Young Forever [REWRITING]

Jason McCann,
Everyone observed him as a fierce, cold-blooded criminal.
I'm not exactly like 'Everyone'.
I was told to stay away.
Did I listen? No.
I enjoy discovering the damaged ones,
the ones that need the most healing in their lives.
It's a challenge,
but I was eager to take that challenge no matter what.
Who would ever thought he would actually let me inside his isolated world and his complications.
I could've cared less if 'everyone' thought I was senseless to give in to him.
We were free, a breakaway from all the difficulties, anxiety, and people in our lives.
Did I care that he was on the run from the forces? No.
I was willing to be on the run beside him.
I wasn't just his partner in crime,
I was his girlfriend.
I was His,
something I desired to be from the first time my eyes came across his.
We were convicts together, remaining .

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20. 20 | "Nobody Else But You"

JASON

February 10th, 2011

My heart. It couldn’t stop. A constant thump thump, thump thump. I continued to grab on it from time to time, but that didn’t a thing. I don’t know why it was pumping so hard. I couldn’t control it and I hated the thought of that. I control everything in this gang, yet, I can’t control the violent beat of my heart. It pumped so hard, that I was afraid my rib cage might break from the beating of it.

“Jason, are you alright?” Jade asked.

Her hand pressed against the back of my shoulder. Her eyes burned into my back. I pushed the covers off my legs, sitting up in bed with no control of this pounding heart or the loss of my breath.

I returned to the thought of her question, nodding my head fast.

“For goodness sakes, you’re sweating the sheets. What’s wrong with you? What’s on your mind?” She whispered, pressing her hand up against my head to feel my temperature.

“I-I’m terrified.” I breathed, wrapping my arms around my waist to get a hold of myself.

I turned to her, staring in her brown eyes in the shine of the moonlight, peaking through the curtains. She looked down, searching for the right words to say.

“Of what? Is this about Saturday?” She questioned, titling her head at me.

I shook my head.

“I have a feeling my parents aren’t really gone.” I whispered.

Jade’s lip fell into a thin straight line.

“You don’t believe me.” I said, turning away from her.

“Jason, it’s not that. I just don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to believe.”

Her hands grabbed the sides of my face gently, turning my attention back to her. Her hands fell from my face to my hands. With her eyes still locked in mine, she intertwined our hands.

“Pray with me.” She said softly, closing her eyes.

I closed my eyes too. It was what I needed at this moment. No stress. No anxiety. Just a prayer. A blessing from God – a blessing of strength and bravery.

“God,” Jade started, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Help us to find your path of strength, of encouragement. Help us to break from the chains of Satan. Set us free, underneath your wings. Find us in this troubling time and teach us to do what’s right from what’s wrong, Lord. In Jesus name, amen.”

“Amen,” I whispered with a lonely tear running down my eye.

My eyes flickered back open, staring at Jade’s all over again.

The pounding – that violent, scary pounding in my chest disappeared. My heart was relieved. God relieved me from the pain. My heart was pounding slowly with the grace of peace.

I turned my attention to the alarm clock sitting on the night stand. It was four in the morning. I guess four in the morning was a great time for a prayer. God never sleeps. He never sleeps on us. He’s always there – watching the challenges we face, the hearts we break, and the moments we make.

I woke up later on to a happy Jade Taylor, spinning in circles and blasting music in the kitchen of our hotel room. A smile written on her lips, dressed in one of my large t-shirts, and the female version hips of Elvis. Shakira’s hips don’t lie! The smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes drifted in the air of the hotel room. All these things screamed, “GET UP, FOOL!

I ripped the sheets from my body. I swung my legs over the bed, dropping down. My feet gradually made their way over to her dancing figure. Her back turned to me. Her attention was thrown in another dimension.

“Hey baby,” My raspy voice whispered against her ear lobe, making her shake in fear.

“Woah, when did you wake up?” She asked, turning to me quickly.

I chuckled, grasping her waist gently, pressing her body against mine.

“I just did. I couldn’t stay asleep. Everything around me smells good and looks good, too.” I said, pressing my lips against her cheek.

Her head fell back as she laughed, pushing me slightly.

“Let me fix your plate. Go sit down.” She ordered, pointing to the table.

I huffed, letting go of her waist and walking over to the table. I sat down, turning my chair to face her so I could watch her finish cooking.

She turned down the music and grabbed a white paper plate. Scooping up the eggs from the pan, she shook them onto the paper plate. She grabbed a few pieces of bacon and two pancakes.

She turned, walking over to me with a huge smile and delicious plate in her hands. I couldn’t help but break a smile at her.

She kissed my forehead while placing the plate in front of me.

“Thank you, my little cook.” I cooed, brushing her hair out of her face with my finger.

“No problem, Mr. McCann.” She whispered in my ear before sitting in the seat next to mine.

“So, what was up with you this morning?” She asked, laying her head in the palm of her hand.

I finished chewing the last bit of my eggs. I shrugged my shoulders.

“Panic attack, maybe. I had a terrible dream. Well, kind of terrible.”

“About what?”

“My parents. Everything was so vivid.” I exclaimed, shaking my head in disbelief.

“Explain,” Jade chirped, waving her hand for me to continue.

“My dad still had his gang. My mother was still as beautiful as she could be. They didn’t live together anymore – that was the only change. My mother was stronger without the presence of my father. They were happier alone. It made me think that’s how they would’ve been if they didn’t get together and have my brother and I.” I marveled, staring down at my plate.

“They looked so happy together, though.” Jade argued.

“Not as happy as us.” I said quietly, reaching across the table to grab her hand.

JADE

February 11th, 2011

Jason wouldn’t remove his hand from over my eyes. Not for one second. No matter how many times I complained about not enjoying surprises. My feet were stepping in a field of grass. The bird chirped all around. Jason’s cologne drifted to my nose with every step we took.

“Can I look yet?” I asked with a bit of annoyance spitting from my lips.

“Nope,” Jason answered, chuckling a bit.

His hand grasped mine as we took a few more steps.

“Okay, sit down.” He ordered.

I sat down and felt his hand uncover my face. I heard some shuffling around for a moment or two.

“You may look.”

My eyes flicked open, staring around at a wide-open field. Dandelions were planted all around us. I turned my attention to Jason. A large picnic basket sat in between us. On the other side of him, I noticed a shiny brown guitar laying in the grass beside him.

He’s going to sing for me? Or play for me? I can’t decide which one is more tempting. His voice is so profound, but angelic. I call myself ‘the lucky girl’ when it comes to Jason McCann.

He wasn’t a celebrity with cameras flashing in his face, but he was worth the attention and time I spent on discovering who he really is.

Jason flipped the basket open, pulling out two sandwiches. His eyes lingered on the sandwich before he looked up to hand it to me. I smiled, taking it from him.

He unraveled the plastic wrap on his. He lifted the sandwich to his lips and took a huge bite out of it. I had to stop myself from gasping at his sudden actions. Goodness, someone must’ve been hungry!

I looked at mine and began to pull of the plastic. I followed his actions and took a bite, but mine didn’t even compare to the one he took. He nearly ate half of the sandwich with just one bite!

“Is it good?” He asked with chewing, dropping bread bits from his lip.

I giggled and nodded at him.

“Yes… You need a napkin.” I suggested, digging into the picnic basket.

My fingers felt around for a soft napkin. Once I found it, I grabbed it and wiped the crumbs from his lips. Jason grinned as I did so. Cocky little bastard.

We finished our sandwiches within minutes. Jason decided to start this staring contest with me without even announcing it first. His eyes lingered more on my lips than my eyes. There for I won the round. But, that didn’t stop him from leaning in and stealing a kiss from my lips.

Our lips made a smack noise before I pulled away and shoved him in the shoulder. He chuckled and smirked at me.

“So… what’s the guitar for?” I asked, eyeing the beautiful instrument sitting beside him.

He cocked an eyebrow at me before turning slightly to realize the guitar was sitting beside him.

“Oh… that. Um, I wrote something for you. But, I have another surprise first.”

I rolled my eyes and threw my arms in the air angrily.

“Ugh! All these darn surprises! Get on with it, McCann.” I ordered, pointing a finger at him.

He raised his hands up in surrender, “Alright, alright!”

He leaned back a little, reaching in his pocket for something.

Here we go, the proposal. I’m not ready for this. I didn’t think he would be, but hey, maybe I’m wrong and he’s ready to take the first step into being a man.

He pulled out a small black, thin box. He licked his lips, handing it to me with a cheesy smile plastered on his lips.

My heart began to beat fast as I took it from him.

Okay, Jade. If it is a wedding ring, say yes. You must say yes, under all circumstances. Look at that fine man next to you. He’s one hot criminal. Such a keeper.

My eyes fell back on Jason. He was causally fixing his white, buttoned-up polo shirt. He gradually looked back up, catching my attention. Those beautiful, caramel brown eyes.

I couldn’t say no. Open the damn box, Jade!

Pulling the lid off the box, I gasped. It wasn’t a wedding ring, but it was gorgeous – beyond gorgeous.

“Jason…” I whispered, pulling the necklace out of the box.

“There’s two J’s to represent us.” He said, pointing at the shiny, gold J’s on the necklace.

“Yes, I see. They’re beautiful, Jason.”

I unhooked the necklace, handing it to him. He wrapped it around my neck from behind, letting it fall right above my chest as he hooked it in the back.

Looking down, I stared at the beautiful J’s, shining as one. They glimmered together underneath the bright sunlight. I couldn’t be more overjoyed to see them shine.

“Of course, they aren’t as beautiful or even as elegant as you, but I figured you would still love them.”

I turned to Jason and shook my head.

“No, they are gorgeous, Jason. How can I deserve this?”

My head tilted slightly at him. I leaned in, grabbing him by his shirt for a kiss. My red lipstick smeared on his lips, but I didn’t care. He spoils me and I don’t deserve it. Not one bit.

Jason pulled away and stared at me with a loss of words.

“Play me that song, baby.” I requested, pointing to his guitar.

He cut his attention from me and grabbed the guitar. He grabbed a plain piece of paper from out of his pocket and unfolded it. He laid the wrinkled sheet in front of him.

Grabbing the guitar, he laid it on his lap and began strumming it lightly.

I crossed my legs, dressed in my white, flowery one piece and white flip flips. I swayed back and forth to the beautiful tune playing from his guitar.

Jason cleared his throat and licked his lips.

“Girl, it’s getting late. The sun's going down. And it’s about time I shake my way across the town.”

I nodded to the lyrics, feeling the emotion through each word even before he got to the chorus.

“But, before I go, I just wanna say that you stay on my mind each and every day. I think I’m starting to like… the time that we spend. And when it’s building inside… then I can’t pretend.”

“No, I don’t want to fight it. I don’t want to hide the way I feel so I guess it’s time for me to say. That I got eyes for you baby. I want us to be together… and if you feel it too, tell me no one will treat you better.”

No one could ever treat me better than Jason McCann. I knew that from the bottom of my heart.

“Cause on nights like this… it’s good to know that you’ve got someone by your side like this. The more and more you feel like you can live your life like this.”

Jason’s eyes met mine with a smile forming on his lips.

“And then you say, ‘I hope this will last forever,’”

Jason stopped strumming, but everything around us seemed to keep going. The sun kissing our skin, dandelions flowing through an unexpected breeze, birds chirping in tall trees. But, none of that mattered at a moment like this. Nothing seemed to take the beauty away from this moment – Jason and I sitting across from each other with nothing but a picnic basket, a guitar, and two hearts bursting with so much lust and affection for one another.

“Make this last forever, no matter how much I hate the word.” Jason prayed, closing his eyes with his hand grasped in mine.

JASON

February 12th, 2011

“I’ve already tried calling her three times. I don’t know what’s taking her so long.” Kristen complained next to me, shoving her phone back into her purse.

“Where the hell is she? We gotta go! It starts in fifteen minutes!” I yelled, glancing at my watch.

The sound of heels clicking caught my attention. I looked up to see my beautiful girlfriend walking out the double doors of the hotel. Luke and Brent held the door open for her with big cheesy smiles.

“Here comes the bride! Here comes the bride!” Derek joked as Jade walked up to me, holding her gown up so she wouldn’t trip or tear the fabric.

My heart pumped fast. My eyes jumped from feature to feature. Her bright red lipstick made her lips pop. Her dressed was made into a V-neck, which exposed her cleavage. Her eyes lit up. She looked so delighted and her face glowed.

I cursed myself in the back of my mind, wondering how I deserved such an elegant woman in my life.

“My dark red angel.” I breathed, feeling my heart crack inside at the beauty in front of me.

“My dangerous criminal dressed in all black.” Jade said, leaning in to kiss my check softly.

I wanted to moan just at the thought of being touched by her, but I knew we weren’t alone and this wasn’t the best time to have a heart bursting with lust.

“Everyone get in the limo. We need to get this show on the road!” Alex hollered, opening the door of limousine.

Vanessa, Kristen, and Paige rushed in their floppy gowns to get in first. Mark, James, and Derek followed behind them, helping them inside. Luke and Brent headed in last, plopping down to next to the rest of the gang.

Jade reached for my hand, grabbing it quickly. She headed for the very back of the limousine. I couldn’t help but smirk behind her while she did so.

Jade sat by the window. I scooted in close beside her. Alex closed the door shut and headed for the driver’s seat.

“Whatever happens tonight, just remember that I love you.” I said, squeezing Jade’s hand.

She snapped her head toward me. Her face grew slightly worried, but she kept a strong smile.

“I love you too.” She whispered, snuggling her head in the crook of my shoulder.

We arrived at the Masquerade Ball just on time. We headed inside without any hesitation. Alex was quick to take charge when we got inside the building.

I couldn’t help but to gaze around at the scenery. Three golden chandeliers hung from the ceiling. A room filled with men dressed in tuxedos and woman dressed in bright gowns. Everyone spun around to the music of true elegance with big smiles. A dollar to them was so small. A dollar to me meant everything.

I always knew I could never mix in with this crowd. I’m everything but elegant. That’s what made me believe that I’m not the right man to have Jade Taylor in my possession.

“Vanessa, Kristen, and Paige,” Alex called, looking over our heads to see the girls.

“Yes?” Vanessa spoke up for them, pushing through everyone to be in the front of our little huddle.

“Where are your guys guns?” Alex asked with a stern voice.

Vanessa eyed towards her purse before looking back up at Alex. He nodded, smiling a little.

“Good. We got this in the bag. No pun intended.” He chuckled, holding his stomach

No one joined in on that joke, Alex. Try again.

Alex cleared his throat, dusting off his suit.

“I know where everyone else’s guns are. I think we’re okay to go have a little fun of our now, ladies and gentlemen. We’re meeting back up in an hour and a half. Don’t forget.” Alex warned, pointing a finger at everyone.

“Alright. Keep good watch people.” I said, grabbing Jade’s hand and hurrying off into the very middle of the Ball room.

“Jason, hold up!” Jade said, yanking her hand out of me.

I turned back to see Jade’s face. Her face appeared to be a little flustered. She clung to herself, staring down at the floor.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, my lips falling at her body language.

“I have to tell you something.” Jade whispered.

“What is it?”

I moved in close to her, grabbing her by her waist. Her head gradually lifted. Her eyes couldn’t meet mine. They would glance but not stare.

Oh no, it’s my cologne. Wait, no, it’s the way I styled my hair today. I knew this swoop over was a bad idea. I look like I threw a mop on my head. That’s what it is.

“Jason, Hunter is here.” Jade said softly, finally catching my gaze.

My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach and sat there with disbelief.

“What?” I shouted, causing a few people to look over at us.

Jade grabbed me by my arms, making me focus on her.

“Keep your voice down! H-He could be in this room. He threatened me. To think that was the guy I grew up with me…”

Jade looked around before staring back at me, curling her hair behind her ear.

I furrowed my eyebrows. My anger was flaming in my veins.

“What the hell do you mean he ‘threatened’ you?” I tilted my head, grasping Jade’s chin.

“Oh, look at the picture-perfect couple over here. How are you doing, Mr. McCann?”

I snapped my head to the right. Hunter Garrison stood before Jade and I, dressed in a black tuxedo and a red tie. A sly smirk played on his lips as he stepped closer to us.

I let go of Jade. I clenched my fists, eager to throw a swing at this prick. I should’ve shot him down a year ago. I don’t know what the hell stopped me.

To make the picture even better, Grace sneaked up behind him, wrapping an arm around his neck.

“Grace?” I growled, clenching my fists tighter.

“Hey, babe.” She said with a wink.

“How glorious for you two to join us. Grace and I were just catching up.” Hunter explained, tilting his head at Grace, who wouldn’t rub that damn smirk off her lips.

How could she betray me like this? Everything about this chick was a lie. I should’ve know that from the minute I stared into her eyes. There were a thousand lies sparkling in those eyes – those ocean blue eyes.

“Come on, Jason.” Jade grabbed my arm, trying to pull me away from the scene.

“Oh, don’t run off, little miss Taylor. We have much more in store that you shouldn’t miss, darling.” Hunter announced, rubbing his hands together.

I turned to Jade, watching her stop dead in her tracks. Her face brightened again, as if she was hiding something. I cocked an eyebrow at her.

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, snapping my head back to Hunter.

“Are you going to big girl and tell your boyfriend our secret or will I have to myself?” Hunter question, staring directly at Jade.

She shook her head, “I’ll tell him.”

“Tell me what, Jade? I thought we’ve been honest since the beginning.”

Jade huffed and looked down at the wooden floor. She started playing with nails.

“Tell him why you moved to New York City in first place, Jade.” Hunter pressured, piercing his lips.

“I moved there because…” Jade looked up at me.

Her big brown eyes started filling with tears.

“I-I moved there because I needed to get away from Hunter. We were in relationship for a couple months before I left. M-My mom didn’t want me hanging around a criminal. She knew he was no good and she didn’t me involved with him.” Jade admitted with tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Go on, Taylor.” Hunter begged.

“I told Hunter that I hated convicts and it was over. I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved with them anymore… but then, I met you. I knew I had to keep you away from my mom as best as I could.”

“Don’t leave out the finishing touch,”

Jade huffed angrily, glaring at Hunter with tear eyes. Her eyes softened when she stared at me again. Her hand reached out and grabbed mine. I wasn’t sure if I should let it go and squeeze it tighter. She was unfolding underneath my grip. I don’t know if I keep her protected under my wing anymore.

“Hunter and I went out for a drive one afternoon. He told me had something important to do. I agreed to help him with whatever it was. He drove down to the nearest river and popped the truck. There was a huge bag in the truck that could possibly fit a body in it. It was your old gang member, Kyle. It reeked terribly. Hunter made me help him throw it in the river, which is the place that the police found it. Before they could catch who did it, I made sure to leave Canada as fast as I could.”

Jade’s eyes searched mine for forgiveness. I shook my head at her before letting her hand go. I turned and stormed off into the hallway, away from the ball room. She hurried behind me, shouting my name but it was began to sound very faint. She felt so close but so far out of my reach.

I stared at the house in awe. Everything collapsed in flames with my father and mother still inside. Alex refused to call the police or fire apartment for help. He believed they wouldn’t do nothing but point fingers at us and we were way too young to be locked up in jail.

A hand rested on my shoulder. I looked up at Kyle. He smiled at me with comfort, pulling me into a hug. I couldn’t help but sob into chest, knowing the fact that I was an orphan now. Nowhere to go, no one to count on besides my brother.

Who would want to live like that?

“It’s going to be okay, little man. I believe in you. I know it may hurt now, but this pain will fade. They loved you very much. They wouldn’t want you to be stuck on this pain for the rest of your life.” Kyle reassured, rubbing my back slowly.

I turned my head to the right. Alex was nearby, staring at the burning house. His eyes filled with tears and a heart full of rage to get revenge on who did this to our parents.

He fell to the ground. His face fell into his lap as he sobbed.

He knew from that point on that we only had each other. There were no close relatives we could turn to with the situation. Our parents stayed very private from the rest of the family, due to different beliefs and guidance in life. If our relatives didn’t care then, nothing made us think they would have any concern now.

“Please, Jason,” Jade whined, wrapping her arms around my waist from behind.

I froze at her touch, blinking fast, trying to get a hold of everything that was going on all over again.

“I’m sorry, Jason. I didn’t want to do it and I hate the fact that Hunter pushed me into telling you. I never wanted our relationship to build up on lies, but I was afraid to tell you. I promise I’ve been honest about everything else, baby. Please.” Jade begged, snuggling her head into the crook of my neck.

I sighed heavily, placing my hands on top of hers. I couldn’t let go of her because of this. Hunter wasn’t going to tear us apart. Not even on a crazy night like this.

Jade didn’t run from me like most girls would’ve done. She knew about my wrongs. In a way, she was a right in between all my wrongs. I keep myself sane with her. Her touch meant everything to me. I wouldn’t ever let that feeling go.

“It’s okay, baby. Don’t stress.” I said softly, pulling myself out of her embrace so I could face her.

Her eyes stared up at me. Tears slid down her cheeks – black, ruined mascara tears. She sniffled a little bit, trying to bring herself back together.

“You’re even beautiful when you cry.” I cooed, running my thumb across her cheek.

She blew out a gentle, warming laugh, rolling her eyes at me playfully.

“McCann, why are you standing all the way over there? The party hasn’t even started yet!”

I furrowed my eyebrows and turned to the ball room. Vince was standing in the middle of the ball room with his arms wide open. A smirk grew on his lips when he saw the sight of my face.

I grabbed my black ear piece, pulling it in close to my lips.

“Everyone meet me in the middle of the ball room, now!” I spoke into the ear piece before walking back into the ballroom with Jade on my arm again.

“I knew we would meet again, pretty thang.” Vince grinned, winking at Jade.

“Yeah, what a pleasure.” Jade snapped, sarcasm spitting off her lips.

I chuckled, smirking at Vince as his lips fell into a frown.

Vince cleared his throat, turning his attention back to me. He dusted off his suit, stepping dangerously closer to where Jade and I were standing.

“So… McCann, what was the hold up for us to meet again? My buddies and I think it’s pretty sad that we had to send off a threat for you guys to get the point. How’s that hourglass going? Has the sand reached the bottom?” Vince asked, tilting his head at me.

I hope him and Hunter’s neck’s fall off by the end of the night.

“I think it’s still pretty full of sand. My girl is still living. Everyone I care about is still breathing around me. That’s all that matters.” I said, shrugging a bit.

“Would it matter still if you knew one of your so-called ‘gang members’ is an undercover FBI agent for the NYPD?” Vince pointed to the left.

My gang was walking back in with the girls behind them.

I furrowed my eyebrows and stared at each of them. Who’s been lying to the entire gang this whole time? Or is Vince just trying to make gang members go against each other?

“What the hell are you talking about?” I shouted.

Vince held his hands up.

“Hey! Calm down, big guy. I’m not the one who’s been lying. Why don’t you ask your buddy, Mark, what’s he been up to with Nick Stokes?”

Mark heard Vince and froze, looking over at me.

The entire gang stopped walking and looked over at Mark with confused faces.

Alex shook his head and blew an angry sigh.

“Vince, what are you starting up now? You just want to see us fight against one another, don’t you? You’ve always had this jealously deep in that pitful –”

“Alex, I think he might be right this time.” I said, not breaking my stare from Mark.

I let go of Jade and raced up to Mark, grabbing him up by his tuxedo.

“You told the police about Jade supposedly missing. You’ve been on their side the whole damn time, haven’t you, Mark?” I yelled in his face, making him flinch his head back.

“Jason, I swear I didn’t ask for this job. Nick Stokes wanted me to keep a close eye on you. I couldn’t decide who’s side to be on. I –”

His eyes jumped around the whole room, refusing to meet mine. This was total bull.

I let go of his shirt.

“Well, guess what? You’re definitely not apart of this gang anymore. How could you, Mark? These past few years, I’ve always looked up to you like Alex. I can’t believe I called you family. You’re a worthless piece of crap, walking around and changing my gang position to betraying my trust and telling Stokes about my whereabouts?” I said through gritted teeth.

I pointed a finger in his face.

“Go on and go work for your real boss. I see this gang didn’t mean nothing to you, but a quick way to make some cash off of snitching out Alex and Jason McCann. You mean nothing to me anymore – you mean nothing to us anymore.” I spat, pushing him back hard.

“Don’t do this man.” Mark begged, throwing his hands up.

“Why not? We’re done. Get out of here!” I yelled.

I turned to the rest of the gang, who stood by Alex in shock.

“Anyone else?” I snapped, throwing my hand in the direction of where Mark was standing.

I’m done with the lies this evening. I’m ready to recruit a whole new gang just because of Mark’s shenanigans. I don’t need this. Alex doesn’t need this. We deserve trust. Not lies.

They all shook their heads fast. I puckered my lips at them and nodded.

“Yeah, okay.”

I turned to Vince, who watched with a smirk.

“Anything else, Vince? What else do you have to throw out this evening? We already know this whole thing was a trap to get us here. What else is in store? Huh?!” I shouted, my voice echoing in the ballroom.

Vince rubbed his hands together and looked around.

“Mark left something out.” He continued.

I cocked an eyebrow, glancing back at Mark before looking at Vince again.

“Oh yeah? And what the hell is that?”

“You’re under arrest. Again.”

The words shot through my eardrums like a gun firing off. I froze, watching the police burst through the entrance doors. Jade’s scream echoed as she ran towards me and held on for protection. The police brushed past The Demon Knives and my gang members. They hurried straight towards me.

I didn’t bother moving. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Chapter seventeen of my story was closing with a huge bang – a bang I didn’t expect. I was losing everything before my eyes. I never knew my life could have such a worse nightmare than the one I was trapped in.

 “Jason McCann, you’re under arrest for the murder of Paul Huxbee.”

The police pried Jade off of my body. I happened to let my attention fall on her as they locked the handcuffs on me. Her mother grabbed her up and held her close. Jade tried to push away from her to get back to me, but her mother refused to let her go.

More tears filled with mascara fell down her puffy cheeks. She reached for me but ended up just grabbing air in front of her. My heart broke at the sight of her like this. That made me realize something.

I made her feel alive for these past two months – two months that would fall deep into her mind and stay there. Two months that she would probably never forget. Two months that changed her future forever. She didn’t want to turn back a chapter and wish these two months didn’t happen.

Her heart wanted me. She wanted those two months to continue into three, four, or even a year. The past wasn’t going to pull her back in and make her not want to be with a criminal ever again. The future was pulling her into living life on the edge, running away with troubles and getting away with any sort of crime.

They’d call me a bad influence for making her desire my way of living. She’d call it her new way of living – a new perspective that she didn’t want to hold back.

As the police pulled me out of the Masquerade Ball, I heard shouts from Alex, Luke, and all my other gang members. Their promises were so farfetched.

“We’ll bail you out as soon as possible! You’ll be out in no time! We’re so sorry!

But I heard Jade’s promise and in a way, it made me hopeful for the future.

“Jason, remember that our forever is always going to be in the moment. I’ll see you soon.”

I’ll see you soon, babe and when I do, we’ll escape this place. We’ll be back on the run from the police, our terrible past, and the people that made this little bit of our forever go on pause. I promise.

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