© JAckles

Chapter Five

Dreams Haunt My Sleep, You Haunt Me Now

How can you see into my eyes

Like open doors.

Leading you down into my core

Where I've become so numb.

Without a soul

My spirit's sleeping somewhere cold

Until you find it there and lead it back home.

*Evanescence- Bring Me To Life*

Josh's POV

I didn't know how, but I was going to find a way to make Brianna talk to me. After having an actual conversation with her, seeing her without her trademark glare, and hearing Jayden talk about how kind and brave she was, I was more desperate than ever to see the real her. I doubted that she would easily allow me to, though.

But it wasn't going to stop me. So I walked into school a week after our conversation, headed straight for her locker and cornered her. She was leaning into her locker, sorting through some papers and cleaning it up, looking annoyed about its messy state. Her golden hair was in a ponytail, I noted, the first actual style I'd ever seen it in. And even in the fluorescent light, it was heart-stoppingly beautiful. "Bree."

Her form stiffened at the sound of my voice, but she didn't turn to face me. "I told you not to call me that."

"Yeah, well, guess I'm a rule breaker." I almost winced at my corny line. I rubbed the back of my neck nervously. God, this chick was turning me into a cliché. "Pretend I didn't say that."

"Why is it so impossible for you to just leave me alone?" she bit suddenly. I frowned. This wasn't going well. She seemed to be angrier than usual, today.

"Bree, I-"

"Don't call me that."

I rolled my eyes at her, but on the inside I was cringing. She had sounded so cold and forceful. It was bizarre to have someone hate me. I wasn't the type of person people hated. In fact most girls liked me a lot. I didn't get why she was different! "Okay, Brianna. Give me one actual, good reason to stay away from you. And don't give me the Eric and Nina bullshit. You know I don't give a crap about them."

She turned and I was shocked by the bitter sadness in her eyes. "I'm not good for you. For anyone. People always end up getting hurt by me."

I shook my head, and raised my hand to touch her cheek gently. The tan skin was as smooth as it looked. "You're only hurting people by keeping them away." My heart started pounding as she leaned her cheek gently into my hand. "I think you need a friend. A real friend." I continued softly.

Her eyes hardened suddenly, closing off any emotion she had been showing. She pushed my hand away from her roughly. "I don't need shit from you, Josh Tane. Get the fuck out of my way, and stop bugging me!"

I tried to hide my rising nerves and regain my shaken confidence. "Now I thought we'd progressed past this stage of our relationship."

Brianna made an exasperated gesture. "What relationship?" she said a little hysterically. "Just because I like your brother, does not mean I like you. You're arrogant, irritating, and an overall pain in my ass. Stop annoying me!"

I cringed a little internally as she walked off after slamming her locker door shut. That was harsh. I felt my heart thudding dully in my chest. Oh my god, when did I become such a fucking pansy? I was Josh Tane. Girls didn't hurt my feelings. Ever. And that wasn't about to change with this one. I wasn't going to let her get to me. No, I'd get to her. I just needed a different tactic. It had to play on her weak points.

The only problem was that she didn't seem to have any weak points.

As I walked to class, I pondered possible methods to get to her. So what annoyed her?

People in general. Eric and Nina, especially. Me. Mr Kade. When her locker was messy. When her hair got in her eyes. People picking on kids smaller than them. The nickname 'Ice Princess'. When someone tried to sit with her at her lunch table. When someone tried to sit with her in class. When people distracted her from her books.

Okay, I have to admit, considering how many times I had actually talked to her, it was weird that I knew all of that. But it was useful, in my current situation. So which of these things could be useful?

I strode into my English class, nodding at everyone who waved or greeted me. Which was pretty much everyone, aside from a certain blonde.

Collapsing into my seat, next to Brianna, I thought carefully. I highly doubted that the way to her heart was through cleaning her locker or buying her hair pins, or even getting her a barricade to place around her lunch table. Which meant people were the way to it.

Again, the people who annoyed her: Me, Eric, Mr Kade, Nina...


Brianna's POV

Oh crap. I'm screwed.

My heart was pounding noisily in my chest, and I felt light-headed. After I had yelled at Josh, I had seen the hurt in his bright green eyes. And it was painful for me. I had no idea what was going on, but I didn't like it. It was worryingly familiar, which scared me. At this point, I was becoming more certain that he actually wanted to be close to me, not just to get in my pants. That was the worst part. He was sincere, and I had to push him away.

I shook my head as I walked into my first class, English, and tried to clear all thoughts of Josh Tane. Which didn't work very well, seeing as he was in my class. And seated next to me.

I hate my life.

I strode in the door and sat in my chair. Josh walked in a minute later, everyone turning to wave or greet him somehow. He'd been here a month, and he may as well have been king of Fairview High. Every girl flirted with him and blushed at him, and every guy worshipped him and wanted to be his best friend. It was ridiculous. I sighed as he flopped lazily into the chair beside me. I observed him subtly, surprised at the troubled expression on his face and sudden resolve that overtook it.

As I felt concern building, I began to realize what was happening to me, and I was fucking terrified. I had feelings for Josh Tane. It was ridiculous. I barely even knew him. All I really knew about him was that he was talking to me for some reason, he had a sweet kid brother, he was sociable, smart, and... occasionally funny. And that for some reason, he wanted to know me. I did have to admit, he wasn't lacking in the looks department. His bright green eyes and easy smile left me a little bit weak, making it hard to concentrate around him, and even harder to keep yelling.

And he knew absolutely nothing about me. All he really knew was that I was always hostile towards him and everyone else.

Maybe if he got to know me...

Ugh, what am I thinking? If he got to know me, the real me, he would be terrified. He would never talk to me again, never even look at me. I wouldn't blame him, either. I could barely look at myself.

Especially after the morning I'd had. On the way to school I had a... problem with my abilities.

I had decided to get up early. My dad had been encouraging me to gain control over them. Not, he said, so I could use them, but so that I could stop using them. I always lost control of them in the face of strong emotion. And I couldn't let something catch on fire every time I got pissed at Eric.

I pulled my hair up into a ponytail so that there would be no chance of any falling in my eyes and distracting me, and pulled on my jeans and a tank top.

So I sat in the small backyard of my home, and carefully started a small fire in my hand. With a great deal of concentration, I turned it into a little fireball. It became easier to control, and I started having fun twirling it, sending it away and then pulling it back, extinguishing it and restarting it. For once I was in control. For once I was having mindless fun.

I thought back to the feeling of creating the fireball. The pull I felt on my mind as I concentrated, the warmth above my fingers, how I pictured the fireball and it came into creation. I remember the small twitch of my fingers as a habit of adding a physical aspect to the use of my powers, which made it far easier and gave me a feeling like I had more control over what I was doing.

And it looked cooler, that way, too.

I could probably use my abilities without the physical movement, which would be far more subtle. At least, my Dad says I could. I was in the process of exploring that possibility this morning.

And then my dear mother strode out into the garden, pointing at the fire and whispering "The devil's work."

My mother, I can safely say, is completely insane.

I extinguished it and ran back inside, pulling her with me so that she wouldn't start screaming about how I was the devil's child in front of the neighbours.

Though that would make sense, since she probably is the devil. I would not be surprised in the least.

Immediately, she started abusing me, telling me that nobody could save me now, I was definitely on the road to hell.

Yes mother, I totally care.

Bible-bashing lunatic.

So yeah, I had had a really shitty start to my day. And coming to school and dealing with Tane was not exactly helping. Today, I really just wanted to sleep.

Unfortunately, that wasn't going to happen. I glared at my English books and pretended they were Nina, and I was setting her on fire. Ohhh that would make me feel a hell of a lot better.

I was hyper-aware of the boy sitting next to me. I registered his every movement or twitch. I hadn't done that in a long time about anyone. Everyone in my life was a dull blur of people who all melded into one, annoying, useless bundle. Apart from the particularly annoying ones that stuck out.

Well, that used to be the case. Now I was experiencing a kind of awareness and feeling towards another that I hadn't felt in two years, not since Michael.

I felt a huge pang of guilt as if I was being stabbed in the heart. I was betraying Michael's memory through Josh Tane. It was practically cheating, the way I was acting. I felt like I was cheating.

I wanted to be sick. I could feel the guilt overcoming me, I was drowning in it. It was worse because I was sitting next to him and my attraction to Josh Tane was having a battle with my guilt and love of Michael. I could feel myself starting to shake, tears coming that I had never allowed to be shed in front of anyone other than my Dad. I was about to break.

The bell chimed and I was saved. I practically bolted out the door as soon as the first chime started. I almost crashed into a horde of sophomores as I sprinted down the hall and into the bathroom, throwing open a toilet stall to empty the contents of my stomach.

As soon as I was finished I heard a high-pitched voice squeal. "Ewwww! That's like, gross! Do you have, like, bulemi-exia or something? What kind of freak barfs at school?"

Wiping my mouth on the back of my hand and turning around, I saw a Junior in a cheerleader uniform. Her brown eyes widened in shock and fear when she realised who she'd called a freak.

"Oh, I'm, like, so unbelievably sorry Brianna, I- um, I-"

"Shut up, you idiot." I snapped impatiently at her. She was a pretty Hispanic girl with huge boobs and an inclination to bully. "Stop aiming to be the next Nina, she's a whore and her position is extremely undesirable."

The brunette flushed with anger. "Nina is, like, the best cheerleader ever, she has school spirit. She doesn't answer to retards like you."

My mouth tightened with anger. "Although you're making me sick, I've done enough throwing up for one day. So I suggest you back the fuck off or I will hit you until you're kicked off the squad. I hear it's impossible to cheer when you're paralysed."

The girl paled, backing out of the bathroom and tripping over her own ridiculously high heels. As soon as she was out the door, my shoulders slumped and I let out a gush of air. I was tired and moody today. Not even clones like that girl deserved my anger.

I looked into the mirror, my eyes were sunken into my face and had dark shadows underneath them. I was looking a little pale, as well, something that the fluorescent lights did not help with. I rubbed my eyes with a tired sigh, and exited the bathroom out into the hall.

I made my way to the cafeteria, and didn't notice for a few moments that everyone was glancing to the Popular table. I followed their line of sight, my gaze landing on a sight that made me want to be sick again.

Nina had perched her skeletal body on Josh Tane's lap, practically shoving her boobs in his face. What made it worse was that Tane was leering at her and had an arm wrapped around her. I saw his eyes do a quick sweep of the room, and when they landed on me they held mine for a moment. I could have sworn I saw his jaw clench slightly. But a moment later he decided that since he clearly wasn't attracting enough attention already, he wanted more.

"I can't wait for our date tonight, babe." He said loudly, running a hand up her leg as if to illustrate his overwhelming need for her.

I felt my heart drop, but at the same time there was a crash of disappointment. He had seemed so genuine. He had practically told me how much he didn't like Nina, and yet here he was, apparently her latest boyfriend.

I gave him a look of disgust, and stomped away from the cafeteria. As I turned the corner I glanced back, to see him watching me, his eyes wide and his mouth set in a hard line.

I turned away from him and kept walking, cursing the feeling of betrayal coursing through my veins.

"Michael! Michael! Michael! Michael!" the blonde girl sang, bouncing into the room and stopping in front of him. "Miiiichaeeeeellll!" she whined, placing her hands on her hips and pouting.

Michael Cross looked up from his book with an amused expression. "Sometimes you're a lot more like a six year old than a sixteen year old, Bree." He commented.

Brianna made a face, and plonked down next to him on the bed. "Shut up." She responded childishly. "And to think, I was just about to tell you some exciting news."

This made him sit up a little straighter, dog-earing a page of his book and putting it down. He eyed her curiously. "What is it?"

"Nope. You don't get to hear it now. You were being a jerk."

Now it was Michael's turn to whine. "Breeeee! I wanna know!"

"Now who's the six year old?" she retorted, fighting a smile.

"Bree, come on!"

"You're gonna have to find a way to make it up to me before I tell you." She said decisively, a mischievous glint in her eye.

Michael allowed a slow smile to curve his gorgeous lips, his dark eyes burning with a fire that made Brianna weak. He moved one of his hands to grasp her waist and rub her up and down her side. His other hand went to the back of her neck, pulling her forward at the same time as he shifted himself towards her. His soft lips brushed over hers gently, drawing a small gasp from Brianna.

He lay her down gently against his bed, moving over her and running a gentle hand down her side, then bringing it to her thigh. He kissed her, each second the kiss becoming rougher and more dominant.

He spent quite a long time trying to build up heat in her, and she had a hard time pushing him off so that she could retain her purity. Part of her really had wanted to lose it just them. "Well. That certainly counts as making it up to me." she said breathlessly.

As Michael looked at her heated cheeks, rumpled clothes, messy hair and swollen lips, he thought his heart was going to burst with love. "So I get to hear the news?" he teased, moving his mouth to her ear and gently nipping at it.

She coughed self-consciously, her face going red. "Yeah, you earned it." She took a deep breath, attempting to contain her excitement. "I got into Varsity Cheerleading."

Michael let out a loud whoop, tackling Brianna in a hug and rolling around on his bed with her wrapped in his arms. When he finally released her he was beaming a smile full of pride. "I knew you could do it. You're good at everything, gorgeous girl."

Brianna smiled at him, her cheeks darkening again. "Michael, you're too good for me. I love you." She said with a laugh. A second later, she stiffened, a stricken expression on her face as she realised what she'd said. She blushed heavily, hiding her face in her hands.

Michael looked stunned for a second, but then his face broke into another glorious smile. He pulled her face from her his and attacked her mouth with his own again. He leaned his forehead against hers, breathing heavily. "I love you, too." He whispered against her lips.

I woke up from my dream breathing heavily, a cold sweat covering my entire body. I pushed myself to a sitting position, crossing my legs and wiping my damp face. The digital clock on my small bedside table showed it to be 3 am.

I didn't have normal dreams, I relived my memories. Or saw glimpses of the future. That particular memory had been haunting me for a while. The first time we said those three words.

I collapsed back against my pillows. Sleep was supposed to be a time to rest. For me, it was the curse of reliving my past, and everything I'd lost. Michael, my light-hearted sense of humour, my interest in the world and those around me. My life as I had known it.

I pulled one of my pillows over my face, screaming into it. I wasn't going to get much rest for the remainder of the night.

Holyyyy Shiiittttteee

I can't believe it's been over a year since I updated this. I am one lazy shit. I am SO SORRY.


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