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The foundation series bo.., p.22
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       The Foundation Series Box Set, p.22

           Kira Adams

  She stood up and I took her place in the chair. She began wringing out her hands nervously and rubbing them up and down her jeans.

  “Peyton, look at me, it’s just me. You have nothing to be nervous about. Imagine me naked if it helps.”

  Her eyes bulged out of her head at my comment.

  “Or not…” My cheeks grew red from embarrassment.

  She began giggling, shifting the mood.

  “Just remember…you asked for it,” she warned.

  She took one more deep breath, closing her eyes before opening them again and beginning. “This is called ‘You’.”

  Everything used to be so different before

  Colorless, emotionless, I knew there had to be more

  And then it all changed that fateful day

  You walked into my life, there to stay

  You changed my life in more ways than one

  Changed my entire outlook before you were done

  Showed me the light in the darkest night

  You fought for me, showing me new heights

  There’s no one in the world quite like you

  You believe in everything that I do

  You show me the beauty I hold inside

  Dear boy, you are my light

  I was ready to give up before I met you

  I had nothing holding me back, nothing to look forward to

  But you saw right through me and into my soul

  You pieced me back together, you made me whole

  It wasn’t always easy, but life never is

  You showed me the possibilities and made me fight for it

  You are the best decision I’ve ever made

  With you, I’m no longer afraid

  There’s no one in the world quite like you

  You believe in everything that I do

  You show me the beauty I hold inside

  Dear boy, you are my light

  There’s no one in the world quite like you

  You believe in everything that I do

  You show me the beauty I hold inside

  Dear boy, you are my light

  I wasn’t prepared for the emotions that overtook me as she sang a song she had clearly written for me and about me. No one had ever done anything that beautiful before. I didn’t say anything for a second, attempting to regain my bearings.

  “You hated it…” Peyton’s face spread with worry.

  I stood up quickly, taking her hands into mine, caressing them gently. “No one has ever done anything like that for me before.”

  She exhaled a sigh of relief. “You liked it?”

  “Liked it? I loved it.” I hugged her tightly, spinning her around.

  “It’s still rough…”

  “It’s perfect.” I rubbed my thumb gently across her cheek. “Now…tell me a secret,” I whispered seductively into Peyton’s ear, trailing her neck with my warm breath.

  She paused slightly, in thought. “I may or may not admit to the obscene amount of sex dreams I’ve had about you!” As soon as she blurted it out, she turned red as a tomato, slapping her palm against her mouth.

  To say Peyton was inexperienced was an understatement. I had almost been her first kiss, although during junior year someone beat me to the punch.

  I found myself wondering if Peyton had ever watched porn…for education. You could say the curiosity was turning me on.

  “Glad to know I’m in your dreams in any capacity,” I finally replied to her spout of truth. “Now, come here.” I pulled her into me, lowering my lips to hers again and again.

  Five: Forbidden Feelings Surface

  Before I had I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Now I was positive of it. My father had suspiciously been on his best behavior for the past few weeks; staying unusually sober. I hadn’t stopped locking my five deadbolts at night, but there had definitely been a shift. Was it a miracle? No. Was it Samina? I wasn’t sure. But I was keeping a close eye on my father anticipating a slip-up.

  He had been splitting his time between his new girlfriend’s residence and ours. My house was finally beginning to feel just like that; my house. A place I could come and go as I pleased. A place I could feel safe. I never let my guard down though.

  Samina had mentioned her daughter Gia a few times when she was over and finally had decided it was time for us all to meet. Samina planned to cook for us all over at our house. Apparently I had been the topic of conversation in her household and Gia had been asking to meet me.

  “Do you need any help with anything?” I approached Samina in the kitchen.

  “Oh no, Jace, I have everything handled here, but if you could set the table, that would be wonderful.” She smiled warmly at me.

  “It smells great!” I leaned over her shoulder attempting to catch a glance of what she was preparing. “What is it?”

  “It’s an old family recipe. Now go set the table. Gia should be here any moment.”

  “Yes ma’am,” I replied, opening up the cupboards and pulling out a stack of plates.

  No more than twenty minutes later the doorbell rang. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I opened the door, but her luxurious long dark hair and big chocolate eyes held me captive for a moment too long. She couldn’t have been taller than 5’1”, but her beauty threw me off my game. She’s absolutely stunning…

  “You must be Jace.” She smiled warmly at me, so many identical characteristics to her mother.

  I nodded, swallowing deeply. “Gia?” I was not used to the debilitating effects she seemed to have on my body and my speech.

  She chuckled looking down. “Did I come at a bad time?”

  “No…no…everything is fine. Come on in.” I scooted over so she could enter.

  My heart rate spiked; the hair all over my body standing on end as she brushed past me. What the hell is going on with me?

  She glanced around, taking everything in. “Nice place.”

  “Thanks,” I replied, rubbing my hand over my short hair.

  “Gia, is that you sweetie?” Samina called from the kitchen.

  “Si Madre.” Gia turned to me. “Hablas Espanol?”

  I pinched my fingers closely together. “Un poquito.”

  Her smile spread across her lips wider. “I think we are going to get along just fine.”

  I couldn’t help returning her grin. “Come on.” I cocked my head towards the kitchen, then began leading Gia further inside my house.

  I watched as Gia made her way straight to Samina and they embraced each other quickly. In those brief, short seconds I felt more love than I had ever known in my entire life. Frank had stopped acknowledging my presence in the past year and only recently decided I existed. I couldn’t remember the last time he had hugged me because he wanted to show me he cared about me, that he loved me.

  My mother had always loved me, but she was not overly affectionate either. I could count the number of times on my hand that she had hugged me or kissed me.

  “Go sit down, Mija.” Samina leaned down to kiss Gia’s head. “Jace, can you tell your father the food is ready?”

  My eyes darted into the living room, where audible TV sounds had been coming from. I knew my father was in there seated in his recliner.

  I made my way to the living room, towards the loud noise. “Oh you mother fucker,” I muttered under my breath as I raced towards my father’s limp body hunched over the side of the recliner. One hand was still gripping tightly to a bottle of whiskey.

  I ripped the bottle out of his hand and placed it on the coffee table quickly. His eyes were rolled to the back of his head. I glanced back at the bottle. He had managed to down more than half of it, and considering the fact that he hadn’t been drinking continuously like normal, the amount he drank was affecting him more heavily.

  “Come on,” I huffed, lifting his limp body up by slipping my arms underneath his armpits and dragging him. When I reached the bathroom, I threw him into the tub, watching him topple over. He was more than annihilated. I turned the
silver knob, the showering springing to life.

  “What the hell?” He jumped up the minute the cold water splashed his face, fuming.

  “Why Frank? Why did you do it?”

  “What the hell do you want?” he snarled at me through gritted teeth.

  “Samina and her daughter are here, did you forget that little fact?”

  It was small and I may have been imagining it, but I could’ve sworn I saw something flash across his eyes at the mention of Samina.

  “Now pull yourself together and come to dinner…but for God’s sake Frank, sober up.” I turned to walk away.

  “I know you think I’m a sorry excuse for a father.”

  I turned around at the sound of his voice. “I’m sorry?”

  “But I did the best I could do.”

  I shook my head angrily. “No, you didn’t.”

  “You needed to be taught a lesson,” he growled at me. “Always making the wrong choice—always choosing the bitches.”

  “What the hell are you talking about?” This time I was the one who raised my voice, but when it came to people I cared about, I got protective.

  “You chose that whore over me after the divorce. And then you chose that slut over your own flesh and blood.” He was wearing a look of absolute disgust on his face and it was aimed at me.

  “You son of a…” I gritted my teeth, lunging for his neck.

  “Look around you,” he whispered, my hands tightly wrapped around his neck. “Would you really want my blood on your hands…especially with the two witnesses downstairs?” He was trying to manipulate me…and it was working. I felt my fingers releasing almost instantly.

  He rubbed his neck gingerly where my fingers had been; his skin a ghostly shade of white. “Sober up, Frank,” I said through a clenched jaw.

  Turning on my heel I made it back downstairs but grabbed my coat off the coat rack.

  “Going somewhere?” It was Gia, her chocolate brown eyes fixated on me, awaiting my answer.

  “Actually, I’m going to have to ask for a rain check.” I shrugged awkwardly.

  “What a bummer…I was excited to hear more about your story.” She smiled shyly.

  “Maybe another time.” If my father made it downstairs before I left, I would never make it out of the house, so I hurriedly said my goodbyes and rushed to my car.

  It was a Friday night and I found myself at Peyton’s house in no time after making a quick pit stop. She hadn’t been feeling well and had stayed home from school. Even though I managed to check in with texts I hadn’t been able to check in on her in person until now.

  I was thankful to get out of my house. Between my father’s stupid decisions and Gia’s undeniable beauty I was having trouble thinking straight. This is so unlike you.

  After knocking for only a brief second, Madison was staring back at me, her bright blue eyes telling her secret; I could tell she was relieved to see me. “Jace.”

  “Madison.” I nodded my head towards her.

  “Does this mean I’m off duty?” Her eyes were pleading with mine to say yes.

  I chuckled. “I can take it from here soldier.”

  “Thank you! Thank God!” She embraced me quickly then, reaching inside the doorway to grab her purse and jacket and then booking it out of the Lane household.

  I was still chuckling to myself when I made it into Peyton’s bedroom. The lights were off and I could hear groaning.

  I switched on the lights and Peyton weakly turned her face to look my way. Her hair was greasy and tangled; stuck to her forehead.

  “You look like death,” I said softly, approaching her bedside.

  “You’re so sweet.” At least I knew she hadn’t lost her sarcasm.

  “Here.” I held up a big, brown paper bag.

  “What is it?” she asked, rubbing the back of her hand across her forehead, leaving her bangs disheveled.

  “Chicken noodle soup, vitamin c, cough drops, orange juice, and Nyquil.”

  “Are you an angel?” she asked, blinking slowly.

  I cracked a smile. “I just know how to beat a cold.”

  “So how was your day today?” she asked, reaching into the bag.

  “It was good. I went to school and it was an easy day. Then I met Felix at the library where we made a lot of progress on our project.” I had no intention whatsoever on bringing Gia up. I already felt guilty on the inside for the intense connection I felt to her. I barely knew her, and yet, she was one of the only people who had ever affected me that strongly. As exhilarating as those new feelings were, I loved Peyton and I had worked so hard to win her over, I wasn’t willing to do anything that might jeopardize our relationship.

  “That’s great.” She was so weak her voice lacked enthusiasm. “Your father still acting suspicious?”

  “Highly. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him…but there is something about Samina. I think he cares for her.”

  Peyton began eating the hot soup slowly; the smell wafting out of the small cup. “Mmm.” She let her head roll back as she savored the taste.

  “So how long did you keep Madison locked up in here?” I joked, cracking a smile.

  “What? What did she tell you?” Her eyes were wide; her mouth half full.

  I laughed. “Peyton Renee Lane…”

  Her cheeks grew hot as I emphasized her full name. “I couldn’t get ahold of you and I was scared of being alone when I felt so terrible.”

  “How long?” I repeated the question again.

  “Just since nine this morning.”

  I glanced at my watch...7:13 p.m. “Damn, you really held her prisoner.”

  “Oh, get out of here!” Peyton waved her hand at me, shooing me away, but she did it with a smile curling at the corners of her lips.

  Even though she looked like she had crawled her way out of hell, Peyton always looked beautiful to me. I was happy for the distraction.

  “How can you look like such a train wreck to the rest of the world, but so irresistible to me?” I asked, breaking into a wide grin.

  “Wow, you are such a romantic…” Peyton rolled her eyes before an unsteady look took over her face. Quickly, she threw her hand over her mouth in an attempt to hold it together. “I’m going to be sick!” She barely got the words out before she raced off of her bed and into the adjoining bathroom, not bothering to close the door behind her.

  I felt terrible for her. Even though being around someone puking was not ideal and quite nauseating, I had a strong stomach. Without waiting for any instruction for her, I joined Peyton in the bathroom, scooping up her long hair from her face and holding it back as she released the remnants of her unsettled stomach. “I should get a boyfriend of the year award for this,” I joked lightly from behind her.

  Although she wasn’t facing me, I could still feel a smile playing across her lips. She ripped off a couple of squares of toilet paper, wiping her mouth. After flushing the toilet, she fell against the wall of the bathroom, weak and tired. “I feel terrible.”

  “I know,” I replied in a soothing voice, rubbing her shoulder gently with my hand. “Is your stomach feeling settled? Did you want to get back into your bed?”

  “I feel like World War III is happening in there,” Peyton said, closing her eyes lightly.

  “I’m sorry babe.” Luckily for me, I rarely ever got sick, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t sympathize with her. “Here, let’s get you back into your bed.” I scooped up her weak frame and carried her the few feet to her full-sized bed, softly laying her down onto her pillows. “Do you want the covers on you?”

  She shook her head yes as I pulled them over her body which was now facing away from me. I kissed the top of her head, turning to exit her room.

  “Where are you going?” A small voice rose out of her, her body still facing the opposite direction.

  “I’m not leaving, I promise. I’m going downstairs to get you a puke bowl.” See what I said? Best boyfriend ever…

  Six: A Depressing Reali

  My father had been on his best behavior ever since the night he had been caught red-handed. Too bad I wasn’t sure how long he could last this time. Samina and Gia had been spending more and more time over at our house and even staying the night a few nights a week.

  Being around Gia left me feeling unstable; unsure of my actions. I wasn’t okay with that. Because of this, and the glaringly obvious sexual tension, I did my best to stay out of the house. I would leave early for school and return late around midnight every night as to avoid any complications or conflict.

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