Chapter 3.13 – Summer Vacation

It had been almost two months since Archer told her goodbye and Reagan still missed him terribly. Today, she sat with Will, drawing on her tablet, while he played his favorite game online.

Every so often he would hoot and holler and pump his fist in the air. It brought back bittersweet memories of a simpler time when she and Ryan begged to play video games for one more hour. When their family was still intact.

Ami had mercifully asked her to babysit Will for the summer.  Without any friends of her own to hang out with, she was more than happy to get out of the house and earn some money for herself.

Reagan was surprised when Ami came home early. She peered over Reagan’s shoulder at her drawing. “Wow Rea, that’s really good,” she said appreciatively. “You take after your mother. She had a great eye for color and design. Cole can’t draw for anything.”

Her mother, thought Reagan and sighed. She had been thinking about her a lot lately, especially after her dad almost called Dannie her mother. She was actually surprised Ami said anything nice about her.  Reagan swallowed hard before replying. “She did?” was the only thing she could think of to say.

Ami must have noticed the hitch in her voice. “You miss her don’t you?”

Reagan bit her lip to keep from losing it. And just nodded her head.

Ami looked over where Will was totally absorbed in his game. “Let’s go in the other room Rea. I wanna talk to you for a minute.”

Reagan followed her Aunt into the adjoining room and they sat down.  Ami looked at her a second before speaking like she was trying to work out what she wanted to say and it made Reagan nervous.  She tried to think of what she had done wrong.

Finally Ami spoke.  “It’s okay to miss your mother Reagan,” Ami said gently, totally surprising her.

“But, she cheated on Dad, and her boyfriend ran you off the road. Doesn’t that make it wrong to wanna see her?” In fact, Ami still sported a small faded scar on her cheek from the car accident. It reminded her a little of Archer’s scar. He never told her how he came to have it. It was just part of him and she really didn’t notice it, sort of like Ami’s scar. It was just a part of her.

Instead of answering her question, Ami asked one of her own. “You still miss Archer too – huh?”

Yes, she thought, just as much, if not more than she missed her mother. That pain was still fresh.  “How do you know so much?” asked Reagan.

“I’ve been thinking about you lately, because, well, you look so sad all the time. You don’t have the same energy you used to have. And I think, maybe, I understand why.”

“Yeah. Because my life sucks…” said Reagan and shrugged.

Ami gave her a tender smile. “It doesn’t have to Reagan,” she said. Reagan could hear the compassion in her Aunt’s voice. “You are a young woman, with a bright future ahead of you. But you also have all kinds of new and confusing feelings swirling around inside.”

“You see,” continued Ami, “I think, maybe Dannie and Taylor filled the empty space in your heart that was left when your mother made bad choices and broke your family apart. But then, when you later discovered that Cole and Dannie had a family that didn’t seem to include you, suddenly you had a bigger empty space. You felt displaced, out of sync.  And then, Archer came along and filled that big ol’ empty space up with new, wonderful and exciting feelings. But now, he’s left you too.  And the empty space is back, bigger than ever before, because it was yet one more person you felt had let you down. Am I right?”

Reagan was crying and didn’t even know it until she felt the hot tears on her cheeks.  Ami’s words had hit home – hard. She did feel empty and unlovable. “I’ll never be okay again, will I? I’m so tired of feeling like this.”

“Rea, you have to try to work past it,” said Ami. “Don’t let the darkness consume you.  Try to rise above it. I was in a really dark place after the accident. I essentially locked myself in this house with Will. Thank goodness for Noah, he helped me find myself again.”

“But how Ami? My Noah is gone. I have no one.”

“Maybe, just maybe, Archer wasn’t your Noah. But, I’m here sweetheart, if you ever need to talk about anything at all. It’s just between us girls. I promise. I know you don’t want to hear this, or even believe it, but you will find your Noah. First loves are often the hardest to get over. Especially with someone bigger than life like Archer. You need to open yourself up to exploring new relationships.”

“I don’t think I know how,” she said, wiping her face.

“You’ll figure it out,” said Ami and stood up. “Come here. I think you could use a hug.”

Reagan let Ami take her into her arms. It made her feel safe and she began to cry again as all the emotions of the past few months came rushing to the surface.  She realized that was how she had felt with Archer – safe.  And that’s how she used to feel with her father. But now he only upset and confused her. He was no longer a safe place for her. And that made her cry more.

After she eventually stopped crying, and Ami released her, she said, “You’re gonna get through this stronger and wiser than before. I promise. I did.”

“I hope so,” said Reagan trying to stay composed. “I’m sorry for bawling. It’s been a rough few months. I’m trying hard to ‘grow the fuck up’. Archer’s parting words of wisdom for me.”

Ami burst out laughing. “Oh, sweetheart. That’s awesome.”

Reagan’s composure began to slip at Ami’s laughter and she plopped down on the couch defeated. She suddenly remembered this was where Archer kissed her the first time.  No, she didn’t see anything funny about it.

Ami quickly apologized and sat down next to her. “Honey, I’m sorry, it’s not funny at all is it? He obviously cared a lot for you to be so blunt. But, you know, he is right Rea. You have grown a lot, but you still have a lot more life to experience. And, no doubt, you will always have a little tiny spot in your heart with Archer’s name on it….and that’s okay. He was your first everything and has left some big shoes to fill, but someone will come along and sweep you off your feet. I know it.”

Reagan wasn’t so sure but Ami’s words were comforting in a weird way. “Maybe,” she said.

“Ohhhhh,” exclaimed Ami as if she just had an epiphany, “I have an idea! It’s a ways off, but Reagan, next summer, how would you like to come work for me at C&M? You’d be an apprentice and begin to learn how we help home-buyers pick out decor and colors. I know you would be so good at it. What do you think?”

Reagan smiled a huge smile.  And it felt weird. She hadn’t smiled or laughed in a long time and Ami had her going from crying to laughing.  “Wow….that actually does sound fun. Thanks Ami!” she said and threw her arms around her Aunt again. This time she didn’t cry.

***************************************************************************

When Reagan got home after talking to Ami, she was excited at the prospect of a job between her junior and senior year. But still, in spite of what Ami said, she was dreading going back to school in two weeks. She had no friends at all. It was going to be horrible. She picked up her tablet and began to draw. Drawing had become her escape.

She heard Ryan barreling up the stairs, and smiled to herself. She didn’t hear his door close, instead he knocked on hers. “Rea! You in there?”

“Yeah…. come in,” she called out. When he busted through the door she asked, “Don’t you EVER walk up the stairs?”

He looked at her like she was crazy. “What?”

“Never mind. What’s so urgent?”

“You have to come to Jason’s party.”

“He’s having a party?” she asked surprised. Jason had run away from home and was gone for a couple of days. Nobody knew where he was, and then he just showed back up.

“Yes. Since he finally got his shit together and came back home, he’s having a party and everyone is going to be there. And . . . well, Camden asked me specifically if you would be there. I think maybe he likes you.”

“Will Taylor be there?”

“Of course. She’s Olivia’s best friend. You don’t have to hang with her.”

She was curious now. “What exactly did Camden say?”

“Nothing much. Just asked if you were coming to the party. The band is going to play first, then just hang. It’s in his studio. No parents hovering.”

“How is Jason doing?” asked Reagan.

“He’s doing okay. I think he’s just trying to adjust to the idea that his folks aren’t together.  Jason’s pretty bitter though, and pissed at his dad, but he won’t talk about it.”

“Ryan, do you miss mom? I mean, I really, really want to go see her. Sometimes I think about her and it just hurts so much. Don’t you think she is sad too?”

“Yes – sometimes I wonder if she thinks about us. But if she does why doesn’t she try to call or something? As soon as we are 16 we can go. Dad can’t stop us then. It’s not too much longer. Just, try not to think about it. So, you coming to Jason’s party?”

Reagan thought about what Ami had said about exploring new relationships. Maybe, if Camden was really interested, she could start with him. She grinned. “Sure,” she agreed then asked, “Camden really asked about me?”

*********************************************************************************

The party was in full swing when Reagan and Ryan arrived. The guys were in one room and the girls were all in the kitchen, except for Kenzie, who was firmly at Jason’s side.  Reagan felt out of place.  She didn’t want to go to the kitchen because her sister was there, but she didn’t want to sit with the guys either and began to think she’d made a mistake.

However, as soon as the guys saw Ryan, the other band members, Jason, Camden and Link, called him over and went to gear up to play. Reagan quickly took one of their vacated seats so she could watch Camden.  Kenzie jumped up and came over to sit next to her.

“Cute isn’t he?” she asked, having noticed her looking at Camden.

Reagan was embarrassed that she was so obviously checking out Camden, so she tried to change the subject. “So is Jason. I like the hat. How’s he doing?”

“He refuses to talk about it. He had us all so worried. Did he tell you? I’m leaving next week? We are moving to build the next big hotel.”

“No. Poor guy. First his dad skips town and now you’re leaving him.”

“Don’t remind me,” said Kenzie, “He wants to make the most out of tonight, so he’s pretending everything’s fine.”  Just then the guys started playing, ending their conversation. Reagan knew how Jason must feel. He and Kenzie had been together even longer than she and Archer. And now his parents are split up. Yes. She knew what he must be feeling because she felt it too. An emptiness inside.

As she watched Camden, she realized he wasn’t much different than her own brother. Since Ryan broke up with Rosa, he has been with a new girl  every couple of months. Camden was the same way, a different girl every time she looked around. However, right now, neither one was ‘with’ anyone. Actually, it seemed like almost everyone at the party was single now except Jason, and he would be soon.

She had to roll her eyes when she looked at Ryan. He had been working out over the summer. He said he was working on his left hook, but Reagan knew he was really trying to keep in shape for basketball. Regardless, he was tan and buff and wore sleeveless shirts to show off his guns. A couple of the girls were sitting on the floor watching them dreamily. She laughed inside because she was doing the same thing to Camden.

When Camden sang, she swore he was singing to her. He looked directly at her and even winked. It warmed her and for the first time in months, she smiled a genuine smile because someone was making her feel special.

After they played a few songs, they took a break and turned on the stereo. Someone had managed to fill the refrigerator with beer. Camden grabbed one before he came and sat down in the empty seat next to her. “Hey Reagan. Are you alone tonight?”

“I came with Ryan,” she said nervously. That was lame…ugh…she thought to herself.

Camden laughed. “Well then, I guess you are alone. I am too. Maybe we can be alone together.”

“I guess so,” she said and smiled.

Camden smiled back and looked over to where everyone was beginning to dance. “Wanna dance?”

“Sure,” she said. She couldn’t believe it. Camden Hammond was asking her to dance. Not Taylor, but her.

They danced along with the others but didn’t talk.  After a minute pulled, he pulled her closer. It felt nice to have someone touch her like she mattered again.  She let him lead her around the dance floor until the song ended. 

He grabbed her hand and pulled her off the dance floor.  Her heart fluttered a little at the feel of his fingers intertwined with hers.  When they sat back down on the sofa, this time he slid his arm around here. Chills ran down he spine at his attention.

Jason and Kenzie walked up to the stage and Jason grabbed the mic. “Thanks for coming. I figured since most of you losers don’t have dates we might try to spice it up a little with Seven Minutes in Heaven. If you are not single, you can sit out – or just grab your partner and get your seven minutes in first!”

Everyone agreed, especially the boys. Kenzie put the girls name in one bowl and the guys in another. Jason was just about ready to start drawing names when Camden pulled Reagan to him and whispered in her ear. “Since we are alone together, wanna get your seven minutes with me?”

Reagan giggled. “Definitely with you!” she said.

As soon as she said it, Camden stood up and announced, “Reagan and I are going to go first since we are together.”

Taylor and Olivia’s mouths dropped open. Reagan almost laughed as Camden dragged her into the cramped little office, the only really private place with the exception of the bathrooms.  Kenzie followed and set her phone timer and shut the door.

Camden wasted no time. As soon as the door was closed he was on her, kissing her hard. It was so different than the way Archer kissed. He always took his time with her. Camden was rough and getting down to business.  She tried to enjoy it and not think of Archer.

Camden pulled her onto the couch and reached down to loosen her shorts. Then he slid his hand down the front of them. When he found what he was looking for, they both gasped. “Damn Reagan, you’re hot,” he said.

Suddenly, the door opened and they jumped away from each other.  “Time’s up!” announced Jason grinning at Reagan and Camden like he knew exactly what just happened.

As they filed out, Taylor and Link took their place in the tiny office.

Camden stopped them in the kitchen, since everyone was now gathered in the front room. “I really want to kiss you again….with no timer,” he whispered.

“Ummm. The bathroom?” suggested Reagan, then nearly died from embarrassment.

Camden looked at her, as slow grin overtook his face. “I’m in.”

They walked into the bathroom together and locked the door, not bothering to turn on the lights. She wanted more of Camden. Or maybe just more of someone that wanted her. She missed Archer’s touch badly.

They began to make out in the cramped space. It was somehow different than before. This time he was gentle and slow when they kissed. And kiss was all they did. At least he didn’t try to get her to get her to do more, because, even though she let him touch her for the game, she wasn’t ready to go that far when it was for real. And this seemed like a for real kiss, while the other didn’t.

Go to Chapter 3.14>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 3.12

44 thoughts on “Chapter 3.13 – Summer Vacation

  1. Well, no wonder Reagan found someone else interested in her. She’s so pretty and for sure a lot of boys would want to do what Camden did with her. But uh, isn’t he going a bit fast? At least they didn’t have sex the same day they kissed for the first time, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Reagan’s self esteem was so low she had no idea any other boy would find her attractive. And she let Cameron touch her because of the game….she was glad he didn’t try it again. But…he does have that rep so of course he won’t stop at just kissing..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ami for the win! ❤️. Poor Reagan…she needed to hear everything that Ami said. And Ami totally allowed her to have those feelings and made it okay to feel them – and then gave her good advice and at least planted some seeds. And a job…I can’t wait.

      Camden…ugh – probably not the best rebound guy for her. Or maybe he will be. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes…Ami! ❤️❤️❤️ Reagan really needed to hear what she said! And a job! What more could you ask for. 😊. And now she’s putting herself out there….good for her. Maybe Ami didn’t mean to go so fast…but yeah! Lol…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay for Ami! Finally someone tries to understand Rea.

    I’m curious if Ryan will want to beat up Camden too, if he learns what he does with Rea 😂
    Or maybe he learned his lesson.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I hope Ryan learned his lesson. Little brat! And yes Ami! ❤️ Reagan has always liked her. And she showed concern and compassion for what Reagan has been dealing with most of her young life…. so yes…she got the common sense her brother missed out on…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ami the only real parent to Rea right now.
    I’m surprised Ryan was setting up Rea with Camden, especially when he must know his bandmates dating habits. How is he suddenly not worried about his sister and throwing punches?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ami is the only real parent! Thank goodness for her. And Ryan…he was definitely worried about his sister being depressed all summer and relented. And Camden is a friend, in,Ike Archer. But yes, Camden is a bit of a player. So Ryan might have threatened him….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ami I totally picking up the slack from Cole here! What a great aunt, and hopefully Reagan will take her words to heart!

    Definitely seems like she’s found a good way to keep her mind off Archer for now 😉 I just hope she doesn’t get hurt again! 😦

    Very ominous that the twins are nearing the age when they’re allowed to contact Avery… 😬 I smell mama-drama on the horizon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ami is indeed picking up where her brother dropped the ball. Thank goodness for Reagan! And Camden might help her keep her mind off Archer. Let’s hope so.
      And Avery chapters are indeed on the horizon! 😱😈

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If she is making out with Camden and thinking of Archer, then he is not the guy for her. He is just a stepping stone to moving on. It is a start. Some day someone will come along and there will be no thoughts of Archer or anybody else.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ah…we see Camden enter. But he’s an obvious playboy. I highly doubt it’ll last. But Rea doesn’t need to jump in a relationship right now. Playing with her boy toy might be fun!

    I’m not sure how I feel about the twins visiting their cold mother…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Amy has better communication skills than Cole and she said better with teens. Cole not only stick one foot in his mouth he puts both.
    I wish the twins would give Danni a chance. They would find her to be a very caring and loving mother. They need to stay as far away from their real mom as possible. I see trouble when I hey visit her . She will try to brainwaah them just like she did Cole.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ami is adorable and was soooo good with Reagan. While her brother definitely puts both feet in his mouth! He can’t seem to help it. At least now Dannie is on him now to watch out. I wish the twins would let her in too, but she happens to be Taylor’s mother…. Such an immature thing to do… But hey are kids. She is extremely caring and loving, but has been trying not step on toes. But she sees she has to now. She should have stomped on Cole’s toes a long time ago, so he would stop putting his feet in his mouth!

      The meet n greet with Avery is coming…. Reagan won’t be able to stay away. I fear what it’s going to do to them no matter if she rejects them or not. I see no good ending for it.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Chapter 3.12 – Goodbye | New Beginnings

  9. Ami is simply awesome, I love her so much ❤ ❤ I loved that at least her words finally hit home!
    But uhhh… I'm not so certain about that Camden guy. Well I know I said the same thing about Archer but come on, how possible is it that the next guy will be decent too? At this part I worry very much about Reagan, it seeems that her insecurity is taking over and I'm afraid that Camden will take advantage of it 😥

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ami❤️❤️❤️. She is awesome. I’m glad at least Reagan listened. Whether it will help or not is another story. And Camden, yes swooping in for the kill. Her insecurities are definitely ruling her right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh boy, looks like Camden is moving in on his latest prey, and I think that is exactly what he sees Reagan as. I don’t trust him, he is too smooth. I was glad to see Ami stepping in and talking with Reagan, I think she is someone Reagan will listen to…not sure she would listen to or open up to Dannie…especially since she sees Dannie and Taylor as part of the reason her “life sucks”

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are right on every front! Latest prey is a good way to put it. Maybe Ryan should have been more worried about his friend than Archer. And yay for Ami! Such a great aunt to try and reach out to help her because she is still not trusting Dannie yet although she totally should.

      Like

  11. Yes, yes, yes. Thank heavens for Ami!!! Finally, someone she can talk to. And working at C&M sounds like a great idea.
    What does not sound like a great idea is Camden. Something about him rubs me the wrong way.
    I also don’t know how I feel about Reagan & Ryan wanting to see their mother. I can’t imagine that Avery would want to see them. However, I can see her wanting to use them to hurt Cole & Dannie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. I love that Ami could see the changes in Reagan and worked them out for her. And Reagan listened and didn’t shut her down. And a job will be really good for self esteem which has been pretty bad. And Camden….yes, he might not be the best rebound for her.

      I think they won’t be able to let searing their mother go. Reagan has this need to see her. And not sure about Ryan. He may want to but is afraid of being rejected. And you may be right. Getting back at Cole would be high on her list. 😱

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Chapter 3.14 – Camden | New Beginnings

  13. Thank you, Ami! Rea needed that so bad! Ami is one smart cookie, and she hit the issues right on the head. Rea has needed someone to understand her, and to appreciate what she’s going through. I love that that happened. ❤ ❤ ❤

    I'm glad Camden didn't push her any further. After what happened in the game, I thought he might. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes…she so needed that. Love Ami! ❤️❤️❤️ it did help her try to move forward and stop wallowing…

      I think Camden did that because of the game. He totally took advantage. But, yes, he didn’t. I thought he would too! Lol… Maybe he felt the game gave him permission which in a 2ay it does…but outside of that is different. Besides, Ryan. Lol…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m glad that Ami showed Reagan that she *does* have someone she can trust. Poor girl has had soo much, I’m sure it’s significant to her to be able trust anyone right now.

    I hope Reagan begins her ”healing moments” after this. I mean, Ami said everything, and she agreeded with it, so, at least now she’s a bit more self-aware that what she had with Archer wasn’t love, it was the feeling of being safe.

    I hope she doesn’t start exchaning guys like socks in the week, AKA going into relationship from relationship trying to find ”the one” or to try and forget Archer. That’d be bad. That’s why I’m worried about Camdem. he might just want to use her, and then never speak to her again. That would break the heart of the poor thing.

    I’m getitng goosebumps just from the thought of the twins meeting their mother (Thought I’m also eager to see how *that* will develop.), kinda like seeing the big bad guy once again. Either way, things won’t end well.

    Liked by 2 people

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