AJ blinks up at me, stunned. "Let's go outside," she suggests, closing the door behind us, making sure her dad doesn't follow. "Go ahead, explain yourself," she says, taking a seat on the front doorstep. "Because to be honest, I'm really at a loss here."
I sit down beside her, my nerves eating me up alive -- Bell was so right about this one, I didn't think any of this through. "I'm ready to tell you the rest," I muster up the words, aware that she knows what I mean.
AJ smiles in surprise. "Well, well, well..."
I frown. "What, what, what?"
"I never thought you'd ever be able to," she replies in honesty.
You're not the only one.
"A few years ago, I was dating a girl named..." I pause for a few seconds before managing to spit out her name, "Bex."
AJ nods, listening attentively. "That's a stupid name. I don't like it."
I have to chuckle at that. She's already managed to make this that much easier for me. "Yeah," I agree, "that should have been my first warning sign."
AJ places a hand on my arm. "What did she do?" She asks knowingly. When I don't say anything, she speaks again. "Was with Oliver, wasn't it?"
She's put the pieces of the puzzle together.
I nod, finally confirming it. "She cheated on me the night I was going to propose to her, and with my best friend of all people."
I feel AJ's hands going up and behind my neck. I freeze when I realize that she's hugging me, even after I put her through all my dramatic, personal issues.
There's a soft knock on the window. My eyes follow the sound. I see Adrien staring at me from inside, just out of his sister's view seeing as she currently has her back to him. He glares at me and draws a line over his neck before pointing at me. Next thing I know, he's putting up a piece of paper to the window before his father tugs him back by the collar of his shirt. I sigh internally when I see the words even though he's disappeared:
'Just remember that the master of the universe is watching you!'
The kid's a real mood killer!
"Oliver was never a true friend. He was and is generic in every aspect. It's why I never liked him from the start," AJ says once she's pulled back from the embrace to look at me, snapping me from my thoughts of killing Adrien -- forget Oliver. "It was painful forcing myself to laugh at his lame jokes and pick-up lines. If I knew what he did to you, I honestly would have told him off a long time ago."
"You laugh at my lame pick-up lines," I point out with a mischievous grin, tuning back into the conversation.
She rolls her blue eyes at me. "Not to flatter you but as I've said before, I knew you were something special the second I saw you stumbling like an idiot to your car."
My grin slowly fades away. "How was that supposed to flatter me, AJ? You literally just called me an idiot."
She laughs in response. "If the term fits...."
"Anyway," I continue, ignoring that remark, "you're nothing like Bex. Total opposites. And maybe that's why I like us together."
"Bex sounds like a T-Rex," AJ gives her opinion. "Who does that to someone? Who does that to Benley MacAllister? Who does that to you?" She asks softly, still reeling in disbelief.
I shrug. "It is what it is." I brush the matter off, no longer wanting to dwell on it. I lean forward without thinking twice and attempt to kiss her, ready to get back to where we left off at.
AJ pulls a confused face at me just as I'm about to close my eyes and connect our lips. She flinches back slightly and stifles a laugh before shaking her head. "Uh...no." She moves away in the nick of time.
I snap my eyes back open, still frozen a few centimeters away from her face. "What?" I ask, at a loss for more words.
"No," she repeats the worst word in the entire world.
"What do you mean 'no'?" I ask, humiliated, moving back and allowing her her space.
"I mean what it means. I mean no. No means no, Benjy," she clarifies.
Embarrassed, I hesitantly ask the dreaded question. "Is it...my breath?"
She giggles into her hand and shakes her head. "No, Benley, it's not your breath, it's you."
"I believe the saying is 'it's not you, it's me'," I correct her, so bewildered by her refusal to get back together.
"No, it's not me, it's definitely you," she says, pulling herself back up to her feet. "I appreciate you confiding in me but if you want an 'us' to exist, you're going to have to work for me in the way that I first had to work for you. Until then, the answer is no, no, we're not dating, and no, you're not my boyfriend," she explains, failing to hide a grin as she slips back inside her house, locking me out.
I sit for a few minutes, processing her words before it actually lands and hits me in the face. You've got to be freaking kidding me! I abruptly stand up and pound on AJ's door. "You cannot be serious, AJ! I flew all the way here for you! This is not funny! C'mon!" I call out to her, receiving no response in return.
I slide down her door and text her, only to find that she's blocked me. She sure isn't going to make this easy for me. My mood darkens further when my phone lights up with a text message from an unknown number:
Just filling you in to let you know that I'm home safely and waiting for your return. Cue your sigh of relief. You were probably so worried about me. Fortunately, I lost Ramos on the way back from the beach. He could possibly have been abducted seeing as I last saw him being dragged away by some Mexican with a gun, the same Mexican whose truck I used to get back home. Now that I'm sitting here, having Max text you while I carefully blowdry my hair, it's possible I may have traded Ramos for the truck. Don't really know; I don't speak English Mexican well.
Coolios! See you soon, best buddy!
Troy's not dead?! Even after I abandoned him four hours away from home with no transport, he still managed to survive?! He's still not dead?! Could this day get any flippen worse?!
Hey guys :)
So, this was officially the last chapter. I hope you enjoyed it! If you want to continue their story to see what happens, you'll have to read Rewind, that's if you haven't already :D There will be a bonus chapter soon that features a special someone ;)
1. What was your favorite part of this chapter?
2. What was your favorite part of this book?
3. Do you think AJ did the right thing by making Ben work for her?
4. Do you feel sorry for Benley or does he deserve all of it?
5. Will we ever see Ramos again?
Thanks for the support!
See you guys soon in the bonus chapter :)