I felt completely numb.
Even though I was probably right about how things would turn out for me and Asher, I still should have chosen him over my stupid brother.
What was I thinking?!
But now it was too late. I texted Tate, staying in secrecy, asking where I could find Asher. In which he replied with... ‘he’s messed up. Drunk. Sucking face with some brunette.’
I don’t know what pissed me off more; that he would go back to the old Asher within the same evening, or that he didn’t care about me enough to fight for me.
But who am I kidding?! We’re talking about Asher Creed here! I never should have let him leave without me. I couldn’t stop thinking about how he didn’t deserve me either. If he can go do what he’s doing right now then I didn’t mean a thing to him.
I have to stop beating myself up. I have to move on. I have to forget about Asher Creed.
But when I arrived at school the next day it was nearly impossible to do so, because the first thing I saw as I walked into school was Asher sucking face with some underclassman right in the hall. It was as if he wanted me to see him.
It hurt; I’m not going to lie, but I promised myself I wasn’t going to let it bother me anymore.
As I passed by I saw Asher look at me out the corner of his eye but I kept my face forward and pretended like I didn’t even see him.
And I think I pissed him off.
I entered my first class and felt relieved that I didn’t have to deal with anyone’s shit this morning and got right into my studies.
After class, I was bombarded by Harper the minute I stepped out of the class.
“Oh my gosh! You aren’t going to believe this!” She was so excited it was rolling off of her and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“What’s going on?”
“Have you heard about the scouts coming next week?” When I nodded, she continued, “Well, they’re not coming after all. Jake sent in a video of them skating and one of the scouts was at our house last night and he signed Asher right on the spot.”
Wow. I wasn’t expecting to hear that, but I also wasn’t surprised. They were both amazing skaters. I just didn’t expect that Asher would be signed and would be leaving right after graduation. But yet, why was I concerned about it?
“Oh...” I swallowed. “That’s nice.”
“Are you sad?” Harper asked, pouting her bottom lip.
I looked at her with confusion. “Why would I be sad? No! I’m thrilled for them. That’s amazing.”
Harper wrapped her arm around my neck as we started to walk down the hall. “Well, I’m throwing them a going away party tonight and I wanted to invite you. Apparently, they can finish high school on the road, but the scouts want them right away.”
I felt the blood drain from my face, but I still tried to keep my cool. “When are they leaving?”
“This weekend, I believe. Mom’s really sad, but I can tell Dad’s excited for Ash.”
I nodded. “Yeah, that’s great,” I replied dryly.
“The party starts at 8. See you at lunch.” She kissed my cheek before she ran off and jumped on Tate’s back, disappearing down the hallway.
He’s leaving this weekend?
How did everything change so drastically literally overnight? My heart was pounding and I felt faint. I had made the decision to let Asher go, but it still hurt to know that he was leaving. A huge part of me didn’t want him to leave. I couldn’t let him leave before I told him how I felt about everything. I needed to get it off my chest or it would bother me for the rest of my life.
When 7:30 rolled around, I made my way downstairs to grab a quick bite before I took off.
But when I got downstairs I heard Dillon laughing and talking with someone in the kitchen. So I made my way back there and stopped dead in my tracks.
She turned and smiled at me. “Honey! I’m so glad you’re home!” She rounded the island and gave me a big hug. “I’ve missed you so much. I brought you a gift!” She went to her purse and started rummaging around.
I looked at Dillon, in complete shock, and he returned my confused look with a shrug.
“Ah! Here it is!” She pulled a small black box out and walked back over to me. “I saw it in Milan and knew they would look perfect on you.” She handed me the box, but I was still in shock to see her standing in front of me. “Open it!” She urged.
I pulled myself from my la-la-Layla land and opened the small box in my hands. What I saw inside was breathtaking. Two large, gorgeous diamond earrings shined back at me. They were oval shaped and in the middle sat the most beautiful sapphire I had ever seen.
“Wow, mom. These are amazing. You didn’t have to do this.” I smiled up at her.
She shrugged it off like it was nothing. “Of course I did. I’ve missed a huge chunk of your senior year. I wanted to bring you back something special.”
I nodded and stared back down at the earrings. “These are definitely special.”
“I’m glad you like them. Now, what do you say to a movie night in?” She was all smiles and I hated that I had to tell her that I was going out, but there was no way I was missing out on tonight. There were things I needed to say to Asher before it was too late.
“Oh, um,” I started, “I’m going over to Harper’s...”
When I looked at Dillon, he had a sour look on his face and shook his head.
“Harper’s? You’re always over there. I just got home,” Mom whined.
I nodded. “I know, but tonight is special. She’s throwing a going-away party for her brother. He got signed with Etnies and will be leaving this weekend.”
She looked confused. “I don’t know what Etnies is.” She looked at Dillon who just rolled his eyes at her.
“Etnies is a skateboarding brand, Mom. They signed him to be a professional skateboarder,” I replied, glaring at Dillon.
“Oh! How amazing! Well, good for him! I always knew that kid would do something extreme with his life. Tell him goodbye for me and tell Mia I’ll call her tomorrow to set up a time for a coffee date.”
I nodded and went to answer but she disappeared out of the kitchen before I could say anything else.
“Are you ever going to tell me why you were kissing Asher Creed in front of our house?” Dillon crossed his arms over his chest and glared at me.
I groaned. “It’s none of your business, Dillon. So, no, I’m not going to tell you anything.”
“Maybe I should ask Harper about it. I’ll bet she’ll know what’s going on.” He gave me a knowing grin and I flipped him the bird.
“Leave it alone, Dillon. He’s leaving this weekend and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.” I pulled my keys from my purse. “Keep mom entertained, will you? I’ll be home tomorrow.”
“Use protection. That kid probably has more STDs than the medical field knows about.”
“Shut up, Dillon!” I was in no mood for his shit, so I stormed out of the kitchen and made my way toward my car.
I tore out of the driveway and made my way over to the Creeds and what I thought was just going to be a nice, small family going away party; turned out to look like a giant kegger.
Great. Now how am I supposed to talk to Asher?
I didn’t see their parents’ cars in the driveway as I walked up to the porch and wondered if they were even here. They never minded a small party but the size of this one was always a no-go.
As I made my way inside, I said hey and waved to several kids I knew from school until I found Tate in the kitchen.
“Holy shit! I thought it was going to be a small party!” I shouted over the blaring music.
Tate laughed. “Asher never goes small when his parents leave for the night, you know that.”
So that answered my thoughts from a moment ago. The parents were gone.
“Where’s Harper?!” I shouted.
He pointed out the back door and I saw her in the swimming pool jumping around and having a blast and she looked drunk.
I started in that direction but bumped into someone on my way out.
Jake spun and smiled down at me.
“What’s up, baby?” His grin was scary looking and he was clearly drunk. He wrapped an arm around my neck and pulled me outside. “Join the party, Stanford.”
It was weird to hear him call me that. Only Asher called me by my last name.
Jake got me a drink and then he pulled me around some more until we were by the fire. He sat down, pulling me down on his lap.
When I tried to stand up he held me tightly to his chest.
“Where you going, baby?” He slurred out.
“Jake...let me go. Please.” I hissed through clenched teeth.
“Awe, come on. We need to finish what we started the other night.” He reached up and cupped my breast and I dug my fingernails into his arm until he cried out and let me go.
I jumped to my feet and screamed at him, “Don’t ever fucking touch me again!”
It was clear that he didn’t like the tone I gave him.
“Do you hear this?” He was talking to somebody behind me. “You weren’t kidding when you said she was a feisty one.”
I spun to find Asher sitting there with some random girl on his lap, his hand up her shirt, and he was clearly drunk. When he looked up into my eyes he had no emotion there.
“Like I said, she’s fun when she finally gives it up. But good luck with that.” Asher’s words stung me like a whip and my mouth dropped open.
“Who are you?...” I whispered, tears pooling in my eyes.
He looked away guiltily before turning his attention back to the bimbo in his arms.
Anger filled me and I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“Ya know what?” This got his attention as he glared up at me. “You are a piece of shit. You never deserved me and I was a fool for ever thinking you did. I can’t believe I fell in love with an asshole like you. Thanks for making me realize it before it was too late for me.”
He looked completely shocked, as if I just slapped him in the face.
I felt rough hands on my biceps and when I tried to break free, Jake spun me toward him.
“Don’t fool yourself, Layla. You’re nothing but a hot lay, thinking you’re better than the next skank,” Jake slurred out, looking pleased with himself. “Now be a good bitch and let’s go inside where we can be alone.”
What?! Is he crazy?!
I slapped him across the face. “You’re a fucking pig!”
The party goers around us all gasped and stopped what they were doing to watch us.
Jake held his cheek and started laughing. Then he came back at me, the back of his hand connecting with my face.
“And you’re a fucking whore!”
Hot tears ran down my face and I heard a loud commotion behind me. Someone was yelling and then all hell broke loose.
I looked up through my tears and saw Asher and Jake swinging fists at each other. Asher was winning.
I needed to get out of here. Tonight was a nightmare and I never wanted to see these two ever again.
As I started walking away, my tears blurring my vision, I felt someone grab me and throw me over their shoulder as I smelt the familiar scent of Asher.
“Hey!” I heard Harper yell. “Put my best friend down!”
“Fuck off, Harper!!” Asher barked at her as he kept walking toward the house. “I will rip anyone’s throat out if they disturb us.”
The party goers gawked and parted like the Red Sea for Asher to get through. I buried my face in his back, feeling embarrassed.
This was not at all how I expected tonight to go.
Asher gently set me down on his bed as he leaned back on his ankles and stared up into my face, but he didn’t touch me.
“Are you okay?” He whispered.
Am I okay?! No, I am most certainly not okay! Him and Jake both just completely humiliated me in front of everyone. I’m angry. I’m embarrassed. But most of all, I’m hurt!
I just lightly nodded. “I’m fine.” My voice was quiet and dry.
He raised his hand and I flinched when he touched my stinging cheek.
“I’m so sorry,” he stated but stopped to look me dead in the eyes.
“It’s a little too late for apologies now, don’t you think?” I stared right back at him, not feeling an ounce of remorse.
He lightly nodded. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Asher stood up away from me and paced around the room, running his hands over his face.
I didn’t know what to say. What do I say? Everything I wanted to say earlier had fled my mind and only anger filled me now.
“Why did you come tonight?” Asher finally asked, spinning to look down at me.
I scoffed. “Harper asked me to...” I crossed my arms over my chest. “Trust me when I say I didn’t come here to make a scene like that and ruin your precious evening with the bimbo on your lap.”
He let out a frustrated groan and replied, “I don’t give two shits about that bimbo!”
I stood up and got in his face and poked my finger in his chest. “You’re incorrigible! How can you care so little about yourself?”
“Layla,” he warned, but I kept going.
“You want to know why I really came tonight?” He just stared at me as I continued, “I came to tell you that I made a huge mistake yesterday. That I should have gone with you and told my brother to fuck off. Because believe it or not, you’re worth it! I’ve never met a guy who I can hate so much one minute and love entirely the next! You’re better than that!” I pointed back toward the party. “I guess I was just hoping you’d actually fight for me this time. So I came to tell you that I’m done. I’m done trying. I’m done letting you break my heart and that I hope you have an amazing life.” I was breathing heavily and my nerves were all over the place. Asher just stood there staring at me with a shocked look on his face.
Before I knew it, he’s crashing his lips onto mine, claiming me once again. I couldn’t help it. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him tightly to my chest. Asher pulled me tightly to him, as if we couldn’t get close enough.
His tongue slipped into my mouth and I deepened the kiss, whimpering into his mouth.
I pulled away from him and shoved at his chest, shaking my head.
“Stop.” I was breathless. “I just came to get some words off my chest. But I need to go now. You make me too weak,” I whispered the last part out.
I went for his door and turned the handle, but before I could open it, he was right behind me. He held the door closed with one hand while his other hand gripped my hip.
“Layla. I-I don’t want you to go,” he rasped against my neck as chills cascaded down my spine.
Why did he make all of my common sense disappear when he touched me? I can’t think straight when he’s this close to me.
“You can go back to hating me tomorrow. But, I need you tonight.” He sounded so desperate, so pleading, and so sad.
I turned in his arms and looked into his eyes as I saw the Asher that only came out around me. The Asher I had fallen in love with and even though I should push him away and never look back, I needed tonight just as much as he did. Almost like the goodbye we both needed.
“Layla.” His eyes were begging so I shushed him and traced his bottom lip with my thumb. I wanted to memorize everything about him and I had just one more night to do that.
I leaned up on my tippy toes and lightly kissed his jaw as I traveled up to his bottom lip. He matched my fervent kisses with his own, moaning into my mouth as he wrapped his arms around me and carried me back to his bed.
The bed that smelled of Asher. A smell I will never forget. Sandalwood would haunt me for the rest of my life, but I wasn’t going to think about that tonight.
He slowly removed my shirt and saw that I was braless as a growl escaped from his chest before he lowered his mouth to suck my nipple into his mouth. I inhaled a sharp breath and arched into him, digging my nails into his back.
Asher Creed made me feel things I had never felt before. Love. Plain and simple.
I reached for his shirt and tugged it up and over his head, running my hands down his bare chest.
When Asher stopped and looked down at me I felt my heart flutter. His grey eyes bored into my soul and touched places I reserved for myself but were now his.
“Asher,” I breathed, “I need you to show me how you feel about me...just for tonight.” Tears filled my eyes and I begged with my eyes. I knew he couldn’t and probably wouldn’t use words, but I knew he could show me.
He groaned out as he lowered his face to mine and lightly took my lips. He moved his kisses down my jaw, over my neck, and continued south as his hands cascaded over my sensitive skin. He was kissing my stomach as he unbuttoned my jeans and began tugging them down, hooking my panties with his fingers as he left me naked.
He was kneeling on his knees as he undid his own jeans, staring down at me with so much tender love that I shivered. My hands were shaky as I reached out and placed them on his lower abs, needing to feel him. After he tossed his jeans and boxers to the floor with my own heap of clothes, he crawled between my legs, kissing my shoulder.
He was being very sweet and sensitive as he slid his hands over my body, leaving light kisses all over.
Asher leaned back and stared into my eyes as I felt his cock find my wet entrance and slowly push into me. My mouth dropped open in a silent moan as I inhaled a breath. He felt so good. He felt perfect. It was as if we were made for each other.
Asher let out his own small moan as he sank deep into me. His hands slid down my body as he gripped my thigh and pushed my knee up as he began to slowly thrust in and out of me.
The sensation was mind-blowing and I felt like crying. Asher had never touched me like this before. Usually it was fast and hungry, but now it was slow and tender. It felt like he never wanted it to stop, and neither did I.
He lowered his face to mine again and lightly kissed my bottom lip as he continued his slow and sweet thrusts.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and dug my hands into his hair as I matched his rhythm with my own hips, pushing him in deeper and deeper.
Both of our breathing was heavy and matched as we continued to make love. It felt perfect and I was getting lost in his arms.
He began thrusting a bit faster and harder, staring down into my eyes.
“Asher,” I whispered, wanting to say so much but no words came to mind.
He shushed me this time as he lowered his face next to my ear and thrust his hips harder and deeper. “I know...” he replied.
I closed my eyes and squeezed him tighter to me. If this didn’t show him how much I loved him, I didn’t know what would.
Then he nibbled my neck just below my ear before whispering, “Baby, I’m close,” he groaned, “Cum with me, Layla...”
His raspy words and the use of my first name pushed me over the edge as I felt my sex squeeze him and my entire body tense up. My orgasm crashed around me as I held him tighter to me.
He groaned out with each thrust as his own orgasm came to fruition and I couldn’t help but notice that he didn’t pull out this time, he just rode out his orgasm as he pushed deeper and harder into me. That’s when I felt a single tear slide down my cheek.
Then he was out of me and I had never felt so empty, so abandoned in my entire life, but he stayed lying between my legs as he kissed my shoulders and held me.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when someone began banging on the door.
“Asher! Open this fucking door!” Harper’s voice demanded.
My entire body tensed up. Holy shit! I completely forgot about her being just outside. I completely forgot that she watched Asher carry me inside.
Asher groaned into my neck before he leaned back and stared down at me. “Let’s just ignore her.” He gave me a small grin but I was a tense, anxious mess right now.
“Asher!! I know you’re in there!” Harper banged again.
“Hold on!” Asher yelled back before he slid out from between my legs and grabbed his boxers from the floor.
I grabbed his comforter and covered my body, looking around for a place to escape or hide, but it was too late when Asher whipped open the door.
Harper stood on the other side with huge eyes, looking between both me and her brother.
“What do you want, Harper?” Asher asked dryly.
“What are you doing?!” She asked frantically, then she pointed in my direction. “Layla!!”
She would have kept going but Asher snapped at her. “Shut up!!” She jumped, closed her mouth, and stared up at him. “You can chew us both out tomorrow, but tonight is ours. We’ll explain everything tomorrow. But for now, I need you to fuck off.”
Harper looked stunned but didn’t say anything. Asher closed the door on her face and relocked it before he came back to the bed and crawled under the blankets next to me.
My body was stiff as a board as he wrapped me in his arms and buried his face in my neck.
“Don’t worry about that, tonight, Stanford. Tonight is all about you and me, okay?” He leaned back to look down at me and I couldn’t say a word.
I just nodded and stared at the ceiling.
Not only was I spending one last night with Asher, but now Harper knew. Can my life become even more complicated?!