Summary: Marcie loves to torment Nora, but she's going too far. So Nora wants to go a little too far with Scott, only he's not too keen on the word 'stop'.

Borrowed Time

There it was in her stomach.

That same cold stone of worry that usually settled in her belly when she saw him with her. It tightened her intestines, like a vine of poison ivy entwined too elaborately within her flesh.

Oh, God, she was going to be sick. How embarrassing.

Please don't see me, she thought, please don't turn and look at me.

"Jesus," Nora whispered under her breath as Patch, of course, turned his ebony gaze to meet hers. She rolled her eyes away from his, but the damage was done. He knew she was there. He always seemed to know, somehow.

And, like a domino effect, Marcie's pale gaze followed his. Why exactly did everything that got his attention have to be so incredibly interesting to her? It wasn't any of Marcie's freaking business anyways!

Nora tapped her foot in agitation. She couldn't help it, she glanced back. Marcie had a devilish smile on her face as she reached out and brushed her hand across the thick muscles of Patch's upper arm. She wasn't looking at Nora, but Nora knew that she was gauging her reaction.

"Scott?" Nora called, nervousness and blooming anger making her feel sick.

Scott was lining up the cue with the ball. "Mm?" he mumbled distractedly.

She glanced back at Patch and Marcie again. Patch was leaning languidly against the brick wall, his legs splayed and his arms crossed against his chest. Marcie was nestled between his legs, grasping the belt loops at his hips. He wasn't doing anything to stop her either!

She couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe him. What a lying, no good, fake, heart-breaking, unbelievably good-looking—

Oh, yeah? She thought at him. Two can play that game.

The balls clicked together as Scott made his shot.

"Can we go somewhere?" Nora asked him.

"Ugh, Nora, you do know what's at stake here, right?" he moaned.

"No," she said, running a slightly shaking hand up his jean-covered hip and under his shirt, "I mean, can we go somewhere."

There was no doubt in her mind that Patch would have seen that.

Scott's brows crinkled together. "Oh," he said. A semi-creepy grin metastasized across his face. "Oh."

Nora already kind of regretted asking. She didn't really plan on doing anything with him, maybe just a kiss here or there, shake Patch up a little bit. He deserved it, after all.

Scott was already dragging her through the smoky, undulating crowd, closer to where Marcie and Patch stood.

She tried her best not to meet his questioning eyes. Don't look, don't look, she chanted. If you look you'll lose your nerve. They were close now, Scott's sweaty hand trapping her smaller one, only a few feet away from Patch.

The outside air was refreshingly cool compared to the dewy, hot, vomit-and-smoke air inside the pool hall. The newfound relief of her lungs lodged a more discordant pain within her heart. She really didn't want this.

Scott pressed her to the outside of the building. His lips were already making their way down her jaw line, lower and lower towards places she only wanted Patch to—

No! No more Patch. No more thoughts of Patch. Patch was in there snuggling with Marcie, her sworn enemy. If that didn't make a statement, she didn't know what would. Scott was here now. Scott wanted her, and Patch didn't.

Scott's lips pushed past the material of her shirt, planting on her shoulder. How gross. It made her feel disgusting, like a cheater.

"Oh, God."

It was more of a groan of dismay rather than the cry of ecstasy Scott apparently took it for. He wasted no time, pulling her shirt off roughly, leaving no room for her to try to yank it back.

"Um, Scott?" Nora mumbled. Now she was looking around, searching for any sign of life within the woods behind the building.

"What?" he snapped. His own shirt was already over his head. It fell to the grass with a rustling sound, inspiring a small twinge of fear in her.

"Don't you think this is a little fast?" She whispered.

He chuckled quietly. "Too fast wouldn't be fast enough. It would feel better if you took your pants off."

She thought she saw him wink at her. Ew. Charming.

Well, this plan had backfired. Patch obviously didn't care. Scott was trying to take it too far.

"So, Vee's waiting for me. She wanted to go to that new diner, you know, over by….um…"

"Right, Nora."

He went back to kissing her neck. His hands disappeared under her thin tank top, but she pushed them back out. "So can you take me to her house?"

"Hahaha," he laughed. "No."

"Scott," Nora whined.

His hands went to his pants. Nora heard the snap and szzz as he undid his jeans.

"Scott! Take me home, now," she demanded, pushing him away from her, but he was so much bulkier than she was.

"Christ, Nora. Will you just shut the fuck up and enjoy it? You're such a tight-ass." He waggled his eyebrows at her. "I might like that."

Her jaw dropped. Without a word, she pushed past him, but his strong grip trapped her frail wrist.

Well. This was it. She was going to be raped and killed by Scotty the Potty. Probably wouldn't be as bad as having to watch Patch and Marcie fawn over each other, though. Then maybe she could use it to guilt-trip Patch.

Who was she kidding? All this was her stupid fault anyways.

"Are you seriously going to make me scream for help, Scott? Seriously?"

"Kinky, much? I forgot to bring the handcuffs." His hands dipped into her pants to cup her ass. He pressed against her, his erection way too obvious.

"Omigod," Nora yelled, "Help! Someo—"

His hand closed over her mouth, his other hand catching her hair and shaking her head. "Sh' th' f' up!" He hissed.

And then he let go of her suddenly.

"Shut the fuck up?" enunciated an angry voice.


Nora had to admit, she was really, really, really relieved. That was probably the stupidest thing she had ever done. He could have done whatever he wanted to her, probably would have knowing Scott, and no one would have known the better.

She scrambled in the dark to push her tank top back into place and find her shirt, which was hard to do with shaking hands. The cold that numbed her nose and fingers made her sniffle. She grabbed her silky shirt and pulled it over her head, not caring if it was inside out or backwards, just that she was covered from Scott's greasy, prying, insinuating eyes.

There was a disgusting, wet crunch from where Patch stood with Scott, followed by an agonized wail.

Nora rushed over. She couldn't see well, but she flailed for Patch's arm. When she thought she found it, she tugged. "Stop, please," she pleaded. "Let's just go."

Patch looked at her, his face black with fury. His eyes were darker than black, they were liquid ebony.


That one word silenced her. She was in for it now.

Scott was still moaning from pain when Patch turned back to him. Nora could feel the tension in Patch's body; he was shaking from the effort to not crush the other man's body.

"I warned you," Patch hissed in his ear.


Scott let loose another cry, violently fighting against Patch's grip.

Nora tugged on Patch again. "Please! C'mon, please, let's just get out of here. You broke some stuff, let's leave, Patch, please."

He looked at her for a long, silent minute. Nora stared back with wide, fearful eyes. If Patch killed Scott, then he would for sure get sent to Hell by the Archangels. As much as she hated to admit it, she didn't truthfully want that.

Please, please, please, was her mantra.

His dark eyes filled with angry accusation. Then he was gone, walking away at an almost break-neck pace. Scott fell to the ground.

Come on.

"Nora, wait," Scott grated out. He grasped her ankle as she passed him, and she shrieked and kicked his face out of reflex. He gurgled as what she supposed to be blood flowed into the back of his throat.

She climbed into Patch's Jeep Commander. He was already sitting inside, visibly fuming. Her door wasn't even closed when he cranked the ignition and flew out of the parking lot at fifty.

There was dead silence for a moment. Nora could have cut the tension with a knife.

"I'm sorry—That was really stupid of me."

"Nora," was all he said. His knuckled were stark white against the steering wheel.

"Patch?" she sputtered.

He just shook his head, his mouth pursed in anger.

Do you know—

"—what could have just happened?" he finished out loud, obviously having trouble controlling his volume level.

The speedometer was pushing seventy-five. "Maybe you should slow down."

The tires screeched in protest as he skidded to a halt right there in the middle of the foggy, empty back roads and pushed on the emergency flashers. He stared into the empty darkness ahead.

"I don't see why you care, anyways," she whispered.

He shook his head, running a hand over his face like he was exhausted. "If you only knew, Nora."

Hope fluttered in her chest, making her weak in the knees. For a second, she just wanted to collapse into his body and forget whatever it was she had been so upset about, but then—

Patch pulled his phone from his pocket. The screen was lit up with the name Marcie splashed across it in blocky font.

Jealousy seared Nora's tongue, making her spit out her words. "Well, answer it! Leave me here to walk home and go rescue Marcie from the dirty bar."

Patch sighed and slipped the phone back into his pocket.

"We have some time."

A pang of hurt coursed through Nora so deeply that it brought bitter tears to her eyes. She laughed, but it sounded more like a choked sob. "I don't want your borrowed time. I wish you'd left me there."

"Look," he snapped, "I don't know what your deal is with this guy, but just stop, Nora. I can't always be around to save you. It's better if you just move on and stop putting yourself in these situations."

Nora was shivering with the effort to hold back her flood of tears. They fell against her will, and she was mortified when she couldn't contain a sorrowful squeak.

She felt his thumb and forefinger on her chin, tipping her head back. He met her eyes, searching for something. She didn't know what, but she hoped that he found it.

"We can't—" He said. "We aren't—"

Her lip quivered, a drop of salt water catching in the corner and slipping into the cavern of her mouth. She licked the salt off of her lips.

His mouth crashed into hers, and she gasped at the suddenness.

After a couple of minutes, he pulled away and said, "Don't do that again."

What could she say besides, "Okay."

He kissed her a few times succinctly. "If you hadn't been there, I would have killed him, Nora."

Nora pulled back and looked at him. She couldn't figure him out. He was hot, then cold. These mixed signals were killing her. He was with Marcie, then he was with her, then he was back to Marcie.

His mouth claimed hers again.

"Marcie?" she mumbled against his lips.

"Not important."

Relief flowed through her. She had Patch. All to herself. For how long was the question.


Should I continue or not?

I totally couldn't identify with some of the things Nora did. She was a big dummy. So when I started reading Crescendo, I got to page, like, 100 and I had to stop reading. Marcie and Patch together made me physically ill, lol. I couldn't take it. I think I got to the part where he went to Marcie's house and I was like, 'That lying bastard!'