capitulo dos:

Graven stood at the bottom of the stairs, hands on hips, waiting expectantly for Taylor to appear. She hadn't seen him in three days, though he had asked her to come by everyday. She hadn't made it, not because she was particularly busy with school and work, but because she had taken up cruising the mall with Liz after school. The friendship had developed quickly, and although Graven knew that no one could ever replace Taylor, she had to admit that having a friend who preferred the mall to the skateboard ramp was refreshing. Today she had finally decided to go to the Hanson's - partly because of guilt, and partly because she wanted desperately to be near Taylor.

When Walker had opened the door for her, she was informed that Taylor was sick and sleeping, but should be getting up soon. So Graven settled down on the family room couch to wait, watching Dawson's Creek in spite of herself. After a bit she heard Taylor talking to Avery and knew he was awake. She stood and walked over to the stairs waiting for Taylor to come down. Except Taylor didn't come down. Instead, he said something to Avery about going back to bed.
Avery had responded shyly, "But Tay, Graven's here and she's been waiting."

"No," Taylor restated firmly. "I'm going back to bed."

Graven was surprised and hurt. He didn't want to see her? He had asked her to come over yesterday. She could understand if he felt sick and just wanted to sleep, but he could at least have come down to say hello and explain.

Yeah right Taylor Hanson, you're not off this easy.

Climbing the stairs two at a time, she was met with a very surprised Isaac. "You look upset. What's wrong?"

She ignored the question, flashed him a smile and went on to the bedroom Taylor, Isaac and Zac all shared. Grabbing the ends of Taylor's comforter, she tugged the entire thing off him.

"What the heck are you doing!?" Taylor exclaimed, watching his language in case any of his younger sibblings were listening.

"Getting you up." Said Graven matter-of-factly. She had expected some more resistance from him. Instead he laughed. "How're you feeling Tay?" She reached out and Taylor dutifully let her feel his forehead.

"Tired, but nothing some tea and some more sleep won't fix." He yawned.

"It would suck if you had to cancel the concert Saturday," she added, sitting down on his bed.

"You coming for sure?" She was acting so strange and changed lately, it would not have come as a huge surprise to him if she told him she wouldn't be attending the concert.

"Yeah, first row, Baby! Liz, the girl who's coming with me, is so excited, you have no idea! She's nice Tay. You'd like her."

He noticed the part where she said 'you'd like her', and not 'you'll like her' which was her way of letting him know that Graven had no intention of EVER letting him meet this Liz character that filled her conversations. "I'm sure I would." He yawned again.

"I should let you get some sleep. I really hope you feel better soon. If you get up later call me okay?" she got up, and began to replace the comforter that Taylor inhabited just a few minutes ago.

"Sure," He paused, then spoke again. "Graven? Would you stay here awhile? I have barely seen you all this week. I've missed you."

Something deep within Graven grew warm, the way it always did when Taylor said something sweet... Taylor, can't you see how much I love you? "I've missed you too Tay."

He lay back on his pillows and closed his eyes. Within minutes he was asleep, but Graven remained, watching the soft rise and fall of his chest and the smooth even breathing as he slept. Finally she decided to leave. She did have some homework to finish and if she stayed any longer she'd have to walk home in the dark because her car was in the shop. Unfortunately, the car gave out on her the other day as she was getting off the highway. And of course that meant that she would not driving herself and Liz to the concert on Saturday. She stood up slowly and gathered her things and before leaving, she gently kissed her index finger and ran it softly over Taylor's cheek.

Graven opened the door to her house, surprised to find it empty. Usually her mother was home when she got home. A note on the kitchen table explained all:
Took Chuckles to the vet. Daddy is working late and I'm meeting him for dinner. In case you're not staying at the Hanson's, I've left money for pizza. Why don't you invite Taylor over, or that Liz girl you're so enchanted with?
Love you,

Graven smiled, her mother was so sweet. Not the kind of woman who put her career as an architect ahead of her family, Sara Morrison attended her husband's Writer-Of-The-Year award banquets and clapped the loudest, giggled with Graven over which boys were cute, which shirt would look best with which skirt, took the aging cocker spaniel, Chuckles to the vet and co-organized church fundraisers with Diana Hanson.

Deciding to take her mother's advice, Graven called Liz to see if she wanted to order pizza with her. Taylor was probably still sleeping and wouldn't want to come over. The phone rang and rang and no one picked up. Damn it Liz, where are you? She decided against leaving a message and hung up. Sighing, she stared down at the money on the kitchen counter. She really didn't want to eat alone so she grabbed her jacket and walked out into the Tulsa dusk. She was always welcome at the Hansons and they always had enough food to feed an army. They were an army.

Liz put down her fork and looked at her parents in exasperation, feeling all the excitement, happiness and pure giddyness of the last few days drain out of her. "Why not?!"

"The answer is no, Liz. Your mother and I don't feel that you'll be safe with a girl who we don't know, who is a year older than you. Please try to understand, sweetheart." Liz's father said formally, and Liz could see that the subject was closed. She decided to try with her mother.

"Mom? Please let me go. I promise nothing bad will happen. I'd die if I didn't see Hanson live. Their website says they're working on a new album so who knows when they'll perform again! You've met Graven. She's nice," Liz knew that she was pleading but didn't care and went on. "You should be happy that I'm making new friends. You always tell me I should go out and have fun, don't you? I really want to go. They're front-row seats, Mom!"

"Your father and I will discuss it privately after dinner. IF, and I say IF we do allow you to attend the concert, your father and I will want to speak to Graven's parents and arrange transportation." Lillian Hunter said, trying not to smile.

Liz knew that this was not the time to mention that Graven was planning on driving. It didn't matter anyway, she had won! She was going to that Hanson concert.

Over the next day and a half, a lot had happened. Liz's parents had discussed the concert, and decided to let her go... just one catch. They wanted to drive. Since they wanted to get to know Graven's parents anyway, the two couples had decided to go out for the evening, and pick Liz and Graven up afterwards. Taylor had fully agreed to pretend like he didn't know Graven, along with the rest of the band, even though it hurt them all greatly that Graven didn't want Liz to meet them. Taylor had gotten much better... Finally, Saturday had rolled around. Hanson was excited. Graven was excited. Liz was hystarical. She remembered how her mother had met Graven's a few days before when dropping Liz off. The two had hit it off immediately.

The doorbell rang at the Morrison home. Sara went to the door to find a slightly unhappy Liz with her mother standing right behind her. Liz had just wanted a ride, but her mother had insisted on meeting Graven's mom.

"Oh hello! I'm Sara Morrison. It's nice to meet you." She said warmly, extending her hand to Lillian for a handshake.

"Lillian Hunter. The pleasure's all mine. You've got a goregous home Sara, I love the old crown molding on the celing! Is this an old house?"

"Yes, it belonged to my grandmother. She left it to me when she passed away and we moved here twelve years ago from California. My husband wasn't too thrilled about leaving his precious Los Angeles home, but this is where I spent my childhood. I couldn't just sell it off to some strangers."

"Goodness no! Who knows what they would have done to the place..."

"Oh my god, Graven! What am I going to do?!" Liz asked as they passed 'The Buckle' at the Promanade Mall.

"Liz, don't worry, you'll find something!"

"How do you figure? Everything I look at is cute on the hanger, and then I get it on, and it looks well... horrible," she looked down at the three bags that Graven already had.

"Now come on, that's not true," Graven said pulling Liz into Contempo Casuals.

"Graven, no, I can't fit into anything in this damn store. They seem to think that people only range from sizes 0 to 6."

"You'll find something!"

Liz unwillingly walked into the store and looked at all the things that she couldn't wear. "Look at this," she held up a tiny shirt, "This is an extra large?! I'd hate to know what size they consider me."

Graven rolled her eyes, "Liz, you are not fat."

"I never said I was..."

"Okay good."

"Never said I wasn't, either," a grin spread across Liz's face. Graven grabbed a nearby pillow with purple feathers all over it. Why anyone would want to use it, she didn't know, but it looked good to hit someone with... which is exactly what she did.

"Ow! Hey!" Liz laughed.

"Hahaha, that's what you get!" Graven wandered over to a rack of dark blue flared jeans, "What size do you wear?"

"I dunno," Liz followed her over, "like a 12 or 13? Maybe an 11 if I'm lucky..."

"Okay, well, let's just see here..." Graven continued to search through the rack, "Ah! Here's a 11/13."

"Okay..." Liz grabbed the jeans and began to walk over to the dressing rooms.

"Um, wait - you might want to try a shirt on with that."

"Nah," Liz said, turning back, "I was just gonna go in my underwear."

Graven laughed, and began yet another hunt for the top part to Liz's outfit.

After about 5 minutes, she had aquired 7 tops and handed them to Liz.

Liz put on the jeans, which to her surprise, fit very well. She tried on the first 5 shirts - none of which fit. Then, she tried on the last two. One was a black three-quarter sleeved one with a V-neck, and the other was yellow with green and red flowers, with elastic on the top so it layed over her shoulders.

She stepped out of the dressing room.

Graven looked up from her position on the floor, "Oh I love that one, Liz! Much better than the black one..."

"I don't know," Liz said looking in the mirror - rather self concious. She wasn't used to wearing things that fit her - mostly just stuff that was too big.

"No, you HAVE to buy that one! C'mon, we've been here for three hours, and that one looks so good."

"Alright, alright."

After the girls had gotten accessories and shoes to go with their outfits, they decided to run into Subway for a quick bite.

"Um, it's on the upper level isn't it?" Liz asked.


They sat down at the only booth left, and began to open their lunches.

"So, Graven, are you sure you like that outfit?"

"Yes! For the millionth time, yes!" Graven laughed and took a sip of her diet Dr. Pepper... something that Taylor had gotten her hooked on.

Liz smiled, "What if we met them? I mean - Oh my god that would be so amazing."

"Yeah. It would be," Graven tried to hide the fact that she wasn't exactly going to be carrying her lucky rabbits foot to the concert.

"I mean - Oh my god - I would just - I don't know."

Graven laughed again, "Calm down, girl, they're just normal people!"

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Liz put on a musty face, "They put their pants on one leg at a time."

Graven couldn't help but burst out laughing. She remembered the time that she and Hanson were all joking around about fame, and Zac had tried to put his pants on two legs at a time.

"What's so funnny?" Liz smiled.

"Oh nothing, hahaha, but just picture Hanson putting their pants on two legs at a time..."

Liz now started laughing, also. "Graven, you're a nut!" She reached over and took a little peak into the bag. "You think Tay would like something like this?" She grinned.

Graven almost choked on her sandwich, "You like Taylor?"

"Well, I mean, I don't like him; I don't know him. But I guess you could say I have a little crush on him." She blushed.

"Oh, really? Hehe..." Shit... Now she definitely can't meet Tay, Graven thought. She scolded herself for having these feelings, but she would just die if Taylor started going with someone. I don't think he would go for Liz, anyway... Again, she scolded the thoughts. She thought that Liz was kind of pretty, but not something the guys would go for. Most of the girls that Taylor had gone out with before had basically been perfect. Sort if like... Graven. So why didn't he have any interest in her?

*capitulo tres
*what do you think so far?