Mastercard Theory

.o9. Secrets, Secrets

I tapped my foot nervously, gnawing at my fingernails as I glanced out the living room window. Conner was supposed to pick me up five minutes ago, but he still wasn't here. I knew he didn't forget. Just an hour ago, he had told me to dress up and then, fifteen minutes ago he sent another saying that he was on his way. But lo and behold, his car was nowhere in sight.

I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it. Part of me was relieved, but a larger part was disappointed. No, disappointed didn't even cover how let down I was. Last night in the car, I truly thought for a moment that Conner and I had something that was deeper than this stupid arrangement we had agreed upon.

I was an idiot though. How could I possibly have believed Conner Flannery would kiss me? I was his best friend's twin sister. The two of us were just caught up in the moment, letting ourselves believe that we were more than we actually were.

Feelings. They were obviously overrated in this case.

"Big date, huh?" Blaine's voice cut through the air as I turned to look at him. He was leaning against the living room wall, grinning at me. "Did you like your personal cheerleading section last night?"

Despite my mood, Blaine's reminder of how close to perfection my birthday had been, managed to bring a smile to my face. "You guys were too awesome. McKinley seriously wanted to kill you guys, but everyone loved it. We got first with you guys there. Maybe you should come back."

"Hey," Blaine shrugged, crossing his arms over his chest, "we do what we can to help. But I really don't think I can sit through another competition. I can't tell you how goddamn boring that was."

I picked up the pillow from the couch and tossed it at him, as he laughed and danced away from the projectile. "Whatever, Blaine. You had fun and you know it. Don't deny it."

"Whatever, Alex." He rolled his eyes just as the sound of a car honking came from our driveway. A small smile appeared on his face as he glanced out the windows surrounding our front door. "Looks like Conner's here."

"Yeah." I muttered, still unsure of how I was feeling at this moment. Blaine's brief distraction had put my inner conflict on the shelf for a few seconds, but now with Conner waiting to take me out for my birthday dinner, I remembered everything I'd been trying to figure out. "Let Mom and Dad know where I'm going, alright? I won't be out for long though."

"Mmhmm." Blaine grunted mindlessly as I walked past him. As I pulled on a pair of boots, Blaine called out to me one last time as I tilted my head upwards to look at him. "Be patient with Conner. He's a dumbass, but there's more to him than you think. Just… don't bite his head off, okay?"

My eyes widened at I straightened my back. "What?" I asked absently. But Blaine suddenly seemed at a loss for words. Instead of elaborating on the odd plea he'd made on Conner's behalf, he was now nervously shuffling his feet. "Why are you telling me that? I thought we already came to the conclusion that he's a dumbass."

"You know what, you're right." Blaine waved his hand in front of his face, brushing off his comments. "I was being stupid. Enjoy your dinner. Tell him he's a fuck tart for not taking me out. It's my birthday too, but it seems like he forgot about the fact that we're twins. Asshole." He mumbled the last insult under his breath as I just laughed and shook my head.

I would never understand the friendship the two of them had. The insults were many and the compliments were scarce. But regardless, they just worked. That also meant that Blaine knew close to everything there was supposed to know about Conner. So what had he been talking about a few seconds ago?

When I turned to prod more about it, I realized that Blaine was already gone. Even though he couldn't see, I rolled my eyes in frustration and opened the front door. Shutting it behind me, I saw Conner parked just outside of the driveway, next to our mailbox. I walked to the car, preparing myself for what would hopefully be an interesting night.

I didn't know what to expect as I pulled open the passenger side door, sliding into the seat with a forced smile on my face.

"Hey." I grinned, pulling the seatbelt over my shoulder.

"Hey to you too." Conner said, shifting the car to drive. I wasn't entirely surprised to see a happy smile on his face when he turned to me. He'd always been very good at plastering on a smile, except for that one time I kicked him in the back. "You excited for your dinner?"

"Not exactly." I retorted, relishing in Conner's quick mood drop. "Last time we did this, you took me to a freaking Olive Garden. I wouldn't be surprised if your definition of an amazing birthday dinner is to order everything on the dollar menu at McDonald's."

After a moment of silence, Conner suddenly laughed and let out a breath of relief. "Hell, I actually thought you weren't excited to be spending an evening with me. Way to scare the shit out of me, North."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever." I rolled my eyes, watching the passing scenery as Conner carefully guided his car through the traffic that led to the center of town. "Seriously though, where are you taking me? If you're actually taking me to McDonald's, I might have to kill you."

Conner laughed and shook his head. "So little confidence. We're going to La Nuit."

I choked on air, unable to hold back my disbelief as I turned to stare at him. "You're joking, right?" I cried out, yanking at the shoulder strap of the seatbelt. "It's impossible to get a reservation there unless you call a year in advance or if you know someone."

Conner snorted in derision, slowing down to follow the cars in front of us. "Sometimes you forget who I am, don't you? It's not difficult for me to get shit done."

I tilted my head in questioning. "What the fuck does that even mean?" I retorted blandly, crossing my arms. "I know exactly who you are, Conner Flannery. You're the idiot who insists on making my life so damn difficult at every turn. It's been eight years since we met; I think I know you pretty well by now."

Conner stayed quiet, drumming his fingers along the steering wheel. After a moment, he finally muttered, "Hmm, interesting," before turning into the parking lot of La Nuit. He stopped the car in front of the valet, pulling the keys out of the ignition. The fact that he didn't even retort with a sarcastic comment made me realize that he was holding back on something.

Conner was the most loud-mouthed person I knew. The idea that he had any secrets was almost unbelievable.

My door suddenly opened and Conner was on the other side. I hadn't even heard him get out of the car a few seconds ago, but now here he was with a smile on his face as he held out his hand to me. "For the birthday girl." He grinned, all but making me forget about the cryptic things he'd said only a few seconds ago.

I stared at him, unsure of what to do. These were the mind games that made me wonder what he was playing. Suddenly, he was back to being a doting boyfriend after yesterday's fiasco in the car? Odd.

"Just take my goddamn hand already, North." Conner snapped, but a glimmer of humor was still in his eyes. This was the Conner Flannery I was more comfortable with. Begrudgingly, yet still with a smile, I grasped his hand and let him pull me up.

As I stood next to him, I tried to shake his grip but he wouldn't let go. Instead, he laced our fingers together, and at that moment, I knew I was done. The tingling sensation that ran up my arm and exploded in my chest was almost unbearable. Before, the shocks had been from him publicly kissing me in front of every person in our school. This time, it was from something as simple as holding my hand before we walked into a restaurant by ourselves.

This was not good – not good at all. Before I knew it, I'd probably be gasping for breath every time I looked at him. When that happened, that was going to spell trouble for me. Even if I were to tell Conner how I felt about him, he would probably let me down easily and I'd be forced to get over him by myself while he moved on with some other girl in our school.

I tried to push the thoughts out of my mind as Conner handed his car keys to the valet, thanking him as we walked together into the restaurant.

Conner pulled open the front door and I was immediately overwhelmed by how fancy this place was. I'd never actually gone inside before, considering how a six-ounce filet mignon cost upwards of forty dollars. Sure, our family was well off but the price of the food in the place was just plain ridiculous. The only people that ever stepped foot in here were businessmen taking clients out for a fancy meal. Two high school seniors were not supposed to be here to celebrate an eighteenth birthday.

More importantly, I so didn't have the money to cover this meal. But at least that meant our deal would be cut much shorter than I expected.

As we reached the front podium, the hostess standing there straightened when she saw Conner walking towards her. She didn't even seem to register my existence as she gave him a shining smile. I almost snorted in mockery; did she realize that he was only eighteen? She was at least in her mid-twenties. It was so not appropriate for her to be ogling him like that.

But Conner leaned his arm against the podium, flashing her his signature grin before he spoke. "I have a reservation under Conner York."


I turned to face him with a questioning look on my face. York? Wasn't his surname Flannery? Everything he and Blaine had said in the past half hour was slowly making more sense, but at the same time becoming far more confusing than I'd anticipated. This was just all too much. I put a hand to my forehead, trying to press away the growing headache. Too much thinking after a hectic day like yesterday was definitely no good for my sanity.

The hostess suddenly perked up even more than before; I didn't even think it was physically possible for the smile on her face to grow even larger. "Of course, Mr. York. We were told we should be expecting you. We're honored that you've chosen our establishment today. If there's anything you need in particular, please don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you, Mindy." Conner grinned, his eyes flashing down to her name tag. "I expect nothing less than amazing service from a place like La Nuit. If you don't mind, we'd appreciate if we could have the wine menu as well."

"Of course; it's not a problem." Mindy smiled, picking up the food and drinks menu as we were ushered quickly through the dining room. I could almost feel the frustration from the dozen or so people who were there prior to us, but Mindy paid them no heed. Apparently, Conner York had priority over everyone else in the entire restaurant.

We were guided to a booth that would typically be reserved for a group of four. I didn't complain though; whatever Conner did to get this sort of treatment, he should keep it up. I thanked her as I accepted the menus and waited for her to turn her back before I snapped my attention back to the teenager I once thought I knew, inside and out.

"Explain, Conner. Now."

He glanced at me over the top of his menu and shook his head. "It's honestly nothing, Alex. My parents know Senator Kenneth York and when my parents mentioned that I needed a place to take my girlfriend, he said that he'd help me out. That's how we managed a reservation in one day."

For what felt like the umpteenth time this evening, my jaw fell open as he spoke. Senator Kenneth York was a legend in New Jersey. He was a fighter and defender of the middle class and always seemed to be around during every crisis. No lie, the media had followed him around for an entire day after he had saved a stray dog on the side of the road. He was possibly the most beloved man in New Jersey, so his announcement to run for governor in 2017 wasn't a surprise to anyone.

All in all, the man was New Jersey's savior and Conner Flannery knew him. "You know Kenneth York?" I gawked. "That's so cool! How come we never knew about this?"

Conner shrugged, the smile on his lips not reaching his eyes. He was obviously uncomfortable with the direction our conversation was taking, but how could he expect me not to be curious? "Blaine and Travis already know. It's not something I go around bragging about. I'd, uh, rather not be identified as that kid who knows Senator York, you know?"

"Oh, come on, Conner." I rolled my eyes. "You already have an identity that everyone loves. You're Conner Flannery, the best soccer player in the goddamn state. You're the hero of Summit. I'm pretty sure if you say you know Senator York, it's not gonna affect your social status in any way."

Conner suddenly began grinning obnoxiously, laughing as he ran a hand through his hair. "Well, Alex. I didn't realize you thought so highly of me. No need to get so excited when you compliment me."

"Whatever, Conner. Shut up." I countered, ducking my face down to hide the growing blush on my cheeks. The words on the menu suddenly seemed so much more interesting, but unfortunately, the monetary values next to each entrée did very little to ease my discomfort. "Just… let's move on from that."

"Hey, you were the one to bring it up." Conner chuckled lightly under his breath just as another waitress sidled up to our table.

"Good evening, Mr. York." She smiled at us, but made sure to give Conner the bulk of her attention just as Mindy the hostess had done a few minutes earlier. It seemed that the remainder of our "date" would be spent with the employees gazing adoringly at Conner while I stared at the back of their heads. "My name is Amy and I'll be your waitress for the evening. Can I start you off with a drink?"

"Yes, can we get a glass each of the Beck Burgenland Pinot Noir?" Conner asked as I raised an eyebrow at him. This was definitely a side of him I'd never seen before and I had to say I was pleasantly surprised by his layers. I was used to the crass, insulting idiot with the insane boyish charm. But now, apparently there was also this fancy, wine aficionado who seemed a little out of my league.

Actually, both sides of him were far out of my league. The more time I spent with him, the more I realized it'd be impossible for the two of us to be together. It just made no sense.

"Of course. I assume you want the 2005?" Conner nodded as Amy smiled in appreciation. "You have excellent taste. I'll be back in a few minutes with your drinks."

"Jesus Christ, Conner." I laughed, leaning forward on my elbows. "Since when were you a high class wine professional? What the hell are you not good at?"

"Hmm," Conner pretended to ponder, tapping his chin as a small smile tugged at the corner of his lips, "I don't think I can answer that. I'm just too awesome."

"Whatever, Mr. York." I grumbled, leaning back so that Amy the waitress could place our glasses down on the table.

"Have you decided what you'd like to start with? I can come back in a few minutes if you still need some time." Amy said, cutting our conversation short.

"No, it's okay. We'll start with the baked mussels for now." Conner replied. "We'll need a few minutes for the entrees, if you don't mind."

"Baked… mussels." Amy said as she scribbled down our order. "Great choice. Take your time, and I'll be right back."

"Jeez, Conner. Can you give me a small dose of normalcy by talking about something high school related? I don't think I can stand another moment of this." I sighed, looking around at my surroundings. I thought I'd dressed up for the occasion because of the text Conner had sent to me, telling me to dress nicely. I'd gone with a casual maxi dress for the occasion, but I realized it wasn't enough.

I hadn't noticed earlier, but Conner actually looked formidable for once. I only ever saw him in his sweaty gym clothes and uniform or a simple jeans and tee outfit. I'd never seen him decked out in casual khakis and button down. His hair was slightly done, probably by his mother who I knew was still ecstatic by the fact that we were dating. All in all, he looked so well put together.

I didn't want to bloat his ego anymore than I already had, but if he dressed like this every day, no other guy at Summit High School would ever have a shot at having a girlfriend in the tri-state area.

"You know you love it." He smirked, but dropped his posture so that his back was against the booth. "So are you ready for that Physics midterm you guys have on Wednesday? Travis has been bitching nonstop about that thing for the past week."

I snorted and mimicked his position. "You're kidding me right? Travis is a genius; he's the smartest kid in class. If there's anyone who has to be worried, it's me. Luckily, he actually wants us to study together so that's a win-win situation for me."

"Tsk," Conner scolded, shaking his head, "taking advantage of the oblivious nerd. I should warn him in advance before you exploit him."

"I am not! – I don't – I can't even – just… just whatever, you asswipe." I stuttered, before ending lamely with my usual one-worded insult. "We're having a study session at his house tomorrow, so don't keep the team late for practice, okay?" I jabbed my fork at him as I laid the cloth napkin across my lap with my other hand. "I need him to help me with those stupid WebAssigns. I swear I'll hurt you if you keep him after five."

"You won't and you know it because you love me too much." He grinned as I found myself blushing yet again. "Now pick whatever you want."

"Well, no shit. I'm the one paying for the meal here." I replied, picking up the menu again. "I said it once and I'm saying it again. Chivalry is dead when the girl has to pay for the meal on her own birthday."

"Well, technically your birthday was yesterday so-"

"You know what I mean!" I interjected, doing my best to glare at him as he just laughed. When I had initially agreed to this deal with Conner, I hadn't anticipated what would eventually happen as I spent more time with him. In a single month, I'd held more civil conversations than I had since the moment he'd said, "Hi, my name's Conner and I think you're ugly".

Ten year olds certainly can be cruel.

When Amy finally came back to take our order, I rattled off the filet mignon I'd been craving since Conner mentioned we were coming to La Nuit. The price tag terrified me but hell – I was at La Nuit for God's sake. I'd probably never have the chance to come back here again in my life so I might as well enjoy it.

I picked up the glass of wine, watching as it swirled around the bottom of the glass. Conner raised his as well, letting our glasses clink together. "Happy birthday, Alex." He smiled, taking a sip. I followed his actions, letting the wine warm my body as I placed it back down on the table. "I can say that I'm so glad that you and your brother were both born yesterday. You guys really keep me sane, you know that?"

Despite his touching words, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at him. Me? Keep him sane? "Please elaborate. As far as I'm concerned, you don't act like I bring anything positive into your life."

"Oh, but you do." Conner gestured at me emphatically. "Tormenting you endlessly over these past few years has given me so much joy. I can't even verbally explain to you how happy you've made me."

Well, that sounded more likely. "Glad I could help." I grumbled, fingering the rim of my glass. Again, everything he was saying right now just reinforced the doubts and concerns I'd been having since last night. "So just out of curiosity, if you don't mind me asking." I paused, letting Conner have a second to say no. He shrugged, implicitly giving me permission to continue. "Why do you insist on acting like such a jerk when in reality, you're capable of doing stuff like yesterday for me?" I asked. "Who else would actually drive all the way out for a marching band competition? It's unheard of."

Conner shrugged, but muttered a quick 'thanks' when Amy returned with our appetizer. "I'm not gonna blow a chance to take off my shirt, Alex. Even if it is for a bunch of nerdy band kids like you." He flashed me a brilliant smile, piling a few of the mussels onto his plate. I took that chance to glare at him, giving him five seconds before I began throwing the empty shells at his face. "I'm kidding, holy crap, Alex." He laughed. "What I'm trying to say is that I can be a nice guy and every once in a while, I want to do something spontaneous that benefits another person. I'm charitable – so sue me."

I huffed indignantly but my mood was immediately gone as I took the first bite of food. It took every last bit of restraint to not melt into a puddle right there in the booth. "Holy crap." I ended up groaning, instead of muttering something sarcastic about Conner's tone of voice. "Is this shit made out of crack? I can't handle it…"

Conner chuckled under his breath. "It'll be the best hundred bucks you ever spent." He pointed out, helping himself to more servings.

"Whatever." I grumbled, but continued picking at the delicious meal that had been placed in front of me. I didn't want to admit it, but he was right. Not only that, but this was slowly becoming one of the best dates I'd ever had.

The rest of the meal had gone by relatively peacefully, with very few argumentative exchanges between the two of us. The food had just been too damn good for me to actually continue fighting with Conner. I was feeling warm and tingly from head to toe, just because of the delicious filet that was currently sitting happily in my stomach.

Not only did I almost cut my remaining debt in half, but I got an incredible meal out of it. None of this would've happened if it weren't for the guy sitting next to me, tapping his fingers rhythmically against the dashboard as we waited patiently for the light to turn green.

This entire car ride had been a major déjà vu as I turned to face him, leaning my cheek against the headrest. "Thanks for a great dinner, Conner."

"Psh." Conner huffed, pressing on the accelerator as he drove me back home. "It's nothing. I should be the one thanking you; after all, you did pay for dinner."

"True, true." I sighed, turning to face my street ahead of us. "But if it wasn't for you, there was no way in hell I'd ever be able to eat there. Or actually, I should be thanking Senator York, who I still can't believe you know on a first name basis!"

Conner scoffed as he pulled up in front of the mailbox by my driveway. "It's not that impressive. I didn't realize you were one of his superfans."

"Are you kidding?" I responded, unbuckling my seat belt as I turned my body to face him. "He's an amazing guy. I wish there were more people like him in the world. The man's a demigod, I swear."

"Jesus Christ, and you wonder why I don't tell people that I know Kenneth York. This," he drew a circle in the air while gesturing at me, "is why I don't. You all act like he's the most amazing person to have walked on the face of this Earth."

"You're just jealous that you don't have that title." I retaliated, only to be awarded with his laughter.

"God, you're absolutely ridiculous." Conner tittered, turning off the ignition. "So tell me the truth. Was this the best birthday weekend of your life?" he asked, quickly changing the topic.

I didn't want to bloat the man's self-esteem but there didn't seem to be any other option right now. "It was amazing, thank you." I smiled. I reached behind me for the door handle, pushing it open. "I really do appreciate everything you've done. Blaine's jealous of the attention you've been giving me. You should remind him how much you love him tomorrow or else he's gonna hate you."

"Oh, God." Conner leaned back against the seat, shaking his head as he laughed under his breath. "Your brother is absolutely ridiculous. I'll be sure to remind him that he's still my number one bro."

"Both of you are idiots." I swung my legs out and stood up. Laying a hand on the roof of the car, I bent down to look at him. "Thanks for everything, seriously. I know I said this a million times already, but thanks for getting me into La Nuit."

"It's nothing." Conner said, waving away my thanks. "I should be thanking you for one of the best damn meals I've ever had. I'll see you tomorrow at Travis's house."

"Wait, what?" I gaped at him. "Why are you showing up at his house? You're not studying with us, are you?"

"Screw that." Conner laughed lightly. "David, your brother and me are gonna be there after practice to plan the annual scavenger hunt. It's our way of whipping the junior varsity boys into shape. We always win though, of course."

"You're the biggest jerk of a captain I've ever met in my life." I sighed, but tapped the top of his car. "Listen, I gotta head in, but thanks again. Can you tell Senator York that I'm thankful for him pulling some strings for me? I understand that it must've been difficult to do it at such short notice."

Conner smiled at me, saluting with two of his fingers as I straightened my back. "I'll be sure to let him know." I slammed the door shut and started heading back in. I heard the car window slide open as he turned on the ignition. "If you're nice enough to me while we're dating, I'll even let you meet him. Photos too, so consider that the next time you decide to be annoying." He called out after me before driving off.

I just shook my head as I headed back into my house. Surprisingly, the evening hadn't gone as awkwardly as I had initially assumed. I thought that Conner's rejection from the previous night would affect the way I acted, but somehow the two of us had managed to move past it. While I could no longer deny the physical attraction I held towards him, I didn't do anything about it. Asides from that one moment we had after we pulled up at the restaurant, there was very little physical contact between us.

I didn't know if he was doing it on purpose to prevent a fiasco like last night or if it was unintentional. All in all, Conner was just a confusing guy.

I pushed open the front door, only to be greeted by the sounds of rapid assault fire from the television. I shouldn't have been surprised to see Blaine sitting on the sofa, screaming curses into the headset he had on his head. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" he shouted. "Come on, Long. You said you had my fucking back! You better take 'B' now."

I rolled my eyes, shutting the door behind me. By now, my parents were accustomed to Blaine's colorful choice of words when he decided to play Modern Warfare. They'd warned him a few times about the cursing, but he just didn't seem to care. If anything, he just got more creative with his choice of words.

But my parents seemed to have given up, hence the reason why he was still screaming f-bombs at Travis.

"Relax." I said, crossing my legs as I sat down on the ground in front of Blaine. He jabbed the controller furiously as I watched him futilely defend the corner he was trapped in with another teammate. He was shouting for Travis to throw a grenade, but it was already too late. His character's lifeless body fell to the ground just as the match ended and their team lost.

"Well, fuck that." Blaine groaned, tossing the controller onto my lap. "I went 28 and 19, yet we still lost. Motherfuckers made us lose. Yes, that includes you, Travis." Blaine shouted into the microphone before taking off the headset and tossing it onto the table. "Waste of my life. I'm never playing this game again in my life."

I snorted at his declaration, knowing that he was lying through his teeth. There was no way he could even consider giving up this game, especially with Ghosts coming out in a few days. "Don't bullshit with me, Blaine. We both know you'll be playing tomorrow night."

"Yeah, I know." Blaine sighed, but immediately perked up. "Oh, hey. How was your date with Conner?"

I spun around, punching him in the knee. "It wasn't a date, dude. It was me fulfilling a deal by paying for my own dinner. But he did get us into La Nuit, which was ugh." I groaned, leaning back on my hands. "It was so freaking amazing."

"Damn, how'd he manage to get in there?"

"Apparently his parents are friends with Senator Kenneth York? I never even knew that. He pulled some strings for Conner and got us in at the very last minute."

Blaine was silent for a moment as he linked his hands behind his head. He let out a low hum, crossing his ankle over his knee. He seemed to think for a second, his hazel eyes matching mine. "Oh? He told you his parents were familiar with York?"

"Yeah." I shrugged, trying not to show my interest in the topic. Both Blaine and Conner had given similar reactions when I brought up Kenneth York. Clearly there was something more to this story about the Flannery's relation to him, but it appeared neither of them was going to say anything. Instead, I forced myself to feign indifference as I continued. "It's pretty awesome that they know one another because I seriously don't think I'll ever eat anything as delicious as that filet mignon."

"Lucky bitch." He muttered under his breath. Suddenly, he straightened his back and jumped up to his feet. "Oh, crap I almost forgot." Blaine pulled his wallet out from his back pocket and flipped it open. He began rifling through his bills as I watched him in interest. What the hell was he doing right now? "Here," he thrust a wad of bills towards me, "I borrowed some money from you. I forgot to ask before I took it."

I raised an eyebrow at him as Blaine waved the money in my face. I never had cash lying around; it was always in my bank account. There was no way in hell Blaine could have borrowed money from me without my consent. "What's this for?" I asked, not reaching up to grab the money.

"I told you, I borrowed it. This is me paying you back. Now take the damn money already, won't you?" he snapped, tossing the bills onto my lap.

Picking up the bills, I saw the six twenty dollar bills Blaine had just dropped on top of the controller. $120, right in front of me in cold, hard cash. Why was he giving me this? "Blaine, seriously. You never borrowed money-"

"Yes I did." Blaine quickly interjected, cutting me off coolly as he brushed past me. "Just take the goddamn money, Alex. I'm going to start working on the scavenger shit. I'll see you tomorrow."

As he stormed upstairs, I couldn't help but note that the dinner from tonight cost exactly $118. As much as I wanted to deny it, some part of me knew that Conner Flannery had something to do with Blaine suddenly throwing money at me.

That guy was just one huge surprise after another.

Author's Note

It wasn't the most exciting of chapters, I'm a little disappointed by the progression but it was a happy, little Conner-Alex chapter and who doesn't love that? Anyway, so this chapter gives a little insight into the life of Conner Flannery. Secrets? Who knows! Bad news though… this is my last chapter (for any of my stories) for at least a month. I'm doing NaNoWriMo this upcoming month and I will be focusing ALL my attention on that. If I complete it (which I hope I will), I will be posting the second draft up on FictionPress and then I will submit the third draft for self-publication based on the comments I receive from you all. If you'd like to keep a tab on my progress with NaNo, like me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook! I'll also be making updates on my Tumblr as well, but I'll be more active on Facebook. All of these links are posted at the top of my profile, so follow me! You'll also get to see when I decide to post something again :) I won't be on FP as much, so communication would be easier on Facebook. See you all in a month, and thank you again for reading and supporting! As always :)