"I guess you win," Katie said smiling in a way that she hoped was seductive. If someone had told her a few months ago that she'd be sitting in JR's across from Jack McCallister, she'd sworn they'd just smoked some good shit, then she would have asked for a hit. Jack, with his dark good looks, was a god at Truman. She, on the other hand, was definitely not one of the chosen people.

"About that," he began shyly, his face turning red.

"A deal's a deal McCallister."

They'd each had a day to find out all they could about each other. After bribing her stoner friends with chips and pizza, he now knew what her favorite color, movie, and flowers were. And her? She'd felt too self-conscious to approach his friends and ask them questions about him. But then again, she didn't have to, she knew all she needed to know about Jack McCallister – he was the nicest guy on the planet. Of course someone like him could never fall for someone like her. So she'd contented herself with being his friend, a friend with benefits. Naturally, he hadn't taken her up on her offer. But she was willing to do it, just to get close to him.

"Anyway," Jack said as he ran his hand through his hair. "I should be going. I can walk you home if you'd like."

"That's okay."

A troubled look flashed across his face. Katie held her breath.

"It's no bother. In fact," he began then stopped. He cleared his throat. "I realized the other day I don't know where you live. I don't know anything about your family either, and neither do your friends."

"There's nothing to tell." She hoped she sounded nonchalant, breezy, unperturbed. But she had to get out of there. Quickly, she rose and slipped on her coat. As she edged out of the booth, Jack jumped up.

"Wait." By the time he'd pulled on his jacket, Katie was almost out the front door of JR's.

Outside, the night air was crisp and stingingly chilly. A light snow fell, blanketing everything in a white that shone like jewels, a byproduct of the light from the streetlamps reflecting off the snow.

"Katie, what's going on?"


"Hey, whatever it is, it can't be that bad," he said softly as he placed his hands on her waist and drew her close.

For a moment she allowed herself to be lost in his arms, his scent. He smelled clean and soapy – fresh, unlike the guys she usually hung out with who either smelled like pot, cigarettes, or air freshener.

That's the thing, she chided herself. He's not like the losers you hang out with.

"I'm not one of your projects McCallister," she said, jerking away from him.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Just forget it," Katie said walking away.

"No," Jack said grabbing her arm.

"Leave me the fuck alone. I'm not your sex-crazed, pothead mother or your dorky, asthmatic brother. I don't need you" You may not need him, but you want him, a voice said inside her head.

She'd gone too far. Of course that had been her intention. But the look on his face, a look of anger mingled with pain pierced her heart nonetheless.

"Jack," she said softly as she reached out to touch his arm.

"Whatever," he said turning away from her. He made his way down the street leaving her alone on the sidewalk, snow falling around her.