Chapter Thirty-One

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Ever since confronting me in the girls locker room during the game Jason has been on my mind more than ever. His words echoed in my head as I continued jogging.

I never wanted to hurt you.

I inhaled a deep breath through my nose and let it out through my mouth. Running usually calmed me down and cleared my mind but today it just wasn't working.

I do love you!

Love. Present tense. As in he still loves me. My heart fluttered like crazy at that thought. Too bad my thoughts were destroyed by my memories of what happened Thanksgiving night. I desperately tried forgetting about what happened between Jason and his dad but I couldn't. He betrayed me, used me for his fathers sick plan. Here I was opening up to him completely all while he was just stringing me along.

Your brother warned me to stay away before he calls the cops on me.

Jason's last words bounced around in my head just as I reached my backyard. I've been thinking of when Austin could have possibly spoken with Jason but I could never come up with an answer. I never brought it up to him because I honestly didn't know how. If I brought it up then he'd know Jason has been in contact with me and he'll call the cops; if I never confronted him about it then I'd never know how he spoke with Jason.

I walked inside the kitchen through the backdoor just as Austin was getting up from the kitchen table where Evan was sitting doing his homework.

"Finally done working off those extra pounds?" Austin chuckled at his own joke and walked into the family room.

"I think you look great." Evan complemented me.

I spun around to face Evan and sent him a bewildered look. He never said anything nice to me, it was usually something insulting or infuriating.

"Thank you?" I asked more than stated. "What are you up to?" I suspiciously asked him.

He laughed and leaned back in the chair while folding his arms. His dark brown eyes glistened with mischief and he smirked.

"Nothing, Dallas. I can't complement you?"

I shook my head. "No, because it's unlike you."

His smirk fell but he continued looking at me. "Dallas, we're getting older, we're about to graduate in a few months, and then we'll be heading off to college. I'm trying to grow up here and become your friend."

Not once during his little speech did his voice falter and his eyes never left mine. "You're lying." I replied with narrowed eyes.

He chuckled and shook his head. "Okay, believe what you want. I'm just trying to mend our friendship before heading off to college. I figured it would be nice that we can have each other during college during the first couple of months until we get used to everything."

His words hit me like a ton of bricks. We were leaving in the next few months. We were gonna be on our own soon, forced to grow up. If tolerating Evan is what it took to prove to my parents how responsible I was then dad might possibly buy me a car if I ask.

"I guess you're right." I mumbled.

"I usually am." Evan chuckled. I raised an eyebrow at him and he put up his hands in surrender. "Sorry."

"See ya around." I said and began walking out of the kitchen until Evan called me back. "What?"

"You wanna go out tonight?"

"Evan-" I began to say until he cut me off.

"Its not a date. I just wanna hang out as friends. If you don't feel comfortable with that Austin can come along too."

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