Soft Spot

❝Because when you think everything is going right, things always have to make their turns just to mess everything up.❞


A story in which the sarcastic bitch collides with the egocentric asshole.

A story in which even the ones you hold dear to your heart could be the ones to stab you as soon as you have your back turned.

A story of trust and loyalty - follow Arvina Erikson's journey as she discovers the trials and tribulations of young love with Zander Maz, the guy that would teach her what it really means to fall in love, and to open up again even after you've had your trust broken.


This story may contain vulgar language and mature content.
© 2017 | Aeanne. // peachienixie. | All Rights Reserved.


7. {6}


Arvina Erikson


After our little "date" at Cupcake Boulevard, Zander had been unusually cold to me. Of course it wasn't odd at all whenever he was being cold to anyone else because that's just him being the Bradford Badboy that he is, but it felt completely out of place when I was the one he was giving his malevolent attitude to.

He stopped talking to me and seemingly shut me out of his life completely. I approached him the morning after our study session to greet him good morning, and it was as if he hadn't seen me at all as he completely walked past me. I texted him during lunch to confront him and ask him what was wrong, but he had left me on read and wanting to throw my phone across the dining hall.

I felt silly to let this get to me; who was I to him, anyway? I was probably no more than any of the girl he tries to get with, and when he realized that he absolutely had no chance with me, he had given up. But the problem that he didn't know - that no one knew - was that he was wrong about that. A few weak-to-the-knees smiles and a cheesy ass way to get me to go on a date with him, he had me under his will.

He also stopped showing up to English, and if I wasn't totally into him, I probably would have found this as a relief as it gave me more time to spend with Chris to catch up the years that we pretended we never knew each other at all even if we were practically glued together when we were younger.

A week had passed, and then two, and I still have heard nothing from him. The worry and panic that were flowing in my veins were annoying to no extent, and Brielle had taken a notice on my recent habit of checking my phone every five minutes to check whether he finally stopped being an asshole and replied to me or not. It was the latter every time.

"Why are you so bugged with your phone?" Brielle finally decided to ask, which surprised me because I half expected her to begin asking the very first day that I ever started checking my phone so often, but she lasted two weeks with letting me mind my own business.

It was a Saturday, and we decided to go to her house so that she could help me catch up with Lit as English had always been her strongest subject, but so far it had just been her on her laptop scrolling through Tumblr and showing me whatever she finds funny, and me on my phone as I not-so-patiently wait for the lord of the asses to text me back.

"Nothing," I lied, but knowing her, she would see through this lie.

"Okay," she nearly laughed, "it's Zander Maz, isn't it? You've been texting each other, haven't you?"

"No." I rolled my eyes, almost bursting out the fact that it's actually quite the opposite.

"I don't believe you." She said before diving for my phone, which I tried to swerve so hard that I fell off her bed, but somehow leaving my phone on the bed in the process.

"That's what you get!" She laughed as she swipes my phone into her hand, unlocking it and possibly going through my messages. "So it is Zander." She raised her left eyebrow at me, flashing me our conversation. "He'd left you on read two weeks ago. I'm guessing you're waiting for a reply still?"

"Whatever," I mumbled glumly, snatching my phone out of her hand and taking a heavy breath out before plopping down on her bed. "I'm fucking hooked, god, I'm so stupid!"

"I warned you," she shook her head, "it was the fake date, wasn't it? I was watching you guys."

"Maybe." I sighed. "I can't take the fucker out of my mind. You're gonna have to physically scrape him off my brain, so if you could kindly drill into my skull now, I would appreciate and award you with the World's Bestest Best Friend Award."

"I was awarded that when I had to pretend you didn't murder your brother's goldfish in Year 4, thank you very much." She spoke with a fake posh accent, making me laugh. She engulfed me into a hug, resting her head on my shoulder and playing with the ends of my hair. "As the World's Bestest Best Friend, I feel the need to remind you that you haven't known him that long, and your only interaction with him so far are the ones were he's been an asshole, and the one where he'd basically deceived you into going into a date with him."

"I know." I pouted. "I'm so stupid."

"You're not," she squeezed me tighter, "you're so not, and I'm not even being the slightest sarcastic, you're the smartest girl I've ever met, and you don't deserve to feel bad over some fuckboy who was never worth your time in the first place."

"You know what, you're right." I looked at her and hugged her back, smiling and silently being thankful that I was bestowed with the World's Bestest Best Friend. "I think I was just obsessed with the haze of the moment, but some moments are only beautiful in that moment that it happened, and once it's over, so is the beauty of it."

"God, you speak like you're a character straight out of some story sometimes." She laughed before breaking our hug and going back to what she was doing before she decided to bother me.

And I was fine after that, really. I made peace with myself and with the fact that Zander Maz is an asshole and that's all he'd ever be.

Until he texted me.

From: Monkey 🙈🙉🙊 
Arvi, I'm sorry for how I've been acting lately. I understand if you hate me. I wanna explain. Are you free? I'll pick you up now.

I nearly jumped, cursing myself for the fact that the peace I found lasted for less than five seconds. Brielle gave me a weird look and as soon as she caught on to who the message was from, she just rolled her eyes at me, but there was a playful smile on her lips. I just stuck my tongue out at her and continued to reply to Zander, trying to keep my cool and be as nonchalant as possible.

To: Monkey 🙈🙉🙊
I'm at Brielle's right now.

From: Monkey 🙈🙉🙊
Great, I'm at Luca's.

I cursed underneath my breath. Luca's house is literally right across Brielle's, which means that the asshole I was so hooked to for all of the odd reasons was just across from where I was. Brielle's house was a known destination to the jock army for some weird reasons, but we always just assumed that it was because Luca lived across and she had always been the butt of their childish pranks for this reason.

"Zander's at Luca's and he wants to meet up with me." I told Brielle, and she looked nearly appalled and disgusted that he wanted to hang out with me after being such a dickshit, but she almost kicked me out of her house anyway.

"Another date, I see," she said with a mildly angry tone as she pushed me out of her front door, "tell me how it goes!" And then she slammed the door and I was left to alone to knock on the First Ass's door and ask for his best friend. There was no doubt that Brielle didn't like the idea of me hanging out with Zander, but I decided to push that thought at the back of my mind for now and promised myself I'd deal with it later.

"Hey," the First Ass smirked at me as soon as he opened the door, "I'm assuming you're here for Zan?"

"Um-" My sentence was cut off when Zander pushed him out of the way and headed out, giving him a deadpan look which he just laughed off before disappearing into his rather gigantic house. For a family of four, you'd think the Jax family would need a smaller house.

"Let's go to Overland Park, and we'd talk there." That was all Zander said as if no other words were necessary, and we both climbed into the black Bentley that was parked on Luca's driveway.

There were no other words that were exchanged between us the whole fifteen minutes ride that took to get to the park. I didn't understand the point of going so far when there was a park just five minutes outside of the neighborhood we were just in.

His car smelled like a weirdly good mixture of alcohol, cigarettes, and expensive cologne. He looked tired, with dark circles underneath his eyes and his hair tousled in every direction; it was as if he hasn't slept at all the whole two weeks that he'd basically turned into a ghost to me.

His silence bothered the hell out of me. It was like we were back to the politeness of staying out of each other's lanes when it wasn't too long ago when he'd somehow guessed my phone number. It wasn't too long ago when we were both gushing at how cheesy we looked in our not-so-date, cozying up in Cupcake Boulevard with my lame To Kill A Mockingbird puns, the never ending supply of chai latte, and the peach biscotti we were both so obsessed with.

When we got to Overland Park, he didn't bother opening the car door for me, nor did he even bother waiting for me before walking to the park and sitting on one of the swings, pulling a cigarette out of the pocket of his leather jacket and tucking it into his lips while he fumbled with his jean pockets to look for a lighter.

"What's this all about?" I asked without looking at him, situating myself on the swing and lightly pushing myself.

"I like you," he said silently, "so much already and I barely know you."

"And that gives you the right to act like a complete dick to me when I've done nothing to you?" I frowned. "How is your inability to control your hormones my fault? How is that my problem at all?"

"It's not," he took a heavy sigh out, finally finding a lighter and lighting up his cigarette. "Everything has to do with me. I just thought that maybe if I distanced myself with you for awhile, it'd go away."

His words left a pang in my chest, making me feel all sorts of silly again. How could this bother me so much? I don't care about him. I shouldn't care about him.

"Don't," I said, confusing him until I took the cigarette in between my fingers and crushing it on the ground until it died, "don't do that to yourself. Zander, is everything okay?" I studied his face again. His features got even more prominent if that was even possible, stubble growing at the side of his jaw. "When was the last time you ate? Have you even eaten today?"

"That's not the point," he frowned, "I don't need you to be concerned about me."

"Well I am." I protested. "Let's go get something to eat."

"Arvi." He tucked his bottom lip between his teeth, sucking a breath in hard through his nose and running his fingers through his hair in frustration. "Dammit, Arvi, I'm trying to get over you."

"What's so bad about liking me?" I frowned, honestly hurt.

"We're different people." He said slowly. "It's a bad idea."

"Jesus, Zan, if this has something to do with your reputation and with me being a nobody trash at school, you can go fuck yourself because that's the most self-centered and stupidest thing someone could ever even think about, you asshole." I jumped out of the swing and stomped away from him like a child throwing a tantrum, tears begging to fall from my eyes but I blinked them away.

"Arvi." I heard him following me, but I refused to stop trying to get away from him. He grabbed my wrist and spun me around, hugging me tight and refusing to let go even after I retaliated by trying to push him away. "Stop." He whispered, and I did. He held me like that for a while and we were both silent until he finally broke it, letting me go and kissing my forehead. "I don't give a fuck about that. That's a bad idea too for a lot of reasons you won't understand, but that's not the reason I'm distancing myself." He looked me in the eye, placing his thumb on my chin, sincerity covering his entire being. "I'm a bad person, and you're not, that's my problem. I don't want to fuck you up. I'm fucked up in all sorts of way, and for that reason, I didn't want to be chained down by someone else, but fuck, you give me that kind of look and I just- I'm hopeless."

"Don't talk about yourself like that." I frowned, cupping his hand between mine.

"I love when you frown." He smiled, tracing my creased eyebrows. "It's so cute."

"Shut up, you're changing the subject." I rolled my eyes. "Don't talk about yourself like that, okay?"

"Why are you so nice?" It was his turn to frown now. "I humiliated you the first time I've ever met you, and you're defending me now from bad talking myself. This is not going to do you any good, Arvi."

"Kindness is important," I shrugged, "you could stand up for yourself and not let anyone stomp on you, but that doesn't mean that you have to be a complete and utter shit to others. That's a very ugly trait."

He just smiled and kissed my forehead again before letting go of my chin. His stomach growled and I looked at him with my eyebrows arched up, asking again whether he has eaten or not.

He laughed. "I know a place, let's go."

He held my hand and led me to his car, our fingers feeling like puzzle pieces that just fit together. It was like if you listened closely, you'd hear them snap together like a perfect jigsaw piece, and that thought alone was enough to make me feel weak to my knees all over again, but it felt right. Everything with him felt right, whatever that meant.

He opened the door for me and helped me climb into the passenger seat, buckling me up as if I was an infant that he felt the need to protect at all costs before climbing into his own seat and driving to a place a little bit out of Woodrose.

He drove for thirty minutes, and we laughed and joked the entire time, sharing hilarious moments that we've had in the past and sharing some interests. He told me of the story when he was younger and he was staying at a resort with Luca's family at Bahamas. He was on one of the swimming pools by himself and he really had to use the bathroom for a poo, but the line on the loo was terribly long, so he'd taken the privilege to go to the deeper end of the pool and drop his bomb there, swimming away afterward and pretending that he didn't just take a dump in the pool. He then proceeded to tell me that Luca came up to him later on to announce that he'd found a poo on the pool floor when he swam there.

"That's so disgusting!" I laughed so hard, there were tears building up in my eyes and I was almost wheezing from being out of breath.

"I was young and I really had to go!" He tried to defend himself, but he was laughing too.

He took me to a tiny but cute breakfast diner just right outside of Woodrose, placed in a street so hidden, he missed the turn three times.

It was called H&H (the H&H standing up for Holly and Henry, according to their menu) Bagels, and apparently Zander and his friends had been here way too many times that Holly and Henry, the owners of the diner, and the jock army are on a first name basis.

"Zan," Holly, a small and frail old woman with incredibly long gray hair smiled kindly at us, "how may I serve you today? Is it just you?"

"Hey, Hol'." Zander smiled back at her with the warmest smile I have ever seen him give anyone. "Nope, just me today. This is Arvina, by the way," he nodded at me, "and Arvina this is Holly, the owner."

"Hello, young miss." She nodded at me and smiled. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you. I've heard the boys discuss about an Arvina quite a few times." What?

"Hol'." Zander cleared his throat, shaking his head as if to say "God please stop."

"Um." I tried not to smile awkwardly. "It's nice to meet you too. This is a really cute diner."

"Thank you." She nodded before looking at Zander again. "It's a shame you don't have the boys with you today. It's been an eternity since I've seen Edward. I miss him, cheeky one he is." She smiled again as she reminisced. "Anyway, what could I get you? Is it going to be the usual for you, Zan?"

"Yes'm." Zander smiled at her again.

"And for you, deary?" She looked at me. "I recommend our special today. It's the Orange Dreamsicle Pancake. It's got a tangy taste and buttery creamy feel. A true H-and-H delicacy."

"Orange Dreamsicle Pancake it is." I nodded, looking at the picture of it on the menu and almost drooling. It was three orange pancakes stacked on top of each other with mandarin oranges on top, butter, whipped cream, and a syrup of my choice.

"That's my favorite," Zander said as soon as Holly left with our orders. "But lately I've been feeling the Chocolate Bandit Brussels."

"Do they have cute names for all of their food?" I chuckled, and he just smiled. There was a pause for a moment, and I was the one to break it. "Stonem is kind of her favorite, huh?"

Zander nodded, smirking. "Edward flirts with her like crazy, makes her feel special. He's like that with old people though, he's always been the charming one out of all of us. There was a time when Holly was having a bad day because her brother and co-owner, Henry, was hospitalized, and Edward tried to distract Hol' from it by making her dance with him while Luca played the guitar and Alfie, Louis, and I sang. The smile on Hol's face was unforgettable. She's a lovely lady, and we all adore her. I wish she adored us equally though, Edward's got a special place in her heart."

"I'd never though you guys would even do something like that." I blinked. I was so amused that the jock army knows how to feel things.

"What's that quote by Atticus Finch again?" He winked, making me laugh.

"Right, okay, you got me there." I held my hands up in defense. "You can't really blame me though, they've been picking on me since the dinosaurs were first born for whatever reason."

"They're having fun." He shrugged. "It's all fun and games to them."

"Not to my extent," I rolled my eyes, "you can have fun without treating other people like complete and utter shit."

Our food came sooner than I thought and if my order didn't make me drool myself just by looking at the picture, it surely made me drool now. I could smell the oranges taunt me to dig my fork in the pancakes without a thought in the world, and the juices from the mandarin were glistening.

Zander's Chocolate Bandit Brussels looked like heaven too. It was two Brussel waffles with choclate chips stacked on top of each other with vanilla ice cream on top and chocolate shredding, drizzled with hot fudge.

We ate without talking to each other for the first half of receiving our food, both too hungry and enjoying our food far too much to spark a conversation.

Zander broke the silence after eating half of his food though. "Tell me about yourself."

"Okay." I said, taking a sip of orange juice. I was sure that by the end of the day, I'd be a walking orange. "Um... I collect literature classics, and I was supposed to be in English Composition, but I came late, so I ended up taking Lit."

"No, tell me about yourself." He rolled his eyes.

"Okay, this is not a John Green book." I rolled my eyes back at him. "What do you mean?"

"Like, where were you born? Start from the beginning." He took the last bite of his food, and swallowed it down with his Earl Grey tea. "And who is John Green?"

"You don't know who John Gr- okay, whatever." I shook my head before taking a bite of my pancake. "I was born in Woodrose, and I wouldn't blame you if you threw up in your mouth from that fact, but at the same time I don't really care because I absolutely love Woodrose. Your turn."

"I was born in Bradford, and I moved here over the summer after getting expelled from three schools over there. My parents have lived here for two years, though, I was living with my Nonnie and she couldn't take my shit anymore, so she shipped me here."

"What could you possible do to get expelled in three schools?"

"I skipped a lot of days, and I went to a private school, so the limit was five days. I definitely skipped more than that."

"Why? Was school that bad there?"

"I just didn't feel like I belonged in any of the three schools I went to. The people were all pretentious, stuck-up assholes, and I didn't feel their vibe."

"So are your friends." I pointed out, finishing my pancake. "So be honest with me."

"Luca isn't," he said, "they all aren't, actually, you just chose to look at them like that. Tell me, if they were that bad, why would all of the WSS kids look up to them? You don't like Alizia and her group of friends, and I could understand why, but for that and just because we hang out with them, you perceived us as one of them."

It made sense. I couldn't think of any harmful jokes that the jock army had really played on my group of friends and I. If anything, it was us who has always been fucked up to them. Everything that they've done - this ongoing war, has just been them retaliating all along.

The time when they lit Brielle's driveway on fire to scare her, they'd been careful and smart enough not to let her house catch on fire. And thinking back to it, they only did that because Brielle and I had printed out a stack of fake tickets about a nude party being hosted by a jock party, scattering them at school and causing the poor boys to get sent home with a major referral.

We finished our drinks and he paid for the bill, and he drove me home with more jokes, laughter, and stories from the past.

When he parked on my driveway, there was a sudden change in his demeanor. He was serious, and he looked at me with warm eyes, smiling subtly and making my heart roll from my chest and out of body. I silently wished that he'd kissed me; there was an open opportunity right between us, and all it took was for either of us to take it. However, I knew deep inside that this could be nothing, that there was nothing he's trying to reciprocate, and as hurtful as it was to think about, I smiled back at him, unbuckling myself and thanking him as I opened the passenger door.

"Wait," he frowned, "don't leave yet." He unbuckled himself and reached to my side to close the door.

"What now?" I deadpanned. My ability to sound cold even if I was melting inside was surreal.

"I wanted to do something." He whispered, holding my hand and pulling me close. There was a tug in my heart that was now completely outside of my body, my breath hitching when his face got closer to mine.

We were so close, I could feel my warm breath and his warm breath mixing together. Dark swirls of chocolate and caramel stared back at me, fingers laced with each other. It was a perfect picture moment, and I wished that my brain had the capability to capture it into a photograph and frame it where I could look at it whenever I was feeling down, because that moment and the thought of it alone was enough to make me feel the happiest I've ever been.

"Are you going to murder me? Is that what you wanted to do?" I blurted out of nervousness, completely ruining the moment.

"What?" He frowned, but his face begged to laugh. "What? No. How does your brain even work?"

"I'm sorry, I just-" I laughed nervously.

"It's alright," he sighed a happy sigh, "I had a really good time today with you, Arvi."

"Me too." I smiled.

And with that, I left his car and made my way into my house, careful not to slam the door as I cursed myself out for being so stupid and ruining the moment when I could have gotten my first kiss right there and then.

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