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The foundation series bo.., p.39
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       The Foundation Series Box Set, p.39

           Kira Adams
 

  “So, how have you been?” I ask as soon as we are both comfortably situated.

  “I’ve been…amazing. Things could not be better. I feel like I’m living a fairytale.”

  It hurts to hear how happy she is…without me, but I am excited for her. “Good, I am really happy for you, Peyton,” I say, not believing my own words.

  She nods. “How have you been?” she asks timidly.

  “Look…are we really going to do this?” I can’t help myself, we are on limited time. “You and I both know I didn’t invite you here for small talk.”

  Peyton looks surprised, but understanding. “What did you bring me over here to talk about?”

  I take a deep breath, closing the distance between us. “Peyton, I made a mistake…”

  Her eyes widen with a look of horror. It’s a look I’ve seen before. She’s going to run.

  Sure enough, within seconds she is bolting past me and toward the door. Luckily, I am prepared for her, I throw my arm out, stopping her and pulling her into me.

  “Let me go!” She fights against my grip.

  “Peyton, just hear me out,” I say softly, attempting to calm her down.

  “Hear you out? Hear you out?” she cries loudly. “What gives you the right, huh? After all this time…?”

  My face falls. This isn’t going as well as I’d hoped. “Look, I’m sorry. There’s a lot of things we need to talk about.”

  “Fuck you,” Peyton hisses. “I don’t have shit to talk about with you.”

  Her words are rough, but I know it’s her anger speaking, not her. I continue holding her, my chin atop her head, attempting to soothe her. After a while, I feel her body relax in my arms. I loosen my grip.

  “I know I hurt you, Peyton, believe me…it’s something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. But I never wanted to end it with you. I was never over us,” I say, leaving myself more vulnerable than I’d like.

  I release her and she takes a couple of steps away from me. “You were dating her, right in front of my face, and you didn’t even have the decency to tell me that we were through.”

  I feel a pang in my chest. Guilt. “It wasn’t real.”

  “What?” Peyton blurts out, jumping back.

  “Angelica and me, it wasn’t real. It was just a publicity stunt our publicists set up.”

  Peyton’s eyes dart around the room madly. “And that is supposed to make it any better?” Peyton huffs, throwing her arms in the air. “You let me believe you moved on for months, and when I finally decided I had had enough, that’s when you thought it best to fight for me?”

  Unfortunately for me the points she’s making are all valid.

  Nine: I am Going to Chop Him Up in Tiny Pieces and Scatter Them so that No One Can Ever Piece Him Back Together Again

  Twisted Game

  © 2015 DarienMae

  Raindrops

  Raindrops

  Rain drops down my windowpane

  The sky is crying, crying out your name

  Now I know it’ll never be the same

  Now I know it was just a twisted game

  And I see now the bitter truth is so real now

  You stole my heart and now you left me bruised

  I’ll never feel the same, I don’t know what to do

  I’m going insane and I can’t complain

  I led myself to this miserable game

  Underneath it all, we’re all the same

  Rain drops down my windowpane

  The sky is crying, crying out your name

  Now I know it’ll never be the same

  Now I know it was just a twisted game

  My heart bleeds now, it bleeds for you

  And it’s so real now

  I cannot believe it became clear now

  I’m suffocating it’s so real

  And I can’t deny everything I’m feeling inside

  I’ve lost the war and I’ve lost my mind

  Time to move on and say goodbye

  Rain drops down my windowpane

  The sky is crying, crying out your name

  Now I know it’ll never be the same

  Now I know it was just a twisted game

  I don’t know why, I don’t know why, I don’t know why you want to hurt me inside

  You broke my heart, broke my heart, broke my heart with a foolish lie x6

  Rain drops down my windowpane

  The sky is crying, crying out your name

  Now I know it’ll never be the same

  Now I know it was just a twisted game

  Peyton

  I am seeing red—blood red. I am going to kill him. I am going to chop him up into tiny pieces and scatter them so that no one can ever piece him back together again.

  Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic…but the love of my freaking life just told me that we’ve been broken up for the past year and a half for no reason other than boosting his social media popularity status.

  “Peyton,” I can hear him say my name, but he sounds far away. The room is spinning…oh, God, I’m losing it.

  “Peyton!” I hear my name again, and then my legs give out and I’m falling. Everything is in slow motion. That hard glass is going to hurt like hell. Right before I’m bug splatter, I feel arms catch me. I look up into his turquoise eyes. Why? Why would he do something like this to us?

  It takes ten minutes for me to regain consciousness and to feel like the room is back to normal. When I lift my head from the couch and lock eyes with Jace, he looks distraught. “Peyton, I am so, so sorry,” I hear his voice clearly now. “Everything was so new to me, and I didn’t know what I could say no to, until now.”

  I can’t help the tears that are beginning to burn behind my eyes. What I would have given to hear Jace say something like this back when I still held onto hope for us. Too much time has passed between us now, too many lies separate us. To think there was a time I trusted Jace more than my own family members...

  “You’re about a year too late, my friend,” I say bitterly, wiping the tears away.

  “No,” Jace says.

  “What did you say?” I counter.

  “No,” he repeats. “It can’t be too late. You wouldn’t be here if it was. You would have never agreed to come. There is some part of you, and maybe it’s so small you barely notice it’s even there, but that part of you still thinks there might be a chance for you and me.”

  Peyton nods her head slowly. “Is that so? Did you happen to ask that part of me what kind of hell I’ve been through since we broke up? The nights I tortured myself wondering who you were spending your time with, and if you liked her more than you liked me.”

  Jace’s face falls, and for the first time since I’ve seen him, his eyes begin to water. “You have no idea how many times I called your phone, only to hang up when you answered. How many times I wanted to apologize for everything I put you through…but I was scared. I had already hurt you so much, I didn’t want there to be any possibility of making it worse.” His shoulders heave up and down as his breathing becomes labored. “You have no idea how much I hate myself for what I did to you…to us. This was definitely not how I envisioned our future.”

  “I need a break,” I say quickly and then jump up, rushing away. I don’t realize until I’m halfway down the hall that I’ve never been here before.

  “Second door on your left,” Jace calls out from the living room, reading my thoughts. I nod my head as thanks although I’m positive he can’t see it. After locking myself in the bathroom, I slide down the door to the ground. Just when I was finally feeling okay with him not being a part of my life and future, he waltzes back in, trying to be the hero. I’m shaking.

  After what seems like only a handful of minutes, I hear footsteps approaching.

  “Peyton?” I hear him call softly for me from the other side of the door. “Come out, let’s talk about this.”

  “I’m going to the bathroom,” I lie.

  “No you’re not,” Jace calls my bluff.


  “How would you know?” I ask in a snarky tone.

  “Because the faucet isn’t running…I know you…even after all this time, I know you,” he says softly.

  I want to tell him that he’s wrong, that he knows nothing about me…but I’d be lying. Instead I stand up and unlock the door, coming face to face with him.

  “You hurt me…a lot. I don’t know how I’m supposed to just get past that,” I say defeated.

  “I know, and for that, I am so, so sorry.” He looks the epitome of genuine. “I know it’s been a long time, and I’m not asking you to just go back to the way things were. I am asking you to open your guarded heart one more time for a man simply wanting to prove himself. If I mess up again, you can lock those walls up and never open them for any man ever again.”

  “Jace,” I say breathlessly, losing my resolve. He’s always been the man of my dreams, my Man Crush Mondays. It’s hard to say no to something you know deep down inside you’ve wanted for years.

  Jace reacts to the changing dynamic between us and steps inside the bathroom. I stumble backwards, my back running into the sink. He’s quite literally backed me into a corner. “I forgot how much I missed the way you always smell like hazelnut or fresh Gain detergent. How you always second guess your beauty, even though it’s unparalleled. How you feel so vulnerable most of the time, but you’re actually the one who holds all the power, you just don’t know it.”

  Something about his last observation pushes me over the edge. I grip the neckline of his dark hoodie and pull him into me. Right before I press my lips to his, I hesitate, hovering. It’s an old favorite game of ours. A cat and mouse game if you will. It’s to see who will give in first. Who simply can’t wait another second to taste the others lips.

  Screw it, I’m losing.

  I press my lips to his slowly and gently, not wanting to rush anything. It’s been a long time since we were in one another’s lives. I don’t need to pull out the big guns just quite yet.

  I feel Jace’s hand come up, cupping the side of my face. He wraps his other arm around my waist, pulling me in closer to him. My heart is racing, goosebumps are sprouting along my arms and legs, and I have butterflies. Full on, eat your stomach kind.

  I pull away, shaking and my insides humming.

  “What? What’s wrong?” Jace asks breathlessly.

  I push him away from me gently. “I just need some air,” I say distressed.

  “Peyton,” he cries. I stop moving. “You can have some air in a little bit, you’ve had over a year of air—I don’t want to waste another second,” he says honestly.

  I’m conflicted. On one hand, he’s the reason we’ve been separated for so long, and on the other, I do miss him. Every piece of my body misses him, yearns for him.

  Although Jace isn’t the only guy I’ve been with anymore, he still feels the most intimate to me. I blush thinking about my time with Luis. I wonder what Jace will think about that.

  “Peyton,” Jace calls out my name, jarring me out of my thoughts. I lock eyes with him timidly. “I’m a fuck-up, okay? At least I can admit it. I had the best thing in the entire world for me, and I ruined it all.” He pauses, breathing in sharply.

  “I’m sorry I let Hollywood define me. I’m sorry I let it influence me. I am still the same person I was. My feelings for you haven’t changed one bit. In fact, I haven’t even been with anyone since you.”

  My eyes widen. Jace has been single and alone since our last time together? Dread fills my insides. You’re going to have to tell him.

  Jace leans in to kiss me, and I roll with it. I know we are going to have to talk. He proceeds to take the lead by removing his dark hoodie and underlying shirt in one swift movement. I stare at his fit body feeling a mixture of turned on and guilty.

  He reaches for my clothes, tugging at them. I haven’t been naked with Jace in a long time. What if he thinks my body has changed for the worse? I look down at my 150 pound body. I’m nowhere near my goal weight, but I think where I am is totally acceptable. In fact, lately I’ve been embracing my curves.

  This, though? This isn’t me. The thing with Luis…that’s never happened before, and I don’t want to live up to any kind of reputation like that. I know my face must look like a storm of emotions.

  Jace catches on to my hesitation and pulls away. “Look, we don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I think I just got carried away.”

  I look back at him sadly. “Maybe we could just talk?”

  He chuckles. “Yeah, I think we can do that.”

  Ten: I Don’t Want to Exist in a World Where We Aren’t Together

  Jace

  They must be running her ragged at her new record label, because exhaustion is all over her face. She is nodding off right in front of me and I don’t have the heart to wake her up. Instead I find a spare blanket and pull it over her. I’ll let her rest now, we can save the talk for later.

  I head into the kitchen, famished, searching for anything to satisfy my appetite, but I know good and well I don’t have any food here. Since I don’t come here often, I almost always eat out. I open a drawer in the kitchen where I have stashed a gang of takeout menus. I glance up on the clock adorning the microwave. It’s a little past eleven. I hadn’t realized it had gotten so late.

  I sift through the menus, realizing my best bet at this hour is probably a pizza restaurant. I happen to know my favorite one is open until one in the morning, so I pull out my phone to hit speed dial. As I unlock my screen I notice a handful of missed calls and texts from Chenise. My stomach drops. What now?

  I open the first message. Jace? Where are you? I need you to call me right now. I swallow, uneasy, proceeding to open the following message. Jace? Please just call and let me know you’re alright.

  I have no idea what is going on, but I forgo the voicemail messages to call her directly. She picks up on the first ring. “Jace! Oh my God. Are you alright?”

  “Chenise?” I ask, my voice shaky. “What is going on?”

  Chenise expels a long breath of air. “I think you need to come home.”

  “Chenise?” I ask, my heartbeat accelerating.

  “Turn on your tv, Jace,” she says sympathetically. I race around the glass structure and up the stairs to the master suite so I can do as instructed. I don’t even have to search for it. It’s right there in front of my face as soon as the TV roars to life. It’s a breaking news story. There are police cars, lights, and sirens…and in the background is my house.

  “Chenise?” I ask, frantically.

  “Someone broke into the house, Jace,” she finally caves.

  I feel like a sledgehammer is being taken to my chest. “What? Are you okay?”

  She pauses. “I’m fine, Jace. I wasn’t there.”

  “What did they take?” I ask, my mind racing to all my expensive belongings. Probably one of my paintings by Banksy—it’s going for around $75,000 these days.

  Chenise sighs. “She didn’t take anything.”

  “She?” I cry out. I was not expecting that. “If she didn’t take anything, then what did she want?”

  “She wanted you,” Chenise says simply. “I probably shouldn’t say anything else until you come see it for yourself.”

  “How bad is it?” I ask.

  “On a scale of one to ten, we’re looking at a seven.”

  My heart drops into my stomach. “Well, I’m a little tied up at the moment.” I think back on Peyton asleep on my couch. There is no way I’m letting her out of my sight. Not until we get closure…one way or another. “Do you think you may be able to take care of this in my absence?”

  Chenise breathes deeply. “Yeah, I think I can manage. You know you start filming for Duel in three days, are you going to be able to make that?” she asks.

  I had nearly forgotten; the reason I don’t want to let Peyton out of my sight. In three days I am going to be on lockdown for a six month shoot. It’s going to be long hours and it’s going to be grueling…and
I am not going to have time like this. If I intend to have any sort of option of winning her back, I need to do it now. “Yeah, I’ll make it. Chenise?”

  “Yes?”

  “It’s time to bring in that security we’ve been talking about.” Honestly, I probably should have done this a long time ago, I guess I’m just happy I’m doing it at all.

  “I think that’s a really good idea.”

  I hang up with her and tuck the phone back into my pocket. When I look up, I notice Peyton standing in the doorway. “How long have you been standing there?” I ask.

  Peyton smiles lazily. “Just a couple of seconds.”

  I cock my head to the side. I wonder if she’s hungry too.

 
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