Chapter 10

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In a secluded area a few blocks from Trip's home, there is a small lake with quite a divine, serene atmosphere. It's a place Trip prefers to travel to in times when he needs to cool down and relax.

Large rocks line a portion of the lake and Trip sits down on one, the roughness scraping the back of his leg. It doesn't hurt though and he pulls both of his legs up to his bare chest, wrapping his arms around his knees. As he peers across the lake, he notices a few ripples in the water and figures he has stumbled upon someone's swim time.

A head of white-blonde hair shoots above the lake as a girl whips her head back, sending an arc of water behind her. She rubs her eyes and Trip peers over at her, trying to see if he recognizes her. He thinks he will because of how small the town is in which he resides but fails to make out her face.

The girl jumps a bit in the water upon discovering Trip and he offers a small wave. She places a hand over her heart, signaling that he'd frightened her, but she slowly swims over and smiles.

"You look familiar," she tells him, her blue eyes shining in the sun.

He points to himself, raising an eyebrow. "Do I?"

He certainly doesn't recognize her.

"Yeah," she says, her voice soft. "I'm sure I've seen you before."

Trip shrugs his shoulders and figures there must be someone else in the town who resembles him. As far as he knows, he probably looks as generic as everyone else anyway.

"Must be-" he starts to reply.

The girl suddenly snaps her fingers and grins widely.

"That's it!" she exclaims. "You're Damien."

Trip's eyes widen as the girl calls him by his real name. He hasn't heard anyone use it since he joined Boss' organization.

"How do you know?" he questions as she climbs out of the water. Her long hair sticks to her back and she grabs a towel, swinging it around her tiny body.

"Wow," she says. "I finally get to meet you."

Trip is very weirded out by the situation as he still has no idea who the girl is.

"Who are you?" he asks.

"Oh, that's right," she says and laughs. "I'm Monica."

When Trip doesn't reply, she speaks again.

"Taylor's fiancé."

Trip purses his lips as he immediately feels pity towards the girl he has just met.

You see, Taylor is his brother's real name.

Which means this girl is the one who Beck will marry out of the greed he fosters.

She lowers her head and takes a seat beside Trip.

"He must not talk about me, huh?" Monica asks.

"He's mentioned the marriage," Trip tells her. "Are you aware of his intentions?"

Monica nods her head before looking back at Trip in his eyes.

"Yeah," she says.

"Is there anything in it for you?" Trip asks.

"My parents were going to have an arranged marriage set for me," Monica says. "I'd rather marry Taylor than the other guy they picked for me."

Trip doesn't understand.

"Why Taylor?" he questions, slowly sliding down his rock.

"We've been friends for a while now," she says. "Maybe the marriage is what we need to take it to the next step."

Trip breathes out before slipping into the lake. The cool water immediately flushes around his body and he relaxes.

He doesn't know what to say back to Monica and floats on his back.

"You're more handsome in real life," Monica says. "Compared to the picture Taylor showed me."

Trip laughs. "I'm not so sure about that."

It isn't long before the two hear leaves and dirt rustling from behind the lake and they turn their heads, looking for the new figure.

When a head of blonde hair ducks below a tree branch and comes into view, Trip rolls his eyes.

"I should've known it'd be you," Trip says to the boy who flashes a wide smile.

Reed walks down to the lake and places his towel on the ground beside Monica. He peers down at her before reaching out his hand. She takes it in hers and smiles, introducing herself as Monica.

"I'm Luca," Reed says to her.

Nicknames were only really used between those in Boss' company so, once in the outside world, real names could be used.

"I assume you know Damien," Monica says as Reed whips off his shirt and throws it to the ground.

"Damien?" Reed asks and scrunches his eyebrows.

"The boy in the water," Monica says.

Reed glances over at Trip and raises an eyebrow.

"Damien, huh?" Reed says with a smirk and folds his arms across his chest.

"What about it?" Trip asks as Reed quickly runs into the lake.

He swims over to Trip and rubs his eyes from the water that has gotten onto his face, revealing his long eyelashes.

"Nothing," Reed says. "It's quite a handsome name."

Trip sighs and floats on his back again. "I know."

Reed laughs and begins to float on his back as well. Monica watches the pair and decides to ask a question that inevitably creates tension between the three of them.

"Luca," she says as the two boys release their back floats.

Reed looks over. "Yeah?"

"If you're close with Damien, does that mean you know Taylor?" Monica asia and Trip shoots his eyes over to Reed.

"Taylor?" he whispers to himself, only knowing Beck's nickname.

"My brother," Trip says under his breath. "Is Taylor."

Reed glances over at Monica, raising an eyebrow.

"Do you know Taylor?" Reed questions, suddenly becoming suspicious.

"Yeah," Monica says and Trip knows what she's about to tell Reed.

And so, Trip grabs Reed's hand under the water and it distracts him for a moment as Reed looks down at their hands.

"What?" he asks Trip.

"Don't be upset," Trip whispers to Reed. "When she tells you who she is."

"What're you talking about?" Reed asks as Trip still holds onto his hand.

"I'm right here," Trip says.

"I'm Taylor's fiancé."

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