Abby hurried out of school. Learning used to be so much fun, but not anymore. Somehow, it had lost its appeal.
She was 17 now, almost 18. Countdown was on until graduation. Somehow, somewhere, she had lost her path. Her drive. College applications had been a drag, but she tried hard. Anything to get away from home.
Her relationship with her dad had changed. The entire dynamics. Once so very close, now she felt as if they could not even connect at all anymore. She felt like he only had eyes for the young children. Finally she understood why Jacob had been so mean in the beginning. She used to be her dad’s entire world. Now she seemed … redundant.
After they got un-turned she noticed that a lot of things, almost everything, felt differently. Sensory, emotionally, olfactory and the way food tasted. Everything was different. The physician at the science facility where she and her dad got un-turned said her reaction was normal, a good sign, the human hormones her body was now producing were setting in.
Again, she felt all alone with her personal struggle, as the only person in the world who would understand, her dad, was too wrapped up in everything BUT her.
She had a boyfriend. Not Philip anymore, now it was Colin. There had been some dating in between. Nothing too serious. Abby was smart about all that. And particular. If her daddy had taught her one thing, albeit not intentionally, it was to not have a child. Ever. If a boy pressured her, she rather walked out than give in. Second base would be as far as it would go for her. If they didn’t like it – good riddance.
Colin and Abby decided on watching movies together when she went to see him after school – officially she was sleeping over at her friend Autumn’s, who always covered for Abby.
Colin and she watched TV, Abby zoned out a few times, tired, and finally fell asleep against his shoulder.
She woke half-way from sleeping when she felt him trailing kisses down her neck, her face.
Eyes still closed, she reciprocated, mumbling.
“Oh, Jacob, don’t stop…hmmm.”
Everything abruptly ended, which woke her from her daze, she blinked open her eyes, as he sat up straight shifting away from her, looking angrily at her.
“What are you doing?” she mumbled drowsily.
“Who’s Jacob?!” Colin’s tone was rough.
“You just called me Jacob! Who is he?! Are you seeing someone else? Did you give it up for him when you have been keeping me on the short leash?!” he was very angry.
“Oh no .. I just … ahem .. misspoke…” Dammit, where did that come from?
“Misspoke?! Because Colin sounds so much like Jacob. Of all the girls, you were the last I thought would be some cheap whore! All that time I wasted on you.”
“I am not a whore! I never slept with him …” Abby protested.
“Oh, so you DO know a Jacob.” he jumped up, she followed suit.
“Yes he is… uh … someone from my past. Just a … friend.” that entire sentence nearly physically hurt her.
“Sounds like a lot more than that to me! I think you need to get your shit and go home.”
He left the room.
Abby tried to calm him, but he treated her like a disgusting cockroach which turned her guilt into anger. One little mistake.
She left, without the usual kiss goodbye as he slammed the door shut behind her, missing her back by an inch.
At that moment Abby thought things could be mended once he cooled off, but she would remain wrong. Not even 45 minutes later he broke up with her.
Via text message.
What a …!
Since she had lied about spending the night at Autumn’s, she didn’t want to go home, so she really went over to Autumn’s home instead. Hearing about what happened, Autumn got the rest of the girls together. Her friends took her out on the town to take her mind off things. They all were 17 and 18 years old, but all equipped with fake IDs making all of them 21. Abby was not normally one to break too many rules but tonight she just could not care.
“Look at that! The ‘Heavenly Devils’ are in town! We are so going!” Autumn pointed at a poster on a wall, advertising a ‘one in a lifetime’ event with today’s date on it.
“No way!” Amber said.
“Oh yeah!” Kaylee added, clapping her hands.
“Uh – what’s that?” Abby asked. The poster didn’t give much info.
“Abby, you need to start living, gurl! ‘Heavenly Devils’ is a male stripper group.”
“Not ‘a’, ‘THE’ male stripper group. Those guys are DELISH! Lead the way Autumn!”
“I really don’t know, guys … after what just went down, I am really not in the mood to look at some random dudes’ junk and stuff what little allowance I have down their boxers…” Abby regurgitated the cliches she knew about strip shows.
“Lighten up, Abs! And if they wear boxers tonight, I am going to ask for the manager!”
“I’ll just go home…” Abby tried, but was pulled along.
“Like hell you will!”
So Abby ended up at her first strip show. Not a place she ever thought she would find herself in.
Then the show started. Abby did not find that sexy whatsoever, but totally cliche and ridiculous, as she watched a bunch of guys wearing nothing but tight briefs, masks and smiles, all of them not that much older than herself twirl and grind around women looking about three times her age.
Suddenly she felt like crying again, remembering how quickly Colin had been able to dump her. Was she really that replaceable to everyone? Fighting tears, she looked up when her friends started cheering and squealing for joy, just in time to see the dancers were mixing in with the audience now.
She looked around for the bathrooms sign, just as she spotted it and rose up, hands grabbed her and pushed her back down, when one of those men started dancing at her, touching her, making very descriptive movements .
While the stripper busied himself with her legs, she scanned the rest of him, muscular, saw he was definitely not wearing boxers, but tight briefs that left little to the imagination.
She blushed and quickly looked up at him, he was grinning and winked, she felt awkward. If all this was intended to make her feel better, not worse, it failed.
He leaned forward while dancing, she saw brilliant blue eyes contrasting with the black mask, long dark hair framing his face in a rugged, interesting way. Now he whispered into her ear, before moving backwards to rejoin the other dancers.
Abby looked shocked.
“What did he say to you?” Autumn screamed over the music.
“Just … ‘hello Abby’….” Abigail admitted.
“YOU KNOW HIM?! You little bi-a-tch, acting like a Catholic schoolgirl, when they know you by name! You have to introduce me!”
“I don’t know who that is, or how he knows my name!” Abigail defended herself.
“So you’re telling me they are not just smokin’ hot but also mind-readers? Sister, puh-leeeese!”
“I hope they are. I will not be home for a few days then!” Autumn yellled.
The girls laughed, Abby shrugged.
The show ended and her friends were engrossed in comparing notes about the dancers.
Abby got up and went outside.
Her ears were ringing from all then noise, her eyes burning as she sighed.
Startled, she winced as she had not noticed the man leaning up against the wall, smoking before.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” he chuckled.
“It’s you again! How did you know my name?”
“Lucky guess. Maybe you look like an Abby.”
“Bullshit. Did Autumn pay you to talk to me? Wow, am I really THAT pathetic?”
“I wouldn’t call it pathetic, but you could use a little help getting that hanger out of your clothes before putting them on.”
“Oh, because I don’t swing my business around on a stage in barely my underwear, huh?”
“I can’t say I wouldn’t pay to see that, but it’s not what I meant. There is a middle ground.”
“Oh is there? Like what? Wear hussy clothes so everybody places bets whether or not my boobs are gonna bust out at any moment?”
“No offense, but there is not enough there to really worry much about that.” he pointed at her chest.
“You are an asshole!”
Abby turned around and wanted to go back inside, but her theatrical exit died an instant death when the door she had come out of, would not budge.
The male dancer was laughing.
“Glad you are having fun.” Abigail was fuming.
“I can help you, you know.”
“Okay, if you would then.”
Instead of opening the door, he pushed her against it and kissed her, demanding.
Her head knew this was wrong and she should at the very least fight him and protest, but her body did not want to execute any of that.
“How dare you?! Do you want a kick in the balls THAT bad?!” she said anyway.
“Always the same story. Just my bad luck.”
“What are you talking about? Oh ….. OH … OMG.”
“Ah, it’s finally sinking in. Took you long enough.”
“How … when … I mean … why did you never call .. or come home, Jacob?”
“To do what? Live with the knowledge that what is dangling before me, I cannot have, the humiliation, or to play happy reunion with half-siblings I don’t even know and who do not know me, act like I was still close with my mother, who I haven’t seen in many years and a step-father who hates me?”
“Dad does not hate you!”
“Have you told him I kissed you? Back in Switzerland? He would if you did.”
“I worried about you. We all did. You could have at least let us know you are okay. And how did you get here? And how can you be with THEM … you are 16!” Abby realized he looked much older.
“You’re not the only one with a convincing fake ID.”
“Are you going to stay?”
“Only until the group moves on to the next town.”
“Please don’t go.”
“I missed you.”
“Isn’t that enough?”
“It’s a start.” he smiled now when he saw the necklace she was wearing. She noticed and said
“I never took it off again.”
“It’s yours Abby. You can throw it away, if you wanted.”
“I would never! Come back home, Jacob. Please. Just tonight. If you really don’t like it there, you can always leave again. What have you to lose. Please. PLEASE. For me?”
“How am I supposed to resist that, huh? Are you going to tell you friends?”
“They are busy staring at all your buddies have to offer. Do you need to go back to …. work?”
“Probably. But I like your offer better right now. Let’s go.”
They walked to her car, she realized her knees where like pudding, and she drove home.
The house was mostly dark, a sign everybody had gone to bed. She snuck Jacob to her room.
He looked around, visibly amused, but didn’t say anything.
“Is that the current one?” he pointed at a picture of her and Colin. Urgh.
“Yes. No, actually he is my current ex. Since, today actually, nope, yesterday now. Yeah, I am that girl, who gets broken up with in a text message.” Somehow, she didn’t even care about that anymore.
“I told you before, you have a horrible taste in men. But it means you are currently single. Better seize that moment.”
He stepped forward. She knew he was going to kiss her again. He lifted her face with two fingers, she closed her eyes in anticipation of another kiss … which never came. She blinked her eyes open and saw him grinning.
She blushed. Did the humiliation find no end!?
“So, what does perfect little Abby do with her time these days?”
“School. Preparing for graduation and then college.” she tried to hide her disappointment. Oops.
He let go of her and looked around her room, and she looked him over. Wow. She felt those butterflies again. Brother! she reminded herself. Step-brother it echoed back.
Not even a day ago she spoke his name when she was in the midst of making out with her then boyfriend. And now here he was.
Serendipity at its finest. Funny how that works. she thought. Or she thought she did.
“Funny how what works?” he turned to her.
“That’s what you just mumbled.”
“I said that? Out loud?” OOPS again.
“You did. We used to be able to talk. Guess that fell by the wayside after all that time.”
“No, we can still talk. I’ll even start. Jacob, please don’t go. Please, please stay.”
“There is nothing here for me.” he looked and sounded so much older than 16. Very grown up.
“I am here. Does that count for nothing?”
“Abby, we are not little kids anymore. Back then we could just act the part and ignore all else. We are adults now. Maybe not on paper, but trust me, I took the express lane in growing up. Blame my bio-dad. Maybe it’s my own damn fault. Who cares? Either way, I don’t play. I get what I want, or I move on.”
“What do you want then?”
“You KNOW what I want.”
“So what are you saying exactly? If I don’t kiss you, you will leave? Douche-bag much?”
“Call it what you want.”
“Why can you not understand that this is too weird?”
“Because I do not care what other people think, Abby. So they have a problem with that. If it weren’t that, then they would find something else. Maybe that you are a vampire. Or that I am bi-racial. Or that I am a result of a one-night-stand. The list is endless. Is that how you pick your boyfriends? With a checklist? Are they all perfect then?”
“Not perfect, but at least not related to me.”
Abby blocked the door.
“Really?” he looked amused.
“Really! You may be big and strong, but I don’t give up easily. Just remember that.”
“Oh, so you are going to bite me? Suck me dry?” the way he said it, it sounded naughty.
“I … am no longer a vampire. And even if I still were, that’s just …. gross?”
“Gross? No wonder your relationships never last.”
“You didn’t just go THERE?!”
“Went there and am wearing the t-shirt!”
She didn’t know why, but she just pushed him, hard. He barely moved, but grinned.
“You don’t want to do that, Abby.”
“Awww, little boy scawwed now?” she mocked.
She was lifted up and slammed down on the bed, within seconds he was atop her, pinning her down.
At that moment Abby decided, whatever would happen, would happen. She would not do a thing to question it, let alone stop it. On the contrary …
His kisses were so different. He felt so different. He made her feel … different.
“Abby, why are you so noisy this late?! Did you forget that our bedroom is directly under yours? Sounds like you are rearranging yours in the middle of the night! And we thought you’d be staying over at … what is going on here?!”
Heath was suddenly in the room. Looking horrified.
The scene before him was impossible to explain away, especially since Jacob now grinned and offered
“Hey step-daddy, dearest. Just in the nick of time to save the innocent maiden from the monster.”
“Jacob! Shut up!” Abby was shocked. Was he insane?!
“What in the world are you two doing?!” Heath was visibly in shock.
“We’re just …uh … playing.” Abby tried.
“I can see that!”
“Nice to know I was missed. No need to cry into your pillow any longer. I am alive and well. I bet you were SO worried.”
“YOU should be worried! Get off my daughter already you … brat or I will pull you off and you would not like that!”
“I am pretty comfortable right here.”
“Abigail, get out from there right now and come over here!”
“Uh … can we get a minute, dad? Alone?”
“Oh, Abby Abby. Unlike your other boyfriends, I promise I usually take longer than just a minute. I really see why relationships are rough for you.”
Heath had enough and plucked him off, immediately laying into him, trying to keep his voice down. Abby was afraid they would end up in a brawl, but they didn’t.
“Jacob!” Samantha appeared in the room and interfered just in time.
Abby caught Heath’s stare, a mix between disbelief and disappointment. Exactly what she had been so afraid of.
“Your son was making advances towards Abby, Sam!”
“What?” she sounded amused, but her smile faded when she realized Heath wasn’t kidding.
“Jacob, is that true?”
“Yeah. I was gonna kiss her, possibly more, actually pretty sure there would have been a LOT more, but the love killer walked in.”
“Again?! What have you kids been doing?!”
“Except a few kisses. But no worries there, Heath. Your daughter reminds me every chance she gets about your rigid rules.”
“Abigail! If you knew this, why did you take him to your room?!”
“Because … I love him, daddy.”
“WHAT!? He is your BROTHER!”
“Abigail! What is wrong with you these days!?!”
“I cannot help it.”
“Cannot help it? It’s some infatuation… this is not serious. Not act on it, that is what you do!”
“Except it is. Serious. It is very serious. And I am serious.”
“You of all people, Abby! I cannot believe we are arguing about that. You will leave and you will come to your senses! What were you thinking?!”
“You are not throwing my son out of this house, which is also MY house. Jacob is welcome to stay!”
“Not under one roof with my daughter, Sam!”
Now the adults argued, Avalon started crying and Ashton appeared in the hallway.
“Come!” Abby took Jacob’s hand, and started running down the stairs, he followed her.
They ran to a quiet and remote spot by a pond. Where they used to go as kids and young teens. Their meadow, as they called it.
“Now you know why I always said we can’t.” Abby was horrified.
“Did you mean it? What you said in there?”
“Say it to my face.”
Abigail blushed deeply.
“OK, I’ll go first then. I love you Abigail Grainger.”
“I love you too, Jacob.”
They kissed again. Demanding. Until he whispered into her ear.
“We have to stop. Or I won’t be able to.”
“Don’t stop, Jacob. Please don’t stop…” she breathed the words into his ear and meant every one of them.
Jacob didn’t argue.
Abby sat through several rounds of intense grilling by her parents, so extreme the FBI could learn from them.
Abby stoically repeated she did not know where he was, had just run into him by chance. Now he had run off again and she didn’t know why. Or where to. Or anything.
Two days later she saw him again. He had texted her. She sneaked away. They were meeting at the same secret spot again, near her home.
After the greeting, kisses and cuddles Abby begged him.
“Please please stay.”
“Abby, I can’t. If I were to stay, my father would find out. Mom would get into trouble, everything would break apart and my bio-dad would still be an ass. I cannot go back to live with him, nor into some school. I have moved on mentally. And I need to move on physically again, too, and keep moving at least until I am 18. Even without the fake ID.”
“What about me, Jacob?”
“You need to move on, too, Abby.”
“I don’t want to. If you don’t want to stay, then take me with you.”
“You belong here. You are so smart, you have a future here. I bet you already got into a great college. You need to go, graduate and do something amazing with your life.”
“I don’t need college. I need you!”
“Abby, I am not the guy you once knew. I have changed. A lot. And you have changed.”
“Is this about me not being a vampire anymore? You don’t like me anymore because I am no longer … an oddity?”
Abby turned and walked off but he held on to her and pulled her back.
“No Abby. You may be older than me in years, but you are still just a little girl. I am old beyond my years, as I am told. You have a lot of growing up left to do. And maybe, our paths will cross again. And maybe then the stars align just right for us.”
“You are just going to leave me? After …. everything?!”
“I am not leaving you, Abby. I am just leaving and not taking you with me. There is a difference. A big one. And one day you will understand that. And thank me, cos it was the right thing to do.”
“Jacob, I don’t want you going back to some miserable life on the street somewhere!”
“You definitely belong here, Abby. You sound just like your father. My life is not miserable, and I don’t live on the street. We stay in pretty nice hotels, get nice food and party a lot. The boys and I, we are like a family. All of them are misfits, one way or another, but all are running away from something. We even have the son of a billionaire who couldn’t stand the high society anymore. We are not poor street kids, Abby. And I love it. So I will continue doing this until I don’t love it anymore. And then I will see where the wind carries me. But I am far from miserable. If I stayed, I’d lose that AND you, sooner or later, because our timing is off, still, and we’d both end up miserable.”
“So you rather lose me and keep your fancy weird messed-up life?!”
“Wrong. You are always with me. Always have been, always will be. Right in here. It’s just … our timing wasn’t right. Not then, and not now. But maybe some day.” Jacob pointed to his heart as he was talking.
“So you want me to sit around indefinitely and wait for you until you are tired of your life and remember me again?”
“No. I don’t want that at all. Have fun. Life your life. Make something of yourself, be brilliant, be happy. And if we are meant to be, we will be. I told you so many times, love will always find a way.”
Not long after he left, one last intense kiss that made Abby weak in the knees, a tight hug, she wished would never end.
But it did and then he was gone, no matter how much she protested and pleaded.
Occasionally there would be a chat message waiting for her when she came home from school, or woke up in the morning, but he would show offline. It would take days for him to reply to hers. Abby would stalk the ‘Heavenly Devils’ online, sometimes there would be an image with Jacob in the background at some club somewhere, thousands of miles away.