The kiss had taken her by surprise

The kiss had taken her by surprise. She didn't know how she was supposed to react to it especially after the day's events. Was he cheating on Jilliana with her? Or was it just a kiss to shut her up? She was confused and the thoughts in her mind swam around petulantly. She tried to push him away and turned her head, but he took her chin with his hand and brought the kiss back. They were fully on the bed now, Rynne trapped underneath him. She was torn between the decision of whether to push him away or bring him closer.

He nipped at her bottom lip, requesting entrance and she slowly complied, His tongue touched hers gently, and her eyes shot open in surprise at the feeling. Her kisses with the other guy had been hard and forceful and they had never made out with this kind of gentle intensity. She pulled back instinctively in a mixture of apprehension and shock.

"Please Hayden…." She looked at him imploringly.

He froze. Please Hayden, what? Stop? Continue? He certainly hoped it was the latter. He was almost at the point where he couldn't stop anymore and if he continued while she was unwilling, he would have probably hate himself for life. She'd hate him and he'd hate himself, the combination he wasn't ready to face quite yet.

He broke off the kiss but didn't move away from her. His forehead was still pressed against hers and he could feel her curves through the thin clothing that lay between them. He wanted to get rid of it, hurry up and feel skin against skin, but as aroused as he was, he had a deeply ingrained sense of chivalry that refused to let him do anything to her without the go ahead. There was a long interim of silence, enough time for him to cool himself down, and he rolled away taking the spot next to her on the bed.

"You drive me crazy you know that?"

She looked at him curiously. "I'm sorry?"

"Rynne, I don't like Jill. Trust me on that one."

She still looked at him skeptically, musing on whether or not to accept his denial. She didn't know what to say so she tried to laugh it off. "Why are you telling this to me?"

He grinned cheekily at her. "Cause you're jealous, that's why."

"I'm not!" she stuttered out, failing to be anywhere near convincing.

"Yes you are." She could hear the smile on his face.

"No." She turned away from him so he didn't have to see her. Honestly, his denial had made her happy. And she figured that if he went through the trouble of telling her, she'd might as well trust him.

"Come on. Look over here." He snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her to him so that they were in a spooning position.

Rynne squeaked in surprise. No matter how many times he did it, it still never failed to surprise her.

He held her close, breathing in the smell of the salty sea water. "You smell nice, he said and brought his head down to the nape of her neck.

She laughed nervously. "Hayden, I smell like seawater, sand, and hotdogs. That's not my idea of nice."

"Well, you're weird."

"Speak for yourself!"

"I'm really gross right now. I'm going to go take a shower." She moved to get up, but he dragged her back down again.

"Don't. I like you this way."

"Dirty and smelly?"

"No, disheveled and sexy."

She blushed a bit but overcame it, as she eased into Hayden's pace. "You're an odd one. Say I came in here soaked in sweat?"

"Even better. You're turning me on," he joked.

She laughed. "Hayden, what doesn't turn you on?"

"Transvestites, manly women, steroids, Dion, bestiality, women over 33, marriage…"

She lifted up her hand to stop him. "I get it. You can—" she was cut off when she felt his lips on her neck, spreading little butterfly kisses from her jaw down to her collarbone. She felt his hand on her bare stomach and she gasped.

"Hayden…." She mumbled, incapable of saying anything else.

"I like it when you say my name. Do it more."

"No," she managed and stuck out her tongue at him.

"You're mean." His hand crept upwards and around and found itself on the string of her bikini. He grinned as he tugged and the contraption came loose. She instinctively moved her arms to cover over her chest and he laughed.

"Relax, I'm not going to do anything…. Today at least. You don't seem to be in the mood for it."

She nodded at him appreciatively.

A grin spread across his face. "Of course, I can't promise that I'll let you off without a bit of sexual harassment."

She laughed. It was clear that he wasn't going to force her to do anything she didn't want to do. And plus, as embarrassed as she was to admit it, it was pretty fun. Her ex-boyfriend's advances were forceful and hard, only stopping when she pushed him away forcefully. It was totally different from Hayden's playfulness.

"Although you may want to tie that thing back. Stay like that for another minute and I won't be able to guarantee anything," he laughed as she squeaked and stretched her arms behind her in attempt to tie it.

"You're the one who undid it!"

"Mm… you want me to redo it then?"

"No." She fumbled with the string for two minutes never managing to tie it tight in enough.

"I could help you, but this is pretty fun."

"You're a sadist."

He laughed and flipped her over onto her chest. He reached underneath her shirt, letting his fingers trail up her sides. He tied the string slowly and languidly enjoying the small gasps she emitted at every brush of skin.

"Hayden…." She mumbled. "What am I to you?"

His hands stopped and slid out from her shirt. He sat up against the headboard and waited for her to get up to join him.

"Whatever you want us to be."

Rynne looked up at him confused by the answer. She was certain that he returned her feelings. How could he do all of that without it? If she was just someone he wanted to sleep with, he wouldn't have taken her to Hawaii and he would have pressed his advances already. Yet, he was patient with her. He was always sweet and was always by her side. That meant that she was special didn't it?

She drew in a deep breath. She was going to do it. She would confess to him. "Hayden, I like you."

He didn't say anything. The confession had taken him by surprise and he didn't know quite how he was feeling. Happy? He had certainly succeeded in his plan. Now it was just the dumping part that was left. But oddly enough, whenever he thought of it, a sense of dread with wash over him. He felt sick.

He smiled at her and placed a chaste kip on top of her forehead. He got off the bed and left the room.

When he was out, he almost ran downstairs to Dion.

"Let's take a walk, Dion," he said.

Dion looked up at his friend and one look into his eyes told him that there was something terribly wrong.

They walked down the beach and sat down on the empty shore.

"She confessed," he blurted.

Dion looked at him, not surprised. "Well it was obvious that she liked you."

"I know, but I'm not sure how I feel about this anymore."

"Are you going to go through with the plan?"

Hayden dropped his head between his knees. "I don't know…"

"You've started liking her haven't you?"

"I don't know."

Dion reclined on the sand and looked at his friend. He was miserably conflicted and no one could blame him. What had happened to him would have deluded anybody.

"I can't help but hate her. Everytime I think of Tommy, I see Fiona's face which is almost identical to Rynne's face. I hate everything about that woman. When I found out tha she had a daughter, I hated her too."

Dion sighed. "It's almost that day right?"

Hayden nodded. It was only two weeks away from the anniversary of Tommy's death.

He was fourteen back then and Tommy was six. He was a smart kid and Hayden loved him more than anything. Tommy was like his son, his friend, and his brother all at the same time. It was funny how things happened so quickly and how one small thing led to another which ultimately led up to something so devastating. It really was a wonder.

Dion only wished that he could do something or say something that could help Hayden, but he didn't quite know what he himself wanted either. He had safely put a distance between him and Rynne so he had never really been there to know her better. She was still that object of prejudiced antagonism, but the one thing that had changed was that she was the girl his best friend liked. He saw it in Hayden. As much as he wanted to hate her to keep his plans straight, he liked Rynne almost as much as she liked him. Yet, it was ironic since the more he started to like her, the more he kept trying to find faults with her to bring him back on target to help him hate her again. But Dion believed that in another part of Hayden's complicated feelings, he wanted her to prove herself not to be the girl he expected her to be. It was a cycle and the consequent turmoil was eating him from within. He had hated her way too long to just simply dismiss everything and his loyalty to his little brother had warped his mind to the point of turning his entire existence into a vessel for his bitter revenge.

Dion stood up. "You think about it. There's really nothing I can do or say. You're too stubborn for that."

Hayden just nodded and remained seated acknowledging Dion's departure with a nod.

He sat there, thinking for another hour and fell asleep on the sand.

"Hayden eats rocks?" a little boy looked up curiously at his older brother.

"Yep, that's why I'm so strong and tough. Feel my arms." Hayden placed the child's tiny little hands on his bicep and held in a laugh when his eyes bulged out in surprise.

Tommy removed his hand and felt his own bicep, disappointed when he realized how squeezable his own arm was.

He ran over to the kitchen. "Mommy, put rocks in my food too!"

A woman, in her early forties laughed. "Hayden! Stop teaching your brother stupid things." She scolded as Hayden walked in to the kitchen, a lopsided grin planted on his face. Even though her voice was stern, her eyes shone with humor and adoration for both of her sons.

"Mommy, but Hayden really does eat rocks. Feel his arm. It feels like a rock. Mine feels like Pooh bear."

"Well, I'd much rather have you feeling like Pooh Bear than feeling like a rock," she squatted down to look him eye to eye and gave him a kiss.

"But Hayden says that Pooh Bear isn't manly."

"Pooh Bear is a girl with the voice of an old man," Hayden remarked, nodding.

"Yeah! Hayden says that the Hulk is manly and I should be like the Hulk."

The woman looked at her older son in bewilderment and exasperation. "Hayden! Stop teaching your brother these things!"

She looked down as she felt another tug on her apron. "Hayden says that you're just trying to turn me into a pansy so you won't feed me rocks."

Hayden was almost on the floor roaring with laughter as his mother eyed the rolling pin threateningly.

"Listen, Tommy. Hayden does not eat rocks. Your brother eats everything but rocks, including spinach, broccoli, carrots, peppers, peas, and onions."

"But I hate those."

"No you don't. You like them, but you just think that you don't."

Tommy put his chin in his hand thoughtfully considering that possibility.

Hayden had almost calmed down, not quite yet resuming normal breathing rhythms, and bent over to pick his four year old brother up from the ground. Tommy was already far past the rest of the kids his age in speaking, writing, and reading ability, but his sense of logic was still at that of a kid his age and Hayden loved him dearly for it. He loved every part of his little brother. Hayden hugged him tightly and planted a kiss on his cheek.

"Eww, you told me that men who kiss other men are girly men."

"But you're Pooh Bear. Therefore, you aren't a girly man."

He could see his little brother racking his brains to understand and eventually give up.

"Okay then." Tommy bent over and placed a kiss on his big brother's cheek as well. "I love you almost as much as Tigger."

Hayden feigned hurt. "Watch it buddy. I'm not settling for anything other than number one."

"Okay then. I love Hayden number one and Piglet number two."

Their mother called out from the kitchen. "What about mommy?"

"Mommy number A"

Hayden laughed and sat him on top of his shoulders. "Smarty pants."

"Damn straight," Tommy replied with a very Hayden like smile.

Hayden covered his ears just in time to block out forty percent of the "Hayden-what-are-you-teaching-your-brother" screech that came from the kitchen.

"Hayden, get up. You'll catch a cold sleeping out here."

He was shaken gently awake and as he squinted open his eyes, he saw Rynne's green eyes looking down at him, full of concern. Even in the dark of the night, Rynne's eyes sparkled its dazzling green. Night or day, Rynne was beautiful. As much as he wanted to pull her down and kiss her senseless, he was still annoyed from her disturbance.

He was upset that she had woken him up from his dream. Even if it was only in his sleep, he wanted to be with Tommy. His time with Tommy was so precious and yet she had killed him, taking away their time forever. The day was approaching. It was always around this time of the year when the dreams multiplied and the pain reached the point where it almost burned.

He looked up at her again and this time, he couldn't see Rynne. All he saw was her mother, from her eyes, to her lips, and to every strand of that glorious brown hair. He would have to do it soon. He wasn't going to continue playing these games any longer. He knew that he had already succeeded in making her fall for him so it was going to be easy now. She had almost reached the top and soon it would be time for her to make that fall.

The game had reached its limit.

"Hayden, come inside. You'll get sick."

He pasted a superficial smile on his face and looked up at her. "Worried about me?"

Rynne smiled. "Maybe just a little."

"Well I won't go in if you only worried a little."

She stood up and tugged on his arm to help him off the ground. "Fine, I'm worried quite a bit."

"Still disappointing but that'll do for now."

He paced back to the house, not pausing to wait for her to catch up.

She could tell that something was wrong. His voice lacked the note of laughter that it usually held and his shoulders looked stiff. Even though he smiled, his smile was icy and sent chills up her spine. She jogged to catch up.

"Hayden, is something wrong?" she asked.

He took a deep breath to steady his voice. "Nah, why would there be?"

"You seem different."

He laughed. "That's cause I just woke up. I'm always uptight when I wake up."

"Oh, I'm sorry then."

"Don't apologize. I should be thanking you."

She shrugged and then lengthened her stride to keep up with his pace.


Short chapter for today. I've been really busy lately with school and everything.

I'll try to keep on updating as much as possible, but yeah…

Thanks to everyone who reviewed. I really do appreciate it. )

Well, things are going to start moving quicker now. I know people are getting impatient for the climax of the story. I am too actually. I promise it'll come soon. ) I'm excited to write about it.

You'll be getting more glimpses into Hayden's past within these few chapters. Just a heads up. )