One Thousand Roses

Two completely opposite people; Natalia Grey the school nerd, teacher's pet. She's a big sister and role model. She believes in love at first sight. She wants the fairytale love, the one where you find your prince and live happily ever after.

Jason Summers the school bad boy, player and football player. He does what he wants, when he wants. It's his way or no way. He's the type of guy who doesn't date, doesn't believe in love nor wants it.

Talia only sees one side of Jason and that's his bad boy side; the jerk. Jason only sees one side of Talia and that's her nerdy side; geeky glasses and pulled back hair.

What happens when these two completely opposite teens are forced to see each and talk to each other every single day? What happens when the two teenagers realize there's more to the story than meets the eye? Will their opinions change? Find out in The Bad Boy's Reputation.


8. Chapter Eight

Natalia's POV

"I am not going!" Jason yelled.

"You will go, and you will like it!"

"Mom, I'm not going, I'm staying home"

"Jase, please, just for once, will you listen?"

"Mom, I am not going to Leah's wedding. I'm sorry, but I'm not going."

"I'm sorry to eavesdrop. But did I hear a wedding?"

"You did. My niece is getting married next month and we're all invited." Mrs. Summers replied.


"Myself, Jase, Macey and you."


"See, mom, even Talia doesn't want to go."

"Jason, please. It'll be good for you to see her again."

"Why? Why do I have to go?"

"You know why."

He sighed, "alright, fine."

"Now, I want you, Macey and Talia to go shopping." Mrs. Summers said, handing Jason her credit card.


"Not another word, Jason. You buy the girls nice dresses and yourself a nice tux. I would prefer your tie to match Talia's dress since she's your date."

"What!?" Jason and I both yelled. 

"You two better get along because you're each other's date. Jason, you're bringing a plus one." She said, before walking out of her son's bedroom.

He groaned and fell onto his bed. "I can't believe this, it's bad enough I have to go to this thing, but now I have to go with you." 

"Wow, thanks." And we're back to the normal Jason.


Jason's POV

"Mom, why would you have me and Talia go together?"

"Jason, I told you my wish is that you two will get together by the time I'm gone. I'm trying to make that happen. You like her, she likes you-"

"She likes me?" She nodded. "No, that's not the point. Mom, you have to let me do things on my own."

She smiled, "if I let you do things on your own nothing would get done," I looked up at her, "honey, I don't have much longer in this world. I want you to be happy, I want you to have everything you've always wanted."

"And I will, with you here in two months."

"Honey, I promise, I will be here for you as long as I can, but... I'm getting worse," she looked at me, taking in my reaction, "I want you to have fun at the wedding. Show the real you, not the person she thinks you are."

"Don't cry baby." She pulled me into a hug. 

"Why did you get cursed with such a terrible life?"

"Terrible life? No, baby, it's not terrible. I may have lost a few things, but I got the best thing out of it."

"What did you get? You have a terrible son who can't keep his grades up. A husband who turned to drugs when Valerie was born. A daughter who died at ten years old. What was so good out of that?"

"You are, baby. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me. Yes, your father left. And yes, Valerie passed away, but honey, you are the best thing I have." She smoothed the little bit of hair I had on my face from my ingrowing beard.


"Don't take too long. I've got places to be." Talia rolled her eyes and walked to the dresses.

"Can you take me to look for a dress?"

"That's Talia's job."

"Her name is Natty. And you're helping me." She grabbed my hand, and lead to a rack of small dresses.

"I like this one, don't you?"

"Yeah, beautiful."

"You're no help." She groaned, walking away. I'm not used to having two girls living with me. It's just been mom and me for years.

"I'm trying these few on. You wait with Jason and then we will find you one." Talia said, walking to the dressing room. I sat on the couch with Macey next to me. She kicked her feet then slid herself down the chair, waiting until her feet touched the ground, then continued the same motion.

"Do you have the dress on yet?"

"Oh, stop." She replied, opening the door. My jaw dropped. Standing in front of me, Talia stood with a red short lace dress, that came up her thighs. Thighs. Although she was pale, she was breathtakingly beautiful. Just the way her hair fell off her shoulder, and the way the dress accented her curves. 

"I don't know about this one." She said, looking in the mirror.

"Zac wouldn't be happy," Macey said.

"Zac isn't here, is he?"

Macey looked around the room. "No?"

"I'm going to try on the other one." Talia came back out in a blue short dress. It wasn't as short as the other dress, but she looked just a beautiful in it. "Now this one, I like." My mouth got dry, as she looked at me.

"What do you think?" She asked.  I coughed, trying to think of words, as I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. 

"You look amazing." The words seemed to come out naturally. I couldn't dismiss the small blush that appeared on Talia's cheeks as I looked her up and down. 

"Mace, go with Jason and pick a dress out. Don't drive him crazy." Small hands covered mine, pulled me up and dragged me back over to the small section for kids. 

"What kind of dress do you want?"

"I want a princess dress."

Guess I should give this a try... it's not the first time I've ever shopped with a little girl before. "A princess dress? For a princess?" Macey's eyes glimmered in the light, the same way her sister's do. 

I pulled out a big, puffy blue dress, "How about this dress? It could match... Natty." Saying that name doesn't sound right coming from me. It doesn't sound right coming from anyone. 

"No. It can't match Natty's dress."

"Alright, no blue." This is going to be difficult. 

"I like this one, Jay."  Macey turned around, showing me an orange dress.

"Oh, I like that one. Want to try it on?"

"But I need help putting it on."


"You want to help?"

"Why not?"

"Natty usually helps."

"Well, I'll help you now." I got a number from the ladies at the desk near the fitting rooms. The lady gave me a confused and shocked look, seeing someone like me go into a dressing room with a four-year-old little girl. 

"Alright." I breathed, pulling the dress up Macey's legs.

"Don't forget to tie the bow in the back."

"I know, I know," I replied, turning her around, so I could get to the back of the dress. I tied the bow, almost perfectly.

"Where did you learn to do that?"

"I've had my practice."

"Zac can't tie very well. I don't like shopping with him."

"Why's that?" I asked, playing with her hair like she's my own. Why am I doing this? 

"He's weird. He always walks into weird stores, and he left me in the store once."

"He did?" I asked.

She nodded, "When?"

"A few weeks ago. I didn't tell Natty."

"And why not?"

"Because she would yell at him. And Uncle Cile said to make friends with Zac since he'll be our new daddy." I nodded, knowing I'd have to break the news to Talia about what happened at the mall. 


Macey fell asleep in the back of the car, leaving Talia and me alone. "Macey told me something today when I was helping her with her dress."

"Did she?" She sounded.... worried.

"Mhm. And I was a little surprised."

"Oh god, was it about me?"

"No. It was about Zac."

"What about Zac?" She sounded relieved when I told her it was about Zac.

"She said he left her in a store."

"He what!?"

"Hey, shh. Don't wake her up."

"Oh, I am having a long talk with him tonight." Now I wish I hadn't said anything.

"She's adorable, you know."

She sighed, "I know. It sucks she doesn't really have a mother or even a father figure in her life."

"Hey, she has my mom has a mother figure. And she has you."

"Yeah, but that's not enough."

"Why not? You seem to be doing a pretty damn good job."

"I can't have a social life or a life at all. I'm always trying to cover up my dad's story and my story. It's not easy."

"I didn't know the story of your dad was that important to keep a secret."

"It's not, but I chose to. I never wanted people to see me differently." Understood.

"How would you feel if I sat with you at lunch?"

"Um... I don't know. Your reputation would be on the line."

"Screw my reputation."

"Big bad boy's ego doesn't matter to him anymore?" She joked, but all seriousness was written on her face.

"I've got more things in life to worry about than my ego." Damn truth. 


"No, no. You listen to me! I may be sixteen, but I raised Macey. Practically on my own! You left her in a store!" Talia yelled. Macey and I listened from outside the bedroom door. Macey, stood in my arms, with her head pressed against my chest. "I don't care, Zac! You are an extended member, not a real member!"

"Zac! No one likes you! The only one who likes you is mom and Uncle Cile!" It got quiet, then she started up again. But this time, not yelling. "I see how it is. Alright, um, you should just stay there. I won't ever talk to you again. Since I'm a bitchy nuisance, who wasn't supposed to be here." My jaw dropped.

"Mace, go to your room."


"Please? I'll come play with you soon."

"Can you do one thing for me?"

"Can you give Natty a hug?" I nodded and gave her a sympathetic look. She may be only four years old, but she knows when something is wrong, probably something she learned from her home. 

"Hey," I whispered, walking into Talia's room. She sat on the edge of her bed, with tears falling down her face. She looked up at me, then looked back down to play with her fingers. One finger covered her thumb, then she crossed her middle finger over her first finger, and repeated the action, occasionally holding the fingers together. 

"I heard the conversation." She laughed. "What?"

"Why are you in here? I've had a pretty rough night. You're probably here to call me a nuisance too."

"What? No. Grey, I wouldn't call you that."

"Why not? I've done nothing but be a pain in the ass to you."

"You haven't. That's just me, well, being me."

"Am I really that bad of a person?"

"No, you're not."

"Because he thinks I am." She looked back down to her fingers, as more tears covered her usually beautiful face. 

I shook my head, "no." I sat next to her on her bed and pulled her into me. She rested her head on my shoulder and just cried loud and sloppy cries. I felt the top of my shirt wet, but I didn't care.

We eventually moved to her bed, with my arms wrapped around her waist with her head in my chest, and her slow shaky breaths were fragile. "You changed my opinion." Her voice was coarse, harsh almost. 

"On what?"


"Oh yeah?" She nodded.

"You're not so bad, Jason. You went from bad boy, to a semi bad boy." She smiled. I shook my head at her and pressed my lips to her forehead. This girl, who I've known for a few months, and who's been living with me for about a month now, has made me change. A change that isn't so bad, a change that could actually make me happy. She's my change. Will she ever know that? I sure as hell hope not.

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