Chapter Seven

Author's Note: A lot has happened since I've written on this site. I've graduated high school and college and I am obviously a full adult now, so let's get into Sleeping With the Devil.

Fear wasn't quite the feeling I had right now. But, I felt my heart drop hearing Gwen's voice, and seeing her staring at us in the midst of our moment. Those five little words, "Oh Heather, now you're busted" sent so many unpleasant feelings through my veins. Heather's eyes that were once clouded over with a sparkling lust began to darken like a mood ring. She bawled her fist in fury, and released it as she sighed.

"What the hell are you going to do Gwen?" Heather sneered as she pushed me away and sat up her arms across her chest. She crossed her legs, and placed a hand on my thigh. "Are you going to tell everyone? Put out my relationship with DJ so I can stop hurting your little feelings?" Heather sarcastically cooed.

Why was she acting like this? I mean, did she only open up with me? Why does she always put this fa├žade up with everyone else?

Gwen's mouth fell slightly open. I guess she didn't have much of a plan after this point. She didn't think that she would retort. Maybe that she finally found her Achilles heel.

The sunbeams dissolved in the room. And the lovers' names carved into the bead didn't glow like they did moments ago.

"Maybe I will Heather, so you can not be so invincible," Gwen said while planting her feet firmly to the ground. A fire was behind her eyes now, like she had wanted this vindication for years. I had never seen this side of Gwen. I mean it made sense- she probably has to deal with people like Heather all the time back home.

I wish she could see the person underneath all the defense mechanisms. Silence hung in the room. Neither of them knew what to do, Heather was vulnerable for once and Gwen had the power for once. But nothing about it was right-

"What good would come of you telling everyone Gwen? I mean you know what the producers will try to exploit even more about us. And who knows how they'll edit you. No more moody artist- you'll be the new Heather," the words just fell out of my mouth. I didn't know where any of the reasoning came from. Maybe it's from all the times of getting my brothers out of trouble when they went too hard on me.

Sunlight began to pour back into the room and Heather squeezed my hand as tight as she could. Gwen really didn't want to hurt Heather. She wanted Heather to think that she could hurt her.

I whispered to Heather so that only she and God could hear, "Meet me at the beach at eleven." Slipping out of the cabin unnoticed went fine enough. Gwen and Heather needed to work that out between themselves. And honestly I didn't know what to say.

Dust from days without rain swirled around my feet as I walked back to the Bass cabin. I took the long way back, walking around the entire forest.

These past weeks have been a whirlwind. I didn't know how I'd gotten this wrapped up in Heather. Of course, I'd liked girls back home. And, honestly I had not given sex too much thought. I had always grown up thinking that it should be saved for the sanctity of marriage, and honestly I had been ashamed of my feelings.

My brothers had their own problems with women, and I know Ma didn't want me to go down that same path. But, now I'm just so confused.

Heather isn't the first girl I've thought about. Stopping short, I saw a bottle of nearly empty rum reflecting a prism toward the heaps of leaves on the forest floor. Memories of the first few days of the competition came rushing back.

Geoff smuggled in a bottle from home and a few of us went out to the forest to do some "uhh- team building!" as Courtney put it.

It was as stereotypical as it could be. A bunch of kids passing around a bottle of liquor, no cups, no chaser. I didn't feel bad about drinking or smoking. We did that all the time back home. In fact, I know where Ma hides her own rolling papers.

But, I did feel bad about how I looked at my teammate. The shorts, damn it those shorts. She had ditched the pigtails about three rounds ago. I felt warm all over. Bridgette could roll a halfway decent blunt. We took turns, Katie just watched.

"Could I try?" She leaned over inches away from my face. Holding my breath, I lifted the blunt to her lips. I assumed she wanted a hit from the blunt but she wanted so much more. She grabbed my chin and pulled me toward her. "Blow out, I've always wanted to try this."

I did as I was told. Her heavy lashes closed as she took in the smoke from my mouth. Excess smoke rolled across her high cheekbones and into the air. Bridgette and all the other campers drifted away. All I could think about was Katie in front of me.

I wanted to slip my hands into the too tight pink shorts that gripped everything. I wanted to confirm that she didn't wear any panties like she confessed in Truth or Dare. I wanted to taste her bubblegum lip gloss and feel her hips against mine. I could imagine pushing her up against one of the pine trees and pulling her shorts down- she would fit perfectly in my hands. She would whisper in my ear, "Please fuck me DJ."

My chest tightened. "You can open your eyes now," she giggled. The subject of my fantasy brought me back to reality.

I felt my heart beating in my mouth. My throat felt tight, I struggled to choke out, "You're welcome."

"I'm gonna go to the beach," I ran off as fast as I could.

I was nearly back at the cabin. That memory confused me even more. I couldn't talk to anyone about it- because it's a secret, or, well was a secret before Gwen inserted herself.

I needed to get Heather out of my mind. But, my luck that today is a no challenge day.

The screen door creaked and the guys lifted their heads. Duncan was whittling away on what I really couldn't figure out- God knows what that kid really thinks about. Owen was visiting and stuffing his face with all of the extra cereal from the mess hall. Harold and Tyler were asleep. Geoff was reading, which oddly enough he did a lot- not oddly enough he did read aloud a lot of the time.

"It was the best of times it was the worst of times, DJ," Geoff crooned over the pages of a book. His eyes were red and low. He lowered his bong from the top bunk. It was lime green glass, covered in stickers from music festivals and the little stickers you get off of fruit at the grocery store- most of them from apples, because yes I have memorized the SKU for apples from working at my family's store back home.

"Hit me baby one more time," he could barely finish his bong-Britney impression before nearly falling out of the bed laughing at his own joke.

I laughed too, and again did as I was told. I needed my mind to be caught in a haze for a moment. No thinking about the secret drama unfolding on the other side of the island.

"What are we going to do today?" I asked needing more distraction. Counting the mosquitos floating through the air had lost its appeal since Duncan had become hellbent on killing them by clapping them between his hands, or burning them alive with one of the lighters from his collection. Wind howled through the cabin. And it was the time of day where the sun had set, but the moon was not yet visible. Thunder rumbled miles away.

"Well, it sounds like we can't have a bonfire again tonight. Definitely wanted to see if we could dare Princess to do what Lindsay did last night," Duncan said loud enough for the girls to hear him on their porch.

Courtney yelled back, but it was muffled by the thunder approaching.

He hopped down off the bed, feet padding against the cabin floor. "We could do a little more team-building, when I get into Chef's stash," a smile spread across Duncan's face as his plan formed.

My heart began to race. Just when I had my mind off of everything, my problems began to race back in. I wanted to see Heather tonight, but on the other hand I know I should keep my distance after our performance this morning.

"You need some help?" Maybe helping Duncan would take my mind off of things. Borrowing a few bottles from Chef would be a much different thrill than what I've become accustomed.

Three sharp raps came from the screen door.

"Why are you knocking on a screen door when you can see in? Idiots." Harold mumbled while twisting the most massive puzzle cube I've ever seen.

Sadie and Katie stood there, not in matching clothes for once I guess they only did that for the cameras, wet from the rain that had just began. Sadie had on a sweatshirt with "K+S Ice Dreams" and two cute little ice cream versions of the duo plastered on her chest- for the first time she actually looked comfortable. Katie held herself as she shivered, all she wore was a white tank top- which the rain had made partially translucent. And those shorts- those damn shorts, in a different color.

"We're bored," Sadie moaned. She didn't have her usual voice on either, maybe that was for the cameras too.

"Deej and I are about to go raid Chef's liquor cabinet, if you're in. I'm always open to turning more over to a life of crime," Duncan said while zipping up his hoodie.

Sadie immediately agreed. Katie nodded, still shivering.

I remembered that my mom packed enough jackets, swim trunks and beanies for me to be here for nine months rather than nine weeks. I handed one to Katie.

She slowly zipped it up, "Thanks." I felt the tightening in my chest again.

We stood on the porch, rain now falling down in sheets. Thunder and lightning taking turns sharing the sky. My chest stopped tightening and I felt moths dancing around a flood light in my stomach. And I thanked God that the rain disguised the sweat forming on my palms. All I could think about was getting that close the Katie again, even as she stood right beside me hugging herself in my jacket. Wait, shouldn't I be thinking about Heath-

Lightning and thunder crashed together.

Duncan smiled,"Alright Killer Bass let's go a looting!"