Generation 5, Chapter 1

Hello all! Happy Birthday to TIDL (it was 3 years old yesterday), and today is the anniversary of me joining WordPress 6 years ago! :O

Enjoy the chapter! It feels awesome to be back for a new generation <3

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There isn’t all that much to me like everyone thinks there is. Everyone has it in their heads that I’m someone to be with, look up to, or someone to be jealous of, but in all actuality, it’s not true in the slightest. I’m really nothing special. Guys have this depiction of me like I’m some sort of God when it comes to women and they always ask me for advice or tips or whatever, but it’s so much simpler than that. All I do is treat women with the respect they deserve and men think that there’s some magic spell or something that I have up my sleeve. It’s a lot easier to not put on an act like I’ve see so many other men do, which ultimately gets them shot down.

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As far as women, it seems that I’m quite popular with them, but that doesn’t mean I’ll go home with any tail that comes up to me and bats their eyelashes. I have respect for women, but that also means I expect the same in return and even if they make it blindingly obvious that they’ll sleep with me if I so much as breath hard enough, it doesn’t mean I will. As far as looks, I’m not picky, but as far as everything else, I have my fair share of do’s and don’ts. The woman lying next to me, for example, had a lot more reasons behind the do’s.

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Although it didn’t matter all that much since we didn’t really plan on seeing one another again, her name was Jean and she was pretty fun. After I had met her at a beach party I had been invited to last night, we spent pretty much the entire time there joking around together and drinking, and then, well.. Now here we are.

I broke my view from staring at the ceiling and looked over to her, my eyes trailing from the back of her head all the way down to her pantie-less bottom and I enjoyed how her tan skin gleamed from the sunlight coming in through the windows of my bedroom. It made her look angelic. Hmm.. Maybe the guys were right, maybe I am some sort of God since all I ever have around me are angels.

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I glanced at the clock in my room and it was a little after one in the afternoon, realizing we had slept in a lot longer than I wanted to and I just remembered I had an appointment with Blair at two.

I scooted closer to Jean and put my hand on her hip, sliding it slowly down her leg and her skin was just as soft as I remembered from last night. I leaned into her a little more, her hair smelling like cherry pie and the lotion I could smell on her skin was that of warm vanilla, a calming combination that I very much enjoyed. 

“Hey.. Sweetheart.. You gotta be anywhere? Work or something?” I whispered softly and she let out a soft moan before replying ‘no’.

“Okay, well.. Normally, I’d let you sleep in as long as you wanted, but I got work in about forty minutes and I still have to shower and all that, so it’s time to get up, okay?” I added, trying my best not to be an asshole and rush her or make it seem like I was kicking her to the curb, although to anyone else, it would seem that that’s exactly what I was doing.

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I sat up when she did, a yawn forcing my jaw open for a few seconds and I cracked my neck as I watched her dangle her legs off the side of the bed. She took a moment to wake up a little more by stretching her arms over her head, my eyes finding so many little details about her skin and the way her muscles moved beneath it that I almost wanted to say screw it to my appointment with Blair and have one last go at this girl, but I quickly talked myself out of it within seconds.. I really didn’t have the time and doing things like sex more than once on separate days told them more than I ever intended to say. I wasn’t and haven’t been in the right mind for a long time to handle something as dedicated and difficult as dating, so one-time things have become a lot more frequent and normal for me.. More comfortable and a lot easier to deal with.

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Jean stood to her feet and walked around my room naked, watching her and trying to get one last good look before she covered herself. She picked up her panties first, slipping those up her legs and as she made her way over to her pants and shirt lying on the floor, she looked at me curiously.

“Can I ask you something?” She wondered as she pulled her pants up her legs and fastened them.

“Of course,” I welcomed with a smirk.

“Might be a stupid question, but last night is still a bit fuzzy, so.. Did we wear something?” She asked as she threw on her shirt, hinting at protection and I nodded confidently.

“Yeah, we did, and that’s definitely not a stupid question by any means,” I replied and she seemed relieved even though I was fairly sure she knew, but just needed a reminder to put her slight worry at ease. I’m big on any and all types of protection. There’s only been one time that I haven’t used anything and it was with the girl that took my virginity and I took hers, too. We mostly did it like that for the first half of it just to see what it felt like, but even then, we still didn’t finish without anything.

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“Well, uh.. I guess I’ll get going now and let you get ready for work,” she said with a brief and awkward giggle as she slipped her shoes on.

“All right. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime?” I threw out there casually, not really knowing what else to say and she shrugged.

“Yeah, maybe,” she replied with a sweet smile, walking over to me and kissing my cheek, “See ya,” she added.

“Bye,” I answered before watching her make her way to my bedroom door and seeing herself out.

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I let my body go limp and I fell back onto my bed, a large sigh escaping my lips and looking back up at the ceiling for a moment longer before getting up to get ready. My dad was a physical therapist and it was his idea that I go into personal training for a job since I had no desire to go to college. I still had to get some kind of certification, but it didn’t take me long at all. It was easy to get started, too, because whenever my dad was done with a patient of his, he’d recommend them to me to help keep up with their physical training and to keep their limbs and joints and everything else strong after their recovery with him. Blair was one of my dad’s patients for a long time, her knees being her weakness, and she’s tried many different personal trainers, but once I got my certification a few years ago, she started coming to me and it’s been working out pretty well. My dad told me she had a hard time finding a physical therapist when she was younger and he’s the only one she ended up liking. It’s been the same way with me, too, because she tried a lot of different people before finally coming to me. Maybe she liked the vibe our family gave off, maybe we made her feel the most comfortable, maybe she wanted to stay close to us so she could stay close to August, but whatever the reason was, it didn’t really matter in the end.. As long as she was getting the treatment she needed, which she was and has been since she met my dad and then starting coming to me, her knees would only get better and better.

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After lying in my bed for ten minutes doing nothing, I got up and finally jumped in the shower so I could meet Blair on time. I wondered if August would be there with her today? He’s a pretty jealous person and he’s protective of Blair, he didn’t even trust her being alone with me even though he had nothing to worry about. I’d never do anything with her in a millions years because of the fact that her and August had a past and she’d never do anything with me, either, for the reason that he’s my brother, but August was still kind of a freak about us together for whatever reason. I’ve told him a million times that he has absolutely nothing to worry about, but.. August never believed it. There have even been times where he’d come along and watch our routine together, but the second I’d put my hands on her to show her how to stretch or work out correctly so she didn’t hurt herself, he’d go ape-shit. She’s usually able to put him into his place whenever that happened and he’d stop being an asshole, but it still made us both uncomfortable when he’d just sit there and watch us, or rather, watch me, like a hawk. He’s been coming around a lot less when she has her appointments with me because she isn’t able to focus with him there.. Sometimes he’s good about it and stays where he’s told to stay like some kind of disciplined, trained dog, but he still sometimes doesn’t listen and shows up randomly because, well.. I don’t even know why.. Maybe he’s less of a good dog and more-so a puppy in constant training that no one wants to deal with.

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When I got out of the shower, put my contacts in and got dressed, I went downstairs through the house until I came to the kitchen where I saw my two best friends and roommates, Pia Salves and Tavish Woods, talking about something.

Pia was incredible. She was the life of every party wherever she went, she was funny and flirty and smart and beautiful and sassy and I could go on and on about her. She and I had a lot in common and although there was never a spark of romance between us, there was definitely a spark of something that drew us to one another and we’ve been together since high school. Tavish, on the other hand, was a lot different than Pia and I, but that’s what I loved the most about him. He’s funny and brash, sarcastic and incredibly smart, and we had a lot in common when it came to athleticism and especially women. It made it really easy to be able to open up to him since he’s been through a ton of the same stuff I have. Pia and Tavish were friends before they met me, so they went back a little further than all three of us combined, but they welcomed me into their duo with open arms and I’ve never regretted knowing either of them for a single second. I’ve never said anything like this to them and neither have they to each other or to myself, but we don’t need everything to be laid out on the table in order to completely understand one another. I know they care about me and they both know I’ll never stop caring about them.

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“Hey, what’s up, guys?” I announced as I came into the kitchen and the first thing I did was take Pia’s freshly poured coffee that sat in front of her.

“Pia fucked up last night,” Tavish announced as I took a sip of the hot coffee and I grew concerned.

“What, why? What happened?” I asked.

“Tell him,” Tavish encouraged with a smirk and Pia was already annoyed.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face and I will,” she warned and Tavish chuckled.

“I’m sorry, it’s just funny,” he said with a shrug.

“It’s not funny-”

“Ehhhh, it’s a little funny,” he gave a rebuttal.

“Okay, okay, what happened?” I broke up their little battle and Tavish kept his mouth shut so Pia could explain.

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“So, you know the girl I’ve been seeing? Tessa?” Pia asked and I nodded, “Well, last night when we were at the party we all went to, somehow the subject of ex’s came up and-”

Somehow?” Tavish accentuated with surprise, “You always bring it up. It’s like some kind of bait you use on a hook to eventually real them in, then when they’re almost there, you catch them by telling them how great it is with them now to tug at their heartstrings and hopefully get lucky,” he pointed out and I smirked.

“You do do that a lot, Pi..” I confirmed and Tavish laughed softly.

“Because it fucking works, all right?” Pia defended.

“Not this time..” Tavish said under his breath.

“I will seriously burn you with my coffee,” Pia added, going to grab her cup, but missed because I had taken it. She shot me a look as if she was going to grab a knife off the wall and stab me with it, so I gave it back to her quickly before the thought could cross her mind.

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“So, anyways.. Continue,” I said politely to stay on her good side.. I’d hate to get stabbed after only waking up a little less than an hour ago.

Anyways.. I brought up the subject and it was all going fine, we were laughing and drinking, whatever, so I continue to talk about my ex and also how stupid her girlfriend was at the time because she was dumb and completely oblivious that her girlfriend was cheating on her with me while they were still together. I must’ve called her ten different synonyms of the word ‘stupid’ and by the time I was almost done explaining everything, I let her name slip out..”

“And?” Tavish asked with a smirk still on his lips and Pia sighed.

“Well, apparently she was the stupid bitch I was talking about the whole time..”

“..No fucking way,” I said with a smile, looking to Tavish and he nodded to confirm.

“Yes fucking way,” he replied.

Pia continued, “So, on top of me calling her all different kinds of names to her face, I was the one her girlfriend was seeing behind her back.. I’m the reason they broke up.. She eventually found out after I don’t even know how many months of us fooling around, but she never new my name then or who I was exactly.. Until now,” Pia explained and I let out a soft whistle when I sighed.

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“Well, shit.. I’m sorry, Pi,” I gave her comfort, putting my arm around her and she rested her head against my shoulder.

“It’s all right..”

“So, you guys are totally done now?” I asked her and he scoffed.

“Duh.”

“Maybe it was for the best?” I suggested.

“Yeah, maybe.. It was fun while it lasted, at least. Plus, it seemed like she was wanting to get more serious and I didn’t really want that.. I just mostly wanted to fool around and have fun because she was super hot,” she replied, shrugging softly after her words.

“Want me to pick up something on the way home? Some nice vodka? We can get drunk and watch movies all night like we do sometimes, how’s that sound?” I tried to make her feel better and she eventually nodded.

“Yeah, that does sound nice,” she said with a soft smile, looking up to me appreciatively and I pulled her closer into me for a brief half-hug before letting her go.

“When do you close the gym tonight?” I asked Tavish and he shrugged.

“Depends on how many people are there later.. If there’s only a couple, then I’ll probably close at nine. If it’s full up or close to it, then it’ll be more around eleven or midnight,” he replied, “But, I’ll try to get out around nine. If you’re going to watch movies, save Mad Max for when I get home,” Tavish added.

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Pia let out a soft groan, “We’ve watched that movie, like, ten times already-”

“And it’s still a good one to watch ten more times,” he said with a grin and Pia smirked, “Besides, each of us always pick out our own, and for me, I choose Mad Max for the eleventh time. We can even make a damn drinking game out of it somehow if you want,” he teased more and Pia rolled her eyes.

“Fine, we’ll save it for when you get off work, but Luca and I are starting one of our movies with or without you,” she replied and Tavish looked to me.

“Text me and let me know if she puts some romantic comedy on.. Then I’ll definitely be home a lot later,” Tavish said to me and I laughed as Pia reached over the counter and smacked his shoulder.

“You’re such a dick!” She exclaimed and he laughed as he held the spot she hit.

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“I’m just fucking with you! And don’t do that shit near my coffee, you could’ve spilled it on my laptop,” Tavish warned and all I could do was stay out of the way of flying hands and get to work.

“All right, I gotta get to my appointment with Blair.. Don’t kill each other while I’m gone.”

“Bye, Luca,” Pia replied.

“See ya, man,” Tavish added and I left the kitchen.

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Before leaving, I ran upstairs to grab my athletic bag, which was really just my old high school book bag that held some towels, a stopwatch, a few bottles of water and some energy bars, and I tossed it into the backseat of my car before getting in and pulling out of the driveway. With my windows rolled down and the temperature at a perfect eighty degrees, I felt calm and relaxed as the wind weaved through my hair and the sound of my GTO’s engine rumbling filled my ears. I’ve been living in Sunlit Tides, California since I was born and I couldn’t even dream of living anywhere else. I’ve been on a few road trips with my brothers, but we’ve never made it further than Colorado, and even then, it was mostly just passing through, camping, then coming home. I haven’t known much of anything else besides Cali, but, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. Maybe one day I’ll have the random urge to travel and see the world, but I’ll always come back home.

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I arrived at Blair’s place three minutes before two and I grabbed my bag before getting out of the car and heading up to Blair’s front door. I knocked three times, tapping my foot on the wooden deck and making clicking sounds with my tongue against my teeth as I waited patiently for her to come to the door. A few seconds later, I heard Blair’s voice behind the door getting closer and I could tell she was talking to someone, probably on the phone.. Her front door opened and she gave me a quick smile before her face fell flat again, leaving her door open for me to come in and I was right, she was on the phone.. Let me see if I can guess who with..

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I came in and set my bag down, then shut the door behind me as I listened..

“No, I told you already, do not come by..”

As I suspected, she was definitely talking to August..

“If you come here, I’ll lose my mind.. I left the other night because you were being an asshole, like always, and you wouldn’t listen to me..”

Blair was silent for a moment and I assumed August was arguing back. I tried to stay out of it, trying my hardest not to listen, but I couldn’t help it when it involved my family. Even though it was none of my business, I cared about how August treated Blair because she’s been with him and my dad for so long that I’ve come to know her well and I care for her. Our whole family knows her well and cares for her.

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“Brreoww~” I heard at my feet, looking down and seeing Blair’s cat, Diamond, rubbing against my leg and wanting to be pet. I smiled and bent down, petting her from the top of her head all the way down to the tip of her tail.

“Hey, pretty girl,” I said to her as I continued to give her attention while eavesdropping on Blair and August arguing.

“Yes, you were! And you still are now!”

They continued to argue, my view glancing up to Blair every few seconds or so as I pet her cat.

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“August, I don’t have time for this, I gotta go,” her voice got quieter, “No, it’s not because of that, it’s because Luca just got here and I gotta keep up with my routine. Just leave me alone, all right? I’ll call you later tonight..”

I could hear his loud voice opposing somehow, though I still couldn’t hear his exact words.

“August, if you come here and ruin another routine for me, I swear to God-” she stopped and looked at her phone, “Wow.. He hung up on me,” she said to me and I chuckled.

“So, that means he’s on his way here, huh?” I asked.

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“Probably,” she said with a sigh, putting her phone back into her pocket and I stopped petting Diamond so I could stand up straight and talk to Blair.

“Wanna go somewhere else?”

“No, let’s just..” She sighed heavily, trying to collect her thoughts after being infected by Augie, “Let’s just go outside and stretch..”

“You sure? I don’t mind going somewhere else.”

“No, it’s fine. By the time we’re done with that and start our run, we’ll be gone before he gets here,” she replied and I nodded in agreement, following Blair out the back door and outside to her yard.

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Blair had set up a mat for herself outside and she began her warm up stretching as I did the same.

“Have you been running on the treadmill?” I asked as we stretched.

“Yup, three times a week, just like you told me,” she replied.

“How many miles have you gotten up to so far?”

“Only about three or four every time.”

“Good, that’s good. Did you run today?”

“Only about ten minutes, just to warm up,” she replied and I nodded with a grin. Blair always did really well with following instructions and I only ever needed to tell her things once for her to understand completely. It was obvious that she wanted her knees and legs to be in the best shape that they could be in and so far, she’s never missed an appointment with me.. Although some of our appointments together have been cut short due to August showing up and throwing a stupid fit for no reason, she still focused on what was important and that was keeping her legs in good shape, and damn, did she have a nice pair of legs.

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“You’ll probably be able to run that half marathon by the end of the year.. Still got about nine months to go, but you’ll get there by the time it starts,” I replied confidently and she smiled.

“I know I will, too. How long are half marathons?”

“Just a tiny bit over thirteen miles,” I answered and her expression seemed determined, but also the slightest bit nervous.

“You’re going to run it with me, right?” She asked and I nodded.

“Of course I am. I wanna be there when you cross that finish line first,” I replied and she smiled warmly, knowing she appreciated my confidence in her and she knew that I wasn’t just saying it to say it, but because I knew it was true.

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After about ten minutes of stretching, Blair and I made our way down to the beach behind her little house. We stopped just before the water met our feet and I explained to her what it’s like to run in the sand, knowing she had never done it before. We’ve been working up to this moment for a long time and I thought she was finally ready to put her knees through a little more rough training to make them even stronger.

“Running on the beach is a little difficult. It’s a lot harder than running on grass or pavement because it shifts under your feet the more pressure you put into it. Your feet kind of sink into it and it’s hard to get the traction you need because it shifts. Still, it’s pretty hard to get used to and you might get tired really quickly, but when you do, let me know and we’ll take a break. This might be a little rough on your knees, too, at first, but it’ll make them stronger the more you do it and you’ll get used to it. Once you do, I’ll have you start running on the beach more often instead of the treadmill,” I encouraged and she nodded softly.

“Okay.. So, how long are we running for?”

“We’re gunna run around to the edge of the water over there, then turn back,” I nodded towards the large body of water behind her and I watched Blair take it all in.

“And.. How many miles is that..?”

“Hmm.. Maybe about three, three and a half..? You can do four on the treadmill, so you can do three on the beach, I know you can.. It’s just going to be a little more tiring,” I gave an estimate and her brows furrowed in the slightest, knowing she was a little nervous again.

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“Don’t be nervous, you’ll do great. Again, let me know if you want a break and we’ll stop immediately. How about we jog at first, then once you get the hang of it and the feel for it, we up the pace?”

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Blair agreed and I smiled at her as I then stepped in front of her and dragged the tip of my foot through the sand.

“This is the start and finish line. We’re all done for the day once we pass this, okay?”

“Okay. Let’s start this before August gets here,” she suggested and I chuckled.

“Agreed.. All right, ready? Let’s go,” I began our run.

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It didn’t take long for Blair to get the hang of running in the sand, keeping up a pretty good pace with me for now. Every time I glanced over at Blair, I noticed her expression was determined and confident, but it was also a little angry and I decided to ask about her and August, hoping to ease a little of her tension.

“So,” I began as we jogged, “What’s up with you and Augie this time?”

“I don’t even know,” she replied hopelessly, “I was making dinner for us the other night and I was telling him a funny story from when I went out with my friends. He asked what day I had hung out with them and I told him when, but he was under the impression, for whatever reason, that I told him I wasn’t going out that night and that I was staying in, which wasn’t the case at all since it was a Friday and my friends and I always go out for drinks on Friday’s.. He accused me of lying to him, then he jumped to the conclusion that I told him that because I didn’t want to see him, and because I was sneaking around with someone else behind his back and.. I don’t know.. He just gets so angry about stupid little things, twisting it all into this jumbled mess of assumptions and when I try to talk to him about it, he’s already too angry to discuss it and he storms out because he gets himself so worked up for nothing. That’s what he did the other night and he was trying to apologize as well as continue to argue about it on the phone with me.. That’s when you came over,” she explained and I shook my head in disappointment. 

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“Gah.. I’m sorry about him. I don’t know where the bug crawled up his ass came from when you two started dating, but I think puberty is what made him so short tempered.. Sometimes it’s even hard for me to believe he came from our dad’s like the rest of us did,” I said with a soft laugh.

“You know, it really does make sense.. He was never like this until we got into high school and we started dating.. Is it my fault that he’s like this?”

“God, no, of course not! He’s just Augie and Augie just so happens to be a big asshole. His behavior isn’t your fault,” I assured her.

“Why doesn’t he trust me, though? We’ve been on and off and on and off since we were fifteen and I’ve barely even looked at other men, let alone have gone behind his back with someone else.. I’d never do something like that to him but he’s convinced that I will and I don’t know why..”

“He’s probably just constantly scared of losing you because you’re the only one that puts up with his shit, so if he loses you, he has no one,” I guessed.

“He has his family,” she pointed out and I smirked.

“True, he does, but he doesn’t realize that. He talks to you and spends time with you a whole lot more than he wants to with us, anyways.. Besides, him and I aren’t really on the best of terms, Niko isn’t around like he used to be, he’s not gunna talk to our sisters, and Jiro is too inexperienced. Our parents have tried to help him, but he shuts them out quicker than his siblings, so all that leaves is you,” I explained and when I noticed Blair not running next to me anymore, I stopped and looked back.

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Blair was standing in the sand with a disheveled expression on her face, hands on her hips and taking a moment to catch her breath. I was a little winded as well, but I recovered from the mile and a half we’ve already run quicker because of the shape I was in. 

“You okay?” I asked and she nodded.

“Yeah, just.. Catching my breath-”

“-And thinking about what I said?” I asked and she hesitated a moment before eventually nodding.

“Look, don’t worry about it. Sure, it’s kind of a lot of pressure to be there for Augie, let alone put up with his stupid bullshit and I don’t know how you do it, but.. He loves you, I know he does. I worry about him sometimes, we all do, but we know he’s in good hands because, as rare as it is, you make him smile,” I continued and the slightest smirk lifted the corner of her lips.

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“He loves me?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, definitely.”

“He’s never told me that before..”

“Which doesn’t surprise me given who he is, but, trust me.. He does.. Don’t you?” I asked and I noticed her expression went a little bashful.

“Yeah.. I do,” she admitted.

“Then maybe it’s time to try a new approach. Maybe he’ll stop being an asshole, or at least a little less of one, if you two talk about that together,” I suggested and I could tell she was seriously thinking about everything that I had told her.

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“Thanks, Luca. I feel like you always know what to say, or at least, understand more situations than the rest of us,” she said with a smile.

“Glad to be of help, but I think I just know my stupid brother well enough to know a few things that might make him a little easier to handle.. Had to do it my whole life and I’m still doing it to this day,” I replied with a soft laugh and she giggled, “Had enough rest? Ready to continue?” I asked and she nodded.

“Yeah, I think I am.”

“Cool.. Let’s try to get a good time still and run instead of jog so we can make up for this little break,” I suggested and Blair nodded, picking up her feet again a little faster this time and I joined her. Blair was really an amazing woman.. Beautiful, determined, smart, caring, everything that August wasn’t, but I guess opposites do sometimes attract.. I don’t know what she sees in August, but every time he loses his temper over something trivial, he risks losing her and every time that he does, it only makes it that much harder for her to come back to him because who the hell would want to? If he wants to keep Blair, which I know he does, he needs to finally kill that bug up his ass and stop getting so worked up over nothing or else the next time they fight and it gets too out of hand, he might lose her completely.. I have to admit, it makes me really nervous to think about how he’d react to losing Blair, I just hoped I’d never have to see it. I hoped none of us would have to see it.

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By the end of our run, crossing the finish line I had drawn in the sand, I threw my hands up victoriously as Blair leaned over to catch her breath. 

“Woooo! Awesome job, Blair, seriously. You did really good,” I said with enthusiasm.

“I’m so fucking tired,” she said with a smile as she panted heavily, “Running in the sand really is a huge difference than the treadmill.. My God,” she said with a soft laugh and I nodded as I snickered to her remarks.

“Hell yeah, it is. How are your knees doing?” I asked and she examined them for a moment.

“A little swollen, a little sore, but I feel amazing,” she replied and I was happy with the result.

“Awesome. Let’s go back to the mat you laid out so you can stretch and be done for the day. I’ll get you an ice pack for your knees, all right?”

“Yeah, all right,” she agreed, still trying to catch her breath and I helped her walk back to her backyard so her knees could take a long rest.

“I’ll be right back,” I told Blair and she nodded as she stretched out on her mat in the yard.

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I walked up to her deck and came inside her place through the sliding door, walking over to the kitchen and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I saw August standing there leaning against the counter.

“Jesus fuck, August.. You scared the shit out of me,” I told him, but he didn’t seem to care at all as he glared at me from behind his blonde hair.

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“The fuck are you doing here, anyways?” I asked, walking over to the freezer and I went to open it to grab an ice pack, but before I could even open it five inches, August put his hand to it and shut it hard. 

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I looked over to him after rolling my eyes, “What are you pissed off about this time?” I asked, already planning on messing with him.. I knew he was going to ask questions, but I’d only answer him with questions of my own and I knew he hated when I did that.

“Did you and Blair talk about me on your run together?” He asked and I smirked.

“So what if we did?”

“Good, or bad things?”

“Is that any of your business?”

“Uh, yeah, it is.. Especially if it involves my girlfriend.”

“Are you guys even together right now, or are you on another break because she dumped your ass again?” I asked in return and I could tell he was getting annoyed very quickly.

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“Are you going to tell me what you two talked about, or not?” He asked with a hint of anger.

“Who says we talked?”

“You did!”

“No, I didn’t, actually.. Where’d you get that idea?”

“Luca, this is starting to fucking piss me off-”

“What else is new?” I asked sarcastically with a laugh, although I finally decided I had done enough when it dawned on me that making August even angrier than he already was was fun for me, but not for Blair.. If August was going to stay after I left, which I knew he was going to, then pissing him off probably wasn’t the best thing to do..

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“Dude, this is why she breaks it off with you constantly. You can’t last one entire minute without getting angry about something and she’s fucking sick of it. Why don’t you take your anger out on something else besides her since she doesn’t deserve any of it?” I asked, expecting him to get angry about something I had said, but I watched as he looked me up and down instead and I noticed his lips twitch into a grin for a millisecond.

“Then I think I’ll take it out on you,” he replied and I raised my brow.

“Wait, what-”

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August had me against the doorway in a split second, his forearm pressing hard against my Adam’s apple and it was hard to breathe. I was pretty strong, but I always underestimated the strength that August possessed when he was angry that far surpassed any strength that I had.

“The fuck is wrong with you?” I struggled to ask, my voice slightly raspy and I saw his eyes glance at my wrist.

“Nice watch.. Where’d you get it?” He asked and I smirked, knowing just from the look he gave me that he knew I stole it from him. It was a gift from our parents for his twenty first birthday some years back and I had always taken a liking to it.

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“I got it from this douchebag I know down the stree-” I replied, but my sentence was cut short when he punched me in the stomach so hard that I was brought down to one knee, coughing and gasping for air. August took that opportunity in my weakened state to grab my wrist again and take his watch back, placing it where it belonged back on his own wrist and I caught my breath as he continued to stand over me.

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When I could breath somewhat normally again, I addressed the situation, “You almost made me puke from that one,” I said with a grin, acting as if it barely phased me even though it was still a little difficult to talk or breath.

“Stop taking my fucking stuff, Luca. The next time you come over and I notice something missing, I’ll give you a shot to the kidney that’ll make you shit your fucking pants. Hell, I’ll hit it so hard that you’ll need to be put on the donor’s list,” he warned as I slowly stood back up and leaned against the wall.

“Okay, okay.. Fuck.. I’m sorry,” I said softly, letting out a gentle groan as my stomach tried it’s best to go back to normal.

“..So?” He asked as if I owed him something besides the apology I had just given him.

“Yeah, we talked about you,” I brought up Blair and I as a way of apologizing more for taking August’s watch.

“What about?”

“How fucking psycho you are and how you got mad at her for nothing the other day. She’s still pretty pissed. What the hell is up with you accusing her of cheating all the time?” I asked and he let out an aggravated sigh.

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“I don’t like talking about this with you,” he said as if he was snarling like a wild dog.

“You’re the one that wanted to know, stupid! If you don’t wanna deal with the truth, then don’t ask for it,” I replied as I slowly stood up straight again.

“Just tell me everything you guys talked about and I’ll deal with that. I don’t need you telling me what you think about it because it’s none of your fucking business,” he demanded and I chuckled.

“How? You always do it your way and your way never works. All you do is think about yourself, I feel sorry for Blair,” I pointed out.

“Fuck you. Just tell me what she said and I’ll know what to do from there,” he repeated with a little more annoyance in his tone.

“No, no way. Figure it out yourself. I’ll give you advice if you want it, but that’s all I’m givin’ you,” I put my foot down and I knew he was angry with me, when wasn’t he? But, I could tell he knew that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with Blair unless he either knew the story, or got advice, and since only one of those options was on the table, he took whatever he could get.

“Jesus.. Fine, but this is the last time you discuss our relationship with her. It really is none of your fucking business. You’re her personal trainer to keep her knees in good shape, not one of her fucking girlfriends, got it?” He made clear and I put my hands up briefly in defense, signalling that I agreed to stay out of it.

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“So?” August asked, waiting for my advice and I smirked, stepping up to the freezer and opening it to take out the ice pack I came in for earlier. I handed it to August and he took it from me, through his brow raised in question as to what I was doing.

“Her knees are a little swollen because we ran on the beach and it was a little rough on her. Go out there and take care of her, show her that you’re not always a fucking wolverine with rabies, then apologize.. Just try to be gentle for once in your life.. And while you’re at it, it might be time to finally tell her that you love her if you want her to take your sorry ass back,” I advised and his permanent scowl wasn’t so permanent anymore.

“..What?” He seemed nervous and I chuckled.

“The sooner the better, too.. See ya, bro,” I answered, leaving the kitchen and heading for the door.

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“Wait, that’s it?” I heard August ask after following me into the living room and I turned around, continuing to walk backwards towards the front door.

“Trust me.. That’s it,” I answered, shrugging as if to say I had nothing else to give and I left August at Blair’s house to fend for himself.. I hoped he was smart enough and calm enough to handle this situation like a man and not fuck it up. Blair was the best thing that happened to him and if he doesn’t see that clearly, he truly is lost and it’s no one’s fault but his own.

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I made my way back to my car and tossed my bag in the back seat before getting in and starting her up. I had the rest of the day to myself and all that I wanted to do was go home, sit on the beach and pre-game a little with a few drinks before the movie night with Tavish and Pia, so that’s exactly what I did. I made a quick stop at the liquor store and picked up a six-pack along with a bottle of vodka for Pia, and went home straight after. It was about half after four when I got home and I figured both Pia and Tavish were still at work since neither of their cars were here. 

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I walked to the kitchen to put the vodka in the freezer and my beers in the fridge, then grabbing one of the six beers and I kicked the fridge door shut as I twisted the bottle cap. A quick and quiet ‘tssst’ sound being let out from the carbonation and I put the bottle up to my lips for a long chug. I finished about half of it before finally putting it down on the counter top, standing there for a moment to catch my breath and watching the bubbles inside the bottle weave back and forth as they ascended towards the top only to pop and disappear when they reached it. ..Oddly enough, it reminded me of all the women I’d ever been with. They’re here for what seems like only a quick moment, we have a little fun, I make them come, and then poof, they’re gone from my life.

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Although I’ll never admit it out loud, I don’t particularly like being alone. I was raised in a really big family, I have two close friends, and I have other friends scattered all throughout town, but standing here alone, even if it’s only for a moment, makes me lonely. I can’t help but feel it. All that I’ve known and grown up with is being surrounded by friends and family, so being alone is still something I’m working on getting used to. My mind tends to race a little too much when I’m by myself and have nothing to occupy myself with, sometimes I even go far back in the past to a point where I was unbelievably happy, but that also means being forced to think back on a time where I was abandoned by the one thing that did make me happy.

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I grabbed the beer I had opened as well as another from the fridge before walking through the house to the back door and walking to the beach to relax. I still thought about my family and friends and how I wished at least one of them were with me right now so my mind wouldn’t go to depressing places, but again, it couldn’t be helped when all I had at the moment was myself. There’s three things in the world that I assume everyone loves having, family, friends and a significant other, but I was missing one of the three and to be honest, it didn’t bother me all that much. I had it once, but that’s long over.

What is it about love that I find so unappetizing? I can see it for everyone else but myself. My parents have it, August has it with Blair, Niko has it with AnneMarie, Petra, Umiko and Jiro have it, or at least some sort of puppy love with the ones they’re with, but not me. Honestly, it’s okay, I can live with it just fine, I guess it kind of just makes me think that there’s no one out there that’s good enough for me.. Or maybe it’s that I’m just not good enough for anyone..?

Yeah, that sounds more accurate.

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There was one time where I thought I had a sure thing, someone who’d never leave my side no matter what happened and someone who I thought wouldn’t hurt me or stop loving me, but I was wrong.. I was sixteen, young and naive and completely intoxicated with this girl and I let myself get hurt.. Badly.. I let it all in without even a rational thought that I might get hurt in the end, and surprise, surprise, it ended up happening.. Falling in love for the first time made things so, so much worse the day she moved away and never told me. She never even said goodbye to me and I haven’t seen her since.. Despite that being over seven years ago, I haven’t been able to let myself feel what I felt back then, I don’t let anyone in more than they need to be and I like it like that. I feel safer that way. I avoid love at all costs and prefer the simple company of others, like my family or Pia and Tavish, rather than the company of a someone who’s only going to let me down.. Even though I was young and stupid and emotional to the point where her leaving pretty much ruined me, it still bothers me to this day to think about and I don’t ever want to feel that kind of heartbreak again. Commitment isn’t one of my strengths anymore by any means and I hope to keep it that way so I can avoid anything in the future that could cause me nothing but pain in the end. I can’t do that again.. I can’t feel what I did years ago ever again.. I won’t let myself.

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I must’ve sat out on the beach for about two hours or more because the sun was disappearing behind the horizon and the warmth it gave off was cooling down. The breeze came in over the water and I shut my eyes, taking in a deep inhale through my nose as it went passed me and the smell of the salty sea always brought back some good memories. Good memories involving my family and how often we’d have beach days to look for seashells, play in the sand, or just to simply relax in the sun.. Good memories of my friends and I growing up running along the shoreline to see who could keep going without tripping over rocks or stepping on a sea urchin, drinking and partying, skinny dipping, anything that we could think of to have fun. I even remember a time when Pia got stung on one of her big toes by the smallest jellyfish Tavish and I had ever seen and she milked her recovery for days.. I smiled just at the thought of it because Tavish and I couldn’t stop laughing while she hopped around on one foot saying how bad it stung, swearing up a storm, but it was no worse than a bee sting. 

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But, it was too good to be true for me to think that I could sit here and not think about the bad memories, as well.. I couldn’t help it, I’m a dweller.. The less I went to the beach with my family, the more I went with my friends, which then led me to meeting the one that got away.. Or really, the one that left. We met on the beach at a party Tavish, Pia and I were invited to. Pia was fourteen, I was fifteen, Tavish was sixteen, and the girl I met there was fifteen, like me. We hit it off immediately, even had our first kiss that night just off the shore in the water under a completely clear sky that was only lit by stars. Pretty romantic, I guess. I couldn’t see her for a week because I got grounded for coming home late and drunk, but I wasn’t grounded from my phone, so we constantly texted one another day and night until we hung out when I was finally off the hook. We moved fast, really fast, losing our virginity to one another that same night and we were inseparable for an entire year until she completely disappeared from my life.. She was the best and the worst thing to ever happen to me.

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“Luca! What are you doing?” I heard Pia calling to me from the house and I looked over my shoulder.

“Hey, you’re back from work already?” I asked, thankful that she was home and I didn’t have to be alone with my thoughts anymore.

“Yeah, I only worked a few hours filling in for someone. Now come on, let’s start drinking and watch cheesy movies!” She encouraged with a bright smile and I laughed softly.

“Okay, I’ll be right in,” I replied and I watched her go back inside. 

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I stood to my feet and grabbed my two empty beer bottles before heading back inside and coming into the kitchen where I saw Pia fixing herself a drink. 

“Hey, you doing okay?” Was the first thing she asked when I entered the kitchen and I tossed out my beer bottles into the recycling.

“Yeah, I’m fine.. Why?” I replied and she looked at me as if I were lying.. Well, I suppose I was..

“Because, it’s never really a good sign when you’re out at the beach alone like that. I know you, Luca, and I don’t like seeing you like that. I know where your thoughts can take you sometimes,” she said with a raised brow as if she fully believed she was speaking complete truth, but she was right. She did know me, and it was exactly what I was doing.. Letting my thoughts get to me.

“I’m okay.. Really,” I answered with a smile that I thought was convincing enough.

“You sure?”

“Yup. Okay as I can be.”

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“Well, when you say that, it makes me not believe you,” she said and I chuckled softly.

“I won’t ask what you were thinking about, because I think I have a pretty good idea, and if I’m right, then knock it off. Things in the past are meant to be left in the past, right?” She said as if she had repeated this to me a hundred times, and although she has, I still needed to hear it every now and again to remind myself. She was right, the past should stay in the past, especially when it was so long ago.

“You’re right.. Past in the past,” I said with a smile that I actually meant this time and she seemed pleased enough when she gave me an approving smile.

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When Pia had finished making her drink, I grabbed a beer and we went into the living room to start browsing Netflix and pick something to watch. I sat on the couch and Pia laid out on it with her feet in my lap, comfortable and ready to watch movies to get both of our minds off of the shitty thoughts in our heads and distract us from things that have brought us down. We ended up picking a stand-up comedian to bring our spirits up and to make us laugh, both of us believing that laughter was the best medicine  and after watching two different hour long sets, Tavish walked through the door around nine.

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“Hey, guys,” he announced, Pia throwing her hand up to wave at Tav and I looked over my shoulder to address him.

“Hey! Grab a beer or make yourself a drink, we’re on a stand-up binge,” I announced and Tavish seemed pleased with what we had chosen to watch.

“All right, I’ll be right back,” he replied, going into the kitchen and grabbing a beer before coming back out into the living room and getting comfortable on the love seat since Pia and I were taking up the big couch.

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“How was work?” I asked.

“Boring as shit, though I got a good workout in, so it wasn’t all that bad, I guess,” Tavish replied and Pia picked our third comedian to watch.

“How was your appointment with Blair?”

“Pretty good, ran on the beach today. August showed up, too,” I replied and he rolled his eyes.

“Ahh, fuck.. How’d that go?”

“As well as it could go, so pretty shitty,” I said with a chuckle and he joined me with a soft laugh.

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The rest of the night was spent drinking heavily and laughing our asses off to both stand-up comics and the more drunk we got, we usually always switched to cheesy movies that were easy to make fun of so then we could make each other laugh and continue the good times. This was all that I needed and all that I wanted.. To be happy, to be with my friends and to have nothing but good times to fill my head with more good memories than bad. I needed to grow and learn to get over whatever insecurities, bad memories, and wasted worries that I had in order to be happy, and although it’s taken a long time to get there, even though I’m not quite there yet, I still thought I was making some great progress. Really, it was all thanks to the two I was watching cheesy movies with. I honestly didn’t know where I’d be without Tavish and Pia, but I knew that if I didn’t have them, I don’t even know if I’d be the same man I was today.. I’m grateful to them through and through and even though I’ve never told either of them that, something tells me that they knew without me needing to say a word.