The rest of the school week went fairly fast. Ryan got suspended for the week for fighting and then skipping out of the principal's office but the punishment didn't hold when Ryan's mom called the school. Leslie got a day of detention but was never reminded of it and acted as if it never happened. After school Friday Ryan walked up behind leslie.

"hey leslie, you maybe want to just crash at my place tonight so we can go to Norfolk in the morning?"

"ill have to ask my parents, could you drive me home so I can ask?"

Ryan nodded and started to walk to his car. Leslie followed close behind. They sat there for a minute before the engine came to life. Ryan wasn't trying to go super fast this time obviously trying to prove to her parents that he could be responsible if need be. Going 70 was still over the speed limit but more manageable then clear over 100. It took about 10 minutes to reach leslie's house since Ryan had memorized the route.

"okay Ryan ill be back in a minute"

Ryan nodded and leslie bound up the steps to her house. Ryan turned on some music while he waited.

"hey mom is it okay if I spend the weekend with Ryan?" leslie asked

Judy burke stood there with her mouth slightly opened. She wasn't sure that Ryan was trustworthy even though he had seemed nice enough when she had met him a couple of days before. Bill had told her that he was a reckless driver but evidently skilled enough to not kill himself at such high speeds.

"yeah I guess that's okay, just be back before 11 Sunday night" Judy replied hesitantly

Leslie smiled and ran up to squeeze her mother in a tight hug. "thanks mom, can you tell Ryan that I got to go pack my bag"

Judy rolled her eyes before going out to tell Ryan. When she stepped out the door the music was loud enough that it sounded like she had been 10 feet away from speakers at a concert. She stooped on the edge of the steps trying to listen to the music.

You run around!
I run around!
We're all gonna run run run around!
You run around!
I run around!

Judy wasn;t entirely sure what the lyrics meant but the song sounded vaguely familiar as if she had heard it years before. The music faded as she stood there thinking. She walked up to Ryan and he rolled down his window.

"not sure if you had your music loud enough Ryan, but anyways Leslie is up in her room packing a bag feel free to come in if you like"

"oh sorry about that I was seeing how loud my stereo could get since I don't usually go above 5 or so but it seems like 20 is high enough"

Ryan opened his door and followed judy inside.

"hey Ryan could you come help me?" leslie yelled from her bedroom

Ryan started up the stairs to find leslie sitting on top of her bed. He glanced around the room to see a backpack filled with clothes and other stuff he could not see.

"I overpacked a bit so could you get my bag and we'll go?"

Ryan sighed and grabbed the bag. He waved goodbye to leslie's mom and drove to his house with leslie beside him.

"so what should we do Ryan?" leslie asked as he pulled into his garage.

"we could go for a swim" Ryan responded

Leslie's face flushed red "wow that's the one thing I didn't pack, I didn't think about a swimsuit"

Ryan smirked "is that really going to stop ya?" leslie quickly shook her head and they both got out of the car.

"Im going to get something to drink want something leslie?"

"ill just have whatever you do"

Nodding Ryan headed toward his fridge. Leslie sat down on the couch waiting for him to return.

"hey leslie lets just enjoy the pool and drink out there" Ryan called out from the kitchen. She heard a door slide and followed.

Ryan threw his shirt off and jumped in the pool. Leslie found a chair and sat down.

"oh right heres your drink" ryan said as he handed her a bottle

"what is this ryan?" leslie asked before noticing the miller high life wrapper

Ryan laughed. "maybe I should have just got you a coke"

Leslie shook her head as it had actually gone down pretty smooth. Besides coke had way too much sugar and always gave her a sugar crash. If jess was here he'd probably freak out and hate ryan even more.

"im going to get a cooler and fill it up with these if you want more"

Leslie nodded even though she didn't care to have another one. Ryan returned with a small cooler with about 6 more inside. A few hours went by and neither one were truly sure how many each of them had had by 9'oclock. Reguardless each of them had enough to make them drunk.

"c'mon leslie lets go swimming… swimming sounds fun, but its such a weird word like why isn't it wateringing?"

Leslie giggled at Ryan's stumble and agreed "wait I didn't bring a swimsuit…"

"I got clothes you can wear, its not like its matters, just jump in"

Leslie shook her head and stripped off her clothes before jumping into the water.

"y'know what leslie, jess is a fucking jerk I mean why would he treat you like such a piece of shit I mean youre obviously the most beautiful, sincere girl in lark creek and definitely the least bitchy" Ryan spewed out

Leslie blushed and wiped a pice of wet hair out of her face " I dunno but honestly im getting sick of him. Ryan ive never met a guy so brutally honest like you and honestly youre a better person and a better friend than jess has ever been to me."

Next thing Ryan knew he was waking up in his theater without pants on and popcorn covering him. His head hurt. The Dark knight was showing on the screen. Ryan looked around the room before finding leslie curled up a few feet away from him. He gently awoke her. Leslie gave him a sleepy little smile and got up. Both sat there for a while.

"uh what happened last night?" ryan asked leslie

"im not sure, looks like we started to watch a movie though" leslie responded

"we should look around for hints of what we did, make sure nothing too stupid happened"

Leslie nodded in agreement. Both walked down the stairs silent. They searched for a while but were unable to find anything.

"well nothing too stupid happened I guess that's good" Leslie said

Ryan nodded "we should probably get going to Norfolk, it should only take a few hours." Ryan had apparently packed his bag the night before despite having no remembrance of it, he quickly grabbed it and leslie's bag.

"Ryan you sure you're good to drive?" leslie pondered

"crap, I didn't even think of that. But who else would drive?"

"I could I mean I did drink a lot less then you."

"I guess thatd work but can you even drive?"

"it cant be that much different then my dad's truck, can it?"

"yeah, maybe I should just drive anyway"

"we could call jess, he could handle it I think"

"yeah trust a kid who hates my guts with a $150,000 car, that sounds like a great idea"

"he's not that bad ryan, just give him a chance"

"fine, but you should probably be the one to call him"

Leslie pulled her phone out and went to contacts looking for jess. She found it and paused for a moment, was it a good idea to put jess and ryan in a position to hate eachother even more? Or should she just let them steam out and hopefully they'll become friends in time. She shut her phone "nah, you can just drive"

Leslie couldn't shake the feeling that something bad was happening or going to happen. Her body was covered in Goosebumps and she was feeling nauseous.


Jess woke with a headache; he needed to dull his edge. He hadn't felt happy since Maybelle had died and his guilt had pushed him to the verge of suicide. It was as if he had traded her for Leslie, if only he had been there for her then maybe he would've had a better life now with far less anguish. He had seen leslie get into Ryan's car; it felt like the ultimate betrayal, had he just been traded for somebody richer and a better outlook on life? No, it had seemed that Ryan was unlikely to stay for long 2 weeks more seemed like the max he could stay. He had more pressing matters right now he needed to shoot up. Heroine was the only way jess could deal with himself on occasion he could even see maybelle again, even though she had a look of both disgust and disappointment. He opened up his drawer searching for the needle that he craved. He fumbled around finding nothing. No, I know I have more… wait I can just use the leftovers from any other used needles I have, that should help a bit.. he thought to himself.

The little he could get out of his earlier doses had barely helped, let alone dull his edge. He pulled out his phone.

"Fulcher, I need more… how much can $150 get me?" jess waited for him to respond

"I don't have much right now, I can get you 2 balloons and next shipment I can get you around 4 more but that wont come in for about 2 weeks"

"do it, we'll meet at the usual spot"

Jess hung up. 2 balloons would help but it would be hard for him to make it last a week let alone 2. He had to find another dealer and fast he could scrounge up another $300 that he had buried for hard times, this seemed like a good time to do it. He walked outside to dig up his cash. He had to meet with scott and then drive to Norfolk to find a different dealer.