The Secret

By: Kate Benson

Chapter One


As shards of light make their way through my heavy eyelids, I squeeze them shut again as quickly as I can. My head is pounding and I’m completely disoriented. I have no idea what’s going on, what happened.

All I can remember is that dream.

Recalling Jack walking across the grass towards where Chase and I were standing, it seems so real. I’d dreamt of them both countless times, Jack especially, but vivid as those dreams had been, none of them compared to this.

I could feel him… taste him.

I could see the differences in his features due to time passed, but I couldn’t escape the familiarity either. I’ve never had that happen before in a dream. Not to mention, I’ve rarely dreamed of Jack and Chase at the same time.


Sitting up slowly, I take in my surroundings and wonder silently how I got inside and into JT’s bed. Gripping my head when the pulse returns to my temples, I hear movement in the living room and hushed voices. Then, I hear someone closer, shuffling beyond the doorway.

“Honey, she needs to rest,” I hear my Aunt Deb say quietly to someone.

“I know,” I hear Chase whisper in a strained voice. His voice sounds so sad… not like himself at all. “I’m just worried about her. I just want to check on her, make sure she’s okay. She hit her head really hard when she passed out.”

Well, that explains the massive headache, but when did I pass out?

“I’ll go in and check on her, make sure she’s alright,” she offers, her voice still hushed. “When she wakes up, we have no idea how she’s going to react to all of this. We need to tread lightly here.”

“Deb,” Chase starts, concern and irritation staining his deep voice. “What do you think I’m going to do? Sneak her out the window and never tell her?”

“No,” she answers immediately. “No, Honey. I know how much you love her. I know that, but this is delicate. I’m trying to protect everyone here, not just Sophie.”

What the hell is going on out there?

Slowly sitting up the rest of the way, I begin to swing my legs from the bed to investigate the situation when the dizziness hits me full force. The sensation is so intense that it causes me to lose my balance and I fall hard onto the wood floor.

Before I can even fully process what’s happened, the bedroom door swings open and Chase rushes over to me.

“Baby?” he starts, his voice panicked. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I manage as I meet his eyes.

The blue eyes I love so deeply are sweeping over me, searching for any sign of injury until they meet mine. The anguish there matches his melancholy voice and rips at my heart.

“Sophie,” he breathes as he pulls me to his chest and presses his lips to my forehead gently. “You scared me.”

His voice is cracking with emotion and the ocean blue orbs that are staring into my soul aren’t right. The typical sparkle that dances behind them is dull with worry, anxiety, fear.

“I’m fine, I just got a little lightheaded,” I whisper, attempting a small smile as I brush my fingers over his chiseled jaw before resting it against the light layer of scruff. “Are you okay, Lovebug? I heard you talking to my aunt. I passed out?”

“Yeah,” he nods. I can tell he’s trying to conceal it, but a combination of fear and sadness continues to bleed into his handsome features. “You don’t remember?”

“Not really,” I admit. “The last thing I remember was Ana coming inside to get her phone. Did Matty ever call anyone? Is he okay?”

“He’s okay,” he whispers, pushing the hair away from my face, taking me in as his expression softens. “He was here, but he took JT to see his parents so you could rest. Come on, Baby. Let’s get you back in bed.”

Lifting me from the floor bridal style, Chase gently lays me back onto JT’s bed and watches me thoughtfully as I settle. The moment passes quickly, though, much to his displeasure, as I attempt to sit back up almost immediately.


“I think I’m okay now. I’m really thirsty, though,” I say quietly as I slowly come back to my feet. “I’m going to go and get a glass of water.”

“I’ll get it for you, Sweetheart. Please don’t get up yet, Sophie,” he whispers, his voice near pleading as he rests his strong hands on my shoulders. The look of anguish that refuses to leave his perfect face is scaring the hell out of me. “Please just rest for a little while longer, Princess.”

Something’s wrong.

“Chase, what’s going on?”

“Sophie,” he says softly, guarded as his eyes fill with worry. “Baby…”

“I’ve brought you some water, Sweet Girl,” my Aunt Deb says warmly from the doorway, cutting Chase’s words short. “Chase is right, you need to rest. Get your pretty little behind back in that bed and let me get a look at you.”

“Baby,” Chase sighs into my hair before raising my chin slightly to kiss me tenderly on the lips, holding my eyes. “Sophie, I love you.”

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