Listen to "Throwing Punches" by Paramore on repeat while reading:
Peyton Hayley: No Need to Catch Me (I’m Not Falling)
I lie across Alex’s bed stuffing strawberries into my mouth as we talked about nothing important. I was in one of his t-shirts that met just at my thighs and his hand rested just above my knee. It’s hard to pay attention to anything he’s saying because I can only think about how much I’ve missed him. We were forced to stay away from each other by almost everyone. My uncle, Jackson, forbid us to be together mostly because I was 17 and he was 25 and he claims he knows Alex better than I ever would; but I know that’s not true. They may have been close friends but Alex has shown me parts of him that no one else was ever able to see. Now that I’m 18, there’s nothing stopping us from being together.
I stop him in the middle of his sentence with a kiss. He responds just as I want him to and before I know it the strawberries I was eating were scattered on the floor while he was on top of me. It didn’t get too out of hand, mostly because it never got the chance to. We were interrupted by the doorbell.
“Ignore it,” I urge pulling him into another kiss. He obeys and we’re both acting as if we’re afraid to part.
The way Alex and I started wasn’t exactly applauded. I was underage and he was a major rockstar. I had a faithful and charming boyfriend and he was a good friend of my very famous uncle. We were a recipe for disaster. So many things were sacrificed for us to be together but the only thing that matters is that we are together. Age was never an issue for either of us. Since that kiss in his car when I was 16, I knew somewhere deep down we would be together along the road. It was only a matter of time and growing up. We vowed to wait until I was 18 to go any further but that didn’t happen…we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other and I’m glad we didn’t. Everything had to fall apart so they can fall together.
“I’m so glad I have you,” he whispered in my ear before lightly tugging on my earlobes. I giggled before kissing him on his neck. I was just about to kiss his lips again until the doorbell rang once more.
He looked me in the eyes and told me not to lose the feeling because he’d be right back. I roll my eyes as he gets up and walks out of the room.
“Might as well clean up these strawberries,” I say to myself as I begin picking them up one by one. No one’s ever “right back” once they answer the door.
After I clean up the mess we made I realize that things were taking a little longer than they should have. I gave it a few more minutes before I decided to walk down the stairs to see who it was. It was 10pm and unusual for it to be one of Alex’s bandmates. They always call before they just show up.
“Hey, Al! Who is it?” I ask before I fully make it down the stairs. I stop in my tracks when I see Jackson standing there. He hates Alex, why would he be here?
“Peyton…of course you’re here with him.” Jackson turns away and laughs to himself for a second before speaking up again. “You know what, this was a mistake. I shouldn’t have come by.”
“Why did you?” I ask folding my arms across my chest. Jackson has always been one of my favorite people. We were so close it was hard to believe we were niece and uncle. He’s the coolest uncle anyone could ever have. He was more like a big brother or best friend. We fell apart once Alex and I got together.
“I wanted to make amends with Alex. We’ve been friends for some time and I don’t want us to be enemies anymore but I just got a reminder on why we are. You could’ve at least put on clothes before coming down to see who it is.”
“I didn’t know it was anyone worth putting on clothes for,” I shot back.
“Woah! Guys come on. Let’s not,” Alex interrupts. “I would like for all of us to get along. Jack and Peyton you guys are family…act like it…and Jack I’m sorry. Look, I know she’s your niece and you helped raise her but I’m in love with her.” He looks at me and I have no expression. I never heard him admit it out loud.
“Alex, you love yourself,” Jackson replies as if he was correcting him.
“You may not believe me yet but it’s different with her. She’s young, I know that but…what we have is good and you’re going to have to accept that sooner or later.”
“Don’t fucking tell me what I have to accept,” Jack raises his voice and steps a little too close to Alex. The last time they were this close, Jackson left Alex with a bloody nose.
I rushed between the both of them just to insure Jackson wouldn’t throw any punches. I don’t want a repeat of last time.
“Jack, you should go. There’s no need for you to be here,” I say staring him in his eyes. It’s a cold stare. Never would I have thought Jackson would be my enemy.
“Peyton, you’re making a huge mistake. Just come back with me and things can be a lot different,” he pleaded.
“I don’t want things to be different. I want Alex and if you can’t accept that then you have no reason to be here…or in my life.” I could tell it broke his heart, hearing me say such harsh words but if he truly wanted to make amends, he would know he’d have to accept this.
“Okay. I got it. I hope you two are happy,” he says before walking away towards the door. Before he left he turned around and said, “Peyton, I may not be there for you when you need me because trust me, you’re going to need me.”
For some reason his words struck me hard…almost hard enough to knock me over. Alex gently touched my shoulders and kissed my neck. I wanted it to relax me but all it did was send a chill down my spine. Alex and I will be okay…Jack will see just like everyone else will…
Don't forget to pick up your copy of RED and the rest of the series here: http://www.amazon.com/S.-Elle-Cameron/e/B00FNI34X4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1