Look at the way he's stacking up the wood, like he's some type of macho man. Obviously trying to impress me. He's completely clueless that he's overrated in my mind. And his jeans are way too tight. You know, he's not as hot as he thinks he is with sweat dripping down his forehead. And his neck. And his chest. And- Stop it.

... News flash, Owen. We're history.


15. Fifteen

Norma is stable, and I've been visiting her twice a day for the past four days. They say she'll be able to go home on Tuesday, in two days. Owen and his brothers have done shifts, which Owen takes on most of the time. Some how I always end up showing my face when Gian is there, and we tend talk a lot to one another while Norma is asleep. During this time with him, I keep forgetting that she is his mom too, and I only remembered whenever he looked at her with sad eyes. He has her eyes, and so does Vincent. Beau and Adrian must look like their dad. And Owen must be a mix between the two because he doesn't look a lot like his mom, and he's not super identical to any of his brothers specifically. I do see that he and his mother share the same cheekbones though. 

"So you and Owen." Gian says, his eyes glued to a magazine on heart health. I freeze because the last time someone started a conversation like that, it lead to me having an anxiety attack. 

"Yeah, what about us?" I hope I didn't sound too defensive. In my head I promised to handle it differently this time, and I prayed he wouldn't ask how the sex is. 

"I see the way you look at him." He finally looks up at me, a smirk plastered to his face. "But Owen tells me that you aren't quite official." He has a quirkiness about him. He wears a lot of black to give himself a bad boy look but his glasses show that he's sophisticated. His muscles are hard to miss, but he's kind of a nerd in the smokiest kind of way. There are features about him that have matured since Owen and I were together. I saw Gian fairly often, so it's weird to see that he's different in some ways. People change I guess.

"We're not." I respond too fast, and I curse at myself for it. 

"He calls it being FRIENDS." He makes quotations with his fingers. 

"Did he say it like that?" I ask, my eyes accidentally getting wider.

"What do you mean?" I watch his movement as he sets down the magazine.

"Did he do it like that?" I repeat his action with my own fingers and he chuckles. And then he nods. I take a deep breath because I'm confused. I think that's a good thing, but maybe it's bad. I feel relieved, but I'm still tense in the back of my neck. I cross my legs and sit back against my leather seat. "I don't look at him any special way." I scoff, looking away from him while I refer to one of his first comments. He chuckles again. 

"Yeah okay." His new action grabs my attention again when he stands up, picking up his coat. "I better go." He kisses Norma on the head, and comes to me. "Sonny doesn't want me to be late for dinner." He pecks my cheek. A picture of his newlywed wife pops into my head. She was very sort, at least four inches less than me. Her skin was a really warm shade of tan, which made the color of her pixie cut hair look too light. Sonny also had freckles, lots of them, and her voice got annoying if she spoke for too long. Gian is was barely twenty two when they married, and according to Norma, their marriage won't last long. 

"Bye." My legs are still crossed when he leaves, and I'm left with sleeping Norma. 


I hate Mondays, but doesn't every body? Today just feels more sluggish than most Mondays.

I get my English book and walk away from my locker. I can feel the mugginess of the hallway as I prepare to pass the boys locker room. I almost gag when I get a whiff of sweat and heat. And then I gag out loud when I see who's standing outside the door. 

Ava is propped up against the wall in a white mini skirt, and what looks like a cashmere sweater. I pause when Owen struts out of the door, and his face brightens at the sight of her. She smiles, so hard that it not only shows her teeth, but her gums. He plants his hands on her waist and pulls her to him, hard. They kiss, and I drop my text book. They both jump, and I'm sure in Owen's mind he thinks I did it on purpose. The truth is I was stunned, and I literally lost feeling in my fingers. 

I crouch down to pick up my book, and they stare at me. I glare at him so hard that it makes my eyes burn, and I have to blink. Ava doesn't notice, and she uses her hand to guide his face back to hers, and they kiss again. "I have to go." he tells her, loud enough so I can hear. She groans and gives him little kisses before he can pull away. I know when he leaves her he'll follow me, so I get a head start. I stand to my feet and cringe when I hear her talk again. She says the word 'baby' and my grimace gets colder. I have to force myself to walk. Left, right. Left, right. 

"What was that about?" I hear, the raspy voice creeping in my ear. I shift, and my arm swings back to punch him in the shoulder. The warmth from his breath is still on my ear and I try to get it off my tucking hair behind my ear. Now we're stopped in the hall, far from where he and Ava were standing. He doesn't touch the spot where I hit him, he just waits for an answer. "Hello?" he says it louder than he wanted to, and I know that because he checked around after he said it. 

"I didn't do anything." I grip my book so hard that my knuckles turn white. I want to bite my nail so bad. 

"Whats your problem?" he mumbles under his breath. He looks around again, to check for people I assume. I can't help but feel like he doesn't want to be seen with me. I shake my head, because I can't speak. I know if I do, I'll cry. And he can't see me cry over him. 

"This isn't working, Owen." 

"Why are you getting jealous?" My eyes widen at his question. What kind of question is that? Does he think I'm just supposed to prance around like it's okay while he's going on dates with that... with that... whore? My hands are shaking too hard and I know whats about to happen. Tears fall down my face as the feeling rises in my throat like bile. It feels like my lungs are collapsing. 

"How could you say that?" I manage to stumble the words out before he realizes whats happening. He looks around one more time before he puts his hands on me. One on my hip and one on my face. He wipes the tears off and gets some hair out of my face, and I push him as hard as I can. "Don't touch me." I scream it, even though I don't mean to. There's a guy down the hall, and he looks but I clearly don't care. 

"Shh, Presley." I put my hands on my cheeks when he says my name. My full name. My breathing is hard enough for him to hear crystal clear. "I'm trying to help you." Owen comes to me again, and I use all the strength in my hand to slap him just above his jaw. He stops, and his face is blank all of a sudden. I don't run away, I just walk really fast. 

I can feel him following me. I feel the presence of his big shoulders at least five feet away. 

I'm looking for someone, and I don't plan to stop until I find him. 

I see his greasy hair from around the corner. 


I go up to him, and I no longer feel Owen behind me. I wrap myself around Reese, and press my lips to his ear. I can feel his hand on my butt. "Do you think you can do me a favor?" I whisper, and I do a good job to keep my voice from shaking. My lungs still hurt, but I'm craving the see Owen cringe. 

"Anything, baby girl." he says back. He's looking me in the eyes now, and I have my hands clasped around his neck. I hold my breath so I won't have to smell his breath. I take his calloused hand and pull him so I'm walking backwards. There's some kind of boiler room in the corner, and thats my planned destination. I look at Owen, and so does Reese. We both smile as I pull him closer to the door, our fingertips touching. Owen looks like he might kill him. 

And I feel good. 

Reese closes the door and locks it. It's really hot in here, like, really really hot. I feel like I'm breathing in carbon dioxide when he tries to pull up my shirt. Man, he works fast. I push the fabric down and let him kiss me, but I'm not all in it. I cannot kiss him back, so I move his head to my neck, and he goes with that for a while. And then he goes for my crotch, and I squeeze my legs together to crush his hand. "What's your problem?" I think about when Owen said that to me, he said it like I was crazy, deranged. Reese just says it like why won't you let me get in your pants?

"It's really hot in here." I tell him, pushing him away by his shoulders. 

"The steamier, the better." He literally licks my face. And the texture of his tongue on my closed mouth makes me want to gag. 

"Reese." I push him again and he backs up with a clearly frustrated expression. "Can we just, sit here and talk?" I curse in my head after I say it, because it was stupid. 

"Talk? You want to talk?" I nod. He sits down on a box on the floor. "What do you want to talk about?" i sit on the floor and cross my legs. 

"Umm.... I don't know." 

He responds quickly. "Listen if this is about your prick boyfriend-"

"It isn't. I mean, it is. And he's not my boyfriend." He stand to get up, and I grab his ankle. "Reese please don't leave."

"You want to make him jealous or something?" 

"Revenge." I say, sort of innocently, and he sits down again. "Just five more minutes." I can see the sweat beading on his forehead, and the big machine next to us starts making really loud noises. Too loud for us to talk over, so we stay silent. 

When we walk out, Owen is still there slumped on the floor with his phone in his hand. His eyes flicker up, but I don't look at him. Reese pushes me against the wall and kisses me smoothly, and I'm able to kiss back since he doesn't disgust me as much as he did ten minutes ago. This is something we didn't plan, and I'm grateful that he was so cool about this. I bite my lip after he pulls away, and say thank you in his ear. I didn't notice when he unbuckled his belt, but when he walks toward Owen, he re-buckles it. I smile and shake my head lightly. He wanted to see Owen suffer just as much as I did. 

My stomach growls, and I've surely missed a chunk of lunch period by now. I assume that Nicole is looking for me at our usual table, so I go to meet her. I wink at Owen and swivel my hips on purpose while I walk.



I come to this conclusion while I'm sitting on the couch eating black cherry ice cream with extra sprinkles: Ava's not the whore. I'm the whore. 

Think about it. Ava's not the side chick. I am. It's around school that they're kinda together. And even though I was with him first, I don't have the official title. She does. Therefore, I am the side chick. 

But suddenly I'm sad because I'm afraid. Afraid that Owen won't come back for me this time after what I did. He has to, I tell myself. He'll come back for me.

I whimper when I see that I have no more ice cream. 

Then I decide to make myself useful and get myself ready to see Norma. I think about our mid-year vacation that starts on wednesday, and I feel relieved. I put my hair is a loose ponytail and get into a pair of sweats. I get my black cardigan and throw it over my peach colored tank top. I grab my purse and my house keys and I open the door. Owen stands on the other side of it. My face goes hard like stone. "Don't say anything." he puts his hand up to stop me from talking.  "I'm an asshole." I nod, wanting to cry, but I don't "And when I saw you with him today," he huffs and drops his head. "I wanted to kill him." He huffs again, but this time it sounds more like a laugh. "I almost did kill him." I look at his knuckles, and I close my eyes when I see dry blood on them. But I don't say anything. "Just give me some time to sort this out. Ava is a great girl and-"

"But if she finds out that you're cheating on her with me, then what?" I'm frowning, and my eyes are wet but I'm not crying. 

"I have to figure it out." He steps in, but I push him back out. I wait a second before I talk.

"I was just going to see your mom." My voice is hoarse now, and I don't like the scratchy feeling. 

"You don't have to do that." he takes me by the waist and pushes me back into the apartment. I can't help but kiss back when he attaches our lips. 

"Owen, no." I say, my words mangled. 

"Yes." He smiles into my mouth and picks me up. I let him take me to my room, and I'm still frowning while he kisses me. I moan by accident, well not really by accident. And it didn't sound like a moan, it was more like an animal noise. But I guess it counted as sexy. We fall onto my bed and kiss until I can't take it anymore. He's got his hand in my sweatpants and I'm squeezing his shirt. 

"Owen I can't." I say it loud enough to make him stop. He looks baffled from what i can see, and he's already starting to sweat. "Do we always have to have sex after we fight?" I speak my thoughts aloud, and at first I regret it but then I'm glad I said it. 

"We have good makeup sex. Great makeup sex. Amazing mak-"

"I get it." I shift from underneath him and find a comfortable position. "I don't feel like it today." 

"Hmm. You already got your fix today." That hurts me more than it should, and I furrow my brows. I'm starting to feel sleepy, and my body feels heavy. 

"Have you had sex with Ava?" I say it really low, but I know he heard me because we're only millimeters apart. Our noses are almost touching. My eyes are only half closed, but I can see him nod. I wonder if he goes to her house after he drops me off at home. They're probably at it like sex maniacs. He gets double the amount of sex, and that's not okay. My mind is running and I barely hear myself ask the next question. "Is she your girlfriend?" his eyes are starting to close, and I think it has something to do with the way I'm stroking the shorter hairs on the back of his head. I'm tired too, and it's gotta be somewhere past nine. He's got his left hand on my hip just above my waistline, where the skin is bare. 

He nods. And I'm too unconscious to respond. 

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