REALLY

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The Peas Offering


T A Y A

Blake and I took Kai and Cameron to the emergency room. Cameron came out with six stitches on the side of his ribcage, and Kai came home with eleven stitches on his arm. The injuries weren’t that serious, but imagine me trying to explain the whole situation to the doctor in charge.

Oh yeah, my kissing scene partner hit my little brother and his friend with a wooden plank we were using to build a Titanic replica. Just the usual.

Kai wouldn’t tell them what happened, but Cameron spoke up. He explained how they were just having a slight argument but it turned physical once Judah started coming at them with the board.

Now I wasn’t naïve. Don’t be fooled by the dimples and wholesome smile, everyone knew that Cameron Tucker was no angel. He and Ry were in the same grade, but Cam got held back due to behavioral issues. Normally I wouldn’t take anything that came out of Cameron’s mouth seriously, but what I saw today corroborated his story.

“Are you okay?” Blake said to me, as we were walking out of the hospital and towards the parking lot. Cam and Kai were walking in front of us.

“Just a little shaken up, but I’m okay,” I took a deep breath and sighed. “I still can’t believe Judah did that to Kai and Cam... He’s crazy,”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Blake scoffed.

“Why? Do you know something I don’t?”

Blake drew a long sigh and put his hands in his pocket.

“I know everything about everyone on this island,” he replied. That sounded like he knew something and it got me even more curious.

I was about to press for more information, but Cameron suddenly turned back to us. Blake was walking right beside me, but he moved away as soon as Cameron turned his head around.

“Yo Blake, can you drive me home?” he said.

“Sure thing,” Blake responded and Cameron turned back around. And only then did Blake move closer to me again.

Blake didn’t want Cameron to know that we are a thing...

“So, I’m guessing your friends still don’t know about us?” I commented lowly.

Blake stopped his tracks. He waited until Cameron and Kai were further away before he spoke again.

“No... not yet. I couldn’t tell them, not before I told RJ,”

“Blake it’s been... weeks,” I reminded him.

“Yeah, but now’s not the time,” he hissed.

“Wow, I can’t believe I fell for this, again,” I rolled my eyes at myself and glanced away. I was suddenly feeling certain that Blake never wanted to go public with our relationship and I couldn’t hide my disappointment anymore.

“Why does this bother you so much, Taya? I mean, you clearly have no problem rolling around with that Judah kid in secret. What’s wrong with what we’re doing?”

I flinched as soon as I heard him said those words. Was he for real, right now?

“That’s not the same thing at all, Blake! And how do you even know—”

“How do I know about you guys? I told you, I know everything about everyone here. This is my island, after all,”

He sounded like a complete douchebag. I never saw this side of Blake before and I hated it. Maybe even more than I hated Cameron’s guts. At least Cameron was upfront about his douchiness.

“What Judah and I were doing meant nothing—it was just a stupid practice for a stupid play,” I spat.

It was different to what we have, or had. What Blake and I had was real, and I never wanted that to be a secret.

“You wanna know why this bothers me so much, Blake? Because you’re not just some play thing to me. You were real to me, and I wanted us to be real. That’s why. But I guess you just don’t feel the same way,” I was fuming, I didn’t even care if Cameron or Kai had heard us.

“Taya—” he started, but I cut him off.

“You don’t have to worry about telling RJ or anyone anymore, because whatever this thing is between us, it’s done. I’m done,”

Not giving him a chance to say anything else, I turned to my heels and caught up with Kai. I pulled Kai’s good arm to the side, dragging him over towards our car, leaving a baffled Blake and Cameron behind.

If I had stayed another minute there, I would have punched Blake in the face, and I already reached my quota for punching guys in the face for the day.

*

Kai didn’t speak one word to me throughout the ride home, and as soon as we got to the house, he was eager to get to his room. I knew something was up, so I stopped him from getting away.

“Malakai Williams! Just where do you think you’re going?” I blocked the staircase with my two hands.

“What do you want from me?” he groaned.

“You never told me what the hell happened out there. How are you in a fight?”

“Cameron’s already told you what happened,” he dismissed my question, but I could tell he was hiding something.

He managed to shove past me, but I followed him relentlessly up the stairs.

“Kai, wait. I’m just worried about you, are you okay?” As much as he annoyed the hell out of me, he was my family. The Williams would do anything for the family.

“I don’t know what hurts more; these stiches or the fact that my sister had to fight my battles for me,” he snorted.

Ah, he was being a sore loser.

“Well if you hadn’t lost the fight, I wouldn’t have to come and save your ass now, wouldn’t I?” I joked and he rolled his eyes.

“You know Cameron’s bad news. You shouldn’t be hanging around him so much,”

He let out a long sigh and said, “I know... I guess I just wanted to feel like one of the guys,”

“Yeah? Now how does that feel like?” I slapped his arm a little and he flinched dramatically.

“Ouw!”

“Pretty shitty, ain’t it Kai?” I raised my eyebrow as he glared at me.

“This is not the way to be one of the guys, okay? Heck, this is no way to be a man at all. You made your sister worry about you and now our mom’s gonna get worried too. And dad would be so disappointed when he hears about this,”

Kai glanced down at his feet because he knew I was right. This kind of thing would break our father’s heart and that would be the last thing we’d want to do.

“You’re not gonna tell dad about this, are you?”

I took a deep breath and sighed.

“No,” I muttered under my breath.

He let out a relieved sigh. A small smile even appeared on his face, as if to say ‘thank you’. As Kai was about to go into his room, he suddenly stopped his tracks and turned back to me.

“Were you friends with that new kid? You spoke to him like you knew him?”

“Judah? Well, I guess we are—were friends. After what he did to you, I don’t ever want to speak to him again,” my blood boiled at the thought of him and the sight I saw before me.

“Actually... Cameron didn’t exactly tell the truth. That guy didn’t start the fight,” Kai said suddenly, catching me off guard.

“Cam threw the first punch and I followed after. It was just embarrassing to admit that, you know? Throwing the first punch and losing the fight like a bitch. It was stupid. You’re right about Cameron, he’s a tool. He was bragging about some drill he made to get laid, and then this Gabe kid commented on it, and it got Cameron mad. The new kid didn’t do anything, but Cameron was being an ass to him. It wasn’t his fault,”

I could imagine the scenario unfolding in my head. Cameron was being his normal assholey self, he’d probably picked on Gabe, and Judah was just trying to help. And I hit Judah in the nose...

My hand reached out and slapped the back of Kai’s head in an instant.

“Ouw! What’d you do that for?” he yelped, rubbing his head with his good hand.

“For hanging out with assholes like Cameron! Promise me you’ll stop hanging out with that crowd,”

“But they’re—”

“Promise me!”

“I can’t promise that entirely... but I’ll be a wiser this time around, I promise,” Kai put his hands up in an act of surrender, and his eyes told me that he was being serious.

“Fine, now you stay here and stay outta trouble,” I ordered. “There’s someplace I gotta be,”



J U D A H

“You look like shit,” Ava commented as soon as she saw my face. My nose was terribly swollen, with traces of dried blood still in sight.

“You got the shit I asked for?” Ignoring her comment, I swung the door open to let her into the house.

“Yeah, no wonder you needed some,” Ava took out the small container filled with white pills and shook it lightly. As my hand reached for it, she quickly pulled it back.

“Don’t play games with me, Ava. I’m not in the mood,” I hissed.

I desperately needed them since today was such a shitty day. Or a shittier day than usual.

“Uh-uh. These things don’t come for free,” she raised an eyebrow playfully as her tongue grazed her bottom lip.

I knew exactly what she meant by that. Since I got here and I became friends with her brother, Max, she couldn’t keep her hands off me. She got what I want and I was what she wanted, so we decided to strike a little deal.

I grabbed Ava by the waist and pulled her to me, my face inching down as she tipped her head back, giving me clear access to her neck.

I started kissing her neck, sucking and biting on it, and heavy moans escaped her lips. My hands moved to the hem of her cropped shirt and in one swift move, the shirt went off flying. Not wasting anymore time, I pushed her down roughly on the sofa and she let out a loud gasp.

I reached for her shorts and yanked it down, when suddenly we heard the doorbell rang.

“Who’s that? I thought your mom won’t be back till late?” Her body jerked up instantly.

The doorbell rang again.

“That can’t be her,” I let out an annoyed sigh as I pulled myself up lazily.

“Don’t be too long,” her voice spoke seductively.

I drifted to the front door and cracked it open. My eyes quickly widened at the sight before me.

“Hey,” Blondie, to my absolute surprise, was standing at my door.

“Coming back for round two?” I stepped out and closed the door behind me.

She ignored my joke and instead she said, “I got you something...”

She pulled her hand from behind her back and handed over a bag of frozen peas to me.

“What’s this for?” I took the bag and noticed how it was still ice cold.

“A peas offering?” she grinned and gestured to my nose.

Fuck, okay, that was low-key real cute.

I put the bag on my nose and the coldness stung my skin immediately. I winched at the pain, but I tried my hardest to held it in.

“Kai told me what happened...” she said again.

“Look Blondie, if I knew that he was your brother... ah, what the hell, I would’ve done the same thing anyway,” I snorted.

She laughed too and said, “Knowing Cameron, they probably deserved it,”

“How’s your brother doing?”

“He’ll live,” she waved her hand carelessly in the air. Then she took a deep breath and said, “Earlier today, I’ve heard some disturbing things about you at school... and then I actually saw you hurt my brother, so I just lost it. I’m sorry I punched you. You don’t deserve that,”

So, she’s heard about me? Why was she here apologizing to me instead of running for the hills then?

“You have one hell of a right hook, you know that?” I said instead.

“My cousin Ryder taught me. When we were little, these kids were bullying me, so he made sure I could at least do that for myself,”

“Sounds like a guy,”

“You’d like him. You two have a few things in common... anger management issues, ego the size of the planet...”

I snorted out a laugh and she smiled.

“Babe, are you coming back or what?” Ava’s voice came from inside the house. It was annoyingly loud and it totally ruined whatever moment we were having here.

“Is that...?” Blondie narrowed her eyes at me.

“Ava, yeah,” I confirmed her suspicion. Her mouth formed a small O and she nodded slowly.

Was that a glint of jealousy I saw in her eyes?

“I see you’re a bit preoccupied... I guess I should leave then—”

“Wait,” I found myself saying, “I’ll walk you home,”

Blondie furrowed her eyebrows and said, “You sure you don’t need to go back in there?”

“Nah,” I just shrugged. “I want to walk you home,”

The fuck I just said?

Somehow I found myself leaving a hot girl and fucking opioids at home for a walk through town with Blondie. What the fuck was wrong with me?

I must have I hit my head on the floor when I fell before.


Blondie and I didn’t talk much throughout the walk, but even the silence was comforting. When we finally got to her house, she stopped a few feet away from the door and turned to me.

“Just out of curiosity... Judah, are you dealing?” she asked cautiously, whispering the last part.

I shook my head and stifled a laugh.

“Blondie, if I was dealing, do you think I’d let my ma live in that piece of crap house?”

She looked relieved to hear my response.

“And you didn’t get kicked out of your last school because you hit a teacher?” she asked again.

“Well, that part is actually true. I was fighting some guys at school. This teacher came in trying to break up the fight and I accidentally hit him instead,”

So these were the things that people talked about, huh?

Blondie didn’t say anything for a while. She just looked at me and smiled, a nice genuine smile, as if to say, “screw all those people, they don’t know shit about you,”

I guess I must be standing there for a long time, just gawking at her like an idiot, because she started shuffling and coughing awkwardly.

“So, I guess I’ll see you at school tomorrow?” she asked.

“Meh, I don’t know about that. I’ll probably get my ass kicked out of there soon enough. As you can see, school’s not really the place for me,” I shrugged.

“I’ll talk to Principal Finn. I’ll make sure my brother explains the whole thing. You won’t be in trouble, I promise,” she said reassuringly.

“Nah, you don’t have to do that,”

“But I want to. And plus, school’s more fun with you around,”

Did her eyes twinkle just now?

“Thanks for walking me home, Judah. Take care of that nose,”

She gave me one last smile before she went to the door. Meanwhile, I just stood there and watched as she disappeared into the house.

I was feeling some sort of warmth in my chest. It was weird, and it made me forget about the pain and my aching body. Perhaps I might not even need Ava and her gifts after all.

How was this possible?

My eyes darted to the bag of frozen peas I was holding to my nose. I started smiling to myself. I never would have guessed, that in the battle between painkillers versus frozen vegetables, the winner would be these frozen fucking peas.


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