Note: from Summer's POV, 'cause it's always fun

I can't believe he's screwing this Alex chick.

I mean... eww. I know I'm with Zach now and he's with her so it should be none of my business, but... man is my imagination working. I can't stand the notion he's like making love to someone that's not... me. I just... uh!

I so need to find Zach.

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"So basically, you're like crazy jealous of Alex."

We sit in Coop's room, drinking hot chocolate. The Valley is on, but it seems I can't focus. This is so not good. The Valley used to be my way of escape from the Cohen Confusion Land. I would watch it and it would be like, Cohen-free quality time so I wouldn't go completely crazy. But right now I am going crazy. He's dating some other chick and I don't like it. At all.

"Not... jealous," I protest. Coop raises her brows doubtfully and I know she knows. I'm totally lying. "Ok so maybe I'm a bit jealous. But it's only natural right? I mean he's my ex. I'll always be a little jealous of him 'cause-'cause that's the way it... is. Right?" I gaze at her helplessly.

"Yeah Sum but there's a difference between well yeah we were good together once and yeah he's still a hottie, she can take him though and geez she takes her hands off him this instant or I swear I'm gonna kick her ass back to Friday," Coop suggests.

I tilt my face at her, giving her a skeptical look. "Okay Coop so which one's Chino?" I ask slyly.

"What?" she frowns, pretending she doesn't know what I'm talking about.

"Stop pretending you don't know what I'm talking about," I grin. "Sometimes I think you're gonna like, walk up to this Lindsey chick and break her little glasses or something. She doesn't look so smart without them you know?"

Coop rolls her eyes, but I think I can see a small smile. "Rage blackouts are your specialty Sum," she jokes.

"Yeah well don't change the subject," I point my finger at her. "You'd like him back wouldn't ya."

"What? No!" she protests. A little too vigorously for my likes.

"Liar," I mutter. She shakes her head, but the smile is still there. "Yeah thought so," I purse my lips. "You totally want him Coop. I can see that."

"Yeah well it doesn't matter anyways," she sighs, getting serious. "He's with Lindsey now."

"Well you can still have him back right?" I raise my brows. "They're not married or anything are they."

"Well no but what if he loves her?"

"No way," I shake my head firmly. "He loves you, Coop. I mean I know I've said before you were trouble together and that's probably the truth but... he makes you happy Coop," I admit, smiling at her lightly. "You belong together. You should totally fight for him."

"Like you're fighting for Seth?" she raises her brows.

I narrow my eyes at her. "Me and Cohen are no longer an issue, Coop. I'm so over him," I say firmly.

"Are you?"

"Totally. 'Sides, I'm with Zach now and Cohen's dating this Alex girl. See? A lost cause," I shrug, hopefully looking indifferent. "I think he'd given up on me anyway."

"What? Naah. No way. It's Cohen we're talking about here remember?" she leans forward. "He's like, obsessed with ya. Alex is merely--"

"-a fling?" I smirk.

"Exactly. A fling," she nods, satisfied with the word choice.

"Ew. Whatever," I brush her off. I'm not sure I want to talk about this. "I don't really wanna talk about this."

"But you still love him Summer," she says softly.

"I love Zach," I protest.

"Liar," she throws it back at me with a small smile.

I sigh. She knows me so well it's almost annoying. "Ok so maybe I do have feelings for him... but he's such a dork Coop," I frown.

"But he's your dork," she smirks.

I'm silent for a moment, just staring down into my mug. "He left me Coop," I say softly. "He left me without a word."

"I know," she mutters. "But people make mistakes Sum. And you know he loves you."

I look up at her. I know she's right. I've known all along. It's just... "I don't wanna get hurt again," I whisper.

"You will, one way or another," she answers softly. "But you're gonna hurt more if you stay away from him, trust me," she sighs a little, looks away wistfully.

I stare at her for a moment, awed. "You're still in love with Chino aren't ya," I say quietly.

She looks back at me and I don't think we need words any more.

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This short conversation with Coop makes me realize that we're totally in over our heads, both of us. She can make out with the gardener, but Chino is still the only one who's really seen her, you know what I mean? People can think she's beautiful and perfect, but he knows how low she can get. And he knows how to help her up again.

As for me and Cohen... god help me, but I can't stop thinking about the guy. What is it that this chick has that I don't? She's hot, okay, but Cohen likes his girlfriend to have brains, too. Like me. I'm hot and I'm smart. I'm like perfect for him... or am I? Smart?

Not so sure about that one, but the truth is he's always wanted me, okay. Even when I didn't know who he was, he would name his boat after me, which is like totally cute. Would he name his boat after Alex? What kinda name for a boat would that be, anyway?

...ok so the point is, I miss him badly. Maybe he's not exactly my type, but at least he's intriguing. He's like this great mystery to me. I mean I can't really figure him out and believe me, I've been trying. It's like his brain is constantly working... which makes me wanna learn new stuff just to impress him. Plus, he makes me laugh - really laugh. He's especially funny when he's trying to be serious.

You'd think he's such a smart-ass ironist, but he can also be totally sweet. It's this other side of him that comes to surface when it's just me and him, alone. He looks at me in this way that makes me feel like I was the most precious thing in the world. Makes me feel like I could jump him right then and there--

...does he look like this at Alex? Does he show her this another, cute side of him?

I ask myself this question while I wait for the next The Valley ep and the next thing I know, I'm on my way to Alex's.

Who the hell does she think she is, thinking she knows him?

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Knock, knock.

"One moment!" I hear her voice.

I shift on my feet while I wait. It's not like I'm nervous or anything. I'm not.

She opens the door and we're face to face, finally. Hers screws up in confusion.

"Oh. It's you," she says tentatively. She doesn't look particularly happy to see me.

"Yep, it's me," I smile at her and I can't help if it's a little fake. " So can I come in?"

She still looks surprised, but eventually moves to the side to let me pass. I do, stopping in the middle of the room and taking a look around. It's messy, but pretty nice. I mean, you can see she's totally trying to pull things together. Respect, sister. "No wonder Cohen's impressed. He can't like wash his own boxers," I comment.

Alex closes the door and leans back against it, crossing her arms over her chest. "What do you want?" she asks. "'Cause if you came to talk about Seth, all you have to know is that we're good together." Now that's what I call straight forward.

I turn to face her. "That a fact?" I raise my brows.

She pushes herself from the door, coming to stand right in front of me. "That a fact," she answers firmly. Her arms are still folded over her chest and one could say she's pretty intimidating. Guess she's the guy in their relationship. Which isn't exactly a comforting thought. "He's had a hard time getting over you, but he finally did, so--"

"He said that?" I cut in. I won't give her the satisfaction of having me scared.

She tilts her face to the side slightly. "Look... Summer. From what I've heard you're dating some other guy now, so maybe you could explain what is it exactly that you want from me?"

Good question.

I briefly hesitate, but then make up my mind. Too late to back off anyway. "You seem like a nice person, okay, but... I just don't think you and Cohen are gonna work out you know."

She gapes, shocked. "Excuse me?"

"I just don't think that you really know him, Alex," I go on. "You're like, from two different worlds? I mean he goes to high school and you work--"

"And you do what? Shop?" she mocks. She's getting angry now.

So am I. "Yes. Sometimes. Mostly, I go to high school, too," I shoot back. Who the hell does she think she is, judging me? "The point is, I don't really think you'd make a good couple. Not for a long haul--"

"Right," she straightens. She's now looking at me like I was no one. I don't like that look. "Because you two did."

I narrow my eyes. "Cohen's my friend. I want him to be happy--"

"Please," she cuts in scornfully. "You're still in love with him."

"I'm not--"

"Yes you are and you pretty much suck at hiding it. I don't give a shit though, 'cause he's gotten over you and he's with me now, so," she takes another step closer, getting in my face, "Why don't you do us both a favor and leave him alone, since all you did ever since was hurt him."

I feel my blood start to boil.

"You don't know a damn thing about me and him," I say through the clenched teeth.

"Well I know you're a little snobbish bitch who thinks she can play with anyone and then throw him away when she gets bored. And he deserves better than that."

This is it. I take a deep breath. "What did you say?" I ask slowly. I can totally feel another rage blackout coming up and it's not gonna be pretty.

"That you were a bitch, bitch," she spits.

I throw a quick punch to her left brow and the next thing I know she's lying on the floor, groaning. I smile triumphantly, but before I have time to fully appreciate my victory, she's like getting back at me and--

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"What the hell where you thinking Summer?"

I sniff and then groan 'cause my nose hurts too much. "Whatev Cohen. Don't feel like talking about this right now."

He's driving me from the hospital back home, which I hope will be empty by the time I get back. I don't want anyone to know about this, not today at least. Not my father, not Zach, not even Coop. And especially not Cohen. It wasn't my fault that he kinda... walked in on us.

"You don't feel like talking about this, uh... why don't you feel like talking about this Summer?" he asks, his voice rising a little.

I snort. "Because."

"Because... That's not the answer," he reasons.

"Well that's all you're gonna get so shut up."

He grits his teeth, I can actually hear that. "See the problem is Alex won't talk to me," he continues dryly. "So maybe you could elaborate what it is exactly that you said to her?"

"No."

"Sum--"

"Just drive me home ok?" I ask, angry. I'm hurting and embarrassed. My face looks like I've been tortured by the Talibs. I totally screwed up. She doesn't even look half as bad as me.

He sighs, pulling up on my front yard. "Do you, um... do you want me to call Zach or something?" he asks, turning to look at me.

"Are you kidding me Cohen? Of course no," I huff. I make an attempt to get out of the car, but he stops me with the hand on my shoulder.

"Wait."

I reluctantly sit back down, eyes downcast. I can't believe I had really beaten up his girlfriend just because... well, just because she was his girlfriend.

"Why did you do this Summer?" he asks quietly.

"Because she called me a bitch."

"What?"

"She called me a bitch Cohen," I turn my face towards his, pissed off. "And I wouldn't have a skinny skunk like her call me names. That's all."

He stares at me, incredulous.

"So she called you a bitch..." he comments. "Well uh... did she have a reason?"

"What do you mean?" I stall.

"I think you know what I mean Sum," he narrows his eyes. "And do correct me if I'm wrong but would that reason be... me, by any chance?"

Suddenly I find his wipers most interesting. "Why would it be you Cohen? This world doesn't revolve around ya just 'cause you think it does," I say dryly.

"Summer--"

"Yes Cohen we talked about you," I shoot back, annoyed. "Your ego boosted enough?"

He purses his lips. "Okaaay, so you talked about me. That's a start. So, um... what exactly? 'Cause a friendly chat it wasn't for certain."

I exhale with frustration. "I might've... suggested her a few things," I admit reluctantly. I can't look him in the eye.

"Like what?" he presses.

"Just common relationship tips you know," I mutter through the clenched teeth.

He's not buying it, of course. "Summer."

I let go of the air slowly. "If you wanna know so badly why won't you ask your girlfriend," I suggest darkly.

"Yeah did I mention she wouldn't talk to me?" he answers dryly. "Oh and not so sure whether the boyfriend-girlfriend thing's still up, either."

I roll my eyes a little at that point. I'm still stalling, looking anywhere but him. I can feel his eyes slide over my face, along the lines of my bruises. I must look like death itself.

"Summer," he mutters.

I can't help it; the pull of his voice is irresistible.

"I kinda... told her I didn't like the fact you two were dating," I blurt out.

A beat. He' staring at me, shocked.

"I thought... I thought you didn't care," he mutters.

I tilt my head as far away from him as possible. I can't look him in the eye. I just can't. "Yeah well... maybe I do stand a chance in acting, after all," I mutter.

He doesn't answer right away. We sit in silence for a while, tension sparkling heavily in the air between us. My throat is totally blocked up. All I want is to disappear.

"What... what about Zach?" he asks quietly.

"What do you mean what about him?" I play stupid.

He hesitates. "Well what are you going ta tell him?"

I bite my lip. "I don't know. I think I'll just try not to bump into him for the next couple'a days," I shrug.

A beat and then, "Summer--"

"Don't even, Cohen," I cut in, my voice trembling a little. I feel helpless and it pisses me off. I so need to get out of his car. Maybe I should do just that. Yeah, definitely.

I push the door open and step out, quickly heading for my house. I do hope I don't meet my dad.

I'm just about to unlock the door, when there's a hand on my arm, firm but gentle. "Go away Cohen," I mutter, without looking back. My heart is already hammering like crazy.

His touch disappears, but I can still feel his presence behind me, real and solid. I'm close to tears now.

"Do you love him?"

I swallow. I stop looking for the keys in my purse, but I don't face him. I can't.

"'Course I do."

A beat. He's right there, behind me, I can almost feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. All I want to do is step back and let his arms envelop me. I miss him so badly. His hands, his kisses. His tenderness. Every little Coheny thing about him.

"So when you're with him," he mutters, "Is it... is it like when we are alone?"

I swallow again, still without turning. Is he enjoying making me miserable? Jackass. "Meaning how Cohen," I mutter. I rest my hand against the door. My knees feel weak and I feel hot.

"Meaning, that's the only person I want to spend the rest of my life with?" he murmurs in my ear.

I squeeze my eyes shut against emotion. He has no right to do this to me. He's hers now.

"You're with Alex," I say through the clenched teeth. "And you're a breath away from having your skinny ass kicked for making me feel confused like you are right now Cohen."

He rests his hand against the door, close to mine. "I think it's fair to say you've kicked enough ass for today Sum," he whispers. The tips of his fingers are now touching mine and it feels absolutely electrifying. I am frozen under his touch. It's been so long since--

I turn to face him abruptly, determined. "What the hell is your problem Cohen?" I hiss. "Can't make up your mind about who you wanna be with?"

"Huh. And here I thought it was your thing Summer," he retorts, his dark eyes locked on mine intensively.

I glare at him. He's making me regret I was ever born. "I wanna be with Zach," I say in a low voice.

"Yeah? And because of that, you beat up my girlfriend?"

I grit my teeth. "No, because she pisses me off," I shoot back.

"Ohh I get it," he raises his brows. "Her only flaw is that she's with me, isn't that right. I mean, it was Anna's flaw, too, wasn't it?"

"Full of yourself much?" I scoff.

"Oh come on Summer. We both know what this is about. How about we quit playing and--"

"And what Cohen? Go back to each other? A fat no to that," I wave him off.

"Why the hell no?"

"Because? Because it didn't work out the last time I checked?" I raise my brows at him.

"Okay so I screwed up okay, I know that," he admits ruefully. "But that's not gonna happen again Summer, I promise."

"Well what about Alex?" I push.

"Yeah, she was--"

"A fling?" I suggest.

"A f--what?"he frowns.

"Whatev. I'm not going down that road again Cohen," I shake my head firmly. "You go back to Alex and I go back to Zach and we'll just pretend nothing happened okay."

"Yeaaaah... What about Alex's face though? Don't suppose it's actually willing to pretend nothing happened--"

"Well what about my face, jackass?" I hiss, pointing my finger to the bruise on my cheekbone. "I look as if I've had an extreme metamorphosis which I actually didn't need like EVER? since I'VE ALWAYS BEEN HOT ENOUGH!" I practically yell at him now.

He's staring at me, stunned.

"See I totally forgot ta tell 'er about your rage blackouts," he comments. "Guess it's my damn fault after all isn't it."

I tuck my hair behind my ear, my breathing ragged. "Guess so," I mutter, my eyes lowering to his lips.

The next thing I know is Cohen pressing me against the door and then we're kissing and all I can think about is the shortest way to my bedroom plus how to avoid my dad. But then the alarm in my head goes off.

Alex Zach Alex Zach AlexZachAlexZachALEXZACH--

I push him away and brace myself against the door, trying to catch my breath.

"What... what's wrong," he asks, panting, looking like he was just born. It's nearly cute how I can affect the guy.

"Zach," I gasp.

His face clouds. "I thought--"

"I need to break it off with him first, jackass," I say, leaning my head back against the wood, still breathing heavily. I watch him through my lashes. I realize the guy's everything I want.

He grins. His large hand cups the back of my head and he brings my face to rest in the crook of his neck. I close my eyes, breathing him in. I'm close to tears again, but for totally different reasons now.

"I love you," he whispers into my ear.

"I love you too," I mutter back. God help me, but I do.

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"So what did you think when you first saw me?"

It's a couple'a days later and we're lying in my bed. We have just made love and I haven't felt so good since the day we broke up. Well, before the actual break up of course.

He leans in next to my ear. "That you were the most beautigul thing I had ever seen. That I had to get to know you. That my boat had to be named after you whatever your name was," he finishes with a little grin.

"Aww. That's sweet Cohen," I mutter against his skin.

"Yeah well... I'd rather not ask what you thought about me though," he muses wryly.

"Um--" I hesitate. Here it comes again - the shameful shadow of the beginnings of our history. When he was falling in love and I thought he was such a dork.

"Bet you thought I was stupid," I sigh.

"What? No! I told you--"

"No, seriously. Bet you thought I was cute, but shallow," I go on quietly. "Bet you still think that from time to time," bet it's not just Cohen. Bet everyone thinks I'm stupid. Like, Zach's family for instance. Like everyone who's ever heard me mistake fashion fabrics for geographical regions.

His fingers take a loose hold of my chin, my eyes meeting his. I can see he's like totally serious now. "I never thought you were shallow, Sum. Never. I thought you were smart and funny and... and even if you sometimes don't know stuff, you always look it up. Remember when you prepped for the last Chrismukkah? I was totally impressed," I smile humbly and he smiles back. "Yeah... 'sides, you're the only girl who can ever shut me up with a smart-ass retort... that's way turning on you know."

"Yeah?" I mutter, content.

"Yeah," he mutters back, his eyes soft.

"Mmmm. So kiss me and maybe my knowledge will miraculously descend on ya," I purr. He chuckles and leans in, taking my upper lip in between his teeth and tugging deliciously.

I feel smart. I mean like I do understand stuff.

Right now I just don't... comprehend.

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In the evening I'm on my way to Coop and then I'm nearing her room and pushing her door open.

"Hey Co--" I freeze as her and Chino break away from each other, panting. "Oh my god did I just walk in on you guys KISSING!" I squeak, happiness swelling inside of me. "Coop, Chino, I'm so happy for you! What a great timing! Me and Cohen and now you two--" I drift off as I notice Ryan's raised brows and Coop looking anywhere but me and him. "Oh right, bad timing really now that I think about this... Well, don't let me keep you from whatever you had going here," I smirk at them encouragingly and back off towards the doors. Before I walk out though, I turn to Coop once more, winking meaningfully. Then I'm off.

Just maybe, everything's gonna be ok.