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browne suga time [the brownes] [kristen&rhey]


bluelily
(@bluelily)
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rejecteddounut - 11/24/2005 at 09:44 PM

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I'll no longer be a Capulet

 

There was a light laugh, the same voice that spoke the words by one of the greatest playwrights of all time. It echoed throughout the barn, where the tractors and such were already put away for the night, the moon light peeking through a few places that needed to be patched before the spring rains came. There was a ladder at the back of the barn, leading up to a loft where hay bales and various equipment was placed. But in the middle of all that, there was a young man and woman, probably both about seventeen or somewhere near there. It had been the young woman whose laughter flowed down to the level below.

 

The two teenagers came up here often, not to do anything that involved being louder than their whispering words, just to talk, to see each other without having to avert their eyes. Their families owned two of the biggest ranches in this part of the state. The ranches were separated by a mere wooden fence that ran along the lines of their property, but the families might as well be pushed apart by the likes of the Berlin Wall. The girl had said many times that their tale was almost like those ill-fated lovers. The boy always replied that he wasn't planning on letting her die any time soon.

 

It was the male that the first part of this story revolves around. He was stretched out, his boots crossed at the ankle. His blue jeans were clean, having taken a shower and gone about his daily things before sneaking out of his home to meet the girl. A long sleeve shirt was buttoned up hurridly as he had been running late on their nightly meeting because his father had been rambling about her family. Running a hand through his dark brown hair, there was a smile on his face as she continued to speak the parts of young Juliet in that famous scene of the play. Gosh, he loved her.. since the first time he saw her.

 

His father had always told his sons to stay away from the girls across the fence, how they were just as bad as their parents. Young Nathan didn't understand how or why it was so bad not to speak to the family who had land near theirs. After all, his parents had also said to make friends, to not discriminate. Quite a confusing thing for a seven-year-old to comprehend. How was he supposed to know that the pretty girl who sat in front of him in class was one of those girls that his dad had warned him against.

 

One day, she had forgotten her schoolbook and was highly upset, but Nathan, being the kind little boy that he was, said that if she scooted her desk beside his, he would share. From then on, they had a friendship. Almost a year had went by before he finally got around to mentioning the girl that he was friends with in class. His mother had asked if she had the same last name as the other ranch. It dawned on Nathan that he wasn't supposed to speak to her.. so he lied to his mother, giving her another name.

 

Time went on and he was twelve when his older brothers decided to bring in the youngest Browne's first teenage birthday, they were going to go on the opposing family's land and let all of their animals out. Nathan didn't want to go, but his brothers insisted, calling him a coward and all sorts of other names until he finally gave in. Nathan could never remember being so scared. Not only because he was trespassing, but he was afraid that his friend would find out it was him who did it and be angry with him. They weren't caught though their father seemed to know it was them. He laughed, saying that he was proud of his boys and having their mother make them a cake.

 

Nathan, at the age of fourteen, had finally decided to ask the girl if she would go out with him. Of course, it would have to be secret. Their family would accuse the other of so many things. They were taking a big risk just because their hearts told them to do something. She accepted though, and since then they had skirted around their parents and siblings, meeting up with each other in places like the loft, places in town where not many people were..

 

Yet, with all of their careful planning of when to meet and where, there were times when they had to cancel because of their families. Sometimes the hostility between the two was just too much, Nathan and the girl having to not see each other for a few days. Oh, it hurt Nathan sometimes, but than goodness for him being able to have the internet. They could send each other mails, but it just wasn't the same. He wasn't able to touch her, to hear her laugh, or smell that distinct sent that made her.

 

A yawn escaped him, causing him to shift from resting on his side to laying on his back, the girl resting her head on his chest. It was just another night with her, with the girl that he loved yet his family loathed. All because of her last name. He would deny his father, his name if she promised to no longer be a Capulet. He closed his eyes as he whispered that he loved her. Her voice was the last thing that he heard before he drifted off to sleep, the feel of her lips on his. "I love you too, Nathan Browne.."

 

The rooster crowing caused Nathan to rouse from his sleep, a groan making it past his lips. One of his arms had fall asleep from him resting it over his eyes, making it feel like it weighed a ton. Lifting his head, he saw that she had already left, a note placed in between his belt loop and his belt. Smiling, Nathan propped himself on his elbows, opening the note to see that familiar curvey writing. It said the usual.. that she loved him, wished their families would stop fighting.. And to meet her again near the tree that both sides claimed even though it was on his family's side of the fence later on in the day, when the sun would start to go down. His eyes flickered over the letters a few more times before he tucked it into his front pocket, rubbing at his arm that was still asleep and started to head down the ladder to act like he was getting a head start on his chores before breakfast.

OOC: There ya goes Kristen.. O.o; I almost spelt your name crystin... Dunno where that came from

Dollface - 11/24/2005 at 11:46 PM

 

She always loved their meetings. She always found it intriguing how they had to sneak around, just like the two in the famed story of Romeo and Juliet. The seventeen year old didn’t quite things were going to stay a secret like this, with how her older sisters snooped around her room when they were bored. Or at least, that was the excuse she was always given. Claire knew that the two of them knew something was going on. She knew that they were suspecting their younger sibling was up to mischief behind the family’s back. The fence between the two large fences could never separate her from seeing Nathan. She’d always give her father the excuse she was going to visit another friend from school, leaving through the back door and across the large area of land and hopping over the fence, sprinting through the grass to the barn.

 

Sure helped that she was on the track team at their high school.

 

Claire remembered the clear words of her father: “Baby, don’t go o’er that fence, or talk to them boys over there.” Of course, since she’d been so young she just obeyed her father’s wishes, but she didn’t have a clue why. She didn’t know why that her parents didn’t want her to talk to the Browne boys that were the next house over. Claire hadn’t a clue that both of their families owned the biggest ranches in the state, and were feuding. She hadn’t learned that for a while, until her older sister Bethany had informed her on the reason why. But still, Claire didn’t understand all too well her father’s reasons.

 

“’Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What’s a Montague? It is nor hand nor foot, nor arm nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name!” She tried to finish, another set of giggles quietly slipping past her lips as her vibrant gaze had read over the tiny words placed on the book that she’d brought along with her. She set it down though next to her, curling up next to Nathan. It was much too hard for her to keep talking like that, since it just seemed to make her break into laughter every time she spoke like the people did way back when.

 

Claire remembered that they were young when they’d first met. At least ten or so years ago, she remembered. It was that which triggered the feelings that for so long had been bottled up. So young and she knew she wouldn’t want to be with anyone else rather than the boy that shared his schoolbook with her when they were but the age of only seven. She’d told her mother and father that night at dinner about the nice boy, who shared his notebook with her, but they’d asked what his name was, and she’d started saying it, when all of their eyes seemed to bug out at her, and then she gave him a fake last name. She knew she would’ve been in deep trouble if she’d finished his name off with the last word being ‘Browne’.

 

After that she usually stayed quiet, only speaking of the other friends that she spent her time with. Or, the made up friends she supposedly spent her time with at school. Luckily her older twin sisters were already in their middle school years, so she didn’t have to worry about them sneaking around and watching their little sister associate with Nathan. Because even at that age, she knew her older sisters were snitches. Even now, at the age of twenty-one as they still lived at the ranch with the family, they told on their little sister when she got into any kind of trouble. Whether it be at school, or she was slacking on the chores that needed to be done around the house or if she’d forgotten to feed the horses or something or other.

 

Bethany and Brittney were always there to tattle on the younger sibling.

 

Claire remembered distinctly that night when Nathan and his older brothers had gone to her barn, letting their animals loose. She’d watched them cross the fence actually, from the window seat she sat on, usually gazing up at the stars that filled the dark night sky. But that night, on his birthday, she actually had witnessed them sneaking onto her family’s property. Yet, for his sake she stayed quiet, not saying a word to either of her sisters or her mother or father. Claire had to admit, she was a bit disappointed at first that Nathan would’ve given into the pressure she figured his brothers put on him, but it eventually wore off. She was usually one to just forgive and forget. So she secretly forgave him, and forgot about it, letting it slip her mind as the next day rolled by. She hadn’t mentioned anything the next day either to him. She went along as if nothing had happened at all, as if she didn’t know that he and his brothers were the ones that let their animals loose.

 

Luckily that fence did some good work, because the animals didn’t get very far before her father had sent Claire and her sisters out to retrieve the animals that had gotten loose.

 

When the age of fourteen rolled by, and he’d finally asked her out, that was the best thing to have happened in her life. Sure, there had been other great things, and there were things that came later that were good. But she knew nothing even nearly amounted to when Nathan asked her if she’d go out with him. It was pretty much an immediate answer. She was never one of those girls who left the other person hanging, saying she had to ‘think about it’, or that she needed time to ponder the thought. There was no thinking needed; she didn’t need to ponder the thought. Even at that age she knew the feeling was strong; she knew it was love. None of her friends knew, none of her family knew. Her friends would gossip, which would get to their older sisters, and then it would get to her older sisters, and then it would end up with her parents knowing about the secret. And then everything would spiral downwards.

 

Oh, there were plenty of times when they had to cancel. One time especially she remembered when she was supposed to meet him, and then learned that it was the night that her grandmother had passed on. They had to take a plane to a whole different state. It hurt her, it hurt her bad. There was no way to talk to him, not by computer, nothing. She hadn’t a laptop or anything of the sort, and her parents wouldn’t allow her on the computer that her aunt and uncle’s, where they were staying for the few days that they were in the different state. But luckily it had been only a few days, not a week, and she was finally able to go back home.

 

But it still did hurt, when they had to cancel for other reasons. There was the internet, sure. But she too knew it wasn’t the same. She hated that; she hated the fact that their families just couldn’t get over their differences and set them aside. Claire wished she could just lead a normal life without having to sneak around. Everyone she knew who had a relationship didn’t have to sneak around; even sometimes her friends would ask her why she hadn’t ‘hooked up’ with someone yet. They’d tell her that one of their boyfriends had a friend that she would go out with. But she would usually shake her head in response, giving them some excuse that she was just waiting for the right one, didn’t want to date around with other guys, or she was too busy to be in a serious relationship right now. She was rather busy, though; yet, never too busy to drop anything to see Nathan.

 

A smile curved her thin, pale pink lips as he whispered his love to her, her head moving up slightly as she’d pressed her lips gently to his own softly before resting her head against his chest again, letting her eyes slip closed as well before whispering, “I love you too, Nathan Browne..”

 

And then those were the last words that she’d spoken before she’d fallen into a deep slumber as well.

 

It was when she woke up the next morning, around three or four in the morning. It had still been dark, but she roused because there was that tingling sensation in her arm, as it had fallen asleep because of the way she’d been sleeping on it. She hadn’t noticed she’d fallen asleep until she’d lifted a hand to her straight, blond tresses, feeling the small pieces of hay that had gathered in some places in her hair. It was when her vibrant emerald gaze had fallen to Nathan did she notice she’d fallen asleep in the loft in his barn, a curse being muttered under her breath. She’d taken a piece of paper from her pocket and a pen from her jacket pocket, writing a few words down before leaving it next to him, scurrying down the ladder and out of the barn, sprinting across to the fence and over that, and into her own yard and towards the back of the house.

 

Luckily her parents hadn’t been waiting up for her; from what she remembered she probably told her mother and father she was staying at Nadine’s for a while, and told them not to wait up for her, because she figured she was probably going to be late, depending on what they were doing that night. Sure, she was full of complete and utter lies. But her parents still wouldn’t keep her from Nathan, ever. Claire had then sneaked up the creaky stairs and into her bedroom, slipping into her pajamas before falling into bed again, drifting off to sleep once more.

 

It was only a couple more hours till she was woken by Bethany, telling her she had her share of chores to do before she was able to go out. Of course, Claire was probably going to give the excuse that she was going to go to Nadine’s. But not yet. She nodded her head at her sister’s words, rubbing her hand over her face before stumbling out of her bed and towards her closet, slipping out of her pajamas, and voila, quickly into different clothes that were probably more suited for doing the chores that were needed to be done. A plain black shirt was worn on her torso, jeans on her lower half, blond hair cascading down her back, her bangs falling to curtain over her emerald gaze, usually obscuring her vision most of the time. There really wasn’t much to do; she just had to wash the dishes after breakfast was done with. She’d completely forgotten about the note until she found her gaze falling out the window, eyes skimming over the land that was next to hers. She’d quickly finished with those dishes, turning to her father and mother who were still seated at the breakfast table.

 

“You think after dinner, maybe I could go over to Nadine’s, stay the night maybe?” She asked, chewing on her lip a bit, before looking to straight to her father, who soon spoke.

 

“Sure, baby. Be back before lunch tomorrow though, alright? I’ll need you and Bethany to help out a lot tomorrow.” Claire merely nodded her head solemnly, moving out of the kitchen and towards the wooden staircase, her feet padding lightly against it before she reached her bedroom, closing her door behind her as she’d moved to her vanity table. It was really only a few seconds after when she heard the door opening, her head turning to see the face of Bethany, her brows furrowed as she looked to the younger sibling. Her feet slapped against the wooden flooring before Claire turned back to the mirror, looking to the freckles that were gently sprinkled across the bridge of her nose.

 

“What do you want, Beth?” She asked almost coldly, keeping her gaze on the face that mirrored hers.

 

“I know who you’re goin’ to see later on, Claire. And it ain’t Nadine.”

 

“What do you think you’re talkin’ about, Beth?” She snapped, turning her head to see her sister again. “I am going to Nadine’s, and even if I wasn’t, it ain’t any of your business in the first place.” She retorted, turning her gaze back to the mirror in front of her once again.

 

“Whatever you say, Claire. But I know you’re going to go see that Nathan boy over there.”

 

“Well, you’re wrong Beth. You know I wouldn’t associate with any of the Browne boys.” She said with a roll of her eyes, hating how she had to say just what she said. She knew she loved Nathan, but she couldn’t let her sister know about this love that was so horridly forbidden by what seemed like everyone that knew about the Browne and the Griffith’s family feud.

 

The older female rolled her eyes, shaking her head. “Alright, whatever you say Claire.” It was then the sound of her sister’s feet leaving the bedroom sounded through her ears, Claire’s emerald gaze slowly drifting to the large window, looking to the tree where she told Nathan to meet her at later on in the day. She gave a sigh of relief as she heard the clicking of the door behind her sister, her hands pushing herself off of the stool and to the window seat, sitting herself on the cushion, eyes once more drifting to that same tree.

 

She surely couldn’t wait till later that day, when she could escape.

 

OoC|| There ya go, Rhey love. <3 =]

 

edit 2/14/06;; Yaay, finally found what Claire would look like, pretty much! A little late, yes. xD

rejecteddounut - 11/25/2005 at 01:35 AM

Nathan paused as his feet reached floor, resting against the ladder some, a boot propped up against a ladder rung as he looked to the ground. One day, one day he would be able to say outloud that he loved Claire, not just in whispers up in the loft or some other quiet place. One day, Nathan Browne would go right up to his family, in the middle of breakfast because they all seemed to gather there and say he had a girlfriend and not listen to his brothers teasing him.

 

“One day.” He said softly, right as the barn door opened, one of his older brothers tilting his head and looking at the younger.

 

“Boy, what do you think you’re doin’? Don’t you know Momma’s lookin’ for you to go and eat breakfast?” All four of the Browne boys had the same untidy hair, different shades of brown, but it was all cut the same way because whenever it got too long their father would sit them down on the back porch and cut to his liking. 'None of this long hair in your eyes like those city folk. You can’t work on a farm with hair like that.’ As the father said.

 

“Oh, just thought I’d get up early.. start my chores so I could get them done quick and relax.” Nathan replied, pushing himself off of the ladder, brushing at the hay that clung to his clothes. “I’ll go eat breakfast though. Thank ya, Michael.”

 

He started to go past the brother that was just a year older than he was, but the other grabbed his arm, not letting him pass. “What girl you take up there all the time?” Michael nodded towards the loft, causing Nathan to give him a crazy look. “C’mon, don’t play stupid. You got hay all over ya. I know you ain’t that excited about chores to get up b’fore Dad does.”

 

“I just want to get done so I can go to town Michael. I got the hay on me cause you know how it is.. All you have to do is walk in the barn and you’re dirty.” Nathan pulled his arm from his brother’s grasp, shaking his head and going inside to eat breakfast.

 

It was like his brothers to ask him if he was taking girls anywhere. They said they were worried about Nathan, that he couldn’t get a girl because all of them had girlfriends by the time they were fifteen. Hah, what they didn’t know was that the youngest of them all had beaten that. He just couldn’t tell anyone.

 

Nathan went through his daily chores, sighing because it just didn’t go by fast enough. His mind was elsewhere. Right over the fence if you wanted to get specific about it… wondering if Claire got home without questioning.

Dollface - 11/25/2005 at 12:52 PM

All that was going through her mind right now was last night. And all the other nights that were spent in the loft in his barn. She knew they could never get away with sneaking around in her own barn; someone was always in there, doing something. Her fingers fondled with the soft material of the almost translucent curtains that were draped away from the window, her eyes watching the horses they owned trot in their little area, her eyes once more wandering towards the property on the other side of the fence. That fence that was such little of a barrier, yet at the same time, divided families, making them go against each other.

 

She too longed for the day that she would be able to put the family's differences aside so that she could also be the one to just shut them up during dinner or some other family meal, saying that nothing could keep her from speaking or meeting with Nathan. Really, nothing could. Not her family, or that fence, not the silly feud that was being carried on for what was probably no apparent reason whatsoever. Thoughts interrupted, feet sounding outside of the door, the sound of another sibling's knuckles rapping against the wood door.

 

"Come in," Claire murmured, eyes moving to the door as Brittney walked in. Brittney wasn't as bad as Bethany; Bethany was the bigger snoop, the bigger snitch of the two of them. Brittney was usually the more understanding of the two, but still, Claire didn't dare tell her, no matter how understanding she was towards anything. "What do you want?" Claire asked, raising her brows, brushing strands of hair away from her face.

 

"Papa says he needs you to go into the stables and feed the new foal and his momma." The older sibling said, sitting down on the younger girl's bed and looking to her. Claire merely shrugged, moving off of the window seat and towards her dresser, slipping her sneakers onto her feet and taking a hair band, loosely tying her blond tresses in a pony tail to rest along her back. The older sibling still looked to the girl who finished tying the strands of hair away from her face, her eyebrows rising. "Is everything alright, Claire?"

 

No, everything wasn't alright. "Yeah, of course. Just not feelin' too well, that's all." She stated, turning and moving towards the door and letting herself out, running quickly down the stairs again and out the back door, and towards the shed to gather what she needed before moving towards the stables. It was only at least half of the day till she was able to see him again.

 

A half of a day that had seemed to drag on, and on. She hadn't gathered anything, because of course, she wasn't going to Nadine's. Usually when she did this she'd just tell her parents Nadine had stuff over at the house that she could borrow to sleep in. Which she did a lot of the times when she would go over to the house. After dinner, as the sun began to fall behind the hills, she tugged the hair band out of her hair, letting the blond tresses cascade over her shoulders to rest above her shoulder blades, her feet carrying her across the vast amount of land before hopping over that fence that divided the two sets of land.

 

Of course she made sure nobody was around before she quietly made her way towards the tree that thankfully wasn't too far from where she was. She didn't need to get caught sneaking onto the Browne's property.

rejecteddounut - 11/25/2005 at 02:11 PM

The Browne boys were like steps, one right after the other. The most distance between their ages was the first, Gregory, was two and a half years older than the next. The father in the family liked to brag how he had four sons to help with work on the ranch while the Griffiths just had three girls. Nathan’s father was always like that, talking about how the family with land next to theirs was lower than them. Often Nathan would hurry and finish dinner, asking to be excused, usually to go and meet up with Claire somewhere.

 

His father had came up while Nathan was mending a part of the fence, looking over the Griffith land and tut-tutting about this and that until the younger Browne asked if one of his brothers could help cause there were a few other places that needed to be fixed. With a nod, his father headed off only to have Michael come up again. It was Michael who gave Nathan the most trouble about having a girlfriend, causing his ears to redden with frustration and anger.

 

“You know, Ameila’s little sister has been makin’ eyes at you Nathan. Why don’t you come to the movies with us tomorrow night and you can sit with her.” The other said as Nathan shook his head.

 

“No, dammit Michael, leave me be. I don’t want no girlfriend right now, focusing on gettin’ through school is good enough for me.” He replied as he picked up a hammer out of the grass to put a nail through a board.

 

“You ain’t gay, are ya?” Michael asked just as Nathan swung the hammer, hitting one of his fingers instead of the nail, his curses rolling down the hills.

 

That’s what was brought up sometimes, if he was a little funny. Nathan couldn’t ever decide which one would upset his family more, if there was the possibility that he was gay or that he had a girlfriend, it was just Clair Griffith. He ignored his brother the rest of the day, not saying a word toward the other.

 

Finally, finally he was able to escape his family with talk of going into town or even visting some of the teenagers around here that got along with the Browne’s. But he headed off in another direction, making his way toward the tree that was close to Clair’s side of the fence. Seeing her in the moonlight, he made a big circle, coming up behind her and putting his arms around her waist, swinging her around some before setting her down. “Hey darlin’.”

Dollface - 11/25/2005 at 02:51 PM

Claire’s father would sometimes go into a large ramble about how he wished he had a son to help around with the work on the Griffith’s ranch. But with the way Claire worked harder than the other two in the family, she made up for not having a boy around. Of course, nobody else had a clue that she did a lot of the dirty work around the ranch, because Beth and Brittney were always afraid about getting their nails chipped, or their hair would frizz from the dry weather. Claire knew that wasn’t true; they just said that so their baby sister could get to the work while they went into the city to pick up on some of those boys.

 

Claire never found any of them attractive, really.

 

Just as Nathan’s brother gave him trouble about not having a girlfriend, Claire’s sister, Beth, gave the younger one trouble about not having a boyfriend yet. She was already past the age that the Griffith girls were allowed to date, but she’d had a boyfriend long before that. But none of them knew that, now did they? Of course they didn’t know that. But luckily, Beth hadn’t been able to get to Claire today, because while feeding the horses she swore she heard the two’s car backing out of the driveway and down the road, probably heading into the city.

 

That was like them, really. Ever since Clair was younger, and the older siblings were allowed to drive, they gave their father the false excuse that they had to go into town to get some hay or something or other, and they would leave Claire to do most of the dirty work. Like feeding the animals in the barn, or the horses - even though, that was probably her favorite job around the ranch. But she was never one to complain about this. Really, she was never one to complain about anything. Though, if she wanted, she would complain about the stupid feud between her family and the Browne’s.

 

She probably hadn’t been standing where she was too long in the peaceful silence that rang throughout the area when she heard someone rounding the tree and walking behind her. She hadn’t had time to snap her head back to look at who it was when she felt arms around her waist, though she knew exactly who it was. Immediately a smile curved her lips, her arms snaking around his neck as she was lifted from the ground, only to be set back down again.

 

“Well, hey to you, too.” She muttered, standing up on her toes some as she pressed her lips to his before breaking away. “How you been?” She asked, her brows rising as she looked up to him again through the hair that still curtained over her green orbs.

rejecteddounut - 11/25/2005 at 04:51 PM

Nathan had heard Claire speak of how her sisters were often. They weren’t as bad as his family put them off to be, but they were awfully lazy. The Browne boys hardly ever got out of work with excuses and tricks. Their dad would find out and put them on a tougher job than they were complaining about. Nathan had told Claire to just not do a day’s work, fake sick and see what her sisters did then. Once in a blue moon, he would do something like that. If he and Claire had stayed up late into the night talking with each other, he would just pretend he wasn’t feeling well and not have to get up.

 

He smiled, kissing her lightly in return. He tilted his head, pushing back some of her hair so he could see her more clearly. “I’m fine. Michael and me were working on the fence today and I nearly smashed my finger to pieces with the hammer.. but nothing got dropped on me.” It seemed like whenever he worked with the next to youngest brother, he got hurt. Last time they had been moving hay and a bale fell on top of him. Another time a horse stepped on his foot. He pretty much liked to team up with another brother to keep from getting injured.

 

“What about you?” He asked her, tilting his head and lifting an eyebrow. “Your sisters giving you any trouble about coming home late?” If anyone didn’t know any better, they would think that there were no problems with their families--that the Brownes and Griffiths got along and approved of their children’s relationship. Too bad that it was far from that fact. Nathan would give anything to be able to meet with his girlfriend in town, let her sit down and have dinner with his family like his brothers’ dates.

 

Dollface - 11/25/2005 at 05:13 PM

Claire had actually done that once, when she fell ill. She told her father she was too sick, when she really was, and Beth and Brittney were left to do all of their chores, plus all the dirty stuff Claire did every day. It was actually quite amusing; seeing them walk in all dirtied up with their hair messy, dirt under their fingernails, pouts set on their lips as they scowled at Claire who lay horizontal on the couch, watching the television in all her bliss. It had gone like that for a couple of days, when she was still sick, but of course, after that, she didn’t try that sick thing anymore and just got used to having to do most of the work around the ranch, along with her father.

 

She scrunched her nose a bit as he brushed away the hair from her eyes, the thin strands tickling the bridge of her nose, her hands curling a bit tighter around the back of his neck. At his words, she figured that his brother had been bugging him about ‘not having a girlfriend’. She knew it had to be annoying, especially while working. She had to deal with it when her sister would be bothering her when Claire would handling one of the big bags of feed for the horses, and one time almost spilt it everywhere when she’d gotten distracted by Beth. Now the older girl knew not to bother her while working. Nothing major happened to her; only once had she gotten bucked off one of the horses, luckily not much damage was done.

 

“He buggin’ you ‘bout not havin’ a girlfriend, again?” She asked, tilting her head to the side a bit, looking upwards towards him as she shook her head to rid her eyes of the hairs that obscured her vision still. But she shook her head at his question, glancing over the fence and towards her house, the light in the kitchen still on, and the light in Beth’s room on as well. Luckily they hadn’t given her any trouble, because they were all fast asleep in their beds. She always gave them an excuse they would believe. Something that would seem rational. Of course, she never thought that maybe they would call Nadine’s, but knowing her parents, she figured they wouldn’t.

 

But she wouldn’t be surprised if Beth or Brittney would do that dirty trick.

 

“Nope, I didn’t get any trouble, thankfully.” She said, nodding her head, a smile flicking across her lips once she looked back towards him. “I told ‘em I was stayin’ the night with Nadine, just like I did just before I came over here,” Claire added on, the smile on her lips only widening a bit. All throughout her work that day it was all she could think about. She would find herself lost in her world, gazing at the tree that seemed like it was in the middle of the two properties, but knew very well it was on the Browne’s. Maybe that was what caused the stupid feud, she didn’t know. Still, she wished they would get over it. For her and Nathan’s sake.

rejecteddounut - 11/25/2005 at 06:12 PM

It was hard for him to concentrate when his brothers were pestering him about getting a girlfriend. He told them time and time again to leave him alone, that when he wanted one, he would let them know. But he already had a girl that he loved and when they talked about her, Nathan would have to say that he had something else he had to go work on before it got too late. It was hard to hold it in sometimes, to tell his brothers to shut up about the Griffith girls, Claire especially. It was hard to have to keep quite about her when everyone else in school got to talk about their significant other.

 

He nodded at her question, letting out a puff of air before giving her a kiss on the cheek. “Yeah, but I told him to be quiet ‘bout that. He’s tryin’ to get me to go see a movie with some girl’s sister. I told him no, then next thing I know, I got pain shootin’ up my hand.” The young man gave his head a shake, moving on to a different topic. One not focused around their families. “What do you want to do tonight, Claire? We’ve got ‘til sun-up.”

 

Nathan never worried about his brothers snooping around in his stuff. They seemed to only be focused only on one thing with their youngest sibling--getting him a girlfriend. If they would just leave that alone, he would be just dandy. “Oh, here.. You forgot this when you left yesterday.” He said, dropping his hands from around her and reaching behind him where he had tucked the book with Romeo and Juliet in it. “It’s more yours than mine. My brothers find it, they might ask why it smells like a girl.” He smiled lightly.

Dollface - 11/25/2005 at 06:30 PM

Usually at meal time - breakfast or lunch, dinner, any of the three - her father always managed to bad mouth the Browne family. For anything, really. Mostly it was just his bitter hostility towards the other family, or saying how when he was around town he saw the older boys being all ‘goofy-like’, as her father would say, with some other girls that lived around the area. Yet, she never spoke up. She bit her tongue, keeping herself quiet. If she spoke up for the other family, then she knew the others would think that something was going on with her and one of those boys.

 

She let her eyes close gently as he leant down to kiss her cheek, and then listened to him as he spoke. She shook her head gently, laughing a bit at his words. “Oh, he just won’t give up, will he? Just like Beth. Always buggin’ me why I don’t got a boyfriend yet.” Oh, if she knew. If only she knew the truth all that badgering would stop. But of course, there was no way the elder sibling was going to find out. “Well, now ya know for next time: don’t be hammering while you’re brother’s buggin’ you.” She said with another faint laugh, though now realizing that the shake of his head meant that he didn’t want to stay on the topic of their families any longer.

 

With a shrug of her shoulders she sighed faintly, chewing on her lip a bit. What was there really to do? If anyone saw them together, then it would be trouble. It almost seemed like every single person knew about the Browne and Griffith’s hostility towards each other. So if anyone saw the Browne’s boy with the Griffith’s girl, she figured that it wouldn’t be good at all. “I’unno, it doesn’t really matter to me.” She stated, chewing on her lip a bit, her gaze once more wandering away from him for a moment.

 

That is, until he started speaking again, her eyes slowly drifting towards him, looking down to his hands. Her emerald gaze then fell upon the tiny booklet in his hands, a small smile flicking across her lips. She dropped her hands from his neck, taking the book into one of her hands. She knew she’d forgotten something when she scurried out of the barn earlier that morning, but hadn’t quite realized what it was. “Thank you.” She said softly, a hand reaching up to rest along the back of his neck again, her lips seeking his once more.

rejecteddounut - 11/25/2005 at 08:33 PM

He smiled as she told him not to be hammering while his brother was bothering him. That made a heck of a lot of sense, but when he was trying to ignore his siblings, he focused on other things. At that time, he had been thinking of how Claire’s accent sounded so funny when she read Juliet’s lines in the play. Of course, he probably sounded worse than her, his words coming out more muttered and country than hers.

 

Hearing her sigh, he rested his forehead against hers, knowing her thoughts. “One day we’ll go into town, you an’ me, and not worry ‘bout anyone sayin’ anything to our Mom an’ Dad.” It was the promise he told her often. That they wouldn’t have to worry about what their parents thought, what anyone thought. But for now, they would just have to meet in secret, beneath trees after the sun went down and in hay lofts.

 

“Welcome darlin’.” He replied as she thanked him for the book. He had given it to her one Christmas, having found it for sale at the town library because they had newer copies of the works. A small smile tugged at his lips as he kissed her gently.

 

Dollface - 11/26/2005 at 01:39 AM

She knew for a fact it did sound rather odd when she tried to speak like they did when Shakespeare had first written the play Romeo and Juliet. It was that country accent that made the words sound funny, and she knew that for a fact. But she still loved the play nonetheless; still loved reading it every now and then while laying in bed, bored half to death while unable to fall asleep as thoughts drifted through her mind. She actually did have to admit that it sounded funny when Nathan would read the parts of Romeo in the play, but still, she loved it. The nights that she spent with Nathan in the loft of the barn were the ones that stuck out in her mind, as those were the things that kept her going through the day. It pretty much made her take her mind off of the fact that she was stuck with all the work, while her sisters were out and about.

 

She closed her eyes gently as he'd rested her forehead against her own, another small sigh passing her thin lips. She wished that the day would come soon; the day when she wouldn't have to worry about sneaking out of the house, the day she wouldn't have to tell her parents she was going to Nadine's, but that she was really going to see Nathan next door. But would that day ever come? Sometimes Claire wasn't so sure that it would ever come. "I hope so, Nathan. I really hope so..." She murmured gently, pulling her head away from his, eyes glancing back upwards to him once more.

 

But, right now she wanted to rid her mind of that. Was that really the important thing right now? Not in her mind. She was with him, and she felt that they didn't need to waste anymore time, even if they did have till sun up, when she was probably going to be expected home, and when - she figured - he would be expected for breakfast and then chores. Surely that kiss had pulled the thought from her head as her other hand tucked the small book into her back pants pocket, a small smile forming across her lips. Her hand that rested on his neck fell to rest on his shoulder, lips breaking away from his own, though only lingering centimeters away.

 

"What should we do then, hm? There might be somethin' better than sittin' around here doin' nothing probably." She said with a faint laugh emerging from her lips again.

 

rejecteddounut - 11/26/2005 at 04:40 PM

If Nathan’s brothers ever caught wind that he knew Shakespeare, whether it be for a girl’s sake or not, they would call him a sissy. It would be another thing for them to tease him about. Being the youngest of four boys always had its downfalls. Being the brunt of all of the jokes was just one of them. He rolled them off with a shake of his head, keeping on his business of whatever task was at hand. The only time he ever slightly revolted against his older siblings words was when they had something to say about his public lack of a girlfriend.

 

There was always that worry, that small bit of doubt that his promise to her of being able to tell the truth of where they were going after chores were done. Nathan thought about it the days that they didn’t meet after the sun set. While he was lying in his bed, tired after a hard day’s work, and stared up at the ceiling, he wondered how the two families would react if they found out that their children had a relationship. A relationship that had its starts in elementary school.

 

He gave her a smile as she pulled away, him still feeling her lips even though they weren’t truly touching his. “Let’s go for a little walk.” His eyes trailed away from her toward the few lights on in her house. She had said that she was able to see the tree from her home, he didn’t like to stay there that long, just in case someone decided to come outside. All those years of sneaking around would be blown. Though, they have been lucky considering that it had been a decade since Nathan had shared his school book with her. He always knocked on wood for luck to keep that record going whenever he thought about it. “How ‘bout that ‘til I maybe can come up with somethin’ better.”

 

Dollface - 11/26/2005 at 06:24 PM

Claire was never teased much by her older sisters. However, when they would have their older friends over, sometimes the two would joke about how their baby sister was a ‘tomboy’. They were always saying something such as, “Little Claire’s always too busy doin’ work rather than out on the town with a boyfriend or somethin’.” But she’d just let it slide, going back to whatever she was doing before being nagged by her sisters. Usually it was then the older siblings would leave her alone again, because the teasing really didn’t faze Claire. It took more than that to set Claire off, and even then it was very rare to see someone like her get angry over something.

 

A walk sounded like a good idea to her; it was better than lingering near the tree, where it was able to be seen from a few of the windows of the house. From her window and Beth’s, and from the window above the sink as well. She nodded her head at his words, her eyes drifting towards the house as well, watching as the kitchen light flickered off. She figured her father and mother must’ve decided to head up to bed now, because the house now seemed to be dark as Beth’s light had turned off as well. Usually that meant she was sleeping, or maybe sneaking out of the house. Claire just didn’t know anymore.

 

“Well, even if ya can’t think of anythin’ else, just takin’ a walk sounds fine to me,” she said with a gentle smile on her lips again as her gaze had found its way back towards him. Luckily it was still silent, meaning that Beth hadn’t decided to sneak out. Because if she had, she could’ve possibly seen the younger sibling on the other side of the fence. It hadn’t happened yet, but Claire always feared that maybe that day would come.

rejecteddounut - 11/26/2005 at 09:33 PM

Beth, that was the sister who always gave her trouble. Well, the one who tried to pry more into Claire’s life from what Nathan had heard from her words. She was high on his list to avoid whenever the families happened to cross paths. Which they did occasionally, they did live next to each other and the town where the children went to school was small. There was something about that sister of Claire’s that had the young man wary, like maybe she suspected the truth. Who knew what she would do if she figured out what was going on.

 

“‘Course, I might never come up with somethin’ to do. Ya know me Claire, it takes me just ‘bout forever to have somethin’ to say. Just slow on everything ‘cept for farm work.” He gave her a smile, glancing once more toward her now dark home until he started walking in the opposite direction, sliding her hand in his. “Kinda cold tonight, felt good this mornin’ while I was workin’ though.” He could hold a conversation about something rather than just his family and things around the ranch. He and Claire talked about tons of things, things that he could never bring up around his brothers. They were focused only on the ranch and girls.

 

Nathan opened his mouth to say something else, but he tilted his head to the side, a familiar sound reaching him. A horse trotting through the field, but at night all of the horses were put in the second barn. He looked to Claire, his brow furrowed. “C’mon darlin’. I gotta hide you.”

Dollface - 11/26/2005 at 09:49 PM

Claire knew exactly what her sister would do, knew exactly what her sister would say. If she told their father first without telling Claire, then all the glory would be brought to her. Then her father would probably send Claire off somewhere, away from the ranch so she wouldn’t be able to be with Nathan anymore. But if her sister decided to just make Claire’s life miserable, by black mailing her, Claire knew she would just be stuck with even more work than she already took on. Sometimes she had a feeling that Beth knew that Claire was sneaking around. Somehow Claire had a feeling that Beth had caught on years ago. But she couldn’t be too sure; for knowing Bet as well as she did, Beth would’ve already said something.

 

“True, true,” she stated with a faint laugh, glancing up towards him at his words, “‘Sides, we can’t really do anything else ‘round here, or ‘round town or anything.” She said with a faint sigh, though trying to stay away from that topic once more. Claire figured this was going to be one of those nights when neither of them could think of what to do, and they would sit and talk. Either way, it was fine with her. Because really, even that was better than not being able to see him at all. She nodded her head solemnly at his words, eyes glancing up towards the sky, eyes dancing across the stars that wouldn’t be able to be seen past the skyscrapers in the city. “Yeah, but just be happy that it ain’t rainin’ yet, ‘cause then it’s all muddy. ‘Specially ‘round this area.”

 

That’s when having to do all the dirty work really was no fun. It was tough getting the horses back into the stables, rather than leaving them in their little fenced area two of them stayed in, while trying to get them through the mud as the spring rains fell hard. But as she had looked to him, having a feeling he was going to say something, she caught the fact that his mouth had opened, yet he’d tilted his head to the side. The all too familiar sound of the trotting of a horse caught her ears as well, heart pounding against her chest. She knew who it was, and apparently, so did Nathan.

 

She cocked a brow at Nathan, though she nodded her head, turning her head slightly in the direction that the sound was coming from. “Your brother comes out this late with the horse?” She asked quietly, trying to keep her voice hushed in case the other might be able to hear her, for she couldn’t quite tell how far away he actually was.

 

rejecteddounut - 11/26/2005 at 11:22 PM

If her sister did find out, if Claire was sent off, Nathan would be heartbroken. The poor boy would have lost his love, part of his life, his Juliet. The youngest Browne would do his damndest to find her, plead to her parents to bring her back because if Claire was gone, she’d take a half of him with her. The thought had crossed his mind, come into his dreams and taunted him where he was running around trying to find her and everyone was pointing him in a different direction then where she actually was, laughing at him because he was going around in a huge circle. A time or two he had woken up in a cold sweat because of those nightmares.

 

Nathan wrinkled his nose lightly at the mention of anything to do, having already strayed from that topic once. Yet his eyes rose to the heavens as hers did, nodding a bit at the mention of rain. Rain was a ranch hand’s enemy, but at the same time it was a thing to pray about. During the spring, they cursed the rain and the muck that it brought along with it. It made work that much harder because they had to prepare for it, they had to keep the fields from flooding, the animals from getting ill from so much rain. During the summer, it was begged for. The hot atmosphere with the humidity so thick that it made it hard to breath had those who worked on farms as close to water as humanly possible.

 

All thoughts of weather and everything that came before it were forgotten when he heard the sound of the horse. Only one person would be out this time of night on a horse. “Michael and his damn horse.” Nathan cursed his brother and his ways. Michael raced that horse against the other boys around these parts. Their mother didn’t agree to such a thing, forcing the animal to be pushed past its limits because Michael never took the time to try and train it, to even warm it up. Sometimes, Nathan’s brother was an idiot. He bit down on his bottom lip, trying to find somewhere to hide Claire, his eyes flickered to and fro before settling on the tree just a few feet away. “Baby, ya think you can climb up that tree fast?”

 


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Dollface - 11/27/2005 at 12:03 AM

Never once had she really had dreams about being sent away, because really she hated the thought with a passion. It was a fear more than anything; being sent away from the ranch, having to live with her aunt and uncle in the city. That was her father’s punishment for any of the girls who might talk to one of the Browne boys, or go against one of their parent’s wishes. Yet, not even those punishments that frightened her could keep her from sneaking out of the house past dark to meet up with Nathan in the loft or near the tree that seemed to almost separate the houses just the same as that old fence did.

 

But now, everything was erased from her mind. Right now all she was worried about was getting caught on Nathan’s property. She didn’t even want to know what his brother would do if he found Claire with Nathan. She couldn’t even begin to think what might happen to either one of them. She heard Nathan’s curse, but still, the sound of the horse overtook her mind, all thoughts being swept away to the crevices of her mind where they would be forgotten, left to ponder another time when she wasn’t worried about being found. Just as his eyes had wandered towards the tree that was still close.

 

The thought of climbing up the tree to hide passed through her mind just as he spoke of it. She nodded her head quickly at his words, slipping her hand from his owns not too reluctantly as she glanced back to him. Oh, she knew she could get up that tree and fast. She’d mastered that art since she was younger, when she’d go up to the trees on their land and just sit after done with whatever work her father needed her to do. She still had a slight fear that it might not work, if she made a bit of a sound. Yet, there was a more confident pat of her that rested, knowing that she could get up there without a sound. “‘Course I can,” she answered, her voice still low as she spoke to him, eyes darting to the tree again.

rejecteddounut - 11/27/2005 at 01:28 AM

Michael was the one brother that Nathan could never figure out. The two older ones were pretty much predictable in the ways that they teased their youngest sibling, the way they said things about different topics. Sometimes Nathan could guess their words before they even spoke them aloud and could be pretty close to the mark. Michael was unpredictable and that scared Nathan, especially now.

 

He gave a nod toward Claire, one ear tuned into the sound of hooves on grass, the other to Claire as she climbed up the tree. Now, she was hidden.. what to do with himself? He looked to his boots, like they would have the answer. Like he could tap them three times and say something about how there was no place like home and it would be okay. Even though he would rather be somewhere with Claire other than home where his family didn’t want to mention her last name without a bitter tone in their voice.

 

Ah, too late to think about it too much. There was the horse, not a specific breed. It was just some sort of mix. No need for purebred papers for Michael’s horses when he treated them all the same. The horse nickered as it saw Nathan and then it stopped. “Nathan? What the hell ya doin’ out here?”

 

The younger brother faked a look of surprise to see the other, walking over and petting the horse. “I could say the same ‘bout you, ya know. Makin’ your horse race. Momma n’ Pop will be pissed. Look at him, he’s sweatin’ Michael.” Nathan pushed the reason why he was so close to the Griffith’s land away, talking about the horse’s condition instead and hoping that Claire would keep quiet in the tree.

 

“Shuddup ‘bout my horse. You say a word to Momma an’ Dad an’ you’ll be real upset when I tell them a secret of yours.” Nathan’s eyes widened at his brother’s words, swallowing as he lifted his head to look up at him. “I know you’re sleepin’ up in the loft sometimes. I just can’t ever catch ya until the next day. Dunno what girl you’re talkin’ up there, if it’s even a girl..” At this Nathan’s features hardened, frowning but his brother kept talking. “But if Momma knew what her littlest boy was doin’, she’d be upset. Prolly keep you under her eye for awhile..”

 

Dollface - 11/27/2005 at 01:12 PM

Claire had darted pretty quickly, and quietly, away from Nathan and towards the tree that wasn’t too far, her hands quickly taking hold of the scratchy bark as foot by foot, hand by hand she reached one of the sturdier branches, perching herself on that. She made sure not to keep her feet hanging down, because then she would be sure that Michael would’ve seen her. She did keep quiet, her hands taking hold of smaller branches, trying not to make the leaves make any noise, though her eyes were able to peek through parts. And as it was quiet, she was able to hear the conversation between the two males.

 

Now she couldn’t help but think, maybe she should’ve waited a bit longer, and she wouldn’t have to be stuck up in the tree. Though, it wasn’t like it was completely uncomfortable, as she was rather small, only the height of 5”5’ or so. So far, the conversation was really nothing to worry about. Right now all she was worried about was making noise, giving off the fact that someone was hiding in the tree, that someone being her, one of the Griffith’s girls. But it was then, when Michael spoke of how he knew of Nathan’s secret, she swore she almost gasped, but took a hand to cover it over her mouth, just to keep herself quiet.

 

Had she left something there once, and he hadn’t returned it, which only made Michael find it? Had she - at one time - been possibly caught sneaking back over the fence to her land from the barn? These thoughts were playing through her head right now, though they calmed down when Michael said that he hadn’t figured out who it was, or if it wasn’t even a girl. “It’s me, ya dumbass,” she whispered quietly to herself, rolling her eyes gently.

 

She made sure not to speak to loud, or that would cause a commotion, or maybe someone would hear. But after that, she didn’t speak, still listening to the quiet conversation between the others, eyes making sure that she wasn’t being noticed in the large tree.

rejecteddounut - 11/27/2005 at 05:38 PM

Nathan had felt his heart jump up into his throat when his brother had said something about a secret. Thoughts raced through his head quickly of how in the world did the other find out? Was he just saving that to hold over his head? Michael could probably come up with all sorts of things to make Nathan do to keep Claire a secret from their parents, and Nathan would do them. He would do whatever it took so there wasn't the chance that.

 

It seemed they heard Claire's gasp. Nathan looked to the horse whose ears pricked toward the tree but thankfully, Michael kept talking. "I ain't gay so stop sayin' it Michael b'fore I drag you off yer horse and knock the fire out of ya." And it wouldn't be the first time the two brothers got into fist fights. Michael just rubbed him the wrong way until he just couldn't take it anymore. Not that Nathan was a violent person that was usually the only way to get the other to shut up. "And I ain't been takin' nobody in the loft to do nothin". I go up there to think in the mornin's b'fore all the chores have to get done." He said with a scowl on his face, giving to horse one last pat before stepping away.

 

"You're lyin' through your teeth, Nathan. One a' these days I'm gonna figure out what you're doin' and I am gonna tell Mom 'n Dad b--.." The older boy stopped in the middle of a sentence and looked to his brother. "What're you doin' so close to the Griffith's land?"

 

Damn, Michael was slow but he never forgot about something. "It ain't none of your damn business but I'm tryin' to figure out how they get done with work so quick. They gotta be skippin' out on something..." Nathan trailed off, already seeing Michael's expression. "It's easier of just one of us goes on their land.. What you say you go and I'll sit on th' horse an' be look out?"

Dollface - 11/27/2005 at 07:49 PM

As small as she was, the position she was crouched in on the branch was rather uncomfortable. Her feet were sturdily set on the bigger branch, two already scratched up hands holding onto smaller branches, while trying to make sure that the older of the two didn’t see her. She wanted to shift so badly, but oh, that would cause a commotion on the branch, which could probably cause her to lose her balance, which would then cause her to topple to the ground, and then it would be revealed that she’d been hiding in the tree. But she bit at her lip, still watching the two converse from where she was perched on the branch.

 

Claire just wished that the older brother would go away, and leave Nathan be. She wondered why he had to be so nosey, just like Beth. They’d been a perfect couple, always getting into other peoples business. A few times she’d almost mentioned that to Beth, but then the older one would’ve wondered where she’d heard such a thing, and from who, and how would she know, and then the questions would never fail to end. But Claire almost laughed as Nathan had mentioned that he wasn’t gay, though she refrained from doing so, only letting a smile curve her lips. “’Course he ain’t gay, stupid.... She whispered to herself again, shaking her head some.

 

Yet, as the elder brother asked what Nathan was doing near her land, her eyes widened again. Her heart thudded against her chest, and for a moment she thought they’d actually been caught, that Michael had put the pieces together. But no, Claire knew he was slow with things like that, and she figured that he hadn’ t really figured it out that Nathan and she were together. “He’s havin’ a tea party, stupid, what do ya think?” She muttered to herself once again, slight irritation showing in her voice. “Now just stop with all the questions and leave, “she added on, her voice still lower than a mumble.

 

“Course, she was only speaking to herself. Though, these were things she wished she could tell to Michael straight forward. But she couldn’t. She shook her head at Nathan’s lie to his brother, knowing that would convince him. She knew Michael and the elder boys liked to sneak onto the land at times to pick and poke at things that they could tell their father about, so he could rag on her family more. She just hoped that Nathan wouldn’t go onto the land, like his brother had suggested to him.

rejecteddounut - 11/28/2005 at 09:43 PM

Nathan shook his head, the thought of Claire up in the tree off in the side of his mind. She had climbed up there so fast that he was sure she wasn't comfortable. Soon she would get tired and want to move. Michael was just here talking and the younger Browne shook his head at the others suggestion. "You're quieter than I am. I say you go over there. I'll be the lookout. Ya know I would trip over m'feet. They'd catch me." He attempted to get his brother to climb over that fence, to leave him with the horse where he could get Claire and leave Michael to get caught.

 

The older one gave a look around at the land across the fence, his eyes flowing all the way down to the tree and back to Nathan. "All righ' Ya just stay righ' here and I'll go pick at their stuff." The brother slid off the horse as Nathan hopped up, muttering a few words to the creature and patting it. He was much better with the animals than Michael. Michael used them, hurt them without even apologizing. That's why their father never let him break the horses in.

 

"Michael, go check that barn that's over yonder. Maybe they got somethin' in there that they hide." Nathan said, watching his sibling climb over the fence. That damn fence that separated the families by more than just wood. Nathan waited until the other got far away before leading the horse beneath the tree and looked up in the branches. "Hey Darlin', hop down."

Dollface - 11/28/2005 at 10:00 PM

Her foot had almost slipped from the branch a bit, rattling the leaves some, but not too much to make it seem like there was a person in the branch, but more like a bird was situating in it, getting ready to flutter out into the night sky. She’d muttered a curse under her breath, quiet, inaudible as she regained her balance again, still trying to listen to the two’s conversation. Claire had a feeling that Nathan was going to suggest to Michael that he should go over to the Griffith’s land to see if there was anything they used to get work done so quickly. Yeah, they had something. More of a someone rather than a something; a someone whose name was Claire.

 

Claire only prayed right now her father might be making the rounds around the land, just to make sure everything was in place, that all the animals would be where they were, so that when Michael snuck over he would get caught. The mere thought sent an inaudible laugh slipping from her lips, her head shaking a bit. Good, Michael’s going over, she mused to herself, watching as the older of the two siblings had gotten off the horse, then watching as Nathan had taken the place. She heard Nathan’s faint words as she shook her head a bit again, then looking to the barn on her side of the land that was rather far off.

 

The female watched intently as Michael had gotten far on her land, then letting her feet fall from the branch as she was now in a sitting position. She could hear the trotting of the horse, so she figured by now that Michael had gone far enough so she could at least drop her legs down so she was in a bit of a more comfortable position. She rubbed the palms of her hands that were scratched up from the bark of the tree onto the fabric of her jeans, a smile forming across her lips as Nathan and the horse had neared the tree. She nodded her head at his words, dropping one arm as she rested it on his shoulder, then swinging one leg off of the tree and over the side of the horse, and then did the same thing again as she now seated herself behind Nathan.

 

“That brother of yours is pretty slow to realize there ain‘t nothin’ we got to speed up our work but me,” she commented with a faint laugh, arms curling his waist, resting her chin on his shoulder.

rejecteddounut - 11/29/2005 at 06:49 PM

Nathan watched her slide from the tree and onto the horse, smiling lightly as she wrapped around her arms around him. Glancing toward the direction that his brother headed off in, shaking his head before turning the horse and heading away from Michael. “My brother ain’t got no sense in his head. But I say that’s a good thing ‘cause any other way he would have figured out that it was you up in that tree.” He rested one hand over one of hers as he let the horse wonder on its own, just letting his eyes go over across the fence to keep track of where his brother was.

 

“Sorry Michael had to come along n’ ruin everythin’ tonight. Maybe next time it’ll be better.” A smile made its way across his features, laughing lightly. “Your daddy still goes and checks up on everythin’ right? Hope my brother gets caught. I’ve heard your Pop yell, all the way ‘cross the fence. Hate to have him catch me on his land.” He trailed off after that, not adding on ‘or with his daughter’ like he was going to. Nathan was trying to stay away from that topic tonight, but it kept coming up, with her having to hide in the tree and everything else.

 

“Darlin’, when we turn eighteen, we’ll be grown. Then I won’t care what my parents think, or yours. Then, I’ll tell ‘em that you’re my girlfriend. That you had been for years and they can write me out the will or whatever they want to do, but I won’t care.” He said, glancing over his shoulder to look back at her.

Dollface - 11/29/2005 at 07:07 PM

Claire laughed faintly, shaking her head at his words. “If he had any sense, he would’a noticed I accidentally had shaken the branches. Though, if he did he probably just thought it was some sort of bird or somethin’ or other.” She stated with another light laugh, glancing back to see the almost disappearing form of Michael moving towards her barn. Hm, Papa should catch him any moment, now, she thought to herself quietly before returning her head to look forward again, before averting her gaze upwards towards the night sky for a moment, eyes dancing across the twinkling stars. There were nights when she would do something she hardly ever did - the superstition of wishing upon a star to make everything good, to get what she wished for.

 

So far, it hadn’t quite worked.

 

“Don’t be apologizin’ for him. He’s the one who really shouldn’t be racin’ those horses so late in the night,” she stated, chewing on her lip some as she shrugged her shoulders a bit. She laughed faintly at his words, nodding her head in response. “Yeah, Michael should be gettin’ caught any moment now if Papa’s already started the rounds an’ such,” she paused, biting at her lip for a moment. When he said that he wouldn’t want to be caught on his land, her mind had drifted back to the years ago when she remembered watching as Nathan and his brothers had snuck over to let the animals loose. Her dad had never found out who did it, but she knew, never would’ve told either.

 

Claire couldn’t wait till the day that they both turned eighteen, couldn’t wait when she would actually be an adult and would be able to not have to depend on her mother and father, having to worry about their approval. Then she would finally be able to tell them about her relationship with Nathan without a care. Then she wouldn’t have to worry about sneaking around anymore. If they didn’t do anything about it, that is. “And then there won’t be no more of this sneakin’ ‘round,” she said, leaning in, pressing her lips to his cheek.

rejecteddounut - 11/29/2005 at 09:49 PM

If he had any sense... maybe we woulda been found out years ago.” He pondered as he too looked skyward, a habit when he was riding around on a horse. It didn’t even have to be night time. It just seemed like he was closer to the sky so he liked it from that point of view. His father always said that his head was up in the clouds. “But ‘nough ‘bout Micheal.” Right as he said it, he heard a yell coming from across the fence and smiled. It seemed like his brother was caught.

 

Gathering the reins of the horse, he traveled father away from her land, not wanting to run into anyone on accident. “You ‘member.. when we were ‘bout thirteen an’ all your animals got loose?” He asked her, the memory just now coming to him. It wasn’t like Nathan had kept it from her on purpose. It just never crossed his mind whenever she was around him. “That was my brother’s n’ me.. They pushed me into it, didn’ want to, but I went ahead. Only let out your horse ‘cause I knew she wouldn’ run off, make a lot of noise. My brother’s let out the rest.” As he spoke, he let the reins become loose again.

 

“Nope, there won’t be no more sneakin’ ‘round. Won’t be no more of this Browne havin’ to worry ‘bout if the Griffith’s hate him ‘cause I’ll have the best one lovin’ me.” As she kissed his cheek, he picked up one of her hands, pressing his lips to the tips of her fingers.

Dollface - 11/29/2005 at 10:56 PM

That’s true; if Nathan’s brother did have any sense, they would’ve already been found out, Claire probably living in the city with her aunt. But once he started speaking again to get off the subject of Michael, she merely nodded her head, though the sound of her father’s booming voice sounding through her ears. “Get! What you think you doin’ out on my land, boy?! Get home to you’re Mom and Pop!” The words were faint from where they were, but Claire could still nonetheless hear her father yelling at the older Browne sibling. Claire laughed a bit, shaking her head some. Oh, she would love to see the day when her father just gave up on trying shooing one of the Browne boy’s from his land. Maybe that’s why he did his nightly rounds; she never really quite figured it out.

 

As Nathan started speaking again, she nodded her head at his words, quite well remembering that night, only because it had just come to mind again before he started speaking about it. “I know, Nathan,” she spoke finally, after he finished speaking to her. “I watched as you guys had come over the fence and into the yard. Never said anything to Papa or anything though, or anybody else that I knew who did it.” Though, her father had known pretty well in the first place without her having to tell him. “An’ I know you didn’t wanna do it. Even at that age, I knew you’d never wanna do somethin’ like that.”

 

A gentle smile crossed her lips as he finished off with what he was saying, her head moving to rest on his shoulder again, eyes fluttering closed as he’d left kisses against the tips of her fingers, shivers spiraling up her spine. “You betcha,” she said quietly, tongue running across her lips before she spoke again, “An’ I’ll always love you, Nathan. No matter what my momma and papa say, even if this goes on for years, and years.” Though, she really hoped the whole silly thing could be resolved soon.

rejecteddounut - 11/30/2005 at 10:02 PM

Nathan was glad that his brother was an idiot, even if he did get on the younger boy’s nerves more often than not. If they were found out, Claire would be forced to leave her ranch, even if her father would lose his best worker. Nathan would lose worse than what her father did, the poor boy would lose his heart. The voice of her father, which usually brought a bit of fear into him when it was even this faint, actually seemed to brighten up his mood. Once again he grabbed the horse’s reigns, traveling to a different part of the land so his brother wouldn’t come across them as he ran back to their side of the fence.

 

“You knew? This whole time?” He glanced over his shoulder at her. “An’ ya never said anythin’? I woulda thought you might’ve asked me ‘bout it if you knew I was there..” He trailed off, giving a bit of a nod. “Didn’t wanna do it. But my brothers.. they got to me.”

 

Clair calmed him with her touches. Just her head against his shoulder had Nathan thinking of better things than his siblings and their teasing. But at the same time, her touches were like a mixture of ice and fire. They had him shivering, but his skin would be so hot. Man, he loved her. “I’ll always love you Claire ‘til the day I die. But I hope this don’t go on for years and years. Just ‘til we turn eighteen, then it’ll be all over an’ done with. You n’ me’ll be done with havin’ to fake hatin’ each other. That’ll be the day, huh?” He smiled again, resting his fingers against hers.

Dollface - 12/1/2005 at 12:37 PM

Losing his best worker was not the worse that could happen to her father - in her father’s eyes, if Claire talked to one of the Browne boys, which was worse than him having to lose her so she could live with his sister, away from the ranch. But so far, for so many years, they hadn’t been caught. So it wasn’t very often she worried about getting caught, since for so long they’d gone on without getting caught. It was only times when her sister Beth got to her, saying that she knew where her baby sister was going. Or sometimes those days when her father sometimes acted suspicious around her, wanting to know what she would be doing during the day when some chores had gone unattended to by accident. Those were the days when she feared they’d been found out.

 

Claire nodded her head at his words again, chewing on her lip some. Maybe she should’ve said something when it first happened, but she didn’t, only because she didn’t want to seem like she’d been spying on them in the first place, when she really wasn’t. “Nope, never said anythin’ ‘bout it. What was there to say ‘bout it, really?” She said, shrugging her shoulders gently.

 

She too smiled at his words, shivers once more crawling up her spine as his fingers rested against hers. Sometimes, when she would give into her sisters’ pleas of going out with one of the other boys from around town, when they would take her hand, there were no shivers. There was no affect on her like when Nathan took her hand, or when he kissed her. “Sure will be the day,” she said, a light laugh emerging from her lips. “An’ I sure hope that day’s comin’ soon, ‘cause I can’t stand listening how momma and papa bad mouth you and your family.”

rejecteddounut - 12/1/2005 at 10:10 PM

Claire and Nathan were lucky. They had been friends for ten years, a couple for three and they hadn’t gotten caught yet. True, there were a few close shaves, like once when another one of Nathan’s brothers, David, the second oldest, had come into the equipment barn while they were up in the loft. It turned out that David was just sleepwalking, which was a good thing because Nathan had his lips pressed against hers. That would have been quite a thing to try and get out of. It had scared the bejeezus out of Nathan though.

 

“I guess there really ain’t nothin’ to say ‘bout it. You see us from your winda seat then?” He had heard a lot about that seat. How she would look out of it as the day would go by. “But anyways, It’s only a coupla months ‘til I turn eighteen so ya won’t have to wait all that long.” He smiled lightly, letting a puff of air escape him and turning his head as he heard his brother huffing as he climbed over the fence.

 

“What you say that we let this horse loose and watch my brother chase after ‘em?” Nathan asked, patting the horse on the neck. “That’ll be a nice form of entertainment for the night, huh?”

Dollface - 12/2/2005 at 07:00 PM

Claire remembered that night freshly when they’d almost been caught by his brother David. She remembered it had given her a pretty good scare too, because there would’ve been no way to get out of the fact that Nathan had had his lips pressed against her own. There had been a couple of occurrences when Beth had caught Claire sneaking towards the fence, but that was usually just an easy excuse, saying she was going to just sit there for a bit to get away from the house, away from all the talk that went on about the Browne family, and then gave the excuse that it was just sad that everyone bad mouthed them all the time. It had made the older Griffith a bit suspicious, but she hadn’t seemed like that too much lately.

 

Nodding her head, she glanced back towards the dark house for a moment. “Yep. I can see anythin’ and everythin’ from that window seat,” she said, giving a bit of a laugh. Really she could. It was rather big, the window, she could see to some of the Browne’s land, and out towards the street. Sometimes she would even watch Beth sneak out to go into the night life, but she never told. Not yet. The sound of his brother’s huffing caught her ears as well, head snapping back a bit, though for not too long before she looked forward. “Well, that’s good. ‘Cause I really couldn’t wait any longer than that,” she said, a smile flicking across her lips as well.

 

A light chuckle emerged from her lips at his words, nodding her head gently at the suggestion of letting the horse go. “I say that sounds pretty good to me,” she stated with another nod of her head. “D’ya think that brother of yours actually will be able to catch the horse?” She asked with a tilt of her head, looking to Nathan as a light chuckle emerged from her lips.

rejecteddounut - 12/2/2005 at 08:32 PM

If only there their families could get over this feud that in all truths Nathan had no idea what it was about. Something about their great-grandparents getting into arguments about the land lines. This fight was ridiculous. It was all because of their last names now because through the generations they lost sight of what they were actually arguing over. If Nathan wasn’t born a Browne, if she wasn’t a Griffith, they wouldn’t have this problem.

 

“I’ll have to see that view one day. Only way that I can get a good look at anything is to sit on the barn when we have to patch up the roof.” Seemed like they couldn’t get away from talk about their families or the ranch tonight, it was just one of those days. A smile reached his lips as she spoke of not waiting any longer. Since he was fourteen he couldn’t wait until he turned that age, now that it was only a few months away, Nathan figured that he and Claire were not ever going to get caught until they told their parents about it. Good.

 

He laughed lightly, shaking his head. “Nope, that’s half the fun though. Here, baby, you hop down an’ then I’ll slide off too.”

Dollface - 12/2/2005 at 08:55 PM

Claire’s father had told her a long time ago about what the feud was about, when she questioned him about it many years ago. Yet she couldn’t bring herself to remember it now once she reached her teenage years. She’d probably been told around the age of ten, probably more curious then ever about why she would be in big trouble if she had been caught talking to the secret friend she was with during her school hours. However, even though she didn’t know, she had noticed they only told her not to talk to Nathan because of his last name, which was ridiculous. Sometimes she wished she had been born to a different family, with another last name, so the two of them wouldn’t be stuck between the silly feud that neither of their families could seem to get over.

 

“Well, I don’t think you’re gonna be able to see that view anytime soon. I don’t think my daddy’d let ya in the house any day, even when we reach eighteen,” she said with another faint laugh, shaking her head bit. She knew they couldn’t get off the subject of either of their families, or the ranches. It somehow just came into the conversation even when they did try to change the subject. Sometimes it was just a subject too hard to let go. Still, she couldn’t help think about the day when he reached the age when they wouldn’t have to worry, and then the day when she would reach that same age. Her birthday wasn’t too far long after his, maybe a month or so, if even that.

 

Then there would be no more worrying, no more having to watch their backs to make sure nobody had seem them together.

 

She laughed a bit again at his next words. But she didn’t speak again, merely nodding her head at his words. “Alright,” she said, letting her arms uncoil from around him, though soon resting her hands on his shoulders to keep her balance. Swinging one leg over the side of the horse, she let herself fall down to the ground with a gentle ‘thud’, though still landing on her feet.

rejecteddounut - 12/3/2005 at 06:25 PM

Did Romeo and Juliet know what their families were fighting about? Nathan couldn’t remember off the top of his head why the Capulets and Montagues hated each other so much as to not let their children love one another. That bothered him sometimes. That he could compare his and Claire’s relationship to those famous ill-fated lovers. Of course, there was no way that it would get so bad that he would allow Claire to take her life for the sake of their love. They would just simply run away.

 

“I didn’t say your daddy has to let me in. I would just crawl up the house like Spiderman.” He was in a joking mood, smiling and a light laugh escaping him before hearing her slid off the horse and him following suit. Right as his boots touched the ground, he heard his brother whistle loudly for the creature. Making sure that the reigns were up out of the way to not get tangle up in the horses legs as Nathan directed it toward his brother. After a few laughs of watching the creature gallop and buck away from Michael, Nathan suggested that they head to the barn before the horse managed to come back to where they were.

 

Nathan talked Claire into reading from the book that had the famous play in it, laughing as she tried to speak in Old English. He spoke a few lines, shaking his head. Finally they managed to get away from talk of their family. It was some how easier up in the loft to be able to do that. Nathan drifted off first. He always fell asleep without any warning except for a yawn or two. These late nights got to him sometimes.

Dollface - 12/3/2005 at 07:38 PM

“You think you can do that, hmm?” She asked with a gentle laugh as well, shaking her head a bit, placing her hands on her hips. Claire watched him as he slid off the horse after her, then watched as he’d made the horse go towards Michael again, then darted away from the male again. She shook her head some, green orbs flicking to Nathan. She’d nodded her head at his suggestion, and then followed him towards the loft again. There was no need in getting caught right now, no need to be sent away for a year. That’s what her father’s always threatened her with if she was ever to be caught with one of the Browne boys - sent to live in the city with her aunt for a year.

 

At first, she hadn’t really wanted to read some of the Romeo and Juliet, but she didn’t object for too long, for she had ended up reading some lines of the book. It had hit her that it sounded funny when they read it, their southern accents playing into the Old English words that were scripted into the book. At least it got away from talk of both of their families, because the topic was rather dull and boring, something that wasn’t exactly the best or most interesting thing to talk about.

 

She’d been reading a bit when she heard a yawn from him, emerald eyes glanced to him before she finished off a line. Then she’d glanced back to him, noticing he’d drifted off into slumber. Of course he was the first to fall asleep; usually he was if they stayed up in the loft late into the night. She just shook her head a bit, a smile gracing her lips as she tucked the book back into the back pocket of her jeans, lying down across the hay covered floor of the loft. “Love you, Nathan,” she murmured quietly, resting a hand against his cheek and pressing her lips to his own. She broke away only a moment later, resting her head on his chest, arm sprawled across his stomach as she too had soon drifted off into her own deep slumber.

rejecteddounut - 12/3/2005 at 08:30 PM

Nathan couldn’t help being able to fall asleep so fast. Some said it was a gift because he never tossed and turned. They said he didn’t have anything to worry about. Boy, were they wrong. He had quite a few things to worry about he just didn’t let them affect the way he slept. He was in between that fine line of sleeping and consciousness as he heard Claire’s words, a small noise rumbling in his throat with his eyebrows lifting lightly as she kissed him goodnight.

 

Nathan heard the roosters crowing in his dreams, but he didn’t pay them any attention. They were just noise to distract him from trying to take his math test. Gah, the math teacher looked like a big chicken anyways, it was probably her cackling about how he was supposed to make that five a negative. Or how b was squared, not c. Taking in a deep breath, he let it escape him roughly, sounding almost like a horse huffing air as he stirred. The rooster crowed again and he realized that it wasn’t his math teacher, it was his family’s farm animals.

 

Opening his eyes, he squinted at the bright light coming into the barn. Bright light? Aw, hell... He’d fallen asleep again, but this time Claire hadn’t woken up in time to go back to her house. Their families were probably eating breakfast, wondering where the youngest of the groups were. “Claire, Darlin’, wake up.” He shook her lightly, propping himself up on his elbows. “C’mon baby, get up. Ya slept late.”

Dollface - 12/3/2005 at 08:54 PM

Claire was never one to toss or turn when she slept, nor was she a light sleeper either. She could sleep all through the night, could sleep through anything. If they’d lived anywhere near the west coast where all the earthquakes hit, she could probably sleep through one of those small ones. She hadn’t even heard the roosters crowing; not even in her dreams, nor did she hear them near dawn when they’d first started their wake up calls. Yet she usually did wake up around three or four in the morning, an hour or two before the roosters started their crowing.

 

But once she heard Nathan’s voice, once she felt him shaking her, trying to wake her from her slumber, her eyes fluttered open slowly, and the bright sunlight only causing her eyes to close again. She shifted though, rubbing the back of her hand across her eyes, letting them open again, gaze falling to the male that was trying to wake her up. At the words ‘ya slept in late’ her eyes widened, her hands making contact with the rough wood flooring of the loft. She was almost tempted to have asked him what time it was, because he probably didn’t have a watch on him or anything.

 

The female wouldn’t have been surprised if her parents, Beth, and Brittney were sitting at the kitchen table wondering where the youngest of the Griffith family was, because it was probably much past the time they would’ve expected her home. Usually when she really did spend the night at Nadine’s, she would get home before they all woke up, as if she hadn’t even left the night before, descending the staircase right before breakfast. But there was no getting out of this one, or so she thought.

 

“I’ll seeya later, if momma and papa don’t make me stay in tonight or if anythin’ else doesn’t come up,” she mumbled frantically almost, picking pieces of hay from her blond tendrils, hoping to get them out before she had to dart home. Because then they would be really suspicious with her coming in late, and with pieces of hay in her hair. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, scurrying down towards the ladder that led her down to the first floor of the barn. And then it wasn’t too long before she’d left that area, making sure nobody was around before darting to and over the fence, towards her own stretch of land.

rejecteddounut - 12/3/2005 at 11:08 PM

Nathan ran his hands through his hair, pulling bits of hay from him before reaching up and brushing her off. “Don’t worry ‘bout it darlin’. Might have to skip a day seein’ ya if my family has a say in what I do.” And no doubt his father would question where his son had been, tell him that he was to go into town with a brother and gather up a few supplies for the ranch. That usually took a lot of time, well into the night. His dad always used that as a punishment because he knew his son liked his free time, just not knowing what Nathan used his free time for.

 

He stayed up in the loft, glancing out of a hole in the top of the barn to see her going across the fence. Now to go and face his own family. Nathan looked at himself, smoothing down his shirt, brushing off the bits of hay clinging to his clothing. Damn, Michael was really going to get on his case about not being there. Probably say something about the loft. That’s all right. Nathan could tell their parents that he had caught Michael coming home in the middle of the night from racing his horse. Sometimes Blackmail was good, especially when his brother didn’t have the whole story. If Michael knew that it was a Griffith that Nathan had been spending time with, it wouldn’t matter if the older Browne was doing illegal drug trading, Nathan would get into more trouble.

 

He climbed down the ladder, glancing out of the door of the barn to see if any family members were around before making his way toward the house. “Mornin..” He said hesitantly to his family who looked like they were nearly finished with breakfast. Only his father still sat actually eating. Oh, that’s not good. Most of the time when his dad was done eating, everyone else was through to because he didn’t wait for anyone to finish to start the chores.

 

“Where ya been?” Michael asked, drinking down the last of his milk, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

 

“I been walkin’ ‘round outside. I woke up early, couldn’t really get back to sleep so I just decided to take a walk..” Nathan sat down his eyes to his plate as he put food on it, not taking the time to talk to try and finish before his dad. This wasn’t going to be a good day.

 

“Nathan, you come and work with me today.” The head of the Browne family spoke. “Gregory, David, and Michael already have their jobs.”

 

The younger one nodded, muttering a ‘yessir’. No, it wasn’t going to be a good day at all. Working with his father meant listening to him talk about the Griffiths..

Dollface - 12/3/2005 at 11:22 PM

Claire hated when they had to skip days seeing each other. It made her lag in her work some until she saw him again, because her mind would be consumed with too many thoughts. Like right now, as she ran across the vast area of land towards the back door of her house, hearing the horse that was in the stable whinnying in the faint distance. She reached the back door almost hesitantly, smoothing down her black shirt and her jeans, tucking blond strands of hair behind her ears before her hand pulled at the screen door, flinging that open before opening the heavy, oak wood door. Everyone else still sat at the table forks clanking against the plates they were using. Eight sets of eyes had become transfixed on the youngest Griffith as she stopped dead in her tracks, both of the doors slamming shut behind her.

 

She opened her mouth to speak, to explain why she was so late, when Beth peeped in. “Why you so late, Claire?” The older female asked, putting emphasis on her younger sister’s name, as if she knew something. The younger girl tucked strands of hair behind her ears again, before she moved towards the microwave where she knew her mother would’ve been keeping her breakfast warm for her to eat when she was to arrive home.

 

“I was at Nadine’s, I told Papa that, Beth,” she said, shaking her head a bit, punching in numbers to heat up the food. “We stayed up late last night, slept in a bit late, that’s all.” She said with a gentle shrug, turning to face the people at the table. But Beth didn’t by the likely story of her baby sister. Beth had that glint in her eyes, as if she really did know something. Claire wouldn’t have been surprised if maybe her sister did know; if multiple times the older Griffith daughter watched the youngest of the clan sneak over onto the Browne’s property.

 

The dark eyes of her father now looked to her, who said, “Well, I need you an’ Beth to go into town an’ get some stuff for the horses an’ such.” He said with a nod of his head. Damnit. Couldn’t he have sent me and Brittney? Why Beth? She’s just going to bother me ‘bout last night, she thought silently to herself as she gave a nod to her father, sighing faintly as the microwave sounded, her hand reaching into the microwave and removing her plate.

 

Brittney and Claire’s mother had stepped away from the table and towards the sink where they washed off their dishes. Then, it wasn’t too long before Beth got up after her father had done so, moving towards Claire’s seat. A mischievous smirk was placed across her features as she leaned down, moving her lips towards Claire’s ears. “I know where ya were last night.” Those words left Claire stunned her eyes wide as she turned to her sister, her mouth agape.

 

“You don’t know nothin’. You better keep that trap of yours shut,” Claire retorted, her voice low as she turned her eyes back in front of her, her fork picking at the food on her plate. Now she didn’t have an appetite; not after she was so worried that her sister really did know something.

rejecteddounut - 12/4/2005 at 06:06 PM

Not seeing Claire for a few days wasn’t exactly a happy time for Nathan. Often his eyes would travel in the direction of the Griffith’s land, trying hard to just keep himself from leaping over the fence and finding her. The only thing that held him back was her father’s threat of sending her off into the city. He didn’t care of the things that his own family told him would happen. It just meant more work, no allowance, no free time. But if Claire was gone off to the city, what would be the point in having free time?

 

Nathan had slowed down in his eating, his thoughts wandering to if Claire was getting into a heap of trouble or not. Surely she wouldn’t. All she would have to say was that she was at Nadine’s and slept in late.. No big deal.

 

“C’mon boy. Everybody’s done, time to get to work.” His father had spoke, standing up and putting his plate in the sink. Nathan took a few more bites, finishing off his drink before doing the same.

 

“What’re we doin’ today, Pop?” He asked, spotting a piece of hay on his jeans and brushing it off.

 

“Rounds.” His father replied simply, causing the younger Browne let out a sigh. Rounds.. It wasn’t exactly a specific thing to do so that meant that his father would keep coming up with things to do until dark. That’s what he got for coming into breakfast late. He was going to be aching by the time night rolled around, probably just want to go straight to bed. Maybe that was for the best though, to just not see Claire for the night. He was mighty tired, and if he just slept through the rooster’s crowing this morning, next time it might be straight through the day. That wouldn’t be good because Michael would know where to look for his sibling.

 

Damn the whole day. Nathan hadn’t worked this hard since he skipped on feeding the horses, but that was good. It gave him less time for his thoughts to wander, no time for talking, no time for listening to his father who was muttering to himself about something or other. It hadn’t gotten dark yet when the older Browne told Nathan that he could stop, to go and take a shower. His brothers had asked to go into town to the movies and Nathan would get to go too if he managed to get the scent of the farm off of him.

 

Nathan didn’t want to go to the movies, but it was a heck of a lot better than re-shoeing the horses that his father said they would do after fixing the tractor. He just nodded, giving another ‘yessir’ like the one he had spoken during breakfast. Wiping the sweat from his brow and leaving a streak of grease across his forehead, he starting toward the house, glancing across the land to the other side of the fence.

Dollface - 12/4/2005 at 06:31 PM

She hadn’t eaten much more of her breakfast, just finishing off a piece of toast before scraping the rest into the trash and rinsing off the plate. She’d showered and changed into other clothes, tying her hair into a pony-tail again, before snatching the keys to her father’s truck to go out with Beth. Beth knew to let Claire drive, knowing the younger sibling was a much better driver than herself. Beth was reckless really, going much over the speed limit, which really wasn’t good in such a small town as theirs. Something like that would be known over the town, if someone found out one of the feuding family’s daughters had gone over the speed limit and had gotten a ticket.

 

And right when the both of them hopped into the front of the car, Beth started again.

 

“You’re goin’ to the movies with Britt and me tonight, alright?” The older one said, buckling her seatbelt as Claire started up the truck. She didn’t want to go to the movies; if anything, that was the last thing on earth she would do. Especially knowing how Brittney and Beth were going to be about this. Claire knew they were going to doll their little sister up, plastering make up on her face, something Claire never did.

 

“I ain’t goin’ to the movies with you,” said Claire, driving out of the driveway and onto the stretch of road, emerald eyes glancing towards the blond next to her.

 

“Yes, you are. ‘Cause I know you were with one of them Browne boys last night, Claire. I jus’ don’t know which one yet. And if you don’t go, I can tell Papa.” Its Nathan, you stupid. You think I’d be with one of the older Browne boys? She thought to herself, sighing faintly as she looked back to the road again, her hands gripping tighter on the steering wheel.

 

“Fine, whatever you say,” she mumbled quietly, shaking her head as strands of hair had resulted to obscuring her vision again. Blackmail; it was such a dirty trick. But Claire would rather go to the movies rather than have her sister reveal to their father that she was sneaking around with Nathan, one of the Browne’s boys. That’s when everyone would realize that was where she was on some nights, rather than Nadine’s. The rest of the trip had been rather quiet, with the occasional scoffing of the Browne family from her sister. It was as if her father had brainwashed them - the older siblings - making them think horrid things about the family across the fence.

rejecteddounut - 12/4/2005 at 10:49 PM

Nathan heaved a great sigh as he pulled open the screen door, pushing the heavier wooden door open. Man, he was beat. All he wanted to do was to wash off the dirt clinging to his skin from a day’s work and go to bed. But no, his brothers wanted to go spend a night on the town, just great. They’ll all bring their girlfriends, and one for Nathan too because that’s what they always did.

 

“Nathan, dress clean. Wear your sneakers instead of your boots. Last time ya went out with us, none of the girls wanted to talk to you ‘cause ya looked like a farm boy.” It was David who was speaking to him. He was the one who always talked about getting off of the ranch, going and living in the city.

 

“I am a farm boy David. Don’t tell me how to dress, I’m tired an’ don’t wanna go to the movies.” He replied, not paying any attention to his siblings comment. Something about how he needed a social life. If they only knew, huh?

 

So, he took a shower, pulling on some clean jeans that he usually wore to church and a t-shirt that didn’t have a hole around the collar from him tugging it off on hot days while he worked. He really didn’t want to go to the movies. Nathan thought about just going and hiding somewhere, but then his father would probably make him do ‘rounds’ two days in a row. That could kill someone, well, not literally, but it was pretty harsh on a person.

 

Sitting down on his bed, he pulled his sneakers on, tying them up in a double knot as David burst open the door. “C’mon. Them girls are gonna meet up with us at the movies.” With a sigh, Nathan allowed himself to be dragged along into town though Claire invaded his thoughts the whole way. Probably due to the fact that Michael was keen on learning why he was late to breakfast until finally, the youngest Browne yelled for his brother to buzz off, only not in such nice words.

 

Silence filled the vehicle except for the radio playing after that. Finally, they reached the movie theater. Nathan didn’t even say hello to the girls, just buying his ticket, a box of candy and a soda and sitting down in an empty row, waiting for the movie to start so it could finish and he could leave.

Dollface - 12/5/2005 at 11:36 AM

Claire was pretty much left to fend for herself once she and Beth had arrived home from when they had to pick up feed for all the animals. She was the one left lugging the heavy bags into the barn, with her mind on later that night, when they’d go to the movies. Obviously they’d call their boyfriends up that had a younger brother or a friend at least around her age, so she wasn’t left ‘alone’. But she’d really rather be left alone, half asleep in the movie, rather than some guy that would probably talk throughout the whole movie in the first place.

 

Though, by at least three o’clock in the afternoon, the thought about going to the movies had completely been washed from her mind. Every now and then she’d gazed over to the land on the other side of the fence, wondering how much trouble Nathan might’ve gotten in for sleeping in late. She hadn’t been reminded when she literally collapsed onto the couch, her body sore from having to carry in all the bags and such that she and Beth had picked up earlier that day. She was reminded when Beth and Brittney had obviously heard her, their feet pounding against the stairs as they scurried into the living room.

 

“Claire, get up. You gotta get ready to go to the movies,” Brittney said, Beth peeping in right after her. “An’ we got someone for you, too.” The older said with a smirk being placed on her features, a faint moan heard from Claire. She didn’t even want to move, let alone go into town to see a movie now. But then she remembered earlier that day, how Beth said she knew, and if Claire didn’t go, their father would know she was sneaking around with Nathan.

 

They made her shower quickly once they pried Claire off the spot on the couch, pulling her hair into braids - something she detested even when she was younger - and then using her as if she was a doll. Her head had tipped a couple of times as she almost fell asleep, catching words as they put on make up; something about the enhancing the green in her eyes, but she wasn’t so sure. And then they were discussing what shirt to pull out of Beth’s closet that would look good on her. Yet they’d selected just a plain white shirt, for whatever reason that was. Claire probably protested against what they were originally going to put her in.

 

That had taken up a lot of time really, but they’d gotten to her early. Finally they were able to leave for the movies, Claire with a scowl on her face throughout the whole drive into town, her elbow leaning on the door as Brittney was the one that was driving - thankfully. They’d gotten there just when the movie was about to start, the boys they’d called up waiting for the three outside of the theater. She’d just given a faint smile to the one that they’d said was to be with her for the night, then bought her own ticket and that was all before they’d gone into the movie theater. Oh, she could already tell it was going to be boring; the guy wouldn’t keep his mouth shut already about something or other.

rejecteddounut - 12/7/2005 at 04:16 PM

While Nathan sat in the movie theater, his soda in the holder on the arm of the chair and his attention focused on trying to get the box of candy open, all three of his brothers and their dates were in the lobby, talking to one another. Hmm.. Brownes and Griffiths under the same roof? That just can’t be good.

 

It was Michael who first spotted the three girls, originally looking for his younger brother as his girlfriend’s little sister was none too pleased that he had just gone off and left her. He nudged the oldest, Gregory, who was the same age as the Griffith twins and called out. “Lookie here, Greg’ry. Why you pick a night when the uglies are here, huh?” He laughed as did a few of the girls they were with and David.

 

“C’mon, they’re just here to try out for that new monster movie. Attack of the Nastiest gals on earth.” David remarked and the two started having a conversation about it, getting louder and louder until the older Browne stepped in.

 

“All right ya’ll. ‘Nough of that until we leave the movies. I don’t feel like gettin’ kicked out on ya’ll’s account again. I’m payin’ for most of it, since you two’s spendin’ all your money on stupid stuff.. Nathan’s prolly already sittin’ down, go find him.” Gregory nodded off toward the cinema where the movie was and let the girl on his arm pull him along since he was carrying some movie snacks for the two of them.

 

Nathan got the box of candy open and was pouring some into his hand as David wacked him in the back of the head, causing some of the sweets to spill onto the floor. “Hey, ya ignorant son of a-” “Don’t be callin’ me ignorant when you go an’ leave the girl off by her lonesome, now be a man an’ sit by her. Stop cryin’ over your candy.”

 

“I ain’t cryin’ over no candy.” Nathan muttered as David told him that the Griffiths were at the movies too. At first, he had tilted his head up to look for Claire, but then forced a scowl and muttered a few more words.

 

“Yeah, sucks, huh? Well, only thing we can do is jus’ sit an’ enjoy the movie.” David replied as the younger gave a shrug while everyone started to get settled in their seats. The girl that had been brought along for him gave him a smile and he just returned it with a nod of his head, going back to eating his candy. This was going to be a long night.


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Dollface - 12/7/2005 at 08:27 PM

Oh, it wouldn’t be good with the Brownes and the Griffiths under the same roof. Not if Beth or Brittney spotted the others or if Nathan’s brothers spotted Claire’s sisters. Something would either happen out where the snacks were, or outside after the movie ended. That would be one thing Claire would try and stay out of, but she would be pulled into it nonetheless by one of her sisters.

 

Claire hadn’t noticed that the Brownes were there, but by the time they got into the movie theater, Claire could hear Beth and Brittney jabbing about something or other in the row behind her and the date they’d selected for her tonight. It was rather hard to pick out the words the two in the back were saying, and the gentle laughing of their own dates as the four seemed to converse, since the male next to her kept yakking on and on about something. She’d caught her sisters’ say something about how they were surprised that the Browne boys even got dates for the night.

 

But Claire wouldn’t have been surprised if Nathan got a date; it even made Claire’s stomach turn slightly once she’d seen the girl - who seemed young enough to be Nathan’s date. Obviously she’d become a bit jealous, because she wanted to be the one down sitting next to Nathan, not some girl that his brothers randomly picked out for him. But her sisters’ back there was saying that she wasn’t all too pretty - in their eyes - which then calmed down Claire quite a bit.

 

“Baby, you alright?” The voice came from the left of her, the other male quirking a brow as he looked to her, her green eyes catching the confused look on his face. Blech, she hated how he called her ‘baby’. Nobody could call her that, except for Nathan. That was the only time it didn’t bother her. Other times, it just sounded so weird to her, like nobody should’ve dared to even think of calling her ‘baby’.

 

She nodded her head solemnly at his question, giving a fake smile. “‘Course I’m fine.” She murmured quietly, turning her attention back to the screen. What a long night it would be, with her eyes continuously wandering to the rows below her to where the Brownes sat. She couldn’t wait for it to be over. Then again, at the same time she wished it could go on forever. Who knew what would possibly happen after the movie ended.

rejecteddounut - 12/8/2005 at 10:45 PM

Nathan kept eating his candy, hardly listening to the girl that his brothers had managed to bring along for him to be with. All she wanted to do is talk about how his siblings were treating their dates. How come Nathan wasn’t putting his arm around her, kissing her and every other thing that she could compare him to the other Browne boys. Even as the movie started, she just kept on complaining, causing Nathan to sigh some.

 

“Look, I’ll kiss ya on the cheek only if you’ll shuddup.” Anything to get her to be quiet. If he was dragged all the way here, by golly he was going to watch this movie if it killed him. The girl blinked, thinking this over and agreeing. Rolling his eyes, Nathan pecked her on the cheek and she sat back, watching the movie. Finally…

 

But he had ran out of candy and what good was a movie without candy? Reese’s pieces was made this whole ordeal all better. He looked over to the girl. What was her name again? He was horrible with names, even though she was in one of his classes. “Marie, I’m gonna get s’more candy. I’ll get you somethin’ too.” An excuse to get away. And the more things he got, the longer it would take. Maybe they would be out of popcorn and have to make some more.

 

He stood up, making his way out of the cinema and catching a glimpse of Claire. He gave a weak smile. If only she was sitting in Marie’s place. Letting out a sigh as he pushed open the cinema door, he started walking toward the lobby.

Dollface - 12/8/2005 at 11:22 PM

Eventually, the guy next to her managed to shut up, though she'd been too ignorant to catch his name. Her sisters had stopped chatting behind her too. But she'd noted that one of them had mumbled something and flicked the boy upside the head. Obviously they'd told him to wrap her arm around her shoulders, something that made her shift almost uncomfortably in her seat. But she didn't object, because then that would be another reason for Beth to tell Papa bout Claire sneaking around with Nathan. So she just sat there, eyes continually glancing towards the other group to see that girl... that other girl sitting next to Nathan. Never would she have thought she was the sort of girl that got jealous by seeing their boyfriend with another girl, even if he was with her against his will.

 

Oh, it was just stirring up inside of her like mad. The green in her eyes only seemed to have deepened, as if the metaphor 'green with envy' had seeped into the depths of her eyes. But she snapped out of it as the male next to her seemed to have tightened his grip, scooting as close as he could with the armrest between the two of them. And all throughout that she didn't move, just sat there, her jealous gaze flicking between Nathan and the screen in the front of the theater.

 

She watched as he stood up, yet the room had been too dark to have seen that gentle smile across his lips. Now she had the urge to get up, to just go elsewhere so she could get away from... whatever his name was. She'd been told, but by now it was already only a vague memory in her mind. But if she got up, then Beth would wonder why the girl was ggetting up. Maybe she hadn't seen Nathan get up... Oh, that would be great for her. For then, she would be able to get up and get away without any questions to be asked.

 

Ah, the name clicked. It was Chris, that was right. And since she didn't have anything in her hands so far, she found the perfect excuse to go and get something to eat. "I'll be right back, Na-, I mean, Chris. I'm gonna just get some popcorn or somethin'," she murmured gently, turning her gaze towards him. She stood up from the seat, smoothing her hands over her jeans before walking up the rest of the aisle and out past the doors and into the lobby, where soon she spotted Nathan.

rejecteddounut - 12/9/2005 at 03:24 PM

Nathan figured he had at least a good thirty minutes before anyone even looked down at the end of the row where he had been sitting. Maybe another ten after that before one of his brothers decided to get up and come looking for him. He could just sit in the seat of the racing game and pretend that it just ended. Say that he got caught up in the game and didn’t realize how long time had went by. Sounded like a pretty good plan to him.

 

He reached up, rubbing his forehead. Jeez, he could still hear that girl gabbing on and on about how he wasn’t a good date. Well, he didn’t want to be a good date so in his view, he was doing just fine. Only problem with that was that she would tell those girls and they would go and tell his brothers, then they would ask what was wrong with him. It happened every time they dragged him into town and put a girl at his side. Why they didn’t just let him alone, Nathan could never understand.

 

Running the same hand through his hair, he gave the back of his neck a rub before letting his hand drop to his side, keeping his eyes on the floor as he walked along. Too bad he didn’t smoke cigarettes, he could use that as an excuse to go outside. Nah, his brothers would go and tell his daddy and he’d be in a lot of trouble over that. Plus Claire didn’t like it, neither did he for that matter but his mind was just floating over thoughts and then pushing them away. Claire stuck though and he glanced over his shoulder to try and think what boy it was sitting beside her when he saw that she had exited the cinema too. Another smile came to his face, giving a nod as he paused in his walking, waiting for her to catch up.

Dollface - 12/9/2005 at 10:24 PM

Claire didn’t even know how much time she had till Chris or someone else out of the bunch came to try and find her. She had no excuse but that the popcorn could’ve taken too long. Because her sisters knew she didn’t like the arcade type games they had, nor was she a big candy sort of person when she went to the movies. And obviously she didn’t smoke; she thought it a horrible thing, especially the horrible odor that emerged from the cigarettes. But she didn’t worry about it too much. She doubted someone would really care enough that she had left her date unattended.

 

He didn’t seem to care when she would try and scoot away from him every now and then. He’d just pull her back. He hadn’t complained that she was being a ‘bad date’. Which in a way she wished she should’ve done, because then maybe she could’ve made some sort of scene and stomped out of the theater to just get out of there. Anything, she would do anything to get away from the date her sisters had picked out for her this evening. Her sisters didn’t seem to care, probably because they probably weren’t even paying attention in the first place. Hell, she wouldn’t have been surprised if they hadn’t even noticed that Claire had taken her leave.

 

She shook her head a bit, shaking the hair from her eyes. Her eyes darted around for a bit before looking to where Nathan was again, a small smile coming across her lips as she’d seen him stop, noting that he’d seen her as well. She walked towards him a bit briskly. Even though they were in town, where others might know about the feud between the two families, right now she didn’t care if anyone saw her speaking to Nathan. Almost immediately once she reached him, she curled her arms around his neck, standing on her toes a bit. She reached up, pressing her lips to his before breaking away and looking up to him. “An’ all day, I’d been worryin’ that I wasn’t gonna be seein’ you tonight.”

rejecteddounut - 12/10/2005 at 01:08 AM

Nathan hadn’t seen the boy pull Claire toward him. If he had, the Browne probably wouldn’t have cared that all three of his brothers was sitting was on the same row as him, he would have went and told the other to leave his girlfriend alone. It wasn’t that he was jealous, he just didn’t want another guy trying to mess with Claire. Even as she walked up, he was cursing his last name, wondering why he couldn’t have been born into another family so he could have been sitting beside her during the movie.

 

He didn’t care about anyone seeing him and her together, not now. Smiling as her arms went around him, lightly returning her kiss. “Darlin’ you worried ‘bout nothin’ now didn’t ya?” He asked her, wrapping his arms around her, hugging her. “Movie good?” He asked, just pulling a topic out of no where as he pulled away from her arms to grasp her hand. “Ya want some candy, baby? I got ‘nough money for it and a few rounds of an arcade game. Even though ya said you don’t like ‘em. Just play one with me.” He looked at her, giving her a begging sort of look. The one that he showed when he wanted her to stay longer with him instead of going home.

Dollface - 12/10/2005 at 01:19 AM

She probably was worrying over nothing, for she knew she probably would’ve seen him the next day anyways. But still, one night was even torture for Claire. Even if she had to see him with some other girl in a movie theater, at least she was able to see him. She merely nodded her head at his words, dropping her arms to her sides quickly, resting her hands along his own for the moment being. “Yeah, guess I was.” She stated, a gentle smile tugging at the corners of her lips. But at his next question she shrugged. For really - she hadn’t even been paying much attention to the movie. She was either watching that... girl with Nathan, or trying to think of a way to shut Chris up. That had failed, so she’d resulted to only watching some of the movie. She was already bored with it though, probably half asleep through whatever she’d begun to watch.

 

“Haven’t been payin’ much attention to it,” she said, chewing on her bottom lip some. She reached a hand up, scratching at the back of her head where the braids were tight, quirking a brow as he asked her if she wanted candy. “No candy for me. I just came out to get away from Chris... Don’t really want anythin’,” she spoke, sighing faintly. But when he mentioned arcade games, her eyes dropped to the floor, then darted back up towards him. Oh, that look he gave her was almost too hard to resist. But then there was the worry of being too long, and then that wouldn’t be good. But then again, it did delay the time she had to get away from Chris and his jibber jabbering.

 

Yet another smile gently graced her lips, nodding her head a bit. Her emerald gaze darted towards the arcade games, before moving to him again. “Fine. But don’t be thinkin’ that face o’ yours is gonna be workin’ on me all the time.” She said finally, gently leaning herself against him. Even if she didn’t like the arcade games, she’d tough it out for just once. They couldn’t be all that bad though, right? Well, she figured so.

rejecteddounut - 12/10/2005 at 06:15 PM

I been watchin’ in, thought it was pretty corny. The monster in it looks fake, ‘course I don’t understand the point o’ horror movies anyways.” Nathan lifted his shoulders in a bit of a shrug. He wasn’t one to get scared of something in the movies. His only true fear was snakes and that had a story behind it and a scar on one of his calves to go along with it.

 

“Ah, well, no candy is better for ya huh? That Chris boy might want to share it with you. An’ I wouldn’t buy candy for him. I d’cided I don’ like him.” He gave a bit of a nod, smiling in her direction as he gave her a look over. “Yer sisters get ahold of ya b’fore you came here then, huh?” He asked, knowing the answer. Claire wouldn’t wear her hair in braids, wouldn’t wear makeup””at least that much of it. Just like Nathan would have clean church jeans and an extremely nice t-shirt on just to go to the movies. What was the point in getting dressed up if you were going to sit in the dark?

 

“Aw, baby, it works most o’ the time, ya know that.” He stated, standing before the different arcade games and giving them a look over before back to her. “Racin’, Fightin’, or good ol’ shootin’? Your pick darlin’.”

Dollface - 12/10/2005 at 11:39 PM

If she had been paying any attention to the movie, then she wouldn’t have been scared either. Scary movies never even did scare her. She only had a fear of heights, and that was all. Her sisters probably only picked this movie so they could cling to their dates during the supposed ‘scary’ parts. “Most people just probably like the fact they can be clingin’ to their dates while they’re there,” she said, shrugging her shoulders a bit. She knew she wouldn’t even cling to Chris, even if there was something in the movie that would startle her. He wasn’t worth clinging to.

 

“You jus’ don’t like ‘em ‘cause he’s the one my sisters picked out,” she said with a gentle laugh, looking up towards him. “But, I don’ like ‘em either. He’s annoyin’. Always talkin’ through the movie,” she said, shaking her head a bit again. Yet she started nodding her head at his next words, stuffing her other hand into the depths of the pocket of her jacket. “Yeah they did, sad as it is. Y’know I wouldn’t be wearin’ this much makeup or be wearin’ my hair like this if my sister’s hadn’t got to me.” And she too could tell that his brother told him to dress a bit nicer for the movies. It wasn’t something that mattered to her either in the first place. But she knew her sisters had something against her, so she let them do what they wanted.

 

“Yeah… It does. But still. Don’t be expectin’ that it’ll be workin’ a lot of the time,” she repeated, another light laugh emerging from her lips. Eyes scanned over the different arcade games, biting down on her lip as she let her hands fall to her sides. “Hmm... how ‘bout racin’. I know I couldn’t beat ya at shootin’ or fightin’, or probably anythin’ else for that matter.”

rejecteddounut - 12/11/2005 at 12:36 AM

He thought over her words about dates for a moment, giving a light nod. “Yeah, I figure that might be a thing t’do with it. Movie’d probably be better if I got to sit by you then, huh?” He said, more of a statement than a question toward her. Nathan wouldn’t let Marie cling to him, not even if she was screaming bloody murder. Hopefully all of the most frightening parts were going on right now that way he would be able to not be there. He wasn’t mean, just... didn’t want Marie.

 

“I prolly wouldn’t like him even if he wasn’t one that yer sisters picked out. I think he was one o’ the boys that use to pick on me back in elementary school.” He shrugged some, rolling the thought off. Since her sisters had approved of him, it was most likely that he was one of the boys that picked on Nathan. He smiled lightly as he reached over, tugging lightly on one of her braids. “Ya look nice, just not like yourself. Course, ya can tell David told me not to dress like a farm boy. Can’t help what I am. ‘Sides, if lookin’ like a farm boy got you to fancy me, I’ll dress like that ‘til I die.”

 

Nodding as she spoke of which game to play, he pulled change out of his pocket and sat down in one of the seats. “C’mon darlin’, We’ll make this fun. Pick up the seat beside you. I’ll even let ya get a head start.” He smiled at her, his attention on Claire. This was fun, different. They weren’t hiding off somewhere on the ranches, no where in town to have their secret meetings.. If only it could be like this all the time. While Nathan was debating on trying to make a bet with her on who would win, the eldest of the Browne boys had leaned forward to ask the younger a question only to discover that he was gone. Now where in the heck had that boy gone off to?

Dollface - 12/11/2005 at 04:42 PM

“‘Course it’d be better. Then I wouldn’t have to listen to everythin’ that Chris is yakkin’ ‘bout over there,” she said with a gentle laugh, shaking her head a bit. She probably would even enjoy the movie a bit more if the boy just kept his trap shut. But oh, it sure seemed like something such as that wasn’t possible for him. Right now he probably was talking to himself in there, or talking to some lonesome girl beside him. As long as she was left alone with Nathan right now, she was perfectly fine with whatever Chris decided to do.

 

“Back in elementary, eh? That boy probably couldn’t even come up with a decent insult, so I’unno.” She joked, turning to Nathan and laughing a bit again. For it showed that the boy couldn’t even strike up a lively conversation, so she was sure that he probably couldn’t have thought up a good insult to tease anyone with. And if he had picked on Nathan in elementary, there was just all the more reason to act as if Chris didn’t even matter. Though, with that thought pushed away, she scrunched her nose a bit as he pulled at one of her braids, trying to pull away from him. “I don’t look nice. What ya thinkin’?” She asked, already raising her hands to pull the elastic bands from her hair.

 

Claire gave him a once over, looking at the clothes again that David informed him to wear. “‘Course lookin’ like a farm boy made me fancy you. You think I would’a fallen for one of those fancy pants boys who dress like they know anythin’, and everythin’?” She asked, a small smirk tugging at the corners of her lips.

 

She shook her head a bit, chuckling gently. “Oh no, you ain’t givin’ me no head start. I still think I can beat ya, without that head start,” she said almost matter of factly, nodding her head as she sat herself into the other seat. It really was nice that they didn’t have to hide right now, that it seemed neither of them cared who saw. It was nice not having to act all secretive, as if someone could get killed if this was found out about. But even as Nathan’s brother had been wondering where Nathan had gone, Claire’s older sister Beth had seen the younger Griffith had gone off elsewhere.

rejecteddounut - 12/11/2005 at 06:15 PM

Insults only got a little to do with pickin’ on somebody, take it from the littlest Browne.” He stated, giving a bit of a nod. “Really just one’s gotta say somethin’, the rest just gotta agree.” But Nathan pushed that off, watching her pull the band out of her hair. It didn’t really matter now. His bit of anger towards the boy that her sisters had paired her up with had vanished because now Nathan was in Claire’s company, not Chris. “Oh, that’s right. What was I thinkin’ tellin’ ya that you look nice? Woulda been better off insultin’ ya, huh?” He smiled and then looked down at his clothes again.

 

“Course you wouldn’t’ve. They wouldn’t know a good day’s work if a bale of hay dropped on ‘em. And they talk funny.” He mused, putting a couple quarters into the designated slot and turning the wheel to pick a car. “Look baby, they got a pretty pink car just fer you.” Nathan smiled, showing it before choosing his own car by pressing on the pedal marked for the gas. “I doubt ya can beat me. You seen the high score? Darlin’, m’name’s on there.”

 

He waited for her to pick a car, agreeing on a track. Just a few seconds later Nathan had his foot all the way down on the pedal, teasing Claire about her being slow.

 

“Pst.. where’s Nathan?” The words were passed down the row until the girl who was supposed to be with him said that he vanished some time ago to get more snacks. This satisfied most of the crew, but one of the Brownes got up and headed out of the cinema toward the lobby to look for his brother.

Dollface - 12/11/2005 at 06:34 PM

“You would’a been much better off sayin’ I look weird with all this crap on my face,” she said, shaking her head a bit. She hardly even wore make up; it was really only on special occasions, or on Sundays when they’d go to church. And even then, it was only a bit of mascara and some eyeliner. Her mother always told her girls they didn’t need makeup, but that didn’t stop Beth and Brittney from wearing the stuff everywhere they went. “An’ then they think they can put my hair in braids like I’m a little kid. I don’ think so,” she mumbled under her breath. She really didn’t care how upset they’d be if they saw her without the braids in her hair.

 

She laughed gently, fingers flicking strands of hair from her face so she could see the screen correctly. “Them and their silly city accents. You’re right; they wouldn’t know a day’s work. That’s ‘cause they got all them mommas and papas doin’ everythin’ for ‘em. Can’t do nothin’ for themselves.” Oh, and she knew this for a fact. Her cousins in the city were spoiled rotten by her aunt. And even sometimes, she secretly wondered what it’d actually be like to be spoiled and pampered, not having to worry about mounds and mounds of chores. Yet she was snapped out of her trance, glancing to him again, and then to the screen. “I am gonna beat ya. An’ I don’ want no silly pink car. What you think I am? Some kind of sissy?”

 

But she scoffed once she saw his foot go down on the pedal, doing the same thing. Damn, she should’ve taken that head start. “I’m gonna beat you, Nathan. I ain’t slow, an’ you know it. Sooner or later, my name’s gonna be up there.”

 

Yet as she was saying that, Beth had tapped Chris on the shoulder, asking where her sister had gone. The male told the other girl that she had gone to get some popcorn. It was then Beth pulled Brittney out of her seat, dragging her out of the theater and into the lobby to look for the youngest of the Griffiths.

 

rejecteddounut - 12/11/2005 at 07:30 PM

Nathan laughed, not shaking his head as he steered the vehicle in the arcade game. He was good at this game. After all, he had a go-cart since he was seven until he was about fifteen when Michael decided to use the last one that he had and wrecked it. Damn Michael.. He was always ruining things that Nathan liked. Hopefully this streak wouldn’t continue as they grew older. It would get tiring, even though it already was. “Fine, ya look weird, Claire. Very odd.” He stated, nearly turning too sharp but he righted the vehicle and managed to flash a grin her way.

 

“Them city boys are wusses.” He stated simply, putting his input on that as he edged toward third place in the game. “I tell ya we got cousins up in Maryland? They got a creek in their neighborhood but are scared t’death to go and run around in it. Act like there’s somethin’ in there..” It was a random statement, but most of his attention was on getting around a bright yellow Ford. “Uh-huh, the day you get on the high score, I’m gona call myself Daisy.”

 

Nathan was only listening to Claire and the sound effects of the arcade machine, not paying any mind to the people who occasionally got in line for popcorn and sodas. Claire didn’t want a head start so she was going to lose, simple as that.

 

It was Michael who had been told to go and find the sibling, muttering to himself about he didn’t like being bossed around by the two older Brownes. He didn’t like the taste of his own medicine. Glancing over his shoulder as he heard the cinema door open behind him, he spotted one of the Griffiths and scoffed, walking into the lobby. His eyes scanned the area, about to go and sit with his date again when he spotted his brother. “Nathan.” He spoke before realizing who the girl beside his little brother was.

Dollface - 12/11/2005 at 08:25 PM

“Thank ya, baby.” She said, a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips, nodding her head as she continued with the game, biting down on her lower lip. It was really only something to keep concentrating on the game. But between their conversations, she could already tell she was probably going to lose since she couldn’t keep her attention both on the game and him. Ah well. It was all in good fun, and it was a way to get away from Chris, a way to get away from her sisters that had probably been breathing down her neck, making sure she didn’t escape from the theater. Obviously they hadn’t been paying too close attention.

 

Claire nodded her head again absentmindedly at his words, trying to focus on the game. “Really now?” she said, her gaze flicking over towards him momentarily before glancing back to the screen before her. “My cousins up in New Jersey don’t even do anythin’ for themselves. Their momma does everythin’; their laundry, the cleanin’. They couldn’t live a day out here.” Though, her words were almost slurred as she brought her full attention to the game, trying to pull herself in front of Nathan and in first place. “Well then, be ready to call yourself Daisy, soon. I’m catchin’ up to you,” she said, another smile curling her lips.

 

She too hadn’t been paying attention to anything else going on around her. All that seemed to be there was her and Nathan, and then the game that he’d got her to play. And she figured since she hadn’t gotten a head start, there still might be that chance that she could lose. That is, if she didn’t find away to get in front of Nathan.

 

Brittney had gone back into the cinema, but Beth was still out in the lobby, scanning the area for her sister. It was then she spotted one of the Browne boys, her brows knitting together before averting her gaze else where. Then she spotted the blond hair of her sister, muttering a few words under her breath before stomping across the area. But she stopped in her tracks, watching as the Browne boy had gone over to where her sister was, though not realizing why Michael had gone over there. “Claire! What in the hell you think you doin’ out here!”

rejecteddounut - 12/11/2005 at 08:51 PM

While Claire bit down on her lip, Nathan’s tongue made it past his teeth, his brow furrowed as he tried to push down on the pedal harder. “Uh-huh..” He replied, though he wasn’t really sure as to what he was saying that to. Something about cousins of hers and their momma. Probably talking about what he had said about his relatives.

 

He caught her statement about what might be his new nickname and laughed. “I highly doubt that Darlin’. You may be catchin’ up to me, but you ain’t gonna win.” He stated rather firmly though there was a grin on his face as he straightened his arms to steer the car better. “M’name’s gona be up on here twice and pretty soon that’ll be the only name up on there ‘cause I’m just so good at this.” All of his teasing increased as he edged further and further ahead of Claire’s car.. but that all came to a halt as he heard his brother call his name.

 

He jerked the wheel, the arcade game simulated his racer crashing into a wall and a big ‘game over’ flashed on his side of the screen. “Oh shit..” He whispered, not because that him crashing meant that Claire was the winner, but that his brother had seen him and there weren’t no trees to hide Claire in. He actually looked scared, moreso than any horror movie could frighten him. Nathan just sat there for a moment hearing Michael again.

 

“Boy, what you think you’re doin’ out here? Get back in there and sit with that girl for I beat ya for messin’ up my night.” He went over to the game, glancing back at Beth for just a moment as she yelled at some girl. Her sister’s name was Claire, right? His eyes went back to arcade game and then to the girl. “A Griffith!?”

 

They were caught. Ten years of knowing each other and they were caught together just because Nathan wanted to spend time with her in public.. Like the game kept flashing, it was game over.

Dollface - 12/11/2005 at 10:06 PM

“Oh, I’m gonna beat you Nathan. An’ when it comes, I’m gonna call you Daisy for at least a week,” she commented, still continuing to concentrate more on the game rather than him. But all that seemed distant when he edged further... and further ahead of her car. Her brows knitted again as she concentrated, keeping quiet now and not speaking to further the concentration. But her mind went completely blank when she heard a male voice, and as she watched Nathan’s screen blink ‘Game Over’.

 

She didn’t even care that she too had steered her car off the track, her own screen blinking the same think that his was blinking. All she could think about now was the voice of another male, knowing very well it was his older brother Michael. And then there was the voice of Beth. Beth, dear God. Beth had to find her, Michael had to find Nathan. “Aw, shit,” she murmured to herself, placing the palm of her hand to her forehead. “Please let this be a dream...” she mumbled quietly under her breath. But it obviously wasn’t a dream. Because when she snapped her eyes open, the game still blinked the horrid letters of ‘Game Over’.

 

That voice was still there, along with the sound of Beth’s feet slapping against the linoleum tile of the lobby. “Claire, get back in there! Chris has been wonderin’ where his date has -.” And then she stopped too, looking to the male that was in the other seat, next to Claire’s. Her jaw had literally dropped, the girls green eyes flicking between her sister and the boy beside her. And then she looked to the other male, knowing exactly who it was.

 

“A freakin’ Browne, Claire?! You been sneakin’ around with Nathan?!” The girl exclaimed, taking Claire’s hand from her face. Now Claire was scared, mortified even. All these years they’d snuck around, and now... Now they were caught. By the must unlikely people; Michael and Beth. Beth being the one who got on Clare’s case the most, and Michael being the one who got on Nathan’s case the most. Now all she could think about was Beth telling their father, and she would be shipped off to the city. Oh, she wouldn’t even be able to deal with that. It would be such a long year away from Nathan; a horrible, terrifying year.

 

“Beth, please, please, don’t tell papa.” Her voice quivered as she shook her head, emerald eyes shooting to her sister. She’d do anything, anything to have her sister keep her mouth shut about this. But this... Oh, this was big. There was probably not even a chance that Beth would keep quiet about this. This would be the big thing, this would show their father that Claire was the bad one in the family, with her sneaking around with one of the Browne’s boys.

 

“I ain’t promisin’ anythin’ Claire.”

rejecteddounut - 12/12/2005 at 11:39 AM

Nathan’s thoughts weren’t on the fact that since he had crashed first, technically Claire could call him Daisy for a week. No, he was sitting there with his mind racing of how Michael was going to tell their father. How Nathan was going to have to do Rounds for months because of all the girls in town he had chosen to go out with, it had been a Griffith. Why should it matter, dammit!? It was just a name! He felt such anger at his family because of their stupidity and prejudice against the Griffiths, but for what? Why didn’t the children know the exact reason as to why the two families were supposed to hate each other so much?

 

“Nathan, Jesus! I’d rather ya like boys than to be ‘round a damn Griffith.” Michael acted like the world was coming to an end, like his brother had committed such treason for falling for Claire. He huffed, putting his hand up to his forehead and walked in a small circle before returning to his sibling’s side. “Get up an’ go back in t’movies. Ya just wait, I’m gonna tell David an’ Greg’ry what the hell you were doin’ out here. A Griffith..” He shook his head, just not believing the whole thing.

 

Nathan stood, but he didn’t walk back toward the cinema. “Michael, shuddup. Look, don’t tell nobody, allrigh’? You don’t tell no one an’.. an’ I’ll do most of yer chores. Hell, I’ll do all of them. Just keep quiet. Momma an’ Pop would have a cow. David an’ Greg’ry would try t’knock some sense into me but I’m the one with the most of it. It’s just a last name, like callin’ a horse what breed it is.” He always compared things in a farm way, but hey, look what he was raised as. A laborer, a farm hand, that was the only way that he knew how to talk to his brother even though it may have not been a good way.

 

“You shut it Nathan.” Michael replied quickly, though paused enough to hear his siblings words, the idea of getting out of chores rolling in his head. His eyes flicked back and forth between the other three people standing there. “Lemme think about it, but I ain’t shakin’ on it.”

Dollface - 12/12/2005 at 12:20 PM

By now, Claire had completely forgotten about the whole Daisy thing. No, why would she be thinking of such a thing, when Beth and Michael just found the other two together? Right now she was trying to block out the words, trying to make herself unable to hear the words being thrown back and forth. Michael and his badmouthing the Griffiths, and then Beth was busy mumbling something beside her as well. Right now, she was trying to get her mind off the fact that if her father was going to find out, she’d be off to New Jersey for a year. She was literally just about to snap. About to snap and tell the other two what they didn’t want to hear.

 

“You Michael, you jus’ need to shut the hell up!” She retorted, turning around to see the older brother. “It just shows how... how... dumb you are! I mean, ya can’t even think for yourself! You gotta listen to what your momma and pop say?!” In her eyes, at least, it just showed he couldn’t think for himself; showed that he had to listen to everything his father said about her family. “An’ the same thing goes for you, too, Beth!” She said, snapping her head towards her sister. “You couldn’t think for yourself if your damn life depended on it!”

 

Oh, what a side of Claire nobody had seen. She did snap; she completely lost it. Nobody could think for themselves at all, except for her and Nathan. They didn’t listen to their parents, they went against all the ‘rules’ both families seemed to have set. “Claire, what you think you’re talkin’ ‘bout?! You can’t just go yellin’ at me like that when you’re the one out with a Browne! Get back in there now, an’ sit with Chris!” But Claire only shook her head, standing up from the seat. She’d started moving towards Nathan again, yet her arm was caught by Beth. “You ain’t goin’ no where more with him.”

 

Claire snapped her arm from the others grip, shoving her hand into the pocket of her jacket. “I ain’t gotta listen to you, Beth. You can tell papa, for all I care righ’ now! You been makin’ me do stuff for you all my life, I just... I ain’t listenin’ to you anymore, Beth.” Maybe it was a mistake when she told her sister that she could tell their father, then again maybe it wasn’t. Maybe there was another side of Beth that would keep her sister’s secret still a secret. But Claire didn’t keep her hopes up for this.

rejecteddounut - 12/12/2005 at 02:44 PM

Nathan wanted to shove Michael, push him to the ground and have a fist fight like they used to when they were younger and Nathan decided that he had enough of his brother’s bullying. But he couldn’t, not only would that completely shove aside any bit of talking the older Browne into keeping his mouth shut, it would cause attention to be drawn to them and within two hours their father would know that they were fighting at the movies. News like that traveled fast. It was a wonder that Nathan and Claire kept their relationship quiet as long as they did.

 

Just as Nathan was going to open his mouth and say something to his sibling, Claire beat him to it. His eyes widened at her flared temper as Michael’s narrowed. She’d insulted his intelligence, something that Nathan had done many times but.. not just outright saying it to his face. And already Michael was angered because of who she was, he took a step forward causing Nathan to put himself between his brother and his girlfriend. Whoever said blood was thicker than water was full of it, he would pick Claire over his family any day. “Ya little hussy.” Michael spat out. “I don’t know who you think ya are, but you ain’t talkin’ to me like that and gettin’ away with it. I oughta call Pop right now an’ tell him that my brother’s out with a dirty Griffith.”

 

Nathan didn’t care what others said about his family, about his brothers or even him, but when someone talked bad about Claire, he had always gotten that flush of anger that he had to hold in because most of the time it was his relatives saying things about her. But right now when all this was out in the open and people looked their way because Michael was a big loud idiot, Nathan just couldn’t swallow it. He didn’t think, just shoved his brother as hard as he could causing the other to fall to the ground and nearly hit his head on another arcade game. When Michael stood up again only then did Nathan realize that might not have been a smart thing to do. “Ya dug your own grave, little brother. I’m tellin’ Pop first thing I walk through the door.”

 

“Fine! Go ‘head, I don’t care cause ya know what? I ain’t a Browne. I ain’t no relation to you no more.” Nathan was frustrated, his ears red as a clear mark of just what his emotion was. Looking to Claire, he shook his head, stepping over to her. “I’m sorry darlin’. Shouldn’t’ve asked ya to play a game with me.”

Dollface - 12/12/2005 at 03:08 PM

Claire didn’t care she took a stab at his intelligence. She didn’t care she said it straight to his face. It was true. He couldn’t think for himself, and people like that bothered her. She didn’t hate him because he was a Browne; she only disliked him because of the fact he listened to everything his father said, thinking exactly alike him. The Griffiths weren’t bad, and hell, Claire knew the Brownes weren’t bad people also. If only each family could realize that. Yet they couldn’t, and they still hung onto that stupid grudge that started years and years ago. Not even something like this could probably make to either of the families realize that they needed to get over this grudge of theirs - if anything, Claire was worried this could only make it worse, since their relationship was now found out about.

 

As Nathan stepped between her and his brother, she peered past him and to the other male, a frown creasing her forehead as she looked through the strands of hair that obscured her vision. She scowled as he called her a hussy, crossing her arms and resting them across her chest. “I ain’t no hussy, ya dumbass,” she retorted, though not making any move to step in front of Nathan. Really, she had become a bit scared that the other would try and do something to her, rather than just spouting back names. “Dirty, eh? Well, least I can think for myself! I don’ listen to every dirty thing my Papa says ‘bout your family!”

 

And then the next thing she knew, she could tell that Nathan’s anger had run out, and watched as he shoved his brother to the ground. She and Beth both glanced around at the same time, watching as the bystanders watched the little feud of theirs go on. She swallowed the lump forming in her throat, shifting where she stood as Michael threatened to tell their father once he walked into the door. Great, look what she did. She had to let her temper out. Before his brother just seemed to be thinking about it, and now it seemed he sure was set on telling his and Nathan’s father about the fact he and Claire had been sneaking around together.

 

“An’ you can expect me to be tellin’ Papa ‘bout this, Claire.” Her older sister snarled, walking away and back into the cinema. She watched as her sister disappeared past the double doors, then looking back to Nathan as he spoke and moved towards her. “Don’t be sorry, baby,” she murmured quietly, raising her hands and placing them on his cheeks. “I’ll try my best to convince my Papa not to send me off to the city.”

 

rejecteddounut - 12/12/2005 at 04:01 PM

This arguing was a prime example of what usually happened when the two families crossed paths. It didn’t matter if they were all in the best of moods for weeks, once a Browne saw a Griffith or visa versa, it seemed that the turned sour. For what though? That’s what Nathan couldn’t understand. How the two families could hate each other so much. Nathan loved Claire so why did twos relations feel the opposite?

 

Michael stood there, taking in the factors of getting into a fight with his little brother right there in the lobby. They would get in trouble, would get suspended from the theatre and already Michael had plans to come the next week. “You better suck up this time now cause you ain’t ever gona see her again Nathan, not when Pop gets done with you.” He stated, ignoring Claire’s comment of being called a dumbass. That was all right. Nathan was going to get in deep trouble and Michael would get to watch, that was enough for him to keep quiet. With that said, he turned on his heel, still looking like he wanted to punch his brother in the jaw and walked off back toward the cinema and his date.

 

“Claire..” Nathan reached up and placed his hands over hers, kissing her palm gently before pulling them away from his face. “Your Daddy’s ‘bout as firm in his beliefs as mine is..” In other words, Nathan was saying that hell would most likely freeze over before her father actually let his daughter get by with this. His hope wasn’t there, a hurt feeling in his chest already because he knew that this might be the last time he actually got to see Claire before she got sent to the city. Oh his heart would break, it was cracking as he spoke to her. “I love ya, Claire.” He said as he kissed her cheek.

Dollface - 12/12/2005 at 04:19 PM

Claire doubted that his brothers and her sisters even knew what made their families turn against each other. Hell, she wouldn’t have been surprised if her father didn’t even know anymore, but he just actually went by what his father had told him. Yet none of that seemed to matter all the time. Because whatever the reason was, that wouldn’t hold back the way she felt about Nathan. Even if he had some other last name, she would still love him. Even if her father approved, she’d still love him. His family’s words and her family’s words could never change that. Not even if her father did send her off to the city.

 

Right as Michael spoke about Nathan never seeing her again, her heart seemed to have stopped. Not that it hadn’t crossed her mind, but hearing it out loud, hearing someone else say it just made it seem so realistic. It was just weird, hearing it roll off of someone’s tongue like that so easily. She wouldn’t have even been able to spit the words out, because it was something she didn’t really want to think about at the moment. Yet more thinking would have to be put into it, because it was real, that’s probably what was going to happen. She wouldn’t be surprised if her father made her pack her bags tonight, and ship her off to her aunt’s the next morning.

 

Her eyes fell downwards as he turned, as his fingers were against her own. As much as she loved him, she didn’t want him to kiss the palm of her hand like he had. It only seemed to make the hurt wash over her, her stomach twisting and turning into knots. Claire knew her father was firm with his beliefs. She would still try - maybe convincing him she could take on more chores around the ranch, even though she already was in charge of most of them. And as he told her he loved her, it was just going to make it so much harder.

 

Already tears had begun to well up in her eyes. Oh, she wanted to leave the theater right now. She didn’t care about Chris; she didn’t care about the others that were still inside the cinema watching a movie as if nothing had happened at all. She didn’t say anything in response to his words, just nodding her head, moving closer as she put her hands on his forearms, resting her head against his chest. “I love ya, too. An’ not even my papa sendin’ me away is gonna change that.”

rejecteddounut - 12/12/2005 at 04:45 PM

Nathan couldn’t even tell his brother to shut up, the horrible feeling welling up in his chest. For a whole year he wouldn’t be able to see Claire, to touch her, hear her speak, or even smell the scent of her that had always clung to his clothing as they spent their nights together. His life was nothing without Claire, just the same routine of waking up and doing farm work with the occasional eating and going to school in between. A whole year... just a couple of days of her absent felt like an eternity.

 

Even as he stood there in the lobby, he just lost all sense of caring what people saw. Beth and Michael had spotted the two of them together, they had the biggest mouths in the town. He just pulled her closer as she rested her head against his chest, swallowing back the lump in his throat. Gosh, he felt kind of stupid standing there and getting upset, but there wasn’t any chance that her father could be talked into letting her stay. Not even Nathan could show the man that he loved Claire and beg not to send her to her aunt’s.

 

“C’mon darlin’. The movie’s long.. Come outside with me, somewhere b’sides here.” He wasn’t going back inside the cinema, not since he was afraid of if Michael had already told his other brothers. Pulling away some, he grasped her hand, heading toward the doors. Nathan didn’t have a clue where he was heading, he just knew that it wasn’t this building.


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