Jasper was sad I had to go home at the end of the weekend. I was a tad emotional also. I kinda liked hanging out with Jasper and Noel. They were cool. Even when they were attempting to embarrass me.
"Oh c'mon Jaz don't cry. I'll be back in five days with my friend." I promised Monday morning. I knew I would miss two periods and probably get detention for not being in uniform but I didn't care.
"Call me later? Okay?" He asked sticking out his pinky. I squat down and smiled kissing Jasper's forehead. I hooked my pinky with his and nodes my head.
"I'll call you tonight." I promised hugging the little boy tightly. I stood up and walked to Noel's car. Jasper couldn't come drop me off because he had school himself. Charlotte sent him to a private school where they learned shit they shouldn't have to in kindergarten.
"I've never driven you to school before." Noel muttered as he stopped at my house. He said I should probably change into my uniform first.
"It's honestly not much. Sometimes I walk." I shrugged.
"Three cars and you still walk to school? How modest of you." Noel smirks.
"It's two cars and in all honesty I like the exercise." I lied.
"Since when do you like any form of exercise?" He teased.
"Since, I spend all my time running away from Asher." I joked flipping my hair back.
"Asher, Asher, Asher. Do you think about anything else?" He asked smiling.
"Yes, I think about Jasper. And Quinn." I sighed looking at the top of the car.
"I'm sorry about Quinn. I have a few friends who work for the police department. I can make see if they can look out for her." Noel offered.
"No, I think it's easier now. I love her but I can't parent my family. Staying with you guys was amazing. I didn't have to worry about anything." I said honestly.
"You had to grow up much faster than most kids. That's why it's confusing. You're still a kid." Noel shrugged.
"I was talking to Jasper and he said Charlotte is broken. That she can't love anyone but herself."
"Charlotte loves Charlotte. So everyone should love Charlotte." He said vaguely. We pulled up to my school and we sat there a minute. I was about to get out when I turned around and wrapped my arms around Noel. He wrapped his arms around me. I just wanted to cry. I just wanted to cry and shout and scream. But I just hugged him. I hugged my dad.
"Um, ha, uh- thank you. For the ride and whatever." I stuttered jostling my hair before checking my face and makeup.
"No problem. Anytime, honestly." He said genuinely.
"So, I'll see you Friday and I'll call Jaz tonight before his bed time." I said standing up and walking into the building. I walked to the front office first in the student services campuses. I walked up to the attendance desk on the far left and gave her my information. She smiled and handed me a pass. I walked to the main campus and quickly jogged to third period. I walked in and handed the paper to my teacher.
"Well, Ms. Andrews, I'm happy you decided to join us." She called me out.
"Yeah, I debated whether or not my grade in this fake class really mattered or not." I shrugged sitting in my seat. Andy looked over at me but I ignored him. Unnecessary stress I urged myself to believe.
"Keep that mouth running and you'll be seeing a one way trip to detention." Ms. Campbell threatened.
"Keep yours running and you'll be on a one way trip to Singlesville, USA." I retort not really concerned with the consequences.
"Ms. Andrews please see me after class." She said angrily.
"Anything for you, oh beloved teacher." I rolled my eyes.
"Okay, class back to physics-" the teacher droned on. I shrugged and pulled out a book on cats I had found in my house. We didn't have cats because most everyone was allergic except Allan and I. I wasn't even interested in cats honestly. Cats were the epitome of loneliness not to mention they smelled quite odd. I was on a riveting entry on the common house cat when a piece of paper flew into the book covering the picture of the cat. I looked in the direction it came and Andy was nodding at it. I unwrapped the paper and stretched across the book.
We need to talk, after class?
I crumbled the paper up and continued to read my book. I went on to farm house cats. I didn't know there were types of cats for different living situations. I just assumed that you buy a cat and take it where you want. Why were cats so freaking complex? They literally cleaned themselves.
"Ms. Andrews, I don't understand what has gotten into you! Making a mockery of me and my personal life in front of class? That's unnecessary and disrespectful."
"But it's okay when you do it?" I asked not in the mood for a lecture from some old timey KU graduate.
"I was late because I went to see my birth father this weekend. He lives an hour away and there was traffic. You just assumed I was skipping." I explained.
"Oh Peyton Elizabeth, I apologize for my behavior. How is your birth family?"
"Much better than my current one." I muttered.
"I'm sorry to hear that." She says rubbing my back.
"I've got to get to my next class, so um," I nodded at the door. She dismissed me and I immediately bumped into Angela.
"Thought I wouldn't find you?" She asked smiling at me. I rolled my eyes.
"Asher is a complete mess without you. He told me about the deal." She said walking me to class.
"I've got class, can we talk at lunch?" I asked turning the opposite way.
"You'd better." She warns putting her earbuds in her ear and walking away. I sighed and walked to my next class with my cat book in hand.
"So?" Angela said at lunch looking from Asher and I repeatedly.
"Peyton Elizabeth and I have agreed that our friendship should cease because she's jealous of Hayley." Asher shrugged looking at Hayley who was making out with his neck. She looked more than happy that I was jealousy of her. She seemed almost encouraged by it. Ryan put his head in his hands and shook his head. I wasn't hurt. I could barely feel that anymore. I didn't think anything could hurt me anymore. I mean everything bad that could happen has already happened. I mean nothing horrible could happen, not that it would phase me.
"That sounds about right." I admitted. I was still helplessly loyal to Asher. I wouldn't say anything about him. Not to hurt him or build him up. I wouldn't help or hurt Asher. Platonic. Be platonic.
"Well, since you're single or really single, you can hang out with Josh Delaware tonight at the seniors party." Sunshine smiled clasping her hands.
"I'm not a senior, Sunny." I reminded her for the hundredth time.
"Oh, I remembered, but you can be my plus one. Josh thinks your cute anyways and he's a classical musician and Asher told me you like pianos." Sunshine nodded happily.
"Well, classical musicians obviously turn me on. Mozart is my celebrity crush all the way." I teased.
"Hey, I honestly had auditions. You deserve perfection." Sunshine said moving her hands in a circle.
"Oh, that's a lot to live up too." I muttered shrugging.
"Say you'll come. Please come!" Sunshine begged.
"I don't have anything to wear." I lied.
"Shouldn't have said that." Danny chuckled wrapping his arm around Sunshine's waist.
"Angela! Pre party party!" Sunshine said excitement dripping in every word she said.
"What the hell is a pre party party?" I asked looking at the table.
A pre party party was basically my house filled with a half naked Angela and Sunshine walking around my house eating my food and making dirty jokes. As always I let them do whatever and I sat in my room eating ice cream and watching Netflix.
"Get your lazy ass up. We still need to get ready." Sunshine said turning on my room light. I hissed and crawled under my blanket. The blanket was peeled off of me and a dress was thrown at me.
"Your closet has the cutest things. How about a romper? White Jean romper with black lace stockings? Ooh and maybe a pair of converses or timberlands?" Angela questions pulling shit from the closet.
"Converses." I muttered mustering the strength to stand up.
"Okay, so I hope you know. Josh is a bait. He's purely there to make Asher jealous." Angela smiled throwing me the romper. I slid on the stockings and rolled my eyes.
"Guys, Asher and I aren't romantically connected." I explained letting Sunshine do my hair.
"It's obvious he wants you. Hayley will only satisfy so much. There's real chemistry between you two." Sunshine said as she teased my hair and curled the tips pinning my bangs back.
"If I say okay will this conversation end?" I asked looking at myself in the mirror. Angela was in skinny jeans and a crop top that had the sex pistols oh so many labels on it. Like a collage. She wore a beat up pair of Keds. Sunshine wore a yellow dress that reached her thigh and yellow wedges that were way too high.
"Yes." Both girls smiled in unison as I gave into their harassment.
"I'll wait in the car." I mumbled walking down the stairs to the driveway. Cynthia was on the porch smiling a sub she'd got Rosalinda to make her.
"Hey love bug." Cynthia smiled looking at my outfit.
"Hey Cynthia, I've gotta make a phone call." I said sitting beside her. I dialed Noel's number and swayed back and forth listening for an answer.
"Pey!" Jasper shouted happily.
"Told you I'd call." I teased plugging my open ear with my finger attempting to listen more intently.
"I know, and dad said you would too. Mommy said you'd be too busy. Are you too busy?" He asked. I chuckled softly running a hand through my hair.
"Never too busy for you, booger." I reassured turning my head to the side and looking at Cynthia. She smiled at the sandwich and took a huge bite.
"Okay, so dad and mommy said we can have a big dinner with cake for dessert and everything when you come back." The little boy said enthusiastically.
"Am I supposed to bring something?" I asked fixing my romper.
"Just your boyfriend." He said.
"Not my boyfriend. He'll be there." I promised smiling to myself.
"Good, so what are you doing?" He asked.
"I'm going to a party. I'm waiting for my friends."
"Ooh, are you going to get balloons?" Jasper asked.
"Not that kind of party, Jaz. There won't be decorations." I tried to explain.
"Will there be games?" He questioned.
"Not ones that are played by children." I said.
"Okay, well, have fun. Will you call tomorrow?" He asked. Hope was manifesting in his voice.
"If you want me too."
"Yes! Yes I do." He said joyfully.
"Okay, I'll call tomorrow." I promised.
"I love you Peyton." I smiled. He knew how to say my name right.
"I love you too, Jasper. Now go to sleep small one." I instructed.
"Okay, dad wants to talk to you." He says. The phone moved from one hand to another.
"Peyton, hey." Noel said.
"Hey, what's up?" I asked. Cynthia moaned reminding me I was outside on my porch.
"Um, just wanted to say goodnight. Have fun and be safe. Call me if you need anything, okay?" He asked.
"Noel I'll be fine, okay?"
"Just call me." He said dismissing my protest.
"Yes sir, goodnight." I said rolling my eyes.
"I can literally hear your sarcasm. Alright talk to you later." He laughed.
"Night, Noel." I said hanging up.
"Who was that?" Cynthia asked smirking.
"My brother and bio dad." I said sliding my phone in my pocket.
"Oh." Cynthia said nodding.
"Yeah they're great." I smiled.
"I'll be out for a bit. Don't wait up." I said walking to Angela's car.
"Okay, your dad'll be out all night."
"I don't care." I said closing my door.
In all honesty I'd never been to a senior party. Not even as a guest. It was loud and very sexy if that word would suffice the situation. Josh was cute. Brown hair blue eyes and a vocal magician. He sounded like how baklava tasted. Crunchy and sweet and so very very enjoyable.
"So what word have you made up for this situation?" He smiled at me.
"I thought of boyfriend for hire. You?" I asked sipping my drink.
"Booty call. But I feel more planned with yours." He smiled. I nodded and laughed.
"So Josh Delaware?" I asked biting my lip to keep from laughing.
"Surprisingly I've never been. I feel like a false advertisement." He chuckled.
"I'm a bit disappointed. That was my one rule. My type is boys who have been to Delaware." I teased.
"Man, so even if I had a chance I wouldn't have had a chance?" He asks his hand holding my waist.
"I can make an exception." I said leaning forward.
"I wouldn't want to inconvenience you." He said smiling at me. His eyes were glowing. Or maybe I was just drunk. A can a beer wouldn't make me feel off like this. Or maybe not off but different. I felt okay. For longest time I hadn't felt happy. I hadn't felt a lot of anything other than hurt. Hurt and betrayal. But at the moment I felt okay.
"Peyton Elizabeth, we need to talk." I heard Asher say behind me. Asher was the only person other than my father and Mr. Greene who addressed me as Peyton Elizabeth.
"I'm actually talking to Josh right now, but I'll talk to you some other time, yeah?" I asked. I didn't even bother to turn around. I felt myself being pulled away from Josh who say there helplessly.
"Fuck Josh, we need to talk."
"I actually hadn't thought about fucking Josh. Not until you brought it up." I said letting him pull me wherever he wanted. After he realized I really wasn't eager to follow him and talk he threw me over his shoulder holding my waist.
"Put me down." I fought breathlessly.
"No." He replied simply.
"Please?" I tried.
"Are we close?"
"Are you mad at me?"
"Can I fix that?" I asked drawing patterns on his back. I felt the cushion of a seat hit my back. Then the motor of a car rev to life. The car hummed as we drove in the night. My odd kind of happiness had worn off. We pulled up to Asher's house and I groaned.
"Why are we here?" I asked.
"We need to talk."
"I didn't want to leave. You can't just take me wherever you want whenever you fucking feel like it."
"Shut up and get out." He said in a hushed tone. I cocked an eyebrow and sat in my seat.
"I'm not leaving. Take me home."
"Peyton, get out of the car."
"Asher, take me to my house. Now." I demanded.
"Why are you always so difficult? I just want to talk to you."
"No, you want to scold me. You have no right to tell me who I can hang out with. You have no right to tell our friends that I'm jealous of your bitch. And you have no right to hold me hostage in your car."
"I'm not holding you hostage. If you want you can leave." He said.
"Don't follow me." I said hopping out of his car and walking to my house.
"You can go home but I'm going with you." He said following behind me. I groaned and sat on the curb.
"What?" He asked sitting beside me.
"Talk, say whatever you need to so I can go home."
"We aren't friends. You know that. I care too much about you to be your friend."
"Oh, well you could always be my best friend." I said sarcasm strong in my voice.
"I ended it with Hayley." He said.
"That's unfortunate. Who will you use to hurt me now? Priscilla?" I asked in a false bewildered tone.
"I ended it because I decided that I only want you." He said.
"So it took me not caring for you to see that?"
"Yes, I had to lose you so I could see what I truly had. I want you in ways I can't explain and I think if I need to I will fight everyday until fighting isn't necessary."
"Well you'd better get started." I said. Asher pulled me on to his lap so I was staring right into his eyes.
"I think I already have." He smiled pressing his lips to mine. I sighed and wrapped my arms around his neck tossing my hair to the side so my hair wouldn't be sucked into his mouth. Asher ran his hand up the bare skin of my leg.
"I think, we should try tomorrow. Because tonight I'm going home." I said standing up. Asher didn't let my hand go and pulled me to him wrapping his hand around my waist. He kissed me one last time tightening his grip so I was unable to move.
"Tomorrow." He whispered in my ear sending shivers down my back. I spent the next 15 minutes walking home and touching my lips.
So everything after this is just happy happy times. Until it's not.