After my date with Carrick, things slowly start to get better for me, even if it kills me that I can't be with Zac. I stay true to what he wants though. I start a relationship with Carrick and continue that relationship for a long time. Until I decide to move to France to study for a semester in art school. The day I leave for France is the day that Carrick and I break up for good.
It feels nice to be single and a part of me hopes that maybe once I get back to Tulsa that Zac will want to be with me. That even if it has to be a secret that he will want a relationship, but once my semester ends towards the end of 2009 he doesn't, so I take Carrick up on the offer he gave me when we broke up. That once I finish school in France I should come out to California where he is at.
That is where I am now, with Carrick in California and it's close to Christmas time. I would have gone home but I'm not sure if I am up to facing Zac again. I feel as if he keeps disappointing me. Turning me down and ripping my heart out.
"Hey Avery," Carrick says, his voice interrupting my thoughts. "Can you get the door for me?" he asks and I look over at him as I stand in the bathroom dripping wet. As he looks at me with his eyebrow's raised peeking over the shower curtain it is then that I hear the knock at the door.
I just nod and wrap a towel around myself, "Sure babe," I smile as I leave the bathroom once the towel is around me. Going towards the door, I reach it and just open it without even thinking, freezing when I come face to face with my brother.
Zac's eyes widen as he sees me and it's then that I realize he is the last person in my family to know I moved in with Carrick. It's not that I didn't want him to know but well I didn't want him to know and I swore everyone else to secrecy.
"Zac," I say finding my voice and moving aside so he can come in. When he comes in he just looks at me so confused and I think I also see a hint of hurt in his eyes which kills me.
Shutting the door behind him, I watch as he goes to the couch and sits down, "I..umm...wow," he says shaking his head.
I laugh some and walk over to the couch as well, not caring that I'm still in a towel, "I should have told you sooner when I moved out here that I was moving in with Carrick," I blush as I sit down beside him, adjusting the towel so nothing shows.
Zac shakes his head, "I should have known," he shrugs as he runs a hand through his hair which I'm sure he has cut again. I wish he would stop cutting his hair, I think the long hair looks best on him but I know Kate hates it.
"You probably should have," I agree as I chew on my lip wondering why he is here anyway. It's two days away from Christmas and he is in California instead of being at home with his wife and kids. "Why are you here?" I ask deciding to voice my thoughts.
Zac looks over at me and I see him sigh, before looking away from me. "I left Kate," he says as if it's the best thing to ever happen to him. "I got tired of her constant put downs and nagging and so I just left," he smiles before looking at me again. "I came here because I was hoping that Carrick would let me crash on his couch."
When he speaks, I feel shocked knowing that he has left Kate. I never expected to hear him say he left Kate, mainly because I never thought he would. "Y...you left Kate?" I ask wanting to make sure I didn't hear him wrong.
Before he answers me, Carrick walks into the room fully dressed and I see the smile that covers his face when he sees Zac. I stand from the couch, "I'll go dress and leave you two alone for awhile," I force a smile as I leave the room and head to the room I share with Carrick.
Making it to the room, I shut the door behind me and drop the towel as I go to the drawer where my clothes are. Getting them out, I get dressed in a hurry and soon fix my hair, putting it up in a half ponytail. Checking my reflection I sigh, wondering if Carrick is going to let Zac stay here. If he does it's going to make things hard for me and I'm afraid it will rip Zac's heart out having to see me with Carrick all the time.
I take one last look at myself and leave the room, stopping just before I make it to the living room, listening to Zac and Carrick talk.
"You can always stay here Zac," Carrick tells him and I'm sure I can hear the smile in his voice. He loves having Zac around. Hell I'm sure if I weren't in the picture Carrick may just be in love with my brother like I am in love with my brother.
I hear Zac sigh, "You sure Care?" he asks. "I mean I don't want to be a bother to you and Avery."
Carrick laughs, "You won't be a bother. I'll just make sure she doesn't scream so much during sex," he jokes as he laughs more. I hear Zac laugh some at that but I know his laugh is forced.
"I'll stay then. At least through New Years."
After Zac speaks again, I walk into the living room and look at both him and Carrick, "Are you staying?" I ask deciding to pretend that I didn't hear their whole conversation. It's best that way.
Zac looks up at me and nods, "I'm staying through New Years," he tells me as I sit down beside him.
I nod at his words and fake a smile. I am happy that he is staying but I'm not sure what this will do to us or what it will do to Carrick. It seems like since whatever it is Zac and I have has started, I have been walking on eggshells about something and I'm not sure how much longer I can cope, how much longer I can keep doing what Zac wants, forgetting we share something.
"I think this calls for a celebration," Carrick grins as he stands from the chair he had been sitting in. "I'm going to get some of my stash out of the bedroom," he says as he leaves the room.
When he leaves, I turn to look at Zac, "You sure about this? Staying here knowing I am with Carrick again?"
Zac looks away from me, "I can pretend I'm happy about you two. I've been pretending since this started. You two are happy together and at least you can be with him and not have to be his dirty little secret Avie baby," he whispers the last part as he leans in and kisses my cheek softly. "Just know I love you though."
I nod and frown at his words, "I love you too Zac," I whisper back as I turn my head ever so slightly so our lips are touching in a brief, chaste kiss. I pull away as soon as I hear Carrick's foot steps coming back. I put on my best fake smile and do my best to pretend, pretend that I am happy with Carrick and what Zac wants for me when I'm not. I will never be happy unless I am with Zac and I wish he could see that. I wish he knew that.
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