Chapter One -
“Paise, get up!” Keaton called through her door, banging on it violently. Paisley jumps up from her computer chair and rushes over to the door, swinging it open.
“I’m already dressed,” She replied, motioning to her outfit, which consisted of black high heeled booties, skinny jeans, navy blue chiffon shirt and a black leather jacket to top it all off. Her brown ringlets spiraled down past her chest and over halfway down her back.
“Do you have to wear the booties? Aren’t you tall enough?” The teenage boy complained, leaning in the doorway.
Paisley rolled her eyes and pushed him gently out of the way. She made her way to the kitchen and told him, “You’re 6′4, Keaton. You’re still taller than me in these shoes!”
“It’s barely eleven in the morning and I hear bickering already?” Jamie, Keaton’s mother, asked. She watched the two kids in admiration as they sat at the table, deep in conversation. Once she turned back to the stove, her ears tuned to the conversation being held behind her.
“Yes, they’ll like you, Paise! You’ve known the guys for years and they freaking adore you!” Keaton exclaimed and Jamie smiled to herself.
“I just don’t want it to be like before,” Paisley whispered and Keaton slung his arm over her shoulders. While he consoled his friend, his father walked in and seductively licked Jamie on the forehead. Thomas, Jamie’s husband and Keaton’s father, walked over to the kids and ruffled their hair. Keaton shrugged it off, but Paisley started freaking out, worried her mangled curls would puff out into a seventies’ afro.
Paisley cooled down, “Keaton and I need to go shopping today for school things. Is that okay, Jamie?” She asked the woman who practically raised her.
“Ask Thomas! It’s his money you’ll be spending,” Jamie replied with a wink, making Paisley blush.
No matter how much she felt like family, she hated spending their money. She tried to spend as little as possible, but considering she had been homeschooled, she desperately needed to get notebooks, a backpack, and so forth. She rubbed the back of her neck, signaling to the rest of the family that she was uncomfortable.
“Paise, darlin’, you’re like the child I never had-”
“Hey! I’m still here” Keaton interrupted
“Uh, as I was saying, you’re like the daughter we never had and we want to give you everything you want and need,” Thomas pulled Paisley into a hug, which she gladly returned as he continued, “and you have been the best kid in the whole world. You have a 4.0, for pete’s sake! Keaton comes in close second to our favorite child!”
Keaton fumed slightly, before joining the two in a hug. Soon, the kids felt Jamie wrapping her arms around the threesome. Paisley let out a chuckle as Keaton yelled, “Family hug!”
Within twenty minutes, the pair were off in Keaton’s car with his father’s credit card in hand. They headed over to East Worth Mall, an incredibly popular place in the small town of East Worth. The teenagers made fun of the name, considering there weren’t a South, West, or North Worth.
Keaton parked the car in a spot and he paused slightly before saying, “Paise, the guys are joining us today because they need to get school stuff, too. Is that alright?”
“You could have asked before it was decided,” She rolled her eyes, “but I don’t mind at all! I love the guys!”
Keaton got out of the car and ran to open her door. She rolled her eyes once more, always embarrassed when he did things like that for her. Growing up in the south, it was common for boys to grow up learning how to be gentlemen, but none of them really put their knowledge to use, except for Keaton.
A group of three boys walked towards the pair and Keaton let out a holler. Paisley waited behind as he and the three boys “bro-hugged” and said their hellos.
“P!” The boys shouted as they noticed the tall girl, who was typing away at her phone screen. The first one to hug her was Jake, the biggest of the group. He was 6′6" and incredibly muscular, almost crushing Paisley with his strength. He had big brown eyes and dark brown hair that made all the girls swoon over him as if he was a puppy; maybe it was as if he was a chocolate lab.
Next to hug her was Adam, Jake’s twin. It was very obvious they were fraternal, due to Adam’s blonde locks and green eyes. He was tall as well, standing at about 6′3". He was of average muscle, careful not to look like a professional bodybuilder. He was the humorous one, always pulling on Paisley’s curls and making a “boing” noise.
The last one to hug her was Riley, the boy she had feelings for. He was the shortest of the boys, standing at 6′0". His deep blue eyes and jet black hair are what made every girl swoon. He had a chiseled jaw that could cut cheese! Every time they touched, Paisley got a little red.
Feeling possessive, Keaton slung his arm over Paisley as the five walked into the mall. The boys teased Paise, but were sure not to overdo it. They knew of her past and wanted to prevent it in her present. They each loved and cared for her dearly, some in different ways.
“Alright, guys, I need to go to Footlocker for some new kicks. Anyone coming?” Jake asked and all the boys but Riley cheered.
“I’ll stay with Paisley,” He said, his eyes never leaving her. She was oblivious, staring at the screen on her phone. She was trying to upload a new blog post, but it wasn’t connecting. She stomped her foot and growled at the screen.
“Princess, did you just growl?” Riley asked once all the guys were gone. Her head shot up, wondering where in the world that nickname came from.
“Sorry, I meant werewolf princess, since you love growling so much!” He teased her and she rolled her eyes, her cheeks turning red.
“So, where to, princess? I feel like you’re a Forever 21 kind of girl. Or am I wrong?” He questioned, bumping his shoulder against hers as they started walking.
“Wrong! My favorite store is Torrid, where I got almost this entire outfit! And I’ll be darned if I don’t look good in this!” She exclaimed, practically running off towards the store. Riley walked behind her, taking in the view. He had to agree, she looked amazing.
Riley ran to catch up with her and they were soon walking side by side. He noticed how a group of guys who went to their school were looking Paisley over, but she was once again oblivious. He took her right hand in his left and pulled her close. She blushed profusely and her heart beat a little faster as she looked into those deep, blue eyes.
“Earth to princess,” She snapped out of it, “we’re here!” Riley muttered as they walked into the store. Paisley’s eyes widened as she saw the ”SALE" sign, signaling that the entire store was up to seventy-five percent off. She dragged Riley into the store, still blushing over their linked hands.
For the next thirty minutes, Riley’s arms became full with all the things Paisley wanted. He wasn’t complaining, though, because he would be the one to tell her how everything looked. Her style ranged from green tank tops to brightly colored and overly patterned dresses.
A saleswoman directed Paisley into a changing room, which was rather large. Riley set hung the clothes on the racks before making an escape. He sat in the chair across from her room and watched in awe as she came out in the first outfit.
It was a navy blue sundress that fell just above her knees. She had a cardigan over it that went down to her ankles. At first, he thought the white lace looked kind of gaudy, but then he realized it elongated her and made her look elegant. He took in her mismatched socks and bit back a chuckle, not wanting to embarrass her.
The saleswoman let out a whistle when she saw Paisley and nudged Riley, “Your girlfriend sure is gorgeous! You caught yourself a good one!”
Paisley blushed a deep red and hid her face in her hands and was about to tell the lady they weren’t even together when Riley cut in, “I sure did! She must be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on!”
She lightly pushed Riley on the shoulder, motioning him to quit it. He took her hand and kissed it, winking at her. She practically bounced back into the dressing room, ready to try on all of the clothes they had gathered.
After an hour of trying on clothes, she ended up wanting every piece. They got to the register and she remembered that Keaton had his father’s card, and she mentally facepalmed.
“I’m sorry, I-” She started, before noticing that the saleswoman was hanging a card back to Riley and he was signing a receipt.
“Riley, you can’t-”
“Princess, I just did,” He replied before taking the bags in one hand, her hand in the other. She immediately shut up, due to being at a loss for words. The pair headed for the food court, where there was no doubt the other boys would be.
When Riley and Paisley saw the boys, they headed over to their table, two seats left conveniently left available. Keaton’s face turned a shade of red when he saw their hands were linked and Jake decided to say something about it, “Why the red face, Keats? You jealous?”
“Of what?” Keaton asked, “I’m checking out the hot babes across the court!” He bro-fived Adam and Jake rolled his eyes, knowing the truth. He gave Keaton a pitiful look and he shrugged in return.
Once sitting, Riley wrapped an arm around Paisley’s shoulders and she went still, “So what all did y’all buy?”
“We ended up not buying anything, but what in the heck did you two buy? The whole store?” Adam replied, eyeing the bags at Riley’s feet.
“Well, little miss ‘I have to try on the whole store’ fell in love with practically everything, so I guess maybe we did!” Riley exclaimed, chuckling a bit. A smile appeared on Paisley’s face and she relaxed a bit, leaning into Riley’s side. Keaton’s smile faltered when he realized he still had his father’s card.
Once he understood who paid for her new wardrobe, he shot up out of his seat and went to go talk up the girls he saw across the court. The group of friends thought nothing of it and started talking about the new school year and beings seniors.
“It’s going to be lit! Basically no classes, no jobs, and- holy crap! Keats, what happened?” Jake asked, taking notice of the tall boy sitting at the table, a red handprint on his face.
“Well, turns out I dated that girl,” Keaton said sheepishly and everyone chuckled. Paisley looked up at the girl, who was glaring at the table. She gave her an apologetic look and the girl stormed off.
“So, who’s ready for school tomorrow?” Adam asked, and everyone but Jake groaned.
Monday was going to be one heck of a day.
hello, all! I’ve tried and failed to write a story and actually keep it going, but this time I’m determined to start and finish this! I’m very excited about this and I hope you all enjoy! the chapters should get longer as time goes by and I’ll upload as often as I can!
word count: 1906
all my love,