If you are offended by male/male relationships, or male/male sexual relationships, then you shouldn't be here in the first place. If this conduct is illegal in your area, you must EXIT NOW. This story is not to be copied or posted elsewhere without permission from the author. If you are interested in a story about gay teenage males, then please take your time and enjoy. Feedback/comments/suggestions and even complaints are welcome at DomLuka@aol.com <mailto:DomLuka@aol.com>

The Ordinary Us

Chapter four: Out of my hands

"Are you going to eat that?" Brad asked, eyeing my untouched cheeseburger. We'd been sitting in the food court for about twenty minutes, while I watched Brad inhale his food, but I hadn't touched mine. My appetite just wasn't there. I was still feeling self-conscious and I didn't like being in such a crowded place.

"Help yourself." I replied, sliding my food over to Brad.

"You're not hungry?" he asked incredulously. Usually the both of us were bottomless pits when it came to food.

"Nah." I frowned, "I'll eat later."

"Alright." He shrugged, lifting my burger and taking a large bite. "So what are you doing tonight? Taking Marissa out?"

"I don't know." I frowned, "I haven't decided yet, what about you?"

"I have to watch my brothers. Again." he groaned, "I swear I need to find a girlfriend. If I started dating someone my mom would probably ask me to watch them less."

"Bree said she'd baby-sit tomorrow." I reminded him.

"And I'm eternally grateful to her." Brad smirked, "Just don't tell her that, she'll get a big head."

"Sure." I laughed.

"But seriously. I want a girlfriend. I'm tired of just dating. You should ask Marissa if she knows anyone for me."

"You don't want her to do that." I shook my head. "If it doesn't work out between you and whoever she finds I'm the one who gets blamed for it."

"Better you than me." Brad laughed, earning him a kick under the table.

"Hey, let me ask you something," I said, leaning back in my chair, "Do you think me and Marissa are right for each other?"

"What do you mean? You guys have been together forever."

"Yeah." I admitted, "But sometimes it feels like we make better friends, you know?"

"What's wrong?" Brad smirked, "she's not giving you any?"

"We both decided to wait." I frowned.

"You mean you're not getting any?" Brad practically screamed at me, causing me to shush him and look around blushing, hoping that no one had heard that outburst. He didn't seem to notice my distress over it because he continued, "damn! I swore that she had you all sorts of pussy whipped the way that you do everything she asks you to do."

"Will you shut up?" I hissed.

"Sorry." He laughed, "But it's true."

"And I don't do everything that she asks me to." I insisted.

"Oh, come on," he smirked, "are you saying that you would have talked to Trina Ashpock if Marissa hadn't asked you to do it? That girl is all kinds of nasty."

"Trina's not that bad." I frowned. And maybe she wasn't that bad. I mean, sure, she wasn't my favorite person, but maybe after talking to her, as unpleasant as it was, I didn't think she was as bad as everyone thought.

"How can you even say that?" Brad asked, "She's your girlfriend's worst enemy."

"So." I frowned, "I don't have to agree with everything that Marissa says, right?"

Brad sat back in his chair and regarded me curiously.

"What's going on with you, Quinn?" he asked, "Are you and Mar having problems or something?"

"No." I frowned, "I mean...shit. I don't know. I mean we don't fight or anything, and you know I care about her. But...Bree made this comment the other day, that Marissa and I...we're not very affectionate, I guess. It got me thinking, you know? Maybe we're better off as friends."

"You're serious?" Brad actually sounded shocked, "are you thinking about breaking up with her?"

That was a good question. Was I thinking about breaking up with Marissa? I definitely hadn't been thinking about it last night. Maybe it was because I'd kissed Jude. I mean, technically I'd already cheated on Marissa. But, I didn't feel as guilty about it as I should have. I felt guiltier over the fact that I'd kissed another guy.

But, it was the way that that kiss had made me feel, that made me wonder if I really did love my girlfriend the way that I was supposed to. I guess I did love her, and Marissa and I, we got along well. There was just no, spark. I guess I'd always known that. But before, I'd always thought that we didn't need a spark if we got along okay. Now, I was rethinking that.

"Yeah." I admitted, "Maybe I am."

"Shit." Brad frowned, "You're serious? I mean, you guys have broken up before, maybe..."

"I don't think so Brad." I shook my head. "I mean, I'm not deciding anything right now. It's just...I don't think I have the chemistry with Marissa that I should."

"Well...shit. You know I'll always be your friend. Hers too."

"I know." I nodded.

"So...I mean, if you're thinking about breaking up with her, is there already someone else?"

Someone else? That question made me think of Jude again. He was someone else. But he was also the wrong gender. I shook the image away as I looked up at Brad again.

"Nope." I stated, "no one else."


I lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling, feeling incredibly lethargic. And sore. My muscles had been aching all day, and walking around the mall with Brad hadn't exactly helped. But, the long hot shower that I took when I got home felt great.

I'd finally taken off Jude's shirt. I wondered if he'd want it back. That would mean seeing him again. Maybe I should go return it to him. At least that way he wouldn't show up later asking for it.

Shit. I was just trying to make excuses to see him again and I knew it. Except I didn't want to see him again. Seeing Jude again would only mean trouble, the kind of trouble that I didn't need. And it's not like he would care about a stupid t-shirt anyways. The t-shirt that I'd folded up and placed under my pillow.

I closed my eyes, willing myself to stop thinking about Jude. I wished that I could just fall asleep. It was already eight o'clock, it wouldn't exactly kill me to go to sleep early. My light was already turned off; I was comfortable in my sweats. Now I just needed to fall asleep. Only, the chirping ring prevented it, and I opened my eyes, looking at my nightstand where my new phone was ringing and lighting up. I lifted it, the only person that was supposed to have my new number so far was Brad, and since I'd just spent half the day with him I wondered what he wanted.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Guess what?" It wasn't Brad's voice. It was Bree's. I guess I gave her my number too.

"Bree, aren't you downstairs?"

"Yes," she giggled, "but I never would have made it up there in time to warn you."

"Warn me about what?" I asked.

"Marissa's on her way up there." Bree explained.

"Here?" I demanded.

"She just started up the stairs."

"Thanks Bree." I sighed.

Marissa had been calling all night, but after my talk with Brad, I wasn't sure that I wanted to talk to her. The simple fact was that Marissa was comfortable for me. I liked being her boyfriend. I liked having a girlfriend. That was part of what made me normal. Thinking about breaking up with her was something that I didn't want to deal with, because then I would have to think about why I wanted to break up with her. Was it simply because we had no chemistry? Or was it a bigger reason that had nothing to do with Marissa?

So far, Bree had been screening my calls for me like the loyal sister that she was. I wasn't sure what she'd been telling Marissa, but up until now it had kept her away. I was actually surprised that she'd actually shown up, and when I heard her footsteps coming up the stairs I reached over and turned on the lamp near my bed without actually getting up.

"Come in." I called when I heard her light tapping on the door.

I watched my girlfriend enter my room. She looked pretty. I guess Marissa always looked pretty. I mean, I could see that. Anyone could see it. I just didn't feel the excitement looking at her that I felt when I looked at...well, there was no excitement there. But, maybe it wasn't too late. Maybe I could still make it work with Marissa. We could be happy together. Maybe the reason why it was so important to convince myself of that was because deep down I knew that Marissa would probably be the only girl that I'd ever be remotely attracted to.

"Hey," she smiled, walking towards me with her hands behind her back, "Bree said you weren't feeling good."

"I'm alright." I shrugged, sitting up a little as she came closer. "Just tired. What are you doing here?"

"I made you soup." She smiled, holding up the can of Campbell's she had been hiding behind her back. It managed to make me laugh, not because she was joking but because bringing a can of soup was Marissa's way of cooking. And, the way she looked so proud of herself was kinda cute.

I wasn't sure who I surprised more, Marissa, or me, when I suddenly grabbed her arm and dragged her to me, wrapping my arm around her back and kissing her. And it wasn't just one of those little pecks either. I needed to kiss her. Really kiss her. I wanted to feel it the way I had when Jude kissed me.

But it wasn't there. Not that feeling that made me light headed. And the kiss wasn't that great either. Her tongue was more hesitant against mine, it was awkward, but that could have had something to do with the fact that she was talking against my mouth and pushing me away. It definitely didn't make me feel better when she wiped her mouth after I did release her. And then she had the nerve to look annoyed as she pushed her way away from my bed and looked at me, aghast.

"Quinn! What are you doing?" she demanded.

"Kissing you." I frowned, "is that so wrong? I mean, you're my girlfriend. Aren't I allowed to kiss you?"

I definitely sounded annoyed. I was annoyed. With more than just Marissa. I was annoyed that I didn't get all hot and bothered having my girlfriend alone in my room. I was annoyed that I hadn't had any normal urges when I'd pulled her down on my bed. I felt nothing. But, I'd also leaned something just then. Marissa hadn't felt anything either. She'd probably hesitated two seconds before she started pushing me away. She felt just about as much chemistry as I had: none.

"You are...but...but...you don't have maul me Quinn! Jeeze."

"I wasn't mauling you." I argued, now annoyed that she was defending herself. "Why don't we ever do anything, Mar? I mean, you don't even want me to kiss you."

"We kiss all the time." She argued.

"No we don't." I frowned.

"Look," she sighed, "I don't know what's gotten into you, Quinn, but I didn't come here to have a stupid argument. You can call me when you're feeling...better."

I frowned as she turned to go. Call her when I felt better? How would I ever feel better? My girlfriend couldn't excite me more than a guy for fuck sake, and apparently, I had no affect on her, either.

"I think we should break up." I blurted, and then watched as Marissa froze in her tracks as her shoulders went rigid before she turned slowly to face me, her expression a mask of confusion.

"What?" she demanded.

There was a little voice in the back of my head telling me to take it back. Telling me that I still needed her. But, I couldn't do it. I stood up and headed across the room, where she was still staring at me, waiting for an explanation.

"I think we should break up." I repeated.

"Quinn..." she frowned.

"Think about it, Mar." I sighed, "You're one of my best friends. You'll always be my friend. But...don't you think it's weird Marissa, that I can't even kiss you?"

She just stood there for a long time, staring at me with a knotted brow. And I was feeling nervous, really nervous. Deep down I knew that this was the right thing to do. But, I was worried about it. I didn't want to lose her friendship. And I definitely didn't want to think that even part of the reason that I was breaking up with her was because I might be gay, which I was still insisting that I wasn't. But either way, breaking up with Marissa was something that I needed to do and I knew it.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from her. Maybe I expected her to get upset. Maybe I expected her to try and talk me out of this; maybe even part of me wished that she would.

"No." she said, flatly.

"What?" well, I wasn't expecting no. I wasn't sure if I should laugh at her or to get scared. "No?"

"We can't break up now." she informed me, "everyone will think it's because of what Trina's saying about me!"

I took a step back, shocked.

"Is that all you care about?" I demanded. I'd known that Marissa had changed. I even knew that her reputation meant a lot to her, but I was completely thrown off by her attitude.

"Of course it's not all I care about, Quinn." She frowned, beginning to pace, "I mean, maybe we do make better friends, but if you were a friend you wouldn't do this right now. I mean, do you have any idea what I'm going through?"

What she was going through? For a second there I wanted to tell her what I was going through and then she could decide what problem was worse; being accused of being gay, or actually doing gay things.

"I can't believe that's all you care about." I actually found myself raising my voice at her.

"Hey, you're the one who wants to break up, Quinn." She snapped at me, "I'm just agreeing with you. I mean, it's not like I don't care about you, and I guess together were missing...something. Look, you shouldn't be upset. I mean, you're the one who brought it up, right? You should be happy. I mean, we can still be friends when we do break up. But it can't be now. I need you right now, Quinn. We'll do it in a few weeks, when people stop talking about me. We can even say that it was a mutual decision."

If I thought I was confused before, I'm not sure what I was now.

"I'm gonna go." She smiled, "I'll see you on Monday. Don't forget to pick me up, Quinn."

I watched her walk towards the door, feeling like I was supposed to tell her she was out of her damned mind.

"Marissa!" I called, grabbing her arm before she could get out the door. I was ready to tell her that she could find another ride on Monday, that this break up was nonnegotiable, but when she turned around and looked at me, I saw it.

Maybe this was what I expected to see when I told her that I wanted to break up. She was sad. That was my Marissa. Not the self-concerned egomaniac. She was sad. I could see her eyes watering over and I actually found myself smiling at her. Now I understood. Her little speech was her way of getting back a little control over the situation. And now that I thought about it, I felt a little sad too. Maybe we'd never had what it took to be a couple, but we'd been one forever. And now I felt sad about losing that.

I pulled her to my chest and hugged her. It was a friendly hug, and I realized that it wasn't unlike our usual ones. When her arms went around me I leaned down and kissed the top of her head, letting out a breath before I pulled back and found her smiling back at me.

"I'll see you on Monday, Mar."


My girlfriend was gone. Well, she wasn't gone, but I couldn't think of her as my girlfriend, which meant that I couldn't use Marissa as a shield against some of my feelings anymore. I needed to find another reason why I wasn't gay. Finding another girl was out of the question for me. Besides, no one was supposed to know that Marissa and me weren't together, just yet.

But, on Sunday I just didn't have time to find more excuses for myself. I had to go to work. Actually, I didn't have to go. But, my boss called me and asked me to work because someone else was sick, and it was one of the longer shifts.

I decided to go in. The money wouldn't hurt and I'd get overtime, plus, it might be a good distraction. I could go hang out at the mall, do my job and remind myself that I could still be your everyday, ordinary seventeen-year-old boy, without a girlfriend.

And at first it worked. My muscles were still a little achy, but I wasn't in so much pain that I couldn't do my job, and the mall was really busy as I alternated from sitting at, and walking around my booth, making sale after sale and occasionally having to restock. But being at work like that, I think it was good for me.

I saw a lot of people from school, and some of my friends stopped by to hang out for a while. Even Brad showed up and brought me lunch. And it was great, no one said anything about the party, it was like I'd never been there. And unlike yesterday, I didn't feel like anyone was looking at me strangely. I was just Quinn Moore, ordinary guy. And that was enough to put a smile on my face.

Everything was going great. At least, it was great until about an hour before my shift ended.

I was restocking my stand when I felt the hair on the back of my neck standing up. You know the feeling, the one you get when there's someone standing really close to you. Expecting a customer, I looked over my shoulder, but no one was there. When I felt a tap on my opposite shoulder I jumped and spun around, coming face to face with the last person in the world that I wanted to see.

"What are you doing here?" I hissed, clenching my hands into fists and fighting the urge to throw one of them.

"Shopping," Taylor smirked, reaching past me for a pair of sunglasses. He put them on as I glared at him, watching as he looked in the mirror and then turned back to me, "what do you think?"

"I think you should stay away from me." I frowned, but at the same time lifted a pair of glasses with frames that were suited to his face better. He took them from me, handing the others back. He looked in the mirror again and nodded in approval.

"Jude thinks I owe you an apology." He said flatly.

Jude again? I wasn't sure what to think of that. He said that Taylor owed me an apology? What was with Jude anyways? It was like, I couldn't figure him out. Even after I'd snapped at him he'd gone through the trouble of getting the pictures back, he made sure I had a place to sleep, he'd fixed my tire, and now Taylor was at my work to apologize.

"But I'm not going to do that." he stated. Okay, maybe Taylor wasn't there to apologize. "But, I was never going to do anything with those pictures. I didn't even realize what you guys were doing until after I took them."

"Will you just leave?" I really didn't care about his explanations.

"And, if you're worried about anyone saying anything about you, we're not going to. None of us."

"Just how many people know what happened?" I demanded, suddenly feeling worried.

"You know, we're not like you...those people you hang out with." He continued, ignoring my question. "We may not like you, but we're not out to hurt anyone."

"So you're not gonna tell. Whatever. What do you want, Taylor?" I asked impatiently.

"These." He smiled, holding up the sunglasses that I'd chosen for him as he dug his wallet out of his pocket and then handed me some cash. "You take it easy, Quinn Moore." He started to walk away while I glared after him, and then he suddenly stopped and smiled back at me, "Hey Quinn, seeing how it's not going to work out with you and Jude, you should give me a ring sometime."

What the fuck? Did he mean what I thought he meant? It didn't make sense in so many ways. Did it mean he was gay? Was he propositioning me? He hated me.

"I'm not gay." I hissed, looking around to make sure no one was there to hear me.

"Right," he smirked, pushing his new sunglasses up the bridge of his nose, "You keep telling yourself that."

Damn him. And I planned to keep telling myself that.


Monday was normal. Maybe too normal. I drove Bree and Marissa to school in the morning, and Marissa and I acted like nothing had happened. I held her hand, and I met her between classes. Only now instead of the small pecks on the lips she kept kissing my cheek. And, we kept sharing the occasional understanding looks, knowing that we weren't really together anymore. It seemed kind of sad, like we were silently mourning something.

I knew it was ridiculous, considering that my relationship with Marissa had been more friendly than anything, and we weren't going to stop being friends, but I still felt like I was losing something. Maybe I felt like I was losing something other than Marissa, though.

Breaking up with her had been the right decision, I was certain of that. But, it felt like now I had to accept the fact that I wasn't attracted to Marissa the way that I should be. I had a hard enough when it came to being attracted to the opposite sex. If I couldn't feel the right kind of attraction towards someone like Marissa Rixis, I felt like I was doomed.

But, I kept all of those worries to myself, and school was pretty much normal. Not even Brad seemed to notice a difference between Marissa and I, even after I had mentioned that I was thinking of breaking up with her.

A few strange things happened during the course of the day, though. Like, when I passed by Trina once she didn't scowl at me. Actually, the look she gave me seemed almost friendly. I didn't understand that, though. I'd made a fool out of myself at her party, and before I'd left, I'd even freaked her out a little. If anything, I would have thought that she hated me. But, I tried not to think about that. I didn't want to think about Trina, or anything about Friday night. And I definitely wanted to forget about Sunday at work when I passed Taylor after gym and he had the audacity to wink at me.

I wished that I could go back to the way things were before this last weekend, when I felt normal, and the people like Trina and Taylor ignored me, and I ignored them. But, I discovered that I couldn't go back to normal after school, when I got one hell of a shock in the parking lot.

I was walking between Bree and Marissa, ready to drop Marissa off and go home. Maybe I could even talk Bree into baking more cookies. It was a nice thought. And then, all thoughts of cookies left my mind when I saw Jude Landon sitting on the hood of my car.

He was dressed in black today. I'd always thought that wearing all black was the wrong kind of fashion statement, but on Jude, it looked good. He threw out the cigarette he'd been smoking when he saw me, but made no move to leave my car. The way he was looking at me made me nervous. Directly at me, not bothering to break eye contact.

"Who's that?" Bree asked.

"I don't know." Marissa replied.

Marissa looked confused, but Bree...I knew that look. My sister was checking Jude out. Something about that bothered me, even if it was the normal thing for her to do.

"I'm gonna find out." Bree smiled, running her fingers through her hair, the way she did to check it. I grabbed her arm before she could get very far.

"Stay here." I frowned.

"You know him?" Marissa asked me.

"Yeah." I admitted, and then started walking towards Jude without elaborating further. I could make something up to tell Bree and Marissa later. Right now, I just wanted to get rid of Jude. What the hell was he doing there anyways?

"So, which one's your girlfriend?" he smirked, getting off my car and glancing around me as I reached him.

"What are you doing here?" I demanded.

He didn't bat a lash as he held up some folded bills and held them out for me.

"This is yours." He said.


"When I showed up for work today, Murphy said you left it." He explained, "It's yours."

"No it's not." I frowned, "it was for the tire."

"There was no charge for the tire." He shrugged.

"Look," I frowned, "I don't want to owe you any favors, so just keep it, okay? And why don't you and your friends leave me alone? Pretend you never met me."

Alright, why did I feel guilty about saying that last part? I mean, I wanted him to leave me alone. I'd never stop thinking about him otherwise.

Jude gave me that cold look, the one he had given me on Sunday morning when I woke up in his apartment. That look bothered me, but it faded quickly as he glanced behind me, smiling more warmly.

I looked back and cringed. Apparently, Marissa and Bree weren't very good at listening to instruction. My sister was looking at me expectantly while Marissa was regarding Jude curiously.

"Hi." Jude smiled at them. Damn him. That smile on his face was entirely flirtatious. "Aren't you going to introduce me, Quinn?"

I scowled at him.

"This is Marissa, and my sister, Brianna." I replied shortly.

"Bree." My sister smiled, moving closer to stand next to me.

"Hi Bree." Jude smiled at her.

"So who are you?" Marissa asked, because I hadn't bothered introducing him.

"Jude." He smiled. "Landon."

"So how do you know Quinn?" Marissa asked. Damn, she asked all the wrong questions.

"He worked on my car." I answered quickly.

"He did?" Bree asked incredulously.

"Oh yeah." Jude smirked, and then held up the money again, before he had the nerve to actually slide it in my front shirt pocket, making me jump. "No charge, either."

"Yeah, well, thanks." I said through gritted teeth, "we have to go now."

Jude stepped aside and Marissa and I headed around the car, but as I opened the door for Marissa, Bree moved closer to Jude.

"Do you go to school here?" she asked, "I've never seen you before."

"No," he replied, taking a step closer to her, "But, my cousin goes to school here."


"Really? Who's your cousin?"

"You wouldn't know her, Bree." I said quickly.

"Her?" Bree was still looking at Jude, "What's her name?"

Jude opened his mouth, but I managed to shoot him a glare and he actually stopped, but then he winked at me before turning back to Bree and giving her one of those smiles that put butterflies in my stomach.

"Quinn's right, you probably wouldn't know her. So how old are you, Bree?"

"Sixteen." She smiled, "You really don't go to school here?"


"Oh, well...usually I know all of my brother's friends. He hasn't mentioned you."

"Bree, we should go." I insisted, although I don't know why I bothered, I was being completely ignored. I watched as Jude stepped even closer to my sister, and then it hit me. He was flirting with her! I wasn't sure if I should be jealous or switch into big brother mode.

"We just met." Jude told her, "but your brother's a nice guy, I'd like to see more of him." he looked at me when he said that last part and my eyes widened, wondering if he'd lost his mind. His voice was practically dripping with innuendo. Bree didn't seem to notice. I looked at Marissa, sitting in the car. I hadn't closed the door yet and she looked impatient. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

"Well, do you live close by?" Bree asked.

"Across town." He shrugged, "I don't get down this way all that often."

"That's too bad." Bree sighed. Shit. She really liked him. She was doing that thing with her face, looking all innocent. I didn't like it. I guess I shouldn't be too worried, I was pretty sure that Bree wasn't Jude's type, but the fact that she liked him still bothered me. "So are you going home now?"

"Probably." He smiled at her.

"You know, it's just me and Quinn for dinner most of the time." Bree started. I did not like where this was going. "I usually just cook something up, you should come over. I mean, if you're not doing anything. And if you worked on Quinn's car for free then we could at least cook you dinner."

"I don't think Jude would want to..." I started to say.

"That would nice, actually." Jude smiled at Bree. "I don't have plans."

"What?" I demanded.

"Quinn, can we go?" Marissa frowned up at me, "I should sort of get home."

"Great," Bree was practically beaming at Jude. "You can ride with us if you want."

"I've got my car." He replied, this time glancing back at me. I wasn't sure what he was up to, but I definitely wanted to kill him at the moment.

"Do you mind if I ride with you?" Bree smiled at him, "that way you don't get lost."

"Sure." He shrugged.

"Bree!" I was about to lose my temper. She shouldn't be getting into a car with a stranger, even if he wasn't a complete stranger to me.

"We'll see you at the house, Quinn." Bree insisted, "You know Marissa, you could join us too, seeing how my brother is being too rude to invite you."

I glared at my sister while Jude just smirked at me. And then I looked at Marissa. She looked put on the spot. I guess we both were. I hadn't mentioned to Bree that Marissa and I weren't together anymore. And then I realized that Jude didn't know that either. That even pissed me off more. He'd shown up in front of someone who he thought was still my girlfriend.

"Um..." Bree started, glancing at me.

"You can think about it." Bree smiled back, "If not, we'll see you tomorrow, Mar. See you in a few minutes, Quinn."

I wanted to call after my sister. The idea of her being alone with Jude terrified me for more than one reason. I wanted to hear what they were saying. I wanted to see what they were doing. I was about to lose my damned mind and the way that Jude glanced over his shoulder at me and smirked told me that he knew that. What the hell was he doing?

"Quinn?" Marissa was still looking up at me, only now, she looked concerned.

I forced a smile at her before walking around the car and getting in. When I started to drive I looked around desperately for Jude's car, but saw no sign of it, or my sister. Why was he doing this? Accepting an invitation over to my house? Was he trying to make me crazy? I guess that was probably exactly what he was trying to do.

And why did he have to flirt with my sister? And why did it feel like such a slap in the face? I hated him, just then. It was like he was purposely fucking with my mind, making me wonder what he was saying to my sister. Would he actually tell her what had happened between us? I couldn't let Bree find out that Jude and I had kissed. Not her. Not my sister. What would she think of me? God, why was he doing this?

"So, was that guy really a friend of yours?" I was so lost in my own panic that Marissa's voice made me jump.

"I guess." I shrugged. I didn't sound very convincing.

"Bree seems to like him." Marissa smiled, "I guess he is kind of cute."

Just cute? And what was she getting at? She'd never said things about other guys before, but I guess things were different now that we weren't together anymore.

"Whatever." I frowned.

"God, you're so predictable, Quinn." She laughed.

"What do you mean?" I frowned.

"Bree likes him, so you want to tear the poor guy's head off. You're a good big brother, you know. I'm just glad you're not mine."

I knew that Marissa was only trying to compliment me in her own way. I glanced over at her and forced myself to smile. Maybe she was trying to show me that we were still friends. Unfortunately, I was in no mood to respond to her. I just wanted to get her home as soon as possible, so I could go supervise Bree and Jude. And I felt bad about Marissa too. I'm sure she would have liked it if I at least invited her over, to show her that things were still okay with us. But I couldn't. Not with Jude there. The less people in my life exposed to him, the better.

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