What I've left behind
Chapter One

Summary: Cassie Holmes has finally found the perfect man in James Dawson. But when she returns to the hometown she had once left behind, she discovers her childhood friend Amy Austen is still there. And more heartbreakingly, Amy's brother Ryan, who Cassie had once harboured a secret passion for. Will they rekindle their intense relationship, and more importantly, learn what true friendship means?

It was the heatwave of July that drove them all to have a barbeque, and Cassie sighed to herself as she sat on the lawn with the other teenagers. They were all bored and the adults wandered about them, blind drunk as they sighed. Amy sat to her left on the soft blanket, and Ryan to her right. Both of them caught her looking, and Amy pulled a funny face as Ryan winked, causing Cassie to blush.

"Anyone for spin the bottle?" Ryan prompted, looking round the small circle they had formed. It was Amy and Ryan's family that hosted the barbeque, inviting the entire street into their own back yard. Cassie's family lived next door to the Austens', and their familys had always been close for as long as she could remember.

"We're seventeen, not thirteen." Cassie exclaimed, blushing at the thought of kissing her best friends brother. Not to mention the other boys in the circle, who looked too dressed down for her liking.

"It's just an idea Cass. Better than sitting here doing nothing." Ryan was five years older than Cassie and Amy, but he still insisted on protecting his little sister from the idiots in their town. "Fuck this, I'm getting a drink." He stood up abruptly, causing Cassie to shudder without his warm body next to her. Returning a few minutes later, he passed out drinks to everyone, who were thankful for something to do other than sitting around.

"Cass, you're drunk!" Amy slurred, sometime after their seventh drink. She was suprised her parents had let her drink; they were usually so strict about alcohol.

"Am nott." Cassie was standing up, a bottle of vodka in hand and attempting to look for her parents. The sun had almost completely disappeared and the outdoor lights were beginning to light up, casting an abnormal glow over everyone.

"Cassie, I think you've had enough to drink." Ryan stated, seemingly sober. He stood up next to her, attempting to support her as she tried to bat him away. Amy barely noticed; she had fallen back on the blanket with a boy from down the street, and they seemed to be giggling about something private.

"I'm fine. Ger off me." Cassies words were becoming more and more slurred as she tried to push Ryan away, determined to have fun. He proved too strong for her and pulled her into his grip, the vodka bottle in her hand slipping to the floor as he scooped her into his arms.

"Come on, let's get you to bed." He carried her through the patio doors and inside, past all the drunken adults attempting to light a cigarette or get another drink. Cassie's head lolled against his shoulder, breathing in the warm scent that was unique to him; a scent that she loved.

He took her in his room as Amys room consisted of some of his parents passed out friends. Laying her on the bed, he listened to her steady breathing as she slept peacefully; he couldn't help but smile as he watched her. She rolled over, her back to him as she faced the wall.

"Goodnight Cass." He whispered, leaning over her and kissing his cheek.


Her cell phone chirped in her bag, and she rushed to find it before it stopped ringing. Lights shined around her as the sun began to set over the towering buildings of Manhattan.

"Hello?" She had finally found her phone and flipped it open, relieved to see her fianceés name glowing from the screen. "James, thank god. Yes I know I'm late home, sorry. I got caught up at work. Well, make yourself a sandwich. Yes, I'll be home soon. Love you too, bye." It was the same routine they went through every day; Cassie would get caught up at her job as a manager at one of Manhattans 5 star hotels and be late home, and James would call her every night wondering what they would have for dinner.

Cassie sighed from exhaustion; she had been the hotel manager for almost five months now, and she was pleased but always tired. Living in Manhattan sure was a change from her dreary old life. Her mind wandered back to her friends; would they have moved on with their lives too? Or would they still be living with their parents? Cassie had left for Manhattan when she was seventeen, without a word to anyone she had left to live with her aunt. But what had become of Amy? And Ryan?


The buzz rang through his flat, shocking him out of his sleep. He tried to ignore it by shoving his head under the crisp, cool pillow, but the buzz only seemed to get louder. Grunting, he climbed out of bed and stumbled to the door.

"What now?" He said, voicing his thoughts over the intercom and wondering who could possibly be waking him up.

"Ryan, hey! You haven't called. Let me in?" Kate's high-pitched voice shocked him out of his dreary state, and he reluctantly let her up. She was a local girl who had always been interested in him, and they had been out on a few dates, but Ryan thought nothing of her. To be honest, she was a little dull and boring to him.

"Ryan!" She flung her arms round him once he had opened the door, spreading kisses all across his face. Attempting to pull away, Ryan asked her what she wanted. "Well, after that night, you never called. So I thought I'd surprise you!" Ryan remembered clearly now; Kate had a reputation for being clingy, and despite his best friends warning, Ryan had slept with her.

"Oh. Well, you can't stay long. I have to be at work soon." He pulled her arms from around him and gestured at the small sofa in the living room before going into his room to change.

"Are we going to go on a date again soon?"

"Uhh, sure, I guess. I'll call you." He emerged from the small bedroom, his deep brown hair shining in the overhead light. Kate smiled at him and he forced a smile back; he knew he wouldn't call her, he never called anyone he had slept with. He just hadn't found the right girl. Or he had, but she had walked out of his life for good.


"Why the sudden impulse to leave?" James asked, watching over Cassie as she packed her bags. She had returned home immediately, with the desire to visit her parents back home.

"I want to see my parents." Cassie knew she was only telling half the truth; she wanted to see what had happened to Amy, to try and get in touch again. "James, I left 5 years ago and I've barely spoken to them, barely seen them. Besides, I want to show off my new fianceé to everyone!" She giggled as he wrapped his arms around her from behind, his hands tickling her sides.

"Ok, I guess we can go. I'll have to call in sick for work though, it's too late to book the time off." He reluctantly pulled away from Cassie and pulled his trousers on, having just come out the shower. She turned round and raised an eyebrow at him, tutting slightly but saying nothing.

"Come on! Hurry with the packing. I want to go by car and get there tomorrow morning. Hopefully." Cassie said, mockingly throwing his shirt at him and urging him to hurry. "There, I'm ready. I'm going to get changed, then I'm off. With or without you." She laughed as she picked up her clothes, much different to the outfit she had to wear at work. Kissing him softly on the cheek, she moved into the bathroom connected to their bedroom.

She emerged ten minutes later, feeling refreshed and clean. She had changed from her black pencil skirt and white blouse, into a simple pair of tight blue jeans and a black blouse. She had also changed her hair from its tight bun to letting her blonde locks fall about her shoulders in tight curls.

"You ready?" She asked, leaning on the bathroom doorframe to see James sat on the bed with a duffel bag fully packed. He smiled at her and held out the car keys, opting for her to drive. "I'm too tired. Could you?"

"Sure. Let's get going then." They were in James' car, an Aston Martin DB9, ten minues later, ready to leave. Cassie worshiped James' car, but he hated it when people brought up where he got the money for it from. They had been dating for 2 years, and engaged for 1, and Cassie knew that James' father had died young and left everything to James, including a house in England and a villa in Spain, but James found it too painful to talk about.


They arrived in the early hours of the morning, just before seven. Cassie knew her mother would be up; she was always up early in the morning to prepare her husband for work. She heard the doorbell chime inside, and waited eagerly for her mother to answer the door, praying they hadn't gone on holiday.

"Cassandra?" Her mother exclaimed, not believing her eyes as she opened the door. Cassie had missed her mother dearly, they had always been close; but she hadn't missed how she always used her full name.

"Hey mom. Mind if we come in? Oh, this is James." She didn't want to tell her mother they were engaged on the doorstep of her old house, yet they were soon ushered in. Cassie took in the familiar smell of gingerbread, and was relieved to finally be home. She always loved the smell of gingerbread, her home always smelled of it from her mothers terrific baking.

"What brings you back?" Meredith, her mother, asked, embracing her. "And who is this handsome man?" Cassie noticed that her mother looked unwell; bags lay under her eyes which were bloodshot. Her stance was also different; she was slightly keeled over and looked in pain.

"Mom, are you okay?" With an unconvincing nod from her mother, Cassie continued, "This is James...My fianceé." Her mother gasped in shock and pleasure, before yelling for her father.

"I'm so glad you're back sweetie." Cassie recieved another hug from her mother and reluctantly hugged her back, a slight smell of cinnamon emerging from her clothes.

"Mom, what happened to Amy?" Her mother looked uncomfortable at the mention of Amy's name, but Cassie knew she was never fond of her. Yet her expression seemed different to what it was five years ago. "Mom?"

Authors Note:Well, new story. This is hopefully going to be good :) So reviews please :) Ly, x

Chapter Two Snippet:

"Why did you leave me Cass?" Ryan asked, the pain from discovering Cassie had left five years ago coming back to him.

"I...I had to get away. From you, from Amy, from everything." Tears were beginning to form in her eyes as Ryan edged closer, attempting to comfort her. "What we did..."

"Cass, i'll never forget it."

"Neither will I, but it's not right. You're Amy's brother, we can't be together." She turned away from him, a tear sliding down her cheek as she walked away from him, never looking back and breaking his heart.