The Butterfly Knot (GirlXGirlXGirl)

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Chapter Seventeen | Rain Rain, Go Away, Say You Really Want To Stay

◦◦ Sawyer ◦◦

Fifteen Years Ago, Naples Florida

“Oh shoot, I better get home. My moms gonna kill me if I’m late again. Bye, Sawyer!”

I looked up from the chalk drawing Chelsea and I had been working on together for the last four hours and frowned with confusion. “Really? But the street lights haven’t even come on yet!”

She gave me an apologetic smile and swung her bright pink Mismo backpack over a shoulder. Brunette curls began bouncing as she briskly walked away from where I still knelt on the sidewalk. “I’ll see if I can stay longer tomorrow, and we’ll finish it. Okay?”

Well I guess that wouldn’t be too bad, I’m getting hungry anyway and mom promised she’d be home to cook tonight.

I stood up with a hopeful half smile and cupped my hands over my mouth so Chelsea could hear me better. “I’ll hold you to it! Same place, after school.”

“Yep!” My friend quipped back with that carefree wave she always gave me when we had to part ways for the time being. I kept an eye on her until she rounded the corner and disappeared out of sight, then I tucked my prized pack of forbidden chalk in between two bushes before starting the short walk back home.

On the way, I made sure to dust any remnants of my earlier activity away just in case. There’s a first for everything, and mine with chalk happened to be the last as far as my parents were concerned. I’d come home covered from head to toe in the stuff, gushing about the epic bearded dragon I’d drawn. My horror stricken mother yanked me into our West Wing’s bathroom and vigorously scrubbed at my stained skin while dad harshly scolded me from the other side of the door.

They never bothered to even look at my creation and in case you’re wondering, I was only six at the time.

Now I’m twice that age, with a hefty allowance fund to buy anything my little heart desired. Which, included things I knew I couldn’t have; Mature CDs, laffy taffy, and messy art supplies.

I’m a preteen, what else were you expecting?

A couple months ago when I turned twelve, mom and dad sat down with me to have a serious discussion. They explained how I’m old enough to look after myself when they couldn’t be around, and left it up to me as to whether or not I wanted them to try and find another ‘nanny’ to keep me company while I’d otherwise be alone.

Seeing as I scared the other three I’d had off over the years, I promptly declined. Father’s work began keeping him away for longer periods, and my mom spent her time at frivolous high society parties showing off her expensive dresses and gossiping about those who were less than us. I all but stopped existing seemingly overnight. Nonetheless, they still found ways to try and control my life.

Starting with the friends I wanted to have.

Chelsea Browman's family had ‘new money’ my mother explained with a wrinkled nose, and instructed me not to befriend her over brunch when she first settled in our area last year. Apparently my peers felt the same way, and it was really hard to watch Chelsea eating lunch all by herself everyday in the cafeteria.

I’m not exactly what anyone would call popular either, with my tomboyish looks and bad attitude. For the most part, my classmates left me well enough alone. Everyone needs a friend though; Even if it’s just one.

Defiance runs through my veins, and so it was only natural that I slid into the seat next to Chelsea’s one random Monday afternoon and flashed a welcoming smile her way. She stopped tugging on the crisp white collar of her shirt with widened dark brown eyes. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the uniforms. I’m Sawyer, we’ve got a few classes together.”

Chelsea grinned, looking thrilled that someone aside from an instructor was talking to her. “I sure hope so, I didn’t have to wear one at my last school...my names Chelsea. Nice to meet you!”

"Big same."

Whenever I got a chance, I’d hang out with her privately. One of our favorite things to do was find a prime piece of sidewalk and doodle with chalk for hours. Like we had today. It was probably the only time I felt like someone my age, instead of a mini adult always having to fend for myself.

Thunder crashed in the distance, and I groaned as I felt the first few droplets of water splash onto my stunned face.

So much for finishing up our project tomorrow; It’s being washed away right this very second.

I started sprinting, getting a mild rush from watching the street lights switch on as the onslaught of rain became heavier and more intense. I always imagined someone was missing me, wondering where I’d been even though I knew better than anyone how untrue that fantasy would ever be. By the time I made it back to my estate, I was soaking wet with chattering teeth and a longing for steamy hot chocolate.

Maybe mom and I could find something interesting on television; I missed watching our guilty pleasures during rainy days.

My idea offered some comfort as I shivered like crazy. Finally, I managed to unlock the front door and quickly rushed inside.

“MOTINA?” I shouted for my mother in Lithuanian and hung up my vintage tan jean jacket hastily. No answer, unless you call the echo bouncing off every surface of this gigantic house. I figured she might’ve been in the kitchen, so I strode down the long hallway in search of her with hopes as high as they’d ever been. Once I caught onto the little yellow notepad laying neatly on our shiny black countertop, I felt my stomach plummet. Three hundred dollar bills were tucked underneath it, and I ignored them to read mom’s latest excuse for ditching me.

Sawyer,

I’m afraid I will have to cancel our dinner plans. My friend from Paris flew into town unexpectedly and she has requested my presence. I know you have plenty of money in your account, but here is three hundred dollars anyway. Stay safe and no strangers inside!

Smooches,

Motina.

With a disappointed scoff, I crumpled up the note and tossed it in the automatic steel trashcan. White flashes of lightening crashed repeatedly in the dark sky, pellets of rain beating against every open window surrounding me. I felt my chest tighten with fear and resisted the urge to whimper.

You’re practically living on your own, Sawyer. Isn’t it a little ridiculous to be afraid of some stupid thunder at your age?

As I was turning around to head into my room, I noticed a bottle of unopened Tequila sitting on the crystal coffee table. Abandoned, and screaming my name. It wasn’t the first time my parents carelessly left their liquor laying around, and I was starting to look forward to benefiting from that carelessness.

Mother probably rushed to greet her friend and forgot it as a result. Well, it's not her problem any more.

Without a second thought, I numbly retrieved a clear glass from the wide Ornate cabinets and resigned to another evening of getting drunk out of my skull. Eventually the frightening sounds faded away, and I melted into a much more relaxed mood with every drink I poured. To try and make myself feel better about what I'd been doing, I played with the idea of telling Chelsea.

What would she know about my pain? Her parents gave a shit and mine didn't. Chelsea abided by curfews, shared the details of her day with a family who wanted to know things like that, and slept with the comfort of knowing she was loved.

I had all the freedom I could ask for, only I never asked for any of it. The word 'curfew' was a foreign one, and I couldn't remember the last time either of my parents asked about school or anything else aside from 'Do you have enough money for ECT, ECT.'

We were the same age, in the same grade, studying the same courses, but we lived completely different lives; There's no way Chelsea would understand.

Besides it's not like I had anyone's arms to run into for comfort at the moment, and if it weren't for this bottle of tequila I'd probably be hiding in my closet crying. Irrational maybe? Sure, but I've never done well with thunderstorms.

I decided to protect my best kept secret, knowing letting anyone in on this semi regular drinking habit would be cause for regret somehow.

What's the worst that could happen?

********************


° Nixx ♫

Present day

"Just step down whenever you're ready. I'm not letting go, you're okay."

"What if...I fall?" Sawyer protested, but allowed me to take control by speaking over her concerns respectfully.

"I won't let that happen. See? You got it, take your time."

I kept a secure arm wrapped around Sawyer's warm waist as I gently coaxed her off the bar stool in a soothing voice. She'd been complaining about the loud music irritating her anxiety for the last hour, and I didn't see it ceasing any time soon. Aside from that, Blythe tapped out some time ago and left me to babysit. I was feeling pretty damn tipsy and wanted to take a load off back at the hotel, but no way was I going to leave Sawyer in the state she was in.

I needed to find out where she lived, so I could get her home safely.

"Blythe?" My alter's name was spoken softly, from the prettiest lips I'd ever kissed. I looked into Sawyer's gorgeous blue peepers and smiled involuntarily as I closed out my tab and began leading her toward the front entrance of 'All Five Inside.' It was important to Blythe that I remain hidden from the world, but we aren't the same person and I wasn't about to pretend we were outside of understandable situations, such as work or any other professional functions.

Then again, I couldn't stand her EX Fern and didn't see a point in frightening the woman we'd been making out with and doing body shots on all evening.

I kept my introduction simple. "Call me Nixx."

Sawyer turned around with a giggle, walking backwards as she tweaked my nose playfully. I wiggled it in exaggeration to make her laugh harder. It was refreshing to be around someone with such a rare, zany sense of humor. "That's a badass nickname, but I like Blythe too. Should I always call you N-nixx?"

Blythe groaned internally and I backtracked for her sake.

"Tell you what, use whatever name you want Sawyer. What's your address? Neither of us are in any shape to drive." I used my phone to request an Uber and felt my heart squeeze fondly when she fell back into step with me, wrapping both arms around mine tightly. I could sense something different about Sawyer, a sort of vulnerable desperation the moment we exited into the slightly warm air. A Summer shower was taking place, teasing my senses with the pleasurable scent and sound of Mother Nature's tears. Sawyer on the other hand seemed to be having an entirely separate experience.

Sure enough, I looked down to find her scanning my expression for sympathy.

"It's raining....I hate being alone when...the weather is so shitty..." She touched my cheek absently and bit her lip. "Come back with me?"

I battled both Blythe, and my own thoughts for a few minutes. Look at her, she's completely plastered. We can't take advantage of that Nixx; Just make sure she gets home.

I wasn't comfortable with my alter's idea. Isn't leaving her all by herself worse? What if she gets into trouble again? It doesn't sound like she has anyone else right now.

Blythe sighed in resignation. Good point, but I really should review some of next week's tasks in preparation for Monday's meeting. Take Sawyer back to our hotel for the night.

I shushed Sawyer softly as she started to pant again, like she had earlier when the blasting Pop music was getting to her. Obviously rain was a legitimate trigger of some kind, and my silence wasn't helping out anyone. "Shhhhhh. Alright, I'm still here. You don't have to be alone. I've got some paperwork I need to look over tonight, but why don't you stay with me this evening? We'll worry about getting you home in the morning."

Sawyer's face lit up like a Christmas tree, and I thought to myself how incredibly beautiful she is when she's genuinely smiling. The cockiness and sarcasm she’d been throwing around were attractive traits of hers as well, but nothing else compared to when she'd break out into laughter or a wide grin.

Behind all that abrasive brattiness was someone I'd like to see more of.

"Yeah? Dope! Can I watch you while you're working, sexy powerful contributor to the fine art of music?" She grabbed my jaw and made a cute face, popping her lips obnoxiously.

I laughed out loud and kissed the top of her white blonde head with amusement. "Sure, kid."

You realize we aren't doing ANYTHING work related tonight, right? I asked Blythe knowingly as I finished up with my Uber request. She grumbled something, but I knew I'd won the argument. We both were showing interest in the same woman for a change and it felt freeing.

Standing right there on the curb waiting for our ride, I allowed Sawyer to zero in on my lips like I'd never been kissed before. Her wet fingers started threading through my hair, and I sighed from how good the sensation felt. I'm usually one to close my eyes during a make out session, but it was so easy to get lost in Sawyer's.

Drunk or not, she had the bluest, most curious orbs I'd ever seen...and I never wanted to break contact with them.
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