I wake up with the sun streaming through my curtains and for a second I forget, I forget that my life has permanently changed. I sit up and use all my strength to hold in all my tears. There is a gentle knock at my bedroom door. I climb out of bed and open the door, my Dad is stood with a sad expression on his face. It’s been four days since the press release and for the most part members of the public have been understanding and supportive, the press, however, has ignored every request for privacy. He hands me a cup of coffee, I force a week smile and walk sitting on the ottoman placed at the end of my bed. “It’s quiet since Gracie, Hannah and Jamie went home.” I let out a slight chuckle, “Yeah... they aren’t exactly quiet are they.” He laughs again. “You’ve been invited to a party.” My eyes widen as I look to my Dad. “Calm down, it’s only Lara and Arlo, they are in the UK at the moment whilst their Mum is touring, they’ve brought some friends.” I smile. me, Lara and Arlo basically grew up together, they are amazing and they have always been very understanding about keeping my secret, we grew up together ever since my Dad did a song with their Mum. “It’s small, at their house in London, they said you can take Gracie, Hannah and Jamie.” I smile and nod grabbing my phone and texting everyone, they all seem quite excited, they all agree to meet here to get ready and then Steven can drive us over, Dad insisted on Steven driving ‘for our safety.’
The second everyone arrives we all run up the stairs to my bedroom, Jamie goes into one of the guest rooms to change whilst I dry my hair from my earlier shower and make it pin straight before starting my very nude makeup with sleek black eyeliner, I put on a thick black bandeau with a cut down the centre held together with chains, a matching black mini skirt chains on either side of my thighs, and zip down the centre, I pull on a puffy black bomber jacket I walk out of my dressing room to my friends who simply gawk at me I smile as I watch Jamie’s eyes travel the length of my body. “Girls I’ve laid out some outfit options in my closet for you guys.” they both jump and clap in excitement as they make their way to the closet, I place my black lace-up heels on the ground beside my ottoman, I sit beside Jamie, “You look beautiful Skylar.” I look up at him and smile “thank you. You look very handsome too.” He smiles as he brushes a strand of hair behind my ear. holding my cheek in his hand for a moment, he leans towards me brushing his nose with mine, just as our lips touch the dressing room door opens, our bodies previous intertwined now miles apart and look towards our friends, Gracie is wearing a black pencil skirt with a line of buttons in place of a fly, and cropped tank top and a black jean jacket, hanging off one of her shoulders. Hannah is wearing a red oversized t-shirt dress with thigh high boots, baring a small portion of her leg. “Well, we all look hot as hell.” I giggle at Hannah’s statement. Jamie looks down at his hands fiddling with the ring on his hand “I feel so out of place, I feel like I’m overdressed.” I sigh and take his hand in mine pulling him into my brothers Christophers room. “CHRIS!” he comes out of his bathroom, shirtless I roll my eyes and sigh, “Can you help Jamie? We are going to a party and he has no idea what to wear.” he looks at me, then back at Gracie and Hannah, “What the vibe at this party? Clubby or formal?” I furrow my eyebrows and look at what all us girls are wearing, “Clubbing.” he nods slowly as he walks to his closet. “And why wasn’t I invited?” I smirk, “Becuase Lara is hosting.” Chris visibly gulps “Oh.” I giggle and sit on his bed flipping through the records laying on his bed I gesture for Jamie to follow Chris. “What happened with Lara and Chris?” I smile, “Well they dated, and MY ASSHOLE BROTHER CHEATED!” I shout it loud enough that Chris could hear. He pokes his head out his face faking an irritated expression, “I did not cheat on Lara.” A few moments later Jamie and Chris walk out, Jamie is wearing pale blue distressed jeans, a white t-shirt, with a black and white checked shirt left unbuttoned over the top, layer with a blue bomber jacket, grey old skool vans and a black Nike hat. “Okay, NOW we all look sexy!” I roll my eyes at Gracie as we wave Chris goodbye, we run down the stairs to Steven waiting at the bottom, I spot Dad and take a deep breath, “Skylar Caroline Graham! Turn around and put on real clothes please!” I roll my eyes and walk towards him, “Dad. I love you but I love this outfit more.” Brooklyn giggles, “Well, I think you look beautiful Skye.” I smile and kiss her cheek as we walk out to the car, we get in the car and start playing music as loud as possible and singing terribly. “Be home by 10!” I flick my eyes back and shout “1 at the latest!”
As we drive through the gates of Lara and Arlo’s house I smile and jump out the car running towards the door knocking waiting impatiently for the doors to open the second it does I jump into Lara’s arms “Skye... I am so proud of you” she shakes me slightly as we make our way through the house I wave to a couple of people I know, “Wes is here, by the way, he’s been asking after you...” I feel my face fall to then come into a slight smile, I look back at my friends, who have slightly confused expressions on their faces, “Who is Wes, Skye?” Lara’s eyes widen she leans over my shoulder to look closer and Hannah and Gracie, “Wes is Skylar’s ex.” I roll my eyes and quickly turn to Lara, “We never dated, Lara.” she rolls her eyes at me, “You were close enough to dating.” I smile and push her towards the kitchen. We walk in and I hear people yelling my name, “SKYLAR!” I look down at the breakfast table, Wes, Arlo and Wes sat together with drinks in their hands, they all stand up and walk towards me, Arlo pull in for a hug, “You good?” I nod and smile at him, I hug Wes and smile at him, I pause as I look a Wes, “Hey Wes.” he smiles as I say his name, “Hey Lar.” I step towards him and squeeze him tight in my arms, he pulls away and rests his hand on my cheek. “Skye?” I turn my head ending the contact between mine and Wes’ skin, “Han? Are you okay?” She nods and gestures towards the back garden. I nod and lead us both out, “What was happening between you and Jamie, before Gracie and I came out of your closet?” My eyes widen. “Nothing! I swear Han, I would never go there, he’s your cousin.” She lets out a throaty laugh and shakes her head, “Skye, he’s my cousin, not my ex, I don’t care, but you two obviously care about each other...” I look down at my hands, picking at my nails. Which is when Gracie burst through the doors, “Babes! Don’t leave me like that!” I laugh, “Skye... your ex is fit AF! Why didn’t we know about him?” I giggle again shaking my head, “Because... google Freddie Granger and Bradley Graham.” her eyebrows furrow as he takes out her phone typing in the names photos of my Dad complete off his face on drugs fill the screen “Who’s Freddie Granger?” I fiddle with my nails again before looking up at Wes through the glass doors, “Wes’ Dad.” they both gasp. Nodding their heads slightly understanding slightly why we didn’t tell anyone about our relationship. “If there was any kind of picture taken of us, any kind of way of tracking back our relationship and it came out about my Dad, there would be so many questions, about my Dad being sober, about me being sober, we couldn’t risk it. He understood, he knew that I didn’t want the secret out, he knew all of that and so he kept us quiet, Lara, Arlo and Carson didn’t even know that we were together, they just thought we were friends until Lara caught us making out at a party and we just said we were getting together until we ended it, He wanted to tell people, I wasn’t ready, we were together for almost 2 years, he will always be my first love, and I don’t know what will happen in the future.” Gracie sits beside me and wraps her arm me, “Are you not closing any doors then?” I shake my head, “Not for Wes, not for Jamie, I think... I love them both, but it’s like choosing between chalk and cheese... they are so different, and I love different aspects of them so I don’t know...” The door bursts open with Brooklyn, Jamie, Lara, Wes, Arlo and Carson coming out the doors, “Skye! You ditched Jamie!” She laughs and sits down as Carson and Wes light their cigarettes Jamie stands with the boys as Lara and Brooklyn sit beside us, “So what the chat?” Gracie sits forward and smiles, “Skye is trying to choose between her boys.” Lara seems confused, “Boys? Wes and who?” I put my head between my knees, “Skye... Jamie has loved you since the day he met you and nothing will ever change that, not finding out that you are Bradley fricking Graham’s daughter, not that you dated Wesley Granger for almost two years, nothing to him you always be the perfect girl that he met at seven years old. I don’t know Wes very well but he cares for you, I can tell, and he might not have the best reputation but is that something you actually care about because all that really matters is how you feel about him and how he feels about you and how you feel about him.” I lift my head and look toward Hannah, “Do you really feel that way, I mean, he’s not just Jamie to you, he’s your cousin, he’s your family.” she nods, “All I care about is you both being happy and the only way you are going to feel happy if you both know where you stand with each other.” I smile and wrap her into a hug.
I giggle and dance into the late night before Wes pulls me into his embrace and dance along to the beat of the music. “Lar... Skylar... everyone knows now, we can finally be together...” he smiles and places his hand on my cheek, leaning forward just as our lips are about to touch I force myself to move my face, “Wes... things are complicated, there are so many things about my life you don’t know, there are so many things that make this complicated, I can’t be with you until things aren’t complicated.” he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, stepping back creating distance between our bodies, “Is it Jamie? or is it me? My reputation? Assumptions that people make about me because of who my Dad is?” I shake my head and step forward holding his face in my hands, “It’s Jamie, I don’t care about any of the other stuff, you know that! I don’t know how I feel about him, and it’s not fair for me to be with you if I have feelings for someone else, and it’s not fair on Jamie to be with you if I have feelings for him. It’s not fair on you if I am with Jamie and have feelings for you, and it’s not fair on me. So, for now, I am going to stay single, to figure out my feelings, for all of our sanity.” He nods and leans forward pressing his lips to mine, “Can I help you figure it out in any way?” I nod, “Go on a date with me, plan a date, show me what life with you would be like, show me that you want to earn me.” he smiles pulling me in for a tight hug, pressing his lips to mine again, “You’ve got a deal scarlet.” I smile and stepping back and squeezing his hand in mine before walking away. As I look behind me smiling looking at Wes as he turns to look at me, I see behind him Jamie, with a hurt expression on his face. He walks out into the hallway and towards the back garden again. I run past Wes and in the direction of Jamie. “JAMIE!” He freezes and turns around to look at me, “What Skylar! You know what I’m not mad. I have no right to be mad. I’m not your boyfriend. You have every reason to make out everyone and anyone you want.” I step forward and take his face in my hands. “Jamie, Wes, is my ex, and somewhere in my head I probably still have feelings for him, but Jamie, I have feelings for you too and with everything going on I can’t really make a decision about who I want to be with, it’s unfair for me to make a decision if a few months down the line I am going to want to change my mind, that’s not fair on anybody.” He sighed an sat down on the wall backing on to the garden, “This isn’t fair either Skye. You know how I feel about you, you’ve always known, but obviously, I don’t know you, you have this entire life I had no clue about, an entire relationship I didn’t know about. I knew you had a secret but I never could have guessed all of this. I don’t know how you expect me to just be okay with this! What do you want from me, Skylar?” My legs crumble beneath me as I fall next to him, “Jamie, I don’t know what I want, or who I want, I am still processing that my life has permanently changed, I don’t think I can handle any more change, I can’t handle losing you.” He sighs and wraps his arms around my shoulders, “Skye, you not going to lose me, but I just need to know what’s going on.” I nod and lean my head on his shoulder, “Wes is taking me on a date, to show me what life with him would be like to try and show me that I should choose him...” Jamie tenses slightly before his body relaxed again “I want to take you on a date too, I would need to speak to your Dad to take safety precautions obviously but I want to do that Skylar.” I smile and lean my forehead against his, “Our first date?” He smiles and lifts my chin with his forefinger and lightly presses his lips to mine. I pull back as my lips force themselves into a smile.
I walk into the kitchen, Lara stood surrounded by half drunk drinks when her eyes widen and she stands up straight looking at us. “I just had the most amazing idea! Let’s play drunk truth or dare.” I roll my eyes and laugh at her before we quickly end up stood around the kitchen island. After Lara downs another shot of vodka “okay, some one else, anyone else, please.” I laugh before watching twirl the bottle. Which then lands on Wes he stops playing with his dog tags and looks around the circle.
“Go on then boys and girls, I chose dare.” He smirks as his eyes land on me. Lara smiles to herself before whispering to Arlo, he laughs and nods to her.
“I dare you to kiss the person in this room that you could see yourself falling in love with.” He does an adorable smirk before wiggling his watch on his wrist as he walks towards me.
“Now that one is easy as hell because I’m already in love with her, have been for years.”
He places his left hand on my waist pulling me gently into his body until my chest is pressed against his. He looks deeply into my eyes then down to my lips as he bites his, his eye full of lust, he looks back at my eyes, placing his right hand on my cheek and running his thumb against my jaw, then pressing his lips to mine so delicately but with such passion, he press his lips to mine gently and with such lust and passion. He pulls away and smile before turning his back to me which is when he stands beside Carson when I see them do a small fist bump slightly under the table. Gracie looks at me and leans on my shoulder, “That was wow…” I look over to her.
“Imagine it from my point of view.” She laughs before standing up straight again. Wes then spins the bottle when it lands on Lara again.
“Oh for fuck sake, dare, I guess.” I laugh, the doorbell goes off and Arlo runs off to get the door.
Wes smiles, “Since you did it to me, I dare you to kiss the person in this room you could see yourself falling in love with.” She rolls her eyes before looking around the room. Her eyes land directly behind me, I turn around to see what she’s looking at.
Chris, Brooklyn and Arlo are stood behind me. “What are you doing here?” I can tell she’s deeply irritated just by her voice.
“Dad sent Brooke to pick up these lot up.” She sighs and puts her hands on her hips.
“That explains why Brooke is here, but why are you here, Christopher?” He looks down at his feet.
“I wanted to see how you are.” There’s silence, “all of you.” The added comment was untrue but needed to be said to take away some awkwardness.
Wes smirks as he takes another sip of his drink, “Are you going to do your dare or not then Lara.” She send evils his way before walking past me standing on her tip toes and pressing her lips to Chris, after a second or two he realises what’s happening and her wraps one are around her body and the other hand on her cheek. She pulls away and steps out of his grasp, “I might hate your guts but were my first love so I’ll always love you.” She turn and walks out into the garden, as walks past she says goodbye to Jamie, Gracie, Hannah and I.
The car ride home is silent as Chris stands completely frozen looking out the window. Each stop we make to drop someone off I see Chris getting more and more anxious. The second Chris gets out the car, he climbs straight back into his BMW, “I need to speak to her, cover for me.” I open the door before he has a chance to pull away, “Chris leave it.” He look up at me.
“Skye, I can’t lose her again, I have to speak to her.” I watch as he pull out the yard, and pulls down the road, revving the car to no end. I sigh and slowly walk up the stairs just after 2 am being as quiet as possible, as I reach the middle of the stairs I hear my Dad behind me clearing his throat. I take a sigh and turn on my heal, “What happened to being home by 11?” I move to the side and sit down on the step as Dad sits beside me, “Sorry Dad, I lost track of time.” He leaned into me and wrapped his arm around my shoulders, allowing me to rest my head on his shoulder. “Skylar, I know you’re old enough to make your own decisions but I need to keep you safe, I need you to let me know what’s happening, I don’t mind you staying out later, as long as you tell me. I know you want some normalcy but I need you to be safe.” I nod and smile towards him, as he pulls me into a tight hug.
As I climb the stairs alone and climb into bed, my phone vibrates as I look at the screen I find myself smiling at the caller ID, ‘I’ll pick you up tomorrow, for our date, I can’t wait to see your beautiful face, love Wes.’ I place the phone back down and look towards the ceiling falling asleep with a large smile on my face, the world around me fading away as my eyes fall closed.