Thank you for your reviews. Sorry, I'm gonna have a really hard time completing this story fast because I'm into my final year of school, and you know about the stress and all. Chapter 6 is halfway done and it doesn't contain much of Jeremy, really. But Chapter 7 will.

, drownyouout

Chapter 5: I didn't know you cared

Soundtrack: Just so you know: Jesse McCartney & Hold me now: Wayne Wonder

I shouldn't love you but I want to

I just can't turn away

I shouldn't see you but I can't move

I can't look away

I have a picture, pinned to my wall.
An image of you and of me and we're laughing and loving it all.
But look at our life now, we're tattered and torn.
We fuss and we fight and lay in the tears we cry until dawn.

Hold me now, warm my heart.
Stay with me; let loving start (let loving start)

The rest of the day passes quickly, and then comes the 2 hour detention that the principal had assigned us earlier in the morning. As I walk down the stairs to the AVA room specially assigned for detention, I feel a kind of gloom, yet anticipation settle over me. I know Nathaniel's gonna be there, serving his three month detention for being caught smoking on school grounds. It's me, Jeremy and Nathaniel together in the same room. Hello, tension.

I push open the door and let my eyes rake over the room, then instantly feel a surge of white hot anger sweep over me, and a wave of nausea that wash over me, making me sick to my stomach. Jeremy's sitting right at the corner, Susannah straddling him, making soft moans as she kisses his neck. Her tiny black skirt reveals flashes of her thong-clad ass as she shifts around on his crotch area.

What the fucking whore's doing here, I have no fucking idea. Though it doesn't matter. All I know is that my heart feels like it'd been pulled out of my ribcage, stomped on and ripped to threads, all by Jeremy's single hand.

Jeremy's eyes meet mine at that exact moment, and I swallow in fury and revulsion, glaring straight back at him. He cares for me more than I'll ever know, my ass. He will never hurt me, yeah fucking right. He utters bullshit in my ear, and the believing fool I am, I nearly fell for it. Though, okay, how am I to know that he'd do something like this, tell me something sweet and then turn around and rip my heart out? Why do I even love that goddamn womanizing bastard? I feel sickened to my stomach as I realize the delicious, perfect mouth that had ravaged mine earlier this morning, is now ravaging some fucking whore's.

I grit my teeth and clutch my books tight in my arms, wanting nothing more to chuck them at their damn heads, wanting to see Susannah sporting a bloody nose. How would you like her then, huh Jeremy?

As if Susannah can sense my thoughts somehow, she turns around and smirks at me. I turn around, disgusted, and there Nathaniel is, his lean muscular body slumped on a chair, his legs resting on the table in front of him. I hate the knowing look in his eyes, I hate the smirk on his fucking face, I hate every-fucking-body in this room, and that's inclusive of myself.

I slam the piece of paper stating that I am supposed to be at detention to the teacher, whose eyes are glazed over as he stares at Susannah's direction, no doubt checking out her fucking goddamn ass.

Men, they all only think with the brain between their legs, they're all fucking dogs.

The teacher, Macpherson, he's called, flushes, then realizing what he's doing, tries to regain some authority. He clears his throat, then asks for me in a squeaky voice to "take a seat".

I roll my eyes, taking the seat nearest to the door, in case the nausea becomes overwhelming and I really need to puke my guts out. Also because the seat's furthest away from everyone.

I will not cry, I tell myself that. I will not cry, even though there's a spanner attached to my heart and wrenching it with every second that passes. I will not cry, and see the satisfaction and glowering look on Susannah's fucking stupid face. I will not cry, and make myself vulnerable to Jeremy and Nathaniel.

God. I rest on my head on my elbow, and glare out of the windows, into the corridor where a few students still are milling around. In the air conditioned room, I could hear the amplified sounds of Susannah and Jeremy kissing. I close my eyes, feeling a particularly nasty wrench in my heart and resorting to biting my cheek in order to keep the tears in. I'm positive once they start; there would be no way to stop the flow.

I don't know how long I closed my eyes, but midway my head starts feeling hot and I start shivering. It must have been obvious because someone sits down next to me and drapes a warm jacket over me. The jacket smells masculine, an unfamiliar scent but still exotic somehow.

I turn my head and see Nathaniel next to me, his arm draped over my chair casually. This gesture coming from Nathaniel, so unexpected and sweet that a single tear rolled down my cheek. I turn my head away from him, stuffing my arms into the sleeves, knowing he had seen the single tear and trying to prevent further humiliation. My head still feels heavy and I rest it on the table, deliberately facing away from Nathaniel. Not that I am ungrateful to him, but he is absolutely the last person on Earth I want to see me crying. And trust me, the tears are flowing. Silently.

A moment later, I feel his arm around my waist, his form leaning over mine. "You should've known he'd be a bastard," he breathes into my ear, his thumb wiping away the tears that streamed down. Only, when he did it, my heart didn't do any betraying thumps the way it did for Jeremy. And that was the fucking problem, I thought angrily. Why the hell do I love him?

A pause, then "I would never hurt you the way he did," he whispers again. There it is, those empty promises again. Why the hell do they make promises if they can't keep them? I squeeze my eyes shut, feeling a sob escape from me before I can stop it.

And then Nathaniel's arm is wrenched away from my waist, his warmth gone. His chair scrapes back in a screeching sound, and tables are pulled away violently.

A fresh flood of tears hit me. I don't have to look up to know what's going on. I'd recognize that voice anywhere, the one currently hissing for Nathaniel to stay away from me. No doubt Jeremy would be clutching Nathaniel by a fistful of his shirt, his other fist clenched at his side, ready to strike.

Why the hell does he even care?

Nathaniel chuckles. "Dude, you did that to her," I imagine him pointing at me. "Not me,"

The sound of somebody's bone breaking fills the air-conditioned room, then someone's body slams on the floor, amidst all the tables and chairs. Susannah's terrified screams then pierce the air and I look up, unable to stand a second of this anymore. I don't know what they're fighting for, what they think they'll achieve by taking swigs at each other, but it's all wrong.

I shove Jeremy off first, but he only gets around me and I watch helplessly as he sits atop Nathaniel now, delivering furious punches to his already bloody face. "Fucking stop it!" I shout, my voice hoarse and quivering. That got Jeremy's attention alright, and I watch as he slowly lifts himself off a groaning Nathaniel, who had a hand pressed gingerly to his right eye. His nose was bleeding badly, and apparently that satisfied Jeremy, if his satisfied smirk was any indication.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" I scream at Jeremy, all my raw emotions expressed with those six words.

The tears in my eyes made everything hazy for me, but I know I couldn't have mistaken the agonized look on Jeremy's face as I screamed at him.

I can't stand it anymore. I take off from the room, ignoring the teacher standing at the door in open mouthed shock as he returned from the staff office, ignoring him calling my name, ignoring Jeremy calling my name as he chased after my long strides.

"What do you want?" I snap at him through narrowed eyes as he grabs my wrist in an iron grip. He flinches visibly, and the constant wrenching in my heart gets magnified again, seeing his face.

"Let me take you home," he recovers and says flatly, still not letting go of my wrist.

"Like fucking hell I will," I spit at him, trying to pry his fingers off me, ignoring the tingles I feel as my hand brushes against the soft yet strong skin of his forearm.

"I'm not going to let you walk home, Rebecca," he grits his teeth, his hazel eyes blazing.

"Yeah?" I gave a bitter laugh. "What about her?" I jerk my head at Susannah, who's just appeared and staring at us, glaring at me.

He didn't even look at her, but kept his now furious hazel eyes on my darkened blue ones. "I'm driving you home, whether you like it or not," and reaches to scoop me in his arms, as if I weigh nothing.

"Put me down!" I scream, kicking and flailing around, all the while wrapping my arms around his neck in a tight grip. All he did is to sigh in this really exasperated way, and then dump me gently on his passenger seat and buckle me in.

As he drives off, none of us try to make conversation. I glare out of the window, taking comfort in the sight of a pissed off Susannah. The two scents in the car were muddling my head. Nathaniel's scent clung onto his jacket, but Jeremy's was everywhere. I'd had his smell committed to memory, and if I wanted to conjure it up, I probably could.

We reach, sooner than I thought we would, and we both unbuckle our belts. "What are you doing?" I glare at him as he steps out of the car at the same time as me.

He doesn't reply, but rather gives me an icy look, one that nearly made my tears overflow. For a moment, as he walks round to me, a burst of excitement washes over my guts. He stops close to me, then reaches out with his hand and feels my forehead.

"You're burning up," he says bluntly.

I scowl, then shove past him and stride up the steps of my front porch, not expecting him to follow but he did. While I try to slam the door in his face, he reaches out with a foot and pushes open the door with superhuman strength. I had the pleasure of seeing his biceps scrunch up.

"Fuck you," I say bitterly, as he enters my kitchen and pulls out a couple of aspirin pills and fills a glass of water for me.

He raises his eyebrows. "You're welcome," he drawls coldly, then holds out the pills for me.

"I didn't know you cared," I reply with as much sarcasm as I could offer, not taking the aspirin from him.

"I'll shove it down your throat," he threatens as I walk away from him. I almost laugh then, remembering the time when we were 8 and he'd made threats like that but never carried them out.

I take the stairs up to my room and climb in my bed, pulling my pink blankets over me, ignoring him as he sets the glass of water and pills down on the bedside table. "Why do you have to be so damn difficult?" he asks, sitting down on the edge of my bed. I notice the tone of frustration, and smirked with my eyes closed. So I'm making him frustrated?

"What do you want me to do so you'll take the pills?"

I open my eyes, glaring full force at him, trying to make him see how much I hate him, for making me want him, for playing with my emotions, for making me love him, for making me need him, for stomping on my heart.

"Fucking get out," I turn over to lie on my other side, away from him, so he wouldn't see the twin tracks of tears that rolled down my face as I said it. So he wouldn't see in my eyes how much I want him to stay, how much I want him to take me in his arms and whisper sorry to me over and over again, and kiss me with those sensual lips again.

A pause. "If that's what it'll take," he says finally. I feel him stand up from the bed.

I grit my teeth, holding back the sob in me, not letting it escape until I hear him close the bedroom door gently, with not so much as a kiss on the cheek, or a touch. Why did he have to be so stupid, couldn't he see I need him?

The tears come, fast and furious, an endless torrent, for everything that had happened today, for what's likely to be the end of friendship between Jeremy and me. Never before has anything like this ever happened to us, we were unbreakable, damn it.

I miss, want and need him so badly. My skin aches for his touch, my hair aches for his hands and my lips ache for his. I squeeze my eyes shut, then take the pills, needing to sleep to get away from the agony in my heart, from my fevered brains.

And I was in dreamland.

I first met Jeremy when we were 6, when he was just a tiny scrawny boy with dimpled cheeks and dark brown hair. I'd just transferred here from California, and it wasn't an easy change, even for a 6 year old girl like me. I'd just left my best friend, Jessica, back there together with my grandma and closest relatives. The fact that everybody seemed to avoid me in school didn't help either, they pulled on my plaits and broke my crayons, just because I was new and new people meant weird people to these kids. He didn't stick up for me either, if anything, he was the worst. I remember accidentally stepping on his crayons, then apologizing sorrowfully, but he'd only glared at me and stepped on all of mine. I cried, he and his friends taunted me and called me a crybaby. I shoved him, and he shoved me back, then immediately shoved his hands back in his pockets, looking shame-faced.

"Sorry," he said, grave-faced.

"What?" I stared up at him as I picked myself off the floor. Even as a kid, he'd been taller than me.

"My daddy said I should never hit girls," he explained, staring back down at me.

"Why not?" I challenged him, shoving him again just because it felt good to do so after all the hell and tears he'd been putting me through.

He crinkled his nose at me. "Because girls are weak," he said it like the answer was obvious. I remembered pummeling my little fists on him then, only to be pulled off by the teacher. I was a little spitfire then, and god I hated him.

Gradually the taunting stopped after a year; I guess fresh faces lose appeal after awhile. The friendship between Jeremy and I started actually only because he came to class late, and the only empty seat in class was the one next to mine.

And thus began our ten year friendship, if you could call what's between us friendship. This thing between us, it was special. I watched him as he went from a scrawny boy to a damned manly male, as his scent changed from baby powder to kids shampoo to cologne and to his own distinctive intoxicating one now. I watched as his dark brown hair changed under the sunlight they were put through, to a lighter shade of brown with golden highlights that no salon could give. I watched as he got his first girlfriend at ten, then picking through the whole female population in the whole school one by one, dumping them after one week tops. I wondered if maybe I hung around him too much for him to realize I was a female too, and then felt angry with myself for wanting to add myself to his list. I stood by as he grew overprotective and possessive of me, but I liked it. He was the most confusing, gorgeous, damned male I'd ever met; he was the only one who could ever make my heart do palpitations just by touching me; when he holds me in his arms the whole world disappears; when he kisses me I lose control.

I stir in my sleep, then gradually open my eyes to the buzzing that seems to come from nowhere, swearing when I wait for a minute and it still won't go away. Stuffing my head under the pillow, I realize that the buzzing's inside my head. My throat feels dehydrated, and I stumble out of bed to head for the kitchen, after pulling on a way oversized shirt that reaches mid-thigh. I shiver because it felt like it was minus 100 degree Celsius, even though in reality it had to be almost 28 degree Celsius in the house.

I stop at the entrance to the kitchen, recognizing the damned male humming a familiar tune while cooking up a meal. Everything comes flooding back to me, and hits me in the guts. The fucking nerve he has, to come here after everything he'd put me through, the hurt and pain he'd dealt me with.

But then he always did, like it was an unspoken pact, that no matter what he would always be here.

"Get the fuck out of my house," I snarl, a headache coming back on, threatening to split my head in two.

He drops whatever he's holding then, and whips around. "Good morning to you too," he raises an eyebrow at me sardonically.

"I want you to get out," so I can cry.

He sighs, bringing a palm over his eye and rubs it like he always does when he's frustrated. "Don't be like that," his fists are gripping the tabletop so hard his knuckles are turning white.

"Like what?" I sneer at him.

"Don't be a bitch," he turns away from me.

Wow, did I hear right? Jeremy's calling me a bitch. Never in these ten years of friendship has he ever called me a bitch.

"You're a fucking bastard," I seethe, my teeth gritted tightly in an effort to stop the tears from flowing again. "Just like Nathaniel,"

He whips around, looking extremely pissed off and hurt, and I know immediately I'd crossed the line, if the way his fists keep clenching and unclenching is any indication.

Striding up to me in four great steps, he backs me up against the wall and places both hands on either side of my head. "I am nothing like Nathaniel," he hisses at me, his hazel eyes dark brown with fury. "You got that?" His breath caresses my cheek and my sensitive neck. Between the fear and raw emotions, I manage to notice how close he is; just inches away.

I tilt my head slightly upwards, taking him in with my eyes. Up close, his dark eye bags are apparent, and I wonder briefly about what it was that caused his lack of sleep last night. That sensuous mouth I always fantasize about is drooping at the corners, and scowling. As usual, he smells good, even better than usual.

Without thinking, I reach out a hand to his face but he lets out a sharp hiss and jerks away from me.

That hurt me. The way he had just recoiled like I repulsed him, the way he keeps getting so pissed at me lately. I had done nothing wrong, I didn't deserve this.

Anger surges through my veins, alighting them with fire. "I hate you," I hiss at him, "You're everything like Nathaniel, you know that?"

He flinches, and in that moment he looks so vulnerable with the naked hurt in his eyes, I wonder if I could take it back, take him back. But a second later, the vulnerable expression on his face disappears and a cold, almost feral expression settles in place of it.

"I skipped school to take care of you," he sneers, "but I see now it's a big fucking mistake."

"Don't make me sound like I can't take care of myself," I snap back at him. "For the record, I have a family,"

"Yeah?" he spat, his darkened brown eyes narrowing at me. "They're not the ones taking care of you now, are they?"

His hand is on the doorknob now, twisting it. He turns back to me. "Make your own damn lunch," he sneers.

And then he's out, and the door's slamming, and I'm alone.