Watered Down

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Chapter Twenty Nine

I hurriedly tossed the cell phone into the top drawer of the chest in front of me and walked with quick breaths over to open the doors.

“Asher.” I barely had time to breath out his name before his hands were in my hair and his lips were crushing mine with a ferocity he never had before. He backed us into the room, sitting us down on the bed and he kissed me deeper. I wanted to focus on him, and this moment, but my heart wasn’t in this right now. All I was thinking about was Theon’s t-shirt on my bed. I pushed my hand against his chest and leaned back. “Woah.” I laughed, and he licked his lips as he leaned back and looked at me.

“I’m sorry, beautiful.” He whispered, holding my chin in his hand and rubbing his thumb in the little cleft there like he used to always do. “I just missed you so much, and I never thought I’d get to kiss you again, so now it’s all I want to do.” He smiled, knocking me out with the blinding beauty of it.

“I thought of you the whole time.” I admitted, then looked away quickly.

He sighed. “Really?” He asked something in his eyes flickering. “I thought you didn’t remember anything.” He narrowed his eyes slightly as he watched me.

“Oh, well, I meant I thought of you as soon as I knew who I was.” I had to think fast on what to say. So much for all that practice I did with memorizing my story.

He nodded his head, then leaned back on my bed and I looked down at him. He had a nice blue button down on, tucked into his designer jeans and the hand he had resting on my knee was sporting an extremely expensive name brand watch. “I thought of you every day.” He murmured, his voice heavy. “Dreamt about you, too.”

I smiled down at his perfect face. “You mean it?”

“Absolutely.” He grinned up at me. “I really hoped you’d make it back.”

I furrowed my brows at him. “You didn’t think I was dead?” I asked and he shook his head slowly.

“Nah, I was sure something had happened to you, but I knew…” He paused, choosing his words. “I felt like if you were dead, I would have felt it, but I didn’t. I had a feeling you were alive.” He confessed. “Actually, I had planned to go back to the islands to search for you in a couple of weeks.”

I tilted my head and laid down on the bed beside him. “No you didn’t.” I called his bluff, but he didn’t waiver, not even for a second.

I stared at him in utter amazement, something I was used to doing and it felt normal for a second. The two of us here. Serena and Asher.

“I swear to you.” He said strongly, his eyes willing me to believe him, and I did. “I was, but now, you’re here.” He told me, pulling my face over to his again to kiss him. “I love you, Serena.” He whispered against my lips as he pulled away slightly.

His breath on me, and his hands on my face made me feel weak, and those butterflies that always filled my stomach and made my head all gooey were back in action. Asher has had this effect on me since the moment I met him. He just had a way of easing my mind, and turning me into mush. “I love you too, Asher.” He kissed me again, but I pulled back a little. “I’m really tired.” I whispered when he tried to continue the kiss.

“I’m sorry.” He apologized. “I can’t know what you’ve been through lately, I just missed you so much it physically hurt.” He told me as he sat up and repositioned himself on my bed with his head on my pillows, and he kicked off his nice shoes. “Come here.” He said, patting the spot next to him. “I want to hold you.”

I smiled, my face heating up just a little as I scooted over to him, my head on the pillow right beside him. “So how have you been?” I asked him nervously. “I know how weird that sounds, but for me it’s kind of like I just left but I know I’ve missed out on so much.”

“I’ve been alright.” He nodded his head. “Aside from the dying from missing you so much.” He added, and I remembered the times that Alana had showed him to me, and the awful torn apart expression on his face as he slowly moved through his day. Looking at him now, he was regular happy Asher. “Everything has been pretty normal I guess. School sucks, but homecoming was alright. Your friends have all missed you.” He told me. “They did a big ceremony for you at the school and there were thousands of people there. Everyone came out to talk about how much they loved you.”

I made a face, picturing everyone in black and lighting candles while they cried in front of my portrait. “That sounds so awful.”

He shrugged a little, squeezing me. “Yeah, now that you aren’t dead, but at the time it was really nice to see how many people came out to show love for my perfect girlfriend.”

“Girlfriend?” I asked shyly and he cocked his head at me and made a confused face that made him look like a freaking adorable puppy. “I only ask because I know it has been a long time, and I wouldn’t blame you if…”

Asher put his smooth finger on my lips. “There is no one else.” He told me seriously, almost laughing like it was ridiculous. “I would never move on so fast, if at all.” He professed.

Of course not. “Oh.”

“Aren’t you happy?” He looked a little wounded and I smiled at him to cover it up.

I patted his chest with my hand. “I am happy, I was just worried.”

His easy smile was back, his eyes lighting up around it. “Well, stop worrying, because you’re mine and I’m yours.”

I sat up to kiss him, full heartedly this time, not holding anything back like I had been before. “I missed you.” I told him again. It wasn’t a lie either. I really had, even with everything else, there were very few days that went by that he didn’t cross my mind.

“I missed you.” He smiled, then he raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Oh, I am on the football team now.” He told me proudly, his grin growing and he poked out his chest just a little.

I sat up to stare at him. “What?” I asked, my expression not hiding my disbelief. “I thought you hated sports, and does your school even have a football team?”

He laughed, shrugging like he hardly remembered. “Yeah, well, I got over that.” He smiled. “I’m a wide receiver.”

“You know I don’t speak sports.” I reminded him, rolling my eyes. In fact I kind of loath sports. I guess since I’m not coordinated enough to do anything active, I don’t like to sit and watch a bunch of people who are..

His laugh was musical and light. “Oh right.” He grinned. “So,” He said, his expression changing from joking to serious. “Are you going to come back to school?”

I shrugged, giving him a look. “I literally just got home a little while ago.” I told him. “I haven’t really mapped out what I’m planning on doing to get back to normal just yet.”

“Right, of course, I was just curious.”

I nodded. “I just haven’t had time to think about it.” I told him.

We sat in silence for a while, our eyes not meeting. It was so quiet you could hear the slow click of his watch. I peeked over at him and he half smiled, looking at me like he wasn’t sure who I was, which maybe he was.

He leaned his face to mine a little closer. “Hey,” He said gently. “Are you alright?” He asked.

I sighed. No. “Yeah,” I muttered. “Just tired.”

Asher reached over and pulled me to him, bringing my head to the center of his chest.

I closed my eyes, thinking of all of the times I wanted nothing more in the whole world than to be wrapped up in Asher Dunkin’s arms, but then I listened. The beating of Asher’s heart just wasn’t right. It wasn’t the one I wanted to hear right now. The thought both terrified me, and broke my heart at once. Asher doesn’t deserve to be holding me sweetly while I think of someone else. Asher was my world, but what is he now that my world is nothing like it used to be?

A weird buzzing started going off and Asher repositioned me so that he could get his hand into his pocket and he pulled out a nice new looking iPhone. “Hello?” He said, then he started laughing. “Are you serious? That is hilarious.” He continued to laugh. “Yeah, I’m with her now.” He said as he kissed my forehead. “Davey says hi.” He told me and I scrunched my face.

“Davey Thomas?” I asked and he nodded. “Hey.” I shrugged, wondering why Davey would be calling Asher. How do they even know each other? Davey was one of the most popular guys at my school, but always a little too full of himself for my liking.

“Davey says there is going to be a huge party in your honor on the first of next month.” Asher told me. “His ’rents are going to be out and we can have it at his beach house.”

I chewed my lips, staring blankly at the other side of my room. “Cool.” I muttered, not even pretending to be excited.

“Everyone is going to be there?” Asher asked into the phone then laughed again. “Cool, man, can’t wait.” He was smiling. “Yeah, she’ll love it.” He nodded. “Serena, you want any special theme?” I didn’t even take a moment to think about it before shaking my head. I used to be the go to girl for party planning. I’d planned amazing theme parties over the last few years, but I don’t care a thing about that right now. “Alright, cool.” He nodded to the phone again. “Yeah, I’ll be there in a few.” He added and then slid the phone back into his pocket. Asher rolled quickly, pinning me beneath him, and leaned down to kiss me. “I’ve got to go to practice.” He shrugged, rolling off of me and pulling me off of the bed with him.

“Alright.” I tried to smile, but he must have been able to tell that it was forced.

He held my chin and tilted it up to him. “I’ll come back after, ok?”


He looked down at me a little worried. “Babe, you sure you’re ok?” He asked carefully. “I can just blow off practice if you want me to stay with you.” He told me. “If you need me, you’ve got me.”

I shook my head. “I’m sorry I’m being so weird, Ash.” I said honestly. “You go ahead. Go, fight, win, and stuff.” I joked flatly.

“You’ll have to come to one of my games.” He smiled. “Then maybe you would be more into it if you saw me in action.”

“I’m sure I would.” I smiled genuinely. “I’ll work on a better cheer while you’re gone.” That answer seemed to help him shake off his worry. “I love you, and I’ll see you later.” I told him as I opened up the French doors to the balcony. He grinned down at me and I looked up at him. “What?” I asked.

He laughed nervously. “I’m the one who said I have to go, but I feel like you’re the one kicking me out of here.” He smiled, kissing me on the cheek.

“Yeah, well, maybe I am.” I joked and he smiled again.

“I’ll be back around seven or eight, and I’ll bring dinner.”


“Love you.” He said, smacking a kiss on me again before he slung his legs over the banister and began lowering himself down.

No sooner than I closed the French doors and collapsed back on my bed, there was a quick knock on my bedroom door. “Food’s here, darling.” My mother called.

I went to let her in, taking the tray of food and the glass from her hand. “Thanks mom.”

She smiled absently and went back up the hall.

I went to my dresser, then to my bed with the food. It looked amazing, but I only had one thing on my mind right now, and it was not the best sushi on this side of LA. I slid the tray to the foot of my bed and pulled the t-shirt out from under my pillow, cuddling it to me.

I dialed the number quickly, and he answered on the second ring.


“I hate this.”

“I’m sorry, it’ll get better though.”

“What are you doing?”

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