West nodded, his face unahppy. "He... he's convinced he's a monster. He's been avoiding you because he's worried that he's as bad for you as Stuart was. When I could get him to talk, he was just convinced that you'd be better off without him making your life worse." West stated with another sigh.

Alice nodded her head, she'd already figured he'd go all self loathing martyr like that. What made her gnash her teeth was that he was avoiding her so she COULDN'T help convince him he was wrong. "Is he even coming tonight?" she asked, wondering what she was supposed to do if he wasn't. The student body was expecting DJ Mask, and she had given the costume to Malcolm before the whole Gala fallout had hit.

Thankfully West nodded. "Yeah, I made sure of it. Told him if he was too stupid to show up tonight he didn't deserve you and that you would be better off without him. Then I may have hinted that some of the student body were planning on pulling a Carrie on you, and I knew his protective possessiveness would compel him to come."

Alice coughed, choking on her how spit as she gasped in surprise. "Jesus christ he's going to hate me for that." she said, voice despairing.

"No, he's going to hate me for that. And that's fine, I can always remind him later, after you two are safely back together, that he owes me. Big time." West replied smugly.

"So how was it dating a teacher?" Justine asked, sliding back into the conversation. Alice felt a flush creep across her cheeks.

"Ah..." she stammered.

"Did you guys ever do it in school?" "Was it a whirlwind romance?" "Did he really propose in Mexico?" all her friends started to bombard her with questions.

Just like that first day she'd met them, Kim jumped to her rescue against all the questions. "Geez guys really? It's prom night, save the interrogation for another day." she warned htem off. Which was a good thing because they were pulling up in front of the school.

Alice swallowed thicky as she followed them out of the vehicle. The stiches from Stuart's attack were still startlingly exposed, the cuts a little red and puckered looking still, but healing. She had decided to not cover them up, a bold move to show everyone that she, Alice Spade, was a survivor. Now of course, as everyone started to look over at her and whisper, she regretted the brash decision, but it was far too late now to go back and change. Alice stopped walking as something occured to her.

"Wait a second. West, aren't people right now convinced you and I are lovers?" she asked him. He nodded, a smirk on his face as always. "And they all know I'm 'dating DJ Mask?" she asked. Again he nodded, the smirk stretching into a smile as he realized where she was going with this. "So aren't people gonig to realize part of that isn't true when they realize you're over here and DJ Mask is over there?" she asked, pointing at Malcolm, not yet realizing it herself that she wasn't freaking out yet.

West grinned at her and gave her a gentle shove forward. "Exactly." he said, voice smug.

"You're gonig to get me in trouble aren't you?" she asked him over her shoulder, slowly making her way towards the table where her friends were all seated for the Prom dinner.

To say that sitting at a table, eating a ridiculously fancy chicken dinner while her fiancee stood on the other side of the room was uncomfortable would be a bold faced lie. Alice wanted to march over there and demand that he stop dodging her so they could freaking talk already! Alice noticed that she was knotting and wrangling the napkin on her lap in her anger and frustration. She took a deep breath to calm down, knowing that her mood swings were volatile lately. The meal might as well have been sawdust and cardboard for all that Ace tasted it, she ate mechanically, and only because she knew that while she could skip a meal on her own, she was now eating for two and had to give the baby everything it needed to become healthy. Plates of dinner were removed and replaced with flutes of ice cream in place of champagne.

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