Grayson Smith

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Chapter Forty Nine. Prom pt.i

Song for this chapter: Rihanna-Diamonds.

The calm before the storm. That’s what it felt like. Everything was still, silent. No one was moving, nothing was happening. That was how I knew what was coming was terrible. From the first second I met him, I knew to beware. He was the storm on the horizon. My mistake was spending all this time anticipating it’s arrival instead of preparing myself. I didn’t recognise my blunder until the rain was pouring and there was no way out.

People say that the worst storms come silently and damn they are right.

-K.N.M.

When the knife pierced my neck, my scream ruptured the night and echoed along the damp alleyway. Hot, slick blood trailed down the delicate skin there. I reached up to touch it. My hand came away from the wound shaking and stained, much like my heart felt. I collapsed onto the wet pavement and watched the ruby-hued rainwater flow into the sewer grate nearby.

My blood. My life. Down the drain. Literally.

He had claimed ownership of me as he’d always wanted. I knew tonight hadn’t gone as he had planned, something had gotten in the way and ruined how he envisioned tonight going. I knew it was his intention to hurt me, but he didn’t know that his failed plans had killed me more than his original ones.

He had stolen a piece of my heart that I had cherished and loved more deeply than the deep, dark oceans could ever love the sun for shinning through and making their waters bright.

I didn’t know much in this moment, but what I did know was;

Nothing would ever be the same again.

24 hours earlier...

The stars dazzled in the black sky in a monstrosity of blazing lights. Grayson and Twizzlers were by my side as we lay down looking up at the night sky, the Hollywood sign just in front of us. After our little escape from the man with the torch we had dropped Blake off at his lavish home and had decided to come here for no reason at all but to enjoy our last moments of being young.

″I want this moment last forever″ He whispered, his hand clutching mine like I was his life line and he wasn’t ready to let go.

I found myself staring at him, taking in every feature of his face. His emerald eyes shinning up at the stars, how his lips curved up into a smirk knowing I was intently watching him and how yet he didn’t move an inch.

I always found myself at random times during the night, walking to the deserted window in my shared bedroom and looking at the stars with the hope that he too would be looking back. Like if I looked hard enough, his reflection would shine through.

Every time I did, it felt like a comforting hug. Like he was with me mentally but not psychically, it had helped me sleep most nights when I was too curious to know what he was doing. If he was sleeping or listening to music on earphones as he tapped his finger along to the beat on his bedside locker.

Those questions had kept me up most nights, but looking at the stars was like looking into the window of his soul. As though when I did, he knew I was there and I knew he was there too.

″It will″ I answered, my voice promising. ″I use to imagine what life would be like on nights like these, would they be filled with love or a dark hole of emptiness″.

His face had turned to mine, ″I use to too, those questions had kept me up all night. But if I-″.

″Looked at the stars, I knew somewhere out there someone was looking back too″ I had filled in, cutting off his words.

His eyes burned with happiness, content. His hand finding its way to my cheek, he rubbed circles making me close my eyes and let out a casual breath. ″I am so lucky to have found you, Libby Johnson″.

″As am I, Grayson Smith″.

No words needed to be spoken after that, we were happy just enjoying each others presence as we both stared up at the night sky, our hands in each other’s. Nothing would change between us after this night, we would no longer be high school students in love but just two ordinary people who crossed paths and found themselves falling for each other.

As I took a short glance at his features, I had wondered what he was thinking about. I had known almost everything there is to know about Grayson, but what I didn’t know was what was going on inside that head of his.

But I didn’t ask and left my mind to curiosity.

After all, curiosity did kill the cat.

-

The annoying buzzing sound of my smashed dollar tree alarm had woken me up with a loud mass of buzzes, the sun piercing in through the sheer curtains on my bedroom windows. I turned it off with a loud slam against the wooden floors making a mental note to invest in a new one with the left over money we had from Elizabeth’s pay checks.

She had been coming around more often than not, sometimes unannounced when I had asked her not to, for no valid reason other then me not wanting to spring it onto Gabriela so quickly. Speaking of Gabriela, her messy hair clad head stuck up from under her sheets,wiping her tiresome eyes.

Probably not the best idea in the world to set an alarm for 9 am when you share your bedroom with your seven year old sister.

″Do we have school?″ She mumbled from her sleepy state making me chuckle.

″No, Gab. Go back to sleep for as long as you want″.

She didn’t reply but just fell back against her cushion, pulling the blankets over her head to block out the sunlight. Blinds would also be a good investment to think about.

I tip toed my way out of the bedroom, lightly closing the door from behind me. Snores were drumming from the end of the hallway signalling that I was the only one awake in this household.

I made my way downstairs to get a bowl of cereal since I was too excited for tonight to stomach anything bigger than a bowl of coco pops. I hadn’t thought I would be the girl to be excited about prom, but when you surround yourself with people who love themselves enough to love you back, your mind opens up to new things to love, new people. And one of those things happened to be prom.

Grayson also had a huge part of my liking towards the party of the century according to Stacey, but i’d never tell him that.

I sat down, enjoying the peaceful quiet and the agitating sound of my cereal crunching between my teeth. The doorbell dinged making me scrunch my brows in confusion, I swung off the chair making my way to the front door not knowing who it could be since I wasn’t expecting Grayson to come until half two.

I hesitantly unlocked the door, letting out a heavy breath before I hastily opened the door. I let out a sigh of relief when I was met with dark brown hair and a smile I was familiar with. I stepped aside to let Elizabeth in, I closed the door behind her.

″Uh, I wasn’t expecting you″ I said, wiping off a coco pop that stuck onto my pyjama top. She nodded knowing I wasn’t. I furrowed my brows at her questionably as if she was going to ask to buy my soul to sell on the black market.

″I just came to stop by with another check″.

Today was Saturday, I had received one on Wednesday. It was always on a Wednesday when Gabriela wasn’t home that she would drop by with one, but she was four days early today leaving me confused and wondering why she had came by in the first place knowing that she could have kept it until Wednesday.

″But you usually don’t come by until Wednesday, is everything okay?″.

I lowered my voice so no one upstairs, most importantly so Gabriela wouldn’t hear us talking and come down in curiosity. She was a very curious child, open to new surroundings and always delving into new adventures.

But I felt this was something she wasn’t quite ready for, yet.

″Yes, yes. Everything is perfect, you’re going to prom today, aren’t you?″ She asked, her voice sounding weirdly strange which was starting to make me nervous.

She sounded as though she was just about to announce that she was moving across the world and I would never see or hear anything from her again, not a whisper. I was gone passed the stage of being in denial and saying I would want that, but truthfully speaking, I wouldn’t.

Not for Gabriela’s sake.

″Yeah, today at half two we should be leaving″ I answered, walking into the kitchen and telling her to follow along and take a seat if she wishes. ″Gabriela will be with Grayson’s parents″.

She seemed dis-pleased with my words, giving me a simple nod but didn’t say anything else. ″I see she has taking a liking to his parents″.

I let a frustrated sigh, placing my hands on the table in front of her, ″Her best friend is Grayson’s little sister, she loves going there. I can’t tear her from her best friend, and I won’t allow you to either″.

Her eyes snapped to mine, regret lacing on the wrinkles of her face. ″No, Libby. I don’t want to do that to her, I just wish-″ She stopped talking knowing that I probably wouldn’t like what she was going to say and if she was going to say what I think she was, she was right.

″I just wish, you would allow me to at least spend an hour or two with her a day″.

I placed my hand on hers and gave her a sad look, ″That day will come, I can see you’re making an effort for her. But it’s only been a few short months, she needs more time to process this″.

She pulled in her lips, looking deeply into my eyes. Her eyes could tell a whole book, she had so many un-told stories that I had yet to be told. When I was younger instead of reading me a bedtime story, she would tell me stories about her life. What her dreams were and how she met my Dad. Those were the good times, but those memories were slowly slipping out of my mind.

″I’m not doing this just for her, I’m doing this for you too, and Jackson″ She informed me, her eyes showing guilt written behind them, ″And your Father, he would have wanted us to be a family″.

Her voice cracked at the end forcing me to divert my eyes away from her watering browns, ″I know″ I whispered, ″I’d liked to think one day we all could be, that’s what he would have wanted″.

She let out a shaky breath, taking my hands in her cold ones that always were as soft as a teddy. I froze at her touch, it had been so long I had forgotten the own touch of my Mother. It was sad to say that but I wanted to work on us being whole again like we once were.

″He would be so proud of you Libby, he wouldn’t be so easy on you bringing a boy home for the first time″ She chuckled, trying to ease the saddened air in the room, ″But he always had your best interest at heart and I know he would have accepted Grayson into this family, he always liked Blake and I see a bit of Blake in Grayson″.

I smiled at her words knowing I too had always seen a bit of Blake in Grayson, like Blake, Gray always had the same boyish charm and one who did know them would probably suspect they were twins. Although Blake was dirty blonde and Gray was brown haired, they still had multiple of the same characteristics and similar features.

But still, they were so different from each other in their own ways.

″Mommy?″.

I nearly fell off my seat at the unexpected tired voice coming from the kitchen door, just a small glance at Gabriela and I could see it in her eyes how much she truly missed her Mother. I raised Gabriela with the belief that her Mother worked from the moment she woke up to the moment she went to sleep.

When she started to get older I would know she was forcing herself to try stay awake at the chance of seeing her Mother again, it went on for about two years before she eventually gave up on her, just like I did.

She held her teddy bear limb in her hands, disbelief radiating off of her. But she didn’t waste another second to run into Elizabeth’s arms nearly pushing her off the chair she was sitting on in shock.

She hugged her tightly and when Elizabeth knew I wasn’t going to interfere she pulled her close and rested her head on top of Gabriela’s. ″Are you home for good, Mommy?″.

She held Gab close to her, staring into her small eyes full of innocence and wonder. ″I don’t know, baby″.

She pouted, tears starting to escape through her eyes. Knowing I was the cause of that broke my heart into a million pieces. I knew if I kept them apart for much longer she would eventually find out I was the cause of it and I knew she would have a strong hatred for against me for keeping her away from her.

I always did what I felt right, and I might be taking a big risk now by what i’m about to say. But it’s for Gabriela’s sake, it’s a risk worth taking.

″I don’t see why not″ I answered hesitantly my voice low and unsure. I was sure this was the start of a new chapter for all of us and it really seemed like it after graduating last night.

Elizabeth snapped her eyes towards mine,searching for any sign of a joke or laughing matter. But I was being serious and she seemed to know I was by the way she enveloped me into her arms, squeezing the soul out of me.

″Thank you″ She whispered into my hair.

She still smelled like how she used to when I was growing up, like apples and cinnamon. I wasn’t ever really sure if that was her or the air freshener, but now I know it was her all along.

″I’m doing this for Gabriela″.

She nodded on my shoulder before we pulled apart and she turned to Gabriela to give her another hug as if she didn’t for another second she would be ripped from her arms and she would never see her again.

I wasn’t that cruel.

″Your sister has a very important day today″ Elizabeth cheered, her eyes remaining on Gabriela who scrunched her thin eyebrows together and looked at me with a curious glance.

″You do?″.

I do?″.

Elizabeth sighed, and placed her hands on my shoulders, gazing into my eyes with amusement. ″Prom, Libby″ She chuckled, bemused.″That is today, right?″

How in the world have I forgotten all about Prom? I was only thinking about it not too long ago but then with the unexpected events occurring as I think like right now, i’m not surprised at myself for forgetting all about it in the first place.

This was going to be one hell of day.

″Oh″ I remarked in realisation, mentally poking myself. The girls really wouldn’t be proud of me if I told them about forgetting about the ‘most important night of their lives’.

Elizabeth clapped her hands together, ″Okay, you missy are going to go upstairs, put on your dress and do whatever you have to do″ She instructed, with a glint in her eyes, ″I don’t want to see you until you have your dress on, clear?″.

I nodded with an amused smirk, rolling my eyes for the added effect. She hit my behind as I turned around and a laugh erupted from Gabriela in a joyful manner as I walked out of the kitchen without turning back.

I went up the creaking stairs, the snores from Jackson getting louder as I did. I shook my head at it before walking into my bedroom and walking over to the closet where I had my prom dress stored in since I bought it. Thankfully it came with a bag for it so it wouldn’t winkle nor get dusty since considering how old my wardrobe was, it would have gotten dusty in two seconds.

The blondes had arranged for a girl to come over at one to do my hair and makeup ‘on the house’ since they claimed she owed them big time. I tried to refuse but they black mailed me by saying ‘if you say no one more time, we will get a scissors and run it across your dress’.

And I liked my dress, so I wasn’t going to risk it. Those girls were crazy when they wanted to be.

A while later, the knock I had been expecting came from downstairs. I had my dress on but had decided against putting my heels on just yet since I wanted to save the bruised, aching feet for much later tonight.

″I’ll get it″ I shouted down from the top of the staircase, looking into the creaked open living room door. I smiled at the sight of Elizabeth and Gabriela playing ‘guess who’. Gabriela’s laughs filling the whole house with brightness and love.

I opened the door to be greeted by a very, and when I say very I mean very tall girl who was smiling down to me with a bright ″Hello″.

I stepped aside, allowing her to come in, ″Hey,I’m Libby″ I greeted.

She winked at me, looking me up and down with an impressed gaze, ″I know, I’ve heard such good things about you″ She gleamed, her voice sweet and soothing almost like the voice you would hear on those aesthetically pleasing YouTube videos. ″Oh, I’m Carly″.

″Good things, I hope″ I joked, not knowing what the hell the blondes were feeding into Carly’s mouth.

She gave me a reassuring smile, ″Of course and can I just say I adore your dress!″ She practically squealed making me recoil back from my ear drums nearly bursting from the dolphin like noise.

I can see now how she and blondes know each other.

″Thank you″ I answered shyly, never really knowing how to accept a compliment when given to me. Sometimes I just want to turn into a potato when they do, sometimes I feel like a potato. But i’m not mad at that, potatoes are the bomb.com.

″No problem, where do you want to get ready?″.

″The kitchen has the best lighting if you’re okay with that?″.

″Perfect″ She beamed as I guided her into the kitchen.

I sat down on the kitchen stool as she wrapped a hairdressing robe around me to prevent any hair or excess makeup getting onto my dress.

You may be wondering why I put my dress on before my hair and makeup and the answer is that I don’t want to risk smudging my masterpiece of a face or my curly locks by slipping my dress on over my head. Quite simple really.

″Are you not going to your own Prom tonight?″ I asked curiously as she plugged in her curling iron where the kettle once was. She looked my age, so it seemed questionable why she was doing other peoples hair and makeup.

She shook her head and chuckled, ″I’m twenty-five, so my boat for going to prom has long set and sailed″.

My eyes widened at her words, she looks like she could pass as a student for our class or even the year below. I need to know what type of sorcery of a face cream she is using! Does she get all her skin care products made in Hogwarts?

″You look so young though″.

″Thanks, I guess it’s better than to look younger than older″.

I rolled my eyes in a joking matter, ″You can say that again, I think if I went to a bar they wouldn’t even ask for my ID. I look at least your age. I think we both should swap identities″ I bemused, waving my hands around like a crazy lady. ″It only seems fitting″ I shrugged.

″What age are you? Seventeen?″.

″Yup, but I’ve only a few months left until i’m eighteen″.

She made an ‘ah’ sound in understanding, ″You’re still really young, believe me one day it’s going to be gone and you’re going to wake up with aching bones″ She chuckled, sectioning my hair with the end of her pink comb.

I frowned at her words, knowing I take being young and free way too much for granted. ″Well hopefully tonight is a reminder of how good being young was when I look back at these memories in thirty years to come″.

″Yeah, that’s how I like to live life. I like to travel all around America, make memories, take a piece of each state home with me and of course take plenty of pictures to look back on with my future grand-kids″. She smiled as she spoke as though she was thinking back to her good memories.

″Do you travel a lot?″ She asked.

I shook my head, but stopped once I remembered she was doing my hair. ″No, I haven’t gone anywhere besides...″ I paused, stopping my words. I was going to say Hollywood,Gray and I’s secret place but I didn’t.

I didn’t because that was a sacred place between Gray and I and as selfish as it sounds, I didn’t want anyone else to know about it. Only us.

″Besides, Boston″ I blurted out, it was the first place that came into my head since I remember looking into colleges there.

-

″Thank you so much″ I hugged her, as putting down the mirror she handed me to show the results after two very tiresome hours of sitting on a wooden chair that surely had imprinted a dent on my butt.

″No problem, your boyfriend is going to faint when he sees you″ She cheered, a bright smile taking over her oval shaped face.

I was curious as to know how she knew I had a boyfriend, I didn’t mention Gray and not for any valid reason other than the topic of who I was going to prom with just didn’t pop up.

″The blondes talk...a lot″ She filled in, answering the questions floating around in my big ass head.

I chuckled, mentally slapping myself for not guessing that earlier. ″Of course, I should have known″.

The blondes talked a lot and were really eccentric, mostly Stacey. But they were harmless and as bright as daisies.

I had walked her to the front door, my bare feet nearly slipping on the wooden floor but she caught me before I could hit my butt or my forehead against the wood.

″Woah. Steady on, Libby″ She chuckled, making sure I was on my two feet again.

″Thanks″ I mused in embarrassment.

″Oh don’t worry, I’m a clumsy person too″ She comforted with an even comforting smile making me feel at ease from my ‘incident’.

″It was lovely meeting you″ She spoke, not a hint of uncertainty in her voice, just pure kindness.

″You too, and thank you again″.

″No problem″.She pulled me in for another quick hug before waving to me and walking out the front door, I waved back to her before closing the door behind her. Some people can just be so nice, it was sad to think a year ago from now I thought everyone was bland and obnoxious.

″Libby, are you ready now?″ Elizabeth called from behind the living room door.

″Just a minute″ I answered, my voice loud enough for her to hear me from the hall.

Slowly and steadily, I walked up the stairs not wanting to risk slipping on my long navy dress flowing around at my feet. I had picked it up with my hands but still It was nearly touching the ground below me.

″And look who it is″ A low voice spoke from the top of the stairs, I looked up to be met with the smirking yet cocky expression of my turd of a brother.

″Well who were you expecting it to be? Britney Spears?″ I deadpanned with a sigh, brushing passed his half naked body.

Guys had it easy, all they had to do was throw on a suit and a pair of dressy shoes and shabang! They were all set for Prom. Whereas girls have to have everything planned at least three months prior according to my reliable source known as Kimberly aka My brothers girlfriend.

″A guy can dream″ He joked, ″But eh, you look nice little sis″ He admitted awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck.

Jackson and I didn’t have the brother sister type of relationship where we randomly compliment each other, we had the type of relationship where we threw half eaten apples at each other’s heads until they got knocked out.

″Gross″ I shivered at his words, but soon hit his arm playfully, ″But thanks, and start getting ready by now, don’t have Kim waiting. This is a big day for her″.

He sighed, nodding briefly before making his way into the bathroom with a slight muttering of the word ‘girls’. I strutted my way into my room where I had hid my shoes that were packaged in the brands box under my bed, knowing that if Gabriela ever found them she would have had one of the heels gone off them by now.

My bed was un-made, clothes strung everywhere from the night prior of rooting for a new pyjamas to wear after my scorching hot shower I had taken last night. I quickly took the shoes out of the box and slipped them on, praying for my feet later tonight.

The shower was still running by the time I stumbled passed the bathroom door, I held onto the railing as I used my other hand to lift up the bottom of my dress to prevent my long legs from tripping which would result in me falling down the stairs.

When I reached the bottom of the staircase, the clicking of my heels must have gave away that I was ready as by the time I walked into the living room, Elizabeth and Gabriela were smiling at me already stood up from the couch.

Elizabeth walked over to me, throwing her arms arms around me with no warning, ″You look beautiful, Libby″.

My skin hit off her knitted sweater in a clash of comfort and familiarity that I had longed deeply for since she had walked out seven years ago without even a simple goodbye. But right here, right now, all the bad memories and aches in my heart seemed to fizzle away.

I had changed from who I once was, and I believe she had too.

The world was so big, full of mistakes and love and forgiveness. She had proven to me that she was sorry for her mistakes and the passed few months she had worked hard to show that she was willing to be apart of this family once again.

″Thank you, Mom″ My voice was shaky and hesitant at finally saying the three letter word I never knew would leave my lips again, but when I had it felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt at home in her arms, like I was an innocent child all over again.

She gasped from behind me, pulling apart from the hug and looking at me with tears brimming her eyes. ″Libby″ She whispered in awe and confusion, ″Have I heard you right, or is my mind going crazy. You know it runs in the family to-″.

I shook my head with a content smile, ″You heard me right, don’t get all emotional on me now. I don’t want to ruin my masterpiece of a face″ I joked, earning a light slap to the shoulder by her.

″Libby! You have the same humour as your Father″.

I nodded in agreement, Jackson had told me the cockiness we have is from our Father and I keep my feelings bottled up because of our Mother. I guess he was right with that.

″As I’ve been told″ I smirked, cocking up a mischievous brow.

A pair of brown eyes dazzled up to meet mine, a small innocent smile gleaming from ear to ear. ″You look like a Princess″ Gabriela complimented in one of the few ways she knew how.

I laughed at that, and knelled down to be face to face with her, ″I look just like you always do, a Princess″ I whispered, making her giggle. ″Now am I right, or am I right?″ I help up my hand waiting for a high five.

″You’re right!″ She exclaimed in a buzzing tone, giving me a high five with as much pressure as her small body could muster.

A knock at the front door made us turn all our attention to the empty hallway, I knew it was Grayson he wasn’t late nor early. Just fashionably on time as usual.

″I’ll get it″ Eliza-Mom offered as she walked over to the living room door not giving me a chance to refuse and get the door myself knowing who it was.

I sat down next to Gabriela who was watching yet another TV show on Disney I didn’t recognise. I strongly believe after Hannah Montana ended, no other new TV shows should have been invented but re-runs of the classics-Including the High School Musical franchise of course.

I could hear the front door opening and the distant sound of shoes walking against the wooded flooring, muffled voices behind the closed living room door left nothing to my curious imagination. I knew it was Grayson by a long run, not by being able to distinguish his voice-Well partly that. But because of the magnetic force pulling me to stand up, and that’s exactly what I did.

As I’ve said before; We both were magnets attracted to each other-Pulling our selves into our arms until we were content with the results.

I brushed down my dress, trying to remove any short term wrinkles caused by sitting on the sofa for no longer than five seconds. But hey, I didn’t want to risk anything going wrong tonight, who knows? Maybe that one very tiny wrinkle would have caused more wrinkles as though they were contagious and it ends up with my dress looking like a wrinkled, old loofah.

The door knob jiggled, making my breath catch in my throat with the building up nerves anticipating the sight of Grayson. ″Libby, your date is here″ Mom called, her voice sweet and sugary.

I gave her a nervous smile and let out an unsteady breath. I had no reason to be nervous at all, the sun was shinning in through the curtains, already orbiting heat on my skin but still I was nervous upon his arrival into the living room. And I couldn’t quite explain why.

She had opened the door wider, letting herself step in, holding onto Gray’s arm. I couldn’t see his face yet since I was hidden behind the oak door but I could see his hand and his navy sleeve. Good choice, Gray.

I narrowed my eyes at my Mom when Gray was now in the living room, ″You blind folded my boyfriend?″ I exasperated, with a light chuckle earning one from Gray too.

″It’s all about the suspense″ She waved off, gesturing for me to take it off him.

I rolled my eyes at her in a joking and dismissing manner before stepping foot in front of Gray, already his familiar and intoxicating pine and cotton scent engulfed me into a cosy frenzy. Since I was wearing heels, I no longer had to lean up to meet his eyes that were now blind folded by a black scarf.

I wanted to tease him, to make him wait longer than he had to. But looking at Gabriela and Mom’s excited faces, I didn’t want to keep them waiting for much longer. I let out a nervous breath thinking of the unlikely situation that he would not like my dress.

I knew it was unlikely since he had once stated that I could wear a trash bag and still he wouldn’t care as long as I was still the same Libby he fell in love with.

And swiftly I moved my hands to the back of his head fumbling with the tight knot Mom had tide. I looked at her with narrowed eyes, scolding her for tying it so tightly. Poor Gray’s head must be loosing blood circulation, his head is going to fall off any second now.

″Any day now Lib would be perfect″ Grayson chuckled, moving his hand to my waist at a respectable manner.

I rolled my eyes at him, making Gabriela chuckle. I still worked hard on the knot until finally it began to falter and become loose. Well it’s about bloody time. Any more seconds and his head would be gone.

I let a short breath fall from my lips as the black tie fell to the floor. His eyes gleamed with delight as his eyes roamed up and down my body. He cleared his throat wiping away any forbidden thoughts knowing he and I weren’t the only ones in the room.

″Wow, Lib″ He managed to whisper out, ″You look beautiful″ He complimented, his eyes shinning brightly into mine.

His words made my heart beat frantically against my chest, my face burning crimson but luckily from the makeup I had on, he couldn’t notice it.

″You clean up rather nicely yourself, Gray″ I chuckled, nudging him with my elbow playfully. He didn’t look like a snack right now, he was the whole menu. The whole menu that I would gladly eat tonight.

Mom squirmed in her seat with excitement, like a bundle of nerves she had no control over. ″I have to take pictures″ She squealed, getting up off the couch. ″Hold on just a second″.

I groaned at her words making Gray chuckle from beside me as Gabriela sat down looking up at him with dreamy eyes. ″She’s staring at you″ I whispered to him making him furrow his brows together in confusion.

″Gabriela″ I filled in with a small laugh. He quirked a brow up and turned his face to a gazing Gabriela.

″Are you a Prince, Grayson?″ She asked giddily, fiddling with her thumbs. She always did that when she was nervous or embarrassed. But she never blushed, it was a gift she was blessed with. Instead of blushing she would fiddle with her thumbs.

I would take fiddling with my thumbs over turning red as a tomato any day.

He walked closer to her, a bright smile playing on his lips. ″Would you be my Princess?″ He asked her in a sweet tone making me smile as I bit back the sarcastic remarks floating around in my head.

She shook her head and pursed her lips making both Grayson and I furrow our brows, ″Then who’s going to be my Princess?″ He asked her, pinching her chubby cheeks making her giggle.

″Libby″ She answered, pointing her outstretched hands out towards me with a kiddish smile. I smiled at her and awed at how cute she was being in this moment.

Gabriela like me had her days where she would rather choke on an apple then compliment someone but then she would have days like these where she was all kiddish and just wanted to see others smile and be happy.

No matter what day she was on though, she was still my little sister and I would love every bit of her.

″And what about you?″ Gray asked, a boyish smile held on his lips making my heart flutter. He always had that effect over me and he knew damn well he did. He reminded at least once, every day.

″Who’s going to be your Prince?″.

She looked down at her feet that could not yet reach the ground when she sat on the couch, I’ve taken it that she hasn’t been given the gene of long legs that Jackson and I have been gifted by our Father but has rather been passed down the petite gene by our Mother.

Mother, that still sounds weird to say. Even if it is just in my head. I need some time to adjust to that.

″Harry″ She spoke softly, almost in a whisper.

″Huh?″ He asked, a cheeky smile on his lips, holding a hand to his ear to motion for her to speak louder.

″Harry″ She spoke up, much louder this time.

Harry, Harry, Harry. That’s the only name that leaves her lips since she told me about her not so little crush on him. I needed to have a serious talk with this Harry kid if he ever plans on bringing my little sister to the playground. Or god forbid out for ice cream.

″Does someone have a crush?″ Grayson cooed, ticking Gabriela’s stomach making laughs erupt all over the tight living room. I couldn’t help but to smile at their embrace and wonder if Gray and I would ever have kids of our own day.

Don’t get me wrong, I was in no way thinking of having kids anytime soon. It wasn’t even in my five year plan, but I couldn’t help but wonder sometime if me and Gray would have our own little family. And looking at Gray and Gabriela right now gave me all the answers I could have possibly needed.

Mom came in holding her camera which I clearly remembered from my childhood. It was ancient looking and had dust on the top of it which she quickly blew off. Obviously due to Gabriela’s loud laughter circulating around us, neither of them had heard her come in.

She snapped a quick photo of them, a bright smile on her ageing face. Obviously since the camera was nearly as old as me, it made a loud noise as the camera took the picture making them jolt from their laughing states.

Grayson stood back up, wiping down his suit that now held a few little wrinkles that would soon cast away. He winked at Gabriela who was still crushing over this mysterious Harry boy and tipped his non-existent hat to her, making her laugh.

″You’ve got a good one, Libby″ Mom whispered into my ear as she watched their embrace in front of us.

I sighed in knowing that she was right, I truly was blessed for the ray of light that is called Grayson. ″I know″ I whispered back, an excited smile creeping its way onto my lips as I never once took my eyes off Grayson who gave me quick wink.

″Okay you two, I don’t want to keep yous waiting for too long″ Mom said, as she waved her arms all over the place to motion for us to stand next to each other.

Gray had a frantic look on his face as he quickly moved around so that she could take the pictures. I guess someone doesn’t do so well in fast speed environments. I chuckled and shook my head as I beckoned for him to stand next to me, he complied and in a instant I was delighted by the aroma of pine trees and cotton.

I smiled up at him reassuringly in which he returned with a boyish smile that never failed to make me feel weak at the knees. He wrapped his left arm around my waist, pulling me closer towards him sending tingles of all sorts of chills up and down wherever his hand touched.

But when he looked down into my eyes, his hand still on my waist and I looked right back up at him. I knew in this moment, that feeling would last forever. No matter how old we get or change over the years, we would always have each other.

And quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And then the sound of the camera flashing made us chuckle, and I felt at home hearing his laugh. His hyena like laugh that wasn’t anything attractive to most people, but to me it was music to my ears.

And tonight we would be shinning as bright as diamonds.

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