Damage Control

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Payback and Pillow Fights

I hated being sad.

I mean, who didn’t?

It was physically draining, always caused a headache, and left you overthinking for hours.

And to make matters worse, Brandon finished all the ice-cream last night so I didn’t even have something to cheer me up.

Stuffing my face farther into my pillow, I let out a loud groan and glanced over at the clock. It was nearly five p.m and I hadn’t moved from my bed since Sienna left. The guilt and remorse was transparent in her eyes as she whispered a low apology and placed a soft kiss on my forehead before tiptoeing her way out of my room.

I felt horrible knowing that Sienna left thinking it was her fault for my shutdown earlier. Although I had made it known to her before she left that it wasn’t her fault, I know it would eat at her for days before she finally let it go.

Squinting my eyes, I let out a deep breath.

God, why did I have to be so overly emotional?

It was just a piece of cloth.

A piece of cloth that holds so many memories. A tiny voice said in my head.

Letting out a loud sigh I slipped my hands under my head as I ignored the flood of thoughts that threatened to consume my mind yet again. I absolutely hated thinking about the past and the events that had taken place years before. It was sort of a forbidden topic in the Evan’s household. But that was what made it so much easier to avoid thinking about it.

It’s ironic isn’t it?

The one girl who helps everyone with their problems can’t seem to get a grip on her own?

It’s pathetic, I know.

I rubbed a slow hand on my face as I took all the willpower in me and sat up on my bed. After the events of today, I just wanted to watch movies and pig out on a bunch of junk food.

Rubbing a hand over my eyes, I reached over to grab my phone which had been silently sitting facedown on my nightstand, courtesy of the mute button which allowed me a couple hours of peace.

Sitting against my headboard, I shot a quick text to Sienna letting her know all was well and to not worry about what had happened earlier. Making a mental reminder to reply to a couple messages from some friends and classmates later, I scrolled farther down my list, my eyes catching onto Easton who had left a couple messages in the past few hours.

I was just thinking about the time you totally checked me out from your bedroom window the night we met. You definitely drooled a little.

Hannah Montana called, she wants her wig back.

Okay, that one was kinda mean, your hair is much better than hers.

Knock knock, it’s me again.

Okay, you’re totally ghosting me right now but just to let you know, we’re neighbors and your mother loves me so you can’t get rid of me.

If you don’t respond within the next 30 minutes, I’m breaking in.

I could feel the grin growing on my face as I read over his messages. There really was nobody quite like Easton. He sounded completely insane and if anyone who didn’t know him, read those texts, they’d probably call the police. His last message was sent about 20 minutes ago and I was just about to respond when a tiny body barreled into my room, running at full speed towards me.

“Mallory!” Brandon squealed as he threw himself onto my bed, wrapping his arms around my neck as he giggled loudly, “We just saw Easton! He said he would take me to see the next baseball game and that he would teach me how to play soccer and baseball!” Brandon excitedly informed me as untangled himself from me and stood up on my bed. I watched with a grin on my face as he began jumping up and down on my bed from excitement.

Baseball? Since when did Easton watch or play baseball? I made a mental note to ask him about that the next time I would see him as I turned my attention back to the ball of energy on my bed.

Looking up at Brandon who was still jumping, it looked like someone had spiked his drink with something. His lips were bright blue, probably from candy and his hair was standing up in every direction making him insane.

“Alright squirt, settle down, you haven’t told her the best part of this whole story.” A new voice chimed in as my head snapped to the doorway where Avery stood with her hands on her hips, “He forgot to mention how we ran into pretty boy outside and how this one over here was quick to let him know that you were upset earlier. And I’m almost certain that Prince Charming is headed here now as we speak.” Avery said as my eyes widened in horror.

No. No. No. No. No.

Sure Easton had made me feel better with just a couple messages- even the Hannah Montana one, which I would definitely be getting back at him for later- but I wasn’t ready to see him yet.

He would be adamant on knowing what had happened and he wouldn’t stop until he knew and I just wasn’t ready to tell him yet. Yeah we were spending more time together and getting closer, but it was simply because of the deal we had made.

Sure, keep telling yourself that.

That stupid voice in my head said once again as I ran a hand through my hair in frustration.

I was going to kill Brandon.

Snapping my head towards him, I watched with squinted eyes as he slowly began inching out of my room, his hands in the air, a mischievous smile playing on his blue lips.

Normally, I would try to be the mature sister and let it go. But today wasn’t that day, “Run.” I menacingly said to Brandon who let out a loud squeak before booking it out of my room as I chased after him. I barely made it a foot out of my bedroom when my body collided with another. I could feel myself losing balance and was close to tumbling to the floor when a pair of familiar arms snaked around my waist and steadied me. I looked up at Easton who wore a curious expression on his face as he looked down at me.

Great.

Not only did I run into the one person I was trying to avoid, but Brandon had probably already found his hiding spot for the rest of the evening and catching him would now be out of the equation.

“Going somewhere?” His deep voice hummed as he stared down at me with humorous eyes. A small grin played on his lips as my eyes scanned over his face. He didn’t look any different as any other day, but after seeing his face so close to mine last night in the lake, it was like certain details about his face were embedded into my mind. Looking at him now, my eyes roamed over the barely visible beauty mark right below his left eyelid which was covered by his long lashes. Though his face wasn’t sculpted to perfection, his face was defined in just the right areas, with prominent cheek bones and a perfectly sharp jaw. His nose was a bit crooked, probably a result of playing soccer or getting into a fights in his younger years. I watched as his eyes scanned over my face, probably looking for evidence of what Brandon had told him earlier before his eyes met mine once again, “Hey.” I finally said, breaking the steady silence that had come over us.

“Hey.” He grinned down at me, his eyes brightening. I watched as his eyes glanced over my head, as he held a hand up and waved at what I assumed was Avery.

Just as I was going to turn to look at her, I heard her speak up from behind me, “Are you two just going to stand there in each others arms like a lovesick couple or get a move along?” Avery dryly asked as she stepped in my line of vision. She had her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised as she stared us down, a small smile on her lips.

That little troll, always stirring the pot when she had the chance.

She and Brandon were a perfect match.

“I don’t know, I kind of like it here.” Easton said, his eyes not once moving from mine. It was as if I was in a trance and couldn’t look away from him as my heart beat accelerated to an unhealthy pace.

I heard Avery make a gagging sound as she pushed past us and made her way downstairs, most likely to look for Brandon who was probably packing a run away bag.

My eyes roamed all over his face once again before I finally cleared my throat and stepped out of his arms, forcing myself to snap back to reality. Walking around him, I slowly walked back towards my room, Easton hot on my heels as I tried to wrap my head around what had just happened. I had absolutely no words to describe what had just happened between us, but I knew it scared me.

Easton and I weren’t anything.

We couldn’t be.

We were simply working together until my problem was fixed and then we would go back to our regular lives.

Right?

I could feel a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I was delusional but I pushed it away as I stepped into the comfort of my room.

“Now, I know you and I tease one another all the time, but I didn’t think the Hannah Montana comment would make you so upset that I would have to come all the way here to make it better.” Easton joked as I took a seat on the beanbag in the corner of my room.

Looking up at him with an eyebrow raised, I nodded my head toward his house, “You live one door down, not an hour away.” I commented dryly as I watched him make himself at home on my bed.

“Don’t act like my jokes don’t make you wanna laugh.” He said with a knowing look on his face as he wiggled his brows at me.

“You wish” I snorted as I pretended to examine my nails as I ignored his eyes boring into the side of my head.

“Just admit it, I’m funnier than you.” He cockily stated as he placed his hands behind his head and laid down on my pillow, his eyes closed.

“Yeah..funnier looking ” I drawled as I stood up and slowly inched over to my bed. He furrowed his eyebrows at my response and opened his mouth to say something but I quickly pulled my pillow out from underneath his head and watched him with an evil smile plastered on my face. Cackling loudly at his startled expression, I raised the pillow high before bringing it down on his face, muffling what he was about to say.

Easton yelped loudly as my pillow repeatedly came down on him, “That’s payback for the Hannah Montana comment.” I yelled loudly as I continued attacking him. Just as I was about to bring it down for the last hit, I felt Easton’s arms snake around my waist as he tossed the pillow aside and pushed my body onto the bed. Crawling over me, I yelped loudly as his hands began tickling all over my body. Squirming, I gasped for air as giggles erupted from me, “Please! I’m sorry!” I yelled out loud as he continued his assault on me, a devliish grin on his face as he shook his head at me.

“What was that? I’m the hottest guy you’ve ever seen?” He loudly asked as he cupped his hand around his ear, his other hand still tickling me all over.

I continued to thrash on the bed, as I continued to laugh harder, “I am not going to say that!” I exclaimed loudly as I tried to get out from under him.

“Say it!” He continued to say with a cocky smile on his face as he moved on to tickling my feet, the most sensitive place for me when it comes to tickling.

“Fine! Fine! You’re the hottest guy I’ve ever seen!” I finally gasped out as his fingers ceased movement, a satisfied smile on his face.

“Why thank you.” Easton said as he continued look down at me, a wolfish grin on his satisfied face.

I let out a sigh of relief as I slumped over on my bed, “I hate you.” I said as I attempted to catch my breath from laughing and yelling so loud.

“That’s what you get for trying to beat me at my own game.” He retorted as he laid down beside me, his head a couple inches from mine. A comfortable silence soon ensued in the room as the only sound that remained was that of our breathing. As much of an arrogant nuisance he was, Easton had managed to turn my day around and I needed to let him know that.

“Thank you.” I quietly said as I turned my head so that my eyes were directly facing him, “For making me feel better.” I clarified as my eyes bore into his. The sun was making it’s descent and because of that, it’s light was shining directly onto Easton’s face. His hair softly fell over his light eyes that turned a few octaves brighter with the rays on sunshine illuminating upon them.

He gave me a soft smile and intertwined my hand with his, “You had me worried when you weren’t responding to my messages until Brandon told me you were upset. The least I could do was come over here and make sure my partner in crime was okay.” He softly said as he pushed his body closer to mine. We were practically cuddling now as he wore a soft smile on his face, his eyes staring deeply into mine. I felt like he could see right through me and understand every emotion I felt. Day by day, I felt my resolve crumbling around him and it scared me to the bone. I had never let anybody in and had never wanted to talk about my own problems, but around Easton, I felt safe.

“I have problems, Easton.” I quietly murmured to him as I turned my head up to look into Easton’s eyes. I feared that I would see judgment or pity, but all I saw when I looked up at him was understanding eyes. He kept his gaze locked onto mine as he squeezed my hand which was still wrapped tightly around his.

“Don’t we all?” He responded as he pushed back a strand of hair that had fallen onto my face. He looked devastatingly handsome as he laid there beside me and I felt a strong urge to just cocoon myself into his arms and ignore the outside world.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now.” I whispered as I bit my lip uncertainly. It wasn’t like I didn’t trust him or was trying to hide things from Easton. I know he would have questions and I would have to tell him sooner or later, but I didn’t feel like disrupting the peace I had finally felt after such a long day.

“You don’t have to. I’m here now and I’ll still be here when you decide to tell me.” He responded with a sincere look in his eyes as I felt my heart warm in my chest. Leaning forward, I placed a soft kiss on his cheek before nuzzling my face into his chest, the soft sound of his breathing calming my erratic heart.



And so we meet again!

So I’ve been pretty MIA for the past couple months and I think it’s safe to say that I need to catch you all up on my life.

Well for one, I got into college! I will be attending one of my top choice schools this coming fall and I am super excited for this new chapter in my life! And along with that, my childhood best friend also got into one of the top schools in the nation so a big congratulations to her!

Second, I am moving houses! A change of scenery is always nice but packing has been keeping me occupied and I absolutely hate it.

Third, senioritis has hit me at full force. All the motivation I had these past four years has come to a complete standstill and it is a struggle to finish up these last few months in high school. Graduation seems so close yet so far.

Lastly, I am super duper sorry for the lack of updates. I know I say this all the time but I cannot stress enough how hard it gets to update with a part time job, juggling school, social life, and pure laziness all on my plate.

Despite this, I really want to start sticking to a tight updating schedule because I really hate to keep you all waiting.

With that said, I hope you all forgive me and enjoy this update!

Thank you all for the love and support, the comments and votes never go unnoticed!

See you all soon!

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