THIRTY-SIX.

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(hello! i updated! can't believe it! if we're being completely honest i wrote this in a day so it's gonna suck ass and is so unedited it hurts me, but we'll get through it

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(hello! i updated! can't believe it! if we're being completely honest i wrote this in a day so it's gonna suck ass and is so unedited it hurts me, but we'll get through it. a lot going on in this chapter, so let's get right into it. missed y'all. love u all tons. -mags)

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"I LOOK LIKE an idiot," Jess muttered, grimacing as Marley made her way around his car to fix the collar of his jacket.

"You look presentable," Marley replied. Her fingers worked to flatten out the fabric that was sticking up around his neck. "You've been hermit-ing for the last two weeks. It's time you put on some real clothes."

"I look like I'm ready for church."

"I have no idea what church you've been going to, but my mother would have grounded me if I ever showed up to mass like that."

"Why do people dress up for church anyway?" he asked, using his free hand to bat at Marley's as she began to finick with one of the buttons on his shirt. The other held a bottle of wine the two of them were offering as a hostess gift. It was one of the few that Luke recommended that the two of them could afford. "It doesn't feel necessary."

"Because God apparently doesn't listen to poorly dressed people," she deadpanned, glancing over his shoulder at door a couple of yards away from them. "He's like Anna Wintour. Or Clinton Kelly."

Jess watched with furrowed brows as Marley used the reflection of the driver's side window to fix her hair. "Why are you so freaked out right now?"

Marley couldn't refrain from rolling her eyes. "I'm not freaked out," she replied, shaking her head. "I just like these people. They're super nice and cool and want them to like me. And you."

"They invited you back. For dinner," he pointed out. "You had to have made a pretty good impression."

"Okay, well, then I don't want them to regret it," she said, finally moving away from the window to look at him. She was met with a blank stare. "Don't look at me like that. You know this is how my brain works."

A hint of a smile twisted at his lips. "I do."

"So just let me... y'know. Be crazy for a sec."

Jess sighed, shaking his head at her antics as he watched her stare at the door again. Having had enough and frankly thinking that the idea of 'letting her be crazy' was ridiculous, he threw his arms around her shoulders and pulled her into his side, dragging her along with him as he walked toward the house. "Relax," he told her. "You're gonna be fine."

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