Chapter Twenty-One

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"A good sleep and a good laugh are the two best cures for anything."


There was one week before the dance. Normally I never thought much about those type of things, but it had been consuming my mind for weeks then. The time was finally nearing and I still had not found the balls to ask Clayton to the dance as my date.

I munched hard on my Fruit Loops, staring even harder at the back of Jacob's big head as he sat on the couch. He was watching some stupid comedy, and his laugh was becoming annoying.

"You sound like a dying cat, ya' know?"

I heard a grunt. "And you sound like a cow chewing its last meal."

"Touché." I shrugged. "But anyways. . . What are your plans today? Anything dealing with Abby?"

Jacob sighed heavily, as if I were a pestering bug, and paused his movie. He flipped around, a bored expression on his face.  "No, she's busy." He looked a little deflated at that, but not enough for me to ask about how their weird not-so-kind-of relationship was going. "We have been texting though."

A brow of mine rose. "About?"


I groaned. These two couldn't keep out of Clayton and I's business. It was starting to get on my last nerve with Abby, so I told her last week to not say anything else negative about him. Now I don't need to hear the same from my brother.

"Nothing bad, Luce. I promise." 

I wanted to believe him, but I knew he wasn't the biggest fan of Clayton. He had never said it, but I could tell by the way he would stare him up in down, trying to size him up whenever they were in the same room. I was pretty sure Clayton was even starting to dislike him then because of that, too. 

"Come over here, Lucy. I've been meaning to actually talk about him with you." He didn't sound like his usual amused, sarcastic self. His face even appeared to be caring. It left me daunted in my seat upon the breakfast table. "Oh come on, before I fling my leg at you."

There we go! He sounded and looked like himself again.

I shoved the last bit of cereal in my mouth and then headed over to the couch. He had his prosthetic leg off beside him, while he rubbed the nub of his leg protectively. Pulling the blanket over my body, he stole a piece of it to share with him. 

"So, you guys have become good friends since I was last here."

I nodded slowly, my eyes glued to the paused TV screen as if something were playing.

"He treats you well?" Jacob continued.

Yet another nod, but this time is was stronger. Clayton treated me perfectly well. He was a complete gentleman and always wanted me to be as comfortable as possible. I thought Jacob already knew this from the countless other times he had asked me that question, but he obviously wasn't getting the memo or didn't want to believe it. 

Jacob was silent for a bit. He ended up continuing the movie, but after a few minutes he turned back to look at me.

"I've never seen you this way about 'just a friend'  before."

I had tried my very best to remain calm, but the heat was starting to rise to my cheeks. It suddenly felt a lot hotter than I last remembered.

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