Chapter 38

The Things we do for love

"Ooh you made me love you, Ooh you've got a way, Ooh you had me crawling up the wall…"

The Things we do for love by 10cc

December 2012,

(Tristan's POV)

It's been a bit weird between Cody and I; there was something different in the air between us. I didn't know what it was, an odd electricity. I didn't know if he could feel it, but it always had my body buzzing whenever we were together. He didn't talk about what I had saw the other night, I was kind of happy that he didn't. Seth came over the next few days after I caught them. He didn't seem to mind, he would smile at me in a weird knowing way. Something I didn't know what to pin point as to what he felt he knew more of than me. Not that I really cared what Seth thought he knew, Seth was still a little hoe in my book.

It was Christmas break now, it had been too cold to get out. Not that I had much activities planned but Keaton had asked me to come over, I was still debating going or not. I liked Keaton, but I wasn't sure I wanted to hang out with him. I was a home body, before Jason I had not really went out much. Jason always wanted to pull me out of my shell. Dion and the others seemed to be worse always throwing parties for their little group. I had already skipped the group Christmas party, I had faked being sick but really I just didn't want to go. I didn't feel like doing anything.

Christmas wasn't going to be anything special, it hadn't been that great for me in a few years. The magic seemed to be dead, even with all the Christmas music I couldn't seem to get into the spirit. Landen was always playing Christmas music, it was hard to listen to it though. I wasn't going to be with Bree or mom and I didn't know how to express how much I wanted to. It was what it was though, I wasn't in control of anything in my life right now. I just had to remember that I was eighteen next year and then I could leave this place and go live somewhere on my own. If I couldn't afford it at the time I could always find somewhere else to stay and then I would be done with the Welling family.

I would still stay in contact with Landen and Claire, and Cody too if he wanted and my mom and Bree if I could. I don't see Bree staying under Trey's thumb much longer, she'd be a teenager soon and she would fight him on this; at least I felt she would. My life would finally be my own, I would just be Tristan, not someone's mistake or a bastard child. Just me, and that was all I really wanted.

A million thoughts were rushing through my head as I tried to concentrate on reading one of my favorite books when there was a knock at my door. I sat the book to the side and sat up and went to the door. Wasn't like I was making much progress on it anyways.

"Yes?" I say with a sigh as I open the door to find Cody leaning against the wall, "what do you want?" I ask.

"Good afternoon to you too." He says, sarcasm in his tone. I don't react to it, I wasn't really feeling up to making a snarky comment back.

"Yeah I guess…" I say. I look back at up him.

"I wanted to know if you wanted to go the gym with me." He asks.

"Oh…" I look away, my mind went to the gym and what happened at the gym… Specifically in the locker room. The memory of Cody wrapped in a towel, his chest wet and dripping enters my mind. I bite my lip and look back towards him. When did he lean in closer? I back up a space. "Sure, let me pack my clothes." I say, my heart speeding up in my chest. Man, when did it get hot in here?

"Okay, I'll meet you upstairs." He says not reacting to me stepping away, I shut the door and go over to my bag that I usually bring with me. Packing my clothes to change into after we leave, I pull on my new shirt that Cody had bought for me to wear at the gym. It was damn expensive, I don't understand why he felt the need to buy it, but it was sweet of him. This one didn't have sleeves, so I grabbed a jacket. I put on a pair of the sweatpants he bought me too. Another birthday present he said. I know it probably sounded weird but looking at my reflection, I could see the difference from how I used to look. My legs looked a lot more muscular and tight. It was funny, but I found them sort of sexy. I know I was far from sexy, but it was nice to feel good about myself for a change.

Cody gave me a once over look when I reach the top of the stairs, a little smile crossed his face and he heads to the door. There it was again, that feeling I couldn't really explain. I could feel it all through me, this electric hum. Something pushing me towards him. I smile at the ground and walk to the door. Claire and Leah were in the other room from what I could tell from the babbling coming from the other room, so we wouldn't be missed. Landen wasn't due home for another few hours, we had time to go out. The trip to the gym was quiet, which wasn't unusual for us. So I stuck in my head phones and sat with my thoughts scattered in my head. I was mostly going through the motions while exercising and using the different weight machines, I couldn't stop thinking about Cody and Seth. The way Cody's body looked, the way his muscles moved as he was rutting in and out of Seth…

My face heats up and I do my best to think of something else. Like Dion for example; he had sent me some pictures of him and his family. Smiling with his sister and who I guessed were his cousins. Dating Dion, I had yet to meet his sister or his mother in person even though he talked about them all the time. Maybe once he got back we could finally…

"Tristan!" My head phone was ripped out of my ear, I glared to my right. Cody stood there with his hands on his hips, a sheen of sweat covered his skin. It reminded me of… Okay not going there Tristan…


"I've been trying to get your attention for about twenty minutes, finally had enough of being ignored."

"What do you want?"

"Are you ready to go? I finished already, I did a little more than I usually do because you wouldn't pay attention but now I'm ready to go." He grumbles. God he was like a woman sometimes.

"Fine, whatever." I say. I grab my water bottle and head towards the exit door and go to the locker room. I get to my locker first and open it, hiding myself from Cody. I grab my towel and wrap it around me and pull down my pants and underwear and shed off the shirt before taking my stuff and heading towards the showers my boner throbbing. I don't even know when it came up. I had to move fast, I didn't want to see Cody naked or close to it. My heart pounded as I got into the shower.

"Are you upset or something?" Cody says. I jump from how close he sounded. I didn't dare to turn around.

"I'm fine! Go shower!" I holler, my skin was on fire and it wasn't from the water. My heart was pounding in my ear now. I don't understand why I was so worked up. It was just Cody, he wasn't anyone that I should be freaking out about. It was ridiculous. Looking down, it twitched.

"You don't seem like it." He says.

"Oh for god sakes, leave me alone!" I snap, turning towards him.

"Fine, you don't have to be a jerk." He says, I turn back to my shower and listen as another shower turns on farther away. Good, at least he had the decency to shower away from me. I didn't want to feel too close to him. I'm quick to shower after that, I didn't want him to finish before I did. That would've been hard to dress like that. I'm waiting outside of the locker room when he finally opens the door and sees me sitting against the wall, he sighs and walks on.

"Let's go." He says, I stand up and catch up to him. We walk to the car in silence. Once we get home I almost run to my room, I shut and lock the door behind me. Pushing my wet hair out of my face and throwing my bag with the dirty gym clothes on the floor; I plop on my bed. I haven't laid there a minute it seems when there is another knock at the door. Uh, what now? It was only three-thirty…

"What do you want now?" I whine as I pull open the door. I wasn't surprised to see Cody; no one else would come to my door. Leah would just stomp on the floor to get my attention.

"You want to hang out?"

"Why? Didn't we just do that?"

"No not really, we didn't talk the whole time we were out." He says looking somewhat offended. "What's with you today? You're acting like a little bitch."

"Excuse me?" I say, my voice rising.

"You heard me; I try to hang out with you. Give you something to do while you're on break, instead of you just rotting away in your room like some dead-beat old fuck. And you've just shrugged me off." He grumbles.

"Not all of us want to have a social life like you do, Cody." I snap.

"You don't have a social life! You live in your room like you're confined to it. It gets on my nerves." He yells. Eh, why was this always a thing with us? It was like we could never get along.

"Well I'm sorry you feel that way." I say, sarcasm dripping from every word.

"I just want you to get out more, what's wrong with that?" He asks, ignoring my attempt to egg him on.

"Nothing, I just don't want to." I say. He scoffs and looks away.

"Fine, sit in here then. I'm done."

"Okay, fine. I will." I say, getting ready to shut the door in his face when he pushes it back open. "What?" I snap.

"This isn't about what you saw is it?" He asks. I catch his eye, knowing full well he's referring to catching him with Seth. I can feel him searching my face for the answer, my cheeks heat up. I look away, I didn't want to discuss this. He didn't have the right to ask me this. I had been doing everything in my power not to think of them together. I hated how it twisted my stomach up thinking about Cody hands all over Seth.

"What are you talking about?" I feigned ignorance.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't play dumb with me." I scowl up at him.

"Screw you, Cody. I don't want to talk about this." I say crossing my arms.

"Why not, is sex that bad to you? Or is it 'cause Seth's a guy?" He asks, puffing out his chest. I scoff throwing my hands in the air. Was he an idiot? I told him I didn't care if he was with a guy.

"Oh my g- I thought we discussed this already. I don't care who you sleep with!" I say feeling exasperated.

"Well you've shut me out since then. So obviously you do." He says.

"I'm done with this conversation. Go fuck yourself or better yet; go fuck Seth. Sounded like he liked it." I sneer and slam my door in his face. He grumbles something on the other side of the door and stalks off to his room. I sigh and go back to my bed, suddenly feeling tired from the trip to the gym and back. I lay down on the bed, snuggling into my cool pillow. Guilt started crawling through me. I guess I was being a jerk to Cody. It wasn't like he was trying to get me to do drugs or anything I really shouldn't be doing.

With him I didn't know where the anger was coming from. It was in the pit of my stomach, thinking aout him with Seth just set me off. But I didn't want to be on bad terms with him.

Cody hadn't taken interested in me in a few weeks and now that he was I was pushing him away. I sigh and push myself off my bed, when I get to his room his door is shut so I give it a few raps. He mutters something, shuffling to the door.

"What?" He says opening the door.

"I'm sorry I was a jerk."

"You are sorry," he grumbles looking like a wounded pet. "What do you want?"

"Did you still want to hang out?"

"And why would I want to do that now, after you were a dick?" Ok, I know I deserved it; but he didn't have to call me names.

"I don't know what you want me to say, Cody. Sometimes it's just easier to do what I've been doing for years."

"You weren't always a jerk." He mumbles.

"You know that's not what I was talking about." I snap.

"No, I was just adding an observation." He says, sticking out his chin.

"You're such a…. look. I don't want to argue." I say holding my hands up in surrender. "Can we please just call a truce and watch a stupid movie or something? I'm sorry about being a jerk."

"I guess I can forgive you." He says. "For now." I almost roll my eyes.

"Thank you, I didn't want you upset with me." I say. "So can we watch a movie or something?"

"Sure, that's cool." He says.

"Good, because I couldn't go to sleep anyway. It's too early."

"How are you going to sleep anyways? We haven't even started dinner."

"What does that matter?" I say, Cody shakes his head and steps away from his door.

"You're a little shit, you know that right?"

"Yeah, I know." I say walking into his room. Cody put in the movie, it wasn't a horror movie this time, mostly because I picked it. The movie was of the book I was reading in my room earlier in the day, it was about three brothers who were orphans and their group of friends that lived on the poor side of town. The acting in it was sort of lame back when I first watched it though, I loved it. I liked it a lot more now being a little older and getting to see the actors strut around without shirts.

Cody and I both were on his couch he had in his room, him sitting with his feet underneath him and me resting on a pillow that leaned against him.

"Man, why do you like this movie? It's made so crappy, look at the acting."

"I know, but it's based off my favorite book."

"You read the book?"

"Yeah, didn't you? It was assigned to us in middle school." I ask. He shuffles around behind me.

"I read it, the book is good." He says. "The movie… Not so much."

"It's okay, you don't gotta hate." I say, as one of the boys takes off his shirt.

"Sorry, just speaking the truth." He laughs. "Why do you like this anyway? I'm sure you've read other things that were probably better." He asks.

"Don't talk about it like that."

"Why not?"

"It's special to me, I can't really explain it." I say. "It really made me love to read, it… I read the whole thing in probably eight hours maybe a little more after it was assigned to us in school."

"Damn, you must of really liked it to do that."

"I did, it… never mind." I say, feeling slightly embarrassed about what I was thinking.

"What?" He asks.

"Forget it." I say.

"No tell me." He insists. I sigh and sit up looking at the floor.

"It's stupid, but… It really made me want to have an older brother." I admit, Cody creases his eyebrows.

"Whys that?" He asks.

"I don't know, the main guy has his two older brothers who both love him… I just always wanted that relationship… I would lay in my bed after I read it, and for weeks I would close my eyes and pray and wish that I would wake up and I'd have an older brother that would like to pick on me and crap… Oh god. See I told you it's dumb." I say hiding my face behind my hands after catching Cody's smile.

It was almost funny that my wish did come true, or that it was true all along. I was just unaware of it. Cody's not been perfect as a brother but… He's been good to me; that's all I really could ask for. My heart beats hard in my chest.

"It's not dumb. I can understand that." He says, his eyes shine in the yellow tinted room. I look away, my feelings too exposed.

"Thanks, I don't feel as dumb now." I mutter.

"It's not dumb at all, I think it's sweet." He admits. Oh god, I don't know what's wrong with me. My ear pulses with my heart beat.

"Don't say that." I say, not meeting his eye.

"Why not?" He asks, his voice soft.

"Because, I know it's childish."

"It's not, really. I promise."

"Okay, can we please not talk about this anymore?" I say, feeling my face heating up. I hated that I would get these reactions when Cody was being sweet. I hated how it made my insides danced, how my skin tingled when he would touch me and making my heart race; but I craved it at the same time.

"Okay, that's fine." A knock at the door brings our attention to the door. Landen opens the door and walks in. The spell I was under seems to break when Landen stepped in, I can barely look up at him feeling ashamed for how I was reacting to Cody.

Landen would kill me if he knew what I've been thinking. Cody wouldn't be too far behind him…

"Hey," Landen greets us as he stops taking note of the TV playing.

"Sup." I say at the same time as Cody. We both look at each other, Cody stifles a laugh and turns back to Landen.

"Thought you'd want to know that dinners ready." Landen says with a smile.

"Shoot, okay." Cody says hoping up off the couch.

"We'll be right up." I say, Cody pauses the movie and I get up to leave.


Christmas 2012,

The pounding on my door, was starting to irritate the crap out of me. It's probably been an hour since the knocking started, but I was still tired. I didn't get much sleep until probably two in the morning, it was now a little after nine now. I mean I know it was Christmas but come on, I was tired.

"Trista-an get up!" Cody barked from the other side of the door. He was more annoying than my mom ever was, I was going to kill him… When I finally got up. I was stronger now, I could take him…

"No, it's too early." I hiss at the closed door, good thing I had a lock on the door.

"You're not going to sleep in on Christmas, wake up before I wake you up."

"Mmm." I groaned and buried my face back into the pillow. He wasn't going to get me up, he was bluffing.

Suddenly with a loud bang, my door was open, and my light was turned on. What the hell? I glare up at the intruder. Where the hell did he get a key? I was going to have to talk to Landen about that. Probably at another time when I wasn't pissed off. I don't think that would go over that well.

"Merry Christmas!" Cody chimes, I growl at him in response. "Nice, in a good mood today. I can dig it."

"Where the hell did you get a key for my room?" I snap.

"Well, I had one made after we had an argument. Only took me five minutes to convince dad to make one."

"I'm gonna get it when I get up." I say, he just laughs in response.

"Good luck," he says. "Come on get up, you've got presents." He sings, laying his hands on the bed shaking the bed.

"I didn't want anything." I say pulling the cover over my head.

"Regardless, let's go." He says as he pulls the cover away from my face. His smiling face was close to mine, I flinch a little and squirm away on my bed. "You don't get to be a sour puss and ruin my day. Let's go. I will drag you upstairs in your boxers if you don't get up." He says. "Now."

"Fine," I grumble pushing him away as I get up off the bed in a swift motion to show how pissed off I was in search for a pair of shorts.

"When did your legs get like that?" He says randomly as I search through a pile of clothes.

"Like what?" I ask.

"Muscular." He says. I almost blush, if I wasn't in zombie mode I'm sure I would have but it was nice to see that he noticed that I was gaining muscle.

"Well you have been taking me to the gym you idiot." I say pulling on the first thing I find. A pair of sweat pants. I hop into them and glare up at Cody. "There, dressed; happy now?"

"No, go upstairs." He says pushing me out of my room.

"When did you get so bossy?" I ask him as he trails behind me.

"When you decided to sleep all day." He laughs.

"It's not even ten yet!" I cry, at least mom would let me sleep in.

"See you're late." He says. I frown and walk up the stairs.

"I really hate you right now. I just wanted you to know." I say.

"That's okay, I can take it." When we get upstairs, the smell of chocolate hits my nose.

"What's that smell?" I ask, before I can get a response from Cody, Landen spots me.

"Tristan! Merry Christmas!" Landen chimes as he walks over to me with a mug. It's steaming still as he hands it to me. "I thought you'd like some hot chocolate. It's something we do on Christmas."

"Tradition, from way back when." Cody says.

"Thanks." I mumble.

"Not awake yet?" Landen asks, I almost roll my eyes at him but I'm still too tired for dramatic effect. So I just blink up at him.

"Not really." I deadpan.

"Had to practically drag him out of his room." Cody says, I glare over at him. I was going to get that key from him somehow. What if he walked in on me changing or worse… Yeah, I needed that key.

"Now that's something I would pay to see." Leah says from over on the couch. I look over at her, snuggled up in a fleece blanket looking at her phone.

"Don't joke, you might have to someday." I say to Cody. Cody grins mischievously.

"That's a little worrisome." Landen laughs. "Okay! Let's get you to the tree."

"Present time!" Cody sings again. I glare over at him.

"Don't do that again." Leah scoffs.

"You're just sour because you already opened all your presents."

"No, you're just too loud. It's not that late in the day to be that loud."

"Okay, guys. Enough." Landen says. I'm sat on the floor by the couch. Claire runs into the room and runs over to me.

"Ig Utter!" I smile, Leah grumbled in her seat. I almost laugh because it was her fault that Claire called me 'Big Butter' anyways.

"You want to help me open the boxes?" I ask.

"Sure." She says. Landen hands me a box, and I let Claire help me rip off the wrapping paper. She was delicate as she ripped it, saying that the paper was stick'n.' It was the cutest thing, reminded me of Bree… I close my eyes and try not to think of her, especially not today. I didn't want to be upset today. "Look Utter! It's you gift. See?" She grins as she tries to show me the inside of the box.

"Awesome!" I cheer, more for her than the gift itself. It's a new coat, which I liked it. Was nice and soft, it reminded me of those fancy coats that I've always seen on guys and wanted to get. It gave them that business serious look I always wanted. I pulled it out and looked it over.

"Do you like it?" Landen asks. "It took me a while to find one in your size."

"Yes, thank you. It's really nice." I say. The next ten minutes or so went on like that. Mostly Landen got me some clothes, a new dress shirt and pants for church and for anything business. Some new jeans an a few short sleeved shirts. He bought me a new comforter set, he didn't say why but I figured it was because of Trey throwing the one that's on my bed on the ground when he unloaded his car before I moved here. He also gave me two hundred dollars too, I was excited about that.

"I'm sorry if I didn't get you anything fun, I really didn't know what to get you."

"It's okay, I didn't really want anything specific. I appreciate everything, it's all great." I say, looking at all the nice stuff around me. Mom and Trey never got me this much in the last few years. Their focus was all on Bree, which was fine. I wasn't that hard to please. It just felt odd that Landen spent so much on me, and I've only been his son officially for a little over five months.

"I'm glad." He smiles.

"Okay, stop with the mushy love crap. It's disgusting." Leah grumbles, we all look at her. I wish I could get Leah to stop acting like this, it's been going on too long. I didn't understand how our friendship before all this came up was so easily forgotten for this hatred. I didn't know how to fix it. Only way I could think of is if I disappeared…

"Leah. Buzz off." Cody snaps. At least Brenda and her family weren't here. Brenda would be defending what Leah said. Brenda's parents would verbally attack Brenda. It would've been a huge mess. I couldn't handle all of that. Brenda's mom was just too much to handle, her dad wasn't as bad I guess. We haven't heard from Richard since he tried to rape me. From what I heard from Landen he was moving across the country. I was fine with that, I didn't want to see him again. Cody and I haven't talked about him since Cody told me everything Richard did.

"Fine, y'all were getting on my nerves anyways." She says as she stumbles off the couch and stomps to her room.

"I'll deal with her later. Give her time to cool off." Landen says.

"Dad, she should be getting better now. She's not changed her stance on it. It's been almost a half of a year now." Cody says.

"I know, I'm going to talk to her." He promised.

"Anyways, thanks for the gifts. Dad." I say, looking away. I still felt weird calling him that in front of Cody. I wouldn't dare do it in front of Leah, it'd piss her off and I wasn't ready for a repeat attack from her.

"You're welcome, I hope you liked everything." He says. He picks up all the wrapping paper off the floor and throws it in the trash bag full of wrapping paper.

"I did. I really did."

"I'm glad." He pulled me into a hug, Cody grabs Claire muttering something about a diaper change and the two go down the hall to her room. "I know it's not been easy adjusting to everything. I hope you're happy here with us."

"I am, I promise." I say, and I was.


I'm in my room after washing my new comforter fixing up my bed. It really was nice, I couldn't wait to sleep with it tonight. But I did have a slight problem, I honestly wasn't sure what I was supposed to do now. It was only now one and I had opened my gifts and everything. Cody was upstairs with Claire and Leah was in her room sulking. Landen had left to go get some finishing details for tonight's dinner, what store was open on Christmas was beyond me.

That was all I had to look forward to really, just dinner. That would be over before too long. I sigh as I finally get the bed fixed and lay down on it. Gosh this was soft. I loved the colors too, blue and green mixed together. I loved it.

"It must be nice, you're spread out on it like a cat." Cody says, causing me to jump.

"You scared me." I say as I sit up on the bed. That's when I notice Cody was holding something behind his back. "What's that?"

"Hold on," he says. He goes to my door and shuts and locks it, my heart starts to race in my chest. What was he doing? He sits down on the bed and sits a wrapped gift on my bed between us. "I got this for you, I didn't want Leah to see it. I only gave her a twenty-dollar gift card to some soap and lotion place. This was fucking ten times that maybe a little more."

"Cody," I say looking at the box in front of me. "You shouldn't have done that."

"I wanted to." He says. "Open it." He says. I unwrap it quickly, I look back up at him when I pull all the paper off.

"No." I say.


"Oh my god!" I squeal. "How'd you know I always wanted a drawing tablet?!"

"Well I didn't, I just kind of guess. I'm glad I was right."

"Oh my god! Thank you thank you!" I say practically jumping on him, giving him a hug.

"I'm just glad I didn't waste my money on something you didn't want."

"Seriously thank you!" I say. I let go of his neck and pull away. Our faces are maybe ten inches away from one another. Well, fuck Tristan. You had to go and make this awkward. The smile slowly fades from his face, replaced with something else. I'm not sure what it was, something that was drawing me nearer. Something I wanted, something…

"Tristan!" I pull away fast my heart racing in my chest. Just like last time, the spell of whatever Cody had on me dissipated once someone was at the door. What?... What the, what was I fixing to do? What was wrong with me. I could have just ruined everything. I squeeze my eyes shut and hold the bridge of my nose. Oh man, I needed to get out of here or something.

"Yeah?" Cody calls, his voice deep. The chills it sends up my body I won't even try to explain.

"Cody you're in there too? Okay anyway, could you come upstairs for a minute, before I start dinner I got a surprise." Cody's eyes flash knowingly.

"Okay, we're coming." Cody gets up and walks out the room walking stiffly out, my chest starts to tighten. I went and made him uncomfortable. God I was an idiot, how was I going to explain this?

All my emotions seemed like they were going to break free when I reached the top of the stairs. I turned around to face the door-


"Bree?" Oh god it was Bree? I almost cry out, I cover my mouth. "I-" I close my mouth, Bree races over and pulls me into a hug. I quickly wrap my arms around her. "Bree." I say again.

"Yeah it's me."


"I went and got her," Landen says. "Cody mentioned that you would probably miss seeing Bree this Christmas, so after he came up with the idea. I thought I'd ask if she could come down here." I look over at Cody, he was such a mystery to me. I didn't understand why he did everything he's done for me. The tablet, the gym, the clothes, Bree. I was on the brink of tears.

"Cody I- thank you." I choke out.

"It's no problem, I just wanted you to have a good Christmas." He smiles.

"I am, really. It's been the best." I say. I look down at Bree who has pulled herself away from me and was snacking on a pretzel stick.

"I'm shocked Trey…" I start.

"He's been gone for a few weeks Tristan." Bree says.

"Oh…" That was news to me. Landen hadn't said anything about it. I wonder why he didn't, he had contact with mom. I didn't understand.

"There has been a lot going on Tristan, I'll have to catch you up." She says. "But not right now, let me see your room."

"Sure," I say.


"So much is different at home now," Bree said. We were in my room laying across my bed now, I was fiddling with my new art tablet. Bree was going through my drawing books. The Cody pages were taken out and hid in my closet in one of the big boxes on the top shelf. I didn't want to try to explain that again. Not with how things ended up for Jason and I. If Cody found them I would just drowned myself.

"I'm sure it is." I say. "I mean, I'm not there. I know I was your whole world."

"Oh yeah." She laughs, and flips to the next page. "Ooh this one is nice, I like the toothy grin she has." She says, showing me my work.

"Thanks that one was pretty hard to do."

"I can't tell, looks amazing." She says. "So have you thought about what you're doing after you graduate? Art school maybe?" I scowl at the bed.

"Ugh, I was hoping to avoid that question this Christmas."

"Sorry, I was just curious. I didn't know if you planned on staying here or not." She says, I didn't want to tell her I hadn't really thought much about it. I've been so consumed with all the drama in my life to really care about college or getting a job. The only thing that I was sure of was I wanted out.

"I don't plan on staying longer than I have to." I say. Truthfully, I hadn't thought of what came after this but freedom.

"Oh, I thought you liked it here. You seem to be happier than when you lived at home with us."

"I don't know, I…" Cody flashes through my mind. His smile, his eagerness to be around me, how I felt around him. I squish it all back down inside, I didn't want to think about that. I couldn't. "I just want to get out on my own, be my own person."

"Maybe I can come stay on weekends if you do." She offers causing me to smile.

"Yeah, that'd be great."

"Just don't let it get messy like your room usually is." She says, gesturing to my room.

"Hey, when I get my own place I'll care more." I grumble, I've said that for years though. I don't think anyone believes me.

"I doubt it."

"You're uninvited." I say, Bree mocks offence and scoffs.

"Pfft, like I'd wanna stay in your pizza infestation of a house."

"My room is not that bad." I protest, feeling only slightly insulted. I mean there was some clothes on the ground and some papers that I needed to reorganize, and let's not forget the presents I just got… But all of it was manageable and I was going to take care of it, not today but eventually.

"I mean, I guess not. Compared to how it was at home."

"Yeah, not too bad."

"Your wife is not going to want a messy house so you better stop eventually." I almost laugh but stop. If she only knew, I was gay. It wasn't like I wanted to keep it from her, but how do you tell something like that? Why couldn't I just keep it to myself? Why couldn't I just be Tristan, just a Tristan that prefers the company of other guys? Bree didn't realize that my life changed so much more than just moving out. I wasn't the same person that left that house broken.

I had to tell Bree and the rest of the family at some point, well just the ones that I like. If the other ones hate me afterwards I'd just cut them out, that's what I had to do. But I'm getting ahead of myself right now, I'm just a senior in high school. I didn't have to come out for a while…

"Ehh, I don't want to think about marriage." I say. "It just doesn't sound right."

"Yeah I know what you mean," She says with a laugh. "I can't even comprehend how old I am sometimes."

"You're not old," I laugh. "I'm the old one."

"Seventeen isn't that old. It's relic status."

"Oh gee, thanks." I look over at her, and sigh. "I'm glad Landen got you." I say, hugging a pillow to my chest. Bree smiles and looks away.

"It was all Cody's idea, but yeah; me too." Just the idea that Cody was behind Bree being here stunned me. I wasn't even planning on enjoying Christmas this year. I had set myself to be depressed all day.

"So you talked to Cody about it?" I ask.

"Well, yeah. He was the one who asked mom and then me about it. Landen just picked me up. Not that I don't want to give Landen any credit."

"I can't believe he did all that." I say still astounded.

"I know, it's funny. You used to not like him, now it seems different."

"What do you mean?"

"I can tell you guys are closer. I saw it at Grandpa's funeral. When we had the test done at the hospital, I remember how you guys could hardly stand next to each other without saying something mean."

"Cody can have that effect on people, it hasn't changed that much really. He still does that." She rolled her eyes, she didn't understand the relationship with Cody. One day he was mad at me and wouldn't talk to me, the next we were fine...

"But it's different. I don't know how to explain it." She says. I didn't know how to respond to her. It's quiet between us, not like how it used to be. We used to talk for hours and could talk about everything. I hated all the changes that Landen and Mom's secret brought on me. I was living a different life, I hardly recognized it anymore. I never thought it would change my relationship with Bree, but it had. My chest aches.

"How's mom doing?" I ask, trying to bring something to get the words flowing again. Her eyes flick back to mine, and then drop to the book in her hand.

"She's…. Okay. I guess, all things considering." I nod, mom wouldn't talk to me at the funeral even though I tried. My emotions were already high that day, but she didn't seem to acknowledge them.

"Yeah, it's been a crazy ride." I say.

"She told me to tell you she 'love you' and 'Hope you have a Merry Christmas.'" She could've at least texted me. Or called and left a message. She could have written a note, but she had Bree tell me. My stomach turns sour. Something about it didn't sit right with me. She was acting as if I didn't exist. Like I wasn't important anymore.

"Oh, well tell her I said the same." I manage to say, hoping it comes out more sincere than I felt.

"I will." She says. "I'm sorry mom won't talk to you, she says its better this way." The hurt feelings in my stomach spreads up my chest, constricting me. My chest feels heavy, I can hardly breathe. I struggle to keep it under control. I didn't want to cry in front of Bree. I didn't want her to see how it was hurting me.

"It's hard… I…" I do my best to suppress the tears that threaten to come out. "I do my best not to think of her, it makes it easier to… to deal with this." She eyes me then looks back at my drawing of Claire.

"I know, I don't get why she's acting this way." She says disapproving.

"Is Trey…? Was he that bad?" I ask after a moment. She doesn't glance up keeping her face glued to the page. Her face much more a mask than mine is or has ever been.

"Yes." She says.

"I'm sorry, I wish I could've been there." I mutter.

"It's not your fault Tristan."

"I know, it just sucks." She doesn't reply, there was nothing left to be said about it. It was what it was, for now I wasn't in control of my life and neither was she. But one day we would be. We'd be free of our parents and their sins. At least I hoped.

"You should draw me sometime, I'd love to see how good I'd look on paper." Bree says finally. Her voice no longer sounding dead buzzes in my ears.

"Amazing, I'm sure." I say.

"No doubt."


A/n: Oh my dorks, it's been a long while. I'll try to keep myself composed and not cry like a child...

I'm not going to lie and say that the last few months have been easy for me, I've had a lot going on. With my car accident that left me with a broken hand and no car and losing my job for a while and the wreck leaving my sister in worse shape, it's been a trial. I started back to work and have just tried to keep myself occupied and busy. It's been hard for me to write, I haven't wanted to write. I would always have an excuse, 'wait until my hand is better' 'wait until I got a new computer that didn't have a partially broken screen.' 'wait until tomorrow' 'wait, wait, wait.' Even though I do now have a new computer and my hand is now back in use, I just didn't want to write. Something has changed in me, it's been hard to even continue looking at Twisted, and I hate it because Tristan's story is a part of me now, and has been for the last six years. I feel like a different person from when I started this adventure. Which I know I am but still, good lord I sound like I'm writing an autobiography or something... Forgive me, it's just I like to keep you guys informed. Mostly because it's a way for me to vent some of my frustrations and sometimes you guys send me love that helps me dearly.

I had not wanted to post this chapter, because as I said in the previous chapter before this I had wanted to wait until I was finished with two chapters before I posted one, this chapter has been finished for over three months now. Usually I post the chapter within a few days of it being finished after I let a few people I'm close to read it for errors and judgements. But I decided that since you all have waited so long I thought I would go ahead and post it, so as usual this make me a liar. Oh well, I'm riding the bus to hell I guess...

Anyways back to Twisted, I had to look it over to remember all of the details that I put into this chapter and I have to say that this chapter does have more heat and tension that the previous chapters do. I see something in the near future for our dear boys. How close or far it is I can not say. What do you guys think of the relationship between Cody and Tristan? What do you think is going to happen next with them? We're you surprised by Bree showing up this chapter? I thought that would be a cute thing to add, if I remember right when I wrote it; it sort of just hit me randomly and I was like "FXXk yes we are putting that in there baby!" as I cackled to myself about the ingenious. I'm a weird individual, don't judge me. What about Cody and Tristan's close moment in his room? The one in Cody's and the one in Tristan's. Good stuff.


Darth Morpheus: Sorry for the long delay, I hope you liked the chapter, hope to hear from you.

Mavinclark: I'm glad you couldn't tell I was struggling, I think that means I'm doing my job right. I hope you liked the chapter.

vannahthelost: I'm glad you came from wattpad to read my story! I'm glad you like it enough to do that. I hope this chapter is to your liking.

Nagi: I thank you so much for the support while I was going through the after effects of my car wreck. It means a lot to me I wanted you to know that. Anyways what did you think of the chapter? I hope its to your liking. Hope to hear from you soon.


Okay like I said earlier I've been struggling to write the next chapter. I've got it in pieces but I'm not sure how I feel about some of it. I may end up scrapping some of it and trying to make another go of it. So what can we look forward to in the next chapter? Well Cody is there. Dion too. New Years. Tension. Twisted. Lol anyways. Please don't forget to review. I love knowing what you liked and didn't like about the chapter, which I know you all did. Don't lie to me. I can tell when you're lying.

Random question: what do you think about kissing someone you just met? Inquiring minds would like to know. ; P

Okay I'm losing track. Review review review! I love them. Also dont forget to favorite and follow me to see when new chapters are posted. I mean if you like the story it only makes sense right? I hope to post the next one bdonfore Thanksgiving. So anyways hope everyone has a great Halloween. Don't eat too much candy and I'll hopefully see you soon in the next chapter!

Until next time.