Still Burning - Chapter Five - Breaking Through
 By Moose   •   11th Apr 2013   •   2,869 views   •   6 comments
Horse Story - Still Burning

His voice sent chills up Jane’s spine. Andrew stepped back and clenched his jaw as Will passed him. He handed his horse to him. “You will ride back with Liam and Lewis.” He ordered.

Liam stood a distance from the scene, quiet and uncomfortable. Jane slowly, reluctantly stepped into the truck with her father. Before her head disappeared behind the door, she locked eyes with Andrew. He could practically see the fear in her eyes and he wished there was something he could do.

Jane looked away and took her punishment without a fight. She slid into the passenger seat and slipped her seat belt over her chest. Both doors shut and the truck started.

“Your behavior has been atrocious lately.”

“Dad-” Jane cut in.

“You don’t speak until I’m done speaking.” He ordered as he began driving. “Your behavior has gotten worse since Andrew had been staying with us. This childishness has to stop. This is an order; you are not to see him. Understood?”

Jane sat silently in the seat next to him, her heart breaking on the inside. She wanted so desperately to scream and fight. Her heart was now screaming with a new feeling she couldn't describe. She wanted to break away from her father’s suffocating grip on her life and every choice she made... but this was her father she was talking to. There was only one option. Obey him. So with all of her strength, she ignored her heart, and answer him obediently. “Yes,” her voice was barely above a whisper. “I understand.”

Jane held back tears as she looked out the window and watched the open fields go by. The silence was torture, clawing at her ears and pressing into her brain. She could practically hear the tension in the air. She couldn't stand it another second, it was overwhelming and desperate and suffocating. She wanted to cover her ears and scream until it went away, but that would be a childish thing to do.

Her relationship with her father was like a shoe too small, no matter how much stretching and squeezing and forcing you did it would never fit. No matter how hard she tried she would never please him, the shoe would never cover more than her toes, she could pull it apart into a million pieces but she could never get the shoe to fit. No matter how many times she went out of her head to make him proud he would never be proud of her, she could never live up to Noah. She could never make him proud like Noah did. And her father would never love her as much as he loved Noah. It was like when Noah died, so did her father. He didn't have the same love and pride for Jane or Liam as he did for Noah. And he never would.

Jane pulled her knees up to her chest and buried her face. Why can’t I do anything right? She asked herself. Her chest burned from holding back the tears for too long. She couldn't cry, not in front of her father. What would he think of her then? Probably nothing worse than he already thought of her.

“Quit being so dramatic, Jane,” Will murmured as he glanced over at her, covering her face in her legs. Dramatic? She was trying not to fall apart. Those five words had sucked up the last of her strength. Something snapped inside of her.

“I don’t get you.” She said, her voice so sharp it could cut through metal. “You yell at me when I’m mean to Andrew and you yell at me when I’m nice to him. All you ever do is tell me what not to do!” she screamed, startling her father.

“Don’t raise your voice with me, young lady,” he warned her.

“There you go again!” she said, her words melting into sobs.

“Jane, I am your parent. This is what parents do; they stop you from making mistakes.” He tried to explain, keeping his eyes glued to the dirt path ahead of him.

“Is that what I am to you?” she asked hysterically, “A big mistake?”

“Stop it, Jane!” he demanded as they pulled up to the driveway of the house and put the truck in park.

“Admit it! The only good kid you ever had was Noah, you were never proud of me or Liam. All you ever talked about was Noah. Some people didn't even know you had other kids!” Jane threw open the door and ran out as quickly as she could.

“Jane! Come back here, now!” He barked at her, “I’m not done talking to you.” He grasped her wrist and jerked her so hard, she thought her wrist had been dislocated.

“Let go of me!” she shrieked and pounded on his chest frantically. She took a step back and looked up at him. “You never tell us you love us, Daddy! You don’t love me. You don’t love Liam. Do you even tell Mom you love her? No! Because all you do is HATE!”

The thing Will did next was something he could never take back and he instantly regretted. Not even the sincerest apology could fix what he did. A dark, different side of him had been brought out. He raised his hand to his daughter’s face and hit her.

Jane slowly turned to her father in horror. New tears filled her eyes.

He hit me. She thought. Her own father.

She stepped away from him as if he were a monster and ripped her arm from his grip. Before he could open his mouth, she sprinted for the house, holding the side of her face. Elise stepped outside, seeing and knowing everything that had just happened. She stood with open arms, wrapping her daughter up and looking into the driveway at Will with a glare of disappointment and shock. They hobbled inside, Jane’s muffled out cries was the last thing he heard before the door slammed shut with Will on the outside.

Jane found herself lying awake in her bed that night, staring at the bare ceiling. Her day had been like a bad dream, she still couldn't figure out if it was real or not. Everything had gotten so out of hand…

Jane hadn't seen or spoken to her father since the fight. Her mother had told her father to give Jane some time to think about things and eventually she would forgive him, but Jane didn't think she would ever forgive him for what he did. She couldn't find it in her heart to forgive him, let alone speak to him again. Jane felt so alone, betrayed, worthless and unloved. All she wanted was for someone to hold her the way a father was supposed to hold his daughter, to show her the love that her father couldn't, and to be proud of her like her father never would be.

She began to wonder if Andrew was awake too in the room next to hers. It was strange to think that he could be awake just a few feet away thinking about the same thing. She rolled onto her side and looked at the clock on her night stand. It read 12:46. There was no way he was still awake. But somehow she couldn't help but wonder...

Jane shut her eyes. Andrew was only making things more complicated. He was the reason this had all happened. But then again, if he hadn't come into her life she probably never would have been able to tell her father how she really felt. How long would she have gone on, bottling her feelings up inside if it weren't for him?

Jane shook her head and forced herself to forget about Andrew... and the way he did that little half smile thing and part of his lip curled upwards and the way their eyes would meet from across the table but they both pretended not to be looking at each other and the way his big arms felt around her tiny waist when he pulled her out of Aquillo’s stall and the way his deep, rich voice could make her melt in a second and the way he spontaneously grabbed her face and kissed her so passionately out of the blue and the way his hand fit so perfectly around the back of her neck in a way that made her want to fall asleep in his arms. It just wasn't fair, Jane couldn't stop thinking about him and he was probably sound asleep.

Suddenly, Jane heard a loud thump. Her eyes shot open. She glanced around the room, squinting and trying to make out any out of place. She convinced herself that it could have been a pencil falling off her desk or one of her small paintings falling from the wall. She closed her eyes again and tried desperately to fall asleep. Just when she was beginning to get sleepy, she heard more thumping, one after the other. She sat up and scanned the room. This time she heard it from her window. Had a bird flown into her window? Was it raining outside?

Jane peeled the warm comforter off her body and reached for the floor. It was cold against her bare feet. The feel of the cold floor boards and the sound of another thump made her heart beat faster and her adrenaline grow. She took slow, cautious, careful steps across the room to her window. She moved the curtains aside and peeked out. Almost choking on her breath, she saw a figure, sitting peacefully on the edge of the roof. She cracked the window and peered out into the darkness.

“Jane,” the figure whispered. The voice was familiar, deep and soothing. Suddenly she recognized the dark haired, deep voiced man. Andrew.

Jane was like a vision in the dim, moonlight, her face only half lit by the little light the moon provided. Her skin had a soft, blue tint and her eyes seemed to glow a florescent blue. As she leaned out the window, her thick waves of blonde hair cascaded over her shoulder. Her golden hair reflected the moon, showing up as highlights of blue and silver. He couldn't help but smile at the sight of her.

“Andrew, what on Earth are you doing out here?” she asked in a hushed whisper.

He crawled up the side of the roof to her window and kneeled. “Our windows both look out at the same roof,” he said with a smirk.

Jane smiled back, “Andrew, you can’t just come tapping on people’s windows in the middle of the night.”

“I couldn't sleep,” he sighed, leaning farther into her window.

“Neither could I,” she admitted softly, glancing back at her room.

Andrew stared at her for a moment before speaking, “Come sit with me, the view is beautiful,” he coaxed her.

Jane thought about it with a soft smile, then biting the corner of her lip she answered, “I should really try to sleep, and if we get caught...” her voice trailed off.

Andrew rested his hand on hers on the window sill. Jane glanced down at their hands and felt the tickle of butterflies in her stomach.

Jane tilted her head to one side and sighed, “Fine,” she could hear Andrew sigh out loud, “but only for a little while.” She added on.

Andrew took her hand, helping her out of the window and onto the roof. Jane felt her heart beat pick up speed; she felt so defiant and rebellious when she was with Andrew. She used him as support as she slid to the place on the edge of the roof where he was sitting. Andrew was right, the view was breathtaking.

Below them was a small open field of tall, untrimmed grass growing around an old wooden fence, just barely visible through the grass. Beyond that fence the field became wild and untamed. Rolling hills of silver, looking much like the swells of waves in the sea, blended into a thick, dark, shadowy forest of pine trees. The tips of the trees sparkled with the faintest reflection of the moon’s light. Even farther in the distance the hills of pine trees continued into the valley until you couldn't see where the horizon ended and the trees began. Staring down at it all was a perfect half moon surrounded by what looked like spills of glitter. The sky was so clear Jane thought she could see straight into space. The sky was so dark and the stars were so bright she thought she could almost touch them.

Andrew watched Jane gaze at the sky with wonder-filled eyes. He could see the reflection of the sky in her big, wide eyes. He could tell just by looking at her that she was speechless and overwhelmed by it all. “Have you ever seen a sky so clear?” he asked, glancing up at the stars. Jane looked to him. She could not put to words what she saw and felt in that moment. It was perfect.

The night breeze was different than the warm breeze she felt during the day. It was cooler, just cold enough to give her goose-bumps. It felt like the sea, constantly washing over her in waves, inviting her into its dark, mysterious depths. She could feel the rough, weathered shingles against her thighs. The feeling of sitting so high up made her heart beat faster. She felt energized and refreshed. The scenery was by far the most beautiful sight, but sitting there next to Andrew made her feel safe even on the roof of her house. She came to realize that there was no one else she would rather share the moment with than him.

“Not this clear,” she said at last. The breeze picked up and made her shudder. She felt the tingle of goose-bumps on her legs. Wearing only a fitted t-shirt and shorts wasn't a very good idea. Andrew glanced at her out of the corner of his eye and smiled to himself. He slowly, casually slid his arms out of both sleeves of his hooded sweatshirt and then pulled it over his head. He was wearing a t-shirt underneath it.

Jane looked back at Andrew and smiled, “No, you don’t need to-”

“Don’t say anything. Wear it.” Andrew said, pulling it over her head.

Jane pulled her long hair out of the hood and poked both arms through. It was huge, she could hardly find her the holes for her hands, but it was warm. “Thank you,” she whispered.

Andrew leaned back against the roof and rested his arms behind his head. Jane looked back at him and slowly did the same. She set her head beside his and peeked at him from the corner of her eye.

“I heard everything,” Andrew began, “I know what happened after your dad took you home... And I’m sorry.”

Jane looked back up at the sky, “It’s not your fault.” She breathed.

“How is it not?” he asked.

“I deserved it, the way I was talking to him. I told him the only child he was ever proud of was Noah...” she admitted softly.

Andrew turned to face her, “Why is he so proud of Noah?” he asked.

“Because Noah did everything right, he always did as he was told, he was the first born...” Jane swallowed hard, “and he died serving for our country.”

Andrew’s expression changed. He looked at Jane in a new way, knowing now that the brother she cared so much about was dead... He sat up slowly. There was a long silence before he spoke. “I’m... I’m so sorry, Jane.” Andrew said with softness. “It’s just, the way you guys talk about him... Well it’s like he’s still...”

“Still alive?” Jane finished Andrew’s sentence, sitting up to face him. “Yea, believe me, I know... Sometimes I... I think he still is.” Andrew could make out tears forming at the rims of Jane’s eyes as she swallowed again. “Feels like he’s just gone at training... Sometimes I think he’s just going to come walking through the door.” Jane paused to wipe a tear that had been teetering off her lashes. “And I’ll run into his arms, and he’ll hug me and spin me around like he did when I was a kid.” Her voice cracked and became a whisper. “I miss him so much. More than you know...”

Andrew looked up, and then at her, unsure of how to comfort her. “But I bet he knows.” He whispered, “He knows you miss him.”

Jane nodded, biting down on her lip to hold herself together. Just saying his name brought back the memories of him. It was bittersweet.

Andrew looked at her, so vulnerable, so conflicted and broken. He wrapped her tight in his arms where she fit so perfectly. It felt so good to hold her, like a hero, like a comforter, like he was actually needed. He felt her body shake as she let out another, painful cry. He wished so greatly he could relieve her pain. He ran his hand up her neck and held her against his chest, burying his face into her golden curls and taking a deep breath. She gripped the neck of his shirt and let another soft, gasping cry escape from her throat. The sound broke his heart. It pained him to hear her so broken, distressed, and grieving. Now he wanted more than anything to take her pain away, but there was no way. He couldn't bring Noah back. All he could do was hold her tighter and rock her back and forth.

Andrew felt a warm, filling, almost happy feeling grow in his chest and throat as he was holding her and wished he could hold her so much longer. She seemed to give in and her cries became murmurs and whimpers. Like she was through with fighting the pain and simply let it take her. She released her grip and ran her hands up his back, pressing her face into his strong, sturdy chest and letting her breath out with a quivering sigh. His open, caring, forgiving arms were exactly what she needed. She took another deep breath of his cologne and pulled away reluctantly. When she gazed up at him with tears streaking her moonlit cheeks, building up at the rims of her eyes, and teetering off her lashes, she couldn't have been more beautiful.
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Just when you think it can't get any better.

A lot of chapters to go, can't wait to see how this goes :)
  Apr 11, 2013  •  4,035 views
When I saw this, Chapter 5, I literly screamed!!!!!!!!!Moose, 3 words to say 2 you... You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!
  Apr 11, 2013  •  3,780 views
I have been waiting for this chapter all week! And I'd have to say, it's even better than I expected!!! :D
  Apr 11, 2013  •  3,705 views
  Apr 11, 2013  •  3,840 views
Sapphire Flames  
YES!!!! I've been waiting for seemed to take longer than it actually did..:P. I saw it came up last night, but that was right after I had signed out and my parents just wanted me unfortunately, I had to wait until now to read it! But it was definitely worth the wait..this is such an amazing story!!
  Apr 12, 2013  •  3,715 views
Sapphire Flames  
YES!!!! I've been waiting for seemed to take longer than it actually did..:P. I saw it came up last night, but that was right after I had signed out and my parents just wanted me unfortunately, I had to wait until now to read it! But it was definitely worth the wait..this is such an amazing story!!
  Apr 12, 2013  •  3,726 views
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