Chapter 17 - Sam

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"Okay, one step at a time, careful now." I gently urged a wincing Jesse up the stairs of his apartment.

"He'll be fine, don't worry." Mark assured after seeing the look of worry on my face.

"Yeah. He's been through worse." Casey quipped behind us. I heard Jesse angrily mutter under his breath and I gently squeezed his arm so he wouldn't snap at her. She had actually won tonight and everyone was very proud, especially Jane.

"I'll be fine. I just need to sit down." Jesse grimaced again after putting weight on his leg. He had twisted his ankle pretty bad during the pageant but thankfully it was after Casey's performance and not before.

"I'll get you some ice." Jane quickly walked into the kitchen while I tried to elevate his leg on the coffee table with pillows.

"Don't look so worried Sam. I'm going to be okay, really." Jesse patted my hand.

I frowned still not convinced.

"We're going to get going. Just don't forget to keep his leg up and to change the ice packs." Jane briefly put her hand on my shoulder and I nodded.

Jane and Casey left to the car after saying goodbye and I walked Mark out the door.

"He's lucky to have someone like you around." He said glancing at me and shuffling a few steps towards the stairs.

"I'de say it's the other way around. He's a good guy." I smiled at Mark who hummed and nodded.

"He is a good kid. A really good kid actually. Give him some time yeah? I know he can be a difficult at times but...bare with him." He looked at me with his dull but piercing blue eyes and I nodded not really understanding. Giving me a final pat on the shoulder he said goodnight and walked down towards the car.

"Do you need more pillows?" I asked Jesse, closing the door behind me and walking towards him. He shook his head and kept frowning at his leg.

"What's wrong?" I asked plopping down besides him with a bottle of water.

"Nothing. Did Mark and them leave?" He asked turning to face me. He could use a haircut.

"Yeah. I just saw them drive off." I said brushing a stray curl away from his face. He slightly pulled away from my touch and I tried not to let the hurt show on my face.

"Sorry. You should go to the barber's or something, it's almost as big as mine." I joked trying to lighten the suddenly heavy mood. He didn't say anything for a while and I quietly flipped through channels on the TV.

"Sam, why are you here?" He suddenly asked. I looked at him strangely before replying.

"Because I live here?"

He rubbed his eyes and sighed before shaking his head.

"Never mind. Are you hungry? I noticed you didn't really eat anything at dinner." He changed the subject. I could tell something was off from how he kept blinking more than usual. His eyes would get a little hooded too when he was upset.

"Jesse, what's really bothering you? Are you okay? Did something happen at the pageant?" I asked.

"No. I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?" He answered defensively and I put my hands up not wanting to start anything.

"Nothing. You just seem a little off that's all." I shrugged.

"Excuse me for not bursting with joy." He sarcastically replied.

I rolled my eyes and stood up not wanting to fight again.

"You're impossible." I muttered standing up to leave. He could mope around by himself.

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