Serenity Falls

Serenity Falls by Tiffany Aleman, Ashley Poch

Book: Serenity Falls by Tiffany Aleman, Ashley Poch Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tiffany Aleman, Ashley Poch
summer.
About how she captivates everyone and everything around her. That there’s this
light of beauty that surrounds her, and that people just want to be near her to
bask in that same light. And you know what? After a fucking year of listening
to my mom go on and on about her, I’m starting to believe she’s right. I don’t
know, man; you know how I’ve been living life since I’ve been in Dallas. All
I’m saying is that it’s refreshing.”
    My
hands clamp over my mouth hard as I try to mask the deep breaths my lungs are
dying to take. I had assumed that Sandy was the one talking about me to Wes,
but I never knew she thought all those things about me, and now, he does, too.
    “All
right. I’ve said my piece, but I’m telling you, if you hurt her, I’ll kick your
ass. And you know you’re like a brother to me, but like I said, she’s
different. Kenleigh’s not here for your entertainment, Wes. She’s a good person
with a good heart. And the kids that come here love her, too. You know it’s
hard enough for them with all of their own special needs, but even the ones who
know they aren’t going to live forget about that when they’re here, and it’s
all because of that girl,” Brantley says with an exasperated sigh.
    “I
got it. And you’re like a brother to me too, but just trust me on this one, okay?
Honestly, I think she could be the one to break me, not the other way around.”
    Not
able to handle listening to them talking about me, I clear my throat and step
away from the wall. Tension pulsates thickly in the air as I round the corner
looking at Brantley and Wes. With a wide smile, I look between the two men who
were just talking about me. “Is something wrong?” I ask. Brantley’s hands rest
firmly on his hips, his knuckles begin to turn white, and his face has a red
tint to it. The veins bulge from Wes’ interlocked fingers straining behind his
neck. His knuckles are starting to turn white as well from the strain he has on
them. His lips aren’t turned up in a smile anymore, and there’s a blank look in
his eyes.
    Wes
looks at Brantley for a long minute before he looks back at me. “Nothing. I’m gonna
go and get some air.” Without a backwards glance at me, he spins around and
walks out of the barn.
    “What
was all that about?” I ask, pretending I didn’t hear them.
    “You
know, Kenleigh, I like you a lot and really respect you, but don’t treat me
like I’m stupid. I know you and Wes have been spending a lot of time together.”
With a deep breath, he continues. “I wasn’t going to insert my two cents, but
then I heard him in here talking to someone when I came looking for him. I
didn’t know it was you he was talking to until I asked him if you were up there
and he didn’t deny it.” Brantley smoothes his hands over his bald head a couple
of times. He looks at me for a long moment, pinning me with his stare. “I know
you heard our conversation. I don’t know how much you heard, but don’t act like
you don’t know what’s wrong.” He drops his hands and walks over to an empty
stall.
    Brantley
has never talked to me like this before. Ever since we met last summer, there’s
always been an easiness between us. We’ve been able to joke around with one
another, and it’s never been taken to extremes or insulting in any way.
    He
walks over to a pitchfork in the corner of the stall. I take a minute to think
of how to fix this between us as he begins to muck the stall. I follow him,
take a deep breath, and hope that what I’m about to say won’t piss him off
further. “You’re right. I did hear some of y’alls conversation, mostly the tail
end of it, I’m assuming. And I’m so sorry if you thought I was treating you
like you were stupid. Because I don’t think that. I would never think you’re
stupid. You’re such a good friend to me and I appreciate you wanting to protect
me, but it’s okay. I know I’m only nineteen—“
    “That’s
my point. You’re

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