The Lost She

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Chapter 5 The Party

Chapter 5
You ready?" Brad asked her immediately when they arrived at the party. She nodded putting a weak smile on her face. "Well let's put on the best show for them." He grinned.

"Wait.. I.. I.. maybe we should go back. I really think it was a mistake coming here." She said to him feeling nervous.

"We can't turn back now Montgomery. Don't worry, you're going to be fine." He assured her with a smile.

Brad held her hand lovingly and they started to walk towards the mansion that held the party. When they walked past their school everyone was in awe, mostly shocked that Bradley was with a hot girl, not recognizing that it was Avery.

"Is that Avery?" One of the party goers whispered to their friends.

"I think it's her." One of them answered.

They finally arrived inside and they came across some of the guys on the football team. They were the loudest in the party because they're well known and everyone gives them attention but the attention shifted to the girl that Bradley had by his side. They blew annoying whistles when they saw her. She just kept walking and held Brad's hand tighter for safety.

Every girl envied her because firstly she looked amazing, secondly she was next to a guy that most girls wanted but he wouldn't give them the time of day.

Bradley suddenly stopped in his tracks and turned to her, holding her hand close to his chest. He got closer to her as he leaned into her ear. Avery's heart started racing because he was too close. "Are you okay?" He asked her wanting to know if she didn't feel overwhelmed so far.

"I'm okay. Just a little thirsty." She said.

"Well I can fix that. Let's get ourselves a drink in the kitchen." He said.

"You mean alcohol?" She asked innocently.

"Yes alcohol." He answered.

"Bradley I don't drink. I'm 16." She answered.

"Okay, you don't have to if you don't want to." He smiled assuring her.

They walked hand in hand to the beautiful kitchen of this mansion. Even if there were beer cups and bottles everywhere, you could still see the beauty of the kitchen. The interior design was exquisite, Avery was very impressed.

"I was going to impress you with my very own margarita from scratch but here's your glass of water." He joked making her chuckle then handed her a glass of water after finding a clean glass. She drank her water. "You're all good now right?" He asked her and she nodded placing the glass on the table.

"Bradley... you made it." Hannah said appearing in front of them with her crew behind her.

"Of course I did. Wouldn't miss such a great party Ms. Hannah." He replied in his hoarse voice.

"Well that means you're enjoying yourself. I'm glad hey. Wanna come dance?" She asked playing with her tongue ring.

"Maybe later. Right now I'm occupied. My girl and I are just going to chill." He replied holding Avery by her waist.

"Fine... suit yourself." She replied smiling but deep down she was pissed.

Bradley let go of Avery's waist after they left.

"Hannah is so mean. Sometimes I wish I knew why she hated me so much so that I can at least apologize and we can be civil with each other." She said looking at her walking away with her friends.

"Don't mind her." He said looking at her.

"I do mind her Bradley. She always finds a reason to humiliate me in some way. Her words are hurtful, her actions are cruel. Everything she does to me isn't good." She explained feeling sad.

"Well she won't give you any problems anymore, as long as you stick with me." He assured her.

"Bradley how long are we going to do this?" She asked in concerned manner.

"As long as you want to." He replied truthfully.

"So we can stop all of this if I say so?" She asked for assurance and he nodded.

He took a beer for himself and walked with Avery to the lounge. On their way there some guys were greeting him in just a friendly manner and he greeted them back until they arrived at the lounge. They sat on the comfy couch next to each other.

"You look nervous, you should relax hey. I won't bite." He said jokingly making her laugh a little.

"I'm just not used to being in an atmosphere like this one, plus this is my first party. I have no idea how to act or how to handle myself." She said truthfully.

"Forget about everyone. Forget about the party for a second and think about a happy place in your mind right now then tell me about it." He said.

"My home." She said.

"Your home?" He asked a little confused.

"Yeah where I used to live with my parents before they died. That's the last place I remember being genuinely happy." She confessed.

"How was it?" He asked smiling.

"It was amazing. My mom and dad always made sure I had everything I needed. My dad knew how much I loved scrabble, so every day after work we'd play it together. As for my mom, we cooked together most of the time. It was a bargain because she was a chef so that meant we had delicious foods all the time." She explained happily.

She wasn't aware that she was starting to relax. That was his whole plan though, to make sure she feels at ease.

"I bet you really miss them huh?" He asked because he saw how her eyes lit up when she talked about them.

"Well not like before." She replied.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"I mean I used to miss them a lot to a point whereby I'd cry myself to sleep every night because they weren't there to tuck me in or read me a bed time story or tell me how much they loved me. That feeling was brutal. The pain of losing them was overwhelming, that it gave me panic attacks almost all the time. I became withdrawn from everything and everyone at that point." She explained.

"I'm really sorry you went through all that. No child deserves to loose their parents, ever." He consoled her then hugged her. She hugged him back. This was a genuine moment apart from their fake relationship. They slowly broke apart and looked at each other. "You seem to be doing much better now, you don't have the panic attacks anymore right?" He asked.

"I do but I learned how to control them and yes I'm doing much better now. As I grew older, I started depending on myself because I knew my mom and dad weren't here to take care of me anymore but I feel like in the process of my independence their memory was slowly fading away from my mind and I started missing them less and now I feel guilty about it." She explained.

"You shouldn't feel guilty about it. I mean you should embrace the fact that you were able to depend on yourself. It shows how strong you are. Another thing is that you should always find something good to remember them with so that you don't forget about them completely." He said.

"I'll try." She paused looking at him. "You know you're the second person I've told this." She confessed.

"The first is Casey right?" He asked knowingly.

"Yeah she is. I never really talk about my parents if not with her. She understands me more than anyone in the world." She said to him truthfully.

"Casey is a great listener and an amazing friend to you. I see how she always defend you. She really freaked out when she saw our picture on Facebook, if I was near her she would've strangled me." He said chuckling.

"Woah... did you just say she saw our picture on Facebook? What picture?" She asked with a little bit of panic.

"Uhm a picture of us kissing while we were in the cafeteria?" He asked thinking she knew but she didn't.

"Oh my... no no no.. my picture can't be on the internet Bradley. Mrs. Welch is going to kill me if she saw that picture." She panicked getting up from the couch because she knew that if Michelle saw that picture on Facebook she'd definitely tell Mrs. Welch about it and then she'll be in big trouble.

"Hey, hey, hey, calm down. Everything will be fine, okay?" Bradley tried calming her down after he stood up. He rubbed her arms slowly, up and down looking into her terrified eyes. Bradley saw the terror in her eyes and he knew at that point that Avery was scared of her guardian. "Just breath..." He added. She took a deep breath and exhaled calming down a bit.

"I'm sorry. I just don't want to get into trouble." She said.

"I understand but are you sure that you're okay? Why does it seem like this woman terrifies you more than anything in this world? Avery, is your guardian treating you okay? She's not abusing you or anything like that is she?" He asked in a concerned manner.

"No, no, no, she's treating me just fine." She lied. She didn't see any reason to tell Bradley how Mrs. Welch treats her some times. Her guardian has been the closest thing to a family and she didn't want to lose that. Besides, where would she go if she ever thought about running away or just leaving that place?

"Are you sure?" He asked and she nodded. Look, I'm quickly going to the bathroom, I'll be right back, okay?" He said.

"Okay." She answered.

He stood up and walked out of the lounge to go find a bathroom in this huge house. She stayed behind looking at what everyone was doing. She finally knew how it feels like when you're at a party... her peers get high, they drink, they make out, they dance and everyone just has a good time without judging each other. Anyway everyone is minding their own business.

"Avery? Is that you?" She suddenly heard someone ask. She looked up and saw the boy that humiliated her in front of everyone, just a few days ago.

"Mark... Yeah it's me." She replied nervously.

"Wow... I didn't believe it when everyone said you were here and you look amazing." He commented sitting down next to her.

"Everyone is talking about me?" She asked.

"Yeah and they were right. You really look hot tonight." He smirked looking at her lustfully and she just kept quiet. The last time she thanked him for complimenting her, he just acted like a jerk. "Come dance with me." He suddenly.

"Oh no I'm good Mark, I'm waiting for someone." She said to him.

"Someone?" He asked.

"Uhm... my boyfriend, Bradley." She answered. This was the first time she actually acknowledged Bradley as her boyfriend and it felt good because it intimidated Mark. He looked a little pissed when she said that.

"Well where is he now? I don't see him next to you. He shouldn't bring you to a party and leave you with all these wolves out here." He said getting closer to her and Avery slightly shifted away from him, uncomfortably.

"Mark Flintstone, are you hitting on my girl?" They both looked up when Bradley asked that question. He looked so calm.

"I was just making conversation that's all." He lied chuckling.

"That must be one intense conversation if she's so uncomfortable being next to you." He replied calmly, putting out his hand for her and she placed her hand in his as he gently helped her up. She was standing next to Bradley now just listening to these two talk about her like she wasn't here.

"Well you shouldn't have left her alone because I bite when I see lost prey." He joked and that pissed Bradley off.

Bradley walked slowly towards him, Mark suddenly got uncomfortable. They were the same age and height but Bradley was more buff, meaning he was intimidating on his own before he opened his mouth. Some of the kids who were into the music suddenly gathered around them when they heard their intense conversation.

"Lost prey? Does she look like lost prey to you? Are you trying to piss me off on purpose or you're just straight up stupid?" He asked and some of the kids chuckled.

Mark chuckled feeling very intimidated. For the first time in a long time, he didn't know what to say. He did not have a comeback. He finally met his match.

"Let me make myself very clear Mark, she's off limits. She's not your plaything, she's not a joke and she's certainly not available for "wolves" like you, so don't ever talk to her like she's half human. She's my girlfriend, so that means I'll do everything in my power to protect her, especially from guys like you. Now back off." He said in his most polite voice but yet firm.

There were ohhs and ahhs after Bradley said that to Mark. Mark didn't say a word. He made a gesture with his hands to show that he was surrendering.

Brad walked back towards Avery. "You okay?" He asked touching her cheek.

"Yeah... I'm okay." She said almost whispering. She was impressed with Bradley defending her like that.

He suddenly kissed her passionately just to make a statement. Some of the boys laughed and mocked Mark when the kiss happened.

Avery held onto him for dear life because that kiss took her breath away. He was a really good kisser and these stolen kisses were becoming a habit now. She just had to get used to it as long as they were still in their fake relationship.

He slowly broke off the kiss still holding her in his arms and looked at her with a smile. She opened her eyes and found him smiling.

She shyly looked down.

"Come with me, I want to show you something." He said and they walked out of the lounge then out of the mansion, heading to Bradley's car.

"Are we leaving?" She asked.

"Yeah... I want to take you somewhere peaceful." He said unlocking his car.

He opened the door for her. She got inside and he closed the door for her. He walked to his side and got inside the car then drove off. He drove back home to the palace. He parked his car, they both got out and he took her hand going to the back of the palace where his studio was located. There were drawings, paintings and sketches.

"Wow." Avery said once she walked in and saw all the beautiful pictures in the room. They were so breathtaking. "Brad... did you make these?" She asked looking at her surroundings.

"Yeah... I did. You like?" He asked.

"Are you kidding me? I love each and every picture in here. This place is incredible. You must really love art." She said to him.

"I do. Would you do me the honor of letting me paint you?" He asked sweetly.

"What? You really want to paint me?" She was surprised.

"Yeah I do. Not everything should be fake in our relationship right?" He asked with a chuckle.

"I guess so." She said.

"Yeah so sit on that couch, as comfortable as you can. I'm just going to gather a few things to start painting you." He said.

She walked to the couch and just sat there awkwardly. She didn't know in which position she should sit, in order to feel comfortable. Bradley gathered his things and came back setting them up. He looked up at her and saw how nervous she was.

He walked over to her to try and get her to relax. "You really don't need to be afraid Montgomery. Come on, I'll show you how you can sit." He said, guiding her to sit in a position that she was most comfortable in then he went back to his set up and starting painting Avery.

He looked so serious while he looked over at her and continued doing his work. She just sat back and enjoyed looking at Bradley's serious face. She wanted to laugh at some of the expressions on his face but she kept it in even though she was still amused. He got every detail of Avery's beautiful face, from her eyebrows to her perfect hair and body. He also painted her dress exactly how it is.

He spent a few minutes more on the last touch ups of his painting.

"Ready for the end result?" He asked once he was completely done.

"Yeah let me see." She replied slowly standing up from the couch and walked towards him to see the painting. She finally got to see the end result and it she was in awe when she saw it.

"What do you think?" He asked.

"This is amazing. You're really talented. I love it, it's so beautiful. I even wanna touch it." She said.

"Not yet hey, it's still wet but as soon as it dries then I'll have it delivered to your house." He said.

"No one has ever done something like this for me before. Thank you Bradley." She replied.

"You're welcome." He said to her.

"Uhm well I guess our fake date ends here right?" She asked nervously with a chuckle.

"It doesn't have to... let's have something to eat before I take you home." He said sweetly.

"Bradley it's getting really late. I don't think my guardian will appreciate me coming so late at night. I can just grab something to eat at home." She said.

"Are you really going to make me eat by myself?" He asked making a little pout.

"Okay I'll eat with you but immediately after that please take me home." She said after giving in.

"Deal." He said. "Wait here... I'll be right back." He added getting out of his studio and he walked to the palace and asked one of their chefs to make something filling for them, then deliver it to the studio.

Avery sat in front of her painting looking at it in awe. She couldn't help admiring it. Bradley captured every detail on the painting and it was really breathtaking. She saw something that she never really paid no mind to. She started to see her own beauty. She had always envied other beautiful girls and that made it hard to see her own beauty but this picture outlined every beautiful feature of herself.

She got up and walked to the mirror that was next to Bradley's bed and looked at herself. She hasn't looked at herself like this in ages. Seeing herself was like looking at someone different.

"Admiring yourself?" She heard Bradley's voice behind her. She quickly turned to him.

"Uhm... ahh... well I was just... uhm admiring the mirror." She lied. Bradley laughed.

"If you say so. By the way our food will be here shortly." He said to her. "I really hope you enjoyed yourself today, despite everything." He added.

"I did. I really did. It turned out to be a really great day. Thank you for making it a memorable for me." She said smiling.

"You're welcome Montgomery." He said.

A knock emerged at the door and Bradley went to check. His chef and two maid's appeared holding their food, they came in and placed their food on the table. He quickly dismissed them because he didn't want them to start calling him Prince in front of Avery. He closed the door behind them and they came to sit at the table.

"Help yourself to anything you want." He said to her. She looked at the food on the table and started to think that everyone at the orphanage would enjoy this food. To her it could feed all the kids there. "Hey, are you okay? You're not hungry?" He asked.

"I am... I'm just not used to so many foods for two people." She said truthfully.

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"This whole meal would feed everyone at the orphanage. I know they'd enjoy it very much." She explained.

"Well that can be arranged. How about I send some of these treats together with your painting?" He asked.

"Really? You'd do that for my family?" She asked surprised.

"Ofcourse I will. For now enjoy what's in front of you." He replied.

That's when she started tucking in, they both did. She tasted some of the treats on the table. She enjoyed it to the fullest. She ate till she was full.

"Thank you for the food. It was very delicious." She said to him.

"No problem." He replied.

"I think it's time for me to head home now." She said.

"Yeah. Let me take you back home." He said.

They left the studio, heading back to Bradley's car. He drove her to the orphanage. They listened to some music on their way there and he was telling to her about some of the things that he and Casey used to do when they were little, she laughed a lot because some the childhood memories were funny but she realised that the both of them had so much fun together.

They finally arrived at the orphanage and he walked her to the door.

"Thank you again for today. It was really fun. I had a good time." She said.

"Sure.. you're welcome Montgomery." He replied.

Avery subconsciously hugged him. This was a special night for her. She hasn't had this much in her entire life but today she got to experience how it feels to be a teenager for once. She attended her first party, which was awesome. Bradley hugged her back and they slowly pulled apart.

"See you at school right?" He said.

"Definitely." She replied.

Avery finally walked inside and she closed the door behind her, leaning against it. She smiled to herself thinking how amazing tonight was. She saw Teresa sleeping on the couch. She must've waited for her. She gently shook her a bit and she slowly opened her eyes.

"Ave... you're back." She said getting up.

"Yeah I'm back." She replied.

"How was it?" She asked happily.

"It was so good. I've never had so much fun in my entire life." She replied.

"Well you'll tell me all about it tomorrow. I covered for you all night. Now go upstairs and get some sleep before grumpy old Welch hears us and comes down here." She said and they both chuckled.

Avery carefully went up to her bedroom and changed into her pyjamas. She washed her face in the bathroom, removing the make up on her face. When she got back to her bedroom she hid the clothes that she was wearing tonight at the party.

She finally got into bed and went to sleep
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