Chapter 8

Layla stared down at her bandages with sad eyes. She felt awful, and not just because of the burn marks on her hand. No, she felt bad because of what happened to Garth. He was just being nice and trying to cheer her up. Layla had been in a bad mood all day and it was all because of Warren. It was ironic that Warren was the one who put her in the bad mood; he was the usually the one that cheered her up.

Garth was still in the nurses office getting his burns treated. The nurse took one look at her burns, gave her some ointment and wrapped her hand up, then shooed her out of the office so she could work on Garth. Layla was standing outside the office waiting for him to come out of the room to make sure that he was okay.

Ugh, she felt terrible.

"You okay?" Will said as he came to stand beside her.

Layla looked at him and saw pity in his eyes. Ugh, she didn't need this. Not now. "I'm fine." She told him tersely.

"Want to talk about it?" Will continued to probe.

Layla rounded on him with a glare. Will took a step back when he saw her expression. "No, Will, I do not want to talk about IT!" She growled at him. "I don't want to talk about how I am the reason Garth is in the nurses with burn marks."

Will held up his hands in surrender. "I'm sorry; I just thought you would like to talk about it."

"You thought wrong."

They stood in silence for a minute of two, before he cleared his throat. "Are your burns going to be okay?" He asked softly.

Layla looked at her hand for a moment. To her horror, tears began to enter her eyes and before she could stop them from falling, a sob escaped her and she began to cry. Will looked at her with shock before he brought her into a hug and held her tightly to his chest.

"It's going to be okay, Layla." Will comforted her. Layla knew that he didn't know what to say, but he knew that she really needed him to be there for her and she was glad that he didn't leave when she snapped at him. He was her best friend after all. She had been there for him his whole life; it was time to repay the favor.

"I was scared of him," Layla confessed after a few minutes of crying. "I wasn't sacred of HIM, per se. I mean, I KNOW that Warren would never hurt me intentionally. But for a moment, when he was all flames…I don't know, I was scared." Will nodded against the top of her head and held her tighter.

"Warren would never hurt you," Will supported her. "Look, I'm not exactly thrilled that you and Warren are friendly. But you are good for him. I'm not blind. I can see the changes in him when you're around. He cares a lot about you. And, Layla, you care for him too. I can't even begin to describe how you have changed since becoming his friend. You're breaking out of your shell. You're not afraid to take a risk every now and then. I've been trying to get you to do that for years. So…I might be a little jealous that he is the one bringing you could of your shell, but I'm happy none-the-less."

"Warren just put a guy in the nurses office for TALKING to me," Layla told him in shock. "How does that make him a good guy?"

"I didn't say that he was a good guy; I said that he was different when you are around. I mean, who else could sit at his table without him flaming up? Who else wouldn't have scorch marks on them if they interrupted him from reading? Name one other person that got Warren to attend a dinner with their family. I bet his ex-girlfriends couldn't even get him to do that."

Layla looked at him confused, "Why are you defending him?"

"Because Warren's not necessarily the bad guy in this scenario," Will admitted.

Layla sniffed at looked at him. "You hate Warren." She whispered after a moment of silence between them.

Will winced. "Hate is a strong word." Layla rolled her eyes at him. "I'll admit that I am not his biggest fan. But, you like him and that accounts to something in my book. If you see something in the guy, then there probably is something to him that makes him worthy of your…affection."

Layla looked at him in amusement as she pulled back from his arms, "Affection?"

Will shrugged sheepishly, "I couldn't think of a better word." Layla couldn't help but look at him like a lost puppy. She honestly didn't know what to do here. Will sighed before saying, "You said yourself that you knew Warren would never hurt you."

Layla nodded and wiped her face clean of tears. "So I should forgive him?"

"Well, he DID burn you; I can see why you wouldn't want to forgive him." Layla looked at him in outrage.

"It was an accident!"

"What about Garth?" Will shot back at her with a raised eye-brow.

Layla put her hands on her hips, "It was a misunderstanding." What was he doing? Will just gave her a list of reasons why she should forgive Warren and now he's trying to convince her that she shouldn't forgive him! Why is he being so confusing?

Will looked at her like she had two heads. "Warren shoving Garth into the lockers was an accident?"

Layla pursed her lips for a second before she nodded, "That part wasn't really an accident. But the burning was! Warren just wanted to intimidate him."

He snorted at her. "He doesn't need to try very hard. We all know who his father is."

"We all know who your father is, and this conversation proves that you are nothing like him." Layla said coldly.

Will looked at her in shock. "Wow," He breathed as he shoved his hands in his pockets.

Layla looked guilty as soon as she said it, "I'm sorry. that wasn't nice. But Will, you hate it when people compare you to your mother and father. Why would you do the same to Warren when we can all see that he's not like his father?" When Will didn't say anything, Layla went on. "You know that for the rest of your life, you are going to be following in your dads foot-steps. You will always be compared to him in every way there is; you have only had to deal with it a short time. Warren has had to deal with it his entire life. It's not fare of you to do that to him when he is in the same situation you are in yourself."

Will was silent for a moment. "Does this mean you forgive him?"

Layla looked down. Does this mean she forgave Warren? She knew that he didn't burn her on purpose. He honestly looked surprised when Principal Powers told him he was on fire. And the look in his eyes when she stepped away from him so she wouldn't get burned again? It nearly broke her heart.

"Yeah," Layla said softly. "I think it does."

Will nodded, "I'm sure if you hurry, you can catch him when he gets out of Powers' office."

Layla looked at him surprised; Will smiled back at her. Layla laughed as she caught on to what he had just done to her. "Reverse phycology."

Will laughed at shrugged. "What can I say, I learned from the pro." Will have her a pointed look and she laughed harder. She smiled happily at him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before she turned and raced away from him.

….

….

…..

"That was pretty impressive." Magenta admitted as she walked up to Will and watched with him as the red haired girl practically flew down the hallway.

"I think she might be faster than I am," Will joked.

Magenta looked at him with a smile. "So, maybe you aren't such an asshole."

Will looked at her in confusion. "You thought I was one before?"

Magenta nodded, "If the shoe fits. But," She said before he could say anything. "What you just did for Layla…and Warren, it was really nice of you. I'm kind of surprised that you did it."

Will shrugged and shuffled his feet. "Layla's my best friend. She's been my best friend since I can remember. Most of the time, it's about what I want, what I want to do, what movie I want to see. Layla never complains, and she never turns her friends away. She always listens to me, no matter what time it is. That's what is so convenient about having your best friend live right next to you. Layla's done a lot for me over the years. It was time I did something for her in return. Warren makes her happy."

Magenta nodded, "It doesn't matter what we think of him. All that matters is what she thinks of him." They stood looking at each other for a moment.

"And that is why you are her other best friend."

Magenta snorted, "I wouldn't have convinced her to forgive him. I hate him."

Will looked at her amused, "Really, then what were you doing here?"

"I came to see if she would like to come over to my house." Magenta explained to him like she would a child.

Will nodded unconvinced, "I'm sure you were. Right after you tricked her into talking to Warren."

Magenta opened and closed her mouth. "Maybe," She finally admitted after a moment.

"You care about her just as much as I do. You just don't like people knowing it." Will smirked at her in triumph.

Magenta cleared her throat and stepped away from him. "I'll see you around, Will."

"Don't worry; I'll keep your secret." Will called after her with laughter in his voice.

No Warren in this chapter, but lots of him in the next ;-)

Let me know what you think! I love it when you review.

Just a heads up: I feel like this story is coming to an end soon.