~Chapter 20~


Weeks had passed and still Mom was acting strange. Thanksgiving had been oddly quiet for our family, everyone focused on their food and nobody making eye contact. Conversation stayed in neutral territory and under no circumstances did anybody mention the fact that I was having twins. Talking about the pregnancy itself was safe. It was as if that day had never happened. The only evidence was Mom's avoidance and the sonogram hidden away in my nightstand. We went back to school like nothing had changed, like all of our lives weren't changing as each day went by.

It was rare that I saw Abby lately, usually just before school for a few minutes. Her dad had put restrictions on her, making it hard for her to do anything and when she did have time, she spent it with Ryder. I missed her. And she was getting antsy.

"It's all so fucking stupid! I mean, seriously! Just because Eva got pregnant," there were a few curious looks directed at my midsection from classmates around us and Abby lowered her voice, "doesn't mean I will too. It's not contagious!"

"Abby, would you shut up? I'm sick of hearing it."

"You know what, Mason? It's not my fault you knocked your girlfriend up. Why do I have to suffer for it too?" Abby was standing on her toes, chest tight with Mason. We were drawing more attention as time passed. And what were my brothers doing? Laughing on the sidelines. I glared.

Abby wasn't a girl to sit back and take what was handed to her, especially from Mason. The situation was escalating and it looked like I was the one who was going to have to intervene and put a stop to their bickering. Stepping forward, I turned toward Mason, my hands on his chest. "Stop—"

"Eva Mitchell, please report to the main office." When the click of the loudspeaker sounded, everything around me stopped. Abby backed up and everyone turned to me.

"I don't know." I wasn't one normally called to the office so a panic set in. I didn't know what it could be. As far as I could recall, there would be no reason for any sort of disciplinary action. That left personal or something else school related. There were so many possibilities. I attempted to shut off that part of my brain, forcing myself to regard it as nothing. Worrying never got me anywhere. "I'll see you later."


As it turned out, it wasn't nothing, but it wasn't something either. I was called down because we had a new student and his schedule was identical to mine so they elected me to show him around. The catch was who was sitting in the chair when I got there.

"Hey, beautiful."

Brent from the store the other week. I did remember his name. What he'd said to me had made a memorable impact and despite wanting to forget, his name was a permanent fixture.


"Yes, me. I told you, you'd need to remember my name. I knew I'd be seeing you again."


"Your sweatshirt. By the time I saw you at the store, I knew I would be moving and going here." He shrugged. "I'm honestly not a creeper."

"Uh huh."

"I can see you're overjoyed. I didn't mean for you to lose sleep worrying that you might not see me again." I just stared at him. Laughing, he stood and threw his arm around my shoulders. "So, where to? Lead the way, gorgeous." I shrugged his arm off but he just put it back like that was where it belonged and leaned down to whisper in my ear. "I just can't keep my hands off you." Sighing, I pushed open the door. I'd give him this if only for worry that it'd be something worse the next time. Little sacrifices and all that.


Being Brent's personal tour guide wasn't as bad as I'd originally anticipated. Yes, he did continue to behave the same way but it was something that had the power to grow on me and become endearing. I didn't take it personal. I'd come to the conclusion it was just the way he was and really, he wasn't causing any harm. Brent wasn't a bad guy, he just had a personality that could portray him that way and that some people couldn't handle. He was just the kind of person you had to brush off and not take too literally. Somebody to laugh with—or at, depending on the situation—and I found myself laughing often throughout the day. It was a nice change from the recent weeks.

At lunch, Brent decided to sit with my friends. Walking over to our table, it occurred to me that the boys might not take to kindly to Brent and his touchy-feely ways. Actually, I realized a little late. Like when I saw open curiosity from Abby and narrowed eyed glares from everybody else sitting around the table. Abby hit Ryder in the chest with the back of her hand when he said something and went to stand up but she never looked away from us. She was good at staying aware of her surroundings even when preoccupied.

I stopped walking and turned to Brent. "You know, maybe you should avoid this touching thing you like to do for this period." I unwound his arm from my shoulders.

"Ah, the brother."

"And the other brother and the boyfriend."

He nodded solemnly and made his eyes look big and sympathetic. "I see you didn't say anything about touching you during other periods."

"You know what I meant. You just want to start trouble." Already, I was learning his little quirks.

"You know it, gorgeous." Sighing, I turned and continued towards the table. Fortunately, Brent kept his hands to himself.

When we reached them, there seemed to be some sort of unspoken agreement from the guys, my brothers watched Brent and Mason turned to me expectantly. "This is Brent. They wanted me to show him around today since he's new and we have the same schedules. Brent, this is Cam, Ryder, Abby, and Mason."

"Her boyfriend." Mason tugged me down into my seat beside him and kissed me. It was hard and forceful and it caught me by surprise. Mason's eyes stayed on Brent the whole time. Ah, so it was a guy thing. Him staking his claim, no matter how barbaric it sounded.

"You can sit right here." Ryder patted the seat between him and Cam. The testosterone was definitely flowing at this table. Brent didn't disappoint. He obviously saw that a challenge was issued and wouldn't turn it down. He could have easily pointed out there were two other empty seats.

It was going to be a long lunch. Mason's hand settled on my upper thigh. Maybe a long day was more fitting.

AN: for my birthday, i decided to give you the next chapter after a long (way to long) wait. i know, how nice of me, right? i've actually been debating it for awhile. it's great to say i'm going to finish writing before i start updating it again, but the reality is, i'm too damn impatiant. and, the sad fact is, that i want to be done with this. i want to be able to say i've finished a full length story and move one. i'm too angsty to stay glued to one plot for this long.

also, i've noticed my chapters are extremely short. so i have a question. do you have any suggestions for me to make them longer, like combining chapters (this actually started out as two), do you think i should add more description, or do you think they're fine short and sweet?

questions, criticism, and comments are all welcome =)