See me when you look at me

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-Alexander's POV

''Hey, guys! I hear congratulations are in order!''

Gabriel catches up with Tyler and me, while we make our way to the parking lot.

''Congratulations for what?'' Tyler asks.

''For getting into the university of Wisconin, Stanford and UC San Diego for you, Tyler. Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley and NYU for Alexander. Those are great universities, so therefore congratulations!''

Gabriel smiles, but his smile fades when he sees some girls walking in our direction.

''This is different,'' Tyler chuckles. ''It's usually Alex who tries to dodge all the girls at school!''

''I'm turning eighteen in two weeks and apparently someone overheard me saying to S, that I was thinking about throwing a party. Now they keep fishing for invitations!'' Gabriel grumbles.

''So no party this weekend!'' I say with a loud voice. ''That sucks, man!''

Gabriel looks at me with a frown, but Tyler catches on more quickly.

''Yeah, that sucks. I was hoping that you would introduce me to some of your model friends! At least tell me that you will be at the tournament before you head out for Vegas and hangout with all the other celebrities!''

Gabriel laughs and I see the disappointment on the faces of the girls, who literally turned around after hearing that.

''Thanks. BTW, I will be there at the tournament. Samantha basically said that she would kill me if I weren't there. I'm driving up there with her and Millie, so that's going to be fun. The two of them are already so stressed out.''

''I get it,'' Tyler responds. ''It's the final chance for some of the girls to get a scholarship, since many scouts will be there.''

''That doesn't explain why S is on a warpath. She is not planning on going to college next year and if she changed her mind, then she still doesn't need a scholarship. She has the financial means to pay for it since she was twelve!''

''I knew it, she is rich! Now I know who to turn to if my financial aid doesn't come through for some reason.''

I roll my eyes at Tyler, but what Gabriel said about Samantha not going to college was bugging me. We never really talked about our plans for after high school. She was crazy busy with getting everything ready for the tournament, while finishing her exams and keeping up with her practices with the track team.

Still we should talk about it. I heard that some couples already broke up because they were going to different schools or simply wanted to be single in college. Breaking up was the last thing that I wanted, but I knew Samantha.

She would be all logical. That we were too young to say that we were meant to be. That I would meet a lot of different new people at college and that we would be tempted, especially when we haven't seen each other in a long time.

Breaking up made sense and it was the logical thing to do. I would prefer to break up and stay friends, then have our relationship end in a horrible way.

''Because I don't want to talk to you! Why the hell would you bother to reach out now, after months and months of nothing!''

I look up and I see Samantha kick the tire of my car. She is pacing around and she obviously upset.

''What do you mean, I need you!''

Samantha's voice goes higher and she clenches her first, which is never a good sign.

''Put her on speaker,'' Gabriel whispers and he lays his hand on Samantha shoulders.

''Because you might find me an awful mother, but I was an exceptional manager. I always got you the best jobs and made sure you had the best of everything!''

''By getting me assaulted and raped!'' Samantha screams. ''Does drugs you gave me numbed me, but they didn't make me forget!''

''Like I ever had to force you. Don't play innocent with me, Samantha. You were hungry for success and you would go to any lengths to get what you wanted.''

''What you wanted,'' Samantha says coldly.

''How are you doing without me, honey? Dumped by your agency and sponsor. Not being able to land a job for months. You didn't even got into the League, but what did you expect with Osako as your coach? You had it all, Samantha. Now you are on some petty high school track team and probably screwing the first boy you met. You need me, Samantha.''

Samantha is shaking and pale.

''I don't need you. Emma and I are doing great without you!''

''Are you sure, honey? I got you into the race on Saturday. I also made sure that the right persons would see you run there and I also got you your deal with Titans back. I know you, my darling daughter. You are always hungry for the chance to prove that you are the best and I'm giving you that chance.''

''You never have done anything just out of the kindness of your heart, so what is the catch?'' Samantha asks annoyed.

''Got your attention now, haven't I. No catch, honey. Just the usual conditions, since our old agreement is no longer working out. Clever putting in the contract that I would no longer receive does cheques if your current contracts would end.''

''Of course is all comes down to money,'' Samantha sighs. ''Money and grasping to that last bit of glory. It never occurred to you that I never cared about the fame or the money.''

We hear a loud sigh and I can tell Samantha is close to losing her last bit of self control.

''You can only say that because you have both does things, my daughter. People respected you, they feared you and you loved it. You were never meant to be ordinary, but look at you now. Titans send me the last pictures they had of you. That hair colour is not working for you and lay of the burgers, Samantha! Also tattoos? What were you thinking!''

''She was thinking that she was finally free of you, you wretched bitch!'' Tyler yells and he snatches the phone out of Samantha's hand.

''Goodbye, aunt Celeste. I hope you live out the rest of your miserable life far away from us!''

Tyler hangs up and he puts the phone in his pocket.

''I have to walk it off, be right back,'' Tyler says and he walks in the direction of the benches.

Samantha smiles when Gabriel squeezes her shoulders and she looks at me. I see the pain in her eyes and I open my arms. Immediately she walks into my arms and she buries her face in my chest.

''She doesn't even care!'' I hear Samantha sob. ''She made my life a living hell and she said it was because she wanted the best for me? That's her excuse for drugging me and whoring me out for years?''

I hug Samantha and I exchange a look with Gabriel. He looks angry and lost like me. I never knew that people you be like this. So manipulative and down right evil. Samantha's mother sounded like a monster! But I don't think that would be helpful to say.

''She is wrong about everything, love. We all know that and you know that too! Your mom will never understand that and that's on her and on her alone! Also you are fucking beautiful and I love your appetite. I love you and now we are going to have to find Tyler, because we all can use some milkshakes now.''

Samantha wipes away her tears and she looks at Gabriel.

''Can they come too?''
Gabriel grins and I wonder what we are in for.

-Samantha's POV
My mom calling out of the blue completely threw me off. She called me with a unknown number and since I was so busy with the start up of Gabe's business, talking to so many people, I just picked up.
I froze when I heard her voice, but then I just felt anger. Anger for everything she did and for what she didn't do. Now I felt numb, but also relieved. Relieved that I wasn't alone and that I could process my feelings in a healthy way.
Gabriel knew how my mom could be very well, but now Alexander and Tyler knew too. I still couldn't believe that Tyler stood up for me like that and Alexander's words touched me. I was so grateful for having those three in my life.
''How the hell did you manage to hide your tattoos for so long?'' Tyler asks.
''Because I covered them op with make-up if I couldn't cover them with clothes. My agency was very strict about that, but give me a minute.''
I grab the tissues and I start wiping my hand. I have a little star between my thumb and index finger. Then I take of my shirt, turn around and give the wipes to Gabriel, while I wipe my wrist.
''That's actually cute that you have Emma's name on your arm,'' Tyler says, but then he gasps.
''That one is awesome!''
I smile, but then I look at Alexander. He has been quiet the entire time and really can't tell what he is thinking. I get it if he is feeling annoyed that I never told him about my tattoos, but I also realise that the tattoos could be an turn off for him.
''That phoenix is incredible,'' Tyler mumbles and he traces the lines of the ink with his finger.
''What do you think, Alexander? It's okay if you don't like them, it's not for everyone.''
Alexander smiles when he hears how nervous I am and he tucks a curl behind my ear.
''They look good on you, but I did notice that you and Gabriel have the same star tattoo.What is the story behind that one?''
''For our star in heaven,'' Gabriel says softly and I nod.
''We all loved Tess very much and this way it's like she is still a part of our lives.''
''Okay, what are we getting tonight!'' a man voice says.
I look at Gabriel and he pulls out two papers.
''This one is for her, but she is not allowed to see it.''
I groan, but then I see that Tyler is looking at something.
''Found something you like, Ty?''
''Yes, but I will only get it if you get this one too!''
Tyler comes back and I start laughing when I see it.
''You want to get a Cookie Monster tattoo? You do know that this permanent, right?''
''I'm not a complete idiot, Sam. I know tattoos are permanent, but so are we. I just think that Cookie Monster is a fun way to symbolise the fact that we are family.''
Fuck, I don't want to cry!
''Then this one as well as what ever Gabriel designed for me, Marty.''
Marty grins and nods.
''Gabriel is with Selina. You are with me and the virgin is for Rick!''
Tyler mutters something under his breath and he turns to Alexander.
''You're my best friend and you know I hate needles, so you better hold my hand!''
''You got it, man. I will make sure that Rick is gentle with you!''
Alexander gives me a quick kiss, before he and Tyler walk to the man that is waving at them.
I turn to Gabriel and I see he is already holding up the blindfold.
''Ready, S?''
No, but I trusted Gabriel with my life. Also a promise was a promise.
''Let's do this!''
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