don't know what to do, Hails. He looked so sad."

"Hey, you already did what you needed to. You invited him out with all of us. I think it's a great way to introduce him to more people. Maybe he'll hit it off with someone." I called out, struggling to shove my clothes into my already bursting closet. I may have a bit of a shopping problem.

"I hoped maybe you two were going to hit it off, being my best friends and all."

"Liv, we may love you, but the guy is as dull as a rock. I tried to burst him out of his bubble, but he's harder than you were." I reminisced about when we first met and how quiet Liv had been. It didn't take too long or much effort to get her to be a Chatty Cathy with me. "I'll keep trying if you want me to."

"Yes, please!" I chuckled at how desperately she jumped at the suggestion.

"Alright, but don't blame me if he doesn't want to


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