The Girl who Fought to Provide

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Chapter 12

I woke up the next morning nervous, not knowing if I should go to Nadia’s birthday or not since her father and the rest of them knew about me fighting underground, I wondered if Nadia knew but then again if she did then she would have asked about it.

I felt bad that I was thinking of skipping her birthday since she’s been nothing but sweet to me. So I decided to go and just hoped that her Dad was occupied or something.

Thankfully the weather turned out for Nadia and it was hotter then I wanted it to be, I broke out into a sweat the moment I stepped out of the house but I soon cooled down thanks to the air conditioning in my car. It was currently 9 am and the birthday didn’t start until 12 pm but I wanted to go out and grab a present for Nadia, I didn’t want to go empty-handed.

Pulling up in a parking spot, I quickly ran inside not wanting to be in the hot weather any longer. I knew Nadia liked butterflies because her whole phone was decorated with different colored butterfly stickers every other day, I remembered overhearing her and Emma talk about it. So I tried looking around for something relating to butterflies.

I walked passed a jewelry shop that caught my eye, strolling in, I looked around before a baby blue butterfly necklace caught my eye but even though it was pretty I felt like it wasn’t something Nadia would wear often so I kept looking till I found some stud earrings, they were a stunning deep red, shaped like butterfly wings. I quickly brought them, they weren’t overly expensive but they’d suit Nadia very well.

Since I haven’t got any bathing suits or bikinis that I can fit, I quickly went into a random bikini store and bought the first thing I saw and rushed back home to get ready.

I slipped my new bikini on first so I wouldn’t have to change at Nadia’s, the color of the bikini was a dull yellow, it was simple but clung to my curves and insinuated them more, with spaghetti straps on the bikini top but a thicker fabric on the bottoms. Slipping a white crop top with ruffles on each opening of the top, I quickly slipped my long white flowy skirt to match. Even though my skirt sat at my waist, the crop top wasn’t long enough to cover my exposed skin but I wasn’t complaining, it looked cute, good for the occasion.

Swiping my eyelashes with waterproof mascara to make them appear longer than they already were, I then added lip-gloss before throwing it into my brown purse.

I had put my long hair into braids this morning while it was wet so once I returned home, my hair would be dried and has curled itself in the braid, so I undid my braids carefully not wanting to muck them up and added a little dry shampoo to give it some volume.

I appraised my outfit once more and made sure everything was on right and sprits my perfume on before grabbing my keys, purse, towel and present, and heading out of the door, yelling a goodbye to Grayson.

Finally pulling up to the gate, I had to give my name before they’d allow me in, the place was packed with a lot of expensive cars, people who had just shown up as well stared at me probably wondering who I was but I smiled their way and continued up the familiar stairs, I texted Nadia I was here and she replied almost immediately saying she’d come get me from the entrance of the house so I waited there as people I assumed were her family walked deeper into the house.

“AVA!” Nadia’s excited voice yelled as she came running through the house in a red sundress.

“Happy Birthday.” I squeezed out, her arms wrapping themselves around me.

“Thank you.” She blushed.

“I wanted to see who made Nadia so happy to run away from greeting her family.” Maceo’s voice drifted through the entrance as he smiled at me and Nadia.

“Sorry dad.” She blushed, pushing her glasses back up her nose.

“Hi.” I waved, returning his smile.

“I’m glad Nadia invited you.” Maceo said, a glint in his eye, knowing he was planning to question me about the underground.

“Is that for me, you shouldn’t have.” Nadia said, pointing at the small box in my hand.

“It reminded me of you, so it only made sense to get it.” I said shyly, handing it over to her.

She unwrapped it immediately, pulling the lid off the little box, there sat the two little studs.

“They’re so pretty.” She breathed, “How did you know?” She asked slipping them into her ears; they matched her dress and eyes perfectly.

“Thank you so much, the best present. Sorry dad.” She giggled, pulling me back into a tight hug.

“None taken.” Maceo laughed, smiling at his daughter.

“I’m glad you like them.” I pushed my hair out of my face.

“Let’s go join the party.” She said grabbing onto my hand and dragging me along with her.

The backyard was filled with a lot of her family and fathers close friends. Everyone was enjoying themselves and laughing. Nadia continued to drag me as we weaved through people, no one was swimming in the huge pool yet but the food was cooking so I guess everyone was going to swim after the food.

“Zade and the rest of them are over there.” She pointed to a large group that sat on a huge c-shaped couch.

“Wait, where are you going?” I asked as she turned to leave.

“I have to say hello to all my guest but I promise I won’t be long.” She smiled sadly.

“Okay.” I breathed, walking over to the group slowly.

“Cat?” Jay’s voice called out, as I got closer.

My smile broadened once I saw his familiar face.

Jaylin stood and pulled me into a strong hug.

“What are you doing here?” We both asked at the same time.

“You go first.” I laughed.

“My dad and Maceo are best friends.” He said jotting his chin out to where they stood, talking privately.

“Makes sense, Nadia invited me, I go to school with them.” I nodded towards Zade and the rest who watched our exchange.

“We have a lot to catch up on.” Jaylin laughed, pulling me over to where he was previously sitting.

“Hi.” I waved at the rest of the group.

Everyone smiled back besides Kenna; Kenna just turned her back to me, rolling her eyes.

“How come you can never make friends with girls?” Jay asked as he laughed at Kennas’ attitude towards me.

“Not true, Nadia and Emma are my friends.” I huffed, punching his arm.

“I guess that is true.” He chuckled.

“How was the little sleep last night?” I whispered into his ear as we both broke out into a fit of laughter.

“At least I got a kiss before it.” He winked, laughing lightly.

“How is your mum?” I asked as everyone else picked up in conversation.

Jay and I caught up more as we all ate after the food was announced ready. Just as I finished catching up with Jay, Nadia finished greeting her guest.

“I’m exhausted, where is the champagne Charlie?” Nadia called out.

“Funny.” Zade cut in, giving her a stern look.

I chuckled along with Nadia at the face he gave her.

“Sorry I took so long, I didn’t know you knew Jaylin.” She smiled.

“Don’t worry I understand, yeah we know each other from my old place.” I replied, trying to keep things brief.

“That’s cool, I’m glad you had someone to talk to while I was busy.” She said, kicking her feet up on Zade.

I smiled at their relationship; they seemed so close but not that close in school.

“We can all go swimming soon, I can’t wait.” Nadia fanned her face.

It was pretty hot but since I wasn’t walking around or anything I didn’t sweat or smell like B.O, which I was glad about.

“Where’s Emma?” I asked, I noticed she wasn’t here a while ago but since Nadia was busy I couldn’t exactly ask her.

“She had a family emergency so she couldn’t come.” Nadia pouted.

“I hope everything’s okay.”

“Yeah, hopefully.” Nadia swung her legs off Zade and ran over to someone with bright red hair.

Zade moved closer to me, his arm brushing against mine. “You look beautiful today.” His voice deep.

“Are you saying I don’t look beautiful every other day?” I asked in a serious tone, my face stoic.

“Um no, I didn’t-” He studded out, scratching the back of his neck nervously.

I broke out into a fit of laughter, cutting him off before realization fell over his face.

“Oh very funny Ava.” He shook his head, chuckling and side glancing at me.

“I was only kidding but thank you.” I bumped shoulders with him.

“Are you going to swim?” He asked, a small smile on his lips.

“Maybe, I’m not sure yet, are you going to swim?”

“Most likely, it’s hot.” He said, his voice softer than it normally was.

“You should smile more, it looks pretty on you.” I said before Maceo and Jaylin’s father I recognized from last night interrupted us.

“Ava, I’d like for you to meet my good friend Christopher.” Maceo said gesturing to Jaylin’s father.

“Nice to meet you.” I shook his hand firmly, Christopher seemed to be impress and smiled, showing his pearly whites.

“The feelings mutual.” His voice I recognized as the one who made everyone from last night let me and Kota go.

Zade sat next to me, staring back and forth between the two.

“Can we talk privately?” Maceo asked.

“Ava!” Beaus’ little voice called out.

“I tried to do her hair but she wouldn’t let me.” Judy huffed as Beau came waddling between her father and Christopher, trying to push at their legs.

“Ava, Ava!” She called out as her father scooped her up.

“Here we go.” Zade said from the side of me, running his hand over his face.

“Hi Beau.” I waved.

“Ava!” Her chubby legs kicked at her fathers face.

Chuckling at the sight in front of me, Maceo smiled down at me, “Gonna help me out here.” He winked, trying to stop Beaus’ kicking legs.

Maceo put Beau down on the ground before she tried climbing onto my lap.

“Hey Beau.” I smiled, lifting her to sit between me and Zade.

“Ava, yummy.” She sniffed at my shoulder, “Pertume?” She giggled, her hands running through my curls.

“Perfume yes.” I repeated the word for her.

“We will talk later.” Christopher smiled before he and Maceo left.

“Why do they want to talk?” I asked Zade.

“I honestly have no clue.” He frowned.

“Okay.” I breathed.

“It’s nothing bad, they like you.” He nodded, his tone nothing but honest so I didn’t let it worry me.

Everyone started getting into their bathing suits and jumping into the pool, the music turned up a little louder in the background.

“Hey, you gonna come swim?” Nadia asked, looking at me and Zade.

“Maybe in a little.” I said, doing Beaus’ hair.

“Okay, I’m going to jump in now.” She said winking as she walked away.

“You can go swim, I can play with Beau for a little.” I nodded at Zade.

“Are you sure?” He asked hesitantly.

“Of course.” I gave him a reassuring smile.

“Okay.” He left and went into a separate building to their house; I guessed it was the pool house or something similar.

I continued to play with Beau as she giggled playing with some toys Judy gave us.

A loud splash sounded from the pool so me and Beau looked over in time to see Zade’s head pop up as his chest rose out of the water, I was in awe of the muscles that were defined in his body, the ripples of muscles along his abdomen fit together perfectly. A smile broke out onto his face as his light grey eyes fixed on my warm honey ones.

Blushing, I turned away to play with Beau a little longer. Everyone was swimming and laughing at the silly things the boys did.

“Hey, I got Beau, go have some fun.” Judy said, ready to grab out to Beau.

“Noooo, Ava!” Beau turned away from Judy’s outstretched arms.

“How about, you go with Judy for a little bit and I promise to come back for you soon.” I said holding my pinky out to her.

“Okay.” She giggled, slipping her pinky finger in mine.

Judy grabbed her and she left giggling.

Since I was already had my bathing suit on, I unbuttoned my skirt and slipped my top off before folding them and putting them with my other things.

Someone cat whistled but I never turned not knowing who it was for, I made my way over to the pool slowly and dipped my foot in, the water felt amazing against my skin. I could feel a hot stare run over my body but I never looked up to see who it was. Pulling my foot out of the water, I walked around to the other side where Nadia sat by herself.

“Hey, what’s the matter?” I asked as I sat next to her.

“Jesus, look at you.” Her eyes wide.

“When did you get that?” She asked, running her fingers along the delicate design of flowers on the side of my hip.

“A year ago.” I smiled, looking at the tattoo I had gotten in memory of my parents.

“It’s beautiful, who designed it?” She asked, her fingers running along the black ink.

“My brother actually.” I nodded.

“What? Wow.” She breathed out.

I smiled at her, my eyes locked on the sparkle of the water from the sun, dazzling me. I heard someone shuffle behind me but before I could turn to see who it was, a hand touched my back, pushing me before I hit the water. The taste of chlorine swept into my mouth, touching the bottom I pushed off and rose to the top slowly. I came up laughing like a lunatic; the water-cooled my body from the hot sun. Someone soon jumped in next to me, his head popping up seconds later, pushing a small wave his way, it hit his face with a splash making me giggle at the face he pulled.

“You don’t want to start something you can’t finish.” Zade’s deep chuckle filled my ears.

I rolled my eyes and splashed his face again as he tried shielding away.

“You’ve done it now.” He said, as I laughed and splashed him once more before I tried swimming away from him.

I thought I was fast enough but his arms enveloped my waist. My heart fluttered at the contact of our bare skin. He lifted me out of the water as I lay over his shoulder.

“Put me down Zade.” I hit his back, between laughs.

“Are you sure you want me to put you down?” He asked, his body vibrating with laughter.

“Yes!” I called out, I was sure everyone was looking at the two of us.

Before I knew it, my body was flying through the air as Zade tossed me like I weighed nothing. Landing with a splash not far from where he stood, I rose back to the surface laughing again, wiping the water from my eyes. He laughed too as he swam closer to me, pulling my body upright by the waist.

“You don’t play fair.” I laughed, slapping his chest softly.

“You never said there were rules.” He winked, a full-blown smile playing across his lips.

“I guess I didn’t.” I smirked, mesmerized by his smile.

“Then I won.” He said, pushing my hair out of my face, his other hand still sitting on my waist.

“Mmm.” I tapped my index finger along my bottom lip.

“Perfect!” Nadia yelled, holding her phone as close as she could towards me and Zade.

“What are you doing?” I asked curiously.

“Taking a photo, one day you’ll thank me.” She giggled, running off and yelling out the name Cherrie.

“She’s something.” I laughed.

Zade was still staring at me but more intently, like he was in search of something.

“What?” I asked, blushing at our closeness.

“You’re so perfect.” He smiled, swimming to the edge and got out.

I watched him; he motioned for me to go towards him so I did. I moved to the edge and was about to get out on my own but he slipped his hands under my shoulders, pulling me out of the water and held me by the waist to steady me.

“Everyone’s looking at us.” I blushed at the intense stares.

“They aren’t looking at us, they’re looking at you, who wouldn’t?” He smirked, swiping the bottom of my lip with his thumb.

“Ava!!” Beau called out, waddling her way towards us.

“Hi.” I cooed, picking her up and resting her on my hip.

“Zaee.” She stared at him, tilting her head to the side.

“Cooties!” She screamed, making me break out into a fit of laughter.

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