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Chapter 7

Josie's POV

I gulped a bit loudly on hearing his words, how could it be his? He's definitely joking, yeah he's probably just messing with me.

I turn my attention back to Mrs Bay's teaching, but my mind still ponders on how the hoodie could be Jake's. Wait, did he give it to Vivian then? Does he know her? Are they dating!? Even if they are that shouldn't bother me, right? Yeah, it's none of my business.

I try to spend the rest of the class listening to Mrs Bay, as different theories run through my mind. At last the bell rings, saving my thoughts from being the death of me.

Quickly, I gather my books to run out before Jake grabs me pulling me back to my seat.
"That's my hoodie, and you shouldn't be wearing it anywhere. It's.. it's not safe." He says nervously.

Not safe! Because he's a bad boy I can't be seen with his hoodie?

"I just got this hoodie from a new friend, Vivian. So how on earth can it be yours, except...except you and her are close?"

Why did I have to add that? It's none of my concern, but I'm definitely curious...

"Oh that little prick! I've told her to lay off my stuff.." he says quietly to himself.

"Vivian's my cousin, she probably took it from my closet again."
His words bring a certain relief to my troubled mind. Oh, they're just cousins.

"Cousins? But how come she's a totally different race?" I ask.
"My Uncle married an African. But seriously Josie take off the hoodie. I mean it."

Why does he have a problem with me wearing it? It's not like I wanted to in the first place.

"You certainly don't want to see what's under this. I can't, you'll have it back tomorrow since it's so special."

"Can't you wear it inside out?" He suggests.
"Are you crazy? What's with you! Why can't I just wear it? What harm is there?"

He stays silent and ruffles his gorgeous hair. I wonder how soft it is, if only I could just... Josie! Snap out of it.

"If you're done questioning me, I have a class to get to. I'll give Vivian your precious hoodie, I never really liked it in the first place." I manage to say, even though I'm totally mesmerized by his strong smell on the hoodie.

And with that, I head for my next class before I end up getting detention.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Did you hear about the new exchange student?"
"She's a hot blondie!"
"She doesn't look like a natural blonde to me."

The echoes of rumors fill my ears as I walk to the cafeteria for lunch. People can't seem to stop talking about the new exchange student. Is she some goddess they want to start worshipping already, geez.

"Hey Josie." I hear Emilia call me from behind.
"Hey Em. Oh yeah, I was thinking maybe we should hang this weekend, you know, like a girls night."

Now that I have a close female friend, I don't plan on spending my whole free time listening to Owen's rants. I think I owe my inner self some girl-bonding time.

"Sure, that sounds fun. I'll ask my dad about it." She replies smiling.

We walk together to the cafeteria, order our lunch and find our usual seat. If anyone actually got there before us, all it took was a shade of my dark stare to scare them off. Even Emilia said it creeps her out sometimes.

"Have you seen the new exchange student guys, she's hot!" I hear Dylan ask, as Em and I take our seats.

"Yeah, yeah. The blondie everyone can't seem to stop talking about." I say uninterestedly.

"Where's Owen?" Emilia asked.
"He's..." Before Dylan could finish his sentence, I see the big head heading towards us already.
"here apparently." I cut in.

"Did I miss anything?" Owen asks, taking a seat beside Emilia, who's opposite me.
"Nothing so far." Em says.

"What's with the hoodie?" Owen asks.
"Got stained with coffee."

"Forgot where your mouth was?" Dylan says, laughing beside me.
I smack the back of his head and he coughs out one of his fries, which lands on Owen's face.

"Grossss!" Emilia and I say simultaneously, as Owen sits there in shock.

The next seconds are filled with laughter from me and Em, as Dylan and Owen fight over who gets rid of the muggy fry that's stuck on Owen's face.

The fry ends up falling down willingly from Owen's face, so no one has to touch it.

"Okay, Okay that's enough guys before I pass out." I manage to say, as I finally tame my laughter.

"I got hit by some blonde who had a coffee in her hand." I finally explain to them.
Come to think of it, is that rude blonde the new exchange student people keep drooling over?!

"Blonde, the new girl, you've met her?" Dylan asks with curious eyes.

"What new girl?" Em says.

"You haven't heard?" Owen chips in.

"I don't know if it's the same person but if it is, then East High's found a new queen bee and I'm definite she's choosing her minions right now as we speak." I hear Em chuckling at my words.

"You should have put in a word or two about me, cause damn she's hot!" Dylan says.
"When? When she was busy spilling her coffee all over me or when she was being bitchy?" I ask him.

He just stays quiet as I hear Owen say "Ouch."

I spot Vivian siting alone at a table, she probably has no friends.
"I'll be right back guys." Without waiting for their response, I head towards Vivian.

"Hey Vivian, need some company?" I ask her with my best smile.
"Thanks Josie, but don't worry, I'm good."

"No, I insist. Come sit with me and my friends over there." I point towards the direction of my friends and Em waves at us.

"Josie...I don't wanna intrude, you sure your friends would want me there?" She asks with her head down.

"Sure they will. They're cool, even though they can be really annoying sometimes." She laughs at my words and displays a beautiful smile.

"Okay, I'll come."
I wait for her to take her food and bag, before we walk to our table.

"Guys, meet Vivian. She happens to be my saving grace for today, as she offered me a hoodie to hide my giant scar, of coffee." I smile at Viv, as I put an arm around her shoulder.

"Vivian, meet my friends. This is Emilia, Dylan and Owen." I say, pointing to each of them as I mention their names.

"Hey Vivian."
They exchange greetings and welcome her to the table.

Few minutes pass and we're all done eating after hearing a bit about Vivian. Turns out she just recently came from Seattle to stay with her cousin, Jake, because her parents went on a business trip for a year and didn't want to leave her all alone.

Well I'm glad she's here. I would have spent the whole day looking worse than I already was.

"Oh guys, before I forget, you all are invited to my last day at Winners. My boss is retiring and selling the place so she says I can have some friends over for dinner, it's all on the house."

"As long as there's food I'm in." Dylan says.
"Cool, I'll be there." I hear Owen say.
"That sounds fun." Vivian says a bit nervously.
"Alright, but what about your job Josie?" Em asks.

Yeah, that was the sad part. But at least Mrs Mara agreed that I could still rent the apartment; good thing she's not selling that.

"Well, starting from this weekend I'm gonna be on a job hunt. If you have any suggestions I'm open, as long as it doesn't involve clubs."

"I'll let you know if I hear anything Josie. Sorry you had to lose your job." Em says, as she reaches for my hand and holds it.

"Aww, thank you Em. These big heads didn't even ask about that. Oh excluding you Vivian." I smile at her, as the guys put on a jealous look.

The bell rings, interrupting them from making up any excuses.

"Alright guys, dinner by 7:30 at Winners don't be late. Oh Vivian, you can ask Jake to drive you there if you don't know the place." I tell her, suddenly remembering that she's still new around this environment.

"Sure, I will. Thanks Josie." Vivian responds with a smile.

I leave them with a reminder to dress nicely, as we all part ways to head for our next class.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Melissa, I'm really going to miss you." I said, hugging her tightly.

"I'm gonna miss you too Josie, but um...I wouldn't want to be die in your arms. Josie I can't breathe." She manages to let out and I immediately release her.

"So, are you having your friends over?" I ask her, hoping to hear a yes.
"Sadly, no. I have to go home early, got some things that needs to be done, my brother needs me, he is still recovering from the accident. "

"Oh. I'm sorry, how is he?"
"Getting Better."
I would have believed that but her eyes spoke the opposite.

"Everything's gonna be fine Mel, okay?"
"Yeah, I hope so. Okay, so I have to get going now. Love you. And I definitely hope this won't be our last meeting. Call me." She hugs me one last time and then starts walking towards the door.

"It won't." I said loudly enough for her to hear. We'll definitely hang again sometime. Sigh.

I quickly go to the back to change into the extra clothes I had in my locker. Who knew they'll come in handy one day? A ripped blue jean and a plain black top. Looks good though.

I look at Jake's hoodie and decide to wear it either way; stain or not I'm keeping it on, for today at least.

Coming back out, I spot Emilia, already taking a seat at a table. She's probably wondering where everyone is.

"Hey Em, trust you always to be on time."
"It's in my genes girl." She says jokingly.
She looks cute even in her simple black dress.

"So where are the guys?" Em asks.
"I'm sure they'll be here soon. They better not be late or I'll kill them both." We both laugh softly.

"And Vivian?"
"I'm sure she'll come around."
It'll be cool if she joins us, she seems nice.

Few seconds later, Owen and Dylan walk in. They're dressed casually and I'm impressed. The last time I invited Owen somewhere, he wore a hoodie and his jogging pants. He looked like a crazy person to be sincere.

"Hey people." Owen says, taking a seat beside Em.
"Yo, I hope no food has been served without me being here." Dylan asks even before sitting down.

"Foodie." Em says.
"You know me girl." Dylan responds, sitting down.

"No, we haven't started. We're still waiting for ..."
"Hey Josie!" A voice interrupts me.

I look towards the door and see Vivian, not alone, but with Jake, walking towards our table. Some part of me is happy to see those deep blue eyes again but the other part is still mad about him freaking out over a silly hoodie; that I'm currently still wearing.

"Hey Vivian... and Jake? I'm happy you could make it."
"Thank you for inviting me and I hope you don't mind Jake joining, he insisted on following me." Vivian says, hugging me before she goes on to exchange greetings with the others.

He insisted on coming? Why would he want to hang out with me and my friends?

"You still have that on?" Jake says, without even saying "hi."

"Nice to see you too. You're welcome to join us, even though I didn't invite you. And yes, I still have it on." He just smiles, as his eyes scan me from head to toe.

"Are you done?" I ask him.
"Whatever." He says nervously, throwing his hands into his pockets.

Did Jake Alfresco just check me out? Trust me, my legs felt weakened at that point, but I tried all my best to avoid blushing in front of him.

"Okay guys, let's get the table rolling." I shout, dropping the bottles of drinks on the table as I take a sit next to Vivian.

"Soft drinks? That's all you got?" Jake says, looking surprised.
"Well, I'm not ready to deal with a bunch of drunk teenagers so let's just have a sober night of fun." I smile at him.

The night goes by fast with us playing different games, discussing random topics and getting to know ourselves more.

It's been fun getting to know Jake. He lives with his dad, oh plus Vivian now and he prefers taking walks at night.
During all this, I realized that his bad boy thing was nothing but a mask. A facade. He's so much more underneath.
I stare at him smiling so brightly, over some joke Dylan made.

My thoughts are suddenly disrupted as I hear the door opening, revealing Mrs Mara and the last person I expect to see, the dreadful bitch that ruined my shirt with coffee.

Why on earth is she even here and with my boss? Way to ruin the evening.

"Hello Everyone." Mrs Mara said, with a side smile on her face.

"I believe you're all having fun?"

"Yes ma'am." Emilia answers for the group, while the others just nod and I smile at my boss.

"Oh, call me Mara dear. So sorry to interrupt your dinner, but can I borrow Josie for a minute?"
"Sure you can." Dylan answers this time.

"Oh it's not a problem Mrs Mara. I'll be right back guys." I say, before following her to the back of the room.
Behind us was the blonde who hasn't said anything since she came in. Her attention remained on her phone like her life depends on it.

"So Josie." She began when got to the back room. "Meet Miss Green. Our client's daughter. The one buying the restaurant. Skylar, this is Josie, one of my most reliable employee."

Skylar Green. Hm, totally a bitchy name. Nevertheless, I extend my hand trying to be polite cause I know that's what Mrs Mara expects of me.

"Oh, hi Josie. We already met right?" She says uninterestedly, ignoring my hand.
"Is that right Josie?" Mrs Mara asks.
I simply nod my head in response.

"Well that's good. I'll be leaving now. I just wanted to show her the place. Oh, make sure you lock up and hand over the keys to Skylar. I'll see you later Josie." She says, giving me a hug.

But before she let go, she whispered into my ear, "I'm sorry this decision cost you your only job, I'm sure you'll understand dear." I nodded, knowing that it was a tough one for her to take.

Walking back to join the others, Skylar calls me back, "The keys lady." She says bluntly.

"Can I give you tomorrow? I'm kinda in the middle of dinner with my friends."
I mean, didn't she see us when she came in?

"And what makes you think I care. I own this place now. So pack your things and leave. Oh and don't worry about how you'll tell your friends, I can help you with that."
She chuckles with a mean look and turns around to leave the room.

I run towards her to try to stop her from ruining our dinner but it was too late already.

"Okay guys, dinner time is over. I own this place now. You can leave and go home to your mamas, I'm sure their waiting." She says with a serious face, acting like she's giving an order to her employees.

"What's going on here?" Dylan asked looking confused.
"Is she the one that bought this place over?" Emilia adds.
"Skylar?" Jake calls her name. How does he even know her name.

I was about to reply to Em and Dylan's questions but the bitch continues talking.

"Jake? Jake Alfresco?"
She says, walking closer to him and stops when she's only an inch apart from his face. You guys can stay. Only because of Jake here." She says, smiling at him.

"Hey, Skylar. My dad mentioned you were coming. Didn't know you were already here." He says, scratching the back of his head.
"Oh I arrived yesterday. We have a lot of catching up to do, don't we?" She says a bit flirtatiously.

"Yeah, but later. We're kinda in the middle of something here. It's nice to see you again though." Jake responds.

"Oh you'll definitely be seeing more of me. I'll catch you later Jakie." She winks at him before she finally leaves.

"I don't like her. How on earth do you know her Jake." Vivian blurts out.

"We were neighbors back when I lived in Seattle. You probably don't remember her cause you usually stayed away when she was over." Jake explains.

"Oh, I guess she was even bitchy back then too." Vivian says, earning a laugh from everyone.

"But guy, did I hear her call you Ja..Jakie?" Owen asks laughing.
Jake throws him a glare as the rest of us laugh over his nickname. At least it helped lighten the mood around here.

We get back to our dinner but my mind is still on the subject of Skylar and Jake. I hate the way she's acting all cozy with him. I wonder how close they were back then.

"Josie, you in for a round of 20 questions?" Dylan asks, pulling me out of my thoughts.
Before I could respond, the sound of the door opening interrupts me. Is it that bitch...

I suddenly go speechless as I see two men dressed in black, wearing masks and holding a gun. Everyone at the table remains shocked.

The men look like they're robbers if I'm not mistaken.
I manage to blurt out words, "What do you want? You can have our money, just...just don't hurt us."

"What are you doing Josie?" Owen whispers.

"We're not here for your stupid money, we're only here for one person."
One of the men coated in black said.

Before I could process his statement, the sound of a gunshot fills the place.

Oh my God, what just happened?

Hope you enjoyed reading the long chapter guys.
So, who do you think got shot?
Till the next update, stay safe people!
Choco X Vanille✨
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