What if? The alternate version of Never Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 21 (v.1) - Chapter 21

Submitted: March 02, 2011

Reads: 76

Comments: 3

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Submitted: March 02, 2011

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I slid into the passenger seat of Josh's car, closed the door, and set my bag on my lap.

I was glad for the center console between us. I wouldn't be able to sit right up against him like I could in Ben's car. Still the sports car was pretty small inside. Even though I was pressed up against the door to try to give myself some space from him, Josh was still way too close for comfort.

After we both had our seat belts on and he started the car, Josh reached over and grabbed my hand before pulling out of the parking lot.

I miserably watched Anna and Jordan disappear as we drove away.

I tried to keep myself calm as we got further and further away from school. It wasn't going so well. I was incredibly tense and my heart was still beating pretty fast.

It was quiet, which gave my mind plenty of time to come up with a bunch of horrible scenarios for this drive. Was he actually going to just take me home?

I very tensely watched the road as we drove.

"Where are we going?" I asked somewhat frantic, when Josh turned down a different road than the one that lead to my house.

"Why? Do you think I'm going to try to kidnap you or something?" He asked mockingly.

I didn't answer. How was I supposed to know what he had in mind?

"Lizzie," He said. "Why would I need to kidnap you? I already have you." I didn't look at him, but I knew he was grinning.

Unfortunately, he was right. I'd basically handed myself to him on a silver platter. I certainly couldn't say he forced me into his car. Not physically anyway.

"I'm just getting coffee. If that's alright, I mean." He said, sarcastically.

I bit my lip and let out a shaky breath.

After a few more minutes of driving, he pulled into the Dunkin Donuts drive through and ordered his drink.

I was grateful when he let my hand go to take his coffee.

I supposed I'd be relatively ok as long as his hands were full.

Not that I expected him to, of course, but he didn't ask me if I wanted anything. I was glad. As nervous as I was, I highly doubted I'd be able to keep anything down. Even the smell was making me sick.

Josh got back on the road and I was very relieved when I was sure he was heading to my house. I tried to relax a little. Maybe driving to and from school wouldn't be so bad, so long as went the way it had been going so far.

I took my seat belt off as we turned onto my street and anxiously waited for Josh to stop the car.

When he did, my hand immediately flew to the door handle. I intended to dash outside as soon as humanly possible. But the door didn't open. I tried it a few times before I realized that he must have a safety lock or something.

My heart picked up the pace again as I looked back at him.

He was watching me, amused. "In a hurry?"

Was he kidding?

"I..." I tried to think up something to say. Some reason I had to get in the house right away. Unfortunately, I'd never been very good at coming up with things spontaneously, like that.

Josh raised his eyebrows and looked interested in what I was going to say. He obviously knew I had nowhere to be at the moment.

"I, um..." I tried anyway and glanced at the house, hoping for some inspiration. Chores? Homework? Nothing that required my immediate attention.

I gasped when I felt his hand under my chin. He pulled me to face him again.

He looked in my eyes for a minute, with that same amused smirk before his gaze dropped to my lips and he started leaning in.

I fought the overwhelming urge to pull away. Instead, I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to pretend I was anywhere else, doing anything else the way I always did when I had to get a shot from the doctor.

The sick feeling I still had from smelling the coffee, intensified when he started kissing me.

I tried really hard to think of anything else, but it wasn't helping very much. I think I was trying so hard that I had things flying in and out of my mind and wasn't able to really focus on any one thing for very long. So it didn't really distract me from what was happening.

When Josh left my mouth, I opened my eyes and tried to focus on something real. The first thing I saw was the big pine tree across the street, so I stuck with it. I tried to pick up every minute detail and every association I could imagine.

Still, I was completely aware of  what he was doing.

By now, his hand had moved from under my chin to the side of my neck and he was kissing along the opposite side.

He stopped and inhaled deeply before groaning loudly.

"I don't know if I can wait till Saturday." He murmured against my neck. "Maybe we should just go out tonight."

"I can't!" I said, right away. "I have to-" I stopped myself before I could say what my actual plans were. I was sure he would tell me I couldn't go, even though he said I still had some time with Ben and everyone. I was getting the feeling that it only applied to very limited situations, like school. And I wasn't even sure how free I would be there.

He pulled away. "Why? You have plans?"

I couldn't tell if he was amused or annoyed.

"I have homework." I said, glad that I wouldn't have to try lying just yet. I guessed he'd be able to tell like everyone else, when I was.

"Homework?" He asked skeptically. "It can't wait?"

I shook my head. "I'm really behind in alot of stuff and I have a bunch of tests coming up." I was very grateful I'd spent study hall figuring all that out. I hadn't had to lie yet. Just omit where I'd be and the fact that I wouldn't be alone.

Josh groaned again and went back to my neck.

"Josh, please." I tried, pushing at him.

"What?" He pulled back, annoyed.

"Can we...not do this now?" I asked. "Here? In front of my house?"

"Is anyone even home?" He asked.

"I don't know." I said honestly. "But my parents might be and Louis will be home any minute." As I was saying it, the school bus came around the corner to drop my brother off.

How's that for perfect timing?

Josh glanced at the school bus and back at me. "You know they're going to see us together sometime."

Not if I could help it.

"But not now." I argued. "Not like this. They don't even know about you."

He smirked. "You mean, you didn't tell them about me?" He asked with mock astonishment.

Yeah, like that was really a conversation I was dying to have. On the up side, Daddy would probably hate him on sight.

"Alright," He said when I didn't answer. "I suppose I don't want your dad coming out here with a shotgun or anything."

Josh kissed my lips one more time before he said, "See you in the morning."

He released his hold on me and unlocked the car doors. It took me a few seconds to move. I could hardly believe he was letting me go so easily.

But as soon as my brain started working again, I took the opportunity. I grabbed my bag, and quickly got out of the car. Shutting the door, I turned to walk to the house, but stopped when I realized that Louis was standing on the porch. He was watching me with an uncharacteristic, angry expression.

Right. I guess it wasn't exactly accurate to say that Louis didn't know about Josh. He knew more than I was comfortable with, actually.

I started up the walkway and heard Josh pull away.

"Hey." I said hesitantly when I reached the steps.

Louis just looked at me, unhappily.

I sighed. "Look, I know you don't like this." I said. "I don't like it either, but he's gonna be around for a while." I only hoped it wouldn't be a very long 'while'.

Louis scowled at the ground. "So, is he, like, your boyfriend now?"

I wrinkled my nose in disgust at the word 'boyfriend', applied to Josh, but I supposed it was technically true.

"I guess." I said petulantly.

"What about Ben?" He looked up at me again.

I couldn't help the hopeless look, I knew came into my eyes at the mention of Ben. I looked away, hoping Louis wouldn't notice.

"Ben's still...my friend." I said. "And you can still see him whenever you want."

"That's not what I meant." He said flatly.

Boy, I miss the days when Louis was little and didn't have a clue about what was going on. He was much too perceptive now.

"I know." I looked at him again. "But I..." I fought the tears I felt coming. "I don't really know." I admitted. "I don't know anything, right now."

"I want to-" He scowled in the direction that Josh just drove off. "I wish-" His hands balled into fists.

I loved Louis a little bit more, watching him struggle. I knew he wished he were bigger so he could fight for me. And I actually wished he were the older one, for a change. That he really could protect me. Or at least try. I didn't know if it would exactly help now or not. But it was a nice thought anyway.

He looked back at me. "Maybe if you just tell Daddy..."

"No, Louis." I shook my head.

"Why not?" He said. "He could make him leave you alone."

"Because it wouldn't help." I said. "Not really. It wouldn't fix the problem. And it would just make him worry."

Louis didn't look too convinced.

"I know you want to help." I said. "And I love that you do. I couldn't ask for a better brother." A bigger one maybe...

"But this is something I've got to take care of, myself." I said. "Ok?"

He glanced away, unhappily.

"Promise you won't say anything to Mamma and Daddy?"

He looked at me and nodded, sadly.

"Thanks."

"I can't do anything?" He asked after a quiet minute.

"You can promise me that you won't grow up to be anything like him." I said.

Louis shook his head. "I won't." He said seriously.


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