I wake up to the sweet scent of cherries filling my nose. I sigh and nuzzle Annie's hair, pulling my arms tighter around her waist. I don't want to let her go. After yesterday, I can't seem to get enough of her. No, we did not do anything. We fell asleep and I didn't want to leave her alone. Annie had two nosebleeds during the night, which gives me an excuse, should my parents ask questions. Not that I have anything to worry about. I don't think . . . My mom came in to check on us in the night while Annie was having nose troubles. She didn't mention anything about me being in the room. I am assuming she didn't mind because I was helping Annie.


"Yes Farrah?" I whisper as Annie twists around to face me.

She smiles and asks, "Can we do something weird?"

"What kind of weird?" I arch an eyebrow.

"You said something about the roof yesterday; when you were talking to Sabrina . . . Will you take me up there?"

I grin, "Of course, I'll take you up there. How about you get changed and I will meet you in the kitchen. We'll eat breakfast then fly."

I kiss her forehead before getting out of bed and heading to my dresser. I pull out a fresh T-shirt and jeans before leaving the room. I go into the bathroom and change. I wash my face, brush my teeth and toss my dirty clothes into the hamper. I fix my hair in the mirror before leaving and heading to the kitchen. Dad is at the table, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Mom is at the stove, cooking something that smells like scrambled eggs and bacon. My mouth waters as I go over to peek over her shoulder.

"Do I get a plate of that?" I ask, licking my lips.

"After I serve your guest," Mom replies softly. "Your brother called a little while ago . . ."

"How's Karissa?"

"She's alright, but . . . the baby didn't make it."

I close my eyes, sighing. I open my eyes again and start to help with plates. I butter a few slices of toast. The silence in the kitchen is deafening, that is until Annie enters.

"Good morning," she says with a gentle smile.

"Morning Annie," my dad says, returning the smile. "Emily told me you had a bit of a rough night."

"I survived . . ." she replies, shrugging. "Okay, I guess I should admit it was better, knowing Eric was there with me . . . Um . . . Should I avoid the elephant in the room?"

I smile sadly, shrugging as I bring her a plate. Annie catches on and her expression turns grave. I sit next to her and motion for her to eat. The only sound heard is the clanking of our forks against our plates. A few minutes later, as Annie and I wash our dishes, the front door opens and someone says, "I'm home."

I dry my wet hands on a towel before heading to the living room. Jacks is sitting on the couch, connecting the game console. I join him and pick up a controller without a word. He puts in a racing game, sighing as he sits on the floor in front of the couch. Annie joins a short while later, sitting between my legs and resting her back against my chest.

"We'll go to the roof in a bit," I tell her, kissing her cheek.

"I'm not in a rush," she replies, shrugging. "This is more important right now."

I nod, sighing as I rest my cheek against Annie's hair. The smell of cherries lifts my mood a little bit, but the thought of my brother with crushed heart right now still hovers in my mind. I guess I should be glad we fixed things before this happened. Not forgiving Jacks would have only made things worse.

"I need to get out of here," Jacks says after we place several games. "But the one place I want to go is not going to help . . . She doesn't want to see me."

"She just needs time," Annie says softly.

"Breaking up with me is going to give her the time she needs?" he asks, choking a sob as he drops the controller and covers his face in his hand.

"What?" I say, staring at the back of my brother's head in disbelief. "Why would she break up with you, after being with you for years?"

Jacks' does not answer; his shoulder shudder and he shakes his head.

"Annie," I say, putting my controller aside as I gently tap her thigh. "Let me take my brother out for a bit. I'll be back later."

"Okay," she whispers as she gets up from my lap. "I'll see if your mom has something she needs help with. Or maybe I can hang out with your sister."

I nod and rise from the couch. I nudge Jacks' leg with my foot, placing a hand on his shoulder. He drops his hands to the floor, gently pushing up.    

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