Chapter tune: Thunder – A lover, not a friend
A/N: Huzzaah!! Another chapter so soon you ask?! That’s right, I guess I’m on a roll these days! 😀 Aaaaand that’s all I wanted to say, but I got excited for finishing it so soon, lol! 😄 Also, this chapter is kind of long, sorry! Thank you for reading! ❤
It seemed like a usual Tuesday morning for Calla.
Like every day, she got up from her bed at 6 o’clock sharp, took a shower, got dressed, put her makeup on and admired herself in the mirror. You look fabulous today, she thought to herself, and you’re the best at your job. You’re going to nail this presentation, dazzle everyone in that conference room, and soon the promotion will be yours.
Going downstairs to eat her favorite power breakfast and start her day, she noticed a foul combination of cigarette and vomit smell coming from the living room. Stepping closer, she saw her brother in a state which she had months to see him in, if ever. He was pale, like all blood had been drained from him, and there were about a dozen empty wine and beer bottles scattered all around him.
“Jesse! Oh my god!” she screamed and rushed towards him “Are you ok? What happened?”
“Shhhhh!” was the only response given to her.
Relieved that at least her brother was still in his senses – in a way -, she stepped closer to check on him. She noticed Skye’s letter shoved between the couch pillows and curiously grabbed and read it.
Oh no…, she thought, that bitch. “Jesse…” she whispered gently this time “it’s me, your sister Calla. Can you hear me? Damn it Jesse… you could have died with all this alcohol. Jesse, please talk to me…”
“Shurt up, leave me alooorhne!” he slurred.
Calla sighed and, not sure what she should do at this point, immediately called Dylan.
“Hey it’s me” she said starkly “Did I wake you? I’m so sorry… but we have a problem. Can you come over? It’s Jesse, he’s in very bad shape. Oh, and please call Owen too, I don’t have his number! Thanks, see you soon”
“Thanks for coming… he’s been at that exact position for at least an hour now” Calla told Jesse’s friends as soon as they stepped inside and saw him.
“Man… what happened?” Owen asked.
“Skye broke up with him over a letter. Here it is” Calla growled and gave them the letter to read “I can’t believe I ever liked that girl, she’s such a horrible, horrible person!”
Owen almost protested at that statement, but eventually decided to stay silent.
“Fuck… he’s messed up” Dylan muttered and turned to Jesse “hey buddy… it’s us. Can you talk to me? Shit… Look, I’ll go outside to the Simbucks and get you your favorite coffee, that will make you feel better… what do you say?”
Jesse opened his eyes with difficulty. “Why d’ yourh ev’n care?” he garbled again with even less clarity than before and, in an attempt to stand up, fell off the couch. “I jhst warhna shleep! Led me die hihr, pleash! Now pish orf!”
“I can’t understand half of what he’s saying. And I should get it man, I’ve seen him drunk like a million times.” Dylan said.
Jesse was apparently not very comfortable on the floor, so he started moving. “Okhay, I’m getthin’ uprh now… uuh, I dun’t feel so wehll… ohhhr fuck!” he didn’t even manage to finish his distorted sentence and started throwing up again, right in front of Owen’s shoes.
“Oh man, that’s nasty!” Owen exlaimed, disgusted. At least whatever came out of Jesse’s stomach didn’t eventually touch him.
“Oh no…” Calla told Dylan “I’d better go clean this up… what can we do to help him? I was hoping you could tell me, I can’t stand seeing my brother like this anymore!”
“No idea princess…” Dylan muttered “I really don’t think there’s anything we can do at this point, just wait it all out. Fuck… he could have been in some serious trouble with all that booze he drank.”
“I know! That’s what I said too..!”
Nobody could really help Jesse at this point, Dylan was right. However, his idea about the coffee was Calla-approved, so they decided to let Jesse sleep on the couch until he was fully rested, and have his favorite cup of joe waiting for him on the table.
About three hours later, Jesse finally got up and stumbled his way towards them.
“Shit… my fucking head is gonna explode” he grumbled. He looked at the coffee in front of the empty seat. “Is this for me? Thanks… So uh, how long have you been here?”
“They’ve been here since I found you, that is at about 6.30 in the morning” Calla replied “Jesse… what happened? Please tell me, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you like this before… it’s about Skye right? I found the letter, please don’t be mad…”
“Don’t you have to be at work right now?” Jesse avoided her question.
“You think I’d just leave you here at the state you were in? I took a personal day.”
“But you never take pers…” Dylan starting expressing everyone’s bewilderment about that statement.
“It’s not a big deal!” she cut him off “I didn’t have anything important to do today anyway.”
Owen glanced at Jesse. He looked so bad, that he regretted ever fighting with him over Skye – and staying mad after that. He liked her, sure, but Jesse was head over heels for that girl. He was also his friend, no matter how sour things had turned between them. And now he had his heart broken, for real this time – something nobody could ever even imagine happening. “Man, you don’t have to tell us anything right now… just know that we’re here for you.”
“Thanks man… I appreciate it” Jesse replied “but I guess that’s all… it’s over, what more can I say? One day she was there and the other… she fucking just left me”
Calla looked at her brother. Although he was at least able to stand and talk properly again, and did his best to appear strong and collected, she knew that deep inside he was that same mess she saw in the morning. “Jesse… about the letter… I don’t understand, you two looked more than fine the other day… what happened? What events was she talking about?”
“Whoa sis, nosy much?” Jesse said “…but fine, I’ll tell you. I don’t even feel like fighting you on this right now…” he added.
As much as he felt irritated about Calla sticking her nose into other people’s business, he mainly felt empty and defeated. So he told them everything, despite feeling somewhat guilty – at least at first – for sharing another person’s life details like that.
“Man… that’s tough. No wonder you drank a whole liquor store all by yourself… what the fuck?” Dylan muttered as soon as Jesse was done talking.
“What are you both talking about?” Calla said “this doesn’t make any sense! Do you really think she’d take off with her ex like that? And then leave on the same night her stepdad comes out of prison? Na-uh, it’s not a coincidence. I saw her Jesse, she wanted you! I bet that ex doesn’t even remember her! Maybe she panicked and wanted to get away from that monster for some reason, can’t you see? That’s the only reasonable explanation! …Jesse, you have to find her and get her back!”
“I guess what your sister is saying makes more sense man… she wouldn’t just leave like that, no way” Owen agreed.
Jesse stayed silent. Could all this mess have been created just from her panic? But she had no reason to fear her step father anymore… a million different feelings suddenly overwhelmed him. He was never an overly optimistic person, especially through his moody phases, but still, a glimpse of hope lit his eyes up for the first time in hours.
“I’m gonna call a PI right now, I bet they’ll be quicker to track her down than us alone. Don’t worry Jesse, we’ll find her!” Calla said with her usual determination, and quickly grabbed her phone. As she was scheduling an immediate appointment with the PI, Dylan could not help but stare at her with admiration.
“Okay” she said excited as soon as she was done talking on the phone “I’m going over there, it’s close enough. Just send me some photos of her, Jesse, can you do that? And did you say her last name was Carlton? Or does she go by Grayson now? Well it doesn’t matter, I’ll tell him both! Ok, I’m off! Oh and, please Jesse, go take a shower, okay? Bye!”
The following two days the gang stayed all day at the twins’ apartment, waiting for some news from the PI. Calla went to work this time, but she never stayed late like she used to – on the contrary, she rushed home to keep her brother and his friends company, even if they seemingly didn’t need it.
On the second night, Calla noticed that her brother was again looking like his morale had dropped. Two days with no news were obviously too much for someone who waited desperately for something, even if he tried his best to hide it.
Luckily, that was the night her phone rang, and on the screen it read “Detective Justin Case“. She hastily picked it up.
“Hi… detective? Mr Case yeah… do you have anything? Yeah, I see. Really? Where?.. What?! …Are you sure, that’s the name? Shit… oh uh, sorry about that. So… where are they now?”
“They”…, Jesse thought, … of course. What the fuck was I thinking?
He noticed his sister’s calm, concerned face tranform into hellfire, its colour almost matching her deep cherry red dress.
“Are you kidding me? What do you mean you lost them? How? Oh, and I’m supposed to believe it’s that hard? How am I gonna believe you even tracked the right people down? Oh, if you wanna get one more simoleon from me, you’ll send them right now! You betcha!”
Right after she hung up the phone, she turned around to check her e-mails privately. The photos that the PI sent her were leaving no doubt: that was her, with some guy – but not her stepfather, that man was young. And they appeared to be quite friendly with each other, no indication that she was in danger or anything.
Disappointed, she returned to the couch, her gaze barely making contact with Jesse’s. His heart was pounding fast. “Well? What did he say? Did he find her?”
“Yes… well… he found that on the night she ran away, she stayed at a motel outside of Riverview, on the way to Hidden Springs… and Jesse, I don’t know how to tell you this…”
“Just fucking say it!”
“She stayed in the same room with a guy named Travis Racket… then he completely lost track of them… he sent me pictures from the motel’s security footage and that’s her alright… do you want to see them? Do you want us to try with another PI?”
Jesse felt sick to his stomach all over again, but this time it had nothing to do with the one beer he had that evening. His whole face became stiff with pain, with his crushed hope, ego and emotions; but when he talked, his voice was calm, almost too calm. “Nah… can we just drop this whole thing sis? I fucking knew it, we were waiting here for two days over some bullshit idea that she still loved me… Can’t say I’m glad I was right, but at least now I know it’s over.”
He got up from the couch, his eyes spitting fire. “I’m going upstairs, to my room… Don’t worry, it’s fine. I’m not gonna get wasted again or try to kill myself or anything… just promise me that you’ll never mention her name, nothing about her ever again. I’m fucking done.”
“Jesse wait…” Calla shouted as we was walking up the stairs, but he just ignored her. Dylan and Owen were at a loss for words.
Neither of them knew what to say or do. Calla’s eyes filled with tears and she abandoned the two boys to go cry at the table by herself. Dylan nodded at Owen to go.
He slowly approached Calla and sat beside her. “Hey princess… what a mess huh? I’m sorry… but why are you crying? Is it a twin thing?”
“I hate to see my brother like that!” she sobbed “and it’s partly my fault too… but I really thought we would find her and that everything would be fine! …I know that he hurts so much more than he shows… And I know my brother isn’t the easiest person on earth, but he doesn’t deserve all this..!”
Before Dylan had a chance to reply, she stood up and gathered herself. “I’m so sorry for crying” she said “what I’m doing is not polite at all.”
“Hey, hey… what are you talking about? Cry all you want princess, do you think I’ll judge you or feel bad? I’m here for you… …you know what they say. If you can’t fly, just keep walking or something like that. I can promise you that Jesse will be fine. He’s a tough dude deep down, he can take a breakup.”
“But he’s not like me… what if he doesn’t get over it? Ever? How can he keep walking if he was already up in the sky? The only thing he’ll do is fall and crash…”
“How can he fall when he has the most amazing person in the world here to catch him? You think he doesn’t know that? …and please, don’t blame yourself princess, none of this is your fault. Everyone knows that, including Jesse.”
Calla’s expression softened. “Thank you so much Dylan” she whispered “you’ve been such a good friend to my brother… and to me… I’m so sorry for all those times I had been nothing but mean to you…”
“Already forgotten” he said smiling.
Once again Dylan had good intentions, he really did. But their intense emotions from those past few days combined with her intoxicating smell and soft lips unintentionally touching his skin, fueled an unstoppable desire within him. Without even realizing it, he lowered his lips to search for hers.
Calla was surprised; but she found herself deeply enjoying that kiss, so much that her cheeks got flustered enough to once again match her crimson dress. She didn’t even try to stop him.
Once they broke the kiss, the only thing she could think of was that she wanted to do it again… and again and again.
Dylan was anticipating her reaction, not knowing what to do; and almost equally surprised as her. To his delight, she caressed his face and moved her body as close to his as possible.
“I want you… right now. Just be quiet cause I don’t want Jesse to hear us, ok?” she whispered, almost short of breath.
“Baby… are you sure that you really want – ”
“Shut up and just kiss me again!”
Although feeling guilty for his questionable timing, Dylan happily did as she ordered him. And he was more than happy to obey that order for the whole night. For every single night actually. All she had to do was say the word.