Two honks from the driveway equals to Xavier’s arrival. It became our code (David included). Hopping towards the window while trying to wear my converse, I peered down. Xavier was already out of his charger and now making his way towards my door. I knew it was him yet I looked down. I liked our little moments like these. Like when I peer down, how he would blow me kisses. I don’t even have words to explain just how much I like them. Today, he pressed two fingers on his lips and lifted them towards me. I beamed back.
I love my life.
Overwhelmed, I ran out of my room and down the stairs to get the door for him. I reached just in time.
“Hi,” I greeted as I opened the door with a smile.
“Hi, Miss Lancaster,” he smiled back and running his arms around my waist, he picked me up while giving me a quick kiss and swinging me round.
“Ready?” He asked, setting me down.
Before I answered, David ran out of the living room, “Here.”
Apparently, he too heard the code.
“You ready, dude?” Xavier asked him.
“Let’s go, then.”
It was Saturday and we were going to spend the afternoon at Xavier’s place. The band was practicing for upcoming gigs in his basement and I had nothing better to do at home. Besides, David had his own plan too. A plan he cooked up with Xavier – playing with Xavier’s wickedly awesome water guns, those he and Matt used when they were younger to play pranks on Claire and Elaine, the housekeeping.
As we were walking up to Charlie, I saw Jacob’s car pull up to my driveway. He parked it behind Xavier’s. Honestly, I was a little surprised to see him. It had been quite a long time since we hadn’t seen each other. I went to my own school. He went to his. And we both had our own lives so we rarely met.
“Jacob,” I said as he came out of his car.
“Hey. Alana,” he smiled at me. And his eyes went to Xavier, his expression and the light demeanor becoming something else... Uneasy.
“Xavier,” he acknowledged him too.
Xavier seemed as casual and easy as ever as he gestured back with his chin, “Sup, Garfield.”
“Nothing much. Just coming by to see Alana. It’s weekend so. Been a long time.”
“Oh yeah,” Xavier nodded easily.
“That’s great, Jake. How have you been?” I smiled at him. It had been a long time since I’d last seen him so it felt like seeing a good old friend after years.
“Pretty good. Kinda missing you sometimes,” he smiled back.
I’m not sure what my next expression was. I was nervous and kinda worried. Xavier was around and with his possessiveness over me and how easily he could get jealous when it came to anything related to Jacob, my nerves were going into a hard drive. I didn’t want Xavier to be jealous. There was nothing between me and Jacob except friendship.
I stole a quick glance towards Xavier. He didn’t look that pleased neither too irritated. He was just somewhere in the middle and staring straight into Jacob’s eyes. I was dying to know what was running inside his mind. I couldn’t make any assumptions either. I always ended up wrong. Xavier was the hardest person ever to read. So there was no need of trying either.
With a bit of a tension suddenly rising in the air, I returned with a nervous laugh. Then I cleared my throat a little and said. “Thank you so much for coming by, Jake. It’s really good to see you again. But umm . . . for today, we’re going to be at Xavier’s place . . .”
“Yeah. Sure. I guess I’ll... see you around.” Jacob answered.
“Yeah. I’ll come by your place too . . . soon,” I nodded with a rueful smile.
“Sure. Anytime you can. Have a great day. You too David,” Jacob acknowledged him finally.
David nodded, “Thanks.”
“Well, great then. Bye, Ken.” Xavier grabbed my hand and steered me towards his car, “Let’s go.”
“Bye, Jake!” I looked over my shoulder and chirped.
He nodded in response and got inside his car.
“There’s something for you inside,” Xavier said to me once we settled in, motioning towards the glove compartment.
I looked at his face. He was back to normal. He looked okay and just as happy as when he first came.
“What?” He raised an eyebrow at me.
He looked really carefree and cool, like there was nothing bothering him. It just made me smile. I wasn’t sure whether he was putting up the face not to worry me or whatever the reason, but it just made me love him more.
“You okay, right?” I asked, “I mean, there’s nothing between...”
“Alana,” he stopped me. Our eyes met. We were both serious now. He faced me directly and inhaled deeply, “You ditched him to come with me. I’m good as fuck. Actually, I’m flying over the moon. Xavier fucking rules,” he grinned so brightly.
My heart internally awed and I grinned back. He was just too sweet.
“Language, please,” I reminded him in the middle somehow.
He glanced at David who was sitting at the back and chuckled, “Sorry.”
“Hey, David. Look at that! That’s so cool,” Xavier pointed towards the back.
David turned back.
And then, Xavier’s lips came crashing to mine, stealing a quick kiss. I looked at David. He was still looking back, searching for the cool thing Xavier just pointed to. Xavier and I laughed.
David looked back and said, “I don’t see anything.”
“Oh. It’s gone,” Xavier smirked.
I couldn’t help but laugh again.
Xavier tapped on the dashboard with his knuckles and said, “Something for you.”
“For me?” I looked at him.
He smiled back.
I leaned forward and opened the glove apartment. Once it was opened, I beheld my first love – STARBURSTS. A whole packet of it. The next thing that came from me was a train of giggles.
“That’s my apology for what I did in elementary,” he chuckled.
“Forgiven. Definitely forgiven,” I replied, giggling at him.
I took one, peeled the cover and was just about to pop it inside my mouth when from the backseat, David snatched it from me and shoved it inside his mouth. At that, Xavier hit the steering wheel with both hands and chortled loudly.
I stared at David. With the hand that stole my starburst covering his mouth, he giggled back at me. I could see him rolling the candy inside his mouth as he did so.
I turned to Xavier, “Did you tell him to do that?”
He kept laughing, his brown eyes gleaming with tears that were starting to pool. I shook my head and gave a mystified laugh.
“Alright! Buckle up, boys,” Xavier proclaimed, turning the engine to ignition.
“Yes, Bro!!” David, Harry and Jayden responded like soldiers from the back.
Xavier chuckled. I did too. They were so excited.
Next stop after my house was Harry’s. The plan was that the three boys would be in war against one another with Xavier’s water guns. The three of them were in the same grade at Kingston’s.
Harry’s a white boy with beautiful green eyes. Jayden’s black and I could tell he would be the tallest among them when they reach puberty. Oh and by the way, you’d literally awww if you see him smile. He’s got a smile as cute as a button. I love the way how his cheeks bunch up and how those brown eyes sparkle. Maybe I have brown eyes obsession. You know who else have brown eyes, right?
While we waited for Hunt, Scott, Matt and Alex to arrive, Xavier taught me some guitar keys in the basement. David and his friends were already out at the backyard with one gun each. Since I was a beginner and obviously wasn’t born to be a music goddess, it wasn’t easy for me to place my fingers on the bars. But he found me easier ways though, just the way he taught David but I bet David would be ten times better than me.
I know Xavier has a temper but it surprised me how he could cope up with my slow brain... or slow fingers. He was exceptionally calm.
I kept strumming horribly while he went up to the kitchen to get some water. Captain following close behind his heels. My eyes coincidentally landed on a plain black diary peeking out from under the cushion of the couch I was sitting on. Keeping the guitar away for a while, I pulled it out and opened the cover. No name. Nothing written. I assumed it was Xavier’s though. I flipped to the next page.
“Hey! No! Don’t!!”
I looked up. Xavier threw the two packaged bottles he had in his hands to somewhere and strode on towards me.
“What?” I asked, looking up at him from the couch.
“Give me the diary,” he said, showing me his opened hand.
“Why? Is it your journal?” I raised an eyebrow.
“No. I don’t keep journals.”
“Alana. Just give me the diary,” he was fighting back a smile and I could see that he was desperate.
Seeing him desperate for something, my naughtiness took heights and I shook my head. He narrowed his eyes at me.
“What’s written in here?” I stood up from the couch and inched away from him.
“Alana,” He was trying to put the edge of command in his tone but he was smirking at the same time. I couldn’t help but play on.
I moved further away from him, slightly opening the page to tease him, “What’s in here? Love letters for Ms. Jenny?”
“You still jealous?” He smirked.
“Yeah. I wanna read them,” I peeked inside the page and then flicked my eyes at him.
He chuckled, bit his bottom lip and said, “I’m coming to get you.”
“Really?” By now, I was standing at the back of the couch.
“Really. I’m coming to get you,” he repeated.
I eyed for the stairs that lead to the basement door, calculating how I should run pass him and out of the basement. Xavier noticed it and without warning, he pounced on me, jumping over the couch. I shrieked and tried running away. He stumbled a bit with the couch and everything but somehow managed to grab my waist.
Captain began barking and jumping in excitement next to us.
He pulled me back to his body. My back came in contact with his chest and laughing, we began fighting for the diary. I held it forward, keeping it as far as possible from him. Holding it above my head would be useless. He was too tall. But although I held it forward, he could still easily claim it. His arms were long enough. Yet I made it harder for him by swinging it in the air.
“Captain, get the diary! The diary!!” Xavier shouted at him through laughter.
Captain jumped and began fighting for the diary just as the master commanded. I shrieked, squealed and wriggled in Xavier’s arm as both the master and the loyal dog fought for it. We were laughing all the while.
Soon Xavier easily picked me up like I was a ball of cotton and threw me down on the couch. I screamed a laugh. And then he jumped on top of me, his knees dipping into the cushion on both sides of my ribs.
“Now watch!” He chuckled as he grabbed both my wrists and pinned it above my head. I struggled, still laughing. However, I still didn’t miss out to see how hi muscles bunched up and flexed with every movement. He was wearing a loose sleeves shirt.
Someone cleared a throat. It wasn’t me. Neither Xavier. So we whipped our faces towards the stairs and there stood the four of them; Hunt, Scott, Matt and Alex. Matt raised an eyebrow. So did Scott, a moment later. Hunt...
Hunt smirked and calmly said, “Children, cover your eyes.”
And so, he wrapped his arms around the back of Scott and Matt’s head and covered their eyes for them. He was standing in the middle.
He couldn’t reach Alex so he told her, “Alex, be a good girl and close your eyes.”
And then they all burst into laughter. I blinked. I heard Xavier chuckle too. I looked at him.
And then there was a very high pitched scream coming from behind the four of them. They looked back. There was a little girl behind them with small hands covering her eyes. The next second, she spun on her heels and ran up the stairs.
Xavier exhaled half a laugh, “Was that Vai?”
Matt responded with a chuckle, turning back to us, “You scared my little sister.”
“Umm... Sorry,” I blinked.
Xavier was still hovering above me. He looked back at me, surged forward a bit and snatched the diary away from my hand. I stopped fighting over it. He then, rolled down from the couch and I stood up too.
“Done?” Scott teased, removing his jacket and getting behind the drum.
I shook my head, “No. We weren’t....”
He laughed as he smashed a casual beat. All of them were laughing, including Xavier.
“So it was the diary, huh?” Matt said.
“Yeah,” I answered.
“No one knows what he writes there,” he shrugged, “He doesn’t let anyone of us even glance at it.”
“I bet he’s writing love songs for you,” Hunt winked, picking a guitar and walking towards a stool.
I threw a quick glanced at Xavier. He had a smirk waiting for me. So it’s true. I held his gaze for a while and cracked a smirk myself.
“You’ll get to hear them soon,” he said with a smile.
“So Hunt was right,” Alex smirked, “The bro is romantic after all.”
“You could say that,” Xavier replied.
“Okay,” I chuckled, “You guys practice. I doubt my ears would live through your music in this enclosed space. I’ll be up.”
“Sure. We’ll be quick with this. Then you and I can spend some quality time together minus these idiots,” Xavier motioned towards the boys.
“You just broke my kidneys, dude,” Hunt commented with a hand on his heart.
“You’re welcome,” Xavier replied.
“Alright. See you guys later,” I chuckled and left them.
I went up the stairs and the moment I was out of the basement, a loud scream escaped my mouth as three pools of water came pummelling straight at me. It took me quite some time to register what just happened. I opened my eyes, wiping the streams of water dripping from my face and checked my current state. I looked like I had just dived into the fountain in front of their house. Holding up the humongous water guns in their hands, David, Harry and Jayden sprinted away from me, screaming and laughing.
I exhaled heavily and called out David behind him. He apparently was having a great time aiming and pranking his big sister. He didn’t even stop to look back. The three of them disappeared towards the back yard.
I heard multiple footsteps running up the stairs behind me.
“What the...” Xavier swore.
I looked back and glared at him, “It’s your wickedly awesome water guns.”
He pressed a fist over his mouth, fighting back a laugh. The boys (Alex included) quietly cackled behind him. I didn’t know whether I should be embarrassed or mad. I was just plain... Soaked and glued to the spot. All I knew was that my shirt was soaking wet. Thank God the fabric of my shirt was thick enough.
Xavier pursed his lips, barely loosing it, “I’m sorry, babe. Come on. You need to change.”
He took my hand and led me onwards. Elaine, the housekeeping, was in the kitchen making cupcakes for all of us.
She gasped when she saw me. “What happened?!”
“It’s my brother and his gang,” I sighed, wiping back strand of hair from my face.
She giggled, shaking her head, “Boys. Our Little Master used to prank me and Claire all the time with his friends.”
If you’re wondering who Little Master is, it’s Xavier. Who else. Even as a boy, his authority in the household was too domineering and demanding that it compelled Elaine to nick name him Little Master.
“Yeah. I don’t even wanna imagine what his prank level would be,” I replied to Elaine wistfully.
Xavier chuckled and led me towards the stairs that led to his room. Allie was below the stairs with the little girl who screamed, seeing me and Xavier in that... Yeah. They were playing the piano together.
“Dear, what happened to you?!” Allie gasped with a hand on her heart.
“My brother,” I smiled back, starting to feel amused now.
She gave a soft chuckle.
Xavier gave me a towel to dry my hair and then I changed into one of his t-shirts. My jeans was fine. The problem was with my shirt and hair. The T-shirt was quite big for me but it served its purpose and to top it all, it smelled so much like him. I could wear it all day. It made me feel like he was always around even when he was in the basement practicing.