ELEVEN.

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KYLE GIBSON HAD a very, very, very large crush on Marley Acosta and everybody but Jacob Acosta seemed to know it. This was good news for Kyle, as having a thing for his friend's sister wasn't exactly the most idealistic for him or his wellbeing. Kyle vaguely remembered one of Jacob's teammates making a joke about the possibility of screwing his sister. The kid had been tackled so hard during practice that he had to sit out for the rest of it.

However, this meant that Marley was well aware of her brother's friend's thing for her. While she thought Kyle was sweet, there was absolutely nothing about him that compelled her to pursue him. It made Marley feel guilty in the worst way. That guilt followed her wherever Kyle was.

Kyle just so happened to be in the diner with Jacob. Marley felt guilty. Jess thought that Christmas had come early.

"Loverboy asked for a refill," Jess said to her, rounding the counter as Marley checked out a customer for takeout.

"You do it," she replied.

Jess sucked his teeth. "No can do. He asked specifically for you."

Marley handed the money to the woman in front of her, smiling warmly. The smile immediately disappeared as she turned to Jess. "No, he didn't. Stop being a dick."

"You think he writes about you in his diary?"

"Oh, stop."

"Twenty bucks that whenever he writes your name, he puts a heart next to it."

"Does it ever get exhausting being the worst person alive?" Marley asked Jess as she filled a cup with what Kyle had been drinking.

The smile on Jess' face never left. "You really hate this, don't you?"

Marley glared at him. "What exactly gave it away?"

"I can't tell you how good it feels to not be on the receiving end of this."

"Your ass will be on the receiving end of my foot if you don't get out of my way."

Jess' expression didn't change, but he moved to the side. Marley scowled at him as she passed. She didn't know why this made her so uncomfortable. She couldn't describe it. Kyle was a nice boy. He wasn't a threat, or anything. He just liked her.

She placed the drink on the table, sending a smile to her brother and Kyle. "You guys need anything else?"

"I need you to convince Mom to let me go to Kyle's party on Saturday," Jacob said through a mouthful of hamburger.

Marley looked at Kyle with raised brows. "You're throwing a party?"

Kyle gave her a shy sort of smile. "Y-yeah. My parents are going to Marriage Encounter this weekend. Thought I'd throw at least one rager before I graduate."

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