Skin Deep

Chapter 18

Corbin looks over her shoulder and blinks at Maverick, who's leaning up against my fence and mock giving her a dirty look. As soon as he's got her attention he crosses his arms and sizes her up. She raises her eyebrows at him bemusedly.

I smile dopily, wanting to run over and hug him, kiss his cheeks, spread my happiness around. Maverick is the cutest person alive and his hair is all messy and even though he's got the energy to be so melodramatic, he's panting a bit. Like he's run all the way here or something, just to see me and oh – oh no, he has.

And he's not here just because.

"Get away from my girl, you pretty hoe," Maverick points a finger gun. "I don't want this to get ugly but if need be, it'll get ugly."

He's here because I ignored all his texts, emails, calls and facebook requests.

"Oh is that so?" Corbin turns around to face him, pulling me to her side and smirking. She pulls a finger gun to my head. "I don't think you're in a position to make those kinds of demands, Hansen. Do you want me to be blow your girlfriend's brains out?"

"Oh, you wouldn't," He looks horrified. "You love her too much, you couldn't do it – I may not know you well, Cox, but this be truth."

"Murder-suicide," She shrugs, letting her finger gun go off and then blasting herself in the head.

Corbin coils to the ground with a cry of agony, a mess of twitching limbs. I stand awkwardly beside her, wondering who will out drama queen who. The people I love – of course, both of them have a love, a deep passion, for the theatrics. Maverick's hands go to his heart and he weeps, falling to his knees and starting to crawl towards me, reaching out.

"Why, why –" He moans miserably. "She was so young, so young."

Corbin clutches her head, clawing at her shot wound. Maverick's knees grate across the dirt, going pink from scratching against sticks and leaves.

In the middle of her twitching, Corbin stops. "God, Bee, you're totally ruining the atmosphere."

"Oh, sorry," I drop to my knees, clutching my chest and falling back onto the grass with them. I peep over my knees at Corbin's unblinking eyes. "Is that better?"


Corbin and Maverick say this in unison, causing her to smirk and him to stick his tongue out.

"Sorry, honey," He grins at me. "We'll work on it together later okay?"

"Later? Why not now?" Corbin suggests. "She doesn't look like she's got anything on. I'd be glad to help educate her in the art of melodrama."

"We've got to talk."

"Oh," She nods slowly, looking at me. My hands freeze and I feel stuck, trapped and wanting nothing more than to be 'educated', it'd be preferable to the talk he wants to have with me. "Well I'll see you later sometime Bee?"

"No, no it's okay," I feel my stomach start to go queasy. "You don't have to leave I mean anything Maverick wants to say to me he can say in front of you ha-ha. I mean isn't it totally rude he interrupted our moment?"

She looks at me for a while, raising her eyebrows.

"I don't want our moment to be used in this way, thanks," Corbin gets to her feet, dusting herself off and grimacing at all the dirt, the leaves sticking to her – it makes my heart pang a little bit, because before she wouldn't care. I've got to remember she's not the same. "So you can rain check the rest of our moment for another day."

"But I don't want to," I pout and she seriously glares at me.

"I was kind of joking but kind of not, don't cheapen our moment by being a baby," She calls Maisy over for one last pat, pressing her face into her fur and kissing her – and then she's off, slamming the gate behind her.

I stare after her in woe, feeling kind of dumb for 'cheapening the moment'. I'm going to have to really make up for that later…if there is a later. If I don't incarcerate myself in my room out of embarrassment, due to the fact Maverick wouldn't ditch the topic of who's making the crazy YouTube videos, honey?

Maybe I should have pretended like I knew nothing about it…only then he'd just ask other people, other people who know that it's me making them.

So all in all this can be avoided, but eventually – that is if I fail to lose interest in the whole thing, which is something that's not been given up on – he'll find out about it, and then he'll be freaked out and he'll dump me and I'll live miserably ever after. Why oh why when things start to get better, do they have to take a turn for the worse?

Even though I'm the one that's driving and it's totally my fault, it still makes me pissy.

"Earth to Bee?"

I look up to see him standing over me, hands in his pockets.

My lips press together and I sniff, sitting up and wrapping my arms around my knees. Might as well get this conversation over with. He looks down at me and smiles gently, lowering down onto his knees; picking up a lock of my hair and twisting it around his fingertip, just as he begins to speak.

"Stop being a brat, Bee," Maverick whispers. "Don't run away when you don't want to talk to people okay? I might forgive you, other people won't."

My lips twitch and I feel a pang of guilt, regarding him seriously now. God, why does he even put up with me? I mean is lying to him such an attractive trait? Why shouldn't I tell him? Let him go off with some girl who doesn't make creepy YouTube videos about him before they're even together?

I bite the sides of my cheeks and feel completely stupid,

"Hey, cheer up," He kisses me on the forehead. "We're making progress here, honey. Now why don't we have a nice little talk…"

My eyes snap to his and my lips tremble. "Okay, sure."

"Now, first things first; you need to add me on facebook because that's like, important these days," He nudges me and sticks out his tongue. "We're not really going out unless you're anchored to me."

"Doesn't that mean 'married'?"

"Oh yeah, sorry, pirate talk is confusing," Maverick makes a face. "I'm not entirely sure how to change it back and mostly don't understand anything new that pops up, it's all so confusing. Sailing the seas with? I don't know and anyway we're getting a bit off-topic…"

He smiles at me now and smile uncertainly back, feeling small and scared but hey – he deserves to know, even if it completely ruins everything.

"Second of all you have leaves in your hair," He flicks one out and moves closer. "Third of all I think we should be holding hands," his hand slips into mine and he leans closer, making my cheeks go red. I feel my eyes start to flutter shut and feel his cheek press against mine, his fingers squeezing my hand. "And last but not least – the videos you made about me on the internet were adorable."

"What?" I shriek, pushing him back and watching him fall onto his hands, blue eyes twinkling. "You know about it already?"

"Well now I've confirmed it," He shrugs. "And wow, you really paid that much attention to my moles? And the he loves another woman video? I just want to watch it over and over again, seeing you so jealous…it's um hot, honey."

"What?" I repeat, completely mortified. "How'd you know it was me? And shut up, stupid, stop embarrassing me – those videos are embarrassing. Why did you run to me instead of running away? They're completely creepy and I'm sorry and oh my gosh, please tell me you didn't watch all of them because –"

"Every single one," Maverick winks at me and I gape, feeling faint. And he looks so amused about it too, the smug – smug oohhh, I can't even call him a jerk. I'm just so happy he isn't mad at me, but he's making me mad at him with all of his teasing. "I mean our first kiss? Wasn't that just the perfect moment to share with the world? We're better than Disney, honey."

I grab him by the shoulders and shake him. He's so frustrating.

"Promise me you won't watch them again?" I plead, my nails digging in. "I promise I won't make any more of them if you do that, our private life will stay private."

"No, no, honey," He shakes his head."It's like the perfect way of chronicling it all. Our wedding one will make the internet explode. "

"Wedding one?" I look away embarrassedly. "Getting a little ahead of yourself there and how did you know?"

"Honey how could I not?"

"Stop honeying me when I'm mad at you," I go to beat him in the shoulder but he grabs my hand, bringing it to his lips and kissing, kissing down it and pulling my arm along like a piece of rope; under his arm, around his waist. "Oh God, I feel faint again."

My head droops onto his shoulder in defeat, all dizzy and flustered. He laughs and presses a kiss to my head. I feel all of me burn, especially my face, it couldn't get any redder. Tingles are spreading all over me and he's just laughing into my hair, like he finds me being embarrassed so incredibly funny or something.

"Always teasing me, so cruel," I murmur.

"Don't you like me like that? And anyway; you totally thought I'd be pissed and creeped out about this and I'm not," He sticks a thumb up to himself, puffing his chest out; I look up mildly sarcastically and he gives me a toothy grin. "Guess who wins Cool Boyfriend of the Year award?"

"You do, you do."

"Aw you're so sweet pumpkin pie, sugar plum, apple of my eye – oh the affectionate pet names we can have for each other," Maverick actually sounds excited about making them up and I giggle into his chest. I like him so much. "Tomato Girl for when you're embarrassed, or – or Little Red Cutie. Gosh you're amazing when you're embarrassed."

He's totally rambling. I sigh and accept it, he's so silly.

"I'm glad you take amusement from my torture," I whine half-heartedly.

"You know what we should do, we should go watch your videos together and I can watch your mortified expressions," He suggests. "We can get chocolate dipped popcorn and everything ready. We can make a night of it."

"What? No," I glare at him and he kisses my nose, smiling innocently. "Maverick I don't even want you watching them again; we're not watching them together."

"Do you have marshmallows? Maybe we could have smores instead?"


"Okay, gees. We can get some from the supermarket so just chill out."


We end up doing what he wants anyway, so he stays for tea and afterwards we're all set up in my room marshmallows, melted chocolate and biscuits – all of which we had none of and had to go to the supermarket to, and he bought a ton. And he wouldn't let me pay for any of it. He took my wallet off of me in front of the checkout chick and shoved it down his shirt.

And because he's charming and cute she went so red.

"Are you still annoyed at me for that?" Maverick inquires as he taps on the keyboard of my laptop, searching my video channel on YouTube. "You got your wallet back eventually and that lady was just looking at me because of my shirt."

He taps his shirt which reads 'Mr. Awesome Pants' with a pair of fabulous looking pants beneath them. He's got to be kidding me.

"You're such a dummy," I elbow him with a sigh and curl around on my bed, resting my head on his shoulder; waiting for the video to load. "How on Earth did you get me to do this with you?"

"You're just too easy," He sticks his tongue out and wraps an arm around me when I frown at him, squeezing me too his side. "Come on, honey. I think it's adorable you like me so much you have to share it with your millions of fans."

"There are not millions –"

"There will be, you've got skills – wait, what's this?" Maverick hovers the mouse over a blinking orange MSN conversation. He looks to me questioningly. "Looks like Corbin's brother is messaging you about something. Is it okay for me to be here while you check or?"


"Okie dokie," He clicks and I lean in, curious.

Grant: I think Corbin ate something for tea tonight and now her and mum are having this big discussion in the dining room. Mum's shut everyone out. I think I even heard crying, mum's crying. Progress is being made, yeah?

"You changed my username," I elbow Maverick in the ribs. "Now everyone's going to think I'm conceited or something, stupid head."

"Grant didn't comment. Oooh, maybe he thinks you're beautiful?"

I elbow him again and type a reply back, cheeks going red.

Bee-a-utiful: Oh that's great! She was over her just before and your mum called, she sounded kind of upset over being shut out. Can you imagine?

Grant: Haha. She's not that bad…sometimes. I like your DP.

Turning my gaze to my DP I see it's one Maverick took of me with all of the leaves in my hair earlier, he thought it was cute. When I went to have a shower and get all snuggled up in my PJs - he decided it was Mess With Bee's Computer time. I wonder what else he's changed?

Well at least it's not my desktop one, it's got lots of dumb things on it..

"Hey Spacey," Maverick pokes me in the belly. "Does Grant have a crush on you or something?"

"Huh, no way," I blink at the screen, eyes narrowing on the DP comment. "I used to have a crush on him too."

"Say what?" His jaw drops and he starts typing furiously. "Oh no way, he's trying to steal my girl. He's got another think coming."

"Maverick, Maverick -" I laugh, pressing the keys as he narrows his blue eyes, typing menacing messages. Got to muddle them all up on him, the silly. "Grant doesn't have a crush on me, don't worry. Maverick, Maverick no – oh come on, we can watch the video where I'm jealous like a thousand times, okay? I promise I won't hide my face?"

"Oh, I don't know," He pauses, mock shaking his head. "Telling a taken girl you like her display picture is just flat out scandalous. I think I need to say mean things."

Grant: Do you want to come over for dinner tomorrow night?

"He's asking you to dinner –"

Grant: Mum wants to know. But she walked off so she's assuming you're coming.

"Corbin's mother is, dummy," I pull the laptop from his lap and set it onto mine, rolling my eyes – only secretly kind of enjoying his jealousy, even if it's mock jealousy. "Don't go picking fights with Grant Cox, he'll win."

Bee-a-utiful: Sure thing.

"Hey – hey I have muscles," He points to his bicep, nodding seriously. "And I have just the mind to go and prove you wrong for that comment, honey."

"You know I love your muscles," I pat his bicep too, admiring the solid bump in his arm. He actually could take him on, maybe. "But prove them in more civil ways Mave."

"Log cutting competition? Arm wrestling or – or maybe you want me to give you a nice, sensual massage, huh?"

Maverick's blue eyes glint with humour as he rests his head in his hands, gazing at me and chattering his brains out as per usual.

He's so adorable, even when he's making lewd comments.


I'm tired as all hell and dad was being a real jerk to me today. I'm not sure if this is good but this is something. Hurrah.