Chapter Three

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"What's taking her so long? Why is she taking so long?" Ashton asked impatiently. They'd been waiting in the car for thirty minutes for Cricket to get ready. Why did girls always take so long to get ready? Ashton had already told her they were coming over twenty minutes before they'd even arrived.

"She's busy being a slut," Rocky said from the back seat with a grin on his face. Ashton rolled his eyes and next to him Leo shook his head and sighed. "Look, there she is now," Leo said nodding towards the direction of Cricket's house where the girl was walking out of her house. She wore her hair in a side ponytail, a white Nirvana t-shirt with shorts and her favorite converse sneakers. Black shades rested on the top of her head.

She spotted Ashton's car, a black 1967 Camaro convertible, and hopped into the backseat next to Rocky. She narrowed her eyes at the chestnut haired boy. "You called me a slut didn't you?" she asked. His eyes widened. How the hell did she know these things? "Whaaaaaaat? No, never," Rocky said innocently. Maybe she was a bat instead. She did have the super freaky hearing thing down.

"What took you so long?" Ashton asked, "We were supposed to be out on the road fifteen minutes ago." Cricket rolled her eyes. "I was busy making myself beautiful," she said. "Translation: she was busy being a slut," Rocky said and snickered. Cricket glared at him because if anyone was a slut in that car it was him. "Shut up man-whore," she said and then looked at Ashton. "Don't get your panties in a bunch, Ash. What's the rush anyway? It's a road trip, we have all the time in the world," she said.

"My panties are not in a bunch," Ashton said through gritted teeth because it was way too early for her shit, "and I just wanted to be on the road before all the other cars thankyouverymuch." He sighed. "Who's idea was this anyway?" Rocky asked. "Mine," Cricket said. "Worst fucking idea ever," Ashton said. "No it isn't, shut up, road trips are fucking magical," Cricket defended. Ashton gritted his teeth. It was way too early for this shit.

"M'hungry," Rocky complained rubbing his toned stomach. "Me too," Cricket said, "I think that sign back there said there was a mall up ahead. Let's go there Ash." Rocky nodded. "Yeah bro, let's go there. Maybe we'll be able ta pick up some chicks too," he grinned. Cricket rolled her eyes. "You are the biggest whore I've ever met," she said. He smirked. "Look who's talkin' Doll." Cricket growled and Ashton sighed before getting off the next exit if only to shut the two of them up (and maybe because he was kinda hungry too.)

He'd pulled into the mall parking lot, parking the car not too far from the exit. He turned around in his seat and looked at Rocky and Cricket. "Listen children, when we go in there you two will be on your best behavior because I will not be embarrassed this time or banned from another public place. So calm it the fuck down right now 'kay?" he said and the two nodded begrudgingly. As soon as Ashton's back turned though Cricket stuck her tongue out at Rocky who muttered back, "real mature...bitch." Ashton pinched the bridge of his nose. Those two were so frustrating.

"Let's go Leo," he said to the only sane one because really, Leo was the only one that he really tolerated who didn't act like a total spaz. And why did he hang out with the other two again?

Rocky and Cricket followed the other two into the mall where they located the food court and sat at one of the round tables. "I want nachos," Cricket announced, "and fries and a cheeseburger." She paused thinking of something else to get. "And a diet soda," she said finally. Rocky snorted. "Yeah 'coz that totally makes up for it," he said smirking. Cricket smacked the back of his head and he glared at her. "Shut up," she said and he glared at her one last time before turning his attention back to Ashton. "I want th' same thing she's gettin' minus th' nasty diet soda," Rocky said.

"Why are you telling me your orders?" Ashton asked them. Did he look like a freakin' waiter? "Because it's your money and you're buyin'" Rocky said and Cricket nodded in agreement. Ashton sighed. "Fine whatever, what do you want Leo?" Ashton asked. "Leo?" he said again to the blonde boy who was staring off into space. Cricket followed her friend's gaze and broke into a smile. "Guuuys," she sang, "Leo has a crush." Rocky grinned. "Okay, who's th' lucky girl?" he asked. Cricket shook her head and pointed in the direction of one of the food court cashiers. A guy. "Oh," Rocky said kind of awkwardly.

"Go talk to him!" Cricket said cheerfully. "What?! No!" Leo said blushing. "Yes go! And order for us while you're up there! Ashton give him the money" she said. Leo shook his head as Ashton put the money in his hand. "I can't. No. Cricket, no" Leo said still blushing. Ashton put a hand on his shoulder. "Listen man...don't be a bitch," he said. "Exactly! What he said!" Cricket told him, "Don't worry we'll go with you. Now let's go!" She steered him towards the line.

They waited on line with him until it was finally his turn and Cricket pushed him forward. "RUN!" she told the other two and flailed away. "DON'T COME BACK 'TIL YOU GET HIS NUMBER!" she yelled.

Leo wasn't talking to her. He'd forgiven the other two for going along with her because they were guys and guys forgive each other pretty quickly but he still had not forgiven her. Cricket couldn't help but think how unfair it was, especially when she's the one who got him a pretty new boyfriend. Whose name was Jay. And, she noticed, Leo had in fact just returned without his lips v-card. Seriously, he should be thanking her right now (or praising her like the divine demi-goddess-person she was, at the very least).

"Talk to meee," she whined. Leo ignored her. "Oh come on, you got his number didn't you? Forgive me already so we can talk about how hot he is. Pleeeeease," Cricket said. "I told you I didn't want to talk to him but you made me anyway. Seriously, you're always doing this to me. Why should I forgive you? " Leo said. Cricket blinked. "'Coz I'm pretty," she said. Rocky scoffed. "Yeah, tha''s why," he muttered but she heard him anyway.

Cricket whipped her head towards her offender. "Listen Rockhead! I will not continue to take this crap from you!" she shouted. "Ya wouldn't have ta if you'd shut up fer once," he said in his lazy southern drawl. Cricket turned red with anger. "You wanna take this outside?! Ashton pull over! Rocky and I have something to settle!" she said. "'m not gonna fight a girl, Doll," Rocky said coolly. "Ugh, you're so infuriating!" she yelled at him and he winced at her tone. Why was she always yelling? Seriously, they were all going to become deaf because of her.

Ashton tried to calm down and maybe not strangle the both of them, because he was driving and if he did then they would all die. He contemplated it for a moment but decided better against it. Because you know what? He had a better way to make them stop talking. All he had to do was make things awkward. And that, he mused, would be fairly easy because the two of them together were chock full of embarrassing and awkward moments.

"Hey remember that time when you guys dated?" Ashton asked and the two of them shut up immediately. Leo smirked, apparently amused. Rocky opened closed open closed his mouth and Cricket looked utterly shocked. "NEVER SPEAK OF IT!"