Sequel: Good Enough
Status: Finished: The sequel is up! Read this, then go read that! (That's how sequels work) <3

Strong Enough


“Jax, where are you going?” My feet pushed harder to carry me through the rain.

“Anywhere you’re not.”

“Please, let me explain.” I was all but running away from the boy behind me, but he was taller and apparently determined. Realizing I wasn’t going to outrun him, I whipped around to face him.

“Explain? Explain what, Bryden? Explain how you’ve been acting? Explain why 2 days before I leave for college you’ve given up? Explain how after 10 years of friendship and a year of a relationship, you couldn’t keep it in your pants? Which part did you want to explain?”

My hands pushed against his chest, not that it was very effective. He was 8 inches taller and much bigger than I was. But I pushed anyway. I didn’t want him anywhere near me.

“Tell me what you could possibly say that would make this situation any better? Are you going to apologize? Are you going to beg for forgiveness? You are a pig. And I don’t have time to listen to you try to clean up the mess you made. I’m getting out of this place. I’m going to a new school in a new state and I’m going to be happy. And, far away from cheating bastards like you.”

I turned on my heel, wrapping my arms around myself as I trekked to my house through the rain. He didn’t follow and I didn’t look back.

“Dude, why are you standing over there like a jackass? Don’t you want to say hi to Jax? And meet her sexy friend?” I snapped back to reality as Tommy was pulling Bryden’s arm towards the rest of us. “Or have you finally decided to exit the well-stocked closet you’ve been hiding in?”

Bryden reached out and punched Tommy’s arm. “You wish I was gay. You’re the first one who’d be begging me to fuck you.”

“Nah, man. Not even gay guys want to fuck you.” Rylan chimed in.

“Who asked you small fry?” Bryden pulled Rylan’s head into his elbow in a threatening hold before looking back up at me.

“Hey, Jax.”

Rather than respond, I kept a blank stare on my face. After 5 years all he was going to say was ‘hey’? I could feel my face starting to show the annoyance I was holding and quickly turned to look anywhere other than his face.

“Well that was fun. Who’s up for the pool?” Tommy broke the tension and pushed me toward the backyard before anyone could answer.

“Dude, I’m not wearing a swimsuit.” I said as I pulled Mia along with me.

“So? Who says you need a suit to swim?”

“I swear, T, if you throw me in the pool I’ll cut off your balls and feed them to you.” My feet started digging into the cobblestone walkway.

“Better pull that phone out of your pocket darlin.” Tommy pulled me forward and bent down, lifting me onto his shoulder. I yanked my phone from my pocket throwing it to Mia and clung to Tommy’s body to keep him from throwing me in. “Oh honey. You think I won’t just jump in with you? That’s so cute.”

It was too late for me to fight because seconds later I felt my body, along with his, falling until I was surrounded by water. When I surfaced I looked around for Tommy, screaming about my new jeans and how I hoped he wasn’t too concerned with having sex ever again.

A chorus of laughter rang out followed by a few splashes. Looking around I saw that the other three had followed suit, even Mia, and jumped into the pool fully clothed.

It didn’t take long for me to give up my annoyance over being forced into the pool, though Tommy did have to promise to buy me a cookie in payment. A good one too. None of that store bought junk.

We probably spent close to an hour splashing around, playing a makeshift volleyball game and attempting to dunk each other. Bryden, though, seemed to always stay on the other side of the pool. I wasn’t complaining and he wasn’t being completely obvious about his avoidance. I was glad for the limited contact.

It wasn’t until Dad called us to eat that we finally returned to dry land. Our clothes completely soaked and dripping everywhere. There was no way Momma was letting us into the house so we grabbed out food off the table on the porch and claimed our territory on the floor of the gazebo by the pool.

“So, Little Bit, how’s Vegas?” Rylan mumbled through the burger in his mouth.

“First off that’s disgusting. And second Vegas is amazing. I got my girl. I got my job. I got the city.” I smiled, leaning back against the railing. “Life is pretty peachy. What about you guys? What have you been up to?”

“Oh, the same shit.” Rylan swallowed as he started his story. “I took over dad’s recording studio 2 years back. Tommy’s lazy ass works for me when he actually shows up. And Byden’s been—”

“Working.” Bryden cut Ry’s words short giving him a look I couldn’t decipher.

“Working?” I raised an eyebrow. “Descriptive.”

“He’s just being a baby because he doesn’t want you to know he’s been recording at the studio.” Tommy rolled his eyes gulping down some of his beer, receiving a pointed glare from Bryden.

“Why would he care if I know that?” I glanced from Tommy to Bryden questioningly.

“So, Mia, what do you do out there in Vegas with Jax?” Rylan swiftly changed the subject.

“I’m a photographer. I do a lot of shoots for hotels and shit. Jax is one of my lead models.”

“No shit!” Rylan looked at me. “You’re a model?”

“Damn good one too.” I lifted my beer to my lips, smirking at the boys.

“I thought you were gonna be a therapist or something.” Tommy looked at me expectantly.

“I got my degree in Psychology. Modeling is just how I made money and now I’m taking time to save money for grab school.”

“Either that or she’ll make a shit ton of money and become a Vegas it girl and own a casino or something.” Mia laughed as she poked my side.

“Yeah, that too.”

As my friends continued talking about their jobs, my eyes landed on Bryden, who was listening intently to the conversation. I still couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t want me to know about his recording. He’d had an amazing voice back in high school. I could only imagine it had gotten better over the last few years. It made sense if his best friend ran a recording studio that he’d try to record something.

“Dude, that’d be the shit! What do you say Jax?” I snapped my head to Tommy who looked way too excited about something.

“Excuse me? Why do I feel like I should be terrified?” I glanced to Mia who shook her head.

“The guys and I think it’d be cool to have a shoot to promote the studio. You could be the face of Real Beats Recording.” Mia looked at me as if prompting me to be excited.

“Of course. I’m always up to help out a friend.” I smiled though I had a small feeling there was more they weren’t saying, but let it slide. My mind had quickly returned to the questions I had of why Bryden was being so secretive.
♠ ♠ ♠
Chapter 2. Hope you like it.