Closer to the Edge
© Sorraya T 2013

Chapter Eight: Late Night Confrontations

"Pippy," Archer's voice was carefully controlled, pure fury. "Just what the fuck do you think you're doing?"

I'd walked in from my night out with Logan with a smile on my face, which had immediately disappeared at the presence of Archer and the Devil Spawn. While Archer was glaring at my barely-clothed self with outrage and disgust, Whitehouse's eyes were glued to me, and the only word I could use to describe the look on his face would be hunger.

"Um… I was playing chess?" I said weakly. Not one of my best excuses, but it was worth a shot.

"You were playing chess in your underwear, outside, and now you have wet hair?" he said, voice escalating a little with each point.

After a moment, I nodded. "It was strip chess." I paused. "Uh… strip chess in a pool."

"And it took all fucking night, huh?" he raged.

"It was more of a chess tournament." I elaborated seriously.

"For God's sake, Pippy, this isn't a fucking joke!" he roared, kicking the lounge chair so hard it fell over.

I sighed and shrugged, flinging my clothes onto the hall stand. I'd sort them out later; there was no point in worrying about being fully dressed now. "Arch, chill. I'm fine."

"You left last night, and we've had no fucking idea where you've been since! And we found your cell on the counter," he snarled, lifting the iPhone into the air, "with messages between you and 'Hot Logan'," his mouth twisted while saying the words, "about going somewhere."

My smile turned angelic. "Oh, my dear, dear brother. I am ever so sorry." My smile changed so it was just as dangerous as Archer's voice. "But did you just say you went through my phone?"

"Don't you dare change the subject, Pip-"

"You invaded my privacy, Arch." I interrupted furiously. "Give me my phone now." Throughout our whole exchange, Tyler hadn't spoken up once, which in itself was unusual. When I looked at him, his eyes were locked on my body, and his jaw was still dropped, but he looked kind of devastated. In my current state of mind, I didn't give a damn. "And what the fuck are you looking at, Devil Spawn? Never seen a girl before?"

Archer threw my phone onto the sofa and pulled off his shirt, throwing it at me. "Put that on, and quit being a bitch." He hissed. "Stop changing the subject, and tell me where you were last night."

I sighed, pulling the shirt roughly over my head. "I was at the water park, okay?"

"You broke into the water park?"

I shook my head with impatience. "What I don't get is how you're still surprised by this."

He dropped his head into his hands. "Man, I can't deal with this shit right now." He muttered. I was beginning to feel bad; it looked like he'd been up all night freaking out. He looked exhausted. "Look, I'll talk to you this afternoon or something. I'm gonna go try and sleep for a while."

We had both been deflated by tiredness and arguing. He walked out of the living room and we shared a brief hug to show each other we were okay for the moment, and then he left to go upstairs. After a moment, I turned back to the living room to see the Devil Spawn still standing motionless.

We'd avoided each other for three weeks, since our moment in this very room. We'd had a few too many moments in this room. As I ran my eyes over his face, I could see a very significant change. Though the bruise on the side of his head had completely faded by now, he had a legitimate black eye.

My breath caught at the sight of the purple, swollen skin, and as if I was being pulled by a magnet, I drifted towards him. I stopped at barely a centimeter of distance from him, and hesitantly lifted my and to his eye. His brown irises were locked on my face, searching me. I brushed my thumb very lightly just beneath the bruise momentarily, before his eyes shut and he grabbed my wrist, pushing me away from him.

"Stop." He said, voice low and with a note of pleading. I looked down, having to admit to myself that I was kind of hurt by his rebuff. I heard his breathing quicken, and looked up to see his eyes locked on my bare legs, only covered to just above mid-thigh by Archer's shirt. "So a night out with Logan ends with no clothes now, huh?" he said, somewhat bitterly.

I recoiled at the implication. "Unlike some people, when I go out, I don't necessarily have sex." I told him heatedly. "The reason my clothes are off is because we were in the water, Whitehouse. Some people like to have their clothes stay dry."

His eyes met mine angrily. "All you ever tell me is how much of a man-whore I am, or that I'm the Spawn of fucking Satan. Has it occurred to you there's more to me than that?"

"For a moment, yeah, but I brushed the thought aside pretty quickly." I told him cruelly.

"Do you even wonder why I get with all those girls?"

"'Cause you're a whore." I said simply.

"Like you can talk!" He retorted, "You're the one fucking 'Hot Logan'." He mimicked my voice towards the end, pretending to fan himself. "A college guy who's two years older than us!"

"I'm not a slut." I hissed. "And just so you know, we've done nothing more than kiss, and there will be nothing more. I told Logan tonight that we were just friends."

Tyler stopped short, and had the decency to look ashamed of himself. "Piper, I… I didn't mean-"

"But thanks anyway, Whitehouse." I told him, unable to prevent hurt from coloring my voice. "It's great to know what you really think of me."

I turned to retreat back to my room, but forgot that Tyler still had a hold on my wrist. He pulled me back, and grabbed me by the shoulders. "Hey, I'm sorry. And just to be a douchebag, I'm gonna implement the hug rule right now." He smiled down at me hesitantly, before wrapping his arms around me and pulling me as tightly to his chest as always.

Every time he would embrace me, I lost some of my resistance. I quickly wrapped my arms around him, this time reaching up to wrap them around his neck and bring our upper bodies closer together, the result of which had me standing on my tippy toes. "Stupid tall jerk." I grumbled.

His rumbling laugh reverberated in my chest and we pulled away, but with our arms still lightly wrapped around each other. With our spat coming to a head, I'd momentarily forgotten about his black eye. But when I was a bit further away, I again saw it clearly.

I stared into his eyes beseechingly, unnerved by the fact one of them was so badly injured, so swollen. "Who, how and why?"

He pulled away again, but this time I was the one to hold on. That is something I would never have expected of myself, as I admittedly had a tendency to avoid interpersonal relationships to a deep level. As attested by my current difficulties with Jase.

He searched my face for a moment, and when I tried to duck to avoid his gaze, his hand came up to my chin to force my eyes to hold his. "Pip, you need to understand that this isn't something I want to discuss until you and I have sorted out all our issues. I will tell you one day, but you have to admit we have some things we need to talk about first."

I cringed a little at the thought of the conversation that faced us, which I now had to admit to myself was something I'd been avoiding for a lot longer than three weeks. Rather, I'd been avoiding this conversation for three years, since the day we lost our virginities together. But the time had come, and avoiding it any longer would hurt us both more in the end.

I bowed my head in acquiescence, before exhaling in a huge gust of air. "Alright. But just promise me, if for some reason we haven't sorted it out in time, and whatever is going on with… that," I gestured to his eye hopelessly, "gets worse, you'll come to me? And I know sometimes it seems like I've lost my grip, but promise me you'll trust me." By the end, I was practically begging him.

His smile turned gentle. "I promise." He said quietly, ducking to press his soft lips to my forehead. His hand came up to play with a strand of my wet hair. He chuckled. "Only you could still manage to look good after no sleep and an all-nighter in a water park."

I hid the burning of my cheeks and snorted, a cheeky grin gracing my face. "That's just because I'm the only one who'll break in to spend all night at a water park."

"Or steal a golf buggy." He countered.

"Or a speedboat." I snickered at an old conquest.

"Or Chuck-E-Cheese." He laughed harder still. That night had been the two of us on one of the rare occasions we'd hung out, about a year ago, when Archer was busy and we had nothing to do.

"What? They have a good ball pit." I shrugged.

He let out a loud snort. "Only you, Pip."

"I don't recall you having too many objections!" I retorted.

"What can I say? They have a good ball pit." He mimicked, winking at me.

And with that, our fight was over. We still had a lot to talk about, and I personally hoped it would be in Pig Latin because that way I could cross 'Have a deep and meaningful in Pig Latin' off my Bucket List, but we had come to a truce. And for the moment, I was happy with that.


I woke later in the day, having slept until around one in the afternoon. When I stumbled down the stairs, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and yawning widely, I was surprised to see Flick standing in the kitchen with Archer, who was… hang on a second… laughing? My twin- Archer Raven- was laughing. Somebody call NASA!

"Holy shit, Flick, the body-snatchers are back." I told her, staring at Archer with awe.

When she heard my voice, my flame-headed friend jumped and turned to face me, a guilty look on her face. "Sorry, Pip, what was that?"

"The body-snatchers, dammit!" I insisted. "First me, now Arch!"

My twin looked at me as if I was crazy. "Pippy, what the fuck are you talking about?"

"Don't blame me, you were laughing. You never laugh. You just frown and glare a lot." I told him matter-of-factly.

"What the fuck is she talking about?" a tired voice reiterated from the living room. Though I say 'reiterate', the more appropriate description would be 'groaned as if in pain' I turned to see Tyler lying on the sofa, propping himself up on his elbows, his eyes squinted against the light.

"Did nobody go to school today?" I asked, unable to keep my delight at the small rebellion out of my voice.

While Archer's look was reproving, another deep voice spoke from behind me. "Nope," Jase said simply. I hadn't seen him leaning against the kitchen counter, but I was relieved he was there. I took his presence as a sign I was somewhat forgiven. I think he realized that from the beaming smile that worked its way onto my face. He chuckled at me and walked forward to sling his arm over my shoulders affectionately. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Whitehouse look between us and scowl, but I disregarded it.

"Yeah," Flick agreed with Jase, "Kara Mascot texted me and said that when everyone saw that the Raven twins and Tyler Whitehouse weren't in homeroom, they just kind of got up and went home. Nearly the whole school is skipping 'cause of you guys." She finished gleefully.

I fist-pumped triumphantly. "It's good to know I have a good influence on my fellow students." I said cheerfully.

Tyler snorted in the next room, but nodded in agreement. "That's pretty fucking cool, everyone skipping school together for a day because of us."

Archer was the only one who looked unhappy, which was expected as he had no sense of humor whatsoever and I had clearly imagined his laugh earlier, and he frowned as he looked around the room at the amused and triumphant faces of the rest of us. "This is not a good thing, guys." He protested.

"Arch, bro," I said lazily, "For once in your life, quit worrying about the right thing. This shit's both more fun, and more amusing."

He groaned and shook his head. "Why do I bother with you idiots?" He muttered to himself. I expected it to finish there, but in a surprise move, he turned to Flick, an uncertain smile on his face. "Present company excluded, of course."

Whoa, my twin brother, Archer Jeremy Raven, was uncertain? The ultra manwhore? The self-righteous know-it-all? The guy who could have half the girls in the school out of their too-short skirts by raising an eyebrow? The man who-

"We get it, Pippy." Archer interrupted, looking an interesting combination of embarrassed and irritated.

Oops, must have been saying it out loud. Time to make it seem intentional. "Arch, can you let me vocalize my inner monologue without interruptions, please?" I said impatiently.

Jase's body was vibrating with chuckles next to mine, Flick was bright red, and Tyler was pressing quivering lips together, in what I would guess as an attempt to hold back a laugh. Archer, on the other hand, looked ready to murder someone. And from the direction of his death glare, that someone was me.

Man, I should be a navigator. On a pirate ship. Holding a jar of dirt… and a whole room full of rum!

I extracted myself from Jase to cross into the living room to check the liquor cabinet. "Hey, do we have any rum?" I asked my twin distractedly, kneeling and opening the cabinet door.

I heard some laughter from Jase and Flick, and a string of expletives muttered by Archer, and I rolled my eyes. No help, as per usual. Heavy footsteps approached me from behind, where I was on my knees. "Why do you want rum?" the Devil Spawn asked curiously, with a hint of amusement.

I glanced over my shoulder to give him a 'Duh' look. "Because if I'm navigating a pirate ship, rum's kind of a necessity." I turned back to looking through the dusty bottles. "Hey, make yourself useful. Go find a jar and fill it with dirt. Thanks Ty-Ty!" I exclaimed in a high, nasal voice. A.K.A. I was mimicking Michele.

He made a retching noise behind me, but laughed, while those in the kitchen turned to make their own conversation. "If you promise never to do that voice again, I'm on board."

I turned and grabbed his hand to shake it in a deal. "Agreed. Now go, minion!"

Before he turned to leave, he leaned and whispered in my ear, his cool breath caressing my neck and making me shiver. "Only for you, m'lady."

Damn, that boy was going to get me in a lot of trouble one of these days.

May I just say that I love you all so much? You're so lovely and I'm glad you seem to be enjoying this story!

Please continue leaving me reviews, they really motivate me! And yes, third week in a row I've updated, must be some sort of record :/ haha. I hope you guys liked this chapter. As always, tell me if there was anything you didn't like!

e.g. Do you like the changing relationship dynamic between Tyler and Piper?
Is there any one character that you really hate? Any one character that you really like?

I'd love to hear more from you guys.

Love, Sorraya T