FOUR

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There was a very strange silence that followed, before Kurt blurted out,

"This is a prank, isn't it?"

Connor hadn't been so easily swayed either— he burst out into a chuckle and added, "Dude, this is definitely a prank."

The guy's harsh glare bore into them, and Connor's grin vanished, while Kurt went pale. They sat in stunned silence for a moment or two, until finally Connor swore, which seemed to satisfy the guy.

"Yeah!" he puffed accusingly, stepping back a little and crossing his arms.

"But wait— hold on," Kurt interjected suddenly, leaning forward. "Who's the father?"

My eyes widened, and I frowned at the guy in front of us. I'd just assumed he'd been the father.

"That's... where it gets complicated," he said, sinking onto the couch and burying his head in his hands. The boys scooted forward in their seats.

"Is not some random, is it?" Connor asked, eyes wide with shock.

"Worse."

The tension was heavy in the air, and quite frankly unsettling. Kurt and Connor wore clueless expressions, and I felt like an intruder, hearing gossip that definitely wasn't for my ears. I shifted, preparing to stand, but Kurt's gaze snapped to me, making me freeze.

"Oh," he said, like he'd forgotten I was there. "Uh, Asher, this is Wren."

Asher's cold, blue eyes fell upon me, but he didn't so much as smile. I grimaced awkwardly, and finally got to my feet,

"I should go," I said, grabbing my laundry bag. "You have my number, so let's sort out my problem another time."

"No, wait!" Connor said, also getting to his feet. "You came all this way— we'll sort out your situation first."

"Yeah, of course," Kurt added, glancing at Asher. "You okay if we talk about this later?"

Asher's eyes widened, and he even leaned back and folded his arms, but he grumbled,

"Fine. Where's Wesley?"

"Uh, I think he's out for the day," Connor said. "Should be back later though."

Asher's eyes closed and he swallowed hard. "Great," he puffed again. "That's just great!"

He rose from his seat and stalked off towards the stairs, leaving just the three of us in the lounge room once more.

"Sorry about that," Connor said, scratching the back of his head. "Come with us— we'll get your bank details and transfer your rent money straight away. Then we can start chasing jobs."

***

The sky had faded to pastel pink, and dusk had settled in by the time we were done. We'd typed up a decent resume and applied for about sixty jobs between the three of us. My stomach had been growling at that point, so after thanking them profoundly, I'd suggested I'd better be going.

They'd been walking me to the front door when it swung open once more, and a tall guy walked in. His hair was a light russet colour, and his hazel eyes fell upon me immediately.

I mean, probably because I'd been inches from walking into him when the door swung open. But still, our gazes locked.

He dumped a large duffel bag at his feet, before looking at the boys.

"Who's this?" he asked, and the directness of his tone instantly made me feel unwelcome. It felt like being discovered uninvited by a parent, in an acquaintance's house.

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