I woke to a pale blue wall that was unfamiliar and certainly not mine. I stirred slightly and felt the warm arms surrounding me.
Oh. My. God.
I’m in Cal’s bed. With CAL.
I turned to face him to see him fast asleep. His lips were parted slightly and his long lashes laid on his cheeks. I stared at him, my heart bursting with adoration. I leaned forward and kissed his lips, really softly, and seconds later he was kissing me back. It was insane.
“Is this what lust feels like?” I wondered aloud to no-one in particular.
“Do you really think that’s all this is? You are the first girl I’ve ever slept next to and actually slept.” He laughed and I hit him with a pillow.
“Are you ok though?” He looked at me, biting his lip as he did. I curled up next to him, my hands entwined with his.
“This isn’t me. I don’t feel good at all about lying here with you whilst I’m officially in a relationship. With your cousin of all people.”
Cal ran his fingers down my back lightly. “I know, I do. But what if you are meant to be with me, then being with him is the wrong thing isn’t it? That makes this right?”
I smiled at his inane logic. He leant on his elbow so he could see me properly.
“No one has to know yet.”
“So what about Krystal?” I pouted.
He leaned down and kissed me. “Who?”
My heart hammered in my chest.
“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anyone so much in my life.”
I pulled him down to me, kissing him until he pulled away, telling me he couldn’t keep kissing me in his bed and leaving it there. I reached down and turned my phone on, to hear about a million beeps.
"I’ll get us some juice. Lucky there’s no school today, now that would be awkward.”
He strode to his door and closed it behind him. OK so, lots of messages from a very drunken Luke. He loved me, he hated me, he was worried about me...I gulped, feeling absolutely evil. I called Sienna straight away. I told her I was fine, that I would be going home soon and all was going to be OK. I didn’t know what to say, but she begged me to call Luke. Cal walked back in and handed me a tall glass of chilled orange juice. I filled him in on the night time events and he kissed me softly.
“Baby I know this is difficult for you... ”
Did he just call me baby? Oh Lord...
"But you’ve got to go with what you want. Do you want me to talk to him for you?” His voice sounded colder now. I shook my head, horrified.
“Shall I take you home?” He asked.
I nodded, groaning as I realised the decisions I had to make.
"Is anyone in?” I asked Cal.
“No, you are my dirty little secret.” He grinned, biting his lip as he did.
I kissed him again, this time he pushed me against the wall and lifted my legs around his waist.
"God I need you, do you understand? You’re driving me crazy.” He murmured, burying his face in my neck.
“Cal,” I moaned, “I have to go and sort my life out....”
He stepped away from me and I found myself pulling him back in to me again.
“Tell me Gretchen,” He almost groaned as he spoke, “How bad do you want this?”
I drank him in and kissed his chest, then his neck, before our mouths found each other again.
“So much.” I gasped as his eyes searched mine and he nodded.
“You are fucking mine.” He muttered suddenly, as my heart rate sped up. His hand ran through my hair, tugging it slightly as he bit my lip softly. I arched myself into him, feeling his hardness against my body. My hand trailed down and before I could reach for it, his hand clamped on mine, forcing it against the door.
“You are stopping me?” I demanded as he breathed heavily. He stared at me, as he seemed to battle internally with his emotions. I swear if we were being watched by anyone they would be able to see the sparks flying.
“Not like this.” He whispered.
I didn’t get it. Not like what? I wanted him so much, and he was saying no? What was his deal? I stood, smoothing my clothes down.
"Shall we go?” I said coolly and he raised his eyebrows in confusion. I went to open the door when he pushed his hand on it, stopping me from leaving. My heart pounded as he brought his face close to mine.
“What’s wrong?” He searched my eyes with his green wonders. “Are you angry that I won’t fuck you now, up against this door?” he smiled softly, trailing his fingers down my arm. “I think you have enough to think about without me adding even more.”
Wow. He was doing this for me? He was right, I did have enough to think about, but now all I can imagine is him fucking me against the door. My insides were like jelly as he reached behind me and pulled the door open. We made our way downstairs, my legs still shaking from our doorway encounter.
I stood by the kitchen door in the clothes I had slept in when there was a sharp knock, which made me jump, my eyes widening in fear. Cal frowned and looked at me.
“Who the fuck...”
He opened the door and in walked Drake, his brother.
“Dude I forgot my keys. Been a heavy night.” He looked at me in surprise. “Hey, aren’t you Luke’s girlfriend?”
He sat on the kitchen worktop as he drank orange juice from the bottle. What was with the men in this family? Drakes tight t shirt clung to every contour in his arms and his torso, as I tried not to stare.
“No man, she’s not.” Cal growled, arms folded as he stood in front of me.
Drake raised his eyebrows at us and shrugged. “Whatever. I need to hit the hay. Have fun kids.”
He jumped down from the counter and made his way upstairs, smirking at me as he passed. I felt my cheeks burn. Cal turned me towards him and watched me carefully.
"If we are going to do this Raven, you’re gonna have to get used to people having a problem with it.”
He brushed his finger over my cheek as he stared into my eyes. I wanted him so much it hurt. I leaned up and met his mouth with mine. I couldn’t believe I had the right to do that- kiss Cal Fallon! I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Except now I had to go and face reality. Cal handed me his duffel coat which I quickly zipped up.
“I’ll get the car keys.”
He made his way past me into the hall as I pointed out I lived a mere block away. He laughed, looking at the heels I had worn last night in my hand,
“It’s your call babe, if you really wanna walk. I just didn’t think they matched your outfit.”
He smirked at me as I rolled my eyes. We made our way to the car, me glancing around terrified, in case we saw anyone we knew. Cal glanced at me.
“Relax. It’s early. Drake was just getting in from his night out, everyone will be asleep.”
He pulled up a little past my house and turned off the engine. He leaned back and watched me as I gathered my dress in one hand and my heels in the other. I looked at him longingly as I went to open the door.
“How can I miss you when you are right in front of me?” I asked, voice heavy with desire.
He smiled. “Is that your next question?”
“Text me.” He ordered. His eyes locked on mine as I nodded. I climbed out of the car and made my way into the house praying no one was up. The house was silent and I heard Cals car driving away. I crept up the stairs and into my room catching sight of myself in Cals clothes and quickly stripped them off. I pulled on my pjs and used a makeup wipe to remove what was left of my dance face. I climbed into bed as my phone pinged.
Bed is cold without you.
I felt a rush of excitement as I imagined him lying in bed thinking of me. My phone pinged again and this time it was Luke.
Ring me. Please. We need to talk.
My heart sank. How can I be so happy yet so sad at the same time? I texted Cal first.
Luke wants to talk. Don’t know what to say.
He replied instantly.
That you’re mine? Or let me do the honours.
My heart began to beat rapidly. How had this happened? How am I supposed to explain this? I dialled Rosies number. I didn’t care how early it was. She eventually answered, whispering into the phone.
“Babes, I’m asleep. Ill ring you later!”
She hung up. I stared at my phone in disbelief. How rude! I called Sienna. She answered immediately.
“Gretchen what the actual fuck. Where are you?”
I quickly explained I was home. “It’s really complicated Si, and I don’t know how to explain...”
She abruptly cut me off.
“The thing is Gretchen, we were out at the dance, having a great time. Then you disappeared, no one knew where you were. We all sobered up pretty quickly, looking for you. We were really worried. Then Luke went looking for you, and he didn’t come back!”
I winced at the mention of Luke. I couldn’t even bring myself to open my eyes. She exhaled down the phone.
“So, what happened?”
I sighed and felt tears stinging my eyes. This was going to be difficult.
“I was with Cal.” I said it as though it was a matter of fact, like I always had been with him.
I heard Sienna inhale sharply. “Cal Fallon? Are you shitting me Gretchen? With him HOW?!”
I didn’t give her an answer, instead deciding I needed to face up to the consequences of my actions.
“I need to call Luke Si.”
I hung up and stared at my phone. How the fuck was I going to explain this?
Luke answered on the first ring, his voice gruff.
Hearing his voice made me want to cry.
“I’m so sorry Luke.”
He was silent at the other end.
“Are you at home?” he eventually asked.
I sniffled. “Yes, why?”
“I”m coming over.”
He didn’t wait for an answer and hung up. Fuck. I sat up in bed wondering what I was going to say. The doorbell went fifteen minutes later and I slowly walked down to answer it. I opened the door and there he stood in the doorway. His hair was tousled and he looked tired and annoyed. He sighed and I moved so he could come in. I stood looking at the floor, unable to meet his gaze. I walked to my room and he followed me silently. I sat on my bed, my head in my hands, wishing I was anywhere but here. Luke sat in front of me on the chair by my desk. He was so handsome, yet I felt nothing for him like I felt for Cal. I tried to draw strength from this, remembering how happy I had felt earlier that morning. He glanced at the photos above my desk of us with our friends.
“Are you going to tell me what happened Gretch?”
His voice broke slightly and I took a deep breath.
“Last night....I am sorry I left like I did.”
He stared at me, his eyes narrowing. “Where did you go? I came looking for you.”
I bit my lip and I finally met his gaze.
“I was with Cal,” I whispered softly. His eyes widened and his mouth opened then closed.
“What?” His voice was quiet and deadly. I closed my eyes.
“I went home with Cal.”
His fist clenched so tightly I could see the white of his knuckles.
"Why?" he spat.
He was standing now, and for the first time ever I felt afraid of him.
“Luke, I’m sorry....”
He paced my bedroom running his hands through his hair.
“So you spent last night with my cousin. Are you telling me it was a stupid mistake Gretchen?”
My heart hurt so much looking at his face, the face I had kissed so much over the past year. The face I had fell in love with, yet the face I had also fell out of love with.
“I’m sorry...” I repeatedly helplessly.
He glared at me.
“Yeah you said that. What exactly are you sorry for?” He snapped, his voice dripping in sarcasm.
“For hurting you. I swear I had no idea, this has happened so quickly.....”
I knew I sounded like I was trying to make excuses for something you couldn’t excuse. My mouth was dry.
He sat back in the chair, stunned.
“I need to ask you something and I want the truth.” His eyes were full of hurt. “Did you sleep with him?”
I met his eyes then, shaking my head. “No, I did not.”
I didn’t add that I didn’t purely because Cal has amazing self-control and I had none...
A look of relief passed over his face as he breathed out. He stood up.
“Luke-” I began as he raised his eyes to meet mine.
“I don’t want to speak to you right now. I don’t even know what to say. I’m fucking gutted. I don’t need to ask if you kissed him. I can see it all over your face.” He spat in disgust.
He turned and walked out of my room, down the stairs and out of my house. The tears came then and I didn’t know if they were ever going to stop. There was a soft knock at my door and my Mom walked in, her silk robe trailing behind her.
“Baby? Was that Luke? It’s really early.....is everything ok? What’s happened?” She came over and wrapped her arms around me.
“Oh Mom I don’t even know where to start.” I sobbed. She held me tightly and we sat silently. I pulled away and looked into her lovely face, so full of concern.
“I don’t think I love Luke anymore.”
She blinked a few times before speaking.
“It’s completely normal to fall out of love baby. You are seventeen, after all. Did he hurt you?”
Her eyes met mine and I shook my head.
"No, no he didn’t. It’s not him...It’s me.” I cried.
She kissed the top of my head,
“Look. Get yourself a shower and put your make up on. Everything seems better when you look the part, even if inside you are crumbling. Then why don’t you call Rosie or Sienna? Surround yourself with your friends baby.”
She smiled as she stood up. She was right. I needed to take charge of the situation I had created.
My phone rang as i was drying my hair.
“Rose!” I cried. I was so happy to hear from her.
“Hey lady. Are you ok? Bit of an early call from you this morning...”
She yawned. I apologised and arranged to meet her at The Lounge. I dressed quickly and checked my reflection in the mirror. I had an aqua green jumper on over my ripped jeans. I took a deep breath and made my way out the house. I turned at the end of my street and made my way to the bus stop into town.
Rosie stared at me aghast.
“You spent the night with CAL?!” She screeched.
I glanced around us making sure no one heard.
“Please keep your voice down, my god......”
“Does Luke know?” She demanded, her eyes wide.
“Yeah,” I admitted. “I told him this morning, it wasn’t great.”
I sighed and looked at her. She shook her head and laughed. “I had my suspicions. I thought there was someone else, but Cal? Did NOT see that one coming. Fuck! What was it like?”
I gazed dreamily in the distance as I remembered his lips on mine, his hands unzipping my dress...
“Hello?!” Rosie clicked her fingers in front of my face. I glanced at Rosie, breaking out of my reverie.
“I’m sorry, it was amazing I am not gonna lie. I just feel bad.....” I murmured.
“No shit you do. I bet you are looking forward to school tomorrow. Two of the hottest guys in school fighting over you.”
Her voice was full of envy as she glared at me.
“What am I gonna do Rose?”
I held her hands over the table and she sighed.
“I suppose you have to go with your heart....I thought Cal seemed a bit of a prick if I am honest. Plus he’s been with KRYSTAL who is, let’s be honest, the biggest slut in school.”
She shrugged, as inwardly I seethed at the thought of him with Krystal, I didn’t want to think of his hands anywhere other than over me.
“I think,” She continued. “If you aren’t happy with Luke you need to tell him and break it off. He deserves that Gretch. You did spend the night with Cal...Wow. I still can’t believe I am saying that to you. So, did you fuck him?”
I shook my head, so grateful that Cal hadn’t allowed me to have my wicked way with him that morning or I would be feeling even more of a jerk right about now.
“What?! So both said hot guys want to bone you and you aren’t giving it up to any of them? Can I be you for a day?” Rosie begged.
I rolled my eyes then, opened my phone and sent a text to Luke. He didn’t respond.
“So um, how was your night? I saw you dancing with Finn; that was quite the surprise...”
I sounded like the coward I was, trying to deflect the subject away from me. Rosie waved her hand dismissively.
“You know what he’s like. I just entertained him because I was drunk. I went home when we couldn’t find you.”
“I know, I’m sorry again for just leaving. It wasn’t planned. I just thought you and Finn seemed a little cosy on the dance floor....”
“Cosy? Me and Finn? I can assure you we are anything but.” She flicked her hair over her shoulder. “So what are you doing today? Seeing Cal?” Her eyes flashed with mischief. I bit my lip and shrugged.
“I should really see Luke but I don’t think he wants to.”
I checked my phone again. Nothing. Why was life so difficult all of a sudden?
“Well I am heading home babes. I am beat. Last night has really took it out of me.” She slid out of the booth. “Do you want a ride home?”
I shook my head, “No thanks. I need to clear my head anyway, the walk will do me good.”
She kissed the top of my head.
“Love you Gretch. Chin up ok? You spent the night with the hottest guy in school, possibly the world!”
I smiled to myself as she walked away. So why didn’t I feel happy? I left the Lounge and decided to walk the long way home. I needed to think. I crossed the road and walked down a street lined with pretty houses, picket fences, kids playing outside and sprinklers on the lawn. They looked so happy. I watched a girl playing with her sister, chasing her around with what looked like a snail. The girl shrieked for her mother whilst the other laughed so hard she held her stomach. I smiled, then realised I was staring, so I made a move. My phone rang.
I gulped and answered the call.
“Hey,” I said softly.
“Where are you?” His voice sounded tired.
“Near the lounge. I am just walking home.”
“That’s a long way to walk. Stay there I will come and meet you.” He ordered gruffly.
He hung up before I could respond. I sighed and stuffed my hands in my pockets. I glanced around and sat on a low wall near one of the houses. I didn’t know what I was going to say, or even if he would listen. He was a good guy and I had treated him like shit. His car pulled up a short while later.
“You getting in?” He snapped. He watched me cross in front of his car and I sat in the passenger seat, not daring to look at him.
“Look Gretchen. You made a mistake, right? I get it. He’s a handsome guy. You got a bit tipsy.....We all make mistakes.”
He reached over and grabbed my hand and for a minute he looked like the Luke I knew.
"We all fuck up. This is pretty fucking big though. Family meals are out of the question from now on.” He gave a bitter laugh. “Was this the first time?” He gripped the steering wheel.
“Yes.” I said in a small voice. Other than the time I nearly begged him to bend me over the sink in your bathroom...I closed my eyes at the memory. I am such a bitch.
"Luke I am sorry. But I do like Cal, I just feel so confused...”
He leaned over and kissed me, hard on the mouth. I felt my back against the car door as he pulled me close to him, and as I am so used to it, I kissed him back, his familiar taste in my mouth. I put my hands on his shoulders and pushed him back.
“I can’t Luke.”
He glared at me, his face close to mine.
“Why? Do you feel disloyal to him?” He spat the last word. “I didn’t think you felt disloyalty Gretchen. You sure didn’t last night.”
My lips hurt from the force of his kiss. He started the car and pulled away. I felt scared as I pulled my seat belt on and asked him where we were going. He stared ahead in stony silence, not responding. I thought quickly. He was a nice guy, he wouldn’t hurt me. He was hurting. My phone rang and I reached for it.
“Don’t answer it.” He snarled. “I just want your attention for a little while longer, if you would be so kind.”
I sat back in my seat and stared out of the window.
“A year, Gretchen. Are you going to throw that away over a punk like him? Do you even know anything about him? He’s a fucking dick. I assume you know that he’s got a temper?”
I didn’t speak, I just continued staring silently ahead.
“Oh boy has he got a temper. Why do you think they moved here?”
I glanced at him curiously as he continued.
“Why don’t you ask lover boy that?” He snarled, pulling up not too far from my house.
“Home sweet home honey.” He whispered bitterly. I released my seat belt slowly.
“This is BULLSHIT.” He whispered, as he leaned forward, pressing his lips down hard on mine again. This time I didn’t kiss him back, instead choosing to push him away angrily. He pulled away and nodded slowly with realisation.
“You want him don’t you?”
Tears filled my eyes.
“Get out of my fucking car.”
He stared ahead. My body trembled as I swung my legs out of the car. He barely let the door close before he sped away. I stood on the street, tears running down my cheeks. What had I gotten myself into?
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