Chapter 5 ~ Friendship or more?
I liked watching her laugh. Cole and Lyera had an instant connection, which was good because Cole hung out, too much, with us blokes. Yes, she had a few women friends but then again, she always preferred our company and it had always been this way. When she said that she always noticed me, my heart pumped in my throat, I tried all night to calm myself but couldn’t. I had a crush on her in school, yet could not do anything about it, now though... I was not that same shy, scared little boy - I was a man, a motivated man at that.
When I saw her in the grocery store, I almost drooled by how beautiful she looked, I was thrown though and had not at all expected to see her that day. I thought I had come off rude, but then fate handed me another opportunity and this time I was able to think with the correct head.
When she was in school, I noticed how sad she seemed around her so-called friends, but when the rumours started? I watched while Mac tried to convince her it wasn’t true. When Ivy fell pregnant just before the summer ended, I noticed her vacant expression and heard the pre-programmed responses. Repercussions of the breaking scandalous news, then she was gone and I promised myself to let go. I couldn’t crush on someone that was no longer here, she had gone to college and I stayed back to work the land with Dad and Mama.
All these years I tried to get over her, conceal her in a hideaway box. I dated other women, fucked around but when I was left alone, all thought wandered to her, what was she doing? Where was she? Who was she with? I had asked Kaeron a couple of times but he had no clue and I didn’t want to push too hard, in fear he might catch on to the feelings I kept secret and hidden within but he did say before she left, she would howl in pain every night, trying to heal her broken heart and when she disappeared, they never heard from her again. The only reason they knew she was alive, was that she would update her social media every few months but she was never in the same place for too long.
I stupidly stalked her profile, in one of her uploaded pictures was a guy, holding her intimately, in the background of the picture, atop a small mirror, were lines of white powder. Enlarging the photo, I didn’t have to be a genius to figure out what that substance was, then when Aiden mentioned about seeing Theadasia and how upset Daisy was, that her sister had overdosed and was in a coma, it took everything in me not to drive to the city and demand to see her. After all, who was I to her? No one, just some crazy, obsessed lunatic.
But now, as she sat just a small distance away from me, I knew I had to go for it, throw caution to the wind and claim her, make my interest known. Even if she shut me down, I would grin and bear it, because I gave it a shot. Just as I was about to make my move...
“Let’s take some beers and head to the lake?” Kaeron suggested.
Cole grabbed Lyera by the arm and practically skipped away with her. It was okay though, fate was going to give me another opportunity to get this right and maybe, we could wrangle some time alone and then, I wouldn’t have to beat up her new BFF, not that I would really hit a woman, I was simply jealous over how fast they connected.
They all stripped and went running into the lake, while Lyera sat on a rock at the water’s edge. I thanked the heavens and sat down beside her, the tip of my pinkie grazing against hers. The impact of our simple, slight touch, had lust pouring over me like someone had tipped a bucket of freezing cold water. I was enamoured by her.
“Don’t feel like swimming?” She chuckled and replied in a snobby, posh mocking voice.
“And ruin my makeup, you must be mad Pierce Tyler?” She winked at me then her face graced a wide toothy grin.
“Why are your eyes such a stunning green?” This question stripped her face of the smile and furrowed her brows. I had always been curious, her mother had the same eyes and they never ceased to amaze me.
“It’s actually not as awesome as you think. It’s the pigment, technically, they are just like everyone else’s but when the certain light hits them, they reflect a grey colour, which emits the sheen, wanna know a secret?” I just nodded, “mama and I are fucken blind. I have to wear contacts all the time, I own glasses but hate wearing them, having my eyes are more of a hindrance than an attribute.”
“You’re blind?” I repeated in surprise, I never would have guessed it.
“No, no, I am fucken blind, not just your average blind, I mean, borderline, can apply for a Seeing Eye dog, kind of blind.”
“No way,” I chuckled in disbelief.
“It’s true, I plan on having my eyes lasered though, one day, they said it might help. Mama said we will never get any blinder than we are now and unfortunately, it is genetics, Kaeron and Theadasia were lucky, having been born with Dad’s eyes, I was not.”
“So no magical abilities then?” I teased.
“You mean besides the fact that I can shoot laser beams out of them and fly?” I smiled at her playfulness, “alas no. I am, how do you say? Boring and normal. I have shattered your illusion, haven’t I? Do not look at me, you can see my faults,” we both giggled.
“Do you regret coming home?”
“No, I thought I would. I thought this place would be awful, I regret the way I left, I regret what I did while I was gone, but I do not regret coming home. It fits, feels right here like I can see things differently.”
I inwardly smiled, did this mean she enjoyed working the land and would possibly want to stay for good? She has left once already, maybe she’ll want to leave again and take my heart with her? No, I could not let her leave, not again, this time she was going to stay.
We all danced until none of us could move our feet any longer and we sat around the campfire, Lyera’s head resting against my shoulder. I didn’t want the night to end but when Kaeron pointed out she had fallen asleep, I knew we couldn’t hold on anymore.
I carried her to her bed, removed her shoes and tucked her under the covers. She murmured incoherently but then pulled my jacket around her more, where she snuggled in further. I was immediately jealous of my dress suit jacket but then elated that it was my clothing wrapped around her.
In the morning, I awoke early as usual but there was something different about the way I was ready to face the day, like I was happier than normal. I got started on the chores straight away, I knew I had a full day tomorrow, in the wheat fields with trucks to load, I could always get a head start on it today but my mind was so damn preoccupied with thoughts of her, that I decided to forgo work and jumped in my truck, heading for her family’s farm.
When I pulled up to the house, I couldn’t spot her anywhere but Daisy sat on the porch steps, so I interrupted her glossy magazine reading.
“Hey Pierce,” she still had trouble looking at me directly, her face blazing bright red in embarrassment. Guess I would be acting that way too if I got caught kissing for the first time.
“You seen your sister?”
She lifted her hand and pointed to the stables, “over there, dancing like she’s swatting flies.”
Dancing? What the hell? I nodded and mumbled my thanks before heading over. I didn’t get very far when a twirling Lyera came whirlwinding out the doorframe. Headphones on, suddenly stopping to mouth the music’s lyrics into the handle end of the rake. Her back to me while she wiggled her sexy behind in short denim shorts.
Grabbing the wheel burrow, she managed to dance her way back into the stables. I couldn’t help but be drawn into watching the stellar show, she attempted to moonwalk, then laughed carelessly at her failed attempt. Her shiny, now brown hair, swung fluidly, she was clearing out the stalls and grooving at the same time, I groaned with the amount of cuteness pouring out from her.
Walking up behind her, taking a seat on the haystack and admiring the view, when she dramatically spun around and extended her arms and left leg into a star position, spotting me watching her. She screamed and pulled her arms in quickly out of fright, the rake handle poked her straight in the eye causing her to scream again. I jumped to my feet and was in front of her while her eye watered, the rake hitting the concrete slab below our feet.
“What did you do that for?” I was trying to hold in the hilarity of the situation with respect and composure, I failed.
“When did you get here?” She held the heel of her hand into the socket of her eye.
“A little while ago,” she looked up at me with her assaulted eye closed.
“How much did you see?” I smiled broadly, running my thumbs along her cheekbones.
“I got a great show,” she groaned and rolled her eye.
“Why didn’t you say something?” I laughed at her.
“And miss out on you trying to moonwalk? No way,” she chuckled at me still with one eye still closed.
“C’mon on then, show me what you got, it’s only fair,” I laughed.
“Nobody wants to see that.”
“What are you doing here?”
“Taking you to lunch,” she was still blinking and squinting her eye.
“Okay, I just have to finish these stalls and then we can go.”
“Well you’re not going to get anything done if you keep performing for the animals instead of cleaning, I don’t think they are going to hold up cardboard signs with numbers on them, rating your skills.”
She shoulders me, “and here am I hoping for all tens.”
“Let me help you, we’ll get it done faster,” I loved looking at her, she watched me as if she couldn’t believe I was actually in front of her. Like it was all a fantasy, hell, it was my fantasy come to life. “You’re going to need swimwear.”
Her face paled, “what? Is lunch underwater?”
We had made a quick stop off and Chubby’s Burger Joint before heading to the waterhole near the abandoned quarry, just out of town. Reversing up my truck, we sat on the tray for lunch as the sun shone brightly down on us.
“I used to hike these trails, I used to see you and your friends here,” she confessed.
“Yeah, it wasn’t exactly considered ‘fun’ for my group of friends at the time.”
“You should have stopped and said hello, we would have come with you,” she scoffed at me.
“There was a lot of things I should have done, but didn’t.” Oh, she scoffed at herself, “you know I envied you, your life.”
I glanced at her curiously, “why? I was just a band geek.”
“No, you weren’t, at least not to me. You were smart and talented, you had real friends to share your interests with. Mac used to say, ‘it’s a good thing you’re pretty because you ain’t good for nothing else’ and like a naïve puppy dog, I followed him and everything he said.”
“You made a mistake.”
She nodded, “I knew they were up to something ya know, I didn’t want to believe it but I knew. For me, at the time, it was better to be apart of the herd then to go against the grain and be an outsider. Funny, look where following led me?”
“Do you know what you want to do with your life now that you’re here?” I shuffled closer to her.
“No idea, start from scratch? The only thing I know how to do is farm.”
“It’s all I know how to do too.” She jumped off the tray and pulled off her top, it was the first time I had seen her ink in full view. She had it everywhere, my mouth hung agape, traitorous eyes perusing lustfully along every inked line. Her back, shoulders and both arms covered, under her breasts, the sides of her abdomen, her thighs and calf’s ankles and feet. I wondered if she had any hidden below her denim shorts?
“Stop will you? They are just tattoo’s,” damn it, I’d been caught.
“I’ve just... never mind... sorry.” I whipped off my shirt causing her mouth to drop open, “stop will you? They are just muscles,” I winked and ran to the water.
“Damn you Tyler, how have you been hiding all of that model masculine body?” She took off running after me before we jumped into the deep waterhole.