Willow House (First of a Saga)

Cassie Brooks, a girl with a background. No one wants her, no one needs her. So when she joins Willow House, what will the inmates think of their new member?

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14. Playing the Part.

I ended up laying comfortably against Ash and sharing the popcorn between us. And by the end of the film I found myself in no position to move. I closed my eyes as Ash turned off the T.V by the remote and pretended to be half asleep. I felt his arms pull me closer to him and then I felt his warm hands stroke my cheek. I snuggled into his chest and listened to the soothing beat of his heart. I sighed naturally and regretted it as Ash sat up, realising I was awake. I grabbed his shirt and he pulled me closer to him. I was basically on top of him and I felt my hair flow down to cover our faces. His hands traced the curves of my body and circled around my neck. He pulled me to him and reached up. I fell into his kiss for a moment, appreciating the pleasure I got from being with him, then I pulled away. I gasped and touched my lips. Then I scrambled off of the sofa and tumbled my way up the stairs to my room. I shut the door and ran my fingers though my hair as I paced to the window. I knew even before the squeak of the door that Ash had followed me. Ash always does. I heard him come to the window and I felt his body against mine. I saw his hand lean on the glass as he kissed my exposed neck. With his other hand I felt him grab my waist, quite possessively and yank me backwards. I was stood, but only just, with him holding me and his lips tracing the curve of my neck. I felt him kiss my cheek and run his hand through my hair. And I felt my breath quicken. Ash slammed me down onto the bed and I felt his hands reach under my top. I pulled it down anxiously, but he was persistent. He grabbed my hand as I tried to push him away. He was already breathing heavy. He pushed his fingers to interlock with mine and kissed my lips, hard and needy. I had nowhere to go and no way to stop him. He let go of my hand to grab my waist and force me closer to him. I wrapped my hands around his neck, desperate to put them somewhere. He deepened the kiss and I found myself submitting to him. My body was pressed against his and I had to look away to stop him from kissing me. I was out of breath and shocked. Ash’s hand touched my leg and I looked down to see him pulling my leg up against his side. I looked at him again but he was back to kissing my neck. I brought my hands down from his neck to push against his chest, it was no use. “Ash.” I whispered breathlessly. “Ash!” I felt his breath on my neck and shivers ran through my body.  Ash came face to face with me and he had his lips so close to mine again, I could quite literally taste his breath. I pushed him away, a little harder this time, he reluctantly came to sit up on my bed and I copied. I ran a hand through my hair, frustrated and surprised. Ash reached for my waist again, but I pushed him back with my hand. We were both out of breath and I was still surprised he actually did it. “Ash...?” I didn’t know what to say. “Cassie, just...” He came towards me again, he pushed down on my crossed legs and held me there whilst he kissed me, he tried to push me back down to the bed, but I pushed him away. “Ash, no.” He kissed me again, but this one was soft and gentle. “Cassie... Please?” Ash’s hand crept closer to mine, and soon enough he had his fingers wrapped tightly over mine. “Cassie...” I gave in. His plea’s turned into kisses, soft and gentle at first then harder, like he wanted me. I let my arms link around his neck and I felt his arms take their usual position around my waist. I laid back and felt the desperation in his kisses increase and his hands try to go further. I couldn’t stop him. I didn’t want to stop him. He took my shirt off and I lay there in my bra whilst he kissed me more and more. My hands slid down his chest and tried to rip off the buttons without looking. The covers creased and soon were on the floor. I felt his hands move lower and lower. He fiddled with my belt and messed until it became loose. I grabbed his hands. “Ash!” He let go of my belt to my relief and took off his shirt. Then pulled the cover back onto the bed. I couldn’t breathe, the need I felt when he kissed me took every ounce of energy I had. I let him kiss my neck and I felt myself falling asleep in his embrace. His body pushed closer against mine and I moaned with the pleasure. I heard him chuckle in my ear. “Shh.” I ‘shh’ed and let myself fall asleep in his arms.   ****** I woke, on a Monday morning; half dressed and laid upon someone who cared. Ash’s grip on my body grew tighter as I shimmied to get comfortable. I looked up at him and he looked down at me. “Well. Mornin’ beautiful.” Ash kissed my forehead gently and I snuggled into his bare chest. “I love you Cassie.” That woke me up. But, Liam loved me.... Didn’t he? Now I was confused. I laid in silence against him until I remembered what day it was. “Shit! It’s Monday!”  I reached for my phone, where it lives on my bed side table and checked the time. We were never going to make it in on time. I got out of bed and rushed around finding my uniform. Ash groaned as I ran about sorting myself out. He had only just got out of bed by the time I had sorted my makeup, hair and uniform. I ran into his room and found a neatly folded pile of black and white, school kit. I rushed back and threw them at him. He caught them and slowly got dressed. I sighed and jumped down the stairs, two at a time. I sped into the kitchen and nabbed the last remaining slices of toast, No other house members were present. But a very angry Mark was. “Cassie Brooks! You should be at school by now! Get sorted, else you’ll lose ALL of your allowance!” I nodded silently and ran back upstairs. Ash was ready (finally) and looked rugged once again. I shoved a piece of toast in his mouth. I was exiting my room when Ash caught my hand. “P.E?” this time he chucked something at me. A bag with my kit in. I hauled it over my shoulder and descended the stairs. Ash nipped in for his own kit and then followed me.  We speed walked up the Willow House drive and I imagined the dark car that Liam had clambered into only yesterday. “You had no tea yesterday.” Ash interrupted my train of thought. “Eh? What? Oh, yeah, not bothered.” Ash slowed down and decided to take my hand in his. I wriggled out of it. He looked hurt for a moment and then let it go. He had his hands in his pockets instead. I so badly wanted Liam. Even after everything Ash had done last night. I say Ash, when really I should be saying me and Ash. We both did it. I can’t deny that I gave back to him. I sped up the pace as the school was visible just at the end of the street. “Come on!” I started running and the fact I’d had no breakfast other than a slice of toast was really killing me now. I reached the gates with Ash hot on my heels, stomach aching. Molly was stood smirking at the over end of the grounds. The bell rang and I sighed before making my way to art. The art teacher was finally back, and boy was she strict. As when she was ill, the woman was not as scary as she was now. She slammed the old fashioned blackboard and scrawled out our lesson objectives with a chalk piece and scratched it irritatingly. I had to stop myself from snapping that chalk. She grabbed the pile from last week’s cover lesson and flicked through the pile half heartedly, stopping at certain individuals to see what they had done and question their working. I silently hoped she wouldn’t stop on mine, but of all the unfortunates I was the one to be caught. “Cassie Brooks...” I looked up and Ash sniggered beside me. I kicked him under the table naturally and stared at my paper now hanging in Miss’s clutches at the front of the class. “And what is this?” She didn’t actually seem too bothered. “A fire.” She turned to look at it more closely and placed her old fashioned glasses at the end of her nose. “Hmm... Yes. Great use of tone and shading.” She flipped the paper and handed it out to me, carrying on shifting through the pile. I had a sudden feeling of dê-ja-voo all over again. I fiddled with my pencil, turning it in my hands as I stared at the image, again feeling the familiarity of it. Ash was staring over my shoulder. “Liam Davenport? Liam?” Miss was calling out Liam’s name. He wouldn’t collect it, he wouldn’t be able to. He wasn’t here. “Gone.” I found myself mumbling. “What was that Miss Brooks? Are you aware of Master Davenport’s whereabouts?” Oh lord, no one spoke like her no more. I cleared my throat but she bet me too it. “Skiving as usual? The boy has no respect for himself.” I clenched my fists under the table. No one understood us care kids. “He has been moved Miss. Moved.” She sighed and continued her work. I was sure I saw a smile on her face. Ash reached under the table and tried to snake his fingers into mine. I pulled my hand onto the table as a way to stop him but he kept nudging it the whole time I shaded. I pulled a piece of paper closer and decided to have a ‘paper conversation’. ‘Ash stop it. Now.’ I scribbled down and shimmied the paper across to him. ‘What beautiful?’ I read his words and couldn’t help the joy I got from him. I pushed it away and wrote clearly in hard bold letters; ‘STOP’. To that he simply scrunched the paper into a ball and whispered in my ear. “No.”  Art didn’t drag on too long and so I was soon away from Ash’s close range. I made my way to science with my head down. Another lesson where I would yet again be reminded of how I cannot be with Liam and how much I missed him. I reached science and made a very obvious, very loud sigh. But no one could hear me over the clatter of test tubes and practical’s being set up. I took my seat, on my lonely table and stared at my book which had miraculously turned up at my seat. I sent a confused side glance at Ash, but he was too busy chatting up the ‘popular’ girls at his own table. Hmm. I shrugged and flicked open to my next clean page, smoothed a fold and scribbled the date and objectives down. My science teacher looked like she was about to lose it. Mentally. And probably leave her scarred for life. I chewed the end of my standard office pen and watched without knowing I was most likely gawking at Ash. And the way he flirted with others. For some strange reason I wanted to claim him as mine, after everything that had happened between us. But there was still a part of me that had hope. Hope that Liam would return, when in all honesty, he wouldn’t. I should suppress it, and embrace what I had, but I just couldn’t let him go. To think he’d slipped through my fingers that easily, is too annoying to live with. I just sat and stared, and stared some more. I looked from one end of the classroom to the other and found a certain divide pop up. Groups and huddles of friends and alike people. I didn’t fit in anywhere. Not without Liam at least. I guess at one point we were labelled as ‘the couple’. And now what am I? The nobody left behind. I have my own category, one that no one else fits into. I’m special. In a bad way.  I found myself doodling at the corners of my science book, and wasting what I had left of my pen by the time Ash, acknowledged my existence again. “Bored of your toys Ash?” I didn’t look at him; else I might find myself smiling at his smirking face. I just deepened the pressure on my doodles. He chuckled and sat in Liam’s seat, Liam’s seat. I thwacked him with my ruler. They hurt. Lots. “Ow!” He clutched his wrist. I peered at the reddening mark I’d made. A smile spread on my face this time. “Bad boy.” I pointed my ruler at his face. “Bad boy. No Sit.” I winked at him. He held up his hands and got off of the stool beside me. “I surrender.” He had me giggling in seconds.  Science class was one of those where anything could happen. I remembered the time Molly ‘accidently’ spilt acid on my hand and Liam had looked after me. But I didn’t have Liam now. Molly paraded herself across the room. A deadly looking test tube in her hand. “Hello.” Her groupies followed. “Seriously? Best you can do is pour acid on me again? I was expecting better than that Carlton.” Molly’s face scrunched up. “No. But it’s a start.” She tipped the tube and teased me with it, teetering the liquid inside. It was on dripping point when the bell rang. Molly pulled it straight and stomped her foot like a child. “Aww! No fair!” I picked up my bag and left the classroom before I could get myself into yet more trouble. I needed this break and with P.E next, I’d die without it. I hoped to god it wasn’t cross country. I sat in a lonely corner of the canteen and just relaxed. I could breathe for once without the world judging me, and hating me for things I had no idea I’d done. But my secure little, lonely haven could only last momentarily and soon I was on the go again. I plodded towards P.E and missed Ash along the way. I purposely decided I didn’t want to bump into him again, as much as he cheered me up, I felt it was too false to be true.  I quickly changed into my very unattractive P.E kit and ignored the half naked prancing Molly, who was showing off as usual. I sat in the gym to find us doing gymnastics. Oh the joys. Guessing by my extremely over enthusiastic take on the lesson, you can imagine how much this lesson killed. Every single, agonising second, I was determined to knock Molly’s face off. In fact I got close to doing so a couple of times. I even reached her mat at one point, and then refused to cause a commotion. I quite literally ripped off my kit and changed back into my uniform the second the teacher let us out. I was first ready and so could get away without anyone catching me. But again I was faced with a dilemma. This dinner meant that I was in no position to sit at ‘the’ table. But I thought I might as well anyway. I plonked my frustrated self down in my (used to be) usual seat and pulled my knees up to my chest on the seat. I wanted to look like I felt. Fragile and not up for a full on confrontation, though Molly may make an exception. Ash was first to the table and then a long lost ‘friend’ Teresa. “What are you staring at?” I shook my head. “Huh? What?” She just dismissed me, but the accusations fired back. “Molly told me it was you who sent Liam packing. Just so you know, I hate you more than I did before.” I sent her a middle finger whilst she wasn’t looking and then found the words to explain myself. “How is any of this-” I gestured to the table and random spaces “- my fault? How did I make him leave? How did I do anything?” I leaned over the table and Teresa sent me the stink eye. “Are you challenging me?” Teresa’s hands slammed down on the table and I found myself fall into the fight I’d seen coming from the very beginning. 

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