Chapter 12

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A/N: I don't know why, but even though I edited this chapter, it still feels like a draft...

*****

Vallery's POV

"Vallery!"

The scream came all the way from the second floor.

"Well this ought to be interesting." I paused from switching the TV channels and turned to Raiden who raised an eyebrow. "I don't remember doing anything to warrant that reaction," I explained just as we heard hurried footsteps over the staircase. A moment later, Nat barged into the living room with a baby blue towel wrapped around his waist.

"Vallery, did you use up my strawberry shampoo?"

"Oh, that, yeah. Mine was over and dad's smells weird. I'll buy you more later today."
"But I need it now!" He protested. "I'm washing my hair now and Hunter's coming over tomorrow, and he loves my strawberry shampoo!"

"He only loves your strawberry shampoo because you are the one using it, bro."

"That's kind of cute," Raiden commented leaning back in the couch.

"But... He..." My brother sighed. "I'm being ridiculous, aren't I?"

"Pretty much," I agreed.

"Fine, I'll use dad's. It is smelly though." He frowned.

"I can bring you some of mine," Raiden offered.

"Really?" Nat perked up.

"Sure." Our friend got up and headed for the door. "I'll be right back."

"You should really stop panicking whenever Hunt comes over, bro."

"I know." He pushed the corner of the towel deeper to tighten it around his waist. "I just want things to be perfect with him."

"You want everything to be perfect. You take after..." I clamped my mouth before I said 'mom'. Bringing her up always put a damper on our mood.

"I know." He quietly repeated, guessing what I had been about to say and the two of us stood in silence until Raiden's out of puff voice - he'd probably been running - came from the hallway:

"Got it!" We heard him close the door. "Hope you like it." He handed the blue bottle to my brother as soon as he entered the room. "It's peppermint."

"Thanks." Nat murmured and left while Raiden sat back next to me on the couch.

"He is so insecure when it comes to Hunter." My friend noted and I nodded.

"I know, right? And it's not like Hunt's given him a reason. Whenever we talk about hot guys, he always compares them to Nat."

"Maybe that's the problem." Raiden reached for one of the glasses with apricot juice that was on our coffee table. "Talking about other hot guys in front of Nat, I mean."

"They are in a relationship." I brought my attentions back to the TV and started switching through the channels in hopes to find something good to waste my time on before the party. "That doesn't mean Hunt would suddenly go blind about everyone but Nat. There's no harm just in looking, right?"

He did not reply.

*****

"That's too short."
I rolled my eyes.

Typical Nat!

"It covers my belly button," I pointed to my pink top, matching the high heels I planned to wear tonight; the same ones I was breaking in during The Green Dinner.

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