Before ya start, you may want to go read my other fic, "Easy as 1,2,3" because this fic heavily involves Melani and she was first introduced in Easy. You don't have to read it though. You can just read this. Melani is Katie's best friend since a long time. Connor was obsessed with her when they were at camp but then he got over her right when she realized she was in love with him. And now they're just friends with benefits. :)

Read on!

"Ok, so what about this one?" Connor asked, holding up yet another shirt to his chest.

Melani tilted her head this way and that, scrutinizing him silently. "Hmm," she hmmed before shaking her head and catching his gaze once more. "I don't like it."

"What?" he snapped, turning around quickly to look in the mirror and take in his appearance. "Why not?"

"I don't know," she mused, leaning back against the headboard of his bed. She tried to ignore the handcuffs dangling next to her. "It just doesn't go with your skin tone. And it does weird things to your eyes."

Connor's eyebrows suddenly furrowed in distress. "My gods, you're right," he exclaimed before rushing away into his closet once more.

Melani sighed heavily and looked around the room in silence. She had been in Connor's room countless times, usually for sex but even more so to just hang out - watch a movie, talk about life, cry over the latest boyfriend who took advantage of her. Of course, she could always do such things with Katie but she was awfully busy lately being a mother and some shit. While Melani truly did love Mary and the boys, she somehow always ended up changing a diaper or cleaning up puke or playing Barbies and after Travis caught her making Barbie and Ken have sex while Mary giggled in the corner, she was no longer allowed to play Barbies with Mary. So she had spent quite a bit more time with Connor than usual these past few months, not that she minded at all.

This was the first time, however, that she had been in Connor's room to help him pick out an outfit for a date.

A date with a girl.

A girl that was not her.

A date with a girl.

A girl that Connor was reportedly "in love with" after just sleeping with her once.

"Hey, Mel?" Connor called from the confines of his closet, breaking Melani out of her self-pity.

"Yeah?" she yelled back, swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and standing up.

She found Connor standing shirtless in the middle of his closet. He was staring sadly at the racks of shirts, ties, and suits that lined the walls. He looked over at her with a frown. "Help," he practically whimpered, sticking out his bottom lip in a sad pout.

Melani couldn't help the small smile that lit her face as she rolled her eyes and turned towards the clothes, trying her hardest not to stare at his bare chest.

As she picked out the perfect outfit, Connor stood back and watched. Melani really was a great friend. Timmy couldn't even tie a tie or tell the difference between baby blue and teal, and Travis had refused to come over claiming he had more important things to do than help Connor get into yet another girl's pants. And that was the thing. Connor wasn't even sure if he wanted to get into Kallie's pants... Who was he kidding? Of course he wanted to get into Kallie's pants! But that wasn't his only goal for once.

After they met for the first time at a counselor's meeting at camp and ran off to the empty Poseidon cabin immediately afterwards to fool around a bit, Connor couldn't stop thinking about her. He wanted to run his fingers through her hair and ask her how her day was and hold her hand as they walk down the street and wake up next to her every morning.

Sigh. Kallie.

She was something else.

"Here," Melani announced finally, holding out a dark suit, a nice green-colored shirt, and a matching skinny tie.

Connor broke out of his thoughts and smiled widely, taking the hangers from her hands. "Awesome," he said with a nod before disappearing out of the closet and into the bathroom. Melani followed and leaned against the wall right next to the door of the bathroom.

"Melani," she heard him say through the door. "You don't know how much this means to me."

She smiled sadly and stared at the carpet, watching as her bare foot smoothed it out before sticking it on end once more. "Anything for you," she whispered quietly to herself.

Connor came out a moment later and turned to her with a sigh and a shy smile. "What do you think?" he asked, biting his lip and spinning around for her to see.

She grinned and stepped forward to fix his tie. "Perfect," she said with a nod. Connor grinned back and let out a shuddery breath. "Are you nervous?" Melani asked with a small smirk and a mocking tone.

"Maybe," he whispered back with a glint in his eyes and a small smile. It quickly disappeared as his brows furrowed. "What if she doesn't actually like me? What if she hates the restaurant? What if green is like her least favorite color ever? What if-"

"Shut up," Melani interrupted without raising her voice. She grabbed his lapels and adjusted them a bit, even though they didn't exactly need adjusting. "You're amazing," she said, her voice as steady as she could make it. "She's gonna love you." She looked up into his eyes with a small, sad smile just as a knock on the front door rang throughout the house.

Connor gasped. "That's her," he whispered almost to himself. "I can't," he said before shaking his head furiously and backing away, trying to hide in the bathroom. He didn't get very far seeing as Melani was still hanging on to his lapels.

"What the hell are you doing?" she asked with raised eyebrows and slightly angry eyes. While she certainly didn't want him going on this date, his outfit was fabulous and needed to be showed off.

"I can't do it," Connor said, shaking his head and wrenching Melani's hands off his suit. "Tell her I'm sick or something."

Melani just rolled her eyes and grabbed his hand before he could reach the bathroom. She pulled him out of the room, down the hall, and to the front door despite his protests ("Holy shit, Melani! How the hell are you this strong?"). When they finally reached the door, she released his hand and pushed him lightly. With a deep breath, he opened the door wide revealing a tall blonde wearing a simple black dress that hugged her in all the right places. Melani stared in envy as she took in her athletic build with her muscular yet not grossly so arms and legs. Connor said she was the Apollo cabin's counselor and that she played sports and shit. Gross.

"Hi," Connor said a little breathlessly with a wide smile. "You look... fantastic."

Kallie smiled, showing off perfect, white teeth ("Of course," Melani thought bitterly, running her tongue across the front of her off-white teeth and the small gap between the front two.) before answering with a sweet, "You don't look half bad yourself.

Melani sighed as she slipped on her sandals and grabbed her coat from the rack. "I guess I'll just be going now," she announced, stepping up beside Connor and heading out the door.

"Oh!" Connor exclaimed, grabbing her arm to stop her. "Kallie this is my best friend in the whole entire world and the genius behind my outfit, Melani. Melani, this is Kallie."

Kallie's smile widened if that was possible as Melani's heart broke just a bit at the words "best friends". But she pushed that aside like the fabulous actress she was and smiled back before sticking out a hand for her to shake. "It's so good to finally meet you. Connor's told me so much about you."

"All good things, I hope," Kallie said, sending a mock glare Connor's way.

"What else?" Melani asked with a hollow laugh, barely concealing the bitterness in her voice.

Connor laughed. "Just let me go get my wallet and keys and then we can head on out," he told Kallie before rushing back into the apartment and out of view.

Melani watched his retreating figure and sighed as she turned back around to catch Kallie doing the same thing she was. She pursed her lips before setting a gentle hand on Kallie's forearm. She jumped slightly and stared down at Melani with confusion-filled eyes.

"Just..." She trailed off and shook her head, not exactly sure what she was doing or saying. Melani took a deep breath before continuing. "Just take care of him... Look out for him, ya know?"

"I'm sorry?" Kallie asked, not even a little unkindly. Her (perfectly sculpted) eyebrows were furrowed in utter confusion.

Melani took a deep breath. "He's fragile," she said with a nod. "He puts up this facade all the time, that he always knows what he's doing and is always in control, that he's the hottest piece of ass around and he knows it. Just... He's fragile."

She still looked slightly confused but gave her a small smile and nod in return.

Melani nodded a bit before strutting down the hall towards the elevators and ignoring the aching in her chest and the tears in her eyes.

I know you're all probably pissed at me but I actually have a valid reason for my absence this time. My computer died. Like, it needed a brand spankin' new hard-drive and everything. It was so sad. But guess what? The greatest lady in the world who I have the honor of calling my aunt fixed it for me! I just love her.

So now I have my laptop back which means I can write write write! :DDD Trust me. I'm as happy about this as you all are. I've also had time to think more about what I'm going to write and guess what! I have the entirety of Chapter Z planned out in my head! THAT NEVER HAPPENS! So this break? It was actually good. In a way.

There's still school though. Which I seriously hate. But I'm going to try and work through it and keep on writing. For you. Especially you... Yeah you. The one with the face. :) (I love you the most.)

I don't own anything. :D Except for Melani... And Kallie who I'm actually starting to totally love...

I went and got myself a tumblr! Y'all should follow me. :D ht tp :/ fromontopofalap. tumblr. com/ It should would make my day...

Lather, rinse, review! (Gosh, I've missed saying that...)

:) Jordan