His Secret

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Watching the bus door slamming open, I quickly step out, man was I tired. This year is killing me. Just a couple more days and I'll be a graduate of Rockingham County High school in North Carolina. The past few weeks I started having regrets of how I spent my high school years. All the fun and excitement of going out with friends. Making memories with them, because soon enough we will all be leaving for college. I have even more regrets of missing out on the fun things, that normal seniors do. Like Homecoming and Prom...

I got accepted to New York University, my first choice. Now that schools out, I've been playing with the idea of maybe taking a break from pursuing my dream. I was thinking of taking a gap year. I'm still undecided about that because it's going to take dedication and time to reach the goal I have in mind. A year off will add one year more before I can be called Dr. Johnson.

The year off could be bad, but it could be good too. Yes, being set back a year wouldn't be ideal. Neither would me being so burned out from all this hard work, that I throw in the towel. So a break might benefit me. A year away from the books and sleepless nights to cram for tests. It just might be what I need to be ready for future hardships. I've seen it so many times. High school students jumping in feet first, right after graduation, hyped and ready. Then bail and lose two or three years of their education, and they're not even halfway done with their medical degree, all because they're burned out, stressed, and depressed.

Even if I haven't decided just yet, I'm thrilled to be done with high school. God, summer break! Thank fuck, right? All year I've stayed busy, needing anything to occupy my mind. Never thought my high school years would be the way they've been. So much has happened since I entered through those crappy doors four years ago; that hell hole I endured for years. I have kept my grade point average a 4.0 since freshman year. It wasn't easy. Not since the nightmare, I can't wake up from happened. If I wanted to get into a good college, I had to keep up my average and keep busting my ass. I've dreamt of being a Doctor since losing my dad to a Massive Heart Attack, a month before my freshmen year. I miss him. He was a good man but had problems with booze. He was everything to me. I was total Daddy's little girl.

I smile as I shut the front door, slinging my book bag off my shoulder and hang it up by the stairs. I sluggishly walk to the living room and fall back on the couch; slipping my shoes off, I sigh as I lay my body across the couch. Bliss fills my body as my aching muscles rest. The cold arctic breeze from the air conditioning set goosebumps on my arms, as it clings to my sweat covered body. It felt amazing. I rub my forehead, wincing. This bastard heat has been causing me a lot of massive migraines this past couple of weeks. That's Fucking North Carolina heat for ya. Yep, a country girl born and raised, outside the city limits of Eden.

I need a break from all this, which is why I want to take a gap year. Yes, my best friend and I did things during the last four years but it's nothing I would brag about. A few parties during summer breaks and a few shopping trips as well. Unfortunately, most of my time was stuck studying and getting my college portfolio all squared. Extracurricular activities from nursing homes, to shadowing Nurse Practitioners at the county Hospital to add to my college applications. Taking a year off would allow me to live my life like a normal teenager, I know it's possible, but the other half of me disagrees. It's screaming, "No, you need to keep pushing!" It's all worth the bullshit just knowing if my father were still alive, he would be so proud of me. He was always the person pushing me and rooting for me to be what I wanted. And that's exactly what I plan on doing. This is all for him. I miss his support more than anyone will ever know.

Hearing my brother walk in, I immediately sigh. Ugh, son of a whore! I know this asshole will barge in and take over the TV. He and his friends will flip it to ESPN and watch whatever stupid sport is playing. I don't understand what the big deal is about sports anyway.

I hear him laughing and I don't even open my eyes. I even squeeze them tighter, so I won't be tempted to look at him. I just want peace. Is that too much to ask for?

"Hey, sis." He says, plopping down beside me, snatching the remote. "Stupid son of a—." I grumble to myself. What did I tell you? Asshole, right? "Hey, Cole." God, I don't even want to talk that's how tired I am. I can even hear the agitation in my voice. Shit, I'm even surprised I don't even call myself a grouchy bitch!

Cole is my older brother by 3 years. This being his third year coming home, I know he's been especially excited for classes to be over. Even though he's an asshole ninety percent of the time, I'm super fucking proud of him.

I am a little worried because he told me the first day he got back that he was going to take a year off; that him coming home is good for him and me. How I needed someone here since mom's gone all the time. Honestly, I've gotten so used to it, that I don't even let it bother me as much as it used to. I'm not saying I don't miss her, and I don't need her, but it doesn't stress me out like it did when she first started disappearing. He knows that too. So that's why it worries me. My head is seeing RED flags like it's going out of style. I just hope he hasn't gotten into any trouble.

I'll leave it alone for now and broach the subject after my graduation on Saturday morning, one of the many steps to my long and exciting journey. He's a good brother to me as far as sibling shit goes. I only wish he would stop picking on me so much, and don't get me started on how overprotective he is! I may be his baby sister, but I've grown up since he went away three years ago. The most embarrassing part of the two things he annoys me with when he's home, it's that he does it in front of his friends. Sheesh, I'm not twelve anymore! Hell, I'm an adult, and my nineteenth birthday is just around the corner.

"Damn sis. Is it shark week already?" He asked, chuckling. I take a deep breath, still not opening my heavy eyelids. I begin to hear his friend Jackson laugh and wasn't surprised. Jackson Price is one of my brother's childhood best friends: dark brown hair, always styled like he just got out of bed, deep brown eyes, dimples on his cheeks, and a smile that could make a bad day bright again. He's sweet and even though this guy is easy on the eyes, he is like a second brother to me. Now, don't get me wrong, he's very handsome and muscular, just like my brother's other friends; but, I can't see him like ninety percent of this town's female population does.

My brother and his friends played football together all through high school. They've been muscled jocks ever since. Although handsome and sweet, Jacks is super shy around new girls. Girls our age want the cocky assholes who have you weak in the knees with one wink. If he's lucky enough to get a girl to hang on long enough, he eventually lowers the wall he puts up and turns into my brother; a cocky sweet talker. Amazingly, I think Jacks is the only one that I haven't had a crush on out of all of Cole's friends.

What? Most of Cole's friends are hot jocks and cocky assholes, what can I say!? This girl's hormones want what they want!

Still hearing Jacks laughing, I open one eye, raising my brow in mock surprise. Once he notices me looking at him, he coughs, clearing his throat as his smile disappears. Good. He knows I won't think twice about paying his ass back. Pulling myself up, I ball my fist up tightly, cocking my arm back quickly throwing my arm into Cole's shoulder. I clenched my teeth, praying I didn't shatter my knuckles as the pain shoots up my hand to my elbow. Son of a bitch, that shit hurt! "Dick!" I grumbled, slightly raising the volume, as I try to not let him hear the pain in my voice. I glare at him, "And no, it's not shark week ass face. I'm just tired and hot, long day at that hell hole they call the school." I explain, rolling my eyes as I stand to walk to my room.

"Ouch." He snickers, wincing as he rubs his shoulder. "Damn, my bad sis." That shit hurt and I may be smaller than him, but I have boney knuckles. They can cause some pain when I need them to. Ignoring Jacks' and Cole's laughing, "Let me know If mom calls. I haven't heard from her in a couple of weeks." I mumble as I stop and look back at him. His amusement vanishes as he looks at me, nodding his head, his features displaying disappointment and sadness. He understands how upset and hurt her absence makes me. For the last two years, it's clear that she doesn't want to be here anymore. Sadly, I've become used to it. Sure, when I sit down and think about it, it hurts. I don't like to think or talk about it. It brings up too many painful reminders and memories. Things I would like to forget. Seeing Cole's sad expression sends an ache to my chest. The pain hurts too much sometimes. Losing a parent is hard. With her being gone so much and for so long, it's kind of like we have lost them both.

I sluggishly walk past the front door, ready to change out of these sweaty clothes before Kaye calls to come over. I scrunch my forehead as I hear a knock. Who the hell could that be? I'm sure Cole would have said something if someone was supposed to stop by. I hear the knock again and hesitantly walk towards the door. Knowing It can't be Kaye, hell, she's just getting off the bus at her Grandmother's right about now. Not to mention, she usually calls to let me know she's on her way. I shrug my shoulders reaching for the door handle. It's probably one of Cole's friends who's now just getting home for the summer. God, I hope it's not Mikey McDown. Ugh! He is one of the assholes I can't stand. Why my brother has to be friends with that creep, I'll never understand. To be honest, he's always given me the "crazy stalker" vibe. Hell, he gives me the creeps every time I'm around him. I don't know how many times I've caught him staring at me. The look in his eyes is scary and very unsettling. It's something in his eyes.

Turning the doorknob as I open the door, my eyes land on something that sucks the air right out of my lungs. It's like someone had sucker-punched me without the blow being felt. My eyes grow wide, as I feel my mouth pop open. Holy fucking shit! Some guy is standing on our porch. No, wait. Not just some guy. No, a hot sexy Greek God is more like it. Seriously, I am not even exaggerating, he's the hottest guy I have ever seen. I slowly and purposely, rake my eyes over his body, from head to toe. I've never had the urge to want to run my fingers through anyone's hair before, just to see what it feels like. I find myself feeling the strong urge in the tips of my fingers to do just that. It's the silkiest dark brown hair I've ever seen. Damn, he's got it slicked back, styled to perfection.

I glide my eyes farther south, noticing the muscles that are covered up by his fitted black t-shirt. Jesus, He's got my mouth watering. Images of my tongue tracing every ab on this guy's stomach. Shit. Noticing a pair of sunglasses sitting perfectly on his face, giving him a 'dark and dangerous' vibe. Holy shit, am I dreaming or something? Is this real life? I blink a few times, as I swallow the lump in my throat, still unable to come un-stuck, this has got to be a dream, right? I don't think anyone wouldn't notice this hot guy's arms and neck are completely covered in tattoos. The words "walking work of art" come to mind as I observe the tattoos. They are beautiful and colorful. Hmm, is his entire body decorated with tattoos?

I softly jerk as I hear a throat being cleared, bringing me out of my daze. My eyes immediately jerk back to his face. Oh God! I watch in silent horror as he smirks, causing me to blush. I feel embarrassed as the heat rises to my cheeks. Damn it all to hell! I must have been more obvious then I assumed. Fucking hell! Could I look more like a complete pervert? "Is Cole here?" He asks as I watch his mouth move, as he places his sunglasses on top of his head. His voice, dear Lord help me, is deep and husky, instantly sending chills up my arms. I began to wonder what my name sounded like, rolling off his tongue. God, I hope I'm not drooling?

Shaking the thoughts away as I blink my eyes, quickly shutting my mouth. My eyes collide with his, finally able to see what hides behind those shades. Holy fucking shit! It's like another sucker punch that steals my breath. Green, exotic and smoldering like emeralds placed on this masterpiece, Greek God-like man. What the hell is wrong with me? Fuck, I'm such a dumb ass. Quit staring at him before he thinks you have issues, Ray! "Yeah, uh, just a second, COLE!!!" I yell, finally finding my voice. "What?" Cole asks, walking up behind me. "Oh, hey Damien." Cole greets him as he pushes me aside, smacking this guy's shoulder, smiling as he gestures to him to come in. Who in the hell is this guy? "Come in," Cole says. I raised my brows as I clear my throat, "Um, hi. Who is this Cole?" I asked, smiling at the guy he called Damien. I hope I don't look like I'm a total dumb ass. Trust me, I know all of Cole's friends and I don't ever recall meeting this guy. I mean, there's no fucking way you could ever forget this guy.

"Oh yeah, right. This is Damien Heart, and Damien, this is my sister Ray." I nod as I softly smile at him. "Damien is a close friend. He roomed with me at the dorms. He's going to stay in the guest room for the summer." Cole explains and yet again surprised me. Wow, I get to stare at this eye candy all summer? Hmmm, I wonder why he didn't tell me about this guy, and the fact he will be staying with us when he got home a week ago? I mean, I'm sure he's not a threat of any kind if Cole's ok with him staying here the entire summer. Cole would never allow someone dangerous in our home, would he?

"Nice to meet you, Damien." I softly say, giving him a slight smile. I turn around about to head to my room when I hear, "Yeah uh, same." His pitch seems a bit surprised and confused. Why would he be surprised or confused? I mentally shake my head walking to my room. Oh yeah, I need to call my best friend Kaye. This is just too juicy not to blab. Shutting my door, I start to wonder if Kaye knows all about Cole's roommate? If she's been holding out on me with him, I may just have to give her the silent treatment. She hates when I try to ignore her.

Katlynn Crowder, my ride or die since the first year in elementary school, is my number one support system, even more so since my dad passed away. She only answers to Kaye, so please don't call her Katlynn unless you want a pissed off blonde bombshell. The girl has been head over heels for Cole since we were in middle school. She finally got her dream come true when Cole came home last week and finally took her out on an official date, four nights ago. Cole hasn't made the relationship official; you know boyfriend/girlfriend. I seriously hope he does right by her and asks her soon. I am honestly thrilled about it. Some girls would be upset that their brother is with their best friend; shit, not me. My brother may annoy the living shit out of me, but he is a good guy. They may not see it, but they are really good for each other.

Kaye's a good girl and needs to be treated like she deserves. She's had a rough go due to her parents. Such pieces of shits! She moved out at seventeen when the Courts allowed her Grandmother to have full custody. Her grandmother is the total opposite of her parents, especially Kaye's bitch of a mother Dina, which is her daughter. A nice twist is that her Grandmother is loaded, and she spoils her rotten. I'm grateful she got a much-needed break. Shit, I mean this girl's past is something out of a Lifetime movie. Her mom and dad are drug addicts. They also abused her for many years. She is the strongest person I have ever met. I have seen this girl at her lowest. If this fierce girl gets knocked down, you bet your ass, she's even quicker and stronger when she gets back up.

I see the way Cole looks at her. I've always seen the way she looked at him. I know he wants to be with her, but I think he's scared. Cole doesn't date. Not like a normal guy. He says it's casual with no strings attached, but the way he looks at her is so different from any other girl I have seen him with. She tries not to let it show, but it's bothering her. It baffles me, I mean, what the hell is he waiting for? He doesn't have the best reputation with females. He was known as a "Heart breaker" never dating exclusively. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him bring a girl home in a while. I wonder if that's been because of Kaye? Ugh, I just want to smack his head. Maybe his brain will catch up to how serious this is. I'd hate to see him lose her over his fear of relationships. I don't even know why he fears to commit.

I grab my phone the moment I close my door and quickly dial Kaye, smiling like a damn kid with a new toy to show off. "Hey." She says as she cheerfully answers on the third ring. I quickly dive right in. "So, we have a guest staying with us for the summer, Cole's roommate, from college," I inform. I begin laughing and squealing into my speaker, "You won't believe how smoking hot he is! I need to know right now, did Cole tell you anything about him when you guys talked?" I asked. She softly gasps, "Shit, no, I didn't even know he had a roommate." She pauses, then giggles. "Wow, this is the first time I've heard you this invested in a guy. I've got to know who's gotten your attention." Frowning, letting Kaye's words swim around in my head. "I'm not invested. I'm just curious. I mean, why didn't Cole say anything about this so-called roommate? Not to mention how he just invites him to stay the summer, and still says nothing until he shows up on my porch, why?" I question.

I begin to picture him, so fucking hot. Oh God, that cocky smile he gave me. I feel flutters in my stomach, smiling. I hope I didn't physically drool. Ugh, fuck me, I wouldn't doubt I did, with my luck. I'm not great with the guys. I blame my strict study schedule. "I'm fixing to stop by anyway, so I'll get to see this so-called "eye candy" and see what you're so excited about." She says bursting into laughing fits. Shaking my head, I laugh, this girl is seriously doubting me. I can't wait to see the drool on her chin.

"Ok. Oh hey, don't forget your new bathing suit." I remind her. I say goodbye and hang up. Pulling myself off my bed, I stand in the mirror, looking over my appearance. Grumbling as I notice my hair is a mess. Picking up the comb from my dresser, I comb through my hair. Pleased with my appearance and feeling satisfied, I join the guys in the den. I sit down, right next to Cole on the couch, searching for a reason to sneak a glance to the right of me. I quickly find the clock hanging on the wall, an excuse to look his way without making it obvious that I was staring at him.

Damien is sitting on the loveseat by Jacks as they watched some kind of TV show. I find it hard not to look at him. Is it just me? His eyes flicker to mine, immediately causing my cheeks to heat. I quickly look to Cole, trying to not let him know how much he's already affecting me. I elbow Cole playfully, giggling. "Kaye's coming over, she should be here soon. She's staying the night too." I inform him as I smirk. I notice Jacks smile out of the corner of my eye as he fights the urge to laugh. "Is she coming now?" Cole asks as I watch his eyes light up. The guy is crazy for her and I pray he doesn't hurt her.

I lightly laugh and roll my eyes, "Yeah, she wouldn't shut the hell up about you all damn day at school. So, I figured making sure she sleeps over would help shut her up." I laugh the moment I see Jacks covering his mouth, trying to muffle back his laugh. Cole does the same and even smirks. Dear God, he already knows how crazy she is for him, and now me telling him that she wouldn't shut up about him is feeding his already massive ego. "So, is Kaye the girl you wouldn't shut up about all this time?" My eyes fall onto Damien, after he asks Cole, laughing. Oh, holy mother of God that fucking laugh! I could listen to that all day.

How is he doing this? How does he make me want to listen to him laugh and talk this much? I don't even know this guy, 'Get a fucking grip Ray!' "Shut the fuck up." Cole chuckles, bringing me out of my thoughts. I see a couch pillow wiz by my face, aiming right for Damien's head. Just before I thought it would land against his head, Damien dodges it, causing it to smack Jacks right in the face. Not being able to hold it in, I burst out laughing, throwing my body back against the back of the couch, wrapping my arms around my stomach. I open my eyes and watch Jacks face turn to a scowl. "What the fuck Cole." He whines, rubbing his face, making me laugh even harder. Shit, his face is starting to turn red, I'm assuming from embarrassment.

"Oh, so you think it's funny Ray?" Jackson asked me, standing abruptly to his feet.


I stop laughing and stand up slowly. I don't like how he's smiling. It's not the sweet smile he normally wears on his face. Oh no! That smile is evil. He begins to step towards me, slowly. Feeling a little nervous and amused, I slowly begin to step backward. I smile shaking my head. Trying to somewhat give him a silent plea with my eyes. I raise my hands, warning him to stop whatever he's planning to do. Just as he raises his one eyebrow, I bolt to the kitchen, squealing as I try to outrun him. I panic, as I hear the thudding of his feet stomping roughly as he chases after me. I grit my teeth, hearing Cole's dumb ass, laughing like a damn asshole. He better be glad I am occupied trying to outrun Jacks, or I'd ball my fist up and drive it right into that big fucking forehead he has. Jerk!

My eyes fly open as I feel Jacks' hands grip my sides, hoisting me up. I curse as I almost made it to the back door. I feel my body push out a scream as I started kicking and thrashing my body chaotically trying to break free. My thrashing is useless, realizing the grip hasn't budged. "Put me down!" I scream as I laugh, watching the room flash quickly, as he turns me and tosses me over his shoulder, God, what a fucking caveman! "Now is it funny Ray, hm?" He asks with a loud laugh as he taunts me. I can feel him taking large heavy steps, towards the back yard. Oh, for fucks sake!! I close my eyes and curse under my breath. I already know what he's doing, they love pissing me off.

"NO!" I scream, "JACKSON, DON'T YOU DARE!" I make myself scream even louder, growling as I begin smacking his back with my fists. Shit, he's going to toss me in the pool! I begin to hear Cole and Damien laughing, causing a brief halt to my thrashing and screaming and the foul names I yell at the shit head, who's ignoring everything I have been giving him. I briefly became distracted from the hot tattoo guy laughing. Oh my, his laugh is quite mesmerizing and rather 'A-fucking-mazing, 'If I do say...

"Oh?" Jacks booms, bringing me back to the present. "I didn't hear you right? Did you say to throw you in the pool!?" He asks, causing the fuckers to bend over on their knees as they laugh, while Jacks continues taunting me. I don't have time to respond, just as I open my mouth, I feel the wind whipping through my hair, blowing it in my face as my body is tossed away from his body. I feel myself flying backward, so fast that I barely had time to take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel the cold water engulfing my body. The cold sting from the water instantly causes me to let out the remaining breath I held. I frantically push my arms and legs helping my body rise to the surface.

I feel relief and a burning feeling in my lungs, once I break through the water's surface. I roughly inhale oxygen, as I gasp harsh breaths as I open my eyes. Son of a bitch, the water burns from the chlorine. I quickly swim to the side of the pool and grasp the ledge of the wall, trying to calm my breathing.

Looking up, I feel my face scowling as soon as I see all three of the bastards, hunched over laughing at me. Immediately, I feel annoyed as I glare at them. "You...you fuckers!" I choked out, breathless."Payback is a cruel bitch, you better remember that." I growl, which causes the "three stooges" to high five each other, and yes, continue to still laugh at me.

After a few moments of the "chuckle band" still laughing and poking fun of me, I hear Jacks state, "That will teach you to laugh at me. Plus, didn't you say you were hot?" He raised one eyebrow forcing a tight lip, which I'm positive is him struggling not to laugh so I believe he did that to teach me a lesson. Oh Jacks, you'll regret this. This isn't the first time I've been thrown in the pool by him, and I'm sure it won't be the last. The fuckers enjoy my shocked face, it's the only reason they do it. I purse my lips and squint my eyes. I rolled my shoulders back, and then I flip him off.

Yeah, Jacksy boy, you just put yourself on my shit list. He better sleep with one eye open. I ignore the assholes laughing, as I slowly and exhaustedly make my way to the stairs, ready to punch them all in the balls. Finally reaching the stairs, I began to climb out of the pool. God, my body is drenched, I'm sure I look like a drowned rat. I walk by the guys, quickly looking up when I didn't hear them laughing anymore. I see they've stopped, and instead, they're staring at me with shocked looks on their faces. Cole approaches me with a towel in his hand. He stops in front of me, looking at me with anger. He quickly wraps my body and scrunches his eyes. "Stop!" He growls as he twists to look behind him. I try to look at the others, but I'm startled by Cole's loud and angry voice, "FUCK RAY! Cover the fuck up!"

I furrow my eyebrows, totally confused. I look slowly at the guys who are ogling my chest. I jerked my head down and I see the reason for Cole's anger.

My shirt is skintight, from the water, and to top it off, it's white, and as you've probably guessed; yes, yes that's right. You can see everything under my shirt. Luckily, I'm wearing a bra, but unfortunately, today I chose to wear an unlined bra. My cheeks feel like they are going to burn right off. I look back up and I see they are still staring at my chest as Cole's face gets even redder. "STOP STARING YOU FUCKING LOSERS!" Cole roars as he pushed me towards the house. I start laughing at him. Not so funny now is it? "Chill Cole!" I chuckle, wrapping the towel around my chest to hide. Looking at me. he scrunched his face up and growls even angrier, "Go get changed, NOW!!"

Annoyed, I roll my eyes. It's just tits. I'm sure these guys have seen plenty. Mine are hardly anything special. Shaking my head, I turn my head back to look at the guys and notice Damien is still looking at me. His jaw twitches as I see his eyes are locked on my chest. Triumphant, I smile as I clear my throat, causing him to lock eyes with me. I winked at him and turned around, smiling as I made my way into the house.

....Oh yeah, this is going to be a great summer!

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