The first part to this novella received such incredible feedback and a generous amount of notes; I am honestly so thrilled that people enjoyed the first section of it. I really am. You guys are absolutely amazing and I love you. I know I suck when it comes to writing angsty, fight/argument scenes so I’m really glad you all enjoyed it and took time to read it.
This chapter - and probably part 4, as well - is a filler section. Not as lengthy, not as long, not as detailed. I think I underestimated some things in this series and probably could have squeezed it into three sections… Haha.
Summary: Dylan O’Brien was your first kiss, your first love, that is until fame hit him like a truck. Now after years of not speaking and being apart, you decide to stay in his old room for a summer while figuring some things out. Coincidentally Dylan just so happens to be taking a break during that time.
Pairings: Dylan O’Brien x Reader
Warnings: Fluff. Kissing.
Word Count: 3,457
A/N: This is the first chapter of my new story Start Of Something New! I hope you guys enjoy.
Soft hums of Katy Perry played in the background, the smell
of BBQ filled the air. Kids ran around as the parents all stood in various
places, talking about things that interested them and the teens sat on the
stairs, watching all the madness while waiting on the food. You were holding
some of Julia’s famous lemonade, her brother’s body slightly leaning against
yours. “I bet you ten dollars Uncle Mike is going to light himself on fire
tonight.” His voice was slowly turning into low and smooth as he was getting
older, it had gotten to the point where your breath would hitch when he spoke
to you. He was around two years older than you, but for some reason you two
became friends, clicking together instantly. Him and his family had been quick
to make you feel like part of the family, hence why you were at their family
cookout for the 4th of July instead of being at home with yours. “Why
wait until tonight? Two more steps closer to the grill and he will be in
flames.” Your words made Dylan laugh, his head falling back as he did so. Julia
glanced up at you two, smile on her face as she shook her head. Julia knew you
had a crush on her brother, she had confronted you about it probably around a
“You’re looking at him different.” She had said, arms
crossed upon her chest, eyes narrowing down at you. “I am looking at him like
the goofball he is.” You said defensively, confused look on your face. You
didn’t know exactly when you started developing feelings for Dylan, but it made
you worry. If Julia could see it, could he? “Like a goofball you’re in love
with.” She mumbled, but you still heard her, it took a lot out of you to wipe
the concerned looked on you face as Dylan walked out of the dressing room,
striking some ridiculous pose in his slacks. School pictures were coming up for
the end of the year and you had agreed to go shopping with him. “I am feeling
these.” He said, smoothing down his jeans, making a face that cause you to
laugh, shaking your head at his childish acts. “You look like a grandpa.” You
commented, his face scrunching up at the idea. “Do not.” For someone who was
older than you he really did act like a child most of the time, the corners of
his mouth pulling down in a frown.
Bookworm Chris finds himself helpless on the receiving end of a series of killer contraptions, nature loving pacifist Josh suddenly has to fight for his life, resident bad boy and general smart ass smarty pants Matt is left hanging, and prom king Mike is going to have a hard time using his looks to get out of this night alive…
The Premise: Jamie sends a dying Julia (aka Faith) and distraught Claire back thru the stones before he returns to the battlefield at Culloden, but there’s a catch.
Mother and daughter are separated on the journey.
Claire believes Julia to have remained with her father, and when she finds a small grave at Lallybroch bearing Julia’s name, it further solidifies this belief. Jamie, on the other hand, was left alone atop Craigh na Dun and believes his precious daughter to be in the future with his wife.
Julia was, instead, transported sixty years into the future ahead of Claire and grows up there. She is welcomed into a warm and loving family, but tragedy strikes as her adoptive mother is killed in a car accident. Three years later she is kidnapped by a band of buffoons looking for her birth parents.
October 30th, 2017; Somewhere in the middle of the woods. Julia.
The sun had set long before we got to where we were going, which was apparently somewhere in the middle of nowhere in North Carolina. It was pouring down rain and the windshield wipers could barely keep up. If I hadn’t been tied to it, I think I would have bounced out of my seat with the amount of potholes we hit. I swear Cruella was purposely hitting them all.
Our progress came to a stop quite suddenly and I wondered if we had hit something. Jasper unbuckled himself and moved to untie me. “Now, no–” he began.
Rolling my eyes as far as they’d go, I interrupted him, “No funny business, I know.”
The circulation to my hands returned in a rush and I rubbed them on the skirt of my school uniform to try to stop the unpleasant sensation. It didn’t really help. I peered out the front window, wondering where we were. A dim glow shone thru the downpour, but aside from that I had no idea what lay outside.
Horace slid open the door of the van and yanked me out into the freezing rain. He pulled me along beside him, straight thru the giant puddles that filled the front walk. A door opened ahead of us, illuminating our muddy path in a strange fluorescent light.
There was a man standing in the doorway, a silhouetted figure menacingly blocking our way.
“Here she is, boss,” Horace shouted to be heard above a roll of thunder and shoved me forward. I tripped and all but fell at his feet, whoever he was.
He steadied me with a firm grip on my shoulder as he held me out at an arm’s length for inspection. The light was still coming from behind him, shining right in my eyes and making it impossible for me to see. “Damn, you look just like him,” the figure commented.
Like who, my elusive birth father? This guy knew him too?
I felt like a guest on one of those prank shows. Surprise! This has all an elaborate hoax with hidden cameras! You’ve now completed level five and won a lifetime supply of Fruit Loops! In addition to these wonderful prizes, you get to confront the people who abandoned you as a child! All without parental supervision!
His hand lay heavy on my shoulder and made it clear that he was in charge.
Was this Crawford?
I looked up at him to see what he looked like as he ushered me inside, but found a rather ordinary looking guy. He wasn’t overly tall, maybe a little above average height, and didn’t have any remarkable facial features. His nose was straight, his teeth even.
Whatever I had been expecting to see as I walked thru the door, it wasn’t this. There were bulletin boards everywhere, each one carefully organized and labeled. A small table was shoved into the corner with two rickety chairs sitting next to it. Every surface was piled high with books and stacks of papers.
“How was your trip?” the man I assumed to be Crawford asked nonchalantly, letting go of me as the door closed behind us.
“Unexpected,” I quipped, growing colder and more annoyed by the second.
“I see you’ve your mother’s tongue too.” He turned to me as he picked up an apple out of a bowl of fruit and tossed it to me, “Hungry?”
I caught it easily and studied it for a moment.
This man believed a fairy-tale to be scientific fact.
I’ve seen Snow White. I know how this goes down.
I was not about to eat an apple offered to me by the bad guy and I tossed it back. “You take a bite first.”
He cocked an eyebrow as he did so, “It’s not poisoned.”
“Please excuse me if I don’t believe you,” I muttered and took it from his outstretched hand. Crawford shrugged indifferently as I took a bite. The tart, crisp apple made my mouth water and I devoured more than half of it before speaking again. “I take it you knew my birth parents, then?”
His eyes were guarded and his jaw clenched as he answered, “In a way.”
He knew them all right.
Something had happened between them and Crawford had been on the losing side, “They left me in the rain to die, what’d they do to you?”
One corner of his mouth tugged upwards at my sarcasm, “No love lost there, hmm?”
“You didn’t answer my question,” I lowered the apple and spoke distinctly. “What did my parents do to you that you think kidnapping me will solve?”
Let’s bring this regional gothic thing back to its roots, the ones that run deep through gray-green swamps and the blackbelt and clay as red as blood …
You return to the old Baptist church for Easter service, feeling a little guilty for staying away so long. But you are greeted warmly by the church-goers and invited to share a pew. Gruff old men shake you hand with fingers curled and knotted like oak branches and soft old ladies hug your neck and half smother you in affection and thick perfume. Everyone inquires about you, your family, and the various details of your lives with honest familiarity. You have never seen any of these people before in your life.
“I Hunt Black-and-Tans” reads the bumper sticker of the mud-streaked pickup. It’s jacked up too high for you to see into the bed, but you’re pretty sure that not all of the reddish stains leaking out from under the tailgate are clay. You bring the dogs inside that night.
The schools are closed. Weather alerts interrupt every radio and television broadcast. The governor had declared a state of emergency. Standing on the back porch, you can hear the tornado sirens in town, eerily faint in the distance. The sky above is a beautiful, cloudless blue and the breeze smells of honeysuckle.
Uncle Earl’s death is a shock. He was old, sure, the eldest of twelve siblings, but still hale and spry. He was fond of telling folks about how he’d only ever had to go to the hospital twice in his life – once when he had pneumonia as a child and then to get pins put in his knee back in eighty-six, after Larry’s bull knocked him down. Unlike many of Uncle Earl’s stories, you know that this is true because Aunt Bea and Uncle Mike and even Momma can vouch for it. Aunt May, the unexpected widow, seems to have wilted from the shock like a tomato vine in the heat. She tries in vain to make the dinner after the funeral seem like any other lively family gathering. She even cooks her signature roast, though the kitchen and the laundry room and parts of the front bedroom are overflowing with dishes from friends and neighbors. “She’s coping in her own way,” says Aunt Bea in an undertone. You nod solemnly just as you bite down on a piece of gristle. Something clacks against your teeth when you spit it out and you discretely fold your napkin to hide the tiny screw.
The subdivisions encroach a little further each day, full of yuppies and yankees. “Worse than kudzu,” you mutter, with a disdainful eye on the new paved roads and neat plastic fences. “Maybe we’ll have a good frost this year.”
Granny complains that the rooster crows at night. You’ve never heard him do it, maybe because you are a sound sleeper and your room is on the other side of the house, facing the garden. But she fusses so much that Grandpa finally tells her to just butcher the damn thing, it’s not like he’s laying any eggs, and Joe down the road has half a dozen roosters if she wants to get a different one. So she stews the offending bird for Sunday dinner and buries the head and the guts in the bean patch, pleased to have gotten some use out of him. She is also pleased to have gotten a decent night’s sleep, all bright-eyed and chipper at breakfast the next morning. You barely hear her through the lethargic haze in your mind. Hoarse, muffled crowing kept you awake all night.
Everyone knows when hurricane season starts. The National Weather Service awards tags on the lottery system and publishes the harvest restrictions and bag limits. Tropical storms may not be taken. Hunters under age sixteen must be accompanied by a qualified adult. No more than two named storms may be taken in one day. Night hunting is punishable by fines and jail time. Category fives and above may only be taken in group hunts consisting of three or more individuals over the age of sixteen. There are no restrictions on the harvest of tornadoes, including those spawned by hurricanes.
Out-of-towners passing through on the way to the beach like to laugh at the names. Fall fairs for rattlesnakes and peanuts. Monuments to boll weevils and coonhounds. Highschool mascots of twisters and gamecocks. The old folks nod silently with smiles that don’t reach their eyes. The strangers don’t understand the fickle powers that govern our lives. The old gods, forces of nature and wild critters, must be respected and placated and content to leave us alone. The younger powers, our allies, must be remembered and honored so they remain faithful. In the blight years, when the cotton withers in the dry summer and the hay rots in the wet fall, the old folks don’t smile at all when the strangers laugh. And if some of the travelers fail to reach their dingy motel on the gulf, well, it’s awfully crowded down there this time of year. They won’t be missed for a long while yet.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. How many times have you heard that line, even said it yourself? You’ve read of dry desert heat and it sounds almost peaceful, like the clean cut of a sharp knife instead of this slow, choking bludgeoning.
They dug a new well when they got an electric pump way back before you were born. The old one got filled in. It left a scar in the yard just off the porch steps in the form of a shallow, circular depression. You used to like to play there as a kid because the grass was always a little bit thicker and greener. Sometimes there were mushrooms. But your daddy would fuss when he caught you there and drag you away with a hand tight on your arm. It was years before you noticed how everyone else avoided the place. The treads on the steps were more worn on the side furthest from it and whenever anybody was walking across the yard, even if they were in a hurry, they’d swing wide around so as not to step on it. Later still, a storm blew down the weather-vane. The next night, the loss of its creaks and groans makes it too quiet for you to sleep. As you lay there, a rhythmic metallic clanking reaches your straining ears. You’d always assumed that it was part of the weather-vane turning. Soothed by your familiar lullaby, you begin to drift off even as part of your mind worries over the sound like a dog gnawing a bone. It’s a little different all by itself but you’re sure you’ve heard it before. Just before sleep claims you, you recognize it from a visit to a friend’s grandparents’ farm, which is even older than yours. It’s the sound of somebody priming a pump.
The hand-lettered sign in the gas station window reads “fresh hot cat heads!” You know they mean biscuits the size of a cat’s head. You think they mean biscuits. You pray they mean biscuits. As you pull away, you try not to notice the delicate bones littering the ground around the dumpster out back.