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9 in the morning. Sophie woke up.

“OH CRAP!! It’s 9! Talya is going to kill me!!!”

 I turned around to wake Zelene, who I knew for sure slept over too.

“Ohhhhmmmyyyyg….” I ran all the way out of the room going to Nadine’s, who was incidentally walking down the hall to wake me up. I almost run her over.

“Where’s the fire? Slow down!”

“Ommyygod. Come with me!!!!!” I pulled her towards the guestroom and pointed at the bed. “LOOK!!”

Nadine saw Zeke and Zelene asleep in a spoon position. Zeke’s right arm was around Zelene while his fingers were intertwined with her left hand. Zeke’s chin was even rested on Zelene’s head and they were sleeping like they’ve done this forever!

 “Holy Sh…” whispered Nadine.

“Do we wake them? Or do we take a photo?” I asked. I retrieved my phone from the night table.

“Wait… I’m confused… and mortified. This is Zeke. Zachry. Jordan’s cousin!!”

Not that there was a rule but there is an unspoken agreement that as much as we’d want to be REAL blood related, it would probably be awkward to get together with a relative. Given that we invite each other in practically every occasion; it would definitely be uncomfortable if a bad breakup ensues. If whatever thing doesn’t work out, it would kind of affect everyone. We’re jumping into conclusions here but let’s take Zelene and Tyler; Tyler’s friends now don’t know how to treat Zelene after the break up, even though they were close friends with Zelene first.  Zelene turned into a stranger; they couldn’t even talk to her like before. 

“Let’s take a picture then wake her.” I’m so mature. I took a photo using my phone.

“We really thought of that first. Come with me.” Nadine pulled me outside.

“So, what do we do?” I’m a little worried but not really. In my mind, Freyja Zelene needs a distraction. Zeke is a HUGE distraction. I think they will click together, like that! But I can also foresee that they will REALLY, REALLY CLICK. That might be a bad thing. But could be a good thing. AHH WTF.

“We know Zelene. There’s a big chance she won’t be bothered by this; it might not mean anything to her or maybe she wasn’t aware of this. However, we don’t know about Zeke. Do we tell Julianne?”

“We should but Jordan will know.”

“So… now what? Let’s wake her up! I’ll call Talya to meet us at Greenhills instead.”

It kind of is a little concern. We’ve known Zeke for a while now but he was never close with anyone except Jordan and Louie. He and Zel would sit next to each other occasionally, but purely for convenient drinking purposes. There was that one time when Zel had a mini crush on him. ONE TIME.  Like when Zeke turned 23, he started looking more and more like a hottie and not a kid. That was that time only for Zelene. There was also this one party last year, for no reason at all, Zeke didn’t want Zel to go, even though they’d finished all the drinks and the party was over. Zelene thought nothing of it.

I thought of Jordan. He and Zel are friends. They went to the same prep school so their families know each other. They even transferred to our grade school at the same time. Jordan’s and Zel’s younger brothers are also friends. And because her Mom is a famous jeweler, Jordan’s Mom and her friends walk the same circles.

“Zelene… Zelene..” Nadine was waking her in her most quiet voice. We’ll never wake her up this way.

930 AM I woke up because someone was pulling my hair!

“What the hell!!!?” I yelled. I tried to raise my hand but it was under something heavy. “NADINE!!”

“Ssssshhhhh!!” she and Sophie gestured to the arm over me.

“Don’t shush me. You were pulling my…” my eyes travelled to the arm around up to whose face owned it. My eyes widened in disbelief when I saw Zeke’s sleeping face. “WhatTHeF…” Nadine covered my mouth. I very carefully, slid from his arm and off the bed. Sophie pulled me outside.

“What the hell!?!?!?” I whispered loudly. I felt my eyes bulging out of their sockets.

“Yes! What the hell! What the hell happened last night!?” Nadine asked.

“Hey wait.” I searched my brain, trying to remember. “We went to bed. You said sleep here. So we went to bed. I mean, I … I had no idea he hugs people he sleeps next to. I had my back turned!”

“Well, he obviously enjoyed having you next to him. You saw his face. Good thing Louie didn’t see it.”

“He must be use to hugging a pillow or something when he sleeps.” I matter-of-factly said. My mind was going in cartwheels. Ugh that and a hangover.

“Pillow??? Explain the hand holding!” Sophie showed me the screen of her phone.

“You took a photo!? What is this? High School?” My eyes widened at a photo of Zeke and I in bed, his arm around me but his hand… his fingers intertwined with mine. We looked like…

“As proof!”

“Stop it guys. It’s nothing. Don’t think too much of it. I’m sure it’s nothing.” I dismissed all thoughts.

“Why are you three whispering in the hallway?” We all jumped because Louie was already behind us.

Sophie quickly hid her phone. Nadine put her arm around Louie.

“Nothing baby. We woke Zel up so we won’t be late.”

“What did I hear about holding hands?”

“Did anyone talk about holding hands? We’re gonna go take a bath now. Come on Zelene.” Good save, Sophie.

“Who else slept over?” Louie was now going inside the guestroom.

“Ah… it’s…” Nadine was running after her husband.

“Hey Zachry. Zeke! Wake up!” Louie was shaking Zeke awake but his gaze turned to the three of us. He squinted his eyes but turned his attention back to Zeke.

“Hey man. Sorry I crashed in your guestroom. Your wife wouldn’t let us leave.” Zeke stretched. “Good morning.” He smiled at the three of us. His eyes paused at me and smirked. This guy!

“Good morning.” Sophie and Nadine greeted back.

“I’m going to take a bath now.” I grabbed the towel I used last night. I felt my cheeks warm. Am I blushing??

I’m blushing!


Daniel Henney as Zachry Killian "Zeke" TanChi

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