A/n: Sorry, I know the previous chapter was a lousy filler D:

this is for a friend. happy birthday(:


"Maybe... we shouldn't go after all," I suggested, prodding at Drew's arm as we walked down the hall to our lockers. "Hey, hi!" I waved at a passing friend before turning my attention back to Drew.

He had stopped and was staring at me with an unreadable look in his eyes. I hated this look, I hated it when he put up barriers, I hated that I couldn't read him half as well as he could read me. He blinked, and there was a questioning look in place of the unreadable look now. Guess he caught onto my frustration. See, told you he read me well. Too well, actually.

In response to his look, I sighed and carried on walking, knowing he was just behind me. "Drew, you just recovered! Or at least I hope you did. You collapsed for goodness' sake!" I left the fact that I was worried and hurt that I still did not know what was wrong with him hanging in the air, and I'm pretty sure he caught it. And ignored it.

Drew prodded my waist, and I jumped away from him. "What was that for?" I scowled, rubbing my side. He leaned down so that his mouth was level with my ear, so close that my nostrils were filled with that clean, fresh smell that was Drew. He said something, but I was too distracted by the feeling of his breath on my neck that he had to repeat it twice.

"I said, stop mentioning that...that incident!" He whispered mock-fiercely. "You're ruining my macho-guy image!"

I stared at him for a moment before bursting out into laughter.

"Geez, great way to boost a guy's ego," he muttered, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his head.

I reached my locker and pulled at it. It didn't budge. Blowing a strand of hair out of my face, I spun around. "Drew, I'm serious. Let's not go."

He nudged me aside and muttered something to my locker and jerked – and it opened. Makes me wonder if my locker is a female, seriously.


"We're going."


"Well then give me one good reason why we shouldn't. And who is going to see you home after?" His mouth was set in a grim line, his eyes hard and narrowed, as if he was daring me to mention Josh.

I wasn't about to rise to his bait. "I told you, Drew, you...you know... I think you should stay home to rest. Recuperate. Whatever." My tone became defensive, "And I am perfectly capable of seeing myself home, thank you very much. I am not a fragile piece of glass and I don't need anyone taking care of me!" My eyes flashed angrily. Drew always felt that I needed taking care of; as if the moment no one was watching over me, I would trip and fall and roll down a hill into a pond and drown or something. Well, I was old enough, I didn't need anyone to baby me and watch over my every step. I narrowed my eyes and waited for his response.

"I didn't say you needed taking care of, Jack," he replied calmly, his tone neutral. "But I am going, whether you think I should or not. I don't trust the people at these parties."

It all boiled down to the same thing; he didn't trust me enough to take care of myself. I felt my hands clench into fists.

"Argh! I can ask others to go with me... Sam or Gabrielle, I'm sure they'll go with me." Actually I was less than certain, in fact I was positive they wouldn't agree, they hated social scenes and were far more comfortable curled in a chair with a good book.

Drew raised an eyebrow. He knew that as well as I did. Growling, I yanked a couple of books out and slammed my locker door, walking on to class.

"You shouldn't do that you know," he said conversationally. Have you ever gotten really annoyed when you're walking quickly and a guy only has to stroll to match your pace? I hate being short.

"What?" I tried not to sound annoyed, I really did. But I hate being looked after, and I hate being short. I'm sure all other small-sized people will concur.

"Slam your locker door. No wonder it won't open for you."

"She's female, and she likes you, like the rest of the female population in this school," I grunted, stopping abruptly so I wouldn't walk into a tall, blond, pretty... ah, Felicia. One of Drew's many groupies. I rolled my eyes and walked around her, leaving Drew to deal with her coos. Urgh. I could almost feel his shudder from where I was standing a few metres away.

Drew was smiling at her uncomfortably, fidgeting and itching to get away, but he still looked charming and cute and everything else that drew people to him. He was too nice to people, he never asked them to shut their traps and shove it. Too nice. Why was he so nice? Was he actually enjoying the attention? Had I been reading him wrongly all the time? How much about him did I know that was not actually true? Hurt and confused, I frowned in their general direction, unseeing.


Felicia Brentson was getting aggravating. Which said a lot because she usually wasn't so forward. She was practically climbing on top of me for goodness' sake! I squirmed and tried to push her back without being too rough. Her voice was seriously getting on my nerves. I hate high-pitched voices.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jack waiting for me a few metres away. She was frowning. A bubble of hope rose in my chest. Was she jealous at last? Was she was she was she? I couldn't help the grin that erupted onto my face, and Felicia must have taken it as a good sign because she started to push me against the wall and flirt even more with me, grinding her lower half against me and trying to pull herself as closely as she could to me. I felt goosebumps erupt all over my skin. Help! Where were all the teachers when you needed them?! Weren't they supposed to be patrolling the halls to ensure innocent guys like me wouldn't be tackled by too-forward (too desperate, really) girls like her?! Panicked, I turned to look at Jack again, hoping she would come over to rescue me.

Only to see Lakers come up to her and this huge, gorgeous smile appear on her face. By the look in her eyes, she seemed to have forgotten the spoon-feeding incident. He asked her something and she nodded, walking off with him, probably to class. It had better be to class.

She didn't even look back once.


I was going to go to that party whether she wanted me to or not. It just wasn't safe. I'd heard stories of girls getting raped at them, and I didn't want Jack to have to meet the same fate. Of course, watching her and Lakers was part of the reason.

I kept forgetting I had to stay away; every single freaking time she smiled at me, I forgot. When she smiled, when she looked at me, sometimes it was like I was the only one in the world who mattered. I couldn't afford to forget any longer. I had to stay away, but it wasn't going to be easy or pleasant.

Tossing these thoughts to the back of my head, I pulled on a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt, and jogged into the kitchen where Mom was laying out the utensils for dinner.

"Drew, dinner's ready." She raised an eyebrow. "Brock's party?"

I sat down and helped myself to the dishes. "Yep."

We ate in silence for a while. "I'd ask you not to go, but I should think Jack would have tried." She met my eyes, and the worry and concern deep in them made me turn back to my food. "Take care of yourself, okay?"

"Yeah," I murmured, feeling wretched for making my mother so worried.

As I stepped out later on, I hugged her tightly. "Bye Mom! Don't wait up for me. Promise?"

She just smiled and waved me on.


She looked just like an angel.

Jack was wearing a fitting white tank which clung to her curves, and a white flow-y skirt thing that reached to mid-calf that had swirly blue designs on it. I recognized it: she had decorated the originally plain skirt herself. Her face, as usual, was devoid of any make up, and her black silky hair had been braided back.

It wasn't any elaborate get-up, but she still managed to take my breath away.

"You look great. But..."

I wandered into her room. "But what?" she asked, trailing behind me. I could hear a hint of self-doubt in her voice, and turned around, placing my hands on her shoulders, and stared into her eyes. "I'm serious, Jack, you look wonderful." Then I remembered I shouldn't be touching her at all. As much as I could stand it anyway. I released her shoulders and glanced around her room.

"Drew. Let's not go."

I rolled my eyes. "Stop it already, we're going, that's it."

She bit her lip. "If you feel unwell you must tell me, okay?"

"Yeah yeah, whatever, mother."

Spying a cropped cream woollen sweater, I grabbed it and tossed it to her. "Put this on, it'll be cold."

And will keep eyes off where they are not wanted.

She picked up a dark brown jacket that I recognized as mine. "Hey, so this is where it is! No wonder I couldn't find it!" I mock-scowled at her. She laughed, handing it to me. As I put it on, I realised it smelt like Jack.

You're digging yourself deeper into this, you know. The Voice reproved sternly.

I ignored it.

Jack hollered a goodbye to her parents before leaving. "Take care of her, Andy!" her dad shouted before the door slammed close. Jack laughed, and my heart did some acrobatics.

She slipped her small hand into mine, and I started, but being the weak person that I am, didn't pull away like I should have. Her hand fit snugly into mine, small, slender and delicate. Knowing I shouldn't, I squeezed her hand gently, eliciting a smile from her.

"Thanks for coming with me, Drew."

"Yeah... You owe me."


Fifteen minutes of light bantering later, I pulled up in front of the long driveway that led to Brock's house. It was literally pulsing with music. I felt sick already. Have I mentioned I don't really enjoy parties?

Jack was already out of the car. "Come on!" she beckoned, eyes bright with excitement.

As we walked down the long driveway to the front door, I had a premonition something bad was going to happen.

A/n: I don't know if any of you think so, but I feel this is really slow-moving. Every chapter seems to only have one scene... I dunno, do you find it boring? I could write longer chapters, but I'm not going to do so unless I have more reviews.


Belle: I did tell you I updated! It was on my pm for quite some time, hah. This will be up on (dun dun dun) 8 april. No prizes for guessing why. :)

Parker: Hah you won't get to know. Not for a while yet. :)