Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 06:46:42 -0800 (PST) From: Adrian Anderson <email@example.com> Subject: Say You Love Me 19 Say You Love Me Chapter Nineteen Jessie's Point of View I woke up to a fluorescent glare. I immediately regretted the decision of opening my eyes and grunted in discomfort. Then I felt arms wrapping around me, heard a very familiar, feminine voice thanking God that I was awake and felt something liquid, that I later realised were tears, spill onto my neck. I recognized it as my mother's voice. I opened my eyes and when they adjusted to the light, I saw that I was right. I hugged her back while she did the crying thing, and calmed down somewhat. I didn't see my dad anywhere though. "Mom! Where's dad?" Mom: "He went to get some more coffee for me. You had us all worried...do you remember what happened?" "I was playing in the pool with Josh and I hit my head, must have blacked out...where are we exactly?" Mom: "We're at St. Michael's. You were out of it since yesterday...the doctor didn't know if you would have slipped into a coma or not. Thank God they got you here in time..." "Yesterday?! What time is it?" Mom: "It's uh- 4:30 a.m." "Where's my cell-phone?" Mom: "Somewhere... I think in the-oh here it is." "Great, I gotta call Brad." Mom: "Here...I'm going to go get your father and the doctor. Oh gosh..." "Um...Mom?" I was a little embarassed. Mom: "Yes, something wrong? Your head, does it hurt...maybe you need another dose of the painkillers or-" "Well, it does hurt, but only a little. But uh...did Brad leave a number...with you? His cell number or anything? I don't wanna wake up the whole house or-" She was looking at me incredulously. I guess I couldn't blame her. She walked over to a table in the corner of the room and took out a slip of paper from the drawer. She placed it into my hand, laughing gently, then mussing up my hair. Mom: "You know, you certainly have to work on those courtship skills of yours Jess. In my day...a gir-uh-person-knew their boyfriend's phone/cell-phone number." I grinned sheepishly and watched her walk out of the doorway. I always feel so shy when anything all mushy and sentimental comes up. And being with Brad...in any sort of way with my parents right there, was no exception. Now, granted, they were very understanding and supportive, so I guess the issue was with me. I guess I'm not all that much into public displays of affection. I dialed the number and the phone had barely rung once when I heard a *beep* and a very drowsy sounding, "Hello.." "Brad, it's" Brad: "Jessie! God, you're awake! When did you get up?" "A few minutes ago. Did...I wake you?" Brad: "What? Aww no. I couldn't sleep anyway." No wonder he answered the phone so quickly. Brad: "Baby, I was so worried about you. Josh said you were under the water for a while, and then he saw b-blood in the water. And the doctor said you had one hell of a contussion and...God..then they didn't even know if you'd go comatose...and I was worried about brain damage...or amnesia. I didn't know if you'd wake up, or if you'd...forget me if you did..." He was breaking down and trying to hide it. His rambling proved it. I loved the clumsy way he tries to express his feelings. I don't have a clue what he really sees in me, but I'm sure as hell glad that he sees something of worth. "Hey, hey...I'm okay now. And I remember exactly who you are-what we are to each other-so don't worry anymore. All I feel is a little head pain...But what the Hell...I've got a good head on my shoulders..." Brad: "That-*sniff*- remains to be seen." That elicited a little giggle from me. Brad: "I'm coming over there right now." "No, it's too early...and you didn't sleep too good. Get some rest...and come a little later." Brad: "No, I'll come no-" "Brad, what will your parents think? I mean...to you, I'm just a run of the mill person remember?" Brad: "They know your parents Jessie...you know that. Last night when I told them about what had happened, and they realised whose kid you were, they insisted on coming with me today to see you and your parents." "Still, why don't you come a little later? I think I need to rest a little more before I see a bunch of people. I don't think that the doctors will allow anyone who's not family in here now anyway." Brad: "You're sure? I mean-" "Yeah, I'm sure. And I want to call Josh and Stacy...to let them know that I'm okay." Brad: "Oh...and what about Vickie? Eh...the girl does seem to have a hot crush on you...hahaha...lotioning her back and-" "I don't know her number, Stacy'll call her...I want to make sure Josh is okay. If I know him like I do, he'll probably be beating himself up for this." Brad: "He did take it a little hard. You sure got one hell of a friend." "Yeah...he's the best." Brad: "Listen...I mighta said a bad thing to him." "What do you mean?" Brad: "When I saw him taking you out of the pool, and he said that you two were roughing it in there, and that was how it had happened...I sorta blamed him for it. I apologised afterwards for it. But I don't know if he's really forgiven me..I was panicking and all. I was a jerk." "Once he says he forgives you, he's forgiven you. He never pretends to be cool with you if he's upset or vice versa. He hasn't held a grudge with me for more than over-night anyway." Brad: "I hope so. I'll-see you soon. As soon as the sun's up. And I know I don't say it as often as I should...but I love you...okay Jess. I don't understand it myself half the time...but I know I love you." "I love you too, Brad. Now go get some rest...Dark rings under the eyes are such a turn off. And you better make sure you're a sight for sore eyes when you do get your ass over here!" Brad: "Yes Sir! Bye.." "Bye....hang up." Brad: "No, you hang up." "This is a cell-phone, no hook to hang it on." Brad: "Same thing here...... "Do I have to exercise my authority here?" Brad: "Okay, I'll just go now." "You do that." About then, mom came back with dad and the doctor. Again, I had to endure a hug, only that time I really felt crushed. I guess they really must have been scared. My dad wasn't an emotionally dead person, but he was no sentimental sop either. But he was crying when he hugged me. Both him and mom. Even the doctor seemed a little teary eyed. I suppose I didn't realise at the time how serious things really were. To me, all I did was hit my head, and black out. I didn't find out until later, just how much water they had to suction out of my lungs. I knew I was under for a while, but not how long exactly. "Whoa Dad! I need to breathe...if I didn't get brain damage from the near drowning...you hugging me is gonna do it!" He and mom laughed, while the doctor scribbled down some notes on his clipboard thing. After a while he talked to us. Pretty standard stuff I suppose. I had seen movies and stuff where this sort of thing happened before. Granted, some of the occurences were on lame-ass soap operas......that I had seen my mom watching of course. Stuff about how lucky I was to come out of this without any real, lasting repercussions...etc...etc...etc. Doctor: "Now, all you have of any consequence is that contussion, but that should be healed sufficiently by Tuesday...just in time for school." "Oh hell! One lousy day off is all I get?! No bonus for effort?" Mom: "Jessie!" Dad: "He does have a-" Mom: "You Lawrence men are just too lazy for everyone's good." Doctor: "Sorry kiddo. One day is all you get. Now uh-if you'll follow me Sir, Ma'am...there are a few papers I need you to sign. " They left with the doctor and I took the opportunity to call Josh. His cell phone rang once or twice, then someone picked up. It wasn't him though. It was his mother. Mrs. Mckenzie: "Hello...um Joshua can't come to phone right now...maybe you should call back some other.." "Mrs. Mckenzie...wait hold up...it's Jessie, I need to-" Mrs. Mckenzie: "Jessie! Good Lord! Honey, when did you get up?! Josh told us what happened and we called your parents, and after what they said that the doctor said...we expected the worst...where are your parents?" "They're off signing some papers with the doctor. Um...can I talk to Josh?" Mrs. Mckenzie: "Yes, certainly. Jess, take it easy on him okay? He's been all torn up tonight and right now his father is trying to cheer him up. He...loves you very much and he's so scared that you'll blame him for what happened...and...lord...I'm uh...rambling...Josh! Sweetie, it's Jessie...he woke up!" I heard her trying to coax him to answer the phone. It was only then that I noticed what she had said to me. "He loves you very much..." Okay we grew up together...and his parents were considered like family by mine. It could have been an innocent thing she said. I mean she did say that she was rambling...but it did make me feel weird. After a little time had elapsed, I heard the phone exhange hands and Josh answered. His voice was shaky. Josh: "H-hey..." "Hey...how you holding up?" Josh: "It was an accident, I swear...I d-didn't mean for it to happen...I'd never hurt you like that on purpose. You know that right..?" "It's okay. I'm okay...I just have a weak headache. That's all. It's so insignificant, the doctor will only give me one day off from school. Can you believe it?" Josh: "But you hit your head hard...you were bleeding Jess..." "Yeah, well...I got a hard head." Josh: "You're sure you're okay...?" "Yes! God...I'm fine. Let's please not make this more dramatic than it has to be...and I don't want you blaming yourself, especially for something that only "almost" happened. I had a feeling that you might be feeling this way...so I'm here to say cut it out!" Josh: "As long as we're cool." "We're cool." Josh: "I guess. It's been a rough night for all of us here. I sorta broke down and now my mom knows about...me being gay." What the...?! I knew it! I knew there was just something about the way she said "He loves you very much..." "How...did it happen and how did she react?" Josh: "She knows we're real close and all, but I guess the way I was behaving, like it was the end of the world or something...I thought that maybe I had put you in a coma... She must have thought I was behaving a little too intensely, with you being a best friend and all...I kept telling her that I put you in a coma...and she was saying that you were my best friend, and that you wouldn't blame me, and I musta broke down and told her that I didn't even know if you would even wake up, and you were more than a best friend to me and...it just came out. She was a little shocked, nowhere near as bad as I thought she'd react...but judging by the hug she gave me afterwards...we're cool. My dad still doesn't know anything though..." "Wait, does she know anything about me? She told me not to be...uh...that you loved me very much and-" Josh: "I only told her about me...I swear." "She must have been rambling. Hell, she said so herself...she can't know anything." Josh: "I doubt she'd tell a straight friend of mine that I loved him very much. Damn, I wouldn't do that...much less than my parents..." "She can't know. How can she know? She was rambling, and-it must have slipped." Josh: "Whether she was rambling or not...I do love you-" "Josh, don't-" Josh: "No, I love you. I know you don't see me that way. But I want you to know that I love you." "I love you too Josh. You're the best friend a guy could have. And don't bother with whatever it is that Brad told you either-" Josh: "You know what Brad told me?" "Yeah, he told me when I called him just now, and he said he was jerk about it and-" Josh: "Jessie...is..is Brad your boyfriend?" Oh fuck! He did not just ask me that! How on Earth... What to say...what to say..? "Josh...I can't say..." Josh: "You aren't denying it either..." "It's not fair for you to ask me that. You know it..." Josh: "You don't have to answer it, just don't lie...If you don't want to answer it, then-" "What made you come to that conclusion?" Josh: "Are you saying that he is?" "I'm saying I want to know why you'd think that he and I are together." Josh: "I'm not blind Jess...I've seen how he looks at you. The same way I look at you...and I saw the way he behaved when you were unconscious. It was a little too intense for just a friend to behave...a recent one at that. I took a ride with him last night you know." "What does that have to do with anything?" Josh: "He told me to go open the car. That he had to go to the bathroom. He didn't show me which key was the right one. There were dozens of keys on the key chain. Like he keeps every single key he'd ever need on that one chain. I didn't know which one. I went back to ask him...I'd barely turned the corner. I was just passing your room, running in the direction of the men's room, to catch up with him before he went in, and I saw. I saw him kiss you Jessie. I saw him kiss you...and I saw him start crying, and I saw your parents try to calm him down. I just waited outside the car after that. So I guess they know, huh?" There was no point in denying it any longer. He said he saw how Brad looks at me, and how he behaved. Brad admitted that the panic had made him say the wrong things to Josh. And Josh said he saw Brad kiss me. And he apparently now knew that my parents knew that Brad and I were together. How would he know that they knew, if he hadn't seen what he said he saw. It all added up. He was right about too many things to be bluffing. And besides, he wasn't the type to bluff either. "I love him Josh. And he loves me." Josh: "I just don't want to see you hurt...he could just be confused or something. The guy has the longest Ex-Girlfriend list I've ever come across." "He's over them. He told me so himself. He's just not ready for anyone to know yet. That's all...please let's not start anything up again.." Josh: "I'm not. I just want you happy..." "He does make me happy." Josh: "Then I'll back off. But if he ever tries anything, tries to make you do anything you don't wanna do..." "He hasn't and I don't think that he wi-" Josh: "I'm just saying, that I'll always have your back." "Thanks Josh. And, please don't do anything that'll make him think-" Josh: "My lips are sealed. He doesn't know about me does he?" "No. He doesn't.." Josh: "Does Stacy know about you and...him?" "She figured it out. Even before I did...sort of." Josh: "Oh...um...I gotta go. We'll see you in a few hours okay? Rest up...see you." "Bye." Man, I go on a temporary hiatus from the world of the living, over-night, and now Josh knows that Brad is my boyfriend. I was glad he wouldn't act like he knew. I didn't think I was comfortable about Brad finding out that Josh was gay either. I couldn't place a finger on it exactly. That and he had tried to kiss me twice the day I came out. We came out to each other. I definitely didn't want him knowing that. I quicky dialed Stacy's number and waited for her to pick up. She answered with a yawn. Stacy: "Hello..." "Miss me?" Stacy: "Jessie! You're up! Are you okay? What did the doctor say?" "I'm fine. And it's only the contussion that's anything now. And I'm only getting one day off for it anyway." Stacy: "You don't know how lucky you are.." "I know I'm lucky Stace...lucky and grateful." Stacy: "I think you should call Josh. He's been taking it rough and-" "I just did. I think he's calmed down a little now. Brad's relieved too." Stacy: "We all are...at least we all will be when I tell everyone else. I have so got to tell Vickie and Gabriel!" I heard her calling in the background and some shuffing and excited sounding voices. Stacy: "Um...they stayed the night over with me..." "Uh huh...so, you stuffed poor Vickie on the couch, and you took Gabriel up to your luxurious bedroom suite. I should have known you'd play my unconsciousness out for all it was worth. Oh I'm so distressed and torn up Gabe...hold me...I bet he was oh so willing to comply.." Stacy: "Hey!....our couch isn't half bad! Seriously, you know that my parents would never allow a boy in my room. Gabe slept on the couch. We're all going to come up as soon as we get ready and Vickie and Gabe get a change of clothes. Hey, Vickie!" Crash! Vickie: "Jessie, baby, are you really alright? Do you want me to bring anything when we come up to see you? Gosh, you don't know how worried you had us...had me. We were up almost all night...blah...blah...blah...." Stacy: "Ugh...there. Jessie, you go get your rest okay?" "Yeah, I'll see you soon. I have a few things to tell you too." Stacy: "Like?" "If I tell you what, you'll want details and I kinda want to rest now." Stacy: "Not to be bitchy or anything...but um...won't you at least give me a teaser...I mean, you did technically get more sleep than the rest of us...so don't let that be an excuse." "Alright. Josh knows that Brad and I are together." Stacy: "What?! How the hell does he...you told him or something?" See, a woman simply will not be left in the dark. "Of course not. Apparently last night he saw Brad kiss me and stuff. He saw my parents console him too. Accidentally of course. But I think he's had an inkling before too. He said he knows how Brad looks at me." Stacy: "Damn! (She whispered now) It's about time that the boy's Gaydar started kicking in. Now I'm just waiting for yours to become fully functional. How'd he take it?" "He said he'd back off. He caught me by surprise too. I didn't know how to react at first." Stacy: "So he's backing off. Well, it's the first step on the road to recovery. And Brad doesn't have a clue about him?" "No. How could he when even I didn't?" Stacy: "All of you are just whacked if you ask me. How can you not know? It was so obvious. You all need help, pronto. I mean, it's a sad state of affairs when a straight girl has more efficient gaydar than a gay guy, or two gay guys, or two and a half guys even. What is the world coming to? We so have to talk. But um...I think as soon as Josh is out of the closet, you should have a talk with Brad about his feelings for you. Attempted kisses included." "He's partially out. His mom knows, and knows that he has feelings for me. But I don't think she knows about me though." Stacy: "What?!" [Background: Vickie: "What? Is something wrong? Stacy....?" Gabriel: "Vicks, let the girl talk in peace. Vickie: "Back off Gabe. You've got your main squeeze! Don't try and stop a girl from getting hers!" Stacy: "Vickie, would you shut up!? Vickie: "Huh? Gabriel was being loud too." Stacy: "Yeah, well...he was taking my side, so there...no nothing's wrong."] I laughed it up. Main squeeze... Stacy: "Yeah, you were saying?" "His mom knows. He was a little hysterical it seems and was blaming himself for what happened. His mom said that I was his best friend and wouldn't hold it against him. He told her that I mean more than that to him...and well he slipped...she sorta let it slip too. She said that he loved me very much and not to hold it against him. She was the one who answered the phone." Stacy: "Oh..." "Yeah, look, I'm gonna go take a little more shut eye, okay?" Stacy: "Yeah, okay...bye" Before I could say goodbye, Vickie: "There, hey, Jessie, if there's anything you need, anything at all, you just call me okay, my number's 83-" Stacy: "Bye, (whisper) get lost now!" Good advice. "Um...okay." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Josh's Point of View I knew it. I suspected it, and I was right. I guess deep down, I knew it for a fact...but just wanted to convince myself that it wasn't so. I didn't have that luxury anymore. Before I asked Jessie, I could still have fooled myself into thinking that he wasn't anything more than a new friend. Maybe a new friend who was confused in the head. Hell, just because he kissed an unconscious Jessie, didn't mean that he was the boyfriend. I would have tried to do it too. The only difference would be that I was gay and he was confused. But Jessie had confirmed it. So now I knew for a fact that this...went both ways. Everything now made sense. The looks of longing I'd see him throw Jess in class. The fact that on the football field the other day, the only person in the entire stand he seemed to be interested in was Jess. The way he treats his ex...well, one of 'em anyway...Jessica. What I don't know is how he really feels. Is he gay, or bi maybe? Or experimenting or something? I'd have to figure some way of finding out. But it was true, the guy had the longest ex-girlfriend list in the school. He wasn't the best-looking or anything...hot, yes...a chick magnet, sure. It could mean one of several things. I sure as Hell hope it doesn't mean that he's like, really Gay underneath. I mean, what if he's been trying so many different women...and what if he realises that the reason that none of 'em are any good for him, is because...he really wants...a guy. Shit...I'm starting to analyse everything like Stacy. But it does make me wonder. How long have they been together. Jessie never mentioned anything about that to me. I mean, Brad only started hanging around us like a few weeks ago. After Jessie had to go sit with him in Lit class, courtesy of Jameson. They couldn't have been together for long. How could they? We hung out everywhere in school together. He never left the house without us (Me and Stacy) anyway. His 'rents were always trying to get him out of the house. We hung out on the weekends too, all the time. When would he get the time? And Brad's fucked up friends wouldn't think twice about ragging on him if he were to hang with Brad in public. He just doesn't fit in with them. Looking back at his behavior these past few weeks, and knowing what I know now... For one thing he blew me and Stacy off a couple of Saturdays ago. Hell, we had a slight fight too. It had never happened before. I'd have to find a way to maybe feel him out. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jessie's Point of View Word had apparently gotten around. Aside from talking to anxious family on the phone all day, there were a ton of people in my hospital room. Most of them were adults. I wasn't too sure that it was a good thing. And since when did my parents have such a vibrant social-life?! Oh sure, dad did know a lot of people as a lawyer and I know that a lot of people, who I'd never guessed were people from the neighborhood, due to me never going out and never going to social events...or church or anything for that matter, anyhow, a lot of people did insist on coming to dad for legal advice...out of office hours. And yes mom did like that book club of hers, and apparently, so did a lot of other women too. All I know is, when I woke back up, from a perfectly natural sleep that is, there was, what resembled, a party going on in the hospital room. I was sure that I didn't know most of the people there, although a few of them looked vaguely familiar. Old Lady: "How are you feeling dear? I came as soon as I heard about your accident. Lord...blah...blah...blah...I remember back in sixty, 1960 that is, when my baby fell down th..." I couldn't exactly place my finger on who she was. I looked towards dad for help. He mouthed "Mrs. Margot" to me and I pretended to have half a clue that I knew her. That was all I could do, besides the obligatory Nod and Smile. Brad was near the bedside, so were the rest of the guys. And people were just coming up to say how glad they were that I was okay. I was pretty sure that they were really doing it for my parents' sake, rather than mine. Well, I was sure that Stacy's parents, Josh's parents and Victoria's parents were sincere. And I think that Brad's were. I mean, it was definite that they knew my parents, and they did seem like good enough people. Although, I couldn't help but squirm a little whenever Josh's mom looked at me...in a knowing way too. Needless to say, I was thrilled when we left the damned hospital and went home. The only people that followed us were Josh's, Stacy's and Victoria's parents. And them obviously, together with Gabriel. They were all socialising and I was with them too, for a change. The headpain I was feeling had all but subsided and I was feeling a lot better anyway. I think I was lucky that the doctor had even allowed me one day off from school. Anyhow, when we all got to my house, mom and dad cranked up the charm to the maximum and planned a cookout on the fly. The Summers, Mckenzies, Alexises -(Sure as Hell that I spelled the plural wrong!) and the Carpenters were all enthusisatic. For the first time ever...so was I. We had a real nice, big back yard. Mom was always pushing to extend our already huge house onto it, why, I'd never know, but I guess she was glad that she didn't go through with that plan. We were all basically having a good time when we heard the doorbell ring. Yes, all the way from the backyard. You see, with the house being so big, and only three of us at any one time, the entire house was basically rigged so we could hear it no matter where we were. I decided to go answer it. I mean, I was okay, and everyone else was enjoying themselves, and it looked like they had had a hard night...let them have fun, I'd play butler. So I went back inside, expecting, like a surprise visit from some family off-shoot or something...anybody but, Jessica: " Um...hey. How're you doing?" "Huh?!" Jessica Warden? Wait, a decently dressed Jessica Warden? Oh, right, neighborhood. How may people lived in my neighborhood that I was, by the laws of probability, supposed to know? "I'm fine." Mr. Warden: "We're sorry that we couldn't make it earlier this morning." Mrs. Warden: "It's nice to see that you're up and about dear. Are your...parents (she was glancing inside) at home?" I nodded. "Uh, yeah, they're home. Thanks...for coming. They're out back..." So I led them to the cookout happening in our backyard. They looked a bit taken aback. It was obvious that they knew my parents. Maybe they thought that we had planned some sort of celebration and didn't invite them. My parents seemed happy enough that they were gracing us with their presence. I heard them explaining that they hadn't called everyone they knew because of the outrageous hours involved and because of the stress. And it turned out that the news had gotten around via Brad's mother and Stacy's mom. Oh sure, I was certain that my parents would have called some people, but judging by the large contingent that showed up...neighborhood gossips had to be involved. I didn't know if Brad's mom was a gossip or not, but I knew that Stacy's mom was. While the adults were breezing around, Jessica decided to come on over and mingle with us young people. Needless to say, we were all uncomfortable, for our own reasons. Well, everyone but Gabriel. I always knew that Vickie wasn't exactly a fan of hers...probably a rival or something. Jessica: "Ah...hey...guys." We all looked up and muttered our fake hellos. Everyone except Gabriel, he was cheerful enough. Until Stacy shook her head in an informative way. I think he then got the, should have been obvious, impression that we didn't like Jessica all that much. But what I didn't get was her...decent attitude. I mean, it might have been her parents' presence. Then again, they were off with the other old people. Maybe it was...Brad she was trying to be nice for. Jessica: "Stacy, can I-uh-talk to you for a second. Alone...it won't take long." Stacy's eyes squinted at her distrustingly. We all were glancing at her distrustingly I guess. Nevertheless, she did get up and walk into the house with Jessica. I was as curious as hell, but there wasn't any way I could just up and follow them. With Stacy gone. Vickie took the opportunity to slide herself closer and snuggle up to me. I shifted uncomfortably and my eyes met both Brad's and Josh's. They glanced away, Gabriel was smirking. Vickie's hands were well concealed and before I knew what was what, I felt her hands travelling across my leg and resting lightly over my crotch. I squirmed even more when I felt her squeeze my hardening dick. I had to get away from it, so I got up and said I needed to-what else?-go to the bathroom. Vickie was grinning. Yet again she probably thought that I had to go jack-off because of her. Damn... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I was walking past the kitchen and I heard them, well Jessica talking...apologising? Her? Jessica: "About the other day, when I choked you...I was way outta line and I'm sorry I took out my frustrations on you like that." Stacy: "Uh huh." Jessica: "Yeah...I mean-Brad has been, like the only guy I ever really liked and losing him is just-just hard for a girl, you know?" Stacy: "Uh, yeah." Jessica: "And, that he'd leave me, for you-don't take that the wrong way, please-" Stacy: "Whoa! Hold up... I have never been with Brad, okay. He was never into me and...you see that cute dark-haired boy out there...he and I are kinda hoping to hook up." Jessica: "Huh? For real, you mean that you and Brad really, really aren't...?" Stacy: "Yeah. Anyhow, I'll let by-gones be by-gones, cuz, I really don't have anything against you Jessica. Okay, sure I was being a little bitchy that night after the match...you're a girl, take a guess why. Anyhow, if it'd make you happy, you're forgiven, this time." Unbelievable!! I heard some movement and I shifted behind the conveniently placed, conveniently large indoor plant to hide. Jessica waltzed onwards in the direction of the dining room. As soon as she was out of sight, I went into the kitchen to have a talk with Stacy. She looked slightly confused and slightly shocked as well. "Stacy, did I just hear alla that right?!" Stacy: "Eavesdropping?" "Hey, the last time I saw you two together, you just about had your neck snapped by her! I was...concerned." Stacy: "Well, you heard her. She apologised." "Do you think that she's sincere?" Stacy: "Well...she did share some of her concerns with me, namely about what losing Brad did to her. She was honest about that. I think she just might be genuine." "I, guess...maybe...I mean, people can't be ALL bad can they?" Stacy: "The Laws of Polarity clearly state that we all are comprised of both Good and Evil aspects, so I guess she can't be ALL bad...it's a philosophical concept." "Whatever." Stacy: "So, what were you doing listening in on our girl talk, hmm?" "You have to do something about that Vickie! She just tried to give me a semi-public handjob. I don't think anyone saw it though. I had to pretend to go to the bathroom." Stacy: "Hmm... You know Vickie." "Yeah...that's the problem. We need to find her another man, someone who can strike her fancy on a permanent-well-at least a long term basis. Only problem is, I ain't exactly a social butterfly. Maybe you could. You know some people, right?" Stacy: "Well, yes. I know people. May not be best friends exactly...oh I'll see what I can do." "Yeah, you do that. Of course, I know it'll be hard to find someone to replace alla this...but try okay." Stacy: "You're too vain." "Well, if you have it-flaunt it! Besides, I got a man before you! Hahaha...and my boyfriend's hotter that your boyfriend! If you can call Gabriel your boyfriend that is." She pouted at me in mock anger and we went back outside. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Brad: "What are you doing here?" Jessica: "I came to see how Jensen was doing." Brad: "It's Jessie, and don't give me that." Jessica: "Well, my parents know his parents and I couldn't very well not come with them, considering the circumstances. I'm not as cold and heartless as you think I am, Brad." He could have given her quite a few responses to that statement, but they weren't alone. Well, they were alone in the dining-room, but he had to be careful of what he said. They always seemed to get loud when they argued, and that was all they were doing recently. It could attract attention, which would not be a good thing. They were over at Jessie's and he didn't want to cause a scene that anyone could just walk in on. His parents and her folks never did get why they had broken up. To them, she was just a pure hearted, goody-two shoes. But he knew better. All of the girls and most of the boys at school knew better. Brad: "Why did you call Stacy over? To talk to her alone that is? I hope you weren't giving her any of that shit, about her being my girlfriend and whatnot, because" Jessica: "Brad, everything in the Universe, does not revolve around you. I called her over to apologise to her, for choke-holding her the other day." Brad: "What? You, apologise to her? Come off it!" Jessica: "Fine. Feel free to ask her yourself." Brad: "I don't know what your game is but-" Jessica: "Brad... I don't want any awkward feelings between us, okay. I only came over to you guys, to ask Stacy to forgive me. Then, I left you all and went off on my own. Why do you seem to not be able to leave me alone? I thought that was what you wanted. Me to leave you alone. And when I comply, you come after me? What will it take to satisfy you?" He was taken aback. She was right. He couldn't deny it. She had been leaving them alone. But he still felt compelled to keep an eye on her. Her sudden metamorphosis was mind-boggling. He didn't know what to make of it. He really wanted to believe that she was being sincere. After all, he had recently been going through a metamorphosis of his own. It was just as quick and sudden as hers too. Was he being a little too harsh? If he could change like that, couldn't she? Just then, the back door to the dining-room opened and Jessie's Dad walked in. He looked at them a little oddly, probingly, took up a serving tray and went back outside. Brad sure as hell hoped that he didn't think that something was going on between them. Jessica: "I'll just let you get over whatever it is that's eating you." And she left him, alone in the kitchen. Well, at least he was getting what he wanted... +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Okay, she had set her plan in action. Now to see how it all played out. She'd redone her wardrobe, and put on the most convincing Sarah Poppins attitude she could come up with. This sudden twist of affairs was oh so convenient too. Someone was smiling down from above, that was for sure! Okay, so it didn't exactly thrill her that someone had almost been in a coma, but he was fine and it was just right that some good should come out of a bad situation right? And who else was more in need of a helping hand than her at the time? Oh, Karma was so NOT a Bitch! At least not all the time. And she wasn't sure, but it seemed as if her plan was having an effect almost instantaneously too. Brad just didn't seem able to keep away from her! Yes! It was working, had to be. He must just be going through a Macho Man phase, wanted her back, but didn't want to be the one to come begging her for forgiveness. She would have to work on that problem. A little Jealousy always worked wonders. Now, to find a boy she could use in her machinations. Didn't Brad claim that he wanted to be left alone? Wasn't she giving it to him? And he couldn't keep away...he did also say that he was through with her. What would happen if she were to "move on" like he claimed he wanted her to? She was outside scoping around. She was contemplating hitting on Jens-Jessie, but Victoria had him in her grasp. It would have been fun to steal a man away from her, but sigh, she was a good girl now. Then she caught sight of a cute jock in their circle. Perfect! That new footballer friend of Brad's! Josh...Mc-something... She knew he looked familiar. The cheerleaders had "welcomed" the new footballers after all. Two for one! Not only another boy, another footballer too, but a friend of Brad's as well. He'd have to notice her then. She'd have to go real slow, and just start things up for the day. Above all else, she mustn't come off as slutty. She had a new reputation to promote. Brad's taste in friends had certainly changed. That seemed to be a good thing. She never cared for the rabble he usually hung out with. She was really hoping to get an eyeful of his new girlfriend. She would have thought that he would have had her there at the cookout. Oh well, she'd evenutally have a go. And maybe she could use Josh to infiltrate their little circle of friends. Oooh, this was so sneaky, almost like a spy thing. Well, she might as well have some fun whilst going through the process of getting back her man. She put on a shy, almost pleading look on her face as she walked on by, slowed, hesitated a little, and sure enough they noticed her. Specifically, Stacy noticed her. Time to see if she bought her apology. She had better... the performance was worthy of an Oscar. Stacy: "Uh...Jessica...why don't you have a seat?" Uh huh. See, being nice pays off boys and girls. Ooh, as luck would have it, the seat next to Josh was conveniently free. See, she knew her guardian angel was looking out for her. He shifted a little away from her. Hmm...she sure hoped he didn't have a girlfriend and was feeling guilty or something. If it wasn't for the fact that she couldn't risk being slutty, that wouldn't have mattered, she'd have used him anyway. Anyhow, she'd have to go slow. A cute smile here, a laugh at one of his jokes there, a little pat on the back later on...a passionate mind-numbing kiss, conveniently in plain view of Brad, when the time was right... That'd send him over the edge for sure! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Okay guys. Oh, and please pardon the spelling errors. Sorry about the extremely long delay. That was due to several factors. A flu being one of them. My mom forever crashing into my room, resulting in me never getting to write being another. Feedback is always welcome. Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Oh, that's an underscore between the letters and digits. ( _ ) Oh, quickie cutie (I know I spelled that wrong...) sorry you had to email so much. But I got the message. So, I guess this chapter is probably for you more than anyone else this time around. And to everyone else, I am glad you took the time to read and hope you enjoy it. I know the wait between updates is long some...uh...a LOT of times. But I have no intention of leaving something I started unfinished. I'm not that kind of guy. Of course, people do tend to take advantage of it. Oh yeah, just get him started on it and no matter how much he hates it....he'll finish it, kinda thing. But, truth be told, no story of mine is evergoing to be left unfinished. Oh, yeah...I almost forgot dude, More Power! Deeze...yes baby, you're Oh so SPECIAL to me. And mom was only doing what moms do best, taking care of their babies. I ain't spoilt. You know that you'd be doing it too if you were put in her shoes. And that's the kinda person she is. Sure, she's a real pain at times, and yes I've treated her real bad in the past, but...oh hell, I love my Mommy! And no... a flu wasn't the ONLY thing I got out of it! Lol.... but no matter what you think, no FISH got out of the net or anything! :) Mitsaso, I swear, your fascination with musicals is mind boggling. Is that why you metioned Judy Garland in your story? I bet you just LOVE the Wizard of Oz, eh? "Somewhere...overrr the raiiinbow..." Oh and just so you know, my friends and I voted "She Works Hard For The Money" as THE Ultimate stripper song! Although my cousin informs me that it's an overworked and underpaid and badly treated waitress who inspired the song. I hear her boss made her scrub bathrooms and that wasn't in her job description. Power to the Independent Ladies! To adsherill, I'm really looking forward to reading that story ("When Nothing Goes Right") of yours. Please don't let it go unfinished. Take as much time as you need, as long as you manage to finish it and not leave anyone hanging in the end. I sure wish my first chapter came out half as decent as yours. :) Oh, hello there chellebelle, it's so nice to see that you've returned to the Land of the Living girl!