Chapter 10 (Part 1)

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*NOTE: In the mood for some good old Alex/Elias banter? DEFINITELY Check out the Audiobook (by clicking the video above) version of this chapter voiced by kaelking12 (Kristen Maglonzo)! Featuring music by Andrew Bell, Kevin Garrett, Hot Hot Heat, OK Go!

Elias

She hates me.

Even after three hundred and sixty five days of hoping she wouldn't...

...she fucking hates me.

And I thought I'd be ready for it.

I thought I could deal with the idea of her never wanting to talk me again.

That I could handle her turning down everything I wrote. But obviously----I can't.

I'm standing here, holding on to the only book I care about in front of the only girl I care about, and she won't even take it.

She hardly has it in her to look at it.

And it doesn't matter that I'm on the verge of begging her to.

Or that my hands are fucking shaking and that my heart's about thirty seconds away from dropping out of my chest.

She's done.

With this.

With me.

With whatever it was I thought we'd have once we saw each other again.

And I don't know how to turn things around.

I open my mouth to say something, to try to tear through the silence sitting between us, but she shushes me before I can speak.

"Don't. Things will be easier if we just--"

"Pretend? Sure, Alex. I'll just shut my eyes, plug my ears, and pretend that you're not here. If you need me, I'll be in the corner humming to myself."

A hundred little stress lines explode across her forehead, and her cheeks flush red the way they always do when she's pissed. She'd be easier to ignore if her face wasn't so damn distracting.

"Please, go right ahead. Actually, if you wouldn't mind making yourself disappear while you're at it, I'd be eternally grateful."

"No can do, princess. I'm famous now, remember? Even if I did disappear, my name and face would still haunt you. You're stuck with me, Jersey. Better get used to it."

She crosses her arms over her chest and trains her eyes on mine.

"No one is stuck with anybody, Elias! This is not last summer, we aren't roommates, we aren't even friends--"

We're a hell of a lot more than that.

"--because friends stay in touch."

Here she goes.

"I did, Jersey. What the hell do you think this is?"

"A cheap shot at fame?" She says.

I pop the pressure out of my knuckles just to try to stay calm, but I'm losing it. I'm trying not to, but she's pushing so many buttons that my half-boiled balls are hardly bothering me anymore.

Okay, no. That's bullshit. My boys are still throbbing like crazy, but a little café à la nuts is nothing compared to the things she's saying to me right now.

"I don't give a shit about fame, Jersey."

"Oh really? I thought you did, Mr. 'I'm famous'. Cut the crap, Elias. You love it. You love the attention. You love the girls, and that's all this is. A way for you to win yourself into fan girl panties one chapter at a time."

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