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 “So, Ava,” Jace said, pulling out of the parking lot.

               “So, Jace,” I replied with a grin.

               “Tell me about yourself.”

               “You know quite a bit already. What else would you like to know?”

               “Right now, what do you want to do more than anything else?” he challenged, eyes on the road.

               I thought for a moment, knowing he wouldn’t like my answer. “Not that.”


               “Don’t ask that.”

               “Tell me, Ava. Or I’ll have to drive dangerously until you make me pull over.”

               “I think the cops will get to you before I do.”

               “The police? Oh, please. I laugh in the name of the police. Ha. Ha, ha ha!” he cried, tossing his head around like a maniac.

               I shook my head. “What the **** is wrong with you?” I laughed. He swerved, sending the car past the middle lane and into the fast lane. I gripped the bottom of the seat. “Jace,” I warned.


               “I want to see Alex again.” I looked at his eyes, trying to find any kind of emotion. But his jaw was set, and his mouth was in a firm, thin line. His eyes betrayed nothing.


               “I didn’t mean… You asked. Just, never mind,” I mumbled, gazing out my window. The trees passed by, blurring into each other.

               “You’re right,” I heard him mutter, “I shouldn’t have asked.”


        I kept my focus on the road ahead, hating myself for being jealous. That boy, Alex, had known her since she was a kid. I didn’t have history with her. ****, I hadn’t known him until, what, last week?

                But I know so much already. I know that she’s strong, beautiful, kind. She was torn apart on the inside, and she had tried to stitch herself back together, but she was no doctor. She only succeeded in keeping everything in enough to hold up. But, whether she knew it or not, it would break one day. Maybe soon, maybe not. I don’t know that. But I know that I love her.

               I know that she’s a vegetarian. I know that her favorite color is a light purple. I know that she’s a Virgo. I know that she likes The Lion King more than what’s healthy for any teenager. I know that her birthday was August 26th, and that she’d always been one of the youngest in her class.

               I know that she loved music, and reading. I know that she had a Golden Retriever named Sammy, who absolutely adored her. She thought she just had “a way with animals,” while I suspected it was actually something more.

               I know that she didn’t want to be special, but she could never be anywhere near ordinary to me. 

               However, the car ride was silent.


   We met up withVictoriaat the food court. “Meet back here at four?” Jace suggested.Victoriagrabbed my arm.

               “Split up?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.

               “You’re coming with me, girlie,”Victoriasaid. I glanced at her, the tall and beautiful blonde. I felt like the Ugly Duckling next to her. Well, before it grew up and became all gorgeous and stuff.

               “Why?” I protested, looking back and forth from Jace toVictoria.

               “Because you need ‘girl time,’ something I get the chills just thinking about,” Jace laughed.

               I sighed, unwilling to part with Jace. Someone’s being dependant. I sighed. “Okay, then. But…Four o’clock? That’s five hours from now.”

               Victoria and Jace exchanged glances before bursting into laughter. She wiped her eyes. “Alright, let’s get going. First stop-Victoria’s Secret. I mean, the store’s practically named after me.”

               I felt a blush creep up my cheeks. I stole a glance at Jace. He was smiling my way suggestively. I elbowed him in the gut. “Don’t go getting any ideas,” I whispered.

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