Chapter 5

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F I V E

I WINCED AS another round of thunder sounded, and Jay wrapped a protective arm around my shoulder. Cyrus stood to my left, his long legs making it difficult to keep with his pace. Tyler was walking backwards in front of us, pouting playfully after I told the others about his shoe incident this morning.

      "This storm's still going?" Jay sent a sideways glance my way. He was waiting for me to freak out, but the little bit of self control I still had kept me from doing exactly that. The entire neighborhood didn't need to see a teenage girl have a panic attack because of a flash of light and a loud noise.

      It was Jay's idea to walk to his house because of its close proximity to the school. We'd decided earlier to hang out there until an hour before Tyler's party, which wouldn't even start until seven. I luckily managed to avoid Ryder and his suspicious glances all day.

      "No shit, Sherlock," Tyler retorted. The corner of his lip tugged up in amusement at the comment towards his best friend.

      "Shut up, shoeless."

      I snorted, feeling a bit more at ease in the storm. I always felt safe around those boys; I trusted them with my life. "My cat can make better insults than the two of you."

      Tyler furrowed his eyebrows. "You don't have a cat."

      Jay grinned, and I groaned, knowing exactly what was coming next. "You sure about that? I mean—ow! What was that for?" He rubbed the back of his head, which I'd just smacked with a significant amount of force.

      "You and your damn innuendos," I scolded.

      "You and your damn violence," he mumbled quietly.

      "What was that?"

      "Nothing!"

      Tyler snickered. "Wimp."

      Jay glared, grinned, then tackled a wide-eyed Tyler to the wet grass next to the sidewalk. Tyler squeaked in surprise as his back hit the wet grass. Not a second later, the two were soaking wet, covered in grass stains, and fighting.

      Me and Cyrus shared a look, before he released my shoulder and charged.

      I chuckled softly to myself before rolling my eyes and tackling Jay to push him off of an overpowered Tyler. Although, I was smart enough to take my phone from my pocket and set it on the sidewalk.

      "Damn it, Jay! Now I'm soaked," Tyler whined, pouting out his full lips and crossing his arms as he started to his feet. Cyrus then leapt forward and pinned Tyler back down, causing him to once again yell, "Damn it!"

      I definitely wasn't as strong as Jay, or the other boys, but I did last a lot longer than I thought I would. Nevertheless, Jay managed to pin me down, sitting by my left side and pinning my arms above my head.

      My eyes widened when he grinned, his hazel eyes glinting mischievously. He turned to Cyrus and Tyler, who were still wrestling on the ground. "Hey, guys!" He messed with his lip ring while he waited for their attention. When he finally had it, he demanded, "Help me tickle her!"

      "No! Do not help him! I'll kill—"

      Jay cut me off my holding my wrists with one hand, and tickling my sides with the other. Laughter bubbled out of my throat as I thrashed around, kicking my legs in an attempt to push him away. Unfortunately, that caused Tyler to sit on my thighs, preventing me from kicking them off. Cyrus joined a few seconds later, taking the wrist-holding job from Jay, so that he and Tyler could use both hands to ambush me.

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