Chapter Five: Like It Was Normal

I looked up and found Ian grinning at me.

"Wow. It usually takes Charles a week to make a girl fall in love with him, but with you it's only been three days," he commented with lips curled up into a smirk.

I blushed profusely at his remark before I elbowed Charles in the stomach.

Wait. Did I just hear Ian right? It usually takes Charles a week to get a girl to fall for him? What the?! Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Ian walked towards the TV and turned it off, which made Charles instantly shot up.

Let me remind you that I was still on top of him.

Yep, you guessed it, the jerk made me fall on the floor!

"That's it!" Charles roared with annoyance.

I turned my head and lifted it at his direction.

"I have a ten-dollar bill in my pocket. You can take it. Just let me sleep!"

I narrowed my eyes at him. The mischief in his eyes seemed to have vanished and he looked awfully serious. Quite frankly, it scared the hell out of me.


"Yes," he growled.

I held out a hand jokingly, but to my surprise he actually slapped the ten-dollar bill in my hand.

"Thanks," I said before getting up from off the floor.

Needless to say, it wasn't long before Charles came charging after me.

I shrieked when he grabbed my arm and turned me around. He was steaming angry and was glaring at me as if I were some kind of thief, like I committed an ultimate crime or something.

Can someone say bi-polar?

But despite it all, I struggled not to laugh at him because he reminded me of my brother, Bart. They practically had the same facial expression. Nostrils flaring with piercing eyes narrowed so that he looked like he was cross-eyed.

"How's the tutoring, Charles?" Mrs. Caine popped in from the door. She was leaning over looking at us with a smile and a spoon on one hand.

Charles outward anger quickly subsided. He just turned around with his chin lifted at a defiant level and preceded to walk over to his mom. "Oh, it's going just fine. Right, Roz?" he said with eyes on me while giving his mother a quick peck on the cheek.

His mother smiled at me when I nodded in agreement. "All right then. Dinner is in a half an hour. Don't get into any mischief. Okay?"

Charles nodded before walking over to me. He grabbed my arm roughly and tried to drag me out of the room.

Too late, Mrs. Caine.

"Give me my money back," Charles ordered once we were out of earshot.

"But you gave it too me!" I reasoned while trying to pull away from him.

Where the hell was Ian?

"I was still in la-la land, my dear Rosalind. You cannot hold people responsible for their unconscious. So give it back or I'll eat all of the vanilla ice cream that my mom made me buy for you."

I shook my head and tried to push past him.

Jerk! I mean, come on! How dare he threaten me with ice cream?! That's just rude!

Charles instantly maneuvered his body to block my dramatic exit and soon enough pinned me to the wall with his body.

I desperately tried not to let him know how nervous he was making me, but he was seriously making me feel really nervous.

Honestly, how many people can be calm when they're trapped with someone that just threatened them?

"W-What are you trying to do?" I asked breathlessly.

His body was so close to mine it became more and more nerve racking with every passing second.

He's going to kill me! Oh my god, he's going to kill me!!

"I am trying to get my money back," he answered. Suddenly he smirked as if he realized what our close proximity was doing to me. "Why?" he asked inching his face closer to mine. "Your boyfriend won't mind, would he?" he whispered, his lips inches from mine. I could practically taste the Winterfresh gum.

The worse part was that I just felt completely trapped beneath his penetrating blue eyes.


Oh my God! He's getting closer!


"Tickle him," a voice said.

And I did just that.

The look in Charles' eyes was like that of a deer stuck in the headlights. He couldn't do anything to stop me.

I honestly didn't even give him the chance.

My tiny fingers swiftly went to his stomach and he was instantaneously under my submission.

Okay, I want you to picture a giant being controlled by a midget. Hilarious, right?

Well, maybe you have to be there. Just take my word for it: Charles under my submission was so freaking hilarious!

"Damn you Ian!" Charles managed to cry out in between gasps of air.

I have to say, I love having the upperhand for once. Even if it only lasted for ten seconds before Charles grabbed my wrists and held them above my head.

As I said, imagine a giant holding a midget. He was tall and sadly, I'm so very short. Obviously, I was at a major disadvantage.

"No. More. Tickling," Charles said before transferring both of my wrists into one hand. With the other one, he went through my jean pockets looking for his money.

I tried to get away, but he had a damn strong grip. I was pretty much helpless against his strength.

It didn't take him long before his hand grazed my backside as he fished into my back pocket in search for the money.

All of the movement was stirring all my senses, but the look in his eyes didn't give anything away on his side. He wasn't smirking and there wasn't a twinkle in his eyes, his face was just blank. Like he didn't even know what he was doing as long as he got his money back.

"Wait, I'll give it too you," I murmured breathlessly.

Why does that always seem to happen around Charles? I know how to breathe, god damn it. BREATHE!

Charles narrowed his eyes at me for a moment before letting me go. "Never mind. I have it." Instantly he let me go and with a triumphant smirk he stalked away. "Woo, I win!" I heard him mutter.

I looked up and found Ian leaning against the wall smirking at me.

"Don't mind him," Ian said. "Just remember that whenever he gives you a hard time just tickle him. For one, he'll stop and two, he'll forget whatever he was doing. But it's only useful when you don't have chicken at hand. Charles has an obsession with chicken."


Ian nodded with a smile. "Fried chicken, baked, broiled, soup, whatever. He loves chicken. He'll even fight to the death for it too. Let's just say Thanksgiving is a very scary time in the Caine household."

I chuckled lightly at Charles' quirks as I watched him stomp away. He only wore black, he was incredibly smart, he is a heavy sleeper, the only thing that can wake him up is when the TV channel is changed, he is extremely ticklish, and loves chicken.

"Weirdo," I commented.

"Oh, hell yeah."

I turned around to face Ian and found him staring at me. I tried to look away, but I just couldn't.

We were staring at each other long enough for me to note that his eye color was a lighter shade of blue compared to Charles.

"So, you're tutoring him, huh?" Ian asked, breaking the awkward silence.

I nodded, looking down. "More like he is tutoring me. Is he really smart?"

"Oh, so he's already told you about that. Yeah, I used to hate him for it. I have to study for hours just to learn something, but he doesn't even have to try to be a genius. He's a visual-spatial learner so just as long as whatever he wants to learn is on the History, Discovery, or MTV channel he'll know it. And the worst part is that he has this crazy photographic memory. Some days I want to be him, and other days I just want shove his head in a toilet. Crazy, huh?" Ian finished with a light chuckle. "So how did my mom trick you into it?"

I flustered. How should I answer that?

Option #1: Tell him I only did it thinking I would be tutoring him and not Charles.

Option #2: Lie and say the money is good. It's only a little white lie… He'll probably believe it… Hopefully.

Or Option #3: Faint right now and hope he doesn't ask again.

Hmm… Definitely option #2, I seriously doubt that I could faint on command anyway. That would be so cool though!

"I just couldn't say no." Aha! Good answer. Vague, yet an answer nonetheless.

Ian smirked. "Why's that?"

"Umm, your mom's very persuasive?"

Dear God, please make him believe me. Kay, thanks.



"You know, I'm just like her... So, what do I need to say to persuade you to go to a party with me?"


More like a 'crash' but either way: what the heck?

Ian was off before I could even grasp the concept of what was happening.

"Mom!" He yelled out running towards the direction Charles went off.

I followed him slowly at first, but then went into a full sprint after my own curiosity won over me.

We found Charles sprawled on the garage floor. He got up to a sitting position and started poking his bleeding arm. "I told you I'd find it," he said turning his attention to Ian with a grin across her lips. "Nice try, though. Thanks for being a distraction, Roz."

What the heck? Charles was bleeding and he wasn't even screaming in pain? WAIT! Distraction?

Ian was glaring back at him. "You ruined the surprise Charles and you hurt yourself too! Idiot!"

Charles smirked not minding his brother's anger. "Birthdays are fun. I love presents."

"Your arm is bleeding all over the floor and all you can think about is your birthday present?!"

Charles nodded happily. "Aw, come on Ian. Just calm down. It's not like I haven't done worse. Remember last year when I dislocated my shoulder and broke four ribs? That was fun."

Ian ran his hand through his hair in frustration. "Fun? God, you're crazy..."

Charles chuckled before standing up. "I knew you were getting me a guitar, too. I just knew it. Hey, can I have it now? I really can't wait for our birthday."

"No!" Ian growled.

Mrs. Caine came in calmly with an emergency kit in hand.

Wah? It's like it was normal around this house for Charles to get hurt.

Charles smiled bashfully at his mother. "I'm sorry, mom, I couldn't help it."

Mrs. Caine simply shook her head. "Ian, go watch the food I'm cooking. Turn the bread in the oven before they burn and take the pasta out of the water."

Ian nodded before giving Charles one final shake of his head.

"Look at yourself. I think you need stitches. What did you hit yourself on?"

Charles pointed at a cabinet smeared in his blood. It would've made me throw up, but the mere fact that Charles was so strong about it that it didn't even seem real to me. "I miss calculated my footing and hit my arm on the edge. But that doesn't matter the guitar Ian hid from me is still up there. My arm doesn't hurt one bit… So can I get it now?"

Mrs. Caine shook her head. "No. I knew this would happen. I specifically told you not to get into any mischief. Roz, can you drive?" she asked turning her attention to me.

I nodded. "Um, yeah. But I don't have a car. Ian drove us here."

"You can drive Charles' car," Mrs. Caine said while temporarily covering the open wound. "Give her your keys Charles."

Charles sighed. "But she might crash it! Or worse, she might scratch the paint! Mom, I can drive with one hand! I promise."

He had good reason to say that if he actually knew how bad of a driver I really was, but he didn't even know me yet. Either, he is very good at knowing people or very lucky at guessing. Creepy.

Mrs. Caine narrowed her eyes at Charles. "Tell me where the closest hospital is, Charles?"

Charles groaned. "Well, there's a Kaiser Permanente--"


"Somewhere…" he whispered. He seemed to get smaller by the second with his mother looking him down.


"Fine. Fine. I'll go with her," he sighed with resignation.

"Once your father gets home, we'll go there. That'll be in ten minutes, DON'T even dare to think of doing anything stupid!"



Charles hung his head sheepishly. "I promise."

"All right then." Suddenly Mrs. Caine turned her attention towards me. "Roz, honey, don't let him anywhere near the steering wheel. Okay?"

I quickly nodded. I had to run to catch up with Charles. I have no idea how he gets away so fast, especially since he was just stomping like an oversize elephant when I caught up to him.

We walked in silence for a long time before he stopped in front of a fire red 1957 Chevrolet Convertible.

Oh, wow.

"As you can see, this beautiful lady is why I don't want you driving it," Charles said as he passed me by. "Angelina doesn't like it when other people touch her, so you be careful or else she'll kill us."

I could barely register what he was saying. It looked as if it just came out of the past. "It's beautiful."

"Phenomenal, primo, pulchritudinous, perfect, err pleasing to the eyes? Where's a thesaurus when you need one..." Charles trailed off.

I stared at him. Is this guy for real?

"You forgot 'prodigious'," I added.

"Extraordinary in size, amount, extent, degree, force - I guess it passes. Hmm, maybe I finally found tutor who can play the game… Interesting. Can I drive?"


"Aw, I thought we were really connecting there," he said with a pout, "and I was just starting to like you."

"That's okay, I don't think I like you either," I answered, holding a hand out for the keys.

Charles narrowed his eyes at me before forking over his precious keys. "Is that a challenge? Everyone likes me."

I raised an eyebrow. "Not everyone can like you."

"Wanna bet on it?"

"Depends on the terms."

"All right. I bet you $20 that I can make you admit that you like me."


Charles grinned, linking our pinkies together. "Deal, but just so you know, I've never lost a bet. Ever."

The way he said it sent a chill up my spine. "I have a boyfriend."

"I know."

"No seduction or anything of the sort. Definitely no kissing."

He leaned in closer to me, which took my breath away. We were just a centimeter apart. I quickly pulled away before his lips touched me. "Not even a little?"

Oh Geez. My voice took this time to take a vacation. And why is it that we are always this close?!

He pulled away with a smirk, "Just kidding, Roz, I wouldn't do that. Contrary to popular belief, I do have morals. For a moment there you looked like you were about to kiss me. You should watch your step, we wouldn't want you to turn into another Hester Prynne."

I could only gape at him as he plopped into the passenger seat. Intense rock music suddenly blared through the speakers. "Either way… I like me," Charles yelled over the music with a smirk.

A bit cocky isn't he?

Oh, God, what have I begun? Bad Roz. Bad…

¤ Author Notes: I LOVE summer vacation! Who's with me?! Haha. I've done so much and gone to so many different places in the past couple of weeks than I have all of my life. It's just awesome. And with freshman year behind me, I feel ready to take on the world. Woo:) Hope everyone's having a great time. If not, I hope this chapter some how entertained you. lol.

Essevera - lol. you sound as if it's a drug. haha. thanks for reviewing :)

diamondewdrops - oh yes, Charles is just so squishable. lmao. somedays i wish my imagination would just come true for once... haha. And yeah, I also feel so terrible for Donovan.

he's the sweetest drug .x - lol. thanks :D I agree, I love the whole bad boy thing too, but I'm not going to tell how it'll end. my lips are sealed :S lol.

Sweet Child - aww thanks. trust me, the original isn't all that great. then again, i am my own worst critic... Hopefully, I'll post these chapters faster. I feel so terrible for my readers, past and present! And yeah, Charles' sleeping habit is based on a collection of weirdos that I have had sleepover with. But mostly this one guy who can sleep through everything except the sound of papers crumpling. It's weird. haha. And thanks to you, I put it in humor. hahaha. Lubb ya :)

loveSZbrownie - looks around and whistles who knows?... lol.

Mindless Self Indulgence - Oh yes, bad Roz!! lol. waves hi :D

katieee - If I said I love you for loving this, would you believe me? Because it's true. lol.

FreakierThanThou - I didn't realize how loved that chapter was. Funny, because I wrote it on a random suger induced high. lmao... Yep, the Donovan part was new. mainly because the poor guy doesn't get enough action. hah.

soccerbabe13 - sorry for taking so long to update! Thanks for reviewing :)

Emilyne Willowar - lol. that's awesome :D I always chuckle as I write so my little brother thinks I'm crazy. haha.

ski bird - I hope I didn't disappoint you for taking so long to update! Thanks for reviewing, I appreciate it :)

midnightbeauty - NOOOOOOOOO! Don't die! Here's your chapter. hahahaha. I officially heart you hehe ;)

Cooties - Aha. Great question! I actually don't know the answer. And I'm not even saying this to try to be cryptic. I honestly don't know. lol. Well, thanks for reviewing :)

Until next time, please review :)