"'Get to know her', she said." I mock with a scoff and roll my eyes, annoyed. I almost put myself out there again.
Bell huffs in frustration. "I don't get why you're so upset."
I glare at her in disbelief. "I just told you the entire story."
Bell rolls her eyes back at me. "She doesn't like Oliver, you moron. She likes you!"
Max nods in agreement. "I don't get women but even I get that."
Bell folds her arms across her chest. "It's true, he doesn't." She glowers at him before scowling at me again.
I frown at them. "She laughed at his jokes."
Bell fakes a gasp and places a hand over her mouth. "Oh no! She did?! You're right, Benley, she's in love with him!"
I narrow my eyes at her. "I don't appreciate your sarcasm."
"I don't appreciate your stupidity," she replies, in turn, literally knocking some sense into me with another slap of hers.
Max winces for me and sends me an apologetic glance when she's not looking. When she spots him, he nods at her as if on her side. "He totally deserved it, Babe."
"Always gotta hit where it hurts," I say and then sigh as I dwell in my dilemma. "If only AJ could just not be so hot."
"Or if only you could man up and date her," Bell adds, fueling yet another oncoming argument.
"No," I shake my head, adamant. "I don't want to...but I don't want anyone else to either."
Max chuckles. "I get that."
"Benjamin," Bell drawls out in frustration, ignoring Max, "even your family like her. You have to admit, your sisters don't just like anybody."
Yeah...they'd hate Bell if they ever met her. They already hate hearing about her, but I'm not about to tell Bell that.
"True," I agree. "My sisters never approve of my choice in girls. They've been protective over me, ever since Bex."
"Exactly, Benjamin, exactly." Bell places her hands on her hips as if to get her message across.
"Would you stop calling me that?!" I exclaim in exasperation, fed up. "You know that it's not my name!"
"It should be though!" Bell shouts back. "'Cause you're acting like one!"
"What does that even mean?!" I yell at her, drained.
"I think we will all be a lot calmer if we all went over to Dylan's and ordered ice cream," Max suggests quickly, his stomach growling loudly.
"I heard that it's closing down," I reply, still furious. As far as I know, Dylan's gone bankrupt. I guess it's 'cause his number one customer is in New York now.
"You're a real buzzkill, you know?" Max shakes his head at me despite my words being true.
"You just don't want to see Bex, right?" Bell asks quietly, aware of my thoughts.
"What do you think?" I retort cockily. "Of course, I don't want to see that revolting invalid."
"Good news," Bell chirps excitedly, "she dumped Dylan."
Most insensitive person I know...other than her brother.
"Probably because he's about to lose everything," I add bitterly. That girl has never been after someone for the right reasons. She's self-absorbed. She doesn't care who she hurts along the way. I can't believe I ever fell for that trap.
"Poor Simo." Max sighs, making it evident who his favorite at that store is. "I really liked the guy."
I nod. "Yeah. Dylan's probably gonna have to let him go."
To be honest, Simo should have been fired a long time ago. He's completely useless. Still, he was one of Aqueela's friends. I don't need another reason other than that. Aqueela changed my life. She made me see that I don't have to be unhappy forever. Things do get better. And I believe that they'll get better for her, and they'll get better for Jay. At least, some day.
The doorbell rings, pulling me from my thoughts. Bell goes to open the door, a giddy grin on her face. I raise my eyebrows at her, skeptical. Her smile just widens as she brushes me off.
I glance over at Max to see him fidgeting, avoiding my stare as if guilty.
"Your future-to-be invited AJ over, didn't she?" I ask.
Max nods, relieved. "Yup. Uh-huh. She totally did." He then pauses, a taunting smirk on his face. "She invited your future-to-be over," he confirms.
I glare at him. "I'm going to strangle you...and then I'm going to kill your wife."
"Hey man," Max narrows his eyes at me, holding his hands up in surrender, "she's not my wife yet. Don't let her hear you talking about things like that. It freaks her out."
Is that all he heard?!
"Bell!" AJ stomps her foot in fury as her gaze lands on me. "You didn't tell me that he'd be here."
I slouch back in my seat and kick my feet up on the coffee table ahead of me. "Well, hello to you too." I tease, sending her a playful wave with my fingers.
Sometimes, I just can't help but be an ass. She brings out the worst in me.
"Get your feet off, macho man." Bell scowls down at me before swatting my feet off her beloved table.
I rat Max out, unable to hold her terrifying stare. "Max broke a vase last time I visited."
"Dude," Max complains when Bell turns her vicious stare onto him instead, "you promised."
"We fired our housekeeper for that, Max!" Bell hits him upside the head like she does me.
I laugh. For once, it isn't me.
AJ huffs at me, unimpressed. "Bad boyfriend and bad friend."
I bite my lip in irritation. "I was never your boyfriend."
"You don't know that," she argues like an idiot.
"Maybe that was the problem in our relationship!" I protest.
"Ha!" She points her finger at me accusingly. "So, you admit that there was a relationship?"
"Not that kind of relationship," I mutter, angrily folding my arms across my chest. There's just no winning with this maniac.
"I'm so done with you." She shakes her head at me, her dark locks framing her annoyingly beautiful face.
"Okay, fine, I'm sorry," I find myself saying despite not wanting to say it.
"You don't mean it." She turns her head away from me, refusing to acknowledge my apology.
"I'm done." I stand up, ready to throw in the towel on this crazy girl. Unfortunately, Bell forces me back down, giving me her murderous look of warning. "I'm done being a jerk," I correct myself quickly.
"It's about time," Max buts in, taking AJ's side. "I think I speak for all of us when I say that we're all growing tired of your jerkiness."
I merely shake my head at him, unsurprised. He's literally the male version of Aqueela. He gets a kick out of stirring the pot.
"You sure?" AJ asks me, ignoring Max flat like most females do, even Bell. "'Cause I can wait," she concludes in sarcasm.
I groan in defeat. "I'm sorry, AJ. Do you want me to say it again?"
I stepped right into that one.