"Shit! Where's Dom?" Brooke asked Kenna as she looked around for her friend, not seeing him amongst the crowd of people filing out of the front door.

"Uhhh I can take a wild guess." Kenna pointed outside to where all the commotion was coming from.

"Dammit, Dom." Brooke muttered under her breath. "Not this shit again."

"Wanna go check on your lover boy?" Kenna sang, teasing her.

Brooke rolled her eyes. "You've clearly had too much to drink. And he's not my –"

"What's going on?" Mark asked, cutting her off as he approached them. "Why's everybody going outside?" He furrowed his brows, looking around them as more people began heading towards the door.

"Oh you know, just the usual." Kenna shrugged before chugging what was left in her cup.

"You don't have to say it like that." Brooke rolled her eyes.

Kenna cocked a brow and threw her hands up in defense. "I'm just saying."

"Let's just go check it out." Brooke sighed.

The three of them maneuvered their way through the crowd and made it out onto the yard where people circled around Dom and his opponent; Samson.

"I'll fucking kill you, Carter!" Samson slurred, obviously drunk.

"Come at me, Samson. I've been waiting for this shit all year." Dominic huffed, balling up his fists.

"Really? Is he fighting again? What the hell is his problem?" Mark shook his head judgmentally.

"He doesn't have a problem." Brooke said defensively.

Mark raised his brow and pursed his mouth as if to say, you sure about that?

Brooke looked on as Dominic and Samson circled each other, sizing each other up before an attack.

"Somebody should teach you a fucking lesson. You ever heard of keeping your hands off of another man's girl?" Samson spat.

Dominic laughed. "Is that why you're mad?"

"You think that's funny!"

Brooke's heart stopped as Samson charged towards Dominic, but he used Samson's momentum against him and kneed him in the face. Samson grunted and put a hand to his nose where he leaked blood.

"Son of a bitch." Samson said.

"Okay Dom, that's enough!" Brooke called out. She hated seeing that type of violence. And although it was only one hit, Samson's face had enough blood on it to look like he'd been hit multiple times.

Dominic was distracted by her long enough for Samson to charge into him, only stopping when his back hit a car with a loud thud.

Dominic had height over Samson, and definitely had tons of experience with defending himself. But Samson was built and charged Dominic like a bull, as he should have being that he was a running back on their school's football team.

Brooke gasped as Dominic doubled over and Samson landed a punch to his jaw.

"Ouch." Kenna winced. "That had to hurt."

Samson didn't let up as he landed another punch on the other side of his jaw. "This will teach you—" he punched him in the stomach. "—about fuckin' my girl."

"That's enough you guys!" Brooke's feet started to move on their own accord.

"Brooke, don't. You could get hurt." Mark grabbed her arm to hold her back. But all she saw was her friend in pain. She yanked her arm away and continued toward the two of them. She heard the bystanders muttering as she walked by.

"….what is she doing?"

"….Dom's girlfriend to the rescue as usual."

"….she's gonna get hurt."

"Brooke, stay back." Dominic coughed and spit out blood.

"Maybe I should fuck your little girlfriend, huh? See how you like it." Samson turned towards Brooke with a wicked smile. "What do you say, baby?"

"Hey!" She heard Mark call. "Lay off Samson." His voice boomed. But Dominic had already reacted.

"Don't fucking touch her." He growled before landing a right hook to the side of Samson's face, causing him to lose his footing and fall to the ground. He got on top of him and started landing punches on his face until all that covered it was his own blood.

"Shit, Dom. That's enough! You're gonna kill him." Brooke grabbed his arm and did her best to pull him up to his feet. But Dominic was six feet tall and weighed a ton compared to her small frame. "Let's just go." She pleaded.

He stood and spit on the ground beside Samson. "Yeah, we're done here." He put his arm around Brooke's shoulder and began to walk away with her.

"Yeah." Samson groaned as he pushed himself up to his feet. "Listen to your girl."

"Shut your fucking mouth Samson or do you want more?"

"I could go all night."

"That's what your girl said." Dominic called over his shoulder.

"Fucking asshole."

"Alright, that's enough." Troy said as he gave Samson a little shove. "Go walk it off. Besides, you know Karlie is for everybody." He shrugged. Troy was a linebacker on the football team and Brooke liked him well enough. He seemed more level headed than a lot of guys his age.

And Brooke had to agree. She didn't know Karlie personally, but word traveled fast at their school. And she'd learned that Karlie wasn't the type to stick to just one guy at a time and Samson learned that the hard way.

"Jesus. Look at your face." Brooke frowned.

"I've looked worse." Dominic laughed and then winced, clutching his side.

"Don't you get tired of this?" Brooke rolled her eyes.

"Never." He smiled.

"We can't take you anywhere, can we?" Kenna said as they approached them.

"I guess not." Dominic shrugged. "I can stand just fine you know." He said to Brooke. She realized then that she still had her arm wrapped around his waist.

"Right." She blushed and dropped her arm before moving to stand beside Mark.

"Are you okay?" He asked Brooke.

"Yeah, I'm fine." She said, not understanding why he looked so worried.

"That was really stupid, Brooke." Mark said.

"But—"

"Mark's right." Dominic spoke up. "You shouldn't have jumped in. You could've gotten hurt."

"But I didn't." Brooke shrugged. "What did you want me to do? Watch you get your ass kicked?"

"I was holding my own."

"Here's a thought," Kenna interjected. "Maybe if you didn't get into fights every time we went out then Brooke wouldn't feel the need to jump in and save your ass."

"You're drunk." Dominic shook his head. "And it's not my fault that I'm always being tested."

"Call it what you want. Let's just go. I'm not in the party mood anymore." Brooke said as she watched the crowd go back into the house where the music resumed and the drinking continued, the fight between Dom and Samson clearly already forgotten.

"What? We're leaving already?" Kenna pouted. "Thanks a lot, Dom." She gave him a shove which barely moved him. "So which one of you is giving me a ride home then?"

"Mark, could you—"

"No problem." He said, already knowing what she was about to ask. "Let me know when you get home."

"I will." Brooke gave him a smile and he pulled her into his arms, kissing the top of her head before lifting her chin to plant a kiss on her lips.

Mark was Brooke's boyfriend. They had been together for the past year and even planned on going to the same college together in the fall. He was sweet, smart, athletic, and funny. Not to mention, he was absolutely gorgeous with his shoulder length blonde hair, hazel eyes, and a body only a teenage football player could have. All in all, he was the perfect boyfriend. And yet, she didn't love him like she tried to convince herself she did. No, her heart fluttered for somebody else, and that somebody just so happened to speak up in that moment.

"Alright lovebirds. You're gonna make Kenna sick." Dominic said.

"Shut up." Brooke nudged him while Mark laughed.

"You ready Kenna?"

"I guess." She pouted.

"I'll see you tomorrow." Mark said to Brooke before they parted ways.

It went without saying that the four of them had settled into this unusual pairing off when they went out together. On the outside looking in, one would wonder why Brooke didn't go with Mark. But she and Dominic had lived in the same neighborhood for years, and it only made sense that she go with him. At least, that's what she told herself.

Mark was the type of boyfriend that every girl asked for. So why had Brooke felt such a draw to Dominic instead? It was something that she was constantly at war with herself about.

After all, she didn't want to be the type of girl to string anyone along. And part of her felt as if that was exactly what she was doing with Mark. But she'd known that a relationship with Dominic wasn't going to happen. It was true that the two of them had been best friends since grade school. She kept him level headed when she could, and he kept her safe. They were complete opposites in every way but they worked so well together. Dominic had a way of allowing her to relax and have fun every once in a while, and she was able to keep him out of trouble most of the time. They'd known things about each other that nobody else ever knew or ever would know.

Aside from the fact that she was already involved with someone else, there was a multitude of reasons as to why she and Dom couldn't be together. For one, she was sure he had no idea of her true feelings and she was even more sure that he didn't feel the same way. But being his friend was becoming harder and harder by the day. He broke her heart a little more each time he decided to entertain the slew of thirsty girls at their school. She was sure that more than half of them had the pleasure of rolling around in the sheets with him.

She often imagined what it would be like to have his arms around her, holding her tight as she ran her hands through his hair. Dominic was definitely quite the looker and from what Brooke would hear at school, he was quite the lover too. He had short dirty blonde hair and vibrant blue eyes that reminded Brooke of the ocean. His beard had grown in nicely and added an edge to his already bad boy look. He towered over her at his six feet and three inches of height. And his voice was baritone deep and always gave her chills. He was so oblivious to the effect he had on her and Brooke thanked God for that. She didn't know what she'd do if the truth ever came out about the way she felt.

Later that night back at Dominic's house, Brooke pulled a bag of frozen peas from the freezer and placed it on Dominic's jaw.

"Son of a bitch." He gritted his teeth.

"Don't be such a baby." Brooke admonished. "Hold that there."

She looked over his face for any other scrapes, scratches or bruises; something she'd gotten into the habit of doing.

"You're such a worry wart you know that?" He chuckled before wincing in pain as she pressed the bag harder against his jaw.

"Well one of us has to be." She sighed. "Seriously Dom, either consider a career as an MMA fighter or just quit this shit altogether. I'm going to start charging to patch you up." She teased.

"But you're my favorite nurse." He smiled. "Besides, you know Samson had it coming."

"That may be true. But you did fool around with Karlie."

Dominic scoffed. "It was nothing."

"It's always nothing." Brooke said angrily.

Dominic frowned and grabbed her hand, distracting her from evaluating his face.

"Hey, what's wrong?" He asked softly.

"Nothing." She lied.

"You've always been a terrible liar."

She met his eyes and sighed. "It's just that I worry about you."

"Worry wart." He shrugged. "You know I'm okay. I'm always okay."

"Well, what if one day you aren't okay?" She pulled her hand away and stood up straight, crossing her arms over her chest. "We're not always going to be this young you know. And you could get seriously hurt one day or worse. I don't want you to get into a fight one day thinking that it's just going to be your regular scuffle and it turns out to be more. People die Dom."

"Okay, Okay." He stood, putting the bag of peas down on the counter. "I'm sorry." He embraced her and she laid her head against his chest, finding her peace.

"Sometimes I forget I have somebody that cares that much about me." He sighed into her hair.

Brooke wrapped her arms around him. She knew where he was coming from with that statement. Dominic's mother had passed away after giving birth to him, and his father was around but not in any way that really counted. As far as she knew, he didn't have much family and took care of himself for the most part. Compared to her life, his seemed to be the hardest and not a day went by where she didn't feel sorry for him.

"Well stop forgetting." She hugged him tighter. "Or I'll have to start kicking your ass myself."

"That's funny." He laughed as he dropped his arms, much to her disappointment.

"What's funny?" She narrowed her eyes at him.

"You thinking you could kick my ass."

"You don't think I can?" She asked challengingly. "I don't remember you using all this big talk when we were kids."

Dominic scoffed and shook his head. "That doesn't count."

"How not?" Brooke laughed as she recalled the memories of when she and Dom would play wrestle as kids. Back then, she'd had the upper hand and always used it to put him in difficult positions to make him tap out. They hadn't played like that in years.

"I hadn't matured yet." He shrugged. "I can take you any time, any place." He grinned mischievously.

"Is that so?" Brooke raised a brow.

"Matter of fact, I can show you better than I can tell you."

"What are you talking about—ahhh!" She squealed as Dominic scooped her up with each, throwing her over his shoulder.

"Put me down!" She giggled and squirmed.

"Come on Brooke. Kick my ass like you used to." He challenged as he gave her a playful smack on the ass.

She gasped and silently wished he'd do it again. She and Mark never played around like this and even if they had, she was sure it wouldn't be the same as it was with Dominic. He was rough with her because he knew she could handle it. But Mark was more gentle and protective. He treated her as if she was easy to break but Dominic knew otherwise.

Brooke was able to lift herself up enough to slide down the front of Dominic's chest, coming face to face with him as he legs wrapped around his waist. The intimacy of the situation wasn't lost on her.

"Where's the fight?" He smiled as he grabbed one of her hands and held it behind her back, forcing her to use her other arm to wrap around his neck.

"You're not playing very fair." She said.

"Have I ever?" He grinned before plopping them down on the couch in the living room where he hovered over her.

"No." She grunted as she squirmed under his weight. He was nestled in between her legs and still held one of her hands behind her back.

"Brooke."

"What?"

"You've moving around a lot against my….you know." He cleared his throat.

"Huh?" She asked, clueless as to what he was hinting at until she felt a slight bulge against the inside of her thigh. "Oh!" She blushed.

"It's okay." He laughed. "Dicks have a mind of their own sometimes." He shrugged. "You know how it is, right?" He sat up and ran a hand through his hair.

"Yeah, sure." She lied as she sat up, trying to compose herself.

Brooke really didn't have much experience in the field of sex and the like. She'd still been a virgin after all. And while she knew that Mark wanted to do more than just make out, she just wasn't ready to go that far yet. Sometimes she wondered if he got his pleasures elsewhere. It wasn't too often that a guy remained faithful for a whole year without sex, and she had to be the only girl her age that didn't put out. What was wrong with her?

"I'm gonna go take a cold shower." Dominic said as he stretched and stood, pulling his shirt up over his head.

Brooke's cheeks flushed a bright red as she watched him walk away and turn the corner. Would he ever cease to make her yearn for him?

She ran her hand through her hair with a sigh and got up to go back to the kitchen for a bottle of water. Dominic's phone buzzed as she walked by. She could tell it was a text message from the vibration.

It buzzed again.

And again.

And one more time in less than a minute.

"What the hell." She muttered. Curiosity got the best of her so she checked the screen.

Her face paled and she forgot how to breathe for a second as she read the messages from an unsaved number.

We need to talk.

Hellooooooooo

I think I'm pregnant you asshole

"What the fuck?"