Raveling you, p.9
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       Raveling You, p.9

         Part #2 of Unraveling You series by Jessica Sorensen
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  I’d rather just have him forever.

  Chapter 8

  Ayden

  Over the next couple of days, things are a little awkward between Lyric and I after I confessed that I might have been sexually abused. But I think we’re just confused where our relationship stands. Are we friends? Boyfriend and girlfriend? I have no idea. I’d like to believe, after the conversation we had the other night, that we’re the latter. But we haven’t really said anything to confirm it. We behave the same as we always do. Still holding hands. Joking. She makes me smile. I’ll take whatever she’ll give me. I’m not even sure I could take more if she offered it. I wish I could offer her more, though. I meant what I said that night I kissed her near the park. She deserves better than what I can give her.

  I don’t have too much time to overanalyze what’s going on between us because my amnesia therapy sessions begin this week. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m absolutely frightened out of my goddamn mind.

  It’s late in the evening and I’m lying in a lounge chair inside my therapist’s office. My arms are tensely overlapped on my stomach and my heart is like a freaking pounding drum, thrashing against my chest.

  “Now, Ayden,” my therapist, Dr. Gardingdale leans forward in the chair and hovers over me. A string of quartet flows around me and the ceiling light flickers about every two minutes or so. “I need to make sure you want to do this. Because the last thing I want is for anyone to push you into this. It could make your Severe Post Traumatic Amnesia worse.”

  Inhale. Exhale. I nod, even though I don’t. Want is too strong of a word. Am I going to do this? Yes. But only for my brother.

  “Alright then.” He relaxes in the chair and reaches behind him to press the on button of a recorder. “I’m going to record our session for the police to review.” He taps the top of a timer. “And I don’t want to keep you under for too long.”

  He had explained when I first came in that this was a lot like hypnotherapy. I’d never tried it before but had watched someone get hypnotized at a fair.

  I suck in a deep breath and nod, my nerves jarring. “Okay.”

  “Now close your eyes.”

  “Okay.”

  “And relax.”

  “Ok…ay.”

  “Do you hear that, Ayden,” my sister says. “Cop sirens. We’re saved.”

  Saved? Is it possible?

  “It’ll never be possible,” the woman whispers. “”You’ll never be saved. Because if you escape, we’ll come back for you…”

  I rub my eyes as I open them. Blinking against the inadequate lighting, I sit up. “Did it work?” I ask the doctor. “Did I say anything?”

  His sympathy tells me all I need to know. “Unfortunately no, but did you remember anything different.”

  “Just my sister saying we were saved.” I drag my fingers along the scars on the back of my hand. “And the woman telling me we weren’t ever going to be saved.”

  “Well, that’s a tiny bit of progress then.” He stops the timer. “I don’t want you to immediately get discouraged that you only were able to remember a little. These things can take time.”

  He continues explaining the details of hypnotherapy while I zone out on the short memory I did see. See might be a stretch. Heard is more like it. No one ever has faces in the faint memories that return to me. They’re just blurs, shells of people and places that I pretend don’t exist.

  After the session, I return home in a sullen mood and feel exhausted. I go straight up to my room to relax and play the guitar until Lyric comes bounding into my room, sporting one of her heart-warming smiles.

  “I have an idea,” she singsongs as she bounces onto my bed.

  “And what’s that?” I pluck a few guitar strings.

  “Even though it’s Christmas Eve and we’re supposed to exchange presents,” she kneels in front of me, “I think we should wait.”

  “Wait? But you love, love opening presents.”

  “True, but I was thinking it might be fun to do it later when life is a bit more cheery.” She situates beside me and tugs the hem of her dress down as she stretches out her legs. Her hair is up, her deliciously looking lips sheen with gloss, and her green eyes radiate enthusiasm. “And it could be like a weird little tradition we do. Instead of being cliché and exchanging them on Christmas Eve, like a ton of people are doing all around the world.”

  I ponder her offer. “All right, you have yourself a deal.”

  “Good.” She grins. “Because I can’t think of a damn thing to get you.”

  I shake my head, faintly smiling. “I knew there was an ulterior motive.” I strum the strings of a song I’ve been working on.

  “What’s that tune you’re playing?” Lyric wonders, sliding her legs up and facing me.

  “Just a song that’s been stuck in my head.”

  “I like it… it’s pretty.”

  “Pretty isn’t very rock n’ roll.”

  “Neither are you.” She slumps her head against the headboard. “You’re sweet and sensitive and piercing free.” She touches the tip of her finger to the corner of my eye, causing me to miss the next chord. “You have such long eyelashes… They’re gorgeous.”

  “So let me get this straight.” I set the guitar down on the foot of the bed and turn to her. “You tell me I’m not very rock n’ roll and that I have gorgeous eyelashes. I’m not really sure how to take that.”

  “You should be happy,” she insists, her gaze momentarily flicking onto my mouth. “Being rock n’ roll in a band is cliché and your gorgeous eyelashes make your eyes stunning.”

  My cheeks flame. I’m blushing.

  “You’re cute.” She swipes her finger down the brim of my nose. “I remember the first day of school how I held your hand. I felt so special that you were all mine.”

  My heart flutters like an upbeat song when she declares that she pretty much claimed me a year and a half ago. “You are special,” I say, wishing I was brave enough to kiss her right now. But after therapy, the doctor had said take it easy with anything severely emotional. Just being with Lyric sparks emotions to life. Good ones like happiness and longing.

  I pick my guitar up while Lyric fluffs a pillow and lies down in my bed. She watches me play for a while, running her fingers through her hair.

  “So how did your therapy go today,” she finally dares to ask as I play a song.

  I shrug. “Not too bad but that’s probably because nothing really happened.”

  “You didn’t remember anything at all?”

  Another pluck, another strum. “Maybe a little.”

  “Okay.”

  I know she wants to ask what I saw, but she seals her lips together, suppressing her questions.

  “It was when the police found us.” I cease playing. “It was the last time I saw my sister… and she seemed so happy that we were saved.” His jawline tautens. “One of the women that was holding us there… she said we’d never be saved… she warned me she’d find us again.” My fingernails enfold into my palms, scratching my flesh. “What if that’s what happened to my brother? What if they went back for him and it’s only a matter of time before they come back for me?”

  “Ayden, you’re safe.” When I try to look away from her, she captures my face between her hands. “You have a family who loves you—people who love you. Nothing is going to happen to you.”

  Life would be less complex if I could wholeheartedly believe her. But after my brother’s death, I can’t fully accept that nothing will happen to me.

  I rest my forehead against hers and take a few shallow breaths as she slips her leg through mine and aligns our bodies.

  “What do you want to do for the rest of the night?” she asks, playing with my hair.

  “Can we just stay like this? Can we just pretend that everything is okay for a while?”

  “Of course.”

  She wiggles around until we’re both lying down face to face. She keeps her leg between my legs, her hand on my cheek
, and her forehead against mine. We fit together so perfectly it’s mind-boggling.

  How is this possible?

  To completely fit with someone.

  Our bodies creating lyrics

  Perfectly composing

  As our hearts dance together.

  Nothing makes sense.

  Yet everything makes sense.

  Perfect is so confusing.

  A dizzy spell inside my head.

  Thirsting for answers.

  With nothing to drink.

  Where do I go?

  To find out who I am?

  Chapter 9

  Ayden

  I try not to worry over the failed attempt of restoring my memories and instead concentrate on the band. It’s not like that session was the only chance for me to remember. Plus, part of me is relieved the session didn’t work. Relieved I didn’t have to relive the hellish nightmare. But another part of me feels guilty, like I’m not doing all that I can to help track down my brother’s killer.

  A couple of days later, I’m sitting in Sage’s garage with Lyric, listening to music, attempting to focus on chords, notes, the strum of my fingers. It’s still Christmas break. December thirtieth to be exact. Everywhere I look still screams, the holidays aren’t over yet! Cheer up! We’re starting a new year! On top of everything going on with therapy, I haven’t heard anything back from Rebel Tonic yet and cheering up seems impossible when the possibility that he ripped me off gets higher.

  Things remain pretty quiet for the first ten minutes or so while we wait for Sage and Nolan to show up so we can get band practice started. They were supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago, but Sage texted me and said they were picking up pizza on their way back from a concert they went to over the weekend. He also still needs to chat with me about something. He’s been texting me for about a week now, but has never gotten around to actually telling me what he needs to discuss. I’d probably worry about it a little bit more, but I’ve had other things on my mind.

  “Self-defense class should be called kick your ass class. I’m so sore,” Lyric says, massaging her shoulder. “I feel like such a wimp.”

  “That’s because you are a wimp,” I joke as I strum a few chords on my guitar.

  She shifts in the sofa and lightly punches my arm. “Whatever. I so could kick your ass if I wanted to.”

  “I was holding back on you in class.”

  At the class, I’d been Lyric’s partner, which required a lot of touching and human contact. I didn’t flip out too badly, so I felt pretty proud of myself. I kept reminding myself that it was important for Lyric to be able to learn to protect herself, and in order to learn, I had to be a good partner. After everything she’s done for me, I owe her so much.

  “I so could tell, too.” She fiddles with the microphone cord. “You’re such a softie when it comes to me.”

  God, if she knew how right she is.

  How much I melt just from just a simple look from her.

  A glance in my direction

  Sends my pulse racing.

  Her green eyes melt away

  The chill always in my soul.

  I’m liquefying into something else,

  Someone I don’t understand,

  Someone different.

  Someone not so handcuffed to my past?

  I wish.

  God, I wish, that were true. That the stress of my life was coming to an end instead of just beginning.

  She prods the tip of her boot against mine. “You are doing okay with that, right? I mean, with all the touching we did in class?”

  I twist the tuning pegs on the top of the guitar handle. “I’m fine. I promise. You don’t need to constantly worry about me.”

  “That will never happen, so get over it.”

  Quiet stretches between us as I work on tuning my guitar and Lyric messes with one of the amps. She’s wearing a short black dress with red flowers on the bottom. Every time she bends over, she flashes me. I don’t look away. I have tried too many times and realize how pointless it is to fight my attraction to her anymore.

  “Oh, I thought of a name for our band.” She stands up straight, tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear, and then her brows dip. “Wait. Were you just checking out my ass?”

  I shrug, staring at my guitar. “Maybe.”

  She laughs as she plops down beside me. “I so just busted you.”

  “Well, I wouldn’t call it busting me since you willingly stripped down in front of me in the car. I’ve seen pretty much everything already.”

  She teasingly bumps her shoulder into mine. “Are you trying to flirt with me right now, Shy Boy?”

  “Maybe a little.”

  She sweeps my hair out of my face. “You’re so adorable.”

  I restrain a smile. “You do realize guys don’t like being called adorable, right?”

  “Yeah, right. You totally love that I do. Love that I give you little nicknames that no one else gets. Admit it.”

  “No way am I giving you that much power over me.”

  She grins wickedly. “Oh, yes you will.” She tickles my side and my pulse soars erratically. “Because you love giving me what I want.”

  “True,” I easily admit.

  Her lips part to speak, but the buzz of her phone interrupts her. She scoops it up from the Sage’s stool, reads the message, and frowns.

  “Who is it?” I set my guitar down on the floor.

  “My dad.” She texts something back then sets the phone down on the cushion next to her. “He was wondering where I was, like he doesn’t know. I’m at the same place I am every Friday night.”

  “Are you two still fighting over the club thing?”

  “That and the fact that he and my mom think I’m bipolar.”

  “I’m sure they don’t really think you are. They just worry about you.”

  “Yeah, but instead of whispering about it behind my back, they should have told me.” She reclines back on the sofa. “All my life, I’ve been taught to just say things how they are, not to hold things in or keep secrets. I was taught to be honest even when it is hard. They should be the same way with me.”

  “I know. I’m not saying what they did wasn’t wrong.” I relax beside her. “But don’t be mad at them forever, especially when they care so much about you.”

  “I won’t, at least over the bipolar thing. The band thing, on the other hand…” She faces me, bringing her leg up onto the cushion and tucking it under her ass. “I just really wish he’d give us a chance, you know? I’m starting to wonder if he has confidence in my talent at all. Maybe this whole concern for my mental stability is an excuse.”

  “I’m sure that’s not what it is. He knows how talented you are,” I assure her. “He’s probably just worried about you entering that life. He does know firsthand how intense it is to be a rock star.”

  “I’m not trying to be a rock star to get famous.” She flops her head back and stares at the ceiling. “I just want to perform onstage and share my art with people who want to listen.”

  “You’re too beautiful for your own good.”

  “So are you.”

  We stare at each other until the heat of the moment becomes too much.

  Looking away, I collect my guitar from the floor. “Lyric, we will get to perform. Even if it’s not at your father’s club opening; we’ll get our chance one day.”

  “I know we will. I just wish it were sooner. You know how impatient I can be.”

  “Yes, I do,” I agree, positioning the guitar on my lap.

  She narrows her eyes at me, but then laughs. “I’m just anxious. That’s all. No biggie.”

  “Anxious about what?”

  Her attention drifts to the wall covered in albums. “I don’t know. Stuff.”

  “Lyric Scott.” I splay my fingers across her cheek and force her to look at me. “What’s going on?”

  “Did you just last name me?” She elevates her brows accusingly.

  “Call it payback fo
r all those times you’ve called me Shy Boy and dude. Now, fess up. What’s going on? I can tell something’s bothering you.”

 
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