I didn't sleep well that night. I couldn't stop thinking of Scotty's touch, Scotty's kiss, and Byron. Byron would be devastated! I had no idea how I was going to tell him! What little sleep I got was fitful and I ended up outside in my garden before sunrise, trying to weed away my troubles.
After school, I waited by the swings, intent on confessing to Byron as soon as I saw him. I knew he had to work at the grocery store after school but I hoped I could grab him for a few minutes at least. When he saw me he was practically running for the bus so he could get home and get changed for work so he didn't even have a chance to say hi. I was actually relieved...
I had the notion that if I just ended things...whatever "things" were...with Scotty, maybe I could get away with never telling Byron. Why should he have to have pain? It was just one kiss! So I called Scotty and asked him to meet me over at the Beach Diner.
"Are you okay?" I asked, noticing how upset he looked as he walked toward me.
He shrugged. "I am now." he gave me a boyish grin and then took my hands in his.
"Um..." I looked at his hand holding mine and lost all train of thought.
"Inara? You okay?" he asked. He released one hand and tilted my chin up to look him in the eye. His eyes were sparkling in the moonlight.
"Um..." I said lamely. "Yeah, er...I think so." How idiotic I must have sounded to him! But he didn't seem to mind.
I realized I couldn't break things off with him then. But I didn't have the courage to tell Byron either and break things off with HIM either!
When I explained all this to Scotty, he admitted that he'd already broken up with Shana but that he didn't want to hurt Bryon either. "He's my cousin after all..." he mentioned casually, as if I already knew this.
"Your cousin?!" I practically shouted.
"Oh yeah, didn't you know?" he asked, confused by my reaction.
"No!" I sputtered. Oh man, this now seemed a thousand times worse! "I gotta go!" I said and dashed into the night, leaving Scotty looking hurt and confused.
I'd like to say that I stayed away from Scotty...but I didn't. I was like a moon caught in his gravitational pull. We met in secret mostly; on quiet beaches or in dark theaters. Sometimes, if my parents were out, he'd come over to my house in the guise of studying.
He dated other girls at the same time but none of them lasted more than a month. All the while I was still dating Byron; and lying to him. I was a horrible friend and a horrible girlfriend.
"Want to go to prom with me?" Scotty asked one night as he was leaving my house. I knew he was joking...mostly anyway, but I so wanted to say yes.
"Sure, we can hook Byron up with what's-her-name." I said with a fake chuckle.
"Her name is Tiffany actually." he said, but he smiled back at me. "Save me a dance at least..." he said; and then he was gone.
I went inside and leaned against the wall feeling glum. With a heavy sigh, I dragged out my homework and headed for the kitchen. After staring at the paper for half an hour, I turned to a clean sheet and tried to make out a Pros and Cons list comparing Byron and Scotty...
It didn't go well. I crumbled up the paper and tossed it in the recycle bin before focusing my attention back on my math homework.
About a week before Prom, Byron asked me to meet him after he got off work. He'd sounded so upset over the phone and I was nervous that he may have found out about Scotty. I paced in front of the grocery story and gnawed on my lip while waiting for him to come out.
"Hey Inara." he said; he looked terrible!
"Oh what's wrong?" I asked, genuinely concerned for my best friend.
He looked at the ground instead of at my face so I almost didn't think I'd heard him right. "I can't take you to Prom." he said.
"What? Why not?!" I asked. "What's wrong?"
"My grandmother on my dad's side passed away - my dad is insisting on dragging me back to the mainland for the funeral - we'll be gone at least two weeks." he said. "I'm so sorry Inara!"
"Oh...." I frowned. "Well you should be with your family...when my grandparents passed away it was really hard on my mom." He nodded and then we hugged. I held him for several minutes before his mom came up and honked. I waved as they drove away and then sunk into a bench in front of the store.
I already had the dress and the ticket, so I decided to go to Prom anyway. It was my one and only Prom after all! I was almost ready when I heard the doorbell ring downstairs, I heard the door open and close and didn't think much of it until I heard my mom calling up the stairs. "Inara, someone is here for you!" she called.
"What are you doing here?" I asked when I saw Scotty decked out in a tux and holding out a corsage.
"Tiffany has mono and Byron mentioned what happened...I figured you might need a date." he said. "Unless you already have one."
"No, no I don't." I said. "Thanks." Mom seemed slightly less excited to be taking pictures of Scotty and I than she had been about homecoming pictures with Byron; but she did take them.
Thankfully she disappeared upstairs to get ready for some fundraiser with Dad, so Scotty and I were alone while waiting for the limo. "I'm so glad you're here." I said putting my arms around him.
"I am too." he said. He pulled me close to him and it felt so good in his arms. I had no idea...
Scotty suddenly dropped his arms and stepped back a few feet. His face was full of emotion and I couldn't figure it out until I saw him looking over my shoulder - expecting my dad or mom, I turned.
"Oh By-Byron!" I stuttered. "It's not what it looks like..."
"So I didn't see you in the arms of my cousin just now...looking like more than just friends..." he said sarcastically.
I grimaced. "I'm...I'm sorry..."
"What's going on Inara?" he looked at me with hurt and confusion but when he looked over my shoulder and past me it was full on anger directed at Scotty.
"Um...." I fought the urge to look back at Scotty for some sort of back up, I knew that would just upset Byron more. "Scotty and I..."
"Never mind!" Byron exploded. "I get it!" he glared at both of us and stormed out of the house, throwing a corsage on the ground in the process. I knelt down to pick it up and felt a tear slide down my cheek.
I felt Scotty's hand on my shoulder then. I turned toward him and laid my head against his chest. He didn't say anything, just wrapped his arms around me and held me while I cried about the loss of my friend.
My parents left for the fundraiser not long after the incident with Byron. I'm not sure if they'd even realized Byron had been here or what had transpired. Scotty led me to the couch and turned on a movie while I curled up against him. He didn't protest or suggest going to Prom at all. I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up I was in the guest room. I rolled over and was surprised to find Scotty beside me. "Figured this was more comfortable than the couch..." he said with a sleepy smile.
"This isn't my room ya know." I said.
"I know, but you have a small bed." he chuckled. He motioned for me to roll back over and we laid snuggling together for awhile. His strong arms and warm body were like a balm over the hurt in my heart. I sighed contently as he ran his hand gingerly along my arm for several minutes and turned back to him.
We kissed. For a brief moment I wondered if my parents knew he was here but the heat of his lips against my flesh pushed those thoughts away. "I love you Inara." he said softly, caressing my cheek.
"I love you too." I said. For awhile that night, he completely pushed away all the painful thoughts of Byron. When we finally drifted back to sleep, it was a fitful one for me but every time I got too restless, he was there for me to lean into and feel just a little bit better.
Outtakes, some random pics that I don't always know why I took lol
Okay this one I just like the background, sometimes I like seeing the lushness and colors on the island :D
This girl came out of school and did this...aced a test maybe? got asked to prom? graduation day? *shrug*
I like the stars over the ocean :D
Aside from being an avid gardener, she's also a virtuoso so she loves her guitar
If Scotty didn't look so happy here I might have used this one lol
Kendall has decided his time was short and gone around wanting to upgrade everything to unbreakable after I had him upgrade the sprinklers