Chapter 4

The only eventful thing about Saturday was when Ace shook me awake and told me my father had already left for the day. I wasn't sure how he knew that but I didn't question it. He left quickly after that, claiming he needed to go home and help his mom clean up the house before his family arrived.

I went grocery shopping with the little money I had and told myself to make sure Harry paid me back. Beside that, nothing else happened. I did my homework, which was little to none. I talked to Kimmy for a few hours about college. Neither of us were sure about what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go. I was seriously considering a gap year.

I fell asleep somewhere around 11 pm and woke up way too early for a Sunday morning. I cleaned up around the house while Harry slept half the day away in his room. We still hadn't exchanged any words since Friday night but that was normal of us. I didn't want to talk to him anyway.

It was finally time for me to get ready so I hopped into the shower. Once I was out, I blow dried my hair and left it in its natural, slightly wavy state. I looked in the mirror and contemplated wearing makeup. Deciding to impress the family rather than scarring them, I lightly covered my face in foundation. Livened my face with some bronzer and blush and applied some mascara.

My outfit consisted of a light yellow sundress that ended mid thigh. The dress was an off the shoulder type. It was adorable. I slipped on a pair of black flats and a short gold necklace Samantha had gotten me for my 16th birthday.

The doorbell rang and I checked my phone for the time. It was definitely time for Ace to pick me up. He had already texted me to tell me he was here, 5 minutes ago. Shoot.

I grabbed my things and rushed out into the hallway. I heard gruff voices and I cringed. Harry had gotten there flrst. I could see Ace was holding back his anger while introducing himself to my father.

"Nice to meet you sir, I'm Ace. I'm here to pick up Madison," he spouted to my father.

Harry looked confused and slightly angry. He turned around and saw me. "Mad, why didn't you tell me you had a boyfriend?"

I couldn't help myself. "Well Harry, you never told me you had multiple girlfriends now did you?" I pushed past him and grabbed Ace's wrist.

I started to pull him away but my father spoke again. "Have her home by midnight."

"I'm not a child-" I started.

Ace interrupted. "Don't worry sir, I will." I stared at him like he was crazy but he gave me a look that told me to shut my trap.

I could tell he knew I was angry because when we got to the car, he was silent. It wasn't his place to tell my father that I would respect his curfew. Especially not when he knew how Harry is to me.

"He wouldn't have let you go Mad. Not if I was disrespectful," Ace glances over at me halfway through the trip. I just kept my arms crossed and pouted like a baby although I knew he was right.

The anger started to wear off when he turned on the radio and an old One Direction song came on. Ace immediately went to change in but I smacked his hand away and started singing.

Waking up, beside you I 'm a loaded gun, I can't contain this anymore. I 'm all yours, I 've got no control, no control. Powerless, and I don’t care it's obvious, I just can't get enough of you, the pedal's down, my eyes are closed, no control.

I could see Ace staring at me inbetween looking at the road ahead. The smirk I was used to was in full force. "Look at the road doofus!" I laughed, causing his lips to stretch further.

Ace's house was only a five minute drive away from my apartment. He parked in front of a nice looking, but not over the top house. It wasn't a mansion like the rumors had me expecting. The house was light blue with a white fence. It was a "typical" family home. It was weird to picture Ace living here.

I don't know what possessed me to do so, but i told him just that. "I can't picture you living here."

"Why's that?" He asked me, pulling the keys out of the ignition.

I shrugged. "It's just so-" I looked around the outside at the small garden next to the front door, the green grass lawn.

"Ordinary?" Ace provided.

I nodded, "yeah, and you are anything but ordinary Ace Craige." I said it as a joke, to make him laugh but the look on his face made me turn away and open my door.

I stepped out of the car and straightened my dress and cleared my throat. Ace was beside me a second after that, his face masterfully blank.

"You look pretty by the way," he whispered into my ear. I almost shivered at his close proximity.

I couldn't even manage a thank you as he took my hand. "Let's get this show on the road," he told me with a smile on his face. You would've thought he was almost enjoying this little act. He opened the front door, taking a deep breath and led me in first.

There was a lot of people here. Kids were running through the area around the staircase that was visible as soon as you stepped into the house. The walls were painted a light yellow color and the floors were a brown hardwood.

Ace led me into the kitchen where I saw a group of women huddled around the white island counter. Ace cleared his throat and the women stopped their whispering. I wondered what they were talking about. "Mom."

A petite woman with dark blonde hair stepped toward us with a grin on her face. Up close I could see that this was where Ace got his green eyes. They were so eerily similar, I wanted to take a step back. But considering that would have been embarrassing, I managed not to.

She glanced down at Ace and my intertwined hands and her smile softened. Her eyes flicked over to mine.

"Ace you were right, she's beautiful."

Oh God. Of all the things she could have said. A blush covered my skin and I refused to look at the boy next to me but I felt his grip tighten slightly.

"Mad, this is my mom Anna Ross. Mom this is Madison Grey," he introduced us casually.

I didn't know why I let him introduce me as Mad just as I didn't know why I let him call me it. It sounded nice coming from his lips. Not terrible and scary like it did on Harry's. It was as comforting as when my mother used to call me her little melon.

"Nice to meet you Mrs. Ross. I really like your house. Or what i've seen of it so far. I've always wanted to live in a house like this." After I said it, I realized how sad it sounded. But if she noticed, she didn't say anything. She just pulled me into a sweet hug, pulling my hand away from her son's.

"It's good to meet you Madison. I'm glad my son is with a girl a sweet as you," she told me as she hugged me close.

Too bad it's all a lie, I thought to myself but kept a smile on my face. Pretending I was someone else was sort of fun. For the next few minutes Ace introduced me to his family as his girlfriend. I was playing a part. Did that mean I could pretend that I wasn't Mad? Because within the past few days, it seemed Mad and Madison were two very different peonle.

I met Ace's aunts and uncles along with his many cousins.

Ace's little brother, Noah, was eight and liked to hang around him whenever he was near. He looked like a little Ace with his green eyes but he was slightly more light haired. The kid was super energetic when he was playing with his cousins, running around the house with toy airplanes and such.

I learned that Anna was married to Austin Ross and he was Ace's stepfather. Ace and him seemed to really get along. It was nice to see him smiling around his family. Was this what he had meant when he said there was many sides to him?

I met the cousin who supposedly went to our school. She was a freshman and did, in fact, go to Edgewood. Her name was Katie. She looked like most of the women in the family, blonde hair, green eyes and small Iigure. She wore the cutest little glasses and had on a peach colored dress and white flats. She was nice, way nicer than her cousin.

I weirdly really liked his entire family, even the ones that made Ace roll his eyes in annoyance; maybe that's why I liked them. The backyard in Ace's home was beautiful. I could tell Anna spent a lot of time decorating. There was a giant pergola with little lights strung from it with white curtains hanging around them. There was white patio furniture surrounding a little fire pit that had been lit a few minutes before.

Most of the kids were already roasting marshmallows by the fire and the adults lounged on the chairs and various couches. Ace had taken my hand again and he led me to a couch that hadn't been occupied yet. The conversation was nice and I found myself laughing a lot. And surprisingly, I couldn't step looking over at Ace to see his smile.

At some point, Austin came over to Ace and whispered into his ear. I was curled up on the couch with my knees under my chin. Ace shook his head, clearly embarrassed but then he looked over at me and something in his eyes changed. He smirked and got up. I almost fell over since I had been leaning most of my weight onto him.

He came back a few minutes later with a guitar in hand. He took his place next to me once again and set it on his lap. "What, you play guitar now?" I asked him with my eyebrows raised.

"I've been playing guitar since I was eight actually, just recreationally," he answered sincerely.

I leaned back against the cushions. "Well, then play something."

"I need someone to sing for me,“ he was still looking at me.

I snorted, aware that his family were watching us. "Well don't look at me you doof."

The smirk he wore grew. "Come on Mad, you can choose the song," he told me, his voice going lower.

"I don't sing Ace."

His eyes filled with confusion, "I‘ve heard you sing Mad. And that's a flat out lie sweetheart."

"I don't sing in front of people," I corrected.

The smirk dropped and a small smile replaced it. "You sang in front of me. Are youu saying I'm not a person?"

"I just don‘t know. I'm not that good," I kept trying to convince him but it wasn't working. I didn't want to admit that I hadn't even realized I let my guard down enough to sing with him next to me, multiple times.

Anna came up to me and laid a hand on my shoulder, "Ace isn‘t going to force you to do anything you don't want to do honey. Right Ace?"

But all he did was give me puppy dog eyes. Drat him and his adorable face. I looked up at his mother. "It's okay Mrs. Ross, I'II sing." She smiled knowingly and Ace did a funny little dance in his seat and sent me an air kiss which I smacked away. "It's not for you idiot," I made to sure to tell him.

"I didn't say anything sweetheart," he looked away.

And of course, the kid didn't even ask what song, he just started strumming. So much for me choosing. I recognized the song immediately, thank god. It was Let Her Go by Passenger. But I was nervous and when it came time for me to start singing, so I didn't. Instead, Ace strummed the chords again and began singing himself.

Well you only need the light when it's burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow, only know you love her when you let her go.

He nodded at me and I started singing the next verse.

Only know you’ve been high when you're feeling low, only hate the road when you're missing home, only know you love her when you let her go. And you let her go.

We kept switching parts like that for the rest of the song and everytime Ace opened his mouth to sing, I was awed. I was surprised with the confidence in his voice. He was a really good singer but I never would have guessed it. When we got to the end, his family clapped and I blushed. Ace held up his hand and I high lived it like a six year old, feeling embarrassed.

But I couldn't lie, it was fun and exhilarating to sing with Ace. It felt like I could finally let go and be me. And it was hard to just be me sometimes. I didn't realize Ace could be the person to bring that out in me. I had only known two other people who could and that was my mother, before she left, and Kimmy.