Another Bloody Love Story
Payson sat down opposite Nyla and smiled at her. “Hey,” she said. “Sorry I’m late I got kinda lost.”
Nyla looked at her and smiled back. “It’s fine,” she said. “You’re here now. So do you wanna order something to eat before we get started?”
Payson turned her head and looked at the menu then looked back at Nyla. “Why don’t you order for me? I don’t know what’s good and what isn’t.”
Nyla nodded. “Ok sure.”
They were meeting up for the first time to get started on their projects and see if they could come to some agreement. Payson had never been that side of town before but now that she was there she understood why Nyla suggested it. It was a quiet place and for a person like her it was a good place to work on her music.
“You ready to order?” a waitress asked standing next to her.
“Mandy, this is the girl I was telling you about, Payson. Payson this is my friend Mandy,” Nyla said.
“Oh wow,” Mandy said looking at her. “She told me you two were working together on some art thing or whatever and she was stressed then she showed me the piece you did at one of your exams last year. I was more than blown away, you are an amazing dancer.”
“Oh thank you,” Payson smiled her signature smile. “You should also come to this one.”
“I would love to.”
“Anyway,” Nyla said. “I will have the usual and I would like Payson to try yesterday’s special it was amazing.”
“Really?” Payson asked.
“Yeah,” Mandy nodded as she wrote the order down. “Scott is a really good chef, when he’s not smoking anyway. I’ll call him to get your food ready.”
She smiled and left.
“So,” Nyla said taking off her glasses and wiping them on her shirt. “What theme were you thinking of doing for your project?”
“A really cliché one,” Payson replied.
Nyla raised her head and looked at her. “Which is?”
“Love,” she replied.
“Oh,” she said putting her glasses on. “I thought of something else.”
“What’s more of a cliché than love?” Payson asked amused.
“I was thinking you were going to do something like ‘what is real beauty’. That’s a cliché these days.”
“Hey,” Scott said standing next to their table.
“Hey,” Nyla said looking up at him. “How are you?”
“Good,” he said. “You?”
“Fine,” she said. “Payson, this is Scott. Scott this is the girl I was telling you and Mandy about.”
He nodded. “We’ve met.”
“We have?” Payson asked.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “At the hospital but you had a lot going on its ok if you don’t remember.”
“No I do remember,” she said narrowing her eyes. “You were with Vick right?”
“How’s his cousin doing?” she asked.
He shrugged. “Should be out in the next few days. What about your patient?”
“His getting better but I don’t think he’ll be out anytime soon since he was shot and all.”
“Shot?” Nyla repeated.
Payson nodded. “Yeah, police still don’t know what happened and he doesn’t seem to remember either.”
“Was he mugged?”
“That’s what they think but he wasn’t beaten up or anything. The whole thing is weird really and my sister is freaking out.”
“She and Beck have history,” she said playing with her nails. “Anyway that’s a long and personal story.”
“I should get to work,” Scott said and Nyla noticed he seemed out of it but she wasn’t sure what it was. She watched him go back to the kitchen and it was obvious his mind was elsewhere because he made a phone call before he got started on cooking.
“He’s a catch,” Payson smiled.
Nyla turned her attention to her and narrowed her eyes. “What?”
“Scott, he’s really hot, although I gotta say I never pictured you to be into the bad boy thing.”
“No,” Nyla said when she realized what she was saying. “I don’t like Scott.”
“Sure,” Payson said leaning back with a huge smile on her face. “And I don’t know the first thing about dancing.”
“No,” Nyla said. “I’m being serious, I . . . “ she let her words trail off when she saw the girls from school walking into the diner laughing. She sighed. “Even if I did, he’s way out of my league.”
“Nyla,” Payson said holding her hand. “You’re really pretty, he’s not out of your league if anything your way out of his. Hey I have an idea, why don’t you come over to my house one time and I can give you a makeover –“
“I like the way I look,” Nyla said cutting her off. “If I have change my appearance to attract someone’s attention then its more than obvious he doesn’t deserve it.”
Payson looked at her and was speechless.
“So love as your theme,” she said turning to her already open laptop. “Well that does sort of tie into my theme.”
“What theme are you doing?” Payson asked realizing Nyla was actually a very strong character on the inside even though she looked mousy and insecure on the outside.
“Ying and Yang,” she replied. “How opposite actually need each other to exist, without one there is no other.”
Payson looked at her carefully and she had to say there was something about her wording and the way she expressed things that was very familiar to her.
Nyla raised her head and looked at her. “What?”
“Nothing,” Payson said shaking her head. “It’s just that’s a topic I never would’ve thought of. How were you thinking of expressing it through your music?”
“I have no idea,” she sighed.
Payson smiled. “I’ve heard your music,” she said. “You’re amazing I know you’ll work it out.”
“Thank you,” she smiled. “So what dance style are you going to focus on maybe I might draw some inspiration from that.”
“You’re back on that inspiration thing again,” Mandy said sitting down next to Payson. “I told what to do didn’t I?”
Nyla rolled her eyes. “No I’m not going to sleep with someone to get inspiration.”
Mandy smiled and looked at her just as a girl with white blond hair walked into the diner. She was wearing a black corset and had a whole bunch of tattoos going down her arm like a sleeve and she one on her neck similar to the one Scott had on his.
She looked around the diner and soon enough Scott walked out and walked over to her. The two of them started to talk and it was as if they were worried about something.
“You think that’s his girlfriend?” Mandy asked watching them.
“Probably,” Nyla shrugged but Payson had a feeling it was hurting her watching the two of them.
“Well that sucks,” she said. “How am I supposed to compete with her?”
“You like him?” Payson asked looking at her.
“Who doesn’t?” she asked back.
“She’s right,” Nyla said watching the two of them. “With the attitude he has going for him, he would make a nun wanna take back her vows.”
Payson laughed and looked at her. “OMG you have to meet this friend of mine. Her name is Xona I really think the two of you would get along really well.”
“What makes you say that?” Mandy asked looking at her.
“They talk in almost the same way the way they word their words.”
“Really coz this girl says the weirdest things I promise you that,” Mandy said.
“Xona is just as bad,” Payson giggled.
They looked back at the two Goths who were still talking. Whatever it was, it seemed like it was life or death because there was so much tension coming from them. The girl looked at him and was about to walk out but he pulled her back and hugged her and said something to her in her ear and made her relax and she hugged him back then gave him a light kiss on the lip then she left.
Nyla looked away and continued playing around on her laptop.
“Are you sure you didn’t burn anything?” Mandy asked looking at Scott as he approached their table.
“Josh’s in the kitchen,” Scott replied. “Nyla, I’m sorry but I have to cancel our Friday plans. Something came up.”
“That’s fine,” Nyla said not looking at him.
“How’s your Saturday looking?” he asked.
“Maybe we should just cancel the whole thing,” she said looking at him. “I have a lot I need to work on, I don’t think I’ll have the time.”
The two other girls both turned their heads and looked at her but she didn’t change her expression.
Scott nodded. “Fair enough. Anyway I should get back before I burn something.”
Nyla looked away from him and back at her laptop and continued playing around with it.
“What the hell was that?” Mandy asked.
“What?” Nyla asked looking at her.
“He was practically asking you out and you just slammed the door in his face then bolted it shut.”
“You word things funny to,” Payson said looking at her.
“She rubbed off on me,” Mandy shrugged.
“Either way she has a point,” Payson said looking at her. “He was asking you out.”
“He has a girlfriend,” Nyla said looking at them. “Look, he has a girlfriend meaning he already has a pair of boobs on his plate, give him another pair and he’ll start juggling, I don’t wanna be juggled.”
The two of them just gapped at her.
* * *
Beck opened his eyes and looked at Keelan. She was on the phone so he guessed she had her hearing aid on because she was holding it to her ear and not looking at the text. She was formally dressed so he guessed she had just come back from court or a meeting.
He had been in the hospital for the past three weeks and all the time she had been coming to see him and looking after him. Even though his squad knew he had been shot and they were coming to see him as well she would still come to make sure he was ok or bring him something to eat so he wouldn’t have to eat hospital food.
He watched her as she paced the floor while she spoke on the phone. She hadn’t changed much from the last time he had seen her. Only now she wasn’t wearing the engagement ring he had given her not that he blamed her after he had ended their four-year relationship at the altar during their vows in front of all their family and friends.
His sister, Tory, had come down to see him after Angel had told her that he had been shot. They all agreed it would be better if they didn’t say anything to their mum because she would react and maybe end up in the hospital because of worrying too much.
He remembered her asking him why Keelan around, she personally loved Keelan very much and didn’t speak to her brother for four months after he left her at the altar but she didn’t understand why she would take care of him even after the way he treated her.
“Beck,” Keelan said looking at him. “Did I wake you?”
He snapped out of his daydream and looked at her. He didn’t realize she had ended her phone call. “No,” he replied.
“How’re you feeling?” she asked sitting down on one of the sofas next to his bed. “Are you still in pain?”
He shook his head. “They’re giving me less morphine.”
“I guess that’s a good thing,” she said. “Do you want me to get you anything?”
He shook his head. “I’m good thanks,” he said looking at her. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
Keelan looked at him and he saw her eyes getting teary.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to upset you. Forget I said anything.”
“No I remember,” she said looking away from him. “I’m just wondering why you brought it up.”
“Oh,” he said closing his eyes. “You were there for me then even though you didn’t know me. Now you do know me and I’m wondering why you stayed?”
“I have to forgive you at some point don’t I?” she said looking at him. “You getting shot and almost losing your life made me realize you are actually human and even though you hurt me, I have to forgive you at some point.”
Beck opened his eyes and looked at her. “I know it doesn’t mean anything to you now, but you were truly the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“If that’s how you treat the best thing, I don’t want to know how you treat the worst.”
Beck smiled. “They end up dead.”
“For some reason I believe you.”
Keelan always had a theory that he was in the mafia because of his behavior. Even though she was very far from the truth her theories made sense why she felt that way and he always found them very amusing and entertaining.
“Hey,” he said looking at her. “When I get out of here maybe I could take you out for dinner some time?”
“Beck,” she said looking back at him. “We’re not friends.”
“Ok, what about as enemies then?”
“Then I would be forced to poison you,” she said.
He smiled. He was about to say something when Angel and Kory walked in. He could tell they had something to tell him. “Could you give us a second?”
Keelan got up and walked out of the room.
“She’s hot,” Kory said. “I can’t believe you walked out on that.”
“Why are you here?”
“HQ called earlier,” Angel said. “The Order is coming.”
“Fuck,” he cursed.
* * *
“You did what?” Walker asked as Xona went to answer the door.
“I invited her over for dinner.”
“How does that sentence sound normal to you in anyway?” Warren asked following her. “We don’t eat dinner remember? What the hell are you doing?”
“Come off it Warren,” she said walking.
“No,” he said standing in front of her. “You’ve been spending way too much time with this girl I’m starting to wonder if you even remember why we’re here.”
“I know exactly why we’re here,” she said moving him out of the way. “It was my plan remember?”
“Do you have any idea how dangerous this is for either of you?” he asked.
“Dangerous?” she asked looking at him. “How is it dangerous?”
“It’s obvious we’re being watched by one Vampire clan or another, you can’t have her out in the open like that, they might use her as bait or something. Then I am more than sure Pious is trialing her every move seeing as though her sister, Keelan was engaged to one of them.”
“Here’s your chance to play hero go in and propose. I know you lust over her.”
“Xona,” he sighed. “I’m being serious.”
“I know what I’m doing,” Xona said. “Trust me.”
* * *
Payson smiled when Xona opened the door.
“Good you didn’t get lost,” she said opening the door for her. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” she smiled and walked it. “Wow, I’ve never been inside the suits in these apartments before,” she said looking around. “They’re almost like mansions.”
“Hey,” Warren said leaning on a wall. She was a little surprised to see him shirtless mainly because he had an amazing body.
“Hi,” she said noticing how Xona was wearing an oversized t-shirt. “I wasn’t interrupting anything was I?”
“No,” Xona noticing her expression. “He had company over and I wanted to make them uncomfortable for the fun of it.”
“Which reminds me,” Xona said looking at Warren. “Shouldn’t you be entertaining them?”
Warren looked at her and narrowed his eyes. “We’re not done here.”
Xona nodded then looked at Payson. “You know you can come all the way in.”
Payson smiled then walked in and started to look around.
“How long have you been living here?” she asked entering the living room.
“We moved here a month before he started teaching you guys,” she replied. “So do you want something to drink while you wait or something?”
“I actually can’t stay long,” Payson said. “So can we reign check on dinner?”
Xona searched her face then nodded. “Sure, good thing I hadn’t started cooking yet.”
Payson smiled. “I’m really sorry about that.”
“No its’ fine,” Xona said sitting down on the longest couch in the room. “Is everything ok though?”
Payson looked at her.
She tapped the space next to her and she sat down. “Tell me what’s up,” she said looking at her with her brown eyes.
She sighed. “It’s nothing, I just have a lot on my mind that’s all.”
“Share,” she said looking at her.
Payson looked at her. “No, I came here to see you not tell you about my problems.”
“You’ve seen me,” Xona said. “Now tell me about your problems.”
She sighed. “It’s just school mainly. Nothing special or whatever.”
“What about school?”
She ran her hands through her blonde hair then looked at her. “You’re not going to let this go are you?”
“I wanna understand why you pushing dinner back, why you’re blowing me off.”
Payson laughed, “I’m not blowing you off.”
“It’s how I’m feeling.”
“No,” Payson said looking at her. “Ok fine I’ll explain.”
“That’s all I wanted you to do in the first place.”
“You know Vick right?” she asked looking her.
“I think I met him at the hospital, what about him?”
“Well the two of us used to be really close,” she said and she started to play with her fingers. “We grew up together and our mothers are like really good friends and all. I knew he had a thing for me and all but I just never felt the same way about him. I mean I care about him and all but just not the way he does.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“He stopped talking to me,” she said. “Like after that night at the hospital it’s almost as though he’s avoiding me.”
“Have you tried talking to him?” Xona asked.
“I have,” she said. “I dunno what it is.”
“Has he told you he likes you?”
She shook her head.
“Then he probably wants to but has a lot on his mind,” she said.
“Wants to?” she repeated.
She thought about it and started to look out the window at the amazing view. It was obvious she wasn’t actually looking at the view but rather deep in thought about something or other.
“So what’s really bothering you?” Xona asked.
Payson looked at her and sighed. “I know your trying to help and all but I really don’t wanna talk about my problems, I just really wanna chat with you and hang for a bit.”
“How do you expect us to ‘hang’ if your mind keeps drifting off to whatever is bothering you?”
She looked at her and knew she had a point. The main reason she had actually decided to go see Xona even after what she had overheard that afternoon she felt if there was one person she could trust; it would be Xona.
She wasn’t sure what it was about her if it was her wording or because out of everyone she had met who wasn’t family she actually wanted to hear her thoughts of why she did things or chose to do things.
“It’s Beck,” she said.
“What about him?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know,” she said. “I feel as though he faked his shooting as a way to worm his way back into Keelan’s life or something.”
“What happened between them?” Xona asked. “If you don’t mind me asking.”
“They were engaged once,” she said. “They met like four years ago and for some reason he really liked her ever though she was def. I’m not saying there is anything wrong being deaf, it’s just guys that look like him don’t really make an effort with the handicapped you know?”
“Well yeah but have you seen what Keelan looks like?”
“Sorry,” she smiled. “Continue.”
“Anyway,” Payson continued, it was clear she was amused. “He was really sweet with her, and patient with her because she was very hard on him at first, I guess she kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. She did finally warm to him though.
“My dad loved him, he was like the son he never had and my mom thought the world of him. I liked him to he was like a hot bad-ass older brother you know. Then he asked me to help him with a bit of sign language because he wanted to propose her in sign language in case she felt she lip read him wrong.”
“Anyway so I taught him how to propose and he got my dad’s blessing and my grandparents blessing from both sides and he proposed to her. His family also thought she was sweetest girl he had ever brought home. She said yes even before he finished signing to her and you know things were pretty good for a while, they were planning their wedding and everything was running pretty smoothly for the most part. They would argue from time to time but they always managed to solve and sort things out in the end.
“Then on the day of the wedding everything started off great then things got weird. He was three hours late for his own wedding then during their vows out of nowhere he stopped the priest and told him he couldn’t go through with it.
“He like said it three times then was like I can’t do this I’m sorry and he left her at the alter with everyone just watching the scene.
“She ran after him and all but he didn’t listen, he just entered his car and drove off.
“That was last year, now he’s back and my sister is waiting on him hand and foot. I can’t help but feel as though he’s fucking with her.”
“Look at you cussing,” Xona smirked.
“I’m being serious,” Payson said looking at her and she could feel her eyes getting watery.
“I know you are,” she said raising her head from her arm and looking at her. “What makes you think he’s fucking with her?”
“Well first of all he doesn’t know who shot him,” Payson said. “The doctor said it was a close shot so he must’ve seen the person and I don’t understand why he didn’t defend himself. He’s an ex-marine or something like that so he should have survival skills right?”
Xona nodded. “So what do you think?”
“I think he did it himself,” Payson said. “I mean, why else would my sister be registered as his next of kin or emergency contact or whatever?”
“That’s a theory,” Xona said nodding.
“I just don’t want him to hurt her again,” she said running her hands through her hair. “My sister is still crazy in love with him and I know he knows that. I just feel as though he has some plan up his sleeve or something.”
Xona placed her hand on her hand and rubbed it gently. “I strongly doubt you would let that happen even over your dead body.”
Payson looked at her and smiled.
Xona smiled back. “So you sure I can’t cook for you? I can tell from your expression you’re feeling better.”
“I would rather just hang out with you if that’s ok?”
Xona nodded. “That’s fine.”
“Are you sure? I’m not putting you in an awkward position, me being a student and all?”
“I kinda set myself up taking you to a porn studio,” she shrugged.
Payson laughed. “Yes you did.”
“You didn’t tell your parents did you?”
She shook her head. “No I didn’t. With them it’s all about grades and scholarships and blah blah blah.”
“You really have a lot on your mind don’t you?”
Payson nodded. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t mean to offload on you like this. I never do it actually.”
“I’m all ears,” Xona smiled.
The next few hours went by so fast with Payson just telling Xona about herself and a lot about her life. She didn’t even realize that she was talking that much she just felt comfortable telling Xona everything she possibly could about herself apart from the one thing she had only ever told one person.