Burning Ashes (Sequel to Willow House)

Cassie Brooks has a heart rendering decision to make, between Ash and Liam. Who will she choose?


8. Yours...?




Oh no. Prom. I can’t wait, heavy on the sarcasm there. Liam will ask Cassie to go, and she’ll accept and I’ll spend the whole night sitting alone like a douche. Or with Becky. That made me shudder. I still wasn’t sure Cassie had completely forgiven me over that. I mean, it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t flirting. Wait, I had, but I wasn’t in the same position as I am now. In love with Cassie. That’s bold. Bold to say, to think. I’m still young aren’t I? Sixteen? I don’t know love yet. I can’t. But you do, because you know her. Yes I do know love. I see it every time I see her. Because I know I love her. More than Liam. More than anyone. And not even Becky can influence my judgement. I have to get Cassie to come with me. I can’t stand a whole night watching Liam touch, hold... kiss... what I long to have myself. I would love to show off, to win her invitation and kiss her all night long. Right in front of the bastard. He deserved to see someone love her right. She deserved someone to love her right. Properly, like I can. Like I will. That was also bold. I can’t guarantee I will have her, as much as I love her and maybe she loves me too, she has a hurdle to overcome. A guy to drop.



£40. Not much really when you look at the price of things these days.  But it’ll have to do. I’ll have to find a suit and wear a suit to the prom. Urgh, I really do prefer wearing casual shit. So much more comfy, and I don’t feel on show. Unless, I don’t have my top on. Then I guess I am on show. Like I am now. Chilling alone in my room. Too warm, letting my shirt lie unbuttoned. Loose and comfy, that’s me. I wondered if Cassie was still cold. Lemme think of an excuse to go see her, to go make her warm again. Prom? Yeah, I could start there I guess as a general subject. Asking her? Nah, I shouldn’t yet should I? Might make her anxious. Still, no matter how shit an excuse it was, I wanted to see Cassie again, so I’ll take it. I basically glided my way to her room. It felt that way what with my open shirt flapping with the movement. I knocked on her door before twisting the door knob and walking in. I was making a habit of closing the door behind me, in case I want to do something... Private. Cassie looked up as I entered. She was in her shorts pyjamas and was sat on the floor with Nat who was also in her Pj’s. Nat seemed to stare at me, quite fan girl like. It started to creep me out. “Yeah?” 


“Why you here Ash?” I snapped back into reality. She sat there waiting an answer. I came closer to the pair. “Erm, just wondering how the... the, windows holding up.” I was a bad liar. And that wasn’t even my crappy excuse. It was worse. “Its fine, thanks?” I nodded. 

“You know what I’m gunna say.”

“Yeah, yeah, no jumping, I get it. I aint escaping anything with a second chance.” She mumbled the last bit, but I heard it loud and clear. “Escaping what baby?” Oops. Damn! I need to stop that. She rolled her eyes at me. “Escaping you.” It was said with sarcasm, but I felt the deeper reason I was looking for was in there somewhere. So I had something to do with it. I knew it. Was Liam to blame as well? Who knows? Cassie knows. No shit Sherlock. Nat was still looking at me. “Do you mind?” I waved in front of her eyes. She blinked after the third swipe. “Oh, what? Yeah.” She went bright red. Was she checking me out? I felt a shot of pride run through me, and then I swallowed it. Buried it away. I didn’t need any more ‘admirers’ when I was in desperate need of winning Cassie. “Anything else?” Her mocking tone softened, as if she wanted something more from me. I daren’t make the move, not with Nat there. I’ll just have to leave her wanting me tonight. I walked out of her room, waving good night to the roomies. 


I was heading back to my room, when I turned back on myself. Back to Cassie’s room. I hadn’t done anything, or said anything I’d wanted to have. I stood outside her door. Wanting to knock, or even just walk on in. I just hesitated outside her door. Until I gave up, and headed back. I passed Liam, and I wondered if he was going to see her. I stopped my mind from wandering. If I thought about him and her, I’d think about all the things he can just do. The every single thing I want to do, yet have to secretly, patiently wait them out. I wasn’t patient; I have not a single ounce of patience in my body. I don’t know how I live. How I manage to hold onto seeing her again, being with her again. Proving things. I don’t know why I bother though. She still doesn’t rank me any higher in her mind. I’m just Ash. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s sad really, because I would give anything to be Liam, yet I despise the dick with everything I am. I sighed and lay on my bed. I suddenly felt a little cold. Colder than I have lately. Strange. That’s not right. Then it was gone. Simply click of the fingers and it disappeared in a flash. Hmp.




The subtle knock on my door made my heart leap into my throat. Nat had gone all girly on me and got out some magazines to show me different dress styles. I really wasn’t too bothered. I just dreaded Prom day. The day I would have to choose, and hurt someone real bad. Ash walked in, making a point of shutting the door behind him. The first thing I noticed was he was once again, wearing his shirt open. That guy must get real warm. You want him. Oh I do! But I can’t. No. Putting my foot down. Nat noticed it too, in fact, I’m sure her jaw dropped half a mile when she saw his body. Great, she was one of them type of girls. Maybe not so much like me after all. Don’t get me wrong, I like a guy with a nice body. Like Ash. Shh! But it was the mind of the person that counted. Right? Yeah I’m asking your opinion a lot. Get over it. 


Nat’s eyes widened at the fit lines on Ash’s body that he had most likely, purposely displayed. He gave her a weird look, like he didn’t understand why she was staring. “Yeah?” 

“Huh?” He really didn’t get it. Was he always slow on a night? No, he wasn’t. I knew that from experience...

“Why you here Ash?” I snapped at him. 

“Erm, just wondering how the... the, windows holding up.” He was such a bad liar. It was a really shit excuse to be in my room. Then I thought about it, had he just come to see me? 

 “Its fine, thanks?” I nodded. 

“You know what I’m gunna say.” I did. No jumping shit. 

“Yeah, yeah, no jumping, I get it. I aint escaping anything with a second chance.”I mumbled it, not wanting anyone to hear it. Nat didn’t, she was still hypnotized. Unfortunately, Ash did. “Escaping what baby?” Urgh, using baby again?

“Escaping you.” Ooh harsh. I’m nasty. That was really like a riddle. I’d let on that I was really trying to escape the decision between the two. Not by much, but still. That’s if he even acknowledged the over easy tone. I probably hadn’t, he is a guy after all. Ash looked over to the admiring Nat. “Do you mind?” He waved his hand in front of her face, it still took three times for her to realize and snap back into the real world. “Oh, what? Yeah.” I didn’t feel jealous; there was an air between me and Nat that was different than the air between me and Becky. “Anything else?” I asked, my tone softened and I realized I wanted him to say something more, do something more. But not he just shook his head and walked on out. He had me wanting him again. 


As soon as the door clicked shut, I turned to Natalie. “What?” She was bright red. 

“That. That’s what.” He motioned to the abs in my own belly. They were covered by a layer of fat. They were shy. “Oh that.” She was bursting to chat with me about him. “Oh my god! He is so damn hot!” She was smiling like a fan girl. “Is Liam like that?” I made a scrunched up face and shook my hand 50/50. She but her lip, and I thought it was going to bleed. Or burst. Eww. But no, it didn’t she stood up and jumped up and down. “Pick Ash! Pick Ash!” I looked at her horrified. I think she was still a little high from the sight. She needed to control herself. If anyone heard her, I was dead. “What do you mean Ash?” Liam walked in and I just stared at him. Nat lost her smile, and all her enthusiasm. “We were... On about... erm.” Nat was trying to cover for us. 

“Prom.” She looked at me, it didn’t help.

“And who I wanted to go with. Yeah. Yeah. Me.” She placed her hand on her hips and exaggerated the ‘I’ for herself. She nodded her head as she tried to make it a more casual conversation, with a few ‘yeah’s. Liam didn’t look convinced. He came up to me and forced me to stand. “You can’t lie to me.” He was right there. I couldn’t. He cupped my face in his hands, like he would to kiss me, and help my gaze with his piercing eyes. “Are you going to the Prom with Ash?” I felt my whole body relax. At least I didn’t have to lie, or even try for that matter. “Nope.” He searched my eyes again then smiled. 

“Good. Because I want you.” He closed his eyes and his arm pulled my bottom half towards him. I leaned away a little to give a worried look to Nat. She signalled for me to go with it, and I allowed Liam to kiss me. He tried to deepen it, like Ash did, but I pulled away. He sighed. “Why do you keep doing that?” 

“Doing what?”

“Pulling away from me.” I bit my tongue. Unable to answer. I tasted blood in my mouth, urgh; I must have actually bit it. “You don’t want to kiss to death! She’s keeping it fresh. Right Cass?” Cass? Okay... And fresh? Nat really wasn’t good at improvising. Still, it was my only option. “Yeah. What she said.” I nodded and Liam pulled me to him again. I awaited the kiss, but I just felt his lips touch my cheek. I touched his hand that held me stuck to him. Slightly warmer. Maybe he had been ill or something. I led him out my room. And he lingered at my door. “Night Cassie.” I smiled and kissed him gently. He deserved that, I think. “Night Liam.”





My phone’s extremely irritating alarm rang through my room. It felt good to be in it again. I got up and switched it off. Sick of its annoying tone, I looked down towards where Natalie had slept. She didn’t snore, so I could live with her. And she helped me out, quite few times. But to be fair, some of them, she had got me into. I nudged her with my foot. “C’mon lazy.” She groaned something, still half asleep. I forced myself to get straight up, if anything I needed to wash my mess of a head. I needed to seriously sort my hair out, but to be honest, I couldn’t be arsed. I grabbed a black bobble and wrapped my hair up into a messy pony. It would do for school. Nat was just getting up as I changed into my school kit. I ran downstairs, and grabbed her kit. Something she’d been foolish enough to leave for me to do. I put her P.E kit together as well. I’m so nice. I dumped them by her bedside and she forced herself to get changed. “You want toast?” She groaned and stretched quite obscurely. “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” I ran down the stairs again, two steps at a time, and snatched two slices of toast. My regular breakfast. I ate mine in a couple of bites; I shoved Nat’s in her gob and left her for my toothbrush. Once I felt minty fresh and had a suitable layer of makeup on, I slung my bags over my shoulder. Nat stumbled, still sleepy, towards me. I steadied her, and she smiled. “Don’t laugh! I don’t do mornings.” I rolled my eyes. A sore movement at this time in the morning, and linked arms with sleepy Nat, helping her down the stairs and onto Willow House’s pebbled drive.


Ash ran up behind us. “Morning.” I nodded at him and Nat unlinked my arm to try walking herself. “Moring sleepy.” Ash tapped Nat on the head and she swatted him away. “No. Leave, alone.” She couldn’t even speak properly yet. She really was still asleep. Liam surprised me with a hug from behind and a cute little kiss on the cheek. “Morning beautiful. You leaving me behind?” I smiled, even though his compliment really nagged at my insides. “Yeah. Thought you could do with a morning jog.” I poked his stomach as if saying he was fat, when really, all I hit was his muscles. Not like Ash’s though. Mind, shut up. Ash smiled at me, but ignored the glare he got from Liam. I pulled Nat away from a lamppost. “Wha-? Thanks.” I laughed. 

“Don’t mention it.” She opened her eyes a little more, finally coming round.

“Fine, I won’t.” We huddled together, early once again this morning. And nevertheless, Becky came to join our group. She didn’t give me the friendly smile and wave like yesterday. In fact, her face seemed hostile and the enemy was playing her poker face. I straightened mine. Becky snuggled up next to Ash and clung to his arm. He didn’t tap her away, which really ate away at my heart. Her long, red flowing hair swaying into his face in the wind. I twiddled with my own hair, ashamed of how I stood here, envying her. Nat came too, finally. “What first Cass?” I waited for the first lesson I could think of come to me. “Science...?” I stopped thinking about it.

“Wrong. Art.” Becky piped up from around Ash. She was making me sick. Ill to see her cling to him, hold him, run her hands along him like I had. Like I had. I shouldn’t say that. I was with Liam wasn’t I? Not officially, yet still, it seemed wrong. I fumbled in my pocket, so green with envy for Becky. My dinner money rattled at my touch. That should be enough for what I want. My mind was set, I couldn’t stop myself now. As soon as the day was done, I’ll run to the shops, so no one sees me. And back to Willow. I’ll do it. I’ll show I’m not scared. I pushed my raven hair over my shoulder and walked towards the art block. I couldn’t wait.


I sat down, holding the seat next to me with my hand. Becky tried to sit down but I just battered her away. She fluttered her eyelashes at me as I signalled Nat over to sit with me. Nat sat down and we zoomed through art. I got some dirty looks from Becky the whole time, but I didn’t care. I felt confident when I was with Nat, and I couldn’t hold back my excitement for what I was going to do. I was going to be fantastic. That’s rather vain, but I don’t care. I’ll put Becky Coral in her place, just wait and see. I got up seconds before the bell and pulled Natalie along with me. “C’mon Nat we’ve got-” Becky jumped in-between us and severed our connection. “We’ve got Science. Just because you forget Cassie.” Becky stormed in front, latching onto Ash’s arm. I hid my anger well, I’ll get her soon enough. Nat mimicked Becky in a really annoying girl voice. “’Because you forget Cassie’, urgh, she sounds like a right bitch.” I loved how casual Nat was with me. It made me feel included, when in reality, I was including her. “She is.” Nat widened her eyes and stood there, mouth open, pointing as she noticed Becky latch onto Ash. “L-look! She’s got your Ash!” I clasped a hand over her mouth as Liam followed us out of art. “Shh! Nat!” She looked behind her and smiled at an unconvinced Liam. “Oh yeah, I get it, sorry Cass.” I rolled my eyes and lugged her with me to science. 


When I was sat in my usual seat next to Liam, I watched Nat being directed next to a seat next to my old friend Connor. He looked a little frustrated with his new seating partner. Nat wasn’t impressed. I waved over my shoulder at her, Connor looked distressed now. I sent him a stink eye stare and he seemed scared to even look at Nat. I think she preferred it this way. I felt Liam’s hand under the table and it made me turn back around. His hand rested on my thigh and I had to let him. I wasn’t going to make a scene, and with the way Ash and Becky were flirty away, I didn’t feel like I was being unfair. 


((A/N: Okay, so this is all I got so far... I dont really know why I stopped writing it, I guess other things cropped up... BUUUUT if you guys really like this saga, I was hoping after Burning Ashes (Ages back) to do at least another book... So if you do really like this series I'm happy to roll up my sleeves and get it done. As you know guys, I never plan stories. Like ever. Willow House actually came to me in a dream, and Burning Ashes in a couple of day dreams... But with the help of my friend, I ended up writing down a basic story plan. I'm so glad I saved it now. So yeh, tell me what you think, bug me for more if you want:) so happy with how Willow and Ashes is doing! You guys are so awesome ^_^ Lots of Love! BeyondLawliet))

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