There's a thing about crying… it's calming and sorta freeing to the soul. Well, if you do it privately, in a bathroom somewhere, and not in front of hundreds of people. Especially not in front of the ex who left you. That's just not the way to go.

I grabbed my own napkin and wiped my tears by myself, completely ignoring Aden.

Angie looked confused as a drunk dog, "Are you okay, Cassee?"

It took me a couple of seconds to find my voice, "Yeah, sure. Sorry. I just remembered something." I smiled, "I wasn't really listening."


I grinned and took a sip of water from my glass, "It's all good now, sorry."

Angie nodded and smiled although she looked anything but relieved. She looked at her boyfriend then she looked at Aden who was looking at me. Was he thinking about the same thing I was thinking? Oh lord, does he know I was thinking about him and our relationship? Of course he would be right about me thinking about it. He was my only super serious relationship. We freaking talked about moving in together in college.

Funny how life turns out, huh?

The rest of the dinner was awkward, to say the least. Aden and I weren't talking to each other and Angie was rambling about something or the other. I barely touched my food when Angie clapped her hands and declared that we had to make a move on… it's movie time! Not that I am looking forward to it or anything (I wasn't).

Which brings me to my current location: back inside Aden's car, fidgeting like I'm some toddler on my way to my first day of class ever, and Aden has been clearing his throat the last five or so minutes.

"Do you want to pass by the pharmacy before we head to the theaters?" I asked because honestly, this is awkward as shit right now and I need to do or say something to lower the tension in the car.


"You've been clearing your throat like some asthmatic on drugs, Ade."

He started to laugh awkwardly, "You know, about earlier…"

"Let's not talk about it."

I took out my phone to text Ana when suddenly, a hand grabbed my wrist, "I think we should, Cass."

I sighed, this is not the right time or the right moment to talk about anything. I am not in the mood, "I told you at dinner, I just remembered something. I didn't even know I was crying until I felt your napkin on my face."

"What did you remember?"

I sighed again, looking out at the window instead of looking at him, "things."

"What things?"

Ugh, how stubborn can he be? "I told you, I don't want to talk about it."

Aden stayed silent and eventually let go of my hand, we were a few blocks away from the cinemas and suddenly, I am not in the mood to watch a romantic comedy about two people finding love at the right time or whatever.. Love, I have now realized, is some overrated shit.

I was supposed to tell Aden about how I really wanted to go home but then I realized there are two other people in another car probably wondering about how I'm feeling. I think I owe it that much to Angie to suck it up for another two hours and try to enjoy the movie. Lord knows I have already ruined this date night enough.

We arrived at the cinemas just a few minutes later. Angie already had tickets on her hands and Mark was lining up to get popcorn and sodas. Aden led me to where Angie was, his hand at the small of my back. I don't know what Angie and Mark know about us but I am not comfortable with having Aden's big, warm hand at the small of my back so I removed it, resisting the urge to just grab on to him instead.

In the theatre, I thought about the ridiculousness of the whole thing. Aden left me when I was in high school and he never looked back, not even a single glance back, and I was devastated. I was like a walking zombie. Then I started getting over it and I see him at that freakin' party. And now this? How unlucky can one person get?

I mean, of all people, why would they set me up with Aden White? It's bad enough that I am now going to the same school as he is, I don't need this set up date or whatever. Besides, he has a girlfriend. Or is Audrina Smith some kind of a fairy tale character around here?

The movie finished without any kind of fanfare. I don't remember half of it and that's fine with me. Aden's smell was suffocating me the whole time and I just can't wait to get out of this theatre and into… oh. Into his car, not that that's better than being stuck with him in the theatre.

We were driving back to the dorms – in silence – when I remembered the restaurant fiasco. He must think I'm still in love with him or something. Ugh. I can't believe I cried in front of him! The only other time he saw my tears was when Chelsea died and at least then he was crying with me.

Aden's voice broke the silence, "About what happened in the restaurant earlier…"

I cut him off, "I don't really want to talk about it."

"I just~"

I faced him, "No, Aden. I told you, I don't wanna talk about it."

"But you cried and I thought you were~"

"You don't get to think about things related to me, Aden. You don't have that right anymore."

He sighed, "Come on, Cass, I'm trying really hard here."

I don't know if it's the tone of his voice or the (what I assume is) fake sincerity I saw in his eyes but at that moment I just opened the dam and let the anger out. I set you free now, anger that I've held on for three years, go, "I don't care how hard you are trying Aden! I don't fucking care because that's not even half the effort I put in looking for you." I was punching his arm now, "You don't know how long I waited for you to call me, Aden. I kept wondering why you left without telling me, what I did wrong. So don't go telling me how you're 'trying' because I've fuckin been there, you shit."

I was out of breath now and only then did I notice that the car has stopped. We were in front of the big dorm building. Aden was looking at the wheel and I was staring at him, he looked so dejected and, well, he better be. I'm not some cheap ass girl he could leave and just woo back because we bumped into each other.

"You can't even imagine how angry and sad and hurt I am, Aden." And with that, I gathered my things and slammed the door, leaving him inside. Fuck him. He doesn't get a free pass because his sister died. Ugh.

I knew Angie would be in our room so I went straight to the boys'.


"So did you guys have sex?" That was Tanner asking the most relevant question the moment I stepped into their room.

Ana and Seth were already cuddling on the other side of the room and Tanner had his laptop on his bed, his browser showing some NSFW stuff. I sat on his bed and shut his laptop, "Seriously Tann? Porn at eleven in the evening? Isn't it a little bit early for that?"

He laughed and pointed at the two love birds, "I hate being the third wheel." He wiggled his eyebrows at me, "Speaking of dates, how was your night Cassadee Williams? I heard you went out with some Aden Jacob White!"

I buried my face on his pillow, "Ughhh! Don't remind me! It was a disaster!"

"He didn't get off?" He looked at me in the eye, "Was he not as big as you remembered him to be?"

I smacked his head with a pillow, "You are such a pervert!"

Tanner shrugged, "I was just asking some very relevant questions. Size does matter, after all."

"True that!" Ana chimed in from the other side of the room.

Seth laughed, "You just confirmed that I have a big penis, babe."

Ana giggled, "Well, I'm not taking it back."

I rolled my eyes at them and proceeded to telling Tanner about the non-date I had with Seth. I started with how he showed up in front of our room looking all tasty, to the embarrassing car ride and the even more embarrassing restaurant meltdown and, finally, the anger-filled sob story that was the car ride home.

Tanner, even Seth and Ana, looked exhausted after I recounted the details of my night.

"He mentioned Audrina?" It was Seth.

I nodded, "Yup, like it was the most normal thing in the world – to be talking about his present girlfriend to his ex girlfriend who, technically is still his girlfriend, too, because we never really broke it off."

Ana, who loves to put her thinking cap on, commented, "Something's not adding up."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

She scooted closer to me, "I don't know. It's just that Aden knows you know about Audrina and yet he's making an effort to be friends with you again?"

I shrugged, "Maybe he really just wants to be friends with me again."

Tanner has yet to speak so I looked at him for support, "I don't know Cass," he started, "I'm you brother so my main role in life is just to protect you and punch those who hurt you. I couldn't really punch Aden because I have no idea why he did what he did but tell me if you want me to cut his dick and I'll do that for you. Just don't make me think about things like that because that's Ana's job."

Seth agreed, "Right. Aren't you girls supposed to be the ones good at overthinking things?"

I groaned out my frustrations, "I just don't know what to do with him!"

Tanner poked my rib, "I told you, just go have sex with him already, I won't even tell mom."

I laughed, "Of course I'm not gonna do that!"

Seth asked, "Why not?"

I looked at him like he grew another pair of eyes, "Obviously because I'm not into him like that anymore."

Ana coughed, "Are you sure about that?"

"Of course! So maybe I think about his tattoos or I think about him kissing me back when I still didn't know where he was or what he was doing~"

"Who he was doing…" That was Tanner.

"Right," I continued, "But not anymore now. I mean, I didn't even realize I was this angry or whatever at him until that car ride home."

"You're not really mad at him, are you?" Seth questioned.

I shrugged, "I wasn't but then I got here and he kept on acting like we were friends or something and then I just got so mad at him. Why?"


"What do you mean by 'nothing' Seth?" I quirked an eyebrow at him.

"It's just that…" he smiled sheepishly, "I have his new number saved in my phone from when we saw him at the Millers' and well, I kinda texted him if he wanted to come over."

I blanched, "You didn't!"

"I just wanted to see if he comes. Besides, Tanner and I haven't seen him yet."

Ana squealed, "I'm supposed to be mad at you right now, babe, because Cassee is my best friend and all but I'm sorry Cass," she looked at me like I was some sad puppy, "but I'm team Cassee-Aden forever and you know I'd bitch slap Audrina Smith everyday if I have to!"

There's something seriously wrong with my friends right now.

"Guyssss," I stomped my foot, "you have to be on my side!"

"We are," Ana reasoned, "It's just that… you and Aden, you have to work out your issues, okay?"

"Can we just work it out some other time?"

Tanner opened his mouth to say something but was stopped with a soft knock on the door. Ana went up to get the door while I half-strangled Seth. Tanner was laughing at me, and Seth, well, he was caught in a headlock so I really don't know.

I could vaguely hear Ana talking to Aden and in less than thirty seconds, I saw them come through the mini living room.

I… I growled. I sounded like a lion who just saw his prey. Sue me. Aden looked honestly scared for his life when he saw that Tanner was there and me and that I had Seth in a headlock. He kinda took one step back until Ana dragged him and made him sit on Seth's bed (where I was). I promptly let go of Seth and went back to Tanner's bed.

The boys did their manhugs and everything fell silent. I was fiddling with my phone, pretending to text someone, Seth and Ana were looking at each other, Aden was looking at Ana and Tanner was looking at me. We were in one big staring contest.

Aden broke the silence first, "You really remind me of Chelsea, Ana. I'm sorry."

Ana smiled, "It's okay. I get that a lot." She joked.

Ana acts like it doesn't bother her but I know that she thinks about her similarities with Chelsea sometimes. I still think it irks her that Chelsea was Seth's One True Love before she died and that his next True Love (Ana) looked a lot like Chelsea. She acts like she's okay with it now but whenever she gets into fights with Seth, that's the one issue she will always bring up.

Tanner cleared his throat, "For the record," he faced Aden, "Fuck you, Aden White, for making my sister cry. I let it go the first time because we all missed Chels but if you make Cassee go King Kong crazy again, I will fucking kill you man."

Aden nodded and Tanner smiled, smacked his head, and gave him another man hug, "Damn right, man! We missed you at home."

Seth agreed, "Yeah. It was different without you painting the town red and all. The town felt so boring without you."

"And we became the bad boys because the original was gone."

Aden laughed, "I wasn't a bad boy."

Tanner rolled his eyes, "tell that to her." He pointed at me.

I pointed at myself, "What's that got to do with me?"

Tanner grinned, "Well if he wasn't partying it up, he was with you sexing it up."

Tanner dry humped his pillow and made some annoying sex noises which made me blush, "Whatever. I'm a virgin," I said, still not looking at Aden… I'm still very mad at him, you know.

Tanner stopped dry humping his pillow only to dry hump Aden, "Oooh, yeah, Aden, yeahhhh, uhhh… faster, faster, there… there, shit. Shit." He paused to look at me, "Cassee, you forget I can hear everything in my room."

I turned red while all of them laughed. Even Aden was laughing with them, that shithole!

I want to kill Tanner for making fun of me but I just joined them instead, "Yeah, as if I am the only one without a soundproof room."

"I don't care, Cass. It's not like I'm so hellbent on denying anything." Tanner countered.

"From what I recall, even Aden doesn't have a soundproof room," Seth joined and immediately, I could see Aden's ears starting to look like a tomato threw up on it. Ooh, someone's getting embarrassed.

Since I know this story well, I decided to forget about my anger issues for a little while and help Seth, "Oh yeah," I added, "Ana should hear this story."

Aden snapped his head to look at me, apparently shocked that I was happily talking about him, "this is your embarrassing story too!"

I laughed, "Are you kidding me? I'm not a part of it."

Sensing that we were about to get into one of our episodes again, Seth cleared his throat and continued, "So, Tanner and I were over at the White's house because their parents were out for the weekend…"

"Oh!" Tanner interrupted, "I know this one!"


"Anyway, so Tanner and I were there and we were just hanging out, playing with Pipo, their dog. Suddenly, we hear screaming from upstairs."

Tanner started laughing then, "And not the sexual kind of screaming, okay? It was… Omigod, it was like a girl riding a rollercoaster."

"At first we thought it was Chelsea but Chels was cooking so it couldn't be her."

"And Care was at Ryan's"

Seth and Tanner were now taking turns telling the story. I wasn't there because I was doing some school project so I never really witnessed what happened but this story never gets old.

It was now Seth's turn to continue the story, "So we went up to where the screaming girl was."

"Only to find out it was Aden," Tanner stopped talking for a while because he was laughing so hard, "We opened the door to his room and – hahahahaha – there he was." He was snorting now and I couldn't help but laugh with him.

"He was running around his room screaming and shouting, cursing at nothing."

"And he was fucking naked!"

I heard Aden groan a little. I wouldn't have heard because of all the laughter in the room if I wasn't so near to him.

I decided to join in on the fun, "Aden's hand was on his dick,"

Seth nodded, "Yeah, yeah. His hand was on his dick because he was masturbating."

Ana's mouth formed a little 'o,' "You were masturbating?" She asked Aden.

Tanner answered for him, "Yes! At Cassee's picture!"

We were all laughing now except for Aden who looked like he wanted to punch himself or the wall or both.

"But why was he screaming?" That was Ana once again.

"Because!" Seth answered, "Get this: a cockroach creeped up on him while he was flinging his dingdong!"

"Omigod." Now Ana was hunched over with laughter.

"In my defense," Aden finally got his voice back, "it was a very big cockroach!" His eyes were twinkling and he looked at me, "it was a flying cockroach."

I smiled, "I know! You told me that a million times. It still doesn't change the fact that you scream like a girl."

"I do, don't I?" He smiled back.

I nodded.

"Even when I come?"

I laugh, "Of course not, you don't scream like that. You kind of grunt."

That was when I heard the silence in the room and I realized that (a) I just broadcasted my sex life to my brother and (b) I was being civilized with Aden and we kind of talked about the past without me cursing him. Huh.

Ana cleared her throat, "All this talk about sex and shit is making me horny." She joked.

Seth wiggled his eyebrows, "Want me to kick them out?"

Ana shook her head no, "Naah, I kinda like this." She lied on Seth's bed, "this feels so much like family."

"Hmm," Tanner nodded, "For a long time, this was family."

We really didn't have anything else to say after that so we just kept quiet. It's not the awkward silent kind of thing. I bet we were all thinking about the times we were like this and how long ago it was. I mean, the last time we sat like this, laughing together, Chelsea was still laughing with us. She's probably up there now laughing at us for being such dumbheads or something. I looked at Ana who is hugging Seth and I looked at Tanner with his distant smile and I just smile to myself. I would never wish for Chelsea's death if I had a choice but this works too. And I must agree, this feels like family too.

"I missed this," I said, just because I really wanted to say it out loud. Aden looked at me and I gave him the most genuine smile I could muster, "Chelsea's death," I looked at Seth pointedly, "will always loom over us. It will always be the elephant in the room." I looked back at Aden, "And I'm so mad at you I can't even think about my anger because it makes me want to kick your head off. You hurt me, Aden, but you know," I looked at Tanner, "this feels so much like family," I looked at Ana, "and you're very much a part of this family."

I feel like I'm about to cry when Tanner got up and pulled a couple of strands of my hair, "You're so sentimental at times that you make me want to puke. Chelsea's dead, we can do nothing about it," he looked up as if he was talking to the heavens, "I'm sorry Chels, I'm not some wizard or shit, you just have to be happy up there and we'll see you in sixty years or so, okay? Don't come visiting our rooms now, you cunning witch." Tanner laughed, "As I was saying, she's dead and she's prolly gonna stay dead until we die. So whatever shit issue you both have with each other," he pointed Aden and me, "you better sort it out because at the end of the day, we are all we have left, the five of us."

Ana poked Aden, "And don't you dare go running away this time, okay? I will hunt you down and cut your thing, I swear." She then proceeded to hug him, "I've only met you thrice or so, Aden White, but I like you. I never want to become Chelsea's substitute but if you see her in me, then so be it. I've always wanted an older brother anyway."

I think this is the time where one of us proposes a group hug but I'm not really up to that right now so I just sat there waiting for Seth to say something as emotional or what. Instead, all I got was Aden, looking at us one by one (I avoided his gaze) and said, "I messed up guys, I know that and I'm sorry but I'm here now, okay? I'm back."

"You better make up for lost time man." Tanner said, "all the parties you've missed and the girls you didn't get to fuck, you know."

Aden laughed, "I know."

Ana threw one of Seth's notebooks at Tanner, "Obviously if he stayed, he'd only be sleeping with Cassee."

Tanner threw the notebook back, "Maybe. But who can stand my sister's fuckin' mood swings for a long time? I know I wouldn't be able to."

I stuck my tongue out at him, "my mood swings pale in comparison to my sexual abilities, dear brother."

"I don't know," he shrugged, "let's ask the one person who's got firsthand experience."

Tanner stared at Aden and Aden stared at the floor.

"So?" It was Seth who prodded.

"So?" Aden asked, "I have nothing to say. I don't kiss and tell."

"You suck man," Tanner argued.

Aden grinned, "She sucks not me." And then he winked at me.

I scoffed, "Omigod Aden!"

Seth and Ana were laughing.

Tanner made vomiting noises, "Fuck, I didn't need to hear that shit."

"You asked for it," Aden countered.

I laughed at their banter and for the first time in a long time, I feel really really contented. I just hope this is the start of something. I don't know what that something is but I hope it's a good one.

WHAT IS THIS?! IS THIS AN UPDATE? Hihi Yes it is! I hope you guys liked it. I kinda got stuck after the last chapter and I've been rewriting this chapter for how many months now. It's not perfect but I'm just glad I finally have it out here and that I've finished writing it. I can't wait to add Audrina into the mix, she's one feisty character! In many ways, she reminds me of Cassee. Is that why she's Aden's girlfriend now?;)

Oh, remember how I told you guys about the Aden inspiration that I saw? This is the link of my Aden inspiration: omgcutethings . except Aden has lighter hair, somewhat kind of honey blond or something. Like a darker blond/light brown shade. I also thought of him as a cross between Ash Stymest and Nils Butler. So he should have that bad boy with a good boy charm going on.

Do you have any suggestions for a Cassee?:) Thanks!