Author's note: In exchange for my complete lack of updating skills, I present you with a very long chapter and the hope that there will be one for "Invincible" soon. I keep trying to work on it but other things keep getting in the way. It's highly frustrating. If you read "Invincible" and have an idea or would like to offer me some much needed help, please PM me! You will be rewarded with a sample from your choice of the many stories I have in the works but not posted.
Age 14, summer
"We're only fourteen."
She was breathless and scared and frozen on that place on his bed. He took his hands from where they had been at her hips and put one on each side of her head so that his weight wasn't resting on her. His bare chest moved quickly as he tried to regulate his breathing. His pants were swung low on his hips, the way she liked, so that the top of his boxers peaked out from underneath. Her white oxford shirt was unbuttoned and left open, revealing her boring tan bra. Why didn't she wear sexier underwear? Of course she was only fourteen, which had never seemed so young before, and, truthfully, hadn't ever thought she would be where she was at that exact moment any time before her eighteenth birthday, or maybe even her wedding day.
Reid finally spoke his voice shaking slightly and she wondered if he was scared too. "Mills, if you wanna stop…" His voice trailed off and she knew that he wasn't going to push her farther than she wanted to go, which was a comfort but gave her strange feeling in her heart that maybe something this special should wait. But they had been fooling around a lot lately, and ever since that night at the park… maybe it would be best to get that virginity thing out of the way. And who better than with her best friend?
She reached up and ran her fingers through his soft blond hair and let her hand linger on his cheek before pulling his lips down on hers again. Maybe they were only fourteen and maybe this was really stupid, but sometimes he would look at her in just this certain way and the world would kind of become a little brighter and the earth might kind of stop spinning sometimes when he smiled. She knew she was way too young to call it love but there really wasn't another name for how she felt about Reid Garwin. When he would kiss her, so softly, so wonderfully, she knew that he might feel the same way.
Since the night in the park, things were different. Much to the worry and dismay of the other Sons, Millie and Reid were again attached at the hip. She joined their lunch table and went with the to Nicky's and to parties. Reid seemed to be the happiest he'd been in a long while, but Tyler couldn't help but worry. What if she upped and left like she had before? Could Reid's heart take being shattered again?
Caleb's worries centered around school, since Reid was hanging out with Millie again he had begun skipping class and not doing assignments more than before. He would simply not show up for school or swim practice with no explanation. The good side was that he was Using less, something that was essential with his coming Ascension.
Millie sank into her seat next to Reid at lunch, flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder. Her uniform was crisp, her long, thin legs ending in a pair of old converse tennis shoes.
"Hey," Reid greeted her, she didn't answer. She lifted her chipped black fingernail polished hand to her mouth and began biting the nail of her ring finger. It was a bad habit she'd picked up in California.
"I'm skipping the rest of the day, my brother lives in the city and is throwing this huge blowout at his loft. I'm gonna get there a few hours early, help his set up and stuff. Wanna come with?" She said it like she was describing the weather, her tone bored. Reid pulled out his pack of cigarettes and lit one even though smoking wasn't allowed on campus.
"Yeah, just let me go change." Reid replied, beginning to loosen his tie. He stood and threw away his untouched food. He'd been eating less lately, but his friends weren't sure if that had anything to do with Millie or with Reid just not being hungry. He took slow, lazy drags from his cigarette, ignoring how Sarah crinkled her nose at the smell of the smoke.
"Cool, anyone else up for a party?" Millie asked. Reid lingered at her shoulder, waiting for her to stand so they could go back to the dorms together.
"It's a school night." Caleb said, as if this made a difference, which it didn't.
Reid's eyebrows came together. "It's Friday," He told Caleb simply, as if the thought hadn't registered for the older boy. Another drag, this one deep but quick.
"No," Tyler piped up, his gaze on Reid was careful. "It's Monday." He corrected.
"Whatever," Reid muttered, rubbing his hands over his face. He threw down the cancer stick and crushed it with his foot.
"See you guys later." Millie told them, rolling her eyes. She stood and grabbed hold of Reid's arm, pulling him away.
Reid changed quickly, feeling strange stripping down in front of Millie, who had followed him to his room, saying her dress for the party was at her brother's and she would change later. His hands were shaking, he shouldn't feel like this. He needed to snap out of it, he cracked his neck and crossed the dorm to the attached half bathroom.
His reflection startled him, when had he started looking so shitty? Tyler had said that morning that Reid looked as if he hadn't slept in months. That had been after Reid stumbled in to the room at six-thirty and left only seconds later, going to the showers to scrub off the weekend. He was currently running on a straight 36 hours of no sleep, but he wasn't tired, not really. He splashed cold water on his face and fisted his hands tightly when they began to shake.
"Hey," Millie opened the bathroom door without knocking. She took in the sight of him, lips pursed. "Chill." She ordered, taking hold of his arm and guiding him to sit on his bed. She opened her purse and pulled out an eyeliner pencil.
"Look up," she ordered Reid and he complied as she applied the black make up to Reid's red rims. "Usually I'm kind of apposed to guy-liner, but you look like shit and I need someone I can show off." She finished and then sat back, surveying his clothes, a hoodie with the sleeves pulled up to show off his tattoos and a pair of faded and ripped pair of jeans. The pants could stay, she decided, noticing how that were tight in all the right places without it looking like he was wearing girl jeans.
"You need different clothes." She informed him, standing and beginning to search through his closet. She sighed with frustration as she found not much beyond jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and his school uniform. Then, in the very back, she found it. The jacket was made of worn brown leather, made soft from years of use. She'd never seen it before.
"Reid," She said, pulling the jacket off the hanger and turning toward him. He'd laid back on his bed, eyes wide open but looking sick and tired. If she had been a less selfish girl, she might have worried about him, but she wrote off his behavior as the effects of the weekend-long party they'd attended. "Take you clothes off." She ordered and he sat up, looking at her confused. "Just your shirt." She amended then held up the jacket. "Why don't you ever wear this? It's gorgeous."
He followed her orders and took off the hoodie and then the plain white long-sleeve shirt he'd had underneath. "It was my dad's. I don't wear it." He said blankly as he rose lankily from the bed. He went into the bathroom again. Leaning his bare, tattooed shoulder against the doorframe he smiled a little.
"But my dad did use to say it was invincible, so I guess one party won't kill it. Find me a shirt." He told her and closed the door.
After turning the lock, he let his knees collapse under him, as they'd been wanting to do all day, and slid to the floor, leaning his back against the door and pulling his knees to his chest. He knew Tyler was going to notice soon, it turned out to be a little more obvious than he'd expected. But he knew he felt this bad because of stopping the meds too quickly, not the lack of them. He was still standing by the decision he'd made two weeks ago when he'd flushed the pills, he didn't need them, he was past that. He'd been stupid kid then, only sixteen. He shook his head, this not the time to be thinking about this.
He opened the cabinet beneath the sink and reached into the way back until he found the bottle of vodka he kept there. Tyler didn't know about this either, suddenly it seemed as though he was hiding more from his best friend than he was telling him. Reid took two long sips from the bottle, wincing as the alcohol scorched his throat. He put the bottle away and opened the door, taking the t-shirt Millie handed him.
"It's Tyler's." She informed him as he slipped it over his head, dark blue with paint splatters on it, he'd never seen the younger boy wear it, although he didn't pay much attention. She slid the jacket onto his shoulders, it was soft and Reid's breath caught in his throat. It was a perfect fit, his father's custom made leather jacket, his most prized possession, fit Reid even thought he was built nothing like his old man, who had been tall but somewhat stocky, all muscle. Reid got all his angles and sharp bones from his mother.
"Ready?" Millie asked, becoming impatient as she watched him adjust the beautiful jacket in the mirror over his desk.
"Yeah," His voice was rough, she worried for a moment that he was getting emotional , but one look at his face told her different.
"Come on, if we help set up we don't have to stay late to clean." She pulled at his arm and he followed her to her car like the obedient little boy he was.
They got to Millie's brother's place around seven, the party would start at nine. Nathan Townsend looked a lot like his baby sister, with dark hair and eyes and smile anyone would fall for. He shook Reid's hand hard and slapped him on the shoulder with a "Good to see ya, kid." Before going to help a few of his friends lug in the kegs. A few people were milling around, most of them already dressed in party where, Reid was relieved to see that he was far from the only guy with eyeliner.
People started showing up at eight, the music went on at eight-thirty and by nine things were in full swing. Reid swallowed the rest of his third beer in one gulp so that he could leave the conversation he was in to get another. This was unlike any party he'd been to, even the three-day long bash he'd been to that weekend in Boston, it was wild, really wild. Half the girls were walking around in only their underwear and bra, others were wearing so little that it was hard to tell if they'd arrived with pants and lost them or if they thought the "dress" they were wearing actually covered their ass. Reid couldn't really say he minded. People were making out everywhere, some went even further.
Millie's dress was short, but luckily covered everything, or Reid feared he may have had a problem sitting next to her, dancing with her, talking to her, looking at her, being in the same room for that matter, with out having to touch her in ways that would earn him a solid slap from her. He was a little buzzed and the awful feeling from before were gone, although they continued to lurk in the back of his mind, waiting for a moment of weakness.
"Hey, you wanna dance?" One of the girl was a shirt of a dress asked him. Her underwear were showing, purple thong, nice. He smirked, why not? They danced to three songs before Millie found him and pulled him away. They grabbed a spot on the couch, she had a two beers in her hands and gave one to him. He took out his pack and put a cigarette in his mouth offering her one before digging in his pocket for his lighter.
"You can kill yourself with those y'know." She told him blankly, taking a sip from the bottle, Reid copied her before taking another drag.
"Oh really?" He questioned. "I guess that will make me different than every other person on the planet. I'm gonna die, who would've thought." He snipped jokingly, earning him an elbow to the ribs.
"I'm just looking out for you, asshole. Maybe you should be grateful you even have me." She smiled, giggling and he bumped his shoulder against hers, they laughed and she lent him put his arm around her. The night wore on, they drank some more, she left him at eleven to go talk to some people he didn't know, telling him to "stay put and hold our seats". He sank down in his seat, leaning back into the cushions. His body was tired and all the drinking he'd been doing lately was far from what you'd call healthy. Most people would say it was impossible to fall asleep in a crowded room with Music shaking the walls. Obviously none of these people had gone as long as he had without sleep.
Sophomore year, age sixteen, winter
Reid didn't think about it. Well, no, that's a lie, he thought about it a lot. All the time in fact. But that night, when he was walking home since Nicky took his keys in exchange for one, only one, beer, and enough money for the pay phone so he could call someone to pick him up, after he faked the call and told Nicky Caleb was coming, since he was the only other person he knew with a car, he didn't think about killing himself.
He was scuffing his feet in the dirt as he walked, head down, hands deep in his pockets. He was stalling, he and Tyler'd had a fight, which had prompted the late and lonely trip to Nicky's, and facing his best friend wasn't at the top of his list at the moment. It was a little known fact that Tyler had a worse temper than Reid, he was just better at controlling it, but when Baby Boy finally did blow his top you needed to leave him alone for a god few days before he was even ready to look at you.
There was a dead cat in the road, or at least it kind of looked as if it had once been a cat. Now it was just the remains of fur and blood and organs spread across the road. As he past he thought about that animals final moments. Had it seen the car and been frozen in the headlights, or had it never seen death coming? Had it hurt or had the little cat died upon impact and never knew that it would end up as distorted road kill, hardly recognizable and only the disgusting corpse of what it once had been? Had it been a stray or someone's loved pet? Was there some poor little girl posting "Missing Cat" fliers around town, or had the animal passed from the world unnoticed and unmissed?
That was when he saw the headlights on the long, dark, deserted road, a car going too fast to stop. He didn't think of himself spread across the road as a gnarled and ugly corpse, he didn't think of his brothers or weather or not he would be missed. He just jumped, open eyes watching death hit him straight in the chest.
A week later he was sent home with a prescription for pain that gave him enough for ten days, and one for anti-depressants that he would take indefinitely.
The beep sounded and Tyler began recording a message of Reid's voice mail.
"Hey man, I'm dropping by the drug store later and wanted to see if you wanted me to grab your meds… so give me a call, I'm probably gonna wait till after practice to go so… yeah, hope the party was good, talk to you later." Tyler snapped his phone shut and stuffed it back in the pocket of his uniform pants. He'd reached his locker by now and began switching out the books from his bag.
That morning, around the same time he noticed that he was out of toothpaste and a run into town would be necessary, he saw the lack of the orange prescription bottle that had sat on the second shelf, all the way to the left, since sophomore year.
He tried not to let himself think about that night, and the week that had followed, when Reid's "accident" turned out to be a suicide attempt and when "falling into the road" was actually hoping to be killed. The week he found out that he'd missed all the classic signs and that his best friend was far from okay, even though physically he'd make a full recovery.
Tyler ran a hand through his hair as the first bell rang and people slowly began to walk to class, most clutching onto coffee cups for dear life. He met Pogue on the way to class, who somehow always made their strict uniform look comfortable and breezy, something Pogue's laidback personality added to everything.
"Reid didn't come back last night?" Pogue asked as they entered the classroom, Reid-less.
Tyler shook his head. "Didn't except him to, really. He was gone the whole weekend with Millie, who knows how long they'll be gone this time." The two boys took their seats, pulling out their homework from the night before. They tried to not worry, they knew Reid could take care of himself, but letting Millie play with Reid and trusting her to not break his heart was like trusting a boa constrictor to wrap itself around you and not squeeze until you die. They'd learned from experience that the only thing Millie played with was her food.
Reid woke up facedown on the wooden floor that felt sticky underneath him. He was shirtless, he realized, but he didn't remember anything after falling asleep on the couch. He rolled over, finding he was sore all over, and then slowly climbed to his feet. What the hell had happened last night?
There were other party-goers littered around the room, most as half dressed as he was, a few completely naked. His head spun and he stumbled, he was still drunk. Much more drunk than he'd been at eleven when he'd fallen asleep. He stepped over two unconscious, shirtless girls that were tightly embraced and headed toward the kitchen that he hoped would be less crowded, more clothed, and maybe provide some answers.
His hopes were dashed when he found two completely nude guys draped over the table and another happy couple looking as if they'd fallen unconscious or asleep mid-sex, the girl straddling the boy in a chair.
"Garwin, welcome back to the land of the living." Nathan came into the room looking a little hung-over, but thankfully wear both a shirt and pants. "Millie's up on the roof if you wanna join her." He crossed the kitchen and started making some coffee. "I'm gonna have to make sure Mills brings you to more of my parties man, you're a good time."
Reid's head was still a little foggy, taking in his surroundings and Nathan's words slowly. He moved across the floor on bare feet and narrowly avoided major injury as Nathan grabbed his shoulder to stop him from stepping on a broken beer bottle. He crossed back through he living room to get to the door and found Tyler's shirt, ripped straight down the front, his father's jacket was nowhere in sight. He thought he found his shoes, but a guy he didn't know, clad only in a pair of tighty-whitey underwear and sprawled across part of the couch, had them on his hands and Reid thought that it might be best to let the guy keep them for now.
The air was thick and humid and the cloud cover low, casting a fog over the city. He found Millie at the edge, letting her long legs dangle over the side of the fifteen story building. She was wearing guy jeans, her Spenser uniform shirt, and, he was relieved to see, his father's jacket. He took a seat next to her, she'd tied the uniform tie around her hair as a head band, it sat behind her wispy bangs and was tied under her hair, the tail resting across her shoulder. On her feet were her Chucks and dangling between her fingers, which were clad in his cut off gloves, were one of his Marlboros, the pack rested against her leg.
"Well aren't we a little hypocrite." He told her, taking one out of the pack for himself.
She laughed airily. "We aren't anything." She took a pull from the white stick as he cupped his from the wind, trying to light it. "I grabbed all my shit, so we can leave whenever. I couldn't find your shoes and Ty's shirt was ruined so I left it. But I grabbed you one of Nate's." She pulled out a black t-shirt from the woven bag that sat next to her and handed it to him. "Nice shiner." She commented, reaching up one hand to touch the blue and purple bruise under his eye that he didn't remember getting.
"What happened last night?" He asked, staring out at the barley visible skyline. Millie smirked at him, tossing her cigarette over the edge to the sidewalk below.
Sophomore year, age sixteen, winter
Tyler thought about pacing, something to get his legs moving, help the fear and nerves that were racing through his body, but when he stood his legs felt like jelly, so he sank back into the hard plastic chair of the waiting room. Pogue, in plaid pajama pants and his leather jacket, had found the strength to pace, his long legs crossing the floor in three strides before he ran out of room and had to turn around to go the other way. Pogue was usually laidback but when he got upset, he was a lion in a cage, a volcano ready to go off at an second. Caleb was filling out the paper work since Reid's mother had yet to make an appearance, with the help of Pogue's dad and Tyler's mom. Tyler's dad was gone on business but was expecting updates as soon as they reached his wife.
Maybe the strangest thing in the room were their two fellow Spenser attendees, Brody and Ryan, Aaron's friends, they were the ones that had hit Reid. The boys had given their statements to the police at the sight of the accident but they'd still followed the ambulance to the hospital, and now waited, on the other end of the room, fighting guilt, and awaiting answers to Reid's condition.
At long last, two men appeared in the waiting room, one wore scrubs while the other was in street clothes, both faces had serious but not grim expressions.
"Are Reid Garwin's parents here?" The doctor in scrubs asked, glancing around the group. The parents stood, Wayne extended his hand to the two men.
"His mother's on her way, she was out of town. Wayne Parry." They shook hands and Beatrice stepped forward, extending her hand as well.
"I'm Beatrice Simms, I'm Reid's godmother." Beatrice was a small woman with delicate features. She tightly clutched a tissue in one hand. "Is he okay?"
"I'm Dr. Belle, Emergency Ward Director," The man in scrubs said. "And this is Dr. Hayes, Director of Mental Health Services."
"Mental Health?" Pogue asked, stepping up to the conversation where Caleb and Tyler were already standing. "He got hit by a truck, he's not crazy."
Dr. Hayes spoke for the first time, his voice carried a relaxed English accent. "Reid will make a full recovery, but we believe that Reid's accident was attempt at suicide." He told them grimly.
Reid was awake when they finally got to see him, it was nearly two in the morning by the time he was moved into a room from the Emergency floor. Ryan and Brody, when the Sons had crossed the room to talk to them, had said he hadn't lost consciousness when he got hit, but passed out from pain before the ambulance got there.
A few cracked ribs, a broken arm, ten stitches to the side of his face, a broken nose, and large, deep bruises that would make moving painful, nothing too serious. Reid wasn't the best at thinking things through, making sure it would work before, quite literally, jumping into them. For once Caleb was very glad the blonde was so impulsive that even a try at taking his own life wasn't planned or reasoned before being set into action. If he had been, Reid would be dead.
They had him pumped up on morphine, making his eyes heavy-lidded and his words, the few he spoke, slurred. Caleb pulled a chair close to his brother's bed as Tyler had already done and Pogue was in the process of stealing a chair from another room. Meredith hadn't stayed long and the few moments she'd spent with her son were clearly just for looks as neither of them wanted her there.
"Hey," Tyler said softy, reaching out a hand to touch Reid's arm on a place that looked safe enough, but the blonde still jerked away slightly. Caleb tried to think of something to say but came up with nada. Pogue came back in the room, pulled the chair up next to Caleb's and sat down heavily.
"What the hell were you thinking?" He asked bluntly. Good job, Pogue, what would we do with out you?
Reid shrugged, "Cat." He murmured and the three other boys exchanged a confused glance.
"What?" Caleb ventured to ask.
Reid sighed, shifting down in the bed and closing his eyes. "I was thinking about that damn cat."
Again, if you can/want to help me with "Invincible" or have any idea for any of my stories for that matter, please, please, PM me! Thanks :)
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