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Ten

A lot can happen in just three days, more than one would think.

On Tuesday 12th November; Julian had finally plucked up the courage to ask Aylee to go out with him that night. A new girl called Poppy had started the school which was all that Olly could talk about and Kasper and I spent the afternoon in the little hut, where we slept together for the second time.

On Wednesday 13th November; Julian and Aylee were acting all flirty after their date the previous night, Olly had asked if the new girl wanted to come sit with us at lunch time, so we made a new friend, and Mum had another argument with Ellen but this time, it wasn’t about me.

On Thursday 14th November; Aylee excitedly told me that her and Julian had kissed the previous day, Addison “accidentally” spilt a plate full of Spaghetti Bolognese all over my uniform during lunch so Kasper and I skipped fourth period so I could go get changed then we spent the rest of the evening in the little hut. Which was where we had sex for the third time.

And now, waking up on Friday 15th November, the day filled me with dread. Tonight, was the beginning of a weekend full of races to win the twenty grand. I hoped beyond anything that Anton was just bluffing and Jax was in jail.

I stayed in bed, snuggled in my blankets for a few more minutes, deciding if education really was essential to life. I unfortunately decided it had to be and eventually got out of bed.

I was looking forward to seeing Hawkaye tonight, I hadn’t seen him in about a year and he had been like a dad to me. He was the closest I had ever gotten to a father. I wonder if he will be the only father I would ever have?

I pulled on my newly washed uniform, relieved that the spaghetti didn’t stain it. I left my long hair down and stuck a simple black headband in it.

I picked up my phone and saw a text from Kasper and a text from Aylee.

Aylee: hey babe! Just wanted to check you were okay for today x

Kasper: I’ll be there about 8:20, don’t be late missy

I smiled at both texts. Aylee had ended her text with a string of hearts and kissy faces while Kasper ended his with the smirk emoji. Dustin had been with Luca again last night, so Kasper had offered to come get me again.

It was 8:15 already so I headed outside to wait for Kasper. Grandad was sitting reading the newspaper in the living room, so I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving.

Grandad had been genuinely lovely to me ever since I arrived and I was thankful that not everyone, other than Dustin, was evil.

I was stood on the side of the road for approximately two minutes before Kasper’s car pulled up.

“Hey gorgeous,” he said, making me blush.

“Hey,” I greeted back.

“How are you feeling about tonight?” Kasper asked.

“Nervous, but I dont want that to ruin anyone’s night.” I fiddled with my hair as I spoke.

Kasper took my hand in his as we drove the rest of the way to school. Over the last couple of days, I had been trying to plan out what I would say to him because I did want to tell him how I felt.

We pulled into school and I reluctantly let go of Kasper’s hand. We slowly made our way into the library, finding all our friends huddled around a table in the middle. Poppy had been fully emerged into our friendship group and Olly had developed a full-blown crush on her.

“Hey guys,” I said as we approached.

Aylee pounced on me as everyone else said their hello’s. We ended up on the floor in hysterics which earned us a stern look from the librarian.

“How are you feeling about tonight Kasper?” Julian asked.

“Not bad, its just a bit of fun.” Kasper shrugged. He was entering in tonight’s race, so was Luca.

“I’m kinda nervous not gonna lie,” Luca said.

“Dont worry babe, you’re gonna be great! You’re one of the best.” Dustin put his arm around Luca, kissing him on the side of the head.

“Get a room,” Aylee snorted.

“We did last night and let me tell you — “

“La la la la!” Aylee plugged up her ears with her fingers, cutting off whatever detailed description Dustin was about to give.

Another look from the librarian made me snicker. She was going to absolutely hate us by the time spring rolled around.

During double chemistry, I swear I nearly fell asleep three times, and by the time lunch rolled around after my first lesson of double art, I was ready for a Nanna nap.

We all sat around our usual table, munching on our respective food items.

“So, Poppy are you coming tonight?” Olly asked his future wife.

Poppy had not been to the tracks yet. She had moved here from the other end of the country after her dad had been promoted and relocated. My first opinion of her was great as she was sweet and seemed genuinely kind. She was 5’6” with fiery ginger hair and looked like a supermodel.

“I mean, if that’s okay?” Aww bless her.

“Course it is man! You don’t need an invite, I dont why this dumbass didn’t ask you to come the first day we met you,” Aylee said.

“Your parents don’t mind you staying out dead late right?” I asked.

“Nah, they’re pretty chill to be honest.” Poppy smiled.

“Excellent!” Luca clapped his hands together, seemingly getting excited for tonight.

“So, what’s the crack about getting there then?” Olly asked the group.

“I’ll grab Aylee,” Julian said a little too quickly.

“Yeah, I’m sure you will,” Kasper mumbled into his drink.

Aylee scowled at her stepbrother, throwing part of her bread crust at his head. He easily dodged it and maturely flipped her off.

“Dickhead,” Aylee sniped causing most of us to laugh.

Once the driving arrangements had been made and the meeting times, we all went to our final class. The second half of art seemed to fly by within minutes and I was now sat in the car with Dustin as he drove me home.

“Hey kids, how was school?” Grandad asked as soon as we walked through the door.

“Fine, just the same,” Dustin replied with a shrug to which I nodded in agreement.

“Listen, I just wanted to tell you that Gran and I are headed out of town for a few days next week from Monday until Thursday. We’re off to visit some old friends down south,” he told us.

“Cool, have fun Grandad.” Dustin and I both hugged him.

I was beyond happy that I didn’t have to see that witch for a few days, there was only so much I could deal with at one time.

As the time was coming closer, I was getting more and more nervous. What if Jax will be there? How am I going to explain that to the rest of my friends? What if he hurts me? Or worse, someone I care about?

I wanted to scream in frustration because I just wanted to know what I would be walking into. I should really stay home and not take the risk, but I just couldn’t do that. I wanted to have a good time with my friends and if he wasn’t even there, then it would have been a waste.

Half an hour left until Dustin and I had to leave. An hour until I could possibly be in the same area as my abusive ex-boyfriend.

Crap.

Shit.

Fuck.

I had already changed out of my school uniform and into a pair of skinny jeans and a tank top. I was currently pacing my room, my heavy Docs stomping on the floor. I was constantly checking the time, watching as the minutes ticked away.

Dustin knocked on my door and asked if I was ready. I didn’t respond, just opened the door and walked out. We headed out to the garage and jumped in his car, speeding out of the driveway. Dustin chatted away while I stared out of the window, giving the appropriate responses when necessary.

When we pulled into the tracks, I was amazed at how busy it was. Hundreds of people were dotted about. Dustin and I were the last ones to arrive, everyone was stood next to Olly’s truck, two bikes and Julian’s car.

We all greeted each other with hugs and high fives, easily sliding into a comfortable conversation. I was stood next to Kasper, almost like I was using him as a shield. I was looking around like a meerkat on guard duty, trying to find Jax’s face through the crowd of people.

“So, what do you think Poppy?” Luca asked, bringing me back to reality.

I took in the red head who was looking around the area with amazement. She had not been to anything like this before.

“It’s brilliant, I can’t believe people just let you do this kinda thing,” she said.

A siren went which indicated the first race was about to start. Luca and Kasper were not in this one, so we all hopped up onto Olly’s truck and watched as the first racers took off round the track.

The way this worked was there was three separate stages. The first stage was made up of six races which would happen tonight. The winners of those six races, would be going into the semi-final tomorrow night. In tomorrow’s two races, the six racers would be split down the middle at random and race. The winners from those two races would then go head to head in the final race on Sunday night to see who will win that twenty grand.

Luca and Kasper had decided to sign up for different races to start with, not wanting to compete yet. While watching the first five races, I knew that Jax hadn’t been in any of them. I knew exactly how he raced, and I knew what his bike and helmet looked like.

Kasper had been in race four and Luca had been in race five, they unsurprisingly both won. The siren for the final race sounded. My heart leapt into my throat as I studied all the racers as they made their way around the track.

A racer who had started at the back caught my eye, they were expertly manoeuvring through the rest of the bikes, coming out in front. I looked from them to their bike, studying it. It wasn’t his bike. But the way the rider moved; it was definitely him. My heart sank and I wanted the ground to swallow me up whole. When the rider won and they removed their helmet, my fears were real.

Jax.

He looked as gorgeous and dangerous as ever. I couldn’t help feeling like a scared little girl. Jax moved with purpose across to the guy in charge of the race, shaking his hand. He then walked back towards a group of guys and I could easily spot Anton’s face in amongst them.

Even from this distance, I could see the smug look on the bastard’s face. I shuddered and hopped down from the truck bed, moving to stand next to an oblivious Kasper who was currently in the middle of a conversation with Olly and Luca.

Dustin was leaning against the truck talking to Poppy and Aylee, while Julian had his arms wrapped around Aylee but was people-watching. I had all my friends around me, yet I felt scared.

Jax didn’t appear to see me as I was quite far back. He would be back tomorrow night though, to compete again. I nudged Kasper who broke away from Olly and Luca to look down at me.

He took in the look on my face, instantly seeing my fear. I looked back at Jax, and he followed my gaze. He locked his eyes onto the bastard, a look of disgust creeping up onto his face.

“Hey guys, how about a campfire night? Julian and I have a great spot to sit and relax,” Kasper said to the group.

When everyone agreed, we all got in our vehicles and Kasper led the way on his bike. I was thanking him profusely in my head because he didn’t have to do that. I was glad that he didn’t make it obvious and no one was suspicious, although I would be telling Aylee as soon as possible.

During the drive, I didn’t say much. I was in the car with Dustin again as we drove to the clearing. When we all got there, I watched as everyone took it all in. They seemed to have the same reaction that I did when I first saw it. Although, Aylee had already been here with Julian.

“Dude, this is amazing!” Olly said, spinning to take a better look.

“Yeah, Kasper and I built it up when we were kids,” Julian told Olly.

Julian was already getting a fire started and the rest of us sat around on the logs. The fire started burning quickly and I was instantly warmed up.

For a few moments, everyone was quiet as we watched the fire flicker away in the darkness.

“Guys,” I said, breaking the silence.

Everyone turned to look at me, waiting for me to speak. Aylee looked at me as if she knew what I was about to say.

“I don’t even know how to start this, but my ex-boyfriend is competing in this competition and he isn’t exactly the nicest of people,” I said.

“What do you mean by that?” Dustin asked, his voice wary.

I looked around at everyone and each had a different expression on their face. I did hesitate, I admit that. But these guys were like a family to me and I didn’t want to keep secrets anymore.

When I told them, I wasn’t sure of what their reactions were going to be. A small part of me thought they would look at me in disgust then tell me they never wanted to see me again. I was surprised that I didn’t cry again, I normally didn’t cry very much but ever since moving here, I couldn’t seem to locate the tap to turn off my tears.

Aylee kept interjecting with many choice words about Jax, throwing insults and death threats in every now and then. Kasper kept quiet throughout the whole thing, just letting me talk.

I could feel the tension from around the group as I spoke, anger radiated from almost everyone of my friends, even from Poppy who I didn’t know very well. When I finished speaking, everyone stayed silent. Not even Olly had the balls to crack a comment.

We stayed silent for a few minutes, like everyone was trying to digest what I had just told them. I looked at my cousin who looked like he was going to kill the next person who made the smallest of mistakes.

“That argument, that my mum and yours had the other day, was it about this?” Dustin asked, his voice breaking the silence.

“Yeah, Mum obviously told Gran and that bitch spread it around like gossip, which is why Addison knows,” I told him.

“I always knew that Mum was a bitch but the things she said you after knowing what you had been through, I am fucking furious.” Dustin clenched his fists together.

“Dustin, its fine. I’m fine,” I said.

He looked like he was going to say something else but decided against it, silence enveloping the group once again. We all seemed to be staring into the fire, its soft orange glow making shadow patterns all around us.

“So, your ex… he’s at these races?” Julian asked me.

“Yup, he was the one who won in the last race tonight.”

“We’re just gonna have to get through this weekend and it’ll be fine. He’ll crawl back into whatever hole he came out of,” Aylee said, disgust in her voice.

“I’ll fucking throw him back into that hole if he doesn’t go willingly,” Luca mumbled.

“I’ll help,” Olly agreed.

“I can’t believe he didn’t get locked up,” Poppy said, shaking her head.

“He wont need locked up if he comes anywhere near Shay, because I’ll fucking kill him,” Kasper said.

A chorus of agreements sounded throughout the group, then they started a conversation of how to kill him and dispose of the body. Olly was suggesting this thing about a pig farm when I tuned out of the conversation.

“Are you okay?” Kasper whispered to me.

I turned to face him, his blue eyes shining bright in the shadows. “Yeah, I am actually but I’m nervous at the same time.”

“I can understand that, but I promise you, I will not let anything happen to you,” he told me.

Kasper had said that to me before and had meant it before, but something about the way he said it this time was different. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I could feel it. As everyone else was still in the middle of a homicidal discussion, I simply looked into Kasper’s eyes. The orange flames were dancing in his dark pupils, making little shapes as they did.

“Yo guys, its getting kinda late, wanna get going?” Luca said to the group.

Kasper and I looked away from each other and into the circle. People were agreeing but I didn’t want to leave yet, and I knew that Kasper could sense that. We all stood up, some picking up their coats as they did.

“I think Shay and I are gonna hang out here for a bit, not really wanting to head back yet,” Kasper announced to everyone while I nodded.

No one argued with the decision but Aylee had a smug look on her face as she waved goodbye to me. I rolled my eyes at her suggestive smugness, watching as everyone pulled out of the clearing.

Once everyone had left, I turned towards Kasper and smiled. “Thank you, after today, I dont even wanna be home.”

He walked up to me and wrapped his arms around me, “It’s okay, I had a feeling you wouldn’t want to be home. I could see it in your face.”

We made our way into the little hut, taking our shoes off at the door. We settled on the pillows and pulled the blankets up over us. We were both lying on our sides, facing each other. I had my eyes closed but I knew that Kasper was watching me, I could feel his eyes on me. I flicked my eyes back open to see that I was right, he was staring.

You know what, fuck it. I am gonna ask the question which has been on my mind for the last week.

“Kasper, whats going on?” I asked bluntly.

“What do you mean?” He looked confused.

“With us, because whatever it is, it seems like its more than just some bet or friends with benefits,” I said.

“Can I be honest and say I’m not sure?” Kasper said to me. “But I like it.”

“Me too.”

“I dont want to put a label on anything and then risk the chance of ruining something and our friendship,” Kasper told me.

“I dont think you would ruin anything.” I put my hand on his arm and snuggled closer to him.

“I just have a reputation for being a stereotypical player and if we were to put a label of whatever this is, rumours will spark and you know how creative kids can be with their imagination these days – all of a sudden I could have had a gang bang in the cleaner’s cupboard with six girls,” he huffed.

“Honestly, if I heard that, I would be rather impressed,” I said, laughing.

Kasper started to laugh with me and when it died down, we fell into a comfortable silence. I stared up at him, looking deeply into his blue eyes. They reminded me of an ocean, the mixture of the blues swirling around in his eyes had a calming effect on me.

Hey guys, hope you liked this chapter! If you did, could you please like, comment and review. Also, I have a Twitter page for my writing where I will put up author notes or where you could ask me questions about this book - @writinghelps853


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