Generation 3, Chapter 4

     Gibson’s POV     

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I enjoy getting exercise almost as much as I love being at the bookstore, it allows me to get away from the house. I didn’t bring my glasses with me, instead I wore a pair of Gareth’s many shades he had lying around throughout the house. I didn’t need my glasses to see normally as much as I need them when I read; I was more farsighted. Running around town gave me a sense of peace, as much as I loved reading biographies, it was just as interesting to watch people live out their lives in person and I often made my own hypothetical stories of their lives within my mind as I ran. I’d see a mother pushing her toddler in a stroller, seeing her eyes exhausted and it was obvious she hadn’t had much sleep. I imagined she had the toddler and at least three older children at home, seeing her walking around the park doing just as I was; getting away from it all. 

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Sometimes, there would be no one out, a day like today. Bennu’s birthday. It was odd barely seeing anyone around town, especially around early evening like it was now. Usually things would be more lively the later it got into the day.. Maybe the fact that it was a Sunday kept people from leaving their homes and choosing to relax on a day that normally no one had work. Sunday is a day for calm minds and rejuvenation, a time to collect yourself and restore tranquility to any hectic, unstable life. The view of the mountains every which way I would turn provided something to look at, I always felt so nostalgic staring at them as I ran along the sidewalks of the inner part of the small town. Nature was something I thought people took for granted, and even surrounded by such beautiful structures, I doubted that people looked at them in such awe as I did every time I saw them.

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I jogged for about an hour around town, getting home around 3:00 pm with enough time to continue a little more exercise before I needed to get ready to go to Bennu’s with Gareth. I went inside and walked towards the living room, breathing heavily through my nose as I tried to catch my breath after my run and I came in seeing Gareth upon the floor. I let out a quick, loud chuckle when I noticed him, he looked dead as he laid there. “You okay?” I questioned, not seeing him move at all and continue to look exhausted.

“Hung…Over..” He struggled to reply.

I lost my smile from my chuckle and gave him a serious expression, “Wait, you still drank after I told you to get some sleep last night? What the hell, Gareth? It’s Bennu’s birthday.. She can see this kind of stuff from a mile away. Why couldn’t you have just not drank last night so you wouldn’t have to go there in this condition?” I questioned with slight agitation.

“Whatever.. I came up to find you and collapsed on the couch instead.. I think I fell off about twenty minutes ago and I just.. I can’t get up..” He replied, his voice still weary and struggling to answer me.

“You’re hopeless,” I said with a long eye roll, continuing into the living room to finish off my exercise.

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I proceeded to the center of the living area with the most room and stood straight up, falling down with a stiff body and my hands caught the ground at the precise time, catching myself and I began doing vigorous push-ups while counting the seconds in my head. One, two, three, four.. Every second I counted, I did a push-up and my breath began to grow heavy, eventually forcing myself to speak the numbers out loud with each push-up I performed, “Thirty five, thirty six, thirty seven..” I continued, hearing Gareth let out a heavy sigh as I kept counting.

“How in the hell can you be so alive right now..? Uuuuggghhh..” He asked with a strained voice, as if complaining that he himself was doing the effort that I was.

I continued counting each push-up in my head as I replied, “You’re hungover,” forty two, forty three, “Exercise is good for you when you’re this way, too. Have you been drinking plenty of water?” Fifty, fifty one, fifty two..

“Yeah, of course I have.. I’ve been drinking fuckin’ water like crazy since.. Since.. Like..” He replied, though still didn’t answer me, “I.. I don’t know..”

Sixty four, sixty five, sixty six, “Well, get up and get in the shower. It’ll wake you up and we’re supposed to go soon, anyways,” Sixty nine, seventy…

“Uugghhhhokaaayyy…” He answered with a groggy tone, hearing him let out numerous more groans before he actually got up.

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“I’ll be quick..” He hesitated a moment, “You’re psycho for doing that shit, too.. Pace yourself, bro.. Take a load off once in a while, it might help that huge stick in your ass you’ve had lately,” Gareth added with a snicker when he stood up, teasing me and I hear him bump into the half-wall of the kitchen as he made his way towards the bathroom and I smirked amusingly to myself at his inability to walk straight. My arms began to burn as I reached into the 80’s count of my push-ups, but I didn’t stop. I always forced myself to 100 every time I did push-ups after my cardiac runs and I felt so much more accomplished when I reached the final triple digit. The feeling my arms would produce at the end of these sessions was a wonderful burn and I loved the slight pain it gave me, but it only made me feel like I had more energy and I felt so much more alive compared to the the ending result of my jogs. After my push-ups, I went into the kitchen and vigorously cleaned the dishes that were within the sink and I wiped down the cabinets and the counter tops as I waited for Gareth to be done with his shower so I could take one myself.

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After Gareth showered, I did so after him and got ready to go to Bennu’s, reminding Gareth that he should look rather presentable for the occasion. He gave me an irritated expression when I had told him what to wear, but he reluctantly agreed and he had gone to his room to put something on that was more appropriate. After my shower, I went up to my room and changed into a casual suit. Blue colors were my ‘go-to’ when attending something a little less than the extreme formal, otherwise black would be my first choice when wanting to utterly impress the company I was expecting. I took pride in looking specifically good for every occasion that was presented to me.

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I grabbed the present I had gotten for Bennu and put it into one of my pockets, going downstairs then and seeing Gareth meet up with me in the living room. “Feeling any better?” I asked.

“Not really.. The shower just woke me up, my head’s still killing me though,” he replied, shrugging sheepishly. I continued to stare at him, my eyes looking at his attire and a smirk ran over my lips, “What the hell are you smiling at?” Gareth wondered with a defensive tone.

It’s always so weird to see you dressed up, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it,” I said with a chuckle.

“Good, I don’t want you to get used to it, and don’t want to get used to it either.. Let’s just go so we can get this over with,” Gareth replied and I shook my head softly, walking out of our home first as Gareth followed behind.

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“It’s not all that bad, aren’t you even a little excited to see them? It’s been months since you’ve been over there for a visit,” I said.

“Ehh, I dunno.. I guess it’s going to be nice to see them, I just can’t stand being there for more than an hour. Bahiti barely ever says a word, I don’t like how she’s changed from being our cute, shy little sister to this mute, depressing girl. It’s annoying, to be honest,” Gareth replied and I sighed softly.

“She just didn’t take the news of Dad’s actions well, he was always there for her, and us, but if you think about it, Bahiti is Dad’s baby girl since Lucy isn’t actually his. Fathers are always more protective and caring to their daughters, at least that’s what I took from the experience. Now with him not around, I can see how she feels a little lost,” I retorted, trying to give Gareth a more understandable conclusion, yet he brushed it off and I looked to him as he spoke.

“Lost? Whatever, man.. She’s 23 and she still lives at home, she just needs to get the hell over it already, being sad about it isn’t going to change anything,” Gareth replied shortly and I didn’t answer him, listening to our steps upon the wooden dock from our dress-shoes as we walked to the car. Gareth’s reasoning made sense to say the least, there is no point of still being sad for Dad when he only did it to himself, but I can also understand not forcing one’s self to forget things when it isn’t time to fully let go yet. Bahiti just happens to be taking longer to get over it than the rest of us, but now that I think of it, Lucy’s desertion proves that she’s in even worse condition than Bahiti is. I wasn’t about to bring her up to Gareth, however.. Lucy was a touchy subject for us.

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Bennu and Bahiti’s house was a bit lavish for my taste, though there was a certain elegance about it that I admired. Architectural wise, I didn’t much care for the design at all, but Bennu had great taste when it came to decorating; the kitchen and downstairs living room were probably my two favorite rooms. The house was a little large for them as well, with four bedrooms and 4 baths, I didn’t understand why they didn’t relocate to a smaller home after Gareth and I moved out. We started out here when we first moved here after Dad’s transfer,  but Gareth and I left a few months into getting here and got a place of our own. I don’t know why Bennu doesn’t move. Maybe it was because these richer neighborhoods were closer to the general hospital and also the mental hospital where Dad was at.. Yeah, that was probably it.

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When we got to the door, Gareth knocked loudly but no one answered, watching him check the door and it was open, so we both walked in. Bennu came out from the dining area into the large hallway, smiling when I saw her and she still looked amazing for being 45 years old. “I’m so sorry, boys.. I’m slow but I’m glad you let yourselves in,” she began and Gareth chuckled.

“You shouldn’t leave the door unlocked,” Gareth began, “What if some psychos walked through the door, huh?” He asked with a serious tone, though his expression was welcoming and humorous. 

Bennu came up to me first and hugged me, “Happy birthday, Bennu,” I cooed sweetly as I hugged her.

“Thank you, Gibson, you both look so handsome,” she replied, releasing me from the hug and going to Gareth, hugging him as well and he wished her a Happy Birthday as I had done. 

“Where’s Bahiti at?” Gareth wondered.

“Oh, she’s in the living room watching television with her friend, Julie, go on in and make yourself comfortable, boys, please,” she gestured in a warm, welcoming manner and I watched as Gareth left to go see Bahiti. Knowing Gareth, there was no doubt he was also wanting to see what Bahiti’s friend looked like.

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Before Bennu could walk with Gareth to the other room, I caught her attention, “Bennu, hey..” I began, watching her turn back around and she smiled at me, “How are you today? Has your birthday been nice?” I asked, making small talk with her for the moment.

“Oh, yes.. Bahiti made me breakfast in bed, it was so wonderful,” she replied and I smiled, hearing the joy in her tone, yet there was still a little something she was holding back and I knew already that she was missing my Dad, wishing he could be here with all of us.

“That’s great.. Are you ready for Bahiti and I to make you dinner?” I asked.

“Yes, I really am! Thank you again for doing that, Gibson, it really means a lot,” she replied, giving me another warm smile and I thought of something to make her day even better.

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“Turn around, I have something for you,” I continued, seeing her expression go surprised and then a calm happiness as she turned around and followed my request. 

“You didn’t need to get me anything, Gibson, your boys’ company is all I need, sweetheart,” she tried to contest before I even got her present out from my pocket. Bennu was so lovely, I adored her and I felt she deserved anything and everything good that came to her. I removed the necklace I had bought her and I put it around her neck delicately, holding up the two ends that connected in the back and trying to secure it. 

Bennu pulled at her hair a little to make it easier for me to secure and I smiled as I clasped the necklace for her; I knew this was a present I had agreed to share with Gareth, but I had planned on giving it to her without him anyways. “Please, I love treating you, especially on your birthday. You deserve it,” I replied, clasping the necklace and fixing the back of her hair so it laid over her nape comfortably.

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I watched as she looked up after I had secured it and her eyes widened when she looked to the necklace I put on her, her lips curling up slowly into a large smile and she let out a giddy laugh from her excitement. I adored hearing and knowing she was happy without her using any words, I wanted to give her something special for her birthday and I wasn’t about to share it with Gareth when he never puts forth the effort at all. “Gibson.. It’s beautiful! Thank you so much, sweetheart,” she finally expressed her gratitude when she could find the words through her excitement. I smiled warmly and placed my hands on her arms, looking at her in the mirror in front of her as she continued to admire it.

“I wish Dad could see you with this on, he’d stumble all over the place from how beautiful you look,” I added and I watched her expression show immense appreciation, her fingertips tracing over the beetle and the large white jewel of a body it had.

“Gibson.. I can’t thank you enough, I love it,” she replied, looking at me in the mirror and we shared a warm smile together. She turned around and gave me the warmest hug I’ve ever felt from her, both of us then walking towards the dining area to join Gareth, Bahiti and her friend in the living room. I loved that Gareth wasn’t a part of this gift even though I told him otherwise, I deserved this recognition and I loved that my gift and my gift alone made her feel so good. I loved making Bennu happy when my father wasn’t around to do it, I sometimes felt I had a responsibility to provide happiness for Bennu since she hardly ever got treated now with Dad gone; I had always watched him giving her rings, necklaces and even the gift of a love-filled kiss whenever he felt it was needed.. I felt I needed to pick up his accidental slack for her, but I enjoyed doing it none the less. Bennu was more of a mother to me than my own Mom was and I was glad to have Bennu in my life.

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I followed behind Bennu as she made her way passed the dining room, through the kitchen and into the living room, but I stopped near the fridge and waited there for Bahiti to join me. “Bahiti, come and greet your brother,” Bennu called out to her. As I looked at all of them, I was already a little irritated; I could see Gareth from where I was and I kept catching him stealing glances at Bahiti’s friend, knowing the small talk and flirting was about to commence not knowing even what she looked like myself, but I knew it still didn’t matter to Gareth. I wasn’t really a fan of diving right in, putting myself out there like a dog with a bone wasn’t my style and I was proud to admit I was a bit of a romancer. I feel that women get more out of being complimented properly while being spoiled with a wine and dine kind of date, but I think that’s where all of the reasoning behind it lied. I liked women, smart and well-mannered women, women with a strong passion in their lives, and a good education didn’t hurt. Gareth? He liked girls. Girls that don’t know any better, girls with more shoes than books and girls that had little experience so he could fulfill his own desires in getting them to experiment. If I was in the position of Bahiti’s friend, I’d run now while I could.

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Bahiti came into the kitchen with a smile on her face, something I hadn’t seen in a long time. “Hey, Bahiti.. You look great, how’ve you been?” I asked, greeting each other with a warm hug and she was still smiling after it. I liked seeing her this way.

“I’ve been good.. I’m actually seeing a new psychiatrist and he has me on some meds that make me feel like floating,” she replied with a soft chuckle and I laughed, not liking the idea of her on medication, though I loved to admit I was excited to see her so happy. It was a nice change from the norm.

“Well then, at least you’re doing better,” I replied, seeing her nod in agreement.

“So, what are we making?” She wondered, walking more into the kitchen and opening the fridge.

“Well, I was going to make hot and sour mushroom soup, maybe you could just make starter dishes and let me handle the soup? It’s a little difficult to get it to turn out just right,” I replied and she looked to me and nodded.

“Okay, sounds good, Gibs,” she replied, beginning to pull things out from the fridge that she could prepare easily while I made the main dish.

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“So, how have you been?” Bahiti wondered, “I just noticed I didn’t even ask.. How’s the girlfriend of yours? Was she unable to make it tonight?”

A knot formed in my throat and I sighed, “I’m doing okay, I suppose.. And we broke up not too long ago,” I replied, hoping to leave it at that, but Bahiti still questioned it.

“Oh, what happened? It seemed like you really liked her,” she continued.

“She was.. Unfaithful.. But it’s fine, I’m over her,” I replied, wanting to get off the subject of my ex. They had asked about her the last time I visited two weeks ago, but I didn’t tell them that we had broken up two weeks prior to that, I was still hurting and the last thing I needed at that time was to be pitied, so I never brought it up. I could never admit, too, that Gareth was the ultimate demise of the relationship. It seemed almost as a defeat on my part, admitting that my brother had taken such a humble woman from me..

“Oh.. I’m sorry, Gibson,” Bahiti replied with a remorseful tone.

“I said it’s fine.. Have you been painting or playing your guitar lately?” I asked, changing the subject to prove how over her I was.

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After being in the kitchen for a little under an hour, dinner was getting closer and closer to being done and my soup was turning out quite nice. I had always loved my father’s cooking and also Bennu’s, you could tell they took pride in each dish they made for us back in Bridgeport and I eventually grew into loving cooking just as much as they did. What I would give to taste my father’s Ratatouille dish once more.. It was my comfort food, my favorite dish I’ll ever eat and I’ll never get tired of eating it. It made me calm and had a homey feeling. I loved all of the different smells and flavors it provided and how it was made in a thinly sliced kaleidoscope effect the vegetables gave off, making it quite a beautiful dish as well. I was beginning to regret making this soup and I felt a Ratatouille craving beginning to kick in.

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Dinner wasn’t an awkward silence, that’s a phrase I’d never use.. Pleasantly content, that describes it a little better. With the lack of talking and only the sound of utensils tapping against plates and bowls, it was a quiet yet enjoyable dinner. Everyone seemed pleased by what Bahiti and I had made, finally hearing it from Bennu, “You two, this is so wonderful, thank you so much for cooking,” she said with a warm smile, looking at me and smiling as she placed her hand on top of mine momentarily and then doing the same to Bahiti. I loved how happy Bennu was and how appreciative she was towards us. She was always this way, but ever since Dad was diagnosed and sent to live at the mental hospital, she’s been upping herself and trying to be an even better person than she already was, like she’s making up for my Dad not being there. Keeping up with someone like him must be tiring though, I wish she wouldn’t stress about it so much.

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After dinner, I offered to clean up for Bennu so she didn’t have to do anything, everyone going back into the living room to spend time with one another as I rinsed every plate and filled the dishwasher while packing up all of the leftover food and putting it into her fridge. Bennu and Bahiti walked towards the lavender couches and decided to enjoy a little bit of television together, putting on a show they religiously watched together and I could her them giggling and talking as they watched. Behind the couches, I looked to the middle-left of the room and noticed Gareth, already hypothetically prodding into Bahiti’s friend. I watched in dismay from the kitchen, my expression judgmental and I couldn’t understand what was going through his mind on how hitting on his sister’s friend on our step mother’s birthday was at all appropriate. 

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I watched from the kitchen as he wooed and wowed her.. His large, gentle, light hand playing with her hair, his fingertips brushing down her cheek when complimenting her, the way he was able to uphold his flirtatious and lustful expression the whole time when I was the only one that knew he didn’t mean a lick of it. It was his own art form that I didn’t care for at all. The way he was so willing and able to manipulate women into thinking he cared was baffling and every time I was both impressed and disgusted. Had he used such techniques when taking my ex from me? I’ve seen this act so much that I had lost count of how many times it’s worked.

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I was thinking many things while watching this game play out. Why doesn’t Bahiti care, does she just assume it’ll happen no matter who she brings over when Gareth is expected to be there? It’s almost as if she brought her just to distract Gareth and keep him out of her and Bennu’s way, but why? Bahiti is coming off as if her friend isn’t even there.. Is this person even her friend at all? I knew that Bahiti knew Gareth’s type, it was obvious when it came to how shallow he was; usually blonde or dirty blonde, and if not that, a wild hair color such as Nina’s. Slow, easily impressed, gullible.. They were all the same. Now that I thought back on it, my ex was a dirty blonde.. But, she had so much potential, she wasn’t stupid or ill-mannered. She had an elegance and grace about her that I loved looking at, yet she fell prey to the mind games of Gareth.. But, she was passed his level and more on mine while I was dating her, so.. Why? As much as I loved my brother, I’ll now always resent him for still being better than me in that one aspect. He can manipulate people to the point that he could pull off and do anything he wanted. I’m not jealous, am I? Jesus, that’s pathetic.. To be jealous of my half-wit, perverted brother.

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I was sick of it. Done. I couldn’t just sit with Bennu and Bahiti and watch this play out. We’d be watching a television show and the next thing you’d know, I’d look behind me and Gareth and Bahiti’s friend would be gone, sneaking off to hookup in one of the bathrooms the first chance that they could based on his way on convincing them.. “Ugh..” I let out silently, sick of the situation entirely and all I wanted was to leave now. I called out to Gareth in front of everyone, making it less conspicuous as to why we needed to leave suddenly, “Hey, let’s get going.. I got work early tomorrow morning,” I voiced, seeing only Gareth’s eyes looking up to me as he kept his suave posture over Bahiti’s friend and I could tell he was asking me with his eyes to stay a little longer, but I refused to acknowledge it, “Ready?” I pressured.

He pulled slowly away from Bahiti’s friend and gave me a rather threatening glare, “Sure.. Let me just say goodbye to everyone,” he replied, his words strong and defensive, but my harsh and unrelenting expression didn’t waver and I could tell he recognized my displeasure with how the evening was going.

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I watched with immense satisfaction as Gareth painfully said his premature goodbye to Bahiti’s friend, then make his way towards Bennu and Bahiti to wish them goodbye as well. I walked into the living room more and hugged Bennu and Bahiti as Gareth had done, keeping my eyes on him as he kept his on mine and I knew an argument was about to ensue the moment we left Bennu’s place.

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I walked out before Gareth and my pace was quicker than normal, my anger driving me to leave and get further away from the house as I can so no one inside would hear us. “Gibson,” Gareth called out with a short tone and I kept walking. “Gibson, would you stop already? What the hell was that all about?” He continued.

“What? You said yourself you don’t like staying here long, so let’s go,” I replied after, keeping my pace and I heard his quicken behind me in hopes of catching up.

“Gibs, stop!” He called out a little louder than before, my steps slowing down finally as I almost reached the sidewalk and I stopped like he had asked.

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“What the hell’s your problem?” Gareth asked when he had finally caught up to me.

“What are you talking about?” I replied in return, my lips sarcastically smirking and I watched as his expression twisted into slight anger.

“Cut the bullshit, Gibson.. You knew I wanted to stay a little longer,” he pointed out.

“Why? So you could ruin that girls life like you’ve ruined so many others?”  I retorted angrily.

“You’ve been such an ass lately! I know this still has to be about your fucking ex, isn’t it? I’ve already said sorry, what more do you want?” He asked in return.

“I just want you to be able to be a decent person in front of people, especially our family. It’s Bennu’s birthday and all you can think to do is spend time with Bahiti’s friend! Do you even remember her name?”

“Yes, it was Jillian!” He replied quickly and I scoffed.

“It was Julie, actually.. Jesus, Gareth.. When are you going to grow up and stop acting like you’re in fucking high school?” I retaliated.

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“You’re too serious all the time! Why don’t you stop worrying about what other people think of you and live your life? Stop living in the past, get over it, and stop worrying about what I do with my life and focus on your own!” He retorted and I bit my bottom lip in anger.

“With how you live, there needs to be someone at the sidelines keeping you straight, you’ve just gotten so dependent on me that you even take advantage of the fact! You do whatever the hell you want and expect no repercussions, you can’t live like that forever and I don’t want to be chained to you the rest of my life to take care of you!” I yelled back.

“Again, what the hell are you talking about? I never asked you to take care of me! Besides, it’s supposed to be the other way around.”

“Yeah, and a reeeaaally good job you’re doing with that..” I replied sarcastically.

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“What, so now you think I’m a shitty brother?” Gareth asked with a humerus tone and I stood there, hesitating a moment.

“Those aren’t my words,” I replied and turned around, walking towards the sidewalk slowly, “I’m going home, find your own ride,” I replied harshly, making my way to the car and not hearing Gareth make a noise or any sign that he was following me. Maybe I was a little too harsh, but I couldn’t go back on what I said so quickly. There was some truth to it, and once he’d look passed my words into what they could mean, I was sure he’d understand eventually. For now, I’ll give him time. I need time away from him just as badly. Living together for the past 23 years has finally taken it’s toll, I believe, and I contemplated moving out if Gareth refused to show any sign of changing. He’s destructive and he’s been losing my trust more and more as the years pass. I didn’t know how much longer I could live with it.

Generation 3, Chapter 3

     Gareth’s POV     

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I stirred as I slept, half awake and still half asleep as I heard an annoying sound I couldn’t ignore. I soon realized what the sound was and it was my phone going off. I kept my eyes shut, moving around in my bed and attempting to wake up. My eyelids soon opened and I reached for my lamp next to the bed, turning it on and removing the covers from over me. By the time I went to get up, my ringtone stopped and I had missed my call, but I was in no true rush to see who it had been.

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I got out of bed and looked to the last pair of pants I was wearing, searching the pockets and I pulled my phone out from one in the front. I checked to see who had called, seeing it was a little after three in the afternoon and my friend Ezra from a few houses down on the dock had called me. I stood there a moment, trying to wake up a little more before trying to call him back. I knew what he wanted already, he was my source for finding jobs and I already assumed he had something lined up for me waiting to be taken care of. A hint of excitement went through me as I called him back, looking forward to whatever he had for me to get done.

“Gareth, how you been?” He answered after a few rings.

“Pretty good, you woke me up,” I retorted with a touch of humor.

“Wow, late night, huh?”

“You could say that.. What’d you call for?” I questioned.

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“Well, I have another job for you.. Interested? ” He questioned.

“Sure, what’s in it for me?” I wondered.

“We can talk about the details later.. If you’re interested, we could meet soon, sometime around 6:00 maybe?”

“Yeah, sounds good. Where you wanna meet up?” I asked. 

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“Meet me over at the bar on 5th and Main,” he replied, hesitating a moment, “You know what kind of job this is, right?” He questioned, my expression growing serious though I couldn’t hold back the slight twitch my lips did in an attempt to smirk.

“Yeah.. I do,” I replied confidently.

“So, if you choose to do this for me, you’ll show up accordingly, correct?” He questioned. I hated when he talked like that, it reminded me of Gibson and it made me a little irritated to think of how he was still angry with me after all this time.

“Yeah, Ezra.. I’m not a dumbass,” I retorted with a short tone. 

“I didn’t say you were, just making sure, man.. Be seeing ya,” he replied, hanging up and I hung up as well.

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I grabbed the pants I was wearing yesterday off the ground and put them on again, securing my phone within the front pocket it was in before and I went to my dresser. I looked through my clothes, trying to find something to wear though it wasn’t hard for me to make a decision. I needed something black, which was the color of more than half of what I owned. I pulled out a simple black t-shirt, throwing it on and finding a black zip-up jacket to throw over it. I looked at the top of the dresser, seeing the empty beer bottles scattered upon it and then looking around my room, noticing even more that were aimlessly about. “I should probably clean up sometime,” I voiced to myself, making a mental note of it for later.

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I stepped over to my large wall mirror and looked myself over, grabbing a pair of black boots to put on besides my usual Converse and it was almost complete. There was still something missing though.. Looking around my room, I scanned the whole area, trying to jog my memory. “Where the hell did I put that?” I questioned myself, looking over to a pile of clothes on the ground in the corner. I bent down near the pile, lifting clothes out of the way in search for what I needed, finally coming across a black beanie and smirking to myself, “There you are,” I said quietly, shoving the hat into my jacket pocket and seeing a pair of shades on the floor within the pile, grabbing those as well and placing them within the other pocket of my jacket.

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I went upstairs and saw Gibson sitting in a chair within the living room, reading a newspaper and he looked at me briefly when I entered the room, though he didn’t say anything. A few nights ago, I had gone up to his room and tried to talk to him, but he wanted me to leave him alone and he hasn’t said much to me since then, though I have noticed that whenever I begin the conversation, he’s a little less irritated now. I think he’s finally starting to come back around into forgiving me. “Hey bro,” I announced, seeing him glance over towards me before going back to reading the newspaper.

Afternoon,” he said rather matter-of-factly, stressing the word a little, “When did you get home last night? Or, rather, this morning?” He asked, his eyes still on the paper.

“Uhh, slept over at some girls house. She works at the hospital and was on call, so I had to leave around 5:00 am. Came home and passed out until ten minutes ago,” I replied, seeing him nod in understanding and I stood there for a moment. I raised my brow in slight confusion, he seemed less mad at me, yet he was still being somewhat of an asshole without really trying to be. His demeanor and how he said certain words still threw me off a little. 

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Jess came from the kitchen to greet me and I smiled, “Hey girl,” I said happily, bending down to pet her and give her attention. The more I pet her, the more excited she grew, she loved me to death and I felt the same of her.

If you’re heading out, please remember to lock her up, I don’t want to have to worry about her with my things,” Gibson added, Jess then jumping up a little and putting her paws on my shoulders. 

“Why don’t you just put up a gate or something at the top of the stairs to keep her out of your room? Or, better yet, don’t leave your shit lying around,” I replied, petting Jess a little rougher as she hugged me and licked my neck.

“Hm.. Maybe if you’d train her better instead of letting her still be a puppy when she’s over three years old, we’d have a good dog that I wouldn’t despise and have to watch for you,” he answered and I sighed. I didn’t like discussing Jess with Gibson, he always came off as a parent, talking to me as if I was ten years old still and I hate when he treated me like I was irresponsible. I took care of Jess. I bought her food all the time and fed her when she needed to be, gave her attention, bought her toys and things to chew on, it’s not my fault she happens to prefer his belongings over her own.

“Whatever man, is there anything to eat in this place?” I asked, though mostly asking myself as I pushed Jess off of me playfully and went to investigate.

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I went to the kitchen and looked through the fridge, trying to choose between making a sandwich or just picking something I could easily throw in the microwave. “So, where are you off to then?” Gibson wondered from the living room. I hesitated a few seconds, trying to think of what to say to him without him wanting to pry.

“Just going out with Ezra,” I replied, deciding then to do something a little daring, “Wanna join us?” I asked. I invited him to make it seem less conspicuous, somewhat knowing he’d decline the offer.

“No, thanks.. I have work in an hour and I don’t get off until 10:00,” he replied and I let out a quiet, relieved sigh. 

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After microwaving a quick meal, I changed the subject with Gibson, “You know, I’m kinda glad you’re coming back around. I didn’t like you not talking to me,” I began.

“Well, I had every reason under the sun not to talk to you, which by the way, when did I ever say I was coming back around?” He wondered as I took my meal out of the microwave and walked to the small dining table.

“I mean, you’ve been talking a little more to me lately, been less of a dick, just seems to me like you forgive me,” I answered, taking a seat and beginning to eat my meal. I heard Gibson closing the newspaper he was reading and I could hear his footsteps walking towards the kitchen. I didn’t want to make this a big thing, I just thought it was something else to bring up to cure the silence, but apparently Gibson had a lot more to say.

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“You’re my brother, we live together, of course I’m going to talk to you from time to time even if I’m angry with you.. But, I admit I’m curious, what makes you think you’ve been forgiven?” He wondered. I was able to literally feel his sarcasm and attitude returning and I knew I had just dug myself into a deep hole.

“I don’t know, just seems like it,” I replied, continuing to eat my meal and trying to avoid the conversation I had started.

“You’ve never had the balls to even apologize, how could you be forgiven if you don’t ask for forgiveness? They do go hand in hand, Gareth,” he added as if talking down to me. I was never much for apologizing, even when I was one hundred percent aware of my wrong-doing. 

“Well, then maybe I fucked up,” I replied softly, putting another forkful of food in my mouth and hoping that that would suffice. 

“Excuse my lack of hearing, you must’ve forgotten that I was deaf,” he added with so much sarcasm that I got angered, “But I missed that, Gareth, can you repeat it for me? Maybe this time without food in your mouth?” He added. After finishing what was left in my mouth, I bit the inside of my bottom lip angrily, irritated by his wording, but I figured this was as best of a time as any to get this bullshit over with.

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I stood from the dining table and looked to Gibson, “Look, Gibs, I never meant to hurt you, I never even really knew you were that serious about her,” I began and I watched his expression twist into growing anger.

“Why is it so hard for you to just say you’re sorry? You’re trying to defend yourself still as if what you did was completely acceptable. We dated for three months and she’s all I ever talked about, shouldn’t that be a huge clue that I like her a lot and you shouldn’t mess with it?”

“Well, yeah, I guess..” I replied.

“Then why did you!?” He asked as his rage built.

“I don’t know,” I added, starting to feel a little bad about it for once.

“Well, I do. It’s because you’re greedy, selfish, and you couldn’t give two shits about anyone but yourself. It doesn’t matter if a girl has a boyfriend, a husband, or dying of some illness, as long as she’s hot, you’ll still fuck her just so you can add another name to your endless list! You disgust me, to be honest, and the fact that you can’t even say sorry to my face about ruining a relationship that I finally enjoyed being in just makes me want to vomit. We’ve been together literally since the beginning, we grew in Mom at the same time, lived together all of our lives and I know you even more than I know myself, but I never expected after everything’s we’ve been through that you would have the tenacity to do what you’ve done to me,” Gibson voiced angrily and I was at a loss for words. I couldn’t even think.

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“Gibs..” I began, but Gibson cut me off before I could continue.

“I’m sorry, just got a little caught in the moment,” he added, turning around and walking away from me, “I gotta get ready for work, say ‘hi’ to Ezra for me,” he added and I watched him go to his stairs and go up to his room. I was a little shocked by his outburst, I’ve never witnessed the shit end of his anger and it didn’t feel too great. It always amused me seeing him do it to other people since his choice of words were always right on the money, but knowing that now and thinking about what he said to me, I wondered if his words were true this time..

Jess whimpered softly and I looked to her, giving a fake smirk and sighing softly, “Come on, Jess, time to go in the crate,” I said, doing as Gibson had asked earlier and I locked her up downstairs.

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I came back upstairs from locking up Jess and I went to the bottom of Gibson’s stairs, hesitating a moment before I called up to him. I wasn’t sure if trying to talk to him right now was the best choice, but I tried anyways, “Gibs, you want a ride to work?” I asked, hearing him shut his dresser drawer before answering me.

“Sure.. Just give me a minute..” He agrees to my surprise, smirking a little and nodding to myself. It’s a start, I guess..

“I’ll be outside,” I call back up, going outside for a smoke as I waited.

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Gibson came out of the house a few minutes after I had finished my cigarette and I walked in front of him as we walked off the dock and towards the car together. The ride to his work wouldn’t take long, but the silence within the car was grueling and it made the ride seem like a road trip across the state. I didn’t really know what to say to him, especially after the outburst he had. I still felt a little angered by his words, but it was outweighed by resentment and sadness. Thinking about his words more and more made me see the truth in them and for once in my life I actually felt the need to apologize. I didn’t want to lose the one person that’s been with me since the very beginning.

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I pulled up to the bookstore and went on the shoulder slightly so he could get out, but I spoke up before he could leave the car, “Gibs, I am sorry. I know I should’ve said it sooner, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.. Well, you do,” I said with a quiet chuckle, “But.. It won’t happen again,” I finished, looking over to him sitting in the passenger seat, starring at the dashboard.

Gibson nodded slowly, looking to me briefly and looking back to the dashboard, “Thank you, Gareth,” he replied softly, getting out then and closing the door, passing in front of the car and walking towards his work.

I rolled the window down, getting his attention before he goes inside, “Do you need a ride home?” I asked, seeing him turn around and smirk, but he shook his head ‘no’. I nodded in understanding, seeing him turn back around and he walked up the steps and inside of the store as I pulled the car away.

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As I drove to the bar that Ezra had told me to meet him at, I got a text from him at 5:45 saying he was going to be a little late and changing the location we were supposed to meet at. He told me to meet him at a different bar across town and said he’d be there before 6:30. I knew the bar he told me to go to, sighing heavy when I knew it didn’t open until six and I knew I’d be one of the only few people there this early. I hated going places that didn’t have many people, that meant more watchful employees and I wasn’t sure I was comfortable talking with Ezra about our business there. But, I didn’t question him, going to the bar anways and waiting until a little passed six before I went inside.

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As I had assumed, the bar was empty besides myself and the bartender. I order a beer and tell her I’m waiting for someone, to my surprise she said the beer was on the house and she knew of the meeting, sending me to the back of the bar where it was more secluded. I accepted the generous beer and went where I was told, taking a seat by the back door and waiting for Ezra. Hiding things like this from Gibson pained me a little, this is the kind of thing we used to do together, but not for money. It was just pure pleasure. He chose to give it up a few years after we moved here and I adopted Jess soon after. It was a little pathetic of me to admit that I missed that bond we held, we did things together that not many could say they’ve done the same and I feel like we grew closer because of it. Then again, we’ve been close ever since we dealt with the bully back in grade school and buried him in the snow.

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Ezra showed up just before 6:30 and we shook hands as we greeted one another, “It’s been a few weeks, huh?” Ezra began.

“Yeah, what’ve you been up to?” I asked, taking a seat with him at the table I had chosen. 

“Not too much, business has been taking up most of my time, but I finally found something that would be good for you,” he replied.

“And what’s that?” I ask, taking a quick sip of my beer.

“Well, you’ve been getting good at this stuff. Maybe ‘getting good’ isn’t the right phrasing.. It seems you actually have an act for this,” he praised and I smirked.

“Tell me what you’re offering then,” I encouraged, seeing him smirk in return and nod.

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“Well.. There’s this woman. Her husband is worth a quite a bit of money, but she’s not entitled to a dime until his death. Guy’s been sleeping around, lying to her, withholding funds from her, stuff like that. She doesn’t want to be treated like this and divorce will get her practically nothing. The only thing she wants you to do is make it look like an accident with no foul play,” Ezra begins, stating the facts and I nod as he speaks.

“How much?” I question.

“She’ll pay you $10,000 now, $20,000 more when it’s done and it’s ruled as accidental. The ten up front will do plenty for you, I’m sure.. The extra at the end is just a bonus of a job well done, sound good to you?” Ezra laid out more details, the amount of money I could make baffled me but my expression didn’t show as such.

“Sounds pretty fair, what about the target?” I asked, wanting to know everything about him so I could do the job as asked without fail.

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“His name’s James Cumberland, he owns a high profit company and almost every night he comes to the factory here in Lucky Palms to work in his private office for a few hours during the night to escape his wife. It’s not too far from here, actually, about a ten minute drive. You can do it during that time when he’s alone. As weird as it sounds, his office is underground in the back surrounded by a fence. His office leads to the basement of the building it’s behind for easy access for himself only,” he gave me more details. I continued to nod as he spoke, trying to think of ways to deal with him as Ezra spoke.

“What time does he usually show up?” I ask.

Ezra looks to his watch briefly, “Around 11:00 every time. His office is only accessible through a staircase that’s located in the back of the factory.. He likes his privacy,” he continued. When it comes to things looking accidental, I admit I was pretty good at it, especially when it came to a set of stairs. “So, do you want the job?” He asked. I looked to Ezra and kept my smirk, nodding.

“Yeah, I want it,” I confirmed, seeing Ezra’s smirk turn into a large smile and he reached into his pocket.

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Ezra removed a thick envelope from his pant pocket and slid it across the table to me. I took it quickly and brought the envelope to my lap, looking around before checking the amount and I counted it within a few seconds. All in hundreds, it counted out to a clean $10,000 and I smirked, closing the envelope and tucking it in the inside pocket within the jacket. Ezra rose from his seat and nodded towards me, “Call me when it’s done, we’ll actually hang out and go out for drinks.. It’s been too long, my friend,” he added with a chuckle. I nodded in return and laid back in my seat a little, watching him leave and grabbing my beer with a new sense of accomplishment and drinking the rest of it.

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I left after I was sure that Ezra had gone and there were a few more people within the bar so I could easily be ignored as I left. I got outside and it was a nice night, a cool 75 degrees with a gentle breeze was the best weather anyone could ask for. I was a little warm in my jacket, but I could deal with it. I pulled out my pack of smokes from the pocket of my pants my phone wasn’t in. I always had a pack somewhere, whether it was in multiple pants, jackets, on the counter in the kitchen, living room, my car, I always had a few on me or scattered about. As I took my time with the cigarette, not hindering myself from checking out the occasional woman that passed me to enter the bar, I thought of ways I could get the job done. 

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Thinking of something didn’t take me long as I was on my way towards a convenient store after my cigarette. I went in and greeted the clerk, they knew me from always coming in to get smokes but I wasn’t here for only that. I picked up a few things; Turtle Wax, paper towels, two bottles of water, a bag of Gibson’s favorite chips and a bar of my favorite chocolate, and when I got to the counter, I got two packs of my favorite cigarettes. I made small talk and jokes with the clerk who was used to me, leaving after paying him and I casually tossed everything in the back of the car. I pulled out the envelope as I drove, looking at the front of it and the address of the factory was written in pencil. I sat in my car for a couple of hours a few doors down from the location of where he’d be showing up, scoping out the area for a little while before doing anything. I noticed a security camera by the front entrance, but there weren’t any in the parking lot or anywhere else that I could see. This man really did like his privacy.. 

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I pulled out my beanie from my jacket pocket I had placed there earlier and put it on, tucking the front of my hair away under it and out of my eyes. I went into the bag I had thrown in the back and opened the package of paper towels, ripping off a couple and shoving them into my pocket. I grabbed the small bottle of Turtle Wax as well and put it in the same pocket, removing my shades from the other and putting them on my face. Even though it was dark out, I still couldn’t risk anyone recognizing me. I silenced my phone before I got out of the car and shut the door quietly, walking towards the factory away from the street and within the shadows. I crouched down within some bushes and checked the area once more before continuing, making complete sure that the only camera they had was pointed at the front door, and it was. 

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I carefully and quietly made my way through the shadows in the parking lot and walked along the side of the factory, making sure to stay in the darkness everywhere I went. I reached the back and looked around, still not seeing any cameras attached to the building or within any trees. All I saw were large and small palms, large rocks and a small fenced in area I assumed was where Mr. Cumberland’s private office was located underground. I walked up to the gate of the fence and pulled at it gently, it didn’t open like I suspected and I looked around, over my shoulder, towards the parking lot, seeing no one still and I was all alone. It was hard to keep quiet with these types of fences, but climbing over was my only option now. 

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After jumping the fence and putting my hands up against it to hush the sound, I quietly walked over to the staircase and looked down it, seeing the walls made of stone and a reinforced door at the bottom when you turn to the left. Without wasting any more time, glancing at my phone and seeing it was almost 10:30, I removed the wax from my pocket and same with the paper towels I had brought. Smearing some of the wax on the paper towel, I began polishing the first three steps, putting a lot of it on the places I think he would step while smearing it and blending it in with the stairs so it wouldn’t be noticeable to the naked eye. With it being so dark, too, that helped greatly. After sufficiently coating the steps with the wax, I stood back up and climbed back over the fence, walking away from the factory and seeing a large rock not too far away, deciding to hide behind it and wait there.

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I stood behind cover and waited, watching the minutes counting up to 11:00 and listening intently so I could hear Mr. Cumberland coming whenever he decided to show up. As I watched the clock on my phone, I received a text from Nina and I sighed angrily. I don’t have time for this, but I opened the text anyways and read it to myself, telling me she wanted to see me and wanting to talk. It’s been about a week since I fucked her I thought I’ve been making it perfectly clear I want nothing to do with her anymore by my lack of contact. I never answered her calls and I never once replied to her texts, yet she continues to persist and nag at me. 

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As I went through my phone, deleting all of her messages, I could hear faint footsteps approaching and it sounded like someone was coming. Quickly, I put my phone away into my front pocket and carefully peaked around the edge of the large rock, seeing a middle-aged man walking through the dark parking lot. I had no idea what Mr. Cumberland looked like, the only way I could tell that it was him was by his expensive looking suit like Dad used to wear and he would obviously be the only person who would be around at this time of night that would go to the chain-link fence and be able to unlock it. I watched as he played with his keys to open the gate, waiting anxiously for him to find the right one and he finally unlocked it. He walked in and locked it behind him, my heart was pounding as I watched each and every step he took, my adrenaline racing the closer and closer he got to the steps. Suddenly, on the second step down, I heard him let out a soft ‘whoa!’ and he fell back, hearing him crack his head on the stairs and I could hear him tumbling down them from where I was standing. “Jackpot,” I whispered to myself.

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I quickly ran out from behind the rock and towards the fence, climbing over it and landing hard onto the sand. I walked over to the staircase and looked down, seeing Mr. Cumberland lying there with a pool of blood beginning to grow large underneath where his head lie; he split his head open, just like I expected.. I smirked slightly, carefully making my way down the steps while trying not to slip myself. I got to the bottom and bent down near the man, careful as to not touch anything else. I took hold of his wrist and checked for a pulse, counting to ten and not feeling anything. To be sure, I checked his carotid artery and felt nothing there as well. He was dead. I kept my gentle smirk, rising up and walking back up the stairs.

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I went back to my car, grabbing a few more paper towels and also the two water bottles I had bought and came back to the staircase. Taking my time, I used the water and paper towels to help wipe away any evidence of the slippery wax, cleaning up my affirmation of foul play to ensure that I would get the rest of the money I was owed after this. After cleaning everything, I kicked some sand over the stairs as to make it look not too clean and cause suspicion. I went back and forth in my mind, trying to figure out if I was forgetting anything and one more thing came to mind that I had to do before I left. I jumped back over the fence and walked back out towards the rock I had hid behind and retraced my steps, messing up the sand and covering any footprints that I had left imprinted within it. 

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After I was completely sure that everything was perfect, I went back to my car and got in, removing my beanie and shades and tossing them in the back seat. Pulling away from my deed successfully made me feel alive, I could barely wipe the smug grin off my lips as I drove home and all I could think about now was getting the rest of the twenty grand when the news of Mr. Cumberland’s death would reach his wife’s ears. I parked the car in the dock parking lot and walked towards my house at the end, suddenly remembering that I still wasn’t done for the night. Before I walked in through the front door, I pulled out my phone and called Ezra, remembering he told me to let him know when I was done. It was a little after 12:30 am, but I knew he’d still be awake.

He answered after only two rings, “Yeah?”

“It’s done,” I replied softly, still trying to keep my voice down in case Gibs was still awake.

“Excellent, nicely done. I wasn’t expecting to hear from you for a couple of days at least,” he replied and I chuckled quietly.

“Yeah, well.. I like to work fast and efficiently. You home?” I wondered.

“Nah, I’m out at the moment. I’ll have to get confirmation from Mrs. Cumberland before I can get the rest of your money, but I’ll most likely see you within the next few days if you pulled it off,” he replied.

“Sounds good, see you soon, then..” I answered confidently and we both hung up.

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I remembered that there was still one more thing to do before I could rest easy and that was to get rid of all the evidence I had on me. After putting my phone away back into my pocket, I looked behind me and noticed the fire pit, walking over to it and beginning to empty my pockets of the paper towels I had used. I threw them in the pit and took out my lighter, lighting the towels and watching as the fire consumed them almost instantly. I sat at the pit, removing the envelope with my ten grand inside from my inside jacket pocket and pulling the cash out of it, throwing the envelope with Mr. Cumberland’s company address on it into the flames and returning the money to the same pocket quickly. I felt something else within my pocket and it was the turtle wax, uncapping it and tossing both the cap and the open bottle over the railing of the dock and into the water, knowing eventually both would fill with water and sink.

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I sat there for about fifteen minutes, making sure every shred of the evidence was gone and I poked at the fire with a calmed mind when I realized I could finally relax. Though, I still had to dump my shoes, I’d throw them out tomorrow morning.. The front sliding door opened and I looked up, seeing Gibson coming out of the house and I smirked, “Hey, bro,” I announced, still poking the fire. Even though I had finally apologized to him, I still wondered if he was a little mad.

“Hey.. When’d you get home?” He wondered, taking a seat at the pit with me.

“About twenty minutes ago.. Oh, I got you those chips that you like, but I left them in the car,” I replied, then talking to myself, “My chocolate bar is in there too, still.. Dammit..” I continued.

Gibson let out a soft snicker, “I’ll get them out of the car in the morning before it gets too hot out and before we go to Bennu’s,” he replied and I looked up to him from poking the fire.

“Wait, what?” I questioned, a little thrown off by his statement and he looked to me with a bothered expression.

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“Don’t tell me you forgot,” Gibson replied and my eyes widened. Forgot? Forgot, what? “Jesus, Gareth.. Every year this happens.. But, why am I surprised?” Gibson asked himself with slight aggravation.

“Would you stop pussy-footing around and just tell me what I’m supposed to be remembering?” I request with the same irritation.

“It’s Bennu’s birthday tomorrow, Gareth.. You know we have to be there for her since Dad can’t be,” Gibson replied and I let out a heavy sigh.

“I didn’t even get her anything,” I added.

“Well, I did..” Gibson answered, hearing him sigh heavily once again, “It can be from the both of us again this year, I guess..” He said with discontent, “But next time you can go fuck yourself,” he added and I smirked at his reply.

“Awesome, you saved me again,” I answered with a chuckle, looking to him and he didn’t react to my reply.

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There was a long silence between us as we both sat at the fire pit, I could tell something was on Gibson’s mind and I knew he wanted to talk about it or he would’ve gone back inside already. I looked at him as he starred at the fire with a focused demeanor, “What’s on your mind, Gibs?” I asked softly, giving him an open invitation to talk to me.

“Even years after moving here, I still can’t comprehend fully what’s happened.. I can’t get used to it,” he replied.

“What do you mean?”

“About Dad.. Not having him around.. He seemed fine, right? Well, maybe not a few months before he killed Lucy’s grandma, but he did seem normal before that. Given what we’ve done together, the small things he did makes him seem like a saint, but I just never saw him as a violent person, did you?” He asked.

“Course not. Bennu punished us more than he did when we did something wrong,” I replied with a gentle chuckle, “But you’re forgetting about Lina, or Lana.. Whatever her name was.. He killed her when we were only a few months old. He’s always been a violent person, he just never really showed it in front of us, I guess..” I replied. 

“Then why did we turn out worse?” Gibson questioned, looking to me and my expression went blank as I starred back at him. He had a good question, I’ve never thought of that before.

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“I don’t know, Gibs..” I replied with a shrug. “Do you hate yourself or have any regret?” I asked, seeing him look back to the fire and I could see a tiny smirk on his lips.

“No.. I accept who I am and what I’ve done, it’s just what we are. Or, were.. Seeing what he’s been put through makes me not want to do what we did anymore because I don’t want to experience that either. I don’t want to get caught. I don’t want to be labeled something like ‘crazy’ by my own family. I can live without the need now, can’t you?” He asked, looking back to me and my expression was still the same; blank. I didn’t really know what to say to him, his logic on the whole thing was a little weird and I didn’t want to make it worse by telling him that I was still enjoying every life that I took to this day.

“Yeah.. I know what you mean,” I lied, seeing him nod and I watched as he lost the tiny grin he held.

“Do you think he’ll ever be released?” He asked, watching him look back to the fire.

“Honestly? No.. Even if I’m wrong and he was eventually let out, I wouldn’t like the idea of him living with Bennu or Bahiti again. I think it’s better for everyone if he just stays there,” I answered, watching Gibson’s expression and it didn’t waver much at all.

“Agreed..” He replied after a long silence.

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We talked for about another half hour about aimless things and Gibson began yawning before me, standing from the pit, “I’m going to bed, I’m really tired.. Get to sleep soon, too, we gotta be ready and be at Bennu’s around 4:00 pm,” he voiced.

“What’s the plan, anyways?”

“Bahiti and I were going to make her dinner, then maybe we could all just hang out or go to a movie or something, I don’t know.. Whatever Bennu wants to do, I suppose,” he replied.

“You made all those plans without me?” I asked, “Thanks, dick.”

“If you wanted to be involved, maybe you should put forth the effort of even remembering the date, then I would’ve gladly discussed it with you,” he answered with a smug grin.

“Did you seriously test me with this? You knew I wouldn’t remember, didn’t you? That’s why you didn’t even bring it up!” I pointed out.

Goodnight, Gareth..” He continued and I didn’t reply as I watched him walk back into the house.

“Such an asshole..” I spoke quietly under my breath. 

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I haven’t seen Bennu or Bahiti in a long time. Gibson usually goes over there at least once every two weeks and he always asks me if I want to come, but I’m usually busy either with a job from Ezra or a date with a girl. I guess those kinds of things have become more important to me since we’ve moved here. I need more thrills in my life than just faking nice in front of my family. I used to like it, but now it’s grown boring and I don’t get much from it anymore. Gibson seems like he enjoys it, or maybe he just feels obligated.. Either way, I wasn’t looking forward to it and I found that I like to live without them. I hated seeing Bennu and Bahiti crying every day, and if they haven’t, they’d find something that made them sad and it would never stop. I admire how much they care, how they’re able to so openly show their grief, but I can’t do that. I don’t really want to and I don’t even see a need to. Crying isn’t going to make my Dad any less insane, I just wish they could get over it already and move on with their lives like Gibs and I have.

Generation 3, Chapter 2

Attention: Music tracks are provided for you to click on should you want to listen to what Gibson is listening to. While I was writing it, it seemed to go well enough with the words that you could probably read while listening since there are no lyrics and it gives you a better feel of what he describes, but of course it’s up to you. You can choose to listen while reading, listen later, or not listen at all. Thanks!

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Gibson’s POV

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Going to the bookstore was probably one of my most favored things to do. I worked here as well, yet I often came here on my days off and read for a few hours. I loved getting out of the house as much as I could when I knew Gareth would have women over, it’s incredibly annoying to hear the moans of a woman when you aren’t the one causing them. Plus, I liked to get away from that stupid mutt, Jess, Gareth’s precious little spawn of Cerberus. I hated that dog more than anything, she constantly chews on my books and other belongings, all the while pissing on it when she’s done like she’s proving a point. Whenever I’m out of the house, I make sure to either lock her in the dog crate downstairs or lock her in Gareth’s bedroom. 

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My favorite books to read were mostly biographies, I loved to read about people’s lives and what they chose to do with them, all the while finding out what ultimately came down to their cause of death. I wonder, if I ever have a biography of my own, would it be a top seller for what I’ve been through so far? I always imagined I’d die young, so the book wouldn’t end up being very long, but I’d be a liar to say I wasn’t curious on how it would end. As I read about others, seeing the millions of different ways a life can be led, it amazes me to see that not one are close to being the same. My story’s unique as well in a way.

I’ve been at the bookstore for roughly 3 hours, taking a break from my read and I glance out the window in front of me and notice it’s started to rain. As much as I don’t want to leave, since I know it’s still early and knowing Gareth still had company, I reluctantly closed my book and put it back in its exact spot, lining the book just right in sync with the others that stood on either side.

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I wait outside for a cab that I’ve called, not being able to use the car since Gareth dropped me off and probably still had it. I had called him to see if he could come and pick me up, but it went straight to voice mail. I let out a long sigh, standing in the gentle rain, wanting to get home before it got any worse and I knew I’d be stranded here thanks to Gareth. At times like this where I had nothing to keep my mind occupied, I thought of my own life and what I was going through. Living in the same town as my nut-case Father but barely seeing him, an ex-girlfriend that slept with my brother that I’m bound to awkwardly run into at any time, not to mention Bennu and Bahiti’s dependence on me since I’m the only one from the family that’s tried hard to keep in touch with them after we all had seemingly gone our separate ways.. I thought moving here would be a change for the better, but things have only gotten worse.

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Driving home never took very long, it was a small town and it was easy to get anywhere you wanted to go here. Although I was out of the rain, I somewhat wished I had walked home just so it would take a while longer to get there. Our home was the only one on the left side of the dock, there was an old woman that lived across from us, a woman and her young daughter next to that and the first belonged to one of Gareth and I’s friend, Ezra. He comes over from time to time to hang out and he and Gareth go out to bars a lot. There are some nights that they go out together and I’d suspect Gareth to come home drunk, but sometimes he’s unusually sober; it makes me wonder what exactly they do together.

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I get inside and I hear my stomach growl, realizing I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast and I walk in passed my stairs and Gareth’s to get to the kitchen. At the moment, I could only hear the muffled sound of voices downstairs in his bedroom, realizing he was home and as I’ve guessed, still had company. I went to the fridge and took out leftovers of my Ratatouille dish I had made the night before, happy that it hadn’t been eaten yet. I made the meals, bought groceries, got the car fixed whenever it needed it, cleaned up the house, did laundry, everything. All Gareth does is sit at home sleeping with anything he can get his hands on and barely ever cleans up after Jess, either. I end up taking care of her more than him even with him knowing I despise her. 

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I was glad that Jess was still in her cage and Gareth hadn’t let her out yet. I enjoyed eating my meals in peace without a beggar at my side demanding at my food with whimpers and gentle barks. She annoyed me so much, she never did things like this to Gareth and it really made me wonder if she knew that I hated her and she just liked torturing me. I’ve been trying to teach myself to ignore her, however, and it’s been somewhat paying off. All that I really need to do is kick at her a little in her direction to shoo her away and she usually runs off, it’s just the things she does while I’m out that pisses me off the most because I’m not there to stop her and I know Gareth won’t do anything about it. 

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As I was finishing my meal, I began to hear a woman’s laughter downstairs and that was my cue to go to my room. I got up readily and washed my dish in the sink and the moment I finished and turned the faucet off, I could hear Gareth’s bed knocking into the wall through the floor and I sighed heavily. I walked quickly out of the kitchen and nearly tripped over Jess on the ground chewing on a toy, Gareth must’ve let her out of the cage and she came up without me noticing. “Jesus, Jess.. Get the hell out of the way,” I voiced angrily, seeing her not give a single care in the world and I angrily made my way upstairs to my room.

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I played one of my classical mixed discs in the music player, turning it up louder than it needed to be to drown out my brothers activities. The woodwind and brass, string and percussion helped calm me, sitting in my single chair within the room and indulging in the sound. I could get lost in a world of my own when this type of music was on, it made me feel things I’ve never felt before. The gentle song of Mozart, ‘ Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Allegro’ had to be one of my favorites when I was in a bad mood. It made me picture the beginning of a love story, a man noticing a beautiful woman and going through so many things to get her attention; giving her flowers, proclaiming his love, constantly after her hand, and finally, asking her to dance. Once she reluctantly accepts, it goes swimmingly and he makes sure of it. Twirling her around, dipping her at just the right times, wowing her to the sound and flow of the music until finally it ends, and by then, she’s fallen in love with him. 

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The next song that came on was by Orff, ‘Carmina Burana: O Fortuna.’ This was one song that always made me think horrifying things. The beginning was so grim and eerie, I often pictured a man walking through a terrible storm, coming in through the door of his home in the deep, secluded woods. Once the vocals soften, he walks downstairs, going to a lab and the door opens to find two beds on either side of the room with gutted and bloody woman lying dead on both. Once the man steps aside, a third girl is revealed, sitting on the ground tied to a pole. The knife emerges from the front pocket of his leather apron, walking towards her slowly with a grin upon his lips. Finally, he reaches her, kneeling down on the ground and she looks up to him, her eyes begging for mercy and the next thing to happen before it ends is the downward rush of his hand holding the knife and just before it meets her, the scene ends. My heart was racing, my breathing was heavy and quickened and I shook my head gently to grasp reality. I needed air. 

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I walked out of my room onto my patio as Barber‘s ‘Adagio For Strings’ began to play and I left the slide door open so I could hear it better. I had forgotten momentarily that I hated listening to depressing songs when there was something bothering me, ultimately my mind going to my ex. I can imagine the day we broke up like it was yesterday. A month ago, I had came home from work drained, customers nagging and the stress of it all wearing me down. I come inside and I walked passed the kitchen, seeing her standing there fixing herself something to eat in her undergarments. She seemed happy, energized, yet flush in the face. I asked what she was doing here, seeing her expression grow morbid the moment she heard my voice and I had known just by the regretful look in her eyes that she had done something wrong. Going downstairs to my brothers room instantly, I could hear her following quickly behind me, trying to get me to stop but there was no use. I threw open his door and was greeted by the smell of infidelity, seeing him lying on his bed in his underwear smoking a cigarette, worn out and tired with a subtle accomplished grin upon his lips. When he looked to me, I saw in his face that he already knew I had found out and his smug grin faded within seconds.

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Rushing to put his smoke out and leaping from his bed, he rushed to me and tried to calm me, but there was no use. I lashed out, yelling at him, cursing, making a fool of myself. She tried to hold me back, but I couldn’t help myself. Shoving her away with my right hand, I brought it back forward and hit Gareth straight in the jaw, causing him to fall upon his floor and I stood there looking down at him, seeing him in no attempt to get up as we shared resentful glares and I rushed out of his room. Yelling at her to leave and let me be, she began to cry and grabbed her clothes, rushing up the stairs before me and I heard the front door slam shut behind her. I looked back to my brother, slowly standing to his feet and touching his bottom lip with the back of his hand, seeing a smear of blood mirroring his small injury and he looked to me. Remorse was in his eyes, but I couldn’t forgive him, not now. Maybe not ever.

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I came into my bedroom as ‘Funeral March’ by Chopin began to play, walking to my dresser with a slow pace after shutting my sliding door. I changed my clothes and removed my glasses, putting them upon the dresser and standing there a moment, listening to the darkness of it, the way it made death seem terrifying yet at some times it sounded pleasant and welcoming. Euphoric in a way.

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The song ended and was followed by Saint-Seans‘ ‘Carnival Of The Animals: Aquarium’. Whimsical, yet weary and distraught. I laid in my bed, still thinking of her and what she had done to me, though I never truly did find out if she was to blame or if it was my brother. All signs point to Gareth, yet I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something I did, if I was the reason she felt the need to stray from something I believed was working. Was I not giving her enough attention? Had I done something that made her mad and drove her to feel the need for something I wasn’t giving her? What in God’s name did Gareth have that I didn’t?

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I knew the song had changed, but I wasn’t paying attention anymore. I should be over her by now, why was I wasting my time on something I didn’t want back? She slept with my brother and that’s it, there’s no room for apologies or sad feelings, only resentment and the need to forget. But I wasn’t willing to forgive, not yet. I loved my brother, but the things he does goes too far sometimes and he doesn’t care about the terrible domino effect it causes. I never thought he’d betray me, at least not in this manner. We shared a lot of things but women were something sacred between us and we took pride in looking at one another’s catch, yet withholding from touching. Now with that broken, I don’t know if I can even trust a girl again around my brother, or my brother around them.

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I heard voices downstairs at the bottom of my staircase over my music, knowing it was Gareth saying goodnight to his latest catch and I then heard my name being called after she had gone, “Gibs, you up there?” He asked, but I didn’t respond. “Gibson!” He shouted a little, but I didn’t respond again, acting as if the music drowned out his voice. I could hear his loud footsteps stomping up the stairs and I sighed heavily, hearing him reach the top and he turned down my music to the point where I could barely make it out and hearing him toss the remote to it on my chair. “Got that shit loud enough, bro?” He asked, “How can you even listen to that? It’s just instruments that make you feel depressed,” he continued. How could he even feel anything..?

“I happen to enjoy it. Leave me alone, please,” I replied quietly.

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“Come onnn.. All you’ve been doing lately is moping around your room, come have a drink with me,” he tried to encourage.

“I’m really not in the mood for such a thing,” I answered, trying to get him to leave me alone.

“Because this music is what kills you. Just one drink and I guarantee you’ll feel better,” he persisted and I made a agitated sigh I knew he could hear.

“Gareth, I’d like to refrain from speaking with you for as long as I can.. I only spoke to you the other day to be nice to Nina and because you persisted to dangle her in front of me.”

“Who?” Gareth wondered and I let out a sarcastic chuckle.

“Purple colored hair, short and innocent, defiled unwillingly in your bedroom,” I reminded him with a sharp tongue.

“Oh.. I haven’t seen her since, but she keeps texting me. It’s starting to get really annoying,” he replied as if we were talking normally in an uncaring manner.

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“Can you please just.. Leave me alone?” I requested again.

“Jesus.. Are you seriously still pissed about that girl you were dating?” He asked with aggravation.

“I’m surprised you still remember her,” I retorted shortly, “Though I doubt you remember her name.”

There was a long silence from him and I shut my eyes, trying to cover my face more and make it obvious that I don’t want to talk. He finally voiced himself, but it wasn’t about proving to me that he knew her name when he had to have at least known I dated her for three months. “Look, it doesn’t matter, she was a slut.. If anything, I helped you realize quicker that she wasn’t good for you,” he replied and I grew angrier.

“Shut the hell up, Gareth.. Get out of my room. Shut the light off on your way out and turn my music back up,” I demanded, leaving no room for him to challenge my words. I was surprised when he had done what I had asked, turning the volume up on my music player at the same level it was at before and he shut my lights off before I heard his angered decent down my staircase.

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I listened intently until I could hear and feel his bedroom door closing through the floor, assuming it had slammed for how well it could be heard. Good, I’m glad he feels anger and wrath. I’m glad he’s showing some kind of action that doesn’t involve greed or lust. Though, now that I think of it, he is the definition of the seven deadly sins.

I continued to space out in the music, turning over and lying on my stomach as I held the pillow I had my head upon. If I breathed in hard enough, I could still smell the faint scent of the shampoo she used before coming to bed with me on the nights she’d sleep over. I came to a sudden realization then that I need to wash the blankets and pillowcases on my bed in hope of bettering this situation and getting over something I don’t even want anymore. The loss was great, she was good to me, but I couldn’t stand knowing that this one, lonely scent was all I had to go on when hers was still mixed within the many perfumes that lingered in Gareth’s sheets. I promised to myself then and there that this was the last night I would miss her, I was going to wake up from this slumber refreshed and with a new set of eyes. I’d find the one to call my own and I’d make sure nothing would ruin it.

Generation 3, Chapter 1

     Gareth’s POV     

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Waiting for her is like waiting for grass to grow, she always takes forever and is late to hanging out with me almost every time. I told her to meet me here twenty minutes ago and I’m still waiting.. Tapping my foot in frustration, I can’t help but think why I’m wasting time on a girl like her. I just want to fuck her and be done with it, but she’s making it so difficult. We’ve only kissed and it’s already our fifth date, you’d think she’d at least shown me her tits by now. She’s definitely going to be a challenge though, maybe that’s why I’m choosing to be here instead of leaving to go somewhere where I could meet someone just as easily and be in her by sundown. I loved the chase.

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However, today is the day I finally get what I’ve been waiting for, either that or I’m through with her. I’ve never had to work so hard before, but that might be because of who she is. She comes off as a prude girl who’s too shy for her own good, but at the same time, she seems willing to do whatever I want besides the obvious. I know she’s crazy about me and I’m counting on that being the factor that doesn’t let her tell me ‘no’ for the hundredth time. I could always threaten to break up with her, that’d probably do the trick..

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I see her running in the distance, racing to the Art Gallery where she was supposed to meet me now half an hour ago. She looks pretty decent today, a cut off shirt to show off her stomach, her makeup done and her hair laying nicely down her face. Is that what takes her so long, her damn makeup? “Jesus..” I say softly to myself, glad I can finally get this date started. I was almost about to leave, too, though lucky for her, I don’t give up that easily. 

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“Finally.. I was just about to leave,” I voice with frustration when I watch her join me on the outdoor patio of the gallery.

She seems out of breath, breathing heavily through her nose as she gives me worried eyes, “I’m really sorry.. I got here as fast as I could,” she replied, trying to apologize but I was still too irritated to accept it.

“As fast as you could? You’re half an hour late, what the hell were you doing? You’re the one that wanted to come here, anyways..” I continued.

“I-I’m sorry.. Please don’t be mad at me,” she requested pitifully and I sighed, standing from the chair and going to her.

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I tried to calm myself down, wanting to try and be nice to her to hopefully get a better outcome for later. Putting my hands to her arms, I brought her closer to me and kissed her cheek softly, watching her blush as I pulled away. “Why don’t you just get ready earlier so you can be on time? Do you wait until the last minute?” I asked with less anger than before.

“No.. I just want to look my best for you. Everything I always put on looks so undone, I don’t want to show up looking bad,” she replied with a quiet voice.

“I’d rather you show up on time with no makeup and in pajamas than making me think I got stood up,” I state with a bland tone, seeing her expression twist into remorse and she nods in understanding.

“I’m sorry..” She repeats and I take one of her hands within mine.

“It’s fine.. Let’s just go in and look around before it closes,” I settle, wanting to end the conversation and make this trip go as quick as possible. 

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We barely looked at any art before I had her up against a wall with my tongue down her throat. Even though I’ve done a ton of things with girls in public, each experience still gives me a rush, but in this instance, it was rather lacking. Her shyness and paranoia of getting caught was making her hold back and her mouth barely showed as much enthusiasm as mine did. Even so, I continued, running my hand around her waist over her bare skin and pulling her pelvis against mine. After a short time of making out, I was getting too bored with things since she wouldn’t quite cooperate, resulting in me ending the terrible kiss and my mouth went to the skin under her turtleneck instead. When my hand that had gone around her waist came back forward, I pushed it slowly up her torso and under her shirt, trying to grip her breast but she let go of me and stopped my hand before it could reach.

“Jesus.. Relax a little, Nina,” I pointed out with annoyance, going back to kissing her neck.

“I don’t.. I don’t want to do that in public. What if someone sees?”

“There’s no one else here,” I said softly between kisses, “We practically have the place to ourselves,” I continued, sliding my hand back up her shirt yet she stopped me again.

“Gareth.. Can we actually look at the art?” She asked, letting my hands drop from her completely and taking an angered step back.

“Fine..” I agreed.

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I made it more obvious that I was annoyed beyond belief than I should have, but I couldn’t help it. Was this even worth it? I’m so bored and just want to go home at this point. I had walked away from her first and she had to jog a few feet to catch up, taking my hand within her own as if hoping that would make me feel better, but of course I could care less. I could feel her looking at me and it was only making me more angry, I knew she was thinking about what she could do to make me happy again, but what I wanted the most were the things she was unwilling to do. Letting her stew in her thoughts was my own way of torturing her without needing to physically do anything, which actually made me a little happier.

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We went up to the second floor and found better art than the first floor, but I was still completely oblivious to it. I only had one thing on my mind and it had nothing to do with this shit. “I like this one a lot, I like the contrast of colors,” Nina said softly and I rolled my eyes without her noticing.

“Yeah, really nice..” I responded quickly with disinterest, holding her by the waist. I couldn’t stop thinking about her skin as my fingers caressed over her hip bone, though I could tell she was a little nervous by how hard I’ve been coming on to her today. I turned my head towards her and leaned down, kissing her cheek and down her neck once again and I could feel her skin getting warm under the touch of my lips. I knew she wanted it, but for whatever reason, she felt she needed to resist me and I was getting sick of it. 

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Nina left my attempt on getting her excited and went to look at the next painting, but I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed her wrist and brought her to the wall in between the paintings, holding her there and she looked up at me with a more nervous than frightened face. “Gareth, what are you doing?” She asked quickly though not even trying to free herself, she was too weak and I knew she wasn’t the type of girl to stand up for herself, let alone to me.

“Do you even like me? What am I doing wrong?” I asked with a determined tone, seeing her eyes begin to worry more, “Do you even find me remotely attractive?” I continued and I watched her blush more than I’ve ever witnessed.

It took her a moment to answer, either she was too embarrassed of what she was thinking or she didn’t want to admit something to me, either way I was growing impatient and upset. “Of course I like you..” She spoke in a whisper.

“Then why do you hate when I touch you? Why can’t you just let me if you like me as much as you say you do?” I questioned a little more harshly this time and her head dropped, seemingly unwilling to answer the question and I let out an agitated sigh, pushing myself off the wall and away from her.

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“What’s the point of being with you if you’re not willing to do what I want once in a while? I do what you want all the time, I take you everywhere, I buy you anything you want, the least you could do is not act like you can’t stand me touching you. I noticed that even when I check you out, you feel the need to hide yourself from me. Do I disgust you that much?” I continued, I was too pissed off to care now, I wanted answers or this wasn’t going to last much longer.

“That’s not it..” She cooed softly.

“Then what is it?” I demand to know.

“I-I.. I’m just.. Not ready..” She replied.

“Then when will you be ready, Nina?” I asked harshly.

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I waited for her to answer, but I continued to hear nothing. I couldn’t tell if she was just shocked by my behavior or too nervous to answer me, but playing this guessing game was getting old fast. “Nina, if this doesn’t let up and you don’t stop being such a prude little girl, I don’t think we have much of a future at all. I need contact with who I’m seeing, you’re making it harder than it needs to be, and I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t even like me touching them,” I state as a fact, hearing a gentle gasp come from her lips and I knew I had finally gotten somewhere with this bitch. Took long enough for her to realize how annoying she’s been. I don’t care what she’s thinking right now though, she could tell me off like other girls might do, but I knew she didn’t have it in her and counted on her caving in to me.

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I was surprised a little when she had come up to me and held me from behind, knowing then that she regretted how she’s been acting before she even needed to say anything. “Gareth, I’m really sorry.. Please, don’t do this. I don’t mean to come off like I don’t find you attractive.. I really do, actually. So much to the point you make me so nervous,” I felt her grip get tighter on my hoodie as she continues, “I.. I’ll make it up to you, just please don’t leave me yet,” she requested with a wavering tone. I liked what she said, yet I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant by ‘making it up to me’. Was she going to actually let me sleep with her finally? Admitting that I loved hearing her beg for me wasn’t a problem, I loved it actually, but I wanted to test how far she was willing to let me go in order for me not to leave her. 

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I eventually turned around, not wanting to ignore her any longer at the fear of her crying. I didn’t know how to deal with tears, and if she cried, I was gone. I looked down to her face and I could see the sorrow in her eyes by how she had made me feel, though now I felt a sense of triumph that I had finally gotten my way. “After this we should go to my place,” I suggested, though it was more of a strained, excited request and I watched her eyes widen as her cheeks remained a flush pink.

“Uhhmm.. Okay, sure,” she replied with a weary tone, but I smiled and put my hands to each side of her face, pulling her into a kiss. Her lips still felt stiff and I knew she was more nervous now than ever, but I’d make sure that she wouldn’t regret giving in to me.

I pulled back from the kiss, looking at Nina with a calmed and collected face, “Relax, Nina..” I said softly, moving in slowly for another attempt at a half way decent kiss and her lips weren’t as stiff this time. The more I deepened it, she finally let go and I surprising got a decent kiss out of her for once. Her mouth was relaxed and our lips flowed together much easier, only making me more excited and I could feel her cheeks getting even warmer the deeper it went.

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Getting her home and into my room was top priority right now, driving home faster than I normally would. I held her hand as she sat in the passenger seat, looking over to her a few times and giving a calm smile to hopefully keep her from getting too nervous, but her hand was more clammy than normal and I knew the closer we got, the more she regretted her decision in letting me have her. But, even though I knew she wanted to continue to tell me no, there was no way she could go back on her word now and expect me to be okay with it. If that was the case, I’d drop her off at the next intersection right now. Somehow I think she knew that, too, which is why she’s being so quiet right now.

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After parking my car, I didn’t let her get out so easily, shutting the car off and unbuckling myself. I took hold of her chin and pulled her towards me, kissing her deeply and it was the first time that I didn’t feel her hold back, it was the first good kiss I’ve experienced with her. I pulled away from her slowly, resting my forehead against hers, “Don’t be nervous, I’ll be good to you, Nina,” I reassured her, seeing her smile softly and she then initiated a kiss for the first time. Her kisses were soft and full of love, though I could hardly feel the passion she had and I only thought about getting her inside and into my bedroom.

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When I brought her inside, I felt the need to show her off to Gibson, trying to find him and he was in the living room reading a book. Big surprise. “You’re finally home, huh?” Gibson asked, though keeping his nose within his book. 

“Yeah, you remember Nina, right?” I asked, putting my hand to her waist and pulling her close against me, yet seeing him still looking at his book.

“Hi, Nina..” He added, still not bothering to look up at her and I felt a little angered. I often made it a point to him on who I was about to get with, we had an ongoing battle of who could bring home the hottest girl and I think I had won by far, yet he refused to look up. 

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“Good to see you, Gibson..” Nina replied, looking to me then, “Can we go downstairs please? I want to.. Well..” Was she going to say ‘get this over with’? No, she couldn’t mean something like that. Maybe she just didn’t like me displaying her like a piece of art at the gallery. 

“Of course, babe..” I replied, “Go to my room, I’ll be there in a minute, okay?” I told her, knowing where she was going since we had been there before together yet nothing happened that time.

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After Nina had gone downstairs to my room, my Collie, Jess, came up to me excitedly and I gave a large smile, “Hey, girl!” I began, scratching the front of her chest and watching her fall over to her side in request to rub her stomach. Of course I did as she asked, rubbing her stomach and watching her relax to my touch. “You’ve been a good girl, haven’t you?” I coddled her sweetly.

“She got into the garbage, she pissed on the floor and she ate one of my best books,” Gibson butted in and I scoffed.

“She would never do that,” I defended her, seeing her still enjoying my comfort.

“But she did, she’s done it the passed ten fucking times you’ve gone out and left her for me to take care of when I didn’t even want her in the first place. And I’m sick of losing books. I have a collection going, Gareth, and she’s adamant on ruining it. It’s like she does it on purpose,” Gibson continued.

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“Are you just mad ’cause I’m about to fuck Nina and you’re jealous?” I asked while I still scratched Jess.

“Took you long enough,” he contested and I began to grow angry, standing from petting Jess and I looked to him with a bothered grin. Gibson turned into such a grim person with a personality of a jerk. I guess I’m no better, but I’d think by the way he dresses, what he studies and how he presents himself, he looks like a good well-educated, nice man, yet this attitude is the one thing that would throw you off when first meeting him. He’s a complete gentleman towards the ladies, yet if they’re not on the same intelligence level, he can turn into a disrespectful ass in seconds. Him and I always teased one another though, it’s been some of my favorite conversations in the past.

“Gibson, it’s okay.. I get that you’re jealous. You have every right to be. She’s hot, you haven’t gotten any lately, it’s understandable,” I retorted with a sly tone, mocking him.

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“Haven’t slept with her yet, so don’t talk shit.. Besides, wasn’t it you who’s been after my girls lately? I have no reason to be jealous,” He replied with a tone I wasn’t fond of, though keeping a sly grin as to play it off. “And she looked a bit.. Apprehensive, didn’t she? You sure that you’re both on the same page with this?” He asked and I squinted by eyes at him.

“How would you know? You didn’t even look at her. And what the hell are you talking about? I gave her options and she chose, there’s not time for her to reconsider,” I answered.

“I see..” Gibson said with understanding, though I felt as if he knew exactly what I would do if she said no now.. “You’re one sick man, you know that?”

“Whenever you say that I always think it’s your own nice way of telling me to have a fun night, so thanks, Gibs,” I replied and I heard a disapproving ‘hmph’ come from him. “Well, I’m gunna go downstairs, good luck with just your hand and spit tonight,” I teased, seeing him shake his head at me and he picked up his book again, reading it to ignore me and I made my way downstairs excitedly to my bedroom. 

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I was more than excited to see what I would be waiting for. I figured she would still be dressed completely, but it wouldn’t take me long to get everything off of her. With each step I took down the stairs, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted to do to her. I know I said I would treat her right and I knew she assumed I’d be gentle, especially because of how prude she’s been acting, but I planned on doing so much more than she was ready for I wasn’t sure if she could even handle it. But I would make her endure through it. She’d love it, crave it, get used to it. Gibson was just jealous, he always was when he saw the girls I was with and Nina was no different. He gets so defensive and turns into a dick whenever I bring someone home.

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Upon walking into my bedroom, I could tell Nina was still high strung about coming here with me. The look in her eyes of worry and anxiousness told me she was about to tell me no, changing her mind at the last minute, but I couldn’t let that happen. She’s the first girl that’s gone to such great lengths to make me happy and I hoped in this case, she’d still do the same.

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I walked over to her slowly, my eyes running up and down her and I put my arms around her, pulling her close in a gentle manner. “Have I told you yet today how beautiful you are?” I asked softly, watching her lips turn up into a small smile. I needed her to be comfortable, help her feel wanted and needed in hopes of getting rid of some of her doubt. I couldn’t take hearing her tell me ‘no’ again, determined to make sure tonight would happen no matter what.

“Gareth.. I don’t know if-” I cut her off.

“Nina, just relax. It’ll be fun, I promise. Trust me, okay?” I added, feeling her hands come up and into my hair. I leaned down and kissed her lips, I could feel them trembling a little but I didn’t stop. My hands ran up her torso and I hooked the bottom of her shirt with my fingers, breaking the kiss for a moment to remove it and I lifted it over her head. After tossing it aside, I reached behind her and unclasped her bra, putting my lips to hers once more as I slid the straps down her arms and tossed it aside as well. 

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I lifted her up gently and put her down onto my bed, taking a step back for a moment and admiring the girl laying before me. “You’re perfect, Nina,” I said with a grin as I eyed her chest, shaking my head in slight disbelief. Her eyes showed she was a little embarrassed, I could tell she didn’t like me starring at her, but I couldn’t help it.

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I leaned forward and undid her pants, watching her face twist with emotion and I took hold of them as well as her panties and pulled them down at the same time, “Gareth, isn’t this a little fast?” She said in a quiet panic, watching my hands as I continued to pull her clothes all the way down her legs and dropping them to the floor. 

“Believe me, it won’t be fast,” I replied as I took my shirt off.

“But, Gareth..” She continued to try and oppose, but there was no stopping this now, not when I was this close.

“You wanna do this for me, don’t you? Don’t you wanna be with me, Nina?” I asked, testing her commitment to this and I watched as her face went disappointed in herself.

“Yes..” She answered weakly, my grin then returning and I removed my pants and underwear, putting on protection and climbing on top of her.

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As we started out, I’d give her what she wanted first. A gentle lover, one that showed care and safety. Nina was quiet at first, only panting heavily as she struggled to relax under my weight, but the more time I gave her as I dove into her slowly, the more she finally relaxed and tried to enjoy herself. After a while of being gentle, I tried to speed things up a bit and my pace grew quicker, hearing her mouth open more and she let out soft moans in response. Even through this, for as happy as I was when I had finally gotten her, I was still bored with this and wanted to be rougher. I wasn’t used to this kind of pleasure even though she seemed to be enjoying it greatly, but I could hardly say I felt the same. When I felt her body begin to quiver, I went a little quicker in hopes of making her orgasm before I was done with her.

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After feeling her finally cum, I didn’t let up. I positioned myself in a different manner and spread her legs farther, pulling her thighs and pushing myself into her rhythmically with such force that her moans grew loud and started turning into prolonged wails of either pleasure, pain, or both. I indulged for a long time, my pace remaining the same and Nina began calling out my name, but it wasn’t hard to realize that she was enjoying this less and less as I continued my much needed pace. Her hands gripped the bed in an attempt to keep herself from moving so much, yet it proved to be rather pointless. The force I gave caused her breasts to bounce harder and faster, watching her occasionally grabbing them on her own to help keep them still and lessen the undoubted pain they were in, but this only made me more excited. 

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I tried to spread her legs even further, her knees growing close to touching the bed on each side of her and it was then that her wails and moans turned into cries and whimpers. I hated that I was getting close, this was actually turning into the most fun I’d had in a while and I didn’t want it to be over yet. I felt her loins tighten from her body giving release once more, unable to control herself and it was then that I was ready, delving as deep as I could and releasing into her.  

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After everything was over, I stood from the bed and walked to my pants on the ground, grabbing a pack of cigarettes from the pocket and lighting one up. I took a long first drag, helping myself relax and regain composure after indulging in Nina. I glanced back at her a couple of times, seeing her sitting on the edge of the bed giving off a feeling of remorse and I sighed. I felt like she might cry after that. I tried to finish my cigarette before I heard the first sign of it and I didn’t have it in me to comfort her or hold her as she pitied herself. I put my cigarette out in the ashtray upon my dresser and pulled out a pair of sweatpants from it, putting them on and looking towards Nina once more, “You can sleep here, help yourself to any of my clothes to sleep in if you want,” I offered, not hearing her respond and I walked out of my room.

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I went upstairs and passed the kitchen, checking to see if Gibson was still awake, but I only saw Jess within the room sleeping on the sofa. I had to admit, I wanted to boast a little, rub it in his face that I had gotten some yet again when he hasn’t brought a girl home in what seems like weeks. Was he still mad at me? I might’ve gone a little too far when I took the girl from under him he was seeing a month ago, she slept with me while he was at work and he wasn’t too happy when he got home and saw her walking around the house in her underwear after the fact. 

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I went outside and stood on the deck, leaning against the railing as I listened to the water. It was a cool night, cooler than I was used to in this hot climate. Moving here 5 years ago after everything that happened has been a good distraction, I’ve been enjoying myself thoroughly with all the tail that walks around town in small tops and short skirts. It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to think about Bennu, living across town with Bahiti in a large house she had bought in order to be close to my Dad. I was surprised that she’s been staying with him, she has a strong heart and will and she has confidence that my Dad will get better, but I think she’s in for a long and disappointing journey. I doubt he’ll get better. The last time I visited him with Gibson was during Christmas six months ago and he never said a word to either of us. 

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None of us have seen Lucy ever since the day Detective Grander was interrogating him, we all were on the other side of the glass listening in on the questioning. After it was over, Lucy left the station and we haven’t seen her since. We guessed that she came to the house before skipping town, seeing a lot of her belongings gone from her room yet not even a note. I missed her. I wanted her to know that I’d still love to see her and see how she’s doing, I want her to know she doesn’t have to talk to or even see Dad if she visited, just so long as she spent some time with us. Bahiti has gotten even more reserved and she hardly leaves the house, losing trust in everyone since her own Father couldn’t be trusted anymore, deceiving us and lying to us that whole time about Lucy’s mom and grandmother. I had no explanation for it, I was just as shocked and confused as everyone else, but I’ve grown to learn to ignore it, he’s still my Dad. He’s still helped me more than he’s ever hurt me and I’m just glad it didn’t turn out any worse.