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More than Brotherly love

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Chapter one:

Hypocritical Bliss

I hate to travel.

Always have. It doesn't matter if it's across the street or to freakin' Vermont (Wherever that is). I just simply hate to travel. Point blank; explanation point at the end. First the packing beginnings with sacrificing the things you want for the things you need. Goodbye baby doll Ann Marie and hello kitty cat toothbrush.

Everything changes for that short period of time. Once when I stayed with grandma she made me sleep by her side night after night, protector from the said to be peeping raccoons outside her bedroom window. Grandma, being a rather annoying oldie, assumed they were put there sporadically to watch her strip. Even if I had happened to be a kinky raccoon Grandma would have been the last I'd watch in her Birthday Suit. Case closed.

The ride was rocky; heads swayed all the while moving with the bumpy road to a silent dance. I stared out the window without grasp, as it seemed my coherence was on holiday. A hum permeated the bus, the engine droning on.

There's a lot of palm trees in northern California, I noted for a distraction, watching the blurred images drag behind. Briefly, I held my eyes shut. Everything felt so brand spankin' new. I just needed a second—a second, of nothing to get away from it all. The sun docked behind a building, intending to start afresh. A path I didn't want to intersect or remotely mar.

The time of disembark was near, an uncanny silence diffused in—everyone knew what was close. Hell, we could feel it jarring the air. The previous rowdy children were left unvoiced. Ache jarred on inside me, it was breezy but drops of sweat stained my back. Dad would have never wanted this for me…a feeling so miserable I didn't want to move, as well as part from such morbid transportation. Pathetic…

Beside for my silent prayer (Please let this be the wrong bus station. Please…please) the bus flowed on in silence coming short to destination.

Breath hastened, I squeezed the only bag I had to my chest. The building rolled near quicker then I expected, soon the bus stopped and the mountain of silence was broken.

"I can't wait to plunge into a hot bubble bath." The odd lady laughed and whispered shrilly, "—and I bet my husband can't wait either." Passing on, the three women laughed together light and heavy bags burdening them down.

Items were gathered and a new destination was set: Home.

I clenched my teeth. Not for me. But it could be for me…I'll just…stay on the bus. That's it!

After everyone leaves the driver will head back (Hopefully). Subsequently, after another five hour drive, he'll more then likely discover me. But wait! He's not a cruel man. As he's swept up in chivalry he'll offer to return me to my home—it'll be just like The Wizard of Oz. We'll stop and pick up other outcast and together will set for home! YOWZUHHH!

Lovely. The bold font 'The End' was already anticipated.

"Excuse me miss I need to get out," an elder lady chirped up haughtily in the seat beside me, squirming impatiently in a beige suit. Damn…forgot about granny.

I grasped my glance from the window; it stung to force an optimistic smile at the women. How could something so familiar suddenly become arduous? Suave designer bag, botoxed and shiny cheeks, blond, beautiful even, —everything about her reeked money.

I feared her. "Gladly." The bus ride was compact, stuffy, and unbearable. Sleepy and exhausted riders piled off the automobile in relief. I wished I could be that carefree…

I closed my eyes. Who was I lying to? There was nothing for me at home and zilch here. What was I to do? I'd rather stay in nothingness then be here, I decided miserably. I didn't want Mom to see me like this—a complete and utter mess.

Camera dangling around my neck, I bent over, knees parted as I yanked an invisible bag from a latch beneath the seat. My hair swept over the ground akin to a tablecloth, swabbing the floor for dirt and filth as dark strains tickled my nose.

A rash, tentative glance—I was so numb I couldn't force my part to be bothered that most boys at school would have chosen her over me any day. When did old people become so alluring, anyway? I sighed. "Only in California," I muttered.

"Excuse me?"

I peered up to the women. "I'm so, so, sorry to trouble you Mrs…um…" I trailed off hoping that she'd assist me with her name. She didn't; the only aid encouraged was the hardening of her marble eyes and a frown athwart shiny cheeks. Right…

Undiscouraged, I continued tentatively. "My bag seems to be stuck under the seat you should go on ahead." Cheesy smile.

Frankly, I was really beginning to distaste adults in general. "Young lady, I'm asking you politely now. Move." Oh but it seemed anything but. Pardon me?!

The heat of irritation surfaced, I rolled my eyes and glared at the women; anger lingered. Maybe I was really being a bitch to not assist the old women or perhaps it was my bad mood; it didn't matter. In such a short acquaintance I made a discovery…and it was as solid as effing gold: I couldn't stand this old woman. In a huff I jolted out the bus, too exasperated to form an apology to the people I smashed though.

What was her problem? The old fart didn't like me off the back.

who cares?

... I care! Everyone liked me or at least found me bearable. I wasn't familiar with such instant aversion.

California thing yet again…

The bus station was too crowded for the afternoon, or perhaps maybe it was just right since I didn't know a thing on bus stations. I must have had hell's visage sustaining my face since everyone practically thrown themselves from my line of view.

Rays faintly touched skins bordering on the stroke of a ghost; the sun rested crafting a peachy color to fill the sky. It was alluring.

Yeah, that's right I'm pissed…back off, I thought bitterly at the timid glances. I navigated myself to a little bench outside the conventional area. I was stuck in California.

The giant palm tree, flaunting it's leafs as if it had something to prove also aided this recognition. The wind whirled as I hugged myself.

For now It was alright, I wasn't about to rip out a box of Kleenex or cry on the guy sitting beside me (In fact, he didn't look too welcoming anyway). The befallen of my mood was rashly washed over me the day I began wadding my bags. Inconveniently, a dull ache of loneliness awoke inside me at result of gloomy thoughts filtering my head.

Who'd ever thought that California would be so gray? A light fog mounted the bus station like an ominous blanket. The weather even felt menacing, advising me off this place. A short haunting befallen was blatantly stated.

I ignored that last thought, deciding on search for my ride. Maybe she went all out and ordered a Limo driver to hold a sign with my name on it. The second the thought came in I imagined mom standing beside him with a lopsided grin, pointing to the sign occasionally. I smothered a smile into open palms.

Leaning on the bench with knees to the seat I arched my neck, dissecting the crowd with green catlike eyes, face after face after face. There were just too many people to make sense of it all. It wasn't long that I decided to wait for the crowd to dwindle before initiating a full fledge hunt.

Twisting around on the bench—fully prepared to mope until my face was dull—my knee's target was surprisingly off from the hard safe wood blatantly behind me. Only an idiot would bypass it. The air was knocked from me, as I slipped headed for the ground unprepared for the collision as I set to contort back on hard cement.

Hands swooped around my back and squeezed me safely before the impact could settle. Eyelids wringing shut, my hands interlocked with a cottony texture as my head rested over it.

Seconds crawled; muddled I stirred my head away looking up. Oh I could just die.

Waves of sapphire shards washed over me, drowning me until no further color exist. Startled and unprepared the eyes proved as they searched mine, bare and naively unguarded. Inside—pale and painful and it shook me to the core.

His eyes were amazing…

"S-sorry…" was my breathless whisper against the soft touch of his shirt.

Mouth left agape…a loss of words; he shook his head as if soundlessly oppressing thoughts. Pulsating inside my frail little body, my heart grew as wild as an untamed bird in a cage bashing sporadically into its reformatory for release.

"S-s-sorry," I repeated twice unsure.

There was a moment of nothing where I thought he'd never let me go and then I'd be force awkwardly sliding from his fixed grip,—All I had to do was suck in—save for he beat me to the abandonment. He lightly pushed me away after roughly releasing me as though a kid caught in his mommy's purse; I gasped from the swiftness.

Rashly he turned away, fixed looking out to the sunset with his back to me.

I shivered even more the wind was making me numb…I think. What's with him, Was he shy?

"Hey."

Ignore.

"Hey?"

Ignore.

I glared at his back, peeping from an angle. "Hello?" Irritation strengthening, I tapped him on the shoulder.

He didn't act surprise nor remotely shy. "What?" he asked with such impatience that I wanted to stumble back to the secure edge of the bench where his annoyed glance saw right through me. Frustrated I squeezed my arm and did just that, absently biting my lip.

"Nothing."

What's his prob?

Closing my eyes, I buried the thought as they buried him.

I chuckled bitterly, eyeing the site. Dad was always on my mind.

The light wind sweeping my skin stabbed into me; it was enough to have me folding my legs tightly against my chest. Constantly I tamed chaotic strains of hair behind my ear, unable to resist I looked over my shoulder.

He sat there like a dark cloud beside my colorless rainbow, eyes to a cell phone like the direst news was being reported back to him. Blond, willful hair that contorted like a feather in the wind as the suns light touch marred his hair gold with its faint rays. Probably texting to his feasible girlfriend… Looking around I bit my lip. Heck, I wasn't that early shouldn't someone be here by now?

Keep faith Stacie. You'll be alright…

So I hummed, softly so it couldn't disturb any male beside me feasibly on his menstrual cycle. However it is just my luck that he happened to have been born with ears the strength of an elephant's.

Jackets covered against the cold, as they rushed to shelter the crowd began to thin out.

It wasn't that cold...

So many people here appeared as if they were shot down from mars, or maybe I was the one shot down from the alienated planet. I was the outcast. All around civilians passed by seeming so close like they were afraid they'll loose each other, interlocking hands or ambling shoulder to shoulder.

In New York stuff like that wasn't so perceptible. Here, it stuck out highlighted—it was everywhere. Viewing the scene so intensely was scoring me odd looks, accordingly I lifted my head and rubbed at my arms silently wishing for a jacket.

This place sucks. Someone save me.

Out of the blue an unfamiliar feeling engulfed me. I felt awkward, as if eyes were sizing me up...and not in the good way either. Slowly I turned my head to the dark portentous, inhospitable side of the bench. Uncomfortable. Mr. 'Fuck the world' was staring at me. Eyes blank but soft, it made my breath snag. Hell, I almost smiled back if it wasn't for that smile.

That smile…yeah it didn't look right. It was surely golden (I mean come on thugs and terrorist stop to look at that smile, nonetheless it was completely off!)

"What?" I asked quite nervously.

Smile adhere, he scratched his chin idly. "Amazing how you can jet through with the thought on murder and end up breaking my ears with your shitty humming." He frowned, sneered off to himself. "You're too much…"

I think my stone heart just slammed into a wall, got whizzed on by a smelly hobo, and was plummeted as the wall finally tumbled down…as if it could endure any further abuse.

I glared at him. "If—,"

"You're nagging me," he stated with irritation, then raised an index finger. "Shh!"

"I'm nagging you—

"Shh," he snapped.

His bad mood seemed to convey a smile to my face for some reason, a bitter chuckle. He watched on hesitantly, daring me to say something. I gave him my best grin; he rolled his eyes with a sigh.

Defeated, he rested his head back against the bench breathing out another sigh. "Alright. You're persistently annoying. What the hell do you want?"

AhHAH!

My grin doubles. I couldn't figure out why I was bothering with him he obviously distasted me. "You're highly entertaining—a complete asshole, cockily announcing your thought to be victory, though highly entertaining! For that I challenge you!"

Curiously, he peeped down at me through slits. "Huh?

Oh, this was going to be fun. Without another word I redeemed a pack of cards from my bag and slammed them on the massive space between us. Hmm…our dislike for the other was apparent.

"UNO. One game, one victory. Who shall fall and who shall rise…? Are you in?" He looks at me with a humorous smile, then chuckles softly. "Please say you're shitt—I mean," he quickly switched up, seeing my glare. "—are kidding me. You can't be this pathetic."

Sheepishly, I retrieved the cards like a baby exploited to the cold mean world, hugging some warmth into them. "If you're going to be like this then never mind. Shame on me for trying to cheer up the devil."

Stupid guy, he was only a distraction. Think I needed him to have fun? Entirely wrong, my name is Stacie Madalena; I can find fun in the off-est places just you—

"Poke," he whispered softly, stabbing me in the cheek and breaking me from the connection of chaos going on in my head.

I snarled, "What?"

Oh, he jumped. Stacie Madalena: Call me anytime to take down a destructive boy.

Inspecting his hand between us pensively, his arm shook and his free hand rushed tersely through his hair. Afterward he looked up at me—damn those eyes to hell—, then back down again.

"Sorry," he whispered softly, barely audible as if it hurt him just to say this much. Without prior notice an honest to god, full grin took on his face. "I'll play the stupid game with you...but if I win their will be no boohooing. Got it?"

He had the nerve to narrow his eyes.

"Tears from this face?" Impatiently, I blew at the strains sheathing my face. "Don't get too carried away. This right here—" I pointed to my head, "—shall never doubt me."

"Eh…is that so?" Mr. Split Personality stole the cards from my hand and sneered. "You need a reality check."

•••

I don't know how long we were playing I just know that we lost track of time. Who knows who he was waiting for, he obviously had forgot about them, and hey, I wasn't too worried about them either. I liked this distraction.

"DRAW TWO! Don't you dare try to ease your way out of this one you little punk. Be superior and obtain what you dish out dammit." Quickly, I figured this guy was serious about his games even such one as this. He knew all my cheat routes—found them and nailed them to the ground without a care to the world. I suspected that he was a destined cheat to…theirs no other explanation for him to know my clandestine secrets.

"Yeah yeah yeah. Don't get cocky, you have yet to win."

His blue eyes seemed to laugh at me fervidly as he smiled, chortling lightly. "You're right cockiness should be a felony."

Grasping my dish of cards with a death grip, I glared at him this time it was my turn to take on the eye narrowing. Was he making fun of me? Why was he suddenly so smiley and giddy. I was so on to him.

Tenaciously, I drew my cards, stealthily peeking within the deck.

"Hey, hey, hey!" He smacked my hands. "How dare you try to cheat in front of me after acclaiming yourself the champ! Honestly, I'm ashamed to be playing with you. This is despicable."

I lied quickly, "I wasn't cheating those cards were sticky and got stuck together. God, control yourself."

Raising his brow, controlling myself became a lot harder. We both began to laugh until our sides where in pain, but that ended briefly when I eased up on him to get a good look at his cards, finishing with him cursing me to hell.

Such a drama queen.

"UNO," he said dully after a while.

Panic ripped my stomach. No no no no…

I slapped down my emergency wild. Trick one, always keep a back up wild. This game was mine all I had to do now was choose the right color to elicit his downfall.

Except this, I soon discovered, was hard to figure out he had what dad had: A poker face. Choosing the color wasn't going to be a gimme.

Diminishing my eyes, I took him in, searched him down, and delved over him to each atom. Piteous, one sight of those eyes and I lost all coherence. For that second I was something I had never wanted to be. Somewhere as those seconds ticked by some fear was speckled in there…like a tasteless pepper.

I felt woozy. "Th—the color is blu…" He gave me a questionable look and instantaneously I looked away like some kind of coward, breathing to hard to bear.

Curse you, curse you, curse you! I didn't even have blue!

One smile and I knew he won; I wasn't even looking at him. God, now I was hearing him smile.

Movement caught my attention; sure I was dead in this game but hell I wanted to see it to the end. A card fell from his hand, tumbling in slow motion as it contorted onto the bench. The way the heat of his body surrounding me like a warm aura, I noticed our proximity was a lot closer then before.

One leg left folded beneath my bottom while my other leg dangled from the side of the bench. I looked up at him. He was staring right back, ensuing for my heart to hitch. Ineptly, I wanted to look away. I knew my cheeks were as pink as developed cherry blossoms.

"Wild," he whispered, or at least I alleged. My heart was beating too loud to know. "The color is green…I..." He smiled as if thinking something precious that wouldn't shake prior continuing. "I won."

He lightly smacked my chin with two fingers, bringing his face down closer to mine. "It's really pathetic that I beat you at your own game, but I got to admit I'm glad this was a tearless end to our battle."

I couldn't break the smile attaining me. "I'm the type to keep my promises…"

His head tilted, I was so far gone that I didn't even mine his smirking. Maybe because behind that smirk—that mask, I felt true interest.

"What's your name?"

Catching myself, I pulled away stretching, yawning—you know making a real show at this mysterious game. Though he watched me the entire time, not smiling or upset just watching…out of utter curiosity. He was weird; those odd looks made me feel awkward.

"Stacie," I finally admitted, scratching my head with unfamiliar nervousness. "You nex—" Such soft sentiments cracked like glass and what was left over stabbed right into me. The look on his face was caustic and biting, shocked and disappointed—unbearably conceding. At first I thought it a grunge against my name and then…

Suddenly he chuckled coldly, a chilling void masked his face whole. For the first time all afternoon I found it audacious to look at him. "Funny." A smile so bitterly sharp. "Please say your last names not Madalena…"

And then I knew. This cold, scary, murderous looking guy was my ride and before I brought my 'I can save the world, determined behind over here' he wasn't too keen on meeting me. I didn't want to believe it.

"Then," I whispered, gazing blankly down at the wild card that toppled mine that once signified something sweet, but now remorseful. I felt almost too stupid. "Your Jesse…my brand spanking knew step brother. Right?"

He laughed again…I hated that laugh.

Anything we had crushed painfully—irreparable. Whatever he was feeling at the moment kept him from looking at me and I'm not ashamed to say I was ducking away as well. Too many feeling piling, and I wasn't in any move to sort through.

The car ride home wasn't going to be too grand was it? For once I felt really out of it no amount of determination would bring the two of us laughing with each other again. Damn, it sucked to laugh with the person you sought to hate.

We found the car pretty quick. Before I would have found the familiarity between him and his car quite laughable, but now I hardly notice from all the repented numbness consuming surplus room in my body. When we were in the car I couldn't leave it alone; I never could. I was just like mom that thought should have been more assuring.

"Thanks…"

At first I met silence. Thinking that he didn't hear me I started again, "Jess—"

"What for?" he managed to ask roughly, stare fixed over the dashboard as he stuck the key in the ignition.

I fumbled with my words and sent him my blithely 'Let's just be friends' smile. "Picking me up." Even while I spoke I had a dark feeling, flouncing teasingly inside, that whatever I was about to say would do little to waver such animosity. "Both when I almost cracked my skull on the cement, and now."

I don't know what I expected. For him to wave the defeated white flag?

Surely not. Though something extremely close.

Jesse gave me this distinctive look, his eyes narrowed and that gaze was too damn sharp. He smiled frigidly, "You think I had a choice?" Without another word he cranked up the volume to the radio, an adjustment so bitter.

Staggered, I furrowed my brows out of resentment. You can't be serious; I thought baffled watching him sulkily. They're can't be such a guy this petty.

Affronted, I faced the window breathing hard with anger as I gritted my teeth. I regretted ever wanting to be friends and I wished I stayed on the bus. I begged for that wish to a great extent until that guy beside me was abdicated from my mind.

Still, it was hard to rid him away. He didn't know how hard it was for me to express myself to him like that. I was pulsing with fury it was hurtful to be despised—too see the hate right there in front of you. Especially when a tiny bit of you wanted that person to like you just for a second more.

I was becoming so vulnerable and it was vastly unfitting.

I think I hated him…


a/n: Hello. (Waves timidly)

I worked very hard on this and I still go ugh when I read it. I'm back as promised. It was hard to come back my brain felt fried after Stuck Together; though my reviewers was always in the back of my mind…even if I did try to smother you all in writer block…

Moving onward! If anyone's out there I'd appreciate it sincerely if you left a review (sniffles). Falling for it? Uh huh, I see you moving for that back button, probing for a steaming romance that'll keep you awake this Saturday? HUH?!

Well if you find one drop a note. xD
Aww, Jesse is still a complete ass and it's not going to change anytime soon. I never liked how fast they got together the last time, it always bothered me. Oh yeah, this time around Stacie's getting tortured…as if the pool scenario wasn't enough. (Strokes beard, overcome by evil cackles.) MUAHAHHAH (Cough).

It's great; I actually have a plot that I planned out this time around. Yeah, you read right. Planned! If the bold print and line (…thingie) doesn't do it's share of justice I don't know what will.

Honestly, if you haven't read Brotherly Love (one, I assume) you should give it a try. Yeah I know the beginning can torture eyes with all the grammar mistakes…and it has a few (Thousand) plot holes. BUT, it's funny and sweet. ;D

A moment where I shamelessly advertise: Brotherly Love(remake) is my side story; my main should be appearing later. (More info in my profile)

Eh, I babbling and jumping from topic to topic. I'm going to go…leave now.

Thanks for your time (O.o eh, no one used that one yet).

Please review. D': (That's a sad face with a tear. Yes, I'm throwing down the pity card.)

-Mara