Painting in Acrylic by @therealpaul
For those of you who missed the post of the release, I briefly explained how the series began as an idea for a Young Adult novel, and that I had in fact written what amounts to a novella taking place the summer before REBORN begins, and I decided to release it here on steemit.
The following morning Anna was shaken awake and she cracked open one eye, glaring at her assailant.
Macey laughed at the look and plopped down on her legs. “Wake up sleepyhead,” she sang, laughing again as Anna swatted her.
The rest of the girls filed in and she pulled herself to a sitting position as they all plopped down on different spots on the bed.
“So you disappeared early, what happened?” Marina asked.
Jenna gave Anna a sympathetic look and answered for her, “She was going to bear her heart to Austin but she chickened out…and he left with Gina Rollins.”
“Ewww, not Gina!” Macey exclaimed.
“Wait, you were about to bear your heart to Austin?” Holly piped in, “Seriously?”
Marina leaned forward and sang “Anna and Austin sitting in a tree…”
Anna scowled and the tall blonde erupted with laughter. “Hardy har har,” Anna turned away from her and glanced at Jess who was uncharacteristically quiet. There was something in her expression… “Jess, what’s wrong?” she asked in sudden concern.
"I had sex with Nathan!" She blurted and promptly burst into tears.
All five girls stared at her in open-mouthed shock before firing questions in rapid succession. Jess looked more and more miserable until Holly raised a hand for silence and nodded at her to speak.
"Last night, in the boathouse," she sniffed, "we were just making out one minute and then it kept going a little further, and it felt really good...until he…and then it really, really hurt and I wanted him to stop, but I didn't tell him so it isn't his fault, but it was a mistake!" She started crying in earnest.
Jenna surprised them all by sitting next to her and putting her arms around her. If there was ever a time for her tongue lashing, they would have thought it would be now but she seemed to understand the damage was done.
Marina turned towards the door, her foot tapping in angst. "Is he still here?"
Jess nodded miserably, "I heard him in the living room."
"Did he talk to you afterward?" Holly demanded.
Jess shook her head, "He said he had to pee and would be right back, but he didn't come back."
"That rotten son of a bitch!" Anna exclaimed.
"How dare he do that and then lounge around the house like nothing happened!" Holly stated.
Marina snarled and started for the door.
"Where are you going?" Jess cried, "Don't please, it's embarrassing, I don't want everyone to know!"
"The only person who should be embarrassed is him!" Holly stated.
"Hell yeah," Macey put in.
"I know, but I don't want people to know!”
"Don't worry, we will be sure to get him away from people," Anna assured her as she followed the rest of them out of the room.
They located the jerk outside on the patio talking and smoking a cigarette. When he saw the five of them approaching with identical scowls he at least had the decency to look guilty.
"Have a minute Nate?" Anna asked sweetly. He nodded and flicked his smoke, then followed them inside.
They led him to the guestroom and practically shoved him through the door, shutting it behind them.
"Look girls," Nate stammered, "I know you think I'm an asshole right now, but I didn't mean for it to go that far, I was really drunk."
"So you took her virginity then left her alone in the boathouse because you were drunk?" Anna snapped.
"I wasn't thinking clearly, I swear, I passed out on a chair by the fire right after I left her. I planned on talking to her, I was just waiting for people to leave."
"Really? Good, then go right upstairs to Anna's room where she is crying her eyes out. Now." Holly pointed towards the door.
He nodded. "Going."
As he left the room Anna noticed the look on Jenna’s face and nearly took a step backwards. She was furious. She hadn’t said a word, but the pure malice emanating from her was louder than a shout. If there had been any doubt about her love for her sister, the doubt was gone. All of them were angry but she was literally shaking with it.
Anna put a hand on her shoulder. "It's all right Jenna" she said softly, "Nate's not a bad guy, he'll fix it as much as he can."
Jenna threw her arm off violently. "And how the HELL do you suppose he'll do that? He can't take it back, it's done!" Tears ran down her face and she wiped at them angrily. "Careless, thoughtless, God what is wrong with guys? Don’t they ever think about anything but their stupid dicks?" She nearly shouted the last few words, shocking the girls into silence.
A full minute ticked by before Holly softly asked, "This isn’t just about Jess is it?”
Jenna turned away, her lips pressed shut.
The girls exchanged worried looks and Anna lightly touched her shoulder. “Jenna…did something happen?"
Jenna shook her head in denial, but the tears came harder and she sat down on the bed.
"I don't want to talk about it. Not. Now. Not. Ever."
"But if something happened-”
"I said I DON'T want to talk about it, so leave it!"
They stood there awkwardly for a moment then Holly beckoned for them to leave the room.
Nate stopped on the threshold of Anna’s room and winced at the sight of Jess curled up on the bed, her face pressed into a pillow. He hadn’t lied to the girls, he really hadn’t meant for things to go that far.
He walked into the room and sat on the edge of the bed putting a hand on her arm. “Jess?” he said softly.
She pulled away from the pillow and looked at him through red-rimmed eyes and he brushed a hand across her wet cheeks. “I am so fucking sorry,” he whispered, “God I’m sorry. I know it’s lame to blame alcohol, but I really was trashed. I can’t believe I left you in there like that. The last thing I remember was staring at the fire, and then lights out.”
She nodded slowly and struggled to a sitting position, staring down at her hands. “So what now?” She whispered back.
“I was hoping, if you can forgive me that is, we could try this again the right way. Maybe go for a walk and just talk?”
She looked up at him and smiled a little, “I would really like that.”
Nate smiled in relief, taking her hand and tugging her to her feet. She winced a little and his smile faded. “Did I hurt you?”
She tugged on a lock of her hair and nodded.
He pulled her into his arms and hugged her, cupping the back of her head. “Never again,” he breathed into her ear, “I will never hurt you again.”
She nodded against his neck and the pain seemed to vanish with his words.
Buy Your copy of The Allies of Old: Reborn HERE-