Jared was waiting for me at the gate of the school. He seemed preoccupied in his thoughts, because he didn't pay much attention to the three blondes who were trying - and failing - to hook up with him. I snapped my fingers in his face, waking him from his daze. "Huh?" he said, shaking his head. "Oh."

I dragged him out towards his Corvette, and he followed silently. "So, how come the guys weren't with you, huh?" I asked, curious. The guys were normally always with Jared, so it was surprising he was alone. But Jer didn't have the chance to reply, because he was cut off by a voice I didn't want to hear ever again.

"Ella? Please, hear me out, Ella…" Tommy's eyes were pleading with me. Jared stiffened almost immediately, and put an arm protectively around me, glaring daggers at Tommy. Worried, I looked up at Jared, and cringed slightly when I saw his eyes. They were cold and dark; totally different from the Jared I knew.

Jer opened his mouth - most likely to start shouting at Tommy and create a scene - but I quickly placed a hand on his shoulder, nodding at him to go to the car first. Shooting one last glare at Tommy, he strode off, his eyes trained on him the entire time.

"Tommy, you know there is nothing for us to talk about." I said, my words coming out much kinder than I had expected. Tommy's eyes pleaded with mine. He took my hand into his, and ran the other hand across my cheek. I released my hand from his grip, shaking my head. "We cannot be what we used to be anymore, Tommy. You made a mistake, and that mistake I cannot forgive." I said softly, averting my gaze to the ground.

A moment of awkward silence passed between us, and I decided that I would leave then. I walked on, my shoulder briefly brushing his. Suddenly, his hand shot out and caught my wrist, stopping me in the midst of my tracks. I didn't turn around, and stayed where I was, not responding to him.

"Ella, please. It's been three years, can we let bygones be bygones and start afresh? I was fourteen, I was stupid. I didn't know what I was doing. I… I love you, Ella. More than you can ever know. I love you." Tommy told me, his voice cracking towards the end.

The tolerance inside me cracked then. I couldn't take it anymore. I twirled around and glared at him defiantly. "What makes you think that three years will heal wounds?" I shouted, anger rising from within me. "How can I forget that you cheated on me? You cheated on me with my best friend, Tommy! How can I forget that so easily?!"

"How do you expect me to forgive you, Tommy? After you broke my heart?" I shouted on, feeling my eyes well up with tears. I tried hard to keep in the tears, but even so, my voice was cracking. "How can I ever trust you again, knowing that you might just go and cheat on me again, and crash me again?" I whimpered, the tears flowing freely now.

I felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around me, and I buried my head into the person's warm, hard chest, not caring who it was. I cried aloud, my entire body shaking with fear. The person wrapped his arms around me tighter, giving me the warm and comfort I needed. When I finally released myself from his hold, I was outside Jared's car, leaning against the door, my breath still shaky.

I looked up to see Chris looking at me, concerned. I could feel Jared's eyes boring holes into my back, wondering what was going on. "Thanks, Chris." I hoarsely said, and smiled, albeit a weak one. Then I turned around and got into the car, wiping at my eyes with the back of my hand.

Jared pulled out of the parking lot, muttering something about 'knowing his place' and 'he'll get it if he crosses the line'. I just leant my head against the window, trying to forget about Tommy and the hurt he'd caused me. But that wasn't the only thing I was trying to forget. There was one more thing - the warm tingly feeling on my skin where Chris had touched me when he hugged me.


A/N: A million apologies for not updating this sooner (and I know TWTA is being neglected much)!!!!
But recently, I'm quite busy; what with preparing for my Speech & Prize-Giving Day emcee script and my school post-exam trip to Malacca! :x
I promise that I'll try to write more sooner!!! Excuse the last part of this chapter if it doesn't make too much sense, I wrote it just now and I'm pretty tired from being at school from 6:30am to 7:30pm. Yes, you read it right. :O
Anyway, enjoy this chapter! And wow, amazing number of reviews since the last, haha! :)

crazed-by-nature: Oh yes, we see more of Taylor next chapter! She's going to still be in her "hot guys" phase, hahaha. Mhm, it's up to you to predict what might happen.... Chris or Tommy? :D

StarsWatchAsIDance: Omg, thanks for your review-per-chapter, haha! Mhm, I understand that they're short, but I write them in Word documents, 8.5pt Verdana font, each chapter being almost a page (without A/N). So, it seems pretty long to me, haha. Maybe I'm just being self-delusional... but I'm glad you like the story! :D

RockRollGeekFreak: Yes ohmygosh Tommy's backkkk. *Dhum-dhum-dhum-dhummm* Hahaha, enjoy!

Outsider Looking In: Thank youuuu! :)