❝ i'm trying to keep from going insane ❞

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They want a piece of something hot,
Forget your name like they forgot.
Oh, ain't that something?
Some wanna see you crash and burn,
And criticize your every word.
I'm trying to keep from going insane.

"Roger Rabbit" - Sleeping with Sirens

"Jacen kissed you?" Vanessa asked, staring at me incredulously.

I glanced around. "Not so loud."

We were in the cafeteria, and since it was beginning of lunch, there weren't many people or much noise, which meant if we weren't quiet, everyone would hear.

"Why would he do that? I mean, you're pretty, but you're Ashton's."

I winced at the slight reminded that this wasn't completely voluntary, on both ends, but did my best to ignore the glaring fact.

Though I would never, ever, admit out loud, the members of the Elite were growing on me. Just a little bit. It wouldn't be like this forever, but until I could figure out what to do, playing along wouldn't hurt. Plus, I had a feeling walking away and pretending nothing had happened wouldn't go so well.

"I thought you might know," I said.

She raised an eyebrow. "How would I know what goes through that twisted mind of his?"

I shrugged. "You guys are close, aren't you?"

"Yeah, I guess." She looked away, chewing on her lip. "You could try asking Keira. Her and Jace don't act like it, but they're pretty close."

Yeah, I was pretty sure Keira had something against me, so I didn't want to go there. I didn't trust her enough to ask for her opinion on what had happened.

"He doesn't really tell me anything," Vanessa said, looking down.

"Who?" Nathan asked as he and Keira set their trays on the table.

"Jace kissed her," Vanessa told them. Well, so much for Keira not finding out.

Nathan blinked. "Jace? Like our Jace?"

"How many Jaces do you know?" Vanessa asked, giggling a little.

"There's more than one Jacen in this school," Keira said, sitting down beside Nathan.

"Why would he do that?" Nathan interrupted. "She's Ashton's."

"Who's mine?" I bit back a curse. Of all days he chose to show up, it had to be today. Of course. I hadn't planned on telling all of the Elite what had happened with Jacen, just Vanessa in hopes of getting some insight on what the hell Jacen had been thinking.

"Elena," Nathan replied.

I resisted the urge to slam my head down on the table, since that would hurt. "Can we stop talking about me like I'm not here? And I don't belong to Ashton, thank you very much," I said. "Can we stop saying I'm 'his'. It's disturbing."

"Ouch," Ashton said, reaching over and stealing a fry from his brother's tray. "Why are we talking about how Elena's mine?" he asked, his tone making it clear that he was saying it to annoy me. I rolled my eyes. He was in a strangely good mood today. Not that I was complaining, I guess him teasing was better than his stony looks and cryptic messages. Definitely better than cryptic messages. I've gotten too many of those lately.

"Where's Skylar?" I cut in quickly before anyone could reply to Ashton's question. I really didn't want to talk any more about how Jacen had dragged me into a closet, kissed me, said some very confusing words, then left. I had been dodging him all day, purposely leaving classes a little early so he wouldn't find me.

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