Always Have, Always Will
© Sorraya T 2013
"You're late." I frowned.
"Sorry." He told me carelessly. He wasn't sorry at all, the stupid ass.
Would it really have killed him to be on time just this once? It was my eighteenth birthday, and my family had decided I needed a large and incredibly boring birthday ball, where they could present me to society as an adult. A lady. They had told me I needed to bring a man on my arm. I'd asked him, and he'd shrugged carelessly, but agreed nevertheless. Then he didn't turn up until an hour before the end. And even after all this time, knowing what he was like, that I shouldn't be surprised, I couldn't help but feel sort of... shattered.
It was especially embarrassing because all of the effort I'd put into my appearance tonight had been for the slightest chance that he might just tell me I was pretty. I'd twisted my waist-length, pale blonde hair into a thick knot at the base of my neck. My halter-neck black dress clung to my body and brushed the floor at my feet, trailing a few inches behind me. My green eyes were smoky and my skin bronze. I'd tried so hard.
And he wasn't even here until it was almost over.
"If you didn't want to be here, you should've just said so." I sighed, attempting detached, impersonal disapproval. Being unreachable on a personal level was part of the whole charade my family required of me. God forbid we be real people. Insert eye roll. "I would've asked Jake."
His face twisted into a sneer. "Maybe you should've, if I'm such a disappointment."
"Oh, shut up, Deacon." I snapped, my facade failing, and my feelings beginning to show. "Don't you go all PMS on me, or I'll tell everyone that the big, bad boy we all know and love to hate played Barbies with me until he was eleven."
He glared at me. "Do that, and I'll bloody kill you."
"Besides, you're the one who only just arrived." I continued as if he hadn't interrupted. I looked down at my hands, playing with the end of my glove, and lowered my voice. "And tonight, Deek, you did disappoint me."
He rolled his eyes at me and sauntered past me, out of the dining room and onto the main balcony. I followed him, and leaned next to him against the sandstone barrier. I refused to look at him, instead keeping my eyes locked on the view of my family's estate.
A large, circular drive, which led in from the gates on a wide and long passage. Bright, healthy grass gardens surrounded by flower beds, and dotted with various species of trees, including one aging apple tree. My father's personal vineyard was by the east wing of the manor, and by the west were the outdoor pool, the tennis court, the games hall, and the den. Behind the manor were the stables and the vehicle shed. I had grown up with everything anyone could ever want. But all I wanted was the stone-faced man beside me.
I wasn't looking at him, but I knew exactly how he would look were I to peek. His dark blond hair would be in a mess on his head, short at the back and sides, and slightly longer at the front, pointing up in a slight Faux-hawk. His suit would hang off him in mess, the shirt untucked in places and the jacket slightly oversized, but would still look better on him than on any male model. His turquoise eyes would be slightly heavy-lidded, glancing around at his surroundings without interest. He'd have some light stubble covering the lower part of his face, and a cigarette dangling out of his mouth while his hand was curled around a beer, which he'd drink straight from the bottle. To finish off the look, he'd raise his pierced eyebrow at anyone who looked at him for too long.
God, he drove me insane. Dickhead.
"If I'm such a disappointment, Kenzie, why do you bother with me?" He burst out suddenly, tone scathing. My eyes shot up suddenly and were met by his turquoise ones, which for once blazed with anger. Usually they were just mildly irritated, or unimpressed. I wasn't surprised to see I had been right about the rest of his appearance, though. Right down to that damn cigarette. I was so shocked by his outburst that I didn't immediately respond, and after a few moments his face grew angry. "You could have just not asked me, you know. We both know I don't fit in with your shit, so why do you keep fuckin' forcing me to try and be part of it? You and me, we're in different worlds."
I couldn't help but be a little hurt by his comment. "Just because I grew up here, doesn't make it my world." I mumbled.
"Yeah, right." He scoffed. "Poor little rich girl."
"I've never asked for any pity, and I've never implied I fucking needed any from anyone. I know how lucky I am." I retaliated.
"Kenzie? Are you... alright?" I turned to see Jake standing at the doorway to the balcony, looking curiously between Deacon and I.
I rebuilt the facade. "Perfectly well, Jake. Just enjoying the fresh air. It's been a long night."
Deacon scoffed again beside me, flicking his cigarette to make a point. "Yeah, Kenzie just loves the fresh air out here."
Jake scowled at Deacon's back. "Noticed you were late tonight, Spencer. It must be reassuring for your friends to know how much they mean to you."
Deacon didn't turn around. "Big words, Crawford." He took a final drag of his cigarette, then crushed the stub beneath his shoe. He finally turned to face Jake, but looked completely disinterested. "If you're so worried about her, take her in there with you. I might get a bit of fucking peace for once."
I just stopped myself from flinching. "She has been known to make a decision for herself once in a while." I told him stiffly.
"Some advice then."He said coolly. "Make the decision to go back inside. It'll be the first good one you've made all night."
My eyes prickled and I turned, my dress trailing lightly on the floor behind me. I stopped next to Jake, leaning into the arm he wrapped around my waist. I turned my head to the side, to speak over my shoulder. "You should go. I wouldn't want to entrap you within my world any longer."
As Jake and I made our way back inside, I didn't look back. But I heard the slam of the doors as he left.
I couldn't sleep. My argument with Deacon kept replaying in my mind, and I simply tossed and turned. Finally, I became so restless that I couldn't bear to just lie there doing nothing, so I got up and traversed the manor, making my way to the kitchen.
I made myself a snack that my mother would have fainted upon seeing. My sister and I weren't allowed foods she considered unhealthy, and though my sister paid close attention to this rule, the chef and I had an understanding. He would get the junk I wanted and stash it, and I would keep him from having to suffer too much contact with my mother.
I went through the kitchen and found my stash. I spooned cookie dough ice cream into a bowl, covered it with honey, and coated it in a thick layer of Milo. I added the finishing touches of praline and M&M minis to the mountain of delicious sugar, and sat down on one side of the kitchen island to enjoy my creation.
I was halfway through my snack, starting to feel a little better as I mulled over my horrible night, when a chair scraped out opposite me. I froze, before meekly looking up and seeing my father in his pyjamas, looking at my food with interest.
"Father, I'm so sorry, I... uh..." I began, searching for an explanation.
He just glanced up at me and gave the first smile I'd seen in a long time. "That looks unbelievably good. I didn't even know we had all that stuff!"
I turned bright red. "Uh... neither does Mother. That's kind of the point."
He winced. "True. Mind if I have some?"
I couldn't contain my surprise. "What? Uh... Yeah, sure, hang on. I'll make you a bowl."
I hadn't had much contact with my father in years. He was always aloof, and always busy. Not to mention, mother always seemed to require his constant attention. The fact that he was sitting across from me, waiting patiently for a huge bowl of junk food, was startling.
I handed him the finished product, and he tucked in as ravenously as if he hadn't eaten in years. When we were both finished, he looked up at me and spoke again. "You didn't enjoy the party tonight." It was a statement, not a question.
I cringed and scrambled to reassure him. "What? No, Father, I had a great ti-"
He snorted. "No, Kenzie. You didn't. Neither did I, to be perfectly honest. It was a complete bloody bore."He looked at me thoughtfully. "I do, however, suspect that your lack of enjoyment had something to do with that boy who looked like he'd never combed his hair in his life."
I couldn't stop the dark red tint to my cheeks. "Uh, no, Father, of course not."
"Sweetheart, you are allowed to call me Dad." He said dryly. "And I've seen you two together, you know. What's his name?"
"Who is he?"
This was difficult. How to explain Deacon? "He's twenty-one, and he's a student at Sydney Uni doing Med Science. He got a scholarship." I held my Fath- my... dad's eyes as I continued. "He's been my friend for years, ever since I was about five. We used to go to the playground together. And he's not rich."
My dad raised his eyebrows. "Who gives a damn about that? Neither were we, a few decades ago."
I was genuinely confused. "But you and Mother-"
"Exactly." Dad interrupted. "Your mother. And to be perfectly honest, I'd rather see you happy with a scholarship student who clearly has the brains and strength to hold his own in the real world, than depressed with a more 'suitable' man such as Jake Crawford, who I think would fall apart without his money."
He looked at me gently, smiling warmly as he continued. "Sweetheart, I tried to give you everything a child could want. But you and your sister are so different; Ellie, I think, needs our money to be happy. But you're not like that. I think you'd do well even without it."
I felt tears prick my eyes and I gave him a watery smile. I hadn't talked properly to my dad since I was ten, when my mother had told me to stop bothering him so much, and to call him 'father'. I'd never realised he was still the same man I knew as a child. He was my dad. "Thanks, dad."
He smiled and stood up to walk around to my side of the kitchen island. He ducked to press a kiss to the side of my head and give me a hug. I returned it, clutching at him, and he chuckled. "No problem, sweetheart. Do what you need to make yourself happy. I'll sort it out with your mother."
With that, he went back upstairs. I returned to bed, and with my mind at rest, I could sleep.
I'd just finished my last HSC exam, and all the weight on my shoulders had finally lifted. Except for the part that I hadn't seen Deacon in a month, not since my disaster of a birthday.
I decided to swallow my pride, and would go to see him. I missed him.
"Kenz, where are you going?" my friend Jess called to me. "Come with us, we're going to get ready to celebrate! And I hear Jake's going." She winked at me exaggeratedly. She and the other girls I went to school with were convinced that I belonged with Jake Crawford. I'd known him for a long time, but he wasn't the one I needed. He was no Deacon.
"Maybe later," I smiled, continuing my way to my car. "I just need to do something."
She nodded and turned back to the group of excited girls, and I walked out the enormous school gates, turning to walk down the street my car was located. As I drove to Deacon's place, I tried to decide what approach I would take in talking to him. By the time I got there, I still had no clue what to do.
I forced myself out of the vehicle, and knocked on his front door. His house was small, only the basic rooms and a back and front garden, and a single storey. When he'd turned fourteen, he gradually stopped wanting to hang out at his place. I'd never been sure why, but part of me was starting to wonder if he was, for some reason, embarrassed.
The door swung open and Deacon stood, shirtless, looking at me with irritation. I almost recoiled, but remembered who I was talking to. I didn't need to fear him, though most did. They didn't know him like I did. They only saw the piercing, the motorbike, and the gruff attitude. I saw the boy I'd known I loved since I was twelve.
"What are you doing here?" he said rudely, leaning against his doorframe, a clear sign I was not invited to come inside. I was momentarily distracted by his upper body, his clearly defined muscles and the v-lines on his hips that showed above his low-slung jeans. "If you're here to stare at me, take a picture and fuck off."
I folded my arms. "Fuck you, Deacon. Seriously." I turned to leave. "I was only here to try and sort things out, but if you're going to be an asshole, I'm leaving. I've got the end of school to celebrate."
I walked a few steps when I heard him speak. "Give me a sec. I'm coming with you."
I did as requested, and not two minutes later he was back outside, shirt on, his leather jacket over his arm, and shoving his wallet and phone into his back pocket. "We're taking my bike." He told me carelessly.
"Huh? I can drive, I mean you don't have to-"
"Kenz, it's your last HSC exam and you're finally free. You're celebrating properly, not as designated driver. Besides, my bike will get us around better in the city. Just promise you won't get so drunk that you fall off." Deacon said calmly, leading me towards his monster of a bike. I couldn't believe how sweet he was being. "Because if you do, I'm gonna keep going and leave you there."
We went briefly to my place so I could get changed to go out, and when I'd dressed up looking my best for him, my white singlet tucked into black hot pants and with a cut-off leather jacket, I walked back out to him. He stared at me for a second, then shook his head and gestured to the bike. "You gonna stand there all day?"
My heart sank. But I smiled and nodded, getting on the bike I had ridden with him more times than I could remember, and wrapped my arms around his hard waist.
When we got to the first club, I pulled Deacon along with me to the bar to get myself a drink, then to my friends, who all stood by the dance floor. I hugged them briefly, and they blushed and twirled their hair when they looked at Deacon. He looked a little annoyed by the high-pitched voices babbling at him, but his annoyance cemented to anger on his face as he looked over my shoulder. I glanced behind me, and realised that the boys had arrived. Jake and his friends.
Jake led them towards us, and stopped in front of me, wrapping his arms possessively around me from behind. I couldn't see his face, but from the mocking tone of his voice as he spoke to Deacon, I knew it would be unpleasant. "Partying with the high-schoolers tonight? Aren't we lucky."
The other boys snickered, giving Deacon dirty looks. He'd gone to school with them, only finished three years before them. They'd never been friendly to scholarship students, as Deacon had discovered when he got there. That was when the bright, friendly boy I knew as a child turned into the angry man he was today.
"Your girl there invited me, actually." He said coolly, his eyes flickering to me briefly.
Jake's arms went a little slack around my waist, and I took the opportunity to extricate myself, and return to Deacon's side. I gave the former a weak smile, but very clearly aligned myself with Deacon by placing my hand up on his shoulder. Jake's voice held thinly veiled anger as he spoke. "That was nice of her, considering what a bastard you were to her."
I gave him a warning look, and he simply rolled his eyes and turned to talk to the rest of the girls. I turned in to Deacon and spoke to him quietly. "Please, please don't argue with them tonight."
His body stiffened under my hand. "I wouldn't have fucking come if I knew they'd be here. I'm not gonna make myself a pussy in front of them."
My frustration over the past month got the better of me. "Fucking hell, Deek, you don't need to even talk to them, but stop giving me that bullshit where you act all hardcore. I know you, and you don't need to hide from me. But seriously, quit it. I mean, I love you so much, but sometimes..." I trailed off as I realised what I'd told him, and I felt myself go pale.
Deacon's eyes were wide, his jaw dropped in shock, and his body frozen. At that moment, Jake turned back to us, and Jess turned to talk as well.
Jake's eyes were narrowed suspiciously as they looked between us. Jess squealed at the sight of us. "Oh my God, you guys even dress the same! I mean seriously, look at the leather jackets, you two are so cute!"
Deacon's voice was scathing, not looking away from me once as he spoke. "It's not cute, she just follows me around like a lost fucking puppy. Occasionally I throw her a bone, but she still hasn't figured out how pathetic it is."
My heart was crushed in front of him. I felt ill. Jess's face turned awkward and she looked at me, questioning. "Oh... uh, that's a... shame?" She smiled at us, strained, and pulled Jake forcibly to the other side of the group with her.
I looked down at my feet to hide the tears in my eyes. "That wasn't necessary, Deacon. You could've waited till they'd gone."
"I think I was pretty easy on you, actually." He said sarcastically.
"You didn't need to do that. It was a mistake, okay? I didn't mean to say it, and you don't need to feel the same way." One tear escaped, and I hurriedly brushed it away. "We can forget I ever said it."
"You want to forget that you love me?" he said sourly. "How sweet."
"Deacon, don't use that against me." I said quietly. "I hate you."
"Actually, you love me." He said, a sneer twisting his face.
My heart was already crushed, but now it was like there was a hole in my chest where it used to be. "I'll catch the bus home." I replied quietly, turning to leave.
"Good, cause you aren't getting any rides from me again." He said, voice snide. "You'll just fucking cling on and become even more desperate."
I left the club.
I'd been convinced that when I finished school, it would be the best day of my life. I'd have a great night out with my friends and perhaps with the guy I loved. But when I got home, I went straight to bed, and I didn't sleep. I just lay there, crushed, with tears running down my face.
Everything I'd wanted in my life had been ripped away from me. I didn't want to talk to anyone. Jake and Jess called over the next few days, Jake even had the audacity to leave a text message asking if I would be his girlfriend now I knew 'what a fucking cockhead Spencer is'. I didn't answer any calls or texts.
My mother tried to drag me out of bed, looking at me as if I were the dirt at the bottom of her shoe. I'd never fit into her mould of the perfect daughter. Ellie came into my room once, to tell me if I didn't date Jake, she would. And that I needed to have a shower and leave my room, because I was an embarrassment. My dad came in and pulled up a chair when he would come home from work, locking my mother out as he talked to me about anything and everything, despite me never responding.
Finally, one day, he was halfway through telling me about the history of the Romanovs in Russia when he stopped and sighed. "I'm not helping, am I?" I couldn't find it in me to respond. "Sweetheart, listen to me. He might be important right now, but you don't need anyone to tell you what you can or can't do. Go out and live your life without letting him choose what happens with it. That's all anyone can do. And I know you'll be able to do it better than most." With that, he kissed my forehead, and left the room.
He was right. It was time to start myself up again. I got up, had a shower, and put on something nice. I brushed my hair. I put on some make-up.
My phone buzzed with a text message, and my heart stopped when I read Deacon's name as the sender. With shaking hands, I picked up my phone and slid it open.
'The den. Now.'
I practically ran to the west wing of the manor and out the door, around the pool and tennis court to the den. The large, fully equipped shed my dad had given Ellie and I, with sofas, a bed, a plasma screen television, a Play Station 3, a pool table, a small bathroom and a kitchen. I walked in, and looked around, finally going up the small staircase to the inside balcony where the bed was, Deacon sitting at the end of it, leaning forward with his head in his hands.
"What do you want?" I asked him after a moment.
He didn't look up. "First day of year eight, I walked into school hoping it would be different to year seven, and that everyone would suddenly want to be my friend. Then the boys kept sneering at me, and a group of them who were mates with Ellie said that just because I was hanging out with her kid sister didn't make me right for the school. They told me that I would never be right for their area. And when I went home that day, I realised I wasn't good enough for you. Never was. Never would be."
"What?" I whispered. He'd never told me any of this.
"But you were so god-damn persistent. And when you got to high school two years later, we were still speaking. I'd become such an asshole to you, trying to get you to make the break, but you just kept acting like nothing had changed. You wouldn't let me fuck off out of your life. You were in year seven. I was in year ten. And I knew that I loved you more than anyone. I've known it ever since."
My jaw dropped, but he kept speaking. He still hadn't lifted his head. "And you became friends with Crawford and his fuckwit mates. I was so sure that you would finally get sick of me. But you kept on talking to me, skipping their parties and shit to hang out with me. And it took years for you to realise that Crawford wanted to be more than just your mate. I thought you'd be ecstatic, and you would go out with him and forget I existed. But you just stayed his friend, and you'd always call me at the end of school every day and talk about everything you were thinking, and wanting to know what I was thinking."
"Crawford was thrilled when I finished school, you know that? He thought you'd finally stop talking to me and he'd have an opening. But you would still brush him off on the off chance I'd be free to hang out. It didn't help that every day you got even more fucking beautiful. More guys were looking at you when we'd go somewhere, and it was all I could fucking do not to fuck up any of them. Especially bloody Crawford."
I flushed, standing as still as a statue in front of him. He kept talking.
"And you asked me to be there for your eighteenth, to come with you, and I hurt both of us by making sure I came last minute. I thought you would finally cut me off. I got there, and saw you, and you were so beautiful. It was all I could do not to kiss you. But you were so distant, you weren't babbling about dumb shit for once, and it was like being around your family, and all the people in that circle were sucking the life out of you. Crawford, Ellie, your mother. They were all trying to get rid of your personality. But then I realised how much I'd hurt you, and I wanted to tell you everything, and that I didn't mean it. But I couldn't bring myself to."
"You didn't talk to me for over a month, and I thought I'd finally done it. I'd finally gotten you to realise how worthless I was. Then you turned up on my fucking doorstep. And I lost it, I had to come with you. You were different that night, you were yourself again. And you looked stunning. God, I had to tear my eyes off you or I would've undressed you right in the bloody bar."
I felt warm at the thought, shivers running down my spine.
"And then you told me you loved me, and all I wanted to do was to say it back and finally, finally kiss you. But it's so ingrained to hurt you and keep you away that I couldn't stop myself. The look on your face when I was saying all that crap... God, I never want to see that look again. You left and I knew I'd made the biggest mistake of my life. And now I've worked up the courage, and I'm here, making a complete dick of myself."
He slowly lifted his head, and looked at me. There were dark circles under his eyes as if he hadn't slept in days. But his bright turquoise iris's captured mine, and he stood, not letting me look away.
"I'm not good enough for you. I'm a complete asshole. I'm drowning in student loans. I smoke and drink heavily. I hate half of your mates, and most of your family." He told me levelly. "You should be with someone like Crawford, who can give you everything you could ever want."
I cleared my throat and took a step forward. "Jake might be able to give me things I want, but he can't give me what I need."
"What's that?" he said, voice strained.
I stepped forward again, lifting one shaking hand to his face, touching his cheek lightly with my fingertips. "You." He shuddered and pressed his cheek into my hand, before wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me forward and into his hard body. I rested my forehead against his and continued. "I don't need to be looked after all the time. I can work for myself, and we can work out loans, and all the bullshit that comes with life, together. And don't you ever think you're not good enough for me, Deacon. Because if there's one place I really don't fit in well, it's with everyone who's like my sister and my mother."
"Jake is my friend, but that's all. He wanted me because he thinks I'd be an appropriate girlfriend in high standing, and maybe because he's attracted to me. But in terms of personality, he really is better suited to my sister. And I have no doubt they'll realise that soon." I told him patiently. "And I would rather kiss a monkey than Jake anyway."
Deacon's hand came up to lift my chin, and he looked me in the eyes for a moment, before pressing his lips to mine. I wrapped my arms around him, pushing myself against him and deepening the kiss. No matter how long I did this, I would never get enough. I had never been kissed like this; it had never felt so right.
We stood, kissing each other urgently for what could have been hours, but we still pulled away all too soon.
He beamed at me, and his eyes were finally alive and bright again, like they had been years ago. The anger and bitterness that had inhabited them for so long was finally gone. "Well, I'm the only one you'll be kissing from now on. I love you, Kenzie. Always have, always will."
I grinned up at him, my smile so wide that my cheeks were beginning to hurt. "I love you too, Deacon Spencer. Always have. Always will."
Okay, this is my first oneshot like this, so please don't be too harsh! One of the scenes had just been buzzing around in my head for a while, and I seriously had to get it written out. I hope it's not too bad!
R&R and I will love you forever!
Love, Sorraya T