“Why don’t you get it, Justin?”
“Because you’re not making sense! You have your walls up, but so do I. You have a past, and I do too. You know we’re perfect for each other!”
I scoffed. “You’re ridiculous.”
I turned to face him, anger blazing through me. “I’m a suicide mission. My mind is filled with demons and I’ve surrendered to them. I can’t do this anymore; I’m broken, Justin.” My voice began to rise as my anger grew and I met his eyes. “Why can’t you understand that you should stay away from me!”
He ran his hands through his hair, frustrated. “See, that's the problem. I can’t stay away from you. I haven’t been able to since the minute I met you!”
My breathing hitched as he came closer and closer, walking angrily towards me. He let out a frustrated groan as he pushed me against the side of his car. He brought his mouth up to my neck, breathing heavily.
“You have to keep going. You’re broken and I still love you. You’re still perfect. You’re broken, so let me help. Let me fix you."


28. Imperfections

I squinted at my own reflection in the full length mirror in my bedroom.

My waist was too wide, my stomach was no where near flat enough and my arms looked huge, especially when I stood next to Jasmine. I had been on a weight plan, trying my hardest to slim down, but it obviously wasn’t working. 
“Girl, you look amazing. Stop fidgeting.” Jasmine cooed, leaning down and kissing my cheek. I smiled nervously in return, not really believing her. “Nate will love it.” She added.

But that was the problem. I didn’t care what Nate thought. In all honesty my ‘perfect dress’ didn’t feel like something Justin would like, which was why I was so uncomfortable.

“Since when did you start dressing for guys?” Abby asked, her eyebrows raised.

“Since she met Nate. Catch on, would you?” Jasmine replied, applying lip gloss to her lips for yet another time.

I sucked in my stomach, begging myself to look thinner, but it only made me look ridiculous. I looked immature either way, like I was dressing up in my mother’s clothes. I was too short for this dress to look good on me, and with Jasmine standing with me all dressed up, my imperfections were only highlighted.

“Come on, we have to leave. The boys are probably waiting.” Jasmine said, trying to hurry me up as she left the room. She was right, we were supposed to be there at 7 and it was already almost 20 minutes after that.

I gave myself one more look before turning away. I was wearing a gorgeous, white floor-length dress that pinched my waist and was supposed make me look thinner than usual, it just wasn’t working. I had my hair curled but I still thought I looked…terrible. But what could I do? Nobody wanted to hear what I thought of myself, as long as they thought it looked good.

“Justin will love it.” Abby whispered in my ear before shoving me out of my room and through my apartment.

“Oh girls! You look absolutely stunning!” My aunt gasped from behind us. I smiled at her in gratitude. “Abby, why aren’t you dressed up?”

“Oh, I wasn’t invited. It’s alright, I’ll get to hear all about it anyway.” She winked, looking at both Jasmine and I.

“Have fun, Cassie! Remember your curfew. Tell Justin I said ‘hi’.” She laughed, before disappearing into the living room.

“But Justin’s my date.” Jasmine frowned, looking at me.
“Well, my aunt has an obsession with him for some reason.” Thankfully, I managed to give her a convincing response, because she shrugged and walked out the front door.
The three of us walked down to Abby’s apartment together and I was as pale as a ghost. I felt like throwing up as my nerves ate away at me. I knocked on the door lightly and tried my hardest not to be sick.

The door was roughly opened and Justin stood in the doorway, looking as hot as humanly possible. He was wearing a black suit, this time with all his piercings still in. He had rolled up the sleeves to show off his tattoos, literally making me want to drool.

“Hey cutie.” He mumbled.
“H-hi Justin.”

The two of us stood awkwardly in the doorway, barely able to tear our eyes away from one another. I looked him up and down, the view only getting better the further I went.

“Um, you look good.” I stuttered.

“I told you I’d keep my piercings in next time, did I not?” he smirked.

“You did. Good job on keeping your promise.”

We both laughed awkwardly and I was suddenly reminded of the last time I saw Justin before a date with Nate, my first date.

“I should have worn jeans.” I smiled, praying he would remember and I wouldn’t be stuck looking like an idiot.

Thankfully, he did and smirked. “Probably. Bad guys don’t let girls looking like that just walk away.”

I blushed crimson, taking my lip in between my teeth to stop a giant smile from taking over my features.

“You remember that?” I mumbled.

“Of course.”
“Well, I am still here? You know, you’re actual date?” Jasmine scowled.

“Oh, of course. Hey.” Justin smiled as I walked past him and into the apartment. “You look gorgeous.” I heard him say, before I totally blocked our their conversation. I really did not need to hear that.

“Whoa, who took Cassidy away and made her into a goddess?” Noah chuckled as he took in my appearance.

“Was I not always a goddess?” I laughed.

“More like who took away Noah and made him look like such a gentleman.” Abby laughed, tugging at his suit.

“You clean up nicely.” I told him.

“Why thank you, my lady.” He kissed my hand and brought me in for a hug. “Don’t try and let them get to you. He doesn’t like her all that much.” He motioned to Jasmine and Justin talking together.

“I don’t care. I’m not jealous.” I replied, not believing one word of his.

“Whatever you say, Cass. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but she reeks of desperation. All Justin had to do was hint for an invite and she jumped onto him.” He laughed, “She’s not even nice looking. Not compared to you, anyway. He sure knows how to downgrade.”

“Aww, thank you Noah.”

“Don’t let Nate be a bitch tonight, okay? It’s bad enough that I have to sneak into this stupid thing to watch you, let alone worrying about if he’s going to blow the damn place up. Just…try and make him trust you enough.”

I nodded, “Yes sir! I’ll gladly be at your service.”

“Come on everyone. You’re going in around 5 minutes, where’s Ash?” Abby yelled.

“I better go now, Nate’s waiting for me downstairs.” I smiled, kissing Noah and Abby on the cheek. 

“Be careful tonight.” Noah called as I walked to the door where Jasmine and Justin still stood, blocking the doorway.

“Um, excuse me. I have to go.” I said awkwardly, avoiding any and all eye contact with Justin at all costs.

“Sorry, cutie. See you there.” He waved as I walked out of the apartment, alone.

I quickly made my way down to the lobby where I had been only hours before. I was not in the mood for this stupid dance, especially not with Nate.

“Hey baby, you look gorgeous.” Nate said, sneaking his arms around my waist and leaning in for a kiss. I awkwardly kissed him back and pulled away before anything else could happen. “We better go, right?” I avoided looking at him, scared he would be able to see how much I didn’t want to be here.

Then again, he probably doesn’t care.



“Whoa.” I breathed in awe, taking in the scene before me. We had arrived at the Hall and it was beautiful.

“Watch out, asshole at 4 o’clock.” Nate chuckled. I looked to my left and saw Justin behind us walking with Jasmine, both of them looking like absolute models.

I laughed, sounding fake as hell even to my own ears.

“How did he manage to get a girl like that?” he asked, staring at her ass as they walked past us. “Probably paying for her.” He mumbled.

“She’s my best friend, and she’s not a prostitute.” I defended, my anger quickly rising. 
“Oh - I’m sorry babe.”

“Forget it.” I muttered, storming past him and walking through the doors.

“What-“ I started as my arm was pulled from behind me, causing me to turn to look at my attacker.


My heart swelled with happiness as I took in his features, again admiring him in his sexy suit.

“What are you-“
“Shh. Is he being a dick? Because I swear, I can’t stand looking at his face unharmed, he deserves to have his head through a wall and-“

“Calm down. He’s fine. Just checking out Jasmine.” I said bitterly. Even my own ‘boyfriend’ would prefer Jasmine over me, why would Justin want me when he could have her?

“I’m sorry, Cassie.”

“It’s fine. He’s coming, stop talking to me.” I grinned as I spotted Nate following my path. I spun around and knocked straight into Nate’s chest, on purpose of course.

“I’m sorry baby I didn’t mean to offend you.” Nate started, caressing my cheek.

“It’s alright. Are you ready to dance?” I smiled.

“Sure, but first…there’s someone I want you to meet.”


Who was here? Someone from his gang? Someone dangerous?
“Nate!” a feminine voice yelled running over to us, “How lovely to see you! I – oh. Who is this?” she raised her eyebrow at me.

“Mom, this is Cassidy. Cass, this is my mom. The person I wanted you to meet.”

“Oh, you’re Cassidy. I was expecting someone…”

Prettier? Taller? Skinnier?

“Older. How old are you?”

What a bitch.

She studied me closely, “Hmm. What’s you’re surname, Cassidy?”


A wave of shock washed over her features, “As in, Theresa’s daughter?”

I nodded, my eyebrows raised. How the hell did she know my mother?

“Why didn’t you say so, Nate! You’ve got a gem on your hands, don’t tell me you had no idea! Is your mother here, Cassidy?”

“Not to my knowledge but I can’t say for sure.”

“Such a shame. I’m sure she got a personal invite, being apart of our social class and all.”

Ah. So that's why she likes me. What are we in, the 1800s?

What a huge bitch.

“So, when are the two of you getting married? Are you engaged?”

My head snapped toward Nate as I chocked on my own spit. Marriage? Hell, I can barely stand dating this guy let alone marrying him. Nate was blushing furiously, as he looked at his mother, avoiding looking at me.

“No, mom. We’re in love but…not yet.” He squeezed my hand before putting his arm around my shoulders.

“Well hurry up! I want grandchildren to carry on the name! Especially with you, Cassidy. You two would have perfect children of old money.”

I took a deep breath trying to calm myself. This lady was exactly like my mother, too obsessed with the ‘upper class’ and having ‘old money’.

“Okay, mom. I think we’ve overstayed our welcome in this area. I think we should go and visit the food, don’t you babe?”

“Y-yeah. Nice to meet you, Mrs. Cassonova.”
“You too!” she cried, waving us off as we walked far away from the psychopath.

“I’m sorry. My mother is…”

“Full on?”
“Yeah.” He laughed, his cheeks tinged pink. “I’ll talk to her about what she said to you, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be silly, you can’t control her.”

“Would you like to dance?” Nate offered.

“Uh…sure.” I replied. I’d rather dance than get recognized by someone else my mother knew. “Just so you know, I can’t really dance.” I admitted as we stepped onto the dance floor.

“It’s alright just…copy me I guess.”

I felt uneasy about the whole ‘copy me’ thing. Could Nate even dance?

Anxiety swept me up as we began.

Unfortunately, we were a hot mess on the dance floor. A massive tangle of arms and legs and high heels and a heavy Nate stepping on my toes. It was so awkward and uncomfortable. People watched us with harsh judgmental gazes, making me feel like there was something in my teeth or something. I spotted Justin and Jasmine across from us, dancing together like professionals. Jealousy shot through me as I watched them, both well and truly perfect. The very opposite of me.

Stupid Justin and his stupid date and my stupid incoordination.

“Hey, are you okay?” Nate asked.

“Hm? I’m fine.”

“You just seem distracted.”
“I’m not. I’m glad to be here with you.” I smiled up at him, cupping his cheek.

“I’m scared you don’t want to be with me anymore.”

Panic spread like a wildfire throughout me. “Uh why would you think that?”

“Because of my mother.”

Relief flooded me at his reply. It would have been a disaster if he found out I knew that this whole relationship was a fake.

“Oh, don’t worry. I don’t care about that.”

“Thank-god. How about you go sit down and I’ll get us drinks?”

“Sure.” I beamed before my lips were captured between his in a rough assault. 
“God, I missed you.” He said, resting his forehead against mine.

“Me too. Now go get us a drink!” I laughed superficially.

I sat down at a table and took of my shoes. My feet were killing me and we had barely been here more than an hour.

“Seeing you kiss looks like a tiger and a seal trying to make out.” Justin’s voice was heard from above me and I quickly looked up.
“So what am I, the seal or the tiger?”

A smile tugged at Justin’s lips, “The tiger obviously,” He held his hand out. “Care to dance?” I looked between Justin’s hand and Nate standing at the drinks, talking to a group of snobby rich people. “He won’t see. Jasmine’s going to…distract him.”

I didn’t want to think about what Justin told her to do. Instead, I slipped my shoes on and took his hand. 
“I’d love to.”

I stood up, ready to walk to the dance floor before I was stopped.

“Lets just stay here. We can still hear the music.”

I nodded and wrapped my arms around his neck, falling into him.

“How has your night been so far?” I asked as we swayed to the music.

“Alright, I guess. Jasmine is kind of…”


He laughed and nodded in reply. “Yeah. She hasn’t got much of an opinion on anything. She’s pretty much a Barbie – she’s got a brain full of air and is nothing but a good bang. Not that I’ve, you know, but I mean she looks like she would be.”

The fact that Justin saw how utterly boring and fake Jasmine was had my heart racing and a huge, pathetic smile making its way onto my face. It brought me a huge feeling of satisfaction that he found her as interesting and desirable as a math exam.

“She’s like, the complete opposite to you. It sucks.” Was he trying to say he prefers me over Jasmine?

“So…you don’t like her?”  I asked.

Justin’s facials were quite funny, his eyes wide and nervous, his usual smirk disappearing from his face as a blush rose to his cheeks.

“No! I mean, she’s hot, but no. She has zero to no personality and just agrees with everything I say.”

I was so happy that he could see her for what she really was. All through middle school, back when we went to school together, guys would always prefer her over me. I was always the dorky sidekick during her escapades.

“You don’t like that?” I asked innocently, playing with the hair at the nape of his neck silently hoping he would say no.

“No actually. I like…competition. Having someone to go against you.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah. You see, the girl I like has this amazing personality and always fights for her opinion. She’s hot as fuck when she’s angry, which makes me want to annoy her all the time so she gets mad…but I think she takes it that I just don’t want anything to do with her.”

My cheeks felt red hot at his words, my heart skipping several beats at once. “She sounds pretty special.”
“She is.”

I flittered my eyes down to his lips, desperately wanting to kiss him. I mean, I don’t know if I like him, but his little speech had me wanting him more than ever before.

He cleared his throat, effectively killing the mood. “How about yours? How has your night been?”

“Well, I met Nate’s mom, who wants grandkids from me so our kids are ‘old money’. And she’s friends with my mother, so you can guess what type of person she is.” I managed to get out over my embarrassment. I can’t believe I almost kissed him when he obviously didn’t want to. Was I seriously forcing myself on him again?

Justin laughed lightly, “Cutie, I was friends with Nate for a long time. I know his mom.”

“Oh…” I blushed. Of course they would know each other, how dumb was I being?

“You look really beautiful tonight.” He whispered in my ear, his hands falling lower down my waist. My stomach erupted into tiny butterflies, my skin burning from contact with him.

“T-thank-you.” I stuttered. “You too.”

Justin chuckled deeply at my words. “I’m beautiful, am I?” He spun me out and back into his arms again.

I felt my cheeks heat up in shame.

How dumb you must sound to him.

“Uh, yeah! Of course.”

He quirked an eyebrow. “My gosh, cutie. If I didn’t know you any better I’d say that you were saying you’re attracted to me.”

“U-um what?” I chocked out, barely able to speak.

He smirked, putting me at arms length and letting go of my hand. “You’re Casanova is coming back. Be sure to express your undying love.” He said, sarcasm dripping from his words.

I pouted, not really wanting to see him go. That had been the best dance I’d had all night.

“Casanova?” I asked.

“It means your Romeo. Your seducer.” He winked and then he was gone, and I was left to be all alone with Nate. My fake Casanova I guess.

“Who were you talking to?” Nate asked.


He grinned, “Of course you were.”

“Where’s my drink?”
“Oh- uh…I forgot it.”
“You went to get us drinks and you forgot to get them? You were there for ages!”
“I was…busy.” He replied, a smug look in his eyes. It was then that I knew exactly what Justin had asked Jasmine to do.



But Justin,” Jasmine whined, “I don’t want to leave yet. Can’t we stay a little longer?”

I groaned, my eyes rolling to the back of my head. I wanted to get out of this as soon as I got here. Cassidy looked like a goddess, she was by far the most beautiful girl here. The only good thing that had happened all night was my dance with her.

Oh, and the success of the mission.

Noah and Ashton had snuck in, knocked out a few security guards and effectively hacked the security system of this place, enabling Ashton to be able to see whatever the security cameras were seeing on his own laptop. They had also transferred almost 600 thousand dollars into our account, something the others didn’t know about. It was all for the greater good, for the end plan. They now sat in the back room and were going to notify me if anyone seemed suspicious. They had already told me they could see Nate was…preoccupied with Jasmine, my desperate ass date who conveniently had a bigger crush on Nate than she did on me.

“Justin, Michael is here. The one that goes to your school? I didn't think he would be invited to this shit.” Ashton’s voice came through the speaker in my ear. At that, I frowned.

“Uh, alright. We can stay longer, Jas.”

“Yay! I’ll be back soon, I just have to…get drinks! I might be a while, I need to catch up with my friends-”

“Sure baby, whatever.” I mumbled as she walked away happily. I snorted at the dumb excuse of her getting drinks. More like she wanted a quickie in the bathroom with Nate.

“Ashton, keep an eye on him. He’s friends with Nate, we need to watch out. What’s he wearing?”
“Red suit. Can’t miss him.”

I rolled my eyes. What type of idiot stands out in a crowd of people they’re trying to hide in?

I scanned the area, seeing a red suit not far from a girl in a white dress with brown curly hair. Cassidy. What the fuck was he doing near her.

“He’s near Cass-“

“I know, fucktard.”

Noah and Ashton both laughed. “Sorry J, just looking out for you.”
“Don’t call me that.”

“Hey, there’s another guy…he looks like a homeless guy. The fuck is this? Noah, go down there. Say your name is-“

“Noah Ellen. Cassidy’s brother, Nate’s mother knows Cassidy’s. Tell them you took your mom’s invitation.” I cut in without a second thought.

I started walking toward Cassidy, making sure she wasn’t going to get hurt by that pig named Michael.

“What?” I snapped, trying to be as quiet as possible.

“Uh….we have a problem.”

“What exactly is that?”
“Garret and Eric are here, looking kind of worried…”

“Fuck.” I muttered. This was getting way out of hand. They wouldn’t bother to sneak into a high security event to just talk. They wanted to warn us about something, something that was going to happen now.

“And considering there are guys turning up for Nate, something’s about to happen.”

“Thanks for that, Sherlock.” I replied sarcastically.

I watched Noah walk toward Eric and the others swiftly, grabbing their attention immediately.

Jasmine and Nate were no where to be seen, yet again, which left Cassidy as a target in an open shooting field.

“Okay, I’m going to go get her. I can’t deal with this at the moment.” I told Ashton.

“Hey cutie? How about you come with me?”

“What’s going on?” she asked, her eyes filled with discomfort. Obviously she could see Michael.

“Nothing crazy. We’re just worried, is all. Come on.”

I dragged her by the hand toward Nate’s mother, trying to keep her as safe as possible.

“If anything happens, stay with me alright? I promise, I’ll keep you safe.”

“I will.” She promised, squeezing my hand.

“Justin? Noah and the guys are moving toward you. Noah looks freaking terrified.”

I cursed inwardly. Did this really have to happen tonight? Here? I expected something to happen, but not anything this drastic. Thank god we came I guess.

“Justin, we’ve got a problem.” Noah started.

“You think?” I snapped.

“Calm down. You should probably start leaving slowly. They’re here for her, but she’s right here with us so it shouldn’t be too hard to quickly leave. Don’t make a big commotion-“

Screaming. That's all I could hear. Cassidy, screaming bloody murder. Nate’s mother and a bunch of her rich friends, screaming.

A broad man wearing a black suit, looking completely normal, had his arm around Jasmine’s throat trapping her to him as Nate watched on in horror. As he turned, I knew instantly who it was. He wasn’t a normal man, he wasn’t like everyone else. His name was Scott. I had grown up with him around, him being a friend of my family. He was older than I was by about 5 years. He was someone who had been extremely close to Emily in the time that she was my girlfriend.


“I have fucking eyes, Ashton!” I yelled over the screams. Cassidy’s hold on me was shaky as tears fell from her eyes, sobs racking her body.

This is seriously not happening.

“J-Justin he’s going to hurt her.” she cried.

“Justin, get out of there! They were creating diversions, they think Jas is Cassie because she was with Nate!”

“This is to avenge our Emily. You took someone important to me, I’ll take someone important to you! For revenge!” screamed Scott, pulling a gun out of his pocket. Nate leapt forward toward Jasmine but was quickly restrained by two other men, who wasted no time in starting to hit him. I clenched my fists to stop them from shaking as I watched Jasmine’s tear stained face scrunch up in terror.

“For revenge!” chorused a mass of people. I ran my hands through my hair in frustration. This was seriously the worst fucking date I had ever been on. Women were hiding under tables, screaming and crying. Men were either standing in the group with Scott, or looking like they too were going to go under the tables.

“W-we have to do something!” Cassidy stuttered, unable to handle her anxiety properly.

“Justin, get her the fuck out of here.” Noah muttered, motioning to Cassidy. “Cass, you’re new name is…Ellie. Okay? Great.”

“B-but Jas is my best friend I have to help her-“

“I understand. I’ll keep her safe, but we need to focus on you. They think she’s you and once they figure out she’s not, well. Shit is going to get worse for you.”

I grabbed Cassidy’s hand and pulled her away from the scene unfolding before everyone.

“For Emily!” Scott screamed.

“Stop! Stop it, I didn’t kill her” screamed Nate, his voice sounding hoarse.

I took a deep breath and tried as hard as I could to block out the screams and the panic occurring around us.

“Justin, my car is parked outside. Get out of here!” Ashton screamed in my ear.

I ran pulling Cassidy with me, toward the back door, shoving it open as fast as we could. Gun shots ran out and echoed on the tiled walls, blood-curling screams and the sound of glass shattering were heard even from where we were, police sirens already echoing around us.

I felt Cassidy tense up, all the muscles in her arm completely go stiff and I knew it was the gun shots. She was going to freeze again, like last time in the woods.

“Come on Cass, please. We have to move.” I pleaded.

“If she’s dead it’s because of me. If she’s hurt it’s because of me.”

“I know, it’s okay. We can talk about this later.” I promised, pushing the hair out of her face and wiping her tears away. “Please, just lets go. They’ll keep her safe.”

She breathed out a long line of chocked sobs, the shaking of her hands becoming worse.

“Come on, babe. We’ll be okay, lets just keeping going.”

She sniffed slightly before grabbing my hand unsteadily and walking again, this time with less balance.

We walked into an alleyway, right where the car was parked.

Thank fuck.

I hurriedly shoved Cassidy in the car before getting in myself and speeding off as fast as possible.

“We’re okay.” I told her as she bounced her leg up and down in anxiety. I cautiously placed one of my hands on her thigh, making circles with my thumb.

“What if she’s not? It’s all my fault.” She cried, her head in her hands, not noticing my hand.

“No, no. It’s Nate’s fault. He was the one who was the reason for Emily’s death-“

“Nate killed Emily?” She asked, her head snapping to mine.

“Well…not exactly. He was definitely involved, but he didn’t kill her.”

“Whatever.” She mumbled. Her eyes moved suspiciously to my hand on her thigh and her cheeks flooded red hot. I tried as hard as I could to hide a smirk and begun talking again.

“Look, think about this. If Nate hadn’t snuck off with Jasmine for a quick fuck in the bathroom then that would be you with a gun to your temple.”

She nodded again and looked out the window. She was closing down.

“Fuck, Cassidy! Don’t shut me out like this!”

“Fuck off, Justin.”

“Cassidy, stop this. Don't act like I don't know what you’re going through-“

“No, Justin! Stop acting like you do know! You don’t know anything! You don’t know anything about my life or how I’m feeling! Nobody does!”

I growled in response, anger eating at me because she was right, I didn’t.

“Because you block me out! You won’t fucking tell me!”
“You wouldn’t understand! Nobody would! One of my best friends is standing with a gun to her head because everyone thinks she is me. God, Justin, wake up! Don’t you get it? This isn’t about you and Emily anymore! This is about me and my friends because you and that asshole dragged us into this mess!”


“Don’t ‘Cassie’ me. If there was any doubt in my mind that Nate lied to Ashton about that whole fake thing, its gone now because he just fucking cheated on me with my best friend and didn’t even look guilty about it. That same friend is now most likely going to be shot and lets not even mention how confused I am about my feelings for you!” she screamed. We had barely spoken since we had kissed, and it was coming to bite us in the ass in the form of Cassidy’s rage.

Did she just say feelings for me?

Giddiness took over my senses. Does that mean she likes me?

“God I just wish I was dead! I wish I was Jasmine, I wish I could take her place because I have no fucking reason to be here anymore!” she finished, tears of fury and hurt running down her cheeks. All happiness instantly drained from me at her words.

“Don’t say that.” I mumbled as I drove way over the speed limit. “You have a reason to be here.”

“You don’t understand.” She cried.

My phone rang with Noah’s ring tone, making the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Answer it.” Cassidy whispered.

I clicked answer and put the phone on speaker in between us with shaky hands.

Please let it be good news.

“Is everyone okay? What happened?” I started.

“Hey. Uhhh… everyone is alive.”

My stomach dropped about ten feet. “Explain.”

“Well, the girl is alive. Jasmine.” Cassidy let out a sigh of relief and began to sob hysterically into her hands at the news.

“But?” I asked.

“But…everyone is pretty shaken up. T-the police are here, questioning. Checking gun licenses. Ashton and I have Jasmine and Nate with us and we’re about to leave in Nate’s c-car. She can’t even speak, man. And uh, something else.”

“What is it, Noah?”

“Uh, man I’m sorry. I was stupid, I was clumsy I-“

“Spit it out.” I gritted out, clenching my teeth. I had a feeling of what he was going to say, and I didn’t want to hear him say it.

“I got shot. I-I need help. I haven’t told the others yet, Nate’s in worse shape than me. T-they need to focus on him-“
“Noah, I swear to fucking god I will drill a hole in your skull. Go and tell Ashton. You need help, now.”
“J-Justin. Hear me out. I don’t have anyone left like Nate does. His m-mom.”

“Where are you shot?” I managed to get out, my chest becoming tight. Noah was like my little brother, I couldn’t handle it if something happened to him.

“M-my shoulder. Fuck man it hurts so much.” He sniffed.

“I’m coming to get you.” I said, ready to turn the car around at the next opportunity.

“N-No! It’s too dangerous. Cass is more important at the moment. I didn’t get shot for her to end up dead. C’mon man. I don’t have anyone anymore. My brother is only around on occasion and nobody needs me like they need Nate-“

“P-please Noah. Get help.” I said, my throat closing up. “I need you. You’re my brother, please.” Tears stung my eyes and I quickly wiped them away. The last thing I needed was a fucking car crash because I was crying.

He sighed. “When they’re done with Nate, I will.”

“God help me if you die, Noah. If you do this to yourself don’t think I won’t go down with you.” I muttered, speeding up even more. I needed to get Cassidy home and go back and get Noah, no way was I leaving him with them. I didn’t trust them to look after him, nobody would look after him like I would.

“Stay on the phone with me.” I told him.
“S-sure dude.”

I could literally see him in my mind, trying not to express his pain.

“ASHTON.” I screamed, hoping for him to hear me through our microphones.

“H-he can’t h-hear you. Out of range.”

I quickly parked in the building garage and looked over to Cassidy who was paler than I had ever seen her before. Her entire body was shaking as she curled up onto the seat. Her lip trembled and silent tears fell down her face.

“Hey, hey look at me.” I told her, wiping her tears. “He’ll be okay.”

She only shook her head in reply. “Noah, tell her you’ll be fine.”

“I’ll be fine, Cassie. Don’t cry because of me, we’ll all be okay.”

She took a deep breath and got out of the car,  I followed her toward the lobby and quickly pressed the button on the elevator. She made no noise, not even when we stepped into the elevator. I held her hand tightly as we walked to my front door and I unlocked it quickly.

“Abby!” I called.
“In here!” she replied, coming out of her room in her tiger pajamas. “Holy fuck what did you do?” she screamed at me, her voice shriller than I had ever heard it before as she ran toward Cassidy. Noah chuckled on the other end of the phone.
“T-there was a thing. Noah’s been shot, Jasmine almost died and Nate is a fucking mess. I need your first aid shit when the others get here, this is really serious.” I cried, running my fingers through my hair in distress.

“W-w…” she trailed off before wrapping her arms around Cassidy. The two girls sat on the couch as Cassidy cried and cried into Abby’s shoulder.

“Noah, you alright?” I asked.

“Y-yeah. I’m fine.” He replied, but his voice was rough. His breath came in short puffs, sounding like he couldn't get enough air. “It just hurts so much.”

“I know man.”

“Ash – I need to talk to you.” Noah said.

“What?” came Ashton’s muffled reply.

“Uh – I – I got shot. My shoulder.”

“What? Oh my – fuck. Noah, why the fuck didn’t you tell me? Are you alright? Come here, don’t even say no!” Ashton yelled.

“I’m fine, lets just go. I’ll be okay, I just need to get fixed up at home.”

“Okay, okay. Nate, Jasmine! Car, now!”
“Justin, I’m sorry man-“
“Don't talk a lot, you’re wasting your energy.” I replied, remembering Ashton telling Cassidy that once.

Noah’s breaths began coming in short puffs, he definitely wasn’t getting enough air.

“What’s wrong buddy?”
“I don’t know how much longer I can hang on. This hurts so fucking much.” He groaned.

“Quit being a girl.” Nate’s voice was muffled.

“You dumb fuck! This happened because of you, I was trying to save you’re ass! You’re fine, I’m not! This fucking hurts.” He screamed, and I cringed. This was not going well.

“It’s okay, man. We’re almost there. Get Justin to meet us at the garage, he can help you up.” I heard Ashton say.
“Guys, I have to go get Noah. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Don’t leave here, got it?”

They nodded and Abby stood up to go and gather the supplies.

“Cass, call your auntie. We need her, she works at a hospital, right?”

She nodded.

“Great. Abby can’t take a bullet out, please call her.”

I quickly exited the apartment and ran like hell down to the garage. Noah was my best fucking friend, I wasn’t letting him die because of everyone else’s idiotic decisions.

It was official. It was actually the worst fucking date of my life.


 A/N: Woahh. That was pretty intense. AND THE JUSTIN AND CASSIDY MOMENT OMG.

I actually am so so sorry. My exams are d o n e and i promise ill update more now. Someone really close to me has been critically sick and I just havent had much time but PLEASE comment your thoughts like i dont care about votes or comments or reads but i really want to know what you think.  i love you all x

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