A/N: This was posted at The Write Away for the April Fools Challenge and it was nominated into the top 5.
- between 3-6k words
- write a piece with a plot twist
As a fair warning, don't make me regret putting up my new stuff on here, I don't take to plagiarism lightly ;). Enjoy reading and feel free to review!
Summary: Layla Gordon had never seen Brad Richelieu in the right light before. But he is going to show her how changing the bulb can give her a better view of what's been in front of her the entire time.
My View Is You
Layla reached up around his neck and brought him down to kiss him passionately. She felt one of his hands run slowly up and down her side, the other propping himself up by the forearm so he didn't crush her against the bed. She ran her fingers through his short sandy blonde hair, trying to pull him closer to her body, may or may not have been possible. She didn't know. All she knew was that she wanted him, needed him against her.
He trailed kisses down her neck and-
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
Layla jerked her head into the pillows behind her while Clyde pulled back in surprise. They turned to look at the open doorway of her room, where Cameron Gordon stood with narrowed eyes, the colour of storming slate grey. He still held the knob of her door in his hand and he stood fully at the entrance of her room. Behind him she could see his two friends Brad Richelieu, a man she'd known nearly as long as her own brother had, and his new friend from school Jayden Mathews, one of the polite sorts with a humorous edge. Her focus came back to her brother; her eyes narrowing as his did, no doubt clouding up into the same stormy colour.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" she snapped back. She sat up, Clyde sliding back off of her, moving around a bit uncomfortably. He watched all three boys warily, though Layla briefly noticed him make eye contact with Jayden, who looked rather irritated. He cast his gaze to the wall.
"You," her brother grumbled deeply, ignoring Layla, "keep your hands off my sister."
"Cam, get a grip! He's my boyfriend and we can do whatever we want!" Okay, not the best words that had ever come out of her mouth. Now that they were out and in the open, she might as well milk them for all they were worth. "We were barely making out. Don't tell me you haven't done worse with all the girls you hooked up with in high school."
Cameron turned to his sister and an expression crossed his face for a fleeting second. It was gone before Layla could decipher it.
"I'd advise you to get out of here and never show your face in this house again, if you know what's good for you." Cameron left, striding down the hall in the direction of his room. Jayden paused for an awkward moment, just looking at Clyde appraisingly making him shift uncomfortably. Layla glared wanting to chuck something at Jayden for his scrutiny. Brad's lazy gaze met Layla's head on. He looked between her and her boyfriend before shrugging and walking off down the hall with the others.
This wasn't the first time Cameron had come confronting them about his hate for Clyde. It never ceased, even after being away for the whole semester at university. He'd just come back with the same unchanged opinions as before, and it was taking too much a toll on Layla and Clyde's relationship.
"I swear I'm going to kill Cam one day," Layla muttered under her breath. She turned to Clyde who had a resigned look on his face. She wrapped her arms around him, but gently he detached himself from her and smiled down at her, taking her hands and kissing their knuckles.
"How many more weeks will it take, Lay?" He asked in an almost mellow defeated tone. Her expression fell as he looked at her with knowing blue eyes. "There's only so much we can take. So much I can take."
She sighed. "I know." She said it just as gently, though more in defeat than in acceptance as he did.
"For crying out loud, he hates me! And I don't even know why aside from the fact that-"
"You're with me," she concluded with a shake of her head. "You know we can do it though. We've been through much more than this Clyde." It was true. He had vowed to stay with her through thick or thin, and had so far kept his promise. He had always stuck next to her, made her smile when she felt down, isn't that what he was supposed to be for? When her friends had set their drama upon her, she could run to him for comfort, or when he had family problems, he could come and find solace in her. But then again, those hadn't been reasons to break up. Cameron was attacking their relationship. This was a totally different ball game.
"Please stay with me." She whispered the last words almost helplessly. She didn't know what was worse, that Clyde had finally given up on them, or that she'd partly seen it coming from the start. She wasn't about to give him up, not without trying to keep their relationship alive.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to his chest. "Layla, I can't have your brother harassing me every time I try to get near you." He pulled back to look her in the eye, "Besides, I've… changed in the past few weeks." He paused and said as an afterthought, "You've changed."
There was something that passed over his face but, like Cam, she could not understand what it was.
Layla shook her head. "Why is it that all of a sudden you're giving up?" she asked a little more harshly then she had intended. She looked at him pointedly. "I thought you said we could get through everything."
"Not if it's your brother, Lay. Cam knows how to get to me; he-"
"Then don't let him! He's just being the mean overprotective brother - he has to learn to get over it." She snapped angrily. She was not about to give them up. She wouldn't. She couldn't. Could she?
When she thought about it, Layla hadn't actually been spending as much time with Clyde as she would have liked, though that was mostly due to the fact that the both of them hadn't wanted any encounters with Cam and suffer the insults and swearing. But Cameron had his fair share of going out with his friends. Often, she'd find Brad lounging on their living room couch watching TV and eating whatever he could find in the fridge at the time, or Jay with her brother listening to a new song on the radio.
She'd laugh at the comedy shows she watched with Brad and they'd throw chocolate at one another just because it was fun. In fact, Brad had been around a lot since he'd come back from university with her brother and Jay. It made her wonder why they didn't go over to someone else's house instead of wasting their time at the Gordons'.
The fact was though, that maybe she could live without her relationship with Clyde, no matter how shaken she'd feel without him there. She just couldn't have it end this way. It wasn't right.
"Layla, don't make this difficult," Clyde said, his patience running a bit thinner than he probably would have liked. He'd always been a patient man, especially with the whole Cameron hating him situation. Layla had to admit, he'd put up with too much not to know what it was he thought was best for himself, and maybe for her too.
"Look," he said gently, "with Cameron, Brad, and Jay…" He paused, his eyes flickering away for a moment, "It won't work. We're better off separate."
He shook his head.
Oh now he was cutting her off? She wanted... she didn't know.
"I should get out of here," Clyde said, sliding off the bed and heading for the door. He left without a goodbye and it made Layla wonder if he'd even actually cared about their relationship in the first place. Would a guy who cared for their relationship have said a better goodbye than that?
Grabbing a pillow, she hugged it to her chest and wondered. She felt a twinge of hurt in her chest, and that slowly made its way to loneliness. What surprised Layla the most though, was that it wasn't heartbreaking seeing him go. She had a feeling that, even though she hated being separate from him, Clyde had made the right decision. Not to mention, she probably would have left too if her partner had a brother like she did. And that was a cringe-worthy thought.
Layla sat there on her bed, contemplating her thoughts and feelings for about an hour before someone laid a hand on her shoulder. She jerked around in surprise and realized she was inches away from Brad's handsome face. His deep ocean blue eyes couldn't have been real, but they definitely were. She'd seen them nearly all her life so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to her. It also shouldn't have made her heart thud hard in her chest and her breath hitch. But he'd always had that effect on her, like any other warm-blooded girl. He was just like her brother, able to catch girls like flies in a fly catcher. She couldn't remember how many girls she'd seen go through these two boys' lives.
"Never took you for the hug your pillow in sorrow kind of girl, Lay," Brad said, raising an eyebrow at the comfy object clutched to her chest. How close did she usually sit next to him? No wait. Why was she even thinking such things when she'd just broken up with her boyfriend an hour before?
She snorted. "It may surprise you, Brad, that I'm not really in a sorrowful mood." It surprised her just as much as it seemed to surprise him.
"You're not sad over the break-up?"
"How do you even know about that?"
He grinned sheepishly. "I had to 'stand guard' outside your door. Your brother's orders." He said the words like it explained everything. He proceeded to pluck the pillow straight out of her clutch and took her hand in his. It was warm and it sent shivers through her arms and down her spine. Well that was a very pleasant sensation.
Even so, she dug her heels into the floorboards, forcing him to stop and look at her inquiringly, a careful eyebrow raising at her. She swallowed and concentrated hard in order to keep her thoughts from dissipating away from her.
"Wait, he told you to-"
"It's Cameron, Layla, what did you expect?" Brad pointed out, giving her a look that told her even he had seen it coming from a mile away. She snapped her mouth shut and opted for a sigh instead. She allowed him to lead her downstairs and into the living room where she curled up at the arm of a couch facing the TV. Brad grabbed a DVD, not bothering to show her what he'd picked out. She complained because there really wasn't anything else she could do.
"What are we watching?" Her grey eyes regarded his back with weary suspicion. He placed the disc into the DVD player and turned on the TV. Her eyes grew wide when she saw the menu of the movie The Notebook come on screen. She smacked her palm to her forehead.
"You know, you'll kill off all your brain cells if you keep doing that," Brad stated amusedly, a smirk appearing on his perfect full lips as he took in her horrified expression.
"How'd you know I watch this after practically every break up?" She was more than suspicious now. Her break up prior to the recent one had been during the last year's summer, and hadn't gone so well. In fact, she'd cried for days on end, not letting anyone near her, not even Cameron. Her parents couldn't do anything about the lock they'd allowed her to have on her door, and she'd barely eaten anything that hadn't been chocolate.
He looked at her in surprise. He placed a hand on his chest in mock hurt as he plopped down next to her. "I'm offended Layla! You don't remember me being there while you watched this movie fifty times over last summer? You begged me to stay with you while your brother was out with his latest girl."
Oh. Oh! She had begged him to stay! Layla's cheeks heated up with warm blood as she recalled herself crying against his shoulder asking him over and over why she could never be happy with any of the boys she had gotten together with. In fact, she was still asking herself that now. Clyde hadn't worked out either. Even worse, she'd practically predicted their end weeks before it even happened! Or more like when Cameron had set foot into the house. What was wrong with her? Why couldn't she be happy? Or maybe she was destined to be alone, who knows.
Her expression must have told it all because Brad stared at her for a minute, then threw his head back and laughed a rich laugh. Shaking his head he let his arm drape casually behind her along the back of the couch. He started the movie without any further comments on her embarrassing moments. Layla was relieved.
An hour into the movie her head was lolled back lazily against the back of the couch, her lids comfortably lidded as she watched the movie, Brad still by her side. She heard footsteps come rushing down the stairs and she turned her head and saw Cameron approach them. He looked at her curiously.
"Where'd the faggot go?" he asked casually, placing his hands lightly into his jean pockets, his thumbs hooked on the outside. Layla glared and reached across Brad's body, which she noted, was still as toned and muscular as ever, and grabbed a pillow. She chucked it at her older brother, nearly getting him square in the face if he hadn't ducked to avoid it.
"I can't believe you're still being horrible towards him, even when we've broken up!"
He paused to look at her, and then looked at Brad who she couldn't see while facing her brother. "They broke up? Why didn't you tell me man?!"
From behind her, Brad chuckled and a pillow soared over Layla's head, aimed right at Cameron's chest. This time he caught it, a grin spreading across his lips.
"You don't need to be told everything Cam. You know what? You know what you need? You need to loosen up," he said and Layla knew from his very tone of voice alone that Brad was grinning his usual handsome grin. She didn't know how she knew, but she just did. That could be slightly scary, except for the fact that it gave her a slight flutter in her stomach to know that she knew him so well.
"Oh I can loosen up," Cameron said, a flicker of something grazing his expression for a moment. Once again, Layla couldn't put her finger on what it was that seemed to be bugging her brother so much or what it was he was keeping a secret from her. Was it a new girl? She wouldn't put it past him if that were the case, but she said nothing anyway, not wanting to pester him into telling her.
"So we're going to meet up with Dan and them in a bit," Cameron said just as Jayden walked in through the door. He acknowledged his presence by comfortably meeting his gaze before turning back to Brad. "Are you going to come?"
Layla looked around at Brad expectantly, expecting him to accept the outing.
Brad shook his head lazily. "Nah, I'm good."
Cameron shrugged and turned. "Suit yourself," he said dismissively. With a wave of his hand Cameron was gone, bumping Jayden lazily with his shoulder in the general direction of the kitchen.
Layla wouldn't be surprised if they ate the rest of everything they had in the fridge. With all the boys loitering around the house in the recent weeks, even she had to make trips to the grocery store in order to keep decent food storage. And more than once had Brad come along with her, saying he'd at least help with the shopping to compensate for eating all their food. That part nearly made her giggle.
She looked at Brad and tilted her head ponderingly. He looked down at her and followed suit.
"What?" He asked, his head cocked the same way hers was, and just as thoughtfully.
"Why aren't you going out like you usually do?" It made her worry that he may be staying because of her, feeling like he needed to help her through this break up too, though this one didn't seem to hurt... really at all. It just made her lonely, though she felt no remnants of even that while seated next to this man. It puzzled her more than anything.
He raised his eyebrows. "Usually do? I haven't gone out that much; I'm here a lot while Cam and Jay are out." He watched her carefully now, his eyes steadily holding her gaze so that she could not look away, those dark blues keeping her captive like a swirling ocean. She was plunging deeper and deeper into the unknown.
"So all the days we were watching TV and getting groceries and all that shit, the whole time you could've been out with your friends?" Layla asked slowly, biting her lip when he nodded at her in confirmation. She pulled her pin straight chocolate coloured hair around her head to fall over one shoulder. It was a way to stall time while she thought, and not only that but to get her gaze away from his. Gazing into his eyes caused her thoughts to dissipate from her very mind. That wasn't a good thing when she needed to think rationally.
"Why?" It barely came out a whisper.
He shrugged and leaned back into the couch, the movie in front of them was nearly soundless to their ears, already forgotten to the preference of conversation.
"I decided I'd rather spend my time with you," he stated matter-of-factly. His eyes searched her grey ones, trying to find answers to questions she didn't know he was asking.
"What's that supposed to mean?" She turned herself so that she was fully facing him. She was only two years younger than him, just like she and Cam, but they were on the same level – on equal footing. There was no denying that something was there between them, even back when they were younger, Layla recalled many occasions when Brad had been there for her. Those occasions just kept increasing, she realized. It made her chest swell with warmth she'd never felt towards any other.
Brad sighed and ran a hand through is brown, almost copper coloured hair which almost fell over his eyes. He turned toward her as she had to him, so that they now faced one another. He leaned in closer so that their lips were only inches apart. Layla automatically leaned back at his advance, her back pressing into the armrest of the couch. He only came forward more to invade her intimate space.
"It means whatever you want it to mean," he breathed. He was so close that she could smell his cologne mixed with his masculine scent, and she knew that it drew her in. Her heart pounded as it had earlier in her room, her breath hitching at the very closeness of him to her. She couldn't think properly, but did she really need to? Go with the flow, she told herself.
"What does it mean to you, Brad?" she asked quietly titling her head curiously. She was no longer nervous, but rather her body was humming with excitement. It was funny, because even with Clyde and their most intimate moments, it had never been like this. Brad didn't even have to touch her to cause her to react in this way. He just had to be there, sitting next to her on a couch, and she would be hyper-aware that he was there.
"You want to know?" He asked, and leaned forward. His lips crushed hers before she could so much as even gasp at the sensation. His lips were warm and soft, moving against hers in such a way that she had no choice but to respond, even in the moment of shock. It was automatic, a demand that had to be met with the perfect response. A rush surged through Layla, and she felt her mind become as clear as day. She knew now why none of those boys had worked out and why she had not been fully satisfied with them.
None of them had been Brad Richelieu.
His tongue traced her lower lip almost teasingly, tempting her with a promise of heated passion he could show her. She parted her lips to comply and the kiss deepened into an intensity she couldn't ever describe to someone, even if she knew all the words and languages in the world. She moved so that Brad was hovering over her, their bodies now spread upon the length of the couch.
Layla nearly moaned as his hand travelled up her shirt, just far enough to feel the smooth silky skin of her flat abdomen. He whispered kisses down her neck, traveling back up to claim her mouth in another slow and painfully promising kiss. She slid her arms around him, fingers playing with the short hairs at the back of his neck. She pulled him down closer to her.
And the doorbell rang.
Brad pulled back lazily, his gaze moving slowly from her swollen lips to her cloudy grey eyes. At Brad's sly grin, Layla's cheeks burned up just wondering what he could possibly be thinking about.
She slid her hands down to his chest and pushed him up so that they both were now in a sitting position. She looked at him and he gazed at her, both sitting silent for a moment. And then she crawled over to him and fit herself beneath his arm, settling down to watch what was left of The Notebook, which she had to admit, wasn't much.
After a few minutes had passed though, Layla turned to try and get a look through the archway that led to both the stairs, foyer, an ultimately the front door. She didn't move much, not wanting to pull away from Brad, but something bothered her.
"Did anyone get the door?"
Brad looked down at her curiously. "No idea," he said indifferently. It mattered not to him, she thought, as long as she was with him.
"I'm going to go check just in case, alright?" She stood up from the couch and Brad followed suit. She led them through the archway and to the staircase where she had a view of the front door. There, Jay stood leaning forward a bit, the door only about half a foot open. He was speaking to someone quietly in a hushed whispered tone. Layla took a few steps closer to see who it was at the door.
She could just barely see Clyde's face. He was speaking to Jay in the same quiet tone.
"I'll meet up with you later," Jayden whispered gently. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Clyde's quickly, "Now go."
Layla's grey eyes widened in utter shock, her mouth dropping six feet under.
"Clyde?" She asked almost tentatively, and Jay whipped around in surprise. Clyde peered in, his eyes widening at the sight of her. His face slowly gained colour, turning him a bright red, his partner in crime not looking at her, but behind her. Brad cleared his throat and Layla turned to see Cameron, who was very clearly ready to explode.
"What the hell's going on?" Layla asked as her brother stormed forward. She stepped back with Brad to keep out of his way, he obviously not seeing them, or bothering to listen.
"You're cheating on me?" Cameron asked, his voice quavering with hurt and anger, "And with him?!"
Layla looked at her brother sharply. Cameron was a homosexual? Since when?!
She looked at Brad for confirmation but he looked utterly dumbstruck at the scene before them. And as Cameron rambled on, Clyde shuffled his feet and fidgeted frantically. Jay started to try and explain himself to her brother, reaching out to touch his cheek. Layla grabbed Brad by the hand.
"This has seriously been the weirdest day of my life," she whispered to him, and he didn't argue with logic like that.
She sighed and stepped forward, none of the three boys at the doorway noticing her until she cleared her throat. "Anybody want to tell me when you all suddenly became gay?" she asked flatly, glancing at both her brother and Jayden, her gaze lingering on Clyde.
His shoulders slumped in defeat, "I told you I'd changed in the past few weeks." He replied dejectedly. He meant the past few weeks when Cameron and the others had come home. Including Jay. It wasn't so hard to see now that Layla thought about it. The looks, the awkwardness, and even Cameron and his time spent alone with Jayden while she was joking around with Brad. It made sense.
Layla ran a hand through her hair, Brad sliding a hand around her waist. Clyde chuckled and Layla raised an eyebrow inquiringly.
"I told you that you changed too."
She tilted her head at him and then smiled. She couldn't argue with that.