This chapter is rated PG 13. There is some minor use of adult language, and sensitive subject matter, that might upset some. Read at your own risk.
Tears: Tiffa’s blog HERE
The other poses used have already been linked in other chapters and can be found via the credits page.
In the last chapter we saw, the reason for Holden’s behavior. Will Grace be able to talk some sense into Holden? Also the arrival of a stranger in town spells trouble for Grace…
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By the time my eyes finally closed, the sun started to peak over the horizon. I groaned against the early light, my eyes swollen and sore from last nights tears.
I rolled over in bed and groaned and watched the ray of light that played on my wall grow larger. Finally I threw off the covers and stood up rubbing my sore puffy eyes.
I was in desperate need of a good nights sleep, and I felt like I was running on fumes, and it wouldn’t be long before I would be on empty.
I groaned and stood up squinting against the early morning sun, and got dressed. Quietly, I walked past Gwen’s room, and wondered if she slept ok. I hoped I could get her job back, I felt like somehow it was my fault she got fired. It was I who encouraged her to go see Holden, and if I admitted it to myself, I was a little selfish in my attempts at getting them together. But all that was a moot point now. Holden was gay, and Gwen was jobless. Thanks to me.
I sat down at the kitchen table and poured myself a big cup of coffee. I pinched the bridge of my nose, feeling a massive headache coming on.
I sipped at my coffee, slowly, bit by bit feeling a little better with every sip. Is there anything coffee can’t cure? I thought wrapping my hands around the warm mug.
I took a pack of post it notes out of the top drawer in my kitchen and scrawled a quick note to Gwen. I was going to go see Holden, and I was prepared to beg for Gwen’s job if it came down to that.
I hopped on my bike, glad the trip to Holden’s house wasn’t far. I was really going to need to save up for a car, if I even still had a job at this point myself…
It was another beautiful day in Evensdale, the sun was bright, but the wind coming off the ocean provided a gentle breeze. Everywhere I looked people went about their days as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Off in the distance I watched a couple of sail boats on the water as I peddled.
I didn’t know what I was going to say to Holden when I got there. Maybe I was making a huge mistake by butting into his personal business. I know what it was like to hide such a big secret and value your privacy. But I owed it to Gwen to at least try.
Holden lived in a cute brick 2 story home on the edge of town. It was a peaceful neighborhood, quiet, quite the change from my beach bungalow on the water, where there was always people coming and going.
I stood out in front feeling unsure. Holden would not like the fact that Gwen told me his secret, something he obviously felt he had to hide.
I stood up straight, and marched up to the front door and rapped on the door twice with my fist.
“Hey beautiful, came to apologize for yesterday?” Holden leered at me and winked. This time I saw right through it.
“Cut the crap Holden, Gwen told me everything. Can I come inside? We need to talk.”
Holden threw up his arms angrily. “God damn it Gwen.” His cheeks flushed an angry red. “What did she tell you? She’s lying.”
“She told me everything, she’s really upset Holden, can I please come in so we can talk about it?”
“No you can’t come in, This is none of your damn business, you can consider yourself fired as well.” Holden yelled, his face the color of a new brick.
I reached out and turned the door knob, and let myself in to Holden’s house. I wasn’t going anywhere until I got Gwen’s job back, and hopefully mine as well.
Angrily, he followed me into the house.
“First off Holden, if you want to be mad at someone, be mad at me, not Gwen. I told Gwen to come see you. She had a crush on you, and I encouraged her to come over and tell you how she felt.” I began. Holden was silent looking down at his shoes expressionless.
“She wasn’t spying on you. She knocked at the door, and as she was leaving she saw movement in the window. You wouldn’t even listen to her explanation, you fired her without hearing her out. She cares about you, and she doesn’t care if you are gay or straight.”
Holden still sat there staring at the wall blankly. Am I reaching him at all? I thought sadly.
To my shock, Holden burst into tears…
“Well that’s all fine and dandy, Gwen will care about me no matter what.” He said angrily his hazel eyes flashing bitterly. “You know who will turn their backs on me? My parents.”
“Holden, your parents love you, maybe they will understand.” I tried to reason.
“You’ve never met my parents. My dad is a pastor, and as for my mom, I’m her only son. She wants grandchildren someday. How do you think being gay is going to go over with either of them?” Tears slowly coursed down his face, I felt terrible.
“Is it better to live a lie, or to come out and be who you truly are?” I asked. “Don’t you deserve to be happy?”
“I’ll lose everything if my parents find out I’m gay. Everything. They will cut me off. To them, homosexuality is a sin.” He bowed his head down in shame.
“Then you are better off without them, and your real friends. Gwen, Tessa….me. We will stand by you.” I said with conviction, trying to meet his eyes.
“How long have you known?” I asked.
“Well I’ve always known one way or another.” He said with a small yet sad smile. I denied it for years. I made it a point to go after every pretty girl. Like you.” He said, the smile not reaching his eyes.
“I know I came on really strong with you, but I guess I was trying to put it out there that I was straight. I knew in a million years a girl like you would never be interested in a guy like me. You were safe to flirt with. Gwen on the other hand…I know she had feelings for me, and that’s why I acted the way I did. I was a total douchebag. Can you forgive me?”
“Of course I forgive you, but only if Gwen can have her job back.” I looked up at him hopefully.
He laughed, wiping away his tears. “Of coarse, and you too, Grace, if you don’t mind working with a total asshole like me.”
I joined in his laughter, smiling. “I think I can handle working with an asshole like you, but only if he lets me do some of the cooking.”
“It’s a deal.” Holden smiled. “Thanks Grace. For everything.”
“I understand Holden, I know what its like to have to keep a secret.” I said my chest feeling tight with sadness.
“Well whenever you are ready to talk about it, I’m here for you. Now that you know I wont be all over you, you can see what a pretty nice guy I really am.” He laughed.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I smiled standing up. “I gotta get going, Gwen slept over last night. She’ll be happy to know that everything is ok now. Give her a chance Holden, she is a true friend, and really cares about you. She just wants you to be happy. Don’t shut her out.”
“A friendly hug?” Holden asked. “No touchy feely I promise.”
I laughed and hugged him in return. I saw a flash from the window, and a man standing there with a camera. I let out a shriek and jumped back quickly, my pulse racing.
“Ow my ear.” Holden laughed. His smile faded when he saw my pale face and wide eyes. “What’s the matter?” He looked puzzled. He followed the direction of my eyes with his own, looking puzzled. The man with the camera was already gone.
“There was a man standing in your window taking our picture. He can’t be far.” I ran outside…
Holden followed me out on the porch. My eyes scanned up and down the street anxiously. I walked around the house, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Was I losing it?
“Now I know your secret.” Holden laughed. “You’re a movie star in disguise.”
I ignored him, wringing my hands anxiously. I remembered the flash from last night, thinking it was heat lightning. Was it really the flash from a camera instead? And if it was. Why?
I said a quick goodbye to Holden and hopped on my bike, the entire trip back, I couldn’t help feeling like I was being watched….
Gwen was awake when I got back. I locked the door behind me feeling frazzled. I tried to smile at Gwen.
“I got your job back.” I smiled.
“I went to talk to Holden. We had a good talk. And all is forgiven. He needs your support, he’s going through a rough time right now, and needs all the support he can get.” I said.
“I think its time him and I had a talk. I’m going to head over there right now.” Gwen smiled.
I followed her out to the porch, my eyes scanning the yard for the man with the camera. Nothing. Maybe I really am losing my sanity, I thought. After all, I hadn’t been getting much sleep lately, maybe all the stress and lack of sleep was playing tricks on me.
I gave Gwen a huge hug. “Thanks for all your help Grace.” Gwen whispered. “You’re a good friend.”
I watched her go, smiling. As much as I liked having Gwen around. It would feel good to have a night to myself. Hopefully I would be able to sleep tonight…
Once inside, I locked the door. The unsettling feeling that someone was watching me wouldn’t go away. I made myself a sandwich, and stared out the window, scanning the beach for any sign of the stranger in the trench coat.
You’re losing your mind Grace, I thought. You’ve finally gone off the deep end. There is nobody out there…
I tried to relax, I watched TV, even tried to read a book. I wrote in my diary for awhile, nothing helped to calm my frazzled nerves. Finally I climbed the stairs and walked out onto the balcony.
It was a beautiful view from up top the deck. I could see for miles. I scanned the landscape anxiously. It was a quiet but windy night. It looked like we were in for a storm…
I yawned and headed back inside.
I dressed in my pajama’s and sat on top of my bed. I know I had to be crazy, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that trouble was heading my way, and soon. I crawled under my blankets, too tired to cry. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep…
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The stranger approached the bed quietly, his shoes not making a sound on the hardwood floor. He raised his camera and snapped a picture.
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*Note* I know the last few chapters have been more about Grace’s friends then her own drama, but don’t worry, that’s coming soon enough. Thanks for sticking with the story so far, and I hope that you’re enjoying it. 🙂