"Alright, get out." Case all but growled.
My jaw dropped and I let out a disbelieving gasp.
He rolled his eyes, "I know I'm good looking, but surely you're used to it by now."
I sneered, "Foul cretin."
Without a word, he huffed and pulling his seat belt off reached over me all but lying in my lap. My eyes widened and my lips pursed. What is he doing?
I sat deathly still as I heard a loud click and a sudden rush of cool air seep into my now open door. When he straightened, I discreetly let out the breath I hadn't known I was holding. Rolling his eyes in agitation he gruffly un-clicked my seatbelt and the belt retracted back into place.
"Get out." He said again, through gritted teeth.
I frowned, "Why?"
He sighed, running a hand through his silky, black hair. "Because it's my car and I say so, Layelle."
"That's not good enough." I pouted feeling put out.
"Look, I don't even know you. You're a stranger – a very lucky stranger. And I'm a kind and innocent bystander who was in a good mood and drove you home. Now please, just get out." He slowly released a breath.
"No." I sulked, my arms folded.
"Layelle," he warned.
"Case…" I warned back.
He glared even harder.
It was an all out glaring contest that I was determined to win.
After what felt like hours but in actuality was only a minute or two, Case let out a low, animalistic grumble from somewhere inside his chest.
It was damn hot!
"Do that again!" I cheered.
His eyes were still squinted in annoyance, "Do what?"
"That…" I took a breath and tried to conjure up my own growling sound, "-do that!" I grinned, my eyes alight with excitement.
Case looked at me seriously before turning his gaze to his hands in his lap. Rejected.
"Fine," I said, the smile slowly slipping from my face.
"Look, Layelle," Case began suddenly. His mouth opened and closed as he searched for words. In the end, he just snapped his mouth shut. "Please just, get out?" He tried, turning it into a question.
I glared, "I will not!" I sniffed, indignantly.
"Layelle! Goddammit! Just get out of my damn car! I can't have you, sitting here, telling me how to drive, telling me how not to drive. I can't even believe that I listened to half the bullshit you were saying. I know how to drive, Layelle. I got my license, so I know how to drive. Keep your fucking backseat driving to your damn self or I'll leave you in the parking lot. If I'd have just known…" He shook his head angrily. I was shocked. This was about… "Look," He had calmed down quite a bit, but his voice was still tense and edgy, "I feel like we could be really good friends Lay and I'm sorry for exploding like that, I just, I have a temper and I don't want to scare you away just yet. Can we just," he ran his hands through his hair in frustration, before peeking up at me through his thick lashes, "maybe, pretend that didn't happen?"
My eyes were wide, my lips were trembling and my hands were sweaty. He had just exploded on me and apologized only mere seconds later, right? I wasn't just imagining that. My head was swirling and I could feel that migraine coming back, but I ignored it.
"Sorry." I said, wringing my sweaty palms, "I don't think we can."
He shook his head sadly and ashamed, "Well, then I guess I'm the one that should be apologizing."
I shook my head; I don't think I explained that right, "No, you don't get it." I tried.
"No," he began, before I could make him understand, "I do get it. I just…thanks for being, a friend. It was nice while it lasted." He finished, before starting his car and waiting for me to get out.
I got the hint and I was tempted to take it, but he was being stupid and stubborn and wouldn't listen to me. I gently touched his arm and felt it tense under my hand. I squeezed it a little to get his attention.
He didn't look at me, although he did burn holes in the hand that was touching him.
"Oh, sorry." I said quickly, bringing back my hand to sit in my lap, "That must've been uncomfortable for you. Me touching you…with…my hands." My eyes shifted side to side awkwardly.
He raised an eyebrow at me in amusement, "Layelle, shitloads of hands have touched me in less than comfortable positions, I prefer the more comfortable methods, but, you're inexperience is clear, so I'll deal." He winked, cheekily.
And if it weren't awkward before, it sure was now. I felt my cheeks burn and grabbed the open door, slamming it shut.
Turning back to Case it seemed he had snapped out of his light mood and sunk back into his sad, ashamed, broody mood.
I rolled my eyes at him, "Look, dude, I don't just get over things like that," I clicked my fingers to emphasize how fast I meant, "and I don't just leave my friends because they're PMSing." I grinned at him and his jaw dropped, offended. "First of all, fuck you. I'll backseat drive all I want it's my car!" I growled. He gave me a strange look and I furrowed my eyebrows and closed an eye, "Actually, this isn't my car, is it?" I giggled, "I'm so used to being in my cars or like, Rose's or Em's or Caelan's. And either of their cars is mine."
He just shook his head with a grin.
"Look Case, I totally agree with you, it seems like we could get along really well…Once we work on that temper of course," I raised both my eyebrows and gave him a look to which he just smiled. "I'm going to be annoying and you're going to want me to leave you the hell alone, but I'm not going too. It's not how I roll." I finished.
"First of all!" He mock-glared, "I'm not PMSing. I'm a man. We don't PMS. We fight, like, lions." He sniffed and I laughed at him. "And second of all, I don't do backseat driving. I'm a man and I drive fine, driving is in my genes." He replied in a cocky manner.
I rolled my eyes – something I seemed to be doing a bit too frequently.
"Are we cool?" He asked while his eyes concentrated on his steering wheel.
"Yeah, we're cool." I smiled, punching him lightly in the arm.
In the settling silence that ensued, I decided I'd solve at least one of the many mysteries that had plagued my mind all throughout today. "Case," He looked up at me curiously, "explain to me why it was you that took me to the nurse. And please tell me you didn't carry me because if you did, I swear, I'll castrate you."
His eyes widened and he stared at me fearfully. I tried so very hard to suppress the overwhelming urge to cackle, needless to say I failed.
A strange look flitted across his face and I'm sure he felt the need to call his Aunt Sabina and have her check me for loose screws again.
"Well, er..." He began, almost reluctantly, "See, you weren't feeling too well."
"Yes, I get that, Case. I don't have amnesia or dementia or the memory of a goldfish…well, not all the time." I said, thoughtfully tapping my chin, "I remember that, I just want to know why Caelan was massaging me but you were the one to deliver me to your Aunt." I said, starting to get annoyed.
He frowned, "Hey, don't get all angry at me dude, I was trying to help is all." He started more confidently, trying to protect himself from that wrath that is me. "I went to...do something because I got a text from..." he looked away from me, "someone."
"And so that means the 'someone' is Bay and the 'something' is too foul and disgusting to come out of my mouth." I gave him a knowing look and he shrugged carelessly.
"I'm a male and I have feelings for her. What of it?"
I rolled my eyes, waving a hand for him to continue, "Well anyway, after I was done," pause, "talking," he winked at me, his green eyes light and playful, his lips, curved into a devious smirk, "I came back to the table." Instantly the carefree Case had been replaced by the serious Case. "It was weird, I don't know. I came back to the table and Caelan was kissing you. Not full on death grip, lip-lock or anything, just a kiss on your forehead but Bay was behind me and took it the wrong way I guess. She flipped her lid, Lay!" His eyes were filled with pride, "You should've seen her." He almost sighed, dreamily.
"Wow, Case. Very manly of you." I rolled my eyes at him again.
He flipped me off and I tried not to be offended, it was hard to be when he flashed his pearly whites.
"As I was saying, she flipped her lid. Bay went absolutely off her rocker when she saw Caelan and you. She tried lunging at you, screaming like a fuckin' mad woman. Man, it was awesome!" He cried, excitedly, before coughing awkwardly and deepening his voice, "Uh, I mean, yeah, it was pretty cool." His eyes darted left and right.
"So, she tried..." I gulped, "hitting me?"
I could not take on Bay. She'd like...rape me ten times over.
"Caelan kept a tight leash on her and tried to calm her down, but she wouldn't have it. So I had to get you out of there. I picked you u-" He trailed off at my squinted eyes. "I mean, I put your arm around my shoulders and hauled your fat ass out of there. You were out cold dude. Gotta teach me that trick one day." He grinned.
I tried to smile back. I tried to find the humor in it all, but I couldn't.
"So, what am I supposed to do now?" I asked feeling very overwhelmed.
He sighed tapping his steering wheel, "I don't know Lay,"
And then the light bulb flicked on in my head. Heck, the light bulb was so bright it almost shattered.
Case caught the crazed look in my eyes, "No." He said instantly, folding his arms.
I opened my mouth to try to reason that he didn't even know what I wanted but he cut me off.
"The answer is still no."
My mouth dropped in protest, "But-" I sputtered.
"Mm mm." He snuffed resolutely, his arms folded tightly and his eyes shut, nose slightly raised.
"But what about that saying, you know, don't get mad, get even?"
At this, he opened an eye, "What about it?"
"Well, aren't you the least bit mad at Bay Leigh for using you the way she did, has and still continues to do. Aren't you sick of this oppression!" I cried, outraged. I grinned in my head as I put on my best pout, jutting out my bottom lip, blinking my eyes slowly a few times so they were watery looking. "I am." I whispered.
He quickly shut his one eye, shaking his head a couple times; he unfolded his arms and gripped his steering wheel. "I have a feeling I'm going to regret this." He sighed in dejection.
I squealed with glee, reaching over his gear stick, to give him a big bear hug and in the heat of the moment, I decided to kiss his cheek too. But unawares of my notions, he turned his head to return my anticipated hug. The innocent kiss on the cheek I had in mind, turned into a hard, kiss on the lips.
"Um, oh, that – um, I'm sorry." I squeaked, flushing furiously as I jerked back away from him. He seemed to be frozen, eyes closed languidly. "I, er, I meant to, kiss your," I chuckled awkwardly, "cheek. Funny, huh? Well, I think it's about time I let you go. I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay? Okay. Cool." I rambled, twisting my fingers.
He finally opened his eyes and they seemed dark and intense. I gulped, shyly meeting his gaze. I tried a smile but it was tight and forced, the deep blush on my cheeks giving me away. "It's okay, Layelle. It was just a stupid kiss." He said, seriously, his deep eyes staring intently, "Right?" He asked, beautiful green eyes daring to me to deny it.
I swallowed my tonsils, not trusting my voice I could only nod mutely.
His eyes flashed and he nodded once. "I'll see you tomorrow then." His farewell was curt and clipped and I nodded, not once looking at him again as I climbed out of his car.
"Thanks for the ride." I whispered.
His tires squealed loudly as he sped off in response.
"Case, hey! Case!" I called, running against corridor traffic and trying not to trip over my legs.
Hearing his name, he stopped, interrupting traffic flow and searched for the voice.
"Sup Lay?" He nodded in that cool way guys do.
"Nothing." I said, rocking back on my heels.
"Is that it?" He asked after my ensued silence with an eyebrow raised.
It had been almost a month since Case had dropped me home. He'd made a lot of friends since then and as such, we didn't get to see each other much, except for in class. Him, Rose and Em had all become buddy-buddy, but things between him and Cael were still tense. I think it was safe enough to assume Bay was stringing them both along. As much as Case didn't like it, I'm pretty sure he just thought he was lucky enough to get any part of her. A little was better than nothing in his eyes. As for Cael, he still had no idea. Often these last few weeks, I'd find myself unable to sleep. The guilt of knowing what was going on and not telling my best friend about it was eating me through and through. Often telling myself that I had no real proof of it at all was the only way I could get any shut eye. As ashamed as I am to admit that pitiful excuse works, I know it's because a small part of me knows that if faced with the truth, Cael would choose her. Was it wrong for me to also take as much as I could? Was I as bad as Case? Yes, yes I was.
"Um, so I've thought of a plan!" I smiled sheepishly.
He rolled his eyes at me, nodding down the hallway, signaling we keep walking. "Talk to me."
"Well, I know it's taken me a while and I'm sorry that telling them the truth, pouring ice down Bay's back and setting everything up didn't work for you – totally not my fault by the way, they were great ideas – it's just, you're very particular and we need to do this right so we both get what we want out of this. We need to create a plan that's simple yet effective. We need to utilize all available assets, plan everything meticulously and then we'll reap the maximum amount of rewards, which for you is Bay and for myself is Caelan." I took a deep breath.
He nodded in accordance, "So you've figured something out then?"
I scrunched my face, "I have…"
"And I'm not going to like it, am I?" He queried.
"Not any more than I am." I mumbled, annoyed.
"Well then?" He urged.
"We…we have to date." I grumbled.
"We have to what?" He whispered. He'd stopped walking and people sneered angrily, but he ignored them, consumed by his thoughts.
"Yeah, yeah, I get it…I just, what?" He turned to me, eyes wide.
"Okay, okay," I breathed, starting to walk again, "you see, you want Bay right?" at this he nodded, "and I want Cael," I paused, "Think about it. Cael fought you because he was jealous of you, within the small span of meeting you, he hated you, that's an accomplishment…kind of. And Bay wants you to distract me for reasons unknown. Maybe, if you 'distract' me, she'll think you're doing what she wants and then be happy with you?" I tried, unsure if that was true or not. It was definitely a gamble. "Or, maybe, if she thinks your into me, she'll want you back because she's a selfish nincompoop." I mumbled the last part under my breath, but Case heard and patted my head in a mocking way.
"So, how is this fair?" He asked. I raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Well, the way I see it is, Cael is jealous of me already as you say, so the minute he finds out we're going out, he's going to throw a fit, I'll get beaten to a pulp. And you for sure, get what you want in a way. But why do I get? I get possibly get what I want. It's a gamble a chance. Is it really worth it?" He questioned, needing to be more convinced.
"You get the girl. No gamble." I assured him.
"How do you know?" He said skeptically.
"Because…when Cael comes crying to me about how he demands I break up with you, he'll persuade me by using the 'I'll do anything you want me to' tactic." I grinned smugly.
"And…" he waved his hands in a continuing motion.
"And I'll make him dump Bay."
My grin grew as I saw his eyes flash brightly, everything making sense to him now.
"So I get the girl?"
"And I get the guy." I nodded.
"So then Layelle, would you like to come to the movies with me tonight? I'll pick you up at eight?" He winked, devilishly.
I smiled despite myself, a feint blush spreading like wildfire, "Yes, Case, I really would." I poked my tongue at him and took off running for class.
A/N: First off, I'd like to apologize in advance if this seems very disjointed. I've had half of this chapter done for months but couldn't figure out where to go next, I wish I'd had a cliff hanger, they're so much easier to work with. Anyway, sorry for taking so long to update, just not had the inspiration. And thank you for reading. Let me know about errors and your opinion. It's short…boo ):
T.M Santos & NeverEndingMoons
a billion trillion thank yous.