A/N: Thanks everyone for the reviews! I'm glad you like it! I'll be update weekly, however, next week I'm going to be in Florida. Chapter Two will be up on the 19th.
Hope you enjoy chapter one.
Chapter One: Here's to the nights we felt alive, here's to the tears you knew you'd cry.
The next morning came and before I knew it, another day was gone. The sun glistened through my curtains as if saying "Wake up!" But I was in no mood to be awake. The songbird outside my window began singing a beautiful tune, as if urging me to wake up and greet the day. However, I was in no mood to greet anyone. I clutched at the bed sheets and pulled them taunt over my head.
"Fine," I growled throwing myself off of the comforter "I'm up!" I yelled to the sun and the bird, thinking they could hear me, "I hope you're happy."
"Talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity," a male laughing voice came from my doorway.
"Ugh!" I recognized the voice right away and immediately dove under the floral purple bed sheets to hide myself from the man in my doorway. Amused by my actions, he continued to laugh. His deep chuckle filled my small bedroom. "Not today, Trent." Trent had always been a lingering family friend. I often thought of him as a parasite living on its host.
"Why not, beautiful?" He moved into the room without a care in the world, sitting on the bed beside me and weaseling his way into a lounged position.
Trent sighed heavily as he slowly pealed the sheets away to reveal my bed-head hair. After he brushed the wild strands of caramel-brown hair out of my face, I gave him a glare; however, he didn't seem to mind the heated stare at all. Instead, he laughed again. "Might I add that wild look you have is one I love on you."
"Knock it off, Trent," I said while attempting to push him off the bed. But his six-foot-two, two hundred and twenty pound football player frame didn't go down like the jolly green giant; instead, he took me with him. I landed with a grunt underneath his sculpted body as his chocolate brown hair breached my forehead as his hazel eyes pierced mine.
"I always knew you liked it on bottom, sugarplum." He smirked while his massive frame still crushed me.
"Trent, would you please stop fornicating Temperance? We need go to practice before we are late again and have to run again." Alden stood in the doorway with an irritated expression along with a few other football players. Despite his angry tone, all of the guys seemed amused by the scene.
My twin, Alden, was an all-star football player being scouted by several NFL teams. My father and grandfather had both played for the NFL and nothing less was expected for Alden. At an intimidating six-foot-three, Alden fit the bill. It was a family tradition for the men in the family to play football. The family traditions for the females, however, were beauty pageants and etiquette school. So, I was a white rose in a thorn bush full of red roses. Instead of beauty pageants, I played rugby as a child. I was the lead scorer for my high school team, Carvers Bay High School, and got received a scholarship to the college I now attend- Limestone College. I also maintained a 4.0 GPA, but without a husband – and the fact I was not a male – it didn't seem to matter.
Alden cleared his throat which snapped me out of my thoughts.
"Dude, relax." Trent smirked again "It isn't like Temperance doesn't like it."
The name Temperance came from a family tradition of CaHill women due to our short temper. But now, my name was befitting due to fact I did have a short temper.
I pushed Trent away from me and punched him with all my strength. "Not even in your wettest dreams, Trent." I said as I gracefully climbed up to my feet and flipped my hair out of my face.
"Damn it, Temperance," Trent hissed while he cradled his arm.
"Now, honey," I cooed and rubbed his arm nonchalantly with a grin, "that's what you get for being provocative."
He glared daggers at me as he moved his arm away from me. My brother's friends laughed at the sight while Alden rolled his eyes as me like he always did, as if saying "Be a lady for once." I ushered the boys out of my room and gathered my clothes and headed to the bathroom for a well-deserved morning shower.
A few hours later, I entered the dining room. "Temperance, sweetie, can you help me set the table for lunch?" My mom inquired as she set the dishes and silverware aside for me.
"Of course, Mother." I smiled politely.
"Oh, I almost forgot," she chuckled, "Mr. Waysworth and his son Kolby will be joining us for lunch. I mentioned that to you at work the other day. He seemed rather interested in getting his son to meet you."
"Oh, mother!" I exclaimed. "Will you stop this?"
"Sweetie, I'm just trying to help you along. Dating hasn't always been your strong point," she started.
In the background, the boys were roughhousing as they returned from their morning practice, but they stopped abruptly in the foyer where they listened to the argument, word for word.
"I don't need your help, Mother! I will figure it out; I always do. Plus, I don't want to be set up with one of your coworker's well-achieved sons who are looking for the perfect housewife, which we both know I am not. So, please, do me a favor and drop it!" I slammed the last dish on the table before I stormed out of the dining room and headed upstairs to my bedroom.
My mother regained her composure and shouted after me, "They will be here in one hour, and I expect you to be down here dressed and ready fifteen minutes beforehand."
Having a habit of not locking my door, Trent and Alden found their way into my bedroom. However, I did lock the bathroom door where I took refuge.
"Temp," I heard Trent's gentle voice through my light sobbing. A few rattles of my door and picked open the door lock. Trent and Alden stared at me as I turned away from them, not wanting them to see me like this. "Sugarplum, it's okay," Trent sat down beside me on the tile floor and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. I just shook my head, but he wiped the tears from my eyes and pushed the hair out my face.
Alden sat next to me on the opposite side of the Trent. Both guys had a sensitive look in their eyes as they moved closer to me. "It'll be alright, sis," Alden swooned with a small smile.
"It's not that easy," I sobbed. "I'm not like you guys. You don't have to worry about Mom setting you up with a suitor. You're both loved by girls, in fact, every girl that lays eyes on you. While little ole me, I always get set up with Mr. Wrong. I'm never going to get married, and I'm going to be disowned," I rambled.
"Sugarplum, slow down. You are twenty years old. You have four years to find the man of your dreams and live happy ever after." I glared at Trent who only smiled. "That's the Temperance I know," he chuckled as he gave me a hug.
"Don't let Mom stress you out, Temp. You'll be fine; I know you will. You're strong," Alden said as he pushed a few fallen pieces of hair out of my eyes.
I knew both of the boys were right, I was stubborn to say the least. I was not one to give in or give up without a fight, but deep down – very deep down inside – I knew I had to agree with the boys.
"Guys, I know you're probably right, but I don't want to deal with it right now." To my dismay, Alden and Trent nodded and smiled. Now that the easy part was done with, all I had left to do was to live through lunch without stabbing anyone or myself. Shouldn't be too hard, right?
Against my mother's wishes, I arrived downstairs just as Mr. Waysworth and his son did. Kolby was an attractive man. He had shaggy blonde hair, dashing ocean blue eyes, and the well sculptured body. He looked as if he just walked off the set of an Abercrombie and Fitch photo shoot.
My mom charmed Mr. Waysworth, or Milo, as she did all her clients and co-workers. They discussed work and upcoming events as Kolby and I conversed quietly with each other. Out of pure boredom, I drew flowers and sunsets in my mash potatoes, and I used the steamed vegetables for stems and color. Kolby caught a glimpse of my boredom. An unreadable expression formed on his face. I suppose my artwork was not appreciated. I was about to stick my tongue out in a childish manner, but then Alden, Trent, Conrad, and Damien barged into the dining room from outside. Alden took a seat between Mom and me, Trent sat on the opposite side of Alden, and Conrad and Damien each took a seat next to Kolby and his father.
"Mrs. CaHill, I hope you don't mind our interpreting, but Alden said you were making your famous chicken parmesan and being purebred Italian and all I couldn't miss this opportunity," Damien said with a heavy accent as he shoveled food into his mouth while winking at me. "Personally, Mrs. CaHill, I think Temperance needs a European man. Italy being the city of love and lust, I see a perfect idea here Temperance and the guys can come with me to Venice for the rest of the summer, no? I think it would be a great cultural experience and when she comes home she will be ready to wed whoever you like!"
"Io non penso 1," My mother spoke in Italian.
"Jesus, save me," I muttered.
"At your service my, fair lady," Trent commented in an old English accent.
"If you're Jesus then I must be in hell."
"Ouch! Sugarplum, that one really hurt." He clutched his hand over his chest as he stared at me with puppy dog eyes.
Rolling my eyes, I turned back to my meal only to find Kolby staring at me with a questioning look. What had I done now? I returned the look as if saying "Yes"? He simply shook his head and turned his attention back to the meal.
"Alden," my mother's voice broke my thoughts. "Would you please join me in the kitchen?"
My mother had a way of never raising her voice when she was irritated. She always remained claim and understanding no matter what the situation was. I envied her for that. I had a short-temper and tended to yell or sometimes freak out when things didn't go according to plan. My patience was nonexistent.
The silent room almost became too much to bear for me. I heard muffled voices behind the oak doors of the kitchen; however, it was impossible to make out the exact words.
"Kolby, if you don't mind my asking. Where do you attend college?" Trent questioned, daring to be the one breaking the silence.
"Bose. It's an elite private university located on the west coast." Kolby smirked.
"Attractive and intelligent," Trent said in an amused tone. "How charming."
Mr. Waysworth seemed a bit uneasy with the sudden confrontation. Conrad and Damien didn't seem to mind as they continued eating their lunch. Every once in a while they would nod their heads to agree with whatever was being said.
Trent always had a way of deterring the boys that liked me. In fifth grade, Stephen Dugan had a crush on me and one time during recess, he picked a bouquet of wild flowers for me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Trent saw and tackled Stephen into a mud puddle. He punched the kid a couple times and told him to stay clear of me. At that point, Trent became my personal bodyguard, whether I wanted one or not. To this day, Trent would punch any guy who looked at me the wrong way.
Once I hit maturity and became interested in guys, Alden started acting more like Trent. Alden was the older protective brother and Trent the overprotective best friend.
"Of course," Kolby challenged. "What did you expect – someone like yourself?"
Trent's smile grew. "Well if I do say so myself, I must be doing well. I'm dating Gaia Montour."
Gaia Montour was a Victoria Secret Supermodel. In short terms, she was a goddess. Foreign countries always seemed to produce the most gorgeous people alive. They must have some crazy reproduction process, so only the attractive dominate trait survives and all the offspring get it. It wouldn't alarm me if something like this was happening. People like Gaia are blessed by God.
Now, I wasn't ugly, nor did I have low self esteem, but I wasn't the dazzling bombshell everyone wanted to be and yet I wasn't the plain Jane who did nothing exciting with her life. I was me, sweet and simple and in-between somewhere. I was athletic in build with enough breasts to donate to half a county. Mother said it was genetic that all CaHill women had large breasts.
Mother and Alden re-emerged from the kitchen. "I'm sorry for the interruption of my son and his friends, but they are leaving now." She smiled politely.
I gave Trent a "Please, save me, I'll do anything" look. I did not want to be left alone with my mother and her oh-so favorite suitor. I looked at Alden with the same pleading look. One of the guys had to care about me and my unhappiness with the situation, shouldn't they?
In a fairytale, this would cue the knight in shining armor to ride on his noble steed and save the damsel in distress. Unfortunately, I was going to have to settle for Trent.
"Actually, Mrs. CaHill, I have to steal Temperance for the evening. We have a large Chemistry project due," he bluffed. Lie, it was in the middle of June, but I was happy to get away. Trent threw me over his shoulder, apologized to my mother and rapidly walked out of the dining room with the group following.
"Side door of the garage; the keys are in the ignition," My dad said from the living room couch as he watched ESPN. He had heard the entire lunch discussion, but ever said a word. He never joined in on my mother's decision to try and marry be to her co-workers. He tried to stay as neutral as possible expect for today.
"Thanks, Tad," Conrad called to my dad as we entered the garage. Damien threw my overnight duffel bag in the backseat of the Range Rover just as Trent set me to my feet. My mother's voice could be heard from the living room as my father simply chuckled and said a few things I couldn't make out.
Conrad, Damien, and I took the Range Rover as Alden and Trent took the Cadillac. I was busy fiddling around in the backseat trying to change into the clothes Damien gave me while Conrad had Mabel on speaker phone, telling her we would be at her house in ten minutes and we were on our way to the lake house. I figured Alden and Trent went to pick up Gaia and Vivien. Ten minutes later, Mabel, Callie, and I were stuffed in the backseat fighting over who had more room.
"Callie, move you fat ass over," I said, pushing Mabel into her. Unfortunately, Mabel sat in between us and was being crushed by our pushing war.
"Whose ass are you calling fat? I don't do one hundred squats a day for shits and giggles." Which was true, Callie had one of the most toned bodies I had even seen. It was due to fact that she was a tri-athlete.
Damien gave Mabel a look, which caused her to get up from her seat and settle onto his lap. Callie and I immediately sprawled out in the backseat and claimed our spots.
Less than an hour later, we arrived at a relaxing beach, surrounded by a green sea for as far as the naked eye could see. It in itself was beautiful as always. My parents owned a lake house in South Carolina only a few hours' drive from our house. My friends and I often came here every summer and spent shameless nights just enjoying its beauty.
"You coming in, Sugarplum, or are you going to stand there admiring the lake for several hours?" I scrunched my face before I picked up my bag and followed him inside where everyone waited for us. "Come on, we got a great weekend ahead."
"Jell-O shots!" Callie's voice filled my ears the moment we walked through the doors.
"Already?" Trent exclaimed before taking a Jell-O shot from Callie's tray and passed the tray onto everyone else. I denied the tray as I walked upstairs toward the bedroom I claimed for the weekend.
The house was wooden, similar to a cabin but much larger. It had carved furniture and carved wooden statues. My father carved everything and made the house for my mother. He was a handy man who built houses, and he even built the gated community we lived in. He constructed all the homes and the blueprints. My mom was a realtor and sold all the houses he built. They were a perfect team.
"If you don't mind my interrupting, but the party of soon-to-be drunks is moving to the heated pool out back," Conrad mentioned as he leaned against the wall.
"I suppose we should play mom and dad then."
"Yeah, I suppose. We wouldn't want any of the kids to drown now, would we?" I laughed at his dry humor and shook my head. I pushed him out the door and told him that I had to change and then I'd be ready to play lifeguard. "Here goes nothing yet everything," he said, looping my arm in his own.
"Welcome to the Oasis!" Trent babbled as we entered the backyard. "Can I get you both anything to drink?"
"No thank you, Trent. Tonight, Temperance and I are playing sober lifeguards in case one of you idiots end up drowning, but I'm not sure how eager I'll be to help you," Conrad said.
The tension was thick and the quarrel was ready to start. Trent, who probably had one too many beers by now, was swaging as he made his way over to us. The beer in his hand emptied with each step he took. Conrad, who may have had one or two, was as sober as a judge 3 standing with little ease. I stood at Conrad's side with a firm grip around his arm. Alden got out of the heated pool and grabbed Trent by his upper arm. Damien then emerged from the pool and took Conrad's side. It seemed I was now in the middle of a fight among best friends. The girls must have noticed the tension that filled the backyard, because their once chirpy voices were silent.
There were no punches thrown or harsh words exchanged. There were only looks, ones I wasn't capable of describing. The looks I saw seemed to have no meaning that I could understand. They were looks I had never seen before. It was an uneasy situation as I began to fiddle with my thumbs at the confrontation in front of me.
The girls were no help, either. They stayed clear of the area and did not dare move. I, on the other hand, knew I had to do or say something or else this was going to ruin the entire weekend. I was not about to let that happen.
I cleared my throat as if I was preparing myself to give a formal presentation in front of a large crowd. "Boys, guys," I started, unsure of where I was going with this.
The boys gave me a look as if saying "This is not your fight." However, I begged to differ. If it was going to ruin my getaway after they saved me from a disastrous dinner, then I was going to say a word or two, whether they liked it or not.
"Hey!" I spoke again throwing a cup of water at the guys, hoping to get their attention. "I thank you all for saving me earlier, but your fight is not going to get in the way of us having a good time because we all know once I get home how much hell I am going to be in. These might be selfish thoughts, but oh well! I have no idea why you are fighting all of a sudden and I'm not sure if I really care, to be honest," I babbled on like an idiot. The boys nodded and returned back to what they were doing and the noise slowly replaced the silence.
"I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this to you, but you are one hell of a babbling idiot."
"Thanks Conrad," I said, pushing him into the pool. I wasn't lucky to get off easy because once he emerged from the pool I was being chased by a six-foot-two football player who had the blondest hair and bluest eyes I have ever seen. His broad shoulder and muscular arms wrapped around me as he leaped into the warm pool.
Footnotes: There might be a few words or phrase you readers might not be familiar with. I decided to clarify them for you.
Io non penso means I don't think so
Bene means fine
The saying to be as sober as a judge means to not be at all drunk.