FLAWED
Chapter 1: I don't wanna be broken


NO ONE'S POV

Nick Grey grew impatient as he did his best to endure the movie that was currently being played at the movie house. It wasn't like he was watching a horror movie or something. He just didn't like watching chick flicks. If you already knew him, you might even think that the guy didn't have a single romantic bone in his body.

"Fifty minutes. Fifty more minutes and this horrible sappy movie would be over," he mumbled to himself. Well, certainly, watching a movie on a Saturday night wasn't in his agenda either. He couldn't even fathom how his parents were able to convince him into coming with Joe and his new chick, Sabrina, to the cinema.

Since they were on a family vacation in a small town in the state of Oregon, he had to play chaperone all night. Wait, before you ask, Joe wasn't his brother. They might act like brothers, but they weren't blood related. Nick was an only child and same as Joe. Their parents were best friends since high school, so the two of them also became best friends since they were born.

It was quite cold inside the movie theatre and the place looked old to Nick. His nachos didn't taste good and his soda tasted blunt. He thought it was ridiculous. It surely wasn't the typical Los Angeles theatre he was used in going to.

When the movie was finally done, Nick was celebrating the event in his head. Soon enough, the three of them waited for Joe's mom to pick them up from the movie theatre.

Just a few minutes after Joe had called his mom, Tish, a silver BMW became visible to their view and they all hopped inside. First, they drove to Sabrina's house and dropped her there, before they headed to the resort where they were currently staying.

When they were on their way home, Nick complained non-stop inside the car, but Tish and Joe just ignored his rants. It seemed like they were totally used to it already. Nick was usually acted like that when he was irritated or annoyed. The best adjective that would describe him would be impatient. But other than the said attitude, Nick was a lovely young man. He was cute, handsome, kind, generous, friendly, and a whole lot more of positive traits. His personality was quite interesting, though. At school, he was viewed as the perfect example of a student; hardworking and well-disciplined. At home, he was the lovable son who always obeyed his parents. For his relatives and friends, he was a quirky young man. For girls, he was their ideal boyfriend. But on the outside, he looked like a shy and reserved guy. To tell you the truth, he was really unpredictable.

"Is mom and dad home?" Nick asked as the three of them entered the cottage they rented at a nice resort on the outskirts of town.

"No, they went to the place where they were supposed to meet someone," Tish answered while dropping the car keys on the table.

"Was it the business they were talking about?"

"Yeah."

"Dinner is ready!" Joe's dad, Billy, yelled from the kitchen.

Nick, Joe, and Tish headed to the dining room and helped preparing the table. When they were about to start dinner, they heard the front door creak open and close.

"We're home!" Nick's dad, Paul, announced. Paul soon appeared in the kitchen alongside his wife, Denise, and a young teenage girl that Nick, Joe, Billy, and Tish hadn't seen before.

"Hey, who's this young girl?" Tish asked with a sweet voice, as soon as she noticed the girl who was clutching Denise's hand.

"Her name is Miley," Paul answered and gave them a small smile. "I'll explain everything after dinner." He then pursed his lips, giving out a signal that no one should ask about it until after dinner.

"Yeah, join us! I cooked enough steak for everybody," Billy said in a gleeful tone.

"Nick, would you please get some more plates and utensils?" Denise asked her son. Nick nodded and did what his mom told him.

When Nick walked back to the dining room, Miley had occupied his previous seat, but it wasn't a big deal, so it was okay to him. Although he was confused about her identity, he felt like she was a nice person.

After placing the plates and utensils on the proper places, Nick sat on the vacant seat beside Miley. On his right side was Joe, who kept on bugging him by nudging his knee, mentally asking about Miley. But like him, Nick was also clueless. Sitting opposite Joe was TIsh, and beside Tish was his mom, Denise, while the dads occupied both ends of the rectangular dining table. All of them acted normal except for Nick and Miley who felt awkward sitting beside each other, even though they didn't exactly know why.

Together, they all said their graces before eating their meals. The dinner was filled with awkward silence, but they did their best to make Miley feel welcomed. They gave her food and pampered her really well.

As Nick ate his food, he couldn't help but make his own assumptions about Miley. He didn't understand why his parents had to wait till after dinner to tell them. One of his guesses drove him crazy, though. He almost choked on the rice he was about to swallow. What if she's an illegitimate child? What if she's my half sister? It could happen, right? he thought.

When everyone was done eating, Paul cleared his throat to gain their attention.

"So... Miley is my friend's daughter. Ron passed away a week ago and left a note. He told me to take care of Miley. He saved my life once, so I owe a lot to him. Miley is part of the family now," Paul said, smiling.

Denise gave Miley a motherly smile. "You're gonna be safe here with us."

"Thank you," Miley said softly.

It was the first time Nick heard her voice. He almost thought she was mute. Well, at least it was now clear to him that his assumption wasn't true.

Holding out his hand, he gazed at her softly. "I'm Nick."

Their eyes locked and they stared at each other's eyes for good five seconds, incredibly mesmerized. It also took her five seconds before she realized that he was asking for a handshake. She then held her hand out and shook hands with him. A sudden spark of electricity woke her up from her daydream when their skin touched. It was an incredible feeling for her. The weird part was, Nick felt it too, and he swore he never experienced such magical moment before.

Upon realizing the strange feeling, both of them released their linked hands and Miley did her best not to blush. Joe introduced himself, and so as Tish and Billy. They all took their turns to shake hands with her, but Miley didn't feel the same spark she felt with Nick.

"She's a bit shy, but we'll help her get used to it, right?" Tish said.

"Are you going to adopt her?" Billy asked Denise and Paul.

"Well, I think so. She doesn't look like a handful," Paul replied with a chuckle.

Miley blushed and just gave them a small smile. She was happy she got a good home, but she was still mourning over her dad's death. Although everyone seemed nice to her, she still hoped they wouldn't harm her.

That night, Miley slept in her own bed in her own room. The cottage only had four bedrooms. Miley's current room was previously Nick's, but he volunteered to move out and share a room with Joe instead. Her new family was so nice to her. It was everything she ever wanted. They were everything she ever dreamed of.

Before sleeping time, Denise told Miley that they would swim at the pool of the resort on the next day. Miley felt afraid because she had a fear of pools. Wanting to be honest to her future mom, she told Denise about it. Denise agreed to stay with her on the loungers and just bask under the sun. Miley thought it was nice of Denise to accompany her. She certainly liked her new mom.

Although her pool rule was set, Miley's fear of water still kept her awake that night. She had horrible flashbacks that brought tears into her eyes. She remembered being drowned and not having someone to help her up into the surface. In addition, she also yearned for her father's comfort, but she knew he wouldn't be back. Sobs roughly escaped from her throat, making it audible to Tish, who happened to pass by Miley's door at that time of the night.

Feeling worried, Tish softly knocked on Miley's door. Without waiting for Miley's permission, she slowly opened the door. Scanning the room, she found Miley's figure on the bed. Her back was faced to her. She didn't need to look at her face just to confirm she was crying. The cries that filled the room were enough evidence.

"Miley? Are you crying?" Tish asked as she entered the room and closed the door behind her. She took a seat on the bed beside Miley's figure, and felt so heartbroken once she saw the young girl in tears. "Shhh, it's okay, sweetie," she whispered while rubbing Miley's back soothingly. "Why are you crying, honey?"

"I miss my daddy," Miley whispered through her tears.

Concern washed over Tish's whole being. She felt the need to take Miley into a warm embrace and comfort her until she felt better. Tish quickly scooted closer to her and lay down beside Miley. Pulling Miley in her arms, she whispered soothing words in her ear, hoping it would work and help her feel better.

"You love him so much, don't you?" Tish murmured as she let the young girl cry on her chest.

"He saved my life."

"From what?"

Miley pulled away a bit to look into Tish's eyes. "I can't tell you, I'm sorry."

"It's okay. Do you want me to sing you to sleep?"

"You sing?"

"Yeah."

Miley smiled. "I'd love to hear."

The sound of Tish's voice lulled Miley to sleep. Tish just held her in her arms and caressed her hair lovingly. It effectively soothed Miley's emotions.


The next morning, Tish told Denise about what happened the other night. Tish was truly amazed by her strange bond with Miley. She totally fell in love with her. They soon talked to their husbands and made a pact that would turn things around. Billy and Tish came up with a decision to adopt Miley.

Miley didn't have a single problem about it. In fact, she was happy that both families had already gained interest in her. She was okay whether she would end up with the Greys or the Stewarts, since both families were nice to her.

After talking about the adoption, the two families headed out to the pool side of the resort. The boys jumped in to the pool, while the girls stayed by the loungers to sun bathe. Tish and Denise even bought Miley a full on pool outfit earlier. Although the two-piece wasn't that revealing, considering it only showed a few skin, she still felt embarrassed. In addition, she somehow felt scared that one of the boys might force her to get in the pool. Fortunately, neither of them had attempted to do that.

After two hours of doing nothing under the sun, Miley felt the need to pee, so she excused herself. Tish offered to come with her, but Miley insisted to go alone, so the two women just let her.

"Hey, Miley! Come on, the pool's great!" Joe happily exclaimed as he hopped out of the pool and sat on the concrete instead.

"Thank you, Joe, but I'm really not in the mood," she said, smiling shyly as she walked towards him.

"Okay, where are you going, though?"

"Comfort room."

"Do you need someone to walk you there?" he asked with such concern. It was evident in his eyes that he was being protective of her, knowing she would soon be his adoptive sister.

"No need, I got it." Miley truly liked it that Joe was protective of her because she never felt so protected for years.

"Okay, then. Hurry back. You don't want mom to get worried," he reminded and she nodded in return.

"I will be back."

Upon heading to the comfort room, Miley couldn't help but notice the group of three girls sitting on the loungers at the other side of the pool, who were whispering to each other, as she passed by in front of them. Although she assumed they were talking about her imperfect body, she did their best to ignore them and just headed straight to the bathroom instead.

After doing her business in the stall of the comfort room, Miley went out and took a good look at herself on the full-length mirror, and adjusted her swimsuit so it wouldn't show more skin. When she was somehow satisfied, she walked out of the comfort room.

While Miley was on her way towards her family, she noticed that the same group of girls were out of their seats and were standing by the pool side instead. With a shrug, she held her breath and tried to just storm past them, but someone bumped against the side of her hip and made her lose balance, causing her to fall in the pool.

"Oh there she is," Joe mumbled to Nick as he spotted Miley walking out of the bathroom. They had gone out of the water to eat some snacks, so they were currently sitting on one of the loungers beside their moms' as they munched on a plate of fries.

Nick turned towards the direction Joe's finger was pointing at, and released a sigh of relief when he found Miley. Just like Joe, he felt protective of her, so he felt kinda worried when he lost vision of her around the area.

Everything happened so fast, one second, Nick was smiling. The next second, his smile faded upon witnessing that one of the girls who were trying to flirt with them earlier, had intentionally bumped her hip against Miley's causing Miley to dunk in the pool.

Both Nick and Joe swiftly stood up from their seats, yelling Miley's name, as they saw her drown in the pool. When Nick noticed that Miley fell on sixth feet side of the pool, he didn't hesitate to run and dive in. Fortunately, Nick was a good swimmer, because six feet was too high for his height too. When he caught a hold on Miley, she was still unconscious, but was coughing and crying frantically.

When Nick was able to get Miley out of the pool, Joe helped her by wrapping her in a towel, and both boys helped her sit on the nearest lounger.

"What happened?" Denise yelled worriedly, demanding for an explanation, as she rushed towards the kids with the other adults behind her.

"Oh, Miley," Tish cried as she enveloped Miley into a hug. Miley was shaking and crying as she let Tish hold her tight. "Shhh, it's okay, honey."

"I saw it, mom! One of the three girls pushed her in the water intentionally," Nick spoke up furiously.

"Which girls?" Paul asked.

Nick craned his neck and looked around but didn't spot the same girls from before. The guilty bitches tried to escape, he thought. He said that they weren't there anymore, but other bystanders helped the family by pointing to the direction where the girls went. Nick, Tish, Denise, and Paul, all moved to find the three girls, while Billy and Joe walked Miley to their cottage.

"They really don't have to fight because of me," she told Joe softly as they entered the cottage.

Joe just gave her a smile.

"You're family now. We fight for our family," he told her before giving her a brotherly hug that Miley gratefully savored.

Not all men were cruel at all, she thought, as a smile became visible to her face.


AN: THANK YOU GUYS FOR THE REVIEWS! I'M HAPPY TO BE BACK AND I HOPE THIS STORY WOULD BE AS GOOD AS WHAT Y'ALL ARE EXPECTING. ;)

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lifesaclimb11, guest, MissQueenyB, NickJisoffmychain2828 - thank you guysssss! stay tuned for more revelations!

giryl1015 - awww! you're so sweet! thank you!

simar - thank you! i'm happy you liked it!

scarlett - thank you! I love your name, btw. haha

wateen - can't give a clue but... what she did was really bad. =( and thank you for waiting for me! hahaha glad to be back!

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