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, across the country back in their old childhood home in Cape May, New Jersey. Cat can't help but give up on her dreams, but when she unexpectedly runs into striking, young, Frenchman Archer Corbett Henri Demonte and his group of strange friends her entire world is flipped upside down. Old secrets from the past start to unravel and when Cat becomes entrusted with the secrets of Archer and his friends things start to become a little complicated...

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7. Chapter 7

    The next weeks were miserable. Archer had made me feel happy for the first time since my parents’ death. He made me feel alive again, and without him, all the ground I had covered was gone. All of it. It felt like there was a pit in my stomach and the longer I went without seeing him the more it grew and grew, until eventually it would consume and I would be right back where I had started. Laying in my bed in Los Angeles, feeling nothing.

    “Alright, you’ve been bed ridden for days and I personally can’t stand to see you like this, either get your butt out of this bed and go do something productive with your life or you’re coming out with me tonight.” Carson snapped at me. Her hands were positioned on her hips and her lips were pursed, I already knew by her stance she meant serious business. I knew I wasn’t about to go out with her again, the pain in my shoulder reminded me of that.

    “Fine.” I groaned, pulling myself out of bed and slipping into a pair of worn out blue jeans and a black hoodie. I tied my hair back and had already started to walk out of the room when Carson grabbed my arm.

    “Cat? Can we talk about what happened?” Carson said softly. I could tell by her tone she was sorry, but I wasn’t ready to forgive her yet, the thing with Archer had ended not less than a week ago and I was still in need of time to process.

    “I may be getting out of the house, but as far as I’m concerned we are not on speaking terms.” I growled as I slammed the door to my bedroom shut and walked out of the house.

    I didn’t even know why Carson was with Archer that day at the cafe and frankly I didn’t want to. Archer and Carson were their own people, I had no control over them. But I mean come on Carson knew Archer and I had feelings for eachother, although I couldn’t blame her, Archer was gorgeous. All these thoughts were racing through my head I didn’t even see the person in front of me until I was on the ground staring up at them. My breath caught in my throat as I stared up at who had knocked into me, Luc.

    “Oh sorry, my bad.” The guy said to me as he extended his hand to me to help me off the ground.

    “Luc? Wh...what? But you...you died in the boating accident.” I stuttered as he helped to my feet.

    “I think you must have me mistaken, my name’s not Luc. I’m Dylan. Dylan Scott.” Even though his French accent was completely gone and he sounded just like every other New Yorker, I knew it was Luc, the resemblance was too uncanny for it not to be.

    “Luc, it’s me. Cat, I was there with Archer the day you dove off the boat to save that little boy. You died.”

    “I’m you have me mistaken, maybe you should sit down.” He said calmly, as he tried to lead me to a park bench.

    “No! Let go of me!” I shouted, drawing the attention of several people passing by, as I wrenched my arm from Luc’s grasp. I stared at him for a moment before breaking off into a run, I had to talk to Archer.

    I arrived at the large, Victorian era mansion not long after my encounter with Luc. The mansion was beautiful, but so were all the other Victorian Era houses in Cape May. Although most of them had been re-done, but this one seemed to still have the original architecture pressed the button to be buzzed in, but instead of hearing Archer’s voice, I heard an older man’s voice.

    “Hello?” He said through the speaker, his accent was French. God, what was it with all these French people? I thought to myself, rolling my eyes.

    “Hello, monsieur. My name’s Cat, I’m a friend of Archer’s.” I said, trying not to freak out after my encounter with Luc.

    “Archer isn’t here.” The speaker said deadpan.

    “May I leave him a message?”

    “Don’t you have his phone number?”

    “No.” I sighed, I didn’t think to ask for it.

    “I thought you said you were a friend.” He said, his tone bitter.

    “I am...please, monsieur. It’s urgent.” I begged. There was a pause and then I heard a lock click, signaling the door to the apartment was now unlocked. I turned the handle on the door and watched as it swung open. I peered inside, for any sign of life, but no one seemed to be home. The sitting room was gorgeous and was filled with Victorian Era furniture, similar to the furniture in Madelaine’s room. After about five minutes of admiring my surroundings, my eyes landed on the stationary and pen laid out on the table. I picked up the pen and quickly began to scrawl my note to Archer.


 

Archer,  I’m sorry I stormed out the other day. I didn’t let you explain, but I saw Luc. Alive. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I have a feeling you do. Ball’s in your court.

Cat.

    

    I searched around the house for about 20 minutes before wandering aimlessly up the staircase, searching for someone to give my note to, so I could take my leave. It wasn’t long after I began walking down a long corridor that I heard voices and saw light come from the crack in a doorway.

    “...no man you don’t understand, she recognized him.”

    “Eli, stop I don’t want to here anymore about her. I can’t.”

It didn’t take me long to realize the two people speaking were Luc and Archer, I crept closer to the door, trying to listen in on the conversation, that was so obviously about me.

    “Arch, you haven’t  eaten or slept in days, your wings are actually starting to lose feathers.”  Eli said, his voice dripping with concern for his best friend. Wings? I thought to myself, as I leaned closer to the door.

    “Hey!” I heard a voice shout from the stairwell, meaning I had been spotted. I heard Archer and Luc’s conversation cease as I lost my balance as footsteps approached. I fell against the door and found myself face first on the floor in front of Archer and who I presumed to be, Eli.

    “Well, looks like you have some explaining to do, Arch.” I recognized the voice behind me, I rolled over onto my back and looked up to see Luc standing over me, extending his hand to help me up. I ignored the gesture and stood up on my own, I turned around to stare at Archer, my breath caught in my throat. He looked awful.

    “We’ll leave you two alone. Archer, JP will be here later, as I’m sure you know.” Luc said as he and Eli exited the room, closing the door behind them, leaving Archer and I alone.

We sat in silence for a moment, until surprisingly, I spoke.

    “I need answers.” I said softly.

    “I’m afraid I can’t answer any of your questions until the rest of the household is here. I’m sorry, Cat. I never should’ve dragged you into my world.” Archer sighed, dropping his eyes.

    “And I suppose you can’t tell me what that is, can you?” Archer simply shook his head no, and took my hands in his.

    “I promise, I will answer everything, soon.” He said as his eyes met mine. I nodded and then pulled my hands from his and let my thumb gently brush over the dark circles under his eyes.

    “You look terrible.” I said softly, scanning his face.

    “You don’t look that great either, Cat.” I dropped my eyes, I couldn’t face him, I shouldn’t even be here. I was the one who called everything off, I had caused him so much pain and now I was here sitting in his bedroom, when I should’ve just left him alone.

    “I shouldn’t have come.”

    “You’re right, you shouldn’t have.” He said dully. I pulled away, but after seeing how his words made me react he quickly clarified. “But I’m glad you did. Cat, I haven’t eaten or slept for days, I’ve been miserable and correct me if I’m wrong, but you look just as miserable as me.” A tear fell from my eye, which was the only indication he needed to know he was right and instantly pull me into his arms.

    “Why were you with Carson, that day at the cafe?” I asked as I laid, motionless in his arms, my eyes staring at the wall of photos on his wall. They looked just like the ones in Madelaine’s room.

    “She came to me after our fight, she said you were miserable and that you wouldn’t get out of bed or talk to anyone. She was panicking and felt like she had failed as a big sister. She said she hadn’t been there for you after your parents’ death and she should’ve been.” And that was when I lost it, all the pent up emotion I had been bottling up after my parents’ death, leaving Los Angeles, Luc’s accident, and the fight with Archer, finally surfaced and I found myself bawling in the arms of a guy I barely knew. I heard a knock on the door and quickly wiped my eyes and pulled myself from Archer’s arms as Madelaine walked into the room.

    “It’s time. House meeting.”

    

 
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