Chad didn't let a whole lot of things bother him. At least, not on the surface. He was far too wrapped up in himself to let things going on around him really affect him all that much. Of course, he, like everyone else, had baggage that he carried with him day-in and day-out, but, being the actor that he was, he was able to conceal it better than most.

The one thing that did bug him constantly, however, was Sonny Monroe.

Or, not her exactly, but her ability to make him feel like a complete idiot.

His most recent defeat had come from a game of musical chairs that he had been sure to win. If only he hadn't let his concern—damn that bit of concern he felt for the girl—get in the way, he would have won.

Later that day, he stood outside her dressing room. When she walked out, he said casually, "Monroe."

She jumped, startled. "Chad! What on earth are you doing here?"

"What? A friend can't stop by and say hi?"

"Yes…but you're forgetting one small detail: we're not friends," Sonny reminded him, turning to walk away.

Hastily, Chad called after her, "How did you know?"

Sonny paused, as though contemplating whether to answer, and then turned around. "Know what?"

"That I would fall for your ankle bit." He shook his head. "I mean, I didn't even know. When I woke up this morning, I was sure I would be happy to leave you dying."

Sonny smiled, walking slowly toward him. "Silly Chad, don't you see?"

"See what?"

"You've got a soft spot for me. You, dare I say it, like me. I mean, why else would you be so concerned for my well-being?" Flashing him her mega-watt smile, Sonny turned and skipped off down the hall. Right before she turned the corner, she glanced back at him. "It's kinda cute, actually."

And then she was gone. Chad frowned, shaking his head. "Nah," he said. "It has to be something else."

Sometimes, it was just easier for Chad to lie to himself.