Chapter 5

As I crossed my legs and leaned forward in anticipation of the romance scene beginning to show on the TV screen, I groaned when it was cut off by another commercial. Damn. Always the good parts. My dad peered out of the kitchen and sighed, saying, "Rose, if you have time to mumble about your TV shows, then help me. You know I can't cook." He flashed me a look of desperation while waving his wooden spoon around in the air and I frowned.

"Dad! I can't cook either! I got that trait from you, you know!" No matter how hard I tried, I was never even at least average in terms of cooking because time was always a factor that played against me. I'd either let something boil for too long or it was undercooked. Man, thank god for take outs. "Anyway, why the sudden need for such a fancy dinner? Don't we usually just have Lilly's mom give us leftovers or something?"

"I told you already, Rose! One of my friends back from my college days is coming over!" His reply was followed by a prolonged silence and then the clatter of silverware hitting the floor. He then cursed and shouted, "Was I supposed to skin the potatoes before I boiled them?" I didn't bother to answer him and kept my eyes glued to a shampoo commercial, but I couldn't help but raise my eyebrow slightly at that ridiculous question. "You know what? Nevermind! I'll just get some takeout when he comes over."

I rolled my eyes and began to form an amused smile. The last time I had a homemade dinner from my family was so long ago; it's usually Lilly's mom who cooks for us. The very thought of tasting dad's food would probably be enough to put me in the hospital. However, I suppose this was what worked best for my family. Whereas other households had warm, cozy weekend dinners together, mine would normally be laughing frivolously together as the smoke alarm began wailing frantically.

Soon, the doorbell rang and I glanced at the windows curiously, hoping to catch a glimpse of the man that was willing to put up with my dad during college. My little brother Josh, whom had been coloring on the floor silently this whole time, looked up with bright eyes and jumped up immediately. "Daddy's friend is here!" he shouted, racing towards the front door excitedly. I suppose it was only reasonable that Josh was so thrilled, as we usually almost never receive guests, save for Lilly.

Josh pulled the front door open and turned to face the door in order to get a view of our guests. "You're daddy's friend!" my brother shouted with enthusiasm.

A chuckle followed as a man said, "You bet I am!" I saw the man step into the house comfortably, as if our house was a second home to him, and he glanced around the living room with the biggest smile on his face. "I can't believe it! This house hasn't changed one bit!" I blinked in confusion - when the hell has he ever come over? How did he even know what the interior of my house looked like? I shook my head and shrugged. Oh well. We did have this house for a long time; it's possible he's visited years before.

I inspected the man closely and smiled to myself. He looked like a professor on the outside, but he just radiated Santa Claus personality-wise. It was when I saw something shift uncomfortably behind my dad's friend that I began to grow tense and nervous for reasons I didn't know why. Who the hell is that behind my dad's friend? A tall figure loomed behind the man, but he kept his head down so trying to see his face was almost impossible.

"Gregory? Oh, man, I haven't seen you since forever! How've you been?" my dad suddenly said, rushing into the living room from the kitchen. He beamed when he saw his old friend and they began to shake hands excitedly, like a baby with a new rattle.

"Fine, fine! Oh, look at you, you've gotten taller. Ah, if you don't mind, I brought my son. The boy was just lazing around the house like usual and I remembered you had a daughter around his age." This man named Gregory turned around and slightly pulled his son forward, so that he was no longer just a creepy shadow following close behind.

I leaned forward from my position on the coach to get a better look at the son. A boy around my age? I smiled. If it was my dad's friend's son, how bad could he be? He might even turn out to be cute and nice. Feeling giddy at the prospect of finding a potential love, I immediately felt as though a thousand boulders were dropped onto my head when I saw his face. Shit. I don't want a potential love anymore! I held my breath and bit my lips, hoping to not attract too much attention to myself and quickly escape. Damn. Why do these things happen to me?

I bit back a gasp when the son turned his head slightly to glance at Josh before looking around the room. . . and found himself staring right at me in surprise."Rose?" Dominic then chirped out, although his face flickered with confusion and bewilderment for a split second. Dominic. Who else would the boy be? Hah! My luck disgusts me sometimes.

". . . Hi Dominic . . ." I mumbled, dropping my head and staring at the ground. As soon as the name Dominic escaped from my lips, a thousand different scenarios starring his death flickered through my mind. I swear, I think anymore exposure to this boy is going to result to my murder charges. Damn it! Why does he always show up? Is this some kind of cruel fate?

"Rose! Ah! I see you've met my son!" Gregory asked, his face beaming. Yeah. I've met your son. The damn bastard tries to seduce me like every other day.

"Yeah, we go to school together!" I said, trying to force a cheery smile onto my face. Just one night. I have to live through this nightmare for one night. I tried not flinch when I saw Dominic's hand accidentally grazed the coach and resisted the urge to pour gasoline all over my house and set fire to it. My whole house has been contaminated by this disgusting . . . creature.

"Perfect!" my dad said happily. He gave Dominic a hard slap on the back and laughed merrily, and although Dominic smiled, I saw him bite his lower lip in an attempt to contain his pain. Hah. Feel the strength of the Chevalier family and cower in a damn corner you bastard. "Since you two know each other, it won't be too awkward. Gregory, is it fine if we go buy some dinner to take home? We kind of have . . . nothing prepared," my dad let out a hearty chuckle, as if it was simply hilarious, the fact that neither one of us can cook. "The kids can wait here, no problem." My dad scratched the back of his head in embarrassment and let out another awkward chuckle.

"You haven't changed a bit. Still can't cook, huh? Oh, those poor children of yours. Starving, I bet," Gregory joked, patting my dad heartily on the back. "It's fine, let's go." He reached into his pockets and handed Josh a lollipop, smiling. "Here, kiddo. Someone's got to feed you."

"I feed them!" my dad attempted to sound angry, but he cracked a smile and laughed. "Come on. Rose, take care of your brother and show Dominic around. I'll be back in approximately an hour."

With that, the two men joyously left me alone in this hellhole. When the door slammed shut, I couldn't help but wince and slowly turn to see Dominic giving me the largest smile I've ever seen.

Oh dear god, please save me.


"Can I kiss you?" The girl blushed and looked down at her lap nervously, her fingers interlocking with one another and tapping away in order to try to distract herself. The boy leaned in closer and gave her a soft smile, caressing her hair with a hand. I sighed dreamily and for a moment, I wistfully wished for such a love like the one screening on my television.

"Yeah . . . can I kiss you?" I almost jumped out of my own skin when I heard Dominic whisper into my ear and then I let out groan. I forgot that he was here, sitting next to me on the couch like he owned the damn place. "You just thought that you wanted a love like theirs, didn't you?" he asked me, before winking. I resisted the urge to shudder.

"Ki - kiss?" Josh stuttered as if it was a forbidden word, and stared at Dominic and me with wide eyes. "Kiss!" he shouted loudly, causing Dominic to smile widely. "Daddy always covers my eyes when people kiss! Kissing is bad!" he shouted, giving Dominic a dirty look. I bit my lower lip in order to hold back an amused laugh.

"All kisses are bad?" Dominic asked him, raising an eyebrow.

Josh sat there and crinkled his brow, thinking it over for a bit before answering. "No," he said finally. "On the lips! That's bad! Rose always kisses me on the cheek! That's good, right? Right?" he said excitedly, as if all the pieces in a puzzle finally fit together perfectly.

"Really? I'm jealous." Dominic turned his head slightly to face me and gave me a quick peck on the cheek, to which my immediate reaction was to stomp on his foot, hard. He paid me no attention and simply ignored me. "People kiss each other when they love them, Josh. That means that Rose loves you a lot, huh?" he then said, continuing to smile. I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to run to the bathroom and scrub my cheek vigorously for an hour. No. Perhaps just burning my whole face off would suffice. I stomped on Dominic's foot again out of sheer disgust and frowned when he showed no sign of pain. I wish I was wearing heels.

"Yes! Rose only loves Josh! So you can't kiss her!" Josh suddenly yelled at Dominic before running up and flinging himself into my arms. I blinked and gave my brother a puzzled look - when the hell did he develop a sister complex for me? Usually, Josh would just push me away and run whilst screaming something about me being yucky. Was this perhaps jealousy on my brother's part? More than anything, I wanted to crack out in a giant grin and do a little happy dance. "Mwah!" After kissing me on the cheek, Josh gave Dominic the meanest looking glare that only a three year old could muster up.

"Looks like I've got a love rival," Dominic said, amused. He chuckled for some time, as if he was sofucking hilarious.

"It's not exactly a rivalry if I'd rather dump you in a desert somewhere with your kidneys missing and go on a joyous picnic with Josh," I retorted.

"Eh? I'm worthy of being your rival aren't I, Josh?"

"No!" Josh shouted forcefully, as if appalled at Dominic for even thinking that the scumbag was in the same league as him. Ha, I knew we were siblings for a reason.

"No?" Dominic repeated, surprised. He stared at Josh for a bit before suddenly lighting up and exclaimed, "I know! How about we have a contest? At the end, Rose can choose the winner and the prize will be her kiss, okay? On the cheek of course, kissing on the lips is icky! Right Josh?" I couldn't help but suddenly want to go get a glass of water just to spit it out dramatically. What the hell is he thinking?

"Contest?" Josh asked, his eyes widening at the thought. "Contest!" he repeated whilst nodding furiously. He ignored my look of horror and tugged on the sleeve of Dominic's shirt with excitement. "What contest?" he asked curiously.

"Hm? How about this . . . whomever can make Rose the most delicious meal ever will win her kiss!"

"Yeah! Contest!"

A/N: Hi guys! I am so sorry for not updating for so long! For some reason whatsoever, I just found this chapter so difficult to write and ended up typing out like a sentence a week, no joke. Well, summer break is among us and therefore, I now have no excuse to not update. Because I have no life. Yay! Just kidding; guess who's gonna cross the border into Canada? This girl! Ah, I should shut up now.

Thank you for your wonderful reviews and I apologize if this chapter didn't live up to your expectations. I'll try my best to improve!