Disclaimer: I do not own One Tree Hill. I seriously wish I did, that would just make my life complete.
Music in this chapter: Chapter title is a song by Steve Carlson, the song Dani sings to baby Jessie is We are One from the Lion King, the band plays Dirty Little Secret by All American Rejects and I Feel Like Dancin' and Stella by All Time Low*(note all future songs they perform will also be by All Time Low)
AN: Hope everyone enjoys the new story. Can't wait for some awesome feedback.
Sounds So Good
As Jude Baker locked his bedroom door, a wave of relief flowed through him. For it to work he needed to be alone. And since he had woken up this morning he hadn't had a moment to himself. Since school didn't start for another week, his mom had him working most of the day. His time was split today between the Karen's café and Bakerman, which was less than awesome. After the day he had, he really needed this.
He rolled his sleeve up to his elbow taking in the sight. He'd already done this three times today, sneaking off when he could during his shifts. He knew if he wasn't careful someone might notice, but he couldn't stop. The twenty or so rubber bands around his wrist called out to him, begging to be used. It was getting harder and harder to convince himself he didn't have a problem, to pretend everything was okay. He pressed the back of his head into the thick oak door. Clenching his fist he slammed it into the frame. That was the good thing about his house, since it was so big the chance that someone was outside the door listening in was unlikely.
He linked four of the bands around his finger pulling them back as far as he could. He took a deep breath, hesitating. He didn't want this. He never wanted it. He just wanted to feel something, something other than the gnawing emptiness in his core. Giving in to his need he let the bands hit skin in a surging pain, rippling through his body, and he released his breath.
The sensation that came comforted him, more than anything in his life ever came close to. When he was growing up, Jude could tell his parents tried. They tried to be equal and fair to both him and his twin brother, Davis. But he could always just tell. They were a little over attentive to Davis. If he had a cough or a sniffle, they would panic. Jude could see the look in his mother's eyes like somehow this thing could make her lose her little boy. He didn't understand why his parents seemed more worried about his brother than him. The feeling only grew when the Baker's adopted his little sister Gray. Because then they had Davis to worry about and Gray to get settled into her new life, making him feel more and more like an outsider in his own family.
So this was how he got out all the pain. Sometimes he could go days without it, but he always came back, usually the need was stronger than before too. As the pain finished washing over him, he took another deep breath, holding back tears. There was no point to this exercise if he started crying. He had to keep to it himself. If his family ever found out, they would blame themselves. Jude didn't want that and he knew it would only make things worse.
"Jude," Brooke called through the door. "Dinner time."
"Be right out," He called out as he yanked his sleeve down. He couldn't risk his mother seeing the welt on his arm. She'd ask questions he wasn't ready to face up to.
He opened the door and flashed a grin. The same grin his father used on her all the time. "Hey."
"Are you okay?" she asked, resting a hand on his cheek. "You ran up here pretty fast."
"Yea, I'm fine. I just had to check on Salazar's sun lamp," he said pointing to the turtle's tank. "It was acting kind of weird this morning."
"Between your turtle and your brother's spider I have no clue how I sleep at night," she joked.
"At least my pet is like me, mellow and laid back. Not creepy and full of poison like Davis and Hector."
"I thought you and your brother were working through whatever your issues are."
"What issues, I have no issues," he replied giving her a weak smile.
"Fine have it your way. Your father and I can't force you two to get along."
"I know you want us to be the best of friends but we're too different. And we just don't agree on certain things. We never will."
Jude didn't see it. How could Davis and he have been born on the same day to the same people? They weren't anything alike, apart from their eyes. They both resembled Brooke's so much. Other than that Jude found very little in common with his brother. And after Davis started dating Lydia Scott, he stopped trying.
His twin knew how he felt about the girl. Because aside from Lydia everyone knew Jude had had a crush on her from the age of five. But he had been biding his time, waiting for the perfect moment. Then of course right when he decided to make his move Davis came, flashing a look that he most certainly got from their mother. Lydia found him charming, as all the girls did, and they started dating later that week. That was two months ago, making this one of the most nauseatingly agonizing summers of Jude's life. Absentmindedly he touched his wrist. That's when it started, the over whelming desire to inflict pain on himself. He had been over shadowed by his brother once again and it was just too much this time.
"I give up," she said holding her hands up in surrender. "Now go wash up for dinner."
She kissed his cheek before walking off. As he crossed towards the bathroom, a swish of fabric dashed in front of him slamming the door. He heard giggling from inside.
"Come on Gray, I need in there," he shouted, as his fist banged against the cool wood.
"Snooze you lose," she called back, mockingly.
"Why can't you use your bathroom?"
"The plumber never came today; Daddy said I can't use it until they figure out what's wrong. Now leave me be. I'll be out in a minute."
He leaned beside the door frame, silently counting to ten. He wasn't going to get mad at his little sister, even though she could be a royal pain in his ass sometimes. But she was only twelve; it wasn't like she could help being annoying. Okay maybe she could, but sometimes he did find it adorable. Mostly, that only occurred when she was inflicting her annoyance on Davis.
As he looked up he groaned. "Speak of the devil." He mumbled to himself.
Davis was walking towards him a smirk plastered on his face. He looked so cocky, so sure of himself. It disgusted Jude, that he could actually be related to someone so infuriating.
"What do you want?" Jude growled, crossing his arms in front of him.
"Logan just texted me. Since Quinn's still out of town he wants to have band practice tonight. He says he has some new songs he wants us to learn before Katie's party next week," Davis replied retaining the amused look on face.
"Mom just called dinner; no way will she let us leave."
"Well I just asked her. And though upset, she was very understanding, so get your ass in gear and let's go," he said motioning to the stairs. "Unless, you'd rather drive yourself and pollute the earth more?"
Jude closed his eyes knocking his head into the wall. As much as he hated his brother's pompous attitude he had promised Lydia he'd be more earth friendly. She'd watched a documentary about a month ago on greener living and made all her friends and family swear to be more conscious of the choices they made. Davis knew this too. As her boyfriend she made him promise to be her eyes and ears on the subject if she was ever indisposed. So Davis was most likely just trying to get under his skin.
The bathroom opened and Gray came out smiling. "Can I come too?"
"Maybe next time short stop," Davis replied, mussing up her hair. "Not tonight though."
"Hey hands off the do dude," she commented.
"Give me five minutes to get ready," Jude said, entering the bathroom.
As he closed the bathroom door, he let out a breath he didn't even realize he was holding. If he was going to stand a 15 minute car ride over to Logan's house with Davis he was going to need another snap of his rubber bands; this one more intense than before.OTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHO THOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTH
Sawyer Scott frantically ran around her room tossing clothes all around. How was it that on any given day she could just throw on some jeans and an old T-shirt and feel totally confident and ready to go, but the second Logan Evans called she felt like some stupid groupie? She was starting to feel like she had reached the end of her rope with this crush. It was one thing to like the guy; it was another game all together to change your outfit 27 times.
"Mom," she whined, hoping her plea would carry down the hall, and was instantly gratified when Peyton pushed the door open.
"Whoa," her mom commented surveying the room. "I was wondering when the Brooke in your name would start to kick in, and I'm sad to say it does not disappoint."
"Funny," Sawyer replied clutching clothes with both fists. "Logan called a band practice and I can't figure out what to wear, which is insane because it's not like anyone will notice anyway."
She fell back on her bed burying herself in the entirety of her wardrobe. "I'm pathetic."
"You are not pathetic," Peyton said, pulling the tops off her daughters face. "A little over zealous maybe."
"I don't know what to do. I've know Logan, like forever. He's my best friend, and now I just feel clumsy and awkward around him all the time."
"Awe baby that means you've got it bad," she said stroking her daughter's wavy hair. "Maybe I can help."
Sawyer sat up giving her mom a quizzical look. "You have a potion that will make my feelings for Logan disappear?"
"If only matters of the heart were that easy. I mean I can help you pick an outfit."
She stood and began rummaging through the pile spread across Sawyer's floor.
"Did you ever get like this when you and Dad were dating?" Sawyer asked but instantly regretted it. She was afraid talking about her father might upset Peyton. Even though it had been almost seven years since Lucas passed away, she still felt like her mom was stuck waiting for him to return.
It took a long moment for her mother to respond, but when she did Sawyer could hear the distance in her voice. "Nah, I was more girly before we actually started dating. Once I had him I didn't feel the need to try so hard."
Sawyer picked at the edge of her comforter, holding back the tears. It was still hard for her too. Sure she had plenty of father figures in her life. Her Uncle Nathan, Julian, Clay, Mouth, even Skills, but she'd trade all of them in just to have her dad back.
"And here we are," Sawyer was drawn back by her mom's voice. "We have black leggings, a light denim skirt, paired with a red jersey knit tunic tank, and your red converse high tops."
She gaped at her mom. "I've been staring at that pile for twenty minutes and you came up with an entire outfit in three? How is that fair?"
"Sometimes, you just need perspective," she replied kissing the top of Sawyer's head. "Now get ready or you'll be late for practice."
As her mom exited the room, Sawyer picked up the tattered book sitting on her bedside table, and held it close to her heart. She remembered the day her father had given it to her. He was so eager to have her read it and experience the world through this particular story. But Sawyer wasn't much of a reader back then. She never really got into it the way her father had. So when she was presented with the book she just kind of left it on the dining table and told her dad she'd check it out later.
If she had known what that moment meant to her father, she wouldn't have brushed it off so quickly. But no one knew what was really going on back then. No one caught the quiet exchanges between Peyton and Lucas, or the worried looks that would cross his wife's face every time he would horse around with his nieces and nephews. No one knew because Lucas didn't want to worry them, not until he was ready. Unfortunately for his family, that meant when the time had come to say goodbye there actually wasn't much time at all.
Normally when she got to thinking about her father she'd pull out An Unkindness of Ravens, and tried to read it from start to finish without stopping. She realized a year or two after he died what giving her the book had meant to him. Lucas had known he didn't have much time left and before he was gone he wanted to share his life and passions with his only daughter. But she had been too young, too distracted to get it and now it was too late. Since she knew she was already running late for practice, she'd have to settle for listening to the audio book on her iPod. So she threw her clothes on, splashed a bit of makeup on her face, and tossed her wallet and song folder in her purse. As she went to leave her room, she took four steps backwards. She had almost left without the most important thing. Her guitar.
It was an aqua blue that darkened as it reached the edges, with black strides riding up towards the neck. And she treasured it almost as much as her father's book.
She left her room, making her down the stairs towards her mother on the couch.
"How do I look?" She asked striking a very rock star pose.
"Like you just threw on the first thing you found in your closet. The 'whatever' look really sells it."
"Thanks I learned from the best."
"Well, I wouldn't say I'm the best," Peyton smiled coyly.
"I know I was talking about Aunt Lily," she joked.
"You better get out of here, before I decided to go all parental and ground you from band practice," her mother replied, turning her attention back to the sketch in her lap.
Sawyer rolled her eyes. "I promise if I'm out passed curfew I'll sneak in through the window."
"And I promise if you miss curfew, your Mustang keys will mysteriously disappear for two weeks."
Sawyer leaned in hugging her mom, as she turned she noticed the sketch her mom was working on. "New inspiration?"
She felt like the figure was familiar, but she couldn't place a name.
"Um, revisiting an old one. Nostalgia got the better of me."
"Well have fun, love you," She called out as she left the house.
Peyton looked back down at her work. Lately she'd been missing the man in the drawing, wondering how life would have been if she had chosen differently. Would she still have her beautiful daughter? Or Red Bedroom? One thing she knew for sure, if she had chose Jake at least he'd still be here.OTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHO THOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTH
Lydia Scott was certain she was going to ace her start of term exams. She had made sure she covered everything on her summer reading list, even a few things from the previous years. If there was one thing she was certain about it was her preparedness. Considering everything else in her life seemed to be in a constant chaotic mess, it was reassuring to know she had school down pat.
At Oppenheimer School for the Gifted, they expected nothing less than the exceedingly best, and for the last ten years that is exactly what Lydia had given them. She was in the top three percentile of her class, maintained a 4.00 GPA, and was president of the debate team, Young Historians, the geology club, and the astronomy club. But none of those made her happy. Of course she loved getting good grades and learning new facts, but all the rest of it just seemed like stuff to pad out her transcript. There wasn't any real fun involved in them. For the last decade that seemed okay with her too. She would do well in school, make her parents proud, and then she'd be off to the Ivy League. Yale, Princeton, Georgetown, it really didn't matter as long as all her hard work paid off. But ever since last spring things had started to change.
The shift wasn't just in her personal feelings either, she could also feel it ripple through her family. It started around the time her youngest sister was born, the latest in the growing Scott brood. Jessica Quinn Scott was the sixth and finale child of Nathan and Haley Scott. After she was born in late April things became different in the Scott house, particularly with Lydia's mom. Haley didn't really show an interest in her new daughter like she had with her pervious children. She seemed almost petrified of the infant. She'd go days without holding Jessie and when she did cradle her Haley would get instantly stressed out when she couldn't calm the baby down.
Lydia started to get scared for her mom. Sure Jamie was home now helping out, but what happened when the season started and the Bobcats needed their point guard back? Who would help Haley take care of the baby then? The worst part was her dad didn't seem to see it. He told Lydia she was being paranoid, that Haley just had to adjust to having a baby in the house again. Then the incident happened.
It was near the end of May and Lydia had just finished her last exam of the school year. The cool thing about going to a private school was when you finished you tests you didn't have to wait around for everyone else to finish. She was more than ready to blow this scene for the entire summer. She'd just drop by her house real quick then go hang at Karen's Café until her friends got out of school.
Her mom and little sisters would be the only one's home when she got there, because Danielle had been sick that morning, Jamie went on Luca's first grade field trip to Julian's Studio, and her dad had three client meetings this afternoon.
When she came in the front door, she could feel that the vibe was off. The down stairs was way too quiet, but she could hear her baby sister's cries from the next floor. As she climbed up the level she listened closely. She could hear Dani singing in the nursery just under Jessie's wails.
"Tears of pain, tears of joy, One thing nothing can destroy, Is our pride, deep inside, We are one," Dani stopped singing when she heard the door creak open and relief flooded her features when she saw her older sister standing there.
"Thank god you're home. She won't stop crying."
Lydia came over picking the baby up, and rocking her gently.
"Where's mom?" she asked, but Dani didn't answer.
Lydia shook herself out of the memory. She didn't like to think about that day, or the days that followed. The events that took place then had changed her family permanently.
As she tried to concentrate on her studies, she heard a knock.
"Come in," she called, shifting towards the door.
"Hey there Bobby bear," Nathan replied leaning against the door frame.
Lydia rolled her eyes. "Really Dad, I thought we talked about the nickname thing?"
"You said I couldn't call you that in public," he noted, taking a step or two in her room. "And you will never out grow being my Bobby bear."
She shook her head smirking. As embarrassing as could be, she wouldn't trade him in for anything. When she was younger she had looked up to her mom, but over the last few months her father had become this sort of super human in her eyes. She had no idea how he did everything without crumbling. He was truly inspiring.
"So what are your plans for the night?" Nate asked sitting on the edge of her bed.
"Come on Dad, you were a teenager once... what do any of us do on a Friday night?" Nathan shuddered, making Lydia almost positive he was recounting his own high school escapades. "I'm studying verb conjugations in preparation for my beginning of term Spanish test on Monday... What were YOU thinking?"
"Honestly, anything but that." He replied, as the shared a laugh. "Seriously though, you've been at this for like six hours. Even geniuses need study breaks."
"Dad the first test of the year can set your tone for the entire semester. I can't flake on this. I am this close," she holds up two fingers bringing them within centimeters of each other, "to being ahead of Dane Samuels and Clare Macron for valedictorian."
"Lydia, you're sixteen. Shouldn't you be worry about your friends, and your… Davis?" he refrained from gagging on the boy's name.
She had heard it from him all before. How Davis wasn't good enough for her and how he would break her heart. According to Nate the two had nothing in common. She was smart and kind. And Davis was a teenage miscreant. She reminded him that Haley had mentioned on several occasions that he and Davis were a lot alike, to which Nathan would muttered, "Exactly my point."
"Can't you just say the word? I think you might feel better if you do," she said gauging his reaction.
"And I think if you want to refrain from your old man having a heart attack, we should get off this topic."
"You brought it up," she replied, as she turned back to her books.
"So, if you didn't have your books would that make studying harder?" She could almost hear the smirk in his voice.
"I don't know Dad, can you play basketball without a ball?" she retorted.
Just then Nathan reached downing grabbing the book from her.
"Dad?" she whined.
"You've got too much of your mom in you sometimes, baby," he answered holding the book just out of her reach. "You're a kid, sometimes you gotta act like it."
"I guess I can go to Logan's and watch the band practice," she said glaring at him. "But just so you know I'm doing this under protest, and I will want my book back when I get home."
"As long as you're home after 11:30 you can have it back."
"I can't wait to see my boyfriend," she added.
Nathan gave her a pained look. "Are you trying to kill me?"
She laughed. "Just think in two years Dani will start dating too."
He pointed to the door, "Go, young lady, before I ground you from your books for a week."OTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHO THOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTH
Logan Evans was tuning his guitar when he heard the side door to the garage open.
"Hey Wolverine, need anything?" His father asked.
He smiled at Clay. In spite of all the bad things that had happened to him so early on in his life, he would never want to change them. Because all the grief and longing for a normal life and family, had been exactly what he needed to survive until the universe gave him everything he was looking for. Now he had his dad, and a mom, and a family. He had aunts, uncles, and cousins. He had a whole life that made him smile every day.
"I'm good Dad. Shouldn't you be waiting for Mom's call?" he asked, setting his guitar on its stand. "Don't you two have this sickening sweet night time ritual?"
"Yes, but your mom's visiting this tribe near Nairobi, and apparently they shun modern technology. So no phone calls until she's closer to civilization," he replied taking a seat behind the drums.
"No offence Mr. Evans," Clay and Logan both turned at the sound of the voice. "But if you break my drums I will hold it against you."
The Baker twins had just entered the garage, and Davis rolled his eyes. "You are so lame."
"So was that insult," Jude retorted.
"Why don't you?"
"God you're both idiots," Sawyer said coming up behind them, causing Logan to smile. She was the only one who could get them to stop arguing, and he silently thanked her as she came over setting up her own guitar.
"Alrighty I will leave you four to it," Clay said getting up to leave. "Unless you need an impartial person to bounce song ideas off of?"
Sawyer, Davis, and Jude looked at Clay, trying to judge the seriousness of his words, but Clay just laughed. "All right, I'm gonna go watch sports highlights and try to remember a time when my son and his friends actually thought I was cool."
Logan rolled his eyes as his father left the room. "Alright, guys let's start with Dirty Little Secret, just to get us in the zone."
After the first song they just rolled into their current set. They played I Feel Like Dancin' right into Stella, topping off with Lost in Stereo. Somewhere between the final chorus of Stella and the second verse in Lost in Stereo, Logan noticed Lydia had wandered in. Not that Lydia hadn't been at practice many times over the last few years, but lately it had been different. The tension between the Baker twins had only seemed worse to him since the beginning of the summer when Davis and Lydia started dating. Jude was always glaring and his attitude seemed to ripple through the music and not always in the best ways.
As they hit the last note, Logan turned to his band mates. "Sawyer awesome solo in DLS. Totally well timed. Davis, steady the beat more in Stella, I felt it was getting a little too choppy. As for Jude, if you beat those things any harder they will become very expensive, broken drums so ease up a bit."
Jude rolled his eyes. "We done yet?"
"Not yet," Logan replied, Logan grabbed some papers off his music stand. "I got three new songs I want you guys to practice before next Friday. We actually got the gig for Katie Sunders back to school party. It's not a full set though. She mentioned something about DJing too."
Jude took a stapled set out of Logan's hands, and got up to leave.
"Hey you," Lydia said catching his arm as he walked to the door.
"Hey Lyds," he replied looking slightly uncomfortable.
"Wanna hang, we could all go to the Rivercourt?" she asked smiling brightly.
"Can't sorry." And with that he walked out, leaving Lydia with a crest fallen look on her face. Logan could tell she didn't understand why Jude seemed to be pushing her away.
Logan wanted to explain it to her but he and Sawyer had made a pact not to get in the middle of their friends love lives, unless the band really started to suffer. If they felt Soft Duckling was headed down the Yoko path that's when they'd intervene.
He chuckled to himself. Their name was weird for sure, but it held a special meaning for them. It was about two and half years ago and they were sitting around Logan's living room trying to brain storm ideas when Clay, Julian, and Nathan all walked in.
'What are you guys up to?" Nate asked, glancing down at the pad in Logan's lap. "Port Danger? Dagger Swagger? What are these?"
"Potential band names," Sawyer replied.
"Correction, those are rejected band names," Jude groaned from the opposite side of the couch. "Why are all the good names taken?"
"Julian when you and Brooke first thought you were adopting what were the paint colors you were picking between?" Nathan inquired looking at the twin's father.
"Are you two going to mock me about that again? I realize it was a massive faux pas asking you guys for paint color advice."
"So was using the phrase faux pas," Clay commented, shaking his head.
"Just answer the question," Nate said elbowing Clay.
"Soft Duckling and Enchanted Forest," Julian muttered taking a sip of his beer.
"See there you go," Nate grabbed the pad from Logan scrawling something down. "I would go see Soft Duckling."
He tossed it back at the kids having it land directly in the center of the coffee table. The teens all smiled, silently agreeing. And that was the day Soft Duckling finally became a real band name.
Logan had to hand it to his uncle, the man was awesome when it came to ideas. As the memory faded he noticed Lydia and Davis were both missing.
"Where's the super couple?" he asked, looking around the room.
"Oblivious much?" Sawyer responded with a smirk. "They said they were gonna go to the Rivercourt. Lydia seemed down after Jude brushed her off."
"Well, it's not like she has any clue that he likes her. Maybe if he would just tell her how he feels."
Sawyer scoffed. "Like it's that easy."
He gave her a look. "Sawyer Scott, are you hiding a crush from me?"
Her cheeks turned crimson causing her to turn away. "That's not what I mean."
"Liar, come on what's his name?" Logan pried, as he captured her sides, tickling profusely.
She let out a fit of laugher, trying to get out of his grasp, but he had a good four inches on her, and was definitely more muscular. Still she squirmed as hard as she could.
"I'd let up if you just gave me a name," he sang into her ear, making her knees go weak.
She stopped struggling. "Okay, okay. Let me go and I'll tell you."
He released his hold on her turning her to face him. "Alright spill."
"His name is," she paused, biting her bottom lip. "Chris Keller." Then she erupted in laughter.
"Ha ha very funny," Logan replied, but smiled as well. He was glad he wouldn't have to be fending off any idiots. Sawyer was his best friend, and he wasn't about to let some guy ruin her.OTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHO THOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTHOTH
Davis and Lydia walked around the river's edge, fingers laced. Her head was resting on his shoulder. He couldn't help smiling down at her. The last few months had been the closet to perfect that he could have ever dreamed. He had the popularity, the talent, and the girl. The only down side was that none of that seemed to matter.
Sure he had more friends than anyone at Tree Hill High he was the star of the basketball team so of course people liked him. That was the problem, everyone liked him for what he could do, but no one saw him for who he was or who he wanted to be. Even his real friends didn't see him anymore.
Fighting with Jude had become the worst. He never wanted it to get this bad between them. When they were younger things were easier. If they fought, which happened on more than one occasion, they resolved it pretty easily. Once they reached middle school though, he noticed the drift. The differences between him and his brother got more and more apparent. The more time past the bigger the gap between them became. Then last year happened. He knew Jude had a thing for Lydia. But when he saw her at the beach three months ago, looking like her world had just fallen to pieces, he felt so desperate to make her smile. So he asked her to dinner, and things just grew from there. She was the most amazing girl he'd ever met. She was so strong, so brilliant, but he never felt like he was worthy of any of it. He knew their time together was fleeting, that as soon as she saw how much Jude cared, how much better he was for her, that she'd realize he was what was best for her.
"Where's your head at?" Lydia asked, catching his gaze.
He wrapped his arm around her, pulling her close. "Right here, with you."
She smiled, pulling him into a kiss. "Good answer."
"Practice makes perfect."
She pushed him playfully. "Funny."
"So your mom still out of town?" he asked, leading her to the picnic table near the water's edge.
She sat down looking out over the river, sighing. "Yea, apparently Grubbs needs all the publicity he can get."
He did notice her face drop. "Well, I hope she gets back soon. Maybe she can get your dad to stop hating me."
"My dad doesn't hate you," she paused, taking note of the look on Davis' face. "Well, I guess he does, but don't take it personally. He would hate any guy who tried to stick their tongue down my throat on a daily bases."
"Yea maybe I should stop doing that," he chuckled.
"It might give you brownie points with him, but not so much with me."
"So you excited about school on Monday?" he asked.
"Not really, no."
He turned her so they were facing each other. "What's up?"
"I guess, I'm just tired of trying so hard," she replied.
"I get that," he commented, tracing circles on the back of her hand. "It sucks when everyone expects you to be one thing, and you're not even sure if that's who you want to be."
"Yeah," she smiled. "But at least you don't have this pressure to be like either of your parents. I mean Gray's so much like Brooke, she'll no doubt be the fashion queen, and Jude has a lot of your dad in him. You can be whatever you want."
"Unless, someone choose that for me."
She pulled him into a hug, kissing him softly on the cheek. "Don't let them. Pave your own path."
"I will if you will," he replied.
As she pulled back he saw her wipe a few tears away. "I wish I could just go to school with you, and everyone else."
"Then why don't you?"
"I can't ask my dad that," she shrugged, a strand of hair falling in her face. He brushed it back fingertips lingering at the base of her ear.
"I love you," he whispered.
Her smile grew, as she leaned in. She placed a kiss on his lips, and he pulled her close to him not wanting the moment to end.
No matter what uncertainties swam around his head, he pushed them away. Because the first time he truly let the love of another wash over him wasn't going to be ruined by anything.