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Pen Your Pride

- A Week Later -

• Carter •

I wake up and rub at my eyes, squinting at the sunshine reflecting from the window. I sit up, realizing Justin isn't next me like usual. I found it soothing to sleep with him for the past week. Just sleep. It was nice to cuddle in close to him and fall asleep to his boyish scent and low humming. Him not being there when I woke up just now made me suddenly miss him.

I throw my feet over the bed and stand up, stretching and yawning. The carpet is cold beneath my feet but I ignore it, beginning to make my way out of the room.

Everything seemed silent as if I was the only one home. Aunt Marci's door was slightly opens and suitcases stood outside Mia's. Cale's door, on the other hand, was wide open, a poster of a smiling Selena visible on the wall behind his bed.

I smirk and make my way downstairs, the creaking of the stairs audible in the deafening silence.

Something I didn't expect was to find Cale sprawled across the living couch, a bored look on face.

"Geez, it's about time you woke up." He speaks, breaking the silence and bringing life to the house once more.

I chuckle and lean against the nearest wall. "Where is everybody?" I question.

"Marci went out with Jack and Mia's last-minute shopping before she goes back to college." He tells me. "Justin simply disappeared." He shrugs. "Didn't tell me where he was going."

I crinkle my forehead. "Oh..."

"So," Cale jumps up, a grin replacing his bored expression. "I thought since we're home alone, you and I could do some bonding."

I frown, afraid of what's to come. "What kind of bonding?"

Cale doesn't hesitate to answer. "Connor invited me over for videos games and a movie and you're coming."

"Who said-" I begin to argue but Cale cuts me off.

"I did. Now go get dressed." He orders, snapping his fingers.

I make a face, knowing that there was no way to get out of this. So I simply say: "I hate you, Cale."

• • •

An hour later, I'm sitting on Connor's couch watching him and Cale play Mario Kart over and over. Now it was my turn to bare a bored expression.

"You're cheating!" Cale snaps at Connor. "If you weren't, I'd kick your ass so bad!"

Connor smirks. "But I'm not cheating and I'm kicking YOUR ass. Man, you suck."

Cale, giving up, chucks his remote aside. "This game is bullshit. What else do you have?"

My face develops a bigger frown. "Um, guys?" I interrupt. "You seemed to have forgotten about someone."

They both look at me, apologetic looks on their faces.

"Sorry, Carter." Connor apologizes, taking Cale's remote and chucking it in my direction. "Want to race?"

I let out a laugh, standing up moving over to sit between the boys. "You just made a big mistake, Connor Boy."

And with that, I find myself playing Mario Kart for five hours straight, kicking both Connor and Cale's asses. Seems like girls can be good at video games too, huh?

Eventually, I place the remote on Connor's coffee table and sigh, leaning back on the couch.

"Maybe next time, guys." I tell them, knowing that there was no next time. If there ever was, I'd still undeniably kick their asses. That was something I proved today.

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