Note: everything is the same, except Zach and Summer have been sleeping with each other for some time now
"Oh hey isn't it like, the same t-shirt you were wearing yesterday?"
"And good morning to you too, Summer," he nods at me grimly.
"Was good - till I saw you," I can't help myself. When he's near, my inner bitch takes over. I know, that's kinda low, but hey - we're talking Cohen, right?
His eyes run over me. He's probably just seeking out the details he can comment, but it still feels good... I mean, I know he wants me right? He makes it like, totally obvious. It's actually fun... Well, it would be fun, if it wasn't so pathetic. He's like a puppy I kicked... Except, he still follows me around.
"Where's Zach?" he gives me his patented frown of fake concern. "I thought I saw him talking to the school shrink?"
"On your way out of his office? That's just sad," I smile at him venomously.
"Yeah, isn't it?" he mocks me. "That's about two guys you've dated this year and unfortunately it seems both of them desperately need therapy."
Another snappy retort is on the tip of my tongue, when Marissa tugs at my arm. "In a sec, Coop," I glance at her meaningfully. I turn back to Cohen, but she's still trying to get my attention. "What?" I snap at her, annoyed.
"Zach," she motions to the side, where like, ten feet away from us Zach is watching the whole scene. Shit! How could I not notice him?... Oh, riiiight. I was talking to Cohen.
"Hey, sweetie!" I saunter towards him, hopefully looking cheerful. "Where've you been? I was looking for ya everywhere!" I lean up to drop a kiss on his cheek. He lets me, but instantly it's obvious he's like totally mad.
"Right. And Cohen was helping?" he asks flatly.
"What? No! He was... distracting," I frown. Yep. He's mad. "What is it? Are you mad at me or something?" okay, so I do speak my mind.
"No, it's just... Every time I get to school, I walk in on you two distracting one another," he answers snottily.
I shift to my another foot, stalling. "No, look, it's not like that," I shake my head. I glance to the side where Cohen is still standing in front of his locker, watching us out of the corner of his eye. Soo typical. I turn back to Zach. "We were just... we were just insulting each other, okay? Usual stuff," I shrug. I hope that's enough to calm his suspicions. Not that he has any reason to be suspicious, of course.
"Yeah, still... dontcha think you might enjoy it a little bit too much? Both of you," Zach points out.
"No, sweetie. You imagine things," I smile at him half-heartedly, before slipping my hand into his. "Come on," I say cheerfully. "We have class like in five. And we totally can't be late today."
"What's today?" he frowns.
"The day before the parents night?" I raise my brows.
"Oh, right. Shit," he seems distressed.
"Don't worry. I mean, we were good this past month, right?" I wrap my arm around his waist.
"Right," he sounds not convinced. Oh well... I glance back, to where Cohen is like, staring at me with those puppy eyes of his, looking all kinds of... Damn it. I quickly gaze back at Zach, nod at something he's just said.
My heart is hammering all the same.
Having sex with Zach is... nice. As in... nice. Right. Slow and gentle and... nice. Ugh.
I gaze up at the ceiling and I think about Cohen.
... wait. Scratch that. I'm trying not to think about Cohen. But it's all the same, 'cause trying not to think about him means that I think about him anyway. How weird is that? I mean, here I am, having sex with my boyfriend and all I can think about is my pathetic ex.
Making love to Cohen was nice, too. As in... whoa. Just the mere fact he was touching me... it was enough for the mind-blowing orgasm to rush my way. Not that is was perfect, of course. It was kinda awkward, at first. But then... okay, so not going there. Now it's me and Zach, not me and him.
So why do I miss him so fucking much?...
Damn it! I want it to be him. I want to have sex with him. I want to be with him. Sit with him, walk with him, cuddle with him. Do all the stuff the couples do. Even if he's a total loser with the chicken arms... I still want him. Want him, want him, wanthimwanthimwanthim-- UGH!
"Stop," I push Zach off of me.
"Why? What's wrong?" he asks. I hate the concern face he makes.
"Nothing, it's just... I'm not in mood," wait, what! Me not in mood for sex? Uh-huh. "I'm sorry sweetie. Can we like, do it some other time?"
"Sure," he doesn't look happy, but I don't care. I'm pissed off. At myself, at Cohen. At Cohen, mostly. Why does he even have to exist? "You sure you're alright?"
"What?" I ask absently while I look for my clothes.
"Are you okay? You seem... off."
"No, I'm fine. Just tired," I give him a weak smile and tug my shirt on.
Twenty minutes later it's just me and my relaxation CD. I meditate, trying to let go of frustration. I can't even have sex, 'cause all I can think about is Cohen. When did life get so complicated? He used to be just some geek, and now he's like everywhere, invading my thoughts, polluting my life. I feel like I'm going insane... Am I going insane? Is it how being in love feels like? ...am I in love with Cohen? God help me - I can't be! If he found out... except maybe he's in love with me too, which would be... nice. No, scratch that. It would complicate things even more. Except... god, I love him. I love all about him, his big mouth, his nerdness, everything. I love Cohen. I'm gonna kill myself tonight.
So much for relaxation.
A few days later I find this sketch book under his bed. And there's like me, me, me everywhere. Except in a weird mask and with enormous boobs, but me, nevertheless. And he said he hadn't got down to drawing me yet.
I don't know what to make of it. It's kinda creepy, but in a good way. Makes me all warm and tingly, just thinking about it. It's like, he's been drawing me over and over, it seems.
I'm not sure how to act. Should I just go to his house and return it? Wouldn't it be like, admitting that I had stolen it? Which I had, technically. But not intentionally. It just sorta happened... anyway, boy is he gonna be mad. He's gonna ramble and deny any meaning of this and he'll probably even offer to destroy it, I bet. But it's not like I'm angry with him. Well... I'm not angry. I'm just... hopeless. And in love. And okay, angry. With him for acting like a total jerk and accepting I'm like, someone else's now.
So here I am, knocking on his door. I hear a "come in" and I enter his room just like I'm used to do, except... now we're not together any more. But it still feels like home. More than home. 'Cause my home... okay, sooo not going there.
Cohen is sitting on his bed, drawing stuff (me?). "Hey. What are you doing here?" he asks, frowning a little.
"I, um..." I briefly consider lying, but finally choose to be honest. What can he do about it, anyway? "I came to return something that I... stole."
He stares at me for a moment till the realization dawns. He puts away his drawings and looks under his bed. I watch, my lip bitten lightly. I'm kinda curious what he's gonna do next.
"Oh, you found it," he comments from his upside down position. He pulls back and sits on the edge of the bed. "Great," he adds rather to himself than aloud. He's clearly embarrassed. It's almost cute. He stands up and I can see he's about to explain himself. "Okay here's the thing, I know it's totally creepy, okay. I know," his mouth has taken the better of him and he's gesticulating wildly. He's so funny when he does that. "That was just a very long summer and I'm sorry and I will destroy all of 'em right now, I just need ta find my exacto knife--"
"No Cohen. Don't," I cut in. Time to put him out of his misery. "I think they're good."
A beat and then, hopefully, "Yeah?"
"Yeah," I chirp. "I mean, well... the boobs are a little big but well, I mean, aren't they," I try for a joke.
I think I see a hint of smile. It's like he relaxes a bit. "I can... redo the boobs," he suggests.
"-and-and you know, I'm not so sure about the mask either--" I leave the sentence hanging and give him a meaningful look. He seems to consider it for a moment, before he holds up his finger and I can see he's got another one of his genius ideas. He turns away and goes through the drawings on his bed. A moment later he holds up a picture and... it's me. Me without a mask, and... it's great. Totally genius. I'm stunned. I lift my eyes to his slowly. He's silent, looking at me expectantly.
I have to say something, but my tongue is like, tied. Still, I get myself together eventually. "Now that's what I'm talking about," I say cheerfully.
His face instantly breaks into a smile. "Yeah? So then, um... you don't mind?" he asks, all hopeful.
Damn right I don't. "No... well, not as long as I have boob approval," I grin at him.
"Okay," he agrees eagerly.
I keep smiling at him. I can't help myself. "Do you mind if I... uh, have one'a these?" I ask tentatively. I'm not sure if that's okay.
"Uh yeah sure, go ahead," he's definitely okay with it. "You can actually have 'em all if you want--"
"Yeah...?" oh my, is it really my voice? It sounds more like whining.
"Although, maybe it's not such a good idea ta tell Zach about 'em all... or any of 'em?" he suggests, giving me a meaningful look.
I know exactly what he's talking about. "I was jus thinking the same thing," I agree.
"Yeah, just 'cause you know, it... it might upset the partnership and--"
"Yeah and well, it could be bad for business," I nod, understanding.
And here's this look... God help me, but I fall in love with him all over again. He's just so--
"Oooookay, I'm gonna let you get back to work, because I expect my own action figure by Chrismukkah," I hasten on, afraid of what can happen. It's just sometimes, with him, it gets too intense. The way he looks at me... I can't help myself.
"Oh," he nods. He seems surprised and it's totally cute. "Wow, okay, well, I'll see what I can do."
I smile. "Okay," I pack the sketch book and then gaze at him. "Thanks Cohen."
He smiles back lightly. "Yeah."
Ok, so this is the moment when I move and walk out. Except I don't. I keep staring at him and I've got quite a hunch I'm looking all wistful and stuff. Damn it. Just walk out, Summer. Walk out and close the door--
He's staring back at me and I can almost feel the air between us sparkle with electricity. Zach or not, this guy has gotten under my skin alright. I can't get him out of my head. Which is tragic, since he's so not my type--
"The Valley is on," I say out loud.
He flinches, as if I just pulled him out of a trance. "Yeah? I thought the season was over--"
"Yeah well there are re-runs. If I go home now, I won't make it on time, so--" I trail off and shift to another foot, giving him an expectant look.
A beat, and then, "Yeah sure you can stay and watch here if you want," I smile gratefully and flop down on bed next to him. We both reach for the remote at the same time and we laugh 'cause it's totally cute and just like the old times... except we're not together any more. But I can still watch The Valley here.
Not like I'm going to stay for the night, right?
It's half and hour after The Valley has ended and I'm leaning back against Cohen's pillows, reading new Cosmo that I've had with me in my purse. Cohen is resting on his side on the other end of the bed, drawing stuff. I should probably be getting back home, but... well, I'm comfy here.
"So how'd the parents night work out for ya?" Cohen asks from above his sketches.
"Dunno," I shrug, changing the page. "Haven't seen my dad ever since. Actually, I'm not sure he even knew about that."
"Yeah? Well what about your step-mom?"
"She's been like, passed out since Friday."
"Bullshit," he chuckles a bit.
"Whatever. Hey, how's my action figure doing?" I put away Cosmo and lean over to take a look at the drawings.
"In definite progress."
"Does she like, have any special powers?"
"Yeah she has kick-ass amex cards that ęłęócan decapitate a demon up to a hundred yards away. Plus she uses her unique feminine wiles to seduce innocent citizens."
I roll my eyes at him. "Oookay, are you talking about yourself Cohen? 'Cause that's way pathetic."
"Hey I'm talking about the Jewish boy here," he gesticulates with his hand for emphasis. "He thought she was in his team, but sadly it turned out she'd had this evil little plan all along."
"What evil plan?" I frown. "I can't be evil! I'm supposed to be like, a super-heroine! I'm supposed to be good, so-so the little girls who'd read that wanted to be like me!"
"Okaaay... so maybe she shall return from the dark side since it's obvious she can't resist the Jewish boy," he smirks at me. I roll my eyes. "You see the point is, there's a lotta attitude to work with here, know what I mean? There's gotta be a major struggle between good and evil on your part."
"Okay, whatever. But since little girls are gonna take my example, there's one condition Cohen: I've gotta be stylish."
"Huh?" he frowns at me. Jesus, he can be so clueless sometimes.
"Like, I need to wear Prada or something?" I raise my brows at him meaningfully.
"But you come out at night, Summer," he points out. "You're all about stealth, anyway."
"Oh so you get to do hero stuff during the day and I go out when it's dark? It's called discrimination Cohen. Look it up," I huff.
"I know what discrimination is," he shoots back, annoyed. "In fact," he adds in a lower voice. "I think I'm gonna add one Afro-American hero, just to be on the safe side you know."
"I thought this was supposed to be autobiographic?" I raise my brows in confusion. "Do we like, know someone black?"
"Well we don't have no super powers either, so what's your point?"
"Whatever. Anywhoo, will there be like, any mature stuff?" I ask curiously. "I mean, what's it gonna be rated?"
"Initially R, but since you've mentioned little girls--" he trails off meaningfully.
"Right, just checkin', 'cause you know, sex totally sells," I shrug. "Unless of course, you want it to be like, noncommercial."
"Yeah, haven't thought about it yet, actually," he frowns, as if to himself. "Who would have sex anyway? Me and you?" he grins at me.
I lean over and slap his chest. "Ugh! Why us?" I shriek.
He smirks. "'Cause I do have a recollection of some sorts which I could actually base on--"
"Pig," I grimace.
"Whatever you say, Sum," he mutters, still smiling. I roll my eyes again, but then forget altogether why, because he's looking at me in this way that no one else can. We hold each other's eyes for a few seconds longer and it's like, I can't look away. I'm not sure what I'm still doing here.
I force myself to break the eye-contact eventually, focusing on locating my purse. "I should probably be going--"
"Who says you should anything?" Cohen cuts in and I look back at him, a little taken aback. Did he just...? Well he does look like he thinks that maybe he just--
"Cohen if I stay your parents are gonnatotally freak out," I try to rationalize.
"Yeah well... I don't give a damn," he mutters. His eyes never leave my face and I start to feel slightly out of breath. I know that look.
"... but that's not even the point," I go on, shifting again. Suddenly it seems I can't get comfortable on his bed. "I can't stay, you know that. If I do, something can happen... that totally shouldn't."
"Like what," he asks in a low voice.
"Don't play dumb Cohen, you have it written all over your face," I point out. Now I'm really uncomfortable and... hot. All over.
"Am I that obvious?" he frowns. "Well that's... that's not good. As a comic hero, I'm supposed to be like, unreadable--"
"Well you aren't," I cut in, annoyed, as I finally locate my purse. I rise to my feet and smooth down my skirt. "Okay, so I'm gonna take off now. I'll see ya tomorrow at school," I start towards the door.
"So that's it?" his voice reaches me.
"What do you mean?" I don't look back at him.
"You just gonna go now?"
"Well what did you think? That I was gonna like, sleep over?"
"You said that. So you were considering this," he grins at me slyly.
"I so wasn't."
"Yes you were."
"No I wasn't."
"Yes you were."
I roll my eyes and turn to glare at him. He's now standing a few feet away from me, staring. It pisses me off. He's not supposed to be doing this. Not any more. He has no fucking right.
"Stop," I say harshly.
"Stop looking at me like this."
"Like what?" he takes a step towards me, his face tilted to the side slightly, his eyes locked on mine.
I feel myself go rigid. This is so not good. "Look Cohen as much as I enjoy this steamy convo, do I have to remind you about a person called Zach?" I ask, raising my hands in a 'hello' gesture. "He's like, my boyfriend!"
He takes another step closer and stops directly in front of me, frowning in fake ponder. "Are you talking about the side-kick? One who's the muscle in our comic book?"
I stare at him, incredulous. "Are you like retarded, Cohen?"
"That's about the second person who's asked this question," he comments wryly.
"Ever wondered why?" I raise my brows. I lean against the wall with my arms over my chest, playing nonchalant.
"Glad one of us thinks it's funny, 'cause I'm not laughing Cohen. Do you see me laughing?" I hiss. I'm still not sure why I'm not outside already.
"Honestly Summer, I have no idea what you're still doing here if it's not even funny any more," he becomes serious. It's so sudden. Too sudden.
"Are you like, throwing me out?" I ask incredulously.
"You know that's the last thing on my mind right now," he mutters. He puts his hand against the wall, next to my head. He's too close. Way too close.
I swallow. "'Cause I can leave, you know. Any second now," I whisper. "I should leave, probably--"
"You should stay," he cuts in. His eyes hold mine for a few seconds longer, before slowly lowering to my lips.
I exhale nervously. It's so hot. When did it get so hot in here? I'm completely dizzy by now.
"And you should back off Cohen," I mutter.
"Or what," he smiles lightly. "You're gonna off me with one of your little killer cards?"
"That's likely," I breathe.
"Yeah well I prefer to die having my ass kicked by you than live watching you being with him," he mutters across my lips.
I think I might die myself.
We look at each other for a few long seconds and it feels as if the whole air was charged. And then suddenly he's kissing me and I'm doing absolutely nothing to stop him. It's gentle at first, but quickly turns desperate. I want him so much. We stumble across the room to his bed and fall back on it, Cohen first and me on top. I straddle him and go for his mouth again. I can't get enough. It's nothing like what I have with Zach. It's crazy and dizzying and I can't think straight. I want this so much I might cry. I can't deny it any more. I just can't.
He sits up and I tug his t-shirt over his head. I push him back down and lean in to nibble on his neck. He smells so good.
I reach down to unbuckle his jeans, but he rolls us over and now he's on top and he's raining soft little kisses all over my face. I beam underneath him, my mouth smiling though I'm not aware of this. He levels his eyes with mine.
"Let's go back to the initial R rating, whatcha think?" he mutters.
"I totally agree. The little girls are gonna get a special, PG version," I nod quickly and we do just that.
When I wake up, it's dawning. I stayed for the night and realization is slowly sinking in, but too slowly to actually make me get up. I nuzzle into Cohen's neck and he shifts in response, his hand stroking up my bare arm.
"What time is it?" he asks sleepily.
"Dunno. Early," I whisper, my eyes fluttering back shut. He's warm and next to me and I haven't been happier in like months.
We lie together in silence. He's running his fingers through my hair lightly and it feels so good I don't wanna move. Ever. But reality is slowly making its way through the windows.The sun's rising inevitably and I know we can't stay here forever.
"What am I gonna do with Zach?" I ask quietly, though I'd rather not.
He goes slightly rigid. He's fully awaken now. "Look, act casual about this," he says into my hair. "Just tell him the truth. Nonchalantly."
"Nonchalantly. Right. How about 'Hey sweetie, wanna grab some coffee? Oh, by the way, I slept with Cohen yesterday. Hope it's not a big deal'?" I mock.
A beat, and then, "Exactly what I had in mind."
I roll my eyes. "Great. Good thinking Cohen."
"Thanks," I feel his smirk against my skin. "But seriously... you're gonna break up with him, aren't ya?" he tries to hide it, but there's a distinct note of fear to his voice.
I sigh. "I dunno." I really don't.
He tenses up even more. "Sum," he murmurs expectantly.
"Yeah, I guess," I whisper.
"Good," he answers, relieved. "'Cause I miss being with you, Roberts."
I lean up on my elbow, looking down into his eyes. "You do?" I mutter with a small smile.
"Yeah," he breaths. "I'm like, hopelessly incomplete without you. You know?"
"Aww... that's so sweet Cohen," I lower my face and press my lips against his. He kisses me back, his fingers pushing my hair away from my face. I close my eyes, giving into sensation. I yelp a little when he rolls on top, our lips never disconnecting. He nibbles on my lower lip and I moan into his mouth. This feels so good.
We break the kiss, both panting. "I swear to god Cohen, if you ever leave me again, I'm gonna kill you for real," I gasp against his lips.
"I won't. Never again," he promises hastily. He leans forward, our foreheads touching. "I love you," he mutters.
I swallow. Those three words have never meant more to me.
"How much?" I whisper, stroking his curly hair away from his face.
"Much more than very much," he mutters back.
"That's much," I smile. We kiss again, softly, our breaths mingling. I love kissing him. That's what I miss most every time we break up, I suppose. He's so good at that.
We pull back and I rest my cheek against his shoulder. "I hope your mom doesn't walk in on us like that," I whisper, lazily drawing random patterns on his belly.
He shifts a little. "Yeah," he agrees in a slightly uncomfortable tone.
A beat, and then my finger stops it's movement.
"You think we should like, get dressed?" I ask, raising my face a little.
"It definitely won't hurt to do that," he eagerly nods his agreement.
We start looking for our clothes that are lying in piles all over the floor. Jesus. We're lucky Kirsten didn't like, come up with the idea to check up on Cohen during the night. We'd be so busted.
I can't clasp my bra and Cohen comes with help. And when he does that, standing right behind me, his long fingers brushing against my bare skin, I think I can get used to that.
Not to sneaking out, I mean.
To being happy.