Beautiful Nightmares

Nick Hunter and Holly Stevenson both thought they knew exactly what they wanted for the summer. Neither had expected to be forced into each others company, expecially under such dire circumstances. But with the summer's heat and attitudes running high, will these two hot headed teens find themselves falling or fighting? It's only a matter of time...

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1. The Accident

1.  The Accident

 

“AND…Hut!” The whistle blew and Nick watched with a dismal mixture of disgust and disinterest as the players battled it out on the field, slamming into one another in a blur of royal blue and white, challenging the opposing team for the ball in a dreary display of fighting spirit. The screams flew around him as the rest of the school body either feigned interest or really were excited about the prospect of West Valley High Eagles actually winning a game, which in itself would be a miracle. Unlikely, Nick thought bitterly, watching the crowd and wondering for the thousandth time what he was actually doing here instead of being someplace else. Someplace fun. Nick had been roped into attending the game on a Friday night, the late October chill biting, by his foster parents, Sarah and Graham Hunter, who were trying to get him involved with more ‘extracurricular’ activities, and in a moment of weakness, he had reluctantly agreed. He had been living under their roof for eight years, since he was nine, and he had been resentful and difficult towards them the whole time, just to prove that they had made a mistake. In his opinion, they had.

“Hey Nick.” a voice came from behind him and he slowly turned back round, drawing his eyes from the crowds and taking a drag on his joint as he did so, relishing the slow freezing fire that was attacking his brain, clouding his eyes with a hazy, pleasant smoke. He suppressed the urge to roll them when he saw Dawn Turner, the head cheerleader and all around bitch, leaning over the rail, one which thankfully separated them, and batting her eyelashes so hard Nick thought she would knock herself out. Which would be a blessing, he reasoned. She was okay, but nowhere near good enough to be labelled worthy. Definitely not Beautiful Nightmare material. Her arms were close to her chest in an attempt to squeeze them into looking bigger and one of her legs was raised flirtatiously, showing Nick part of her toned tanned thigh.

“Dawn.” he replied lazily, his big ice blue eyes blinking slowly as the pot affected his head. Dawn’s face hazed slightly for a second, and he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and inhaling the sweet smoke floating around him.

“Can I have drag?” she asked, nodding her blonde head towards his hand. Wordlessly he handed it over and watched appreciatively as her full lip-glossed lips closed round the paper. Dawn may be a slut, but she was a hot slut, and would a lot more fun than this stupid game.

“Looking good out there.” he said and she winked, handing the joint back to him, letting her hand linger on his for longer than necessary, long painted fingernails grazing against his skin in a way she obviously thought was seducing. So, even though Nick had stood her up two weeks ago, she still wanted it. Interesting.

“Glad you’re enjoying the show. Shouldn’t your eyes be on the game?” she teased, and he smirked, his handsome features glinting in the harsh stadium lights, lighting up the planes of his chiselled cheekbones.

“Well, they aren’t nearly as interesting.” he reasoned, raising one dark eyebrow. Nick loved the flirting that happened just before he hooked up with a girl. It was like in the movies, the scenes leading up to the first kiss. They were unpredictable and were the ones that turned him on the most; the playing hard to get. That’s how he lived his life, leading people on and hiding how he felt. He stood up and grinned wickedly down at her, grabbing her hand and pulling her along, heading towards the steps and ignoring the moans of annoyance as he blocks students’ views of the game. Screw them, he thought, as he headed back round, ducking under the bleachers with Dawn following along behind him.

“I thought you had lost interest.” she said seductively as he whipped round and towed her closer, so their chests were touching. He could feel her breasts beneath her sweatshirt, and he smiled once more.

“Why don’t I show you just how much I’m interested?” he whispered, slipping his hand under her white cheerleading shirt and creeping, one finger at a time, upwards towards the part of her body the emblem of an eagle was covering. Her breath caught in her throat and Nick grinned. Now this was fun.

“Here?” she said breathlessly, grabbing his jeans by the waistband and pulling him closer still.

“Here.” he said simply, kissing her down her neck, into her prominent collarbone. A cheer went up behind them, the bleachers shaking as the school celebrated another touchdown, but Nick paid no attention, focusing on the task in front of him.

“I should probably be out there, cheering.” Dawn breathed, sounding unconvinced, obviously not wanting to leave.

“Hmm…you probably should.” he agreed, making his way down her body, kissing her bare navel from where he had lifted her shirt right up.

“Okay, I’m going to leave.” she tried to say, but instead she just kissed him, hooking her leg round his waist.

“I’m glad. School spirit and all.”

Fifteen minutes later Nick stepped out from behind the bleachers, watching Dawn walking in front of him, discreetly pulling her skirt lower down her ass. Nick was suddenly glad he had turned up for the game after all. He reached into his leather jacket pocket and pulled out his cell phone, punching numbers into the keypad without looking down. He held the phone to his ear as he snaked through the mass of people, watching as they warily looked at him before stepping out of the way. Good move, he thought. People seemed to realise it was a second nature to avoid Nick, and that was the way he liked it. He didn’t have time for these bastards.

“Yo?” A raspy voice that sounded like it had smoked one to many cigarettes in its life shouted into his ear and Nick grinned.

“Coops?”

“Nicky? Hey man! How you been? You want me to hook you up?” Coops boomed down the phone, amidst the shouting coming from his end of the line.

“In fact, I was wondering what you were up to tonight. It’s been too long.” Nick heard Coops chuckle in amusement.

“Does the infamous Nicky Hunter want to come and hang with us mere mortals? I’ll be damned.” Coops mocked good naturedly before a cough attacked his chest. Nick waited until it had died down before replying.

“You already are, and it’s only for a night.” Nick played along as he made his way across the deserted car park, weaving in-between the crappy cars belonging to the juniors and seniors of his school. Finally he reached his own, a beat up black 60’s Cadillac with one headlight broken and a dent in the right side of the bonnet. He automatically smacked the dent out of habit in a vain attempt to bang it out as he made his way to the driver’s side.

“Well, we will take what we can. Come round mine, we’re chilling before hitting the town.”

“See you in a few. Oh, and have a joint waiting for me. It’s been a long night.” Nick smiled as he slid into the seat and placed the keys in the ignition.

“Ah babes. You can tell Dr Phil all about it when you get here. So hurry up ya bastard!” the line cut dead as Coops hung the phone up and Nick chucked his own onto the seat next to him. A half empty can of Olde English was sitting in the cup holder next to him and Nick took a swig before setting off, grimacing slightly as the warm, flat liquid slid down his throat. Oh well. The journey over to Coop’s house was quick, as he lived nearby in a run-down estate. Coops was a nineteen year old African American with a knack for getting into trouble as well as getting out of it. He had found Nick when he had been fifteen years old; hanging around street corners after dark looking for something to do that didn’t involve sports or boy scouts. Since then they had become close friends and Nick’s popularity had soared. It didn’t hurt that over the past two years Nick had grown, his baby fat falling away to reveal toned muscles and a handsome face. His bad-boy character attracted dangers as well as girls, and as long as Nick pulled his weight when it came to protecting his mates, Coops was only too happy to let him hang. Nick was the youngest out of the crew, but the guys never seemed to notice when he was with them.

“Knickerless!” Faith, Coops’ latest girlfriend, shouted down to him drunkenly from the top step as Nick made his way out of the car. He smiled at his nickname, a crude adaptation of his full name Nickolas. 

“Faith. You alright?” he said, planting a quick kiss on her cheek as he sneaked her beer bottle out of her hand.

“Absolutely fine my darling. It’s good to see you!” she tripped and fell over, sitting on the step and humming to herself, her eyelids drooping and her underwear on full display. Nick left her there, stepping into the house as he took a gulp from the lukewarm beer. The house was heaving with people, all at different stages of drunkenness. Music was blasting out of huge speakers that Coops had installed a few months back, huge great black monsters that hung from the corners of the lounge whilst a few people grinded against one another underneath them. Nick glanced round, recognising some faces around the room, but most were strangers. Not that Nick minded. New faces meant new girls.

“Nicky!” he heard Coops familiar voice and made his way towards it, finding his friend in the middle of the room, engaged in a game of Twister with two barely dressed girls, a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, which he handed to Nick as soon as he saw him.

“How are you managing to play a game like that and not get a boner?” Nick asked as he placed the joint in his mouth and breathed in the smoke.

“With a lot of self-control.” Coops replied, smiling as one of the girl’s moves led her to be straddling him. He raised one eyebrow suggestively at Nick who nodded back. “I see you already helped yourself to someone’s drink.”

“Your girlfriend’s, in fact.” he raised it in salute and smiled before walking off, leaving Coops to his pornographic game. For an hour Nick wandered around, talking to people he didn’t know and constantly stealing beer from the fridge, which was stocked to the brim.

“So Nick, what do you do? As cover for the coppers?” a burly eighteen year old named Dean asked as they stood outside, each with a cigarette, listening to the droning sounds of the song that was currently playing.

“I’m still in school.” he answered, not sure whether he would be laughed at or they would be impressed that he fitted in so well with the older crowd. He was relieved when it was the latter.

“That is awesome! You can get away with so much shit and the fuzz will barely bat an eyelid! You must be like, Coops’ secret weapon.” Dean said as the other guy nodded in agreement. Nick smiled, but didn’t say anything. Rather they think he was a drug dealer than a loser that Coops didn’t trust enough. The truth was that Nick refused to deal anything illegal. Drug money touched his hands, but he never saw the stuff. It wasn’t worth the shit it earned you. The occasional spliff was okay, but Nick wouldn’t touch the hard stuff. That shit could ruin your life big time, and Nick’s life was crap enough.

“So what are the girls like in your school?” Ray, one of Dean’s friends asked, interested.

“Mixture. But there are some pretty fine ones there.” Nick raised his eyebrow suggestively, leaving the guys in no doubt he was able to nail them all if he wanted to.

“Yeah, but are they teases?” Nick considered before answering, finding it difficult to think whilst his brain was fried.

“They try to be. But I usually win in the end.”  The three of them laughed loudly, the sound bouncing of the stone walls behind them.

“Yo! There’s my man! What’s happening gentlemen?” Coops came out of the house and draped his muscular arm around Nick’s shoulders.

“Talking about Nick’s conquests.” Dean said, still smiling.

“Ah, a number that Nick has long lost count of!” Coops joked, pulling Nick down the steps as he did so, the others following. “Now Nick, we have a proposition for you. We are heading out now, and you are welcome to join us, you know that.” “But…?” Nick had a feeling it was going to be another night when he had to prove his acceptance. Every now and then Coops would suggest an activity, usually illegal, and if Nick didn’t partake, he was out, no questions asked. “But….we’re going street racing, and you know the drill. Compete, or get lost. You in?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Nope. Excellent! Get your car ready for war man!”  Coops boomed as he and Faith climbed into his own wheels, giggling as they did so. Nick smiled as he slid his keys into the door and pulled it open; watching as another girl whom he vaguely recognised from the beginning of the night opened the passenger door and slipped in next to him.

“Mind if I hitch a ride?” she asked, her waist length sandy hair swirling across her face as she hitched her skirt up higher, smiling slightly at him.

“Not at all. And you are?” he asked, putting the car into first gear and steering it out of the drive, following Coops neon lights in front of him. “Kim Riding. I’m new in town.” she answered, leaning one slim arm against the side of the door, gazing out of the window before turning to him.

“What’s your name?”

“Nick Hunter. It’s a pleasure to meet you Kim.”  He said, playing the gentleman.

“So where are we heading?” she asked, crossing her legs, causing her tiny skirt to rise even higher, making Nick sneak a glance. He liked what he saw, he decided, when he caught sight of a small butterfly tattoo printed on her inner right thigh, half peeking out from under the material of her skirt.

“I think we are heading out of the Valley. There is an abandoned racetrack nearby, and Coops likes to break in now and again to test his latest ride.” Nick explained, pulling a cigarette from his jacket pocket and sticking it in his mouth.

“Allow me.” Kim said as she reached into her purse and pulled out a lighter. She leant across, resting her hand on his leg, and slowly lit it, watching his face as he leant in and placed the cigarette to the flame, staring seductively into his eyes. Nick realised that one eye was brown and one was blue, creating oddness to her otherwise flawless face. Kim leant back, leaving her hand on his thigh, occasionally tightening her grip. Nick had to focus all his concentration on driving, ignoring his instincts to just pull the car over and drag her onto the back seat with him. Suddenly Coops’ car swerved to the right, leading away from the racetrack. Nick tugged at the steering wheel and follow suit, wondering where the hell they were going. His eyes scanned the area, surprised when he saw about twenty cars all parked up in a row, either side of the road, facing inwards. He pulled up next to Coops and got out, confused.

“Why here?” he asked, watching suspiciously as a mischievous grin formed across his friend’s face.

“Well Nicky, we decided to spice things up a little bit. Just you and me. Two man race. First one round the block and back wins. What do you say?” Nick glanced around at the silent crowd, all of whom were waiting for his response. Finally he nodded.

“I’m in.” a cheer went up and people suddenly crowded round him, patting him on the back as he felt an uneasy feeling forming in the pit of his stomach. Coops was undefeated when it came to racing, but whenever they had competed there had been at least five cars, and he had always come second. Here, if he came second, he lost. Big time. His credibility and reputation would be lost and he would probably go back to being the sadistic loser he was when he was fifteen. On the other hand, if he won, Coops would never forgive him. And with Coops being leader, everyone else would side with him and again, he would be kicked out. His best bet was to lose and hope that Coops would still accept him.

“You ready to have your ass whipped?” Coops asked as they stood face to face, waiting for the ‘umpire’ of the race to tell them to get to their vehicles.

“Are you? Or did your Mom beat me to it?” Nick said sarcastically, and a collective, yet impressed, groan went up in the crowd. But Coops just smiled and said:

“Touché. Let’s get on with this.” The signal was given, and they both quickly got into their cars.

“Ladies, take your positions.” Brett, the umpire for the evening, called and Nick watched as Faith stood outside Coops window, which he had rolled down. Suddenly his view was blocked by a pair of legs, and when he looked up, saw Kim standing outside. He wound down his window and she leant over, giving him full view of her impressive cleavage.

“You win this race, you’ll get to see more than that tattoo you were eyeing up earlier.” she said, a slight smile on her lips. She then bent forward and kissed him, her lips tasting like pot and eucalyptus, and Nick wanted more. When they broke apart, she slipped round the car and made her way into the passenger’s seat once more. “You didn’t think I was going to miss out on this, did you?” she said, showing her teeth in a full smile.

“What was I thinking?” he said lightly, joking, as he rolled his eyes.

“Gentlemen, start your engines.” a roar went up as Coops and Nick’s cars came to life. “On the count of three, the race commences!” Brett yelled above the noise. He indicated with his fingers as he counted down. “ONE!” Nick pressed down on the brake and accelerator at the same time, causing the car to release a burst of flame from the engine, much to the crowd’s amusement. “TWO!” Kim reached over and placed her hand in its previous place, causing Nick’s libido and adrenaline to flare up. “THREE!” the noise was deafening. The crowd screamed as the owners slammed their Converse covered feet onto the accelerator and sped down the road, whipping up the wind and cause Brett’s too-long hair to fly into his face. In the car Nick gripped the gear-stick, adrenaline pumping through his system. He no longer cared about Coops reaction, he just wanted to win. They were neck and neck down the straight, able to stare into each other’s eyes. Suddenly Coops swerved, slamming into the side of Nick’s car, almost causing him to spin off the road. Nick was furious. Nobody had said anything about playing dirty, but then again, nobody had said anything about playing fair either. Nick switched the gears and gained an advantage, his bonnet inches ahead of his opponent.

“Go Nick, go! Overtake the bastard!” Kim screamed from the seat next him, but Nick barely heard, his attention focused on the turning two hundred yards ahead. He had the inside lane, a lead he planned to make the most of. One hundred yards, his seat was now level with the front edge of Coops bonnet and his hands were poised ready on the steering wheel to spin it when necessary. Fifty yards. “Turn Nick! NOW!” Nick did as she said, slamming his foot on the break and pulling the wheel until he was completely round the corner before heaving the wheel straight. By then it was too late. BANG!!! The bonnet slammed into the woman, causing her to rise of the ground and hit the windscreen, smashing it in the process. Blood spurted, freezing Nick into shock, whilst Kim screamed hysterically.

“Oh my God!” Tears were streaming down her face, and Nick suddenly came into action, slamming his foot so hard on the brake the car came to a complete stop almost immediately and caused the woman to fly off, landing with a sickening noise on the road about one hundred yards away. Fuck. Nick sat in his seat, his hands gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles threatened to break through his skin. His face was as white as a sheet of paper and he was frozen in fear. Out of the corner of his eye he registered Coops car coming to a halt just behind his own. Next thing he knew his legs had regained their feeling and he rushed out of the car, running to the side of the woman. Her hair was matted to her face with blood, and her leg and arm stuck out in awkward positions. The sight was enough to make anyone sick, and with the amount of alcohol Nick had consumed, it was no surprised that he promptly doubled up and puked his guts up.

“Nick!” Coops hazy voice flowed into his brain, but he couldn’t make sense of it. “Nick! Get up! We have to go! NOW!” he felt hands tugging at his jacket, but he couldn’t move, lying shivering in a huddle on the stone floor, unknown tears flowing down his cheeks.

“What have I done? What have I done?” he kept repeating to himself, wrapping his arms around his torso to stop himself breaking in half with all the guilt flowing out of him.

“Nick, come on man, we have to leave.” Nick suddenly roused himself, finally understanding what Coops was saying.

“What? NO! We have to help her! We have to do something! We have…” he shouted, pulling himself up and looking around, as though searching for inspiration, but everything was moving too fast, making his head spin.

“Nick, we can’t! It’s too late! Besides, what are you going to say? You’re drunk, high, underage, and partaking in an illegal activity! What the hell are the cops gonna make of that? They will eat you alive!” For the first time in his life, Nick could hear the fear in Coops voice, and knew he was in serious shit. “Not to mention the fact that I’m packing heat right now!” Coops concluded, lifting up his shirt to reveal a Glock nine millimetre shoved down the waistband of his faded jeans.

“What the hell were you planning on doing with that? And what the fuck am I going to do now then?” he shouted, crouching down on all fours and staring at the ground, his head hurting. Kim was next to him, curled up in a ball, clutching her knees and sobbing, her long hair concealing her face.

“We go to the garage. Now. And there you can call the ambulance, whilst I fix this mess.” he indicated with his thumb to the ruined car. Coops had been working in a nearby garage owned by his mother’s boyfriend since he was fourteen years old, working weekends until he was old enough to leave school and join full time.

“We can’t…leave her.” he whispered, lifting his head so he could look at her. Suddenly he saw it. “She’s still alive!” he yelled, getting up and running over to her. “Can you hear me?” he said, close to her ear, watching her chest raise slightly as a shallow breath made its way out of her nose, like the one he had just seen. The only reaction he got was a flickering of her eyelids. Nick stayed beside her, willing her to show more signs of life.

“Help…me…” she whispered, causing coldness to course down Nick’s spine. She sounded so weak, as though life was trying to break free and run from her.

“It’s okay, we are going to get some help.” he said, more convincingly than he felt. He rushed over to his car, yanking the door open and reaching across to get his phone. He had punched in a nine and a one when he felt someone shove him fully into the car, pushing him across to the passenger seat. He vaguely heard the engine start, and unexpectedly, he was moving, Coops next to him, steering the car, his eyes non-blinking, staring at the road through the cracked glass. “What are you doing? She needs our help!”  He yelled, struggling to remain upright. As he looked behind he saw the headlights of Coops’ car, with Faith driving it, the same look on her face as Coops’. In the distance he could just see the small figure of the woman, and he felt as though he was going to be sick again.

“So help her.” Coops replied coolly, indicating with his head towards the phone. Nick looked down and pressed the last number, his hand shaking as he brought the phone to his ear.

“Emergency services. What service do you require?’ a calm woman’s voice said from the other end.

“Er…ambulance please.” Nick tried to mimic the woman’s soothing voice.

“Where to?” Nick reeled off the address, trying not to let his panic into his voice. There was silence as the women processed the information. “Thank you Sir, but we have already had an emergency call to that address. The ambulance is on its way as we speak. Thank you for your concern and please wait for the emergency services to arrive.” Nick listened in shock to the dialling tone after the woman had hung up, before slowing pressing ‘end’ and placing the phone into his lap.

“Someone had already called.” he said finally, breaking the silence between him and Coops. Coops swore under his breath and slapped the steering wheel.

“Well, for your sake it better have been one of the girls. Cause if someone else saw you, you’re screwed. Big time man.”

“Yeah, thanks Coops. I get that. If you’re trying to make me feel better, you’re doing a crap job. You do realize we have just made it a thousand times worse, don’t you?” he said satirically, an annoyed look on his face.

“How?”

“It’s fucking hit and run now you moron! What happens when I get caught, huh?” Nick cried, holding his head in his hands, as though trying to keep all the unwanted thoughts from breaking through.

“You’re not going to get caught. We’ll protect you.” Coops replied, as though Nick had just stolen a candy bar from a shop, instead of perhaps killing a woman.

“Oh piss off. There is no way you can protect me from this. I’m done for. I’ll go to prison.” he said, tears of anger wetting his eyes, threatening to fall.

“You will not go to prison. You’re underage.” Coops said, but his voice wobbled, as it always did when he was lying. “Besides, you called the ambulance, what more could you have done?”

“I could have…” Nick trailed off, not sure at all what he could have done to help that poor woman, lying in the street. They rounded a corner and Coops drove the car into the parking lot before hopping out and opening the garage, leaving Nick sitting in the car. He thought about everyone that would get hurt. Graham and Sarah, for instance. Sure, he hated them, but nobody deserved trouble like this from someone who wasn’t even related to them. He would be kicked out of school, which wouldn’t be completely awful, but without even graduating he wouldn’t be able to get a decent job. Bloody hell, it was all such a mess. There was a tap on the window and when Nick looked up he saw Faith standing outside, beckoning him to get out of the car.  He did so slowly, holding onto the door as if it was a life raft.

“Come on Nicky. Get out of the car.” she said, wrapping her thin arms around his shoulders and guiding him into the waiting lounge, where the customers amused themselves with crappy magazines whilst waiting for their cars to be fixed. He watched as Coops worked quickly and methodically, removing the shattered windscreen from the car and placing it down before walking off in search of another one.

For an hour Nick sat there, unmoving, until Coops suggested to Faith that she take him home so he could get some sleep. As if he would be able to. But he followed her without complaint, and fifteen minutes later he was crawling into bed, still fully clothed, his head slamming into the pillow and awful thoughts running through his head. He fell asleep in the early hours of the morning thinking about the game, and how ironic it was. If he had just done as he was told, and stayed at the game like Graham and Sarah had wanted, none of this would have happened. Next thing he knew, it was daylight was pouring through his window and it was morning.

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