[5] Matchmaker

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We're ten minutes past fashionably late and haven't even left the vicinity of the house yet, which is a problem considering we're walking and the party is 15-minutes away.

Why the delay? For once, not because of me. I actually got ready on time. Despite my desire to spite Atty for the sake of it, I slipped into the red dress last minute because damn it, it really is the sexier option.

Jay was ready too. Except, he sprung a surprise guest on me last minute so now we're gathered underneath the neighbor's second floor bedroom window. Apparently, according to Atty, here I'll find Jay's 'pain in the ass' best friend.

A few more minutes pass by when finally, slender legs swing over the windowsill. A tall girl with wavy copper hair shimmies onto the adjacent wall and spider crawls down the side of the house as if she's simply taking a walk.

Ha, color me impressed.

Halfway through her descent Jay protests, "Pres your parents give you all the freedom you want, why do you still choose such a stupid method to come outside?"

She doesn't bother to respond verbally, instead she simply sends him the finger. That's my type of classy. Also, she's paired a short green sequined dress with tattered combat boots and spiked leather jacket which, honestly, is also my type of classy.

Once on solid ground, she engulfs Jay in a massive hug, then turns to me and sticks out a hand, grinning. "Presley Chang, Jay's beloved mentor and idol," she introduces.

I match her introduction with my own, "Madeira-Jade Hayes, the Jay whisperer."

She cackles loudly as we begin our walk and decides to give me a big hug as well. I return her affection happily because I really love hugs and Pres' are extra good because she's half a foot taller than me.

Jay groans, shaking his head. "Honestly, you two are going to give me a headache."

"That's the idea Romeo," she pauses and turns to me, "did he tell you he plans to woo Annie tonight?"

I chuckle. "Yup, apparently he's liked her for a while now."

She rolls her broad shoulders and in a mock whisper adds, "did I tell you that I plan to woo Nate tonight?"

"Is Nate cute?"

Jay groans loudly, shaking his head. "Don't get her started. I hear about Nate so much I feel like a stalker whenever I talk to him."

Pres shrugs and nudges him into the fence to our right. "Don't be an ass, at least I haven't been drooling over Annie since the third grade. Its been what, seven years now?"

Jay ignores the tease and instead directs us to a sharp right into a hidden alleyway, then a left onto a secluded dirt path. When the walk evens a bit, the conversation turns to me and how I know Jay.

"I ran away and tried to steal gasoline from their garage but got caught. Then Collette offered to let me stay for two weeks before I go back," I explain.

Pres nods with a distinct kind of understanding. "Sounds like Collette. But I bet that pain in the ass Atty gave you trouble."

"Funny, he used the exact same words for you," I laugh. Sounds like a good old-fashioned rivalry.

She narrows her dark brown eyes, pouting her lips. "Sounds like Atty." Pres then asks about why I ran away, so I tell her.

"Dated this guy Will, made some bad decisions and accidentally seduced his best friend, created a huge mess."

She takes it in stride, wholeheartedly agreeing with my actions (so now I know for sure between the two of them, Jay's the one keeping them alive).

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