The Calm before the Storm
…Sixteen years ago, 1995 …
Christina Wellings stood in her kitchen and flipped the bacon in the pan, but her mind was elsewhere. Her stomach was filled with butterflies waiting on her husband of only six months to come eat his breakfast before he left for work. Trey had took her the night before out to eat for their six month anniversary ending with what he would call earth moving sex afterwards. His lips had been everywhere on her body and she had loved it, and even thinking about it made her cheeks reddened at the memory. Even though she loved him with everything in her, she couldn't help pretending that it was someone else that was touching her, making love to her. It was probably the worst person that she could ever think of it being Trey's older brother, Landen. She squeezed her legs tighter trying to suppress the urge to touch herself.
I'm not that kind of woman, I don't cheat on my husband. Especially with his brother, you need to get ahold of yourself, Chrissie. You love Trey. She reminded herself, but the need was still there beneath all her denial. She couldn't remember when it started; from casual conversations to holding hands and to almost kissing before someone walked in the room.
Good thing it was only little Cody who was babbling about his favorite toy and too young to notice the closeness of his father and aunt. Nothing else had happened, yet; but if he kept at the advances she'd be naked and in his arms within a week. She hated feeling weak against his touches, she hated that he turned her on. If only they were both still single.
Though the whole situation was agitating, she couldn't help but feel like it was funny. About four years before, Landen had asked her out on a date; she declined saying she was busy but truthfully she didn't find him interesting back then. Meeting at church, she didn't find his good boy attitude sexy. She was too distracted by Trey and his numerous girlfriends which she was constantly jealous of. After four more break ups; Trey asked her out and Landen never spoke a word of dating again, he married soon after. It wasn't until the announcement of her engagement did Landen become more than her fiancé's brother.
The clanging of Trey's work boots and an arm around her waist returned her to her thoughts. "Good morning," he whispered with a kiss to her cheek; running his lips up and down her neck. Her uneasiness fluttered away and she turned and smiled.
"Morning," she pressed her lips to his and pulled him into her arms, while his hands roamed down south. "A little frisky, are we?" She smiled breaking the kiss, her arms hung loose on his shoulders.
"I'm sorry, I can't help it babe. I see you standing there and you're just so sexy standing there, especially when I know I am the only one that can have you like we did last night. God babe, I couldn't help but have a hard on in the shower just thinking about it." He sits down at the table, staring his wife up and down. Wondering how he scored this woman. "I mean, if I didn't have to work I'd have you again right now."
"I know; I wish you didn't have to work." She said, running over to the sink to brew some coffee; only to find that the water wasn't working, again. It was one of the things she hated about their house the water would stop working randomly, with little money though they suffered through it. "Honey, we need this fixed it's driving me crazy, I don't believe the last owner when he said that it worked fine before he left. It's aggravating not having running water."
"Yeah I know babe, there isn't much I can do for it right now." He said standing up and following Christina to the sink; who was trying to fix the sink faucet. "I could call Landen over if you want; I know you said you didn't want him to but, you know he can work on it."
Christina froze at Landen's name; not realizing her husband was watching. What was better: having her sexy husband's brother over to fix her water or not having any water at all? She slumped her shoulders.
"Fine he can come work on it," she said in defeat. Trey pulled her into a hug.
"Thanks babe, it'll mean a lot to him." They stayed like that for a few minutes. "Is something burning?"
"Oh shoot!" Christina ran over to the bacon but it was too late to save the black dried up meat.
"Autumn, honey wake up."
You know that annoying noise that wakes you up every morning when you have to go somewhere. Yeah, mine's my mom.
I grumble as she runs around my room, opening the blinds and digging in my closet. "I swear Autumn you never clean this room. What are you going to do when you're on your own?" She continues, as if I'm going to respond. I was having a good dream; hopefully I can get back to it. "Autumn come on, Jason will be here any minute and we are all leaving in about thirty minutes. I've let you sleep as long as you can, get up!" Apparently my mom has different plans; I pull the pillow over my head.
"Go away," I groan but she pulls the covers off of me leaving me cold in just my boxers and my t-shirt.
"Autumn, you maybe sixteen but that doesn't mean I can't still whoop you. Get up, or I'll get the belt." I can tell she's serious so I do as she says stumbling my way to the bathroom with one eye barely open. I shut the door and strip mumbling a few things I'd probably get my mouth washed with soap for; I relieve my bladder before jumping in the shower. I can't stand waking up early, even if it's because we have something going on. Today being one of those days, today was the big Church picnic that my grandpa had for his church every year in the summer. It took about two hours to get there but I've always had fun. The fact that mom and dad are letting me ride with Jason down to the picnic was a bonus.
Jason didn't go to church and wasn't very religious so it surprised me that he wanted to go in the first place. At least I wouldn't have to hang out with my cousins or any of the church girls that sometimes bothered me. I guess they found the shy types as an easy target to tease. I hate girls that are like that.
"Autumn, Jason is here and you got fifteen minutes!" My mom says from the other side of the door. I love my mom dearly but sometimes I wish I could put a muzzle on her mouth. Her voice annoys me in the morning. At least I'm not in school right now.
I finish washing my body and turn the water off. Drying off, I look up to see my reflection. My eyes are a dull green but it stands out more than any other feature on my face. My hair is the color of most beach sand and I hate it, my skin pale from staying inside and reading or playing video games. My chest reminds me of a boy before he hits puberty; the only way you can tell I'm over twelve is because of my height which is six foot. I frown at my reflection and dry myself off, pulling on my boxers and my shirt. I run into my room to grab a pair of jeans and a new shirt. I throw my shirt towards my bed and run to my closet.
"Hey! Watch it!" I yelp turning to find Jason on my bed. I can't help but cover my body with my hands. Especially when my marks are showing…
"What are you doing in here?" He laughs and sits up off my bed.
"Waiting on Grandpa 'Autumn' to hurry up so we can go, I think your mom is going to pop a blood vessel if you don't hurry up. " Grabbing the nearest book I throw it at his head, missing by a few inches. Jason laughing pisses me off. I throw another book missing him completely. I really should work on my aim more.
"Dude, stop it. You know I hate that name." Being named Autumn and being a guy was probably the most embarrassing thing my parents could of done to me. I preferred my middle name, Tristan. "And get out I don't like you in here while I'm getting dressed." Mostly because he knows about the marks.
Jason surrenders and walks out of the room.
"Five minutes, Autumn!" My mom shouts from downstairs. Ugh she knows exactly how to irritate me. I grab a t-shirt and jeans and get dressed putting on my favorite shoes, putting my phone and wallet in my pocket I run down the stairs.
"Finally, it took you long enough." Bree, my younger sister; says standing at the door apparently waiting on everyone.
"Shut up, it's not like we are going to be there for a while anyway."
"So, with your laziness and turtle like movements we won't get there till it's about to end!" She huffs, turning away. "Mom! We're ready!"
"Where's Autumn? Is he down here yet?"
"I'm right here mom." I glare when her head appears from behind the wall.
"Good it's about time you get up, since Jason and your father are loading the car with the coolers, I need you both to grab my desserts for me and then we can leave."
"Great, finally and I'm so glad Tristan and Jason aren't riding with us they'd probably get on my nerves. Mom it was a great idea for them to drive by their selves!" Bree grabs one of the desserts and runs out the door.
"I don't want to ride with your stinky self anyway." I follow her out the door. She turns around her cheeks puffed.
"I do not… smell." Her glare is so cute I can't help but laugh at her.
"Didn't you know? We have a different set of vents in the house that only go directly to your room because of it."
"Dad, Tristan's being mean to me!" She stomps off and jumps into the car, stabbing me with her eyes through the window, my lips curls upward.
"Tristan behave, or you'll ride with us." My dad's voice carries from the back of the car. My smile drops.
"Fine," my dad comes over and ruffles up my hair, hair that I didn't get to straighten. Oh it's going to look awful in a few hours! I push him away. "Dad, stop it!"
"Plan on losing to me today in kickball, cause I plan to kick your butt, literally." He says, poking my chest with his finger. I push him off. Same old dad, same old jokes; the same old lame jokes anyway.
"Yeah well we'll see who wins later, old man." Jason laughs and jumps in his car.
"Old man? I'll have you know that I can do-" I get in Jason's car, cutting off whatever my dad was going to say. Good thing too I wasn't in the mood to go through another "back in my day" or ''just cause I'm old doesn't mean I can't-" story.
"Your family is hilarious, especially your dad."
"What are you talking about? They are so embarrassing, especially dad, sometimes he's just too … Himself." Jason chuckles.
"So, are we getting anything to eat while we are on the way? I'm starving; I came straight here after my shower." Jason rubs his stomach while starting up his car.
"How can you be hungry at such an hour? It's too early to be hungry!" I say disbelieving.
"It's ten thirty what time do you wake up anyway? Four in the afternoon?"
"Ha-ha, funny. No I wake up around one actually." I catch him rolling his eyes at me.
"Not much of a difference, if you ask me."
"I didn't ask you."
"I don't care."
"Ugh, would you shut up? Here I made sandwiches for the ride. You can have some if you want but I'm taking a nap I'm tired as hell." I pull my cover that I had left in his car over my shoulders.
"Ooooh, touchy and you better watch out Autumn, if mommy and daddy hear you say such words they'll never let you out of the house again, potty mouth." He says plopping one of the sandwiches in his mouth, a grin on his face.
"Would you shut up, you're as bad as my mom."
"Jeez aren't we bitchy today." He says between a mouthful.
"I'm awake at ten in the morning of course I'm bitchy, now would you be quiet?" Yes I have an attitude in the morning. I'm not a morning person; you don't mess with me in the morning. I'll kill you if you set me off just right. It's my most violent time of the day, I'll destroy anything that keeps me from my sleep. Except for mom, she'd kill me before I even thought about killing her.
Jason smacks his lips before saying anything. "Fine, but you aren't sleeping the whole way I'll get bored and wake you up eventually." Jason's right behind my dad's car. Following close behind, hopefully Jason can keep up with him. If not it'll probably be a long ride. Jason's pretty good with getting where he needs to go so I don't worry.
Jason has always fixed problems, that's how we became friends in the first place. He had moved to our school in seventh grade, four years ago. Becoming an instant hit with the girls being athletic and good looking with his brown hair and eyes; I didn't like him at first because usually the jocks had it out for me. I never was singled out as an easy victim for bullying, but no one noticed my disturbing habit. Before I had any friends, my life was revolved around my family, and I hated my family. Well I didn't really hate them it was more resentment for how the felt I should act. Being the 'good kid' never doing the wrong thing, I hated it I felt like I couldn't mess up with anything. I made good grades, never in trouble and I was alone. I hated my life and thought seriously about killing myself, but instead I found a different and less permanent solution. I starting biting myself until I'd bleed, it was my way of sucking the bad out of my life. I also was a cutter. It started around sixth grade and no one ever found out. I always wore sweaters to make sure the markers were covered and if I wasn't able to cover it with sweat bands or bandanas.
I was always careful to never get caught. I wasn't as careful as I thought I was though, I didn't mean for it to happen at school. It all started in the locker room. Changing in gym class has never been a part of my life that I liked; I just had to get through it. I always wore a long sleeve undershirt under my clothes if I knew I was changing and to hide my cuts and marks I'd try to wait till everyone was out of the gym before I'd change. I never wore shorts instead I'd wear sweat pants. It had always gone unnoticed when I'd show up in my gym clothes after everyone else were warming up. When Jason moved into town, he was like all the other jocks and normal people, they all ignored me. I was always left to fend for myself. That is until Jason forgot his cellphone in his locker in the locker room one day.
I was in the middle of changing when he came in, I didn't have my undershirt on and had no time to hide anything, no one ever came back in after they left. So instead of trying to hide my disgusting body I just stood there in my white briefs. His eyes roamed over my bruises and my cuts, each cut and mark burned. I felt exposed and violated.
"What do you want?" My voice was laced with anger but my insides were shaking.
"…the hell?" I struggled to pull my sweats on when I fell against the locker, just my luck.
"What the fuck, what the hell did you do to your arms?" He starts towards me; I pull my shirt over my head.
"Why is it any of your business what I do to my body?"
"SO! What gives you any right to mutilate yourself like this?" He grabs my arms and forces me to look. My arm is lined with bite marks and jagged cuts; the sight of my outlet makes me want to gag.
"It's nobody's business," I mumble. Looking away from my arm, tears stinging my eyes.
"It's my business now; I can't watch someone do this to their self, even if I don't know you. Hurting yourself, it's stupid and pointless."
"Get off me!" I pull my arm free and walk past him my anger setting back in. "Don't tell me what I can and can't do, it's my body." I walk past the showers and run to the door before I hear.
"Don't think I won't tell." I freeze, turning to find him glaring down at me. "If you walk out of this room, I'm going straight to the principal."
"What do I have to do to keep you quiet?" Seeing as how I had no way out of this, I might as well go along with it. Looking back, I gave in easier than I usually would. It was probably because I didn't want to lose the sudden attention that Jason was giving me. Having no friends before, it felt nice for someone to talk to me, even on a way too personal level.
Jason smirked, and thought for a minute.
"Well first you're going to stop hurting yourself like that; there are other ways to let out your anger and hurt. Why don't you try sports or something?"
"Have you looked at me? I'm a stick, the only thing I could do would probably join track and that's the dumbest thing ever. Who cares if you can run fast?" I say waving my hand around.
"I do, I think it's pretty cool."
"I didn't ask for your opinion."
"I don't care." He grins.
"This is getting nowhere, what else." I snap. We're already late for gym; nobody would notice that I was missing but I'm sure if Jason was missing for too long the teacher and some of our class would say something. He doesn't seem to care much about it at the time.
"Okay, also along with the first rule; I will check to make sure you don't cut or anything else for now on once a week." Without thinking I punch him in the chest, it wasn't a good idea. My arm tingles afterwards but it was worth it, trying to put this stupid jock in his place. Or so I thought.
"Heck no! I'm not letting you check out my body, you sicko!" He chuckles.
"Dude I don't swing that way and secondly it's to make sure you don't do it anymore, I'm not going to look at your ass or anything just under your shirt. Also you hit like a girl I didn't hardly feel a thing. And, I was wondering do you know how to cuss or did you grow up under a rock?"
"No! I'm not allowed to it's against my religion." I guess that wasn't the answer he was expecting.
"Oh," he says his cheeks turn red. I can't help but roll my eyes.
"Yeah, so anyway we need to hurry up so what else do I have to do?" He stands there for a minute. "Well?"
"It's not that bad," he smiles. "Just be my friend."
"No," I turn and walk out the door; I don't have to turn around to know that he's right behind me.
"Come on why not?" He says stopping me.
"First, I don't like jocks. Second, you're blackmailing me. Third I don't like you."
"I'm not a jock I just like sports and it's not like you really have a choice. You can either be friends with me or I turn you in, your choice." Without another word he walks up the stairs, I felt uneasy watching him. He was just a little taller than me, probably what I'd look like if I had more muscle. I hate that he's intimidating me into doing this. He already knows he won.
"Wait!" It's out of my mouth before I can swallow it back down. I can feel the grin on his face as he turns around.
"So we have a deal?" He holds out his hand, with an award winning smile on his face. I walk up the stairs facing defeat, but it doesn't feel like much of a loss to me. It's the first time that I liked that I lost.
"Tristan what's wrong with you, how could you do this to our family!" my mom slaps me, but strange enough I don't feel the sting. I guess I'm too numb to feel anything. It's then that I notice that she said 'Tristan' instead of 'Autumn' which she only used when she was pissed; it was a rare occasion that she was angry with me I never did anything out of line for her to be mad at me. I just couldn't remember what I'd done to be out in the cold rain being kicked out of the house.
"Mom, I-I-I didn't mean to!" Tears run down my cheeks.
"It's too late for you Tristan."
"Mommy, please no!"
"I have to do this, to protect the secret." The knife in her hand appeared like magic. I scream and try to crawl away. My mom's hysterical laughter sends chills down my spine. "Oh you precious thing, you think you have a chance at getting away." A callous hand grabs my ankle and pulls me towards them, clawing at the mud and gravel I can't get a good hold on anything and I just keep sliding farther and farther away from freedom into pitch darkness. "I should've done this long ago." My mom's voice says. The knife halts above my heart, I try to scream but my voice is gone. "It's time, you must die!"
"Tristan!" My eyes open and I'm jolted awake.
"I didn't do it!" I scream, only to realize I'm in a car, Jason's beside me laughing.
"Tristan's feeling guilty! Wanna talk about it?" he jokes shoving me in the shoulder. I push his arm off me and raise my head.
"No, no I don't." I say, wiping off the cold sweat off my forehead.
"Bad dream?" He asks and I roll my eyes.
"No… Not really, just weird…" I look out the window, no rainy clouds to be seen. Thank god.
"So… I was just wondering… Is this Big Bone whatever park where the picnic thing is, because I'm getting tired of driving we've been going for about two hours now."
"Yeah, we're probably…" I look around the park entrance is on the next right. "Five minutes away, tops." Jason sighs.
"Good, cause I seriously need to take a piss." I scoff.
"I really didn't need to know about your body fluids."
"Well since we are such good friends, I thought that I'd share it with you." He grins. We go through the entrance of the park and that's when my stomach starts hurting.
"Jason," he probably can tell where this is going, but I have to make sure he knows.
"You know that you can't cuss around them right, and they can't know I do. They can't know about anything," I put emphasis on my last words. He only nods.
"I'm not dumb T, I wouldn't do that. You're my friend."
"I act different around them too. I act…. Sweet, innocent, quiet, I got it all together you know." That earns me a chuckle.
"A sweet, innocent, quiet all put together Tristan? Now that's something I got to see." I punch him in the arm.
"Dude, I'm serious. Oh and some of the girls will probably flirt with you just giving you a heads up."
"No big deal, there is enough Jason Andrews to go around for every girl." He says rubbing his crotch.
"That's what I was afraid of. I've grew up with these girls, and I'll murder you for going after any one of them. No sex, I mean it."
"Yes mom," he smiles with a sheepish grin, I roll my eyes again. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with him. He's so childish; I swear I'm the adult in our friendship.
We pass what seems like a thousand trees before we come to a clearing to the right. The familiar sight of the parking lot, playground, the tennis court and the shelter brings back memories from almost every year I've lived. It was always so much fun when I was younger swinging on the old rusted swing set that was strong enough to let me and my cousins and our church friends swing as high as we wanted. I can spot most of our family already under the shelter and my younger cousins running around on the playground with some of the other kids.
"Well it's not what I expected." I smirk and turn to Jason.
"What did you expect, A cult gathering or something?"
"That's exactly what I thought it was." He says parking his car next to my dad's. I already feel myself becoming the other me. I know as soon as I step out of the car I will be a different person. My aunts will be their usual annoying selves, embarrassing me to no end; they'll probably try to hook me up with one of the girls again. It seems to be their new favorite hobby. I enjoy the last few second in the car.
The calm before the storm.
I sigh and open the door, and I'm no longer myself.
A/N: Hello! Sorry about the late update, I've been working on this chapter alllll week! I've had very little time to work on it. Between work and my personal life I'm on overload, my sister is my editor and I run everything by her before I post it; but anyway I did my best to get this out within a two week period. :D So how did you like the chapter? I had a rough time adding the crude/sexual parts... How did I do? ok? not ok? please let me know! :\ If you liked the chapter and would like to see more please let me know! I don't really know which of my stories I will be updating next it might be TDDS or it might be this one but I'll try to get another chapter of one or the other within two weeks. So Pleasssse review and follow or put an alert out on the story or whatever it is. lol. So anyway hope everyone has a great day/night and keep on livin' the dream!