Chapter 6-I Can't Always Be Strong

I closed my eyes for the time being, knowing that I was going to get a lot of crap from my mom because I couldn't drive Rae to school. Instead, I had to walk home because of Mr. Hawkins' lovely idea that we start spending more time together.

I went into the kitchen and saw Raeanne packing up her lunch, humming a Hannah Montana song. I rolled my eyes, but smiled.

"I'm ready to go!" she said, grabbing her backpack off the stool by the counter.

I frowned.

"What's wrong?"

"I can't give you a ride today."

"Why not?"

"Because—"

Honk Honk.

Raeanne ran over to the window by the front door, pushing the blinds aside.

I looked out at the window next to Rae and saw a black sedan parked next to the sidewalk in front of the house. The driver got out of the car and opened the backdoor and Parker's head popped out of the car.

He got out of the car, looking too sexy for his own good. He leaned against the doorframe of the car and looked toward the window and smirked. "C'mon Summers!"

Rae looked at me, "Do you know him?"

"Unfortunately." I sighed, going to go grab my bag from the counter.

"He has a really nice car." Rae said, still staring at the window when I came back.

"He has a lot of nice cars." I said, "And he doesn't care if he shows it off either." I rolled my eyes.

"Why is that bad?" Rae said, propping her backpack up.

"It just is." I said, walking out of the house, Rae following me.

"Why though? If a guy shows off, it just means he's trying to impress you. Maybe he likes you."

I scoffed, "I don't think so."

"Well is he nice?"

"No."

"Is he smart?"

"No."

"Is he cute, at least?"

"Not even."

"Then what is he?"

"A royal pain my ass."

"Oh…" Rae said, "Well can he give me a ride to school?" she asked.

"I don't even want him to give me a ride to school, Rae."

"Well then he doesn't have to."

"Didn't Mom teach you not to get into a car with strangers?"

"You know him, so technically he isn't a stranger. I don't see why he's so bad." She looked over at Parker who was staring at the two of us. "He's really cute too. So that means you lied."

"Please don't say that." I groaned, "But c'mon…I guess we have to hitch a ride him because you're going to be late if we don't."

"Yay!" she ran toward Parker and I rolled my eyes, as I just meandered my way toward the sedan.

"Who is this?" Parker said, looking at Rae.

"My little sister. Rae, this is Parker. He goes to school with me and my principal thinks that the two of should hang out more."

"So he's like making you guys go out on dates and stuff?" she said, looking from Parker to me.

I looked at Parker and he just chuckled, his eyes filled with amusement.

"No. He just wants us to spend more time together." I sighed, then looking at Parker. "She wants to know—well I want to know if you'd be willing to give her a ride to school."

"I don't see why not." He shrugged, "School doesn't start for a half hour for us. I just got here early to make sure you knew I was giving you a ride. I didn't think you'd actually be ready to leave this early."

"I normally drive my sister to school." I said flatly.

"Gotcha. Well hop on in." Parker opened the door wider and before I knew it, Rae was hopping into Parker's shiny black sedan.

I got in next to Rae and Parker slid in next to me and before I knew it, we were off to school in Parker's car.

"You're such a liar Skye."

"What do you mean?" I said, as she rolled down the window.

"He's not mean. He's nice. And he's cute too."

Parker looked at me, giving me a smirk.

Rae giggled. "And he's really-"

"Shut up, Rae."

"Well nobody likes liars Skylar." Rae stuck her tongue out at me.

"She has a point, Summers." Parker said, smirking, "So what else did she say about me?"

"Nothing." I said.

Parker rolled his eyes, being all smug, "I think your sister has a huge crush on me."

Rae giggled, "I think so too."

I rolled my eyes, resisting the urge to kick Parker in the shins as we drove into Rae's school parking lot.

"It was really a pleasure to meet you, Rae." Parker threw her one of his signature smiles.

"You too. I really like you. Maybe you can come and hang out like Drew does."

"Yeah, maybe."

"Bye Rae." I said, opening her door and pushing her out of the car.

She hopped out of the car, "Bye Skylar!" she said and slammed the door shut.

I looked back at Parker and glared. "What the hell is your problem?"

Parker's face turned sour. "I was just trying to be nice. Maybe you should try it out some time."

"Stop playing with my sister's head. She's only nine years old! She hasn't done anything to you so—"

"I was being nice to her. It wasn't like I was ready to jump her." Parker scoffed, "Don't get your panties all in a wad, Summers."

"Stop trying to be nice, Parker."

Parker stared at me, and raised his eyebrows, waiting for me to answer.

"You're not a nice guy."

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

"Did I just see you get out of the car with a Mr. Parker Winters?" Drew said, catching up to me as we walked up the stairs to the school doors.

"Yeah, you did. I really wish you didn't though." I said, going to my locker to grab my books for my first few classes.

"Why are you hanging out with him?"

"Hawkins."

Drew stared at me blankly, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Hawkins wants us to hang out because he wants us to start getting along."

"He's an asshole, Skye."

"You don't think I know that?" I slammed my locker door shut, "I know that, Drew. He's nothing but some egotistical, ass."

"Then why did you agree to it?"

"Because I knew if I didn't, then I'd have to get more detention."

I followed Drew into our first class and sat down next to him. "Just be careful around him, okay? I don't want you getting hurt."

"I can take care of myself, Drew. I'm a big girl." I sighed, "And if I do need help with him, then I'll let you know. Okay?"

Drew nodded, his jaw clenching.

"Are you talking about me?" Parker said, sitting in front of me, "Y'know, if you like me so much, you should at least keep it on the 'DL'. I'm taken already."

"Yeah, taken by a slut."

"Hey, now. You may not like me, but don't it out on Brie."

"I don't like her either."

"And why is that?"

"She's one of your admirers."

"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" he said, his eyes turning a dark grey, his jaw now setting.

"It means she's just like every other girl, pining over you. It means she has no self-respect. If she did, she'd believe the stories about how you throw girls around after you played with them. It means she's an idiot."

"And you're not?"

"I'm not one of your admirers."

Parker stared at me, giving me a long glance over and then just scoffed. "I doubt that Summers. You know you wonder what's underneath all these clothes." He smirked then turned around in his seat.

The bell rang and Mrs. Macey stood at her desk and looked around. "Okay, while I take attendance, please start passing up your homework to the front of your row."

"Mrs. Macey," Parker rose his hand, "I don't think you gave me the homework assignment yesterday."

"She told us the homework assignment you idiot." I murmured.

"It's alright, Parker, you can hand it to me tomorrow." She smiled as she went around to pick up the piles of papers from each row.

"Are you sure?" Parker said, giving her his signature smile.

"It's really no big deal, Parker. Just don't forget."

"It's a big deal to me." I heard Drew mutter to me and I rolled my eyes.

"Shut up Shields." Parker said, turning to glare at him.

"Why don't you come back here and make me?"

Parker's smirk was plastered on his face. "Are we five again?" he raised his right eyebrow delicately, his smirk still waiting to be smacked off of his face.

"I don't know. You tell me." Drew rolled his eyes, "Next time, try seducing someone more your age."

Parker cackled, "At least I can get a girl."

"I don't like girls." Drew threw right back.

"Exactly. Maybe you should try using that dick of-"

"SHUT UP!" I screamed, finally having enough of everything, "Just shut up. What the hell is your problem, Parker?"

"It's not my fault that your fag-of-a-friend has issues with girls liking me and not him."

"Maybe if you stopped hitting on a girls twice your age, he wouldn't have to make comments on stuff like that."

"Skylar Summers." A voice sliced through the air and I turned to look at Mrs. Macey, who didn't look very pleased.

"Yes?" I choked out.

"Principal's office. Now."

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

"Hey Mrs. Reeves," I said, nonchalantly.

"Why, hello Mrs. Summers, what a pleasant surprise." She said, looking up from her glasses, "And to what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Just here to drop by and say hi to Mr. Hawkins." I said, putting a sardonic smile on my face.

"And where is your boyfriend that always seems to accompany you here?"

"Who? Drew?" I asked, confused.

"No, not that one. The broad-shouldered one that Mr. Hawkins seems to adore as much as he adores as you."

My jaw hit the ground. "Parker?"

"Yes!" she beamed, "He really is a handsome young fellow."

"Uh, sure." I said, rocking on my dirty grey converse.

"I think he has an eye for you, sweetheart. The way he looks at you. It's too hard not to miss."

I resisted the urge to gag and nodded, "Right… Parker and I aren't dating." I said, trying to avoid the topic, "Anyway, he came out unscathed. In all honestly, I didn't even start the fight. It was my friend and he started arguing with Parker."

"Well, I'm sure if you tell Mr. Hawkins, he'd be more than happy to call down your beau and you won't be so lonely anymore." She winked at me and I turned around, trying to get the weird images of me and Parker dating.

"Just go on in." she said, as I knocked on the door and swung it open.

"Ah, Ms. Summers, what a delightful surprise! Why are you here? Don't you have a class?" he said, organizing his desk for probably the tenth time in the last hour.

"You see…" I chuckled, playing with the curls at the end of my hair, "Parker didn't do his homework and he started an argument with one of my friends and I thought I'd break up the fight."

"Then why are you here?" he stared at me, with amusement flowing through his eyes, "Why isn't it your new companion and your friend?"

"I don't know!" I said, "She hates me, Mr. Hawkins!"

"I see…" Mr. Hawkins said, "Well, I guess I'll call up your trusty companion or sidekick, or whatever you want to call him."

"I prefer to call him her beau!" I heard Mrs. Reeves call from her desk.

"Parker Winters, please report to the principal's office immediately." Mr. Hawkins said, turning the intercom on.

I groaned. "Parker and I are not dating, Mrs. Reeves!" I yelled, realizing that my voice was louder than usual—like it was being echoed throughout the school.

"Please don't tell me that went over the intercom." I said, my face growing warm.

Mr. Hawkins chuckled, "I apologize for the inconvenience Ms. Summers."

If that was an inconvenience, I would hate to ask him what killing Parker and Drew would be…

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

I sat in my seat, feeling really uncomfortable. I had just announced to the whole school that Parker and I were indeed not dating. Now, logically, that should have been okay with me because I loathed Parker, but knowing that Parker was never ever going to let me live that down was making me regret opening my big mouth.

"You just can't seem to get me out of your mind, can you?" Parker said, leaning against the doorway, with that knowingly smirk on his face again.

I rolled my eyes.

"You don't have to try to resist me, sunshine." Parker said, whispering into my ear, his lips brushing against ear lobe.

Chills shot through my spine and goosebumps covered my arms and legs. What the—

"Don't call me sunshine." I said, pushing him away from my face.

"Aw, why? You light up my day, sunshine." He winked at me, "But then again, you're nothing compared to—"

"Ah, Mr. Winters." Mr. Hawkins returned to his office, with a cup of coffee in his hand. "How are you?"

"I'm pretty good. How are you, Hawkins?"

"I'm quite good—except, I recently heard that you started a disruption in Mrs. Macey's class."

Parker threw me a smug smile that said 'watch-and-learn. "I think you heard wrong. I believe Skylar and her friend started commenting on my own actions that were in nowhere near their business. Afterward, they started calling poor, Mrs. Macey names and she was done so she threw Skylar out of her class." Parker explained.

"I see."

"I tried to warn her—"

"That's enough. I've heard enough. Is this true Skylar?"

"I bet Parker wishes that—" I stopped myself and sighed.

"Well?" Mr. Hawkins raised his eyebrows, waiting for an answer.

"Yes." I said.

Mr. Hawkins' face fell then looked at Parker then back at me. "Are you sure? Are you sure you're not trying to save Parker?"

"With all due respect Mr. Hawkins, but I would never try to save Parker." I said, my voice dripping in the coldest tone I could muster up.

"I see." Mr. Hawkins nodded, his hands tapping his desk. "Well, unfortunately, Skylar, I think I will be giving you another three weeks of detention for lying to me when I asked you what had been going on, disrupting a class, and calling a teacher names. Twelve weeks, Ms. Summers." He sighed, "I just wish you two would get along."

I nodded, my eyes looking at the ground then back at him. "May I be excused now?"

"Yes. It's unfortunate that it has come to this Ms. Summers. I will see the both of you tomorrow after school for meetings about Homecoming."

I nodded and stood up, avoiding all eye contact with Parker as I grabbed my bag that was sitting on the floor and swiftly made my way out of Mr. Hawkins' office.

"Sweetie, you really should snag him before he gets snagged by someone else." Mrs. Reeves called.

"He already is." I called back, continuing to walk without looking back, knowing that someone was staring at me from behind and it wasn't Mrs. Reeves.

I walked toward the exit of the school, deciding that it was best if I just left because Mrs. Macey was probably going to kick me out of class for another snide remark because of the mood I was in now.

I went to grab my keys to Sheila then stopped, realizing that I had gotten a ride from Parker. "Gosh dammit!" I screamed at the top of my lungs as I got out of the school. "God, why do you hate me?" I screamed out, starting at the sky. "Huh?"

I kept walking out to the parking lot, unsure of where I was going until I heard someone scream my name.

"Summers!"

Parker.

I kept walking faster and faster. Just keep running away, Skylar. If you run fast enough, then maybe he won't catch you.

"Skylar!"

His voice grew closer and closer and before I knew it, his hand was on my elbow, pulling me back toward him to face him.

I looked down at the ground, trying to pull away from him angrily. "Let go of me Parker!" I screamed, pulling at my arm.

"Skylar!"

"Just leave me alone!" I yelled, hitting his chest with clenched fists, my eyes closed tight because I still refused to look at him.

Parker grabbed both sides of my face and I closed my eyes even tighter. "Hey. Look at me." Parker whispered.

I shook my head, trying to get rid of his hold on me.

"Open your eyes."

I opened my eyes, staring at Parker. His eyes were a dark blue, his face full of a gentle expression that I couldn't quite place. He continued holding my face, stroking my left cheek with his thumb. And for the first time in my life, I didn't have a snide remark. I didn't have something to say back to Parker.

Finally, I broke our stare and looked off to my right.

"Hey…" Parker said, stroking both cheeks now, "Look at me. Please."

I looked at him once more and narrowed my eyes. "Did you just play 'please'?"

Parker smiled. It wasn't a smirk. It wasn't a smug smile and it wasn't a lopsided grin that said he was king. It was a genuine smile.

"That's the Skylar that I know."

I avoided his comment and glared at him. "What do you want?"

Parker paused, then let go of my face. I resisted the urge to grab his hands and put them back to my cheeks because they were missing the warmth from his touch.

"Why'd you do it?"

"Do what?" I said, crossing my arms, looking at the ground.

"Don't play stupid, Skylar. You know what I'm talking about."

"No, I don't." I said, "Now can I please go?"

"In the office, you took the punishment. You took our punishment. I deserved it too."

"Nothing will ever be ours." I said, my voice cold and bitter. "I took it because sometimes Parker, I don't always want to fight. I'm done fighting you, Parker. You win. Sometimes, I can't always be strong."

Parker stared at me with an intense gaze that I don't think I've ever seen.

"Can I go now?"

"No." Parker said, still staring at me.

We stood there in silence, me staring at the ground with him staring intently at me.

"Do you know why I fight with you all the time Skylar?"

I looked back at him. "We rarely talked until this year." I said, "So, no, I can't say I do."

Parker's grin returned. "See? That's why. You're the first person I know who won't take my shit. And I like that about you."

I stared at him incredulously.

"That doesn't mean I like you." He added quickly, "What I mean is you have the confidence that most girls don't have. You have the guts to hate me. And it's a nice twist."

I didn't dare say a word.

"I like hating you Skylar. You're the person I love to hate."

With that, Parker backed away and turned around, not looking back once.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

I sat in my egg chair that my dad had gotten me for my tenth birthday, staring contently out of the window. Parker drove me home after school in the car that he left at the school yesterday. We didn't even say a word to each other the whole way home.

I wasn't sure what to think of what he said to me today.

You're the person I love to hate.

I wanted to think that he meant it because it showed that he had some sort of heart in his cold body, but I knew deep down, he might have just said it to rattle me. And unfortunately, if that was his motive, it was working.

I hated Parker and I didn't love hating him. I didn't want him in my life anymore.

A/N: Hey guys! So I'm sorry I didn't update last week. Last week, I was super duper busy with finals but now I'm on summer break so I'll be writing more. I'll be putting up the next chapter up tomorrow. This one definitely changed from the previous version. There is no flashback and I changed a few words and stuff here and there.

I hope you all enjoy the more lengthy chapter and please review!

Sorry for any grammar errors or typos. I'm too lazy to go back and edit it…heh.

Shout-out(s):

HelgaBertoni: I'm so glad you loved it! Sorry for making you week another week for an update! I hope you like this chapter just as much! Thank you so much for reviewing! (: