I was woken by the pilot's voice announcing our arrival into Sydney, this used to be one of the best places to be in, but now it's filled with nightmares.
"I can't believe we are back home."I muttered to David, while laying next to him. I won't lie, spending these past few days with him was more than anything I could ever wish for, I hope we are able to do it again.
He kissed my forehead and wrapped his arms around me, "It's all over now." he whispered,
I couldn't help but wonder, how our lives would be from now on, Now the whole saga is over. Do we still get to act like a couple in hiding?
"It's time." David said, helping me up.
I really hope so,
I didn't think I would be able to pretend like I was not completely in love with him,
We got out of the plane and made it into the car arranged for us. "Do you think anyone would notice I was gone?" I asked as we drove.
"Of course, why would you even ask that?" he cautioned.
"Just a wild thought..."
He didn't say anything else and just focused on the road,
After about 30minutes of driving, we drove into the estate,
"Are you ready?" he asked with a smile.
I nodded as the gate of the opened,
We drove further and I caught a glimpse of almost everyone I knew, Jason, Olivia, even Micheal and some bunch of people I didn't know,
I assumed they were friends of David, with all the sophistication around them, they couldn't be mine.
They were all standing with wide smiles on their faces and a big banner that read, 'welcome home, Allison.'
"David.." I gushed, "did you plan this?" I uttered excitedly. I had never been happier to see them, I didn't even notice the tears that were already rolling down.
He reached out and held my hand,
"You have a lot of love around you, Ali. I don't want you to ever think you're alone." he said warmly.
"I wish I could kiss you right now." I said and he raised an eyebrow at me, "I know we can't... But I can say thank you..."
He smiled, "Always, princess. Now let's get you out, everyone has been so anxious to see you again."
I nodded, then taking a deep breath, I opened the car door. I was barely out of the car when I heard Olivia screaming and running towards us,
"Oh my god! Ali." She grabbed and pulled me into a crushing hug, "Thank God, you're safe. You don't know how guilty I felt for not doing anything to stop that monster from taking you away."
I broke away to take a proper look at her, her eyes were cloudy already,
"That wasn't your fault, there was nothing anyone could have done about it.."
"Thank you, for not hating me. I would hate me."
"What? never." I let out a chuckle, "By the way, loving your new hair, it's new and it brings out your eyes." I tried to cheer her up.
She laughed, wiping her tears.
"C'mon everyone has been anxious to meet you." She dragged me towards the anxious faces, as I walked away, I turned swiftly to look at David.
He gave me a warm smile, pulling out our bags from the trunk. I smiled back, despite everything that's happened, I was glad to be around the people I was sure cared about me.
I was wrong to have thought otherwise.
I smiled and said my hellos to everyone as I made my way inside.
I got into my room and smiled as I noticed nothing had changed, everything was still the way I left it, just neater.
'Home sweet home.' I mumbled.
"Don't I get a hug?" A familiar voice spoke up from the door. I turned to see Henna standing at the doorway with a huge smile on her face.
I literally jumped at the sight of her and pulled her into an embrace,
"Henna, I missed you so much.."
"Thank God! You're okay. We've been so worried about you." She said, hugging me back,"You don't know how empty this house has been without you."
I pulled away to take a proper look at her,
"It's nice to be back home, I actually missed eating your healthy veggies." I chuckled.
She poked my cheeks, "You're still as sweet as ever."
Her face turned to a frown,
"What happened to you out there? Did that man try to hurt you?"
I sighed and sat at the edge of the bed,
"I can't even explain it myself Henna. But I'm glad it's over now."
She smiled warmly,
"David was so devastated, I have never seen him in that state." she said, making me smile. If only she knew the actual reason behind the smile on my face,
"He doesn't hate me after all." I said hiding the reason behind my smile.
"He cares more than he lets on.." She said and I nodded understanding, "He doesn't know how to express them."
"I feel bad for all those times I spent arguing with him now."
"It's all in the past now." She smiled, and rubbed my hand, "You're so brave to have gone through all that alone, and still be able to smile. I'm so proud of you and I'm sure your parents are too."
"Thank you, Henna."
"Sorry to interrupt ladies but everyone is asking for miss popular right there."Micheal interrupted...
I didn't have the chance to thank him for saving my life in countless ways, if I knew he was working with David I wouldn't have been so hard on him.
"Micheal can I talk to you for a second?" I said.
"Yeah, sure." he stepped in.
"I will leave you two." Henna excused herself.
We both stood watching her leave, before speaking. "I just wanted to say thank you for saving me." I started, "I can't even imagine how hard it was for you to turn on your best friend like that."
"Hertz was really persuasive." he smiled, his voice turned serious, "Tell me, Ali. Did you see Jenna? I heard she's in Perth." he asked.
His voice turned serious, "Tell me, Ali. Did you see Jenna over there? I heard she's in Perth." he asked.
"Yes and she seemed lovely."
"Did she look happy?"
"I couldn't tell." How could I have told him she got angry at the mention of his name. I wonder what must have transpired between them.
He nods slightly,
"Thank you." he said with a distant smile,
"Let's get you downstairs before Hertz blows up the place looking for you." he teased.
"Ha ha, real funny."
"That was pretty hilarious," he said between laughs.
"C'mon." I sighed, pulling him towards the door.
We headed downstairs to the anxious faces.
"Ali! I Have been looking everywhere for you." Olivia let out as she caught us coming down the stairs.
"I just went up to freshen up."
"Anyway." she grabbed and pushed me past the crowd, "have you gotten a dress for graduation?" she asked.
"I have missed a lot of classes, olly. I'm not sure if I am allowed to graduate."
"That's not a problem...I'm sure Mr. Hertz would work something out." Her smile turned mischievous,
"Speaking of Mr. Hertz, I heard he went all James Bond on the guy."
"So it's true."
"Yeah! I guess."
I looked out for him, I miss being alone with him already, I hope we have enough time to ourselves after all this.
"Lucky." she giggled.
You have no idea.
I caught him chatting with some men outside. He had new clothes on, looking as breathtaking as ever,
Damn! How did I get so lucky?
His eyes caught mine, and he winked sly before turning away to greet a bunch of people in the room,
I guess this was it.
We were back to the old habit of dating under pretense. The only problem was that wouldn't be able to adapt to that old routine anymore.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
"Are you sure, you're going to be okay?"
David asked as he dropped me off at school himself, to be honest, I wasn't thrilled about returning to school, especially with the news of my abduction all over the news.
"Ali, you're safe. I have men watching from a distance."
I nodded with a sigh.
"I love you, I will be here to pick you up after school."
I nodded again,
"I love you too." I smiled and got out of the car and walked towards the school building.
'Welcome back Alison.' I muttered to myself as I walked, I could already sense everyone's eyes on me.
"I heard she got raped." I heard a girl say as I walked the hallway to my locker.
"I feel really sorry for her, she looks so skinny now." I heard another girl say. I rolled my eyes making it to my locker,
I noticed, Cherry Gold my locker neighbor and her squad staring. Cherry and I used to be friends until she joined the cheerleading team and completely forgot I existed,
"Look at that hair," she whispered as I attempted to get open my locker, and they all turned heads to me, bursting out laughing,
"Assholes." I muttered under my breath as I finally got my locker open.
"Ali?" A familiar voice chirped in from behind and I turned to see Emma,
"Hey." I whispered and unexpectedly she pulls me into a tight hug,
"I'm so glad to see you again." She gleed. I smiled back and broke away, at least someone was happy to see me.
"We've really missed you around Alison."
"I doubt." I look towards Cherry and her girls, they were laughing at us.
"Ignore them." Emma said.
I nodded, I didn't care anyway, "Have you seen Dylan?" I asked in worry, I wasn't able to reach him on the phone, it always went to his voicemail, I hoped he was okay.
"No, not since you left." she said,
I pulled out my phone and tried calling him again,
"Voicemail." I let out.
"He's probably busy or something." she tried reassuring me, "C'mon, we're late for English."
"Just a second." I turned and pulled out some books before shutting the locker and walking down the hallway to class with Emma,
I was glad I met Emma, with her around I almost didn't notice the crawls and pity stares I got from people.
"Today's hopefully our last class with Mrs. Robison." Emma said as we walked, "I can't wait to finally be through with high school."
"Yeah, me too." I whispered, making it into class, in time for my first class in weeks.
It was time for lunch and I was currently sitting at the cafeteria alone and chewing on Cheetos, while reading a book I got from David's study.
Emma, unfortunately, had somewhere else to be, so I was alone....Not for long.
"Having a bad day?" A pretty redhead came up to me and hopped on the empty chair across me.
"That seat is taken." I lied. I just couldn't handle everyone coming up to me with these questions, I would rather pretend I can't hear them, "Didn't you hear me, these seats are taken?"
"I didn't know, imaginary friends were a thing," she reached and grabbed a handful of Cheetos from my plate without asking. I scoffed, who does this girl think she is? "By the way, I love your eyes."
I had enough of her,
"What do you want?"
"I thought you might need company, you looked really lonely from up there. What your gay buddy didn't show up?"
"Dylan is not gay?"
"And, you, but I'm fine. Feel free to tell everyone..."
"I got arrested once." She cut in out of nowhere, "Like you everyone got the wrong idea, " How was that even slightly connected to being abducted, "But I didn't give a shit?" She continued, despite not making any sense, "People would always say bad things about you, how you react is what's important, always remember that."
"Thanks... I guess." I cringed.
She did have a point though,
"I'm Bethany by the way, you can call me Beth, everyone calls me Beth." She said and waited for a response.
"Alison." I muttered.
"I know, silly. I was just going to ask if you were done with those." She points at my full plate of Cheetos, "They've been staring at me..."
I rolled my eyes and shifted them to her,
"knock yourself out." She's probably just here for the Cheetos, I thought as I returned to finish my book.
"Jay, over here!" She yells suddenly, startling me. What's wrong with her? I looked to see the assistant captain of the football team, walking towards our table with a smile.
What the hell!?
"Hello ladies." he beamed, his eyes were now on me, "Alison stone, the most popular girl in school right now."
I had always admired his Scottish accent.
"I guess...." I cringed, and he smiled,
Beth waves her hand in front of him,
"Hey, lover boy."
He averted his gaze to her, as if noticing her presence for the first time,
"Oh! Hey Beth, almost didn't notice you there."
She rolled her at him,
"You're pathetic..." She shot at him.
He laughed shortly,
"Mom called, apparently she's on a cruise with boyfriend number five and won't be coming home as promised."
"I knew that...."
"Wait, you two are related?" I cut in surprised.
"Yup." She said popping the p, "Not my proudest achievement."
"Love you too sis." he shot at him, "By the way, that's my shirt, I warned you to stay out of my room..."
I smiled at them.
I enjoyed watching siblings fathom and I always wondered what it would feel like to have a sibling, nevertheless being an only child as it perks sometimes, for instance I don't have to share with anyone.
Glancing at the time, I began gathering my things to leave,
"Look you scared her away with your witts." Jay said.
"No, I have an appointment with the principal." I said.
"Okay, it was nice talking to you, Alison." Jay waved his famous smile,"hopefully I will see you again."
I just smiled.
"See you later Alison, and Ignore Jay's terrible flirting." Beth said throwing daggers at jay,
I saw that as my call to leave, "Bye." I said as I ran towards the principal's office to find out if I could still graduate this year. David was supposed to be here with me, but we both decided it would be awkward.
Hours later, school ended and I sat outside waiting for David. I checked the time and let out a frustrated sigh,
I pulled the phone to try him again,
"Need a ride?" A voice said and looked up to see Jay again,
"No, I am waiting for someone." I hoped he would understand and just leave.
"Boyfriend?" He asks curiously,
"Guardian." I said.
He nods slightly and sat next to me,
"Let's wait together then." he reaches into his bag and pulls out a perfectly wrapped sandwich, "Would you like some? I made it myself." He offered.
"I shook my head slightly in response,
"Your loss." he said and took a bite. I just looked away, "So How was our meeting with the principal?" he asked.
I felt better knowing I could still graduate. I just had to write a few extra papers before the month runs out and I would be good to go.
"You're not much of a talker, are you?" he said, hitting me with his shoulder.
"I have a boyfriend." I let out almost immediately.
"Oh... that's good."
"Is it someone I know?" He asked.
I moved my eyes towards the road, where the yell is David?
"No." I answered him and glanced at my noficatication for any missed calls.
"He's in college then?" he asked again, just in time David's car pulled and saved me from this conversation.
"I have to go." I gathered myself to leave.
"I would love to call you sometime?"
"See you tomorrow, Jay." I said and before he could say anything else I ran towards David's car.
"Tomorrow then?" I heard him yell as I got into the car.
Sighing in relief, I threw my bag at the backseat and turned to David, "You are late!!"
"I had a meeting." He had an uncanny expression on his face.
"Hey, you okay?"
He clenched tightly,
"Who's the boy?" He asked calmly,
"It's just Jay, he's the assistant captain of the football team." I explained,
"Should I be worried?" He muttered and I shot my eyes to him,
"Relax, David... He's just a kid." I said, laughing afterward, "Wait, are you jealous." he couldn't be jealous of Jay, Jay is just a kid. Why would I choose some high school boy over him?
No offense though,
"You need to be careful..." He said.
"Of course." I smiled at him, he was definitely jealous and it was adorable, "If it makes you feel any better, I told him I had a hot boyfriend."
He relaxed a bit.
"Good girl." he smiled and I chuckled, I couldn't believe he was being jealous.
"Anyway, I missed you." I whined,
We barely had any time for ourselves lately.
Henna was always around, It was annoying.
"When can we tell everyone?" I blurted out stupidly, the words had already left my mouth when I realized them.
I noticed him turn stern a bit but he covered it,
"I booked us a suite." He said and started the car.
"Okay..." I whispered, way to ruin the moment Ali, you just had to ask....I sighed and looked out the window, enduring the silent ride.
Barely an hour later, the car came to a stop in front of a hotel,
We got down and made it inside,
I took my eyes around, admiring the fancy hotel, when a voice called him from behind.
"David?" I turned to see a man and David seemed to be familiar with him,
Charles grinned, exposing his dimples.
"The last time I saw you was on your 30TH birthday and that was five years ago, how do you still look the exact same. You've got to sell me a secret."
David simply laughed,
"For real, you need to hook me up man." He let out playfully, before his eyes landed on me, "And, who is this beautiful lady?"
I smiled, answering,
"She must be--"
"My ward--" David said almost immediately, making my heart hurt. Is that all I was to him, his ward.
"That's lovely." he smiled, checking his time, "I have a meeting now." they shook hands again, "let's catch up again sometime, perhaps for drinks. I have a proposition you might like."
David nodded, with that the man walked away.
We turned and made it into the elevator, and without saying anything he reached and dialed our floor. The door closes and we lean back waiting, I could feel his eyes on me the whole time.
Finally, the door opened and he lead me into the room,
I get in and he locked the door behind,
"What would you like to eat?" he asked.
I scoffed shockingly,
"I can't believe you..,"
"Just your ward, is that what we have been doing for the past few months? just playing guardian and ward." I Scolded him, I just couldn't get the words out of my head.
"I don't want us to fight, Ali." He loosened his tie as if irritated with the conversation, "So drop it."
"This is us communicating," I said calmly.
I stared at him for a while before speaking again,
"Why still keep us a secret? Why can't we tell anyone? aren't you tired of hiding in hotels and lying to everyone, I know I am."
He clenches and turns to me,
"Do you know what would happen if we come out now, you and I would stand the chance of losing everything, are you willing to risk everything?"
I folded my hands to my chest
"For you, yes." I let out firmly,
He stared at me like I had grown wings or something,
"You don't know what you are saying..." he looked away from me.
"What's that supposed to me?" I pushed and then he uttered words I never thought I would hear him say to me,
"You are simply a child."
David and I had a serious argument after. I didn't understand what the big fuss was about. I was eighteen which meant what we share was legal,
The argument resulted in us getting back early and him driving off to who knows where. I went into my room and sprawled on the bed.
I missed him, I couldn't keep letting him treat me like a hidden project. I deserved better than that, I wanted a normal relationship with him, not minding what anyone thought.
My phone began to ring, pulling me out of my thoughts. I hurried to pick it up, hoping it's him calling.
"David?" I said,
No one answered,
I pulled the phone out of my ear to check the caller, 'who could be calling with a private number' I murmured and placed it back to my ear.
"Who the hell are you?" I clamored,
I wasn't in the mood for prank calls, was about to hang up when the anonymous caller decided to speak up ,
"Ali, don't hang up" The voice sounded really familiar.
"Who are you?"
I could hear the caller's slow breathing,
"I know you're there, tell me who you are or get off my phone."
"It's me, Matt."
My eyes widened,
"Just hear me out..."
Hell no! I jumped straight,
"You have some nerve calling my number, after everything you did, you monster." I snarled at him.
"Ali, please...I just want to talk." he said in a calmer tone.
"Don't you ever call this number again, you should be lucky I'm not reporting you to the cops." I hung up.
'Asshole' how did he even get my new number?
The phone rang again and this time was determined not to pick.
I laid back and returned to sulking over David,
Why hasn't he called? Did I bring it up too soon? I should have at least waited until after graduation to bring it up, right? I wondered,
I hated the suspense, it was slowly killing me. I was not even able to study for my final exams and if it continues I might actually never graduate.
The phone buzzed again, but this time with an actual number.
I picked it up and answered it.
"Please! don't hang up." Matt pleaded this time.
I sighed,"what do you want Matt?"
"I just want us to talk. Please, don't say no, it's really urgent."
"Why on earth would I want to talk to you, or even see you after everything you've done. Why am I even still talking to him?"
"I Just want to talk and nothing else, you can bring Micheal if you want." he tried to sound convincing.
"David won't let me, and at this moment I'm trying really hard not to get on his nerves. So get off my phone before I castrate you."
"I can't help you find your parents killer." he cut in, before I could hang up on him,
"Well, I'm talking to him." I shot back.
"I didn't kill your parents Ali, I swear it." he said.
"Then who did?"
"Let's meet up at the new bar close to your house."
"Are you trying to abduct me?"
"I know David has men watching me, do you think I would want to risk getting caught, if this wasn't important." he said.
I groaned and considered hanging up and immediately calling the cops on him, but I was curious to listen to what he had to say.
I have to take Micheal with me, I won't want David's men getting the wrong idea,
"Fine..But if you try anything, I will shoot you myself this time."
He chuckled, "No silly business, I promise."
"Be there in five." I said and hung up,
I jumped off the bed and ran out the door to Micheal's room, he's been staying with us since the incident.
Somehow, I got him to agree without so many questions.
"Who's this mysterious friend of yours?" Micheal asks on the road.
"Just a friend from school."
"Stop here." I said as I spotted the bar. He parked properly and tried to get down, but I stopped him, "Just stay in the car." I said and got out of the car.
"Just stay in the car, Micheal!" I yelled and banged the door harder than I should, this meeting better be worth it, I thought.
I walked into the bar, they weren't a lot of people in it, 'this better not be a trap.' I mumbled again, and noticed him sitting at the bar, drinking,
He turned and his eyes clocked with mine.
I sighed and walked to where he was,
"Hey, how are you?"he said.
"Skip the compliments Matt, the fact that I came doesn't mean we are friends or anything, so just skip to the point." I reminded him, before he would make any silly presumptions about this meeting.
"Thanks for coming anyway." he said in a calmer voice. I lifted a glance at him, he looked terrible, like he hasn't slept for days, "And, I'm really sorry about everything, it was never my intention to hurt you in any way, I swear..."
"Go straight to the point, or I would leave and go straight to the cops." I warned him, he was getting on my nerves.
"I want to make things right with you, so I'm going to help you find your parents true killers and also clear my name."
"And, what makes you think I would trust you?" I snapped.
"I know whoever killed your parents is someone really close to you, and you need me if you want to find out who it is."
I ran my hand through my hair in frustration,
"Do you know who it is?"
"No, but if you agree to walk together, we can figure it out."
"I don't know---"
"Get the hell away from her!" A voice cut in suddenly.
"Come here, Ali.." Micheal said, gesturing me to his side.
"Hello, Michael." Matt said in a calmer voice, way to calm for someone who's faced with the person who tried to kill him,
I rushed to Michael's side,
"C'mon Michael, let's go." I pulled him out of the bar before he created a huge scene.
We got into the car and drove home. I hope David hasn't found out about this, "Can you keep this between us?"
"You lost the right to ask me for any more favors after you just lied to me." he snapped, "Why were you even talking to him?"
"You won't understand." I whispered.
"Please, make me understand, because I really don't understand anything at this point." He sounded really pissed.
"I'm sorry, but I still can't tell you." I told him.
If Matt was right, my parents' killer could be anyone. I had to be very discreet and find out who it was.
"I'm sorry too," he said.
It had just been three days, three days since we argued, three days of him avoiding me, It was slowly killing me.
It was very difficult studying with my mind constantly drifting to David,
God! I missed him so much,
I was pulled back to reality by a knock on my room door.
I hissed loudly, assuming it was Micheal at the door to give more lectures, he hadn't stopped talking about it. I was surprised David hadn't heard about it with the way he was going on and on about it.
I rolled my eyes and opened the door,
"If you're here--" I stopped mid-sentence realizing it wasn't Micheal, David.
I cleared my throat,
"I'm sorry, I thought it was Micheal." I said, stammering. Why was I shocked to see him, he was still my boyfriend, at least that's what I thought.
"Can I come in?" he asked.
I nodded and made way for him,
"Why are you here?" I asked, it just felt weird seeing or talking to him again after our argument, he's not even apologized.
"How are you?" he asked.
"Fine." I mumbled and looked away.
I couldn't trust myself around him, especially with him looking like he just stepped off a catalog. I forgot why I was mad at him in the first place.
He moved closer to where I was,
"I'm sorry." He finally said it.
I felt m, but I still don't look at him,
"For what exactly?" I shot at him, "from where I stand, you have a lot to be sorry about."
He came to me,
"I was a
"You were." I tell him.
"I'm sorry," he said again, staring at me with those mesmerizing blue eyes of his, "You were expressing your concerns and I should have listened...."
I let out a huff,
"David, I want to live with you, I want to go on dates with you, I want to hold your hand and flaunt you around in public, I want to pick out
favorite restaurants for all our dates--" I stopped as I noticed him smiling admirably at me, "What's funny?"
"You have it planned out."
"Of course..." I smiled.
He smiled back and tucked a strand of my hair behind my hair gently,
"You look so cute when you are bossy" he teased,
I smacked his chest playfully, "I'm serious, David."
He laughed shortly,
"We could finally be able to do all the cool couple things together."
"Alison, trust me, I want nothing more than to hold your hand and go through all these romantic ventures with you,"
"But--" I quie in.
"But, it's too early.." He doesn't finish speaking.
"You're worried about what people would say?" He doesn't answer, I knew that was the main issue here, "David, I told you I don't care about anyone thinks." I yelled,
I had to make it to sink in..
I know he has all the right to worry, especially about the huge age gap between and I was very aware there are legal implications for these things.
But I didn't care.
I didn't even for once let myself worry about it, because I knew what we felt was real, I didn't know anything about love or affection, but I knew what I felt him was so guinene and natural.
Nothing else could even compare,
"David.." I went and cupped his face, "I'm going to say this once and you better listen." I warned him, "I love you, just you and that's all that matters to me."
He doesn't say anything for a while, but eventually, let his guard down, "I love you too." he said and kissed me.
"So this means, movies..." I optimistic.
"How's that exam of yours?" he taunted and I frowned, way to ruin the fun.
I guess anything is better than arguing again.
"I missed you....let's never fight again." I told him. He just snickered and pressed his lips to mine.
As he kissed me, I pondered on how can this one man could have so much control over me, especially my thoughts,
I had completely forgotten what we were brawling about.
Abruptly, he broke away like he just recalled something important, "Alison, is there something you would like to tell me?"
Oh shit! He knows,
"No..." I stuttered.
He gave me the look, that skeptical gaze.
"What were you thinking?" He scolded me.
"I'm sorry, I wasn't." I let out almost immediately, "It was a huge mistake and I regret it know, please, don't be mad."
"Why did you agree to meet him?" he asked.
"I felt really sorry for him and that's all." I lied, I had to be sure about somethings before I tell him everything.
I tried to get him forget the topic by getting to him cuddle.
"Sometimes, I wish I knew half of the things that goes on in that head of yours." he muttered.
"I don't know the answer either.." I chuckled,
"I don't want you ever seeing him again...am I clear?" He threatened.
"Yes, boss." I yelled with a beam, "Can we cuddle now? I really missed you..."
"You have to study, Alison."
"I know, but I just want to hold you for a while, just thiny tiny." I gave him the puppy look, "you owe me."
"Just a little." He gave in and I beamed.
He loosened his jacket and towered me, "Alison stone, you will be the end of me." he mumbled under his breath as he captured my lips once again.
What was I even mad about? this man right here is amazing.