I steel myself for the worst. He’s going to break up with me. All of my problems, my drama-filled past, Tyler, everything was obviously proving too much for him to handle. He just got beat up because of my problems. There’s no way he’ll want to stay with me now. My stomach is in knots as I try to figure out how to answer Jeremy. So I take my time. I kick off my shoes and let my hair out of its messy braid before I sit on the edge of the bed and face Jeremy. "You’re right, we should." My voice comes out confident and clear, a complete opposite of how I feel inside.
Jeremy sighs and rubs his forehead tiredly. "I know you didn’t want me to fight him but I couldn’t just let him hurt you." It’s not quite what I expected him to say, but I won’t let myself be relieved just yet. There’s clearly still more to come.
The air around us feels weird, the tension is filling the room. For the first time since I moved in I feel out of place. I want to go over to him, to hug him or kiss him, to somehow comfort him but I don’t think he wants me near him. So I stay seated across from him. He leans against the wall by our bureau and runs his hand through his hair. His fingers tug at the roots of his hair in what looks like frustration. He looks exhausted.
"I don’t care that you beat him up." I say, wondering if he believes me. Maybe I waited too long to answer him. I just got caught up staring at him. "I care that you’re hurt, again, because of me. I care that you’re on a suspension at work because of me. You could have been fired, Jeremy. And it would have been all my fault. This is all my fault."
"How many times do I have to tell you that none of this is your fault?" Jeremy’s voice comes out sounding frustrated and slightly angry. "You can’t control what Tyler, or anyone else does. Don’t apologize for the actions of others."
"He beat you up the first time because of rumors that you and I were doing things behind his back, and I didn’t even know you back then. I should have found a way to keep you away from him this time, but when he showed up at the restaurant I panicked and then you were there and it got crazy. I should have gotten rid of him myself. I shouldn’t have needed anyone’s help. I should have kept you away from him, him away from you.. because if I could have done that then we wouldn’t have had this whole mess. Your mom got all mad at you because of the fight and Don had to suspend you and now we don’t even fully know what the police are going to do about this."
I sigh. I feel like I can’t get my words out clearly, that I’m just ranting now. But I need to find a way to make this clear to him. I look back at Jeremy. "Jeremy, you told me that you were bad for me and I told you that you were wrong. And you were, you are wrong. I didn’t know it then, but it’s the other way round. I’m the bad one. Maybe your mom was right. I’m bad for you and I shouldn’t have thought that we could get through all of my crap. I shouldn’t have put you through this. I shouldn’t-" His lips are on mine suddenly, stopping my rant. The kiss is desperate and full of all our emotions. I bring my hands up to the back of his neck and run my fingers through his hair.
Jeremy pulls back, breathing hard. "Stop saying all of that. Everything you just said to me. Don’t ever say it or think it again. Okay? You aren’t bad for me and we’re getting through this crap because that’s what couples do. I don’t care what you think you’re putting me through. I love you. And I’m not leaving no matter how many people beat me up over it, no matter how many jobs I lose, no matter what my family thinks. I love you, Brookie. And you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, okay? So just stop saying everything that you’re saying."
My heart feels like it’s skipped a beat and my stomach flutters. "You love me?" I ask, my voice hushed and I’m almost afraid that I was hearing things. I was so sure he was going to break up with me.
"Yes." His voice is just as quiet as mine and he takes my hands in his. "I love you. I didn’t know it until tonight. But I do. I love you."
It feels as though every weight I’ve ever felt on me has been lifted up. Like nothing can bother me now and I can’t stop myself from smiling. "I don’t expect you to say it back or feel the same way or anything…" He stammers a bit on his words and looks nervous and I stand up, throwing my arms around his neck.
"I love you." I say and his arms snake around my waist, holding me snugly. "I love you." I say again, the words feel so right. This feels so right. He tightens his hold on me and his head dips down to rest on my shoulder, nuzzling in the crook of my neck.
"Good, because I love you, so freaking much."
I grin at his fill in word to avoid swearing because he knows how much I dislike it. "And I love you, so freaking much." He lifts me up and swings me around once before setting me back down and I step back to take a look at his fork stab wound. "Does it hurt still?" I ask, my fingers brushing against the white bandage around his arm.
He shakes his head. "No, not much."
"I wish you hadn’t been hurt." I tell him, tracing my fingers lightly down his arm to his hand, tangling our fingers together.
He shrugs a bit. "It’s not that bad. And I would have taken more as long as it meant keeping you safe."
I don’t know what to say that so instead of saying anything I shake my head a bit and then look up at him. "I love you." He just smiles at me. "You know, I kind of thought you were going to break up with me." I tell him with a sheepish smile.
His eyes narrow in confusion and he sits on the bed, tugging on my hand until I follow him. We sit against the wall, and his hands take hold of mine. "Why did you think that?" He asks and I shrug.
"I guess I just kind of thought that all of this, the whole Tyler thing made me too much to be with." I say, and the words feel silly coming out of my mouth but I know that voicing my insecurities should help take them away.
I know I’m right when he leans forward to kiss me. "I’m not going to break up with you." He tells me, the cutest smile gracing his lips. "Not now, not ever."
"You sound so sure of that." I say quietly staring down at our hands.
"Because I am. Don’t you believe me?"
I shrug and take a moment to find my words. "I just don’t know if I believe in forever."
"I don’t know if I believe in forever either. But I have this feeling about us." He says, his voice the same soothing tone he uses when I’m panicking. "We belong together, Brookie. And I think that we’re going to be together for a long time, like a forever long time. If that’s okay with you."
I smile and nod and then he kisses me. His lips are like velvet, so smooth and inviting and I get lost in time. But my phone starts ringing, interrupting us and usually I’d ignore it, but with the night being the way it was I’m too afraid that it’s an important call. So I break away from his intoxicating kisses and reach for my phone. It’s Chris and for a split second I consider ignoring the call, but I accept the call and bring my phone up to my ear. Jeremy starts absently tracing patterns on my skin. "What’s up?" I ask, wondering why on earth Chris is calling me now.
"Hello to you too." He chuckles.
"Are you aware of what time it is?" I ask, glancing at the little red lights of Jeremy’s alarm clock. It’s nearly one here, meaning it’s around ten in California.
"Well you’re clearly awake, so that leads me to a rather disturbing image. You’re being safe right?"
"Ew, Christopher! We are not having this discussion again." I say sternly and Chris chuckles a bit. "I"m awake still... because Tyler came to the restaurant and caused a scene and Jeremy and Tyler got in a fight and the police got called but everything’s okay and we were going to go to sleep now, but you called." Okay so that part is a minor lie. Chris doesn’t need to know everything. "So, what’s up?"
"Tyler? Your ex? The one I hated?"
"Yeah, that one. Moving on. What are you calling me for?"
"No, wait, what? You said he caused a scene? What happened?"
I sigh. "Chris I don’t really want to-"
"I’m not there to protect you. You at least have to tell me what’s going on in your life so I can decide whether or not I need to fly to you and kick some butt."
I laugh humorlessly and shrug even though he can’t see me. "He came in and tried to make me leave with him so Jeremy pretty much totaled Tyler. So no, you don’t have to come out here, Jeremy covered it."
"I hate that kid." Chris grumbles. "I mean Tyler. I hate Tyler. Jeremy is pretty awesome."
I smile, nodding my head. "Yeah, he is."
"Alright so, back to why I called you. Lottie and I really want you to be at the wedding. And it’s this weekend. I know it’s soon, but time has been going so fast that I haven’t had the chance to call you about this before now. Please say you’ll come, Brookie. Before you say anything, let me add that I want to pay for you to fly out here to be at the wedding. Mom isn’t going, and Dad’s going to stay home with her, because once again he chooses that awful woman over his own son. So anyway, will you please come out here for the wedding?"
"You want me to fly out to California for your wedding? Chris I’ve never been on a plane before in my life. I’ve never even been inside an airport before. I can’t go to California alone. I’d die."
He chuckles again. "I didn’t say you’d be alone, now did I? We want you to bring Jeremy."
I look up at Jeremy and he raises an eyebrow questioningly. I hold up one finger and turn my attention back to the phone. "I’ll ask him, but for now, I just want to go to sleep. I’ll call you back tomorrow okay?"
"Yeah, okay. Love you sis."
"Love you too, Chris." After hanging up, I plug my phone into my charger and grab my pajamas.
"I’m going to change, and I have to go to the bathroom but when I get back I have to ask you something." I say to Jeremy.
"Should I be worried?" Jeremy asks and I smile at him, shaking my head.
"No. It’s nothing bad. I promise." I kiss Jeremy’s cheek and head to the bathroom. I’m too exhausted to even bother with taking off my makeup. When I come back upstairs, Jeremy’s snoring on the bed in just his boxers. I flick the light off and climb over him, pulling the covers up over both of us. Even though I tried to be quiet, Jeremy still wakes up, and his groggy just waking up voice is one of my favorite sounds.
"Can we talk about what you wanted to ask me in the morning?" He mumbles the question, still half asleep.
I smile and nod. "Yeah, let’s just go to sleep." He curls up behind me, one of his arms slipping over my hips, resting on the bed in front of my stomach. His hot breath tickles my neck and I fidget for barely a second before I comfortable. "Goodnight, Jer."
Emma - I'm glad you're alright! If you ever need to talk, I'm right here for you!
Thank you soo much! Your comments always make my day! I'm happy you liked the last chapter, it was a tough one to write! I hope you enjoy this chapter just as much!
Louise - Thank you so much! I hope you like this chapter too!
Thinkerbelle77 - It was definitely an action-filled chapter and it was fun but tough to write! I hope you like this one too! Thank you so much! Your comment meant so much to me!
Miha - Thank you so much! I'd hoped that I'd put enough emotion and detail in, so your comment really relived me! I worry so much about how each chapter will turn out and you always make my worries blow away! Thank you soooo much for always commenting such sweet things! I hope you enjoy this chapter as well!
(Important! Please Read!) To Everyone:
Thank you all so much for the support! I've got two things I want to inform you all of!
First I'm sad to say that 'Scars and A Daisy' is coming to an end. I've got it all figured and planned out and there will only be 6 more chapters! Chapter 42 will be the ending chapter. I want to thank you all for your support through all of this!
Second, I've decided that there will be a sequel! And I will have more details about this second book shortly - please just stick with me and I'll get the information out as soon as I can. You're all so amazing! Thank you so much!
Scars And A Daisy - Chapter Thirty SevenThe aftermath of the fight!
By Em Bishop