Warning: Excessive cussing in this one shot. You have been warned (:

Author's note: So I know I've been gone for a long time, and trust me when I say that it's not my fault. Grade 12 is KILLING ME. At least it's Christmas break, no? I needed to get this one out… and hopefully update my other stories. (: Send this some lovin'!

Haha, after you read it of course. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS?

Dropping the Act
one shot

by xoxluurve

It was hot. The air was stifling, her clothes were suddenly too tight, and she felt like she was about to pass out.

"Excuse me, excuse me," she muttered, tone an octave higher. It was her polite tone. No one needed to know that she was really a bitch.

Cool air blasted her face as she stepped out on the porch. It was still crowded outside, but at least she was able to appreciate her personal space. Eyes narrowed, her eyes ran over the groups huddled, individuals lingering, and let herself relax. She spotted a cooler to the side and reached for a sealed water bottle.

"Hey, I didn't know you were going to be here."

She turned her head slightly at the familiar tone. "Not really my scene, is it?" she said in amusement and leaned back. "What up, Peterson?"

He was impeccable, as always, she couldn't help but notice. His messy hair even looked perfect. Hiding a sigh, she addressed him expectantly and felt herself smile when he grinned at her. God, why was he so hot? "What else is there to do on a Friday night, right?" He flashed his half heartbreaking smile. Ooh, loved his charm.

"Homework." She listed the possibilities. "Sleeping. Movies." She eyed his biceps and grinned slyly. "Working out. Want me to join you?"

He laughed. "Lainey, you're more than welcome." His muscles flexed as he reached for her. Laughing, she allowed him to wrap his arm around her waist. He was cozy. "Hm… you smell nice," he growled in her ear, and she felt his hand dangerously lower on her back.

She had to laugh. That particular statement always amused her. She glanced at him from beneath her eyelashes. Teasingly, she placed an open mouth kiss on his neck.

She heard his breath hitch, and she smiled against his skin. Oh, boys, they were too easy. "You taste nice," Lainey murmured into his ear, grinning devilishly -

He grabbed her hips, "Watch it, Lainey," he warned.

She touched his lips, her own lips baring an innocent smile. "What?"

Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and noise erupted from behind them. Lainey turned her head and saw a crowd of people hooting, laughing and shouting as they filled the backyard. The music was louder with the door open, and even in the crowd, her eyes immediately landed on a six-foot-five mass of muscles; his roguish smirk, the arrogant heated gaze, and the aura he emitted made every girl in the room grow hot. Hot, hot, hot.

Damn. We were weak pathetic hormonal fools.

"YO, CRAIG, look who finally decided to drag his ass out of bed," a random voice yelled across the large backyard.

"It's the celebrity himself," Peterson muttered behind her, his lips close to her ear. She heard the amusement in his voice.

Lainey rolled her eyes. "Celebrity?" she sneered, trying not to laugh herself into an oblivion. "Please."

"Aren't your clothes a little too tight there, Laine?"

Her body instinctively reacted to the sound of his voice. She didn't bat an eyelash as she turned to face the god himself. Even up close he was breathtaking. Raising her eyebrows, she crossed her arms under her breasts and made sure he was looking at her chest before she kicked his leg.

Lainey had a reason now.

"What the fuck," he said, glaring murderously.

She smiled sweetly. "My face is up here, sweetheart."

He smirked. "Course." He looked briefly at Peterson and noted their close position. She muffled her snickers at the abrupt dark look on his face.

Cooing, she leaned back. "Isn't Peterson just sexy?" she asked him, making sure to wrap his arms around her.

Oh, God, his face. His expression was going to destroy me.

Peterson laughed, but pulled away, gently pushing Lainey forward. "I don't want to die," he whispered into her ear before flashing her a half smirk and walked away. "She's all yours Reed."

Pouting, she watched him do so. "Traitor," she muttered, and with a tilt of her head, she decided to head inside the house.

"And where do you think you're going?"

Lainey looked at him pointedly, "Clearly away from you."

He grabbed her arm and pulled her against his strong, hard chest. Her hands were placed flat against his chest, and frowning, she wondered how many girls he's pulled into his arms. Not that I cared, because I didn't. I don't. I was just wondering.

"What're you doing?" she asked, venom in her voice. What the hell did he expect from her? A welcome back surprise party? Hell no. "Don't touch me, asshole."

He sighed from above her head somewhere. "I said I was fucking sorry, what more do you want from me?"

"How about repentance?" Lainey said sarcastically. "Groveling? Worship the ground I walk on? Or better yet, wipe my ass. Kiss my ass, bastard." Roughly, she tugged away from him and glared at him through her bangs. "Four. Days."

She whirled around.

He pulled her back.

His voice was frustrated. "Lainey, I seriously tried to get back." His eyes bored into hers, and she appraised him with a bored look. Rolling his eyes, he pushed her away. "You're fucking stubborn."

"You're fucking annoying," she mimicked him. "Don't expect me to put my life on hold for you. I don't need you."

"I don't need you either." His gaze was utterly pissed off. The storm in his navy blue eyes made her want to sigh, but she also wanted to punch him as well. Actually, she really wanted to punch him across that pretty, perfect face of his.

Life was definitely unfair.

"Who was it?" she asked, not out of curiosity, but because she needed her name to write on her Hit List. Possibly get a picture of her and burn it into flames. Or find her and bitchslap her off the face of the world.

He observed her, before a lazy grin spread across his face. "Melody Hathaway."

Lainey couldn't help herself, but she let her jaw drop. "You broke through Melody?" she said in complete disbelief. "She wanted to be a nun, for crap's sakes!" Frustrated and utterly annoyed - maybe crazily jealous as well - she smacked her forehead. "Did you rape her?"

"They come crawling to me." His smile was satisfied, as if he were expecting her reaction. Asshole. "She's vicious. You know the shy ones -"

She rolled her eyes. "I know, I know." She chewed her bottom lip, mulling this one over. "Wait a minute," she exclaimed, and narrowing her eyes, she turned to him. "You were with her all four days?" Her heart pounded, what the hell. He hasn't been with anyone for more than one night.

She felt herself breathe easier when he scoffed. "Fuck no. My mom needed me. That's what I've been trying to tell you, you bitch."

Lainey's lips pulled into a sneer. "Fucker."

He pushed her face away and she landed a punch in his gut… and successfully bruised her knuckles.

"Jealous?" he taunted spitefully, his eyebrow raised. He knew the damn answer to that.

"You fucking wish." She grabbed him into place, her body pressed tightly against him that no space existed between them. God, he knew he wished it were like this forever. Please. "Why would I need you?"

She couldn't help but laugh. He grinned and wrapped an arm around her.

"You can't live without me."

"Watch me." She slipped from his hold, ignoring his furious gaze. With a laugh and a wink, she slipped her arm into a familiar person's and walked away.


I always woke up at four AM. I stared ahead, my eyes dull, my body dead tired. But I knew, even if I closed my eyes, I wouldn't be able to go back into oblivion. I smirked lightly to myself, closing my eyes briefly. How amusing, I thought cynically as I always thought every morning I woke up. He didn't give a damn, but I always, always did.

Eight minutes later, I heard the familiar swing of my window and a faint thud hit my floor. He always tried to be quiet, but it was useless. I was always awake for him.

With my eyes closed, I frowned a little. That wasn't fair. But I was too tired right now to care. I was in the dark, I didn't need to pretend anymore - at least for those five seconds he was silent and unmoving. Probably checking if he didn't wake me up.

"You're awake, you little slut." But his voice was, for once, light and playful.

I rolled to my side, facing his direction and opened my eyes wide. "No thanks to you." My voice was dry, injected with a little venom, but I eventually sighed.

He stood in the dark, tall and powerful. Even in the blanket of darkness, I could sense his powerful aura. He was strong and reckless. He was sharp and brilliant. It was a dangerous combination; the ever-present glint in his eyes scared me, but he didn't know.

If he knew, he would completely destroy me. That was why I had to act the way I did: a complete and utter bitch. The cold front threw him off, made him lower that pride and ego a peg or two, even for a little while. Everyone else was too scared or too awestruck.

I snorted. Cowardly, influential dumbasses.

"What?" His voice was amused.

Jeez, now he was being nice. He probably wanted to steal my bed. Asshole. "Nothing," I muttered, turning away from him and closed my eyes. It was futile. Frustrated, I scooted, the tight clench in my gut pissing me the hell off. "What, you going to stand there all night?"

"You inviting me to bed, Laine?" he said, his tone lowering a bit. It was his bedroom voice, god forbid.

"Do you have something stuck in your throat?" I asked patronizingly. "If you're here to sleep, then drag your sorry ass here and close your eyes. I don't have time for this."

"Yet you're always awake when I come. As if you're waiting for me."

I stiffened instinctively. The blood pounding in my system was suddenly full of adrenaline; he did not know I was this close to breaking. I was going to destroy something, someone - him - if he didn't let me sleep. I had a crappy day thanks to him; thanks to him, for showing up, for interfering.

Damn him for always being on my mind. My blood boiled. I wanted to get up and give him a piece of my mind.

I ignored his statement. "The exit's the way you entered," I said, my voice curt and dismissive.

But I didn't. I never did.

Without any more words, I listened to him drop his pants, remove his shoes; he lifted the covers and slickly slipped under my covers. His arm instinctively went around my stomach and I snorted, shoving him away as I always did. How many girls has he done that with after a round of animal sex? Hell no, he's not doing that with me.

"Lainey," he whispered, his breath making me shiver. He made my chest hurt, whenever he spoke to me like that. I wanted him to call me a whore or a bitch. I wanted him to speak to me with demeaning venom. I wanted him to hate me.

I shut my eyes, scooting a little farther away from him.

It hurt especially at nights when he was here. Even more so when he wasn't, slamming some other girl.

It hurt because it wasn't supposed to be this way.

"Sleep," I commanded.

He chuckled, amused. I was just an amusing best friend. I was just that.

"Night, beautiful," he said mockingly.

I smirked, my face away from his. "Night, asshole."

Like always, at 4:30, I fell asleep. His soft breathing was always a lullaby to me.

My nose twitched. Scrunching my face, I slowly opened my eyes, completely disoriented. My eyes immediately met familiar navy blue ones, his gaze unreadable as always. The arrogance was there - trust me, it never left - but I could never read him in the mornings. I never figured out why.

His perfectly shaped lips pulled into a lazy smile.

Despite myself, I found myself returning the smile.

"Girls I usually sleep with are more beautiful when they wake up," he commented.

And my smile fell. Rolling my eyes, I shifted away from him, impulsively shoving his hand away from my hip, which he was unconsciously caressing.

I missed the glance he shot at my face when I did that.

"Maybe it's cause they slip out of bed to wash their face and put make up on to make sure they look proper when you wake up." I gave him a pointed look, relishing in the bemused expression that crossed his face at my words. It was rare that he was confused; I had to bask in these rare moments, aight?

"Probably why they always had lip-gloss on their lips," he muttered to himself with a roll of his eyes.

I let out a throaty laugh. "Probably," I agreed and crawled over his legs to get off the bed.

"Got plans tonight?" he called from the bed. I glanced at him from over my shoulder. He was sitting up, hair mussed, eyes glazed. A night's worth of stubble grazed his jaw and his shirt was unbuttoned. His chest was to die for.

In other words, he looked sexy. Damn. I didn't even wonder why girls kept crawling back to him. I mean, who wouldn't, if this was what you could wake up to every morning?

I mean, besides me, of course.

"Maybe." I shrugged noncommittally. I grabbed my undergarments, a shirt and a skirt. "Do you?" I returned vaguely. Probably did.


Right. I cared. A lot. I made a face at my closet before turning around, assessing him blankly. "Okay." I made my way to my washroom.

"Can I join you?" He was suddenly behind me, his presence practically engulfing me. I wasn't even fazed.



The bathroom door shut in his face and he had to bark out a laugh. For a moment, he stood there, running a hand through his hair. Can I join you? He had to roll his eyes at his stupid words. Lines like that didn't work with Lainey, and because of that, he had to admire her a little more. She was kickass, that's what she was.

Like all mornings he was in her room, he eventually returned to the bed to arrange the sheets. Reed stopped for a moment, staring down at the blue blankets. How come he never slept in his own room? He shook his head from his thoughts.

He knew, he just didn't want to admit it to himself.

His own clothes were in Lainey's closet. He grabbed his clothes just as his phone chirped.

Disinterested, he glanced down. Who the hell was Clara? Shrugging, he left his cell unattended.

Suddenly, the bathroom door creaked open. Casually, he turned around. The smirk that crossed his face couldn't be stopped.

"Yes?" he asked, clearly enjoying the annoyance that crossed her face.

"I think you know," she groused. "Stop being an ass for one second and pass me a towel."

He snickered. He knew she absolutely felt disgusted when she was wet with dry clothes on. Or vice versa. She was an odd one. "Babe, you know you like 'em arrogant." He exaggerated a wink, trying not to give in to her daggers.

"Do it before you regret it."

Reed gave her a mocking look. "Sweetheart, you can never get to me." Lies. All fucking lies.

She rolled her eyes, obviously fed up. "I honestly don't give a damn," she snapped, and before he could react, she pulled the door open and walked out in her naked glory.

His mind went completely blank, and he felt like he could pass out any moment.

Before she shut the door, she looked over her shoulder, a sardonic smirk on her lips.

"Fucking bitch," he said hoarsely, under his breath. He was suddenly hyper aware of his surroundings. Was the fucking room always this hot? His heart was banging against his ribcage, and he didn't even have to look to know what effect she had on him.


"Damn," Lisa leaned forward and Lainey looked up from her textbook to give the girl an inquisitive look. Lisa's face was momentarily blank as she assessed Lainey's state. "Are you seriously reading your text when you're in a club?"

Lainey laughed lightly, "I'm mentally reviewing. Just checking something," she lied smoothly and slipped the textbook back into her giant purse. For once, Lainey didn't feel like flirting. She was definitely dressed with her knee length black leather boots; her hair was styled in wavy curls, and while her makeup was simple, she knew she looked good.

"Anyway," Lisa rolled her eyes, as if wondering why she hung out with such a nerd. Lainey rolled her own eyes mentally. Sometimes she wondered why she ever hung around with people who didn't take their education seriously. She could have a good time and be focused. Hell, what was wrong with that? "Looks like Reed picked up someone new."

Angeli, someone Lainey actually liked, laughed lightly. "Who doubted that he would?" Her voice was dry. "She's sexy."

Lainey barely glanced, but she managed to see who they were talking about. She was hot. Classical beauty, sexy stance; she knew she looked striking. She was totally Reed's type.

Her spine stiffened a little. Looks like she was going to be up all night.

Lisa smirked. "Looks like he's going to introduce."

Lainey felt something in her gut tighten, but she coolly ignored the feeling. I should get fucking used to it, she thought to herself bitterly.

"Ladies," Reed said, his voice low, his eyes dangerous, but compelling, "this is Mina." He gave her a playful nudge. "She didn't believe that I came with friends."

Mina placed her weight on one leg, and her voluptuous hips were suddenly more defined in Lainey's eyes. Lainey didn't bother looking at Reed; she knew he was smirking at her. Showing off his latest conquest.

I definitely did better than you, Reed's demeanour taunted.

Her lips thinned. Oh, she knew Reed all too well.

"I thought he came by himself to pick a girl up." God, even her voice was sexy. Low, sultry. Lainey winced a little. Bastard knew how to get to her.

Angeli cast her a curious glance, but Lainey stared steadily at the space between Reed and Mina. Don't show how you're feeling; be cool and unaffected. Because she wasn't affected. She didn't care. Why the hell should she give a damn? Just last week he was telling her he broke through Melody.

He breaks through everyone. Except her. She had to smirk a little. At least she could get a little satisfaction from that.

"But he did," Lainey smiled at Mina. She gave them an hour before they were off to wherever. Lainey suddenly wished she was at home with her textbook. She knew he liked to slam girls. But she was rarely there whenever he was with them pre sex night.

Mina's eyes focused on her. Lainey kept her smile on her face.

"He chose well," she added, the words scratching her throat.

Mina raised an eyebrow. "I'm sorry, I didn't get your names." But she was still staring at her.

I'm sorry, make that grilling.

"I'm Angeli," her friend said hastily, as if to break the sudden cold tension.

"Lisa." Lisa nodded.

"And that fiery bitch is Lainey." Reed stuck a thumb at her, and Lainey had to sit still, listening to Mina laugh at his comment like it was the funniest thing she's heard.

"Pleasure," she purred. Their eyes locked. "So. How do you two know each other? If you don't mind me asking." Lainey saw her hand slip from Reed's waist to his ass.

Lainey couldn't stop herself from rolling her eyes. Subtle.

Reed grinned. "Course not."

"Can I guess?" Mina smirked, as if she were superior.

Oh, don't start with me. Lainey had to force herself not to attack the girl.

"Go ahead," she said.

"Bitter ex girlfriend?" Mina's face was angelic, but her voice was malicious.

Reed was looking at her expectantly, his eyes cruel. "We both know she wished it were like that," he said to the girl. He tightened his grip on her waist. "We'll see you ladies around." Clearly he was done destroying her night. She should give him a pat on the back for this one because she felt like shit.

Lainey didn't bother responding the way she usually did. She would, in her right, crazily jealous mind, throw them all a sultry smirk and march up to the next willing hot man and pretend to spend the night with him.

She would make him as insane as he was making her.

But tonight, she was just… She blew out a sigh. She was tired.

Instead, she offered Mina a forced smile. "Have a nice night."

Mina didn't bother hiding her distasteful expression. "Clearly." Mina gave Reed a lustful glance. It made Lainey want to throw up.

Lainey's eyes flitted to Reed because his eyes were practically grilling her skull. She had no choice. Blank faced, she was expecting another acerbic smirk. She could handle the shit he was throwing at her.

But this time…

She quickly looked away. Why the fuck was he looking at her like that?

"Bye," Angeli said.

"Bye," Lainey echoed.

This time he didn't go through the window. No, he didn't have fucking time to climb up that shit when he wanted to give her a piece of his mind this fucking second -

He slammed the door open, and God, if he saw some bastard on her bed with her - he's a dead man.

"Fuck you, Lainey," he sneered, not bothering to let his mind register the state of her room. For a second - in rage, of course - his eyes wandered over the familiar room. His eyes eventually fell on Lainey who was casually swivelled around from her desk where he assumed she was doing her homework.

She was always such a goody-good nerd underneath that sexy badass façade.

Her hair was still wavy, but her face was free from makeup. He almost punched the wall at her blank, innocent look. Like hell she didn't know what this was about.

"What?" she asked, not quite snapping, but the annoyance was there. She was whispering - make that hissing - as well. She quickly glanced at her clock. "It's one in the morning, you jackass. People are sleeping." She motioned sharply to her open door. "Close it."

Jaw clenched, he did as he was told - only so he could snap at her as loud as he could. Without any disturbances. Not because she told him to. He was no one's bitch.

"Fuck you," he repeated, the venom still in his voice, but the rage disappeared. He knew his expression was dark. He had the right to be as angry as he wanted to do.

She seemed to be in the playful mood. Smirking a little, she stood up and sauntered over to his direction. He almost groaned. Fucking bitch.

One arm went around his neck, and the other around his waist. Her fingers were cool to the touch, calming his raging temper. Instead of the taunting kiss he expected, she laid her head on his shoulder - yeah, and that's when he faltered.

Shit. He wasn't supposed to feel this - this - this intimate.

Disgusted, he stepped away from her hold. Her expression was cool, as always - like he expected. Good.

"Thought you wanted to fuck?" she said casually, but her voice was practically dripping with sarcasm. "Don't make offers you're going to take back."

He clenched his hand into a tight fist. "What the hell is wrong with you," he said bitingly.

She pretended to think of the answer, and smiled at him sweetly. "Nothing, at the moment. But if anything comes up, you'll be the first to know."

"No!" he practically exploded, "What the fuck was that, back there?" His furious eyes were locked with her unreadable ones. "You're not supposed to fucking do that, do you understand?"

"I'm not psychic." Her reply was bored.

He felt his head throbbing. His icy blue eyes searched her own brown ones, and a second later, he crushed her to his chest. She struggled, half-heartedly, but eventually went limp in his arms. He tightened his grip, eyes shut closed, and he almost felt sick.

Fuck, wasn't this messed up, he thought bitterly. He lowered his head, his lips dangerously close to her neck.

She wasn't hugging him back.

"Forgot what it's like to hug?" he asked lightly.

"Only with you," came her reply.

He had to smirk.

"What, she wasn't good?" She pulled her head back to look at him in the eyes. His traitorous heart sped up when she did this. He compensated for this weak moment by smirking mischievously at her.

"No, it was fucking hot."

He's lying straight through his fucking teeth.

He watched a brief flicker of jealousy across her eyes, and for that moment, he felt satisfied. Satisfied, because he knew that she stilled cared. He felt like he was losing her. That was not acceptable.

She smiled a real smile, and he felt himself relax. When was the last time he's seen her smile at him? She leaned forward, her hands playing with the collar of his shirt.

His heart stopped when she whispered into his ears.

"You're lying straight through your teeth."

He looked at her, eyes hooded and had to grin lazily. "How'd you figure?" he drawled.

She laughed under her breath, pulling away. He tried not to feel too cold at the loss of her heat. "Because you wouldn't be here, hugging me," she said simply. "You'd be in her bed, slamming her." There was a strange moment between them, heart stopping and time-stilling. "But you're with me."

They held each other's gazes.

He was first to break the stare. "Whatever," he muttered darkly, fucking scared out of his wits. What the fuck was that? He tried not to reach forward and pull her close. God, it was almost a physical ache.

He tugged his shirt off and dropped his pants before crawling into her bed.

She took her seat and picked her pencil, resuming her studying.

He wasn't sleeping. He was staring at her ceiling, hands positioned behind his head, listening to her soft breathing and pencil scratches.

"Night," came her soft voice, the deprivation of her usual haughty and mocking tone slowly panicking him. Why did she have to drop the act?

"Night," he returned, his voice barely audible.

When she came to bed, he didn't pull her to him like he usually did.

Because this night, reality decided to pay him a visit. He was scared it was love.


There was silence.

"Yo, Reed. What the hell?"

Reed felt someone shove his shoulder, and a dark frown instantly tugged his eyebrows. "What?" he snapped, but he didn't turn to face the offender.

His friend, Joshua, leaned forward and looked in the direction he was glaring at. "Ooh," he laughed under his breath, in Reed's opinion, quite cruelly. "So it's like that."

Reed finally looked at his friend, the frown not quite leaving his face. "Don't fucking start with me," he warned.

Josh raised an eyebrow, the smirk still occupying his face. "Start what?" he asked angelically. They returned their gazes straight ahead. Reed was sitting on top of the picnic table, shaded from the blazing sun. He ignored the looks he was receiving from females passing by, because - what the hell - he was wondering just why Lainey was talking to some jackass.

He looked like a jackass, so why wouldn't he be a jackass?

"That's Terry," Josh supplied, his voice all-knowing.

Reed's jaw clenched. "Thanks." Like he wanted to know the name of the pansy he was going to destroy.

"Yo, relax, they're just talking."

Just then, Terry leaned forward and gave Lainey a kiss on her cheek.

Reed ignored the other urge - yeah, you know the urge to kill? - and watched Laine's reaction. She, unlike with him, smiled sweetly at him, her eyes glinting friendliness.

Suddenly, he felt his heart drop.

When was the last time she looked at him like that?

Jaw clenched even tighter, he got off the table and grabbed his backpack.

"Reed! Where you going!" But his voice was full of amusement.

Reed turned around, eyes dark. "Fuck you," he replied.

He needed to put himself together. His tongue almost bled because he was biting it so hard. He almost wished he wasn't looking out for Lainey. She never knew he did. He didn't know why he tortured himself like this. It wasn't like she couldn't take care of herself.

He snorted. Looks like he wasn't going to her place tonight.


Lainey rolled away from her clock, half-annoyed, half-disheartened - mostly annoyed - and threw the covers off her body. She knew he wasn't coming.

He saw her struggling with the five textbooks she was holding as well as her huge, bulky purse. He rolled his eyes, disregarding the fact that the people in the hallway practically made room for him as he passed by. Lainey would probably brush by him roughly to teach him a lesson.

With a tiny smirk, he easily plucked the textbooks out of her arms.

She turned around, surprise written on her face - before her expression darkened and -

"What the fu -!" His free hand flew to his eye, and he couldn't believe how shocked - and proud - he was of her. Damn, she could throw a mean punch. He couldn't stop himself from laughing, despite the pain. "Yo, thong in a twist?" He gave her his superior look as he looked down her body.

Lainey's face was absolutely cold. He couldn't even read her eyes. "Please hand me my textbooks," she said mechanically. As if she didn't know him.

He just quirked an eyebrow. "How bout you hand me your huge ass purse and we'll get a bite to eat?"

He saw her jaw clench. "Books, please."

Why the fuck was she being so damn polite? "Laines, why the hell would you refuse food?" He rolled his eyes, and with surprising gentleness, he placed his free hand on her back and proceeded to guide her down the hallway.

Too bad she wouldn't budge.

"Books." Her smile was suddenly frosty. "Please."

Alright, he was getting a bit cheesed here. "What the fuck is your problem?" he asked bluntly.

Her eyebrows rose, and he saw the disbelief in her face. He also saw the heated fury there too. He had to swallow a little; God, the only time Lainey truly got angry at him was when he slept with her best friend and brushed it off as nothing. I mean, to him it really was nothing, but apparently, her best friend thought otherwise.

That wasn't even the worse part. She didn't talk to him for five months straight. It was like he didn't exist - like he didn't fucking matter anymore.

It was the worst feeling in the world.

"You want to know what the fuck is my problem?" she said lowly, almost deprecatingly. "It's not even derived from me." She laughed a little; a choked kind of laugh that instantly twisted his heart. "It's you, Quinlan. It's all you," she hissed.

He narrowed his eyes, hearing his heart pound in his ears. She used his first name. She never called him by his first name.

"And what is that supposed to mean?" he drawled, lazily leaning against the wall. He assessed her, trying to be unaffected. How did she do it all time? He was fucking dropping it all here. He was hanging on by a thread.

She appraised him coolly. "Like I said," she smirked sardonically, but her face was deadly serious. "I don't need you."

His jaw tightened. This wasn't fucking funny anymore. "I'm not psychic," he mocked her. "If you fucking tell me what's going on, then maybe we can solve that bitchy attitude of yours."

"A month, Quinlan Reed." She suddenly looked different. The fury was gone, and her eyes were unreadable. She looked away from him, picking up her purse which she dropped earlier. She smiled a little, a small self-disparaging smirk that made his whole chest hurt for causing this. "You were gone for a month."

He clenched his fists and looked away, unable to stand looking in her eyes.

"You're not supposed to give a shit," he said almost inaudibly.

"I don't," was her soft reply.

Silence reigned. They were the only ones left in the hallway; they felt like they were the only ones in the world.

She brought her head up, and the movement also made him look. She smiled at him, her eyes sparkling. Almost like they completely, at first glance, depended on each other. Not like this secretive shit going on. Like they had to wait until the rest of the world was sleeping to show that they cared.

But that wasn't even the case with him, was it? He still hurt her. He wanted her to hate him.

But did he really? He ran a hand through his hair. Why couldn't he just pull her to him and show that he was never going to let go? That if she told him to - if she just fucking said the damn words - she'll be the only one for him. She was the only one for him.

Fuck yeah, it scared him. But this was scarier - the way they were acting - losing her was the fucking scariest thing.

She was still smiling lightly, "Who was it?" she asked, like every other time she asked. Same tone, same expression. It was even the same tilt of her head.

He smirked a little. But this time, he didn't have someone who didn't matter to him.

That moment, he didn't care. He dropped it all; the pretences, the show; the whole fucking act, because he knew what this was now. He knew what she was. To him, to his life -

"You," he said, slowly straightening. He held her gaze. She seemed impassive, but he caught the slight widen of her eyes. He took a step towards her, almost hesitantly. He didn't want her to run.

He was tired of fucking running all the time.

"Reed," she started, her voice inquisitive, slightly trembling; she was scared. Her jaw tightened, and her whole body went stiff. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" she demanded almost agitatedly.

He shook his head a little. "I was away because of you," he said straightforwardly. "I avoided you, I ignored your phone calls. Even your little voices messages threatening to kill me when you finally saw me." He rolled his eyes a little, but he couldn't help the smile that quirked his lips.

She gave him a deadly glare, "I meant, who did you -"

"No one, you stupid… thing," he said lamely. He certainly felt lame. He felt himself grow frustrated at the blank look on her face. He took the final step towards her, closing the space between them. Yeah, he wished it were like this forever. He won't lie.

He leaned closer, their foreheads touching. He watched her close her eyes, and he smiled a real smile to himself.

She dropped it too.

"No more making each other jealous?" he asked lightly, his arm tightening around her.

"I haven't had proper sleep in the past month, you asshole," was her soft reply. He chuckled, but stopped when he realized she was serious. She was going limp in his arms. He looked down and saw her scrunched up face, and her pursed lips. He felt his chest go tight.

"What's wrong?" he demanded.

"Nothing," she muttered, turning her face away from him. She stepped out of his hold, but he pulled her back, doubling the strength of his grip around her frame. "Damnit, Reed, I said it -" She choked on a sob and exhaled sharply. "Nothing. It's nothing."

He smirked, "Missed me?"

He expected a jab, or a haughty retort. He could've bet on it, that she would tell him he wished she did. Because, hell yeah; why the hell else would he flirt and go round with girls, flaunting them to her face? Half of them he didn't even go all the way. Why the fuck would he waste his time?

Because he wanted her to miss him. Just like she went with all those other guys; she fucking knew he was possessive.

He expected her to laugh at him.

But instead, she nodded her head. "I did." They stared at each other. Her eyebrows pulled down into a tiny frown. "You better not pull something like that again. I will destroy you." He didn't doubt her.

But all he did was smirk. "Baby, your only problem now is keeping me away from you."

She smiled, a real genuine smile; it was better than the one she used with that jackass, Terry, too. He grinned smugly. He knew they'll be giving each other more than pecks on the cheeks. As long as it's with each other, from now on. He looked at her, searching her eyes.

"How did this stupidity start anyway?" he asked, almost disgusted with their perplexing relationship.

She frowned in thought. "I told you that you were a slut, and you told me I was a fucking bitch." She shrugged.

He snickered. "I remember."

She rolled her eyes. "Yes," she said wryly, "and then you manhandled me, shoved me against the locker and stole my first kiss."

He remembered that too. "At least I'll be your last," he said arrogantly. To her indignation and his utter amusement, he gave her a demonstration.

Asshole, she thought, but responded nonetheless.

But only because she didn't want him bitching at her in the night. She needed him… so she could fall asleep. Mhm, that's right. She didn't need him for anything else.

"You're only good for kissing," he told her, his eyes hooded.

They smirked to themselves.

They were lying straight through their fucking teeth.

Author's note: guys! Isn't this just awesome? Quinlan means perfection in form. Thought it fit him. (: Soo. Did you all like it? Sorry for the excessive swear words. Hope I didn't offend anyoneeee.

Oh. And about the errors… yeah. (: HI.