Chapter 4

Lindsay was lost in her own little world as her friends blabbered on about the new guy-Hugo. All she'd heard were shallow, idiotic comments about him. What she couldn't interpret was how Naomi was the guy's sister.

Even though Naomi was a junior and she a senior, they'd clicked immediately when they met. Lindsay's table of friends was of all ages, they were all bubbly and easy-going in personality. They were all very easy to get to know, but when it came to guys, they totally lost their heads.

Taking for example, Hugo-everybody had been bugging Naomi to tell them about his likes, dislikes and women in his past. She guffawed at the monstrosity of all their ridiculous ideas. To think about it, they'd never actually been this mesmerized by a guy before.

Sure, they'd been the extra cutie, or the guy with bulging muscles that was really hunky, but that was all. Hugo somehow drew their attention differently. She didn't even know what they saw in him. Couldn't they see he was a rich, snobby, stuck-up scum? He was self-conceited, and an obvious player that would deposit their hearts after he'd squeezed all the juice out of it. There was only one word for him: Loser!

"Lindsay!" Naomi's sharp voice brought her back to reality.

"Y-yeah" She brought her thoughts back from the clouds.

"Thinking about my brother?" Naomi whispered next to her ear.

"WHAT? Of course NOT!" In truth, Lindsay didn't even know why she was so upset. Just hearing his name made an unexpected bubble of anger form in the pit of her stomach. Maybe it was just her bad experience with guys. She felt betrayed by them…it left a scar that you couldn't see and couldn't touch.

She promised herself and other innocent girls like her that she'd do a good thing in life and teach them a lesson-not to meddle around with girls. Just seeing his face with that ever so annoying smile plastered on it made Lindsay sick.

Naomi had told her countless times that Hugo wasn't as bad as his reputation and actions portrayed him as. She also said he was willing to change for a special somebody. Lindsay really didn't care, what did it matter if he changed into the perfect man on earth? It had nothing to do with her, and never would.

Lindsay was a simple minded girl. She had few troubles in life, and because of that, she was loved by all. Of course, her charming looks had a large percentage in her popularity as well. She had recently been having nightmares about Andrew, waking up with her whole head covered in sweat.

She was ready to take action. She needed a plan to make the girls see the true Hugo-a player ready to tear their hearts out. But first, she realized it was a better plan to make Hugo see for himself how painful it is to be dumped after you think you've found 'love'.

She could only think of one appropriate action-she had to date him and then dump him. But what if the plan backfired? Getting with her was the one thing he wanted, the one thing he couldn't have…and what happened when he got it? His gloating might go further-he wouldn't care if he lost her after a day, he had already gotten her.

She couldn't make up her mind, and she didn't know who else to consult. All her friends were already under Hugo's spell…Naomi was his sister and even though she didn't like his ways, she was persuading her that her brother wasn't a bad guy.

There was only one person left…her brother. Stephan was mature, wise and thoughtful, plus, he was always there when Lindsay needed him. But there was a downer; her brother was quite inexperienced in the matter of relationships. Oh well, he was her last option, but her best at the time. Desperate times call for desperate actions.

It had always been a wish of hers to help her brother get together with a caring, young woman. She was quite worried about him. Stephan had always been...individual, he had but a few friends and none of them were close. He liked to be alone, and he didn't have much contact with anybody.

Lindsay had always been concerned for her older brother, at this rate; he was going to hurt himself emotionally. But he had her; Lindsay knew he could always rely on her for company and love. He had always been there in her times of pain and sorrow…he really was a good brother; a good protector.

Without him, Lindsay didn't know how she could've survived the pain when her father became alcoholic, not caring about them…or when her friend backstabbed her, or the time when she was kidnapped and nearly sold into prostitution.

Sure, she had her friends, and she was popular, but nobody would compare to her brother. She loved him with all her heart…words couldn't explain their connection, the unbreakable bond between them.

But in truth, Lindsay didn't understand why her brother was unsociable…when she was with him; he showed no sign of depression or problems. He was always smiling the comforting, warm smile and his eyes twinkling with warmth and love. Perhaps, it was with the two women he had dated. He never talked about what happened, and after the break-ups, Lindsay knew that he'd been especially upset, but she didn't mention anything, thinking that it was normal.

Her brother was a mystery, a puzzle that nobody could crack. She never knew what was going in his mind, what he was planning. It wasn't as if he was ugly…no, Stephan Winston was one handsome man. He possessed all the perfect features that Lindsay had, only changed into a masculine form.

Since he rarely socialized, after work he would go to the gym, so he was very fit…and all his features were chiseled into perfect form. Lindsay knew that he'd captured a lot of the girls' attention. What she didn't understand was why he was scared to meet feelings. She was pretty sure he was frightened about something to do with relationships…and she wanted to find out what happened in the past that made him so withdrawn.

Oh, but first there was the problem with Hugo. She was still undecided on what to do with him. On one hand, if she dated him, his already over grown head might explode from his overlarge ego…which would be a good thing of course. On the other, if she didn't do anything, she was sure he would tear through the girls in the school like a tornado, leaving them like a heap of rubbish on the floor.

That day, as soon as she returned home, she stealthily crept up to her brother's room, ready to consult him on what she should do. As she creaked up the stairs, she thought she heard soft sobbing noise, but didn't put it in her mind too much. However, when she slowly jarred open the door, what she saw made her heart lurch.

Stephan wad crouched over what seemed to be a photo frame, and silent tears were making their way down his face. Lindsay had never seen a soft side come out of her brother. He always seemed so strong and unchallenged; it was hard watching him as his tears dripped onto the photo frame he was carrying ever so gently.

After getting over her initial shock, Lindsay realized that this could be the key to why her brother acted so strangely around women. The answers could all lie in the photo frame! She wanted to snatch it right off him then and there, but seeing the sorrow and grief on his face made her think twice about doing it.

She decided she would come back later and snoop around for it. Wait, first she had to see where he kept it. She waited outside his door for what seemed like an eternity, before he finally stopped staring in to space and wiped away his tears.

He also wiped the photo framed and kissed it once before placing it under a stack of papers in his bottom drawer. Lindsay smiled devilishly as she rubbed her hands together. Finally, she was going to be able to crack her brother's mystery!

Deciding to wait a few more minutes before she came and interrupted him about her problem, she yawned as she saw him go back to the high stack of papers on his desk.

'Good enough' she decided after standing outside for a couple of seconds. She walked in as if nothing had happened and tapped Stephan on the shoulder, a wide grin visible on her perfect features.

"What's up sis?" He smiled, as if nothing had happened either. There were still tear marks visible on his face, and his eyes were still a little foggy, but Lindsay brushed it off. She had more important things to do…and so she babbled everything that had happened to him, the whole story taking about fifteen minutes to complete.

All throughout, Stephan had been quiet, but a caring smile had been placed on his lips. The thoughtful smile had somehow unnerved Lindsay. Finally, she asked him what she should do.

"C'mon bro…I really want to teach this guy a lesson! I hate those stuck-up, egotistical jerks! I just want to put my arms around their necks and squeeze very hard!"

Stephan chuckled a deep and throaty laugh, which made Lindsay suddenly stop and wonder. She realized she'd never heard a real laugh from her brother for a long time. The way he laughed brought back many treasured memories she had. Memories she truly missed. She had only seen her brother stressed, angry or sad the past years. He had always put on a strong façade for her and what had she done for him? Nothing.

"Trust me Linds, you don't need to squeeze their necks…the guys will faint as soon as you put your hands around their necks!" Stephan said between chuckles.

Lindsay blushed at her brother's words. "So, what should I do?" She asked, now getting desperate, adding in hit on his arm for good measure.

"Look sis" He said, calming down a little, but his eyes still glinting "I know I don't have a right to butt into your love life as I don't have many experience…"

'Period' Lindsay added mentally.

"…but I really think you're taking the 'I hate boys' thing a little too far. You were supposed to be over that stage by fourteen! If it was up to me, I would say you're opening up your heart for the guy! I know you haven't exactly had a good history with men, but I assure you, we're good people!"

Lindsay glared at him, a mixture of emotions working their way in her body.

"You still haven't answered my question" She finally answered, still looking confusedly at him.

She couldn't really understand why her brother had said those things. She also couldn't describe the feeling deep down in her chest. She didn't feel angry, or upset. She was confused. Maybe she was taking the whole thing a little too seriously, but it was for the good of all womankind!

"I say give the guy a chance! He doesn't sound half bad"

"You mean actually spend time with him…with no scandals?" Lindsay asked, bewildered, but actually considering the idea!

"Why not? You need to learn things for yourself. Just because some people have treated you badly doesn't mean you should give up on the whole world. I'll leave you to think about it." He walked out with somewhat a regretful smile on his face, his eyes lost in the past; he nearly walked into the closed door!

Was it possible that Hugo wasn't that bad of a guy? Lindsay weight the possibilities. She'd never actually witnessed him doing anything…everything was just rumours. And with such a lovely sister that claimed he was okay…it made Lindsay's decision very difficult indeed.

She was almost about to give in…

when a sudden image of Andrew and the murderous look on his face came into her mind! NO! She couldn't bear to give any guy any chance! Everyone would end up getting hurt. For once in her life, she was truly lost. Before, she could rely on her brother to cover anything for her…even if the sky fell. But now, everything was different.

Even her brother encouraged her to give guys another chance, but how could she with all the horrors associated with them in the past? And what about Stephan himself? He didn't exactly have a successful relationship past…which reminded Lindsay! The photo!

Slowly, making sure her brother wasn't going to come in soon, she fumbled under the papers, nearly dropping the heavy stack to retrieve the photo. She turned it over to see the picture…and found herself face to face with a man!

WHAT? Her mind went into overdrive! Her body was erupted in flames! It all made sense now why Stephan didn't care for the women's attention…her brother was gay!

Oh, no…wait, wait…her heart beat slower as she realized her hand was covering the other side of the picture. She told herself to breathe as she slowly uncovered what was underneath.

What she saw even made Lindsay miss a breath or two. The woman in the photo was truly beautiful. Her beauty wasn't something words could describe. Even in the photo, the true depths of her eyes could be shown. It was mesmerizing just staring at her form. But what did she have to do with her brother?

She turned to the back of the photo, praying for some sort of indication of their relationship.

There was some small script at the bottom of the picture scrawled in ink. It seemed to be from quite long ago, as it was faded.

Stephan,

Please forgive me…

That's all it read. It took some squinting and thinking for Lindsay to figure out…but once she had read it, she was more confused than ever. She had never known that her brother's past was so complicated.

The mystery was thicker than ever. It looked like her problem with Hugo had to wait a while. She was determined to find out what her brother was hiding that pained him so much! She would crack the mystery of this woman and her brotherif it was the last thing she did!

Author's Note:

blocks all rotten vegetables thrown at me Omigosh…I confess! I couldn't be bothered to update! bonx on head I thought it was going nowhere…and I kind of randomly made up the photo…I don't even know where the idea came from! Plz plz plz forgive me for the late update! Thanx for everybody'z support…tell me what you think anywayz…k?

Thanx to all my reviewers, hope I haven't disappointed you with my chap!

Xiaobudian: I award you the most faithful reviewer award! Go Jeebus! Anywayz, thanx for all the encouragement, if it wasn't for your constant pushing…dunno if I would've been able to update! Hope you like the chappi! Thanx for everyfin!

Sexyzbratz: Thanx for your review! I was smiling all the way while reading it! I really love Hugo, so I think I'll make them go together…but then I kinda feel sorry for Trevor…so it depends. I'll definitely make a happi ending thou…or maybe…nah, just joking! Thanx for reviewing!

Koleen Tameeks: Hallo! Luv your review! Finally sum1 thinks my work is funny! And here I thought that it was all lame! I personally love the dream as well! Thanx for your review! Luv ya heapz! Hope this chap wasn't disappointing!

Laura: Yay! Anoda person hoo thinx my work is funni! Excellent, excellent! It's all good! Thanx for your review! Hope to read ur review for this chap! Luv ya heapz

Lost Inside: lol! Overdrive! Glad you're enjoying the story! Thanx for reviewing and sorri for the late update! Hope you enjoyed the chappie! Luv ya heapz!

Nikki: Can't wait for your updates! Thanx for reading da story! Glad you kinda like it Thanx for reviewing!

Ems: Yo em! Finally updated…I know you've been pestering me! Hope you like it…cya in skewl!

Hokulani: Keep wondering! It's all good! Glad the story is keeping you thinking! Thanx for reviewing and I sincerely apologize for the late update! Hope to hear from you soon

Crushed Dream: Kewl nic…but kind of sad…anywayz, I could see you were on a high in your review! Thanx for commenting though! Look forward to hearing what you have to say for the chappi! Luv ya heapz!

Crystal Dusk: Seriously Xinai, it's supposed to be imaginary! Literal stories are b-o-r-i-n-g…anywayz, thanx for your review! Good luk on your cake story and can't wait to read what you have to say for this chappi…ur commentz just crax mi up!

Garnet-earth-Princess: Thanx for all your interesting commentz! Hope I didn't disappoint you with this chappi! Look forward to reading what you have to say! Thanx heapz again Luv ya!

CoOkIe MoNsTeR: Thanx heapz for your review- I was very flattered when reading it! Really glad you think the story rocks! Thanx for your comments! Hope to hear from you soon!

lilsakura: Hiya! I feel so happi…my story could let you break from studying Hope you did well in ur examz! I know you did 'cos my story bringz good luk! Anywayz, thanx heapz for your review! Luv ya heapz!

El: Yo El! Finally updated…You don't seem to like this story very much rite? Well, anywayz, thanx for reviewing! Nia…hope you liked this chappie anihoo! Cya at skewl!

Well, there ya have it! I'd like to hear anyfin you guyz have to say! Luv you all heapz!

Purebliss90