THREE

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Chapter 4

I see Jake Alfresco hovering over me as my eyes open slowly.
"Jake?" I manage to say weakly.
"Yeah, it's me Josie. What happened? You basically fainted. Are you okay?" He asks with a look of concern in his pretty blue eyes.

I look around and realize that I'm on a sofa, still at Macy's, with a lot of people gathering around and staring. I really hate this much attention. I just want to get out of here.

"Josie?" Jake says worriedly.
"Yeah?"
"Do you wanna get out of here?" He asks me.

It's like he read my mind. I simply nod my head in response and give him a small smile.

A waitress hands me my bag, as I manage to get on my feet.
Jake offers me his shoulder to lean on as we walk to his car parked outside. He's really a nice guy after all.

Wow, he has a pretty good looking car even though I don't know the name.
He opens the door for me and I climb in carefully, still scared about fainting again.
I honestly can't close my eyes now as I'm worried I'll see that demon again.

He goes over to the driver's seat and gets in.
"Where do you wanna go?" He asks.
"I think it's better I just head home. It's been a heck of a day."
"Okay then, lead the way."

The next few minutes involve me showing him the directions and him trying to make me smile, even when he doesn't know what actually happened. Yet people say he's a dangerous and bad person. I guess behind all that is someone that still cares. I stare into his deep blue eyes as I get lost in them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Thank you again, you didn't have to."
I say to Jake, as we stand at my door.
He insisted on walking me in, even when I turned down his offer twice.
"It's nothing," he says with his hands in his pocket.
"See you around then Josie."

I suddenly feel alone again as he starts walking towards his black car.
"Hey Jake,"
He turns around and looks at me.
"Wanna hang for a couple more minutes?" Please say yes.

He looks at his wristwatch then at me.
"Um.. sure. I could stay for a while."
He gives me his little smirk as he walks towards me.

We both enter into my apartment and take a seat on my couch.
"So, are you okay? What happened in there?" He asks, looking a bit scared of how I might react to his question.

"Well, I guess I do owe you some answers for saving me back there at least. But it's complicated, all I'm sure about is that I'm not ready to stay alone in here." I say quietly while looking at my carpet.
He raises my chin up and looks at me, "It's okay, you don't have to explain if you don't want to. I'll stay as long as I can."
I'm at a loss of words, so I simply give him the best smile my face could form.

We decide to order some pizza as I still haven't had anything but that spaghetti at Mrs Woods house.

He picks out a movie for us to watch, Spenser Confidential, and we sit on my couch eating pizza while laughing over things that a normal human wouldn't find humorous.

The last thing I remember is falling asleep in East High's bad guy's arms as he strokes my medium-length dark brown hair.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

*bell rings*

Everyone immediately exits the class to have lunch. Though I'm really starving and craving my french fries right now, I find myself too lazy to get my butt off the chair.
I sit there a little longer than necessary, enjoying the silence that fills the room until my hunger starts to pinch me out of it.

I decide to leave for the cafeteria as Emilia might be looking for me. Halfway there, I see a crowd of students in a circle-like form. It's probably just some jocks fighting over something stupid, as usual.

Feeling uninterested, I ignore the scene and decide to pass another route. But then a voice gets my attention, "Owen please stop!!!"

Wait, isn't that Emilia? Owen is involved a fight? This is so not good.
I run to their direction with the aim of ending the fight, that's if I can, without getting a punch too.
I squeeze through the crowd and finally get to the centre.

"Owen!!!" I yell to get his attention, but all to no avail.
"Owen stop!" this time a little louder, but he still doesn't lay off.
"Owen! Would you get your hands off him and stop being a monster like HIM!" This time he freezes and looks me in the eye.

"Owen, please stop." I say with a low tune.
"Josie, I..." he tries to explain himself.
I held my hand up at him to swallow whatever he had to say.

"Just pull yourself together and go get cleaned up."
With that, I turn around and leave for the cafeteria, ignoring the murmurings I hear from the bystanders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sitting on my usual table and finally munching on my fries, Emilia walks in and stops in front of me.

"Josie, wow! Thanks for ending the fight back there. I almost lost my voice from so much shouting." She says and we both laugh.
"Nahhh, it was nothing."

"Alright but how the hell did you do that?" Emilia asks, as she takes a sit at the table.
"Do what?" I reply while chewing on my fries.

"You know, get Owen back to his senses?"
"Oh, that. Well you know he's my best-friend, meaning we know the button to press if either one of us gets in a situation like that." I explain to her with more focus on my fries.

"By the way, what happened back there?" Owen hardly gets into fights so how this happened really intrigues me.

"Well, I was on my way to the cafeteria and then Josh comes over trying to create a conversation. It was going well until he began to intrude on my breathing space and trying to get his hands all over me. I told him to stop but he didn't listen. I tried walking away but he grabbed my wrist and dragged me back. Then from nowhere, Owen appears telling Josh to get his hands off me with a deadly looking stare on his face. To be very honest, I know Owen was on my side, but his look really creeped me out." She explains.

I chuckle a bit, almost choking on my fries.

"Don't laugh, it's not funny Josie."
"Well, back there it wasn't, but now it is. So continue.." I gesture with my left hand.

"Whatever, so Josh didn't listen to him either and he didn't get the hint that Owen was actually being serious. So, the dummy goes ahead to make a very terrible remark that you might not want to hear. Next thing I see is Josh on the floor receiving endless punches from Owen. Then you came and you know the rest." She ends and starts to eat her lunch.

"Oh Owen, trying to be the knight in shining armor." I say to myself and chuckle lightly.

"What'd you say?" Emilia asks.

"Um, was just wondering what Josh said that made Owen so mad. But never mind, at least it's over now." I manage to think of something to say.
Luckily, she just nods her head in response and continues eating.

Owen walks in and his eyes immediately finds us. He walks over ignoring the stares and settles himself right beside me, resting his head on my shoulder.

I poke at his side sharply to get his head off me.
"What was that for?" he says, pretending to be in pain.
"To get your big head off my shoulder, thank you." I reply, as I pretend to dust dirt off my shoulder.

"Big head," Emilia whispers to herself, chuckling.
Owen rests his head on my shoulder again and this time, I simply push him off the chair.
"Ouch!!" He cries out loudly in pain like he just fell from the Eiffel Tower.

I turn to Emilia and we both laugh as he tries to get off the floor.

"You two are so weird.." Emilia says, before her attention falls on someone.

"Look who's here," She continues.
"Oh, hey Dylan, how you doing?" I say to him, acknowledging his presence.

"I'm good." He takes a seat between Emilia and I.
"Hey bro, heard what happened in the halls. I'm proud of you mehn."

"Thanks man." Owen replies, as they both stretch their hands forward to do their guys handshake thingy.

"Why would you encourage him on something like that?" I say, smacking their hands away from each other.
"And you," I turn to Owen.
"Don't even think I'm done with you yet." I throw him a deadly stare.

"Come on babe, let it go already." He says whining.
"Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back anymore..." Emilia sings quietly and we all turn to look at her.

"What? I'm just trying to ease the tension here and the "let it go" statement just triggered me.

"Seriously!" Dylan says while me and Owen simply shake our heads at her.

The bell rings, signifying the end of our lunch break and I quickly jump off my seat.

"Alright people, I have Mrs Brighton right now so I need to run." You definitely shouldn't go late to that woman's class if you wish to live. I exchange goodbyes with my friends and then head for class.

On my way out, I bump into a figure which turns out to be Jake. I haven't seen him since he left my place on Saturday night.

"Hey Jake, I'm sorry. I was in a hurry and I still am though." I say to him after getting my balance.
"Hey, how are you?"
"I'm fine." I reply him plainly still in a hurry to leave.

He looks at me intensely as if repeating the same question again through his eyes.
"Jake, don't worry. I'm alright and thanks again for the other night by the way."
"Don't mention it. I enjoyed spending time with you." He says and I try not to blush.
"Me too, so thank you, again."

I run out of the cafeteria quickly.
Just as fast as I left, I run back in immediately, hitting Jake, again.
"Oh sorry, I forgot something." I say loudly not stopping.

I get to my table and my friends stare at me like I'm some stranger.
"What?" I ask them.
They keep looking at me like they're expecting me to explain something. That's not why I came here anyway. My phone.

I grab it from Owen's hand and leave them to keep staring. Don't they have classes to get to? I leave for Mrs Brighton's class, again.

"What just happened there!" Owen shouts as I leave the table.
Knowing exactly what he was talking about, I reply him loudly, still heading for class, "A conversation big head!"

My eyes find Jake's and we smile at each other. For a moment it seems like time slows down and it's just me and him on the planet.
Oh Josie, you're definitely late for class.
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