Complicated

Cataline Mercier Wintour had spent her whole life training to be an Olympic athlete, but when a tragic accident lands her and her party-oriented sister, Carson, in Paris, France, Cat can't help but give up on her dreams. But when she unexpectedly runs into striking, young, Frenchman Archer Corbett Henri Demonte, her entire world is flipped upside down. When Archer's secret is put into Cat's hands, things start happening and she has to make a choice between life and love. Is this someone she would die for? Will she be able to love again? It's complicated...

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2. Chapter 2

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Eventually my days became routine. I’d wake up, get dressed, take the Metro train into the city, and then settle into my corner table at the Cafe Bord de Mer. I had become a regular, the staff all knew me by name as well as my order. I enjoyed my solidarity; I enjoyed being able to get lost in the world of my books. My sister never understood why I always preferred being alone. Carson and I grieved our parents’ death very differently. She surrounded herself with people and was out every night, but I could still hear her crying herself to sleep at two in the morning. I preferred to be alone, locking myself in my room or sitting at a movie theater and allowing myself to zone out.

    I missed my father, but when I had to go down to the morgue to identify my mother, who was apparently much more recognizable than my mutilated father, I felt like a piece of me had died with her.  I don’t remember much about the accident occurred, but I remember Carson’s hysteric crying and I remember feeling numb as they handed me my parents’ belongings. I felt like my entire body had been shut down, my emotions had been completely turned off, I had become totally and utterly numb.

    “Do you want another drink, darling?” The waitress's voice brought me back to reality, her southern twang making me smile as I remembered it was customary in France to order one drink per hour.

    “Just a lemonade please.” I said as I pulled out my phone, scanning over the missed texts from Carson.

 

Carson: Cat, come out with me tonight.

Carson: Gran talked to me. I agree, stop living under your 15th century rock.

Carson: Please Cat.

   

    I sighed, rolling my eyes in annoyance and responded.


Me: Maybe. Where are you going?


    I wasn’t surprised when she responded immediately.


Carson: New club in the catacombs. Some British indie band. Very you.


    I hadn’t gone out with my sister since we moved to Paris and maybe Carson and Gran were right...I was in desperate need of human contact.


Me: Sure.

Carson: Yay! You won’t regret it! I’ll go home and pick out your outfit!


    I regretted my answer as soon as I had sent it.

    I got home and pulled on the tight, black, lace, crop top and maroon bandage skirt, accompanied with matching black wedges. I could already tell, looking at the outfit, it was all from Carson’s closet. Clubbing with Carson was not my ideal way of spending time with my sister, but I wasn’t about to fight her or Gran on this one.

    Walking out to the car and trying not to fall flat on my face were two very different things. I felt uncomfortable in my clothes and unstable in my shoes and Carson’s group of friends who stared at me as I got into the car were certainly not helping either.

    “Girls, this is my little sister Cat.” Carson smiled as she introduced me. I nodded acknowledging them. My sister didn’t bother introduce her friends as they chatted on for the rest of car ride.

    I kept to myself for most of the night, we got to the club and Carson flirted with the bouncer until he let us in. I headed towards the bar ordering a Coke from the bartender, already knowing Carson and her friends would all be too wasted to drive themselves home. I sat on one of the barstools watching Carson move from guy to guy under the flashing lights. My eyes perked up when I saw her greet a guy who dipped her down and kissed her deeply, letting me know this was probably more serious. Carson flashed a beaming smile as she took his hand and led him over to where I had been sitting.

    “Cat, this is Daveed. He’s the club manager.” Carson grinned, I could tell she was she seeking sisterly approval.

    “A pleasure.” Daveed interjected before i could say anything. He dipped his hand down and brushed his lips against my hand, gingerly, before standing back up and wrapping an arm around my sister’s waist. My eyes scanned over him, sizing him up, and trying to determine if he was good enough for my sister or not. His caramel skin appeared darker under the LED lights and his gray eyes twinkled with something dangerous. I couldn’t quite place what it was, but something had come over me that made me extremely protective over Carson.

    After a while of sipping on Coke and watching over Carson, I grew tired. I got up from my spot where I had been sitting for over two hours and walked over to Carson on the dance floor. I grabbed her shoulder, letting her know I was behind her.

    “I’m getting tired, I’m gonna catch a cab back to Gran’s!” I shouted over the blaring music. Carson nodded offering me a warm smile before I turned to leave.

    I stepped out of the club into the warm Paris night. I inhaled the fresh air into my lungs, clearing out the cigarette smoke that I had been breathing in all night. How Carson managed to do that every night and not have already developed severe lung cancer, was still a mystery to me. Going out in tight clothes and smelling like nicotine and alcohol was never a preference of mine. I preferred wearing old t-shirts and jeans and smelling like oil paint or wearing a swimsuit and smelling like salt water.

    Walking alone in Paris had never bothered me, much. I knew this city as well as I knew Los Angeles. My mom had brought Carson and I here every summer since we were young girls, to visit Gran and Pops. I thought nights in Paris were one of the most beautiful things in the world. The lights glimmering in the now dark blue waters of the Seine somehow managed to always take my breath away. My gaze drifted up from the beauty of the water to across the  street where I noticed a young girl standing on top of a bridge. Her arms were crossed against  her midsection, she was about to jump. I was about to run over to her when I saw another person step out of the shadows, a boy. The darkness masked his face, but I could tell as he extended his hand, he was trying to coax the girl down from the ledge. Her arms wrapped tighter around her stomach as she shook her head vigorously and she jumped. Well not really a jump, more like she let herself fall back into the river. I watched as the young boy took off his jacket and dove in after her, I thought for a moment I saw white feathers poking out against the light, but when I blinked again he was gone.

    I heard the splash of the water from where he had dove in and then just a moment of silence before the sound of gun shots were ringing in my ears. I ran around the corner, dropping to the ground as the fire continued. I looked up and saw the boy who had dove in, soaking wet, and brandishing a gun. He wasn’t ever the one to take the first shot, only the defensive ones. I managed to pull myself up from the ground and run around the corner before I ran into another man and was knocked onto my back. I quickly remembered what was going on behind me and jumped to my feet, dusting off my skirt.

    “There’s two men with guns, fighting, over by the Seine.” I gasped, my words breaking as I panted, inhaling deeply.

    “Police training, go home now. It’s all taken care of.” He said to me calmly as he placed his hand on the square of my back and guided me away from the gunshots. I nodded and walked on. That man had seemed all too calm and what kind of police training involved open fire in the middle of a public area? I turned back around when I no longer head any gunshots, whatever was going on was over. However, my sigh of relief may have been premature because once I turned around I noticed a car speeding straight for me. I jumped out of the way onto the sidewalk, knocking my shoulder into the structure of the bridge. I breathed heavily as I realized the driver of the car was the so called policeman from the scene.

    I gathered my things and sprinted home, clutching my hurt shoulder. I ran into the house and locked the door behind me. If this was what happened every time I went clubbing with Carson, I was certainly not going out anymore.

 

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