Chapter 26

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Tiana POV

"Jared called you a bitch? When he was 7? Really?" I laugh, while Tyson laughs along with me. We've been at the restaurant for a while now and it's been really fun. Probably the most fun I've ever had.

"Yes! In front of my teachers too! God, it was so embarrassing," he says, shaking his head.

"What did you do then?" I ask, intrigued by what normal life was like.

"Well, I didn't want to seem surprised so I just acted like this was a normal thing he did. On the inside though, I was already giving him a lecture on respect," he says, a smile on his face at the thought of the memory.

"Was Jared always a little rascal? I think I'd like like to meet him," I say, taking a bite off my sandwich.

"Oh! You haven't actually met him yet, have you? I think you'd definitely like him. He's just loveable that way. Don't tell him I said that though. He'll never let it go," he says, looking fondly exasperated.

"Do you have pictures of him?" I ask, already fond of kid.

"Yeah, hold on a sec," he says, digging into his pockets and getting a phone out. He taps around on his phone before showing it to me. I take the phone out and look at the picture. It's one of Tyson and a little boy that's, maybe, 12 years old. Blonde hair and blue eyes. What really moves me though is the way he looks at Tyson in the picture. He looks at Tyson like someone would look at their father. The picture automatically brings a smile to my face.

"I think I'd like him," I say.

"Yeah, I think you would," Tyson says, pocketing his phone again. Before he could, though, a ping brings a notification to his attention. He takes the phone out again, muttering something under his breathe, before looking at it and wincing.

I frown. "What's wrong?"

"There's a party or something tonight and I don't really want to go," he replies, wincing again.

My frown deepens. "Isn't tomorrow a Monday?"

"Like these guys give a shit," he snorts, then frowns again.

"I thought you would have wanted to go."

"I don't... I don't really find what's so appealing about it. I jut go 'cause my friends are going," he replies, looking sulky. He looks oddly... cute this way.

"Are you going to this one?" I ask, curious.

He nods solemnly. "Yeah, I think I'll have to."

"Do what you want to," I say shrugging. He can make his own decisions.

"Are you going to come?" he asks, though he looks like he already knows the answer.

I laugh loudly before saying, "Absolutely not. I think you and I both know it's not my usual scene."

"What're you gonna do all night then?" he asks, looking concern. The question makes me snort.

"I've been living alone my whole life, Tyson. And I did have a life before you entered it. Believe it or not, I know how to entertain myself."

"I know, I'm just worried. Actually, it seems we'll have to leave early to the venue. We're in charge of the booze. The party starts at 7 or 8 or something and Amanda will need, like, 3 hours to get ready and we'll obviously be able to get ready by then. Right now it's 12, which means we have about 5 hours to kill," he says, already looking exhausted. For some reason, the situation was funny to me. I couldn't help the little chuckle that slipped out.

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