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 "Little Less Obvious" Chapter Two

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Firebreath



Posts : 634
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 17

PostSubject: "Little Less Obvious" Chapter Two   Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:01 pm

INFORMATION: There was no one in the world that Keri DeGiovanni hated more than Alexander Vidal. Which was why when she found a shirtless Alex with his arms around her bare body and no recollection of the night before, she was a bit surprised.



Little Less Obvious: Chapter Two


Keri needed a shower. She felt like she was covered in slime; the filth from the night before
still lingering on her skin. Her hair felt too oily, and she was
constantly picking imaginary dirt out from under her fingernails. "I'm home," she called, throwing the door open. Keri was about to make a mad dash for the stairs and hurl herself into a nice, searing hot bath to scrub herself red and make sure that the
essence of Alex was completely washed down the drain, but something
from the kitchen caught her attention. The scent of her mother's
cooking swirled around her, making her head dizzy and her mouth
water. The smell hooked onto her nostrils and dragged her to the
kitchen by the hairs of her nose, making her completely forget about
the shower she so desperately needed. "Hey," greeted her mother, Kim, as she pulled off her oven mitts. "How was school?" "It was okay," Keri replied, shrugging. If
you don't count the whispers at every corner. Keri suddenly became distracted
with the off-looking dish that her mother had placed on the stovetop.
Her stomach roared, and Keri
realized that she was very hungry; if a DeGiovanni didn't cook it,
it wasn't satisfying. "What's for dinner?" Kim
shrugged, laughing. "I don't know. I put some ingredients
together, and voila." Keri and Kim shared a laugh; Keri's mother had the ability to make
any combination of food mouth-wateringly wonderful. "You didn't
come home last night," she said, not bothering to disguise a
subject-change, or her excitement. Keri had made her way to the
sink, flicking her hair behind her ears to wash dishes. It had been
tradition to help clean up after one another when they were cooking;
Kim would wash Keri's bowls when the girl would bake. "Was the
party fun?" Keri
paused for a moment, not really knowing how to answer that question. She knew for a fact that her mother loved Alex like a son of her own;
the Vidal's and the DeGiovanni's had been running a restaurant
together for years. In fact, she was the one who had
encouraged Keri to attend Alex's part
in the first place: "You're too lonely at home," she had said,
referring to how her brother had gone out with a few of his friends
from track. "Alex is a sweet kid. Go have some fun for once." She knew that Kim actually wanted Keri and Alex to somehow end up
together. Keri
wondered if she told her mom what had really happened at the party,
if she would be either ecstatic – that she and Alex had finally
'done the deed' – of furious, and possibly pummel the boy's
pretty face into the ground. Although the latter made her want to
jump into a victory dance, she decided that some things are better
left unsaid. "Yeah,
I guess," she said, shrugging casually, realizing that she hadn't
spoken for a while. "Those
aren't your clothes," Kim noticed, raising an eyebrow
suggestively. "I
threw up all over mine," she lied quickly, making big hand motions
over her body as though illustrating the surface area of her vomit. Kim seemed to believe her, pulling out a drink from the fridge. "You're
a bad liar," said a voice, Kim and Keri looking to see Kevin,
Keri's twin brother, stroll into the kitchen. He'd recently
added scattered burgundy highlights amid his thicket of dark hair
that was currently styled in a 'fo-hawk', and was still dressed
in his cross-country practice clothes. His dishes clinked loudly as
he dumped them into the sink, splashing water on Keri's shirt. She
rolled her eyes as he ruffled her hair as a thanks. He darted into
the kitchen, rolling over the top of the couch as though he thought
he was a professional secret agent and flicked on the television. Kim
didn't bother to ask what her son had been talking about as she
watched Keri finish the dishes. She wiped her hands dry and bounded
after her brother, clumsily leaping over the couch – crushing
Kevin's thigh in the process – to join him in watching
television. The two of them instantly began shooting comments about
the pointless show playing, Kim smiling. Her
children had always been her life. She felt as though it were just
yesterday that she had held their tiny bodies in her arms, one twin
for her right, the other in her left. She would have never guessed
that her son would become a track star, and her daughter the MVP
tennis player, both of them kids who had engrossed themselves in
their studies. She trusted then enough, allowing them to go to
parties, as long as they weren't arrested, or got addicted to any
kind of drugs. They had done well not to abuse her trust. She
only wished that her husband had been here to see how they had grown. Kellan had always carried himself with confidence, and was one of
the most caring, sensitive men that she had ever met. He brought
light to everything he touched, which was why his death had hit
everyone so hard. Especially
Keri. Of
course, she never showed it; Keri always had too much pride to ever
show that she was in pain, but sometimes, more than anything, Kim
just wished her daughter would cry. She wished Keri would show what she was thinking, how she was
feeling, so maybe they could help her, grieve with her. Kellan's
death hadn't been easy on anyone, but both Kim and Kevin had
mourned; Keri didn't seem to have let anything out yet. If
anything had changed, it was the number of distractions that Keri had
let into her life. Immediately after Kellan's death, she had
joined the tennis team, and was always out practicing, or out on
bonding activities. She'd worked at the restaurant everyday, and
even picked up a second job at the Starbucks next door. Over the
course of four years, Keri had been in so many volunteer groups that
Kim had lost track. It
wasn't a bad thing, of course; Kim was proud of how much Keri was
giving back to the community, but the only problem she had with it
was that her daughter never had the time to do anything for herself. It was always another tennis game, or some extracurricular activities
that made her stay home and do things for other people, when she
could be out doing things for herself once in a while. Kim
glanced at her children on the couch, both of them discussing the
party in hushed voices. Usually, Kim would have taken the time to
eavesdrop, but at this moment, her eyes were glazed, her mind bathing
in the memory of Kellan DeGiovanni, as it did every once in a while,
and how he could have easily been here tonight. He could be watching
his children grow up with her, instead of her having to watch alone. He
would have smiled, the corners of his eyes creasing. Kellan's
smiles always reached his eyes. "Kids," he'd have muttered,
rolling his deep brown eyes playfully. Kim would have ran a hand
through her dark hair, tucking strands behind her ears, only to have
them fall loose in a few seconds, and shared a laugh with him. Kim
suddenly felt her husband in the room, like he was standing with her
now, wrapping his arms around her. More than anything, she missed
his hugs. Kellan was so much taller than her, but when they
embraced, they fit each other perfectly. She had never known the
meaning of completion until she had hugged Kellan, and he fit her
like a jigsaw puzzle. She hadn't felt that sense of completion for
years. The
sound of Keri's laughter broke Kim's train of thought. She
blinked the memories from her eyes, returning to reality as Keri
proceeded into shoving her brother off the couch, the both of them
bursting out into laughter. The fake smiles and heavily guarded
facades that her children had put up after Kellan's death had
almost completely disintegrated; she could hear it in their laughs. It was no longer a forced, strained sound as though they were just
trying to please each other. This
was real. A
small smile crept up the corners of Kim's lips. For the first time
in four years, she realized that she was home. Today
was the day. The
last Sunday of every month had been designated to the DeGiovanni
family. Kim and Kellan had always cleared their work schedules,
making sure someone could cover for them at the restaurant; Kevin had
made sure there were no parties or track meets, and Keri had ensured
that no tennis matches would interfere with her family time. It was
a day that the whole family looked forward to every month, a day to
get away from the world and just be with people they loved. Keri
always woke up before the birds. Her internal alarm clock refused to
let her sleep, excitement boiling in her chest. She lay wide-awake
from about six in the morning until nine, when the rest of her family
woke up. The sky was a dull grey as Keri made her way downstairs. She
pulled her favourite jacket off the railing – a white hoodie with a
picture of a cartoon puppy on the pockets that she had gotten custom
made from Japan – and made her way into the kitchen. Kim's
tired eyes peered at her from over her newspaper. "Morning," she
yawned, sipping from her coffee. The liquid seared her throat on the
way down, but she was too happy to feel it. Even Kim liked the
Sundays they spent together. Kevin
crunched on his cereal noisily, nodding at Keri as she sat down
beside him, and Kellan smiled from his place at the sink. He was
always tiding up, even when there was nothing to clean, and that
trait had been passed down to Keri. Keri
loved her family. She had a mother who was still young enough to
listen to and appreciate the kind of music that she loved, and a
father who would stay up late with her and let her tell him about her
dramas at school – on the rare occasion that she had them. Kevin
was a brother that Keri could say she was proud to have. At school,
some people knew her as "Kevin's sister", as Kevin was a
well-known track star, even as a freshman, but she didn't mind. She was glad to be related to someone like him; he was a brother that
watched out for her. A
boom of thunder shook the house, making Keri flinch. She had never
been a fan of thunder. Kim frowned. "It looks like it's going to
rain," she said. Keri loved it when her mother spoke; Kim had
learned English a few years before Keri and Kevin had been born. She
was of Japanese and Italian decent, and been taught both language. An accent of something in between those two fluencies was present in
her English. It was a unique flare that made Kim appear more exotic
and foreign. "Are
we still going to the fair?" Kevin asked, swallowing the rest of
his Cheerios. Keri made a face at her brother; of course her parents
weren't going to cancel a DeGiovanni Sunday. "We
can, if you still want to," Kellan said, smiling. He already knew
the answer. Kim
smiled warmly. "All right, but we have to bring umbrellas and
ponchos; I know it's going to rain like hell out there." >Keri
had been a step ahead of her and ran to the broom closet to check. "I don't think we have any." Kellan
stood up and grabbed his keys from the counter, smiling. "I'll
run to the store to pick some up, then we can go." "We
can all go together," Kim suggested, laying her paper in a ruffled
mess by her coffee. Keri discreetly made her way to the table,
folding her paper back into neat squares. She hated seeing papers in
a disarray. Kellan
shook his head. "No, there's no need for everyone to rush to get
dressed now. I'm done with the dishes, so it'll be faster if I
just go, and you take your time. Don't worry about it, it'll be
quick." He was already at the front door, slipping on his shoes. "Fifteen minutes, tops."</em> It hadn't been fifteen minutes. And
Keri had yet to cry. Four years later and all the heartache she
still felt from her father's untimely death still weighed heavily
on her shoulders, haunting her around every corner of her own house. But Keri hadn't cried, she'd never shed a tear over her loss. She needed to be strong, not only for herself, but for her brother,
and for Kim, too. She needed to be okay for them, so that they
wouldn't need to worry about her. It was a burden that she knew she
needed to carry for the sake of her family. Keri
had the chills. The
steam from the searing shower she had taken still lingered around
her, but it failed to keep her warm. The sheets rustled with her
steady breathing and she lifted a hand to rub her eyes as the ceiling
fan blew dust into them. Her arm fell back onto her chest, where it
collided with something metal. For
a moment she was surprised, as though she had forgotten that if had
been there in the first place. She ran her fingers down the creases
she had memorized, having lain in bed for countless hours, fingering
the cold steel of this picture frame. She
lifted it, sitting up in bed slightly. The white glow of the moon
illuminated the face in the photograph, but Keri didn't need the
light to see; her father's features were embedded into her memory,
into her fingertips as they traced over the face behind the glass. The
frame suddenly felt heavy in her fingers as she lifted it up. Keri
was careful with it, carrying as though any second, it would crumble
to sand. She heard a dull thud, confirming that she'd placed it
back onto her nightstand. Kellan DeGiovanni would always be watching
over her. Keri
rolled over, trying to allow the dust to settle in her eyes, so she
could fall asleep. It was not use. But it wasn't anything that
was unfamiliar to her; Keri never slept well. The
days dragged on slower than Keri had ever experienced. It
was especially unbearably prolonged with Alex in two of her classes. It might not have seemed like a lot, being required to see him
everyday for a maximum total of two hours, but she had never
been in any of his classes before, and this change was something she was
sure she would not get used to. When
he'd walked into his art class first period of the day, he stopped
for a second in the doorway, noticing her at her teacher's aid desk.
He had missed first block the day before, probably having slept all
the way until it was lunch hour. He raised a dark eyebrow
suggestively, as though not having expected her to maintain the
ability of locomotion one day after he had slept with her. She shot
him a look as he made his way to her desk, which just so happened to
be right in front of her. Nick took his spot next to Alex and leaned
over his desk, looking as though he were about to fall over any
second. His eyes switched from Alex to Keri with a look in between
something of suspicion and confusion. "Ugh,"
Keri groaned, turning back to her own sketchbook, ignoring Alex. He,
in turn, was ignoring the teacher, Mrs. Heller, as she began to
explain the assignment. "Mr.
Vidal," she called, her voice sharper than knives. Jumping about a
foot from his seat, Alex turned to Mrs. Heller and just smiled. "Yes?" She
pushed her glasses up her thin nose. "Did you hear a word I just
said?" "Nope. I was daydreaming about Keri D. I think she's amazing. In more
ways than one." Alex tossed a wink her way. Whispers erupted,
rippling among'st the class. Keri looked up from her sketchbook in
horror, not noticing the nasty looks she was receiving from the girls
from the back of the room. Mrs.
Heller rolled her eyes, already having prior knowledge to Alex's
'tactics.' When she wasn't a teacher, she was one of the
school's most loved adults; she often counseled girls about their
high school dramas. Alex was the most brought up name she'd heard
in four years. She sighed tiredly, not in the mood for finding out
what he was talking about just yet. It was only the second day of
school, but she had a feeling that in a few days, she'd be hearing
about him. She turned her attention back to the class. "Why
are you following me?" Keri spat over her shoulder. Alex smiled,
not answering as he caught up with her, slinging his arm around her
heavily. She violently wriggled free, catching up with Bella at the
lunch doors. She had just had a horrible time in English; the
registration board had messed up the schedules, and now Alex was in
three of her classes. Keri hated her senior year already.</P><P>When
Keri looked over her shoulder again, Alex had disappeared. She tried
to pick him out from the clusters of students now filing into the
lunch hall -- keeping an eye on his whereabouts was vital in her
avoidance of him so he couldn't spring up on her -- but he was
nowhere to be seen. "Gosh,
girl, you look like you're going to start a mass murder or
something," Bella frowned, picking at her salad. Although she
was a model, Bella hated salad. She hated eating healthy foods, as
having to have eaten only that her entire life; she had been a figure
skater, a gymnast, and now a model, all occupies where a thin body
was needed to go really do much in the industry. Keri
was silent, her eyes slits as she aggressively shoveled mashed
potatoes in her mouth. Her school made excellent garlic potatoes; she
got them every day. Bella
rolled her eyes, trying to hide her disgust as she chewed on a strip
of lettuce. "Alex again, huh?" Keri
just nodded. Girls from her art class were still talking about her,
seated at the table near her. Groaning exasperatedly, she took her
right hand and flipped them the bird, waving it around like a knife.
Looking quite frightened at her sudden hostile behavior, the girls --
and whoever so happened to see this incident -- turned away and
talked in quieter voices. Bella
made a face. "You know, I really think you ought to just let
this whole Alex thing go. It was a mistake, blah, blah, blah, it
won't happen again, the end. Move on with your life. Stop being such
a cranky bitch all the time. We're seniors now, and your attitude is
making me sick." Bella spat the lettuce out on her tray, making
Keri break out into a giggle. "I
have been cranky, haven't I?" she mused, slumping back in her
chair. She pretended to scold her middle finger, tapping it slightly
as though giving it a spanking. "We're seniors, we're totally
above all of this bull that high school throws at us." Bella
nodded approvingly, not impressed that Keri was having a sudden
epiphany -- these happened quite a bit, as Keri was the queen of
overreacting. She started to fan herself with her hands. "I'm
going to let it go of this whole issue with Vidal, and this is going
to be a wonderful, wonderful year full of rainbows, and butterflies,
and no boys named--" "Hello,beautiful," said a voice, destroying Keri's moment. "I
couldn't help but feel you thinking about me, so I decided to make my
presence known." Keri
glared at him through slits while Bella's eyes widened as though they
weren't big enough to swallow Alex's figure. "Have you come to
further ruin my day?" she groaned as he sat next to her. She
moved her chair away from him as far as she could, but he hopped his
closer to her as though he were five. "No,
actually, but the though of impacting someone's day that much makes
want to do a little dance," he laughed, rubbing his shoulder
against hers. She squirmed away like he was covered in acid. He
laughed. "I actually came to tell you that I didn't find your
clothes yet." Keri
made a face as though she were talking to an incompetent fourth
grader. "I don't need a day-to-day update, dumbass. Just give me
my clothes when you find them." She scooped a spoonful of
potatoes into her mouth. "And stop talking to me. The way the
rumors fly around here, people are going to start to think that you
and I have a thing,"
she spat the last word with disgust. "Oh,
but Keri, I thought we already did have a thing," he said,
pretending to be hurt. "You were in my pants all yesterday, in
my bed the night before; one would only have to assume. And besides,
do you want to know what I think?" "No." Alex
ignored her. "I think you like me." "Ha,"
she scoffed, almost gagging on her potatoes. "I think the
alcohol we drank has caused you some brain damage, Vidal." Alex
laughed, winking at her. "Ah, but you didn't deny it," he
said, grinning. "It's okay, you know, I won't tell anyone. Play
your cards right and you and I might have another midnight
rendezvous, if you know what I mean." Keri
frowned, her brows furrowing in disgust. "Can you please go
flirt with some stupid freshmen or something? They'd kill for you to
talk to them. Me, on the other hand, well, I'm about ready to kill
myself. Never in a million years will an 'us' happen. Ever." Alex
laughed again, but stood up, patting her on the head. Keri swatted
his hand away hastily. "You're too cute, Keri." With that,
he turned on his heels and headed back to his table, taking his
rightful place by Nick. "I am trippin'," Nick said as soon as Alex sat down. He tossed Alex
the Subway sandwich that he had ditched school to pick up last block.
Alex started on it right away; he loved sandwiches. "About
what?" Alex asked, his mouth still full. Lettuce and tomatoes
fell into his lap and he brushed them to the floor with his free
hand. Nick
took a long sip from his soda. "You talked to Keri today. Again.
Alexander Vidal doesn't talk to girls. Alexander Vidal doesn't give a
flying fuck
about how girls feel." "I
told her that I didn't find her clothes." Nick
didn't believe him, and it showed on his face. "Keri doesn't
need a daily update. She's not stupid." Alex
shrugged. "I didn't say she was." Nick
raised a dark eyebrow. "So what are you saying?" "Nothing,"
Alex answered, looking up from his sandwich, playfully daring Nick to
challenge his answer. Nick just laughed, and Alex turned back to his
sandwich, smiling triumphantly. "That's what I thought." Nick
chuckled, rolling his eyes. Even though they were best friends, Nick
had learned that there were a few things about Alex that he would
never understand; his way with girls one of them. He didn't approve
of Alex's methods, and made sure to keep girls that were his friends
away from him, but he and Alex were friends, and Nick wasn't the one
whose heart was being broken. It was high school; Nick figured Alex
could do whatever he wanted while he could. It was a privilege of
being young. So
why was Nick beginning to feel like this thing with Keri DeGiovanni
wasn't right? He
had never forgotten that they had been friends before. All through
elementary school, they had been inseparable. However, once they hit
junior high school, they'd stopped being friends, for some reason
that Nick still didn't even know. Just because they weren't friends
anymore didn't mean that he had stopped caring for her as one. There
were times when he found himself in front of her house; a modest
little blue Victorian on a road where all the houses looked the same.
Except he knew that it was Keri's house because none of the
DeGiovanni's were gardeners, and their flower patch reflected it. The
white door mocked him, suddenly seeming to have grown arms and almost
dragging him by the hair to knock. But Nick had always left before
the memories managed to take hold of him and he gained enough
confidence to knock on her door and beg her to be friends again. He
turned to look at her table, Keri poking animatedly at her mashed
potatoes. Her dark hair was swept across her face just above her
eyes, her skin a shade too light to be called olive, but still glowed
with health. What
Nick missed most about her, however, were her eyes. They were some
shade of hazel, green flecks swimming in the irises. In the sun -- he
still remembered from the times that they used to play on the jungle
gym when they were kids -- they almost looked gold. It was the thing
that he most thought compelling about her; her eyes. Any unsuspecting
soul would drown in them forever, had she ever given them the chance
to look. She was that enticing. It
puzzled Nick as to why Keri didn't realize how attractive she really
was. She turned heads around every corner, and it wasn't just because
of the rumors. Keri
suddenly looked up from her potatoes, catching Nick staring at her.
He was just about to pretend that he was looking at something behind
her head, a look of confusion flickering across her face. But at that
moment, the corners of her lips turned into a small smile,
acknowledging him for the first time in four years. There
was something sad about that smile and with a pang in his chest Nick
realized that it was guilt. And he felt it, too.


Well thats chapter two, and PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS, IF ANY OF YOU READ IT.

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