Chapter 8 ~ Stronger
My skin began to warm as the light filtered through the window, rousing me from my slumber. I felt his warm lips on my shoulder and then again on my forehead, his fingertips trailing along my suddenly turned on and burning hot flesh, then arms squeezing my body before he was gone. I smiled watching my bedroom door close and I immediately felt happy, which was new for me.
It was odd, we hadn’t even kissed yet and here we are making some pretty bold promises to one another, could he really handle all my shit? I had confessed I was heading to fuck Toni for drugs and yet, he still stayed, still told me he cared and he was going to be there... when I was ready... which was also new for me.
A guy of his calibre and god-like status was looking out for me. He didn’t run, he didn’t judge, he stayed and supported me but what really surprised me, was how he held me. I could feel his hard cock digging into me and it had me salivating, I wanted nothing more than to have him buried deep inside of me but he expected nothing... nothing? He put himself and his needs aside to nurture mine. Fuck me, that’s almost unheard of these days.
After getting ready, I descended the stairs and headed for the breakfast table, after yesterday’s escapade with lots of crying and no food, I was starving.
“Well, look who it is?... the escapee.” Dad closes the paper he’s reading, quirking his eyebrow.
“Morning,” I mumbled as mama dropped a plate of eggs in front of me.
Kae slipped into his chair, at the table, next to Theadasia. I promised her last night that we would talk today and I intend on seeing it through. I could feel the pissed off atmosphere rolling off my mother as if she were trying to fill the room with all of her energy, just so everyone could feel her resentfulness. Yes, they had gone out on a limb for me but I was not disrespecting them in any way.
If only she knew the whole truth, maybe she wouldn’t be as hard? Maybe she would understand? Maybe she could see it from my point of view? But I guess, I still blamed her for her part in this daily torment that is my life. God, how had things become so messed up?
“Want to tell us what happened? You scared all of us half to death.” Dad questioned as mama sat down looking at me accusingly.
“Look, I know...” but mama came through with fierce venomous daggers.
“You know nothing Lyera, you almost died... DIED... do you have any idea how that hurts?”
My eyes locked on hers, “I realised something yesterday. I’m not in control, I need help.” My heart was pumping in my ears but I refused to look away. Mama was the first to crack, she hung her head low as I blinked slowly.
“What actually happened Avaleria Jonahson and don’t lie to me,” she warned.
“Pierce and I hung out and he mentioned something that triggered a painful memory and I weakened - but I realised in time and called Kae. I thought I could handle everything, being here with all these old issues. I thought they were buried and I thought, I wasn’t under its control...” I licked my lips, suddenly my mouth was dry. “You have no idea what I’ve had to endure.”
“Endure? We don’t give you a hard life... why are you punishing us?”
The tears came hot and fast. “You think I do all of this out of some sick pleasure at torturing those who I love?”
“If it’s not, then what the hell is going on?” She screamed, slamming my mouth shut, we sat there in complete silence for several long minutes.
“I think... I might need more than just... Drug Addicts Anonymous.”
“Then we’ll get you what you need,” Dad promised, leaning over and squeezing my hand reassuringly.
It had been two weeks since that sit down, Pierce had been busy cutting the wheat fields and organising the trucks collecting his produce for the supermarkets. I had no idea they were into such a big business, but then again, I shouldn’t expect anything else because he was always smart.
Dad had organised counselling twice a week, so far, we had only really spoken of my drug addiction and not the root behind it - I knew we were getting closer to it and this is what I wanted, needed, to actually happen. I had attended DAA, as promised but still felt that was a waste of time, however, I had sworn to stick with it and I wasn’t going to let them down.
Pierce and I had kept in contact via phone calls and text messages, I found comfort again on the rooftop outside my window, spending every night, talking to him on the phone. This was exciting, this giddy feeling, waking up every morning to a happy text and then spending all day smiling. I was feeling amazing and tonight, we were finally going to see each other. He even promised not to leave for work the whole weekend - except for the morning chores Saturday and Sunday which I promised to help him with.
Things were looking up and for the first time in years, I felt as though I could breathe - like actually breathe - with no weight pressuring my chest. Yes, there was still a burden there but it was being lifted by everyone around me and I was thankful.
Cole had arrived and we were getting ready for the bonfire by the lake, it was nice to have a girlfriend to do stuff with, my others from the city were all drug friends and only cared about the high.
“So, Pierce is meeting us there?” She asked with a smirk on her face, I know I hadn’t said anything.
“Say it,” I probed, waiting for the reason of her questioning.
“Oh, you know, we tried practising three times last week but he wouldn’t get off the phone to you.” She flopped onto my bed, dramatically crossing her sun-kissed, tanned legs. She looked pretty in a navy blue wife beater and denim mini shorts with white Stetson cowgirl hat and matching boots.
I bit my bottom lip hard, “we’re just friends.”
“Yeah okay,” she rolled her eyes. “And I’m a princess with billions of dollars,” she retorted sarcastically.
“You are? Well, in that case, we need to be better acquainted.” Kae roared with laughter from my doorway, I didn’t even hear him come up.
“Hey Kaeron,” Cole mumbled with a very distinct blush spreading across her petite face.
Watching them interact, made me think there was something going on there. “Hey Cole, you look beautiful tonight,” I stood there awkwardly, my head snapping back and forth between them, oh yes, there was definitely something sexually driven going on here and I made a mental note to look into this weird relationship between these two.
“Did you need something Kae?”
“Yeah, mama and Dad want to see you downstairs in the stables,” he spoke to me but his eyes were on Cole.
“Thanks, I hope it’s not another lecture on how... alcohol is a gateway,” my comment did not even register between the two locked gazes.
“Hmm, yeah,” Kae mumbled back, I arched my brow at his response.
“I’ll just remove myself now before I get pregnant by the energy in this room.” Without warning, a pillow whacked me directly in the face, I couldn’t help by crack up laughing at my own joke, leaving them to their staring.
Walking into the stables, my eyes immediately fell upon a golden horse, strong muscular frame with a silky coat, pink snout and braided mane. “Wow,” I gasped in admiration.
Dad turned to greet me with a huge smile, a smile that looked a lot like my own. “This is Rosegold, she is a two and a half Andalusian horse from the Grinders property, next town over and she is all yours.”
“What the fuck Dad? Are you serious?” I stood there stunned.
“Your horse passed away when you left and then after a while, we realised you weren’t coming back, so we didn’t bother replacing ‘Little Wings’. But now you’re home and keep borrowing ya mama’s horse, we thought you should get one of your own.”
“He thought,” mama corrected, throwing shade in my direction. Huh, at least Dad understood, I saw him narrow his eyes at her and grind his teeth together.
I kissed him on the cheek, “thank you, Dad, not just for this... but for everything.” Mama scoffed, breaking my heartfelt moment and stomped back to the house.
“She’s angry at herself, not at you,” Dad offered.
“Sure as hell seems like it’s me.”
“She doesn’t know how to help you and that makes her wild.”
“Dad, let’s just face it, I’m her disappointment,” he gripped my shoulders tightly.
“You are no one’s disappointment you hear me?” He hugged me tightly, “no one’s.”
After Dad left, I snapped a picture of Rosegold and sent it to Pierce, then promised her I would come back to ride her tomorrow. She was a beautiful horse, I can’t believe they sold her.
We arrived at the Bon Fire, my fawn coloured, wavy hair, lightly blowing in the breeze. I had chosen sneakers with a denim skirt, a white wife beater and an off the shoulder, white midriff jumper. I felt... normal, for once.
Pierce, Kaeron and their friends were naturally surrounded by girls, Cole and I decided we looked too cute to disturb them and be mauled to death by the angry female horde, choosing a spot around the Bon Fire. I could feel Pierce’s eyes on me the whole time and well, let’s face it, I kept sneaking looks at him too. It was elating and had my lower lips tingling in anticipation for his touch - my whole body yearned for his touch.
Cole and I had a drink in our hand, laughing about anything and everything when I felt a familiar yet unwelcomed body beside me.
“Fucken Jesus, never thought I’d see you again. Heard a rumour you were back, figured it was true when we got banned from the town cookout. Still childish I see but thank fuck, you’re still sexy.” My skin felt like it was crawling, I hated him being so close.
“What do you want Mac?” Cole jumped in, pulling me closer to her on the log.
“Fuck up Cole, I’m only talking to Lyera.”
“Oh look at that, still the same arsehole wanker from school, what’s the matter? We don’t register on your popularity scale? We not cool enough for you?” Cole fires back.
“Still the same frigid untouchable reject no one wants... sad being forever alone isn’t it Cole.”
I spun around with fire in my eyes, “don’t you dare speak to her like that, she is worth more than you will ever be.” My eyes were assaulted by how gorgeous he still looked, but his looks did nothing to me now, I still would have felt better if he was fat and bald, shit, I’m only human. His light brown hair and piercing blue eyes, still the same as in high school, still attached to the same loser that can’t grow up.
“You think she’s your friend? We were your friends.”
“You were never anyone’s friend, you are a liar, a conniving asshole and all my ‘so-called friends’ knew about you and Ivy, hell, you probably all laughed about it.” I stood to walk away, walk anywhere but where he was, only he followed.
“I loved you,” I laughed so loud.
“You didn’t love me, you loved yourself and thought you could have anything and anyone you wanted, you’re pathetic and still the same ‘little boy’.”
He grabbed my wrist coming in really close, I could smell the bourbon on his breath. “Avaleria...please, I miss you,” he whispered, looking around to see if anyone heard him. Still hiding after all these years, he was always someone different when we were alone, like the cocky arse he portrayed was only for his jock friends.
“All you do, it’s all for show, you will never find anyone to truly love you because you can never be yourself. You are weak and I have no interest in you.” He tightened his grip around my wrist.
“I will have you back,” he sneered but before I could reply...
“Get your fucken hands off her.” His modulated and smoky voice rumbled approvingly through my chest, soaking my panties.
“Stay out of it dweeb,” Mac insulted.
“Leslie Mackenzie, I’d be the last person insulting anyone, if I had a girl’s name like you do.” Pierce had said it so loud, drawing everyone’s attention. I was so used to calling him Mac, I had forgotten about how he loathed his given name, the gathering crowd snickered like children, guess they forgot to and no one stood up against Mac.
“You want me to kick your ass here, in front of everyone? Huh, nerd!" Mac was furious and pushed me so hard, I fell to the ground.
“Wow, I can’t believe you’re allowed to vote?” Pierce threw back, coming over to pick me up.
“Get away from her.” Mac started to roll his neck and jump on the balls of his feet, jabbing at the air in intimidation.
“No, you can get away from my girlfriend.” By now, we had everyone’s undivided attention and they all heard his declaration, I just bit my lips together and blushed.
“Your girlfriend, huh? You can have the bitch, she’s a lousy lay.”
“Say’s the one with the tiny dick,” I spat ferociously.
“Never heard you complaining.”
“Never heard me orgasm either.” He was getting angrier by the minute, I secretly wanted to see him explode, I was enjoying the savage cuts hurled in his direction.
“Macky baby?” A shrill, nasally, stentorian voice called from the crowd.
I watched as Mac recoiled in disgust, “fuck off Ivy,” he spat through gritted teeth and strode away. “You’re lucky this time, band geek.”
Ivy snorted at me with distaste and tried to run after Mac, her heels sinking into the ground slowed her attempt. Every sane person knows not to wear heels on this land, how did I manage to tolerate her for so long? Everything she has become irritates me now.
Pierce grabbed my hand and headed away from the Bon Fire.