The painful secret (1)

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Chapter fifteen

"Allison. Allison!" Brian pounded on the guest room door and called out for the red-haired girl to answer him, but she didn't. He cursed to himself and sighed. He knew she was mortified and that she wouldn't come out and face him. Truthfully, he was just glad she didn't run home.

He gave up and headed to his room. He changed into dry clothes and went over to his desk, picking up his sketchbook. Flipping through the pages, he found his latest drawings and they happened to be of Allison.

He already chose the one he was going to do for his final project. It was the very first sketch he did of her and she was biting into her brownie, looking as if nothing was wrong in her life.

Brian sat down on his bed and just stared at the picture. It was how he wanted to see her every minute of everyday; happy and content with life. Not hurting or in pain. He ran a hand through his wet hair. She had completely taken over him and her thoughts and, strangely, he was happy about it. But, what he wasn't happy about was that he couldn't do anything at all to help her.

His fingers played over the piece of paper, outlining her face. She was beautiful in his eyes. Even the gruesome scars that marred her back made her beauty that much more intoxicating.

Brian closed his sketchbook and returned it to his desk.

~~~~

It was hard for Allison to ignore Brian earlier that day when he tried to talk to her after her friends found out about her darkest secret. For some reason, she just couldn't face him. Jenna also came to the door later on that day to make sure she was alright and even though she didn't answer to woman's concerns, she knew Jenna was satisfied with just knowing she was alive.

There was a conversation about her too. She could hear them talking at the dinner table about what happened earlier that day. Some parts were choppy, but what she mostly heard was Brian's parents concern for her mental health. True, Allison was seriously messed up because of her father's abuse, but she wasn't some head case.

Then again, she was acting like one; hiding inside the guest room.

As the day continued tick away with the minutes, clouds took over the sky and a storm formed beneath their thick, gray blanket. Lighting flashed in the sky, illuminating the dark night. Thunder crashed through the sky, shaking the house.

Allison hated thunderstorms; always had. She turned in bed, holding the blanket under her chin. She was scared and when the next roar of the storm broke through the air, Allison scrambled out of bed and ran out her door and across the hall. It was such a quick reaction that she didn't even remember getting out of bed in the first place.

Standing outside Brian's door now, she hesitated with her hand on the knob. It was late and everyone had to be asleep. Well, everyone except her. Just when she was going to retreat back to her room, another loud rumble sent a wave of fear through her veins, forcing her to turn the knob and peer into his room. He was in bed, but to her surprise, he wasn't sleeping.

Lying on his back, arms crossed behind his head, Brian turned his head to her when he heard his door open. He sat up immediately. "Ally? What's wrong?"

She closed the door and leaned her back lightly against it. "I匈'm sorry...I'm scared匈 don't like thunderstorms."

Brian motioned for her to come over to him.

Allison was surprised. After blowing him off earlier that day, she thought he would be mad at her, but he wasn't. So, she walked over to him and looked down at the dark-haired boy. His features were hidden by darkness, but she had already memorized them in her mind. She didn't need light to remind her of his face.

A flash of light illuminated the room, followed by a loud crackling. Allison gasped and wrapped her arms around herself. Brian stood and put an arm around her shoulder's, guiding her down on the bed. When she was under the blanket and tucked in, Brian went to his closet and pulled out some spare pillows and blankets.

Allison followed his shadow with her eyes as he set up a makeshift bed on the floor. He laid down and settled under the blankets. She scotched to the edge of the bed, as far as she could without rolling off, and met his gaze. "Sorry"

Brian rolled onto his side and looked up at her. "For what? You didn't do anything wrong."

"For...earlier. I was rude to you and-" Another rumble in the sky stopped her for a second. She drew in breath to finish. "And I'm sorry." She gasped when she felt his hand on hers. The touch sent shivers throughout her body.

"I should have told them to leave." He sighed. "The whole thing never would have happened if I-"

Allison cut him off. "Brian, stop," she practically demanded, catching him off guard as well as herself. "After everything you've done for me, there is no reason for you to put blame on yourself, for anything."

He rubbed her hand for a bit, before retracting his back to himself. "Alright. If you say so."

A smile creased her lips. "I do."

They didn't say anything else and after a half hour passed, Allison remained awake. She didn't know if Brian was or not. The storm ragged on, being the main reason for her insomnia. Every loud clash of the clouds sent a spike of awareness through her, keeping her awake. Her breath stilled after each one and her heart sped up just a bit. And, just as her body calmed, the stormed stirred her up again.

Every time there was a storm like this, her mother would instinctively sneak into her room and cuddle up next to her. Listening her mother's heart beat as she lay wrapped in her protective arms, was a soothing lullaby that dulled her senses until she fell into sleep. It was those moments that Ally longed to relive with her mother. Oh, how she missed her gently goodnight kiss and soft smile.

Now, during this storm, as the rain pounded on the glass, Ally wished her mother was still alive and lying beside her. She wanted to feel her warm embrace that would keep her safe until morning. She remembered her mother's gentle words telling her that everything would be alright and that the storm would pass and bring beauty the next morning. The memories brought water to her eyes and made her sniffle as she tried to hold them back.

Allison couldn't help herself. She needed that protection and security. She picked up a pillow and slid out of bed, resting her body on the floor next to Brian. She found that he was still awake when he wrapped a strong arm around her and pulled her closer to his warmth.

He drew his blanket over her and ran his hand through her soft hair. "Everything will be alright, Allison," he said, reassuringly.

The phrase sent a sense of warmth through her. "Thank you," she said quietly.

Brian's hand glided down to her lower back, where it rested gently. His legs were already intertwined with hers and her head was nestled into his collar bone. "Go to sleep now, sweetheart." he said softly.

Under his protection and warmth, Allison's eyes had become heavy almost instantly. This wasn't the same security she felt with her mother.

No. This宇his was better
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