Hola, our little intergalactic space-troopers.

Tennis, chapter ten, is finally here!

Please, humour us. Pretend to be excited.

. . . Gah, meh. Enjoy it, because Lolly's really tired . . .

Love Hayley and Lollz.

- 8 -

Okay, so eating some frozen nuggets that have been in your fridge for God knows HOW long isn't what most people would consider your typical romantic dinner.

But let me assure you that when you mix the right lighting, the right mood, and someone as incredibly good looking as myself . . . well, romance would have to happen eventually.

But for now I resolved to try to figure out what Suze was thinking while she was eating her nuggets. Reading her was made just that much harder given the candle-light.

She seemed to be slowly relishing her chicken, for she was obviously hungry. When she finished one, she'd let out a soft "Mmm" and continue with the next one.

'Stop it,' I teased, with a smirk. 'You're making me jealous of the chicken.'

I looked up, rolled my eyes, and grabbed another nugget.

There should be like . . . an eating plan. Around nuggets.

The Nugget Diet.

Breakfast: Nuggets.

Lunch: Nuggets.

Dinner: Sauerkraut - KIDDING, nuggets.

Hahaha. Seriously. You wanna know what goes through the mind of Susannah Simon? You really wanna know?

. . . Nothing.

Heh. No really . . . not much of anything. Not when I was at complete bliss. Is there ANYTHING that tastes better than chicken?

'What?' I raised my eyebrows. 'You're jealous of the chicken that I'm currently masticating in my mouth, and digesting?'

. . . On second thoughts, don't answer that. Please. For your sake, and mine.

Oh. Not when you say it like that.

'Never mind,' I dismissed. I don't blame her for not picking up on my pick-up line, but sometimes the ravenous can't control their minds or their hunger.

Though, some of us are ravenous in different ways. Chicken may appeal to my stomach, but a certain girl sitting in the candlelight appealed to my eyes. I don't even have to mention the other parts.

I shrugged. I was so damn tempted to blow out the candle, because Paul looked WAY too hot in candlelight to be legal. I just occupied myself by looking at the decreasing pile of nuggets. We'd both had a fair share of them.

I was on my last one when the BIGGEST clap of thunder made me drop it back on the table. I swore under my breath, and pressed my hand against my chest. 'Jeez,' I breathed, 'You think it'd lay off a little, I mean, it already STRUCK me, what, is it so intent on causing a heart attack too? What did I ever do to storms? Nothing, nothing but appreciate them. And THIS is what I get back? It's so - '

I stopped babbling, blushed, and finished my nugget.

Shut up, Suze.

'So you like storms, too?' I asked.

I loved storms. They were unexpected, spontaneous, they got their point across . . . they were brilliant to the point of being frightening. Those were the qualities I often fancied myself having.

They struck where they wanted. They could cause damage, or they could blow on by, depending on the mood. I was just like them, you know.

They chose to strike Suze earlier. Good choice.

'Uh,' I said. 'Yeah . . . just not when I have a million and one volts of electricity buzzing through me.'

Is electricity measured in volts? Or amps? Or sticky-tape?

I can't remember.

'I meant, do you like watching them?' I asked.

Hmm . . . this could be promising. My quick mind churned up thousands of ideas, fantasies, and outcomes. I'm convinced that they could convert the amount of actions going on in my brain at any given moment and convert it to some sort of renewable energy source.

Then again, who wants a windmill attached to their head?

How do I get so distracted?

'Yeah,' I nodded. 'I love WATCHING lightning. Not sheet lightning, that's kind of boring. I love forked lightning, and going, "WHOA!" when a really big one strikes - ' again, I stopped. 'Sorry, I . . . talk fast.'

You don't say, Suze.

That's funny. She never said "WHOA!" to me before . . .

'You know where the best place is for the most spectacular lightning shows are?' I asked.

I couldn't help but grin in that I-know-something-you-don't-know way. It continued to amaze me how innocent she could be sometimes. Not when she was on the couch with me or anything, but when we're not entangled on squeaky leather.

I blinked. 'Where?' I asked. I brushed my hair behind my eat again. It really needed to have some serious collision with a hairbrush . . . but meh. Couldn't be helped now.

That smirk that Paul sometimes got came across his face again. It completely erupted over his lips, causing them to become crooked at one side in this smug, arrogant way. That smile always terrified and fascinated me.

I put my hand over hers and said, 'Come with me. I'll show you.'

Her face, in the candlelight, gave off a little objection, but when I stood up, she stood up too. She even let me have her hand the entire time I tried to navigate the dark hallways.

I opened the door, and we were there. My room.

Let the heavenly choir resound the hymn:

"Slater's gonna get some ass, in his little house of glass . . . hah-hah-hah!"

'God,' I shivered. 'It's . . . it's really, really cold . . . ' Which it was. I mean - yeah, glass house? Um, yeah. Not very insulating.

I dropped my hand from his, and hugged my arms around me. My teeth were chattering again. However, upon looking around, I knew exactly what he meant.

I mean . . . WOW.

I have seen the view from Paul Slater's bedroom before. I have. Sure, it's usually a view of his MOUTH unfortunately, but his room's walls were completely made from glass, save the wall that lead to his bathroom (which was tiled, so you know.)

Due to the glassiness of his wallsiness, the storm from up here was . . . well, the view was perfect. It was like, surround sound, surround screen.

The black clouds were to the left, right, behind and in front. I smiled widely. 'Not bad, Slater,' I nodded. 'It's . . . whoa. I turned around, and saw a phenomenal bolt of lightning strike out across the ocean. Trying to forget what it felt like when I got hit one of those, I tried to stop shivering.

'Here,' I said, placing my hand at the small of her back, bringing my mouth close to her ear, but not too close, 'allow me to escort you to the best seat in the house . . . '

I guided her to my bed, which was illuminated by the storm happening outside.

Okay, him touching me? Not making the shivering any better. No, not because he was making me colder . . . Paul Slater just managed to make me shiver in a totally different way.

THAT shivering, I didn't mind so much.

He sat down beside me, grinning at me. God, that fire before was GOOD FOR NOTHING. It was hot as . . . um, well, fire . . . AND I WAS STILL FROZEN SOLID.


. . . Even though I technically didn't PAY for the fire.

And, um, Paul would now HAVE to.

. . . Yes, okay, I'm shutting up now.

I noticed she was shivering. The one bad thing about glass houses is that you can't crank up the heater too much or else the windows start to fog up. So warmth had to come in other forms than artificial heat.

I draped my arm casually across her shoulders. She shot me a striking glare that matched the lightning outside.

'What? You're cold. I'm cold. We're just sharing body heat,' I explained.


I looked around, as if expecting to see another roaring fire that would potentially burn down his house again and tell me to GET AWAY FROM THE SLATER-GATOR, but there wasn't one. I looked down at my hands on my lap nervously, trying to squeeze them together to stop them from shaking so much. Gah . . . shivers are SO gay.

You could see the waves of the ocean being tossed around by the storm. The waves were getting so big that it almost looked like, for a moment, the waves would break off from the ocean and become their own massive body of water. The light effect given off by the lightning was just unexplainably awesome. One bolt stretched across the sky and reflected itself in the ocean . . . it was magnificent.

I stared out at the sea, kind of transfixed. This sight came at a price - my body temperature was really low. But I guess it was worth it. Never before had I seen a storm this vividly. It was like a perfectly made movie. Except it wasn't a movie - it was just nature's wrath, and that's that.

The mesmerizing rhythm of the thunder and the lightning started to have it's hypnotic effect on me.

I actually found myself, at one point, with my eyes closed, and my head leaning on Paul's shoulder. Furious with myself, I opened my eyes wide, and sat up, rubbing them quickly. 'Sorry,' I apologised,' in case he noticed my fatigue. 'I was watching, I just - I mean, my eyes just closed for a second - '

A second . . . or sixty.

I won't lie and tell you that it didn't feel comfortable with her head on my shoulder. Most guys would probably get freaked out, and the inner commitment phobe would sound the red alert. I really didn't care, though. She could be sitting on my stomach, for all I cared, just as long as she'd stay.

Doesn't that sound desperate? Pitiful? I think so. Other more optimistic types call it romantic.

But she was the one to get all weird about it, not me.

She was comfortable enough to say I smelled all the time, but not comfortable enough to rely on me for heat or cushion.

And trust me, I didn't smell. I use Axe everyday. AND cologne.

And I showered regularly. One a day everyday.

What if the rain washed it all off? Or what if, like dogs, we all got that putrid smell after getting wet. Wet-person smell instead of wet-dog smell.

I think I kind of made an ass of myself, a second later, when once again - I seriously DIDN'T know what was WRONG with me - my eyes closed and I opened them to find that I was half-lying over Paul, on his bed. I think I'd been asleep for about twenty seconds.

. . . Terrifying thing is . . . even though I'd partially woken up there, I made positively NO effort to move away from him.

And, um . . . I think I fell asleep.

God damn it.

Maybe I should excuse myself and spritz a few splashes of after-shave on my face?

'Suze, I need to-'

Oh, never mind. Look at that, she fell asleep on me. Quite literally. I tried to get her to wake up, but instead her head rolled into my chest. That woke her up for a moment, where she adjusted herself sleepily to rest her head back on my shoulder.

I had nothing to worry about, I guess.

So I kind of shifted the pillows a little . . . hmm, that's cozy . . . real nice . . .

I could have just been a gentleman and let her take the bed, and me the floor. But I'm no gentleman.

Can I tell you all something? A little secret? Swear to God you won't tell?

When I was with Suze, her laying on my shoulder like that . . . well, I actually didn't think about screwing her for once. I felt like I had to, I don't know, protect her from something. From the storm outside, from threatening ghosts . . . from throwing her life away by giving it all to a ghost.

Some of her hair was in her face. It moved as she breathed slowly, in and out, as she slept. I pushed it away gently, careful not to wake her, and tucked it behind her ear.

It felt soft, after being wet from the rain and finally drying. It felt softer than my Egyptian cotton sheets.

I dropped my hand from her hair and leaned my head on hers. I traced circles with the hand I had draped across her shoulders. I found myself closing my eyes, savoring the smell of her hair . . . it still had a small hint of the shampoo she used that survived the rain.

I could hear the rain coming slowly to a stop. It wasn't hitting the glass as hard. My ears didn't detect anymore thunder, either. And the next thing I knew, I was asleep, too.

- 8 -

Mmmmmmm . . .

Who needs electric blankets, or heaters going all night long, when you have someone right there with you, holding you that closely?

I SO didn't want to wake up. I just wanted to bask in the sheer warmth and the divine comfort. I was in a heavenly place. It felt so nice, and wonderful, and there wasn't any part of me that was cold, and . . .

The arm that was encasing me tightened a little.

That felt so -







My eyes snapped open instantaneously, but all I saw was chest. A NAKED chest.

IT'S TRUUUUUUUUUUUE . . . I got wasted and LAID.


In abject horror, I shoved the mass of warmth away brutally . . . so much so that it toppled right off the edge of the bed with a hard thud, a groan and a yelp of shock.

Then I remembered . . . oops. Uh . . . it was Paul.

The, um lightning thing. And the watching the storm and falling asleep thing.


And ANYWAY. What exactly was he doing HOLDING me like that? Why didn't he make me take the COUCH or something? I just effectively SLEPT with Paul Slater! I shared a BED with him! Oh God, oh God - Father Dom thought that Jesse haunting my ROOM was bad.

I think I was totally in my rights to seize the nearest pillow, and start beating the fluffy shit out of him, thank-you-very-much.


'OW! Jesus, Simon, I didn't- AH! Stop hitting me! I swear nothing happened!'


'Ow! Suze, would you STOP it – ?'

Never . . . !

I held my arms up in a futile defense as Suze stood over me, pillow clutched in her hand tightly. At least she finally stopped hitting me with it.

If I would have known that I'd wake up being pushed to the ground and then bashed with a pillow repeatedly, I would have taken the floor.

But no.

I slept with Suze Simon.

He y- I like the sound of that.

"I slept with Suze Simon."

"Suze Simon slept with me"

It's like . . . music . . .

I threw the pillow at his face. 'WHY did you let me fall asleep?' I demanded heatedly. 'And WHY didn't you make me . . . I don't know, sleep somewhere else? WHY didn't you drive me home, or something? That was COMPLETELY - I mean, you realize that we - that I'm going to be in SO much tr - ' I broke off quickly.

Calm down, Simon. Please.

I shook my head, and suddenly realized, um, OW?

. . . Yeah, that headache I had last night?

IT WAS BACK. In a BIG way.

I turned away, my hands pressed against my temples. Oh JESUS.

'But you were sleeping so peacefully,' I said, casting the pillow off and rising to my feet. 'I didn't want to interrupt. You looked quite comfortable.'

I looked outside my window, at the sun which was now shining brightly through. It's brightness, however, did not relfect what I saw. There were a few split palm trees, and you could see the beach littered with washed up starfish and jellyfish.

'Besides,' I added, pointing to the window, 'I'm sure you didn't want me driving. We could have ended up like that.'

I frowned, and gritted my teeth, before glaring out the window.

. . . Oh. Wow, damage much?

With a sigh, I looked back at Paul, and - um. He looked really good without a shirt. No, REALLY good. I guess I didn't look as good as he did in HIS shirt, though. That and my tennis skirt.

I sat on the edge of the bed. 'Uh,' I said, trying to focus, 'What's the time?'

I looked at my new, expensive Rolex watch my dad sent me. He said it was for my "wonderful progress in school" or something like that. I had to shake it a few times, to make sure it wasn't waterlogged or something.

I glanced at the time, looked up, and then back down at it.

Oh, man.

'Are you sure you really want to know?' I asked.

I better brace myself. I had a feeling more pillows would be

flying. And not in the context in which I would so desire.

I blinked, and my stomach lurched. 'Uh . . . yeah . . . ?' I said uncertainly.

I'll say it slowly . . . it might sink in better that way.

'Ten . . . thirty.'

I stared at her, waiting for her to react. I knew it would be something big, so I made sure to take a small step back.

If she throws me out the window, I'm dead.

I mean, I don't even have a shirt on.

Ten thirty.


I sat up in horror. 'YOU ARE JOKING.'


'I wish I were, Simon,' I said, getting some distance away from the windows. She looked positively murderous. Beautiful, but homicidal.

Someone's not much of a morning person . . .

Terrified, I sprung off of his bed, and ran to his door.


No, really. Not ONLY had I stayed out ALL night without calling home . . . BUT I HAD MISSED ANDY'S DINNER.

I was a goner.

I started pelting down the stairs, to the living area where I knew a phone dwelt. As soon as I reached it, I grabbed the receiver, and started dialing. However, Paul's finger pressed down on the little button thingie that allowed me to get a line.

I looked up at him, wide eyed. 'What - '

'I have a better idea,' I said. 'Let's play hooky.'

She looked at me like I was crazy. I elaborated, 'You know . . . ditch school. We're late, anyhow. And besides . . . I don't think you're in much of a good condition to go. Considering your little incident yesterday.'

'But - my MUM'S probably LOOKING for - '

And the phone was actually WORKING now

'If you call her now, she'll ground you. So unless you want to say goodbye to freedom and hello to punishment, I wouldn't advise it.'

Suze still glanced longingly at the phone. She clutched the receiver as if it were a lifesaver or something.

'It'll be fun,' I coaxed her, bringing my voice low, 'just you and me . . . '

And my bed . . .

I lifted my gaze from the phone, back to his eyes. 'Uhhhh . . . ' I said distractedly, 'What do we, um . . . do for half a day?'

His hands gently eased over mine, making me hang the phone up. I let him. Make me, I mean.

I mean, I've skipped classes, okay? I have. But usually that's only because of ghosts. Never . . . DELIBERATELY.

'We've got good imaginations, Suze. We'll find something to do.'

I looked down at our hands on the phone, and then back up at her hungrily. God, if she didn't get that innuendo, I might have to just show her what I mean myself. Even if it is a rash thing to do to one who's not a morning person.

I leaned forward a bit, gripping her hands to the phone so she couldn't move away.

Instantly, my heart rate picked up. A certain thrill of rebelliousness, and giddy fear started pulsing through me.

I dared to move closer, but instead of meeting her lips, I teased her by stopping mere millimeters away.

'What do you say?' I asked. 'Go to school and get detention, face the wrath of your parents at home, or have a carefree afternoon with yours truly?'

I blushed, and looked away, my lips brushing oh-so-barely over his, sending bolts of intense electricity - much more so than yesterday - through the sensitive skin of my lips, right down my body. That TINY point of contact . . . God . . .

Say yes, Simon. You know you want to.

'But - if I just explain to mum what happened maybe she won't freak out as much as if I just said I randomly spent a night with my tennis capt - '

I let out a sigh, one that I'm sure she could feel because we were just that close. A few millimeters away, and she was mine.

But she was too scared. I don't know why she was, but she was afraid of something.

I swear, she's too good for her own well-being. She probably felt something along the lines of guilt while I felt – well, like kissing her. Again and again and again.

'That's the problem with you, Simon,' I whispered. 'You're a goody-goody. You play yourself as a bad-ass . . . like you're so bold and daring and tough, but when it comes down to it, you'd rather crawl back into your comfortable little hole.'

My eyes snapped back to him angrily. 'I am NOT a goody-goody. And even if I WAS, that's not a PROBLEM. God, I'm anything but good . . . I just - I don't like doing things that I don't want to do.'

Who does?

Only, when I actually WANT to do something, and I don't do it . . . well -

Shut up.

'What is it, exactly, that you don't want to do?' I teased, moving the hand that wasn't encased over hers and using it to play with a strand of her stray hair.

Has she been thinking what I've been thinking? Even if she said she didn't want to . . . well, she'd been thinking about it. That means she actually entertained the idea for a minute. If only I could recapture that somehow . . .

Okay, I SO wasn't going to answer that - no WAY.

God, did he have to read into EVERYTHING that I said? Why couldn't he just leave it alone?

I shot him a glare. 'NOTHING,' I said with extreme emphasis. 'Just - I don't - I mean, you can't - we - could you get AWAY from me?'

I couldn't FUNCTION properly with him leaning that close. His breath was all hot, and everything.

He'd obviously downed a mint before coming downstairs.


I let go of her hand and her hair and turned around for a moment in retreat. God . . . why did she have to be so damn difficult all the time? My determination was wearing off . . . I began to think it was hopeless.

I forgot. I'm Paul Slater. Paul Slater never gives up. I keep on fighting and fighting until I win. Until I conquer.

So I turned right back around and in a split-second action, I cupped her face in my hands and answered her, 'No. No, I can't.'

And it was true . . . I couldn't. You see that, there? I tried to go away, but it just didn't happen. Okay, so I was about to give up. But I wasn't this time. I wanted to make that perfectly clear to her.

I stared into her vibrant emerald eyes, all a glow with shock and surprise. If only I knew hypnotism, I could make her like me they way I like her.

You like me, Simon. You like me, and not that stupid walking carcass. Me, me, me, ME.

I looked down.

Why do I go through this every time? Why?

He was smirking in that way that made me furious, as well as . . . um, well - shut up. Let's just say I LIKED that smirk, to a degree.

But quickly, I said, 'No . . . wait - I can't do this now, Paul.'

'Why not?' I demanded, finding myself getting a little frustrated. When I get frustrated, I get aggressive. And God can only imagine what happens when I get aggressive.

'I - ' I stammered. 'I . . . I haven't brushed my teeth.'

. . . Uh.

I cracked a smile, trying to suppress a laugh. But, alas, the laugh escaped my mouth, and I began to chuckle loudly in her face.

Here I was, thinking she was being difficult again, when she was really worried about her morning breath?

I took care of the morning breath problem a long time ago. Remind me to write a letter to Altoids. They're curiously strong, you know.

Like me.

I glared heatedly, and slid my hand over my mouth to stop my gross breath from demonically plaguing his poor, poor nostrils. 'It's NOT funny - '

I continued laughing. so hard that my stomach actually started to hurt. I mean, I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. But I had to remember to maintain composure.

How could I, though? I mean, the way she said it and the way she covered her mouth all self-consciously. It killed me.

'You win,' I said, holding my arms up in retreat. She pouted like a little girl who'd just got her lollipop taken away.

I narrowed my eyes, and turned away huffily, my hand still over my mouth. 'Do you have . . . like, a spare toothbrush or something? Or a mint?'

Or a gun so I can shoot myself?

Whatever you have, I'm not fussed.

Suddenly, I stopped laughing. Instead, I grinned mischieviously. Had she just asked for breath freshening supplies? Did that mean she was considering what I had been thinking about since...well, since I met her?

She wanted me. I could tell. If she didn't want me, she wouldn't even bother.

'I always keep a spare around,' I said, in a purposefully mysterious way. 'You never know when someone might need it.'

I nodded. That would be good. I mean, who can LIVE with MORNING BREATH?

You just don't.


And I didn't want to be Halitosis Simon, thank you very much.

He smirked that smirk again, and guided me upstairs again, and into his bathroom. I guiltily noted the absence of that little ceramic toothbrush holder that I had mutilated. He grabbed a packet out of the draw, which contained an unused toothbrush. He then handed me Colgate toothpaste.

'Thanks,' I said, removing my hand from my mouth. 'Okay. . . go away.'

A girl needs privacy to brush her teeth.

I mean, with all that spitting out white stuff . . . guys might get ideas, you know?

I grabbed my toothbrush, put some paste on it, and left her to brush her teeth on her own, while I went to the kitchen sink to do the deed. I don't know why she needed to be alone to brush her teeth, unless she wanted to do some primping or something.

When I was finished brushing, I washed my brush off and wandered back over to the bathroom. I waited for her, leaning right in front of the door to ensure an "accidental" collision.

After my teeth were all minty and white (okay, wishful thinking,) I quickly ran my fingers through my hair. It was all a mess from the rain. Luckily, I so happened to have a hair lacky around my wrist. I always do. I combed my hair into a half-up-half-down thing messily, and did it up. It looked rushed, but in a nice way. I dunno . . . meh.

I looked at my face once - no pimples, good.

Then, partially satisfied, I shrugged, and opened the d -

'Whoa,' I said. Paul was standing like RIGHT there. I tripped into him - 'Sorry . . . '

Can we make out now? Skip all the fancy stuff and just do it, already?

Yeah. Sure.

I took a step and cornered her in the bathroom, shutting the door behind me. I had her pinned to the sliding glass door to my shower. Beneath my palm, the glass was cold, in comparison to her body next to mine, which was warm. Hot.

My eyes went wide as I was suddenly right up against the glass behind me. It was making my butt cold. I swallowed, the excess minty freshness trailing down my throat.

'Now can we do this?' I asked, in reference to earlier. I found my voice dipping so low, it didn't sound like me any more. I could smell the mint in her breath, which was shuddering as I spoke. She was actually trembling because of me.

A wave of that horrible, awful, amazing feeling took its deadly toll at the pit of my stomach. I breathed in sharply. He was like . . . really close. I could smell HIS breath, too. It was all minty as well.

. . . I like mint.

'But - ' I said, '. . . What if something catches on fire again?'

However funny that was, I didn't laugh. I was trying to get down to business. Suze was just buying time. But she wasn't buying time from ME.

'It's the bathroom,' I replied boredly. 'What's going to catch on fire in the bathroom?'

'Uh - ' I said lamely, ' . . . that's a . . . good point.'

I started getting really, really hot.

'Where were we?' I said, trailing a single finger down the length of her arm. I could feel her shudder under me, but I ignored it. 'I believe we were right about...here.'

I pressed her further into the glass and began kissing her. Eventually, the glass beneath my other hand wasn't so cold anymore.

I melted all over again.

Sorry, but . . . Paul really is an amazing kisser.

My fingers were curled around his neck, and against his face. My heart began going all fast, all over again, and I closed my eyes, hard.

The thing about Suze that makes me want- no, crave- her the most is the simplicity in her intensity. Most girls try too hard. She doesn't pull any tricks, except hard-to-get which drives a guy crazy. And once you finally do get her, well, it's worth it.

Her touch alone made me lose it. The way her hands started to explore my naked chest. She knew how to flip my switch, if you know what I mean.

My hands left the glass and snaked around to the small of her back, where I arched her into me. She let out a sigh...one that kept echoing in my ears.

I think she's made me mad. Mad for passion, mad for lust, mad for HER.

At one point, she tried to pull away, but I blindly grabbed the sides of my shirt that she had on, and pushed her against me again. I intensified the kiss, and as I did her fingernails dug into my sides. But only because she wanted more.

Why did it feel so WRONG to feel that good? I mean, it SHOULD be. Feeling like that SHOULDN'T be allowed. People can go insane from these types of feelings. I know I was being driven around the bend, by them. Because - I'll be honest with you - I WANTED, very, very badly, to be doing more than just kissing.

But there was NO way that I could do that to myself.

Although, not doing what I really wanted, was tearing me apart. I only felt like that when he kissed me. And that was the problem. I didn't trust myself with him, because he made me go completely out of control. I'd lose myself in his kiss, and I'd forget everything that I believed in. The worst thing though, is he wouldn't stop me. Not for a second, because I knew he wanted to do the same thing.

And that was terrifying, more so than being almost charred, when running out in a storm and getting struck by burning, intense, killer electricity.

So as much as his hands on my back pulling me RIGHT against him, and his lips on mine made my body literally shiver from pleasure, I knew I was the one that had to stop. If I didn't, neither of us would.

And then . . . certain things might have happened.

And that would have ruined me completely, because I SO wasn't ready for . . . you know. That.

Or, more commonly known as, it.

I broke away from his lips instantly, breathing a lot harder than I previously realized. 'Enough,' I wheezed.

'What?' I asked, a little breathily. I must admit, I was out of breath.

Not as out of breath as Jesse, though. He's too DEAD to have any.

'I said enough,' I reinforced quickly, still looking away. My hands were still relentlessly holding his firmly against me, and his own hands were on the small of my back, pressed against my skin with a pressure that I was worried would bruise me. Unfortunately, it was at that moment that he accidentally shifter his hands a liiiiiiiiitle bit lower, hitting me RIGHT on my exit-wound thing.

'OW - ' I gasped, and jerked back quickly.

'What do you want from me, Suze?' I asked, a little annoyed. I accidentally touched the exit wound, which made her push me away. But I wasn't concerned with that anymore.

'I feel like I'm running in place with you, Suze. What do you want? A game of Twister or something?'

SCRABBLE? God forbid she makes me play Scrabble.

A question that had been niggling at the back of my brain burbled out of me, then.

'Wh-where's your grandpa, anyway? And Mark? I mean - why aren't they here?'

I turned away from her. Leave it up to Suze to kill the mood by bringing up my Pops, who's about as mobile as a vegetable.

'He wouldn't eat. Mark thought something was wrong because his blood pressure's screwed up. It'll be dangerously fast and then dangerously slow. They don't know why, though,' I replied, looking at myself in the mirror.

My hair was very mussed up. I noticed her standing behind me. She had her hair up earlier, but it wasn't anymore. Her skirt was wrinkled, too. But her eyes looked sympathetic.

To tell you the truth, I didn't want her sympathy. I wanted to make-out with her.

'I'm sorry,' I said quietly.

'Don't be sorry, okay,' I said. 'Just don't.'

I looked sideways, not really knowing what to say. 'Oh,' I said.

Wow. Great consolation, Suze.

I looked back over to him. 'So . . . what? You're living here, on your own till he gets out of hospital?'

'Well, I was until last night.'

A huge shade of crimson cemented all over my face. I know - I saw my reflection in the mirror.

- 8 -