Chapter Five: Of Sneaky Hugs and Adoring Thorns

He sneaks up on me again at my bench the next morning.

"So, how was your night?" I say, with all the bitingly sugary sweetness I can muster. I regret it though, when I turn to look at him. His eyes are ringed with purple shadows and he looks disheveled and pathetic. He turns a bloodshot, utterly depressed gaze on me. Poor thing—no, Jade, dang it! Don't pity the weirdo!

"I'm done, Jade." He sighs, studying his shoes intently.

"Well, good. About time, too." Oh, jeez… I turn my head away so he won't see the apology on my face. He looks so sad… Ugh, just get rid of him, Jade. Feel sorry later. He needs a reality check, so give it to him.

"I know," he mumbles, leaning his head off the back of the bench. "I guess I am the bumbling village idiot."

Oh, boy. So many snarky remarks I could make. Just oodles of them. But I can't. Sweet baby Utahraptors, why did I have to get sensitivity now?

He stands up. "Guess I'll just leave now… go back to Lycan and see all my… friends. Yay."

I've never heard a less enthusiastic 'yay' in my life. I suppose it's my civic duty to be a kind, caring person now, isn't it? Sigh.

I get up too and tap him on the shoulder. "Hey… um, things will be okay."

He turns to me with a look of kindling hope on his face. "You think so?"

"Yeah. You'll be fine." Aw, he looks happy.

Yes, okay, I'm happy that he's happy. You can shoot me later.

He holds out his arms awkwardly. "One hug?"

I shift from foot to foot for a second before giving in. "Yeah, okay. One hug."

He wraps his big beefy arms around me and I suddenly realize that he's kind of comfortable… and warm. And he smells good and I fit really nice up against his chest—and I shuffle a little bit closer and lean my forehead on his shoulder and maybe if I just slid my hands down his back a little bit, just a little bit—

He shoves me.

He bloody shoves me away.

I look up at him with an air of 'about to bite your head off' but he's staring in a totally different direction. A girl with red-streaked black hair and heavy eyeliner is walking up to us, a dazed expression on her face.

She walks straight up to Kevin, not even glancing in my direction. I exist, don't I? "Hi," the chick says quietly.

"Hi," Kevin says, looking awed.

"I'm Thorn."

"I'm Kevin."

"I think I love you," Thorn says, staring deep into his eyes.

Sweet baby Jesus, this place is crawling with psychos. Nonetheless, I feel the need to give her some advice. "Don't you think that's a little premature?"

Hear that? That's the sound of my concern floating serenely through her cranium.

"I think I love you, too." Kevin reaches out to her, then suddenly pulls his hand back. "But I have a secret."

Oh, snark. I better not have to write another essay.

"Me too." Miss Thorn looks positively adoring.

"I'm a werewolf."

The chick smiles. She smiles. "I'm a vampire."

Oh. My. God.

The pair of bloody weirdos just fall into each other and start making out. Right there. In front of me. Jesus.

You know what? I'm done. I'm not involving myself further. I'm going to go home, listen to Band of Horses, and go on with my incredibly avant-garde life, rainbow stockings and ironic t-shirts and all—and about bloody time I got back to it, too. I turn around and walk off, pulling my Neruda out of my messenger bag. "Oh, Pablo. How I've missed you." It'll be nice to have peace again.

I look back. They're still snogging in front of the world and everybody—but I guess they look happy. That's a good thing, no? I suppose they're just going to walk off into the sunset now and go be delusional together.

Oh, for the love of all the fishes. I'm getting a warm fuzzy feeling.

Bloody teenagers.


A/N: The end! ^^ Thanks for reading! And double thanks to everyone who reviewed, subscribed, or faved this little bit of randomness. :)