AJ woke up to her phone alarm buzzing on her night stand. She blinked open her eyes, reaching over for her phone. She switched off the alarm and unlocked the touch screen of her phone. The home screen flashed and she saw it was seven thirty, which meant she had thirty minutes to get dressed, packed and over at Scott's house since he was the first on her list for pick-up.

AJ stumbled out of bed, throwing her phone onto her desk as she jumped into the shower for a quick hot steam. She brushed her hair up into a high ponytail, pulling the elastic tight so she wouldn't have to worry about her hair today. She knew it would only reach 70 at the highest but her hair was known for attracting humidity on any day of the year.

As she walked out of her bathroom, she glanced over to see if her phone was ringing because she was running late, causing everyone else to run late but it remained still. She quickly rummaged through her bottom drawer for an acceptable bathing suit to wear out today. She picked out her cute, navy-blue and white two-piece. She then put on high-waisted shorts and a graphic tee that she tucked in.

AJ checked herself in the mirror; she looked fashionable and felt comfortable in the outfit. She took a drawstring bag off the back of her closet door and shoved in underwear, a change of clothes, a towel, and sunscreen, just in case.

Her phone did begin to ring and AJ scrambled for it, picking it up to see it was Alex. She answered it apologetically, "Sorry, sorry I'm just running a little late-"

"That's pretty funny because I'm running late too," Alex told her assuredly, "I was just calling to let you know that Bradley has a mad case of the beer shits-"

"Ew, gross," AJ said in disgust; she didn't need that visual.

"So he can't come and Scott's wondering where you are."

"Well, tell him I'm on my way now," AJ said hurriedly as she picked up her wallet from the ground by her backpack. She rushed down the stairs, shutting her phone as she raced into the kitchen to grab her mom's keys off the hook. She slipped her flip-flops on by the door and raced out to the driveway to get into the car. She hopped in, throwing her bag on the floor behind her.

She turned on the car, threw on her seat-belt and whipped out of the driveway, driving fast to get to Scott's house. At a stoplight, she saw that her hair was already sticking to her face; great, she hadn't even left her house for five minutes and she looked like a mess.

AJ sighed heavily; she hated mornings more than anything else. She was barely awake right now and she still had two and a half hours of driving to look forward to. She hoped no one in the car was a morning person because then she would have to turn around and head back home.

AJ adjusted herself, leaning back into the seat as she turned onto Scott's street. She needed to get in the right frame of mind. She couldn't be her old, grouchy morning self. She was going to Hershey Park with her friends and they were going to have so much fun that AJ was going to instantly forget about everything. She took a deep breath as she parked outside of Scott's house and looked over to see him sitting on the porch of his small house.

Scott opened the porch door and she saw he was dressed in a graphic tee and khaki shorts with his Chucks and a drawstring bag on his back. He smiled and waved as he walked down to her car. She smiled back but realized her hair was still sticking to her face in a very unattractive manner. She dug into the compartment between the seats, knowing her younger sister always kept bobby pins and clips somewhere in the car.

AJ pulled out a navy blue ribbon headband and slipped it on, combing back the uncooperative pieces of hair behind her ear. Checking herself in the mirror again, she deemed herself presentable. Scott climbed into the front seat and gave her a big smile, telling her, "Good morning."

Oh no, Scott was not a morning person. He was just being nice. He was just being nice, AJ repeated in her head as she gave him a smile back, saying, "Good morning."

"So are you excited for today?" Scott inquired, stowing his bag on the floor in front of him. AJ nodded absentmindedly, watching the road before pulling out. As they drove to Alex's house, Scott continuously tried to bring AJ in for a conversation but she only nodded or gave one word answers. Maybe she should've warned the guys that she didn't speak in the mornings, especially when she was driving. She needed complete focus.

By the time, they arrived at Alex's house, Scott had given up and AJ felt like a bitch for ignoring him while he was trying to be nice to her and wasn't this supposed to be their first date? Even though it was with their friends? Ugh, she wished she was a morning person like the rest of her family.

Before she could say anything to Scott, Alex hopped into the back of the car with a giant grin on his face, saying in a loud voice, "This trip is gonna be bitchin'. And who said you got shotty, Scotty?"

"I believe I'm entitled to shotty no matter the occasion," Scotty replied, happy to have someone to talk to as he turned around in his seat, "Except when I'm driving."

"You're only allowed to ride shotty when I'm driving," Alex countered, "So we can hold hands."

"Dude, we have this entire day to hold hands," Scott told him jokingly, "You know how many lines we're gonna have to wait in?"

"Like none?" Alex reminded him, "It is the middle of April. But you know, Scotty, you don't have to say it aloud if you don't want to. But just so you know, I will always hold your hand if you're scared on a ride."

"Thanks bro," Scott said with a big grin as they fist-pumped and AJ almost rolled her eyes at their affection before she turned up the music. Alex leaned forward, asking, "You jealous?"

"No," AJ replied shortly, focusing on navigating out of the neighborhood. Scott leaned over, and asked, "Do you want me to hold your hand?"

"No," AJ said sharply but it sounded too rude so she amended, "No, thank you. I need both hands on the wheel to drive."

"No you don't," Alex said in a sing-song voice and AJ gave him a look in the rearview mirror. AJ sighed as she said, "There will be silence in the car until there is coffee in my hand."

"Yes ma'am," both Scott and Alex chimed in before giving each other another fist bump. AJ tried not to bang her head against the steering wheel as she turned into a shopping complex, spotting the Starbucks at the end of the row of shops. She pulled into the parking space right in front of the shop and jumped out of the car with her wallet in hand.

AJ walked into the Starbucks to see there was barely anyone there. Well, seeing how it was eight o'clock on a day when most kids her age were still sleeping, it made some sense they weren't busy. She walked up to the counter and placed her order. As she waited, she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket. She pulled out her phone and saw that she had a voicemail and a text message from Ellen. She wondered what Ellen could possibly have to say to her so early in the morning.

"Ooh, important text messages," Scott said as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and Alex came to stand on her other side. AJ cleared to the home screen, pocketing her phone; she didn't need to bring up any Ellen drama today. Today was supposed to be a fun day.

Alex asked smugly, stretching his arms over his head, "So what did you get for us?"

"Nothing," AJ replied, equally smug which made Scott laugh. Alex pouted a bit and AJ gave him a friendly punch to the shoulder as she offered, "Go ahead and order. I'll pay."

Alex threw his arms up in the air in victory before he approached the counter; he jokingly said to the barista, "I'll have one of everything."

AJ stepped up to intervene when Scott reached down to grab her hand, tugging her back as he said, "You shouldn't spoil him like that. Then he'll always expect you to pay."

"Or I'm being nice and you can have something too if you're jealous," AJ teased him lightly, leading them to the register where Alex finally decided on a drink and a croissant. She gave Scott a side look and he shook his head. She nudged him forward and he sighed heavily before giving the bored cashier his drink order.

AJ noticed him try to reach into his pocket and pull out his wallet but she lightly squeezed his hand, handing over a ten to the cashier who popped her gum and handed back her change. Scott mumbled something to himself and AJ merely shrugged as her name was called. She let go of Scott's hand so she could pick up her latte.

Alex began to pull apart his warm croissant and eat it slowly, asking AJ, "So, you okay with third-wheeling? It means you get to meet a lot of new people when we partner up for rides."

"Oh yeah, wouldn't want to break up the love fest that is you and Scott," AJ said sarcastically, rolling her eyes as she took a sip of her latte. Alex nodded in agreement, saying between bites, "We have been an item for a very long time and we thank you for respecting our wish of wanting to make out on every ride."

Scott rolled his eyes from behind Alex and AJ laughed a bit, watching Scott put Alex into a headlock, and Alex pretended to choke. But they stopped fighting and Scott patted his friend's chest affectionately, Alex grinning up at him. AJ wondered how they became such good friends and so comfortable with each other. Most guys didn't like the touchy-feely aspect of a friendship but Scott and Alex embraced it, literally.

Soon, their drinks were ready and they all walked back out to her car, in good spirits and looking forward to the trip ahead.

-

They arrived at Hershey Park after two hours of singing along to every song on her iPod (which surprised AJ greatly) and playing a game called "Padiddle", the rules of which were if you ran a yellow light or saw a car with headlight or taillight out, you had to hit the roof of the car with your hand and yell "Padiddle" and the last person who did it had to remove an article of clothing. Since she was driving and had to pay attention to the road, she thankfully only had to take off her flip flops.

But Alex got out of the car, only in his swim trunks, and Scott had lost his shirt and shoes. AJ asked as she slung on her drawstring bag, "Have you guys ever gotten naked before?"

"Oh yeah," Alex replied with hesitation as he began to put all his clothes back on, "Happens to me all the time."

AJ turned to Scott, who was slipping his shirt back on. She caught a glimpse of the scar, which looked even bigger up close. It was long and thick, white against his tanned skin. It must've been painful, whatever happened for him to get a scar like that.

She shook her head; that seemed like a super personal question, not appropriate for today. Instead, she asked the less awkward question, "And how many times have you been naked in someone's car?"

Scott shrugged, as they began to walk to the park entrance. He told her vaguely, "It's happened a number of times."

"I have it on good authority that a lot of girls play it in their cars just so they can get him naked," Alex told her, wiggling his eyebrows exaggeratedly, "It makes them feel less self-conscious later when they get back to their house since they've already seen him naked."

AJ gave him a weird look as Scott hooked his arm around Alex's neck, giving him a well-deserved noogie; AJ figured that a babe like Scott had a lot of girls chasing after him but she really didn't need to know the intricate details, or should she say intimate?

Ew, don't think about it, she chastised herself, closing her eyes to rid herself of the awful mental image. As they walked through the park entrance, AJ passed out their tickets and Alex and Scott fought over the map. Alex demanded, "Fahrenheit first! It always has the longest line, no matter what day it is."

"Yeah but it's cloudy today and barely anyone's here!" Scott pointed out the very small crowds of people walking past them to get to the park; "We should definitely get on the Great Bear first."

"We always ride the Great Bear like five million times when we're here!" Alex said exasperatedly.

As the married couple continued to argue, AJ felt her pocket vibrate once more. She pulled it out to see two new text messages from Ellen along with the text message and voicemail this morning. There was also a text from Kaylee. She was surprised and curious so she opened Kaylee's text and it read, "WE NEED TO TALK."

What did that mean? The last time AJ saw Kaylee, they were on pretty good terms and they didn't have any issues, besides the fact that Kaylee never invited AJ along with her and Mona to hang out but AJ tried to not take it too personally. She looked up and noticed the two boys were staring at her; she pocketed her phone, asking, "What?"

"What rollercoaster do you want to ride?" Scott asked, pointing at the map. But AJ didn't need the map; she answered instantly, "We should ride Storm Runner. That'll wake me up."

Alex and Scott exchanged a look as they began walking through the park. True to his word, Alex held Scott's hand for most of the walk to the rollercoaster as they chatted about schoolwork and what everyone did yesterday, which they found out, was basically nothing. The line moved quickly and when they got to their train, thankfully it wasn't crowded enough that AJ had to pair off with a stranger. The ride was quick but exhilarating. It woke her up more than any coffee cup would.

When they exited the ride, AJ felt most of her hair was sticking up again so she removed her headband and tried to comb back the unruly strands. As the two boys waited for her, an old lady walked by them with two children skipping at her side. She gave them a smile as she indicted to their hands, saying, "Never stop being who you are, we all could learn from you two."

AJ held in a laugh, settling for a grin as they watched the old woman walk away; maybe she should've been jealous that her 'date' had been mistaken as one half of a gay couple but she wasn't. She noticed that they seemed pretty cool with the old lady's comment which begged the question, "Does that happen often?"

"Oh yes," Alex replied as they began to walk again, heading towards Fahrenheit, "Whenever we go out, we hold hands so we get an assortment of comments, mostly nice but we've had some deep-rooted Christians yell at us about the integrity of family and how we were…"

"'Disgusting and we shouldn't be allowed near children,'" Scott filled in with a shrug, "Nobody ever asks if we're actually a couple or just two dudes who hold hands."

Alex declared proudly, raising his and Scott's hand to the sky, "Well I'm proud to be one half of a pseudo gay couple!"

This attracted the attention of some people, including a mother who covered the ears of her child and glared at the trio. AJ pushed them forward, away from what could potentially be a disaster and the boys complied, walking quickly around the corner where they found the Fahrenheit line already stacking up nicely. Alex nudged Scott in the ribs, telling him, "I told you so."

As they entered the back of the line, Scott released Alex's hand and slipped back next to AJ. He asked, "Does it make you uncomfortable?"

"What?" AJ asked a bit surprised, "The hand-holding? Not really. But if you guys start pseudo-gay kissing, then I might actually be concerned I'm third-wheeling."

"We better not tell her about last night," Alex loudly whispered to Scott, who rolled his eyes as AJ laughed. If there was anything that AJ was jealous of between the two, it was that they were so comfortable with each other and trusted each other. Watching the two interact for a good hour, it was obvious she and Ellen had never truly reached their level of trust and that made her sad.

"Hey, you okay?" Scott asked, concerned and AJ gave him a half-smile, nodding. Scott wrapped his fingers through hers as she told him, "I was just thinking that if you guys wanted to show you're not dating, maybe you shouldn't wear matching shirts. That kind of screams 'couple'."

Scott glanced down at his Hershey Park t-shirt and then gave her a smile, telling her, "It's one of our traditions! Don't worry; you're getting one by the end of the day."

"Can I pick a different color? I don't know if I can rock bright yellow," AJ teased him as they climbed the stairs up to the platform. Alex had been talking to the three younger boys in front of them and had them grinning and smiling. Alex was just a natural charmer; it was hard not to like him. They got onto the ride and Scott and AJ sat together while Alex sat with one of the younger boys.

After Fahrenheit, they wandered back and forth between all the roller coasters until the sun broke through the clouds, hanging high in the sky and AJ could feel sunburn on the back of her neck. Alex was complaining sourly about hunger pains so they stopped at one of the rest stops and put down their bags at a table with an umbrella. Alex instantly bolted to the nearest burger stand while Scott waited back with AJ, who was applying sunscreen to the rest of her exposed body.

"It's so hard being pale," AJ whined as she squeezed another handful of sunscreen and applied it to the back of her legs. Scott chuckled at her pouty face when she felt her pocket vibrate. She wiped the excess sunscreen onto her towel and pulled out her ringing cell phone. Kaylee was calling her; why was Kaylee calling her? Before she could answer, the phone stopped ringing and was probably recording Kaylee's voicemail. AJ placed it on the table, returning back to applying sun block to her arms.

"Who keeps calling or texting you?" Scott asked curiously and AJ replied, smoothing down the white lotion onto her shoulders, "My friend, Kaylee who hasn't talked to me in a while so it's weird."

"Why haven't you answered?"

"Because I think it's rude to talk to other people when you're out with your friends," AJ answered, capping the sunscreen bottle, throwing it back into her bag as she wiped her hands off on her towel. Her phone buzzed again, indicating Kaylee had left a voicemail.

"Well, you should at least listen to it," Scott chided her gently; "She might be in trouble right now."

AJ picked up her phone and typed in her voicemail password before listening to Kaylee's voicemail, "Hey Jenks. I don't know why you're not answering me but… Ellen's bitching at us about you and I just want to know if you're okay. Oh and if there was some way you could get rid of Ellen for us. Kay thanks."

The voicemail ended and AJ stared at her phone strangely; Kaylee sounded concerned but mostly annoyed by Ellen's presence. Well, she wasn't just about to drop everything so she could help Kaylee get rid of Ellen. It was about time she and Mona dealt with Ellen's crazy since they both claimed to be her 'friend'. She scoffed, deleting the voicemail and locked her phone. Scott asked, "What?"

"Oh, nothing," AJ said as she pocketed her phone, and stuffed her towel into her bag, "Just my friends want me to be the knight in shining armor and save them from the terror known as Ellen."

"Speaking of Ellen, your bruise looks ten times better," Scott told her with a smile, gesturing to the yellowish-blue bruise on her cheek. She still had to apply the sunscreen gently to her face but it didn't hurt as much as it did yesterday.

Before AJ could thank him for his thoughtful comment, Alex plopped down with two double pounders, a large fry and a drink, asking, "Aren't you guys hungry? I'm starving. Roller coasters always make me extra hungry."

Scott stood up and asked, "What do you want to eat?"

"Just a slice of cheese pizza would be fine," AJ answered, "And something to drink. Do you want me to come and stand in line with you?"

"No, you stay put," Scott told her, before leaning down and pressing a sweet kiss to her cheek. He walked over to the pizza stand and AJ felt her cheeks flush a bit. She had nearly forgotten that this was supposed to be a date of sorts. She honestly was fine with it being the three of them hanging out but Scott obviously wanted to remind her that this was him taking her out.

"Isn't he such a sweetheart?" Alex asked after he swallowed a mouthful of burger and fries, taking a long gulp of his soda. AJ nodded, leaning her elbows onto the table as she asked, "I know this is such a girl thing to ask but uh, does he-"

"Take girls out to amusement parks?" Alex finished for her, munching on a fry, "He used to but the girls would always cling to him and never really made him enjoy the rides since they were too busy trying to get into his pants. I think this is his first date in a while."

"But that doesn't mean he hasn't seen a lot of girls," AJ added somewhat sadly, stealing one of his fries. Alex explained to her, "It's not that he doesn't like to date, it's just that the girls don't understand a relationship is between two people, not one person carrying the entire thing by himself."

"That's a little surprising, but I guess it makes sense," AJ shrugged, "Girls like to emotional invest themselves into a relationship before they even know if the other person wants to be involved or not. I sometimes do but I mostly keep those things to myself, instead of projecting them out like some girls I know."

"And that what makes you cool," Alex said as he finished his first burger. "You don't really have any expectations when it comes to dating Scott. You just go with the flow. Most girls would've jumped me for the excessive hand-holding, claiming Scott as theirs. And they have, on occasion."

AJ laughed at the thought, pulling her headband out as she messed with the loose strands of her hair, which felt damp with sweat. She asked curiously, "What is with the hand-holding?"

"It's a coping mechanism, mostly," Alex elaborated, "Scott was kind of like you; he didn't really have anyone he could trust. He had to rely on himself and it was a lot for him. So I told him he could always lean on me and I would pull him out. And it's just sort of stuck. He's such an amazing guy and he's been through so much. I'm grateful that he puts up with my shit from time to time."

"What shit?" AJ asked honestly, which made Alex laugh loudly. Alex took a big bite out of his burger as AJ waited for his explanation. Alex shook his head, telling her, "I think you'd be good for him. You listen and you're patient. I'm always on the move; I'm the party guru, the people guy. When you're me, it's hard to be there all the time for someone, especially Scotty. I try my hardest, but I fail, a lot. And still, he sticks by me and lets me hold his hand and-"

"And what?" Scott asked as he came up behind Alex with two plates full of pizza, with a basket of onion rings balancing on his arm and a cup tucked into his elbow. He placed down a slice of cheese pizza in front of her and the onion rings in the middle of the table. He placed his own plate down where he was sitting and asked her, "What do you want to drink?"

"I can get it," AJ admonished him, taking the cup. He raised his hands defensively and she smiled at his goofiness before walking over to the soda fountain. She decided on Coke and filled her cup to the top. As she walked back over, Coke sloshed onto her hand but she didn't mind. She sat back down and saw that Alex had his phone out and was typing away madly. She picked up her pizza as Alex informed them, "Grant's complaining to me that he wished he had gone with us today."

"Why didn't he?" AJ asked as she took her first bite of the hot pizza. She took a giant gulp of the soda, as Alex stated, "He had to go to his mom's house today and he's sitting through a marathon of Downton Abbey."

"That's a good show," AJ declared as Scott reached over to grab a handful of onion rings to put on his plate. Alex told her, "You say that because you're a girl."

"I say that because I'm a history nerd and I can't resist a well-put together period drama," AJ reprimanded him and Alex made a mocking face that made her laugh. Alex told them as he finished his text, "I let him know that he could text you if he needed pointers on what was going on in each episode."

Scott swallowed his bite of pizza and asked, "So Jenks, what does the A stand for?"

"What? You didn't look it up?" AJ asked, fake-hurt, "I'm offended."

"I know what it stands for!" Alex replied, raising his hand and waving it obnoxiously in the air, "It stands for Amelia."

He dragged out the vowels in her name exaggeratedly and AJ rolled her eyes, taking another bite of her pizza. She looked over and saw that Scott regarded her with a different sort of a smile. She put down the pizza and asked, "What?"

"Nothing," Scott shrugged and bit into his pizza; AJ narrowed her eyes at him but ignored the matter for now as she took another gulp of her Coke. Alex had finished his two burgers and was slowly eating the rest of his fries, stealing the occasional onion ring. He asked them, "So what do you guys want to do after this?"

"Water park?" Scott asked hopefully and Alex nodded in agreement, "It got pretty hot."

"You don't know need to tell me that," AJ said with a grimace as she felt her ponytail stick to the back of her neck whenever she bent her head down. She took her scrunchie out and let her hair hang loose, down to her shoulders. She'd fix it when she was down eating. She told them, "We should go to Chocolate World after that and then later tonight, we should go on the Ferris Wheel."

"You only want to go onto the Ferris Wheel because you want to cuddle with Scott," Alex teased her and she took it wholeheartedly. She replied, "I want to go because it's all light up and the ride goes on longer rotations. Excuse me if I want to enjoy the evening from the highest vantage point in the park… And cuddle with Scott."

"Boom," Alex smacked his hand on the table, causing AJ's drink to shake. She grabbed it so it would remain upright and glared at Alex, who merely shrugged with a smile. When they finished eating, they threw away their trash and headed towards the Boardwalk. When they arrived to find it closed, Alex fell to his knees and began to shake his fist at the gate dramatically.

Scott whispered to AJ about running away and AJ nodded before taking off, full sprint. They ran until they reached Tidal Wave, a giant log flume ride. Scott said, "I think this will get us damp."

The boat went down the giant drop, causing giant waves to fly up into the sky before raining back down on them. AJ laughed at Scott's observation before she noticed he had begun to strip on the bench next to them. His shirt came off again, exposing the white scar on his back. She turned away and began to take off her clothes as well. As she was putting her clothes away in her bag, Alex came up behind them and jumped onto Scott's back.

"Don't leave me like that again," Alex fake-cried before he dropped down from Scott's back and Scott patted him on the shoulder, telling him, "Maybe, if you weren't such a drama queen, we wouldn't have this problem."

Alex made an exaggerated shocked face, causing AJ to laugh hard. She began to put her hair back up into a ponytail when Scott's hand stopped her. He explained, "It's going to get wet, might as well leave it down. It's prettier that way."

Alex gave a short whistle as he came up behind them, stripped down to his swim trunks. Alex told him as they entered the short line of people at the log flume, "You don't have to compliment her; she already said she was going to cuddle with you later tonight."

AJ rolled her eyes, wishing she had kept her mouth shut since it seemed like she was in for a day full of teasing. They got into the boat with another couple and four young girls who insisted on being in the back and holding hands. Alex wanted to sit in the front so he forced them all up there. AJ shivered a bit as she sat on the cold seat. The ride climbed the giant hill before circling around slowly to the drop.

Alex leaned over and grabbed AJ's hand right as they went over the top and she placed their hands over Scott's. They came off the ride completely soaked and shivering, but smiling. Alex and Scott let go of AJ's hand as they walked down to where the changing rooms were. They changed back into their clothes and began to walk all the back across the park to go to Chocolate World.

On the way, Scott asked, "So how did you and Ellen become friends?"

AJ looked at him strangely, not expecting that question. She thought for a minute, thought back to the time they were together before Bradley. She told him earnestly, "We were both straight-forward, focused and had the same kind of dirty humor. I was a bit more outlandish than she was which made her like me a lot more. We liked the same TV shows, though she thought it was weird that I was into video games and cartoons and "kiddy shows"."

"Like what?" Alex asked curiously. AJ answered, "Like Avatar: the Last Airbender and Phineas and Ferb. I don't know, my younger sister, Catt, really got me into them and I wasn't ashamed. But we didn't talk about that stuff. We liked going to the movies so we went almost every week. And we trusted each other, and told each other everything. She let me know things about me that annoyed her, some of them I fixed like how I was kind of snide whenever I talked about fashion, which she loves.

"And we confided in each other a lot. She liked me because I listened even if sometimes she didn't make sense," AJ stated, running her hand through her hair nervously; it was hard to think about a time when Ellen actually cared about her compared to how Ellen treated her now. She hated how easily people could change, how easily Ellen changed when she was still pretty much the same.

"I never understood why Bradley kept her around," Alex stated, "Or why he brought her to parties. She always complained about how Bradley would never pay enough attention to her although he never left her side or came down to play with us because she wouldn't allow it."

"I mean, she wasn't always that bad," AJ defended her former friend, before adding, "But people change."

Alex grabbed her hand and squeezed it tight, telling her, "Don't worry about her because we've got your back. And we won't leave you for a guy."

"Don't make promises you can't keep," AJ said, tilting her head towards Scott, which made Alex laugh.

They made their way into Chocolate World and rode on the chocolate tour, which Alex claimed they only did for the free chocolate at the end. They walked down to the souvenir shop and Alex and Scott scoured around for the perfect t-shirt to commemorate AJ's first trip with them to Hershey Park. She giggled a bit as she heard them arguing over color choices when her phone began to ring again.

She pulled it out and saw it was Kaylee again. She answered, "Hello?"

"Oh thank GOD!" Kaylee's relieved voice came loudly through the receiver, "Where the hell have you been? I've been calling and texting you-"

"I'm in Hershey Park right now, so I'm kind of unavailable at the moment," AJ replied, moving away from the clothes and over towards the candy shelves. She picked up a basket and walked over to the York peppermints, tossing in a bag for her dad.

"Hershey Park? Why are you there? Is it like a family thing?" Kaylee asked nervously, and AJ could hear a faint noise in the background that sounded vaguely like shouting.

"Yeah," AJ lied as she reached up to grab a bag of Reese's for her mom; "Is someone yelling there?"

"Oh my god, you have no idea," Kaylee answered, aggravated, "I keep escaping to the bathroom to try and call you because Ellen's here and she keeps talking about how you totally stole Bradley from her and that the break-up was totally your fault and ugh, it's so annoying. It's like she needs justification that it wasn't in any way her fault that Bradley broke up with her… But is it true?"

"Me and Bradley?" AJ asked, bending down to pick up a bag of Kit-Kat bars she had just knocked off of the shelf, "Absolutely not."

"I figured as much but Ellen's pretty convinced," Kaylee stated, "She told us you took her to a bonfire and then proceeded to skinny dip with Bradley."

"I didn't skinny dip! We were in our underwear. Did she mention that Alex and another boy were there?" AJ explained, fed up with having to defend herself over this.

"Yeah, well it's just weird that you would go out to one of Alex's bonfires when you've never been before and never wanted to," Kaylee trailed off, implying that what Ellen said could have some truth in it. Oh why was Kaylee taking Ellen's side? Kaylee hated Ellen when she was dating Bradley. Why was Kaylee defending her now?

"I never said I didn't want to," AJ fought back; "I just never got the chance to because some other people I knew never wanted to go."

"Hey, that's not fair!"

"Neither is you accusing me of something that you heard secondhand," AJ argued back, "I thought we were better friends than this."

"Well friends wouldn't leave friends with their problems and no help," Kaylee told her annoyed.

"Ellen is not my problem! Ellen is our friend, your friend who slapped me!" AJ said angrily, "Stop putting this back on me. I have been there for her this entire time while you and Mona got to escape from the drama. And you know what? Maybe, it's better for us if we're not friends because friends don't leave friends with their problems and no help!"

AJ hung up the phone before Kaylee could reply, her face flushed with anger; she stared at her phone, leaning back on the shelf, trying not to cry out of frustration. She was wrong, always wrong when it came to her friends. AJ couldn't just fix Ellen's problems; she had tried and she was rejected every time.

AJ couldn't fix it for Kaylee and Mona; they would just have to deal with it like she learnt to deal with it. If they were smart about it, they would tell Ellen she was being a bitch and unfair and that she should get over herself. But Kaylee and Mona hated confrontation; they'd much rather solve their problems by talking about it behind everyone's back or just ignoring it completely. Or dumping it all on AJ.

AJ wiped away the tears that had escaped and pushed herself off the shelf. Now was not the time to get emotional; she was in Hershey Park, having a good time and she wasn't going to let some stupid phone call ruin the rest of her day. As she turned to the next row of shelves, she felt a hand grab hers and turn her around.

Scott held up a pink tye-dyed shirt that was identical to the one he was wearing. He grinned, saying, "Alex wanted the really ugly green colored one but I think you'll rock this one a lot better."

She gave him a smile but his face grew with concern and he asked, "Hey is something wrong? What happened?"

"Nothing," AJ shrugged, taking the shirt from him, "Kaylee just called."

Suddenly, she was wrapped up into a warm hug, with his arms tight around her waist. She wrapped her arms awkwardly around his back, trying not to hit him with her shopping basket as she fell into the hug. He whispered, "It's going to be okay, I promise."

She pulled away and wiped the rest of her tears away. She said, "I believe you."

"Good, now why do you have a basket full of chocolate?" Scott inquired, "Was it that bad of a phone call? 'Cause I can totally fly us back to Maryland and I'll take care of Kaylee. Ellen too."

"No, no," AJ laughed at him as they began to walk through the candy aisle, "I'm picking up candy for my family, being the good daughter and all. And if you can fly, why didn't you fly us to the park? It would've saved me so much gas!"

"Well, it's not something I can just use in public," Scott explained to her, discreetly taking her free hand in his, "It's an emergency only thing."

"Oh so it's like you're Superman and you're trying to hide your secret identity?" AJ asked and Scott nodded, "Something like that."

AJ laughed at the absurdity of his statement as they walked up to find Alex debating over whether or not he should buy the giant Hershey bar. He asked as they approached, "If I carried this around, would it melt?"

"Probably," Scott replied as AJ added, "You could put it in the car for the rest of day."

"But it would melt there too," Alex complained, tapping his foot in thought, "It's so much chocolate!"

AJ laughed at his predicament, reaching around him to grab a bag of Hershey bars for her sister. She then took her basket and went up to the register to pay for her chocolate and her t-shirt. Scott tried to hand his card over to the cashier but she batted his hand away, pulling out her card and handing it to the cashier. She chastised him, "I've got this. You don't need to spend all your money on me. It's only the first date."

"I think that's the first time a girl has ever told me that," Scott told her honestly and she gave him a look before taking her bag of purchases, thanking the cashier. She said, "You must not date a lot of sensible girls."

"They just don't fight back like you do," Scott said with a smile, "It's kind of hard to insist when you've got that determined look in your eye. I like it."

As they waited for Alex to pay for his basket full of goodies, AJ asked him, "Did you get anything?"

"Chocolate for my mom," Scott replied, patting his bag where he must've stored his purchases. Alex came up to them, his bag full of candy and a mug. He informed them, "I have an extensive collection of mugs so I can always drink something and look like a classy mother fucker."

AJ snorted while Scott bit his lip to refrain from saying something mean. Alex turned to AJ and asked, "Why aren't you wearing your shirt? Traitor."

AJ raised her hands, letting go of Scott's hand as she said, "Just let me go put it on."

She walked from the two boys and slipped into the woman's restroom where she switched her shirt and took the opportunity to twist her hair up into a loose bun. She exited the restroom to see them waiting patiently for her and Alex fist-pumped the air, saying, "We're officially a cult!"

AJ laughed, watching all the people walk around them, avoiding the strange group of teenagers. Scott pointed outside, "And look it's getting late; we'll be able to ride the Ferris Wheel soon."

"Boooooring! Let's go check out the other rides first," Alex said as he held open the door for them before they walked back into the park. They rode on the roller coasters with the shorter lines, the swing ride, bumper cars, and the carousel. By that time, it was dark enough that a lot of people had started to migrate out of the park.

They walked over to see the Ferris Wheel barely had anyone on it. The conductor informed them they only had to tell him when they wanted to get off since it was a slow night. They thanked him, slipping into the cart. Scott slipped his arm around AJ's back, and Alex took a seat across from them, content despite all the teasing earlier.

AJ laid her head on his shoulder and as the carts began to slowly circle up and around, she felt a smile spread across her face. Maybe her mother was right. Maybe, it was okay to be something more than friends with Scott. But even then, she was perfectly fine sitting here with him and Alex, ignoring everyone else as they talked about nothing and enjoyed the night sky.