Autumn's Light

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The REAL truth

Morning came too quickly. I woke up to my phone buzzing next to me. My earbuds had fallen out during the night at some point. I grumbled and grabbed my phone. It was Ryder calling.

“Yes?”

“Rise and shine beautiful! I have muffins and coffee downstairs!”

“How did you get in the house?”

“Oh, well I need you to come open the door actually.”

I laughed and hung up the phone, getting out of my bed and opening my bedroom door. I ran down the stairs and unlocked the front door opening it.

Ryder’s smiling face came into view. “Well good morning.” He went by me and kissed me on the cheek as he did. We went into the kitchen where he set down all the stuff he had in his hands. I couldn’t get past him being such a morning person. It was unnatural.

“So coffee.” He handed me an iced coffee. I rose a brow at him. “How’d you know?”

“Bryce tells me things all the time, I just listen.”

He listened that I hated hot drinks in the mornings? Point one for Ryder.

I smiled as he started eating a muffin. “Well, go get ready. Chop chop!”

I giggled and walked up the stairs to my room. I heard thumping and giggling from my brother’s room. Wait a gosh dang minute. I banged on his door with my free hand.

“Bryce. Ryder brought coffee, get your butt out here.”

“In a minute.” Was all I got. I shrugged and went into my room.

I turned on the shower and got in. I got ready in record time, putting in a little effort today. I pulled my hair half up and left half down. Then wore a pair of regular jeans with tan calf high boots and a white tank top with a maroon tunic length cardigan over it. Saturday was Halloween I just remembered. I needed to ask Ryder about the party situation.

Grabbing my bag, I ran downstairs to meet up with Ryder sitting on the kitchen table reading through his phone. When I walked in his eyes went straight to me.

“Well well look at you.” He smiled putting his phone down, while I threw away the cup of coffee I finished.

“Yeah yeah yeah.” I rolled my eyes. “Ready?”

He nodded and stood up. I looked over the counter and noticed the other coffee wasn’t touched. “Did Bryce not come down yet?”

He shook his head. “Nope.”

Strange. I turned around and walked back up the stairs to Bryce’s room and banged on it again.

“Bryce Greene you better open your damn door right now! We got to get to school!”

I heard shuffling and then nothing. Ryder appeared behind me. The door slightly opened.

“Just give me a minute Ott.”

I rose a brow. “What the hell Bry. What is going-“

I saw a glimpse of why he was busy. Savannah’s form appeared grabbing her clothes off the floor in my line of vision.

I screamed and covered my eyes. “HOLY SHIT BRYCE WARN A PERSON!”

He slammed the door and I turned around to Ryder chuckling his ass off.

“SHUT UP!” I muttered while trying to wash that image from my mind that was now there. Karma I guess.

I burst down the stairs and he followed me. I had forgotten where Bryce put the keys to the jeep, Ryder noticed. “Let’s just take one of my cars Ott.”

I stopped and turned around at the door. “One of them?”

He snickered and me and grabbed my hand, taking me over to his house which I realized I had never been in for longer than a few minutes and at parties.

He went over to the garage and opened it with a code. There in front of me appeared a couple different cars.

“What does your parents do again?” I whispered taking in the sight.

“I told ya. My Step dad’s a doctor and my mom is a lawyer, that’s why they are always gone.” He smirked at me. “Don’t you listen?”

I huffed and smacked him again. “I listen!”

He smirked at me in response and guided me over inside the garage. He put in another code and got out a pair of keys from a box. “Lets just take the mustang.” I looked over to see a blacked out, brand new Ford Mustang. My mouth dropped open a bit. What was with everyone around me being so rich?!

I climbed in the passenger seat and he started the engine. It roared to life. We exited the garage and he pushed a button on the visor and the garage shut again. He then turned and smirked at me. “Hang on to something.”

I buckled up just in time to have him take off down the driveway then to the street. We arrived at school and we got out. I grabbed my bag and shut the door. Ryder came around the car and put his arm around me. No one would be the wiser. Ryder always did this to me.

“We’ll get through this I promise.” I nodded. “Just remember, we have an away game today so you’ll have to drive the stang back to my house ok? Adrian will need to hitch a ride back too.” I nodded again. I completely forgot they had a game today.

We walked into school and I was glad his arm was around me at that point. I was getting looks from every person we passed. Ryder though held his ground and glared them down. They all backed down instantly. Ryder had power in this school too not just Hendrix. Everyone loved him. We passed Carter and Wynn in the hallway and they followed us to my locker. I grabbed out my books and shut it quickly. Only to be greeted by the sight of Evie walking down the hall next to Hendrix. She had a big smile on her face. My heart couldn’t catch up with my mind. I was freaking out. I narrowed my eyes at Hendrix, who instantly when he saw me frowned a bit. I shook my head and took off down the hallway without a word to anyone. Axel stopped me in my tracks.

“Whoa whoa sunshine. Where’s the fire?”

I grunted and shoved past him. I didn’t realize this would hurt so much to see him again, let alone with Evie. The girl that caused my whole mess when I first moved here. Axel stood there in shock but, he did not follow after me. I got to my class and slammed myself down in the desk and the teacher even jumped a bit at the noise I made. I slammed my head down on the desk.

What was wrong with me? He made his choice. I made mine. He was free to do what he wanted, as was I. Clearly, I was better off but heart break does some funny stuff to you while you heal. Ryder came running into the class and slid into the desk next to mine.

“What the hell Ott. You can’t just take off like that.”

My head was still on my desk. “Sorry.” I mumbled.

He again slid his desk next to mine and he put a hand on my back. “Come on. Don’t let that get to you. I know your hurting but you can do this.”

I turned my head to meet his gaze and smiling face. Ugh. Why did he have to be so damn happy all the damn time.

“Fine.”

I sat up and when I did Hendrix came into the class and sat down in the back. I slammed my head back down. “Changed my mind.”

Ryder grumbled and looked over at Hendrix. I knew he was shooting him a look.

Class started and Savannah was not in class yet, neither was Bryce. My mind knew what was happening but I really didn’t want to picture it again.

The teacher again didn’t comment on Ryder’s desk being moved against mine. We went over homework and assignments. My head was on the desk the entire time and Ryder had his hand on my back the entire time also. I didn’t even care to check if Hendrix noticed or not.

The bell rang and Ryder led me out of the class and started towards our Calc class. Thank god he had the classes with me where I had Hendrix in there too. We took our new seats together and I again laid my head down on the counter. Memories flashed through my mind of me leaning on Hendrix when I got hurt. How he made me shift my weight off my bad hip. I wanted those memories gone.

I sniffled and Ryder put his hand on my back again. It was comforting. He was just there supporting me. The lights went off and Ryder excused himself to the bathroom. So, I sat there with Hendrix’s eyes on my back for a few moments before I felt someone sit down in Ryder’s seat. But I knew it wasn’t him.

“You can’t keep avoiding me.”

Hendrix’s voice boomed over me.

“Watch me.”

I couldn’t believe I said that out loud. But then again, it might be a good thing.

“Autumn come on. We said our peace. Why can’t you let it go?”

I shrugged and copied the problems into my notebook.

“Maybe because you make it impossible to move on.”

I shot a look at him. I meant it. He kept showing up at the wrong times, with the wrong people and then pouring his heart out to me when I was the most emotional.

I could tell I hurt him again because his face dropped. “Autumn, don’t …”

I sat up now. “Don’t what? You did this. You caused this.”

I slammed the book closed and stood up. “I don’t have anything to say to you anymore. After seeing you with Evie in the hallway. My mind was made up, I’m moving on.”

I turned to leave but he held my wrist causing me to stay. Memories flooded my mind when he first did this in this very class. “Don’t do that..”

I shook my head and ripped my wrist from him. “Actions speak louder than words Hendrix and yours have shown me a hell of a lot.”

I turned to leave when the bell rang. I wasn’t even waiting for it to ring. I was done, but It was perfect timing. I grabbed my bag and put Ryder’s stuff into his bag and took it as well. Hendrix sat there then took off after me. Grabbing my shoulder, making me turn around to face him in the hallway. A couple people turned to watch us as they passed.

“Then your actions prove a lot more.”

I was about to freak out when Ryder appeared grabbing his bag from my grip. “Let’s go.”

He was glaring at Hendrix. Who was also glaring at both of us now. I decided to not let him have the last word.

“You don’t get to tell me how to live my life Hendrix. You chose to give up that right when you gave in to another girl’s mouth. Our trust died that night and honestly now with you and Evie, it makes me hate you that much more. So, thanks for that It just makes things easier.”

I turned on my heels and started walking way. I could hear Ryder reply too.

“You can’t understand how much you hurt her Drix. How much you hurt everyone. She’s not the only one that lost trust in you. We all know the truth and it’s not what you told Autumn. All these lies have to stop.” He turned around and caught up with me.

I overhead that last part. I gazed up at Ryder’s face. He was furious. “What do you mean by he didn’t tell me the truth?”

He grabbed my arm and pushed me into a locker, lightly to get us out of the way of the walking students. “He told you an upright lie to cover his ass. All of us believed it. But I found out the truth and I could never look at him the same.”

I stopped and made Ryder stop with me. “Ryder tell me right now.”

He grumbled and pulled me into an unused classroom, shutting the door behind us.

“Remember that night at the hospital and I got a call and went out to answer it?”

“I mean barely, I was half asleep.”

“Right well. I got a call from Wynn. Hazel couldn’t find Harley so she went to my house to see if she was there. Her car was there but no Harley. She was with me minutes before this Autumn, minutes.”

He sighed and was trying to calm down. “He told me Hazel found Hendrix’s truck parked down the street in a very odd spot and when Hazel knocked on the window. Hendrix appeared half naked and Harley was in the backseat pretty much with zero clothes on.”

I was in shock at this point.

“Hazel was too embarrassed and left the scene and called Wynn. Wynn then called me and I found out exactly what happened. That’s why I was so shocked when you wanted to talk to him. But I kept the information to myself, in hopes that he would tell you the truth. I haven’t even told Bryce the real story because look at how he acted just by the simple fact that Hendrix kissed another girl. Imagine the rage if I told him they actually hooked up.”

I think my jaw hit the floor. That’s not possible. He wouldn’t lie to me like that would he? But Ryder was telling me this. He was the most honest person I’ve ever known. I think if my heart wasn’t already broken, it would be shattering all over again. I cannot believe him. Anger rose inside me. After coming to my house and acting like he cared when I tried killing myself. Acting like he still loved me. What an absolute psychopath!

“That fucking bastard!” I pushed past Ryder and out the door, flying down the hall. I knew what class he was in right now and he was getting his. I could hear Ryder trying to match my steps but couldn't with the crowding around the hallways.

Reaching my English classroom, I went to the next door down. Hendrix was sitting in the back of the room and his eyes widened when he saw me.

“You get your ass out here right now!” I screamed into the class. Luckily it had not started yet. A couple people’s heads turned to look at me. Ryder appeared next to me at this point.

Hendrix got up with everyone staring at him. I let him pass me then turned to Ryder. “Go to class, I have this.”

Ryder gave me a look of concern but didn’t move. “Ryder. Go.” I was almost growling with that statement. He looked at Hendrix and a small smile appeared on his lips and he took off down the hall.

Hendrix came close to me and tried to grab my arm but, I quickly backed off from him. “I cannot believe you.”

He rose a brow at me. “What are you talking about?”

Like he didn’t know. I was about ready to hit his stupid pretty face. “You lied to me.” I said through gritted teeth.

He blinked a few times then let out a long sigh. “So you heard..”

I rolled my eyes and threw my arms in the air. “From other people! Not you! How fucking dare you come into my house and confess that you still love me, after putting your business into my so called best friend!”

Students stopped around us and lots of snickers and oooh’s were heard. I didn’t mind. I didn’t care I was causing a scene.

I stepped close to him. “You’re fucking dead to me. You understand that?! Don’t ever talk to me again. Don’t ever come near me. Don’t you ever come near any girl in my life again. Your just like Bentley. Just like every psychopath egotistical asshole I’ve ever met and I fell for your lies!” I could not believe the volume of my screaming at him at the end.

He was just staring at me at this point. No emotion. Just staring at me. Maybe he was in shock that someone figured him out. I turned my heel and went into my class only to almost bump into my brother. I gave him a glare and he looked past me to Hendrix. I knew what he was going to do before he did it, and I grabbed him pulling him into class with me. He wasn’t going to fight someone that wasn’t worth anything.

I sat down and he sat down next to me.

“What the hell was that?!” he was shifting in his chair.

“Hendrix is dead to us. I mean it Bryce. He’s dead to us.” I glared at the board when the bell rang.

He didn’t question anything and we got to work. The bell rang to go to lunch came and Bryce put his arm around me in the hallway. The news of my show had spread like wildfire and people were gasping and whispering around us. I wanted to punch everyone. I was so angry.

Ryder slid into my side and Bryce let go of my shoulders when Savannah appeared next to him. She was staring at me with concern. Ryder nodded to Bryce and grabbed my waist, making me stop when we got outside.

“What happened?”

“He got told, that’s what happened. He’s dead to me Ryder.” I turned around out of his grasp and went straight for a patch of grass and sat down. The leaves were falling around us now and there was a crisp chill in the air. He came and sat down next to me. Followed by Carter and Wynn.

“Holy shit. I’ve never seen that face on you Autumn.” Carter chimed in.

I turned to him with a smirk. “Well you’ve never been a complete and total bastard to me, so that’s why.”

He nodded. “Ah, then you confronted Hendrix then?”

I nodded back at him. Did everyone know but me?! Well minus Bryce. Ryder was sitting silently on my side when Bryce and Savannah walked up, Bryce handing me a smoothie.

“Eat something please.”

I took the drink from him and did what I was told. I was still angry and I was shaking. Ryder’s arms went around me and I instantly calmed down. He puled me in between his legs and I laid back against his chest. He rested his chin on top of my head and I took a moment to breathe again. Every part of me was shaking inside me. He whispered into my ear.

“I’m sorry.”

I turned my head around to meet his gaze. “For what?”

He sighed and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear yet again. “If I would’ve spoke up the moment I met you, you would’ve never been a thing with Hendrix. You would have never gone through this pain.”

I shook my head while rolling my eyes at him. He didn’t know that. He couldn’t predict what I would have done. I think this was meant to happen.

“You don’t know that Ry. You don’t know what could have happened.”

He half smiled at me and kissed my temple. “Either way. I’m glad it turned out like this.”

I smiled again at him. I knew he would be. That’s my ride or die right in front of me and I friend zoned him for no reason. I turned back around to see Carter’s face in shock.

“What?”

He started chewing his food again and Wynn started coughing. I turned to Bryce and he was snickering.

“WHAT?!” I yelled.

They all burst into laughter. I was obviously missing something. I turned to Ryder who was smirking at the whole situation.

“Am I missing something?” I asked him.

He pulled me against him, kissing the back of my head. “Nope.”

I rolled my eyes and huffed. This was not cool. Something was happening and everyone was in on it but me. Yet again!

The bell rang to get back inside. I went into the office and talked with Ms. Gale. She was like talking to an aunt. She was so concerned about me. She asked me constantly to go see the school counselor about what happened to me. I told her I would because I truly didn’t know how to feel about wanting to die a few days ago. She confessed she heard a couple students talking about it but she didn’t believe it, but when my uncle called and confirmed she said it broke her heart to hear. She hugged me when the bell rang.

“Autumn. You come here anytime you need to talk. You hear me?”

I nodded. “Yes mam.”

I went off to my biology class. I was getting look after look in the hallway. I was over this already. I met up with my brother and we walked into class together. The bell rang to go to my final class, track.

I said goodbye to Bryce as he informed me he would be taking Ryder home after they got back so I wasn’t to worry about anything. I got dressed in the locker room and met up with Adrian on the track. The coach came and told us to head outside and go around the track by the football field. I was dreading this. The football team was out there practicing right now.

Adrian grabbed my hand and smiled. “I heard what happened. Good for you girl.”

I smiled at her. “Thanks.”

“Annnnd..” she tugged me and pulled me away from the group as we walked outside. “You and my brother?!”

“Shhh!” I smacked her arm. “Don’t let the whole world hear you.”

She snickered. “Sorry. I mean, wow. I didn’t see that coming. But I’m super glad.”

It’s funny how your enemy came become a friend over time. That’s exactly how me and Adrian were. She was a complete bitch but now she’s on my side and I am totally okay with that. Being Ryder’s step sister was a pretty awesome thing too.

We got outside and started stretching on the track. Adrian and me giggling about stupid things she was telling me about Ryder. Suddenly there was shoes in front of me, while I stretched on the ground. I looked up to see Hendrix standing there.

“We have to talk.”

I leaned over my leg ignoring his request. “No thanks.”

He leaned down. “Autumn. Now.”

I huffed and glared at him. “I SAID NO.”

I stood up quickly and started running the track. Adrian was trying to keep up. Hendrix took off after me.

“You’re right. I screwed up. I royally screwed up. I’m used to getting what I want. I’m used to having girls fall at my feet. I’m used to them giving everything to me…”

I rose a brow at him, still glaring.

He jogged in front of me making me stop.

“You were different. You were a challenge. You had this mystery about you. You came with a past and you didn’t drop at my feet.”

I crossed my arms. “Yeah so?”

“It drove me insane. I tried every move in the book to get you to where the other girl’s are in a couple days time. I didn’t understand. You were pushing me away. You didn’t want me around constantly. You didn’t want to .. well..”

I rolled my eyes and pushed past him, starting to run again. He appeared on the side of me.

“Harley showed up right when my patience ended. She was willing and I took it.”

He reached out and made me stop with his arm.

“It was stupid and wrong of me. I wasn’t thinking with my right head and now I’ve lost the one person that drove me completely insane in a good way.”

I pushed him back. “What part of leave me the fuck alone do you not understand?”

I wasn’t having his apology. I wasn’t going to say that’s okay you were thinking with your male parts and not your brain. I’m truly sorry I didn’t sleep with you like every other girl. How dare I have morals?

I ran around him and met up with Adrian I could see the look of defeat in his eyes. He didn’t get to me. He wasn’t going to either. I stopped after going a mile and grabbed my water with Adrian on my side.

“He has some freakin nerve.” She spat out looking over at Hendrix on the field.

I shrugged. “He’s on my last nerve that’s for sure.”

She snickered at me and we both started stretching out our legs again. The boys started grabbing their things on the field and I saw the bus drive up. They must be leaving.

All the boys came running over me and Bryce put his hand on my shoulder.

“Everything okay?”

I nodded, drinking more water. “He tried to explain but fuck that.”

He chuckled a little bit then I realized he didn’t even know the real reasoning yet. I wasn’t going to tell him either. They had a game.

Ryder came up to me after Bryce and the boys took off. He dropped his bag and pulled me into him.

“Text me right when you get home.” I smiled at him and pulled back from his embrace.

“I will.”

He tossed me the keys to the car and smiled as he walked off. “Don’t go crazy Ott.”

He rounded the corner and out of sight. I laughed a little bit as Adrian looked at the keys.

“Why can't I drive?!” She was pouting.

I was giggling when the bell rang to leave. We gathered our stuff and headed inside, grabbing our school stuff out of the lockers and going to the parking lot.

Suddenly Axel appeared in my walking line, which made me stop. The bus was in my line of sight and the boys were not on yet.

“So tonight?” he asked, grabbing my shoulder.

I glanced over at the boys, who were all now watching me.

I shook my head. “Sorry. I can’t tonight. I’m going to see my dad.”

He took his other hand and touched my shoulder. “Come on Sunshine. I need my good luck charm.”

My body was gravitating to him. Stupid sexual pull of hormones. Nope, resist.

I shook his hand off me. “Sorry. But seriously, good luck.”

I smiled at him and walked past him. I saw the look of relief in Ryder’s eyes and I smiled at him with Adrian at my side. I didn’t even look back at Axel.

I started the Mustang and Adrian climbed in the passenger seat. I wondered how she got to school but didn’t ask. I revved the engine and she looked over at me.

“He said to not go crazy.”

I smirked a bit. “Then he clearly doesn’t know me.”

We both laughed and took off in the parking lot. I had a little too much fun with the car, but we reached Ryder’s house and Adrian put the code in the garage so I could pull it in. I did and got out, passing her the keys to put in the box.

She turned to me after she did.

“You know, we have the Halloween party here tomorrow night.”

That’s right. I was supposed to ask Ryder about that.

“Oh that’s right.”

She smiled. “Wanna come help me decorate for it till you leave?”

I nodded. “HELL YEAH!”

We both snickered as we went into the house.

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