Look at the way he's stacking up the wood, like he's some type of macho man. Obviously trying to impress me. He's completely clueless that he's overrated in my mind. And his jeans are way too tight. You know, he's not as hot as he thinks he is with sweat dripping down his forehead. And his neck. And his chest. And- Stop it.

... News flash, Owen. We're history.


9. Nine

It starts raining. I feel like I'm gonna throw up for three reasons. 

1. My stomach is full of ice cream that doesn't seem to be digesting very well.

2. Owen is driving too fast and there's a good chance we'll die.

3. He's not driving fast in the rain for the hell of it. He wants me.


He jogs around the van to get my door, I smile. "Beautiful." is all he says, but under his breath. Like he was saying it to himself. He grabs me by the waist and pulls me out into the rain. I go to say something, anything, but he grabs the back of my head and shoves it towards his. He uses his other arm to support me, even though I'm doing pretty good with keeping myself up. Our faces get wet in an instant, and soon our clothes. By the time we reach his front door we're soaked. His hands start shaking while he fumbles with his keys to find the right one. I kiss below his ear until he gets it. A frustrated grunt escapes his mouth when he tries at kicking his cleats off. My heels strongly dig into his tight baseball pants. I use my hips to grind against him, whimpering out a gasp in the process because it feels so good. He almost runs to his bedroom, with me in his arms. I slam the door behind us and he sets me down. 

My hands start ripping at his uniform. "Watch the buttons." He laughs a shaky laugh, slightly serious. I swing out of my black shirt and he undresses the rest of himself. Then he gently pulls my skirt down, staring at what I'd never shown him. My fingers find his hair when he begins kissing at my thighs. I watch him as he remains at his position on his knees and my crazy nerves are fading. His breathing is so heavy, that I can clearly see his muscles contracting. His face comes up and he presses a hard kiss to my lips. "Baby." My palms weigh against his chest and I push him onto his bed to straddle him. 

"Don't call me that." I said it sternly, but use it more as a tease. He bites his lip in response, and his arm reaches back into his bed side drawer. My hands stay planted firmly on his chest while he rummages in a hurry. I close my eyes for a second, soaking in my surroundings, and that feeling of wanting to throw up returns in the pit of my stomach. My fingers dig harshly into his skin and I take my breaths slow and deep. My shoulders jolt when I hear the drawer close. Owen's big hands find my waist again and I open my eyes. 

No going back now.


After Hank and I finished off, we never layed in bed to talk. With one hand rested on my bare back side, and another intertwined with mine, Owen tells me all about the scar across his ankle and how he got it. I know it has something to do with baseball, but I'm barely listening. I'm just observing. My biting thumb is used to feel the scruff on his chin. My finger sways back and forth, back and forth. And he laughs, so I chime in with a giggle, even though I have no clue what he said that was funny. My hair is still damp from the rain, and no longer straight as it was this morning. I suddenly feel the urge to kiss him, even if it means interrupting his story. I utilize the last bit of my energy to haul my body onto him. He hums against my mouth and kisses me back lazily, then stronger. "Let me just say," he begins, pecking my pink lips. "You are the best friend I've ever had." The guy beneath me finds the curve of my back, sliding down in ease. I laugh, laying on my back again and tugging his olive green sheet over me. Now we're both under it, and we're staring at the ceiling. 

"I guess you want me to go now." I say, not moving a muscle. 

"Not even a little bit. I'd keep you hostage in here if it meant we could do that again." he turns on his side and takes his time to kiss my temple. My head tilts gently. "Stay." he smooches again and lays back, grabbing my hand. 

"Really?" I still don't look at him. My eyes are almost closed. "That's never what Hank wanted."

"Well I'm not Hank." He says, proudly. "And your not just some girl that I picked up off the curb at school, or a party." 

"What does that mean?" I squeeze his hand, setting my eyes on him. "What am I?" 

"You're..." He frantically looks for an answer, and I only know that because I can see it in his eyes. The way they move show that the question struck a spark of nervousness. His next action is simple, a shrug. "You're Presley." 

Something floods into his eyes then as we gaze at one another. Something I can't read. Something that I haven't ever seen towards me. All I know is that this 'something'  is making the pit of my stomach flutter. 

And then we hear the scream.


"Its my mom." he reaches for clothes, any clothes, and I go for mine. I figure now is not the time to freak out about how his mom has been here the whole time. If only she knew what was going on just a few doors down. The thought makes my stomach hurt. 

She's screaming louder by the time Owen gets into the hallway. I quickly follow after slipping into my light pink skirt. The sound of her shrieks brings pain to my ears, and it sends chills up my back all the way to my neck. Owens already in her room and I nosily peek my head in. I see that he's holding her hand, squeezing so hard that both of their knuckles were white. "Presley can you please come in here." He speaks shakily, almost like he's scared. My tip toes lead me into his mom's bedroom. I walk around to the other side, opposite of Owen. And when I look down, it's hard to miss the fact that the lower part of her night gown is soaked in blood. The sight of the bright red color forces my eyes to look away, into hers. 

"Hi Norma." I take her other hand. The screaming has stopped, but shes holding on as tight as possible. I feel like I'll lose circulation, but I don't mind. I glance at Owen, who's staring into space, probably thinking of something awful. Before I look away he snaps back into it. 

"What should we do?" he huffs. Norma starts to whimper again, loudly. My hand is caught tighter and I grimace. "Presley." Owen says, much louder than his words before. He's scared. His mother's looking into my eyes, and I think she's embarrassed. Embarrassed because this is not how I remember her. The last time I was in this house she was making spaghetti with meatballs and playing music from the 80's in the kitchen. I remember giggling as she danced around in her mint green apron. Those happy eyes are not the same ones in front of me. 

"Owen get out." I tell him, and I say it harshly so he'll do what I say. He looks at me like I'm crazy, but I shoo him with my free hand. 

"Ma, you're gonna be okay." She doesn't look at him when he says that, maybe she doesn't believe him. He was gone in a few seconds, and I didn't expect him to obey me as easily as he did. 

"Presley, honey help me." tears are dripping down her neck. 

"Let's sit up, okay?" I start to help her up and she just cries louder, the pain probably increasing. When she's up, I assist her with swinging her legs around slowly and she starts pointing. 

"Please get me my pills." I do as she says, and retrieve her cup of water on the side. 

I'm on my knees now, preparing seven pills from seven different jars for her to take. Her pain seems to subside when she focused on me, and started telling me what goes where. She tells me that she has a doctor's appointment at six o'clock.When I finally get everything organized, she swallows her pills in intervals, and I watch hesitantly. "I'll get you some fresh clothes." I say it slow, standing to my feet. She points to her big dresser in the corner while gulping down her water. My feet go over and I open the first drawer, finding under garments. I snatch a pair of folded white underwear. On to the next drawer to grab a pair of yoga pants. I figure she won't want to wear jeans, so I go for what looks comfortable. I find a baby blue U-neck t-shirt for her to wear, also I pick up a hair tie from the top of her dresser. 

When I turn, Norma's attempting to stand up by herself. I hurry over with the pile of clothes under my arm, and my other eventually links itself to hers. We limp to her master bathroom, and I can't help but notice how she cries out every few seconds. After getting her out of her soiled night gown, I give Norma privacy for the most part to clean herself up. There's a bench in the corner, and I drag it into the middle of the large bathroom, in front of the mirror. She makes her way over and I help her into her pants, then she plops herself into the seat. While she puts her shirt on, I pick up her stained clothes and drop them into the nearby hamper. We both sigh and look in the mirror, my hands on her shoulders. My hand goes for the black hair brush on the counter and I start at her dirty blonde mess. All of her sons came out brunette, a trait from their dad I assume.

Every now and again she hums out a grunt, but a smile continues to creep up on her face. A small one, not labeled happy or sad. "You know," she starts, her smile getting larger. "None of my daughter in laws have ever done this for me." I manage to get her hair into a ponytail with a decent little bump thanks to help from a handful of bobby pins. I smooth down the sides with my hand and she catches it in hers. "Thank you Presley." she smooches my fingers quickly, her motherly instincts showing. "I miss having you around here." she adds, smirking. I help her up carefully without a word, just a light giggle. And we share a tight embrace. 

The clock on her bedroom wall reads 5:38, and that's when Owen knocks. Norma and I both respond with the same comment. "Come in." 

"I don't hear screaming." Owen has a sad grin on his face, and he just gives his mother a small hug. 

"I'm okay, sweetheart." I can tell that she's not squeezing him too hard. She pulls away and says, "You've got yourself a good girl here. I always knew it." She smiles. "She's better then those bitches your brothers married." We all laugh at that, only because it's true. It would've been mean otherwise. I'd met them all once before, at the annual family reunion. 

Norma walks out, leaving me in the room with Owen. I notice how his gray sweatpants hug his lower half nicely, and my body moves forward to get a grip on his red t-shirt. He just stares at me, in awe almost. "You could've told me your mom was here." I tilt my head. 

"Yeah but if I had, we wouldn't have done what we did." His warm hands trail up and down the length of my arms. He waits a while to break the growing silence between us. "That's never happened to her before." I squeeze his shirt in my fist as the look of fear returns to his face for a split second. Eventually he comes back to me. And I ask a question with an obvious answer. 

"Were you scared?" My fist comes undone and my hand travels up to his bicep. I smile when I see his head drop bashfully. 

"Yeah  " he nods. "I was." He leans down to kiss my cheek. "Thank you for helping her. I don't know how I would've done it." He leaves three little pecks on my cheek. 

"I have to go. James is probably getting nervous." I head to the door but he stops me. 

"Let me take you." He pleads, my hand caught in his. 

"No its okay. I'll walk." 

"No Pres, you're no-" 

"Its fine Owen. I walk everywhere." 

"I'm taking you." 

"Why?" I let go of him. "What if I want alone time? 

"Because I don't want you walking home in the dark. You can have all the alone time you want when I drop you off at home." 

"Why do you even care about protecting me? You're not supposed to care about me." 

"Who says?" He closes Norma's bedroom door, aware that this argument is rising quickly.

"Were just friends." I stand in front of him with my arms crossed. 

"Don't pull that shit on me Pres." He towers over me. "This is different." 

"It is not different." 

"I'm taking you home. That's it." He goes to turn away but stops when I speak. 

"Even when were not committed to each other we still fight like were married!" I put my hand on my forehead for a second, then drop it again. "I don't want this." I sigh, hard. Owen just stares at me for a long time. My voice settles into a low whisper, rather than my previous yell. "I don't want this if we're just gonna fight like before." I sit on the bed, on the very edge, and he comes over just as I expected him to. My hands stay folded in my lap and my chin is dropped against my chest. Before he can get the chance to kneel in front of me or take my hand in his, I force my body up. I cannot act defeated. I have to be strong in this relationship, or friendship, whatever it is. I'm not playing the weak female part. 

I walk out into the hall, where Norma asks me if everything is okay. I give her a small nod and a reassuring smile, then join her on the bench by the front door. It takes Owen at least four whole minutes to recollect himself, if that's what he's doing. In my head I'm fighting with myself about deciding to let him take me home or not. If I start walking now, I won't get home for a good twenty minutes if not more. James would have a conniption. So I guess there's no fighting to it. I just won't talk to him in the car. I mean, he has to take his mom to her appointment anyway. I might as well. 


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