Well, this is a lot later than I anticipated... Sorry for that, I've had assessments, study, exams and an 8000 word short story to prepare during the time I've been gone, so it's been all work no play for acouple of months. But hopefully I can get some chapters out in the next few weeks before I become victim to the HSC, so here is the next chapter!
I woke up on Saturday morning to the smell of bacon, eggs and fresh coffee coming from the kitchen. I got out of bed and dragged my feet out to where Lindsey and Gerard were cooking together, sitting at the table as Lindsey placed a plate of bacon, eggs and toast in front of me, Gerard following her with a cup of coffee. I opened my eyes blearily and stabbed at my bacon with my fork, missing it several times before finally spearing it.
"Good morning to you too, Sunshine," Gerard chuckled as Ishoved the bacon in my mouth, chewing slowly.
"Nyeahhhh," I replied grumpily, sawing my toast in half and wrapping it around a piece of egg.
"Any plans for the weekend?" Lindsey asked me. I shook my head.
"Other than dinner tonight I'm free, Dean asked me if Iwanted to do something with him today but I'm still not sure yet," I replied, still chewing my egg and toast.
"You can help me clean out the garage if you'd like, there's a whole lot of shit in there that needs to be thrown out," Gerard offered. Iwrinkled my nose at the thought of cleaning, but agreed to help him.
My phone buzzed with a new message and I scanned it quickly.
Hey Cara, did you want to do something today?
I quickly replied.
Helping Gerard clean out the garage today, you can come and join if you'd like?
While waiting for his reply, I changed into a pair of denim shorts and a T-shirt, straightening my hair and pulling it up into a ponytail with a red patterned bandana tied around my head. As I was putting on my eyeliner, he replied.
/Sounds like fun /JI'll be there in fifteen minutes.
I smiled to myself and went back to my room, giving it atidy up before Dean came.
True to his word, he arrived fifteen minutes after I received the message and in that time I had made my bed, put my dirty clothes out to be washed and tidied up the stack of homework on my desk that was beginning to grow.
Dean was standing in my doorway as I turned around, scaring the shit out of me.
"Holy fuck, how did you get in here?" I asked him, placing ahand over my rapidly beating heart.
He gave a cheeky smile. "Your dad let me in, did I scare you?"
"Scared the crap out of me. Come on, there's a lot of shit to be sorted out today."
I went downstairs where Gerard was waiting for us, wearing an old shirt and jeans.
"Alright, let's get started on this hurricane," he said once we were in sight.
He opened the garage door and my jaw dropped.
"Seriously? You call this a messy garage?" I asked in disbelief. There were perfectly packed and neat boxes stacked in one corner, acouple of guitars leaning against a wall and an assortment of canvases piled up high on a set of industrial metal shelves.
"No, our job is to clean out the things in the boxes so we can get rid of them. The whole garage has to be cleared out today with nothing in it," Gerard stated.
"But what will you do with this stuff? Some of it is priceless and honestly a waste to throw out," I replied.
"If there's anything that you two want, go for it. Other than that, the artworks will be hung up in the house, I might give some to Frank or Mikey, the guitars will be taken to the studio for practice guitars and the stuff in the boxes will be thrown out or sold, I guess."
Gerard pulled all the boxes down and I was amazed at what Ifound in them.
"Gee, this entire box is full of merch," I said in amazement.
"Yeah, I liked to keep one of everything we made as akeepsake, but I don't wear it so it's just taking up extra space," he replied.
I put the box near the doorway. "Okay, that box Dean and Iwill sort through for us and our friends."
Dean lugged another box next to mine. "This one's the same; we can go through that as well."
I opened another box, finding various photo frames of Gerard and Mikey as kids, with who I guessed was my grandmother.
"Wow, you weren't a very photogenic child, were you?" I said to him with an impish grin creeping onto my face.
Gerard smacked my arm. "It's a good thing you take after your mother in that area."
I folded the box back up, leaving it for Gerard to sort out which ones he wanted. I sifted through the next box, full of old comics that were seriously out dated and falling apart. I put most of them in the garbage bag, keeping the few that were still in good condition, they'd be worth a lot on eBay.
The rest of the boxes were just filled with old papers, mainly empty pages of sheet music, some with beginnings of songs that I stored away to learn and finish.
Once we had gone through the boxes, creating more of a mess than there was in the first place, we sifted through the artworks, Gerard deciding which ones would go to who's house.
We came to a painting on a large canvas of a small girl with a balloon on a long string in black and white on a red background. From the moment I set eyes on it, I knew it was perfect.
"This one is going in my room," I declared, not backing down.
Gerard looked at it. "Really? Out of all these artworks that one's your favourite?"
"Yep. It's going right above my desk." I put the painting gingerly next to my boxes of things to sort out and got back to sorting the rest of the paintings out. Dean picked out a couple of gory looking prints and Gerard picked a few more modern pieces but the rest were sorted into three piles: Frank's pile, Mikey's pile and the pile of unfinished works that would never be.
Once we had sorted through them, I looked at my watch. It was barely even 11:30. We still had the whole rest of the day.
"Okay, you two can go and enjoy the rest of your Saturday now, I'll finish up here," Gerard dismissed us with a wave of his hand.
"Are you sure?" I asked him.
"Yeah go ahead, I'll put your boxes in your room for you to sort out later," he said, turning back to the boxes at hand.
I took Dean's hand and lead him back to my room.
"Did you wanna go out and do something?" he asked me.
"Yeah, just let me get changed," I said, walking towards my bedroom.
Dean pulled me back. "Why? You look perfect as is."
I ducked my head and felt a blush creeping onto my cheeks."Alright, whatever you say."
I grabbed my essentials and went out to his car, putting in a Pierce the Veil CD for the drive.
"So where to?" Dean asked me. I shrugged my shoulders.
"I do not know, nor do I mind."
"Alright then, back to mine?" Dean asked.
"Sounds good to me."
We drove to his place and Bev was weeding the veggie patch out front as we pulled up.
"Lovely to see you again Cara, I was wondering if Dean was going to bring you around today," she greeted us.
"Mom, I've been gone for like two hours, settle down," Dean joked.
"Oh, and say hi to your brother on your way up to your room," Bev called out and Dean stopped in his tracks. Inside the house, I could hear a pair of footsteps thundering down the stairs. Dean's eyes widened and he braced himself as the front door flung open and he was crash tackled to the ground by a meaty looking jock.
"How's it going, faggot?" he taunted Dean, one arm holding him in a chokehold and the other hand ruffling his hair.
"Get off me fuckwit!" Dean choked out.
"Jordan, Dean has a guest," Bev chastised the jock.
His head snapped up and his eyes met with mine, his lips carving a half-smirk as he slowly released his brother.
"Well well well, who might we have here?"
Dean got up and rubbed at the shoulder that hit the ground first. "Cara, now go away."
"Don't go away Jordan, you can help me out here now that you're off the couch," Bev waved him over with her trowel.
He whined, but trudged over to his mother and took the trowel from her hands. He narrowed his eyes at Dean and mouthed out "You're dead" to Dean. Dean rolled his eyes and took me inside.
Once we were in his room, Dean locked the door and breathed a sigh of relief.
"So, you've now met my dropkick brother Jordan. If I'd have known he was coming home today, I'd have stayed at yours for the day and possibly not returned home for the whole weekend."
"Is he really that bad?" I asked. Dean nodded.
"He's at college on a football scholarship. He only comes home once every couple of months and when he does he likes to take the opportunity to beat the living shit out of me at every chance possible."
It was only during the time that he was talking that Inoticed a graze on his temple, fresh blood rising to the wound.
"Shit, he's hurt you," I said, tenderly stroking the graze to which Dean winced.
"It's not that bad," he said, lifting up his shirt, wincing at the scrapes and grass burn up his side.
"I'm going to go get something to put on them," I told him.
"No, Dean, you can't let him push you around like this and those scrapes will fester unless you put antiseptic on them. I'll be back."
I went downstairs to the kitchen where Jordan and Bev were talking.
"Do you have any antiseptic cream? Dean has some scrapes on him that need to be tended to," I asked Bev, keeping my eyes focused on Jordan.
"Of course, is he okay?" she asked sympathetically.
"He claims to be but they look really nasty and I wouldn't want them to get infected."
While Bev went to get the antiseptic, I turned my attention to Jordan.
"Why do you have to hurt him like this?" I asked him incredulously. He shrugged his shoulders. "He dreads whenever you come home because you use him as a human punching bag. Why? Is it because of how he dresses? Who he hangs with? What music he listens to? None of that should matter because he's your brother."
Jordan was still shocked into silence when Bev came back to the kitchen with a tube of ointment and I gratefully took it back upstairs to Dean's room.
"Don't forget to shut the door," he reminded me.
"I don't think you'll have to worry about him as long as I'm around," I replied proudly.
Dean eyes me sceptically. "What did you do to him and how much do I have to pay you?"
I held my hands up in innocence. "All I did was ask him why and he couldn't answer me. I'm pretty sure as soon as I'm gone he's going to come and apologise to you. Now come here and show me those grazes."
It took all my strength to keep my eyes on the task at hand and not peek at Dean's lithe body. He would occasionally hiss and tense himself at the cream on his wounded skin, but I knew he was thankful for it. Once I was done he gave me a soft peck on the lips as a reward.
There was a soft knock on the door and Dean opened it to find Jordan standing there looking sheepish.
"Can I talk to you for a minute?" he asked Dean. Dean looked over at me and I rose up from my seat on the bench.
"I need to go to the bathroom, take all the time you need,"I lied. I didn't really have to go to the bathroom; I just wanted to give Dean a moment to talk privately to his brother. But as soon as Jordan closed the door over, I sat around the corner and held my breath so I could overhear their conversation.
"Listen, bro, I'm sorry for being such a shitty brother all the time. I guess I didn't really realise how much I actually hurt you, you know I'm only playing around, right?"
"Sometimes it doesn't really feel like it and whenever you call me a faggot it kinda hurts, y'know?" Dean said softly.
"Shit man, I'm sorry. Ever since I started college it's been kicking my ass and it made me feel a little better to know that you're the only person I can get away with doing that stuff to, but your girl made me realise that I've been a huge douche to you and I'm sorry."
"Cara's not my girl," Dean counteracted. Jordan scoffed.
"Yeah right, and I'm not a footballer. It totally fucking obvious, even mom can see it. She'll call you out about it sooner or later."
"Fuck off, we're just friends," Dean snapped and my heart sank. Was this all just a game to him? That I was just a play toy?
"Listen man, it's obvious that you dig her and she digs you. What are you so scared of?"
"Fuck, I don't know. I've never been this close to a girl before, except for Kate who's my best friend, which is totally different. How am I supposed to know if she's into me?" Dean asked.
"Well the first sign I saw was how protective of her you were when I tackled you to the ground. And the fact that she's looking after your injuries and verbally abused me for doing that. She's a keeper dude, if you don't snatch her up, someone else will."
No they wouldn't, I didn't want anyone else but Dean.
"Since when have you been one to give out dating advice?"Dean asked.
"Buddy, when you've been on as many rides as me, you quickly sort out the amusement parks from the local fair."
"That is the most fucked up analogy I've ever heard and Ialso don't want to think about your sex life. But thanks, I guess. For the apology and for the advice."
"No problems, bro. And if you ever need anything that you don't want to ask mom for, I'll help out. Y'know, /intimate /stuff,"Jordan said in hushed tones. There was a light thud as Dean threw something at Jordan, punctuated by a loud "Fuck!" and his heavy footsteps thundering towards the door. I scrambled from my position and stood just inside the bathroom so that as he came out it looked as if I'd only just finished up and hadn't been listening in on their conversation.
I passed him in the hallway and he looked at me strangely, as if trying to figure me out. I gave him the same scrutinising look and went back to Dean's room.
"What just happened?" I asked dumbly, pretending I hadn't heard a thing.
"Well, whatever you said to him before actually got through to him, he came and apologised to me for being an asshole. I don't even know how to begin to thank you for that, I'm so shocked,"Dean stuttered out. I wrapped my arms around his neck.
"I just couldn't stand you backing down so quickly, don't mention it." I smiled like it was all okay, but my mind was screaming at me to bring up the topic of conversation that he was discussing with Jordan.
"Well, we did talk about something else as well..." he trailed off, looking away from me.
I knew what he was getting at. Iunravelled my arms from his neck and sat next to him on his bed. "I'm listening."
"I don't really know how to start it, I've never had to talk about anything like this to anyone before," he shied away.
I took his hand gently, linking my fingers with his. "It's okay, there's no need to feel self-conscious about anything," I reassured him.
He took a deep breath and his exhalation made his fringe fly up momentarily. "Okay. Jordan and I talked about us. And by us, I mean you and I; not me and Jordan. This is why I find it hard to talk about this stuff because I've never felt like this with anyone before; heck, even my mom knew something was going on before I did. And... uh..."
I tightened my grip on his hand."Just say it. Do you really think I'd judge you for anything that you say when honestly I think you're the most amazing human being on the planet?"
He looked over at me, his eyes wide. "Do you really think that?"
I looked down and nodded, not sure if I should have admitted that. I looked back up to see a wide grin on his face and once my eyes caught his he looked back down at his lap, his fingers curling tighter around mine.
"Well, the feelings mutual then. And, jeez I don't know how to put this, but I don't want to ever stop feeling this feeling. And I'll be damned if I want to feel this way with anyone else."
This speech was getting long-winded, I was just about ready to burst from excitement and I needed him to get to the point. "So what you're saying is..."
"What I'm saying is I'd like it alot if you were to officially become my girlfriend. I'm pretty sure everyone already knows it's going to happen at some point or another but I kinda want to get in there quick before anyone else has a chance to-"
I swooped in and cut him off with adeep kiss, feeling the corners of his mouth turn up at my implied acceptance of his proposal. Out of the corner, I saw Dean's door creak open a crack and two sets of eyes peering in anxiously.
Once we pulled back, a look of confusion came over Dean's face. "I'm not sure whether that was an acceptance or not, to be honest I'm a little dazed right now."
I giggled at his adorableness. "Of course it is, if it was anything else I'd have fled by now."
"So, yes? You'll be my girlfriend?"he asked, a hopeful smile on his face. I giggled again and nodded, feeling ecstatic. He pulled me close to him and I returned the embrace.
They couldn't hold it in any longer. Jordan burst through the door with a whoop and Bev followed after, looking like she was about to cry.
"About fucking time dude! I was beginning to think you liked it up the ass or something, no offence if you'd like to do that Cara," Jordan exclaimed. Dean pulled back from our embrace and jumped up from his position on the bed, charging for Jordan.
"Go away fucker!" Dean shouted at Jordan as he turned on his heel and fled from my disgruntled boyfriend, leaving Bev and I in the room together. She gave me a big hug as well, reminding me of the hugs that my mom used to give me.
"I'm so glad that Dean found you, he's been deserving of happiness for a long time," Bev said, a wistful smile on her face.
I opened my mouth to ask why, but was cut off by Dean coming back into the room. "Okay, mom, you can leave again now."
Bev rolled her eyes at her youngest son. "Are you getting hungry? Do you want me to make you some lunch?"
"I'd love some lunch, thank you," I said.
"Yeah I could go for some food too,"Dean agreed.
"Alright, be downstairs in half an hour," Bev said, closing the door slowly behind her and winking at Dean, who promptly threw a pillow at the closed door.
"Why must my family members be so annoying?" he whined, lying back on his bed with his hands over his face.
I lay next to him, prying his hands from his face. "Dean, do you not remember just how horribly humiliating yesterday afternoon was in music class? Frank isn't even part of my family and he was embarrassing enough."
He considered this and agreed. "Okay, your dad is probably a lot more humiliating than my mother and brother put together. Imagine what's going to happen tonight."
I groaned and covered my own face with my hands. I'd have to break the news of Dean and me dating to them tonight, which could only end in mortification.
We lay on Dean's bed, sharing embarrassing family stories until Bev called us down to lunch.
We returned to Dean's room after eating the most amazing lunch I'd ever experienced and talked shit for at least an hour, until I noticed the time.
"We'd better get ready to go back to mine for dinner," I said, not believing my own words and staying by Dean's side on his bed.
"I don't really want to move, but Iknow I'll have to sooner or later."
I closed my eyes and lay my head on Dean's chest, the slow beating of his heart gently lulling me to sleep...
When I woke up, the sun was beginning to set and the other side of Dean's bed was empty. I looked around groggily, trying to locate my boyfriend. I got out of bed and walked down the bathroom, feeling quite disorientated.
The bathroom door swung open and Dean walked into me, holding onto my shoulders to steady me.
"Have a good sleep?" he asked me, brushing a tray curl out of my face.
"I didn't realise I fell asleep, why didn't you wake me up before you had a shower?" I asked him.
"You looked so peaceful and adorable; I didn't have the heart to wake up. But it's nearly four thirty, so we're going to have to leave soon. Do you think this is okay for dinner?" he asked, gesturing at his outfit.
I looked down at what Dean was wearing and goddamn nearly swooned. He was wearing a pair of plain black, un-ripped skinny jeans and a dark blue button up shirt and a pair of black Vans on his feet.
"I think it looks perfect," I replied, straightening his collar. He responded with a smile and a peck on my lips.
"Okay, let me get my shit together and we'll go back to yours."
Dean gathered up his keys and wallet and we aid our goodbyes to Bev and Jordan before getting in the car and heading back to my house.
We walked in the door and as always I could smell amazing food cooking. Lindsey greeted me before I could get to the kitchen, giving both Dean and I a hug.
"Hey kids, how was your afternoon?" she asked us.
"It was great," I answered, saving our news for over dinner.
"Cara, you were asleep for half of it," Dean responded. Igave him a sharp nudge to his ribs with my elbow, forgetting it was his grazed side as he gave out a slight hiss of pain.
"Well, I need to go have a shower and get changed before dinner," I announced, heading towards the living room to say hi to Gerard before going to my room.
I froze as I reached the living room, seeing Gerard sitting on the couch with a red and black haired boy wearing skinny jeans and an Of Mice & Men shirt.
"What the fuck? Alex, what are you doing here?"