They've recorded new music together and have shared intimate photos online, but Rihanna hasn't fully opened up about her reconciliation with boyfriend Chris Brown – until now. The pop star, 24, came clean about why she decided to get back with the singer, 23, who was charged with assaulting her in 2009, in the latest Rolling Stone cover story.

"I decided it was more important for me to be happy and I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that," she tells the magazine."Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake," she says. "After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it."

Rihanna also reveals that even though they broke up following the assault, she still had feelings for him. "So when that s–– came back, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, God, you've got to be kidding right now. But I got real with myself, and I just couldn't bury what I felt."

The singer, who has released new duets with Brown including "Nobody's Business" from her last album Unapologetic, understands the world may harbor negative views towards her and Brown's rekindled relationship. But she says things have changed between the two of them.

"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world. ... But it's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore," she says. "We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."

RELATED: Rihanna Strips Down For GQ

And Rihanna says that if Brown were ever to display a hint of his past behavior towards her, she is ready to walk. "He doesn't have the luxury of f****** up again," she says. "That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."

"He made a mistake, and he's paid his dues," Rihanna adds. "He's paid so much. And I know that's not a place he would ever want to go back to. And sometimes people need support and encouragement, instead of ridicule and criticism and bashing."

RELATED: Rihanna Breaks Her Silence On Chris Brown

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