Silence, page 39part #1 of Silence Series
I felt Oakley’s body stiffen under my arms as Sarah stopped the music. Surely, Sarah understood that Oakley hates the spotlight?
In my arms, she squirmed in embarrassment.
“Hello, everyone,” Sarah said cheerfully.
Oakley grimaced. Fucking hell. Even Jasper looked at him mum like she’d forgotten which child she was throwing a party for.
“Sorry to interrupt and stop you dancing, but I’ll only keep you for a few minutes. I just want to say a few words about my beautiful daughter.”
Oakley cringed harder and shrank back into me so she was half-hidden. I felt awkward for her. If I didn’t know that taking her away would make thing worse we’d be outside already. She never would do anything she thought would upset her mum.
I was pissed off with Sarah. Gritting my teeth as she started to ramble on about how proud of her daughter they were, I pulled her closer. Oakley was amazing. I couldn’t love her any harder if I tried and I’d shout it from every fucking rooftop if I knew she wouldn’t absolutely hate it.
Throughout Sarah’s longwinded speech, Oakley stared at the floor in discomfort. She didn’t dare look up in case she caught someone’s eye.
“… So, please say a very big happy sweet sixteen to Oakley. Happy birthday, honey,” Sarah cheered, raising her glass. The crowd joined in, with the exception of me, Jasper, Kerry and Ben. We seemed to know her a shit load more than her own mum.
“You okay?” I asked her as soon as Sarah handed the microphone back to the DJ. She nodded, eyes still on the floor. Her cheeks flushed a deep pink in embarrassment. I groaned and grabbed her hand, pulling her through the kitchen and out to the back garden.
We were alone outside, thankfully. “Sorry. You hated that, right?” I stroked her cheek, and she smiled. Finally, she looked up at me and nodded, chewing on her lip. My pulse raced at the loving way she looked at me. Knowing she loved me felt amazing. “Wanna sit out here for a while?”
She didn’t answer, but she sat down on the bench beside the fence and sighed. Her bloody mum might have screwed things up in there, but I was determined to make sure she had a good time. Even if that meant we stayed out here for the rest of the night.
We stayed outside for a bit and tried to decide on the best way of telling everyone about us. I was all for the direct approach, but Oakley was much more reserved about it. Of course, her parents would be stricter with us, but I didn’t want that to keep us secret. Hiding our relationship any longer felt wrong, like we were doing something we shouldn’t.
We had no reason to hide.
I turned her slightly swollen hand over to get a better look at it. Oakley had never hit anyone before in her life. Well, apart from playfully hitting Jasper and me. I was actually extremely proud of her for sticking up for herself, and the fact that that she’d split Julian’s was a bonus.
We’ll need to talk about her technique, though…
“Did Julian try something on?”
She looked a little taken back at my timing, but not surprised that I asked the question.
“Oakley?” I prompted. She sighed and half-nodded her head but looked a little unsure. He wanted her. I gritted my teeth together.
He’d try his hardest to make her life hell, then he’d try it on.
What the hell is wrong with the bastard?
“I hate the prick.” She winced. “Sorry. No fighting, I promise. Think I’ll leave that up to you now.” She smirked and rolled her eyes. “You okay to go back inside now?” I rubbed her arms, feeling the tiny bumps on her arms. She was cold.
Standing, she pulled my hand, struggling since I didn’t help. I laughed, threw my arm over her shoulders, and we walked inside together. As soon as we got back into the lounge, I noticed Julian. He raised his eyebrow in challenge and grabbed the microphone.
I tensed. Shit.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he slurred. How did he get that drunk? Max and Dad were supposed to be checking everyone’s drinks… “I would also like to say something about the birthday girl. Firstly, she isn’t as sweet and innocent as you all think.” He waved his arm around, spilling his drink on the floor. “She’s a real little tease, gets you all worked up then runs away, hey, Oakley?”
She backed up as tears filled her eyes and ran towards the stairs. My blood boiled, throat burned and my fists twitched “Secondly, she’s screwing her best friend.”
I was halfway across the room, level with Jasper, as we rushed to stop the dickhead. I froze at his words and looked at Oakley.
She stood deathly still on the stairs, and I started to feel sick. Max, closer than me and Jasper, grabbed Julian by his shirt and roughly threw him out of the front door. “You stay the hell away from my daughter!” he bellowed after Julian.
As he slammed the door, an eerie silence fell upon the room. Sarah finally broke it seconds later. “Is that true, Oakley, Cole?”
Oakley looked so scared. I wanted to wrap my arms around her and proudly tell everyone that we were together, but we really didn’t need the whole world knowing about our private love life.
The look on my girlfriend’s face stopped me admitting anything.
“No, it’s not true,” I stated confidently. Oakley let out a deep breath as soon as I denied I, and it cut deep.
“Why would he say that?” Max asked, raising his eyebrows.
“’Cause he’s a psycho!” Jasper shouted psycho towards the door where Max had thrown Julian out. “He’s the one who’s been giving her a hard time. Me and Cole have punched him a few times,” he said, with a shrug and a proud smile.
Sarah sighed, and her shoulders sagged in disappointment.
“I think it’s time for everyone to leave.” Max gave the order and everyone obeyed. Once the guests had left and the DJ made a quick exit, saying he’d be back in thirty minutes to pack up, Max switched the main light on.
My parents had stayed back for moral support. Oakley walked down the stairs where she’d frozen halfway and stood beside me. I’d never seen anyone who wanted to fucking run away more.
“Are you okay, sweetheart?” Sarah asked her and brushed her hair out of her face.
Oakley nodded but didn’t smile. Her jaw was tight, and I could tell that she was angry with Sarah for making her have the party in the first place. So was I. Everyone would be gossiping about it for ages. It was only going to make it harder for her when we had to go back to school.
“Why don’t you two go upstairs and watch a movie? We’ll sort everything out down here,” Max suggested and ushered us towards the stairs.
We weren’t going to talk about what happened? They just believed what I said. Me and Oakley exchanged a look but quickly dashed upstairs, neither of us wanting to be in the limelight right now.
“That went well,” I said sarcastically as we both flopped down on her bed. She ran her hands through her hair, fighting a smile. “So...” I wasn’t actually sure what I wanted to say or how to word it. “You really didn’t want them to know...”
She shook her head.
“Is that because of the way they would have found out?” I asked nervously, biting the inside of my mouth in anticipation. She rolled onto her side and a nod gave me her answer.
“Okay. Good. You know it’s going to be harder to tell them now. They’re going to know we lied.”
I frowned as I thought about how we were going to deal with this. We came out of one awkward situation and dived straight into another one. Oakley sighed and shuffled over so she could lay her head on my chest.
I breathed her in and kissed the top of her head. Her hand splayed on my chest, making it hard to focus on what I needed to focus on. I wanted her hand under my shirt. Skin to skin. Groaning in frustration, I picked up her remote and turned the TV on. We were supposed to be watching a movie.
“I think we should still tell them on Tuesday,” I said after a few minutes.
Her fingers dug into my chest, but she did something I didn’t think she woul
She nodded more enthusiastically. I knew she wouldn’t want to tell anyone details of our relationship. I didn’t mind the banter about girls and sex and shit; I just couldn’t do it when it was about me and Oakley.
“Hey, it’s just after midnight. Happy Birthday.” She flashed me a smile. “Can I give you your present now?”
She bolted up on the bed, making me jump at how fast she’d moved. Her huge smiled lit up her light eyes; it was fucking infectious. I chuckled and reached for the bag that I had left in her room earlier.
I gave her the yellow gift bag and lay back down with my hands under my head. “Happy Birthday, baby,” I said again.
Narrowing her eyes playfully, she reached into the bag and pulled out the card. Always the card first.
“So, what’s going on in here then?” Jasper asked, walking into her room without knocking. “You can’t open them now!” He screeched like a thirteen-year-old girl.
“Jasper, shut up! Technically, it’s her birthday,” I said, pointing to the clock.
Jasper ran over to her, cannonballed onto the bed and grabbed her in a big bear hug. Oakley made a horrified face but smiled. “Happy Birthday, baby sis! Oww, you’re so grown up now. I can still remember when you were little and carried that blanket around everywhere with you,” he cooed, ruffling her hair.
Shoving his hand away, she pointed to the door.
“Fine, fine. I’ll go. I’ll let you two get back to unwrapping presents,” he said, making air quotes with his hands and winked.
How is he the one who guesses first?
Oakley blew out a breath and pulled the card out of the envelope. She smiled as she read the words and kissed me before putting the card on her bedside table. With a wicked grin, she reached into the bag again. I watched a little frown appear on her forehead as she pulled out another birthday card.
“Just open it,” I said, rolling my eyes and flicking my hand towards the card.
She practically pounced on me when she opened it. I laughed and hugged her back, enjoying the weight of her on top of me. We’d not done this position yet. Not that we were now.
Since we hadn’t told anyone about us I’d gone and bought her two cards. One was plain with a yellow butterfly on it and the other had GIRLFRIEND splashed across the front. I never thought I’d love buying a card so much.
Yeah, my balls are probably going to drop off any day now.
“I wanted to get you a proper card, but I knew you couldn’t put it up with the rest… So, I kinda got two,” I said. Even though I knew she would love it, I was still nervous. She came to me with a lot of her problems. I didn’t want her to think less of me because I’d fallen in love with her and turned into a giant girl.
Bending her head, she kissed me. I felt the fire consume me with the first touch of her lips. I wanted her all the time. She got under my skin. She was all I could think about. If Mum, dad and her parents weren’t in the house I’d take off that dress and show her just how fucking obsessed with her I was.
After a few seconds, I pulled away while I still had some self-control left. We couldn’t risk someone walking in again. My body ached to be pressed up against her again, and my jeans were getting uncomfortably tight.
“You need to open the presents,” I whispered, breathing through the pounding lust. Calm down, you’ll scare her.
She peered into the bag. Her lips were slightly swollen from our kiss. It was sexy as hell.
I’d bought her all of her favourite things. Another ‘Me to You’ teddy bear she collected, Haribo sweets, chocolate buttons, some biography of a gymnast she was looking at when we were shopping. A crazy bright purple nail polish that she liked. The one that made me look an idiot when I bought it. And finally, a white gold necklace with a little heart pendant and a diamond set into it.
I held my breath as she opened the necklace. Please like it. If she didn’t I could always take it back and swap it. She gasped as she opened the box, her eyes filling with tears. It made my heart jackhammer in my chest.
She pulled it out of the box and ran her hand over the heart. Finally, she looked up at me and moved the bag of presents to the side as she shuffled forward. We sat an inch away from each other, neither of us moved, and I didn’t say a word. It was strange how total silence could mean so much.
She couldn’t/wouldn’t talk, but she didn’t need to, I understood everything she wanted to say when she stared at me like that.
I was wrong; I can fall more in love with her.
After a minute, she entwined our fingers and kissed me.
“You like it then?” I whispered, smiling at her rosy pink cheeks. She nodded, wiping a stray tear from the corner of her eye.
Once she had finished looking at her gifts for the tenth time, we decided to put a movie on. About halfway through, I felt her head getting heavier on my chest. She was falling asleep. I wasn’t going to move her until I had to, so I stayed still and watched the rest of the movie, even though I had no idea what was going on anymore.
“She’s a lightweight.” I jumped a little at Max’s voice. Looking up, I saw him leaning against the doorframe, smiling at Oakley.
“Yeah, I know!” I said, trying to straighten up with her head on my chest. This looks good after we’d just lied to everyone about being together.
“So, about tonight…” he started, walking over to her desk and sitting on her computer chair. “You would tell me if anything has happened between you two, wouldn’t you?”
Oakley would freak if I said anything, and there was no way I wanted to tell my girlfriend’s dad we’d had sex. Multiple times. She was the one I felt loyal to. I nodded, feeling like shit for lying to him, even if it was to protect her. “Nothing’s happened.”
“Okay,” he replied, tipping his chin. “Wake her up before you leave, she won’t want to sleep in her dress.” He got up and walked out, closing the door behind him.
“Oakley,” I whispered, stroking her hair once the film finished. She shook her head and threw her arm over my lap, not wanting to move. The odds of her parents letting me sleep here were not great, especially after tonight, so, as much as I didn’t want to, I had to go home.
I gently rolled her onto her back and tried not to laugh as she frowned.
“Do you want your pyjamas?”
She shook her head and then nodded. And what is that supposed to mean? “Oakley, which one?”
She shook her head again and buried her head in the pillow, ignoring me. I kissed the side of her head, laughing. “Night, baby. I love you,” I whispered against her hair. She wasn’t getting up for anything, so she’d have to deal with falling asleep in her dress.
Mum and Dad had already left by the time I got downstairs. I said goodbye to Oakley’s parents and Jasper – who was currently eating the chocolate out of the fountain with a ladle – and went home.
As soon as I got to my room, I stripped and climbed into bed and sent a text to Oakley. I knew I wouldn’t get a reply, but I always sent the message.
I always will.
One day she’ll reply.
by Natasha Preston / Romance / Thriller have rating 4.1 out of 5 / Based on53 votes