author's note; for all of you who have been reading and commenting, i cannot thank you enough (seriously). i am so sorry this chapter took so long to get out, but i hope you enjoy it. just a heads up, it includes the episode "Eric Punches Drake".
He's not exactly sure when it happened, but somewhere between the movie starting and everybody leaving, Josh found himself inexplicably drawn toward Mindy. Again.
This was supposed to be an innocent thing. Movie night with a few friends should absolutely be no big deal. But Mindy showed up with this guy, this Chad person, and Josh had a hard time concentrating on the movie or the party after the two of them had arrived. He kept telling himself to watch the screen, pay attention to his friends, but his eyes kept coming back to her, watching as she and Chad whispered over the movie and laughed at all the funny parts, and man, it killed him more than he was willing to admit.
Josh didn't mention anything to Drake that night, as they were getting ready for bed; frankly, he didn't want to hear it. Drake had a very strict policy about ex-girlfriends and how they are "exes for a reason Josh, get over it". Josh didn't need to hear the speech again.
Come to think of it though, Drake had been pretty quiet the whole night too. He'd bailed halfway through the movie and Josh had found him on the sofa in their room, red stratocaster stretched out over his stomach while he was mindlessly flipping through television channels. Josh figured he was probably still upset over his black eye and thought it best not to broach the subject. He quietly changed into his pajamas and muttered a good night as he turned out the light before climbing into bed. The room was bathed in a muted, blue glow from the television; when Josh woke up a few hours later to go to the bathroom, the TV was off and Drake was still passed out on the couch, snoring softly.
The next day came too slowly after that weird night. Josh hadn't slept very well, tossing and turning before giving up and watching his clock tick, tick, tick from 8:30 to 9:00 am when his alarm loudly went off. Sighing, Josh turned it off and padded toward the bathroom so he could get ready for school. Already, he felt this was going to be the longest day ever.
Drake showed up at the Premiere after school let out, bored and looking for something to do. This thing with Mindy was still bugging him, but after last night during Josh's little party...he had to get his mind off of it. He was the one who had broken things off, the one who was too chicken to make a real relationship. And yeah, Mindy had told him to stay away from her, but their chemistry, their spark was still there if last night in the bathroom had counted for anything. In any case, Drake was getting mixed signals and he was done with it. Going back to being the old Drake would probably do everybody a lot of good. Being at the Premiere should've gotten him into gear, but he looked at the girls, the pretty girls walking around, and got depressed. The old Drake didn't hold as much appeal as it used to, which irritated him even more. Plus, his eye was still sore and he sulked about it while standing at the candy counter, hanging out with Josh and Crazy Steve.
"No, no, no. First, I gave Drake a warning," Craig Blonnowitz said, catching the attention of both Drake and Josh. Craig's arm is draped around the shoulders of a pretty blonde girl and Drake's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "I says to him, I says 'Hey Drake, no one makes fun of my sister.' He just kept running his mouth. So I had to pop him one right in the eye."
"Wow, it's so great that you stood up to him like that!" the girl replied, awed.
"Well, I like Drake but he had it coming," Eric said and Drake could hardly believe it. Just earlier that day, Eric had told him that there was no way he'd started those rumors and he didn't know where they were coming from. And besides, who did Eric think he was, strutting around with a group of pretty girls? If Drake couldn't muster up the energy to do the same, he wasn't going to let some super dork take his place.
"Did you hear that?" Drake asked, turning around to ask Josh. Josh nodded and that's all the encouragement he needed to go confront Eric. "Hi Eric."
"Oh, uh...hey Drake," Eric greeted him, at least having the decency to sound nervous.
"You told me you weren't the one that was going around saying-"
"Why don't you guys get us a table over there, huh?" Eric interrupted, turning to his group of girls. "Order me a diet Mountain Fizz." They left in a flurry of giggles and soon the two boys were left alone.
"What are you doing? You hit me by accident," Drake reminded him.
"I know, I know."
"Well then why did you start the rumors that you beat me up because I made fun of your sister?"
"Okay, I didn't start the rumors! I even tried to stop them!" Eric explained. "But you know how kids gossip and exaggerate. And then everybody was so impressed that I stood up to you that I was like, instantly popular. Did you see that girl I was with?"
"Yeah, what about her?"
"She asked me out. Usually if I even talk to a girl like that, she calls the police!"
"Look, I don't care, okay?" Drake answered, unsympathetic to Eric's problems. He'd dealt with enough teasing for the past couple of days that it was grating his nerves. "I'm not gonna let you get popular by make me look like a wimp and a jerk. You're gonna start telling the truth."
"No? What do you mean no?" Drake asked, taken aback by Eric's new attitude.
"I am finally popular! I will not go back to the cold loneliness of Planet Nerd! Sorry."
Drake watched as Eric walked over to the table that the girls had saved for him and he found it hard not to feel angry and dejected as he made his way back to the candy counter. Crazy Steve stood on the inside, occasionally squeezing his stress reliever while Josh was looking at something. Or someone, Drake realized when he noticed Mindy and that Chad guy hanging out with Cathy and a few other kids he didn't recognize. He hadn't noticed them come into the theater, but it just put even more of a damper on his sour mood.
He heard Josh mutter something and then his brother was over there, pulling Mindy out of her group and Drake tried hard not to focus on the two of them. But bits and pieces of their sudden argument floated over to him;
"What are you talking about?"
"First you bring your new boyfriend to my house and now here?"
"What, you mean Chad?"
"Oh, so his name's CHAD. Oh that's perfect! Chaaaad!"
"Josh Nichols, are you jealous?"
Drake didn't know about Josh, but to answer her question: yes, yes he was and it made him even angrier. He knew it would be hard to get over her, what with seeing her in school and at the Premiere and pretty much damn near everywhere. But each time he saw her with Chad was like a slap in the face and jealousy was so new to him, he wasn't quite sure what to do. Standing at the counter and letting Josh inadvertently fight his battle seemed like a good idea, but he could still hear their fight;
"What is your problem?"
"I got no problem, no problem at all! So why don't you go do with Chad whatever it is that you and Chad do! I don't care one bit!"
After that last part, Josh is back behind the counter and Drake watched as Mindy got all huffy and spun on her heel to get back to her table. He doesn't think he can contain his own anger and jealousy in front of Josh, despite the fact that his ability to lie to Josh has gotten exponentially better in the last couple of months. Before he can bail though, he heard a couple of kids laughing behind him.
"That's the kid who got beat up by a dork!" The random kid laughs while pointing (pointing!) at Drake and this point, he can barely take it. The kids run off and Crazy Steve showed up then and presented his stress reliever.
"You really should try this."
The next day, The Premiere
Despite the craziness of yesterday, Drake was feeling excited after having talked to Craig by the dumpsters the night before. With Craig's help, he had a definite plan that would help take down Eric's rising popularity star while also getting everybody to stop teasing him. It made him happy as he walked into the Premiere, passing Josh as he did so. Josh was muttering something about "Oprah" and "Chad" and "ginger ale" that Drake didn't quite understand (or want to, for that matter), so he kept moving while Josh made his way toward Helen's office.
Craig's plan ended up being fool proof and by the time Eric had accidentally punched Samantha in the eye, Drake almost felt bad for the little dork.
"I knew my popularity wouldn't last," Eric said dejectedly as he stood to Drake's right. Drake put his hand on Eric's shoulder and tried to be sympathetic.
"It's okay. You were never meant to be popular."
Eric gave him a look that Drake didn't think twice about; he was feeling so good that he turned around and extended his hand to take Samantha away from the guys that had helped her off the floor. She took his hand gratefully and they walked off, leaving Eric behind with his disintegrating group of "friends".
"So Samantha," Drake started, excited how things in life were going on an upswing. "You wanna go see a movie and not watch it?"
She nodded as she giggle, slight blush coloring her cheeks as she followed him around the bend where there were a bank of benches. And as if his life were a comedy of errors, Drake spotted Mindy walking toward them and he wasn't sure who looked more surprised. Before he could say anything or decide if he even wanted to say anything, Mindy sauntered by him and her arm crashed with his a little harder than he would've expected. His eyes followed her up to the platform where Chad and Cathy were waiting and it was like yesterday all over again as a brief numbness swallowed him up. He caught her looking back at him as she tucked her hair behind her ear and it was hard to miss seeing the bracelet he'd given her still hanging on her wrist.
It was also hard to miss the smile she gave to Chad.
"Well that was rude," Samantha said, breaking him out of thought.
"That girl, knocking into you like that," Samantha explained.
"Oh...yeah. Well, it's okay though. I'm a pacific," Drake told her, trying to get Mindy out of his head.
"Yeah. It means somebody who doesn't fight," he said confidently, relaying the new knowledge he'd learned from the night before.
"Oh. Well that's nice." Samantha smiled up at him when the reached the line for the ticket counter and he tried to get back the confident feeling he'd had only moments before.
The minute his shift was over, Josh left The Premiere as fast as he could. When he reached home, he didn't even acknowledge the presence of his mom or Megan; just bolted up to the room he shared with Drake and flopped back on his bed while covering his face with his hands as he let out a giant whoosh of breath.
It's not that he didn't expect Mindy to move on; she was supposed to. Josh certainly had since their breakup and she wasn't throwing any hissy fits in The Premiere like he just had (embarrassingly so). It wasn't even about the guy that she apparently chose with his wonderful and amazing stories about meeting the President and Oprah. Oprah. Winfrey. All right, so maybe that was something to be a little envious over.
No, what bothered Josh was the way she chose to flaunt her relationship in front of him. He had done the courtesy of not doing the same with Lisa, but obviously this is where they differed. He had seen the way Mindy goaded Chad into telling his Oprah story while he just so happened to be standing right there, had seen the way her eyes had a mischievous glint to them. His cheeks burned just thinking about it and really, he's not sure why he's so surprised. Mindy parading her new boyfriend around was just another reminder that she liked to one up him, that she had to be the best at everything.
Grabbing a magazine from his bedside table, Josh didn't want to think about it anymore. He flipped over on to his stomach and began turning the glossy pages, but his heart wasn't really in it. Page after page of young Hollywood, he found himself feeling more dejected and rejected and to be honest, it really sucked.
Josh turned his head and couldn't muster the energy to get worked up over the fact that Mindy was standing in his doorway with a blank expression of her own. "What are you doing here?"
"You seemed a little upset when you left the Premiere," Mindy said, jumping right into the topic he was trying to avoid. Well, okay, he thought as he got off the bed. If she wanted to talk about it, then he was going to lay it all out.
"What do you expect? I mean, I know we're broken up, but that doesn't give you the right to rub your new boyfriend in my face."
"He's not my boyfriend."
"Look, I don't care what you call him-" Josh started before she interrupted.
"He's my cousin," Mindy responded pointedly and that caused him to shut up. Silence hung between them before he could look at her again.
"Yeah. I'm not dating anyone," she explained. "He just moved here from St. Louis and I've been showing him around."
Another silence and then Josh was walking down the steps toward the couch with Mindy close behind. "Why didn't you tell me that?" Despite whatever weird, new feelings he was getting for her as of late, they were supposed to be friends now. Didn't that count for something?
"I tried! You never gave me a chance!"
"So tonight, you were just messing with my head?"
"I think you deserved it after the way you screamed at me."
They stood in front of the dilapidated sofa, with Josh near one of end of it and Mindy at the other. He recognized the look in her face where irritation was turning into the slow burn of anger, but it didn't make him feel any superior; just more annoyed.
"I still think that was a really obnoxious thing for you to do," Josh countered, taking a few steps closer to her. They were trapped in a stupid fight, each one trying to top the other; he was beginning to remember those old fights they used to have and how they used to end.
"I think you acted way more obnoxious," Mindy told him, eyebrows knitting together as she took a couple steps so that they're closer now. Not as close as he wanted to be, Josh realized, and words are pouring out of him faster than he can comprehend.
"Well, I'm just glad we're broken up!"
"Not as glad as I am!"
Mindy's hand on his neck was his first clue that he'd gone through with it and was kissing her instead of just thinking about it. It was a fast and furious kiss with her hand grabbing at his forearm while her other hand flattened his collar against his neck before trailing down his chest. The word desperate flashed through his mind, along with the realization that kissing Mindy had never been like this before, like a knot of tingles that exploded through his spine.
Josh pulled away first, needing air as he looked into her eyes. "We're still broken up, right?"
He leaned back in again, almost half-expecting her to shove him away. He was surprised when she met him halfway and that it's her arm that lopes around his neck and pulls him in; Josh reciprocated by pulling her hips to his and then his hand trailed to the small of her back, which was curved as her body was now flush with his own. He felt a bit skittish putting his hand there, like this was somehow wrong, but she was trying to coax his lips with the tip of her tongue until he finally groaned and gave in. God, where had she learned that?
Mindy was pulling him by his shoulders and Josh instinctively threw his hand out to brace himself on the armrest as her back met the sofa cushions. He didn't want to fall on her, but nearly lost balance when Mindy's hands grabbed for the sides of his face and their lips crushed together again, mind numbingly so. He started to get more sure of himself as he slowly ran his hand up the side of her body before cupping it behind her neck, his thumb grazing her earlobe before his hand was buried in her long, brown hair. This feeling of recklessness was coursing through him and for once, he didn't feel guilty or bad about it. He had a history with Mindy, something that felt comfortable, but new too as they were relearning each other's bodies and his confidence grew while his mouth traveled down to the curve of her neck where her necklace pressed coolly against his jaw. There was a kiss against the delicate skin, a sigh, and he kept moving. The tip of his nose felt out the edge of the crease in the collar of her oxford shirt that had been unbuttoned a little and that's when he'd felt her tense up.
"You okay?" Josh asked, looking up to see a flash of fear? panic? something in her eyes before she looked at him.
"You can't what?"
Before she could answer, her phone went off and he thought that maybe he saw relief flush over her skin. Mindy dug into her pocket and answered the phone as Josh crawled off of her so that he was sitting at the other end of the sofa.
"Hello? ...hey Mom. ...No, sorry, I didn't...yeah, okay. See you soon." She turned her phone off and stuck it back in her pocket while keeping an even gaze toward her feet. "I have to go."
She swung her legs around and left him alone in the room, out of breath and confused.
Mindy didn't do a lot of stupid things in her life, but when she messed up, it seemed like her motto was 'go big or go home'.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid," she muttered, crossing her arms as she walked down the path that led down the hill from where Drake and Josh's house sat. She'd just called Chad to come pick her up, but all she could focus on was getting to the bottom of the hill.
Why had she done that? It's not even why she went over there in the first place; Josh had surprised her out of nowhere and she...well, she just kept it going, kept falling into his kisses like he was still hers and not like anything had changed between them. Kissing Josh had been comfortable in a way. It was familiar to her and maybe that's why she kept going because at least for her, Josh would always be safe. Josh would always be the first boy she thought she loved and that wasn't something she was willing to give up so quickly. But he'd gotten bold, slowly inched his way over her body, and she'd been okay with that. The problem was she'd opened her eyes and saw Drake's side of the room with his stupid loft and his stupid guitar and she realized how stupid she was being. How ridiculous she was being for leading on Josh when her own feelings were so muddled half the time because of his charming brother.
Even though Mindy had at one time thought she loved safe, loving, loyal Josh, she could say with certainty now that she actually loved charming, stubborn, annoying Drake. Stupid, right?
A blue Prius pulled up next to her while she was still deep in thought and Mindy recognized the driver before climbing in and slamming the door shut beside her.
"Where to, Miss?" Chad said, smiling at his own joke.
"I have a secret boyfriend that I'm in love with who isn't really my boyfriend anymore and I accidentally made out with my ex-boyfriend and they're kind of brothers," Mindy spilled out in one breath. Chad looked at her before blinking, like he was trying to absorb all the information.
"So, we should probably take the long way home?"
Half an hour later
Drake sauntered into the bedroom, whistling an old Zero Gravity tune when he found Josh sitting near the end of the couch.
"Hey brotha. What's up?"
Josh didn't answer and Drake jumped down from the platform to behind the couch; he put his hand on Josh's shoulders and almost jumped back himself when he saw how startled his brother was. "Dude, what is up?"
"Drake...sorry, I didn't hear you come in," Josh answered, craning his neck to look up.
"Are you okay? You sound kind of weird." Drake walked over to the mini-fridge and grabbed two sodas; one of which he threw to Josh, who fortunately caught it.
"Fine, fine," Josh said, a little half-heartedly. "We need to talk about something."
"Josh, I don't know who used the last of your fabric softener," Drake told him as he sat down on the other end of the sofa while popping the top of his Mocha Cola. He remembered the last "serious" talk he had with Josh and man, there was something not right about the way his brother worried about laundry. "I bet Megan's just using it to mess with you."
"This is not about laundry, although I will say that fabric softener is a happy addition to any load that goes into that washer," Josh replied while Drake rolled his eyes as he took a long sip from his can. He set the cold can down on the coffee table before Josh continued. "I kissed Mindy."
"You what?" Drake asked, glad that he'd already swallowed the soda.
"I kind of blew up at her and Chad at the Premiere and she came over and I don't know dude, one thing lead to another and we were kissing," Josh said, rushing most of it in one breath. Drake didn't know how to respond, how to think, how to react; his stomach felt like it had dropped to his knees and he was really grateful that they were sitting down. He concentrated on letting Josh tell his story, but his head was swimming, brimming with all kinds of things he wanted to say.
"I know that when it comes to girls you like to 'cut and run'," Josh continued. "But Drake...it's Mindy, you know?" Drake didn't (couldn't) say anything and Josh peered at him like he was noticing how tortured his brother was feeling. "Are you okay? I mean, I know Mindy's not your favorite person, but can't you guys try to be friends? What if Mindy and I get back together?"
Oh god, oh god, oh god, he can't believe he's hearing the words come out of Josh's mouth. He put his hands over his face and dragged them down over his cheeks, but no, this nightmare was still here in living color. Josh is looking at him, half concerned, and he really wants to punch the look off his face but hasn't he done enough to the poor guy already?
"Are you and Mindy getting back together?" Drake asked and he doesn't know how the words are coming out at this point. "Didja even talk about it? Did she say something?"
"Well, no," Josh admitted. "We got interrupted when her mom called and then she ran out of here. But I'm not dating anyone right now and neither is she. Who knows?"
"She said that? Mindy, Mindy said that she wasn't dating anyone?" Drake asked and he's trying to keep the hysteria from escaping. But his voice broke at the end like he's thirteen again and Josh tilted his head. "What about that Chris or Kramer guy or whatever?"
"Chad," Josh corrected. "Apparently, he's just her cousin and he's new in town." He looked down at the edge of the sofa and rose an eyebrow. "Is there a reason you're white-knuckling the couch cushion?" Drake looked down too and released his hand, unaware he'd been grabbing the cushion at all. Relief spread through his fingers as he flexed his hand and he couldn't sit down anymore, he had to pace.
"Drake, what is your deal? I thought you told me that I should date whoever I wanted and that it didn't matter what anybody else thinks. That applies to Mindy too!"
"I know! Believe me, I know."
"So why are you getting all bent out of shape?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," Drake deadpanned, stopping behind the sofa again.
"Try me," Josh said evenly before he took a swig of his own soda.
"Mindy and I dated for about seven months." Even after the words leave his mouth, he still doesn't feel like he really said anything. But he can't focus on that now because Josh's eyes went wide and he started choking on his soda and Drake is right there, slapping his back until Josh can breathe regularly again. But instead of breathing, Drake hears a noise and it sounds like...laughter?
"Are you okay?" Drake asked, genuinely concerned that he'd caused his brother even more harm. But Josh couldn't answer; he was too busy laughing and covering his mouth, trying to make sure no soda spilled out. "Josh?"
"Yeah! Man, I'm....oh man, I'm okay," Josh responded through even more laughter before he was able to calm down. "Drake, I think that was the last thing I expected. Now come on, seriously; what's wrong?"
"I am serious," Drake replied and he could feel his whole body relaxing, like this lie had been a giant weight that refused to budge. The more he relaxed, he could feel the truth spilling out of him like a river rushing into the ocean.
"Wait...what? You and Mindy?" Josh screwed up his face like he was still processing the fact that this wasn't a joke. "What do you mean?"
"For the last seven months, Mindy and I have been dating. Without telling you," Drake added and he winced at the way it sounded, but it was the truth. "We broke up because I couldn't keep lying to you anymore."
"This is ridiculous! You and Mindy hate each other!"
"Yeah, not so much."
Josh was still sitting on the couch and Drake was all but hiding behind it, continuing to pace the floorboards. He was bracing himself for Josh to flip out or yell or something; it was taking him forever to grasp the concept. To be honest, he really wanted Josh to punch him or give him another black eye. Just get the physical pain over with so he could begin to feel like Josh would be able to forgive him.
"I don't believe you," Josh said, finally interrupting the silence between them.
"You don't believe me?"
"No, I don't. I think that Megan is hiding somewhere and you guys are playing a really mean joke," Josh told him, crossing his arms over his chest. "Come on out Megan, game's over!"
Drake walked around to the front of the couch, but didn't sit down. Instead, he made eye contact with Josh before he continued. "Josh, this isn't a joke. Megan isn't hiding anywhere and I'm telling you the truth." Josh blinked, but his face remained emotionless. "I am so sorry Josh."
Drake stood there, waiting. Waiting for a yell, a scream, a punch. But Josh looked so shell shocked and was so silent that Drake couldn't take it anymore; he grabbed his leather jacket from the back of the armchair and made a beeline toward the door, eager to escape the mess of his life.
The wind had a little bite to it as Drake hopped the fence to get into Mindy's backyard. He pulled his jacket close to his body and rubbed his hands together while reaching the house and looking up at the familiar window. Before he could lose his nerve, he started using the trellis to climb up the side of the house. Drake balanced precariously on the wooden lattice and prayed he wouldn't fall; at least this time, Josh wasn't here to fall on him. He pushed that thought out of his head as he tapped on the window and saw Mindy walk toward him, surprise on her face.
"What are you doing?"
"Tap dancing," Drake replied sarcastically when she'd gotten the window open. "You mind giving me a hand?"
"Applause or help?"
"Never mind," Mindy said, grabbing his arm as he hoisted himself onto her windowsill. He gracelessly slid into her room and she instinctively stood back, watching as he fell with a loud thump on the carpeted floor.
"Ow." He rubbed his elbow before getting up and she rolled her eyes, figuring he deserved it.
"You know, the last boy to come to my window was Josh." She's not really sure why she mentioned it, but she doesn't expect the smirk that played at his lips.
"Who do you think told him it was such a great idea?" Drake said, giving her a knowing look. It made her a little uncomfortable to realize that one of Josh's most romantic moments ever was orchestrated by Drake, but she tried to let that go and focus on the fact that Drake had just crawled into her room via window.
"What are you doing here?"
Her question was followed by silence and she crossed her arms while waiting, watching as he looked around the room before finding her eyes.
"How? Why? What…?" She had waited so long for this moment, this finality of Josh knowing and now that it was here, she couldn't believe it. Mindy took a deep breath, her head racing with thoughts as she uncrossed her arms. "What happened?"
"You kissed Josh. That's what happened," Drake told her, unsuccessfully hiding the bitterness in his voice.
"And, what, you came over to argue with me?" Mindy responded defensively.
"No, I came over to tell you that Josh knows, that's it," he told her. "But hey, while we're talking about it, I don't know how you can stand there and act like you did nothing wrong!"
"I didn't do anything wrong!"
"You kissed my brother, Mindy, okay? Your ex-boyfriend. How could you do that?"
"Why do you care anyway? I'm not going to fight about this if that's what you came over for."
"What were you trying to do, get me to notice? Because here I am Mindy, all yours," Drake said, walking closer and invading her space. As much as she wanted to turn away, she found herself stuck, her feet unwilling to move. He leaned in and she turned her head, trying to avoid his eyes. His voice lowered and she didn't expect the gravelly sound. "What did you want to do, a little compare and contrast?"
"Stop it." Her hand rose to push on his chest, but Drake wrapped his fingers around her wrist, around the bracelet and she felt the jewelry dig a little bit into her skin. "Drake. Let go."
He looked into her eyes and listened, dropping her hand after a moment or two. He didn't grab her hard enough to hurt, but she used her other hand anyway to rub at the skin under her bracelet. Mindy was at a loss for words, a loss for something to do because the moment she'd been waiting for for over seven months now was here and she can't think of another time where she'd been rendered speechless like this.
"I don't get it, Mindy," Drake said, breaking the silence. "I thought you wanted to be with me."
"I do," she answered honestly.
"Then why are you kissing Josh? Why are you showing up at places with your cousin and letting people believe he's your boyfriend? Was that just to make me jealous?"
"Hold on. Everybody knew Chad was my cousin," Mindy corrected him. "You didn't know because you didn't bother to ask. Drake, you've been avoiding me like the plague since we broke up and if you don't find things out, well, tough. If you get jealous, that's not my fault either.
"And besides, don't think I didn't notice you today with Samantha, parading her around the Premiere like she was some blonde trophy. You're not completely innocent either."
"I didn't say I was," Drake countered as he grabbed Mindy's desk chair and swung his leg around, straddling it so he was sitting on it backward. Mindy took the corner edge of her bed before he continued. "But we were broken up and even if Chad was your boyfriend and not your cousin and I was jealous of him, I can respect the idea of a rebound."
"I can too, but you don't have to throw it in my face."
"So what was Josh? Did you just think that wouldn't get back to me?"
"I wasn't thinking!" Mindy exclaimed, frustrated. "I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry that you feel threatened by me kissing Josh. But I didn't do it to hurt you, I did it because I missed you!"
"You kissed Josh because you missed me?" Drake asked incredulously. "Gee Mindy, you have a funny way of showing it."
"Wait, that came out weird," Mindy conceded before continuing. "Drake...I don't know about you, but us breaking up was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. I didn't mean to throw Chad in your face, but I needed him as a distraction to forget about you, especially after Josh's party." Drake nodded, remembering. "But Josh...well, he kissed me, okay? And all that did was remind me of how much I missed you and how much Josh and I are over."
"Really? You and Josh are over?"
"So...what do we do now?"