DISCLAIMER

I OWN NOTHING YOU RECOGNISE (AND SOME THINGS YOU DON'T.) If you steal my work I will take legal action against you. I mean it. I worked really hard on this story and I don't want to read the exact same story on another site with the names changed. Not cool.

© hotcheri.

A/N: *Peeks in nervously and waves* Hi guys! *Runs to the corner, embarrassed*


Chapter 8-Compromising Positions

Scott's POV

The awkward moment when your girlfriend invites you to lunch with her and some friends and you show up late.

Well, at least I wasn't a no-show like everyone no doubt expected me to be, but I guess I should have tried not to get side-tracked. If anyone should know about how paranoid Z can get, it would be me. Her mind was probably whirling with 'what if's' while I was chilling in my room playing video games with Kyle.

Good job, Scott.

"You better keep this a secret from your girl, dude," Kyle remarked, his faced etched in concentration as he fired a round of bullets at a zombie. "I don't think she'll appreciate us playing video games when we should be studying."

My head snapped up so quickly I almost pulled a muscle.

Shit. Z.

Dropping the Wii remote on the floor, I quickly jumped to my feet. "What time is it? I'm late!"

"I'on know, dude," Kyle replied, spraying potato chip crumbs everywhere as he talked. Pausing the game, he craned his neck to look at me. "Late for what though? Where you going?"

I patted my back pockets, making sure that the tickets hadn't fallen out during our marathon video game blitz. "I was supposed to meet the guys for lunch after I got the tickets!"

Why did things never go the way I planned them in my head? Today I had everything worked out. Meet Danny, get tickets to the hottest party of the year (Danny's words, but to him every party was the hottest of the year so I had started taking everything he said with a grain of salt) and meet Z, Paul and Hayley for lunch.

"We never see each other, so you better show up," Hayley had growled menacingly when she called me earlier to tell me where to meet them. When Hayley said you better do something, you did it. So I got back to my room, showered and changed and was walking out to meet the gang (early, might I add) when Kyle staggered in, a Wii in his hands. His brother had dropped it off for him, extra controllers and all. Out of the goodness of my heart, I helped him hook it up to our TV and, because he wanted to play a couple games of Black Ops before his late afternoon class, I decided to keep him company and- you know where this is going.

"You know Zabri won't want to go to that party, right?" Kyle said, propping himself up against a beanbag and looking at me. "Parties don't seem to be her scene, gathering from what I've deduced."

Deduced? Was he a detective now?

Grinning cockily at him, I said, "She'll come. She gets to hang out with me all night."

I mean, that should be more than enough incentive, right?

"You are so full of it," Kyle muttered, rolling his eyes.

Laughing, I opened the door. "Later, dude."


Quickly, I made my way to North Athletic Field, feeling like a complete tool for forgetting about something that was obviously so important to my friends, especially the girls. Paul was Paul, he probably didn't care that I was late as long as he got to hang out with Hayley, but I knew that Z was probably pissed or panicking (I hadn't been able to hang out with her for over a week, so I knew she would have every right to be pissed, but I wasn't looking forward to it) and as for Hayley- I didn't even want to think about it. I spotted them before they saw me and walked up behind them, unnoticed. They were sitting at one of the picnic tables near the field, which was overrun with an impromptu football team.

"Frat boys don't wear watches so they never know what time it is," Paul pointed out, probably in response to some heated debate he was having with Hayley. I grinned to myself as I walked noiselessly up to them.

Hayley nodded, her blonde head bobbing. "He's right, Zabri. Buy Scott a watch for his birthday."

"But I'll probably have to teach him how to use it first!"

Humph. Even Z was cracking jokes at my expense. Well, I guess she wasn't panicking or pissed, which could only mean one thing- she was getting used to me turning into a flake. And that wasn't good at all. I decided to make my presence known. "You guys talking about me again?"

Paul glanced up. "Scott's here," he announced pointlessly as I squeezed myself in between Z and Hayley.

"I can tell the time!" I protested, kissing Z on the cheek. So I didn't wear a watch. I didn't need one! Well, most of the time, at least.

"So you say," Hayley muttered as Z turned to me, a cynical smile on her face.

Uh oh. Was I in trouble? I fidgeted as she fixed me with a level stare, her brown eyes glinting in the sunlight. After 5 seconds of her staring and not saying anything, I had to break the silence. With a petulant whine in my voice I said, "What?"

"You're only half an hour late," Z said, a sarcastic lilt in her voice. "Congrats!" I chewed on my lip sulkily as she continued. "You surpassed our expectations- we thought you weren't going to show."

Frowning, I protested, "I always show! I might be late, but I always-."

"You didn't show up when we had breakfast at Panda Express," Hayley piped up, an 'aha!' look on her face.

Wearily I turned to face her. "You're never gonna let me live that one down, are you?"

"Paul force fed me chicken strips," Hayley hissed, looking mortified at the memory.

Chortling at her from across the table, Paul threw a fry at her. "You liked it," he said in a sing-song voice.

"If you had been there you would have stopped him," Hayley exclaimed, clutching at my t-shirt.

Oh yeah, because I'm definitely knight in shining armour material, right?

Tapping her chin, Z leaned slightly past me to look at Hayley, who was glaring at Paul as part of their really weird mating ritual. "I don't see what the big deal is, though," she said sensibly. "You're not even vegetarian."

"Thank you, Zabri!" Paul exclaimed dramatically, shooting Hayley a wicked little smirk.

"I am trying to become a vegetarian and being force fed chicken didn't help my cause," Hayley said through gritted teeth.

Because the heat was off me for the time being, I decided to jump in and rag on Hayley with the rest of them. Hey, I can be a follower too, you know! "You're a brown belt in taekwondo or judo or whatever martial art you're into right now. You could've just- stopped his lazy ass!"

"It's tae bo this year," Paul corrected, sticking his tongue out at Hayley, who tugged a hand through her hair in frustration.

I laughed, patting Hayley's sweatpants clad leg. "Wasn't it jiujutsu last year?"

"You can all mock me now, but if someone tried to mug us right now, I would be able to put him in the hospital!" Pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose, Hayley glowered around at all of us. "What about you guys? Huh?"

Sounding like she was trying hard not to laugh, Z said, "I'd throw my book at him- it's really heavy- and blow my rape whistle."

She pointed at the gold plated whistle that she was wearing around her slender neck and I sucked in a bracing breath as I tried not to remember the sounds she made when I kissed her on the spot where her neck and collarbone met.

God, I was such a horn dog.

"You have a rape whistle?" Hayley snorted contemptuously as she flicked at it with her finger. "What you need to do is come to one of my kickboxing classes. Self-defence might save your life one day."

Scratching the nape of my neck, I said, "So while we're on that subject, exactly why didn't you use some of your many moves on Paul when he was trying to force feed you chicken?"

Her blue eyes widening behind her glasses, Hayley hissed, "Use my moves on Paul?" in a horrified sounding voice. "Have you seen how skinny the poor kid is? A karate chop would break him in half!"

"Firstly, it's actually called a knife hand strike," Paul commented matter-of-factly from his seat across the table. "Secondly, I'm a nerd. It would make no sense for me to be built like Channing Tatum. Thirdly, you didn't use any of your moves on me because you know you love me."

He shot her an exaggerated wink and I snickered as her cheeks flushed. If those two didn't admit their feelings for each other, and soon, I was going to have to do it for them. Leaning closer to Z, I whispered, "How much you wanna bet that they'll be a couple by the end of the year?"

"I don't love you," Hayley protested wildly as Paul shot her a knowing smirk. "I'm just slightly fond of you. There's a difference."

His grin growing wider, Paul picked up his Dunkin Donuts coffee and took a slow sip. "You love me so much that you offered to pay for this coffee." He shrugged in our direction. "You guys all know that Hayley never offers to pay for anything, right?"

I nodded in agreement, wincing as Hayley smacked my cheek, huffing and puffing with indignation next to me.

"I do too offer to pay for stuff! People just ignore me when I offer because I'm so small," she spat, her entire body tensing up.

"I like you small, babe," Paul joked and Hayley's cheeks turned beet red.

Her voice almost a growl, she grated, "Don't call me 'babe'!"

"Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" I chanted, thumping my closed fists on the table. They all turned to look at me, Zabri included. She had been watching the Hayley and Paul show, her mouth gaping open in bewilderment.

A mock expression of horror on his face, Paul put his hands up to cover his mouth and, in a decent imitation of Hayley's voice, lilted, "Scott, stop it, you're embarrassing me!"

"I don't sound like that!" Hayley snarled, but there was no real bite to her voice. There never was, not when she was dealing with Paul.

I ran an exasperated hand through my hair. "Okay, I'm tapping out. Somebody else try to defuse the sexual tension here," I said, only half joking.

"I see what you're doing, Scott," Hayley exclaimed triumphantly, poking a finger into my stomach. "You're trying to divert the attention from yourself because you were late! Won't work!"

I groaned in pretend irritation. Well, it had worked until Hayley had to point it out! "No, I'm not," I argued, deciding to stoop down to Hayley's level. She was eying me shrewdly, her hands on her hips. "I have a valid reason for being late."

"Do tell," Zabri said from the other side of me. I twisted to face her, my eyes roaming over her pretty, serious face. Only the slight quiver of her perfect, pouty lips let me know that I wasn't in the doghouse. She so was trying not to laugh and I let out a sigh, licking my own lips. Damn, I missed hanging out with my girlfriend. I was going to have to do something about that, and luckily, I had the perfect plan in mind.

Reaching into my back pocket, I pulled out the four tickets with a flourish, a proud grin on my face. "Tada!"

Silence.

Paul opened his mouth like he was about to ask a question, shook his head, and shut his mouth again. Hayley tugged on her ponytail, her head cocked to one side as she squinted at the tickets in my hand. And Z- she just bit back a giggle.

I wasn't ready for this kind of underwhelming response. Almost everyone on campus knew about this party, tickets were in such short supply that some students were even selling theirs on craigslist to make some extra money! Just the sight of the slim neon red ticket had the power to have students fawning over you, asking 'how did you get your hands on that ticket, you lucky bastard'? Grumpily, I tossed the tickets on the table. Guess Z, Hayley and Paul just didn't care about hot parties.

Hayley was the first to break the silence. "What are those and why should we care?" she asked in her typical blunt manner, sparing the tickets a disdainful glance.

"They're tickets to the hottest party on campus, but I guess you nerds don't give a shit," I snorted, my ego feeling deflated.

Zabri giggled, squeezing my bicep gently. "What did you expect?" she asked, her voice filled with laughter. "You know Hayley, Paul and I aren't party animals."

"Exactly," Paul said, focussing his attention on his cell phone. "Let me know when you have tickets to NASA or when your dad snags you tickets to tour Microsoft or something."

"But I went to so much trouble to get these tickets," I lied. Actually, Danny had a stash of tickets hidden under his mattress, but somehow I thought if I mentioned that, I would lose all credibility. I needed to make these guys believe that I had gone through the wire in order to obtain the tickets, so that they would agree to come to the party with me, Z especially. "You guys should totally come with me. It's gonna be awesome. They have beer pong, a body painter..." My voice trailed off as Z shook her head, a wry smile turning up her lips. "What?" I whined.

"You know that's not our scene, Scott. It's your scene. And it's when?" She reached out to pick up a ticket, read the date and shot me a level gaze. "It's tonight. Way to give us enough time to prepare."

I bit my lip. Fuck. So much for trying to ease her in. I had cockily assumed that Zabri would be so excited to spend time with me that she wouldn't mind going to the party on short notice, but my plan was blowing up in my face.

"Anyway, Scott, we can't all be geniuses," Hayley put in. "I have to study for a test, and I know Zabri does too."

I pouted, purely for dramatic effect. "So you guys are dissing me? I'm gonna have to go to this party by myself?"

"I don't see what the problem is," Zabri shrugged, taking a sip of her orange juice. "I mean, you've been partying solo ever since we got here, what's changed?"

Slipping an arm around her shoulder, I drew her closer to me, nuzzling her neck. "I want to party with my girlfriend."

I actually did want to spend more time with Z, but my reasons for inviting her to the party were kind of selfish. Every time I was at a party by myself or with my boys, girls would swarm me and wouldn't give up, even when I insisted that I had a girlfriend. If Z came along with me, the girls would see that I wasn't bull shitting about having a girlfriend and (hopefully) leave me alone. It was worth a shot.

Unfortunately for me, Zabri was hell-bent on being difficult.

"I do have to study, Scott. You know that I need to keep my grades up or my parents are going to have my head on a platter." She smirked. "And, like Hayley said, whether you study or not doesn't make much of a difference, smarty pants."

There she went, pointing out something that I was still pretty self-conscious about. I hated when people insinuated that I didn't have to study just because I was smart.

Spreading my arms, my hands palm up, I said, "So what am I going to do with these tickets?"

"Sell them on craigslist," Paul muttered snarkily.

I stuck my tongue out at him childishly, before turning to plead with Z. "Hun, you don't have to stay for long. Just two hours max."

"Frat parties are overrated," Hayley chipped in unexpectedly, as I shot her a glare over my shoulder. "Well, they are! Drunk guys trying to feel you up, girls puking and falling down drunk..." Her voice trailed off and she shivered in disgust, hugging herself. "Count me out. I'll be chilling with Paul tonight."

Paul shot her a happy grin. "And you will like it!"

"Go with someone else, Scott," Zabri said carelessly, reaching up to brush something from my face. "If the tickets are as scarce as you say they are, there's gotta be plenty of people who would kill for a chance to go. Be a good Samaritan."

I narrowed my eyes. Was Z trying to trick me? Did she really not mind if I went with someone else, or she wanted me to just give the tickets away and go solo? Slowly, I asked her and her face lit up in a smile.

"No, I don't mind if you go with someone else, Scott," she replied, stroking my arm and making the hairs stand up on edge. God, I loved when she touched me like that.

Pursing up my lips, I tilted my head at an angle to look at her and she smiled back, arousing my suspicions. She was acting way too agreeable. My Z would never. "Well, if you're sure..."

"I'm positive."

Green light. I shrugged. Well, if Z didn't want to go, and Hayley and Paul were going to be busy doing whatever they had planned, I supposed I had to find backup. Luckily, I knew just the people. "I guess Blanca and Yvonne will want to come with me." Fishing my phone out of my pocket, I continued, almost under my breath. "I should give them a call, see if they're down."

"Really?" Zabri exclaimed, disbelief tainting her voice. I glanced up from my lap, where I had been shielding my phone from the suns glare as I looked up Blanca's number. Her eyebrows rose to the sky as she tore into me while I sat there, slack jawed with astonishment. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde! "You're calling up Blanca and Yvonne to go to the party with you?"

Popping a stick of gum into her mouth, Hayley chuckled merrily, relishing what was to come. "Oh, snap, Zabri, go in!" she heckled.

"What's wrong with that?" I protested, totally confused. Was I missing something here? Hadn't Zabri just given me the go ahead to take someone else to the party? So what the hell was the problem?

Tapping her finger against her chin in a parody of deep thought, Zabri said, "Oh, let me think. What is the problem, Taylor?" in a sarcastic voice as I bristled. She only called me Taylor when she was pissed off and now, looking mutely into her brown eyes, I knew she was getting there. But why? "The problem is how you can sit there and calmly tell me that you're planning on taking the girl who almost cost us our relationship in high school and the girl who was flirting shamelessly with you to a frat party and expect me to not say anything about it. That's the problem, Scott."

"But- I thought you were cool with Blanca? She apologized, for God's sake! What else do you want?" I asked, clenching my fists in frustration. Z's lips were tight and her flinty eyes met mine unyieldingly.

"What about Yvonne? You know she's been flirting with you since jump street," she accused. "Do you really think that I want you going anywhere with her?" A derisive snort. "She was shameless when I was right there; imagine what she'll be like when I'm not around?"

Frowning, I exclaimed, "So what? Surely you know that I'm not that kind of guy? I mean, girls have practically thrown themselves at me- and I'm not saying that to be all arrogant, so quit snorting, Hayley- and I haven't even looked twice, Z! I mean, shit, I was cool when Jesse was flirting with you!"

Wrong thing to say.

"Really, Scott?" Zabri uttered a humourless laugh, tossing her hair back. "You were so jealous of the fact that Jesse was talking to me that you sulked most of the drive home from the restaurant! You know, I bet if the shoe was on the other foot, and I wanted to study with Jesse, you would be acting the exact same way I'm acting."

She smirked smugly, the expression on her face irking me no end.

I chewed on my lip ring, mulling what she had just said over in my mind. Of course I would flip if she told me she was studying with Jesse, I had seen the way he looked at her and I didn't trust him one bit. Still, she did have a point. Yvonne had made it quite clear that she didn't care if I had a girlfriend; she wanted to get in my pants. Or she wanted me to get in her pants, I wasn't too sure. But although she was hot, I wasn't about to do anything with her that would jeopardize my relationship with Zabri. I loved her too much. But I did want to go to that party with Blanca, mostly because she was such a good time and partly because I knew that with Blanca on my arm, the girls who usually fawned over me wouldn't even try. It was a win-win situation. But I had to ease Zabri in, and an idea slipped into my mind, fully formed. I grinned to myself. It was perfect.

"You're right, hun," I said simply, enjoying seeing the self-satisfied smile on Z's face fade. "If you told me that you were going to study with Jesse, I would be pissed."

Slowly, Zabri nodded, her eyes not leaving my face. "So why are you using double standards?" she asked. "I already told you that Jesse's been asking me to study with him, and I'm the only one who's losing out on it because he's a sophomore and he knows more than me. The only reason I don't take him up on his offer is because I know you won't like it."

"I won't like it," I admitted, deciding to be honest with her. "I'd hate it, in fact. But I don't want to use double standards and I don't want to fight with you and I definitely don't want you to be mad at me, so I'm going to propose something." Taking her hands in mine and squeezing, I bit my lip. "Why don't we call a truce? You can study with Jesse and I'll go to the party with Blanca. No Yvonne."

Zabri stared at me in silence for a beat, her eyes narrowed. Finally she said, "Are you sure?"

"Yeah," I nodded. "That way we'll both be having fun. And if you can trust me to behave and not make a move on Blanca and vice versa, I can trust you to behave and not make a move on Jesse, right?"

"Right," Paul agreed, surreptitiously flicking bagel crumbs across the table at a scowling Hayley.

Sighing, Zabri started, "I don't want you to say that just because you want to appease me coz I'm overreacting-."

I scooted forward, grasped her shoulders and drew her in for a kiss, effectively silencing her as Hayley let out a wolf whistle. Just like that, Z was putty in my hands and I smirked against her lips. I always did know how to shut her up with one kiss.


Frat party.

The music was great, the beers were cold and Blanca was a great dancing partner, so why did I feel so out of it? Probably because I kept imagining Jesse making a move on my Z and it was making me nervous. I trusted Z implicitly, but I wasn't used to another guy showing so much interest in her, especially after he knew she had a boyfriend. Although I knew she would never cheat on me, I didn't trust Jesse. He looked like a Mr. Steal your Girl kind of guy. When Zabri called me to tell me that Jesse had agreed to meet her for a study night, right before I left my room to come to the party, my heart sank and for a second, I felt an uncharacteristic twinge of dread. I know, dramatic like hell, but I couldn't shake the feeling that Jesse would try something with my girlfriend and I wouldn't be around to stop it.

Blanca noticed that I wasn't my normal, cheerful self when she brought me a new beer and realized that I had barely touched my old one.

"What the hell's wrong with you, Scott?" she asked bluntly, a hand on her slender hip. She flipped her red hair over her shoulder and fixed me with a stern look. "You're acting weird."

I took the cold beer from her and took a long drink, avoiding her sharp green eyes. "I'm okay. Just tired, I guess."

"Bullshit. Scot Taylor is never tired." She put a hand on my arm and I glanced up at her, stiffening. Sure, she said she had changed, but do you blame me for being wary? Her eyes shone with a concerned light and I relaxed. "What's wrong with you?"

I took a deep breath, feeling miserable. Insecurity was a feeling that I just wasn't used to. Was this how Zabri felt whenever girls gave me second and third looks whenever we went out? Because I would be the first to admit, it wasn't fun.

Hesitantly, I told Blanca about my fears, remembering that Jesse was related to her too late. She just smiled and patted my arm when I finished pouring out my soul though.

"Relax, Scott, Jesse won't try anything. Trust me, Zabri's in good hands. He's not that kind of guy. He's very respectful." She chuckled. "And I'm not just saying that because he's my cousin. Basically, as long as Zabri keeps it professional and lets him know that they're just friends, he won't try a damn thing."

My eyes closed as I heaved a sigh of relief. When I opened them again, Blanca was smirking at me, amusement written over her entire face. "You sure?" I asked her, feeling like a big weight had just rolled off my shoulders.

"I'm positive, dude." Her eyes grew serious. "You really love Zabri, don't you?"

Smirking, I replied, "Like that was ever in question? Yes, Blanca, I really do love my Z."

"Are you happy with her?"

The smile on my face wilted as I stared down into Blanca's unreadable eyes. Why was she asking these questions? "Yeah, I'm happy with her. Why?"

"I'm just asking," Blanca shrugged. "I guess I'm not exactly used to seeing the great Scott Taylor going steady with the same girl for- how long has it been now?"

I scratched my head. "Two and a half years."

"I still remember the stunt I pulled to try and break you up," Blanca said, laughing self-consciously. "I was such a jealous bitch, but what can I say, I lusted for your body." she sighed, giving me a level look. "I don't lust after you anymore, Scott. I actually value your friendship. And I like Zabri. She balances you out."

Okay, that came out of nowhere. But I was glad that Blanca was being honest with me.

"I value your friendship too, Blanca," I said, enveloping her in a hug.

She hugged me back and then whispered, "But the person you need to watch out for is Leon. He's got it bad," in a joking tone.

Fml.


Zabri's POV

Jesse probably thought I was a stalker because I tracked him down at the barber shop in order to ask him if he wanted to study later on, but I didn't care because he had claimed was a damned good tutor and a great study buddy. A call to Evelyn let me know exactly where Jesse was after my failed lunch with Scott, Hayley and Paul, and I quickly changed and made my way to the spot without giving myself a chance to second guess myself.

His eyes lit up when I walked into the barber shop nervously, but luckily, apart from him, the barber, a few kids and a woman reading a magazine, it was empty.

"Hey, Zabri," he exclaimed, sounding delighted to see me. His eyes roved over my face and my body appreciatively. "You look good. Coming for your yearly haircut?"

I laughed as he stood up, his hair trim finished. Looked like I was right on time. He stretched his tall body languidly, not taking his eyes off my face. "No, I was actually looking for you-," I started, pausing as I realized how that sounded. How was I going to explain how I knew where he would be? Why didn't I just hang around outside and wait for him to come out, then bump into him or something?

Luckily-

"Eve told you where I'd be, huh?" he asked, coming towards me. Brushing past me, he reached the door and held it open for me like a real gentleman should. I walked out and waited on the sidewalk as he said bye to the barber. Then he stepped out and said, "Let me guess. You want to study tonight."

My mouth dropped open in surprise and Jesse chuckled huskily. Was I really that transparent? But how? Surely 'I want to study' wasn't written on my face?

"How did you-," I started, looking up at him.

He grinned. "I just had a hunch. I'd love to study with you, Zabri." My name rolled off his tongue seductively and I swallowed. "What time is good for you?"

"Around 7?" I ventured shyly, hardly able to believe that it could be so easy.

Nodding, Jesse punched me lightly in the arm. "Aight, cool. Your dorm, right?"

"If you don't mind."

"Not at all." He started backing away, his lips still turned up in a cute smile. "I'll see you at 7, Zabri. Oh, and I'm bringing my A game to impress you."

And with a wink, he was gone. I wiped the beads of sweat from my forehead. Why did Jesse always get me so shook up? Even when he wasn't flirting with me, I still got nervous and shy around him. That wasn't a good sign at all.

The study night started off perfectly. Khandi and Rogue headed out early for dinner and drinks with two pre-med students (honestly, I have no idea where they got these saps from) and I had the room to myself. Jesse showed up on time, smelling like he had just showered, with all the right books under his arm and a pizza. Can you say thoughtful?

We started studying and I made notes as he talked me through some of the basic principles of neuroscience. It was only once we paused to eat that things got awkward.

"You're really smart," he said lazily, watching me eat. "When I was a freshman, I didn't have that much understanding of all the basics."

Nervously, I wiped my mouth with a napkin, feeling his gaze on my face. "Well, that's what happens when you stay in and study all the time," I quipped. "You tend to retain more information."

"Meanwhile your boyfriend goes out and parties all the time, leaving you all alone," he remarked. His voice lowered. "If you were my girl, there's no way I would diss you and go partying. Shit. You're dope, Zabri."

I smiled at him, flattered. If only Scott thought that way. Oh, I knew he loved me, but recently, he wasn't showing it as much as he used to. It felt nice to be appreciated. "Thanks, Jesse," I said, before taking another bite of my pizza.

"No problem," he murmured, staring at my lips. "Hey, you got a little something on your lip." He swiftly closed the distance between us on his hands and knees, and that was when I started thinking that something was wrong, wrong, wrong. "Let me get that for you."

Before I could even blink, his lips were on mine, tongue flicking out to lick the offending pizza sauce off of my lips. My body tensed as he rapidly pushed me against the wall, my heart thumping against my ribcage as his hands cupped my face, his lips moving feverishly over mine. I was frozen with shock, unable to move, unable to push him away me. This was the last thing I had expected to happen when I had invited Jesse over to study.

My mind screamed 'push him away from you!' but my body was in a state of paralysis as Jesse mumbled against my lips. I'm pretty sure he was saying "Kiss me back," but I wasn't too sure. It seemed to be happening to someone else, at a distance and although the entire incident was mere seconds long, it felt like hours.

Just as I was snapping out of the daze Jesse's unexpected kiss had put me in, the door blew open and Khandi stormed in. The sight of her gator boots galvanized me into action and my brain finally was able to send a message to my arms. I shoved Jesse away from me but it was far too late. Khandi had seen everything.


A/N: Um, so, yeah! Happy 2013 to you all! What better way to celebrate the first day of February (best month of the year, and not because of Valentine's Day) with an update?

Just humour me for a second :p.

So, I know I've been gone for a long time and ya'll probably moved on, but I'm making an effort. A huge one. I'm busy with school, full course load and I have soooo many projects, assignments and term papers to do that I decided to update instead. Yeah, my priorities are not acting right! Silted writing be damned, I updated another chapter! I'm writing through my writers block (can you tell? Yeah, you can tell)! Anyway, what's new with you guys?

By the by, I self-published The Pull of Destiny on amazon! Hella excited and very nervous. Check my amazon author central profile page out (link on my fp profile page). So, who's all in for another chapter of the Scott and Zabri story? Anybody? *embarrassed grin*

Review thanks go to everyone who reviewed, PM'd, alerted, favorited and read GGGC UE in the past I don't know how many months. Gah. Now I feel like a jerk. Oh wait a minute, that's coz I am. More soon?