SEVENTEEN.

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(happy monday to my fellow east coasters

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(happy monday to my fellow east coasters. there's a lot to this one, hope you enjoy! also. not edited. but you probably expected that. love u all tons.) -mags

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IF SOMEONE HAD asked Jess Mariano last week what he'd be doing right now, the last thing he would have expected to say was that he was standing in his uncle's apartment with his future step-father who was standing beside him, shirtless, in tights.

After a rousing discussion about old shoe polish and how full-length mirrors were practically made to 'look at your bottom half', he was ready to kick TJ in the teeth and just say forget it to the whole thing. The two of them still weren't on great terms after the whole bachelor party fight, and whether Luke knew it or not, his presence was settling the tension between them slightly. Jess had no desire to be around TJ alone right now.

Then again, if someone had asked Jess Mariano last week what he'd be doing right now, the last thing he would have expected was to be sharing this moment with Marley Acosta. He also wouldn't have expected to be rendered almost speechless as she barged into Luke's apartment, in a yellow sundress that matched the flowers in her hair perfectly.

Whatever Marley was complaining about as she opened the door was promptly cut off by a startled yelp as she saw TJ in the tights, looking directly at Jess instead. "Am I supposed to look away at a man in tights or not?" she asked him, cheeks tinting pink.

Jess was lucky TJ had an answer ready because he wasn't completely sure if anything would have come out of his mouth. "If you could look at Cary Elwes, you can look at me, sweetheart."

Marley turned to him with a slight scowl on her face. "When you start looking like Cary Elwes, we'll talk about me looking at you."

"Whatever you say," TJ said, walking back toward the bathroom where Luke was. "My boys can breathe in these. That's all I care about."

"Can your boys please breathe away from me?" Luke asked.

As TJ slipped on a shirt and started a one-sided conversation with Luke, Marley called Jess over to where she was. Jess sighed, buttoning up the last button his shirt and raising his brows at her. She handed him a small flower that she had been holding and turned around to reveal a waterfall braid with flowers stuck in all around it.

"That flower fell out and my arms are too short to get it back in the right place," she said. "I just need you to put it in that spot above the braid where it looks like there's something missing."

"I have no idea where you're talking about," he said.

"What? It's right there."

"Where?"

"There!"

Jess huffed at her vague direction. "I think we could give Who's on First a run for their money with this bit."

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