9.24: First Law

Sorry for no chapter Wednesday! The holidays have gotten super crazy for me, so we’re back to one chapter a week for a little bit 😦 Just Saturdays for now! I hate the once-a-week schedule just as much as you guys do, but real life calls 😦 I’ll let you guys know when Wednesday chapters will be coming back (hopefully pretty soon!) Thank you for your patience and understanding! ❤


Oliver shifted uncomfortably under Penelope’s weight as she continued snuggling herself against him, pushing him into the corner of the couch. It was all Oliver could do not to let out a sigh of annoyance. He felt so trapped with her pressed up to him like that. Guess I should be used to it though…

He liked spending time with her, but did she have to hang all over him constantly? Couldn’t she give him a little space?

And couldn’t she have picked a different movie? Jesus… 

No matter how many films she made, Ollie was fairly certain he’d never get used to watching his mom’s movies. It was just too weird seeing her onscreen, imagining her as someone else. No matter how hard he tried to see past it, she was always just… Mom. Which made many of her movies pretty awkward and embarrassing to watch. 

Unfortunately, even after dating him for two months, Penny was still very much an unapologetic ‘Callista Cross’ fangirl. And though she’d at least reached the point where she was able to handle talking to his mother without making a fool of herself, to Oliver’s dismay, Penny still insisted on watching one of his mom’s movies any time it was her turn to choose.

On the bright side, this also meant that Ollie wasn’t trapped any longer (not physically, anyway). As soon as Ollie’s mother appeared onscreen to give her big dramatic monologue at the climax of the film, Penny shot up and leaned forward, watching with rapt attention.

Oliver shook his head slightly as he watched her. It wasn’t until he’d started dating her that he’d realized just how young Penny still was. He still liked her a lot, but… there was a disconnect there too, especially in maturity level. It was especially obvious in moments like this, when she was practically beside herself as she fangirled over his mother.

“Ahhh! Isn’t she amazing?” Penelope gushed, pausing the movie at the end of the scene.

Ollie simply shrugged. “Yeah, I guess she’s pretty good.” He admitted.

“Pretty good? Are you kidding? She’s like… my idol!”

“Yeah, I know.” Oliver usually tried to avoid talking about his mother at all costs, but it was inevitable — Penny always found a way to bring her up eventually.

“Y’know, this stupid high school play and stuff… It’s just the beginning.” She continued seriously. “Someday I’m gonna be starring in movies and winning Oscars… Just like her.”  

“You don’t want that, Penny.” Oliver replied after a moment, shaking his head. “Trust me.”

His girlfriend raised an eyebrow at him. “Why not?”

“This whole Hollywood thing…” He paused for a moment, thinking of all the tabloid drama surrounding his mother, the days and weeks he would sometimes go without seeing her, the awful paparazzi who stalked her every time she left the house, the fake smiles she wore at every fancy dinner party she hosted for her directors and co-stars…. “I know your mom works behind-the-scenes so you don’t really see it as much, but it’s really not always as awesome as it seems, you know?”

Penelope rolled her eyes. “Oh my God, Ollie! You sound just like Asher.” Her voice dripped with bitterness as she spoke.

Oliver felt himself tense involuntarily at his best friend’s name. “Maybe I do… But why is that such a bad thing?”

“Because he’s Asher!” Penny replied, as though that explained everything. When Ollie eyed her skeptically, she continued. “And I’m still pissed at him for being such a jerk to us.”

“I know… But he apologized, remember?” He asked, concealing the pain he felt as the words passed his lips. 

Yes, Asher had apologized to both of them about two weeks ago, not long after their awkward exchange at the Rosebrooks’ house. But it hadn’t really changed much between them — Asher had barely spoken to Oliver ever since, and he had no idea why.

Penelope let out a heavy sigh. “Look, forget I said anything. Can we just NOT talk about him right now? Please? I finally got him to stop being so obsessed with you, and I kinda thought that meant you’d stop too…”

An unpleasant wave of guilt washed over him then. This was the first time Penny had ever called him out so directly for his fixation on Asher. How long had she been feeling that way?

Oliver pushed away his guilt the best he could. “I’m not ‘obsessed’ with him, Penny. You worry too much.” The lie came almost too easily. But what else was he supposed to say?

Luckily, Penelope seemed eager to change the subject, and did not press the issue. They finished the rest of the movie in peace, messed around a little bit, then he dropped her off at home.

Though his car was in the driveway, Asher remained out-of-sight upon Oliver’s arrival, just as he always did. It was still so puzzling and hurtful — Ollie had thought that their mutual apologies a few weeks ago meant that things could finally go back to the way they used to be. But instead, the two of them remained just as distant as ever. 

And that broke Ollie’s heart even more than seeing Asher with Landon.

Stop being so dramatic, he told himself firmly as he made his way back toward his car after walking Penny inside. Your heart isn’t broken. And you did this to yourself anyway, so… 

Unfortunately that thought brought him very little comfort. All he could think about was how his heart still ached so desperately for his best friend, and how cruel and guilty he so often felt when he was with Penny…

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, was it? Being with Penny was supposed to make him happy — make things easier. But he now realized that all it had done was make him feel worse… Especially now that Asher and Landon were together. And he had no one he could turn to or talk to about it.

Well, maybe one person… Ollie realized. But it was a huge risk.

Maybe one worth taking though. The more time that went by, the more Ollie realized that he needed somebody he could open up to. If he didn’t, he’d go crazy. And he knew exactly who it needed to be.

‘Hey, are you busy? Mind if I come over for a little bit?’ He typed quickly as he stood beside his car underneath the starry evening sky. 

The reply was almost instant. ‘Uh oh… This can’t be good, can it? Um… I mean, sure! :)‘

And so, rather than drive back up into the hills, past the rows of other gated mansions that led to his mother’s, Oliver began driving south, closer to the city. In about ten minutes, he’d pulled up in front of a house very different in style from the Rosebrooks’, but just as big and beautiful.

Unlike when he used to visit Asher and simply let himself inside, Oliver found himself greeted at the door by Lily.

“Hey, Ollie! You got here fast.” She greeted him brightly as he approached.

He shrugged. “I was kinda in the area… Thanks for letting me come over.”

“Any time!” Lily assured him. “So, um… we have two options. We can go out back and talk by the pool, or we can go inside… But I’ve gotta warn you — my parents are home.”

Oliver couldn’t help but laugh. Lily knew even better than he did how easy it was to get sucked into a conversation with her parents — especially her mother, Dr. LaVallee, who was always telling Ollie that his mother was her favorite patient, and dropping hints that Callie was overdue to book more Botox injections or get a touch-up on her nose job… And his mother’s plastic surgery was the last thing he wanted to talk about right now.

“Yeahhhhh… Let’s head out back.” He replied, still amused.

With a smile, Lily led the way. “Knew it. I figured you’d wanna dodge my parents so we could have a little privacy for whatever it is you wanna talk about…”

“What did that mean, anyway?” Oliver asked, taking a seat beside Lily as they reached the sitting area by the LaVallee’s swimming pool. “In your text.”

“What did what mean?”

He let out a small sigh of annoyance. “That ‘this can’t be good’ thing.”

“Oh. That.” Lily paused for a moment before continuing. “Well, you don’t really hang out with me anymore, so I figured you weren’t coming over just to say hi…”

The guilt that bubbled up inside of him then was nearly as bad as the guilt he’d felt earlier that evening with Penny. Now that he thought about it, she was right, wasn’t she? He’d barely made time for her in literally months. “God, I’m sorry, Lil.” He replied seriously. “But if it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only one I’ve been shitty to lately.”

Lily just shrugged. “I was kinda shitty too, back when I was with Steven. And… If it makes you feel any better, Asher’s been just as bad? Guess Operation: Get Asher Laid came at a price, huh?” She teased.

But Ollie did not laugh. And the look on his face must have been telling, because Lily’s smile vanished almost instantly. 

“Oh… This is about him, isn’t it?” She asked softly. “I should’ve known…”

Oliver did not immediately reply. Now that he was sitting here with her, it was like he’d completely lost his ability to speak. Where could he even begin? “I… I’ve been having kind of a hard time lately, I guess. With Asher. And Penny too, by extension…” He began uncomfortably. “There’s been some, uh, things on my mind for a while.” He knew he sounded just as awkward and uncertain as Asher often did… But it wasn’t nearly as adorable when Ollie did it. “And I’m trying to figure out how to deal with it. But I’m feeling pretty stuck right now.”

Ollie almost laughed when he realized just how vague and confusing what he said must have sounded. “Sorry, that was terrible.” He continued, unable to suppress a smile. “I should really just spit it out, huh?” But for some reason, the words still felt like they were caught in his throat.

Lily appeared thoughtful. “If it makes this any easier, I think I might already have an idea of what’s on your mind…” She said at last.

“You do?” He asked softly.

“I mean, the three of us have been friends for a long time.” Lily explained. “I’ve definitely picked up on some… things… over the years. But it was never really my place to say anything about it…” Her lips curled into a smile. “Even I know where to draw the line. Sometimes.”

It came as a huge relief that he did not have to voice his feelings out loud after all. Oliver returned her smile for a moment before his expression turned solemn once more. “God, how do you do it, Lily?” He asked impulsively. 

“Do what?”

He hesitated. “After all this time, Asher’s still… I mean, you still…” You still love him, he wanted to say. 

Fortunately, Lily seemed to understand. “Oh. Um… yeah. Kind of…” She replied, her discomfort apparent on her face.

Despite it all, Ollie pressed on. “So how can you stand it? How can you see him with Landon without it just… crushing you?”

That was the heart of the problem, after all, wasn’t it? Things were so different before, when Asher wasn’t with anyone. But now…

Lily took a deep breath before replying. “Well, it’s two things, really. One, my parents told me a long time ago that being jealous is a total waste of time and energy. So I’ve been trying to remember that. And second, well, speaking of energy… That’s all that feelings really are, right? Energy? ‘Emotional’ energy, but still.” She clarified.

Ollie had no idea where she was going with this, but nodded. 

“And according to science, energy isn’t something that can be destroyed. So, by that logic, your feelings can’t be destroyed either.” Lily explained, speaking quickly. “But energy can still be transferred, or converted into another form. And, if you think about it, feelings can be transferred from one person to another… Or converted from one type of feeling to another too.”

It took a moment for him to finally understand what she was getting at. “So your feelings for Asher…”

Lily nodded slowly. “I converted them into something else. And it didn’t happen overnight or anything. It’s still a work-in-progress sometimes, even now. But it helped a lot. And now, I can just be happy for him.”

Oliver considered her words for a few moments. What she was saying made perfect sense and he knew it was the right thing to do… But how? “I get it… But you make it sound so easy.”

“It isn’t.” She assured him. 

He bit his lip, his mind now wandering from one Rosebrook sibling to the other. “And what was that other thing you said? About transferring feelings to somebody else? Or energy. Whatever it is we’re talking about.” He was starting to lose track.

“What about it?”

“So, let’s say you transfer the energy to the wrong thing? What happens then?” He asked almost guiltily. “Like, you’re trying to get rid of the energy, so you decide to move it somewhere else, but things don’t feel right… What does science say about that? Like, does that mean it’s gonna explode, or something?”

Lily furrowed her brow at him. “Is this about Penny?”

With a small sigh, Ollie nodded. 

“Honestly, I have no clue what science says, but your friend says that it’s super fucking shitty to string somebody along if things don’t feel right.” Lily’s face and voice were suddenly hard. “Especially when you’re in love with her brother!”

Oliver held his face in his hands, a loud groan passing his lips. “God, did you have to say it like that?!” Hearing it spelled out like that was just too much. “Fuck, Lily… What am I gonna do?”

“I don’t know.” She replied softly, her anger now gone. “But I know what you should do.”

“Yeah… Me too.”

But that was the problem — the knowing part was easy. 

The hard part would be finding the strength to actually do it.


15 thoughts on “9.24: First Law

  1. Lily…she’s such a great friend. She should be a counselor when she grows up!

    I’m glad Ollie decided to go to her. Stringing Penny along is the worst thing. And he doesn’t even like her hanging on him. Isn’t that what girlfriends are supposed to do? That’s when you know you should end it.

    I liked the thermodynamics lesson analogy to emotional energy. Good one! 😉 And it’s true! Ollie was doing just that but it was the wrong way. Lily didn’t tell us how she was transferring her energy though. It’d be nice if she got a boyfriend so she could leave her Asher crush behind.

    And now for the BIG BREAK UP! Penny is going to have a literal cow. 🐮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lily is definitely a great friend! I love writing her! ❤️ She had a boyfriend who dumped her right before the teen arc started, so she’s still single for now 😦 But she’s a great girl and hopefully she’ll find somebody!

      Glad you enjoyed the thermodynamics lesson 😂 Her and Asher are a lot alike in some ways haha and as for her own emotional energy toward Asher, in this case she wasn’t referring as much to transferring it to someone else, but rather converting the energy from romantic love to platonic. But hopefully some romance lies in her future! She deserves it ❤️

      And yes, Ollie really has gotta break up with Penny… and he finally knows it! He likes her but… it’s not enough. Hopefully he can find a way to let her down easy????

      Man, I can hear the mooing already 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well …. then. We all figured he had feelings for Asher. Hmmm. What a huge mess. Teenage love and trying to figure yourself out. With these guys and Lily too, it’s been a definite work in progress with lots of mistakes and confusion. Did you sneak a journal to a Ollie? Poor Penny. Ollie is right, she is a couple of years younger and in teenage years, that’s a lot. She’s going to get hurt. Granted, she is probably only with Ollie because his mom is famous so she sort of used Ollie too. She’s shallow, but again, she is younger and I can’t help but feel bad for what’s getting ready to happen to her. But it’s all part of growing up. You get hurt, and you learn from it and grow stronger and wiser. Hopefully.

    But Asher. I wonder if he’ll find out that Ollie really does have romantic feelings for him too and what that’ll do to him and Landon’s relationship. He’s already messed up too.

    This is a giant bowl of hot mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Giant bowl of hot mess” should be the alternate title of this gen 😂 love it!

      He’s been hit with some very hard truths here… and now needs to find the strength to do the right thing (aka break Penny’s heart 😬) You’re right — she really is SO young, and a little shallow too. But this is still gonna crush her…

      And that’s a good question about what would happen with Asher If he knew the truth… 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, so I’m a little annoyed right now. I can’t ‘like’ your post after switching browser to Google Chrome.

    But other than that,..
    Amazingly insightful! I loved we got to see Ollie so vulnerable. It was very sensitive and it was great that Lily was able to make him see what he need to do. I’m guessing the thing he needs to do is break up with Penny. But I’m not sure he should tell Asher about his feelings towards him. Because that would mess things up with Asher and Landon. And does he really want that on his conscience?

    Lily is right, it’s really shitty of him to string Penny along if he isn’t truly interested in her. If it doesn’t feel right, he should come out and say it. He needs to be honest with her. But maaaybe leave out the “I’m in love with your brother” part? xD That would probably not do her any good of knowing.
    Honestly, Penny does comes across to me as too immature, compared to Ollie.
    How young is she exactly? Compared to him?
    I think, even though there might not be that big of an age gap, it is still too big, because you evolve so much in those teenage years. So like, if they had waited two years or so with getting together, it might not really have mattered. But right now, they are really not a great fit. She’s too young for him. And he’s too “old” for her. Or just too mature for her. She needs someone at the same mind level as her. Someone who can actually relate to her. And honestly, I think it’s a really immature way she reacts about Ollie and Asher. The way she talks about her brother… Makes me wonder how young she really is.

    I think Ollie and Asher would be great together. But at the same time, I would feel so bad for Landon. I mean, he’s gone so many years, dreaming of being with Asher. And now he is. And to then find out that Asher has feelings towards Ollie as well (maybe he already knows?). And maybe even losing him to Ollie. That would hurt so much. But again, I can’t really see how their friendship can last if Asher stays with Landon.
    Ugh! I don’t know who I am rooting for as Asher’s partner xD This is torture! Just end it now and tell me what will happen haha xD

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw sorry your browser is being dumb! 😦 I’m really glad you liked this chapter! This is definitely the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen Ollie.

      And I agree — he should break up with Penny but not include the part about his feelings for Asher 😬 Hopefully he’ll have the sense not to! 😱 Penny is 15, compared to Ollie (and Asher) who are 17. So there’s a couple years of a gap there, plus Penny is a little immature for her age on top of it all too.

      Sorry for making you so unsure about the love triangle! (Okay, only a little sorry… this is also kind of fun hehe) We’ll see how things develop from here… there are 8-10 chapters left before the jump to YA. A lot can happen in that time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shoot being single and in my 40’s is tough enough no way I want to be a teen and do it all over again. Lilly is such a great friend! Penny is gonna flip her sh*t when Ollie tells her it’s over. I can see the fireworks for miles on that one I just hope she don’t go running her mouth to Landon or something. Asher I’m afraid is going to be caught in the middle of a huge storm of things. I hope they get it all sorted out and can enter YA w/ confidence and stride, but after all this is the Rosebrook Legacy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lily is really wonderful… the next national treasure besides Landon’s ass 😉 Penny probably won’t be happy though… it’s true… It could get messy pretty quickly… And like you said, these are the Rosebrooks, so confidence and stride aren’t very easy for them… 😬 But we shall see!


  5. Good thing that everyone seems to be adressing the pressing issues going on, instead of just ignoring it.The cat is definetly out of the bag, and that kitty sure ain’t getting back to it.

    AT least one person in the trio has some kind of sense. Then again, Lily’s thing is kinda ”been there, done that”. So her comments are comming from a place neary identical as Ollie’s. Still agree with what Ollie’s thought’s, thought. It still kinda is your fault dude. You liked him, only realized when it was too late, and *is* the one dating his sister.

    Asher is also definetly guilty, but I still feel like most of Ollie’s issues were created by himself. Hopefuly he’ll break up with Penny. It shouldn’t be hard. I mean, she might be angry because she’ll no longer be interacting with Ollie’s mom on a daily basis, but I kinda doubt she has Strong feelings for Ollie. (Unless she developed then with time, in that case, things will be messy.) Likewise, I belive Ollie’s biggest worry about ending this is about how Penny will react.

    Oh, And Asher is totally gonna flip.Okay, he’s good with Landon now, but it would have helped him out to get a better closure if Ollie had told him about that sooner. He’d also most likely date someone a lot sooner, and wouldn’t be put in this weird spot where he’s dating, and his childhood love/friend just spills the fact that he loves him.

    And if Landon hears that…Oof. In for a treat!

    I say it again, Lilly is really cool and needed for this romantic cube (Asher/Landon/Ollie/Penny) to figure their things out. I mean, and outsiders’s perpective Always help when dealing with such emotional subjects.Also definetly glad that she straight out said ”dude u r in love with him”. Well, *someone* had to say it, hun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the cat has been released with a vengeance!

      Lily definitely relates to Ollie’s situation… which is good, because he really needed to hear a voice of reason! Now he knows what he’s gotta do… and you’re right — his biggest fear is hurting Penny and how she might react… which might not be pretty!

      This definitely complicates things for Asher too, if he ever learns of Ollie’a feelings. He’s already in a difficult situation himself, so finding this out… yikes. Maybe he wont though?

      Long as Lily doesn’t go around shouting those harsh truths again in front of him 😉 It was good she did in this case though — like you said, someone had to say it. Truth hurts, Ollie 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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