A/N: Um, I don't know where I was going with this. It was just kind of random.

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An effervescent sensation bloomed in my chest while a familiar, contrasting ache took place in the same area as I saw who was behind my apartment door. What was he doing here?

"What are you doing here?" I voiced, shock and surprise evident in my voice.

Jesse, sweet and terrible Jesse, shrugged indifferently. "Can I come in?"

I widened the door without hesitation. "What are you doing here?" I repeated quietly. "Of all places?"

He walked in with his back hunched while carrying a backpack over one shoulder. His normally spiked blonde hair lay flat and lifeless on top of his head. "Because you're the only one nice enough to let me stay for the night."

"What? For the night?" I said, confused.

He rubbed his face tiredly. "Look, can we talk about this later?" he asked, a hint of annoyance creeping in his tone.

"But—"I stopped myself. "I'll grab a pillow and blanket for you," I sighed instead.

As I left to grab said things from my room, I couldn't help but let the confusion take over my senses.

Jesse Burns, heartbreaker and bad boy extraordinaire, was in my home.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind that he's staying for the night since I'm a nice person (like he said), and he's easy on the eyes anyway (blonde hair and green eyes are a classic combination). The only problem that I do have is that my apartment is going to be awkward for the night considering that Jesse Burns is my ex and all. It doesn't help that our break up was messy and then some. It involved running and screaming and pushing and shoving and not to mention several pints of various Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Yep. Tonight is going to be awkward. So why was I letting him stay at my apartment again?

Oh, yeah. Because I'm a nice person.

After grabbing fresh-from-the-laundry blankets and a fluffy pillow, I exited my room only to find Jesse passed out cold on my couch, shoes and all. Sighing, I quietly approached him, gently took off his shoes, and delicately rested his legs on the furniture. I lifted his head to position the pillow underneath and tenderly rested his head on it. Finally, I covered him up with the blanket. As I was adjusting the cover over his shoulder, I couldn't help but admire his face.

It was a well-known fact among my friends that I still had feelings for him, even if the break up was disastrous. So therefore, I couldn't help but trace my fingers lightly across his cheek, along his jaw line, down his throat near his Adam's apple. Juxtaposing sensations of smooth skin and the faint traces of stubble enervated me. Everything about him weakened me.

"Why are you here?" I whispered again, voice shaking slightly. "Don't you know that it kills me just seeing your face again?"

And with that, I turned off the light and retreated to my room.

The next morning, Jesse was gone. The blankets were folded neatly with the pillow resting on top. He didn't leave a note. This didn't surprise me, so why did it hurt anyway?


"Wait, what is soft money again?"

"Paper bills, Britney," Marissa deadpanned.

"Funny," I said in an equally expressionless tone. I turned to Britney. "It's money given to a political party for party-building activities."

"Thanks Abi," she said gratefully to me but glared at Marissa.

Marissa and Britney, two of my closest friends, and I were having a study session at my apartment for an upcoming government test. I felt pretty confident for it since I studied on a regular basis. As for my two companions, cramming seemed to be the answer for all tests these days.

"Alright, quiz time," I announced. The two girls groaned. "Whoever gets the most right wins. The loser has to pay half my rent." Their groans morphed into cries of utter misery.

I rolled my eyes. "I'm kidding. The loser has to pay for dinner the next time we go out."

"That still sucks," Marissa complained. "Miss Piggy over here is three quarters of the bill."

Britney, who was blessed with more curves than most girls, was sensitive about her weight. So when she heard Marissa's comment, I couldn't tell whether she was going to cry or punch the girl. Her pinched face was rather hard to decipher.

"Alright, listen you little bit—"

"What is a PAC?" I interrupted loudly. And just like that, everything went back to normal.

After quizzing them for the next hour, Marissa announced her departure.

"Thanks for the session, Abs," she grunted. "I'm out bitches. And Britney? Easy on the Cheetos."

Having heard that, she threw said junk food at Marissa's eye. After she left, I let out a laugh that I didn't realize I was holding in.

"I don't know why I'm friends with her," Britney mumbled. "She's nothing but a complete bitch to me."

"Hey, no cussing," I chastised. "You know I hate that." I bit into a Cheeto. "But you're right. I don't know why I'm friends with her either."

"I guess I'll head out too. It's close to one, and I don't want to worry my roommate again," she said while grabbing her stuff. "And thanks for tonight. It helped a lot. Like, you have no idea."

I chuckled. "Anytime. Just let me know when you would like another study party. I'd be happy to help."

At the door, Britney looked me straight in the eye. "You know, sometimes I think that you're way too nice for your own good. I wonder if you think about your own happiness every once and a while."

"I'm fine," I smiled, albeit sadly.

"Are you still hung up on Jesse?"


"Honey, you have got to forget about him. He cheated on you didn't he?"

That stung, but I tried not to show it. Britney saw through anyway.

"I'm sorry," she said apologetically, her eyes sad. "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay, good night," I said quietly and locked the door.


I was cooking ramen noodles when I heard a knock at the door. Curious and slightly scared, I straightened my tank top and pajama shorts before looking through the peephole to see who it was. I felt my jaw slacken.

"Jesse? What—"

His cheeks were flushed. He was leaning against the doorframe rather lethargically and his eyes red and watery. Jesse was drunk.

An ache throbbed in my chest.

"Come on," I said quietly, throwing his arm around my shoulder to support him inside. Despite the smell of beer and traces of pot, I still felt dizzy from him being so close to me after so long.

"Do you-do you need the bathroom?" I struggled to get out.

With eyes closed, he shook his head. We stumbled to the couch just in time when my strength gave out. Unfortunately, Jesse fell on top of me. Or fortunately, depending on how you look at it.

His face was buried in my neck when he groaned, so he readjusted himself until he was comfortable. His arms were around me, embracing me as if I was a treasured teddy bear. I couldn't breathe; my face was mostly buried in his warm chest, and I was elusive as to what was happening.

Soon after, I heard his breathing grow even and measured. Jesse was asleep.

Familiar feelings of being protected and loved enveloped me. As much as I wanted to stay and cuddle with the guy I loved, my head wouldn't let me. I moved to shift his arm away from me so that I could get up. His embrace only tightened around me.

"Stay," he breathed in my hair. "Don't leave." If I hadn't known better, I would've thought that he was sober from the way he spoke to me.

It didn't take much for me to say yes. With Jesse, it didn't take anything at all.

"Okay," I whispered back. "Okay."

I wrapped my own arms around his waist, inhaling his comforting scent while he strengthened his hold.

I miss this.

A stray tear tickled my cheek.


I woke up the next morning cold despite a blanket covering me from head to toe. Groggily, I sat up and rubbed my face and detangled my shoulder-length black hair. I pushed the cover off of me walked into the kitchen where I smelled fresh coffee being brewed. I lightly touched the coffee pot and noted that it was still pretty hot. He didn't leave that long ago.

Beside the pot was a sticky note.

"I'm sorry," I read aloud softly. "J."

A small smile curved on my lips. Sorry for what, I wondered. For leaving? For staying? For making coffee without asking? For breaking my heart?

Jesse was never one for apologizing, so for him to take some time out of his morning to write me this kind of made my day.


"Have you seen Jesse?" I asked a drunken Britney.

A high-pitched giggle emitted from her mouth. "Jesse who?"

I rolled my eyes. She was completely useless when intoxicated. Just when she reached to refill her red cup, I snatched it away.

"Don't you think you've had enough already?" I snapped.

Britney pouted at me and shook my shoulder. "Aaaabiii," she whined. "Don't be a party pooper." Suddenly she was laughing as if she said the funniest thing in the world. "Party pooper. Why do you think it's called that? They don't actually…poop, do they?" She gasped. "You pooped at this party, Abi!"

"I'm going to look for Jesse," I said calmly. "You go look for Marissa, and I'll take you both home. Sound good?"

"But I don't wanna go hooomme!" she wailed as I left her behind.

I've searched everywhere. Why did I agree to come anyway? I didn't drink or smoke, so the party scene was never my thing. So why did I come? Oh, yeah. Because Jesse asked me to.

And he wasn't even here. Where was he?

I pulled out my phone. 11:53, it read. I sighed. I could be at home sleeping right now.

I went to check upstairs only to be greeted by Mike Chambers who was captain of the football team and in love with me. As discreetly as I could, I spun around and headed back down the stairs.

"Abigail Jeffries! Get your lovely ass over here!"

He was drunk. Was there anybody sober at a high school party?

Don't answer that.

"Hi, Mike," I said with a smile. He may be drunk (and in love with me), but he was still one of the sweetest guys I know.

"Enjoying the party?" he drawled with a lazy grin, leaning his hand on the wall behind me.

"It has its moments," I laughed. Like Marissa dancing to "Single Ladies" on top of the island in the kitchen.

"Yeah?" He leaned closer.

I scratched my head. "Uh-huh."

He bent his head slightly towards me. "You look so pretty tonight, Abi…"

I coughed. "Thanks, Mike. I'm getting ready to head home right about now though. Have you seen Britney?"

"Such pretty black hair, pretty blue eyes…"

I shifted uncomfortably. "Have you seen Jesse?"

Mike stiffened, and his eyes grew cold and steely.

"I have to piss," he excused himself gruffly.

I was confused by his sudden departure. Mike understood when I picked Jesse over him, so why was he so cold? I shook my head and ventured back downstairs.

I saw a flash of red hair bobbing rather quickly through the crowds, so I pushed and shoved my way through (while excusing myself) to get to Marissa.

"Marissa! I've been looking—oh, what's wrong?" I asked concerned.

It turns out her hair wasn't the only thing that was red. Her face practically emitted steam because it was so heated. She was pissed.

"What's wrong?" she repeated. She grabbed my arm and sharply steered me in the opposite direction.

"Marissa? What are you doing?" I asked, anxiety lacing my voice.

We passed Britney on the way, but she stared at me with sympathetic eyes. Everyone was acting weird tonight. First Mike, and now Britney? Britney was always so happy, drunk or sober.

We abruptly stopped in front of the kitchen.

"That," Marissa pointed, "is what's wrong."

Wrong didn't even cover the severity of the situation. Not even a hair.

And my heart breaking didn't come close to defining the pain I was experiencing on the inside.

Jesse was passionately locking lips with Sara Young, a girl who has been intent on breaking up me and Jesse so that she could have him for herself.

He pulled away roughly from the girl, looking at her with the purest of all venoms and said something to her, his lips moving quickly. As if satisfied, he backed away from her, straightening himself. And that's when he saw me. And he paled.

I turned and ran.

"Abi! Abi, stop!"

Stepping outside was like a slap in the face, cold and uncalled for. The frigidness of the air did nothing to numb the growing pain; it twisted and contracted, and it felt like my heart was set on fire.

Jesse caught up with me quickly and grabbed me by my elbow. "Abi, stop, please listen—"

"No, no, no," I sobbed.

I just shook my head and desperately pried his hands off of me. I wanted to go home. I needed to go home.

"Please hear me out, Abi. It's not what you think!" he pleaded, raw emotion dripping from his words. Jesse never begged, and he rarely displayed his emotions.

The tears ran wild on my cheeks; so much was coming out, I couldn't see properly. I couldn't see the shame and distress clearly illustrated on his beautiful face. If I had though, I think my heart would break even more.

He kept coming back. When I pushed his hands away, when I pushed him away, he kept reaching for me, fighting for me.

"Stop," I struggled to say when he finally settled on wrapping his arms around me, my back facing him.

He tightened his hold, the warmth of his body radiating on to me.

"Let go," I whimpered.

"No, not until you listen to me," he breathed with determination.

I shook my head as a fresh round of tears leaked out of my eyes.

"Please, Abi. The thing with Sara was a mistake, but I had to do it. I had to make a point to her that she'll never have me, not when you already do."

I never heard Jesse say so much in one sentence.

"I was looking for you, and she cornered in the kitchen trying to get me to leave you by talking shit. She was all over me, Abi, so I gave her what she wanted. I tried to hurt her, so she wouldn't hurt you."

"I don't care," I cried. "Let me go, Jesse."

"Don't leave me," he implored, defeat creeping into his tone. "I love you."

I felt his tears fall on the back of my neck.

I couldn't take it anymore.

"Let me go."

Slowly, his arms slackened, defeated. I was free.

I ran home. This time, he didn't chase after me.

It was until I was in my room, nursing my broken heart and crying until my strength gave out, that I realized that Jesse never cried.

I think he spotted me before I finally noticed him.

I was at Starbucks, clad in sweat pants, no make-up, and my glasses studying for a test that was coming up in two weeks. I know Jesse had already seen me at my worst, but I still worried about what he thought about me. So seeing him here while I looked like I just rolled out of bed was unexpected, to say the least. And embarrassing.

His eyebrows crinkled slightly as he gave a faint smile and a nod in greeting. I just stared at him dumbly before realizing my manners, so my hand shot up and to give an awkward and unsure wave. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he made his way over to me. Lowering my hand slowly, I felt my palms suddenly go clammy. I was nervous. Even after three months after the break up, he still has the cursed effect on me.

"Hey," he said pulling out the chair to sit across from me.

"Hi," I breathed, staring at him incredulously.

His hair was spiked today.


His green eyes were bright.

"Heh, yeah," I chuckled nervously. "I've got a test in my economics class coming up soon."

His face was kind.

He raised an eyebrow, amused. "Soon? As in three weeks?"

He shaved today.

"Two, actually," I corrected quietly. Watching his face carefully, I leaned forward. "Are you…what are you doing here?"

Leaning back into his chair, he shrugged. "I thought I'd find you here."

"Oh…um, okay. Stalker…"

His lips quirked up a little bit into a smirk. "Nah, I just happen to remember some things."

I swallowed, and my lips parted slightly.

He leaned forward, our faces a reasonable distance apart. "I actually came by to clear some things up."

"What things?"

"The other night," he started, "when I came by at your place drunk." He wrinkled his nose in shame. "Sorry about that. I was…"

"Stupid?" I offered.

His eyes averted to the window. "Yeah, sorry about that."

I took a sip of my coffee drink. "I know. I got your note."

"And the night before that, I was a…"



I gave him a pointed look at his choice of words. He grinned cheekily.

All of the air left my lungs.

"Well, sorry about that too."

I sat back with a smile on my face. "Look at you. Two apologies in one day. What's going on?"

He reclined himself against the chair and exhaled a breath of air. "Some girl. She's driving me crazy."

"I like this girl," I decided. "You deserve all this craziness."

"I deserve more," he said staring out the window. "She's too nice for her own good."

I leaned forward again. "Well maybe she has her reasons."

"Nah, she's like this with everyone. It pisses me off."

I raised an eyebrow.

"…sometimes," he finished.


"You drive me crazy, Abi," he said seriously, his green eyes blazing with determination. "There hasn't been a single day when I don't regret what happened that night."

I watched him, waiting for him to continue.

"I replay that scene over and over again, and I think about how I could've handled that bitch differently."

I frowned.

"…girl. That girl differently." He sighed. "And I meant what I said before you left."

"And what was that?" I said, cocking my head to the side with a smile.

He coughed. "Don't make me say it again."

I couldn't help myself. I leaned forward and kissed him.

"I love you," he murmured against my lips.

"One more time?"

"Don't push your luck."

I kissed him again.

"You know, I'm not sorry for making you sleep with me that night when I was drunk."

"Say you love me again?"