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The foundation series bo.., p.8
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       The Foundation Series Box Set, p.8

           Kira Adams

  Jax had been my dream man…and then he had crushed that dream in the matter of a few minutes at Cooper’s party—only to continue to obliterate it as he continued his torture reign on me. Now, suddenly, he wanted to be with me—the same girl he had worked so hard to humiliate? I had never been more confused in my entire life. I had never felt more torn. Jace’s voice was still replaying in the back of my head almost like a loop. If this was all a big scam, why would Jax go through the trouble and humiliation of linking us together for the entire world to see? Wouldn’t that hurt him more than it hurt me?

  “Is it the guy from Friday night?” Colton asked, his expression difficult to read.

  I nodded again. “How did you know?”

  “There was some gossip Friday night about some guy you were kissing outside of the venue.” I didn’t have to search for a pang of jealously in his voice, it was more than apparent.

  “Why does any of this matter to you Colton? You are engaged remember? Why do I mean anything to you?” Each question gained momentum in me.

  “It matters because I think I am falling for you! I’ve tried everything I can to stay away from you, Peyton, but I can’t.” He looked me in the eyes then, long and hard before pressing his lips to mine. My mind and heart were more confused than ever. But one thing my body was not confused about was my longing for Colton. I couldn’t help but kiss him back. The intense spark and chemistry was too much to bear. “I hate being away from you,” Colton murmured between kisses.

  We spent the next couple of hours wrapped up in each other; kissing, cuddling, holding hands, just being near one another. I never wanted to leave his arms. “What are we going to do?” I gasped for breath.

  “It’s complicated, Peyton. I live with Tara.” Hearing her name hit me like a ton of bricks across the face. Colton obviously noticed this, because he caressed my face with his hands. “Hey,” he said softly, looking me deep in the eyes. “Let’s just take it day by day. All we know is you have a boyfriend and I have a girlfriend—“

  “Fiancée,” I cut him off.

  “Fiancée, but hopefully not for long.” He closed the distance between us and lowered his lips to mine, parting my lips with his tongue. “Peyton, you’re my future…” I heard him whisper as I closed my eyes and enjoyed the closeness.

  Seven: I was Avoiding Colton Like the Plague

  No One Knows (The Real Me)

  The walls are caving in

  Nowhere left to go

  My air is wearing thin

  How was I to know?

  I’m shutting myself down

  Away from the free world

  Always wearing a frown

  No longer a naïve, little girl

  Everyone pretends this is the way it’ll be

  They like to believe everything they see

  A joke of perfection, they’re all naïve

  No one knows the real me

  Spring break was quickly approaching, and with only one week of school remaining, there was only one thing on everyone’s minds, the Spring Formal. It would be our last hoorah for school, before spring break began.

  Instead of calling Jax’s bluff on his newly found affection for me, I was curious to how far he would be willing to take it. I decided to allow him to flaunt our relationship and go along with it until I could make a clear decision on whether he was playing me or not. If I found out our entire relationship was only a cruel joke, I figured I could blow it up before he did. So, I agreed to accompany him to the Spring Formal.

  We would be attending alongside a big group of our peers. Brooklyn with Isaiah, and Madison with Liam so they wouldn’t have to go stag—the list went on. Jax’s grandmother got us a hummer limo and it was going to be the aforementioned group, along with Jace and his date, Olivia Jenson, a black haired, emerald eyed junior from a neighboring school, and about twenty more of Jax’s usual group.

  Even though I knew I was already going to the dance with Jax, I was still filled with anticipation as to how he was going to ask me and how elaborate it was going to be. I had always been a romantic at heart, so I let my fantasies of the perfect invitation fill my mind. I heard about Isaiah sending Brooklyn a rose to her house every day, until her last one which then asked her to go. I also heard Liam filled Madison’s room with balloons, top to bottom; he was a good friend. I was anxiously awaiting my invitation, wanting to feel a bit of the excitement like the girls had. Although Madison and Brooklyn had opted to graduate early, they were still allowed to attend the dance alongside the current students, I loved the leniency at our school regarding dates for dances.

  Unfortunately for me, my romantic invitation would never come. Jax figured that since we were already dating it was assumed we were going together, therefore no invitation necessary. I was disappointed. It was the first dance I had ever had a date for, and yet, so underwhelming. At least my dress was fabulous. Brooklyn, Madison, and I had gone shopping at this amazing, little chic boutique we found. I set my sights on a one-shouldered, long, lilac dress with lots of ruching; it had a slit right down the side of my left leg. I paired my dress with purple peep-toe heels that had a bow on the top. Madison and Brooklyn said Jax was going to be falling all over me, and for once, I believed them.

  * * *

  It was the night of the dance and my usual group of friends, plus the addition of Jax were piled into my family’s home taking pictures. My mother had all the couples arranged going up the stairs, and was on her sixth round of pictures when I finally felt the need to speak up, “Mom, we need to get to the dance.”

  “Oh, okay honey. But you all just look so dapper!” My mother chirped.

  “Mom, don’t let her be late to her first formal,” Kayleigh chimed in.

  We all descended the stairs and began walking out my front door and out to the limo. I paused briefly on our front steps, turning to my sister. “Have any advice for me, big sis?”

  “Have a wonderful time, Peyton, you deserve it. Promise me you won’t do anything you’re not ready to do, okay?” I wondered what she meant by that, but nodded, and then hugged her. “You look beautiful by the way,” she whispered into my hair.

  I smiled as I released her, realizing my sister and I were finally building the foundation to our relationship. It was something I had always hoped for, but never thought would come. I skipped down the steps in my new heels and joined the group in the limo.

  Everyone already had glasses of champagne, and as I climbed in, Jax handed me one as I slid up next to him. “What are we toasting to?” I asked, as I leaned back.

  “To tonight.” Jax smiled widely, before clinking his glass against mine.

  “To tonight,” I repeated, and then took a long swig of the sweet champagne.

  * * *

  Music was playing softly as I heard Rihanna’s voice come through, pleading for her man to stay. My eyes were attempting to adjust when I felt a strange sensation, I was cold. I was actually shivering and had goose bumps. I was lying on a bed; I wondered when I had fallen asleep. Who brought me home? Am I home? I looked down at my body, terrified to see my dress had been removed, even my bra. I was left in only my lace panties. Millions of thoughts were running through my head when I noticed a blurry figure coming towards me, and I realized quite quickly, that someone was Jax. What did he do to me? I was shaking from fear. “What a-a-are you doing?” I stammered as I wrestled to get as far away as possible from him.

  I jumped up from the bed, but was so disoriented, I couldn’t think straight. The room was spinning and I thought I might throw up. “What did you do to me?” I stammered, enveloping my naked body with my arms.

  “It’s called a roofie.” Jax replied, smiling a sinister smile.

  I had heard horror stories of the infamous date-rape drug. Jace was right.

  “Why are you doing this?” I couldn’t help the fear spilling off my voice. I had never felt more unsafe in my entire life.

  “You weren’t supposed to wake up so quickly. That was my mistake though,
I don’t think I gave you enough of the damn thing. It’s a learning experience.” Has he done this to other girls or am I his first victim?

  “You don’t have to do this,” I stammered, attempting to buy myself some time. I began assessing my surroundings looking for the quickest escape route.

  As soon as my eyes fell on the door, Jax spoke again. “Oh no you don’t.” Suddenly, had me pinned against the wall; his bare chest against my bare breasts. I was sure he was going to rape me; my first time would be due to rape.

  I looked up at him disgusted. Was this his end game all along?

  “Please don’t do this Jax, I’m begging you,” I pleaded with him. I felt his hands reaching for my underwear, sliding his fingers across the elastic band, pulling it away from my body. “Stop!” I screamed, pushing him away, but he was strong. Suddenly, power came over me I never knew I had before and I head-butted him.

  He went flying backwards, grabbing his forehead. My head was throbbing with pain, but my will to survive was much stronger. He recovered from my stunt much quicker than I anticipated, but my fist was ready for him this time. I pulled back my arm socking him in the face.

  That’s right, square in the nose. I was running on such adrenaline I didn’t realize just how much damage I had done to my hand, all I saw was Jax holding his face, blood gushing everywhere.

  “You bitch!” He lunged at me again, but this time, I dodged him, then watched as he ended up knocking himself out. Even though I couldn’t forgive what he had done to me, I still checked to make sure he was alive and breathing before I snuck out of the hotel room. I was too worried about him waking up while I was still there to put back on my dress, so I simply picked up my bra, slipped it on real quick, and borrowed one of the hotel robes. I didn’t even bother grabbing my dress or shoes, I was so scared, I just exited as quickly and quietly as I could.

  My hand was throbbing with pain; it was like nothing I had ever felt before, going in and out from being numb, to blind searing pain. I’m sure to anyone who saw me, I was a mess. Thankfully it wasn’t my dominant hand, so I was able to dial out with my right hand. I located a pay phone in the hotel lobby, and noticed a clock on the wall behind the front desk. It read 3:18 am. How long have I been out for? I was so nervous and so ashamed about what happened, I didn’t even know who to call. I picked up the phone, held it against my ear for a long while, and then set it back down on its base again.

  The sliding glass lobby doors opened and in walked a group of twenty or so handful of peers from my high school, still dressed to the nines, obviously hammered, filling the lobby with laughter. I tried to hide my face, in case anyone recognized me, but there, in the middle of the crowd, I spotted Jace. He had his arm slung around Olivia’s neck and was throwing his head back laughing along with the rest of them. I must have stared for just a bit too long because Jace had spotted me too. He excused himself from the group, and Olivia, as they continued the party all the way to their rooms. “Peyton?”

  I turned my back to Jace, afraid of what it might do to him to see me in such a fragile state, by his brother’s hand nonetheless. He reached out to my shoulder and spun me around. “Oh my God, are you okay?” He reached his hand up first to lightly touch my forehead, which was no doubt swollen and red. Then he shifted his attention to my hand suddenly, realizing I had a serious injury. “What happened to you, Peyton? Was it Jax? Did he do something to you?”

  I looked back at him with tears in my eyes. I never cried in front of anyone; I had never felt powerless in my life; my chest fallen, I felt defeated. “I’m going to kill him!” I saw fire in Jace’s eyes.

  “Jace, can you just please take me home?” I whimpered, with pleading eyes.

  “I’m not taking you home; I’m taking you to a hospital.” Jace quickly scooped me up in his arms like I weighed nothing, and carried me out to his car. I laid my head on his chest, relieved to finally be free of his sick brother.

  * * *

  My hand was broken; in my attempt to free myself, I broke Jax’s nose and shattered multiple bones in my hand. It was turning out to be a week for the record books. On the bright side I got a neon purple cast, or at least I told myself that was the bright side. Jax was pulled from school by his father, who thought keeping him out of the limelight was best…which it probably was. Spring break had come and gone, and there was only one week remaining until my dreaded theatre scene with Jace. We had been spending a lot of time together since that night; he was the only person who knew the truth about what happened. He was the only person I felt comfortable enough to talk to about it with, as it was the most traumatizing experience of my life.

  Friends and peers alike were gossiping on the nature of my injury and how it had happened. The most my peers knew was I had fallen off my bicycle and broken my hand bracing my fall; that was that. I wasn’t ready to talk with anyone about the real truth; I kept it from even my closest of friends, Madison and Brooklyn. I felt guilty hiding a secret of such caliber, but explaining the story to them would mean admitting to myself that it had happened, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that yet.

  Colton had been reaching out to me more frequently, but with everything that I went through, I didn’t feel comfortable being physically close with anyone; I knew when I was with Colton we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, so I was avoiding him like the plague. It didn’t mean he went away or let up, if anything, he just got more persistent, which just made me push him further away.

  To make matters worse, I was having trouble sleeping. Nightmares began the night of the formal and had not let up since. I spent most of my nights in cold or hot sweats, screaming, or with insomnia. In fact, it had gotten so bad I was having trouble remaining awake during the day, especially in class. I had already been sent to detention three times during the week due to falling asleep in class, but I couldn’t help it. They even sent me to the Principal’s office, who probed me to find out what was going on.

  It felt like the longest day in history when I finally arrived home. I knew Jace was supposed to be stopping by to rehearse our scene, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open; before I knew it, I drifted into a deep sleep. In my dream I was running, and running, and running from whom, I’m not quite sure; I never saw their face, but I got to the edge of a cliff, and they had me cornered. I tried to elude them to no avail. I could feel their breath on my neck, it was terrifying; the feeling of goose bumps that came over me, but when I spun around, no one was there. Suddenly, I realized I was no longer dreaming and that the breath I felt was real. I was literally shaking with fear, when I felt someone grab me by my shoulders. “Ahhhhhhhhhh!”

  “Peyton, calm down, it’s just me, Jace.” He was rubbing my shoulders, as an attempt to comfort me.

  “Jace?” I squinted at him, through tired lashes.

  “Guilty as charged.” He raised his hands up in fake surrender. “Were you having a nightmare or something?”

  I nodded lightly. “I’ve been having trouble sleeping since, you know, that night and all.” I sat up, looking down, embarrassed of my own confession.

  “Peyton, why didn’t you tell me?” He sat down on the edge of my bed.

  “I just didn’t want to burden you or anything, he’s your brother…and...” I trailed off as Jace grabbed my hand in his, and I felt a volt of electricity shoot up my arm.

  “If anything happened to you, I don’t know what I’d do,” he confessed, laying his head on my hand, and then kissing it softly.

  My heart began beating overtime. I was pretty sure people all over the world could hear the loud beating coming from my chest. Did Jace really admit what I think he just did? He must have, because only a few seconds later I could have sworn I saw him leaning in, eyes closed and everything…only to be interrupted by my darling sister knocking on my door.

  “Peyton,” she called, peeking her head in. “Can we talk?”

  “Sure,” I responded, sighing lightly to myself, getting up from my bed.

  “You know what,
it’s getting late, and I should be getting home anyway.” Jace stood as well, lifting his backpack onto his shoulder.

  “Are you sure? We haven’t been able to rehearse the scene in its entirety.” I was referring to our dreaded kiss, in my own roundabout way. To be honest, I needed the rehearsal, the practice; after everything that had happened, I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to be kissing anyone yet.

  “I’m sure it’ll be fine.” Jace smiled at me. “See ya tomorrow?”

  “Think you can find your way out?” I joked as I watched him leave.

  “I’m sure I’ll manage,” I heard him respond from the hallway before his barreling footsteps followed down the stairs and out our front door.

  Kayleigh took his spot on the edge of my bed. “So I haven’t pressured you, because I know how difficult it must be to talk about, but, I really think it’s time we talked about what happened on the night of the Spring Formal.”

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