Chapter 38

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T H I R T Y—E I G H T

      I WASN'T SURPRISED when Ryder came out after me, but what did surprise me was that Julian had made it out here first.

      "Skye," the accented voice panted out as he jogged to catch up to me.

      "What?" I spat, fully expecting some kind of crude comment about our ten second make out session. If you could even call it that.

      "I'm sorry."

      "Look, Julian—wait, what?" I sputtered pathetically.

      "I'm sorry," he repeated. His eyes looked anywhere but mine as he spoke. "I shouldn't have had all of them dare you. I've already seen what they've been daring other people, and I know you don't particularly like me. I should have backed out and said never mind, or given you some kind of other dare."

      Was he . . . blaming himself?

      "Julian, it's fine," I muttered quietly. His eyes finally shifted up to mine as I shuffled my feet. "I took the dare, so it wasn't your fault. I'm the one who brought the game to the parties anyways, right?" I chuckled dryly.

      "I suppose," he said quietly. His hand ran through his dark hair before he sighed. "We got off on the wrong foot."

      I snorted. "You think?"

      His glare made me shut my mouth. He was trying to be nice, and I was being a bitch. As usual. "I mean, why don't we start over?"

      My eyebrows pinched together in confusion and I crossed my arms over my chest. Why are you suddenly being nice? "And, what? Be friends?"

      "I don't see why not." He shrugged and gestured behind him. "I heard about the little spat between you and that Ryder guy from a few years back, and you two seem pretty close, now."

      "That's different," I defended. Over Julian's shoulder, I noticed Ryder himself jogging to catch up to us.

      "Is it?" Julian asked, and I paused for a moment to think.

      Was it, really? I'd been in an argument with the both of them where there was a mutual disagreement, but the fight with Ryder might have actually been slightly worse. I'd shoved him and gone off on him publicly.

      "I guess you're right," I reluctantly agreed.

      "So, lets start over," he suggested as Ryder slowed to a stop beside me. Julian offered out a hand for me to shake. "Hi, I'm Julian."

      I stared at the hand cautiously before slowly reaching out my own. "Skye." I dropped my hand quickly after shaking Julian's and turned to the very confused Ryder. "I'll explain in a minute," I whispered.

      He nodded, panting to catch his breath before asking, "You guys going back inside? They brought out the weed Jay was smoking earlier."

      I shrugged. "Sure."

      Julian nodded and chose to ignore the quick glare Ryder sent his way before the three of us started back inside the house. I knew this 'treaty' would be trouble in time, but it's better the trouble happen while we're getting along, rather than us being mortal enemies.

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